Shays, Daniel (shāz) [key], c.1747–1825, American soldier and insurrectionist, b. probably in Hopkinton, Mass. A farmer from W Massachusetts, he fought the British in the American Revolution and was made a captain of the 5th Massachusetts Regiment in 1777. After the war he settled at Pelham, Mass., and became a leader in the revolt of small farmers that resulted from postwar economic depression; the uprising became known as Shays's Rebellion. After the defeat of the insurgents in Feb., 1787, Shays fled to Vermont. He was finally pardoned in June, 1788, and later moved to New York state.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.