562 | To the Earl of Shelburne

    No 21

    Boston Aug 31. 1767

    My Lord

    By my Letter No 191 I informed your Lordship of the Appearance there was that fresh Disturbances would be raised in this Town & at the end of my Letter I hinted that it was most probable that the Faction here acted in concert with that of New York. It now becomes apparent that it is so, both by the publications of the faction & the declarations of its Sons. On last Saturday Evning the post from N York brought advice that the Act for suspending the Legislative power had passed the House of Commons:2 Soon after the post came in, Some Gentlemen meeting at the Change, One said the People at New York want to know what We intend to do, — A Son of Liberty answered they knew our resolution by the last post, — a third Gentleman said, I hope no Acts of Violence are intended, — The Son of Liberty answered, We shall do as We have done before, agree to send for no more English Goods.

    This Declaration has been fully confirmed by the paper which came out to day3 which I inclose having marked the two pieces referred to with E & F.4 And ^now^ We are told what they intend to do, I cannot conclude from thence what they do not intend to do. If they would be understood that they do not intend to use Violence, I am sorry to say that it cant be so, consistently with their own declarations; for they cant carry their professed Plan into execution without Violence. It is impossible for them to engage half the Merchants in this Town to discontinue their Trade with great Britain but by some force & a great deal of intimidation. At a time when the Minds of the Americans were greatly more estranged than they are now, The Faction was obliged to use the greatest threats, even to marking houses in the day time for nightly ruin, before they could get many respectable Merchants in this Town to Sign the Engagement not to send to Great Britain for Goods.5 And I am sure that they cannot create such another confederacy, without laying the Country under the Terror of their Troops of Execution; and in this Sense the Erection of the flag staff at the Tree of Liberty very well coincides with their declared intention of putting a stop to the Trade with Great Britain.

    I shall constantly informs6 your Lordship of the further proceedings upon this business. It will certainly come to be serious, in some way or other. The Certainty of the Correspondence between the Factions at Boston & New York (which was carried on in the former troubles with the utmost punctuality) being revived makes it out of doubt ^that^ a Plan is formed for new Mischeif; and When I observed the Violent & inflammatory stile of the pieces which have been allready published, I can’t promise that the People will not be again infatuated with sounding words7 & factious Declamations.

    I am, with great respect, My Lord, Your Lordships most obedient and most humble Servant

    Fra Bernard

    The right honble The Earl of Shelburne

    ALS, RC      CO 5/756, ff 114-115.