Gage, Thomas

Gage, Thomas (1720-1787) British General: Gage served as military governor of Montreal before he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in North America in 1763. He remained in that position until the beginning of the Revolutionary War. A firm supporter of the imperial government, Gage was ineffective in dealing with the colonists. Even as Governor of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775, he maintained his belief in the supremacy of Parliament and its right to levy taxes to support local administration and defense, unable to reconcile the colonists' concerns about representation. When colonists opposed the 1765 Stamp Act and the 1767 Townshend Duties, Gage advocated using the army to intimidate or crush opposition. Nevertheless, he was unwilling to use troops without authority from civil leadership, and preferred to avoid clashes between soldiers and civilians. When, in 1775, permission was granted for him to use force against the rebellious colonists, he was ineffective in his efforts. Gage's troops suffered heavy casualties at Lexington., Concord, and Bunker Hill., and the army was blockaded in Boston. After this, Gage was recalled.