448 | To Richard Jackson

    Boston, Mar 1, 1766

    Dear Sr,

    I have recd your letters of Novr 8, 9 & Decr 26,1 but not in the Ordr they were wrote, one of the two first coming last of all. I’ve wrote you fully on the Subject of St Croix in two long letters which will accompany this.2 And that must be my excuse if this Letter is not so long as I could wish it to be: However I will endeavour that it shall not be so defective in Notice of such parts of your Letter as require an immediate Answer.

    I am extreamly concerned at the Accs of your disorder, which had but just quitted you at your first Letter, & had returned again before you had finished the last.3 I must comfort myself in regard to this with hopes of better news; a kind of consolation I am obliged to resort to in evry thing I am now concerned in.

    I am much obliged to you for the particulars of public Affairs, which you have communicated to me: they all serve to confirm the great uncertainty of what will be done with America, which seems to have prevailed unseasonably universally before the Parliament in Jany. It is indeed an arduous business fraught with Variety of difficulties; much more so than any other Transaction that has embarrast Ministry within the Time of my Knowledge.4

    This Country is in a most terrible disorder: I scarce dare to be explicit upon it. And yet it is certain that the Province has not gone such Lenghths, nor approached so near to the highest Crime as a Province & Colony adjoining to it have done.5 The infatuation here has been generally & very properly compared to the famous Witch Plague which prevailed here 70 Years ago: & agrees with it in this particular, that those who were not really infatuated have pretended to be so to avoid being accused themselves. However, the Govr has not partook of this Madness, as Govr Phipps himself did of that.6

    You mention a probability of success in the Business of the transpenobscotan Lands. It would be a very timely acquisition, if it could be made, now the people are so ^very^ much out of Humour. But I fear the Scheme of a new Government, which I’ve allways perswaded myself to be at the bottom, will prevent this. It will be very cruel to disposess the settlers under our Grants: Some of them have embarked large Sums, & many all they are worth on that bottom. My own Case is very hard: Mount desert is indebted to me in one way or other little short of £1000 Stg; & now I see all my Schemes there running to ruin, & myself further off my purpose than ever.

    I send you the Seal of your Letter by the Packet; it is marked in the same manner as the others: there is a Wafer under the Wax; if that was done by you, I cant conceive how it has been opened; especially as the paper appears nowhere broke. If it has been opened, it is not desired to be kept a secret. I have recd letters by the packet before, where the Impression of the Seal has been quite destroyed, as I thought, by heat: but the Crosses on those Seals are quite new to me.

    I am much obliged to you for your endeavours to do justice to my Character among the American merchants. I have been greatly abused in many things; but in none more than in being represented as an Trade Enemy to the Trade of this Province, Which has no other foundation than my attention to my duty in regard to illicit Trade; which has been no more exact than, & in some Cases not so much, as my attention to all my other duties. I have in my own Cabinet sufficient proofs to confute this Slander. I mean sevral Letters to the ministry on behalf of the American Trade, some of which were carried to a freedom that may have hurt me. But my resentment of this Injury has hitherto kept me above communicating these Letters thinking it beneath me to pay so much regard to ^such^ a groundless Slander

    Your Letter to the Lt Govr on the Subject of your Connection with Mr Greenville came here very late, the Ship having been blown off as far as N York, but before the Assembly rose: which gave an occasion for a member of the House to ask the Lt Govrs Leave to read it in the House; which was done with much approbation.7 Your own Letter to the Speaker was well received there;8 & they seem to be in perfect good humour with the Agent as I hope will appear from their Letter to you, which I have not yet seen. The Assembly broke up in pretty good humour,9 the Boston Faction could not push anything to purpose against me; the Council defended me in preventing anything improper coming up to me. The Lt Govr was much abused in a news paper, & something embarrast in the Genl Court at one time:10 but it did not hurt him, but rather turned to his advantage.11

    You must be sensible that the Lt Govr could not venture to be in London whilst the parliament was proceeding against America: Having lost this Winter, he has now put off his Voyage to a long day. But his eldest son12 will go in the next Ship after that which carrys this. By him you’l hear largely from us both: & probably you will then find it a Question, which of us two shall be orderd home. One of us ought by all means to attend to report the State of the Country; Writing, tho’ ever so voluminously, will not Answer. In this we shall act in Concert, & probably leave it to the Ministryter to choose which he will have. I would not have this mentioned to anyone untill you hear further, unless you should see a special occasion for it, which I can’t foresee.

    I am Dr Sr &c.

    R. Jackson Esqr.

    Votes & Acts by the next Ship.13

    AL, LbC      BP, 5: 78-83.