237. From Israel Williams

    Hat1 5th. Janry 1767

    Sir, I heartily rejoyce that your losses are in so great a measure repair’d, tho I dislike the mode. Is not the Act an unprecedented Stretch of Power does it not Teem with Injustice? Mayn’t we hope it will be disallowd?2

    There is no body in Hampshire or Berkshire complains of oppression from the Supr. Court, unless it be Majr. Hawley and old Warren;3 if they do, the Majr. is very Silent in the County, make no doubt he will soon recant of what he has injuriously uttered elsewhere if his mind be not Strangely blinded.

    His prejudices and Zeal are apt to hurry him into great excess and mistakes sometimes. Your Character Sir dos not Suffer here, neither can that Gentleman, if he shoud dare to attempt it, injure it with us.

    My Kinsman’s present State of mind and body is in many respects very piteous, and its very uncertain, how it may Issue, we greatly fear.4 I cant think it worth Your honors while at this time to endeavour his conviction, or to remove his prejudices; it’s not improbable it might have a contrary effect from what you might expect; The best way I find with him is to leave him to convince himself of his errors, others cant do it, and if he dont run quite distracted I trust he will think by and by it to be his duty to vindicate your Character. If not Things may be Set right without him. I cant think with some others that he had any hand in the vile peice you refere to tho’ I a good deal Suspect the prudence of some of his Conduct.5 I was in hopes that Spitefull malitious Spirit, which has so often discovered it self against you woud have Spent it Self and not continu’d to pursue you—but it is as relentless and implacable as the Cursed one. As the wicked will not always go unpunish’d, so on the other hand the upright benevolent man will soon be gloriously vindicated and rewarded.

    I hear Mr. Jackson is dismiss’d the agency. Mr. Deberts power I take to be limited to one purpose only;6 perhaps it may be a means of delaying matters, and prevent any Resolutions till we come to our Senses. If otherwise, things go against us ought we not to say this wicked People are Justly dealt with. Are there Sir any matters of Importance to be considered at the next Court. I hear and know very little of Publick Affairs.

    I once consulted your honor about Setting up Pottash Works, have done it, made some quantity very good—now it will not fetch at market what it cost.7 Shoud be glad Sir (tho’ you have laid aside your merchantile business) ^of your opinion^ what the occasion is, and whether it is likely to be in greater demand. I am with great respect your honors assured friend and Obedient Servant,

    I. Williams

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:140–41); addressed, “To the honble. Thomas Hutchinson Esqr. Lieutenant Governor Milton”; endorsed, “5 Jan 1767 Col Williams.”

    238. From John Cushing

    Scituate Janry. 6. 1767

    Honorable & Dear Sir, I hope by this time you are Quiet in the Seat of your Father1 & that you will remain so & be keep’t from the hands & Tongues of violent & unreasonable men tho this is hardly to be Expected so long as wicked Spirits remain; In what a Sad State must a Community be, when Such are Imployed by Prince or People? Good men Somtimes are taken away from The Troubles which are to Come. Last week ^Second Instant^ Joseph Cushing Esq Dyed & Tomorrow is to be Interred, a Great Loss to our Town;2 he was an honest, faithfull, and Capable man a promoter of peace among his Neighbours & understood the Office & Duty of a Justice of the Peace perhaps as well as any Acting Justice In the County so far as I am a Judge, he was Imployd In the Towns Business Constantly & I fear they’l do but poorly without him, very few Capable men remain among us, tho Enough that would undertake any Business & Solicit for any post If they were Stired up for any Sinister purpose & so Serve a Turn.

