126. [Petition to the King in Council], 25 October 1765

    127. Furniture Destroyed or Carried Away from My House and Lost the Night after the 26. of August 1765, 26 October 1765

    128. To Henry Seymour Conway, 27 October 1765

    In late October, Thomas Hutchinson made a formal application for reimbursement to the king through Henry Seymour Conway, the secretary of state for the southern department, including with it his inventory of goods stolen from his house on 26 August 1765 and an attested copy of the Council’s estimate of his losses.

    126. [Petition to the King in Council]

    Boston 25th. October 1765

    To the King’s most excellent Majesty in Council,

    The Petition of Thomas Hutchinson Lieutenant governor of your Majesty’s Province of Massachusets bay most humbly sheweth

    That in the evening of the 26th. of August last the dwelling house of your Majesty’s petitioner was beset, forceably entred, and possessed until four of the clock in the morning by a furious & enraged mob who destroyed and carried away all your Petitioner’s houshold furniture, the apparel, money and other effects belonging to him and his family, ruined his house fences and gardens, so that the loss which he has thus sustained, after a deduction of all which he has been able or ever expects to recover amounts, by an estimate made by order of the council of the said Province to more than Two thousand two hundred pounds sterling; besides the loss of many valuable manuscripts and other papers which he has been collecting for thirty years together.

    Your Majesty’s most humble Petitioner suffers, not for any fault but for his fidelity in your Majesty’s service, not for any infringement made upon the rights of the people but for promoting their real interest, not by any common accident or event in providence but meerly for want of protection from the rage of the infatuated populace.

    The governor of your Majesty’s aforesaid Province recommended to the general assembly to make an adequate compensation for this great loss; but they conceive they are under no obligation to do it, and your Petitioner hath no hopes of relief but from your Majesty in whose service he is a sufferer.

    Had your Majesty’s petitioner enjoyed any lucrative posts, the profits of which would have afforded him a support he might have submitted to this misfortune without distress, but the posts he has sustained have very small salaries or perquisites annexed to them & his dependence has been upon his private fortune together with his publick posts to enable him to support the honour of your Majesty’s commission.

    Your Majesty’s Petitioner therefore most humbly prays that such consideration may be had of his distressed case and such relief afforded as to your Majesty’s great wisdom shall seem meet and your Majesty’s most humble Petitioner shall ever pray &ca.,     Thomas Hutchinson

    RC (National Archives UK, CO 5/755, ff. 365–67); dateline appears at the bottom left of the document; docketed, “Petition to The King in Council from Lt. Govr. Hutchinson In His Letter, of the 27th. Octr. 1765.” SC (Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/JO/10/7/207, Item No. 17, ff. 461–62, laid before the House of Lords on 10 March 1766). SC (British Library, Stowe 264 [© The British Library Board]). TH enclosed this petition in No. 128, below.

    127. Furniture Destroyed or Carried Away from My House and Lost the Night after the 26. of August 1765

    Boston 26 October 1765

    Furniture destroyed or carried from my house and lost the night after the 26. of August 1765

    In the great room below

    a tea table & burnt1 china tea set incompleat



    12 new walnut chairs all lost except some bottoms



    a large walnut table 3..10/. a handsome couch 3.10/..



    a bed & pillar for the couch & a dozen of cushions stuffed with feathers & covered with striped sattin



    2 large family pictures gilt frames



    2 smaller size my grandfather & mother



    4 large prints newly framed and glazed



    Andirons shovel & tongs brass



    large turky carpet



    In the closet

    7 ½ dozen china plates



    a case of china handle knives & forks



    14 china dishes for table service



    blue & white tea set, overplus cups & teapot

    with silver nose



    Decanters glasses mugs patty pans2 & other glassware



    3 doz. large hard metal plates 5 large dishes

    not in common use lost or beat up & spoilt



    2 Glass sconces at the sides of the mantle piece







    In the Hall4

    2 large sconces with arms



    2 square mahogony tables 5.6.8 2 smaller 4..



    3 painted oyl clothes5 36/ 2 large glazed prints 50/



    7 glazed prints 2..10/. 8 chairs morocco leather



    5 large busts on the mantle piece at 10/sterl.



    handsome andirons, shovel & tongs



    Dutch tea kettle & stand & japand7 tea chest



    The opening page of Hutchinson’s inventory of items destroyed or taken from his Garden Court Street home during the Stamp Act riot of 26 August 1765. Hutchinson created the inventory as part of his effort to win compensation for his losses. National Archives UK, CO 5/755, f. 372. Courtesy of the National Archives of the United Kingdom.

    In the buffett

    2 very large rich china bowls delft bowls & dishes china chocolate coffee & tea cups & plates at least in value



    Carpet cut & much damaged







    In the little room

    6 walnut chairs turky work8 bottoms & 1 great chair



    small chairs 10/ very handsom table 48/



    walnut desk & shelves & window cushion



    round table 18/. polish’d andirons shovel &c. 4



    a large sconce mahogony frame



    a very good clock, both clock & case broke to pieces & destroyed



    a canvas floor cloth new painted







    In the Entry

    a dozen very good cane chairs & great chair



    a large walnut table 30/ a large hanging lanthorn & small lanthern 50/.










    Brought over 243..11..8

    In the great chamber

    a large looking glass japand frame



    a rich crimson damask bed counterpin window curtains, 8 chairs covered back & seats with the same & outside coverings part of the curtains only saved, loss more than



    a rich India cabinet very little used with 3 stands of wax work in glasses9



    a chamber fillegrain10 dressing glass large tortoise shell box small boxes brushes &c. for a chamber table



    furniture for another table of carved ivory very neat & curious



    a japanned square table



    a small table & toilet



    bed side carpet



    Andirons 30/. coat of arms, glazed pictures & glass sconce 70/







    Whether or not parts of this clock stood in the Little Room of Hutchinson’s Garden Court Street house is uncertain. According to the label pinned to the back of the door, it “was thrown into the streets of Boston when his house was mobbed, August 26, 1775.” Although the case itself was probably made sometime between 1780 and 1790, the brass works made by Thomas Higgins of London date from an earlier period and might plausibly have survived the riot, only to have a new case made for them following the Revolution. Courtesy of Historic New England.

    In the hall chamber

    a very good glass



    handsom case of draws & table



    crimson boiled11 camlet12 bed lined with silk



    8 cane chairs & silk cushions










    In the back chamber

    Green harrateen13 bed part saved



    6 chairs covered back & seats with camlet



    old drawers







    In my lodging chamber

    Chintz bed part saved



    Bureau table new



    small table



    cane chairs & harateen easy chair



    Boxes for books & draws



    scotch carpet14







    In the kitchen chamber

    blue & white camp bed part saved



    small sconce 15/. great chair camblet back & seat 25/.







    In the upper entry

    1 large table 20/. 1 Oval do. 30/. 1 [f?]aneered16 side board table 40/.



    In the chamber over the great chamber

    Table press & draws large turky work chairs







    Brought over



    In the cellar

    12 pipes & 4 quarter cask of wine 2 pipes only saved




    10 pps very good western Island18 wine at £11..6..8 as the 2 pps sold which were left



    4 Cask of Sherry at 6£



    In bottles Madera, Sherry Claret Fontenac19 & white wine, with cyder & the bottles, none being saved—value more than



    1 cc wt. of pork 8 hams about a doz. chaps of Bacon & other provisions at least







    Articles not appropriated to any room

    a large new fashioned silver hilted sword gilt

    cost 6 guineas blade & hilt broke to pieces & damaged



    a small silver hilted sword & 2 mourn. swords lost



    a chased gold head of a cane & joint 4 Guineas



    gold chain & hook of a watch cost 6 guineas



    microscope Cost 3 guin. shaving apparatus 1 Guin.



    Telescope, razors brushe &c 22/. 2 sets of plate buttons, besides what are saved £4



    a rich cradle & basket with lining of quilted satin & set of laced child bed linnen worth more than



    Eight feather beds (two or three only of the meanest saved) 8 bedsteads all broke to pieces two of them mahogany, bed cloaths of great part wholly destroyed cannot be replaced for more than



    A very large damask table cloth cut to pieces & other table linnen lost or destroyed I compute



    leather & seal skin trunks damagd. or destroyed







    Plate lost & not recovered


    a dozen of silver handle knives & forks & shagreen20 case, 4 or 5 only returned damaged



    a case of sweetmeat knives21 & forks & spoons gilt, one spoon only found



    several silver spoons & tea spoons uncertain



    a quart tankard



    a stand of castors with silver tops



    a large handsome coffee pot, top found beat up or as the mob term it, stamped



    damage done to the other plate.......... 64..



    about 20 bushels of split peas & 8 bags destroyed



    I lost in money of which I am certain within a few shillings, & I suppose [those?] over rather than under



    I had received in my office deposited for the heirs of Richard Gooding which remained in my hands & was lost about



    Belonging to the Province of the Ship King George’s money uncertain, the accounts being in the bag with the money I suppose the balance about



    ........................................................................................................................................................ 310..10..



    ................................................. 1135..9..

    Brought over



    I had of apparel

    one camlet surtout,22 one white cloth coat & breeches, one suit pompadore23 cloth one lapelled corduroy wastcoat cost in London about £18 sterling all very little worn



    1 suit french grey button holes wrought with gold & gold basket buttons cost £13.. sterl worn but a few times



    1 suit mixed dark cloth gold holes cost about 10 Guineas half worn



    1 black grey suit lined with ducape silk24 not much worn cost about 8 Guineas



    1 new black superfine cloth coat



    2 black cloth wastcoats



    1 laced crimson cloth wastcoat & breeches very little worn



    1 velvet crimson wastcoat & breeches not half worn



    1 padusoy25 coat & breeches half worn



    1 superfine black grey coat & breeches ½ worn



    1 ratteen26 banyan27 velvet cape little worn



    2 pr. black cloth 1 knit 1 cotton velvet breeches



    2 white callico wastcoats



    1 old coat gold holes much worn



    1 scarlet Roquelaur28 4.. 1 scarlet robe 8..



    1 black silk King’s council gown



    3 hats £2.. 1 wig 20/ besides what saved29



    6 pr. kid gloves new, other gloves cups. 2 pr. new shoes, shoes in wear, whips,30



    1 doz. fine holland31 shirts new several not worn ruffled cost at least



    8 or 10 fine holland shirts more worn besides old shirts, stocks handkerchiefs wig bag [old]



    above a dozen pair worsted Stockings a dozen cotton silk & thredd







    Recovered of the above articles

    Camlet surtout 4£ white breeches 40/



    Pompadore coat damaged



    grey suit worsted with gold damaged



    wastcoat only of mixed dark cloth



    coat only of black grey suit



    new black coat £7. 1 [black ] wastcoat 30/



    velvet breeches 30/ [padusoy & coat torn to pieces]



    1 callico wastcoat 30/. Scarlet roqlaur



    scarlet robe £8



    about 10 shirts & stocks



    4 or 5 pr. of hose



    ...................................................................................................................... 69..10



    lost ........................................................................................ 89.1[6.08]32



    ..................................................................................................... 1225..5[..8]

    Brought from another sheet



    The loss in books & sets of books which are broke & spoiled, & damage done to what was recovered cannot be estimated less than








    The following articles lost by my sister Miss Sanford

    In gold received a day ^or two^ before of the Treasurer £220.. & 1 years interest



    a gold chased watch ^chain^ & seal 21 guineas



    a Spinnet 8 Guineas £11..4/ Burau33



    large seal skin trunk a small ditto



    paist necklace & earings cost 2 Johannes



    Topaz necklace & earings set in gold



    white stone earings & french necklace & earings



    green stone necklace & earings 2 french necklaces



    purple stone earings black necklace & earings



    pair of stone shoe buckles



    new black full suit of best english padusoy



    a sack & petticoat of striped lustring34



    a sack & petticoat of India padusoy



    a brocade robe & petticoat



    a red Genoa damask robe & petticoat



    a striped lustring robe



    a green damask robe



    a clouded gingham robe



    a chintz ditto & a worsted & silk ditto



    2 very handsome gauze suits compleat



    1 suit of Mecklenburgh lace



    3 gauze caps 30/. [1 wide] lace handkerchief 70/



    a fine laced handkerchief & single ruffles



    another handkerchief of the same & double ruffles



    a muslin handkerchief & ruffles & lawn35 ruffles



    a flower’d lawn handkerchief & fine muslin apron



    a silver stomacher36 & sleeve knots



    3 fine cambric handkerchief 40/. 1 embroidered apron [illegible]



    4 pr. silk & fine thred mittens & gloves



    5 Ivory stick fan ribbands flowers &c.



    a white embroidered handkerchief & stomacher



    1 holland apron 10/ 1pr. new silk hose 20/ 2 cotton 12/.



    Dimity37 wastcoat 20/. brocade shoes 20/ [calam?38] 6/



    a scarlet cloth cloak head & body laced with sleeves entirely ruined



    2 silk cloaks with Ermin velvet fringed



    1 purple satin capuchin39 silver lace



    a silk tippet, a cotton ditto



    a very fine camlet riding hood






    beside many small articles of apparel not enumerated






    Brought over



    My two daughters lost the following articles

    one striped lustring robe & petticoat



    a brocaded silk robe & petticoat lined with silk



    a rich brocade petticoat, the sack damaged



    a fine black russel40 quilt new



    a scarlet riding hood laced & scarlet petticoat



    a fine camlet riding hood 4£ new sattin cloak



    a crimson satin hat & black satin jockey41 ruined



    pr. of satin shoes silver lace 30/ 7 Ivory stick fans



    Ribbands & flowers 40/ 1 suit of blond lace 5L



    1 pair of treble ruffles mecklin lace & tucker42



    3 laced fly caps 2£ 1 pr. garnet earings & necklace



    1 necklace with earings set in gold ruby stone



    1 pr. white stone earings & ditto



    1 doz strings french beads 10/ handkerchief & ruffles 20/



    lawn handkerchief & 2 pr. plain ruffles



    laced muslin handkerchief 40/ double ruffles 30/.



    one corded gawze apron 16/. 1 lawn worth 36/



    dresden work43 for aprons 40/



    6 pr. fine cotton stockings 32/ Umbrella 16/



    holland shifts £6.. tweezer case 8/.



    a striped lustring sack of youngest daughters



    a clouded burdet44 petticoat 20/ worsted hose 20/



    shoes 16/. 1 pr. white silk hose 20/ stone shoe buckle 28



    Girdle buckle stone 20/ stone drops in gold 30/



    stone buttons in do. 20/ blue & white gown & petticoat 40/. gingham gown 30/



    a pocket book glass &c. [coats ½ guinea] do. 10/



    their mother’s head cloths two ruffles &c. laced worth more than



    muff & tippet cost 48/. another muff 12/.






    116 [11]


    My son Thomas gives the following account of the loss he sustained

    1 Surtout coat £2..13.4 a light cold. cloth suit £6..13.4



    1 new corduroy wastcoat



    1 black padusoy do. 1.15/ 3 pr. cloth breeches 2.10/



    1 pr. cotton velvet 20/. 2 pr. worsted 1.6.8



    1 doz holland shirts one half of them little worn



    1 pr. Irish shirting 25 yards at 4/ 4d.



    6 pr. worsted 3 pr. cotton hose



    3 pr. silk do. £3. 5 pr. thred do. 20/



    4 pr. shoes 1 pr. spatterdashes45 & whip



    1 pr. silver shoe buckles 15/ Gold rings 6.13.4



    2 silk hair bags46—stocks & gloves



    1 pr. silk gloves not worn cost..







    deduct black silk wastcoat returned











    Brought forward



    Furniture in my son Thomas’s chamber


    one walnut desk 5£ 1 japan table 2.10/.



    1 walnut table 24/ 8 cane chairs 2 great chairs



    1 handsom sconce 5/ Metzotinto pictures 4.10/. curtains valiants47 &c. 4£



    Andirons shovel & tongs





    Money in his desk of which he is certain







    My son Elisha Hutchinson lost

    1 superfine cinamon cold. cloth suit little worn



    1 light coloured suit



    1 suit double Allapeen48



    1 new corduroy wastcoat



    1 ditto little worn



    1 new cloth wastcoat



    2 ditto little worn



    1 pr. cloth breeches



    2 pr. worsted patterns



    6 pr. worsted hose



    2 pr. silk ditto



    2 pr. cotton 3 pr. thred ditto



    8 holland shirts little worn



    2 pr. shoes 2 pr. gloves stocks &c.



    3 gold rings



    1 black cloth coat new



    1 black walnut desk



    1 Table



    money in his desk of which he is certain







    My youngest son William Sanford lost

    a Surtout coat 2..13..4 pr. of breeches 16/8



    3 pr. new cotton hose 16/ 2 pr. worsted 10/



    2 pr. shoes







    Rebeckah Whitmore housekeeper lost

    4 new shifts cost 40/ 1 new lawn apron 18/



    1 muslin apron & handkerchief 8/ 1 pr. new shoes 6/



    1 muslin apron worn 6/ 2 holland shifts worn 6/8



    2 holland aprons 8/ 2 checkd do. 4/2 Gold Rings 20/



    1 pr. silver buckles 9/4 1 stone 3/ 1 red petticoat 6/8



    1 Callico gown 16/. 1 poplin do. 14/ 1 satin bonnet 9/4



    1 red cardinal49 16/. 1 capuchin 16/ velvet hood 8/



    2 pr. kid gloves 3/4 3 pr. worsted hose 6/ 2 necklaces 4/



    3 fans 5/4 ribbands 4/ gloves & mitts 13/4



    1 cambrick 1 gawze & sevral other handkerchief



    ½ yd. new holland 3/. a muff 6/ 1 dollar &c. 9/



    a black padusoy gown & petticoat part found













    Brought forward



    Susannah Townsend the maid’s account

    4 shifts 40/ 1 plain lawn apron 13/4



    1 long lawn ditto 6/8 2 white 1 speckd. do. 9/



    1 pr. new silk mits 6/ 1 new hat cost 12/



    2 holland gowns 30/. 1 gold ring 12/



    a trunk 13/4 calamanco50 shoes 6/



    caps handkerchiefs 10/ a muff 8/







    Moses Vose the coachman lost

    one new striped wastcoat cost



    1 white shirt 3 pr. stockings & 1 dollar







    Mark negro

    a new cloth coat 32/ an old coat 18/ shirt 10/



    Mrs. Walker a widow woman to whom

    I had allowed a living in the house several years lost


    a feather bed £4.. large glass £4..



    chintz gown 21/4 walnut table 18/



    chamber table 18/. 4 pr. shoes 12/



    3 pr. clogs 12/. 1 pr. do. 5/4 1 mortar & pestel 4/



    3 chairs 9/. 3 glazed pictures 4/



    a cambrick51 apron 13/4 4 holld. shifts 40/



    1 muslin apron 10/. 4 good handkerchief 20/



    2 pr. silk hose 18/. 2 pr. cotton 6/



    3 pr. worsted 6/ 2 pr. mits 2/.



