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The Powder Alarms, September 1st,1774, And The Popular Uprising of The Colonists

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On September 1st, 1774, General Thomas Gage, Royal Governor of The Massachusetts Bay Colonies, responded to the protests of the Massachusetts Bay Colonists, who were upset by years of opression and the implementation of "The Intolerable Acts", by staging a raid to remove the gunpowder stored in a  powder storage magazine.

Gage had been sent a note from William Brattle, the leader of the Provincial Miitia, that the colonists and towns had removed all of their powder, and all that was left ws the "Kings" powder. Gage decided to seize the powder from the magazine, near what is now Somerville, to keep it from falling into the hands of the militias.

The raid was a success for Gage in one way. He was able to seize the powder, as well as two field pieces from the neighboring town of Cambridge and returned with all of the powder and cannon to Boston. But what Gage did not realize was the effect the event would have on the colonists.

The raid galvanized the colonists in a way Gage had not expected. By the end of the day on the 2nd, there were reports of tens of thousands of armed colonisits heading for Boston. Intent on joining what they thought was a war in progress. Gage postponed an additional scheduled powder raid after this, but not for long. He began attempting to raid additional powder storage locations several more times, but because of intelligence gathering operations put in place by the colonists, Gage did not have another success with his raids, and eventually, the policy of powder raids lead to the events at Lexington and Concord.

Instead of deterring the colonists, General Gages raids were actually training the colonists in how to respond to the raids. 

Join me tonight to discuss the Powder Raids and what effect they had on the colonists, and how they lead to the first battle of The American Revolutionary War.

Hope to see you there!

-Scout

 

 

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