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"Mass Convention at Old Deerfield"
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This proclamation of a convention to be held in Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 1856, is in reaction to the bloodshed in Kansas; particularly the death of David Starr Hoyt. The fighting in Kansas territory between pro- and anti-slavery settlers and others in the mid-1850s foreshadowed the Civil War that started in 1861. On May 21, 1856, a group of pro-slavery men from Missouri raided the town of Lawrence, Kansas, burning and destroying buildings owned by anti-slavery advocates. This attack spurred John Brown and his sons to attack pro-slavery men in Pottawatomie Creek. A series of guerilla warfare attacks along the Missouri-Kansas border led to the term "bleeding Kansas." Federal troops finally had to intervene to stop the bloodshed and lawlessness. This convention in Deerfield was in support of the anti-slavery movement.
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