Another gentleman in Portsmouth writing on Saturday, December the 17th
Another gentleman in Portsmouth, writing on Saturday, December the 17th, gives also the main facts in the case, but he states that the powder was sent up to Exeter, which may have been reported at the time, but which is shown to be incorrect by the letter of General Sullivan, published in the New Hampshire Mercury of May, 1785. He also magnifies some of the other facts. The letter, however, adds its testimony to the main occurrences of the week.
PORTSMOUTH, N.H., December 17, 1774. On Wednesday last a Drum and fife pervaded the streets of Portsmouth, accompanied by several Committee-men, and the Sons of Liberty, publickly avowing their intention of taking possession of Fortt William and which was garrisoned by six invalids. After a great number of people had collected together, they embarked on board scows, boats, etc., entered the Fort, seized the Gunpowder, fired off the Guns, and carried the Powder up to Exeter a Town fifteen miles distant. The quantity was about two hundred to two hundred and twenty barrels; the day after, while the Governor and Council were assembled in the Council Chamber, between two and three hundred persons came from Durham, and the adjoining Towns, headed by Major Sullivan, one of the Delegates of the Congress; they drew up before the Council Chamber, and demanded an answer to the following question : Whether there were any ships or troops expected here, or if the Governor had wrote for any? They were answered that his Excellency knew of no forces coming hither, and that none had been sent for upon which they retired to the Taverns and about ten or eleven o'clock at night, a large party repaired to the Fort, and it is said they carried away all the small arms. This mornitig about sixty horsemen accoutred, came into town by eleven o'clock their intention, it is suspected, is to dismantle the Fort, and throw the Cannon, consisting of a fine train of 42-pounders, into the sea.
From: American Archives, Vol. I, p. 1043; N.H. Provincial Papers, Vol. VII, p. 423.