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. On 12 June, Gen. Gage issued a proclamation declaring martial law and offering a pardon
to anyone who would lay down his arms except for Samuel Adams and John Hancock, “whose
offenses are of too flagitous a nature to admit any other consideration than that
of condign punishment” (Force, Archives
, 4th ser., 2:968–970). Gage probably held little hope for success, for in a letter
to Lord Dartmouth on 12 June he mentioned only the declaration of martial law, not
the offer of pardons (Gage, Corr.