385 | To John Pownall

    Castle William Sep 1. 1765

    Dear Sr.

    I have had a very troublesome Week of it as you may suppose by the inclosed proclamations, which are all the Narrative I can give you at present. What leisure time I have had from appearing in public I have employed in writing to Lord Halifax an account of the late proceedings & present state of the Town: tho’ it may seem long, it is a small part of my present thoughts & recollections.1 There is a Calm in the Town at present; but I am sensible it is a very deceitfull one. The Very Militia men who are now musterd to keep the peace declare they will lay down their arms when the Stamps arrive. I am desired to fix at Boston & am assured that in such case, all the Gentlemen in the Town will associate to guard my person: at the same time I am told that further & greater troubles may be expected there. I shall go up to town tomorrow (as I did evry day last week except one) & take my measures accordingly. I am endeavouring, with the advice of the Council, to raise an independent Company to reinforce the Garrison here, in which by advice of Council the Kings Stamps  are to be deposited, if they can be got safe from the Ship hither. I am enclined after having sent away my Wife & children (which never were a burthen to me till now) to shut myself up in the Castle, when the stamps arrive: but my friends wont hear of it & at present advise me to trust myself to an associated guard at Boston. They say that there is no personal animosity against me; what I do is exculpated by its being my duty: but how long will it remain so? it is certain that once at least some of the Mob came to attack my house, & were diverted from it only by the talk of the neighbours. If I rest upon my innocence; the Lieut Govr had full as good a right to trust to that as I have; & yet his Confidence proved his ruin. I am not affraid of Venturing my person to any good purpose; but I dont care to be knocked on the head in a dark night by a Mob, who perhaps will say afterwards that they were sorry for their mistake: for indeed there has been scarce any clamour against me, not so much as I might have expected was due to my Dignity. I have summoned evry Councellor to meet at Boston on thursday next.2 I would have had them met at Cambridge; but the Councellors being cheifly Bostoners would not authorise me so to do: I shall be determined by this general Council what I shall do in regard to calling the assembly, if I can reconcile my own judgement to their opinions. What they will not advise, however expedient it may seem to me, I shall not do in publick proceeding, that is I dare not do. I shall endeavour to keep my post as long as it is tenable but don’t expect that will be long. What a Pity it is that the Governments were not regulated & strengthened before they were taxed. Rhode Island has followed the example of Boston; at Newport they have pulled down two houses, drove the Collector out of Town & made the Stamp officer take an Oath that he would never act in that office. In Connecticut they have burnt Effiges, & obliged Mr Ingersol to resign his Office. New hampshire is not in a better humour, but they have no Stamp officer to vent it upon. The Worst is to be expected evry where.3

    I have many more things to write but must postpone them, as I must now close my present packets. I am Sr

    Your most faithful & obedient Servant

    Fra. Bernard.

    J. Pownall Esqr.

    I shant be able to write to Mr Jackson this time; you may Communicate your intelligence to him.4 I have a duplicate of my last letter to Lord H which will go in another ship a few days after this. & a duplicate of my letter to Lord H dat Aug 2[2?]5 & a Letter to you dat Aug 18 another Aug 22 with inclosures went by the Ship Liberty, Smith, for London inclosed to Barnard & Harrison Merchants a letter of advice of them went in the bag.6

    ALS, RC SA: WWM/R24/18.