117 | To Jeffery Amherst

    Castle William May 22. 1762


    I have had no time to set down to give you my sentiments upon the papers you sent me489 concerning Mr Comte’s negotiation before now, altho the Ideas I formed upon the first reading them are just the same as I have now. But the Multiplicity of business prevented me giving them a through consideration: which I thought might be postponed, as it seemed clear to me that it would answer no purpose to make a public animadversion of them.

    Mr Aquart is the person I mentioned to you above 6 months490 to have arrived here from Martineco in a flag of Truce. As He had actually brought from that Island 13 or 14 English Prisoners half of which were Masters of Ships of this Country, I could not treat him with incivility. However I consulted the Council in evry thing I did in relation to him.491 As the Armament was then ready to embark from Staten Island I thought it Very necessary to detain him here. After some time He petitioned for leave to sell his Vessel, which being English-built he had leave to do. From that time He staid here, professedly till the fate of Martinico was determined, neither with my leave nor contrary to it. I could not act otherwise than I did: for having refused leave for him to return to his Country whilst he could have reached it, I could not drive him from hence whilst it was invested: and therefore there was nothing left but a tacit permission for him to tarry here till the Affair at Martinico was over.

    His accomplishments both natural and acquired introduced him with effect to most of the fashionable tables in Town. And no Umbrage could be taken at this; as there was no reason to apprehend that his purposes extended any further than to Martinico: and as it was supposed that either a Peace or the Cession of Martinico must take place, neither of those alternatives afforded any occasion to apprehend any hurtful consequences from his Commercial connexions. And indeed it appears plain that his intensions reach’d no further than his own Island, untill his accidental intercourse with Mr Comte.

    As for the latter, I suppose he is the same who was introduced to me about the time mentioned in the letters. He produced a letter from the Governor of Port Louis, desiring a protection for him whilst he stayed in this Country for the recovery of his health. I asked him what port He arrived at? “Newport:” in what Colony he intended to reside? “Rhode Island:” how long he intended to stay in Boston? “2 or 3 days.” I then told him that I could do him no other service than to let him return to the place he had fixed upon for the purpose of recovering his health. After which I never saw nor heard of him, except that I understood that he was returned to Rhode Island soon after I saw him.

    For the Gentlemen of this Town who are mentioned in these letters I dont see that I can, from this Evidence, proceed any further than a reprimand; and even in regard to that I have a doubt whether that should be public. But I will think upon what is best to do: at present I have communicate[d] these papers to no one; as I find myself utterly incapable at present to proceed upon any business that can be postponed; next Wednesday being the day of the meeting of the New Assembly. In the mean time I hope the Capture of Captn Hallowell,492 of which I advised you by a letter sent by express last thursday493 will vindicate this province from the charge of these practises; which are so far from being familiar here, that they seem ^in no instance^ to have gone further than intention. And I can assure you that Capt Hallowells sending in the Hispaniola Victualler meets with the general Approbation of the ^best^ people here, whilst those who blame him are forced to whisper their resentments.

    I am with great regard Sr Your most obedient humble Servant

    Fra. Bernard

    His Excellency Sr Jeffry Amherst

    ALS, RC WO 34/26, ff 138-139.

    Amherst did not share FB’s leniency toward the Boston merchants named in Mons. Comte’s papers (and whose identities are unknown). “I should be very glad to see some Examples made of those who have been Concerned in this Infamous Commerce, which I am persuaded would have a good Effect by Deterring others from being Guilty of the like practices.” Amherst to FB, New York, 30 May 1762, BP, 9: 291-294.