Shelburne — Revolutionary Recollections

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      In 1773 the district appointed Messrs. Samuel Fellows, David Wells, Robert Wilson, Ebenezer Fisk, John Taylor, Stephen Kellogg, and Moses Hawks a committee to consult upon the resolves of the House of Representatives, and their report was subsequently transmitted to Boston.
      In 1774, Minute-Men were promised 1s. in lawful money for each half-day spent in training, two half-days each week for four weeks, and such as failed to report twice a week were to be fined 2s. for each half-day they missed.
      In 1775 the committee of correspondence consisted of David Wells, Ebenezer Allis, John Wells, Robert Wilson, Stephen Kellogg, Aaron Skinner, and John Burdick. In that year Samuel Fellows was chosen to attend the Congress at Watertown. The General Court was also requested "to petition the Continental Congress to have them take some of the wages of the officers of our army."
      In 1776 it was voted that "this town will stand by the Honorable Continental Congress with their lives and fortunes, if their Honors think it expedient to declare us independent of the kingdom of Great Britain, for the safety of our rights and privileges."
      Early in 1777 the district refused to raise any money to hire Continental soldiers, but shortly thereafter began to offer a bounty of £18 each for three years' men, £6 to be paid upon the man's passing muster, and £6 annually afterward. Stephen Kellogg's negro man, Charles, was one of the recruits, and it was agreed that he should have as much as the others. A committee of five men was chosen "to prosecute all breaches of an act in addition to and for amending and more effectually carrying into effect an act entitled an act to prevent monopoly and oppression, and of the act preventing monopoly and oppression."
      The last district meeting called in his Majesty's name was held in February, 1776.
      In 1779 the district resolved to take the oath of allegiance to the United States of America, and declared that all persons refusing to take it should be prosecuted according to law. The General Court was petitioned touching the district's delinquency of Continental soldiers, and in 1780 renewed efforts to secure men were made by offering £100 per man for three months' men, and £200 for six months' men.
      As an evidence of the district's determination to be perseveringly patriotic, a vote in 1779 recorded that "this town will agree as a town in raising soldiers from the beginning to the end of the war."
      In 1783 it was voted,—

      "Whereas, this town received a resolve of the town of Boston respecting the return of conspirators and absentees to the State, therefore be it voted that this town will at all times, as it has done to the utmost of their power, oppose every enemy to the just rights and liberties of mankind, and it is the opinion of this town that those conspirators and absentees ought never to be suffered to return, but to be excluded from having a lot or portion among us."

      Among the citizens of Shelburne who fought in the war of the Revolution were Martin Severance, Samuel Severance, David Anderson, James Anderson, Abner Peck, Col. David Wells, John Fellows, Lieut. Jacob Pool, Samuel Smead, Deacon William Long, Stephen Long, Reuben Bardwell, Benjamin Nash, Dr. John Long (army surgeon), Asa Nims, and Elisha Barnard (who was present at the execution of Maj. Andre, the spy).
      In 1814 a draft was ordered for troops to march to Boston. Capt. Thaddeus Merrill conducted the draft, and fourteen men were drawn, as follows: Stebbins Allen, Daniel Anderson, David Anderson (2d), Medad Bardwell, Ira Barnard, George Bull, George W. Carpenter, Thomas Goodnow, David . Long, Alexander Fisk, William McCallister, Samuel Nims, William Phillips, Jesse Wilson.
      The town voted, in July, 1812, that "under existing circumstances we will not support a war and fight Great Britain, and that we will not form an offensive alliance with France." William Wells was then chosen to attend the peace convention at Northampton.
      At the same meeting the records relate,—

      "Counted pools on the subject of war, and there were ninety-seven; and Samuel Dodge, Amos Allen, Stephen Taylor, and Nathan Drury voted against the war measure."

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08 Jul 2005