Hopes for Preferment

    341. To Unknown, 14 November 1768

    342. To William Bollan, 1[?], November [1768]

    343. To Unknown, [late November or early December 1768]

    344. To Richard Jackson, 23 November 1768

    345. To William Palmer, 23 November [1768]

    Governor Francis Bernard’s long-sought permission to leave the province arrived in early September, but it was soon superseded by a letter from Lord Hillsborough implying he should remain to see the troops properly settled. Bernard’s leave, however, reignited speculation about who would succeed him, and letters from England seemed to imply that Hutchinson’s aspirations for the governorship might soon be fulfilled.

    341. To Unknown

    Boston 14 Nov. 1768

    Dear Sir, About one half the Irish Troops arrived a few days ago having left the Rest with their Convoy about a fortnight before. Yesterday arrived Comodore Hood in the Romney & Ld Wm Campbell the latter I hear upon a short visit only.1 Our Harbour is full of Ships & our Town full of Troops. The Authors of the measures which have brought such an armed force are now exculpating themselves & charge all to misrepresentations made by the Officers of the Crown who it is said have exaggerated every Occurrence in order to bring the Resentment of the K & Parl upon this poor province. I know not what others may have done. I am very sure I have Rather extenuated than exaggerated in all the Accounts I have given. I have hoped even against hope that the Eyes of the people would be opened and that we should Recover our pristine state of Government & Order and have born numberless personal Injuries without any Return to prevent the increase of our Confusions. When I saw a plan by way of Queries proposing by one step after another a complete independence upon G Britain, published in the Boston Gazette & the Town by their Votes or Resolves beginning the execution of the plan I own I trembled but as the publick prints shewed as much to the K & P. as was necessary to give a full Idea of our Circumstances I only transmitted copies to my friends as I would have done any other Article of News.2 The body of the people I knew were deceived & made to believe there was a design to subject them to heavy Taxes of which the late Acts only gave them a small Specimen. I wished therefore to ward off all punishment from them the Deceivers the pretended patriots I wished to see punished that they might not have it in their power to do any further mischief & that their fate might deter others from attempting the like for the future.

    The G has but in very few Instances acquainted me with the Letters he has wrote. I dont know that I ever saw any thing he wrote to Ld Hillsboro. He must undoubtedly have wrote some things which ought not to be published. His Enemies flatter themselves that they will all be laid before the P and that by some means or other they shall come to the knowledge of them. Certainly they will not be published as his former Letters were.3 It would be of a most dangerous tendency. I believe he has no thoughts of leaving the province this Winter. The hint you have given me of my succeeding him has by other hands been given to others & raisd a general expectation. I know too well the weight of the Trust to be very eager in seeking for it but my friends tell me that if the appointment should be thot a proper measure I ought not to decline it notwithstanding all the difficulties which must attend it. If it should not I shall retire without any discontent & I hope my Resigning my LG’s place will not be deemed a mark of discontent for I have determined before I had any hint of this sort & for sevral years past not to continue LG under any future G & I believe I have said so to you.

    If the Advices of Council [to the] Gov. upon ^Construction of the Council of^ the Mutiny Act ^in their Advice to the G^4 should appear to be futile & evasive I could wish some publick notice might be taken of it. I think it would be of great service in convincing the people that no advantage was to be adhering to the Letter of any particular clause of an Act of Parliament against the Spirit & general Design of the Act was in no case justifiable. I am with the sincerest Regard Dear Sir,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, 26:327); unaddressed. Contemporary printing: Boston Gazette, 11 December 1775.

    342. To William Bollan

    1[illegible]1 November [1768]

    Dear Sir, I have not heard from you a great while. Mr Goffe tells me you have wrote to him upon the Subject of the Postcript of my last letter to you which I am very glad of.2 We have no prospect of an Assembly at present. The G has desired Instructions from the Ministry & expects an Answer by the next Pacquet.3 I am told by some that it is intended I shall meet the next Assembly if so I think it most probable none will be called before May. I shall think myself happy if I may be instrumental in Reestablishing government & order & I do not despair of it. When this is done perhaps the greatest part of the Troops which are now in the province & expected will Return to the places to which they have usually been destined where the loss of them I am told is much lamented.4

    I know you are inimical to any controul from the Military5 but I assure you that when these Troops arrived we were upon the brink of ruin and their arrival prevented some most extravagant measures: The party now say they were not in earnest & that it was all a puff.

