Witnesses Bound for London

    1220. To Lord Dartmouth, 6 January 1774

    1221. To [John Pownall], 7 January 1774

    1222. From Lord Dartmouth, 8 January 1774

    1223. To William Tryon, 15 January 1774

    1224. To [John Pownall], 24 January 1774

    1225. To Elisha Hutchinson, 27 January [1774]

    As was the case following the Boston Massacre, all the parties involved in the Tea Party rushed to send their conflicting versions of events to London, with the first accounts arriving as early as 20 January. The governor was careful to designate which of the various passengers headed to London might be relied upon for accurate accounts. He himself had once hoped to be in London at this time to defend himself against the petition for his removal, but permission to leave the province had been slow arriving, and once it did the situation was too volatile for the governor to leave.

    1220. To Lord Dartmouth

    Boston 6. Jany. 1774


    My Lord, The papers inclosed I did not think fit to trust in a Ship’s bag and have committed them to the care of Mr Whitworth a Passenger in whom I can confide.1 I have recollected in the best manner I could every material transaction from the beginning of the last disorders and placed them in order that your Lordship may see them at one view.

    If it had been in my power to have compelled persons here to give their depositions, the master of this Ship Captain Hall would have been one of the first persons I should have thought of. He has been an Officer in His Majestys Navy & has borne a very good character ever since he has been in the Merchants Service.2 The Owner Mr Rotch is another person capable of giving as full an account, and Mr Whitworth must be acquainted with many material facts.

    I have taken the liberty also to form a set of Interrogatories which may be of some use when soever it shall be thought proper that any enquiry be made. I hope the reasons I have formerly given will be an apology for my inclosing them in a private letter. I have the honour to be My Lord Your Lordship’s faithful humble servant,

    RC (Staffordshire Record Office, Dartmouth Collection, D(W)1778/I/ii/935); at foot of letter, “Rt Honble. the Earl of Dartmouth &ca.”; endorsed, “Govr. Hutchinson 6 Jany. 1774. Private” and “Govr Hutchinson”; addressed, “To the Right Honble the Earl of Dartmouth St James Square.” AC (British Library, Eg. 2661, f. 6); at head of letter, “Private Hall”; at foot of letter, “Rt. Honble. the Earl of Dartmouth &ca”; in TH Jr.’s hand. Enclosure to RC: Journal of Proceedings in Massachusetts Bay Relative to the Importation of Teas on Account of the East India Company, 2 November–16 December 1773 (Staffordshire Record Office, Dartmouth Collection, D(W)1778/I/ii/935).

    1221. To [John Pownall]

    Boston 7th. Jany. 1774


    Dear Sir, I dont remember to have acknowledged the receipt of your last favour of the 18th. October.1 I have wrote so fully and circumstancially to My Lord Dartmouth upon the subject of the East India Company’s Teas, that I can add nothing even of a private nature to you unless I should relate the most extravagant Speeches made in the late Assemblies of the people which would not be convenient, for although there is no room to doubt of the truth of them yet I should not be able to obtain evidence to support my narrative, or if any, none better than the Owner and John Dean Whitworth a passenger in the Ship by which I intend this letter. David Black another passenger I take to be a Scotchman, who, in this Town, have generally been enemies to Mobs.2 There are two others William Turner a Dependant on Mr: Hancock, & James Henderson, who I am informed, has been active in opposing Government.3

    I have a letter from Govr: Tryon dated the 29th. last.4 I should have hoped, for any thing which that letter discovers to the contrary, that he would have been able to have prevented any violent proceedings upon the arrival of the Tea ship, he having much confidence in the Inhabitants there from whom he certainly deserves much regard & esteem. The News Papers mention the loss of his House &c by fire, the evening after the date of my letter.5 I am not able to judge what effect this accident may have upon his proposed measures. I wish the Teas may be landed there as it will cast a great damp upon the heads of the people which destroyed it here. Until we know what the issue is in the three other Colonies, we shall remain in an uncertain state in this Colony, for they will oppose Government with more or less vigour according as they find that in the other Colonies they are more or less determined to unite with this.

    I have been so much engaged in attending to the late extravagances that the subject of the Judges Salaries has found but little room in my mind. I must do the best I can when it comes before me. I am with much regard & esteem Dear Sir &c,

    AC (British Library, Eg. 2661, f. 6); in TH Jr.’s hand.

    1222. From Lord Dartmouth

    Whitehall 8th. Janry. 1774

    Sir, I have received your dispatches number’d 30. 31. 32. & 33. & have laid them before the King.1

    You will easily conceive from what I have repeatedly said to you upon the Subject of the Differences between Great Britain & the Colonies, how much Pain it has given me to find that fresh Distrubances are likely to arise upon new Grounds.

    Your temperate but firm Conduct, in consequence of the attempt made to intimidate the factors of the East India Company from receiving the Teas consigned to them, is approved by the King; The good effects of that Conduct were very visible in the first Stage of that business, and altho’ I am somewhat discouraged by the Circumstances related in your two last letters, I will still retain a hope that any further Ill Consequences may be avoided, & that the Bulk of the People will see the Self-interested Motives that have induced the Alarm, excited by those who wish to see an Opposition to the Importation of Teas from Great Britain.

    When I consider, however, how successful the Enemies to Government have been in their wicked attempts to create a Distrust of the King’s Measures in respect to the Colonies, and by false Suggestions to inflame the Minds of His Majesty’s Subjects, & excite them to Violence, it becomes necessary to look forward to what may possibly happen, and the present Situation of the Province under this fresh Insult to the Authority of Parliament, & unjustifiable Endeavour to obstruct the lawfull Commerce of the Kingdom, requires very serious Attention.

    I am sensible how greatly the constitutional Imbecility of Government in the Massachuset’s Bay is increased by popular Prejudice, & yet, the Vigilance the Firmness and Activity of the Civil Power, are the only circumstances from which the Subject can expect, or derive Protection, in the exercise of his lawfull Commerce.

    It is upon these Efforts that the Preservation of the public Peace must depend, & the Aid of the Military; except in Cases of actual rebellious Insurrection, cannot be brought forward, but upon the Requisition of the civil Magistrate, & for his Support, in cases of absolute Necessity, when every other Effort has failed.

    Upon such Occasions the Magistrates, & the Subjects in general, may rely upon His Majesty’s Protection, & that every reasonable Requisition will be duly attended to.

    These general Observations will, I trust, be a sufficient Guide to your Conduct for the present, and I have only to add, that you may rest assured that I will not fail to transmit to you more particular Instructions whenever any Circumstances occur which shall appear to require them.

    I have already acquainted you that the applications for your Removal, upon the ground of your letters to Mr. Whately, have been laid before the Privy Council, & tho’ the usual Recess at this Season of the Year has disappointed my Wish of being able to send you His Majesty’s Determination by this Packet, yet I have the Satisfaction to assure you that the Consideration of this business will be proceeded upon in a few days.2

    The Proceedings against Mr. Rome, in the Colony of Rhode Island, appear, upon his own state of the Case, to have been of a very extraordinary Nature, but as there has been no direct Application or Complaint from that Gentleman, it is not fit for me to take any Steps in that business.3 I am &c,


    SC (National Archives UK, CO 5/765, ff. 276–278); docketed, “Govr Hutchinson. (No. 14).” SC (National Archives UK, CO 5/763, ff. 5–7); docketed, “(No. 14). Governor Hutchinson.” SC (Houghton Library, Sparks 43, 1:174); docketed, “Lord Dartmouth to Govr: Hutchinson”; excerpt missing first and last paragraphs.

