299 | To Richard Jackson

    Boston Augst. 16th. 1764

    Dr Sr.

    Yesterday the members for Boston came to me to signify that it was the desire of many Members of the House that the Assembly might meet as soon as possible, that proper measures might be taken to prevent an inland parliamentary Taxation. That their Agent had wrote word that Mr. Greenville1 had told him that such a taxation might be prevented, if they would tax themselves to the same purposes as were intended by the former. That they were desirous of ^immediately^2 setting about such taxation themselves or at least of doing something to prevent a parliamentary tax.3

    I told them that in the present state of things I did not see that they could do any thing more than they might have done last session: that is to signify their desire that they might be allowed to tax themselves & not be taxed by the parliament. That it was impossible at present to proceed to an actual taxation, untill the demands of the ministry should be further explained. That If evry province was to be left to raise the Money in what manner they pleased, the particular sum expected from each province as their proportion must be first Ascertained. That if a stamp Duty was to be imposed by provincial Acts as forming of itself a proportion of charge, The Duties themselves must be first settled, as they ought to be the same in every province; otherwise they will not be a proportional charge. That neither of these things can be done by the provinces themselves, they must be settled by some authority that can mediate between the Provinces & temperate ^moderate^ their self partialities ^for themselves^. That in regard to the Provinces perferring4 to tax themselves rather than to be taxed by parliament, the^re^ Ministry could have ^can be no^ doubt of that being their desire ^ of the ministry^. The Friends of the Provinces had been long aware of that preference; you had particularly urged it:5 and I had wrote upon the same subject.6 In short it could never be doubted ^but^ that if the parliament should require certain sums of the provinces, It is of no little Consequence to them that such sums should be raised by provincial Acts. For thereby the forms of their priviledges (which are no little part of them) are kept up, tho’ the Substance is impeached, as it frequently must be in Subordinate Governments, whose relation to the supreme ^Sovreign^ power has never been formally settled nor is generally understood.

    But I promised them that I would Call the Assembly together about the middle of October, when there would be time enought to send instructions to the agent before this business could be brought on in parliament.7 However, if the Ministry should be settling their plan before hand, I wish you would interpose on the behalf of the province that they may at least have the liberty of enacting internal taxations themselves: which I have no doubt, but that they will readily do, when it shall be ^positively^ required of them.8

    I am Sr. your Most faithfull & obedient servt.

    R Jackson Esqr

    L, LbC BP, 3: 248-249.