The Response to the Burning of the Gaspée

    1015. To [Israel Mauduit], 27 August 1772

    1016. To James Gambier, 29 August 1772

    1017. To John Pownall, 29 August 1772

    1018. To Lord Hillsborough, 30 August 1772

    1019. To Samuel Hood, 2 September 1772

    1020. From Lord Dartmouth, 2 September 1772

    1021. To Lord Hillsborough, 4 September 1772

    1022. From Lord Dartmouth, 4 September 1772

    Indignation spread among royal officials and the friends of government following the burning of HMS Gaspée in Narragansett Bay on the night of 9–10 June 1772 and the wounding of its commander, William Dudingston. Such actions seemed far more provocative than riots or the occasional tarring and feathering of minor customs officials, and all the audacious resolves of the Massachusetts House of Representatives appeared nothing by comparison. Such an outrage seemed to test imperial resolve, and both sides nervously awaited a response from Whitehall.

    1015. To [Israel Mauduit]

    Boston 27 Augt. 1772


    Dear Sir, You have paid me principal & interest and brot a balance in your favour by your obliging Letter of the 12 June. I have read the Pamphlet you sent me with pleasure. Men divested of prejudice will not be able to resist the force of it.1 Upon reading the first paragraph I recollected that when I was young at College or soon after I read with attention what Mr. Locke had wrote upon Toleration.2 I was astonished that ever anybody who thought at all should have thought differently upon the Subject and yet all the world until then easily received the absurdities of the contrary doctrine. My poor Ancestors of my Country I mean and not of my family I look back upon with pity for their intolerant Spirit which was the more inexcusable because they were at the same time vehemently inveighing against the same Spirit in others. I am not sure that if we were unrestrained we have not a majority of the same Spirit at this day. It’s certain we have but little catholicism among the Laity and the Clergy in general of every denomination are Bigots. My education has been among the Congregationalists and I generally attend the publick worship with them. I remember somewhere to have met with a story of a very moderate papist urged to profess himself a protestant who tho he had no scruples yet said he would never change his Religion unless he was sure of being damned for not doing it. As I have no scruples I frequently attend at the Kings Chapel. Considering the Commission I sustain I think there is a decency & propriety in so doing. And although I cannot approve of the good Bishops reason for not allowing toleration in England yet I have no objection to a Bishop upon the proposed plan in America.3 I think the Inhabitants of the Episcopal persuasion have a right to it. It’s a degree of intolerance to oppose it.

    We have so often expected measures which would settle the affairs of America and been disappointed that I shall always be afraid to depend upon appearances. From other advices I think the Salaries of Judges are determined.4 But what will done with respect to the Revenue—Every Colony seems determined not to submit to the duties. Pensilvania New York have within these two Years imported several Thousand Chests of Tea from Holland and I suppose not ten Chests from England. If the price in England was as low as in Holland we should not run the risk in this Colony of a Seizure to save the 3d Duty but 1d per Chest difference in price in addition would be an inducement. There is an aversion in the Sea Officers to act as Officers of the Customs. There would be more likelihood of success if the Commissioners of the Customs were allowed small armed Vessels to cruize in the several Bays. The expence would not be great and might be limited and it would soon appear whether the extraordinary Seizures would not equal it. But if this be done some further provision is necessary by Parliament and it ought to be made as penal to fire on an armed Vessel fitted out for this purpose as on the Kings Ships. They should have Kings Colours & might have Commissions in the Kings name with the Tests of the Governors of the Colonies except Connecticut & Rhode Island.

    But before America is settled in peace it will be necessary to go to the bottom of all the Disorder which has been too long neglected already. The opinion that every Colony has a Legislature within itself the acts & doings of which are not to be contrould by parliament and that no Legislative power ou[gh]t to be exercised over the Colonies except by their respective Legislatures gaind ground every day and it has it’s influence upon all the executive parts of Government. Grand Juries will not present, Petty Juries will not convict the highest offenders against Acts of Parliament; Ship masters and others make no scruple of swearing falsely in Admiralty Courts & at the Custom House because the Oaths are adminstred without Authority and therefore no Oath. Absurd as this appears I have been credibly informed that a Church member threatned to turn his Master out of his Ship if he scrupled taking a false Oath at the Custom house. Our Newspapers publickly announce this Independance every week and what is much more there is scarce an Assembly which has not done it at one time or other.

