294 | To the Board of Trade

    Boston Aug 1st 1764

    My Lords

    Pursuant to your Lordship[s] orders I here transmit an Acct. of all the sums of Money, which have been borrowed by this Government since the Year 1749 upon the treasurers notes, none of which have been made legal Tenders. How this province came to differ from all others ^in this article^1 may be accounted for thus: In 1748 The Province received from England a large sum of Money allowed them for their expence in taking Louisburgh. They prudently laid hold of that oppertunity & with that money redeemed all their outstanding bills of Credit money Bills and cancelled them. By these means the people entred immediately upon a Specie Currency which they have maintained ever since. Nevertheless the exigencies of the war obliging them to borrow money, they from time to time enabled their Treasurer to borrow the sums mentioned in the Accounts, all of which except the seven first sums amounting in the whole to £61,245, were for the uses of the war. The Security was an obligatory Note of the Treasurers, wherein he promises to pay the Sum specified to the lender or his order (at a Certain day within 5 years during the war & within 2 years since the peace) with intrest at 6 pr. cent

    When the note is once endorsed, it becomes negotiable without further writing: In the time of the war Notes for small sums were issued to pay the Soldiers their bounty &c: but except such, the Notes were not generally circulated. At present they are almost wholly in large sums & kept up as Securities: and as they’re more valuable than cash, & the Rule is in issuing new Notes to prefer the Creditors upon former notes, Treasurers notes are hard to be got & are not at all circulated. So that the present Currency of the province is wholly in Specie, & neither wants nor receives Any assistance from Treasurers notes.

    Your Lordships will observe that from 1754 to 1762 which we may reckon as the time of the war, the sums issued amount to £926,000 sterling: out of which deduct received by parliamentary grant £328,000 & the ordinary expences of Government estimated at £108,000 there remains £490,000 that is near £500,000 sterling expended by this province in the extraordinary charges of the war within eight years.2 An immense sum for such a small state! the burden of which has been greivously felt by all orders of men. Whereas if we compare this with the southern Governments, Pensylvania for instance which contains above twice the Number of Souls, which this province has, & yet has expended little more than they have received from Parliament; & maryland which has expended scarce any thing at all; We cannot sufficiently admire the inequality of the burthen between one province & another. And when Pensylvania has not been prevented by domestic dissentions from contributing to the war & have as it were done their best, They have sent to the field 2700 men, when this Province has sent 5,000 5,500 [in?]3 one year 7,000 men,4 Altho’ it is not half so populous as Pennsylvania. And notwithstanding the vast sums this province has raised, it has by severe taxations kept its debt under. In June 1765 The Provincial debt will be reduced to about £160,000 ster: besides intrest And if the Assembly should sink 40,000 evry year (which will be sufficiently Easy to the people) & borrow the remainder of the money every year the whole debt with intrest will be discharge5 in about 5 years from thence.

    I am with great respect, My Lords, your Lordships &c &c &c

    Fra Bernard

    The Rt. Honble the Lords Comrs of Trade & Plantations

    P.S.6 It is probable that among the sums issued in the 8 years before mentioned there were some that were to redeem other Debts: but there is not much of that kind within that time.

    L, LbC BP, 3: 161-163.

    Thomas Hutchinson. Oil on canvas by Edward Truman, 1741. Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society.