460 | To John Pownall

    Boston, 31 Mar 1766

    Dear Sir,

    I continue to compleat your Set of Massachusetts Gazettes,1 that you may see that the Virulence of the Conductor of them, Otis, is not abated; & it is still thought proper to fling out threats against my person upon any trifling Surmise. As the last Abuse of me is founded upon a publication in the News paper, perhaps you will be surprized at the intemperance of that wicked Man, when I assure you that at no time & upon no occasion whatsoever have I ever directed, been privy to or being foreknowing of any publication in the public News papers, except what have been made by order & came out of the Council Chamber. I allways thought it beneath my dignity, & never suffered any provocation to draw me into it.

    I also send you 2 Extracts from other News papers; one, to show the pains that are taken by the people of New York, to engage those of the other Colonies, & the regular & public Correspondence which the Sons of Liberty there carry on for that purpose.2 The other is to give an instance of the true Spirit of the Sons of Liberty, which has lately happened in this Province. A Man has lately of good Reputation has lately had his House broke open, & all his Papers destroyed. His Crime was that being richer than his Neighbours, he used to lend mony to them; & had at that time best part of what he was worth out upon Securitys. Upon this the Sons of Liberty thought proper, by one bold Stroke, to bring him upon their own level & discharge all their own debts. I have had no formal Complaint of this as yet, but if I have, I can do nothing but issue a fruitless proclamation.

    Some time ago a Woman was ordered to be whipped here for Theft: as soon as She was brought to the Post, she was surrounded by the Mob, rescued from the Officers & carried off in Triumph. And to compleat the Farce, in the next Newspapers the Sons of Liberty advertised a reward for taking her:3 but no application was made to me by anyone. These are the Exploits of the present Governing powers.

    I am, Sr. &c.

    J. Pownall Esqr.

    P. S.

    I send you enclosed a Copy of the Numbers of the People: I have had an immense trouble to get this Business done; & as it is, it is very imperfect: besides the Towns that have not made returns, Boston is notoriously under reckoned, as is the whole Eastern Country, upon an examination of one or two Towns. So that you may well reckon the sum total of the whites 250,000.4

    AL, LbC      BP, 5: 100-101.