546 | To Richard Jackson

    Boston, May 9, 1767.

    Dr. Sir,

    I’ve recd your letter of Jan 22, Feb 2, & just now ys of Feb 23,1 with ye Order of Council wch I dispatched to Halifax ye same day I recd it.2 I’ve had much occasion to apologize for you not writing more & oftner: but you can’t imagine what a deal of Work the Faction cuts me out. my public letters are become quite voluminous; too much so I fear, to be attended to. But I can’t help it: I am unwilling to become Felo de se3 by neglecting to guard against the public Calumny, as well as the private insinuations, which my Enemies, in defiance of truth, reason, & justice, have been employing agst me. And there is no doing ys without entring into a large fiel[d]4 of enquiry. When will yr great men learn to know the people whom they have been favour[ing] & Complimenting so long? I mean, the Seditiou[s] leaders of the faction wch harass this provin[ce.]

    You cant guess what I mean by support from the Governmt at home: I mean what all good men here have been long waiting for, some public act of disapprobation of the Opposition to the Governmt here & approbation of the Supporters of it. They who think yt the disputes here are only domestic quarrells Squabbles, wch will subside of themselves, look but little into ym; & if they are neglected by Great Britain, they will soon come home to her, I’ve wished, as much as any Statesman can do, yt the disorders here might have been composed by internal means; but I’ve long dispaired of it. I dont wonder that they shd be disliked at home: but if they shd be anytime imputed to the misconduct of the Govrs, especially of myself, it wd be cruel & unjust. If I was to go over again with my business, I dont know where I could have altered for the better; unless it is in my two argumentative Speeches wch however were well intended, & I am persuaded have done no harm. Certain it is yt the Concession wd have made things worse. The truth is the friends of the American Opponents5 have been deceived in their men; & there is a reluctance in all men to own yt have been deceived: however it can’t be concealed in the prest instance.

    When I gave an Acct of the use of my negative in the last Election of Councellors, I represented it as putting myself in the Gap in the defence of Govenmt; yt it was a Measure yt upon my own acct I shd by all means have avoided; yt it wd make me personally obnoxious to the faction more yn I shd be otherwise; & so far have my Expectations been answd, yt I believe yt nine tenths of the abuse of me has arose from resentmt. of yt Act. But I considered yt it was quite necessary to the King’s Service yt I shd make a stand to the Opposition to the Governmt taking possession of the Council Chambers, untill something could be done to save the authority of ye Governmt from being taken out of the hands of all its true friends: I therefore put my own Intrest out of the question. Upon representing ys I desired yt if my Conduct in ys was approved of, I might be encouraged to persist in it; if it was not approvd, yt I might have notice to withdraw as well as I could, & give up the Fort. It is now within 3 weeks of another Election; & I have not a word from authority either good or bad upon this Subject. I forsee yt there will be a necessity greater yn before for me to continue in this measure: & yet I must do it under a certainty of its being resented here & a probability of its being condemned at home. A hard Service this.

    But we will have ys Business in hopes yt effectual Measures will soon be taken to relieve the royalists in New Engld. I am sure our Assembly, last Session, furnished papers wch must make all men in Power of one Opinion in regd to American measures. In yt respect Otis & his Party are most generous Measures Enemies; they keep providing me with Materials to work my Justification out of yr Condemnation: & I have not suppressed ym. never were so bad Politicians formed out of so wicked Men.

    I am much obliged to you for yr care of Mount Desert, I have suffered greatly by th[e] [de]lay of the Confirmation, in Pocket, more yn in mind; tho’ with regard to the latter, instead of an Object of pleasure, it has of late being6 a Thorn in my side; & hitherto instead of an addition to my fortune it has been a considerable drawback. Last Session, Otis endeavourd to engage the House to oppose the Confirmation. He told ym yt ye Island was 30 miles long & contained Land enough for 30 Townships; & therefore as they had been deceived in yt grant they had a right to revoke it. Upon wch a Committee was appointed to enquire into it, & the Speaker was the head of it. He being upon speakg terms with me, altho’ of Otis’s Party, came to me & asked me to help him to a plan of the Island. I showed him ^one^ on a large Scale from an actual Survey, from whence it appeared yt the whole Isld did not amt to above 60,000 acres & above one half of it was reported by the Surveyors to be meer rock, so yr remained only between 20 & 30,000 acres of practicable Land, wch is but the Cont[en]ts of a Township. And it was reckoned as a Township, and it was wd have been one of the 12,7 if it had not been granted to me. This being reported to the House, the Business was dropt without any other Effect yn showing the Malice of the Men.

    I am much obliged to you for yr précis e Acct of the debate upon American Affairs. Yr distinction upon in favr of ye old Colonies is perfectly just: To charge the Expences of the new Colonies to the old is like ^the Justice of^ a London Taylor, who makes those who can pay pay for those who can’t. Founding new Colonies is an Intrest meerly British; It is like ^the^ settling a new Plantation, where the Owner of the Land is at all the Expence & the Occupier at none; but when the Occupier has anything to pay, the Owner begins to expect a reimbursement. It is certain yt Great Britain in founding new Colonies intends her own Intrest, & not that of the old Colonies; & therefore it seems not equitable yt they shd be charged with the Expence of it. However I don’t reckon Quebec within yt rule: for surely the old Colonies do desire an Advantage from the Conquest & maintenance of yt, as will justify yr contributing to the Charge of it.

    In regd to the Agency, (a disagreeable Subject to me) upon perusal of what the House says in their last Message, you will think it necessary to make a formal charge; wch shd not be less yn what I mentioned, 100 a year for the 3 years Councilship, & 300 a year for the 2 years Agency: to which last you may well add £50 a year for Coach hire & contingent Charges Expences. You may very well charge more, & I think in my Conscience you ought to have more. But I am for fixing a sum which shall not be departed from, & leave them to pay it or not pay it. It is impossible to conceive the Meaness & injustice of the late Assembly in mony Affairs. The Leaders of the Faction say they don’t intend to appoint another Provincial Agent; they shall keep one for their House. I’ve wrote fully upon this Subject to my Lord Shelburne;8 but cannot enter upon it now. Towds the End of the Session they sent up a Vote for the grant of £200 for a years Salary to mr Deberdt as Agent to the House, altho’ he never had any such appointmt it was carried thro’ the Council by a trick witho the Knowledge of two thirds, who of the Councellors present. I disented to it ^with the approbation^ of a Majority of the Councellors, by whom it was pretended to be past. See the Vote, for it is curious.

    The Lt Govr will ansr for himself: he has been very cautious least your proposal shd take place ^Air^.9 I have mentioned it to none but himself, he has lately been ill to a degree alarming to himself, but is much better.10 Both He & Mr Oliver have been much hurt in yr health by the ill usage of their Countrymen. I am the only heart of Oak among them.11

    I must conclude as it grows late, & this letter is to go early to morrow. I will add to it as soon as I can.

    I am Sr. &c.

    R Jackson, Esqr.

    AL, LbC      BP, 6: 17-23.