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:328); partially dated; at head of letter, “Bollan.”

    343. To Unknown

    [late November or early December 1768]

    My Lord, Being informed by my Nephew Mr Rogers of your Lordships favorable opinion of my past Endeavours for the publick Services I think my self very happy in it and assure your Lordship that nothing can it will be a very great incitement to me ^vigorously^ to exert my self in the like services ^endeavours^ for the future.1 The arrival of the forces was ^Regiments ordered from Halifax arrived at a^ critical ^juncture and when^ the political frenzy raged was at the heighth, Hitherto it has had a happy effect and ^for^ although the dark designs of the heads of the opposition to Government are not certainly known yet I have not the least ^any^ doubt they were projecting ^that they had laid a plan for^ something more extravagant than they had ever ^been attempted^ before and that the calling a Convention was the intended as the first step towards carrying their plan into execution. Its happy for us that their designs are frustrated. They begin to exculpate themselves some pretending they were not in earnest & others casting the blame from themselves upon their confederates.

    In general they say they could did not imagine what they were doing would bring an armed force upon us and O ^who has^ ^been the most vociferous I doubt whether the most criminal among them^2 ^says that even^ after the advices received ^he heard^ that Regiments were ordered here he never believed they would arrive ^come^ until he saw them.3 I hope we are returning to ourselves. The professed ^only part of their^ scheme which at present ^they profess to persist in^ is to put a stop to the consumption of [illegible] Commodities ^Goods^ from England. A great number of families having engaged to day to lay aside Tea and Tea in particular is laid aside pretty generally ^disused^, tho ^but^ I hope there is nothing more in it than this that the party are ashamed to depart from their principles ^lay aside appearances^ all at once and ^would^ gradually ^seem to give up the Cause^. In our ^Judicatories^ the Law begins to have its course again a large number of persons having been presented by the Grand Jury at the Superior Court in Essex for violently abusing the inferior Officers of the Customs at Newbury Port & Glocester & altho ^when^ they returned Ignoramus upon Bills laid before them for the like Offence at Salem it was ^I^ thought ^it^ advisable for the Attorney Gen to file Informations against the persons charged which I think will have as good an Effect for Informations being scarcely known among us for Offences of this nature the people will be convinced that the Court is determined to omit nothing which can be done to suppress bring the ^such^ Offenders to punishment.4

    What the Temper of the Legislature will be when a new Assembly is convened it is difficult to conjecture. If we were not encouraged not only by the publick news papers but by private letters from England that there is a great party ^there^ in favour of the principles advanced in the Colonies for ^which^ limiting the power of Parliament over the Colonies I think we should give them up ourselves as repugnant to the fundamental principles of Government. When the people ^in the Colonies once^ are convinced that all their Attempts to abridge the Right of the Supreme Authority to make laws to [illegible] obligatory upon every part of the Empire. ^Legislature^ will be vain ^&^ to no purpose I hope their only Object will ^then^ be to [illegible] obtain Relief shew the inexpediency of multiplying Taxes upon the Colonies and if they will submit to and encourage the execution of the Acts of Trade. I should hope ^wish that^ in this point they may succeed upon condition that they chearfully submit to & encourage ^promote^ the execution of the Acts of Trade. I beg your Lordships pardon for presuming to take up any part of your time. I have the honour to be with the greatest Respect My Lord &c.,

    Dft (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:328–29); substantially revised; unaddressed; undated; marked, “Deverson.”

