671 | To Thomas Gage

    Jamaica Farm near Boston Sep 5 1768


    I have received your Letter by Captn Sherriff and have had some Talk with him upon the Subject thereoff.1 I should be much embarrast with having the Number of Forces to be sent left to me, if I was not directed by the Secretary of States Letter to me, which says that the Commander in Cheif has^is^ Ordered to station one Regiment at least in the Town of Boston, and to garrison the Castle.2 Under these Directions and with Regard to the Uncertainty how these Troops will be received at Boston, I can by no Means take upon me to draw off any Men from the two Regiments which have been prepared for this Purpose. I have therefore3 told Captn Sherriff that less than two Regiments will not, as it seems to me, answer the Idea of the Secretary of State for this Service; especially as there have been other Disturbances of more Consequence that which he was not then acquainted with.

    The distributing these Troops between the Town & the Castle will be another Question. At first it might be best to order one Regiment in the Town & the other into the Barracks at the Castle. If the first were received quietly & treated civilly they might continue in that Proportion. If they should be insulted & threatned, it might be proper to reinforce them with the greatest Part of the other Regiment leaving about two Companies at the Castle. At the Castle it would be best to put the Regiment or such Part of it as shall be stationed there into ^the^ Barracks which are roomy & Commodious.4 The Fort there tho a regular Fortification, is of so small Dimensions, that it will but hold the present Garrison of 50 Men; & as the Officers & Men have not shown the least Disposition to favour the Sons of Liberty but have to all Appearance expressed a proper Sense of their duty, I would not have so great a Slight put upon them as to be dispossest of the Fort; as the Security of the whole will be as well ^perhaps no better^ provided for by stationing the Troops in the Barracks. Besides I would not at this time give Cause Umbrage or afford any Cause of Jealousy to the Province, which could be avoided, especially so alarming a one as removing the Provincial Garrison from the Fort.

    I shall be glad to receive your public Letter5 by Express rather than by the Post; as it will come to me 2 or 3 Days sooner, and I shall have Time to lay it before the Council before the Week is out.6 I expect great Difficulty at that Board; and therefore I should be obliged to you if you would intimate in your Letter that this Movement is made by Order of his Majesty signified by his Secretary of State:7 for I would have it bring as much Authority with it as possible: I yesterday communicated to Captn Corner8 the Purport of Captn Sherriffs Dispatches. And he, as he had before declared his Intention, upon the Occasion resolved to carry them himself, both [to?]9 add his Ship to the Transports & encrease the Parade. But he has this Day informed me that there is a Difficulty raised by the Commissioners, who think they shall not be safe in [if] the Romney should be removed. But Captn Corner intends to prevail with the Commissioners to let him go, if he can: if he cannot he will send away a Cutter early tomorrow morning. I should have mentioned before that it will be proper to intimate in your Letter that the Orders are to state one Regiment at least in the Town: otherwise the Council may Advise me to quarter them all at the Castle. I must add that I am more and more convinced that under the present Exigencies of the Times, it will be improper to put a regular Garrison in the Fort. What is done should be by Way of putting Troops into Barracks.

    I am &c

    His Excellcy Genl Gage

    L, LbC     BP, 7: 191-194.

    In handwriting of Thomas Bernard. The RC was personally delivered to Gage by Capt. William Sherriff. Variants: BP, 7: 191-194 (L, LbC); CO 5/86, ff 178-179 (L extract, Copy).