Thomas Hutchinson took very little notice of the famous Massachusetts Circular Letter when it first passed on 13 February. Perhaps he believed it to be not very different from other communications that had taken place between the colonies since the Stamp Act Congress. He had not reckoned, however, on the different personalities of Lords Shelburne and Hillsborough. Hillsborough interpreted the House’s action as the beginning of an intercolonial conspiracy to overturn acts of Parliament and demanded that the House of Representatives formally rescind the letter, something it refused to do, causing its dissolution by Governor Francis Bernard.
14 July 
Dear Sir, I will not burden you with news papers. You will see them at the Coffee house & find in them Ld Hilsboroughs Letter, the Gov’s messages & the Answer of the H & an account of the dissolution of the Gen Court.1 Upon the question for rescinding the Acts of the former H relative to their circular Letter 92 were against it & 17 for it. The 17 really discoverd great integrity in refusing to follow the general run of the Country for I know of no personal interest which could bear them. The Comissioners of the Customs except Mr Temple are still shut up in the Castle which is surrounded with the Romney the Beaver & Senegal & two Cutters & the Fowey is every day expected.2 There were rumors of extravagant words, that the Castle might be taken & an express was sent after me to Piscat. which occasioned my return to Boston. I could not conceive it possible for any person ever to have had a serious thought of such an attempt & convinced the G. that I had better proceed to Casco bay on the Circuit than to remain in Town & with his consent I went immediately back again.3
What the Parl. will do with us I cannot [MS blotted]. I do not love to form any conjecture about it. I dread the thoughts of a military government. I know by experience that it is miserable to be without government. If I was capable of suggesting an expedient it would be unsafe to do it. With the greatest caution something may transpire. If that should be the case there is no protection. The Answers of some of the Colonies particularly of Virginia & Maryland4 keep up the spirits of our Demagogues & I am told that Adams & Cooper say it is the most glorious day they ever saw.5 We have good people in every town who lament for the Country but the frenzy has seized more or less of the people in all parts of the province. I have endeavoured to undecieve them in charges to the several G Juries & I have escaped hitherto with no other punishment than the nickname of the shining Preacher.6
I doubt whether the Town of B. will be easy until the G. receives directions from Engd relative to the calling a new Assembly. If they should push him & he should refuse I fear the consequences. I am Dear Sir Sincerely Yours
P.S. I have observed that the H is sick of their Agent.7 You stand in a favorable light but your Accounts are in the way. If you would balance accounts I think they would be willing to begin anew. I do not know what your Sentiments will be. If in favour of such a proposal somebody should be authorized to adjust your accounts & give a discharge. It is possible the G may make a voyage to England not that he would oppose the motion but it cant be expected that he should be so hearty in forwarding it as I should.8 The Secretary & I sometimes talk upon it as feazable upon the terms [illegible]. He has a son in law goes in this ship (Mr Spooner) he will acquaint you with some conversation he has had here which looks the same way. His family connexions necessarily engage him in your Interest.9 When I mention somebodys being authorized I do not mean myself. I believe Goffe would be a properer person & that I should be of more service without such an authority than with it.10
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:314–15); at head of letter, “Bollan”; partially dated.
Boston 14 July 1768
My dear Sir, The H. having refused to comply with His Majestys directions for rescinding the Acts of the last Assembly & in their Message to the G having given their Reasons for their Refusal he immediately prorogued & in a day or two after dissolved the Court.1 They have followed the Example of their Hero Mr Wilkes & suppose the K orders signified by the Secr. of St. to be the meer Act of the minister. The majority was great 92 to 17 but it is easy to suppose that many of the 92 were afraid to act their judgment. The Commissioners 4 of them are still shut up in the Castle guarded by the Romney & 3 or 4 smaller Vessels of War.2 There were Rumors of extravagant words, that the Castle might be taken & an Express was sent after me as far as Exeter in N Hampshire to Require my immediate Return to Boston. I could not think it possible for any person to have had a serious thought of such an attempt & convinced the G that it was best for me to proceed to my business on the East Circuit as my remaining in Town must cause [some] great speculation.3 Mobs which may vent their Rage upon persons obnoxious for not thinking as they do we are exposed to but I cannot think it possible that any of the people should be so mad as to take up Arms to conquer the K. forts or oppose any of his forces. What you will do with us I dare not conjecture. Whatever measures you may take to maintain the Authority of Parliament give me leave to pray they may be accompanied with a declaration that it is not the intention of Parlt. to deprive the Colonies of their subordinate power of Legislation nor to exercise the supreme legislative power except in such cases & upon such occasions as an equitable Regard to the Interest of the whole Empire shall make it necessary. I know this would have no effect upon our Incendiaries but it would upon the body of the people. My hopes of Tranquility have been confined to one plan that we should be convinced the Parlt. will not give up their authority & then find by experience that it is exercised in the same gentle tender manner that a Parent exercises his authority over his children.4
I am told there is no personal prejudice against me. If there was & I could be convinced that by Relinquishing every thing I enjoy or have any Reason to hope for in the Government I could contribute to this Tranquility I would not hesitate a moment. If I had been in Council I should probably have been able to prevent a pitiful performance in form of an Address to His M. which the G transmits by this ship.5 It is the very picture of the 2d branch of the Constit. The first part of the Address discovers their dependence upon the H of R. & the conclusion shews they are Restrained from uttering their full Sentiments by their dependance upon the Crown.
The government never was so tyrannical even under Dudley & Andros in the Reign of K James as it is at present.6 No body dares write any thing contrary to the prevailing principles & some give out that it is time for every man to be open & declare his principles. A little Anecdote will shew you in whose hands the Authority lies. Ten days or a fortnight ago a Sloop & about 30 Cask of Molasses were seized for a false entry. The seizure remained secure under guard of a Waiter or two for a week or more. At length a number of men came on board in the night confined the Waiters & carried off the Molosses. It had been the general cry upon the seizure of Hancocks Vessel that it was the bad conduct of the Officers in unnecessarily Removing her to the Man of War which caused a Mob & that she might have Remained secure without any danger of a Rescue. Upon this Rescue the Custom h. Officers urged that it was evident that what had been done before was no more than a necessary security. The Selectmen of the Town finding what use would be made of it interposed their Authority & by some means or other obliged or prevailed upon the Owner of the seized Vessel to Return all the Molosses on board again the next day after it had been Rescued.7 I dont know that all the authority of the Government besides could have effected the same thing. This is Dominatio plebis.8 My Letters may save you the trouble of perusing Newspapers. I am with great truth Sir Your most humble & Obedient Servant,
Boston 21 July 1768
Dear Sir, My absence from town when some of our last ships sailed made it impracticable for me to acquaint you with some remarkable occurrences. The Gov laid before the Assembly first a part & afterwards the whole of a Letter from Ld Hilsboro signifying his M expectation that they should rescind the Acts of the last Assembly relative to a circular letter &c.1 I never expected a compliance but whilst the matter was under consideration an answer was received from Virginia very high & another from the Jersies not unfavorable & they had intelligence that they might expect the like from other Assemblies.2 This increased the majority against rescinding & 17 only were in favor of it & 92 against it. The leaders of the party have not the most extensive knowledge of Affairs but they must be surprizingly ignorant of the Brit Government to suppose the Kings orders signified by His Sec of State to be the meer acts of the Minister & yet they treat them as such in their answer to the G. Most of the 17 Members will lose the favour of their Towns & the G having dissolved the Assembly if he should call another has no reason to expect a better. He will wait therefore until he has further directions.
The people seem to me in a state of absolute dementation. Some of all orders, not many, disapprove the late measures but in general it is supposed that all we have done is quite regular & the Commissioners of the Cust. who are still confined at the Castle ought not to return to Town & no resentment will be shewn but it will appear to the Parl. that the appointment of those Officers was unnecessary. I have endeavoured to convince the people thro the province that they are making work for repentance but to no purpose. We shall continue in this state until news arrives of what we are to expect from England. The first effect of this news & the influence it will have upon peoples minds whether to bring them to a more proper temper & less offensive conduct or to produce something more extravagant than we have yet seen no man alive can determine.
We have not been without whispers that if any forces should come the Country would all come in upon an alarm to be made in Boston. This would be something beyond madness it self & I cannot bring my self to believe that any number of people worth regarding have ever had a serious thought of this sort or would dare fire a gun upon the Kings forces. The G. seemed to be under some apprehensions for the Castle & sent an Express for me when I was upon the Circuit but I convincd him that it would have an ill effect to detain me from that business for what the people would call a groundless fear & he readily consented to my return.3
We had a small disturbance last week. Williams one of the Inspectors was absent when the Commissioners were to the Castle.4 He came to Boston about 8 days ago. As soon as it was known a large number of people, several hundreds gathered about his house in the evning & required him to resign his post. He told them he should not do it. They then required him to meet them at the Tree of Liberty the next day. He refused that but said he would be upon Change & they soon after dispersed. He went the next day upon Change where there was a great multitude & by advice of my brother he went into the Town house & spoke to the people from the Balcony & told them if any body had any thing to say to him he was ready to hear them. One drunken fellow called to him by abusive names but he was silenced & after a short time nobody making any demand of him he withdrew & the mob dispersed to the disappointment of Otis & others of his disposition. This ill success caused those who call themselves sons of liberty to disown the measure tho the same persons who were at the pulling down my house who carried the Secretary to the Tree who assembled under the same tree after the Commissioners had withdrawn & who afterwards made part of a legal town meeting & addressed the Gov. were present on this occasion & an infamous Doctor Young who was of his Towns Comittee to wait on the Gov. attempted at this time to stir up a Tumult but was disappointed.5
I fear you have in England a very difficult Task to retain the Colonies in a due subordination & at the same time to continue the benefit you receive from their commerce. It will not do to drive them to despair. It will not do to leave them to the loose principles espoused by so many both of Clergy & Laity viz. that they are subject to Laws so far as shall appear to them to be equitable & no farther. This Doctrine was preached at the last Election of Counsellors. I attempted to convince the Parson the next day that no Government could subsist upon these principles.6 I do not find it in his printed Sermon. I am Sir Your most Obedient humble Servant,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:315–16); unaddressed.
Boston 27 July 1768
Dear Sir, I have been absent from Town a great part of the spring & summer which I hope will be some excuse for delaying my acknowledgment of your last favor with the two Lawbooks a present from my esteemed friend Mr Belcher.2 Please to present my compliments to him. I wish I had it in my power to send him a new Edition of our Laws Revised and amended agreeable to the Repeated Recommendations of the Ministry. We once went so far as to appoint a Comittee for that purpose3 & if our Constitution should continue I think it not impossible one day to obtain it. If ever it should be engaged in I see already in several of your Laws improvement made upon ours which it would be advisable to copy after.
We have been in a frenzy for 6 or 7 weeks without any lucid intervals. Four of the Commissioners of the Customs thought themselves in danger & took shelter in the Castle.4 Some people were so foolish as to say they might be taken from thence & we have had the Castle surrounded ever since with Men of War. We have rash people among us but an attempt upon the Castle would be the most consummate piece of Quixotism and mad as we are I cannot think we are mad enough for it if there had not been a Man of War in America. Mobs a sort of them at least are constitutional and we have reason enough to fear Mobs & our misfortune is that the authority of government is so weak that we are not able to check them when they rise but are forced to leave them to their natural course. We cannot continue a great while in this state. Government must be aided from without or else it must intirely subside & suffer Anarchy to rise in its place & reign as long as it is possible to be born without controul.
I have a Warrant under His Majestys sign manual upon the Commissioners of the Customs for the payment of 200£ sterl. per annum in addition to the Salary granted me by the Province as Chief Justice.5 I wish it had been delayed until an arrangement had been made of the Salaries of other Officers and if that is never to be done I should have been content to have shared in the common fate. I begin to think we should invert the old proverbial expression & say it is better to be pitied than envied. I am not certain what use I shall make of it not having yet receivd anything upon it. My last Letters from Lond. are of the 24. May. The Parl. was adjourned over Whitsontide to the 2d of June. Wilks remaind in prison filling the papers my friend says every day with stories not one of which is true & yet nobody gives themselves the trouble to contradict them.6 Some people who would be in prison here if their Creditors were not very merciful to them do the same thing every week with us7 & I will not say nobody will give themselves the trouble but nobody dares contradict them. I am Sir Your most Obedient Servant,
I pray you would be so good as to forward the two inclosed Letters by first good opportunity to London or any part of England if no opportunity in 3 or 4 weeks after you receive them please to return them to me under a cover.
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:317); at head of letter, “Mr Grant Halifax.” Enclosures not found.
Boston August 1768
Sir, It is very necessary other information should be had in England of the present state of the Commissioners of the Customs than what common fame will bring to you or what you will receive from most of the Letters which go from hence, people in general being prejudiced by many false reports and misrepresentations concerning them. Seven eights of the people of the Country suppose the board itself to bee unconstitutional & cannot be undeceived & be brought to beleive that a Board has existed in England all this century & that the board established here has no new powers given to it. Our Incendiaries know it but they industriously and very wickedly publish the contrary. As much pains has been taken to prejudice the Country against the persons of the Commissioners and their Characters have been misrepresented & Cruelly treated especially since their confinement at the Castle where they are not so likely to hear what is said of them and are not able to Confute it. It is now pretended they need not to have with drawn that Mr Williams had stood his ground without any injury although the Mob beset his house &c.1 There never was that spirit raised against the under officers as against the Commissioners, I mean four of them.2 They had a publick affront offered them by the Town of Boston who refused to give the use of their Hall for a publick dinner unless it was stipulated that the Commissioners should not be invited.3 An affront of the same nature at the motion of Mr Hancock was offered by a Company of Cadets. Soon after a Vessel of Mr Hancocks being seized the Officers were mobbed & the Commissioners were informed they we[re] threatned. I own I was in pain for them. I do not believe if the mob had seized them, there was any authority able & willing to have rescued them.
