586 | To Richard Jackson

    No 3

    Boston Feb 1 1768

    Dear Sr:

    I find myself obliged still to apologise to you for not writing in full to you: I attempt it with every Packet, but find myself prevented in Spite of my Teeth.1 I have very little Time for this, unless the Wind tomorrow Morning shall give me more: I will improve it as well as I can.

    Among other Symptoms of the good Disposition of the House to retrieve their past Conduct is a Sense of Shame for their Treatment of you. before the opening of the Session the Speaker expresst his Desire to me that a suitable Grant should be made to you; and after the Session was opened, He told me that it was proposed to make a Grant to you & Mr Debert upon the same paper & asked if I would pass it so. I answered that it would not come up to me; for I knew the Council would not pass it in that form, being resolved not to pass any more double Votes; & I should not persuade them to depart from a Rule which I myself had recommended. But to resolve the Difficulty, I assured him that if I knew that it was the Intention of the House that these two Grants should stand or fall together, I would take no Advantage of their being upon seperate papers, but would consent to both or negative both. However in Regard to the Grant to Mr Debert, I desired it might be understood that if I consented to Mr Deberts grant, it would be only as a Measure of Reconciliation, & they must not expect that I will consent to any more Grants of a Salary to an Agent of the House which they know to be an irregular ^unconstitutional^ Appointment.

    In the Course of Conversation I had read to the Speaker some Passages in your Letters relating to this Business. He desired that I would let him have extracts of them. I advised with Mr Oliver, and with his Approbation, let the Speaker have Copies of such as would be of use, as Mr Oliver did a Passage in a Letter to him, signifying that you opposed the Salary Bill: they were all carefully castrated.2 These had a surprising Effect in the House & Every one was loud in your Commendation, & some of the Opposition in as much as any. They passed one Vote for a Grant to you & Mr Deberdt of £300 sterling pr an each for 2 Years Salary as Agents, you to be accountable for the £200 you had received by Bills & Charges.3 Old Otis moved that this should be in full of all Accounts in Order to exclude your 3 Years Councellorship from Compensation. But this was generally rejected, young Otis giving it up; And it was declared that your pay as Councellor was not to be included in this. They also passed a Vote of general Approbation of your whole Conduct, & appointed a Committee to write to you. They have not sent these Votes up as yet it being intended to seperate them, to satisfy the Board, to which I hear Otis junr: has consented. I have told the Speaker that they must put the Compensation for your three Years Councelling life into some Way of liquidation, before I can pass the liquidation before I can pass these Votes: And I expect it will be done.

    Soon after the Opening the Session Majr Hawley4 (A man of ability but of violent & Changeable Passions, who about 15 months ago left the Government party & joined Otis & came the most violent opposer of the Right of Parliament to legislate for America as he called it) in a set Speech told the House that he had taken Pains to enquire into the Right of the British Parliaments & found they were the sovreign Legislators of America & had a Right to bind the Colonies by their Acts with this Exception that if they taxed them they ought to allow them Representatives, and when the Parliament had allowed the Colonies representatives, their Legislative power over them would be as complete & absolute as it was over any part of England. He added that an American Representation was now become necessary to both Countries, as there was no other Measure that would so effectually conciliate & unite Great Britain & her Colonies to each other. Otis treated this as the revery of a Madman.5 (H. having a little wildness in his Constitution) being directly contradictory to his repeated assertions during all the ^last^ winter Sessions. Upon this Ruggles pulled out of his pocket one of Otis’s books published near 3 Years ago, & red there out paragraphs which confirmed every thing that Hawley had said. This was truly Argumentum ad hominem.6

    This Doctrine was new to the House & Surprized them; but they soon had a further explanation of it. The Government party could not prevent the Remonstrances against the late acts passing; but by frequently canvassing them, they got a great part of the most offensive matter struck out.7 The House also voted that no Copies of their letters should be allowed to be taken; under which order the Speaker refused me a sight of the Letters, without first moving the House, which I would not permit. Nevertheless the Faction would not give up their original design of making these remonstrances an alarm to the Other Governments. It was moved in the House that a day be assigned to consider of informing the Assemblies of the other Governments of their proceedings against the late Acts. Upon the Day8 the debate was very long & extremely well managed on the side of Government, it being carried in the negative by above9 2 to 1. The Faction has never had so great a Defeat as this has been; nor so great a disappointment, as it cuts off their hopes of once more inflaming the whole continent.

    In the course of this Debate a member charged the cheifs of the Faction with a fixed design to enforce an American representation, by making the Want of representatives a reason for disobedience to all Acts of Parliament that are now enacted, & supported his charge with such proofs, as being confirmed by the loose & equivocal answer given on the other Side, convinced the generality of the House that it was so. And Brigr Ruggles said that as it was time10 to begin canvassing for representatives, He had a proposal to make from a Merchant of this Town, who desired to have the honor of fitting out a Ship to carry home their representatives; which he offer’d to do for half what they would sell for when they got there. I am obliged to stop hastily & am Dr Sr &c.

    R Jackson Esq.11

    L, LbC     BP, 6: 77-81.

    In handwriting of Thomas Bernard.