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[369] of measures having for their object the prevention of
CHAP XLV.} 1770. Sept.
American Independence. The harbor of Boston was made ‘the rendezvous of all ships, stationed in North America,’ and the fortress which commanded it was to be delivered up to such officer as Gage should appoint,1 to be garrisoned by regular troops, and put into a respectable state of defence.2 At the same time Hutchinson received from Gage the direction to surrender up Castle William to Dalrymple. But the Charter of Massachusetts purposely and emphatically reserved to its Governor the command of the militia of the Colony and of its forts; the Castle had been built and repaired and garrisoned by the Colony itself at its own expense; to take the command from the Civil Governor and bestow it on the Commander-in-chief, was a plain violation of the Charter, as well as of immemorial usage. For a day Hutchinson hesitated;3 but what was a scruple about the Charter rights of Massachusetts, compared with the favor of Hillsborough and the King? On second thoughts he resolved to obey the order at once. Early on Monday, Dalrymple hastened to the Castle, provided with a power to substitute regular troops for the provincial sentries. Hutchinson then repaired to the Council Chamber, and enjoining secrecy on the mem bers upon their oaths divulged to them his instructions. The Council was struck with amazement, for the town was very quiet, and the measure seemed a wanton provocation. ‘Does not the Charter,’ they

1 Hillsborough to Hutchinson, July, 1770.

2 Report of the Committee of the Privy Council, to whom the State of the American Colonies was referred, and which was adopted, 6 July, 1770.

3 Hutchinson to General Gage, 9 September, 1770.

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