Only thing that Daniel Shay heard was gunshots from the other side of the battlefield. He looked around and saw 4 of his men deaded. He didn’t know what to do so he and his men ran away as fast as they can from the militia waiting at the Springfield Arsenal. The Shays Rebellion started because of the high debt on farmers in Massachusetts. John Hancock accepted devalued paper money for debt paying but it didn’t last for long. Governor James Bowdoin instituted a heavy tax burden on the people of Massachusetts. The farmers had their stuff taken away from debaters because they can’t pay their debt.
Veterans were unhappy because they didn’t receive their pay from the Revolutionary War. The farmers and veterans joined forces to start a rebellion which was called the Shays Rebellion. In the late 1770s, many leaders were hesitant to create a stronger federal government and it was Shay’s Rebellion that tipped the scale for many people in favor for creating a stronger federal government. Daniel was born circa 1747 in Hopkinton,Massachusetts. His parents were Irish immigrants(Editors).Only little is know about his early life as a child. He was married to Abigail Gilbert.
He served in the Revolutionary War as the rank of captain of the 5th Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army(New World). He fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill and Battle of Saratoga. He received a golden embroidered sword from Marquis Lafayette but unlike other soldiers who will keep the sword, he sold the sword for $12 because he had a $12 debt(Shays Rebellion). He left the Continental Army because he didn’t receive any pay like other veterans for his service. He returned to his home state Massachusetts which was in a big debt and started farming. He was sued two times because of unpaid debts. He lost his farm to tax officers because of unpaid debts(Shays Rebellion). He joined the rebellion so he can fight against the state government who put harsh taxes on him and his fellow farmers The Shay’s Rebellion was led another veterans like Captain Luke Day and Joel Billings.
It started by 1500 men led veteran Deacon John Thompson ascended to the Northamptons’ courthouse were the Hampshire County Court of Common Pleas was happening and didn’t let the judges in the courthouse(Beck).Three hundred men shut down the state’s Supreme Judicial Court in Worcester. A drunken horde of poor men shut down the Middle County’s court(Beck). This caused the rebellion to spark in Western Massachusetts. Governor James Bowdoin and the General Court passed many laws to stop the Regulators like the Riot Act. The Riot Act was a law that provided seizure of Regulator land and goods and made the sheriff blameless for the fatalities against the insurgents(Beck).
One of the leader of Shays Rebellion named Job Shattuck was captured by the state militia and was sent to a prison cell(Beck). Many of the Regulators like Daniel Shay believed in lies about the government doing bad to the people of Massachusetts so these lies made the rebellion to grow in Western Massachusetts. When Luke Day and Daniel Shays took over a courthouse in Springfield,the state militia led by General William used cannons to make the Regulators to retreat but no one knows if the state militia won or the Regulators won the battle. Daniel Shay was furious when the state militia intervened the court closing in Springfield. He wrote a letter to General William Shepard stating that he won’t surrender to the state militia even if the state militia is well equipped with better weapons and artillery(Beck).
After the shootout in courthouse in Springfield, General William of the state militia planed to fortify the Springfield Arsenal before Daniel Shay thinks about taking it over but Daniel Shay already thought about taking over the arsenal(Beck. “The Springfield Arsenal contained 7,000 muskets and bayonets, 1,300 pounds of gunpowder, 200 tons of shot”(Beck). This arsenal contained everything a rebellion need to grow very big to take over the capital of Massachusetts. Daniel Shay planned to take over the arsenal and march to the State house in Massachusetts but all didn’t goes as planned as Shay thought it was going to. Before the attack on the Springfield Arsenal happened, Luke Day shared a secret to a man that he trusted the most.
The man name was Dr.Joseph Lathrop who worked as a minister of the West Springfield’s First Church(Beck). Lathrop told him not to attack the Springfield Arsenal or his men will die in bloodshed. Luke Day wrote a letter to Daniel Shay that his army is not coming to attack the Springfield Arsenal but Shay didn’t receive the letter from Luke Day. Before the messenger can reach Shay, spies from the state militia stopped the messenger, made him drunk, and took the letter from him.
Luke Day wrote an another letter to General William saying that his men from West Springfield are laying down arms and surrendering to the government(Beck). As the Regulators were marching to the Springfield Arsenal, Luke Day army didn’t appear to help the Regulators. Daniel Shay pondering with that question as they marched into the state militia. General William used to cannons to kill 4 Regulators and made the Regulators go into full retreat. The Regulators ran for a good 5 miles away from the Springfield Arsenal to the Chapin’s Tavern in East Springfield. Shay’s men joined with Eli Parson’s men and 200 hundred Regulators deserted the cause along the way(Beck).
General Lincoln men reached the Springfield Arsenal and started marching faster to capture the Regulators but the Regulators were much faster than them. The Regulators reached the town of Pelham where Daniel Shay lives. Daniel Shay was worried that he carried a burden of leading an army with no options left(Beck) General Lincoln army camped in Hadley which was 10 miles away from Daniel Shays camp in Pelham. General Lincoln didn’t attack the town of Pelham because it was heavily fortified and too rugged. He wrote a letter to Daniel Shay to give pardon to all of his noncommissioned men if he surrender his army to the government. When Shay received the letter from General Lincoln, Shay thought about it and wrote a letter stating that his army will lay down arms if all of his men received pardons from the government. General Lincoln didn’t trust Shay because he took up arms(Beck). General Lincoln didn’t trust his own army because his enlistments end on February and that lots of people in his army were desterting the cause.
General Lincoln found out from a spie that Shay ran to his Petersham stronghold which was 30 miles from General Lincoln camp in Hadley. General Lincoln army marched at nightfall so they can attack them at early morning when the Regulators are sleeping. While the Lincoln’s army was marching to Petersham, a heavy blizzard descended upon the army with sheets of snows. Lincoln army thought he was a madman but they still marched(Beck).