General George Washington to President of Congress John Hancock, 24 Oct. 1775:
"Sir: My conjecture of the destination of the late squadron from Boston, in my last, has been unhappily verified, by an outrage exceeding in barbarity and cruelty every hostile act practised among civilized nations. I have enclosed the account given me by Mr. Jones, a gentleman of the Town of Falmouth, of the destruction of that increasing and flourishing village. He is a very great sufferer, and informs me that the time allowed for the removal of effects was so small that valuable property of all kinds, and to a great amount, has been destroyed."
The British burned Falmouth, Massachusetts (now Portland, Maine) on October 18, 1775. Throughout the Revolutioanry War (1775-1783), British forces sporadically burned American towns and cities.
In the Declaration of Independence, Congress included the destruction of towns in a list of grievances against Britain's King George III: "He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people."
Sadly,Continental forces burned the towns of several Native American peoples, destroying homes and crops, and taking the residents (men, women and children) prisoner. For a John Bell's mention of the Continental Army burning Seneca towns, please visit: http://boston1775.blogspot.com/2007/03/not-george-washington.html.