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s members dared not show themselves at Salem, and he consented to their violating the act of parliament by meeting in Boston. Hutchinson, the son of the former governor, withdrew from the council. The few who retained their places advised unanimously to send no troops into the interior, but so to reinforce the army as to constitute Boston a place of safe retreat. Far different was the spirit displayed on that day at Concord by the county convention, in which every town and district of Middlesex was represented. We must now exert ourselves, said they, or all those efforts which for ten years past have brightened the annals of this country, will be totally frustrated. Life and death, or what is more, freedom and slavery, are now before us. In behalf, therefore, of themselves and of future generations, they enumerated the violations of their rights by late acts of parliament, which they avowed their purpose to nullify, and they sent their resolves by an express to the continental
, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Madison, embarked on board thirteen boats at Long Wharf, rowed up Mystic river, landed at Temple's farm, took from the public magazine all the powder that was there, amounting to two hundred and fifty half barrels, and transferred it to the castle. A detachment from the corps brought off two field-pieces from Cambridge. This forcible seizure, secretly planned and suddenly executed, set the country in a flame. Before evening, large bodies of the men of Middlesex began to collect; and on Friday morning, thousands of freeholders, leaving their guns in the rear, advanced to Cambridge, armed only with sticks, and led by cap- Chap. X.} 1774. Sept. tains of the towns, representatives, and committee men. Warren, hearing that the roads from Sudbury to Cambridge were lined by men in arms, took with him as many of the Boston committee as came in his way, crossed to Charlestown, and with the committee of that town hastened to meet the committee of Cambridg
uel Adams, wrote Galloway, though by no means remarkable for brilliant abilities, is equal to most men in popular intrigue, and the management of a faction. He eats little, drinks little, sleeps little, and thinks much, and is most decisive and indefatigable in the pursuit of his objects. He was the man who, by his superior application managed at once the faction in congress at Philadelphia, and the factions in New England. One express had brought from Massachusetts the proceedings of Middlesex; another having now arrived, on Saturday, the seventeenth of September, the delegates of Massachusetts laid before congress the address of the Suffolk county convention to Gage, on his seizure of the provincial stock of powder and his hostile occupation of the only approach to Boston by land; and the resolutions of the same convention which declared that no obedience was due to the acts of parliament affecting their colony. As the papers were read, expressions of esteem, love and admira
ing the men of their households to go forth to the war. The farmers rushed to the camp of liberty, often with nothing but the clothes on their backs, without a day's provisions, and many without a farthing in their pockets. Their country was in danger; their brethren were slaughtered; their arms alone employed their attention. On their way, the inhabitants gladly opened their hospitable doors and all things were in common. For the first night of the siege, Prescott of Pepperell with his Middlesex minute men kept the watch over the entrance to Boston, and while Gage was driven for safety to fortify the town at all points, the Americans already talked of nothing but driving him and his regiments into the sea. At the same time the committee by letter gave the story of the preceding day to New Hampshire and Connecticut, whose assistance they entreated. We shall be glad, they wrote, that our brethren who come to our aid, may be supplied with military Chap. XXIX.} 1775. April. sto
5. June. fortified; and they recommended unanimously to establish a post on Bunker Hill. Ward, who was bound to comply with the instructions of his superiors, proceeded to execute the advice. The decision was so sudden, that no fit preparation could be made. The nearly total want of ammunition rendered the service desperately daring; in searching for an officer suited to such an enterprise, the choice fell on William Prescott, of Pepperell, colonel of a regiment from the northwest of Middlesex, who himself was solicitous to assume the perilous duty; and on the very next evening after the vote of June 16. the committee of safety, a night and day only in advance of the purpose of Gage, a brigade of one thousand men was placed under his command. Soon after sunset, the party composed of three hundred of his own regiment, detachments from those of Frye and of Bridge, and two hundred men of Connecticut, under the gallant Thomas Knowlton, of Ashford, were ordered to parade on Cambr
oldier of experience; and in choosing his station he looked only for the place of greatest danger and importance. Of the men of Essex who formed Little's regiment, full a hundred and twenty-five hastened to the aid of Prescott; Worcester and Middlesex furnished more than seventy from Brewer's regiment, and with them the prudent and fearless William Buckminster, of Barre, their lieutenant colonel. From the same counties came above fifty more, led by John Nixon, of Sudbury. Willard Moore, ofs of mankind. As soon as Prescott perceived that the enemy were in motion, he commanded Robinson, his lieutenant colonel, the same who conducted himself so bravely in the fight at Concord, and Henry Woods, his major, famed in the villages of Middlesex for ability and patriotism, with separate detachments to flank the enemy; and they executed his orders with prudence and daring. He then went through the works to encourage and animate his inexperienced soldiers. The redcoats will never reach