Printed Material

Massachusetts Disqualification Act, February 16, 1787

Date: 1787
Publisher: Hampshire Gazette
About this artifact

The Disqualification Act was passed by the House and Senate of Massachusetts on February 16, 1787. It sets forth conditions for granting pardons to the men who participated in Shays' Rebellion as privates or non-commissioned officers. The men were required to turn in their guns and take an oath of allegiance delivered by a Justice of the Peace. The Justice of the Peace was then required to relay the men's names to the clerks of their towns. The men were barred from serving as jurors, members of town or state government and certain professions for three years. They also lost their right to vote in town elections. The men would forfeit their pardons if they did not follow those rules. However, if they could prove their unfailing allegiance to the state on or after May 1, 1788, they would no longer be barred from being a juror, voting or being members of government or certain professions.

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Courtesy Petersham Historical Society, Petersham, MA