    5 aprons of Irish holland 20/ 16 caps 13/4



    3 sheets 20/ 3 pillowbeers 4/



    damage to a case of draws 6/ chest 8/



    muff 6/8 3 tablecloths 8/



    4 pr. cambrick ruffles 6/ 1 Coffee pot 2/8



    3 curtains











    Restored in money by persons unknown







    If any of the articles should appear to be too high rated others may be as low in proportion and upon the whole the same articles restored would be as valuable to me as the money. There are lost many articles which though singly too small to particularise yet when taken together amount to a large sum.

    Tho Hutchinson

    A true copy as on file in the Secretary’s Office     A Oliver Secy

    The Declaration of Thomas Hutchinson Esqr. Lieutenant governor of His Majesty’s Province of Massachusets bay, That in the evening after the 26th. of August last his dwelling house in the town of Boston was attacked entred and taken possession of with the utmost fury and rage by great numbers of persons unknown, that he was obliged with his children to quit his house for the security of their lives, that besides the destruction of his house by the persons aforesaid they destroyed or took and carried away the several articles of furniture apparel and other goods enumerated and contained in the preceding sheets amounting to £2218.1.5, that he has since the exhibiting the said papers to a Committee of Council received from an unknown hand Thirty three pounds four shillings lawful money in money and no more, that some few articles only of apparel & furniture have been restored, that other articles which he apprehends to be of greater value and which were in like manner lost or destroyed were omitted in the preceding sheets, that he despairs of ever recovering any further part of his loss or obtaining any satisfaction therefor from any persons concerned in the outrages aforesaid, that after making all deductions for what has been restored ^and for One hundred pounds money of the Province^52 he has, according to the best judgment he can make, sustained a loss including the damage done to his house & estimated at £950.16.4 lawful money, of more than Two thousand two hundred pounds sterling or Twenty nine hundred & thirty three pounds six53 shillings & eight pence lawful money, that in this estimate he has not included the expence caused by being with his family turned out of his dwelling nor any consequential damages which he has reason to fear from the loss of divers bonds notes & original deeds of parts of his estate. He further adds that he comprehends the loss of those who were of his family and under his care in the computation aforesaid.

    Tho Hutchinson

    Sworn before me Fra Bernard

    Inventory and Declaration: RC (National Archives UK, CO 5/755, ff. 372–81); dateline appears at the bottom left of the declaration; docketed, “In Lieut. Govr. Hutchinson’s of the 27th. Octr. 1765.” Inventory only: Dft (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 6:309–20); in TH’s and another hand; some revisions and rough notes; undated. AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 6:301–08); undated. SC (Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/JO/10/7/207, Item No. 17, ff. 463–68, laid before the House of Lords on 10 March 1766). The Dft represents TH’s first known attempt to itemize his possessions, together with those of his family and his servants, taken from his house on 26 August 1765. From that draft, he proceeded to reorganize the material into the AC, deleting the appeal for the return of missing pages of his manuscript for TH History, with which he ended the draft. At some point, TH made a fair copy (attested by Andrew Oliver) of the AC that he enclosed in No. 128, below, together with a formal petition to the king for compensation for his losses. In that final version, the RC, there are only minor differences (as noted) with the AC. Declaration only: AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:170).

    128. To Henry Seymour Conway

    Boston 27 October 1765

    Sir, The first of this month I took the liberty of acquainting you with my great sufferings in his Majesty’s service but did not then send an attested copy of the particulars, as the governor thought there was some chance for a compensation from the Assembly. They have since explicitly declared that they do not think themselves obliged to make any. I shall therefore send the account under this cover. It is not possible for me to determine the exact value of every article. I can say, in general, that if it was possible to recover my loss in specie I should prefer it to a greater sum than that at which the loss is estimated.

    I have not the advantage of knowing in what form it is expected I should proceed in an application of this sort, I have therefore prepared a brief petition to His Majesty in Council and I pray, Sir, that if my applying to His Majesty’s principal Secretary of state is not sufficient in point of form, the petition may be laid before His Majesty. I will not repeat the circumstances of my very hard case. I most earnestly intreat His Majesty’s favour and humbly submit to his pleasure. I have the honour to be with the greatest respect Sir Your most humble and most obedient servant,     Tho Hutchinson

    DupRC (National Archives UK, CO 5/755, ff. 361–63); at head of letter, “Duplicate”; at foot of letter, “Right Honorable Henry Seymour Conway Esq. &c”; docketed, “Boston, Massachusets Bay 27th. Octr. 1765. Lieut. Govr. Hutchinson. Rx 13th. Decr.” SC (British Library, Stowe 264, ff. 310–11 [© The British Library Board]). SC (Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/JO/10/7/207, Item No. 17, ff. 459–60, laid before the House of Lords on 10 March 1766); docketed, “Duplicate Boston Oct. 27th. 1765”; on the same sheet as No. 145, below. Enclosures: Petition to King in Council, No. 126, above; an attested copy of the Council estimate of TH’s losses; TH’s “Furniture Destroyed or Carried from My House” and the appended declaration, No. 127, above; Newport Mercury, 7 October 1765; Supplement to the Boston Evening Post, 28 October 1765; Boston Evening Post, 28 October 1765 (all of which appear at National Archives UK, CO 5/755, ff. 365–385).

    129. To Benjamin Franklin

    Boston 27 Octo 1765

    Dear Sir, The grievous loss I have sustained in consequence of the resentment of the people against the stamp duty & the Refusal of the assembly to make any compensation has obliged me to lay my case before his Majesty & to pray for relief.1 Indeed the loss is heavier than I am well able to bear. I hope you will think my prayer reasonable & if you should I ask your friendship in promoting it a compensation. I cannot think I shall fail of success. No servant of the crown will have firmness enough to do his duty in the colonies if they are liable to be thus punished for it & can have no redress. Indeed the general voice, here, has been that my loss ought to be made good. Every body at first was struck with horror but my case is now stale & looked upon with more indifference. Perhaps I shall have the same fate in England if there should be any delay there or if nothing more can be obtained than a requisition to the government here I fear I shall always be a sufferer.

    It is not safe to give you a particular account of the deplorable condition we are in. I [m]ay2 say in general that such of us as hold commissions from the crown never had so much need of wisdom & fortitude & discretion as we have at present. I am with very great esteem Sir Your most obedient,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:159); at foot of letter, “Docto Franklin.”

    130. To Lord Kinnoull

    Boston Octo 27. 1765

    My Lord, I humbly beg your Lordships patronage upon an occasion very interesting1 to me. I have been plundered of my property by an infernal mob to the amount of between 2 & 3000 sterl & for no other Reason than this. I have been suspected of being unfavorable to the liberties of the people & of promoting what is called the stamp act. I foresaw the confusion that will be the consequence of this act & never scrupled speaking & writing my sentiments accordingly but when the act had passed I considered it as the act of the supreme legislature of the british dominions & have not been able to approve of the measures which the colonists in most places have thought justifiable in opposition to it. About 3 years ago upon application made to the S. Court of which I am chief Justice writs of assistance were granted in aid of the officers of the customs which writs were complained of as grievous by the illicit traders & by them a notion was put into the heads of the common people in general that these writs were contrary to their liberty as English men. So long ago as the year 1748 being then Speaker of the House I projected & with infinite pains carried through a bill for abolishing the paper currency. Your Ldship was then of the board of trade and probably may Remember the bill tho you will not Remember it was effected by me for Mr Shirley who was then governor & who looked upon it as a desperate attempt yet when he came to England soon after assumed the merit of it to himself & left me to bear the odium & to Run the hazard of the Resentment of the greatest part of the common people who were favourers of paper money. Some of them Remain enraged to this day. The opposers of the stamp act artfully improved these Reasons together with the spirit which had been Raised against the writ of assistance & adding them to the jealousy of my favoring the stamp duty Raised such fury in the minds of the populace that they fell upon my house with axes split down the doors entred & destroyed or threw out of the house every thing belonging to me & my family a small part only of which has been since Recovered & spent a whole night in ruining my house gardens &c. & nothing but the approaching day light prevented the whole buildings being laid level with the ground. During the horror with which the minds of people were struck at first it seemd to be the general voice that as I suffered for want of the protection of the government my loss should be made good to me by the publick but before the genral court met the clamor against the stamp duty increased my distress became a stale affair & many of the members were instructed to make no compensation & they were afraid of being mobbed when they went home if they should vote for it: I had then no Resort but to His Majesty. I have made my Representation to the Secr. of State & prayed him humbly to apply to His Majesty in my behalf.2 I am not able to bear so heavy a loss. My post of LG I have sustaind about 7 years with out any emolument as such except for 2 or 3 months only the chair happened to be vacant & altho in my publick employments my whole time has been taken up yet I have been always spending upon my private fortune.3 If I am left to suffer I shall be utterly dispirited his Majestys servants in general in the colonies will be dispirited. I defy my enemies to lay any crime to my charge except a steady adherence to the duties of my station & this not by any unnecessary irritating the minds of the people. Surely if in such a case an officer of the crown is not supported & indemnified there will be the utmost danger of a general compliance with every popular humour & prejudice. The clamour against the governor ran higher than it did against me but two Reasons seem to have saved him and turned the fury upon me. The house he lives in belongs to the Province & violence offered to a LG will have less notice taken of it than if it had been to a governor.

    Pardon me my Lord for the great freedom I use. I have few or no friends at court & my very name perhaps is obscure; but this does not lessen the justice of my cause & I humbly hope that alone may be sufficient but if that should not certainly from meer policy I shall be Relieved. Thus sometimes I flatter myself at other times I fear that however hard my case may appear the way & manner of Relieving me may not be suddenly determined & if it should grow old it will dy away.

    I do not know that your Lordship has any share in the administration but I am sure your connexions are great. I earnestly intreat your Lordships favour & am with the greatest Respect My Lord Your Lordships most humble & most obedient Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:164–64a); at foot of letter, “Rt Hon Earl of Kinnoull.”

    131. To [The Lords of Trade]

    Boston 3d Nov. 1765

    My Lords, I beg leave to acquaint your Lordships that after having been plundered of my property by an outrageous mob to the amount of more than 2000£ sterl & the general court having refused upon the governors Recommendation to afford me any relief I have been obliged to make my humble application to His Majesty.1 I suffer My Lords merely because I am suspected of not being a sufficient friend to liberty according to the present notions of liberty & have nothing laid to my charge except that I have wrote letters England in favour of the stamp act, that I have issued writs of assistance to the custom house officers & have been concerned in declarations which were sent to England concerning illicit trade. The first part of this charge is false having always been afraid of the consequences of this act I wished it might not have passed & freely wrote my sentiments but after it had passed I considered it as an Act of the Supreme legislature of the British Dominions & have as freely declared my sentiments of the high offence of a violent forcible opposition to the execution of it. With respect to the writs of assistance I was well satisfied after great deliberation that in issuing them I did what the law required me to do & if I was mistaken which I am not yet convinced of it was an error in judgment only, & for the declarations respecting illicit trade I had no other concern with them than administring the oaths; had I otherwise promoted them I should have needed no excuse with your Lordships however I might have done with my accusers here.

    I am destitute of a house of furniture of apparel for my self & family & I am unable to reinstate my self in my former condition without the sale of my Real estate ^most of^ which came to me from my ancestors and which at this time will not sell except to great disadvantage. I intreat your Lordships influence in my behalf. I am with the greatest Respect My Lords Your Lordships,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:160); unaddressed, but the volume index lists “Lords of Trade” as the recipients.

    132. To Lord Adam Gordon1

    Boston 7. Nov. 1765

    My Lord, Your Lordsh. when you was in this province kindly expressed to me your resentment of the unparallelled outrage which I had met with from an enraged populace & you could not doubt that the Gen Court would make me a compensation for my losses. They have since peremtorily Refused to do it & treat my misfortune as a common accident. If I can find no Relief I must be very much distressed. I have not My Lord been accumulating from my public posts & if it had not been for my private fortune I could not have supported my self altho few persons in the colonies are so constantly employed in public business as I have been indeed I have not sufficient Respit from it to take the necessary care of my estate. As my last Refuge I have made my humble application to His Majesty through his principal Secretary of State.2 If I fail here I shall be quite dispirited but I think it is impossible. Surely a servant of the crown meerly for discountenancing a violent forcible opposition to an Act of Parliament cannot be left without relief either from the crown or the Parliament. There is no person in England can do me so much service upon this occasion as your Lordship my only doubt is whether the short acquaintance I had with you intitles me in this manner to ask your favour.

    To Relieve your Lordship from the trouble of my sollicitations I will give you a short anecdote. I was not long since upon the circuit in the county of Essex. At Newbury a noted sea port town the lower class of the people thought themselves obliged there as well as at other places to shew their zeal for liberty. They met in the evening & made a very great tumult but were at a loss for an object. At length one of the judges of the inferior court who was unpopular was pitched upon & an effigies was prepared & carried before the court house & the windows all broke,3 from thence they went thro the town demanding from house to house whether the occupant was for the stamp act, no doubt they everywhere received a satisfactory answer & generally money or liquor besides which made them fit for any undertaking but still they were at a loss what it should be until one of them proposed to go & address Lord Adam Gordon. This was immediately agreed to with loud acclamations and many hundreds of them actually began their march towards Boston. After some time one of the company who had joined them with a view to restrain their extravagance but appeared to be as zealous as any one caused a halt & told them he was sure Lord Adam was gone to N York which was so far distant that without further provision than they had made for the journey it was by no means adviseable to proceed besides [he]4 did not doubt Lord Adam would be as well pleased with an [ad]dress to be transmitted him as if they should make their personal appearance before him such an address he would draw up in the morning & send it as from them & would publish it in all the news papers. This new proposal was generally approved of & after three huzzas they all dispersed. The inclosed news paper will be an evidence that we are not in the use of stamps. I am with very great esteem Your Ldship’s most obedient humble Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:171); at foot of letter, “Ld Adam Gordon.” SC (Staffordshire Record Office, Papers of the Earl of Dartmouth, D(W)1778/II/102 [This item has been examined and published with the permission of the Earl of Dartmouth and the Dartmouth Trust]); consists of an extract of first paragraph only. Enclosure not found.

    133. To Richard Jackson

    Boston1 8 Nov 1765

    Dear Sir, I cannot help advising you very frequently of the state of affairs. We continue tolerably quiet.

    The gov. seems to fear he shall be under a necessity of a sudden departure from the province.2 It must be ownd that our condition is very precarious & the present calm seems to be the effect of a general expectation that the stamp act will be Repealed & if we should quickly hear that there is no probability of it there is no determining what desperate men will not attempt.3 You see by the inclosed news paper every body does not fear a non observance of the act but in those cases where the act makes all proceedings invalid without stamps I know of nothing yet done contrary to it.

    The Sup. court sat at Salem the 5 After the grand jury had made enquiry into criminal matters we adjourned to the beginning of April.4 We have no limitation of time for the courts, without entring upon any civil business. The choice of a special agent for the house it is said is in consequence of the determination of all the comissioners at N York and not from any disrespect to you.5 I have not attended at the genl court this session. Excuse me if I again mention my great sufferings. My only refuge is in G Brit for here every day the affair is treated with more & more indifference.6 I am Sir Your most faithful humble Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:172); at foot of letter, “Mr Jackson.” Enclosure not found.

    134. To Thomas Pownall

    Boston 8 Nov. 1765

    Sir, Give me leave to acquaint you that I have transmitted to the Sec of State my humble petition to his Maj in council praying his gracious consideration of my great sufferings.1 I am sure it will be in your power to do me service & if you should apprehend I am justly intitled to Relief I need not ask you to appear in my behalf because you will be disposed to do it without my asking.

    We are in such a state that it is not safe to write scarcely to think. The inclosed news paper printed after the 1 of Nov. will give you some idea of our present condition. I am with great truth Sir Your faithful humble Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:172); at foot of letter, “Gov Pownall.” Enclosure not found.

    135. To William Bollan

    Boston 10 of Novemb. 1765

    Dear Sir, The Comissioners from the several colonies after agreeing upon three addresses or petitions one to the King, one to the Lords & one to the Commons advised that the representatives of each colony should chuse a special agent to prefer the petitions & sollicit the repeal of the stamp act.1 Your friends in the house made an attempt in your favour which they say was defeated by an objection that if you should be chosen the house would be held to allow you the whole balance of your accounts and the vote was carried for Mr DeBert. I think you would have had a difficult tax2 in vindicating the measures of the several colonies. I sincerely wish the repeal of the act and fear the consequence of enforceing the execution of it but such resolves have passed some of the governments and such shocking things have been published & tolerated in others that I expect both the Parliament & Ministry will be to a great degree incensed. Ten days have passed since the time when the act was to commence. Newspapers are printed as usual. There is no other publick violation. All business ceases. It is very uncertain how long we shall continue without further disturbance. The Stamp officer it is said has received no commission or warrant & would have had no authority to issue the stamped paper if no measures had been taken to prevent him.3 This it is further said will justify doing business without stamps, and I fear demand will be made from persons in office to go on as heretofore, and there is no authority has ever been so effectually executed as that which at present subsists in the province.

    I am pitied, and good people say be cloathed and be warmed but refuse me any other relief. I have no hopes of any on this side the water which caused me by the last ship to transmit to the Secretary of state an authenticated account of the particulars & value of what I have lost, and a petition to His Majesty in council praying his gracious consideration.4 Should a requisition to the government be all that I can obtain I fear it will do me no service. I would hope either the money will be ordered me out of the exchequer or by a grant from the Parliament whose late act has certainly brought upon me all this loss from popular resentment and rage because I have discountenanced the violent forcible opposition made to the act. If my case is treated with neglect I shall be utterly dispirited and I think other officers of the crown in the colonies will easily be intimidated from doing their duty. My friends here encourage me & assure me that if I had no claim in strict justice good policy alone will induce relief for me, I hope they judge right, if not I must feel this blow the rest of my life. I am Dear Sir Your affectionate humble Servant,

    Tho Hutchinson

    RC (Sheffield Archives, Wentworth Woodhouse Muniments, Papers of the Marquis of Rockingham, R24/3); at foot of letter, “Mr Bollan”; addressed, “To William Bollan Esqr. London”; docketed, “Boston: November 10. 1765. Mr: Hutchinson to Mr: Bollan; relating to the Discontent about the Stamps”; markings for postage. AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:163); at head of letter, “Mr Bollan.”

