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Letters to Capt. Shays and General Shepard published in the Hampshire Gazette

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The wording of this letter from Luke Day to Daniel Shays on January 25 is rather vague. Day may have meant that if Shepard did not comply with the terms he (Day) had sent that same day (January 25), then Shays should expect Day's troops at 4 pm that day as planned. The last line, however, suggests that Day thought the negotiations would extend long enough so that there would be "no action" on January 25. The accepted interpretation of this letter seems to be that Day was telling Shays they'd meet at 4 pm the next day (January 26.) As things turned out, Day did not rendezvous with Shays, perhaps because Day decided not to march until he heard from Shepard concerning his demands, or perhaps for other reasons. We can only guess as to why. In any case, Day's message was intercepted, so Shays was still operating under the assumption that Parsons, Day and Shays men would meet at 4:00 on January 25, when fatefully, Day and his men did not show up. <BR>In this note to General Shepard, Daniel Shays requests that his dead and wounded men be sent to him under the flag of truce so that they can be either buried or tended to. If Shepard refused to send the wounded men, Shays wanted a list of their names. Shepard also received this request from friends and relatives with a list of five dead to be returned. Jeremiah McMillen, who is listed as wounded and missing, was not one of the four men who were killed. Root, Webster, and Spicer were killed immediately, and Hunter died later from his wounds. Daniel Shays replied to a letter he received from General Lincoln on January 30, 1787. Shays states that the people are willing to lay down their arms if a general pardon is granted. They will return to their homes to await word from the General Court in regard to their complaints. This letter reflects the same requests that were presented to Lincoln on January 25. William Butler began publication of the Hampshire Gazette on September 6, 1786, in Northampton, Massachusetts. The mission of the newspaper was to inform the public about the issues pertaining to the ongoing conflicts. Butler was decidedly on the government side of the issues.


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