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VOL. I.— Parts I and n. 



18 5 5. 

Entero.d accoirlin^ to Act of Congress in the year 1855, hj 


1 n the Clerk's Oflice of the District Court of the District of Massacbusetfs. 


Printers mid Storeotyiiors. 


H7I ' 



The collection of the materials of this work, their composition, and 
their publication in weekly numbers in the columns of the Springfield 
Bepuhlican, originated in the wish to add value and interest to that 
paper, and were simply regarded, at first, as a newspaper enterprise. 
The initial number was issued during the first week of 1854, and but 
a few numbers had been presented to the pubhc, when letters began 
to be received, from every quarter, expressive of the hope that the 
papers would be placed in a form more accordant with the character 
of a permanently valuable work. .The writer had already become 
aware of the richness of the field upon which he had entered, and 
was only too happy to see that the importance of his undertaking was 
popularly appreciated. To produce a work of permanent value, rather 
than one of passing interest, became his leading motive, and the re- 
sults are the two volumes here presented. 

The plan of the work has its imperfections, as well as its marked 
advantages. It seemed necessary to present, at first, a history of the 
whole territory, — to caiTy it through the period of settlement, the in- 
ception of its industrial interests, the Indian, and French and Indian, 
wars, the Revolution, — through all those great processes, events and 
epochs to which the whole territory was related alike, and in which 
its components were intimately related to each other. Then, it seemed 
necessary to exhibit those leading interests and physical characteris- 
tics which, while they could hardly be introduced with propriety into 
the general civil and political history of a number of counties, would 



be still more out of place in the history of separate townships. In 
one case there would be loss of congrnity and continuity; in the oth- 
er, the sacrifice of that classification and grouping, absolutely neces- 
sary to the proper development of the subjects presented. Then, 
beyond all, there was the history of each town, of and within itself, 
— perhaps more important and interesting than all the rest. 

Thus was the work naturally, and even necessarily, divided into 
three parts, — first, the outline history; second, the history of the lead- 
ing interests and the description of the scientific aspects; and third, 
the history of the towns, of the region under historical treatment. 
The disadvantages of this plan are principally in the fact that no town 
history can be rendered complete in itself, without a repetition of cer- 
tain facts stated in the two preceding parts of the work. This diffi- 
culty is sought to be remedied by giving references, in each town his- 
tory, to the pages in Parts I and n where other facts necessary to 
complete the history of the town are stated. 

It is hardly necessary to offer an apology for the division, historical 
and geographical, of Massachusetts, indicated in the title of this work. 
Old Hampshire Cotmty, extending originally from the uncertain East- 
ern line of New York on the West, into the present territory of Wor- 
cester County, on the East, and occupying, throughout that distance, 
the entire width of the Massachusetts patent, was, at first, in almost 
everything but the name, a colony of itself. The settlements were 
planted in the wDderness, and the waste of woods that lay between 
them and the seat of authority of the Massachusetts Bay, was hardly 
less to be dreaded, or easier of passage, than the waste of waters that 
interposed between the Bay and the Mother Country. Its interests 
have been developed by themselves. Its institutions, habits and cus- 
toms have sprung out of its own peculiar wants, circumstances and 
spirit, and the history of Western Massachusetts is but the history of 
the old mother county and her children. 

In the execution of this work, the author has been assisted by hands 
too numerous to be mentioned. Kind correspondents in each of the 
one hundred towns embraced in the work, have copied records, gath- 
ered statistics, and corrected mis-statements after their publication in 
the newspaper. By far the larger part of the work is from entirely 
new and original materials. That the labor of collecting these mate- 


rials, and arranging tliem in their present shape, has been ardttons 
and perplexing, does not need to be told to those accustomed to sim- 
ilar efforts. But this labor would be well repaid, were the author not 
conscious that it must have been accompanied by many mistakes. 
Any one, in taking up the second volume of the work, will perceive 
that it is composed almost entirely of names and dates. These are 
presented in such numbers that a life-time would hardly suffice to 
verify them all. All that the author can say, is, that he has spared no 
practicable pains to make his work authentic, and that, although minor 
eiTors may be found, he believes that it may be accepted by Ihe pub- 
lic as reliable in all essential points. 

A few of the town histories have been published unaltered, as they 
were furnished by correspondents. Among them are the excellent 
histories of Brimfield, Greenfield, Stockbridge, and perhaps two or 
three others. Some of them have been greatly condensed from their 
manuscripts, while others have been drawn from every available 
source. Wherever a town history has been found in print, its pages 
have been freely used. The town histories will be found of unequal 
lengths, and of unequal importance and interest, in many instances. 
The diflFerence results from various causes, among which the unequal 
manner in which the records of the towns have been kept, relative- 
ly, is the most prominent. 

In the Second Part of the work, other pens than the writer's have 
done the more important office. The excellent paper on Geology is 
furnished by Dr. Edward Hitchcock Jr., of Williston Seminary, 
Easthampton; that on Agriculture by William Bacon Esq., a prac- 
tical farmer of Richmond, Berkshire County; and that on Education 
by Ariel Parish, A. M., principal of the Public High School, in 
Springfield. It is only justice to say that they have performed their 
tasks with entire success. Without offense to the many to whose po- 
liteness the author has been greatly indebted in the preparation of 
this work, he begs leave to acknowledge that bestowed by Sylvester 
Judd Esq. of Northampton, Hon. Oliver B. Morris of Springfield, 
Hon. H. W. Cushman of Bcmardston, Lucius M. Boltwood Esq. of 
Amherst, Hon. William Hyde of Ware, Samuel Nash Esq. of Had- 
ley, and Rev. Emerson Davis, D. D. of Westfield. To these gentle- 
men, and to the multitude of others, unnamed but not unremem- 


bered,— many thanks! In the Outline History, authorities have not 
been given, a fact which renders it proper to say that the published 
works to which the author is principally indebted are Hoit's Antiqui- 
ties, Hubbard's Indian Wars, Dwight's Travels, Holmes' American 
Annals, Mather's Magnalia, and Minot's History of the Shays Rebel- 
lion. The principal published works consulted in the preparation of 
the town histories have been Field's History of Berkshire County and 
Packard's History of the Churches and Ministers in Franklin County. 

Since the pubhcation of the work in the Republican, it has been 
thoroughly revised, and portions of it entirely re-written; and, hav- 
ing honestly and laboriously endeavored to make it worthy of the 
place which it assumes to fill, it is submitted to the people of Western 
Massachusetts and all interested, with that strong confidence in then- 
kind judgments which their constant and cheering interest in the pro- 
gress of the work has been so well calculated to inspire. 
Republican Office, 

Springfield, January 1, 1855. 


CHAPTER I. — Ijttroduction — A Sketch of earlt colonial histo- 
KY.— Removal of the Puritans from England to Holland, p. 15 ; Emigra- 
tion to America, 16; Settlement of Massachusetts Bay, 17; First movements 
towards emigration Westward, 20; The Roxbury people obtain liberty 
to settle at Agawam, 21. 

CHAPTER n. — First settlement on the Connecticut— Springfield. 
Woodcock and Cable build the first house, 22 ; William Pynchon— journey 
from Roxbury, 23; Arrival of the emigrants— their covenant, 24; First 
Indian deed, 29; First minister, 30 ; Destruction of the Pequots, 31; First 
local magistracy, 33; Agawam becomes Springfield — first settlements in 
Woronoco, 34; Saybrook Fort and its tolls, 35; Mr. Pynchon writes a 
heretical book— its consequences, 37; He returns to England, 38; First case 
of witchcraft in New England, 40; New board of magistracy, 42; Settlo- 
ment of Rev. Pelatiah Glover— the " old Pynchon house," 44. 

CHAPTER m.— Settlement of Northampton and Had ley— erection 
of Hampshire County. Purchase and settlement of Nonotuck, 45 ; Set- 
tlement of Mr. Mather, 49 ; Northampton magistracy, united with that of 
Springfield, 50; First birth, death and marriage in Northampton, 53; 
Mounts Holyoke and Tom named— settlement of Hadley, 54; Erection of 
Hampshire County, 59. 

CHAPTER IV.— Completion of the first line of settlements on 
the Connecticut Riveu-Incidents of interest. Town offices, 63; 
New settlements around Springfield, 64; Grants and settlements at Woro- 
noco, 65; Westfleld incoi-porated,- early physicians, 66; Hadley asks for 
more land, 68; Hatfield incorporated — Deerfield settled, 69; Settlement of 

vNorthfield, 71; Population in 1673,72; The Connecticut Valley Indians, 
74 ; The early militia, 76 

CHAPTER v.— Kino Philip's waji— the campaign of 1675. Introduc- 
tory events of the war, 77; Philip's conspiracy, 79; The first bloodshed, 
80; Burning of Brookfield, 81; Fight near Sugar-loaf mountain, 84; Slaugh- 
ter of Capt. Beers and his men at Northfield, 86; Massacre at P>loody 
brook, 88; Celebration of the event, 91; Disaflection of Connecticut, 94; 
The Springfield Indians become enemies, 95; Springfield burnt, 96; Major 
Pynchon resigns his command, 99—102; Attack upon Hatfield, 105: In- 
dian murders at Longmeadow and Westfield, 107; Operations at the East, 

CHAPTER VI.— The campaign of 1676.— King Philip's war contin- 
HED AND concluded. The musteiing of forces,- attack upon North- 


ampton, 112; Order fortbe towns to come together, 113; Northampton and 
WestUeM object, 114; The collection of Indians at the North, 120; The 
Falls Fight, 121; Kew attack on Hattie'd, 126; Arrival of reinforcements, 
under MajcrTalcot and Capt. Ilencliman,— attack on Hadley, 127; Appear- 
ance ofGofe, the " Eegicide," 128; Ketirement of the Indians from the 
Connecticut, 130; Indian massacre at Stockbridge, 131; Death of Kmg 
PhUip, 132. 

CHAPTER Vll.— New Indian dipficuxtiks, and tbteik close. Terri- 
ble massacre at Hatfield— seventeen captives taken, 134; Captures at Deer- 
fleld, 135 ; The captives reclaimed— peace, 136. 

CHAPTER VIII.— Peace— THE Courts— King William's Wae— Witch- 
craft— general matters OF interest. Early attorneys, 138; Com- 
mencement of French and Indian hostilities, 139; First demonstration at 
Brookfield,— the Indians at Deerfield, 141 ; Case of witchcraft at Hadley, 
143; West Springfield settles a minister, 146; Settlement commenced at 
Wilbraham— incori oration of the ThiulParish of Springfield— Rev. Solo- 
moaStoddiird of Northampton, 147. 

CHAPTER IX.— Queen Anne's War. Deerfield attacked, 148; 108 cap- 
tives taken, 1.50; Death of Mrs. Williams, 153; The party in Canada, 154; 
Eunice Williams becomes a savage, 155 ; Return of the captives — tlie old 
Indian house, 156; Indian muiders, 157; Unsuccessful attack on Deerfield 
— sis men killed in Brookfield, 159; Cessation of hostilities, 160. 

CHAPTER X. — New settlements out the Connecticut — first set- 
( tlements ON the Housatonic. Re-settlement of Northfield, 161 ; Grant 
and incorporation of Brimiield — death of Major John Pynchon, 162 ; Grant 
of the Housatonic townships, 163; Their settlement, 164; The Stockbridge 
Indians, 165; Four townships laid out, between the Connecticut and Hou- 
satonic settlements, 169 ; Progress of settlements in the Western part of the 
patent, 170 ; Establishment of Worcester County, 171. 

CHAPTER XI. — Resumption of French and Indian hostilities. 

^ Establishment of border forts, 172; Attack on Bernardston — affray near 
Fort Massachusetts, 173; Gallant defence of Fort Massachusetts, 174 ; The 
"Bars Fight," 175; Another affray near Fort Massachusetts, 177; Death 
of Col. John Stoddard, 178; The " Hobbs Fight,"— Peace once more, 179. 

CHAPTER XII.— Revolt of the Connecticut towns- The Ceown 
Pines— The Hampshire bar. The line between Massachusetts and Con- 
necticut, and its incidental arrangements of jurisdiction — the Connecticut 
towns revolt from Massachusetts 181 ; The Pines reserved as masts for the 
British Nary, 182; The Hampshire bar. 183. 

CHAPTER Xm.— The concluding French and Indian War. Con- 
vention at Albany, for the purpose of securing union between the colonies, 
186: Indian outrage at Stockbridge, 187; New line of fortifications, 188;Cap- 
ture of women and children at Bridgman's fort — the Hampshire regiment 
in the expedition to Crown point, 190; Fall of Col. Ephraim Williams — 
sufferings of the Hampshire regiment, 191; Basis of Williams College, 


192; Indian murders at Greenfield, 193; Close of the Indian, and French 
and Indian wars, 194. 

CHAPTER xrv.— Division ob" HAMPSHtRE Countt— laitd sales— Ne- 
gro SLAVERY — Ecclesiastical excitement— Districts. Berkshire 
County erected, 196; Courts established— ten townships sold at auction by 
the General Court, 197; Nepcro slavery, 198; Eev. Kobert Break called to 
settle in Springfield, 199 ; Incorporation of districts, 202. 

CHAPTEE XV.— The Americau- Kevoltition. Preliminary events, 204 ; 
The Berkshire County Congress, 206 ; Pittsfield protests, 208 ; Hampshiro 
County Congress, 210 ; Minute men 212 and 220 ; The Lexington alarm— 
the news at Greenfield, 213; At New Salem, 214; Convention of the Com- 
mittees of Safety, 216; The Tories, 224; Establishment of the National Ar- 
mory at Springfield, 227; Declaration of peace, 228. 

CHAPTER XVI. —The Shays eebellion, its origin and progeess. 
Conventions to consult upon grievances, 230; Samuel Ely the"mobber" — 
mob at Hatfield, 231; Mob at Springfield, 232; Position of the common- 
wealth, 233; The "Tender Act," 234; Convention at Worcester, 236 ; Con- 
vention at Hatfield, 237 ; Courts stopped at Northampton by a mob, 239 ; 
Courts stopped at "Worcester, 241 ; Convention at Lenox— mob at Great 
Barrington Luke Day, 244; Daniel Shays — another mob at Springfield, 
245; Another mob at Great Barrington, 248; Another Convention and 
mob at Worcester, 251 ; The court stopped at Springfield — troops raised to 
suppress the rebellion, 259. 

CHAPTER XVII.— The Shays Rebellion— its decline and sttppkes 
6ION. Preparations for attacking the Springfield arsenal, 261; Approach 
of the rebels, 263; The rebels fired upon,— their flight, 266; Day's flight 
from West Springfield— all the rebels retire to Pelham, 266; Capture at 
Middlefield, 267; Flight of the rebels from Pelham to Petersham, 270; The 
rebels routed and dispersed, 271 ; Operations in Berkshire, 278; Eli Par- 
eons, 274; Action of the Legislature in regard to the rebels, 275; Murder 
in Bemardston, 276; Plunder of Stockbridge, 277 ; Sharp fight in Berk- 
Bhire County. 279; Commi.ssion of Indemnity, 283; Trial and sentences of 
tte rebels, 284 ; Troops recalled and rebellion suppressed, 291. 

CHAPTER X Vin.- Sketches op Shays and Day— Comments on and 
INCIDENTS OP THE REBELLION. Sketch of Daniel Shays, 292 ; Luke Day, 
295; Review of the rebellion, 297; Interesting incidents, 800. 

CHAPTER XIX .—Industrial movements and sociai, aspects. Locks 
and canals on Connecticut river, 304; South Hadley Canal finished, 805; 
Dam at Turner's Falls completed, 309; Shad fishery, 810; Lotteries and 
Bridges, 311 ; Turnpikes, 313 ; Life and manners, 316. 

CHAPTER XX.— The war op 1812— Conclusion op the Outline His- 
tory. Events preliminary to the war, 318; Establishment of Franklin 
and Hampden Counties— grand convention at Northampton, 821; Gov- 
ernor Strong and the federal authorities, 326 ; Militia ordered to Boston, 
327; The Hartford Convention, 328; Conclusion, 329. 


CHAPTER I.— The Geology op Westeen Massachtisetts. The Gneiss, 
835; Red sandstone formation, 336; Trap, 388; Mica slate, 339; Talcose 
elate,— Lime-stone, 340 ; Quartz formation— Hematite,— Serpentine, 341 ; Al- 
luvium, 342; The changesthe Connecticut Valley has undergone during its 
formation, 343; Footmarks, 347; Fossil fishes, 350; Marine vegetables, 351 ; 
Mineral products,- granite, 353 ; The Marble and Limestone of Berkshire, 
354 ; Marble quarries of Rice & Heebner, Lee Marble Company, Chester 
Good^le, 356; of J. K. & N. Freedley and Andrew Fuarey, 357; H. S. 
Clark & Co., Mr. Piatt, 358 ; Frederick Fitch,William Milligan, 359 ; James 
L. Barrett & Brothers, North Adams Marble and Lime Company, 360 ; 
Statistics of Lime— Iron, 362; Hudson Iron Works, 365; Lenox Furnace,— 
Stockbridge Iron Company, Briggs Iron Company, North Adams Iron 
Company, 366; Richmond Iron Works,— Berkshire Iron Works, 367; 
Soapstone, 368 ; Quarry at Middlefield, 370 ; Firestone, 371 ; Cheshire glass 
works, 372 ; Lenox glass works— Berkshire glass company, 373 ; Lead mines, 
374; Roman Cement, 377; Points of scenographical interest, 379-387. 

CHAPTER n.— The Agriculture, and Ageicultukal Societies of 
Western Massachusetts. Early agriculture, 388 ; Incorporation and 
history of -the Berkshire Agricultural society, 393 ; The Hampshire, Hamp- 
den and Franklin do., 400; Housatonic do., 402; Hampden County do., 
403; Hampshire do., 404; The Franklin do., 405; Green Mountain do.— 
West Hampden do.— East Hampden do., 406 ; North Stockbridge Farmers' 
Club — Sunderland do.— Northampton ornamental tree society, 407 ; Berk- 
shire Horticultural Society— First National Exhibition of Horses, 408; 
County statistics, 410. 

CHAPTER in.— The Railroads ob- Western Marsachusetts. His- 
tory of the Western Railroad, 412 ; Connecticut River do., 422; Amherst 
and Belchertown do., 426; New London, Willimautic and Palmer do., 
427; Hudson and Berkshire do., 428; Hampshire and Hampden do. — Ware 
River do., 429; Troy and Greenfield do., 430; Pittsfield and North Adams 
do. , 432 ; Pittsfield and Stockbridge do. , 433 ; Hartford and Springfield, 434. 

CHAPTER IV.— The Newspapers op Western Massachusetts. The 
press of Springfield, 436; Of Westfield, 448; Of Palmer— of Chicopee, 
451; Of Holyoke, 452; Of Northampton, 453; Of Amherst, 458; Of Ware- 
of Greenfield, 459; Of Pittsfield, 465; Of Great Barrington, 469; Of North 
Adams, 471. 

CHAPTER v.— The Educational Institutions op Western Massa- 
chusetts. Early history of education in the state, 474 ; Educational in- 
terests in Springfield, 478; In Northampton, 483; In Southampton, 485; 
Williston Seminary, 486 ; Hopkins Academy, 487 ; Mount Holyoke Female 
Seminary, 489; Westfield Academy, 492; Normal school, 493; Monson 
Academy, 494; Weslcyan Academy, 495; Education in Berkshire Comity, 
497; Pittsfield Young Ladies Institute — Pittsfield Semiuai-y for Young La- 
dies— Berkshire Medical College, 498; Lenox Academy, 499; Deerfield 
Academy, 500; Greenfield Schools— Shelbnrne Falls Academy, 501; New 
Salem Academy— Northfield Institute— Goodale Academy — Williams Col- 
lege, 502; Schools of Ware, 507; Mt. Pleasant Classical Institution, Am 
her8t—Amhcr«t Academy — Amherst College, 508; Family Schools, 613. 
Appendix— Meteorological Tables, 517 








Introduction — A Sketch of Eakly Colonial 


Among the hills of Northern New Hamijshire and the 
mountains that abound on the Southern border of Lower 
Canada, the " Quonektacut River" — the Loyig River — 
has its source. Forming;, for a long distance, the boundary 
between Vermont and New Hampshire, it sweeps across 
the Western portion of Massachusetts, and, passing through 
the State to which it has given its name, discharges its pure 
waters into the sea. Another natural feature — the Green 
Mountain range — originates in the same Northern latitude, 
and, giving its name to Vermont, traverses that State, and 
rolling across Massachusetts still further West, passes into 
Connecticut, and loses itself upon its seaward looking; plains. 
In their passage through Massachusetts, the river and the 
mountain range have imparted to the section they traverse 
the grandeur and beauty that characterize its surface. The 
three counties of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin are 
Strung upon the river as upon a silver cord. Fertile and 


beautiful meadows spread out ou either band, until tbey 
meet the Eastern and Western slopes that gather tribute 
ior the sea-bound stream. This river, these meadows, 
these inward looking slopes, and these tributary streams, 
have determined the character of the industry which has 
appropriated them to the purposes of human life. There 
is hardly a farm or a workshop, a dwelling or a church, a 
road or a mill, but is connected in some way with Connec- 
ticut River. Its waters feed the pride of local feeling, and 
mingle w^ith every local association. Thus, also, has the 
Green Mountain range given its character to Berkshire 
County, and thus shaped there the plastic forms of Indus- 
try. The streams that gather on the mountain sides turn 
the wheels of lonely or clustered manufactures, herds and 
flocks feed upon the sweet grasses that grow among the 
rocks and upon the smoother slopes, while many a favored 
home-lot nestles down upon a broad interval, watered by a 
stream that , has found a smooth path, and shutout from 
bleak winds by the elevations that rise on every side. 

The four counties that have thus received the impress of 
two of the most beautiful of the natural features of New 
England scenery, are spoken of in comiection as " "West- 
ern Massachusetts." But two brief centuries ago, 
they were the home mid hunting ground of the red man. 
Where now the homestead spreads its well tilled acres, the 
camp or the council fire sent its smoke up through the 
trees. Where now the busy wheel drives the noisy loom, 
the savage stalked alone, or gathered with rude strategem 
his tribute from the flood. Where the church and the 
school-house now stand, the Indian built his wngwam, and 
planted his corn. This beautiful realm, thus won from a 
wilderness by toil, and defended at the cost of much pre- 
cious blood, has had, of course, an interesting history, 
which will be alike instructive and entertaining to all who 
now dwell within its borders. The links of association that 
bind our population to the past, though long, are strong. 
Multitudes who now till the soil of the Valley, or pursue 
the rougher husbandry of the Berkshire hills, bear the 
names and the blood of the first settlers, while the streams, 
hills, and meadows, from the Ilousatonic to the Connecti- 
cut, and from Hoosac to Taghconic, arc still called by 
names first shaped by the Indian tongue. 


" Ye say their cone-like cabins 

That clustered o'er the vale, 
Have disappearetl as Avithered leaves 

Before the Autumn's gale; 
But their memory liveth on your hills, 

Their Baptism on your shore, 
Your everlasting rivers speak 

Their dialect of yore." 

This region, thus beautiful in its natural scenery, and 
thus interesting in its history ; thus varied in its industry, 
and thus inhabited by the descendents of the noblest men 
that ever founded a nation, must have a glorious destiny ; 
and facts and statistics that will enable its inhabitants to 
form an estimate of that destiny, material and moral, can- 
not but be regarded with lively concern. It is the present 
purpose to recount this history, and present these facts and 

The history of the first sixteen years of colonial life in 
Massachusetts is familiar to every New Englander, but it 
may not be inappropriate to introduce it, and pass it in brief 
review. In 1G02, a little band of Puritans, in the South 
of England, moved alike by persecution and their own re- 
ligious convictions, made a covenant " to walk with God 
and one another in the enjoyment of the ordinances of God, 
according to the primitive fashion." Among these wa^ Mr. 
Robinson, a learned and godly minister, who, with a large 
number of his congi'cgation, left England, and sought in 
Holland for tliat freedom of religious worship which his 
own country denied him. First settling in Amsterdam, 
they removed to Leyden in 1609, and there they lived, 
thought, prayed, and worshii^ed, in accordance with the lib- 
erality of their ideas and the straitness of their creed. 
Though they bad escaped one evil, they ran into another 
scarcely less perplexing. The Dutch around, and on 
pleasant terms with them, were dissolute, and corrupted 
the raorals and mainiei's of the Puritan youth. So, in 
1G17, Mi\ Robinson's flock began to talk about removing to 
America, thus securing the double object of religious lib- 
erty and exclusive religious society. They had, too, un- 
doubtedlv, hitrher motives tlian these, — motives which 
reached forward to the establishment, in a coming cmpn-e, 
of a simple, model church, that should grow, and be pei'- 


petiial. It was a day of prayer, and solemn consultation, 
and of hope, doubt, fear and faith, when, in 1G19, a por- 
tion of Mr. Robinson's congregation concluded to emigrate. 
The arrangements were made, the Speedwell lay rocking 
at Delft Haven, and the night previous to the embarkation 
was spent in tears and prayers, with the good friends in 
Amsterdam and Leyden who were to remain beliind. They 
embraced each other, they bestowed upon one another the 
tenderest expressions of Christain endearment, they com- 
mended one another to God, and when, at last, came the 
parting hour, such were the manifestations of friendship 
that it " drew tears even from strangers who beheld the 
scene." At Southampton, the most of them took the May- 
flower, after several miscarriages with the other vessel, and 
on the 6th of September, 1620, set sail, bidding farewell 
to the shores of the old world, and turning their eyes to 
the new. Long and boisterous was the passage, and when 
at last, on the 'Jth of Novem1)er, the Virginia-bound emi- 
grants found themselves, through the treachery of their 
Captain, confronted by the bleak shores of Cape Cod, it 
may well be supposed that the tears and distresses which 
the ocean winds had just swept away were renewed in all 
their bitterness. But they all prayed, and prayed again, 
and grew strong. And then they sat calmly down in their 
vessel, and drew up their civil contract, and chose John 
Carver for their Governor, giving utterance by their act 
to that great principle which lies at the basis of the institu- 
tions of a continent — that the v.^ill of the majority shall 
govern. Born of such parentage, and rocked by the ocean 
in the cradle of the MayfloAver, it is no wonder that the 
infimt principle has grown gigantic, and shakes thrones and 
thrall wherever it walks. 

On the 21st of December, the Pilgrims disembarked, 
and knelt on Plymouth Rock. It is not necessary to tell 
the trials and terrors of that early settlement, — to tell how 
six of the number died during that very month, how their 
storehouse was burnt, how sickness and death reigned in 
every grief-stricken cabin during that terrible winter; how, 
in the following March, only fifty-live of the one hundred 
that came in the Mayflower survived ; how Peregrine White 
came shivering into the world as the first-born of the col- 
ony, and how his mother Susanna was married in the 


Spring to Mr. Edward Winslow (her husband havhig died 
meantime) and thus became first in every good worle; and 
how Governor Carver died, and Mr, William Bradford 
was chosen as his successor. 

Other settlers soon followed the pioneers. In 1 622, Mr. 
Weston, a London merchant, sent out a couple of vessels 
with fifty or sixty men to settle in Massachusetts Bay, 
■u'here he had secured a patent. They settled at Wey- 
mouth, having jjreviouslj lived for a time at Plymouth. 
Soon, either because they were a godless company, or be- 
cause they were distressed by poverty, they stole from the 
Indians, and in so doing brought a dangerous conspiracy 
against themselves, as well as the Plymouth colony, which 
was most Providentially discovered and averted. Cotton 
jMather did not think very highly of the " Westonians" 
who, he says, were " Chmx-h of England men," and this 
latter feet may account for the outspoken detraction with 
which he visited them. 

In 1624, a settlement was made at Cape Ann, of new 
immigrants, and the same year the Plymouth colony, which 
had, in the meantime, received considerable accessions to 
its number, also received a good supply of clothing from 
abroad, and a bull and three heifei-s, the first cattle that 
had arrived in New England. In the year following, came 
the ncAvs of the death of the good pastor Robinson, at 
Leyden, and following closely this sad intelligence came 
his wife, children, and the most of his congregation, and 
the re-union of these old friends was rendered doubly ten- 
der and touching by the trials through which all had pas'^ed 
during their separation. Thus they went on togethei", untii, 
in 1630, when they numbered some three hundred persons, 
they took out a patent covering a large extent of country, 
whose boundaries need not be defined here, and under 
their charter the colony governed itself until some seventy 
years later, when it was incorporated with Massachusetts. 

The rapid settlement of Massachusetts Bay, which had 
thus far received but weak and scattered clusters of adven- 
turers, commenced in 1628. In that year and the year fol- 
lowing, a colony of more than two hundi'cd persons, with 
four ministers attending them, planted themselves, their 
church, and their corn, at Salem, under Mr. Endicott. In 
tins place, and by this people, the second church in New 


England was organized. Another year brought over sev- 
enteen ships, with more than 1500 immigrants, comprising 
men of gentle birth and life, men of learning and mark, 
men of heroism and deep-toned piety, and women and 
children. And now the work of settling the wilderness 
Avent on apace. The immigrants planted themselves in 
Charlestown, Cambridge, Dorchester, Roxbury and Bos- 

In 1G29, an event occurred of vast importance to the 
colony, and one which, in its origin and development, pre- 
sented a remarkable aspect. The directors of the corpo- 
rate body created by royal patent in 1620, and called 
" The Council established at Plymouth in the county of 
Devon for planting, ruling, ordering and governing of New 
England in America," met, and, yielding to the voice of 
the more wealthy and important men who were anxious to 
emigrate from the religious thralldom at home, agreed that 
the company, its rights under the charter, and its govern- 
ment should be transferred to New England. Thus, a 
corporation which, by the terms of its charter, was to re- 
side in London, transformed itself into an American com- 
pany, and the King looked on, and found no fault. He was 
evidently glad to get rid of the troublesome Puritans at 
home, and supposed that he would have less trouble with 
them abroad, if he allowed them to manage their own con- 
cerns in their own way. However this might be, the event 
was pregnant with good to the colony. Having achieved 
this movement, they ordered a General Court for an elec- 
tion of officers, and chose John Winthrop, Governor ; John 
Humfrey, deputy Governor ; and a number of assistants. 
Thomas Dudley, one of the assistants, was afterwards 
chosen deputy Governor in place of Mr. Humfrey, and in 
1630, the Governor and his deputy came over in the nu- 
merous fleet that sailed for the new world during that year. 
Thus the charter of Govei'nment, and the men to govern, 
were planted on New England soil. The first General 
Court of the colony was holden at Boston, and here the 
freemen attended in person. Here it was enacted that the 
freemen should in future choose the Assistants, who, in 
in turn, should choose from their own number the Gov- 
ernor and deputy Governor. This rule, however, stood 
less than a yiear, when it was decided at the next meeting 


of the Court that the freemen should choose not only tho 
assistants, but the higher officers. This method of holding 
the General Court was not long persisted in. Tlie num- 
ber of freemen or voters had become so largely multipHed 
that their meeting in a body was inconvenient, and, by the 
general consent of the towns, the power of the freemen 
was delegated to twenty-four deputies or rej^i-esentatives, 
and to these representatives, the appellation of " General 
Court" was transferred. 

On this basis of population and government, the pros- 
perity and. wonderful development of New England was 
established. It was such a population and such a govern- 
ment as the world had never seen. But just escaped from 
a country where toleration was an unknown word, deeply 
imbued with the religious sentiment, regarding the relig- 
ious doctrines they held with an importance i)ro[)ortioned 
to the toils and sacrifices expended in their behalf, and 
conscientious to a sensitive degree, it is not strange that the 
religion and the religious doctrines of the Puritans were 
so placed in the basis of, and so became complicated with, 
the civil government, that their })atriotism was tinged 
with illiberality, their religion with bigotry, and their gov- 
ernment with intolerance. One of the first acts of the 
transplanted government was to make church membership 
a condition in the qualification of voters. Thus, indirect- 
ly, the whole power of the government was thrown into 
the hands of the clergy. Such intolerance as this would, 
at the present day, create a revolution in twenty-four hours, 
yet this act was not a whit more objectionable than hun- 
dreds of others passed in those days. But we judge a tree 
by its fruits. New England of to-day is the fruit of the 
tree then planted. It was planted in the love of God, and 
watered by prayer; and, in its vigorous growth, the defen- 
ses of intolerance and bigotry that were blindly staked 
around it, and chained to it for its protection against tho 
tusks of libei'tinism and the teeth of schism, were upheaved 
by the swelling roots, and falling away, left only their scars 
upon the healthy rind. 

Previous to lGo3, nearly half a score of churches had 
been estaldished in tlie IMassachu setts colony, and in IGoO, 
about twenty towns liad been planted. In IGoo, Britain 
became, alarmed at tlie crowd that was pressing toward the 


prosperous colony, and the King issued an order ,to pre- 
vent farther emigration. " Tliere were many counter- 
mands given to the passage of people that were now steer- 
hig of this Westward course ; and there was a sort of 
uproar made among no small part of the nation that this 
people should not he let go." Notwithstanding this, Messrs. 
Cotton, Hooker, and Stone, ministers of note and high- 
toned piety, with 200 emigi-ants, evaded the order, and ar- 
rived at Boston, where Mr. Cotton remained, his two com- 
panions going to Cambridge. The colony had at this time 
become so strong that the arm and the spirit of adventure 
began to reach out into the wilderness, and then was born 
that disposition which has been perpetuated in all the de- 
scendants of the Puritans : to go further West — a disposi- 
tion that had a worthy birth, has since conquered a world, 
and has worlds still to couauer. In the words of Cotton 
Mather :— 

" It was not long before the IMassachuset Colony was be- 
come like an hive overstocked with bees, and many of the new 
inhabitants entertained thoughts of swarming into plantations 
extended further into the country. The colony might fetch 
its own descriptions from the dispensations of the Great God 
unto his ancient Israel, and say — '0 God of Hosts! Thou 
hast brought a ruin out of England; Thou hast cast out the 
heathen and planted it ; Thou preparedst room before it, and 
didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land; the 
hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs 
thereof were like the goodly cedars ; she sent out her boughs 
unto the sea.' But still there was one stroak wanting for the 
compleat accommodations of the description ; to wit, she sent 
forth her branches unto the river, and this, therefore, is to be 
next attended. The fame of Connecticut River, a long, fresh, 
rich river, had made a little Nilus of it, in the expectation of 
the good people about the Massachuset Bay, whereupon many 
of the planters, belonging especially to the towns of Cam- 
bridge, Dorchester, Watertown and Roxbury, took up resolu- 
tions to travel an hundred miles Westward from those towns, 
for a further settlement upon tins famous river." 

This " famous river" first became known to the English 
in 1631, and early in the Autumn of 1633, John Oldham, 
Samuel Hall and tv*^o others of Dorchester, journeyed 
through the wilderness, on a visit to its banks, and were 
probably the first white men who ever stood there. Pleased 



Avith the hospitality of the natives who entertained them, 
pleased with the stream and the meadows through which it 
ran, and pleased particularly with the beaver which they 
had received from the Indians, their report was, of course, 
a favorable one. Among other products of the Valley they 
reported hemp as growing in large quantities and of an ex- 
cellent quality. Corn was cultivated by the natives, fish 
of the largest sort were stated to be in the river, such as 
sturgeon, bass, shad and salmon, (all of which but the sal- 
mon still remain,) while the woods were teeming with the 
noblest and most useful game. A number of men in the 
Plymouth colony now took the " Western fever," and in 
October, 1 633, led by William Holmes, they made a water 
passage, sailing as far up the Connecticut as the present 
town of Windsor, Ct. Here they built the first dwelling 
house ever erected by civilized hands in the Connecticut 
Valley, though the Dutch from New Netherlands had a 
few days before thrown up a fortification at Dutch Point, 
Hartford, and from that point menaced the advancing ves- 
sel of Holmes, who with cool contempt passed confidently 
by, and received not a gun. Holmes enclosed his house 
witli a stockade, bought his building spot of the Indians, 
and set up trade. 

It was in 1G34 that the people of the several towns to 
which Mather alludes began to thmk seriously of removing 
to the Connecticut River. In the month of July, of that 
year, six men from Newtown (Cambridge) visited the river 
to select a place for settlement, but the people were not 
immediately successful in obtaining liberty from the Gen- 
eral Court to remove. In 1G35, however, such permission 
Avas given, not only to the inhabitants of Caml)ridge, liut to 
those of Dorchester and Watcrtown. The people of llox- 
bury obtained a similar favor in May of that year, and 
leave to emigrate was cou])lcd with tlie condition, in each 
case, that emigrants should not remove from under the ju- 
risdiction of Massachusetts. The Dorchester people went 
to Windsoi", the Watertown people to Wetlierslield, the 
Cambridge people to Hartford, and the Roxbury people to 
Agawam — the Springfield of the present — and with these 
latter commences the history of the settlement of Western 


First Settlement on the Connecticut— Springfield. 

Soon, if not immediately after permission to remove 
Lad been gi-anted to the citizens of Roxburj, two men — 
John Cable and John Woodcock — were sent forward to 
build a house for the plantation, and ancient records and 
manuscripts lead to the belief that William Pynchon, alike 
the founder of Roxbury and Springfield, together with 
Henry Smith his son-in-law, and Jehu Burr, had visited 
the spot in 1634, and selected the location. Considering 
the importance of the undertaking, and the leading position 
of Mr. Pynchon, it seems probable, almost to certainty, 
that the location of a plantation without his personal super- 
vision and decision would never have been made. Wood- 
cock and Cable buUt the house, and the fii'St civil action 
tried in Springfield grew out of their joint agency in this 
structure, although they built it at the common charge of 
the planters. This house was built on the West side of 
the river, in the Agawam meadow, afterwards called 
" Housemeadow," from this circumstance. The location is 
incidentally described in the Registry of Deeds, in an en- 
try by John Ilolyoke, in 1679, as "that meadow on the 
South of Agawam River where the English did first build 
a house," and where " the English kept their residence who 
first came to settle and plant at Springfield, now so called." 
They "kej^t their residence," (Cable and Woodcock) at 
this house during the Summer, planted on grounds that had 
been cultivated by the Indians, nearly opposite the present 
city of Springfield, and returned to Roxbury in the Au- 
tumn, probably, though it is not positively known that they 
did not remain during the Winter. This was doubtless the 
last of the occupation of the house, as the Indians, who 
were friendly to the settlers, and who were as well aware 
of the character of the ground as the present residents are, 
informed the builders that the site was subject to overfiows. 
This intelligence, of course, caused a change to be made in 
the location of the plantation, and it has been stated that 


the builders abandoned the house, and built another on the 
East side of the river, '"probably on the lot afterwards 
owned by Mr. Pynchon, and still in the possession of Jiis 
descendants." No mention is made of this house in the 
allotment of land to Rlr. Pynchon subsequently, and the 
statement seems to have no confirmation. In fact, the 
original record of the trial of the Woodcock and Cable 
case, above mentioned, speaks of their occupying the house 
and cultivating the grounds near them " all that Sommer." 
Mr. William Pynchon was the father of Springfield, and 
was revered as such while he lived here, and mourned as 
such when he departed. He had been connected with the 
atlairs of the Massachusetts colony in England, having 
been one of the patentees named in the colony charter of 
1G28. When Governor Winthrop received his appoint- 
ment, in 1G29, Mr. Pynchon was appointed a magistrate 
and assistant, and accompanied the Governor in his })as- 
sage to the colony, and settled at Roxbury. Mr. Pynchon 
was a man of wealth, education, piety, and consideration, 
and, from the first, exerted much influence in the colony. 
Early after the opening of the Spring, in 1636, he and his 
Roxbury associates packed up their goods at Roxbury, and 
dispatched them by w^ater, in Governor AVinthrojj's vessel 
— the " Blessing of the Bay" — which sailed from Boston on 
the 26th of Ai)ril. Bidding farewell to the scenes that, by 
the very hardships with which they had been associated, 
had become dear, the ])ilgrim;ige of sturdy manhood, buoy- 
ant youth, and tender but strong-hearted womanhood, 
through a hundred miles of Avilderness, commenced. The 
eye spontaneously fills with tears as it turns back to this 
scene, of which imagination is the best and only painter. 
The weary marches of the day through a pathless forest, 
the fording of swollen streams, the camp-fires of the night, 
at w-hich the friendly red men gathered, and where first 
they heard the n:une of God as it arose from supplicating 
lips, the rude couches upon which childhood and age threw 
themselves with a faith that transformed the very boughs 
beneath them into the arms of Providence, the morning 
sunlight creeping in through the rude old trees, arousing 
to the renewed march the aching limbs that had roamed all 
night, in di-eams, in the busy streets or the quiet parks of 
Old England ; the simple meal, blessed before the eating 


by a solemn and godly voice ; the kind offices extended 
here and there to the weak and the fearful by noble hearts 
and strong hands ; the pious conversation, mixed with sub- 
jects of import to the colony and the enterprise, as two or 
thi-ee wise ones trudged along together — all these have 
been unwritten, but, knowing the components of that little 
band, the fancy is weak that lacks power to realize them 
to itself in a large degree, or refuses to write them because 
the records fail. 

By subsequent allusions to the " Bay path," and the in- 
cidental definition of its location, it is probable that the 
emigrants entered the territory then known as Agawam, 
(or Agaam as it was often spelled) upon the elevation noAv 
known as Springfield Hill. There they came in view of 
the " famous river," with Avliich were associated their fu- 
ture prospects. Where multitudes of pilgrims have since 
paused to admire the beauty of the landscape, they paused, 
and looked down upon the silent river then unbridged, and 
off upon the Western hills, forest-crowned as now. There 
were no homes opened to receive them, no hospitable voices 
to bid them welcome. All was 

" Noiseless as tear in a wide wilderness." 

What wonder is it that such a band should be a pious 
band ? Who doubts that, as they gazed around, and saw 
no hand to lielp, they stood there upon the imquestioned 
earth, and sent their silent aspirations on wings of faith to 
heaven ? 

The date of the arrival of the emigrants upon the river 
is not known, but it was probably among the first days of 
May, and immediately, as did the Pilgrims before landing 
at Plymouth, they set about the establishment of rules by 
which they would govern themselves and be governed. 
On the 14th of May, they drew up and signed an agree- 
ment, the original of which is now in the first book of 
records at the City Hall in Springfield. This document is 
signed by eight individuals, while the allotments of land to 
the settlers, which it disposes, are made to twelve. So an- 
cient and important a record cannot be without interest, 
and it follows entire : 

'• May the 14th, 1636. — We whose names are underwritten, 
being by God's Providence ingaged together to make a planta- 


tion, at and over against Agaam on Conecticot doe mutually 
agree to certayne articles and orders to be observed and kept 
by us and our successors, excpt wee and every of us, for our- 
selves and in oure persons, shall think meet uppon better rea- 
sons to alter our present resolutions. 

'• lly. Wee intend, by God's grace, as soon as we can, with, 
all convenient speede, to procure some Godly and faitlifull 
minister, with whome we propose to joyne in church covenant, 
to walk in all the ways of Christ. 

2ly. Wee intend that oure towne shall be composed of 
fourty family's, or if wee think meete after, to alter our pur- 
pose ; yet not to exceed the number of tifty family's, rich and 

" 3ly. That ever}' inhabitant shall have a convenient propor- 
tion for a house lott, as wee shall see meete for every ones 
quality and estate. 

4ly. That every one, that hath a house lott, shall have a 
proportion of the Cow pasture to the north of End Brooke, 
lying northward from the towne ; and also that every one shall 
have a share of the hassfky mariah over against his lott, if it 
be to be had, and every one to have his proportionable share 
of all the woodland. 

" 5]y. That every one. shall have a share of the meddow, 
or planting ground, over against him, as nigh as may be, on 
Agaam side. 

" 6ly. That the Long meddowe, called IMasacksick, lying ia 
the way to Dorchester, [Windsor, Ct.,] shall be distributed to 
every man, as wee shall think meete, e.\cpt wee shall find 
other conveniences, for some for theyre milch cattayle, and 
other cattayle also. 

" 7ly. That the meddowe and pasture called Nayas, towards 
Patuckett, on ye side of Agaam, lyeinge about fourer miles 
above in the ridge shall be distributed '^ [erasure of six and a 
half lines,] " as above said in the former order, and this was 
altered and with consent before the hands were set to it. 

"Sly. That all rates that shall arise upon this towne, shall 
be layed upon lands, according to every ones proportion, aker 
for aker, of house lotts, and aker for aker of meddowe, both 
alike on this side, and both alike on the other side ; and for 
farmes, that shall lye farther ofl", a less proportion, as w^ee 
shall after agree except wee shall see meete to remitt one 
half of the rate from land to other estate. 

'• 9ly. That whereas Mr. William Pynchon, Jehue Burr, 
and Henry Smith, have constantly continued to prosecute the 
same, at greate charges, and at greate personal adventure, 
therefore it is mutually agreed, that fourty akers of meddowe, 



lying on the south of End Brooke, under a hill side, shall be- 
long to the said partys free from all charges forever. That is 
to say twenty akers, to Mr. William Pynchon, and his heyres 
and assigns for ever, and ten akers to Jehue Burr, and ten 
akers to Henry Smith, and to their heyres and assigns for 
ever; which said fourty akers is not disposed to them as any 
allotment of towne lands ; but they are to have their accom- 
modations in all other places notwithstanding. 

" lOly. That whereas a house was built at a common charge 
which cost £6 and also the Indians demand a grate some, to 
bye their right, in the sayd lanfls, and also a greate shallope, 
which was requisite for the first planting, the value of which 
engagements, is to be borne by each inhabitant, at theyre first 
entrance, as they shall be rated by us till the said disburse- 
ments shall be satisfyed, or else in case the said house and 
boat be not so satisfyed for ; then so much meddowe to be sett 
out about the said house as may counter vayle the sayd extra- 
ordinary charge. 

'• Illy. It is agreed that no man except Mr. William Pyn- 
chon shall have above ten akers for his house lott. 

" 12ly. Annulled. 

" 13ly. Whereas there are two cowe pastures, the one lying 
towards Dorchester, and the other Northward from End 
Brooke. It is agreed that both these pastures shall not be fed 
at once ; but that the time shall be ordered by us, in disposing 
of it for tymes and seasons, till it be lotted out and fenced in 

"■ 14ly. May 16, 1636. — It is agreed that after this day, wee 
shall observe this' rule, about dividing of planting ground and 
meddowe, in all planting ground, to regard chiefly, persons 
who are most apt to use such ground. And in all meddowe 
and pasture, to regard chiefly cattel and estate, because estate 
is like to be improved in cattel, and such ground is aptest for 
their use. An yet wee agree that no person, that is master of 
a lott, though he hath not cattel, shall have less than three 
akers of planting ground, and none that have cowes, steeres, 
or year olds, shafl have under one aker apiece, and all horses 
not less than four akers, and this order in dividing meddowe 
by cattel, to take place the last of May next, so that all cat- 
tayle that then appeare. and all estates that shall then truly 
appeare at £20, a cowe shall have this proportion in the med- 
dowe, on the Agawam side, and in the large meddowe Ma- 
sacksick, and in the other long meddowe called Nayas, and in 
the pasture at the north end of the towne called End Brooke. 

'' 15ly. It is ordered that for the disposinge of the hasseky 
marish and the granting of home lotts, these five men under- 


named, or theyre Deputyes are appointed to have full power, 
namely Mr. Pynchon, Mr. Michell, Jehuc Burr, William Blake, 
Henry Smith. 

" It is ordered that William Blake shall have si.xteen polle 
in bredth for his home lott and all the marish in bredth abut- 
tinge at the end of it to the next highland, and three ackers 
more in some other place. 

"Next the lott of William Blake northward lys the lott of 
Thomas Woodford, being twelve polles broade and all the 
marish before it to the upland. Next the lott of Thomas 
Woodford, lys the lott of Thomas Ufford, b^inge fourteen rod 
broade, and all the marish before it to the upland. Next the 
lott of Thomas Ullbrd, lys the lott of Henry Smith, being 
twenty rods in breadth and all the marish before it, and to run 
up in the upland on the other side to make up his upland lott 
ten akers. 

" Next the lott of Henry Smith lyes the lott of Jehue Burr, 
being twenty rods in bred'h and all the marish in bredth abbat- 
tinge at the end of it, and as much upland ground on the 
other side as shall make up his lott ten akers. Next the lott 
of Jehue Burr, lys the lott of Mr. William Pynchon, beinge 
thirty rod in bredth and all the marish at the east end of it 
and an addition at the further end of as much marish as shall 
make the whole twenty four akers ; and as much upland ad- 
joining as makes the former howse lott thirty akers, in all to- 
gether fifty-foure akers. 

" Next the lott of Mr. Pynchon lys the lott of John Cabel 
fourteene rod in bredth and four akers and halfe of marish at 
the end of the lott. Next the lott of John Cabel, lys the lott 
of John Reader, beinge twelve rod in bredth, and four akers 
and halfe of marish at the forend of his homelotL 

" The lotts of Mr Matthew Mitchell, Samuel Butterfield, 
Edmund Wood, and James Wood, are ordered to lye, adjoin- 
ing to mill brooke, the whole being to the number of twenty- 
live akers, to begin three of them, on the greate river and the 
fourthe on the other side of the same river. 

'' Tt is ordered that for all highways that shall be thought 
necessary by the five men above named, they shall have lib- 
erty and power, to lay them out when they shall see meete, 
though it be at the end of mens lotts, giving them allowance 
for so much ground. 

" We testifie to the order above said, being all of the first 
adventurers and undertakers for this Plantation. 

" William Pynchon, Nath. Michell, Henry Smith, The mark 
/—of Jehue Burr, William Blake. Edmund Wood, The mark 
T of Thomas Ufford, John Cabel.'' 


The absorbing and controlling character of the religious 
faith of these men is witnessed in the opening terms o£ 
their agreement. They were by " God's Providence in- 
gaged together to make a plantation," and by the very first 
article of their covenant they intended " by God's grace to 
procure some godly and faithful minister," with whom to 
join in church covenant, "to walk in all the ways of 
Christ." The allotments of land were divided by lines 
running from the river to and upon the Hill, each contain- 
ing a home-lot bordering the river, each a portioi> of the 
" hasseky marish," or meadow, lying between the home-lots 
and the hill, while the latter constituted the wood-lots. Of 
the immediate action of the settlers, in the erection of their 
dwellings, there is no record. It was the season for plant- 
ing, and, doubtless, the labor of the field was mingled with 
the arrangement for temporary shelter. Before another 
Winter arrived, they were housed. Probably no framed 
dwellings were put up during the season', but the first one 
erected was by Mr. Pynchon, and the facts of his wealth 
and importance favor the i^resumption that it was built at 
an early date in the settlement. 

It is a singular fact, in the history of the early settle- 
ment of the Connecticut Valley, that not one of the twelve, 
to whom were made the original allotments of land in 
Springfield, died there. Blake, Ufford, Mitchell, the two 
AVoods, Reader, Butterfield and Cable, (or Cabel) gave up 
or sold their allotments to the company. Burr remained but 
a phort time, and then removed to Connecticut. Pynchon 
and Smith died in England, as will hereafter be more par- 
ticidarly noticed. The original allotments being so univer- 
sally broken u]i, the actual settlement was made on a dif- 
ferent basis. The lots, running as before, were reduced in 
width, and the necessity of limiting the population to "fifty 
families, rich and poore," was obviated. Allotments were 
also made on the West side of the river to each man, as 
nearly opposite as possible to his lot on the East side. 
Immediately after the allotments were made, other settlers 
arrived, thougli ])i-olmbly in no considerable numbers, and 
then, as a measure of security to themselves and of justice 
to the Indians, who held from Nature their unwritten title 
to the lands in occupation, they set al>out a formal purchase 
of the same. The deed conveying these lands was the first 


ever executed in "Western Massacliu setts, and is now on 
record at the Registry of Deeds in Hampden County. It 
conveys the lands on both sides of the river to " "William 
Pynchon Esq., IMr. Henry Smith, (his son-in-law,) and 
Jehu Burr, and their heii's and associates." It is as fol- 
lows : 

"Aguam, alias Agawam: this fifteenth day of July, 1636. 

" It is agreed between Commucke and Matanchan, ancient 
Indians of Aguam, for and in the name of all the other In- 
dians, and in particular for and in ye name of Cuttonas, the 
right owner of Aguam & Quana, and in the name of his 
mother Kewenusk, the Tamashara or wife of Wenawis, & 
Niarum, the wife of Coa, to and "U'ith William Pynchon, 
Henry Smith and Jehu Burr, their heirs and associates forever, 
to trucke and sel al that ground and muckeosquittaj ormedow 
Accomsick, viz : on the other side of Quana; & al the ground 
& muckeosquittaj on the side of Aguam, except Cottinack- 
eesh, or ground that is now planted, for ten fathom of Wam- 
pum, Ten Coates, Ten howes, Ten hatchets and Ten knifes ; 
and also the said ancient Indians, with the consent of the 
rest, and in particular with the consent of Plenis & Wrutherna 
& Napompenam — do trucke and sel to William Pynchon, 
Henry Smith and Jehu Burr and their successors forever, al 
that ground on the East side of Quinnecticot River called 
Vsquaiok & Nayasset, reaching about four or five miles in 
length from tlie North end of Massaksicke up to Chickuppe 
River for four fathom of Wampum, four coates. four Howes, 
four hatchets, four knifes : also the said ancient Indians doe 
with the consent of the other Indians. & in particular with 
the consent of Machetuhood, Wenepawin & Mohemoos, trucke 
and sel the ground & muckeosquittaj & grounds adjoining, 
called Masacksicke, for four fathom of Avampum, four coates, 
four hatchets & four howes & four knifes. 

" And the said Pynchon hath in hand paid the said eight- 
een fathom of Wampum, eighteen coates, 18 hatchets, 18 
howes, 18 knifes, to the said Commucke & Matanchan, & doth 
further condition witli the s'd Indians that they shal have &. 
enjoy all that Cottinackeesh, or ground that is now planted; 
And have liberty to take Fish and Deer, ground-nuts, Avalnuts, 
akornes & Sasachimosh, or a kind of pease. And also if any 
ye cattle spoile their corne, to pay as it is worth ; & that hogs 
shall not goe on the side of Aguam but in akorne time : Also 
the said Pynchon doth give to Wrutherna two coates over and 
above the said particulars expressed, and in Witness hereof 
the two said Indians & the rest, doe set to their hands, this 
present 15th Day of July, 1636." 



This deed is signed by thirteen Indians by their 
" markes," whicli present a great variety of designs. The 
names are as follow : Menis, Kemic, Messai, alias Nepi- 
nam, Winnepawin, Machetuhood, Commuk, Macossak, We- 
nawis, Cuttonus, Matauchan, AVrutherna, Coa : Kokuinek. 
The witnesses to this deed are John Allen, Joseph Parsons, 
Eichard Everet, Thomas Ilorton, Faithful Thayeler, John 
Cownes and A. Ilaughton. Everet, Cownes and Haughton 
made their marks. It will be noticed that not one of the 
witnesses to the signatures of this deed were among those 
Avho received the original allotments, thus demonstrating 
the accession to the number of settlers, who, probably, took 
the place of the majority of the first company, of whose 
stay for any considerable length of time there is no evi- 
dence. The land designated in the deed as Quana is 
the middle meadow, adjoining Agawam meadow. Us- 
quaioh is Mill River and the lands adjoining it. Nayasset 
is " the three corner meadow and land adjoining, extending 
Northerly to Chicopee River." 3Iassahicke is the " long 
meadow," and now bears the latter name as a town. 

In the excitements and perplexities of an early settle- 
ment, the people did not forget the leading purpose of their 
lives. In 1G37, the year following the settlement, they se- 
cured the services of Rev. George Moxon, and under him 
was formed a church, although a meeting house was not 
commenced until nine years later. Of Mr Moxon we have 
no description, further tlian that he had received Episcopal 
ordination in England, though Johnson, in his " Wonder- 
working-Providence," touches poetically upon his personal 
characteristics, in the following lines, commencing a horta- 
tory apostrophe : 

''As thou with strong and able parts art made, 
Thy person stout, with toyl and labor shall, 
With help of Christ, through difficulties wade,'' &c. 

In 1637, Mr. Moxon was made a freeman at Boston, and 
the next year he was appointed a deputy to go to Hart- 
ford, Agawam uniting in jurisdiction with the settlements 
in Connecticut, for two or three years, until it was ascer- 
tained that the plantation was, Avithout doubt, within the 
boundaries of the Massachusetts patent. In 1639, a house 
was built for him by a voluntary assessment, and he en- 


joyed a salary, at first, of forty pounds a year. Whether 
he was " passing rich " on that sum, is doubtful. 

In 1637, occurred the first of a series of difficulties with 
the Lidians that, in long subsequent years, resulted in the 
destruction or banishment of all the tribes on the Connecti- 
cut River. In the South-Eastern part of Connecticut, 
lived the Pequots, a chivalrous and daring tribe, under 
Sassacus, a fearless and implacable chief. Not participat- 
ing in the friendly feelings which the Connecticut River 
Indians exhibited towards the settlers, he looked upon them 
as intruders, and, stimulated by difficulties he had already 
encountered from the authorities in Eastern Massachusetts, 
he detei'mined to drive every white settler from the Con- 
necticut. The first hostilities were made in the vicinity of 
the English fort at Saybrook, at the mouth of the river, 
where they killed stragglers and kept the gari'ison in a con- 
stant state of alarm. In the Spring of 1637, a demonstra- 
tion occurred further up the river, at Wethersfield, where 
nine men, gouig to Avork in the fields, were killed, and two 
women taken prisoners. The Connecticut settlers then 
went into active preparation for Avar, and, with a force of 
ninety men, and a large number of Indian allies, the ever 
memorable expedition against the Pequots was made under 
Capt. Mason of Windsor. The Massachusetts and Plym- 
outh colonies ordered 230 men to be raised for their as- 
sistance, but they did not arrive upon the ground in time 
for the first decisive action. It was a movement of im- 
mense moment to the settlers, for on its issue depended 
their future destiny. With an intrei)i(lity far beyond that 
of their Indian allies, who forsook them as they entered 
the Pequot country, tlie daring little band penetrated to 
their fort on the Mystic River, and, on the morning of the 
27th of May, surprised them. In one short hour the whole 
encampment within the fort was a heap of smoking ruins, 
and five or six hundred Pequots — men, women and chil- 
dren — were shot, hewn down, or burnt to death. It was 
one of the most terrible scenes ever enacted in border war- 
fare. The loss on the English side was but trifiing, only 
two men having been killed. The expedition achieved a 
safe return, and on arriving at their plantations, were re- 
ceived with every possible demonstration of joy. Dr. 
Trumbull says that "every family and every worship- 


ping assembly spake the language of praise and thanks- 

Agawam was assessed with the towns in Connecticut for 
its portion of the expenses of the Pequot war, to the 
amount of £8G 16s., and required to furnish seven men. 
Beyond the statement of Trumbull, to the effect that Aga- 
wam did not furnish the troops, but paid the assessment, 
there is not a particle of evidence that either men or money 
were furnished. The Springfield recoi'ds make no allusion 
to the fact whatever. The Winter follov/ing the expedition 
was long and severe, and the diversion of such a number 
of men, and such an amount of attention, from the duties 
of the field, so reduced the aggregate of production that 
all the towns upon the river were in want. Mr. Pynchon 
was applied to for assistance, but unsuccessfully, he being 
neither able to furnish it from the Agawam plantation nor 
from the Indians. Famine stared them in the face, and as 
Spring opened, Capt. Mason, with two companions, set off 
in search of food, and proved himself as efficient in com- 
merce as in war. Passing up the Connecticut as far as 
Pocomtuck, (now Deerfield,) he there succeeded in pur- 
chasing of the friendly Indians a large amount of corn, to 
be delivered at the plantations. Such a fleet the waters of 
the Connecticut never bore before — shall never bear again. 
A fleet of fifty canoes, each laden with corn, and propelled 
by the red man's oar, passed down the silent stream. It 
was a scene for the painter, as those crouching fonns bent 
to their labor, leaving behind them long lines of thread-like 
wake, or paused upon their oars to exchange salutations 
with, and explain their errand to, their dusky brethren, 
who, with curiosity or apprehension, gathered here and 
there upon the banks. They all aiTived at their destina- 
tion, and the joy with which they were received by the- 
half-starved settlers in Connecticut may easily be imagined. 

Incidental allusion has been made to the political con- 
nection of the settlement at Agawam with the new planta- 
tions on the Connecticut, below. All these settlements — 
Wethersfield, Hartford, Windsor and Agawam — ^being far 
from the Colonial seat of Government, were united under 
a joint commission, and at a Court holden at Hartford, in 
November, 1G3G, Mr. Pynchon was present among the 
magistrates. IMr. Pynchon was also present at the Court 


in 1637, and, in tlie following year. Rev. George Moxon 
and Jehu Burr were appointed " Committys for tlie general 
Court to be holden at Hartford." This was the last that 
Agawam had to do with the settlements in Connecticut. 
On the 14th of February, 1638, the Agawam settlers had 
become satisfied that they were within Massachusetts, and 
being without any government, they came to a voluntai-y 
agreement, and chose Wm. Pynehon to be their magistrate. 
This agreement occupies the second page of the Pynehon 
]jook of Records, in Mr. Pynchon's hand writing. The 
book is still extant, and in good preservation ; and the pen- 
manship, though ancient in style, is of the best execution. 
The document follows : 

^'■February the 14/A, 1638. — Wee the inhabitants of Aguam, 
uppon the Quinnectticot, taking into consideration the mani- 
fould inconveniences that may fall uppon us for want of some 
fit magistracy among us : Beinge nowe by God's Providence 
fallen into the line of the Massachusette jurisdiction ; and it 
being farr of to repayre thither in such cases of iustice as may 
often fall out among us, doe therefore thiuke it meett, by a 
generall consent and vote, to ordaine (till we receive further 
directions from the General Court in the Massachusett Bay) 
Mr. Wm. Pynehon to execute the ollice of a magistrate in this 
our plantation of Aguam, viz : to give oaths to constables or 
military officers, to direct warrants, both processes, executions 
and attachments, to heare and examine misdemenors, to de- 
pose witnesses and upon proof of misdemenor to inflict cor- 
poral punishment as whipping, stockinge, byiidiuije to the 
peace or good behavior, and in some cases to require sureties, 
and, if the otTence require it, to commit to prison, and in default 
of a common prison, to commit delinquents to the charge of 
some fit person or persons till iustice may be satisfied. Also 
in the tryall of actions, for debt or trespass, to i^ive oaths, di- 
rect juries, depose witnesses, take verdicts, and l^eep records 
of verdicts, judgments and executions, and whatever else may 
tend to the kinge peace, and the manifestation of our fnlelity 
to the Bay jurisdiction, and the restraining of any that violate 
God's laws, or lastly, whatever else may fall within the power 
of an assistant in the Massachusett. 

" It is also agreed uppon by a mutuall consent that in case 
any action of dett or trespasse to be tryed, seeinir a jury of 
twelve lit persons cannot be had at present among us, that six 
persons shall be esteemed a good and sulhcient jury to try 
any action under the sum of ten pounds, till we see cause to 
the contrary, and by common consent shall alter this number 


of jurors, or shall be otherwise directed by the general court 
in the Massachusetts." 

The General Court subsequently approved of these pi^o- 
ceedings, and confirmed Mr. Pynchon in his office. ISIi: 
Pjnehon, who, previous to his removal from Eoxbury, had 
been Treasurer of the Colony, and a magistrate during his 
residence there, was re-chosen assistant in 1643, a position 
which be held by annual election until 1650. 

The settlement at Agawam was now more alone and 
self-dependent than ever, but it had become stronger also, 
and had given evidence of the wisdom of its councils by 
the admirable act which has been recorded. On the 14th 
of April, 1640, the inhabitants, being assembled in general 
town meeting, changed the name of their plantation from 
Agawam to Sin'ingfieid, as a compliment to Mr. Pynchon, 
who resided in a town of that name before his removal 
from England ; though the common idea, that the new 
name originated in the plentifulness of springs with" which 
the place was favored, is a natural one. The date of its 
incorporation, as a town, is not known. In fact, it is doubt- 
ful whether it was ever incorporated. Felt, in his " Sta- 
tistics," says that the common date of its incorporation was 
March, 1645. There is nothing upon the records to indi- 
cate this year, and the whole matter is left in uncertainty. 
The place was recognized in the General Court as a to\\'n 
by the name of Springfield, in 1641, and if any formalities 
equivalent to incorporation were had in the case, it was 
doubtless previous to that time, — or between that time and 
the town vote alluded to. About this time, the people of 
Connecticut purchased Woronoco, embracing probably all 
of the present to^vn of "Westfield, and begun a plantation 
there. Holmes says that Governor Hopkins of Connecti- 
cut erected a trading house there, and had considerable in- 
terest in the plantation. It was claimed as being within 
the patent of Connecticut, and the claim in subsequent 
years gave rise to a long and bitter controversy, the 3Iassa- 
chusetts Genei-al Court, in 1647, ordering Woronoco, in- 
cluding portions of the towns of Suffield. Westfield and 
Southwick, " to be a part of the town of Springfield, and 
liable to pay charges there." 

The people of young Springfield were not without sub- 
jects of excitement. In 1635, John Wintlirop, son of the 


Governor of Massachusetts, ai'rived from England, bring- 
ing a comniissiou from Lord Say and Lord Brook and 
others, to be Governor in Connecticut. He brought with 
him the armament of a fort, and £2,000 sterling to build 
it with. This fort, of which incidental mention has already- 
been made, was built, and named Saybrook Fort, after Lords 
Say and Brook. This interfered Avith the possessions of 
the Windsor, Wethersfield and Hartford settlers from Mas- 
sachusetts Bay, but, for the sake of 2")eace, they were not 
disturbed. They wei*e, however, Avith Springfield, laid un- 
der contributions for the support of the fort, all vessels 
passing up the river being required to pay toll. The set- 
tlers in Connecticut who, perhaps, had some apprehensions 
that they might be disturbed in their possessions, if they 
refused, paid the toll. Sprijigfield would do no such thing, 
and out of this refusal grew the most serious controversy 
that ever occurred between the two Colonies. The Con- 
necticut autliorities becoming determined to enforce pay- 
ment, Springtield appealed for protection to the General 
Court of Massachusetts Bay, and the General Court sided 
with them, and assumed their quarrel. During a series of 
years, the Connecticut settlements on the river had gov- 
erned themselves independently of the Saybrook govern- 
ment, and Avhen, in 1G44, they purchased the fort, they 
purchased Avitli it the claim against Springfield for the tolls 
that had accrued, and presented it for liquidation. This 
claim was long the subject of discussion by the Commis- 
sioners of the United Colonies, and when, at last, the Com- 
missioners (those of INIassachusetts not acting) decided tiiat 
the claim was just, Springfield again refused payment. 
Then Massachusetts, as a measure of retaliation, or for the 
purpose of giving a practical demonstration of the injustice 
of the claim, tried the toll system upon all vessels of the 
colonies entering the harbor of Boston. This measure cre- 
ated immense disturbance, and came near breaking up the 
imion of the colonies. But common danger heals many 
difficulties, as it did in this case. INIore serious matters at- 
tracted attention, and the claim of Connecticut upon the 
town of Springtield, somewhat the Avorse for the Avear of 
two centuries, remains unadjusted to this day. 

The boundaries of S])ringfield, indefinite from the first, 
Aver© enlarged from timy to lime, until thev included por- 



tions of Westfield and Southwick, the wliole of West 
Springfield, the present territory of Springfield, Chicopee, 
Wilbraham, Ludlow and Longmeadow, and Enfield and 
Somers in Connecticut, all of which were, in the progress 
of settlement and growth, erected into separate towns. 
Enfield, Somers and Sufiield were adjudged to belong to 
Connecticut by Commissioners appointed in 1713. 

It is diificult to trace the course of justice during the 
magistracy of Mr. Pynchon, through the ancient glyphics 
contained in his book of records. He had a good many 
grievances to adjust, and no one seems to have been in hot 
water more frequently than "Jo. Woodcock," as he is 
styled. It will be remembered that he was engaged in the 
first case with Cable. Afterwards, Rev. Mr. Moxon com- 
plained of him for slander, Woodcock having accused the 
reverend gentleman of taking a false oath against him at 
Hartford. Mr. Moxon claimed £9 19s damages, and 
Woodcock being found guilty, £G 13s was awarded. We 
next find him engaged in a long and somewhat complicated 
suit, in which Henry Gregory was the party of the other 
part, and in which a " pigge " and a " hogge " played prom- 
inent accompaniments. Then John Woodcock commenced 
an action against Henry Gregory for slander. Two or 
three days after this, " John Searles, constable of Spring- 
field," Avas required by the magistrate " to attach the body 
of John Woodcock, uppon an execution granted to Mr. 
George Moxon," the damages to whose reputation Wood- 
cock had failed to satisfy, in accordance with the verdict of 
the jury. Following this up closely, Robert Ashley com- 
plained of John Woodcock for not delivering to him a l| 
" gunn," which the plaintiff had purchased of him, and for 
which he had paid 22s Gd. At the same time, Ashley 
complained that Woodcock had not broken up a piece of 
ground for him " according to bargaine." In short, John 
Woodcock had rather a lively time of it, and had the op- 
portunity of proving that human nature, two centuries ago, 
was much the same as now. All or most of these cases 
were tried by a jury of six men. 

Mr. Pynclion, who was alike the ruling spirit and the 
good genius of Springfield, was largely engaged in the 
beaver trade, and, besides his duties as magistrate, was oc- 
cupied in all the concerns of the settlement. Notwith- 

MK. PYNCHON'S heretical BOOK. 37 

standing this, he found time to write a book. It was a re- 
ligious book, and in its fatal pages were contained the seeds 
of sorrow and disturbance ; and in the movements that fol- 
lowed its publication, are strikingly exemplified the promi- 
nence given to religious doctrine by our well meaning 
ancestors, and the small estimate placed ui)on a consistent 
Christian life, when considered in connection with such 
doctrine. Those movements exhibit also the perfect iden- 
tification of churcli and State that then existed. The 
union of religion and government was something more than 
the union of individual systems — it Avas an interfusion of 
law and gospel, covenant and constitution, church and 
chancery, magistracy and ministry. Mr. Pynchon, though 
strict in the discharge of his magisterial, social and Chris- 
tian duties, gave utterance in his book to some opinions 
that were not considered orthodox by the authorities of 
Massachusetts Bay. The book was published in England, 
and in the Summer of 1650, copies were received in Bos- 
ton, where they gave rise to the strongest feeling. Endi- 
cott was then Governor of the Colony, and Dudley was his 
second in authority. They were men of ultra soundness 
of faith, and, with the other leading men ol' the colony, de- 
nounced the doctrines of the book as heretical. The clergy 
unitedly joined their denunciations, and declared the work 
to be calculated to subvert the Ihith of the churches. The 
General Court took fire under this alarming state of things, 
and summoned the old man who had dared to think, and 
publish what he thought, before them, to answer for his 
crime. He was deposed from the magistracy by that au- 
gust body, and Mr. Norton of Ipswich was appointed to 
write an answer to the book ; and then, still further to 
carry out their ends, they ordered the book to be publicly 
burnt in Boston Market, and the sentence was fully exe- 
cuted ! Cotton Mather, in his account of the life of John 
Norton, does not call Mr. Pynchon by name, but speaks of 
him as " a gentleman of New England who had written a 
book, entitled The Meritorious "price of Man's Redemption, 
wherein he attempts to prove that Christ suffered not for 
us those unutterable torments of God's wrath which are 
commonly called hell-torments, to redeem our souls from 
them ; and that Christ bore not our sins by God's impu- 
tation, and therefore also did not bear the curse of the law 




for them." This gives the subject and the drift of Mr. 
Pynchon's book. 

The General Court were not content with the humilia- 
tion they had visited upon the darmg book-maker, in de- 
posing him from his office, and by the aid of John Norton 
and fire, annihilating his book ; but they earnestly requested 
the ministers to labor with him, for the purpose of con- 
vincing him of his error, and of bringing him to the act of 
its recantation. The effect of this public condemnation 
and humiliation, and the labors of the divines could not 
but have an effect upon the conscientious mind of Pynchon ; 
and, whether convinced against his will or otherwise, it is 
recorded that the zealots accomplished their end, and that 
he recanted. It is impossible, at this time, to look back 
upon such proceedings with any degree of complacency. 
They cannot but be regarded as the veriest exhibitions of 
tyrannical bigotry. Here was a man who had left home 
and friends for the sake of enjoying his religion, had been 
among the foremost in the councils of the colony, had 
planted two settlements — the last one in the midst of 
the wilderness — had borne more than his share in the dan- 
gers, toils and responsibilities of the Massachusetts colony, 
and had, through all, maintained a Christian character se- 
cure beyond the chai'ge of inconsistency or taint, cut off 
from influence and power, publicly condemned and publicly 
insulted, for giving utterance to a doctrine in religion at 
variance in nice points with the doctrines generally held 
by the churches and the General Court. Though Mr. 
Pynchon recanted, it is not to be doubted that these facts 
and considerations weighed upon his mind in all their in- 
iustice. and influenced him in his decision to return to En"-- 
land, and there spend the remainder of his days — a de- 
cision which he carried into effect in 1652. This lesson of 
intolerance, drawn from the history of the fathers of the 
State, should be improved by their descendents. Unedu- 
cated conscience and conscientious ignorance are the only 
apology that can be offered for those who thus trampled 
upon the very liberty for the acquisition and enjoyment of 
which they had planted themselves in the Avilderness. 

That Mr. Pynchon was convinced of his alleged errors 
against his will, and that one of his motives for returning 
to England was that he might enjoy that freedom of reli- 


gious opinion denied him here, is evident from his subse- 
quent action. In 1655, his book was issued in a new 
edition in London, by Thomas Newberry, with additions, 
in wliich Mr. Norton's book was dissected "byAVilliam 
Pynchon Esq., late of New England." The venerable 
controversialist endeavored in his new edition to " clear 
several Scriptures of the greatest note in these controver- 
sies from Mr. Norton's corrupt exposition," and fully reiter- 
ated all his former opinions. This book is very elaborate, 
covering 440 pages quarto — a favorite form in those days — 
and its leading doctrine, as stated on its title page, and as 
given by Cotton Mather, is one which has been univei'sally 
adopted by the orthodox Christianity of later days. The 
writer's sin consisted m being in advance of his age — hap- 
pily one of those sins which posterity does not consider 
damnable beyond forgiveness. This antiquated vohime, in 
a most honorable binding, now reposes in the Harvard 
College library, and pasted upon the inner side of the 
cover are the following words: ^^ Ex Dono Reverendi Ed- 
vardi Holyoke Proesidis Pronepotis Materni, Authoris 
17G4-69." The donor was a descendent of Elizur Hol- 
yoke and of Mr. Pynchon, the former of whom, very prob- 
ably, once owned the book, for, by the side of it, in the 
same style of printing and binding, is another work by 
William Pynchon, on " the Sabbath," containing " Elizur 
llohjoke, his hook" in his own excellent hand writing. 
This book was presented by-the donor of the other. The 
second book covers nearly 300 pages, and both show the 
author to have been a good writer and a very able theolo- 
gian. One of the doctrines put forward by Mr. Pynchon 
in regard to the Sabbath, is, " that the Lord's day doth be- 
gin with the natural morning, and that the morning of the 
natural day doth begin at midnight, and so consequently 
that the Lord's Day must begin both with the natin-al 
morning at midnight, and end with the natural evening at 
midnight." In this he was even in advance of many of 
the later dwellers of the Valley, who to this day observe 
Saturday night as holy time. 

Mr. Pynchon was accompanied on his return to Eng- 
land by Mr. Moxon, the minister at Springfield, and by his 
son-in-law, Henry Smith, who had, in the meantime, been 
appointed to the magistracy in Pynchon's stead. Neither 



of the three ever returned to America. The causes of Mr. 
Moxon's removal are not known, but they were doubtless 
connected, in some measure, with Mr. Pynchon's adversi- 
ties. It has been conjectured by some that he sympathized 
with Mr. Pynchon's views, and was either disgusted or 
alarmed at the treatment he had received. That these two 
men were on the most intimate terms, is presumable from 
their position — the one the leader in civil matters, the 
other in religious. That the book was written without Mr. 
Moxon's knowledge is not probable. That it was sent oft' 
for publication under his condemnation, is not likely. But 
another cause for his removal has been assigned, which 
carries upon its face a strong look of probability, and which 
renders it necessary to return to somewhat earlier history. 
Springfield, the first of all the towns of New England, 
was visited by witchcraft. This occurred sometime during 
the year 1645. The minister's family was, very naturally, 
the object of the Devil's malice, and, accordingly, Mr. Mox- 
on's children were " affected mysteriously by an unseen 
hand." At that time, and in New England, almost every- 
body believed in witchcraft, for the bigotry that produces 
intolerance is the hot-bed of superstition. This case of 
witchcraft was, of course, the constant theme of gossip and 
speculation, and imdoubtedly — for it was in accordance 
with the spirit of the times — of public and private prayer. 
It made an uncomfortable and suspicious neighborhood. 
Friends suspected each other of having made a league with 
the devil, and of tormenting the children. These children 
were in a miserable plight. They were distressed with 
fits, and all those torments which characterized the subse- 
quent operations of witches in the Eastern part of the col- 
ony, and which are connected with the blackest and blood- 
iest page in the annals of New England delusions. The 
case must have l)een sowing its poison in the settlement for 
some years when, according to the Pynchon Record Book, 
" the widdow Marshfield complained against Mary H., wife 
of Hugli Parsons of Springfield, for reporting her to be 
suspected for a witch, and she produced Jo. Matthews and 
his wife for her witnesses." Goody Parsons had her trial 
for this singular slander, was found guilty, and sentenced 
to be " well whipped with 20 lashes by the Constable." 
This Goody Parsons Avas a poor, nervous creature, and 


subject to fits of insanity, and may liave been instijrated to 
make the report against Mrs. Marslifield, from finding sus- 
picion directed against herself; for subsequently, certainly, 
if not before, she was publicly charged with aftiicting Mr. 
Moxon's children. In March, 1G51, while in a state of 
partial insanity, she murdered her infant child, and tliis 
was enough, in the minds of the people of the town, to 
confirm all their suspicious. The unfortunate creature was 
ai'rested, conveyed to Boston, and imprisoned to await her 
trial on the double charge of witchcraft and murder. 

Previous to this, one poor woman, Margaret Jones of 
Charlestown, had been tried for witchcraft, and executed. 
Goody Parsons, on arriving at Boston, was found to be 
so very sick that it was feared she would die in prison, 
yet, notwithstanding this, she was brought into Court then 
in session, and arraigned on the charge of having " made 
a league with a familiar spirit to hurt Martha and Rebekah 
Moxon." It is a pleasure to record that she had the sense 
beyond some of the victims of her times, to plead not 
guilty, and that she was acquitted. She plead guilty to 
the charge of murdering her child, and received sentence 
of death. Probably on account of her sickness,, her exe- 
cution was postponed to the last of May, and she doubtless 
died in prison^as no further mention is made of her. But 
this did not put an end to the matter. Hugh Parsons, her 
husband, after all the trials arising from the infirmities of 
his wife, and her sad end, was himself charged with witch- 
craft in the following year, and found guilty by the jury 
before which he was tried. The magistrate did not con- 
sent to the verdict, and the matter being brouglit before the 
General Court, that body found that lie was " not legally 
guilty," and discharged him. 

It is not strange that Mr. Moxon, in view of the depart- 
ure of Mr. Pynchon, and with a pair of bewitched children 
on his hands, whose tormentors he was not able to brinsr to 
justice, should conclude to leave the country, and return to 
his home. His determination having been made known, 
the town purchased his real estate, and appropriated it for 
the use of the ministry. Mr. Moxon lived in England un- 
til 1 687, when he died, out of the ministry, and in poverty. 
AVith him and his children witchcraft departed from 
Springfield. Mr. Pynchon died in England, Oct. 29th, 



1661, at tlie age of 72 years, having survived his return 
but about nine years ; but his memory will be held in high 
honor here on the ground of his old trials, and the theater 
of his efforts, wliere he won from wild men and the wilder- 
ness the beautiful region of the Connecticut Valley. He 
left behind him in this country four children — John Pyn- 
chon, who was destined to play even a more important part 
in the history of Western Massachusetts than his father, 
the wife of Henry Smith ; Mary, the wife of Capt. Elizur 
Holyoke, and Margaret, the wife of William Davis of Bos- 
ton, who the very year that his father-in-law returned to 
England, was elected, though a non-resident, as a deputy 
to represent Springfield in the General Court. He was 
repeatedly elected to the same office in after years, as were 
also John Pynchon, Henry Smith and Elizur Holyoke, and 
thus did Springfield honor the old man in the persons of 
his children. 

And now, the affairs of the still tender settlement opened 
under new auspices. On the departure of Pynchon and 
Smith for England, the General Court appointed John 
Pynchon, Elizur Holyoke and Samuel Chapin — the latter 
being " the ancestor of all of that name in New England " 
— as a board of magistracy in Springfield. This board re- 
mained without modification of constituents or authority 
until, in 1658, further settlements on the river had made a 
change necessary. A copy of the Commission issued to 
these gentlemen is preserved in the Pynchon Book of 
Records, as also a copy of their oath, in which they " swear 
by ye Living God that they will truly endeavor to their 
best abilitys, in the place, according to the laws of God 
and this Commonwealth." The Commission gave them 
authority to govern the inhabitants of Springfield, and to 
hear and determine all cases, both civil and criminal, " that 
reach not to life, limbs or banishment." This board intro- 
duced system into its operations, and assumed the dignity 
of an important legal tribunal. The first Thursday in 
March and the first in September were appointed as regu- 
lar Court days. The first cases considered by this board 
will show somewhat the nature and spirit of the regulations 
and laws which prevailed. Reice Bedortha and Benja. 
Mun were presented by Richard Sikes, the town " pre- 
senter," " ffor taking of tobacco on (each) his hay -cock." 


It seems that the fees of the presenter, and his incentive to 
diligence, consisted of half of Avhatever fines should be 
impo'sed in cases of conviction. In these cases, he re- 
leased his pi*oportion, and they were let off with a propor- 
tionately small ^pe. Margarite Joanes was fined five 
shillings for the breach of a town order. Deacon Chapin 
and Widow Bliss, with others, were fined one shilling each 
for a breach of town orders. In 1654, we come to the 
record of more serious cases. One Samuel Wright Jr., 
Avas charged with the paternity of Mary Burt's illegitimate 
child, and being tried, Avas found guilty, by a full jury of 
twelve men. lie was sentenced " for his evill behavior 
therein, to be whipped with 12 strypes on the naked body, 
well layd on, and to pay the charges of the Court, and to- 
wards the mayntenance of the said child to pay after the 
rate of one shilling four pence per week, making payment 
every month during the term of seaven yeares, and at the 
end of seaven yeares to pay fforty shillings towards the put- 
ting forth of the said child to be an apprentice." Mary 
Burt, also, "for her great wickedness," was" adjudged to 
be Avhipped on ye naked body Avith 12 stripes well laid 
on " — a very questionable Avay, certainly, of punishing a 
crime of that character. Poor Maiy Avas sentenced to 
receive 20 stripes more for another offense of the same 
character, unless she should " redeem " her second Avhipping 
by the payment of thirty shilhngs, Avhich she managed to 
do. But for the first crime, " she received her punish- 

The place vacated by Mr. Moxon Avas not readily filled, 
and for nine years the people Avere Avithout a settled min- 
istei'. For brief periods during this time, they enjoyed 
the ministrations respectively of Mr, Ilosibrd, INIr. Thomp- 
son and Mr. Hooker, son of llev. Thomas Hooker of Hart- 
ford, Avhom Cotton Mather denominates " the light of the 
Western churches." In the intervals of their labors, men 
Avere appointed by vote, in toAvn meeting, from among their 
own number, to lead every Sabbath in public Avorsliip. 
Deacon Wright Avas voted fifty shillings per month tor tiie 
service. Deacon Chapin, Mr. Holyoke and Henry Burt, 
also received payment for the performance of the same 
duty, and Mr.. Pynchon occasionally instructed the people 
ou the Sabbath, " sometimes by readmg notes, and some- 


times by his own meditations." In IGGl, the inhabitants 
succeeded in procuring the permanent settlement of Rev. 
Pelatiah Glover, a man of fine talents, fine attainments, 
and ardent piety. His ministry was a long, and, in the 
end, a prosperous one. He remained i^ Springfield more 
than thirty years, and died March 29, 1692. 

The incongruity of the ancient method of calling con- 
gregations together on the Sabbath, with the spirit of the 
day, is noticeable. John Matthews was hired by a vote of 
the town to beat the drum half an hour before the com- 
mencement of the morning service, beating it all the Avay 
" from Mr. Moxon's to R. Stebbins' house," for which he 
was to receive 4d. in wampum, from each family, or its 
equivalent, a peck of Indian corn. How long this method 
of announcing the hour for the solemn assembly continued, 
does not appear, but it must have formed a unique sight 
and sound for Sabbath morning. In 16G0, the famous 
" Pynchon House " was built by John Pynchon, and was 
the first brick structure in the Valley. This building, after 
surviving the perils of the Indian wars, and the changes of 
nearly two centuries, was torn down in 1831 by his de- 
scendants. Its picture is very appropriately preserved in 
the seal of the city of Springfield. 


Settlement of Northampton and Hadlet — Erec- 

It is not to be supposed that the fertile bottom lands on 
the river North of Springfield remained unknown, or un- 
appreciated. But population did not crowd, and adventure 
Avas in a degree satisfied with the fields already won. In 
1653, Nonotuck, a territory embracing the present towns 
of Northampton, Southampton, Easthampton, Westhamp- 
ton, and a part of Hatfield and Montgomery, was purchased 
of the Indians, and conveyed by the deed of AVawliillowa, 
Nenessahalant, Nassicohee and four other Indians, to John 
Pynchon, Elizur Ilolyoke and Samuel Chapiu, the Com- 
missioners of Springfield. The settlement was commenced 
in the following year, in the present town of Northamp- 
ton, by twenty-one planters, principally from Springfield 
and Windsor. The ancestors of those in the several 
Hamptons who bear the names of Parsons, Wright, Steb- 
bins, Burt, Bridgman, Edwards and Scarle, were originally 
from Springfield. The original petition lor liberty to plant 
and settle at Nonotuck was made by several planters who 
represented to the General Court that " it was a place suit- 
able to erect a town for the furtherance of the public weal, 
and the propagating of the Gospel, and which promised, 
in an ordinary way of God's Providence, a comfortable 
subsistence whereby they might live and attend upon God 
in his holy ordinances without distraction." At the same 
time, the Springfield Commissioners presented a petition in 
aid of this, stating tliat there was tillable ground suflicient 
for two large plantations. They declared that they had no 
private ends to answer, but wished for liberty to erect the 
plantations, " so that the glory of God might be furthered, 
and the peace and happiness of the government not re- 

Liberty to plant was granted, and the purchase made as 
stated. The territory sufficient for two large plantations, 
indicated in the petition of the Springfield Commissioners, 



embraced the land on the opposite side of the river from 
Northampton, now occupied by the town of Hadley. The 
General Court appointed a committee to lay out both 
plantations, but they reported when they had laid out but 
one. This embraced the great meadow on the west side of 
the river, and the little meadow " Capawonk," which they 
described as lying about two miles above. The length on 
the river was from the upper end of this little meadow, 
" to the great falls down towards Springfield." Westward- 
from the river, the tract extended nine miles into the 
woods. Rev. Solomon Williams, in a sermon delivered at 
Northampton in 1815, mentions a tradition to the effect 
that as early as 1652, an English family settled in that 
town, on land which lies East of what is called Hawley- 
street, a locality wliich the later inhabitants have but re- 
cently come to regard as favorable for building spots, and 
where new streets have been opened and elegant dwellings 
erected. The entire price paid for this large and valuable 
tract was 100 fathom of wampum, (strings of beads made 
of shells and used by the Indians as money,) ten coats 
some small gifts, " and ploughing up sixteen acres of land 
on the East side of Quounecticot river the ensuing Sum- 

It is legitimately a matter of complacent reflection that, 
as in Northampton and Springfield, so in all the early set- 
tlements of New England, the right of the wild Indian to 
his wild lands was recognized, and was always extinguished 
by formal purchase. The price paid for the valuable lands 
on the Connecticut was small, or, rather, seems small to 
their present occupants and owners, but, when it is remem- 
bered that they were made valuable to the settlers only by 
patient cultivation, and that, Avith all the labor expended in 
cultivation and defense, the owners w^ere extremely poor 
for many years, the price paid will appear to have been 
sufficiently large. Subsequent to the purchase of Nono- 
tuck, the Sachem Umpanchela complained that he had not 
received his proportion of the proceeds, or, at least, as 
much as he expected, and the inhabitants immediately 
voted to satisfy him, and he executed a new deed of the 

The inhabitants of Northampton elected what they de- 
nominated "townsmen" in 1655 — one year after their set- 


tlement — officers answering to the present "selectmen," 
though probably clothed with somewhat more extended 
powers. The town was probably incor2)orated the year 
before. Springfield established and filled the same offices 
some nine years previously, and, by a vote of the town, 
their duties were " to direct in all the fundamental affiiirs 
of the towne, to prevent everything which they shall judge 
to be of damage to the towne, and to order anytliing which 
they shall judge to be for the good of the towne. Also, to 
hear complaints, to arbitrate controversies, to lay out high- 
ways, to see to the scouring of the ditches and to the kill- 
ing of wolves, and to the training u)> of the children in 
their good ruling, or any other thing tliey sliall judge to be 
to the pi'ofit of the towne." 

By a mutual agreement, made by the purchasers of 
Nonotuck, in November, 1653, and, consequently, previous 
to the permanent settlement, all who should go there to 
settle should receive " every single man four acres of 
meadow, besides the rest of his division, and every head of 
a family six acres of meadoAv besides the rest of his divi- 
sion." It was further agreed that the territory should be 
allotted to the families according to their names, estates 
and qualifications. It was also provided that the twenty 
men who had paid for the land, and had borne its original 
charges, should be entitled, in the aggregate, to one fourth 
of the meadow, then estimated to be 800 acres. The 
home-lots granted to the original settlers were located al- 
'most entirely on what now are known as Pleasant, King, 
Market and Hawley streets. In tlie settlement at Nono- 
tuck, as well as in that of Springfield, and, in fact, in all 
the early settlements of the region, great value was at- 
tached to meadow land, or interval. At that date, interval 
was esteemed to be the only land that possessed more than 
a nominal value. Particulaidy was this the case at North- 
ompton, Avhere mendow land al)Ound('d. Here, all other 
laud was very liglitly esteemed, and this high estimate of 
meadow land has been handed down from father to son, 
until the present day ; and no considi'rable fanner now 
lives near the central portion of the town but is able to 
boast of his meadow lots. Grants of house and meadow 
lots were made to subsequent settlers, on condition that 
they would occupy and cultivate them for four years ; and 



the fulfillment of this condition seems to have secured to 
its observers rights equal to those of the original settlers. 
The houses and barns built by the settlers were necessarily 
of logs, and their cultivation was of those open patches 
upon the meadow on which the Indians had planted their 
corn and beans. 

In the latter part of 1654, measures were instituted, 
looking forward to the establishment of the Christian min- 
istry, and for the meeting of Christian assemblies. This 
was at a time when the families probably did not exceed 
the number of twenty. William Holton, Joseph Lyman, 
Joseph Parsons, John Lyman and Edward Elmore con- 
tracted to build a meeting house, which was to be made of 
" sawen timbex*," 26 feet long and 18 feet wide, for the sum 
of 14 pounds sterling, to be paid in work or corn. The 
contract designated the 15th of April, 1655, as the time 
when the job was to be concluded. In this little edifice — 
meaner and more rude in its construction than any build- 
ing now in the Valley — the fathers of the town held their 
solemn assemblies, offered up their united prayers, and put 
forth their stern views of doctrine. Here, after the toils 
of the week, in plain and carefully kept clothes, the saintly 
heads of families, with their closely trained and solemn- 
faced children, observed holy day. The imagination can- 
not but revert to those occasions, with an admiration toned 
down almost to holy reverence. There, in the midst of a 
silent wilderness, the voice of prayer arose. The curious 
Indian paused at the door, and was filled with awe as the 
white man addi'essed the Great Spirit. Far away from 
the busy haunts of men, they seemed, and felt nearer God 
— more alone Avith God — than ever before. With rever- 
ent joy they rejoiced in that blessed intimacy of com- 
munion, and drew from it the strength they needed for the 
trials and duties that formed the staple of their daily lives. 
There not being a time-piece in the settlement, some mode 
of calling worshipers together was rendered peculiarly 
necessary. Whether the instrument used was a drum, as 
in Springfield, or a more dignified instrument, is not known. 
It may be stated that Rev. Rufus Pomeroy of Otis now 
has in his possession a very large and sonorous " cow-bell," 
to which tradition assigns the honor of being the first in- 
strument used in calling the settlers of Northampton to 


their worship. At a later date, Jedediah Strong had a 
salary of eighteen shillings a year " for blowing the trump- 
et." The purpose for which the trumpet was blown is not 
stated in the record, but it is presumed that this was the 
mode of announcing the hour of religious meetings. This 
house was occupied for the purposes for which it was de- 
signed, until about the year 1662, when a larger edifice 
was erected, capable of accommodating an enlarged popu- 
lation, and, in the following year, the old building was 
probably converted into a school house. 

There was disagreement, even in a church after tliis ul- 
tra-primitive pattern. This disagreement afterwards pro- 
ceeded so far that it was taken notice of by the General 
Court. The difference of opinion touched particularly the 
manner of conducting public worship, in the absence of a 
minister. The Court decided " that, though some private 
men may exercise their gifts, when there are such as are 
known, able, approved and orthodox ; their best, safest, and 
most peaceable way was to assemble all at one place, and 
to spend their Sabbath together, besides praying and sing- 
ing, in reading and repeating of known godly, orthodox 
books and sermons." But the people did not long remain 
without the regular ministrations of the Gospel. Their 
destitute case and their want of a minister were made 
known to the General Court, and the wish stated that Mr. 
Eleazer Mather of Dorchester, (the term " Reverend " was 
not much used in those days, and is often misapplied in the 
present,) might become their spiritual leader. The Court 
commended their condition to the reverend elders, and 
their assistance was solicited in tlie matter. This was at' 
the May Court of 1658, and the Court subsequently 
"judged it meet to declare that, in case God so inclined tiie 
hearts of those who are concerned therein, and Mr. Mather 
go unto Northampton, to minister unto the inhabitants 
there in the things of God, they both approve thereof, and 
shall be ready at all times to encourage liim in that service, 
as there shall be occasion, in whatsoever shall be rationally 
and meetly expected." Mr. Mather accordingly went to 
Northampton, and was ordained on the Ibth of June, 1061, 
about a month previous to the vote of the town to build a 
new and more commodious meeting house. This gentle- 
man, like a majority of the ministers of those days, was a 


man of learning. He was a graduate of Harvard College. 
Cotton Mather says of him : " As he was a very zealous 
preacher, and accordingly saw many seals of his ministry, 
so also was he a very pious walker ; and as he grew near 
the end of his days, he grew so remarkably ripe for heav- 
en, that many observing persons did prognosticate his be- 
ing not far from his end." He died on the 24th of June, 
1669, at the early age of 32 ; and, as Mather says that he 
labored at Northampton " eleven years in the vineyard of 
our Ltord," it would appear that he preached thei'e three 
years before his ordination, or, from the date of the action 
of the General Court concerning his settlement, ab-eady 
recorded. The new meeting house, built at an early date 
in his ministry, was erected near the site of the first one, 
on what was known as " Meeting House Hill," and the 
present large structure, now known as the " Old Church," 
is the fourth occupying the same locality. 

At the May session of the General Court, 1055, and in 
answer to a petition of the inhabitants of Northampton, 
desiring the establishment of a Government among them, 
Wilham Holton, Thomas Bascom and Edward Elmore 
were empowered to adjudicate all small causes, according 
to law, being previously required to take their oaths of 
office before Mr. Pynchon and Mr. Holyoke at Springfield. 
Just three years later, it Avas ordered that there should be 
two Courts held yearly by the Springfield and Northamp- 
ton Commissioners, the Courts to be held alternately in 
each place. The Court thus constituted had power to de- 
termine " by jury or without, according to the liberty the 
law allows in County Courts, all civil actions not exceed- 
ing £20 damages, and all criminal cases not exceedmg £5, 
or corporeal punishment not exceeding ten stripes, reserv- 
ing appeals in all such cases to the County Court at Bos- 
ton." The Court were also empowered to grant licenses 
for houses of public entertainment, and for the vending of 
wine, cider and ardent spints, to administer the freeman's 
oath, to commit malefactors to prison, &c. Under this 
commission, the first Court was lield at Northampton, Sept. 
28, 1 658. Any four of this united Commission were com^ 
petent to hold a Court, and only Mr. Pynchon and Mr. 
ilolyoke were present from Springfield at the first session. 
The next session was to be held at Springfield, and the 



Northampton Commissioners — Mr. Holton, Arthur "Wil- 
liams and Richard Lyman — accompanied by four jurymen 
— the largest number that could be called from one place 
to another for service — presented themselves, by certiiicate 
of the Northampton constable, to be sworn. But it seems 
that the people of Northampton were not satisfied of the 
legal appointment of their Commissioners, and declared 
that they were not even freemen in accordance with the 
laws of this Commonwealth. And, as the PjTichon Rec- 
ord Book hath it, " therefore after the busyness was longe 
debated, the result mtis that there could be no Corte Le- 
gally kept here, without further orders from Superior Pow- 
ers : and soe the Assembly brake up," 

It is a matter of amusement to look over the knotty 
course of law in the cases that came before the authorities 
at this period. Frequent among the complaints brought 
forward was that of Sabbath breaking. Joseph Leonard 
was complained of for misbehaving himself on the Sab- 
bath day, playing, sporting and laughing, &c. In this cfise, 
two witnesses testified that " last Sabbath day they saw 
Joseph Leonard sporting and laughing in sermon tyme, 
and that he did often Ibrmerly misbehave himselfe in the 
same way." Another SAvore, " that on that Ld's day was 
se'n-night, or Lord's day was fortnight, he saw Joseph 
Leonard come to Sam Harmon at the meeting house dore, 
and beate of his hat, and then ran away, and afterwards 
came to him again, and ofiered to kick at him, and run 
away, and then S. Harmon ran after liim." A female wit- 
ness had seen Joseph and Sam " whip and whisk one an- 
other with a stick before the meeting house, in sermon 
tyme." Joseph was accordingly found in debt to tlie law 
to the amount of five shillings. Daniel, a servant of 
Thomas Merrick, of Springfield, for "idle v.'atching about, 
and not coming to the ordinances of the Lord," was ad- 
judged to be worthy of stripes to the number of five, Avell 
laid on. Actions for slander were not unfrcqucnt. Abu- 
sive or reproachful language Avas also a common cause of 
complaint, while card-playing and keej^ing a house Avhere 
card-playing Avas alloAved, were oftenses punished with con- 
siderable fines. Entire chastity by no means prevailed 
among the eai'ly settlers, as the records prove ; but offenses 
against this virtue Avere usually committed by the appren- 


tices or servants — persons attachecl to all the New Eng- 
land colonies, who were without position or character. 
Still, these were not wholly in the blame. Robert Bart- 
lett of Northampton, to whom the Springfield Commis- 
sioners were authorized to administer the constable's oath 
in 1655, was brought up the very next year for a shameful 
assault upon the wife of one Smith. 

With the full complement of trials attached to an early 
settlement in the wilderness, the first years of civilized life 
in Northampton passed slowly away. The settlers secured 
their meeting house and their minister. Soon after the 
ordination of Mr. Mather, INIr. .John Strong was appointed 
ruling elder of the church, and Mr. Joseph Elliot was 
elected to the office of teacher. The offices of pastor and 
teacher were kept distinct in many of the New England 
churches. The pastor's office was to administer a word of 
wisdom ; the teacher's, a word of knowledge. The pastor 
exhorted to works of personal devotion and obedience, 
while the teacher expounded the weightier matters of doc- 
trine. As in other places, so here, the distinction was not 
long maintained. Mr. Elliot was never ordained, although 
he assisted Mr. Mather for a year or two. Previous to 
1659, upwards of forty planters had settled in the town, 
some of whom were acquainted with mechanical trades, 
but all relied principally upon husbandry for a livelihood. 
These, with the families belonging to them, made a popu- 
lation demanding no inconsiderable supplies. The dis- 
tance from other and more advanced settlements was se- 
verely felt in hardships of many kinds. The settlers 
were, and felt themselves to be, very poor. They had no 
mill at which to grind their corn, and, with their slender 
means and conveniences, were obliged to build one. Their 
weak and impoverished condition was fully set forth in a 
petition to the General Court, to liave their taxes remitted 
for some years, dated Oct. 17, 1659. The reasons given 
for asking this favor were — that they had, in consequence 
of their remote situation, been at heavy cost in getting 
supplies, that they had commenced to build a mill which 
had been a long time in building, had been very expen- 
sive, and was not then finished, that God in his provi- 
cfence had cut off the greater part of their crops by a 
dreadful storm, and that they had been at several pub- 


lie charges for the " settling of the ordinances " among 

The first birth in Northampton occurred May 1, 1655. 
The name of the " native American " was Ebenezer Par- 
sons. James Bridgman was the first person who died. 
His death occurred in the following January. David Burt 
and Mary Holton began life in the new settlement by get- 
ting married, on the 18th of November, 1654. Marriages, 
at that time, and for many years afterwards, wei'e solemn- 
ized only by magistrates. These great events of birth, 
death and marriage, so common in large communities as to 
cause hardly a ripple on the sux*face of society, were in 
tliat young settlement matters to be talked about for days. 
The first child was doubtless received with a universal 
flutter of delight, and the reverent and grateful feelings of 
the mother Ibund expression in the name bestowed upon 
her offspring. And when David Burt and Mary Holton 
held one another by the hand, in pledge of life-long love 
and companionship, were there no tears in view of the 
trials that surrounded them, and lay before ? There was 
not a wild flower for the bride's hair, and veiy scanty and 
rude must have been the marriage feast. But when death 
first broke into the little band, and a grave was made in the 
wilderness, how sad and solemn must have been the scene ! 
The rude coffin, by the door of a ruder cabin, was placed 
out in the calm, cold light of a Winter morning. The 
planters came one after another, with their wives and chil- 
dren, and looked their last upon the pale face of their com- 
panion. And when, after a fei'vent prayer from some 
patriarchal voice, the sleeper was borne off by a half worn 
path to the place of burial, on Meeting House Hill, what 
tears and sobs made strange notes among the shivering 
trees ! To all the natural feelings that spring everywhere 
on such occasions, was added in these scenes that ever 
prevalent reference to the providence of God which dis- 
tinijuished the men of that time, and clothed even their 
errors and weaknesses with moral sublimity. 

Northampton was named after Northampton in Eng- 
land — whether from the fact that some of the settlers were 
originally from that place, or because it was the northern- 
most toAvn on the Connecticut, is not known. Possibly 
both facts had sometliiug to do with the matter. The mau- 




ner in which the tAvo prominent features in the landscape ■ 
in the vicinity of Northampton, viz. Mount Holyoke and M 
Mount Tom, received their names, is variously stated by ■ 
tradition. The most probable, and, certainly, the most po- 
etical, account, is to the effect that, some five or six years 
after the settlement of Springfiekl, a company of the plant- 
ers went Northward to explore the country. One party, 
headed by Elizur Holyoke, went up on the East side of 
the river, and another, headed by Eowland Thomas, went 
up on the "West side. The parties arriving abreast, at the 
narrow place in the river below Hockanum, at what is now 
called Eock Ferry, Holyoke and Thomas held a conversa- 
tion with one another across the river, and each, then and 
there, gave his own name to the mountain at whose feet ho 
stood. The name of Holyoke remains uncorrupted and 
without abbreviation, while Mount Thomas has been cur- 
tailed to simple and homely " Tom." 

While the settlements on the Connecticut, under the ju- 
risdiction of Massachusetts, were passing through their first 
stages of progi-ess, their stronger neighbors below them 
found time to engage in a high religious controversy. The 
subject of division and quarrel was Baptism, with particu- 
lar reference to the qualifications for receiving that ordi- 
nance, and church membership. Among those whose 
feelings were strongly implicated in this business Avere 
John Webster, the Governor of Connecticut, and Rev. John 
Russell of Wethersfield. For the sake of peace, they, 
Avith a number of respectable associates, determined on re- 
moving, and planting themselves anew. On the 18th of 
April, 1G59, these individuals, to the number of sixty, 
" met at Goodman Ward's house in Hartford," and signed 
an agreement to remove from the jurisdiction of Connecti- 
cut, into the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. The fertile 
lands in the vicinity of Northampton had attracted their 
attention, and they had presented a petition to the Massa- 
chusetts General Court, representing their wishes, and 
asking for a grant of land. The Court acceded to their 
desires, and appointed Capt. Pynchon, Lieut. Holyoke and 
Deacon Chapin of Springfield, and William Holton and 
Richard Lyman of Northampton, " to lay out tlie bounds 
c£ the new plantation, on either or both sides of the river, 
as they shall see cause." This board attended to their duty 


with dispatch, and reported the bounds of the plantation 
as follows : " On the East side of the river their Southerly 
bounds to be from the head of the falls above Springfield, 
and so to run East and North the length of nine miles 
from the said river ; and their Northerly bounds to be a 
little brook called by the Indians Nepasoanege, up to a 
mountain Quankwattchee, and so running Eastward from 
the river the same length of nine miles ; from their North- 
erly bounds to their Southerly bounds on the river is 
about eleven or twelve miles. And on the West side of 
the river, their bounds on the South are to join or meet 
with Northampton bounds, (which said bounds of North- 
ampton come to a little riverett running between two 
pieces of land called Capawonke and Wequittayyagg,) and 
on their North, their bounds to be a great mountain called 
Wequomps ; and the North and South bounds are to run 
West two miles from the great river, and from North to 
Soutli on that side the river is about six or seven miles." 

The company in Connecticut having secured their grant, 
employed Capt. Pynchon to extinguish the Indian title to 
the lands they wished immediately to occupy. The ]>nr- 
chase included a tract North of JNIount llolyoke, about 
nine miles square. Mr. Pynchon also purchased for them 
Capawonkti meadow, belonging to Northampton, on the 
West side of the river. This latter purcliase comprised 
800 acres, more or less, of rich bottom, in tlie present town 
of Hatheld, and the price to be paid for it was ten pounds 
sterling. There were certain conditions attached to the 
sale which were not fulfilled by the purchasers, and a deed 
was not given until March 11, 1059, wluni the price was 
increased to thirty pounds sterling, and this was the sum 
paid. The price given to the Indians for the land on the 
East side was two hundred and twenty fatliom of wam- 
pum, and one large coat, " besides several gifts and other 
good causes and considerations." The land on the West 
side of the river, besides the tract purchased of Northamp- 
ton, was bought of the Indians for three hundred fiithom of 
wampum, and other small considerations. All this land 
was embraced under the general name of Nonotuck, or 
"Nolwotogg," as it is spelt in the deed. The Indian deed 
is dated Dec. 25, 1G58 — some months previous to the 
agreement to remove, made at Hartford. A considerable 


number went up to tlio new plantation in 1659, to make 
preparations for tlie general removal. Very few families 
removed that yeai*, though there is evidence that one family, 
at least, lived there during the following winter. There 
were doubtless more than one. And thus were the prelim- 
inaries arranged for the settlement of Hadley. The terri- 
tory enclosed within its bounds was very large, and in- 
cluded the present towns of Hadley, South Hadley, 
Granby, Amherst and Hatfield. 