    The Governor has now upon his minute Book for Justices Two in our Town proposed by a Good old Servant for Government as he Calls him,3 one of ‘em knows nothing of the business & never will, the other is a Quack Lawyer who If he had Integrity would make nothing of it, But might Serve to plague The people If that would answer. I Expect that ^Good^ Old Servant upon the Death of my Kinsman will be Soliciting for one or both, I wish If he dos The Governor would put him off. If he had Known him before, Civil & military Affairs here would not have been in the Condition they now Are. I hope, If his Military post Should be taken from him that would not hurt his Family. If the others remaind, Edson is an honest & Good military man and Every honest man in the Regiment would Rejoyce If he had it4 & the Other ^Gentleman^ would meet with no Losse unless by the Sale of Comissions. I wish you’d bring it about, Greater Service you cant do the Community Than to Get Scandalous & wicked men out of place & honest, virtuous, & Capable men In their room. Sub Rosa.5

    What I say is for the Good of the People & the Governor also. I wish peace & That those things may be Done which Tend to It. I am your most Obedient Humble Servant,

    Jn. Cushing

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:142–43); unaddressed.

    239. From Richard Jackson

    Inner Temple 9 Jany 1767

    Dear Sir, I have before me your 2 Letters of the 7th. & 16th. of Nov. I am greatly pleased to find that the Justice due to you is likely to take place, if not quite in the way we have wished it, yet in a manner that in value will be nearly the same thing,1 and with regard to the Province, will preserve it from Mischiefs intended against it by the Enemies of America, whom both you & I wish to disappoint more than we do, even the Enemies to the Tranquillity of the Province. I hope that the Endeavours of these last will for the future be confined to the Province only, & that no such inconsiderate Measure as the Stamp Act will hereafter extend their Influence to America in general & that Probity & good sense will at least abate [illegible] the Power that they always have in free Government when Party Zeal is out of the Question. Give me leave to say that as much as I wished for the Compensation for your Sake, I wished for it more as a Proof of the Return of your Province to its right Senses, & of its regard to a Man, that nothing but the Malice of Party rage could ever have deprived of the Esteem of every Individual in it.

    I assure you I have never shewn any of your Letters to Mr. Mauduit or Mr. de Berdt, except that I once read to the latter who had then in company one Mr. Smith of Boston several Passages out of your Letters as well as out of the Govr’s expressing a dislike to the Stamp Act & Apprehensions of the Mischiefs that & the later Restraints on the Trade of America might occasion.2

    I have always lived upon Terms of Friendship with both Gentlemen as being serious well disposed Men & of a perswasion that my family has always been connected with,3 but have very seldom seen them, except I have met them at publick Places of business, & even that seldom too. The Immense Number of Inhabitants of this Town occasions our seldom seeing each other unless we have some particular Call that brings us together, as for Mr. Mauduit, I always considered him as a sort of Cypher & therefore advised him myself to make use of his Brother, with whom I have a more external Acquaintance of Civility.4 Mr. de Berdt is respected as an Honest Active old Man (though of no great figure in Life) chiefly by some old Gentlemen that have formerly had some weight in Publick Affairs & besides by Ld Dartmouth the late first Ld of Trade, a very amiable Nobleman.

    I beg pardon for my Digression. I have only to add on the Subject of your Letters that I cannot call to mind that I ever communicated any of them but to the Kings Ministers, or to those immediately connected with them, & this too with great Caution, & I have reason to believe that here they procured you the Esteem & Respect you deserve, but ^the Contents^ were otherwise so far from being carried away by them to such as might send them over to New E. that I fear they seldom were remembered as long as they should have been, multiplicity of Business having too soon obliterated them.