    The Assembly of this Province has done as much the last Session by their publick Votes or Resolves and by an Address which they have sent to Dr. Franklin to be presented to the King. So that there is sufficient grounds for Parliament to proceed if there is a disposition. What it will be said can be done? A Test as general as the Oath required instead of the Oaths of Allegiance & Supremacy would be most effectual but this there is reason to fear would throw America into a general confusion and I doubt the expediency, but can less be done than affixing penalties and disqualifications or incapacities upon all who by word or writing shall deny or call in question the Supreme Authority of Parliament over all parts of the British Dominions. Can it be made necessary for all Judges to be under Oath to observe all Acts of Parliament in their Judgements and may not the Oaths of all Jurors Grand & petit be so framed as to include Acts of Parliament as the Rule of Law as well as law in general terms: And for Assemblies or Bodies of men who shall deny the Authority of Parliament may not all their subsequent proceedings be declared to be ipso facto null and void & every member who shall continue to act in such Assembly, be subject to penalties and incapacities. I suggest these things for consideration. Every thing depends upon the settlement of this grand point. If we are not part of the British Dominions and subject to the Authority of Parliament we are no more connected with Britain than Hanover and the King has no more right to employ any part of the publick Treasure for our protection and defence than he would have for the defence of his Hanoverian Dominions.5 I am not for the exercise of this power where all the purposes of Legislation can be answered by the Legislatures in the Colonies nor do I wish to see Acts of Parliament multiplied for raising a Revenue from the Colonies further than what arises from the restraint and Regulation of their trade. A Gentleman in Ireland who does me the honor of his Correspondence and stands high in Administration speaks of it as one of the most difficult Questions in political Arithmetick—what proportion of freedom is necessary for a subordinate Country or Colony.6 I could not conceive of any abatement of the supreme legislative Authority although it is not always in exercise. I know of no reason for conceding any part but what will hold for giving up the whole.

    This supreme Legislative had rarely been exercised over the Colonies more rarely in Ireland and the people both in one and the other lived under an easier Government that the people of the Realm. We owe much of our Troubles to the Countenance given by some in England to this doctrine of independance. If the people were convinced that the nation with one voice condemned the doctrine or that Parliament at all events was determined to maintain its supremacy we should soon be quiet. The Demagogues who generally have no property would continue their endeavors to inflame the minds of the people for some time but the Inhabitants in general have real Estates which they would not run the hazard of forfeiting by any treasonable measures.

    If nothing more can be done there must be further provision for carrying the acts of trade into execution which I am informed Administration is very sensible of & have measures in Contemplation. The flagrant insult at Rhode Island of burning the Kings Scooner can never be passed over.7 A Gentleman who dined with me to day and who is fully acquainted with all the designs & expectations of the Sons of Liberty assures me they look upon that affair as a Test.8 If the nation shew no resentment against that Colony for so high an affront to the Mother Country they say they are safe & they may venture upon any further Measures which are necessary to obtain & secure their Independance without any danger of ever being called to account for it. Thus you have a few of my sudden thoughts which I must pray you not to communicate as coming from me least I should be supposed here to have contributed to any future proceedings respecting America. I have only room to add that I am with sincere respect & Esteem &c.,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 27:377–80); in EH’s hand. Contemporary printings: Boston Gazette, 26 June 1775; Massachusetts Spy, 5 July 1775; Connecticut Gazette, 7 July 1775; Connecticut Courant, 10 July 1775; Remembrancer for the Year 1776, part 2, pp. 58–59 (beginning at the second sentence and continuing to the end; the addressee is described as unknown in the newspapers).

