185 | To Richard Jackson

    Boston. Jan: 23 1763

    Dear Sr

    I have sent you a great quantity of paper of late by different Vessels:683 my present will be confined to a different separate subject, which I should rather have chose to defer, If I was not persuaded that other letters might go by This Vessel which might require some explanation from me as well as caution on my behalf.

    I informed you before that the displacing Mr Bollan & electing Mr Mauduit was carried on with great heat & hurry.684 I did not chuse to appear to be too great a respecter of Persons: but I could not be indifferent that the interest of the Province in the difficult & intricate disputes of it[s] territorial rights which are now opening should be well supported. After giving Mr Mauduit full credit for all his good Qualities, I saw it to be most improbabable that he should be able of himself to conduct so arduous a business as was to be put into his hands. As for his craving assistance from Lawyers (the only set of men he could resort to not being one himself) there was so little probability of his that he would meet with one who was previously acquainted with ye state of the Province & its rights, or, if not well acquainted therewith, would have ability industry & leisure enough to make himself master of the Subject, yt I had not great hopes from a resort of this kind. under this difficulty I turned my Eyes toward you & considered that if I could engage you to assist Mr Mauduit in the difficultest part of his Business, I could reconcile it to myself to consent to his election, without which Consideration, I must at least have suspended the consideration of his appointment to a further day. This being accepted by those, who Proposed Mr Mauduit; (who could not of themselves answer for his Ability to undertake or his disposition to accept of this Office) at the time he was appointed Agent, you was provisionally substituted to him by the Act for the receipt of the money &c;685 & in regard to other affairs, he was ordered by his instructions to advise with you in all matters of law. This I thought must be so agreeable to him, but I did not wonder that hearing he declared that your offering him your Assistance, in every thing he should want it, cheifly induced him to resolve to act.

    Thus I thought this affair was put in a good way of settlement for the Present: till about 3 or 4 Months ago a Public Letter from Mr Mauduit came to the Secretary,686 wherin he desired that his Brother Mr Israel Mauduit687 might be substituted to him in case of his disability &c. This was accompanied with a private letter declaring that he did not thereby intend to make any encroachment upon your appointment. It is probable he did not: but if He had lookt into the Act of Assembly enabling him to recieve the money, he would have seen that this proposal is directly contrary to that Act, which latter must have been repealed in order to have carried the former into execution. Could this be done without putting a slight upon you? I wont suppose that Mr Mauduit intended to make you decline the Service of the Province: but I wont so readily conclude that this intention rested no where else: at least I will say that it must have this effect, whether it was intended or no.

    I therefore immediately declared against this proposal in terms so positive, that it produced some conferences between me & Mr Mauduit[’s] friends, in all which I persisted in my resolution of dissenting to a substitution unless you was included in it. But I thought it much better to let this Matter rest, till you & Mr Mauduit could be made acquainted with the difficulties I was under: & possibly you & He might settle this Affair in such a manner as might be agreeable & satisfactory to me; the whole of my purpose being to secure to the Province your Services in these difficult times, & to avoid giving any umbrage that might deprive it of them. Notwithstanding all I could say Mr Mauduits friend688 persisted in bringing this matter before the Assembly in the manner I had excepted to, imagining I suppose that if He could have sent up a vote of the two Houses to me, my resolution of negativing it would have been shaken: but in regard to that he would have found himself mistaken. Accordingly on the afternoon of Monday last (a time when the House is always thin & it is not usual to bring on business of consequence) He moved that Mr Israel Mauduit might be associated to the Agent as a substitute.689 There were but 48 in the House including the Speaker; 24 of which being for the motion, the Speaker having no voice it was carried in the Affirmative. In the Council it was twice debated & flung out by 11 to 5. After this it was again brought into the House, & an Hour appointed for it: when after a debate of 5 hours length it was thrown out by 40 against 32. And here at present the matter rests.690—I am not willing to impute to Mr Mauduit the trouble which this affair has occasioned. I have given him all possible assurances of my desire to make his business easy to him; I therefore cannot think that he intends to create any uneasiness in my Government: You have given particular proofs of your disinterested regard for him; I cannot concieve that he would endeavour to break yt connection which for the Provinces sake & not for yours, I have endeavour’d to create between it & you. I shall therefore suspend my judgement on this affair & leave myself as open as ever to the establishing a good understanding between me & him, untill I percieve it not to be desired by him. His old friend Secretary Oliver is an honest sincere man, & will allways be glad to assist Mr Mauduit in a friendly Correspondence with me, if he desires it. As for Mr Israel Mauduit, I never heard of his name till within these four months: I know nothing of his estimation, so as to form any certain idea of him; & therefore can have no personal exception to him.

    Before I conclude this Subject, I must mention that there have been some endeavours to make this altercation a religious Concern: & tho this distinction has been sufficiently exploded in both houses, yet I am not sure that it may not operate without doors. But this I think I may depend upon: that if such insinuations to my disadvantage are transmitted to Mr Mauduit, he will be cautious how he propagates them;691 because they will be contradicted by the general tenor of my professions & conduct which will plainly prove that I am a friend to religious liberty upon the best of principles that of it’s being a natural right: nor can I concieve the most distant probability of the rights of the New England Churches being in danger. Your m Faithful &c

    R Jackson Esq.

    L, LbC BP, 2: 248-252.