    136. To Lord Loudoun

    Boston 10 Nov. 1765

    My Lord, I beg leave to acquaint your Lordship with the deplorable state to which I am Reduced by an enraged populace. The last winter the house of rep. agreed upon a petition to parl. against the stamp duty & sent it to the council for concurrence. I made opposition to it & it was nonconcurd & a more decent one substituted in its place which after some time spent the house agreed to.1 A jealousy prevaild among the people that I was in favor of the duty altho they had no grounds for it for I sincerely wished the act might have been prevented. After it passed I considered it as the law of the land & discouraged the violent opposition intended to be made to the execution of it. A mob compelld the Secretary who had been appointed distributor to Resign his office.2 They then made me their object & with infernal fury fell upon my house split down the doors entred & destroyed or carried away every thing in it & continued their ravage from between 8 & 9 in the evening until between 4 & 5 the next morning. They pulled down as much of the house as the time would allow & altho there were many thousand spectators and the whole town was in alarm yet none dared make any opposition. My loss has been estimated at between 2 & 3000£ sterl. besides the loss of all my papers & all memorials of my ancestors for many generations which to me were invaluable. I can obtain no redress in this country which has obliged me to apply to his Majesty.3 I suffer my Lord for not complying with popular prejudices & because I do not join in the violent opposition to the power of the parl. over the colonies. In such a case I think I cannot be left without redress from His Majesty or from parliament. If I am the officers of the crown will be intimidated from doing their duty I shall be greatly distressed & never able to retrieve so heavy a blow upon my private fortune & my children after me will feel the effects of it. I humbly beg your Lordships favour. I am with the greatest Respect My Lord Your Lordships most humble & most obedient Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:162); at foot of letter, “Rt Hon Earl of Loudoun.”

    137. To [Richard Jackson]

    Boston 11 Novemb 1765

    Dear Sir, When I wrote to you the 8 instant altho I dated my letter in town I was at my house in the country & did not know what was passing in the house of repress. but the next day a well affected member called upon me & told me they had voted a letter to be sent you which he thought rude & would have prevented if it had been in his power.1 It was drawn by a member from Boston & we are in such a state that those who did not like it were afraid to oppose it.2 A paragraph was reported in vindication of the town from the violence offered me but the house Rejected it. The account received to day from ^of the riots at^ N York gives fresh spirits to the approvers of them here. Colden has been hung up in effigy before the fort his chariot taken from the very gates & burnt & the fort being threatned with a storm the Mayor & Aldermen advisd him to deliver up the stamped paper which he did & they took it into their custody. The mob Rifled the house of Major James & made a bonfire of what they found there.3 The news papers represent all to have been done with great order & decency but the business was not over when the post came away.4 An invitation has been given to a number of merchants & others to sup with Mackintosh to night at Boston in return for the civility shewn him & his party the 5 instant.5 Where these disorders will end God only knows. I durst not write any thing but plain facts. I am with great truth Sir Your faithful humble Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:173); unaddressed.

    138. To Benjamin Franklin

    Boston 18 Nov. 1765

    Dear Sir, I am very much obliged to you for your letter of Aug. the 15.1 I was disappointed in one of the comissioners from the Represent of this province Mr R only having firmness enough to answer his judgment and to refuse signing what all the Rest of the comissioners except Mr Ogden of the Jersies agreed to send beyond.2

    I have been in most parts of this province & in N H & Rh Isl. within two or three months past & almost every where I found a full dependance upon the Repeal of the stamp act as soon as the parl. meets, & if you ask any person how it will be possible to subsist with all our ^ships in^ port shut up & all our courts of common & civil law shut up the answer is it will be but a short time & we had better submit to any difficulty & loss than suffer such an act to take place. In Boston it would be utterly unsafe to make the least doubt of a Repeal. Indeed it is not safe there to advance any thing contrary to any popular opinions whatsoever. Every body who used to have virtue enough to oppose them is now afraid of my fate. That paragraph of your letter which expresses your doubts I have not dared to mention. What have we not to fear from the news which in a few weeks we may Receive from England. An entertainment was made last week by the heads of the south & north parties of the [blank space in MS]3 & a great number of persons of character had tickets sent them & most of them were present & such a junction is thought to be the only way to preserve the town from further outrages. The riots at N York have given fresh spirits to the rioters here. An uniformity of measures it is said will be effectual & join or die is the motto. When you & I were at Albany ten years ago we did not propose an union for such purposes as these.4

    I am sorry I cannot exculpate the province from Mr Luthers charge against it.5 I very well remember the correspondence with him most of his letters having been translated by me. Soon after the peace of A la chapell the proprietors of large tracts of unimproved lands endeavoured to prevail upon the general court to take measures to encourage the importation of foreign Protestants & I think it was at the desire of the two houses that Mr Phips wrote to Mr Luther upon the subject but the majority of the Reps in favor of these measures was small.6 You know nothing is more fickle & uncertain than a house of Rep. & in a year or two the majority was against the measures & altho divers letters were Received from Mr Luther which Mr Phips communicated & some of them complaining of his ill treatment yet no answer was Returned. I then tho’t the government greatly dishonord itself & I wish this had been the only instance in which it has done so. Such a conduct seems natural from our peculiar constitution. A change of perhaps one quarter part of the members every year causes new sentiments in the house &, absurd as it is they will not consider themselves bound in honor to support the acts of their predecessors equally as if they had been their own perhaps this would not be the case where any express promise had been made by a preceding house.

    I do not Remember that any account has been sent by Mr Luther of his expences. There may have been & I may have forgot it. I think if such an account should be now sent & a Reasonable charge made for his trouble and some person employed here as his attorney should sollicit the payment it may be obtained. If I should be in the province I have so perfect a Remembrance of the whole affair that I should be able to do him service & I would chearfully do all in my power but it is uncertain whether I shall Remain here. My loss is so heavy that I cannot well bear it. I should immediately or soon after I met with it have gone to England to sollicit a compensation if I had not been in hopes of doing some service to my country here. I am now almost in despair & if I should Receive advice that I may hope for a compensation in Engld by making a voyage there & that I should not be like to obtain it without I think in justice to my family I must undertake it but I flatter my self that the application I have made will succeed & that in so hard a case I shall not be obliged to be at the trouble & Risk of a voyage to England to obtain Redress. I have heard many complaints of the late Mr Waldo on account of his negotiations for peopling his land.7 Mr Winslow & Mr Flucker who married two of his daughters & who with his two sons administerd upon the estate would not be willing any just debtes should Remain unpaid.8 A letter to the gov. accompanying Mr Luthers accounts would be very proper.9 I am with very great Regard Sir Your most humble & most obedient,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:174–75); at foot of letter, “Doctor Franklin”; marked “N York Packet” for ship transport.

    139. From Edmund Trowbridge

    December 2d. 1765

    Sir, I am much Obliged to your Honor for your Last favour.1 Instead of giveing That Answer to the Question proposed I have given it to Another they Sent me That day, but least I Should Make Another Blunder I have Taken the liberty of Troubleing you with the Question & Answer.2 I had Thoughts of makeing This Alteration in the Answer viz. by whose Advise you, Instead of the Officers in the Government as I think the Surveyor & Advocate Gen are the Proper Persons to Advise the Officers of the Customs.3 Herewith you also have the Copy of Benj. Greens Deposition Sent me by leave of the Surveyor Gen as it Seems, if that be True may it not be Supposed the Coms of the Customs Suppose Those Bonds are not Included in the Act, because, Bonds to the King are not Expressly Mention’d, & that the Words of the Act+ may be Satisfied by Othere Bonds above £40. I am going to Boston to Examine the Othere Stamp Acts So Cannot do myself the honour of Waiting Upon his Excellency & Your Honour This day if I Could do it Safely. Mr Lee will be There & is to make my excuse, if You’l be kind enough to Send me your Thoughts upon the Above, I Shall Esteem it as a great favour Confered Upon Your Honor’s Most Obliged & Obedient Servant,     Edmd Trowbridge

    Please to Send me back the Question & Answers with your Amendments That I may give it in to day for they are Out of Patience with the Surveyor.

    + The Words of the Act are, Every Peice of Vellum &c on which Shall be wrote &c any Notarial Act, Bond, &c or Othere Obligatory Instrument.

    I Shall give no Answer to the former Question if I can Avoid it, but if Obliged to do it proposed to give the Same.

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:39–39a); addressed, “To his Honour The Lieut. Governour”; with seal. Enclosures not found.

    140. From Thomas Pownall

    New S[uffo]lk1 Street. London Dec 3. 1765

    Dear Sir, If it were possible to describe the State of Things here, or to guess what would be the measures taken or the Effects produced I should not be afraid for anything on this side the Water to speak out & write my opinion.

    If I did not apprehend from many of my letters having miscarried that this ran every risque of coming into other hands than your’s I would as freely give you my opinion of what ought to be the Conduct of those who really wish well to the American Interest.

    But as I am certain that whatever I should write would be misunderstood & be falsly represented if this letter fell into those hands who rather wish me to be ^thought^ an Enemy than a friend to the Colonies—into the hands of People who in the true spirit of Madness have fallen upon their best friends & those who are nearest to them—I cannot venture to write what I wish even to serve them. For wild & Hostile as they—I will still continue my endeavors to serve them—if they by their own bad conduct do not render it impossible. I was so happy to serve them last year in the Affair of the Bill for Quartering.2 Which all the noise & clamor of their illjudging friends would never have done, instead of the very wrong & bad clause inserted at first in the Bill I drew up & gott inserted the Clause as it now stands—taken literally as far as general circumstances would suit, from the Act We passed in the Massachusetts & for which the People were originally obliged to your forecast & prudence. This is known to Ben Franklin, is known to all the Ministers here—& yet I dare say neither is nor would be beleived in the Colonies. My Dedication was written not with an Intent to flatter Mr Grenville but to prevent prejudices being taken up against the Colonies in general from the Violences & Absurdities of the few factions.3

    Your Letter enclosed for Ld Edgcumbe I gave to him.4 He is just now come to Town. I have not yet seen him, when I do I will talk with him on the subject.

    When I have an oportunity of Writing by a safe hand I will write to you very particularly.

    Ben Franklin & I are going this Morning to Ld Rockingham’s on the Subject of a Paper we have jointly given in relative to the procuring a general Paper Currency for the Colonies by Authority of Government here & connected with the Bank of England—you will find it referr’d to in page 111 of the Adm of the Col as there suspended from publication.5 I beg my Respects to your family & service to all friends & am Dear Sir Your friend & Servant,     T. Pownall

    It is impossible that the Colonies can entertain any hopes from the present or any ministry—that the Right of the Parliaments Taxing can be given up. Releif is the Extent of those Taxes may be hoped & applyed for. I myself so little as they think me a friend to them have a Scheme to reduce the Duties one fourth by getting the Money declared Lawfull instead of Sterling & if in addition to that the Measure of the Melosses was fixed at Winchester measure—it would reduce the Duties on that Article one third.6 This with releif as to the Admiralty Courts—& the taking off the Prohibition of the Silver Trade—would surely be as much as men in reason could desire & more than they could expect.7

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:112–13a); at foot of letter, “The Hon L Gov Hutchinson.”

    141. To Unknown1

    Milton Decr. 8th. 1765

    Dear Sir, My heart is full with gratitude to the gentlemen who show so much concern for my relief under my great misfortunes. Before I say any thing to the several proposals you have been so kind as to mention to me I will let you know the steps I have taken. The first opportunity after the spoil made upon me I acquainted Lord Halifax with it & wrote at the same time as follows “I am in hopes the general Court will have due consideration of my great loss if they should not I must beg leave to be again troublesome to your Lordship and pray you to lay my case before his Majesty in whose Service I am a Sufferer.”2 Finding that the general Court would do nothing for me I wrote the first of October to Mr. Secretary Conway in the following words “In a Letter to the Earl of Halifax dated August 30th. I represented my great sufferings by an enraged mob. I then thought it not improbable that the Assembly might have consideration of my unhappy case and make me restitution, the Council having for that purpose prepared an estimate of my loss and the Governor in his Speech recommended my Case but they avoided taking any notice of it some of the Members had been instructed by their Towns not to do it & others were afraid of offending their towns if it should be made a provincial charge and the Town of Boston urged the unreasonableness of it’s being laid a burden upon them they not being able to restrain the fury of the mob in the time of it and having immediately after in a very full meeting expressed the utmost detestation of the outrage. All profess to pity me but none are willing to afford me the relief to which I think I have a just claim. I intreat you Sir to lay my case before his Majesty &c.”3 I wrote at the same time to three or four of the nobility who allow me a Correspondence to several members of the House of Commons and to many gentlemen of private character but who are capable by their influence of doing me service. I have transmitted an authenticated account of the particulars of my loss as far as had then come to my remembrance amounting to three thousand pounds lawful Mony besides what had been recovered & without considering many valuables in my esteem or such consequential damages as I must sustain.4 I have mentioned to my friends who I have desired to sollicit for me that if I was not relieved by a grant from the parliament or out of the Exchequer I should probably remain a Sufferer. I have a precedent in a case not so strong as mine, Mr. Clark when Lieut. Govr. of New York having by the burning of the Fort sustained a loss of three thousand pounds Sterlg. was reimbursed the whole Sum.5 Thus far I have proceeded in my sollicitations in England and my fears are that my friends by the first Vessels will advise me that it is necessary I should make a personal appearance there rather than that I shall finally fail of success. But if I was sure of obtaining a full compensation in England of my loss & the charges of my Voyage it would be far less agreable to me than to receive it in my own Country. In either way it would imply the sense which they who caused my loss to be retrieved had of the Injury done me but in the latter case it would done by those who must have the most intimate knowledge of all circumstances & their judgement upon them would therefore have the greatest weight in vindicating my character with posterity. There is something so generous in the proposals you have communicated that I should have very great reluctance in taking any exception if the Gentlemen themselves had not seen difficulties. That of a Collection in the nature of a brief will always have the appearance of an act of mere Charity and if considered in any other light will certainly be objected to by the Churches themselves as a dangerous precedent. The other two methods are less exceptionable but all of them are attended with this difficulty, it is very uncertain what sum can be raised this way unlikely one half my loss should be raised by a subscription without bringing an unreasonable burden upon a few particular gentlemen and if it should fall considerably short I shall suffer in proportion, for if I enter into methods here I may expect it will put a stop to those on the other side of the water. Would it not more reputable for me & more safe, if ^Will the gentlemen take any exception if I propose^ the town should vote that my damages should be made good? This I hardly expect they will do unless it be from a confidence that the money will be raised by a subscription and an objection will naturally arise that perhaps the subscription will fall short and so a burden will be left upon the town in general. I can give no other ^answer to the^ objection than this; There is the same danger of its falling short in one case as the other but there is this difference in the event in the first case the burden will ly wholly upon me a single person in the latter it will fall upon a great number. I am perhaps insensibly prejudiced in my own cause but it ever appeared to me in this light, I suffered not by common accident but purely for want of protection and not as a private person but as a Servant of the Government which gave me a peculiar claim to their protection and I have the same right to have my loss repaired as if I had been employed upon any dangerous service and in the prosecution of it had been assaulted & spoiled by highwaymen or robbers. I think nothing but unfaithfulness in the Service would then have cut me off from my claim and if any thing of that appears in my conduct now I am content to give up my claim to a restitution of every part of my loss. I never determined whether it ought to ly as a burden on every part in equal proportion & it was to no purpose to consider of it when it seemed to appear to the honorable House that it ought not to ly upon any part but rather to be treated as an accident by fire storms or Earthquakes to which everyone is alike liable. Thus Sir I have laid my mind open to you in it’s present state, possibly upon further consideration I may hereafter see some circumstances in a different light. I am not tenacious of my own opinion but am open to advice & conviction and upon the whole desire to be relieved in such way as shall be most just & honorable. I am with the strongest sentiments of regard & esteem for the gentlemen at whose request you wrote to me their & your most humble & obedient Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:176–79); in EH’s hand, with corrections by TH; unaddressed.

    142. [A Summary of the Disorders in the Massachusetts Province]

    [Mid-December 1765]1

    A Summary of the disorders in the Massachusets Province proceeding from an apprehension that the Act of Parliement called the stamp act deprives the people of their natural rights.

    Upon the first advise that the act for a stamp duty upon the colonies had passed a general discontent immediately discovered it self, but there was no other expectation among the People in general than that the duty would bee paid and the Act submitted to.2 One who is now to a greater degree than most of the town of Boston, zealous in the opposition desired a gentleman to speak to the stamp Officer in behalf of a person in the County of Barnstable that he might be appointed a deputy distributor.3 The news papers groaned with the loss of liberty, but nothing extravagant appeared in them until the news of several resolves having passed the Assembly of Virginia all of this spirit that the act ought not & should not take place in the colonies.4 This doctrine at first shocked the friends of government and was very contiously5 received by the generality of people but the incendiaries branded all who opposed it at first with the name of cowards & by degrees advanced to [fools],6 parasites, & soon to parracides. Still there was no danger in contradicting the heroes for liberty, and urging that it was much more rational to expect releif by a united representation from all the colonies of their grievances than by a declared opposition to it and defiance of a power which wee were not able to resist. The spirit in the papers, rose, & upon the arrival of Mr Ingersoll the stamp Officer for Connecticut reflections were cast upon him and upon the stamp Officer for Massachusets, contemptuous & menacing.7 On the 14 of August the effigies of the stamp Officer, with other pageantry was discovered early in the morning hanging upon a Tree at the entrance of the town over the most publick street and not only ordinary Passengers went under, but the report drew great numbers of People from the country to view it, and the name of liberty caused a general approbation of the measure. There being danger of disorders in the Evening, the Sheriff of the county applied to the Cheif Justice for advice & direction, who informed him that he had no need of any special Authority by his office he was bound not only to interrupt and suppress all actual violations of the Peace but all such measures as had a tendency thereto, and if he would take his Officers and attempt the removal of the Pageantry and should meet with any opposition, the Cheif Justice would grant his warrant against any who were present in such an unlawful assembly for the greatest decency was pretended to at first that there might bee no room to charge them with an intention to oppose any body. The Sheriff sent two of his Officers, but upon its being intimated to them that it would not bee safe to attempt any thing they returned. Before their return the governor had met the council, and some who pretended to know the most of the designs of the populace opposed any step being taken, being of opinion that they would take down the effigies in the evening and bury it without any further disturbance & the majority was of the same mind. In the evening, a mob was gathered the effigies burnt, two small shops pulled down and the stamp Officers windows broke &ca. The next day the governor consulted the consul. A proclamation was advised to, promising a reward of One hundred pounds for discovery &ca The L Governor advised to a military watch in the town, which the Governor approved of the majority of the Council was of opinion, that orders for that purpose might bee disobeyed, & if they should not yet it would occasion a general discontent, & that it would bee enough to recommend the strengthening the ordinary town watch. This was advised to, but upon a doubt started among the Justices & selectmen who have the direction of the watch, concerning their Authority it was neglected. In the afternoon of the same day the Stamp Officer, fearing what would happen, declared that he had wrote to England and resigned. The mob met at dark & after some expressions of joy for the resignation assembled beefore the Lieut Governors house to enquire wether he had not wrote in favour of the Stamp Act. The L Govr having sent his children abroad & barred his doors & windows, stood about an hour’s siege without giving any answer to their repeated demands. At length by the interposition of some discreet persons in the neighbourhood, the mob removed and finished the evening at a bon fire on fort hill. After this it was wispered about that the L Governor’s letters which he had wrote or copies of them were in town, as also copies of declarations taken before him concerning illicit trade.8 On the 26 of August in the evening a mob assembled again in King street & after some damage to the house of an admiralty Officer & also to the house of the comptroller of the customs, they came with the rage of dæmons upon the house of the L. Governor who had just notice enough to save his own and his childrens lives & there they spent the night committing the most horrid outrages. The next day being the 27 was the first day of the term for the supreme court of which the Lt Governor is Cheif Justice. The court to shew their resentment of the insult as well as their sense of the anarchy to which the government was reduced refused to do any business & adjorned to the 15th of October. The governor again consulted the Council who advised to a military watch and to recommend to the Justices of the peace to apprehend divers persons reported to have been concerned in the outrage & the next day the 28 Advised to a proclamation with a reward &ca9 The orders for a watch was observed; the Justices comitted half a dozen of the dregs of the people who refused to discover the ringleaders or cheifs, of those who were committed three broke goal & fled against one of whom a bill was found; against the other three no bills were found, no sufficient evidence being offered to the grand Jury. The true reason was the Attorney general did not think it safe to prosecute them. Part of the militia of the town continued to watch for about a fortnight, the duty was thought too heavy & no occasion for continuing any longer, & the orders were with drawn by advice of Council. Some at least advised to it because they were convinced the militia would not appear any longer. The stamp Papers being daily expected it was apprehended they would be taken out of the Ship and destroyed. The council advised to their being lodged in the Castle. It was then given out, they would not bee safe their. The council advised to a further enlistment to strengthen the garrison. This was unpopular, and the clamour was so great that before the enlistment finished the council moved the governor to recall the orders & dismiss the recruits. The governor declared that as the stamp Officer had resigned, the papers should Remain at the castle without being opened &ca.