    1016. To James Gambier

    Boston 29th. Augt. 1772

    My dear Sir, Your kind Letter of the 25th. April did not come to hand until this Afternoon. If our Letters were always so long in their passage I could better Account for your not having received some from me of which I do not remember to have had any advice. One or two must have come to you soon after the date of your Letter unless intercepted. I have evidence of your receiving one by my Son and he writes me of the 22d June that the next day you would introduce him to my noble Patron Lord Hillsborough. This is one kind Office more added to many former by which you have obliged me. I hear with pleasure from all Quarters the success of Administration and really without prejudice there are many great Characters in several departments which if the people could see their true Interest they would wish to continue. I can’t see that we are altogether quiet. The people in general are so but this engages the heads of the Old Faction and some of their late Publications are as virulent as ever. Why should I think much of this abuse when I see my most amiable Master and Sovereign abused and slandered in the same paper with me.1 If J. T. is made easy it is prudent to be quiet and then I will not envy him.2 What you supposed to be notice F. was of another F—— of the same Christian name also.3 We don’t yet hear that Mr. Robinson can obtain S. Carolina.4 I wish he had exchanged with Sewall the Admiralty Judge at Halifax.5 The fate of Apthorp you know before this is too certain.6 He left a will in my Custody not yet publick. He had a large property it is supposed from twenty to thirty thousand sterling. I have shewn your Letter to the Lieutenant Governor and to Paxton. They are both as well and Paxton I think better than you left them.

    Admiral Montagu is lucky in seizures besides many before he had one yesterday 100 per Casks Lisbon wine as many of oil besides Cordage Lemmons Olives and an exceeding good vessel all seized at the entrance of Newbury harbour.7 Our people grumble that they should be so strictly guarded when the other Colonies escape. Rhode Island bids defiance. Duddestone whose Scooner was burnt goes home in the Beaver and with such an Account of that Government that it will not be possible they should escape the resentment of Parliament.8 If they should every other Colony will follow their example.

    They say the news will make a noise at first but before Parliament meets it will gradually lessen until it is quite still. I am glad to hear of the good state of Mrs Gambier and the little branches. I hope a fulfillment of the promises made you & in such a manner as shall be to your satisfaction as near at hand for I sincerely wish all happiness to you & yours & am Dear sir your faithful & affectionate Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 27:384–85); in EH’s hand.

    1017. To John Pownall

    Boston 29th. Augt. 1772


    Dear Sir, I thank you for your last favour of the 29th May.1 Your Letters always contain something of great use to me in my Administration & although I rejoice in Sir Francis Bernards restoration to health & publick Service yet I hope you will continue your Friendship and Correspondence.

    I troubled you with a long Letter the 21. July.2 Give me leave now only to add one or two things which I then intended but to avoid being too tedious omitted.

    People in this Province both Friends & Enemies to Government are in great expectations from the late Affair at Rhode Island of burning the Kings Scooner and they consider the manner in which the news of it will be received in England and the measures to be taken as decisive. If it is passed over without a full inquiry and due resentment our Liberty People will think they may with impunity commit any Acts of violence be they ever so atrocious and the Friends to Government will despond and give up all hopes of being able to withstand the Faction. The Persons who were the immediate Actors are men of Estate and rank property in the Colony. A prosecution is impossible. The Admiral has now on board one of his Ships a Black who was concerned in the Fact and who gives a very full Account of it. He is demanded by the Governor in order to his being examined by one of their Magistrates.3 If given up he will either be induced to contradict all he has said or will be put out of the way. If ever the Government of that Colony is to be reformed this seems to be the time and it would have a happy effect in the Colonies which adjoin to it.

    Several persons have been advised by Letters from their Friends that as the Ministry are united and opposition at an end there will certainly be an enquiry into the state of America the next Session of Parliament. The denial of the Supremacy of Parliament and the Contempt with which its Authority has been treated by the Lilliputian Assemblies of America can never be justified or excused by any one member of either house of Parliament. It may be an objection to making such denial by particular persons criminal if not Treasonable that in America there would never be any Convictions or prosecutions upon such an Act but do not the late Votes & address of the Massachusets Assembly make it necessary for an Act to pass declaring that after such denial by any Assembly in America or by any Corporation Town or political body all subsequent proceedings of such Assembly or body politick whatsoever shall be ipso facto to all intents & purposes null & void and in the Kings Governments the Governors required immediately to dissolve such Assembly. I suggest this for consideration rather than as what I would presume to determine to be expedient. That something should be done to check so insolent & absurd an Offence I have no doubt.

