In Provincial Congress, Watertown, April 30, 1775. Whereas an Agreement has been made ...
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[ This description is from the project: Coming of the American Revolution ]
This broadside announces the official agreement, made between General Gage and the Provincial Congress, allowing civilians to enter and exit Boston without harm while the town is occupied by British soldiers. Following the battles of Lexington and Concord, 12-13 thousand people fled Boston as a result of this agreement.
Permits to Pass
Gage is in an unenviable position, pressed from without, and also from within. His troops are garrisoned among the enemy, and his only supply route and means of escape are by sea. Given his tactical disadvantage, the general decides to bargain with the town's selectmen. Ratifying the deal, the Provincial Congress will also allow civilians to pass without harm. Not surprisingly, fewer choose to enter Boston than to exit it; all told, between twelve and thirteen thousand men, women, and children will flee the besieged city.
Click here to view an example of a pass issued to a Boston family.
Questions to Consider
1. Rewrite the agreement in your own words.
2. What must civilians surrender before they pass out of or into Boston?
3. What fears would have motivated individuals to leave Boston? Why might anyone want to enter Boston?
4. Do you hear of people fleeing before wars today? Give some examples from the news.
5. Pretend you are one of the young people trapped in Boston. Write a brief essay on your family's preparations to leave the city.