The projectors of the settlement at Hadley embraced a 
larger number of men of means and character, than were 
found in either Springfield or Northampton. Many, and, 
probably, the most of them, had been residents of the Con- 
necticut settlements for a period of twenty years. They 
had prospered in worldly matters to a considerable degree, 
and possessed that experience in new settlements which 
enabled them to set about their enterprise with a perfect 
understanding of all their wants. Accordingly, in the 
agreement drawn up at Hartford, they decided that Wil- 
liam Westwood, Richard Goodman, William Lewis, Jolm 
White and Nathaniel Dickinson, should precede the re- 
moval of the settlers, lay out fifty-nine home-lots, allowing 
eight acres for every home-lot, and leaving a street twenty 
rods wide between the two Westernmost rows of home-lots. 
On the 9th of November, 1659, seven townsmen were 
chosen, those who had not removed as well as those who 
had, participating in the election. The names of the indi- 
viduals chosen were William Westwood, Nathaniel Dick- 
inson, Lemuel Smith, Thomas Studley, John White, Rich- 
ard Goodman, and Nathaniel Ward. The men appointed 
to lay out the settlement attended to their duty, and the 
Old Hadley street of to-day bears the impress of their la- 
bors. The lots were laid out on either side of the " street 
twenty rods broad," which extended across the neck of the 
peninsula, formed by the bend of the river at that point. 
But all those who agreed to remove to the new settlement 
did not hold to their agreement. Only foi'ty of them set- 
tled in Hadley ; thirty-four of them took up their resi- 
dence on the East side of the river, and six on the West. 
.Thirteen persons, unnamed in the original agi'eement, 
^ joined the settlers on the East side, making in all forty- 
seven, and to them the allotments of home-lots were made. 


The manner of apportioning the meadow lands was in this 
wise : a certain sum was placed against each settler'^ name, 
representing what was denominated his estate. This sum 
did not, in fact, represent his estate, but, in comparison 
with the sums set opposite the names of the others, desig- 
nated the relative amount of land to which, from a variety 
of considerations, he was entitled. Thus, a young, unmar- 
ried and poor man received what was called a £40 lot, 
while a man of wealth and family, and who had probably 
borne a larger proportion of the cliarges, received a £200 
lot. In fact, the settlei-s paid to Mr. Pynchon their pro- 
portion of the purchase money, as well as their taxes for 
several years, by rates based on the size of their lots re- 
spectively. The majority of the planters were from Hart- 
ford and Wethersfield, and a few of them came from 
"Windsor. One only went over from Northampton, and he, 
probably, because he loved the daughter of William AVest- 
wood, whom he married. His name was Aaron Cook Jr. 
He received no home-lot, and lived with his father-in-law. 
No inconsiderable number of those who came from Con- 
necticut were of those who, more than twenty years before, 
removed thither from Watertown, Caml)ridge and Dorches- 
ter, Mass., where they arrived from England. Some of 
them were gray with years, and counted their grand-chil- 
dren. The first settlers called the new plantation New- 
town. This name was probably given by Home of the old 
settlers of Cambridge, Avhich place originally had the same 
name. It received the name of Iladley probably about 
the commencement of the year IGGl — written Ifddlcitili^ixt 
first, after a town by the same name in Sutlulk County, 
England — and, at the May term of the General Court in 
that year, it was ordered that Hadley should be its name. 
At the same time it was ordered " that for the better gov- 
ernment of the people, and suppressing of sins there, some 
meet persons, annually presented by the freemen, shall be 
commissioned and empowered, * * * together with 
the Commissioners of Springfield and Northampton, or tlie 
greater part of them, to keep Courts appointed at Spring- 
field and Northam})ton." They also had sejjarate jurisdic- 
tion in a certain class of cases, with the reservation of a 
right of appeal to the Court at Springfield and Northamp- 
ton. The first Commissioners of Hadley, under this order. 


were Andrew Bacon, Samuel Smith and Mr. William 
Westwood. They were directed to take their oath before 
Mr. Pynchon, who seemed to maintain for himself the 
eminence formerly occupied by his father, in all the early 
settlements of the Valley. Up to this date, and, in fact, 
during his life — through the long period when he was 
sjioken of as the " Worshipful Major Pynchon " — no trans- 
actions of great importance were effected Avithout his 

The name of Mr. Russell, the minister, has already been 
mentioned, as among the original signers of the agreement 
to remove from Wethersfield, and he was also among the 
earliest of the settlers. His appropriate ministrations 
doubtless commehced with his residence, and it is asserted 
that the church organized there was the second regularly 
organized in Western Massachusetts, the church at North- 
ampton having no regular organization until IGGl. Here 
Mr. Eusseil continued his pastoral labors for thirty-three 
years, proving himself a faithful and godly man. But 
neither the Counnissionei's of the General Court, nor the 
Commissioner of Heaven, could entirely " suppress sins " 
among the young people of Hadley ; and we find in a vote 
passed by the town in 1G71, more than ten years after both 
had commenced to exercise the duties of their vocation — 
that it was adjudged necessary, in order to preserve order 
in the sanctuary, that " there shall be some sticks set up in 
the meeting liouse in several places, with some fitt persons 
placed by them, and to use the same as occasion shall re- 
quire, to keepe the youth from disorder." In December, 
of the year 1G61, the to^vn voted to build the structure 
which was the scene of this singular watchfulness. Its 
dimensions Avere 45 feet in length and 24 in breadth, with 
" leanto's " on each side, that would make its entire breadth 
36 feet. This was the third house devoted to the service 
of God in the Connecticut Valley. 

In all three of the early settlements, the first years of 
whose history have been briefly presented, prompt meas- 
ures were taken for the education of youth — the initiative 
of the noblest system of common schools now existing in 
the world. In each of the three, a military company was 
•f^ established and officered, as a measure of defense against 
the possible treachery of the Indians, with whom, thus far, 


they had maintained entire peace. The Indians seem to 
have been on excellent terms with the settlers, notwith- 
standing the fact that they had absorbed their most valua- 
ble lands. They had been treated with fairness, and their 
numbers (much less than many suppose) as well as their 
habits of life, did not allow them to feel the real magnitude 
of the encroachments that had been made. Sometimes 
they were brought before the magistrates for misdemeanors, 
and fined. Ardent spirits and fire-arms were forbidden 
articles in all traffic with them, and cases were not uncom- 
mon in whicli whites were severely fined for selling to 
them the former article. Those who received licences to 
sell strong liquors were forbidden to sell to Indians — a 
measure of mercy to the Indians, and safety to the whites. 
In each of tiiese places the ordinances of religion had been 
established, and on every Sabbath day the voice of prayer 
and the hymn of praise ascended from three rudely built 
sanctuaries. Almost the entire variety of staple crops, 
except potatoes, that now adorn the valley, had come to be 
cv;ltivated then. There were fields of wheat, Indian corn, 
peas, barley, rye and oats. All these plantations were 
weak, and yet they were strong — strong in the excellence 
of their soil, in force of will and purpose, in hardy consti 
tut ions, and in faith in God. 

These settlements, united to each other by constant, 
though still arduous, intercommunication, by common in- 
terests and by subordinate jurisdiction, had grown to such 
importance tliat, in tlie Spring of 1GG2, the General Court 
set them off, with a large extent of unsettled territory, into 
a County, with tlie name of Hampshire. The act con- 
stituting the County follows, in terms : 

" Forasmuch as the inhabitants of this jurisdiction are 
much increased, so that now they are planted far into the 
country, upon Connecticut River, who by reason of their re- 
moteness cannot conveniently be annexed to any of the Coun- 
ties aheady settled ; and that public allairs may with more 
facility be transacted according to laws now established : It is 
ordered by the Court, and authority thereof, that henceforth 
Springfiekl, Northampton and Ihulley shall be, and hereby 
are, constituted as a County, the bounds or limits on the South 
to be the South line of the patent, the extent of other bounds 
to be full 30 miles distant from any or either of the foresaid 
towns : and what towns or villages soever shall hereafter be 


erected within the foresaid limits to be and belong to the said 
County. And further, that the said County shall be called 
Hampshire, and shall have and enjoy the liberties and privi- 
leges of any other County ; that Springfield shall be the shire 
town there, and the Courts to be kept one time in Springfield 
and another time at Northampton ; the like order to be ob- 
served for their shire meetings, that is to say, one year at one 
town and the next year at the other town, from time to time. 
The Deputies have passed this, with reference to the consent 
of the honored Magistrates. 
16 (day) 3 (month) 1662. 

William Torrey, Clericus. 

" The Magistrates do consent hereto, and do further order 
that all the inhabitants of the shire shall pay their public rates 
to the County Treasurer in fat cattle or young cattle, such as 
are fit to be put off, that so, no unnecessary damage be put on 
the County, and in case they make payment in corn, then to 
be made at such prices as the same do commonly pass 
amongst themselves, any other form or annual order, referring 
to the price of corn, to the contrary notwithstanding. Their 
brethren, the Deputies, hereto consenting. 

Edward Rawson, Sec'y. 

" Consented to by the Deputies, 

William Torrey, Cleric." 

Thus roughly, nnd thus indefinitely, were the boundaries 
of Hampshire County described. These boundaries were 
not curtailed until many years later, when "Worcester 
County was formed, and still later when the County of 
Berksliire was erected. The Court of Assistants in Bos- 
ton held appellate jurisdiction in all cases brought before 
the somewhat irregular Courts of the new County, and 
primary jurisdiction in all criminal cases extending to 
"life, member or banishment." The County Court, pos- 
sessing no great degree of legal ability, were not likely to 
be greatly troubled with attorneys more learned than them- 
selves, for the General Court had enacted a rule which, 
whether intended for that purpose or not, made, or tended 
to make, the profession of law contemptible. No person 
who was " a usual or common attorney " could hold a seat 
in the House of Deputies. This rule was adopted in 1663, 
about a year after the establishment of the County. 

The payment of the County rates in cattle and corn 
■I* rendered necessary a more convenient method of trans- 
portation than the upper plantations had hitherto enjoyed. 


Increasing ability to carry out works for facilitating inter- 
course between the settlers, the advancing wants of a 
rising population, and over-production, Avere all felt, and, 
in 1663, a road was made between Hadley and Northamp- 
ton, a distance of three miles. In the following year, a 
road was laid out to Windsor from Northampton, ujjwards 
of thirty miles, the expenses of which were borne by the 
three towns in equitable proportions. Over this road was 
transported the produce to the point where it could be 
shipped for Boston. The freight from Windsor to Boston, 
or Charlestown, amounted to the price of one-third of the 
cargo, in an instance that is left on record, while the land 
transport could not have amounted to much less. The 
changes of two hundred years, in view of these facts, may 
readily be appreciated by the present generation. 



Completion op the First Line op Settlements on 
THE Connecticut River — Incidents op Interest. 

There are some facts connected with the manner in 
which New England was settled, in its earlier days, that 
are worthy of mention in connection with the mode pur- 
sued in later times, and still followed in the advancing set- 
tlements of the West. In consequence of the isolated 
condition of the settlements at that day, and the danger 
from the surrounding savages, the settlers always planted 
themselves together, in villages. While this method an- 
swered the immediate purpose for which it was designed, 
the ends incidentally secured were of far greater imjjor- 
tance than were then dreamed of. All the inhabitants 
were, in that manner, brought under the immediate influ- 
ence of the ordinances of religion, the children lived by 
the side of the school house, and the social features of civ- 
ilized life were retained and cultivated. The Connecticut 
Valley now bears the marks of this ancient policy, not 
only in the accumulation of its inhabitants at scattered 
points, but in the morality, education and urbanity that, by 
a natural consequence, prevail among them. The influ- 
ence of this policy can only be fully appreciated when 
standing by the side of the solitary settler's hut in the 
West, where even an Eastern man has degenerated to a 
boor in manners, where his children have grown up uned- 
ucated, and Avhere the Sabbath has become an unknown 
day, and religion and its obligations have ceased to exer- 
cise control upon the heart and life. The appearance pre- 
sented at this day, by the towns first settled on the Con- 
necticut River, is unique. All the towns containing at- 
tractive interval lands are not occupied by farms, as the 
word is popularly understood. The inhabitants live in vil- 
lages, and have their home-lots, their meadow lots, their 
upland lots, and their Avood-land, while in the towns in 
^heir vicinity more recently settled, the farmers generally 
' nold tracts undivided, and live upon them separately. 


This settlement in villages, however, in connection with 
the want of operative general laws, produced a large 
amount of local legislation, and created a great number of 
offices. The rules and regulations of these early towns 
were numerous and minute. In IG-iD, the inhabitants of 
Springfield adopted a code of laws, or regulations, number- 
ing twenty-eight, in which there Avas hardly a thing name- 
able in the plantation that passed unmentioned. It de- 
scended even to the regulation of wages, and the prescribing 
the number of pence per day to be paid for every kind of 
labor. During the Winter months, laborei'S were not al- 
lowed to take above IGd. per day, and for the Summer 
months, not more than 20d. per day. Mechanics had some- 
what higher wages, and tailors the lowest of all — 12d. per 
day. One of the regulations made it a finable offense to 
neglect attendance upon the annual town meetings, and 
another imposed a high penalty on any one Avho should re- 
fuse to accept an office to which he might be elected. The 
town offices were many, but many of them are now obso- 
lete, or are considered nominal. There was some variation 
in the names and nature of the offices established in the 
first towns. In Spi'ingfield, there was a general " swine- 
rhiger," whose business it was to "ring" all the swine in 
the town, doubtless because they were allowed to run at 
large. Iladley in after years had the same officer. Be- 
sides the Commissioners " for the ending of small causes," 
and the " select townsmen," there were usually measurers 
of land, constables, surveyors of highways, fence viewers, 
meat packers, tythingmen, sealers of weights and measures, 
hay wards (hog-reeves and field-drivers), sextons, in some 
instances cow keepers and shepherds, and, at a later day, 
deer-reeves. The latter were chosen to carry out a law of 
the colony against killing deer at certain seasons of the 
year. Springfield sent a deputy (Henry Smith,) to the 
General Court as early as 1641. The first deputy from 
Hadley was Lt. Samuel Smith, who was chosen in 1661. 
Northampton sent her first deputy about the same yeai\ 
The uniform pay of a deputy seems to have been £4 per 
session, and this sum did not come from the Colonial Treas- 
ury, but from the towns themselves. The practice of send- 
ing deputies to the General Court, who were non-residents, 
was not confined to Springfield. Northampton and Had- 


ley sometimes sent deputies belonging in Boston, or its 
vicinity, for the purpose, doubtless, of saving expense. In 
1663, Northampton chose deputies from Hadley, and the 
latter town, in 1669, cliose a deputy from Northampton. 

At the date of the establishment of Hampshire County, 
Springfield had made grants of land at Woronoco (West- 
field), and Freshwater (Enfield, Ct.), and at each of those 
places small settlements had been commenced. As early 
as 1655, at least nine house lots were granted by Spring- 
field on " Chicopee Plain," on the West side of the river, 
in the present town of West Springfield. About 1660, 
Thomas Cooj^er, Abel Leonard and Thomas Merrick, set- 
tled on the South-west side of the Agawam river. At a 
still earlier date — about 1644 — settlements were made at 
Masacksick, or the " long meadow," in the present tovra of 
Longmeadow. Benjamin Cooley, George Colton and John 
Keep were among the first who planted themselves in that 
locality, near the bank of the river. Their descendents in 
this -purt of the country are numerous. All these settle- 
ments were made within the recognized limits of Spring- 
field, and wei'e within its jurisdiction. Settlements were 
also made in the vicinity of Chicopee River, and at the 
October term of the General Court, " Richard Fellows pe- 
titioned for a grant of 200 acres of land at Chicopee River, 
upland and meadow, engaging in consideration thereof, to 
build a house there for travelers, both horse room and 
house, and lodgings for men, and provisions for both, with 
beer and strong liquors." His petition was granted, on 
condition that he should keep his engagements, and main- 
tain his establishment for seven years. The latter fact 
shows that considerable communication had been com- 
menced between the settlements, and that it was so consid- 
erable that the General Court deemed it important that it 
should have road-side accommodations. 

At the May Court, 1662, certain gentlemen who appear 
to have belonged in Windsor and Dorchester, presented a 
petition, representing themselves to be much in want of 
land, and asking for a tract six miles square at Woronoco, 
to be joined with the farms of " the late much honored 
IVIaj. Gen. Atherton and Capt. Roger Clapp of Dorchester," 
to whom it appears grants had previously been made by 
the Court. This petition was signed by fifteen individuals. 



The Deputies voted to grant the petition, and decreed that 
the farms alluded to should belong to the plantation, in re- 
spect to public charges, and that " the order for Woronoco 
henceforth to lie to Springfield should be void," provided 
the petitioners should settle themselves and a minister 
within three years : otherwise the land was to belong to 
Springfield until a plantation should be settled there. The 
Deputies also appointed Capt. Pynchon, Capt. Edward 
Jolmson, David Wilton, Samuel Smith and Nathaniel 
Dickinson, Sr., to set out the plantation, and order its 
affairs until twelve inhabitants should be settled, of whom 
six, at least, should be freemen. To this arrangement the 
magistrates disagreed, who deemed it best to appoint a 
Commission to view the territory, and report. But this 
scheme seems to have entirely miscarried, as no considera- 
ble settlement occurred there until IGGG, and among tJiose 
who held titles confirmed by a residence of five years, 
thereafter, the name of but one of the petitioners can be 
found, viz : George Phelps, who emigrated from Windsor. 
The majority of the settlers were from Springfield, and 
others were from Northampton. At a town meeting held 
at Springfield, Feb. 7th, IGCl, Capt. Pynchon, Elizur IIol- 
yoke and Messrs. Ely, Colton and Cooley were appointed 
a standing committee " to have the sole power to order 
matters concerning Woronoco, both for admitting of inhab- 
itants and to grant lands, or for any other business that 
may concern that place, and conduce to its becoming a 
town of itself." By a vote of Springfield, Thomas Cooper 
had a grant of land in Woronoco in 1G'>8, l)ut his settle- 
ment on the Agawam River in IGGO indicates that he did 
not occupy it, iind, in fact, his name does not appeal- among 
those who held confirmed land titles at a later date. Nei- 
ther does the name of Dea. Samuel Chapin, to whom a 
grant was made in 16G0,of land adjoinmg Cooper's, appear 
in this list. It is evident that neither occupied his grant 
even temporarily. The first individual born in Woronoco 
was Benjamin Saxton, in IGGG, and he lived to the good 
old age of 88 years. Meetings were first held on the 
Sabbath in 1667. Among tlie early residents was INIr. 
John Ilolyoke, son of Elizur llolyoke of Springfield, and 
he conducted public worship. He was at that time twen- 
ty-five years old. He was a graduate of Harvard College, 



and had studied theology with a view to a life devoted to 
the ministry. In this intention he did not persevere, and, 
soon after the death of his father, in the Winter of 1675-6, 
he returned to the old homestead in Springfield, where he 
spent the remainder of a long life, in celibacy, and in de- 
votion to the public service in the various offices of Town 
Clerk, Register of Deeds for Hampshire county, and Mag- 
istrate. Mr. Moses Fiske subsequently preached at Wo- 
ronoco, as a candidate for settlement, but a church was not 
organized until 1679, when Mr. Edward Taylor, the grand- 
father of the late President Stiles of Yale College, was 
ordained as pastor. 

Woronoco was incorporated as a town, with the name of 
Westfield, in 1669. The name originally proposed for the 
new town was Streamfield, from its situation between two 
streanis, but from the fact that it was then the Westernmost 
town in the colony, it received the name which it now 
bears. From the fact that Westfield was one of the best, 
if not the best, localities for beaver, known to the Indians 
and the settlers, it was probably more abundantly fre- 
quented by the Indians than any settlement in the Valley. 
The skins of the beaver were ahnost the only thmgs that 
the Indians had to sell to the settlers. Being constantly in 
want of articles obtainable for these skins, they naturally 
sought out the resorts of their important game. More 
skins came from Woronoco than any other locality, and 
the occupation must have concentrated a large number of 
Indians there. Mr. Pynchon of Springfield was largely 
engaged in the trade, under license from the General Court, 
and it all passed through his hands. The opinion in re- 
gard to the plentifulness of the Indians at Woronoco is 
confirmed by the manner in which the settlement was ar- 
ranged. At first the settlers seem to have lived in com- 
mons, although they cultivated each his separate tract of 
land.^ They lodged in a fort every night, and fled to it by 
day, in case of alarm. Around this fort, for a circuit of 
two miles, the land Avas strongly inclosed, and within this 
inclosure were afterwards erected all their dwellings. 

Physicians, m the olden time, do not appear to have 
been very plenty, and none of the settlements, thus far 
jfiade, seems to have enjoyed the services of one at so early 
a date as Westfield. George Filer, who, in 1665, was al- 


lowed by the County Court at Northampton, " to practice 
as a chirurgeon," left Northampton soon afterwards, and in 
16G7 settled in Wcstfield. Hei-e he lived a few years, and 
then removed to Connecticut. Northampton had no sur- 
geon within its limits, except during the temporary resi- 
dence of Mr. Filer, from 1654 to 1730 — a period of sev- 
enty-six years. The reason of this did not exist in the 
exemption of the settlers from disease and accident, but in 
the fact that no one settlement could support a surgeon, 
and thus, such surgeons as were to be found had a wide 
and not over-profitable circuit of practice. Dr. John West- 
carr settled in Hadley in 1666, but eked out his living by 
engaging in trade, and doubtless alternately sold knives to 
the Indians and used them upon the whites. It is a matter 
of regret that he did not confine his dispensation of medi- 
cine to the whites, as a brace of fines for selling liquor to 
the Indians must have interfered somewhat seriously with 
ais profits as well as reputation. After his death, some 
ten years subsequent to his settlement, Hadley had no 
physician for thirty-two years. Notwithstanding the early 
want and limited practice of physicians in tliese settle- 
ments, a greater number ai-rived to an advanced age, in 
proportion to the population, than at the present. The 
cause may possibly lie in present mal-jiractice, but more 
probably in the out-of-door pursuits and simple mode of 
living that then prevailed, in contradistinction from the 
high living and sedentary employments of later days. 

The loose manner in which grants of land were made 
by the General Court produced early disturbance at Had- 
ley. Immediately after, or within a year or tAvo of the 
settlement of Hadley, the Court granted considerable tracts 
of valuable land to Mr. Bradstreet and Major Dennison. 
Mr. Bradstreet's grant embraced almost the whole of tlie 
Northei'n meadow in the present town of Hatfield, then 
belonging to Hadley. There is some evidence that Mr. 
]>radstreet's grant was made previously to that made to the 
settlers of Hadley, though, from the wording of a petition 
presented to the jCourt by Hadley, the ojjposite opinion ap- 
pears to have prevailed with its inhabitants. The people 
of Hadley pleaded injustice on the part of the Court, and 
that body requested the owners of these tracts to resign 
their claims, with which request they complied ; and then 


tlie Court changed the form of the grant by re-conveying 
the land to them in farms, which made them ratable in the 
payment of town charges. This was by no means satis- 
factory, as Hadley wanted the ownershiij of the lands for 
distribution to settlers. In this matter, they had the sym- 
pathy of their Northampton neighbors, thirty -five of whom 
petitioned the General Court in their behalf, representing 
that they had a hard time, mean accommodations, and 
ought to have more land. They also represented that 
there was danger of the breaking up of the plantation, and 
the consequent loss to the petitioners of Christian neigh- 
borhood. The people of Hadley united in a most spirited 
declaration to the Court, which breathed a tone of inde- 
pendence, that, judging from the closing language of the 
document, nearly frightened themselves. In this declara- 
tion they referred to the grant of land made to them by 
the Court, and their contidence in the integrity of that 
body as witnessed in their removal and settlement. They 
stated that a committee of faithful men was employed to 
lay out the plantation, who attended to their duty, and that 
all they asked for was what that committee, with full pow- 
er, awarded them. They professed their -inability to^ see 
how the Court could take from them Avhat it had given 
them, and asserted that the granting of a portion of their 
lands to these two gentlemen had discouraged certain in- 
dividuals in Connecticut from coming to settle, in accord- 
ance with their intentions. Their declaration concludes in 
these words : " Had the Honored Court told us, Avhen we 
first moved for a place, they looked upon us as not worthy 
of it, or that they would not give it to us, or that there 
should be such farms and we should have the remainder ; 
or when it was given for farms that it must so remam and 
there was no reason to alter it, we should have had no such 
cause of hard thoughts, but having had such, so long con- 
tinued, and successive encouragement, now to have it 
taken from us, wlien it was under us, how hard is it to keep 
out such thoughts, or to forbear supplicating to men and 
crying in the ears of the Lord for pity and help in our 
need." The two grantees were not dispossessed of their 
lands, notwithstanding the urgency of this plea, and, in 
/»iG64, Hadley sent Lt. Samuel Smith to Boston to pur- 
chase the meadow of Mr. Bradstreet, and he bought and 


paid £200 for it. Mr. Bradstreet still retained a thousand 
acres, which, vnth Major Dennison's farm, were denomi- 
nated " The Fai-ms," for many years, and were ultimately 
divided up and sold. 

But the rich lands on the West side of the river did not 
long remain in a position to affoi-d distress to the people of 
Hadley. The original settlement on the West side em- 
braced six of the first settlers of Hadley, and, as the allot- 
ments of homesteads on the East side were perfected at 
first, the new comers probably took up their residence on 
the West side. The settlement in a few years became of 
considerable strength and importance, and as the Connec- 
ticut river was seen to form a natural town boundary, it 
aspired to the dignity and advantage of incorporation. It 
was accordingly incorporated in 1G70, with the name of 
Hatfield, and chose town officers for the first time in 1671. 
The commissioners for ending small causes were Thomas 
Meekins, William AUis and John Cole. During the same 
year. Rev. Hope Atherton, a graduate of Harvard Col- 
lege in 1665, united with the inhabitants in requesting of 
the County court liberty " to enter into Church estate," 
and leave was accordingly granted. Blr. Atherton was 
the first minister, and fulfilled the duties of his office until 
1677, when he died, at the early age of 33. In 1672, 
Hatfield added to its territory in a Northerly direction by 
purchasing of the Indians the tract now covered by the 
town of Whately, the price paid being fifty fathom of 
wampum. By the Indian deed conveying to Jolm Pyuchon 
(who acted for the settlers at Hadley) a considerable part 
of the territory now embraced in the bounds of Williams- 
burg, that also belonged to Hatfield. Thus was a large 
and important toAvn erected, tliough we have no record of 
its representation in the General couit for a period of 
twenty years after its incorporation. 

During tlie process of the separation of Hatfield from 
Hadley, an important settlement was in progress at a point 
higher up, and on the same side of the river. Pocomtuck 
was the Indian name of the region above Hatfield, and, of 
this territory, the General court granted, in 1669, eight 
thousand acres, to a number of individuals of Dedham, in 
the Eastern part of the Massachusetts colony. This land 
embraced a considerable portion of the valuable interval 


on tlie Pocomtuck (now Deerfield) river, and extended 
Southward to the Northern bounds of Hatfield. Subse- 
quent grants extended the Western limits of the planta- 
tion nine miles from the Connecticut, co-incident with the 
"Western boundaries of Northampton and Hatfield, and 
Northward to the Southern boundary of the present town 
of Bernardston. Within this large tract are now contain- 
ed the towns of Deerfield, Greenfield, Shelburne, Conway 
and Gill. It is doubtful whether the Indian title to any 
very large portion of this tract was ever extinguished. 
The land on which the settlement was made, with the 
interval in the vicinity, was, however, purchased of the 
Indians by John Pynchon of Springfield, " for the use and 
behoof of Major Eleazer Lusher, Ensign Daniel Fisher 
and other English at Dedham, their associates and succes- 
ors." The deed was signed by Chauk, the sachem of the 
Pocomtuck Indians, and his brother Wapahoale, and was 
made in 1665, several years previous to the grant made 
by the General court. In this deed there were, as, in fact, 
was the case in most of the Indian deeds which had been 
given on the river, certain privileges reserved by the 
Indians, such as fishing aiKl hunting on the territory as 
before the sale, and "the gathering of walnuts, chestnuts 
and other nuts and things on the commons." A considera- 
ble number of settlers arrived at Pocomtuck in 1670, and, 
within four years thereafter, several houses had been erect- 
ed. At the session of the General court, May, 1673, the 
territory was "allowed to be a township," but it was not 
regularly incorporated until May 24th, 1682. The order- 
ing of the affairs of the plantation, for the first few years 
of its existence, was intrusted to a Committee, with which 
'Mr. Pynchon was associated, both as a voting member and 
a counsellor in the laying out of lands and the general 
conduct of affairs. Pocomtuck took the name of Deer- 
field, and was the first town in the valley that could give a 
good and sufficient reason for its name. The name chosen 
by Westfield could only have a temporary significance, 
while the four towns of Springfield, Northampton, Hadley 
and Hatfield were named in honor of English towns. To 
have retained the name " Pocomtuck," would have been in 
<'*better taste, but " Deerfield" holds a slight appreciable 
connection with early local history. The settlement was 


made on the site of the present " Old Deerfield-strcet," and 
formed the scene in subsequent years of some of the most 
stkring and painful events of the Indian wars. Tiiere was 
no settled minister in the town until 1686, when Mr. John 
Williams assumed the duties of that office at a yearly sal- 
ary of £60. The worthy minister lived a hfe of marvel- 
lous vicissitudes (as will in the regular course of the nar- 
rative appear,) until, in the forty-eighth year of his ministry, 
he was laid to rest. 

In 1672 — two years after the settlement of Deerfield — 
Mr. Pynchon, with a number of associates, received the 
grant of a township on the Connecticut River, covering a 
tract known by the Indian name of Squakheag. The tract 
was twelve miles in length, by six in breadth, lying on both 
sides of the river, and, running Northward, passed by mis- 
take over the line of the Massachusetts patent, and entered 
the present States of Vei*mont and New Ilanqishire. The 
hriet' record is that " the planters built small liuts and cov- 
ered them with thatch ; made a place for public worship, 
and built a stockade and fort." The first settlement of 
Squakheag was made in 167o, by individuals from North- 
ampton, Hadley and Hatfield, and the place received the 
name of Northfield, from the fact that it was then the 
Northern settlement on tlie Connecticut. The history of 
this settlement, weak at the best, was brief, and its end dis- 
astrous. At the time of the settlement of Northfield, the - 
Eastern colonists of Massachusetts Bay had pushed their 
settlements "Westward, and had advanced one into the wil- 
derness, half way to the Connecticut Iliver. This was at 
Quaboag — the present town of Brookfield — and noAV be- 
longing to the county of Worcester. That town was em- 
braced within the original boundaries of Hampshire County. 
The settlement was made in 1660, by planters from Ipswich, 
Avho had a grant of territory six miles squai-e. Tliey, too, 
took cai'e to purchase their land of the natives, and dealt 
with them honorably. In 1673, the town was incorporated. 

From the settlement of Springfield in 1636, to that of 
Northfield in 1673, a period of thirty-seven years liad 
passed away. During this long season of toil and hard- 
ship, a string of settlements, extending along the Connec- 
ticut Iliver across the entire breadth of the Massacliusetts 
patent, had been made. Springfield sat astride the river 


at tlie South, and Nortlifield was divided by the same stream 
at the North, while intermediately, Northampton, Hatfield 
and Deerfield occupied the western bank, and Hadley the 
eastern. Westfield was alone, some eight miles west of 
Springfield. From Springfield to Northampton, and the 
neighbors who had settled within her sight, the distance 
was twenty miles, and from Northfield and Deerfield it was 
nearly the same distance to the centi'al, trefoil cluster. 
There are no data by which may be definitely estimated 
the aggregate population of these towns at the date of the 
settlement of Northfield. It is recorded that there were 
71 qualified voters in Springfield, but as all who were of 
the age to vote, according to present laws, were not " free- 
men," or voters, then, any calculation based on this number 
must be unsatisfactory. The town had not increased so 
rapidly as Northampton, but it probably contained a greater 
number of inhabitants. The number of settlers in North- 
ampton was, according to the records, about one hundred, 
and allowing three to the family of each settler, which 
would seem to be a reasonably estimated average, that town 
contained 400 inhabitants. Hatfield and Hadley probably 
contained from 200 to 400 more, Avhile Westfield, Deerfield 
and Northfield contained an aggregate, perhaps, of two 
hundred. Fifteen hundred would doubtless be an extrav- 
agant estimate of the white population of the Valley at the 
idate stated, and the majority of these were dejiendents. 
The Indian inhabitants, as has already been incidentally 
stated, were not numerous, and calculation is entirely at 
fault in giving even an approximate estimate of their num- 
ber. All the land occupied by the settlers had been fairly 
purchased of them, they were well treated, and found it 
for their advantage, in the way of trade, to maintain amica- 
ble relations with their new neighbors. Though allowed 
to govern themselves in their small, independent commu- 
nities, they did not hesitate to claim justice at the hands of 
the magistrates, when they had received injury from the 
whites, nor did they, as a body, demur to magisterial au- 
thority when any of their number were detected in acts of 
aggression upon the settlers, though the latter rarely used 
^ violence in securing their persons. In some instances, the 
^ magistrates, in issuing a warrant for the arrest of an In- 
dian, gave special instructions to the constable to abstain 


from force. It will have been seen that Mr. Pynchon wag 
engaged in nearly every important transaction with the 
Indians of the Valley, and it was doubtless due to his just 
and considerate policy that, for nearly forty yeai's, the set- 
tlers lived in perfect peace in the midst of an Indian pop- 
ulation. In this policy, Mr. Pynchon took his first and 
most important lessons from his father, of whose opinion 
the General Court, in one remarkable instance, practically 
testified their appreciation. In 1648, two or three of the 
Quaboag tribe were murdered by several wandering sav- 
ages, who repaired for refuge to the Nonotucks, in the re- 
gion of !Nortluunpton. At the instance of the Nashua 
Indians, acting for the Quaboags, the Massachusetts magis- 
trates wrote to the elder Pynchon, directing him to cause 
the arrest of the murderers, and to transmit them to Bos- 
ton for triaL Mr. Pynchon disagreed to this policy, and 
wrote a letter to tlie magistrates, of which the following is 
an extract : " If things be well examined, I apprehend that 
neither the murthered are your subjects, nor yet the mur- 
therers within your jurisdiction. I grant they are within 
the line of your patent, but yet, you "cannot say that tliey 
are therefore your subjects ; nor yet witliin your jurisdic- 
tion, until they have fully subjected themselves to your 
Government, (which I know they have not) and until you 
have bought their land. Until this be done, they must be 
esteemed an independent people, and so they of' Nonotuck 
do all account themselves." The magistrates saw the force 
of this reasoning, and declined all further action in the 
matter. '' 

The Indians wei'e not only treated on these broad and 
general principles of justice, but they were allowed re- 
markable privileges ujion the very territory that had been 
purchased of them. They had their little villages of wig- 
wams on land bclonirin<r to the towns, and held lliem undis- 
turbed. There was one of these villages near Pecowsic 
brook at the southern border of Springfield, and another on 
the banks of tlie Agawam. On " long hill," a mile and a 
half south of the settlement, they had a strong fortress. 
During the earlier days of Northampton, they asked the 
privilege of building a fort. Their request was granted, 
on conditions looking so considerately to the good of the 
Indians and the safety of the settlers, that they may not 



pass unnoticed. The conditions were — " that the Indians 
do not work, game, or carry burdens within their town on 
the Sabbath ; nor powow here nor anywhere else ; nor get 
liquor, nor cider, nor get drunk ; nor admit Indians from 
without the town ; nor break doAvn the fences of the inhab- 
itants ; nor let cattle or swine upon their fields, but go over 
a stile at one place ; nor admit among them the murderers 
Calawane, Wuttowhan and Pacquallant ; nor hunt, or kill 
cattle, sheep, or swine Avith their dogs." This fort they 
occupied for several years, and, as the settlements crowded 
upon them, they removed to Pascommuck, (now Easthamp- 
ton,) where they built another fort. They had a fort in 
Hadley, of wliich " Fort River" and " Fort Meadow" are 
to-day the abiding mementos, and about a mile above Hat- 
field, they held another fortification. 

The Indians who inhabited the Valley, in squads that 
passed under different names, could not pretend to tlie dig- 
nity of distinct tribes. They all spoke the same language, 
and took their names from the localities they inhabited. 
Thus, tliere were the Agawaras at Springfield, the Woron- 
okes at Westfield, the Nonotucks at Northampton and Had- 
ley, the Pocomtucks at Deerfield, and tlie Squakheags at 
Northfield. The settlement of the whites, at the very 
points inhabited by these various hordes, simply shows that 
both races knew where the best land existed. All these 
Indians were sometimes called Pocomtucks, and the Po- 
comtucks proper, according to Gookin, were under the 
dominion of the sachem of the Massachusetts Nation. 
However this may be, they seem to have operated subse- 
quently with entire independence of superior authority. 

The uniform policy of the settlers, from the first, was to 
keep liquor and fire-anus from these saAage clans. All 
their laAvs were very sti-ict upon the subject. Neverthe- 
less, the frequent fines imposed upon those Avho engaged in 
the liquor traffic with them show that their laws Avere of 
but little avail. This Avas further evidenced in their drunk- 
enness, and the moral debasement consequent upon it. The 
heaviest penalties imposed upon the illegal traffic could 
not check it. In some instances, offenders were fined £4:0, 
and even £44 — large sums for those days, and more than 
■'were paid for Avhole tOAvnships of land — yet, notwithstand- 
ing this, drunkenness became fearfully prevalent. The 


records of the Court of Hampshire County, in 1G70, bear 
these words : " The woful drunkenness of the Indians calls 
aloud to use the most laudable means to prevent that sin 
among them." They had somehow, too, become possessed 
of fire-arms, though it is not obvious how. There are 
always unprincipled men enough, anywhere, to engage in 
a contraband traflic, and an Indian would doubtless give 
five times the value of a fire-arm in beaver skins, in order 
to secure an implement so exactly adapted to his mode of 
life. Under such a temptation as this, it is not strange that 
cupidity should have found means to place within their 
power an agency which rum, or a fancied provocation, 
would render so dangerous to the settlers. 

Thouo;h livinjj in almost unrestrained intercourse with 
the Indians, the planters knew the native treachery of their 
character, and had provided for the possibility of its exhi- 
bition, fi-om the first. In every town, there were fortified 
houses. There were three in Springfield, one of which, 
built of brick by John Pynchon, in 1C60, remained stand- 
ing until 1831, as has been already stated. The manner 
in which Westfield was fortified has already been described. 
It was thus with every settlement. The fort and the meet- 
ing house were the essentials in every plantation. On the 
14th of November, 1G39, among other orders and regula- 
tions adopted at Springfield was the following : " It is or- 
dered that the exercise of trayning shall be practised one 
day in every month ; and if occasion doe sometimes hin- 
der, then the like space of tyme sliall l)e oV)served another 
tyme, though it be two days after one another. And who- 
soever shall absent himself without a lawful excuse sliall 
forfeit twelve pence, and all above fifteen years of age shall 
be counted for soldiers, and the tyme to begin, the first 
Thursday in December next." Henry Smith was appoint- 
ed Sergeant of this company, with jiower to choose a cor- 
])oral. This was, of course, a military force comprising all 
the available strength of the plantation. The Northamp- 
ton planters prol)ably had some kind of a military organi- 
zation before their first regular company of militia was 
formed, which was in August, 1661 — seven years after 
tlK'ir settlement. Hadley attended to this business earlier 
in its history, and organized a company in 1663, choosing 
Samuel Smith, Lieutenant, Aaron Cooke Jr. ensign bearer, 


John Dickinson and Joseph Kellogg sergeants, and Jolin 
Russell, the father of the minister there, the clerk. 

The earlier military organizations seem to have been 
voluntary on the part of the towns, and without special 
regulation on the part of the Colonial Government. In 
16-43, the league or union of the New England Colonies — 
Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven — 
was effected, by which all wars, offensive or defensive, 
were made chargeable upon the respective colonies in pro- 
portion to their male inhabitants between sixteen and sixty 
years of age. This arrangement, made for mutual defense 
and assistance, naturally called for an efficient organiza- 
tion of the militia, and, accordingly, in 1G44, the Massa- 
chusetts colony enacted a series of regulations for the mili- 
tia, and established an organization. At this time, there 
were twenty-six training bands in the colony, who, by the 
new laws, were ordered to be exercised and drilled eight 
days in the year. The officers of the several companies 
were made elective by the members. The companies of 
each county comprised a regiment, over which was placed 
a " Sergeant ISIajor," and over the whole was placed a 
" Sergeant Major General." The commander-in-chief and 
the commanders of regiments Avere under appointment of 
the General Court. "The first Major General was the 
much honored Thomas Dudley Esquire, whose faithfulness, 
and great zeal, and love to the truths of Christ, caused the 
people to choose him to this office, although he were far 
stricken in years." At this date, Hampshire County was 
not in existence, but some years after its establishment, in 
1671, Capt. .John P^Tichon, who had previously held the 
command of the Springfield company, and also of the 
" Hampshire Troop" — a company of horse, having its mem- 
bers in all parts of the county — was appointed commander 
of tlie river regiment. In tliis command he received the 
title of " Major," to which popular veneration subsequently 
prefixed the word " Worshipful." 

It was under this colonial league and this military organ- 
ization that a new and most important era commenced with 
the settlements on the Connecticut River — a period of war, 
disaster and moral and physical distress — a period during 
/which was shed much precious blood, and which resulted 
in the banishment of the native tribes, and the peaceful 
occupation of their lands by the settlers. 


King Philip's War — The Campaign of 1675. 

After the destruction and reduction of the Pequot In- 
dians, in 1037, the Narragansets, who were allies of" the 
English in the Pequot war, and whose territory was prin- 
cipally in the present State of Rhode Island, became, from 
not very obvious causes, inimical to them. Uncas, the 
sacheni of the Mohegans, had manifested his good will 
towards the English, and had their confidence, in conse- 
quence of whic'li, iMiantouomo, the chief of the Narragan- 
sets, was undoubtedly aftected Avith jealousy. Miantonomo 
was also offended at the distribution of the Pequots among 
the tribes after their reduction, he supposing that that mat- 
ter would be left to him. The malice engendered by these 
and other considerations expended itself, through a series 
of years, in indignities upon the Mohegans. Miantonomo 
endeavored, by every subtle stratagem, to destroy Uncas, 
and the English always taking the part of the latter, he 
began also to plot against them. In 1642, he was sus- 
pected of having contrived a genei'al conspiracy to cut off 
all the English in the country. The conspiracy was dis- 
covered through various sources, but the wily chief ap- 
jieared before the magistrates at l^oston, made smooth pro- 
lessions, and signed a treaty in which he yielded all that 
was asked. In 10-43, making war upon Uncas, he was 
taken prisoner, and, by the consent of the commissioners 
of the four colonies, lost his head. This did not placate 
his tribe, who became, in 104.5 and 1040, so insolent that 
the colonies determined to make war upon them, but suc- 
ceeded, without shedding blood, in over-awing them. 

Massasoit, the chief of the Wampanoags, and the high- 
est in authority among numerous petty tribes in his vicin- 
ity, is immortalized in American history for having kept 
his faith, originally pledged to the settlers at Plymouth, in 
1621, for the long pei'iod of forty-one years, or until his 
death which occurred in 1002. His princijjal 'residence 
was at Mount Hope, in the present town of Bristol, Rhode 
Island. Dying, he left two sons — Alexander and Philip. 

78 KING PniLIP's WAR. 

The former succeeded to the dignities of his, father, but 
died the same year, when Philip became the sachem. In 
almost every quality of mind and property of constitution, 
Philip was the antipodes of his father. Jealous, daring, 
brave, indomitable, and possessing remarkable sagacity, he 
formed the strongest possible contrast to the mild and 
faithful old chieftain who, before his death, took both him 
and his immediate predecessor before the English, and 
expressed the desire that between them and the English 
there might never be other than relations of amity. For 
some eight or nine years after the accession of Philip to 
the chieftainship, but little is heard of him, save in busi- 
ness transactions with the English, involving the transfer 
of his lands. During this time, however, and in those 
very transactions, he saw with prophetic forecast, the scep- 
ter departing from his hand, and his lands absorbed by 
strangers. During this time, too, his power had been 
increased by the acquisition of English arms, and by the 
confirmatiou of friendly relations with the Narragansets, 
established before the death of Massasoit. The Narragan- 
sets were powerful, and hated the English, a fact most 
favorable to any schemes which Philip might devise 
against the latter. And these schemes did not long slum- 
ber. Skilled beyond savage diplomacy in deception, pos- 
sessing a mental power that, among the various tribes, 
cari'ied with it great influence, brave even to ferocity, 
jealous of the English, and ambitious in proportion to the 
strength of his intellect, it is not strange that, trampling 
upon treaties, he should conceive the design of annihilating 
the English settlements in New England. Li 1670, his 
Indians were engaged in many suspicious movements. 
They frequently held assemblies, and were engaged in 
repairing their arms, and grinding their hatchets. There 
was evidently a nursing of ill blood towards the English 
among them, which found vent in occasional insults. The 
Plymouth colony demanded of them the cause of such 
proceedings, and at the same time informed Massachusetts 
of the step they had taken. The latter dispatched three 
messengers who, with the Governor and two other gentle- 
men of Plymouth, met at Taunton, where, after considera- 
ble difficulty, they succeeded in bringing Philip to negotia- 
mons. After every possible equivocation, he confessed his 
designs upon the English. Owing, doubtless, to the imper- 


fection of his plans, lie consented to deliver up his English 
arms, numbering some seventy muskets, and signed an 
acknowledgement of his breach of faith and a renewed 
promise of fidelity. Once out of this troublesome pres- 
ence, he forgot all his promises, and refused to come to 
Plymouth when sent for. The policy of Plymouth, all 
this time, was to go to war with him, but they were held 
in check by the more moderate counsels of Massachusetts. 
Philip took advantage of the e\adent dislike of Massachu- 
setts to engage in war, and "happening to come to Bos- 
ton" on the very day an impatient message was received 
from Plymouth, he appeared before the Governor, and 
represented atfairs so favorably, and with such apparent 
fairness, that the Governor and Council wrote back to 
Plymouth, urging that Government to lefer the matter be- 
tween it and i'hilip for amicable settlement. Philip, while 
at Boston, promised not to enter into war with Plymouth 
without the approval of Massachusetts. Very soon after 
this, he was drawn into another agreement, in which ho 
pledged fidelity to the Plymouth government, and prom- 
ised specific reparation of wrongs. From this time until 
1674, Philip was busy with his schemes for uniting all the 
various tribes for the purpose of exterminating the Eng- 
lish. The Nonotucks acknowledged the existence of such 
a plot. Suspicion was abroad, and this, by producing cau- 
tion in furnishing the Indians with arms, made the Sa- 
chem's preparations slow and diflicult. Still the conspiracy 
progressed, and reached and aft'ected the most friendly 
tribes, the Mohegans, who had been befriended by the 
English in their troubles with the Narragansets, alone re- 
maining true to their pledges. This latter tribe were, of 
course, ripe and ready for a scheme which would so re- 
venge them upon the whites, and they agreed to furnish 
4,000 men. The entire preparations were not to be per- 
fected before 1G76, but the storm exploded prematurely. 

John Sausaman, a " praying Indian," converted under 
the labors of the missionary Eliot, at Natick, had fled to 
Philip on the commission of some misdemeanor, and for 
some years was his counsellor and confidant. He was then 
prevailed upon to return to Natick. Subsequently, in an 
interview with some of Philip's Indians, he discovered 
their plots, and gave information of them. For this he 
was murdered by Philip's command, and the authorities at 


Plymouth arrested the murderers and hung them. This 
infuriated the restive chief, and, forgetting prudence in re- 
venge, he precipitated the war for which his allies were 
not yet prepared. After considerable angry bluster, and, 
by mustering and marching his men endeavoring to pro- 
voke an attack, he entered Swanzey, killed the settlers' 
cattle, and rifled some of their houses. On the 24th of 
June, 1675, his Indians fired upon a citizen of Rehoboth. 
On the same day, they entered Swanzey again, and com- 
mitted several murders. This started out the Massachu- 
setts forces. On the 26th, a foot and a horse company set 
off froiTL Boston, toward Mount Hope, and they were soon 
overtaken by a volunteer company of 110 men imder 
Capt. Samuel Moseley, an old Jamaica bucanneer. They 
met a Plymouth company at Swanzey, where a brush with 
the Indians immediately ensued, in which one of the sol- 
dier's and half a dozen Indians Avere killed, and in conse- 
quence of which, Philip was obliged to leave Mount Hope 
in haste, with all his forces. After some further unimpor- 
tant skirmishes, orders came from Massachusetts for its 
companies to pass into the Narraganset country, and make 
a treaty Avith that tribe. They made their treaty, (an easy 
thing to do with Indians unwilling or not ready to fight,) 
and, during their absence, the Plymouth forces, or a por- 
tion of them, went to Pocasset on a similar errand, but 
found themselves engaged in a different business, and one 
which cost the Indians a number of lives. The Massa- 
chusetts forces having concluded their treaty, returned to 
Taunton on the 17th, where they were joined by those of 
Plymouth in an attempt to dislodge Philip from a swamp 
at Pocasset. This expedition was disastrous, fifteen of the 
troops being killed, and Phili|)- taking courage from their 
ill success. 

This sudden onset of war surprised the Indians in every 
direction. They were not ready for it. Their hearts were 
in it, but their hands wei*e not prepared. Some hesitated 
between adherence to peace with the English, and keeping 
faith Avith Phili]), Avhile others professed friendship, to gain 
time for Avatcliing the current of events. But the war 
spirit spread, and hostilities Avere commenced against the 
JEnglish in other quarters. On the 14th of July, the Nip- 
^ mucks, occupying central Massachusetts, killed four or five 


people at Mendon. These Indians were in acknowledged 
subjection to those of Mount Hope, and their co-operation 
with them was not only natural, but had been anticipated 
and feared. Messengers were sent to them from the ]Mas- 
sachusetts authorities, to ascei'tain their state of feeling, 
and they were found surly and insolent. On the 28th of 
July, the Governor and Council sent Captains Hutchinson 
and Wheeler, with twenty horsemen, for the purpose of 
making some arrangement with these Indians. They were 
to meet them at Brookfield, with the inhabitants of v/hich, 
tlie Indians had promised to make a treaty on the 2d of 
August. On this promise the people of that lonely settle- 
ment fidly relied, and suspected no danger. This company 
reached Brookfield without trouble, and without seeing 
any Indians ; and then, with a number of the settlers, and 
three Christian Indians, set out for the place agreed upon 
by the Indians for making the treaty. They reached the 
spot designated, but not an Indian was to be seen. Pass- 
ing carelessly on, the Brookfield men being unarmed, they 
proceeded some five or six miles in the direction of the 
chief town of the tribe. Ai-riving at a narrow passage 
between a hill and a heavy swamp, in the vicinity of Wick- 
aboag Pond, they came suddenly upon an ambuscade, and 
from two to three hundred Indians sprang to their feet, and 
poured in upon them a deadly fire. Eight of the com- 
pany fell dead, and three more received mortal wounds, 
among whom was Capt. Hutchinson. The names of those 
killed were Zachariali Phillips of Boston, Timothy Farley 
of Billerica, Edward Colburn of Chelmsford, Samuel 
Smedlcy of Concord, Sydrach Hapgood of Sudbury, and 
Capt. Ayres, John Coye, and Joseph Pritchard of Brook- 
field. Several others were badly wounded. Capt. Wheeler 
was one of these. His horse fell under him, and he re- 
ceived a ball through his body. His son, who formed one 
of the expedition, leaped from his own horse, and, with 
such assistance as he could give with one arm, the other 
being shattered, placed his father upon him, and himself 
mounting another whose rider had been killed, they gal- 
loped off" and escaped. The first movement was, of course, 
a precipitate retreat. They were several miles distant 
from the settlement, and taking a by-path, pointed out by 
one of tho Christian Indians, they at last reached home 


without further damage, though hotly pursued. Before 
their arrival, either from hearing the report of the mus- 
ketry, or by the intermediation of a messenger, the town 
had been alarmed, and the inhabitants, leaving their dwell- 
ings, repaired, about seventy in number, to a house forti- 
fied in the hurry of the occasion, and but poorly prepared 
to resist a furious attack. Into this house the returning 
remnant of the company rushed, panting with excitement 
and effort, adding strength as well as terror to the affrighted 
assemblage. They were hardly witliin the walls before 
the savage host was around them. They poured in their 
fire upon the house, and from every loop-hole received a 
well aimed fire in return, which forced them to take a 
more respectful distance. While this passage at arms was 
in progress, the torch of the incendiary was busy with the 
other dwellings, and the crackling of fierce flames, as 
houses and barns were swallowed up in destruction, min- 
gled with the yells of the assailants. The cattle of the 
plantation, affrighted at the sounds and the spectacle, fled. 
After in a measure glutting themselves wdth destruction, 
they surrounded the fortified house with redoubled fury, 
determined to burn it, and thus put an end to the precious 
lives it contained. Too near an approach was death to 
them, and they were driven to every possible ingenuity of 
stratagem. Arrows armed with fire were discharged at 
the house, and long poles, tipped with torches, were thrust 
toward the frail citadel, but without effect. A cart was 
then filled with combustible stuffs, which on being set fire 
to, was pushed towai-d the house by poles spliced upon one 
another. As this feaiful engine approached, destruction 
seemed inevitable, but, by a most providentially opportune 
shower of rain, the fire-bearer was disarmed. 

Thus night closed down upon the besieged, and what 
daylight would not j^ermit, was sought to be effected under 
cover of darkness. A quantity of combustibles was stealth- 
ily conveyed to the side of the house, and then set fire to. 
The building was so much endangered that some of the in- 
mates were obliged to go out, and draw water from a well, 
to quench the flames ; and, though fired upon continually, 
they escaped without the loss of a man. The night passed, 
^«jnd another day, when, on the 4th of August, Major Simon 
"Willard, at the head of a troop of forty horse, near Lan- 


caster, and on a hostile expedition to the Indians near that 
place, heard of the danger to which Brookfield was ex- 
posed, and dashed off with all haste to its relief. The af- 
frighted cattle which had remained away from the scenes 
that have heen described, after their stampede, fell into his 
rear, and in the darkness of night followed him into the 
village. An Indian guard had been placed at the very 
avenue through which he approached, but the dusky forms 
that swept past them, horses and animals being counted 
alike, appeared so numerous that they did not venture to 
fire a gun. As soon as the company were Avithin the gar- 
rison, however, the Indians poured in upon the house a hot 
fire. No damage being done, except in the killing of sev- 
eral horses, they then set fire to such houses as remained 
unharmed, and retreated to the woods. The besiegers lost 
eighty of their men, while only one man in the house was 
killed. News of the attack on Brookfield by some means 
found its way to Springfield, and a Springfield company 
under Lieut. Thomas Cooper, comprising also thirty men 
from Hartford, for whom Major Pyn(;hon had sent, and a 
number of professedly friendly Indians — in all eighty 
men — immediately set out for the relief of that settlement, 
but they arrived after the danger was past, and some days 
afterwaz'ds returned home. Companies under the com- 
mand of Captains Lathrop and Beers, fi'om the Eastern 
part of the colony, also arri\-ed, but too late to render any 
service. In the meantime, Pliilip, after remaining in the 
swamp at Pocassst, and engaging in several skirmishes, 
left those quarters, among the last days of July, and found 
his way into the Nipmuck country unpursued, or pursued 
with little efficiency. It appears from the narrative of a 
Christian Indian, named George, who was taken prisoner 
at the surprise of Capt. Hutchinson's party on the 2d of 
August, that, on the oth of tliat month, which must have 
been within a few hours of the time when the Indians re- 
tired from Brookfield, Pliilii), at the head of forty men and 
a much larger number of women and children, made his 
appearance in a swamp to which the besiegers had retired. 
But thirty of his men had muskets, and ten of them were 
wounded. The hunted chief was immediately a gratified 
listener to the story of the massacre and the siege that had 
just transpired, and, to signify his approbation, he distrib- 

84 KING Philip's war. 

uted, with royal munificence, a peck of unstrung wampum 
each, to three of the Ni£muck sagamores. But he was 
poorer in men than in treasure. He started from Mount 
Hope with 250 men. Some had left him, others were 
killed, and at that time only forty of his men stood around 
him. Philip acknowledged that if the English had fol- 
lowed him a day or two longer in the swamp, or even if 
he had been efficiently pursued when he left it, he must 
have been taken, as his ammunition was nearly exhausted. 

Major Willard and his force still remained at Brook- 
field, and had, in company with the auxiliaries fi-om Spring- 
field and the East, scoured the forests around without find- 
ing the enemy. The latter had fied Westward, towards 
the Connecticut. In consequence oT this movement prob- 
ably, rather than fi-om any specific suspicion of the inten- 
tions of the Indians about Hadley, Captain Beers and 
Lathrop, pushed on to that town, and there had, under their 
command, 180 men. At last they became suspicious that 
the Indians there were only waiting for an opportunity to 
join in the schemes of Philip, of whose arrival among the 
Pocomtuck Indians at Deerfield the event proved they 
were aware. These suspicions were based on the facts 
that they asked for no lands on which to plant corn as 
usual, that one of them had said there would be war that 
year, that they had withdrawn all their goods from the 
possession of the settlers, with whom they had been in- 
trusted, that " they gave eleven triumphant shouts after the 
burning of Brookfield, as their manner was," that two of 
Philip's Indians had been admitted into their fort, and va- 
rious other equally suggestive circumstances. Hubbard 
says that these Indians first professed enmity to Philip, 
and offered to assist in fighting him, and that their duplicity 
was discovered by some friendly Mohegan Indians, allies 
of the English. Accordingly, they were ordered to deliver 
up their arms. Intimating their readiness to do this, 
though after considerable manifest hesitation, they deferred 
the matter until night, when, it being the 25th of August, 
they secretly left their fort, and fled up the river. Their 
flight was discovered, and the next day Beers and Lathrop 
pursued them. Coming up with the fugitives near the base 
of Sugarloaf Mountain, in what is now known as South 
Deerfield, they fired upon them, and a hot engagement 


followed, in which the Indians lost twenty-six killed, and 
the English ten. The remainder fled, and made good 
their escape to Philip, and, ceasing from the pursuit, La- 
throp and Beers returned to Hadley. The names of nine 
of the soldiers killed at Deerfield were as follow : — Wil- 
liam Cluff, Azariah Dickinson, James Levens, Richard 
Fellows, Samuel Mason, John Plumer, Mathew Scales, 
Mark Pitman and Joseph Person. 

Hadley, by its central position in the settlements, and, 
from its location upon the neck of a peninsula, being less 
exposed to sudden attacks than other neighboring points, 
became the head-quarters of the English forces in the river 
campaign. The presence of the Mohegans at Hadley has 
been mentioned. They formed a portion of re-inforce- 
ments sent to the spot by both Massachusetts and Connecti- 
cut. Detachments from these new troops were stationed 
in garrison at Northampton, Hatfield, Deerfield and North- 
field. Preparations had been made for the worst, and the 
worst was expected. Deerfield was in the very midst of 
the hostile forces, and the exasperated Philip was on the 
spot. The Squakheags, at Northfield, were one with the 
PocQmtucks in intention and policy, and were doubtless in 
daily communication with Philip, while he was probably 
with them, more or less. These facts were apparent to 
Major Treat (of Connecticut, then commanding at Hadley,) 
and even while he was deliberating and determining, the 
Indians had commenced their cruel work. A week had 
elapsed after the action in Southern Deerfield, when they 
fell upon the settlers at Deerfield, killed one of them, and 
burnt the most of the village. Tliis was on the first of 
September, and but two or three days pa.ssed thereafter 
when they attacked Northfield, killed nine or ten men, and 
the remaining settlers barely escaped destruction by flying 
to their fort. Before these disasters became known to 
Major Treat, he dispatched Capt. Beers, with thirty-six 
mounted men, to Northfield, to convoy provisions to the 
garrison and settlers. His path was a long and tedious 
one, through an unbroken forest, for about thirty miles. 
He passed up through the territory now occupied by the 
towns of Sunderland, Montague and Erving, going through 
many dangerous places without seeing an Indian. At last, 
his company dismounted, left their horses, and, retarded by 



the difficult progress of their baggage wagon, continued the 
march on foot. The company arrived within two miles of 
their destination, and were happily dreaming that their 
toils and dangers were over, when, in crossing a swampy 
ravine, they fell upon an ambuscade. The ravine opened 
up upon their right for some distance, and here, and in 
front of the approaching victims, the savages lay con- 
cealed. As soon as Capt. Beers and his men walked un- 
suspectingly into the snare, they received a murderous fire 
from the front and right, and many of them fell dead upon 
the spot. The remainder scattered in wild confusion, and 
turned in retreat, the Indians being in full pursuit. Gain- 
ing the brow of a hill, at the distance of some thr(?e-quar- 
ters of a mile from the scene of slaughter, Capt. Beers 
rallied his men, or such as were in his vicinity, and there 
bravely maintained his ground against overwhelming odds, 
until he fell, fatally wounded. He fought to the last, and 
the plain over which he retreated, and the hill where he 
fell, now most appropriately bear his name. At his fall, 
his gallant men tied, and took their way back to Hadley, 
leaving their dead and wounded. Of the thirty-seven who 
engaged in the expedition, only sixteen returned to tell of 
the disaster. Of the twenty soldiers killed, the names of 
only tAvelve have been preserved, which are as follow : — 
John Gatchell, Benjamin Crackbun, Ephraim Child, John 
Wilson, George Dickens, Thomas Cornish, Robert Pepper, 
John Genery, Jeremiah Morrell, Elisha Woodward, Wil- 
liam ]\Iarkhani and James Mullard, — or James Miller, as 
it is otherwise written. 

As soon as the fight was over, the savages gave them- 
selves up to the intliction of the most revolting barbarities 
upon the persons of the dead and dying. From some 
they cut otf the heads, and stuck them up upon poles by 
the side of the traveled path. Upon one, the barbarity 
inflicted was so cruel that it would seem that it must have 
been visited upon a living subject. The hook of a chain 
was fastened behind the lowfer jaw, and, by this fixture, he 
was suspended to a tree. All this. Major Ti-eat and a hun- 
dred of his men saw two days afterwards, on arriving at 
the spot, to bring aid to the sufferers at Northfield. One 
>'6bject the Indians had in view was, doubtless, to terrify 
those who might attempt revenge, and the effi2ct seems to 


have been secured, for tlie witnesses were appalled. They, 
however, pushed on to Northfield, and brought away the 
garri>on and the inhabitants. In returning, Major Treat 
met Capt. Samuel Appleton with another force. The lat- 
ter was anxious to advance up the river, and chastise the 
enemy, but Major Treat, as well as his command, either 
from conscious inferiority of numbers, or in consequence of 
the sickening impressions then upon them, were averse to 
the proceeding, and all returned to Hadley. But a short 
time after the departure of this last force from Nor'.tofield, 
the Indians apjilied the torch to the fort, houses, and all 
the pi'operty left behind, and thus brought to a sad conclu- 
sion the first settlement at Northfield. 

At this time, Capt. Moseley, who had distinguished liim- 
-self in the Eastern part of the colony, commanded the 
garrison at Deerfield. Reinforcements of the troops at 
Hadley had taxed that and the adjacent towns beyond tlieir 
capacity for supplies. But around Deerfield, in the fields 
of its inhabitants, was a large amount of wheat, in stack. 
Hubbard states the amount to have been 3,000 bushels, 
but this seems like an exaggeration, considering the weak- 
ness of the plantation. Whatever the amount may have 
been, it was the nearest and most available resource in the 
extremity, — an extremity made the more appai-ent by the 
rapid approach of winter. The wheat was a treasui*e, and 
it was within the power of the enemy to destroy it. Ac- 
cordingly, Capt. Lathrop was detached from Hadley witli 
eighty young men, and a large number of teams. These 
young soldiers were all from the Eastern part of the col- 
ony, and, according to Hubbard, were " the very flower of 
tlie county of Essex." Ca[)t. Lathrop himself was from 
Salem. Deerfield was distant fi-om Hadley about fifteen 
miles, and all arrived at their destination without disturb- 
ance. There, after threshing the grain, the baggage 
wagons were loaded, and on the 18th of September the 
party set out on their return. During all their operations 
at Deerfield, no Indians had been seen, and with but little 
miso-iving the return-march was commenced. But thev 
had been watched, and their march and mission known. 
Arriving nearly opposite Sugarloaf Mountain, and in not 
remote vicinity of the scene of the fight with the fugitive 
Indians of liaJley, their path lay across a stream, on 

88 KING Philip's war. 

which the events of that day conferred the name of 
" Bloody Brook." This stream was then overshadowed 
with trees, over which the native grape had chambered, 
and from which it displayed its tempting clusters. This 
brook-side thicket, like that which had been the scene of 
the successful ambuscade at Northiield, afforded the best 
possible opportunity for the operations of the Indians, and 
here, to the overwhelming number of seven hundred, they 
planted themselves. No scout had been sent in advance 
to look for danger, and no danger was suspected. The 
company marched entirely or partly across the morass, 
and then halted, either for rest, or to watch ,the passage of 
the laboring teams. Here they paused, within the very 
jaws of death, and tradition says that the soldiers climbed 
the trees to feast themselves upon gi-apes. This tradition 
has been commemorated in a rude painting that hung in 
the dining room of the old " Pocomtuck House " at South 
Deerfield, many years ago. Those who are deemed sound 
authority, however, contradict the tradition, and attribute 
the climbing of the trees to the teamsters. Traditions of 
this character, on the very ground of the events they per- 
petuate, always have a basis. Whether soldiers or team- 
sters were thus careless or not, all had halted, and all were 
off their guard. 

Now was the moment for the murderous host. The im- 
placable Philip was doubtless with them, and his was 
prol;ably the signal gun that brought from eveiy bush, and 
brake, and sheltering tree, the fiery shower. Among the 
English, all was dire confusion. Many fell dead at the 
first discharge, and leaping from their lurking places, the 
savages rushed upon them with terrible slaughter. The 
troops, broken by death and broken by surprise, scattered in 
all directions. Capt. Lathrop fell early, but, following his 
professed tactics — to fight Lidians in their own way — the 
remainder of his men took each his tree, and resolved to 
sell his life at the dearest rate. One after another the In- 
dians fell beneath their unerring aim, and one after another 
themselves dropped away, each man the aim of a dozen 
Indian marksmen. But the contest was decided, and such 
o^ the English as could fiee, tied. The wounded were 
scbldly butchered, and there, as the result of the terrible 
massacre, lay ninety men, soldiers and teamsters, still warm 



Vitli tlie buoyant life that was theirs but an hour before, in 
the ghastly sleep of death. Only seven or eight of tlieir 
companions escaped. The roar of the musketry rolled 
across the silent woods, and reached the ears of the garri- 
son at Deeifield. The valiant Capt. Moseley, with his 
little company, was immediately on the march for the scene 
of action, but when he arrived, the struggle was over, and 
the savages were engaged in stripping the dead. The 
whole body of Indians were together, and in a position 
most favorable for Capt. Moseley's attack, which com- 
menced with a spirited and splendid charge. In compact 
order they cut their way through the enemy, inflicting ter- 
riljle slaughter on every side. Rapid in movement, and 
always together, they charged back and forth, until the 
savage host sought safety in flight. Reaching a swamp 
near by, they rallied again, and the action went on for sev- 
eral hours. But the ammunition of the Indians becoming 
exhausted, they retreated, and left the gallant band of 
English, masters of the field. It is not unlikely that the 
arrival of INIajor Treat from Hadley, with a hundred men, 
had its part in determining the savages to fly, for the rein- 
forcement fell immediately in with the final pursuit. The 
loss of the Indians was estimated at ninety-six, and the 
large majority of these must have been slain by Capt. 
Moseley and his men, who lost but two of their number — 
Peter Barron and John Gates. It was a gallant exploit, 
and a befitting revenge for the most terrible massacre of 
whites furnislied by the annals of New England. 

Tlie shades of evening began to fall upon the bloody 
field, and fancy only can call up the feelings of the tired 
soldiers as they repaired to the spot where their old com- 
panions in arms, and in the social circle, lay reposing in a 
bloody death, their brows gashed with the tomahawk, their 
hearts' blood stooping the ground, and their ghastly faces 
looking still more ghastly in the dim light that fell through 
the trees. A silent farewell taken of the murdered sleep- 
ers, Treat and Moseley, with their men, proceeded to Deer- 
field. The command of Major Treat Avas composed partly 
of Mohogan and Pecpiot Indians, and all slept in the Deer- 
field garrison that night. In the morning, they returned 
to the scene of the previous day's action, but before they 
arrived, a few Indians were on the ground, engaged in 

90 KING rniLip's wak. 

stripping the slain. These fled, at the approach of the 
soldiers, and the latter proceeded to the melancholy task of 
burying the dead. While about this work, one Eobert 
Dutch, of Ipswich, who was left for dead by both whites 
and Indians on the previous day, and from whose person 
every garment had been stripped, rose from the gi'ound, 
his head and face covered with contusions and blood, and 
walked up to the soldiers, " to their no small amazement." 
He was then clothed, probably from the bodies of his dead 
companions, subsequently taken back to the garrison, and 
survived his supposed death for several years. Hubbard, 
in the religious spirit of his time, gives" him this apostro- 
phe : " INIay he be to the friends and relations of the rest 
of the slain an emblem of their more perfect resurrection 
at the last day, to receive their crowns among the rest of 
the martyrs that have laid down and ventured their lives, 
as a testimony to the truth of their religion, as well as 
love to their country." 

This same old writer, to whom almost every subsequent 
historian has been indebted for the leading facts connected 
Avith this terrible aifair, takes occasion to bestow no incon- 
siderable degree of blame upon Lathrop, and a propor- 
tionate degree of praise upon Moseley. So far as Lathrop 
was careless, and it is indisputable that he was so, he was 
undoubtedly in the blame. But Hubbard discusses the 
relative merits of the military policy of the two command- 
ers. Lathrop's policy was to fight as the Indians fought — 
behind trees, and separately. To this policy the historian 
attributes the terrible slaughter that was made, on this 
occasion not only, but at the time Lathrop's action occurred 
with tlie fugitives from Hadley, near the same spot. Mose- 
ley's policy was that exhibited in his action — fighting in 
close order. The merits of the two systems are contrasted 
by the contrast of results. But it must be remembered 
that Lathrop's men, whatever may have been their action 
on the previous occasion alluded to, were, on this, crippled 
at the first onset, and while the Indians were fully pre- 
pared for action, they were entirely unprepared. Capt. 
Moseley, on coming to the ground, was prepared, and the 
enemy, in the very excitement of victory, and engaged in 
v'their indignities upon the slain, in a measure off their 
guard. That Moseley was the better soldier, is probable ; 


and that his was the better system of policy, is more than 
likely ; but censure applied to Capt. Latlirop for the scat- 
tering of his company at Bloody Brook, seems unjust. 
Hoyt, who writes critically of the military operations of 
the times, is of this opinion, and Mi'. Hubbard's censure 
will find few mdorsers. 

According to Iloyt, the precise spot where the massacre 
occurred was where the regular highway from South to 
Old Deerfield crosses Bloody Brook. A rude monument 
was erected near the spot some time after the occurrence, 
but time crumbled it, and nothing stood for many years to 
tell where fell the " Flower of Essex." But the residents 
of the locality could not always forget the precious blood 
in Avhich their noble soil was baptized, and, accordingly, on 
the 30th of September, 1835, the inhabitants of Deerfield, 
Greenfield, Conway, Shelburne and Gill celebrated tlie 
anniversary of the sad event. A committee had previously 
been appointed to ascertain the precise spot, if possible, 
where in one grave Major Treat and Capt. Moseley buried 
the slain. This committee were successful in attaining the 
object of their search. On digging down, tlic bones Avere 
found. They " were much decayed, or rather changed to 
terrene substances, still retaining their primitive forms, yet 
easily crumbled to dust by pressure of the fingers." The 
celebration of the day was signalized by the laying of the 
corner stone of a marble monument, and by an eloquent 
address by Hon. Edward Everett. The monument which 
rose upon this corner stone is twenty-six feet high, and lias 
become a lamiliar object to passengers through the Con- 
necticut Valley. It stands a few rods North of the grave, 
on the East side of the road, and in the vicinity of tlie 
brook. Gen. Hoyt of Deerfield, the able historian of the 
Indian wars, was present at the laying of the corner stone, 
and made a brief address. It was well that one Avhose 
name will always be honorably associated with the Indian 
history of the Valley should be a spectator of, and an active 
participant in, the occasion. The scene presented on the 
day of celebration was one of great interest. People 
flocked in from all the towns around, and many came from 
a great distance, to be witnesses of the ceremonials. But 
the red men were not there — the forest had passed away, 
and peace, happiness, plenty and security reigned on every 

92 KING Philip's vrxn. 

hand. It was not marvelous that the orator, seeing and 
feeling the change, and recalling the memory of those 
brave men who won with blood the pleasant fields around, 
and planted with noble toil the institutions enjoyed by 
their successors, should, in his rapt peroration, have ex- 
claimed : 

" Oh that we could call them back to see the work of their 
hands ! Oh, that oui*poor strains of gratitude could penetrate 
their tombs ! Oh, that we could quicken into renewed con- 
sciousness the brave and precious dust that moulders beneath 
our feet ! Oh, that they could rise up in the midst of ns — the 
hopeful, the valiant, the self-devoted-^and graciously accept 
these humble offices of commemoiation ! But, thoush they 
tasted not the fruit, they shall not lose the praise of thteir sac- 
rifice and toils. I read in your eyes that they shall not be de- 
frauded of their renown. This mighty concourse bears wit- 
ness to the emotions of a grateful posterity. Yon simple 
monument shall rise, a renewed memorial of their names. 
On this sacred spot, where the young, the brave, the patriotic, 
poured out their life-blood in defense of that heritage which 
has descended to us, we this day solemnly bring our tribute 
of gratitude. Ages shall pass away ; the majestic tree which 
overshadows us shall wither and sink before the blast, and we 
who are now gathered beneath it shall mingle with the hon- 
ored dust we eulogize ; bat the '• Flower of Essex " shall 
bloom in undying remembrance ; and with every century 
these rites of conimemora'ion shall be repeated, as the lapse 
of time shall continually develop, in richer abundance, the 
fruits of what was done and suffered by our fathers." 

The follovv'ing is the inscription upon the tablet of the 
monument at Bloody Brook : 

<• On this ground, Capt. THOMAS LATHE OP and eighty 
men under his command, including eighteen teamsters from 
Deerfield, conveying stores from that town to Hadley, were 
ambushed by about 700 Indians, and the captain and seventy- 
six men slain, September 18th, 1675, (old style.) 

" The soldiers who fell were described by a cotemporary 
historian as a choice company of young men, the very flower 
of the County of Essex, none of whom were ashamed to 
speak with the enemy in the gate.'' 

< And Sanguinetto tells you where the dead 

Made the earth wet, and turned the unwilling waters red.' 


^ " The grave of the slain is marked by a stone slab, 21 rods 
South of this monument." 


Above the inscription are engraved the following words : 
^'Erected, August, 1838." The slab referred to in the in- 
scription bears the simple memorial: " Grave of Capt. 
Lathrop and men slain hy the Indians, 1675." It is, per- 
haps, a little singular, that only about sixty of the names 
of those slain have been preserved in the archives of the 
State, and that Dr. Increase Mather speaks of the burial 
of " about sixty persons in one grave." This, in connec- 
tion with the fact that so large a number as ninety men 
were slain, seventy-six of whom were soldiers, is a remark- 
able coincidence. It would seem not improbable that the 
teamsters who were residents of the region were taken 
home for burial, and a portion of the soldiers transported 
to adjacent plantations. This, however, is conjecture. 
The names of tlni slain, as recorded, are as follow : — 

Capt. Thomas Laythrop, Sergeant Thomas Smith, Sam- 
uel Stevens, John Hobs, Ipswich ; Daniel I>utton, Salem ; 
John Harriman, Thomas Bayley, Ezekiel Sawier, Salem ; 
Jacob Kilborne, Thomas Manning, Ipswich ; Jacob AYayn- 
writt, Ipswich ; Benjamin Roper do.; John Bennett, INIan- 
chester; Thomas Menter, Caleb Kimball, Ipswich ; Thomas 
Hobs, Ipswich ; Robert Homes, Edward Traske, Salem ; 
Richard Lambert, Salem ; Josiah Dodge, Beverly ; Peter 
"^Voodberry, Beverly ; Joseph Balch, Beverly ; Samuel 
"Whitteridge, Ipswich ; William Dew, Sergeant .Samuel Ste- 
vens, Samuel Crumpton, John Plum, Thomas Buckley, 
Salem ; George Ropes, Salem ; Josepli King, Thomas Al- 
exander, Francis Friende, Abel Oseph, John Litheate, 
Samuel Hudson, Adam Clarke, Ephraim Fearah, Robert 
AVilson, Salem ; Stephen Wellnian, Salem ; B(>njamin Far- 
nell, Solomon Alley, Lynn ; Jolni Jlerrik, Robert Ilins- 
dall, Samuel Ilinsdall, Barnabas Hinsdall, John HInsdall, 
Joseph Gilbert, John AUin, Manchester ; Joshua Carter, 
]\Ianchester ; John Barnard, James Tufts, Salem : Jona- 
than Plympton, Philip Barsham, Thomas "Weller, AVilliam 
Smeade, Zebediah -Williams, Eliakim Marshall, James 
IMudge, George Cole. 

These names, mis-spelt in many instances, and clumsily 
arranged, are the only record we have of those who thus 
laid down their lives in the service of the early plantations 
of the Connecticut Valley. Capt. Lathrop was one of the 
early settlers of the colony, and was sixty-five yeai'S old 

94 KING Philip's war. 

when lie died. His wife was one of tlie " eight persons 
made widows " by the massacre, but he left no children. 

The direction of military operations among the Con- 
necticut River settlements was vested in the Commission- 
ers of the United Colonies, who, being at a distance from 
the scene of operations, indiscreetly left little to the dis- 
cretion of the ofhcers in command. This fact is evident 
from the letters of the latter to the Governor of Massa- 
chusetts, from which it appears that after the destruction 
of Capt. Lathrop and his men at Bloody Brook, the com- 
missioners ordered that the towns should" be left without 
garrison, in order to augment the field force. There grew 
- up at this time some disaffection in the Connecticut Gov- 
ernment, in regai'd to certain matters connected with the 
war, and a consequent embarrassment to the effective and 
free movements of the troops from that colony. The 
troops, in all, by the agreement of Massachusetts, Con- 
necticut, and Plymouth, were to number 500. The latter 
Government had failed to send any troops, and the entire 
number was furnished by Massachusetts and Connecticut 
alone. This was apparently the cause of the disaffection 
of Connecticut, and as the whole number was insufficient 
at best, that disaffection was the more severely felt. Ma- 
jor Treat, who had had the direction of the Connecticut 
troops at Hadley, and more or less, by coui'tesy, of the 
Massachusetts troops, went down the river to Westfield, 
for what special purpose does not appear. It is not appa- 
rent that Major Pynchon, the commander of the Hamp- 
shire regiment, had had thus far either much direction of, or 
much participation in the campaign. In fact, the commis- 
sioners seem to have exercised such a degree of authority, 
that but little was left to the independent action of the 
commanders. IMajor Pynchon, however, had the control 
of military operations among the lower settlements, while 
Treat generally directed affairs above. 

After the departure of Major Treat from Hadley, either 
under the order of the commissioners, or by the combined 
decision of the Hadley commanders on the ground, and 
Major Pynchon, it was determined to go out in force to 
make a demonstration against the Indians, then supposed 
^''to be hovering in large numbers around the frontier j^lanta- 
tions on the North. The policy of the Indians, thus far, 


was, apparently, to sweep the plantations from the North 
downwai'ds. Northfiekl and Deerfield had fallen, and Hat- 
field, Hadley and Northampton were the next in course. 
In the meantime, the Indians, with the cunning which 
characterized them, took measures to surprise the settle- 
ment which least expected it. In the meantime, too, the 
Springfield Indians, who had thus far been at perfect peace 
with the whites, stimulated by the course of events at the 
North, and anticipating the final triumph of the tribes, be- 
gan to manifest a treacherous tendency. One or two 
buildhigs were burnt at Springfield, but the inhabitants, 
who had lived so peaceably with the Indians for nearly 
forty years, could not attribute the incendiarism to its real 
source. Still, suspicion was awakened. The people of 
the town repaired and strengthened their fortified houses 
so as to be prepared for an emergency, and then questioned 
the Indians, of whom they succeeded in obtaining hostages 
ibr their good behavior, and these were sent to Hartford 
for safe keeping. The Indians then, having laid their 
plans, went secretly to Hartford, and enticed away the 
hostages, who had not been guarded with sufficient strict- 
ness. This was on the night of the 4th of October, and on 
the same niglit, 300 of Pliilip's Indians who, shunning the 
plantations, had made their way through the woods to 
Springfield, from the North, were admitted into the fort at 
Long Hill. On the morning of this day, the Springfield 
soldiers, to the number of 15, left Springfield for Hadley, 
to join in the demonstration contemplated at that point, 
tlius leaving the town unprotected by any sufficient force. 
Living in tlie family of a Mr. "VVolcott at Windsor, was an 
Indian named Toto, and on the evening in which these 
hostile preparations were in progress, he appeared much 
Mgitated. By the passage of the Indians between Hartford 
and Springfield, at the time the hostages were drawn away 
from the former town, he had been made acquainted with 
tlie designs of the Indians, and the possession of the terri- 
ble secret made his emotions uncontrollable. He was 
questioned, and discovered the fact that the Indians at 
Springfield, Avith some of Philip's forces, were about to 
burn that town and destroy its inhabitants. The dispatch 
of a messenger to the doomed town was immediately 
effected. He arrived at the dead hour of night, and gave 
the alarm. The tidings were carried from house to house. 

96 KING Philip's war. 

Men and women leaped from their beds, the children 
were clothed with such haste as circumstances demanded, 
and then all fled, with such valuables and necessaries as 
they could carry, to the fortified houses. A post was dis- 
patched to Major Pynchon, at Hadley, giving him informa- 
tion of the plot, and requesting his immediate assistance. 

"Within the fortified houses, three in number, the terri- 
fied inhabitants impatiently awaited the light of morning. 
The morning came, but no Indians, and no apparent cause 
of alarm. The sun rose higher, but disclosed no foe. The 
inconvenience of their situation, and the terror of sus- 
pense, at last induced Lieut. Thomas Cooper, whose name 
has already become familiar in the history of the town, 
and Thomas Miller, to mount their horses, and proceed to- 
wards the Indian fort. Both these men were in the de- 
cline of life, and both were brave. Cooper, in the absence 
of Major Pyjichon, was the first in military command. 
They reached the woods which then skirted the lower end 
of Main street, when their course was stopped by the dis- 
charge of musketry from the ambushed foe, and Miller 
fell dead. Cooper, too, received a mortal wound, but being 
a strong man, he clung to his horse, which wheeled and 
galloped homeward, bearing his dying burden, until he 
reached the first fortified house, where his rider fell at the 
door and expired. Upon this confirmation of the worst 
fears of the inhabitants, the warriors of Philip crowded 
closely, and the town was immediately swarming with the 
murderous horde. The buildings were rifled, and the 
torches applied to them, and safe in their fortifications, the 
inlialjitants saw their hard-earned property, and their only 
shelter from the approaching winter, consuming in fierce 
flames, and smoking in ruin. About thirty dwelling houses 
were burned down, and some twenty-five barns, with the 
hay and grain which had been laid up for the Winter's 
stores. The corn mill and saw mill of Mr. Pynchon were 
also destroyed. But the Indians could produce but little 
impression upon the fortified houses. In the course of the 
day they managed to wound four or five persons, and killed 
one woman — Pentecost Matthews — and during this period 
the terrified villagers awaited the coming of the troops 
from the North. About the middle of the day, Major 
Treat, then at Westfield, appeared with his force on the 
Western banky of the river. He, too, with the Iladley 


forces, had been reached by a night post. But the river 
opposed liis further progress. The inhabitants sent off 
five men to take over a boat. Their depai-ture was per- 
ceived, and four times their number of Indians instantly- 
pursued them. They reached their boat and pushed off, 
under a hot fire from the enemy. One poor fellow — David 
Morgan — received a shot through the neck. The boat 
reached the opposite shore, and was filled with soldiers for 
the return. But the Indians stood in force upon the East- 
ern bank, ready to receive them, and amused themselves 
by firing at them across the river. It was found impossible 
to cross in this way, and with the small number of men 
that must go at a time, and so all assistance was cut off 
from this source. A fcAV hours after this, Major Pyuchon 
and Capt. Appleton arrived from Hadley, with a force of 
two hundred men, and found the town in ruins, with the 
exception of a few houses, which were doubtless saved 
from destruction by their arrival. As the troops came in, 
the Indians retired, and then Major Treat and his com- 
mand crossed the river, and the two forces occupied the 
town during the night, with the exception of scouting par- 
ties sent off to discover where the Indians lodged, and 
what course they had taken — a mission in which they were 
unsuccessful. Subsequently, an old squaw was taken who 
gave information that the Indians on retiring from Spring- 
field lodged that night about six miles from the place, that 
the exact number of Philip's Indians present on the occa- 
sion was 270, and that the whole number of the enemy, 
including the Springfield Indians, was 600. Men were 
dispatched to the spot indicated as their cam[). They 
found twenty-four fires and some plunder, but the Indians 
had gone, none knew v/hither. 

The inhabitants were thus left houseless and almost pen- 
niless. There were no mills to grind their corn, or to saw 
stuffs for new dwellings, and in deep discouragement, they 
came near abandoning the settlement, and leaving their 
estates as the settlers at the North had done. INIajor Pyu- 
chon was much disheartened. The accumulations of a 
life-time had been swept away, and it is not unlikely that 
the graceless return Avhich the Indians had made for all 
his kindness had an effect upon his mind. His were the 
buildings destroyed pi-evious to the general conflagration. 


98 KING Philip's war. 

He felt, too, tlie weight of the responsibility that was upon 
him, in his j^osition as the leading man of the town. Mr. 
Glover, the minister, lost one of the most valuable private 
libraries that New England then contained. Hubbard 
calls it a " brave library." This he had but a short time 
before removed from one of the fortified houses, to which 
he had carried it for safety. But, " being impatient for 
want of his books, he brouglat them back, to his great sor- 
row, fit foi^ the bonfire for the proud, insulting enemy." 
Perhaps nothing will moi'e perfectly exhibit the state of 
feeling into which the disaster threw Major Pynchon, than 
extracts from letters written by him at that time. The fol- 
lowing is taken from his letter to Governor Leverett, writ- 
ten from Springfield under date of October 8th : 

" Our people are under great discouragement — talk of leav- 
ing the place. We need your orders and directions about it. 
If it be deserted, how wofully do we yield to, and encourage, 
our insolent enemy, and how doth it make way for the giving 
up of all the towns above. If it be held, it must be by 
strength and many soldiers, and how to have provision — I 
mean bread — for want of a mill, is difficult. The soldiers 
here already complain on that axcount, although we have 
flesh enough. And this very stiait — I mean no meal, will 
drive many of our inhabitants away, especially those that 
have no corn, and many of them no houses, which fills and 
throngs up every room of those that have, together with the 
soldiers now (which yet we cannot be without,) increasing 
our numbers, so that indeed it is very uncomfortable living 
here, and for my own particular, it would be far better for me 
to go away, because here I have not anything left, — I mean 
no corn, neither Indian nor English, and no means to keep 
one beast here ; nor can I have release in this town because 
so many are destitute. But I resolve to attend what God 
calls me to, and to stick to it as long as I can, and though I 
have such great loss of my comforts, yet to do what I can for 
defending the place. I hope God will make up in himself 
what is wanting in the creature, to me and to us all. 

" This day a post is sent up from Hartford to call off Major 
Treate, with a part of his soldiers, from intelligence they have 
of a party of Indians lying at Wethersfield, on the East side 
of the river, so that matters of action here do linger exceed- 
ingly, which makes me wonder what the Lord intends with 
his people. Strange providences diverting us in all our 
hopeful designs, and the Lord giving opportu-nity to the 
venemy to do us mischief, and then hideing of them, and 

MAJOK ptnchon's resignatiox. 99 

answering all our prayers by terrible things in righteous- 

" Sir. I am incapable of holding my command, being more 
and more unfit, and almost confounded in my understanding. 
The Lord direct you to pitch on a meeter person than ever I 
was. According to liberty from the Council, I shall devolve 
all upon Capt. Appleton, unless Major Treat shall return 
again, when you shall give your orders as shall be most meet 
to yourselves. 

" To speak my thoughts, all these towns ought to be garri- 
soned, as I have formerly hinted, and had I been left to my- 
self, should, I think, have done that which might possibly 
have prevented this damage, but the express order to do as I 
did, was by the wise disposing hand of God, who knew it 
best for us, and therein we must acquiesce. And truly to go 
out after the Indians in the swamps and thickets, is to hazard 
all our men, unless we knew where they keep, which is alto- 
gether unknown to us, and God hides from us for ends best 
known to himself. We are in great hazard, if we do but go 
out for wood, to be shot down by some skulking Indians.'' 

The deep religious spirit with which INIr. Pynchon re- 
garded his calamities is evidenced further in a letter writ- 
ten on the 20th of October, to his son Joseph, in London. 
It cannot be that the many descendants of this noble man, 
now in New England, or the multitude in "Western Massa- 
chusetts who are reaping the reward of his toils and trials, 
will regard with indifference a production so fatherly and 
Christianly, and it is given entire. 

" Springfield, Oct. 20, 1675. 
^^ Dear Son Joseph: — The sore contending of God with us 
for our sins, unthankfulness for former mercies, and unfaith- 
fulness under our precious enjoyments, hath evidently dem- 
onstrated that he is very angry with this country, God having 
given the heathen a large commission to destroy. And ex- 
ceeding havoc have they made in this country, destroying 
two or three small places above Northampton and Hadley, 
and lately they have fallen upon Springfield, and almost 
ruined it by burning of houses. About 30 or 32 dwelling 
houses are burnt down, and some twenty five barns, full of 
corn and hay. The Lord hath spared my dwelling house,* 
but my barns and out-housing are all burned down, and all 
my corn and hay consumed ; and not anything have I left of 
food, either for man or beast. All my mills, both corn and 

*Ttie late old brick " fort," or the " old Pynchon House." 

100 KING Philip's war. 

saw mills, are burnt down. Those at home, in this town, and 
also those I had in other places ; and four of those houses 
and barns to them, which were burnt in this towne, belongeth 
to rae also. So that God hath laid me low. My farmers are 
also undone, and many in this towne that were in my debt, 
utterly disabled, so that I am really reduced to greate straites. 

" But it is the Lord's good pleasure it should be so, and He 
is most just and righteous ; yea, in very faithfulness hath he 
done it for the good of my soule. I have not the least cause 
to murmur and repine at the wise dispose of a gracious God 
and loving Father, but desire to acquiesce in his good pleas- 
ure, and to lie at his foote in holy submission to his blessed 

" This Providence, and the state of this country in reference 
to this Indian war, afford matter of consideration in reference 
to your coming over, which I have much desired and wrote to 
you for ; but now shall leave you at your liberty, not having 
ground or seeing cause to press you upon it, further than you 
shall yourself see reason for it. Though I and your mother 
should be exceeding glad to see )-ou, yet, as tymes are, ques- 
tion whether it be best to come over yet (I mean now) ; and 
how God may dispose of us I know not. We are yet here at 
Springfield — my house garrisoned with soldiers, and full of 
troubles and hurrys. The Lord help us to remember our 
peace and quietness and truly to lament our abuse thereof, 
and heartily and really to turn to himself by unfeigned re- 
pentance. The Lord is in earnest with us, and truly he ex- 
pects our being in earnest in returning to himselfe. 

" Oh, dear Son ! How sweet is an interest in Christ Jesus 
in these distracting tymes ! They are trying tymes, and it is 
o-ood, knowing in Avhom we have believed. Treasure in 
heaven is abiding, when the greatest earthly enjoyments may 
soon fail us, and come to nothing. Let us, therefore, while 
we have them so use them, as using them sitting loose from 
them, and being contented to part with all when God calls for 
it. In the improving of the creature, to sit loose from it, is a 
sweete and blessed frame, for I know it is a duty to look after, 
and manage what God hath given us, and in that respect I 
may call on you to doe your best, in a way of prudence, to 
sell your estate in England, and in it advise with Mr. Wick- 
ens and brother Smith [Henry Smith, JMajor Pynchon's broth- 
er-in-law, who returned to England in 1652] who I know will 
alford the best help they can, and doe as you are able. I am 
not able to alford you any helpe, but by my prayers, which I 
am always putting up for you; and as God shall enable, I 
shall be ready to do my utmost for you otherwise. The Lord 
^'^"n mercy be good to you and us. How he may deal with us 


I know not. Where his providence may cast me, whether to 
Boston or further, or whether I may live to get out of this 
place, it is only with himself, and on that strong rod I desire 
to depend for salvation, here and hereafter. I am in straits 
and hurrys, and may only add mine and your mother's en- 
deared love and affection to you, with hearty wishes and 
prayers for you. I commend you to the grace of God in 
Christ Jesus, and am your affectionately loving father, 

John Pynchon 

"(P S.) Dear Son. — I would not have you troubled at 
these sad losses which I have met with. There is no reason 
for a child to be troubled when his father calls in that which 
he lent him. It was the Lord that lent it to me, and he that 
gave it hath taken it away, and blessed be the name of the 
Lord. He hath done very well for me, and I acknowledge 
his goodness, and desire to trust in Him and submit to Him 
forever. And doe you, with me, acknowledge and justify 

Admirable man ! Noble father ! Christ's grace-in- 
formed disciple ! In thy distracted bosom, crushed by dis- 
aster ; in thy heart brimming with love to God, and tender 
with sweetest affections ; in thy reverent spirit, bowed with 
lowliest humiliation, yet strong in holiest trust; in thy 
soul where every Christian grace sprang to new life by 
the sweet nourishment of tears, thy wealth — thy truest 
wealth — was left ; — a better legacy to posterity than gold 
or lands ; possessions more to be coveted than cro^v^is and 
empires ! 

The destruction of Springfield threw the towns above, 
viz : Northampton, Iladley and Hatfield, into the most pro- 
found distress and alarm. The plantations North of them 
had been cut off, Springfield was in ashes, and they knew 
that their turn must come next. Major Treat had been 
recalled, the very flower of the colonial forces on the field 
had been cut off, !Major Pynchon, the foremost man in the 
settlements, and one in whose wisdom they had always 
placed the greatest confidence, had resigned his command, 
the Connecticut troops that remained hardly knew how 
they had a right to act in the absence of their commander, 
and all lacked confidence in the policy of the Commission- 
ers. Rev. John Russell of Hadley, wrote to Governor 
Leverett, representing the condition of things. He wrote 
during the absence of the troops who had gone to Spring- 
field, when he said the town was alone : — '" The men in 


^0^2 KING Philip's war. 

these towns, who before trembled at the order that none 
shoukl be left in garrison when the army went out, are now 
much more distressed at the thoughts of it as looking at 
themselves, thereby exposed to inevitable ruin at their en- 
emy's assault, which we might expect. Especially the 
town of Iladley is now likely to drink next, if mercy pre- 
vent not, of tlie same bitter cup. "We are but about fifty 
families, and now left solitary." Mr. Russell urged upon 
the Governor the necessity of furnishing each town with a 
sufficient garrison, and suggested that either Major Pyn- 
chon or Capt. Appleton, or both, should be empowered to 
direct the towns in their system of fortifications. 

It is proper here to allude, in greater detail, to the cir- 
cumstances under which Major Pynchon resigned his com- 
mission, for they have generally been misunderstood. It 
has been supposed that the affliction he met with in the de- 
struction of his property, was the cause of his resignation. 
Such is not the fact. From a letter of the Massachusetts 
Council to him, written Sept. 15th, 1675, it appears that 
he had resigned previous to that date. One of the causes 
will appear in the following words of the Council : " You 
are the chief military officer in the county where you have 
your habitation, interest and concerns, and where by Di- 
vine Providence, a considerable part of the stress of this 
war is at present ; you have able and judicious persons un- 
der you, that will assist you in Council and action. Your 
plea concerning your sense of the lashes of the tongues of 
men against you, and that spirit of opposing rulers which 
much shows itself among us, it is matter of grief and dis- 
couragement, but it is no otherwise than Aaron, David 
and divers others of the servants of God have met with." 
The Council did not accept his resignation. Gov. Lever- 
ett wrote him a letter Sept. 24th, still declinino- to dis- 
charge him. On the 30th of the same month, Major Pyn- 
chon wrote to the Council agam, entreating that he might 
be discharged, giving as a reason the great anxieties of his 
Avife on his account, and it is by no means improbable that 
those anxieties were the real basis of his entire course of 
action in the premises. Another letter of Major Pynchon 
has been preserved in the archives of the State, which, 
bearing neither date nor signature, was evidently written 
early after the destruction of his property. It was ad- 


dressed to the Council, and in it he says : " My sad state of 
affairs at home will necessitate your discharging me, and 
truly I am so full of trouble and overwhelmed with it, that 
I cannot act business. I beseech you, do not ex- 
pose me to those temptations which will overwhelm me if 
you do not discharge me. I would not willingly sin against 
God nor offend you, and entreat you to ease me of my 
pressures." It is a singular fact that, " on account of his 
hnportunity," he was discharged the very day Springfield 
was burnt, and that while he was writing his letters after 
that date, begging for his discharge, he was no longer in 
office. The welcome bearer of the dispatch had not then 
reached him. 

Major Pynchon was thus relieved of his command, and 
allowed to remain Avith his distressed flock at Springfield ; 
and, after strengthening the garrisons of the place, Capt. 
Samuel Appleton, upon whom the command Avas devolved, 
returned to Hadley, with the most of the forces, on the 
12th of October — eight days after the sad disaster at 
Springfield had transpired. On arriving at Hadley, two 
days were spent in sending out scouts to discover the lurk- 
ing-places of the enemy, but the scouts, with the feai-ful 
memories of the locality upon them, Avere timid, and ac- 
comphshed nothing. Perplexed Avith his orders to leave 
no men in garrison, but to use all for a field army, embar- 
rassed by the absence of Major Treat, and the responsibili- 
ties of his new command, Cai)t. Appleton hardly kncAV 
Avhich Avay to turn. lie finally concluded that he Avould 
go forth in fUll force on a hostile expedition against the 
enemy, and on the 14th, ordered Capt. Moseley, Avho, Avith 
his company, Avas then at Hatfield, and Capt. Seeley, 
stationed at Northampton Avith a company of Connecticut 
troops, to repair fortlnvith to Head Quarters, and report 
themselves ready for service. Capt. Moseley and his men 
were on the ground almost immediately, but Capt. Seeley, 
after some delay, reported himself Avithout his company, 
declainng that he held no commission, and could not act. 
Capt. Ai)pleton dispatched a note to Hartford, and ex- 
plained hoAv everything was obstructed by the absence of 
Major Treat. The reply to this missive Avas received on 
the IGth, in AAdiich the Hai-tford Council referred to the ab- 
sence of the Plymouth troops, which, by agreement, should 


be on the ground ; and for reasons connected with this 
state of things, excused their inaction. 

After dispatchuig his letter to Hartford, Capt. Appleton 
drew forth his men, leaving a company of 60 in garrison 
under Capt. Sill, intending to march to Northfield, but they 
had hardly got out of Hadley befoi'e intelligence reached 
them that the tracks of the enemy had been discovered in 
great numbers on the opposite side of the river. The 
force immediately crossed the river, but the day was past, 
and they hardly succeeded in getting out of Hatfield be- 
fore nightfall. They started for Deeriield, and proceeded 
sevei'al miles, when the discharge of a gun was heard, and 
the noise of Indians. This brought the force to a halt, and 
the officers to consultation. Capt. Aj^pleton was for pro- 
ceeding, but Capt. Moseley was for returning, believing 
that, as soon as they were fairly away, the Indians would 
fall upon Hatfield and Hadley. Capt. Moseley's opinions 
and a threatening storm decided the question, and the army 
took the backward track. On the 17th, great numbers of 
the enemy were reported at Deerfield, and some of them 
much nearer, and, on the same day, a communication was 
received from Hartford, making it very uncertain when the 
Connecticut forces would again be available. In the even- 
ing of the same day, the people of Northampton sent over 
for help, in addition to Capt. Seeley and his fifty men, as 
they were much in fear of being assaulted. The enemy 
had then been discovered within a mile of Hatfield, and, 
at midnight, the Hadley forces were pushed across the 
river. But they " wearied themselves with a tedious night 
and morning's march, without making any discovery of the 

Nothing can represent more fully the perplexity under 
which Capt. Appleton labored, in consequence of the policy 
and orders of the Commissioners, than his unsteady action 
at this time. This policy was directly at war with the 
common sense of every man on the field of operations. 
" In very truth," says Capt. Appleton to Governor Lever- 
ett, writing on the 17th, " I am in straits on every side. 
To leave the towns without any help, is to leave them to 
apparent ruin. To supply with any now in the absence of 
Connecticut, is hardly reconcilable with the order of the 


Whether the Council at Hartford reconsidered their ac- 
tion, does not appear, but the fact is recorded that Major 
Treat had arrived at Northampton on the 19th, with a con- 
siderable force, for the protection of that town. At that 
date, Capt. Appleton was at Hadley with one company, 
Avhile, in consequence of the more exposed situation of the 
place, Hatfield was garrisoned by two companies, respect- 
ively under the command of Captain Moseley and Captain 
Poole. At this date, too, when the forces were well ar- 
ranged for resistance, the enemy came, to the number of 
700 or 800, and fell upon Hatfield, being able by their 
overwhelming numbers to make their attack in every quar- 
ter. Previous to the onset, they had cut off the scouts 
that had been sent out to communicate warning of their 
approach, and it is probable that the attack was in some 
measure a surprise. Poole and his men entered into a 
siiirited defense of one extremity, while the veteran Mose- 
ley dealt death to the enemy in the center. Capt. Apple- 
ton, with the Hadley forces, was soon on the ground, and 
eno'ao-ed the foe at the other extremity. The figlit Avas a 
desperate and spirited one, but numbers on the side of the 
Indians proved no match for superior discipline, arms, and 
skill on the part of the English. Tlie enemy were re- 
pulsed at every point. The engagement took place just at 
the close of the day, and the enemy had been entertained 
so hotly that they retired in great haste and confusion, only 
having had time to burn a few barns and other out-build- 
ings, and drive off a number of cattle. Capt. Ap[)leton's 
sergeant — Freegrace Norton — was mortally wounded by 
his side, " another bullet passing through his own hair, by 
that whisper telling him that death was very near." The 
names of those killed were Tliomas Mcekins, Nathaniel 
Collins, llichard Stone, Samuel Clarke, John Pocock, 
Thomas Warner, Abram Quiddington, William Olverton, 
and John Petts. The loss of the Indians must have been 
considerable, though the fall of night upon their retreat, 
and their scrupulous adlierence to the custom of carrying 
otf their dead, made it impossible to ascertain how great. 
Some were driven through Mill River, and in their at- 
tempts to carry oft' their dead, either purposely or accident- 
ally dropped their guns into the river, and there left tliem, 
with the hope, probably, of ultimately rccliuming them. 

106 KING Philip's war. 

During all these secret movements and spirited opera- 
tions of the Indians, it is a singular fact that Philip was 
either never seen or never recognized. That he was the 
reigning genius of the war, that he directed in all the im- 
portant movements of the Indians, and that the malicious 
policy of the savages had its source and center in him, 
there was no doubt ; but the history of his daily life during 
this eventful period is, and must forever be, unwritten. 
The dread of the English and the right arm of their foes, 
no bullet reached him, and no marksman's eye detected 
him, but his was the controlling voice at the council fire, 
his the leading step in every night and forest-covered ex- 
pedition, and his the signal for those terrific visitations of 
savage force that devoted large bodies of the English to 
slaughter, or laid in waste their helpless villages. 

It was now among the last days of October — quite No- 
vember, in fact, reckoning time by the Gregorian calendar, 
not then adopted, and an early Winter was coming rapidly 
down upon the Valley. Discouraged by the poor success 
attending their attack u]>on Hatfield, and furnished with 
insignificant supplies, Philip's Wampanoags took their way 
through the forest to the Narraganset country, and, during 
all the Winter, Philip's presence was never ascertained to 
be among them. Some imagined that he had gone West, 
to engage allies in the region of the Hudson river. One 
writer reports him to have been within forty miles of Al- 
bany during the Winter, with 400 or .500 Indians, and 
him^^lf so disabled by sickness that the Hadley chief, who 
was present, took the command of the force. But his di- 
recting mind and implacable spirit were nevertheless ap- 
parent. The river Indians mostly remained upon the 
river, but, during the Winter, made no serious demonstra- 
tions. Soon after the attack on Hatfield, a number of the 
inhabitants of Northampton went into the field to secure 
some of their corn, when, having left their arms under 
their cart, they were surprised by the approach of a party 
of Indians, but made good their escape. The alarm called 
out Major Treat, but before he could come up with them, 
they had succeeded in burning seven or eight buildings 
that stood a little out of the tovm, and in getting beyond 
his reach. A few days subsequently, Thomas Salmon, Jo- 
^Beph Baker and Joseph Baker Jr., were killed in the 


meadow, and tlie Indians attempted to burn the mill, " but 
it was too well guarded by two files of musketeers lodged 
there for the purpose, who put them beside their intent." 
Springfield, in consequence of the destruction of its corn 
mill, was obliged to resort to the neighboring plantation of 
Westfield, to get its corn ground. Rev. Mr. Taylor, the 
minister at that i)lace, says in the records kept by him : 
" Our soil was moistened by the blood of three Springfield 
men — young Goodman Dumbleton and two sons of Good- 
man Brooks, who came here to look for iron ore on land 
bought of Mr. J. Pyuchon, who accompanied them, but 
they fell in the way by the first assault of the enemy." 
This occurred just after the murdei's at Northampton, and, 
at the same time, the Indians burnt in Westfield the house 
of a Mr. Cornish, and John Sackett's house and barn, with 
their contents. A Mr. Granger was seriously wounded in 
the same aifair. Around vSpringficld, the Indians Avere 
hovering in squads all the Winter, awaiting opportunity to 
cut off such stragglers as might present themselves. Dur- 
ing this period, the settlers at the Long jNIeadow were de- 
prived of the privilege of attending meetings at their only 
place of worship in Springfield, for the Indians were skulk- 
ing in every quarter. On the last Sabbath of the follow- 
ing March, it being the 2Gtli of the month, they came to 
the determination to attempt a visit to their much loved 
sanctuary. They numbered eighteen — men, women aud 
children — and had ])roceeded as tar as Pecowsic brook, ac- 
companied by a small guard, wlien they were assaulted by 
a band of eight savages, and John Keep, his wife, and their 
infant child, were killed, and several others wounded. Mr. 
Keep was at that time a 2)rominent man in the town, and 
held the office of selectman. Accounts of this aifau- differ 
somewhat materially. ]Maj. Savage, at that time having 
his Head Quartei's at ILuUey, wrote a letter to the Coun- 
cil two days after the occurrence, in which he says the In- 
dians " killed a man and a maid, wounded two men, and 
carried away captive two women and two children." He 
then goes on to say that he co-operated with JMajor Pyn- 
chon in giving them chase, and their force of horse coming 
up with them, tlie Indians immediately killed the two cliil- 
drcn, very badly wounded the women with their hatchets, 
and escaped into the swamp. One of the women at that 

108 KING Philip's war. 

time lay senseless witli lier wounds, and it is probable that 
she was the wife of Mr. Keep, and that one of the chil- 
dren killed belonged to her. The guard which accompa- 
nied the party were openly flouted as cowards. The 
Council in a letter to Major Savage declared it a great 
shame, and " humbling to us," while a rhymester of the 
day celebrated their lack of bravery in the following 

'' Seven Indians, and one without a gun, 
Caused Capt. Nixon and forty men to run.' 

