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January 1784: English Parliament closes the Indies ports to American shipping, precipitating a crisis for American merchants

Early-mid October: General Court passes a Riot Act, suspends Habeas Corpus, indemnifies sheriffs against liability of they kill or injure protestors

Government side

The people's side

Summer 1785: James Bowdoin is elected Governor, levies aggressive taxes that must be paid in coin. This results in seizures of land and property, imprisonment of debtors

July 18: General Court adjourns for the summer, without issuing any reforms

September 2: James Bowdoin issues a proclamation declaring that the people have introduced “riot, anarchy and confusion” into the commonwealth

September 13: Emergency meeting in Faneuil Hall: Merchants endorse Samuel Adams’ statement that “men who rebel against the laws of a republic ought to die”

September 18: Worcester Supreme Judicial Court issues arrest warrants for 11 protest leaders

November: Exeter, NH: Governor Sullivan surrounds protestors, humiliates 39 leaders, arrests 5

November 28: Groton, MA: 400 horsemen arrest Job Shattuck and two others; Shattuck crippled

January 10, 1787: Governor Bowdoin issues arrest warrants for Shays and 16 other leaders

January 19, 1787: Benjamin Lincoln departs Boston with 2,000 men, to arrest protest leaders and open the courts

Spring through summer, 1786: Farmers’ petition for reforms but are ignored

August 22-25: Hatfield Convention – 50 Hampshire County towns petition for reforms

August 29: 1,500 Regulators close the Northampton Court of Common Pleas

September 3-12: Regulators close the Courts of Common Pleas in Worcester, Concord, Taunton and Great Barrington

September 25-29: Daniel Shays and 2,000 Regulators surround the Springfield Supreme Judicial Court without violence

October 23: Note circulates over Shays’ name, calling for men to be armed and ready

November 21: Daniel Shays and 350 picked men ride to Worcester to close the court there – without violence

December 5: Daniel Shays and 350 picked men close the court in Worcester – without violence

January 19, 1787: Shays, Day and Parsons gather 2,200 men in Pelham, West Springfield, Chicopee, but wait till January 23 to march to Springfield

January 25, 1787: Daniel Shays and 1,200 men are repulsed from the Springfield arsenal with cannon fire, killing four, wounding 2

February 4, 1787: Petersham, MA: Lincoln routs Shays out of the state

January 1784: English Parliament closes the Indies ports to American shipping, precipitating a crisis for

April 1, 1787: The people of Massachusetts go to their polls and re-elect John Hancock, who issues pardons & reforms

June 21, 1787: Northampton, MA: Henry McCullough and Jason Parmenter’s hangings called off at the last moment.
John Hancock would ultimately issue pardons, along with reforming Bowdoin’s taxes and threats.


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