    344. To Richard Jackson

    Boston 23 Nov. 1768

    Dear Sir, The Secretary Mr Oliver shewed me this morning a Letter which he intends to forward by this Ship to his son in law Mr Spooner.1 It seems Mr Rogers has informd him that Ld Hillsborough had expressed his desire of making some provision for the Secretary & had enquired whether the LG’s place would be agreeable. The Secretary who has gone thro a great deal of trouble wishes to live the Remainder of his life more at ease than he has done & if he could have the LG’s post with some addition to the small emoluments annexed to it here & which wholly arise from a Commission for Capt of Castle William which has always been given to the LG would willingly accept of it. Mr Spooner I imagine will communicate the whole to you. His whole plan depends upon my succeeding Mr Bernard which he seems to think attended with less uncertainty than I do and he has desired me to omit nothing proper for me to do to forward the affair. I will write by this Vessel to a Correspondent of my Sons Mr Wm Palmer in Thread needle street that if there should be an appointment & you should apply to him for money for the charge of a Commission he should furnish it on my account.2

    I shall inclose a Scrap of a News paper.3 If my Nephew had acquainted me with his design I should have advised him against it & I am sorry to see the ^publication^. I am with very great esteem Sir Your Obliged & most Obedient Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:329–30); at foot of letter, “Mr Jackson”; marked, “Deverson” for ship transport. Enclosure not found. Contemporary printing: Boston Gazette, 18 December 1775.

    345. To William Palmer

    Nov. 23d. [1768]

    Sir, I am advised by sevral of my friends that My Lord Hilsboro intends to make other provision for Mr Bernard & to nominate me to succeed him. These things I know are always uncertain & I place no great dependance upon the appointment & I am not anxious about it. My present Situation perhaps is as easy for me. However if the change should be thot proper I have desired my friend Mr Jackson late of the Inner Temple now of Southampton buildings to apply to you for money to defray the charge of taking out a Commission1 which I am told will be not less than 300 nor more than 350£ ^though it possibly may exceed^ & I desire you either to apply such sums as I have lately Remitted you & may further Remit to that purpose or if you chuse to apply those Remittances to the joint concern between us you may take up for me as much as may be necessary on interest for one year & you need not doubt my enabling you before the expiration to discharge my obligations. It is so uncertain an affair at least as to the time when it may take place that I do not think it advisable specially to appropriate any moneys that way which are under any advantageous improvement.

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:330); at head of letter, “Mr Palmer”; partially dated.

    346. To Thomas Pownall

    Boston 2d. Dec: 1768

    Dear Sir, My Nephew Mr R. has delivered me the old papers.1 I am obliged to you for taking so much trouble upon you as to Return them. He tells me your last Edition of the Administration of the Colonies is aboard Dashwood & designd for me.2 I wish he may arrive safe that I may Receive it with pleasure & gratitude. He has also since I wrote to you intimated to me a certain affair which he judges from conversation had with you would not be disagreeable to you. I think the province would do it self honour by such an Exchange.3 Evry thing will depend upon the disposition of a party which for 2 or 3 years past except in a very few instances have carried all before them in matters of Election & for aught I see are still like to do so. I am informed that some of the S. M. of Boston who are attached to that party have wrote to you.4 They are not without apprehensions that the P. will shew some mark of displeasure for their behavior in meeting the sevral Towns in the province [illegible] in the late Convention. Fears of the Consequence makes them Repent and they will be glad of your Interest if you afford it no further than to palliate, wholly to exculpate I think they can hardly expect. I see no prospect of an Assembly before the time when by Charter we must meet for the choice of Counsellors.

    Between this time & that I think we shall Receive such advices from England as will convince People in general it is necessary to chuse a Gentleman to appear for the Province whose publick connexions as well as his personal qualities will give him weight & importance.

    We have had no late Remarkable Occurrences. The General has left us & is gone to Head quarters.5 I am much pleasd with Pomeroy who is now chief in command & I am mistaken if he is not a very proper person for these times & for this particular station.6 The Comodore is a good man too & both of them are very careful to keep their Barracks of which I believe there are very few in good order. One of them of the Marines for affronting & giving a sort of a Challenge to Otis has been some days confined by the Comodore.7 Whether we are better or worse than we have been it is impossible to judge. Having no Assembly we have no Rule to determine the strength of Parties. The Town of B which used to be a Suceedaneum8 have done so much that I think they will do no more until they know how the Parl. Receives what they have already done. The C I am sorry for it are acting a very extraordinary part & continue to meet frequently. Such of them I mean as live mor near the Town without the G. & are preparing Addresses or Petitions to be sent to England. I wish before they come to any determinations they may be convinced that except in their Legislative capacity they are, as you very well know nothing without the G. & that every time they so assemble they act illegally & against the Constitution. I fancy they will be severely Reprimanded.

