EDGECAST VIDEO: Sheffield Arbor Day, honoring Shays Rebellion

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By Saturday, Jan 14 Edgecasts  2 Comments

Arbor Day in Sheffield, Massachusetts, was celebrated by planting trees around the Shays Rebellion Monument (newly restored), commemorating an insurrection, on February 20, 1787, by former Continental Army soldiers whose farms were seized by currency manipulation and the banks while they were away fighting the British. Among the protest leaders was Daniel Shays of Sheffield.


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  1. Leif Steinert says:

    From “Stockbridge, Past and Present: Or, Records of an Old Mission Station” by Miss Electa Fidelia Jones, 1854.

    “One band (of Shayites) entered the store of Esquire Edwards, not for arms, but for spiritous liquors; and from the office of Judge Sedgwick they took Ephraim Williams, Esq., and Henry Hopkins prisoners, besides a quantity of linen from the drawers. But at the house of Judge Sedgwick, the one now occupied by Mr. Carter, they found one who was prepared for them, Elizabeth Freeman, generally known as ” Mum Bett.”

    She allowed them to search the drawers, knowing that the valuable papers were on the hill, and the silver all in her own chest, and to run their bayonets under the beds and into the dark corners to find Judge Sedgwick, for he, too, was absent. But she forbade all wanton destruction of property; and arming herself with the kitchen shovel, no light weapon in those days, she escorted them to the cellar, jeering them at her pleasure, and assuring them that they dared not strike a woman.

    When one of them, wishing for a share of the “gentleman’s” cheer, broke off the neck of a demijohn, she offered to serve them like gentlemen, but declared that the next one who uselessly destroyed a vessel, should be instantly leveled by her shovel. They affected to scorn the bitter liquor, and left the remainder for “gentlemen who drank such stuff.”

    On searching the chambers, and entering Betty’s, one pointed to her chest, and asked what that was. “Oh, you had better search that,” she replied, “an old nigger’s chest! you are such gentlemen; you had better search that, the old nigger’s, as you call me;” and thus she shamed them quite out of it, and saved the silver.”

  2. Edward Coyle says:

    Daniel Shays was from Pelham MA

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