After they had withdrawn the Town signified to the Governor by a message that it was expected or desired they should not return. It was then the general voice that it would not be safe for them to return. After all this the Sons of Liberty say they deserted or abdicated.
The other Officers of the Customs in general either did not leave the Town or soon returned to it. Some of them seem to be discontented with the Commissioners. Great pains have been taken to increase the discontent. Their office by this means is rendered extremely burdensome. Every thing they do is found fault with & yet the4 particular illegality or even irregurality mentioned. There is too much hauteur some of their Officers say in the treatment they receive. They say they treat their Officers as the Commissioners treat their Officers in England and require no greater deference. After all it is not the persons but the Officers of the Comissioners which has raised their spirit and the distinction made between the Commissioners is because it has been given out that four of them were in favour of the new establishment and the fifth was not.5 If Mr Hallowell arrived safe he will ^can^ inform you on any circumstances relative to this distinction which I very willingly excuse myself from mentioning.6
I know of no burden brought upon the fair trade7 by the new establishment. The illicit trade8 finds the risque greater than it used to be especially in the port where the board is constantly held. Another circumstance which increases the prejudice is this the new Duties hapned to take place just about the time the Commissioners arrived people have absurdly connected the Duties and board of Comissioners and suppose we should have ^no duties if there^ had been no Board9 to have the charge of collecting them.
With all the Aid you can give to the Officers of the Crown they will have enough to do to maintain the authority of Government & to carry the Laws in to execution. If they are discountenanced, neglected or fail of support from you they must submit to every thing the present Opposers of Government think fit to require of them.
There is no Office under greater discouragement than that of the Commissioners. Some of my friends recommended me to the Ministry.10 I think my self very happy I am not one. Indeed it would have been incompatible with my post of Chief Justice place ^which I prefer if there was no other Emolument^ than the small pittance11 allowed by the Province.
From my acquaintance with the Commissioners I have conceived a personal esteem for them but my chief inducement to make this representation to you is a regard to the publick interest which I am sure will suffer if the opposition carry their point against them. I am with great esteem Sir Your most obedient humble Servant,
Aug 10. Yesterday at a meeting of the Merchants it was agreed to give12 no more orders for goods from England nor receive any upon Comission until the late Acts are repealed. And it is said all except 16 in Town have subscribed in engagement of that Tenor.13 I hope the subscription will be printed that I may transmit it to you.
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:318–20); in WSH’s hand, with a postscript in TH’s hand; unaddressed but almost certainly written to Whately, as are many of the letters printed in Letters Sent to Great-Britain. Contemporary printing: Letters Sent to Great-Britain, pp. 5–8.
Milton 5 August 
Dear Sir, Yesterday I was at Cambridge. Goffe is very desirous the Court should sit only two or three days to impanell the Juries receive Bills & make up judgments upon Complaints and then adjourn to November.2 To day I saw Auchmuty.3 He is very desirous of going with Miss Cradock to Halifax and for that reason wishes the Court may adjourn. He thinks there will not be business to take up the second week. I asked why he could not stay until it was over. Because it will be too late in the Fall when he returns. I told him as to any thing personal I was indifferent my doubt was whether the County would like it. He says the Bar are for it. I told him I would write to my brethren & let him know their minds as far as I could collect them. Send me yours as soon as you have opportunity.
For news I refer you to Edes and Gill. I am grown callous and all they say about me makes no impression. Otis and the two Adams, Cooper & Church go regularly every Saturday in the afternoon to set the Press.4 They all profess a great friendship for me. I wish the whole Court were Pensioners that they might share part of the Obloquy. Though I would not wish it if I thought you would have any objection. The Governor told me a day or two ago that he is going to spend about a month at Brookfield while his Lady drinks the waters.5 This will afford a fine Subject for Edes & Gill. If Troops should come which he protests he does not expect I shall have no business with them for he will be within the Province. The Council have a great Secret. So have the Free masons.6 Yours sincerely,
RC (Massachusetts Historical Society, Grenville H. Norcross Autograph Collection); unaddressed; partially dated.
Boston 8. Aug 1768
Dear Sir, I thank you for your favour of 24. May. I have wrote you before upon the subject of the L Gov.’s right to a seat in Council. The case was stated & printed & many copies sent to England.2 The H. gave only an evasive answer. They expected the Ministry to assert the right against them but that was given up as many points have been before until the whole authority of government is fallen into the H of R. The intention of the Charter was that there should be a C of 30 the LG & the S. for the time being to be always two & 28 to be chosen in manner as directed. The clause in the Charter without any torture admits of this construction. This construction was put upon it the first year. Whether any ambiguity in the clause caused them to elect the LG & S the next year does not appear. Possibly it might be thot more Respectful.
One would think the state of America was eno to unite all parties in England to secure its connexion. I cant but [think] such an infamous Boulefeu is himself before this time extinguished.3
We cannot subsist much longer. Our Relation to you must be ascertained. We rise higher & higher in our principles of independence. I tell the party sometimes they had better go thorough stitch & reassume their first Charter which they say was illegally vacated.
I dare not suggest any measure to restore us to a state of government. Prudence must accompany firmness & Resolution. I will venture to suggest what I am sure will not do. A Test was once proposed in the H of Commons for all persons in Office in the Colonies.4 This would infallibly make the people desperate.5
The most interesting subject in this Colony at present is the condition of the Commissioners of the Customs four of them being still shut up in the Castle. The Enemies to Government are endeavouring to make a breach between them & their Under Officers some of whom, to say the best, are imprudent & bring to Town every thing which passes at the Board.6 The aim of the party is to break up the whole Board & some dont scruple to say that when its known in Eng. how disagreeable the new establishment is to the people the Customs will be Reduced to their old form & Surveyors Gen restored to their former Districts. I suspect a multitude of Complaints are gone home. I am satisfied the vigilance of the Commissioners in carrying the acts of trade into execution is the cause of all. I know of nothing they have been charged with even by common fame except taking too much state upon them which if true is venial & I suppose agreeable to the practice of the Board in Engd. with which Mr Hulton was acquainted.7
They have been too much slighted by the gentlemen of the Town & the Council in particular. We are generally very civil in entertaining strangers, which makes this neglect more conspicuous. I visit them once in a few days & they have ventured once to my house in the Country which is the only place upon the Main where they have been since they first went to Castle Island. I really pity them & if I had the offer of a place at their board & it was not incompatible with the place of Chief Justice I should desire to be excused. I do not think if no body else should give a just Representation of their case (I believe very few will do it) that the idle stories which are sent from hence could make any impressions upon the Ministry. If the Officers of the C. are not supported in England they certainly will be trampled upon here. Colden’s being neglected gave great encouragement to the opposers of government & he is now in disgrace for being one of the most steady supporters of Parliamentary authority & the party who opposed him when he was in the Administration triumph over him.8
I know from Ld H_____ character we are in no danger whilst he continues the Minister for America but we have been so used to changes that we are always expecting them.9
I wait with impatience to hear how you Received the news of the expulsion of the Commissioners. I wish a way could be found to call to account the principal Criminals some of whom sin directly against the light of their own Consciences & that the body of the people who are misled & deluded might escape but this I despair of. I am Sir Your most Obedient humble,
Aug. 10. Last evening the Merchants of Boston met & near 200 (two thirds of them Shopkeepers or such as have not imported Goods) subscribed an engagement not to import any more Eng. Goods until the Revenue Acts are Repealed.10 The names of 16 only are handed about who refuse to subscribe.11 I hope they will print their proceedings. If the Parliament take no notice of them I think they never will of any thing. These measures are advised to & pressed by men who call themselves Lawyers, not in this only but the other Colonies. Certainly if the Law had its course there could be no need of a new Act of P. further than meerly declaratory to enlarge ^increase^ the penalty of the Offence.
Sept. 14, 1768.
Sir, The great esteem I have for you in every point of light, perhaps renders my fears and doubts for the safety of your person greater than they ought to be; however if that is an error it certainly results from true friendship, naturally jealous. Last night I was informed by a gentleman of my acquaintance, who had his information from one intimate with and knowing to the infernal purposes of the sons of liberty as they falsely stile themselves, that he verily believ’d, from the terrible threats and menaces by those catalines against you, that your life is greatly in danger.1 This informant I know is under obligations to you and is a man of veracity. He express’d himself with concern for you, and the gentleman acquainting me with this horrid circumstance, assured me he was very uneasy till you had notice. I should have done myself the honor of waiting on you but am necessarily prevented. The duty I owed to you as a friend and to the public as a member of society, would not suffer me to rest till I had put your honor upon your guard; for tho’ this may be a false alarm, nothing would have given me greater pain, if any accident had happen’d, and I had been silent. If possible, I will see you to morrow, and let you know further into this black affair. And am with the sincerest friendship and respect, your honors most obedient and most humble servant,
Printed in Letters Sent to Great-Britain, p. 13; at foot of letter, “To the honble Thomas Hutchinson.”
Milton, 17th Sep. 1768
Gentlemen,1 About six or eight Weeks ago Mr. Sewall acquainted me that Letters or Memorials had been sent from the Commissioners of the Customs to the Lords of The Treasury, representing him as a person very unfit for the place of Advocate General and praying that he might be removed.2 He said he received his information in such manner that he could not well doubt of the truth of it. He added that he was not consious of any unfaithfulness, he had acted in every affair according to the best of his Judgment and he thought himself very unfortunate in having such representations made against him without being heard or having any opportunity of exculpating himself.
Mr. Sewall bears an exceeding good Character in the Province especially among the Friends to Government.3 That Goverment might not suffer by discord or Jealousies I took the first opportunity to acquaint one, or more of the Commissioners with what I had heard. They express’d the greatest surprize and offered to give me Copies of all they had ever wrote relative to Mr. Sewall, and soon after he informed me that the Governor had received such Copies and communicated them to him, but they were not satisfactory for he had received further information that the Letters or Memorials sent to the Lords of the Treasury were very different from those Copies or extracts.
I let him know my opinion that he was imposed upon and abused, but he had so good an opinion of his informers, who he supposed to be actuated by mere friendship to him that he could not be satisfied.
After this at your desire, I saw several letters, as they stand upon your Records, Copies of which, so far as they relate to Mr Sewall, you informed me had been sent to him, but I saw nothing which could give the least grounds for the information given him; and he has since let me know that he has received a Letter signed by all the Commissioners in which they declare that nothing had ever been wrote relating to him more than had been shewn to me and that he had also received a Letter or Certificate from the Secretary of your Honorable Board to the same purpose.4 Mr Sewall then made this Remark that it was the most Mysterious unaccountable affair that he had ever met with.
I said but little to Mr Sewall concerning his discovering his informers knowing the Governor had discoursed with him upon that Subject. In general, I remember he seemed to think that he should Violate the Laws of Friendship in making such discovery untill he was fully convinced that the persons informing had wilfully misrepresented facts to him.
You are pleased to desire that I would do you the Justice I think you deserve I do not know how to do it better than by the foregoing Narrative, I think you have done every thing to convince Mr Sewall of the falshoods of the Reports brought to him which could reasonably be expected from you and if the public service should Suffer it can in no degree be attributed to you. I am with great regard Gentlemen &ca. signed,
SC (Massachusetts Historical Society, Winthrop Papers 27:233–35); in an unknown hand; at head of letter, “Copy of a Letter from Lieut. Governor Hutchinson to four of the Commissioners of the Customs dated Milton 17th. Sepr. 1768”; at foot of letter, “Honorable Charles Paxton, Hen Hulton, William Burch, & John Robinson.” Dft (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 25:277–78); heavily revised and obscured with tape; at foot of letter, “[Mr Paxton Mr Hulton Mr Burch Mr Robinson].”
1 TH History, 3:118–19; JHR, 43:231–34. For a valuable cautionary warning that arguments about colonial rights were constantly evolving and always conditioned by audience and circumstance, see Neil L. York, “Defining and Defending Colonial American Rights: William Bollan, Agent,” American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture, 3 (Fall 2014): 215–19.
2 TH History, 3:126–27. For the case of the Berkshire rioters, see TH Correspondence, 1:51, 86, 464, 466n, 468, 475–78, 485, 490.
3 TH History, 3:121–23; JHR, 43:229.
4 TH History, 3:121; Nicolson, ‘Infamas Govener,’ pp. 105, 151.
5 Griffin, Townshend Moment, pp. 121–22, 127.
6 JHR, 44:217–33, 241–50.
7 JHR, 44:250–51.
8 JHR, 44:176–78, 188–90, 239–40.
9 Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:323–24.
10 Portrait of a Patriot, 5:611, 613, 617–25.
11 TH Correspondence, 1:488–89.
12 Archer, Enemy’s Country, pp. 82–90; TH History, 3:137–40.
13 Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:110, 154–58.
14 Papers of Francis Bernard, 4: Appendix 4.
15 Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:240–42, 362–76; TH History, 3:140–44.
16 Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:238–39, 253, 257–58.
17 Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots, pp. 112–15.
18 Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:290–92; TH History, 3:146–47.
19 Archer, Enemy’s Country, pp. 99–103; TH History, 3:148–52.
20 TH History, 3:153–55.
21 All of the various articles were collected by Oliver M. Dickerson in Boston Under Military Rule, 1768–1769 (Boston, 1936).
22 TH History, 3:163–64.
23 Papers of Francis Bnerard, 5:173–79.
24 Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:9–12; TH History, 3:157–58, 160.
25 Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:20–22; Copies of Letters from Governor Bernard, &c. to the Earl of Hillsborough (Boston: 1769).
26 Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:22–26, 295–303.
27 Letters to the Right Honourable Earl of Hillsborough, from Governor Bernard, General Gage, and the honourable His Majesty’s Council for the Province of Massachusetts-Bay. With an appendix containing divers proceedings referred to in the said letters (Boston: 1769).
28 TH History, 3:168–73.
29 Letters to the Ministry from Governor Bernard, General Gage, and Commodore Hood. And also memorials to the Lords of the Treasury, from the Commissioners of the Customs: With sundry letters and papers annexed to the said memorials (Boston, Edes & Gill, 1769).
30 Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots, pp. 121–38.
31 TH History, 3:186–87.
32 Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots, pp. 129–30, 139.
1 Israel Williams (see BD) was a resident of Hatfield, Massachusetts.
2 The same act of the legislature that compensated TH for his losses granted a blanket amnesty to all participants in the Stamp Act riots. The act was disallowed by the king-in-council during the spring of 1767, as Williams hoped, but TH and the other sufferers had already been reimbursed for their losses.
3 Joseph Hawley (see BD), in response to TH’s conduct as chief justice in the case of the Berkshire rioters, denounced TH as a person of “unconstitutional principles” on the floor of the House, as TH recounted in more detail in a previous letter to Williams (TH Correspondence, 1: No. 228). Seth Warren was Hawley’s client in the affair of the Berkshire rioters.
4 Hawley was a distant kinsman of Williams. He had a reputation for erratic behavior. TH had previously expressed puzzlement and regret at Hawley’s changed opinion of him.
5 It is unclear which “vile piece” TH believed Hawley had a hand in, unless it was one of several pseudonymous responses to “Philanthrop.” Jonathan Sewall (see BD), the government party’s most skilled polemicist, began publishing letters in the Boston Evening-Post under the pseudonym “Philanthrop” in December 1766. The series, which ran through much of 1767, defended Governor Francis Bernard (see BD) and the government party, sparking a newspaper war with the opposition. Hawley became embroiled in a protracted exchange with “Philanthrop” during the summer of 1767. For Hawley’s letters, see Boston Evening-Post, 6 and 13 July 1767. For a detailed account of the first “Philanthrop” letters, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:310–12.
6 The previous fall the Massachusetts House of Representatives, in an unprecedented action, named Dennys DeBerdt (see BD) its exclusive agent. Before DeBerdt’s appointment, provincial agents needed the approval of both the Council and the governor to represent the province in any official capacity (JHR, 42:182). The House voted to dismiss Richard Jackson (see BD) as provincial agent on 4 December 1766, but the Council did not concur, and the disagreement lay unresolved at the time the legislature was prorogued. The General Court would take up the matter again in the new year.
7 Williams consulted TH about the potential profitability of potash in the spring of 1765 (TH Correspondence, 1: No. 96).
1 John Cushing was referring to the house on Garden Court Street in the North End of Boston, which TH’s grandfather built circa 1690 and turned over to TH’s father in 1703. TH had been riding the judicial circuit, one of his duties for the Massachusetts Superior Court.
2 Joseph Cushing (1711–1767) was a Harvard College graduate of 1731 and a schoolmaster in Scituate. He was appointed justice of the peace in 1762 (Harvard Graduates, 9:38–39).
3 Thomas Clap (see BD) was Cushing’s bitter enemy and a political client of Governor Francis Bernard.
4 Colonel Josiah Edson (1709–1781) was representative from Bridgewater. In 1769, he lost his seat for two years after voting to rescind the Circular Letter. He eventually succeeded Clap as colonel of the 2nd Regiment and judge of the Plymouth Court of Common Pleas in 1771. He was appointed to the mandamus council by General Thomas Gage and left Boston in 1776 with General Sir William Howe’s army (Harvard Graduates, 8:700–07).
5 Translated literally as “under the rose,” but the phrase is generally used in English to denote secrecy or confidentiality.
1 In the fall of 1766, the House of Representatives voted to compensate TH for his losses in the Stamp Act riots but at the same time granted a general amnesty to all participants in the riots.
2 Richard Jackson was almost certainly referring to former Massachusetts agent Jasper Mauduit and current agent for the Massachusetts House of Representatives Dennys DeBerdt. John Smith (1703–1768), a Boston merchant residing in London, was a friend of DeBerdt and an associate in various Dissenting charities (CSM Pubs., 13:309n).
3 Jackson was a religious dissenter. For more about the Dissenting Deputies, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 3.
4 Mauduit’s brother Israel became a close correspondent of TH, beginning in April 1767.
5 The Massachusetts General Court granted Governor Francis Bernard Mount Desert Island in the district of Maine in 1762. In the fall of 1766, James Otis Jr. convinced the Massachusetts House of Representatives to oppose the confirmation of Bernard’s grant to the island, claiming that Bernard tricked the General Court into believing the island was smaller than it actually was. The matter of the Mount Desert Island grant remained under consideration by the Board of Trade and the privy council until March 1771, when Bernard finally received confirmation of his title (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:358; William E. Sawtelle, “Sir Francis Bernard and His Grant of Mount Desert,” CSM Pubs., 24:197–254).
6 Lord Clive’s military successes in Bengal prompted a parliamentary inquiry into the riches of the East India Company that concluded with an agreement to pay the Crown £400,000 annually, according to the East India Act of 1767. Rumors of a change in the government increased throughout the winter of 1766–1767, as the Earl of Chatham (see BD) spent less time in London on government affairs and more time at his country estate.
7 In May 1766, Bernard vetoed James Otis Jr. as Speaker of the House, as well as six others elected as councilors.
8 Bernard’s speech to the Massachusetts General Court on 3 June 1766 instructed the court to grant compensation to those who suffered during the Stamp Act riots, but many took issue with Bernard’s peremptory tone, including TH. For more on this speech, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 192. For the speech itself, see Speeches, pp. 81–82.
9 TH Jr. was in London during the summer of 1766 seeking to further his father’s bid for compensation.
1 The Declaratory Act, enacted in March 1766, asserted the right of Parliament to legislate for the colonies in all cases whatsoever.
2 In the summer of 1766, the New York Assembly voted to comply only partially with a request from General Thomas Gage for supplies for British soldiers stationed there, according to the Quartering Act (also known as the Mutiny Act or the Billeting Act) of 1765. Secretary of State Lord Shelburne instructed New York Governor Sir Henry Moore to insist the assembly provide all the requested items, but the assembly refused. Both the 12 January 1767 edition of the Boston Post-Boy and the 15 January edition of the Boston News-Letter carried copies of the messages exchanged by the assembly and Moore (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:301–03; TH History, 3:121–24).
3 Approximately three words are illegible in the MS.
4 The General Court’s session lasted from 28 January to 20 March. The court would not convene again until 27 May, after the annual elections.
5 “M” was most likely Dr. Thomas Moffatt (circa 1702–1787), a Rhode Island physician, whose house in Newport was sacked during the Stamp Act riots. He was eventually made collector of customs at New London, fled to Boston in 1775, and left with the British army in 1776, living out the rest of his life as a pensioner in England (Morgan and Morgan, Stamp Act Crisis, pp. 47–52, 145–48, 301).
1 Peter Oliver (see BD) had four sons, but he was most likely referring to his eldest, Daniel (1738–1768), who had served as a courier for the two men in the past (TH Correspondence, 1: No. 166).
2 Oliver’s wife was Mary (Clarke) Oliver (circa 1713–1775), daughter of William and Hannah (Appleton) Clarke and sister of tea consignee Richard Clarke (see BD).
3 Chambers Russell (see BD) was both a justice of the Superior Court and judge of the vice-admiralty court. He sailed for England in the fall of 1766 but died shortly after his arrival.
4 Attorney General Edmund Trowbridge succeeded to Russell’s place on the Superior Court in March 1767. Trowbridge was succeeded as attorney general by Boston lawyer Jeremiah Gridley, who was appointed to the office on 25 March 1767. When Gridley died the following September, Jonathan Sewall was appointed in his place.
5 On 1 December 1766 in the Boston Evening-Post, Sewall began to publish a series of letters under the pen name “Philanthrop” defending Governor Francis Bernard from attacks in the popular press. For more on the “Philanthrop” articles, see No. 237, above, and Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:310–12.
6 “Mrs. Watson” was Elizabeth Oliver (1735–1767), Oliver’s oldest child, who married George Watson in 1753. She was pregnant with her fifth child when this letter was written, and she subsequently died in childbirth on 19 February.
1 Early in his life, when TH first knew him, Edmund Trowbridge (see BD) adopted the name of his guardian and uncle Colonel Edmund Goffe; later, he resumed his birth name, although TH habitually referred to him as Goffe (CSM Pubs., 5:75).
2 Nathan Cushing (1742–1812) of Scituate was a Harvard graduate who was eventually appointed judge of the vice-admiralty court in 1776 and of the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 1790. His father was Deacon Joseph Cushing (1711–1767), whose death John Cushing discussed in No. 238, above. Although Cushing was not immediately appointed a justice of the peace in his father’s place, he was appointed to the post two years later.
4 Cushing’s longstanding enmity for Clap only increased when Clap was found guilty of forging a bill for compensation against the government. When Clap appealed the ruling, the case was dropped, but Clap’s already questionable reputation was further sullied. The representative in the General Court was Gideon Vinal (1709–1786), member from Scituate. Colonel Benjamin Lincoln Sr. (1699–1771) of Hingham served as a member of the Council from 1752 through 1769.
1 Governor Francis Bernard opened the session with a short appeal for harmony, but it prompted a lengthy and angry response from the House. Thus began a heated dispute about whether TH, who was no longer an elected member of the Council, had the right to be present, even though he could not participate in debate. See Bernard’s speech to the House, delivered on 28 January 1767 (JHR, 43:224) and the House’s reply, dated 31 January 1767 (JHR, 43:231–34). For Bernard’s full report to Lord Shelburne, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:322–28. For TH’s full account of this dispute, see TH History, 3:126–28.
2 “C” was probably an abbreviation for Cambridge, as TH was most likely referring to Lieutenant Governor Spencer Phips (1685–1757), who served under both Jonathan Belcher (see BD) and William Shirley and was a resident of Cambridge. “Bash.” was an abbreviation for Bashaw, a variant of the Turkish title pasha, used figuratively in English to suggest a grandee or a haughty and imperious man (OED). The other uses of the abbreviation “C” in this letter referred to the Council, with the abbreviation “H” used for the House of Representatives.
3 In early December 1766, the House and Council voted to remove Richard Jackson from the Massachusetts agency. Bernard delayed acting on the House’s vote, prompting the House to send him a message on 20 February laying out the reasons for Jackson’s dismissal and inquiring as to its status. Bernard finally acquiesced on 20 March (JHR, 43:307–10, 420; Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:264–67).
4 “J” was probably an abbreviation for Justices. The House voted salaries for all civil officers a week after TH wrote this letter, on 11 February (JHR, 43:268–71). The abbreviation “g” probably stands for governor. Bernard did not adjourn the General Court until 20 March.
5 By “the New England Wilkes,” TH presumably meant James Otis Jr., since John Wilkes himself was then an outlaw in France.
1 “Ass.” was an abbreviation for the assembly, by which TH meant the House of Representatives. The House hired Dennys DeBerdt as its independent agent in November 1766. TH must have expressed concern to Richard Jackson about excerpts from his letters circulating in England, since Jackson’s response, No. 239, above, addressed the topic.
2 TH referred to the House’s response to Governor Francis Bernard’s speech to open the legislative session. The House’s “rude Answer,” as Bernard described it, was dated 31 January 1767 and is found at JHR, 43:231–34. One of the issues raised by the House was TH’s continued presence in Council meetings.
3 “Mr. J” is Jackson, whom the House dismissed as agent twice—once on 5 December 1766 and then again on 5 February 1767 after Bernard ignored the first dismissal (No. 243, above; JHR, 43:250). The “former agent” was presumably William Bollan himself (see BD), who was engaged in a long-running dispute with the House over his accounts. The “last agent” was Jasper Mauduit, whose brother Israel had performed many of the agent’s duties because of Jasper’s illness.
4 TH was probably making a general reference to the poor state of the Massachusetts economy in 1767, but perhaps he was also alluding to the persistent financial woes of Samuel Adams (see BD).
3 Joshua Otis (1748–1822), son of Captain Joshua and Hannah (Barker) Otis, was sent down from Harvard College in 1765 for profanity. Roland Cushing (1744–1788) was Otis’s classmate at Harvard and the youngest son of John Cushing. Otis’s punishment was later converted to expulsion when he treated the matter with contempt (Harvard Graduates, 17:66).
4 A transport ship bound from Halifax to Quebec put into Boston in late November when bad weather closed the navigation of the St. Lawrence River. On board were elements of the Royal Artillery Train. They were quartered at Castle William until they left for England in May. Because the House had adjourned, Bernard, with the advice of the Council, provided fuel and candles for the troops. When the House reconvened, Bernard, instead of claiming customary usage as the grounds for his action, cited the Quartering Act of 1765. The House, led by James Otis Jr. and spurred on by the example of the New York Assembly, which refused to comply with the Quartering Act, denounced the action of the governor and Council as unwarrantable and unconstitutional (JHR, 43:230, 243; Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:270–72; TH History, 3:122–23).
1 TH appears to be loosely paraphrasing the House’s answer to Governor Francis Bernard’s speech of 31 January 1767, found at JHR, 43:231–34.
2 James Otis Jr., according to Bernard, vowed in 1760 when his father was not appointed a justice of the Superior Court that “he would set the whole Province in a flame, tho’ he perished in the attempt” (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:276).
1 Governor Francis Bernard wrote to Secretary to the Board of Trade John Pownall (see BD) on 18 February 1767. It was his habit to routinely send the proceedings of the General Court to the Board of Trade (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:477). So John Pownall would be a logical recipient of this letter, except for the fact that in No. 386, below, TH appears to be writing to Pownall for the first time.
2 The Massachusetts Charter of 1691 provided for a Council elected by the House, whereas in royal colonies councilors were appointed by the Crown upon the recommendation of the governor. This change finally found its way into law in the Massachusetts Government Act of 1774, one of the Coercive Acts enacted in response to the Boston Tea Party.
1 TH’s letter to Richard Jackson of 17 December 1766 was not found, but his letter to Lord Shelburne was TH Correspondence, 1: No. 232. In it, TH expressed the hope that his losses on behalf of the Crown would garner him favor in England in the future.
2 Throughout the winter of 1766–1767, the Earl of Chatham was away from London and uninvolved with governmental affairs, although still technically the head of the government. By March, the Duke of Grafton (see BD) would in effect become head of the government.
4 Jackson’s letter to Governor Francis Bernard was not found.
5 The MS is blotted here.
6 Both Massachusetts and Nova Scotia granted titles to land in the Penobscot region after the expulsion of the French following the French and Indian War. For TH’s account to Jackson of Massachusetts’ claim to the region, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 74. Governor Hugh Palliser of Newfoundland complained to Bernard of the violent behavior of Massachusetts whalers against the native Esquimaux (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:197). The House’s main concern seemed to be access to the fisheries off the coast. By his own account, House agent Dennys DeBerdt was diligent in pursuing reassurances on this score, as evidenced by his letter to “Boston Merchants,” dated 14 March 1767, in which he stated that he had spoken to both Lord Shelburne and Palliser on this topic. The letter is at CSM Procs., 13:451–52.
7 Jasper Mauduit’s accounts with the General Court from his time as agent still remained unsettled at this time.
8 According to TH’s account, the Piscataqua River was proposed as the eastern boundary of New Hampshire (TH Correspondence, 1: No. 74). Andrew Oliver (see BD), as secretary of the province, would properly receive such a communication.
1 This letter can only have been written between the installation of the gallery in the House of Representatives in January 1767, and Osborne’s death on 27 August 1768. On Friday, 27 February 1767, the House passed a resolution saying “whereas a certain anonymous Extract of a letter had been produced and read in the House” containing the words, “if your Assembly will allow themselves to be led by that absurd ignorant Firebrand, he may bring them into a worse scrape than they can imagine,” it condemned the letter and declared its author “an Enemy to the Province” (JHR, 43:341). A letter writer to the Boston Evening Post on 28 March 1768 (over a year later) identified the “Firebrand” as James Otis Jr., noting how angered he was when the extract was read and how vehemently he had spoken on behalf of condemning the letter.
2 It is not clear which of John Osborne’s four sons from his first marriage to Sarah Woodbury may have witnessed the proceedings in the House: Woodbury (1720-died before 1773), Jeremiah (1723-1768), Samuel (1730-died before 1773), or John (c.1730-1772).
3 In the Book of Esther, Haman, the grand vizier of King Ahasuerus, advised hanging Mordecai and all the Jews in the kingdom, but being outwitted by Queen Esther, herself a Jew, was hanged from the same gallows he built for Mordecai. Thus, Otis, who had anonymously abused others, was himself impugned through similar methods.
4 Osborne’s letter, signed a “Friend of the Province,” was published in the Fleets’ paper, the Boston Evening Post, on Monday, 9 March 1767, not Monday, 2 March as he intended. It calls upon “Paskalos,” a writer of several articles in the Boston Gazette during January (identified by Harbottle Dorr as Joseph Warren but thought by Osborne to be Otis), to provide a single fact justifying his abuse of Francis Bernard. The letter concluded with the words, “If you refuse me this reasonable request, then I and every other man must look upon you and esteem you as a Firebrand, an Incendiary, who would set your country in a blaze to satisfy your ambitious and wicked purposes by the horrid general conflagration.”
5 Jonathan Turner Jr. was not identified.
1 This reference to the poor treatment suffered by the recipient of this letter suggests that it was written to Richard Jackson, who was recently dismissed from the Massachusetts agency. For more on his dismissal, see No. 237, above.
2 TH long believed that a small group of self-interested persons drove the patriot opposition. He and other government party members expected from the British government a stern response to New York’s resistance to the Quartering Act and the increasingly open denials of the supremacy of Parliament made by the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
1 The Council responded to the House on 3 March with a message that said it would not rule on TH’s right to attend its meetings unless TH was determined to “insist upon his right” (JHR, 43:349, 379). See also Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:330.
2 The “gentleman” was not identified, but the only councilors who served for that length of time were Isaac Royall (15 years), Benjamin Lincoln (14 years), and John Erving (13 years). TH would be unlikely to describe Lincoln as “of very good estate” nor Erving, who had often sided with the Boston merchants in their quarrels with the Customs House, as “inoffensive.” Thus, TH probably meant Royall (1719–1781), a wealthy immigrant from the West Indies, a distiller, and a future Loyalist.
1 The General Court convened on 28 January and adjourned on 20 March 1767. During that time, the House quarreled with Governor Francis Bernard about TH’s role on the Council, the provisions of the Quartering Act of 1765, the Massachusetts agency, and Bernard’s putative role in sullying the reputation of Massachusetts fishermen working off the coast of Nova Scotia.
2 James Otis Jr. was the rival candidate for the position. The expansive claims of the Van Rensselaer family, supported by British regulars stationed in Albany, to land located in territory disputed by Massachusetts and New York led to outbreaks of violence along the border in 1766. Imperial authorities urged the establishment of a joint commission to settle the dispute. The Massachusetts House appointed TH as part of its delegation on 12 March 1767 (JHR, 43:379–80). For TH’s account, see TH History, 3:128. Colin Nicolson provides perhaps the fullest account of the Massachusetts side of these disputes in Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:183, 191–96, 200–203, 208–11, 218–19, 221, 259, 261, 306, 335–57, 377–78, 427. See also Sung Bok Kim, Landlord and Tenant in Colonial New York, 1664–1775 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1978), chap. 7.
3 Bostonians were awaiting the British government’s reaction to the New York Assembly’s refusal to comply fully with the Quartering Act of 1765.
2 James Otis Jr. and others characterized TH’s simultaneous holding of many offices as an offense against the separation of powers. TH was lieutenant governor (part of the executive), a member of the Council (the upper house of the legislature), and the province’s chief justice.
2 Charles Pratt (1714–1794), 1st Earl Camden, was lord chancellor in the Earl of Chatham’s ministry. Camden opposed the Declaratory Act, stating that taxation must rest upon the consent of the people given by their representatives.
3 The Duke of Grafton was first lord of the treasury during the Chatham administration, and Lord Shelburne was secretary of state for the southern department. Robert Henley (1708–1772), 1st Earl of Northington, previously lord chancellor, was lord president of the privy council. The legislation under consideration included bills to punish the New York Assembly for its defiance of the Quartering Act of 1765, raise new revenue duties, reinvigorate customs enforcement, and establish a North American civil list that would render royal governors and judges independent of the colonial assemblies that had previously paid their salaries.
4 Pennsylvania, alone among all the colonies, found a way to comply with the Quartering Act without arousing too much local indignation (James H. Hutson, Pennsylvania Politics, 1740–1770 [Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1972], p. 216).
5 The Massachusetts House, once it learned of New York’s resistance to the Quartering Act, challenged the right of the governor and Council to provide supplies for the Royal Artillery Company stranded at Castle William. For the dispute over this matter between Governor Francis Bernard and the House of Representatives, see No. 246, above.
6 Chatham’s ministry contained several members, such as Lords Camden and Shelburne, who had advocated the repeal of the Stamp Act.
7 Former First Lord of the Treasury George Grenville (see BD), the architect of the Stamp Act, would have been the last person the colonists would choose to devise a new constitutional relationship between Parliament and the colonies.
8 The discussion of American affairs culminated in a five-hour debate on 10 April concerning the Massachusetts Indemnity Act, which compensated TH and other sufferers in the Stamp Act riots while granting a blanket amnesty to all the rioters. Several lords strongly condemned the legislation as an infringement on the royal prerogative to grant pardon. Despite the efforts of Shelburne, Grafton, and Camden to palliate such anger, the House of Lords urged the Massachusetts Indemnity Act be struck down, and the privy council consequently issued an order on 13 May voiding the law (Report on a Debate in the House of Lords, [11 April 1767], Franklin Papers, 14:108–09; Bowdoin-Temple Papers, MHS Colls., Sixth Series (1897), 9:81–83).
9 Shelburne in his first letter as secretary of state to Bernard wrote on 13 September 1766 expressing his approval of the governor’s conduct during the Stamp Act riots but urging both him and the General Court to put the Stamp Act riots behind them. Bernard shared the letter with members of the General Court when they convened on 29 October 1766, and the Boston Evening-Post printed the letter on 17 November. For the text of the letter, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:224–25.
10 William Murray (1705–1793), 1st Earl of Mansfield, was one of Britain’s most revered lord chief justices, serving from 1756 to 1788. He was perhaps best known for his ruling in the Somersett Case decreeing that slavery was unsupported by statute in England. He opposed demands for greater colonial autonomy and set limits on freedom of the press in rulings following the Wilkes Affair and the later controversy surrounding the Junius letters. In the debate, Mansfield argued that Bernard had no choice but to sign the Indemnity Act if he wanted to see TH and the other victims of the riots compensated.
12 Mansfield was one of the chief participants in the 10 April debate in the House of Lords on the Massachusetts Indemnity Act. Benjamin Franklin (see BD), who attended the debate, wrote about the “great Uneasiness” he felt at the level of “Resentment against the Colonies” expressed by the Lords and noted that the “Word Rebellion was frequently used” (Report on a Debate in the House of Lords, [11 April 1767], Franklin Papers, 14:108–09). Several speakers—including Mansfield—suggested that the Indemnity Act should be disallowed and that the Massachusetts General Court should be punished for invasion of the king’s power to grant pardon (House of Lords Journal [London, 1767–1830], 31:566).
13 The MS is torn.
1 For the dispute between Governor Francis Bernard and the House of Representatives at the opening of the session, see No. 243, above. TH’s letter to Bernard stating he would no longer attend Council meetings is No. 249, above.
2 Bernard delivered TH’s letter to the House on 21 February (JHR, 43:312). The House immediately appointed a committee to consider the issue, naming Thomas Cushing (see BD), James Otis Jr., Samuel Adams, Joseph Hawley, and Samuel Dexter as members. On 23 February, the committee requested that the Council consider the constitutional implications of the lieutenant governor’s role on the Council, stating that TH’s “Claim nearly affects our Charter Rights and Privileges, the Maintenance and Support of which demands the Attention of every Branch of the Legislature” (JHR, 43:315, 324).
5 TH accurately foretold the outcome of the May elections, as government supporters again were defeated at the polls. Bernard later negatived five of the proposed councilors, leaving the Council with just twenty-three members for the coming year.
6 Bernard proposed the idea of a leave as early as late February 1766 in a letter to then Secretary of State Henry Seymour Conway (see BD). In June 1767, Shelburne initially granted Bernard permission to go to England but later withdrew it. For more on Bernard’s efforts to return to England, see No. 258, below.
1 In the spring of 1767, Lord Shelburne determined to remove, at least temporarily, Governor Francis Bernard from Massachusetts. Ostensibly, Bernard was to be recalled to England so that he could report on the province’s situation in person to his superiors, but in truth Shelburne hoped that Bernard’s departure would allow the province to settle its fractious disputes and return to a more cooperative mode of governance. He drew up both a letter of recall for Bernard and the above letter to TH appointing him to govern the province in Bernard’s absence. Shelburne delayed sending the letters, though, and eventually dropped the matter altogether, possibly because the withdrawal of the Earl of Chatham from government affairs left Shelburne in a precarious position within the ministry. News of Bernard’s aborted recall reached Boston during the summer of 1767 (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:339–40; R. A. Humphreys, “Lord Shelburne and a Projected Recall of Colonial Governors in 1767,” American Historical Review 37 : 269–72).
2 For Bernard’s instructions, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 1:454–95.
1 This reference was TH’s first mention of a “nervous disorder” that afflicted him in the spring of 1767. He apparently sought medical help from Dr. Joseph Warren, since his name appears in a list of Warren’s patients (Joseph Warren Account Books, Vol. 1 [1763–1768], Massachusetts Historical Society).
2 Governor Francis Bernard and TH hoped that the general election in May would restore at least TH and Secretary Andrew Oliver to the Council, but both men lost by even larger margins than they had the previous year. Former councilors Peter Oliver and Edmund Trowbridge (known to TH as “Goffe”) fared even worse.
3 As an example of such assurances, see Dennys DeBerdt to Thomas Cushing, 19 September 1766, in which DeBerdt wrote that Lord Shelburne “desired me to assure your house he had the highest regard for America wished their prosperity & would make it his care to promote it, that you might be perfectly easy about the enjoyment of your just rights & priviledges under the present administration” (CSM Pubs., 13:325–26).
