(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
the commencement of the revolution. It is
a subject frequently conversed on in our
family circles. It has no relation to the
political events of the times. But as it has
met with the censures of some at the time and
since, I will venture to mention it.
The story runs thus, that some half a doz-
en negroes belonging some of the most
respectable people, set out to have a
frolic. They pilfered rum from the store of
Maj Williams eggs butter and bread from
some pantry and chickens from some
hen-roost and met at some place of re-
sort to cook their meal and enjoy themselves.
They were detected and with out judge or jury
sentenced to the whip. In other words, they were lynched.
Maj Catlin was selected to carry into ex-
ecution the sentence. Titus David Arms's
negro was first drawn up. His back
laid bare and the Majr plied with all his
force the woodchuck. It was rather hot-
ter than poor Tite liked to soup? it.
Every stroke drew blood. Tite cried out
"O Lord blessee Massa Catlin, do stop and
Contact us for information about using this image.
This history of Deerfield, Massachusetts, was written c.1840 by Pliny Arms. It contains an account of the town during and after the American Revolution. Deerfield was evenly divided between Whigs and Tories which caused the actions of one town meeting to be overturned by the next. Arms also includes the story of some slaves in Deerfield who set out to have a frolic around the time of the Revolution. They were caught and being slaves, the owners could do with them as they wished. Major Catlin was chosen to whip them. Arms goes on to say that slavery was abolished in Massachusetts with the adoption of the state constitution in 1780. Although the 1780 Massachusetts Constitution declared that "all men are born free and equal", it took many years for the institution of slavery to die out in this state.
top of page
| author Pliny Arms (1778-1859)
| date c. 1840
| location Deerfield, Massachusetts
| height 9.75"
| width 8.0"
| process/materials manuscript, paper, ink
| item type Personal Documents/Unpublished monograph
| accession # #L12.004
Send an e-Postcard of this object