September 1, 1774: Powder Alarm

 

General Thomas Gage was appointed military governor of Massachusetts in early 1774.  He embarked on a campaign to disarm the Massachusetts militia.  In an event that is largely forgotten today but was a huge event throughout the colonies in 1774, on September 1, 1774 Gage sent an expedition of British troops to seized the powder at the arsenal located in Sommerville, Massachusetts.  The British succeeded in their mission and almost started the Revolutionary War.  Militia units formed up in alarm throughout Massachusetts and surrounding colonies in New England, thinking that a war had begun while wild rumors flew, and it was several days before calm was restored.  This Powder Alarm caused the militia in Massachusetts and the colonies to take steps to protect their arsenals for fear of a deliberate British policy to disarm them and leave them helpless before the redcoats.  The stage was set for Lexington and Concord.

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Published in: on September 1, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments (1)  
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