[REVOLUTIONARY WAR]. Two favorite Songs, Made on the Evacuation of the Town of Boston, by the British Troops, on the 17th of March, 1776. N.p., n.d. .
Large folio broadside (17 x 10½ in.), some deckle edges preserved. Large woodcut of a harbor fortress and naval vessels exchanging cannon fire (2 5/8 x 6½ in.), text in two columns in roman type, short printer's ornament at bottom of the second column. (Margins frayed with small losses, especially at top, several small losses at fold intersections slightly affecting woodcut and two words text, one light stain).
"...NOW IS THE TIME TO MAN YOUR LINES, FOR THE SOLDIERS HAVE LEFT BOSTON"
A rare, large-format broadside containing two songs celebrating the British evacuation of Boston to General Washington's army after a siege that had lasted from April 1775. Winslow noted that the large woodcut had previously been used on a broadside of 1745 describing the siege of Louisbourg. The first song begins: "In seventeen hundred and seventy six, On March the eleventh, the time was prefix'd, Our forces march'd on Dorchester Neck, Made fortifications against an attack." The supplies and munitions left by the departing British are mentioned, as is a fire set at Castle William during the evacuation. The poet concludes spiritedly: "Let 'em go, let 'em go, for what they will fetch, I think their great Howe is a miserable wretch; And as for his men, they are fools for their pains, So let them return to Old England again."
The second song, in a different meter, comprises 13 four-line stanzas. It commences with a remembrance of the Battle of Bunker Hill: "It wasn't our will that Bunker-Hill, From us should e'er be taken..." The American re-occupation of Bunker Hill is described, along with several scarecrows left by the British (to give the impression it was still garrisoned). Then, "The women come, and children run, To brave Putnam rejoicing, Saying now is the time to man your lines, For the soldiers have left Boston." The poet speculates on the British force's destination: "Some say they've sail'd for Halifax, And others for New-York...Where they are bound there's none can tell, But the great God on high, May all our heads be covered well, When cannon balls do fly."
A smaller format broadside of the same two songs, in a different type setting but employing the same cut, is entitled simply On the evacuation of Boston by the British Troops (see Lowance & Bumgardner 28; Winslow 71). For this version: Bristol B4385; Shipton & Mooney 43179; Ford 2040; Wegelin 808. The sole other copy traced is at the Essex Institute.