771 | To Thomas Pownall

    Boston May the 11th 1769

    Dear Sir

    I am obliged to you for 3 letters. feb. 3 feb. 12 & Mar. 22.1 As I expect to see you in a few Months[,]2 I shall not enquire deeply into the Subjects of them.

    I am obliged to you for your friendly Caution concerning the Orders enquiring into Treason but I don’t apprehend I shall be under any Difficulty about them. For nothing has appeared to me as yet which upon a legal scrutiny will quite amount to treason. Intentions have wanted Overt Acts and Overt Acts have wanted Intentions. I know of no Instance where there has been a sufficient Connexion of both.3 However I have not determined upon this Business.

    I have not as yet seen the Mutiny Act:4 There is one in Town, but it has not come to my Hands. I have seen a written Copy of the American Provisos: they will be of no use at present; For the Rumour now is to have nothing to do with quartering Troops. Endeavours to make it convenient or agreable are all flung away.

    I received a printed Copy of a Speech, which I cant thank you for as you dont own it.5 It is not printed for Sale with your Name prefixed to it; and wh[at]6 is surprising, the Party is greatly pleased with it, tho’ it cuts up by the Roots all the Principles upon which they had raised all the late Disturbances. But principles have nothing to do with them. Nor they with Principles.7

    If the late Resolutions and Address8 were intended to frighten the Bostonians they will have a very contrary Effect: the Sons of Liberty here since they have received Assurances that nothing more will be done this Session,9 are as highly elevated as ^ever they were;^ and you must expect as much Folly and Madness as ever; I send you a Specimen of it for the Present. Great ill humour is expected next Session, I shall keep clear of Giving Cause for it; but shall be firm in all necessary Duties.

    You are talked of to be Agent; and so is Mr Bollan, who has greatly ingratiated himself by his volunteer Petition.10 You are also designed to be Governor by Report: but it is no great compliment to you: since the same Authority has conferred it on Mr Wilkes on a general Plan of Conciliation.

    I find myself obliged to stay here to the End of next Session: It will be an extreme disagreable Business; but on some Accounts it is proper. If I had known my Liberty, I should have embarked some Months ago; tho’ there is no knowing which would be for the best. As soon as the Session is over I shall set about fixing the Time & means of my departure, which I suppose will not exceed July. Lady Bernard joins in compliments &c to you & Lady F.11

    I am &c,

    Thomas Pownall Esq:

    L, LbC     BP, 7: 288-289.

    Enclosure not found.