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|Copy of a letter from Gen. Lincoln, to Capt. Shays.|
Hadley, Jan. 30, 1787.
To Captain Shays and the Officers commanding the men in arms against the Government
of this Commonwealth.
WHETHER you are convinced or not of your error, in flying to arms; I am fully
persuaded that before this hour, you must have the fullest conviction upon your
own minds, that you are not able to execute your original purposes.
Your resources are few, your force is inconsiderable and hourly decreasing
from the disaffection of your men; you are in a post where you have neither
cover nor supplies, and in a situation in which you can neither give aid to
your friends, nor discomfort to the supporters of good order and government.
Under these circumstances you cannot hesitate a moment to disband your deluded
followers. If you should not, I must approach and apprehend the most influential
characters among you. Should you attempt to fire upon the troops of government,
the consequences must be fatal to many of your men the least guilty. To prevent
bloodshed you, will communicate to your privates, that if they will instantly
lay down their arms, surrender themselves to government, and take and subscribe
the oath of allegiance to this Commonwealth, they shall be recommended to the
General Court for mercy. If you should either withhold this information from
them, or suffer your people to fire upon our approach, you must be answerable
forall the ills which may exist in consequence thereof.
B. LINCOLN, commanding the forces of Government.
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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.
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"Copy of a letter from Gen. Lincoln to Capt. Shays" in Hampshire Gazette newspaper
| publisher Hampshire Gazette
| author General Benjamin Lincoln (1733-1810)
| date Jan 31, 1787
| location Northampton, Massachusetts
| height 7.75"
| width 3.0"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| item type Periodicals/Newspaper
| accession # #L04.080
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