Editorial policy has aimed to preserve the integrity of manuscripts by printing them in full (except where noted) and depicting their content as accurately as possible with limited editorial intervention.

    Whenever possible, autograph out-letters and in-letters have been used as authoritative texts—the actual manuscripts upon which the transcripts are based. When the receiver’s copy (RC) or its duplicate were not extant, contemporary copies were substituted from the preserved record in the receiver’s or author’s letterbook (RLbC and LbC). In the absence of a letterbook, the transcript was based on a copy of an original made by a third party; printed versions (PC) were used in the last resort—contemporary imprints taking precedence over modern imprints and transcriptions

    Bernard’s letters to the secretaries of state were his primary means of communication with the British government. He wrote regularly to the secretary of state for the Southern Department, whose portfolio included the American Colonies, and then, from 1768, to the newly-created secretary of state for the Colonies, whose first occupant was the earl of Hillsborough. Bernard usually wrote out his own letters to the secretaries of state in a fine, easy to read script. Numbered sequentially, his first official letter to Hillsborough is dated 12 May 1768; he restarted the sequence at the beginning of 1769. In-letters from the secretary of state were numbered in sequence regardless of the year or the minister, reaching No. 11 before Shelburne left office and No. 27 by the time Bernard returned to England. This volume has printed most but not all of the extant correspondence between Bernard and the secretaries of state dated 8 Jan. to 30 Sept. 1768, omitting letters of acknowledgment (of appointments or receipt of correspondence) and several circulars (which are mentioned in the editorial commentaries and listed in Appendix 14).

    The secretaries of state probably read every one of Bernard’s holographs before passing the letters to their clerks so copies could be made and the originals filed. Letters to the earl of Halifax, to Henry Seymour Conway, and to the earl of Shelburne are in CO 5/755-CO 5/757; letters to the earl of Hillsborough are in CO 5/758. The secretaries’ clerks were not required to keep a minute-book (as was the case with clerks attached to the Board of Trade and the Board of Admiralty); nor did they maintain correspondence entrybooks (either a ledger or letterbook). However, correspondence that the secretary of state referred to other departments (that is, the Treasury, the Privy Council, the Admiralty, the War Office, and the Board of Trade) can usually be traced in the administrative record of these departments.

    The filing system for original incoming letters was thorough, by the standards of the day. The secretary of state’s clerks routinely endorsed in-letters on the back leaf of the letter when folded (usually its last verso page) thus providing a convenient docket for filing. A date of receipt was written at the top, sometimes with one or two lines summarizing the letter’s subject matter; a filing reference was added at the bottom. For example, Bernard’s letter to the earl of Hillsborough of 26 Dec. 1768 (ALS, RC) is endorsed “Governor Bernard (No. 37) R 24th: Feby 1769. B.9.” The first figure, “No. 37”, indicates that this letter was the thirty-seventh that Bernard had sent to Hillsborough in 1768. “R” prefaces the date of receipt and “B.9.” is the bundle of correspondence in which the letter was filed. The numbering of letters was established by the earl of Shelburne in 1766, but the docketing procedure was operational before then. Bernard’s letters were later re-bound but the original ordering of materials in the collections was preserved, more or less. The letter to Hillsborough is now contained in a bound volume of papers, CO 5/758, with a modern folio reference, ff 38-39.

    In the aftermath of the Stamp Act Crisis, colonial governors were required to communicate directly with the secretary of state in all matters. Bernard continued to send copies to the Board of Trade, but with one important difference: the addressee was the secretary of state, not the Board. For example, the Board’s file copy of Bernard’s letter to Hillsborough of 26 Dec. 1768 is in CO 5/893, ff 92-94; it is a letter handwritten by a clerk and signed by the governor (dupLS, RC). I have catalogued it not as a distinct item of correspondence but as a variant of the original letter in CO 5/758. This particular manuscript was laid before a meeting of the Board of Trade on 6 Dec. 1769 (JBT, 13: 35) and subsequently endorsed by a clerk in the Plantation Office: “Boston Decr. 26. 1768 Govr Bernard (No 37) Dup Reced Read Decr: 6. 1769. N.n. 28.”

