Shortly after the Revolutionary War, farmers in western Massachusetts banded together in opposition to oppressive austerity measures forced on them by Boston elites.

After more than a dozen nonviolent protests over the course of five months, they eventually won reforms through elections, but not before Daniel Shays and 300 men and their families were hounded out of the state, hunted as outlaws and rebels, and forced to start anew in the mountains of western Vermont.

Click here to learn more about the 1786 protests. You can also follow the Shays Facebook page.

Advanced praise

“Bullen’s book will remove Shays’ Rebellion from the shadows of American history.  This book reads like a novel, but with the research and authority of a scholarly work.”

– Keith Krawczynski, Distinguished Research and Teaching Professor, Honors Professor of History at Auburn University at Montgomery

“Bullen’s vivid prose makes history come alive. We feel the farmers’ pain. We understand why they protested inequities, much as people do today.”
– Ray Raphael, author of The People’s History of the Revolutionary War and, with Marie Raphael, The Spirit of ’74

“This is an important story for our time.”
– Rilla Askew PEN/Faulkner-nominated author of Fire in Beulah and The Mercy Seat

Shays resources

Springfield Technical Community College has created an enormous resource for the Shays Protests.

Archaeologist Steve Butz has been excavating the Shays Settlement on Egg Mountain in Sandgate, Vermont.

The Pelham Meeting House, where the protests were planned, still stands at the top of West Hill in Pelham, and runs tours to the Shays homestead, which is now in the Quabbin Reservoir.