503 | To Richard Jackson

    Jamaica Farm near Boston Oct: 6 1766

    Dear Sr:

    I have your Letters before me in Order to take Notice of such Particulars as require it, being at present little at leisure to write more than is necessary; And I shall have other Occasion to write to you before this is sent away. My Letter of Sep. 141 gives an Account how the Business of Indemnification stands: to which I can only add that I must trye the Assembly on that Business on the 29 of this Month or at farthest 8 Days after. My Expectation of being sent for Home is quite over, as the August Mail is come in & brings Nothing of that Sort not even a Letter from my Lord Barrington, which he had promised.2 However this very Deficiency affords a Conjecture that the Affair is in Suspence: but the Season is so late now that a peremptory Order for me to come away a month hence will be far from agreeable. A Winter Voyage between Old & New England is an unpleasant Undertaking.

    The Business of St: Croix Stands still: the Quaker who treated with me at the Beginning of Summer has not since been with me: & I cant call upon him for fear of being to eager. I wait still for the Warrant of 20,000 Acres more; which being so little a Business one might ^would^ think might creep thro’ the Offices.3 The trans-penobscotan Towns seem to be further off Confirmation than ever. I suppose the Change of the Board is not favourable to that Business; & that the Assurances heretofore given are not binding now.4 As for the second Set of Grants,5 which you have expected, they have neither passed nor are intended to pass. Our general Court does a great Deal of Business by resolves: & in this Business they have more than once passed a Resolve for prolonging the time allowed for Confirmation, which they think Sufficient without making new Grants. You’ll see some of these in the Votes tho’ I can’t point them out ^to you^ now. But I beleive they are all expired by this Time. This Business is grown so stale we are tired of attending to it. But nothing of this Kind need obstruct the Kings signifying his Intent to Confirm it the Grants: the formal Part will be easily settled; A Special Instruction to me to consent to new Grants of the same Tenor would perhaps be as good a Way as any, As for Mount Desart I think of it as little as possible: but the Sums of Money I have expended there, the Disappointments I have met with & the Ruinous Condition of my Works there will not suffer me to put it out of my Mind. If I receive the Confirmation of it tomorrow, I shall be the worse by some hundreds of Pounds by the Delay of it. I know not what letter of yours you refer to as being made Public read in the House, but this I can say that no Letter of yours has been made public but what has done you Credit.6 Mauduit (with his Brothers Assistance) has sent the House another Letter in which he has lashed them most severely.7 The Speaker t’other8 Day brought the Letter to me & left it with me: but I could not take a Copy without Leave, nor ask for one before the Letter was communicated to the House. If I can get one I will send it to you. I shall be glad to get you rid of these People as soon as I can: but I am desirous, if possible, to get a better Time for it that [than] the present. I should like Dr: Franklin very well for an Agent:9 but I must not Appear in it. Indeed I shall never again Engage so deeply in the Choice of an Agent as I have done. I shall trust to my Negative to keep out Improper & disagreeable Men: & probably the Consequence will be to seperate the Agency of the Govr. & Council from that of the House; & so the Importance of that Office will be destroyed, & the Value of it will make it not worth Acceptance. The Province will soon feel the Inconvenience of such a Division: and that will, in Time, produce a Concurrence in Appointing a proper Person. I must here again mention that the Delay in paying you was occasioned in some Degree by your well wishers waiting till they could recover their Authority in the House and I am also desirous to see Mauduits Affair determined before yours is moved.10

    In your Letter of July 1st11 you mention your going so far as Spa for your Health.12 I would both desire & advise ^that^ you should take the best Care of that: but I should otherwise regret your being absent at this Critical Time. It seems to me America is as far from being settled as ever it was, Notwithstanding some very proper Steps have been taken which were become necessary preliminaries have been taken for it: I form this Idea a good Deal from my own Province. But I suppose the late Revolution in the Ministry will prevent your journey to Spa: I would have you avail yourself of it as well for your own as the Public’s sake.

    Poor Mr Debert is now the cheif or only Correspondent that the Faction has left, Since the Mauduits have quarrell’d with them.13 And it is from Echos of them that he has been recommended to the Penobscot Agents. They were with me & told me their Intention to Engage his Service, & urged his Intimacy with the first Lord of trade, Lord Dartmouth.14 I answered them coldly that if they thought he could any way, assist your Sollicitation, I had no Objection to their employing him, nor I dare say would you. Now his patron has gone out I know not what his merit is. However The good Man has done a very timely piece of Service: He has reprimanded the Faction for not granting the Indemnification, that they are become ashamed of it.15 And therefore to pave the Way for it, and to excuse their not doing it before, they have called a Town Meeting & voted an Instruction to their Members to use their Influence to promote it. So that I now really think it will be done; & shall call the Assembly the 29th of this Month for this purpose only.16

    I cannot pretend to observe upon every thing in your Letters that deserves Notice. Your Reflexions upon the State of the Ministry become out of Date by a new Arrangement taking Place: and I am now to wait for fresh Informations & observations upon this new Change. The Papers from London threaten the new Ministry with a more formidable Opposition than any of their Predecessors have had: and it seems to be generally supposed that Mr Pitt sets out upon too narrow a Bottom. I hope it will not prove so; & I heartily wish he may have Success in what he seems to have in View, the discouraging the Practice of great Men forming themselves into Squadrons to engross the public Employments & another Practise still more hurtful, of making every Change of Ministers a general Sweep of all persons in Office down to the Common Clerks. I think you have judged right in keeping yourself Independant during the late Uncertainty & Instability; but when Administration becomes firm & active I shall hope to see you employed in a Station equal to your Ability

    I am Dr Sr your &c

    Oct 11 176617

    R Jackson Esqr:

    L, LbC      BP, 5: 159-164.