Early in 1787 King was moved by the Shays Rebellion and by the influence of Alexander Hamilton to take a broader view of the general situation, and it was he who introduced the resolution in Congress, on the 21st of February 1787, sanctioning the call for the Philadelphia constitutional convention.
In the autumn of 1786 there was an encounter near the village of East Lee between about 250 adherents of Daniel Shays (many of them from Lee township) and a body of state troops under General John Paterson, wherein the Shays contingent paraded a bogus cannon (made of a yarn beam) with such effect that the state troops fled.
During the Shays' Rebellion Amherst was a centre of disaffection and a rallying-point of the insurgents.
Governor James Bowdoin in1786-1787put down with clemency an almost bloodless insurrection in the western counties (there was strong disaffection, however, as far east as Middlesex), known as the Shays Rebellion, significant of the rife ideas of popular power, the economic distress, and the unsettled political conditions of the years of the Confederation.
Daniel Shays (1747-1825), the leader, was a brave Revolutionary captain of no special personal importance.
About 000 insurgents under Shays assembled at Springfield on the 26th of September to prevent the sitting there of the Supreme Court, from which they feared indictments.
While Lincoln was at Worcester Shays planned to capture the arsenal at Springfield, but on the 25th of January Shepard's men fired upon Shays's followers, killing four and putting the rest to flight.
Two of the insurgent leaders, Daniel Shays and Eli Parsons, escaped to Vermont soon after the rout at Petersham.
In February 1788 Shays and Parsons petitioned for pardon, and this was granted by the legislature in the following June.
Harding, Contest over the Ratification of the Federal Constitution in Massachusetts (Harvard University Studies, New York, 1896); and on the Shays Rebellion compare J.
In 1752 the plantation was incorporated as a "district," and under a general state law of 1775 gained the legal rights of a township. Palmer was a centre of disaffection in the time of the Shays Rebellion.
He was president of the state in1786-1787and in 1789, and in 1786 suppressed an insurrection at Exeter immediately preceding the Shays Rebellion in Massachusetts.
From 1785 to 1787 he was governor of Massachusetts, suppressing with much vigour Shays' Rebellion, and failing to be re-elected largely because it was believed that he would punish the insurrectionists with more severity than would his competitor, John Hancock.
It is the key to an understanding of the times to remember that the War of Independence had disjointed society; and democracy - which Jefferson had proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, and enthroned in Virginia - after strengthening its rights by the sword, had run to excesses, particularly in the Shays' rebellion, that produced a conservative reaction.
For the Shays' rebellion he felt little abhorrence, and wrote:" A little rebellion now and then is a good thing ...
His letters in 1787 on the Shays' rebellion, and his speculations on the doctrine that one generation may not bind another by paper documents.