icon for Home page
icon for Kid's Home page
icon for Digital Collection
icon for Activities
icon for Turns Exhibit
icon for In the Classroom
icon for Chronologies
icon for My Collection

Online Collection

Hampshire Ss To Mr John Sexton Constable
for the Town of Deerfield - Greeting

you are herby required in the name of the Government
& People of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to notifiy
& warn the freeholders & other Inhabitants of the Town of
Deerfield Qualified by Law to Vote in Town affairs to assemble
& meet together at the School house in Deerfield on
Monday the 22d Day of Jany Current at the half after 4 oClock
P M then & there after a Moderator is Chose
To see if the Town will instruct their Representative
in the Genl Court of this Commonwealth to repair to said
Court & their use his Influence that the sd Court will
Endeavour that some Immediate advances be made to the
Court of Great Britain (or my Persons deputed by sd Court)
in order to Effect an accomodation Settlement & Peace
between Great Britain & the United States of America without
the futher effusion of Blood

Here of fail not & make return of this warrant with your
Doings thereon by the time prefixed forsrd meeting
By order of the Selectmen
Jusn Hitchcock Town Clerk
Deerfield Jany 16th 1781

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Contact us for information about using this image.

label levels:

This town meeting warrant from Deerfield, Massachusetts, dated January of 1781 shows that early town meetings sometimes dealt with national and international issues. This warrant calls on the town meeting to instruct the local representative to the Massachusetts General Court (legislature) to support peace negotiations with the British. Prior to their defeat at the battle of Yorktown (October, 1781), the British had proposed a peace that accepted most American demands but did not grant independence. The town meeting resolution in Deerfield was promoted by local "loyalists" (British sympathizers) and passed by a vote of 34 to 31. It essentially supported the British position. The same town meeting majority also had resisted voting support for George Washington's army a few weeks earlier. The leaders of the Massachusetts General Court rejected the Deerfield petition and local loyalists were threatened with arrest.


top of page

Deerfield Town Warrant regarding making peace with Great Britain

author   Justin Hitchcock (1752-1822)
creator   Selectmen of Deerfield
date   Jan 16, 1781
location   Deerfield, Massachusetts
height   7.0"
width   7.0"
process/materials   manuscript, paper, ink
item type   Legal Documents/Government/Society Records
accession #   #L07.021

Look Closer icon My Collection icon Document Image icon Detailed info icon

ecard icon Send an e-Postcard of this object

See Also...

Deerfield Town Warrant on Declaration of Independence from Great Britain

Pages from Journal of Dr. Elihu Ashley

Deerfield Town Warrant

button for Side by Side Viewingbutton for Glossarybutton for Printing Helpbutton for How to Read Old Documents


Home | Online Collection | Things To Do | Turns Exhibit | Classroom | Chronologies | My Collection
About This Site | Site Index | Site Search | Feedback