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    Description

    [Revolutionary War]. Thomas Gage Autograph Letter Signed "Tho: Gage." One page, 8" x 12.5", n. p. [Boston], n. d. [circa February 1775]. Unlike the rest of Massachusetts, the town of Marshfield and the surrounding area were strongly loyalist in sentiment and, one year before the opening shots of the Revolutionary War, nearly all male residents of the town joined a loyalist militia known as the Associated Loyalists of Marshfield. In January 1775, the residents of the town petitioned the royal governor of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage, for protection against the rising tide of rebellion. In response, the general sent troops of the King's Own Regiment along with two cannons and 300 stands of arms (a stand is a complete set of arms for one soldier). For his generosity, the town council voted to send Gage formal letters of thanks. Gage responded in kind with this letter, addressed to "The Loyal Inhabitants of the Town of Marshfield," in full as written:

    "I return you my most hearty thanks for your Address, and am to assure you that I feel great satisfaction in having contributed to the safety and protection of a People so eminent for their Loyalty to their King and Affection to their Country, at a time when treason and Rebellion is making such hasty strides to overturn our most excellent Constitution, and spread Ruin and Desolation thro' the Province. I doubt not that your duty to God, your King and Country will excite you to preserver in the Glorious Cause in which you are engaged, and that you laudable Example will animate Others, with the like Loyal and Patriotich Spirit."

    Thomas Gage (circa 1719-1787) would not retain the governorship of Massachusetts for long. Just four months after he sent this letter, Gage wrote home to England with the results of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Though the British had one the battle, casualties were high and Gage was subsequently recalled back to England, General William Howe being named as his replacement. Gage received his recall order in September 1775 and set sail home the following month.

    Gage's signature is bold. Smoothed folds. Areas of ink smudging near the lower edge, but not affecting the text. Scattered spots of foxing. Edges are lightly toned.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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