Sunday, November 27, 2005
Here is a self-profile by Tyler Resch, librarian at the Bennington Museum, and expert on one of the most important, and little know applicants of the 1798 Sedition Act. Anthony Haswell was a Bennington printer and publisher who was arrested, charged, tried, convicted, fined, and jailed by the United States government in 1799 and 1800 for publishing criticism of the government.
LINK TO ARTICLE: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/docs/haswell_resch_2003.doc
Background: I have a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Amherst
College, a master's in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern. I
worked four years as a reporter-photographer for the Providence Journal, and
then went small-town, so to speak. I wanted to get my hands on the whole
paper, do layouts, write headlines and editorials, run a staff, etc. So I
came to Bennington after learning that Pete and Don Miller of the Berkshire
Eagle had just acquired it.
I really intended to move on after a while, of course. But I loved the
Vermont scene and the skiing, got married, bought a 200-year-old house
(which I still have, and work on assiduously), raised two kids, and became
immersed in the community. So I was editor of the Bennington Banner in two
phases, 1963-65, and then a full decade, 1968-78 . . . [when] I quit.
But the community still called. I "moved on" to be communications
director for Bennington College for six years (had five bosses in those six
years, indicating the administrative instability there). Not a bad
experience, challenging, different -- and it got me out of newspapers at a
time of growing chain acquisitions and monopoly tendencies. I would not have
been happy working for Gannett.
Somewhere in all this time I wrote or edited twelve books of regional
historical interest, starting with a pictorial history of Bennington County
(while still at the Banner, at Pete Miller's behest) titled The Shires of
Bennington. Researched and wrote a 400-page town history of Dorset (an
upscale town that now boasts about 70 single-family residences assessed at
more than $1 million). Edited and produced a history of Bennington College.
Was commissioned to write a history of Putnam Memorial Hospital, now
Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. Was commissioned by the Rutland Herald
to edit a 400-page anthology of the editorials of its publisher, Bob
Mitchell, who had just died. Mitchell was a rare example of a daily
newspaper's owner who also wrote its editorials, and they were amazingly
substantive. That led to a bicentennial history of the Rutland Herald
itself, one of the few non-chain dailies that remains in the hands of one
family. Wrote a book about the Bennington Battle Monument.
My historical interests prevailed, and so in semi-retirement I became
librarian of the Bennington Museum, part-time, which I enjoy a lot, dealing
with lots of people from all over, and digging into historical and
biographical issues and a lot of genealogy. With a crew of volunteers, we
answer e-mails by the hundreds, mostly from descendants of early Vermont
I have a couple of unpublished books on the back burner: a biography of
Hiland Hall, a 19th-century Vermont political figure and historian in his
own right (responsible for the Battle Monument and its "massive and lofty"
design); and a history of the high-elevation ghost town of Glastenbury, just
northeast of Bennington.
Thank you so much for your work--which my cousin found on line and printed out. I am very eager to read about Hiland Hall's life.
Is your book available in publication or may I make copies for my brother and sister?
Getting increasingly interested in Hall and Vermont history -- I should chat with you about HH's papers at some point.
Evidently Mr. Laird and I are distant cousins (5th or 6th?). I find it kind of curious that I seem to agree with "my" -- the McCullough -- side of the family about the Bennington battle monument: I hope you won't hold continued partisanship against me.