4 The MS is torn here and in instances of brackets below.
5 This claim was presumably made by James Otis Jr. based on DeBerdt’s letter and similar reports.
2 The MS is blotted.
3 TH’s experiences in London in 1741 taught him not to expect justice at the hands of courtiers.
5 Governor Francis Bernard attempted to promote a compromise: if the House, following the May elections, would return the four government party men dropped from the Council in 1766 (TH, Andrew Oliver, Edmund Trowbridge, and Peter Oliver), Bernard would consent to the election of four of the councilors he had vetoed the year before (Samuel Dexter, Jerathmiel Bowers, Thomas Saunders, and Joseph Gerrish). The other two Bernard vetoed in 1766 were James Otis Sr. and Nathaniel Sparhawk (1715–1776), a wealthy merchant from Maine. Bernard’s compromise was refused, and the government party men remained off the Council. Consequently, Bernard negatived several Council nominees, including Otis, but he accepted Sparhawk. The removal from the Council of Israel Williams, a close friend and ally of TH, signaled the collapse of the government party in 1767 (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:365–66; TH History, 3:129).
6 The MS is torn here and in the brackets below.
8 The House had yet to settle the accounts of the province’s three past agents: William Bollan, Jasper Mauduit, and Richard Jackson.
9 Volume 2 of TH History was published later in the summer of 1767 to general acclaim. TH did indeed write about the province’s agents, stating, “If our rights and claims do not appear in the same light to those who judge of them in England, as they do to our selves, we are too apt to attribute it to the want of skill or fidelity in those who appear for us” (TH History, 2:139).
2 Latin, translated as “good words.”
3 Many of Dennys DeBerdt’s letters to the members of the Massachusetts House are printed in CSM Pubs., 13:293–461, although none of them contain the cautionary note TH described here.
4 At this point, the manuscript continues in TH’s hand.
5 After the word “terms” the handwriting switches back to WSH.
6 The father was James Otis Sr., and the son James Otis Jr.
8 The case has not been identified.
1 The Chatham administration, formed in July 1766, was a coalition government. Its composition was so notoriously diverse that Edmund Burke ridiculed it as “unsafe to touch and unsure to stand on” (F. G. Selby, ed., Burke’s Speeches on American Taxation, On Concilation with America, and to the Sheriffs of Bristol [London: 1897], p. 50). The situation worsened when Chatham himself withdrew from public affairs because of ill health, leaving his subordinates to quarrel amongst themselves. In March 1767, Chatham left London for an extended period, leaving the Duke of Grafton as the de facto head of the ministry.
2 Among Charles Townshend’s reforms enacted in June 1767 was the establishment of an American Board of Customs. The five-man board, based in Boston, was charged with reforming the North American customs service and strengthening customs enforcement, neither of which was popular in Boston. TH was not named to the board, despite the efforts of both Richard Jackson and Thomas Pownall (Zobel, Boston Massacre, p. 65; Dora Mae Clark, “The American Board of Customs, 1767–1783,” American Historical Review 45 [July 1940]: 777–806).
3 Townshend’s plan called for royal governors and judges to be paid from the revenue collected by the new duties on tea, paint, glass, lead, and paper imported into North America. The money raised from the Townshend duties was relatively small in comparison with the Stamp Act; the real core of Townshend’s legislative program was to strengthen administration in America by eliminating royal officials’ dependence on the assemblies (Griffin, Townshend Moment, pp. 120–21).
4 Robert Nugent (1702–1788), created Viscount Clare in 1767, served as the first lord of trade from 1766 to 1768, (British Establishment 2:654–55). The lord chancellor was Lord Camden.
5 In December 1764, TH asked Jackson to present Lord Kinnoull with a copy of the first volume of TH History (TH Correspondence, 1: No. 86). Jackson’s prediction about Kinnoull returning to a government post proved incorrect.
6 Jackson evidently made a donation of books to the Harvard College Library following the fire of January 1764. For the fire at Harvard, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 65.
1 By late June 1767, Governor Francis Bernard knew of Lord Shelburne’s aborted plan to recall him to England and install TH in his place, albeit temporarily. Bernard learned of Shelburne’s plan, as TH called it, from Richard Jackson and apparently shared his knowledge with TH (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:380–83). By the time TH wrote this letter to Jackson, Shelburne had abandoned the idea. For the letter Shelburne wrote TH, but never sent, informing him of the change, see No. 258, above.
2 Although Bernard for months had been encouraging the ministry to recall him to England so he could report on the situation in Massachusetts in person and possibly exchange his difficult post for a more lucrative one, he grew alarmed when he learned that he might be recalled in disrepute, with no immediate plans to reassign him to a more advantageous position. The tenor of Bernard’s correspondence with Shelburne changed accordingly, as Bernard sought to convince the secretary of state that his continued presence in Massachusetts was vital to maintaining order (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:382–83).
3 The reference is not clear. TH may have been referring to the House of Representatives’ action appointing Dennys DeBerdt as its own agent and its refusal to pay the salary of a provincial agent approved by the governor and Council. He might also have been alluding to a difference of opinion emerging that summer pitting the governor and Council against the House of Representatives over whether or not Massachusetts should petition for the relaxation of the Currency Act of 1764, which forbade the issuing of more paper money. In the end, the House acquiesced in not making such a petition.
4 Volume 2 of TH History was published in Boston on 9 June.
5 Charles Yorke (1722–1770) served his second term as attorney general under the Marquis of Rockingham.
6 William de Grey (1719–1781), 1st Baron Walsingham, was solicitor general from 1763 to 1766 and attorney general from 1766 to 1771.
8 Grey Cooper (circa 1726–1801) was a lawyer and member of Parliament, as well as secretary of the treasury from 1765 to 1782 (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:185).
1 Samuel Touchett, (circa 1705–1773) originally of Manchester, moved to London in the 1740s. He was a leading textile manufacturer, merchant to the West Indies and Africa, slave trader, insurance broker, and speculator in government loans and naval prizes, as well as a member of Parliament for Shaftesbury in the 1760s in the interest of the Duke of Newcastle. Touchett declared bankruptcy in 1763 but was protected from imprisonment for debt by parliamentary privilege. In 1766, he received a 20,000-acre grant of land in Florida, along Biscayne Bay, the future site of Miami (House of Commons).
2 For TH’s proposed membership on the American Board of Customs, see No. 262, above. The friend might have been Richard Jackson or more likely Charles Paxton, who was in London at the time and did become a member of the American Board.
3 This phrase appears at the top of the page with no mark for position.
4 When the House of Commons took up consideration of the same American Papers the Lords had debated in March, the House suggested the king “confer some Marks of His Royal Favour on those Governors and Officers . . . who distinguished themselves by their Zeal and Fidelity supporting the Dignity of the Crown, and the just Rights of Parliament . . . during the late Disturbances in America.” The Boston Evening-Post reported on the debates on 27 July 1767, but TH was evidently aware of it ten days earlier (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:374).
1 Dismayed by the chaotic state of the colony in the wake of the Stamp Act riots, Governor Francis Bernard sought a leave of absence in the fall of 1765. The request was denied in early 1766, but Lord Shelburne considered granting it in June 1767 before discarding the idea (see No. 258, above). For Bernard’s attempts to return to England, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 2:391, 399, 401, 417; 3:106, 128, 381, 394.
2 The House of Commons opened debate on 13 May concerning several issues regarding the American colonies: enforcing compliance with the Quartering Act in New York, voiding the Massachusetts Indemnity Act, and enhancing revenue from new duties on paint, tea, glass, lead, etc. In his speech on 15 May, Chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Townshend advanced the idea that the new duties would fund an American civil list to provide salaries for royal officers, such as judges, governors, and lieutenant governors, that would render them independent of grants made by their respective legislatures (Griffin, Townshend Moment, p. 126). For more, see No. 262 and No. 264, both above.
3 The Boston town meeting would not adopt any non-consumption measures until 28 October. By “the chief of them” TH probably mean James Otis Jr.
4 The MS is torn here and at instances of brackets below.
1 Although British troops did not arrive in Boston until 1 October 1768, Governor Francis Bernard hinted at the need for troops in the wake of the 1765 Stamp Act crisis but never explicitly urged their deployment. The expectation of harsh retaliatory measures from Parliament stirred continual rumors of the arrival of troops from 1765 until their actual arrival.
1 Pownall seems not to have been party to the latest developments, since Richard Jackson knew as early as 15 July that TH would not be named to the American Board of Customs (see No. 262, above). Benjamin Hallowell (see BD), a fellow victim in the Stamp Act riots, was ultimately appointed a member of that board, although not until after the dismissal of John Temple (see BD) in 1770.
2 “His Excellency” was Governor Francis Bernard, and “Mr. Oliver” was presumably Andrew Oliver, secretary of the province, rather than his brother Peter Oliver, justice of the Superior Court.
1 Charles Paxton was indeed one of TH’s close associates but TH is not known to have ever advocated the dispatch of troops. In TH’s reply to this letter (No. 277, below), he wrote, then crossed out, a sentence explicitly denying having authorized Paxton to make such a statement.
2 On 24 September 1766, Daniel Malcom resisted Sheriff Stephen Greenleaf (see BD) and customs agent William Sheaffe when they attempted to enforce a writ of assistance enabling them to search his warehouse for smuggled goods. The Council discouraged Governor Francis Bernard from sending depositions of the affair to London, but when Judge Chambers Russell of the vice-admiralty court set sail for Britain on 16 October, he carried with him private accounts of the incident. Russell died soon after landing in England, and Bernard wrote to Paxton that he should make sure Russell’s papers were delivered (TH Correspondence, 1: No. 211; Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:232–36, 309).
1 Leonard Jarvis (1716–1770) was a merchant and colonel of the Company of Cadets.
2 Governor Francis Bernard credited Jarvis and the Company of Cadets with preventing another disturbance on 27 August 1765, the night after TH’s house was ransacked in the Stamp Act riots (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:393).
3 The bottom of the MS is torn, and the text was supplied by editors Malcolm Freiberg and Catherine Shaw Mayo, who viewed the MS when it was in better condition. Though at least partially responsible for the disastrous defeat at Cannae in 216 bce, Gaius Terentius Varro rallied the remains of the Roman army and, therefore, received the thanks of the Senate for “not having despaired of the Commonwealth” (Livy, 22:61.14).
1 The forty-one-year-old chancellor of the exchequer, Charles Townshend, died unexpectedly on 6 September 1767 (Griffin, Townshend Moment, p. 139).
2 The Duke of Grafton did not officially become the head of the ministry until October 1768. In the meantime, he presided over a government that was nominally headed by the absent Earl of Chatham.
3 Much of TH’s source material for TH History was lost when his house was looted in the Stamp Act riots, although he did manage to recover some of the province’s original documents he had collected over the years. Volume 2 of TH History was published in Boston on 9 June 1767. The London edition did not come out until December.
4 This phrase was interlined with no mark for position.
5 The long-time secretary to the Board of Trade was John Pownall, brother of former Massachusetts governor Thomas Pownall. Lord Barrington, secretary of war, was Governor Francis Bernard’s uncle by marriage and his patron.
1 In July, TH asked Richard Jackson to distribute copies of TH History, but Thomas Pownall was not among the recipients (No. 263, above). By the same ship, TH also sent a parcel of books to Pownall (No. 265, above). The blank line may indicate the name of the ship’s captain, Lyde.
2 Which “Mr. Cotton” Pownall meant is uncertain, but it was likely John Cotton (1585–1652), the second pastor of the First Church of Boston and a central figure in the Antinomian Controversy, which involved TH’s great-great-grandmother, Anne Hutchinson.
3 Pownall wrote to TH on 8 August regarding his plan to seek TH’s appointment to the American Board of Customs (No. 267, above). The letter from the Duke of Grafton, which Pownall enclosed in this letter to TH, has not been found.
4 In the debate on American matters in Parliament in mid-May, some members advocated suspending the Massachusetts House of Representatives as well as the New York Assembly for noncompliance with the Quartering Act. For Parliament’s deliberations on the New York Suspending Act, see No. 256 and No. 265, both above.
1 Jackson was most likely referring to Robert Temple (1728–1782), elder brother of John Temple, the former surveyor general of customs for the northern district. Robert Temple was in London unsuccessfully soliciting a post either as collector of customs at Salem (recently vacated by the dismissal of Governor Francis Bernard’s old confederate James Cockle) or surveyor of the king’s woods. Temple was apparently a friend and near neighbor of Thomas Whately and frequently delivered letters in London for his New England friends (Bowdoin-Temple Papers, MHS Colls., Sixth Series , 9:54–56, 77–78).
2 Thomas Lane of Lane, Son & Fraser, one of TH’s principal London business correspondents, generally handled the payment of his routine expenditures. See TH Correspondence, 1: No. 179.
3 For Sir Harry Frankland, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 4.
1 Charles Paxton would soon return to Massachusetts to take up his position on the new American Board of Customs. “Miscreants” nearly deprived TH’s readers of the second volume of TH History by scattering his notes and sources in the street during the second Stamp Act riot of 26 August 1765.
2 The MS is torn on the fold of the letter. Material is missing here and at the next instance of brackets. The missing material was supplied by editors Malcolm Freiberg and Catherine Shaw Mayo, who saw the MS when it was not torn.
1 Historian Bernard Bailyn speculated in Ordeal (p. 226, note 9) that the recipient of this letter was Thomas Whately. The deferential language of this draft does indeed suggest TH was writing an unnamed English official, such as Whately, with whom he was pleased to have recently begun a correspondence. The content of the letter also bears striking similarity to TH’s most notorious letter to Whately, dated 20 January 1769, in which he suggested, “There must be an abridgment of what is called English Liberty” (No. 357, below), a phrase he would come deeply to regret when it was published by his patriot enemies in 1773. Both letters speculate on whether or not it is possible for colonists to retain the same rights as subjects residing in Great Britain itself, and the repetition of the word “abridgment” is striking. But, if the placement of this letter here among TH’s correspondence for fall 1767 is correct (see note 2 below), the recipient is unlikely to have been Whately, since TH, in a letter written to William Whately (Thomas’s brother) dated 31 October 1773 (MA 27:566), clearly stated that his first letter to Thomas was written in May 1768. That letter is likely to be No. 315, below, TH to an unnamed correspondent written on 26 May 1768.
