532 | To Richard Jackson

    Boston Jan. 24 1767

    Dear Sr

    I had not Time when I finished my last Letter to answer wholly yours of Nov 21:1 tho there was not much wanting for that Purpose.

    I have wanted much to receive the Warrant for 20,000 Acres at St. Croix, that I might secure the Land I have proposed for it, among which is a very valuable Island.2 This becomes more desirable by ye Arrival of a New Governor,3 who probably will have many Qualifications of this Kind to make. If the Lands adjoining to one Tract should be granted away so as to make it necessary to lay out Dr Franklins Tract at a Distance from St Croix, I can’t undertake the Care of it, nor ought it to be brought into the Partnership. The Quakers who proposed settling at St. Croix have come to no Determination:4 they seem to stand of to lower the Terms; which has made me appear less eager. A Few Months will determine it.

    I feel very sensibly the Delay of Business in the Public Offices at home in my Disappointment in the Grant of Mount Desart. This Business instead of Being pleasing & beneficial has hitherto proved tiresome and ruinous. I have mentioned before that if it was confirmed to me now, four hundred pounds would not pay the Damages of the Delay. To give you some Idea of this I will mention a few Difficulties occasioned by it. Three Years ago a Man agreed with me to set up a saw mill at Mount Desart upon Condition he should pay me one third of the produce.5 He has never paid me any Thing, nor can I ask it, knowing that my Mouth will be stopt with the Want of Confirmation. A Year & half ago I built a Saw Mill myself at the Expence of 100 Pnds. with an House adjoining: no one offers to take it; People come to me frequently with Proposals to settle there. they own my Terms are fair; but ask whether I have got it confirmed; & proceed no further. Of late Otis has made Mount Desart a Subject in his Paper, & he makes a double Use of the Non-Confirmation, to deter People from purchasing or settling under me, & to shew that I am not in the Credit at Home my Friends give out.6 Surely I ought not [to] be left to labour under their Discouragements, when I have Difficulties enough that are not so easily removed.

    You mention that I might very possibly change my Government, if I wisht for it. It is near 5 Months ago, since I wrote to Lord Barrington on this Subject;7 when I gave him Reasons why I should change my Government: these Reasons have not lost any of their Weight since: But the practicability of this has appeared more difficult since you informed me in a Letter that in a Conversation you had with J Pownall, he thought it not very practicable. One of my cheif Motives of desiring to come home was that I might Consult about this very Matter: At this Distance I form very little Hopes of Success; Governments are to be caught flying by watching the Opportunity; & I don’t expect that my Merit or my Sufferings will procure me preferment ex mero Motu,8 without my own or friends Sollicitation. My good Friend Lord Barrington9 hates to be engaged in Sollicitation; & I am very unwilling to urge him to it now, especially as he has had a good Deal or Trouble upon my Account. At the Time I wrote to him there were sev’ral considerable Governments vacant, which probably will be all filled when this shall come to your Hand; I mentioned to him Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Barbadoes, & S Carolina (if the Governor of the latter should go to Jamaica) the two first I declined upon Account of Climate; The Third I expressed a great Desire for, being I am told a fine Climate, & likely to give me that East which I want, & I think, deserve. The Latter tho’ not so desirable I would now thankfully accept. I know of no other at present I could turn my Tho’ts to: It would not do, I means for the Kings Service for me to change with an Appearance of Degradation. Nor do I know of any other Government like to be vacant, unless Virginia by the Promotion of the present Lt Governor, of which I have no Intimation.10 Having received no encouragement from Ld. Barrington to expect any Thing of this Kind or to have an Opportunity to treat the Matter in Person, I have thought very little of moving from hence of late & have rather turned my Thoughts upon getting myself & my Authority Supported & Restored here. But I see great Difficulties in that; & untill I see what the Ministry intend to do I cant Judge what is best to be done with me. In the mean Time I gladly embrace your Offer of representing my Case to Lord Shellburne. I don’t think he would knowingly see me made a Sacrifice to my Duty, nor let me be ruined by that Conduct which has had the Approbation of the two Houses of Parliament & amongst them the Principal of the Present Ministry. And yet that may be the Case, if nothing is done for me, & I am left here to fight the Kings Battles without Support or Maintenance. I wish you would talk to Lord Barrington upon this Subject: He will readily assist you in such a Way as he shall think fit, & may do it with Effect without being active or even appearing in it. I shall continue my Letters to Lord Shelburne upon the State of this Province, as soon as I have given him a little Respite,11 & shall come to deductions concerning myself. I hope I shan’t tire him, I think I shant if he considers well the Importance of the Subject.

    I am Dr Sr &c

    R Jackson Esqr.

    L, LbC      BP, 6: 5-9.