    Several people were involved in the composition of the original letters and papers authored by Bernard. Bernard himself wrote out the majority of his out-letters; not only the originals going to the secretary of state and to the Board of Trade, but also the duplicates and the triplicates of these letters that were conveyed separately. He also made letterbook copies of much of this material. Before 1768, Bernard was also heavily reliant on clerks to make letterbook copies of routine correspondence and prepare copies of out-letters for dispatch. But concerns over security meant that he became increasingly dependent upon his third son Thomas Bernard (27 Apr. 1750-1 Jul. 1818). From 1 Jan. 1768 to 2 Aug. 1769, when his father left the province, Thomas was responsible for over 65 per cent of letterbook entries and over 12 percent of out-letters, including duplicates (with Bernard penning over 40 percent of out-letters).

    In transcribing manuscripts for The Bernard Papers, the authoritative texts were systematically compared with the extant variants composed by the clerks. Substantive differences in content were rare. Contemporary emendations to letterbook copies (LbC) were usually incorporated in the fair versions dispatched to and received by correspondents (RC). Major differences among the variant texts are discussed in the endnotes and source notes, and an editorial comment clarifies scribal involvement. Near-contemporaneous transcripts91 and modern versions, including Barrington-Bernard, are listed only when cited or discussed.

    Transcripts are presented in chronological order, according to the first given date. Non-epistolary enclosures follow the covering letter, while letters that were themselves enclosures have been placed in sequence by date. With letters bearing the same date, out-letters take precedence over in-letters (unless the out-letter is a reply to the in-letter); thereafter, out-letters are sorted by the likely order of composition (for which Bernard’s letterbooks provide a rough guide); date of receipt has been used to sort in-letters; the remainder have been sorted alphabetically by correspondent. Transcripts have been allocated numbers in a sequence than runs across the series of published volumes, in this volume beginning with No. 577.

    Editorial practice is to show the whole text plus any substantive emendations made by the author—the person(s) on whose authority a document was prepared or under whose signature it was sent—and by any clerk who drafted or copied the document. (Noncontemporaneous annotations on manuscripts have been excluded.) Obvious slips of the pen have been ignored. When the source note reports “minor emendations not shown,” the editor is referring to corrections of oversights and grammatical errors made by the scribe or author of the manuscript that have no bearing on the meaning of the text or the author’s perceived intention. Generally, original emendations, including scribal corrections, are reconstituted when this might help to illuminate authorial intention or when the additions suggest ambiguity or invite alternative interpretations: the representations follow the editorial apparatus set out in Table 1.

    Grammar and spelling were transcribed with limited modernization. Orthographical idiosyncrasies have been retained, save for the kind of transparent mistakes mentioned above. Abbreviations, contractions, and terminal punctuation (and its absence) follow the manuscript, as does capitalization (when the writer’s intention can be determined) and the underlining of dates. Emphasis is rendered in italics. Superscripts have been preserved but with all accompanying punctuation lowered to the line. Accidentally conjoined words have been separated. Eighteenth-century spelling, such as “highth” for “height,” is readily understood; however, instances confusing to the reader are clarified by an interpolation or an endnote. Original forms have been reproduced, such as the ampersand (&) and the thorn (“y” for “th”), but not the long “s.” Confusing punctuation in numbers has been silently corrected, with period separators being replaced by commas (thus “20.000” becomes “20,000”). Where symbols are used in the original to indicate pounds sterling, they are lowered to the line, and silently corrected to “£ s. d.” Clarification on currency and monetary values is provided in endnotes.

    The layout of the transcripts has preserved some common features of manuscripts and standardized others. The location and punctuation of salutations and datelines have been preserved, but placed in one line; the addressee’s name is at the end of the closure (where it usually is) and above the postscript regardless of its location in the manuscript. Original lineation has not been retained but paragraphing sequencing has. Epigraphs, foreign language phrases, and postscripts have been formatted. Closures have been centered, except those running on from the last sentence of a letter. Tabulated information is presented in a form as close to the original as possible. Quotation marks placed at the beginning of every line of quoted material have been silently relocated to the beginning and end; block quotations have been indented. Flourishes have been omitted, as have brackets in dockets and closures. All transcripts have been given a caption; original titles have been transcribed and placed with the main body of text except entrybook titles, which are given in the notes.

