A Cannon for the Confederacy: The Legacy of Frazar Stearns

Submitted on Thursday, 3/15/2012, at 3:28 PM

By William Sweet

A century and a half ago, a member of the Amherst College Class of 1863 followed his chemistry professor into this country’s bloodiest conflict and returned in a coffin. After the body of Frazar Stearns—the son of the college’s fourth president, William Augustus Stearns—came back to Amherst, so did a cannon that he had helped reclaim from Confederate forces. It was a pale substitute for a 21-year-old with a promising future, but the “Amherst Cannon” would become a boon for historians.

Belle of Amherst or Bride of Salem?

Susan Snively, poet and director emeritus of the Writing Center at Amherst College and currently a guide at the Emily Dickinson Museum, gave a presentation at the Salem Athenaeum on the poet’s private life, as glimpsed in fragments of letters between the “Belle of Amherst” and Otis Phillips Lord, a justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court from Salem.

The Dickinson Daguerreotype

Riddle of Emily Dickinson

Rebecca Patterson. The Riddle of Emily Dickinson, 1951.

Emily Dickinson. Poems 1890

Emily Dickinson. Poems, 1890.

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