862 | To Thomas Hutchinson

    No 43

    Hampstead, Octr 7. 1770.

    Dear Sir

    It is generally understood here that the Combinations in America are at an End: the rest of the Colonies must follow the example of New York however they pretend to abhor it. The last Advices from Boston say that the Merchants there were upon the Point of declaring for Importation: & it is high time for there is 350,000 pounds worth of Goods all ready gone from hence to New York.1 If this is so there is no Occasion for Commissioners as you mention; besides if Commissioners were to treat with the Colonies, such a Submission would only widen the Breach: they would quarrel upon first Principles & go no farther than asserting and denying the Authority of Parliament.2 The Declaration at Cambridge has nothing new in it, but the extraordinary Circumstances of time Place & the Speaker. It may be of some Use: if it is, care will be taken that no Names shall be used, and there shall be no Room to guess at the Reporter.3

    I think you have conducted your Dispute with the Assembly in a masterly Manner & have fairly routed them. Their Publication of the Papers I thought would have been of Use here: but they are too voluminous; nobody reads them & they have never been republished here. And indeed their last Answer is so flagitious that it makes all the rest Useless: this will [be] read in Parliament and I think must rouse them. It will be very suitable to what is intended to be done to reform your Government.

    I am sorry to hear you say that the Assembly can’t be held at Cambridge in Winter; I held an Assembly there in the severest Part of the Winter; and we were very comfortable in every thing but setting fire to the College: and that turned out for good.4 I mentioned to My Lord H your Desire to have a discretionary Power to call them at Boston: He answered shortly “by no means untill they have acknowledged the Governor’s Power to call them where he pleases”; and said he would write to you so. I think there is another thing wanting which ought to precede the calling the Assembly at Boston: which is strengthening the Government & reforming the Magistracy that you may be sure to be able to controll the Mob. At present if the Faction should fail in the House, they would raise their Forces without & terrify those whom they could not persuade. When we see so respectable a Body as the Merchants of Boston with all their Friends and dependents about them drove involuntary into Distress & Ruin, by the fear of a Mob can we expect more firmness in a Set of Country farmers without anyone to support them? I do verily beleive if the Majority of the Assembly were disposed to get rid of the Tyranny of the Faction they would not dare to attempt it at Boston but would venture it at Cambridge. So that if this Revolution so wanted to the Province should take Place it must be by means of the Assemblys being kept out of Boston, untill the Authority of Government is restored there. This will not be done this Winter, tho’ I hope it will before the next.

    As your Conduct has been approved, of so you may depend upon it it5 will be justified in a proper Manner; not by complimentary Letters, by which I was supported under the most ^un^equal Struggle that ever Man laboured with for 4 years together, but by actual Appointments, by an adequate Salary, by additional Powers & by other Ways & Means which if I had had 2 years ago I should not have been here now. Every thing that you could wish to support your Government is intended to be done. If Administration fails in this this Session I will never ask you to expect Releif again.

    I am &c.

    The Honble Govr Hutchinson

    L, LbC      BP, 8: 129–131.