327 | To the Earl of Halifax

    Boston Dec 14. 1764.

    My Lord

    Pursuant to your Lordship’s orders1 I inform you of what has occurred ^to^ me, concerning frauds of trade since I received your letter upon that subject.

    Some time ago I was informed that there was some quantity of foreign goods from Europe got into this Town, particularly Dutch Teas. I could not think that they were imported here, as this port is known to be particularly well watched. Soon after I learnt that 2 Vessels laden with Dutch goods had got into two of the lesser ports in Connecticut; and that probably these goods come from thence. It is difficult enough to guard the smaller ports in the most active governments: and it requires some resolution in a royal Governor to inforce such Service. But in a popular Government no such thing is to be expected. It would be too much to require an elective Governor to be in earnest in discovering & prosecuting frauds of trade. Govr Fitch2 is I suppose as good a Governor as there ever was of that sort: and I don’t blame him, but the nature of his Appointment. It is not long since the Assembly of Rhode Island made an order that their Governor should not administer the Oaths to a new appointed Custom house officer; and the Governor was obliged to obey it.3 In such Governments, it is in Vain to expect that British Laws should be carried into execution. I remember to have heard it asserted without contradiction or doubt, that the last mentioned Governor said publickly that the Parliament of Great Britain had no more right to make laws for them than they had for the Mohawks. These two Republicks then are the Allies of Great Britain & not the Subjects.

    I heard not long ago that 2 small Vessels landed French cargos at York in the Province of Main. There is no body there to prevent such landing, if they escape the Cruisers. I have been ^told^ that the cargo’s were brandies and Wines from St Pierre or Newfoundland & that the Adventurers lost by the Voyage, altho they succeeded in their smuggling. About 3 weeks ago Mr Fisher Naval Officer of New hampshire4 & having a deputation within this province seized the hull of a small French Schooner at Newbury. She was quite empty, and the people having notice of the intention to seize her carried off all her running rigging.5 The Vessel has been condemned: I can’t learn what her cargo was nor where landed; but have not yet given up the Enquiry.

    I do not recollect any thing else material regarding the outward state of trade to inform your Lordship of. As to the internal and official business, I have allready wrote to your Lordship a great deal; and I beleive I shall have occasion to trouble you with a great deal more

    I am with great respect My Lord Your Lordships most obedient & most humble Servant,

    Fra Bernard

    The Rt Honble The Earl of Halifax

    ALS, RC CO 5/755, ff 201-204.