410 | To Richard Jackson

    Boston, Novr 7, 1765.

    Dear Sr.,

    I am endeavouring to avail myself of a delay of a ship which is to carry my present dispatches, to add a few lines to you, which my present Situation has much prevented my doing of late. And even now I must refer to the Accounts I have sent to Mr Pownall for the present State of this Province:1 from him you may learn that the Stamp Act has had an Effect which I dare say was never foreseen; it has overturned this Government. All Real power is got into the hands of the Mob of this Town: & it is by their permission that I continue in the Province house, the Figure of a Governor, only without any Actual Authority. If I was to dispose of myself in the best manner for the King’s Service according to my own Opinion, I should immediately embark on board the Ship which is to carry this: but the peremptoriness of my instructions staggers my resolution, & will not suffer me to use my discretion. I shall therefore stay here as long as I can, untill I receive orders to remove, which I hope I soon shall, at least to leave this Town, from which alone arise all the disorders, which we now labour under.

    The Congress at New York has not answered expectation: they have come to a set of resolutions much like those of separate Legislatures; they have also agreed to Petitions to the King, the Lords & the Commons. In the latter they pray to be heard by Council, which is admitting the right of Parliament to decide the question: not that they mean to stand to the decision, if it is against them. They also voted that it was advisable for the House of evry Colony to send a special Agent: this has brought a new business into the House here. They soon determined that they would send not a special Agent from hence, but appoint one there.2 The Choice lay between Mr Bollan & Mr Debert.3 Mr Bollan would have carried it, had it not been for the unsettled Accounts between him & the Province, which has been a dead weight upon his intrest ever since I have been Governor. You must know that the Province Mr Bollan makes debtor to him £3,000 Sterg; & the genl Court makes Mr Bollan debtor to the Province £2,000.4 This is a wide difference: & yet Mr Bollan has writ to the genl Court, that if they will pay him his Ballance, he would still undertake their Service. This Letter was produced in the house; & it was inferred from thence that if they appointed Mr Bollan, they would admit that they owed him £3,000; & would in effect give him £5,000 to engage him in their Service. This knocked his intrest on the head, & so Mr DeBerdt was chosen. The next day the House was informed by fresh Authentick Advices,5 that Mr DeBerdt was so old and6 infirm, that he could not attend their Business. This chagrined them; but they did not care to enter into a fresh Squabble. One side did not care to run the risk of a fresh Election; & the other side were very well pleased that they had chose a Man who could do them no Service; as by that Means the Business would fall more into your hands.7

    The Nature of his appointment is this: He is special Agent of the House of Representatives for the purpose of soliciting the Congress’s Petitions, & for no other Purpose. You & He are independent of one another: but it is recommended to you to act in concert. There is a special instruction to you for that purpose: but I can’t enter into particulars. There is to be an order for £250 or 200 Sterg to be made to each of You for the charges of this Sollicitation. In Yours there is an express mention that your former Services remain unrecompensed, & shall be considered in a future Session: it has been my particular desire that it should ^not^ be done in this.8 One Reason assigned for not doing it now was, that as your appointment was by instruction to Mr Mauduit to consult you as the standing Council of the Province, it is possible that he may charge himself as answerable to you; as he has kept in his hands a large Sum out of the ballance of his Account; to discharge some expences which were not included in his Account; & they say they know not what it can be, unless it is a compensation for your trouble. Altho’ I don’t think this is in the least probable, Yet I own I should not have been sorry if it had been so settled, if it had been done handsomely. The foregoing Accounts I have from some of the Members, who tell me, there will not be the least disrespect shown to you in this business; which is not concluded that I know of. I know not how you & DeBerdt stand together; but I suppose, as he is a principal Dissenter, you must be well acquainted with him. If I know the Man, he will be proud of the Appointment, tho’ he should not be able to execute it with any Credit. I should add that Is M9 was not named upon this occasion but with great Slight. Sr Willm Baker & Mr Trecothick10 where both named but not supported.

    Nov. 8

    As the Ship did not sail yesterday I was in expectation that I should have able11 to have given you a further Account of the proceedings of the house or at least a Confirmation of the foregoing. But I have seen no member of the house since yesterday morning. They are got into a squabble with the Council concerning an advice they gave me for reinforcing the Garrison of the Castle. I should have been of the party & was invited to it by the house: but as the Council has shown a proper Spirit upon this Occasion, altho’ they have often wanted it of late, I have left this Matter to them & show my Contempt of the insult by Silence.12 This Governmt is now in the utmost disorder & in my Opinion will never recover itself again without some alteration in its form: a royal Council & a certain Civil List are now become absolutely Necessary. I know you Agents dont approve of civil lists in America: but if [you] could oversee the great inconveniences, which the Want of it brings upon the people, you would be as much for it as I am. I send some inclosures among which you’ll see a Poem remarkable for its disaffection ^insolence^ to the King: see pa 6 & 12. The Dedication was by another hand & is abhorred by all Men: the Author has disclaimed it: see Masst Gazette.13 I have kept my letter open to the last Minute & must conclude it.

    I am &c

    R Jackson Esqr

    AL, LbC BP, 5: 26-29.