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progress of the year 1774, that Governor Gage began to fortify Boston Neck, as the narrow portion of land which unites Boston with Roxbury and the back country, was then called. This being done, he sent out troops, and seized upon the powder magazine at Charlestown. 3. These measures produced much excitement in Boston; to add to which, some evil-minded person raised a report that the British vessels in the harbor had begun to fire upon the town. Such an uproar existed, in and about Boston, that, in a few hours, from twenty to thirty thousand men were on their march to the city. Finding their mistake however, they went home again.

4. But the public excitement was not confined to the immediate neighborhood of Boston. In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the colonists seized upon the fort, though garrisoned with British troops, and carried off every gun and every pound of powder. The people of Newport, Rhode Island, also took possession of forty pieces of cannon in the same way.

5. As Governor Gage had been unfriendly to the measures of the colonial assembly, it was determined by the colonists that the legislature should meet in Concord. The meeting was resolved into a Provincial Congress, and John Hancock was chosen its president. Here measures were taken for arming the whole province; twelve thousand men were to be raised, and to hold themselves ready to march at a moment's warning.

6. A request was also forwarded by this assembly to Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, to urge their co-operation in the measures of the Massachusetts congress, and to increase the army of "minute men"—that is, soldiers ready to march at a minute's notice— to twenty thousand. A committee was also appointed to correspond with the inhabitants of Canada.

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7. Another remarkable thing was done by the congress at Concord. A circular letter was addressed to the ministers of the gospel in the province, requesting their assistance in avoiding that dreadful slavery," as they called it, with which the country was threatened. What effect this letter had does not appear; but it is well known that both the ministers and lawyers of the states were, almost to a man, among the friends of liberty.

8. A Provincial Congress, which was held in Maryland, sustained, by its resolutions and measures, both the doings of the general congress at Philadelphia and those of the provincial congress at Concord. The

2 What did Governor Gage do in 1774 as to fortifications? 3. What excitement was raised in Boston? 4. What can you say of the people in different places? 5. What was now resolved? What of a provincial Congress? 6. What request was made by the as What is well known? sembly? 7. What letter was circulated? 8. What of the provin

cial congress held in Maryland?

THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON.

185

same spirit was manifested by the resolutions and acts of some of the other provinces, especially South Corolina.

9. It was at this juncture that Dr. Franklin was removed from the office of Postmaster-General of the British colonics of North America The honest but decided course he had taken, both while residing in England and while at home in Philadelphia, in behalf of his country, had offended the British government, and they were determined that he should feel the effects of their displeasure.

CHAPTER LXXXVII.

PERIOD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CONTINUED.-Battle of Lexington.

1. LITTLE attention appears to have been paid by the British govern

BATTLE OF LEXINGTON.

ment to the actual state of things in Boston and else

where. They thought the colonists wrong-headed and rebellious, and. that they must be forced into obedience. Mr. Pitt, indeed, was wiser; but his opinion was disregarded. They passed an act in February, 1775, declaring the Massachusetts people to

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be rebels, and another to raise more troops and seamen for compelling them to submission.

2. Meanwhile, the colonies were preparing for war. Among other munitions, they had a great amount of military stores in Boston, and wished to remove them to the country. To deceive the British guards, they carried out cannon and ball in carts covered with manure, powder in market-baskets, and cartridges in candle-boxes.

9. What of Dr. Franklin?

CHAP. LXXXVII.-1. What of the British government? What was done in February, 1775? 2. What were the colonies now preparing to do? What military stores had they?

3. Nor was Governor Gage wholly idle; he made preparation, too. One day he sent his soldiers for some cannon he had heard of at Salem. As they were returning, the people had assembled and taken up a drawbridge, and would not let the soldiers pass; and had it not been for the interposition of Mr. Bernard, a clergyman, a battle would probably have ensued.

4. Late in the evening of April 18, Governor Gage* sent out eight hundred grenadiers and light infantry to destroy some military stores at Lex'-ing-ton and Con'-cord-some twelve or fourteen miles northwest of Boston. But, in spite of the lateness of the hour and the secrecy of their movements, they were discovered, and a part of the militia of the country were on the green near the meeting-house in Lexington, by two o'clock in the morning, ready to defend the stores, if necessary.

5. At five o'clock on the morning of the 19th, the British troops, with Major Pit-cairn' at their head, came marching into Lexington. "Disperse, you rebels!" said Major Pitcairn, with an oath, to the militia; "throw down your arms, and disperse!" The order was not obeyed. He then rode toward them, discharged his pistol, brandished his sword, and ordered his men to fire. They fired, and three or four persons fell dead.

