Thomas Gage papers  1754-1807 (bulk 1759-1775)
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Additional Descriptive Data

In addition to this finding aid, the Clements Library has created three other research aids:

  • The Correspondence Inventory lists the bulk of the collection's contributors and inventories each item sent or received from them to Gage.
  • The Subject Index provides access to events, people, places, and topics discussed in the collection. The index also contains a list of contributors, a list of the collection's maps, and an itemized list of volumes 137-139 of the American series.
  • The Volume Descriptions provide brief overviews of the content of each volume in the collection.

Colonial Governors and Lieutenant Governors:

  • Bahamas (New Providence): William Shirley and Montfort Browne
  • Barbados: Charles Pinfold
  • Bermuda: George James Bruere
  • Connecticut: Thomas Fitch, William Pitkin, and John Trumbull
  • East Florida: James Grant, John Moultrie, and Patrick Tonyn
  • Georgia: James Wright
  • Grenada: Robert Melville and William Leybourne
  • Maryland: Horatio Sharpe
  • Massachusetts: Francis Bernard and Thomas Hutchinson
  • Montréal: William Dunbar
  • New Hampshire: John Wentworth
  • New Jersey: William Franklin
  • New York: Cadwallader Colden, Henry Moore, and William Tryon
  • Newfoundland: John Byron, John Gorham, Walter Patterson, Robert Duff
  • Niagara: Pierce Sinnott
  • North Carolina: William Tryon and Josiah Martin
  • Nova Scotia: Montague Wilmot, William Campbell, William Franklin, and Francis Legge
  • Pennsylvania: William Penn
  • Québec: James Murray, Guy Carleton, Hector Theophilus Cramahe
  • Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, Samuel Ward, and Joseph Wanton
  • St. Vincent's Island: William Leyborne
  • South Carolina: William Bull, Thomas Boone, Charles Greville Montague, William Campbell
  • Virginia: Francis Fauquier and John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore
  • West Florida: George Johnstone, Montfort Browne, Elias Durnford, and Peter Chester

Thomas Gage Biographical Timeline:

1719/1720 Thomas Gage born
1741 Gage purchases a commission as lieutenant
1742 May Gage promoted to captain-lieutenant
1743 January Gage promoted to captain
1745 May 11 Gage serves as aide-de-camp at Battle of Fontenoy
1746 April 16 Gage participates in Battle of Culloden
1751 March 2 Gage promoted to lieutenant-colonel
1754 Fall Gage ordered to America for Edward Braddock's expedition
1755 January Gage departs for America
1755, 9 July Gage participates in Battle of the Monongahela; Braddock is defeated
1756 August 12 Gage sets out from Albany to Oswego for the winter
1757 Gage participates in Loudoun's expedition against Louisbourg
1757 December Gage establishes a light infantry regiment in North America and a recruiting headquarters in Brunswick, New Jersey
1758 February Gage returns to Albany
1758 July 8 Gage participates at the Battle of Carillon
1758 October The British sign the Treaty of Easton with the Six Nations
1758 November Gage receives word of his appointment as brigadier general
1758 December 8 Gage married Margaret Kimble in Brunswick
1759 January Gage returns to Albany and assumes command of the city and nearby forts
1759 July-August Gage refuses to advance against La Galette
1760 Gage commands rearguard of Amherst's campaign to Montréal as the British take Montréal from the French
1760 September Gage appointed military governor of Montréal
1760 October Gage begins tenure as military governor
1761 Gage promoted to major-general
1762 Gage receives colonelcy of 22nd Regiment
1763 February10 Treaty of Paris ends conflict between Britain and France
1763 October Gage's tenure as military governor of Montréal ends
1763 November 17 Gage accepts temporary appointment as commander-in-chief of British forces in North America
1764 April 5 Parliament passes Sugar Act
1764 October Henry Bouquet marches against the Indians of Ohio
1764 November 16 Gage formally commissioned by George III as commander-in-chief of British forces in North America
1765 October 10 British take control of Fort Chartres from the French
1765 November 1 Stamp Act goes into effect in the American colonies
1767 June 29 Townshend Revenue Act passed
1768 Summer Gage orders abandonment of posts along the borders of the British colonies in America
1768 November 5 British officials and the Six Nations agree to the treaty at Fort Stanwix
1770 March 5 Boston Massacre
1772 June 9 Gaspée Affair
1773 June Gage sails to England on leave of absence, General Haldimand temporarily takes over as commander-in-chief of North America
1773 September Gage meets with Lord North and Lord Dartmouth to discuss French settlement in the West
1773 December 16 Boston Tea Party
1774 March 25 Boston Port Act, one of the "Intolerable Acts" passed by Parliament
1774 April 2 Cabinet announces Gage's appointment as governor of Massachusetts, succeeding Thomas Hutchinson
1774 May 13 Gage returns to America, arriving in Boston Harbor
1774 September 5 First Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia and issues Declaration and Resolves
1774 October 5 Massachusetts House of Representatives becomes a "Provincial Congress" with John Hancock as president
1774 October 20 The Association, prohibiting trade with Great Britain, formed in Boston
1774 December 14 Sons of Liberty in New Hampshire take Fort William and Mary in Portsmouth
1775 January 27 Earl of Dartmouth orders Gage to seize leaders of rebellion
1775 April 18 Gage sends column to Concord, Massachusetts
1775 April 19 Battles of Lexington and Concord
1775 May 10 Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys take Fort Ticonderoga; Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia
1775 May 12 The colonists capture Fort Crown Point
1775 June 12 Gage declares martial law in Boston
1775 June 17 Battle of Bunker Hill
1775 September 26 Gage ordered to return to London
1775 October 10 Gage leaves Boston for England; William Howe becomes new commander-in-chief
1781 April 13 Gage offered a position on Amherst's staff to prepare for the defense of Kent against the French
1782 November 20 Gage promoted to full general
1787 April 2 Thomas Gage dies
Alternate Locations

