29 | To [John Pownall]

    Boston feb. 21 1761

    Dear Sr.

    I wrote to you a Short letter dated January 19.171 by the Tavistock mastship from New hampshire, wherein I acquainted you that Mr. Barrons was playing the Devil in this Town, having formed a Confederacy to demolish the Admiralty Customhouse & all Authority immediately proceeding from the King. I was in hope before this time to have sent particular accounts of these tran[s]actions: but the extraordinary business Mr. Barrons had cut for me has employed all time that was not Engaged by my ordinary employments. As I imagine an explanation of this Extraordinary Affair will be impatiently wanted, & I suppose Mr. Barrons has already sent partial Accounts of it. I shall endeavour to get this in time for the Packet at New York, (for there is no Ship going from this Port that I choose to trust to) to inform you how this Affair stands. The Embarrasmt. His Confederates brought me under with the Assembly, I got rid of with credit & honour: The Votes of the house Sufficiently explain that matter: Since which the tumult has quite subsided in regard to me. Soon after the prorogation of the Assembly which was the last day of January, Mr. Paxton the Surveyor of the Customs delivered unto the Surveyor General a Charge against Mr. Barrons consisting of 20 Articles. the surveyor General by letter172 desired that I & the Judge of the Admiralty173 would assist him in making an enquiry into Mr. Barrons Conduct therein. To this I agreed on condition the judge of the Admiralty would accede thereto: & the Judge of the Admiralty accorded thereto

    We have opened our Conferences & have had two Meetings & are to continue the same untill the whole enquiry is gone thro’ which will take up a good deal of time. this cannot be avoided if we would, as we are desirous to do, render the proceedings unexceptionable. Nor ought we to grudge the trouble (tho for my Part I can very ill spare the time) for it is not a Question of dispute between the two Officers, but of a contention between the Kings Authority & Law and the Subjects & Objects of them; Either this confederacy of Mr. Barrons must be broke or the whole body of the Laws of trade must be given up, I would not anticipate particulars of this enquiry until, the whole is finished; therefore I will only repeat my Assurance that I will give Lord Halifax a full account of this business, before it comes in form before your board or any other.

    I have a Great deal to write to Ld. Halifax upon this & other subjects; & therefore greatly regret my time being taken up by a business that I ought not to have been troubled with. All that I have to say for my self is, that I work as hard as I can & have but one head & one Pr. of hands. As fast as they will serve I will get thro’ all the business I have before me

    I long desired to write fully to the Govr.; but waited for a safe Conveyance to which I might trust my thoughts. But as your last letter174 & some letters from him to others, quite ascertain his departure to Carolina, I must now wait till I hear of his Arrival there, I wrote to you by the Packet Boat sailed from NYork Jan 19th. by the Lucretia Snow Folgier175 Master Sailed from Boston Jan 16. by the Tavistock mastship sailed from Portsmouth Jan 22.__ I am obliged to conclude this Letter that it may be ready when called for: & desiring that our Compliments may be made acceptable to your self & Lady176 I am Sr. &c &c

    You will present my respects to Ld. Halifax & inform him of such part of the foregoing as you shall think necessary.

    L, LbC BP, 1: 296-298.