From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.
May 21. –A correspondent writing from Boston, says: — “As to the inhabitants removing, they are suffered to go out under certain restrictions. This liberty was obtained after many town-meetings, and several conferences between their committee and General Gage. The terms mutually agreed to were: ‘That the inhabitants should deliver up all their arms to the selectmen.’ This was generally done, though it took up some days. On this condition the inhabitants were to have had liberty to move out of town, with their effects, and during this to have free egress and regress. But mark the event. The arms being delivered, orders were issued by the general, that those who inclined to remove must give in their names to the selectmen, to be by them returned to the military town major, who was then to write a pass for the person or family applying, to go through the lines or over the ferry. But all merchandise was forbid; after a while, all provisions were forbid; and now, all merchandise, provisions, and medicine. Guards are appointed to examine all trunks, boxes, beds, and every thing else to be carried out; these have proceeded to such extremities, as to take from the poor people a single loaf of bread and half a pound of chocolate; so that no one is allowed to carry out a mouthful of provisions; but all is submitted to quietly. The anxiety indeed is so great to get out of town, that even were we obliged to go naked, it would not hinder us. But there are so many obstructions thrown in the way, that I do not think those who are most anxious, will be all out in less than two or three months. Vastly different from what was expected; for the general at first proposed, unasked, to procure the admiral’s boats to assist the inhabitants in the transportation of their effects, which is not done, and there are but two ferry boats allowed to cross. They have their designs in this, which you may easily guess at. We suffer much for want of fresh meat. The transports, with the marines, are all arrived.”1
1 Pennsylvania Journal, June 7.