    Nothing can be more puerile than their calling themselves Members of the C. & professing to act as Individuals & each one for himself to distinguish such Acts from those of a collective body. This they did in their address to the General.9 If I could think of any thing further to give an Idea of our present State I should write it with more pleasure to you than any body, because you know us so thoroughly that you immediately have the fullest conception of all I mean to convey. I shall be very glad of an ^readily embrace an^ opportunity of rendering you any acceptable Service & am Sir Your most obedient humble Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:331); at foot of letter, “Gov. Pownall At [illegible]”; marked “Brown” for ship transport.

    347. To Israel Mauduit

    5 Dec [1768]

    Dear Sir, I took the liberty to print a paragraph of your last letter to let people see how the news of their extraordinary conduct was Received in Engd. & I had a view also to set Mr Hall in a favorable light.1 I think if he was here now he woud be as safe as the Commissioners who have been in town sevral weeks & met with no affront. I must own we are virtuous from necessity. The Malecontents are awed by the Troops. The same black blood still runs thro their veins & the false notions of Government which they have spread thro the Continent still Remain upon the minds of people in general. I think sometimes we have ½ dozen of the most wicked fellows among us of any upon the Globe. They stick at nothing. For 5 or 6 weeks past they have been sending a Diurnall to be printed at NYork.2 They knew such infamous falshoods could obtain no credit here but at that distance there is no body to contradict them & they are inflaming the Governments of NYork & Pensilv. which for some time past seem to have been cool.

    The usual time for the Assembly to meet for sevral years past has been the beginning of Jan. I fancy we shall have some thing of a clamour unless we should hear the Parl have begun to take us in hand. It is commonly said that some persons have not been able to conceal their fears not of any calamity upon the Province in general for that they care little about but of some mark of Resentment against themselves in particular. It would be a happy thing for us if the Guilty only might be punished & the misled deluded people go free but this I despair of. I am,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:332); at foot of letter, “Is. Mauduit Clemens Lane”; partially dated; marked “Brown” for ship transport.

    348. To Unknown

    8 Decemb [1768]

    My Lord, Permit me to give you a very brief summary of our Affairs since I had last the honour of writing to your Lordship.1

    From the 20 of June when the Commissioners of the Cust. took shelter in the Castle until the beginning of Sept our Sons of Liberty were at a stand. Having carried so important a point it was natural to make a small Rest there but after some time they were as uneasy without a further advance as if the former had never been made. The Assembly being dissolved a Meeting of the Town of Boston was called to consider what was proper to be done in consequence of advice that 2 Regiments were coming from Halifax. Many extravagant motions were made as may well be expected from such a Rabble & they finally agreed upon a number of valiant Resolves one of which was that every Inhabitant should have his arms in order because we were in danger of a French War another that at this critical time we being deprived of an Assembly all the Towns & Districts in the Province should be invited to send one or more persons to Boston to consult &c. & the Town of Boston chose the members of the last House.2 Above 100 were chosen in the sevral parts of the Province & met.3 The Gov. admonished them not to do any Acts but to disperse. They were frightened & impotent & glad to separate after a weeks sitting & ^great^ part of them declared they were sent to keep the Rest from doing mischief. The Regiments arriving while they were sitting hastened their dissolution.

