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Suffering in Boston

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

July 16. –As to intelligence from Boston, it is seldom we are able to collect any that may be relied on; and to repeat the vague flying rumors would be endless. We heard yesterday by one Mr. Rolston, a goldsmith, who got out from Boston in a fishing schooner, that the distress of the troops increases fast, their beef is spent, their malt and cider all gone; all the fresh provisions they can procure, they are obliged to give to the sick and wounded; that thirteen of the provincials who were in jail, and were wounded at Charlestown, are dead; that no man dared to be seen talking to his friend in the street; that they are obliged to be within every evening at ten o’clock according to martial law, nor can any inhabitant walk the streets after that time without a pass from Gage; that Gage has ordered all the molasses to be distilled into rum for the soldiers; that he has taken away all licenses for selling of liquors, and given them to his creatures; that he has issued an order that no one else shall sell under a penalty of ten pounds; that the spirit which prevails among the soldiers is that of malice and revenge; that there is no true courage to be observed among them; that their duty is hard, always holding themselves in readiness for an attack, which they are in continual fear of; that Doctor Eliot 1 was not on board of a man-of-war as was reported; Mr. Lovel, with many others, is certainly in jail; that last week a poor milch cow was killed in town and sold for a shilling sterling a pound; that the transports from Ireland and New York arrived last week, but every additional man adds to their distress. 2


1 Andrew Eliot, D. D., pastor of the new church in Boston.
2 Pennsylvania Journal, August 2.

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