42 | To Jeffery Amherst

    Boston Ap. 18. 1761.


    I am favoured with yours of the 9th inst & can not but be concerned, at your being dissatisfied at what has been done here, especially as I had flattered myself that upon the whole the public business here was brought to a good Conclusion.223 I am sensible that I have myself contributed to your disappointment, by the intimation I gave of my hopes of getting 4,000 men: but tho’ I had the best authority for that expectation that could be at the time I wrote, yet at the same time I considered, that if I224 succeeded in getting them for an unusual length of time, it might probably be at some expence of their Number. As to the doubts & difficulties with which this business was embarrased, you are sensible that it is in the power of a very few persons to start objections which tho’ they wont defeat will serve to delay any business; since the most groundless insinuations will allways be so much attended to, as to occasion some delay. But it would be hard to charge the whole body, with what 2 or 3 designing men & 20 or 30 misled are only answerable for; especially in this Case, where two thirds of the Assembly, among which were allmost evry one of the principal Gentlemen of the province, were on the right side. As for the stipulation which was required of me, It must have been given some time or other. I will own to you, that I believe, I could have prevented the Question being put to me, if I had thought it advisable: nay I will own that I previously consented, that it should be put to me. If I had prevented this, I am satisfied I should not be able to raise the Men: for after It had been insinuated that these Men were to be sent to the Southward, if a satisfactory answer had been refused concerning their destination, these suspicions would have gained such credit throughout the Country, that perhaps, it would have been impracticable to have removed the prejudices arising from them. And as It would be necessary on account of the levies to give some assurances concerning the destination It seemed to me to be much the best to give them before the Apprehension of their being sent to the south had been circulated & gained credit, than after: as I find it much easier to prevent prejudices than to remove them. I must add that I had not the least apprehension that this stipulation would probably (I wont say possibly) hurt the Kings Service: And tho’ the Assembly were not entitled to these Assurances, yet the Men, who are all to be Volunteers, are.

    Before the Number was fixed, I endeavoured to get as large a one as I could: Now it is fixed, it will equally become me to Vindicate the honor of the province by showing that what they have done is fully equal to, if not exceeding, their proportion. I must premise that from the idea of the Service which I had formed from Mr Pitts letter,225 I thought it quite necessary that the Men should be raised to serve thro’ the Winter: and therefore I made that a material point & of such consequence, as to make it worth while to abate in Number to gain in time. I find the other provinces are not of the same opinion, but yet I cant find fault with my own apprehension. Now I find that the same money that will raise & maintain 3,000 men for 14 months would raise & maintain 4,700 men for 7 months, the time that Connecticut &, I suppose, other provinces have raised their Men for. Upon the best enquiry I can make, I find this province raised 5,500 men last year & therefore their proportion this year would be 3,666: but suppose, for the sake of square Numbers, We should reckon their proportion at 4,000, still they must be considered as exceeding their proportion by 700 men. If the truth of this reasoning should be suspected, it may be put out of doubt; for I dare say the Assembly would readily (as it would be plainly for their advantage) add 1000 men in consideration of a release of the time, from the 1st of Decr next, of the whole Number. If I was to agree upon a comparison from the other provinces & instance Connecticut (as it is more immediately relative to this province); The Advantage would be more on the side of this province: for as the proportion between Connecticut & Massachusets is settled as 5 to 7, if Connecticut grants 2300 Massachusets should grant 3220. The proportional Difference is Very small in regard to Number; & yet the time of the one is double of that of the other.

    I assure myself, that you will excuse my giving you the trouble of this recapitulation, when you consider, that it cannot be a matter of indifference to me that this province should be seen in a worse light than it has hitherto appeared in; and especially when I think I can still promise, that if upon an advisement of the Wants of the Service to be provided for, it should appear that this province has been deficient in the proportion of its appointments, this shall be fully made good.

    I have taken particular Care in my appointment of officers, which has been made in a manner different from what has been usual here. I have not one Captain but what has served as such before & has undergone a through226 scrutiny concerning his Military merit.227 The field officers I will mention in a separate paper, together with the formation of the Regiments & the parts where they are to be raised, that you may judge of their sevral appointments. In short, whatever the Number is, I will endeavour that the Corps shall be compleat & formed to the best advantage that may be.

    I am with great regard, Sr, Your most obedient humble Servant

    Fra. Bernard.


    I enclose a Copy of my message to the House,228 which was immediately agreed to, by which the Terms are settled, as you have proposed.

    ALS, RC WO 34/26, ff 91-92.

    According to the extant enclosure, the first regiment was to be placed under the command of Col. Nathaniel Thwing (1703-68) of Boston, who had been a captain at the siege of Louisbourg in 1745; the second under Col. Jonathan Hoar (c.1720-71) of Concord, Middlesex Co., a veteran of both expeditions against Louisbourg (1745 and 1758); and the third under Col. Richard Saltonstall (1732-85) of Haverhill, Essex Co., a future Loyalist. FB relayed the soldiers’ preferences concerning their prospective deployment: the first and second regiments wanted to be sent “to the North East” of the province—to Nova Scotia and Canada—while the men of the third preferred to be sent “Westward”—to upper New York.