    I shall write to the Govr by the first Ship, I hope to be able to tell him good News of his Island,5 I shall leave no stone unturned to accomplish this Matter, but all the Ministers are out of Town, when they were here they were taken up with East India Affairs particularly Ld Shelburne, & what is worse we have frequent reports of Changes of Administration.6 This has hitherto been the bane of many a promising Negotiation it has quite sunk the Spirits with which I formerly entred on some publick pursuits. I assure you I have frequently impressed Ld Shelburne with the most advantageous Ideas of Govr Bernards Integrity & ability& I dare say his Ldsh has frequently had opportunity of [building] on much more satisfactory Information than mine on this Subject. I am perswaded therefore, that he is far from giving way to any Representations that may have been made to his disadvantage, however I know him to be strongly struck with the necessity of giving up abundance of trifles that have been contended for in many of the Governments of America to the great Uneasiness of the People. I may say that I know that Ld Shelburne has a Value for Govr Bernard & I believe neither he nor any ^sensible^ man in England ever blamed his Negative.7 I never had any Objection to the Speech but to its length & to the menace of the Loss of Privileges.8 Nor did I disapprove of any part of it but as I thought some of it might be more proper for private Conversation than a Publick Speech. I have always been concerned I could not render better services to Mr. Hutchinsons son than happened to be in my Power.9 He was sometimes out of Town, sometimes ill, & the Season of the year was a bad one for London. You make me happy in thinking those that were in your Power worth your Acknowledgements. I beg my Compliments to him. I am with great sincerity & Regard Dear Sir your most Obedient faithfull humble Servant,

    R. Jackson

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:144–46); addressed, “To The Honble. Thos. Hutchinson Esq. Lieutenant Govr. of his Majesty Province of the Massachusetts Bay Boston N England”; endorsed, “Jan. 9 1767 Mr. Jackson”; postage “New York” and other postage markings.

    Lord Shelburne. By Joshua Reynolds. Courtesy of National Trust Images.

    240. To Richard Jackson

    Boston 17 Jan. 1767

    Dear Sir, I am oblig’d to you for your letter of the 18 Nov. I wish the people of the colonies in general would consider the connexion between them & their fellow subjects in Brit. with your candor. We should not long remain in this unsettled state. But till we have more of that than there is at present I despair of success from any plan. If I could have the opportunity of ½ an hours conversation with you upon the fundamental principles of government you would probably convince me of my error in some points wherein at present we do not exactly agree.

    I cannot form an idea of government without a superior legislative as well as executive power. In the case you mention of Sparta, Lycurgus established a body of laws & its true he provided that there should be no distinct legislative power afterwards. That body of Laws was either complete for all present & future purposes or it was incomplete. If complete it had at all times just the same force as a power of legislation vested in a particular order of men & their successors. If it was incomplete then in all cases wherein it was so the executive power must necessarily determine according to discretion & so far the executive or judiciary power would become legislative & the government arbitrary. Perhaps there is a fallacy in my argument which I do not discover.

    However reasonable it may be considering what has been published in the colonies to expect it yet I doubt whether they would send members to Parl if they were permitted & if they should do it I think it would have very little tendency to cement affections or to cause the colonies more willingly to submit to acts of Parl. Let us suppose that all the colonies send 100 members which no doubt would be a full proportion evry measure not approved of by the colonies would nevertheless cause murmuring & discontent & perhaps opposition & Resistance as great as it would do in our present state. The argument of late used tho we hear nothing said of that sort now, was that we were not represented in parl. The same persons would then urge that we are unequally represented & it would be said that the nation has one interest & the colonies another & whilst the Representatives of the nation are more numerous than the Representatives of the colonies we shall always be out voted & oppressd. An offer of the privilege of sending members would shew the disposition of the nation to allow the colonies evry privilege it is possible for them to enjoy in common with the inhabitants of G. B. & if it should be refusd would remove or prevent the revival of one exception to measures for settling the relation between G B & the colonies & the sole point in question will be whether the colonies are to submit to Acts of Parl. or not. Tender & indulgent I should hope the Parl. always will be of the rights of the colonies as far as [is consistent] with preserving their dependence but I think the colonies must either be separated from & independent of G B or subject to the supreme authority there, for if they are considered as part of the Empire I do not see how they can be so superior to the supreme authority or not without contradiction & absurdity.