    The governor met the assembly the 25 Sep & recommended to them necessary provision to releive the province from the confusion it was in. An answer was preparing to his speech by the house which he thought would have ill consequences & he adjourned the court to the 23d of October. A committee at this setting had reported certain resolves & among others, one that all courts should do business with out stamps, and that their proceedings should be valid to all intent & purposes, but the house having spent several days upon it dropped it. Had this resolve passed the two houses & been offered to the governor, he supposed it would not have been safe to have remained in the province any longer. The reason given for their resolve & since given by the people in general for going on with business without stamps this that the stamp Officer has resigned & no stamps to be had, but upon further consideration and the many arguments used in the publick prints to support the doctrine, the prevailing reason at this time is that the Act of Parliement is against magna Charta and the natural rights of English men and therefore according to Lord Coke null and void.10 Upon the whole, I must Observe that the governor from the beginning has shewn the strongest disposition to support the authority of government but it was impossible for him and the very few who would have stood with to have done it, his orders to the militia having been repeatedly contemned and this doctrine advanced in a town meeting at Boston, that the governor’s authority over the militia was limited to invasions from a foreign enemy & did not include internal disorders.11 The civil authority also has been at an end. The Sheriff having by a warrant taken one Mckintosh charged with being a ringleader at the L G house a number of persons of figure in the town of Boston acquainted the Sheriff if he committed that man no body would appear in arms in the evening & they would answer for his appearance. The Sheriff dismissed him though capitally charged & afterwards upon his appearance it was thought best by the Justices to dismiss him finally.

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:180–84); in WSH’s hand; untitled; undated.

    143. From Peter Oliver

    Middlebro’ Dec. 16. 1765

    My dear Friend! I was much alarmed last Week with something that nearly affected me, & notwithstanding all the Hints I had lately given you from M. Antoninus & which were fast rivaled in my Mind, I found that the most sublime Philosophy, Bubble-like, vanished into Air when entered the Lists against the Passions:1 for the future I give Seneca, Epictatus & my favourite Emperor to the Winds;2 there is nothing in Stoicism, & even Epictatus himself would make a wry Face at the Bite of a Flea: much more then may I be excused at any real or imaginary Misfortune I may meet with. But not to dwell longer on a disagreeable Subject; I was informed last Week from Plimouth that Colo. Bradford reported there, that you sail’d ten Days since in the Mast Ship for London.3 Why had not I one Line to tell me to come & bid you farewell? I thought it hard, but I excused you as in some sudden Exigence. Not a Storm hath blown since, but I threw myself into the Ship with you & partook of the Distress. But how happily the Wind shifted! I received a Letter from Boston last Night, but not a Word of You, neither were you advertised in any of my Papers. I then concluded you were not embarqued & found my self agreeably confirmed this Day under your Hand & Seal.4

    The Proposals of paying your Loss, which you mention, I wish may be complyed with for your Sake, if can be done in a Justiciary Way, but to receive it by Collection you must surely think it dishonorary: publick Injustice demands publick Satisfaction, & to palliate under a Cloak of Charity will not cover one Sin, much less a Multitude.

    Is it possible that common Sense should suppose that you should open one Office when you have so lately, with the unanimous Consent of your Brethren, shut up another of greater Importance?5 What Sort of Souls inhabit some Sort of Bodies? O Catiline! O Massianello!6

    I should be sorry to hear of a new Attempt upon the Gov.; I pity his Situation, but he ought to perswade himself that it is not Mr. B–r—d they are insulting, but it is the Gov. & had any other Gentleman in his Station been here at a Time when Government was extirpated, his Fate would not have been happier. Si populus vult deispi, decipiatur. Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat.7

    Is the General Court like to sit at the Time of Prorogation or not, or do we wait for News from Home?8

    I understand they design to petition the Gov. & Council to open the Courts; pray what Lawyer can advise to such an Absurdity?9 Or is it to spread further Destruction? I am astonished.

    The Vessels I am informed pass freely from Port to Port.10 Oh Liberty! Oh my Country. I believe you are pretty well tired by this Time, with Scraps of Latin & Exclamations, but I follow the Example of the Clergy who fill up the last Sheet that they may not wast Paper. Mrs. Oliver was very wroth you did not let her know of your Voyage that she might have made a Batch of Gingerbread for you.11 Your affectionately,     Peter Oliver

    RC (New York Public Library, Samuel Adams Papers); unaddressed.

    144. To William Bollan

    Boston 20. December 1765

    Dear Sir, I thank you for your intelligence by Scott.1 The inclosed paper will surprize you. Affairs grow worse & worse. I came to town to day, uncertain whether I should not be obliged to go aboard this ship to avoid the like dishonorary submissions.2 If some thing is ^not^ done that the law may have its course I fear there will be a general overturn & confusion. It would be as much as a man’s life is worth to touch a stamp if it was in his power to come at them. The only post of safety is a private station.

    I shall inclose a rough draft of past proceedings because being from home I cannot have it transcribed. I am Your faithful humble servant,     Tho Hutchinson

    Dec. 21. I have resigned my office of Judge of Probate to prevent a demand of proceeding in a way in which I am not yet convinced the necessity of affairs will justify, the governor refuses to accept my Resignation, some expedient is projecting.3 I had intimations of a design to compel me, from particular friends. I mean to compel me to proceed without stamps.

    RC (Sheffield Archives, Wentworth Woodhouse Muniments, Papers of the Marquis of Rockingham, R24/67); at foot of letter, “William Bollan Esqr”; docketed, “February 7th. 1766. Mr: Bollan. with a Letter from Lieut. Govr. Hutchinson of Boston Dated Decemr 20th. 1765.” AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:22); incorrectly endorsed, “Copy to Bollan 1764.” Enclosures not found.

    145. To Henry Seymour Conway

    Boston 26th. December 1765

    Sir, Lest the Letter which I did myself the honor to write to you the 27th. of Octr. shou’d have met with any Accident I now take the further Liberty of transmitting a duplicate.1 I never expect to obtain any more of my Money or Goods than what I have deducted from the Account I have sent, & if I could discover the perpetrators of the Villany I shou’d not be able to carry on a prosecution against them.2 All Authority, in most of the Colonies, to say the best of it, is suspended. The Confusions are continually increasing. Except in Canada & Nova Scotia it is absolutely out of the power of the Officers of the Crown to carry the late Act of Parliament into Execution, & it wou’d be as much as their Lives are worth in this province to attempt it. The Distress proceeding from it’s not operating, I thought wou’d have forced a Submission to it; but it has a contrary Effect & strengthens the Opposition, for many persons in Trade, who before were of the moderate party, finding that their Cargoes on board their Vessels would perish & that the debts due to them were in danger of being lost, now unite with the most violent in demanding Clearances from the Custom house upon paper without Stamps, & in requiring the Courts of Law to be open’d & processes to go on as if no Act of Parliament had been passed.3

    The Governor has done every thing possible to suppress these disorders & to recover the people from their distraction, to the hazard of his own Safety & that of the very few who have firmness enough to stand by him; but the disorders are now grown to such a heighth, that many, who in their hearts detest them, thro’ timidity & to secure themselves, appear to countenance them.4

    Having obtain’d his Majesty’s Leave to go to England, I expected to have embarked before this time.5 I shall defer it as long as there is any room to hope that I can contribute to the Restoration of Government & Order. I am &ca.,

    Thos. Hutchinson

    SC (Parliamentary Archives, laid before the House of Lords on 10 March 1766, item not found in 2012 search of the archive although the editors possess a photocopy of it made in the 1990s); docketed, “Copy of a Letter from Lieut. Govr. Hutchinson to Mr. Secry Conway. Boston Decr. 26th. 1765 Rx 7th. March 1766. 10o. Martÿ 1766. Deliver’d by the Duke of Grafton by His Majesty’s Comand, & Read and Order’d to lie on the Table”; written on the same page as a SC of TH to Henry Seymour Conway, 27 October 1765, above. AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:186); the section “Nova Scotia it is absolutely . . . strengthens the Opposition” is in an unknown hand; unaddressed; partially dated; marked “Hunter” for ship transport.

    146. From William Bollan

    Gerard street, Decr. 26th. 1765

    Dear Sir, Understanding that the bag of a ships letters will be taken away this evening I shall in few words acquaint you that for some short time I have had greater expectations of your speedy & effectual relief than before, though difficulties stil remaining, the chief whereof have been laid in the way by those sons of violence, who to redress particular grievances introduce far greater mischiefs, & by transgressing the primary laws, & first principles of government destroy all common safety. To use the expression of a gentleman of consequence, whom I take to be your ablest & best friend, every minister has a bucket in each hand, to extinguish those flames which the mistakes of some & the madness of others are daily encreasing. There is some prospect of Mr. Pitts joining the present ministry; whether he does or not, I am inclined to think that after the holidays he will attend the parliament, & opposing Mr. Grenvilles American measures contribute not a little to your relief.1 The difficulty lies in reconciling the repeal of the stamp act with the dignity of government, it being insisted by some that proper submission shou’d precede favour. I pray God send you a good deliv’rance, & am, Dear Sir Yours,     W Bollan

    DupRC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:43–43a); only the closing and the signature were in Bollan’s hand; at head of letter, “(Duplicate)”; at foot of letter, “Lt. Govr. Hutchinson”; Bollan copied this duplicate letter onto the same page as his letter to TH of 18 January 1766.

    147. To [William Bollan]

    Here follow two versions of the same letter Thomas Hutchinson apparently wrote three days apart, by which time a more detailed account of events in New York had perhaps arrived. Although Crown officials in New York originally adhered to customs laws requiring that clearances be issued on stamped paper, they finally relented and opened the ports without the use of stamps. By mid-December, word reached London that the port of New York was operating in disregard of the new stamp duty.

    Version I. To [William Bollan]

    [24 December 1765]

    Dear Sir, The 24 of December brings us an imperfect account of a general insurrection at N York in order to force out their shipping.1 In this way one colony keeps up the spirits of another & [illegible] upon the ^keeps^ blowing up the general flame. Connecticut perhaps is the only perfectly democratical government upon earth. The people there have their regular assemblies & adjourn from time to time and think representation no longer necessary.

    Upon the memorial of the town of Boston the council resolved that it was a question of law whether the courts might proceed without stamps there being none in their power nor in the power of any of their officers and that it was not regular for the gov. & council to direct the judges in matter of law.2 The town kept together all day waiting impatiently & as soon as the result came, determined unanimously that it was unsatisfactory to them and adjourned to thursday the 26 to conclude upon further measures.

    I think the gov. will be content to appoint a successor in my office of probate & to limit the commission to a year which will not require a stamp & it will be done next week when there will be a general council.3

    We have no super. court regularly until March. I expect every day to have the judges pushed to determine whether they will then admit of processes without stamps. Nothing is too absurd to be attempted. I will hold out as long as it is possible. To die by inches will please my great adversary the present champion for liberty.4 What will posterity say of him when they Reflect upon or feel the ruin he has brought upon his country.

    By the October packet I had not a line from any body. I begin to fear my Representations to the King and his ministers will be disregarded.5 But I will not despair nor seek any other kind of Relief by any place pension or other kind of Recompence than a pecuniary compensation until I hear from you in answer to my letters since the 1 of October when I first acquainted you that I had applied for relief.6

    Mr Goffe & many other of my fast freinds but of a more timid make urge me to leave the province.7 Mr Lee & others who are less timid urge me not to give out and [assur]e8 me I am not in immediate hazard of any further violence & that there is yet a chance of my doing some service. However I assure you I am in a more deplorable ^precarious^ state than when you saw me here in 49 before the change of the currency & advised me to Retire to my house in the country. I am Dear Sir Your affectionate friend & servant,

    Let me ask the favor of you to deliver the inclosed duplicate with a short addition of our present state.9

    Dft (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:184–85); marked, “not sent”; this letter was superseded by Version 2, below; unaddressed; undated.

    Version II. To [William Bollan]

    [27 December 1765]

    Dear Sir, We have attained to the 27 Dec & yet preserve some form of government but it is a meer form. In the Mass N York & R Island which have each a capital town of great commerce the Plebescits of those towns controll all laws. In Connect. where no one town is remarkably distinguished from the Rest they are now exactly in that state which Polybius says succeeds a democracy the government of the multitude.1 The people there have their Regular assemblies adjourn from time to time & place to place & think representation no longer necessary.

    They have had another tumult at N York the 17 at night. Cap Kennedy had stopped a number of vessels which had cleared without stamps & told the masters he had orders to carry them to Halifax but as a favour would suffer them to Remain at the hook until they should be legally cleared.2 The mob threatned to destroy his houses. The merchants to save their ships interposed and for that night diverted the populace with the effigies of Mr Greenville Gen Murray & Ld Colvil which were all burned.3 What is to become of the ships we do not yet hear.

    The council here refused to give any directions to the courts of law to admit processes without stamps as the town Required but the town will oblige all Judges to observe their orders or [quit] their places. My Resignation of the probate court is accepted & a successor will be appointed the 1 of Jan. It was absolutely unsafe to hold the post any longer & unless there be some Remarkable change in affairs I expect before the superior court which is to be held the 2d tuesday in Mar to quit my other post also unless I quit the province before that time for in that case as there will be a quorum without me perhaps it may not be tho’t necessary to appoint a judge during my absence.4 This will please my great adversary the present director of all the councils of the town of Boston and whose applause is now great from the inflammatory pieces he is continually publishing but who will be cursed by & bye for being so great an instrument in bringing ruin upon his country.5

    I have been for 3 or 4 months in as precarious a state as when you advised me after the change of the currency in 49 to Retire to my house in the country. Mr Goffe & some other of my friends urge me to go to England. Mr Lee who is less timid & some others tell me I am not in immediate danger of further violence & that I shall be wanted here. I am in hopes by some means or other we shall be Relieved from our present miseries & will improve evry favorable circumstance as far as I am capable of doing it. I am Dear Sir Your most affectionate servant,

    Be so good as to deliver the inclosed which is a duplicate of my last & a further account of the present state of affairs.

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:186–87); this letter superseded Version 1, above; unaddressed; undated; marked “Hunter” for ship transport.

    148. From Ezra Stiles

    Ezra Stiles wrote three versions of this letter over three months’ time. He made his first attempt at writing the letter on 5 October, but he did not send it (Version I). This version was found as both a heavily revised draft and a fair copy. An extract was published in NEHGR 26 (July 1872): 232–33 without any indication that the letter was never sent. On 12 November, Stiles began another version of the letter but again did not send it (Version II). A third version of the letter began with an extract of the 5 October letter, although it is unclear when Stiles made this extract. Below the extract but on the same page, he began the letter again with the date 28 December (Version III). Presumably this third version is a copy of the letter he sent, although no RC was found.

    Version I: From Ezra Stiles

    Newport Oct. 5. 1765.

    Sir, I should have imediately answered your honor’s Letter of 6th. which I received 19th June ult, but that I intended a visit to Narraganset, & to compare with the autography of the reputed Col. Whaley the Letter you inclosed.1 Sickness in my Family postponed my Visit last Sumer, & particularly prevented my attending our Association on that side the Water the first Week in September. I beg leave to retain Col. Goffe’s Letter a little longer, as I intend next Week a Journey to Connecticutt. I was much pleased with the Curiosity of that Piece of Antiquity, elucidated by your Notes.2 If the aged Person therein mentioned was Col Whaley, as seems almost certain, the Narrag. Tradition is a Mistake. I thank your honor for your Remarks on the public Temerity in Sir Edmund Andros’s Affair; I had tho’t they had certain Intelligence of the Revolution—and on the New England Legislators,3 who might adhere to the Mosaic polity more closely than either the Climate, or the Spirit of Britons required.4

    I beg Leave most sincerely to condole with your Honor under the Injuries, Desolations & Distresses you have suffered; and lament that the Annals of New England should be stained with Ingratitude to its worthiest best Friend, a Patriot who merits the Esteem5 of America and particularly of New England—whose Name & Memory will not fail of Reverence & Applause thro’ all american Ages. Happy that you are possessed of a Jewel, which it is not in the power of Events to despoil or defraud you of.6 Your Antiquities, Family Pieces, Coins,7 antient MSS, your own Compositions, and especially your Continuation of the Massachusetts History to 1730, are too irrecoverably lost:—how happy are we that you had printed to 1692?8—Reparation may be made for some Things, for others it is impossible. How detestable is Oclocracy?9 I imagine your Virtue never had a severer Trial. You need all the philosopher, the hero, the christian. Deity is Imobility & eternal Calmness—may he minister to you, Sir, Fortitude, Serenity, Dignity in Sufferings.10

    It11 is much beyond me to see, how Violences can be vindicated in opposing the Stamp Act, or any other Act of Parliament, whether unconstitutional or not, till every other method has been used. In all parliamentary Resolutions respecting the Colonies (except on Religion),12 so long as the Alternatives are Submission or Civil Wars, I shall not hesitate to chuse & declare for the first, till the Consequences of the latter are less far less tremendous than the Effects of Oppression. I glory in the Name of an American, am a Friend13 to american Liberty, and pray heaven for its Perpetuity; but I will never be disloyal to my King, nor by violence oppose any public Ordinance in which the King has an Act, and such are all Acts of Parliament, which therefore merit american Submission as Royal Edicts, tho’ it should be supposed & asserted that our Fellow Subjects in the house of Comons have no constitutional Authority over us. If the King joyned by Parliament could be supposed to extend oppression to the Colonies it must rise to a great height to legitimate a forseeable Opposition. Obstat principiis14 by force, is not applicable, even in real & undoubted violations of Right,15 till a Body of People are capable to Self defence, which will not be the Case of America this Age. I pray God the Event of things may be happier than I expect. I hoped never to have seen the day when the Colonies should resist the Parent State: nor will I ever take Part in Such Resistance.16

    As to our Representation in Parliament, I make no doubt, but that in Time it will be given up. On the other side the Atlantic17 they all expect we shall in a Century or two be 15 or Twenty Millions on this Side the Ocean. And under this Belief & Anticipation18 can the Opinion continue that the 558 Members elected by one Tenth of the Seven Millions in Great Britain, shall equitably assure19 Representation of 20 Millions in America, not one of whom has a Voice in the Elections? If it be said, that perhaps hereafter Members may be allowed, but in the Infancy of the Colonies they must be comprehended in the general Representation of the British Empire:—it may in Reply be inquired, whether the late political Measures were in fact formed on the view of such a futurition—rather if they were not conceived on the opposite prospects, even with a View ^Design^ of superseding the present provincial polities & introducing a new Imperial Polity which should more effectually cement & invite all to the supreme imperial Legislature?20 But this apart, how long21 must the Infancy of Colonies last? Longer to some purposes than others; longer towards sharing in the Legislature of the Parent State, if only the Increase of one small Emigration, than if the conjunct Accumulation of sundry Emigrations.22 When the spirit of Colonization has peopled a Territory (with no Diminution of the mother state) with Two Millions in a Century & half, as the Lords Comissioners are said to compute America; under a Probability of an Accretion superior to the Parent state in less than another Century. It should seem that the period of Infancy would be shortened. And should it be at length conceded23 that we are not represented in Parliament it is difficult to conceive by what Distinction Two Millions Americans should be excluded, where 1½ Million in Scotland have a real Representation; & the Two Millions of Ireland even have a separate House,24 which they conceive dependent on the King indeed, but not on the English or British Parliament. Mr Molyneux controverted25 the point.26 The English Parlt averred, yet have but very tenderly if at all truely exercised27 this Authority. Should Amer be finally adjudged to have a Right to ^worthy of^ something more than a Virtual Representation (which by the Way it has equally in the privy Council as in Parlt)28—the next Question to ^be^ settled will be whether in the Brit Parlt or american Assemblies?

