Bickerstaff's Genuine Boston Almanack for 1787

Date: 1787
Publisher: Bickerstaff's Genuine Boston Almanack for 1787
About this artifact

Many contemporary observers assumed the Massachusetts Regulation could be traced to a few ambitious men. By 1787, Daniel Shays of Pelham had been identified as the "Generalissimo" of the movement that would forever after bear his name. In this illustration from Bickerstaff's Genuine Boston Almanack for 1787 Shays is portrayed on the left, and another prominent Regulator, Job Shattuck of Groton, is on the right. There is no evidence that the man who created this woodcut ever saw either man. It is unlikely, therefore, that this is a true representation of what either Shays or Shattuck looked like. Both men are shown holding swords, signifying their leadership role and military ambitions, and Shattuck holds a flag. The cannon in the background suggests the seriousness of the threat the Regulators posed to the people and government of Massachusetts. Shays and Shattuck, Revolutionary War veterans, wear the uniform coat of a Continental Army officer.

Courtesy National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC