|Date:||1770 - 1799|
Justin Hitchcock's eighty-seven-page autobiography, transcribed by his grandson, begins with a philosophical "enquiry into the cause of introducing surnames among Mankind," and ends with a heartfelt lament over the death in 1799 of George Washington, who "came the nearest to perfection in my opinion of any man." A hatter by trade, Hitchcock wore many "hats" in his life; he was a husband and a father, a church deacon and a town clerk, a teacher of singing and a sometime farmer, a friend of government and a Revolutionary War patriot. Hitchcock was among the 40 Deerfield men who marched to Springfield in September, 1786, in answer to the government's call for militia to protect the Supreme Judicial Court. He had little sympathy for the Regulators who closed the Court, describing them as "the Mob." He strongly supported the creation of a stronger central government, noting that "the insurrection in Massachusetts plainly skewed the necessity of a National Government" and hastened the adoption of the new United States Constitution.