    Many threats were given out that the Troops should never land. Attempts were made to bring the Country in but to no purpose. Men are not easily brot to fight when they know death by the sword or the halter will be the consequence first or last. After they were landed Quarters in the Town were Refused. Our Sagacious Council found out that by the Mutiny Acts no Troops could be quartered in any Colony until the Barracks provided by such Colony were first filled & as there were Barracks on Castle Island it was as much as an Officers Comission was worth to bring a man into Town. Puerile as it is yet this Construction struck the Inhabitants in general & several weeks were spent in endeavours to persuade the Council to provide Quarters & they finally Refused and the Comanding Officer was obliged to hire Houses at very dear Rates the weather growing so severe that the Men could no longer Remain in Tents. The two Regiments from Ireld. (except 2 Companies of Colo. Mackay & all the field Officers which are missing) arrived soon after one of which are in the Barracks at the Castle & the other quartered in Town.4 The Troops being thus settled the Commissioners of the Customs Returned to Town & held their boards here to the great mortification of their Enemies. Our Heroes for Liberty have still a dernier resort. They say, be the Tumults what they may no Troops dare fire without the Order of a civil Magistrate & no civil Magistrate dare give such orders. In the first part of their opinion this may be Right in the second they cannot be sure until they have made the trial & we certainly have some bad eno to take evry measure in their power to bring on the Trial. A number of persons have combined to Refuse to answer the guards as they pass them in the night. Small disputes as yet have been the consequence but they seem to be risen & one of our Justices has causd to be apprehended two Centinels who put some of our Street walkers under guard & bound them to answer at the Court of Sessions. The Council encourage evry measure for embarassing the Troops whilst they continue in Town alledging that the sending them here was unnecessary & owing to misrepresentations made by the Commissioners against whom they are violently prejudiced. This backwardness of the C has done more than any thing to prevent the Restoration of Government & order among us. Thus my Lord I have given you a detail of our Affairs. The use to be made of it it would be presumption in me to suggest to your Lordship. I have the honour to be with very great Respect My Lord Your Lordships,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:333); unaddressed; partially dated; marked “Brown” for ship transport.

    349. From Ebenezer Silliman

    Fairfield 8 Decem. 1768

    Dear Sir, This comes under Cover to Doc Eliot to acknowlege the receit of your Obliging Letter of the 1st. of October Last and am in Mr Penoyr’s Name to thank you for the Care and Pains you took in procureing the Revd Doc to Search the Archives of the College in which he hath found a Copy of Mr Penoyrs Will Ancestor to the present Enquirer and hath requested me to write the Doc again for a Copy of that Copy he hath in his Office he Imagines he Shall be able to discover a Considerable Intrest in Equity now due to him and others descendants from that Testator besides the conditional Interest in the Gift to your College.1

    You really discover what I can easily belive you are truely possessed of an uncommon degree of Humanity as well as Christianity in being willing to part with not only your pecuniary Interest but your usefullness if it might redown to the Peace and quiet of (I had almost said) an ungratefull Country.

    But Dear Sir can it be true, that it would be the real advantage of a People to have their ablest best and most powerfull Members withdraw their aid tho party Spirit and faction exalt themselves and pale Envy and horrid ill Will open wide their pestilential throats. Suffer me to doubt.

    These notwithstanding I perceive Your Conduct is not only approved but applauded by more Indifferent and able Judges in whose hands are the powers of Justification and reward, and on which I beg Liberty to congratulate you; and wish you to continue to enjoy the Smiles of your Prince as long You Live.

    However undesirable the vocifiration of the unthinking Many, yet you are favoured above some others that have felt Sufferings of the Like Kind if not to the Same degree; they are Some of them at Least ^Left^ to the only Consolation of a Consciousness of haveing done that which they Sincerely tho’t in the Time of it not only their indispensable Duty but for the greatest Safety for their Country.

    Your Humble Servant counts himself one of this Sort, being not of Sufficient Note as to recommend him to the Notice Smiles and approbation of the King or his Ministers, and so unhappy as to offend so many among whom he dwells as that he is not now Serviceable or usefull among them in the Stations he before Sustained. Yet Anxious for my Country’s Good cant but dread the Evils that it Seems to be threatned with.

    And as you Live where I Suppose You can Learn more of the Temper and disposition and even designs of the British Legislature towards the Colonies than we can in this remote part of the Country what of that you have obtained the Knowlege of if your Leisure will permit You to favour me with will be an additional Obligation of Gratitude on me.

