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Receipt of Caleb Phillips
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The events known collectively as Shays' Rebellion (1786-87) swept Western Massachusetts as it did nearly all of western New England. In Franklin County, Deerfield was a center of anti-Shays, pro-government sentiment. Col. Joseph Stebbins was a leader in that town and a Revolutionary War veteran. When Shays' Rebellion flared, Stebbins led a company to Springfield and was there when Daniel Shays failed to take the armory in January, 1787. Caleb Phillips lived in Ashfield, two towns west of Deerfield, and supported Shays, like many others in his town. He, too, was a Revolutionary War veteran, like most who supported Shays in Western Massachusetts. After Daniel Shays failed to take the armory, the state was able to mobilize against the movement. To regain order, they began to disarm suspected rebels. Stebbins collected hundreds of guns from nearby towns. Caleb Phillips' was among them. Once the rebellion had passed, Massachusetts pardoned its participants, and Phillips probably got his gun back.
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