SOURCE: History of the Town of Candia, Rockingham County, NH, from its First Settlement to the Present Time; J. Bailey Moore; Manchester, NH; 1893.
THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION
AFTER the conquest of Canada and the close of the French and Indian wars, the people of the American colonies cherished the hope that they would be permitted to enjoy a long period of peace and prosperity. But they soon began to realize that their hopes were delusive dreams, so long as they were under the dominion of tyrants beyond the seas.
The long war with France had exhausted the British treasury, and various schemes were devised by the ministry and parliament to replenish it. Among these was an act to tax the American colonies, by greatly increasing the duties on tea, sugar, molasses, coffee, and other goods imported from the West Indies and other countries. The Stamp Act, which was passed by Parliament in 1765, providing that no deeds, wills, or other legal papers should be valid unless they bore government stamps, which Vere brought from England and sold at stipulated prices, was another exercise of tyrannical power. The intelligence of the passage of this act caused great excitement and indignation throughout the colonies, as it had been constantly asserted and maintained that taxation without representation was tyranny.
The duty on tea was the most obnoxious tax, not because of the amount per pound, but because of the claim of the British Government that it had a right to tax their American colonies at all; and the people very generally entered into an agreement that they would not import or use tea while it was subject to a duty. As a consequence, the importation of tea was greatly limited, and the attempt to derive a revenue from this source was a complete failure. The British Government there upon took off the duty, and the East India company was allowed to ship their teas to America, and to pay the Government three pence per pound on its being landed. The three pence per pound was of course added to the cost of the tea to the consumers. The colo-
nists were not so stupid as to be caught by so transparent a trick, and their resistance to the tax became more determined than ever. Public meetings were held in many of the towns in the colonies, and it was resolved that "whoever directly or indirectly aided or assisted in the importation of any of the East Indies company's teas, or any teas whatever, should be deemed an enemy to America."
An attempt to import a quantity of tea at Portsmouth, caused great excitement, and the tea was afterwards reshipped. At about the same time a ship arrived in Boston harbor with a cargo of tea. The vessel was boarded by a resolute company of the colonists, and the tea was taken from the hold and thrown overboard into the sea.
The British Government, finding that the colonists would not submit to their acts of tyranny, resolved to overawe them by making a display of its power. As Boston was the central point of the resistance to the demands of the King and Parliament, a force of 3,000 men, under the command of General Gage, was sent to Boston and quartered among the people of that town. Trade and business of all kinds were suspended, in consequence, and the people suffered from the want of food and the other necessaries of life. In this emergency, the people of the adjacent towns sent them food, and otherwise contributed to their support.
In the latter part of December, 1774, an order from the King and Council forbidding the exportation of powder and other military stores from England to the American colonies was received at Boston. At the same time, it became known that troops were about to be sent from Boston to disarm Fort William and Mary at the mouth of the Piscataqua river. The information was immediately conveyed to Portsmouth by Paul Revere, whereupon the Committee of Safety of that town collected together three or four hundred men, who belonged to Portsmouth and the surrounding towns, for the purpose of capturing the powder and stores from the fort. The enterprise was successful in every particular, and ninety-seven barrels of powder, sixty stand of arms and sixteen pieces of cannon were taken and removed to a place of safety.
The blow aimed at the people of the Province of Massa-
chusetts, the principal place to offer open resistance, to the attempt to deprive them of their rights, was also directed towards the people of all the British colonies in America, and the people of New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the other colonies, at once prepared to co-operate with their brethren of New England in the work of defending the rights of all.
In May, 1774, a Congress, consisting of delegates from all the colonies, assembled at Philadelphia for the purpose of forming a confederation of the colonies in opposing the attempts to strip them of their rights and liberties.
New Hampshire joined in this movement with alacrity, and a Provincial Convention of delegates was called to meet at Exeter on January 25, of that year, to choose delegates to attend the first Philadelphia Convention or Continental Congress, as it was called.
At a special town meeting held in Candia, July 11, Abraham Fitts was chosen a delegate to the General Congress at Exeter.
The Provincial Congress at Exeter elected Nathaniel Folsom and John Sullivan delegates to the Continental Congress at Philadelphia.
The Continental Congress in an address to the people, counselled them to maintain peace, harmony and union among themselves, to practice economy, to promote manufactories, avoid law suits, improve themselves in such military arts as would best fit them for real action in engagements.
