264 | To Thomas Gage

    Cambridge near Boston Jan 30 1764


    I have just received your letter of Jan 221 at this Town to which I adjourned the general Court upon account of the small pox breaking out in Boston. I shall lay it before the House of Representatives tomorrow: but as I must send this to Boston in the forenoon, I shall have no opportunity of giving you any Account of the reception it meets with.

    I laid the Requisition of Lord Halifax before the Assembly by a forcible message:2 It was referred to a large Committee of the principal Members, who reported in favour of raising Men for your Service. Nevertheless When the Report came to the House, there was a large Majority against raising the Men at the present, not refusing but postponing. The cheif arguments were that there was the greatest probability that a peace would be concluded with the Indians without coming to blows again; that when it was certain that the War would be renewed, it would be time enough to raise troops for it. A Committee was appointed to give me an Answer, in which I understand there are to be assurances that if the Indian war is revived, they will assist your forces.

    This Committee has not yet prepared the Message, & therefore the Business is still open: but yet I doubt of the practicability of getting an order for raising Men now; because, the Session drawing to a conclusion the House is thin, & that will be urged against departing from the former Vote passed in a much larger house than can be shown now. Nevertheless as there is an uncommon Spirit of good humour, moderation & generosity now prevailing throughout the whole general Court, it is not impossible that they may still make a grant of some men. Whatever they do I shall inform you by the first opportunity.

    The Assembly has granted all I had to ask (& in some instances more) for the strengthning our two forts in the Eastern Country; which I shall make very respectable.3 They have also empowered me to fit out two companies of Rangers, each to consist of a Captn a Surveyor & 12 men, who are to explore the Country to St Lawrence & back again. I propose to send one by the Kennebec to Chaudiere, unless I find that the Rout that I propose has been passed by Mr Montresor in which case I shall fix upon another:4 This party may return by St Francis to Casco Bay as you had proposed. The other Rout I propose is up Penobscot to St Lawrence & back to cross to St Croix & down that river to the bay of that name. I shant want Indian guides, but may be at a loss for surveyors. If you could recommend to me one or two Engineers that would like such an expedition, I would put them into additional pay (I think, of 6 pounds sterl pr month for 3 months) together with a servant.5 But if you could give leave for Ensign Miller of the 44th regiment6 (as I think, but its the same with Lt Col Tullekens)7 now at St Johns at Newfoundland to serve in one of these expeditions, I should take it as a favour; as I am particularly acquainted with his abilities for such a service, he having, whilst an officer of mine, given me great proof of his qualifications, both as an Officer & a Surveyor & Draughtsman. If He can be spared for this business & you will favour me with an order of leave, I will take care to send it to Newfoundland. The time I propose for these expeditions will be about the middle of August.

    I am, with great regard, Sr your most obedient humble Servant

    Fra. Bernard

    His Excellency Majr Genl Gage.

    ALS, RC Gage.