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Governour Wentworth to Governour Gage



Portsmouth, New-Hampshire, December 14, 1774.

SIR: I have the honour to receive your Excellency' s letter of the 9th instant, with the letter from the Secretary of State, which were both delivered to me op Monday evening last by Mr˙ Whiting.

It is with the utmost concern I am called upon by my duty to the King, to communicate to your Excellency a most unhappy affair perpetrated here this day.

Yesterday in the afternoon, Paul Revere arrived in this Town, express from a Committee in Boston to another Committee in this Town, and delivered his despatch to Mr˙ Samuel Cutts, a Merchant of this Town, who immediately convened the Committee, of which he is one, and as I learn, laid it before them. This day, about noon, before any suspicions could be had of their intentions, about four hundred men were collected together, and immediately proceeded to his Majesty' s Castle, William and Mary, at the entrance of this Harbour, and forcibly took possession thereof, notwithstanding the best defence ,that could be made by Captain Cochran, (whose conduct has been extremely laudable, as your Excellency Will see by the enclosed letter from him,) and by violence, carried off upwards of one hundred barrels of Powder, belonging to the King, deposited in the Castle. I am informed that expresses have been circulated through the neighbouring Towns, to collect a number of people to-morrow, or as soon as possible, to carry away all the Cannon and Arms belonging to the Castle, which they will undoubtedly effect, unless some assistance should arrive from Boston in time to prevent it. This


event too plainly proves the imbecility of this Government to carry into execution his Majesty' s Order in Council, for seizing and detaining Arms and Ammunition imported into this Province, without some strong Ships-of-War in this Harbour: neither is this Province or Custom House Treasury in any degree safe, if it should come into the mind of the popular leaders to seize upon them.

The principal persons who took lead in this enormity are well known. Upon the best information I can obtain, this mischief originates from the publishing the Secretary of State' s letter, and the King' s Order in Council, at Rhode-Island, prohibiting the exportation of Military Stores from Great Britain, and the proceedings in that Colony in consequence of it, which have been published here by the forementioned Mr˙ Revere, and the despatch brought, before which all was perfectly quiet and peaceable here.

I am, &c˙,


To the Honourable Governour Gage.