• Salem Maritime National Historic Site

    Salem Maritime

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

"By His Excellency's Command:" General Gage and the British Army in Salem

General Gage and His Troops Return to Salem, July 20-21, 2013!

Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, 10AM to 4PM

Download a complete schedule for the weekend here. This is a pdf file. To read it, you will need the free Adobe reader available from the link on the right hand side of the page.

 
An illustration of a drummer from the 59th Regiment

A drummer from the 59th Regiment, one of the regiments brought to Salem by General Gage in the summer of 1774

Courtesy of Don Troiani

In June of 1774, General Thomas Gage, the newly-appointed Governor of Massachusetts, arrived in Boston with some controversial orders in his pocket: move the Capitol of Massachusetts to Salem, where calmer heads would hopefully prevail after several years of upheaval in Boston. He was wrong. During that summer, the Massachusetts legislature defied him, sent representatives to the first Continental Congress, and rejected his authority as Governor, setting in motion the events that culminated in the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

To commemorate that event, Salem Maritime, the National Park in Salem, and the Center for 18th Century Life at Minute Man NHP are once again hosting a British Encampment at Salem Maritime on July 20-21, 2013. The National Park Service has invited some of the best re-enactors in Massachusetts to portray General Gage, his staff, his troops, and the legislators and civilians that he met in Massachusetts.

 

More resources

The British Soldier in 1774

Salem in 1774

 

Did You Know?

The octant is a navigational tool based on the curve of one eighth of a circle. It measures angles for solar and celestial navigation.

In 1799, Salem native Nathaniel Bowditch revised John H. Moore's New Practical Navigator, the standard navigation manual of the 18th century. Bowditch discovered and corrected over 8,000 errors in Moore's manual! In 1802, Bowditch published the New American Practical Navigator.