American Revolution Podcast

Episode 045: Governing from Salem

May 20, 2018

Governor Gage moves the colonial government to Salem and begins enforcing his policy of firmness, ignoring colonial protests and implementing the Coercive Acts.  When the colonists refuse to obey, he attempts to use regulars to shut down a town meeting Salem.   He arrests several leaders who held an illegal town meeting anyway.  When the militia takes up arms to release those arrested, Gage realizes his soldiers could be overwhelmed by the shear numbers of armed militia.  He is shocked by the colonists' refusal to back down in the face of armed regulars.

Gage decides he cannot enforce the law unless London sends him a larger army.  He retreats to Boston and begins writing letters calling for reinforcements.  Meanwhile, patriots shut down the courts and force government officials to resign.  Royal authority in Massachusetts is limited to the isolated town of Boston.

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