In response to the address, the military companies in Candia and other towns were frequently drilled in the use of arms.
At a town meeting held January 3, 1775, Moses Baker was chosen a delegate to the Provincial Convention to be held at Exeter, January 25, and it was voted that the selectmen should buy a barrel of powder, flints and lead, answerable thereto as a parish stock. At the same meeting Walter Robie, Nathaniel Emerson, Samuel Mooers, Benjamin Cass and Jacob Worthen were chosen a committee to inspect all persons, to ascertain their views in regard to the affairs of the present day.
Voted that Nathaniel Emerson, Moses Baker, Ensign Bean be a committee to request all the males in Candia, from sixteen to sixty years of age, to meet at some convenient time at the meeting house in order to viewing with arms and ammunition.
At a town meeting held February 21, 1775, Nathaniel Burpee, Abraham Fitts, Moses Baker and Ichabod Robie were added to the Committee of Inspection.
BATTLES OF LEXINGTON AND CONCORD.
On the 19th of April, a detachment of troops was sent by General Gage from Boston, to destroy a quantity of provisions and ammunition which had been collected by the Americans, and stored at Concord. On arriving at Lexington, they were ordered to fire upon a company of about seventy Americans, who had assembled upon the common, near the meeting house of the town. The order was obeyed, eight of the Americans fell, and the remainder retreated. The British troops then proceeded to Concord and destroyed a part of the stores collected there, when they were furiously assaulted by the citizens of Concord and the neighboring towns. The British commander ordered a retreat. The Americans slowly followed, and poured in upon them a most destructive fire along the whole line of march to Lexington. At that point, the retreating troops were re-enforced by a regiment of British infantry, which had been sent to their relief by General Gage, from Boston. The total loss of the British, in this affair, was two hundred and seventy-three, in killed, wounded and missing. The Americans lost eighty-eight men.
The news of this, the first conflict of the war, spread with great rapidity throughout all the surrounding towns. It is said that Colonel Nathaniel Emerson received the news at midnight, and rode up to the meeting house, firing minute guns as he went, to arouse the inhabitants. Nine or more of the most resolute of the able-bodied young men of the town, volunteered to proceed to the scene of conflict. Preparations for departure were hurriedly made, a supply of provisions were placed in their knapsacks, and with their muskets upon their shoulders they were soon on their way
to Lexington. These men from Candia were followed by others in a day or two. When they arrived at Chester, they were probably joined by men from Deerfield, Nottingham and other neighboring towns, who were bound on the same patriotic mission. Finding upon their arrival in Massachusetts there were no indications that hostilities would be resumed immediately, some of the volunteers from Candia returned home, while others enlisted in Massachusetts regiments.
At a special town meeting, held May 11, 1775, Samuel Mooers was chosen a delegate to represent the town in the Provincial Convention to be held at Exeter, May 17, and Moses Baker, Abraham Fitts, Samuel Towle, Stephen Palmer, Nathaniel Emerson, and Jacob Worthen were chosen a committee to give general instructions to Dr. Mooers.
The appointment of this committee shows that the citizens of Candia realized the full responsibilities the colonists were about to assume; and the necessity of proceeding with great caution, in order that nothing should be done in a hasty or indiscreet manner.
At the meeting of the Provincial Congress at Exeter, May 17, I776, it was voted to raise two thousand men to be organized into three regiments. The commanders of these regiments were John Stark, James Reed, and Enoch Poor. Nathaniel Folsom was elected Major-General. The regiments immediately proceeded to Cambridge, and were placed under the command of General Artemus Ward, the Commander-in-Chief of the Massachusetts forces.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
On the evening of June 16, orders were given to Colonel William Prescott to occupy and fortify the heights of Bunker Hill, with a detachment of one thousand men. By some mistake, Prescott advanced to Breed's Hill, about three-fourths of a mile nearer to Boston, and proceeded to construct intrenchments at that point.
At daybreak the next morning, the British General opened a heavy artillery fire upon the works of the Americans, but without much effect. Early in the afternoon, a large body of troops, which were sent over from Boston in boats by
General Gage, to attack the American works. The British columns were twice repulsed with great loss. On the third assault, the Americans, who had expended their ammunition, were compelled to retreat.
