Arrangements at Castle William

    726. To Unknown, 20 October 1770

    727. To [Sir Francis Bernard], 22 October 1770

    728. From Thomas Gage, 22 October 1770

    729. To Lord Hillsborough, 26 October 1770

    Even while the Council still debated the legality of the transfer of the Castle to royal control, a host of other smaller issues at the fort needed Hutchinson’s attention. What provisions could be made for members of the provincial garrison, whose salaries from the General Court would soon cease? Could some of the officers become part of the new royal establishment? How would disbursements of powder and shot (the property of the province) be handled?

    726. To Unknown

    Boston 20 October 1770


    Not sent

    Dear Sir, The third or fourth day after I had put the Kings Troops in possession of the Castle I had occasion to meet the Council upon some common business. When it was finished I asked the Gentlemen whether they had any news. Mr. Bowdoin, who was of late been at the head of the opposition both in the Council and in the Town of Boston, said he had received as chairman of the Towns Committee a Letter from Govr Pownall which if it was agreable to me he would read. I a little wondered that he should be willing to communicate to me such a Letter but I let him know that I was willing to hear it. In the Letter there was a very particular account of the determination of the Cabinet with respect to this province, the delivery of the Castle to the Kings Troops, making Boston the Rendezvous of the Kings Ships and there was added some other things among the rest as I remember taking possession & Fortifying Fort Hill and sending several Regiments to Boston. Good advice is given to conduct with moderation and prudence & Capt Prestons case is strongly recommended but the parts of the Letter which struck me most and which I take it must be the inducement to read the letter were the objections to the Kings giving the Command of his Troops when they are in any Colony to any other person than to his Locum Tenens and to the delivering possession of the Castle to the Kings Troops as contrary to the Charter which provides that the Governor shall have the direction of all Forts within the Province. Much is said upon both these heads. To the first I think little need be said in answer and the weight of the letter lyes in this point alone that the Castle and Island is part of the Territory contained in the Charter which is to be under one Governor &c. however I let them know I had not given up the Castle I thought another Garrison more proper than that which was in it, my inducement to think so I was not, accountable for, I should direct in all matters relative to the Fort & all the Stores, just the same with the new Garrison as with the old. I dont remember any Answer made me at that time, but the first Message I have had from the House after the[y] came to do business was, to desire I would inform them whether I still had the Command of the Castle. I gave them such as Answer as they do not like and they have a Committee to prepare another Message to draw something from me if they can which I have reason to suspect they hope to make an advantage of in Parliament rather than against me.1 Mr. Bowdoin tho of the Council yet is with the Leaders of the Faction in the House and Town in many of their Consultations and Intrigues and I have no doubt is at the bottom of this.

    As the Town places confidence in Governor Pownall I do not know that any exception is to be taken to his given them this advice but its proper for me to let it be known & to let the true state of the change of the Garrison at the Castle be known. The obligations I am under to him requires that I shoud do nothing which may be in any respect prejudicial to him. Mentioning it to My Lord Hillsborough immediately or through any other person, might have the appearance of such an intention. By mentioning it to you only you will have it in your power to make use of this Intelligence just so far and no further than the publick service may require & perhaps there will be never occasion for it to be known to any person but yourself as the whole affair may have no consequences. I am sure you will conduct it so as nobody will think unfavorably of me for communicating to you what I have done. I am with perfect Regard & Esteem Sir Your Obedient & humble Servant,

    This letter being read in Council soon became the Subject of Conversation & possibly you may hear of it from other quarters.

    Dft (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 27:36–37); in WSH’s hand.