    I cant but hope that the Spirit of Faction is upon the decline, for that party rage which prevailed among us apparently abated on the News of the Arival of Regular Troops in Boston that and a Letter writ by our Agent Mr Johnson Seemed to give a considerable Turn among us and when that Letter was published in our Last Assembly there appeared a visible Chagrin on Some Countenances and after that Publication no Liberty Scheems as they were called were so much as proposed but we had a very quiet and peaceable Assembly; so that some Gentlemen in Merriment bestowed the Epithet of Peace makers on those Troops.2

    Happy would it be for us all if they or Some other Occurrance might have that Effect.

    The Ministry, as yet it seems have not paid any great Deference to the Recommendation of P-----t respecting the Sufferers for Loyalty and friendship to Government in the Late disturbances in America. Indeed Some in Your Government one in Rhode Island and Mr Ingersol in this I perceive have been remembred but all others Seem to be buried in Oblivion.3

    But I forget that I must have already tired your Patience in reading for which I ask pardon and only Add that I have the Honor to be with great respect Sir Your most Obedient and most Humble Servant,

    Eben Silliman

    P. S. If Your Honor will favour me with a Line I have desired the good Doc to Inclose it in his to me.


    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:285–86); addressed, “To The Honble. Thomas Hutchinson Esq. Boston”; endorsed, “Mr Silliman Fairfield 8 Dec. 1768.”

    350. To Thomas Whately

    Boston 10 Dec. 1768

    Dear Sir, I am just now informed that a number of the Council perhaps 8 or 10 who live in & near this town have met together & agreed upon a long Address or Petition to Parl. & that it will be sent by this Ship to Mr B to be presented.1 Mr D who is P. of the C told the G, upon enquiry that it was sent to him to sign & he supposed the Rest of the C who had met together would sign after him in order but he had since found that they had wrote over his name By order of C which makes it appear to be an Act of C.2 This may be a low piece of cunning in him but be it as it may its proper it should be known that the whole is no more than the doings of a part of the C only, altho’ even that is not very material since if they had all been present without the Gov’s summons the meeting would have been irregular & unconstitutional & ought to be discountenanced & censured. I suppose there is no instance of the PC. meeting & doing business without the K. presence or special direction except in Committees upon such business as by His Majestys Order has been Referrd to them by an Act of Council & I have ^known^ no instance here without the G. until within 3 or 4 months past. I thought it very necessary the circumstances of this proceeding should be known tho’ if there be no necessity for it I think it best it should not be known that the Intelligence comes from me. I am with very great Regard Sir Your most humble & most obedient Servant,


    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:334); at head of letter, “Whately.” Contemporary printing: Letters Sent to Great-Britain, p. 14 (all abbreviated names from the AC are spelled out in this printing).

    351. From Thomas Hutchinson, Francis Bernard, Andrew Oliver, and Robert Auchmuty to Commissioners of the Customs (Henry Hulton, William Burch, Charles Paxton, and John Robinson)

    Boston Decr. 22. 1768

    Gentlemen, You have made application to each of Us separately, and desired our answer to the following questions vizt.1

    1. 1st. Whether it is our opinion that at the time you went on board the Romney Man of War, you cou’d have remained in safety at Boston?
    2. 2. Whether if you had remained in Boston, and any violence had been offered to your persons or properties, there was a probability of your receiving protection from Government, or otherwise?
    3. 3. Whether you cou’d have returned to town, and have executed your Commission there in safety, before the arrival of his Majestys troops?
    4. 4. Whether your retiring to the Castle as a place of Security, and remaining there in the exercise of your Commission, were not the best measures you cou’d take, in the circumstances of affairs, for the Service of Government, and the honor of your Commission?

    We have thought proper to confer together, and finding that we are all of one sentiment; We think it most convenient to give you a joint answer.

    And to your first question, We say.

    That we are of opinion from the Spirit which had been excited in the populace against all the Commissioners of the Customs, except Mr. Temple, you cou’d not have remained long in safety in the town of Boston after the seizure of the Sloop Liberty; but wou’d have been in great danger of violence to your persons, and properties, from a Mob, which at that time, it was generally expected wou’d be raised for that purpose.2

    To the second, We say.

