580 | To Richard Jackson

    No 21

    Boston, Jan 16 1768

    Dear Sr:

    I have not as yet had Time to open your Letters for the Purpose of giving them a general Answer:2 but I am desirous of improving every little Opportunity to fling in a few Lines to you.

    I still continue quiet, no Attempts having as yet been made by the House to make me a Party to their Disputes. They have been employed ever since the Begin^ope^ning the Session in preparing a Remonstrance against the late Acts for imposing Duties &c; & have but just now, in 18 Days finished it. A few Days before the Session, the Speaker asking my Opinion upon that Subject, I advised him by all Means to conduct the Business, so that the high Terms and Pretensions, which I supposed they would make Use of might not necessarily be made public; for that the Parliament at present was by no Means disposed to bear with Patience further Impeachments of their Authority. And I understand that the Business is so managed that the Remonstrance is addressed to Mr De Berdt, with Directions to lay the whole before the Ministry, or prepare a Memorial from it, as he shall see Occasion. And no Copies of it are allowed to be taken here: So that he will have it in his Power to oppress the Offensive Passages, Some of which, as they have been reported to me, are indeed very violent.3

    I have sent Mr Pownall some Political News Papers4 in which the present Pretensions of America are enforced in a better Manner than common. The whole Arguments are derived from the reasoning in Parliament against the Taxation of America & the Distinction between external & internal Taxes; which latter is carried to such a length here as to exclude all Port Duties which produce Money. Altho the Americans in general don’t seem to desire a Representation yet the popular leaders seemed determined to drive the Parliament into granting one. How is this to be reconciled? The cheif Demagogues propose to themselves to be their Representatives, and yet don’t dare avow their Intention. This was very evident in the House two Days ago: Otis produced a Speech of Lord Campdens on the declaratory Bill in April 1766, which has been reprinted from the political Magazine in the Name of L_d C_m;5 This he told them was made a little while ago; & he triumphed upon it most immediately. Now the whole Conclusions of this Speech make for the Necessity of an American Representation. For my own Part; I have so strong long seen the Expediency of such a Measure; but now the Necessity of it is so apparent, that it seems plain to me, that an American Representation for Matters relative to the whole Empire, & inferior Legislatures subordinate to Parliament for domestic Business is the only Thing left to reconcile the two Countries upon principles admissible to both. I have no Time to argue upon this now; but shall probably touch upon it again in some future Letter.

    I am &c

    R Jackson Esqr

    L, LbC     BP, 6: 65-67.

    In handwriting of Thomas Bernard.