    I am unacquainted with the Affairs of N Hampshire the proceedings of the Council or Assembly never being published and I have imployment enough in my own Province to prevent me from being very inquisitive about the Administration of another Province. The most I ever heard was from Mr. Livius when he came to Boston to embark.4

    My Letters from my Lord Hillsborough will prevent any Answer to the Question I took the liberty to ask you in my last respecting the Salaries of the Judges. I imagine they must be settled before this time and I wish that of the puisnes may be at least £250.5 This I think is the proportion which I proposed in a Letter which my Lord had not received at the date of his Letters and though the puisnes have less in proportion in the Kings Bench yet they have more in the Common pleas & a less sum will not be a support for them. I am &c,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 27:381–82); in EH’s hand. Contemporary printings: Boston Gazette, 26 June 1775 (second, third, and part of the fourth paragraphs only); Massachusetts Spy, 5 July 1775 (second and third paragraphs only); Connecticut Gazette, 7 July 1775 (second and third paragraphs only); Remembrancer for the Year 1776, part 2, pp. 59–60 (second, third, and part of the fourth paragraphs only).

    1018. To Lord Hillsborough

    Boston 30 Augt. 1772

    My Lord, I humbly thank your Lordship for the honour done me by your private Letter of the 6 June. I have communicated the Contents to those Judges only of whose resignation I was apprehensive as I imagine that affair of the Salaries must be finished before this Letter can arrive I will not trouble your Lordship any further upon the Subject. I wish the Salaries of the puisne Judges may not be less than £250—the sum I took the Liberty to propose in my last private Letter.1 Mr. Reeve Secretary to the Commissioners of the Customs having obtained leave of absence will wait upon your Lordship with this Letter and will give a more impartial Account of our Affairs especially of the deplorable state of the Revenue and the total disregard of the Acts of trade than persons belonging to the Province who generally are to much prejudiced in favour of our irregularities to give a just Account of them.2 I am with the greatest Respect My Lord &c.,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 27:383); in EH’s hand.

    1019. To Samuel Hood

    Boston 2d Sep 1772

    Dear Sir, Give me leave by Cap Linzee who I hear is under sailing Orders to inquire after your welfare.1 We rejoice in the general tranquility in Engd. & only wish to see the Scriblers who continue to abuse the best of Sovereigns brought to condign punishment. Surely the Servants of the Crown in the Plantations will not think much of their treatment if it is not worse than what their master receives. In this Colony this sort of abuse is all that has given me any trouble since I received my Comission.

    Cap Linzee can inform you of the state of R. I. Colony better than I can. So daring an Insult as burning the Kings Scooner by people who are as well known as any who were concerned in the last Rebellion and yet cannot be prosecuted will certainly arouse the british Lion which has been asleep these 4 or 5 years. Ad. Montagu says that Ld Sandwich will never leave pursuing the Colony until it is disfranchised. If it is passed over the other Colonies will follow the example.2

    Cap Linzee is loaded with Law suits.3 As far as the Admiral has acquainted me with them they appear to be groundless & vexatious. Its lucky that they are to be tried in this Colony where we have a set of as upright & loyal judges as there are in any Colony upon the Continent.

    Close application & a neglect of exercise unnerved me for a few weeks in the Summer but by unbending & return to my usual exercise I thank God I have recovered my former state of health. I am with very great regard & esteem Dear Sir Your faithful & most obedient humble Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 27:385a); at head of letter, “Samuel Hood Eq.” Contemporary printings: New England Chronicle, 29 June 1775; Boston Gazette, 3 July 1775; Newport Mercury, 10 July 1775; Massachusetts Spy, 12 July 1775; Norwich Packet, 24 July 1775; Remembrancer for the Year 1776, part 2, p. 60 (all second paragraph only).