    1223. To William Tryon

    Boston 15 Jan. 1774


    Dear Sir, The post which brought me your obliging letter of the 29 of last month brought also the melancholy news of your great loss by fire the night after. I can the more readily sympathize with you & feel your distress having suffered a devastation near equal to it & having escaped as narrowly from the Rage of a distempered populace as you have escaped from the Rage of the flames.1 I then thought a like loss by fire would have been less distressing unless the same spirit had kindled the fire which I daresay it did not in your case.

    Miss Hutchinson desires me to present her Respectful compliments to Mrs Tryon & to Miss Tryon whose great danger much affected her.2

    I am told that the landing the Teas at S Carolina is very alarming to the people here.3 Their great dependance was upon as great a degree of criminality in the other colonies as in this which they supposed would produce a general indemnity. The Consignees have acquainted the Collector & Comtroller that it was not in their power to Receive & sell 58 Chests of Tea which had been cast ashore upon Cape Cod & application was thereupon made to me from the Customs to allow it to be deposited in the Castle which I gave orders for but this proceeding does not seem to be satisfactory & the Consignees dare not yet appear.4 The people are so unreasonable as to suppose to have been incumbent on me to have given a permit for Vessels to pass the Castle with this Tea & also with that which has been destroyed without any clearance at the Custom house and say the loss is owing to my Refusal. In a state of Anarchy nothing is too absurd to be advanced & to obtain credit. I am with very great Regard & esteem &c,

    AC (British Library, Eg. 2661, ff. 6–7); at foot of letter, “Gov Tryon.”

    1224. To [John Pownall]

    Boston 24th. January 1774

    Dear Sir, Although I have wrote to you very lately, yet as Mr: Clark embarks suddenly in this Ship and wishes to be the bearer of a Letter to you I was loth to refuse him.1 To say the least, he has been engaged in a most unfortunate affair to him & to the other Consignees who to the eternal reproach of the Country are forced to sculk about to avoid insults from a deluded populace. I could never see any one step which has been taken by those Gentlemen but what may be vindicated. Destitute of all protection from the Laws, they had recourse to the military power vested in the Governor alone by the Constitution and they would have failed even of that, if there had been no force in the province besides its proper Inhabitants, and must have complied with every requisition made of them tho it had been followed with their utter ruin.

    I expected that it would have been necessary for me to have gone to England in the Fall, and sollicited his Majestys leave which was granted & forwarded sooner than I could have hoped, but was from the 17th. of August to the 15th. of November on its passage.2 Had it arrived in common time I could have been provided with a passage in the Arethusa or Lively Men of War and the state of the province was such that I might well enough have justified my leaving it, but since my receiving the order of leave no Ship has sailed but what has been so small that I should have been affraid of the fatigue of a winter’s passage being constantly sea Sick in a small vessel and if it had been otherwise the Tumults caused by the Tea were every day increasing, and I should have feared the King’s displeasure if I had left my Government until the fate of the Tea was determined. We have no account yet of the arrival of what was intended for New York. The issue there will have its effect upon the conduct of the people here and I beleive will have some influence on the measures of the Assembly here which I am to meet next day after to morrow. In the meantime I am settling my private affairs that I may be prepared to go or stay as the event may make adviseable, and have my eye upon a Ship at New York concerning which I expect to hear the first post. If any letters should come directed to me and I should be absent they will remain with my son without communicating to any person.

    AC (British Library, Eg. 2661, f. 7); in TH Jr.’s hand.

    1225. To Elisha Hutchinson

    Jany 27th [1774]

    My dear son, I have only time to send the News paper & to tell you in answer to what you wrote about accompanying me to England that it will certainly be best for you not to be in England when any examination is brought on about the late proceedings here as it must make you enemies ever after. I have so short a time to remain that its of no great importance in what part of the world its spent, if well spent. If I find it best you should come after me I will let you know it. Nurse said nothing to me of Mr Tuppers message about the Doctors wine until this minute or it would have been Ready for the Waggon.1 Your affectionate father,

    RC (British Library, Eg. 2659, ff. 66–67); endorsed, “The Governor Jany. 27. 1774.”