The British loss at the battle was one thousand and fifty-four, in killed, wounded and missing. The American loss was four hundred and fifty-three men.
The powder used by the New Hampshire troops in this battle was a part of that captured from Fort William and Mary.
Seven men, who belonged in Candia, were present in this battle. They were enlisted in Captain Hezekiah Hutchins' Company, of Colonel James Reed's Regiment, of New Hampshire. The following are the names, ages, time of enlistment, etc., of each. After the names of the killed and wounded, are the losses in arms, clothing, etc., as certified by Samuel Herbert Martin, and the amount paid for the same
|| " wounded|
|| " wounded|
The following is a statement of the losses sustained at the battle by the above Candia soldiers:
John Clifford, 1 coat, 1 blanket, 1 shirt, 1 pair trousers, 1 pair stockings, and 1 pack. Paid 2 pounds, 4 shillings.
Parker Hills paid 7 pounds, 3 shillings, 2 pence.
Amos Knowles, 1 coat, 1 blanket, 1 shirt, 1 pair stockings, 1 knapsack. Paid 1 pound, 12 shillings.
Samuel Morrill, 1 blanket, 2 jackets, 1 shirt, 2 pair trousers, 1 pair stockings, 1 pack, 1 gun. Paid 4 shillings, 19 pence.
John Varnum. 1 blanket, 1 gun, 1 shirt, 1 coat, 1 pack. Paid 5 pounds, 1 shilling.
John Wentworth, who was the last Governor of New Hampshire, and was appointed to the office by a British King, found the position too hot for him after the battle of
Bunker Hill, and fled from his residence at Portsmouth to the Isles of Shoals, and soon afterwards he went to England.
After the abdication of Governor Wentworth and the dissolution of the royal government, New Hampshire, for a short time, had no regularly appointed rulers. A convention was held at Exeter, May 17, 1775, to establish a provisional government. One hundred and two towns were represented by one hundred and thirty-two delegates.
The convention which assembled at Exeter, made provisions for calling a new convention which should more fully represent the people. A new convention promptly assembled, drew up a temporary form of government which assumed the name of House of Representatives, adopted a constitution, and chose twelve men to constitute a distinct and co-ordinate branch of the government called the Council. Meshech Weare was appointed president of the Council and president of the Executive Committee of Safety.
CANDIA SOLDIERS AT CAMBRIDGE IN 1775.
The following is a list of the names of the Candia men who were enlisted and served in Captain Coggswell s company, of Colonel Loammi Baldwin's regiment, of Massachusetts, from April 1st to August 24th, 1775:
John Bagley, Sewell Brown, Nathan Burpee, John Clay, Silas Cammet, Thomas Dearborn, Lieutenant Moses Dustin, Jesse Eaton, Jacob Flanders, Jonathan Green, David Hill, Drummer, Isaac Knowles, James McClure, Samuel Mooers, Philip Morse, Moses Morse, Stephen Palmer, Bernard Pollard, Ezekiel Pollard, Enoch Rowell, Sergeant, Robert Wilson, James Eaton, Joseph Long.
At Bunker Hill, Samuel Morrill received a ball in his loins in consequence of which he was partially paralyzed. He was treated in a hospital in Cambridge for several weeks, for which the Government paid 2 pounds, 19 shillings, 5 pence.
It is said that John Hills, while lying upon his back in the act of loading his gun, a spent ball, which was fired by a British soldier, struck one of his feet without doing him much harm, and that he endeavored to return it to the original owner, but found it too large for his gun.
Soon after the battle of Bunker Hill, a very large body of troops were in camp at Cambridge and Charlestown to watch the British army, which was quartered in Boston, and prevent it from making further advances into the country.
The following is a return of the number of cartridge boxes, cartridges, the amount of powder and number of balls in the possesssion of the Candia soldiers, who belonged to Captain Coggswell's company, at Sewell's Point, December 21, 1775
||1-4 1b "
In June, 1776, General Washington was chosen Commander in Chief of the American army by the Continental Congress. In a few weeks afterwards he arrived at Cambridge and took command of the troops stationed there. He immediately proceeded to discipline the recruits and make preparations for driving the British army from Boston. Forts were built at various points on the land side of the town. The siege continued until March, 1776, when Washington took possession of Dorchester Heights, a point within a short distance from the British camp, and established heavy batteries there.
