268 | To John Pownall

    Boston Feb. 10. 1764

    Dear Sir

    Last saturday1 I put an end to the Session of the Genl. Court & as the proceedings thereof will not be ready to send to your office by the Ship which carries this, I take this opportunity to let you know that you may expect them by the next Vessell.

    The Assembly in general went thro’ the public business with great good humour & generosity: except they could not be prevailed upon to assist the General with men for the present. There is such a dependance upon the proposals of peace which the Indians have made, that they would postpone the raising men, till it should appear that the Indian War would be revived. But they agreed to encrease the establishment of the forts in the Eastward, in as full a manner as I could desire. They also have empowered me to raise two companies of rangers, to explore the Country from Sagadehock to St Lawrence & particularly to lay out the most convenient passages between the Rivers Penobscot & Kennebeck & the Chaudiere & other rivers falling into St Lawrence.2 These two Parties I hope to make good use of nixt  Summer, as the Penobscot Indians, if they continue in their present good humour, will readily assist in such expeditions.

    The Assembly also settled the plans of the second set of Six townships being the remaining of the 12 townships originally resolved upon; & ordered grants of them to be made out in the same manner as those allready sent up.3 When they are transmitted, I shall write to their Lordships my thoughts about these Settlements. They also empowered me to survey an inland tract of land next to these townships which will contain about 300 square miles, in order to make grants to officers, who have served in the late war; who are to have public notice to apply for the same.4 They also have empower’d me to survey all those Islands called the Fox Islands lying in Penobscot Bay & to the East thereof as far as Mount Desart & beyond it to the End of the new granted Townships. They made an order for taking the exact numbers of the People, which I could not obtain last Session.5 In short, they have done evry thing that was asked of them, except raising men for the Indian War: and that will be done, as soon as it is certain they are wanted.

    The Support & Assistance I have given to Capt. Bishop of the Sloop Fortune stationed here for in seizing & prosecuting to condemnation 2 Vessels with contraband goods, is like to do me great honour: for it has occasioned a proposal among the sufferers by these seizures, & some others that had a fellow feeling for them, to raise a sum of money to get me displaced.6 This has been conducted so carelessly that it soon got round the Town, & was mentioned by a free Speaker in the Assembly.  Strange People! who can think that a Governor respected by evry order of men through the Province, except the Smugglers, & offensive to them only by his doing his duty & paying obedience to his general & special instructions, should be removeable by the confederacy & paultry contributions of unfair traders, who have been so fully pointed out as objects particularly requiring his attention.

    But they are not so temperate in Rhode Island: they cant submit to the Laws of Great Britain as yet. When an Act of Parliament is quoted, they say they cant find it in their law book. The Surveyor general lately appointed a Comptroller of the port of Newport, an officer before known in that port.7 The Governor promised to swear him into his office: but before he could do it, the Assembly made an order that the Governor should not admit him into Office; & the Governor obeyed. Upon which the Surveyor went thither himself & swore him in. Soon after, A Vessel coming up to Providence passed by the Custom house without reporting & immediately proceeded to land her Cargo: soon after she was seized by the officer stationed at Providence: but it signifyed nothing; for the same night a parcel of people with blacked faces entered her, fitted her for Sea & loaded her as well as they could, & put to sea before morning: And yet this Vessel is known to belong to one of the Superior Court Judges.8 For these & other Matters of the like kind the Surveyor genl. has been severely libelled in their public papers, which I understand he has transmitted to the Treasury. It is not easily conceived, how much hurt this lawless independent Colony does to our orderly government. I could say a great deal upon this Subject if I thought the time for taking it into consideration was at hand.

    I send you herewith some printed papers about the Melasses Act; the stitchd piece is the produce of this Town, but, tho containing a good deal of matter, it’s not in my opinion very judiciously handled.9 The other is as you may observe, taken from a news paper, which I have for convenience pasted together. It comes from Rhode Island & is said to be the work of an eminent Gentleman there: be it whose it will, It is sensible & methodical tho’ not on unexceptionable. I send like copies to Jackson: whether I can add a letter to him will depend upon the Wind to morrow. I have promist to finish my dispatches to night: but shall add to them if the Ship dont sail to morrow. I am, Dr Sr &c

    J Pownall Esqr

    P.S Febry. 13

    The Ship which was to carry this went away without calling for my letters. I shall therefore send this by New York, but not the enclosures.

    I am just advised that Lord Colville10 has applied to the Admiralty for a share of all Seizures made in America. I sent you the a state of the case of a Seizure here, with an argument upon it. I leave it to you & Mr Jackson to consider whether it may not be proper to lay this before your board as also before the Secretary of State &c.11

    AL, LbC BP, 3: 128-130.