The following three collections were originally part of the Thomas Gage papers:

The following seven items are located in the Clements Library's Gold Star collection :

  • General Thomas Gage to Captain Francis Smith, orders for the Concord expedition: April 18, 1775
  • Joseph Palmer to Philip Mortimer, regarding the battle at Lexington: April 19, 1775
  • John Parker to Massachusetts Provincial Congress, deposition of a witness at Lexington: April 25, 1775
  • Major John Pitcairn to General Thomas Gage, British version of the battle at Lexington: April 26, 1775
  • Rachel Revere to Paul Revere, regarding her husband's plan to go into hiding: April or May, 1775
  • Benjamin Thompson, military intelligence for the British Army: May 6, 1775
  • Gen. William Howe, Gen. Henry Clinton, Gen. John Burgoyne to Gen. Thomas Gage, request for equipage money: July 19, 1775
Related Materials

The Clements Library holds several collections that contain items written to or from Thomas Gage:

  • The John Calef memorials and petitions contain 1 Gage-related item.
  • The Henry Clinton papers contain 12 Gage-related items.
  • The Frederick Mackenzie papers include a headquarters record book containing copies of proclamations made by Gage.
  • The Shelburne papers contain 84 Gage-related items.
  • The Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney, papers include 1 Gage-related letter.
  • The Charles Townshend papers have copies of Gage letters and estimates of provisions.

Related collections outside of the Clements Library:

  • Most of what is left of Gage's private papers is located in the Gage family seat in Firle, Sussex.
  • Gage's official correspondence with departments of the British government is in the National Archives (United Kingdom).
  • The John P. Branch historical papers of Randolph-Macon College at the Randolph-Macon Historical Society contain 7 letters from Gage (1766-1772), and 4 documents related to Gage (1766-1769).
  • The Sussex Archaeological Society holds a Gage family collection.
  • The Burton Historical collection at the Detroit Public Library has 15 items related to Gage concerning relations with the Indians at Detroit (1764-1771).

For short biographies of Gage, see:

  • American National Biography
  • The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • Canadian Dictionary of National Biography.

Alden, John Richard. General Gage in America: Being Principally a History of his Role in the American Revolution. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1948.

Carter, Clarence Edwin, ed. Correspondence of Thomas Gage. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1933.

Carter, Clarence Edwin. Notes on the Lord Gage Collection of Manuscripts. Cedar Rapids, Ia.: Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 1929.

Croghan, George, and Thomas Gage. George Croghan's Journal of his Trip to Detroit in 1767, With his Correspondence Relating Thereto: Now Published for the First Time from the Papers of General Thomas Gage in the William L. Clements Library. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan press, 1939.

De Berniere, Henry, and Thomas Gage. General Gage's Instructions, of 22d February 1775, to Captain Brown And Ensign D'Bernicre [!] ... With a Curious Narrative of Occurences During their Mission. Boston: Printed, and to be sold, by J. Gill, 1779.

Dunn, Walter Scott. Frontier Profit and Loss: The British Army and the Fur Traders, 1760-1764. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1998.

Dunnigan, Brian Leigh. The Necessity of Regularity in Quartering Soldiers: The Organization, Material Culture, and Quartering of the British Soldier at Michilimackinac. Mackinac Island, MI: Mackinac State Historic Parks, 1999.

French, Allen. General Gage's Informers; New Material upon Lexington & Concord: Benjamin Thompson as Loyalist & the Treachery of Benjamin Church, Jr. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1932.

Ketchum, Richard M.Decisive Day: The Battle for Bunker Hill . Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1974.

Mowat, Charles Loch, and Thomas Gage. Material Relating to British East Florida in the Gage Papers and Other Manuscript Collections In the William L. Clements Library. Tallahassee, Florida, 1939.

Peckham, Howard H. The Gage Papers. Ann Arbor, Mich., 1941.

Peckham, Howard H. Sources of American Independence: Selected Manuscripts from the Collections of the William L. Clements Library. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978.

Scott, Seaman Morley. Material Relating to Québec in the Gage and Amherst Papers. Toronto, 1938.

Whereas His Excellency General Gage ... Hath Conducted as an Instrument ... to Enslave This People ... Resolved the Said General Gage ... Ought to be Considered ... as an Unnatural ... Enemy... Watertown, 1775.