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The Court of General Sessions of the Peace and the Court of Common Pleas, by a late resolve of the General Court, were directed to be holden at Springfield, on the 26th ulta. In the morning of that day, a number of armed men took possession of the ground near the Court-House with an avowed design to prevent the Justices from entering the houses. A Committee from the insurgents waited on the Justices with a request, that the Courts might not be opened, and intimations were given that very disagreeable consequences would follow in case of non compliance and sentinels were placed at the door of the room where the Justices had assembled. As no Jurors had been summoned, and no business was proposed to be done, if there had been no opposition, except choosing a Clerk, and as no force had been collected or attempted to be collected to support the Courts, the Justices present thought it prudent and necessary to inform the said Committee, that the Courts would not be opened at that time. The Committee requested an answer in writing; the Justices informed them, if they expected a written answer, they must exhibit their request in writing; they retired and soon after produced their written request, of which the following is a copy:

"Springfield, Dec. 26, 1786.
"WE request the Hon. Judges of this Court, not to open said Court at this term nor do any kind of business whatever, but all kinds of business remain as though no such Court had been appointed.

To which the following answer was returned:
"Springfield, Dec 26, 1786.
"THE Justices of the Court of Common Pleas and Court of General Sessions of the Peace, now assembled at Springfield, in consideration of the opposition made to the opening the said Courts, have determined not to do any business, or open the said Courts at this term.
Soon after which the insurgents, amounting, as was supposed, to about 300, quietly dispersed.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The court in Springfield was scheduled to open on December 26, 1786. In the morning, a large number of armed Regulators assembled with the purpose of preventing the justices from entering the court and doing business. A committee of Regulators approached the justices to ask that the Court give written assurance that it would not open the court this term, but to act "As though no such Court had been appointed." 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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Newspaper article from the Hampshire Gazette regarding the court

publisher   Hampshire Gazette
creator   Luke Day
creator   Thomas Grover (1738-1804)
creator   Daniel Shays (1747-1825)
date   Jan 3, 1787
location   Northampton, Massachusetts
diameter   1.5"
width   3.25"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L04.073

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See Also...

"Acts and Laws, Passed by the General Court of Massachusetts"

"To the good People of the Town of Deerfield" article in the Hampshire Gazette

Court verdicts of punishment for Shays' Insurgents published in the Hamsphire Gazette

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