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State of Rhode Island issueing of paper money and voting requirements published in the Hampshire Gazette

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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As unsettling as Americans found the protests and violence in Massachusetts, leaders were appalled by what the government in Rhode Island was doing. Unlike Massachusetts, the Rhode Island Assembly had issued paper money and made it legal tender. Shopkeepers and other creditors were required by law to accept the state-issued script as an equivalent for gold, or face a penalty of five hundred dollars fine and loss of the right to vote. The Hampshire Gazette also reported that, unlike other neighboring states, Rhode Island had decided against issuing a proclamation urging the arrest of Daniel Shays, who was by then a fugitive from the Massachusetts government. The author did not bother to conceal his disdain for Rhode Island's government and policies, noting that not only had its Assembly decided not to send delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, but that their current delegates to the Confederation Congress were coming home because their government had "made no provision for their support."


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