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Letter from General Gage to the Earl of Dartmouth


FRIDAY, February 24, 1775.

The Lord North, presented to the House, by his Majesty' s command, the following extract of a Letter from the Honourable Governour Gage to the Earl of Dartmouth.

"Boston, January 18, 1775.

"My LORD: It was thought impossible that the phrenzy which had seized the people could be of very long duration, unless constantly supported by new events; and there were hopes, if tranquillity could be for a time preserved, that people would have leisure for reflection, and think seriously of their danger, though the leaders have taken pains to assure them that Great Britain would be deterred from pursuing her measures, through their resolute opposition to them, and the Resolves of the Continental Congress. I find, by accounts from several parts of the country, that those hopes were not without foundation; that the people' s minds are greatly cooled, and many begin to want courts of justice, and that the friends of Government have shown themselves openly in many places. I conceive the Press, which has been more open to Government than usual, to have been of very great use, through which channel the conduct of the leaders has been laid open, and the absurdity of the Resolves of the Continental Congress exposed in a masterly manner, which has served to lower that impression of high importance which the Congress had made upon people' s minds.

"I hoped to have procured an Association of many considerable people in this Town, but find them more shy of making open declarations, notwithstanding they are protected, than people are in the country, where they depend only on themselves and their friends for security. They give for excuse, that they must first know the resolutions from home on all that has passed in this country, and that it' s time to declare when they are assured that the mother country will not relax, but resolve to pursue her measures. If they begin to associate in the Town it' s likely they will also fall on means to pay for the Tea, for, as they are mostly traders, it would be very advantageous for them to have the Port opened in the present conjuncture of their commercial affairs.

"We hear from New-Hampshire, that the people who were concerned in the rash action against Fort William and Mary, in that Province, are terrified at what they have done, and only anxious to obtain pardon for their offence."