Select Bibliography

IT is not the editor’s purpose to provide an exhaustive bibliography here. In the works of Messrs. Innes, King, and Smith, mentioned below(*), are listed nearly every manuscript collection, book, and article pertaining to the Pynchons and the upper Connecticut Valley during the seventeenth century. What are offered here are guides to special topics and several studies published since 1977.

Essential sources are the seven manuscript Pynchon Account Books, 1651–1694, in the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum at Springfield. In the second volume of the present work, Miss Juliette Tomlinson will offer a generous selection of extracts to illustrate every economic activity of the Pynchons. The First Century of Springfield (Springfield, 1908), edited in two volumes by Henry M. Burt, contains the town records and on nearly every page one finds reference to a Pynchon. Joseph H. Smith’s important volume,* Colonial Justice in Western Massachusetts (1639–1702): The Pynchon Court Record (Cambridge, 1961), contains not only valuable court proceedings, but a useful editorial commentary on the Pynchons as justices, and learned biographical sketches. In an appendix to the present volume is reprinted the funeral sermon preached by the Reverend Solomon Stoddard of Northampton: Gods Frown in the Death of Usefull Men (Boston, 1703). Other works of first importance are:

  • Mason A. Green, Springfield, 1636–1886 (Springfield, 1888).
  • Sylvester Judd, History of Hadley, Including the Early History of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst and Granby, Massachusetts (Northampton, 1863; new edn., Springfield, 1905). One of the very best local histories ever written in the United States, it rests heavily on the Pynchon manuscripts, which Mr. Judd once owned.
  • * Harold R. King, The Settlement of the Upper Connecticut River Valley to 1675 (Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1966). Factually sound, it contains little interpretation, but does offer a valuable bibliography.
  • Ruth A. McIntyre, William Pynchon: Merchant and Colonizer (Springfield, 1962). The most authoritative account.
  • Samuel Eliot Morison, “William Pynchon: The Founder of Springfield,” Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings, lxiv (1931), 67–107.
  • George Sheldon, History of Deerfield, 2 vols. (Deerfield, 1895).
  • Hezekiah Sheldon, Documentary History of Suffield (Springfield, 1979).
  • Josiah H. Temple and George Sheldon, History of the Town of Northfield (Albany, 1875).
  • James R. Trumbull, History of Northampton (Northampton, 1898).
  • Harry A. Wright, The Story of Western Massachusetts (New York, 1949).

This author made full use of the Pynchon materials and also of recent archaeological evidence and old maps.


Very little is known about the Indians of Western Massachusetts. Recently, however, interest in them has revived. The Smithsonian Institution is publishing a Handbook of North American Indians under the general editorship of William C. Sturtevant. Volume 15, Northeast (Washington, 1978) is edited by Bruce G. Trigger. It supersedes all previous works.

  • Francis Jennings, The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest (Chapel Hill, 1976). This is a learned work, containing many new points of view and, despite the asperity displayed by the author, is quite readable. It is unfortunate that he did not attempt to understand the early New England settlers and Puritanism as well as he does the native Americans. He admits his bias in his preface.
  • Douglas Edward Leach, Flintlock and Tomahawk: New England in King Philips War (New York, 1958). The standard account of the struggle.
  • Lawrence H. Leder, ed., The Livingston Indian Records, 1666–1723 (Gettysburg, Pa., 1956). An important new source, with Pynchon material.
  • William I. Roberts, The Fur Trade of New England in the Seventeenth Century (Ph.D. thesis, University of Pennsylvania, 1958), microfilm. An excellent study which, curiously, omits the role of the Pynchons. Important for background.
  • Alden T. Vaughan, New England Frontier: Indians and Puritans, 1620–1675 (Boston, 1965). Serves to counterbalance the book by Jennings.
  • William P. Young, ed., The Connecticut Valley Indian[s]: An Introduction to Their Archaeology and History. Springfield, Museum of Science, Bulletin, New Series, 1, no. 1, 1969.


  • Bernard Bailyn, The New England Merchant in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, 1955). Timothy H. Breen, The Character of the Good Ruler: Puritan Political Ideas in New England, 1630–1730 (New Haven, 1970).
  • John Romeyn Brodhead, History of the State of New York, 2 vols. (New York, 1859–1871).
  • Henry M. Burt, Cornet Joseph Parsons (Garden City, N.Y., 1898).
  • Howard M. Chapin, Life of Deacon Samuel Chapin of Springfield (Providence: Chapin Family Association, 1908).
  • William Hubbard, The Happiness of a People in the Wisdom of Their Rulers (Boston, 1676). John Pynchon, Jr., married Mr. Hubbard’s daughter. The minister’s and historian’s political and social views are much the same as those of John Pynchon.
  • J. Franklin Jameson, ed., Narratives of New Netherlands 1609–1664: Original Narratives of Early American History (New York, 1909, 1959). Reproduces the Visscher map showing the trading post of William Pynchon.
  • Hans Kurath, ed., Handbook of the Linguistic Atlas of New England (Providence, 1939). Sheds light on early settlement.
  • E. B. O’Callaghan, History of New Netherland; or, New York under the Dutch, 2 vols. (New York, 1848).
  • Joan Thirsk, Economic Policy and Projects (Oxford, 1978). The authoritative work on the English projectors of the seventeenth century.


  • m. a.=Massachusetts Archives, State House, Boston.
  • w. p.=Winthrop Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.