587 | To Lord Barrington

    Boston Feb. 7. 1768

    My Lord

    I come now to answer, the first Part of your Lordship’s last Letter intimating the favourable Disposition towards me:1 and in order to give this Subject a full Latitude, it will be proper to go back to the first movements of it.

    It was in Septr. 1766 that I wrote to your Lordship to sollicit a Removal from hence.2 I was then in a State very distressful, not only uneasy in my Administration but exposed & threatned with personal Danger. And yet under all those Difficulties, I expressed a Desire that I might be made easy here, by supporting my Government & augmenting my Salary. The Truth is I did not know where to go or what to ask for. The best Governments in the King’s Gift are in my Opinion the least Desirable, as the Emoluments are, in general, much overballanced by the unhealthiness of the Climates. There were several of the very best Governments vacant at that Time; Jamaica, Leeward Islands, & Barbadoes. I then absolutely declined the two first, altho’ the very best Governments in the Kings Gift. Barbadoes I expressed a great Desire for: and indeed it is the only one among the Islands that I have desired. Now that as well as the other two is but just filled:3 so that the only Object of my Desire in the West Indies is now out of the Question.

    In Regard to the Continent, in the Same Letter I intimated that South Carolina, altho’ upon Account of the Climate far from being desirable, would in my present Situation (if I had no Prospect of being quieted with an adequate Salary) be more agreeable than to be left here. Soon after I sent away that Letter, I wrote to Mr Jackson to disclaim S Carolina,4 upon Account of the disagreeable Informns:5 of the Climate which I had then received; of which we have frequently visible Evidence from the sallow Complexions of those Carolineans who come hither to recover their Health. I will here apologise for my exceptiousness6 in Regard to Climates, by assuring your Lordship that it is not so much on my own account (tho’ my Life is made valuable by the tender Age of most of my Children) as it is for the Sake of Mrs Bernard, whose frame, naturally delicate, has been much weak’ned since she came here. To follow the Governments along the Continent N Carolina is much in the same Predicament as its Name Sake, & is now full with a new Governor.7 Virginia being a Lt: Government would be no advancement, New Jersey (my favourite in Regard to Situation) would be a degradation. We now come to N York my favourite with Regard to Situation now full of a new Governor also:8 I should ^gratefully^ accept of this if it was to become vacant and be offered to me: but should like better ^& I think it would be better^ for me to be properly supported in this Government. They are both of them liable to be harrast by the Spirit of Jealousy of and Opposition to Government which prevails in both & has for some Time past been whetting itself upon each other. But there is this Material Difference between the two Provinces: in N York that Spirit actuates Men of Rank and Ability, in Massachusets it works only with Men of Middling or low Rank; in the Latter the Govr has the generality of respectable Men on his Side; in the former they are more generally against Government. Without entring into more particulars, It appears to me than the Administration of N York is more difficult than that of Masstts: especially as I can plainly perceive that this Government has received Strength from the Spirited & steady use which I have made of my negativing power & the public Approbation it has received. This, with the great additional Strength which it will gain from that wise Parliamentary Measure for providing for the Support of the Governors & Crown Officers, will make it full as necessary for the Leaders of the People to court the Governor as it will be for the Governor to court them.

    This leads us to the ballancing the Question. Since the Time when I applied to be removed from hence one Event then despairred of has happened; The Parliament has made a Provision for the Payment of the Governor,9 & tho’ it has not been declared what the Salary will be, yet we must suppose that it will be adequate to the Importance of the Government. Another good event is coming on apace10 Reconciliation between me & the Malecontents. The Assembly has now sat near 6 Weeks, & not the least Disrespect has been shown to me, even ^by those^ who were used to be most forward at other Times. On the contrary All such Businesses, as I might be Supposed to have an Intrest or a Will in, have been done in such a Manner as I could desire. And yet they still pursue an Opposition to the late Acts of Parliament by Remonstrances: and at the same Time appears an evident Disposition to restore the Peace of this Government. This will not be disappointed by the Defeat of their Purposes in Parliament; it will be much more probably improved by it. As for the Salary, a Gentleman of very good Authority assures me it will be £2500; tho’ others report that it will be but £2000. If it is the least of these Sums, it will (together with a Restoration of the good Humour of the Government) make a Removal from hence not desirable; especially when the Cheif Governments have been so lately filled as to afford little Prospect of a valuable Vacancy. It is true this Prospect ^Expectation^ may be interrupted^vented^:11 for tho’ The Act is passed, yet Nothing has been done in Pursuance of it; and it may be repealed before any Thing is done; As the Assembly of the Massachusets are now endeavouring to engage all the other Assemblies on the Continent to join in remonstrating against it.12 But I cannot think that there is any Danger of the Parliament’s giving Way to such a Combination[.] They have seen too much allready of the Abuse of the former Repeal, for which a strong Necessity was to be pleaded, to give Way to another Dictation of the Colonies which is itself one of the Abuses of the former Indulgence. If they ^should^ give Way, they may as well at once Repeal all the former Acts of Trade which impose Duties for they are all included in the same Chain of reasoning.

    You see, my Lord, that it is very probable that this Government may be made more desirable to me than another; or at least that I must wait till the Salary of it is settled before I can properly compare it with another. So that all I can resolve upon now is to desire your Lordship, after accepting my most gratefull Thanks for your Kind Care of me, to endeavour to keep alive the favourable Disposition of advancing me, till I can determine what Occasion I shall have for it. In the mean Time I would avail myself of it, with your Lordships Approbation, to obtain leave of Absence for a Year, to be left to my own Discretion whether I shall use it presently or not. For two Things must happen before I should chuse to go to England: I must wait till the Salary of this Government is fixed & put in a Way of Payment: And I should chuse to see the Peace of the Government perfectly restored before I leave this Place. Both these may probably happen before next Midsummer: the first of them will be known to your Lordship much sooner than it will to me; and when it does happen, I think with Submission, that it will be a proper Time to Make the Request, leaving to me to make Use of the Licence as the other Event shall turn out, more or less, One Thing your Lordship may be assured of, that I will not leave the Province at a Time when my Presence here appears in any Way necessary. But when we get into a little good humour with one another a Short Seperation may make us meet again better Friends than before. Besides I shall by this Means have an Opportunity to Consider effectually how I can best avail myself of the favourable Disposition towards me, which my present Distance makes Difficult. I have not as yet wrote to the Minister upon this Subject; and shall not ’till I dismiss the Assembly: When I do your Lordship shall be informed of all Particulars. If Leave should be obtained, it will be very expedient that it should be kept secret till I shall Think it Time to make Use of it. I am wth: great Grat: & Respct:

    My Ld your Ldships most obedt: humble Servant

    Visct: Barrington

    L, LbC     BP, 6: 82-87.

    In handwriting of Thomas Bernard. Minor emendations not shown. Interlineations in FB’s hand.