Manuscript

Elihu Ashley Diary Excerpt

Date: August 31, 1774
Creator: Elihu Ashley
About this artifact

Elihu Ashley (1750-1817) was a physician in Deerfield, Massachusetts, and a member of a prominent family. He kept a journal from 1773 to 1775. While his early entries from 1773 focus on his social life and the courtship of his future wife, later pages reveal how Ashley became involved in the volatile political climate in the months before the Revolution. In 1774, Ashley, along with Seth Catlin and Phineas Munn, stealthily sawed off the 45-foot "Liberty Pole" that had recently been erected in front of David Field's Deerfield store. The "Sons of Liberty" erected liberty poles, sometimes topped by liberty caps or flags, as signs of solidarity against the British government.

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Courtesy Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA