169 | To John Pownall

    Castle William Octr 31st. 1762

    Dear Sr.

    I have wrote to you several letters about the Grant of Mount Desart,639 expressing in some the great disappointment & discouragement I shall receive from being defeated of the Compensation intended me by the province for the extraordinary expences which attended my entering upon this Government: extraordinary services it won’t become me to mention any further than that my application to the Kings service has at all times engaged my utmost attention, at some times rather exceeded my strength. When this grant was made to me, it was not apprehended by any one (I am sure not by me) that the provinces right to the lands eastward of Penobscot would be disputed. It was apprehended that it might be made a question wch. was the River St. Croix by which they were to be bounded: & accordingly measures were taken by the General Court for ascertaining that River but it was not doubted but that they would be allowed to extend to that River which ever it should be adjudged to be. I have now the mortification to find that this Grant to me (which I must own is so peculiarly circumstanced to my young family, as to deserve my utmost endeavours to Avail my self of it) is like, apparrently to give birth to a disquisition that promises to be Volumnious tedious & expensive & possibly may be attended with more than necessary trouble.640 And by my intrest therein I shall lose the little Credit I should otherwise have of interposing my sentiments concerning this Question. You will not therefore wonder that I should earnestly desire to withdraw my self from this dispute by finding out some method whereby I might have this Island confirmed to me without determining the Question concerning the right of the province’s lands to the eastward of Penobscot one way or another. If this Could be done I should be at liberty to give my thoughts upon the subject from time to time as they shall occur, without being under the imputation of being bi[nded?]641 by an intrest of my own.

    I have been induced to think of this expedient from an observation of Mr. Bollans & my own confidence, that if this Request of mine was to be determined by personal considerations, it would be readily concluded in my favor. I therefore want to have it reduced to that Crisis; and therefore would propose that the terms of my application for the Kings grace should be so far Altered as to make it a grant ^petition^ for an Original grant of this Island from the King without reciting the Grant of the General Assembly of Massachusetts bay or using any Addition of the province to which the Island belongs. By these means nothing will be concluded concerning the Question in dispute; but if hereafter this Island shall be Allowed to Massachusetts bay this will Amount to A Confirmation of the provincial grant; otherwise it will operate as an original, I am apprehensive that if this business is to take this turn, it will be necessary on my behalf to deliver a new memorial to the Secty of State.642 This I will prepare & send by the next ship; for I cant get it ready to go with this, I shall send it to Mr. Jackson who will immediately communicate it to you, & will be desired by me to make such Alterations in it as shall be most advisable. In the meantime if my affair should be brought before your board, & you don’t see a clear way for reporting it in my favor, be so good as to suspend the report (if it can be done consistently with the rules of business) untill this new proposal can be considered. Nevertheless if you think it practicable, under my former Application to make report in my favor by the way of this or any other expedient that will obviate the Difficulty arising from the Right of the province to the lands between Penobscot & St. Croix being thereby concluded, I should be very glad to have the most early determination in my favor, that may be.

    I am Sr. your most faithfull most obedient Servant

    John Pownall Esqr.

    L, LbC BP, 2: 211-214.