908 | From Thomas Hutchinson

    Boston, [c. 7–28] October 1772

    Kings Scooner1

    Dear Sir

    I have now to answer your Letters by Scott of 1. 3 & 5 of August.2 Upon the Subject of the 1st. I have lately wrote you at large3 and there has been no remarkable occurrence since except that Mr. B4 has sold his Still house for £1050 — Sterlg and lessened so much of Mr Lanes demand by payment of that sum to Mr. Lechmor. I know nothing of Goldthwait. He keeps at his Fort [Pownall] and for aught I know to the contrary still maniges what little trade is carried on there Prebble having never been here. I declined my consent to his choice until Goldthwait came to Town who was then expected but upon his arriving and being convinced that there was no possibility of a vote for him he came to me and desired I would not negative Prebble. The true reason why they did not vote for Goldthwait was the large Sum which he had in his hands, I think £1300 sterlg unaccounted for though he said himself it lay in goods and Debts. I beleive it will not be soon paid. I gave the reasons of my assent to my Lord Hillsborough in the time of it.5

    In your Letter of the 3d you take notice of Sewalls affair. You will soon after receive his Answer which will be very agreable to what you have undertaken for him, altho a place at the Board is what he and every body chose he should have.6 You think it will not be finally settled until after the vacation. It’s possible before that Mr. Robinson may hear of the accomadation of his affair with Mr. Otis and if he should his Friends expect he will return here again.7 This may cause some derangement in your plan. I am not without Fears that it may be of some disservice to join the post of Attorney-General to that of Sollicitor of the Customs whilst the prejudice is so great against all Officers of the Customs, which is the principal inducement with me to wish to see Sewall at the board of Commissioners that I might have an Attorney General unconnected with them. But I must make the best of it.

    Mr. Stewart tells me8 that while he lay in the Downs he received advices which made it certain that Lord Hillsborough had resigned and that a Successor was appointed. I hoped for a lasting Administration. I am sure I shall retain a grateful remembrance of my Obligations to His Lordship as long as my memory lasts me. I shall not know what to say upon Affairs until I know who succeeds and what plan for America is intended. If Lord Dartmouth succeeds it may tend to silence some of our clamorous people as his Lordships Character has always[s]9 stood high in the Colonies and it may convince them that they are never to hope for a Minister who will shew an[y] Countenance to their factious and absurd principles & practice[s]. The next ships will bring advices which will releive me from the suspence which we are yet in at least in some degree.10

    I can say no more than I have done about the Eastern Country. It settles with great rapidity and in a little time more there will be a very small part remaining for either the Crown or the Province to grant. The last time Goldthwait was in Town he had altered his mind and thought it would be an infinite damage to the Province if it should be made a seperate Government.

    The Salaries of the Law Officers make a great noise. I hear there is a Town meeting talked of and the papers are more treasonab[le] than ever.11 I endeavoured to prevail on the Council to advise to the apprehending12 the printer of a Letter addressed to the King but they who most condemned it were afraid and thought it enough to direct the Attorney General to prosecute which is little more than doing nothing.13

    I am pleased with the post provided for Phillips.14 Such an Officer was necessary. The Castle most certainly is not under a proper regulation. There must be a few staff Officers to have a constant charge and care of the whole and the Regiment should have no other concern with it than to send a detachment of 30 or 40 men with a Subaltern to do duty ^for^ a week or shorter time and then to be succeeded by another party and so by rotation through the Regiment. At present the Commanding Officer is frequently shifting and the Regiments themselves are changed and it cannot be expected that there should be the same care of the Fortress as in persons who are fixed down in a post or charge of duration perhaps for life. Indeed the business of the Regiment when properly attended is enough for the Officers of the Regiment. The Garrison is said to be under my Command but it is nominally only and I find ^that^ it must remain so until some new Orders are given nor do I know how to come at a Flagg when we are in want or Oars for a Boat without applying to General Gage. I keep up the appearance of Command to silence the party who are disposed to make all the mischief they can and as they have declared that upon my taking a Salary from the King I am not in that respect a constitutional Governor so I have been expecting them to declare with more Colour that I am not the Governor of the whole Province if the Castle is exempted and another person is supreme director there. I do not know how it would be liked if I should write to the Secretary of State what I now write to you. I wish you would give me your sentiments upon it. Phillips has been with his Family at Long Island in New York Government all Summer and is not yet returned.

    I observe nothing in the 5th which requires anything more than what I have said in answer to your former except your repeated notice of my Son for which accept my repeated thanks.15

    Flucker has been absent a month at Penobscot. When he returns I shall know better the state of that Country and the disposition of the Inhabitants and will then write again upon that & other Subjects. I am &c.

    L, LbC      Mass. Archs., 27: 391–393.