57 | To [Thomas Pownall]


    Boston July 12. 1761

    Dr. Sr.

    I shall make apologies to you for not writing, untill they amount to the size of a long letter. The truth is I have no oppertunity of a conveyance safe enough for me to trust an intresting letter to. Even now I write for a private ship & must accordingly prescribe to me a reserve, particularly in regard to the politicks of this place. A month hence I shall have a Man of War to convey my letters & then may venture to be a little more explicit.

    A little while ago, I wrote to your Brother two letters on the Subject of Mr. Barrons, whom Mr. Lechmere has suspended for better & more forcible reasons than he did before.281 Mr. Lechmere, has sent his letters & papers to NYork, I dispatched my letters & papers thither also; & they all wait for the Packet. I thought it proper that the same ship that carried Mr. Lechmere’s complaints should also convey to your brother all necessary information concerning Mr. Barrons further proceedings unto the time of his suspension.

    My Acquaintance with Mankind has not been very extensive nor very confined: but I can say that in all my Knowledge of Men I never met with one like that Gentleman; so wonderfully wrongheaded & so wantonly mischevious. In direct opposition to Common sense & reason, to his Obligations his Duty & his intrest, did he make a formal attack upon the Government & the two public Offices more immediately Subject to the Kings Ministers. When any one attempted to set him right, He treated it as an opposition to his will & let him know that he must expect to feel the Effects of his resentment. And this without distinction of persons: I did not wonder at his telling Paxton that he would not hold his office 6 months longer; but I was surprised at my hearing that he fixed a time for my being removed & named for my successor in this government a Gentleman who is already such in another.282

    These things I could laugh at, if he had not created me a deal of plague by serious Mischief. I can truly say that all the trouble I have had in this Government is owing to him & his Confederacy. And tho the good disposition of the Assembly has in a great measure put me out of their reach, yet there is still remaining enough of his party to teize tho’ not to hurt.

    But this is not all: Self defence has made it necessary for me to accuse him. And tho’ I have acted therein with a due regard to truth & a proper temper of mind, & with as little resentment as can be expected from such extraordinary provocations; yet I may appear to those who don’t know me, or are not acquainted with the Case to act upon Vi[n]dictive Motives. I say to those that dont know me; for they that do I flatter myself, know well that my natural & habitual disposition is the Very contrary to a vindictive temper.

    For this purpose I can appeal to no ones Testimony better than to yours: you know me well & also know enough of my opponent. If therefore any doubts arise that shall make it necessary to refer to our general Characters, speak fairly what you know or think of Either; tho’ I cannot but think that the facts will be found so positive & conclusive, as to make such a reference unnecessary.

    I have felt most sensibly you[r] disappointment, of which you wrote in your last.283 but even to this hour I flatter myself, that it was a little misunderstanding that has been since set right & impatient wait to hear of it. I must have a better opinion of a Lady that you have singled out, than to think she will persever in refusing you, after you have made so great a sacrifice of your own intrest to recommend yourself to her.

    I imagine your attention to the Affairs of this province is not quite dead; and tho’ it is well entertained by your other friends here, yet I conclude you will expect some account from me. The Political History is all that I think worth my writing or your reading: of that you have before a good reason for my silence, as well as a promise that I will be explicit when & as far as I can safely. In the mean time it will be enough to say that I find myself upon a good bottom: for tho’ Mr. B’s confederacy has given me a good deal of trouble in the Town I don’t perceive that they have any influence out of it that is worth notice.

    I am Sr. your &c &c &c

    dupL, LbC BP, 2: 6-8.

    Thomas Pownall likely discussed his career aspirations with FB in previous (nonextant) correspondence, as well as the personal matters referred to herein. He may have been determined to secure a position in England after resigning his governor’s commission sometime in 1760. However, on 29 Jun. 1760 he was appointed commissary for the British forces in Germany, and did not return to England until 1763. His future wife, the wealthy widow Harriet Churchill (1726–77), whom he married on 25 Aug. 1765, is not the “Lady” alluded to above.