Massachusetts Historical Society
America's oldest historical society, founded 1791.

Back to Lexington and Concord

General Gage's Instructions, of 22d February 1775

General Gage`s Instructions, of 22d February 1775

Page Viewing Options NOTE

Jump:
overview | small | large | transcription HELP
Sketches of the Countryside
Throughout New England--in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Newport and Providence, Rhode Island, and New London, Connecticut, as well as in Massachusetts--colonists carry off and hide provincial munitions. Given the explosive mood in the countryside and recent events in Worcester, on 22 February Gage orders two of his officers, Captain John Brown and Ensign Henry De Berniere, to travel the roads west from Boston and to gather and record information along the way. By 20 March, Gage shifts his attention to Concord, where the Provincial Congress has been meeting and a large supply of arms are stored. Once again, Gage sends Brown and Berniere on a mission. Closer to Boston, Concord seems a more accessible goal for recapturing provincial munitions and demonstrating British authority.

Questions to Consider

1. Rewrite Gage's instructions (on pages 3-4) in your own words. What is he asking Brown and Berniere to do?

2. Brown and Berniere stop at a tavern at the sign of the golden ball where they learn that the innkeeper is a "friend to government." What does this mean? Identify other friends of government mentioned in the narrative.

3. How do Brown and Berniere disguise themselves for the trip? Does the disguise work? Include examples from the narrative to support your answer.

4. Why are Brown and Berniere sent to Concord in March? What do they find there?

Further Exploration

5. QUESTION