Early view of Amherst College, from the Historical Collection of the State of Massachusetts.
John Warner Barber (1798-1885) was an American engraver whose books of state, national, and local history featured his vivid illustrations. He is said to have caught the flavor and appearance of city, town, and countryside scenes in his day. He traveled around Connecticut, creating ink sketches of town greens, hotels, schools, churches, and harbors and collected local history as he went. He also delved into the works of historians. From his work, he produced Connecticut Historical Collections, Containing a General Collection of Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, Etc., Relating to the History and Antiquities of Every Town in Connecticut with Geographical Descriptions. The book was very popular, selling 7,000 copies in the first year. He followed this work with a similar work focused on Massachusetts in 1839.