    727. To [Sir Francis Bernard]

    Boston 22 October 1770

    No. 40


    Dear Sir, Now the Rendezvous of his Majestys Ships is in the harbour of Boston it seems to be necessary there should be a magazine if not for powder which its very proper should be sometimes landed yet for all other stores for the Ships use and also for the service of the troops though their general destination be up the Gaspe. No place is more proper than fort hill. A store house and one powder magazine may be built there at no great expence and the expence may be limited & the works proportioned accordingly & the buildings may be stockaded round & at such a distance from them as to take in the whole top of the hill or as much of it as may be thought proper. This will be doing what the Kings Service immediately requires & it will keep possession of the place & if any further measures should be thought of hereafter this first step in this way will facillitate execution of them. As Mr. Montresor will no doubt be upon the works at the Castle he may receive his directions from General Gage to erect such buildings on Fort hill for the use of the Ships & troops & a general instruction to me to take care that no encroachments be made would be sensible. I suggest this that you may consider of it & I do it in confidence for it ought never to be known that I am privy to any thing of this nature until there is a greater change in the people of the province.

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:447).

    728. From Thomas Gage

    New York 22d. October 1770

    Sir, I was favoured with a few Lines from you some Days ago from Cambridge, dated the 4th of September; I presume thro’ Mistake, that it should have been October. The Letter covered some Affidavits taken at Castle William, in which, some of the Passages, as you Observe in your Letter of the 15th Inst. might have been better Omitted.1 Tho’ the Letter from me, which you mean to shew your Council is not immediately before me, I recollect the Purport of it, and if it can be of any Publick Service, [I] shall be no ways displeased at your communicating the Contents to those Gentlemen.2

    I am pleased that Capt. Montresor does everything in his Power to Correspond with your View of Government; and you may be assured, that I shall chearfully contribute in such Matters—depend on me, to give you every Assistance therein.

    It is no small Satisfaction to every well wisher to the Constitution here, to receive Accounts of the Probability of Peace being restored to your Province; Storms will not Subside at Once, but as Sailors say, the Heart of the Storm seems to be broke, and there is an appearance, from our Reports, that the Knot of Faction will soon be untied, without having recourse to the Sword to Cut it asunder. And I am to hope from thence, that your Objections to the Acceptance of the Seat of Government will be removed,

    Your next Post will probably give some Accounts of Captain Prestons Tryal, unless Postponed beyond Tomorrow, for which day I think it was fixed.

    I have the Honor to be with great Regard, Sir, &c.

    AC (Clements Library, Thomas Gage Papers); at foot of letter, “[Lt.] Govr. Hutchinson”; notation, “Memo: Thr’o hurry amid fear of missing the Post One Paragraph of the within Letter was omitted (designedly) being Copied; but it respected only the Arrival of Governor Dunmore.”

    729. To Lord Hillsborough

    Boston 26 October 1770

    By Scooner

    My Lord, The mark of confidence shewn me by your Lordship in your private Letter encourages me to mention to your Lordship my Sentiments upon the Affair of the Castle with greater freedom than I should be willing to do in a publick Letter. No more proper measure could have been pitched upon more proper than the possession of the Harbour of Boston by the Kings Ships & Troops for, if nothing further shall follow, it is what the King has an unquestionable Right to do and is a proper mark of Royal resentment of the publick menaces from the Town and of the countenance shewn all given to them by the Assembly; and, if any thing further shall be done, this is a very proper preparitive for it.

    What relates to the Castle I have considered meerly as an Exchange of the Garrison, by the authority of the Governor subject to an Order from the King. By this Order I am restrained from making any alteration in the new Garrison without further signification of His Majestys pleasure and this, I conceive may consist with my retaining a general Command of the Fortress as Governor of the Province. I have kept in service no more than two persons, besides the Kings Troops, the one an Officer to whom I have given the charge of all the Stores, by Warrant or Commission to be issued pursuant to Orders from me, but he has a general Order to issue whatever may be necessary for the use of the Garrison, when required by the Commanding Officer, making due return to me, the other an Officer for receiving all passes at the Castle, requiring all Vessels bound in or out to give an account of the places from whence they came or where they are bound &c which latter Officer is absolutely necessary for preventing breaches of the Acts of Trade, and he is to make return to me every month. [I] have recommended to the Assembly to make provision for the pay of these Officers but I am told they will refuse it wholly or make some pitiful allowance. The first is a place of great trust & cannot deserve less than five shillings sterling per day, the other, four shillings and each a ratio of Provisions. They must both constantly attend. I humbly pray your Lordships directions to the General to provide for the payment of these Officers or to make up the deficiency if the Assembly should make a partial Allowance.

