364 | To John Pownall

    Boston July 20 1765

    Dear Sr:

    I have hitherto given you ^very^ little Trouble with the Political libells which have been produced in this Town: such as have related to me or my Government I have made it my constant rule to despise & have never upon any Occasion suffered any Answer to be given or notice taken of them in my Name, or upon my Account or with my privity. & this I have by repeated Experience found to be the best Way of treating them. But I must Own that since the factious writers of this Place have Spit their Venom against the Kings Government at home & the Legislature of Great Britain, my Patience had a severer Excercise than Usual. Since the End of the last Session there have been some Publications so atrocious; that I should have thought fit to lay them before the general Court if sitting & I doubt not but that they would have concurred in a severe Censure of the Authors or printers, but the Court is prorogued & not like to Sit for some Time: & I can’t advise any other Prosecution, as the most exceptionable Parts wou’d be most properly prosecuted as breaches of Priviledge as they notoriously are.

    For above a Year, that is ever since the printing the Letter to the Agent,1 The House has generally been temperate & discrete & have kept more within the Bounds of Moderation & Decency than most other Assemblies on the Continent: This has been owing in some measure to the good Disposition of the People, but nevertheless has required some management & frequent Interposition of the Authority & influence of the Council. The Conduct of the House has had a considerable effect among the People & has in some Degree awed the most factious of them the Boston political Scriblers. But a few Days after the general Court was prorogued,2 there came hither in a Rhode Island Newspaper an Account of some resolutions of the House of burgesses of Virginia. The Spirit of Rebellion which those Resolutions, whether Authentic or fictitious, breath is such as must make them abhorred by all loyal Subjects:3 yet it is inconceivable how they ^have^ roused up the Boston Politicians, & been the Occasion of a fresh mundation4 of factious & insolent pieces in the popular Newspaper. These are what I could have wished to have laid before the general Court; but cannot think proper to prosecute by the Authority of the Governor & Council only. Nevertheless I am fearfull of being blameable in taking no Notice at all of them. On the other hand I am unwilling to give unnecessary Trouble to the Lords of your board, or any of his Majestys Ministers by laying before them papers unworthy their Notice. In this Doubt I have thought proper to communicate the Papers to you, that, if you think proper you may lay them (together with this letter or without it as you shall judge) before the Lords of Trade & before Lord Halifax also, if thought necessary. Or if you deem them not worth Notice, you will burn them and excuse the Trouble I have given you

    I am &c

    J Pownall, Esqr:

    P.S.5 I send you two in the Boston Gazette (the most factious paper in America) with the exceptional papers marked thus |. I also enclose extracts from other papers which has been reprinted at Boston.6

    L, LbC BP, 4: 7-9.