288 | To the Earl of Halifax

    Boston July 9 1764

    My Lord

    I received the honor of your Lordships letter of Apr 14 inclosing his Majesty’s order concerning hostages & a particular direction to take care of the ransome of John Turner.1 I had applied to his owners sevral months before by order of the Lords of Trade, & had received a satisfactory Answer from the owners; & the hostage is since ransomed & come home.2 Nevertheless having a complaint laid before me of another hostage, not named in the Gazette, being left unransomed, I laid your Lordships letter, together with this other complaint, before the Council:3 and a day is assigned for the owners of that Vessel to make answer; when if they do not engage immediately to ransom their hostage I shall trouble your Lordship with the particulars of this affair. And as it was apprehended that there were other Cases of the like kind unredressed, The Council advised me to publish the order in the Gazette in our papers & add to it a notice to all persons having friends unransomed to transmit an account of it to the Secretary’s Office:4 which has been done according to the paper enclosed, being part of a News-paper.

    I am also honoured with your Lordship’s letter of May 12.5 I have been much concerned that I have been prevented proceeding upon the subject of the Acadians: but the delay has been unavoidable. About the time I wrote my last letter upon this subject,6 The small pox broke out in Boston & has since encreased so much, as to make business which required a frequent Communication with the Country impracticable, & especially with the Acadians who, as none of them have had the small pox, are uncommonly affraid of it. However I have done all I could by employing a cheif man among them7 to learn their Sentiments: and as the Small pox has abated, I have lately renewed my communication with him; and he has engaged to prosecute this business with all expedition; and I intend immediately to take fresh measures to forward it. In the mean time, as they quietly keep in this Country, there is no harm done: as it will be enough if they can be engaged to continue as good subjects of the King in any of his Dominions.

    Sometime ago I saw Mons Robins, a french protestant, as he says, who is gone to settle at Louisburgh:8 who told me that he had been at St Pierre, & there saw Jaques Maurice the leader of the 90 Acadians that went off last Winter;9 that Jaques Maurice with tears in his Eyes lamented that he had left this Country: but I suppose he will find Vestigia nulla retrorsum.10 I shall make a proper use of this Account Among the Acadians.

    I am, with great respect, My Lord, Your Lordships most obedient and most humble servant

    Fra Bernard

    The Right Honorable The Earl of Halifax.


    The Commissioners of the Customs by a letter of theirs to the Custom house  officers of this Port have determined the Question concerning the division of the seizures in the manner I expected.11 I observe that the late Act12 settles this for the future.

    ALS, RC CO 5/755, ff 97-102.