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    [Revolutionary War]: October 6, 1775 Broadside. Scarce Revolutionary War broadside, datelined Boston, October 6, 1775, after the commencement of fighting at Lexington & Concord, and Bunker Hill. Broadside consists of three letters by Tories in America, thanking Massachusetts Bay Governor and British Commander-in-Chief Thomas Gage for his service following his resignation. Each letter is answered, in turn, by Gage. As the first British Commander during the Revolutionary War, Gage was perhaps a scapegoat for the heavy losses sustained by the British at Bunker Hill. After the battle, he wrote to the English Secretary of War, "...They are now spirited up by a rage and enthusiasm as great as ever people were possessed of and you must proceed in earnest or give the business up..." Gage was then promptly relieved of his command and replaced by William Howe, although his reputation improved after the war's end.

    The first address of the broadside from "the Gentlemen and Principal Inhabitants of the Town of Boston" reads in part, "...Unhappily for this Country! the general Sentiments were too strong, and too far heighten'd for the Efficacy of your humane Exertions...without the Effusion of human Blood, has been your Excellency's first Object..." Signed by 98 loyalists who would soon depart America themselves following the Siege of Boston in 1776. Gage's reply reads in part, "I Sincerely lament the Miseries brought upon this once happy Country through the deep Designs and dark Contrivances of ambitious Men to raise themselves from Obscurity to Power, and Emoluments; nor can I reflect without Pain upon the Infatuation of the Multitude, who enjoyed perfect Liberty, who felt no Oppression, but deceived, and betrayed, have flown to Arms to avert Evils that only existed in Imagination, and in lieu of Liberty, have madly erected a Tyranny upon the Ruins of the most free, happy, and lenient Government..."

    The second and third letters appear on the second leaf of the bifolium broadside, reading in part, "...We have seen with Pleasure the many Efforts, you have made, to avert this unhappy Rebellion. We lament that the Success has not been equal to your Endeavours...We wish your Excellency a safe Arrival at the Court of Great Britain: Where, we doubt not you will meet the gracious Approbation of our Royal Master..." Gage's reply reads in part, "...your unshaken Loyalty to the King, and Zeal for his Government./ You have stood forth in support of both at a time when an unnatural, and unprovoked Rebellion has been wantonly raised to subvert our glorious Constitution, and have despised the Menaces of open and concealed Attempts upon your Lives: Nor has the Seizure of your Properties by the lawless Hands of Rebels deterr'd you from a steadfast Pursuit of that Duty which every Briton owes his King and Country..."

    Third letter dated October 7, 1775 reads in part, "...To your wisdom and prudence we consider ourselves indebted for protection from the lawless fury and unbridled violance [sic] of our countrymen - and had not events taken place beyond what human wisdom could foresee, and contrary to any calculations upon rational principles, we might in all probability have been further indebted to your Excellency...It is with regret we think of your Excellency's departure from this province..." Gage replies, "To the Gentlemen that were drove from their Habitations in the Country, to the Town of Boston...before my Departure from the Province, to acknowledge the steady Attachment you have shown to the true Interests of your King and Country in the worst of may be assured that during my Absence, my Successors in the Civil and Military Command, will afford you every Favour and Protection. Tho Gage."

    Broadside runs two pages on a bifolium sheet, printed so that unfolded, both pages are visible. Leaves measure approximately 20" x 15.625" unfolded, housed in custom clamshell case measuring 10.5" x 16.25". Small spots of paper loss at intersecting folds, expected toning, and chipping at edges. Some splitting starting along folds. Overall in very good condition. Very scarce, conveying the fears and opinions of the Tory community at the start of the Revolutionary War.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2021
    25th-26th Saturday-Sunday
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