Appendix 3


    Boston April 15. 1769

    My Lord

    The occasion of my addressing your Lordship proceeds from a Letter of Govr. Bernard to your Lordship dated the 30th. Novembr. last:1 a copy of which, with copies of other Letters of the Governor have been sent to the Council of this Province.

    This Letter my Lord, as it wholly relates to a conversation between the Governor & myself, and to what happened in consequence of it, the Council have taken no further ^notice^ of in their Letter to your Lordship than to refer to what I have now the honor of writing to you on the subject of that Conversation.

    The Council’s Petition to his majesty, which the Govr. enclosed to you in his Letter of the 16th. of July,2 was the Subject of it: and what passed upon it I beg leave, at the desire of the Council, to inform you. But to make it intelligible, it is necessary to quote part of the prayer of the Petition: which follows—

    “and if it should appear to yr: Majesty, that it is not for the benefit of Great Britain & her Colonies, that any revenue should be drawn from the Colonies, we humbly implore your Majesty’s gracious recommendation to Parliament that your American subjects may be relieved from the operation of the several acts made for that purpose, in such manner as to the wisdom of your Majesty & Parliament may seem proper.”

    The design of the Council my Lord, and it appears by the general tenor of the Petition, & by the above-cited clause their design was, to implore his Majesty’s recommendation to Parliament, that his American Subjects might be ^wholly^ relieved from the several acts of Parliament made for the purpose of raising a revenue from them: ^or that the said acts might be repealed.^

    That this design might be more effectually answer’d, the Council, confiding in the Governor, desired him to transmit to your Lordship this petition; and to use his influence that the prayer of it might be granted. He transmitted it accordingly, together with a Letter to you, in which from the Conversation refer’d to, I was induced to think the Governor had endeavor’d to give a sense to the above-cited clause, very different from what he knew was the intention of the Council, and from the sense, which the words themselves taken altogether, in common construction convey.

    From the word drawn in the said clause, I was led to think he had drawn this construction of it — that it meant nothing more than to desire that whatever money might be raised in the Colonies by virtue of the said acts of Parliament, might not be drawn from or sent out of the Colonies: but that the whole of them ^it^ might be expended in them. “You meant said the Governor (speaking to me at the College where the conversation was had) by revenue drawn from the Colonies, revenue raised in them. But however, said he, I have taken your meaning to be, that you desire that none of the revenue shall ^money may^ be sent away out of America: and accordingly I have wrote to the Secretary of State, representing the inexpediency or ordering any of the American Revenue to be sent out of America; and you may ^depend^ it will not be done: for his Majesty’s Service in America will require more money than that revenue can Supply.” — Thus far my Lord, the Subject could give ^me^ no occasion to suppose, that what the Governor said was in joke__ “There is money in the Revenue Chest, continued the Governor, and I hope it will be ordered out soon, and that I shall have some of it.” __ Here indeed there might have been room for some pleasantry: but the Governor appeared to mean what he said.

    This, my Lord, is the Substance of what passed. I was astonished at his endeavouring to pervert the intention and meaning of the petition: and several Gentlemen of the Council, to whom I mentioned this conversation on the same day, were no less astonished at it too: and it was thought, if he had done so, he had not only betrayed the trust reposed in him by the Council; and by so doing abused the Province: but at the same time had endeavoured to impose upon your lordship; and [_]3 through your Lordship, upon his majesty.

    Soon after the Commencement (July 20th) on which day the conversation happened, a number of the Council met together to consider about petitioning the two Houses of Parliament: principally with a view of preventing the Council’s petition to his majesty being misunderstood. But as there was time enough before them, they postponed it, and afterward in november proceeded upon it, and forwarded to Mr. Bollan two Petitions to the Lords & Commons for that purpose.

    I will now proceed with the leave of your Lordship to take notice of the Governor’s Letter:4 in which informing you of the conversation with him, whereby I justified what he is pleased to call my charge against him, he says I mentioned “something which explained the whole, and shewed that what he said upon that occasion was intirely in joke: and this was confirmed by a Councellor.”

    What the Governor did say, my Lord, I have represented above: to the truth of which I shall be ready to testify, whenever your Lordship, or the Governor shall desire it. In the mean time, as I would not trouble you with any unnecessary observations, I shall leave to your Lordship to determine, whether it can be inferred from the account above given, that what was said, was said in joke.

    But “this was confirmed, says the Governor, by a Councellor.”—^What passed my Lord, was between the Governor and myself; and could not be heard by anyone else.^ What this Gentleman said was, that the Governor talked very faceciously, or joked about a large Salary he expected to receive out of the American Revenue. But even this was on a different part of the day, and at this Gentleman’s house, where I was not present; and no way related to the Governor’s Conversation with me: nor to his giving to your Lordship a meaning to the Council’s petition different from their own.

    The Governor says, his Letter in question ^dated July 16th.^ he had copied; and that the three or four Gentlemen, to whom he communicated it, were greatly Surprized to find it so clear of my charge.” __ This charge my Lord, whether true or false, was not my charge: it was the Governor’s against himself; and was ^only^ related by me, as I had it from his own mouth. _ I was obliged to believe it, or call in question his veracity. I wish the account he has given to your Lordship, relative to our conversation, had helped me out of this disagreable dilemma. The Governor informs your Lordship, he produced the letter at Council, and read the whole passage refer’d to: from whence it appeared he says, “that in mentioning the prayer of their petition he used their own words, without adding a single word of his own._ this appeared satisfactory to the whole Council, except Mr. Bowdoin.”

    The Governor, my Lord, read a Paper, which he did not deliver out of his hand; and which, not having an opportunity of reading it myself, I might misapprehend. But from my remembrance of it, if the words of the prayer were used in it, they were introduced with so much address, as to give me a very different idea, from that which the same words, as introduced and used in the prayer itself, do convey. It was not therefore (as the Governor justly observes) satisfactory to me: nor was it satisfactory to the whole Council beside, notwithstanding he is pleased to declare so.

    There is one passage more I beg leave to remark on. The Governor informs your Lordship, that I have “all along taken the Lead of the Council in their late extraordinary proceedings.”

    The Council my Lord, see and act for themselves: they have no Leader — no Guide but Law, reason and the Constitution. As they acknowlege no Leader, So neither have they any fondness for a Dictator: in which character, my Lord, Governor Bernard seems lately to have been endeavouring to establish himself.

    As the Governor has unjustly represented me the Leader of the Council, I beg leave to assure your Lordship, it is a character that does not belong to me: and I take this occasion wholly to disclaim it. — In regard to the late extraordinary Proceedings (as the Governor is pleased to call them) the Council have wrote your Lordship a full account concerning them. In those and all their other Proceedings they have been actuated by the Principles of duty and loyalty to his Majesty, and by a regard to his Honor, and the welfare of his faithful Subjects of this Province: and with respect to myself in particular, I humbly hope, my Lord, that I have been at least in some measure under the influence of the same principles. I have the Honor to be with the most perfect Regard

    My Lord Your Lordship’s most obedt.5 & most hble Servant

    James Bowdoin

    The Right honble. the Earl of Hillsborough.

    ALS, RC     CO 5/758, ff 86-89.

    Minor emendations not shown. Endorsed: Boston 15th April 1769. Mr. Bowdoin. R 29 May – from Mr. Bollan B. 21. Variants: CO 5/767, ff 238-246 (L, RLbC); Bowdoin and Temple Papers, Loose MSS (LS, AC); Letters to Hillsborough (1st ed.), 44-47; Letters to Hillsborough (repr.), 86-93.