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Agreement Between General Gage and the Town of Boston



Boston, ss.

At a meeting of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, legally warned, on Saturday, the 22d day of April, A˙ D˙ 1775,

The Hon˙ JAMES BOWDOIN, Esq˙, Moderator.

The Moderator informed the Town that the present meeting was in consequence of an interview between his Excellency General Gage and the Selectmen, at his desire, and mentioned the substance of the conversation that passed; and also that the Selectmen, with the advice and assistance of a number of gentlemen, had prepared several votes, which they thought it might be proper for the Town to pass; and which, in conjunction with, the assurances that had been given to his Excellency by the Selectmen, they apprehended, from the interview aforesaid, would be satisfactory to his Excellency: Whereupon, the Honourable James Bowdoin, Esquire, Ezekiel Goldthwait, Esq˙, Mr˙ Henderson Inches, Mr˙ Edward Payne, Mr˙ Alexander Hill, together with the Selectmen, viz: John Scollay, Esquire, Mr˙ Timothy Newell, Mr˙ Samuel Austin, Thomas Marshall, Esquire, and Mr˙ John Pitts were appointed a Committee to consider of this important matter, and were desired to report as soon as may be.

The said Committee made report, and, after some debate, the two following Votes passed unanimously, viz:

His Excellency General Gage, in an interview with the Selectmen, having represented that there was a large body of men in arms assembled in the neighbourhood of this Town, with hostile intentions against His Majesty' s Troops stationed here, and that in case the Troops should be attacked by them, and the attack should be aided by the inhabitants of the Town, it might issue in very unhappy consequences to the Town : For prevention whereof, his Excellency assured the Selectmen, that whatever might be the event of the attack, he would take effectual care that the Troops should do no damage, nor commit any act of violence in the Town; but that the lives and properties of the inhabitants should be protected and secured, if the inhabitants behaved peaceably: And the Selectmen, in behalf of the Town, engaged for the peaceable behaviour of the inhabitants accordingly. In confirmation of which engagement,

Voted, That as the Town have behaved peaceably towards the Troops hitherto, they hereby engage to continue to do so; and the Peace Officers and all other Town Officers are enjoined, and the Magistrates, and all persons of influence in the Town, are earnestly requested to exert their utmost endeavours to preserve the peace of the Town. The Town at the same time relies on the assurances of his Excellency that no insult, violence, or damage shall be done to the persons or property of the inhabitants, either by the Troops or the King' s Ships, whatever may be the event of the attack his Excellency seems to apprehend; but of which attack we have no knowledge or information whatever, as all communication between the Town and Country has been interrupted by his Excellency' s order ever since the collection of the body aforesaid.

Whereas the communication between this Town and the Country, both by land and by water, is at present stopped by order of His Excellency General Gage, and the inhabitants cannot be supplied with Provisions, Fuel, and other necessaries of life; by which means the sick and all invalids must suffer greatly and immediately, and the inhabitants in general be distressed, especially such (which is by much the greatest part) as have not had the means of laying


in a stock of provisions, but depend for supplies from the country for their daily support, and may he in danger of perishing, unless the communication be opened: Therefore,

Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to wait on his Excellency General Gage, to represent to him the state of the Town in this regard, and to remind his Excellency of his declarations in answer to Addresses made to him when the works on the Neck were erecting, viz: "That he had no intention of stopping up the avenue to the Town, or of obstructing the inhabitants or any of the country people corning in or going out of the Town as usual; that he had no intention to prevent the free egress and regress of any person to and from the Town, or of reducing it to the state of a garrison; that he could not possibly intercept the intercourse between the Town and Country;" that "it is his duty and interest to encourage it; and it is as much inconsistent with his duty and interest to form the strange scheme of reducing the inhabitants to a state of humiliation and vassalage, by stopping their supplies." Also, to represent to him that, in consequence of these repeated assurances of his Excellency, the fears and apprehensions of the inhabitants had generally subsided, and many persons, who had determined to remove with their effects, have remained in Town, whilst others largely concerned in navigation had introduced many valuable goods, in full confidence of the promised security. That the Town think his Excellency incapable of acting oh principles inconsistent with honour, justice, and humanity, and therefore that they desire his Excellency will please to give orders for opening the communication, not only for bringing Provisions, into the Town, but also that the inhabitants, such of them as incline, may retire from the Town with their effects without molestation.

The same Committee were appointed to wait upon the General with the foregoing votes.

Then the meeting was adjourned to Sabbath morning, ten o' clock.