308 | To John Pownall

    Boston Octo. 19. 1764

    Dear Sr.

    I have this day received your letter of July 12, by the hand of Mr Price.1 You may assure yourself & Mr Rivers that nothing in my Power to serve that Gentleman shall be reflected.2 your Commands will allways be received by me with great pleasure & should be signified without any diffidence or doubt of their being readily obeyed. I have been much concerned with the Accounts of your ill ^state of^ health: an Account of the good effects of your Vacation will be very acceptable to me.

    I am much obliged to you for your kind expressions on the Subject of Mount desert. That paragraph3 would have been more pleasing to me, if I had not before received a letter from Mr Jackson,4 which informs me, that in regard to our grants, the Tide is turned, and we are all at Sea again; He considers my grant as involved in the fate of the Rest: nevertheless He informs me, that you said to him, that my grant would be somehow certainly established, either by the Bounty of Crown, or otherwise. I suppose this has happened since your Letter of July 12: and therefore I must understand, that the expectation of a present confirmation was soon after that dissappointed, & that I must now wait for some other kind of establishment of my grant.

    I would not have you think that my patience is wore out: I am obliged to lay in such a stock of it for the purposes of Government, that I am not like to want for my private Affairs. But my Expences Labours & Negotiations for peopling the Island are now brought to such a Crisis, that a delay of assuring the Island to me in some way or other, will be injurious to me, as well as hurtful to the public. As for the total defeat of my grant, It will be a kind of little Ruin to me: I have already, (including the original Sum for which it was granted, with all my expences disbursed & engaged for) embarked £1000 Stg upon that bottom; my activity & public Spirit has outrun my prudence; & this is become the only object & subject of all my acquisitions in America: & if I should after all be disappointed in it, tho’ it will not ruin my fortune, it may break my Spirit.

    For this Purpose, before I received yours, I had prepared a Memorial to be laid before your board & before the Secretary of State, not knowing which office it belongs to, to move this business.5 These together with letters to Lord Hillsborough6 & Lord Halifax,7 I send to Mr Jackson desiring him to take your advice about the necessity & propriety of delivering them.8 If my Business could be done without this formality, I should rather chuse it, & if there is any impropriety in this Memorial, I should be glad that it should be new draughted in such a manner as shall be thought proper.9 But something or other must be done: I shall lose my German Colony else, which would be a great pity, considering what pains I have taken to bring about that Negotiation to a good conclusion.

    I will not prescribe to you, Gentlemen of business[,]10 how this is to be done: but if a sign manual is thought improper or too formal, a Letter from the Secretary of State, & from the Lords of Trade approving of my proceedings in settling a Town upon the Island, with a Hi[nt] that the Island will be confirmed to me, as soon as it can be done in a proper form, will be satisfactory to me & I suppose to those to [who] propose to take under me. However I cannot think there is any great difficulty in drafting a form11 which may operate either as a confirmation of the Provincial Grant, or as an original Grant, with[out] prejudging the right of the Province. And I think to attempt it as soon as I have finished this letter.

    The German Agent  with whom I have agreed for a Colony, will go thro’ London, in his Way to Germany, & will arrive in the Same Vessel that carries this. I shall give him a letter to introduce him to you; & must beg of you that you will give him all the encouragement you can to bring his people to Mount Desart. He may have contracted a Suspicion from the talk of this Town, that all the grants are disallowed; If mine is to be excepted from the general fate, I would have him well assured of it. I must also ask your favour that you would permit him to enclose the letters he shall have occasion to write to me in a cover to you A Correspondence carried on for importing foreigners into the King’s Dominions may surely be said to [be] for his Majesty’s Service, & may be allowed the Priviledge of an Office. But the exemption of cha[rge?] is not so much regarded as the Security of Letters. His Name is John Most; his business a School master he is also a Master of Musick: his Country is Hesse Casal. I am &c.

    J Pownal Esqr.

    P.S. Oct 20.

    I beg you will excuse me to their Lordships for not sending with this a list of the fees, & a full answer to the letter concerning Indian Trade &ca. The former has been delayed by the default of Officers not sending into the Secretary’s Office a list of their fees as required: but this will be ready by the end of next week.12 The other Business, which can be done by none but myself, is deferred by reason of other necessary business standing before it, which I dispatch as fast as I can. The Assembly is now sitting: it has been expected that it will be a turbulent Session; but hitherto, this being the third day no ill humour has appeared. They are got upon the higher politicks,  the proceedings of Great Britain; & I have taken myself to my Castle William; & shall not interfere with what they do, except by assenting & dissenting to what they send up to me, in which I shall certainly use my own Judgement with the utmost freedom.13

    AL, LbC BP, 3: 251-252.