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Letter from Governour Gage to Peyton Randolph



Boston, October 20, 1774.

SIR: Representations should be made with candour, and matters stated exactly as they stand. People would be led to believe, from your letter to me of the 10th instant, that works were raised against the Town of Boston, private property invaded, the Soldiers suffered to insult the inhabitants, and the communication between the Town and Country shut up and molested.

Nothing can be farther from the true situation of this place than the above state. There is not a single gun pointed against the Town, no man' s property has been seized or hurt, except the Kind' s by the people' s destroying straw, bricks, &c˙, bought for his service. No Troops have given less cause for complaint, and greater care was never taken to prevent it, and such care and attention was never more necessary, from the insults and provocations daily giving to both Officers and Soldiers. The communication between the Town and Country has been always free and unmolested, and is so still.

Two works of earth have been raised at some distance from the Town, wide of the roads, and guns put in them. The remains of old works, going out of the Town, have been strengthened, and guns placed there likewise. — People will think differently, whether the hostile preparations throughout the country, and the menaces of blood and slaughter, made this necessary. But I am to do my duty.

It gives me pleasure that you are endeavouring at a cordial reconciliation with the mother country; which, from what has transpired, I have despaired of. Nobody wishes better success to such measures than myself. I have endeavoured to be a mediator, if I could establish a foundation to work upon; and have strongly urged it to people here to pay for the Tea, and send a proper Memorial to the King, which would be a good beginning on their side, and give their friends the opportunity they seek, to move in their support.

I do not believe that menaces and unfriendly proceedings will have the effect which many conceive. The spirit of the British Nation was high when I left England, and such measures will not abate it. But I should hope that decency and moderation here would create the same disposition at home; and I ardently wish that the common enemies to both countries may see, to their disappointment, that these disputes between the mother country and the Colonies have terminated like the quarrels of lovers, and increased the affection which they ought to bear to each other. I am, sir, your most obedient humble servant,


To the Hon˙ Peyton Randolph, Esq.