    I have done every thing in concert with General Gage and we have in every point agreed in Sentiment. It seems to be the general expectation of the Regiment here that a Governor will be appointed for the Fort and an Establishment made for all necessary subordinate Officers, independant of the Governor of the province. Whilst the Govr of the Province shall observe such Orders & Instructions as he may receive I submit to your Lordship whether any advantage can arise from such an Establishment. The Garrison, at present, occasions no more charge than when the whole Regiment was in the Barracks but if an Establishment is made for the Officers of a Fort I suppose there will be a very great additional charge. The people are much more easy in an opinion that the Fort is still under the Command of the Governor of the Province than they would be if a Governor of the Fort should be appointed and made independant.

    I will put under this cover my last letter from General Gage being upon the Subject of the Store keeper.1 I had not then mentioned any thing relative to the other Officer but I find it equally necessary and that no business of that sort will be done with any propriety by any of the Garrison.2

    I beg leave to take this opportunity to mention to your Lordship what altho’ I cannot fully depend upon yet I may not omit. I have frequent intimation from most of the Counties in the Province that the People are much altered & express themselves freely that they have been misled and deceived by the faction in the Town of Boston. I will encourage these beginnings in all the ways which prudence will allow of. Even in Boston there is a more favorable appearance & I shall advise the Commissioners of the Customs to leave the Castle after the 5th of November when we must expect some degree of Riot3 and to hold their Board in Town or if they prefer it near the Town. The resentment shewn against the Instructions of the Town of Boston & the Answer of the Assembly to my Message in April which is known to be the performance of the Members of the Town has contributed greatly to alter many persons minds since it has been publickly known.4 This may prove nothing more than a lull but I would hope for the best. I have the honour to be most respectfully My Lord Your Lordships most humble & most obedient Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 27:38–39); in WSH’s and TH’s hands. SC (Clements Library, Thomas Gage Papers); partial copy including the second paragraph and the first sentences of the third and fourth paragraphs; at head of letter, “Extract of a Letter from Lt: Govr. Hutchinson to the Earl of Hillsborough dated 26th. October 1770.” Contemporary printing: Boston Gazette, 5 February 1776.

    730. From Andrew Oliver

    Boston 27 October 1770

    Honorable and Dear Sir, I yesterday & not before, saw the determination of Council upon the business of my deposition altho’ it was sent down to the House the day before.1 I send you some Extracts of it, together with a new Petition I have prepared in order to be laid before the Board the beginning of the week. It is a matter of importance with regard both to you & me; I would therefore pray you to look it carefully over & give me your advice upon it. I have made use of your name: the paragraph near the close between the Crotchets, you will expunge if you see fit, or make any alterations either in that or any other part of the Petition which you shall judge best.2

    If Colo. Brattle sho’d be with you to day, possibly it may [be] expedient to sound him on the occasion.3

    The House still retain the Words—“by the authority of the same”—in their Impost Bill. My Son tells me that the Country Members begin to see that there is a design to do no business, notwithstanding the Vote of the House to the contrary. The Council are likewise putting you to a new trial about communicating Ld. H____’s Letter & the Resolves of the King in Council.4

    I pray you to return me the inclosed this Evening with your remarks upon it, if you have oportunity. I will try to come to Milton myself this Afternoon, but am not sure that I shall find time. I am Sir Your most obedient & humble Servant,

    And Oliver

    RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:448–48a); at foot of letter, “Honle. Thos. Hutchinson Esqr”; docketed, “From A Oliver Octr. 1770.”