453 | To Thomas Pownall

    Boston March 15 1766

    Dear Sr.

    I acknowledged the Receipt of your letters of Dec 3 by a few lines which are now in the way to England;1 & at the same time I congratulated you on your late acquisition of domestic happiness.2 I now proceed according to my promise to be more full & particular in my answer to them.

    My Scheme for introducing Mr Jackson to the agency of this Province is allmost as old as my Goverment3 here, & was laid partly upon a foundation you left behind you by a general commendation of the Man. It was for some time carried on with the privity & seeming approbation of the Boston Faction. But upon their discovering that he had exchanged a Letter with the Lieut Governor,4 they grew averse to him, & set up Israel Mauduit: and tho’ they offered afterward to join in chusing Jackson & Mauduit together, I found my self so ill used that I determined to set up Mr Jackson upon my own bottom only. upon my refusing to join Mauduit with Jackson, the Faction used all Arts to raise a prejudice against Mr Jackson: and as they could not attack his Character, they laid great stress upon his connection with the Ministers & his intimacy with me; which last they vehemently pressed by urging the great impropriety of chusing an agent upon the recommendation of a Governor. To obviate this objection I avoided appearing in the sollicitation for him as much as possible, & contrived so, that he seemed to have a natural intrest of his own independ^ent^ of my recommendation and really had several friends, tho not known to him, who were attached to him upon principle

    In this situation things were when Captain Hallowell5 acquainted me with your inclination to be Agent of the province. under these circumstances, If I had endeavoured to have substituted another person than I had recommended for 4 years together, & my friends had been pointing out as the very properest Man the Province could have for the purpose, I should have discredited myself past all recovery & should have involved the new candidate in my own disgrace without the least probability of success. In such a case I should have ^had^ much more to answer to You for want of prudence, than ever I shall for a want of friendship. Nevertheless being willing to assert your purpose by such ways as seem’d practicable, I proposed to Captain Hallowell the only means that could be devised at that time which was to procure the Opponents of Mr Jackson to set you up instead of Is. Mauduit. This I thought very practi^ca^ble, as Mauduit was exceptionable; & it would have really been a Stroke of policy supposing it to be as contrary to my inclination as it would have been to my undertaking. And It would have effectually answered your purpose if not at the present election, by a future compromise hereafter. But there did not appear the least disposition in any of those who used to call themselves your Friends, to support your intrest upon this occasion or any other. I have made this long detail to convince you that I have not on this occasion been wanting in those friendly Offices which I consider as due to you both upon your own account & by your relation to the Secretary.

    No one who knows America can help lamenting and trembling for its present condition. The only comfortable Reflection is that as this Contest (unless it had been prevented by Measures of which there was no apparent probability) must have come some time or other the sooner the better: perhaps the present time is as good as any. It will now become necessary to search the disease to the bottom & administer remedies which shall not only cure it for the present but prevent its ever returning. I dont see how the Parliament can now avoid disclaiming their being bound by establishments made by the King only: taking the Governments of America into their own hands; & new forming them upon true constitutional principles of British Liberty: at the same time ascertaining & declaiming, by a kind of local Magna Charta, the rights of the Americans & the essential Nature of their dependance upon Great Britain. For these, Ireland, except in the one circumstance of distance, affords a precise precedent.6And I hope that Governing by unconstitutional modes & temporary expedients, & trusting to Division, under all other political disadvantages, to maintain subjection, have had their day.

    I have wrote fully to Mr Jackson on the Subject of St Croix:7 and will only add that no other Consideration, but that of serving persons whom I have a regard for & obligations to, would have induced me to have engaged in that business on the Terms we sat out upon. And tho’ Govr Wilmot’s kindness has encreased my intrest in those lands, yet I trust, that, if my Station my Health and my Activity continue, I shall earn evry Acre I get there. I will write to Halifax by the packet,8 which is now in this port, to secure the Sixth lot of 20 m.9 acres on the North Side of the River Passimaquoddy or Scoodick: We can’t take out the patent till the Fate of the Stamp Act is determined; so it is probable I shall recieve the order time enough before the business can be done.

    I am extremely concerned to hear from you that the Secretary10 is but in indifferent Health. I have lately had an extreme kind letter from him, which I acknowledged immediately.11 I shall be glad to see the Captain here; I did not know before, that He was in America.12

    I am with great truth & regard Sr. your most faithfull & obedient Servant &c

    Thomas Pownal Esqr

    P.S. I enclose the Apology of Brigr Ruggles who has been cruelly used by the Faction.13 If you think the Vindication of your old friend of any consequence with you get it inserted in some of your papers

    L, LbC      BP, 5: 91-94.