Resolve to Ask Permission to Pursue Insurgents in Other States

Date: March 8, 1787
About this artifact

After February 4, 1787, Regulators fearing arrest and imprisonment fled Massachusetts. The state government was very interested in apprehending these men, especially those identified as leaders, and "bringing them to Justice". The Massachusetts Legislature was concerned that Regulators could set up bases on the border of neighboring states and cross over to attack people in Massachusetts. This resolve of the House and Senate authorizes Governor James Bowdoin to write to the United States Congress to ask permission that the Massachusetts militia be allowed to enter other states, arrest known and suspected Regulators, and bring them back to Massachusetts. Article IV of the U.S. Articles of Confederation provided for the return from other states of "any person guilty of, or charged with, treason, felony, or other high misdemeanor" upon the request of the Governor. This resolve took the issue farther by asking that the Massachusetts militia be permitted to enter other states, a situation not addressed in the Articles of Confederation.

text transcription icon

Courtesy Massachusetts State Archives, Boston, MA