    That it had been found by experience that the authority of Government was insufficient to restrain, suppress, or punish, the several Mobs which had been assembled since the 14th of Augt. 1765. in some of which, felonious acts of violence had been commited. And we are of opinion, that at the time you retired to the Castle, there was no probability that the same authority cou’d have had any greater force in restraining, suppressing, or punishing a Mob, raised against the four Commissioners of the Customs, than any other Mob which preceded it.

    To the third, We say.

    That we are of opinion, that you cou’d not have returned to town, and executed your Commission with safety, at any time after your withdraw, before the arrival of His Majestys troops.

    To the fourth, We say.

    That we know of no better measure you cou’d have taken, than your retiring to Castle William; there being no place within this Province, where your persons wou’d have been equally safe, and where the honour of His Majestys Commission could be better maintained; and where it could be exercised with more convenience to his Subjects. We are with great regard, Gentlemen, Your most obedient humble Servants,

    Fra Bernard

    Tho Hutchinson

    And. Oliver

    Robt. Auchmuty

    SC (National Archives UK, T 1/465, ff. 311–12); in an unknown hand; at head of letter, “Copy”; at foot of letter, “To the Honble. Henry Hulton, William Burch, Charles Paxton John Robinson Commissioners of His Majestys Customs, in Boston.”; docketed, “Boston Decr. 22. 1768. Copy of a letter from The Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of the Province, & Judge of the Admiralty to four of the Commrs. of the Customs. Read 6th. June 1769.”

    352. To Unknown


    that the nation should give up its authority or the Colonist be deprived of some part of his privileges. I sometimes desire our Patriots to imagine themselves Members of Parliament for a Moment and then give their Answer to this Question. But it is to no purpose to reason with them. After all I could wish to see the Colonies so prudent as at least tacitly to acknowledge their subjection to Parliament and this point being settled.

    The Governor expects to obtain leave to make a visit to England this Summer. From him you will have a When he is upon the spot be able to give a fuller Account of our Maladies than it would be prudent for any body to trust to pen & ink.

    I fancy you do not doubt in England that one time or other there will be an appeal to the Ultima ratio Regum.1 This must how ever be at a distance. I wish every Colony was a distinct Island. This would effectually prevent a union. Since this cannot be the next best measure is to keep the several Colonies as unconnected as may be. We are disposed to unite for no other purpose but preserving independence upon you and if we were left to our selves and had no foreign Enemies we should soon be at war one with another. If it be adviseable to settle new Colonies when you have more than you can manage already yet, measures may be taken to prevent too close a connexion. If a Colony should be settled on the Missisipi perhaps it would be best to leave all the Country between that & Virginia Pensilvania &c. in its present state. I dare not trust to pen and ink my thoughts upon some provisions which might be made by Parliament for preventing an unwarrantable combination between the Colonies. Ever since the Congress at New York a regular correspondence has been kept up by Demagogues in each Colony.2 If the Constitution of all the Colonies was like that of Massachusets where an Assembly must be held at a certain season every year or like Connecticut & Rhode Island where there is no power to restrain them from meeting as often as they please I think there would have been another Congress before this time.

    Dft (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:372–72a); unaddressed; undated.

    353. To the Commissioners of the Customs (John Robinson, Henry Hulton, and Charles Paxton)

    Boston, 3 Janry: 1769

    Copy of a Letter from Lieut. Governor Hutchinson to three of the Commissioners of the Customs dated Boston 3 Janry: 17691

    Gentlemen, The information I gave you relating to Mr. Venner & Mr Lisle was with the consent of Mr. Sewall and I then mentioned such particular circumstances as I had in my mind. That were very material & I cannot now recollect any which I did not then acquaint you with. I have no reason to think I was under any mistake and am fully satisfied the declarations made to you both by Mr. Venner & Mr. Lisle in their Letters which Mr. Reeves has shewn me contradict the account I received from Mr. Sewall. I am with very great regard Gentlemen &c,

    (signed) Tho: Hutchinson

    SC (Massachusetts Historical Society, Winthrop Family Papers); in an unknown hand; at head of letter, “The Honble the Commrs. of the Customs—This letter tho directed to the Commissioners in General was Never Read at the Board nor did Mr. Temple ever see it till the 1st. Decr. 1769 when he desired to have a Copy of it”; at foot of letter, “Honble John Robinson Henry Hulton & Chas Paxton Esqr.”

