I am a senior at Suffield Academy and involved in a project-based learning class. Our goal is to find out more about what happened in Suffield in 1774, regarding freedom, slavery, and its complexities.
My previous research was about John Adams. Through my investigation I found out that both Adams and Washington visited Suffield multiple times. This made me curious to find out who else played an important role in our town?
By using investigation skills, I found out that Joseph Pease, a signer of the resolves, was an important figure in Suffield in the mid 1700s. He was born in Enfield in 1728, and he moved to Suffield in 1750. He raised a large house on High Street, ten years after he moved there. This soon became one of the most notable houses in the town. It was one of the first houses built with a chimney in each end and a hall through the middle. Furthermore, the house was known for having a rare architectural grace. Unfortunately, the house was demolished in 1902.
Moreover, in addition to building a distinct house, my investigations revealed that he was known for advocating liberty. His diary shows that he served in any public capacity required by his town. Another interesting aspect is that he did not own any slaves. This is something that may be surprising, because many of the wealthy men in Suffield owned slaves. By using cross-researching skills, I also learned that he was a farmer. He made twelve to fifteen hundred barrels of cider a year. Most of these were being shipped to Holland. He also had a saw mill.
All of this information shows us he played a big role in Suffield. It also suggest that he was a good man and trusted by the town. As I mentioned, he served in any public capacity required by Suffield. This may be why he, along with King and Granger, were chosen and led up the committee that would later write the resolves. Which was very important work at the mentioned time period. The work he did also shows us that he was committed to the town, as writing the resolves must have taken a lot of time and patient. The three men must have met after being appointed, during a town meeting to discuss and then later to actually write the resolves. The fact that they were able to do all of this also suggest that they had good leadership ability and influence.
Moreover, one of his eleven children, Seth Pease (1764-1819), graduated from Yale just as his father. In addition, Seth Pease served as the first Assistant U.S. Postmaster General under another Suffield native, Gideon Grander Jr. He served under President Thomas Jefferson´s first term.