282 | From Eleazer Burt and Elijah Lyman

    Northampton April. 24th. 1764


    May it please your Excellency, We being appointed by his Excellency Benning Wintworth  Esqr1 Surveyor General of his Majesty’s Woods in North America to be his assistants in taking care of & preserving his majesty’s Woods in North America giving us full Power & authority to Seize & mark for his majesty’s use all white pine trees & Logs that we find cut, with the broad arrow and them to Secure in Some place of Safety in order for prosecution &c

    pursuant  to these orders we went to taking care of the Kings Timber but found it hard to hire hands to Labour in the affair by reason of almost Everyone appearing against it. yet with the help of a few we Seized & marked with the broad arrow, for his majesty’s use Three hundred & Sixty three trees & Logs at Northampton, but no Sooner done they was taken away from us all but Thirty Seven Some in the night & others in the Day time in open defiance of the Law and no Civil or military officer appeared in our behalf. we are still threatned2 that if we pursue our orders of being beat, knock’d down & kill’d, upon these threats we made application to Samuel Mather Esqr., one of the Justice’s of the peace for his assistance3 So that we might go on the business with Safety. but he utterly refused to afford us any assistance. We then asked him if he had ever Seen your Excellencys proclamation of the 9th. of July 1763~4 he Said he had not Seen it. we then presented the proclamation to him & prayed him to read it. he ^ answered no and^ wholly refused it. we Insisted upon his reading of it but all to no Effect. he then replyed & Said that the Governour did not understand the affair for if he had he would Never have put out Such a proclamation. upon this we left the Gentleman, & then made application to the Honourable Israel Williams Esqr for assistance in the affair aforesd & he Said he had never Seen the Governour’s proclamation. upon that we Shew him the proclamation who was ready to read it, upon reading the Same he Said that he did not See that he was Obliged to give us a Warrent to press men for assistance, he Said that if we were abused & beat & applied to him as a Justice he was ready to take cognizance of the Same but nothing more this is the true State of the affair.

    We are your Excellencys most Obedient Humble Servants

    Eleazr Burt

    Elijah Lyman

    To his Excellency Francis Bernard Esqr Captain General & Commander in Chief in and over his majesty’s Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England

    ALS, RC Mass. Archs., 56: 421-422.