    354. From Israel Williams

    Hatfd Janry 9th 1769

    Sir, A few days since I receivd from the Secry sundry Commissions for this County, none for Col Partridge to be a Justice of the Peace whether he was appointed to that Office or an Omission in the Secry cant tell.1

    He seem’d upon being inform’d, uneasy, and desird me to mention it to your honor.

    I wish he may be of the Quorum, and have the rank that belongs to him, if it can be, which is next to Col Worthington.2

    I am told that Since the arrival of the Troops the Town of Boston is quiet; I do not for my part like the Appearance, however hope it will promote salutary in the end, prevent their taking measures ruinous to themselves and destructive to the Province. Is there no way to prevent the foolish unnecssary and at this time impolitick peices, weekly publish’d in the Publick Prints?

    What Sir are We to expect a dissolution of our Constitution, on yeilding up to the Colonys what they so earnestly contend forr?

    I heartily wish an amendment of some things if better coud be provided.

    I heartily thank your honor for your goodness and kindness to me and mine.

    If a Commission coud be forwarded for the Colo before our next Febry Term Should be glad.

    I am Sir Your obliged Friend and with the greatest Esteem and respect Your obedient Servant,

    Is Williams

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:287–87a); addressed, “To the Honble Thomas Hutchinson Esqr. Lieutenant Governor etc. Boston.”

    355. To John Hely Hutchinson

    Jan 18. [1769]1

    Sir, The post I hold in the Government here has given me the pleasure of an acquaintance with Colo Pomeroy2 & the respect & esteem with which I have heard him repeatedly mention your name makes me ambitious of being known to you. My Ancestors were some of the first settlers in this Colony & a tradition has been handed down that one of the brothers of my first Ancestor in America about the time he came over here went from England to Ireland & that his posterity had an Estate at Clonmill where Colo Pomeroy tells me your Lady was born. The name of the brother from whom I am descended was William.3 I find he had a brother Samuel a bachelor who died in NEngland very aged about the year 1670 & two other brothers Richard & Edward both which came to NEngland but soon returned to England. I shall be obliged to you for favouring me with the name of the first of the family who went to Ireland and for any Anecdotes of the family. My natural curiosity & a particular fondness for a thorough knowledge of the first Emigrants to America & their families I hope will be some excuse for asking this trouble of you.

    I beg your acceptance of a couple of volumes which cost me some labour but mixed with a great deal of pleasure which I shall desire the master of this ship to deliver you.4 Perhaps you may meet with some thing new in them but I had no expectation that they would be of any great importance in Europe. I have had by me, some time, a stone which was in use among the natives as an edge tool before the English arrived & when there was no sort of Metal in the Country. I have the history of it more than 100 years & never could meet with another except one which I sent some years ago to the Royal Museum where it was very kindly received.5 If you have no curiosity for collections of this sort perhaps it would be acceptable to the University of Dublin. I will desire the master to take the trouble of it. It is called an Indian Ax.

    The Troops arrived here in a very critical time. The Government established by the Constitution had little more than the name of Authority left, and the people were every day taking more power into their hands. A particular account of our proceedings you will have seen in the London prints. We are still murmuring & discontented. I think the Parl. will have a hard task to restore America to its former tranquil state. I urged every Argument to shew the inexpediency of the Stamp Act before it passed but the people soon forgot it and because I would have dissuaded them from all resistance after it became a Law they gave vent to their Rage principally upon me destroyed my house & all that was in it & it was owing to [five words written in cipher]6 that I escaped with my life.

    A Thirst for Liberty seems to be the ruling passion not of America but of the present age. In Governments under arbitrary rule it may have a salutary effect but in Governments where as much freedom is enjoyed as can consist with the ends of Government as was the case in this Province it must work Anarchy and Confusion unless there be some external power to restrain it.

    I promised Colo Pomeroy to make his Compliments to you. I have the honour to be Sir Your most humble & most obedient Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:336–37); misdated 1768; at head of letter, “Jno Hely Hutchinson Eq.”