    1020. From Lord Darmouth1

    Whitehall Septr. 2d: 1772.

    (No 1.)

    Sir, Your dispatch to the Earl of Hillsborough of the 15th. July No. 31 has been received and laid before The King.

    It does not appear to me upon the fullest Consideration I have been able to give to the Resolves of the House of Representatives touching the mode of providing for the support of His Majesty’s Governor. that the doctrine which they lay down is to be supported either upon the ground of any powers or authorities conveyed in the Charter, or any just principles of the British Constitution, and I must confess that I have been always taught to believe that the providing for the support of the American Governors & other officers of the Crown in the Colonies, independent of the people, was a Measure equally for the honor and dignity of the Crown and for the Welfare of those Colonies.2

    I will not fail however to give the fullest attention to the arguments they urge in support of their proposition as well as to those contained in your message of the 14th. July, which in the general view of it seems to me fully to confute their reasoning & to contain a very fair and candid state of the Question in dispute.3 At the same time I cannot quit this subject without lamenting that the House of Representatives should have so far forgotten the respect they owe to the King, as to have adopted in their resolutions any Expressions, which, by stating His Majesty’s Measures to have proceeded from a temper inimical to the people of that Province, can have no other view than to inflame their Minds and to suggest to them new causes of Grievance that have no foundation. I trust however from what you say that their proceedings will in this view of them fail of their effect, & have the consequence rather to serve than prejudice the cause of Government.

    Their refusal to make provision for & Repairs of the Government House seems to be a natural consequence of their Resolutions with regard to the Mode of Providing for the Governor’s salary; and should they adhere to that refusal, which I am inclined to hope will not be the case, the providing for it in some other shape will certainly be a proper object of attention.4

    The Report you make of the conduct of the Council throughout the whole of the last Session of Assembly is very pleasing to The King, and their refusal to take any notice of the Assembly’s Message upon the Subject of the Governor’s Salary being paid by the Crown, is equally a proof of their good understanding & of their duty to & respect for The King.

    From the manner in which you state the case of the Township of Hingsdale, it appears to me that in whatever light the claim of the Proprietors is to be considered, either upon the ground of right or equity, the granting away to other persons by the Governor of New York a part of the Lands included in that Township, is not to be justified, & therefore that some directions ought to be given with regard thereto; but as it will be impossible for me to form a judgement what those directions should be until I am fully apprized of the Grounds upon which Govr. Tryon took the step that they complain of, this matter must remain for future consideration.5

    The state of the Eastern Country appears to me in every view of it, a very serious Business, & unless some method can be found out, for the bringing it to a Settlement, in which the Interests of this Kingdom and the Rights which the Colony of Massachuset’s Bay has in those Lands, may be made to coincide it must sooner or later become an object of Parliamentary consideration.6 I shall think myself very happy however if I can in any degree be the Instrument of the first of these Propositions taking place, & that I may be enabled to gratify my wishes, on this Occasion, I must beg the favor of you to report to me as fully as possible the state of the Country, of the different claims upon it, & of your opinion of the Steps it will be proper to take to remove the difficulties which have hitherto obstructed it’s Settlement; for tho’ I find several Representations upon the Books of my office relative thereto, yet the Papers having been transmitted at different times and drawn up with different Ideas, they do not afford all the information necessary for the forming a precise opinion upon so interesting a Point. I am &ca.,


    SC (National Archives UK, CO 5/761, ff. 182–84); docketed, “Govr: Hutchinson.” and “Drat. to Govr. Hutchinson, 2d September 1772. No. 1.” SC (National Archives UK, CO 5/765, ff. 231–34); docketed, “Governor Hutchinson. (No 1.).”