Thomas Whately expressed interest in making TH’s acquaintance in a letter to John Temple dated 10 May 1765 (Bowdoin-Temple Papers, MHS Colls., Sixth Series ) should TH make a trip to England he was them contemplating. But the correspondence evidently did not begin until early 1768. References contained within subsequent letters suggest Whately wrote several letters to TH in 1768: 12 February, 23 February, 24 May and 31 July, although none of these letters was found. The first surviving letter from Whately is dated 11 November 1768 (No. 364, below).
2 Bailyn assigns a date of September or October 1770 in Ordeal, but it appears in Massachusetts Archives, Vol. 25, among other letters dated fall 1767. (Such placement cannot be taken as definitive, however, since Vol. 25 is composed of random, loose papers gathered together at some point after they were no longer under TH’s control.) Other internal clues suggest that September or October 1767 is more appropriate, particularly references to the recently passed Townshend Act. TH drew attention to the distinction between external and internal taxes, which had, at least, been one of Charles Townshend’s considerations when drafting the legislation. No one, however, saw much point to such a distinction by 1770 (see note 3, below). TH also specifically mentioned duties on glass, paper, and tea, although by the spring of 1770 all the Townshend duties except that on tea had been lifted. Furthermore, TH wrote in this letter the controversy over colonial rights had been ongoing “for two or three years,” a phrase that accords better with a 1767 date than 1770.
3 In response to the Stamp Act, some patriots, most notably James Otis Jr., made a distinction between internal and external taxes, and the distinction would continue, though perhaps less prominently, to be part of the mix of arguments employed as necessary. The Earl of Chatham added his immense authority by alluding to the distinction in a speech on 14 January 1766, but then later on the same day, in a reply to his critics, he seemed to focus more on a distinction between taxation and legislation (Neil York, “When Words Fails: William Pitt, Benjamin Franklin, and the Imperial Crisis of 1766,” Parliamentary History, 28:347–50). Charles Townshend designed his new program of duties, at least in part, to circumvent the colonial objection to internal taxes. According to another letter Whately wrote in February 1767 to John Temple, Whately continued to believe the distinction useful (Thomas Whately to John Temple, 25 February 1767, Bowdoin-Temple Papers, MHS Colls., Sixth Series , 9:79).
4 TH was slightly misquoting the words of the Magna Carta: “Nullus liber homo capiatur, vel imprisonetur, aut desseisetur de libero tenemento, vel libertatibus, vel liberis consuetudinibus suis, aut utlagetur, aut exuletur, aut aliquo modo destruatur, nec super eum ibimus, nec super eum mittemus, nisi per legale judicium parium suorum, vel per legem terrae.” The most commonly quoted version of this passage is by Lysander Spooner in his Essay on the Trial by Jury (1852), where he translated the Latin as, “No free man shall be captured or imprisoned or disseised of his freehold or of his liberties, or of his free customs, or be outlawed or exiled or in any way destroyed.”
1 The 17 June letter from Richard Jackson was not found.
2 For TH’s appointment in March 1767 as a commissioner to settle the border dispute between Massachusetts and New York, see No. 254, above. TH and the other commissioners from Massachusetts (William Brattle [see BD] and Edward Sheaffe) began negotiations with the New York delegation at New Haven on 28 September to resolve a boundary dispute that had led to the outbreak of violence at Nobletown in the summer of 1766. Despite TH’s optimism, the question was not resolved until 1773 (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:378). See also, A Conference between the Commissaries of Massachusets-Bay and the Commissaries of New York; at New Haven in the Colony of Connecticut 1767 (Boston: Richard Draper, 1768).
3 The secretary of state was Lord Shelburne.
4 Jared Ingersoll, the stamp distributor for Connecticut, was forced to resign his office at Wethersfield, Connecticut, on 19 September 1765 (TH Correspondence, 1: No. 120).
5 Jackson wrote to TH in July about his concern for TH’s health after learning about TH’s illness in the spring (No. 262, above). In fact, TH suffered a minor relapse while in New Haven (Freiberg, Prelude to Purgatory, p. 173).
7 For the indemnity clause attached to the bill for TH’s compensation, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 215.
8 Although the Townshend duties included a 3 shilling tax on tea, Parliament established those duties in conjunction with the Indemnity Act of 1767 that repealed a 12 shilling tax on tea paid when it was imported into England. Parliament hoped thereby that British tea would be 9 shillings cheaper when it was re-exported for sale in America and thus more competitive with smuggled Dutch tea.
9 A slight misquotation from Virgil’s Aeneid, Book VI, “hoc opus, hic labor [est],” which freely translates as, “This is the problem, this is the hard task.”
10 By the “Mutiny Act” TH was referring to the Quartering Act of 1765.
11 Even after the Revenue Act of 1766, the direct importation of these items from southern Europe to the colonies was still forbidden. In January 1767, Boston merchants included them in the petition they forwarded to the House’s agent Dennys DeBerdt, but he elected not to present the petition because of the hostile mood in Parliament in March when the petition arrived (Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots, pp. 104–06).
12 Although the colonies were not able to buy wine directly from Spain and Portugal, they could import wine from the offshore islands of Madeira and the Canaries at a rate of £7 per tun. TH was suggesting that the price of wine from the offshore islands was so low in Boston that this duty was being widely evaded.
13 TH was probably referring to the Wills Act of 1751, an act prohibiting witnesses to wills from receiving inheritances from that same document (the editors are indebted to Mary Bilder for this information). Previously, practices in the various colonies differed, especially in those colonies that were acquired by conquest and followed different systems of law prior to their addition to the British Empire. During his years as chief justice, TH often returned to the question of how to proceed when colonial practice varied from English statute.
14 The Currency Act of 1751 forbade the emission of paper money by the New England colonies, where depreciation had been particularly acute. The Currency Act of 1764 extended the prohibition to all the North American colonies.
1 The MS is torn here and in instances of brackets below.
2 TH received no compensation for his position as lieutenant governor as long as the governor was resident within the boundaries of the province. His salary from the legislature for his job as chief justice (a post that required extensive travel throughout Massachusetts and Maine) was only £100 per year with perhaps £30 for expenses, and the legislature often held off voting payment when there was a dispute with the Superior Court.
3 TH’s reference to the “late Mr. T” was to the recently deceased chancellor of the exchequer, Charles Townshend.
4 This “Mr. T” referred to John Temple, who was lieutenant governor of New Hampshire as well as a member of the newly constituted American Board of Customs.
5 This material is interlined without mark for position.
6 TH was referring to the Daniel Malcom incident, when on 26 September 1766 Malcom forcibly resisted the sheriff and customs officer who attempted to enforce a warrant to search his warehouse. For the Malcom affair, see No. 268, above.
7 In No. 268, above, William Bollan mentioned hearing Charles Paxton claim in London that he had been authorized by TH to say that the lieutenant governor favored sending British troops to Boston to enforce order. TH denied authorizing such a statement.
8 TH had recently returned from New Haven, Connecticut, where commissioners from Massachusetts and New York met in late September and early October to resolve their disputed boundary. The New Yorkers claimed on the basis of language in their charter that the boundary was not a straight line running due north from the northwestern-most point in Connecticut but instead that the boundary curved, following the course of the Hudson River at a distance of twenty miles to the east. For TH’s false hopes for a resolution to the boundary issue, see No. 275, above.
9 There had been no response from England in over a year to TH’s exclusion from the Council, so he logically assumed the ministry was content with the outcome. He was unaware that Lord Shelburne had written a letter to Governor Francis Bernard on 17 September praising TH and Andrew Oliver as men “of unexceptionable character . . . whose Learning and Ability has been much exerted in the Service of America.” Although Shelburne criticized the Council’s decision to exclude TH, he acknowledged that it was their right to do so. Shelburne’s letter was not received by Bernard until 16 April 1768 (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:407–09).
10 By early fall 1767, the general outline (if not the details) of Charles Townshend’s reforms had reached Boston. The new legislation, especially when combined with the act suspending the New York Assembly for its refusal to comply with the Quartering Act of 1765, prompted a number of letters to the Boston newspapers decrying the impending legislation. Bernard, determined to convince Lord Shelburne that political conditions in Massachusetts were tumultuous, began dispatching copies of these letters as enclosures in his letters to the secretary of state. He marked each with a letter of the alphabet, beginning with “A” on 27 August. By 8 October, he had reached the letter “W” before he broke off the practice. The letters denounced the Townshend program in ringing tones; some went so far as to advocate nonimportation as a device to support New York. George Grenville, who clearly regarded some of the letters as treasonous, moved in the spring of 1768 that Parliament should call for the printers—Edes & Gill of the Boston Gazette—to produce the names of the authors that they might stand trial (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:383–87, 397–99, 403–06, 409–11, 412–14). Harbottle Dorr does not identify the authors of any of these letters in his annotated collection of Boston newspapers (Dorr Collection, Massachusetts Historical Society). Historian Colin Nicolson sees similarities in the styles of James Otis Jr. and the letter signed by “Britannus Americus” in the Boston Gazette on 17 August 1767 (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:387). Josiah Quincy Jr. as “Hyperion” wrote one of the letters Grenville found most offensive, published in the Boston Gazette on 28 September 1767 (Portrait of a Patriot, 4:21–22). Two letters were particularly critical of TH: one by “M. Y.” in the Boston Gazette of 14 September and another by “Civis” in the Boston Gazette of 12 October. The first ridiculed TH’s charge to the grand jury at the March sitting of the Superior Court, when he stated it was essential to a free people that they should be governed by known and certain laws (Portrait of a Patriot, 5:242).
11 TH’s assessment of the state of affairs in New York proved correct. Just before the Suspending Act was to take effect in October, the New York Assembly passed by one vote an appropriation for the supply of British regulars stationed there (No. 286, below; Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:399).
12 Although TH typically reserved the designation “principal demagogue in the province” for James Otis Jr., in this instance he meant Joseph Hawley. Interest in the case of the Berkshire rioters was revived by long articles in the Boston Evening-Post of 6 and 23 July 1767, in which Hawley set forward his version of the matter. TH alluded to the case in his charge to the jury at the August meeting of the court (an obvious response to Hawley’s articles) with remarks that might have particularly offended Hawley. What precisely TH said is unrecorded, since Josiah Quincy Jr., who was transcribing the proceedings, was called out of the room at just the point when TH was alluding to the Berkshire rioters. See Portrait of a Patriot, 5:246. Perhaps Hawley responded as the author of either the “M. Y.” letter in the 14 September edition of the Boston Gazette or the letter by “Civis” in the 12 October edition of the Boston Gazette. At any rate, Hawley was disbarred at the Springfield meeting of the Superior Court and forbidden to appear before it ever again. For Hawley’s disbarment, see No. 277, below.
1 The MS is torn.
3 TH’s “further dabling” included publishing a collection of documents relative to the history of Massachusetts and writing a third volume of TH History that brought the narrative up to his own time. The collection of documents was published in 1769 as TH Original Papers, but the third volume of TH History was not published until 1828, more than forty years after his death.
4 The MS is obscured by tape and barely legible.
6 TH was referring to the redemption of the province’s paper money in 1749 and 1750, an action in which TH played an instrumental role. For his efforts to place the province’s currency on a sound footing, see TH Correspondence, 1:8–9.
7 Joseph Hawley became TH’s outspoken critic when the Superior Court fined his client Seth Warren in the matter of the Berkshire rioters. Hawley reopened the issue in the Boston newspapers in the summer of 1767. For the growing antagonism between TH and Hawley, see No. 276, above.
8 The MS is obscured by tape and barely legible.
9 On 28 October, the Boston town meeting, hoping to force the repeal of the Townshend duties, resolved “to take all prudent and legal Measures to encourage the Produce and Manufactures of this Province and to lessen the Use of Superfluities . . . imported from Abroad.” It also appointed a committee to circulate subscription lists among those willing to pledge themselves to a program of non-consumption and sent letters to other towns in the province urging them to do likewise. The broadside the selectmen published stating the meeting’s resolves was published by Edes & Gill (Massachusetts Historical Society, Broadsides, small, 1767, October 28).
1 William Burch (see BD) arrived in Boston on 5 November as a member of the American Board of Customs.
4 Parliament enacted seven resolves in March 1766 in relation to the repeal of the Stamp Act and passage of the Declaratory Act. The fourth resolve recommended to the colonial assemblies that they compensate victims of the Stamp Act riots. These resolves were transmitted to America in the form of letters from Secretary of State Henry Seymour Conway to the colonial governors. Conway’s letter to Governor Francis Bernard was dated 31 March 1766, and Bernard included the contents of the letter in his speech to the General Court on 3 June (TH Correspondence, 1: No. 170 and No. 192). For Conway’s letter, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:134–38.
5 TH’s nephew Nathaniel Rogers (see BD) was to carry the letter to London.
1 Beginning with the letter of “Sui Imperator” in the Boston Gazette on 31 August and culminating with the two pieces by “Hyperion,” also in the Boston Gazette, on 28 September and 5 October, the Boston press was filled with calls for forcible resistance to the Townshend program, including the newly arrived American Board of Customs Commissioners.
