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[303] Nor was this all; several British storeships
Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar.
consigned to Boston, and ignorant of the retreat, successively entered the harbor without suspicion, and fell into the hands of the Americans; among them the ship Hope, which, in addition to carbines, bayonets, gun-carriages, and all sorts of tools necessary for artillery, had on board more than seven times as much powder as Washington's whole stock when his last movement was begun.

On the next day, Washington ordered five of his best regiments to march under Heath to New York. On the twentieth, the main body of the army made its entry into Boston; alive with curiosity to behold the town which had been the first object of the war, the immediate cause of hostilities, the place of arms defended by Britain at the cost of more than a million pounds sterling, and which the continent had contended for so long. Except one meeting-house and a few wooden buildings which had been used for fuel, the houses had been left in a good condition. When, two days later, all restrictions on intercourse with the town were removed, and the exiles and their friends streamed in, all hearts were touched at ‘witnessing the tender interviews and fond embraces of those who had been long separated.’ For Washington, crowded welcomes and words of gratitude hung on the faltering tongues of the liberated inhabitants; the selectmen of Boston addressed him in their name: ‘Next to the divine power we ascribe to your wisdom, that this acquisition has been made with so little effusion of human blood;’ and the chief in reply paid a just tribute to their unparalleled fortitude. When the quiet of a week had revived ancient

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