About this time, a Springfield man, going across the 
river to look after his corn and his house, located there, 
was shot down by the Indians, who then burnt his house. 
Among the last days of Winter, Westfield suffered again. 
Indians were discovered in the vicinity, and a scout was 
sent out to ascertain their locality and numbers. Instead 
of two or three individuals going out, to fulfill the inten- 
tions of the scout, ten or twelve went out fully armed, and, 
discovering the enemy, fell upon them, and received a fire 
in return which killed Moses Cook, one of the planters, 
and a soldier who was probably stationed in garrison there. 

It will have been seen that the people of Springfield, 
notwithstanding the deep distress into which they were 
thrown by the burning of their town, still occupied their 
settlement. That they did not break up, and retire to a 
safer locality, was attributable to a positive order of the 
General Court, which very wisely interfered to prevent a 
step so disastrous in itself, and in its effects. The order 
was a general one, but was uttered, doubtless, with refer- 
ence to the particular case of vSpringfield. The "Winter of 
1G75-76 was a very mild one, and providentially no suf- 
fering was experienced from lack of food. ' Though the 
organized and powerful hostilities of the Indians were sus- 
pended, the inhabitants of the river towns felt that the 
storm had not yet passed away, and during the lull which 
the Winter afforded, they busied themselves in the con- 
struction of fortifications, about their plantations and houses. 
These were necessarily rude, and consisted of posts of 
cleft wood, set in the ground, forming little more than a 
strong fence, and hardly a suflicient barrier against com- 
mon musketry. Some of the towns or villages were en- 
*tirely inclosed by these palisades, and, weak as they Avere, 


they afterwards proved formidable to the enemy, for, though 
easy to enter in case of an attack, they were hard to es- 
cape from in the confusion of retreat. After the comple- 
tion of these works, the troops at Hadley were called off 
to Connecticut and the East, a sufficient number only being 
left to garrison the several towns. 

In the Eastern part of the colony, operations against the 
Indians Avere continued. Captain Henchman was sent out 
from Boston against some Indian lodges at Mendon, and 
other places in the vicinity, but, besides recovering a cap- 
tive, burning some corn, and proving the shame of cow- 
ardice upon his company, he accomplished nothing, while 
he lost two of his men. It had been ascertained that a 
number of the Narragansets were present at the operations 
on the Connecticut River, during the previous autumn, and 
the professions of friendsliip received from the sachem 
were known to be treacherous. Accordingly, the Commis- 
sioners of tlie United Colonies determined upon attacking 
them in their strong-hold, which occupied a swamp in the 
present toAvn of South Kingston, R. I. It was resolved to 
raise a force of one thousand men. of whidi Massacliusetts 
was to furnish 527, Connecticut o 15, and Plymouth 158, — 
the Massachusetts troops to be commanded by Major Sam- 
uel Appleton, the Connecticut troops by Major Treat, and 
tlie Plymouth troops by Governor Winslow, the latter be- 
ing the commander-in-chief. Caj)tain IMoseley was among 
the Massachusetts Captains, and Captain Seeley, formerly 
stationed at Northampton, commanded a Connecticut com- 
pany. On the way to the enemy's country, Capt. Moseley 
surprised and captured thirty-six of the enemy, and other 
companies succeeded in killing and capturing several, and 
in burning 150 cabins. Moseley's life Avas particularly 
sought for by the desperate savages met upon the way, but 
he escaped, and was placed forward in leading the way to 
the fort. The army was exposed to great hardships, from 
the snow and cold, and from the destruction by fire of 
buildings they had intended to make their head quarters. 
On the 19th, the fort was reached, and attacked, and after 
a bloody struggle, captured. Tiie slaughter of Indian 
warriors was terrible, not less than 700 being slain, and 
300 mortally wounded. The wigwams, to the number of 
several hundred, Avere fired, and in them, and among the 


110 KING rniLIP'S WAR. 

flames, miserably perished hundreds of women and chil- 
dren, Avhile the ■wounded warriors were seen broiling and 
roasting in the fires. The whole number of Indians in the 
fort at the commencement of the attack was about four 
thousand, and those who were fortunate enough to escape 
from the bullet and the fire, fled into the adjacent cedar 
swamp, and passed the night as they could, and a terrible 
night it must have been. Nearly two hundred troops were 
killed and wounded, and many of the latter, who had not 
received Avounds necessarily mortal, died in consequence 
of an immediate march of sixteen miles to Pettyquamscot, 
in a snow-storm. The struggle Avas particularly fatal to 
the captains, who necessarily led their men, and received 
the first fatal fire from the enemy. Among the eight cap- 
tains killed, or mortally wounded, was Capt. Seeley of 

The forces were not entirely drawn oif • from the Narra- 
ganset country, but remained, and succeeded in cutting olF 
many stragglers, and in destroying the stores of the ene- 
my. In the meantime, the principal part of the Narragan- 
sets had fled, and joined themselves to the Nipmucks, the 
Connecticut River Indians, and the other allies of Philij:) 
about Deerfield and Northfield. Still there were large 
numbers of Indians at the East, and on the 10th of Feb- 
ruary they fell upon Lancaster, and killed and captured 42 
people, out of the fifty that the town contained. In the 
latter part of February, Mendon was burnt, and twenty 
inhabitants killed. Subsequently, several buildings were 
burned in Weymouth, and soon afterwai'ds Groton, Marl- 
borough and Warwick (near Providence) were destroyed. 
About this time, Capt. Pierce of Seituate, with his force of 
fifty men, after slaying one hundred of the enemy, was cut 
down with the loss of neai^ly every man. A short time 
after this, seventy houses and barns were burnt at Reho- 
botli, and thirty houses at Providence. There was a mas- 
sacre also of eleven persons at Plymouth. On the 18th 
of April, Sudbury Avas partly burned, and a relief force 
from Concord was ambushed and slain. Captains Wads- 
worth and Brocklebank, with a considerable force, were at 
this time on the march for the protection of Marlborough, 
but turning from their route to look after the Indians about 
/"•■'Sudbury, lell into an ambuscade, and nearly their whole 


force was massacred. Several towns in tlie Plyinoutli col- 
ony then suffered more or less considerable ravages of the 
enemy. On the 27th of March, a body composed of vol- 
Tmteers from Connecticut, accompanied by a number of 
friendly Indians, penetrated the Nari'aganset country, un- 
der Captains Dennison and Avery. At this time, Conan- 
chet, the sachem of the tribe, who, after the destruction of 
his fort, had fled to Northfield, returned to secure some 
seed-corn with wliich he proposed to plant the meadows on 
the Connecticut that had been forsaken by the whites. 
His party were fallen in with by the Connecticut volun- 
teers, and himself captured. After rejecting the offer of 
his life, if he would make peace with the English, he was 
])ut to death, and died as wortliily as his father, the impla- 
cable Miantonomo, could have wished. This Connecticut 
force did very important service to the frontier towns of 
Massachusetts and Plymouth during their stay in the coun- 
try, fairly driving the Indians out of the region. They 
captured in all about two hundred and thirty Indians, took 
fifty muskets, and one hundred and sixty bushels of corn, 
and, during all these operations, lost hardly a man. It was 
the best managed body of troops that had thus far engaged 
in the war. The dispersion of the Indians in that quarter 
became, of course, the cause of their concentration to a 
considerable extent upon tlie Connecticut, and to this re- 
gion the scene of war returns. 


The Campaign of 1676 — King Philip's War con- 

Early in the Spring of 1 67G, Major Thomas Savage, 
with several new companies of Massachusetts troops, and 
Major Treat of Connecticut, with a force from that colony, 
joined at Brookfield, and after a few unimportant skirm- 
ishes with the enemy, proceeded to Hadley, where the 
presence of the former has already been incidentally al- 
luded to. Their troops were distributed as follows : In 
Hadley, one Connecticut company, and two Massachusetts 
companies, respectively under the command of Capt. 
Whipple, and Capt. Gilman, all being under Major Sav- 
age ; at Northampton, two Connecticut companies, with 
Capt. William Turner's company of Massachusetts troops, 
under Major Treat ; and at Hatfield, the indefatigable and 
gallant Moseley, with his company and a company of Con- 
necticut troops. Soon after taking up their quarters, evi- 
dences were not lacking to show that active service was at 
hand. In the morning twilight of the 14tli of March, a 
large body of Indians made a furious attack upon North- 

■ ampton. The palisades that had been erected during the 
Winter, offered but feeble resistance to them, and were 
broken through in three places. But after they had suc- 
ceeded in firing ten buildings, killing Robert Bartlett, 
Thomas Ilolton, two otlier men, and two Avomen, and 
wounding several in addition, they were repulsed by the 
spirited operations of Major Treat and his troops, and fled 
in confusion into the woods. In a letter to the Council, 
written March 28th, by Rev. John Russell of Hadley, the 
Indians are said to have " burnt five houses and five barns 
— one within the fortification " — and to have slain " five 
persons and wounded five." Tlie same authority states 
that about a dozen Indians were found slain. Dissatisfied 
with this adventure, they immediately went to Hatfield, but 
were prevented from attacking it by the opportune arrival 

^*of a re-inforcement of troops from Hadley. Not willing 


to give up the day thus, they returned to Northampton, but 
the difficidty they had previously experienced, in tlieir re- 
treat through the openings they had made in the j^alisades, 
appealed too strongly to their caution, and they withdrew. 
Soon after this they appeared at Westfield, but, beyond 
killing one man and taking a quantity of corn, they effect- 
ed no damage. 

Either from an abstract consideration of policy, or under 
the suggestion of the attacks made upon the Longmeadow 
cavalcade, upon Northampton, and other out-dwellers and 
out-posts, the Council of Massachusetts transmitted to Ma- 
jor Savage a letter of instructions, which created one of 
those storms of local feeling which have not been uncom- 
mon in more recent periods, and which then threatened 
very serious disturbances. This letter was dated March 
20th, and the following is the portion of it, in point : 

"That those our towns on Connecticut River, do immedi- 
ately consult and determine the putting themselves into such 
a posture as may best accommodate their security and pro- 
vision, which we judge mu?t be by their gathering together 
in such places and numbers that they may be able to defend 
themselves, and some considerable part of each company be 
improved in planting, &c,, and, in case this cannot be in each 
town, then the lesser towns must gather to the greater. To 
remain in such a scattered state, is to expose lives and estates 
to the merciless cruelty of Itie enemy, and is no less than 
tempting divine providence ; and to quit our plantations, one 
after another, refusing to comply to the present humbling 
hand of the Lord against us, is to be our own executioners^ 
and we fear will be. * * * Some that know those places 
best, do apprehend that Springfield and Hadley are the fittest 
places for their fortifying and planting." 

At the same time, the Secretary of the Cotmcil trans- 
mitted a letter to IMajor Pynchon, on the same subject, in 
which he says : " tliere is no way that we can see, but to 
come all together, into some convenient place in the town, 
and take in so large a fort that the proprietors may live in 
distinct houses or shelters ; and Westfield must join with 
you, and totally remove to you, for it is inqiossible to hold 
l)oth towns, the enemy being so many in those parts, and 
our army must remove from thence." The Secretary then 
goes on to state that the most of the frontiers are drawing 
off, and that the present work is the securing of the priuci- 


114 KING Philip's "VVAR. 

pal towns on the sea coast. The drift of the letter was 
that the cost of maintaining the scattered settlements on 
the Connecticut was altogether too much, and it closed 
with the following threat : " if your people be averse from 
our advice, we must be necessitated to clraw off our forces 
from thence, for we cannot spare them, nor supply them 
with ammunition." 

These 9rders, or this " advice," became immediately the 
cause of the most intense dissatisfaction. Rev. Solomon 
Stoddard, the successor in 1G72, of Mr. Mather, at North- 
ampton, wrote a letter to the Council, on the 28th of 
March, signed by himself, John Strong, Wm. Clarke, Da- 
vid Wilton, John Lyman and John King, in which he 
says : " The Lord has wonderfully appeared of late for our 
preservation, and we fear it Avould be displeasing unto 
Him if we should give up into the hands of our enemies, 
by running away, that which the Lord has so eminently 
delivered out of their hands when they did so violently as- 
sault us." Ml". Stoddard then enlarged upon the impor- 
tance of keeping up tlie place for the accommodation of 
the army, and made the very practical proposition to re- 
ceive into the Northampton garrison fifty soldiers, in addi- 
tion to those Avlio had been there all Winter, with the 
promise, on the part of the town, "• to diet them freely, and 
pay their wages." The letter closes with the following al- 
lusion to Springfield : '■ "Wliereas some have informed the 
Council that Springfield is one of the most convenient 
towns for others to repair to, your honors are much misled 
therein, for the bulk of the town is burnt ab-eady, whereby 
they are incapable to entertain others, and their land lies 
remote — most of it on the other side of the great river, so 
that they are incapable, we fear, either to maintain them- 
selves." Under the same date, Mr. RusseU of Hadley 
wrote to the Council, upon the same subject. He says : 
" there appears something working towards a frustration 
and disappointment of that good end aimed at, viz : an 
inclination manifested in divers, especially at Westfield, 
(which town I guess at as not like to hold together) in case 
they be necessitated to pluck up, to remove out of the col- 
ony to Windsor or Hartford, or some other towns in that 
jurisdiction, whereby it may come to pass that a town, and 
^perhaps others in the same manner, may be broken." ISlx. 


Russell suggested, in view of this state of things, an act, 
or order, forbidding individuals to leave their plantations, 
to remove into another jurisdiction, without a special 

It would appear from Mr. Russell's letter, that the state 
of feeling that prevailed at Westfield was known among 
the other towns on the river, before it Avas communicated 
to the Council by the town itself; and from the subsequent 
proceedings of the town, it is not improbable that they 
were meant to be, and that the strongest reports of the dis- 
satisfaction of the people were sought to be disseminated, 
that they might have an effect upon the decisions of the 
Council in regard to them. On the 2d of April, Isaac 
Phelps, David vVshley, and Josiah Dewey, in behalf of the 
town of Westlield, addressed a long letter to the Council. 
The letter was written by Mr. Taylor, the minister, whose 
style of literary labor seems to have been wonderfully dif- 
fuse. It appears from the letter that a town meeting had 
been held, at which it was decided that they could them- 
selves accommodate between twenty and thirty families, if 
so many would come and dwell among them. But the 
project of removing to Springfield was altogether an offen- 
sive one, " insomucli that there is not a man among us hav- 
ing the least inclination to remove that way." Mr. Taylor 
then, or, ratlier, the letter which he wrote, goes on to state 
the grounds for entertaining a different opinion of Spring- 
field, as a place of safety, from that stated by the Council, 
in the following curious words : 

" 1st. Its situation — lying on both sides of the great river 
Connecticut, whose P^ast side is void of liabitations, being but 
very few left, and those a great distance asunder ; those on 
the West side being scattered about a mile up and down, 
some of which are hid with brambles; and as for its tillage 
ground, most is a great distance from the town, and not clear 
from brush in some places of it and to it, insomuch as an in- 
different person cannot but judge (as we suppose) that the 
danger is double, in managing field employments, to what 
ours is. 

"2d. Its preparation — It is a place (with grief of heart be it 
spoken) most of the East side in ashes — unbuilt and unforti- 
fied, unless some few houses. 

" 3d. Its providential dispensation — It hath been sorely under 
the blasting hand of God, so that it hath but in a lower de- 

116 KENG Philip's war. 

gree than ordinary answered the labor of the husbandman, 
and sometime his labor upon it is wholly cast away. 

'■'Now these thoughts are very discouraging unto all 
thoughts of our removal thither, for to remove from habitations 
to none, from fortifications to none, from a compact and plain 
place to a scattered, from a place of less danger in the field 
to more, from a place under the ordinary blessing upon our 
labors to one usually blasted, seems to us such a strange thing 
that we find not a man among us inclined thereto." 

The letter incidentally refers to a note that had been ad- 
dressed to the Hartford Council, requesting a re-inforce- 
ment of their garrison, and the refusal of the request ; and 
then goes on to state that they bad proposed to fortify 
themselves by contracting their line of defenses, and, while 
asking for thirty more soldiers for their garrison, intimates 
that if the inhabitants cannot have a safe convoy to some 
place doiomvards, or the thirty soldiers asked for, they pre- 
fer to abide by themselves and their town, rather than to 
go to Springfield. " It grieves us," continues the letter, 
" that we should object so much against Springfield, for the 
Worshipful Major Pynchon's sake, but we judge there is a 
better way fqr his safety than this, and although we -would 
do much for his sake, yet we cannot advantage on this 
ground into such great hazard as appears." Finally, the 
letter does away with all idea of removal in the following 
concluding sentence : " Furthermore, we are altogether in- 
capacitated for any removal, by reason of the awful hand 
of God upon us, in personal visitations, for there came a 
soldier sick of bloody flux, and, dying amongst us, in Capt. 
Cook's family, hath infested the family therewith, insomuch 
that he hath lost a son by it, his wife lies at the point of 
death, his youngest son is very weak of it, and he himself 
is almost brought to his bed by it, and there is another 
family in the house hath it." 

Three days after the dispatch of this communication, 
another one w^as sent to the Hartford Council, which 
proved that the inhabitants were either in a highly excited, 
and even exasperated condition of mind, or that they meant 
to accompUsh their evident desire to remain on their planta- 
tion, and secure a garx'ison to help them, by intrigue and 
finesse. The letter is written by the same hand as the 
other, and alludes in the first place to the order for them 
to^ remove, their objections to removmg to Springfield, and 


the measures they had taken to fortify themselves. The 
letter then proceeds : 

" If we must be gone from hence, many of us have estates 
and friends calhng of us elsewhere, and, thereupon, most of 
us incline, in case we remove, to come downwards. But yet 
the hand of God hath shut us up. so that we apprehend that 
we are under the call of God to abide here at present, by 
reason of the sore hand of God upon us, disenabling Capt. 
Cook's familv, and others, from a remove, who are low, and 
Captain's wife at the point of death, under the bloody flux. 
Wherefore, the ground of these lines is, in part, to intimate 
unto you that if there should be any convoy allowed at the 
present, by your honored selves, to any one, for the bringing 
off their estate, the opportunity being so desirable to us all, 
if our town were not under the circumstances by the hand of 
God upon the persons of some amongst us, whereby it would 
be their death to remove, (yet, we see that it being such a 
desirable opportunity,) that we fear we should lay our hands 
upon - - - - leaving our sick to look to themselves, and 
liable to the rage of merciless enemies. 

This we thought good to leave with you, that you might 
not, against their wills, e.vpose us to such a temptation as such 
an opportunity might be. This, and not any respect of re- 
suming the estate of any one with us, is the ground of this 
intimation ; but the pround also of our lines, is, to desire this 
favor — that you would refresh us in this sad state that we are 
in by letting us understand whether we may have any hopes 
of such a favor, as may be a safety for us, in case the Lord 
should put us in a personal state to remove, by removing his 
afiiictin? hand, and whether or no you would advise us to ad- 
venturelo cast any seed into the land, if God doth detain us 
at the present where we are. You know (we judge) how our 
fields lie. We request not anything at your hands to lay you 
under any temptation, and therefore we have ingeniously inti- 
mated what the thoughts of the Bay gentlemen are concern- 
ing us. But our danger is such as we cannot settle upon 
an'ything, and if we are like to have no relief from yourselves, 
it being knoivn, may be an occasion to force us into the fields. 
The Lord shine forth, and show us our duty, and bring us to 
a willing kissing of the rod. We shall not add, only desiring 
the Almighty to be our shield." 

This letter, whose precise drift and meaning it is some- 
what difficult to arrive at, was answered April 7th, by a 
note from the Hartford Council, scarcely less ambiguous, 
ancl in which they say : " as circumstanced, were we capa- 
ble to anything in way of supply for your continuance 

118 KING Philip's war. 

there, we should do it ; neither have we, nor will we, do 
anything irregularly, to draw you from attendance of what 
from your own authority is presented, if it be found for 
their welfare and advantage ; or to draw off any part to 
the hazard and discouragement of the rest, and shall for- 
bear giving any such opportunity." This utterance of 
declarations showing themselves to be beyond the reach of 
all corruj)tion was doubtless intended for " the gentlemen 
of the Bay," while the whole was qualified to harmonize 
with the tone of Westfield in the words — " We cannot but 
say that when God shall open the door with safety, both 
for shelter to you and security to us, in reference to the 
disease, we shall account it our duty, and accordingly be 
ready to lend our assistance in your transport, and give 
such entertainment as we are capable. In the meantime, 
your patience a little longer will be advisable. If you 
should venture while there to sow, it is somewhat possible 
you may find opportunity of reaping. It is doing what we 
can, and leading the event with God." 

The explanation of both the Westfield letter and the re- 
ply of the Hartford Council would appear to be, that the 
Westfield people did not intend to remove at all, and that 
the Connecticut Government did not wish to have them. 
At the same time, the inhabitants of the disaffected town 
wished to have " the gentlemen of the Bay," think there 
was danger of their removal to Connecticut, in case they 
were not humored and protected in their determination to 
remain where they were, while their Connecticut friends, 
taking care to disclaim all idea of any irregular proceed- 
ings, apparently com2:)lied with their wishes, both to gain 
time, and assist them in achieving their ends. There was 
a good and sufficient reason for the Connecticut Council 
not wishing the Westfield people to desert their town, for 
the more the war could be confined to the upper towns on 
the river, and the greater the number of towns in that 
quarter, the less danger there would be to the towns in 
Connecticut. They could not but see that if the towns 
above them should be deserted, and thus become the plant- 
ing grounds of the Indians, a power would be nursed that 
would shortly endanger themselves. So, their promise to 
bring off" the Westfield people, under certain circumstances, 
yf^a intended only as a placebo to them, and a gentle irri- 


tant to the Massachusetts Council. This is very evident 
from a letter written by the Connecticut Council to the 
Council of Massachusetts on the 27th of April. This let- 
ter expresses disapproval of the order in regard to the re- 
moval of certain towns in Hampshire County, and goes on 
to say that the enemy will destroy the deserted places and 
plant them, and thus, being provided with rich accommo- 
dations, will continually annoy the larger towns that re- 
main. They plead that thus one of the best granaries of 
the Massachusetts colony would be lost, and suggest as a 
better course of policy the taking of men from '' leaner 
places," and planting them in the fertile towns upon the 
Connecticut, thus enabling the towns to defend themselves. 
By whatever motive the policy of Connecticut was gov- 
erned, it was, without doubt, the best, and the Westfield 
people were right in their determination not to remove, 
though the extreme local feeling incidentally developed, 
and the mode resorted to for compassing their ends, in 
their attempt to engage the complicity of the Hartford 
Council, form a curious chapter in the history of the times. 
The disaffected towns carried their ])oint. In an order 
of the Council of April 1st, which must have been issued 
directly upon the receipt of the letters of Mr. Stoddard of 
Northampton and Mr. Russell of Hadley, Major Savage 
was commanded to return home, and '* to leave Soldiers to 
assist those towns, on those terms, [probably the terms of- 
fered by Northampton — to board them and pay their wages,] 
not exceeding liSO men, choosing such as arc the fittest for 
that service." At this date, Major Treat and a portion, at 
least, of his forces, had gone to Connecticut, and IMajor 
Savage was ordered, in case they should return, to march, 
if he should deem it best, against the Indians at Deerlield. 
Previous to the depai'ture of Major Savage, several inhab- 
itants of Hadley wont down the river to Hoccanum, ac- 
companied by a small guard, to work in the meadows. 
Carelessly separating themselves fi'om the guard, and some 
of them even ascending INIt. Holyoke, to obtain a view of 
the surrounding country, they were fallen upon by the In- 
dians, and three of them killed, one of them a prominent 
citizen — Dea. Goodman. Thomas Reed, a soldier, was 
also taken prisoner. On the 27th of April, two citizens of 
Springfield having occasion to go to Skipmuck, (now Chic- 

120 KING Philip's wae. 

opee Falls, in the town of Chicopee,) saw some Indians, 
and, themselves unseen, hastened back to the town. Capt. 
Samuel Holyoke, who had been elected to the Command 
of the militaiy company of the town, to succeed his father, 
Elizur Holyoke, who died in the February previous, took 
a number of men with him, and started in pursuit. The 
Indians, only four in number, were found seated on the 
river bank, and were entirely unsuspicious of danger. 
They were fired upon, and all at first fell, but then jumped 
up, and returned the fire without effect. The Indians then 
took to the river, and were fired upon again. Two died in 
the river, and two escaped to the opposite bank, where one 
fell, and where the fourth was overtaken, captured, and 
brought into Springfield, and there submitted to a close in- 
quisition. He talked freely, and declared that the Indians 
had three forts South of Northfield, that then- number was 
3,000, with 1,000 fighting men, the rest being women and 
children, that there were no foreign Indians with them, 
there being only the river Indians, Narragansets, Nip- 
mucks, Quaboags, and such others as were well known to 
be engaged in the war, that they were bare of clothing and 
provisions, but were furnished with ammunition by the 
Dutch, and that these Indians were so much inclined to 
peace that, were the English to propose it, they would even 
bring in the head of Phihp. He further stated that many 
of them were lurking about the towns for the purposes of 
mischief The statement of the Indian that there were no 
fbreign Indians with them, was drawn out, doubtless, by 
questions based on a suspicion that the INIohawks had been 
induced to join them, through the machinations of Philip. 
Suspicions were also afloat that the intriguing chief had 
taken measures to secure the co-operation of the Canada 
Indians. In regard to this matter, the Indian doubtless 
told the truth. 

On the 15th of May, Thomas Reed, the soldier who was 
taken prisoner near Hoccanum, in the April previous, 
came into Hadley, having escaped from the Indians, and 
reported that the enemy were planting at Deerfield, and 
had then been engaged in the business for several days ; 
that they dwelt at the Falls, (between the present towns 
of Gill and Montague,) on both sides of the river, and 
t^at, though their number was considerable, they were 


mostly old men and women. They were, however, secure 
and scornful, boasting of the great things they had done 
against the English, and would do in the future. Two 
days before the arrival of Reed at Hadley, they had vis- 
ited Hatfield, and driven off many horses and cattle. 
These, he saw at Deerfield, grazing in the meadow, the 
fences being put up to keep them in. Two lads — Stebbins 
and Gilbert — the latter a step-son of Samuel Marshfield of 
Sjiringfield — had before this escaped from captivity, and 
had given full information of the position of the Indians at 
the Falls. The Indians were short of provisions, and had 
gathered here for the purpose of pursuing their fisheries, 
for which there was no better place on the Connecticut, 
while the stream itself had, at that day, probably, no supe- 
rior in the world in the abundance of its finny stores. 
Hoyt, who wrote in 1824, says that many people then liv- 
ing could remember when upwards of 5,000 shad had been 
taken in one day by dipping nets, at Burnam's rock, on the 
falls. This was, of course, previous to the erection of the 
dam now standing there. 

At this time, Philip was known to be among his forces 
in Northern Massachusetts, supposed to be scattered in 
considerable parties from "Wachuset Mountain, in the pres- 
ent town of Princeton, to the Connecticut River. The In- 
dians at the Falls were aware of the comparative weak- 
ness of the English forces on the Connecticut, and were in 
no fear of an attack. Under these circumstances, Capt. 
Turner, who, on Maj. Savage's dejiarture, had been left in 
command, determined to attack them. Accordingly, he as- 
sembled at Hatfield 180 men, drawn chiefly from that 
town, Springfield, Northampton and Iladley, and, with 
Capt. Samuel Holyoke of Springfield as his second in com- 
mand, started on the 17th of May for the Falls. Tlie ex- 
pedition was undertaken on the evening of that day. 
Their course lay up the West side of the river, across 
Bloody Brook, and the forsaken plantation of Deerfield, 
over Deerfield River at the village now known as Cheap- 
side, and on to the West bank of Fall River, near the pres- 
ent factory village in Greenfield. This ride of twenty 
miles was entirely completed in the night. In passing 
Deerfield River, they disturbed a lodge of Indians, and 
came near being discovered, but the Indians finally con- 


122 KING Philip's war. 

eluded that it was a company of moose, and not horses, 
that were wading the river, and returned to theu* slumbers. 
The Indians at the Falls were enjoying their morning nap, 
having the previous night regaled themselves npon the 
milk and flesh of cows which they had stolen from the 
English settlements. Not a scout was out, and all minor 
sounds were tmheard in the ceaseless roar of the waters of 
the Falls: Here, on the bank of Fall River, the soldiers 
tied their horses, and just as the day began to dawn, the 
body resumed its progress on foot. Rusliing boldly and 
rapidly forward, through the intervening woods, they 
reached the back of the camp, situated on high ground, 
upon the river's bank. The word was given, and the ter- 
rific roar of musketry that followed drowned for a moment 
the roar of the waters. The bullets riddled the wigwams, 
and, pouring forth from every hut, the savages rushed out, 
in the vv'ildest alarm. Their cry of " Mohawks !" " Mo- 
hawks !" showed how little they dreamed of an attack from 
the English, and how slight ground there was to suspect 
that the Mohawks were their allies. In their confusion 
axid alarm, their only resort was the river. Shot down on 
every hand, they rushed to their canoes. Some, in the 
haste of the moment, threw themselves into their frail 
boats, and pushed oif without their paddles. These, of 
course, went over the cataract, and were drowned. Others 
Avere shot during their passage across the river, and their 
canoes, one after another, disappeared beneath the tumbling 
waters. Others met death in their cabins, while others, 
still, took shelter under the rocks upon the river's bank, 
Avhere they were sought out, and put to death by the sword. 
Capt. Holyoke, himself, killed five with his sword. Every 
soldier was busy with the terrible work of death, and the 
\vork was very brief. At its close, one hundred Indians 
lay dead upon the ground, " and an hundred and forty wei-e 
seen to pass down the cataract, but one of whom escaped 
drowning." Only one of the soldiers was killed, while it 
was subsequently acknowledged by the Indians that they 
lost, in killed and drowned, 300 men, some of whom were 
their principal sachems. 

Unfortunately for Capt. Turner, he was very feeble in 

Mealth, and but poorly able to sustain the excitement and 

^^tigue of such service, but, knowing his dangerous vicin- 


age to more powerful and better prepared bodies of sav- 
ages, lie ordered the wigwams to be destroyed, and then 
commenced his march for his horses. In the meantime, 
another lod2;e of Indians on the other side of the river had 
become aware of the comparative weakness of his force, 
and commenced to cross in their canoes, for an attack upon 
him. A small force of volunteers against the daring sav- 
ages was driven back, and the little army arrived at the 
place where they had left their horses, just in time to res- 
cue them from the hands of a body of Indians that had 
approached from below. Mounting their horses, they im- 
mediately commenced the return march, which, according 
to every indication, was to be a difficult one. As the sun 
came up, the day grew hot and sultry in the exti*eme, add- 
ing stin further to the indisposition of Capt. Turner, for 
whom it soon became difficult to manage his horse. The 
main body was led by Capt. Turner, while Holyoke, with 
a small detachment, protected the rear. About a mile be- 
low the Falls, on -what is known as Smead's Island, there 
was quite a large lodge of Indians. These being joined 
by those on the left bank of the river, came over, and re- 
peatedly attacked the foi'ce under Holyoke, and were re- 
peatedly driven back. At length Capt. Ilolyoke's horse 
was shot from under him, when several Indians rushed up 
to dispatch him, but drawing his pistol, he shot the fore- 
most, and then, ]jy the aid of his men, got clear of them. 
And now commenced the misfortunes of the little army. 
Capt. Turner's weakness increased, and the troops per- 
ceived that he must soon be unable to guide tlicir move- 
ments. At this unfortunate moment, an Indian captive 
informed the troops that Philip was approaching, with a 
tliousand men, and an apparent confirmation of his state- 
ment was seen in sudden attacks from various quarters, 
A panic descended upon the troops, and the main body 
without an efficient leader, divided into separate squads, 
under different commanders. The route fi'om Fall River 
to Green River was flanked on the left by a morass, whicli 
formed a most desirable cover to the enemy. During its 
passage, one party was entirely destroyed, and another 
taken prisoners, and reserved for the horrible fate of burn- 
ing. At length, the main body reached Green River, and 
here Capt. Turiier received a fatal shot from the enemy, 

124 KING Philip's war. 

and his body was afterwards found by the English where 
it fell, in Greenfield meadow, near the mouth of Green 
River. The command now devolved upon Capt. Holyoke, 
who had, thus far, been the life and the protecting geniug 
of the expedition. lie conducted the retreat, hard pressed 
by the numerous enemy, warding off or escaping from 
warm attacks made at almost every step of his progress, 
until, worn down by the heat and the temble excitements 
of the day, the shattered troop entered Hatfield, diminished 
by the number of thirty-eight men. 

The panic that assailed the troops in the first stage of 
the retreat gave rise to one or two incidents of individual 
suffering so extraordinary as to be worthy of mention. 
Jonathan Wells of Hatfield, received a shot which frac- 
tured his thigh. Just able to keep his horse, he attached 
himself to two of the flying parties in turn, but at last they 
left him behind, and he fell into the company of one Jones, 
also wounded. Both became bewildered in the woods, and 
finally separated. At length, Wells struck Green River, 
and followed it up, until he arrived in the Northerly part 
of the present town of Greenfield, at the place known as 
the Country Farms, where he fell from his horse, exhausted. 
After a swoon of entire unconsciousness, he commenced a 
journey up the stream, in a direction opposite from his 
home, dragging his broken limb, with the assistance of his 
gun, which he used for a crutch ; and, as night approached, 
he jiaused and struck a fire, which accidentally caught the 
leaves around, and spread in all directions. Fearful that 
he should thus attract the Indians, but overcome by fatigue, 
he liad just strength sufficient to bind up his limb with a 
haudkercliief, when he lay down, and fell into a sound 
sleep. In that sleep, he had a dream, which admonished 
him that he had been traveling in tlie wrong direction ; and 
when he awoke he followed its indications. He went down 
Green River, forded Deerfield River, and, while lying 
down to rest, saw an Indian approaching him in a canoe. 
He leveled his gun at him, then perfectly useless, and the 
Indian lea])ed into the water to escape his harmless aim, 
and soon disappeared. Knowing that he should be re- 
ported to the Indians in the vicinity, he retired to a swamp, 
and hid himself. The savages swarmed all around him, 
^-^ut did not find him. From this point, he slowly pro- 


gressed, sometimes giving up in despair, sometimes over- 
come with hungei-, and all the time in pain, until he ar- 
rived at Hatfield, where he was received with every dem- 
onstration of joy and gratitude, and where, after a few 
months of confinement, he found himself able to resume 
his employments, and continue them through a long and 
useful life. 

Rev. Hope Atherton, also of Hatfield, and a member of 
the expedition, met with a most remarkable incident. He 
was lost in the woods, and becoming convinced that he 
could never find his way home, endeavored by signs to de- 
liver himself to a party of Indians, but they, in some way, 
were aware of the nature of his profession, and overcome 
by their superstitious fears, would not touch him. At last, 
he found the Connecticut River, and, guided by it, suc- 
ceeded, after long days of hunger and suffering, in arriv- 
ing at his home. 

The " Falls Fight " has ever been a famous one in the 
history of the Indiai^wars. A terrible slaughter was in- 
flicted upon the Indians, and the retreat, though abundantly 
disastrous to the soldiers, was conducted, after the first fatal 
panic, with consummate skill and bravery. As an ac- 
knowledgment of the importance of the services rendered, 
the Massachusetts General Court, in 1736, granted to the 
survivors of the day and the descendants of those who par- 
ticipated in the fight — in all 99 persons — the whole of the 
present town of Bernardston — first called Fallto^vn, in 
commemoration of the services for which it was bestowed. 
Capt. Turner was a brave man, and belonged in Boston, 
where he left a wife, who was subsequently provided for, 
to a certain extent, at least, by the Government. His 
naiiie is now, and will doubtless forever be associated with 
the Falls that formed the scene of the terrific butchery 
which has been described. But Capt. Holyoke was the 
real hero of the day, and very sadly and fearfully did he 
have to pay for the name he won. The intense heat of the 
day, and the excessive exertions to which he was sub- 
jected, induced a disease from which he never recovered. 
He died in the following Autumn, at the early age of twen- 
ty-eight years, and his dust reposed in the ancient grave- 
yard in Springfield, until a few vears since, when the spade 

11* ' • 

126 KIXG nilLIPS ArAR. 

of improvement disturbed it to make a passage for the 
iron horse. 

The slaughter of the Indians at the Falls, on the morn- 
ing of the 18th of May, involving as it did the loss of so 
many able warriors and important sachems, was a blow se- 
riously felt by Philip, for it broke up the fisheries on which 
he had largely depended for supplies, and it has already 
been seen that the scheme of Conanchet, for getting a sup- 
ply of seed-corn, had failed. But the effect on his mind 
was only to excite to greater intensity his desire for re- 
venge. So, on the 30th of May, from six to seven hun- 
dred Indians invaded Hatfield, their first work being to set 
on fire twelve buildings without the fortification. At this 
time, almost every man belonging to the plantation was at 
work in the meadoAV, and, while the palisaded dwellings 
were attacked at every point, and bravely defended by the 
few who remained, and while a large number of the sav- 
ages were busy in killing cattle, or driving them off, one 
hundred and fifty Indians entered the meadow, to engage 
the planters. The flames of the burning buildings wei'e 
seen at Hadley, and twenty-five young men left that town 
immediately to render assistance to their neighbors, and 
arrived in the meadow just in season to save the planters 
from entire destruction. Rushing forward, the little body 
came boldly upon the savage host, and killed five or six of 
them at the first discharge. They then charged upon them, 
drove them back to the town, and inflicted terrible slaugh- 
ter upon them, without themselves losing a man, until they 
arrived near the town, where five of their number fell 
dead. Twenty-five Indians were killed, being one to each 
man who went over from Hadley. The Indians were then 
driven out of the village, preceded by a large body who 
had succeeded in getting away the cattle. A letter Avritten 
by a Connecticut officer at Northampton, to the Hartford 
Council, on the day in which these events transpired, states 
that besides the five killed of the Hadley company three 
were wounded. Of the five killed two were Connecticut 
men, viz : J. Smith and Richard Hall, while two other 
Connecticut men — John Stow and Roger Albis — were 
wounded in the foot. The three others killed were two 
Massachusetts soldiers belonging to the Hadley garrison, 
and John Smith, a citizen of Hadley. According to the 


same authority, the Indians, aftei' retiring from Hatfielcl, or 
a portion of them, ambushed the way between Northamp- 
ton and Hatfield, anticipating the approach of the North- 
ampton troops. But this had been guarded against. The 
Northampton troops, as soon as they became aware of the 
attack upon Hatfield, crossed over to Hadley, but wei-e un- 
able to get over to Hatfield, in consequence of the Indians 
lying so thick around the landing place. At what particu- 
lar period pf the affray their attempt to land occurred is 
not very apparent, but it seems to have been after the fight, 
and the retirement of the Indians from the town. The 
explanation seems to be that the Indians who lay in am- 
bush for them had become aware of their movements, and, 
following up the river bank, menaced them from the Hat- 
field shore, while the larger body of the savages had i-e- 
tired Northward. 

Finding so powerful and so mischievous a force of In- 
dians upon the Connecticut, the Governments of Massa- 
chusetts and Connecticut saw the necessity of changing 
their course of policy, and of returning to the river towns 
the force that had been withdrawn. INlajor Talcot of Con- 
necticut was dispatched, with two hundred and fifty Eng- 
lish troops, and two Inindred IMohegan and Pe([uot Indians, 
with the intention of joining a body of Massachusetts forces 
under Capt. Henchman, at Brookfield. On his way thither, 
he killed and captured a considerable number of Indians, 
and destroyed their corn and calnns, but Capt. Henchman 
not arriving in time to meet him at Brookfield, he pressed 
on, and arrived at Northampton about the 8tli of June, 
having suffered severely on the route from lack of pro- 
visions, — so severely, in fact, that the march was memora- 
ble as the " hungry march." At this time, the force at 
Hadley was iindor the command of Capt. Swain, and this 
was the next point to receive the enemy. Endeavoring to 
profit by the mode and time of attack adopted by Capt. 
Turner at the Falls, about seven hundred Indians came 
upon Hadley, early on the morning of the 12th of June. 
The attack was made with a desperate determination to 
succeed. On the preceding night, they laid an ambuscade 
at the Southern extremity of the town, calculating to sweep 
the place from the North, and by driving the inhabitants 
Southward, to force them into the snare there set for them. 


The enemy were warmly received at the palisades. At 
one point on the North, the palisades were pierced, and 
the Indians succeeded in gaining possession of a house, but 
were, at last, forced out of it, and beaten back, with loss. 
At this moment of extreme confusion and alarm, the 
course of events was under the keen survey of a pair of 
eyes that were strangers to all but one or two families in 
the town. They were eyes practiced in military affairs, 
and belonged to a man who held the stake of life in the 
issue of the conflict. Unable longer to remain an idle 
spectator of the struggle, he resolved to issue forth. Sud- 
denly he stood in Mie midst of the affrighted villagers — a 
man marked in his dress, noble in his carriage, and ven- 
erable in appearance. Self appointed, he, in a measure, 
assumed the command, arranged and ordered the English 
forces in the best military manner, encouraged here, com- 
manded there, rallied the men everywhere, filled them with 
hope and firmness on every hand, and, at last, succeeded 
in repelling the overwhelming numbers that swarmed on 
all sides. Tlie discharge of a piece of ordnance put them 
to flight, and Major Talcot going over from Northampton 
with his forces, joined the victorious villagers and soldiers 
of Hadley in chasing the Indians into the woods. This 
feat ■ was accomplished with the loss of only two or three 
men, on the part of the English. But the mysterious 
stranger, who had been partly if not mainly instrumental 
in effecting this thorough rout, had retired from sight, as 
suddenly as he had made his advent. Whom he was, none 
knew. That such a man could live upon a plantation, and 
not be known, was not deemed possible, and it is not strange 
that, in the superstitious spirit of the times, he should have 
been regarded by the people as " an angel sent of God 
upon that special occasion for their deliverance ;" and it is 
recorded that for some time after, the people said and be- 
lieved that they had been saved by an angel. They little 
imagined then, what they afterwards ascertained, that their 
guardian angel was Goffe, the " Eegicide," and that Whal- 
ley, his father-in-law and companion in exile — at that time 
superannuated — then resided in the family of Mr. Russell, 
the minister, and had, with Goffe, been there for nearly 
twelve years. 


Condemned with twenty-eight other judges, for passing 
sentence of death upon Charles I, of England, these two 
men escaped from their country in 16G0. Both had been 
officers of high rank in Cromwell's army. Measures were 
taken in England for their arrest, and they were obliged 
to secrete themselves. For three or four years, they lived 
in and about New Haven, but the place of their seclusion 
having become in some degree notorious, they went to 
Iladley in 1664, where Mr. Russell received, secreted, and 
j)rovide(l for them. Here, unknown to the people of Had- 
ley, undiscovered by the soldiers billeted upon the plant- 
ers, and absolutely unseen by any but JNIr. Russell's family, 
Peter Tilton, and a Mr. Smith, they lived for fifteen or 
sixteen years. Mr. Tilton, a man of character, a magis- 
trate, and frequently a member of tlie General Court from 
Hadley, was the medium of communication between the 
judges and their friends, and through him, contributions 
were made for their support. In this retirement, Whalley 
died, and his body was interred in a tomli, without the cel- 
lar Avail of Mr. Russell's house, and there liis bones have 
fiince been found. This was before 1679, and it Avas prob- 
ably not long after his decease that Gotfe, who had thus 
far remained Avith him, l)ound to him alike by the ties of 
his relationship and a noble sympathy, left Iladley. and the 
remainder of his career is unknown. During the resi- 
dence of these two men at Hadley, Gen. Dixwell, another 
of the judges, joined them, and resided ther*; for some 
time, but soon removed to New Haven, married, raised a 
family of children, bore the assumed name of Davids, and 
died in 1689, at the advanced age of 81. His grave-stone 
still stands in the City of Elms, and is often visited by the 

The power of Philip had for some time been on the 
wane. His attacks upon the settlers on the Connecticut 
had ceased to be formidable. The Indians did not fight 
with spirit, and came to distrust themselves. Already, 
every hope of assistance from other tribes had vanished. 
The Mohawks, Avhom Philip luul endeavored to gain over 
to his cause by negotiation, had become his implacable en- 
emies, through a l)hK)dy stratagem Avhieh he had executed 
with the hope of exciting their hatred against the English. 
SomcAvhere in the vicinity of the Connecticut river, a 

130 KING Philip's war. 

party of Mohawks were encountered by a number of Phil- 
ip's Indians, and put to death. Philip then caused it to be 
reported that they 'had been murdered by the English, but 
it so happened that one of the victims was not completely 
dispatched. Bearing the real facts to his tribe, they were 
much incensed, and proceeding over the mountains into 
Massachusetts, and falling upon a tribe in Philip's interest, 
killed about fifty of them, and broke up their lodge. This 
was previous to the Falls Fight, and it was with the mem- 
ory of this visitation upon them, that the Indians doubted 
not that they were assailed by the Mohawks, when Capt. 
Turner came upon them. With no hope from the "West, 
worsted in every conflict, driven from their fisheries, at 
odds among themselves, straitened for provisions, and 
aware of the arrival of a large opposing force at North- 
ampton, they only retired from their attack on Hadley to 
retreat to more distant localities. Soon after the aflFair at 
Hadley, Capt. Henchman arrived with his party of Massa- 
chusetts ti-oops, and in company with those under Talcot, 
went Northward, to break up the haunts of the Indians 
above, and destroy their stores. Both sides of the river 
Avere swept in the upward march, as far as Turner's Falls, 
but not an Indian was to be seen. The river was followed 
further North, but with no success. The whole field was 
forsaken. The fish, and such food as they had stored in 
cellars, were destroyed. But sad scenes were witnessed 
on the track of the retreating expedition of Turner. His 
body was found upon the spot already described as the lo- 
cality of his death, while the stakes to which the unfortu- 
nate captives had been tied, and burnt to death, wei"e still 
standing, as dark in their associations as in their stark and 
charred appearance. 

The enemy having retired from the Connecticut River, 
the presence of the large bodies of troops under Talcot 
and Henchman was no longer necessary, and, accordingly, 
Talcot left for the Narraganset country, inflicting severe 
damage upon the Indians upon his route, while Henchman 
was not less efficient as he swept the forests on his return. 
At this time, broken and dispirited, large bodies of Indians 
were returning to the Narraganset country and its vicinity, 
where they were hunted down by parties of English who 
/»Bad become so well acquainted witli the ground, and so ac- 


customed to the warfare, tbat they killed and captured 
tliem by scores, with hardly the loss of a man. But 
Phihp, though pressed on all sides, and forsaken by his 
Northern allies, maintained his haughty and implacable 
spirit, and so far as possible persevered in his hostilities. 
Many of his allies, who found themselves nearly destroyed, 
laid upon him ihe blame of their fate, and sought safety in 
flight. Major Talcot, having returned to Connecticut from 
the Narraganset country, took with him additional force, 
and stationed his troops in Westfield, for the purpose of 
cutting off such fugitives as might pass that way ; and, as 
the evil fortune of the poor savages would have it, two 
hundred of them, bound for the Hudson, passed peaceably 
by the town, and he discovered their trail. Three days 
after this, he came up Avith them, in the present town of 
Stockbridge, in Berkshire County, encamped on the banks 
of the Housatonic River. He arrived in the night, and 
made his preparations to attack them both in front and in 
rear, A single Indian who had gone out to take fish de- 
tected their movements, gave the alarm, and was immedi- 
ately shot. The attack, thus precipitated, was made before 
all the preparations were completed, and, upon the first fire 
upon the camp, all that could fly, retreated to tlie woods, 
and escaped. Twenty-five of the number were left dead 
upon the ground, and twenty were captured. Among the 
captives was the treacherous sachem of Quaboag. Hub- 
bard says that " many of the rest were badly wounded, as 
appeared by many of the bushes being much besmeared 
with blood, as was observed by those who followed them 
further." It was subsequently ascertained that they lost 
sixty in all, killed and captured. Talcot lost but one man, 
and he a Mohegan Indian. This act showed the Indians 
in this quarter that, however much they might refrain from 
hostilities, they had nothing to hope for in the returning 
clemency of the colonial authorities, and all retired. The 
Connecticut River Indians fled either West to the Hudson, 
or North to Canada. 

Philip, still indomitable, struggled still, and the P1}tu- 
outh colony was largely the scene of his operations, but 
his men were hewn down on every hand. Sometimes he 
escaped death or capture as if by magic, or miracle. His 
«hief counsellors and captains were killed, but ho evaded 

132 KING Philip's war. 

both death and capture. Then his wife and children were 
seized or killed, and still he eluded the grasp of his perse- 
vering enemy. At last, the treachery of one of his own 
men became the cause of his fall. A company under Cap- 
tain Church of Plymouth, a commander whose marvellous 
bravery and singular success in the war marked him more 
than any other man as its hero, surrounded a swamp in the 
vicinity of Mount Hope, to^which Philip with about two 
hundred of his men had retired. Only sixty of these es- 
caped. One hundred and thirty were killed and captured, 
and among the former was Philip. He was shot by an In- 
dian, and fell with his face in the mud. His head was 
severed from his body, and his body left to the wild beasts. 
Thus, on the 12th of August, closed the life of " King 

No man with a decent respect for bravery, indomitable 
purpose, and true military genius, can reflect upon the fall 
of this poor savage, there at his old home, his nation in 
ruins, his wife and children torn from him, and all his am- 
bitious schemes overthrown, without a sigh of genuine 
commiseration. He needed but a whiter skin and a better 
success to have made him a hero whose name should lin- 
ger on men's lips, and whose praise should be celebrated 

m song. 

'' Even that he lived is for his conqueror's tongue ; 
By foes alone his death-song must be sung; 
No chronicles but theirs shall tell 

His mournful doom to future times ; 
May these upon his virtues dwell, 
And in his fate forget his crimes.'' 


The subsequent capture of Annawon, Philip's chief cap- 
tain, by the renowned Capt. Church, brought to a close the 
bloodiest war New England ever kncAv. About six hun- 
dred whites had been killed, and probably a much larger 
number of buildings, chiefly dwelling houses, had been 
burned. Trumbull concludes that about one-eleventh of 
the militia, and of all the buildings in the United Colonies, 
were swept away. There was hardly a family but mourned 
the loss of a member, or a relative. The Indians were 
very much more seriously despoiled. Their loss in men, 
women and children was counted by thousands, while their 
strongholds Avere leveled, and their lodges and stores de- 


stroyed. But what will really conquer a civilized man, 
will not conquer an Indian. To be reduced to the life of 
an Indian in his best estate — and his worst differs little 
from it — would be to conquer a civilized foe. The Indians 
had nothing but their lives to lose, and these were held at 
a value proportionate to the low enjoyments and inferior 
aims of their possessors. Warlike operations continued on 
the sea coast still further East, until the Spring of 1678, 
when a peace was concluded. In the meantime, the Con- 
necticut River settlers, relieved of the presence of their 
enemies, resumed their employments, and returned to their 



New Indian Difficulties and Their Close. 

The planters of Deerfield returned to their town, at the 
close of the war, though no order for its re-settlement was 
passed until the May session of the General Court, 1682. 
But their danger and their trials were not yet past. The 
straggling parties of Eastern Indians that crossed the Val- 
ley in their emigration to the West kept them in constant 
fear, while predatory squads returned from their new 
homes at the North to visit vengeance upon the holders of 
their old possessions. It became evident, at last, that the 
suspicions, long previously ai'oused, that the French in 
Canada were aiding the Indians in their movements, were 
correct. Under this state of things, so insecure were the 
settlers, that " they went about their ordinary business with 
arms in their hands, and to their solemn assemblies as 
when one goeth to the battle." No very serious demon- 
stration was made, hoAvever, until the Autumn of 1677, 
when, it being the I'Jth day of Sej^tember, a party of about 
fifty Indians from Canada, who had descended the Con- 
necticut to Hatfield, fell upon that town, shot down three 
men outside of the fortifications, and breaking through, in- 
flicted terrible slaughter upon men, women and children, 
and captured and took away a large number. The attack 
occurred at eleven o'clock in the morning, and while the 
principal part of the men were at Avork in the meadoAvs. 
The names of those killed were Sergeant Isaac Graves, 
John Atchison, John Cooper, the A\'ife and child of Philip 
Russell, the AAdfe and child of John Coleman, the Avife of 
Samuel Kellogg, the wife and child of Samuel Belding and 
a child of John Wells — in all, eleven. Seventeen Avere 
carried away captives, Avhose names follow : tAA'o children 
of John Coleman, "■ GoodAvife " Waite and three children, 
(not to mention one a short time subsequently boi-n in 
Canada,) Mrs. Foote and tAvo children, (one of the latter 
was subsequently killed by the Indians,) Mrs. Jennings 
,*nd two children, (one of the latter AA'as put to death in 


Canada,) Obadiah Dickinson and one child, a child of Sam- 
uel Kellogg, a child of Wm. Bartholomew, and a child of 
John AUis. The departing savages left six or seven others 
wounded as they retired Northward. 

At this time, the people of Deei-field were preparing for 
Winter by re-building their houses. The Indians, with 
their captives, proceeded as far as Deerfield before night, 
and halted in the woods East of the town. At about sun- 
set, they entered the place, and John Root, one of four 
men who undertook to escape into a sAvamp, Avas taken and 
put to death. They then captured Serjeant John Plymp- 
ton, Quentin Stockwell and Benoni Stebbins, and joining 
them with the company of Hatfield captives, pushed on 
about three miles, and halted for the night. Ci'ossing the 
Connecticut twice during the next day's march, they spent 
the second night at Northfield, West meadow. Pursuing 
the march Northward, they re-crossed the river, thus be- 
traying apprehensions of pursuit, but that not appearing, 
they halted at about thirty miles above Northfield, built a 
shelter for themselves, and remained some time, to await 
the coming of a body of women and children, for whom a 
detachment was sent to Wachuset Mountain. Benoni 
Stebbins was detailed from the captives to accompany this 
expedition, and, during its progress, managed to escape. 
About eiglity women and children arrived at last, and, 
after a halt to allow them rest, the whole party pushed 
Northward. After a cold and weary pilgrimage, the pris- 
oners themselves being subjected to frequent indignities 
and great hardships, all arrived at Sorel, a small French 
garrison in Canada, Serjeant Plymptou of Deerfield, how- 
ever, having been burnt at the stake near Chamblee, and 
his fellow captive, Dickinson of Hatfield, having been 
obliged to lead him to his terrible death. 

TJie distress of those in Deerfield and Hatfield, thus be- 
reft of neighl)ors, companions and children, Avas naturally 
intense. At last, by some means, they ascertained the des- 
tination of the captives, and Benjamin Waite and Stephen 
•Jennings, A\'hose Avives Avere among them, conceived the 
idea of reclaiming them. Accordingly, provided with a 
commission from the Governor of Massachusetts, they 
started, among the last days of October, on their tedious 
and hazardous expedition. They Avcnt to Albany, and 


after escaping from troubles wliicli the jealousy of the 
Dutch brought upon them, placed themselves under an In- 
dian guide. They proceeded with great ditHculty, up the 
Hudson, through Lake George, and down Lake Champlain, 
until, late in December, they arrived at Chamblee, a small 
French settlement. They found that Mrs. Jennings and 
four other captives had been pawned to the French for 
liquor, at Sorel, while the remainder of the captives were 
among the Indians not far distant. Unable to secure all 
the captives without the assistance of the French authori- 
ties, they then pushed on for Quebec, and succeeded, at 
last, in getting the captives that survived, together, by the 
payment to the Indians of £200. The progress homeward 
was not undertaken until Spring, and was necessarily slow, 
but on the 22d of May, Quentin Stockwell wrote a letter 
from Albany, announcing to his wife his return to that 
point, and the safety of all the captives save Plympton, 
Philip Russell's child, and a daughter of Mrs. Foote. On 
the 23d, he wrote again, urging liis friends to come on and 
meet the party, and to " stay not for Sabbath or shoeing of 
horses." The summons was promptly answered, but the 
captives had progressed as far as Westfield when they 
w^ere met. The passage home was little else than a tri- 
umphal procession. Every plantation shared in the joy, 
and an enthusiastic pai'ticipant in the general rejoicing, in 
writing to the Governor a statement of their return, ac- 
knowledged the insanity of pleasure which possessed him. 
It was but a few days after the attacks upon Hatfield 
and Deerfield, just related, that a party of Indians attacked 
the mill at lladley, but it was bravely defended, and they 
withdrew. From these repeated attacks, the settlers at 
Deerfield became discouraged, and again forsook their 
plantation, but their troubles for the time Avere over. In 
the latter part of 1G77, the Indians indicated their readi- 
ness to make peace, and a Commission convened at North- 
ampton for the purpose of treating with them. Major 
Treat of Connecticut, accompanied by a guard of forty 
men, went up to join in the treaty. The Indians were 
promised protection and the enjoyment, unmolested, of 
such lands as they should re-occupy, provided they would 
become, and remain, subject to the English Government, 
.■"find deliver up their English captives. The conference 


amounted to but little besides the delivery of a few cap- 
tives. The Indians could not humiliate themselves, upon 
the scene of their old homes and hunting grounds, to the 
sway of their conquerors, and so departed. 



Peace — The Coukts — King William's War — 
Witchcraft — General IMatters of Interest. 

Thus left at peace, the settlements on the Connecticut 
revived, confidence returned, Springfield and Deerfield, 
and the other towns which had suffered from the torch of 
the Indians were re-built, and again the planters looked 
forward, in the anticipation of prosperous times. During 
the progress of the war, nothing had advanced, but every- 
thing had retrograded. A large amount of property had 
been destroyed, field employments had been so difficult and 
dangerous of pursuit that only the absolute necessaries of 
life had been obtained, large numbers of cattle had been 
killed or driven from the plantations by the Indians, the 
most able of the business men had been crippled in their 
operations by severe losses, and, saddest of all, the stay 
and support of no inconsiderable number of families had 
been cut off in the persons of those who fell the victims of 
the war. The years that followed were busy years — years 
of planting and building — yeai's unaccompanied by extra- 
ordinary incidents. The waste places again smiled with 
cheerful dwellings, and the seasons came and passed peace- 
fully. The people attended faithfully, as w^as their custom, 
upon the ordinances of God, schooled their children, bought, 
sold, and got gain ; and seed-time and harvest. Summer and 
Winter, swept by in their annual succession, bearing peace 
and comfort to the hearts, and plenty to the stores, of the 
dwellers upon the Connecticut. 

Beyond the regular holding of the Courts of Hampshire 
County, no events appear to have transpired that come nat- 
urally into a general history of the region. The first 
formal admission of attorneys to practice in the Courts of 
the County, occurred at the session of September, 1686, 
when John King of Northampton, and Samuel Marshfield 
and Jonathan Burt, Senior, of Springfield, were " allowed of 
this Court to be attorney's for this County's Courts, and 
viook the oath of attorneys for the faithful performance of 


their office." One of the regulations of the period is no- 
ticeable, in contrast with the rule which now obtains, in 
regard to the taxation of the costs of litigation. The 
Courts then obliged a party convicted of being grossly in 
the fault, in any^case, to pay all the costs of the suit, com- 
prising the fees of his opponent's counsel, as well as his 
own. Now, a man may recover a just claim, but his 
debtor, through a spirit of private revenge, may be, and 
often is, able to make him pay, in costs, double or quadru- 
ple the sum implicated in the suit. This fact is so appa- 
rent that in many cases it operates as a denial of right. 
The new colony charter of 1691 produced a change in the 
constitution of the Court, and somewliat in the nature of 
the proceedings. Courts of Common Pleas were substi- 
tuted for County Courts, and a Superior Court established 
to take the place of the Court of Assistants, which had, 
thus far in the history of the colony, fulfilled that oflice. 
At first, no time was designated for the regular holding of 
the Superior Court in Hampshire County, but, in 1699, it 
was ordered to be hoklen once a year at Springfield. It 
was as late as 1771, when an additional term of that Court 
was ordered to be holden annually at Northampton. Lib- 
erty was given to plaintiffs, if they should choose so to do, 
to institute all suits, in which the demand exceeded £10, 
originally in the Superior Court. John Huggins and 
Christopher J. Lawton were attorneys belonging to Spring- 
field wlao had a large practice in the Court of Common 
Pleas at this period. Huggins probably had the most ex- 
tensive practice of any living in his day. 

The year 1688 was signalized by the abdication of 
James, King of England ; and the accession to the throne 
of William and Mary early in the following year, was an 
event which, though distant in locality, was destined 
to have an important bearing upon the Connecticut River 
towns. The change in the home Government was soon 
followed by a war with France which brought into hostility 
the French and English settlements in America. The 
French in Canada had never borne good will towards the 
EngUsh colonies, and needed but the slightest pretext to 
give an open and bloody demonstration of their dislike. 
In February, 1690, Count Frontenac, at the head of the 
French provincial Government, detached three parties of 

140 KING William's war. 

French and Indians from Canada, one of which, in the 
course of its movements, destroyed Schenectady, in New 
York, murdered sixty men, women and chiklren, took 
twenty-seven prisoners, and drove forth the remainder 
naked into a terrible snow-storm, twenty-five of whom lost 
their limbs by the frost. The second party fell upon Sal- 
mon Falls, killed thirty persons, took fifty-four prisoners, 
and burnt and plundered the village. Casco Fort was also 
taken by two of the parties, in conjunction. These opera- 
tions, with others of less note, could not fail to excite alarm. 
A special assembly of the colony of Connecticut was con- 
vened, before which letters from Massachusetts w^ere 
placed, expressing the ui'gent desire that Connecticut 
would send soldiers up the river to guard the towns, par- 
ticularly the Northern ones of Hampshire County, and re- 
questing that there might be a meeting of the Commission- 
ers of the colonies, to consult upon measures for the com- 
mon defense. The neighboring colonies were also applied 
to, and the result was the first Congress of the American 
Colonies, on the first of May, 1690, at New York. The 
measures devised by this Congress, and more particularly 
. those entered into by New England, miscarried. The pro- 
ject was conceived, of reducing Canada to subjection. A 
force of eight small vessels sailed from Boston for Port 
Royal, captured the place without opposition, and then 
went up tbe St. Lawrence to Quebec, but the place was too 
strong, and the ill-starred fleet becoming separated by a 
gale, returned to Boston, losing several vessels in the ex- 
pedition. A land expedition of 1,000 Connecticut and 
New York ti-oops was even less successful, having made 
its way but a little beyond Albany, Avhen, from a combina- 
tion of untoward circumstances, it was thought expedient 
to return. Though these expeditions failed, the war spirit 
was up, and measures were taken to protect the frontiers 
from the incursions of the French, and the Indians in their 
interest, imminent now more than before. 

It is not a matter of wonder that the blow intended, 
though not dealt, against the integrity of the French 
Provinces in Canada, should have provoked the Avrath of 
Count Frontenac. New England expected it, and was not 
disappointed, for he immediately let slip his ranging war- 
dqgs in every direction. The first demonstration made in 


"Western Massachusetts was at Brookfield. Among the 
last days of July, or the first of August, 1692, a party of 
Frontenac's Indians came upon the town. Entering the 
house of Joseph Wolcott, while all the family were absent, 
(Mrs. Wolcott with her children having gone to the field 
with her husband, fearing to remain alone,) they rifled it 
of its valuables. Returning at noon, Wolcott found his 
gun stolen, and saw at once that Indians had been there. 
He sent his wife and children out to secrete themselves in 
the bushes, except a little boy which he kept with him. 
Looking out of the window he saw an Indian approaching. 
Taking his boy under his arm, and an axe in his hand, he 
went out, and set his dog upon the Indian, who was so 
worried by him that he had to discharge his gun at him. 
As soon as the gun was discharged, Wolcott gave him 
chase, the Indian loading his gun as he ran. Wolcott 
heard the ball roll down tlie barrel, when he turned, caught 
up his child, and escaped to a fort. His wife screamed, 
and thus betrayed her hiding place, and she and her chil- 
dren were coldly murdered. A party of savages at the 
same time entered the house of a Mr. Mason, killed him 
and two children, and captured his wife and an infant. 
They also captured Thomas and Daniel Lawrence. 
Thomas, they soon atterwards murdered. John Lawrence, 
the brother of these men, immediately mounted a horse, 
and rode to Springfield for help. Capt. Colton, then the 
commander of the Springfield company, promptly an- 
swered the call, and made a rapid march to Brookfield, 
and then started in pursuit of the Indians. On the way, 
they came upon Mrs. Mason's child, who had been mur- 
dered and thrown into the bushes. Coming upon the en- 
campment of the Indians, at break of day, they approached 
so carefully that they were able to put their guns through 
the brush which the Indians had disposed around them, 
and to fire upon them sleeping. Fourteen were killed at 
the first fire, and the rest precipitately fled, leaving blank- 
ets, arms and ammunition behind them, as well as the two 
prisonei's, Daniel Lawrence and Mrs. Mason, who were 
conducted back in safety. 

No other important demonstrations were made in this 
region until the 6th of June, 1693, when the Indians en- 
tered Deerfield, then the Northern settlement, Northfield 

142 KING William's wak. 

still remaining unsettled, and breaking into the houses of a 
Mr. Wells and a Mr. Broughton, killed and wounded eight 
persons. In the following October, Martin Smith of that 
town was captured and taken to Canada. In the year 
1694, a French and Indian force under McCastreen, made 
an attack upon the fort at Deerfield, but beyond killing 
Daniel Severance, a lad, in the meadows, and wounding 
John Beamont and Richard Lyman in the garrison, were 
able to do no damage. On the 18th of Auijust. 1695, 
while a party of settlers were traveling from Hatfield to 
Deerfield, they were fired upon by a party of Indians, in 
the South part of Deerfield meadow, and Joseph Barnard 
received a mortal wound. In the Autumn of 1696, two 
residents of Deerfield, named Gillet and Smead, were sur- 
prised by Indians while out hunting, who succeeded in cap- 
turing Gillet, and then, entering Deerfield village, they 
killed the wife and three cliildren of Daniel Belding, and 
took him and two other children prisoners. While devoted 
Deerfield was thus suffering under its annual decimation, 
the operations of Count Frontenac were directed much 
more fatally against other points of settlement, West and 
East, and were thus continued, year after year. The 
peace proclaimed between England and France, while it 
checked the hostilities of the French, had no effect upon 
their Indians, or those stragglers in New England who had 
been in their employ. In the Summer of 1698, a party 
of Indians attacked a man and a number of boys in Hat- 
field meadow, killing the man and one boy, and taking two 
boys prisoners. Taking the prisoners into their canoes, 
they paddled up the river. They wei-e intercepted, when 
they had proceeded about twenty miles, by a pursuing 
force, and both lads were rescued, though at the expense 
of the life of Nathaniel Pomeroy — one of their deliverers. 
During a portion of these troublesome years, Connecticut 
kept a company of troops at Deerfield, and her gallant and 
liberal policy during this time, and, in fact, during the 
whole of Philip's War, is a matter to be gratefully remem- 
bered by every citizen of Massachusetts, and particularly 
by those of them who dwell upon the Connecticut. 

It is a notable fact, and one not at all difficult of ex- 
planation on philosophical principles, that during the con- 
t^luance of Philip's War, nothing was heard of witchcraft. 


Something else occupied the public mind. After the ex- 
citement of the war had entirely died awaj, witchcraft re- 
vived, and one of the most remarkable instances occurred 
in Hadley. Hutchinson and Cotton Mather both notice it, 
the latter somewhat in detail, and from their accounts the 
following narrative is derived. Hutchinson, by the way, 
prefaces his statement by saying that in 1683, "the de- 
mons removed to Connecticut River again, where one Des- 
borough's house was molested by an invisible hand, and a 
fire kindled, nobody knew how, which burnt up a great 
part of his estate." In what town on Connecticut River 
this singular event occurred is not stated, though Matlier 
speaks of Nicholas Dcsborough of Hartford as being the 
object of sundry mysteriously projected missiles, such as 
stones, cobs of Indian corn, &c., and he is probably the 
man alluded to by Hutchinson. The subject of " the de- 
mons " in Hadley, was " a judge of the Court, a military 
officer, and a representative of the tOA\'n of Hadley." Mr. 
Philip Smith, the bewitched man, is innocently alluded to 
as " an hypochondriac person," and Mather adds to his re- 
commendations to llie public respect, by stating that he 
was the " son of eminently virtuous parents, and a deacon 
of the church in Hadley." He was also " a man, for devo- 
tion, sanctity, gravity and all that was honest, exceedingly 
exemplary." There seems to have been nothing lacking 
in the chain of evidence to prove that he was in every re- 
spect a good citizen, a devout Christian, and a proper man. 
It appears that Mr. Smith was the almoner of the charities 
of the town, and that a wretched old woman, who thouglit 
she had cause to bo dissatisfied with his dispensations, took 
it into her head to bewitch liim. At the commencement 
of the Winter, he began to decline in health, and was 
troubled with ischiatic pains — a very common time of year 
for such pains to possess a man, even when not bewitched. 
Yet his mind was imclouded, and his religious experiences 
were such that " the standers-by could see in him one rip- 
ening apace for another world, and filled with grace and joy 
to an high degree." In this state of mind he did not hesi- 
tate to utter his suspicions against the old woman who had 
threatened him. He became, at last, profoundly impressed 
with the idea that he was sufiering from the enchantments 
practiced by his feminine adversary. Under a premoni-i 


tion that he should lose his reason, he exclaimed to his 
brother — " be sure to have a care of me, for you shall see 
strange things. There shall be a wonder in Hadley ! I 
shall not be dead, when 'tis thought I am !" This charge 
was often repeated, and when, at last, the delirium came, 
he cried out in various languages. He was tormented with 
pins sticking into various parts of his body, one of which 
his attendants found. The case was, of course, well known 
to all the inhabitants of the town, and excited much sym- 
pathy for the victim, and a corresponding degree of indig- 
nation toward his tormentor. Accordingly, some of the 
young men of the place visited the old woman's habitation, 
" dragged her out of the house, hung her up until she was 
near dead, let her down, rolled her sometime in the snow, 
and at last buried her in it ;" but she Avas not to be rid of 
in that manner, and managed to make her way out, and get 
into her house again. But it was noticed that when these 
operations were in progress, Mr. Smith slept, and at this 
time, and at other similar proceedings against the old wo- 
man, he got the only quiet rest that he enjoyed during his 
illness. The house where he lay sick was, at times, per- 
vaded by a very strong smell of musk, which, on one occa- 
sion, was so strong that an apple, roasting by the fire, be- 
came impregnated with the odor to such a degree, that they 
were obliged to throw it away. Little pots in his room, 
containing medicines, were unaccountably emptied, and 
scratchings were heard about the bed when his hands and 
feet were still. Fire was seen upon the bed, which, when 
the by-standers began to remark upon it, would vanish 
away. Divers people felt something as large as a cat mov- 
ing in the bed, but could never grasp it, and some, leaning 
upon the head of the bed, would have their heads knocked 
by the shaking, when the sick man lay entirely still. A 
strong man could not stir the poor victim, to give him an 
easier position. He was like his bulk in lead. At last 
]VIr. Smith died, and a jury sat upon him to determine the 
cause of his melancholy end. They " found a swelling on 
one breast, his privities wounded or burned, his back full 
of bruises, and several holes that seemed made with awls." 
Though he was pronounced dead, his prophecy made a 
show, at least, of holding good. He died on Saturday 
morning, but his lower jaw did not fall, his countenance 


was life-like, and when he was removed to his coffin, on 
Sunday afternoon, he was found to be still warm, though 
he had lain in a room of the temperature of a New Eng- 
land Winter of the olden time. 

During the time he awaited burial, mysterious noises 
were heard in the room. Chairs and stools clattered, 
though no one touched them. But on Monday m6rning, 
his face had changed to black and blue, and gave issue to 
a sanguineous fluid that ran down upon his hair. So Mr. 
Smith was buried, while the old woman who had the credit 
of being his mediate murderess, was allowed to live — a 
most wise and sane disposition of her. This case, and the 
one already recorded as having occurred in Springfield, 
some forty years previously, are the only instances of the 
delusion that occun'ed within the limits of old Hampshire 
County. In neither instance were the supposed guilty 
parties put to death, and there is no evidence that the 
Hadley witch was subjected to trial. 

During the continuance of King William's War, as that 
was called which prevailed between the French and Eng- 
lish colonies, Springfield was less exposed to the incursions 
of the Indians than her Northern neighbors, and found 
time and opportunity to extend her population and enlarge 
her operations, aided at first as she was, by the peace that 
followed the death of Philip. As early even as 1673, the 
inhabitants of the Western shore of the Connecticut, in 
Springfield, had become so considerable tliat they petitioned 
that a boat might be built to ferry them over the river on 
the Sabbath, to enable them to attend public worship more 
conveniently. They were, doubtless, badly accommodated 
in this respect, even at a later date, for in 1683, Reice and 
John Bedortha, and Joseph Bedortha's wife, were drowned 
by the upsetting of the boat, while making the passage. 
In May, 1695, thirty-two families were residents of that 
side of the river, comprising a population of more than 
two hundred, and at this time~tliey api)lied to the General 
Court for the privilege of settling a minister. Their dis- 
tance from the house of worship in Springfield, and the 
dangers attending the crossing of the river, formed the ba- 
sis of their petition, but they met the opposition of tlie 
town, and the General Court appointed a Committee to in- 
vestigate the matter, and report at a subsequent session. 



The report was favorable to the petitioners, and the No- 
vember Court of 1696 "ordered, that the said petitioners 
be permitted and allowed to invite, procure and settle a 
learned and orthodox minister, on the West side of Con- 
necticut River, to dispense the Word of God unto those 
that dwell there, and that they be a distinct and separate 
precinct for that purpose." Thus was established the sec- 
ond parish of Springfield. Subsequent action of the Gen- 
eral Court required the people on the East side of the 
river to pay them £50 towards building their meeting 
house. This order seems to have met with a reluctant ex- 
ecution, for, as late as 1711, a portion of the sum was still 
due, and a committee of the new parish was appointed to 
demand the sum, and, if necessary, to institute a suit at 
law for it. A church was formed in June, 1698, and Rev. 
John Woodbridge was settled as the first pastor. The first 
meeting house was built in 1702. Mr. Woodbridge con- 
tinued his ministry for twenty years, and died at the age 
of forty. The best description that can be given of him, 
and a noble epitaph it is, may be drawn from the diary of 
Rev. Dr. Williams of Longmeadow, recorded June 10, 
1718, the day of his death: "I look upon this as a very 
great frown upon us all in this town, and in this part of the 
country ; lor Mr. Woodbridge was a man of great learn- 
ing, of pleasant conversation, of a very tender spirit, very 
apt to communicate, one that had an excellent gift in giv- 
ing advice and counsel, and so must be very much missed 
by us." 

Springfield built a new meeting house in 1674, and on 
the 28th of March, 1692, as has already been stated, Mr. 
Glover, the minister, died. After three unavailing at- 
tempts to secure the settlement of Mr. John Haines in liis 
place, a call to settle was extended to Mr. Daniel Brewer, 
which he accepted, and he became their minister, by ap- 
propriate ceremonials, on the 16th of May, 1694, and con- 
tinued in the exercise of the duties of his office for nearly 
forty years. While these events were transpinng, the 
Long Meadow was receiving an augmented population, and 
preparing to follow the example of its neighbor on the 
other side of the river. On the incorporation of the Sec- 
ond Parish, the General Court ordered that there should 
be a division of the laud that had been set apart for the 


nse of the ministry, but no settlement of the matter seems 
to have been arrived at, until several yeai*s afterwards, 
when the division was effected through the agency of the 
two ministers, themselves. Springfield had within its 
boundaries a large amount of land, unappropriated and 
undivided, which was denominated the "outward com- 
mons." This land was located in the present towns of Wil- 
braham, Ludlow, and West Springfield. It was concluded 
to divide this body of land into five parts, three on the 
East side of the river, and two on the West, and, by cut- 
ting up these tracts, to give to each inhabitant his share. 
In 1699, the lots were drawn, but the land was not all sur- 
veyed, until more than forty years afterwards. In each 
of the five divisions, lots were appropriated for schools and 
for the ministry. Many disadvantages attend(;d the man- 
ner in which the outward commons were allotted. The 
land was laid out into s'uch long and narrow strips as to be 
of comparatively little value to the farmer. Settlements 
were not begun at Wilbraham until 1731, a delay princi- 
pally attributable to this fact. In 1713, Longmeadow, con- 
taining but little less than forty families, was incorporated 
as the Third Parish of Springfield, and in 1716, Rev. Ste- 
phen Williams was ordained, as the first minister. He 
was the son of Rev. John Williams of Deerfield, and 
preached in Longmeadow 05 years. Interesting events in 
his early history remain to be narrated. 

The settlement of Rev. Solomon Stoddard in Northamp- 
ton, in 1672, has already been briefiy noticed. He was 
probably the most remarkable clergyman, in the points of 
talent and influence, that had thus far been settled in the 
Valley, and was regarded with a reverence that, possessing 
thoroughly the hearts of his people, extended throughout 
the colony, and even to the very hearts of the savages. 
His life is declared to have been spared on the occasion 
of his falling into an Indian ambuscade, by the exclama- 
tion that he was " the Englishman's God," made by one 
of the party of savages. He was noted particularly for 
the liberality, not to say laxity, of his views in matters of 
religion, maintaining that the Lord's table should be ac- 
cessible to all ])ersons «ot immoral in their lives, opi^osi- 
tion to which doctrine in after years, cost liis grandson and 
worthy successor in the ministry, Jonathan Edwards, the 
fiacrifice of his ofSce. Mr. Stoddard died in 1729. 


Queen Anne's War. 

The Indian difficulties, which, at the declaration of 
peace between England and France in 1697, it was hoped 
were past, were to be resumed upon the Connecticut, ac- 
companied, in some instances, with more severe hardships 
than had hitherto been experienced. King William died 
in 1702, and Queen Anne reigned in his stead, and follow- 
ing closely upon the latter event, came another war be- 
tAveen the two countries. This event, as in the reign of 
William and Mary, renewed the hostilities between the 
French and English colonies in Amei'ica, and our history 
now opens upon some of the most remarkable scenes and 
adventures afforded by the whole series of trials that as- 
sailed Western Massachusetts at almost every step of its 
early progress. 

At an early date of the renewed hostilities, the unfortu- 
nate settlement at Deerfield was apprised that it was the 
intention of the French to destroy it. Measures were 
taken to strengthen the fortifications, and to prepare, so far 
as possible, for the dreaded event. Small parties of In- 
dians, who could not await the grand demonstration, haunt- 
ed the region of the doomed town, and lay in wait to cut 
off such stragglers as might present* themselves. On the 
8tli of October, 1703, Zebediah Williams and John Nims 
Avere captured in the meadow, at a small distance from the 
village, and taken to Canada, where the former died. 
Nims subsequently escaped and returned. No serious 
demonstrations were made from this time until the niglit 
of the 29th of February, when Major Hertel de Rouville, 
with upM-ards of 340 French and Indians, arrived at a pine 
blufi' overlooking Deerfield meadow, about two miles Nortlj 
of the village — a locality now known as Petty's Plain. 
Here he halted, to await the appropriate hour for an at- 
tack, and it was not until nearly morning that, leaving 
their packs upon the spot, his men started forward for their 
%^ork of destruction, Rouville took great pains not to 


alarm the sentinels in his approach, but the precaution was 
unnecessary, as the watch were unfaithful, and had retired 
to rest. Arrivinc^ at the fortifications, he found the snow 
drifted nearly to the top of the palisades, and his entire 
party entered the place undiscovered, while the whole pop- 
ulation were in a profound sleep. Quietly distributing 
themselves in parties, they broke in the doors of the 
bouses, dragged out the astonished inhabitants, killed such 
as resisted, and took prisoners the majority of the remain- 
der, only a few escaping from their hands into the woods. 
The house of Rev. John Williams was assaulted at the 
commencement of the attack. Awakened from sleep, Mr, 
Williams leaped from his bed, and, running to the door, 
found the enemy entering. Calling to two soldiers who 
lodged in the house, he sprang back to his bed-room, seized 
a pistol, cocked it, and presented it at the breast of an In- 
dian who had followed him. It missed fire, and it was 
well, for the room was thronged in an instant, and he was 
seized, bound without being allowed the privilege of dress- 
ing, and kept standing in the cold for an hour. In this dis- 
tressing condition, the savages amused tliemselves with 
taunting him, swinging their hatchets over liim, and threat- 
cnino- him. Two of his children and a negro woman were 
then taken to the door and butchered. Mrs. Williams, 
who had been confined in child-birth but a few weeks be- 
fore, was allowed to dress, and herself and five children 
were taken as captives. John Sheldon's house, which the 
enemy found it hard to enter, was pierced by hatchets at 
the door ; and a musket thrust through the opening, and 
discharged, killed INIrs. Sheldon, who was dressing in an 
adjoining room. The house was carried, and preserved 
from destruction to accommodate the captives that were 
taken, and brought in from the other jiarts of the village. 
But the savage force did not gain their captives entirely 
without struggle and cost. The fort was carried, at the 
cost of eleven men. One house was defended by seven 
men, for whom the women within cast bullets while the 
fin-ht was in progress. Singling out their victims, these 
brave fellows sent forth their impromptu bullets from every 
window and loop-hole, and neither threat nor stratagem 
could bring them to a surrender ; and, leaving the house, 
the enemy paid it no attention further than to keep out of 



the way of it. Another house was defended with equal 
bi'avery and equal success. One after another, the captive 
families and individuals were brought into the depot, until, 
when the sun was about an hour high, the work was com- 
pleted. The buildings had been plundered, and setting 
fire to such of them as could be approached, Rouville set 
out on his return to Canada with his captives. But one 
more touching scene, and that the slaughtered company of 
young men at Bloody Brook, has ever been witnessed in 
the Connecticut Valley, than that exhibited by this com- 
pany of captives, as they turned out that morning, shiver- 
ing with fear and cold, on their ten-ible pilgrimage over 
the snows of mid-winter to Canada. Tliere were the pas- 
tor and his tender family ; the strong man, his heart bleed- 
ing with sympathy, and his own trials forgotten in the dis- 
tress of his bosom companion and his little ones ; the young 
man and the maiden, the old man and the infant. In all, 
one hundred and eight persons were taken, and mai-ched 
forth, guarded by their captors, u}X)n the shining crust of 
snow that then covered the ground. Passing the meadow, 
they arrived at the point on Petty's Plain where Rouville 
had left his packs and snow-shoes, and here the company 
halted. Here the prisoners were deprived of their shoes, 
and furnished with moccasins, to enable them to travel 
more easily, and all the preparations made for the long 
march through the Northern wilderness. 

During the attack on Rev. Mr. "Williams' house, one of 
the lodgers, Capt. Stoddard, leaped from the window of his 
room, and, seizing a cloak in his exit, made his escape. 
Tearing up his cloak, and binding the pieces upon his feet, 
he ran to Hatfield, and arrived there almost exhausted. 
Capt. John Sheldon's son escaped in the same manner, and 
reached Hatfield. A number of individuals in that town 
started immediately, probably upon horses, for Deerfield. 
On their arrival there, they found a number of those who 
had managed to escape from the clutches of the enemy, 
together with those left behind in the village, and joining 
them, bi'avely pushed on in pursuit of the retreating force. 
They overtook tliem while halting and making the prepara- 
tion to march, already described. A sharp skirmish en- 
sued, but becoming nearly surrounded by the enemy, they 
\«ere obliged to retreat with the loss of nine of their noble 


little number. This statement is circumstantially given by 
Hoyt, but Rev. Mr. Williams, in his " Redeemed Captive," 
(a work from which most of these facts are drawn,) states 
that a company of the enemy remained in the town, but 
were beaten out and pursued by the English, until the 
main force came to their rescue. The slaughter inflicted 
in the taking of the town w^as a terrible one. No less than 
thirty-eight were killed, making the whole number, includ- 
ing those slain in the skirmish on the meadow, forty-seven.* 
The loss of the enemy was upwards of forty. In a list of 
the captivesf drawn up by Stephen Williams, the pastor's 

*The following are I he names of those slain at the taking of the 
town: David Alexander, Thomas Carter, John Catlin, Jonathan 
Catlin, Sarah Field, Jonathan Hawks Jr. and his wife, Thankful 
Hawks. John Hawks, Martha Hawks, Samuel Hinsdale, Joseph In- 
gersol, Jonathan Kellogg, Philip Mattoon's wife and child, Parthe- 
na, (a negro,) Henry Nims, Mary Nims, Mehitable Nims, Sarah 
Price, Mary Root, Thomas Sheklen, Mercy Shelden. Samuel 
Smead's wife and two children, Elizabeth Smead, Martin Smith, 
Serg. Benoni Stebbins, Andrew Stevens, Mary Wells, John Wil- 
liams Jr., Jerusha Williams. — Those slain in the skirmish that took 
place in the meadow were Samuel Albs, Serg. Boltwood, Robert 
Boltwood, Joseph Catlin, Samuel Foot, David Hoit Jr., Jonathan In- 
gram, Serg. Benjamin Waiie, Nathaniel Warner. 

fThe following is the list, those marked with an asterisk indicat- 
ing those who were killed before getting far from the town : — Mary 
Alexander, Mary Alexander Jr., Joseph Alexander, (ran away the 
first night.) Sarah Allen, Mary Allis, Thomas Baker, Simon Beau- 
mont, Hepzibah Belding,* John Bridgman, (ran away in the mead- 
ow,) Nathaniel Brooks, Mary Brooks,* Mary Brooks Jr., William 
Brooks, Abigail Brown, Benjamin Burt, Hannah Carter,* Hannah 
Carter Jr.,* Mercy Carter, Samuel Carter, John Carter, Ebenezer 
Carter, Marah Carter,* John Catlin, Ruth Catlin, Elizabeth Corse,* 
Elizabeth Corse Jr., Daniel Crowfoot, Abigail Denio, Sarah Dickin- 
son, Joseph Eastman, Mary Field, John Field, Mary Field Jr., IMary 
Frary,* Thomas French, Mary French,* IMary French Jr , Thomas 
French Jr., Freedom French, Martha French, Abigail French, Mary 
Harris, Samuel Hastings, Elizabeth Hawks, Mehuman Hinsdale, 
Mary Hinsdale, Jacob Hicks, (died at Coos,) Deacon David Hoii, 
(died at Coos,) Abigail Hoit, Jonathan Hoit, Sarah Hoit, Ebenezer 
Hoit, Abigail Hoit Jr., Elizabeth Hull, Thomas Hurst, Ebenezer 
Hurst, Benoni Hurst,* Sarah Hurst, Sarah Hurst Jr., Elizabeth 
Hurst, Hannah Hurst, Martin Kellogg, Martin Kellogg Jr., Joseph 
Kellogg, Joanna Kellogg, Rebecca Kelloge:, John Marsh, Sarah 
Mattoon, Philip Mattoon, Frank,* a negro, Mehitable Nims, Ebene- 
zer Nims, Abigail Nims, Joseph Petty, Sarah Petty, Joshua Pome- 
roy, Esther Pbmeroy,* Samuel Price, Jemima Richards, Josiah 

152 QUEEN ANNe's WAR. 

son, and subsequently the minister at Longmeadow, it ap- 
pears that fourteen of them were slain in the meadows 
after they left town. These were not all slain near the 
Tillage, but probably during the first day's marcli, which 
was not more than four miles. The victims consisted of 
infants, and wounded and infirm persons. Two of the cap- 
tives succeeded in escaping, and Mr. Williams was ordered 
to inform the others that if any more escapes should take 
place, death by fire would be visited upon those who re- 

The first night's lodgings were provided for as comforta- 
bly as circumstances would pennit, and all the able bodied 
among the prisoners were made to sleep in bonds. On the 
second day's march, Mr. William.s was permitted to speak 
with his poor wife, and to assist her on her journey. " On 
the way," says Mr. Williams, in his book, " Ave discoursed 
of the happiness of those who had a right to an house not 
made Avith hands, eternal in the heavens ; and God for a 
father and friend ; as also it was our reasonable duty qui- 
etly to submit to the will of God, and to say, ' The will of 
the Lord be done.' " Thus imparting to one another their 
heroic courage and Christian strength and consolation, they 
pursued their painful way. At last, the poor woman an- 
nounced the gradual faihire of her strength, and during 
the short time it was allowed her to remain with her hus- 
band expressed good wishes and prayers for him and her 
children. The narrative proceeds : " She never spake any 
discontented word as to what had befallen us, but, with 
suitable expressions, justified God in what had happened. 
We soon made a halt, in which time my chief surviving 
master came up, upon which I was put upon marching with 
the foremost, and so made my last farewell of my dear 
wife, the desire of my eyes, and companion in many mer- 
cies and afflictions. Upon our separation from each other. 

Rising, Hannah Shelden, Ebenezer Shelden, Remembrance Sheldon, 
Mary Shelden, John Stebbins, Dorothy Stebbins, John Stebbins Jr., 
Samuel Stebbins, Ebenezer Siebbins, Joseph Stebbins, Thankful 
Stebbins, Elizabeth Stevens, Ebenezer Warner, Waitslill Warner 
Jr. * Sarah Warner, Rev. John Williams, Mrs. Eunice Williams,* 
Samuel Williams, Eunice Williams Jr., Esther Williams, Waiham 
Williams, John Weston, Judah Wright. Also three Frenchmen 
v*o had lived in Deerfield some time, and who came from Canada. 


we asked for each other grace sufficient for what God 
should call us to." Mrs. Williams remained a short time 
where he left her, and occupied the leisure in reading her 
Bible. Her husband went on, and soon had to ford a small 
and rapid stream, and climb a high mountain on its other 
side. Reaching the top, and very much exhausted, he was 
unburdened of his pack, and then his heart went down the 
steep after his wife. He entreated his master to let him 
go down and help her, but his desire was refused. As the 
prisoners, one after another, came up, he inquired for 
her, and the news of her death was told to him. In wad- 
ing the river, she was thrown down by the water, and en- 
tirely submerged, but succeeded in reaching the bank and 
the foot of the mountain, where her master became dis- 
couraged with the idea of her maintaining the march, and 
burying his tomahawk in her head, left her dead. ]Mrs. 
"Williams was the daughter of Rev. Eleazer Mather, the 
first minister of Northampton — an educated, refined and 
noble woman, and the story of her suiferings is a most 
touching one. It is pleasant to think tliat her body was 
found, and brought l:)ack to Deerfield, wliere, in long years 
after, her husband was laid by her side. There sleeps the 
dust of the pair, and stones still standing inform the 
stranger of, the interesting spot. 

Others were killed upon the journey, as convenience re- 
quired. One poor woman, with child, and near the time 
of travail, was dispatclied on the fourth day. Arriving 
about thirty miles North of Deerfield, probably in the 
Northern part of Brattleboro, Vt., those of the Indians 
who had no captives became discontented, f)r som(> others 
of the number had five or six. Accordingly a halt was 
made, and a more equal distribution effected, and then 
sledges were constructed for the better conveyance of chil- 
dren, and those who were woimded. Stephen AVilliams, 
the pastor's son, was at that time eleven years old, but lie 
kept a journal which has recently been published, and 
which states in an artless way: "They traveled (we 
thought) as it* they meant to kill us all, for they traveled 
thirty-five or forty miles a day. * * * Their manner 
was, if any loitered, to kill them. My feet were very sore, 
so that I thought tliey would kill me also." "When the 
first Sabbath ai'rived, Mr. Williams was allowed to preach. 


His text was taken from the Lamentations of Jeremiah — 
the verse in which occurs the passage — " my virgins and 
my young men are gone into captivity." And thus they 
progressed, the life of the captives dependent, in every 
case, upon then- ability to keep up with the party. Here 
an innocent child would be knocked upon the head and left 
in the snow, and there some poor woman, prostrated by a 
miscarriage, dropped by the way, and died by the merciful 
tomahawk, unmercifully dealt. An'iving at Wliite River, 
Rouville divided his forces, and the parties took separate 
routes to Canada. The party to which Mr. "Williams was 
attached went up White River, and j^roceeded, with vai'i- 
ous adventures, to Sorel in Canada, at which point some 
of the captives had preceded him. The party with which 
the most of Mr. Williams' children proceeded, kept on, up 
the Connecticut, and barely escaped death from famine, a 
fate which visited two of the captives. 

Thus, those who survived had all arrived in Canada, and 
all were treated by the French with great humanity, and 
Mr. Williams with marked courtesy. He proceeded to 
Chamblee, from thence to St. Francis, on the St. Law- 
rence, afterwards to Quebec, and at last to Montreal, where 
Governor Vaudreuil treated him with much kindness, and 
redeemed him from savage hands. Mr. Williams' religious 
experiences in Canada were characteristic of the times. 
He was there thrown among Romanists, a sect against 
which he entertained the most profound dislike — profound 
to an inflammatory conscientiousness, not to say bigotry. 
His Indian master was determined he should go to church, 
but he would not, and was once dragged there, where he 
" saw a great confusion instead of any Gospel order." 
The Jesuits assailed him on every hand, and gave him but 
little peace. His master, at one time, tried to make him 
kiss a crucifix, under the threat that he would dash out his 
brains with a hatchet if he should refuse, but he did refuse, 
and had the good fortune to save his head as well as his 
conscience. Some of Mr. Williams' children were re- 
deemed, and placed where he could see them, and all of 
them were promised him by the Jesuits, accompanied with 
a pension for his own and their support, if he would em- 
brace the Romish faith, but the offensive offer met with a 
^■^ost xmgracious recej^tion. In short, the Deerfield cap- 


tives proved to be rather intractable fellows. One of the 
Jesuits told the Governor that " he never saw such persons 
as were taken from Deerfield," and added — " the Macquas 
will not suffer any of their prisoners to abide in their wig- 
wams whilst they themselves are at mass, but carry them 
with them to the church, and they cannot be prevailed 
with to fall down on tlieir knees ; but no sooner are they 
return(;d to their wigwams but they fall, down on their 
knees to prayer." 

One of Mr. "Williams' daughters, Eunice, only seven 
years old at the time she was carried to Canada, he had 
the privilege of once visiting. He talked with her about 
an hour, and ascertained that she had not forgotten her cat- 
echism. The little girl was very desirous to be set at lib- 
erty, and bemoaned her hard lot. She was told to pray to 
God every day, and she replied that she did, as she Avas 
able, and God helped her. '• But," said she, " they force 
me to say some prayers in Latin, but I don't understand 
one word of them." All jiossible efforts were afterwards 
made by the Governor and his lady to effect her redemp- 
tion, but without avail. The plastic little creature not 
long afterwards forgot, not only her catechism but her lan- 
guage, adopted the Indian habits of life, and became in 
fact and feeling a savage. And there among them was she 
left at last, and on arriving at Avomanhood, she married an 
Indian by whom she had a family of children. A few 
years after the war, she and her husband, witli other In- 
dians, visited Deerfield. She was dressed in Indian cos- 
tume, and all the inducements held out to her to remain at 
her old home were unavailing. She visited Longmeadow 
twice subsequently, with her tawny companion, to see her 
brother, and old fellow captive, who, since his return, had 
grown up, and become the first pastor of the church in 
Longmeadow. The General Court granted them a piece 
of land on condition that they would remain in New Eng- 
land, but she refused, on the Jiround that it Avould endanger 
her soul. She livcMl and died in savage life, thougli nomi- 
nally a convert to Romanism, and out of her singular fate 
has grown another romance, which has been the marvel of 
later times. From her descended Rev. Eleazer AYilliams, 
late missionary to the Indians at Green Bay, Wisconsin, 
the pretended Dauphin of France. In 170G, Mr. Wil- 


liams and his remaining cliildren, with other captives, rais- 
ing the number to fifty-seven, embarked on board a ship 
sent to Quebec by Governor Dudley, and sailed for Bos- 
ton. Of those Avho were carried to Canada, twenty-eight 
permanently remained, and these principally intermarried 
with the French, became attached to the country, and 
nearly all became Romanists. Their names and descend- 
ents still live in Canada, and many now living in the Con- 
necticut Valley would feel astonished in being brought face 
to face with kindred blood, that now rattles bad French in 
Canada, or sputters Indian in the North and Northwest. 
It has already been said that Mr. Williams was laid by the 
side of his wife at last; and Deerfield, after his return, 
was his home until he died. A Committee from his peo- 
ple met him on his landing at Boston, and invited him to 
return to the charge, from which he had, nearly three 
years before, been torn. And Mr. Williams had the cour- 
age to do it, notwithstanding the war continued with una- 
bated bitterness. In 1707, the town voted to build him a 
house, " as big as Ensign Sheldon's, and a back room as 
big as may be thought convenient." " Ensign Sheldon's 
house," by the way, has been seen by nearly every one 
who has traveled through the Connecticut Valley. It was 
the " old Indian house in Deerfield," as it has been popu- 
larly called, and stood at the Northern end of Deerfield 
Common, exhibiting to its latest day the marks of the tom- 
ahawk upon its door in the attack of 1704, and the perfo- 
rations made by the balls inside. The house was torn 
down recently, but the door is preserved, and should 
ever be preserved as a valuable memento of the dangers 
and trials of early times. Mr. Williams took a new wife 
into his new house, had several children by her, and died 
in 172'J. 

The inhabitants of Deerfield had abandoned their settle- 
ment twice, but, notwithstanding the hard fare they had 
experienced, and the dangers to which they must necessa- 
rily be still exposed, they determined not to leave it again. 
It was not long after the departure of the captives in 1704, 
that two individuals— John Allen and his wife — were 
killed about two miles South of Deerfield, at a place called 
" the Bars." This was on the 10th of the following May, 
•'.nd as the Indians killed Allen upon the spot, and took his 


wife a mile or two away before dispatching her, they prob- 
ably calculated to carry her also to Cauada. A few days 
afterwards, one Kindness, a fi'iendly Indian, was killed at 
Hatfield mill, but the enemy had no time to scalp lam. 
About the same time, Thomas Russell was killed North of 
Deertield. He was attached to the garrison at Deerfield, 
and was sent into the woods as a scout, liut wandered from 
his companions, and was cut off. He belonged in Hatheld. 
John Hawks, while on the way from Deerfield to Hatfield, 
fell into an ambuscade and was killed. The Indians in 
small and unimportant parties at this time seem to have 
hunsr around all the settlements on the river. Dr. Cross- 
man, while riding in the night between Hadley and Spring- 
field, was fired upon and wounded in the arm. A scout on 
the way between Nortiiarapton and Westfield were attacked 
by Indians, one of them killed and two taken captive. 
These Indians fell in with anotlier scout which killed three 
of their number, and released the two prisoners. Scouts 
at this time were kept out in every direction. Lieut. Ca- 
leb Lyman, with the insignificant force of five friendly In- 
dians, marched to Coos, on the Connecticut at the North, 
where abode a remnant of the force that invaded Deerfield 
in the preceding February, and coming to a cabin contain- 
ing ten Indians, fired upon, and killed seven at the first 
shot. The other three were wounded, but escaped. Lieut. 
Lyman returned without the loss of a man. In 1705, no 
movements worthy of note occurred. In July. 17()G, Sam- 
uel Cliapin and his brother, of Springfield, went uj) to 
their farm in the North part of the town, and on discover- 
ino- si^^ns of Indians, fied back toward their homes, followed 
by the foe that had calculated on entrappmg them. One 
shot was discharged, hitting vSamuel Chopin in the side, but 
not inflicting a fatal wound. About this time, Mary IMc- 
Intosh was killed at IJrookfield, while milking the cows. 
Robert Grainger and fJohn Clary Avere shot in the same 
town, and Thomas Battis of that town, while riding post to 
Hadley, Avas killed somewhere upon the present territory 
of Belchertown. John Woolcott, a boy, was taken at 
Brookfield, and carried to Canada, where he remained 
among the Indians so long as to lose his native language. 
In 17 08, a body of infanti-y and cavalry, commanded by 
Col. Whiting, were sent up from Connecticut, to guard the 



frontier towns upon the North, and n scout from his force 
returning from White River, lost one of its number, named 
Barber, and Martin Kellogg Jr. was taken prisoner. Dur- 
ing this year, Samuel and Joseph Parsons of Northamp- 
ton, sons of Capt. John Parsons, were killed by the Indians 
while in the woods. On the 26th of July, that year, seven 
or eight Indians attacked the house of Lieut. Wright at 
Skipmuck, in Springfield, and killed " old Mr. Wright," 
and Aaron Parsons and Barijah Hubbard — a couple of 
soldiers — knocked two children on the head, one of whom 
died, and took Henry Wright's wife captive, and pi'obably 
killed her afterwards. Lieut. Wright and a daughter es- 

In 1707, another expedition was fitted out from Massa- 
chusetts against Port Royal, N. S. Two regiments under 
the command of Col. March embarked at Nantasket, in 
twenty-three vessels, and proceeded under the convoy of 
two war-ships, but the whole affair miscarried. Thirty 
lives Avere lost, and the expense to the colony was £22,000. 
This expedition was followed, in the succeeding year, by 
the fittuig out of a large expedition of French and Indians 
in Canada to go against the frontier settlements of New 
England. This expedition fell upon other quarfei-s than 
the Connecticut, and had tlie effect to bring out another 
English ex2)edition in the following year against the 
French pi'ovinces. This expedition was an extensive af- 
fair, and contemplated nothing less than the complete re- 
duction of the French in North America. Five regiments 
of troops were to be sent from England. To these were 
to be added twelve hundred troops, to be raised in Massa- 
chusetts, New Hampshire and Rliode Island, and the com- 
bined force was to go against Quebec. Fifteen hundi-ed 
troops, to be raised in the other colonies, were to proceed 
by the way of the lakes, and attack Montreal. Complica- 
tions with allied powers arose at the very moment of em- 
barking tlie English troops for the Quebec expedition, and 
they were sent in another direction. Thus, this part of 
the enterprise failed. The force bound for Montreal as- 
sembled at Albany, and made progress on their journey, 
but a terrible sickness breaking out among the troops, and 
the commander becoming aware of tiie failure of the other 
^^ying of the enterprise, returned to Albany, and disbanded 


bis army. While these movements, which looked formida- 
ble, at least, were in progress, the French still kept out 
their parties of savages upon the New England frontiers. 
On the 11th of April, 1709, while Mehuman Hinsdale was 
returning with his team from Northampton, he was taken 
prisoner by two Indians, who took him to Chamblee in 
eleven days and a half. This was Mr. Hinsdale's second 
experience, he having made one of the Deerfield company 
of captives. He suffered much from imprisonment, being 
obliged to run the gantlet, &c. At last, he was taken from 
the Indians, sent to France, and, after an absence of three 
years and a half, found his way back to his family. Mr. 
Hinsdale was the first male child born in Deerfield, a fact 
which his grave stone, now standing in that town, duly 
commemorates. In May, John Wells and John Burt, (be- 
longing to a scouting i)arty of ten which had penetrated to 
Lake Champlain, and killed and wounded more than they 
numbered themselves.) were killed in a skirmish on Onion 
River, in Vermont. In June, another attack was arranged 
by the enemy, to be made upon Deerfield. One of the 
Rouvilles, (a brother of the leader of the previous expe- 
dition against the town,) appeared at the head of 180 
French and Indians, but this time the Deerfield people 
were not asleep, and were so well jn-epared against an en- 
emy, that llouville withdrew. Wliih; his force lay m the 
vicinity, Joseph Clesson and John Arms were captured, 
and Lieut. Taylor and Isaac Mattoon killed. In 1710, 
about the middle of July, six men of lirookfield, while 
making hay in the meadows, were surprised by a party of 
Indians, and all of them killed. Their names were Eben- 
ezer Ilayward, John White, Ste])hen and Benjamin Jen- 
nings, John Grosvenor and Joseph Kellogg. 

In 1710, an English fieet, with a regiment of marines, 
and four regiments of provincial troops, proceeded against, 
and captured Port Royal, and not long after this event, 
Col. Nicholson, who commanded the land expedition on the 
previous year, went to England to interest the Government 
in another expedition against Canaila, and efiected his ob- 
ject. On the 30th of July, 1711, a large fleet left Boston 
with a force of 7,000 regulars and ])rovinci;ils ; but eight 
or nine of their transports wei"e lost, with about 1,000 men, 
by being wrecked, and the expedition returned without 

160 QUEEN ANNe's WAR. 

effecting anything. This was the fourth expedition made 
against Canada. In the aggregate, they had involved an 
immense cost, and had never accomplished anything ex- 
cept the more complete exasperation of the French. At 
the same time that the last fleet sailed from Boston, Col. 
Nicholson started from Albany, with a force nearly as 
large, but receiving news of the failure of the armament, 
he again returned, and disbanded his troops. During this 
year, no hostilities of importance were exhibited on the 
Connecticut. In 1713, the long war in Europe ended, and 
hostilities soon ceased between the belligerent colonies. 
The next year Col. Stoddard of Northampton went to 
Canada to make arrangements for an exchange of prison- 
ers, and now the distressed and long suffering settlers upon 
the Connecticut breathed freely again. 



New Settlements on the Connecticut — First 
Settlements on the Housatonic. 

During " Queen Anne's War," the settlers had again 
suffered a period of retrogradation. Not an advance had 
been made in any quarter, save, perhaps, in Springfield 
and its immediate region. As soon as tlie war was over, 
however, the owners of Northfield moved for a re-settle- 
ment, and made an application to tlie General Court for 
liberty to return. The Court, February 22d, 1714, ac- 
cordingly passed an order, reviving the grant made in 
1672, and appointed Samuel Partridge, John Pynchon, 
(son of ilaj. John Pynchon.) Samuel Porter, John Stod- 
dard and Henry Dwiglit, a committee to examine all claims 
of individuals to lands in the plantation, and to enter their 
names, witli such others as should join them in re-estab- 
lishing the plantation, preference to be given in all cases to 
the descendents of the original grantees. The town lots 
were ordered to be small, so that they might be the more 
easily defensible, and 2o(> acres to be reserved for the dis- 
position of the Government. The conditions of the grant 
were that forty families be settled within three years, and 
that an orthodox minister be procured and encouraged to 
settle with them. On tlie 14th of April, sixteen persons 
appeared before the Committee, proved their claims, and 
entered into articles of agreement. Among these articles 
was one fixing the site of the village in its original loca- 
tion. The Committee who had the general ordering of af- 
fairs at first, two days after this appointed Deacon Ebene- 
zer Wright to be the town clerk, and Capt. Benjamin 
Wright, Lieut. Jolm Lyman, Dea. Ebenezer Wright, Ju- 
dah Hutchinson and Sergeant Thomas Taylor, to be meas- 
urers of land, pro tempore. On the 11th of July, peace 
was concluded with the Eastern Indians, and the old pro- 
prietors of Northfield flocked back, rebuilt their houses, 
and, with other settlers, established ui)on a permanent foot- 
ing the town of Northfield. They built a church, and, in 



1718, when the town contained about thirty families, they 
settled for their minister Rev. Benjamin Doolittle of Wal- 
lingford, Ct. 