    There are already fifteen Continental Provinces, besides Canada and the unsettled Territory on this side the Mississippi to no higher than the fiftieth degree of Latitude, may admit29 of Two or Three Hundred more. If Members should be allowed in any proportion to equal Districts in Britain, even 2 or 3 Members to a province might in Time exceed the British Members. Party Representation actually established, and Augmentation of Members in any Ratio according to the Increase in Numbers actually begins; the Thing would grow—and by the time we become Twenty Millions (a Thing possible in a Century)30 it would be difficult to prevent an american Interest from becoming a Majority in the British house of Comons. How the parent state would resent this is easy to conceive: some of their Reasoning Artillery might be returned. I may add one Thing further, that such a Measure (if Accidents before should not ^prevent^) effectually lays the Foundation of a Partition of Empire, or the Transferring of the Seal of it to America. A Majority in the house of Comons, & if Enabling Americans shall take place, a popular Majority31 in the House of Lords, and the number of Inhabitants double those in Britain, can scarce fail to be attended with one or other of these Effects, especially if European Contempt of Americans be continued. When the spirit of Enobling Plebians prevailed at Rome, especially on the Enlargement of the Empire, Romulus’s 100 Senators were lost in the Accretion of Nobility to one Thousand.32 How quick does a Century or two evanish? Perhaps such romantic Imagery will not influence the british politicians, who will probably be disinclined to our actual Representation in parliament—and chuse to leave us to be represented in Assemblies far more agreeable to us. There is a Polity which would effectually cement us to the parent State, but I think it different from the Plan now adopted. I pray heaven we may never be disjoyned from them; it must be our Interest to be a part of the greatest maritime Power on Earth. If rigorous Measures be at any time adopted, the Wisdom of the British Legislature will in Time correct them, as it will in Time find out the true Interest of both the Colonies & Britain, and be guided very principally by this, rather than the Love of Power & Dominion. I am Sir Your most obediant Very humble Servant,

    Ezra Stiles

    Dft 1 (Beinecke Library, Stiles Papers, HC 1727); at foot of letter, “Hon Lt Gov Hutchinson.” Dft 2 (Beinecke Library, Stiles Papers, HC 1727); heavily revised; at head of letter, “Not sent; but see farther on”; at foot of letter, “This I did not send”; at foot of letter, “Hon Lt Gov Hutchinson.”

    Version II: From Ezra Stiles

    Newport Nov 12 1765

    Sir, Your Letter of 6th. June ult I wrote an Answer to, but retained it by me, with a view of comparing Coll. Goffes original Letter ^Aug 7^ 1674 with the Autography of the reputed Col Whaley at Narragansett, before I returned it. Judge Helms is well acquainted with those Writings some of which I hoped to have found with Him to whom upon reading this seemed satisfied thot he could recollect a Similarity of handwriting. I could not He has engaged to procure me some of the Writing of Narrag, which when I receive shall be forwarded to you.

    I was at New Haven last month: Mr Whittelsey just off a Journey to Deerfield, informed me that Mr Hopkins of Hadley had lately conversed with an aged Person in that Town who said the old Tradition was that Goffe & Whaley lived there about 15 years—that ^only^ one of them died there—that the other went off to Virginia or Narragansett.1

    It is probable that ^Whaley was^ the superannuated ^aged^ Gentleman of Goldsmiths Letter & he was superannuated in 1674.2 After his Death, Goff might go away to Virg. & there marry again & about the Revolution come to Narrag—for the Tradition at Narragansett is that he came from Virginia. Why he should assume Whaleys Name is a difficulty.

    I very sincerely condole with you in the Desolations you have so unjustly suffered. I am Sir, with great Respect Your most obedient Servant,     Ezra Stiles

    Dft 3 (Beinecke Library, Stiles Papers, HC 1727); marked, “not sent” at both the head and foot of letter; at foot of letter, “Hon Lt Gov Hutchinson Boston.”

    Version III: From Ezra Stiles

    Newport Oct. 5. 1765

    Sir, “I should have imediately answered your honors Letter of the 6th. which I received the 19th of June last, but &c ————1

    “It is much beyond me to see how violences can be vindicated in opposing the Stamp Act or any other Act of Parlt whether constitutional or not, till every other Method has been used. In all parlty Resolutions respecting the Colonies (except on Religion) so long as the Alternatives are submission or civil Wars, I shall not hesitate to chuse & declare for non-resistance till the Consequences of the latter are far less tremendous, than the Effects of public oppression. I glory in the name of an American, am a Friend to American Liberty, & pray God for its Perpetuity:—but—I [illegible]—I hoped never to have seen the day when the Colonies should resist the Parent State, nor will I ever take part in such Resistance.”—

    Dec 28 1765. Thus far I extract from a Letter I wrote you 5th Octr. which was very long—but doubting the propriety of the rest of the Contents, I omitted to send it. On the 7th. of Octo. I set out with my Wife on a Journey into Connecticutt, whence I returned 2d Nov. In passing thro Narrag I intended to see some of Whaleys Writings but had no Time for it. Soon after my Return Mr Willet being at Newport I shewed him Goldsmiths Letter of 1674, when he imediately recognized it the Autography of the Narrag [illegible] Col Whaley, whom Mr Willet said he knew, & who died AD 1714 Ætat. 104. He tells me you are inclined to believe that this was really Col. Goffe. Tho’ I had written three Letters in answer to yours of 6th. June, which not pleasing me I did not send, & which I mention to shew you I was not unmindful of the honor you did me—yet now I imediately intended a reply—but had mislaid your Letter with Goffs, so that they escaped me in sundry Evolutions of all my Papers for above a month, till I yesterday found them very carefully laid up in my Desk. I now return you [inclosed] Goldsmiths original Letter, with many Thanks, asking your pardon for retaining it so long. I make no doubt the aged superannuated Gentleman in the Letter of 1674 was Col. Whaley, who died soon after as appears you say by other Letters. There is a Tradition at Hadley that one only of the two Judges died there & the other went away to Virginia or Naraganset. Probably Goffe heard the Death of his Wife, removed to Virginia, married there, & came to Narrag about the Revolution. His aged Daughter I think named Mrs Spencer, is now living in West Greenwich or thereabouts. It is yet a Difficulty to give a Reason why Goff should assume the name of Whaley. With great Esteem & the most profound Respect, I am Sir Your Honors most obedient very humble servant,     Ezra Stiles

    AC (Beinecke Library, Stiles Papers, HC 1727); at head of letter, “(No. 3.) See 3 leaves back.”; at foot of letter, “Hon. Lieut Gov Hutchinson.”

    149. From John Cushing

    Decem. 29. 1765

    Honored and Dear Sir, I received yours with the utmost pleasure & am Thankfull for the news.1 ‘Tho Im Shut up for the winter yet I want to hear how Affairs Goe on. I’m Troubled for the Good Secrey. but hope they have done with him now. Mr. Dana It Seems gave him the Oath (If not by Law) by Dispensation from the Government of Boston.2 The End of your Confusion Seems not to be over yet. Pray what has been done in Answer to the memorial of the Town of Boston to the Gov. on which I hear the Gov. & Council have met; I was thinking that as the Genl. Co. are soon to meet It would be put off ‘till then.3 It’s Strange to me, as News may be Soon Expected from Engld. at farthest by the Spring & no Great Danger of People’s Suffering in the mean time, That all Officers Should be pressed to proceed without any Promise of Indemnification Especially as the Custom House is open.4 I see no Good It can do Except to Shew the Power of the new Government but I must Stop least I Should write Treason If I ha’nt already. Last Thursday Even we were alarm’d by Some persons that Came from our Harbour with news That 360 men were Landed there from Boston & that many of our people had Joyn’d them.5 Colo. C—ps house was to be Tore down.6 I was to have a friendly visit &c we Soon heard the noise of a Drum & Guns Firing &c but we After heard It was about 60 of our own People—however the women were much Surprised & I heard the Colo. Shook. Lucy Got on her best Shoes & designed to run of. I told ‘em it was only a xmas Frolick & so it proved, they designd no mischief to any body—a Sille fellow Inquired in a Company at the Tavern what was the Reason we Could do nothing when Such Great things were done at Boston. They told him because They had nobody to head ’em, he told em he would, so out of a Frolick they Called him Capt. & Enlisted under him & Agreed to meet that night about—he talked of Taring down the Colos. House but nobody Intended he Sho’ld do any mischief. It Seems he went to the Colos. to get a Lease wrote & was told by him that the Stamp Act was in the way which Offended him—we here go on under the Government of the Province, (Not to Say of Boston). Colo. C—p has been Giving out a number of military Comissions making as many Officers as he can, in his own Town Two Lieuts. in a Company. Altho the Companys were Polled not long Since & all Expect the Troop new Officerd altho Setled Two or Three years ago but never Equiped themselves nor will these & Some perhaps have not Estate Enough to do it. It is said that another Coroner is Added here to the Dozen and has the promise of a Comission and D. Little a Pety foggers he Encourages with a Comission for Justice of Peace & Tells him he has Spoke to the Gov. Twice about it & the Gov. promised him but I Suppose it to be Idle for he knows it would be very Dissatisfactory to the People & he Should Loose votes by it. In Short let him go on in his way a very few years, no body would be left to do duty If the Gov. will find him Comissions. I wish the Gov. knew he would hurt his Intrest with all Thinking people this way. I would Speak to the Gov. my Self but C—p has now Turn’d out a Lieut. an honest likely fellow which the Gov. over & over Promised me Should not be Turn’d out, he was a witness before the Genl Ct in C—ps affair.7 All his pretence for it is the Capt. is against it when tis well known here the Capt. is under his Thumb on all accounts. But I must begg Pardon for Troubling you with those things. If it was in your Department I know you’d Rectifie em they are under my Observation & Cant help Speaking when I see Such Strange Conduct. I cant forget the Shocking affairs of your Loss & Terror. I hope Some way will be found to make up all. I wish Good news from Engld. in your next & more full than your last. If you’d be so Good as to lett me know what the Gov & Council have done I’le take it as a Favour & promise not to tire you with so long an Epistle next time. I am with Great Affection your most Obedient Humble Servant,     Jn. Cushing

    Pray Burne this & dont let the [M. Chavech] have it. I have wrote in Such a hurry youl be Troubled to read it.

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:45–45a); addressed, “To The Honble. Thomas Hutchinson Esq. Lieut. Govr. &c at Milton”; endorsed, “Col. Cushing Dec 29 1765.”

    150. To Unknown

    Boston [circa 29–31 December 1765]

    Sir, Every new advance upon government in any colony excites an æmulation in the rest. The custom house and courts of comon law being open without stamps ^in several colonies^ the inhabitants of the town of Boston determined they should be so in this. The distress for want ^scarcity^ of provisions ^if there had been no communication by sea between the colonies would^ before spring have caused a seizure of them wheresoever they were to ^in this colony wheresoever they coul^ be found by such as should be in want and yet. ^This it was resolved should be prevented altho^ I question whether even such a state of things would have brought the people to a compliance with the act. ^The distress from shutting up the courts of law was less sensible would not have been so immediately soon felt.^ I have sustained held the post of Judge of Probate in the county of Suffolk for 14 or 15 years past. [illegible] ^There bein[g pro]spect of^1 a general compliance with the popular clamour in the other courts ^& having always Refused in mine I found myself the object of popul[ar]2 Resentment &^ have been in daily expectation of a demand upon me in such a manner as I could not resist. ^A few days past I had^ notice from persons well affected to me that they had made such discoveries of the intentions of the populace that it was become necessary for me ^I was in danger of violence to my person unless I^ immediately complyed with their demands or to quit the Province or to resign my post. ^Being sensible that no authority now subsisting could protect me^ I determined that the first I could not do, the second upon the latter as the least evil. ^to resign my post rather than others should justify themselves by my example.^ It being a place of about sixty pounds a year the governor, without a stamp can ^not^ make an appointment for a longer term than one year. I know of no other instance of a resignation nor a prospect of any but suppose the compliance will be universal until the ^first term for the^ Superior court sits which is not until the second tuesday in March. I hope before that time the intelligence ^we may expect^ from England will give ^[illegible]^ remove the difficulty ^danger which^ the Judges of that court must otherwise be exposed to if they should Refuse to comply ^confirm^ what all others ^inferior courts^ have done.

    What effect the intelligence we may receive from England before that time will have it is not possible to judge. There are many who do not scruple to say that no extremity will [illegible] work bring them to submit & ^even^ the most moderate & discreet ^express their^ fears of the consequences.

    Dft (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:189); consists of heavily revised and possibly unfinished text, as TH left a large blank space at the bottom of the page; marked, “not sent”; unaddressed; undated.

    151. To [William Bollan]

    Boston Decemb 31. 1765

    Dear Sir, Having no answer by the packet nor the ships which are arrived at Boston to any of my letters except to what I wrote to you I begin to be in pain lest my case should be neglected & I should be finally left to suffer but I shall hear from you in answer to what I wrote the beginning of October & since & you will advise me whether any thing more is necessary to be done on my part to obtain a compensation in England for I shall have none here. Major James will be solliciting. If he is considered can I be over looked. Will not a grant be made me or will they leave me to the event of any measures which may be taken to oblige the government here to satisfy me. The latter perhaps will increase my difficulties. The former only can help me. There was a sum about 800£ sterl. paid into the treasury the last session of the court out of the admiralty where it had lain a year or two the judge being in doubt because the forfeiture was to the king to be applied to the use of the government whether he ought not to wait the kings orders how to apply it.1 I never mentioned this to the ministry because I feared the sum’s being a part only of my loss might take off the attention from the rest & partly because I imagined the governor would be compelled at another session to consent to the appropriating it although at present he seems determined not to do it. If I am paid in England & this should not be appropriated it may be prevented from being applied to any other use than towards a Reimbursement of what may have been advanced to me. The governor wrote Repeatedly for directions about it but Received no answer which made him more easily sign the order for paying it into the treasury. You will be able to judge whether it will serve or hurt me to say any thing about it. The forfeitures were upon the Sugar act of 6. of Geo. the 2d.2

    I have parted with one post.3 The other of Ch Justice I have for several years been taking pains to qualify my self for and my enemies do not take exception to me & it is an employment I do not dislike.4 I never sought or sollicited any post. The emoluments of this are inconsiderable when the expence attending it is deducted. I must content my self & bring my mind and way of living to my reduced income for I have no inclination to Remove to any other part of the world at this time of life, old trees dont thrive when transplanted, & I know of nothing in this province or its neighbourhood I could ask for. The place of surveyor of the Woods is in hands where I believe the best is not made of it and where in a course of nature it cannot long Remain, but that no doubt is secured to some person of better interest than I have.5 I did not think of this ramble when I sat down to write to you. Excuse it. I am &c,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:190–91); unaddressed.

    152. To Unknown

    Dec. 31. 1765

    Sir, The custom house being opened it was next determined by the populace that the courts of law should go on with business as usual the clerks were compelled to issue writs ^without stamps^ & the Sheriff to serve them.1 I have held the place of J. of probate for 13 or 14 years & had dependence upon it for part of my support. I found I was made the object & that there would be a great triumph if I could be compelled to a compliance I held out & refused to issue any instruments to which stamps are Required since the 1 of Nov. but some of my friends who were in distress for me gave me private intimation of violence intended & just at hand. I had no way left but to resign my office or abscond there being no sufficient authority to protect me. It was proposed to me to appoint a deputy but this did not satisfy me. I therefore resigned my office.2 If I had absconded or left the province the affect would have been the same a successor must have been appointed. I know of no other instance of resignation but suppose there will be a general compliance. The lawyers of N York upon consultation have determined all business ought to go on there.3 I have the honour to be with great Respect,

    Dft (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:191); marked, “not sent”; unaddressed.

    153. To Benjamin Franklin

    Boston Jan. 1. 1766

    Dear Sir, Upon a review of my last letter from you I find that you asked my opinion upon an application to parlt. for representation from the colonies & that I omitted taking notice of your desire in my answer.1

    When the scheme of a stamp duty was first known in the colonies the general voice was that it would deprive them of the liberties of eng. men unless they should have representation in parliament, as soon as a suspicion arose that possibly Representation might be admitted it was as generally agreed that a Representation would be of no service. I find the committees of the colonies were all of that mind at New York.2 Our great incendiary who when it was first talked of became an advocate for it & has often hinted it in his inflammatory pieces is now silent because he finds the voice of the people against it.3

    We shall never be easy again until the Relation between the parent state & its colonies is ascertained. Some ^few^ imprudent writers have represented this Relation to be such as to make no great distinction between english & french colonists whilst the general run of writers have encouraged an independence or at best an imperium in imperio4 & these latter, such is our state, it is not safe to contradict.

