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Letter from Governour Gage to the Earl of Dartmouth



MY LORD: I transmit your Lordship a number of enclosures, amongst which you will see the Resolves passed by the Representatives who met at Salem, notwithstanding my Proclamation to postpone the Sessions, and adjourned themselves, as was foreseen, to meet Delegates from the Counties and Towns, to Concord, there to form themselves into a Provincial Congress, from whence they have agreed to remove to Cambridge. Your Lordship has a Remonstrance which they have sent to me, and my Answer to it, which I had some difficulty in contriving, as I cannot consider them as a legal Assembly, and a handle would have been made of it had I refused; and it was, moreover, necessary to warn them of their conduct, and require them to desist from such unconstitutional proceedings. There are also copies of two Remonstrances from the County of Worcester, the first of which was so offensive to the King, and not addressed to me as Governour, that I refused to receive it; the last was answered, and the answer transmitted.

The above relate to works I have, been making at the entrance of the Town, at which they pretend to be greatly alarmed, lest the inhabitants of the Town should be enslaved, and made hostages of, to force the country to comply with the late Acts: a scheme which they know is not feasible; but I believe the works have hitherto obstructed some pernicious projects they have had in view, which has determined me to refuse all applications for their demolition. And whilst their affected apprehensions for the Town of Boston are held forth, moderation and forbearance has been put to the test, by burning the straw, and sinking boats with bricks, coming for the use of the Troops, and overturning our wood carts. It appears to me to be a part of their system, to pick a quarrel with the Troops, for which reason I was the more cautious to give no pretence for it, that all misfortunes which might happen should be of their own seeking.

There are various reports spread abroad of the motions made at the Provincial Congress whilst at Concord; some it is said moved to attack the Troops in Boston, immediately; others to value the estates in the Town, in order to pay the proprietors the loss they might sustain, and to set the Town on fire; and others proposed to invite the inhabitants into the country, which, has been talked off for some time.

By a Letter from General Carleton, or the 20th of September, he determined to send here the Tenth and Fifty-second Regiments, and I conclude them on their way from Quebec; as also General Haldimand with the Forty-seventh Regiment from New-York, where transports have been laying for some weeks to take on board the stores, and I apprehend they are mostly secured. I am to acquaint your Lordship likewise, that Commodore Shuldham, receiving intelligence at Newfoundland of the extraordinary commotions of this country, sent the Rose, man-of-war, immediately here, with two Companies of the Sixty-fifth Regiment, stationed at St˙ John' s, desiring only that they might be replaced in the Spring. I am, &c.


P˙ S˙ I had once hopes to have sent your Lordship accounts of some conciliatory measures, which I have urged strongly, and recommended the paying for the Tea for a beginning of a reconciliation; but I despair of any overtures of the kind, unless it comes recommended from the Continental Congress, by whose Resolves this people declare their intentions to abide, and use every artifice to engage the rest of the Continent in their own disputes with the mother country.

T˙ G.