In 1701, John Pynchon, Capt. Thomas Colton, James 
"Warriner, David Morgan and Joseph Stebbins were ap- 
pointed by the General Court to lay out the town subse- 
quently called Brimfield, and to have for five years the 
ordering of the prudential atfairs of the place. The trac4 
was originally eight miles square, and comprised the pres- 
ent towns of Brimfield, Monson, Wales and Holland. The 
Indian disturbances that followed, for many years, interfered 
with the settlement of the plantation to any extent. It 
had been growing in population until 1731, when, after 
considerable discussion in the General Court, the grants 
made by the original Committee were confirmed. The or- 
dination of Rev. Richard Treat, the fii'st minister, took 
place in 1725. 

About this time, settlements began to multiply in every 
direction. Easthampton, then composing a part of the 
town of Northampton, was settled as early, in fact, as 1700. 
Southampton, in the same township, followed in 1732. 
South Hadley, the second precinct of Hadley, was settled 
as early as 1721. In 1732, Belchertown was settled. A 
Scotch Presbyterian church was formed in Palmer about 
1730, a few years after the place had been settled by a 
company of emigrants from the North of Ireland. Sun- 
derland, a townsliip granted to inhabitants of Hadley in 
1673, was incorporated in 1714. Thus, leaving for a while 
the active movements in progress in the Connecticut Val- 
ley, our history returns to notice appropriately a marked 
event becoming buried in the retiring years, and then 
passes on to new scenes and a wider field. 

In 1703 died Maj. John Pynchon. His name has oc- 
curred more frequently in these pages than any other. It 
is because it was used during his life in connection with 
every important enterprise on the Connecticut River. He 
was on every commission and committee. The greater 
part of his life was occupied in pubhc service. He came 
to Springfield when but ten years old. He lived in it 
nearly one-third of the time that has transpired since its 
settlement. He was a magistrate in the local Courts nearly 
^ (jtiite all the time from the age of twenty-six to the time 


of his death, which took place when he had arrived at the 
good old age of 76. He was, for a considerable period, 
the chief in military command in the county, was repeat- 
edly chosen an assistant of the colony, was of the Council 
of New England in the time of Sir Edmund Andross, (a 
place which he held from a desire to serve the people, and 
not from sympathy with the arbitrary measures of the 
day,) and a Councillor under the new colonial charter. 
All the trusts reposed in him, and all the offices conferred 
upon him, he discharged with remarkable ability, entire 
faithfulness, and with wide acceptation. He was loved, 
honored and revered in all the complicated relations of a 
long, laborious and useful life, and when he was gathered 
home, like a shock fully ripe, he was missed not by Spring- 
field alone, nor alone by Hampshire County, but by New 
England, in all parts of which his name was familiar. 

On the 30th day of January, 1722, one hundi-ed and 
seventy-six inhabitants of Hampshire County petitioned 
the General Court for two townsliips of land situated on 
the Housatonic River, at the South Western corner of the 
Massachusetts patent. The petition was granted, and the 
townships ordered to contain seven miles square, each. 
John Stoddard of Northampton, Henry Dwight of do., 
Luke Hitchcock of Sin-ingfield, Jolm Ashley of Westfield, 
Samuel Porter of Iladley, and El)enezer Pomeroy of 
Northampton, were appointed a committee for dividing the 
tract, granting lots, admitting settlers, &c. The committee 
were instructed to i-oserve lands for the first minister, for 
the subsequent maintenance of tlie ordinances of the gos- 
pel, and for the support of schools ; and to demand of each 
man to whom they should make a grant, thirty sliillings for 
every hundred acres, to be expended in extinguisliing the 
Indian claims, paying expenses for laying out the lands, 
and in building meeting houses in the townships. Tliis 
committee met in the following March, at Si)ringfield. and 
fifty-five settlers received grants, complying with the con- 
ditions attached to them. Measures were taken to pur- 
chase the land contained in the grants, of the Indians, and, 
on the 25th of April, 1724, a deed was executed by tliem, 
conveying a tract bounded on the South by the divisional 
line between Massachusetts and Connecticut, AVest by tlie 
colony of New Yoi'k, Eastward to a line four miles from 


the Housatonic River, " and in a general way so to ex- 
tend ;" and Nortli " to the great mountain." The Indians 
made certain reservations of planting and other land, and 
received in consideration the sum of £460 in money, three 
barrels of cider and thirty quarts of rum. Saying nothing 
of the liquor, this would seem to be the largest sum ever 
paid in Western Massachusetts for the extmguishment of 
an Indian title. 

The deed thus given embraced the present towns of 
Sheffield, Egremont, Mount Washington, Gi-eat Barring- 
ton, Alford, a considerable part of Lee, and the larger part 
of Stockbridge and West Stockbndge. These two town- 
ships were known before their later division into towns, as 
the " upper and lower Housatonic townships." On the In- 
dian reservation, not more than four or tive families re- 
sided, and these remained only temporarily, removing sub- 
sequently to Stockbridge, as will be hereafter more partic- 
ularly noticed. In 1725, John Ashley and Ebenezer 
Pomeroy, members of the committee, divided the lower 
township into lots for settlers, and, very soon afterwards, 
settlers came in and planted themselves upon the river 
bank, in the present town of Sheffield. The settlei's were 
mostly from Westfield, but were not long allowed to re- 
main undisturbed in their possessions. At that time, the 
division line between New York and Massachusetts Avas an 
uncertain aflFair, and as the colonial authorities of New 
York saw Massachusetts parceling out lands that they sup- 
posed belonged to themselves, they made a grant of the 
same lands to certain Dutchmen of their own. It would 
seerft, too, that Massachusetts was so uncertain in regard to 
the matter that the Governor forbade any further settle- 
ment, as Avell as the commencement of legal process against 
the New Yorkers who had molested those already settled. 
These troubles were not of long duration, and were soon 
obviated. The original settlers numbered about sixty. 
The first settler was Obadiah Noble of Westfield, who 
spent one Winter there entirely alone, or, with no other 
companions than the Indians. Returning to Westfield in 
the Spring, he started in June to resume his residence, upon 
the liousatonic, taking with him his daughter, only sixteen 
j^ears of age. She went on horseback, taking her bed 
/* upon the horse with her, and lodged one night in the wil- 


dcrness, while making the passage. And this was the be- 
ginning of the settlement of Berkshire County, and occur- 
red but a few years more than a century ago ! The settle- 
ment had progressed so far in 1733, that it was incorporated 
as a town by the name of Sheffield, the name probably 
being taken from Sheffield in England. The first town 
meeting was held at the house of Obadiah Noble, on the 
16th of January, in that year, and Hezekiah Noble was 
chosen town clerk, and John Smith, Philip Callendar and 
Daniel Kellogg, selectmen. At the same meeting it was 
voted to erect a meeting house, forty-five by thirty-five feet 
in dimensions. A minister was immediately and con- 
stantly employed thereafter, and in 1735, the meeting house 
was erected, a church organized, and Mr. Jonathan Hub- 
bard of Sunderland ordained as its first minister. He con- 
tinued to preach to the people for 29 years, when he was 

Though the Indian settlement in lower Housatonic was 
very small, it did not comprise all the natives within the 
territory granted. The tribe, however, was very much re- 
duced in numbers, and Konkapot, the chief, of whom the 
land was bought, with eight or ten families, lived in that 
part of the territory of upper Housatonic now covered by 
Stockbridge. Tlie minority lived on the reservation in 
the lower township already alluded to, called by them 
Skatehook. Among these families, in the Autumn of 
1734, Mr. John Sergeant, then a candidate for the minis- 
try, and Timothy Woodl)ridge, a school-master, commenced 
the work of a Christian mission. The Board of Commis- 
sioners for Indian affairs encouraged them, and they com- 
menced their labor. But tlie division of the settlements, 
being about ten miles apart, interfered with its efficient 
progress, and to obviate the inconvenience, the Indians 
came to an agreement to dwell together during the Winter 
season, at a point half way between the settlements. Here 
a house was erected for a church and a school, and around 
it the Indians built their huts. Their separation in the 
Spring, to pursue their planting, broke all up again, and as 
it was supposed that other families of the tribe, living be- 
yond the bounds of the patent, would be attracted by the 
school, it was found advisable to devise some plan for their 
dwelling permanently together. The General Court be- 


coming aware of the condition of things, made a grant to 
the Indians, in 1735, of a township six miles square, to lie 
upon the Housatonic River at the North of Monument 
Mountain, provided the proprietors of upper Housatonic 
would release their claims to such of the land granted as 
had regularly come into their possession, and as would ne- 
cessarily be embraced within the lines of the new town- 
ship. To compass this latter end, a committee, consisting 
of John Stoddard, Ebenezer Pomeroy and Thomas Inger- 
soll, was appointed, to settle such preliminaries and diffi- 
culties as presented themselves. They were directed to 
confer with the Indians, and, if they should consent, to sell 
their reservation in lower Housatonic, and apply the pro- 
ceeds, so far as they Avould go, to the satisfaction of the 
disturbed proprietors of the upper township, and to indem- 
nify the settlers entirely by making over to them other un- 
granted lands in the province. If these matters could be 
arranged, they were to proceed and lay out the plantation. 
Two or three Dutchmen, who had settled above the mount- 
ain, made some difficulty, but it was at last arranged, and 
the township laid out for the Indians, one-sixtieth part be- 
ing reserved for the missionary, another sixtieth for the 
school-master, and another tract sufficient for the accom- 
modation of four English families. The town was laid out 
in an exact square, comprising 23,040 acres, of which 
9,240 acres were taken from the upper Housatonic town- 
ship. The survey included the present towns of Stock- 
bridge and West Stockb ridge. In May, 1736, the Indians 
removed to their new home. Other families followed, so 
that, in June, the population numbered ninety individuals. 
In the following August, some of the Indians accompanied 
Mr. Sergeant i:o Boston, on a visit to Gov. Belcher, ex- 
pressed their thanks to him for what had been done for 
them, gave up their claim to a strip of land two miles 
wide, extending from Westfield to the Housatonic town- 
ships, and asked the assistance of the Government in build- 
ing a meeting house and school house. In 1737, their 
prayer was granted, and two years subsequently their town 
was incorporated by the name of Stockbridge, and the 
public houses alluded to were completed during the same 
year. In 1829, the frame of the meeting house was still 
,. .standing, and was in use as a barn. Here the Indians 


were increased by accessions to their numbers from with- 
out, until they reached and probably surpassed the number 
of 400 souls. At the close of 1785, they had all removed 
to New Stockbridge, a town gi-anted to them by the Onei- 
das in New York, and subsequently they moved still fur- 
ther West — to Green Bay, on the Southern shore of Lake 
Michigan. ' 

The mission among the Stockbridge Indians was attend- 
ed with good and useful results. It secured the friendship 
of the Indians in the subsequent French wars, and not 
only in these, but, in the war of the Revolution, were they 
active in their sympathy with the settlers and the colonies, 
sometimes acting as spies, sometimes as guides and inter- 
preters, and sometimes as regular members of the Colonial 
Militia. The scliool established by Mr. Woodbridge was 
continued by him, and by his successor, John Sergeant, Jr., 
until the Indians left for New Stockbridge, and through its 
instrumentality, all the Indian children of the settlement 
had the privilege of acquiring, and probably did acquire, a 
common education. Beyond and above this school, Mr. 
Sergeant projected another, which attracted not only the 
favorable notice of the Indian Commissioners at Boston, 
but of prominent men abroad. The })lan of Mr. Sergeant 
was, " that a tract of land of about two hundred acres 
should be set aside for the use of tiie school, and a house 
erected upon it ; that a number of children and youth be- 
tween the ages of ten and twenty should be received, and 
placed under the care of two masters, one of whom should 
take the oversight of them in their houi's of labor, and the 
other in their hours of study, and that their time should be 
so divided between the hours of labor and study, as to 
make one the diversion of the other ; that the fruits of 
their labors should go towards their maintenance, &c." 
Abroad, this project secured the warm approval of the 
Prince of Wales, Avho headed a subscription for it with 
twenty guineas. Mr. Isaac HoUis made an individual pro- 
vision for the instruction of 24 Indian boys. This project 
'was the favorite child of Mr. Sergeant, and he labored for 
it with spirit and assiduity. Troubles connected with the 
French War, commenced in 1744, delayed the establish- 
ment of the school until 1749, when a house was built, and 
Rev. Gideon Ilawley, afterwards missionary at Marshpee, 


became the teacher ; and when he retired, it was instructed 
for a time by Rev. Cotton Mather Smith. But the school, 
owing to the disturbances occasioned by the last French 
War, never accomplished the sanguine hopes of its pro- 
jector and patrons. Still, by its aid, and by the steady op- 
eration of the common school, a number of the Indians 
received a really respectable education, were fitted for all 
the ordinary transactions of business, and uniformly sus- 
tained a portion of the town offices. 

From first to last, of the continuance of the mission, 
about one hundred Indians became professors of Christian- 
ity. At first, ignorant of their language, Mr. Sergeant in- 
structed them by the aid of an interpreter, but this was 
working at a disadvantage, and three years after his settle- 
ment among them, he began to speak to them of religion 
in their own language. At about this time, the settlement 
had an accession to its number of the four English settlers 
for whom provision had been made in the laying out of the 
town. Three of them — Col. Ephraim Williams, Josiah 
Jones and Ephraim Brown — came from the Eastern or 
central portion of the Colony, while Joseph Woodbridge, 
the brother of the school-mastei*, went from Springfield, on 
the West side of the river. This accession, while it bene- 
fited the mission and the missionaries in many ways, in- 
creased very materially the labors of Mr. Sergeant, who 
then became obliged to preach in both languages. And, 
indeed, his life was one of great and varied labor. He 
translated the more important portions of the Bible into 
the Indian language, carried on an extensive correspond- 
ence with the friends and patrons of the mission, and 
maintained intimate personal relations with his flock. This- 
arduous work he carried on until 1749, when he died, at 
the comparatively early age of 39. The effect of his la- 
bors upon his savage pastorate was marked and happy, in 
all the features of the civilization that sprang up beneath 
his assiduous hand. Following him as the pastor of this 
interesting church came Rev. Jonathan Edwards, of North- 
ampton. Here this learned and remarkable man attended 
most acceptably to the duties of the mfnistry, and found 
time to complete his great work, ' The Inquiry concerning 
.the freedom of the Will,' to compose his treatise on Origi- 
nal Sin, and to carry forward and complete other works 


that subsequently appeared. In 1758, he accepted the 
Presidency of Princeton College, but he died soon after 
assuming the duties of his new station. President Ed- 
wards won a name as a metaphysician and theologian, sec- 
ond to none in America, of which his works, read with 
increasing interest, for their vigor, wonderful clearness, 
and marvellous exhibitions of familiarity with the opera- 
tions of the human heart, are the abiding monument. 
Rev. Dr. vStephen West succeeded Pres. Edwards in Stock- 
bridge, in 1759, but in 1775, the white inhabitants of the 
town having increased very much meanwhile, he relin- 
quished his charge of the Indians to Mr. Sergeant, the son 
of the original missionary already alluded to as the suc- 
cessor of Mr. Woodbridge in the school, and preached only 
to the English. Mr. Sergeant maintained the relation of 
pastor to the Indians while they remained in Stockbridge, 
and subsequently removed to their new home, where he 
continued until his death in 1824. It is a singular fact in 
the history of Dr. "West that, by reading the writings of 
his predecessor, and by conversations with his friend. Rev. 
Samuel Hopkins of Great Barrington, he became con- 
vinced of his lack of Christianity, gave up his Christian 
hope, and became the subject of a new, and as he trusted, 
genuine religious experience, after he had been for some 
time instructing his Stockbridge flock in the things of re- 

In 1735, the communication between the Connecticut 
River settlements and the lower Housatonic township be- 
came so considerable, that it was found necessary to cut a 
road from Westfield to the new settlement at the "West. 
This road divided the gift of land subsequently made by 
the Stockbridge Indians to the Government, and on the 
15th of January, in the year above mentioned, the General 
Court ordered that four toAvnships should be laid out upon 
the road between Westfield and Shefrield, contiguous in 
position, and either joining Sheffield, or the towiishij> 
granted in 1732 to proprietors of common and undivided 
lands in Suffield, Ct., as an equivalent for lands taken from 
them in establishing the dividing line between INlassachu- 
setts and Connecticut, — a territory now occupied by the 
town of Blandford. These towns were to be " six miles 
square, to contain each sixty-three home-lots, laid out in 



compact and defensible form, one of which was to be for 
the first settled minister, one for the second settled minis- 
ter, one for schools, and one for each grantee, which shall 
draw equal shares in all future divisions." It was further 
provided that the grantees should be such petitioners as 
had not been grantees and settlers for the seven years pre- 
ceding, and as should give security in £40 each for the 
performance of the usual conditions. Ebenezer Burrill 
and Edmund Quincy, of the upper House, and John Ash- 
ley, Capt. Stephen SkitFe and John Fisher of the Assem- 
bly, were appointed a Committee to open these townships ; 
and lay out and grant the lands. The townships were 
numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4, No. 1 being the town of Tyring- 
ham ; 2, New Marlborough ; 3, Sandisfield ; and 4, Becket. 
Thus was completed a string of contiguous townships from 
the Connecticut to the Western boundary of the patent. 

The Indian title to the lauds contained in the new tOAvn- 
ships was extinguished, the purchase also embracing lands 
known afterwards as the North and South Eleven Thou- 
sand acres, and the Tyringham Equivalent, or lands grant- 
ed to proprietors of Tyringham for certain losses sustained 
by the interference of private grants, and the encroach- 
ment made by the survey of the upper Housatonic town- 
ship. This increase of territory induced the General 
Court to increase the proprietors in each township to 67, 
and between the four toAvnships the North Eleven Thou- 
sand acres, called Bethlehem, and the South Eleven Thou- 
sand acres, called Southfield, were divided. Bethlehem 
and Loudon, (the name given to the Tyringham equiva- 
lent,) now constitute the town of Otis, while Southfield is 
embraced within the present bounds of Sandisfield. 

Tyringham and New Marlboro received their first set- 
tlers in 1739. A saw-mill Avas erected by a few individu- 
als in Becket in 1740, but from fear of the Indians tho 
settlement was abandoned, and not until 1755, was a per- 
manent settlement made. Sandisfield received its first 
English population in 1750. The present town of Great 
Bari'ington, formed of portions of both the upper and 
lower Housatonic townships, was settled as eai'ly as 1730, 
and in 1740, was established as the second parish of Slief- 
field. Egremont, on the boundary line between Massa- 
,-g{ius«tt* aod New York, ;iiud composed ©f tcri'itory tak«u 


fx'Oin the lower Housatonic township, the original Lidian 
reservation in that township extending through the town, 
was settled about 1730, though it is supposed to have been 
settled at an earlier period by individuals from New York, 
who considered themselves within the boundaries of that 
colony. There were probably some inhabitants in the 
town of Alford, taken subsequently from the Housatonic 
township, to a large extent, as early as 1740. 

The rapid settlement of these Western townships, shows 
how the strength and population of the colonies had in- 
creased from the days when the settlements in the Con- 
necticut Valley were in their infancy. A difficult I'oad 
was cut frofti the new settlements to the more populous 
towns of the Connecticut Valley almost at once. Prelim- 
inaries were arranged with rapidity, settlers were abun- 
dant, private means were not wanting, and the long century 
of struggle tj,irough which the towns upon the Connecticut 
passed was contracted upon the Housatonic, to a brief and 
comparatively unimportant space of time. In 1731, the 
inhabitants of that part of Hampshire County bordering 
its Eastern boundary, with those on the territory adjoining, 
had become so considerable in numbers, that they were set 
off into a distinct county by the name of Worcester. In 
the Autumn of 1735, the first settlement was made at 
Blandford. Settlements were commenced in the present 
towns of Colerain and Charlemont not far from this time, 
and all was progressing pi'osperously, when another period 
of disturbance and war broke in upon the peaceful and 
prosperous labors of the inhabitants 


Resumption of French and Indian Hostilities. 

In 1744, war was declared between England and France, 
and again, as on every previous occasion, the American 
Colonies of the two Governments were thrown into imme- 
diate hostility. Though a number of Indians had returned 
to the region of the Connecticut, and had not only lived at 
peace with the inhabitants, but pi-ofessed for them the firm- 
est friendship, the first scent of war set them wild, and 
transformed them into the most pitiless of enemies. Leav- 
ing their lodges, they all started for Canada, even dis- 
charging their guns upon the houses of the frontier settlers, 
as they retired into the Northern wilderness, to place 
themselves at the service of the French. The Massachu- 
setts General Court, in consequence of the onset of war, 
ordered the establishment of a line of forts, to protect the 
North Western frontiers of the colony, or, rather, to inter- 
cept the descent upon the settlements of such of the ene- 
my as might choose that passage, while Fort Dummer, 
built some twenty years earlier, in the present town of 
Vernon, Vt., was relied upon to guard the more favorite 
route down the Connecticut. Accordingly, a fort was es- 
tablished at Hoosac, now Adams, and called Fort Massa- 
chusetts ; another in the present town of Heath, called 
Fort Shirley ; and another in Rowe, called Fort Pelham. 
These forts were, of course, built at the expense of the 
colony, while the Government made grants as a return for 
the erection of minor works at the more exposed points of 
settlement. Tliere was a small fort at Blandford, as well 
for the protection of the settlers, as a road-station for the 
safety and accommodation of the travel between the Con- 
necticut and the Hudson rivers. For the new forts, and 
for the replenishment of the forces in the old, five hundred 
men were raised, two-fifths of the number being designed 
for the Western part of the colony, and powder in large 
quantities was sent out to the frontier towns to be sold at 
^i-st cost. # 


At this time, Col. John Stoddard,*of Northampton, a 
man of mark, decision, and larise influence, was the Com- 
mander of the Hampsliire regiment, and to him was in- 
trusted the defense of the Western frontiers. The "West- 
ern forts were under the immediate supervision of Capt. 
Ephraim Williams, who had his head quarters at Fort 
Massachusetts, and who managed affairs with great indus- 
try and efficiency. Scouts, assisted by companies of 
trained dogs, were kept constantly passing fi-om fort to 
fort, to detect any trail of Indians, and to see that no body 
of the enemy passed their line of survey without their 
knowledge. Scouts were induced to enter into this ar- 
duous work by a bounty of £30 offered by the province 
for every Indian scalp. But no Indians made their ap- 
pearance during the year 1744, and though they made 
some not very important demonstrations beyond the reach 
of the forts, in 1745, the vigilance of the scouts during the 
entire year Avas rewarded with no discovery of, or collision 
with, the enemy. In the following year, numerous petty 
visitations of savage cruelty were made upon the frontier 
settlements of New Hampshire. An attack was made, 
upon a fortified house in Bernardston, but the Indiana 
were repulsed by three men, who killed two of the enemy. 
John Burke, one of the first settlers of the town, a man 
who, subsequently, won a high reputation in the field, was 
one of the defenders of the house, and received a slight 
wound. This attack was followed up Avith small demon- 
strations, in various quarters, though they were chiefly 
made upon the frontier settlements of New Hampshire. 
The Indians, on retiring from Bernardston, passed through 
the territory of Colerain, and Mathew Clark, his wife and 
daughter, Avith a guard of tAvo soldiers, fell into an ambus- 
cade prepared by them, and Mr. Clark was killed ; but the 
soldiers returned the fire, and succeeding in killing one of 
the enemy, so far checked them that they managed to get 
into an adjacent fort Avith their charge. John Hawks 
and John Mills Avere Avounded near Fort Massachusetts, on 
the same day, but succeeded in getting Avithin the Avails 
Avithout losing their lives. In fact, the attack A\'as made 
by only two Indians, and llaAvks continuing the fight after 
Mills had retreated, might have taken both the enemy 
prisoners, as they asked for quarter, but he did not uuder- 



stand tlieir language. In July, Benjamin Wright received 
a mortal wound at Northfield, and a man named Bliss was 
killed at Greenfield. During the same month, Elisha 
Nims and Gershom Hawks, belonging to a reconnoitering 
party sent out from Fort Massachusetts, were wounded 
badly, and Benjamin Tenter taken captive. 

No attacks ot" importance took place, from this time un- 
til the 20th of August, when an army of French and In- 
dians, under Gen. De Vaudreuil, their numbers variously 
stated at 800 (Hoyt) and 900 (Rev. John Taylor, in his 
appendix to Williams' " Redeemed Captive,") appeared 
before Fort Massachusetts. A more unfortunate time for 
the garrison could not have been chosen, as its ammunition 
was nearly exhausted, and there were but 22 able men in 
the fort. The French General made propositions to Serg. 
John Hawks, then in command of the fort, to surrender, 
but he declined, thinking, perhaps, that succor might reach 
him during the time which he might be able to delay his 
surrender. The attack was accordingly commenced, and 
the brave little garrison defended the fort against forty 
times their number, for twenty-eight hours. During all this 
time, the enemy were kept at a respectful distance, and 
some of them were shot, at the long reach of sixty rods, 
when they supposed themselves entirely beyond the arm 
of danger. At the end of this long and most gallant de- 
fense, the ammunition of the garrison became exhausted, 
and no choice but surrender was left, and even then the 
commander of the garrison made his terms. One of the 
conditions was that none of the prisoners, numbering 33 
men, women and children, should be delivered to the In- 
dians. Vaudreuil made the pledge, and the very next day, 
under the pretense that the Indians were mutinous in con- 
sequence of withholding prisoners from them, one half of 
the number Avere delivered over to them, and one of the 
number was immediately killed, in consequence of being 
too sick to travel. The garrison lost but one man in the 
attack, while the enemy lost, in killed and mortally wounded, 
forty-five. The captives were treated as humanely as cir- 
cumstances would alloAv, and all but the murdered man ar- 
rived in Canada. Twelve of them, however, were taken 
sick and died there, but the remainder, with other prison- 
^•ers, arrived at Boston on the 16tli of August, 1747, nearly 



a year after their capture, under a flag of truce, and were 
redeemed. This affair, one of the most gaUant in the 
whole history of the frontier wars, has invested tlie locaHty 
of old Fort Massachusetts with patriotic associations, such 
as attach to few of the points made interesting by having 
been the scene of border struggles, and is regarded and 
spoken of with affectionate pride by those living in its vi- 
cinity. That Serg. Hawks would never have surrendered 
if his ammunition had not failed him, is very certain, and, 
as it was, the victory won by Vaudreuil was no subject of 

About fifty of Vaudreuil's Indians separated from the 
main body, after the surrender of Fort Massachusetts, for 
another visit to the old scene of their depredations, at 
Deerfield. They arrived in the vicinity of the town on 
Sunday, the 24th of August, and reconnoitered the mead- 
ows to find a feasible point for securing captives, as the 
people should go to work on Monday. A quantity of hay 
in the South Meadow led them to suppose that men would 
be there to gather it. This was at a point known as " The 
Bars," and concealing themselves in the brush and under- 
wood that covered the bordering hills, they awjiited their 
prey. Near the gi'ound were two houses, occupied re- 
spectively by families of the name of Amsden and Allen. 
The laborers of these families, accompanied by several 
children, and numbering some ten or twelve in all, went 
out in the morning to labor in the meadow, the men, ac- 
cording to tlieir custom, taking their arms. They com- 
menced their labor in the immediate vicinity of the In- 
dians. At this moment, Eleazer Hawks of Deerfield, who 
was hunting partridges in the woods very near the Indians, 
caught sight of a bird, and discharged his piece. The In- 
dians supposing themselves to be discovered, turned upon 
him, killed and scalped him, and then sprang forward to 
attack the workmen. At the discharge of musketry, the 
workmen, with the children, fled towards a mill, not far dis- 
tant, under fierce pursuit. Simeon Amsden, a lad, was 
killed and scalped, and then Samuel Allen, John Sadler 
and Adonijah Gillet made a brave stand aguinst their sav- 
age pursuers. Allen fought desperately for liis own life 
and the lives of his three children. At the last, he was 
obliged to fight with the breech of his nnisket, and thus 


Struggling, he fell by a shot. The shirt which he wore 
that day, torn by the tomahawk and bullet, is still pre- 
served by his descendants, as a memento of his bravery. 
Gillet also fell, but Sadler escaped across the river under 
a continued fire from the enemy. Leaving the spot, the 
Indians pushed after those who, in the delay, had managed 
to escape towards Deerfield. Oliver Amsden was over- 
taken, and after a noble struggle, fell. Eunice Allen, one 
of the children of Samuel Allen, was knocked down, but 
escaped scalping, and though left for dead, she afterwards 
recovered, and lived to be very old, always retaining a 
vivid memory of the event. Samuel, her brother, was 
captured, while Caleb escaped by dodging througli a field 
of corn. Alarmed by the firing, a small company under 
Lieut. Clesson started from Deerfield for the scene of ac- 
tion, but only had occasion to engage in a fl'uitless pursuit 
of the retiring enemy. Another party pushed on to 
Charlemont, to intercept the mai'ch of the Indians, but the 
latter had marched too rapidly, and succeeded in escaping 
with young Allen. This boy remained in captivity a year 
and nine months, when he was redeemed by Col. John 
Hawks, the gallant defender of Fort Massachusetts. Col. 
Hawks was the boy's uncle, and though the young captive 
was miserably dressed and fed, and covered with vermin, 
he had become so much attached to the Indian life, that he 
was very reluctant to see his uncle ; and when he came into 
his presence, he refused to speak the English language, 
pretending to have forgotten it. He was only made to 
leave the Indians by force, and to the day of his death he 
maintained his admiration of the savage life, and his recol- 
lections of its transcendant pleasures. 

These latter demonstrations closed up the operations of 
the French for the year, for they had something more im- 
portant to think of. Shirley, Governor of Massachusetts, 
had revived the old and often defeated project of invading 
Canada, and conquering all the French provinces in Amer- 
ica, and made the representation of his plan to the Brit- 
ish Government. His plan was approved, and the cole 
nies, as far South as Virginia, were called upon to furnish 
their quota of men for the expedition, to be joined by a 
large naval and land force from England. But this latter 
l^ce did not arrive, and while some independent opera- 


tions were progressing at the West, news was received of 
the arrival at Nova Scotia of a very large fleet from 
France — the most powerful that had ever visited the shores 
of America. This immense force was under the command 
of the Duke d' Anville, whose orders were to destroy Bos- 
ton, range along the coast of America, and effect otlier 
specified objects. The arrival of this fleet threw the coun- 
try into the utmost consternation, and concentrated the 
attention of the colonies upon the single subject of self de- 
fense. A few weeks of intense activity and preparation 
followed, when news came that, by one of the most re- 
markable series of disasters recorded in history, the fleet 
and force were broken in pieces, and their objects aban- 
doned. The fleet tliat appeared so formidable, returned 
shattered, and singly, to France. 

Following an unsuccessful attack on the fort at Charles- 
town, New Hampshii'e, in the latter part of March, 17i7, 
by a large body of French and Indians under M. Debe- 
line, in which Capt. Stevens, with 30 men, defended the 
work with a gallantry only equaled by that of the garri- 
son in Fort Massachusetts the previous year, that com- 
miinder's forces distributed themselves at various points 
upon the frontiers, and did such damage as opportunity al- 
lowed. On the 15th of April, Asahel Burt and Xuthuuiel 
Dickinson of Northfield, were killed and scalped a sliort 
distance from the town, and the Indians in retiring burnt 
the deserted settlements in "Winchester and Lower Ashue- 
lot, N. II. During this year, the Massachusetts Govei-n- 
ment decided to rebuild Fort jNIassachusetts, and sent a 
force to the spot to effect that purpose. On the 2oth of 
May, while this work was in progress, and while several 
hundred people were present, the Indians had assembled 
in the woods near it for, the purpose of intercepting the 
pi'ogress of the enterprise. At this time, one hundred 
men were on the march from All)any, whither they had 
been to procure stores and amnuniitiun. The vanguard 
of this force, in approaching the fort, came upon the In- 
dians, and commenced an attack. A few issued from the 
fort to their assistance, and alter a brief and tame skirmish 
the Indians retired, probably because they were aware that 
lai'ger forces were in the vicinity. The charge of coward- 
ice has been made against those who remained in the Ibrt, 


as well as the individual in command of the convoy of the 
baggage-wagons. In the following July, Eliakim Sheldon 
of Bernardston, and John Mills of Colerain, were killed 
by Indians. On the 26th of August, Elijah Clark was 
killed at Southampton, while at work in his barn. On the 
first of October, Peter Bnrvee was taken near Fort Mas- 
sachusetts, and went into his second captivity from the 
same spot, having been one of the number under Hawks, 
at the surrender to Vaudreuil. About this time John 
Smead was killed and scalped while on his way from 
Northfield to Sunderland, near the mouth of Miller's River, 
and "a party of colonial troops from the Northfield garri- 
son, while on a scouting expedition, wounded Pierre Ram- 
bout, a French officer, who surrendered himself, and hav- 
ing been cured, was sent to Boston, from whence he was 
taken to Canada the next year, in charge of Col. Hawks, 
the hero of Fort Massachusetts, who exchanged him for 
young Allen of Deerfield, the particulars of whose deliv- 
erance have already been stated. 

The policy of Connecticut, in protecting itself by assist- 
ing the settlers upon the river above them, was imitated by 
Massachusetts, in the assistance afforded to the settlers 
upon the Connecticut, within the province of New Hamp- 
shire. In 1748, Massachusetts took measures to man the 
fort at Charlestown, with an efficient force under the gal- 
lant Captain Stevens. The principal movements of the 
enemy this year had connection with this point, and but 
little of interest occurred upon the Connecticut. In May, 
Southampton was visited again by Indians, and Noah Pix- 
ley murdered. At this time Col, Stoddard of Northamp- 
ton was at Boston, in attendance at the General Court, 
where he died. Hampshii-e County lost in him an efficient 
officer, and a most reliable and useful man. He had ful- 
filled many offices of public trust, and his loss Avas deeply 
felt. Col. Israel Williams of Hatfield was appointed to 
succeed him in the command of the "Western forces of the 
colony. About this time a skirmish took place in Marl- 
borough, Vt., which has so many associations with persons 
and localities coming within the range of this history, as 
to claim a notice. A detachment of 42 soldiers, under 
Captain Humphrey Hobbs of Springfield and Lieut. Alex- 
' ander of Northfield, left the fort at Charlestown for Fort 


Shirley in Heath. Hobbs had halted in a low piece of 
ground, to allow his men opportunity to eat, leaving in the 
rear a small guard. Previously, one Sackett, a halt-blood- 
ed Indian chief, supposed to be the descendant of a captive 
taken at AVestficld, had discovered the passage of the j^arty, 
and, with about 300 Indians, followed the trail, and com- 
ing upon the euard, drove them in. Hobbs did not know 
the strength of the enemy, but instantly commanded every 
man to take his tree, and fight. Confident in the power 
^of his numbers, Sackett rushed in, and his men received a 
murderous fire, which killed a number, and immediately 
put the remainder upon their caution and their best be- 
havior; and there the two parties fought for four hours. 
Hobbs and Sackett were old acquaintances, and the latter 
frequently called upon the foi'mer to surrender, and threat- 
ened, in case of a refusal, to close in and finish the work 
with the tomahaAvk. Hobbs always returned a defiant an- 
SAver, and bade him put his thi-eats into execution. The 
determination of Hobbs was too much, and Sackett re- 
treated, taking witli him his dead and wounded — a large 
number. His force Avas at least six times that of Hobbs, 
AV'hile the latter lost but tliree men, and oidy three more 
Avere Avounded. 

On the 23d of July, Aaron Belding was killed in North- 
field Street, and on the 2d of August a body of tAvo hun- 
dred Indians made a demonstration of their presence at 
Fort Massachusetts, at that time garrisoned by 100 men 
under Capt., afterAvards Col., Ephraim AYilliams. A scout 
of tour men, at some distance from the fort, Avere fired 
upon, Avhen Captain AVillianis sallied Avith thirty men, and 
driving the enemy a little distance, fell into an ambuscade 
of fifty Indians, Avho attempted to intercept his retreat to 
the fort, but his movements Avere too rajtid for the enemy, 
and he regained the fort Avith the loss of one man, named 
Abbot. The enemy, to tlie number of 300, then appeared, 
and opened a spirited lire upon the fort, Avhich Avas re- 
turned with such success that at the end of tAvo hours they 
despaired of effecting anything, and Avithdrew, taking with 
them their dead and Avounded. The treaty of peace be- 
tween England and France, signed at Aix la Chapelle on 
the 7th of October, though it did not produce an immedi- 
ate effect upon tlie movements of the Indians, dated the 


cessation of hostilities in "Western Massachusetts for the 
time and occasion, and again settlements were established 
on every side, and a few years of peace gave old Hamp- 
shire another step in her slowly graduated progress. 




Revolt of the Connecticut Towns — The Crown 
Pines — The Hampshire Bar. 

Incidental and very brief mention has been made of 
the result of the line established in 1713, between Con- 
necticut and Massachusetts, thvowinirr, as it did, several 
towns previously supposed to be within the Massachusetts 
patent, and actually under the Massachusetts jurisdiction, 
into the territory of its vSouthern neighbor. When this 
line was established, it was agreed between the two colo- 
nies that, although the towns of Woodstock, Somers, Suf- 
field and Entield came within Connecticut, those towns 
should remain under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts ; 
and, as an equivalent for this, the latter colony granted to 
Connecticut certain lands. These lands were contained 
mostly in the present towns of Belchertown, Ware and 
Pelham, and they were sold by Connecticut, and the pro- 
ceeds appropriated by that colony for the benefit of Yale 
College. From the date of this arrangement imtil 1750, 
the people in these Massachusetts towns in Connecticut 
had remained contentedly under the Massachusetts Gov- 
ernment, but the series of wars which have been narrated 
had borne so unequally upon the res[)ective colonies that 
the peace of Aix la Cliapelle found Massachusetts bur- 
dened with taxes, and a large debt, while Connecticut stood 
comparatively easy in these respects. The towns alluded 
to, being embraced in lines of colonial boundary where the 
taxes were comparatively light, and seeing themselves lia- 
ble to bear an increase in consequence of the debt remain- 
ing upon their parent State, conceived the project of re- 
volting from their Government, and attaching themselves 
to Connecticut. They refused to pay the taxes assessed 
upon them, and the Massachusetts Government acting with 
but little spirit in the matter, the Connecticut Legislature 
resolved to receive the towns into that jurisdiction. The 
Massachusetts Government did not acknowledge this trans- 
fer, and made unsuccessful attempts to compel the inhab- 



itants to submission. For twenty years following the re- 
volt, tlie towns were regularly assessed in Massachusetts, 
though the taxes were not levied. There was something 
extremely trickish about this operation of Connecticut, and 
something having very much the look of imbecility and 
cowardice in the manner in which it was treated by Massa- 
chusetts. Connecticut had received from Massachusetts 
an equivalent in land for these towns. She had sold this 
land, every acre of it, and appropriated the money to her 
own uses. Yet, in less than forty years, she encouraged 
the towns in question to revolt, received them under her 
wing, and justified herself in the theft, without ofiermg 
any equivalent. Many a Government has made war on a 
slighter pretext than this matter furnished to Massachu- 
setts, but, judging from the action of Massachusetts in the 
premises, she either did not consider the towns worth fight- 
ing for, or was willing to sacrifice them in order to escape 
an unpleasant controversy. 

To make operative a provision of the colonial charter 
of 1691, the Massachusetts General Court passed a law in 
1743, forbidding the cutting of all pine trees on ungranted 
land, of the diameter of 24 inches at the distance of 12 
feet above the ground. These were reserved by the Brit- 
ish Government, as masts for the Navy. A Surveyor 
General of the woods of America was appointed by the 
British Government, at a high salary, to look after these 
trees, who operated through his deputies at various points. 
The law was a very unpopular one, and very generally 
disregarded. Massachusetts was not, to any large extent, 
a pine-growing region, but the Sui'veyor General had his 
local ofRcers to look after the pine trees upon the Connecti- 
cut. Many logs were seized at Springfield, and ])oints 
above, that had been floated down fi'om New Hampshire, 
and though the transgressoi's of the law implicated in these 
seizures were taken to Boston, and tried by a kind of na- 
val court, nothing effectual or material seems to have been 
accomplished. The contempt in which the law was held, 
in the Connecticut River towns, is made abundantly evi- 
dent by a piteously complaining letter, written from North- 
ampton by Eleazer Burt and Elijah Lyman, as late as the 
Spring of 17fi4, to Governor Bernard. They allude to 
,- iheir appointment by Benning Wentworth, the Surveyor 




appointed by the crown, to seize and mark such trees as 
should come within the specified provisions, witli the figure 
of the broad arrow, and secure tliem in some safe place ; 
and then they state that, though they began their work 
they found it very hard to hire hands, " almost every one 
being against it." They proceed : " Yet we marked for 
his majesty's use 363 trees and logs in Northampton, but 
they were all taken away from us but thirty-seven, some 
in the night, and some in the day-time, in open defiance of 
law, and no officer appeared in our behalf. We are threat- 
ened, if we pursue our orders, of being beat, knocked down 
and killed. We applied to Samuel Mather Esq., a justice 
of the peace, for his assistance, but he utterly refused to 
aid us. He utterly refused to read your proclamation of 
July 9th, 1763, though he said he had not seen it. He 
said the Governor did not understand the affair ; if he had, 
he would not have put out such a proclamation. We then 
applied to Israel Williams Esq., [appointed commander of 
the Hampshire regiment of militia in 1748,] for assistance. 
He read the proclamation, and said he did not see as he 
was obliged to give us a warrant to press men for our as- 
sistance." This letter shows how entirely otfensive the 
law was to the people upon the Connecticut, and with how 
little efficiency it was enforced. 

For many years after the establishment of Courts in 
Hampshire County, the bar was not distinguished by high 
intelligence, or exact and extensive legal knowledge. It 
was not until twenty-five or thirty years after the com- 
mencement of the 18th century that an improvement be- 
gan to be witnessed, which advanced until the Hampshire 
bar was one of the most respectable, not to say brilliant, in 
the colony. According to the admirable address delivered 
before the Hampshire bar in 1826, by Hon. George Bliss, 
this improvement was attributable mainly to three men, 
viz : Phinehas Lyman of Suffield, John Worthington of 
Springfield, and Joseph Ilawley of Northampton. Mr. 
Lyman commenced practice in Suffield in 1743, became a 
distinguished advocate, and acquired an extensive practice. 
Worthington and Ilawley were both liis pupils, and, on the 
admission of the former to the bar, he immediately took a 
high stand, and Lyman, doubtless, saw in the promise of 
the young man, something that might rival and overshadoAV 


himself. Whetlier this fact had any effect upon Mr. Ly- 
man's mind, it is, of course, impossible to say, but he be- 
came the prime mover of the revolt of the town of his 
residence and its affiliated neighbors to Connecticut. No 
apparent motive existed for this action, and it has been at- 
tributed, whether justly or otherwise, to jealousies which 
cautioned him to forsake a field that was soon to be dis- 
puted with him, and seek a new one. It would seem not 
altogether improbable that a man who could engage in the 
work of cheating a colony out of its fairly purchased ter- 
ritory, might have an unmanly motive at the basis of his 
action. At the time Worthiugton and Hawley came to the 
bar, the practice was characterized with that illiberality, 
and that arbitrary folly which, based on nice technicalities, 
crushes riglit beneath the heel of a word, and strangles 
equity in the embrace of form. But this state of things 
broke gradually down under the influence of these larger 
and more liberal minds. While these men were in active 
life, a number of rules of practice were established, one 
of which produced a much needed uniformity, in requiring 
all students to read law three years before they could re- 
ceive a recommendation for admission to the bar. Worth- 
ington and Hawley became so eminent, that they were em- 
ployed in all tlie important trials. Worthington occupied 
an important military position as well as legal. After the 
military division of the county, into two regiments, he was 
chosen the commander of the Southern regiment, and was 
ever afterwards known as Colonel Woi'thington. He was 
a man of liberal attainments, and, as an advocate, nervous, 
brilliant and effective, possessing withal a good degree of 
that " popular talent " which gave him influence and fame. 
Hawley was a grave, solemn, conscientious and noble man, 
— a man whose opinions always carried great weight, for 
his integrity and soundness were proverbial. So profound 
was his conscientiousness, that it is said that he would not 
engage in a case in which he believed his client's cause 
was not on the side of justice. After he had engaged, he 
sometimes would drop his case, if it became apparent to 
him that he was on the wrong side. This was carrying 
things to extremes, and becoming judge and jury as well 
as attorney, but it illustrates the character of the man — his 
,.btrength as well as his weakness. He was deeply versed 


in the old legal authors, and attached to the ancient forma 
of English practice, Avhile Worthington, less profound and 
more facile and liberal, was better versed in more modern 
authors, and those intermediate modifications of commercial 
and mercantile law which had given to the latter their 
freer spirit and more extended survey. Worthington was 
a scholar and a gentleman, accustomed to the usages of po- 
lite society ; Hawley was a Puritan in the staid style of 
his deportment, as well as in the religious complexion of 
his mind and life. Both were honorable, both upright, 
both powerful, and both industrious. Hawley died at the 
age of 64, and Worthington lived to be upwards of 80. 
During the early part of their professional lives, their co- 
temporaries in legal practice were Oliver Partridge of Hat- 
field, Charles Phelps of Hadley, Josiah Dwight of AYest- 
field, John Ashley of Lower Housatonic, and Cornelius 
Jones of Springfield, the latter a brilliant pettifogger, who 
commenced his career in Springfield as a tailor, and doubt- 
less slid naturally from suits in linsey, to suits at law. 


The Concluding French and Indian War. 

The peace procured by the treaty of Aix la Chapelle 
was but temporary, and appears to have been intended as 
an opportunity for maturing fui-ther plans for prosecuting 
the war. The French were striving to repair the disad- 
vantages they labored under in being excluded from the 
Atlantic coast, by extending their possessions from the 
mouth of the St. Lawrence, on tlie North, to the mouth of 
the Mississippi on the South, through the intermediate 
lakes and rivers. The first collisions occun-ed on the 
Ohio, where the Ohio Company, under an English charter, 
were making their surveys, and the French erecting their 
forts. Actual hostilities being thus precipitated, orders 
came from England to dislodge the French from their posts 
on the Ohio, with a recommendation for the several Eng- 
lish colonies in America to form some plan of union for 
defense. In accordance with this recommendation, a con- 
vention was held at Albany, on the 14th of June, 1754, 
consisting of delegates from Massachusetts, New Hump- 
shire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Mary- 
land, with the Governor and Council of New York ; and 
a plan of union was proposed and adopted, Connecticut 
only dissenting. But the plan was rejected by the several 
Colonial Assemblies, as well as by the King's Council, and 
thus the colonies entered into the chances of the war, di- 
vided as before, in fact and force. 

Previous to the commencement of these difficulties, set- 
tlements had been somewhat extended in the Western part 
of old Hampshire. In 1752, Solomon Deming removed to 
Pontoosuc, — the present town of Pittsfield, — from Weth- 
ersfield, Ct., and built his house in the Eastern part of the 
town. In the following year, a company of men, of whom 
Mr. Deming was one, were incorporated as the proprietors 
of the new township, and a small settlement was made. 
The townships of East and West Hoosac, containing the 
,jjresent towns of Adams and Williamstown, were surveyed 


by a committee appomted by the General Court. "West 
Iloosac received a small settlement in 1751. Lenox re- 
ceived its first settler, Mr. Jonathan Hinsdale, in 1750. 
Lanesborough, called at first Richfield, and afterwards New 
Framingham, was granted to inhabitants of Framingham 
in 1741, and settled in 1754. The settlement of these 
towns increased the facilities for mischief, which the In- 
dians in the interest of the French had always availed 
tliemselves of so largely, in time of war. The first dem- 
onstration that apprised the people of Western Massachu- 
setts that the Indians were again upon them was made at 
Dutch Hoosac, about ten miles West of Fort Massachu- 
setts, and now embraced within New York. Here they 
killed Samuel Bowen, and burnt seven dwelling houses, 
foui'teen barns and a large quantity of wheat. This and a 
similarly destructive descent upon St. Coick, on the follow- 
ing day, were effected by the descendants of the Indians 
who left the Connecticut River some seventy-five years 
previously, at the close of Philip's War, known as the 
Schaghticokes. A small party of these Indians, soon after 
these occurrences, went down to Stockbi'idge, where two 
of them attacked the family of Joshua Chamberlain, on 
Sunday, while the people of the place were mostly in the 
church. The hired man of JNIr. Chamberlain — one Owen 
— defended the house with much bravery, and while JNIr. 
Chamberlain and his wife escaped, paid the forfeit of his 
life for his off*orts in their behalf. He Avas scalped, and the 
Indians then killed and scali)ed a child, and captured an- 
other Avhich they killed on discovering that they were pur- 
sued. At the time of this occurrence, the people of Pitts- 
field and Lenox were flying to Stockbridge for safety, 
having been either violently driven from their plantations, 
or become aware of the ai)proach of a large force. Dur- 
ing this flight, a man named vStephens, of Lenox, was shot 
from his horse, while a young woman of the name of 
Piercey, riding behind him, escaped. The affair at Stock- 
bridge brought the resident Indians somewhat into suspi- 
cion, but, doubtless, with entire injustice. IVfany of the 
new settlers in the Western to\vns were emigrants from 
Connecticut, and, by settling where they did, established 
out-posts for Connecticut, breaking the path of the Indians 
from the North, as the Massachusetts settlements on the 


Connecticut had done in former years. Immediately after 
the events just recorded had transpired, that province sent 
troops to the more exposed towns in the region, a company 
of them being posted at Pontoosuc. 

These hostilities, which began with so serious a promise 
of evil in the Western part of the colony, received the im- 
mediate attention of the Government. Col. Israel Wil- 
liams of Hatfield, then commanding the Noi-thern regi- 
ment of Hampshire County, communicated to the Gov- 
ernor a plan for defense, based on his intimate knowledge 
of the territory, and on his own sound military ideas, 
which, on being presented to the General Court, was 
adopted with hardly the exception of a particular. He 
proposed the abandonment of Forts Shirley and Pelham, 
and the erection of a line of small fortifications, extending 
through the valley of the Deerfield River. Besides these 
new works, he proposed the strengthening of Forts Massa- 
chusetts and Dummer, and the old works at Northfield, 
Bernardston, Colerain, Greenfield and Deerfield. Small 
works he also recommended to be erected in Stockbridge, 
Pontoosuc and Blandford, and at other minor points. Col. 
Williams recommended that the fort at Chai-lestown should 
be abandoned, but the General Court did not approve of 
this. Upon the adoption of this plan, a force was raised, 
to be placed at different points upon the Western frontier, 
at the discretion of the commander. Forts Dummer and 
Massachusetts were furnished with artillery. Capt. Eph- 
raim Williams, who had, in the preceding war, so ably 
managed the cordon of forts then established, was appoint- 
ed to the same duty in connection with the new establish- 
ment, with the rank of Major. In the following year, 
however, he was relieved of this command, and appointed 
by Governor Shirley to the command of a regiment raised 
in Hampshire County for the purpose of carrying into ef- 
fect the renewed project of wresting from the French their 
colonial possessions in America. Capt. Isaac Wyman was 
appointed to his place, with his head quarters at Fort Mas- 
sachusetts. This Hampshire regiment composed a portion 
of the army of nearly five thousand New England and 
New York troops raised to go against Crown Point. 

The Expedition against Crown Point, as well as those 
,.'tlevised at the same time against Niagara and Fort Du 


Quesne, were very popular with the colony, and the fron- 
tier towns, especially, took courage and hope. But the 
formidable preparations in progress against the French did 
not lead them to relax their hostilities, and from the fre- 
quent and almost uniform failures of similar operations in 
former times, it was not strange that they had begun to 
look upon such affairs as being not particularly formidable. 
In June of this year (1755) a par4:y of Indians attacked a 
number of men at work in the fields near Rice's fort, in 
Charlemont, (one of the new works,) and killed Capt. Rice 
and Phineas Arms, and captured and conveyed to Canada 
Asa Rice and Titus King, the latter a native of Northamp- 
ton, who, after being sent to France, returned home by the 
way of England. Determined to give greater strength 
and efficiency to the forces in the frontier towns, the Gov- 
ernment increased the force in the garrisons, required the 
inhabitants to go armed, even to their houses of public 
worship, and established the policy, followed in the pre- 
vious war, of traversing the path along the entire cordon 
of fortifications, by scouts who were incited to the utmost 
vigilance by the offer of bounties for Indian scalps, which 
were to be equally divided among the soldiers, without re- 
gard to rank. A hardier body of men than composed 
these scouting parties probably never existed in New Eng- 
land. Lodging in the open air, exposed to every inclem- 
ent breeze and storm, they were obliged to carry, besides 
their arms, a thirty days store of provisions, and to keep 
every sense on the alert for the detection of danger, and 
,the opportunity to gather from the Indian head the valua- 
ble prize which grew there. The history of the watchful 
nights, the daring feats, the tedious marches and the almost 
unexampled toils of these men, may not be written, but 
the imagination may conceive something of the almost fe- 
rocious hardihood which characterized and sustained them. 
The Indians, with their accustomed sagacity, took pains to 
shun the ground thus made so dangerous to them, and com- 
mitted their depredations above this formidable line of op- 
erations. The frontier towns of New Hampshire suffered 
extremely. At New Ilopkinton, Keene, Walpole, Hins- 
dale and Charlestown, in that province, the enemy ap- 
peared, and did various damage. One of their more seri- 
ous demonstrations occurred just North of the Massachu- 


setts line, at Bridgman's fort, in Vernon, a short distance 
below Fort Dummer. A number of Indians, having pre- 
viously cut off a party at work in the meadow, killing Ca- 
leb Howe and taking his two sons prisoners, proceeded to 
the fort at night, knocked at the door, in a manner that 
they had learned to imitate from the residents, by watch- 
ing them, and were unsuspectingly admitted by the women 
who had heard the firing, and were impatiently awaiting 
the return of their protectors. The Indians thus admitted 
made Mrs. Jemima Howe, Mrs. Submit Grout and Mrs. 
Eunice Garfield, with their eleven children, their pi-ison- 
ers. They were all taken to Canada, and their subsequent 
vicissitudes were not among the least interesting and ro- 
mantic of- which the early border wars were so jirolific. 
The people of New Hampshire were obliged to call upon 
Massachusetts for more assistance, their own province 
granting none, and they received it. 

The expedition to Crown Point was under the command 
of Col. Johnson, and it is proper to follow the Hampshire 
regiment in its connection with this enterprise. The 
army having advanced as far as the Southern extremity 
of Lake George, in the latter part of August, awaited the 
arrival, or construction, of batteaux, to give them a pass- 
age to Crown Point. In the meantime, Bax'on Dieskau, 
with a large force of French regulars, Canadians and In- 
dians, becoming aware of Johnson's movements, advanced 
with the intention of attacking Fort Edward, a work erect- 
ed by the English, and garrisoned by Col. Blanchard's 
regiment of New Hampshire troops. Arriving in the vi- 
cinity of the fort, his Canadian and Indian force was found 
to be afraid of Blanchard's artillery, and to be in favor of 
proceeding to Lake George, and attacking the main army. 
The arrival of the French force near Fort Edward was 
ascertained by Johnson, and, without any idea that they 
had changed their purpose in order to march against him- 
self, he dispatched one thousand men, with 200 Mohawks, 
under Col. Ephraim Williams, to intercept the path of the 
force, as it should retire from Fort Edward, without regard 
to what might have been their success there. This was on 
the 8th of September, and, at this moment, Dieskau was 
within a few miles of Johnson's camp, and had discovered 
the advance of the body under Col. Williams. The path 



of the latter lay through a ravine peculiarly favorable to 
an ambuscade, and the French commander seized the op- 
portunity, and laid his plans and made his arrangements 
admirably. Into this ambuscade, at the distance of only 
three and a half miles from Johnson's camp, the force un- 
der Williams, led by the Mohawks, marched, and although 
by the imprudence of some of Dieskau's Indians the attack 
was precipitated, the English and Mohawks received a ter- 
rific fire, and under the- worst possible disadvantages for 
defense. In the endeavor to reach a more elevated posi- 
tion for his troops. Col. Williams was killed by a shot 
through the head. His fall produced alarm and confusion, 
and the whole body broke into a disorderly retreat, pur- 
sued and cut down by the closely following foe. The lat- 
ter 2)art of the retreat was covered by a small force sent 
out from Johnson's camp. Dieskau was now determined 
to follow up the impression thus made, by an attack on 
Johnson's camp, which had been rudely fortified by a 
breastwork of logs. Johnson's force was the heaviest, but 
Dieskau's confidence in his regular troops overcame his 
caution, and he pressed on, and commenced the attack. 
The exaggerated accounts brought to the camp, of the 
power and ferocity of the French force, intimidated the 
colonial troops, but they soon entered into the fight with 
the most gallant and determined spirit, remaining fu'mly at 
their posts, and inflicting terrible carnage upon the enemy 
at every point of attack, until the latter turned in retreat, 
when Johnson's troops leaped over their breastworks, and 
pursued them. The fight lasted four hours, and in the 
pursuit. Baron Dieskau was wounded, and taken prisoner. 
The loss in both engagements, on the English side, was 
21 G killed and 9G wounded. The Hampshire I'egiment 
suffered the most severely of all. Forty-six of the regi- 
ment were killed, and twenty-four wounded. The ofticers 
killed besides Col. Williams, were INIajor Noah Ashley, 
Captains Moses Porter, Jonathan Ingersol and Elisha 
Hawley, Lieutenants Daniel Pomeroy, Simon Cobb and 
Nathaniel Burt, and Ensigns John Stratton and Reuben 
Wait. Lieut. Burt was an inhabitant of Longmeadow, 
and a deacon of the church there. The news of this vic- 
tory, wliile it spread a general joy throughout New Eng- 
land, was accompanied with deep personal sorrow and 


mourning, to the hearts of the dwellers upon the Connecti- 
cut, for it had been more costly to them in blood than to 
any other section. Neai'ly one-fourth of all the killed and 
wounded belonged to the Hampshire regiment. The stand- 
ing of Col. Wilhams in the army is indicated by the im- 
portant command intrusted to him at the time he fell. He 
stood high, in his character for bravery, humanity and in- 
telligence, and was but forty-two years old when he died. 
His name would have been safe in the hands of his coun- 
try, but he has associated it with a higher cause than war 
— the crowning glory of peace. Before he left Albany, in 
the campaign that proved fatal to him, he made his will, in 
which, after assigning to several of his relatives and friends 
appropriate bequests, he directed " that the remainder of 
his land should be sold, at the discretion of his executors, 
within five years after an established peace ; and that the 
interest of moneys arising from the sale, and also the in- 
terest of his notes and bonds, should be applied to the 
support of a free school in a township West of Fort Mas- 
sachusetts, [the locality of his old command,] forever; 
provided said township fall within Massachusetts, upon 
running the line between Massachusetts and New York, 
and provided the said township, when incorporated, shall 
be called Williamstown." On this basis arose Williams 
College, one of the noblest and most useful literary insti- 
tutions of New England. Thus giving his life for his 
country's defense, and thus leaving his treasure for her 
good and glory, the laurels won by Col. Wilhams in war 
grow brighter in the recollection of his beneficence, while 
his beneficence appears with unwonted beauty beneath the 
hero's crown. Li 1790, the fluid meantime having been 
augmented by State aid, and a donation of the people of 
Williamstown, a brick building was put up, the free School 
was opened in 1791, and two years afterwards, the institu- 
tion was erected into a College. But the spot where the 
hero and the benefactor fell has remained unhonored by a 
monumental designation until the present year. In the 
Autumn of 1853, however, a movement was made by the 
Alumni of the institution to purchase the rock which is 
believed to mark the place of his death, and an acre of 
ground around it, on which to erect a monument. A debt 
■K) justly owed, and so long unpaid, has thus been nobly 



acknowledged. Within a year or two, Dr. Stephen W. 
Williams of Deei-field has presented to the College the 
watch worn by Col. AYilliams at the date of his fall, with 
the dress sword that belonged to him at the time. 

The expedition to Fort Du Quesne, under Gen. Brad- 
dock, fell into an ambuscade of French and Indians, and 
was totally defeated, while that under Shirley, against the 
French ppst at Niagara, though unaccompanied by disas- 
ter, was equally unproductive. This closed the operations 
of 17.55, and the next year opened in IVIay by a formal de- 
claration of war on tlie part of England ; and France fol- 
lowed in Juno with the same declaration. Great Britain 
made extraordinaiy preparations for prosecuting her pur- 
pose of conquering the French colonies, and, in the mean- 
time, the Indians returned to carry on tlioir depredations 
upon the New Enghuid frontiers, commencing as usual in 
New Hampshire. In June, 1756, five men were attacked 
in the Northerly part of Greenfield, while at their labor in 
the fields. These men had deposited their arms, from 
which the enemy cut them off, and all endeavored to es- 
cape, but only two — Benjamin Graves and .John Hastings 
— succeeded. Slmbael Atherton was shot and scalped, and 
Daniel Graves and Natlianiel Brooks were captured. 
Graves, being old and unal)le to travel, was killed bctbre 
proceeding far. and Brooks never returned, his fate re- 
maining in imcertainty. Zebediah Stebbins and Reuben 
Wright of Northfield were attacked on the 20th of June. 
The latter was wounded, but both being on horseback, ef- 
fected their esca|)e. Three days previously, Benjamin 
King and William Meach were ambuscaded and killed 
near Fort Massachusetts. On the 2Gth, thirteen men, on 
their way from the Western army under Winslow, were 
surprised by a large body of Indians, eight killed, and the 
remainder captured. This occurred al)out thirteen miles 
from Fort Massachusetts. Capt. Elisha Chapin, the com- 
mander at Fort Massachusetts in 175-1, Sergeant Chidestre 
and his son James were killed at West Hoosac, (Williams- 
town,) on the 11th of July. 

The general operations of 1757 were disastrous, and 
filled the colonies with despondency and alarm, and the en- 
ergetic Montcalm, who had been successful in capturing 
the English posts at Lake George, was expected to con- 


tinue his operations by extending lais efforts Eastwai'd. 
Pownal, then Governor of Massachusetts, ordered all the 
cavalry of the province, with a large body of militia, to 
Springfield, under the Lieut. General of the province, Sir 
William Pepperell. This latter was a new officer, created 
for the occasion. Orders had previously been given for 
the establishment of a magazine of provisions and military 
stores at the same point. A train of artillery was also or- 
dered to be provided, and a regiment of artillery raised. 
Sir William Pepperell was ordered, in case of the advance 
of :the enemy, to have the wheels struck off all the wagons 
West of the Connecticut, to drive in the cattle and horses, 
and make a stand upon the East side. The similar order 
given eighty years before, for the inhabitants of the West 
side to repair to the East, will show how comparatively 
slow andj)ainful had been the progress of settlement dur- 
ing tliis long and disturbed period. The garrisons at Fort 
Massachusetts and West Hoosac were strengthened, and 
preparations made in eveiy quarter for defense, against a 
fOe which never came. When it was found that Montcalm 
was content with the advantages he had gained, and had 
retired to Ticonderoga and Crown Point, the troops were 
recalled, and the usual garrisons reduced to their ordinary 
force. From this time, until the surrender of the Cana- 
dian province to Great Britain in 17 GO, no events of spe- 
cial interest occurred in the Western part of the Massa- 
chusetts colony, except the closing acts of Indian hostility, 
that took place on the 20th and 21st of March, 1758, The 
first day, John Morrison and John Henry of Colerain were 
fix-ed upon and wounded, and Morrison's barn was burnt 
and his cattle killed. The next, Joseph McCown and his 
wife were captured, and the latter being unable to travel, 
was killed. 

This closed the long and terrible tragedy of the Indian, 
and French and Indian, wars. From the first settlement 
at Springfield, until the conquest of Canada in 1760, a se- 
ries of one hundred and twenty-four years had passed 
away, and by far the larger part of this time the inhab- 
itants of the territory embraced in old Hampshire had 
been exposed to the dangers, the fears, the toils and trials 
ol" Indian wars, or border depredations. Children had 
I'Been born, had gro\vii up to manhood, and descended to old 



age, knowing little or nothing of peace and tranquillity. 
Hundx'eds had been killed, and large numbers carried into 
captivity. ]\Ien, women and children had been butchered 
by scores. There is hardly a square acre, certainly not a 
square mile, in the Connecticut Valley, that has not been 
tracked by the flyhig feet of feai', resounded with the 
groan of the dying, drunk the blood of the dead, or served 
as the scene of' toils made doubly toilsome by an appre- 
hension of danger that never slept. It was among such 
scenes and such trials as these that the settlements of 
"Western Massachusetts were planted. It was by these 
scenes and trials that their sinews were knit to that degree 
of strength that, when the incubus of war and fear was 
lifted, they sprang to those enterprises of peace, which in 
less than one century, have transformed the Valley and 
the Berkshire hills into a garden of beauty, a home of 
luxury and refinement, an abode of plenty, and a seat of 
free education and free religion. The joy of victory that 
spread everywhere over the colonies was great, but the joy 
of peace was greater. The relief felt on every hand can 
hardly be imagined now. The long clogged wheels of en- 
terprise moved again, and settlements that had been for- 
saken were reclaimed, while new ones were commenced. 
The ax resounded in the forests, and smiling harvests re- 
turned once more to be gathered rejoicingly beneath the 
reign of peace. 


Division of Hampshire County — Land Sales — 
Negro Slavery — Ecclesiastical Excite- 
ment — Districts. 

At the session of the General Court in May, 1761, the 
Western part of the old County of Hampshire was set off, 
and incorporated as a distinct County, with the name of 
Berkshire. At this time, it contained only the incorpora- 
ted towns of Sheffield, Stockbridge, New Marlboro' and 
Egremont, and plantations in the present towns of Pitts- 
field, Lanesborough, Williamstown, Tyringham, Sandisfield 
and Becket. On three sides, the County was bounded by 
the adjoining provinces of New Hampshire on the North, 
(now Vermont,) Connecticut on the South, and New York 
on the West, at that time an uncertain limit. The line 
separating it from its parent County was run as follows : — 
" Beginning at the Western line of Granville, v/here it 
touches the Connecticut line, to run Northerly as far as 
said West line of Granville runs, then Easterly to the 
Southwest corner of Blandford, and to run by the West 
line of the same town to the Northwestern corner thereof: 
from thence Northerly, in a direct line to the Southeast 
corner of No. 4, (Becket,) and so running by the Easterly 
line of No. 4 to the Northeast corner thereof; and thence 
in a direct course to the Southwest corner of Charlemont, 
and so Northerly in the West line of the same town till it 
comes to the North bound of the province." After a long 
dispute, the line between Massachusetts and New York 
Avas settled in 1787. The Eastern line of Berkshire 
County has been subjected to several modifications. Near- 
ly all of Middlefield, in the present County of Hampshire, 
was taken from Berkshire. Windsor, in Berkshire, has 
received an addition from Hampshire ; and Hawley, in 
Franklin County, has been enlarged from Berkshire. 
Monroe, in Franklin County, Avas entirely embraced with- 
in the original l)oundary of Berkshire. The present area 
<tf the County is about 950 square miles. 


At the time of the foi-mation of the County, it was en- 
acted that an Inferior Court of Common Pleas, and a 
Court of General Sessions of the Peace, should be held 
at the North parish in Sheffield, which, on the 30th of June 
following, (17G1,) was incorporated as a town with the 
name of Great Barrington, and at Pontoosuc, now Pitts- 
field. The Supreme Courts for the new County were held 
in Hampshire until 1783, when, by order of the General 
Court, the Supreme Judicial Court was estabhshed in Berk- 
shire. The County buildings were erected in Great Bar- 
rington, but the settlement of the Northern part of the 
County soon destroyed its centrality, and the Courts were 
ordered, in 1784, to be holden in Lenox ; but measures 
taken in opposition to the removal delayed the event until 
1786. Strong efforts were made in 1784 to have the 
Courts held alternately in Great Barrington and Lanes- 
borough, and, in 1785, still more powerful efforts were 
made to have them held alternately at Stockbridgc and 
Pittsfield, which would be nearly equivalent to keeping 
them where they were first established. But both efforts 
miscarried, and the Jail and Court House were erected at 
Lenox, between the years 1790 and 1792. And there, 
notwithstanding numerous efforts to change the County 
seat, since made, from time to time, they still remain. 

As the finances of the colony were embarrassed, and 
money became accumulated in indi\'idual hands, private 
enterprise found more extended fields of operation, and 
land speculations came to mingle in the schemes of those 
who had the means to engage in them. The peace Avhich 
followed the events of 1700 gave opportunity lor these op- 
erations, and the General Court ordered ten townsliips in 
the AVestern part of the colony, on the 2d of June, 17G2, 
to be sold at Boston, by auction, to the highest bidder. 
They were sold by their numbers, in order, as follows : 

No. 1. East Iloosac, now Adams, to Nathan Jones, for 
£3,200. * 

No. 2. A tract embracing the present towns of Peru 
and Hinsdale, to Elisha Jones, for £1,400. 

No. 3. The present town of Worthington, to Aaron 
Willard, for £1,860. 

No. 4. The present town of Windsor, called Gageboro', 
at first, to Noah Nash, for £1,430. 


No. 5. The present town of Cummington, to John 
Cummhigs, for £1,800. 

No. 6. The present town of Savoy, to Abel Lawrence, 
for £1,350. 

No. 7. The present town of Hawley, to Moses Par- 
sons, for £875. 

No. 8. The present towns of Lenox and Richmond, to 
Josiah Dean, for £2,550. 

No. 9. The present town of Chester, at first called 
Murrayfield, to William "Williams, for £1,500. 

No. 10. The present town of Rowe, to Cornelius Jones, 
for £380. 

These sales amounted to the grand total of £16,405. 
Although this sum appears very insignificant, as an equiv- 
alent for such immense tracts of land, it Avas more than 
they were worth at the time, for such was the loose man- 
ner practiced by the General Court, in making grants, that 
the best lands, in neai'ly all these townships, were pre-oc- 
cupied by private claimants. Li consequence of this, and, 
in some cases owing to other cavises, sevei-al of the pur- 
chasers petitioned the General Court for a remission of 
a part of the purchase money. 

It has incidentally appeared that at an early date in the 
history of the Western portion of the colony, negroes were 
numbered among the inhabitants. Tliese were all Slaves, 
and were held as such by the first and best men in the set- 
tlements — by the ancestors of those, too, who now deem 
slave-holding entirely inconsistent with the Christian char- 
acter. The earliest record of the presence of negroes, in 
the Connecticut River settlements, is found in the register 
of marriages, solemnized by Maj. John Pynchon, in these 
words : " Dec. 1st, 1687, Roco and Sue, my negroes, joined 
in marriage." " My negroes " were slaves, but their slav- 
ery was mild in form and fact, and the institution did not 
thrive as in later times, in more Southern localities. They 
were probably owned by those only who were able to keep 
servants, and had use for menials. The majority of the 
population were working men and women, who did tlieir 
own service. Rev. John Williams of Deerfield had two 
negroes, at least, as appears in the work in which he re- 
lates the story of his captivity. His negro woman was 
yiled at the time the Ladians attacked his house in 1704, 


and the night after this event, as he says, " some of the en- 
emy who brought drink with them from the town, fell to 
drinking, and, in their drunken fit, they killed my negro 
man." Rev. Roger Newton, D. D., who became the sec- 
ond minister of Greenfield in 17G1, was the owner of 
slaves, one of whom was called " Old Tenor." She was a 
very good old woman, and on the occasion of her death, 
Dr. Newton preached a funeral sermon, in which he be- 
stowed upon her the negative praise of being " no pilferer." 
Col. Moore of the same town had a negro named Jack who 
became violently enamoured with the charms of Old Ten- 
or's daughter Phillis, but whose course of love found but a 
rough and tortuous channel. " Pliillis afterwards married 
Caesar Finnemur, the son of Romus and Rose, and had 
thirteen children." The mention of these names will show 
that slaves were by no means an unusual form of property, 
in former times. There were probably a few slaves on 
every plantation, where the wealth of individual settlers 
would permit, and negroes were held in bondage in the 
Connecticut Valley during nearly or quite an entire cen- 
tury of its history. 

Notwithstanding the pressure of war from without, dur- 
ing the first half of the 18th century, and the large drafts 
made on physical force to overcome it, the spiritual leaders 
of the flocks scattered along the Valley found abundant 
time for high ecclesiastical feuds. The most remarkable 
instance of this kind occurred in Springfield in 1736. 
Rev. Robert Breck was invited to take the place made va- 
cant in 1734, by the death of Rev. Mr. Brewer. A coun- 
cil of neighboring ministers, according to the custom of 
that day and this, Avas called together, to examine the can- 
didate, and decide upon his eligibility to the pastoral ofiice, 
with special reference to his settlement in Springfield. Mr. 
Breck's reputation had preceded him, and under the im- 
pression that he was not soundly orthodox, a portion of the 
people themselves had already taken side against him. 
The majority admired and loved him. It appears that the 
council came together prejudiced against him, and their 
examination coniirmed them in their opinion of his hereti- 
cal notions. They refused to ordain him, and the people 
were denied the ministrations of the man of their choice. 
The excitement caused by this action -was intense, both in 


the town and the county. Mr. Breck, meanwhile, con- 
ducted himself with the utmost moderation and prudence, 
and was the least excited of all concerned. The people 
felt that he and they had been wronged, and sent to the 
Eastern part of the colony for another council, though only 
four of the seven who actually appear to have come to- 
gether, came from that quarter. The remaining three 
were clergymen of the county. 

The calling of the second council created the greatest 
excitement. It was, in fact, an ecclesiastical convulsion. 
Mr. Breck was a young man only twenty-two years old, 
his sentiments had been denounced by many of the minis- 
ters of the county as heretical, and the danger of having 
their decision over-ruled, and of having him forced upon 
their society, wrought upon them a very high degree of 
exasperation. Co-oi^erating with Mr. Breck's enemies - 
among the people of the town, they determined that he 
should not be ordained, if a forcible interference could pre- 
vent. They accordingly applied to a magistrate for a war- 
rant for his arrest, and the warrant Avas placed in the hands 
of the sheriff. The charge on which the Avarrant was is- 
sued was that of heresy, contained in words uttered by Mr. 
Breck in a sermon preached at New London, Ct., and those 
words were the following: "What will become of the 
heathen who never heard of the Gospel, I do not pretend 
to say, but I cannot but indulge a hope that God in his 
boundless benevolence will find out a way whereby those 
heathen who act up to the light they have, may be saved." 
The heresy of this charitable wish was doubtless found in 
Mr. Breck's admission of the possibility of salvation to 
any man Avitliout a knowledge of Christ. The ordaining 
council consisted of the following gentlemen : Rev. Messrs. 
"William Cooper, William Welsteed and Samuel Mather 
of Boston, William Cook of Sudbury, Isaac Chauncey of 
Hadley, Ebenezer Devotion of Suffield, and William Rand 
of Sunderland. After they had assembled, the sheriff, 
Avith his posse, marched to the house where they were in 
session, surrounded it A\'ith his force, and then, with a 
draAvn SAvord in his hand, entered the room Avhere the 
Council were examining the candidate. There, in his 
majesty's name, he arrested Mr. Breck, and ordered him to 
prepare himself immediately for a journey to Ncav London. 


Mr. Breck was young, perplexed and distressed, and not 
being acquainted with the law, sent for legal counsel, and 
was advised to offer bail. This he did, but the sheriflf re- 
fused to allow it, on the ground that the offense charged 
against him was high treason, not only against tlie King 
of England, but against the King of Heaven. Mr. Breck's 
counsel told the sheriff that the King of Heaven would 
unquestionably take care of his own traitors, and, as he 
had nothing to do but to execute the laws of the land, if 
he persisted in refusing bail, he would do it at his peril. 
Thus menaced, the sheriff receded, and Mr. Bi-eck was ad- 
mitted to bail, and subsequently appeared at New London, 
and had his trial. His examination, at Springfield, by the 
council, was satisfactory, but in consequence of the ex- 
treme excitement that prevailed, his ordination was defer- 
red. Ml". Breck was ordained on tlie 2Gth of January, 
1736. His trial amounted to nothing, save his acquittal 
of the charges brought against him. A great war of 
words grew out of the affair. Two pamphlets Avere issued 
by the association which rejected him, and one was written 
and issued by the ordaining council. Both bodies wrote 
in justification of the course they had respectively pursued. 

The ordination sermon was preached by Rev. William 
Cooper of Boston. In this sermon, the preacher directly 
addressed Mr. Breck in the following words : " If you 
should meet with injuries and hard dealing, (real or appre- 
hended,) have a strict guard" upon your own temper and 
conduct. If deeper thrusts sliould be still given to your 
reputation, and any methods talien to have those things 
which the charity that the Gospel teaches would have cov- 
ered and buried, exposed to thousands that would not else 
have heard of them, and transmitted to those that shall 
come after us ; if, I say, such methods should be taken 
against you, labor for a forgiving spirit ; and don't go about 
to wound the reputation of othei's, farther than self defense 
may make it necessary. "We bless God for that prudence, 
patience and meekness, which he has enabled you to exer- 
cise under your uncommon trials. I think myself particu- 
larly bound to testify on this occasion tliat, in^all this time, 
I never heard one hard word drop from you, respecting 
any person, of any oi'der. I have seen your tears, admired 
your silence, and hope God has heard your prayers. May 


the fruit of all be to humble you, to prove you, and to do 
you good in your latter end ; to purify and refine you, to 
be a vessel unto honor, more meet for the Master's service, 
and a greater blessing to this church and people !" Never 
was advice more conscientiously followed, or prayer more 
fully answered. Under Mr. Breck's beautiful life and no- 
ble spirit, opposition against him began to give way, and 
by degrees, his people all became his warm friends, as well 
as his fellow pastors in the neighborhood, who, in a few 
years, received him into their fellowship. Mr. Cooper's 
sermon on the occasion of the ordination was printed and 
is still extant. It was accompanied in its issue by Mr. 
Breck's confession of faith, which was publicly delivered 
by him at his ordination. This document, though much 
too nice in its details for a general creed, is a model of fine 
English, and one of the most clear and intelligent state- 
ments of Christian doctrine, as held by Orthodoxy, ever 
written. Mr. Breck died in the 49th year of his ministry, 
April 23d, 1784, at the age of 70. 

At a date prior to 1753, the Governor of Massachusetts 
received instructions from the home Government which, in 
a strong light, exhibited the growing jealousy of the Crown 
of the popular element in the Government of the colony. 
The increase of the number of towns in the colony, by in- 
creasing in the same ratio the representation in the Legis- 
lature, was seen to present formidable encroachments upon 
the authority of the parent power. To put a stop to tliis, 
the Governor was instructed to consent to no act for estab- 
lishing a new town in the province, unless, by a special 
clause, it should place a restraint upon the power of send- 
ing representatives. After this, for many years, new towns 
were, consequently, incorporated as districts, possessing all 
the powers of towns, except the power of sending repre- 
sentatives to the General Court. They had the privilege 
of joining with other towns in this function. Wilbrahara 
is recorded to have been incorporated as a district in 1763, 
and Granville, in 1754. Monson was incorporated as a 
district in 1760, Southwick in 1770, Egremont in 1760, 
Lenox in 1707, New Ashford in 1781, Greenfield, Monta- 
gue and New Salem in 1753, Shelburne in 1768, Orange 
in 1783, and Leyden in 1784. On the 23d of March, 
^786, it was enacted that all districts incorporated before 



January Ist, 1777, should be towns, or, in otlier words, 
those towns which, by being incorporated as districts, had 
not possessed the privilege of individual representation, 
should have that privilege thereafter. Many individuals 
have looked in vain for the special act incorporating sev- 
eral towns. K those towns were districts before 1777, this 
act is the only one which affected their incorporation, and 
it applied to a large number. 


The Asiericak Revolution. 

The attempt described in the preceding chapter, to limit 
the popular voice in the government of the province, was 
among the first of a series of acts which produced those 
subsequent convulsions that became necessary to confinn 
the possession of the good which had been so nobly won 
during the period of colonial adolescence, and which re- 
sulted in independence to the State and a federal Republic 
to the country. From 1764 to 1775, the efforts of the 
British Parliament were directed, in a multitude of offen- 
sive and arbitrary ways, to the end of depriving the prov- 
ince of its liberties and privileges, and of making it con- 
tribute to the revenues of the British Crown. The stamp 
act was passed in 1775, and though, owing to the opposi- 
tion it met with in Massachusetts, principally, it was re- 
pealed on the following year. Parliament took the occasion 
to declare " that they had a right to tax the colonies, and 
to legislate for them in all cases whatever." This declara- 
tion, carrying with it a most daring and arbitrary assump- 
tion of power, increased the discontent which the repeal of 
the offensive and unproductive act was intended to allay. 
It was a direct overthrow of the powers granted by the 
provincial charter, and always exercised without serious 
question. Thus alarmed, the people of the province wei-e 
on the alert, and, while professing loyalty to the crown, 
determined to question, step by step, every encroachment 
upon their liberties, and pleaded for their justification that 
fundamental principle in the British Constitution, " that the 
subject could not be taxed without the consent of his re])- 
resentative." Among the early active participants in the 
controversy that commenced and progressed between the 
representatives of the Crown and the champions of colo- 
nial right, was Joseph Hawley of Northampton, whose 
name will descend to posterity in most honorable compan- 
^.ionship with those of James Otis, Samuel Adams, Jolm 
Adams, Josiah Quincy and Samuel Dexter. Col. John 


Worthington of Springfield, who divided witli Hawley the 
higher legal honors of old Hampshire County, was a mem- 
ber of the fii'st Committee appointed by the House of Rep- 
resentatives to consider what should be done with reference 
to the oppressive acts of Parliament. This Committee 
reported the project of a Congress made up of committees 
from the popular branch of each of the colonial legisla- 
tures, to be held at New York, in October, 1765. The 
report was adopted, and a committee of three appointed, 
two of whom — Col. Worthington and Oliver Partridge — 
(the latter of Hatfield) were from Hampshire County. 
Col. Worthington declined the appointment, and T. Rug- 
gles, (unfortunately for the province, for he behaved dishon- 
orably in the matter,) was appointed in his stead. The 
determination on the part of the new British Cabinet, or- 
ganized in July, 17G7, to carry out to the extent the outra- 
geous doctrine projiounded on the repeal of the stamp act, 
that Parliament had a riglit to bind the colonies, in all 
cases whatever, induced a spirit of deep anxiety and con- 
cern throughout the colony. Following the recommenda- 
tions of a most respectable popular meeting in Boston, 
many families throughout the jn-ovince, by an example of 
noble self denial, abandoned the use of foreign luxuries, 
and supplied their necessities with articles of home growth 
and manufacture. The events which followed — the arbi- 
trary measures of Governor Bernard, the arrival of mili- 
tary force, the misrepresentation of the colonists abroad, 
the refusal to hear their petitions, the popular combinations 
against importing British goods, the struggle between pa- 
triotism and Governmental policy in the British Parlia- 
ment, the ever memorable and ever glorious protests against 
oppression by the General Assembly of tlie colony, the 
collisions of the soldiery Avitli the people of Boston, the 
firm and pei'sistent opposition to the usurpations of char- 
tered rights, the traitorous conduct of Gov. Hutchinson in 
his capacity as the tool of the British muiistry, the destruc- 
tion of tea in Boston Harbor, the holding of County meet- 
ings and conventions, the institution of Committees of safe- 
ty and correspondence — all these events, in which civil 
liberty and National glory were taking root, prepared the 
way for that first demonstration which sealed in blood, oa 


the soil of Massachusetta, the doom of British rule in the 
American Colonies. 

The people of the Western counties of the colony were 
no whit behind their Eastern brothers in patriotic impul- 
ses, or in their attachment to liberty, and the determination 
to defend their rights. Committees of safety and corres- 
pondence were established in nearly every town. The 
records of nearly every town then in existence in Western 
Massachusetts, tell of the public meetings there held to 
consult upon the public safety, and to devise measures of 
co-operation with their brethren in the East, and in the 
other colonies. From the close of the concluding French 
War until the revolution, the subjects connected with the 
encroaclunents of arbitrary power led the public mind — 
not, however, to the neglect of business and the reparation 
of the injuries that had been experienced through so long 
a period of disturbance, for settlements progressed in every 

On the 6th of July, 1774, a Congress, as it was then 
called, of deputies from all the towns in Berkshire County, 
was held at Stockbridge, and took a noble and decisive 
stand, with respect to the evils that threatened the prov- 
ince. The towns represented were, Sheffield, Great Bar- 
rington, Egremont, Stockbridge, Lenox, West Stockbridge, 
Alford, Richmond, Pittsfield, Lanesborough, Hancock, 
(then Jericho) Williamstown, Adams, (then East Hoosac) 
Sandisfield, Peru, (then Partridgefield) Washington, (then 
Harlwood) Becket, New Marlborough and Tyringham. 
The proceedings of this convention were dignified and 
firm, and were participated in by the first and best men of 
the county. Among the first votes of the Congress was 
one recommending to the several towns of the county that 
the 14th of July should be observed as a day of fasting 
and prayer, " to implore the Divine assistance that he 
would interpose, and in mercy avert those evils with which 
we ai"e threatened." Among other impoi'tant votes was 
one that the several members of a Committee " be desu-ed 
to recommend to the charity of the inhabitants of the sev- 
eral towns in the County, the distressed circumstances of 
the poor of the towns of Charlestown and Boston, and that 
the same be remitted to them in fat cattle in the fall." A 
^ committee, consistmg of Timothy Edwards, Dr. William 


Whiting, Dr. Lemuel Barnard, Dr. Erastus Sergeant, and 
Dea. James Eason, was appointed to take into considera- 
tion, and report the draught of an agreement, to be recom- 
mended to the towns in the county, for the non-consumption 
of British manufactures. This committee reported a series 
of resolves Avhich were ordered to be transmitted to the 
Committee of Correspondence in Boston. They follow : 

'• Whereas, the Parliament of Great Britain have, of late, 
untlertaken to give and grant away our money without our 
knowledge or consent ; and in order to compel us to a servile 
submission to the above measures liave proceeded to block 
up the harbor of Boston ; also, have, or are about to vacate 
the charter, and repeal certain laws of this province, heretofore 
enacted by the General Court, and confirmed to us by the 
King and his predecessors — therefore, as a means to obtain a 
speedy redress of the above grievances, we do solemnly, and 
in good faith, covenant and engage with each other : 

"1st. That we will not import, purchase, or consume, or 
suffer any person for, by, or under us, to import, purchase, or 
consume, in any manner whatever, any goods, wares or man- 
ufactures which shall arrive in America from Great Britain, 
from and after the first day of October next, or such other 
time as shall be agreed upon by the American Congress ; nor 
any goods which shall be ordered from thence from and after 
this day, until our charter and Constitutional rights shall be 
restored; or until it shall be determined by the major part of 
our brethren, in this and the neighboring colonies, that a non- 
importation or non-consumption agreement will not have a 
tendency to effect the desired end, and until it shall be appa- 
rent that a non-importation or non-consumption agreement 
will not be entered into by the majority of this and the neigh- 
boring colonies, except such articles as the said General Con- 
gress of North America shall advise to import and consume. 

" 2dly. We do further covenant and agree that we will ob- 
serve the most strict obedience to all constitutional laws and 
authority ; and will, at all times, exert ourselves to the utmost 
for the discouragement of all licentiousness, and suppressing 
all disorderly mobs and riots. 

" 3dly. We will exert ourselves, as far as in us lies, in pro- 
moting peace, love and unanimity among each other ; and for 
that end, we engage to avoid all unnecessary lawsuits what- 

" 4thly. As a strict and proper adherence to the non-impor- 
tation arid non-consumption agreement will, if not seasonably 
provided against, involve us in many difficulties and incon- 
veniences, we do promise and agree that we will take the 


most prudent care for the raising of sheep, and for the mann- 
facturing of all such clothes as shall be most useful and nec- 
essary ; and, also, for the raising of flax and the manufactur- 
ing of linen ; further, that we will, by every prudent method, 
endeavor to guard against all those inconveniences which 
might otherwise arise from the foregoing' agreement. 

"Sthly. That if any person shall refuse to sign this, or a 
similar covenant, or after having signed it, shall not adhere to 
the real intent and meaning thereof, he or they shall be treat- 
ed by us with all the neglect they shall justly deserve — par- 
ticularly by omitting all commercial dealings with thera. 

"6thly. That if this, or a similar covenant, shall, after the 
first day of August next, be oti'ered to any trader or shop- 
keeper of this county, and he or ihey shall refuse to sign the 
same, for the space of 4S hours, we will from thenceforth pur- 
chase no article of British manufacture, or East India goods 
from him or them until such time as he or they shall sign this 
or a similar covenant." 

The delegfites to this convention were chosen, pursuant 
to advice in circular letters from Boston, the head quarters 
of the popular movement, and it was in accordance with 
these letters that committees of safety and correspondence 
were chosen in every town. Pittsfield was one of the first 
towns, if not the first town in the colony, that offered oppo- 
sition to the King's courts. At its meeting held on the loth 
of August, 1774, Timothy Childs and Capt. John Strong 
were chosen a Committee to petition the Inferior Court of 
Con:imon Picas for the County of Berkshii-e, " not to trans- 
act any business that term," and they did it in a very pe- 
rem[)tory manner. Their petition was nothing less than 
an open declaration of resistance. They alluded to two par- 
ticular acts of Parliament superseding the Charter of the 
Province, and then declared that they viewed it of the 
greatest importance to the w^ell being of the Province that 
the people of it utterly refuse the least suhmission to the 
said acts, and on no consideration to yield obedience to them, 
or directly or indirectly to countenance their taking place of 
those acts among us, hut resist them to the last extremity." 
After stating the case somewhat more at length, they gave 
their reasons in detail for opposing the holding of Courts 
until the unconstitutional acts alluded to, should be repealed. 
They were as follow : 

^ "1. If they (the courts) are now held in the ancient form, 


this \vill be in direct violation of those laws (the new ones) 
and in defiance of them. 

" 2. Whatever business shall be transacted in the ancient 
form, now those laws are in force, will be illegal, and liable 
afterwards to be wholly set aside. 

" 3. The Honorable Judges will e.\pose themselves by not 
submitting to the new acts by transacting business in the old 
form, or agreeable to our charter, to an immediate loss of their 

"4. It will be much greater contempt of those laws, to 
transact business in the ancient form, or agreeable to our 
charter, than to do none at all. 

"5. This course of procedure will tend to bring matters to 
a more unhappy crisis, which we would choose by all means 
to avoid, than to neglect to do any business." 

These reasons, it will be seen, are given principally to 
show why the Courts could not be held in their ancient 
form. A list of reasons why no Court should be held 
were subjoined. They were, in effect, that there was no 
doubt that the offensive acts had passed the Royal assent, 
that they had arrived in Boston, that they probably were 
then published by the Governor, and that the town " ought 
to bear the most early testimony against those acts, and set 
a good example for the rest of the Province to copy after." 
The acts to which the town alluded, it may be stated, con- 
ferred upon the Royal Governor the power of appointing 
and removing all judges of the Inferior Courts of the Com° 
mon Pleas, as well as other important legal officers, and 
expressly forbade the holding of town meetings without 
leave obtained of the Governor, and the transaction of any 
business in those meetings except such as the Governor 
should mention in his Avrittcn permission. It will there- 
fore appear that the Pittstield town meeting, accordinir to 
the declaration of its voice, was held in direct opposition 
to the laws which it took such particular j)ains to inform 
the Court had arrived in Boston. They persisted in trans- 
acting business after the " ancient forms," and closed their 
bold demonstration in these words : " The honorable Court 
has good grounds to neglect to do business in the law, and 
the people just occasion to petition for it, and insist upon 
It, ivithout admitting a refusal" 

The County Congress held in Stockbridgc in July was 

preceded or followed by similar conventions, promul'iatin«' 

18* * " 


similar declarations, in all the counties of the State. A 
Congress of Committees from every town and district in 
Hampshire County, except Charlemont and Southwick, 
was held at Northampton on the 22d and 23d of Septem- 
ber, " to consult upon measures to be taken in this time of 
general distress in the province, occasioned by the late at- 
tacks of the British Parliament upon the constitution of 
said province," &c. Timothy Danielson of Brimfield was 
Chairman of the Convention, and Ebenezer Hunt, Jr., of 
Northampton, Clerk. After a long and animated debate, 
a Committee of nine reported a series of resolutions simi- 
lar to those adopted by other County Congresses, and they 
were passed with great unanimity. In substance, the res- 
olutions were, that the County did not intend to withdraw 
from allegiance to the King ; that the charter of the prov- 
ince ought to be kept inviolate, and that the inhabitants 
had not violated it ; that the subversive acts of the British 
Parliament, being before the Continental Congress, (it had 
assembled at Philadelphia during the first part of the 
month,) they Avould not act with regard to them ; that the 
acts of Gov. Gage were destructive of their rights, and 
that it was doubtful whether he was the constitutional Gov- 
ernor, and whether his acts ought to be of any validity, 
especially his writs f&r convening the General Court at 
Salem ; and that a provincial Congi-ess was necessary to 
be holden at Concord on the 2d of October following, to 
which the different towns of the County were recommend- 
ed to send delegates. The resolutions further recommended 
to constables, collectors, &c., " to pay no money to H. Gray, 
treasurer, but to deposit the same in town treasuries;" 
urged all to refrain from engaging in riots and spoliations 
of personal property ; declared that town meetings ought 
to be called in accordance with ancient usage, and exhorted 
all the inhabitants of the County to be diligent to acquaint 
themselves with the militaiy art, under the direction of 
such persons as they might choose, and to furnish them- 
selves with arms and ammunition. 

Thus, while the people adhered to the rights conveyed 

in their charter, and professed loyalty to their sovereign, 

they foresaw that the effect of their action would be to 

Ijring them into direct collision with the power whose acts 

<'they condemned ; and they unhesitatingly prepared them- 


selves for the worst that could happen. To the man -whoso 
kindly faith permits him to trace by the side of the foot- 
prints of History, the parallel path of the angel of God's 
providence, the events of this period will explain and jus- 
tify that mysterious series of afflictions, which formed so 
large a part of the marked events in the early life of the 
colony. He will see a young people strugglmg through a 
long series of wars with savage tribes, and hardly more 
civilized Canadian colonists, until the thoughts of danger 
and death are as familiar as the thoughts of God ; until 
every man knows the use of his gun as well as he does the 
most common implement of husbandry, and until peace, 
without those rights which can only make it truly valua- 
ble, shall be regarded as worthless. He will see that this 
long tutelage was necessary as a preparation for those high 
duties which were destined to cut the colony loose from for- 
eign dependency, and to erect a free State in which the 
great problems of free religion, free education, and self 
government, were to be wrought out for the benefit of man- 
kind. He will see that the people were armed by the In- 
dian wars, taught the use of arms by them, inured to 
hardship by them, made prudent and resolute by them, and 
taught to estimate properly the value of their rights and 
soil by them ; and he will also see, in the few years that 
followed the close of the F'rench wars, and preceded the 
Revolution, a period of rest for the gathering of resources, 
for calm discussion of great questions, and the perfection 
of that association of purpose and power that was neces- 
sary in carrying to a successful issue the noblest and most 
momentous struggle that the history of the world aifords. 
He will see that not oidy the soil upon which we live, but 
the liberty which we enjoy, is the purchase of those early 
conflicts, and that the " war of the revolution" commenced 
long before the soil of Lexington drank revolutionary 
blood. He will find, too, that the immense influence which 
the clergy had exerted, from the first planting of the colo- 
ny, in all civil affairs, found its use in eftecting the grand 
result, for they were, as a body, the earliest and best de- 
fenders of the principles for which their people fought, and 
accomplished more than their part in the resulting achieve- 
ment of independence. 

It is not within the scope of this work to notice even the 


leading events of tte revolutionary struggle. None of 
them occurred in this locality, and it only remains to re- 
count something of those trials which the people expe- 
rienced in common with all others. Regiments of minute 
men were formed and trained in the art of Avar, and when 
they caught the echo of the guns of Lexington, marched 
immediately to Boston, and foi'med a portion of that large 
body of troops which blocked up the British forces in the 
peninsula of the town, after they had made their way back 
from Concord and Lexington. Side by side with the votes 
which are abundant on the town records of this period, ap- 
propriating money for the payment of soldiers, are votes 
for the establishment of committees to procure sustenance 
for the " industrious poor" of Boston, whose labors were 
suspended by the military occupation of the town. As an 
instance of the liberality with which the towns appropria- 
ted money for the support of soldiers and minute men, it 
may be stated that Springfield, in town meeting Nov. 14th, 
1775, granted for the payment of the minute men, for ex- 
ercising expenses, &c., with another account connected 
therewith, the sum of £52, 14s. 6d. At a town meeting in 
the following year, grants were made which wiU illustrate 
the course pursued in the procurement of arms for the sol- 
diers sent out : " To Ariel Collins, for 43 cartouch-boxes, 
£1. Is. 6d. ; to Thomas Bates, for a gun and bayonet, £2. 
10s. ; to Luke Bliss, for a gun and bayonet, £2. 8s. ; to 
Capt. Thomas Stebbins, for the use of a gun, 6s. ; to Tim- 
othy Bliss, for a large homespun blanket, 15s.; to John 
Burt, for a blanket, 9s. ; to Oliver Burt, for a gun delivered 
Sylvanus Hale, £2 ; to John Warner, for exercising as a 
minute man, 9s. ; to Seth Storer Cobourn, for a horse to 
assist the minute men when they marched from this town 
to Head Quarters near Boston, in April, 1775, 13s. ; to 
George Cotton, Jr., for a blanket and knapsack delivered 
Benoni 'Barrister, 13s. 6d." Eight pounds were also 
granted to procure drums for the several companies raised 
in the town, and the selectmen were instructed to procure, 
in addition to the stock already possessed by the town, 150 
pounds of gunpowder, 2,000 flints, and 400 pounds of lead. 
The appropriation above mentioned, for the owner of the 
horse that was used in getting the minute men on their 
^'^aj to Boston in April, gives an intimation of the move- 


ment which followed the announcement that blood had 
been shed at Lexington, and no better illustration of the 
spirit which animated this region of country at the time, 
can be given, than the spirited account of the eifect of the 
event in Greenfield, as related by Mx^. Willard, in his his- 
tory of that town : 

" Immediately after the battle of Lexington, the towns re- 
ceived circulars by express, or otherwise, and the people of 
this town assembled inslan(er, on the afternoon of the day on 
which the intelligence was received. It is related of one in- 
dividual, Mr. Elijah JNIitchell, that being in the village at the 
time, he went home on foot, a mile or more West, and returned 
with his equipments, ready to march, in fifteen minutes from 
the time he started. The suddenness of the gathering reminds 
us of Scott's beautiful description of the gathering of a Scot- 
tish clan, summoned in the hour of danger, by the rapid pas- 
sage over hill and uale of the cross of fire, sending far around 
its beacon light. There were two military companies, one of 
which, under Capt. Agrippa Wells, met in the villaixe, and the 
other at the North meeting house, under Capt. Ebenezer 
Wells. A great number assembled at the meeting house. 
With few exceptions, this assembled throng, the bowed with 
age, and the stripling with scarce the down upon his cheek, 
were ardent in the patriot cause; the ardor .spread from lieart 
to heart, as the story was told that American blood had been 
shed by the British soldiery. 

"It was immediately proposed that Thomas Loveland, the 
drummer, should take a station on the horse-block, under an 
elm at the South side of the common, and beat the long roll 
for volunteers. It was accordingly done, and sounded far and 
wide among the woods and (ields. The ofiicers of the com- 
pany — Capt. E. Wells, Lt. Allen, and Ensign J. Severance — 
were there, but stood aloof, dissuading from the adventure, as 
savoring of treason and rebellion against the Government. 
They had not made up their minds to join the patriot cause. 
But the long roll of Thomas Loveland had done its work. 
There was an overwhelming majority for the contest. The 
cautious advice of their respected and beloveii officers, hith- 
erto listened to with respect, and obediently followed, was 
now no more regarded than the passing breeze. Upon the 
first beating of the long roll, fiist and foremost stood out that 
hardy, industrious and bold yeoman, Benjamin Hastings, a 
William Wallace in intrepidity and determined bravery. Who 
so daring as to come next and risk the halter ? It were ditii- 
cult to say ; the whole mass was in motion on that bleak and 
barren old common, Trap Plain. The assembled townsmen 


volunteered almost to a man. The long roll of Tom Loveland 
was electric and contagious." 

The company thus formed was on the marcli the next 
morning for the East under Capt. Timothy Cliilds. This 
is one of those stirrino- and interestiuff scenes of which the 
revolutionary war was so prolific, and the following is an- 
other, the description being taken from the Barre Gazette : 

" When the intelligence reached New Salem, the people 
were hastily assembled on the village green by the notes of 
alarm. Every man came with his gun, and other hasty pre- 
parations for a short march. The militia of the town were 
then divided into two companies, one of which was com- 
manded by Capt. G. This company was paraded, before 
much consultation had been had upon the proper steps to be 
taken in the emergency, and while determination was ex- 

f)ressed on almost every countenance, the men stood silently 
eaning on their muskets, awaiting the movement of the spirit 
in the officers. The Captain was supposed to be tinciurcd 
with toryism, and his present indecision and backwardness 
were ample proof, if not of his attachment to royalty, at least 
of his unfitness to lead a patriot band. Some murmurs began 
to be heard, when the first Lieutenant, William Stacy, took off 
his hat. and addressed them. He was a man of stout heart, 
but of few words. Pulling his commission from his pocket, 
he said : ' Fellow soldiers, I don't know exactly how it is with 
the rest of you, but for one, I will no longer serve a King that 
murders my own counfrymen' ; and tearing the paper in a 
hundred pieces, he trod it under his foot. Sober as were the 
people by nature, they could not restrain a loud, wild hurra, 
as he stepped forward, and took his place in the ranks. G. 
still faltered, and made a feeble endeavor to restore order ; 
but they heeded it as little as the wind. The company was 
summarily disbanded, and a re-organization begun on the 
spot. The gallant Stacy was unanimously chosen Captain, 
and with a prouder commission than was ever borne on parch- 
ment, he led a small but efficient band to Cambridge. He 
continued in service during the war, reaching before its close, 
the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, under the command of Put- 

William Leavitt, one of the earliest emigrants from this 
region to the Western Reserve, Ohio, was at the time of 
tlie Lexington alarm, a boy of sixteen, residing in Suffield, 
Ct. A meeting of the militia was held in that town, and 
volunteers called for. He with others took his knapsack 


upon his back, and his gun in his hand, and ran every step 
of the way to Springfield on foot, to join the patriot forces. 

But this early tax, voluntarily rendered, upon the forces 
of the region, -was far from being the last or most serious. 
Requisition ibllowed requisition in the troublous years that 
succeeded, drawing as well upon industrial resources as 
industrious men. On the 25th of June, 1776, the General 
Court ordered 5,000 men to be raised. Those going from 
six counties were destined for Canada ; from four counties, 
for New York, where Gen. Washington had established his 
head quarters. The troops ordered to be raised in Hamp- 
shire County were to march to Canada, and were offered 
each £7 bounty. The proportion to be raised in the 
County waa 754. Of these, 44 were assigned to Spring- 
field, 17 to Brimfield, 24 to Wilbraham, to Northampton 
47, Southampton 17, Hadley 13, South Hadley 12, Am- 
herst 27, Granby 9, Hatfield 16, Conwav 13, Sunderland 
9, Chesterfield 10, West Springfield 48,'Whately 9, Wil- 
liamsburg 9, Wcstfield 31, Decrfield 18, and the other 
towns in proportion to their population, though the estimate 
was a rough one, as the above assignments will show. The 
Hampshire troops furnished exactly a battalion. This or- 
der was followed on the 10th of July, just after the decla- 
ration of independence, by an order for the enlistment of 
every 25th man in the State, to re-inforce the Northern 

Shut out from the advantages of commerce by the wai*, 
and exceedingly limited in manufactures, the means resort- 
ed to for obtaining supplies for the army — clothes, blankets 
and food — were characteristic of the tunes. Orders were 
passed for the raising within the State of a specified num- 
ber of blankets, shoes and stockings, &c. These Avere not 
obtainable in any one place, as they Avould be now. They 
were only to be produced and found in families. When an 
order to raise these articles was issued, eacli town had its 
share in the work assigned to it, and receivers, or commit- 
tees, were appointed to look up and account for the goods. 
These articles were paid for, in the paper money of the 
day. The mode was, for the committee to go to a house, 
make up their minds upon the question whether the house 
was good for one, two, or three blankets, and then inform 
the houseliolder that he must produce the articles, and fake 


his pay for them. In many instances, blankets were taken 
directly fi'om beds in use, and were often given up with a 
cheerfulness that showed how hearty was the sympathy 
felt in the cause which called for the sacrifice. On the 
4th of January, 1776, an order was passed for the raising 
of 4,000 blankets, the proportion of Hampshire County 
being 300, divided as follows: Springfield 12, Wilbraham 
6, Northampton 7, Hadley 10, Southampton 6, Amherst 8,. 
Granby 7, Hatfield 11, Whately 7, Westfield 32, Deei-field 
10, Greenfield 10, Sunderland 10, Belchertown 7, &c. On 
the 11th of December, an order was passed "that one- 
fourth of the Berkshire militia, and one-eighth of the 
Hampshire mihtia, ordered by a late act to enforce the 
army near New York, be forthwith marched to Albany, to 
be under Gen. Schuyler's order." On the 23d of April, 
1777, two battalions, of 750 men each, were ordered from 
Hampshire County to Ticonderoga, to be there two months. 
On the 5 th of February, of that year, a Convention of 
the Committees of Safety, in the several towns of Hamp- 
shire County was held at Northampton. Robert Breck, a 
Northampton trader, (son of the Springfield minister of 
the same name,) was chosen Clerk, and Nathaniel Dwight, 
President. Delegates Avere present from Monson, Brim- 
field, Ludlow, South Hadley, Granby, Hadley, Amherst, 
Belchertown, Pelham, Greenwich, AVare, Shutesbury, Sun- 
derland, Warwick, Bernardston, Colerain, Shelburne, 
Springfield, Hatfield, Whately, Williamsburg, Chesterfield, 
Southwick, Charlemont, Decrfield, South Brimfield, (now 
Wales,) Conway, Ashfield, Murrayfield, (now Chester.) 
Norwich, Soutliampton, Westfield, Northampton, Bland- 
ford, Leverett, West Springfield, Granville and Palmer. 
The Convention was called for the purpose of taking into 
consideration the suffering condition of the Northern Ar- 
myV and it proceeded at once to advise the Committee of 
Supplies to forward such supplies as were necessary for 
the comfort of the army, " not doubting that the General 
Court will approve thereof." A petition then came before 
the Convention from Jonathan Mosely, who prayed that 
his son, then confined in jail for refusing to go into the 
army, might be liberated. The spirit and the necessities 
of the times are indicated in the fact that the petition was 
■ dismissed. The next action Avas the approval of the order 


of the General Court for setting up Courts of the General 
Sessions of the Peace for the County, and this was fol- 
lowed by an incongruous, but characteristic vote, recom- 
mending to all innholders the importance of refusing to 
entertain persons traveling unnecessarily on the Sabbath. 
Then followed the recommendation of a plan for securing 
uniformity of prices throughout the County. A Commit- 
tee, appointed for the purpose, reported the following peti 
tion to the General Court, and it waa adopted : 

" The petiiien of the Convention of the Ccmmittees of Safety . 
Humbly sheweth that it is the humble opinion of this Conven- 
tion that it is highly necessary for the public safety of the United 
States in general, and this State in particular, that your hon- 
ors take under consideration the conduct of inimical persons, 
inhabitants of the County of Hampshire, which are daily in- 
creasing, and has been proved to the satisfaction of the Con- 
vention. A few particulars we humbly beg leave to lay 
before your honors : 

" 1st. Ever since our army retreated from New York, and 
the inhumane ravage of the British troops in the Jersies, our 
inimical brethren have appeared with an insulting air, and 
have exerted themselves to intimidate weSk minds by threat- 
ening speeches, saying that the day was over with us. 

