701 | To Thomas Gage

    Boston Oct 9 1768.


    You are allready informed of the resolution taken upon the arrival of Capt Montresor of landing both regiments at Boston.1 This, altho’ subject to temporary inconveniences, will produce quarters in time.

    As the Council has desired that I would send you a Copy of the Minutes of their proceedings since the landing the troops, I shall have the less to say upon this subject. But I must tell you, what will appear plainly enough of itself, that the proviso that the proveditor2 should act at his own risk was inserted on purpose to defeat the business of carrying the order into execution. And that the intent might not be mistaken, the Gentlemen3 who had opposed making the provision & afterwards proposed & introduced that proviso, have declared both in Council & out of it that the Assembly would not discharge the expence. By flinging such a discredit upon the undertaking It was impossible for any one, who had nothing but credit to carry it out with, to undertake it. And the only chance I have now of getting it done, will be by engaging a person who has such a command of money as to enable him to wait for payment, & who also can persuade himself that this money will be paid by the Crown, if refused by the Assembly.4

    When I gave an order for the Manufactory house, it was the only building in Boston that I could pretend an Authority over & even in that I stretched my power in appropriating a provincial building without the concurrence of the Council. The Colonel however is going on pretty well, in hiring buildings for barracks, of which he will give you an Account. We all seem to agree that building should be avoided as much as possible: because if the Crown should be obliged to build barracks it would be better that it should be done in a manner durable and defencible. In regard to taking the Fort on the Castle Island out of the hands of the provincial Garrison, It is agreed on all hands that it will answer no good purpose whatever; whereas it will certainly have effects inconvenient & disagreable. Two or three Companies in the barracks there with the Kings ships which will remain here will make that place perfectly secure.

    As for the desire which the Council express that I should interpose with you to order the two regiments from Ireland to Nova Scotia &c, I must beg to be excused: I certainly shall not make myself answerable for the consequences which may follow a reduction of the forces which his Majesty has been pleased to order for the Support of his Authority in this Town; especially as the Season is approaching which will cut off all communication for relief or reinforcement. I am sensible however that it will be extremely difficult to find barrack-quarters for 3 regiments in this Town, under its present want of buildings for that purpose. And if my Opinion should be asked, I should recommend that only 2 regiments should be quartered in the Town; which with one regiment at the Castle, would ^in my opinion,^ make this Capital perfectly secure. And the other Regiment might be cantoned in the Towns which have lately shown that Spirit of contempt of Government & Law which has heretofore singularly distinguished this. But this for the present I wholly submit to you. I this day delivered your letter to Col Dalrymple5 & had a talk with him upon the subject: I beleive our Ideas of this Service are quite the same.

    I am with great regard, Sr Your most obedient and most humble Servant.

    Fra. Bernard

    His Excellency Genl Gage

    ALS, RC     Gage, vol. 81.

    Variant in BP, 7: 204-207 (L, LbC). Enclosures (not found): copies of the minutes of the Massachusetts Council of 3 and 5 Oct. 1768 (for which see CO 5/827, ff 63-64).