Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: General Thomas Gage, from his base in Boston, by the end of 1774 had become convinced of that which he feared: that Massachusetts in particular, but the North American colonies in general, were on the precipice of open rebellion. Absent a response to his desperate plea to London for reinforcements and instructions on how to deal with a population seething with resentment, Gage began to reinforce the defenses of the city, specifically putting fortifications and cannon on the Boston Neck. In early 1775 he dispatched scouts and spies out to test provincial sentiment. This mission proved to be very dangerous. Recognized, the spies were sent packing back to Boston, full of warnings about the seething discontent and anger against the British out in the countryside. Gage was learning what it meant to lead an occupying force attempting to control a hostile population which constantly harassed his men and spied on his movements. He was surrounded and feeling isolated and besieged.