" 2d. Their reflections on the General Court, openly declar- 
ing that our Honorable Court of this State had made acts that 
were unjust, respecting the last raised recruits, declaring that 
the Committees or Selectmen dare as well be damned as to 
draught them for the array, and that, if they were draughted, 
they would rather fight against our own men than against our 

•' 3d. Their using their utmost endeavors to destroy the cur- 
rency of our paper money, counterfeiting the same, strength- 
ening the hands of our enemies, discouraging our friends, 
paying no regard to the Committees of Safety, frequently 
meeting, and holding a correspondence from town to town, 
endeavoring to prevent the raising a new levy of men, which 
is of the utmost consequence to our safety in this critical day ; 
and we cannot put any other construction upon the conduct 
of those that appear inimical to us, but that they are plotting 
our ruin." 

The petition closes with a request that these matters be 

taken into consideration, and such remedies devised as may 

seem proper. On the 20th of April, 1778, 2,000 men 

were ordered to be raised to fill up the fifteen contmental 



battalions, which the State had been required to furnish^ 
of which Hampshire was ordered to furnish 242. Spring- 
field and Northampton furnished 13 each. The fine for 
refusinof to sro was £20. The term of service was nine 
months, and each man was to hare 6d. a mile for travel, and 
six dollars for blanket, &c. On the same day, an order 
was passed for raising 1,300 mten for North River, and 
200 for Rhode Island, of wliich Hampshire County was 
required to furnish 182. During the same year, by anoth- 
er order, 1800 men were to be raised for Rhode Island, of 
which 199 were to come from Hampshire, and 102 from 
Berkshire. This last order was subsequently so altered 
that 100 men were to go to Rhode Island from the South 
part of Hampshire, while the remainder of the troops, with 
those from Berkshire, should proceed to Albany to join 
Gen. Stark. June 23d, of the same year, 1,000 men were 
ordered to guard the prisoners of the convention entered 
into by Gates and Burgoyne. During the same year, too^ 
an order was passed for collecting shirts, shoes and stock- 
ings, equal in number each, to one-seventh of the males. 
Wm. Scott of Pahner was the collecting agent for Hamp- 
shire County. June 1st, 1779, an order was passed for 
raising a large number of shirts, shoes and stockings for 
the army, the proportion of Springfield being 66, and 
Northampton 64. On the 8th of the same month, 800 
men were ordered to be raised, to serve in Rhode Island, 
the term of service to extend to Jan. 1st, 1780. Of these, 
102 were to come from Hampsliire. They were to have 
£16 per month, in addition to the continental pay. On the 
same day, 2,000 men were ordered to be raised, to fill up 
the 15 continental battalions of the State. They were or- 
dered to meet at Springfield, and .Justin Ely of that town 
was ajipointed to receive them, and deliver them over to 
the continental officers. The term of service was, nine 
months, and the fine for refusing to go, when draujrhted, 
Avas £45. Of these troops, Hampshire was ordered to 
raise 228. On the 9th of October following, 2,000 men 
were ordered to be raised, to co-operate with the French 
alUes, of which 450 were to be from Hampshire, and 200 
from Berkshii'e. The fine for refusing to serve was fixed 
*%it £50. The troops from^ these two counties were to form 
one regiment, each soldier receiving £16 per month, ir^ 


addition to liis regular continental pay, to receive a bonus 
of £30 from the towns they should go from, and to di-aw 
two shillings mileage. On the 4th of Blay, another oi-der 
,for the colleetiou of shirts, shoes, stockings and blankets 
was passed. The number of blankets to be collected was 
just half that of the other articles. The proportion of 
Springfield was forty-two shirts, shoes and stockings, and 
twenty-one blankets, while the number required from the 
other towns was approximately in the ratio of their popu- 

Thes/3 statistics shov/ what immense draughts were made 
upon tlie physical resources of Western Massachusetts, in 
common with other sections of the state and country, in 
order to effect that revolution whose fruits are now so 
abundant and so widely enjoyed. So weak became the 
towns, aft<;r two or three years had passed away, so neces- 
sary was it to remain at home for the maintenance of wives 
and children, that many of these requisitions were not com- 
plied with, the draughted men paying their fines, and re- 
fusing to leave their homes. It is recorded in a journal 
kept by the minister in Westfield, at that time, that when, 
on the loth of May, 1778, a requisition was made for men 
from that town, " Xoah Cobley and Paul Noble went, and 
David Fowler, Roger Bagg, Enoch Holcomb, Joseph 
Dewey, Simeon Stiles, Jacob Noble, Benjamin Sexton, 
Jolm Moxl(;y, Martin Root, Stephen Fowler, Eli Granger, 
Roger Noble and Daniel Fowler paid their fines." 

The administration of civil affairs in the Western coun- 
ties, during the early period of tlie Revolutionary strug- 
gle, presented some eccentricities which are wortliy of 
notice. It will have been observed that the Convention of 
the Committees of Safety at Northampton received a peti- 
tion that one Mosely be released from jail. This petition, 
of itself, indicates the power whicli the Safety Committees 
of the time possessed. They dilfercd from the " Vigilance 
Committees" tliat were established during the municipal 
infancy of the new settlements on the Pacific coast, in 
tlieir existence by the consent or connivance of the State 
and continental nuthorities. They formed, in fact, one of 
the most powcriiil auxiliaries of both. The recognition of 
these committees was practiced by the Courts themselves, a 
iact well illustrated by an occurrence that took place in 


Greenfield. People in the vicinity of a thick forest on the 
East side of Full river, in that town, had noticed a smoke 
rising above the trees. The Safety Committee of the iovm 
were notified of the fact, and, repairing to the spot, found 
a man named Harrington, who inhabited a kind of cave, 
in which he had gathered all the tools necessary for coun- 
terfeiting. They took him and conveyed him to North- 
amjjton, where they brought him before Judge Joseph 
Hawley. The judge told the Committee that the jail was 
so full of tories that it would hold no more, and advised 
them to take him into the pine woods, North of the town, 
and give him as many lashes as they thougJit best, and let 
him go. The sentence was executed, three of the Com- 
mittee givmg liim light blows, but the fourth believed that, 
in whipping, the lashes should be " well laid on," and 
brought blood at every stroke. They then bathed his 
wounds with spirits, gave him to drink of the same, and, 
after exacting of him a promise not to be seen in those 
parts again, let him go. He thanked them for their lenity, 
and kept his pledge. 

At this day, it is impossible to find such an abundance 
of incidents connected with the Revolution in this region, 
as will serve to impregnate Avith life and interest the dry 
statistics to wliich the narrator is confined. The tongues 
that could have related them are now silent, or falter with 
the weakness or the indistinct memories of age. Such let- 
ters as might aid the historian are buried in the unexplored 
lumber of private garrets and public halls. It is diificult 
to follow the men of Hampshire and Berkshire who en- 
listed in the war, and participated in its reverses and vic- 
tories. In many cases it is impossible. The companies 
of minute men which went promptly from both counties to 
Boston were there mostly re-organized, having enlisted for 
eight months, and served in different regiments. Besides 
the company fi-om Greenfield, under Capt. Childs, many 
other companies from Hampshire County marched, upon 
the Lexington alarm, and all, or nearly all, did eight 
months' service. Col, Timothy Danielson of Brimfield, 
the President of the County Congress at Northampton in 
1775, had the command of a regiment. To this regiment 
belonged a company of 61 men from Springfield, of which 
' Gideon Burt was Captain, Walter Pynchon 1st Lieutec:- 


nnt, and Aaron Steel 2d do. A compa.ny from tlio towns 
of Bclchertown, Ware, Greenwich and Hardwick went, 
under the command of Capt. Jonathan Bardwell, whose 
Lieutenants were William Gilmore of Ware, and Moses 
Howe of Belcliertown. The Northampton company of 
minute men numbered 69, and were commanded by Capt. 
Jonatlian Allen, whose Lieutenants were Oliver Lyman 
and James Shepherd. West Springfield sent 53 men, un- 
der Capt. Enoch Chapin, whose Lieutenants were Samuel 
Flowers and Luke Day, the latter of wliom must be sub- 
jected to less honorable mention in connection with the no- 
torious rebellion of 178G-87. Capt. Reuben Dickinson 
of Amherst commanded a company of Gl men from Am- 
herst, Shutesbury and Leveret t, and had for his Lieuten- 
ants Zaccheus Crocker of Shutesbury, and Joseph Dickin- 
son of Amherst. Blandford and Murrayfield, (now 
Chester,) sent a company of 36 men, under Capt. John 

On the Lexington alarm, ten men left Williamsburg, 
under Capt. Abel TJiayer, who seems .to have been too 
impatient to wait for 21 others who followed him, and at- 
tached themselves to his prompt little corps. Westfield 
turned out a noble company of 70 men, under Capt. War- 
ham Parks, whose Lieutenants were John Shepard and 
Richard Falley. Every man in this company was from 
Westfield. Forty-six men went from Southampton, under 
the command of Capt. Lemuel Pomeroy. A few of these 
seem to have belonged in NorthamjDton and Norwich, and 
Jonathan Wales of the former town was 1st Lieutenant. 
Pelham and Greenwich sent 58 men, under Capt. Isaac 
Gray. His 1st Lieutenant was Thomas Willington, and 
he appears to have belonged in Watertown. His 2d 
Lieutenant was Josiah Wilcox of Greenwich. Capt. Seth 
Murray of Hatfield, commanded a company of 49 men 
from that town, while his first Lieutenant was Samuel 
Cook of Hadley. Worthington and Ashfield formed a 
noble company of 71 men, under Capt. Ebenezer Webber 
of the former town, wliose Lieutenants were Samuel Bart- 
lett and Samuel Allen, both of Ashfield. The company 
from Granville lunnbered 60 men, under Capt. Lebbeus 
Ball, whose 1st Lieutenant was Lemuel Bancroft of South- 
wick. A second company was formed in Greenfield, con- 


sisting of 64 men, under Capt. Agrippa "Wells, or " Capt. 
Grii>," as he was termed in the familiar style of his asso- 

Col. Danielson of Brimfield has already been mentioned 
as the commander of a regiment. His Lieutenant Col. 
was William Shepherd of Westfield, and the Major of the 
regiment was David Leonard. Col. Woodbridge of South 
Hadley had also the command of a regiment. Two regi- 
ments of minute men were formed in Berksliire County, 
one made up from the middle and Northern parts of the 
county under Colonel (afterwards General,) Patterson of. 
Lenox, and the other formed in the Southern part of the 
County, under Colonel (afterwards General) Fellows of 
Sheffield. The privates in these reghnents became mostly 
" eight months men," while some of them enlisted for the 
wai*. The news of the battle of Lexington ai-rived in the 
county two days after its occurrence, at about mid-day, 
and the next morning Col. Patterson's regiment were on 
their way to Boston, completely armed and equipped, and 
mostly in uniform. After the i-e-orgauization of Col. Pat- 
terson's Regiment, Jeremiah Cady of Dalton (then Ashue- 
lot Equivalent,) was constituted Major, and among the 
Captains were Charles Dibble of Lenox, Nathan Watkina 
of Peru, (then Partridgefield) Thomas AVilliaras of Stock- 
bridge, David Noble of Pittsfield, and Samuel Sloane of 
WiUiamstown. General Fellows' regiment numbered 
among its Captains, William King and Peter Ingersoll of 
Great Barrington, William Bacon of Sheffield, Ebenezer 

Smith of New Marlborough, Soule of Sandisfield, 

William Goodrich of Stockbridge, and Noah Allen of Ty- 
ringham. A company of Indians from Stockbridge, under 
Capt. Abraham Nimham, one of tlie tribe, was among 
those that enlisted in Berkshire, and at the battle of White 
Plains, four of them were killed in the service of the 
country. Others served honorably elsewhere, and in so 
high esteem were they held by General Washington, that 
at the close of the war, a feast was given them by his com- 
mand, in Stockbridge, of which the whole tribe partook. 

On the day of the ever memorable battle of Bunker 

Hill, Col. Patterson's regiment defended Fort No. 3, in 

^^harlestown, a work of their own construction. Both of 

the Berkshire regiments remained in the vicinity of Bos- 


ton, until the place was evacuated, in March, 177G, some 
of them, however, being connected with the terrible expe- 
dition of Gen. Arnold to Quebec, and sharing in all its 
hardships. After the evacuation, Col. Patterson's regi- 
ment proceeded to New York, and thence to Canada, for 
tlie purjjose of joining Arnold. Owing to the news of his 
failure at Quebec, they did not proceed to that city, but 
some of them engaged in the disastrous battle at The Ce- 
dai'S. Retreating from Canada, their route led them to 
Crown Point and Ticonderoga, Crossing the bay, tliey 
fortified Mount Independence, from which point, in No- 
vember, they marched to Albany. Proceeding thence to 
'Esopus, they passed through the Minisink country, and 
joined Gen. Washington's forces at Newtown, Pa., in time 
to ci'oss the Delaware with him, and participate in the bat- 
tles of Trenton and Princeton. This regiment was also 
active in the capture of Burgoyne. The extent of the 
sufferings of the regiment between the dates of its depart- 
ure from New York, and its arrival at Newtown, may be 
gathered from the fact that when they left New York they 
numbered over GOO, and when tiiey joined Gen. AVashing- 
ton, there were only 220 of them. Death in battle, dis- 
ease and capture had nearly destroyed them. The battle 
of Bennington was fouglit on the ItJth of August, and on 
the 13th of September following, Gen. Lincoln detached 
Col. Brown of -Pittsfic-ld, with a body of 500 men, many 
of whom belonged in Berkshire, for the pui-])ose of recov- 
ering Ticonderoga and other posts that had fallen into the 
possession of the royal army, in its passage from the North. 
Though it was found impracticable to reduce either Ticon- 
deroga or Mount Independence, tlie gallant body took 
Mount Defiance and Mount Hope, 200 batteaux, several 
gun-boats, an armed sloop and 21)0 prisoners. They also 
released 100 Americans. Col. Brown was a man of great 
shreAvdness and prudence, and was among the first, if not 
the first, to read the real character of the traitor Arnold. 
Two years before Ai-nold's treason. Brown declared that 
such was his " baseness of heart — his love of gold — that if 
the British should find out the man, he -would prove a traitor 
to his country." Col. Brown was cliosen Ibr the delicate 
and dangerous enterprise of going to Canada to excite the 
province against the rule of the mother country, and attach 


it to the cause of the Revolution. It was while there that 
he sounded tlie character of Ai-nold, whom he charged in 
a handbill with levying contributions on the inhabitants of 
Canada, for his own private use and benefit. He was then 
but a young man, and was only 36 years old, when, on the 
19th day of October, 1780, he, having made a sally witli 
his men from Fort Paris, to assist Gen. Van Rensellaer in 
heading off Johnson with his tories and savages, fell in an 
ambuscade, at Stone Arabia, in Palatine, N. Y. 

Gen. Fellows was at the battle of White Plains, and 
both he and General Patterson were survivors of the war. 
Rev. Cornelius Jones, the first minister of Sandisfield, and 
subsequently a wealthy farmer in Rome, N. Y., command- 
ed a company of militia from the latter town, at the cap- 
ture of Burgoyne. Col. Oliver Root of Pittsfield was a 
survivor of the ambuscade at Stone Arabia, Avhere Col, 
Brown fell, and lived to an advanced age. Dr. Timothy 
Childs of Pittsfield was a surgeon in the Army, and 
marched with Capt. Noble's company of minute men, to 
Cambridge, in 1775. Rev. Whitman Welch of Williams- 
town, a chaplain in the Army, died near Quebec in 177G. 
Col. Mark Hopkins, of Great Barrington, died at Wliite 

Tlie tories in Western Massachusetts were few in num- 
ber, and occupied everywhere a very uncomfortable posi- 
tion. After the opening of hostilities, those who favored 
the cause of the King, at heart, were very chary in the 
expression of their sentiments. That there were a few 
brawlers, is evident, from the petition of the county con- 
vention assembled at Northampton in 1777. The clergy, 
as has already been stated, were almost unanimously in 
favor of the patriot cause. Among those who were in 
reality opposed to it were Rev. Mr. Ashley of Deerfield, 
who had married a relative of Gov. Hutchinson, and Rev. 
Mr. Newton of Greenfield, over whom Mr. Ashley was 
supposed to exercise considerable influence. On one occa- 
sion, these two clergymen made an exchange, and Mr. Ash- 
ley was informed by Mr. Newton that he might take the 
occasion to treat upon the subject of the Revolution, "by 
way of caution to the people." Mr. Ashley somewhat en- 
^■4S,rged upon the liberty granted him, and seriously offended 
the congregation. During the intermission of service, at 


noon, the friends of the patriot cause assembled, and talked 
tlie matter over. They finally resolved themselves into a 
meeting, and chose a committee to take measures iu rela- 
tion to the afternoon preaching, which they did by fasten- 
ing up the meeting house. When J\Ir. Ashley came to 
commence the afternoon service, he was met at the door by 
one of his Deerfield parishioners, who gave him a signiii- 
cant nudge with his elbow. After repeating this fonn of 
salutation, Mr. Ashley asked him the reason of the attack, 
and admonished him that he " should not rebuke an elder." 
" An elder ? an elder ?" replied his tormentor, " if you had 
not said you was an elder, I should have thought you was 
a poison sumach." Mr. Ashley had to retire without en- 
tering the church. But this was not the last of the rev- 
erend gentleman's troubles. Returning to his own parish, 
at Deerfield, he soon after preached a sermon in which he 
spoke against the patriot cause, and gave his opinion that 
those Americans who fell at Lexington had met with a 
fearful doom in the next world. Ou the following Sab- 
bath, he undertook to enter his pulpit, but found it spiked 
up. After ineffectual attempts to enter, he turned to one 
of his deacons, and requested him to go and get his ham- 
mer, and force for him an entrance. The deacon was a 
blacksmith, but informed his pastor that he did not work ou 
the Sabliath. At last, an axe was procured, and the pul- 
pit entered. 

Capt. Agrippa Wells, of Greenfield, (who, with his com- 
pany, Avas present at the capture' of Burgoyne,) was at one 
time at home on a furlough, and llev, Mr. Newton, who, 
with all his leanings to toryisni, had managed to keep a ju- 
dicious seat upon the fence, called at the house of the ofii- 
cer to learn the news. lie fbnnd the family at a meal, 
and, iu the course of the conversation, either sportively or 
m earnest, asked the Captain what they intended to do witli 
th(' tories. " What do with them ?" shouted Capt. Wells, 
bringing his fist down upon the table witli a force that 
made the table furniture ring and dance, "do with 'em, 
damn 'em, we intend to hang the devils." Mr. Newton 
probably did not indulge in any greater freedom of expres- 
sion after this than lie had before. 

There was iu Lenox a notorious tory, who stubbornly 
resisted all moral suasion plied by his Whig neighbors, to 


induce him to support the continental cause. The Vigi- 
lance Committee of the town finally took his case into se- 
rious consideration, and agreed to arrest and scare his 
torjism out of him. Accordingly, one day, on his appear- 
ance in the village for business, he was arrested and taken 
before the Committee, and told that he must either sur- 
render his allegiance to King George, or dangle at the end 
of a rojie from the sign-post. He told them to " hang, and 

be d d," for he should continue a subject of his lawful 

king as long as he had life^ to serve him. The alternative 
was immediately proceeded with, and having fastened a 
halter about his neck, he was attended with due solemnity 
to the sign-post, pulled up, and suffered to remain until 
nearly defunct. They then let him down, and suffering 
him to revive, asked him if he was willing to hurra for the 
Continental Congress. Though somewhat tamed, he still 
refused, and was suspended a second time, until his situa- 
tion became decidedly uncomfortable, and his executioners 
feared they had finished him. Being lowered again and 
plied with restoratives, he was brought to once more, and 
then informed that he must renounce his opposition, or 
hang in earnest a third time. The experiment j^roved suc- 
cessful, and he agreed to swing his hat in favor of the col- 
onial cause. He was then taken into the tavern and 
favored with a glass of toddy, when he remarked — " Gen- 
tlemen, this is one way to make Wliigs, hut, by thunder, it'll 
do it" 

An aged lady still survives in Springfield, who receives 
a regular pension from the British Government, for ser- 
vices rendei'cd that Government by her husband, who was 
on the tory side in the Revolution. She has probably re- 
ceived an aggregate of S 10,000, in the course of her life. 

Rev. Abraham Hill of Shutesbury was among those who 
were oppgsed to the patriot cause. His sentiments on this 
subject alienated him from his people so far that his con- 
nection with them was finally broken up, his church hav- 
ing become reduced to a solitary member. While it does 
not ajjjDcar that any considez'able number of the clergymen 
of Hampshire County served as chaplains in the revolu- 
tionary army, there v/ere many of them who warmly es- 
poused the American cause, among whom Rev. Dr. Josejih 
^»Lyman of Hatfield was conspicuous. Among those who 


served as chaplains in the army, from Berkshire, were Rev. 
George Throop of Otis, llev. Daniel Avery of Windsor, 
and Rev. Thomas Allen of Pittsfield, who was a partici- 
pator in the battle of Bennington. One of the chaplains 
from Hampshire County, Rev. Jonathan Smith of Chico- 
pee, still survives, and his silver hair and venerable forai 
are familiar to all in the region of his home, who attend 
the annual celebrations of the National birthday. 

It was during the period of the Revolutionary war that 
those steps were taken which subsequently led to the es- 
tablislunent of one of the national armories in Springfield. 
The town became, at first, a recruiting post and rendezvous 
for soldiers. Tlien, in consequence of its inland and cen- 
tral situation, and its distance Irora points subject to sud- 
den attacks of the enemy, it was fixed upon as a depot for 
military stores, and a place for repairing arms, &c. At 
that time the repairing shops were on Main street, and the 
mechanics employed lived in the same locality. No pub- 
lic buildings were erected then, and a laboratory for 
cartridges, and such other fireworks as were used, occupied 
a Ijarn. A few cannon were also cast at this point, and the 
late Gen. Mattoon of Amherst, one of Hampshire's bravest 
and most energetic spirits in the Revolution, used to tell 
of an order that he received from Gen. Gates, to proceed 
to Springfield, and convey a number of cannon from that 
point to the field of operations in New York. The Gen- 
eral rode from Amherst to Springfield on Sunday, and with 
a small body of men, accomplished the task, " and those 
cannon told at Saratoga." In the course of two or three 
years, during 1778 and 1779, the works were moved to the 
Hill, where, modified and amplified to an extent that rivals 
the armories of the old world, they still remain. The 
Avorks in their earlier days were protected by a guard, and 
after the close of the war, in 1784, sixty troops came from 
West Point, uiider the command of Major J. Williams, and 
" were stationed there for the Winter, as a guard to the 
magazine and other military stores on Continental Hill." 

The scarcity of money in the army during the Revolu- 
tion, is very strikingly illustrated by an incident which oc- 
curred in West Si)ringfield. After the capture of Bur- 
goyne, a detachment of the American army arrived at that 
town, on their way Eastward. While there, the paymaster 


was taken sick, and was attended faithflilly for several 
days by Dr. Cliauncey Brewer of Springfield. At the 
close of his sickness, he informed the Doctor that he had 
no money, and insisted that he should take for his fee the 
money box. This he accepted, and it is still preserved by 
Mr. James Brewer of Springfield, as a precious memorial 
of " the times that tried men's souls." 

The definitive treaty of peace between Great Britain 
and the United States, signed on the 3d of September, 
1783, was duly celebrated by such public demonstrations 
of joy, in many of the towns of "Western Massachusetts, 
as the impoverished condition of the people would permit. 
The extent of these demonstrations was, however, no indi- 
cation of the deep sense of relief and gratification arising 
from the fact that the many sacrifices that had been of- 
fered, of life and treasure, had purchased that freedom for 
v/hich they had been so nobly made. There was a public 
celebration of the event at Westfield. The "morning. was 
ushered in," by the report of cannon, and a flag of the 
United States, then a new ensign, was displayed at the top 
of a pole erected on the green* At noon, thirteen cannon 
were fired in honor of the states then composing the con- 
federacy. The assembly then proceeded to the church, 
and listened to an appropriate sermon from Rev. Noah At- 
water, the pastor of the Westfield church, " and an excel- 
lent anthem was sung, suited to the occasion." After the 
exercises closed, the majority of the leading citizens, with 
a number of gentlemen from Springfield and the neighbor- 
ing towns, sat down to a dinner. The toasts which followed 
were " each accompanied by a discharge of cannon." The 
company drank to the United States, to Peace, to the gen- 
erous and faithful allies of the states, to the Continental 
Congress, to Gen. Washington, to the memory of those who 
had fallen, to oblivion to all distinction of whig and tory 
among the people, and they drank — 

" Success to the lover, honor to the brave, 
Health to the sick and freedom to the slave." 

The evening exercises consisted of a brilliant display of 
fireworks. The Hampshire Herald, from which this ac- 
count is taken, follows its report with the statement that 
^■%>iuring the preceding week about 700 or 800 troops, on 


their way home from the wars, had passed through the 
town, and testifies to the decency and good order of their 
behavior. Northampton also celebrated the event. A ser- 
mon was preached on the occasion by Rev. Mr. Spring, and 
the proclamation of peace was read from the court house 
steps, by the sheriff of the county, before the militia under 
arms, and a large concourse of gentlemen ; " and the even- 
ing was concluded with decent mirth and hilarity." The 
ladies of the town, who had been as deeply engaged in the 
cause of the Revolution as their fathers, husbands and 
brothers, were much offended because they were allowed 
no part in the matter, and, on the next day, met and had 
a celebration by themselves. After drinking to Lady 
Washington and Congress, the following toasts and senti- 
ments were given : " Reformation to our husbands," " May 
the gentlemen and ladies ever unite on joyful occasions," 
" Ilappiness and prosperity to our families," '' Reformation 
to the men in general," and " May reformed husbands ever 
find obedient wives." Some miserable rhymester of the 
day cai'icatured their movements, in the public prints, and 
described their procession as follows : 

•* The presidentess, spry to leap, 
Led first as shepherd leads the sheep, 
The rest pushed on with sturdy straddle, 
With each in hand a pudding paddle. 
By neat tow strings all at their backs, 
Hung thirteen pretty little sacks; « 

All tied tight they did conceal 
Just thirteen quarts of Indian meal. 
Each had a spoon of white-wood metal, 
Each at her side a nice tin kettle. 
Thus fixed, they marched right through the town, 
Nor would be stopped by spark or clown. 
Old Dido with her Tyrian band 
Ne'er cut a Hash one half so grand, 
While they moved on with pomp and show, 
To take some lea and pudding too." 



The Shays Rebellion — Its Origin and Progress. 

The joy of peace and the exultation of freedom were 
destined to give early place to an apprehension of evil, 
springing not from foreign foes, for they were vanquished, 
but from internal dissensions and lawless outbreaks of pop- 
ular force. The expenses of the war, the depreciation of 
the paper issues of money, the heavy taxation, and the ex- 
tent of town and individual debts, began, some two or three 
years previous to the close of the war, to awaken a spirit of 
popular discontent in Massachusetts, that, in the course of a 
few years, ripened into a most unhappy and disgraceful 
rebellion. INIore than any otlier cause — more than taxa- 
tion or deterioration of money — the wide existence of pri- 
vate indebtedness, and the legal efforts made for the 
collection of claims, operated to bring about the uneasiness 
and its shameful and disastrous results. It is a common 
fault that, in times of pecuniary distress, the people attrib- 
ute to the government tlie evils from which they suffer, 
and it is not a subject of marvel that when a proportion of 
the people felt themselves helplessly within the power of 
their Creditors, they should grow restive, and seek in un- 
tried channels the relief v.'hich common means failed to 
command ; nor is it new that at such times demao^osrues 
should be found ready to take advantage of popular dis- 
contejat, to win notoriety to themselves, and advance their 
own interests. Conventions began to be held in Western 
Massachusetts, as early as 1781, to consult upon the sub- 
ject of grievances. These Conventions were made up of 
delegates from several towns, and, based on their action, 
demagogism took early occasion to excite the spirit of re- 
bellion. The earliest and most inveterate demagogue in 
the field was Samuel Ely. He was a cast-off, irregular 
preacher, who had acted as a minister of the Gospel sev- 
eral years at Somers, Ct. He was a vehement, brazen- 
faced declain^er, abounding in his hypocritical pretensions 
^«to piety, and an iudustrioua sower of discord ; and he de- 


lighted in nothing more than in ai'ousing jealousies between 
the poor and the rich. He brought his misguided pai'ish- 
ioners at Somei's to such a deplorable condition in a few 
years that they were consti'aiued to call a Council of the 
neighboring ministers, who, upon submitting to an exami- 
nation his moral and literary qualifications, unhesitatingly 
pronounced him unfit for tlie desli, and he was compelled 
to leave, and Hampshire County became his subsequent 
home, and the scene of his operations. Here he soon 
found his place, and his tools. No field could have been 
better prepared for his seditious spirit. He promoted the 
calling of Conventions, and then used their action as a pre- 
text for rebellion and riot, and was but too successful. In 
the month of April, 1782, he succeeded in raising a mob 
of sufficient force to distui'b the holding of the Supremo 
Judicial Court and the Court of Common Pleas at North- 
ampton. For his connection with this affair, he was ar- 
rested, and pleading guilty to the indictment against him, 
was condemned to a term of imprisonment in Springfield. 
While under sentence, and at a time when the people were 
withdrawn from the town, a mob assembled and released 
him. Three persons, supposed to be ringleaders in the 
rescue, were arrested and committed to jail in Nortliamp 
ton. These were Capt. Dinsmore, Lieut. Paul King, and 
Lieut. P. Bardwell, and they were held as hostages for the 
delivery of Ely. Another mob then gathered for the re- 
lease of the ringleaders. They assembled in Hatfield to 
the number of 300 persons, under Capt. Reuben Dickin- 
son, while the Sheriff of the County, Gen. P^lihu Porter 
of Hadley, called out the militia to the number of 1,200, 
for the protection of the jail. On the 15th of June, Capt. 
Dickinson dispatched three men to Northampton, with a 
proposition to the Sheriff for a committee to meet the riot- 
ers one mile from Northampton, in two hours and a half 
from the delivery of the message. Gen. Porter declined, 
and the next morning received tlie following note from 
Dickinson : " The demands of our body are as follows : 
that you bring the prisoners that are now in jail, viz. Capt. 
Dinsmore, Lt. King and Lt. P>ardwcll, forthioiih. That 
you deliver up Dea. Wells' bonds, and any other that may 
be given in consequence of the recent disturbance. The 
above men to be delivered on the parade, now in our pos- 



session — the return to be made in half an hour." This 
insulting demand was considered, and so far yielded to that 
the three men were released on their parole of honor, 
agreeing to deliver up the body of Samuel Ely to the 
Sheriff, or in default thereof, their own bodies, on the order 
of the General Court. Nothing could have been more 
contemptibly pusillanimous than the conduct of Gen. Por- 
ter on this occasion. That the leniency of the General 
Court in the treatment of this breach of the peace was the 
cause of the subsequent disturbances is not now to be said, 
but the fact that all the notice they took of it was, at their 
session in the November following, to pardon every man 
concerned in the- riot, except Ely, would naturally lead to 
that opinion. 

This action of the General Court, if it was intended for 
good, failed entirely of 'its end, for tlie " mobbers," as they 
were called, placed the construction of fear and weakness 
upon their leniency. The very next year, on the last day 
of the holding of the Court of Common Pleas and the 
Court of the General Sessions of the Peace, at Springfield, 
it being in the month of May, a mob collected from diifer- 
ent parts of the county to the number of about sixty, to 
prevent the session. In the forenoon, they showed no dis- 
position to oppose the Courts, but at two o'clock in the af- 
ternoon, they assembled at a tavern, resolved themselves 
into a Convention of the County for the redress of griev- 
ances, and then, after ])assing a series of resolves, adjourned 
to an elm tree near the Court House, armed with blud- 
geons. At lengtli, the bell rang for the assembling of the 
Court, when the Judges, headed by the Sheriff, appeared, 
and were opposed as they endeavored to enter the build- 
ing. The Sheriff calmly expostulated, but without eftect, 
save upon the inhabitants who had assembled, and who 
immediately commenced an action upon the mob, and suc- 
ceeded in repulsing them. Those who could retire were 
glad to get off with broken heads and contused faces, while 
several were taken and committed to prison. Afterwards, 
by a regular procedure, they were brought before the 
Court of Sessions for examination, and were bound to ap- 
pear for trial before the Supreme Court. 

On the 29th of September following, a meeting of the 
.Committees of seven towns was held at Deerfield, "to 


take into consideration the deplorable situation the people 
of the County and tlie Commonwealtli are in, and the 
more deplorable situation they are soon like to be in, by 
reason of the very great scarcity of a circulating medium." 
The Convention professed to see before them a general 
and awful bankruptcy, and, while they did not assume to 
point out tlie measures of relief, they thought something 
should be done. Among the grievances complained of by 
this Convention was the burden placed upon them by 
tlieir location in the Northern part of the County, being 
thus distant from the Courts of Justice and the offices of 
the Eegistcr and Treasurer, and, in consequence, subject 
to much more expense than those living in tlie middle and 
Southern parts of the County. This trouble they pro- 
posed to remedy by petitioning the General Court for a 
division of the Count j& or for the removal of the Courts 
wholly from Springli^d to A'orthampton. The Conven- 
tion deemed it of importance that a Convention of the 
County, should be held to take these and other matters 
into consideration, and recpicsted delegates from the seve- 
ral towns to meet at Hatfield on the 20th of October, at 
the house of Seth Marsh, for that j)uri)ose. Accordingly, 
on that day, delegates trom twenty-seven towns in the 
County assembled, and discussed ' the subjects of the 
National and State debts, and the necessity of their pay- 
ment. This body was moderate and judicious in the 
expression of its vi(!ws, but while it reconuneuded the 
good people of the County to acquire, by industry in their 
several callings, the money necessary for tlie payment of 
their taxes, they expressed the opinion tluit it was impos- 
sible for them to do so at so rapid a rate as the Govern- 
ment demanded. 

At the close of the war, the people of the Common- 
wealth had the opportunity of seeing just how far they 
had l)ecome involved, and what burdens rested upon them. 
Tlie State debt amounted to more than £1,300,000, and 
there was due the Massachusetts officers and soldiers no 
less than £250,000, while the proportion of the federal 
debt, for which the State was responsible, was, at least, 
£1,500,000. Every town was also in debt for the supplies 
it had furnished its soldiers. When it is remembered that, 
for nearly nine years, the expenditures that created this 


debt had been in progress, and that a large portion of the 
productive forces of the State had been diverted into the 
channel of war, it can readily be imagined that a people 
never rich, must have become extremely poor. The im- 
post and excise duties could only partially relieve the tax- 
ation upon j)olls and estates. Legislation became diificult. 
The people 9omplained of the policy of paying only the 
interest on the debt of the State, as not lightening them of 
their burdens, and then they complained when, in 1784, 
the Legislature issued a tax of £140,000 towards the re- 
demption of the debt, as well as when, two years subse- 
quently, £100,000 was assessed for the same purpose. 
At this time, and consequent upon the loose morals to 
which war so inevitably leads, there had sprung up a love 
of luxury and indolence. The thrifty and staid habits of 
earlier days had been broken in upon by the excitements 
of the Revolution, and the whole public mind and morals 
suifered. Credit abroad was good, and a ruinous super- 
fluity of importation followed. The opposition of policy 
between private debtors and creditors was not greater than 
that between rival interests in the Legislature. Those 
who represented the landed interest were in favor of rais- 
ing the whole revenue by impost duties, while those repre- 
senting the commei'cial interest i^rotested against the policy 
as unjust. 

On the third of July, 1782, the "Tender Act" was 
passed, for the benefit of private debtors. This made neat 
cattle and other articles a legal tender, and by its retro- 
spective operation only tended to susjiend lawsuits, and 
thus increase the very evil it was intended to obviate. 
This law did not last long, but it lived long enough to set 
a high example of injustice to creditors, which lawlessness 
too readily followed. Congress having promised half pay 
for life to such officers as should remain in the service, by 
a resolve of- the 22d of March, 1782, commuted the sum 
to five years' full pay, which latter act, though involving a 
change extremely favorable to the States, raised a great 
outcry. This matter of commutation was one of the 
grievances complained of at the Deerfield and Hatfield 
Conventions, though the army oificers had but little for the 
outcry raised on their account, the paper promises they 
received even being insufficient to make up the losses they 


had experienced on the nearly worthless money they had 
received for their regular pay. Their securities then 
passed into the hands of speculators, when the shameless 
cry was raised that the Commonwealth was not in honor 
bound to pay a man more for them than they had cost 
him, and should avail itself of the depreciation of its secu- 
rities for its own benefit. 

It has already been seen that the machinery which pop- 
ular discontent projDosed for the relief of its difficulties 
was Conventions and mobs, and this was the machinery 
used from first to last. The Conventions were at first re- 
spectable, and disclaimed all connection with mobs. Sub- 
sequently they became the abettors of violence. The 
mobs themselves had originally one object, and that, the 
stoppage of the Inferior Courts, so that debts might not bo 
collected, and subsequently the destruction of the Superior 
Courts, so that themselves might not be in danger of trial 
for their crimes. In this was found the real motive which 
actuated the rioters, while then- pretended motives were 
based upon the action of the Conventions, which published 
their lists of grievances, declaring them to be attributable 
to a defective Constitution, a badly framed Government, 
and oppressive legislation. The bold charges of the Con- 
ventions carried wilh them a moi'al power which, while it 
weakened the Government and drew to them the sympa- 
thies of many who at first would have shrunk from all 
thoughts of treasonable violence, gave decided countenance 
to the rioters, and strengthened the hands of the dema- 
gogues who led them. It was undoubtedly the fact, too, 
that, as the Conventions grew stronger and more denun- 
ciatory, better men with better motives appeared among 
tlie leaders of the mob, insomuch that whereas, at first, the 
mob was composed of a set of unprincipled scoundrels, 
who were willing to follow the lead of Ely, it finally be- 
came a larger and far more respectable body, with more 
respectable leadex's. It thus proved that the more the 
Conventions increased in magnitude and decreased in 
character, the larger became the mob and more elevated, 
until, at last, they stood on even ground, and played into 
each others' hands. Between the Conventions and the 
mobs, everything became a grievance. Lawyers were a 
grievance because they assisted in the administration of 


justice. This prejudice went so far that by popular voice 
they were excluded alike from the House of Representa- 
tives and the Senate. In the scarcity of a circulating 
medium, there was a loud popular call for an emission of 
paper money. The Legislature refused, and that was a 
grievance. In short, the grievances wei'e nearly number- 
less, as will hereafter be seen. 

On the loth of August, 1786, a Convention of thirty-! 
seven towns in Worcester County assembled in the town 
of Worcester, and voted, to start with, that it was " a law- 
ful and constitutional body." It then entered into a dis- 
cussion of the causes of discontent among the people, and 
at last agreed upon the following enumeration of them : 
" 1. The sitting of the General Court in Boston; 2d, The 
want of a circulating medium ; 3d, The abuses in the prac- 
tice of the law and the exorbitance of the fee-table ; 4th, 
The existence of the Courts of Common Pleas in their 
present mode of administration ; 5th, The appropriating 
the revenues arising from the impost and excise to the 
payment of the interest of the State securities ; 6th, The 
unreasonable and unnecessary grants made by our Gene- 
ral Court to the Attorney General and others ; 7th, The 
servants of the Government being too numerous and hav- 
ing too great salaries ; 8th, This Commonwealth granting 
aid or paying moneys to Congress while our public ac- 
counts remain unsettled." This was a formidable list of 
grievances, and the Convention only proposed that they 
should be redressed by lawful and constitutional means, 
and bore particular testimony against all riots, mobs and 
unconstitutional combinations. The Convention voted to 
correspond with its sister counties in Convention, and 
peaceably adjourned. w 

The tendency of this and similar Conventions was 
plainly seen and pointed out by the more judicious corres- 
pondents of the public prints of the period. These wri- 
tei-s attributed the prevailing pressui'es to extravagance in 
living and dress, and to the large consumption of British 
fabrics. One says : " How much soever we may be o^P 
pressed, yet thus much is certain ; we cannot be oppressed 
without justice. Why then should we wish to stop its 
execution ? If we have honestly involved ourselves in 
public or private debts, let us as honestly discharge the 


obligations we liave voluntarily contracted. "We have 
nobly bled for our liberty, and finally obtained tlie victory. 
But at the rate we are about to use it, God knows it can- 
not be much preferable to slavery." Another says — " We^"^ 
see them assembling in Conventions to concert measures 
to defraud their own and the public creditors." Still 
another declares that " these Conventions naturally tend to 
weaken and subvert the Government." The Conventionsj 
came also under the lashing pen of satire, which, following 
their mode of procedure, declared it " a grievance tliat 
money is scai'ce and a greater grievance that honesty is 
scarcer ; a grievance that one knave leads ten fools by the 
nose ; a grievance that those who have done the most to 
make the times bad should complain most of the bad- 
ness of them ; a grievance that men who cry and bawl, 
merely to make themselves popular, should be regarded, 
and a grievance that we should be so ungrateful to Heav- 
en for the salvations arid blessings we have received, as to 
murmur at difficulties necessarily incurred in order to ob- 
tain them." 

The Worcester Convention was followed, on the 22d of"" 
August, by a Convention of delegates, from fifty towns in 
Hampshire County, at Hatfield. This Convention was 
called together by circular letters from a minor Convention 
previously held in Pelliam. Tbe Hatfield Convention was 
in session for three days, and, folfowing the example of the 
Worcester body, proceeded at first to vote itself a consti- 
tutional assembly. It then decided upon a full score of 
grievances, and put forth its grievances and votes in nume- 
ral order, as follows : 

1st. The existence of the Senate. 

2d. Tlie present mode of Representation. 

3d. The officers of the Government not being annually de- ^ 
pendent on the representatives of the people, in General ' /^v^ 
Court assembled, for their salaries. 

4th. All the civil oflicers of Government, not being annually 
elected by the representatives of the people in General Court 

5th. The existence of the Courts of Common Pleas and 
General Sessions of the Peace. 

6th. The fee table as it now stands. 

7th. The present mode of appropriating the impost and ex-^ 


8th. The unreasonable grants made to some of the officers 
of Government. 

9th. The Supplementary aid. 
^' . 10th. The present mode of paying the governmental secu- 

11th. The present mode adopted for the payment and 
speedy collection of the last tax. 

J, 12th. The present mode of taxation, as it operates unequally 
between the polls and estates, and between landed and mer- 
cantile interests. 

13th. The present method of practice of the attorneys at 
y 14th. The want of a sufhcient medium of trade, to remedy 
the mischiefs arising from a scarcity of money. 

15th. The General Court sitting in the town of Boston. 

16th. The present embarrassments on the press. 
^ 17th. The neglect of the settlement of important matters 
depending between the Commonwealth and Congress, rela- 
ting to moneys and averages. 

" 18th. Voted: This Convention recommend to the several 
towns in this county, that they instruct their representatives 
to use their influence in the next General Court, fo have emit- 
ted a bank of paper money, subject to a depreciation ; making 
it a tender in all payments, equal to silver and gold, to be is- 
sued in order to call in the Commonwealth's securities. 

19th. Voted, That whereas, several of the above articles of 
grievances arise from defects in the Constitution ; therefore a 
revision of the same ought to take place. 
^^- 20th. Voted, That it be recommended by this convention, 
to the several towns in this county, that they petition the Gen- 
eral Court immediately to come together, in order that the 
other grievances complained of may, by the Legislature, be 

21st. Voted, That this Convention recommend it to the in- 
habitants of this county, that they abstain from all mobs and 
unlawful assemblies, until a constitutional method of redress 
can be obtained. 

22d. Voted, That Mr. Caleb West be desired to transmit a 
copy of the proceedings of this Convention to the Conventions 
of the Counties of Worcester and Berkshire. ^ 

'■- After further votes, giving the chairman power to call 
the Convention together again when sufficient cause might 
be represented to him, and to publish the proceedings in 
the Springfield prints, the Convention adjourned. A moreJ 
terrible list of grievances than they conjured into existence 
was probably never collected together, and, as they were 



put forth by a body of delegates ft-om fifty toAvns, and sent 
into other counties, they could not but exert a very pow- 
erful influence in stirring up the riotous spirit which the 
body professed to deprecate. They had done all they pos- 
sibly could to make the Government appear contemptible 
and even execrable. It was not strange, therefore, that 
violence should immediately follow. On the 29th of Au-"* 
gust, — four days after the rising of the Convention, — the 
day appointed by law for the sitting of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas and the General Sessions of the Peace at 
Northampton — there assembled in the town, from different 
parts of the county, a large mob, some of them armed with 
swords and muskets, and some with bludgeons, with tho 
professed intention of stopping the session of the Courts, 
and preventing the transaction of business. The newspa- 
pers of the day and region estimated their numbers at 
400 or 500, while Minot, who probably was guided by the 
representations of the judges themselves, estimates the 
number to have been nearly 1,.500. The mob took pos- 
session of the ground adjoining the Court House, and 
dispatched a messenger t6 the justices, and the other gen- 
tlemen of the Court who had already assembled, with the 
not over-impolite statement that, as the people labored un- 
der divers grievances, it was "inconvenient" that the 
Court should sit for the dispatch of business, until there 
was an opportunity for redress. The Court, of course, 
saw the whole drift and meaning of the message. If they 
had any doubts, based on the smoothness of the language 
used, the bludgeons and muskets displayed without, the 
threats of violence o])enly uttei'ed, and the shrieking of 
fifes and the beating of drums left nothing to be misunder- 
stood. The answer of the justices was necessarily what 
the rioters would have it. No Court was held, and the 
mob, after holding possession of the Court House until 12 
o'clock at night, " retired and dispersed, having conducted 
from first to last with less insolence and violence, and with 
more sobriety and good order than is commonly to be ex- 
pected in such a large and promiscuous assembly, collected 
in so illegal a manner, and for so unwarrantable a pur- 
pose." The adjournment of the Court was without day, 
and it is facetiously recorded that one of the most sensible 


of the rioters was not satisfied with the form of language 
used, as, under it, " the Court might sit in the night." 

Bowdoin, then Governor of the State, issued a procla- 
mation, in which he called upon " all judges, justices, sher- 
iffs, grand jurors, constables and other officers, civil and 
military, to suppress all such riotous proceedings" as those 
at Northampton. The proclamation closed with a beauti- 
ful and spu'ited appeal to patriotism, personal honor and 
State pride, and a direction to the Attorney General to 
prosecute and bring to condign punishment, not only the 
ringleaders and abettors of the Northampton mob, but the 
ringleaders and abettors of any subsequent riot. Owing 
to the threatening aspect of affairs, the Governor pro- 
claimed the assembling of the General Court on the 18 th 
of October, Subsequent events induced him to revoke the 
order, and to hasten the opening of the session, by pro- 
claiming it for the 27th of September. 

The newspapers of Westei-n Massachusetts — ^not over 
numerous, to be sure — were, without an exception, on the 
side of law and order, although their proprietors had more 
cause of complaint than any of their neighbors. So great 
was the pressure upon them, in consequence of the duties 
upon paper and advertisements, that they were with great 
difficulty kept in existence. The Hampshire Herald, pub- 
lished in Springfield, after two or three years' existence, 
was obliged to suspend publication, in September, 1786. 
All the ablest public correspondence of the period was 
against conventions and the mobs. Every week gave is- 
sue to some calm discussion of the agitating subjects of the 
day, some noble appeal, or some well conceived satirical 
criticism. One writer, after stating that " too much praise 
cannot be given to that numerous band of patriots who, by 
neglecting their farms, crops and manufactures, have ex- 
pended more, in time and money, than their whole quota 
of the national debt," very apply quotes from McFingal 
the following lines : 

" And when by clamors and confusions 
Your freedom's grown a public nuisance, 
Cry " liberty" with powerful yearning 
(As he doth " fire" whose house is burning,) 
Though he already has much more 
Than he can find occasion for. 


While every dunce that turns the plains, 

Though bankrupt in estate and brains, 

By this new light transformed to traitor, 

Forsakes his plough to turn dictator, — 

Starts an haranguing chief of whigs. 

And drags you by the ears like pigs. 

All bluster, armed with factious license. 

Transformed at once to politicians, 

Each leather aproned clown, grown wise, 

Presents his forward face to advise, 

And tattered legislators meet 

From every workshop in the street. 

His goose the tailor finds new use in 

To patch and turn the Constitution. 

The blacksmith comes with sledge and grate 

To iron-bind the wheels of State, 

The quack forbears his patients souse 

To purge the Council and the House, 

The tinker quits his moulds and boxes 

To cast assembly men at proxies." 

Nor were the clergy behind the press in their opposition 
to the seditious movements of the day. Both had battled 
bravely, side by side, for liberty and right, during the long 
years of the Eevolutionaiy War, and both were on the 
side of law in the troubled years that followed. The peo-'"' 
pie of Boston were so far moved by the evils that threat- 
ened, that they issued a circular letter to all the towns in 
the Commonwealth, of which tlie following extract will 
exhibit the aim and spirit : — " Fellow citizens — we now 
entreat you, by the mutual ties of friendship and affection, 
by the sacred compact which holds us in one society, by 
the blood of brethren shed to obtain our freedom, by the 
tender regard we feel for our rising offspring, claiming 
freedom from our hands as their inheritance by the grant 
of Heaven, to use your endeavor that redress of grievan- 
ces be sought for in a Constitutional and orderly Avay, and 
we pledge ourselves to join our exertions with yours in the 
same way, to obtain redress of such as do really exist.". 
But the spirit of discontent and rebellion had taken deep 
root, and, nourished as it was by the assiduous culture of 
demagogism, extended its branches upward and abroad. 

On the week succeeding the Northampton demonstrntionl 
occurred the day for opening the Courts of C<)mmon Pleas 
and General Sessions of the Peace at Worcester, and a 


mob of at least 300 men v/ere on the ground to stop the 
proceedings. They were undei* the command of Capt.^ 
Adam Wheeler of Ilubbardston, though, when charged 
with being their leader, he disclaimed both the office and 
the responsibility. His Lieutenant was Benjamin Con- 
verse of Hardwick. Other principal officers were Capt. 
Hazeltine of Hardwick, and a Capt. Smith of Shirley. 
Only 100 of the men were under ai'ms. The remainder 
carried bludgeons. The members of the Court had arrived 
in the town, and had assembled at a public house. They 
issued fox'th, at the hour appointed for opening the Court, 
and walked through the crowd Avithout molestation, umil 
they arrived at the foot of the Court House steps, when 
they were stopped by the presentation of baj^onets. Judge 
Ward, a man of spirit, had no intention of being thus dis- 
posed of. He expostulated, but it was of no avail. He 
then told the commander of the mob that he wished to ad- 
dress the people. This he was allowed to do from the 
steps, and he gave them a speech two hours long, in which 
he informed the crowd that they were committing treason, 
and that their punishment would be the gallows. Allu- 
ding to the request that had been made by the mob, that 
the Courts should be adjourned without day, he told them 
that it was against the laAv thus to adjourn. But his speech 
was without effect. The mob insisted on the adjournmeni] 
and re-inforcements coming in, and the militia being known 
to be so far infected as not to be depended upon, the 
Judges at last gave way. The Court of Common Pleas 
adjourned sine die, and the Court of Sessions to the 21st^ 
of November. 

On the 11th of September, a hundred armed men as- 
sembled at Concord, under the command of Job Shattuck 
of Groton, and the afore-mentioned Capt. Smith. Thisj 
was one of the shabbiest mobs that had thus far appeared. 
On the following day, they took possession of the ground 
opposite the Court House, and there they wantonly out- 
raged such men and horses as passed over a space which 
they pretended to guard. They had plenty of rum to 
drink, and hay to lie on. In the afternoon, they were re- 
inforced by a company of 90 men from the counties of 
Plamjjshire and Worcester, under the command of Adam 
^Wheeler and Beniamin Converse. Others scattered in, 



and rallied to the standard of the mobbers, until the whole 
body numbered 300 men. At this time, a Convention was 
sitting in the town, and, for the first time in tlie history of 
tlie convention movement, direct communications were 
opened between the deliberative and the armed bodies, and 
they acted in concert. It was the day appointed for lidd- 
ing the Courts of Middlesex County, and the Convention 
and the mob joined in a message to the justices, informing 
them of their determination to resist any attempt to pro- 
ceed to business. The Court Avas intimidated, and the ob- 
ject of the mob accomplished. Two thirds, at least, of the 
j-ioters, got drunk that night, and all appeared indifferent 
to the object that had brought them together. In fact, 
they were only kept together by the commanders whose 
names have been mentioned, with one or two other lead- 
ers. This mob had been emboldened by the previous ac- 
tion of the Governor, who, after having issued a positive 
order for the assembling of the militia to protect the Courts, 
countermanded his order, on representations that the peo- 
ple of Concord would open pacific negotiations with the 
rioters. At that time, too, the Governor had but little 
faith in the loyalty of the militia, for multitudes who would 
take no open part in the rebellion were known secretly to 
favor its cause and councils. ^ 

While these operations were in progress in Hampshire 
and the middle and Eastern Counties, sedition Avas equally 
busy in Berkshire. It will be remembered that the fix'st"" 
demonstration against the King's Courts, at the opening of 
the Revolution, occurred in that County. Having suc- 
ceeded in that measure, they were tardy in becoming will- 
ing that the Courts sliould resume their functions. No 
Probate Courts Avere held ft-om 1774 until 1778. At a 
County Convention held during the latter year, it AA'as 
found that several toAvns Avhich had been consulted as to 
their desire for the opening of Courts of Common Pleas 
and Sessions of the Peace had decided against the project, 
by large majorities. It was not until 1779 that the County 
consented, by a small majority in Convention, that these 
Courts might be opened. No business was done by them 
until 1780, aud daring tliis long period, cases had accumu- 
lated to a most burdensome extent. The agitation of the 
subject of grievances commenced almost immediately of- 


tenvards, and when the commotions of 1786 came on, 
Berkshire was no whit behind her sister Counties in the 
materials of rebellion. During the last week in August, 
and nearly contemporaneously with the Convention at Hat- 
field, a County Convention came together at Lenox, and, 
though the body was more temperate and judicious than 
other Conventions whose action has been recorded, it had 
a reformatory voice, although that voice was respectful to 
the Government. The Convention approved of many acts 
and sundry schemes of governm.ental policy that had been 
condemned by other Conventions, and solemnly engaged, 
so far as their influence would go, to support the Courts of 
Justice, in the legal exercise of their powers, and to allay 
the popular excitement that prevailed, both against the 
Courts and the Government. The event proved that their 
influence was small. At the opening of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas, at Great Barrington, a few days subsequently, 
a mob assembled, to the number of eight hundred, and not 
only prevented a session of the Court, but abused the jus- 
tices, three of whom they compelled to sign an obligation 
that they would not act under their commissions, until the 
grievances complained of should be redressed. The fourth 
justice, who was also a member of the Senate, refused to 
sign, and did not sign, the obligation. Whether this fact 
exhibits the pusillanimity of the others, or the leniency of 
the mob towards one from whom, as a legislator, they 
might look for favor, does not appear. But they were not 
content with these outrages, and so proceeded to break 
open the jail, and release the debtors confined there. 

The whole State was now in a ferment. Rebellion was 
everywhere, and anarchy stared the people boldly in the 
face. Other and more powerful spirits were entering into 
the conflict. One of the strongest and most dangerous and 
persistent of these, was Luke Day of West Springfield. 
Day was commissioned as a Captain at the opening of the 
Revolution, and served his country with honor in the Con- 
tinental army, for seven years, when he returned home 
poor, and a major by brevet. During the early part of 
the Autumn in which the principal riots occurred, he was 
busy in exciting discontent and rebellion. Frequent meet- 
ings were held at the old Stebbins Tavern, in his native 
^wn, in whose heated councils he was always first and 


foremost. His leading companions were Adjt. Elijah Day, 
Benjamin Ely, Dan Ludington, and others who had suf- 
fered from the depreciation of the circulating medium. 
Day was a good declaimei', and his bar-room harangues 
were powerful and effective. He succeeded in drawing 
quite a large company to his standard, and proceeded to 
drilling them daily on the West Springfield Common. At 
first, his men were armed with hickory clubs, while they 
wore in their hats a sprig of hemlock. At the same time, 
Daniel Shays of Pelham, who had also been a Captain in 
the Continental army, was carrying on operations, similar 
to those of Day. Shays* had not served through the war, 
but left the army in 1780. Judging from what is known 
of these two men, it was more the result of accident, than 
any other cause, that Shays had the precedence, and the 
fortune to make his name infamous by association with the 
rebellion in Avhich he was engaged. Day was the stronger 
man, in mind and will, the equal of Shays in military tal- 
ent, and his superior in the gift of speech. The two were 
the leading spirits, and co-operated with each other. 

Thus far, the demonstrations in Western Massachusetts ' 
had been made against the Inferior Courts. In doing 
this, the rioters had made themselves liable to indictment 
for high misdemeanor. Having progressed thus far, the 
next step was, of course, to stop tlie Supreme Judicial' 
Courts, and, at this point, the rebellion changed its foothig, 
and became plainly and unmistakably treasonable. The 
Supreme Judicial Court was to open at Springfield oil 
Tuesday, Sept. 2Gth. The Government had anticipated a 
disturbance, and determined to act promptly, and meet 
force with force. On the Saturday evening preceding the 
session, 120 men, on the side of the Government, took pos- 
session of the Court House, and, with increasing numbers, 
held it during Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. They were 
under the command of IMajor General William Shepard 
of AVestfield, and were determined, at all risks, to protect 
the Court in the exercise of its functions during the ses- 
sion. On Tuesday, their numbers had risen to 300, or 
more. The insurgents, thus anticipated, began to muster 
on Sunday, and when Tuesday morning came, their num- 
bers fully equaled those of the Government party. Both 
Shays and Day were on the ground, acting together, and 


passed tlie time in drilling and haranguing their troops. 
The insurgents, as a body, were apparently, and, perhaps, 
really, desirous of a battle, for the purpose of gaining pos- 
session of the Court House. But their principals knew 
better than this, for the militia were made up of the best 
men in the county, were perfectly equipped and well offi- 
cered, while, except in numbers, the mob were inferior to 
them in every respect. The Court was opened at the ap- 
pointed time, but the Grand Jury did not appear, and was, 
in fact, under arms, at the door, for the protection of the 
Court that could do no business without them. During the 
day, the insurgents occupied ground about three quarters 
of a mile North of the Court House, in the vicinity of the 
present FeiTy Street. Throughout the day, numbers 
flocked in from the towns around, and attached themselves 
to either standard, a company of militia not unfrequently 
marching in a body to join the insurgents, after they had 
been ordered from abroad to support the Government. 
The Government party wore a strip of white paper in 
their hats, to distinguish themselves from the hemlock 
bearers, and spies were traversing the space between the 
two bodies, alternately using the paper and hemlock badge, 
as they approached and mingled in the respective camps. 

In the course of the day, the insurgents sent a message^ 
to the Court, projiosing the conditions on which they would 
consent to disband and retire. These conditions were that 
the people should not be indicted for rising in arms to pre- 
vent the Courts from sitting at Northampton, or for appear- 
ing at that time to stop the proceedings of the Supreme 
Judicial Court ; that no civil causes should be tried, except 
those in which both parties were ready and willing ; that 
the militia embodied by the Government should not receive 
payment for their services, with several others of smaller 
moment. The Court refused these conditions, promptly 
and decidedly, and declared that they should execute the 
laws in accordance with their oaths. This produced the 
greatest uneasiness and excitement among the insurgents. 
They then complained to the Court that they had received 
insulting messages from the Government party, who had 
declared that they should not pass over the ground occu- 
pied by them. They were so far exasperated as to threat- 
^ an attack on the militia. At this time. Gen. Shepard 



had, for some purpose, gone to Northampton, and the com- 
mand devolved upon Col. Burt of Longmeadow. To ob- 
viate this cause of dissatisfaction, they were told tliat they 
might pass over the ground occupied by the militia, if it 
would be any gratification to them, and they would behave 
themselves properly. Accordingly, Shays marched his 
men down, and back and forth, before the Government 
troops, thus taking an opportunity to show their strength, 
in numbers and arms. On Wednesday evening, both par- 
ties had been re-inforced, and were going through their 
exercises, each body preserving its lines and its sentry 
posts. On Thursday, a little before noon, the Court ad- 
journed. This was the third day of the session, but it had 
accomplished nothing, the panel of jurors not having been 
filled. Previous to the adjournment, the Court decided 
not to go to Berkshire, according to appointment, as the 
same_ scenes were anticipated there. The militia, howev- 
er, still remained upon the spot, and the insurgents became 
more turbulent than ever, and threatened again to marcli 
down and take the position which the militia had so firmly 
and persistently held. Gen. Shopard, who had then re- 
turned, drew his men all up in order, to receive them, and 
down they came. But in coming opposite the well armed 
lines, the mob was intimidated. At this time, there were 
.2,000 men on the ground, 1,200 of whom belonged to the 
insurgcnts,^ but only about one lialf of these had muskets, 
aiul but a few had bayonets. The remainder were armed 
with nothing but bludgeons. Passing by the Government 
troops, without daring to make a demonstration, they were 
not disturbed, and after parading their forces to their 
^hearts' content, they retired to their former stand. 

The Court room being vacant, its protection became a- 
matter of no moment, and as threats had been issued in 
regard to the capture of the arsenal. Gen. Shepard with- 
drew his troops, and occupied ground upon the Hill, when 
the insurgents again marched down, and took ])ossession of 
the ground so long coveted, and then so valueless. Anoth- 
er day passed, and then the insurgents, having become sat- 
isfied with what they had accomplished, or satisfied that 
they could accomplish nothing more, separated and retired, 
in which act they were immediately imitated by the militia. 
For four days the people of the town were thus kept in 


the most distressed condition, and were in hourly appre- 
hension that a collision would take place that would fill 
their houses with the dead, wounded and dying, or lay 
them in ashes. Immediate neighbors were in opposite 
camps, and intimate friends were in arms against each oth- 
er. The female portion of the population were subjects 
of great anxiety and distress, and it was with feelings of 
the greatest relief that they saw the forces evacuating the 
town, an'd welcomed their husbands and brothers to their 
homes. The intelligence of these operations was diffused 
in every part of the Commonwealth. The disaffected in- 
dividuals in Berkshire either did not, or pretended they 
did not, believe that the Supreme Court had relinquished 
its intention to hold a session in that county. Accordingly, 
a formidable mob assembled at Great Barrington, on the 
day on which the Court should have assembled, and having 
found nothing upon which to vent their power, became 
riotous and turbulent, from sheer malice and mischief. 
Several individuals who were opposed to them in princi- 
ple and policy, were obliged to flee from the place, and one 
gentleman who held an important office under the Govern- 
ment, was pursued in various directions, by armed men. 
Houses were entered and searched by the lawless rioters, 
and inoffensive citizens were fired upon. The whole pi'o- 
ceedings were marked with that dastardly cowardice, 
which distinguishes a mob that has lost sight of all claims 
to respectability, or a respectable object, and seeks only for 
opportunities for revenge and insult. 

On the 27th of September, the Legislature assembled 
according to proclamation, and immediately listened to the 
Governor's statement of the affairs that have been narra- 
ted. His speech was strong and decided, and forcible in 
its condemnation of the course pursued by the disaffected, 
even were the grievances of which they complained in ex- 
istence. In his opinions, touching the treatment which the 
insurgents should receive at the hands of the Government, 
he was supported by the Senate, but the House was more 
or less affected by the sentiments of popular discontent, 
and while its members condemned the rebellion, they sym- 
pathized with its professed objects, and were really anxious 
that the tumult which had been raised should have an in- 
fluence in effecting reforms that they felt to be necessary. 


The joint Committee on the Governor's speech reported an 
approval of the Governor's conduct in raising the militia, 
and a promise to pay those who had been, or should be, 
called into service to defend the State, a determination to 
look into and redi'ess all grievances, and a provision that 
the privileges of the writ of Habeas Corpus should be sus- 
pended for a limited time. The Senate agreed to the re- 
port at once, and the House, after a long discussion, agreed 
to all but the Habeas Corpus clause. This, after a long 
debate, was recommitted. Petitions for the abatement of 
grievances came in from every quarter — from County Con- 
ventions and towns. At last, a list of grievances was sing- 
led out for consideration and action. These were : " the 
sitting of the General Court in the town of Boston ; the 
institution and regulation of the Courts of Common Pleas 
and General Sessions of the Peace, with the mode of hold- 
ing the Probate Courts ; the burdens of tlie jieople arising 
from the scarcity of money, and the dilliculties thereby ac- 
cruing in the payment of back taxes and private debts ; 
the fee-bill and the salaries of the officers of the Govern- 
ment." In the meantime, and while tlie House were busy 
in preparing a radically reformatory bill, the time ap- 
proached for holding the Supreme Judicial Court at Taun- 
ton. The Senate and House concurred in a message to 
the Governor, requesting his serious attention to the pro- 
tection of that Court, and the Governor responded, by in- 
forming the Legislature of the measures he had taken. 
The two houses again joined in a message to his Excellen- 
cy, in which they promised support to the measures he had 
deemed necessary for the maintainance of order, and ex- 
pressed the hope that the Guvernor would persevere in the 
exei'cise of his appropriate powers for enfoi'cing obedience 
to the laws. In addition to tlie message, the Legislature 
passed a riot act. This act visited upon all ollenders, who 
should continue, for the space of an hour, their coml)ina- 
tions, after the act was read to them, with the confiscation 
of their property, the iniiietion of thirty-nine stripes, and 
imprisonment not more than one year, with thirty-nine 
stripes every three months during the term of imprison- 
ment. The measures taken to protect the Court at Taun- 
ton were successful, the insurgents appearing at a distance 
only. The following week, the Court held its session at^ 


Cambridge, supported by an army under Major General 
Brooks, whose force was so overwhelmingly large as to put 
the insurgents beyond all idea of resistance. At about 
this time, the Governor communicated to the Legislature 
the fact that a circular letter had been issued to the select- 
men of the towns in Hampshire county, by the chief of the 
insurgents. This letter explains itself, and is as follows : 

Pelham, Oct. 23, 1786. 
Gentlemen: — By information from the General Court, they 
are determined to call all those who appeared to stop the 
Court, to condign punishment. Therefore, I request you to 
assemble your men together, to see that they are well armed 
and equipped, with sixty rounds each man, and to be ready to 
turn out at a minute's warning ; likewise to be properly or- 
ganized with officers. Daniel Shays. 

The Governor's communication was referred to a com-" 
mittee, which reported a bill suspending the writ of Habeas 
Corpus, providing for trying traitors in any county, and for 
the pardon of all persons concerned in the previous acts of 
insurrection on taking tlieir oath of allegiance previous to 
the first day of January, and not persevering in their 
crimes after the passage of the act. In the meantime, the 
House gave but too melancholy evidence that it was under 
the influence of lawless councils. Not that there was not 
evidence in that body of a disposition to support the Gov- 
ernment, in case of open rebellion, but the members were 
infected with the idea that the grievances under which the 
people believed themselves to be suffering were such a pal- 
liation of their action, as to call for tender treatment. 
Outsiders looked on with apprehension, especially such as 
were decidedly on the side of order and good government. 
They knew the temper of the rebellion, and did not believe 
that mild measures were the proper remedy for it. But 
the circular letter of Shays, and the announcement that 
another Convention was to be held at Hadley, with other 
bold and insulting measures instituted by the revolutionists, 
brought them, in a measure, to their senses, and acts equiv- 
alent to those recommended by the Committee on the Gov- 
ernor's Message were passed. In partial conformity with 
that clause recommending the suspension of the privilege 
of the writ of Habeas Corpus, a bill was framed which 
empowered the Governor and Council to imprison with,-' 


out bail or mainprise sucli persons as the safety of the ^ 
Commonwealth might require. On the 18th of November,'^ 
the Legislature adjourned. Besides such acts as have 
been incidentally mentioned, they had passed acts for col- 
lecting arrear taxes in specific articles, for making real and 
personal estate a tender in discharge of executions and ac- 
tions commenced in law, for rendering law processes les3 
expensive, for appropriating one-third of the proceeds of 
the impost and excise duties for the exigencies of the gov- 
ernment, and had given utterance to an address, instructing, 
the citizens in their duties, &c. . '"^ 

But the Legislature had reckoned without their host. 
Rebellion had gone too far, and its agents and abettors had 
read an unmistakable timidity in the action of the General 
Court. The exercise of lawless power had debauched the 
minds of those who had engaged in it, and, although the 
popular cry still sounded upon the popular subject of pop- 
ular gi-ievances, the real motives that became predominant 
had connection as well with the overthrow of the Constitu- 
tion as the advancement of private schemes of ambitiyu 
and personal security. Tlie leniency of the GovernmcivTl 
was stamped by the mob as an evidence of weakness and 
cowardice, and liardly a single individual, out of the thou- 
sands wlio had engaged in the insurrection, availed himself 
of the act of indemnity passed for his benefit. The legis- 
lators were hardly out of their chairs before a convention 
commenced its sessions in Worcester. This convention 
adopted an address to the people, in which they maintained 
the right of the people to examine and condemn the con- 
duct of their rulers, declared the course of the rulers of 
Massachusetts to have been a mistaken one, and, at the 
same time, condemned the action of the insurgents in stop- 
ping the Courts, .and begged tlie people not to obstruct 
them again. The proceedings of the convention, in the 
broad view, were characterized by calmness, impudence 
and cool assumption. On the 21st of November, two days 
before the address was issued, the Court of Sessions was, 
by adjournment, to be held at Worcester, but when the 
Court entered the town, they found not only a convention 
but a mob to receive them. No measures had been taken 
by the very conciliatory and pacific Legislature to defend 
the Court, and it was, of course, helpless. Here, as on 


some previous occasions, the mob assumed the title of 
" regulators." When the members of the Court, led by 
the Sheriff, arrived at the court house, they were met by a 
triple row of bayonets. The Sheriff, Col. William Green- 
leaf of Lancaster, addressed the crowd, telling them of the 
evil and danger of their course, and reading to them the 
Governor's proclamation and the riot act. But this availed 
nothing. During the Sheriff's address, he was interrupted 
by one of the leaders, who told him the people sought re- 
lief from gi'ievances, that among the most intolerable was 
the Sheriff himself, and that next to his person in offen- 
siveness were his fees, particularly in criminal executions. 
" If you consider my fees for criminal executions as op- 
pressive," replied the Sheriff, " you need not wait long for 
redress, for I will hang every one of you, gentlemen, with 
the greatest pleasure, and without charge." For this sharp 
reply, some one in the mob revenged himself, by sticking a 
pine twig in the back of the Sheriff's hat, and as he retired 
with the judges, bearing unwittingly the rebel's badge, his 
appearance gave rise to jeex'ing merriment that could not 
be repressed. They effectually dispersed the Court, and 
then the mob, which was in force in the region, undertook 
to co-operate with the insurgents at Concord and Cam- 
bridge. In the meantime, the Governor had not been idlc^j 
but had issued his orders to the Major Generals to hold 
their divisions in readiness for service, and his warrants 
for the arrest of the leaders, three of whom — Shattuck, 
Parker and Page — were arrested, the first making a des- 
perate resistance, and receiving serious wounds in the cap- 
ture. On the 5th of December, the Court of Common 
Pleas was to assemble at Worcester. Previous to this 
time, four hundred insurgents, from Hampshire and Wor- 
cester Counties, rendezvoused at Shrewsbury. While 
here, twenty horsemen from Boston, all men of large for- 
tunes, went after them with the determination to arrest 
their leaders, but news of their approach preceded them, 
and the insurgents got out of the way, by proceeding to 
Holden. On the report that the horsemen had Avounded a 
man at Shrewsbuiy, a party went back to give them fight, 
but the fear-inspiring score had retired, and the party pro- 
ceeded to Grafton. Capt. Shays, with his party from 
IJampshire, marched to liutland, and took up his quarters 


there, and, from that point, issued his orders to many towns 
in Hampshire and Worcester Counties, to join him. These 
movements all transpired during the week previous to the 
appointed session of the Court, and, on the Sunday even- 
ning that intervened, the Grafton party entered Worcester, 
and took possession of the Court House. During the 
night, they were joined by several otlaer parties. On Mon- 
day morning, the Worcester training band and alarm list 
paraded Avith 170 men, and marched down Main street to- 
wards the rebels. Advancing slowly, Capt. Howe sent for- 
ward an ollicer, to demand by what authoi-ity the highways 
were obstructed. He was told that "he might come and 
see." He then addressed his troops in a sjiirited manner, 
and gave them tlie order to charge bayonets and advance. 
Before their determined carriage the line of msurgents 
wavered, and breaking up by a rapid wheel, they gained 
an eminence before the Court House. The militia passed 
them, and then returned and were dismissed. 

On Monday evening, the insurgents beat to arms, on an 
alarm that a company of liglit horse from Boston were ap- 
proaching, and tliough the alarm proved to he a false one, 
they were so much startled by it that they lay upon their 
arms all niglit. About sunset, on IMonday, there came on 
a very violent snow storm, yet intelligence came in that 
several companies of insurgents were on the march for 
Worcester, from Leominster, Brookfield, &c. The storm 
continued with unabated fury on Tuesday, yet a number 
of men had made their way in from Holden. This was 
the day for opening the Court, whose members, on seeing 
the large body of insurgents already present, and knowing 
that larger bodies were in the vicinity, adjourned the ses- 
sion of their body in accordance with orders from the 
Governor, until tlie 23d of January. On Tuesday even- 
ing, a serious alarm was raised among the insurgents from 
the fact that several of them had been seized with violent 
sickness, and they came to the belief that they had imbibed 
poison with their water. A quack doctor by the name of 
Samuel Stearns, belonging in Paxton, confirmed their fears 
by discovering a sediment in their glasses, which he de- 
clared to be a compound of arsenic and antimony. This 
increased the alarm, and then the mob remembered that 
they had purchased the sugar for their gi'og of an anti- 


Shays merchant, in "Worcester. He was, therefore, charge^'^ 
with the attempt to poison them. An intelligent physician 
appearing at this juncture, allayed their fears by pronoun- 
cing the sediment to be genuine Scotch snuff, and the mer- 
chant's clerk acknowledged that he had accidentally spilled 
a portion of that article into the sugar. The merchant re- 
stored entire peace and tranquillity by making the crowd a 
present of a few gallons of old Santa Cruz rum. 

On Wednesday morning, the insurgents were joined by 
eighty men from Belchertown, and in the afternoon. Shays 
came in with 350 moi'e. It would seem, from the move- 
ment of such large bodies of insurgents, that either they 
had been misinformed as to the intentions of the Govern- 
ment, or were determined to make a demonstration which 
should intimidate the authorities, the Legislature having 
adjourned. Capt. Luke Day of West Springfield had 
answered the call which Shays issued at Rutland, and, 
with 100 men and boys from Westfield, West Springfield 
and Longmeadow, started on the Saturday previous to the 
Worcester demonstration, for the East, and a company of 
fifty others followed him. But the storm of Tuesday Avas 
too much for their valor, and drove them all back to their 
homes. But Day had made rapid progress, and gone as 
far as Leicester. It is said that while there, he called at 
the house of a Mr. Sargeant to get some refreshments. 
Mr. Sargeant Avas an ardent government man, and on 
learning Day's character, he took him by the collar, thrust 
him out of the door, and, while he administered a parting 
kick, bade him give his respects to Shays, and tell him if 
he would call upon him he would treat him to the same, 
compliment. Shays, on reaching Worcester, immediately 
billeted his soldiers upon the citizens of the town, and 
W^ednesday found the place occupied by at least 1,000 iu- 
sur2;ents. And then came on conferences between the 
members of the late Convention and the mob, and together 
they agreed upon a hypocritical petition to the Governor, 
copies of which were sent to all the towns in the three 
Western Counties. In this document, they complained of 
the suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus, pleaded in 
justification of their conduct, the movements of the i")eo- 
ple in the Revolution, and prayed that their friends in cou- 
^Ifinement, out of the counties to which they belonged, 


might, with the petitioners, have the benefits of the act of 
indemnity, and that tliey and the petitioners might, so long 
as they should behave themselves in an orderly manner, 
be safe in their persons and properties. The petitioners 
assured the Governor that they did not rise on account of 
their disaffection towards the Commonwealth, but because 
they could not provide for their wives and cliildren, and 
pay their debts. They also prayed that the Courts in 
Berkshire, Hampshix-e and Worcester might be adjourned 
until after the May session of the General Court. The 
insurgents made no acknowledgment of error, and only 
promised to go home and preserve peace, on conditions 
that were impossible to be fulfilled by the Governor, were 
he disposed to accede to them. On Tliursday, the insurJ 
gents retired from Worcester, though but a few of them 
disbanded and dispersed, for, at this veiy time. Gen. Shep- 
ard had 1200 men ready for the field, awaiting orders, and 
the leaders of the rebellion had betjun to feel that their 
only safety was in keeping their men around them. 
Among the insurgents were a number of men fi"om Berk- 
shire, who, in returning tlu'ough Northampton, were as- 
sailed by a volley of jokes from six or eight unanned 
inhabitants. The regulators were over-sensitive, and re- 
torted with foul abuse and insult, and, at last, became so 
infuriated as to make an attack on the crowd that gathei'ed 
around, with their guns and swords. The inhabitants col- 
lected immediately, under proper officers, and escorted 
them out of the town. Wm. llartly, one of the insurgents 
who belonged in Williamsburgh, was frozen to death before 
he readied home. 

Thus, the Legislature had scarcely been adjourned two 
weeks, when the session of two Courts in Worcester had 
been broken up in consequence of the threats of the mob. 
The next point at which a Court was to be holden was in 
the County of Hampshire, and for the projected demonstra- 
tion there, the insurgents instituted their preparations. 
Daniel Gray, the chairman of a Committee appointed by 
the leaders of the insurrection, issued the following address 
to the people of Hampshire County, which was published 
in the Hampshire Gazette : 

'■^Gentlemen: — We have thought proper to inform you of 
some of the principal causes of tlie Jate risings of the people, 
and also of their present movement, viz. : 


"1st. The present expensive mode of collecting debts, 
which, by reason of the great scarcity of cash, will, of neces- 
sity, fill our jails with unhappy debtors, and thereby a respect- 
able body of people rendered incapable of being serviceable 
either to themselves or the community. 

" 2d. The moneys raised by impost and excise being appro- 
priated to discharge the interest of governmental securities, 
and not the foreign debt, when these securities are not sub- 
ject to taxation. 

" 3d. A suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus, by 
which those persons who have stepped forth to assert and 
maintain the rights of the people are liable to be taken and 
conveyed even to the most distant part of the Commonwealth, 
and thereby subjected to unjust punishment. 

"4th. The unlimited power granted to justices of the peace 
and Sheriffs, deputy Sheriffs and Constables, by the Riot Act, 
indemnifying them to the prosecution thereof; when, perhaps, 
wholly actuated from a principle of revenge, hatred and envy. 

" Furthermore^ be assured that this body, now at arms, de- 
spise the idea of being instigated by British emissaries, which 
is so strenuously propagated by the enemies of our liberties ; 
and also wish the most proper and speedy measures may be 
taken to discharge both our foreign and domestic debt." 

At this date, the Hampshire Herald, published in Spring- 
field, seems to have had a resurrection, for an address from 
a leader of the insurgents — Thomas Grover of Montague 
— dated at Worcester, is recorded to have appeared in it, 
who opened with a declaration that it had " fallen to his 
lot to be employed in a more conspicuous manner than 
some others of his fellow citizens, in stepping forth in de- 
fense of the rights and privileges of the people, more 
especially of the County of Hampshire." Mr. Grover re- 
fei'red to the list of grievances published by Daniel Gray, 
and added to it very materially, by putting forth a list of 
reforms, which the insurgents were determined to " con- 
tend for." The more important of these were the revision 
of the Constitution, the total abolition of the Courts of 
Common Pleas and General Sessions of the Peace, the 
removal of the General Court from the town of Boston, 
the abolition of the office of deputy sheriff, and certain 
other offices connected with the management of the finan- 
cial affairs of the State. 

"While these efforts were in progress, to keep the public 
, juind agitated on the subject of gx-ievances, measures were 


taken by the leaders of the insurgents to raise and organ- 
ize a formidable band of troops in the county, and a com- 
mittee of -seventeen was appointed to carry those measures 
into effect. This Committee was requested to write to 
the respective towns assigned it, directing them to meet 
and organize their companies, and to call them together for 
regimental organization. The Committee was constituted 
as follows : Capt. Fisk of South Brimfield, and Capt. Col- 
ton of Longmeadow for the 1st Regiment; Capt. Sackett 
of Westfield, and Capt. Day of West Springfield for the 
2d Regiment ; Capt. Jewell of Chesterfield, Capt. Brown 
of AVhately, and Mr. Samuel Morse of Worthington, for 
tlie 3d Regiment ; Capt. Shays of Pelham, Capt. Josejih 
Hinds of Greenwich, and Capt. Billings of Amlierst, for 
the 4th Regiment ; Capt. Foot of Greenfield, Capt. Dins- 
more of Conway, Capt. Clarke of Colerain, and Capt. 
Hill of Charlemont, for the oth Regiment ; Capt. Grover 
of Montague, and Capt. Powers of Shutesbury, for the Gth 

Notwithstanding these demonstrations, which had a de'^ 
tcnnincd aspect, there was evident trepidation in the camps 
and councils of the regulators. The respectable constitu- 
ents of Conventions had withdrawn from those bodies. 
The measures adopted by the Government plainly showed 
those who had trusted for reforms to the effect upon the 
Government of violent assemblages of the people, that 
they had been mistaken. A Convention assembled at Ilad- 
ley on the 2d of January, under a most illiterate president, 
and with contemptibly small numbers. Its temper may be 
gathered from the fact that it advised the people to lay 
aside their arms, and resort to the more laudable mode of 
petition for redress. So dispirited and weak was the dem- 
onstration, that the newspaper wags of the time could liot 
refrain from the uttei'ance of their lampoons, one of which 
represented the " Robin Hood Club" to have made its 
exit at Hadley, a corpse, and then went on to describe the 
procession : 

"The corpse was preceded by the little man in the East, 
with a long white wand to clear the streets of little boys, who 
collected in great numbers, gazing at the wondrous novelty. 
At his right hand, the great and only remaining member of 
the Council of War, weeping over the petition of the men at 


arms, addressed to the Governor and Council, which he car- 
ried open in his left hand. 

Pall Holders, 
Earl of Greenfield. Earl of Chesterfield. 

Duke of Hamilton. Earl of Southwick. 

'• It was argued as their number was so very small they 
must dispense with two of the usual number of pall holders, 
as otherwise they would make a very contemptible figure in 
the rear. The club being composed of members attached to 
an ancient custom in this country, the bier was therefore sup- 
ported by four of their eldest sons, viz. : Gen. Pelham, Col. 
Luke Trumps, Col. Montague, and Capt. Amherst. The 
chairman followed the corpse as chief mourner, with his cap 
under his arm, and his venerable locks covered with a white 
cap, suggesting of what death he expected soon to die. Par- 
son Montague at his left hand carrying before him a humble 
request to the inhabitants of the several towns in the County, 
(said to be draughted by the deceased in his last moments,) 
to lay aside their arras and petition the Legislature for a re- 
dress of their grievances, at the same time giving the chair- 
man good consolation, and advising him to a preparation for 
his own hastening dissolution. The few remaining members 
closed the procession." 

Even Shays himself had become secretly sick of the 
position he occupied, and without faith in his prosjiects. 
But a short time after he retired from Worcester, he had 
a conversation with a confidential officer of the Govern- 
ment, who put him the question (premising tliat he might 
answer it or not, at his option,) " Whether, if he had an 
opportunity, he would accept of a pardon, and leave his 
people to themselves." " Yes, in a moment," replied Shays. 
This reply was communicated to the Governor and Coun- 
cil, who empowered an officer to tell him that if he would 
immediately leave the insurgents, and engage to conduct 
in future as a good citizen, he should be protected, and in 
case he should be convicted in any Judicial Cour-t, he 
should be pardoned. This Commission, owing to an early 
complication of events, was never executed. 

But matters had now gone too far for sudden retraction. 
Some of the leaders were already in prison, and the oth- 
ers knew themselves to be in danger. They therefore re- 
mained in force, while the Government, willing to give 
them one more trial, and hoping that the addx'esses it had 
issued and the orders it had uttered, would, together with 


the evident decline of the popularity of the rebellion, bring 
them to their senses, took no measures to protect the Court, 
which by an adjournment by order of the Legislature, was 
to open at Springfield on the 26th of December. But 
this, like every show of lenity that had been made by the , 
Government, Avas dishonored. On the day on which the"") 
Court was to open. Shays, with 300 armed men, marched 
into the town, and took possession of the Court House. 
Their respect for the Court led them to announce their 
business respectfully. A Committee consisting of Daniel 
Shays, Luke Day and Thomas Grover, sent a note to the 
justices, in the humble form of a petition, requesting them 
not to proceed to business. The justices had seen too 
much of the business not to understand the petition, and 
replied that, in consequence of the opposition, no business 
would be done. The insurgents then peaceably retired^ 
News of these proceedings reached the Governor, and itl 
settled the question of policy at once. He and his Coun- 
cil, in the absence of the Legislature, were determined to 
employ their full Constitutional powers in suppressing tho 
Rebellion. The next Court was to be holden at Worces- 
ter. Accordingly, 700 men were ordered to be raised in 
the County of Suffolk, 500 in Essex, 800 in Middlesex, 
1200 in Hampshire, and 1200 in Worcester, the whole 
amounting to 4,400 men, rank and file. The troops fromj 
Suffolk, Essex and Middlesex were ordered to rendezvous 
in the vicinity of Boston, on the 19th of January, those 
from Hampshire at Springfield, and those from Worcester 
were to join those from the Eastern Counties, at the town 
of Worcester. The command was intrusted to Major 
General Benjamin Lincoln. The supplies for this body 
were raised by a voluntary loan, offered by citizens of 
Boston, depending (and they did not depend in vain) on 
the Legislature to repay them when it should assemble^ 
In the meantime, the Governor issued an address to the 
people, informing them of the measures he had taken for 
the protection of the Judicial Courts at Worcester, the re- 
pression of all insurgents against the Government, and the 
apprehension of all disturbers of the public peace ; and ho 
conjured the people, by everytliing valuable in Ufe, to co- 
operate with him in every necessary exertion for restoring 
to the Commonwealth that order, harmony and peace upon 


which its happiness and character so much depended. 
The orders issued by the Governor to Gen. Lincoln, di- 
rected him to consider liimself, at all times, under the 
direction of the civil officer, save where an armed force 
should appear to hinder the execution of his orders, and to 
call for fux'ther aid if he should need it. lie was further 
ordered to apprehend, disarm and secure all who, in a hos- 
tile manner, should attempt the destruction, invasion, det- 
riment, or annoyance of the Commonwealth, and particu- 
larly those in arms in Worcester, Hampshire and Berkshire y 

That part of the army designed to act at "Worcester, 
reached that town on the 2 2d of January, the day prece- 
ding the session of the Courts of Common Pleas and Gen- 
eral Sessions of the Peace, and, protected as they were by 
an overwhelming force, there was no attempt to disturb 



The Shays Rebellion — its Decline and Sitppres- 


The Government was so strongly in force in the East- 
ern and middle parts of the State that the cause of the 
insurgents there became hopeless, and they foresaw that 
whatever advantage they lioped to win, was to be won in 
the Western part of the State, and that, by a decided 
movement. Luke Day at this time had at his command, 
in West Springfield, 4U0 men, who showed as many bayo- 
nets. These he had billeted upon the inhabitants, and 
was exercising daily, in preparation for assisting Shays in 
an attack upon the Springfield Arsenal. This depot of 
arms was greatly coveted by the insurgents, and they were 
determined to take it, before the arrival of Gen. Lincoln 
and his forces from the East. In accordance with orders 
from Head Quarters, Gen. Shepard took possession of the 
post, with a force of 900 men, and was afterwards re-in- 
forced with 200 more, all from tlie militia of the County 
of Hampshire. This army was furnished from the Arse- 
nal with such field pieces and equipments as were neces- 
sary. This was the moment for the insurgents. On car- 
rying this point, and gaining possession of tlic arms depos- 
ited there, before the arrival of Gen. Lincoln, was seen to 
depend everything like a formidable continuance of their 
operations. A ftailure undeniably involved tlie explosion 
and destruction of the insurrectionary movement. To 
this point, therefore, the insurgents moved. Day with his 
400 men, as has been stated, Avas already in West Spring- 
field. A force of 400 men, from Berkshire County, under 
the command of Eli Parsons, had taken a position in the 
North part of Springfield, in the present town of Chico- 
pee, while Shays, having consolidated his forces at the 
East, approached the Arsenal on the Boston road. Of all 
the leaders of the insurrection at this time. Day caaried 
the boldest and most determmed spirit, lie instituted 
martial law on his own account, and stopped and examined 


all passengers. Two individuals, who submitted to his 
outrages with reluctance, were badly wounded. The late 
Hon. Ezra Starkweather of "Worthington, in Hampshire 
County, was imprisoned by him for two or three days. 
The forces thus at the command of Shays numbered, in 
the aggregate, 1,900 men, an army nearly twice as large 
as that under Gen. Shepard, while the large number of 
old continental soldiers which it contained, gave it an ap- 
pearance of courage and power which the event proved 
did not inhere in it. 

On the 24th of January, Shays forwarded a message to 
Day, stating that he proposed to attack Shepard on the 
next day, and desiring his co-operation. Day immediately 
returned reply that he could not assist him on the 2oth, 
but would do so on the day following. What induced him 
to make this reply, it is not easy to determine, but it was 
probably to gain time to get the general management of 
affairs into his own hands. His message, by whatever 
policy dictated, was fortunately intercepted by Gen. Shep- 
ard, who thus learned the intentions of both commanders, 
and made his preparations accordingly. It appears that 
the messenger, while on his way back to Shays, stopped at 
the tavern in Springfield to warm himself. He entered 
the bar room very cold, and exciting the suspicions of a 
company of young men present, they urged him to drink, 
and took care to give him a very heavy draught of liquor. 
In a few minutes, he was snoring in his chair. Day's letter 
taken from his pocket, and himself placed where there was 
no danger of his reaching Shays, who, not hearing from 
Day, took it for granted that he would co-operate with 
him, while Day, supposing that his message had been 
safely delivered, commenced the part of dictator which he 
intended to play, by sending an insolent message to Gen. 
Shepard, of which the following is a copy : 

Head Quarters, West Springfield, 
Jan. 25, 1787. 
*' The body of the people, assembled in arms, adhering to 
the first principles of nature — self-preservation — do, in the 
most peremptory manner, demand : 

'' 1st. That the troops in Springfield lay down their arms. 
•' 2d. That their arms be deposited in the public stores, un- 


der the care of the proper ofRcers, to be returned to the own- 
ers at the termination of the present content. 

" 3d. That the troops return to their homes on parole." 

This ridiculously aiTogant document was signed by 
Day, and bore upon the back — " by Col. Eli Parsons." 
While Day was thus playing king. Shays was playing pe- 
titioner. The latter dated his note at Wilbraham, and 
forwarded it Eastward to Gen. Lincoln, who was, at that 
time, two days march from Springfield. In this docu- 
ment, Shays stated that, from his imwillingness to being 
accessory to the shedding of blood, and from, his desire for 
the promotion of peace, he was led to propose that all the 
insurgents should be indemnified until the next session of 
the Legislature, when a hearing of the complaints of the 
people might be had ; that the persons arrested by the 
Government should be released, without j^unishment, and 
that these conditions should be confirmed to the people by 
a proclamation from the Governor. If these conditions 
should be complied with, he promised that the insurgents 
should return home, and Avait for relief from their bur- 
dens, through a constitutional channel. But this petition 
was doubtless a sham, the object which Shays wished to 
accomplish being to keep Lincoln back, or induce him to 
believe that haste Avas not necessary in his movements, 
^hile, without waiting for a reply, he intended to push on 
Tiis operations. But Gen. Lincoln had seen too much of 
the rebellion to be easily misled. He deemed Gen. Shcp- 
ard to be in great danger, and apjireciated the importance 
of the juncture as fully as did the insurgents. The season 
was very cold, but he crowded on his troops, and, to guard 
against all possibility of defeat, he despatched an order to 
Gen. Brooks to march with the Middlesex Militia to 
Si^ringfield as early as possible. 

Shays reached Wilbraham on the evening of the 24th, 
and quartered Ins troops upon the inliabitants. But he 
was among the friends of the Government, and Asaph 
King, at that time deputy sheriff. Col. Abel King, Dr. 
Samuel F. INIerrick and Dca. Noah Warrincr met, to de- 
vise a Avay of conveying to Gen. Shepard intelligence of 
the proximity of the force. It was at last decided that the 
job belonged to the sheriff. On the 25th, Shays moved 
towards Springfield, when King mounted a splendid young 


horse that stood saddled in his bam, and started him across 
the fields, to the "stony hill road." The snow, knee deep 
to his horse, was covered with a crust, and he was obliged, 
in some instances, not only to break a path for his horse, 
but to pull down or leap fences. When he came out upon 
the road, the legs of his horse were streaming with blood. 
He was far ahead of Shays, and sjiurring on, reached the 
arsenal in forty -five minutes from the time he left Wilbra- 
ham. From him, Shepard learned all the particulars 
which he had not before known, and ascertained that the 
force of Shays was on the march. Forewarned, though 
not altogether confident of results, Gen. Shepard made his 
preparations for the reception of the insurgents, but it was 
not until four o'clock in the afternoon that Shays and his 
force, (who had probably delayed their progress in order 
to hear something from Day) made their appearance upon 
the Boston road, approaching the arsenal. Determined on 
not acting with rashness, Gen. Shepard sent out one of his 
aids, with two other gentlemen, to inquire of Shays his 
intentions, and to warn him to desist from an attack. The 
purport of his answer was that he would have possession 
of the arsenal, and of the barracks. As he continued his 
approach. Gen. Shepard repeatedly sent messages to him, 
stating that if he persisted he should assuredly fire upon 
his troops. To this threat, one of the leaders, standing by, 
remarked that " that was all they wanted." One of thSf 
messengers sent out had been a fellow officer with Shays > 
in the Continental ai"my, and, in his conversation with the 
rebel, told him that he (the messenger) was engaged in the 
defense of his country. Shays replied, "then we are on 
the same side." "We shall take very different parts, J^ 
imagine," responded the messenger. Shays sportively re-^ 
joined that "the part he should take was the hill on which 
the arsenal stood." Shays told another messenger that he 
should lodge in the barracks that night. The messenger 
replied that if he undertook it, he would lodge in heaven 
or hell, he did not know which — he hoped it would be 
heaven. This parleying was rapidly carried on, the insur-. 
gents all the time advancing. At last, it became too appa- 
rent to Gen. Shepard that blood must be shed, and even 
then his humanity did not forsake him. He directed a 
^^scharge of cannon to their right and left, and then over 


their heads. The report of these pieces was heard through- 
out the village, and excited the most intense emotions of 
pain and apprehension. Horsemen had been traversing 
the space between Main street and the Hill, to note and 
report the progress of events. But the insurgents still 
advanced, with an unbroken front. They had arrived 
within fifty rods of Shepard's battery, when he ordered 
his cannon to be discharged upon the center of the column. 
The smoke rolled up, and exhibited to the Government 
troops a most pitiable scene of cowardice and confusion. 
Three of the insurgents lay dead upon the field, and a 
fourth was mortally wounded. Their names were Ezekiel 
Root and Ariel Webster of Gill, Jabez Spicer of 
Leyden, and John Hunter of Shelburne, the latter dyinjr 
the following day. Breaking up with the cry of "mur- 
der," the cowardly host turned in reti-eat, and an attempt 
of Shays to display his column was entirely abortive. IIc^ 
had no power to stay his men, and that night they slept at 
Ludlow, ten miles distant. The humanity that had thus 
far governed Gen. Shepard did not forsake him in the 
moment of triumph. He might easily have followed up 
his great advantage, and cut them down by hundreds, but 
his object was accomplished. The enemy was routed and 
terrified, and he, in a moment, saw that the rebellion was 
no longer formidable. The bodies of the slain were taken 
to a stable, and there were suffered to lie for several days 
— until they were stiffly frozen — before they were clauned 
by friends. 

Dui'ing these proceedings, Day had remained with his 
corps at West Springfield, entirely inactive, and the report 
of the cannon had not sufficed to move him. Lincoln's 
army was still a day's march distant, but was making as 
rapid progress as possible. The day following his retreat, 
Shays, perceiving himself altogether too near the path of 
Lincoln's army, proceeded to Chicopee, to form a juncliou 
witli the Berkshire insurgents under Eli Parsons, and in 
this brief march he lost 200 men by desertion. Tbis 
movement, and the knowledge that Day still remained 
with his force in West Springfield, gave Gen. Shepard, 
notwithstanding the cowardly beluivior of Shays' men, ap- 
prehension that a more serious attack was im})cnding, but 
the arrival of Gen. Lincoln and his troops, on the 27lh, 


dissipated all fears on that point. Day, in the meantime, 
had established a guard at the ferry house, and Gen. Lin- 
coln, so soon as he had arrived, and learned the position 
of affairs, determined on a new line of policy — that of 
pursuit and aggression. The moment was favorable, and 
his weary soldiers were put upon the march for "West 
Springfield, while the Hampshire troops, under Gen. 
Shepard, were sent up the river upon the East side, to 
prevent a junction of the forces of Shays and Day, and to 
cut off the retreat of the latter. The army of Gen. Lin- 
coln crossed the river upon the ice. Upon its appearance 
there, the guard at the ferry house turned out, but, after 
making an insignificant show of resistance, they fled. 
The infantry passed up " Shad Lane," while the cavahy, 
#nder Major Buffington, a gallant officer of the Revolution, 
went up the middle of the river, to prevent the crossing 
of Day's force. 

• The retreat of Day's guard from the ferry house, and 
their arrival at his head quarters, was the signal for a gen- 
eral stampede of liis frightened troops. The people of the 
town were no less frightened than the insurgents. In fact, 
on the day previous to the arrival of Lincoln's army, they 
had removed their most valuable effects to the localities 
then known as " Tatham," " Piper" and " Amos Town," 
and remained there themselves to avoid the consequences 
of a collision which they deemed inevitable. Day's men 
made not the slightest show of resistance, but left their 
bread and their pork and beans baking in the ovens of the 
inhabitants, and fled by the way of Southampton to North- 
ampton, often casting away all impediments to their pro- 
gress, and strewing their path with muskets, knapsacks and 
ammunition. Day and his men did not pause until they 
had arrived at Northampton, which they reached that night, 
with the exception of a few who were overtaken and cap- 
tured by the light horse. Shays heard of the retreat of 
Day's forces, and then put his own troops in motion for the 
North, and passing through South Hadley, reached Am- 
herst before the next morning. His forces had now be- 
come as reckless as they were frightened. One man, an 
adjutant in the party, was killed in consequence of the 
army mistaking its own rear guard for the advance guard 
of Lincoln's party. They plundered the house of Major 




Goodman of South Ilatlley, of tAvo barrels of rum, his ac- 
"count books and divers articles of household furniture, and 
stripped the beds, broke the windows, &c. They also broke 
open the house of Col. Woodbridge, and took such articles 
as they wished for, and ti-eated other houses in the neigh- 
borhood in the same manner. Shays endeavored in vain 
,4o prevent these outrages. The party had not long left 
Chicopee behind them, when Gen. Lincoln and his army 
Avere in full pursuit. Before the latter arrived at Amherst, 
however. Shays had pushed forward, for Pelham, his home, 
and to those ble«k hills Lincoln declined following him. 
On looking about in Amherst, it was found that most of 
the male inhabitants had left, to follow the insurgents, and 
that ten sleigh-loads of provisions from Berkshire had gone 
forward for their use. An interdict upon the co-operation 
of the remaining inhabitants was uttered, and then Gen. 
Lincoln passed over to Hadley, to secure a cover for his 
chilled and Avearied troops. Day had already left North- 
ampton, and, passing through Amherst, had preceded Shays 
at JPelham. His numbers had decreased from 400 to 240 

On the day following Gen. Lincoln's arrival at Hadley, 
news came in that a small party of Gen. Shepard's men 
had been captured at Southampton, and that the agents in 
the capture still remained at that point. The Brookficld 
volunteers under Col. BaldA\un, numbering 50 men, Avith 
100 horse, under Col. Crafts, were dispatched in pursuit, 
the former in sleighs. This pursuing force Avere soon on 
the track of the insurgents, Avhom they found to consist of 
<80 men in ten sleighs. They came up Avith them in the 
night, at Middlofield. The insurgent force was under the 
command of Capt. iLudiugton, of Southam})ton, and among 
the Government volunteers was General Tup])cr, under 
Avhom Ludington had acted as corporal in the Revolution- 
ary Avai'. The house in wliich Ludington was quartered 
was lirst surrounded, and General Tupper, without know- 
ing that his old corporal Avas within, summoned him to sur- 
render. The corporal kucAV the A'oice at once, and made 
but few words before he surrendered. The remainder of 
the insurgents paraded under arms, but Avore intimidated 
by the representation of tlie number of the government 
forces, when they laid down their arms, and the conquerors 


had the pleasure and pride of returning with 59 prisonersr, 
and nine sleigh-loads of provisions, without shedding a 
drop of blood. 

The next day after the dispatch of this expedition, (Jan. 
30) General Lincoln sent a letter to Capt. Shays and his 
associate leaders, of which the following is a copy : 

" Whether yon are convinced or not, of your error in flying * 
to arms, I am fully persuaded that, before this hour, you must 
have the fullest conviction upon your own minds that you are 
not able to execute your orighiai purposes. Your resources 
are few, your force inconsiderable, and hourly decreasing 
from the disaffection of your men ; you are in a post where 
you have neither cover nor supplies, and in a situation in 
which you can neither give aid to your friends, nor discom- 
fort to the supporters of good order and government. Under 
these circumstances, you catmot hesitate for a moment to dis- 
band your deluded followers. If you should not, I must ap- 
proach and apprehend the racst intluential characters among 
you. Should you attempt to fire upon the troops of Govern- 
ment, the consequences must be fatal to many of your men, 
the least guilty. To prevent bloodshed, you will communi- 
cate to your privates, that if they will instantly lay down their 
arms, surrender themselves to Government, and take and sub- 
scribe the oath of allegiance to this Commonwealth, they shall 
be recommended to the General Court for mercy. If you 
should either withhold this information from them, or sufTev 
your people to fire upon our approach, you must be answera- 
ble for all the ills which may exist in consequence thereof." , 

To this letter, Shays returned a reply on the same day, 
as follows : 

Pelham, Jan. 30th, 1787. 

" To Gen. Lincoln^ oommandinrj the Government troops at^ 

Sir: The people assembled in arms, from the counties of 
Middlesex, Worcester, Hampshire and Berkshire, taking into 
serious consideration the purport of the flag just received, re- 
turn for answer that, however unjustifiable the measures may 
be which the people have adopted, in having recourse to arms, 
various circumstances have induced them thereto. We are 
sensible of the embarrassments the people are under ; but 
that virtue which truly characterizes the citizens of a repub- 
lijean government hath hitherto marked our paths with a de- 
gree of innocence ; and we wish and trust it will still be the 
case. At the same time, the people are willing to lay down 
their arms, on the condition of a general pardon and return 


to their respective homes, as they are unwilling to stain the 
land, which we, in the late war, purchased at so dear a rate, 
with the blood of our brethren and neighbors. Therefore, wo 
pray that hostilities may cease on your part, until our united 
prayers may be presented to the General Court, and we re- 
ceive an answer, as a person is gone for that purpose. If this 
request may be complied with, government shall meet with no 
resistance iVom the people, but let each army occupy the post 
where they now are. "Daniel Shays, Captain.''^ J 

On the next day, three insurgent leaders visited Had- 
ley, bringing a note to Gen. Lincoln, signed by Francis 
Stone, Daniel Shays and Adam Wheeler, repeating the 
request made in Shays' note, that, as they had sent a peti- 
tion to the General Court, hostilities might cease on both 
sides, until the decision of the Legislature should be known. 
To this, Gen. Lincoln i-eplied that the request was totally 
inadmissible, as he had no power to treat in that manner. 
lie again warned the insurgents against maintaining their 
hostile position, and again threw upon them the responsi- 
bility of such evUs as might follow the dishonor of his 

That the insurgents had become entirely satisfied that 
their cause was hopeless, was evident alike from their ac- 
tion and the petition which they had forwarded to the 
Legislature. The latter document was very humble in its 
terms. They acknowledged their error in having recourse 
to arms, and not seeking redress in a constitutional way, 
and prayed that, as the General Court had already shown 
its appreciation of the causes of uneasiness among the peo- 
ple, by redressing a number of their grievances, they would 
overlook the mis-step they had taken. They professed a 
strong desii'e to prevent the shedding of blood, a calamity 
which they deemed impending, if a " reconciliation" should 
.not soon take place, and solemnly promised to lay down 
their arms, and repair to their respective homes, provided 
a general pardon should be granted. The policy was, un- 
doubtedly, to remain in force while the result of their peti- 
tion was pending, for the purpose, as well of self-protection, 
and the protection, particularly, of the officers, as of ob- 
taining advantageous terms. Tlie insurgent force at Pel- 
ham, did not, at this time, embrace, by any means, all under 
arms against the Government. Squads were collected in 
various quarters. On the 3d of February, a party of 


twenty horse and 150 troops in sleighs were sent from 
Worcester to New Braintree, to look after a company of 
rebels posted there. On seeing the Government party ap- 
proach, the insurgents left their quarters, and took a posi- 
tion behind a stone wall, from which they fired upon their 
pursuers, seriously wounding two men. They then turned 
and escaj)ed by flight. 