On the I7th of March, St Patrick's Day, everything was in readiness to bombard the town. General Gage was filled with dismay as he saw his danger, and hastened to open negotiations with Washington in regard to the state of affairs. It was finally agreed that the British general should be allowed to embark his troops upon his ships and withdraw from the town. In a day or two, the British fleet with the army on board, sailed out of Boston harbor and proceeded to Halifax. The next day Washington, at the head of his troops, marched into Boston to the great joy of the inhabitants.
During the siege, many Candia men were on duty at Cambridge and Charlestown, but when the British army retired they returned to their homes.
On the first of December, 1775, the troops stationed at Winter Hill from Connecticut refused to tarry longer in service there, and General Sulivan, who had been appointed a Brigadier-General, urged the Committee of Safety to send men from New Hampshire at once to fill their places. Thirty companies were accordingly immediately raised in the various towns in the state, and a large part of them were sent to Winter Hill. Captain Moses Baker, of Candia, was Captain of the Eleventh company, Joseph Dearborn, 1st Lieutenant, and Benjamin Cass, 2nd Lieutenant. These troops were called The Six Weeks Men.
In April, 1776, the Committee of Safety in New Hampshire, acting in accordance with the wishes of the Continental Congress, sent to each town a circular, a copy of which is given below
SELECT MEN OF CANDIA.
|IN COMMITTEE OF SAFETY, April 12, 1770|
In order to carry the underwritten RESOLVES of the Honorable 'Continental Congress into execution, you are requested to desire all males above twenty-one years of age, (lunatics, idiots and Negroes excepted,) to sign to the declaration on this paper; and when so done, to make return hereof together with the name or names of all who shall refuse to sign the same, to the General Assembly or Committee of Safety of this Colony.
|IN CONGRESS, March 14, 1776.|
Resolved, That it be recommended to the several Assemblies, Conventions, and Councils, or Committees of Safety, of the United Colonies, immediately to cause all persons to be disarmed within their respective Colonies, who are notoriously disaffected to the cause of America, or who have not associated, and refuse to associate, to defend by arms,
the United Colonies against the hostile attempts of :the British fleets and armies.
Extract from the minutes.
In consequence of the above resolution of the Hon. Continental Congress, and to show our determination in join- our American brethren in defending the lives, liberties and properties of the inhabitants of the United Colonies.
||CHARLES THOMPSON, Sec'y.|
We, the subscribers, do hereby solemnly engage and promise, that we will to the utmost of our power, at the risk of our lives and fortunes, with arms, oppose the hostile proceedings of the British fleets and armies against the United American Colonies.
William Baker, John Clay, Thomas Dearborn, Jonathan Pillsbury, Samuel Dearborn, Enoch Rowell, James Eaton, Nathaniel Emerson, Samuel Mooers, Ezekiel Knowles, Walter Robie, Abraham Fitts, Nathaniel Maxfield, Moses Baker, Nicholas Smith, Thomas Emery, Benjamin Batchelder, Enoch Colby, John Lane, Jonathan Smith, Robert Wilson, John Sargent, Joseph Palmer, James Varnum, Thomas Patten, Benjamin Hubbard, Samuel Buswell, Henry Clark, Elijah True, John Clark, Zachariah Clifford, Samuel Brown, Daniel Hall, Benjamin Cass, Jonathan Brown, John Hills, John Colby, Aaron Brown, William Eaton, William Turner, Jethro Hill, Obadiah Hall, Robert. Smart, Sherburne Rowe, Moses Sargent, David Bean, Joseph Fifield, Thomas Anderson, Obediah Smith, Stephen Fifield, Ebenezer Eaton, James Miller, Theophilus Clough, Robert Wason, Benjamin Rowels, Jonathan Hills, Paul Eaton, Nathaniel Burpee, Samuel Morrill, David Hill, Jeremiah Burpee, William Hills, Samuel Towle, Nicholas French, John Cammet, Simon French, Stephen Palmer, Samuel Clough, Benaiah Colby, Nehemiah Brown, David Jewett, Daniel Dolber, Samuel Worthen, John Carr, John Moor, Sewell Brown, James Prescott, Hugh Medellan, Stephen Palmer, Jun., Jonathan Bagley, Jonathan Ring, John Prescott, Zebulon Winslow, Joshua Moore, Richard Clough, Amos Knowles, Stephen Clark, Obedom Hall, Jesse Eaton, John Clifford, Benjamin Fellows, John Sargent, Jonathan Cammet, Biley Smith, Ephraim Eaton, Jacob Bagley.
