784 | To John Pownall


    Boston June 12 1769

    Dear Sir

    All the Letters I have lately received from Westminster have been extremely agreeable to me so far as they relate to myself only. But in Regard to those with whom I am connected, they afford the most gloomy Prospect. To see that Faction which has occasioned all the Troubles in this Province & I may add in America too & has quite overturned this Government, now triumphant & driving ^over^ every one who has loyalty & Resolution enough to stand up in Defence of the Rights of the King & the Parliament gives me great Concern, notwithstanding I am so near getting out of this unpleasant Scene myself. It gives me great Pain to hear the Friends of Government complain that they are sacrificed for their Fidelity to Great Britain, when I myself must be conscious that I have been a principal in engaging them to persist in that Fidelity.1

    Some days before the Assembly met, the Factions cheifs had a Meeting wherein it was after a little Debate, it was determined to turn out every Councellor who had not given Testimony of their Submission to them. These were reduced to 4, all the others having made their Terms. On the Day of the Election a Member pressed Mr Otis to declare whether Col Worthington a most valuable & respectable Man living 100 Miles from Boston, was to be turned out of the Council. Otis answered that Worthington was a good Man, & he had all Respect for him; but added, He is a Tory (a term here signifying a maintainer of the Authority of the King, the Parliament & the Government) and he shall not continue in the Council.

    Among the Exulters upon this Occasion none is louder that [than] Mr Temple. Last Saturday2 it was circulated as from him that he had a Letter from Mr GG that assured him that the Governor would be immediately removed with Disgrace, that 3 of the Commissioners would be turned out directly & the whole Board dissolved next Winter &c. Upon his being challenged to produce a Letter signed by that Gentleman, It has turned out only that his Letter came from Mr Trecothick, & the other Gentleman was only quoted as Authority.3

    Temple has this Day libelled me by publishing an Affidavit which he made use of in his Accusation against me some Years ago; the Contents of which I never knew before.4 It was very unfortunate for me that I had not an Opportunity of defending myself from that Charge against me. If I had, I should have long ago put a Stop to his Wickedness by exposing the Malice & Falsehood of it. I shall not miss the Opportunity which this Publication which can come from no one else, gives me of demanding Justice against him.

    The present Distress of the Friends of Government is greatly increased by Letters just now arrived from Genl Gage ordering two Regts to Halifax5 & directing Genl Mackay to require of me an Answer in writing whether any Troops & what would be wanted in Boston. Nothing could be more Mal a propos to the Business of the Government or more hard upon me. And to add to the Difficulty it brings upon me, This Advice was spread all over the Town before I had a Opportunity of talking with Genl Mackay or writing to Genl Gage upon the Subject. I had thought that the Embarrasment I was under for ^by^ my Connection with the Council 12 Months ago upon Account of sending for Troops would prevent my being again distressed upon that of their being continued here. I could indeed ease myself as I did before by leaving this Business to the Council & having no will of my own. But then I must sacrifice the Officers of the Crown & the Friends of Government, many of whom declare they cannot stay in the Town; if all the Troops are removed from it. I must do the best I can; but it is a cruel Business to be thrown upon me at this time, & in this Manner. What adds to my Uncertainty is that I have no Advice of this Business from your Office.

    You will observe that this Letter is entirely confidential & will use it accordingly. I shall write to My Lord Hillsborough upon this Subject as soon as I can.

    I am &c

    John Pownall Esq

    L, LbC     BP, 7: 296-299.

    In handwriting of Thomas Bernard.