376 | To Thomas Gage

    Castle William, Augt 27, 1765.


    I doubt not but you will have an account of the riots at Boston, upon the business of the Stamp Act before this comes to hand. The Mob was so general & so supported, that all civil power ceased in an instant, & I had not the least authority to oppose or quiet the mob. You are sensible how extreamly weak an American Governor is in regard to popular tumults, without a file of Men at his Command, & having no regular troops, at present, within call. In this state, I could look only towards you: and I was assured that you had but two Companies with you, and those I conceived could not be properly moved from their Present Station for obvious reasons. I therefore listened to flattering hopes that these Troubles might subside of themselves, & that temporary Quiet might take place till we could hear from England. But in this I have been deceived: for the fury of the mob is grown more extravagant than ever. Last Night they destroyed & rifled the Lt Govrs House from Top to Bottom; all his Cash, Papers, furniture, Cloaths, &c, are carried off, & wasted & burned; They served Mr Hollowell’s, Comptroller of the Customs, after the same manner; also Mr Story, the Register of the Admiralty’s House, all whose papers & Books, among which were all the record of the records of the Admiralty,1 were burnt before his door.2 Another House, Mr Paxtons, was intended for ruin; but begged off by the Landlord of the House.3 My House was not attacked at all; which I wondered at: for the other persons having offended them only by being in Office under the King, I should have thought, that I should have been reckoned the most offencive . More mischief is daily expected: Where it will end no body knows. In short, The Town of Boston is in the possession of an incensed & implacable Mob; I have no force to oppose to them; I know not whether I shall be able to preserve this Castle, which is threatned to be attacked, if the stamped Papers from England should be, as is designed, placed here. The Garrison, when compleat, amounts but to 60 men; & I dare not reinforce them out of the Country, for fear it should be the Means of betraying the place. Under these difficulties, I have nothing to do, but to apply to you, as his Majesty’s Military Commander in chief; & I can only recommend to you to use such means as you shall think proper to preserve his Majestys Dominion over this Town. I am going to Cambridge to hold a Council there, & consider what is to be done upon this occasion; one Measure must be to remove the Government to a place of Security, & there call the Assembly, who, I doubt not, will testify their Abhorrence of these rebellious Proceedings.

    I am, with great regard, Yr &c.

    Genl Gage.

    AL, LbC BP, 4: 62-64.

    377 | To Robert Ball

    By his Excellency the Governor.

    To Mr Ball, Commander of the Light House.1

    Mr Ball is hereby ordered, if any Ship shall arrive, having Stamp’d Papers on board for his Majestys use, to bring such Ship under the Stern of the Fortune Man of War; and he is also, when he first boards such Ship to direct the Master to hoist a Jack at his foretop Mast as the signal to such Men of War. Mr Ball is to attend to this Service himself, & keep these orders secret,

    Fra. Bernard.

    Castle Wm, Augt 27th, 1765.

    AL, LbC BP, 4: 64.