The Minutemen were bloodied at Lexington on April 19, 1775, suffering eight dead and ten wounded in a brief skirmish on the Commons. At Concord, however, the farmers’ marksmanship carried the day, stopping the Brits at the North Bridge and harassing the retreating column through Lexington and all the way back to Boston.
If it was a bad day for the rig’lars it was worse for Lt. Gen. Thomas Gage, Crown-appointed military governor of Massachusetts. Not only had he ordered the unsuccessful expedition, he’d decided not to instruct his Redcoats to apprehend John Hancock and Samuel Adams. (Patriot leaders still believed they would, however, which is why Paul Revere and William Dawes warned them the night of the 18th.)
In the aftermath of the battles those colonials were feeling pretty damned froggy. The emboldened rebels took random potshots at British ships, installations and soldiers. They no longer conducted themselves like proper subjects, and by mid-June Gage had had enough. He issued a puffy proclamation, which began,
“Whereas the infatuated multitudes, who have long suffered themselves to be conduced by certain well known Incendiaries and Traitors in a fatal progression of crimes against the constitutional authority of the state, have at length proceeded to avowed rebellion; and the good effects which were expected to arise from the patience and leniency of the King’s government, have been frustrated, and are now rendered hopeless, by the influence of evil counsels; it only remains for those who are entrusted with supreme rule, as well for the punishment of the guilty, as the protection of the well affected, to prove they do not bear the sword in vain.”
Along with that “fatal progression of crimes against…authority” line, the flowery screed called out “infringements which have been committed upon the most sacred rights of the Crown.” It also included an interesting characterization of what happened on April 19th:
“A number of armed persons, to the amount of many thousands assembled on the 19th of April last and from behind walls, and lurking holes, attacked a detachment of the King’s troops, who not expecting to consummate an act of frenzy, unprepared for vengeance, and willing to decline it, made use of their arms only in their own defense.”
That’s some first-class 18th Century bullshit right there. The payoff was an offer of royal amnesty — sort of:
“I avail myself of the last effort within the bounds of my duty, to spare the effusion [of blood]; to offer, and I do hereby in his Majesty’s name, offer and promise, his most gracious pardon to all persons who shall forthwith lay down their arms, and return to the duties of peaceable subjects, excepting only from the benefit of such pardon, Samuel Adams and John Hancock, whose offenses are of too flagitious a nature to admit of any other consideration than that of condign punishment.”
The tyrant’s pardon ploy backfired badly. The proclamation’s tone was so patronizing that even Loyalists were insulted, and many fence-sitters began leaning toward rebellion. Naturally, “the infatuated multitudes” didn’t jump at the offer to “lay down their arms” (especially since that’s what sparked April’s confrontations). Making John Hancock and Samuel Adams ineligible for the Crown’s “most gracious pardon” pissed them off even more.
Just four months later a disgraced Gage was on a boat bound for England, replaced in Massachusetts by Gen. William Howe. The rebellion he failed to quell grew stronger, ignited a Revolution, declared independence and eventually became a sovereign nation founded on individual Liberty.
To close today’s post I’ll leave you with a homework assignment — I’d like you to re-read my excerpts from Gage’s 1775 proclamation. (If you’re up for the whole thing you can enlarge the image above or access the pdf made available by the Library of Congress.)
Don’t look at it in the original historical context. Instead, consider it in light of the “insurrection narrative” promulgated by the current regime and its captive media since January 6th, 2020.
Notice the condescending tone, the half-truths and outright lies, the disinformation and the demonizing, the shameless propaganda, elitism so thick you could cut it with a knife.
The similarities are disconcerting. There’s a reason for that.
I believe you’re smart enough to figure out what that reason is.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.