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Journal of Sarah Howe on Shays' Rebellion

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(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Sarah Howe, of Petersham, Massachusetts, wrote a journal with her reminiscences of the time of the American Revolution and the years following which included her brother fighting on the side of the government in Springfield and some of his friends siding with the regulators in January, 1787. She and her family heard that Daniel Shays and some of his followers had come to Petersham and had taken pro-government men prisoners, and that her father was to be taken prisoner as well. Then General Lincoln's men showed up at their house one morning after marching all night and Sarah set about making food for them. Once Lincoln's men started going around town to round up the regulators, Shays and his followers scattered and left town. Sarah also comments on speculators trying to buy governments notes from her father for a few shillings a pound. Her father had apparently accepted these notes as payment; something many men would not do at the end of the Revolution. He held on to the notes, and redeemed them when the government decided they would honor the notes at face value. He died a wealthy man, but Sarah makes a point that he was quite honest and did not take advantage of anyone.


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