403 | To John Pownall

    Boston, Oct. 19, 1765.

    Dear Sir,

    I continue to send you the seditious papers published here, leaving you to communicate such part of them as you shall see occasion to your board, or discharge as you shall see fit: I send them to no one else. The Madness of the People is far from abating; the Politicians of this Town who set this evil Spirit agoing, have been unwereariedly1 industrious to keep it up & extend its operations. And by means of that flagitious paper, which I have constantly sent to you , since I first percieved Mischief was brewing, have had all the Success they could wish. The Defection indeed is not so general as it appears; because People who are of the side of Government, dare not avow their Sentiments. I have lately visited the Town[s]2 of Salem & Marblehead, who are in general well disposed, & are by no means for laying aside the trade, for the sale of a strict Nonuse of the Stamps.3 For which they are threatned in the Boston Gazette, & otherwise, with being invaded. And those Towns are really now associating to defend themselves against such invading.4 By this you may guess what a state this Government is in: and it is not like to mend, till the Power & authority of Great Britain comes to our Relief. For this I can quote a great politician of this Town, who is now at New York attending the Congress there. This Gentleman  has, I believe, contributed more than any one Man whatsoever to bring us into the State of Outlawry& Confusion we are now in, & now begins to be frightened at it[.] Before he left this Town for NYork, He said to a Gentleman “If the Government at home don[’t] very soon send forces to keep the Peace of the Province, they will be cutting one another’s throats from one end to the other of it.” However I hope for the better, tho’ to be sure the prospect is bad enough.

    Among the papers I send you now, you will see one with an Emblem of a Snake cut in pieces. This is pretended to be printed at New York, & to favour that pretence, it was first communicated here this day fortnight (or 11 days, I am not sure which) on the day the New York post came in. But it is generally understood that it was printed here, or at least in the Neighbourhood from a Copy sent from hence. However it has been reprinted here; the Copy I send you having been purchased here for that purpose. It has been also reprinted, great part of it, in the Newport Gazette, which I send you to show how much bolder the Rhode Island printers are than ours. I send one of the original impression to their Lordships.5 I have no doubt but that it comes from the same mint which produces the Boston Gazette, whereever6 it is printed or reprinted. It has been called an Answer to my Speech:7 and so far I believe it will be so, that it will be among the Means which will prevent the Speech having the Effect it was intended for, the prevailing with the Assembly to take off this great reproach from the People. I expect no good from the meeting of the general Court: such pains have been taken to poison the Minds of the People, that good & wise men dont dare to appear to act as such. I am the only person in the Province that has Ventured to speak out in favour of the execution of the Stamp Act:8 for which I am continually abused & belied, but hitherto have met with no other resentment. What will be the end of this I can’t foresee, no more than I can where I shall spend the approaching Winter. I wish they would let me live in quiet at a farm I have lately purchased, but that is too near Boston.9

    I send you the Votes of the House for the 3 days that they sat; & a Copy for Mr Jackson[.] I shall write to him by the Ship if I can; [but] I doubt it.

    I am Sir, &c,.

    J Pownall Esqr.

    AL, LbC BP, 5: 9-12.