Sunderland — Revolutionary Reminiscences
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
Capt. Israel Hubbard was sent a delegate to the Provincial Congress in 1774, and the town placed on record its approval of the "doings" of the Continental Congress held at Philadelphia, Sept. 5, 1774. Daniel Montague was sent to the Congress at Cambridge in 1775, in which year also the town stocked up with powder, and agreed to allow Minute-Men 1s. 6d. per day for three days, to be spent "in learning the art of exercising the firelock," and the town agreed also to pay the same price per day for four days more, provided the Minute-Men applied themselves to the business, and if not they should have no pay. Further provision was made that if the men should, after spending their time in training, refuse to serve in the business for which they enlisted, they should receive no wages. A training-master was hired at an expense of £1 5s. for one day each week, and an appropriation was also made to pay for the services of a drummer.
In 1775, Israel Hubbard was the delegate to the Congress at Watertown, and the town committee of correspondence consisted of Jedediah Clark, Daniel Montague, Deacon Field, Stephen Scott, and Daniel Hubbard. Dr. Moses Gunn, who was a representative in 1774, received for his services £3 14s. 4d. In 1775 the Lexington alarm found Sunderland eager to spring to the rescue. Troops were sent forward, and directly thereafter the town voted "that we are willing to do something for our soldiers who have gone forth to defend our rights and privileges, and that we send provisions to them."
In 1777, Israel Hubbard was chosen representative, and instructed as follows:
"Sir, Taking into our consideration, in this important crisis, the critical situation of our bleeding country, on the account of our Domestic Enemies, we do think it our duty to instruct you to move early in this session of the Great and General Court that they send out a proper test or oath of allegiance to the State, to discover our Enemies from our Friends, so explicit that we may discern them, and that something be done to prevent the undervaluing of our Paper Currency; and as to setting up Government, that you take Common Sense for your Guide, more especially that paragraph cited from Draco,—i.e., That he shall merit the applause of ages that will contrive the greatest degree of individual happiness with the least expense; and that we presume will not be in having two houses, the one to negative the other."
The representative chosen in 1778 was instructed as follows:
"Voted that upon hearing the articles of Confederation, together with the advice of the General Assembly, we will give our Representatives instructions in that affair, taking into consideration the expediency of a Confederation and union of the free States of America; think that the necessity for such union was never greater or more evident than at this day. Doth not our Salvation depend upon it? All the whole world without this cannot save us, but with it we may be safe without the assistance of any. We think it a matter of greatimportance that our country should be saved, and union is the means of safety. Compact the bond of union, and this may be the means of preventing any farther attack, and our greater security against them is made; for to be in preparation for defence, is defence. This will secure against falling to pieces, and it is the beat guard against the seeds of discord and corruption our enemies would sow among us; whereas to neglect the necessary means of our safety is to invite distraction and criminally expose ourselves to its ravages. We therefore instruct you, Sir, that you use your influence that the Legislature of this State authorize their Delegates in Congress of the United States to ratify the said thirteen articles."
In 1779 six soldiers were wanted for "Claverack," and 40s. a month were offered each man, in wheat at 4s., Indian corn at 2s., and the soldiers were under this agreement to return their State's wages to the town. About this time a bounty of £60 was paid to Joseph Martehaul, Jr., John Tuttel, and Eben Whitney for enlisting. In 1780 nine six months' men were called for, and for them the town offered per man £300 bounty, and £3 in silver or gold per month, or wheat, rice, Indian corn, or neat cattle at silver-money price, the town to draw the men's wages. Eleven six months' men were paid £2100 bounty, and eight three months' men were paid a bounty of £150 per man, with £1 per month in addition to the pay from the State.
In 1780 three horses were ordered by the General Court, and the town raised £4000 to buy Continental beef. Six men were raised early this year, and then the town resolved to inquire how other towns procured soldiers, and to see, also, if other towns in the county were willing to call a county convention.
In 1781 the town consulted with six men who had enlisted, about their taking neat cattle as part of their wages. At this time the common rate of exchange was one dollar in silver for seventy-five Continental dollars. In 1782, 40s. per month (810) and a pair of shoes were offered per man for soldiers.
Sunderland was opposed to the war of 1812, and, upon selecting Simeon Ballard as a delegate to the anti-war convention at Northampton, adopted the following:
"That, considering the present state of public affairs, the town sincerely deprecates war with Great Britain, as it will necessarily bring us into an alliance with France, which we wish to avoid as one of the greatest national calamities."
Among those who were drafted into the service from Sunderland in 1814 were Leslie Clark, Levi Boutwell, Lieut. Thomas Fields, Ransom Rice, Elijah Hubbard, and Asahel Rice. The last of the above to die was Levi Boutwell, whose death occurred in Leverett in 1878.
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05 Aug 2005