The Mohicans of Stockbridge

By Patrick Frazier | Go to book overview

16
JOINING THE BROTHERS AGAINST THE FATHER

The Mohican struggle to stay alive as a nation coincided with the colonial struggle that resulted in the birth of a new nation. While the Stockbridges contended with poverty, debt, disposition of their land, and the condition of their souls, many other Americans contended with a stamp act, a tea tax, and the quartering of British soldiers. Rather than become the stepchildren of history, the Stockbridge Indians chose to join the Revolutionary family.

Berkshire County kept apace with, and sometimes anticipated, the rebellious steps being taken in Boston. On July 6, 1774, sixty delegates from several towns met in Stockbridge for two days. They passed resolutions that declared the tea tax illegal and the abolishment of trial by jury unconstitutional and oppressive. Timothy Edwards and Erastus Sergeant were members of a committee that forged an agreement to boycott British goods. The agreement also provided for a boycott of any trader or shopkeeper who refused to sign the agreement. Anyone who did not sign the agreement was to be treated with all due neglect. In the fall two militia regiments were raised.1

On November 2, Stephen West indicated that "we are making preparations for war. One man out of four is to be immediately inlisted. . . . The general officers are appointed, their names, however, at present kept secret." Commissaries were being established for "warlike stores," he said. "Everything forebodes the next to be a bloody summer. The

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