404 | To Richard Jackson

    Boston, Octr 22, 1765.

    Dear Sir

    The Disturbances of this place have made me a very unpunctual Correspondent of late; my time has been taken up in public dispatches, & in endeavouring to weather the Storm, which has blown so violently in these parts: I have been therefore obliged to leave you to Mr Pownall for Particulars. At present I keep up the form of Government: but the thing has been over some time; & will not be restored without Authority from home. The Assembly meets to morrow: but I expect no good from them. I fear that they will not only leave undone the things that they ought to do, but will do the things they ought not to do.1 At present the Denial of the parliaments right to tax this Province is only the Assertion of the people in particulars parties;2 in a few days it will probably be the Voice of the Representatives in their Legislative Capacity. The State of Things seems to me to be brought to a terrible dilemma: If the parliament should give way to the Violence, (which I dont think probable) The Springs of Government are weakened for ever; If the Parliament should insist upon a Submission to their Authority immediately, a civil war may (I will not say will) ensue. The only Question will be whether the Contest, which the settling the relation ^of the Colonies^ to Great Britain will occasion, should be brought on at present, when it is become difficult, or be postponed to a time when it will be more difficult. But it is another Question whether it can be postponed: it seems that Great Britain & America are got so widely different in their notions of their relation to one another, that their Connection must be destroyed, if this Question is not determined soon. It is not much above a year ago since the Colonies expected & I believe were disposed to submit to a parliamentary reformation: but that time is over & not to be retrieved. It cannot be sufficiently lamented that the Taxation of the Colonies was thought proper to proceed the regulation of their policy & the Strenghtning their Governments: especially as they have now a good pretence to be exempted from parliamentary Taxes, which would have ceased in a few Years; I mean the load of Debts which they themselves have contracted in the prosecution of the late war, which forms of itself in some Colonies, especially in this, a very heavy Taxation.

    Whatever might have been the Case under other Circumstances, it is certain that the obligation concerning the Agency lies upon me; as the Office is now becoming more troublesome & disagreable than I could possibly have expected. But the more difficult the Task, the greater Ability is required, & the more Service you will be able to do the Province, than you could in more quiet Times: so it has happened for the best. I shall move nothing about the Agency, or any other Business in which I have a will, this Sessions: whilst the People’s minds are so disordered, I shall deal with them as little as possible. I suppose the Lt Govr will go home, but much doubt whether it be by appointment of the Assembly: an obvious objection now occurs; they will be affraid lest he should sollicit a reimbursement of his Damages, which amount to £3,000 Lawfull, at the expence of the Province. If that prevents his appointment, it will probably carry him home on his own Account: but he is not determined.3

    I have recd a letter from Mr Franklin of Halifax,4 that their Surveyor has looked at the lands at the Bay of St Croix, which I pointed out; & finds them not good: but he says there is a fine tract of Land on the North East side of Passimaquoddy, which comes up to the Bay. Mr Morris5 is very positive that Passimaquoddy is St Croix; Mr Franklin says he is affraid to determine upon it, but that the Land is good. I am persuaded that if our Province should come up to St Croix, The Passimaquoddy River will be declared to be that River whether it is or not; and if the Province can gain beyond Passimaquoddy to what appears to me to be the river St Croix, they wont dispute the Grants which have been made there, but will readily confirm them: so I think to let them go on at Halifax as they please, but must caution the keeping on the North East side of Passimaquoddy, which I have some doubts about. The laying out lands on the South West side of Passimaquoddy would be so open a violation of the claim of this Province, that I could not acquiesce in it. I am to hear further of this matter.

    I send you inclosed a piece of American politics of the highest kind: the modesty of the Author induced him at first to print it privately: but so elated are the American Printers by their continuall Triumphs without any Opponents, that this piece has been reprinted in the public papers of Rhode Island & Connecticut, & has been reprinted here, (where it is supposed to have its birth) & sold to all purchasers. Read & Perpend.6

    I am Sr &c __

    R. Jackson Esqr.

    AL, LbC BP, 5: 31-34.