Upon the dispersion of the insurgents at Springfield, 
2,000 of the militia which had been raised to go against 
them were discharged, as it was supposed that the rebel- 
lion would not be formidable thereafter, but, upon their 
making a stand at Pelham, the Governor, fearful of still 
further difficulty, issued his orders for 2,600 of the militia 
in the middle counties to take the fit;ld. But this was a 
useless precaution, for Shays, finding himself and his cause 
growing weaker every day, determined on a movement 
which should place his men, in a measure, beyond the 
temptation of desertion, which the proximity of their com- 
fortable homes, the promise of safety, and their wanin<T 
fortunes, were so thoroughly calculated to excite. He de- 
termined to withdraw from Pelham, and, by a stratagem, 
to accomplish his purpose without Gen. Lincoln's knowl- 
edge. Accordmgly, one of his leaders was dispatched to 
obtain a private interview with an officer of the army, and 
while the attention of the government troops was attracted 
by this interview, which occurred on the od of February, 
Shays drew ofi' his entire force from Pelham, and marched 
to Petersham, in the county of Worcester. News of the 
motion of Shays' army was brought to Gen. Lincoln at 
noon, but he supposed the insurgents were only shifting 
their position. Still, to be ready for anything that might 
occur, he issued orders to his army to provide themselves 
with provisions for three days, and be ready to march at a 
moment's warning. At six o'clock, he received news that 
convinced him that the insurgents had retired, and at eight 
liis army were on their way in pursuit. The weather was 
extremely cold, and hardly any part of New England 
could produce a path more bleak and drear than that 
which lay before them. At two o'clock the next morning, 
the army, passing through Shutesbury, had reached New 
Salem, and here came on a violent snow storm, which, ad- 
^d to the prevailing cold, rendered their march one of 


extreme suffering. Their only safety lay in keeping up 
their motion. In the mean time, the insurgents had eom^ 
pleted their march, and were snugly quartered upga- the 
inhabitants of Petersham. At nine o'clock in tire morn- 
ing, the advanced guard of light horse entered the town, 
giving to Shays and his party the first intimation of the 
approach of the government troops. No surprise could have 
been more complete. The storminess and coldness of the 
night, and the long distance of thirty miles which lay be- 
tween Hadley and Petersham, were considerations tliat 
fulled them to a sense of perfect security. They had 
hardly time to snatch their arms and provisions for a hasty 
retreat, when the whole of Lincoln's army — cavalry, artil- 
lery and infantry — came pouring into the town. The 
friglitcned rebels instantly evacuated their houses, and 
thronged into a back road leading to Athol, scarcely dis- 
charging a gun. Gen. Lincoln might have slain them in 
great numbers, but this was not his policy. lie contented 
himself with routing them, and taking 150 of them prison- 
ers, whom, after administering to tliem the oath of alle- 
giance, he dismissed, with passports, to their homes. But 
Shays and the other leaders succeeded in making their es- 
cape, with so rapid a movement, that they could not be 
traced. Two or three days subse([uently, he was at Win- 
chester, N. II., with 300 men, and the others fled mostly 
to that State, Vermont and New York. 

The Legislature convened on (lie very day that Shays 
marched from Pelliam. ]>y adjuurnnient, it should have 
met four days earlier, but such was the state of popular 
excitement in the Commonwealtli, that a suilieient number 
of members had not come together. The lirst business 
was to listen to the Governor's narrative of events con- 
nected with the insurrection, and the measures he had in- 
stituted for its suppression. On the next day, a declaration 
of rebellion was adopted by both houses, as well as an ap- 
proval of Gen. Lincoln's offer of clemency to all privates 
and non-commissioned officers among tlic insurgents, on 
condition of their surrendering their arms, and subsci'ibing 
the oath of allegiance as prescribed by the Governor. 
They also sent an answer to the Governor's speech, entire- 
ly approving the measures he had taken, desiring him to 
continue them, persistently and vigorously, and i)romising 


Ilim sucli support as it was in their province to render. 
In the ftilfiUment of this promise, they made an appropria- 
tion of £40,000 for the re-imbursement of the money bor- 
rowed of the citizens of Boston, and passed a resolve ap- 
proving of the spirited couduct of Gen. Shepard, in 
defending the Springfield arsenal. They then took up the 
petition which had been forwarded by the insurgents from 
Pelham, and voted that the paper could not be sustained, 
for sundry reasons. Some of these, as stated, were tech-4 
nical, but the first and most important was that those coni 
cerned in the petition were avowedly in ai^ms, and in a 
state of hostility against the government, a position which 
they determined to maintain until all should be pardoned. 
The last reason given was that, if the jietition had been a 
proper one, and properly subscribed by all who desired 
pardon, their cause had been supported by so many false- 
hoods that no dependence could be placed on their prom- 
ises of amendment. On the Gth of February, the Governor 
communicated to the Legislature the intelligence connected 
with the routing of the insurgents at Petersham. After 
some hesitation, in regard to the best policy of procedure, it 
was decided, in view of the new aspect of affairs, to counter- 
mand the order issued by the Governor for raising 2,G00 
men, and a resolve was passed that an army, not exceeding 
1,500 men, should be enlisted to serve four months. They 
also requested the Governor to issue a proclamation, otFer- 
ing a reward not exceeding £150 for the apprehension of 
either of the leaders of the rebellion, and to request the 
Governors of other States to issue similar proclamations. 
They also took appropriate notice qf the action of Gen. 
Lincoln and his troops, and of their march from Hadley to 
Petersham, than which a more remarkable one was never 
performed in America. 

The dispersion of the rebels at Petersham served to 
scatter numbers of them over the "Western part of the 
State, who took frequent occasion to vent, in a small way, 
the spite which their aggregated impotence had served to 
engender. While Lincoln was at Petersham, he heard of 
the gathering of a portion of the fugitives near Northfield, 
and would have proceeded to that point, but for an express 
that reached him from General Patterson, of Berkshire 
^^ounty, requiring his presence in that quarter. So, dis- 


missing three companies of artillery, and ordering two reg- 
iments to Worcester, he left Petersham witli a body of his 
troops, on the 7th of February, and marched to Amherst 
the same day, a distance of 25 miles. The next day's 
march was through old Hadley to Northampton, 8 miles. 
From this point, they passed in nearly a direct line through 
Chestei-field, Worthington, Peru, Hinsdale and Dalton, to 
Pittsfield. In Berkshire County, the insurgents had as- 
sembled, during the pursuit of Shays, for the purpose of 
diverting or dividing the attention of the Government, and 
with the ulterior object of joining his forces, should they 
be driven Westward. But the I'riends of good order iu 
Berkshire would not then tolerate rebellion on their soil. 
They accordingly volunteered, to the number of 500 men, 
some of the first men in the County taking their ])laces iu 
the ranks. At the intersection of three roads in the town 
of West Stockbridge, the insurgents collected, to tJie num- 
ber of 150 or 200 men, under one Plubbard, and it became, 
or appeared, important, to disperse this party before it 
should gi-ow stronger. To effect this purpose, the volun- 
teers for the Government turned out in a body, and 
marched for the spot. On the ai)proach of their advanced 
corps, consisting of thirty-seven infantry, they 'received a 
fire from Hubbard's sentries, and the insurgents were in- 
stantly drawn up in good order and commanded to fire, 
but they hesitated. Tlieodore Sedgwick, subsequently 
judge of the Sui)reme Court, ap[)reciating the cause of 
their apprehension, immediately rode up to them, and ad- 
dressing them as old acquaintances, directed them to lay 
down tbeir arms. Many of them complied wdth his con^ 
mand, wliilc others turned and fled. Eighty-four of them, 
including Hubbard liimself, were taken })risoners, the; ma- 
jority of whom were allowed to take the oath of allegiance, 
and return home. Two of tlie insurgents had been wound* 
cd by some scattered firing that liad taken place. Subse-^ 
quently, a number collected in the town of Adams, but 
dispersed on the approach of Gen. Patterson, re-aj)j)earing 
at Williamstown, where tliey Avere dispersed in tlie same 
manner. These events all transpired before the arrival of 
Gen. Lincoln's troops in the County, and, together with the 
continuance of the dis2)Osition of the insurgents to embody, 
■were the cause of Gen. Patterson's application for assist- 


ance. While Lincoln was on the march, 250 insurgents 
collected in the town of Lee, to stop the Courts, and were 
met and opposed by 300 citizens. The two bodies finally 
entered into an arrangement, the conditions being that the 
insurgents should disperse, and that the commander of the 
militia should, in case the insurgents were taken, use his 
personal endeavors to have them tried within their own 
County. The rebels were enabled to secure these terms 
by obtaining a yarn beam from the house of a Mrs. Perry, 
mounting it as a cannon, and thus deceiving the militia. 
As soon as the army arrived at Pittsfield, a party were de- 
tached in sleighs directly back to the town of Dalton, in 
pursuit of one Major Wiley, who had a party of insurgents 
in command, and another body of troops proceeded to Wil- 
liamstown, to look after the rebels in that quarter. The 
Dalton company took six prisoners, among whom was 
Wiley's son, but Wiley himself succeeded in escaping. 
The Williamstown detaclmient took fourteen prisoners, and 
had one of their men wounded in the struggle that attended 
the capture. 

The exasperation that took possession of the baffledy 
leaders of the insurrection, at this juncture, was great. 
Shays was defeated, and the government army was iu 
Berkshire, which then had become the stronghold of the 
rebellious movement. The following letter, from one of 
the leaders whose name has been previously mentioned, 
will sufficiently illustrate the extreme bitterness which pre- 
vailed : — 

"Berkshire, February 15, 1787. » 
* "Friends and felloio sufferers: — Will you now tamely suf- 
fer your arms to be taken from you, your estates to be confis- 
cated, and even swear to support a constitution and form of 
government, and likewise a code of laws, which common 
sense and your consciences declare to be iniquitous and cruel ? 
And can you bear to see and hear of the yeomanry of this 
Commonwealth being patched and cut to pieces by the cruel 
and merciless tools of tyrannical power, and not resent it even 
unto relentless bloodshed f Would to God I had the tongue of a 
ready writer, that I might impress upon your minds the idea 
of the obligation you, as citizens of a republican government, 
are under, to support those rights and privileges that the God 
of Nature hath entitled you to. Let me now persuade you, 
■*y all the sacred ties of friendship, which natural affection 


inspires the human heart with, immediately to turn out, and 
assert your rights. 

" The first step that I would recommend is to destroy Shep- 
ard's army, then proceed to the County of Berkshire, as we 
are now collecting at New Lebanon, in York State, and Pow- 
nal, in Vermont State, with a determination to carry our point, 
if jire, blood and carnage will effect it. Therefore, we beg 
that every friend will immediately proceed to the County of 
Berkshire, and help us to Burfjoyne Lincoln and his army. I 
beg this may immediately circulate through your County. 

''I am, gentlemen, in behalf of myself and other officers, 
Your humble servant, Eli Parsons." j 

On the ICth of February, the Legislature closed its de- 
liberations in regard to the political disqualifications which 
should be the conditions of indemnity to the insurgents. 
It was a subject of immense importance to the State, and 
called for the exercise of the most judicious counsels. 
The conditions instituted were, " that the offenders, having 
laid down tlieir arms, and taken the oath of allegiance to 
the Commonwealth, should keep the peace for three years, 
and, during that term, should not serve as jurors, be eligi- 
ble to any town office, or any other ofSce under the gov- 
ernment, should not hold or exercise the employment of 
school masters, innkeepers, or retailers of spirituous liquors, 
or give their votes for the same terra of time for any offi- 
cer, civil or military, within the Commonwealth, unless 
they should, after the 1st day of May, 1788, exhibit ple- 
nary evidence of their having returned to their allegiance 
and kept the peace, and of their possessing such an une- 
quivocal attachment to the Goverimient, as should aj^pear 
to the General Court a sufficient ground to discharge them 
fi'om all or any of these disqualifications." To such of the 
privates among the rebels as had taken \\\) arms on the 
sjde of the Government before the 1st of February, the 
Governor Avas empowered to extend the release of any or 
all of these conditions, as also to certain others designated, 
while those absolutely excepted from the indemnity were — 
" such as were not citizens of the State, such as had been 
members of any General Court in the State, or of any 
State or County Convention, or had been employed in any 
commissioned office, civil or military ; such as, after deliv- 
ering up their arms, and taking the oath of allegiance 
during the rebellion, had again taken and borne arras 


against the Government ; such as had fired upon, or wound- 
ed, any of the loyal subjects of the Commonwealth ; such 
as had acted as committees, counsellors or advisers to the 
rebels ; and such as, in former years, had been in arms 
against the Government in the capacity of commissioned 
officers, and were afterwards pardoned and had been con- 
cerned in the rebellion." The law appeared stringent to 
the advocates of lenient measures m the House, and, had 
it not appeared that the rebels were still malignantly pur- 
suing their measures in the Western part of the State, to 
such an extent as to shame the faces and shut the mouths 
of their friends and advocates, it would have been carYied 
in that branch of the Legislature with much difficulty. 

A few days after the insurgents were routed at Peters- 
ham, Gen. Shepard took his position at Northfield, a point 
lying so near to the adjoining line of New Hampshire as 
to be desirable to the rebels. From this place, on the 16th 
of February, he dispatched Capt. Samuel Buffington, with 
a company of horse, for the purpose of apprehending cer- 
tain refugees abidmg in Vermont. Having procured a. 
warrant from a Vermont magistrate, they undertook their 
work, but they found the Vermonters opposed to them, and 
so far sympathetic with the refugees, as to render it impos- 
sible to prosecute the pursuit, when they returned to North- 
field. On the evening of the same day, a small party was 
dispatched to Bernardston, for the purpose of arresting 
Capt. Jacob Parmenter, a leader of the rebels. One of 
the Government party was Jacob Walker of Whately, 
and, unfortunately for him, Parmenter was overtaken in 
the Eastern part of Bernardston, accompanied by two oth- 
ers, riding in a sleigh. The sleighs of the respective par- 
ties unexpectedly came in collision with each other, when 
Parmenter hailed the other party, and receiving no an- 
swer, ordered his men to fire. This they essayed to do, 
but their priming was wet, and their guns unserviceable. 
Instantly Parmenter and AYalker raised their guns, took 
deliberate aim at each other, and fired simultaneously, when 
"Walker fell, with a mortal wound. Parmenter and his 
associates escaped unharmed, but they were captured the 
next day, in Vermont, and secured in the jail at North- 
<y On the 2Gth of February, a large body of insurgents 


under Capt. Hamlin, entered Berkshire County from the 
State of New York, and proceeded to the town of Stock- 
bridge, arriving there on the morning of tlie 27th. Halt- 
ing at a house kept by Mrs. Bingham, they divided them- 
selves into parties, for the purpose of 'pillaging the village. 
One of these parties found Jahleel Woodbridge in bed, 
made him captive, and plundered the house of all its val- 
uables. Entering the house of Deacon Ingersoll, they 
found the good man at prayer. Mrs. Ingersoll, understand- 
ing the weak points of the mob, went to the door and 
handed them a bottle of brandy, with which they content- 
edly marched off. Ira Seymour was a character peculiarly 
offensive to them, and several houses were passed in their 
anxiety to reach him, but he escaped, though without shoes 
to protect his feet from tlie snoAV. From Capt. Jones, they 
stole a large quantity of " military stores," and, what he 
esteemed more highly than aught else, and never recov- 
ered, a belt of wampum, given him by the Indians, in token 
of friendship. They also took, as prisoners, him and his 
sons Josiah and William, an old negro woman who was 
laboring in the family, und the hired man, who at once de- 
clared himself to be a Shays man, and ready and anxious 
to join the insurgents, but he was not believed, and was 
driven off with the others. Passing to the house of Dr. 
Sergeant, they broke open the chamber of Mercy Scott, a 
seamstress, and stole her silver shoe-buckles. They then 
secured Dr. S., two medical students of the name of Hop- 
kins and Catlin, and Dr. Partridge, Moses Lynch and a 
hired man, and marched them off as prisoners. They then 
proceeded to the house of Gen. Ashley, and took him. 
One band entered the store of a Mr. Edwards to get spir- 
ituous liquors. From the office of Theodore Sedgwick, 
they took Ephraim Williams and Henry Hopkins prison- 
ers, and stole a quantity of linen from the drawers. At 
the house of Mr. Sedgwick, they met with their match. 
They found there P21izabeth Freeman, popularly known as 
" Mum Bett," a woman of color. She armed herself with 
the kitchen fire-shovel, and escorted the gentlemen over 
the house and into the cellar, forbidding all wanton destruc- 
tion of property, under penalty of a blow from the shovel. 
On reaching her own chest, in which she had secreted the 
family silver, the robbers asked her what it contained. 


" Oh, you had better search that," she replied, " an old 
nigger's chest !" And thus she succeeded in shaming them 
out of it. One of the robbers stole Mr. Sedgwick's horse, 
a favorite of " Mum Bett," but after mounting him was 
thrown to the ground. Bett seized the horse, and giving 
him a furious blow, supposed she had sent him beyond the 
reach of the thievish clan, but he was retaken by them, 
and never returned. At the house of Asa Bement, Jr., 
they were very violent, and fired upon a boy who endeav- 
ored to escape on horseback, with a white paper in his 
hat. Tiie boy leaped from the horse, and escaped to the 
house of the elder Mr. Bement, but before the scoundrels 
could reach that house, they were recalled in order to com- 
mence their march. 

When the prisoners had been brought in, they were pa- 
raded in front of a locality now occupied by the new 
grave-yard. At this moment, Nathaniel Lynch, Asa Be- 
ment, Jr., George Kirkland and Ned Monday, a colored 
man, rode up, threatened to fire upon the robbers, and ac- 
cordingly discharged their pieces. They were immediately 
pursued. Kirkland's horse leaped the fence, and carried 
his rider to the house of a Mr. Tucker. He was met at 
the door by a young woman who told him thaf there was a 
Shays man within. The Shays man proved to be a Ger- 
man soldier, known as '' Little Pete," and belonging in 
"West Stockbridge. Rushing out, he seized Kirkland's 
horse by the bridle, and, pointing a pistol at his breast, or- 
dered him to surrender. There was -no resisting such an 
argument, and Kirkland was led back, into the line of pris- 
oners. Little Pete mounted his horse, and, content with 
his share in the spoils, struck a fast gait for Vermont or 
Canada, from whence he did not return for twenty years. 
Lynch and Bement were pursued to a swamp, and fired 
upon, but not injured. A portion of Hamlin's party had 
become so drunk as to be unable to proceed, but the re- 
mainder, after sending Gen. Ashley, wliom Hamlin had 
recognized as a fellow officer in the Revolution, back to his 
home, marched with their prisoners for Great Barrington. 
In the meantime, messengers had gone in every direction, 
announcing the presence of the insurgents. 

On reaching Great Barrington, Hamlin's party stopped 
for liquor at the house of a Mr. Bement, and then they 



called upon Mrs. Bement to show tliem the jail, wliich was 
attached to the house, in order, as they said, to see if it 
was strong enough to hold their prisoners, when they should 
get ready to store them there. There was hut one way for 
the lady, who went around, unlocking the cells, and sing- 
ing with charming unconcern and mischievous pleasantry : 

" Ye living men come view the grouna, " 

Where you must shortly lie !" 

The dehtors in the jail were all released, but, as the peo- 
ple of the town had taken the alarm, and information of 
their approach had been forwarded to Sheffield, there was 
little chance for plunder, and the robbers began to take 
measures for their safety. -^ 

The militia of Sheffield had been collected under Lieut. 
Goodrich, and were joined by a company from Great Bar- 
rington, raising the whole number to 80 men. A report 
was then received, that the insurgents were beating a rc- 
. treat through Egremont to New York, when the Govern- 
ment party, under the command of Col. John Ashley, took 
a back road, and, in their sleighs, drove for the residence 
of Francis Hare Jr., in Egremont. They had not pro- 
ceeded far, when they found that the insurgents were in the 
rear in pursuit. A halt was made, the sleighs drawn aside, 
and the party, amid considerable confusion, attempted to form. 
Lieut. Goodrich then took his Slieffield company through 
a lot of girdled trees on the West side of the road, while 
Capt. Ligersoll, witli the Great Barrington company, ad- 
vanced througli a wood on the Eastern side, engaging in a 
scattering fire during tlieir progress, being first fired upon 
by the insurgents. Quite a hot engagement of a few l)rief 
minutes ensued, when the rebels turned in flight. Other 
parties of government forces soon came in, one being from 
Lenox, under Capt. AYilliam Walker. A number of pris- 
oners, variously stated, from 25 to 60, were taken. Col. 
Ashley, in his official dispatch to Gen. Lincoln, gives the 
former number, while Minot multii)lies the number by two. 
Thirty of the insurgents were Avounded, among whom was 
Hamlin himself. Two were killed outright, and a third, 
one Rathbun, died some time afterwards of his wounds. 
In the melee, Solomon Gleazen, the village schoolmaster 
of Stockbridge, one of Hamlin's prisoners, was shot dead. 


A Mr. Porter, of the Great Barrington militia, was stot 
dead, and carried home to his wife before she was aware 
of his falh Dr. Burghardt of Richmond was wounded. 
After securing the prisoners, and ordering those members 
of the Stockbridge militia, who had been released from 
captivity by Hamlin's tlight, into the ranks, a council of 
war was held, and the troops marched from the field. The 
prisoners were first taken to Great Barrington, but the 
jail was not large enough to hold them, and they were 
taken to Lenox, under an escort of a line of sleighs a mile 
in length, and with such demonstrations of mock pomp, 
and grotesque hilarity as the occasion was calculated to in- 
sj)ire. Half an hour previous to the action, Hamlin pa- 
roled a number of his prisoners, on the condition that they 
should proceed to Egremont, under an insignificant guard 
of four men. These were relieved by a party of horse, 
and sent back to their homes. 

The plunder of Stockbridge by the insurgents under 
Hamlin, Avas the last important demonstration made dui'ing 
the rebellion, and the action that took place between them 
and the volunteers under Col. Ashley was, in fact, the only 
fight tliat occurred from first to last. It was the first and 
only instance in which a considerable body of the rebels 
exhibited the slightest courage, and, from the quantity of 
liquor they had stolen and drunk during the day, it is not 
uncharitable to suppose that their ephemeral bravery was 
more properly attributable to artificial excitement than 
genuine courage. The insurrection had now degenerated 
into nothing better than a wholesale system of robbery, 
which no decent man, and no man holding the smallest 
stake in the peace and good order of the community, could 
apologize for, or attempt to justify. 

It will have been noticed that this band came from New[ 
York, as, also, that upon the dispersion of the rebels at 
Petersham, they fled to adjoining States. In those States, 
they Avere not content with finding a refuge from pursuit, 
and an opportunity for revenging themselves by passing 
over the border, as occasion permitted, and committing 
their outrages in Massachusetts, but they sought to diffuse 
their seditious principles among those who afforded them a 
shelter. Already a spirit of insurrection had appeared in 
several of the adjacent States. So wide was this spirit in 



its power and prevalence, and so strongly was the move- 
ment ill Massachusetts regarded as the central and decisive 
field of operations, that " Hurra for Shays !" was as famil- 
iar a watchword in Connecticut, Vermont and New Hamp- 
shire, as in Western Massachusetts. The safety which the 
rebel refugees enjoyed, in their retreats beyond the lines 
of home jurisdiction, presented a difficulty which the Gen- 
eral Court sought to obviate, by requesting tlie Governor 
to write to the Governors of the neighboring States, asking 
them to take measures for the apprehension of the rebels, 
and for preventing them from the acquisition of supplies. 
The States applied to were, for reasons rather to be strong- 
ly suspected than boldly asserted, very slow and tame in 
their responses. Rhode Island responded first, and, after 
promising what was desired, contented herself v,'ith allow- 
ing the refugees to roam throughout the State at their will. 
The Governor of Connecticut promised aid, issued a pro- 
clamation offering a reward for tlie apprehension of "ihe 
rebels, and, assisted by a resolution of" the Legislature of 
that State, showed his sincerity by his works. New Hamp- 
shire acted honorably and efficiently. 

After the news of the Stockbridge incursion reached the 
Legislature, that body requested the Governor to write 
again to the Governor of New York, from Avhom, as well 
as from the Governor of Vermont, no re])ly had been re- 
ceived, urging liim to take measures for tlie apprehension 
of such rebels as had taken refuge in that State, founding 
his plea for such action on the articles of confederation lit" 
erally interpreted. Unknown to the General Court, Gen. 
Lincoln had anticipated their action, and immediately after 
the Stockbridge demonstration, sent a disi)atcli to the Gov- 
ernor of New York, giving the origin and history of that 
event. ^ The New York Legislature was then in session, 
and, after listening to the communication, resolved to re- 
commend it to the Governor to repair to the spot where 
the insurgents might be, call out the militia to his support, 
and to take all necessary measures for the apnrehension of 
such insurgents as might be found within the bounds of 
the State. The Governor immediately issued orders for 
raising a brigade and three regiments of militia, to hold 
themselves ready for motion at a moment's warning, and 
took his measures with such promptness and efficiency, that 


the refugees were obliged to flee to Vermont, the only ad- 
joining State that was not, nominally, at least, shut against 
them. A singular incident was connected with the flight 
which the insurgents found it necessary to make from New 
York. On the 3d of Maj'ch, Levi Bullock of Lanesboi-- 
ough, a young man, and one of those engaged in plunder- 
ing Stockbridge, returned home. He was so fearful of 
apprehension that he dared not show himself, except to a 
boy named Thomas Mayo, whom he persuaded to go out 
with him and lodge in what is popularly called a " potato 
hole" — a place dug out for the storage of vegetables in the 
winter. They took a bed, and a small pot of live coals. 
Closing the entrance to their cave, and lying down upon 
their bed, they were both found dead the following day. 
» Finally, Vermont, after wavering for some time in the 
fear of stirring up rebellion at home, where the popular 
feeling was strongly sympathetic with the Massachusetts 
insurgents, came into the line of judicious and neighborly 
policy, and, on the 27th of February, the Governor issued 
his proclamation for the apprehension of the rebels ; and 
in communicating the same to the Governor of Massachu- 
setts, he assured him of his co-operation in the measures 
instituted for checking the intestine broils in the sister 
Commonwealth. The Legislatui*e of Pennsylvania also 
showed a generous compliance with the Governor's re- 
quest, and made an addition to the reward oifered by him 
for the apprehension of the leaders of tlie rebellion. 

Thus, measures having been effectually taken to subdue 
and keep under subjection the rebellion within the State, 
and to place it under ban in the adjace;it jurisdictions, the 
Legislature turned its attention to the trial of those already 
in the custody of the law. It was decided tliat the Su- 
preme Judicial Court should hold a special session in each 
of the disaffected Counties of Berkshire, Hampshire and 
Middlesex, leaving the Court to hold its regular session in 
Worcester, on the last Tuesday in April. A law was 
enacted at the same time, excluding from juries those who 
had in any manner been guilty of favoring the rebellion, 
with the provision that a subsequent vote of the town 
might restore their names to the jury box. But this law 
was not of very generally operative application, for, in 
some towns, the sympathy in favor of the rebellion had 


been so pervasive that hardly a sufficient number of men 
was left to fill the necessary town offices. This state of 
things called for a legislative remedy, and it was instituted 
by the appointment of three Commissioners, who were 
empowered to grant indemnity to all who had been con- 
cerned in the rebellion in that indirect manner that placed 
them beyond the cover of the act of indemnity, on their 
subscribing the oath of allegiance, and furnishing satisfac- 
tory evidence of their return to faitliful citizenship. This 
indemnity was to be granted with the remission of any or 
all of the conditional disqualifications attached to the gen- 
eral act of indemnity. The Commissioners were also author- 
ized to remit the disqualifying conditions to those who had 
taken the benefit of the act of indemnity, provided that 
satisfactory evidence of their repentance and amendment 
should be adduced, excluding, liowever, from their protec- 
tion, Daniel Shays, Luke Day, Eli Parsons and Adam 
"Wheeler, all those persons who had fired upon or killed 
citizens in the peace of the Commonwealth, with the com- 
mander of their party ; and, also, the members of the rebel 
Council of War, and all those against Avhom the Governor 
and Council had issued a warrant, unless liberated on bail. 
The Commission consisted of Gen. Lincoln, Samuel Phil- 
lips, Jr., President of the Senate, and Samuel Allyne 
Otis, Speaker of the House of Representatives. In order 
to protect the places of trust from feigned converts to the 
Government, a resolution was passed, directing that Se- 
lectmen and other town ollicers should take and subscribe 
the oath of allegiance. -, 

While providing thus, in the most judicious manner, for 
the trial of the principal criminals, and lor restoring tlie 
masses that had been in rebellion to relations of peace with 
the Commonwealth, the Legislature did not forget to con- 
tinue the reformatory progress it had commenced at the 
previous session. It reduced the number of terms of 
liolding the sessions of the Courts of Common Pleas and 
General Sessions of the Peace, enacted a new fee-bill con- 
siderably diminishing the fees of attorneys and public offi- 
cers, and appointed a committee to inquire whether there 
were any real public grievances under which the peo{)le 
suffiired. This Committee reported tln-ee, viz : — " Tliat 
suitable provision had not been made for the seasonable > 



and punctual payment of the interest due on public secu- ' 
rities ;" " that the Treasurer had not been laid under great- 
er restrictions with regard to the drawing of orders," and 
" That the salary established by law for the support of the 
first Magistrate of the Commonwealth, was higher than 
was reasonable." 

A bill was passed for the redress of this latter grievance, 
reducing the Governor's salary from £1,100 to £800. 
This bill the Governor returned with objections, based on 
Constitutional provisions, stating, in connection, that, al- 
though his expenditures far exceeded his income, he would 
consent to the reduction so far as he was personally con- 
cerned, but it was neither in his power, nor in consonance 
with his inclination, to diminish or render precarious the 
salary of his successors. The necessary two-thirds of the 
Legislature could not be obtained for over-riding the veto, 
and the measure consequently fell to the ground. The 
Legislature was then, on the 10th of March, prorogued to 
the ensuing annual election. 

The Commission for granting indemnity to persons con- 
cerned in the rebellion went busily to work, and not les3 
than 790 persons availed themselves of its offices. Li the 
meantime, the trials of those under ai-rest came on in 
Berkshire, Hampshire, Worcester and Middlesex. These 
trials, of course, excited the widest popular attention and 
interest. The Supreme Judicial Court, sitting in Great 
Barrington, for the County of Berkshire, found six persons 
guilty of high treason, and condemned them to death, viz : 
Samuel Rust of Pittsfield, Peter Williams, Jr., of Lee, 
Nathaniel Austin of Shelfield, Aaron Knap of West 
Stockbridge, Enoch Tyler of Egremont, and Joseph Wil- 
liams of New Marlboro. The following were sentenced to 
various grades of punishment for seditious words and prac- 
tices : William Whiting of Great Barrington — £100 fine, 
imprisonment for seven months, and recognizance in the 
sum of £300 to keep the peace for five years ; John Dem- 
ing of West Stockbridge — a fine of £60, and recognizance 
in"£l00 to keep the peace for three years; John Hubbard 
of Shelfield — a fine of £100 and recognizance in £200 to 
keep the peace for four years ; Daniel Sackett of Pittsfield 
— a fine of £60, and recognizance in £100 to keep the 
j)eace for three years. Six were also convicted at the 


Court held in Northampton, and condemned to death, viz : 
Jason Parmcnter of Bernardston, Daniel Liidington of 
Southampton, Alpheus Colton of Longmeadow, James 
White of Colerain, John Wheeler of Hai'dwick, and Henry 
IVTcCulloch of Pelham. Those convicted of treasonable 
words and practices, and sentenced to lower grades of pun- 
ishment were : Joseph Jones — (his crime being an assault 
upon and fii'ing a pistol at the Deputy Sheriff in the exe- 
cution of his office,) one hour on the gallows, and recog- 
nizance in £80 to keep the peace for two years ; Silas 
Hamilton, Esq., of Whitingham, Vt., (for stirring up sedi- 
tion in this Commonwealth.) to stand one hour in the pil- 
lory, and be publicly whipped on the naked back with 
twenty stripes ; Moses Harvey, a fine of £50, to sit on the 
gallows with a rope around his neck for one hour, and re- 
cognizance in £200 to keep the peace for five years ; John 
Severance, a fin^ of £30 and recognizance in £100 to 
keep the peace for three years ; Abner Fowler, a fine of 
£50, imprisonment for twelve months, and bonds to keep 
the peace for five years ; Thomas Ivillam — a fine of £20, 
and recognizance in £50 to keep the peace for three years ; 
and Samuel Rose, an hour in the pillory, and a public 
whipping, with twenty stripes. 

Ilenry Gale of Princeton was tried and condemned to^ 
death in Worcester, and Job Shattuck of Groton, at Con- 
cord. Fourteen individuals were thus under sentence of 
death for leadership and acts of criminal violence in the 
rebellion, and a large number under milder sentences, fur 
acting minor parts in the same revolt. One convict, (Mo- 
ses Harvey) a member of the House of Representatives, 
who was sentenced to an hour's occupation of the gallows 
with a rope around his neck, the payment of a fine of £50 
and bonds to keep the peace and be of good behavior for 
five years, received his punishment, and this sentence, as 
will hereafter be seen, was the only one, of all those pro- . 
nounced, that was ever executed. 

The movements of the insurgents during this time, and 
subsequently, were not particularly note-worthy. One 
night, towards the last of April, some twenty-five insur- 
gents assembled under arms on the West side of the river 
at Northfield, and beat tlieir drums and fired their guns. 
They were, probably, n company who had come down from 


Vermont and New Hampsliire to reconnoiter, and they 
quickly fled before tlae troops stationed there, under Gen. 
Shepard. Among the last days of May, Capt. Bingham 
of Partridgefield was arrested for his participation in the 
rebellion, and committed to jail in Northampton. About 
the same time, four men engaged in sowing seditious senti-, 
ments in Connecticut were taken into custody by the au- 
thorities of that^State, in accordance with the proclamation 
of the Governor and the action of the Legislature. On 
the 29th of the same month, Lieut. Bullard of Orange was 
arrested in Swanzey, N. IL, while enlisting men for Shays, 
and committed to jail in Northampton, with two accompli- 
ces. At a later date, three guns were discharged upon the 
dwelling house of Joshua Healey of Chesterfield, the balls 
entering the house. This was in consequence of Mr Hea- 
ley's commencement of a suit for damages, previously in- 
flicted by the insurgents. Still, the insurgents were busy. 
Their leaders, they saw, were under the extremest sen- 
tence of the law, and although they could not hope to suc- 
ceed in their schemes of rebellion, they were extremely 
anxious to rescue the convicts from the punishment to 
which they were sentenced. They threatened and bullied, 
and declared that their predatory incursions were only pre- 
liminary to a general invasion. Some of them even went 
to Canada to solicit the aid of that Government, but with- 
out success. In the meantime, the Governor and Council, 
in the exercise of that remai-kable lenity that had ever 
marked their policy, on the 30th of April extended a free 
pardon to eight of those sentenced to death in the Western 
Counties, leaving only two to be hung in each County, and 
these were to be hung in the latter part of May. Prepa- 
rations were accordingly made at the proper time for their 
execution. Gen. Shepard moved down from Northfield to 
Northampton with his troops, to protect the officers of the 
law in the execution of their duty. A gallows had been 
erected, and all the preparations made for the solemn event. 
"When all was ready, and it had been demonstrated to those 
who had declared that these convicts should not be hung, 
that the Government was abundantly able to carry out the 
execution of the laws, the Sheriff opened a reprieve of the 
sentence to the 21st of June following, which had been 
granted by the Governor on the 17th of May, and read it 


to the assembled multitude. Yet, notwithstanding the len- 
ient course pursued by the Government, the malignant 
remnants of the broken rebellion still took occasion to vent 
their spite. Scarcely had Gen. Shepard with his troops 
left Northfield to attend the execution, when a party of rebel 
officers, with a number of the inliabitants of New Hamp- 
shire, under the command of Col. Smith of New Salem, 
proceeded to Warwick, and made Dr. Medad Pomeroy and 
Joseph Metcalf prisoners. These were both highly re- 
spectable and well known men, and a paper left in the house 
of Dr. Pomeroy stated that they were to be reserved a3 
hostages to secure the lives of Jason Parmenter and Hen- 
ry McCulloch, then under sentence of death. The paper 
declared that if those two convicts should be executed, the 
prisoners should also be put to death. Both were, howev- 
er, soon afterwards allowed to escape, probably in conse- 
quence of the fact that the convicts had been reprieved, 
though the consciousness that they would find it difficult to 
hold them doubtless had its effisct. 

The Governor was unexpectedly called upon, by the 
death of the Treasurer of the Commonwealth, to call the 
Legislature together again — making the fourth session of 
the year. Tliis was subsequent to the annual election"! 
which had resulted in removing Gov. Bowdoin from tlie 
Chief Magistracy, and bestowing that office upon Jolm 
Hancock, and in such changes in the Legislature as showed 
that the rebellion had been more widely sympathized in | 
than the Government had' ever dreamed. On meeting for^ 
the last time the out-going Legislature, Gov. Bowdoin ex- 
pressed his gratification tliat he was about to retire from 
office, and nobly declared that he should liave expressed 
his w'ish for retirement earlier, could he have done it with- 
out the imputation of deserting the people wliile their af- 
fairs were in a critical situation. In taking his leave of 
the Court, he conferred his best wishes upon the Common- 
wealth, and expressed the hope '' that the people might have 
just ideas of liberty, and not lose it in licentiousness, and 
in despotism, its natural consequence." During the session 
of the Court, the Commissioners for granting pardon to 
offijnders made their report, in which they declared that, 
beyond the obvious and well known causes of the rebel- 
lion, a delusion in regard to the action and position of the 


General Court had been a powerful cause in sowing discord 
and discontent, and that this delusion had, in too many in- 
stances, been excited and fostered by the members of the 
General Court themselves. For this, the General Court 
were disposed to make amends, and before they rose, they 
passed a reply to the Governor's address, in which they 
accoi'ded to him the warmest praise for the measures he 
had adopted, declared their sincere confidence in his char- 
acter, expressed regret for his retirement from office, and 
gave utterance to their wish that he might receive from a 
grateful jieople those marks of aifectiou and esteem whicb 
were the proper reward for his services and merits. 

The rebels and their sympathizers had now a Governor 
and Legislature of their own choosing, but that Governor 
and that Legislature, in their very first acts, set aside the 
most unjust verdict which the people had rendered against 
Gov. Bowdoin, and endorsed his conduct by following his 
policy. Gov. Hancock, in his ojiening speech from thel 
chair, communicated the intelligence of the incursions that 
had been made, and submitted whether it would not be ab- 
solutely necessary to continue in service the troops then 
stationed in Hamj)shire and Berkshire, so long as it might 
be judged necessary to secure safety and tranquillity to 
those counties. The Committee on the Governor's Mes- 
sage reported a resolution requesting him to raise 800 men 
for the protection of the Western Counties, to continue in 
service for six months, unless discharged earlier. The 
Senate assented to this, but, after the House had debated 
it, they sent down an order for the appointment of a Com- 
mittee to consider the expediency of repealing the act of 
disqualifications (under certain resti'ictions) to those wlio, 
within a specified time, should take the oath of allegiance 
to the Commonwealth. In the subsequent debates in the 
House, the feeling of a portion of the members became 
discoverable in their wish that the indemnity should be 
indiscriminate and entire. The final decision was, that not 
less than 500 nor more than 800 men should be raised for 
the Western Counties, and that, with the exception of nine 
persons, all who would take and subscribe the oath of alle- 
giance before the 12tli day of the ensuing September, 
should be pardoned. In the House, the measure for a gen"^ 
^**eral pardon was decided in the negative by a vote of 120 


to 94. Thus did the Governor and the Legislature con- 
demn the policy and the sentiments which had placed them 
in office, and thus did they indorse and confirm the policj) 
of Gov. Bowdoin. 

Still, it was necessary that the new Legislature should 
do something to justify the grounds on which it was elect- 
ed. So, while, in every important particular, they endorsed 
the acts of the previous administration, they took such oc- 
casion as they could, to cast blame and dishonor upon it. 
The bill for suspending the privilege of the writ of Habeas 
Corpus, passed by the previous Legislature, was to expire 
by the limitation of its own provisions, on the first of July ; 
yet, on the 14th of June, a Committee was raised to bring 
in a bill for the repeal of the offensive law. The motives 
that led to this action are too evident to call for statement, 
or admit of apology. The repeal could hardly have beeuJ 
carried through its various stages before the law would 
have expired of itself. It is not wonderful that the pro- 
ject should afterwards have miscarried, and that its advo- 
cates should have become so heartily ashamed of it as 
openly to renounce it. The Legislature then turned its 
eye to the execution of those reforms that had been called 
for by the people, the prominent one being the reduction 
of the salary of the Governor. In the election which had 
placed the noble Hancock in office, the unwillingness of 
Gov. Bowdoin to have his salary reduced was made the 
most of, in the electioneering efforts instituted to prejudice 
the people against him. At the commencement of the ag- 
itation of this subject, Gov. Hancock sent in a message, 
voluntarily offering £300 of his salary for the benefit of 
the State, at the same time expressing the hope that when 
the finances of the State should arrive at a better condi- 
tion, his action might not operate to the prejudice of any 
of his successors, nor be considered as anything else than 
a personal contribution for the relief of the burdens of the 
people. The Legislature accepted the donation, praised' 
the Govei'nor, declared their intention at some future time 
to consider the constitutionality of reducing the Govei'iior's 
salary, of which his predecessor had exjiressed doubts, 
and dropped the subject. Thus again did the Governor 
and the Legislature indorse and confirm the policy and 
principles of Gov. Bowdoin and the previous General 


Court. They then indorsed and continued the tender act 
passed by their predecessors, condemned, like them, the 
project of an issue of paper money, complied with the 
usual conditions of coercive measures for the suppression 
of the rebellion, and voted supplies for the troops. That/ 
their proceedings were watched with intense interest by 
their constituents may readily be imagined. Such a rebuke 
to the prejudices of a popular constituency has no parallel 
in the legislation of the State. The policy of the previous^ 
administration was ti'iumphantly vindicated, by the very 
men chosen to modify or overthrow it, and the last blow 
given to one of the most disgraceful rebellions that ever 
stained the annals of a free Commonwealth. It should be/ 
added that, previous to the close of the session, the Legis- 
lature took appropriate notice of the friendly acts of the 
Governments of the adjoining States, in assisting in the 
suppression of the rebellion, and requested the Governor 
to gain jjermission to march the troops of Massachusetts 
into those States for the purpose of desti'oying or conquer- 
ing the rebels if necessary ; and they declared that no fur- 
ther acts of clemency could be passed for the benefit of 
those who might be in arms against the Commonwealth, 
consisting with the dignity of the State, and the safety and 
protection of its citizens. 

The great sea of rebellion that had so recently been at 
high tide, had now receded to low ebb. Only pitiful bands 
of marauders hung upon the borders of the State, the 
prime leaders of the rebellion were in concealed exile, the 
mob-elected Legislature had declared a conservative poli- 
cy, a new army had taken the field, and the Commonwealth 
was entirely safe. It thus became a matter of serious con- 
sideration with the Governor and Council, whether the 
sentence of the law should be visited upon the convicts, all 
of whom had played secondary parts in the insurrectionary 
movement. The Governor finally concluded to grant a 
second reprieve to the convicts until the 2d of August, thus 
holding them as hostages for the good behavior of the re- 
maining malcontents. Subsequently, a reprieve Avas grant- 
ed to the 20th of September, when all received a full par- 
don, save one in Berkshire, who was convicted in the 
previous October, and whose sentence was commuted to 
^WJiai'd labor for seven years, his two companions in the 


Berkshire jail having, in the meantime, escaped from con- 

But, as if the approval of the measures which had been 
instituted for the suppression of the rebellion by the ad- 
ministration of Governor Bowdoin, on the part of its suc- 
cessor, was not sufficient, the rebels themselves brought in 
their testimony, with penitence and promise on their lips, 
and doubtless in their hearts. At last, Shays and Parsonsfl^ 
sent in a petition for pardon. They declared the enter- 
tainment of a penitent sense of their errors, and pleaded 
in their own behalf the hardships which had come upon 
them in consequence of their conduct. While extenuating, 
they did not presume to justify their course, a course which 
they should never cease to regret. They urged as motives 
for their pardon the multiplied misfortunes that had befall- 
en them, and the sufferings of their innocent families. 

On the 13th of August, the State had become so quiet 
that the Governor reduced the number of troops in service 
to 200, and on the 12th of September he discharged the 
remainder, thus declaring the entire reduction of the in- 
surrection, and the restoration of peace and safety to the 
Commonwealth. On the 13th of June, 1788, the LegislaP 
ture adopted a resolution, justifying all officers and othei's 
who had apprehended persons engaged in the use of the 
property of others, such as quartering insurrectionary 
troops in houses. Sec, for the purpose of suppressing the 
rebellion, and indemnifying jailors and sheriffs from whom 
j)risoners had escaped, or who had been prevented from 
I'ultilluig the legitimate duties of their office by the rebel- 
lion. They then closed up legislation upon the subject by\. 
indemnifying a// who had been engaged in the rebellion,' 
and not convicted, except against j)rivate suits for damages 
done to individuals, on condition of their taking and sub- 
scribing the oath of allegiance within six months from the 
passage of the act, save tlie nine persons excepted from 
the act of indemnity passed just a year previously, whose 
pardon was qualified with the condition that they should 
never hold any office, civil or militaiy, within the Com- 
monwealth. Tliis act called back the exiles to their homes, 
who had long previously returned to their senses, and the 
rebellion became history, and a lesson in Government 
which may never be forgotten. 


Sketches of Shays and Day — Comments on and 
Incidents of the Rebellion. 

It will not be inappropriate, before briefly commenting 
on the remarkable insurrection whose leading events have 
been narrated, to pass in review the character and histoiy 
of the two men who were its leading spirits, viz. : Daniel 
Shays and Luke Day. Daniel Shays was born in Hop- 
kinton, in the County of Middlesex, in the year 1747. 
An old gentleman still living, and retaining a vivid recol- 
lection of his youth, says that the parents of Shays were 
very poor, so poor, in fact, as, in some instances, to have 
depended upon their neighboi-s for the necessaries of life. 
When young, he worked for a farmer in Framingham, and 
the necessities whicli poverty forced upon him prevented 
him from the acquisition of even a respectable education. 
Previous to the commencement of the Revolutionary war, 
he became a resident of Great Barrington, but, having re- 
mained there a short time, he removed to Pelham, which 
became his home and the scene of many of his movements 
connected with the rebellion with which he has associated 
his name. He had arrived at the age of twenty-eight, 
when, on the breaking out of the war of the Revolution, 
he entered the service of his country, with the rank of en- 
sign. He was plausible, ambitions, of good address and 
appearance, and possessed undoubted courage, but, with 
all these qualities, he lacked that essential element in a 
worthy and symmetrical cliaracter — principle. In 177G, 
he was ajipointed a Lieutenant, in Col. Varnum's regi- 
ment, and, doubtless, owing to his gallant carriage and 
pleasant address, was detached on recruiting service, with 
the promise of an appropriate reward for enlisting twenty 
men. He came to Massachusetts, and abundantly suc- 
ceeded. But he Avas as ambitious of rank as of money, 
and his easy success in this enterprise, suggested a plan 
for carrying out his projects for self-advancement, which 
^%Q proceeded to put in practice. He went again into the 


recruiting service, and enlisted a handsome company, wtose 
engagement to serve was based on the condition that he 
should be their Captain. He took his company to 'SVcst 
Point, and when the men were about to be apportioned to 
the various corps where they were needed, the terms of 
their enlistment were made known. The leading officers 
indignantly remonstrated, but the army was suffering for 
men, and they felt themselves obliged to pocket the indig- 
nity, and yield to his most unsoldierlike demands. A Cap- 
tain's Commission was promised him, but it was not issued 
until 1771), thougli he was allowed the pay of a Captain 
from January, 1777. He was in Col. Putnam's regiment 
at Newark, N. J., when, in October, 1780, he was dis- 
charged from service. 

To a mind in the slightest degree sensitive to motives 
of honor, the means he instituted to effect his promotion, 
and the position which he consequently held in the army, 
would liave been distasteful even to disgust, and anjmec- 
dote of a remarkable character is preserved which shows 
still more fully, perhaps, how entirely he was lacking in 
those nicer sensibilities which mark a high natui'e and a 
noble man. In the year 1780, Gen. Lafayette made to 
each of the officers under his immediate command the 
present of a swurd. Instead of prizing the gift as one above 
all price — as something to be handed down in his family 
as a proud memento of a noble struggle and a noble man, 
he took his gift and sold it for a few paltry dollars. But 
Shays was brave, nevertheless. At the battle of Bunker 
Hill, at the storming of Stony Point and the capture of 
Burgoyne, he did gallant and unflinching service, and car- 
ried to his grave an honorable scar received in figliting the 
battles of his country. Notwithstanding his bravery, it 
may readily be seen Avhy Shays did not retire from the 
army witli an honorable name, and as he was bankrupt in 
fortune, like nearly all of the officers who had been in ser- 
vice, as well as unfitted for the peaceful jnirsuits of indus- 
try, he was ready to embark in any congenial enterprise 
for retrieving his fortunes, or brightening his jirospects. 
The seditious spirit that seized a portion of the people of 
Massachusetts at the close of the Revolution, found in him 
a tool subservient to its ends. He played desperately, for 
a desperate stake, and lost. Of the motives that induced 


him to take the leadership of the rebellion, Shays gave his 
own account afler his return from exile, to a young clergy- 
man whom he found in occupation of the pulpit in Pelham 
at that time. This clergyman, one Sabbath morning, no- 
ticed the entrance into the church of a gentleman of a 
somewhat distinguished bearing, and straightway every 
eye was on him, and every pew-door was opened to give 
him a seat. At the close of the service, he learned the 
name of his hearer, who had just returned to his home 
with the pardon of the Government. On the following 
day. Shays called on the clergyman, and held a long cosc 
versation with him upon his labors and his sufferings. He> 
declared to him that he had been entirely deceived in re- 
gard to the feelings of the people on the subject of rebel- 
lion asrainst the Government. He said that he was assured 
that if he would collect one hundred men, and march in 
any direction, multitudes would flock to his standard, but 
he found to his extreme chagrin that he produced but lit- 
tle sensation, and tliat few comparatively joined his forces 
and fortunes. That he would have forsaken his project iu 
mid-passage, could he have done it with the assurance of 
personal safety, has already been shown in his reply to a 
confidential officer of the Government, who put the ques-) 
tion to him. 

Of the military genius of Shays, perhaps enough has 
already been written in the history of his bungling move- 
ments. He had absolutely no qualifications for high mili- 
tary command. His soldiers, whom it is charity to sup- 
pose were made cowards by the consciousness of being 
engaged in a bad cause, rather than from moral infirmity, 
neither respected nor feared him. According to his own 
confessions he had but little authority in his army. On 
one occasion, he thought it necessary, in order to preserve 
the appearance of amilitary organization, to command a man 
to stand guard. " No, I won't," replied the independent 
individual addressed. " Let that man, (pointing to anoth- 
er) he is not so sick as I am." But the other man refused 
in the same decided manner, and desired the " commander- 
in-chief to fix ujion some one who was stronger. No man 
can fail to see, in these brief incidents of his life, that 
while he had no lack of personal bravery, he was, so far 
^as the rebeUion was concerned, an adventurer, — glad to 


lead it while it promised success ; anxious to leave it when 
he found success doubtful. He was bound to the insurrec- 
tionary movement by no tie of principle, no active convic- 
tion of right, no controlling motive of love for the pubHc 
good. Strictly speaking. Shays was not a demagogue, but 
he was the willing tool of demagogues. Easy, reckless, 
somewhat ambitious of notoriety, mistakenly confident of 
his mihtary talent, ungoverned by principle, fond of tlie 
excitements of the camp, readily influenced tlirough his 
vanity, and poor, it is not strange that he was easily led 
into a course which had so many abettors among the cooler 
heads that kept themselves safely within the pale of non- 
commitalism. Like the majority of the leaders in the re- 
bellion, Shays never prospered after it. Afler remaining 
in Massachusetts awhile, he removed to Sparta, N. Y. In 
1820, he received a pension from the U. S. Government, 
and, at that time, his family consisted only of an aged 
wife. His schedule of personal effects at that date was 
meager in the extreme, footing up only S40 G2. lie died 
in September, 1825, at the age of 78 years. 

Of the history and character of Luke Day, something 
has already been said. He was bom in West Springfield, 
July 25th, 1743, and was, consequently, four years the sen- 
ior of Shays. His father was the proprietor of an exten- 
sive landed estate, which, for some reason, was inherited 
by a younger brother. His service in the Revolution was 
longer than that of Shays, and much more soldierly and 
honorable. Day was a demagogue, and a braggadocio. 
When Shepard's army was in Springfield, his tongue, 
though abundantly accustomed to the language of boasting 
and bravado, could hardly express the contempt he felt for 
the government forces. He talked wildly of braving 
Shepard's men, and of spilling "the last droj) of blood that 
ran in his veins," but he never embraced the opportunity^ 
of making the sacrifice. Day was not, like Shays, a tool ' 
of the rebellion, but an active agent. He raised his own 
men, and drilled and commanded them. He maintained 
authority among his troops. He was an inveterate speech- 
maker, and the shallowness of his principle, and the liber- 
tinism which stained his estimate of political freedom, are 
abundantly illustrated in an extract from one of his 
speeches which has been preserved. A few days orevious 


to the attack of Shays upon the arsenal, Day, in haranguing 
his men, said : — " My hoys^ you are goincj to jiyht for liberty. 
If you wish to hnoio what liberty is, I will tell you. It is for 
every man to do what he pleases, to make other folks do as 
you please to have them, and to keep folks from serving the 

Day was not insensitive to the good opinion of those 
whom he respected, and, on one occasion, went to Rev. 
Dr. Lathrop, the well known minister at West Springfield 
at that time, and, after a somewhat difficult introduction of 
the subject, informed the Doctor that he and Shays had 
determined to attack the Arsenal, asking him if he thought 
they should succeed. The reverend gentleman told him 
most decidedly that he thought he would not, and gave for 
his reasons that his questioner was engaged in a bad cause, 
and that he and all his men knetv it. He then told him 
that a resort to arras to obtain redress for supposed griev- 
ances was not justifiable, and that the measures he was 
taking would involve him in difficulty, and bring distress 
and ruin upon liis family; and he advised him to disperse 
his men immediately. After the defeat of Shays, Day fled 
to New York. While in exile, he wrote to Dr. Lathrop, 
and quoted with no little plausible shrewdness and mean- 
ing the fbllowing opening passage of the 4th chapter of 
Ecclesiastes : " So I returned, and considered all the op- 
pressions that are done under the sun, and behold the tears 
of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; 
and on the side of the oppressors there was power, but 
they had no comforter. AVherefore, I praised the dead 
Avliich were already dead, more than the living which are 
yet alive. Yea, better is he than both they which hath not 
yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done un- 
der the sun. Again I considered all travail and every 
right work, that for this a man is envied by his neighbor. 
This is also vanity and vexation of spirit." It would ap- 
l^ear by a mittimus issued by the Clerk of the Suffolk 
County Court, on the 3d of April, 1788, that he was, at a 
late day, under arrest. How, or when, he was arrested, 
does not appear, but, from the fact of his durance in the 
Suffolk County jail, and his arraignment there on the charge 
of treason, his arrest was probably effected by the agency 
of the New York authorities. This mittimus is now pre- 


served in the archives of Hampshire County, to which 
county, by his own request, he was transferred for triaL 
The mittimus directed the Sheriff and Jailer of the county 
to keep him until he should be discharged by due course 
of law. Two months afterwards, he was discharged by 
the operation of the general pardon. After his pardon, he 
returned to West Springfield, where, after suffering ex- 
tremely for several years with the gout, he died in poverty, 
in 1801, at the age of fifty-eight years. In his movement^"> 
in the insurrection. Day had far more earnestness, though 
no more principle than Shays. He believed that he had 
been wronged, and it infuriated him, and his own heated 
words excited himself as much as they did those to whorn^ 
they were addressed. 

In reviewing the rebellion in which these two raeffV 
played the most prominent parts, it is admitted, at the out- 
set, that the people of Massachusetts labored under serious 
burdens, but they were relieved, so far as legislation could 
do it, by the very Government which put down the rebel- 
lion, and by a Government which, in its lenient and most 
humane treatment of the rebels, demonstrated its suscepti- 
bility to moral influences so tliorouglily, as to prove that 
its reformatory measures would have been better effected 
through the power of the popular will, and through consid- 
erations connected with the public good, than by the intim- 
idation of brute force. And when the materials of the 
rebellion arc taken into considei'ation, — their entire lack 
of moral power, their utter cowardice, their boastings and 
their thi'eatenings, their insolence and malice, their outra- 
ges and robberies — apology for them stammers with awk- 
ward qualifications, and justification stumbles with the 
weight it carries. That there were some good and honest 
men among the rebels, is no apology for the rebellion. 
They were good men deceived by bad men, oi- misled by 
their falsely-sprung impulses. The leadership of the 
movement was exclusively confined to men who would 
come legitimately under the denomination of one of three 
classes, viz : adventurers, demagogues and desj)eradoes. 
Such were Shays, Day, Siiattuck, Parsons, Ely, Wheeler, 
Hamlin and their associates. There was not a high and 
honorable character among them, and that these men were 
allowed to rise in arms against the State authorities, that 


they found their secret and disguised friends even in the 
Legislature itself, and were widely symj^athized with 
among the people, who, while ashamed or afraid to join 
them, gave them covert support for the purpose of influ- 
encing legislation, is a shame to the Commonwealth which 
offered the first blood on the altar of American freedom. 

The policy of the rebellion was even more contemptible^/ 
than its materials. It cannot have escaped notice that the 
first acts of the rebellion were to stop the Courts, for the 
purpose of hindering the collection of just debts. The 
very basis was therefore dishonesty, made doubly dishonest 
by the lying pretense that the violence instituted was based . 
on the action and declarations of conventions. The second 
step was the stopping of the Superior Courts that the reb- 
els might not be convicted of their crimes ; and still they 
based their violence on the action of Conventions, some of 
which had deprecated, most emphatically,' air violence. 
The third step Avas open rebellion against a Government 
which, in their petitions, they pretended to wish to conciliate ; 
and while their leading motive of conduct became personal 
safety, they still tried to deceive the public by harping 
upon the discordant strings of popular grievances. TheJ- 
fourth step was robbery and murder, revenge and malice. J I 
It will have been seen, too, that originally, at'least, the mob I 
had no idea of fighting, and that, even later, they had no ^! 
settled determination to fight. Their sympathizers did not 
believe they would fight, "and did not intend they should. 
Their policy was to intimidate the Government, and, by 
appearing in arms, to gain such advantages as should, in 
the first place, secure the redress of their alleged grievan- 
ces, and, in the second, ensure their safety. It was the 
play of brag and bully, a grand sham and show, a hollow 
pretense — a thousand tunes more insulting to the Govern- 
ment and the Legislature than downright treason and up- 
right insurrection. The hoUow-heartedness and insincerity 
of the rebellion was exhibited on every occasion where its 
courage and pretensions were put to the test. The first 
drop of blood scattered them like frightened sheep, and 
they fled before the Government troops with disgraceful 
precipitation, even when best prepared to make a stand. 
The measures taken to suppress the rebellion claim, at this 
^4a.j, the warmest tribute of the pen of praise. To Gov- 



emor James Bowdoin, more than any other man, belongs 
the credit of preserving the State from anarchy, and of so 
meting out justice with mercy, severity with prudence, 
force with discretion, and law with Christian humanity, as 
to reconcile a discontented people with their Government, 
restore j^eace wliere all was discord, and put down a wide 
rebellion against the constituted authorities, with less blood- 
shed than had often resulted from an insignificant border 
conflict of the old province. He did this in the face of a 
people stee])ed with seditious sentiments. He did it 
against the prejudices of a reluctant and infected Legisla- 
ture, and it seems almost a miracle of moral power that he 
was enabled to conceive and carry Out a policy which even 
a Governor and a Legislature elected by the mob and their 
sympathizers, the latter having in its composition a portion 
of the mob itself, were obliged to indorse and approve. 
His name must be enrolled amon"; the hiu'hest benefac- 
tors of Massachusetts, and be held in grateful remem- 
brance while love for the old Commonwealth, respect for 
good government, and loyalty to free institutions, shall en- 

The indirect effect of the rebellion was to hasten the^ 
adoption of a federal government. It exhibited to the 
country the gateway of political perdition, and, in itself, 
and in its atfiliatcd movements in the neighboring States, 
showed what multitudes were ready to press into it. ButJ 
it sowed also the seeds of bitterness. It broke the chain 
of family affection. It planted thickly springing and long 
enduring prejudices in neighborhoods. It divided church- 
es, and thrust loved and revered ministers from tlieir pul- 
pits. It strewed the jjath of legislation with thorny jeal- 
ousies. It wasted precious time, and misapplied scanty 
moans. It increased the indebtedness of the State. If it 
meliorated legislation, it disgraced and vitiated it in the 
same proportion. If it intimidated the Govei-nment, as it 
intended to do, it dishonored it in the same degree. If it 
produced one good effect, in any way, or by any means, 
that good effect was purchased by a sacrifice of honor that 
would have been dearly parted with at a thousand fold the 
price received. But it taught a lesson, and let that lessoii^ 
be remembered : That the rebellion of a people against a 
government estuhllshcd hj themselves is not justifiable, even \ 



in an extreme case, and can only result in dishonor to the 
State, and calamity and disgrace to those who participate^ 
in it. 

The rebellion was accompanied by incidents almost num- 
berless, which, if they could be collected and properly re- 
corded, would form, of themselves, an interesting chapter. 
In the early part of the movement, a wag met a gentleman 
from Hampshire, and addressed him as follows : " I find 
your Convention (alluding to tlijC Hatfield Convention) 
and the devil think alike in some things." " How so ?" 
inquired he of Hampshire. " Why," responded the wag, 
" your Convention has voted that the Court of the General 
Sessions of the Peace is a gi'ievance. The devil thinks so 
too, because that Court punishes thieves, whores, drunk- 
ards, liars, breakers of the peace and profane swearers, 
who are his favorite children." During the last days of 
September, 1786, at the time when the large mob was as- 
sembled in Springfield to stop the session of the Supreme 
Judicial Court, Shays was quartered in a house in the vi- 
cinity of Ferry Street. At that time, Dr. Chauncey Brew- 
er, a resident of Springfield, had been out in the night to 
attend a patient. The Doctor was a decided anti-Shays 
man, and openly, and at all times wore the slip of Avhite 
paper in his hat. He was arrested by the sentinels, and 
brought before Shays. With entire unconcern, he told the 
rebel leader that he was pei'fectly easy in regard to the 
matter, and if he would give him a place to sleep, he 
would retire. Shays did not feel easy, and told him that 
if he would take oil" his paper badge he might go. " No, 
Sir" said the Doctor, " I shall not do it — just give me a 
place to sleep." " Doctor, you must take off that badge," 
responded Shays. "No, Captain Shays, that badge will 
stay there," persisted the Doctor, good naturedly, " and 
now," added he, " let me give you a bit of information. I 
have got a number of patients to see in the morning. The 
people are not inclined to distui'b you now, but if they are 
deprived of their physician, and find out where I am, you 
will have war about your ears." " Well, Doctor," replied 
Shays, take off" that badge and go." " Captain Shays, I 
shall not do it," said the Doctor. " Well, go along, you 
rebel," said Shays, and the Doctor picked his way home, 
|uid kept the paper to write prescriptions on. As illustra- 


tive of the extent to which public feeling was excited, two 
members of the church in Whately brought up a child, re- 
spectively, to be baptized, on a Sabbath in August, 1787. 
One of them received the name of " Benjamin Lincoln ;" 
the other that of " Daniel Shays." 

After the repulse of Shays, at the time he made, or at- 
tempted to make, the attack upon the Springfield Arsenal, 
a number of men deserted, and made their way home- 
wards. In passing tlie houses on their route, they gave 
the customary " Hurra for Shays !" In one instance, a 
liorse, attaclied to a Avagon, and about a quarter of a mile 
distant from them, broke from his fastenings by the side of 
the road, and, running away, was killed. An action was 
brought by the owner of the liorse against the Shays men 
for the recovery of the value of the animal, on the ground 
that they were primarily the cause of his death. The de- 
fendants engaged a lawyer in their behalf whose weakness 
was occasional over-draughts of brandy, and who, when 
under the infiuence of liquor, was not particularly choice 
in his language, even in the Court room. He managed to 
get through with his evidence, and, with marvellous con- 
ciseness, made his plea in the following wurds, which, bar- 
ring its profanity, is a model : " May it please the Court, 
and Gentlemen of the Jury! If ' Hurra for Shays' will 
kill a horse at eighty rods, then we've lost our case : if not, 

then by we've won it." The jury coincided with 

this opinion, and returned a verdict for the defendants. 

The news])aper wags were, of course, in their element, 
and the following epigram, from the pen of one of them, is 
decidedly pointed and witty : 

" Says sober Bill, 'well, Shays has fled, 
And peace retnrns to bless our days !' 
■ • ' Indeed,' cries Ned, ' I always said 

He'd prove at last Ti fall-back Shays; 
And those turned over and undone 
Call him a worthless Shays, to run P '' 

At the time of the action near the Arsenal, one of 
the Government troops named Chaloner, a citizen of 
Greenfield, had both arms shot off while loading a can- 
non. When it was seen, Deacon llarroun of Colerain 


immediately took tis place, and, as the swab had been lost 
with the arms, he thrust a mitten down the cannon to the 
length of his arm, and thus successfully swabbed the 



Industrial Movements and Social Aspects. 

It may readily be imagined that the excitements of the 
Revolutionary "War and those of the Shays Rebellion, 
which, together, had occupied the minds of the people of 
Western Massachusetts for more than twelve years, had 
left but little opportunity for the development of the re- 
sources of the region. The natural increase of popula- 
tion, and the accumulation of families at new points had 
called some new town corporations into existence, but no 
new walks of industry had been projected, and no new 
fields of enterprise opened. The discontents of those 
times were manifested not unfrequently in attempts to pro- 
cure changes of county lines which, when entire peace had 
returned, and labor had purchased freedom from debts and 
difficulties, were dropped, until later years and an increased 
population made them necessary. In 1784 and 1785, an 
attempt Avas made, by a petition to the Legislature, to have 
a new county formed of the towns of "Warwick, "Wendell, 
New Salem, and Shutosbury, and the districts of Green- 
wich and Orange, in old Hampshire County, and the towns 
of Hardwick, Barre, Hubbardston, Petersham, Terapleton, 
Winchester, Athol and Royalston in Worcester county, 
with Petersham for the County seat. Tlie remoteness of 
these towns from the county seats, and the overwhelming 
amount of business which the existing Courts had on hand, 
were alleged as the basis of the petition. 

The means of transportation in the Connecticut Yalley 
had always been limited and diificult. As enterprise sprang 
into new life upon the close of the long decade of war and 
disturbance, this lack of means for the transportation of 
merchandise, lumber, &c., was severely felt, and the lead- 
ing men, not only of IIam]ishire, but Berkshire, joined in 
the project of increasing them, by one of the most remark- 
able enterprises that had, at that day, been planned in 
America, viz: — the construction of a canal around the falls 
at South Hadley, and around Turner's Falls at Montague. 


On the 23d of February, 1792, the Legislature passed 
" An act, incorporating the Honorable John Worthington 
Esquire, and others therein named, for the purpose of ren- 
dering Connecticut River passable for boats and other 
things, from the mouth of Chicopee River Northward 
throughout this Commonwealth, by the name of the Pro- 
prietors of the Locks and Canals on Connecticut River." 
Besides John Worthington, (who was a resident of Spring- 
field) the other iudividuals named in the act of incorpora- 
tion were Caleb Strong, Robert Breck, Samuel Henshaw, 
Ebenezer Lane, Ebenezer Hunt, Benjamin Prescott and 
Levi Shepard of Northampton, Samuel Lyman, Jonathan 
Dwight, Thomas Dwight, John Hooker and William Smith 
of Springfield, Theodore Sedgwick of Stockbridge, David 
Sexton and John Williams of Deerfield, Samuel Fowler 
of Westfield, Justin Ely of West Springfield, Dwight Fos- 
ter of Brookfield, Simeon Strong of Amherst, and William 

The toll established by law for passage through the Ca- 
nal at South Hadley was, for every tun weight in boats, 
four shillings and sixpence, and the same sum for every 
thousand feet of boards. Five shillings and sixpence per 
tun was the toll established for the Canal at Montague, and 
two shillings and sixpence for every thousand feet of 
boards, while every boat passing through the locks and ca- 
nals was to be tolled at the rate of one shilling for every tun 
which tlie boat was capable of carrying, over and above the 
freight it had on board. The capacity of the locks, as pre- 
scribed, was to be equal to the transport of boats or rafts 
twenty feet wide, and sLxty feet long. The act of incorpo- 
ration was to be void, unless the works at South Hadley 
were completed in four, and those at Montague, in six, 

Soon after their incorporation, the company commenced 
operations at South Hadley, Benjamin Prescott of North- 
ampton, subsequently the Superintendent of the U. S. Ar- 
- mory in Springfield, being the engineer, Li the planning 
and execution of this work, he had no precedent, it is be- 
lieved, in this country. It is supposed that this was the 
first canal, of any importance, at least, attempted to be 
built in the United States. The Middlesex Canal Co. was 
aiot incorporated until a year or more afterwards. On tho 


25tli of February, L793, the company, by an act of the 
Legislature, were empowered to assess the propi-ietors in 
such sums as were necessary for carrying on the work, 
and, in case the assessments were not paid, to sell the 
shares of delinquents. The shares were made transfera- 
ble, and wei'e establislied as personal estate. The difficul- 
ties which called for this enactment gave early threat of 
breaking up the undertaking. Money was scarce, and the 
cost of the enterprise had evidently been under-estimated. 
From subsequent events, it is evident that the new powers 
of the company did not give the necessary funds, for, soon 
afterwards, an agent was sent to Holland, then the money- 
lending country of the world, to engage the interest of the 
Dutch in the undertaking. The agent succeeded in getting 
a considerable amount of stock taken, and returned with 
his money. In the meantime, the practical difficulties that 
stood in the way of the enter^^rise had been comprehended, 
and, by an act passed on the 21st of June, 1793, the pro- 
prietors were released from the obligation to build their 
canals and locks of the capacity already stated, that capac- 
ity being reduced to the reception of boats and rafts ibrty 
feet in length, and sixteen feet in width. The work in- 
creased in the minds and upon the hands of its projectors, 
until they saw that it was all that one corporation could 
do, to finish and take care of the South lladley enterprise. 
Accordingly, on the 27th of February, 1794, two years 
after the act of incorporation, an act was passed for divi- 
ding and separating the interest in the Upper and Lower 
Canals. It was enacted that the proprietors of the latter 
should remain a cor])oration, and tliat Samuel Henshaw 
and Benjamin Prescott of Northiunpton, and Jonathan 
Dwight of Springfield, and their associates, should be a 
distinct corporation, by the name of "Tlie proprietors of 
the Upper Locks and Canals on Connecticut River," vest- 
ed with all the powers incident to corporations. The in- 
terest in this new enterprise was divided into five hundi'ed 
and four shares. 

The lower canal was at last finished, and was two and a 
half miles long, much of it dug through solid rock. But 
its bed was not low enough to take the water from the riv- 
er, and this difficulty was sought to be obviated by the con- 
struction of a dam. It was accordingly commenced, at 


the head of the canal, and run obliquely up and across the 
river to a narrow point in the stream, when its course was 
changed, and run directly across, to the opposite shore. 
This operation gave early rise to difhculties, and to law- 
suits that followed up the movements of the company for 
several years. The dam set the water back for several 
miles, flowing the Northampton meadows and inflicting some 
intermittent fever and more excitement upon the people of 
that town, who immediately got the company indicted for 
the maintenance of a nuisance. The complainants won 
their case, when it came on for trial, and the dam, save its 
oblique section, was ordered to be torn down. This affair 
frightened ofi" the Dutchmen, interested in both the lower 
and the upper enterprise, who took early occasion to sell 
off their shares at a large sacrifice, and retire from the 
field, when the stock soon came to be held by few hands. 
The oblique dam answered the purposes of the company 
but indifierently, but it was all they had for several years. 
The style of the locks, and the machinery used at that 
time, are worthy of description, and show how little was 
then known of the proper structure of canals. At the 
point where boats were to be lowered and elevated, was a 
long, inclined plane, traversed by an immense car of the 
width of the canal and of sufficient length to take in a 
boat, or a section of a raft. At the top of this inclined 
plane, were two large water wheels, one on either side of 
the canal, which furnished, by the aid of the water of the 
canal, the power for elevating the car, and for balancing 
and controlling it in its descent. At the foot of the inclined 
plane, the car descended into the water of the canal, be- 
coming entirely submerged. A boat ascending the river, 
and passing into the canal, would be floated directly over 
and into the car, the brim of the latter, of course, being 
gauged to a water level by its elevation aft in proportion 
to the angle of inclination of the traverse way. The boat 
being secure in the car, the w^ater was let upon the water 
wheels, which, by their common shaft, were attached to the 
car through two immense cables, and thus, winding the ca- 
bles, the car was drawn up to a proper point, when the 
boat passed out into the canal above. The reverse of this 
operation, readily comprehended by the reader, transfered 
^ boat, or the section of a raft, fi'om above downwards. 


The demand foi* more water in the canal at last became 
imperatiye, but the money for effecting the necessary 
changes was wanting. Finally, the proprietors resorted to 
an expedient for " raising the wind," as well as the water, 
not uncommon in those days, and in accordance with their 
petition, the Legislature, on the 25th of Februaiy, 1802, 
granted them a lottery for raising $20,000, for the purpose 
of rendering the locks and canal passable without the aid 
of a dam across the river, by lowering the bed of the ca- 
nal four feet throughout its entire extent. Thomas Dwight, 
Justin Ely, Jonathan Dwight, Joseph Lyman Jr., and John 
Williams were appointed as the managers of this lottery, 
each of whom was bound in the sum of 85,000 for the 
faithful discharge of his trust. They were directed to 
publish the schemes they should ari'ange in the newspapers 
of the county. The grant was to be operative for four 
years. This plan succeeded, and, at the end of 1804, or 
the commencement of 1805, the lowering of the canal was 
completed. The engineer in this operation was Ariel Cool- 
ey, a man of a great deal of native force and ingenuity, 
who pushed aside the car and cables, and introduced the 
simple lock, like tliose now in use on all important works. 
After he had completed his work, he made a contract with 
the proprietors to keep the canal in repair, survey the 
craft that should pass through the canal, and take the tolls, 
for fifty years, for the consideration of one-quarter of the 
tolls. This arrangement relieved the corporation of near- 
ly all its care in connection with the enterprise, and Mx-. 
Cooley probably did not sujjpose that any great expense 
would ever be necessary, in keeping the canal in operative 
order. In 1814, however, he found it necessary, in order 
to increase the facilities of navigation, to run another dam 
across the river. This was only partly completed when 
the Winter came on, and the Spring fresliet swept it all 
away. Li 1815, he completed a dam directly across the 
river from the head of the canal, where it stood until 1824, 
when it was swept away. In the meantime, Mr. Cooley 
had died, and the administrators of the estate rebuilt the 
dam, which still stands, and is marked by a slight ripple 
where the water joins with the dead water set back by the 
great dam of the Iladley Falls Company. Both dams 
were indicted as nuisances, on complaint of those intere.-ted 


in the sha(J fisheries above, but the indictment of the first 
was stopped by the agreement of Mr. Cooley to build a 
fish-way, by which the shad could ascend the rivei\ This, 
by a proper knowledge of the habits and power of the fish, 
he was enabled to do. Directly below the dam, he ran 
out from the Eastern shore an oblique dam, a part of the 
way across the river. The water, as it passed over the 
main dam, was arrested by the oblique dam, forming an 
eddy into which the shad could run from the rapids below. 
At a point opposite this oblique dam, and fronting the eddy 
made by it, he cut down, for the width of a plank or two, 
and to a limited length, the main dam, making a passage 
through which the powerful fish could dart ; and the event 
proved that he had calculated upon their powers correctly. 
The second indictment gave rise to an extended lawsuit, in 
which nearly all the lawyers in the County were engaged, 
on one side or the other. The matter resulted in the re- 
building of the fish-way. The contract of Mr. Cooley was 
ultimately given up, by an arrangement between his admin- 
istrators and the proprietors, and tlie canal thus remained, 
used more or less for manufacturing purposes, as naviga- 
tion declined, until it was purchased by the Hadley Falls 
Co., who were empowered to build their present dam, sub- 
ject to an equitable indemnification of the fishing rights 

The construction of the dam at Montague was first at- 
tempted some two miles below the falls, at Smead's Island, 
by Capt. Elisha Mack of Montague, who operated either 
as engineer for the Corporation, or a contractor for its 
work. After a season of unsuccessful effort, the point was 
abandoned, chiefly on account of the depth of the water. 
In this connection, an incident may be mentioned, going to 
prove that the sub-marine armor of later times is "nothino- 
new under the sun." While Capt. Mack was operating at 
Smead's Island, an itinerant Scotchman made his appear- 
ance, who undertook to construct a sort of leathern case 
for tlie body, with a long tube attached for the purpose of 
respiration, and glass about the tace for the use of vision. 
He succeeded in worming his way into the Captain's fiivor, 
worked steadily at the curious armor, and, on a Saturday 
night, pronounced it complete, and appointed Monday for 
an experimental test. After closing work, he obtained the 


loan of Capt. Mack's gray mare, a valuable animal, for the 
purpose of visiting a lady, a somewhat attractive fair of 
the times and the locality. Capt. Mack conferred the fa- 
vor gladly, and would have been rejoiced to see the inge- 
nious Scotchman again, but he never did, both mare and 
rider mysteriously disappearing. 

In 1793, Gapt. Mack succeeded in constructing a dam 
at Turner's Falls. It stood one year on trial, as it was 
doul)ted whether it would be able to withstand the Spring 
freshets, but it sustained the test. In the course of the 
following year, the canal was commenced, but it was not 
completed for the passage of rafts and boats until two or 
three years afterwards. In the meantime, the lumbermen 
were obliged to " draw by," or take their raft boxes in 
pieces above the dam, and cart them to a point below, 
where they were again committed to the river, and re-con- 
structed for tlie remaining passage downwai'ds. This ca- 
nal is three miles in length. 

The Falls at South Hadley have ever been an interest- 
ing feature in the natural scenery of the Connecticut Val- 
ley. It was around them, as well as around Turner's Falls, 
that the aboriginal iuliabitants of the valley gathered in 
large numbers, to pursue their fisheries. The land now 
covered by the village at South Iladley Falls was origin- 
ally granted to Major John Pynchon, being half of one 
thousand acres granted him by the General Court, after 
his severe losses by the Sjiringfield fire, during King Phil- 
ip's War. The original Indian name of both falls was, 
doubtless, Patucket ; or Pawtucket, Patuxet, &c., as the 
word was otherwise spelled. This was the general Indian 
name for water-lalls, and there is a single evidence on re- 
cord that the falls at South Iladley were known by that 
name. This occurs in the seventh article of the original 
agreement made by the inhabitants of Springfield, in the 
words : " that the meddowe and i)asture called Nayas, to- 
wards Patucket" &c. Nayassett or Nayas was defined in 
the record of an early deed as " the tliree corner meadow 
and land adjoining, extending Northerly to Chicopee river." 
This tract, then, was « toioards Patucket," and that being 
the general'name for falls, was, doubtless, the one by whicli 
the Indians knew the locaUty. In early times, the river 
was a great resort for salmon, a fish now di-ivcu out of tho 


river by the erection of tlie obstructions to their ascent of 
the stream, already noticed. They remained in the stream 
until some years after the erection of the dam at Monta- 
gue. The first season after the construction of this dam, 
they were very plenty at Turner's Falls, and were caught 
in immense numbers, as they could not get beyond there, 
but after this, they declined rapidly, from year to year, un- 
til, at last, they entirely forsook the stream. They were 
caught at South Hadley as late as the year 1800. An eye 
witness describes, ft-om memory, the mode of their capture. 
In hauling in a seine, in the shad fishery, they not unfre- 
quently formed a portion of the prey, and manifested their 
presence by commotions well understood by the fishermen. 
The common seine could not withstand their powerful 
struggles, and the fishermen were obliged to wade out, and 
get behind the net, and, by kicking it, and striking upon 
the water, drive them into the shallow water near shore, 
where they were grasped by the skillful, and rendered 
powerless by certain deftly delivered raps upon the head. 
At that time, as many as 2,000 shad were sometimes taken 
at a haul. The shad fishery has gradually declined since, 
owing partly, doubtless, to an actual diminution of the 
number of shad entering the river, and partly to the in- 
crease of the number of gill-nets in the lower part of the 
river, which have become so prevalent as to operate almost 
as an absolute bar to their progress up the stream. The 
shad fisheries at South Hadley Falls were formerly con- 
sidered common property, and were participated in by all 
who had a taste for the business. But in these days, shad 
are held in much higher repute than then, and command a 
much larger price. Under this state of things, the owners 
of the land upon the fishing grounds a few years since 
availed themselves of the law, giving to the owners of land 
on unnavigable streams the exclusive right to fish on them, 
expelled the old fishermen from their annual haunts, and 
took possession of the fish-rights. Under the law which 
eifected this change, a stream is defined to be unnavigable 
above tide water. The owners of the land are, therefore, 
now making a profitable thing of it. In 1853, they took 
out from 40,000 to 50,000 shad, which, at a shilling apiece, 
a reasonable average, amounted in productive value to 
more than $8,000. 


The question of the future occupation of the river by 
these noble fish is one of great interest and importance, 
and one not to be decided by precedent. Since the con- 
struction of the dam by the Hadley Falls Co., no shad 
have ascended beyond that point, and yet, no perceptible 
diminution of the fish has occurred. That it is not so im- 
»portant for them to ascend to the sources of the stream for 
spawning, as it is for salmon, has already been proved. In 
fact, it is by no means certain, although it is highly proba- 
ble, that the shad caught in the river are the same that are 
bred in it. In 1812, shad were caught in large numbers 
in Medford, below a dam in Mystic river, only a mile re- 
moved from tide-water, and they had been caught there 
thus for years. It is hardly to be supposed that they bred 
there at all. 'VYhether they did, or did not, the fact is an 
important one in connection with the question of the con- 
tinuance of the shad in the Connecticut. 

The lottery system, in the construction of important 
works of improvement, was much in vogue during the last 
part of the 18th and the first of the 19th centuries. On 
the Gth of March, 1782, a lottery was granted " for erect- 
ing a bridge over Chikabee river, on the road leading from 
Springfield to Iladley." On the first of November, of the 
same year, a lottery was granted for repairing and support- 
ing a bridge over Agawam River, in West Si)ringfield. 
On the 18th of June, 1783, a lottery was granted for the 
purpose of rebuilding a bridge across Westfield river, in 
the town of Westfield, near a place called Weller's Mills. 
On the 11th of February, 1789, an act was passed grant- 
ing a lottery "for the purpose of erecting a suitable build- 
ing for the use of the free school in Williamstown." This 
was granted for the purpose of raising a sum not exceed- 
ing £1,200. 

Bridges over the smaller streams, now built and sup- 
ported by towns, were formerly owned by incorporated 
companies, and supported by tolls. On the 16th of March, 
1805, George Blake, Pitt Bliss, Jonathan Dwight, Jr., 
James S. Dwight, Joshua Frost, Charles Leonard, Daniel 
Lombard, Edward Pynchon, William Smith, Gad Warri- 
ner, Solomon Warriner, Eleazer Williams, John Worth- 
ington and A^ios Worthmgton, were incorporated as '■ The 
proprietors of Aggawaum Bridge," for the purpose of 


building a bridge over that river, in West Springfield. 
On the 18th of June, 1795, Jonathan Leavitt and Eliel 
Gilbert and their associates were incorporated for the pur- 
pose of building a bridge over Connecticut river, between 
Greenfield and Montague. This still remains a toll bridge. 
On the 22d of June, 1797, Jonathan Hoit and David 
Smead were incorporated as the proprietors of the Deer- 
field River Bridge, in the town of Deei-field, at the point 
where Williams' Ferry was then kept. As early as July 
7, 1786, Jonathan Hoit was also associated in an act of in- 
coi'poration with John Williams, for the purpose of build- 
ing a bridge over the same river, at a place then called 
Rocky Mountain. On the 8th of March, 1803, Lemuel 
Dickinson and 74 others were incorporated for the purpose 
of building a bridge over the Connecticut River, between 
the towns of Hadley and Hatfield, a bridge that is not 
maintained at the present day. On the 6th of March, 
1792, David Sexton, David Smead, Lyman Taft, Elisha 
Mack, and their associates, were incorporated for the pur- 
pose of erecting a bridge over Connecticut River between 
Montague and Greenfield, " at the place called the Great 
Falls." On the 2d of March, 1803, Ebenezer Hunt, Levi 
Shepard, Joseph L}nnan, Jr., Asahel Pomeroy, John Tay- 
lor, and a large number of others, were named in an act 
of incorporation, for building the bridge over the Connec- 
ticut, between Northampton and Hadley. On the 22d of 
February, of the same year, John Hooker, George Bliss, 
Joseph Williams, Samuel Fowler, Jonathan Dwight, 
Thomas Dwight, Justin Ely, and theii* associates, were in- 
corporated as the proprietors of the bridge connecting 
Springfield with West Springfield. The toll established 
was for each foot passenger, 3 cents ; for each horse and 
rider, 7 cents; for each horse and chaise, chair or sulkey, 16 
cents; for each coach, chariot, phajton, or other four 
wheeled carriage for passengers, 33 cents ; curricle, 25 cents ; 
horse and sleigh, 10 cents ; neat cattle, 3 cents each ; sheep 
and swine, 1 cent. On the 10th of February, David Mor- 
ley was authorized to build a toll bridge across Westfield 
rivBr, " near the late dwelling house of Stephen Noble, 
deceased." He was authorized to collect of foot passen- 
gers 1 cent toll, for a horse and rider, 4 cents, horse and 
^haise, 10 cents, &c. On the 17th of Junej 1800, the tovm 


of Westfield was authorized to build a toll bridge, " over 
Westfield Great River, near Park's IMills." 

Turnpikes were largely multiplied after the close of the 
Revolutionary War and the Shays Rebellion, to meet the 
exigencies of increasing business and population, and the 
general poverty of the towns and counties. On the 8th of 
March, 1797, Asaph White, Jesse King and their associ- 
ates were incorporated as " The Second Massachusetts 
Turnpike Corporation," for the purpose of laying out and 
making a turnpike road from the west line of Charlemont, 
to the west foot of Hoosac Mountain in Adams, witli the 
privilege of collecting tolls of passengers. On the I'Jth 
of June, 1801, Ezra Mai'vin, Elihu Stow and a hundred 
others, more or less, were incorporated as " The Eleventh 
Massachusetts Turnpike Corporation," for the purpose of 
building a road, " to begin at the south line of Massachu- 
setts, at or near the ending of the turnpike road lately es- 
tablished by the Legislature of the State of Connecticut ; 
thence into and through the East parish of Granville to 
Blandford meeting house, and from thence through tlie 
town -street in Blandford, by the usual Pittsfield road, so 
called, and into the town of Bccket by the same road, ini- 
til it connects with the road of the Eighth Turnpikd Cor- 
poration." This latter corpoi-ation was established on the 
24th of February, 1800, Joseph Stebbins, James S. Dwight, 
and George Bliss, being the leading names in the act. 
The road began at tlie line l)etween AVesttield and Russell, 
near Westfield River, running near the river through parts 
of the towns of Russell and Blandford, to a point then 
known as Falley's store ; thence by the West Branch of 
the river through parts of Blandford and Cliestcr, until 
it reached what was known as the Government road, hy 
which it ran to Becket, connecting with the road from 
Blandford to Pittsfield; thence by the usual road from 
Becket meeting house to Pittslield line. The Tliird Mas- 
sachusetts Turnpike Corporation was established March 
9th, 1797. The leading names in the act of incorporation 
%vere Jonah Brewster, Elisha Brewster, Jonathan Brewster, 
Samuel Buffington and Tristram Browning, and their road 
commenced on the East side of Roberts' Hill in North- 
ampton, and ran to the Eastern line of Pittsfield, passing 



tlirougli "Westhampton, Cliesterfield, Worthington, Peru 
(then Partridgefield) and Dalton. 

There never was a Fourth Massachusetts Turnpike Cor- 
poi-ation, but the Williamstown Turnpike Corporation le- 
gitimately comes in its place. This was established on the 
1st of March, 1799, for the purpose of building and keep- 
ing in repair a road from the AVest side of Hoosac moun- 
tain, commencing at the termination of the road of the 2d 
Corporation, (from Charlemont over the mountain) and 
running thence through Adams and Williamstown to the 
line of Petersburg, Rensselaer County, N. Y. The Fifth 
Coi'poration was established on the 1st of March, 1799. 
This was for the building of a road from Northfield^ 
through Warwick and Orange to Athol, and also from 
Greenfield through Montague and unimproved lands to 
Athol, where the roads were to join, and proceed through 
Templeton, Gardner, Westminster and Fitchburg, to Leo- 
minster. The Sixth Massachusetts Turnpike Coi'poration 
was established on the 22d of June, 1799, their road com- 
mencing on the East line of Amherst, and passing through 
Pelham, Greenwich, Hardwick, New Bi-aintree, Oakham, 
Rutland, Holden and Worcester, "to the great road in 
Shrewsbury, leading from New York to Boston." The 
road was ordered to be not less than four rods wide, and 
the traveled path not less than eighteen feet wide, in any 
place. Tlie Tenth Turnpike Coz-poration was established 
on the 16th of June, 1800, for the purpose of laying out, 
making and keeping in re^^air a road from the point where 
the Farmington river crosses the line between Massachu- 
setts and Connecticut, by the side of the river through 
Sandisfield, Bethlehem, (now a part of Otis) Becket and 
Lee, to Lenox Court House ; thence over the mountain, 
through Richmond and Hancock, to the New York State 
line. The Twelfth Turnpike Corpoi-ation received its 
charter on the 19th of June, 1801. Its road commenced 
on the Connecticut line, in Slieffield, at the termination of 
a turnpike leading to Hartford, and ran Northwesterly to 
meet the Hudson River Turnpike, at the line of New 
York. The Thirteenth Corporation, established June 19th, 
1801, built a road from the Connecticut line through Gran- 
ville, to the Northwestern part of Loudon, now a portion 
of the town of Otis. The Fourteenth Corporation was 


cliarteredon the 11th of March, 1802, to buihl a road from 
the West end of the Fifth Turnpike in Greenfield, through 
that town, Shelburne, Buckland and Charlemont, to the 
Eastern terminus of the Second Turnpike, leading over 
Hoosac Mountain. The Fifteenth Turnpike Corporation 
was established on the 12th of February, 1803, for the 
purpose of building a road from the Connecticut line in 
Southfield (now a part of Sandisfield) to connect with a 
turnpike from New Haven ; thence through Sandisfield, 
New Marlboro and Great Barrington, to the Southern line 
of Stockbridge. Tlie Sixteenth Corporation was chartered 
on the of February, 1803, to build a road from the 
West line of West Springfield, through Southwick, Gran- 
v\]\(i, Tolland and Sandisfield, to the turni)ikc route pass- 
ing through Sheifield, from Hartford, Ct., to Hudson, 
N. Y. 

The Petersham and Monson Corporation was established 
Februaiy 29th, 1804, its road leading from the Fifth Turn- 
pike in Athol, through the towns of Athol, Petersham, 
Dana, Greenwich, Ware, Palmer and Monson, to connect 
with the turn]fike leading to Stafford in Connecticut. The 
Becket Turnpike Corporation received its charter on the 
22d of June, 1803, for building a road from Becket, con- 
necting tlie turnpike from Hartford to Lenox with the 
turnpike leading from Pittsfield to Westfield. The Spring- 
field and Longmeadow Corporation was established on the 
7th of March, 1804, for the pur])ose of building a road 
from the Southern extremity of Main Street, by a direct 
route through Longmeadow to the Connecticut line. The 
Tyringham and Lee Corporation, established on the loth 
of March, 1805, built a road between specified points in 
those towns, and the Williamsburg and Windsor Corpora- 
tion, established on the 16th of March, 1805, bulk a road 
through Williamsburg, Goshen, Cummington and Windsor 
to the East line of Cheshire. Besides these, there were 
the Belcliertown and Greenwich, the Blandford and Rus- 
sell, the Chester, and, perhaps, a few other minor turn- 
pike corporations. In fact, nearly all tlie turnpikes estab- 
lished by the Legislature were located in the Western part 
of the State. 

The tedious list of turnpike corporations which has been 
enumerated, the list of bridge corporations given, and the 



statements in connection with the construction of the loclcs 
and canals for the purpose of x'endering Connecticut River 
navigable, will show the nature of the enterprises that en- 
gaged the attention of the people in the years of peace, 
industry and enterprise that followed the Shays Rebellion. 
The turnpike fever was equal to the railroad fever of later 
times. Turnpikes were everywhere, and the taxation of 
transport was universal, but that taxation was not, for many 
years, felt to be a grievance. The turnpike roads greatly 
facilitated access to markets, and, in the same degree, in- 
creased the value of real estate on every route through 
which they passed. It is, comparatively, but a few years 
since the towns, made competent and populous through 
their assistance, took the large majority of them from the 
hands of their proprietors, and assumed their support at 
the public charge. That they had a decided effect in the 
development of the resources, the healthy stimulation of 
the industry, and tlie establishment upon the soundest basis, 
of the prosperity of Western Massachusetts, is evident 
alike from their popularity as investments, the regions 
through wliich they passed, and the points of production 
and exchange which they connected. 

The style of life, maimers and dress, at the commence- 
ment of the licth century, is a subject of interest to the 
present dwellers upon the soil, and will be still more so to 
their successors. A venerable native of Northampton — 
an absentee from his birth-place for lialf a century — in a 
communication to tlie Hampshire Gazette, has described it 
minutely, and that town Avill serve as a truthful type of the 
style of the region and the times. It was not the custom 
then to warm the churches. Rev. Solomon Williams was 
pastor of the church in Nortliampton, and he used to 
preach in a blue great coat, with a bandanna handkerchief 
about his neck, and woolen mittens on his hands. Tlie 
boys in the church were accustomed to warm their feet by 
pounding them against the benches, the women performing 
the same office for themselves, through the more silent 
agency of foot-stoves. The deacons were ranged in a line 
at the foot of the pulpit. At that time, prayer meetings 
were deemed somewliat fanatical, but the children were 
taught the catechism, and were catechized quarterly, at the 
school-house, by the minister. The Lord's Supper was re- 


garded as a converting ordinance, and it was not uncom- 
jnon for mothers, just before the birth of their first cliikl, 
to join the church, in order that their first infants might 
have the right to, and benefit of, baptism. 

The gallows, whi})ping-post and pillory stood in front of 
the school-liouse, and, on Saturday, the Sheriff of the Coun- 
ty executed such sentences as called into exercise the of- 
fice of • those instructive instruments. Whether it Avas 
supposed that whipping on the bare back, cropping the 
ears, branding the forehead with a hot iron, standing on 
the pillory, and sitting on the gallows, were suitable modes 
of impressing lessons of obedience upon the children, does 
not appear, but the proximity of those scenes to the school- 
Jiouse would seem to show that their effect was deemed 
anything but demoralizing. Judicial dignity was main- 
tained by the old methods. The judges walked from their 
lodgings to the Court House in a line, wearing cocked hats 
that covered powdered heads of hair. They were preced- 
ed by the high sheriff, who also wore a cocked hat, and 
carried a long rod or wand in his hand, the Court House 
bell ringing while they were walking from their lodgings 
to the scene of their proceedings. 

In social life, ardent spirits played an important part. 
Respectable traders dealt out the article to very misera- 
ble topers, respectable men assembled, even on Sunday 
evenings, in the parlor of the village tavern, to drink 
flip and smoke their pipes, respectable young men 
went forth in sleighing parties, stopping at every tavern 
for their flip, and boys drank flip by the hour in the bar- 
rooms of respectable members of the church. Then, Sun- 
day night was the night for play among the children, Sat- 
urday night being observed as holy time. They pui-sued 
their noisy games in the street, or assembled in neighbor- 
ing houses to play blind-man's-buff, and tell stories. Then 
there was not an umbrella in town. The old men all 
wore cocked hats and long queues, Avhile the more genteel 
and stylish wore rnflles at their wrists. This description 
would seem almost to belong to another age, but only a 
brief half century has made the changes that give to it 
its strangeness and anticpiity, and many an active memory 
now recalls what the pen depicts and perpetuates. 



The War of 1812 — Conclusion of the Outline 


The prosperity growing out of the extensive public en- 
terprises, instituted for the purpose of increasing the facil- 
ities of intercourse and transport in Western Massachu- 
setts, was sadly interrupted by the second war with Great 
Britain, fixmiliarly known as " The War of 1812." The 
events which brought about this war are still in the mem- 
ory of many now living, while the policy on which it was 
based, and by which it was managed, has been so long, and 
so unjustly, connected witli party politics and associated 
with party names, that it still remains to the historian to 
render full justice to, and impartial judgment upon, the 
motives, the policy, the measures, and the men, whose 
fierce collisions and bitter animosities made so stronsr an 
impression upon the public mind that it has resisted the 
obliterating influences of forty peaceful and prosperous 
years. A very brief recital of the events which led to 
the war, and a statement of the principal movements in 
Western Massachusetts connected with its progress, are all 
that will be attemjjted here. 

Scarcely a dozen years had passed after the treaty of 
1783, when England, engaged in her terrible struggle with 
Napoleon, was driven by the necessities of her immense 
navy to the impressment of her own subjects for seamen. 
This necessity pressed so sternly, and was so little governed 
by motives of national honor, tlaat, passing beyond her own 
bounds, her cruisers boarded American merchantmen on 
the pretense of searching for British deserters, and im- 
pressed American sailors who wei'e known to be otherwise. 
In nine monfhs of the yeai's 1796 and 1797, the American 
Minister at London had made application for the release 
of 271 seamen, the majority of whom were American cit- 
izens. Nor did she stop here, but claimed the right to im- 
press, on American vessels, British seamen and British 
subjects. American merchantmen were boarded and 


American seamen impressed, in American waters. An 
Amei'ican merchantman lying in the harbor of New York 
was boarded by the British frigate Cambria in 1804, and 
several of her seamen were carried off. American ves- 
sels, passing from port to port, of the United States, were 
fired into. In 1806, the British Orders in Council and 
Napoleon's Berlin and Milan Decrees were issued. Eng- 
land declared France and the whole continent in a state 
of blockade, and France retaliated in kind. Under the 
operation of these orders and decrees, American ships be- 
came the prey of both England and France. England 
declared all ships sailing from the harbors of France and 
her allies to be la\\^ul prizes, save those that first touched 
at, or sailed from, English ports ; and France adopted the 
same unjust and destructive policy with regard to ships 
that had touched at an English port, or allowed themselves 
to be searched by British cruisers. Between both powers, 
American commerce was in danger, almost, of annihilation. 
The American nation was in dish-ess, and on fire with ex- 
citement, and, in retaliation for the mischiefs and injustice 
imposed by the French Decrees and the British Orders in 
Council, an embargo was laid in 1807 upon all American 
vessels and merchandise. This embargo prohibited all 
American vessels from sailing from foreign ports, and for- 
bade foreign ships taking cargoes from American ports, 
while all coasting vessels were obliged to give bonds to 
land their cargoes in the United States. This measure, 
while it doubtless saved multitudes of American ships, in- 
flicted on the people generally, by its arrest of the tide of 
commerce, more distress than their loss would have done. 
The measure weighed very heavily upon New England, 
and under the pressure of the loud complaint raised in this 
section, the law was repealed in 1809, and a law suljstitu- 
ted, prohibiting commercial intercouse with France and 
England. In 1810, this law was modified, so as to exclude 
only British and armed vessels from the waters of the 
United States, with the provision that it should be fully 
restored in the event that England and France did not re- 
cede from their edicts. 

Passing by the action and debates of the Twelftli Con- 
gress, the negotiations between the American and British 
Governments, and a recapitulation of the events that oc- 

320 THE WAR OF 1812. 

curred in the progress of diplomacy, we come to tlie decla- 
ration of war proclaimed by the President on the 19th of 
June, 1812. The declaration was received in New Eng- 
land generally, and in Massachusetts particularly, with ut- 
ter condemnation. The country was then divided into two 
parties, the Democratic and Federal, who traced their ori- 
gin to the date of the formation of the Federal Constitu- 
tion, the Federalists being those who were in favor of 
consolidation and concentration of power in the federal 
head, wliile the Democrats advocated the preservation of 
more extended powers in the Governments of the several 
States. The one was doubtless too conservative ; the oth- 
er, too I'adical ; and the Constitution was a happy compro- 
mise of these extreme views. Under the Constitution, the 
parties were continued, and exhibited their proclivities by 
respectively bestowing upon that instrument a strict and a 
latitudinarian construction. At the time war was declared, 
Madison was President, with a Democratic Congress at his 
back, and the Democratic party, then largely in the major- 
ity, in favor of the war, while the Federalists were bitterly 
against it. The sympathies of the latter, so far as her 
quarrel with France was concerned, were on the side of 
Great Britain, while the Democrats favored the French, to 
the disparagement of the British cause. The Federalists 
regarded Great Britain as struggling for her very exist- 
ence, against the jDOwer of a monster of political iniquity. 
They believed that England was not inimical to America, 
and that she had only resorted to imjiressment of Ameri- 
can seamen, and her Orders in Council, to save herself 
from the grasp of one whose success they regarded as the 
gi'eatest of possible evils. They deemed it as much the 
duty of the Government to declare war against France as 
against England, as she stood on the same ground, and 
was, as they believed, in the wrong in her struggle with 
England. It may safely be said that party feehng ran so 
high, and j^arty lines were so closely drawn, that neither 
party, save by pure accident, could have been wholly right. 
In Massachusetts, the war became the theme of pulpit de- 
nunciation, the subject of consideration and condemnation 
in town meetings, and the target of full quivers of resolu- 
tions from the taught-strung bows of conventions. Berk- 
shire was somewhat more Democratic than the river region, 


but the latter was very thoroughly Federal, and hated the 
war with entire heartiness. 

It will be necessary, in noticing the movements in this 
region, to refer to changes in the old county of Hampshire 
that occurred at a briefly anterior date. On the 24th of 
June, 1811, the Northern portion of the county succeeded 
in its endeavors to be set off into a distinct county, with 
the name of Franklin, and with Greenfield as its shire 
town, though Cheapside, in Deerfield, was the favorite lo- 
cation for the county houses, among the majority of the 
towns. The existence of county buildings in Ijoth Spring- 
field and Northampton, and the increase of legal business 
in consequence of the increase of population, soon after- 
wards excited a movement in the Southern part of Hamp- 
shire, for still another division, and on February 2."), LSI 2, 
the division was effected, by the establishment of the pres- 
ent County of Hampden, with Si)ringfield as the county 
seat. Old Hampshire was thus divided into tliree coun- 
ties, — the middle county, with Northampton as the shire 
town, retaining the time-honored name by which the whole 
of Western Massachusetts was originally known. 

Immediately after the declaration of war, nearly all the 
towns in Western Massachusetts possessing Federal ma- 
jorities, passed resolutions condemning it, and, V)y concert 
of action, the towns of the three river counties, in legal 
town meetings, appointed delegates to a grand convention 
to ])e liolden at Northampton on the 1 !th of .Inly, 1812, to 
consult upon tlie war. Accordingly, on that day, delegates 
from 57 towns in the three counties assembled at tlie 
Nortliampton Court House. In 53 of these towns, the 
deh'gates were regularly appointed, and appeared witli the 
certificates of their respective town clerks, while the re- 
maining four sent representatives of federal minorities. 
Tiie most of these delegates are now deceasc^d, but a few 
still survive. Their names were as follow : — 

Springfield — John Hooker, Chauncey Brewer, Justin Lom- 
bard, Joseph Pease; Nortliampton— Joseph Lyman, Isaac 
Clark, Elijah H. Mills, Lewis Strong; Iladley— Charles Phelps, 
Samuel Porter; Hatfield — Isaac Maltby, Israel Billings; 
Deerfield — Ephraim Williams, Epaphras Hoit, HinyArms; 
Sunderland— Simeon Ballard; Blanclford— Jedediah Smith, 
AlansonKnox; Pelham — Isaac Abercrombie; Palmer — Amos 

322 THE WAR OF 1812. 

Hamilton, Alpheus Converse; Southampton — Luther Edwards, 
John Lyman ; South Hadley — Mark Doolittle, Bezaleel Al- 
vord; Greenfield — Richard E. Nevvcomb, Samuel Wells; 
New Salem — Samuel C. Allen; Montague — Henry Wells; 
Granville — David Curtis; Greenwich — Robert Field, Joseph 
Williams ; Amherst — Ebenezer Mattoon, Samuel F. Dickin- 
son, Simeon Strong; Monson — Deodatus Dutton ; Belcher- 
town — Joseph Bridgman, Justus Forward, Phineas Blair; Cole- 
rain — John Drury; Shutesbury — William Ward; Ware — 
William Paige ; Chesterfield — Asa White, Spencer Phelps ; 
South Brimfield — Darius Munger ; Warwick — Caleb Mayo ; 
Wilbraham — Robert Sessions, Aaron Woodward ; Ashfield — 
Henry Bassett; Charlemont— Stephen Bates ; Chester — Asa- 
hel Wright: Conway — Elisha Billings, John Bannister; Gran- 
by — Eli Dickinson, Levi Smith; Shelburne — William Wells; 
Worthington — Ezra Starkweather, Jonathan Brewster; Whate- 
ly — Phineas Frary ; Williamsburg — William Bodman, John 
Wells ; Norwich — William Fobes, Jesse Joy ; Westhampton 
— Sylvester Judd, Aaron Fisher, Jonathan Clarke ; Buckland 
— Levi White; Cummington — Peter Bryant; Montgomery — 
Edward Taylor ; Wendell — Joshua Green ; Goshen — Oliver 
Taylor ; Middlefield — Erastus Ingham ; Rowe — John Wells ; 
Heath — Roger Leavitt ; Hawley — Thomas Longley; Gill — 
Gilbert Stacy; Plainfield — Nehemiah Joy; Easthampton — 
Thaddeus Clapp ; Holland — John Polley ; Tolland — Eleazer 
Slocomb. The irregular delegates were Rufus Stratton from 
Northfield, Hezekiah Nevvcomb and Caleb Chapin from Ber- 
nardston, Peletiah Bliss and Timothy Burbank from West 
Springfield; and Rufus Graves from Leverett. 

In all, there were 88 delegates, comi^osed of the best and 
most inlluential citizens in the three counties, many of 
whom were in high civil and military office. The conven- 
tion organized by the choice of John Hooker of Spring- 
field for President, and Isaac C. Bates of Northamjjton for 
Secretary. The proceedings were opened with prayer by 
Rev. Mr. Williams of Northampton. An address to the 
people, previously issued by the anti-war minority in Con- 
gress, was then read, when Elijah H. Mills, Ephraim Wil- 
liams, Lewis Strong, Samuel Hills, Joseph Lyman, Ezra 
Starkweather, John Hooker, Samuel C. Allen, and 
Samuel F. Dickinson were appointed a committee to 
report in regard to the proper action of the Conven- 
tion, concerning public affairs, after which the Conven- 
tion adjourned until the loth. On that day, the Committee 
reported that it was expedient to present a respectful me- 



morial to the President of the United States, praying that 
Commissioners might be forthwith appointed to negotiate a 
peace with Great Britain, upon safe and honorable terms, 
and a memorial to that effect was therewith su1)mitted, with 
a series of resolutions for the consideration of the Conven- 
tion. The Committee also reported that it was expedient 
to appoint four delegates from each county, to meet in 
State Convention, provided the measure should be adopted 
in other parts of the Commonwealth, and, also, that Com- 
mittees of Safety and Correspondence be appointed in each 
County, and that it be recommended to each town to choose 
similar Committees, in its corporate capacity. The entire 
report, with a few amendments of the memorial, was 
adopted, and the Committees recommended were appoint- 
ed. The following were chosen delegates to the Slate 
Convention from 

Hampden — William Shepard, George Bliss, Samuel La- 
tlirop and Amos Hamilton. 

