Thomas Gage, by John Singleton Copley, 1768–1769 97
Gen. Thomas Gage, who returned to Massachusetts in May 1774 as a replacement for Gov. Thomas Hutchinson, was certain to be the object of scorn and abuse, for he arrived after the passage of the Intolerable Acts. He had to oversee the implementation of the Port Act and the Massachusetts Government Act, as well as to command the hated royal troops. He was one of the few British generals who did not underestimate the military threat that the colonists posed, but his pleas to the British government for adequate reinforcements were unsuccessful. He sent the royal troops to Lexington and Concord and had to assume the responsibility for the fiasco of the British victory at Bunker Hill. Gen. William Howe replaced him in the fall of 1775. John Adams referred to Gage contemptuously as “Alva Gage,” recalling the savagery of the Spanish Duke of Alva, who in the sixteenth century repressed the Netherlanders (JA to James Burgh, 28 Dec. 1774
Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, from their Collection.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2007.