    1021. To Lord Hillsborough

    Boston 4 Septemb. 1772

    (No. 34)

    My Lord, I have received your Lordships letter No. 16 dated the 6th. June in which you are pleased to intimate your intention to lay before the King a proposal to give adequate Salaries to His Majesty’s Law Officers in this Colony but your Lordship doubted whether an adequate provision for so large a number of Judges as five would not amount to more than the Revenue can bear and that it might probably be thought right to extend the Salaries to three only & to recommend the reducing the number or otherwise that the Assembly should grant a permanent provision for the two junior Judges.

    I am sorry that I must acquaint your Lordship that it is not probable the House can be brought to do their part to any Law for reducing the number. Its doubtful whether they would give any Salaries to the junior Judges when the others are provided for in England, and if they should would there not, My Lord, be danger of great inconveniencies from a Bench part of which is provided for by the King and part by the Assembly? The junior Judges had better be content with a lesser Salary than 300£—though I think less than 250£ will hardly be adequate and answer His Majesty’s most gracious intentions, in providing for His Servants in the Plantations.

    I thank your Lordship for the encouragement you give with respect to Captain Phillips who is out of business and in anxiety how to support his family.1

    I intend this Letter by the Beaver Sloop Capt. Linzee who was stationed at Rhode Island and who will be able to give a particular account of the affair of the Scooner and I believe of some of the persons concerned in that treasonable Act and of the impracticability of prosecuting the Offenders under such a Constitution. He kept on board his Ship in that Colony & avoided their Law suits which the Lieutenant who had the command of the Scooner has been forced to submit to after a very narrow escape with his life from the wounds he received. They have brought three or four Actions against Capt Linzee since his arrival in Boston. He has a much better chance here than he would have had in that Colony though they have taken care to bring their Actions in the County of Bristol which adjoins to Rhode Island. As far as I have been acquainted with them from Adml. Montagu they appear to be groundless and vexatious. I cannot answer for a Jury but the Judges I am very sure will do their part that the Law may have its due course.

    I consider this business as within the case of Proximus ardet2 which I hope will be an apology for my repeated mention of it. I have the honour to be My Lord Your Lordshhip’s most humble & most obedient Servant,

    RC (National Archives UK, CO 5/761, ff. 216–17); at foot of letter, “Rt. Honble. the Earl of Hillsborough”; docketed, “Boston 4th. Septr. 1772. Govr. Hutchinson. (No. 34) Rx 12th. Octr.” DupRC (National Archives UK, CO 5/894, ff. 217–18); at head of letter, “Duplicate”; docketed, “Massachusets. Duplicate of a Letter No. 34 from Govr. Hutchinson to the Earl of Dartmouth, dated Septr. 4. 1772, relative to the giving of adequate Salaries to the Law Officers in the Massachusets Bay;—and to the Schooner seized at Rhode Island. O.o. 53. Read Decr: 10. 1772.”; in EH’s hand. AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 27:385–86); at head of letter, “Per Liverpool sailed 5th missed the Beaver”; in EH’s hand. SC (National Archives UK, CO 5/768, ff. 263–65); docketed, “Boston 4th. September 1772. Governor Hutchinson. (No 34.) Rx 12th. October”; at end of letter, “Inclosure. Massachusets Gazette No 3496.” SC (Houghton Library, Sparks 10, 4:23); at foot of extract, “[O.o. 53. Read 10 Decr. 1772.] Lord Dartmouths circl. letter giving notice of his appointment [illegible] dated 14th. Augt. 1772” (brackets in original); docketed, “Extt. Govr. Hutchinson To Lord Hillsborough tho recd. by Dartmouth”; excerpt of most of the fourth paragraph only. Enclosure to RC: Boston Weekly News-Letter, 3 September 1772, pp. 1–2 (National Archives UK, CO 5/761, ff. 218–19).

    1022. From Lord Dartmouth

    Whitehall 4th: Septr: 1772.

    Sir, The inclosed Papers will fully inform you of the measures that have been judged necessary to be taken upon the informations which have been received, of the daring insult offered to His Majesty’s Commission, in the plundering and burning the Gaspée Schooner in the River of Narrawganset, within the Colony of Rhode Island.

