179 | To John Pownall


    Boston Dec: 5. 1762.

    Dear Sr

    I wrote to you 3 letters dated Oct: 20, 21, 31:664 The Originals went by the Snow Bristol Merchant Kerr for Bristol; the duplicates by the Ship Jenny & Nelly Lyall for Glascow. In the conclusion of the last of the last of these665 I desired you would procure the report concerning my grant of Mount desart to be suspended (unless it was to be in my favor) untill I could transmitt a new memorial. This Memorial I now send, with this difference from what I proposed, that I address it to the Lords of Trade, & not to the Secretary of State; to whom I content myself with writing a letter informing him that I have preferred such a memorial. I have also drawn up a short enquiry of the Fact of the possession of the lands in question, which together with the proofs, I send to be laid before their Lordships, if you shall think proper. From these it plainly appears to me that King William at the time of granting the Charter was in actual possession of the Lands between Penobscot & St Croix, & acquired & held such possession by the Means of the Province of Massachusets Bay. If this should have the effect desired to remove the objection to the Confirmation of the Province Grant, or if they should be inclined to recommend me for a Royal Grant in such a manner as shall not determine the Question of the Province’s right, I shall be happily withdrawn out of this dispute, which I foresee will cause a good deal of trouble. If their Lordships shall not think proper to favor me in the one way or the other, I must then desire that no determination may be made against me, but that my business may rest untill the Province shall intervene for their own interest, which I expect they very soon will do. For my part I foresee that my being disappointed in this grant will create in me such a despondency, that I shall not be inclined to give it up, whilst any means, except my personal contention, are left untried.

    I should have mention’d before, that with these papers I enclose a letter to you to introduce them, which is intended, if you think fit proper, to be read to their Lordships with the other papers. As to my intention therein mention’d of raising hemp & making potash ^upon the Island if yt should be like^ to promote my grant, you may add that I will engage to set up one or the other, if not both, within 3 years after I recieve an absolute grant.

    As this Letter is intended only for your own perusal, I shall communicate to you freely some general reflextions which have occurred to me on the subject of this Objection to the Province’s right, trusting that they will be reciev’d with your usual Candour, & whether agreeable or not to your sentiments, will be understood to be well intended.

    If the speedy Population of the Country between the rivers Penobscot & St Croix was the chief object it would by all means be advisable to continue it within the Province of Massachusets Bay: as there are numberless People, therein, who are so attach’d to their own Government, that they would not go out of it’s jurisdiction, & yet would readily settle on these lands if allowed to be part of the Province.

    If these lands are intended to be added to Nova Scotia it will not be worth the while. Nova Scotia wants no such addition; it would be unwise to desire it; it is allready too large to be soon well peopled. Besides the Peninsula & the Isthmus, The Great River of St Johns alone would swallow up a vast number of People. So that there is no Province [that]666 wants to be endowed with lands at the expence of their Neighbours ^less^ than Nova Scotia.

    If they are intended to be erected in a separate Government, they are not sufficient for that purpose. There will be wanted other part of the Territories of Massachsets Bay, against which the Objection before mentioned does not lie, to compleat such a Territory, as will be sufficient for this purpose.

    It will not be worth while, for either of these purposes, to encounter the petitions complaints Remonstrances &c &c which will be sure to ensue upon the attempting to dismember the Constitutional Territories of the Province, which have been allowed for upwards of 70 Years & confirmed by the Crown above 30 by the means of a point of law now first started. The lopping of a considerable Branch of their Territorial Tree may perhaps be little less alarming than laying the Ax to the root of it.

    If it should be thought adviseable to erect a new Government between the Massachusets & Nova Scotia (which may be very practicable if pursued by proper means) it should be done by a Convention with the Massachusets; & not by legal Exceptions to their Charter; which being to be determin’d by legal judgement, will probably produce nothing but fruitless trouble.

    Such a scheme may be both advisable & practicable: for instance: If it should be proposed to the Massachusets to add to their jurisdiction New Hampshire & Rhode Island (unless it should be thought proper to continue the Government of the latter which no good Man among them either expects or desires) with such other lands to the Westward as will contribute to the arrondisement of the Province, upon their quitting claim to the lands Eastward of Piscataqua, most probably they would accept of the Offer: & the Consent of parties being had, legal titles would not be in the Way.

    If such an Agreement could be brought about The Lands between the Rivers Newichewanock & St Croix, with Casco Bay for the Metropolis would make one of the finest Provinces in America & would by it’s vicinity greatly contribute to peopling the Parts of Nova Scotia, which lie in the Bay of Fundy.

    I must not conclude this Subject without assuring you that I have not the least Authority for making this Proposal: & that the only Reason I have to think it would be acceptable is my Opinion that it would be very beneficial to the Province by bringing its territory more into a circle without diminishing it. I am Sr

    John Pownal Esq:

    L, LbC BP, 2: 230-234.