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Letter from Governour Gage to the Earl of Dartmouth


WEDNESDAY, March 8, 1775.

The Lord North presented to the House, by his Majesty' s command, the following

Copy of a Letter from the Honourable Governour Gage to the Earl of Dartmouth, dated Boston, 27th January,1775.

"MY LORD: We have information often from the country, that the Towns in this Province become more divided, notwithstanding the endeavours used to keep up their enthusiasm; and the tyranny and oppressive acts exercised against persons deemed friends of Government, has driven them in several places to combine together for their mutual defence. Where the majority in a Township has been


averse to their measures, the faction has employed their adherents in neighbouring Towns to join and form bodies sufficient to force them, by numbers, to sign recantations, which has been attended generally with violence and ill usage. The Town of Marshfield, with part of that of Scituate, having been lately under terrours of that kind from the threats of their neighbours, for having formed some Associations amongst themselves, applied to me for protection; and I have sent a detachment of one hundred men to their relief. It is the first instance of an application to Government for assistance, which the faction has ever tried to persuade the people they would never obtain, but be left to themselves.

"Governour Wentworth has acquainted me of a quantity of Tea burnt by the populace at Portsmouth, and that the Magistrates have not support sufficient to enable them to apprehend any of the people concerned in the attack of Fort William and Mary, or keep them safe in jail after commitment, and desires that two Regiments may be stationed at Portsmouth. No quarters are yet prepared for them, nor am I informed how they are to be quartered, and I must send an officer to the Governour to settle those matters with him, previous to the moving any Troops.

"People are waiting determinations from home, which will probably make great alterations in proceedings here.

"I have the honour to be, my Lord, &c˙,


This Letter enclosed the copy of a Petition of the Magistrates and sundry Inhabitants of Scituate and Marshfield.

Ordered, That the said Papers be referred to the consideration of the Committee of the Whole House, to whom it is referred to consider further of the several Papers which were presented to the House by the Lord North, upon the 19th and 31st days of January last, and the 1st, 15th, and 24th days of February last, and the 3d day of this instant, March, by his Majesty' s command.