912 | To John Pownall

    Astrop wells Aug. 28. 1773.

    Dear Sr

    I have been at this place this fortnight to try what these waters can do for the releif of Lady B. and also of myself, but hitherto without much success; & I have this day received a packet from you containing letters & papers from Govr: Hutchinson, as well as your kind letter to me. I feel very much for him, & the more as his sufferings are so similar to my own, from the same faction, & in the same cause, the defence of the Sovereignty of Great Britain. I wanted no motives to act the part of a Sollicitor on his behalf; but was discouraged for the want of authority from him. Nevertheless as I was sensible ^that^ I could give evidence of many things that would be material in the determination of the Issue to which the Boston faction had brought their cause, I had thought to make a voluntary offer of my testimony on this occasion, and had actually begun a Letter on this subject. but considering that it could not be long before I should receive from Govr H. both Authority & Instruction, I deferred my intention till I heard from him, which I have done with effect by the packet you have now sent me.

    To me this effort to get the Govr & Lt Govr turned out professedly for being friends to ^the^ Government of great Britain and being principled in the idea of their colony being subordinate to it, as the supreme state, has nothing extraordinary in it. It is but a counterpart of what they threatned to do with, when they found me immoveable in vindicating the Authority of the King & parliment,1 to remove the governor by force & arms. It is but natural chain of causes & effects which has but one link more to add to it; that is when the Governor is turned out at their instance they shall have the Appointment of the new Governor. And indeed in such case the Patronage of the Government when it is divested of all real power & Authority and is become merely nominal, it is a right not worth preserving. It would be like the appointment of the Doge of Venice whom the inquisitors of the state may depose & execute at pleasure.

    It is and always has been a great & a hurtful mistake to consider the opposition at Boston a personal quarrel of the quarrel of the Governors; It is & has been, I beleive, in every instance, a quarrel with the Government of Great Britain, formerly with the King and Administration only, now with the whole state, parliment & all. Heretofore they were content to ground their dispute on particulars not essential to the right of government which was only indirectly affected: Now the Authority of Parliment itself — is brought in question, and it is positively denied that Great Britain as a State has any thing to do with them, and this not only by news paper writers but by the representatives of the people formally assembled. And now they want the King to turn out his Governor & Lieut Governor for holding opinions contrary to their notions of the independency of their State & so become felo de se of his own royalty.2 Surely this must rouse the resentment of parliament, and call upon them to take order for the preservation of the imperial power entire.

    When I first came to the Government as I was free from connexions & of no party, I endeavoured to keep myself so & I did it. As I was open to every one, I was upon good terms with some of the heads of the ruling faction. As it was their business to engage me to found my Administration upon their party[,] they took pains to magnify the power of it. they urged the several ways they had to undermine a Governor, & instanced the several powers they — had for that purpose & particularly mentioned the abilities of Adams as a writer & a partisan. In short they laid it down as a certainty that no Governor could stand his ground after their party had opened the trenches against him. They instanced the several Governors they had drove away and assumed to themselves the credit of having contrived the removal of all the four last Governors except one: and it is true of at least two of them. But they proved too much & convinced me that if I supported myself in the government by a connexion with that party, I should deserve every day to be turned out of it: However I kept with them as long as I could, till the time came, when I was obliged to give up a victim to the bad policy & irresolution of the supreme Government.

    The proceedings at Boston are more systematical, deeper laid and upon a broader bottom than perhaps you imagine. They are continually furnished from England with advice how to act; they say they do nothing without directions from thence. Adams said in the house that what he had in view was to take such people as were attached to the Governor; for the King would never continue a Governor against the general voice of the people; and they had got rid of Sr F B in that way. He read a letter in the house that Admi[nistrati]on was greatly chagrined with the Govr’s Officiousness in reviving the dispute; they had intended to have let matters return to their old channel but now were embarrast.

    The Govr is greatly distressed & desires my advice & assistance, which I shall certainly give him in the best manner I am able, not only for friendship’s sake, but as it is a cause of government. He desires that I will consult you on this occasion, which I must do to be enabled to serve him, I think it proper to wait on Lord Dartmouth on this subject, which I would do as soon as can be made convenient. I must therefore desire you to let me know when will [be]3 a convenient time for that purpose: for I shant grudge a journey in so important a cause. As the Govr has the King’s leave to come home I hope he will immediately use it: it is at present not only the best but the only thing he has to do. I shall recommend it strongly to him in a letter I shall write this week. I have no doubt but you are right in the conjecture of the means by which this discovery was made; I hope it will be discover’d & properly resented; it is a monstrous peice of treachery.4 I am &c

    J Pownall

    direct to Aylesbury as usual Mr Lane has a safe ship goes next week to Boston, if you want a speedy conveyance.

    L, AC      BP, 12: 285–288.