On the 4th of July, 1776, the American Congress at Philadelphia declared that the United American Colonies were a free and independent nation. This declaration was received in all the colonies with the heartiest demonstrations of satisfaction. Within fourteen days it was published in all the shire towns of New Hampshire. At Exeter, it was read by the patriotic Gilman to a great assemblage of citizens. The citizens of Candia were in no sense behind their fellow citizens of other towns in the country, in giving expression to their approval of the action of the Continental Congress at Philadelphia.
THF WAR OF THE REVOLUTION-(Continued.)
During the early part of the year of 1776, the assembly of New Hampshire voted to raise 2,000 men to be divided into four regiments. The men were raised, and a part were sent to reinforce the army in New York and a part were ordered to Canada. The battles of Trenton and Princeton took place this year. Many New Hampshire troops were engaged in these battles.
During the latter part of the year 1776, there was an urgent call for troops to re-enforce the army in the field, and also for the purpose of organizing other expeditions to oppose the enemy. The Committee of Safety of New Hampshire were earnest in their endeavors to raise the men required. Major-General Folsom, who acted under the orders of the Committee of Safety, was in constant correspondence with the field officers of the regiments, upon the subject of securing the necessary numbers of men. John Webster, of Chester, was at that time the Colonel of the 17th regiment, and Nathaniel Emerson, of Candia, was Lieutenant-Colonel.
The following letters from Colonel Webster to LieutenantColonel Emerson, explain themselves:
Sir,-I must request of you that you notify
the men that are enlisted in Candia to go to New York, that they appear at my house next Saturday, at ten of the clock in the forenoon, all complete and fit to march. Of the men's names that have enlisted are Paul Eaton, John Clark, Amos Knowles, John Clay, Jun.
Sir, in complying with the above you will oblige,
|yours, JOHN WEBSTER, Col.|
Enclosed are orders for raising men, and as I am not at home, neither can be very soon, I must entreat and require of you that you take the utmost care and pains as fast as possible to get men, and that you call upon the other officers to assist, and also upon the selectmen, if need be, and to inform them that it is the opinion of the court that the shortest time for a town or parish meeting in this case will be sufficient, In case the people are notified, it may happen that there will be no need for meetings.
I think it will be best to get the officers together as soon as possible, to make a proportion of all the men to be raised with each captain, and I should be glad, that if agreeable to you, you might meet next Tuesday. As our town meeting is next Thursday, it may be of some advantage to our town meeting in raising their proportion. In complying with the above and using your best endeavors will be very pleasing and gratefully acknowledged by yours,
The enclosed orders referred to were written by Josiah Bartlett, of Exeter.
THE BATTLE OF BENNINGTON.
Early in July, 1777, information was received in New Hampshire that General Burgoyne, with a strong force, was about to march from Canada to attack the Continental Army in Northern New York. The New Hampshire Legislature hastily assembled to consider the state of affairs, and to devise measures to raise hoops to take the field at once. General Stark was given the command of several regiments, and appointed No. Four, now Charlestown, as the place of
rendezvous. The yeomanry of New Hampshire quickly rallied to his standard. Being invited by the Green Mountain Boys to lead them against the enemy, he forthwith sent 400 or 500 men to Manchester, a town twenty miles northeast of Bennington, and soon followed with the remainder of his forces.
On the 4th of August, Nathaniel Emerson, of Candia, who was Lieutenant-Colonel of Colonel Stickney's regiment, was sent by General Stark to the valley of Otter Creek to collect stores. Also, to watch the tories, and to prevent them from making a flank movement in favor of the British invaders.
On the 9th of August, a courier arrived at Stark's quarters with the intelligence that a force of 150 Indians had arrived at Cambridge, a town about twelve miles distant, and on the night of the same day, it was learned that Colonel Baum, with a large force consisting of infantry, artillery and 150 Indians, had arrived at that point. Swift couriers were at once sent to Emerson to return immediately to headquarters, and a message was also sent to Colonel Warner, the commander of a Vermont body of militia, to hasten to Stark's support.
