More Letters Arrive from London

    394. To Sir Francis Bernard, 11 August [1769]

    395. To Samuel Hood, 14 August 1769

    396. To Lord Hillsborough, 18 August 1769

    As if the initial package of six letters from Francis Bernard to Lord Hillsborough published in April were not damaging enough, more attested copies of private letters arrived from London on 10 August. This time the parcel included not only more letters by Bernard but also some by General Thomas Gage and Commodore Samuel Hood, as well as the journals of the customs commissioners and their internal correspondence. Whereas the first six letters included some intemperate language by Bernard as he vented his frustration with the Council about the quartering of the troops in October 1768, this second round of letters laid bare a consistent pattern of exaggeration, if not misrepresentation, whenever Bernard described events in Massachusetts, all of which was designed to induce the ministry to dispatch troops without Bernard himself requesting them.

    394. To Sir Francis Bernard

    11 Aug [1769]

    No. 2

    Dear Sir, Yesterday Cap Scott arrived. By him the Council have received attested copies of between 30 & 40 letters which were laid before the H of Commons. They say they have all the G. and the contents of them are in every body’s mouth. They have some of Gen. Gages Commodore Hoods Hallowells & Harrisons.1 Poor Harrison they say used to stand well but now he is odious to every friend to the Country. They have the Journal of the Commissioners at the Castle their Letters & Memorials to the Treasury some of them signed by Mr Temple but Cap Erving exculpates him & says that until he received letters from the Lords of the Treasury to the contrary he thought he was obliged to sign every thing that was voted by the Board.2 The Council are very busy consulting what use is to be made of these Letters. I hope I shall have the sentiments of the Administration on these proceedings. An Agent for the House another for the Council are new things. When the pay of each is voted as there is a precedent for that of the House, I shall not be able to refuse my consent unless I have directions to the contrary. Give me leave Sir to desire you to endeavour that what orders I may receive at any time may be expressed as coming from His Majesty by His Secretary of State that there may be no colour for the cavil that was made of a distinction between the Act of the King & the Act of his Minister.

    The Merchants are taking their measures with the Importers in Scott. Such combinations are so incompatible with a state of government that it seems impossible the P. should overlook them if they design to maintain their authority in the Colonies. Lady Bernard Mr Logan tells me sets out for Stafford to morrow.3 I am Sir Your Obliged & most humble Servant,

    ^This Vessel tarrying till the 17 gives me opportunity of continuing what I wrote in my last concerning the Virgin.4 They had two meetings with our people & told them they were assured the South Col. would be content to be set in the same state they were in before the St Act. Our people told them nothing short of the removal of all duties would satisfy them. The Gentlemen were invited to the Rout the 14 Aug to celebrate the pulling down the Sec house but they declined the invitation. Mr Han led the van & the Speak. was next in a procession of 118 carriages of one sort or another.5 I have sent Ld Hillsbro the news paper of this day in which is an Advertisement published by 4 or 5 with their names to it who call themselves the Comittee of the Merchants & altho that alone may perhaps not be very criminal yet if connected with the former votes professing a design to compel Parl. by the discontents of the Manufacturers to comply with the demands of the Colonies & if considered as carrying the design into execution I know not what name to give the Offence.^6

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:363); partially dated; at head of letter, “Sir F Bernard”; marked, “per H” for ship transport.

    395. To Samuel Hood

    Boston 14. Aug. 1769

    My dear Sir, I have nothing of great importance to communicate to you. I will cover the two last scandalous Chronicles.1 Nothing can be more illiberal than the language they use when they speak of the Gr. If he was as bad as his worst enemies have represented him his Comission ought to protect him against such scurrility. You do not escape them. I know you despise them. I have several times before had the honour of being joined with good Company. I can guess from what quarter it comes but I have no other evidence than a similarity of expression with some other performances. Copies of your Letters which were laid before the H. of Comn are sent here attested by one of the Clerks.2 They are not yet public but are communicated within a certain Compass & have given occasion for the abuse in the paper of this day. The C have also received most if not all the rest of G Bernd. Letters the Journals Letters & Memorials of the Comissioners of the Customs Mr Hallowells & Harrisons Letters. Harrison is much exclaimd against & it is said his Letters are higher than any body’s when he was supposed to be rather friendly. Mr B_____n writes that it was with great difficulty he obtaind this valuable acquisition the Clerks being alarmd with the publication of former letters declind giving further Copies & he was at last obliged to Mr Beckford who having right as a Member to the copies of all papers gave him an order for the delivery of them.3

    You see by the papers likewise the proceedings of the Merchants. They have been much the same in all the other Colonies & the Ministry & Parlt are fully apprizd of them. My sons offerd to give their words that they would not dispose of the goods they imported until after the first of Jan. but they were not satisfied & insisted upon the delivery of the goods into their custody & joining in the combination which they declind.

