GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2007-09 > 1188677140
Subject: Re: [GENMASSACHUSETTS] Shay's Rebellion
Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2007 16:05:40 EDT
The only item I transcribed is in full, below.
Subject: Shays's Rebellion and the Arrest of Job Shattuck, Oliver Parker
Benjamin Page, Groton; Nathan Smith and John Kelsey of Shirley
Source: Groton Historical Series by Dr. Samuel A. Green Vol 1 1887
GROTON DURING SHAYS'S REBELLION
Boston Nov'r 28th 1786
A company of horsemen, under the Command of Colonel Benjamin Hichborn
aided by another party under Capt. Henry Woods of Pepperell, was sent
from Boston to secure the subjects of the warrant.
George R. Minot, in "The History of the Insurrection in Mass." p.77-79,
gives the following account of the affair:
"The execution of these warrants was committed to the Sheriff of Middlesex
[Loammi Baldwin], and others, to whose aid a party of horse
who had voluntarily associated for the support of the government, under
Colonel Benjamin Hichborn, was ordered from Boston early in the morning
of (Wednesday) the 29th of November.  They were joined by a party
from Groton, under the command of Colonel Henry Wood and the
whole consisting of more than 100 proceeded immediately for Concord.
These returned at night with two prisoners, [Oliver] Parker and [Benjamin]
Page, but [Job] Shattuck, the principal leader had taken an
alarm and escaped."
Job Shattuck lived near Wattle's Pond, in a house which he built about
the year 1782, still standing  and occupied by Harrison Holmes,
when the map in Mr. Butler's History was made.
He is supposed to have passed the night before his arrest at the house
of Samuel Gragg, two miles away from his own dwelling. When the company
failed to find him at his home on the morning of Thursday, Nov.
30  twelve men, under Sampson Reed of Boston, proceeded at once
to Gragg's residence where there was reason to think he was in hiding.
They learned that he had been there, but had just left; and by the
tracks in a light snow which had fallen during the previous night, they
traced him to the neighborhood of his own house. Here he was taken by
his pursuers after a desperate resistance, on the banks of the Nashua
River, almost within sight of his dwelling. A blow from the broadsword
of F. C. Varnum of Boston made a fearful wound in Shattuck's knee,
deviding the capsular ligament.
Capt. [Job] Shattuck was carried to Boston on Dec 1, 1786 and committed
to jail with Page and Parker though these last two were soon afterwood
released on bail.
"The Massachusetts Gazette," December 12, 1786 said:
"Shattuck, the state prisoner now in this town is amply provided with
all the necessaries and convenience proper for any person labouring
under such a wound as he received in his violent and obstinate re-
sistance to the gentlemen who apprehended him; he is constantly attend-
ed by a number of respectable gentlemen of the Faculty and treated with
all the humanity that could possibley be shewn to any person whatever."
In the month of May 1787 Capt. Shattuck was tried and convicted before
the Supreme Judicial Court and sentenced to be hanged on June 28 but
the day before this a reprieve was granted to July 26; then on the
day preceding this the execution was again postoned to Sept 20 but on
the 12th of that month he received a full and unconditional pardon.
He remained in jail more than four months but was finally released on
April 6, 1787 under bonds of f200 and allowed to return to his family.
Job Shattuck's life was one of large experiences. He was born on Feb.
11, 1736 and at the early age of nineteen took part in the French War,
serving through the campaign of 1755 under General Monckton in Nova
Scotia; and later he was present at the Battle of Bunker Hill. In the
year 1776 he was Lieutenant of a company that went to Boston after that
town was evacuated by the British and the next year he commanded a
company raised in Boston that marched to Fort Ticonderoga. During the
whole period of the Revolution he gave freely of his time and money
to promote the popular cause.
In the autumn of 1781 Shattuck was engaged in what were then known as
the Groton riots, incited by the opposition to the silver-money tax.
He and over sixteen other citizens of the town threatened and bullied
William Nutting and Benjamin Stone while attending to their duties as
constables in collecting taxes. It was an affair that created a good
deal of excitement in its day. At the trial he pleaded guilty and
was fined f10 and the cost of prosecution.
It is but just to the memory of Captain Shattuck to say that he was a
member of the church and much respected by his townsmen. At the time
of the rebellion he was near the middle age of life and a man of great
bodily vigor. He was the son of a respectable farmer and himself a
large landowner. Strong and athletic in person, skilled in the use of
the broadsword and proud of the accomplishment, utterly insensible to
fear and having a good war record, all thes qualities aided by his
position and means, gave him great influence among his neighbors. He
paid dearly for his errors as the crutch which he used until the day
of his death, January 13, 1819 would testify; and we can well afford to
be charitable now to the poor misguided men who took part in that need-
less and wicked rebellion.
p.152 - Epitaphs from the Old Burying Ground, Groton, MA by Dr. Samuel
A. Green 1878
[Willow Tree and Urn]
Sacred to the memory of
Capt. Job Shattuck who
Died Jan. 13, 1819.