Hampshire — Joseph Lyman, Eli P. Ashmun, William 
Bodman, and Samuel F. Dickinson. 

Franklin — Ephraim Williams, Richard E. Newcomb, 
Rufus Graves and Roger Leavitt. 

The Committees of Safety and Correspondence were, 
for Hampden, .hicob Bliss, John Hooker, Oliver B. Morris 
and Jonathan Dwight Jr.; for Hampshire, Jonathan II. 
Lyman, Lewis Strong, Isaac C. Bates and William Ed- 
wards ; for Franklin, Jonathan Leavitt, Samuel Wells, 
Elijah Alvord 2(1, and George Grennell Jr. 

At the time of holding this Convention, Caleb Strong of 
Northampton was Governor of Massachusetts. That the 
memorial and the resolutions adopted represented his views, 
is to be presumed, — a presumption receiving additional 
force from the fact that Lewis Strong, his son, was a mem- 
ber of the Connnittee that reported them, and had the 
credit of being the able author of the memorial. By con- 
densation of the expression of opinion and sentiment con- 
tained in these documents, it is proposed to exhibit the 
Massachusetts view of the war, and to develop such facts 
of importance in connection with it as may be deemed de- 

The memorial claims to represent to the President the 
views of 80,000 souls, that being the aggregate constitueu- 

324 THE WAR OF 1812. 

cy of the Convention. It declares that it is I'equisite to 
the proper administration of the Government that it be 
guided and governed in its operations by public opinion, in 
its deliberate voice upon subjects correctly understood and 
appreciated by the popular mind, and that the " substitutes 
and agents" of the people in public office should give that 
opinion heed. A common interest, the memorialists de- 
clare, was the basis of the federal Union, and whenever 
any section should consider its own interests sacrificed, to 
aid the ambition, or appease the jealousies of another, it 
was not to be concealed that the indulgence in those feel- 
ings which partial measures were calculated to produce 
would endanger the Union. 

Having premised thus much, and more of like bearing, 
the memorialists state that, for many years after the estab- 
lishment of the j^resent goveAiment, the prosperity and 
happiness of the people were great beyond example, but 
since the attempts on the part of the Government, in 
1807, to protect commerce by withdrawing it from the 
ocean, enterprise had lost its activity and labor its hope of 
reward, until, such was the commercial distress in New 
England, that the people had come to regard their rulers 
rather as enemies than friends. They endorsed the ad- 
dress of the Congressional minority, and said that it was 
not necessary for them to go over, in detail, the ground 
covered by that document, to prove the war to be " neither 
just, necessary nor expedient." In reference to the Ber- 
lin and Milan Decrees, they say that those decrees were al- 
leged to have been repealed in jVovember, 1810, but Great 
Britain, in justification of her refusal to withdraw her Or- 
ders in Council, had invariably considered the promise of 
repeal, made in the month of August preceding, as depend- 
ent on the determination of the American Government to 
cause its rights to be resjjected, by the commencement of - 
hostilities against the English. In vain did the people of 
the Union wait, for more than eighteen months, to see the 
repealing decree, and they did not see it until within thirty 
days after the declaration of war, when it appeared, bear- 
ing the date of April, 1811, (more than a year previous to 
its formal promulgation) notwithstanding that, in the mean- 
time, the existence of those decrees in full force was dem- 
onstrated by the indiscriminate capture of American prop- 



erty by the French, and by the fact that French ministe- 
rial officers were in total ignorance of their revocation. 
In brief, the memorialists regarded the alleged repeal of 
the French decrees, before the declaration of war, as a 
mere pretense, — as a deception in which our own and the 
French Governments were complicated, and in which the 
American Government had become the tool of France, for 
embarrassing the affairs and crippling the power of Eng- 
land, with- which power there would not have been the 
slightest pretense for war, had France really repealed her 
decrees, as England had agreed to withdraw her Orders in 
Council when those decrees should be revoked. 

The memorial then states the conviction of the Con- 
vention that measures should immediately be taken, in the 
event of the repeal of the British Orders in Council, [an 
event early realized] to bring the war, in its infancy, to 
an honorable termination, and tliat a persistence in hostili- 
ties, after the removal of that, the only leading and recent 
ground of war against Great Britain, would be viewed as 
deeply alarming to the liberties and independence of the 
United States, Whatever course Great Britain might 
pursue, in consequence of the fraudulent attempt that had 
been made to bind America to the cause of France, they 
did not consider the Avar as required by the interest, secu- 
rity or honor of tlie American jx'oplc. '• If war has been 
declared to cleanse the honor of the Government, should 
not that jiower have been selected, as our enemy, which 
inflicted the stain '( which, while it has declared the Amer- 
icans to be * more dependant than Jamaica, which, at least, 
has its Assembly of Eepresentatives and its privileges,' 
has practically expressed her contempt of our Govern- 
ment, and her disregard of National law, by seizing, scut- 
tling and bui-ning our merchant vessels, without even the 
forms of regular adjudication ?" The memorialists could 
not see how affairs were to be mended, even if Great 
Britain had given cause for war, by the necessary change 
of impressment for imprisonment, and imaulhorlzed for 
authorized seizure of American ships and merchandise. 
They closed by a prayer to the President that Commission- 
ers might be fortliwitli appointed, on the part of the Gov- 
ernment, to negotiate a treaty with Great Britain, on safe, 
just and honorable terms. 

S26 THE WAR OF 1812. 

The resolutions passed by the Convention cover the 
entire ground represented in the memorial, and descend 
still fux'ther into particulars. They accuse the Government 
of studiously deviating from the course pursued by Wash- 
ington in intercourse with foreign nations, of prostituting 
the national character and sacrificing vital interests, of 
partiality for one nation and hostility to another, wholly 
inconsistent with the maintenance of an honorable neutral- 
ity, of aggravating and emblazoning the wrongs received 
from Great Britain, and palliating and concealing those 
committed by France, and of declaring an unjust and lui- 
necessary war, in opposition to the opinions, wishes and 
interests of a vast majority of the commercial States. 
They deprecated, " as the vengeance of Heaven," an al- 
liance with the Emperor of France, renounced further 
confidence in rulers who had abused their trust, declared 
that they had yet to learn that Congress had any power for 
calling out the militia, except " to execute the laws of the 
Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions," and 
that the Convention had no knowledge of any opposition 
to the laws, the existence of any insurrection, or of any 
actual or imjiending invasion. The last resolution, of the 
twenty-one adopted, is quoted entire : 

"That, although we do not consider ourselves bound, vol- 
imtarily, to aid in the prosecution of an offensive war, which 
we believe to be neither just, necessary nor expedient, we 
will submit, like good citizens, to the requisitions of the Con- 
stitution, and promptly repel ail hostile attacks upon our coun- 
try. That, collecting fortitude from the perils of the crisis, 
and appealing to the searcher of hearts for the purity of our 
motives, we will exert ourselves, by all constitutional means, 
to avert the dangers which surround us; and that, while we 
discountenance all forcible opposition to the laws, we will ex- 
pose ourselves to every hazard and every sacrifice to prevent 
a ruinous alliance with the tyrant of France, to restore a 
speedy, just and honorable peace, to preserve inviolate the 
Union of the States, in the true spirit of the Constitution, 
and to perpetuate the safety, honor and liberties of our coun- 

The authorities of the United States and the Govern- 
ment of Massachusetts came early in collision. Governor 
Strong was disposed to a strict construction of the Consti- 
tution, and as he, lilie the Northampton Convention, could 



not see in the occasion any laws of the Union to be execu- 
ted, insurrections to be suppressed, or invasions to be re- 
pelled, he declined accession to the requisition made for 
Massachusetts troops, to be placed at the command of the 
President. His refusal involved grave questions touching 
the jjower of the federal Government to call out the militia 
of the States, to decide on the exigency for calling them 
into service, and to place them in command of United 
States officers after they wei'e called out. In all these 
points. Governor Strong was opposed to the President, 
and was supported in his position by the wi'itten opinion 
of the Supreme Court of the State ; and thus, the federal 
party, the strongest at first in the advocacy of the concen- 
tration of power in the federal head, became the first to 
oppose what was deemed a usurpation of the rights of the 
State. The Governor did not believe that the mere act of 
declaring war, on the part of the President of the United 
States, gave him any right to call the militia of the several 
States into service. During the year, therefore, the militia 
of Massachusetts remained unemployed, though they were 
directed to hold themselves in readiness to repel invasion 
of the territory of the State. 

With the exception of the purchase of fourteen acres of 
land at Pittsfield, by tlie U. S. Government, on which to 
erect barracks and a hospital for the troops, no event of 
importance in connection with the war occurred in West- 
ern Massachusetts, until a call for troops was issued by 
GoA'crnor Strong, in the Autumn of 1814. At this time, 
England had become, in a measure, released from the pres- 
sures of war at home, and, with a large disposable force 
at her command, she blockaded (on paper) the whole At- 
lantic coast of the United States, and declared her inten- 
tion to lay waste the whole coast, from Maine to Georgia. 
On the 1st of September, the British forces took peaceable 
possession of Castine, on the Penobscot, then within the 
jurisdiction of Massachusetts. 

The U. S. troops being withdrawn from the coast, and 
an invasion apprehended, the Governor made a requisition 
for troops, to be draughted from the militia companies in the 
State, with orders to march to Boston. One regiment of 
infantry was made up from the companies in the Nortliern 
part of old Hampshhe County, under the command of 

828 THE WAR OP 1813. 

Col. Thomas Longley of Hawley. A regiment of infantry 
also went from the Southern part of old Hampshire, under 
the command of Col. Enos Foot of Southwick. A regi- 
ment of artillery was also made up within the old County 
bounds, consisting of an entire company from Springfield, un- 
der Capt. Quartus Stebbins, another comjjany from North- 
ampton under Capt. Asahel Strong, one from Belchertown 
under Capt. Bridgman, and one from Northfield, under 
Capt. Mattoon, the regiment being under the command of 
Col. William Edwards. An entire regiment of infantry 
went from Berkshire. The higher officers of the Western 
Massachusetts troops were Major General Whiton of New 
Marlborough, in Berkshire County, whose aids were Col. 
Henry W. Dwight of Stockbridge, and Col. Sloane of 
Lanesborough ; and Brigadier ■ General Jacob Bliss of 
Springfield. The troojis marched about the middle of Oc- 
tober. The Springfield artillery left on a Sabbath morn- 
ing ; and the prayer offered by Rev. Dr. Osgood, then 
young in his pastoral office, in the presence of the troops, 
before they left, is still fresh in the memories of no incon- 
siderable number of the citizens of the town. 

On the arrival of the troops at Boston, the regiments 
from the river counties were stationed at Dorchester, on the 
spot then known as Commercial Point, and the Berkshire 
regiment, between which and its neighbors there was no 
great cordiality of feeling, was stationed at Cambridgeport. 
They spent some forty days in camp, had an extremely 
pleasant time, were reviewed by the Governor on the Com- 
mon, and then were dismissed to their homes ; and thus 
ended Avliat was known, in the language of the day, as 
" Governor Strong's war." 

The famous Hartford Convention assembled on the 15th 
of the following December. It consisted of twelve dele- 
gates appointed by the Legislature of Massachusetts, seven 
by the Legislature of Connecticut, and four by that of 
Rhode Island, with one from Vermont and two from New 
Hampshire, who appeared as delegates appointed by local 
Conventions. The delegates from Western Massachusetts 
were George Bliss of Springfield and. Joseph Lyman of 
Northampton. The body was one of the most respectable, 
in the points of talent, acquirements, patriotism, statesman- 
ship and high moral and social worth, ever assembled, on 



any occasion, within the United States. Conj^ress, imme- 
diately after the adjournment of the Convention, passed a 
law which was signed by the President, following out, to 
the letter, its principal recommendations, which recommend- 
ations accorded fully with the principles and policy on 
which Gov. Strong had acted from the first. The recom- 
mendations of the Convention were that the States take 
measures to protect their citizens from " forcible draughts, 
conscriptions or impressments, not authorized by the Con- 
stitution of the United States," and that an earnest appli- 
cation be made to the General Government, requesting its 
consent to some ari-angement whereby the States separate- 
ly, or in concert, might assume ujion themselves the de- 
fense of their territory against the enemy ; and that a reas- 
onable portion of tlie taxes collected within the State 
might be appropriated to that olyect. The law passed by 
Congress, three weeks afterwards, authorized and recpiired 
the President to " receive into the service of the United 
States any corps of troops wliich may have been, or may 
be, raised, organized and officered under the authority of 
any of the States, to be employed in the State raising 
the same, or an adjoining State, and not elsewhere except 
with the consent of the executive of the State raising the 
same." The treaty of peace, which had already been 
signed at Ghent, and whicli arrived soon after the passage 
of the law, put a stop to all further proceedings, and the 
second war with England was at an end. 

With the close of this Avar, it is proposed to conclude 
the outline liistory of Western Massachusetts, which has 
been extended over a period of nearly one hundred and 
eighty years. We have seen the little pi-ayerful band of 
pilgrims from Roxbury, as they planted their feet and for- 
tunes in the Connecticut Valley when that " Eden was a 
wild ;" we have seen them establishing their plantations 
along the banks of the stream, and building their forts and 
their churches ; we have witnessed that long scene of fear 
and blood through which they passed, in their struggle 
Avith perfidious native tribes ; we have seen the savage life 
of the region fade away to blank extinction, as in a dis- 
solving' view, before the advancing scene of civilization ; 
Ave have marked the tide of emigration as it flowed West- 
Avard, across the mountains, into the valley of the Housa- 


tonic, and swelled Northward among the rivnlets and hills 
of that region ; the scenes of the series of French and In- 
dian wars, with all their doubts and dangers, their trials 
and conflicts, have passed before us, followed by that long 
and glorious struggle which terminated in National inde- 
pendence ; we have beheld the wild excitements of civil 
discord, the peaceful labors of enterprise, and the unwel- 
come front of war again looming in the prospect, to mar 
the work of bloody and toilsome years, yet everywhere, 
among all these features, we have seen the angel of pro- 
gress, sometimes soaring — often bound — always hoping, 
and never despairing, moving joyously, or smiling encour- 
agingly, and pointing onward. The venerable shades of 
our fathers have been summoned before us. We have 
seen them as they knelt in prayer by their rude hearth- 
stones, and sung their godly hymns in their cheerless sanc- 
tuaries ; we have seen them in their tireless watches and 
border-wars, — brave, indomitable, patient, enduring, daring 
and dying. We have watched them in their daily life — 
honest, upright, uncompromising, noble and generous men 
— who loved God, hated the devil, and feared not the face 
of man. We have seen them as they fell, and worthy 
sons, our fathers still, strode sturdily on in the path made 
sacred by their footsteps. 

But this moving panorama of life and event has not 
been the pastime of an idle evening. The present age is 
painted upon the same canvas, which is rolling still, and 
waiting only the index of a future delineator. The pres- 
ent is bound to the past by its very existence, and the 
highway of progress in Avhich the generation of to-day 
walk, is but the continuation of the first path trod by pil- 
grim feet. The past is our past. Its noble lessons, its 
high experience, its glories and its honors are ours by le- 
gitimate inheritance ; and, while we exult in them and are 
jjroud of them, we should poorly do them honor did we 
fail to recognize and act upon the principles from which 
they sprung. History is but the demonstrator of Chris- 
tianity and the register of Providence, and could the 
shades of those who have gone before, return to the scene 
of their former toils and trials, they would see, (what they 
have already seen in a brighter light,) in the churches, the 
schools, the rail.ways, the manufactories, the fertile valleys 



and hills, and, above all, in the prosperity and happiness 
of an educated and progressive community, such an expla- 
nation and justification of all their adversities and afflic- 
tions, as would crown their kingly old faitli with a never 
dying joy. With a vision thus informed, there would not 
be a page of their history on which they could not see the 
print of God's finger, and not a leaf — even the most bloody 
— that was not illuminated by the seal of providential 
mercy. For they would see that to-day is but the child 
of yesterday, — that the present is but the daughter of the 
past, and that pain is only, though evermore, the incident 
of matei'nity. They would see that the wealth of bles- 
sings enjoyed by their large posterity is, in God's great 
economy, but the legitimate result of the ti-ials they en- 
dured, the toils they sustained, the blood they shed, and the 
painful struggles they put forth ; and that, without those 
sacrifices, there now would be effeminacy in the place of 
manhood, darkness in the place of light, vice in the place 
of vii'tue, poverty in the place of prosperity, and contempt 
for God and Christianity where now, even Sabbath silence 
is eloquent witli the language of honor and veneration. 

What the fathers would thus see, every true son cannot 
fail to see, and seeing, he cannot but do honor to the mem- 
ory of the past by abiding to its glories, day by day, and 
thus blessing the future with a past in harmony with itself. 
Each man's thread of life forms a portion of the warp of 
history, and as the shuttles of the flying days tlu'ow across 
it their woof of circumstance, event, influence, interest, 
love and common weal, the fabric should grow stronger 
and more beautiful, until, when the end approaches, it shall 
be all gold, fit to form the crown of a Colossal Past, draped 
in the harmoniously descending folds of a history com- 








The Geology of Western JIassachusetts. 

In looking; at the geology of "Western Massachusetts, we 
at once divide it into two portions, as has been done in the 
outline history — that of the Connecticut Valley, and Berk- 
shire County. This seems a natural division, since the 
geological characteristics of each are so decidedly differ- 
ent, and since the mineral products are so much more ex- 
tensive in the one than in the other. But this is not abso- 
lutely correct ; for in neither of these sections can we 
fail to find objects of scientific interest, and in each are 
found mines, quarries, and other mineral products, of no 
small value and extent. Instead, therefore, of adopting 
this more comprehensive and general plan, it is proposed 
to substitute one which will bring to notice the more inter- 
esting facts in a concise form, and one more easily under- 
stood. This is as follows : 

First. — An outline of the geological formations 


Second. — Theoretical Geology. 

Third. — Matters of economical value. 

Fourth. — Places of scenographical be^lUty and 


The prevailing and almost the only rock found hi the 
Eastern portions of Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden 
counties, is the Gneiss, or, as it is sometimes wrongly 
called, Granite. This, in its composition, is the same as 
Granite, although the arrangement of its ingredients is 
quite different ; they being arranged in strata, or layers, in 
Gneiss, while they are confusedly mixed together in Gran- 
ite. • Its color is generally a light gray, although, at one 
locality, in this valley, it lias a peculiar reddish tint. Ex- 
amples of this kind of rock, which is very much used as a 
building material, may be seen in the so-called " Monson 
Granite," in the new Library Building at Amherst Col- 
lege, or in the piers of the railroad bridge over the Deer- 
field river, in the town of Deerfield. The quarries of the 



Monson stone are mostly in the town of Monson, although 
formerly it was dug to some extent in Palmer. That of 
which the Amherst College Library Building is construct- 
ed, was found at Pelham, where it exists in great quanti- 
ties, and of a most excellent quality. But that of which 
the Connecticut River railroad bridge at Deerfield is built, 
was quan-ied at Northfield, which, it is safe to predict, will 
be in gi'eat demand when the taste and means to construct 
stone edifices in greater abundance than at present shall 
require its use. This rock is found in great abundance in 
the central portions of Massachusetts, and is really a beau- 
tiful building stone, which cannot fail to attract the eye of 
an ordinary observer, if it be merely in the fresh surfaces 
that are exposed in a newly-laid stone fence. 

The most plausible theory jiroposed to account for the 
formation of this rock, is, that it is a metamorphic rock, or, 
in other words, one that has been altered or changed from 
another condition, by heat. This supposes that the Gneiss 
was originally deposited as a sand-stone — of course, much 
earlier than the now existing sand-stone of the Connecti- 
cut Valley — which contained fossils, both animals and plants, 
but which, owing to an intense heat, has been so nearly 
melted as to destroy its organic remains, but not all marks 
of stratification. And this, cooling from such a tempera- 
ture, and under so great pressure, would, when completely 
cooled down, become a crystalline, instead of a sedimen- 
tary rock. We find the Gneiss as far West as the towns 
which constitute the proper Eastern boundary of the Con- 
necticut valley, and then we lose sight of it, until we have 
passed fairly to the Western border of this valley, when it 
again appears. The width of this valley, interposed be- 
tween the walls of the Gneiss, is from fifteen to twenty 
miles, — the nearest portions being between Wilbraham and 
Granville, which are about twenty miles apart. 

If we follow the general direction of the Connecticut 
River through Massachusetts, and allow a space of from 
four to eight miles on each side of the river through its 
whole course, save from Northfield into New Hampshire, 
where the width is not more than one mile — we shall have 
a very general outline of the area occupied by the I^ew 
Red Sand-stone Formation. The average thickness of 
this formation is fourteen thousand feet, being four thou- 



sand more than at the mouth of Miller's river, where it 
has been lately measured by President Hitchcock. It is, 
for the most part, of a dark, red color, is stratified, and 
consists in some places of fine sand hardened into rock, 
and in others of coarse gravel and boulders, with a diame- 
ter of four feet, as may be seen in many places through 
the whole valley, but especially at a place a few miles 
South of the village of Montague. It is also of a much 
later age than the Gneiss, and was probably entirely de- 
posited from water, while the Gneiss belongs to the class 
of metamorphic rocks, as already mentioned. 

Although the new red sandstone of the Connecticut Val- 
ley has been, and still is, regarded by most Geologists as 
only one distinct formation, yet recent researches are lead- 
ing others to adopt the opinion that it is made up of at 
least two fomiations, as they are regarded by European 
Geologists. These are the Permian and Triassic, and pos- 
sibly the Carboniferous Systems. If this is the case, then 
the lowest portion of the sandstone — about 7000 feet — con- 
stitutes the Permian or Carboniferaus system, while the 
remainder very nearly resembles the Triassic as found in 
Europe. The reasons for tliis division, are, from the fact 
that tlie beds of the lowest sand-stones are overlaid by tlie 
Trap, and are composed, for the most part, of very coarse 
materials derived from other rocks, as may be seen in Gill, 
JMt. Mettawampe, the mouth of Miller's River, and Dur- 
ham, Ct. The upper part is distinguished by the predom- 
inance of very fine ingredients, making what are denomi- 
nated shales, and these of the colors black, red, and gray, 
and even almost white ; and in this portion of tlie sand- 
stone are found the tracks and othei' fOssils. It is, howev- 
er, still a matter of doubt whether this division be a cor- 
rect one, since during tlie last summer the writer has dis- 
covered in the sandstone of this valley, a fossil plant, a 
species of clathroptcris — ])erhap3 a new one — wliich is 
described as a characteristic fossil of the Lias Sandstone 
of Europe. If this be the case, then it is possible that, 
after all, the sand-stone of this vaUey may yet be classed 
as high up in the series as the Lias, which lies immediate- 
ly above the Trias. 

The sand-stone of the Connecticut Valley is considera- 
bly used as a building material, both on account of ils du- 


rability, unci the fact that it is worked with more ease than 
Granite or Gneiss. It is also interesting and important to 
know, that it works very much easier when it is frozen 
quite hard. Tlie quality of this rock, that at present has 
been found in Massachusetts, is for the most part of too 
coarse a nature to be used in ornamental structures, and 
is used mainly in constructing foundations for buildings and 
heavy masonry. Some qualities, however, such as the 
rock that is dug at a quarry in Easthampton, have been 
hammered, and used as window caps, water tables, and 
rustics, which show that this rock is not only a durable 
stone, but also a very handsome one. But in Portland, 
Ct., this stone is quarried to an immense extent, and sent 
to the principal cities of this country, to be used both as 
an ornamental and useful building material ; and so soft 
and easily worked is it, that, when designed for elegant ed- 
ifices, it is, by a curious machine, as easily brought to a 
smooth and even surface, as marble may be, by the tedious 
process of sawing and coarse polishing. These interesting 
machines will well repay a visit to any of the stone-dress- 
ing yards in New York city. 

But, although we now can find no quarries of this rock 
of the finest ([uality in this part of the Connecticut Val- 
ley, we do not hesitate to predict that when Springfield and 
Ilolyoke shall have so increased as to demand this hand- 
some rock for public and private buildings, abundant local- 
ities will be discovered, and that within a short distance 
from the cities where they will be needed. At present, 
the only localities where this rock is dug to any considera- 
ble extent, is one quarry at Easthampton, one on the 
Northeast side of Mt. I'om, from which immense quan- 
tities have been carried to Holyoke, and one at Long- 

In the midst of the new red sand-stone, running in a 
Northerly and Southerly direction, there exists a very re- 
markable formation, quite interesting to the Geologist, al- 
though of but little practical value in this part of the coun- 
ti-y at the present time. This is the Greenstone, or, as it is 
more generally known, Traji, or Basalt. It consists, for 
the most part, of a somewhat interrupted range of hills or 
mountains, commencing at the Northern part of Massa- 
chusetts, and extending as far as New Haven, East and 


' GEOLOGY. 339 

West Rock being its most Southern place of appearance. 
This rociv is nuiinly composed ol" crystals of Pyroxene, 
Felds2)ar, and Hornblende, is of a very dark color, and is 
often found of a columnar structure. It also has a peculiar 
ringing sound when a fragment of it is struck by the liam- 
mer, and is intensely hard, being one of the most diHicult 
of all rocks to remove in railroad and other excavations. 
As yet, no practical use is made of the Greenstone in por- 
tions of Massachusetts where it is found, probably because 
other rocks, which are sufficiently durable, are wrought at 
a much less expense, and are abundant. In other ])arfs 
of the world, however, it is extensively used for macada- 
mizing roads, and, to some extent, for buildings ; an in- 
stance of which is an Episcopal church in New Haven, 

If, now, we construct upon the map of the State, a tri- 
angle, with a base of a portion of the Northern boundary 
of Massachusetts, from the Western boundary of Monroe 
to tlie center of Bernardston, and its opposite angle in the 
South-eastern corner of Granville, wc shall inclose the 
greater portion of the Mica State in the Western part of 
Massachusetts, as well as a belt of Talcose Slate, ruiuiins; 
from Rowe, in a Southerly direction, as far as the South- 
west ]iart of Chester. Mica Slate is composed of Mica and 
Quartz, the former predominating, and giving to it a glis- 
tening appearance, while the quartz acts the pai't of a base, 
or ground work, in the composition- It is for the most 
part of a dark gray or brown color, and frequently studded 
with crystals of Garnet, and Stiuirotide, to such an extent 
fliat varieties of it are named garnetiferous and stauroti- 
diferous slate. Its hardness is below that of Granite and 
♦Syenite, and yd it is but little affected by the atmospliere, 
Avater, or frost. No great use is made of it for building, 
save the heavy work on railroad piers and eml)ankments, 
as well as ordinary foundations. It is of considerable use, 
however, as a flagging stone, and especially so, since slabs 
of it fifteen feet square may be easily quarried. The great 
facility of getting out these stones, is mainly owing to the 
position of the strata — nearly vertical. Hence the method 
■of quai-rying them consists simply in laying bare as large 
tx surface of the rock as desirable, and then drivmor wedses 

340- GEOLOGY. 

between two adjacent strata, over as large a surface as the 
size of the shxb requkes. 

The Talcose Slate — the boundaries of which have al- 
ready been given — is not found in so great abundance as 
the Mica Slate, although it extends more than half way 
across the State in a Northerly and Southerly direction, 
with a width of about four miles. It is composed of talc, 
mixed with quartz, and mica, and sometimes hornblende, 
and is generally softer than mica slate. The color is ordi- 
narily a light gray, and in the United States, is usually as- 
sociated with mica slate, though rarely with gneiss. This 
rock is of but little practical value, save in wide stone 
Avails and foundations, altliough the softer varieties answer 
very well for ordinary fire stones, such as the linings for 
conmion furnaces, and the sides of blacksmiths' forges. 

The bed of Gneiss lying "West of the Connecticut River 
may be easily, though impeifectly, pointed out, by another 
triangle, having for its base i\\Q Southern boundary of Mas- 
sachusetts, from Sheffield to the Eastern limit of South- 
wick, and its apex at the Northwestern part of Florida. 

In the remaining towns in the Western part of Massa- 
chusetts, are found no less than three distinct geological 
formations, the Quartz, Talcose Slate, and Limestone, to- 
gether with some small amounts of Mica Slate, Gneiss, and 
Alluvial. Of these, however, the Limestone is the most 
important and abundant, occurring in every one of -the 
towns mentioned, not excepting that extreme portion of 
Massachusetts, Boston Corner — which has limestone for 
its foundation, being the continuation of a bed which ex- 
tends from Connecticut into this State. 

Limestone, which is composed of carbonic acid, pure 
Lime, and a small amount of Silica, is of various colors, 
from a pure white to a jet black, and is a stone very easily 
wrought, softer than any other building stone unless it be 
Soapstone, and very readily receives a high polish, which, 
for :i long time, resists the action of air and water. In 
fact, it is one of the most durable of materials, since most 
of the very ancient temples and public buildings of the 
Greeks, Romans and Egyptians which still exist — as the 
pyramids of Egypt, the Parthenon, the temple of the Ac- 
ropolis, and a multitude of others — are constructed of 
Limestone. And we cannot go through the cities of mod- 


cm Europe, without appreciating; the importance of Lime- 
stone or Marble — for Marble is always Limestone, though 
Limestone is not always Marble — in the construction of 

Another important use of this rock is to produce lime* 
This may be obtained from the poorest limestone by burn- 
ing, or driving off the carbonic acid by heat, after Avhich 
caustic lime remains — though usually contaminated^iore 
or less by Silica^ — for the various purposes of cement, a 
cleansing agent, a fertilizer of soils, &c. So that, when we 
know the multitude of purposes for which it is used, we 
no longer have cause to wonder why the Creator has 
formed one-seventh of the earth's crust of this material. 

Li these same towns wc also have a aluable 1)eds of Iron 
— the hematite ore, a hj'drous peroxyd — which, in all 
probability, is derived from the Limestone, though it is now 
regarded as belonging to the Tertiary. These beds are of 
no inconsiderable extent, as may be seen when we find that 
they extend — with some interruptions — from Canada to 
Alabama, although they are the most productive in Ver- 
mont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New^ York. Their 
value is also very great, and has much increased within a 
few years, since the means of transportation by railroad 
are now so extensively employed in that section of coun- 

The Quartz Formation exists in greater abundance in 
Berkshire County tlian in any other part of Massachu- 
setts. It occurs in this place associated with Mica Slate, 
although in other places in this State in company with 
Gneiss, and Argillaceous Slate. For the most part it is 
of a very light color — nearly white — and generally of an 
arenaceous or granular character, though sometimes it is 
found somewhat stratified. It is very hard, but can be 
much more readily drilled than the Trap, and, of course, 
more readily removed in excavations. Almost the only 
use, of any special importance, that is made of this rock, 
is to form fire-stoncs, which are much more durable than 
those of Talcose Slate. Some varieties are used as hearths 
in Iron Furnaces, which require the very best of this arti- 
cle, since nearly every kind gives way, or crumbles, by the 
very intense heat. 

Serpentine is another formation tliat deserves a passing 
29* v - 


notice, at least. This is " a mottled rock, the predominant 
color green, and containing about forty per cent, of mag- 
nesia." It generally occurs in connection -with hornblende 
slate, and in many of the largest soapstoue quarries in 
New England, is found immediately above or below the 
soapstoue. In some places, it bears marks of stratifica- 
tion, and hence is regarded as one of the metamorphic 
rocks. Serpentine has been quarried and worked to some 
extent as an ornamental rock for mantles, table and coun- 
ter tops, and other similar uses. Its liardness is from 3 to 
4, while marble is from 2 to 3 ; but, as it receives an ex- 
cellent polish, and is more enduring than marble, it fully 
compensates for its greater liardness and difficulty of work- 
ing. At Cavendish — Proctorsville — Vt., this rock was 
once quarried, and the business of polishing carried on to 
a considerable extent, and for a time it was in very good re- 
pute ; but, for several years, the quarries have lain un- 
worked, the mill gone to decay, and the property all dis- 
posed of for a mere trifle, owing to the slight demand for 
the material. But it is impossible to see why this stone is 
not extensively used for ornamental purposes, for surely it 
is of a much richer color, and far more attractive than 
many kinds of marble, which are used for the same pur- 
poses. And it is no vain prediction to assert that, sooner 
or later, it will be used, not merely as a fancy stone to 
please the eye wlien polished and carefully wrought, but 
also as a substantial rock for many economical purposes. 
It is also possible that a caution of some value may be sug- 
gested to those who have beds of this rock in their posses- 
sion, and that is, not to dispose of, or rent, any quarries of 
Serpentine at too cheap a rate, merely because hereto- 
fore it has not been worked at an advantage and witli 

Besides the formations just described, we find several 
others on the Geological Map of Western Massachusetts, 
altliough most of them are of small extent, and of but lit- 
tle economical importance. With the exception of soap- 
stone and argillaceous slate, to be mentioned in another 
place, the formation Alluvium will be the only other one 
mentioned here. This we are familiar with, as loam, or 
rich, fertile soil. It lies above all the other formations, 
and hence it is the most recent of all the rocks belonging 


to the Historic Period of Geology. Alluvium exists 
in several places along the banks of the larger rivers, 
producing the splendid meadows of Iladley, Nortliampton, 
Deerfield, Shetlield, Great Barrington and StockbridgL-. 
In most cases, these have been produced by the deposition 
of fine mud and vegetable mould, at the bottom of some 
large pond or lake, which once stood over what are now 
these meadows, but wdiich was drained by the breaking 
away of some barrier, or the rise of the continent by some 
mighty upheaval. 


Among the vax'ious objects of scientific interest in the 
Western part of Massachusetts, The cJianges which the 
Connecticut Valley has undergone during its formation, 
occupy an important place. Far back in Geological peri- 
ods, (for the Geologist can assign dates only by periods, 
and not by single years,) this valley was only a long and 
narrow estuary, extending from the Southern part of Con- 
necticut, to the Northern part of Massachusetts, with an 
average width of eight miles. At tliat time, this part of 
the continent, at least, was more under the ocean than at 
present — for, otherwise, we cannot see how the ocean could 
flow inland so far — and probably tlie ocean gradually with- 
drew, or the continent arose, during the deposition of the 
whole of the sandstone. The bottom and the shores of 
this estuary were mostly made up of the non-fossiliferous 
rocks — gneiss, and mica slate, the former making the East- 
ern shore, and the latter the Western, wliile both together 
made the floor or foundation, they dipping so as to meet 
deep beneath the sandstone. At tliis time, in the forma- 
tion of the sandstone, the Trap, or llolyuke range, had not 
erupted, as we find it at a later period of this history. 

The questions that now very naturally meet us, are : how 
was this immense bed of sandstone formed, from whence 
were tlie materials obtained, and how came they to be de- 
posited to tlie depth of many thousand feet, in the well ar- 
ranged order that we find them? Without doubt the time 
required to eifect all this must have been immense ; for the 
rock was probably formed by the slow wearing away of the 
suri'ounding non-fossiliferous rocks, by the action of frost, 
ice, and water, and carried by the streams into this quiet 
estuary, to be there deposited and ultimately liardened into 


the new red sandstone. This formation bears no evidence 
of any violent action — except in limited portions — such as 
that of glaciers, and icebergs, but was all produced by the 
bringing in of sand and gravel, by the agency of small 
streams and rivers, although some of its materials might 
have been made by former glaciers and icebei'gs. 

Thus slowly went on the filling up of this valley. At 
one time, the shore was covered to some extent with vefr- 
etation ; again, fishes swam in its waters, and left their 
bodies embalmed in the solid rock, to be the admiration of 
the Naturalist, and to adorn the shelves of public and pri- 
vate cabinets ; while, at other periods, birds innumerable, 
grotesque and various in size, from the Brontozooum gigan- 
teum, whose stride was from three to six feet, to the Pla- 
typtenna delicatula, whose step was only three inches, peo- 
pled these shores, accompanied by Lizards and Batrachi- 
ans, some of which, and especially one biped frog, could 
make a track more than twenty inches in length, while 
others were distinguished not so much by the size of the 
track, as by their peculiar shape ; leaving the Naturalist 
to conjecture whether the animal which made it could be 
classed under the lizards, birds, or tortoises. 

During the latter part of the period occupied in the de- 
position of the sandstone, another formation intruded itself, 
and that, not by the means of quiet deposition from water, 
but through the agency of intense heat, assisted by an im- 
mense earthquake, or a mighty volcanic eruption. This 
was the formation of the Trap, exhibiting itself in mural 
precipices, but not a continuous range of hills, from North- 
field, Massachusetts, to New Haven, Ct. It is a difficult 
question to decide whether this Avas the lava, or melted 
matter, ejected by some mighty eruption, of which the out- 
let was an immense fissure, extending the whole length of 
this formation, or whether it was melted rock, spread out 
under the ocean, which was erupted in some other manner, 
and from some different crater, or outlet. There are one 
or two localities, however, which, by, the peculiar charac- 
ter of the rock, seem conclusively to show, that it was 
formed by melted matter, poured out under water, upon 
the sandstone. An example of this peculiar kind of rock, 
which is termed " volcanic grit," may be seen near the 
Northeastern part of Mt. Tom, and close by the Connecti- 


cut River railroad, wliich is precisely the same product 
that we should expect, were we to pour a mass of melted 
rock upon sandstone under water, which did not entirely 
melt the pebhles, and coarse grains of sand. 

The general direction of the strata of the Connecticut 
River sandstone, is Northeast, and Southwest, with a dip 
varying from 20 to 50 deg. East, in its Northern portions. 
The dip of the whole formation, also, is found to be at a 
much higlier angle on the Western, than the Eastern side 
of the valley. The question, then, that naturally forces it- 
self upon us, is : what has produced any inclination in these 
strata, and why is the greater dip on the "Western side? 
It has already been mentioned that the mica slate on the 
"West, and the gneiss on the East, dip under the sandstone, 
and probably meet beneath it, somewhere near t!ie middle 
of the formation. It is also found that the mica slate dips 
under the sandstone at a greater angle than does the gneiss 
on the opposite side. If, now, it can be supposed — as some 
maintain — that the sandstone might have been deposited 
upon the mica slate as it now exists, — a steep inclined 
plane — then it is easy to see, that this estuary which has 
been mentioned, could deposit its sand and mud upon tliis 
non-fossiliferous rock, (which dips at an angle ranging from 
45 to 90 deg.) though at a smaller angle than the mica 
slate, as is found to be the case when the dip lias been 
measured. Were this the true state of the case, why 
should we not also find the sandstone on the Eastern siile 
dipping Westerly, although it would be at a much smaller 
angle ? A more plausible theory supposes that at the pe- 
riod of the deposition of the sandstone, the mica slate and 
gneiss were much more nearly horizontal in tlieir layers 
than at present, and after the whole formation was depos- 
ited, some powerful agency, acting, for the most part, from 
the West, bent upwards the mica slate and the sandstone, 
which produced the Easterly dip. This theory derives 
strength from the fact that we have evidence of some 
mighty power, which has acted either Easterly or Wester- 
ly, or possibly in both directions through tlie whole of the 
United States, forming an immense plication or folded axis 
^of all the strata, being the greatest part of the Apalachiaa 
chain of Mountains, which run in a Northeasertly and South- 
westerly direction through the Eastern portion of the 


United States. Since, then, we have evidence that some 
mighty power has acted in the Western part of Massachu- 
setts, with such lateral force as to double the strata upon 
themselves, and form the Green Mountain range, may Ave 
not plainly infer that the Eastern dip of the mica slate and 
sandstone was effected by the same cause ? And especially 
does this seem probable, when we know that tlie strike, or 
direction of the strata of both these rocks, is the same as 
the general direction of the Apalachian chain. 

If we have thus far intelligibly explained some of the 
earlier important changes that have taken place in this val- 
ley, we now come to consider another of its great changes, 
which has occurred subsequently to those already men- 
tioned. This is one that has, geologically speaking, taken 
place very recently, although ages before man begun his 
existence on the earth. At that time, instead of a valley, 
such as now exists, the sandstone filled up this whole area, 
at least to the present height of Mt. Mettawampe and 
Sugar Loaf, while the hills of Pelham and Leverett on the 
one hand, and Chesterfield on the other, only slightly lifted 
themselves up, to show the limits of this valley, as it exists 
at the present time. At the same time, the Northern part 
of this continent was covered with water to the depth of 
about five thousand feet, as is seen by the grooves and 
markings on the rocks of the White Mountains ; they be- 
ing visible up to the hight of about five tliousand feet, but no 
higher, thus making at that time, the summit of Mt. Wash- 
ington, a solitary island in the midst of tliis immense ocean 
of ice and water. About the same time, probably by a 
change in the climate, this ocean was almost entirely con- 
verted into ice, or, at least, so large a portion of it, that 
immense icebergs and glaciers were formed, which were 
swept over the surface by a power which as yet is unac- 
counted for, grinding and rasping it up, and urging forward 
the fragments. Tliis force acted almost without exception 
in a direction from North to South, as is proved by the 
marks and striai found on most of the rocks of this valley, 
Avhich do not readily decompose by exposure to the air 
and moisture, and also because we find the Northern sides 
of all the hills and mountains in New England — with a • 
very few exceptions — rounded and smoothed, while the 
Southern slopes are generally more or less uneven, or, as 


they would appear, had no such agency acted upon them 
^ince their original formation. 

Thus, then, it probably was, that the whole of this val- 
ley was hollowed out, and prejDared for the residence of 
man. For years, decades, and ages, this force must have 
progressed — tearing, grinding, and pulverizing the solid 
rocks, until it had smoothed away some of the rugged 
hills, and covered them, as well as filled up the valleys, 
Avitli a soil upon which might live the last and most per- 
fect creation of vegetable and animal existence. 

But Mt. Holyokc and its range of hills etfectually resist- 
ed tliis violence. They seemed to exist as if in defiance 
of this power, (although they show symptoms of most tre- 
mendous grinding and wearing,) for their upper portions 
are made of tluit most invincible and unyielding of all 
rocks — the Trap — which Engineers always strive to their 
utmost to avoid, in making excavations for raikoads and 
other public works. 

The last geological change which has taken place in this 
valley (besides the ordinary action of water, frost and air, 
which are i-eckoncd as geological changes,) previous to the 
existence of the present fauna and tlora, was the emerg- 
ence, and gradual rise of it, as well as a large part of this 
continent from the ocean. The evidence of such a change 
exists in the deposits of soil and sand beds in those places 
Avhere we know they could not have been deposited by the 
drift agency, and, above all, by the beautiful alluvial ter- 
races which we see upon the banks of many rivers, 
throughout the United States, which were probably pro- 
duced by the wearing or bursting away of successive bai'- 
riers, as the continent gradually arose from tlie ocean. 

Another object of scientific interest may be found in the 
foot-marks of the Connecticut Valley. These are pecu- 
liarly interesting, since they open a new field in Geology, 
and lead to the establishment of great principles, which 
would appear incredible from so trivial and apparently un- 
important circumstances. This interesting class of fossils 
is ibund in tlie upper portions of the sandstone of the Con- 
necticut Valley, in nearly thirty localities, from the town 
of Gill in Massachusetts, to Middletown, Ct., a distance of 
eighty miles, and generally in localities near the river. 
They are almost always in the finer qualities of the sand- 


stone, and hence in tlie Trias, and in certain layers of the 
rock, several feet frequently intervening between these 

In a description of these foot-marks by President Hitch- 
cock of Amherst, and published as a part of the proceed- 
ings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for 
1848, he reckoned forty-nine species as then discovered ; 
but since that time six or eight new ones have been dis- 
covered, but not described, making in all, at present, about 
fifty-seven, which number will doubtless be greatly in- 
creased, as new quarries are opened, and their contents 
examined by other scientific inquirers on this subject. 
■ Most of these tracks were made by birds, and hence the 
name given to this branch of Natural History when first 
brought to notice was Ornithicnites, or Bird Tracks. But 
further researches have shown that, although most of them 
were by birds, yet Quadrupeds, Frogs, and Salamandei-s, 
also left their indelible tx'aces on the mud of the primeval 
Connecticut Valley, as well as other animals who made 
their footprints, to the great wonder and amazement of 
Naturalists, as to what division of the animal kingdom they 
could belong. An attempt to describe the animals who 
have immortalized themselves on the everlasting monu- 
ments of this valley, should be made only by one well ac- 
quainted with comparative anatomy ; and yet, with little 
of the imaginative, and still less of the scientific, we may, 
with tolei'able certainty, make out a description that will 
give us a general outline of the early inhabitants of this 
valley. This has already been done by Dr. Hitchcock, in 
his history of these footmarks : — 

" Now I have seen, in scientific vision, an apterous bird, 
some twelve or fifteen feet high — nay large flocks of them — 
walking over the muddy surface, followed by many others of 
an analogous character, but of smaller size. Next comes a 
biped animal, a bird, perhaps, with a foot and heel nearly two 
feet long. Then a host of lesser bipeds, formed on the same 
general type ; and among them several quadrupeds with dis- 
proportioned feet, yet many of them stilted high, while others 
are crawling along the surface, with sprawling limbs. Next 
succeeds the huge Polemarch, leading along a tribe of lesser 
followers, with heels of great length, and armed with spurs. 
But the greatest wonder of all comes in the shape of a biped 
batrachiaUj with feet twenty inches long. We have heard of 


the Labyrinthodon of Europe — a frog as large a« an ox, but 
his feet were only six or eight inches long — a mere pigmy 
compared with the Olozoum of New England. Behind hira 
there trips along, on unequal feet, a group of small lizards and 
Salamandrid(B^ with trifid, or quadrifid feet. Beyond, half 
seen amid the darknes.s, there move along animals so strange 
that they can hardly be brought within the types of existing 
organization. Strange, indeed, is this menagerie of remote 
sandstone days ; and the privilege of gazing upon it. and of 
bringing into view one lost form after another, has been an 
ample recompense for my efforts, though they should be re- 
warded by no other fruit." 

One or two very instructive les>:ons present themselves 
so strikingly upon a consideration of this subject, that it is 
impossible to forbear their mention. One is, the value of 
trijles ; for what can seem of more trivial importance than 
the impression of a foot in mud, or wet sand, liable to be 
effaced by the smallest wave, or the pattering of a shower ? 
And yet, these fossils aid us to arrive at conclusions which 
are of immense importance in deciding the position of the 
sandstone, and especially the upi)er portions of it, and also 
in fixing on the earliest period of the existence of birds on 
the earth. They also teach hifmiUhj. For, while man 
has been striving, ever since he has had an existence, to 
write liis name so indelibly that posterity may see and read 
it, these birds, these reptiles, nay these very worms, with- 
out even a thought, have left more enduring mementoes of 
themselves, than chisel could ever imprint upon marble, or 
monuments of brass and iron. 

"Reptiles and birds, a problem ye have solved 
Man never has — to leave a trace on earth 
Too deep for time and fate to wear away." 

Of the fossils in Massachusetts, aside from the tracks in 
the Connecticut Valley, this State has but little to boast. 
And even the bones of the animals which nuide these 
tracks, as yet, are nowhere to be found, leaving quite an 
enigma to the geologist for solution. Several years ago, 
however, a few fos.<il bones were found in tlu^ sandstone, 
which were believed by those who saw them to be those 
of birds, but, before their characters were determined, ])y 
a sad accident they were lost, and naturalists are still in 
the same darkness with regard to them. It was reported. 


a few years since, while the dam was being constructed 
across the Connecticut at Ilolyoke, that a skeleton of a 
large animal was found in a tolerable state of preservation. 
But examination proved it to be only ripple marks instead 
of ribs — remains of old ocean on the sandy shores of this 
valley, and not of a saurian, one of its inhabitants. But, 
although the remains of birds and reptiles are so extreme- 
ly rare — save in their tracks — yet the Fishes are left in a 
most perfect state of preservation. At Sunderland, Deer- 
field, Chicopee, AVest Springfield and South liadley, these 
fossils have been found, in a black shale, which is, possibly, 
the Trias. And so closely do these specimens resemble 
similar fossils of a famous locality in Germany, that when 
some of our specimens were sent to European naturalists, 
they firmly believed that they must originally have been 
sent from Germany, and, either by accident or design, re- 
turned again across the ocean. But two genera as yet 
have been described, the Palajoniscus, and Eurynotus, of 
which Agassiz describes about a dozen species, although 
many more remain to be described. These fossils are very 
rare, not being even so abundant as the tracks, for unfor- 
tunately they have been found in but a few localities, and 
these have not been in quarries where the rock is dug out 
for economical purposes; and at Sunderland, the most pro- 
ductive locality, they occur on the banks of the river 
so low down in the strata, that they can be got out only at 
very low Avater. But, fortunately for science, a large 
amount of these fishes, as well as the tracks of this valley, 
Avere collected by tlie late Dexter Marsh of Greenfield, 
Mass., and these in the best state of preservation. This 
collection has been visited, during the few years past, by a 
great number of persons from different parts of this coun- 
try, as well as from abroad. On account of the death of 
its ])roprietor, it was sold at auction in September, 1853, 
and hence distributed to various parts of the country, al- 
though mostly to public collections. The loss of this man 
to science was very great, since he combined in himself 
the rare qualities of a pei'severing and untiring laborer in 
Avhatever he undertook, a very respectable acquaintance 
Avith science for a man of his circumstances, and the skill 
to remove from the quarry, and prepare for examination, 


large slabs of rock containing tracks and fishes, which 
are the most difTicult specimens to collect for a cabinet. 

In the lower beds of the new red sandstone, a great 
abundance of marine vegetables has been discovered, and 
a few in the uj)per beds, along with the terrestrial plants. 
They are, however, mostly of that low type of the fu- 
coids, which are only made out with considei'able difRculty. 
One remarkable locality of large specimens of these plants, 
is in the Northern part of the village of Greenfield, where 
they may be found six or eight inches in diameter, and 
from five to six feet in length. These plants liave not been 
studied very carefully, as yet, so that we may hope at some 
future time to have more perfect knowledge concerning 
them. At Bcrnardston, also, some marine fossils (ani- 
mals) called Encrinites, have been discovered in a small 
bed of limestone, which throws important light upon the 
position of the bed, proving it metamorphic and compara- 
tively receni, although lying beneatli the sandstone. 

The "Western portion of Massachusetts is more abund- 
antly supplied with minerals than with fossils, from the 
abundance of non-fossil if erous rocks in this quarter. They 
are, however, of no pecuniary value, excepting some of 
the ores, nor always the most splendid and attractive, al- 
though many of them are extremely rare. Of the valua- 
ble gems, we are not aware that this part of the State pos- 
sesses any wortliy of notice. In Worcester County, how- 
ever, just over the line, in Royalston, we find small, but 
beautiful aqua-marine beryls, the locality being, in fact, 
one of the most interesting in the United States ; and in 
Stiirbridge, pyrope garnets are found in considerable quan- 
tities, some of winch are of a most beautiful red, when 
handsomely cut, and set in gold. In this part of the 
State, however, quartz and agates are sometimes found in 
the Trap, which, when polished, make very handsome spe- 
cimens for a cabinet, and it is possible that some of them 
have actually been used as gems. The town which is the 
most abundantly su])plied with minerals in "Western Mas- 
sachusetts, is, witliout doubt, Chesterfield. This, it will be 
seen, by reference to the geological map, lies upon granite 
and mica slate, the minerals being found in the fonner. 
There are no less than seventeen different species of well 
characterized, and many of them rare species, found here, 


among Avhicli are blue and red tourmaline, rose beryl, gar- 
net, smoky quartz, staurotide, spodumene, tin ore, colum- 
bite, and uranite. 

In Goshen, also, wliieli we shall see lies geologically in 
the same position as the last mentioned place, we find a 
large number of interesting species, most of which are the 
same as in Chesterfield — which we should expect from the 
similarity of the geological position. And, from the fact 
that tin has been folind in these two localities, and in sev- 
eral otiiers in the same vicinity, we do not at all hesitate to 
predict that, ultimately, this valuable metal will be found 
in the mica slate, or granite, which compose the matrix in 
many mines where it is now worked. The most noted tin 
mine in the world — at Cornwall, England — is worked in 
the granite. 

At Southampton, in the workings carried on for' lead, a 
large number of rare minerals have been found, most of 
which are ores of lead or some other metal, and the recent 
discovery of quite good crystals of fluor spar seems to 
give encouragement to pursue excavations for lead to a 
still greater extent, since, in mines of the older countries 
of Europe, this mineral is found in connection with lead in 
many instances. In the towns of Chester and Blandford, 
the chromite of iron is found in considerable quantities, 
from which the oxyd of chrome can be readily extracted. 
As this is used very extensively as a pigment, these local- 
ities will dou])tle8s, in the future, yield no inconsiderable 
amount of profit to their owners. 

At Norwich, some minerals have been found of excel- 
lence and rarity, and the locality is quite remarkable, as 
being the only one in the world where certain minerals are 
found crystalized. These minerals are the spodumene and 
triplite. They are not new species, but their crystalline 
form, which is a very im])ortant characteristic of minerals, 
could never before this be made out. When one of the 
spodumenes was shown to the curator of mineralogy in the 
British Museum, at London, he was at first incredulous as 
to its genuineness, thinking that its faces were fabricated 
by the saw, or emery wheel, though it was given him by a 
gentleman of strict integrity. These doubts, however, soon 
vanished, for, after giving it a careful examination, he was 
at once ready to make an otfer of a guinea for the single 


crystal in the hands of the Professor. Both of these min- 
erals are of a very ordinary appearance, and would not at- 
tract in the least, the eye of a common observer. It is 
much to be regretted that the locality is now nearly or 
quite exhausted ; although it is reasonable to hope, that as 
the same rocks extend into adjoining towns, further exam- 
ination may yet bring to light other localities of these in- 
teresting minerals. 

The above mentioned localities are the most important 
in this portion of Massachusetts, although in at least one- 
half of these towns, one or more interesting species of 
minerals have been at one time or another described, the 
exact locality in many instances being unknown, or forgot- 
ten. But considering how small an amount of this terri- 
tory has been carefully examined, we can at once imagine 
and hope for the acquisition, at some time, of a large 
amount of mineral wealth in this part of our State. 


The mineral products of Massachusetts are mainly 
Granite and Sicnitc, Marble and Iron. Besides these, 
however. Gneiss and Sandstone are quarried to a consider- 
able extent, Coal is dug in one portion of the state. Lead 
promises an abundant quantity, Soapstone exists very 
alnmdantly, and Quartz, for lu-c stones and making glass, is 
found in considerable quantities. The Granite and Sienitc 
are, in most instances, confounded together, in the popular 
imderstanding of them : as, for instance, the rock so gen- 
erally known as Quincy Granite is, in geological terms, 
Sienite — diiFering from Granite by the absence of Horn- 
blende, or the presence of mica in its place. These rocks 
occur, for the most part, in the Eastern portions of ]Massa- 
chusetts, although, as has already been jnentioncd, the 
Granite is found on the Western borders of the Connec- 
ticut Valley, and, without doubt, the stone will be worked 
as the demand for it increases. 

One of the best quarries of Granite in Massachusetts is 
in Fitchlnirgh, of which the Fitchburgh Railroad Station 
House at Boston is built. Another of equally fine stone is 
at Chelmsford, of which the stone work of the addition to 
the Massachusetts State House is constructed. Sienite is 
quarried in many localities in Eastern Massachusetts, and, 
among them all, exists pre-eminently the quarry, or the 


sienitic mountains, of Quincy. The quantity which has 
been taken from this place is absolutely immense, and the 
locality cannot be exhausted for centuries to come. Ex- 
amples of this rock will be found in abundance in nearly 
all the maritime cities of this country. 

Coming to the Connecticut Valley, we find the Gneiss 
abundant, and of great beauty. This gneiss formation, 
extending from Monson through Pelham to the northern 
boundaries of the state, will, for an immense number of 
years, supply all the demands for this building stone 
throughout the whole country. And it may well be a mat- 
ter of discussion among connoisseurs of architecture which 
shall be styled the handsomest building stone, the Granite 
and Sienite of Chelmsford and Quincy, or the Gneiss of 
Monsou and Pelham. 

One of the princii)al sources of mineral wealth in West- 
ern Massachusetts is Limestone. For it is this rock which 
produces the beautiful marble of Berkshire county, which 
is exported in such immense quantities, and the Lime, the 
supply of which can probably never fail. 

The geological position^is the same as the Limestone of 
Vermont, and a part of Connecticut, which extends from 
this latter state into Canada. Upon the origin, however, 
of the primary Limestone — of which these rocks are ex- 
amples — much obscurity has always' existed. But, from 
the fact tliat the skeletons and bony coverings of all class- 
es of animals are composed, to a very large extent, of 
lime in some of its forms. Geologists are led to believe 
that this rock is of organic origin. This, however, could 
not be gained from the skeletons of the vertebrate animals, 
for they had not begun their existence at the period when 
Limestone was formed, but must have been derived from 
Polyparia, or coral animals, the same as those which now 
live in such infinite profusion in tropical seas, and construct 
the immense coral reefs in those bodies of water. If, 
then, after these immense coral islands and reefs were cov- 
ered with soil to a great depth, or, by some mighty convul- 
sion,' sunk again beneath a deep ocean, they should be ex- 
posed to such an intense heat as to most thoroughly fuse 
them without losing the carbonic acid, we could easily 
account for the destruction of all traces of animal life, and 
the production of a perfectly homogeneous structure to 



tlie rock ; and the crystalline structure would be produced 
by the slow cooling under an immense pressure. These 
causes, therefore, — an immense pressure by superincum- 
bent matter, heat sufficient to produce perfect fbsion, and 
a gradual cooling under pressure, are sufficient to change 
the skeletons of all animals into the beautiful variety of 
marble which we find so abundant over the whole surface 
of the earth. 

Such being the theory, how grand and how sublime are 
the thoughts forced upon our attention ! The lofty monu- 
mental pile, the immense temple, the huge pyramid, and 
many of the proudest structures of man's ingenuity, have 
not always been the dull, motionless rock that they now 
ai*e, but were once portions of living, and active creatures. 
The sculptor, too, producing with his chisel forms of 
beauty, seeming almost superhuman, and with features and 
expression of countenance that almost draw life and ani- 
mation from-the unfeeling rock, does not, for the first time 
give even an apparent vitality to these particles, for ages 
before him these same elements were portions of living 
beings, who enjoyed life to the fullest extent of their ca- 

The popular definition of marble, is limestone of a crys- 
talline structure, while Limestone is merely the Lime rock, 
in a granular, or unerystuUized state. This, however, is 
only a partial definition : for marble is always Limestone, 
but Limestone is not always marble; and though almost 
all kinds of marble are crystalline in their structure, yet 
some of the handsomest ones want this structure. The 
best of Limestones for producing lime are generally tlio 
handsomest marble, although a quality which is of but lit- 
tle value for marble, answers perfectly well in the process 
of burning for lime. 

La the tbllowing statistics, the amount of capital invest- 
ed in the marble business, the amount of marble that is 
quarried, and the value realized from the sales, are only 
approximate to the truth, for the reason that most of the 
quai'ries are owned by a single individual, or by two or 
three, at most, and, hence, the items of the business are 
not so accurately recorded as if it were carried on by a 
joint-stock company. The quantities, too, that are export- 
ed, vary considerably, from the fact that marble is not kept 


on hand to any grekt amount, but is only quarried where 
an actual demand exists for it, as in the case of a contract 
for a building, or a large number of buildings. 

The marble quarry hi which the largest amount of money 
is invested is in the town of Lee, and belongs to the firm 
known as Rice & Heebner. The capital invested by them 
is S50,000, and the quarry has been worked for two years 
past, with receipts for stone amounting to S200,000. The 
marble is all of it sent away in " the rough," as it is termed, 
or just as it is taken from the quarry, without labor ex- 
pended upon it by the chisel, or saw. The quantity that 
has been exjwrted to gain these receipts, is 150,000 feet, 
or 15,000 tuns, fifteen cubic feet weighing a tun. The 
market, for the present, is chiefly at Washington, D. C, of 
which the extension to the Capitol is being built, although 
some is sent no farther than Philadelphia. This comj^any 
also own another quarry in the north part of Lee, whicJi 
has been worked somewhat extensively, although it is not 
of so good a quality as that from which the stone for the 
Capitol is being extracted. The quarry lies very near the 
Housatonic Railway, so that cars can be loaded from the 
quarry at once, without the trouble of loadmg the marble 
upon and from the common wagons drawn by horses or 
cattle. About seventy men were employed in this quarry 
during the last season. 

In the town of Lee, another company, called the Lee 
Marble Company, has been organized, with a capital 
of $30,000. The stock is owned mostly in New York, 
and, in 1854, the company proceeded to the work of quar- 
rying with vigor, and cari'ied it on quite extensively. 
Marl)le, to any very large amount, has not yet been 
quarried, but it has been so examined and experimented 
with, that it proves itself to be a firm, enduring and pure 
white marble, almost exactly like that of the quarry from 
which the addition to the Capitol is being constructed. 

Mr. Chester Goodale of Egremont, one of the pioneers 
in the marble business, still owns and works three of four 
quarries in Sheffield, of pure white marble. The money 
invested in the quarry, mills and other appurtenances, is 
about $25,000, and the receipts for the last year, as well 
as several years past, amounted to S8,000. The marble of 



all these quarries is very fine and white, and is quite trans- 
lucent in thin pieces, resembling, in this respect, the cheap- 
er varieties of alabaster. It was from these quarries that 
the larger part of the material used in the construction of 
Girard College, Philadelphia, was obtained, including the 
immense marble pillars of the middle edifice, or main 
building. The marble from these quarries, as a building 
material, is still unsurpassed, and the demand is still con- 
stant, and slightly on the increase. Here, also, as in most 
marble localities, the stone grows firmer as excavations are 
carried deeper into the earth. 

Messrs. J. K. & N. Freedley are now carrying on 
the marble business very extensively. Their quarry is in 
the town of West Stockbridge, and directly upon the Hud- 
son and Berkshire Railway. Their mill for sawing is also 
upon the same railway, so that the marble can, by means 
of derricks, be placed directly upon the rail-cars, and by 
the same means taken from them and placed in the mill 
where it is to be sawed. This quarry, as well as the last 
mentioned one in Sheffield, has been worked for more thaji 
forty years, although the present owners have carried on 
the business at this place but nine years. During the first 
six years, the annual receipts were $10,000, but during the 
last three years they have increased to 823,000. The 
capital invested is $25,000. All the marble that is export- 
ed from this quarry is sent away as sawn marble, and not 
in the rough. The principal market is at Philadelphia, 
where the fronts of many dwellings are made of it. In 
quantity, about 1,400 tuns are sent away each year. This 
is also the pure white marble. 

In the South East part of the town of "West Stockbridge, 
about two miles from the " Freedley quarry," is the quaiTy 
which has been worked for thirty-nine years by Mr. An- 
di-ew Fuarey, who is the oldest marble Avorker now living 
in Berkshire county. The amount of money invested by 
him in the business is SI 5,000, and the annual receipts 
about $12,600. During the years of 1830-7 and 8, the 
amount quarried, sawn and sent to market was thirty tuns 
the week, but, at the present time, an average of 450 tuns 
per year, with a jDrice of $28 per tun, is sent from the 
quarry. The principal market has been, and still is, Phil- 


adelphia, in wliich city no less than seventy-eight buildings 
are faced with this stone. Of these, are nearly all the 
Girard buildings — the college an exception — and many 
others on Gkard and Chestnut streets. The inside of the 
Exchange, in the same city, is also mainly made from this 
stone, as well as the monument to John GroufF, the archi- 
tect of the Fairmount Water Works. Besides these 
buildings and monuments just mentioned, another monu- 
ment, constructed of marble from Fuarey's quarry, has 
been erected in Mt. Auburn, to the memory of the four 
officers who died while connected with the United States 
Exploring Expedition, under Captam Wilkes. 

H. S. Clark & Co., in the Southwestern part of Pitts- 
field, own a clouded marble quai-ry, in which is invested 
$7,000. During the working season of 1853 530 tuns in 
the rough were quarried, from which were worked 3,000 
feet. For this year, and also for two years previous, the 
net receipts were S1G,000 the year, more than double the 
amount of capital. This firm have owned the quarry for 
nine years, and the same locality was worked ten years pre- 
vious to their possession of it. The principal use to which 
this stone is put, is the construction of head stones and 
monuments, a market for them being readily found in Al- 
bany and Troy. Considerable business is also done by 
them in Connecticut. 

In the Northern part of Lanesborough is a marble quar- 
ry that has been worked for forty years, and which is now 
known as Piatt's Quarry — capital S7,000. The marble 
is variegated, and is all sawn before it is sent away from 
the place, the receipts for which average $1,000 the year. 
The market is mainly Westward, in New York State, al- 
though some of it is sent to the East, and especially to 
Rhode Island. In 1842 and 3, marble to the value of 
$20,000 each year was sent from this place ; but as now 
the same quality can be obtained in the Southern parts of 
the county, and nearer to a Railway, the demand is not so 
great for it as formerly. And yet, the demand fdr 1854 
was much greater than that of the previous year. A few 
houses in Albany have fronts constructed of this Marble, 
although its main use is for head-stones and monuments. 

In the town of Alfbrd, near the Southwestern corner of 


the state, are two marble quarries wlilch are worked at the 
present time. One of these is worked by Mr. WiUiani 
JMilhgan, with a capital of $6,000, which, in 1853, yield- 
ed $1,200. This quarry was worked fifty years ago, and 
it has been in its present hands twenty-three years. The 
quality of the marble is the variegated, and in yeai's past 
has been used very extensively for buildings and public 
works. At present, the principal market is Albany, where 
examples of it may be seen in the Albany Market, the 
Law Buildings, the greater part of the Museum, and the 
inside of the State House. Owing to the horizontal posi- 
tion of the strata, very large slabs can be quarried here 
with great ease : for instance, the platforms, or large slabs 
which constitute the dome of the Albany State House, are 
sixteen and a half feet by six feet ; and slabs twelve feet 
square, and one foot in thickness, are very often got out 
by Mr. Milligan. Probably there is no place in Berkshire 
county where this rock can be more easily quarried than 
at this place : for it occurs on a high ridge, and, of course, 
needs no excavating to remove the marble ; and, besides, 
water cannot accumulate to prevent or render expensive 
the working. 

The other quarry of Marble that is worked in Alford 
belongs to Mr. Frederick Fitch. This lies nearly South 
of Milligan's quarry, and is on the same range of rock as 
that quariy. The value of this quarry, as estimated by 
Mr. Fitch, is only S2,000, although, when compared with 
other marble quarries in Berkshire county, we can see no 
reason why the amount should not be trebled. Tliis quar- 
ry has been worked for at least fifty years, although only 
eight years by its present owner. During tliis period, as 
nearly as can be estimated, the receipts have been $2,000 
the year. The marble here quarried is variegated, and 
may be seen in the City Hall, New York, wliich is for llic 
most part built of stone from this (|uarry. The principal 
market of Fiteh's »[uarry is New York city, and the stone 
is only used for building purposes. 

In Lenox, JNIarble has been worked since the year ISOO. 
At first, however, the stone was not taken from quarries, 
but from boulders, or loose rocks#that were quite abundant 
in that place. Tiie first mill for sawing marble was built 
in 1810, by Mr. Nathan Barrett, and the business carried 


on by liim until 1837, when his sons, James L. Barrett & 
Brothers, undertook the same business, and have carried 
it on quite extensively up to the present time. Their cap- 
ital is $3,000, and the amount yearly quai-ried is 5000 feet, 
or 200 tuns. The marble at this quarry is of both the 
white and variegated quality, and is mainly used for mon- 
uments and headstones, and a market for it is readily found 
at the mill. Considerable business is done by these gen- 
tlemen in getting out building stone, caps, sills, and step- 
stones fi'om the variegated marble, and it answers admira- 
bly for these purposes. Tliis quarry is situated within 
one mile of a station on the Pittsfield and Stockbridge 

In the town of North Adams, is an incorporated compa- 
ny known as the North Adams Marble and Lime Com- 
pany. The amount of capital invested in this business is 
$75,000, and the receipts for 1853 were S25,000. The 
quarry has been worked since 1837, and, in the hands of 
its present owners, since 1838. In quality, this marble is 
mainly pure white, although the blue clouded is dug to a 
considerable extent. It is all sawn, and generally cut and 
finished, for building purposes, and fronts of dwelling and 
other houses ; examples of which may be seen in Hudson 
St., N. Y., and in a building erected on the site of the old 
Bible House, in the same city. Besides New York, a 
market is readily found in Philadelphia for this stone, to 
be used for building purposes. This quarry is not at pres- 
ent worked to its fullest capacity, but when the demand for 
the stone shall require it, the marble can be quarried al- 
most to an indefinite extent. 

The statistics of the Lime produced at this place have 
already been given in another part of this paper, althougli 
it is proper to add, that the quality of this lime is decided- 
ly superior ; and if a Railway shall ever be constructed 
from Greenfield to Troy it will probably so lessen the 
cost of transportation, that Lime from this kiln will b^ 
in much greater demand than it is at the present time. 
And if this Railway be ever completed, it will also greatly 
enhance the value of all the mineral products already men- 
tioned as occurring in this town, and give them a fair com- 
petition with those of any other market. 

The quarries that have been enumerated are the only 



ones that were worked during 1853, although there are at 
least ten or twelve others which have been worked in past 
years, and are now unworked, not because they are ex- 
hausted, but because the owners of them fail to secure 
large contracts, or from a vague notion, in the minds of 
some purchasers, that a new quarry must, of necessity — 
like a new hat — be better than an old one. This, however, 
is known to be incorrect to those acquainted with the geo- 
logical position, or the quarrying of marble ; and we do 
not hesitate to affirm that the quarries of Sheffield are, at 
this day, as well able to yield beautiful marble, as when, in 
1837 and 8, they furnished the columns to the Girard col- 
lege at Philadelphia. The same may probably be said 
with regard to all the other marble quarries in Western 
Massachusetts, although it by no means prevents us from 
predicting that other quarries of marble, equally good, may 
be found and worked on that great line of Marble and 
Limestone which extends from about New JVIilford, Ct., into 
the Canadas. 

The following table is made out in order to ascertain at 
a glance the capital invested in each marble quarry, and 
the receipts of each for the year 1853, as well as the whole 
amount invested in the marble business in Western Mas- 
sachusetts, and the net receipts on the same, during 1853. 



Nome of quarry. 



for 1853 

North Adama Marble Co., 

North Adams, 

•t 78,000 


Kice & Heebner, 



100,000 Marble Co,, 



• J K. & N. Freedley, 

W. .stockbridge. 



Chester Gociale, 




Andrew Fuarey, 
H. S. Clark & Oo , 

W. stockbridge, 






" Platt'8 Quarry, 




Milligan's Quarry, 




Ba.rrett's Quarry, 


3,000 . 


Fitch's Quarry, 




Savage's Quarry, 

W. Sheffield. 




e 199,800 

Showing that, in round numbers, there are nearly S250,- 
000 invested in the marble business in Massachusetts, and 
about $200,000 was received on this capital during the 
year 1853. 

It will be a difficult thing to give a very accurate esti- 
mate of the Lime that is procured from Berkshire Lime- 
stone and Marble, from the fact that it is made in so many 
places, and that imperfect accounts are kept of the quau- 


tity produced at the kilns made for burning. Tlic theory 
of obtaining it is very simple. All Limestones, and con- 
sequently all marble, whether crystalline or gi-anular, are 
composed of carbonic acid — a colorless gas — and Lime, 
with often a small per cent, of Magnesia. Hence, all that 
is necessary to obtam lime, is to separate the lime from the 
carbonic acid, without, at the same time, causing it to unite 
with any other substance. This is done by burning, or 
subjecting the limestone to intense heat, which causes the 
carbonic acid to escape into the atmosphere, and the lime 
to remain behind as a white, dry solid. Although Lime- 
stones, as just stated, are composed of carbonic acid and 
Lime, yet they are often contaminated with other substan- 
ces, such as Silica or pure sand, and magnesia, which, of 
course, add impurities to the Lime, and thus injure its 
value. Therefore, as a general rule, the pure white and 
fine grained marble is the best for producing Lime, al- 
though some Limestones, which are not thought fit to be 
used as marble, yield a very large per cent, of Lime. 
But, as a general thing, Lime-kilns are built in the imme- 
diate vicinity of Marble quarries, for the reason that there 
the rock is the best to obtain the Lime from, and especially 
because the refuse stone of the quarry is in perfect readi- 
ness for the kiln, except the larger pieces, which must be 
somewhat broken up before they can be well burned. 

The following estimate of the Lime burned and sold in 
Berkshire county for 1853, has been furnished by the kind- 
ness of J. L. Barrett, Esq., of Lenox, the products of 
whose quarry in 1853 for this article, were $3,000. In 
the town of Adams, 5,000 bushels; Hinsdale, 5,000; 
Lanesborough, 5,000; Lenox, 70,000 ; Pittsfield, 12,000 j 
Richmond, 30,000 ; making a total of 127,000 bushels. 
This, at the average of ^0,28 the bushel, will give an 
amount of S35,5G0, which is certainly a low estimate, from 
the reasons given above. 

L'on is one of the metals that have been known from 
remotest antiquity. It is recorded in the fourth chapter of 
Genesis, that " Tubal Cain Avas an instructor of every ar- 
tificer in Brass and Iron." In Job, also, we find these pas- 
sages: "The bow of steel shall strike him through;" 
" Iron is taken out of the earth ;" " His bones are like bars 
of Iron," which, together with many others in the Old 


Testament, show a knowledge of the existence of this most 
valuable metal in some of its properties, as far as the his- 
tory of man extends. In later times, we find mention 
made of this metal, although only as a rarity, for, in 
some of the Grecian Games proposed by Achilles in 
honor of Patroclus, an Iron Ball was the reward offered to 
the successful victor. Later yet, we learn that one of the 
Roman Emperors commanded money to be made of this 
metal, that he might by these means check the covetous 
spirit of his people. 

The process of reducing the ores of Iron to the metal- 
lic state was probably imperfectly known in the time that 
the Romans held }X)ssession of England, although it was 
not until the 17th century that the method of smelting by 
mineral or pit coal was discovered. 

The process of smelting the ores of Iron consists in sep- 
arating the pure metal from the earthy substances witli 
which it is in combination. These substances, in tlie ores 
of Iron that are generally worked, are Suli)hur and 
Quartz, or their compounds with Oxygen. Native Iron 
has never been found, except as a cabinet curiosity. If 
Sulphur be the ingredient that must be driven off", even 
though it be in very minute proj^ortions, it is a somewhat 
difficult and complicated process. But if it be the Silica, 
as is the case with Massachusetts Iron, the process is car- 
ried on by mixing in proper proportions with the ore, and 
the coal, Lime or Limestone, called the ' flux' ; this unites 
witli the Silica, forming the 'slag,' Avliich is a rude and 
imperfect glass, and is always seen in abundance as waste 
material, in the vicinity of Iron furnaces, leaving the Iron 
in its pure, metallic state. 

These substances — tlie Ore, the Coal, and the Lime — 
are generally imperfectly mixed together, about in the pro- 
portion of one third of each, and put in at the Xo\> of the 
f ui'nace, whicli very much resembles a large and tall chim- 
ney, the capacity growing less at the bottom, and forming 
what is called the crucible, which receives the metal as 
fast as it is reduced from the ore, from its high specific 
gravity. A powerful current of air is constantly forced 
into the furnace by machinery, just above the crucible, 
which is termed the blast, and this current it is, wiiich 
keeps up this intense heat — above 3,200 degrees Falu'cn- 



heit — witliout which it is impossible to reduce the ores of 
Iron to the metallic state. When the furnace is once in 
'full blast,' it is kept in this state until some portion of it 
needs repairing, or the suj^jily of coal fails, or something 
equally important demands a ' blowing out,' or cessation 
of operations for a while. Of course, such labor requires 
two sets of operatives, one for day and another for night, 
neither of them stopping their work for the Sabbath; for 
if the fire be allowed to go out, even for a single day, it 
requires a whole week to heat up the fui-nace again to the 
point necessary for reducing the iron. The metal is gen- 
erally " cast," or drawn off, by puncturing the crucible in 
its lowest portion, which permits the iron to run in a gut- 
ter to a bed of sand, where are a large number of shoi't 
trenches that at once fill with the melted metal, which, 
when cooled, makes what is well known as "pig iron." 
This opening is readily closed by forcing into it,, with a 
long iron rod, a lump of moistened clay, which, by the 
heat is immediately hardened into a very impenetrable 
kind of earthern ware, that completely closes the orifice, 
until it shall again be necessary to open it for a similar 
purpose. In the same manner, all little openings that are 
constantly made by the heat and pressure, are at once ef- 
fectually closed. Most furnaces blow out, upon an aver- 
age, in about six or eight months, and yet, occasionally, 
one runs from nine to thirteen months. 

Great Britain and the United States, without doubt, pro- 
duce a large jjortion of all the iron that is used in the 
world, and, according to Seaman — the author of the " Pro- 
gress of Nations" — England and ^Yalos, at the present 
day, produce nearly halt' of the iron that is made in the 
world. According to the returns of the last census, the 
amount of pig iron made annually in the United States is 
564,755 tuns, of which 12,287 tuns are made in Massa- 
chusetts, being about one foity-fifth of the whole amount. 
The amount reduced in 1837 was 2,617 tuns. 

All the furnaces in Berkshire county, without exception, 
work the ore known as the Brown Hematite, or, in chemi- 
cal language, the hydrous peroxyd of Iron. Geologically 
considered, it belongs, in all probability, to the Tertiary 
Formation, which extends fi'om Canada to Georgia, and 
is accompanied by what is known in Europe as tlic Lig- 


nite, or Brown Coal Formation. The Spathic Iron, or 
Carbonate of Iron, occurs in small quantities in this coun- 
ty, but never lias been worked to any extent, more tuan 
for an experiment. 

The Hudson Iron Woi-ks, whose furnaces are in Hud- 
son, New York, own the largest iron bed in Massachu- 
setts. This is in AVest Stockbridge. It lies in a vein run- 
ning Northeast and Southwest, is underlaid hy the Ocher, 
resting on limestone, and is covered with the variegated 
clays, conclusively showing that all the iron beds of Berk- 
shire belong to the Tertiaiy deposit. The vein has been 
traced for 1,300 feet, and varies in width from 40 to 100 
feet. The ])resent excavation is more than 500 feet in 
length, and 100 feet in depth. Tlie whole capital of this 
company is 6235,000, of which §50,000 are invested in 
this mine, and the receipts for ore during the year 1853 
were $5,000. The existence of iron has been known in 
this place for more than ten years, but it has not been con- 
sidered of sufficient value to allow much outlay, or to re- 
quire extensive working, until 1851, when it came into the 
liands of its present owners. During these three years, 
60,000 tuns of ore have been sent to Hudson. A descrip- 
tion of the method of transportation of the ore to the fur- 
nace deserves a moment's attention. A branch of the 
Hudson and Berkshire Railway, five-eighths of a mile in 
length, is built up to the very limits of the ore-bed, and 
by means of an embankment, considerably higher than 
the top of the cars, the horse carts, or wheelbarrows load- 
ed with the ore are, in the easiest manner possible, emptied 
at once into the cars, so that, in a few minutes, a hundred 
tuns are loaded, which is the amount usually drawn by one 
locomotive. By means of a switch, the ore is carried from 
the main trunk of the Railway directly to the furnace 
yard, thus saving a great expense (to many Iron-workers,) 
in loading and unloading the ore several times. The ore 
is valued at §2 50 the tun at the mine, and wlien reduced 
gives 45 ])er cent, of pure metal. Besides taking the ore 
from the top of the ground, or rather, at the open pit al- 
ready mentioned, a horizontal adit has been driven east- 
erly from the pit, communicating with a ]K'r])cndicuIar 
ishaft 150 feet in depth, in order to drain the water from 


the workings, and also that other drifts may be sent in dif- 
ferent directions from it. 

At Lenox Furnace — a village in the Southern part of 
Lenox — is situated the furnace of the Lenox Iron Works. 
This comjjany, incorporated in 1848, has a capital of SlOO,- 
000, which is owned in Lenox. Its site has been used for 
a long time for the reduction of iron from its ores, since 
hollow ware was cast at this place nearly seventy-five years 

Tlie Stockbridge Iron Company, with a capital of $125,- 
000, which is mostly owned in Boston, are at the present 
time working two beds of ore, which are, with the furnace, 
in the town of Stockbridge. During the years 1851-2, 
the amount of metal produced was G3 1-4 tuns per week, 
Avith both of their furnaces in operation. Tliis ore yields 
50 per cent, of metal, and is made, (it is very encoura- 
ging to know,) to yield four to five per cent, more when an- 
thracite is used instead of charcoal. The average receipts 
per tun, of the latest sales, is $35, the market principally 
Boston and vicinity. Three beds of ore in Lenox are now 
worked by this company, and besides these, five more are 
their property, some of which are in West Stockbridge. 
Five thousand tuns of ore are used here every year, val- 
ued at 82 25 the tun, from which is made 2,000 tuns of 
metal. This sold in 1853 at S40 the tun, making the gross 
receipts $80,000. The per cent, yield of the ore is 45. 
The markets for this furnace are chiefly at Springfield, 
Holyoke and Worcester, Avhere it is principally used for 

North of Pittsfield, in Lanesborough, is the furnace of 
the Briggs Iron Company. Tlieir capital is owned in Sa- 
lem, and amounts to $100,000. The Company was incor- 
porated in 1847, and works up about 4,000 . tuns of ore 
yearly, making 1,800 tuns of metal, which readily sells at 
$40 per tun. During the year 1853, 2,000 tuns of metal 
were made, of course increasing considerably the receipts. 
The per cent, of metal from tliis furnace averages 45. 

During the year 1848, a bed of iron ore in North Adams 
was purchased and opened by tlie North Adams Iron Com- 
pany, with a capital of $64,000. At the same time, or 
immediately afterwards, beds were secured to them in 



Pittsfielfl, Cheshire, and Copake, New York. During the 
first years of operation, the company reduced about 1,200 
tuns of metal, but in 1853 nearly 1,700 tuns, which, at 
the price of S40 the tun, makes a yearly receipt of ^6S,- 
000. The ore yields 40 per cent, of metal. The great 
advantage which this conipany possesses for working iron, 
consists in the fact that, from North Adams to Brattleboro, 
the country is nearly an unbroken forest, which, for years 
to come, will furnish all the charcoal necessary to reduce 
the iron. The principal, and very ready market for this 
iron is at Albany and Troy, to which a railway will proba- 
bly be completed, that will enhance the value of this proper- 
ty, and render a supply of the metal more abundant. 

The Richmond Iron Works have located one furnace in 
Yan Deusenville, a portion of Great Barrington, and an- 
other in Richmond, with a joint capital of So4,000. The 
owners are John II. Coffing, Charles and George Coffing, 
and the heirs of Holly & Cotling, of Salisbuxy, Ct., as 
this was formerly connected with the Salisbury Iron Works 
in Connecticut. As early as the year 1829, this company 
owned a furnace in Richmond ibr " blooming" ii"on, as it 
is termed, and in 1834, the present furnace in Van Deusen- 
ville was built, and the comj)any incorporated in 1842. 
The majority of the beds, however, that are are now 
worked, have beeu discovered since that period, and, al- 
though fourteen distinct localities of ore belong to this 
company, yet but seven are worked at the present time. 
These are all situated in Richmond and West Stockbridge. 
This ore yields about 40 per cent, of metal, and each fur- 
nace now produces 42 tuns per Aveek. although, in 1843-4, 
both of them produced only GO tuns tlie Aveek. The 
amount of ore used yearly is 9,000 tuns, and the metal 
procured from it al)out 3,200 tuns. Its avei'age price 
per tun is S43, which is somewhat higher than many other 
furnaces in the AVestern part of Massachusetts. 

In the village of AVest Stockbridge, a few rods Sonth of 
the Railway Station, is an iron furnace which promises to 
be one of the best and largest in Massachusetts. The 
company owning it is known as the Berkshire Iron Works. 
The furnace has been in operation only since the last of 
Februaiy, 1854, and is now hardly in full working order, 
although from ten to eleven tuns of iron are made by it 


daily, witli the expectation that when in its hest working 
state, fifteen tuns the day will be the product. Sixty thou- 
sand dollars have already been invested in quarries, build- 
ings, and other outlays, and forty thousand more will be 
laid out as fast as time will permit. And this addition will 
be to make the largest furnace in Massachusetts, with 
boshes of twenty feet, the largest now in existence being 
from 13 to 14 feet. The ore at this furnace is reduced en- 
tirely by hard coal, although it was formerly thought to be 
an impossibility to make good iron without charcoal. And 
under the superintendence of Mr. Robert Ralston, a Scotch 
founder, the very best of iron has been sent from this fur- 
nace. An improvement has been made in the furnace, by 
which the blast is heated about 612 '^ — sufficient to melt 
lead — by conveying a portion of the spent gases of the 
chimney, through large chambers, containing the blast, in 
iron pipes, which, of course, greatly facilitates the reduc- 
tion of the ore. The greater portion of the ore yields 40 
per cent, of metal, and some of it even as high as 4.5 per 
cent. Six beds have already been opened by this compa- 
ny, and five or six more yet remain to be worked. 

The annexed table gives us, at one view, statistics con- 
cerning the amount of capital invested in the iron business 
in Western Massachusetts, the receipts for the year or 
working season of 1853, the per cent, of metal, and, as far 
as ascertained, the average sales per tun of the metal, or 
ore, when the iron is manufactured out of the State. 

Capital Receipts Averace per Av. price 
Name of Company. Location. invested. for ]So3. cent, of metal, per tun. 

Stockbridge Iron Co., Stockbridge, $12.3,0(10 $72,800 SO $35,00 

I>enox Iron Works, Lenox, ]i)ll,(X10 80,000 40 40,00 

Briggs Iron Co., Lanesborouah, lll(l,rK)0 7i',0()0 45 40 (Kl 

N. Adams Iron Works, North Adanis, MOW (;.S,0<X) 40 40,m 

Berkshire Iron Works, W. Stockbridge, 01,000 11,-JOO 40 40,00 

Richmond Iron Works, Great Barrington, ,')4,(MX) 137,001) 40 4.3JU0 

Hudson Iron Works, W. Stockbridge, oO.dOO 6,(100 45 Xi.lMJ 

Union Iron Works, Chesliire. 70,000 ft},S00 42 39,00 

Total, $(B2,000 $510,400 42 3-4 $39,00 

From the Union Iron "Works in Cheshire, no returns 
have been made, and the statistics given are made out by 
taking the average of the seven other furnaces in Berk- 
shire County, which, of course, is only an approximate re- 

In the Geological Report of Dr. Hitchcock, we find con- 
siderable said about the existence and the probable future 
value of Soapstone in Massachusetts. This is fii'om the 



fact that it is quite abundant in Western Massachusetts, 
that it is so easily worked, and so completely resists the 
action of heat. If we draw a line across Massachusetts in 
a Noiiherly direction, commencing with Blandlbrd, and 
passing through jNIiddlefield, and thence through Vermont, 
we shall probably pass within ten miles of a larger part 
of the principal soajjstone quarries West of the Connecti- 
cut river in New England. These lie, for the most part, 
at the junction of the Hornblende and Talcose, or Horn- 
blende and Mica Slates, the beds lying coarsely stratified 
with the same direction and dip as the rock on which they 
recline. These beds are in general of not very gi-eat 
width and extent, a few yards at most, but occurring fre- 
quently along the line already mentioned, perhaps existing 
rather as protuberances, and not as the same continuous 

In some places, this rock is quite hard, almost equal to 
marble in hardness, while, in others, it is so soft that it is 
readily cut with the knife. Often it is so thickly filled with 
calcareous spar, dolomite, or other minerals, that it is not 
considered of value suflacient for quarrying; and in other 
places large blocks are taken out that are almost entirely 
free from foreign substances. It is heavier than the ma- 
jority of rocks, its specific gravity being 2.85, wliile mar- 
ble is from 2 to 2.50. One of the most remarkable pro- 
perties of this rock, is its power to retain heat for a great 
length of time. In this property, it differs from, and ex- 
cels all other known substances. It is also an excellent 
substance to withstand the effects of heat, far surpassing 
fire-bricks ; and, although much more expensive than 
these, yet its greater durability more than compensates lor 
its high value. For while fire bricks, that line Kussia 
iron stoves, at the most, last but two seasons, the best soap- 
stones will endure heat of this amount for ten years. An- 
other instance of its durability may be seen in the furnace 
doors of the Collins Steamers. They wei-e formerly made 
of iron, and lasted l)ut one trip, always being destroyed by 
the intense heat. Recently, however, these doors were 
made of soapstone, with an iron casing — the iron not meet- 
ing directly the strong heat — and they have lasted during 
four trips, and yet seem just as good as Avlien first put in. 
The fact of the power in soapstones to retam heat lor such 


a length of time, has led to quite an extensive use of them, 
especially in the country, for keeping hands and feet 
warm, when riding for a considerable distance in a cold 

Soapstone is used in making registers to furnace open- 
ings, in the manufacture of porcelain, as a polishing mate- 
rial, a substance that in powder easily removes oil and 
grease stains from cloth, forms a body for fancy soaps, and 
is also used for making fire-proof paints, and, when mixed 
with oil, is an excellent and economical substance for lubri- 
cating the axles and pivots of heavy machinery. The only 
other use of this rock, necessary to be mentioned, is for 
iacing the fronts of buildings, in the same manner as mar- 
ble and sandstone are employed. Although it is so soft 
that it can be cut by the knife, yet it is abundantly solid," 
and sutHciently strong to sustain the necessary pressure 
from above. It is of a very light gray color, and does not 
become tarnished by exposure to the action of air or water. 
One great excellence of it is that cornices and window 
caps can be carved from it to a great extent, and yet with 
very little expense. The cost of this material for building 
purposes, is about the same as of marble and sandstone, 
for, although the expense of working is very trifling, yet 
the original cost of the stone is nearly double that of other 
building materials. 

One of the largest and most important soapstone quar- 
ries in the United States, is in Middlcfield. It has been 
known and worked for several yeai's by several comj^anies, 
all with more or less ])rofit, and to a considerable extent. 
During 1853 it was purchased b}^ a New York company, 
chartered as the Metropolitan Soapstone Company, with a 
capital of S300,000. General Charles B. Stuart is the 
Pi-esident of the company. This Company are now quarry- 
ing this rock in immense quantities, and conducting Genera- 
tions in a moi'e systematic and scientific manner, than has 
ever been done before at this quarry. The bed is several 
hundi-ed feet in length, and has an average width of thirty 
feet, and, in most parts of it, is of an uniform gi'ay color, 
although, in some places, it is slightly variegated, which 
is the best and handsomest quality for building purposes. 
There are two mills at Middlefield for sawing this stone, 
and grinding a portion of it into powder, and a vard in 



New York, city, at No. 260, West IStli Street, occupying 
an acre of ground, -with a steam engine, an ii'on building, 
and machinery necessary for the working of the stone. 
During the year 1853, 1000 tuns of tliis stone were quar- 
ried at Middlefield, 600 tuns of which were taken to the 
New York market, and there sold for firestones m coal fur- 
naces, at an average price of S12 the tun. During 1854, 
the Company quarried and worked up at least 100 tuns the 

Farmers and other holders of land in Western Massa- 
chusetts cannot ha too strongly urged to attend to the mat- 
ter of ascertaining whether soapstone exists on any part 
of their land ; for it is now very valuable, and, without 
doubt, will increase in value for sometime to come, since 
experiments have shown that the variety which is abso- 
lutely pure is not the only one that will answer for build- 
ing and fire purposes. Even if it be infested, in some de- 
gree, with dolomite and calc spar, it can be used for a great 
many valuable purposes. Examples of soapstone used as 
a building material can be seen in a house on Concord 
street, and another on Clarke street, Brooklyn, N. Y. 
Also one in 15th street. New York. 

Soapstone has also been found' and quarried to some ex- 
tent in the towns of Blandford, Chester, Windsor, New 
Lebanon, Hinsdale, Savoy, Granville and Rowe, and prob- 
ably will be found in as many more towns in the Western 
part' of Massachusetts. 

Closely connected with soapstone is the granular quartz 
rock, known as Firestone. Tlie only locality of this that 
is worked to any considerable extent, is in the Southeast 
y)art of Great Barrington, near Tyringham. It is o^^'ned 
by Jolui Devenney, Esq., and the stone is used in making 
hearths for iron furnaces. For this purpose, it is sold at 
SI the cubic foot, unless very large blocks are required, 
when the price is somewhat increased. During 1853 the 
receipts of this quarry were S3,000. This locality has 
been worked for the last eight years, and was at first owned 
and worked by John C Briggs, Esq., and the stone known 
as " Briggs' stone." 

The manufacture of glass has been carried on quite ex- 
tensively for a few years past in Bei'kshire County. This 


is for the simple reason that there is such an abundance 
of pure quartz, or glass sand, the most essential constituent 
of glass, in this section of country. Quartz rock, howev- 
er, is a very abundant rock in New England ; but it will 
not in all instances answer for glass manufacture, because 
it contains coloring matter, or other impurities, which will 
not produce transparent and colorless glass. Glass is a 
variable compound of the silicates of potash, soda, alumi- 
na, or lime, with some metallic oxyd for a coloring mate- 
rial, according to the purpose for which it is needed. Win- 
dow glass, and all other kinds of glass that are simply 
intended for the ready transmission of the rays of light, 
and no exposure to intense heat, are made of the whitest 
of lime, the purest soda-ash, and the most transparent of 
silica or glass sand, in the j^roportions (average) of 3 of 
sand, 1 of soda-ash, and nearly 1 of lime, although the 
proportion varies according to the purity of the ingredi- 
ents. At present, there are three manufactories of glass 
in Berkshire County : one in Cheshire, one in Lanesbo- 
rough, and another in Lenox. 

The Cheshire Glass Works carry on their business with 
a capital of S80,000, which is mostly owned in New York, 
and have now been in operation two years. During the 
first part of 1854, they manufactured window glass only, 
but they have since made rough plate-glass for floors 
and roofs. For this purpose, the glass is cast instead of 
blown, and rolled out under immense pressure, and when 
finished, is about one-half an inch in thickness, although 
some of it is, for a few particular uses, made an inch thick. 
The amount of sand used daily is 2,800 pounds, of soda- 
ash 500 pounds, and lime 800 pounds, and from this is 
made 600 feet of half-inch glass each da3\ This, at the 
factory, will readily sell for 50 cents per foot, yielding 
about !S300 the day for nine months in the year. The re- 
maining three months are necessary for renewing the ma- 
terials of the furnace. 

This company are now making experiments upon pol- 
ished plate glass, and are confident of soon being able to 
furnish a good article for the market, in abundance, since 
the sand is of such an admirable quality, and can be so 
cheaply furnished, the locality being within a few rods of 
the manufactory. 



Li the town of Lenox, within a few rods of the Lenox 
Iron Works, are located the Lenox Glass Works. The 
amount at present invested in this branch of manufacture 
is $40,000, ahhough, as soon as the second furnace is con- 
structed, the amount invested will be 600,000. This stock 
is principally owned by the same persons that own the 
Lenox Iron Works. The sand that is used here is from 
Cheshire, although it occurs in Lenox of as good a quality 
as that in Cheshire, and will soon be dug there, instead of 
importing it from other parts of the county. At present, 
Avindow glass is the sole product of the furnace, although 
experiments are soon to be made on rough and smootli 
plate glass. The amount of glass daily made is 4,500 
feet, bringing from $5 to SG the 100 feet, in the market. 
About one tun and a half of sand is daily used here, 
which costs at the Cheshire bed $2 50 the tun ; 1000 
pounds of soda-ash at 2 7-8 cents the pound, and 900 
pounds of lime, at four cents the pound. The heating ma- 
terial is the softer kinds of wood, hemlock and spruce, 
which are partially charred before heating the glass, and 
can be obtained in this section of country in great quanti- 
ties, since it is the luird and not soft wood which furnishes 
the best charcoal for smelting iron. 

A Glass Furnace is established at Lanesborough, with 
Albert R. Fox, as superintendent. The stock of this 
company, known as the Berkshire Glass Company, is val- 
ued at 880,000. This corporation was chartered in 1847, 
although it Avas not until the spring of 1853 that active 
operations were conunenced. About the first of Novem- 
ber, in the same year, the first products were manufactured 
lor the market, and t8.000 wortli were disposed of ])revious 
to January, 1854. White cylinder glass is the sole pro- 
duct of this furnace, of which 3,000 feet are manufactured 
daily. The sand beds from which the glass sand is pro- 
cured, are in the town of Lanesborough, being on the same 
range of quartz rock as the Clicshire beds. The erection 
of this furnace has led to the building up of an enterpris- 
ing village, and the establishment of a new Post Otfice, 
known as Berkshire, situated upon the North Adams and 
Pittsfield railway. 

At Cheshire, in the inunediate vicinity of the Cheshire 


Glass Works, is the bed from -which is dug an immense 
amount of sand, that is sent to different parts of this coun- 
try, and also exported in considerable quantities to Eng- 
land and France. The price of the sand, when laden in 
the cars at Cheshire, is So 50 the tun, and the amount 
shipped in 1853 was 4,300 tuns, yielding receipts to the 
amount of S23,650. This locality will probably remain 
unexhausted for a great length of time, even if worked at 
its present rate, and should this particular bed give out, an 
abundance of others can be found in the range of tlie 
quartz rock extending in a Northerly and Southerly direc- 
tion throujih Berkshire Coiuitv. 

The localities of Lead in Massachusetts, that are of any 
importance, are all situated in the Connecticut Valley. 
They are not, as yet, productive, but a few of them 
have been worked, with the hope that the vein would be 
reached, and the mines made to yield a large amount of 
ore. In the nine diflerent towns in this valley in which 
lead is found, it is either in the granite or mica slate, or at 
their junction with each other ; but the only localities 
which are expected ever to be profitable are in granite. 
The ore in these localities is invariably the sulphuret, or 
galena, and is associated with blende, or an ore of zinc, 
called " black jack" by the miners. This ore, the galena, 
is reduced to the metallic state by heat alone, the heat 
driving off the sulphur in the form of sulphurous acid. 
At present, there is no locality of lead in Massachusetts 
where the ore is raised and tlie metal smelted, altliough it 
Avas known to exist in Northampton as early as 1767, and 
bullets were made at that place during the American Rev- 
olution. This locality, since that period, has been un- 
opened and unworked until when, quite recently, a compa- 
ny known as the Northampton Silver Lead Company was 
started, who liave excavated quite extensively, 23re])ai- 
atory to working the ore. The vein has been struck 
by a perpendicular shaft, and a horizontal adit has been 
forced into the vein for the purpose of drainage, &c. Ac- 
cording to Dr. C. T. Jackson, who has examined the local- 
ity, appearances indicate a productive mine, as he says : 
" The whole character of the lode is such as to impress all 
muiers who visit it, with the fact that the vein is a true 


one, and that it will become rich as it penetrates down- 
ward." It is quite probable that copper will also be ex- 
tensively mined in the same spot, since it increases in 
abundance very fast, as the perpendicular shaft is sunk, 
and to such an extent that Dr. Jackson is not decided in 
his own mind which will ultimately predominate, the lead 
or the copper. The vein, as at present known, is about six 
feet wide, which is the width of the shaft ; and, as only 
one of the walls of it has been found, it is believed that 
the vein is much wider than where it is now partly seen. 
The ore when washed Avill yield 70 per cent, of metallic 
lead, and, according to an analysis made by Di\ Chilton of 
New York, silver also, to the amount of 30 oz. 2 diots. to the 
tun, from which the name of the company is derived. 

At Southampton, mining operations for lead have been 
cari'ied on, though somewhat intermit tingly, for the last 
twenty years. About the year 1830, a perpendicular shaft 
was sunk sixty feet, dii-ectly upon the vein, which was 6 
or 8 feet wide ; but, as the water ran in very fast, it was 
determined to strike the vein by a horizontal adit from the 
hill below, a distance of 180 rods. This was commenced, 
and the vein nearly reached, when the discovery of lead 
in Missouri caused a fall of more than one hundred per 
cent, in its value, so that all operations at this place were 
at that time discontinued. AVithin a few years, operations 
have been renewed, and the horizontal drift carried on still 
farther, nearly to the vein. Both of these localities men- 
tioned, as well as two otliers on the same vein, are owned 
by the Hampshire Consolidated Mining Co. The latest 
intelligence from this company is a total suspension of op- 
erations. Tliis is owing to the fact that assistance has been 
expected from English ca^jitalists ; but now all the surplus 
capital is turned towards another direction than American 

Ujion the comparative value of this mine with the one 
just mentioned, in Northampton, nothing can be said, since, 
in all probability, they are both upon the same great vein, 
which may be traced in a Northeast direction, from Mont- 
gomery to Hatfield, although there may be local circum- 
stances to favor the one rather than the other. i\lany inter- 
esting minerals have been found in botli these localities, 
which lead the mineralogist, at least, to hope that opera- 


tions will be carried on to a very considerable extent. 
And the recent discovery of fluor spar lea'ds all acquainted 
with the matter to expect a large supply of lead, since, in 
all the lead-bearing countries of Europe, this mineral, dis- 
tinctly crystallized, occurs in considerable quantities. And 
if this vein be indeed a " leader," then Ave may confidently 
expect that, in the course of a few years, many mines will 
be discovered and worked along the course already indi- 

Table showing the amount of capital in Western Mas- 
sachusetts invested in mineral products, and the net receipts 
for 1853, as far as can be ascertained : 

Capital. Receipts for 1853. 

Iron, • $032,000 $510,400 

Marble, 247,000 199,800 

Soapstone, 300,000 12,000 

Glass, 200,000 161,900 

Firestone, 3,000 

Lime, 35,560 

Glass Sand, 23,650 

$1,379,000 $1,146,310 

The mineral products which have just been described 
are the only kinds which are, at present, of any pecuniary 
value. Since this part of the. State has been settled, how- 
ever, several other sonrces of mineral wealth have yielded 
no inconsiderable amounts of profit to their owners. In 
Hatfield, within a few years. Sulphate of Baryta, or Bary- 
tes, has been dug and carried away in immense quantities, 
as a substance for adulterating white lead, as well as an 
independent pigment, which is used where painted surfa- 
Qgs are exposed to acid vapors, sulphuretted hydrogen, and 
other corrosive gasses, since they produce no elfect at all 
upon it. It, however, only answers for such places, and is 
not an economical or enduring pigment. The same sub- 
stance is now dug at Cheshire, Ct. 

In several places in the Western part of Massachusetts, 
Serpentine or Ilagnesian Marble has been quarried and 
worked to some extent, as a beautiful ornamental stone, in 
the place of marble. AVhen this is associated and mingled 
with limestone, it constitutes verd-antique mai-ble, and 

GEOLOor. 377 

when worked in its pure state, it makes a most beautiful 
green, clouded stone, that answers admirably for table tops, 
mantles, vases, &c. And it is not a little surprising that 
Americans, who, of late, seem. so anxious to follow the cus- 
toms of Europe, should allow a rock equally handsome 
with European varieties to lie in the quarries, while in 
Spain, and other parts of Continental Europe, churches 
and private dwellings are decorated with it to a very con- 
siderable extent. The most extensive quarry in New Eng- 
land is in Middlefield, while the handsomest variety is from 
Newbury in this State. 

If, now, Ave turn our attention to the mineral resources 
which as yet lie useless, and almost unknown, Ave have an 
immense held before us. For, without doubt, in variety, 
Massachusetts takes the lead of all the New England 
States. In the first place, every source of mineral wealth 
that is now known and worked, can be made to yield double 
its present amount, if the capital be only invested in it, 
and the business be properly managed. For example, not 
one half of the iron betls that have been discovered are 
now worked, and but a very little labor and expense have 
been laid out in searching lor new localities. And should 
evei-y other marble quarry, save those in Massachusetts, 
fail, Berkshire alone would satisfy the wants of American 
marl)le tor many years to come. Soapstone, too, which is 
gradually, but surely, coming into the market, lies in im- 
mense but unknown quantities in Western Massachusetts, 
needing only to liave its beds exposed to the sunlight, to 
give a most excellent quality, and abuuthuit (puuUity to the 
whole world. Sand for the manufacture of glass, is now 
exported in no inconsiderable quantities to France and 
Enghuid, but were pains only taken to show its beauty and 
abundance, the demand would be much beyond the present. 
But another reason why the mineral Avealth of Massachu- 
setts yields so small a revenue, is the ignorance of its citi- 
zens as to what her territory contains, and the little pains 
taken to know it. "Within four miles of one of the most 
prosperous and gi-owing cities in this CommonAvealth, arc 
two localities oi' /\o/iian Cement, ov hydraulic lime. These 
two localities are Chicopee and "West Springfield, where 
the substance is found as concretions in the new sandstone. 
Some years since, a manufactory of this cement was estab- 


lished in the Northern part of West Springfield, and a very- 
good article made, although the operation is at present 
given up. 

In the West part of Chester is a locality of Ghromite 
of Iron, which is the ore that very readily produces chro- 
mic acid, the basis of valuable pigments, such as chrome 
green, and chrome yello\y. This is the same ore that is 
found in Maryland, and from which these pigments are at 
the present time manufactured. 

Magnetic Iron Ore is described in Dr. Hitchcock's Geo- 
logical report as occurring in considerable abundance in 
the Northern part of Franklin County. This is a very 
rich ore, yielding from 50 to 90 per cent, of pure metal, 
and is the same as the iron mountain of Missouri, and the 
iron mines on the South coast of Lake Superior. 

The Oxyd of Manganese has been found in Sheffield, 
and some other places in Berkshire County. In Ver- 
mont, it has been worked, on a continuation of the same 


Tin will ultimately be found in a workable quantity in 
Western Massachusetts. The reasons for such a statement 
are, that the rocks are of the proper character, (the oldest,) 
and the oxyd of this metal has been found crystallized in 
several places ; and according to an English Geologist, " it 
is generally in the vicinity of a vein of tin ore, that dis- 
seminated grains of tinstone are found in the rock." Be- 
sides this, veins of tin are always quite small, and conse- 
quently easily overlooked, and especially so, since the rocks 
in which they are to be found, are in those portions of the 
State that are very thinly settled. 


