Category Archives: Critical Cross-Referencing Skills

Joseph Pease and His Role in the Resolves

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.



John Adams, a complex reporter

I am a senior at Suffield Academy and I am 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, Loyalists in Suffield in 1774. Through my investigation I found some important document. One of the document I found contains names of Loyalist that were in Suffield in 1774. This made me wonder: Can I find more documents during the mentioned time period?

By using researching skills, I found a diary written by John Adams. By using investigation skills, I found a page that states that John Adams was in Suffield November 5th 1774.  It was immediately interesting for our class to learn that John Adams had been to our town in 1774. John Adams was an important lawyer and patriot from Massachusetts. He was part of the First Continental Congress that took place in 1774-1775. He later became the second president of the United States. Moreover, John Adams was a complex intellectual. In the after math of the Boston Massacre, he showed his passion for the law and acted on his belief that everyone deserves a fair trial. He agreed to defend the soldiers from Great Britain. He argued that the troops had acted in self-defense. The Boston jury agreed, and six of the soldiers were found not guilty. By defending the British soldiers, he went against his patriot beliefs as well as his cousin´s, Samuel Adams.

Moreover, by looking through the diary of John Adams we realized he was a good reporter, who will help our class learn more about freedom and slavery in 1774. For instance, when he was near Suffield and stayed overnight at an Inn in Palmer, Massachusetts, he describes an interesting discussion. In the diary page from November 5th 1774, he talked about Parliament´s recent Acts with a Scottish Presbyterian couple. They also discussed trade, economy, and politics. Interestingly, he agreed with these “zealous Americans” who were of another faith and belief than his Congregationalist´s ideas.

“The People in this Part of Connecticutt, make Potash, and raise a great Number of Colts, which they send to the West Indies, and barter away for Rum &c. They trade with Boston and New York but most to New York. They say there is a much greater Demand for Flaxseed of which they raise a great deal, at N. York, than there is at Boston, and they get a better Price for it. Kibby at Somers keeps a Shop, and sells W. India goods and English Trinketts, keeps a Tavern, and petty foggs it”.     – John Adams (thoughts on trade in Enfield, CT). 

Moreover, I was excited to find that this important leader of the revolution traveled through Suffield. I started wondering: Had John Adams ever been to Suffield before? Why did he visit our town? What impact did his visit have on the community?

By using cross-referencing skills I found a reference to John Adams in Robert Treat Paine´s diary. This diary states that Paine and John Adams were also in Suffield on August 10th 1774. (While it is likely that John Adams traveled through our area because it was a common pathway between Boston and New York). Moreover, I still want to find more about John Adam´s reason for visiting Suffield, and what impact his visit had. I hope to find out more about this in the time to come. By using more cross-referencing skills, team work and investigation skills I will look thorough more of the pages from the John Adams Diary and mention of John Adams in other local diaries. I also want to research if there were any other important historical figures in Suffield in the 1770s it the diary pages.



I am a senior at and I am involved in a project-based learning class. Over the course of the winter term 2016 and the spring term 2017 the class main goal is to find out more about freedom, slavery, and the complexities in 1774. After the Boston Tea Party, the English Parliament drafted ”The Coercive Acts” in 1774. Many people throughout the thirteen colonies protested against these acts. For instance, in the town of Sheffield, Massachusetts, Colonel Ashley hosted citizens at his house. This group composed the Sheffield Resolves. Moreover, one of his slaves, Elizabeth Freeman, also known as Mum Bett, was inspired by this and later successfully sued for her freedom. Each student in the class is investigating different areas regarding this topic. For instance, some of my peers are looking into: slaves in Suffield during this time, the Boston Tea Party, an slave called, Old ”Ti”.

I want to find out more about Loyalists in Connecticut, but mainly in Suffield. I started to look into Connecticut first in order to get a better understanding and perspective of the bigger picture, before I went deeper into Suffield`s history. By using critical thinking skills I have been able to gatherer some background information about Loyalists in the period after “the Declaration of independence” was written. The document formally announced the colonies break from Great Britain. However, a number of colonists were against this and sided with Britain. These were known as Loyalists. I have researched many interesting things regarding the Loyalist in Connecticut. I learned that during the American Revolution they made up approximately 20% of the population in the colonies, and that 6% of the adult population in Connecticut were Loyalists. This is approximately 2000 – 2500 of the people in the state, which I regard as a quite high number. But did Suffield have any Loyalists? And if so, who were they?

After research on the internet and by using cross-referencing skills, I found out that there is a document named; “Revered Samuel Peter´s list” in the Kent Memorial Library in Suffield.  Allegedly there were at least four Loyalist in Suffield in 1774. Their names were: Alexander King, Captain Shem Burbank, Seth Austin and Isaac Pomeroy. Now my plan is to get access to documents and this way  to learn more about the document. First, I will go to the Kent Memorial Library to look at the “Revered Samuel Peter´s list” first hand, to check if this information is right. If so, I will use research skills to figure out some major question, like: who were these men? Why did they come to Suffield? How long had they lived in Suffield before 1774? What was their standing and position in the town? Why did they support Great Britain? And did they have families, wives, children, etc? Another thing I would like to do next is to get access to the book/document: “Connecticut’s Loyalists”. I believe this document will tell us more about why the Loyalists in Connecticut sided with Great Britain during the Revolutionary War. Furthermore, I have one more person I would like to research: “Hannah Barton”. I learned about her by doing extensive research on the internet. She is an interesting person, because she was born in Suffield in 1774 and was supposedly the daughter of Roger Barton, a Loyalist from New York. The fact that she was born in Suffield might suggest that Barton also was in Suffield in the late 1700s.  I have yet not find anything to support this statement, but I hope to find more about this in the time to come.


Researching and Understanding Hanchett’s War Experience


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As we delve deeper into Hanchett’s Revolutionary War record, we should keep in mind that he left Suffield as a Lieutenant on his way to the Lexington Alarm. When he left with Arnold for the wilderness campaign to invade Canada and siege Quebec, he was a captain. Several accounts that I have read explain that higher ranking officers met with captains to discuss how best to move forward given the problems that the soldiers had with maps, weather, and faulty boats. So that puts our figure right in the heart of discussions! Also note during this long march to Quebec how other Connecticut troops abandoned the march. Can we find out how that affected other troops who continued on with the fight? Read this article to get an overview. Remember, Wikipedia is a good gateway to the topic. Let’s also reflect on how this article can be improved; we will do that revision work with my Wikipedia account (I have some digital “cred” with this organization).

Also review this article as we want to learn the battle from Arnold’s point of view, which was also Hanchett’s point of view. In both situations, utilize critical cross referencing skills and explore a few sources.

Roger Enos is an interesting figure for us to understand how he chose the opposite of Hanchett and retreated. How does his path juxtapose with Arnold and Hanchett’s? What happened to his life after that decision? Note, too, how he was older and a veteran of the French and Indian War; we’ll also show you in class how he was connected to another famous Suffield veteran of that war. Check out this link to reflect on a larger text that might help us understand Hanchett’s role: