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The meeting of Delegates from fifty towns in the County of Hampshire,
publicly? held at Hatfield, in said __ Tuesday the twenty-second day _____and continued by adjournment on the twenty fifth &c---Col __ the Chair, voted that _____ constitutional.

____from a thorough con- ____are individuals______from the choice of town meetings their _are obligatory only as they carry light and ___with them, and are of the same nature, _ought to have the same effect and influence, at the opinions of any other body of men may have upon our treasures. The Convention which assumes? a greater power than to inform others, does evidently usurp the rights of the people, they betray their ambition and suit of dominion, and should be watched as rivals and opposers of the supreme authority of the state, as those who have a design upon the majesty of the people entering the legislature. Such an assuming convention is managed by men who intend to _ the people to an undue submission to them-selves? for a constitutional authority in a republican? state? is never attacked by those who _______ merit to be appointed to govern, and ______ self-opinion enough to think themselves ______ qualified for rulers, and have their breasts ______ with ambition, to push them on to indirect, ________ and violent measures, to gain the control? of an? annually elected by the Representatives of the people in General Court- House?

5th, The existence of the Courts of common pleas and general sessions of the peace.

6th, The fee table as it now stands.

7th, The present mode of appropriating the impost and excise.

8th, The unreasonable grants made to some of the officers of Government.

9th, The supplementary aid.

10th, The present mode of paying the governmental securities.

11th, The present mode adopted for the payment and speedy collection of the last tax.

12th, The present mode of taxation as it operates unequally between the polls and estates, and between the landed and mercantile interests.

13th, The present method of practice of the Attorneys at law.

14th, The want of a sufficient medium of trade, to remedy the mischief arising from the scarcity of money.

15th, The General Court sitting in the town of Boston.

16th, The present embarrassments on the press.

17th, The neglect of the settlement of important matters depending between the commonwealth and Congress, relating to monies and averages.

18th, Voted that this convention recommend to the several towns in this county, that they instruct their representatives, to use their influence in the next General Court, to have emitted a bank of paper money, subject to a depreciation; making it a tender in all payments, equal to gold and silver; to be issued to order to call in the commonwealth securities.

19th, Voted, that whereas several of the above articles of grievances arise from defects in the constitution; therefore a revision of the same ought to take place.

20th, Voted, that it be recommended by this convention to the several towns in this county, that they petition the Governor to call the General Court immediately together, in order that the other grievances complained of, may by the Legislature be redressed.

21st, Voted, that this convention recommend it to the inhabitants of this county, that they abstain from all mobs and unlawful assemblies, until a constitutional method of redress can be obtained.

22nd, Voted, that Mr. Caleb West be desired to transmit a copy of the proceedings of this convention, to the convention of the county of Worcester.

23rd, Voted, that the chairman of this convention be desired, to transmit a copy of the proceedings of this convention to the county of Berkshire.

24th, Voted, that the chairman of this convention be directed to notify a county convention, upon any motion made to him for that purpose, if he judge the reasons offered sufficient, giving such notice together with the reasons therefore in the public papers of this county.

25th, Voted, that a copy of the proceedings of this convention, be sent to the press in Springfield for publication.

Signed per Order.
BENJ. BONNEY, Chairman.
Hatfield, Aug. 25th, 1786.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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County conventions gathered in rural Massachusetts throughout 1786-87 to protest the fiscal policies of the General Court, as well as the Massachusetts Constitution that had been ratified in 1780. As in the years before the American Revolution, these conventions mobilized public opinion and expressed popular grievances. These grievances are enumerated here. Many of them deal with the lack of money and the feeling that the state government should reside in Boston. During the 1780s, supporters of the Massachusetts government and the state Constitution condemned county conventions as illegal forums dominated by foolish rustics and demagogues.


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Convention at Hatfield article in the Hampshire Gazette

publisher   Hampshire Gazette
creator   Benjamin Bonney (1739-1803)
date   Sep 13, 1786
location   Northampton, Massachusetts
width   2.25"
height   5.0"
height   8.0"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L04.124

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See Also...

Hatfield Convention of 1782

Votes of counties at the Massachusetts State Convention article published in the Hampshire Gazette

State of Rhode Island issueing of paper money and voting requirements published in the Hampshire Gazette

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