669 | From Thomas Gage

    New York August 31st: 1768.


    It is not necessary to trouble you with any Answers to your Letters, and I only acknowledge the Receipt of them.1 I am now to acquaint you, that I have received orders to send Forces to Boston,2 and would regulate the number to be sent, agreeable to your opinion of the number that will be necessary. Captain Shirreff3 my aid de camp goes to Boston under Pretence of private Business, and will deliver you this Letter. He is directed to settle this matter with you; and you may rely on his Discretion, Prudence and Secrecy. I have entrusted him with a Letter of orders, to the commander of His Majesty’s Forces at Halifax to embark with the 14th. Regt: and left a Blank in the Letter for Captain Shirreff to fill up with the like order for the 29th: Regt:, in case you shall Judge it proper to have the whole, or any part of the 29th: Regt:, as well as the 14th: and not think one Regiment as sufficient Force.4 When you shall have fixed this matter with Captain Shirreff you will be so good to send me immediate Notice that I may without Delay write you a publick Letter to demand Quarters for the numbers that will be ordered into your Province. The Contents of this, as well as your answer and everything I now transact with you, will be kept a profound secret, at least on this side of the Atlantick.

    It is submitted in my Letters, whether it would not be advisable, as Troops will probably continue at Boston, to take Possession of Castle William, which being a Place of some Strength, may in case of emergency be of great Service, and it is said to belong to the Crown.

    You will be so good to fix with Captain Shirreff whether you would have the whole or any part of the Troops ordered to Boston, quartered in Castle William. As you should be of opinion that Troops stationed there will not answer the Intention of sending them to Boston, for the Purpose of enforcing a due Obedience to the Laws, and protecting and supporting the Civil Magistrates and the Officers of the Crown in the Execution of their Duty, part may be stationed there, and part in the Town. Should you require both the Regiments from Halifax; one of them, or three or four companys of one of them, might be quartered in the Castle, and you would then have an entire Regiment and five Company’s & another in the City. I mention this, but leave it to your Determination and you will regulate this matter with Captain Shirreff, according to the number of Troops you think necessary to be sent to Boston. you will be pleased to give me notice of your Resolves on this head.

    I don’t know if you can supply Bedding for such of the troops as you would choose to be lodged in the Castle; if not Captain Shirreff will write to Lieut Colo Dalrymple, to bring Bedding with him from Halifax, sufficient for the number of men, you shall fix upon, for the garrison of Castle William.

    I have the honor to be with great Regards, Sir, your most obedient, humble Servant,

    Thos. Gage.

    His Excellency Govr Bernard Boston

    ALS, RC     BP, 11: 287-290.

    Endorsed: Genl Gage d Aug 31 1768 r Sep 3. FB replied with No. 671.