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Letter from Boston, Containing a Further Account


I shall now, my dear sir, acquaint you with further particulars than what I have before transmitted. The storm that was sent on Tuesday, the 5th instant, at night, prevented, in all probability, a deal of bloodshed, and the destruction of Boston. General Howe had formed a desperate plan. Lord Percy was to have attacked on the Wednesday morning our Fort on Dorchester-Hill with about two thousand men; a feint was to have been made towards Letchmere' s Point, and General Howe was to have rushed on our lines at Roxbury with bayonets fixed, without firing a gun. Had he been repulsed, and our Provincials followed him, a large number of field-pieces were to have been fired upon them, and then spiked up. The Ministerialists were to have embarked as soon as possible, while a bomb-ketch that was to be in readiness was to fire carcasses upon the town, with a view of setting it in flames, and thereby, I suppose, covering the embarkation, and diverting our people from the pursuit. Many of them acknowledged after the storm that the Heavens were against them. After the disappointment, Howe was for getting off as fast as possible; he would have been on board on Friday, but the wind chopped about. The British Troops are completely disgraced. They went off in an amazing hurry, and evidently under a panick. They have left behind them a large quantity of coal, near two hundred cords of wood, and a considerable number of pack-saddles, which the subtle Gage got made before the battle of Lexington, that his troops might convey by means of them, upon a single horse, all they might want to carry with them through the woods where carriages could not go, and which may be of great service to the Provincials in some of the Colonies. What with these articles, wheat, porter, oats, &c˙, they have left to the amount of some thousands sterling, I imagine. All the inhabitants I have conversed with inform me that they have been most cruelly treated; but by none more than by the Refugees and Tories. On Friday the Crier was sent about to order all the inhabitants not to stir out of their houses till evening. While they were thus confined, the soldiers, sailors, and refugees, took the opportunity of breaking into houses and stores and plundering. As they could not carry on board for want of


stowage-room, chairs, tables, and the like, they destroyed and burnt them. A prodigious quantity of mahogany furniture has been in this way demolished. When they were gone off, upon search being made, fires were discovered in several houses, so circumstanced as to evidence a, design of setting the house on fire ; but that was happily frustrated. General Robertson, under an official cover, seems to have been as great a plunderer as any, and to have connived at the rascally conduct of smaller villains. He might possibly answer to himself for the part he was acting, by viewing what he secured as an equivalent for the many thousands he has out at interest and in property in your Colony and elsewhere, should the same be seized. The press will be employed shortly in communicating to the publick the sufferings of the Bostonians, drawn up by one who has been there the whole time, and well credited; and if that does not determine the Colonies never more to admit the King' s Troops into the Continent, I shall think it strange. Since the Ministerialists have left their works, every one that surveys them is convinced what a most hazardous attempt it would have been to have endeavoured to force them, and are better satisfied with that seeming inactivity, but really Fabian delay, that was wisely adopted by our patriotick, sensible commanders. Strain every nerve, hazard life, rather than admit of the Regulars possessing themselves of your city. But it is likely they are going to Halifax; or if not, that you will be strongly reinforced before they can reach you. Many of the ships have sailed. A number of good large iron cannon have been left, which, when we have unspiked them, (several are already,) will serve to fortify the town. Two good mortars fell into the water at the wharf as they were attempting to put them on board, and another was left upon the common, spiked up.

It is reported that Manly has taken a ship laden with Scotch Tones, and their property.