Printed Material

Governor's Proclamation, September 2, 1786

Date: September 2, 1786
Creator: Governor James Bowdoin
About this artifact

Governor Bowdoin issued this strongly worded proclamation after hundreds of Regulators prevented the Court of Common Pleas from opening in Northampton on August 29, 1786. Bowdoin said the Regulators acted in contempt and open defiance of the government. The proclamation expressed the concern that their actions would lead to riots, anarchy and the downfall of the government. Governor Bowdoin strongly urged the people of the Commonwealth to help prevent and suppress "all such treasonable proceedings" so that the freedom and independence that was won in the recent Revolution would be preserved. Samuel Adams was an influential adviser to Governor Bowdoin; the harsh tone of this proclamation reflected his belief that "in monarchies the crime of treason and rebellion may admit of being pardoned or lightly punished, but the man who dares rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death."

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Courtesy Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, NY, NY