Printed Material

An Address to the People by Daniel Gray of Pelham

Date: December 27, 1786
Creator: Daniel Gray
Publisher: Hampshire Gazette
About this artifact

Daniel Gray was the richest man in Pelham and was an ardent supporter of the Regulators. Gray lists the grievances which he felt were the causes of the rebellion. These include the method of debt collection which he believes would fill the jails with debtors, and the taxes imposed by the state to help pay off debt accumulated during the war. He also cites the suspension of Habeas Corpus, which allowed men to be arrested and detained without due process, and sent to "any gaol, or other safe place, within the Commonwealth." The Riot Act referred to in item four was passed on October 28, 1786. It stated that the sheriffs, constables and Justices of the Peace "shall be indemnified and held guiltless" if they killed rioters who did not disband. It also provided that the rioters would "forfeit all their lands" and be whipped and imprisoned for up to one year. William Butler began publication of the Hampshire Gazette on September 6, 1786, in Northampton, Massachusetts, 18 days after the Regulators prevented the Court of Common Pleas from convening there. The newspaper often urged support of the government and was generally against the activities of the Regulators. The paper came out on Wednesdays and consisted primarily of articles reprinted from other newspapers.

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Courtesy Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA