Lord Dartmouth to General Gage

v2:1517

LORD DARTMOUTH TO GENERAL GAGE.

London, July 1, 1775.

I am, to presume that the measure of sending out a detachment of your troops to destroy the magazines at Concord was taken after the fullest consideration of the advantages on the one hand, and hazards on the other, of such an enterprise, and of all the probable consequences that were to result from it. It is impossible for me to reflect upon this transaction, and upon all its consequences, without feelings which, although I do not wish to conceal them, it is not necessary for me to express; but I believe every man of candour will agree with me in opinion, that, let the event, be what it may, the rashness and rebellious conduct of the Provincials on this occasion evince the necessity, and will manifest to all the world the justice of the measures which the King has adopted for supporting the Constitution, and in which His Majesty will firmly persevere.

From the moment the blow was struck, and the Town of Boston invested by the rebels, there was no longer any reason to doubt of the intention of the people of Massachusetts-Bay to commit themselves in open rebellion. The other three New-England Provinces have taken the same part, and in fact all America (Quebeck, Nova-Scotia, and the Floridas excepted) is in arms against Great Britain, and the people involved in the guilt of levying a war against the King in every sense of the expression. In this situation every effort must be made, both by sea and land, to subdue the rebellion.