357 | To John Pownall

    Boston, June 5. 1765.

    Dr Sir,

    In your letter of Janry 12, (which I answered May 6)1 you gave me reason to expect that I should soon receive Copies of Mr Temple’s charge against me. I thereupon determined to defer exhibiting a formal Complaint against him, untill I could answer to his charge upon me. I have now seen 3 mails come in, since that which brought your Letter, & yet no Copies of Mr Temple’s complaints are arrived. I am all this while upon the rack: my Character is attacked in a manner, in which I cannot defend myself; I have dark hints of the insinuations urged against me, which are enough to convince me of the wickedness of them, but not to enable me to expose it; a good friend,2 who upon other occasions would have been more explicit, upon this keeps a kind of neutrality, & refers me to you & Lord Barrington; still I remain unacquainted with the particulars of the charge against me: and the general professions of your kind letter, are all the comfort I have to ballance such a load of Anxiety which my present state of suspense lays me under.

    In this Situation, I have no one to apply to but you; and I beg that you will contrive, that the charges which Mr Temple has preferred against me, may be examined to the bottom. I have served the King 7 Years allmost, & I can say, with fidelity & integrity: No Person in America has ever charged me with corruption but Mr Temple; & I am fully persuaded, that if it is properly enquired into it will turn against himself. Such an enquiry is due to the King is due to me.3 I know of no other way to propose for this Purpose, than that a proper Commission be appointed here to receive Articles & interrogatories from me & Mr Temple, & examine such Witnesses as we shall reciprocally propose, with a general Power to summon all persons in the King’s Service to give Testimony. At present, I much question whether I could prevail upon some of the Custom House Officers (even those who think & wish well of me) to give evidence on my Subject without an order from home. However, if I receive Copies of Mr Temple’s Complaints, so far as my own defence goes, I shall try to have some of the Customhouse Officers examined. But I hope before this comes to your hands, some method will be taken to enable me to clear myself from this undeserved Calumny.4

    I take this Opportunity to transmit to You a Copy of my Speech at the Opening the Sessions.5 The People are extremely out of Humour with the Stamp=Act; & the Opposers of Government are endeavouring to make this ill temper subservient to their faction; but I think at present, that the prudent part of the House will prevail. I shall enclose a Copy of the Speech in a blank Cover to Lord Halifax, which you will be so good as to deliver.

    I am Sr, with great regard &cra

    J. Pownall Esqr.

    L, LbC BP, 4: 3-5.