    The Gen. sent me this note yesterday. “By last nights packet I got my leave to go home & hope to get away some time this week.”4 I know of no Vessel that will sail this week & therefore I suppose he intends for NYork. I am with sincere regards & esteem Sir your most obedient humble Servant,

    The General has just called upon me & tells me he shall go on board Jarvis friday evening.

    AC (Masssachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:364); at head of letter, “Commodore Hood.”

    396. To Lord Hillsborough

    Boston 18. August 1769

    No. 2

    My Lord, Since I had last the honor of writing to your Lordship the Gentlemen of the Council have received from their Agent in London attested Copies of a great number of papers laid before the House of Commons in the last Session of Parliament.1 They have all Governor Bernards letters, except what they had before received, the Letters, Memorials & Journals of the Commissioners of the Customs, General Gage’s, Commodore Hood’s, Mr. Harrison’s & Mr. Hallowell’s Letters. Nothing can more disserve Government than the permission of the Intelligence sent by His Majesty’s Servants in the Colonies to be made Public. I have therefore endeavoured to prevail on the Council not to print these papers and I should hope for success if it was not for a General Call among the People for their Publication.2 The Council disclaim acting in the capacity of Councellors. The Letters they say are directed to Eleven persons by their names, two of which, though of the Council the last year are not so this. The Merchants continue their proceedings which they are willing enough to be publish to the World and the two inclosed papers contain as full an account as I am capable of transmitting to your Lordship. I have the honour to be with great respect Your Lordships most humble and most obedient Servant

    Tho Hutchinson

    RC (National Archives UK, CO 5/758, ff. 190–91); at foot of letter, “The Right Honorable the Earl of Hillsborough &c.”; docketed, “Boston 18th. August. 1769, Lieut. Govr. Hutchinson (No. 2) Rx 27th. Octr.” AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:365); unaddressed; partially dated, “August 1769”; marked, “Bartlett” for ship transport. SC (National Archives UK, CO 5/768, ff. 28–29); docketed, “Boston 18 August 1769 Lieut. Govr. Hutchinson (No. 2) Rx 27th. October”; in an unknown hand. SC (Staffordshire Record Office, Dartmouth Collection, D(W)1778/V/611B), extract, “The Merchants continue . . . transmitting to your Lordship.”; in an unknown hand. Enclosure to RC: Boston Gazette, 14 August 1769.

    397. To [Richard Jackson?]

    Boston 18. Aug 1769

    My dear Sir, I thank you for the last favour by my Neice Mrs Spooner.1 I wrote a few lines to you by the Gov. I hope not meerly for his sake but for the sake of Government that some mark will be shewn of approbation of his conduct. No servant of the Crown was ever more injuriously treated than he has been by the people of the province, every news paper spreading thro’ the Country some calumny or other without the least foundation. The professed design was to wear him out and cause him to resign his government & to induce the Ministry to remove him because disagreeable to the people. If he should meet with a cold reception in England the Enemies of Government will triumph more when they receive the news of it than they did when they ^he^ left the province. No man can pass thro’ such a variety of difficult critical affairs as he has done without some errors which he must ^afterwards^ see himself much less without making himself liable to the censure of people in general. I really think there have been as few of these mistakes as could be expected & perhaps they appear so from the events which were altogether fortuitous.

