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Letter from General Gage to the Earl of Dartmouth




Boston, May 19, 1774.

His Majesty' s ship, the Lively, in which I embarked at Plymouth, on the 16th of April, arrived here on the 13th of this month.

The late Governour Hutchinson, the Chief Justice, the Commissioners of the Customs, and the Consignees, were either at the Castle, or dispersed in the country, not daring to reside in Boston. I went to Mr˙ Hutchinson, and remained with him at Castle William, till preparations were made for my reception in Boston, where my commission was read and published in the usual forms, on the 17th instant.

The Act for shutting up the port got here before me; and a town meeting was holding to consider of it at the time of my arrival in the harbour. They determined to invite the other Colonies to stop all exports and imports to and from Great Britain and Ireland, and every part of the West Indies, till the Act be repealed; and appointed persons to go to Marblehead and Salem to communicate their sentiments to the people there, and bring them into like measures; which persons were to make their report at the adjournment, on the 18th, when the meeting was again held, and I am told, received little encouragement from Salem and Marblehead, and transacted nothing of consequence.

I do not propose laying any thing before the new Assembly at their meeting, except the common business of the Province, if any occurs.

I hear from many, that the Act has staggered the most presumptuous; but minds so inflamed cannot cool at once; so it may be better, to give the shock they have received, time to operate; and I may find the Assembly in a better temper than usual, and more inclined to comply with the King' s expectations at Salem, to which place they will be removed after the first of June.