598 | To Richard Jackson

    Boston March 14 1768

    Dear Sr

    I sent you a Short Letter in a Packet to Mr Pownal which I dispatched to New York a Week ago for the Packet Boat.1 I am now Sending some duplicates to Newport to go by a Ship from thence: as this Port is more than ever I knew it at this time void of Ships ready for England, I can add only a few lines as a Supplement to my former.

    Since I wrote last the Superiour Court has opened here: upon which Occasion the Cheif Justice gave a most forcible & energetick Charge to the grand jury upon the Subject of the Libells published in the Boston Gazette. It so affected all that hear’d it, that it was Universally Concluded that the Grand Jury could not avoid finding a Bill against the Printers. They themselves thought so: for as soon as they came out of Court they sent for the Attorney General & as it seemed unanimously, directed him to prepare a Bill for that Purpose against their next meeting. But this Interval was so fully employ’d by the Faction in tampering seperately with the Persons of the Grand Jury, that when they came together again, they rejected the Bill by a Small majority, some say of only one; to the great Disappointment of all who are concerned for the Wellfare of The Province & the Authority of the Government.2

    The Cheif Justice has been much pressed to Print his charge but has hitherto declined it. However he has had the caution to reduce it immediately to Writing that he may have it in his power to Vindicate himself from the Misrepresentations which must be expected from the Writers of that infamous Paper. So it is probable that the malice of his Enemies will bring that into the Public which the Solicitations of his Friends could not Obtain. Now he has entered into this Business he will most Probably pursue it: & there is no doubt but the Writers of the Paper will give him Opportunity to revive the Subject; for it is much more Probable they will be elated with the Success than be cautioned by their Escape. And as their Crime is indictable in any County it is probable that their paper will come before another Grand Jury who will treat [it]3 as it deserves.4

    I send you a protest of Brigr Ruggles which is another Confirmation of the Integrity & Steadiness of this good Man in persevering in his Maxim that submission to great Britain is the true Interest of the Colonies.5 He ought to have some publick notice taken of him by the Great Men at home. I have just hear’d of your Fathers death:6 I can neither condole nor congratulate; for I do not think that the easy passage out of this Life which a fullness of Years procures, a Subject of the one, nor accession of riches to a Man Who already has enough, a Cause for the Offense. However if it shall enable you to change the Scene of your Life more to your mind, I shall rejoice at the Consequence. I am &c

    R. Jackson Esqr__

    L, LbC     BP, 6: 103-104.

    Possibly in handwriting of John Bernard. Minor emendations not shown. The RC was forwarded under cover of a letter to John Pownall, dated 14 Mar.7 Enclosure (not found): the protest of Timothy Ruggles, 29 Feb. 1768, printed in Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 14 Mar. 1768.