Early History of West Springfield

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Early History of West Springfield In 1774, as the citizens of the thirteen colonies thought about declaring their independence from their mother country, England, the people of West Springfield were celebrating their independence from their mother town of Springfield. They requested incorporation of their town from the General Court for two reasons: a growing discontent with the representation that Springfield chose to send to the General Court and with the difficulties of geography. What was then called the Great River Connecticut separated the parish of West Springfield from Springfield making voting and attending town meetings difficult. On February 23rd, 1774, the Act of Incorporation was approved and West Springfield became a town. On April 19, 1775, British soldiers attacked the towns of Lexington and Concord. When the news reached West Springfield a company of minutemen composed of West Springfield’s citizens began the nearly one hundred mile march to the west on April 20th. Captain Enoch Chapin, First Lieutenant Samuel Fowler and Second Lieutenant Luke Day led fifty men westward to aid their fellow colonists. They were part of a larger regiment led by Colonel Patterson. At the end of their month long service, the minutemen returned home. A majority of the men would later re-enlist. In 1776, in response to the call for the creation of a Continental Army, Massachusetts raised over five thousand men. Of them, West Springfield contributed forty-eight, the largest total of any western Massachusetts town. Many of West Springfield’s men would fight for the freedom of America. James Wade (1750-1826) fought at the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill before being captured and spent the remainder of the ... ... middle of paper ... ... were marked with heroism and sacrifice as a young nation and her people struggled to become the great nation we are today. Bibliography: Swift, Esther. West Springfield Massachusetts: A Town History. Springfield, MA: 1969. Bagg, J.N. Account of the Centennial Celebration of the town of West Springfield. West Springfield: 1874. Lockwood, Rev. John, Ernest Newton Bagg, Walter Carson, Herbert Riley, Edward Boltwood and Will Clark, eds. Western Massachusetts: A History 1636-1925. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1926. Massachusetts Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Soldiers and Sailors Whose Graves Have Been Designated by the Marker of the Society. Boston: MA Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, 1901.

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