Author's note: The son of William and Margaret (Lund) Shattuck, born
February 11, 1735/6. He was a noted leader in the insurrection of 1786 -
known as Shays's Rebellion and was afterward tried for high
treason, convicted, and sentenced to be hanged, but was subsequently
Job Shattuck's Marriage at Groton, MA
Source: Farnsworth Memorial
John Farnsworth/Hannah Aldis Line, Groton, MA
Sarah Hartwell b. Mar 19, 1737/8 dau of Samuel Hartwell and his 2nd
wife, Sarah Holden dau of John and Sarah Holden. His first wife was
Sarah Farnsworth of Groton.
Sarah Hartwell m. Capt. Job Shattuck b. Feb 11, 1736 in Groton; he died
Jan 13, 1819 and she died May 5, 1798 (see also Shattuck Memorial)
p.110 of Epitpahs
[Willow Tree and Urn]
Sacred to the Memory of
Mrs. Sarah Shattuck, wife
of Cap Job Shattuck, who Died
May 5, 1798 AEt. 61.
Author's note: The daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Holden) Hartwell b.
March 19, 1737/8. She was one of a band of patriotic women who arrested in
Leonard Whiting of Hollis, New Hampshire, a
noted Tory, bearing dispatches from Canada to the British in Boston.
Daniel Shays' Rebellion
Shays' Rebellion (1786-1787) With bio on Daniel Shays
Source: Encyclopedia Americana pub. 1829 Vol.24
Shay's Rebellion, an uprising, chiefly of farmers in Massachusetts in 1786
1787. The revolt was the cul- mination of five years of restless
dissatisfaction grow- ing out of high taxes, heavy indebtedness and
farm prices. The legislature's repeal of the legal- tender status of paper
money and its refusal to permit the offering of goods to satisfy debts meant
that obligations had to be met with hard-to-obtain specie. More-over, from
excises the state paid 6 % interest in specie on securities and promised
redemption in full, although speculators had bought them at a fraction of
their face value. Those who could not pay their debts faced trial by an
inefficient and expensive court system and jailing until they paid even
sums; or they saw their poss- essions sold at auction to satisfy their
creditors. Assembling in conventions in five counties in the summer of 1786,
the people listed their demands for relief, also calling for amendment of
state constitution to reduce the costs of government. Historians who cite
limitations on voting rights as a grievance are not supported by the
Mobs prevented the county courts and the Springfield session of the Supreme
Court from doing any business. A Hastily summoned legislature passed a
tender-law but did little else to adjust grievances. Ignoring its act of
indemnity, insurgents comp- romising one fifth of the people of several
counties took up arms and organized one of them captained by Daniel Shays.
Shays failed in an attempt to seize the federal arsenal at Springfield when
his men quailed be- fore a round or two of artillery fire (Jan. 25, 1787)
Several other skirmishes took place in nearby towns of Hampshire County and
in neighboring Berkshire Count. Exept for sporadic raids made over the
state's borders by dispersed insurgents, the fighting ended when the militia
under Major General Benjamin Lincoln routed Shays' forces at Petersham, Feb.
4, 1787. When the legislature met again, it took impressive meas- ures and
assumed all the costs of the army raised by Gov. James Bowdoin and financed
by private contributions. It made significant reductions in court fees, but
it continued to pay interest on securities from excises and refused to issue
paper money. In the spring election, the voters replaced many legis- latures
and chose John Hancock governor. The new legislature reduced somewhat the
taxes on polls and estates and ended indefinite jailing of debtors, but
accomplish little else that the Shaysites wanted. The rebellion increased
class consciousness in Mass. stirred up unrest in neighboring states,
sharpened de- mand for a stronger national government since Congress had
so conspicuously unable to aid the state in suppressing the insurgents, and
intensified disagreement over ratification of the federal constitution by
Mass. - Robert J. Taylor., Western Massachusetts in the Revolution. Shays,
Daniel Source: Encyclopedia Americana pub. 1829 Vol.24 p. 669 p.669 Daniel
Shays, American Revolutionary officer and in- surrectionary leader; b.
Hopkinton, Mass., ca 1747; d. at Sparta, N.Y. Sept. 29, 1825. He was a
in the Mass. rebellion named for him. Shays fought at Lexington, Bunker
Ticonderoga, Saratoga and Stony Point, and was commissioned captain in the
5th MA Reg. on Jan 1, 1777. He was one of a number of officers to whom the
Marquis de Lafayette gave commemorative swords; Shays sold his for needed
cash, scandalizing his comtempories. Resigning from the army in 1780, he too
up residence in Pelham, Mass., where he served on the Committee for Safety
1781-1792. Heavily in debt like many other Mass. soldiers, Shays sought tax
relief and adjustment of other grievances, not the overthrow of the
government. Although the state government considered him "generalis- imo" of
the rebellion of 1786-1787, Shays denied the charge and the records support
his denial. He led the insurgents at Springfield who compelled the Mass.
Supreme Court to adjourn on Sept. 26, 1786 and he commanded the ambitious
attack on the federal arsenal at Springfield on Jan 25, 1787 but other
leaders, such as Luke Day and Eli Parsons did not take orders from him.
Escaping capture by fleeing the state after the defeat of his forces at
Petersham Feb 4, 1787, Shays was one of fourteen condemned to death, and
the others he was finally pardoned in full June 13, 1788. A few years before
he died he received a federal pension for service in the Revolution.
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth
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