    We have a calm at present, the colonies in general having determined that business shall go on as if the act of parl. had not passed. I held out in the probate court until I was assured further violence was just at hand. I could not comply & thought it a favour that I was allowed to quit my post without being obliged at the same time to quit the continent. The governor by the act was restrained from appointing a successor for a longer term than 12 months but it is very doubtful whether ever I shall be able to reassume it & if the place of Ch Justice had any emoluments in proportion to the importance of it & to the time & labour which it Requires I should not desire it.5 I am told business goes on in the courts of admiralty as well as the common law courts & I suppose I am the only instance of noncompliance.6 What will be the next advance is uncertain but it seems impossible we should long Remain quiet &c.,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:192); at foot of letter, “Doctor Franklin.”

    154. To [Richard Jackson]

    Jan 2. 1766

    Dear Sir, I wait with great expectation an answer to my letters to you after the Revolutions in America.1 Your sentiments will very much govern my conduct in my private affairs & in the affairs of the government. I have not yet had one line from England from which I can form a judgment whether I shall be left to suffer or not. If I had utterly despaired of doing any service here yet I should have been loth to have added the expence of a voyage to England to my great loss under uncertainty of a compensation for either. I have indeed for 2 or 3 months past kept my self prepared to embark not knowing how suddenly I might be forced to do it. For a few days past we have been unusually quiet. Everything is settled to the mind of the populace. The custom house courts of common law & even the court of admiralty go on with business as if no act had passed. I have held a place of about 60£ a year for a dozen years past Judge of Prob. for this county. The town of Boston at one of their meetings insisted that I should proceed without stamps & prayed the gov. & council to direct me with the courts of common law so to do. I was determind not to comply but at a loss how to secure my self. In this state two of my friends who have always been watchful for my safety came to me and assured me further violence was just at hand & they could not say to what length it would be carried, unless I complied, left the province or resigned my post & they were not sure the latter would be satisfactory. I pitched upon that however.

    Upon mentioning it to the gov. he thought he could not appoint a successor without a stamp & proposed my making a deputy. I did not like this & upon further considering the act it was agreed a person might be appointed in my stead for a term not exceeding 12 months. I made my proposed voyage to Engld. the principal reason for my Resigning & no great exception has been taken. There seems to be the same determination thro’ the colonies as far as we have yet heard & I believe very few if any will quit their posts to avoid compliance.

    Facts I venture to write you but without any comment.

    In Connecticut the guardians of liberty have erected an inquisition & ^the contents of^ Ingersolls letters were this week brot to this town by the person who demanded them of him.2 It is a great misfortune that we are so long without direction from England. I am Sir Your faithful humble Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:193); unaddressed.

    155. To [John Cushing]

    Milton 15 Jan. 1766

    Dear Sir, Rowland came in, a day sooner than I expected or I should have wrote by him. I have had no opportunity since. I hardly know now what to say to you Daverson on board whom I have reason to suppose I have letters not being arrived & probably gone to the West indies. Now & then a paragraph of a letter from England transpires, that we shall never get any thing by mobs but most of that sort are suppressed. About a fortnight ago I had four things proposed to me to do business without stamps, to quit the country, to resign my office or ______. They were my friends who proposed them but they assured me I had no time to deliberate & I was convinced of it. I chose the third and went immediately to the governor & desired him to appoint a Successor which he supposed he could not do but said he would propose to the council my making a deputy and some persons were mentioned whom he did not like. I had no thought of my brother either as a successor or deputy, but upon considering that in a day or two he must determine what to do in the inferior court the governor proposed my speaking to him and I found he was for complying with the necessity of the times. However I did not like the scheme & renewed my motion in council, the governor repeated his difficulty & proposed my departing and the council all advised to it, but upon further consideration I told the governor the next day I should not do it the thing was new & instead of easing my self of a difficulty I was under I should bring upon me one perhaps greater. After further examining the act he was satisfied he could make an appointment not exceeding 12 months without a stamp and this method was settled and I suppose Ropes will be appointed in the room of Choate with the same limitation.1 Who would have a post that he can neither keep nor get rid of without so much trouble. Pray let me know, now, how you design to manage for I never knew you at a loss for an expedient: I shall expect you come to Boston in March quite free that if I should tarry till then we may stand or fall together. It was said Russell would open his court which report was occasioned by a single monition to save a bond in danger of being lost if not put in suit.2 Certainly we shall have some news in a short time which will convince every body what they ought to do & what not.

    I have not been in town for nine or ten days past & do not know what the governor will say to the court but I am afraid our troubles will be increased and yet there was no avoiding their coming together.3 The town of Boston determined it must be done.4 That is now the common way of peoples expressing themselves there.

    When there is a proper opportunity I won’t be unmindful of the contents of your letter.5

    The mob had many a ——— from Sally & I in those cold days that are past for sending us to this cold place, but I hope we shall live to see better winters.6 I am Dear Sir Yours affectionately,     Tho Hutchinson

    RC (Massachusetts Historical Society, William Cushing Papers); unaddressed.

    156. From William Bollan

    On 18 January 1766, William Bollan began a letter to Thomas Hutchinson by copying a letter written by the Marquis of Rockingham to Bollan in late December. He also appended a duplicate copy of his own letter to Hutchinson dated 26 December 1765, the only copy of that letter which the editors found. The 26 December letter from Bollan appears in this volume under that date, and the Marquis of Rockingham’s letter is printed here as an enclosure to Bollan’s 18 January letter.

    Grosvenor Square Saturday ev: Decr. 28th 1765

    Sir, I am much obliged to you for all the accounts you have furnished me with relating to the transactions in N. America & particularly those from Boston. The lt. govr. Hutchinson has shewn both spirit & merit, but I canot think that at present his case shou’d come under consideration, because it would afford matter of some nicety in the present circumstances in regard to the maner of assisting him. I am Sir, Your very obedient servant & friend,     Rockingham

    Jan. 18th. 1766

    Dear Sir, The above is a copy of the marq. of Rockinghams letter to me, in answer to mine inclosing your last, and I have scarce time to add that the day before yesterday a gentleman who stands pretty high up in the administration assured me that the stamp act will certainly be repealed; but yesterday a gentleman of consequence desired my opinion of its suspension for certain reasons that I am not at liberty to mention.1 I opposed this measure totis viribus,2 and gave him such reasons as silenced rather than satisfied him. He desired my opinion, with my reasons, upon a constitutional question, which I shall send him before I go to bed. He is a man of worth, & friendly towards you; but connected with the political chieftain, who has more craft than friendship for you, however, I believe it will be wholly repealed.3 Dear Sir Yours most sincerely,     W Bollan

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:43–43a); only the closing and signature are in Bollan’s hand; addressed, “To The Honble. Thos. Hutchinson Esqr. Lt. Govr. of the Massachusets Bay, at Boston New England via New York”; the datelines appear at the bottom left of each letter; endorsed, “Decemb. 26. 1765”; markings for postage; both of the above letters are copied at the bottom of the DupRC of Bollan to TH, 26 December 1765, above.

    157. To William Bollan

    Boston 25 Jan. 1766

    Dear Sir, Our distractions are not yet come to their heighth. The general court I think will be compelled to justify the populace. Yesterday the inclosed resolve was sent from the house to the council.1 I exposed my self to popular resentment in attempting to persuade the board immediately by a vote to shew their sense of the impropriety & infinite imprudence of such a resolve but I was not supported and they assigned a day in the next week to consider of the resolve & I am not sure that they will not concur it. In the house 4 only of 70 members voted against it. I am very sure when their actions were free it was not possible to have obtained such a vote. These extraordinary proceedings are much encouraged by the letters from England wrote to please the persons to whom they are wrote which are spread all over the country. Whilst I am thus losing all favour here, I am not sure that I have enough in England to obtain a compensation for the loss I have sustained in my property having no answer to any letter I have wrote upon the subject. If I finally fail of success I shall however have this comfort, that my losses are not the consequence of unfaithfulness nor I think of any degree of imprudence. If I had not been in publick posts I should have escaped. That authority which has brought them upon me I cannot help thinking ought ^to^ & will afford me relief. I am Dear Sir Your faithful humble servant,     Tho Hutchinson

    RC (Sheffield Archives, Wentworth Woodhouse Muniments, Papers of the Marquis of Rockingham, R24/75a); at foot of letter, “Mr Bollan”; docketed, “Boston NE Jany. 25 1766 Lieut. Gov. Hutchinson’s Letter to Mr. Bollan.” AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:195); partially dated. Enclosure not found.

    158. From Peter Oliver

    Middleborough Jan. 27. 1766

    My Dear Friend! You tell me in your last that you are left alone surrounded with your Enemies.1 I wish I had a Shield to protect to you, it should be always employed in your Service.

    I have not been down yet, neither can I come soon.2 My Reasons to you are the following

    —viz. I lately met with an Anecdote of Lord Stanhope & Sr Robt. Walpole; when Sr. Robert was young, & my Lord Stanhope in the Ministry, Sr. Robt questioned him about the Management of publick Money, Ld Stanhope made this Reply, “You’ll one Day know young man, that whenever you set your Foot within the threshold of a Court, you must be as great a Rogue as ever was hanged at Tyburn.”3 Another Anecdote; Somebody said once, O my Soul enter not into their Secrets, to their Assembly mine Honour be not thou united, for in their Anger they would have slain a Man (as the Dutch Annotations have it) & in their wrath they digged down a Wall.4 I don’t mean here a Province, but a Town.

    Another Reason; All my Potatoes are freezing, & I must stay to thaw them & pitch out the rotten ones.

    Lastly I have a great Cold & have had for some Time, & I have wrote the Secretary my Sentiments.5

    Thus have I, Heaven & Earth, Man & Potatoes on my Side for Excuse, & I would have given another, viz. Skin for Skin & all that a man hath will he give for his Life; but that the Devil said it & I know he lies, especially in this Instance. If all this won’t satisfie you, I will have done; And indeed I must Leave off, for my Skewer is worn up & the Messenger waits, So farewell my dear Friend. Yours affectionately,     Peter Oliver

    RC (New York Public Library, Samuel Adams Papers); addressed, “To his Honour Thomas Hutchinson in Milton”; endorsed, “Judge Oliver Jan 27. 1766.”

    159. From Peter Oliver

    Middleborough Feb. 1. 1766

    My Dear Friend! I see by the publick Papers that you are daily acquiring new Honours.1 To be belied & insulted by such a thorough [faced] Villian, & to have the Honour of being vindicated by the most respectable Board in the Province, is more than comes to your Share; tho’ Brother Lynde & I are not wholly excluded.2 It gives me so much Pleasure to be ranked as one of your Friends, that I feel much elated on the Prospect of being Billingsgated again.3 Write on Oh! Grubstreet Patriots.4 Triumph in your Effrontery, for glorious are your Laurels.

    It seems I am summoned to meet You,5 I am glad of any Occasion that brings me nigh You, even of this. Brother Cushing says he’ll meet me on Monday at your House if he can, & if I can I will meet you both, but do not let Edward know it.

    I shall come with a real Temper of Resignation for nothing else will satisfie the Court, in my Opinion. Farewell for the present. Yours affectionately,

    P. Oliver

    RC (New York Public Library, Samuel Adams Papers); at foot of letter, “Thos. Hutchinson Esq”; endorsed, “Judge Oliver 1 Feb 1766.”

    160. From John Cushing

    Sat. Eve Feb. 2d. 1766

    Honorable Sir, Last Fryday I received the Resolve of the Honorable Board with Their Orders to Determine whether we will proceede upon the Tryal of Civil actions at our next Court, after Conferring Together. I wrote to Judge Oliver that Ide meet him at your House Tomorrow upon that Business.1 But I have been Indisposed & have a bad Cold which has been Growing worse & is now Setled in one Side of my head & Face, & Sweled so that I dont go out, I’m very Sorry It so happens, I Depended now on Seeing you, But who Can help Sickness. If I get so that I dare venture out next wensday Ile be with you.2 For Fear of the worst I have Sent my Servant with what I’m able to Say in Answer to the Demand of the Board.3 But I believe it will be best for you to make return to The Board for all of us, my Sentiments you know & If Those words “I am in no Doubt” are too Strong alter as you think best—as to our Determining Absolutly I Suppose they dont Expect it, Thats Impossible.

    Theres a new face on thing Since Salem Courts by all we Can hear I Suppose it highly probable that the Act is Either Repealed or Suspended before now & that we may hear of it Before Boston Court. But if wee Should not, all things Considerd I don’t see any Great difficulty in our proceeding on Civil matters. The Greatest Diffeculty perhaps will be on the Clerk & other Officers and it may be by that time none upon any body. The Greatest Difficulty I apprehend will be about the Tryal of Criminal matters we Could do very Little of that at our last Term. The Government would not hold the Criminels then, & not more likely now and Query If we Can give any Judgment without asking the Sons of L—y and they must ask the Father.4

    I have Said Somthing in our vindication about Salem Court. I have mentiond the Facts as I take ‘em to be & If I have mistook youl Correct. If you think best to Say nothing of it Let it be so. But Let F. A. Say what he will any one that knows the Circumstances will excuse us.5

    A number of Spirited papers I have of Edes & Gills to Stir up the S—s of L—y and procure an Election next May. They’l Suit the Town of —— and take with them For I have known ‘em of that Turn this Fifty years.6

    Theres Somthing Excessively Scandalous with Respect to the G— and Somthing so bold & Impudent & False with respect to you That it ought not to Goe with Impunity.7 But that had best rest for the present.

    The vote of the —— I’m Surprised at its Passing Charging us with a misdemeanor & more Strange Still That Some of those who had Adjournd their Court into the next Term Should vote themselves Guilty8—Plym. Court—Pray how Could the G——s Special Friend C—p Condemn himself & Throw this to the G—— In order to make him Obnoctious to the S—s of L——y.9

    I Suppose Barnstable Court was Adjournd so how will Colo. O—s do But he’s Intrested & ought not to vote, however our Court I Suppose must answer for all.10

    I’m Satisfied the design of this vote was to Cast an Odium on our Court & Plague the G—— & worked up in Such a popular manner That the Members were affraid If they did ^not^ Comply The Dogs of War would be Let Loose upon ‘em. Strange that a —— Should have so much Influence If he had not been at the head in the Begining.

    I hear the G—— determines to Goe off If any thing more Turns out very hard upon him. If so for Love Sake I hope youl put off your voiage & not Leave us all to Destruction.11

    But I have wrote so much Treason you must burn this when you have read it. I am with Duty & Affection Your Most Obedient,     J.C.

    Pray keep the Enclosed If you will make a [MS torn] for us all as [MS torn] you will.

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:52–54); at foot of letter, “[MS torn] Govr. Hutchinson.” Enclosure not found.

    161. Thomas Hutchinson, Benjamin Lynde Jr., Chambers Russell, and Peter Oliver to Andrew Oliver

    Boston 4 Feb 1766

    Sir, The honorable Board having recommended to us “to meet together as soon as may be and determine whether we will open the superior court at the next term and proceed upon the trial of civil actions and all other business as usual or not”1

    Mr Justice Cushing being unable to meet with us the other justices of the court met together and having fully considered the subject matter recommended to us beg leave to return this our answer to the honorable board—viz.

    To determine, at this time, in what manner a court shall proceed which is to be opened five weeks hence without giving the parties to the actions an opportunity of being heard by their counsel and taking all the exceptions to which the law intitles them, would, we humbly conceive be irregular unprecedented and unwarrantable.2

    Such a determination would be more especially improper from the probability that the same persons will not then constitute the court which do at this time the chief justice, in particular, expecting to be at that time out of the Province.3

    At the last and only court since the first of November the gentlemen of the bar who were present, for the service of their clients, desired an adjournment. What their disposition will be the next term it is not possible for us to know at this time.

    We are sensible that a long stop or interruption to the course of justice in criminal or civil actions must be of fatal consequence to a community.

    When such interruption is caused by an impossibility of conforming to a particular mode in processes required by law, the necessity of the thing may justify the dispensing with that mode. This necessity may not be the same at one time as at another, and it is, not, now, in our power to determine what it will be at a time which is five weeks distant.

    We cannot therefore, with propriety, observe the directions of the honorable board any farther than to declare our opinion that if the circumstances of affairs in the province shall be at that time as they are at present and the gentlemen of the bar shall urge an immediate proceeding in civil actions the court may be under a necessity of permitting it.

    Tho Hutchinson, Benj. Lynde, Chambers Russell, Peter Oliver

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 44:584–86); in TH’s hand but signed by each signatory; at foot of letter, “Mr Secretary Oliver”; dateline appears at the bottom left of the letter; docketed, “Honble the Supr. Judges their Answer to the Board.”

    162. From Lord Kinnoull

    Dupplin near Perth Scotland Feby 5th. 1766

    Sir, I had the Honour of your Letter of the 28th. of Octo last.1 As I know your Merit to the publick, & was for several Years acquainted with your Services, and being persuaded That your extraordinary Sufferings entitle You to Redress, I wish that I were in a Situation which might enable me to promote your Interest, in which Case my best Endeavours should not have been wanting to procure You Justice; but, Sir, I have entirely quitted publick Business; I retired Three Years since to my Estate, and prepare to pass the Remainder of my Life quietly at this Place. I have no Correspondence, or Connection with the Ministers. All that I could do for your Service was to transmit your Letter to a private Freind, & to intreat his good Offices. Wishing Success to your reasonable Application, & Health and Prosperity to You & Your Family, I am with true Regard, Sir Your most humble & most obedient Servant,     Kinnoull

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:57); addressed, “To The Honble. Thomas Hutchinson Lieutenant Governour Of the Colony of Massachuset’s Bay at Boston”; endorsed, “Lord Kinnoul Dupplin Feb. 5. 1766”; markings for postage.

    163. From Benjamin Lynde Jr.

    Saturd: morn 8 feb 1766

    Honorable & Dear Sir, Since I saw you Yesterday the House by a Message (which was carried by a Great majority) Press the board to Concurr with them in their Vote, respecting the Opening the Courts. The Board last night came into a Vote to Conferr, which the House agreed to, in the Evening the Committee Mett—Bodwin Goffe Tyler of the board—Otis Sheaf & Dexter from the House.1 Mr Bodwin & Goffe about 10 came to me, & say the Committee on the part of the House, are not & will not be Satisfied in our Answer unless it be more Explicit.2 Brother Russell is gone home. I am left alone tho was going home.

    I Earnestly beg your Hon would come over this forenoon if you can, by 11 a m that we may Consult further on this Difficulty Affair.

    Mr Goffe thinks your Draft might have done.3

    I am verry Sorry to trouble your Honour but must beg your coming to Town. I am Sir Your Affectionate Brother & most Obedient Humble Servant,

    Benj. Lynde

    Excuse Hurry & Blotts.

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:60); unaddressed; dateline appears at the bottom left of the letter (above “Excuse Hurry & Blotts.”); endorsed, “Judge Lynde 8. Feb. 1766.”

