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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.