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After the assault on the Springfield Arsenal on January 25, 1787, General Benjamin Lincoln wrote to Daniel Shays and his officers telling them that, to prevent bloodshed, they must tell the men to surrender and take an oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 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 insurrections. Butler hoped that it would help prevent the mob mentality from gaining strength. Articles from 1786 and 1787 reflect contemporary views on Shays' Rebellion.