    We think every Session of Parlt. critical but the crisis is not yet come. I think it cannot be far off. I am as much against arbitrary government as any person living. The more favour you shew the Colonies in freeing them from Taxes of every sort & indulging them in such forms of constitution civil & ecclesiastical as they have been used to the more agreeable it will be to me provided you do not wholly relinquish us & take away the claim we have to your protection. In the constitution of this province in particular altho’ I have thought the C in the late times too compliant with popular prejudices & that this was owing to their dependance on the Representatives for their annual election yet I have never been satisfied that the constitution of the C. in the Kings governments was not liable to greater exceptions. But let me beseech you not to leave us any longer than the next Session in this uncertain state. No people under heaven ever felt the Truth of that maxim Ubi lex vaga &c.2 more than the Colonies now do the whole constitution being vague & uncertain. I think of the condition of Engd. just before the Restoraton. One week the town of Boston take upon them the powers of government call their meetings not for the purpose to which by law they are limited but to consider such measures as are expedient for the whole province & they appoint Committees receive Reports pass Resolves & send Messages to the Gov. address the King &c. The next week the Merchants call a Meeting they vote to import no more goods and that all who do not join with them are enemies to the Country adjourn their meetings appoint Committees proscribe particular persons whom they would distinguish as more criminal than others, who are as effectually punished by losing their custom as if large fines had been imposed by legal authority.

    It is very natural to ask why the Laws are not put in execution & all concerned in these unlawful confederacies punished, the answer is the body of the people are of one mind & when that is the case government must lose its vigour without external aid.

    In some of the Colonies the Repeal of the late Revenue Act may possibly restore Government and they will be content to be put in the same state they were in before the stamp act passed. Others say they will never be satisfied until all Acts imposing Taxes of any kind are repealed. There is danger if you should do both one & the other that it would be the means of a Truce only of no long continuance. I fancy the restraint upon trade would soon be thought at least in some Colonies as unconstitutional as Taxes. Your conceding one [step m]akes3 us advance another. I am afraid you will think my principles are too high but I, certainly am of just the same principles with you. I remember what you have said in some of your former letters of the absurdity of the doctrine that the subjects of any government may refuse obedience to Laws because they appear to them to be contrary to Religion, Natural Justice or Natural Rights. Let them rise in a body & change the Government or let them leave it & live in another but whilst they remain let them obey or submit to the penalty. Repeal as many of the Laws now in force as you please but what remain take some effectual method to carry them into execution.

    It is difficult to do it I confess. But it must be done first or last or you lose the Colonies. The longer you delay the more difficult it will be. I have opened my mind more freely to Gen Mackay upon this subject than what I dare commit to writing.4 He is fully with you in sentiment as to the inexpediency of the Revenue Acts but he sees more of the designs of many persons to throw off subjection to Acts of Parlt. of any kind than you have any idea of because you are not upon the spot.

    I have wrote in hast a rambling Letter without method and if it discovers little or no design impute it to the nature of the subject. I wish some way could be found to obtain an explicit declaration from each Assembly how far they admitted the authority of Parlt. that you might see the lines they would draw & the absurdities they would be involved in. My interest leads me now more than ever to value your friendship. I never stood so much in need of your information & advice. I am with the most sincere regard & esteem

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:365–66); unaddressed; marked, “By Bartlett” for ship transport. Contemporary printing: Boston Gazette, 11 March 1776, which names the recipient as Richard Jackson.

    398. From Jonathan Sayward1

    York August 22d 1769

    Honord and dear Sir, When you were on your Circuit in this County, you intimated an honor you intended for me, when you should take the Chair.2 As I have since heard of a Pamphlet Intitleed a dialogue: I am convinced that those Sons of Violence that composed that, wait only for some others that are obnoxious to them, to be Cald up into View, that they may be a more publick Mark to shoot at, (and ^they^ Shoot Bitter arrows) the Effects of which I have ^not^ Conquerd as yet, and Reluct to have the Clouds Return so soon after the Rain.3

    This therfore with submission I desire not to be named as a Candidate for the office you Proposed.

    No business suffers for want of that being filld & posibly such a spirit may be Checkd, (I am Sure it is high time) the ways and means to do it are above my comprehention.

    While many are Watching for your Halting I sincerely say I wish you an easy and Happy Administration, and am with the Greatest Respect Your Honors Most obedient and Most Humble


    Jonathan Sayward

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:328); addressed, “To The Honorable Thomas Hutchinson Lieut. Governour and Commander in Chief of the Massachusetts Bay Boston”; endorsed, “Jon. Sayward Esq Aug. 20 1769”; at foot of letter, “To the Honorable Thomas Hutchinson Esq.”