A Blupete Biography Page

Thomas Gage

Gage, like most of the British officer class, came from an aristocratic English family. In 1755, Gage was with Braddock and was one of the few officers (along with Washington) to survive the disaster that befell the British on their way to attack the French at Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh). In 1757, Gage was with Lord Loudoun at Halifax where there was assembled a large force which was intended to strike at Louisbourg. In 1758, he was at Ticonderoga; in 1759, at Crown Point. In 1760 he was with Amherst at Montreal (Gage commanded the rear guard).

At the end of the hostilities, after the French had surrendered, in 1760, Gage became the military governor of Montreal. "While at Montreal Gage was regarded as an honest, fair, and conscientious administrator ..." (DCB.) In 1763, succeeding Amherst, Gage became the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in America. In 1774, in the face of mounting difficulties, Gage was appointed, in addition, as the Governor of Massachusetts.

It was Gage, in April of 1775, who ordered the march on Concord which led to the skirmish at Lexington, an event which has been used to mark the beginning of the American Revolution. After the Battle of Bunker Hill (June, 1775), Gage, though a very capable administrator, had lost the confidence of those both above and below in respect to his soldiering abilities; he was recalled to England "ostensibly for consultations"; he was not to return to America.

In spite of tales to the contrary, General Gage, was not one to throw his weight around, on the contrary. John C. Miller in his Origins of the American Revolution observed: "He attempted to win over the Whigs by fair dealing: he took care to keep the military subordinated to the civil power; and he listened at all times to the complaints of the townspeople and kept the Tories awaiting in his anteroom. Indeed, in the opinion of many Tories and Englishmen, Gage was an 'old woman' who coddled the Bostonians when they merited a whipping." (Boston: Little, Brown, 1943, at pp. 397-8.)


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Peter Landry
2012 (2020)