On the 14th of August, Stark moved his whole force westward across the Walloomosack river, when he met Greg falling back before a superior force of the enemy. Finding the ground unsuitable for a general action, Stark retired with his forces about a mile and encamped, intending to make an attack that day when his expected re-enforcements should have arrived.
Col. Baum selected a position upon two hills, situated half a mile west of the dividing line between Vermont and New York, and the battle was fought in the latter state.
On the 15th of August, there was a great rain storm, and neither army was in a condition to fight a battle.
All that day and the greater portion of the night was spent by the British forces in strengthening their position. At midnight, Baum received a despatch from Colonel Breyman that re-enforcements would reach him the next day.
Stark had failed to get reliable information of Breyman's approach, but his promptness and energy probably saved him from the results of Baum's strategy.
On the 16th of August, Stark, who had his forces augmented by the Berkshire men from Massachusetts, resolved to attack the main body. His force now amounted to sixteen hundred men. Colonel Nichols, with two hundred men, was ordered to the rear of the enemy's left wing; and Colonel Herrick, with three hundred, to the rear of their right. Three hundred men were ordered to attack them in front, and draw their attention. Then, sending Colonels Hubbard and Stickney, with two hundred, to attack the right wing, and one hundred more to reinforce Nichols in the rear of their left, the battle commenced by an attack on the rear of the left wing, at precisely three o'clock in the afternoon. It was immediately seconded by the other detachments, and, at the same time, Stark himself advanced with the main body. For two hours the Hessians fought bravely; but, overwhelmed by numbers, and their entrenchments assaulted by yet braver troops, they were overpowered. The Americans forced their entrenchments, and they fled in disorder. But carelessness had now well nigh lost what valor had won. The Americans, apprehending no danger, dispersed in search of plunder and fugitives. Suddenly the reinforcements sent to Baum arrived, and fell furiously upon the scattered Americans.
Lieutenant-Colonel Emerson, who had made a hurried march from Otter Creek, arrived within a few miles of the battle field early in the afternoon of August 16th, when he halted to rest and refresh his men. In a short time he heard the roar of the battle and the march of his troops was hastily resumed. He arrived near the scene of the conflict at about the same time that Breyman, with his re-enforcements had come to the relief of Baum. Emerson's forces were soon united with those of Colonel Warier, which, fortunately, had just arrived, and a nucleus was immediately formed, around which the demoralized troops who had been engaged in the first battle rallied.
The battle lasted till night, when the enemy, retreating under cover of the darkness, made good their escape. Four pieces of cannon, with all the baggage wagons and horses of the enemy, were the trophies of the victory. Two hundred and twenty-six men were found dead on the field of
battle. Colonel Baum, mortally wounded, was taken; besides whom thirty-three officers and seven hundred privates were made prisoners. Of Stark's brigade, four officers and ten privates were killed, and forty-two were wounded.
The following is a list of the names of Candia soldiers who were enlisted in Captain Stephen Dearborn's Company, in Colonel Thomas Stickney's Regiment of General Stark's Brigade, which marched from Chester and joined the Continental Army:
John Bagley, John Cammet, Joseph Cass, Sergeant, John Clay, Anthony Clifford, Israel Clifford, Enoch Colby, Thomas Dearborn, Sergeant, Samuel Dearborn, Benjamin Eaton, Moses Emerson, Benjamin Fellows, Captain Nathaniel Maxfield, John Moore, Samuel Mooers, Ichabod Robie, Benjamin Smith, Amos Knowles, James Libby, Benjamin Wadleigh, Oliver Smith, Thomas Wilson, Philip Morse, Joseph Pillsbury, Robert Wilson, Jun.
These men were enlisted July 21, 1777, and were discharged September 28.
The decisive victory at Bennington gave great joy to the American people. The colonies had long been depressed by disaster and defeat; but when the result of the battle was known throughout the country, all true Republicans felt assured that a more glorious victory over their British oppressors would not long be delayed.
Among those who aided in securing the triumph of the American cause at Bennington, none were more active and faithful in the performance of their duties than Colonel Emerson, and none were more deserving, of the honors which have been bestowed upon them than he.
Candia, part 2 (continued)
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