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there was something Necessary that was not done
but what was everybodyes business was bodies but=
were about But all at once a party
without order or regularity undertook to stop the
sitting of the Court in 1787 one Danl; Shays
was called their General my neighbours many
of them took their Guns and went to Worcester
stopped the setting of the Court and then onto
Springfield James Bodoin was then Governour
of Massachusetts he called on General Lincoln
of Hingham then a Genl of the Militia and
other Officers and men to go and Disperse the
Mobb they fired on Shays at Springfield killed
some men Shays then retreated
to Pelham the Horror that I felt
can't describe when I heard that blood was shed
although I had lived through the other war yet
to think that my oldest Brother was gone out
on the side of Government and his youthful
playmates on the other side was shocking
beyond description - on Saturday evening we
heard that General Shays and Army had came
to Petersham had made prisoners of a number
of Government men in the Centre of the Town
and were gone for one of our Neighbours that
was then at our House that my Father
was to be a prisoner also - he and the neighbour
concluded they would stay together and be taken
in company then Danl Miles by name stayed
all Night no body come for them sometime
the next forenoon he went home soon after
a couple of youngsters without Guns or packs
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Sarah Howe, of Petersham, Massachusetts, wrote a journal with her reminiscences of the time of the American Revolution and the years following which included her brother fighting on the side of the government in Springfield and some of his friends siding with the regulators in January, 1787. She and her family heard that Daniel Shays and some of his followers had come to Petersham and had taken pro-government men prisoners, and that her father was to be taken prisoner as well. Then General Lincoln's men showed up at their house one morning after marching all night and Sarah set about making food for them. Once Lincoln's men started going around town to round up the regulators, Shays and his followers scattered and left town. Sarah also comments on speculators trying to buy governments notes from her father for a few shillings a pound. Her father had apparently accepted these notes as payment; something many men would not do at the end of the Revolution. He held on to the notes, and redeemed them when the government decided they would honor the notes at face value. He died a wealthy man, but Sarah makes a point that he was quite honest and did not take advantage of anyone.


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Journal of Sarah Howe on Shays' Rebellion

author   Sarah Howe (1766-1849)
date   1801-1811
location   Petersham, Massachusetts
height   12.0"
width   6.75"
process/materials   manuscript, paper, ink
item type   Personal Documents/Journal
accession #   #L07.054

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See Also...

Excerpt of Willard letter to E. B. Wilson on Shays' Insurrection of 1786

Excerpts from Remembrance of Captain Park Holland and his participation in Shays' Rebellion

Pages from the second Journal of Sarah Howe on Shays' Rebellion

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