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Letter from Governour Gage to the Earl of Dartmouth



Boston, July 20, 1774.

Affairs continue here much in the same situation as when I wrote to your Lordship on the 6th instant, though I don' t find the merchants have repeated their attempt to comply with the Port Bill, with the spirit I hoped for. Materials wanted to carry on trades, I am told, begin to fail; and the carrying molasses and rum twenty-eight miles by land, is found not to answer as well as it was expected it would; but the people are kept up by the assurances of assistance from the other Colonies, where their leaders have contrived to raise a flame, which has not been a little increased by letters, speeches, and paragraphs, sent from England.

South Carolina has sent some rice for the support of the people here. I don' t mean the Province, but some disaffected persons in Charlestown; and a few sheep, it is said, has been sent from some other place; but resources of this kind are too precarious to be depended upon, and must fail them. The great object here has been to persuade the other Colonies to make the cause of Boston the common cause of America; and when the Deputies for holding the general Congress assemble; the Boston faction, it is probable, will pay the rest the compliment of taking their advice; and I understand it to be the opinion of most of the other Colonies, that Boston should begin by indemnifying the India Company. The virulent party at New-York is routed; and we are told that Philadelphia is moderate.

I have not yet received the new Act for the better government of this Province, though it is printed here; and many tell me I must expect all the opposition to the execution of it that can be made. I hope the new Counsellors and the Magistrates will be firm.

The fast day appointed by the faction, was kept in this town on the 14th instant, as generally and punctually as if it had been appointed by authority. I might say the same of most other places, though it was not universal; for in a few places no regard was paid to it; but the League and Covenant has not succeeded as the faction expected.

They rely here to obtain all their ends, on the same measures as they before adopted, viz: an union of the Colonies; a non-importation, if their demands are not satisfied; the assistance of their friends in England, and a general clamour of the merchants and manufacturers.