Gage, Thomas

Gage, Thomas,

d. 1656, English traveler. He went (1612) to Spain to study and became a Dominican. He lived and traveled among the Native populations of Central America from 1625 to 1637, when he returned to Europe. Renouncing Roman Catholicism, he went to England in 1641 and became an Anglican clergyman. In 1654 he went as chaplain with an expedition to the West Indies and died in Jamaica. His chief work is English-American: His Travail by Sea and Land; or, A New Survey of the West Indies (1648), an account of the wealth and defenseless condition of the Spanish possessions in America.

Bibliography

See his Travels in the New World (ed. by E. J. Thompson, 1985); study by N. Newton (1969).


Gage, Thomas,

1721–87, English general in North America. He came to America (1754) with Gen. Edward Braddock and took part in the ill-fated expedition against Fort Duquesne (1755). Later in the last of the French and Indian WarsFrench and Indian Wars,
1689–1763, the name given by American historians to the North American colonial wars between Great Britain and France in the late 17th and the 18th cent.
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 he served under James Abercromby and Jeffery Amherst. Gage was appointed (1760) governor at Montreal and later succeeded Amherst (1763) as commander in chief of British forces in North America. He thus had a highly significant post in the years when trouble between the colonists and the British government grew, and the British soldiers were receiving the brunt of the colonists' resentment. In the critical year of 1774, Gage was chosen to succeed Thomas HutchinsonHutchinson, Thomas,
1711–80, colonial governor of Massachusetts (1771–74) and historian, b. Boston. A descendant of Anne Hutchinson, he was a man of wealth and prominence, of learning, and of notable integrity.
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 as governor of Massachusetts, where affairs were most serious. He tried to put down the dissident forces in the colony and to enforce the Intolerable Acts. He ordered the arrest of Samuel AdamsAdams, Samuel,
1722–1803, political leader in the American Revolution, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. Boston, Mass.; second cousin of John Adams. An unsuccessful businessman, he became interested in politics and was a member (1765–74) and clerk
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 and John HancockHancock, John,
1737–93, political leader in the American Revolution, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. Braintree, Mass. From an uncle he inherited Boston's leading mercantile firm, and naturally he opposed the Stamp Act (1765) and other British trade
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. In Apr., 1775, he sent soldiers to seize military stores at Concord, and the colonial militia resisted; the battles of Lexington and Concord on Apr. 19 began the American Revolution. In Oct., 1775, he resigned and was succeeded by Gen. William Howe as commander in chief in the colonies, and by General Guy Carleton as commander in Canada.

Bibliography

See biography by J. Alden (1948); study by A. French (1932, repr. 1968).

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