    164. From John Cushing

    In a hurry Feb. 9. 1766

    Honorable & Dear Sir, I want much to hear what Determination the Judges came In to, upon the Demand of the Honorable Board. I was fully Satisfied the Design of Some was to bring an Odium on our Court & a Difficulty on the Gov. As for a Judicial Determination out of Term they Could not request ^desire^ it. I Suppose the Board Expected no more than our Thoughts of what to us Seemd probable. As I was unable to attend you & not knowing but Somthing would be Expected in writing ^Especially Concerning the Distraction of the times^—I Signified my thoughts at that time upon the Question & the Rather to Show the Unjust (as I apprehended) Censure of our Court ^unheard^ all which might prevent a Concurrance & Save the Gov Any Trouble. I have been well Informd That Mr Gridly The Beginning of Nov. last was Fully of Opinion that the Court Could not proceed on Civil matters.1 But Since upon Serching authoritys Judges we ought to proceed—what he has found I know not and am doubtfull whether he Can find any in Point.

    Its True ^It is Said^ an Act of P. against natural Equity is void. It will be disputed whether this is Such an Act. It Seems to me the main Question here is whether an Act which Canot be Carried into Execution should Stop the Course of Justice & that the Judges are more Confind Than with respect to an Obsolete Act. If we admit Evidence unstamped Ex necessitate2 Query: If it can be Said we do wrong. This is the Chief thing which by the Act Concerns us ^now^ as I remember Save the proceedings at the last Court.

    I have Seen last mondays papers & am Glad the Council did you So much Justice. I wish they were all hearty in it. But what a pitifull long harrangue has Mr. Armstrong made upon It.3 As to the usurping the Presidency he has Intirely Given it the go by as to the other It is So Trifling as not to Deserve notice—yet I believe his ^unthinking^ Disciples will look upon it to be a Compleat answers & that he has wholly Excused himself.4

    Im Sorry It once Entred your mind to Resign. I would by no means Gratifie Mr. F. A. & his Accomplices so much.

    Pray what is done About Excluding the Sup. Judges a Seat at the Board.

    We Live in bad times but I hope it wont be Long before the Courts will be open & Justice done. I am with Dutifull regards Your most Obedient Humble Servant,

    Jn. Cushing

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:55–56); at foot of letter, “L. Gov.”; dateline appears at the bottom left of the letter.

    165. To [Israel Williams]

    Milton 20. Feb 1766

    My dear friend, I have delayed answering your kind letter until I could hear from England.1 I have at length several letters from the middle of November to the latter end of December. Mr Jackson writes to me most particularly upon my own affairs.2 He says it is most reasonable I should be compensated by King or Parliament, promises his warmest endeavours & hopes all will issue as I could wish, desires I would tarry here as long as I can be of service but when that is over, at all events to come to England.

    I am much perplexed & at a loss what to determine. Some of my best friends advise me to go. My son had taken his passage before I received my letters & they advise me to go with him.3 The governor tells me I am too late for this year, that I must tarry next winter in England which will break his measures he intending to apply for leave to go home in the summer, which he knows will not be allowed if I am absent.4 I can be of no service here in my present situation. The insolence of the Boston sons of liberty grows more & more confirmed and the timidity of the general court & all the other parts of authority every day increases. To be at Boston when the superior court sits, unless I could join with them, will not be safe.5 I must within a week or ten days come to some definitive resolution. The hand of Providence I will never murmur at. I have received millions of unmerited favours and shall I repine at these, comparatively, small evils.

    I think there is no room to doubt that a few weeks will bring us news of relief in some shape or other, from the stamp act, and yet so distracted are the people urged on by Otis that they will force an immediate proceeding contrary to the act when no possible benefit can accrue, meerly out of triumph.6 Even the council by a very great majority join in the measure & sent yesterday to Judge Lynde to come to town and answer for refusing to grant a warrant against an absconding debtor unless the creditor applying would indemnify him.7 Ruggles’s treatment I will not remark upon.8

    If every thing should be granted in England which the most sanguine have expected, will the authority of government ever be restored: If it should be I think it will be owing to the virtue of some of the remote parts of the Province which have ever been friends to order.

    However Providence may dispose of me I wish you well & happy & am Dear Sir Yours affectionately,     Tho Hutchinson

    RC (Massachusetts Historical Society, Israel Williams Papers); unaddressed; docketed, “20t. Feby. 1766.”

    166. From Peter Oliver

    Middleborough Feb. 25th. 1766

    My Dear Friend! Your Happiness & the Case of my Mind are so intimately connected, that I cannot separate them. Your favour of Daniel opens a new Scene.1 Which is best for You, either to stay or go, is hard to determine. If you should go, & any Thing is transacted at home, even while on your Passage, interfering with what was judged our Interests, you will be the Author. If you stay & command the Helm, Rocks & Sholes will be thrown in your Way to run upon & some Things you will be obliged to consent to, entirely inconsistent with any rational Scheme but with that most divine one, of Politicks; so that your only Choice lies, between two Evils to chuse the lest.

    Pray, when do you set out for New York?

    When you Petition his Majesty again, be pleased to let me write a Postscript, to ask for my Reward; for my Claim is just & high.2 Last Summer I protected his first Officer in my Pigeon House; about 3 months ago his Secretary was protected by me here from the Mob & about a fortnight since, the Lieut Governor fled to my House for the same Shelter.3 This is reported of you in the County, & yet I am still unhurt. If I am not a Man of the first Consequence then there is no one of any Consequence at all. I expect a very great Reward for my Importance.

    We all envy Ruggles & his Statue (not Statute) is [Coming].

    I hear Brother R—— is gone to Hampstead if so, pray he have the Rheumatism in Term Time.4

    I shall be at Court, & doubtless it be opened; perhaps so open that every [MS torn] will pass through Seive like.

    Your Book I am examining5 [MS torn] some of my Family have had the ho[nor of]6 being hanged for having more Sense [than] their Judges. I hope I shall find m[yself among] them; if not, I shall interpolate [MS torn] to License.

    And I too should fill another [MS torn] but the Bearer waits. Farewell my Fr[iend,]     Peter [Oliver]

    RC (New York Public Library, Samuel Adams Papers); unaddressed; endorsed, “Judge Oliver 25 Feb 1766.”

    167. To [Richard Jackson]

    Boston 26 Feb 1766

    Dear Sir, I cannot express to you how much I find my self obliged by your kind letters of 15 & 29 Nov & 26 Dec.1 The last came to hand first. I had no apprehensions that you designed it should be made publick but after considering well the contents of it I was fully satisfied no inconvenience could arise from my communicating it to the council as containing very favorable intelligence relative to the Repeal of the stamp act, and I intimated to a person I could depend upon in the house that if it was asked of me I would not refuse it there provided that immediately upon its being read it should be Returned to me. I was applied to for it and I think it has done service in both houses.2

    I wish I had mentioned to you before that I wrote to Lord Kinnoull Lord Loudoun & Lord Edgecombe & to Lord Adam Gordon to whom I had the honour of being known here upon the subject of a compensation besides what I wrote to many private persons which latter class I thought might do me some service by pronouncing it among their friends to be a thing reasonable.3

    I think a petition I inclosed to General Conway could not have been received by him when you had your conversation with him.4 It was addressed in form to the King in council. I thought it would be more acceptable to inclose it to the Secr of state to do with it as he thought proper than to impower any person to present & sollicit it for me.

    Your last letter causes me to doubt what will be the event and I had very near resolved to embark the first vessel but upon communicating my intention to the governor he discouraged me.5 The parliament would be over & if any thing had been determined in my favour I should Repent of spending 6 or 700£ when there had been no occasion for it, if nothing had been done for me I should lose a whole summer in England for nothing would be done before another session of parliament, he would write to the ministry that he tho’t it absolutely necessary that either he or I should be ordered to England in the summer that a perfect knowledge might be had of the state of the province & that it was his opinion it would be no disadvantage to the publick to leave the government in my hands.

    I think I should have taken my passage if he had advised to it but upon this conversation I thought it adviseable to suspend it. I design my son shall go in the next ship Capt Daverson.6 He is a young man but to a prejudiced father he appears discreet for his years. I do not see what I could have done more with propriety & if I finally am left to suffer it will be more easy to bear than it would have been if I had neglected what was in my power.

    But I dwell too long on my own affairs when those of the publick are so much more important. You have either afforded relief from the stamp act or you have taken measures to enforce it.7 I hope the former for the confusions otherwise will be far greater than if a general assurance of relief had not been given. Be it which it may, I see no prospect of the authority of government being restored. If the first the whole success will be attributed to the measures taken by the sons of liberty and every other grievance real or supposed there will be no difference will be redressed in the same way. This may easily be presumed from the present temper. We might reasonably have hoped when there is such dependence upon the repeal of the act that the people would have been patient & suffered the courts of law to have adjourned a few weeks or days that business might go on without exception but instead of that they force every court to proceed immediately nor would either court or bar be safe in this province if they refused acting. The reason openly given is this—to delay in order to receive advice of the repeal of the stamp act would be a virtual acknowledgment that it is now in force which no man shall be allowed to advance.

    Patricide is too soft a term for the crime of men of sense in the colonies some of them regularly bred to the law in England who have been endeavouring by their inflammatory writings to instill principles destructive of all government as well as ^and then^ to stir up the rage of the people against all who will not avow these principles.

    I thought we had settled a tolerable system of colony law in this province that where the local laws did not provide the law of England not meerly as it stood when we came over here but as it has been from time to time amended by subsequent statutes except such statutes as apparently were confined to the Realm was the only certain rule of law in judicial proceedings and that upon other plans the law would be vague and uncertain & I was in hopes to have lived to see no body doubt of the reasonableness of it but all of a sudden from this fatal act we have it advanced that acts of parliament of England or G Britain have no more relation to us than acts of parliament of Scotland had before the Union.8 The king of G Britain indeed is our Sovereign but we have no Representation in parliament & strictly speaking not meerly those acts which lay taxes upon us but no other acts any farther than we adopt them are binding upon us. In conversation with Hopkins the late governor of Rh Island a few weeks ago who professes to be of this principle I asked him what construction he gave to the Restraint in their charter from making laws Repugnant to the laws of England. Oh, the common law as it stood when their charter was granted.

    If laws immediately respecting us are not obligatory surely those of a more general nature are not so & I know not by what law I am to judge or be governed.

    When I think of this new model of our connection with England only as we are the subjects of the same princes the nearest Relation I can fancy my self to be in to you is no more than that of Hanover a thought which strikes me with more horror than the dissolution of any natural Relation which has subsisted all my life possibly could do.9 The confusion would be infinite from the present inclination to anarchy & the utter insufficiency of internal authority. And a prince 3000 miles distant without aid from his other subjects could do but little towards composing it. It is to no purpose to dispute with them they are fixed in their principles. But some of the most violent will acknowledge the colonies are not yet capable of subsisting without national aid & protection. It is therefore better to submit to some abridgement of our rights than to break off our connexion. To submit to the stamp act after we have made a point of it would conclude us slaves. Other acts which have been grievous yet as we have already submitted we are content should be executed. The greatest service therefore the friends to their country can do at present is to represent in the strongest light the deplorable state we should be in if left to ourselves & our mother country should take no thought about us.

    If you have resolved the act should be executed I think the people will be desperate & many in their madness will run headlong to destruction rather than submit and if they should be compelled by force they will for years to come be disaffected to such a degree as to endeavour by every way in their power even to distressing & impoverishing themselves to distress and impoverish G Britain. I dare say there is not a family between Canada & Pensecola that has not heard the name of the stamp act & but very few tho perhaps intirely ignorant what it is but what have some formidable apprehensions of it. A gentleman some miles distant from me in the country had occasion to send his servant in a dark evning to the barn and finding he had not gone as he was ordered enquired the Reason. The servant told him he was afraid. Afraid—of what—of the stamp act. There are many masters who do not know much better what it is but notwithstanding are ready to run any hazard to oppose it.10

    You will ask what is to be the remedy. This I did not propose to suggest. The necessity I fear will be the same of some regulation whether the act be Repealed or whether it continue in force but perhaps not at the same time. In the latter case it must be immediate in the former it may admit of some delay & perhaps be effected by more insensible degrees. In order to our future peace & happiness it seems absolutely necessary that the Relation between G Britain & her colonies should be made certain & then that the authority in each colony should be strengthened so as to maintain & preserve this Relation. But this requires superior wisdom. All the service I ever hoped to be capable of is to represent the true state of our case.

    Thus I have rambled thro’ a much longer letter than I intended to trouble you with. Forgive me if I take up too much of your time. I am Sir Your obliged faithful servant,     TH

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:196–98); unaddressed.

    168. To William Bollan

    Boston, 27 Feb. 1766

    Dear Sir, I have a few lines from you of the 26 December. I think from the tenor of your letter as well as from your having received several from me relating to my misfortune and the measures I had taken for releif that some of your letters must have miscarried. I have been half embarked fearing lest I should fail of a compensation if I did not sollicit in person but the governor has persuaded me to tarry until I hear farther.1 All the letters from England agree that in some way or other we shall be relieved from the stamp act. Indeed nothing but right down force and force superior to all the colonies could bring to oppose it, would execute the act. This at lest is the general declaration, made without fear of any enquiry ever to be made about it. So that it is plain we canot bear the malady; but can we bear the cure. I see no prospect of preserving authority in the government. Every man will be searching out grievances, and the way is plain to obtain redress. Let the sons of liberty assemble. In short men of the best sense in the colonies, of all Professions, have been advancing principles in order to get rid of the stamp act, which are repugnant to all government and these principles are so rooted in the minds and hearts of people in general that it will take many years and we must undergo a great deal of the misery of anarchy before they will be eradicated although no body scruples the repeal of the stamp act yet out of meer wantonness this class of the people are encouraged by some who know better are every day requiring one and another, unnecessarily, to do business contrary to the act and will not admit of any excuse. A set of them this week hearing that a vessel was arrived with a stamped paper from some port, went to the custom house immediately and demanded it; and the master of the last vessel from London although there was not the lest reason to suppose he brought any stamped paper yet these new officers went aboard and not content with his word that he had none required him to go before a magistrate & make oath to it.2 Whilst the general court was sitting a majority in each house were of opinion that it was not convenient to take any measures in opposition to this spirit. I spake my mind in council and the next opportunities Otis published something I did not say & charged it upon me by name at large.3 I desired the council to send for the printers but they were afraid of a tumult and I did not care to remain among them and be so insulted. Tim. Ruggles who in several characters has behaved well refused to sign the addresses at new York. The house enquired into his conduct & his reasons not being satisfactory it was moved to expel him but his friends prevailed to have him only reprimanded for not doing his duty. He desired his reasons for his conduct might stand upon the journal but they would not allow it.4 The house have wrote to their late agent Mr Mauduit in answer to his letter to them and insist upon the money in his hands but I do not hear of any proposal to compel him to pay it.5 One part of their letter is erroneous, to say the best of it in fact Mr Wilks they say had 100£ a year as salary. I am well satisfied had always 200£ at lest they used to grant a sum in their currency which they called 200£ sterl and generally it was thereabouts. He charged besides his chariot offices expences to clerks servants &c.

    I hope we shall live to see better times. I am Yours affectionately,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:199–200); in WSH’s hand; unaddressed. SC (Sheffield Archives, Wentworth Woodhouse Muniments, Papers of the Marquis of Rockingham, R24/79); consists of an extract from the missing RC in an unidentified hand; docketed, “Boston Febry. 27th. 1766 Extract of a Letter from Lieut. Govr. Hutchinson Recd. from Mr. Bollan April 19th. 1766.”

    169. From William Bollan

    Gerard street, March 1st. 1766

    Dear Sir, After various difficulties, violent struggles & wonderful changes it is at present highly probable that a total repeal of the stamp act will take place, for which a majority of 107, or 108, hath appear’d in the comons, after the utmost efforts made by the contending parties, the greater part, if not the whole being influenced by European rather than American reasons. The present ministry are for the repeal: but upwards of 30 place-men, & all the Scots, save two, have voted against them. In the house of Lords the tide of power ebbs & flows strongly. In a committee of the whole house the opponents of the ministers have carried 2 questions of no great consequence against them by a very small majority. Here the absent lords cannot vote by proxy; but upon the report, & on all other occasions, when they sit as a house, you are sensible they may, & then it is said there is a certain majority with the ministry. Ld. Chesterfield, who by reason of his great deafness, & other infirmities has not come to the house for some years, lately came & took the oaths, to qualify himself to depute another peer to vote by proxy for him, in order that the repeal of the stamp act may not fail thro’ want of his vote, & I am told today that, if able, he purposes to come in person at the great debate, & make his speech upon the occasion, wherein, tho’ it will be impossible for him to reply to those whom he canot hear I expect we shall have something very notable said by a man so remarkable not only for his wit, but those great abilities, & that noble public spirit which he has shewn on some occasions.1 I am also just now told that the chancellor who totis viribus2 opposed the appeal, has changed his mind.3 I have not time to add save that I am Dear Sir Yours,     W Bollan

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:63); only the closing and signature are in Bollan’s hand; at foot of letter, “Lt. Govr. Hutchinson”; endorsed, “Mr Bollan 1[st] March 1766.”

    170. From Richard Jackson

    Inner Temple 3 Mar 1766

    Dear Sir, I believe I may venture to write that the Stamp Act will be repealed, but the Difficulties, that have laid in the Way, have been so many & the Over coming them, has been so frequently altogether unforeseen, that I sometimes fear, we may in the same manner be surprised with an unexpected disappointment.

    The Bill for the Repeal has struggled through great difficulties & Opposition in the House of Commons, where it will probably pass to morrow, we flatter ourselves that the Lords will hardly throw it out, yet it is not above 3 Weeks since they carried several Questions there against the friends to the Repeal, but we hope there is no Danger there, at present.1

    The Repeal is accompanied, as you have probably heard before, with another Bill declaring the Right of Parlt to make laws for binding the Colonies in all Cases whatsoever, I hope no ill Use will be made of this by alarming the People in America, believing as I do that our future Rule in America may be that we have used in Ireland.2

    It is the Intention of Parlt that you should be amply compensated for your Loss, they have not yet done you that Justice themselves, but they have voted that the Assembly in America ought to do it ^compensate all sufferers by Riots^ intending if it be not done to pass an Act for that purpose next Session.3 Your Case has not only met with the Attention & Compassion it truly deserves but the Knowledge many Members have of the laudable & very able Manner in which you did endeavour to avert the Mischiefs that have since fallen on America, has at once filled them with the Esteem & Respect all your friends have long had for you, & with Indignation at the Ill Usage you have so ^undeservedly^ met with.

    I have intrusted Mr Conway Secy of State with a Copy of the MS piece you sent me last year, he knows indeed that you are the Author of it.4 This was a Piece of Confidence in him that I thought proper, & have no reason to be sorry I reposed it. He has been a Principal Asistance to us in procuring the Repeal.

