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The following is a copy of an intercepted circulating Letter from Eli Parsons.
Berkshire, 13th Feb. 1787
Friends and fellow sufferers.

WILL you now tamely suffer your arms to be taken from you—your estates to be confiscated and even swear to support a Constitution and form of Government, and likewise a code of laws, which common sense and your consciences declare to be iniquitous and cruel? and can you bear to see and hear of the yeomanry of this commonwealth being patched and cut to pieces by the cruel and merciless tools of tyrannical power, and not resent it even unto relentless bloodshed. Would to God, I had the tongue of a ready writer, that I might impress on your minds the idea of the obligation you, as citizens of a republican government, are under to support those rights and privileges that the God of nature hath intitled you to. Let me now persuade you, by all the sacred ties of friendship which natural affection inspires the human heart with, immediately to turn out and assert your rights.

The first step that I would recommend, is to destroy Shepard's army, then proceed to the county of Berkshire, as we are now collecting at New Lebanon, in York state, and Pownal, in Vermont state, with a determination to carry our point, if fire, blood and carnage will effect it: therefore we beg that every friend will immediately proceed to the county of Berkshire, and help us to Burgoyne Lincoln and his army: I beg this may immediately circulate through your county.

I am, gentleman, in behalf of myself and other officers, your humble servant

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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By the middle of February, when this letter from Eli Parsons was written, many of the Regulators had escaped into southern Vermont and eastern New York state. From there, some men came back into Berkshire County, attacked and looted the town of Stockbridge, and eventually were defeated in a bloody encounter with government troops at the town of Sheffield on February 27. This letter was intercepted, and appeared in the Hampshire Gazette almost a week before the last the encounter at Sheffield.


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Circulating letter asking for help in destroying Lincoln's troops published in the Hampshire Gazette

publisher   Hampshire Gazette
author   Eli Parsons (1748-1830)
date   Feb 21, 1787
location   Northampton, Massachusetts
height   6.0"
width   3.25"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L04.091

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See Also...

Letter to Colonel Hyde from an insurgent published in the Hampshire Gazette

Letter from Insurgent to Col. Clark and others published in the Hampshire Gazette

Copy of a letter published in the Hampshire Gazette regarding Shays' Insurgents

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