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Benjamin Lincoln to Daniel Shays in Gazette Regarding Disbanding

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Copy of a letter from Gen. Lincoln, to Capt. Shays.
Hadley, Jan. 30, 1787.

To Captain Shays and the Officers commanding the men in arms against the Government of this Commonwealth.

WHETHER you are convinced or not of your error, in flying to arms; I am fully persuaded that before this hour, you must have the fullest conviction upon your own minds, that you are not able to execute your original purposes.

Your resources are few, your force is inconsiderable and hourly decreasing from the disaffection of your men; you are in a post where you have neither cover nor supplies, and in a situation in which you can neither give aid to your friends, nor discomfort to the supporters of good order and government. Under these circumstances you cannot hesitate a moment to disband your deluded followers. If you should not, I must approach and apprehend the most influential characters among you. Should you attempt to fire upon the troops of government, the consequences must be fatal to many of your men the least guilty. To prevent bloodshed you, will communicate to your privates, that if they will instantly lay down their arms, surrender themselves to government, and take and subscribe the oath of allegiance to this Commonwealth, they shall be recommended to the General Court for mercy. If you should either withhold this information from them, or suffer your people to fire upon our approach, you must be answerable forall the ills which may exist in consequence thereof.
B. LINCOLN, commanding the forces of Government.