2 The abbreviation “GC” stands for General Court.
2 TH initially omitted John Pownall, secretary to the Board of Trade, from his list of persons to be sent a copy of the second volume of TH History. Jackson redirected a copy intended for Charles Townshend (already dead) to Pownall. For TH’s list of recipients for complimentary copies of his book, see No. 263, above.
3 This passage in Latin translates as, “for this occasion.” TH was describing the position of moderator of the town meeting. James Otis Jr. was the moderator of this particular town meeting of Boston.
5 This passage in Latin translates as “to say what you feel.”
6 The MS is torn.
7 There was apparently some confusion about whether the duties should be collected beginning on or after 20 November.
8 For Governor Francis Bernard’s letter to Jackson, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:394–95. Bernard no longer wished leave to go to England and feared any kind of move to another colonial post would imply a demotion, since few governorships were as lucrative as Massachusetts.
9 The Vice-Admiralty Court Act of 1768 created four court districts in North America (Halifax, Boston, Philadelphia, and Charleston), whereas previously there had been only one at Halifax. The British government hoped that the vice-admiralty courts, which sat without juries, would be more likely to convict smugglers. This was the first reference TH made in any of his correspondence that he was being considered for such a post. The person who suggested him for the position was not identified.
1 Admiral Sir Edward Hawke (1710–1781) was the victor of the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759, privy councilor from 1766, and first lord of the admiralty from 1766 to 1771.
1 An obsolete spelling of “policy” (OED).
2 Francis Bacon (1561–1626), 1st Viscount St. Albans, was an English lawyer, judge, diplomat, politician, and philosopher. He became attorney general and later lord chancellor. Though few of his writings were explicitly historical, he was an early advocate of inductive reasoning and the scientific method.
3 Herodotus (484–425 bce) was sometimes known as “the father of history” because of his efforts to assemble materials systematically and examine them critically while writing his Histories of the origin of the Persian Wars. Thucydides (circa 460–circa 395 bce), Athenian general and politician, has been described as the first “scientific” historian because of his careful weighing of evidence and concern for cause and effect in The Peloponnesian Wars. Diodorus Siculus was a Greek historian living in Sicily who wrote sometime between 60 and 30 bce a universal history of the ancient world, Bibliotheca historica, beginning with the mythical origins of civilization through his own times. Velleius Paterculus (19 bce–31 ad) was probably meant here. He wrote a two-volume Compendium of Roman History, which covered the period from the fall of Troy through events of his own lifetime. Lucius Cassius Dio (circa 155–235 ad), consul and historian, was the author of an eighty-volume history of Rome beginning with its legendary founding by Aeneas.
4 Titus Livius was better known as Livy. Publius Cornelius Tacitus (circa 56–117 ad) was a senator and historian. His Histories (only fragments of which survive) cover the civil wars following the Year of the Four Emperors (69 ad) through the death of Domitian in 96 ad. His Annals, also fragmentary, begin with the death of Augustus and end with the death of Nero. Polybius (201–120 bce) was a historian of the Roman Republic. Dionysius (circa 60–circa 7 bce) was a Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric living in Halicarnassus, whose Roman Antiquities describe the history of Rome from its founding through the First Punic War.
1 Volume 2 of TH History was published in London in December 1767. John Huske (1724–1773) was a Boston merchant who removed to England in 1748. He was a member of Parliament from 1763 to 1773, where he spoke frequently on questions of American revenue. Suspected as an advocate—if not the instigator—of the Stamp Act, he was burned in effigy at Boston during the Stamp Act riots. A close political ally of the Townshend family, he was consulted about the new American duties in 1767, even though he held no office in the Chatham administration. His finances often teetered on bankruptcy (House of Commons).
2 Although TH clearly approved of the appointments of Henry Hulton (see BD) and William Burch—the two English appointees to the American Board—it was the local members who would prove more problematic, most especially John Temple (former surveyor general), but also John Robinson (previously the collector at Newport; see BD), and Charles Paxton, one of TH’s oldest friends and a staunch supporter of the government who was not a popular figure on the Boston waterfront.
1 Samuel Shute (1662–1742) was governor of Massachusetts from 1714 to 1727. In TH History, TH refers to Shute’s administration as one of the most turbulent periods in Massachusetts history, second only to the time of the Antinomian Controversy in which his great-great-grandmother was a principal figure. Shute’s notorious antagonist was Elisha Cooke Jr. (1678–1737), leader of the “country” party and principal advocate of a land bank. After Shute attempted to veto the choice of Cooke as Speaker of the House, the battle between the two men morphed into disputes over royal prerogative and the funding of the governor’s salary. TH, a staunch advocate of hard money, found Shute a sympathetic figure (TH History, 2:161–78).
2 Daines Barrington (1727–1800) was a lawyer, antiquary, and naturalist. His brother was Lord Barrington, Governor Francis Bernard’s patron. Shute was their uncle.
3 There were several Sir Robert Throckmortons, but most probably Mauduit meant Sir Robert Throckmorton (circa 1510–1581) who was a lawyer and courtier in the court of Queen Mary. Samuel Haynes (d. 1752) was a historian who spent many years in preparing an edition of the state papers of William Cecil, Lord Burghley (1520–1598), Elizabeth’s trusted advisor; Sir Thomas Edmondes (1563–circa 1639) was a courtier and diplomat during the reigns of both Elizabeth I and James I. The reference to Stratford is not clear. Mauduit may have meant Nicholas Stratford (1633–1707), bishop of Chester, a High Churchman and a Tory, but more likely he misspelled the name of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1593–1641), a leading advisor to Charles I and lord deputy for Ireland whose execution was ordered by Parliament according to a Bill of Attainder. He left behind over sixteen volumes of manuscripts. John Thurloe (1616–1668) was secretary of state during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. His vast correspondence is a chief source for the history of the Protectorate.
4 The Protectorate is normally thought of as extending from 1653 to 1659, but since Cromwell did not become lord protector until December 1653 and died in 1658, it might conceivably be described as a four-year period.
5 No August letter from Mauduit to TH has been found, but No. 279, above, written by TH to Mauduit on 7 November, could have been a response to such a letter since it alluded to efforts by Mauduit on TH’s behalf to find him an office suitable to his merits. The sudden death of Charles Townshend in September threw all previous American patronage arrangements into disarray.
6 Lord North (see BD) became chancellor of the exchequer on 7 October 1767 and leader of the House of Commons for the Grafton administration. Mauduit alluded to arrangements for TH’s salary as chief justice to be drawn from the new American civil list, which was to be supported with money generated by the Townshend duties.
7 Jared Ingersoll was indeed appointed judge of the newly established vice-admiralty court at Philadelphia in compensation for the treatment he endured during Connecticut’s Stamp Act protests.
8 Charles Jenkinson (1729–1809) was private secretary to Lord Bute (see BD) in 1760–1761 and was later under-secretary of state for the northern department but was out of office during the Rockingham administration. He served as a member of the Admiralty Board from 1766 to 1767 and the Treasury Board from 1767 to 1773, before holding office as secretary at war from 1778 to 1782.
9 The Townshend duties raised only a fraction of the £40,000 per year that Townshend projected (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:25–28).
10 “Sui Imperator’s” ringing denunciation and calls for resistance to Parliament’s act suspending the New York Assembly, printed in the Boston Gazette on 31 August 1767, prompted George Grenville to insist that Edes & Gill, the printers, divulge the name of the author so that the culprit might stand trial for treason. Shelburne, in a letter to Bernard dated 14 November 1767, condemned “Sui Imperator’s” letter as “tending to alienate, as well as misrepresent, the affections of His Majesty’s North American Subjects, and to interrupt that Harmony and mutual Confidence, which should and I hope will, ever subsist between Great Britain and her colonies,” but suggested that the author’s punishment be left to the Massachusetts General Court (Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:422–24).
11 Mauduit was referring to the nonconsumption agreement endorsed by the Boston town meeting on 28 October 1767.
13 Presumably, Mauduit was referring to the ship that carried the missing letter to America.
14 John Gore (1718–1784), Baron Annaly, was made a privy councilor in 1764 but never became its president. Lord Northington was succeeded as president of the privy council by Granville Leveson-Gower (1721–1803), 2nd Earl of Gower.
15 Mauduit must have had inside knowledge of the changes underway within the ministry. Most of these men would not assume office until 20 January 1768. Thomas Thynne (1734–1796), 3rd Viscount Weymouth, who opposed the repeal of the Stamp Act, replaced Henry Seymour Conway as secretary of state for the northern department (British Establishment, 2:861). Lord Hillsborough (see BD) was appointed to an entirely new position as secretary of state for the American colonies. Those colonies, which had previously been part of the portfolio of the secretary of state for the southern department, thus became their own separate administrative department. Hillsborough had served as president of the Board of Trade from 1763 to 1765 in the Grenville administration. John Montagu (1718–1792), 4th Earl of Sandwich, held numerous important offices throughout his career including first lord of the admiralty and secretary of state for the northern department, but in this change of ministries he became postmaster general. Richard Rigby (1722–1788) was private secretary to the Duke of Bedford; in 1768, he became vice-treasurer of Ireland for the second time and paymaster of the forces (British Establishment, 2:737–39). John Russell (1710–1771), 4th Duke of Bedford, served as first lord of the admiralty, secretary of state for the southern department, and lord president of the privy council. He rose to prominence by opposing the administration of Sir Robert Walpole, negotiated the unpopular Peace of Paris in 1763 while serving in the administration of Lord Bute, and fell from royal favor in 1765. He refused to join the Chatham ministry, but Bedford and his supporters began to cooperate with Grafton after Chatham’s retirement in 1767.
16 Few of the new appointees could be seen as friendly to the colonies. Several voted against repeal of the Stamp Act.
17 Lord North was serving as the chancellor of the exchequer at this time.
18 Mauduit’s alternative source in the Treasury has not been identified.
19 Nathaniel Rogers had evidently arrived in London by the time this letter was written.
1 References elsewhere in his correspondence indicate that TH received two letters dated 30 August 1767: one from William Bollan and one from Thomas Pownall. Neither letter has been found. In his letter to Bollan dated 31 October 1767, TH covered much of the same material that was discussed in this letter. This internal evidence, combined with note 3 below, indicates that this letter was likely addressed to Pownall.
2 Charles Townshend died 6 September 1767. The news of his death arrived in Boston on 21 October and was printed in the Boston Gazette on Monday, 26 October.
4 John Temple was appointed a member of the American Board of Customs despite also holding the position of lieutenant governor of New Hampshire. Townshend apparently raised TH’s tenure in the same office in Massachusetts as a reason for not appointing him to the board, or at least TH reported this to Bollan in No. 276, above.
7 Thomas Povey was lieutenant governor of Massachusetts from 1702 to 1706. As a general custom, the lieutenant governor became acting governor in the absence of the governor, who, under the circumstances, allowed him half his salary. Since the time TH was appointed lieutenant governor in 1757, he had served only a few stints as acting governor, with the longest being the two months between Governor Thomas Pownall’s departure in June 1760 and Bernard’s arrival in August. The other times were only a few weeks long while either Pownall or Bernard was in Maine, which was technically not out of the province.
9 Though difficult to read, the abbreviation was almost certainly “St.” for William Stoughton (1631–1701), the first lieutenant governor under the new charter of 1691 who sat in Council meetings ex officio. In 1693 he was elected a councilor and participated fully in all meetings.
10 William Tailer (1676–1732) was lieutenant governor from 1711 to 1715 after which he served as acting governor for a year. He was again lieutenant governor briefly from 1730 until his death. William Dummer (1677–1761) became lieutenant governor in 1716 and served as acting governor for most of the period from 1723 to 1730.
11 Jonathan Belcher, who was in London at the time of the death of William Tailer in 1732, was successful in securing his own appointment as governor but failed to manage the appointment of Colonel Adam Winthrop (1676–1743) as lieutenant governor. Spencer Phips was appointed instead.
12 Joseph Hawley was a vocal opponent in the House when it objected to TH’s continued presence at the Council table as lieutenant governor after TH failed to win re-election to the Council in 1766 (No. 237, above; TH History, 3:126–27).
13 Mr. Thoms has not been identified. The secretary of the province was Andrew Oliver, who was already a correspondent of Thomas Whately. Whately’s correspondence with both TH and Oliver would form the basis of the 1773 pamphlet Letters Sent to Great-Britain.
1 William Smith Jr. (1728–1793), Yale College 1722, was a lawyer and historian. He joined the Council in 1767 and later became chief justice of the Supreme Court from 1780-1782 under the British occupation. After the Revolution, he emigrated to Canada and became chief justice of Quebec. He was a member of the joint commission to settle the boundary between New York and Massachusetts, in which capacity he became acquainted with TH.
2 Sir Henry Moore (1713–1769) was governor of New York from 1765 to 1769. The controversy over the New York–Massachusetts line was still dragging on, since the two governments were unable to settle their remaining differences. The papers related to this matter that Smith referred to in the above letter were not found.
3 A witenagemot, or witan, was in Anglo-Saxon times the king’s council or advisers and was understood by some to be the antecedent of Parliament. In this instance, it was Smith’s ironic description of the New York Assembly. By “Billeting Act,” Smith means the Quartering Act of 1765.
1 During King George’s War (1744–1748), Massachusetts constructed several forts in the upper Connecticut Valley on land that had been declared part of New Hampshire in 1737.
2 The MS is torn here and in instances of brackets below.
3 In response to Parliament’s passage of the Townshend Act, the Boston town meeting adopted a nonconsumption agreement on 28 October and sent circular letters to the other Massachusetts towns urging them to do the same.
