83 | To Lord Barrington

    Dec 15. 1761.

    My Lord

    In a letter dated yesterday370 I acknowledged the receipt of your Lordships of Aug 28 & have therein submitted to your Lordship all that occurrs to me to be wanting for the determination of that affair: to which I need only add that any resolution on the subject will be agreable to me, as it must, at all events, afford a fresh instance of your Lordships ^kind^ concern for me & mine. I can truly assure your Lordship that your friendship is the cordial of my life & contributes more than any thing else (except my own conscience) to support that Spirit & Resolution, which the due exertion of the powers that are here committed to me, requires. My friends in this Country find another advantage from my connexion with your Lordship: they say that your Lordships family has been allways the patrons of this Country;371 (for at the present the Memory of Gov’ Shute is truly honoured), and there it is happy for it372 that it has now the means of an easy access to your Lordship.

    In a former letter of the 27th of Sept last373 I desired your Lordships general recommendation of me to Mr Pitt: I must now request the like introduction of me to Lord Egremont. I presumed to think that when a Revisal & settlement of the political state of N America should have a place in the British Councils, I might possibly be of some service. This self-flattery has not had its rise from any extraordinary opinion I have of my own ability, but upon a reflexion upon the particular circumstances of literature & professional studies374 that have directed & enabled me to make a more critical survey of the politicks of N America, than can be expected from the generality of those that are sent here with a public Character.

    But the time of peace, which must preceed the regulation of the North American governments, seems now at a greater distance than ever. Nevertheless, as they may happen in the course of this Winter a change in the present intractability of our Enemies which may bring about a peace, when it is least expected, I will add a few more lines to what I have before wrote on this Subject

    There is in my opinion no System of Government in N America that is fit to be made a module of. The royal Governments are faulty in their constitution as well as their popular; of late they have given more instances of it than the latter. If therefore there should be a new establishment of the governments in N America upon a true English-constitutional bottom, it must be upon a new plan: and upon the formation of it will depend all the Ease or Difficulty of the Work.

    It will be readily apprehended that the greatest difficulty will be with the New England charter Governments. I am willing to admit this for the sake of the conclusion that follows from it. But I do not think there will be much difficulty in the New England Governments; and yet will readily admit conclude that upon ^such^ a supposition it will be best to begin with those Governments. In Rhode Island the sensible people neither expect nor desire that their charter should be continued. In Connecticut I have heard it frequently mentioned without contradiction that it would be better for the people & most agreable to the thinking part of them to have a royal Governor rather than the present elective one.375 And for this Province; its constitution by charter & its strict observance of the stipulations contained therein on behalf of the royal prerogative makes it, in my opinion, better disposed to a more perfect establishment than Any Government I am acquainted with, either Royal or other. I therefore conclude that when ever a New establishment of Government in N America shall be thought advisable, New England is the proper place to begin it.

    Whenever this subject shall be brought on the tapis376 I must again repeat I shall be proud to offer my Service. If It should be accepted, I shall readily obey an order to attend in person. In such case that there may be as little loss of my emoluments here as possible, It would be advisable that the order might be so timed, as not to be known here, till after time of settling the support of Government which is in the beginning of June in each year. In a letter, which I hope to send to your Lordship on the subject of the trade & Customs of this Country,377 I shall have occasion to mention some particulars that may be of great service to the regulation of the American Governments whenever it shall be undertaken tho’ according to our last advices from Europe, these considerations seem to be ill timed.

    a paragraph on Genl Whitmore’s death & funeral378

    A paragraph on the Voyage to Newfoundland.379

    I am &c

    Lord Barrington

    AL, LbC BP, 2: 21-23.