    I think your Printer in England (of that excellent work that has given every body here so much pleasure) has now used you quite vile.5 He did not send to me to know how the books should be bound till the Publication was ready, the Consequence of which was, that almost every Gentleman you had mentioned to me was before provided with your Book, (I believe all).6 I thought myself however obliged to send the Books as I have done to all except Ld Kinnoul & Sr Harry Frankland. I know not yet where to find the latter & believe the former is in Scotland. The other 6 I have sent in your Name to the Chancelor of the Exchequer Mr Dowdeswell, the Speaker of the House of Commons the Atty & Sol Genl 1st Lord of Trade & C Justice.7 As I have read the American Impression, I have not much looked into the English so can say nothing to the Correctness, but the paper seems to be but indifferent. I am Dear Sir with much Esteem Your most Obedient humble Servant,     R. Jackson

    Mr Bernards Letters to the Publick Offices here have been read in both Houses of Parlt, & have not only done great Credit to himself (as your Shorter Letters have likewise done to you) but contributed much to the Repeal of the Stamp Act.8

    Had I known where to find the Printer I would myself have sent to him.

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:64–66); unaddressed; endorsed, “Mr Jackson.”

    171. From Peter Oliver

    Middleborough March 6. 1766

    Dear Brother! I received your Account of the Salem Itineration & am glad you come off as well as I supposed that you would.1

    I cannot be down at Charlestown Court for sundry Reasons. Imprimis.2 I am not quite well yet. (2dly.) Mrs. Oliver hath been a great Deal ill & I am loth to leave home (3dly.) I imagine no more Business will be done there than at Salem, & to ride 70 or 80 Miles for nothing would be trifling with Time & Money. I do not imagine it can be any Inconvenience to you as you have already attended & would be best for you to attend again. The News, which you wrote to me of the Repeal, I suppose is not confirmed as yet.3 I expect to be at Suffolk Adjournment, & as I have been ready to proceed upon business I still continue of the same Mind, & could have forced my Way through now if my Brethren & Bar were of that ^my^ Way of thinking.4 I suppose the Rumours of the Repeal hath elated you all it seems to rejoice these Parts, but what you meant by Requisitions I do not understand.

    The Mob by its Centrifugal Force hath reached my Neighborhood, Halifax; you will hear more of it next Assizes: may Heaven change it to a Centripetal Force, that it may fix to its Centre; When the Government will be restored, that alone knows, for there is no Prospect of it to the human Eye.5 Farewell my Dear Friend!

    Peter Oliver

    RC (New York Public Library, Samuel Adams Papers); at foot of letter, “His Honour LG Hutchinson”; addressed, “To his Honour Thomas Hutchinson Esqr. in Milton”; endorsed, “March 6. 66 Judge Oliver.”

    172. To [Thomas Pownall]

    In early March 1766, Thomas Hutchinson wrote a long letter to Thomas Pownall about the colonies’ complicated relationship to Great Britain. The editors located three copies of this letter. The first copy was written in Hutchinson’s letterbook in the hand of his son William Sanford. The second was a nearly identical copy written in Hutchinson’s own hand with a postscript written sometime after 8 March, and this was the copy probably intended for Pownall. Apparently, though, Hutchinson never sent it and instead sent a shorter version, the third copy. He might have feared that the letter would be seen by persons other than Pownall, as the shorter version referred to individuals by abbreviations rather than full names. As there are substantial differences between the long and short versions, both the second and third copies have been presented.

    Version I: To [Thomas Pownall]

    Boston March 8. 1766

    Sir, I am very much obliged to you for your favour of December the 3d, under Mr Hancock’s cover.1 If I had received any letter from you before, since my misfortunes, I should have acknowledged it. Some of my letters from England I have reason to think stop by the way. I wish I could have had your sentiments in what manner those who wish well to America should conduct themselves, those I mean who are in America, for I am sure they never stood so much in need of advice. I have often had occasion to reflect upon your sentiments of the people of America, more justly formed, from the experience of a few years, than my own, from living among them all my days. A thought of independence I could not think it possible should enter into the heart of any man, in his senses, for ages to come. You have more than once hinted to me that I was mistaken and I am now convinced that I was so, and that the united endeavours of the friends to Britain & her colonies, in Europe and America, are necessary to restore the colonists to a true sense of their duty and interest. It would be presumption in me to suggest measures to His Majesty’s ministers. If I am capable of doing any service it must be by acquainting you with the rise and progress of this taint of principles and the degree to which it prevails.

    It is not more than two years since it was the general principle of the colonists, that in all matters of privilege or rights the determination of the Parliament of Great Britain must be decisive. They could not, it is true, alter the nature of things and the natural rights of an english man, to which no precise idea seems to have been affixed, would remain in him, but the exercise of that right, during the continuance of such determination or act,2 must be suspended. To oppose by an armed force the execution of any act of parliament, grand juries, without offence, have been often instructed was high treason, as well in America as in Europe, and that his Majesty as King of Great Britain had no subjects in any part of the world upon whom an act of the parliament of Great Britain was not binding.

    You will give me leave to mention to you how these principles have gradually changed, for others which approach very near to independence. You are sensible the parliament had scarce in any instance imposed any tax or duty upon the colonies for the purpose of a revenue. The 18d. sugar duty was considered for the regulation of trade, the molosses act of the 6 of George the 2d was professedly designed meerly as a prohibition from the foreign islands, the Greenwich hospital duty was upon seamen who, generally, are rather inhabitants of the world than any colony, and the post office was supposed to be established for publick convenience; and until the late act which lowered the duties upon molosses & sugar, with a professed design to raise a revenue from them, few people in the colonies had made it a question how far the parliament, of right, might impose taxes upon them.3 When this first became a topick for conversation, few or none were willing to admit the right, but the power and, from thence, the obligation to submit none would deny. The Massachusets assembly was the first representative body, which took this matter into consideration. Besides the act for raising a revenue from molosses, &c. there had been a resolve of the House of commons, that the parliament had a right to raise money from the colonies by internal taxes.4 A committee of the council and house were appointed to prepare an address to His Majesty, or the parliament, for relief. The committee soon determined the latter to be the most proper. I was chairman of the comittee, but declined drawing any address. Several were prepared which expressed in strong terms an exclusive right in the assembly to impose taxes. I urged the ill policy, when they had the resolution of the house of commons before them, of sending an address, in express words, asserting the contrary and, after a fortnight spent, at the desire of the committee, I drew an address, which considered the sole power of taxation as an indulgence which we prayed the continuance of, and this was unanimously agreed to. The proceeding of the general court was also approved and applauded out of doors, until the copy of an address from the assembly of New York was brought to Boston by Mr Bayard, one of the city members.5 This was so high, that the heroes for liberty among us were ashamed of their own conduct and would have recalled what had been done here, if it had not been too late. Still this was not the general sense of the people. It was supposed the New York address & any others in the same strain would bring down the resentment of parliament, but when news came, that the stamp act had passed and that no distinction was made in the addresses, it was then said, that if all the colonies had shewn the like firmness and asserted their rights the act would never have passed, and the promoter of the measure here was charged with treachery & from his dependence on the crown betraying his country.6

    It had not, however, been suggested that the act would not be executed and several persons, who are now for dying rather than submit to it, were then making interests with the distributor for places for themselves or friends.7 But soon after, the resolves of the Virginia assembly were sent hither.8 A new spirit appeared at once. An act of parliament against our natural rights was ipso facto void and the people were bound to unite against the execution of it. You know the temper of the tradesmen of the town of Boston. They were inflamed, began the first violence against the distributor & then went on to more enormous acts, until they were struck with horror at looking back & thought they had done enough to deter all persons from giving the lest countenance to the act. This flame, by all the art of superior [incendiaries]9 has been spread through this and every other colony upon the continent, and, every where, it is the universal voice of all people, that if the stamp act must take place we are absolute slaves. There is no reasoning with them, you are immediately pronounced an enemy to your country.

    It looks doubtful from your letter whether the act will be repealed. The general opinion is, among the most moderate, that nothing but superior force will carry it into execution. If you urge the invalidity of all instruments & law proceedings, it is immediately asked who will dare dispute them. Confusion, & convulsion, will be the inevitable consequence, how great or how durable it is not possible to judge.

    If the act should be repealed, we shall still be in a deplorable condition. In the capital towns of several of the colonies & of this in particular, the authority is in the populace, no law can be carried into execution against their mind. I am not sure that the acts of trade will not be considered as grievous as the stamp act. I doubt whether, at present, any custom house officer would venture to make a seizure. In the country towns, in this province, I should hope the people in general would return to reason and be convinced of the necessity of supporting the authority of government. I do not mention this as a sufficient argument against external provision for the future support of government, but it may possibly be a reason for deferring for a short time, at lest in degree, any measures for that purpose, until the minds of the people are somewhat calmed, and the effect of the repeal, if that should be the case, shall appear.

    I cannot avoid acquainting you with a further fact the consequence of the disaffected state of mind among the people & which I believe you have not a full conception of. When I first saw the proposals for lessening the consumption of english manufactures I took them to be mere puffs.10 The scheme for laying aside mourning succeeded to my surprize and scarce any body would now dare to wear black for the nearest relation. In this town, there is yet no very sensible alteration in other articles, but in the country, in general, there is a visible difference & the humour for being cloathed in homespun spreads every day not so much from oeconomy as to convince the people of England how beneficial the colonies have been to them, supposing the worth of any thing to be best known by the want of it.

    A general representation of facts is all that is necessary to write to you, who know so perfectly the constitution of every colony, the disposition and temper of all the inhabitants; it is all that in prudence I ought to write to any body, considering the present prevailing jealousy in the minds of the people improved, by a much more abandoned man than Clodius to render obnoxious every person who opposes his wicked schemes of popularity.11 I may safely say, that by some means or other the authority in the colonies ^first or last^ must be strengthened, that those are the most eligible which shall evidently appear, to be intended to preserve to them all the rights and liberties, which can consist with their connexion with their mother country. In this way, the present alienation may be removed and, instead of seeking to lessen the profit the mother country may make from trade and commerce with them, they will seek means to increase it, but while this alienation remains, although effectual means should be used to maintain a subordination, it will be impossible to continue equal advantages from trade as if it was removed.

    It will be some amusement to you to have a more circumstantial account of the present model of government among us. I will begin with the lowest ^branch partly legislative partly^ executive. This consists of the rabble of the town of Boston headed by one Mackintosh who I imagine you never heard of. He is a bold fellow & as likely for a Massianello as you can well conceive. When there is occasion to hang or burn effigies or pull down houses these are employed, but since government has been brought to a system they are some what controuled by a superior set consisting of the master masons carpenters &c of the town. When the Secretary was summoned to attend at the tree of liberty he sent to T. Daws to desire him to interpose & at lest procure leave for him to resign at the townhouse but after two or three consultations nothing more could be obtained than a promise of having no affront offered and a proposal to invite the principal persons of the town to accompany him.12

    When any thing of more importance is to be determined as opening the custom house or any matters of trade these are under the direction of a committee of merchants Mr Rowe at their head then Molyneux Solomon Davis &c.13 but all affairs of a general nature opening all the courts of law &c. this is proper for a general meeting of the inhabitants of Boston where Otis with his mobbish eloquence prevails in every motion, and the town first determine what is necessary to be done & then apply either to the Governor & council or resolve that it is necessary the general court should meet and it must be a very extraordinary resolve indeed that is not carried into execution.14 The town applied to the governor in council to desire him to order the executive courts to do business with out stamps. This the council refused to advise to but advised him to recommend to the Justices of the inferior court for Suffolk to meet & determine whether at the court which was to be held in two or three days after they should proceed, but the town who kept their meeting alive by adjournment immediately upon receiving the answer resolved it was unsatisfactory. After this upon the motion of Otis they sent a committee to desire the governor not to prorogue the general court any further. When the court met the House resolved not above half a dozen dissenting that the courts ought to go on with business and sent to the council to concur. I opposed it as taking from the executive courts their right of judgment and moved the resolve should ly that if enquired after the house might be told it was extrajudicial. A day or two after I was charged in the news paper my name at large with declaring in council the vote was impertinent below the notice of the board and by usurping the president’s place obtaining an undue influence &c. and the printers were directed to tell the author’s name if required.15 Otis did not deny his being the author. A publication in the same paper had done a great deal towards raising the former storm against me and I expected a second shipwreck, and therefore moved to the council to send for the printers & if they should mention Otis as the author that the House should be applied to for justice upon one of their members, but the majority of the council were afraid and only ordered a vote to be published declaring the falshood of the account in the former paper.16 Although this had a tendency to appease the rage of the rabble against me yet it was so dishonorable to the council to contradict such an aspersion without any further notice that with the governor’s approbation I excused my self from any further attendance that session. The board after this, instead of passing upon the resolve recommended to the Justices of the superior court to determine whether they would proceed or not at their next term. This they refused to do but gave it as their opinion that if the affairs of government continued in the present state they should find themselves under a necessity of proceeding.17 This was not satisfactory to the house who insisted that the board should pass on their resolve but they kept altercating upon it until the court was over by a long adjournment. A majority of the superior court I imagine will find the necessity they supposed they should. I hope to excuse my self from joining with them.18

    The majority of the house are not disaffected or unfriendly to government, but are afraid to act their judgment this boulefeu19 threatning to print their names who vote against his measures. In council the valiant Brigadier Royall who has thrown up his commission is at the head of all popular measures & become a great orator. Erving Brattle Gray Otis & Bradbury & Sparhawk whose characters you will know are in the same box, Tyler is sometimes of one side and sometimes of the other.20

    It must be a pleasure to you sometimes to look back upon your old government, otherwise I should fear I had quite tired you with this long epistle.21

    I had wrote thus far the 8. The constant intelligence every day or two of one occurrent and another which demonstrates that there is no authority subsisting in any of the colonies makes me doubt whether of our selves we shall ever return to a state of government and order. In the Jersies New York & Connecticut there is a settled plan of union of the populace of those governments who correspond by Committees and are settling a committee to represent the whole.22 About a fortnight ago the distracted demagogue of Boston attacked my history of the colony and censured me in his news paper for charging the government with a mistake in imagining that an act of the colony was necessary to give force to an act of parliament for regulating trade.23 A few days after upon a seizure of molosses & sugar at Newbury half a dozen boats well manned went after the officer took the goods from him and the boat he was in and left him all night upon the beach. A proclamation with promise of reward upon discovery is nothing more than the shew of authority, no man will venture a discovery and I imagine a few more such instances will make it settled law that no act but those of our own legislatures can bind us.24

    AC 1 (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:207–14); probably not sent (although TH did not mark it so) and possibly an intended RC that TH ended up retaining; consists of a text evidently written on loose sheets inserted in its entirety before p. 215 of TH’s letterbook; unaddressed. AC 2 (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:200–06, 215); in WSH’s hand; lacking the postscript (“I had wrote thus far the 8. . . .”); marked “not sent” in TH’s hand; unaddressed. When later editors rebound TH’s letterbooks, they tipped AC 1 (the intended RC) into the volume, placing it before the last page of AC 2; thus AC 2 appears in the letterbook in two sections.

    Version II: To [Thomas Pownall]

    Boston 8 March 1766

    Sir, I am very much obliged to you for your favour of Dec 3. under Mr Hancocks cover. I wish I could have had your sentiments more fully upon the state of affairs. We that are in America never stood in so much need of advice. I have often had occasion to Reflect upon the judgment you had made of the temper of the colonists from a few years observation. I remember to have told you I then thought you were mistaken & that they must be stark blind if they could not see that an independence upon G Britain must prove their Ruin & therefore they would not aim at it for centuries to come. I never expected to see such principles in government publickly avowed as now appear every week in our news papers & the political pamphlets which are dispersed thro’ the continent. Delaney of Maryld is most applauded for the share he has had in them.1 Dickenson at Philadelphia the club of political writers at N York Hopkins at Rh. Island & Otis a meteor which has appeared since you left the province in the Massa.2

    It is now expected by every body that the st. act will be Repealed & I dread the consequences if it should not. Happy would it have been for us if it had not passed. I am sure it would have been so for me in particular who have suffered so grievously. If it should be Repealed still we are in a deplorable state. The authority in every colony is in the hands of the Sons of liberty. The most judicious among the zealous opposers of the stamp act say that government is at an end. You have published many valuable sentiments for preserving order. To restore it when utterly destroyed is quite another thing. This you could not foresee. It is not however too late for the nation as well as the colonies to have the benefit of your thought for that purpose also. I dare not trust mine to writing for however favorable they might be if by any accident they should come to the hands of my enemies they would infallibly be wrested & improved to my prejudice. I could wish to see the relation of the colonies to their mother country ascertained & acquiesced in all the tenderness & indulgence from parliam which can consist with this Relation, and then an ingenuous grateful Return from the colonies in the place of the present alienation of affection. We have so many good men among us who abhor the present anarchy that I do not despair of living to see all this affected.

    It must be a pleasure to you sometimes to look back upon your old government & to know which side particular persons take on such interesting occasions.

    In the house besides the Bost members there are old W—t G——h Bowers Sheaffe D——r all of whom you know zealous for liberty, in council the valiant Brig. R—l is at the head of all popular measures having thrown up his commission & is become a great orator.3 E——g B——e S——k G—y O—s &c lately and B——y are generally in the same box. T—r is sometimes of one side & sometimes of the other.4

    For the behavior of particular persons in the town I beg leave to Refer you to my son who will wait upon you with this letter.5 A compensation is of such importance to me that many of my friends advised me to sollicit for it in person, others are unwilling I should leave the province while in this confused state. I imagined it might be of some service to me for my son to be in England, at lest if any grant should be made me he will be a proper person to Receive it. He is young but to a prejudiced father he appears discreet for his years. I shall be extremely obliged to you for your caution to him the short time he proposes to tarry in England.

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:215–16); unaddressed.

    173. From Peter Oliver

    Middlebro’ March 24. 1766

    Dear Brother! When I was in Boston I was told that the Justices of our Court earn’d their Mony dearly, by being obliged to ride in all Weather. After I left you I thought I earned mine very dearly, for the Storm prevented my riding above 10 Miles, after being well soaked: but however reached home next Day, well.

    I am in hopes you will be able to send me Word by my Son whether there is Necessity of my being at Salem, from where I shall be glad to be excused unless I can ease you by being there, & then I am sure I do not desire any Excuse.1

    My more especiall Reason is, that I am informed an unlawfull Assembly is gathering in some of the neighbouring Towns in Order to prevent this Towns taking the Fish this Season; which Fishery is particularly secured by several Laws of the Province: & that they are determined to demolish any Justice of the Peace who may issue a Warrant in such Case.2 I have heard of this more than once but cannot as yet understand who the Ringleaders are. I should chuse to be at home at such Time & I shall be glad to know your Opinion whether the Law is not clear that such Rioters may be bound to the Assizes?

    I called about your Hayseed but the Man was absent from home: my Son will be able to tell you further.

    If you have publick news worth communicating you’ll oblige me with it. Yours with the sincerest Friendship,     Peter Oliver

    RC (New York Public Library, Samuel Adams Papers); at foot of letter, “Honble. Thos. Hutchinson”; addressed, “To his Honour Thomas Hutchinson in Milton”; endorsed, “Judge Oliver 24 March 1766.”