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Letter from gentleman in Portsmouth to a gentleman in New York

On December 16th, 1774, a gentleman in Portsmouth wrote to a gentleman in New York the following letter:


PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE, Dec[embe]r 16th, 1774.

     We have been in confusion here for two days, on account of
an express from Boston, informing that two Regiments were coming
to take possession of our Forts.  By beat of drum, two hundred
men immediately assembled and went to the Castle, in two
gondolas, who on their way were joined by one hundred and fifty
more, and demanded the surrender of the Fort, which Captain
Cochran refused, and fired three Guns, but no lives were lost;
upon which thev immediately scaled the walls, disarmed the
Captain and his men, took possession of ninety seven barrels of
Powder, put it on board the Gondolas, brought it up to Town, and
went off with it some distance into the country.  Yesterday the
town was full of men from the country, who marched in fours,
chose a Committee to wait on The Governor, who assured them he
knew of no such design as sending Troops, Ships, etc.  This
morning I hear there are a thousand or fifteen hundred men on
their march to town.  The Governor and the Council sat yesterday
on the affair, and are now meeting again.  The men who came down,
are those of the best property and vote in the Province.

From: Mass. Gazette, Post Boy & Advertiser, Dec. 19, 1774; N.H. Gazette of Dec. 23, 1774; American Archives, Vol. I, p. 1042; N.H. Provincial Papers, Vol. Vii, p. 423.