    At present no man whose passions have not deprived him of his reason some such there are in all governments supposes it possible for the colonies to subsist independent of or without protection from some state or other in Eur. & a Brit colony one would think must always desire that this state should be G Brit rather than any other but it seems you do not expect in Eng. that this dependence will continue after they are able to support & defend themselves. I am glad I am not like to live to see that time. Until then I think all reasonable men must allow that as the colonies cannot subsist without the protection of G B & desire for the sake of enjoying it to be considered as part of the same Empire submission to the supreme authority of that Empire will necessarily follow & altho they may urge that they cannot from their remote situation enjoy evry privilege of the parent state yet if they enjoy all that the nature of the case will admit of it behoves them to acquiesce. I should hope that it will at the same time be thot incumbent on the parent state to allow to a colony every privilege in common with his fellow subjects which he is capable of enjoying and for any which he is necessarily deprived of as well as for any peculiar duties & burdens laid upon him for the sake of the parent state allow him indulgences equivalent in some other way, & manner so as upon the whole to render burdens & privileges in proportion one to the other as near to equality among all the subjects as possible.

    These have been my sentiments upon the relation between G B & her colonies founded upon the principles of the Eng. constitution ever since I have been capable of thinking upon such a subject & I take it they were the general prevailing sentiments before the late attempt to exercise the supreme power in matters which had always so generally been left to the subordinate jurisdiction. During near 30 years experience I have supposed that upon this plan the colonists had no reason to envy their fellow subjects in Brit any distinction in point of privileges which have fallen to their lot & the inhabitants of Brit had no reason to grudge at any indulgences or exemption allowed to the colonists as an equivalent. Measures for restoring us to our former state would in my humble opinion be the most eligible. You will ask what measures can be effectual for this purpose.

    If I could suggest them I should doubt the prudence considering what I have already suffered of trusting my thoughts upon any measure tho ever so salutary to a letter liable to many accidents after it leaves my house before it reaches yours. I will venture however to tell you what sort of principles have been introduced by our late confusion even among some who are called moderate men. We are protected they say by G B & something is due from us in return & accordingly she enjoys great benefits by confining us to trade with her alone & in order to secure this return a controlling power is necessary & acts made for this purpose so far as they are reasonable & adequate we ought to submit to but unreasonable acts & especially acts which deprive us of the peculiar Right of Eng men do not bind us & we have good right to resist the execution of them & they ought to be considered as null & void. These are loose principles & if they prevail & become general the executive power will be weakned & the judges subjected to invincible difficulties for if they interpret laws according to their discretion they may justly be chargd with becoming legislators instead of executives & if they shall not do it they will be deemed the instruments of opposition. You may well think therefore that I who in more than one instance have taken the whole odium of unpopular judgment from the rest of the court wish to see more rational principles of government indisputably established.

    This is already don it may be said by the late Act of Parl.1 Has there been the lest evidence of an acknowledgment of the people of that Act in any of the colonies. Is not the late news of the H of R of N Y to the G of a quite contrary complexion.2 May it not be said that if the former acts which respected the colonies were offensive the general a [illegible]3 for & was unnecessary; if they were not offensive it was from a doubt of authority in the powers which rested there & as the authority is the same in the latter case as in the former the latter case can have no greater force than the former. I wish as I said before for all imaginable tenderness from the Parliam. & that every colonist may enjoy evry privilege which a colonist is capable of but it seems bitterly necessary it should be settled & admitted what this is & it proves to me that the longer it remains unsettled the more difficult it will be to settle it.

    I think I must have tird you.

    The g. c. will meet the 28. The g. wishes there was no occasion for their meeting again in hopes there may be a change for the better upon a new election of members.4

    M. one of the R[I] sufferers presented his petition to the assembly there for compensation & founded his claim upon the addresses of Parl to His M & the relief recommended in consequence but he was obliged to withdraw his petition & apply for relief without any notice of any proceedings in Engld. & after all they referrd it to their next session without assigning any reasons probably in order to consult their constituents.5 I am with the greatest truth Sir Your most faithful humble Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:258–60); at head of letter, “Mr. Jackson.”