6. The militia, upon this, began to disperse, but the firing did not cease. The british shouted and fired, while the Americans were retreating; and the latter stopped occasionally to return the fire. Several of the Americans were slain in their retreat, and several others wounded. The whole number of Americans killed was eight.

7. The British now proceeded to Concord. There they destroyed two large cannon, threw about five hundred pounds of ball into wells, and staved sixty barrels of flour. The Concord militia had at first assembled with hostile intentions; but finding the British too strong for them, they had retired. They were soon reinforced, however, by Major Buttrick, and ordered on to the attack. The British fired or them as they advanced, and killed two men.

8. A severe battle ensued, in which the British were forced to retreat with some loss. They now began to make the best of their way back to Boston, for the people were pouring in from all parts of the

people? 4.

What of the
How many

3. What of Governor Gage? What passed between the soldiers and the What did Governor Gage do in April? Where are Lexington and Concord? militia? 5, 6. Describe the meeting between Pitcairn and the militia Americans were killed? 7. What did the British now do? What happened at Concord? Describe the battle and retreat of the British.

* Gage arrived in Boston in May, 1774, being both governor of Massachusetts, and commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America He returned to England October, 1775, and the command of the army at Boston devolved upon General Howe

BATTLE OF LEXINGTON.

country toward Lexington and Concord. mechanics, fathers and sons, side by side.

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There were farmers and

9. They came, it is true, with their own weapons-many of them such as they had been accustomed to shoot squirrels and other animals with, and rather rusty, but they were trained to the use of them. These they employed as well as they could, from behind barns, houses, sheds, stone walls, and trees; and their shot did execution.

10. When the British reached Lexington they met a reinforcement of nine hundred men from Boston. With this fresh aid, they were able to check the Americans for a short time, but not long. The road everywhere was beset by the patriots, and the British were falling, here and there, as they proceeded back to Charlestown, which they reached about sunset.

11. The results of this enterprise, though no pitched battle had been fought, were very distressing to both parties, but especially to the British. They had sixty-five killed, one hundred and eighty wounded, and twenty-eight made prisoners. During the whole day, the Americans had fifty killed, thirty-four wounded, and some four or five taken prisoners.

12. This series of skirmishes, called the Battle of Lexington, was the signal of war. The news of the event flew from town to town, and everywhere aroused a spirit of resistance. The forts, magazines, and arsenals, throughout the country, were instantly secured by the colonists, that they might be ready for use should they become necessary. Twelve years of peace had not made them forget all the lessons they had learned in the art of war. Regular forces were soon raised, and money furnished for their support.

13. An army of twenty thousand men was collected in the neighborhood of Boston in a very short time. One considerable body of them came from Connecticut, under Colonel Putnam, an experienced and valuable officer. These forces encamped around Boston in a semicircle, as if to shut up the town on every side but the water.

9. What arms had the colonists? 10. What of the British? 11. What was the loss to both parties? 12. What is the conflict called in history? What was now done by the solonists? 18. What army was collected? Who came from Connecticut? What of the American forces?

CHAPTER LXXXVIII.

PERIOD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CONTINUED.-Capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point.

1. No sooner was it seen that a war with Great Britain was inevit

ETHAN ALLEN.

able, than the people of Connecticut set on foot a plan for the capture of Crown Point and Ticonderoga, forts on the northern frontier which we have had frequent occasion to mention. The necessity of such a measure was so obvious that there was little difficulty in raising both men and money; and this, too, with almost absolute secrecy.

2. Colonel Ethan Allen, a brave man, who had emigrated from Connecticut to the Green Mountains of Vermont a few years before, and was well known there, was appointed as the conductor of the enterprise. As soon as forty men were raised in Connecticut, they were sent off to Colonel Allen.

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3. They met him at Castle. ton, where he had already collected two hundred and thirty men. Here they were unexpectedly joined by Benedict Arnold, who, some time afterward, made such a strange figure in American history. He had collected a company of volunteers in New Haven, and taken them on to Boston, where he had been commissioned to raise four hundred men in Vermont, or elsewhere, and proceed against Ticonderoga.

4. Without waiting to raise more troops, they proceeded with their little band of two hundred and seventy to Ticonderoga, Allen being first in command, and Arnold second. They reached Lake Champlain,

CHAP. LXXXVIII.-1. What was done by the people of Connecticut? 2. What of Colonel Ethan Allen? 3. How many men were there at Castleton? What of Arnold!

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