    The source note at the end of each transcript provides information about the provenance and location of the authoritative text. Table 2 is a list of descriptive acronyms used to indicate the typology of authoritative texts. The acronyms representing manuscript collections and archives are explained in the List of Abbreviations, above. (Pagination and folio descriptors have been omitted except when required by a repository’s citation style.) Where possible, the source note provides some clarification as to the processes of composition and preservation, noting among other things differences in handwriting styles, the extent of authorial emendation, and the location of variant texts. Endorsements added by the recipient confirming receipt and dockets added by the sender have been transcribed in accordance with editorial method. These are not enclosed in quotation marks but are easily recognizable since they are prefixed with “endorsed” or “docket” and offset from the editor’s comments. When Bernard marked a letter with “r” he meant “received” and with “a” “answered.” Extant enclosures are briefly described, and should be assumed to be manuscript copies (usually third-party copies) unless otherwise indicated. Relevant historical and administrative information is provided at the end of the source note. Guidance is given as to where to find any replies and rejoinders. The order of discussion varies, according to the requirements of each transcript.

    Endnotes to source notes follow in sequence those for the transcript. Endnotes aim to clarify obscurities in the transcript and direct the reader to additional material. Cross-references to transcripts published in this volume are indicated by bold numerals, thus, No. 577. Citations of manuscripts not printed in this volume direct the reader to the authoritative version; in many cases there is only one extant manuscript; source text typology is included where it may help the reader. “Not found” is used to signal the absence of a manuscript.

    Appendix 14 is a list of Bernard’s extant correspondence for the period covered by this volume. This list is an interim calendar. The information has been checked as fully and thoroughly as all the other material printed in this volume; it is possible, however, that some typological classifications may change, if further handwriting analysis can identify the clerks who scribed the copies. Any such revisions will be reported in the Calendar volume.

    Acts of the English, Irish, Scottish, and British parliaments are cited according to regnal year, with dates where appropriate, and with modernized titles; the index provides both the dates and a short-title. Provincial legislation is not normally calendared by regnal year but by date, although Bernard’s contemporaries used regnal codes when referring to historic acts.

    Biographical information is provided at the first mention of a person in the correspondence; rare sources are cited but standard reference works are not.92 Online directories and newspaper collections proved to be particularly useful.93 Francis Bernard is referred to throughout as “FB” and Thomas Hutchinson as “TH”.

    I have tried to record information and transcribe manuscripts as accurately as possible, but it is inevitable that there will be errors in a project of this scale. I am grateful to everyone who has helped me to correct them, and I take full responsibility for those that remain.

    TABLE 1


    • Additions (insertions, interlineations, and substitutions) are marked with carets “^”at the intended location. When it is necessary to distinguish different hands or differentiate between insertions and substitutions the following will be used: roman.
    • Bold type or heavily-inked letters are set in bold.
    • Canceled text is shown in strikethrough font.
    • Confusing passages are described “thus in manuscript” in an endnote.
    • Conjectured readings for illegible material that can be inferred from the source text are in [roman text within square brackets]; there is a question mark before the closing bracket if there is considerable doubt as to the accuracy of the reading, [roman?].
    • Editorial interpolations have been italicized and placed in square brackets, [editor’s comment].
    • Ellipses signify material that is either illegible or missing. The number of suspension points corresponds to the number of missing letters or numbers, e.g. [. . .] for three letters missing. Missing words are rendered thus, [_ _ _].
    • Emphasis is conveyed by italics and double underlining by small capitals.
    • Lacunae are represented by [blank].
    • Passages marked for deletion are indicated by <angled brackets>.
    • Underlining in authorial tables, numbers, dates, and punctuation has been retained.

    TABLE 2


    The first set of acronyms in table 2 describes the nature of the authoritative text on which the transcript is based. The second set categorizes documents by their administrative history and preservation.


    Author’s Draft Manuscript.


    Autograph Letter (text in the hand of the author, but unsigned).


    Autograph Letter Signed (text and signature in the hand of the author).


    Autograph Manuscript (text in the hand of the author but unsigned).


    Autograph Manuscript Signed (text and signature in the hand of author).






    An extract of a source text.


    Letter (text not in the hand of the author and unsigned).


    Letter Signed (text not in the hand of the author but signed by the author).




    Manuscript Signed.


    A summary.


    A documentary record of the existence of a nonextant source text.


    Contemporary Printed version of manuscript.



    Author’s Copy (loose file or bound copies usually found in a personal collection).


    Third Party Copy.


    Author’s Letterbook or Entrybook


    Published Copy.


    Recordbook Copy.


    Receiver’s Copy.


    Receiver’s Letterbook Copy.