514 | From the Earl of Shelburne


    (No 2)

    Whitehall 11 Decr. 1766.


    Genl. Gage’s last Letters1 gave me Reason to think that the Disturbances in Dutchess County and Albany were quite subsided, and that the Differences arising between the Settlers at Noble Town Egremont &c. on account of the Limits of the two Provinces of New York and Massachusets, were in a fair way of being adjusted. I am sorry to find by Sr. Henry Moore’s later Dispatches, and by yours, as well to my Office as to the Board of Trade,2 that this Matter does not seem to have been transacted with so much Prudence on either side, as their3 was reason to expect. It is amazing that Force should have been preferred to an Amicable Arbitration in the Affair of Noble Town, where I wish that both Sides may not have been to blame: Mr. Ranslaer and the Sherriff of Albany in making a too hasty Use of the Military Aid; and the Inhabitants in resisting it. I must however recommend it to You that the distressed Families driven by the Sheriff of Albany from Noble Town, (however blameable they may have been) may be taken some Care of by the Province ‘till the Affair can be settled.

    I have recommended it particularly to Sr. Henry Moore, as I do to You

    “to take the most effectual Measures to settle every difference relative to the Boundaries of Your respective Colonies, by, Commissaries appointed from each for that Purpose. If Men of sound Understanding and moderate Principles are chosen for that Purpose, they will easily surmount any Difficulties which may arise: for Equity and a Regard as well to public Tranquillity as to private Property, will teach them to make Concessions on both Sides, and removed by a generous manner of acting the cause of any future Dissentions between the two Provinces.”4

    But in case the Affair of Noble Town cannot be adjusted between the two contending Parties, it is requisite that you transmit the fullest Narrative of the Claims of each, and their Proceedings, taken as far back as Vouchers can be procured well Attested, for so bold an Outrage cannot have been committed without one of the Parties being guilty of a Breach of the Peace and good Government, too heinous to be slightly passed over. Sr. Henry Moore is directed to take care that none of the Inhabitants lying to the Westward of the Line reported by the Lords of Trade as the Boundary between the two Provinces be molested ‘till this matter be finally determined. And whatever Province the Settlers may be found to belong to, it should make no difference in their Property, provided their Titles to their Lands should be found to be good in other respects, or that they have been long in the regular Possession of them.

    I have received by your Letter of the 3d Sepr.,5 as well as by that from the Collector and Comptroller (to the Lords of Trade)6 the Account of the Seizure made at Falmouth, and the Rescue of the Goods: I am very sorry that any part of the Province, which has so lately received such Marks of His Majesty’s Clemency and Paternal Care, should be guilty of an open Act of Disobedience to the Laws. It is to be hoped however that this Affair has been the Act of only a few, and that the Government of the Province has taken care not only to discountenance such Practices for the future, but to punish the Offenders: while the Provinces in general have shewn the utmost Gratitude for the tender Regard of His Majesty and of the Parliament of Great Britain, it is scarcely to be conceived that the Province of Massachusets should countenance such a Spirit of Anarchy and Disobedience, as, if persisted in must draw the Resentment of Government upon them. To prevent these Effects I must on all Occasions recommend to You, as Governor, the most prudent Conduct possible, without descending from the Dignity inseparable from good Government. I flatter myself that private Party Feuds and Resentment between You and those You Govern, will never have a Share in keeping up the Animosities, which have for some time subsisted, and which in the End may have the most serious Consequences.

    I am with great Truth and Regard, Sir your most obedient humble Servant


    Govr. Bernard.


    In Your future Dispatches [I?]7 would recommend to You, the giving every separate Subject [a?] separate Letter.

    dupLS, RC      BP, 11: 49-52.