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come or send to your assistance. The fate of America depends upon this campaign, and the success of this campaign will a good deal depend upon your exerting yourselves with vigour upon this occasion. I am, &c.


To the Commanding Officer of the American Forces at New-York.


Cambridge, March 9, 1776.

SIR: I have it in command from his Excellency General Washington to inform you that, in consequence of his determination to possess himself of the Heights at Dorchester, a cannonade and bombardment was begun on Saturday night last on the town of Boston, continued on Sunday night and on Monday night. A vast number of shot and shells were thrown into that town, under the cover of which the intended purpose was effected. On the enemy’s perceiving, next morning, that we had taken post, they were all hurry and bustle, embarking their troops, as was expected, and wished to attack us; but the violent storm which came on that day prevented them, and disappointed us, who were prepared to give them a warm reception.

The possession of these Heights are preparatory to our forming a fort upon Nuke-Hill, which commands the south of Boston, and to which their shipping will be much exposed. This they seem to be well aware of, and are now making every preparation for moving off. Captain Irwin, of Salem, who escaped from town the night before last, assures us that this is their intention. It is corroborated by a message from the Selectmen in that town to his Excellency, a copy of which you have enclosed.

These informations will not prevent the General from proceeding in his advances to the town; so that, if they do not move off, he is determined to force them to a battle, by making that town so hot that they will have but little rest therein.

His Excellency has good reason to imagine that New-York will be the place of their destination; but lest that should not be the case, it behooves every place where a fleet can lie, to be upon their guard. The General therefore recommends the utmost vigilance may be observed by the good people of your Province; and if they should make an attempt to land therein, he doubts not that every opposition will be given thereto, and an express sent off immediately, that he may come or send to your assistance.

I have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient servant,


To the New-Hampshire Committee of Safety.


After several fruitless attempts to leave the town, I became bound to General Gage (by liberating certain prisoners*) not to leave it; in consequence of which I entered into trade. About the 1st of January, 1776, came a permit, at ten o’clock at night, ordering me to leave the town by ten o’clock the next day. The connections I was then in rendered it almost impossible to obey the summons.

I then petitioned General Howe to postpone the permit a few days, but met with nothing but insults from Major Urquhart and others, Aid-de-Camps to the General. I then concealed myself for two days, until the vessel sailed on which I was ordered on board. In which time the Provost broke open my house, and plundered it in part, leaving it open for the soldiers to complete what he began; telling the neighbours he had orders from Head-Quarters so to do.

On which I wrote a letter to the following purport:

“GENTLEMEN: I shall esteem it a great favour if you will permit me to have ten minutes’ conversation with you. I flatter myself I shall set my conduct in a more favourable light than I think it appears in at present to you, if I may form a judgment from the treatment I received from the Provost.

“I am, gentlemen, your very humble servant,


“To Major James Urquhart and Captain Balfour.”

The answer was:

“We are surprised you keep yourself concealed. You may immediately go about and settle your accounts. No man shall hurt the hair of your head; nor has the Provost any order to trouble you.”

On which I went out, but in less than four hours was insulted and committed to jail by order of Major Brquhart, as the Provost informed me; and in less than one hour after my confinement, my house was again broken open and plundered. After being confined seven days, was taken out by a file of soldiers, and put on board a vessel, not being allowed to go to my house for a second coat, waistcoat, or shirt.

Thus, my countrymen, every sub-villain acts his part, and procures his plunder on a smaller scale, as General Gage did on a larger: one violating his honour to a whole town, the other to an individual.


MIDDLESEX, WATERTOWN, March 9, 1776, ss.

Personally appeared before me John Rogers, and made oath to the truth of the above Narrative by him subscribed.

HENRY GARDNER, Justice of Peace.


Watertown, March 13, 1776.

Mr. Rogers having published a narrative of the treatment he met with in Boston from General Howe and his banditti, be pleased also to insert an account of the humane procedure towards me by General Gage and his creatures, which will discover the principles those abandoned wretches who have commissions under the present Ministry, act upon.

On Monday, the 19th of June last, about nine o’clock, A. M., being in Edes & Gill’s office, in Boston, three men belonging to the ships-of-war appeared round it; and having been previously informed of their pressing every person into the service who happened to fall in their way, I ran out of the shop by means of a back door, which conducted into the lane that led to nay father’s house. Thither I repaired; but the bloodhounds were immediately informed of my retreat, and speedily followed me, and the dwelling was almost instantaneously surrounded by sailors, and three officers. I soon was made a prisoner, and had the misfortune to find myself in the hands of the most unfeeling and worthless set of men; one of whom, upon first discovering me, cried out,” I have found the damned rebel” I supposed from this, that they thought they had found my father; at least, that they meant to scourge me for his political transgressions against them. The fellow had a cutlass drawn in his hand, and pulled me to the officers, one of whom was Captain Lindsey, of the Liverpool sloop-of-war, and who is son-in-law to Mr. Ralph Inman, late of Cambridge, now refugee in Boston. He asked me where Mr. Edes was. I answered, he was out of town. He replied (God bless his Christian soul) that I was a damned liar, and that I had better tell him. He repeated the question. I answered as before. He asked my name. I told him Edes. He asked if I was Mr. Edes, the Printer’s son. I told him I was. Upon which, he ordered me with him, observing that he was commanded so to do. I said it was very well, and followed him, guarded by other villains; and determined, since I had got into the lion’s paws, to humour every motion, lest I should be crushed in the contest. After we had got to New-Boston, he asked what my father had been writing to me. I replied nothing. He then asked what I had been writing to him. I answered nothing. He said I was right in saying so; but that he would be damned if he would believe me. We afterwards proceeded towards the Admiral’s; and passing by my father’s house, Lindsey discovered Mr. Starr with a firelock, upon which he ordered us to stop, for there was a trooper with a firelock. He was soon brought where I was, and both placed in the centre of a circle formed of six Jack-tars, whose long residence on board the ships-of-war had made them as hardened and inhuman as the Algerine galley-slaves, who were commanded like so many draught horses, to go on. Being a little animated, I said, Captain Lindsey, I should be much obliged to you, if you would carry me to the General’s, and see whether he will release me, or to know what he will do with me. He retorted, with all the sea-bred superciliousness

*Mr. John Gill, Printer; Mr. William Starr; and Peter Edes, son of Mr. Edes, Printer.

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