In the three precediug sections of the Geology of West- 
ern Massachusetts, the labor has been comparatively easy, 
— merely to collect facts and state them, or, at most, to give 
theories to account for the geological condition of this por- 
tion of Massachusetts. But when an attempt is made to 
describe scenery, and that of so enchanting a spot as the 
one before us, the mind almost shrinks from the task. Ac- 
cordingly, the only end of this effort will be a simple set- 
ting forth of the facts, and, very possibly, inciting in the 
mind of the reader a desire to visit the localities men- 



tioned, so that these beauties of nature may be most fully 

For a starting point, let us place ourselves in imagina- 
tion upon the highest portion of land in Massachusetts, — 
Saddle Mountain, or Greylock. This towei's above all the 
other mountains in Western Massachusetts, at least 200 
feet, being 3,600 feet above tide-water. Nowhere in this 
whole State do we gain such ideas of vastness and immen- 
sity, as we may derive from tliis spot. Here the eye rests 
upon the lofty summits of the Taghconic and Iloosac moun- 
tains, with the green valleys intervening, and finally gazes 
on the peaks of the distant mountain tops in New York 
and Vermont, until they are blended Avith the blue horizon 
of the distant sky. Tlien the attention is drawn to objects 
lying nearer the mountain, the first of which is the village 
of Williamstown, reposing in a beautiful valley, Avith a 
Southeastern slope, and handsomely adorned with the Col- 
lege buildings and Observatory. From this the eye is in- 
sensibly drawn upwards and beyond, to the vast slope of 
the Hoosac range, stretching away into Vermont ; while 
the next objects that attract the attention are the mountains 
of Northern New York, upon the AVestern shore of Lake 

The " Hopper" is what no one can forget who has 
climbed Greylock. This is an immense gulf upon the 
Southwestern portion of the mountain, wliich does, indeed, 
bear some resemblance to the article designated by the 
name, the bottom of it seeming to be a mere point, although 
a near approach shows it to be far otherwise. It is, how- 
ever, a chasm at least 1,000 feet deep, and, as one ap- 
proaches to its edge upon the naked summit of r>ald jNIoun- 
tain — a })ortion of Greylock — the siglit at once makes him 
grow dizzy, and he willingly shrinks from so dangerous a 

Of late years, the ascent of this mountain has become 
quite popular, owing to the construction of a tolerably 
good road for a large part of the distance upon its side, 
which can be readily reached from the village of North 
Adams. Any one, however,, who intends making this as- 
cent, cannot expect to do it in less time than one day, or 
reach the foot of the mountain at niglit witliout such a 
condition of body, as will readily induce sound and heaiihy 


sleep. Several years since, an Observatory was built 
upon Greylock, and well fitted up with instruments, de- 
signed for making accurate astronomical observations. 
But, either from malice, or utter wantonness, the building 
was broken open, and the apparatus most shamefully de- 
stroyed. And, still later, this same outrage has been per- 
petrated upon another set of instruments, furnished by the 
inhabitants and students of Williamstown, reflecting most 
sadly upon the character of some human beings, and ex- 
hibiting, to say the least, a most striking exemplification of 
moral depravity, if not of barbaiity. 

Almost directly South of the' mountain, in the adjoining 
Southwest corner of Massachusetts, stands another grand 
and imposing pile, — Mt. Washington, the highest peak of 
Avhich is named Mt. Everett. Nearly 2,000 feet above the 
base of this mountain is situated the township and village 
of Mt. Washington, liaving, probably, the highest location 
of any town in the state, while 600 feet higher towers the 
eminence Mt. Everett, named in honor of the Ex-Govern- 
or, and late United States Senator, Hon. Edward Everett. 
The effect produced on the mind, in approaching this moun- 
tain from a distance, is much more grand and imposing 
than when coming in sight of Greylock. For Mt. Everett 
seems to rise more abruptly from the valley below, and is 
not placed in the midst of so many surrounding mountains. 
And when one, riding in the Housatonic cars, has once 
fixed his eyes upon this most grand and noble of Massa- 
chusetts' mountains, he seems compelled, by an irresistible 
attraction, to gaze, and fill his soul with its grandeur and 
magnificence, until some intervening object suddenly cuts 
oli" his view, and he can only enjoy the lesser mountains 
and the meadows of the Housatonic valley. Probably the 
easiest ascent of this mountain is made from Egremont, 
upon the Northern side of the mountain, although the way 
is somewhat traveled upon the Southern side, from North- 
east, New York. This latter journey carries one by the 
very romantic spot known as Bashpish Falls. In ascend- 
ing from Egremont, the traveler passes up a rather dreary 
slope, for the most part untenanted, either by plant or ani- 
mal, to the bight of 2,000 feet, when he reaches the vil- 
lage of Mt. Washington, lying in the broad and shallow 
valley, bounded on the West by the Taghconic range, and 


on the East by Mt. Everett, with its lower connecting 
peaks. When the traveller has at length reached the sum- 
mit of Mt. Evei'ett, he then has a view spread before him, 
perhajis not the most beautiful, but certainly the grandest 
and noblest in all Massachusetts. For " you feel yourself 
to be standing above everything around you ; and feel the 
proud consciousness of literally looking down upon all ter- 
restrial scenes. Before, on the East, the valley through 
which the Housatonic meanders, stretches far Northward 
in Massachusetts, and Southward into Connecticut; sprinkled 
over with copse and glebe, witli small sheets of water, and 
beautiful villages. To the Southeast, especially, a large 
sheet of water appears, I believe in Canaan, of sui'passing 
beauty. In the Southwest, the gigantic Alender, Riga, 
and other mountains more remote, seem to bear the blue 
heavens on their heads in calm majesty ; while, stretching 
across the far distant West, the Catskills hang, like cur- 
tains of the sky. 0, what a glorious display of mountains 
all around you ! and how does one in such a spot turn 
round and round, and drink in new glories, and feel his 
heart swelling more and more with emotions of sublimity, 
until the tired optic nerve shrinks from its office. 

'Ah, that such beauty, varying in the light 
Of living nature, cannot be portrayed 
By words, nor by the pencil's silent skill, 
But is the property of him alone 
Who hath beheld it, noted it with care, 
And in his mind recorded it with love !' 

" This certainly is the grandest prospect in Massachu- 
setts ; though others are more beautiful. And the first 
hour that one spends in such a si)ot, is among the richest 
treasures that memory lays up in her storehouse." 

The lover of nature will not leave Berkshire County 
without bestowing a glance upon, if not actually visiting, 
one other remarkable eminence, " Monument Mountain," 
in Great Barrington. It stands in the Northeast part of 
this town, on the highway leading to Stockbridge, and rises 
only 500 feet above the plain, although its Eastern side is 
mainly a perpendicular Avail of White Quartz Rock. The 
chief objects of interest in ascending this mountain, are, a 
very beautiful view of the villages of Stockbridge and Cur- 


tisville, with, two ponds of water, and, on all sides, mountain 
rising above mountain to meet the dim and distant horizon. 
Among these may be distinctly recognized on the North, 
Saddle and the Green Mountains, and, on the South, Mt. 
Washington and the Catskill range, together with the de- 
lightful village of Great Barrington. Another object of 
thrilling interest on this mountain, is to walk, or creep to 
the edge of one of the precipices, and there to try the 
nerves by looking into the chasm 200 feet below. This, 
every person is not able to perform. For, as he sees the 
immense number of fragments lying below, which have, in 
past time, fallen from the cliffs, and also sees cracks and 
crevices almost directly underneath the rock on which he 
lies, the thought cannot be driven from his mind that pos- 
sibly the mass on which he rests may be ready to fall, and 
needs but his weight to give it a sufficient starting force, 
and with it, hurl him with terrific violence upon the sharp 
rocks below. Upon the highest part of this clitf, a portion 
has been separated from the top of the mountain by some 
violent agency, and now stands insulated from the parent 
rock, 80 to 100 feet in hight. This, from its peculiar 
shape, isNcalled the " pulpit rock." 

If, in imagination, we now take to ourselves wings, and 
fly across the high ranges of the " hill towns" in Western 
Hampshire County, we shall find the mountains to be much 
inferior in hight to those in Berkshire County, but not in 
beauty of prospect ; for, although, from these summits the 
eye cannot gain such extensive views, yet all this is mainly 
compensated for, by the exquisite beauty of the Connecti- 
cut River landscapes. And first, let us perch upon the 
highest pile of Sandstones in all Massachusetts — INIt. Met- 
tawampe, or, as it was formerly called, Mt. Toby, which is 
upon the boundary between the towns of Sunderland and 
Leverett. Here we rest our feet upon the highest moun- 
tain in the Connecticut Valley, 1,100 feet above the river, 
and 1,200 feet above the level of the ocean, and gain a 
view from 30 to 50 miles in all direction's, overlooking all 
mountains lying near. We also have a distinct view of no 
less than seven villages : Sunderland, Amherst, Northamp- 
ton, Hadley, Easthampton, Platfield and Whately, while, in 
a very clear day, we can recognize the village of Belcher- 
town. It is, indeed, a pity, that to gain the whole of this 


view at once, it is necessary to climb a large tree, wliicli 
has been made into a stairway ladder ; but we trust that 
the same spirit which led one class in Amherst College to 
build a road to its summit, and there construct a tree lad- 
der, will induce another class of that same institution, or 
some other body of jieople in that vicinity equally public 
spirited, to clear away a portion of trees on its summit, 
and repair and improve the road by which the ascent is 
made. The ascent of this mountain can be made either 
through Sunderland or Leverett ; and visitors can ascend 
the first half of the mountain in a carriage, and the latter 
half upon horseback, to its very summit. 

Norwottuck is the name given to a peak of the Ilolyoke 
range, about four miles South of the village of Amherst. 
It is a summit very easily reached on horseback, and, when 
reached, gives a charming view, although of no very great 
extent, nor by any means of the beauty of Ilolyoke. But 
from this summit, the visitor gains a near prospect of very 
wild scenery, while the villages of South Deerfield, Sun- 
derland, Amherst, Whately, Hatfield, Northampton, South 
Hadley, Hadley, and Granby, seem to lie only a little be- 
low his feet. A good ])ath was made, some years since, up 
the side of this mountain, but lately it lias become over- 
grown with bushes, which somewhat obscure the direction 
of the path ; but with a little perseverance and hard laljor, 
the top can readily be readied. And to those who love to 
see flowers or vegetation in tlieir native state, we would 
offer the advice, to visit this mountain in May or June, 
when they ai'e in their most perfect vigor. 

Mt. Tom, a Greenstone summit, bursting up through the 
Sandstone of the Connecticut Valley, will also well repay 
a visit, to every lover of nature. It constitutes a portion 
of the boundary between Northampton and Easthanipton, 
running in a Northerly and Southerly direction, the South- 
ern peak being the highest, about 1,000 feet above the Con- 
necticut at its base. The view from tiiis summit is con- 
siderably more extensive than from Mt. Ilolyoke, although 
by no means so beautiful, since the main objects of interest 
are the abundance of hills and mountains on the West, 
with the village of Eastliamplon and its Seminary build- 
ings almost directly .under the feet, and the Avinding course 
of the Connecticut upon the South, together with the vil- 


lages of Soutli Hadley, Holyoke and Granby on the East. 
An ascent of this mountain is now very easily made, since 
the county road leading from Holyoke to Easthampton 
will take the traveler on his riofht course for ascendinoj the 
mountain, nearly one half of its perpendicular hight. The 
other portion may easily be accomplished, either on foot or 
on horseback. 

But the gem of Massachusetts mountains, the one Avhich 
affords the most splendid view, and the one more frequent- 
ly visited than all the others in the state, is Mt. Holyoke, 
on the boundary line between Hadley and South Hadley, 
and rising 830 feet above the Connecticut, flowing between 
it and Mt. Tom on the West. The rock of this mountain 
is the same as that of Tom, being the commencement of 
the Holyoke range which runs Southward as far as Long 
Island Sound. The view from Holyoke is indeed splendid 
and captivating. By the construction of the road to its 
summit, and the thickly branched trees which cover its 
side, one does not catch anything but mere glimpses of the 
scenery until he fairly reaches the top, when the view is 
all at once at his feet. The placid and beautiful Connec- 
ticut will, to most people, present itself as the first object 
of attraction. Immediately we trace the course of the 
river as it first appears between Mettawampe and Sugar ' 
Loaf, until it disappeai's, where it has cut its way through 
the trap of the Holyoke range, and as soon as it again ap- 
pears, we follow it in the dim horizon of Springfield and 
its vicinity. While we are attempting to trace the course 
in the extreme Southei'n hoi'izon, the question is very nat- 
urally asked, " what are those two curious looking moun- 
tains with so steep a Western declivity ?" These are East 
and West Rock, near New Haven — no cousins german, but 
hona fide sisters to Holyoke and Tom, of the same geolog- 
ical age and of the same mother earth. 

Northampton, perhaps, will impress us with its beauty 
next, seeming so delightful for a home or a summer resi- 
dence, its streets so beautifully shaded with grand elms, and 
the whole village environed with green meadows and for- 
est trees. Then the cai'pet of nature's own coloring, in 
the meadows of Northampton and Hadley, seem to us not 
like any manufacture of velvet, or ingrain tapestry of 
Brussels, and almost impress us with the belief that we are 


fairies ourselves, and inhabitants of an enchanted land. 
The distant mountains of Greylock and Monadnock, how- 
ever, soon fill the soul with more purely sublime and glo- 
rious thoughts, so that involuntarily the lips repeat : 

" Oh, Nature ! how in all thy charms, supreme ! 
Whose votaries feast on raptures ever new ! 
Oh for the voice and fire of seraphim, 
To sing thy glories with devotion due !" 

The last objects deserving of particular attention, to be 
noticed from this eminence, are the smaller villages scat- 
tered through the valley, among which may be mentioned 
Plolyoke with its immense mills. South Iladley with its 
world-known Female Seminary, Easthamptun with its Wil- 
liston Seminary, and Amherst with its Cabinet, Library, 
and other College buildings, standing high on its eminence 
on the Eastern shore of the Connecticut Valley. 

There is, however, one fact, which deserves a brief no- 
tice, and one which forms a sad contrast to the ]>urity and 
loveliness of this enchanting spot. This is, the fencing oil' 
the summit, where the finest view may be obtained, and, 
■vvith no outlay of money save the construction of the picket 
fence and the original price of the land, to exact the pal- 
try sum of twenty-five cents from every mortal who treads 
the treasured inclosure. This is unexampled in this coun- 
try, and we feel quite confident that it is equally so in Europe. 
This objection does not, however, apply to the building 
of the house, or the charge for using the appurtenances of 
it — for the charges for these luxuries might be greater, and 
then reasonable — but only the consccnitiou of a portion of 
Mother Earth (in precisely the same condition that she 
was left by violent geological changes,) to that insatiable 
and heartless God — Mammon. 

From this description, let no one suppose that these are 
the only eminences that deserve attention, or a visit from 
lovers of nature, for tliese are only the leading i)oints, the 
ones that arc popular places of resort, and not the only 
ones where the soul and body can gain refreshing recrea- 
tion by the purity and loveliness of the objects of contem- 

But let him Avho really loves nature, who loves rural 
scenery, and would sec natural objects in their simplest 



state, excnaiige a visit on one of tliose mountains so uni- 
versally known as places of resort, upon Avhose sides are 
well constructed roads, and on whose summits are comfort- 
able houses, for a mountain where he must clamber up the 
sides, with no j^ath but the one found by the sun or com- 
pass, through ibrest trees and moss grown rocks, and per- 
chance, at the last, climb a tree to gain the prospect ! 
Such an excursion is heartily enjoying nature, and gaining 
real — if not too exhausting — recreation of both body and 
mind. A few such places, however, are only left now in 
all Massachusetts, for the demands of railroads and iron fur- 
naces, and the growing ^jrosperity of the commonwealtli, 
are, to the lower of nature, making sad havoc ujjon the 
wild forest trees, and, in one case, at least, expect to assail 
the vitals of the everlastino; hills themselves. 

There are other places from which magnificent views 
can be obtained, and that, when merely riding in a car- 
riage upon the highway path, without alighting or climbing 
up any hillside. From the villages of Pelham and Shutes- 
bury, towns not especially noted in the State, are some of 
the most magniticent views in all Massachusetts. For here 
the traveler stands nearly on the same level with all emi- 
nences within fifty miles, and gains a moi'e comprehensive 
view of the Connecticut Valley than can be obtained on 
any other mountains in the vicinity. In Chesterfield, Con- 
way, Blandford and many other towns on the hills of 
Western Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden Counties, 
similar views may be obtained, and, in some respects, su- 
perior to those derived from higher mountain tops, at a 
much less expense of time and labor, giving thereby to the 
invalid an opportunity to enjoy natural scenery to a great 

But time and space forbid us to do anything more with 
the waterfalls and gorges of Western Massachusetts, than 
merely to give their localities, and then leave the reader to 
gain further information by an actual visit to the places 

When the traveler visits Mt. Washington, he should, by 
no means, fail to go to the Southwest part of that town, 
and there visit Basbpish Falls, Avhich, though only upon a 
small stream of water, are in a very wild and romantic 


spot, and make a doliglitful excursion to those who love 
the wild and romantic in nature. Mittcneaque Falls, upon 
the Westfield River, Shelburne Falls on the Deerfield, and 
the falls on the- Chicopee at Indian Orchard, together with 
the most splendid falls on the Connecticut, at Ilolyoke and 
Montague, ai^e places that will be visited by those who love 
the wild and the grand in nature. The gorge, or glen, at 
Leyden, the cave at Sunderland, the purgatory at Great 
iJarrington, the ghor at Shelburne, on the Deerfield river, 
and the many limestone caverns in Berkshire county are, 
by no means, objects that will be slighted by those who are 
fond of sight-seeing. 


The Agriculture and Agricultural Societies of 
Western Massachusetts. 

As an agricultural district, Western Massachusetts pos- 
sesses many marked characteristics. The geological for- 
mations, in which are blended many of the rocks whose 
disintegration contributes, largely to the fertility of the 
soil ; ail her mountains yielding timber, adapted to all the 
wants wliich attend civilized life, and, at the same time 
pouring out their ten thousand streams of pure and health- 
ful waters, to supply the hill-sides and enrich the valleys ; 
her sloping hills, yielding abundant harvests under the 
influence of cultivation, or furnishing substantial and 
healthful pasturage to the beautiful flocks and herds that 
roam over them ; her valleys opening to the genial influ- 
ence of " the warm Southwest" ; her veriest swamps and 
lowlands — once so fertile in miasma, now turned to a val- 
uable account, — all these show conclusively that, in the 
getting up of this beautiful region, of varied landscape, un- 
told varieties of soil scattered to meet the conveniences of 
cultivation, and elevations, varying from 60 to 3.500 feet 
above tlie level of the ocean, the Creator worked on a 
stupendous and magnificent scale, uniting these and many 
more attractive features on a smaller area of territory than 
in almost any other region ; as if He designed it as the 
ground work on which man, in his most enlightened and 
exalted state, could concentrate his happiest efforts, to ren- 
der it the beautiful, attractive, and productive garden of 
the North. 

In the first essays of rural improvement in this district, 
obstacles unknown, even in the most remote regions of the 
unsettled portions of our country, at the present day, ai'ose 
to damp the ardor and check the progress of the pioneers. 
They were on a new and unexplored continent, where the 
settlements were confined mainly to the coast that belts its 
Eastern boundary, or scattered with sparseness along a 
few of the streams whose richer soil attracted the more 


daring settler to their banks. To tlic inhabitants of East- 
ern Massachusetts, he who saw fit to locate himself in the 
Valley of the Connecticut, was looked upon as one whose 
doom Avas almost sealed, by casting himself into the forests 
and among the dangers of the " far west," while the equally 
daring son of Connecticut, who pushetl his progress into 
the same valley, or into the more remote forests of Berk- 
shire, was regarded as an adventurer to the chill and icy 
regions of a too far-off northern home ; and so great were 
the supposed dangers of these earliest settlers, from the 
natives of the forest, and the wild beasts that dwelt among 
them, that but few of the spai'se populations from which 
they came, were willing to risk their destiny in so fearful 
an enterprise. 

The sparsencss of population hindered the introduction 
of the arts allied to agriculture ; consequently, the first 
implements used in clearing the forest, and subduing the 
soil, had to be procured mainly from the older settlements. 
Those thus obtained, owing to the then existing state of 
manufactures, were of a rude, inefficient character, requii'- 
inof a erreat amount of animal strcnszth to give them even 
passable operation. The skill and ingenuity of the farmer 
sometimes prompted him to the bitter necessity of making 
or repairing his own implements of husbandry, and these, 
from his want of proper tools and ex2)erienced skill, may 
be supposed to have been still more rude and cumbersome 
than those that came from the hand of the almost untrained 
and inexperienced artizan. One great advantage, howev- 
er, attended their labors. Whenever the sun sent its warm 
rays upon the stirred earth, or the seed was cast upon its 
generous bosom, abundant harvests sprang up and ma- 
tured, to I'eward the excessive toil of the cultivator. 
"Wheat, oats, barley, and Indian corn, produced highly re- 
munerative crops, while the grasses came in almost spon- 
taneously. Flax, too, was soon found to be a remunerative 
crop, and was raised in quantities sufficient to clothe the 
population with linen, fill the stout chests of the matrons 
of those early days with ample supplies for all household 
comfort, and furnish a liberal surplus for market. 

The cultivation of fruit was early attended to, though 
confined principally to the apple, and was introduced, in 
most instances, by the emigrants bringing the seeds with 


them from the for-off hills of Connecticut, or the equally 
distant regions of Eastern Massachusetts. Tliese were 
sown with great care, and the climate and soil favorable to 
their growth brought them into early maturity. Many of 
the trees thus originated, and others introduced from the 
same source in the^earliest part of the settlement, are yet 
living in various sections of the territory, and exhibit strong 
and enduring constitutional habits ; and though, for the 
most part, they produce only natural fruit, unimproved by 
grafting on choice varieties, many of them give annual 
specimens that would in no way disgrace a horticultural ex- 

The ajiple and the currant appear to have been the 
principal fruits of those early days, though the peach, the 
pear, the quince, and the grape, were soon introduced, in 
very modest numbers, into the gardens of the more aspir- 

The earliest animals were such as could conveniently be 
obtained from the then settled portions of the continent. 
They traced their origin through no aristocratic pedigree, 
nor answered to the call of their owners through any of 
those euphonious names so liberally dispensed to their 
species in the present age. They Avere just such animals 
as an infant country atforded, — the very best that could 
then be obtained, and if we may judge from some of their 
repi-esentatives which descended to grace the early part of 
the present century, they were ring-streaked, speckled, 
grizzled, — of nearly every variety of form and color that 
the imagination can picture. Yet they were a hardy, en- 
during race, or they never could have survived the expos- 
ures wliich they suffered from the almost universal want 
of shelter, the searching winds and pitiless storms. Then, 
too, in the earliest times, they were often pinched for food, 
and were driven, to supply the deficiency, to feed upon the 
browse of the forests. 

The early agriculture of this region had other difficul- 
ties to meet than those we have mentioned. The natives 
of the forest, jealous of the encroachments of the white man, 
looked with suspicious, and often malignant eyes on his 
advances, and frequently encroached upon his premises, and 
bore away the result of his labors. The settlers could not 
then, as now, look to a powerful government for protection, 


for the Btronj; arm of civil power, as it now exists, was in 
embryo. Then, at last, came the long and trying period 
of the revolution, when the battles of freedom must be 
fought, or all be forever lost. And who could fight them 
but the cultivators of the soil, whom their result would en- 
slave, or forever emancipate? During those long and 
gloomy years, the plough was often left to rot in the furrow, 
and faint and few were the encroachments made upon the 
forest. The fattest of the herd and tlie finest of the wheat 
were brought forth, too often without expectation of jiecu- 
niary recompense, to be sacrificed on the altar of political 

There were many other incidents to retard the progress 
of the rural arts in those early days, but history has rela- 
ted them in their more appropriate places. At the com- 
mencement of the present century, we find unwieldly tools 
in use upon the farm and around the homestead, l)ut slight- 
ly improved from the primitive type. Many of the fields 
whicli, in early cultivation, yielded heavy harvests, began 
to show tokens of exhaustion, and where wheat once grew 
luxuriantly, rye was considered tlie only safe and remune- 
rative winter crop. Spring wheat was introduced to take 
the place of winter, but refused to yield acceptable har- 
vests, unless the land was earefully prei)ared lor its recep- 
tion. Corn, which hud flourished in luxuriance on the 
natural food provided by the soil, required the stimulating 
aid of manures and more thorough tillage, in order to fill 
the golden ear to fullness ; and grass, once the almost nat- 
ural product of the soil, soon ran out, and brought ui)()n 
the farmer the necessity of ploughing and new seeding the 
old meadows. 

There were exceptions to this deplorable state of tilings. 
There were farmers, from the begiiuiing, who carefully 
saved and applied their manures to the suil, and whose 
whole course of tillage showed a provident care for the 
future. Then, again, there were soils so richly endowed 
by nature, that, in spite of the system of severe cropping 
to which they were subjected, " held their own," as though 
they were determined not to be injured by the wrongs of 
mismanagement. But these were exceptions to the gene- 
ral features which the country presented. 

But the present century had scarcely commenced, before 



the evils of the previous system of farming, and tlie de- 
fects in the tools employed to carry on the system in tlie 
manner it had been pursued, "vvere discovered, and noble 
efforts Avere made to provide the remedy. The old plough, 
composed almost entirely of wood, and of clumsy construc- 
tion — of itself almost heavy enough for a single team, and 
admirably adapted to load itself with earth, until its in- 
fluence upon the soil was but little more than Avould result 
from drawing a log across it, unless it was frequently re- 
lieved of its load by the wooden shovel which the ]ilough- 
man always had at hand for the purpose, became the sub- 
ject of remodeling. The mould-board, at first almost with- 
out curve or wind, was brought into more suitable shape 
for raising the furrow with ease, and depositing it in its 
lu'oper position, the cumbersome " chip," as it was called, 
also of wood, and answering to the present " land-side," was 
reduced from its stately dimensions to a more convenient 
size, and secured from wear by an iron plate provided for 
its protection, and, finally, as the acme of perfection of the 
Avooden plough, the bulk of timber was eminently reduced, 
the mould-board took a scientific form, and iron plates were 
stretched across it for the double purpose of saving wear, 
and preventing the continual clogging to which it had been 
forever subject. The result of these improvements in the 
old, wooden plough, led to deeper ploughings, with less 
amount of team, and these ploughings resulted, as deeper 
plougliings always must, in an increased fertility of the 

Another improvement of the times, was the introduction 
of plaster, which was found to be higlily beneficial on cer- 
tain soils and to particular crops — the grain crops in gen- 
eral. But the high price it bore, and the cost of transpor- 
tation, prevented its being extensively used. 

The animals of the farm, up to this time, had not been 
subject to any material improvement. Many choice ones 
were raised, and early disposed of, the farmer permitting 
his farm to be deprived of such as would command the 
best prices in mai'ket, and contenting himself with keeping 
and breeding from ordinary animals — an evil which has 
not been entirely overcome at the present day. 

The country was abundantly stocked with orchards of 
the apple, mainly of ungrafted varieties, and many of them 


worthless for all purposes excepting tlie manufacture of 
cider, and of an ordinary quality for that. Other fruits 
received but little attention, g,nd the garden, especially the 
farmer's garden, if it contained anything vegetable beyond 
potatoes, beans, and pei-haps a few carrots, onions, and 
such common essentials for the table, was looked upon as 
the repository of superfluities, and the time spent in its 
cultivation as foolishly thro^\Ti away. 

Before the close of' the first decade of the present cen- 
tury, a new and more progressive spirit began to manifest 
itself among the people of Berkshire, and some of the 
master spirits of the time Avere aroused to see the neglect- 
ed condition of agriculture, and devise means for its 
advancement and elevation. In 1807, Hon. Elkanah Wat- 
son, then a resident of Pittsfield, obtained for his farm a 
pair of Merino sheep, the first introduced into Berkshire, 
and so great was the curiosity excited by these animals, 
that he was induced to exhibit them for a day, under the 
great elm tree on the public square in that town. The 
novelty of the thing attracted many spectators of both- 
sexes, ft-om that and some of the neighboring towns, and, 
from this exhibition is said to have originated the idea of 
our annual cattle shows and fairs that have attracted, with 
unimpaired interest, the attention of the vast crowds which 
have yearly attended those anniversaries, for almost half a 
century. It does not appear, however, from any authority 
within our reach, that any effectual measures were taken 
in the formation of this society, until 1810. Li August of 
that 5'ear, Samuel H. Wheeler, an intelligent and independ- 
ent farmer of Lanesborough, with twenty-six other farmers 
of the County, issued an invitation to farmers in general to 
an exhibition of stock, in the village of Pittsfield, on the 
first of October, from 9 to 3 o'clock. With regard to this 
exhibition, the Pittsfield Sun, of a subsequent date, says : 
" The display of line animals, and the numbers, exceeded 
the most sanguine hopes of its promoters, and a lai'ge col- 
lection of people participated in the display." 

February 2o, 1811, an act of the Legislature was passed, 
incorporating the association as " The Berkshire Agricul- 
tural Society, for the promotion of Agriculture and ]Mun- 
ufacturcs." Tlie petitioners named in this act, were Elka- 
nah Watson, Ezekiel Bacon, John B. Boot and John 


Churchill of Pittsfielcl ; Caleb Hyde of Lenox, and Sam- 
uel H. "Wheeler of Lanesborough, who was authorized by 
the act to appoint the time apd place of the first meeting 
in Pittsfield. At this meeting, Hon. Elkanah Watson, who 
had exerted much intluence in bringing the Society into 
existence, was elected President. In October, of that 
year, another exhibition was held on the public square in 
Pittsfield, and premiums were paid to the amount of thirty- 
one dollars. At this gathering, says Mr. AYatson, in his 
history of the Society, " the number assembled was estima- 
ted at three or four thousand." An address was given by 
the President, after which a pi'ocession was formed, con- 
sisting of a team " of sixty yoke of prime oxen, drawing 
a plough, which was held by Charles Goodrich, Esq., Mr. 
Katlianiel Fairfield and Mr. Sackett, three of the oldest 
and earliest settlers of Pittsfield ; a band of music, mem- 
bers of the Society, each with a badge of wheat in his hat ; 
a stage, drawn by oxen, having a broadcloth loom and spin- 
ning jenny, both in operation by English artists ; mechan- 
ics with appropriate flags, and another stage filled with 
American manufactures." This procession was led by 
four marshals, headed by Simon Earned, Sheriff of the 
County. It ajopears from the records of the Society, that 
another meeting was held in January, 1812, at which pre- 
miums to the amount of thirty dollars were awarded, 
making the whole amount awarded by it, in the first year 
of its corporate existence, sixty-one dollars. This winter 
exliibition, it appears, was the first on which the ladies of 
Berkshire, Avho had long been eminent for their industry 
and thrift, had ever assembled to display the triumphs of 
their ingenuity and skill ; and so reluctant were they to 
contribute to this display, as an intelligent lady now living, 
who, at the time, resided in Pittsfield, testifies, that the 
President, Mr. Watson, actually went around the village, 
after tlie hour of meeting had arrived, and urged many to 
come in and bring such articles of home production as 
they saw fit ; but by all means to bring something. Under 
such laborious and discouraging circumstances passed the 
first year of the existence of the Berkshire Agricultural 

In 1812, an important acquisition was made to the asso- 
ciation by the arrival of Major Thomas Melville, a native. 


we believe, of Boston, but more recently a resident of 
France, in Pittsiielcl. Maj. Melville, during bis residence 
in France, had become acquainted with the operations of 
similar institutions in that country, and, fully impressed 
Avith the valuable eifects which were resulting from them 
there, and must attend their existence everywhere, when 
proj^crly conducted, came at the very moment when his 
services were needed to give new life and energy to this 
infant and feeble institution. In that year, a sul)scrii)tion 
was circulated in Boston, on which, through his influence, 
one hundred and eighty dollars were realized to the benefit 
of the Society, and which so for augmented their fiuuls 
that premiums to the amount of S2-i3 were awarded in 
October of that year, and seventy-one dollars in the Janu- 
ary following. In October, 1813, the exhibition of the 
Society Avas open two days. The animals Avere arranged 
ill pens around the great elm, from Avliich an appropriate 
11a"' waved in the Autumn breeze, while articles of doraes- 
tic'manufacture Avere arranged for exhibition in the upper 
room of tlie toAvn house — a room of modest dimensions, 
compared with the spacious hall now occupied by the So- 
ciety — but amply sutlicient for those days. Agricultural 
implements Avere deposited in the East, and vegetable pro- 
ductions in the West, lower rooms of the same building. 
That year the Society received additional aid from Boston, 
through the agency of Allen IMcdville, to the amount of 
SlSB.^'and a donation from T. Storm, Esq., of New York, 
of SoO, Avhich enabled them to award premiums on the 
second day to the amount of S3G6. These premiums were 
awarded and delivered to successful candidates in tlie first 
congregational church, after approi)riate religious exercises, 
and the President's address, all Avhich tended to give in- 
terest to the occasion, and introduce it to more fovor Avith 
all classes. 

In 1814, the Society, through the agency of T. Melville, 
Jr., was again favored with a liberal donation, amounting 
to $125, from citizens of Boston, Avhich, Avith the increasing 
funds from membership, enabled the Society to aAvard pre- 
miums on an increased luunbcr of articles that ycai*, to 
the amount of five hui Hired and tAvcnty-threc dollars. 

The Society Avas now out of shoal water, and under en- 
couraging headway on the sea of usefulness. Although 


many of the farmers still looked upon its operations witli 
jealous eyes, and stood apart from its general proceedings, 
the increasing numbers which, from year to year, attended 
its anniversaries, showed conclusively that it was attracting 
more general favor, while the improved animals, imple- 
ments of husbandry, and better system of cultivation, 
which were distributed through the county, placed their 
utility within the inspection of all observers. And how- 
ever little the prejudiced part of the community might be 
willing to attribute them to the influence of the associa- 
tion, they were each and all coming within the sphere of 
its benefits. 

Encouraged by the increasing success attending their 
labors, the Society, in addition to their usual premium list, 
offered the following prizes, to be awarded in 1819 : For 
the best and second best young Apple Orchard of grafted 
fruit, $30 ; for the best and 2d best young Maple Orchard, 
$30 ; for the best Grasses, $30 ; for the best Farm, $35 ; 
for the best and most economical method of recovering 
worn out fields, $30— Total, $155. 

In 1817 and 1818, the Society received a grant from the 
Legislature of $200 each year, amounting to $400. The 
latter year, the anniversary in October was rendered mem- 
orable by the first ploughing match that was ever witnessed 
in Berkshire. Tlie brightness of the morning and the 
novelty of the scene brought thousands, many of them 
from a distance, at an early hour, to witness the spirit and 
rivalry of the occasion. There were but two premiums 
offered, and only four competitors, three of whom resided 
in Pittsfield. There was but one cast iron plough, three 
with wooden mould-boards, — wrought iron shares with 
steel points. In December of that year, a committee was 
appointed in each town in the county, to solicit, in their 
respective towns, aid for the Society, and in January, 1819, 
a memorial was presented to the Legislature, asking for, 
additional aid to its funds. Up to this time, it appears the 
Society had dispensed $3,G47 92, to advance its objects, 
and were then indebted to the amount of $600. Tl^ere 
were, of original subscribers, who yearly paid $5 each, 56 ; 
of those who paid $2 each, 12 — making the number of 
actual members only 68, and the amount received from 
them $201. The whole number of applicants for premi- 


ums on crops that year was only 24; of these 15 were in 
Pittsliekl, 4 in Lanesboro, 2 in Richmond, 1 in Dalton, 1 
in Leo, and 1 in Great Barrington. The crops entered 
were as follows: — on corn 17 entries, winter wheat 2, on 
spring wheat 10, on rye 8, on peas 5, on potatoes 2, maple 
orchard 1. As an inducement to fai'mers from more re- 
mote parts of the county to bring in their animals for ex- 
hibition, Mr. Melville, the President of the Society, an- 
nounced through the papers, some days previous to the 
exhibition, that he would furnish good jjasturage, gratis, on 
the day previous, and the two days of the fair, at his farm, 
near the village, for all animals intended for show, premi- 
um, or ploughing match. 

At this early period, a decline in the potato crop was 
noticed in the report on agriculture, and the committee 
called the attention of farmei-s to raising " other roots." 
Improvements in the condition of barns, yards, &c., were 
spoken of, as also increasing eiforts in the saving and apjni- 
cation of manures, and the more general and successful use 
of plaster. At this year's anniversary, only three competitors 
entered for the ploughing match, and the ploughs used were, 
" one made after the model of Mr. Melville's celebrated 
Berkshire plough," one " an imported iron plough," (called 
the Scotch plough we think,) and the third, " the common 
Shaker plough." The time occupied in ploughing one 
quarter acre was, 32 minutes by the first, 34 by the sec- 
ond, and 36 minutes by the third team, "each with one 
yoke of oxen ; the latter only had a driver." The funds 
appropriated for maple and apple orchards met, in the for- 
mer but one, and in the latter no applicant. The one entry 
for maples, was for those set by the wayside, a veiy com- 
mendable practice, but as the committee did not consider 
the trees thus set as " an orchard," no premium was given. 
Of the fifteen premiums awarded on domestic animals, 
eighteen were from Pittsfield, and one each from Dalton, 
Lanesboro, Lenox, Becket and Eichmond — the latter for 
tlie then celebrated ox " Berkshire," fattened by Warren 
Beebe of Richmond, the ox weighing 2,o48 lbs ! 

The premiums on domestic manufactures were destined to 
a wider circulation, and that for the largest quantity of man- 
ufactured articles in her family made witliin the year, ^\•as 
awarded to JNIrs. Sarah Perkins of Becket, for tiie fuurlh 


time. As it may interest the ladies of this age to know 
the extent to Avhich this ai't was carried in families at that 
eai'ly day, we subjoin the amount manufactured by Mrs. 
Perkins' household, consisting of herself and four girls, in 
1818, which is as follows : " four hundred and forty-eight 
yards of fulled cloth, one hundred and seventy-one and 
one-fourth yards of flannel, fifty-three yards of carpeting, 
one hundred and forty-two and three-fourthS yards of table 
linens and linen cloths, making in all eight hundred and 
four and one-half yards of cloth." In 1820, the Society 
invited the plough-makers to an exhibition and trial of 
ploughs, but we do not learn from the record that any 
ploughs were exhibited, or the invitation in any way heed- 
ed. This year, also, the committees on agriculture recom- 
mended the cultivation of hops, and the use of home 
brewed beer for the driidi of the farm, instead of " perni- 
cious, poison, ardent spirits." In 1822, we find the num- 
ber of members of the Society increased to 165, inhabitmg 
the extreme North and Soutli ends, and, with the excep- 
tion of some of the mountain towns, the intervening por- 
tions of the county. Better animals are spread over its 
surface, both in herds and flocks, — the latter having been 
essentially improved by the enterprise of Messrs. Merrick 
& Colts, and J. Allen of Pittsfield, with many in other 
towns. We find the premium list on animals extended to 
thirty-four specifications ; that on crops to thirty-one ; and 
on domestic manufactures to seventeen, the proposed awards 
amounting to five hundred and twenty-five dollars. 

Leaving the Society in this flourishing condition, enjoy- 
ing the patronage of the State, the co-operation of the 
intelligent and enterprising of both sexes throughout the 
county, and the blessing of Heaven on its labors, we now 
pass over the glorious results of its annual labors and fest- 
ive joys for ten years, to compare the results which 
show its triumph. We here find an extended premium 
list, embracmg among its novelties the offers of premiums 
on the kitchen garden, the mulberiy orchard and sewing 
silk and cocoons, while for the ploughing match six premiums 
of $35 are offered, when at our last glance only tliree com- 
petitors entered the arena of contest ; and eight ox and 
four horse teams enter and contend for the prizes, in a 
damp, uncomfortable day. and at an early hour. We find 


too, in the hall of manufactures, that the useful does not 
occupy the whole tune and skill of the daughters of Berk- 
shire, but, that improving taste and growing skill invite 
them to the ornamental arts which are brought forth to 
grace the festivities of the farmer's holiday. 

Ten years more — 1842. Wliat changes it exhibits, what 
triumphs it proclaims, what hopes it encourages! The 
farmers' granaries are all filled, so that there can be no lack 
of bread in the land. New and more convenient buildings 
have arisen, and refreshing shades protect them from the 
suns of summer and the wiutiy blast. Pharaoh's lean kine 
no longer devour the land, but have given place to trim, 
sleek, docile animals, which feed to the full, and gambol in 
luxuriant pastures. Flocks of the finest fleece range in 
fatness upon all the hills. The church and the school room 
assume new and attractive features, and every thing de- 
monstrates the upward and onward tendency of man. Go 
with us to the farmers' holiday. Those pens which once 
occupied a small position around the "big elm" are no 
longer to be found, but have increased in number and cap- 
acity until they cover a broad field ! The old town hall 
has passed away, and a new and spacious structure covers 
its site, and its high, broad and noble hall is filled to over- 
flowing with the workings of art and oflTeriugs of nature. 
The plowing match ! Twenty-one teams enter in compe- 
tition, and thousands, embracing those who attended at the 
first similar occasion, the young and the fair, all with buoy- 
ant hopes and joyful reminiscences — all are there to witness 
the struggle and the triumphs. The old church ! It stands 
— crowds gather round its portals, its bell sends forth its 
merry peals, soft music floats upon the breeze, and the ban- 
ners of peace and rural festivity unfurl in the mellow air. 
The old church di-inks in from the multitude until its ca- 
pacity is filled to overflowing, and thousands ha\'e been 
obliged to turn away in disappointment, from the scenes to 
be enacted there. The organ swells forth its sweet anthem, 
and responsive voices catch its thrilling notes. The voice 
of prayer and thanksgiving is heard there, and all the sci'- 
vices go on as of yore, only that hearts now made strong 
by success engage in more decisive action. 

The Berkshire Agricultural Society, at its annivcrsaiy 
in lSo3, consisted of about 400 members who were cnti- 


tied to tliG privileges of the association by the payment of 
one dollar a year. Persons not members, have, from the 
commencement, been required to pay two dollars to enable 
them to compete for premiums. Ladies, however, are ex- 
cepted. Any one can compete in domestic manufactures 
without cost, and this is a wise arrangement, for the inter- 
est they give to the exhibitions is more than equivalent to 
all they receive. The Society has a respectable fund, and 
draws annually from the State S600, Avhich is applied for 
premiums. In 1853, there were twelve e*itries of winter 
wheat; nineteen of spring wheat; twenty-three of rye; 
thirty-seven of corn ; forty-one of oats ; ten of meslins, 
and a creditable number of barley, peas, buckwheat, pota- 
toes, carrots, rutabagas and apple orchards, and the amount 
of premiums awarded on them Avas S207. Twelve dollars 
were awarded on fruit, and nine dollars on garden vegeta- 
bles. There w-ere forty lots of butter and eleven of cheese, 
on which S28 were awarded. Sixteen dollars were given 
on agricultural implements. There were more than twenty 
entries for ploughing, and premiums awarded to the amount 
of $54. The exhibition of domestic animals was large, 
and drew premiums to the amount of S389, wdiile the 
countless array of domestic manufactures drew $94, mak- 
ing a total of S809, which, according to ancient usage, w^as 
mostly paid in silver plate. 

We have devoted a large space to the origin and pro- 
gress of this Society, from the fact of its being one of the 
earliest and oldest institutions of the kind in our country. 
Altliough this Society claims date among the earliest of 
the kind — with fearful prejudices to contend with, and many 
other serious obstacles to meet — it was not long pursuin<T its 
wearisome course alone. The enterprise, intelligence and 
wefilth Avhich had been accumulating in the fertile valley 
of the Connecticut from its earliest settlement, saw the 
beautiful tree which had sprung up in the more unpropi- 
tious soil of Berkshire, and admired its spreading branches 
and the fair fruit it had already begun to mature ; and 
sought to see so graceful and good a tree casting its shadow- 
over their own favored territory. Accordingly, an associ- 
ation was formed and incorporated in 1818, as "The 
Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin Agricultural Society," 
covering the territory of those three counties. Since the 


the formation of the hatter Society, the two have derived 
benefits from each other's experience, and, for the earlier 
period of their existence, each was discouraged by similar 
difficulties. But enterprising men East of the Greeu 
JMountains were as numerous, and as stout hearted as those 
of Berkshire, and for the thu-ty years succeeduig its form- 
ation, the Society East of the mountains probably accom- 
plished more than did that on the West. Thei-e was a 
larger population to sustain it, and consequently, more 
wealth. The fine valley that lies across their territory 
from North to South, gave them a precedence in soil which 
must have operated to their advantage. Especially in 
grazing, and in the fattening of animals, they became pre- 
eminent. More general attention was paid to the culture 
of the finer fruits there than in the Western county. 

The growing of the mulberry and feeding of silkworms 
were commended to more general attention in the four 
Western Counties as early as 1835, and, although much 
ground was sown to these trees in Berkshire, the principal 
transactions in the business v/ere in the river towns of the 
Connecticut. From climatic difficulties and other causes, 
the excitement soon passed away. In 1847, the exhibition 
was manifestly a great improvement on that of former 
years. There were 300 head of horned cattle exhibited, 
very many of them of the choicest and best varieties. 

In this region, earlier attention was given to rearing fine 
horses than in any other section of the Commonwealth, so 
that when the young " Justin Morgan " emigrated to Ver- 
mont in 1798, the valley was in no way deficient in fine 
horses. At the Society's Exhibition in 1847, there were 
ninety-six hoi'ses on exhibition, or nearly one-fifth as many 
as there were of horned animals, while the yokes of work- 
ing oxen present numbered 172. The exhibition of fruit 
this year appears to have been of an increased quantity and 
supe)-ior quality. Grapes, peaches and pears were pre- 
sented in such numbers as to give assurance of the 
adaptation of the soil and climate to their growth, in suf- 
ficient quantities, at least, for home consumption, while ap- 
ples " as plenty as blackberries," graced the festival. 

In 1848, the exliibition was pronounced as in some 
things falling short, while, in others, it was ahead of all 
former shows. The number of fine horses exceeded loO, 


while the show of fine fruits was magnificent. All subse- 
quent exliibitions of the Society up to the present time, go 
to sliow the increasing interest in behalf of the objects it 
was designed to promote. Each year extends the sphere 
of aid and encouragement, by liberal offers of premiums 
on new and necessary articles, calculated to promote the 
general thrift and prosperity of the circle of its labors. 
Tliis Society was the earliest in "Western Massachusetts 
that distributed any portion of its premiums in agricultural 
publications, a practice which cannot be too soon or too 
generally adojjted by all similar institutions. 

This Society and the Berkshire covered too large and in- 
convenient a tract of territory, successfully to bring in all 
the population they contained, and the various products with 
which they abounded. Especially, farmers remote from the 
exhibition, found it both difficult and expensive to exhibit 
their fine animals, which, in many instances, would occupy 
four days, including those of shows, to effect the object. 
Consequently, Avhen the utility of the thing was fairly test- 
ed beyond a doubt, it was very natural that similar institu- 
tions should spring up within the territory over which those 
societies extended their patronage. 

Southern Berkshire, with a large population, and a ter- 
ritory whose productive resources were rapidly advancing, 
whose herds exhibited the most successful results from 
thorough breeding, and whose flocks were clothed in gar- 
ments of delicate fineness, as early as 1841 felt the incon- 
venience from which they sufl^ered by their distance from 
the County Show, and in the autumn of that year, Josluia 
B. Lawton, Hon. Increase Sumner and others in Great 
Barrington, considered the propriety of forming a society 
in that section, not with a view to interfere, in any way, 
with the parent society, but to point out its objects, and se- 
cure its benefits, by a more genei'al development of its sys- 
tem of operation. 

Such were some of the arguments which led to the 
formation of the Housatonic Agricultural Society. The 
following winter a meeting was called, a constitution adopt- 
ed, and two hundred and fifty members, at an annual tax 
of SI each, enrolled their names, and the "Housatonic 
Agricultural Society " had entered upon a promising exist- 
ence. The first exlaibition was, throughout, such as would 


have honored an older and more mature institution. Some 
slight feelings of jealousy for a Avliile existed, and fears 
were indulged tiiat this Society would operate to 
the inj-ury of the parent one, but these doubts wei"e 
groundless and were soon buried ; and the two societies 
noAV advance in harmonious brotherhood, tlie younger hav- 
ing increased the number of members and funds of the 
elder, which, in turn, furnishes members from central Berk- 
shire to aid the other. This Society Avas incorporated in 
1848, since which its course has been prosperous, making 
glad all that come within its influence. It has a fund of 
SpGjOOO, three hundred and seventy-five members, and an- 
nually pays out premiums to the amount of nearly $900. 

The Hampden County Agricultural Society, was incor- 
porated in 1844, and the first meeting was called by Hon. 
W. B. Calhoun, to be held on tlie 9th of April that year. 
This meeting was numerously attended by people from all 
sections of the county. The following persons wei'e cho- 
sen officers of the Society under the Constitution : Hon. 
Wm, B. Calhoun, President : thirteen Vice Presidents ; 
James R. Crooks, Treasurer ; and D. M. Bryant, Secreta- 
• ry. At a meeting of the society the following June, it Avas 
voted to hold the first cattle sIioav and fair in Springfield, 
the IGth and 17th days of the following October, provided 
the citizens of Springfield should before that time contrib- 
ute SGOO to the Society's funds. The fii'st exhibition drew 
together a large concourse, and the number of beautiful 
animals fully shoAved forth its promise of future usefulness. 
In 1845, the amount paid in premiums Avas S269. In 
1852, it Avas §485, though about double that sum Avas of- 
fered. The Society has noAV more than five hundred 
members, and a permanent fund of S4,8G0. The 
folloAving persons have pi-esided over this Society : "Wm. 
B. Callioun, John Mills, Josiah Hooker, Thomas J. Shep- 
ard, and Francis BrcAA'cr. Secretaries : D. M. Bryant, S. 
L. Parsons, Henry Vose and A. A. Allen. Its present 
prospects are of a flattering nature. 

Some eight or ten years since, a few spirited individuals 
in Amherst got up a Society, and held a shoAV and fair 
which Avas then designated as the Amherst Cattle Show. 
Not likmg that the good people of that tOAvn should have 
all the glory of the enterprise, the farmers of the neigh- 


boring towns soon came in, bringing their herds, their 
flocks, and manufactures. Committees of inspection and 
award were appointed, thougli no premiums were paid in 
the early history of the Society. This state of things, 
however, did not long continue. The funds of the Society 
increased liberally, and so did its ranks, until it numbered 
its adjuncts in all parts of the County, and took the name 
of, and was incorporated in 1850, as '• The Hampshire Ag- 
ricultural Society." The amount of premiums given out 
by it the first year of its corporate existence was about 
35350. The amount now paid is something over ??500. 
This Society's premiums cover a large variety of articles, 
and its encourasrement has brought out new efforts in all 
branches of rural industry and economy, especially in 
raising fruits, composting manures, and declaiming swamps. 

The Hampshire Agricultural Society has thus far nobly 
realized the expectations of its founders. They earnestly 
sought to increase the surplus products of the farms, and to 
improve the stock of Hampshire County. They estab- 
lished this Society as an eiiicient means to this end. They 
had not failed to observe that the Massachusetts farmers 
might sell all they could raise, under the old methods of 
farming. Yet the markets of the State, made easy of ac- 
cess by railroads, could not be supplied by Massachusetts 
farmers alone. So rapid was the increase of population, 
that vast quantities of corn, wheat, rye, cattle and horses 
-were annually brought to Massachusetts markets from oth- 
er States. Massachusetts farmers might increase their 
products by improved methods of cultivating the soil. 
They might raise and sell better stock. Science and ex- 
periment would slowly determine the most gainful meth- 
ods. Any considerable increase in surplus farm products 
and in tlie number and value of cattle, Avould add to the 
wealth of the State. Hampshire County might largely 
share 'in this increase of wealth. 

To increase the agricultural wealth of the County much 
new information was indispensible. Addresses, lectures 
and books on farming, manures, stock and kindred topics, 
must be procured. That which was beyond the power of 
individual enterprise, was within the means of an agricul- 
tural association, co-operating with other associations of a 
kindred character. A society with annual exhibitions 


might encourage skillful farming and stock raising by pre- 
miums. Sucli were some of the leading views of the 
founders of the Hampshire Agricultural Society. To Al- 
fred Baker of Amherst belonii-s the honor of heading the 
petition for the act of incorporation, and of being foremost 
in procuring permanent funds by enlisting life members. 
He has served as Pi-esident since its organization. J. W. 
Boyden of Amherst has, from the start, given his best ef- 
forts as Secretary, to promote the success of the exhibi- 
tions, and enhance the value of the publications of the So- 
ciety. The permanent fund is S3,522, and the number of 
life members 800. The annual addresses have been deliv- 
ered by Hon. M. P. Wilder of Dorchester, Prof. W. C. 
Fowler of Amherst, W. C. Goldthwait of Westfield, and 
Rev. F. D. Huntington of Boston. An admirable course 
of lectures before the Society was delivered in the winter 
of 1850-1, by Prof. J. A. Nash of Amherst, editor of the 
Connecticut Valley Farmer. The publications of the So- 
ciety have been extensively useful. 

The Franklin County Agricultural Society was incorpo- 
rated March 20, 1850, and the Society Avas organized un- 
der the act, on the 22d of May, in that year. The persons 
named in the act of incorporation were H. G. Newcomb, 
Daniel 11. Waite and W. T. Davis. Henry W. Clapp was 
chosen President fur that year, and was succeeded by Hon. 
Henry W. Cushman, who held the office in 1851, 1852 
and 1853. This Society commenced in 1850 with about 
2i)0 members, and, at the present time, numbers nearly 
700, about 30 of Avhom are females. They are all life 
members, and, taking the two latter facts into account, we 
have no doubt that the Society is well based, and will go 
on prospering and to prosper, vmtil it has remodeled that 
beautiful and productive county. At its last anniversai-y, 
the Society distributed over two hundred and twenty i)re- 
miums upon the various articles exhibited, among wiiich 
were a large number of fruits. The terms of life m'ember- 
ship in this Society are the payment of five dollars by 
males, and two dollars and fifty cents by females, at the 
time of joining the Society. The payment of ten dollars 
at one time constitutes an honorary life member, and 
twenty-five dollars an honorary life trustee, with a i'ree 
ticket to the annual dinner. These arrangements may ap- 


pear to the reader ratlier novel, but tliey are most com- 
mendable. Some ■will think it an innovation unheard of 
and unjust to tax the ladies, but in these days of women's 
rights, what can be more appropriate, or better calculated 
to promote success ? If some of our older sister societies 
will adopt the same course, they will lose nothing in suc- 
cess by the operation. 

In 1852, a number of spirited individuals in Worthing- 
ton formed an association called the Worthington Agricul- 
tural Society, of which E. H. Brewster was chosen Presi- 
dent, and John Adams, Secretary. There were five vice 
presidents and five directors. The Society numbered 
about one hundred and fifty members the first year of its 
existence, and the Show and Fair of that year gave full 
assurance of triumphant success. In March, 1853, the 
limits of the Society were extended to the neighboring 
towns, and the name changed to that of the " Green Moun- 
tain Agricultural Society," and its members are found in 
Cummington, Peru, Middlefield, Chester, Korwich, Ches- 
terfield and Worthington, and it at present numbers two 
hundred and fifty members. Although the Society, thus 
fiir, has awarded no premiums, it is evident from the ex- 
tension of its limits and increase of its members, that it is 
a favorite with the intelligent farmei's in that region, and 
is accomplishing desirable and satisfactory results. AVeekly 
meetings of the members are held at some seasons of the 
year, for the discussion of the subjects connected with its 

A similar association exists in Westfield, known as the 
" West Hampden Agricultural Society," which, it appears, 
originated in that town some ten years since, as simply a 
cattle show, when the farmers brought in their fine animals 
fottexhibition, had a dinner and good cheer, and went home 
happier and wiser for the gathering. For the last six 
years, the exhibition has been extended to the products of 
the farm, mechanical skill, works of art, &c. The associ- 
ation is said to have arisen under the direct influence of 
Silas Root, Esq., and the members meet occasionally dur- 
ing the winter, for discussion. 

A similar Society has Palmer for its nucleus, and it is 
called the East Hampden Agricultural Society, which, 



based on similar grounds with the last named, is accom- 
plishing much for the interests of all classes. 

Intimately connected with Agricultural Societies, and 
operating to produce the most successful results, we find 
the " Farmers' Clubs." The earliest of these was organ- 
ized in Stockbridge and Lenox, in 184G, and is denomina- 
ted the North Stockbridge Farmers' Club. It commenced 
by holding meetings once in tAvo weeks, at the houses of 
the members, for the discussion of subjects relating to the 
iarm and the garden. As early as 1849, committees were 
api)oiutcd to view crops and report thereon, and a day was 
set apart in October for the exhibition of animals, fruit, 
vegetables and domestic manufactures. These meetings 
ha\'c been annually held in October, since that tune, and 
in each year the meetings for discussion are kept up from 
October to April. The results of the club have thus far 
I'ully realized the expectations of its warmest friends. 

A similar association was organized in Sunderland, in 
the County of Franklin, in January, 1833. We cannot 
better illustrate its object than by quoting from its consti- 
tution : 

'<Art. 2. The object of the club shall be the circulation 
of general intelli^^once and practical instruction in all the 
branches of agriculture, horticulture and floriculture: 

" 1st. By the establishment of discussions, lectures, exhibi- 
tions, experiments and other means, for the general cultiva- 
tion of knowledge on subjects embraced by the club. 

" 2d. By procuring the most rare and valuable kinds of seeds, 
scions, plants, shrubs and trees. 

" 3d. Hy the establishment of a correspondence and ex- 
chan,2:e with other bodies interested in the same object. 

" 4lh. By planting shade trees on all the avenues of the 

This association was formed with twenty-four members, 
yel the number, as we may well suppose, is rapidly increas- 

As early as 1840, an association was formed in North- 
ampton, called the Ornamental Tree Society, which has 
done much to beautify the spacious streets of that town. 
AVith its progress in late years Ave are unacijuainted, but 
suppose it is incorporated with the Horticultural Society 


. of that place, whose widening influence has accomplished 
so much in the last few years. 

The Berkshire Horticultural Society was formed in 
1847, and at present consists of about 120 members : one- 
third, at least, ladies. The exhibitions have thus far been 
of a creditable character, and have fully attested the 
adaptation of our soil and climate, not only to the most 
delicious fruits, but to fine vegetables and beautiful flow- 

In the pursuit of other objects, the improvement in the 
breeds of the useful and beautiful horse had met with un- 
due neglect from the mass, even of our more enterprising 
farmers, until the Spring of 1853, when public attention 
was called up in its behalf. In May of that year, George 
M. Atwater and others of Springfield, took the merits and 
neglects of this animal into more earnest consideration, 
and formed an association whose fruits were realized in 
the " First National Exhibition of Horses," in that city, 
on the 19th, 20th and 21st days of the following October. 
As Herculean as were the labors of getting up this splen- 
did fete, every obstacle was removed almost as soon as it 
appeared, and the whole affair, to its minutest arrange- 
ment, succeeded to the entire satisfaction of the public, and 
the lionorable triumph of the association. More than four 
hundred horses, from eleven difterent States of the Union, 
and from the provinces of Canada, were on exhibition, and 
a finer display of fine animals was never witnessed in our 
country, if m the world. It of course follows that the 
merits of this exhibition created a sensation through the 
nation, and, in consequence, among the large concourse 
Avho assembled to witness the pleasing spectacle, people 
iTom nearly every State in the Union were found; and 
tliere cannot be a doubt that the advantages of this show 
will continue to develop themselves more fully as long as 
the merits of the animal whose improvement it was de- 
signed to promote, are known and appreciated by our 

We have thus noticed some of the associations which 

, have arisen and are to-day in vigorous operation in Yv\>st- 
ern Massachusetts, for tlie advancement of agriculture and 
its associate arts. May their number and influence nobly 
increase until their oltjcct is fully realized! 


The changes which have arisen, giving present agricul- 
tural prospects au entirely dilFerent aspect from those of 
early times, are such as to entitle them to notice in this 
])hice. In our early history, the markets were distant, dif- 
licult to approach, and, compared with those of our day, 
unremunerative when reached. From the valley of the 
Connecticut, the surplus of produce, — wheat, rye, corn and 
beef — which constitute the principal products for sale, were 
taken to Connecticut River, thence to Hartford, and there 
shipped for the Boston, sometimes for the New York, mar- 
ket. In Berkshire no better state of things existed. There 
the produce of the grain lield, and the beef and pork, were 
drawn over the high hills and ill-wrought roads to the Hud- 
son, and thence shipped to New York, from which distant 
port, now reached in a i\iw hours, no returns were expected 
under from five to six weeks. The railroads which now 
extend through almost every town give to every fai-mer a 
proximity to these markets, while the numerous manufac- 
turing villages, springing up by every Avaterfall, or where 
steam offers its aid in competition with water power, give 
to many a better market than cities or seaports can afford, 
at their own doors. "With these facilities, who can wonder 
that our farmers are becoming a successful and an inde- 
j)endent class of people ? 

In the changes which have taken, and are taking place, 
we find that wheat, once a staple, is raised by comparatively 
few farmers, and that rye is much less sown that formerly, 
while corn, always a favorite crop, promises lor a long 
time to retain the confidence of the cultivator. Oats, from 
the ever ready market, are largely sown, too often to the 
injury of the farm, if not the farmer. Buckwheat, from 
the increasing demand for it, as a breadstuff", is receiving 
increasing attention, especially in the mountain towns, and 
those West of them. A rotation of crops, attended by 
deeper ploughiugs, is doing for the earth what shallow 
ploughings and continued croppings of the same crop had 
undone, giving it new strength and greater productiveness. 
Swamp lands are being reclaimed into beautiful and pro- 
ductive meadows and cornfields. The compost heap, on 
many farms, is aiding the scanty manure heap in its fertil- 
izing infiuence. New articles of cultivation are being in- 
troduced, and giving assurance of success which wiU lead 


to their more general adoption. Tobacco, once the crop 
of the South, is now successfully cultivated all along the 
valley of the Connecticut, and its range of climate is each 
year extending, Avhile the broom corn, so important in 
household matters, is a profitable and very successful 

The increasing attention paid to fruit growing, and the 
success attending it, give assurance that it will ere long be 
one of the main occupations of the farmer. With a soil 
easily made favorable, and a climate just the thing, success 
must ultimately give it a high position in the catalogue of 
our products. 

This paper cannot be more fitly closed than by an exhi- 
bition of the agricultural wealth and resources of Western 
Massachusetts, as given by the State valuation tables of 
1850. The facts here given will furnish a standing point 
from which to view tlie past, and a landmark for reference 
in the prom.ising future, as well as a general standard of 
compai'ison between the several counties. It will be 
remembered that these tables are annual averages, and not 
the records of a definite year. Hampden County had 
13,151 acres of meadow land, and cut from the same 
11,830 tuns of hay; 87,588 acres of pasturage, capable, 
with the after-feed of the farm, of keeping 21,917 cows; 
48,386 acres of woodland exclusive of pasture land in- 
closed ; 70,854 acres of unimproved land, 39,440 acres 
unimprovable; 70,017 acres of tillage land ; 7,931 acres 
of land in roads ; 5,120 horses, 4,005 oxen 4 years old 
and upwards, 10,319 cows, 8,149 steers and heifers, 13,700 
sheep, 5,058 swine. The county produced 2.264 bitshels 
of wheat, 101,487 bushels of rye, 121,572 bushels of oats, 
222,530 bushels of Lidian corn, 2,422 Ibushels of barley, 
23 tuns of broom corn, and 33,404 tuns of hay from 31,- 
675 aci-es of upland mowing. 

The County of Hampshire possessed 4,790 horses, 3,555 
oxen, 10,495 cows, 8,345 steers and heifers, 29,700 sheep, 
5,068 swine, 10,988 acres of meadow land, from which 
were cut 10,195 tuns of hay, 105,900 acres of pasturage 
capable of pasturing 22,100 cows, 52,539 acres of wood- 
land, 45,098 acres of unimproved land, 25,030 acres un- 
improvable, 8,491 acres of land used for roads, and 20,978 
acres of tillage land. The annual production of the land 


was 4,083 bushels of wheat, 61,855 bushels of rye, 229,- 
02U bushels of Indian corn, 4,576 bushels of barley, 1,512 
lbs. of hops, 10 5-8 tuns of tobacco, 622 tuns of broom 
corn, and 39,437 tuns of hay, from 40,308 acres of upland 

Franklin County possessed 4,377 horses, 4,715 oxen, 
10,764 cows, 11,461 steers and heifers, 24,973 sheep, 4,216 
swine, 13,591 acres of meadow land, yieklino- 12,270 tuns 
of hay, 13,753 acres of pasturage, capable (with the after- 
feed of the whole farm,) of supporting 25.818 cows; 72,- 
959 acres of woodhmd, 67,415 acres of unimproved land, 
and 47,214 acres unimprovable ; 7,662 acres used for roads, 
20,493 acres of tillage land, including orchards tilled. 
The production Avas 3,099 bushels of wlieat, 43,304 bush- 
els of rye, 99,296 bushels of oats, 242,245 bushels of In- 
dian corn, 7,691 bushels of barley, 40,100 pounds of hops, 
330 tuns of broom corn, and 38,336 tuns of hay from 36,- 
780 acres of upland mowing. 

Berkshire County hud 7,031 horses, 4,084 oxen, 18,142 
cows, 11,970 steers and heifers, 74,042 sheep, 6,150 swine, 
9,321 acres of meadow, producing 10,880 tuns of hay, 
151,522 acres of jiastura^je, capable of supporting, witli 
the after-feed of the farm, 39,242 cows ; 104,397 acres of 
woodland, 113,068 acres of unimproved land, of which 
63,321 acres are unimprovable ; 10,668 acres of land in 
roads, and 68,993 acres of upland mowing, which produced 
a yearly amount of 69,115 tuns of hay." The product of 
30,945 acres of tillage land was 5,874 bushels of wheat, 
53,548 bushels of rye, 312.611 bushels of oats, 219,948 
bushels of Indian corn, 10,868 bushels of barley, and 20 
tuns of broom corn. 


The Railkoads of Western Massachusetts. 

No agency has tended so generally and so powerfully to 
the development of the resources and prosperity of West- 
ern Massachusetts as railroads. They have opened mar- 
kets to the fanner, easy transportation to the manufactur- 
er, and facilities of communication to men of business. 
Every producing and business interest has felt their influ- 
ence for good, and now leans upon them as the right arm 
of its strength. Were all that has been done for AVestern 
Massachusetts by railroads struck out of existence, the 
section v/ould relatively be thrown back a century in the 
path of its progress. The necessity for a channel of com- 
munication between Boston and the opening West, was 
fully appreciated many years ago, and many years before 
that channel was completed, lu is sixty-four years since 
the project was broached of connecting the Eastern coast 
of Massachusetts with the waters of the Hudson, by means 
of a canal. During the same year of the incorporation of 
the Proprietors of the Locks and Canals on Connecticut 
Elver, 1792, Henry Knox and his associates were incorpo- 
rated for the purpose of constructing a canal from Boston 
Harbor to Connecticut River, but the people were exhaust- 
ed by the Revolutionary struggle, the State was indebted 
and would not aid in the undertaking, and, after the neces- 
sarily unavailing efforts of the projectors, the scheme was 
abandoned, not to be revived again until the passage of 
nearly a third of a century. In February, 1825, the Le- 
gislature adopted Resolves for ascertaining the practica- 
bility of constructing a canal from Boston to the Connec- 
ticut River, and for extending an avenue of trade in some 
form from that point to the Hudson. A Board of Com- 
missioners was appointed, and Loammi Baldwin employed 
as engineer. After a survey, the project Avas declared 
feasible, and a report was made, strongly ui'ging the con- 
struction of the work upon the State. But the State again 
flowed the matter to drop — very fortunately as the result 


has proved — ^for, soon ^fterwards, the advantage of the 
railway over the canal became obvious, and measures were 
instituted that resulted, after a long period of struggle and 
discouragement, in the construction of the Western Rail- 
road, two hundred miles in length, uniting the cities of 
Boston and Albany, and now constituting one of the most 
important lines of travel and transportation in the United 

On the 14th of June, 1827, a Board of Commissioners 
was appointed, for the survey of one or more routes for a 
railway between the points last named. The Board had 
comparatively a short space of time to perform so large a 
work, before the meeting of the succeeding Legislature, 
but they Avorked diligently, and were able in their report, 
made on the 29th of January, 1828, to give the project a 
form, decide on its feasibility, roughly estimate its cost, and 
review the exigencies and interests which demanded its 
completion. The Board examined two routes — denomina- 
ted respectively the IS^orthern and the Southern — the for- 
mer crossing the Connecticut at Northampton ; the latter 
at Springheld. While both routes were examined, a sur- 
vey of the Southern .route was alone attempted, and with 
the exception of two short sections, the attempt was con- 
fined to the West side of the Connecticut. On that side 
the survey was perfected from West Springfield to Green- 
bush. The Commissioners presented a table of inclina- 
tions, being at no point more than 80 feet to the mile, and 
then went on to discuss the capacities of horse power, for 
steam was then only in the stage of early development. 
By a careful collection of statistics, it was estimated that 
for 4 3-4 miles of the road from the Connecticut to the 
Hudson, it would recpiire either two horses, or the full ex- 
ertion of one, to draw eight tuns, while for 8 miles it 
vould require the exertion which one horse is capable of 
making during half of his working hours. Twenty-seven 
miles were within the limits of easy exertion for a horse, 
and the remaining G2 1-2 miles would require only a frac- 
tion varying from nothing to 80 pounds. One imporlimt 
item embraced in the report is the amount of transporta- 
tion between several towns on the route, and the several 
markets of Boston, Albany and Hartford. Becket had 
270 tuns at an average cost for transportation of SIO; 


Dalton 114 tuns, at $7,50; Qiester 290 tuns at S20; 
Springfield 12,000 tuns; Northampton 9,200 tuns, the cost 
of transportation between both towns and Boston being 
$17 50 to $18 per tun. The conclusion, in a rough esti- 
mate, is, that the way-freight business of a road from Bos- 
ton to Albany would be 84,360 tuns annually. The num- 
ber of stage coach passengers on the route is given at 
30,000 annually, which the Commissionei'S thought would 
be very much increased on the railroad. The report is 
very favorable on the whole, and is signed by Nahum 
Mitchell and Samuel McKay, Commissioners ; and James 
F. Baldwin, Engineer. 

The Legislature seems to have done nothing more with 
the subject than to submit it to the Board of Directors of 
Internal Improvements, consisting of Levi Lincoln, Na- 
than Hale, Stephen White, David Henshaw, Thomas W. 
Ward, Royal Makepeace, George Bond, William Foster 
and Edward H. Eoljbins, Jr., who submitted a full report 
to the Legislature on the 16th of January, 1829. Their 
ideas of the proper construction of a railway may be giv- 
en in their OAvn words : " It is found that the cost of a con- 
tinuous stone wall, laid so deep in tlie ground as not to be 
moved by the effect of frost, and surmounted by a rail of 
split granite of about a foot in thickness and depth, with a 
bar of iron placed on the top of it, of sufficient thickness 
to form the track on which the carriage wheels shall run, 
is much less than that of the English iron rail, and that 
rails of this construction, so far as can be judged by exper- 
iments which have yet been made, possess all the advan- 
tages of durability, solidity and strength." This board 
also went into a discussion and measurement of horse 
power, and having examined the routes proposed, declared 
that passing through Worcester and Springfield to be the 
one which could be constructed at the smallest cost, be 
traveled with the greatest ease, and would accommodate 
the largest population. The estimated average cost per 
mile " under all probable contingencies" was $16,434 77, 
at which rate the whole road from Boston to Albany would 
cost $3,254,876 46. The cost for the transportation of a 
tun of freight from Boston to Albany was figured at $1 97, 
"which was declared to be lower tlian the rates of any canals 
in the country, and which would effectually take the transpor- 


tation of flour, from Albany to Boston, out of the hands 
of sloop navigation. The cost of taking 20 passengers 
from Boston, the road being provided with stationary pow- 
ers, was estimated at SIG 50 or 82 1-2 cents apiece ; with- 
out stationary powers, S21, or SI 05 apiece. Adding S2 
for toll it would make $2 82 or $3 05 apiece, " for con- 
veyance from Boston to Albany in 22 hours." The Board 
also took up the discussion of steam, which had then been 
introduced into England to some extent, and, basing their 
reasoning on the relative cost of coal in that country and 
this locality, decided in favor of the horses. 

In 1827, the amount exported from Albany to Boston 
was 1G,861 tuns; from Troy 3,850 tuns; imported at Al- 
bany from Boston, fi,001 tuns ; at Troy, 2,100 tuns, making 
an amount of 28,902 tuns. In giving an estimate of the 
amount of travel on the line, the Board say that there are 
six lines of stages running between Boston and Albany, 
on which eighteen stages, exclusive of extra coaches, gen- 
erally well loaded, i"un through from Boston to Albany and 
return the same number of times weekly. Forty-five pas- 
sengers per day traveled on the route, who would probably 
take the railway when built, while the way passengers 
numbered 30. This would raise the daily number to 75, 
or 23,475 per annum. These, at a toll of one cent j)er 
mile, or $2 for the whole distance, would pay towards the 
support of the road $40,950. On this amount, however, 
the Board calculated a large increase. The grand sum of 
the annual receipts of the road was estimated at $203,000. 
This embraces the estimated amount of increase that would 
follow the introduction of railway travel and transporta- 
tion, although the Board acknowledge that " these amounts 
are not assumed with entire confi{lence^" One result of. 
the building of the road was foreseen and foretold with en- 
tire correctness, viz : the increase of the value of real es- 
tate along the line of the road, suilicient to cover its cost. 
In deciding upon the Southern route as the best, the Board 
had three lines in consideration, instead of two. By the 
Southern route, the distance from Boston to Albany was 
198 miles, the elevation of the AVorcester ridge being 918 
feet, that of the Berkshire ridge 1,410 feet, and that West 
of the Ilousalonic IGG feet. By the middle route, which 
had Troy for its AVestern terminus, the distance from Bos- 


ton wus 210 miles, the liiglit of the "Worcester ridge being 
967 feet, the Berkshire ridge at Savoy 1,903 feet, and the 
New York ridge, 414. By tlie Northern route the dis- 
tance was 190 miles, the elevation of the WorcesJ;er ridge 
being 1,051 feet, the Berkshire ridge, at Florida or Savoy, 
1,886 feet, and the New York ridge 414 feet. The amount 
of these several elevations doubled, so as to include the 
descent, shows that the Southern route would embrace a 
change of level 1,520 feet less than the middle route, and 
1,654 less than the Northern. This Board also closed with 
a recommendatit)n to the Legislature to build the road with 
funds raised by loans in the name of the State, on stocks 
bearing 4 1-2 i^er cent, interest, payable quarterly, and re- 
imbursable at any time that might be decided upon. Ap- 
pended to their report was a very full report, with maps, 
by the engineer, James F. Baldwin, embracing, in detail, 
the items of the several surveys. 

The policy of constructing railways under the du-ection 
and with the money of the State, became, of course, a 
prominent topic of discussion. One of the foremost cham- 
pions of this policy was Theodore Sedgwick of Stockbridge. 
A pamphlet appeared from his pen, covering twenty-one 
pages, in Avhich his views were strongly set forth. The 
following is a quotation from that document : 

" The question is, whether such a road shall become private 
or public property, antl no question can be plainer. The pres- 
ent is a crisis in the fortunes of our State. Let us not take a 
false course. It is the first step that too often directs the last. 
What is there worse in monopoly, than giving things to people 
to whom they do not belong ? What right have individuals 
to arms of the sea, great rivers, bridges intended for general 
use, long lines of canal, and roads which every body must 
pass over? What would be worse than for the State to mo- 
nopolize its mines of coal, the steam engine or the magnet? 
Individuals make the best use of these. Roads, however, 
belong to the community, and the railroad, so far as public use 
is designed by it, is a gift of the arts to States. It is among 
the few improvements that a State can most successfully man- 
age. What is intended for the beneficent use of the great 
public should 7iever be placed in private hands. This is indeed 
half the essence of our Republican government." 

But the Legislature did not agree with Mi-. Sedgwick, 
and that class of economists whom he represented, and 



took no measures beyond the early incorporation of the 
Boston and "Worcester Raih-oad Company, to eifect the 
object contemplated in the surveys it had completed. On 
the loth of March, 1833, Nathan Hale, David Henshaw, 
George Bond, Henry Williams, Daniel Denny, Joshua 
Clappand Eliphalet Williams and their associates, received 
a charter with the name of the Western Railroad 
Corporation, for the purpose of constructing a road from 
Worcester, the terminus of the Boston and Worcester Rail- 
road, to the line of the State of New York, with a capital 
limited to S2,000,000. The stock was taken by over 2,200 
snbscribei's, averaging less than S1,000 each, with the con- 
dition tluit a part of tlie Eastern and Western portions of 
the road should be finished at the same time. The corpo- 
ration was not organized until January, 1836, when the 
following gentlemen were elected Directors : John B. 
Wales, Edmund D wight, George Bliss, William Lawrence, 
Henry Rice, John Henshaw, Francis Jackson, Josiah 
Quincy, Jr., and Justice Willard. Major William Gibbs 
McNeil was engaged as chief engineer, and Capt. Wm. 
H. Swift as resident engineer of the company. George 
Bliss of Springfield was appointed General Agent of the 
Corporation.' The organization of the Directors was : 
President, Thomas B. Wales ; Treasurer, Josiah Quincy, 
Jr. ; and Ellis Gray Loring was appointed Clerk. On the 
IGth of January we find these gentlemen before the Leg- 
islature in a petition for an increase of capital, and aid 
from the State. They assert that another million of dol- 
lars will be necessary to complete the work, that the stock 
had been taken with a certainty of no direct profit to the 
stockholders, and had been procured only after great labor 
and repeated efforts, and that " no hope now remains but 
by an ai)peal to tiie liberality, justice and i)atrioti6m of the 
Legislature." They plead the policy and example of New 
York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, but, without pi'oposing that 
Massacluisetts should ibllOw in the same track, they pray 
for an act of incorporation as a bank, to be called " The 
Western Railroad Bank," to be located in Boston, with a 
capital of five millions of dollars, the usual bank tax of 
which should be paid to the Western Railroad Corporation 
for twenty years. This plan, they say, will require no 
grant from the treasury, and furnish to the community 


bank capital which it needs. The new estimate of the 
cost of the road, from Worcester to the State line, was 
$30,0(X) a mile, including all appendages, fit for use. The 
Legislature did not grant the bank, but it passed an act in- 
creasing the capital of the road to S3,000,000, and direct- 
ing the Treasurer of the State to subscribe $1,000,000 to 
the stock of the road. The act also embraced a provision 
for the choice of nine Directors, of which number three 
should be annually chosen by the Legislature, by joint bal- 
lot of the two Houses, and the residue by the stockholders 
at their annual meeting. 

The surveys of the corporation commenced in April, 
1836. Twenty miles of the road, commencing at Worces- 
ter, were put under contract in January, 1837, and work 
was commenced on that section in the month following. 
In June of the same year, the road from East Brookfield 
to Springfield was put under contract, and work commenced 
upon the section in July. The length of road from Wor- 
cester was 5-4 miles, and the highest grade (for a short dis- 
tance only,) 50 feet per mile. On the first of January, 
1838, twenty-seven miles had been fully graded, and stood 
ready for the superstructure, and the contracts had thus 
far been executed within the estimates. The route decided 
upon. West of the Connecticut, was 62 1-2 miles in length, 
the highest grade being 79 to 80 feet to the mile, making 
the whole distance 116 1-2 miles. The entire route was 
pronounced feasible for locomotive power, for the horse 
power project had for some years been counted among the 
things of the past. At the commencement of 1838, the 
Hartford and New Haven Railroad was in process of con- 
struction, and a chai-ter had been granted to extend it to a 
connection with the Western Railroad at Springfield. The 
first two assessments on the stock of the Western Railroad 
were collected before the work commenced, and in 1837, 
the greater part of the third assessment was collected. 
The fourth assessment was due April 16, 1837, but the 
pressures of that disastrous year were such that it was sus- 
pended until the following September, and the three-quar- 
ters of the assessments on private stockholders, necessary 
to secure that of the State, Avas only secured then,^ after 
great and persevering labor. It was deemed impossible to 
follect the necessaiy amount from private stockholders, on 


the next assessment, and the directors resolved that unless 
they could get further aid from the State, they -would 
suspend the work. Under these circumstances, they 
came again before the Legislature, declaring that if the 
work should be suspended for the lack of funds, it would 
result in the virtual annihilation of the S600,000 capital 
already expended, and, " in accordance with the voice of a 
special meeting of the stockholders held on the 23d of the 
previous November," praying for a loan of the credit of 
the State to the corporation " for eighty per cent, of the 
stock, by a State scrip liaving 30 years to run, bearing in- 
terest at o per cent, per annum, semi-annually, principal 
and interest payable in London to bearer, with warrants 
for the interest," and pledging for security the franchise 
of the road, together with the road and its appurtenances. 
On the 21st of February, 1838, their prayer was granted, 
by an act authorizing the issue of the scrip of the State to 
the amount of two millions one lumdred thousand dollars. 
In the third annual report of the directors, made January 
1, 1839, the estimated cost of the whole work had risen to 
$4,191,171 73. The crippled condition of tlie private 
stockholders rendered it impossible to collect of them any 
large proportion of their indebtedness, and there remained 
a sum, to be provided for, of nearly a million and a half. 
Under these circumstances, the corporation, in 1839, came 
before the Legislature for still further aid, the sum speci- 
fied being $1,'200,000. The aid was granted, with a pro- 
vision tliat therealter four of the directors of tlie corpora- 
tion should be chosen by the Legislature. 

On the first day of October, 1839, the road was opened 
to travel between Worcester and Springfield, and, on the 
23d of that itionth, regular merchandise trains were estab- 
lished. The total cost of this part of the road, as stated ia 
the Fourth Annual Report, was $l,972,98iJ, or S3G,135 
per mile. The Fifth Amuial lieport, made after running 
the cai's upon this par-t of the road during the season, and 
after experience had pointed out and secured other neces- 
saiy expenditures, gave the whole actual cost as $2,01 6,- 
970 — a considerable advance. Meanwhile, the construc- 
tion of the Western portion of the road Avas in progress, 
and here, too, the expenditures were outgrowing the esti- 
mates, so that, in 18il^ the corporation was again before 


the Legislature for a loan of a million of dollars. The 
estimated balance wanting was ^1,247,830 77, and the odd 
figures were to be filled by the stockholders. Again the 
Legislature answered the call, by the passage of an act 
authorizing the issue of the scrip of the State to the 
amount of S700,000, secured by a mortgage on the road, 
as in the previous loans. 

At the commencement of 1842, the whole line, of the 
road between Worcester and the Hudson River had been 
so far completed as to be opened for use, with the excep- 
tion of 15 miles within the State of New York, which was 
run on the track of the Hudson and Berkshire Railroad. 
From the State line to Albany the road was nominally, at 
least, under the conduct of a New York corporation, with 
the name of the Albany and West Stockbridge Railway. 
This section was finished and opened for travel on the 12th 
of September of that year, and on that day the struggle 
and the toil of years had accomplished the long-sought ob- 
ject. In the Seventh Annual Report of the directors, the 
statistics of construction were given in detail. From the 
point of the junction of the road with the Boston and Wor- 
cester Road to the East abutment of the Connecticut Riv- 
er Bridge, the distance was 54 miles and 3,680 feet ; from 
thence to the line of New York, 63 miles and 568 feet; 
from the State line to Greenbush dock, 38 miles and 1,180 
feet, making the total of both roads 156 miles, and 148 
feet. From the Boston depot to the Albany shore, the 
distance was 200 miles and 1,883 feet. Assuming that 
portion of the Boston and Worcester road in the immedi- 
ate vicinity of Boston, as the base line, the following are 
the principal elevations, the fractions of a foot being omit- 
ted: — Charlton summit, 906 feet; the depot at Springfield, 
71 ; Washington summit, 1,456 ; the track at the State 
line, 916. The road embraced 142 planes, of which 12 
were level, 83 ascending West, and 47 descending West. 
The Avhole length of bridges on the road was one mile and 
812 feet, the bridge over the Connecticut — the longest on 
the route — being 1,264 feet long, of 7 spans, and of the 
structure of Howe's patent. The total cost of the road, 
Aviththe amovmt estimated for future additions, was S5,814,- 
807 52 ; that of the Albany and West Stockbridge Road 
$1,751,984 05, making a grand total of $7,566,791 57. 



The report of the business of the road will do well to com- 
jjare with the early estimates. The through passengers 
amounted to 18,570; way passengers 171,8G6; total, 190,- 
436. The amount of merchandise was equal to 39,820 
tuns. The total receipts of the year for freight and pas- 
sengers, were Sol 2,688. • 

Only twelve years have passed since the report was 
made, and the revolution which has been Avrought in the 
entire business interests of the line through which it pass- 
es, is apparent to every one, and justifies the anticipations 
and predictions of its early friends. 

The foUowinc table will represent the to- The followinpr table represents the nuni- 

tal receipts and expenses and totul number her of barrels of flour transported from Al- 

of passengers of the Western and Albany bany and Troy to Boston and iutermediato 

and West Stockbridge Ilailroads, from 1S42 points, from 1S42 to 1853 inclusive : 
to 1S5Z inclusive : 

Keccipts. Expenses. Passengers. To Boston. Other points. Total. 




190 436 





























.1 months 


11 months in 














188 049 




































6.i6 (W 

497 293 













The 19th annual report of the Directors represents that 
the cost of the whole line from AYorcester to Greenbush up 
to Nov. 30, 1853, was S9,953,7o8 84. The equipment of 
the road consisted of 59 engines, 43 passenger cars, 9 bag- 
gage cars, 618 eight-wheel covered freight cars, 162 eight- 
wheel platform cars, 86 four-wheel covered freight cars, 20 
gravel cars, and 46 hand-cars. 

There are two sinking funds connected with the Western 
Railroad : The Westcfii llailroad Stock Sinking Fund, and 
the Western Railroad Loan Sinkiiig Fund. The first is 
the property of the Commonwealth, and is for the future 
purchase, or final redemption, of the scrip issued by the 
State for the payment of its original subscription of Si, 000,- 
000 to the stock of the ixjad, and for meeting the accruing 
interest on that stock. The sources of this fund are the 
bonus originally paid on the scrip Avhich was .<old in Lon- 
don, the dividends of the road, and one-half of all moneys 
received for .sales of the State's lands in Maine. In 1814, 
$75,000 of the moneys received under the provisions of 


tlie Treaty of Wasliington was added to the fund. The 
"Western llaih'oad Loan Sinking Fund is the property of 
the Western Raih-oad Corporation, and is deposited with 
the Commonweakh as coUateral security for the ultimate 
payment, by the corporation, of the $4,000,000 of State 
scrip issued to aid its operations. This fund is based on 
the amount of the premiums on the sales of the scrip, and 
one per cent, annually on the amount of the scrip, to be 
paid out of the earnings of the road, or, $40,000 a year. 
At the same time, the corporation pays annually the inter- 
est on the scrip. Both these funds, it is calculated, will 
fully answer their end in the accumulation of such an 
amount as shall redeem the respective orders of scrip to 
which they belong, at matuiity. 

The road was originally laid with one track, provision 
being made in the cuts and smaller bridges for two. The 
second track has been laid down the entire distance fi'om 
"Worcester to Springfield, with the exception of the section 
between Palmer and Warren. 

It is but justice to preserve the names of those who 
were most efficient in carrying forward the road in the va- 
rious early stages of the enterprise, and to whose efforts is 
now owed the incalculable good which the road has be- 
stowed upon this portion of the State. The more promi- 
nent among these were George Bliss, Charles Steams and 
Justice Willard of Springfield, Theodore Sedgwick of 
Stockbridge, Lemuel Pomcroy of Pittsfield, Nathan Hale, 
P. P. F. Degrand and Josiah Quincy, Jr., of Boston. 

The Connecticut River Railroad divides the State 
from North to South, as the Western does from West to 
East. On the 1st of JNIarch, 1842, John Clarke, Samuel 
L. Hinckley, Stephen Brewer, Jonathan H. Butler, Win- 
throp Hillyer and their associates, received a charter as 
the Northampton axd Springfield Railroad Cor- 
poration, for the purpose of building a road " commenc- 
ing within one mile of the Court House, (Northampton), 
crossing Connecticut River near Mt. Holyoke, and passing 
down the valley of said n^er on the East side thereot!, 
through a portion of Iladley, South Hadley and Spring- 
field, to meet the track of the Hartford and Springfield 
corf)oration at Cabotville, or diverging from said line, at 
or near Stony Brook in South Hadley, and passing over 


the plain, and crossing the Cliicopec Elver near the Falls, 
uniting with the Western Raih-oad, Easterly of the depot 
in Springfield." Tlie capital stock was limited to 8100,- 
000. On the 23d of Feljruary, 1844, tlie capital stock was 
increased by act of the Legislature to §500,000. On the 
25th of January, 1845, Henry W. Clapp, Ralph Williams, 
Henry W. Cuslaman and their associates, were incorpora- 
ted as the Greenfield and Northampton Railroad 
Company, and were authorized to build a road over the 
route now tra\'y3rsed by the Connecticut River Raih-oad, 
North of Northampton. The capital stock was limited to 
lialf a milHon of dollars. The 8th section of the act of 
incorporation authorized the two corporations to unite in 
such a manner as could be agreed upon between them, and 
when united, to take the name of the Connecticut Riv- 
er Railroad Company. The two companies were ac- 
cordingly united on equal terms, in the following July, and 
thus was formed the Connecticut River Railroad Compa- 
ny. On tlie 21st of IMarch, 1845, an act w;\s passed, au- 
thorizing the Northampton and Springfield Company to 
change their route to its present location, viz : through 
jiarts of Easthampton, Northani])ton, (South Farms), and 
West Springfield, crossing the Connecticut at Williman- 
sett On the IGthof April, 1846, the Connecticut River 
Railroad Company were authorized to extend their road 
northward from Gi'eenlield, to the Vermont State line. 
The Company was also authorized to increase its stock by 
an amount not exceeding $500,000. 

The Connecticut River Road was opened from Spring- 
field to Cabotville, four miles, on the 28th of February, 
1845, and, from Springfield to Northampton, December 
1 3, of the same year. The total receijits of the road, from 
freight and passengers, up to Jan. 1, 1846, were $13,521 ; 
expenditures, $5,519 ; net receipts, $8,001. On the 17th 
day of August, 1846, the road was opened from North- 
ampton to South Deerfield, and on tlie 23d of the succeed- 
ing November, csirs ran through from Springiield to 
Greenfield. The branch road from Cabotville to Chicopee 
Falls was comi)le(ed and opened for use on the 8th of 
September, of tlie same year. The total receipts of the 
road for 1846 were $58,246 99; expenses, $21,752 43; 
net receipts, $36,494 56. The gross receipts of the year 


1847, from January 1st to December 31st, -were S12o,- 
951 Gl. On the first day of January, 1849, the road was 
completed to the South hue of the State of Vermont, a 
distance of 52 miles from Springfield. During the year 

1848, the entire receipts of the road were $165,242 13 — 
an increase over those of the preceding year of $41,290 52, 
The number of passengers carried was 299,805, and the 
number of tuns of merchandise, 101,314. The earnings 
over expenses were 886,797 45. The total cost of the 
road was $1,798,825. 

The road felt the necessity of an extension still fnrtlier 
Northward, to form a connection with the lines converging 
at Bellows Falls, Vt., and on the 7th of December, 1849, 
entered into an agreement with the Ashuelot Railroad 
Corporation — a New Hampshire company — chartered to 
construct a road from the Cheshire Railroad in Keene to 
the Western shore of the Connecticut river, to form a 
junction there witli the Connecticut River road, by which 
tlie Ashuelot road should be operated for ten years by tlie 
Connecticut River Company, the latter paying 7 per cent, 
per annum interest on the cost of the road. Dithculties 
subsequently rose between the two companies which ended 
in fixing the annual rent of the Ashuelot road at $30,000, 
and the Connecticut River Compiaiy commenced running- 
its cars over the road on the 27th of January, 1851. The 
Vermont Valley Railroad, extending from lirattleboro to 
Bellows Falls, was opened dui-ing the Summer of the 
same year, and as the Vermont and Massachusetts road 
supplied the missing link between the terminus of the Con- 
necticut River Road and Brattleboro, Northern travel was 
immediately diverted from the Ashuelot route to this new 
channel. This unlooked for embarrassment, w^hile, to some 
extent retai'ding the prosperity of the road, is temporary, 
by its own terms, and, at no distant day, it cannot fail to 
be one of the best paying, as it is now one of the best con- 
ducted lines of railroad in the country. It has become the 
favorite line of travel from New York and the South to 
the White Mountains, and the travel upon it is constantly 

The Connecticut River Road has properly 15 stations, 

the Springfield station, however, being that of the Western 

^Jlailroad, which it occupies in common with the Hartford, 



New Haven and Springfield Road. The remaining sta- 
tions, as they extend Northward, are Cabotville, Willim- 
ansett, Holyoke, Smith's Ferry, Nortliampton, Hatfield, 
Whately, South Deerlield, Deerfield, Greenfield, Bernards- 
ton and South Vernon. Besides these, there is a station 
in Cabotville, on the Chicopee Falls branch, and one at 
Chicopee Falls. 

The directorship of the road has been as follows : 

Northampton and Springjield Company. — Elected May 
30, 1844, and again June 4th, 1845 — Erastus Hopkins and 
Eliphalet AVilliiims of Northampton, John Chase, Spring- 
field ; riiillip Ripley, Hartford; Samuel Henshaw, E. H. 
Roblnns and James K. Mills, Boston. 

Greenfield and Nortliampton Compamj. — Elected July 
8, 1845 — Henry \l. Clapp and Cephas Root of Green- 
field ; Samuel Henshaw and James K. Mills of Boston ; 
Phillip Ripley, Hartford; Erastus Hopkins, Northampton ; 
H. W. Cushman, Beruardston. 

Connecticut River Railroad Company. — (After the con- 
solidation). Elected July 18, 1845 — Erastus Hopkins, 
Samuel Henshaw, E. II. Robljins, James Iv. Mills, John 
Chase, Phillip Ripley, II. AV. Clapp, all of whom were re- 
elected in 184G and 1847. Those elected in 1848 were 
E. Hopkins, H. W. Clapp, Samuel Henshaw, E. H. Rob- 
bins, Lemuel Pope, and Nathaniel II. Emmons, the two 
latter of Boston. Tlie number of Directors and the time 
of choice having been changed, the following board was 
elected in January, 1849: E. Hopkins, E. H. Rubbins, 
Samuel Henshaw, J. K. Mills, N. H. Emmons, Lemuel 
Pope, Ignatius Sargent, H. W. Clajip and J. S. Morgan, 
the latter of Hartford. In 185(J, the same board was 
elected, with the exception of Gorham Brooks, in the place 
of E. II. Robl)ins, deceased. In 1851, tlie following board 
was chosen : Chester W. Chapin, Samuel Henshaw, James 
K. Mills, Lemuel Pope, I. Sargent, Gorham Brooks, E. 
G. Howe, H. W. Clapp, C. E. Forbes. In 1852, the same 
board, with the exception of Wm. Dwight in place of 
Lemuel Pope, deceased. In 1853, the same boai-d with 
the exception of J. S. Morgan in place of Goiliam 
Brooks, who declined re-election. In 1854, C. P. Hunt- 
ington was elected in place of C. E. Forbes, who declined 
re-election, and the board stood as follows : C. W. Chapin, 


Samuel Ilenshaw, Ignatius Sargent, "William Dwight, J. 
S. Morgan, E. G. Howe, II. AY. Clapp, C. P. Hunting- 

The Amherst and Belchertowx Railroad Co^r- 
RANY was incorporated in 1851, with authority to construct 
a road from the depot of the New London, Willimantic 
and Palmer Railroad, crossing the Western Railroad at 
Palmer, and extending Northerly through the towns of 
Belchertown, Amherst, Leverett, Sunderland and Monta- 
gue to the Vei'mont and Massachusetts Railroad, at a point 
the most convenient to intersect the same in Montague. 
For the purposes of construction, the company were au- 
thorized to divide their road into two sections — one extend- 
ing frcfm Palmer to the village of Amherst, and the other 
from Amherst to Montague, and to commence the con- 
struction of the first section when one-half of their capi- 
tal stock had been subscribed, and twenty per cent, there- 
on had been paid into their treasury. The company was 
organized June 30th, 1851. Luke Sweetser, Edward 
Dickinson, Ithamar Conkey, Myron Lawrence, Joseph 
Brown, Thomas H. Williams and Andrew C. Lippitt were 
chosen Directors, of wliom Luke Sweetser was elected 
President. John S. Adams was chosen Clerk and Treas- 
urer. The certificate stating that the requisite amount of 
capital had been subscribed and paid in, was filed in the 
otHce of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, April 23d, 
1852, and the work of grading tlie first section of the road 
was then commenced. The road from Palmer to Amherst 
was opened for use on the 9th day of May, 1853, and was 
operated by the New London, Willimantic and Palmer 
Railroad Company, under a lease to that company made 
for the term of ten years. This arrangement having 
proved unsatisfactory to both parties, the contract was dis- 
solved on the 5th day of November, 1853, from which 
time the road has been operated by the Amherst and Bel- 
chertown company. 

The road thus completed from Palmer to Amherst is a 
fraction less than twenty miles in length. The total cost 
of its construction, including land damages, fences and 
equipments, was $280,000. Tw^o trains each way are now 
run over it, in connection with the Western Road. The 
Directors In 1854 were Willis Phelps, President; James 


H. Clapp, Edward Dickinson, John Leland, Leonard M. 
Hills, Charles Adams and Thomas AV. Williams. The 
Clerk and Treasurer remained the same. The road has 
now been in operation about three years ; its busmess has 
been constantly increasing, both in I'reight and passengers ; 
and, under the management of its present Superintendent, 
Mr. N. D. Potter, it is daily growing in favor "with the 
public, and encouraging the hopes of its stockholders. A 
further act was granted the company, by the Legislature 
of 1854, extending by two years the time in which they 
may locate and construct their second section. 

In May, 1847, the Connecticut Legislature chartered 
the jSTew London, Willijiantic and Springfikld 
Railroad Company, "to locate, constx-uct and finally 
complete a single, double or treble railroad, or way, in the 
city of New London, thence on the "Westerly side of the 
river Thames to the city of Norwich, and thence to Wil- 
limantic and the North line of the State towards Spring- 
field, in the State of Massachusetts." The original desti- 
nation of the Northern terminus was subsequently changed 
to Pahner. In 1848, the company was chartered by the 
]Massachusetts Legislature for continuing the road from the 
State line, a distance of nine miles, to the "Western Ivail- 
road at Palmer depot. On the 13th of November, 1849, 
the road was opened from New London to "Willimantic, a 
distance of 30 miles; in March, 18.30, as far as Stafford 
Springs, about 50 miles, and on the 20th of September, 
1850, through to Pahner, a distance of 6Q miles, the length 
of I'oad in Connecticut being 57 miles. The income of 
the company, from the conuuencement of the running of 
the trains to the 1st of November, 1851, was S1G8,45D 81 ; 
expenditures, S8G,200 22; net income, $82,259 59. The 
total cost of the road, on the 1st of November, 1853, was 
.■^1,524,329 6G, and the total receipts of the road for the 
year ending on that day were $128,715 93, those from 
freight being $54,1 64. The cost of the portion of the road 
within the State of Massachusetts was $207,201 53. The 
bonus paid to the Andierst and Belchertown Railroad Co., 
for the relinrpiishment of the lease, (already alluded to in 
the history of that road) was S3,447. 

The first ofiicers of the road were — Thomas "W. Wil- 
liams, President ; John Dickinson, Secretary and Treasu- 


rer ; James N. Palmer, Superintendent and Engineer. 
The board of Directors in 1854 Avere Gordon L. Ford, 
President; Thomas Fitch, 2d, Vice President; Andrew 
M. Frink, Acors Barns, Henry P. Haven, Francis Allyn, 
Lyman Allyn, N. Shaw Perkins, Jr., Joseph Smith, Ed- 
ward Crane and Daniel .J. Willets. 

The . Hudson and Berkshire Railroad Company 
was incorporated in 1832, to build a road from Hudson, 
N. Y., to the State line at West Stockbridge, a distance of 
31 miles. Under the usual an-angements where State lines 
are crossed, the road was contiimed over the line into West 
Stockbridge, a distance of three miles, making the whole 
road 34 miles lono;. The whole line was constructed dur- 
ing the years 1836-7-8. The cost of the road with relay- 
ing, stands at about $850,000. The income from passen- 
gers in 1853 wa^, in round numbers, 818,000; from freight, 
$40,000. November 21, 1854, the road was purchased by 
the Western Railroad Co. for $150,000. It will be called 
the Boston and Hudson Railroad, and will oidy be run 
separately from Chatham Four Corners to Hudson. 

In 1823, companies were incorporated in Massachusetts 
and Connecticut for the construction of a canal from New 
Haven, in the latter State, to Northampton, in the former. 
The Connecticut company was called the Farjiington 
Canal Co., and the Massachusetts, the Hampshire- and 
Hampden Canal Co. The capital stock in this State 
was S300,000. The entire work from New Haven to 
Northampton cost 82,000,000. The canal was finished 
from New Haven to Westfield in 1830; to Northampton 
in 1834. The business on the canal proved fjir less profit- 
able than was anticipated, and the stock came to be regard- 
ed as neai'ly woi'thless. The stock was finally transferred 
in both States to a new company, called the New Haven 
and Northampton Canal Co., for the sum total of 
S300,000. This company was chartered in both States in 
183C), and continued business in this State, more or less, 
until 1847, and would have done well, in the opinion of 
those who live on its line, had it not been for the competi- 
tion of the railroads built along the line of the Connecti- 
cut river. This cause, or the fact that the canal is not 
adapted to the business wants of New England, threw it 
entirely into disuse. 


In 1846, leave was granted by the Connecticut Legisla- 
ture to the Canal Company, to build a railroad " on or 
near the line of the canal to the State line." The com- 
pany intended a connection with Springlield, and on the 
Nortliern part of the route diverged fi-om the Canal to 
connect with a road to be constructed from that point. 
This was in 1849, and in 1850, parties interested in its 
continuance on the line of the canal, procured an injunc- 
tion on the pi'ogress of the road, based on the strict terms 
of the cliarter. Tlie Connecticut Legislature, at its next 
session, gave liberty to continue the road in the direction 
of Springfield, but the charter Avas not obtained in ]Massa- 
chusetts for its contiiniation, and tliat project mis-carried. 

The Hampden Railroad Company was chartered in 
1852, with a capital of S17o,000, for the purpose of ])uild- 
ing a road from AVestfield to the State line in Grauby, Ct. 
The Northampton and Westfield Railroad Com- 
pany was chartered during the same year, with a capital 
of $200,000, for the purpose of continuing the road from 
Westfield to Northampton, the Northern terminus of the 
old canal. In 1853, the two roads were united by the 
name of the Hampspire and IlA:vtPDEN Railroad Cor- 
poration, tlie combined capital being 8375,000. The 
road is twenty-five miles long, is nearly graded, and is to 
be finished at an early day. Leave was given the New 
Haven and Northampton Canal Company to sell corporate 
property in Massachusetts, to the Hampshire and Hamp- 
den Raih-oad Co., in 1853. The road passes th.rough the 
towns of Southwick. Westfield, Southampton, Easthamp- 
ton and Northampton. Its grades are easy, and tlie hard- 
est are not over 40 feet to the mile. 

The Ware River Railroad Cojipany was incor- 
porated Tilay 24th, 1851, for tl)e purpose of constructing a 
road from Palmer to Templeton. The present Board of 
Directors are Orrin Sa2e, President ; A. L. Dennis, 
Charles A. Stevens, P. F. Goff, Wm. Hyde, Otis Lane, 
Joel Rice, Addison Sanford, Samuel II. Phelps, W. S. 
Brakenridge, of Ware ; and ^Vm. IMixter of Hardwick. 
The route has been surveyed from Palmer to Barre, and, 
while there is some prospect of the road being built IVoni 
Palmer to Ware, tlie enterprise, as a whole, is not regard- 
ed as promising success. 


The Boston and Fitchburg Railroad is the com- 
mencement of a route from Boston Westward, which it 
has been the intention for some years to continue to the 
Hudson River. The Vermont and Massachusetts Rail- 
road continues the line Westward, and has its terminus in 
Brattleboro, Vt. This road reached the line of Franklin 
County in July, 1848, at the town of Orange. From Or- 
ange, the road continues through Wendell, Erving, Mon- 
tague and Northfield, where it crosses the Connecticut into 
Vernon, Vt. From Grant's Corner, in Montague, a branch 
was finished in February, 1851, under a charter to a com- 
pany called the Greenfield and Fitchburg Railroad Com- 
jjany, a distance of eight miles, to Greenfield, Avhere it 
strikes the Connecticut River Railroad. Thus far, the 
line has been completed Westward from Boston. From 
Troy, the Troy and Boston Railroad has been built to the 
line of the State of Vermont at Pownal, occupying the 
Southwestern corner of that State ; and across that town 
to the Massachusetts line runs the Southern Vermont Rail- 
road, a distance of six miles. Between this point and 
Greenfield, the terminus of the branch of the Vermont 
and Massachusetts, the distance is 34 miles. A railroad 
of this length will therefore fill the gap, and complete an- 
other route from Boston, opening into the great West. 
The towns intervening between Greenfield and the Ver- 
mont line at Pownal, are Shelburne, Charlemont, Florida, 
Adams (North Adams) and Williamstown. 

To construct this link of the chain, a company was in- 
corjwrated in 1848, by the name of the Troy and 
Greenfield Railroad Cohpany, with a capital of 
^3,500,000. The persons named in the act of incorpora- 
tion were George Grennell, Roger H. Leavitt, Samuel H. 
Read, James E. Marshall, Henry Chajmian, Alvah Crock- 
er, Jonas C. Heartt, Franklin Ripley, Abel Phelps, Asa- 
hel Foote, Ebenezer G. Lamson and D. W. Alvord. The 
route over which it is proposed to construct the road is one 
of peculiar interest, as it involves the project of piercing 
Hoosac Mountain with a tunnel, about four and one-half 
miles in length. The uncertainty attached to this unpar- 
alleled enterprise, hindered any considerable subscription 
to the stock, and, in 1851, application was made by the 
corporation to the Legislature for a loan of two millions of 



dollars, fbr the purpose of securing the construction of the 
tunnel. The application was not successful, and in 1853 
it was renewed, when the petitioners again failed of secur- 
ing their object. In 1854, however, the application was 
again made, and the loan of two millions was granted. 
The leading conditions of the loan are that a subscription 
to the stock of S 000,000 shall be first secured, on which 
shall be paid in 20 per cent. ; that tlicn, seven miles of 
the road shall be built, and the tunnel be bored to the ex- 
tent of 1,000 lineal feet, when the company will become 
entitled to $100,000 of the loan. When another seven 
miles of the road shall have been constructed, and another 
1,000 feet advanced into the mountain, the company will 
be entitled to another S100,000 of the loan. The remain- 
ing conditions are necessarily somewhat varied from this 
formula, but the policy indicated is followed throughout 
the work. 

Tlie road has been nearly graded from North Adams to 
the Vermont State line, but no work has been done upon 
it for the past two years. In the report of the company 
to the Legislature, for 1853, the total amount given as hav- 
ing been expended in graduation and masonry was $75,- 
602 24. Tlie proposed route has some note-worthy char- 
acteristics. The center of the proposed tunnel is the 
highest point of the road, and from that point, the road 
declines the entire distance to Greenlield and the entire 
distance to Hoosac Falls, N. Y., at a grade of about 31 
feet to tlie mile, so that if a cal^vere started from the cen- 
ter, in either direction, it would, in one instance, run of 
itself to Greenheld, and, in the other, to Iloosac Falls. 
The pi'oposcd tunnel is to enter the mountain on the East- 
ern side of the bank of the Deerlield river, and Avill 
emerge on the Western side, on the bank of the Iloosac 
river, and it is ascertained that these two rivers occupy 
precisely, or very nearly the same, level. Above the pro- 
posed tunnel, the mountain rises at its highest elevation 
1,300 feet, while at no place, except at the ends, does it 
rise less than 800 feet. The project itself is one of the 
boldest and most magnificent ever conceived in America. 
That its consumnuUion is within the bounds of possibility 
is doubtless true, and those who are reputed competent en- 
gineers declare it to be feasible, and witliiu the limits of 


expense indicated by the amo