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.