97 | To the Board of Overseers of Harvard College

    To The Honble & Revd Board of Overseers of Harvard College in Cambridge.


    I find that my Intention of granting a Charter for incorporating a Collegiate School in Hampshire has been subject to two Objections: 1. That being the first Instance in this Province for granting a Charter of Incorporation, it may be suspected of being an Infringement of the rights of the people; 2. That the incorporating of this Society will in it’s consequences be prejudicial to the College at Cambridge.

    The first of these propositions you very properly decline arguing upon, Nevertheless I will take this opportunity to declare that, as it has never been my intention, either in this or any other instance, to exercise the royal prerogative to the prejudice of the rights of the people, so, I shall always avoid the unnecessary exercise of such royal rights as I shall find to be disagreable to the people.

    As to the second proposition, you do me Justice in declaring your belief that it was far from my intention to do a real prejudice to Harvard College: My repeated declarations & some proceedings in consequence thereof ought to exempt me from even a suspicion of such a charge. But I can go further, my intention was not only just to the rights of the College, but, as far as public duty would permit, partial to it’s Int’rests.

    But whatever my Sentiments on this Subject have been, whatever they are, I think I may now be permitted to withdraw myself from a business, in which I trusted to my disint’restedness & uprightness as sufficient to secure my conduct from all exception. I therefore shall suspend the issuing of the Charter and I shall not assist any applications for a like Charter elsewhere.

    Fra. Bernard

    Province House Mar: 31. 1762.

    L, RbC Records of the Board of Overseers, II,