    241. From Peter Oliver

    Middleborough Jan. 19. 1767

    No, my Friend! I am not affronted with You, for Let me be ever so touchy with Respect to anyone else, you are one of the last that can give me such sort of Feeling. I was very glad to hear from you by my Son & should have wrote to you by him, but he did not give me sufficient Warning.1 One of your Letters of 30th. Dec. is safe before me: no Treason in that.

    I am glad you are safe housed & wish you may remain so, at lest ‘till the Winter is over.

    The Orders of Transmission will little avail, but for Amusement.

    Mrs. Oliver thanks you for the News of Mrs. Fanny & is not overdistressed about her.2

    I am sorry you ventured upon the [illegible] I thought that you had met with such [illegible] Treatment before that you would not have ventured again upon a Hair of the same Dog. But however, as you ask my Advice as a Physician, go on; there is nothing like Use: I have heard of a Man who began to lift a Calf when young till he could carry it when grown to an Ox. Perhaps you will have Occasion to bear yet more Thumps & Bruises, so I advise, go on, for as you approach to your grand Climactorick, your life will be insured.

    So much for yours of Dec. 30. The other that is not arrived I was just going to answer but perhaps I shall have nothing to say to you next Post unless I see the Contents of that, so I will wait for more Matter.

    Brother Russell’s Death was no Shock to me for I expected it when he left us, tho’ not so soon.3

    I am glad there is no Difficulty about Mr. Trowbridge & shall be sorry to have any about the Attorny General’s Place.4

    I was much pleased to find somebody undertake a Vindication of the Governor, but you do not say who is suspected.5 If he is known, he will have Sacrifice without Mercy.

    I am obliged to you for your good Wishes with Respect to Mrs. Watson.6 Mrs. Oliver hath been with her this Month. Her Circumstances are very critical & my Fears are great, but I hope I shall always vindicate the Ways of Heaven, to which I am under such infinite Obligations. I am dear Brother yours affectionately,

    Peter Oliver

    RC (New York Public Library, Samuel Adams Papers); addressed, “To his Honour Thomas Hutchinson in Boston”; endorsed, “Middleboro Jan 19 1767.”

    242. From John Cushing

    Scituate Jany 30. 1767

    Honorable & Dear Sir, I received yours with the Account of the Death of Brother Russel & Condole with you. I Expected he would never return, and often mention’d it to our Brethren, because of his Infirmitys. I hope he’s happy.

    Mr. Goff I conclude will be appointed in his room, which I believe will be acceptable to our Court & most of the Barr, & Mr Gridley attorney General.1

    I wish Mr. Nathan Cushing Son of the late Dea. Cushing might be made a Justice of peace to fill up his Fathers vacancy,2 he has been a Preacher but has taken Administration on his Fathers Estate & is Determined to Leave That, tho he has performd to Great acceptance. He will more than make Good his Fathers Ground, & would be a peacable Justice & it would perhaps Save the Govr. Some Solicitations for persons that would do Themselves or any body Else no Good. Two he has now on his Book from Col. C---p but as the Govr. Told me he put him off by Saying there was Enough in the Town & he must wait till Some of them were Dead.3

    The Character of the Gentleman above you may have from our Representative & Colo. Lincoln.4 I hope nothing will prevent your Going on with a History of our Coloney. If I can help you to any facts you may want I’ll Endeavour to obtain ‘em, upon notice. I wish health & Prosperity & that you may make your Election Sure. I am with Sincere Regards Your most Obedient Servant,

    Jn. Cushing

    My duty to the Governor.

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:155–56); addressed, “To The Honble Thomas Hutchinson Esq. Lieut. Govr. In Boston”; at foot of letter, “Hutchinson”; endorsed, “Jan 30. 1767 Colo. Cushing.”