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Extract of a Letter from Boston, to a Gentleman in Philadelphia, Dated Saturday, April 1, 1775



On Thursday last at daylight, the Troops beat to arms; five Regiments marched out with Earl Percy at their head; it was supposed they were going to Concord, where our Provincial Congress is now sitting. A quantity of provisions and warlike stores, I understand, is lodged there. Several expresses were immediately sent away to give notice of their inarching. Important consequences were apprehended; but happily they only went a few miles out of Boston and returned again. The Town and Country were alarmed; many of the neighbouring country Towns immediately mustered, and got equipped for a march. It has giver such uneasiness, that Committees from twelve of the near Towns have met upon it, and intend sending a Petition to the Provincial Congress representing this affair to them, desiring they would take up the matter, and remonstrate to the General upon it. The Troops went out of the common road; marched over the people' s land — some where their grain was sown — and gardens; broke down their fences, walls, &c˙, and doing other injuries. It is thought such proceedings will bring on bad consequences, unless prevented. The late conduct of the Regulars, in tarring and feathering a countryman, headed by one of their Colonels, and other Officers, and the spirited remonstrance it occasioned from the Selectmen of the Town of Billerica to General Gage, has made much talk.

The military spirit and resolution prevailing in this Province, in support of their liberties and Constitution, is astonishing. I hope we shall soon, have some good news from home, to prevent any breaking out, which I begin to fear, especially if the troops continue their marchings out. I have heard that forty or fifty of the troops were so fatigued by their march on Thursday, that they could not keep up with their fellow soldiers on their return. It is said they are intending to go out again soon. The Provincial grand magazine of provisions and warlike stores is kept at Worcester, about forty-four miles from Boston.