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About Shays' Rebellion

This is not intended as a complete history of Shays Rebellion, rather a brief overview for the purpose of presenting a list of participants in Berkshire County. Shays' Rebellion took place between 1786 and 1787 in central and western Massachusetts. It was named after Daniel Shays, a leader of the rebellion. The rebellion began on August 21 1786 and was the result of hard times that followed the Revolutionary War. An economic downfall occurred to to a lack of hard currency and government debt after the Revolutionary War which resulted in higher taxes and new governmental policies. During this time it was also more difficult to obtain imported goods such as tea, coffee, material for clothing, etc. Many citizens fell into debt. The rebellion began with protesters shutting down the courts to stop any judicial proceedings regarding taxes and debtors. The rebels saw the new rules and taxes as unjust. The rebellion was a military action involving local militia representing the government against the dissatisfied rebels. Because the militia was comprised of local men, many on the opposing sides knew each other. Since many of the men who participated in the rebellion also were soldiers in the Revolutionary War, many wore their war uniforms and conducted operations much as a military operation. The rebels were organized. The rebellion was successful in their first objective to shut down the courts in Springfield and Northampton.

For more information on the rebellion there is an excellent detailed website here.

A List of Participants

This document is a list of men from Berkshire County who were "apprehended and committed" as a result of their participation on the rebel side of Shays Rebellion. The date of apprehension for all is February 12, 1787.

NamePlace of AbodeNamePlace of Abode
Thomas GouldPittsfieldMoses WardPittsfield
Andrew YoungWilliamstownOliver PowersPittsfield
Barachiah JohnsonWilliamstownWilliam FrancisPittsfield
Moses YoungWilliamstownRufus AllenPittsfield
Stirling DanielsWilliamstownFrancis BurdickPittsfield
Isbon GregoryNew AshfordJoseph FairfieldPittsfield
Abel KentNew AshfordDaniel HubbardPittsfield
David BaxterNew AshfordJared IngersolPittsfield
William RiceNew AshfordNathan LeonardWorthington
Elijah JonesPittsfieldElijah MorseWorthington
Joseph ChamberlainDaltonObidiah PalmerWorthington
Jonathan BassettDaltonHezikiah PartridgeWorthington
Samuel WileyDaltonAsa HowardCumington
Amos SpaffordDaltonJosiah ToryPlainfield??

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