225 | To John Pownall

    Boston July 25.th1763


    I have recd. your letter inclosing his majesty’s disallowance of the Bill for enabling Mary Hunt to sell her lands; but the Cover did not Contain their Lordships representation of the bill, as your letter intimated; I should be glad to have it as a guide for future bills of this Kind.837

    I have looked over the bills of last Sessions now transmitted, to you & don’t see occasion to trouble there Lordships with observations thereupon. The bill for incorporating the Mashbee Indians is in pursuance of orders recd. by me above two years ago, in consequence of a Complaint made by one of these Indians who went to England. It has been delayed by some people who had an intrest in the oppressions which these Indians complained of & were not ashamed to endeavour to maintain themselves in it. The Corporation for propagating the Gospel mentioned in the Bill is the London Corporation of which I believe Mr. Jackson is a Member. They Maintain the Missionary at Mashbee & expend about 500 pounds a year in this Country in the like Services.838 This ^in^Corporation is a new Experiment, but I believe it will succeed as the Missionary there takes great pains with them & has a considerable Authority over them.

    I am Sr. Your most obedient

    John Pownall Esqr.

    Secretary for trade & Planations

    See P.S. hereafter

    P.S to the letter to Mr Pownall of July 25

    I have now before me my Answers to the Queries sent to me some time ago; but they want a little revising, & there are some blanks to be filled up, which I wait for, So that I don’t expect I shall be able to send them by this ship: but you may depend upon their following soon after.839 I did not succeed in my purpose for which I postponed the return of these Answers; the taking an exact account of the Numbers of the people. I proposed a Method to do this to the General Court last Session: but a jealousy arising in the House concerning this Business & there being no time to remove it the Session then drawing to a Conclusion the Council & House disagreed upon it; & it was postponed to another Session that is another Year in Effect, when it will be resumed.840 In the mean time I make the best Conjectural acct. I can, drawn chiefly from the returns of the Rateable polls.

    L, LbC BP, 3: 82; postscript on p 88.

    On 8 Oct. 1761, a joint committee of the Massachusetts House and Council completed a report regarding amendments necessary to the laws “regulating the Indians.” The report was read in Feb. 1762 and allowed to lapse; it was revived by the Council on 21 Feb. 1763, and on 30 May another joint committee was formed to bring in a bill. JHRM, 38, pt.1: 59; 39: 267; 40: 25, 70-71, 115. The subsequent act removed the white guardians and established the only self-governing Native American community in the province. An act for incorporating the Indians and Mulattos, Inhabitants of Mashpee, 3 Geo. 3, c. 3 (passed 16 Jun. 1763). Acts and Resolves, 4: 639-641, 692. The Mashpee’s campaign for “self-determination” can be followed in Francis G. Hutchins, Mashpee: The Story of Cape Cod’s Indian Town (West Franklin, N.H., 1979), 73-74; Jack Campisi, The Mashpee Indians: Tribe on Trial (Syracuse, 1991), 84-85; Daniel R. Mandell, Behind the Frontier Indians in Eighteenth-Century Eastern Massachusetts (Lincoln, Neb., 1996), 179-183; Daniel R. Mandell, “‘We, as a tribe, will rule ourselves’: Mashpee’s Struggle for Autonomy, 1746-1840,” in Reinterpreting New England Indians and the Colonial Experience, eds. Colin G. Calloway and Neal Salisbury (Boston, 2003), 299-340.