James A. Freeman

The Angel of Hadley:
A Thrilling Story of Rescue in Colonial Massachusetts        

U. S. Colonial History
ISBN: 978-1-935052-25-8
158 pages
5.5 x 8.5

June, 2010

For citizens of Hadley, Massachusetts, the story of the Angel of Hadley has been one of the most compelling in local history, appealing to generations. But while most historians have long accepted that regicides were harbored in the seventeenth-century village, the dramatic tale that describes the aged General Goffe appearing before a gathering of mystified colonists just in time to save the town from native attack has been controversial almost from the outset. In this volume, James Freeman considers the historical context that shaped the decades of religious reform, colonial settlement and international warfare in which the regicides lived. He considers, too, the nineteenth-century flowering of the legend of the Angel of Hadley, suggesting how the story that is so well known today was in part crafted by literature of the romantic era. Taken together, these chapters provide the most expansive look to date at this unique aspect of town history.


Clarence Hawkes:
America’s Blind Naturalist and the World He Lived In 

Biography/U. S. History
ISBN: 978-1-935052-21-0
136 pages
5.5 x 8.5

October, 2009

Once-prominent author of nearly 60 books of poetry and prose, naturalist Clarence Hawkes (1869-1954) survived rural poverty, lost half a leg at age nine and was blinded at thirteen. With unfailing enthusiasm and optimism he transmuted pain into art and became an immensely prolific and popular writer. In this book James A. Freeman explores Hawkes’  life and works in fascinating detail, giving us a close look at both his personal trials and accomplishments as well as a thorough study of the context in which his works were written and published. Writing with uncanny accuracy and empathy about people and a natural world he could not see, Clarence Hawkes lived most of his life in western Massachusetts, where he was known as the “Blind Poet of Hadley.” Appropriately enough for the celebration of the 350th anniversary of the town, we hear current Hadley residents reminisce about the hard-working, gentlemanly, friendly neighbor with clouded glasses who seemed always to be at his typewriter.


James Freeman graduated from Amherst College and the University of Minnesota. Currently Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts / Amherst, he has written or edited books on John Milton. He also published translations from Greek and Latin, plus printed essays on varied topics such as Hesiod, a medieval Latin hymn, a Renaissance Italian poet, Joan of Arc, Shakespeare, Swift, Tennyson, and the history of exercise nutrition. He currently edits the Association for Gravestone Studies Quarterly and reviews for The Journal of Radio and Electronic Media.