As early as the mid-eighteenth century, Litchfield, Connecticut, touted itself as a prosperous commercial center where some of the businessmen participated in the China Trade. In 1751 it was the fourth largest town and the county seat in what is now known as Connecticut. During the Revolutionary War, Litchfield was one of the foremost repositories for military stores and custody of “royalist prisoners,” as well as the army headquarters for Western Connecticut. Because of its importance in the War's supply chain and its location on the major route between New England and the West, general officers of the War repeatedly visited and held numerous discussions that led to important consequences.

Given Litchfield's historical significance, it is not surprising that it attracted many professional and college-educated men.1 Although a small town, Litchfield was a thriving New England community with a vibrant cultural society. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth...

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