It’s fitting that the inaugural post of this blog, its name a predecessor to the Greenfield Recorder, features a picture of a farm. From Whately (where this photograph was taken, on North Street) to Northfield, Rowe to Athol, farmland stretches across our land; the backbone of Franklin County is agriculture. 

225 years ago, the Recorder’s progenitor, the Impartial Intelligencer, led its front page with an editorial from Thomas Dickman that promised the town’s first paper would serve its readers as best it could with the resources at hand, which included the readers themselves.

Over the centuries, and today, we hope, the work of our reporters and editors, with contributions from regular columnists and freelancers — and often on this page, our readers themselves — binds our county’s inhabitants together and provides them with the information they need to make intelligent and sensible decisions about their lives.

The first editorial has held up amazingly well over the centuries, and its general spirit of dedication to our readers is worth reflecting upon as we begin yet another new year in service to Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region.


… The Editor begs leave to offer the following proposals with regard to the merit of the IMPARTIAL INTELLIGENCER:

IT is the general custom for young Editors to make extravagant promises, and raise the expectations of their readers to such a degree that a disappointment is almost unavoidable, but the Editor of this paper can only assure the publick, that his greatest exertions shall be employed to make it the earliest informer of every important intelligence, whether foreign or domestick, and as serviceable as any publication subject to the same disadvantages.

The principal objects of the Editor of this paper shall be — to maintain its purity unsullied — and to collect such pieces of entertainment and humour, as may instruct and improve the mind and manners of the risen and rising generations

The literary productions of the more improved among mankind tending to mend the morals or enlighten the understanding of the ignorant, will ever be received with gratitude.

Such extracts from authors as may be deemed proper for publication, will be thankfully received.

The Husbandman, it is hoped, will communicate to the publick, all improvements in the art of husbandry which may come to his knowledge, and which may be of use to his brethren. He may be assured that every article of information will meet with a kind reception from the Editor.

The assistance of the female part of our readers is earnestly solicited. As their productions are generally fraught with a fund of good sense, they will undoubtedly, add greatly to the merit of this paper.

The publick’s most obedient and very humble servant,


(Thomas Dickman, 1792)

The Impartial Intelligencer, Feb. 15, 1792.