    In consequence of the Commission which has been issued on that occasion, I have signified to Mr. Oliver, and to Mr Auchmuty, His Majesty’s Pleasure, that they do repair with all convenient dispatch to Rhode Island, in order to the carrying that Commission into execution;1 and as it will be of great use to those Gentlemen to be informed of the different measures which have been adopted, as well as of the nature of the Commission, and the Orders given to the Governor of Rhode Island in consequence thereof; you will do well to communicate to the Chief Justice, and to the judge of the Vice Admiralty Court the inclosed Papers; but you are to observe that the Transmission of them to you is only for your private information, and consequently that the Communication of them to those Gentlemen is to be considered by them in the same light. I am &ca,


    SC (National Archives UK, CO 5/761, ff. 185–86); docketed, “Govr. Hutchinson. (No 2.).” SC (National Archives UK, CO 5/765, ff. 234–35); docketed, “Govr. Hutchinson. No. 2.” SC (Houghton Library, Sparks 43, 1:148); docketed, “Lord Dartmouth to Govr: Hutchinson.”

    1023. To William Palmer

    Boston 11th. Sepr. 1772

    Sir, I have delayed an answer to what you [wrote] upon the Tea concern in hopes of being able to make a better judgement, but I think it is to no great purpose. The great importation from Holland, principally through New York and Philadelphia, keeps down the price here & consequently the sale of Teas from England must stop. My Sons set their Teas so low as that we shall have no profit by this Years adventure and yet they tell me they have 50 Chests or more on hand. If they were to set them lower it would only occasion the Dutch traders to lower in proportion for they will undersell them until it is so low that they must lose also. It is unsafe to keep any large quantity, because you expect that after the September sale [it] may be shipped at a less price from England than that at which the last was shipped. You ask my opinion whether the difference between the English & Dutch Teas, if it did not exceed the 3d Duty and the 9 per Cent would be sufficient encouragement to the illicit Traders. If the difference was not greater I think some of the smuglers would be discouraged but the greatest part would not. Nothing will be effectual short of reducing the price in England to the price in Holland. If no other burden was left but the 3d Duty in the Colonies to save that alone would not be sufficient profit and the Yorkers &c would soon break through their solemn engagements not to import from England. I have wrote to this purpose and I have reason to think attention has been given but I have no direct answer upon the Subject. However with the 9 per Cent I should think it best to keep the whole Stock employed and purchases made as soon or as often as you think the price will not fall in England for 6 or 8 months, as there will in such case be no greater danger of loss and there will [be a] chance for tolerable profit. But to purchase largely when the probability is that the price may fall in a few months will be very unsafe for there is no depending upon any other than a gradual sale here there being no purchasers in large Quantities. I cannot therefore but approve of your not shipping the 40 Chests. Indeed after thus giving you the State of the Affair here I can content myself with leaving the Application of the monies which come into your hands on this Account to your discretion and I am not without expectation that the poor success this year may occasion better the next.

    There is one Mr. Henry Lloyd of this Town of a very fair general Character but a great Vendor of Dutch Teas chiefly brought from New York and it is said on Commission.1 He imports small quantities from England to cover the other, particularly he had 8 or 10 Chests in Syms or Jacobson I think the former, which he offers lower than any of yours has been or can be sold. I am suspicious that the person who shipped them may be concerned in the illicit Trade. You will be able to find at the Custom house who it was and may be we may find out by that means in what way he brings in his Dutch Tea and I may put the Officers in a way to come at it which would give me great pleasure although the Seizure should be made by the Officers of the Navy in which I am intitled to no Share. I expect next month to compleat the £2000—and then intend to write upon your several proposals. I imagined the proprietors of the Magazines would be willing to insert our American Disputes but I am not displeased that they are become of less importance & am glad you did not throw away 3 or 4 Guineas.2 The Pulpit Cloth &c will be gladly received.3 I thank you for your kindness to my Son of whom I wish to hear a good Account. He writes me that he had not got rid of a bad cold which he had before he sailed.4 I am &c,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 27:388–89); in EH’s hand. Contemporary printing: Boston Gazette, 4 December 1775.