Letter to George Erving, Esq.
And further : In a letter to George Erving, Esq., dated Portsmouth, 5 January, 1775, referring to the 14th of December, when the castle was seized, he says:
The powers of magistracy have been faithfully and repeatedly tried. Governor, Council, Chief Justice, Sheriff, and Justices of the Peace personallv appeared; Proclamation made according to law for all to disperse and desist: the militia ordered out: drums beat, etc. yet all of no avail. Not one man appeared to assist in executing the law. And it was impossible for me, with four Councillors, two Justices, one Sheriff, Mr. Macdonough, and Mr. Benning Wentworth, to subdue such multitudes, for not one other man would come forth. Not even the Revenue officers--all chose to shrink in safety from the storm, and suffered me to remain exposed to the folly and madness of an enraged multitude, daily and hourly increasing in numbers and delusion,... He says,-- Captain Cochran and his five men defended a ruinous castle, with the walls in many places down, at length knocked down, their arms broken and taken from them by above one hundred to one ; the captain was confined and at last would not nor did not give up the keys notwithstanding every menace they could invent ; finally they broke the doors with axes and crowbars.
From: New England Historical and Genealogical Register (1869), p. 277.