267 | To the Earl of Halifax

    Boston Feb 6. 1764

    My Lord

    I had the honour to receive your Lordship’s letter of Oct 19 on Jan 15;1 before which time the Question about supplying Genl Gage with Men to serve on the lakes had been agitated in our Assembly & determined in the Negative.2 It was introduced with so many untoward Circumstances, that it could well have had any3 other Event. Before Genl Amherst left America He proposed to New York & New Jersey who were immediately affected with the Indian War to raise men to join the Kings Army, reserving (no doubt purposely) his applications to the New England Colonies ^as auxiliaries,^ untill they should be backed by your Lordship’s letter. The New York Assembly, for answer to the Governor’s message on this subject, declared they would not raise any men, unless the New England Colonies also would join with them in this measure. This was printed in their papers; and soon after the like declaration of the New Jersey Assembly was printed in the same papers.4 When by these means Genl Gage was precipitated into making a premature application to New England for forces;5 it was considered to be a dictation of New York: and to add strength to this prejudice, the New York Papers were full of the Ouvertures of the Indians for an accommodation & the great probability there was that peace would take place without any further hostilities.6 Under these prepossessions there was no chance for the Generals request being complied with: it was accordingly rejected by a Very large majority.

    In this state things were, when your Lordships letter arrived; of which I endeavoured to make the best use I could; as well as of another letter from Genl Gage. This Business being before determined, it was a difficult thing to get it rejudged; and your Lordships letter referring to the present state of the Indian War, which had received no alteration since the former determination, it was no easy Business to produce a different resolution; however I pressed it as well as I could & should have succeeded, if it had not been the end of a Session, when the House was thin & grants of expence are more than usually difficult: it passed in the negative by a majority of two only.7 Thus much however has been gained, that if the War with the Indians should be revived, I shall have no doubt of sending the General a reinforcement from hence, tho’ I cannot at present strengthen his Army.

    I have been the more particular in the account of this proceeding, to prevent any unfavourable impressions concerning the conduct of the Assembly. If the General’s Requisition had been complied with, (which it would undoubtedly have been, if it had been deferred till it had been accompanied with your Lordships letter) This would have been an examplary Session. In all other things the Assembly acted with the greatest generosity & public Spirit. They unanimously granted evry thing I asked for the defence of the Eastern Country, by augmenting the establishments there to the full of, & in some things beyond, my desire. They have also granted me two parties of rangers to explore the Country between the shore of Sagadahock & the River St Lawrence & to survey the different passages, of which I hope to make good use next Summer. They have also enabled me to survey a large tract of land on the East side of Penobscot & all the Islands on that coast called the Fox Islands being many & considerable, in order to reward the Officers, who served in the last War; who are to be invited to take grants therein by public notice.8 And it happening that the Building called Harvard College containing the Hall Library &c wherein the Genl Court was sitting by reason of the small pox being at Boston, was burnt down, The Assembly, upon my recommendation, unanimously agreed to rebuild the same.9 These & sevral other extraordinary expences were undoubtedly the reason of the frugal precaution of deferring raising men for the Indian War, untill they saw whether it would be revived or not.

    I am, with great respect, My Lord, Your Lordships most obedient & most humble Servant,

    Fra Bernard

    The Right Honble The Earl of Halifax

    ALS, RC CO 5/755, ff 83-88.