705 | To Lord Barrington

    Boston Octr 20 [22]1 1768

    My Lord

    I deferred writing to your Lordship on the Subject of Lord Botetourt’s Promotion untill I could receive from your Lordship as I expected I should, an Explanation of it. This did not come to my Hand untill 4 Days ago when I received your Letter of Aug 132 by that tedious Conveyance the Packet. I should not deal sincerely with your Lordship if I was to say that it has not proved a Disappointment to me. But I am quite sincere, when I assure your Lordship that it will have no Influence upon my Conduct, & that it will never appear from my Actions that I have received any Disappointment at all. And indeed it will soon wear off by my reflecting that it has arose from my Lord Hillsboroughs favorable Intention towards me, which has itself received no Abatement, tho’ it has been prevented being carried into Execution in the Manner proposed by unforeseen Circumstances.3 And therefore I should be inexcusable, if I did not dispose myself to wait chearfully for a more suitable Opportunity of it’s exerting itself towards me.

    The Expectation of this becoming an agreeable Government, tho at best it would be very unpromising, seems to be entirely cut off by the Disposition which appears in the present Administration not to carry into Execution Mr Townshend’s Act4 for settling adequate civil Lists for each Government. For if I should reconcile myself to the People which considering the fresh Tasks I have now sat me, is not as yet to be expected, I don’t see how I am to be releived in Regard to the Deficiency of my Income, concerning which I sent a Petition to the King about 2 Years ago, which by the Act that passed the Session after, I flattered myself had been favorably received.5 For my own Part I cannot now live upon the Income of my Government, which by Means arising from the Troubles of the Times & the ill Temper of the People is now reduced to under 1000 Guineas a year, as I proved by authentic Vouchers annexed to my Petition. And I suppose it is not intended that the Income of any Government shall fall short of a full Subsistance to the Governor.

    My Idea of Mr Townshend’s Plan for settling fixt civil Lists in the Governments is very different from that which now prevails: and it seems that a Departure from it will be very contrary to the Rules of true Policy. But as I have had more than any Governor whatsoever, an Intrest in its being carried into Execution, I have for that Reason only, avoided expressing my Sentiments upon it. But my Lord I am persuaded that the Time is coming, if not allready come, when the very Opposition to that Establishment, will evince the Necessity of carrying it into Execution. It was some Years before the passing of the Stamp Act that I was convinced that establishing certain civil Lists in America was indespensably necessary to the Reformation & Regulation of the Governments. This is become much more so now than it has been heretofore: and if the Perverseness of the Americans in their Treatment of the supreme Legislature should oblige the Ministry in Order to vindicate the Authority of Parliament to carry this Act into its full Execution it would be an happy Effect of a bad Cause. For if it is not executed the Want of it will often be felt. In this Province particularly, the Want of Pay for proper Officers will be found among the cheif Causes of the Imbecillity of Government. If Punishments & Rewards are the two Hinges of Government, as Politicians say, this Government is off of its Hinges; for it can neither punish nor reward. In short my Lord if this Act should be laid aside either by Repeal or Non-Execution, we shall have Reason to be sorry that it ever passed. For the Disappointment of it will cast such a Damp upon the few People which remain faithful to the King, that he will soon be without Servants. The Laws of Trade will be executed, because there the Officers are paid. But in all other Departments of civil Policy the Service of the Crown will be defeated: for it cannot be expected that Officers should act in Opposition to the Humours of the People on the Behalf of the Crown, when they are left by the Crown to the People for scanty & precarious Salaries.

    We have got two Regts from Halifax landed at Boston: those from Ireland are not yet come in. So that the Persons of the Crown Officers are safe as I beleive; tho’ that is still doubted. But Security alone will not restore the Authority of Government; especially as the Council has now gone over to the People, thinking, as I suppose, the Cause of the Crown to be desperate. And indeed the long Delay of parliamentary Resentment & of military Protection together with the non-execution of the Salary Act has caused a General Despondency. And this will be compleat if it is confirmed, as I have just now heard that the Charter of this Government is still considered as sacred. For most assuredly if the Charter is not so far altered as to put the Appointment of the Council in the King, this Government will never recover itself. When Order is restored it will be at best but a Republic, of which the Governor will be no more than President. I have sent My Lord H Matter enough to support this Assertion;6 I have still more of the same Kind to follow. I shall herewith enclose some printed Papers to this Purpose.

    As for my Voyage to England, I had fixed upon the Ship & the Day of sailing; when about a fortnight before the Day I received a long Letter from Lord Hillsborough which contained Orders of such a Kind that I could not but consider it as a Suspension of my Leave.7 This Letter also brought the first Advice of Lord Botetourt’s Promotion. I thereupon sat down (with an heavy Heart I must own) to spend another Winter here & how much more I know not, under the gloomy Prospect of encreasing Trouble & decreasing Health & Fortune. In this Temper I wrote to my Lord Hillsborough with as chearful a Countenance as I could.8 So that by this Time he must be satisfied of my not returning to England.

    I have often reflected with Concern upon what your Lordship informed me that there were not 10 Persons in either House that were favorable to an American Representation.9 I conceive it to be unfortunate for Great Britain that this Expedient meets with no better a Reception. For it seems to me that this Measure is not only the most proper to remove the Causes of the present Dissentions; but that an incorporating Union is the only Provision which can prevent a Separation of the Colonies from Great Britain. If it is not done soon, it will be too late; & a Separation will take Place at no great Distance of Time. I shall enclose an Extract of a Letter to me from a Member of Parliament well acquainted with America, observing that his Opinion & mine was not taken one from another; but we were each confirmed in it before we knew the other’s Opinion.10

    I am &c

    The Right honble The Lord Visct Barrington

    P S Oct 29

    I am just now informed by ^from^ Letters now arrived that the Government of S Carolina is at this Time proposed for me.11 I have in former Letters particularly excepted to that Government, not upon Account of the Value but the Climate. But as your Lordship may not have this in Memory, I think it proper to repeat my Reasons why I must desire to decline it. I have made myself so well acquainted with the Nature of that Country, that I am persuaded it would deprive me of two of the greatest Comforts of my Life, my Health & my Wife. The former indeed would depend upon a Trial: but the latter would have none; for I could not ask her to go with me. And as after 27 Years Cohabitation, We are still as desirous to continue together as we were the first Day. I cannot consider an Appointment which will separate us as a Reward or an Advancement, tho my own Health was out of the Question.

    By my Letter of June 29th last12 I informed your Lordship how great a Stress I laid upon an healthy Climate in my Idea of a good Government. And I added that I had rather return to my old Government of New Jersey with a Salary of £1500 a year (no more than that of Nova Scotia) than go to any other Government, Barbadoes excepted. Now, my Lord, if the Vacancy of S Carolina could be made the Means of removing Govr Franklin,13 & Means could be found to encrease the Salary of New Jersey to the Sum before mentioned or nearly towards the same, I should be better pleased with it than with a much larger Income in a worse Country. The present Salary allowed to the Govr, of New Jersey is £720 or £750, I am not certain which. The Assembly might be induced to raise it to 900: & if 600 or 500 could be added from the American Treasury it would quite compleat my Wishes. I still love the Place & am still beloved by the People. Mrs B begs Leave to join in Complts to your Lordship. She has greatly recovered her Health by the Use of a mineral Spring in Connecticut & continual riding on Horseback

    L, LbC     BP, 6: 156-163.

    In handwriting of Thomas Bernard. Minor emendations not shown. Enclosures not found. A duplicate was also received by Barrington.14