200 | To John Pownall

    Boston. Ap. 17. 1763

    Dr Sr

    Last Night I recieved a letter from their Lordships dated Dec: 24 referring to a resolution of the board dated Dec: 10743 in both which I find myself severely censured for having negotiated with the Province of Nova Scotia for ascertaining the boundary line between that province & this, & for assenting to grants of lands between Penobscot & St Croix

    Ever since I have been in America I have studied not only to obtain but to deserve the approbation of their Lordships; upon some occasions I have been favoured with honorable testimonials of this acceptance of my services; & I have never as yet that I can recollect, been charged with one instance of gross neglect. I cannot therefore help taking to heart my being condemned without having an opportunity to explain my principles or conduct, either of which I’m persuaded would have made this reprimand unnecessary.

    I shall be quite uneasy, till I have vindication myself from this charge: & as to do this, in as full a manner as my present feeling seems to demand, will require a retrospect of this business for near two years past & a resort to many public papers, I have no other way to ease myself for the present, but to transmitt to you the heads of my proposed vindication drawn up hastily & without any address, that it may be used in such a manner, as you shall see Cause to apply it.

    I should have wrote directly to their Lordships, if the time between the coming & return of the New York post, by which I send this, would have admitted of it. As it is I must desire you would not let this Apology, hasty as it is be wanting to my vindication: but will lay it before their Lordships whenever you shall see a fit & necessary occasion for it. I shall consider at more leisure, what will be necessary to add to it in my next dispatches.

    I am Sr your most faithful

    J Pownall Esq.

    PS. Ap: 30 to the Preceding Letter

    The foregoing Letter in the original was sent to New York last Monday sevnight & I hope is now at Sea on board the Harriot packet. In the hurry, both of Time & Mind, which I was in When I wrote it; I did not think proper to address their Lordships. I have since revised the memorial I sent to you of which I now send a duplicate, & find no[thing] more improper in it & little more wanting than the Proofs that are to support it. These I now send with a letter to their Lordships explaining them & referring them to the memo[rial]. The single Fact of Govr Pownalls taking a formal possession of the East side of Penobscot on the behalf of the Province of Massachusets Bay & having it recorded in the Secret[ary’s] Office744 is alone sufficient to justify me in what I have done.

    L, LbC BP, 3: 49-50; the postscript is on pp. 55-56.