Daily News

Historian to Present Program on Daniel Shays

SPRINGFIELD — Join historian and author Dan Bullen for his presentation, “Captain Daniel Shays & America’s First Nonviolent Protest” at the Springfield Armory Museum on March 9 at 2 p.m.

The program will take place in the museum theater. Admission is free. Reservations are required due to limited seating.

On Jan. 25, 1787, Daniel Shays marched 1,200 farmers and veterans to Springfield to seize the federal arsenal’s stockpiles of weapons, to keep them from falling into the hands of the Governor’s army, which was coming to impose martial law in the Connecticut River Valley.  

For five months, Shays and the farmers of Massachusetts had peacefully protested the state’s economic policies, which explicitly favored the merchant elites, but the governor and other leaders saw the people’s opposition as a threat to the state’s authority. Bullen writes that he found this story deeply engaging “not just as a local history, but as an ongoing story of Americans banding together to protect the liberties they’d won in the Revolution.”

On March 9 Bullen will tell the story of the economic, social, and political factors that brought thousands of men in arms to Springfield in 1787, and ultimately led to reforms in Massachusetts and then to the drafting of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The Springfield Armory National Historic Site it is the location of the nation’s first armory (1794 – 1968) and was established by George Washington. The site includes historic grounds, buildings, and the world’s largest historic American military firearms collection. For further information call (413) 734-8551, or visit  www.nps.gov/spar.

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