4 Joseph Hawley was a cousin of Israel Williams.
5 Jonathan Sewall, writing under the pseudonym “Philanthrop,” published a letter on the Berkshire rioters, Hawley’s clients, in the Boston Evening-Post of 5 January 1767. Hawley gave his version of the case in the Boston Evening-Post on 6 and 13 July 1767. It is possible that Williams, living in Hatfield, had not seen responses “Philanthrop” made to Hawley in the Boston Evening-Post on 27 July, 3 August, and 10 August.
6 Simeon Strong (1736–1805) was the representative from Hadley.
7 This may be another allusion to Hawley, who was a justice of the peace in Hampshire County (with jurisdiction in Berkshire County) and who had been disbarred by the Superior Court at their Springfield session.
3 Although technically Lord Chatham was still the head of the government, in truth the Duke of Grafton was in charge and had been since March 1767. In late 1767, Grafton attempted to shore up the ministry by garnering the support of the Duke of Bedford and his supporters, which required a shuffling of ministerial positions. Mauduit’s letter to TH, No. 284, above, detailed these changes that did not actually take effect until January 1768.
4 George Grenville regarded the letter by “Hyperion” that appeared in the Boston Gazette of 5 October as treasonous. He evidently thought the same about the letter by “Sui Imperator,” see No. 284, above. Henry Seymour Conway, secretary of state during the Rockingham administration, worked to repeal the Stamp Act and opposed Charles Townshend’s revenue program.
5 The nonconsumption agreements adopted by the Boston town meeting had been styled as “resolves” (implying that they were acts of a legislature), which caused considerable misunderstanding in Great Britain.
6 The peer who made this comment has not been identified.
7 Neither Thorpe nor Mrs. Summers has been identified.
8 Townshend was chancellor of the exchequer and presumably used his influence to secure Paxton a seat on the American Board of Customs. The Duke of Grafton, however, was the first lord of the treasury and would have been the ultimate dispenser of patronage.
9 Nathaniel Rogers’ wife was Elizabeth Wentworth Gould (1737–1802), niece of Benning Wentworth (see BD), governor of New Hampshire from 1741 to 1766.
1 Osborne’s description in the postscript of his encounter with the commissioners of customs at Governor Francis Bernard’s house indicates that the letter was written in 1768 and not 1767, since the commissioners did not arrive in Boston until 5 November 1767.
2 Osborne (see BD) was presumably referring to TH’s sister-in-law Grizzell Sanford (see BD).
3 See Luke 13: “Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?” In the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, the owner of the vineyard has grown exasperated by its lack of fruit, yet the dresser persuades his employer to forbear one more year. The fig tree is generally understood to be a symbol of the unrepentant nation of Israel, which is granted a temporary reprieve by God.
4 The governor’s two sons were Frank and John Bernard (see BD).
5 The MS is torn.
6 Approximately eight words are illegible at this point in the MS, which is partially torn.
7 Most likely Osborne means William Burkitt (1650–1703), Biblical expositor and non-conformist clergyman. “Lucey” has not been identified. Perhaps Osborne intended Richard Sibbes (1577–1635), another Biblical expositor with Puritan leanings.
8 One line of the MS is illegible.
1 The House appointed a committee to consider the state of the province on 30 December 1767, whose members included Thomas Cushing, James Otis Sr. (see BD), Samuel Adams, Joseph Hawley, James Otis Jr., John Hancock (see BD), Edward Sheaffe, Jerathmiel Bowers, and Samuel Dexter. The JHR does not record who was chair of the committee, but by the appellation “chief Boulefeu” TH usually meant James Otis Jr. (JHR, 44:89).
2 For the text of the report, see JHR, 44:241–50.
3 The Boston Gazette, the Boston Chronicle, and the Boston Evening-Post reprinted John Dickinson’s Farmer’s Letters from 21 December 1767 through 29 February 1768.
5 The member was Timothy Ruggles (see BD).
1 The text of the letter to Dennys DeBerdt is printed in JHR, 44:241–50.
2 TH was perhaps alluding to the letter signed “Sui Imperator” published in the Boston Gazette on 31 August 1767, which prompted George Grenville to move on the floor of the House of Commons that the printers be sent for and obliged to disclose the author. TH also might have meant two letters by “Hyperion” published in the Boston Gazette of 28 September and 5 October 1767. “Hyperion” was not, however, a writer from New York but the rising local attorney Josiah Quincy Jr., as indicated in No. 276, above.
3 TH initially suggested that the author of the Farmer’s Letters was Daniel Dulany (1722–1797), an attorney and member of the governor’s council in Maryland. Dulany had written Considerations on the Propriety of Imposing Taxes in America (1765), at the time of the Stamp Act. Governor Francis Bernard shared this suspicion (see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:63).
4 The letter to Lord Shelburne, dated 15 January 1768, is printed in JHR, 44:219–24. Shelburne as secretary of state for the southern department would relinquish administrative control of British North America to Lord Hillsborough, the newly created secretary of state for the colonies, on 20 January 1768.
1 James Otis Jr. was the leader, but TH’s prediction was premature: the House later rethought its position and appointed a committee to draft a circular letter to the other colonies on 4 February, with a draft approved 11 February (JHR, 44:236–39). Governor Bernard also interpreted the initial rejection of the idea of a circular letter as a sign of an improving disposition in the House (see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:86–88).
2 Jackson had not yet been fully paid for his services as agent (JHR, 44:143).
1 Lord Shelburne’s letter is printed at JHR, 44:250–51, but TH’s assessment of the disposition of the House was mistaken. It sent out its Circular Letter urging resistance to the Townshend duties a little over a week later. For TH’s account of these events, see TH History, 3:133–34.
2 TH was presumably referring to the continuing publication of The Farmer’s Letters.
3 Lord Augustus Fitzroy (1716–1741), father of the third Duke of Grafton, was a naval officer and member of Parliament.
3 “BBs” is an abbreviation for Barbados. Bernard reviewed the various options and his preference in a letter to his patron, Lord Barrington, written on 7 February 1768 (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:92).
6 The effort of the House to obtain the Council’s consent for payments to its separate agent can be found in JHR, 44:143.
7 The Long Parliament sat during the English Civil War from 1640 to 1648.
1 TH referred to the Townshend Act.
2 Here TH appears to downplay Dickinson’s argument in The Farmers Letter’s expanding colonial objections to all forms of taxation. Francis Bernard, however, was quick to acknowledge the forcefulness of Dickinson’s prose and worry about its impact (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:63–64).
5 The “firebrand” was James Otis Jr.
6 Ireland had its own Parliament, though legislation required approval from the Irish privy council.
1 A tablet is a small, flat, and comparatively thin piece of stone, metal, wood, ivory, or other hard material, artificially shaped for some purpose; a small slab (OED). In this instance, Rogers meant the two upright supporting pieces of the mantel.
2 Abbreviated “qt.”
3 The interlineation has no mark for position.
4 Rogers was referring to a warrant on the Treasury for TH’s salary as lieutenant governor and chief justice, part of the American civil list paid out of the Townshend duties. Ultimately, the Massachusetts General Court did indeed vote against granting TH a salary as chief justice, even though the money from the Townshend duties was intended to be a supplement, not a substitute, for his salary.
6 Entrepreneurs in the whale fishery based in the British Isles found it difficult to turn a profit without bounties from Parliament. The legislation, due for renewal in 1768, ran afoul of resentment caused by the colonial nonimportation agreements. Governor Hugh Palliser of Nova Scotia already attempted to exclude colonial whalers and cod fisherman from the Strait of Belle Isle in 1767. (Some members of Parliament sought to retaliate against nonimportation by excluding whalers from the colonies from receiving the bounties.)
7 The Vice-Admiralty Court Act of 1768, enacted on 6 July, created four districts in North America: Halifax, Boston, Philadelphia, and Charleston. This change was another of Townshend’s reforms.
8 The Nullum Tempus Act, introduced by Sir George Savile (see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 122n), limited the Crown’s right to sue for land to a period of sixty years.
9 William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Bentinck (1738–1809), 3rd Duke of Portland, had been a member of the Rockingham ministry. James Lowther (1736–1802), 1st Earl of Lonsdale, married the daughter of Lord Bute.
10 Anthony Abdy (circa 1721–1775), baronet, was a member of the Rockingham Whigs. John Montagu (1743–1814) was the son of the Earl of Sandwich. Henry Seymour (1729–1807) was the half-brother of the Earl of Sandwich and a supporter of George Grenville. “Mr. Bennet” was perhaps Charles Bennet (1743–1822), 4th Earl of Tankerville. Henry Temple (1739–1802), 2nd Viscount Palmerston, was a member of the Board of Admiralty who voted against the government in this instance. Sir Fletcher Norton (1716–1789) served as solicitor general in the early 1760s and became a member of the Admiralty Board in 1766; he would be appointed privy councilor in 1769 and Speaker of the House in 1770. Hans Stanley (1721–1780) served on the Admiralty Board from 1759 to 1765, became a member of the privy council in 1762, and was a supporter of Lord North. Jeremiah Dyson (1722–1776) was a member of the Board of Trade during this period and served on the Treasury Board from 1768 to 1774. Richard Rigby (1722–1788) was a political adherent of the Duke of Bedford.
1 Bollan’s public letter was published as a pamphlet, An Epistle from Timoleon to All The Honest Freeholders . . . Whereas The Great Mischief and Danger of Corruption Are Set Forth. . . . (London, 1768). Bollan wrote a second pamphlet on the same subject, also in 1768: Continued Corruption, Standing Armies, and Popular Discontents Considered and the Establishment of the English Colonies in America (London, 1768), but the overlapping content between The Epistle and Bollan’s letter makes clear that it is the “public letter” mentioned here.
2 Peter Oliver and Edmund Trowbridge were fellow justices of the Superior Court. Joseph Lee (see BD) was likely to be the third recipient.
3 Bollan’s letter suggests that he assisted in drafting the bill against bribery in parliamentary elections introduced by Alderman William Beckford early in 1768. The bill would have obliged all newly elected members of Parliament to swear they had not offered any bribes to get elected. After two readings, the bill languished in committee until the session adjourned.
4 The magistrates of the City of Oxford wrote to Thomas Stapleton and Robert Lee, their representatives, offering to re-elect the incumbents if they would pay over £5,600 of debts owed by the corporation. Stapleton and Lee indignantly refused, thanking the magistrates in a public letter for offering to sell them the city but saying “as we never intend to sell you, we cannot afford the purchase.” The magistrates were sent to Newgate Prison on 5 February 1768 where they remained several days before repenting and receiving a severe reprimand from the Speaker of the House of Commons. See Parliamentary History of England from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803 (London, 1813), 1:213.
5 Francis Bernard, whom Bollan blamed for his dismissal as agent, had been commended by a number of British officials for his firmness during the Stamp Act riots. Much to Bollan’s annoyance, Bernard had acquiesced in Bollan’s dismissal as provincial agent in 1762.
6 The phrase “principiis obsta” translates as “withstand beginnings”—that is, “to oppose a thing from the outset, if you would be successful.” “Qui non . . . videtur?” translated as, “He who does not prevent [a thing] which he can prevent, is considered to do [as doing] it” (Blacks’ Law Dictionary).
7 William Bollan is referring to another pamphlet he had written, The Ancient right of the English Nation to the American fishery; and Its Various Diminutions; Examined and Stated (London, 1764).
1 For Cheseborough, see BD.
2 This letter contains TH’s first mention of changes in the cabinet that took place following the resignation of the Earl of Chatham as prime minister because of ill health.
1 When confronted with Lord Shelburne’s letter commending Francis Bernard for excluding several leading patriots from membership in the Council, the House requested Bernard’s letters to Shelburne describing the Council election. The governor responded that he knew of no letters that would be of use to them, which prompted an angry response from the House (JHR, 44:176–78) that was delivered to him 20 February and reprinted in the Boston Gazette on the following Monday, 22 February.
3 Royal governors were not initially included in the warrants drawn on the funds generated by the Townshend duties, but other Crown officers were.
4 Here, TH correctly predicted the General Court’s response. Once the members of the House learned of the £200 payment drawn from the Townshend duties, they refused to vote any salary to TH at all.
3 For Bernard’s instructions on seditious libels, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 3:422–24. The final sentence of the paragraph pertains to Edes & Gill’s newspaper, the Boston Gazette.
4 TH is noting that the pattern of payment of Crown officers differed from colony to colony. For instance, the attorney general of New York received a salary drawn from the Townshend fund, but the same officer in Massachusetts did not.
2 The House’s letters to Secretary of State Lord Shelburne and the Lords of Treasury are at JHR, 44:219–24, 233–36. Such letters and petitions had previously been the act of the entire General Court (the House, Council, and governor acting in concert). Lord Hillsborough, in fact, refused to receive the letter when it arrived. (See Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:142–43.)
4 The councilors vetoed by Bernard in May 1767 were James Otis Sr., Samuel Dexter, Joseph Gerrish, Thomas Saunders, and Jerathmiel Bowers. For Dexter and Bowers, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 163n and No. 173n, respectively. Joseph Gerrish (1708–1776) was a representative from Newbury who later participated in the Lexington alarm. Thomas Sanders (1729–1774) was a representative from Gloucester and eventually member of the Council in 1769.
5 Speaker Thomas Cushing did indeed provide Bernard with a copy of the House’s letter (JHR, 44:190), but the House also continued to exchange messages with Bernard until he prorogued the legislature on 4 March.
1 Thomas Clap and Cushing were long-standing political opponents.
2 The MS is blotted.
3 Cushing was judge of probate for Plymouth County. In April 1767, he ruled in favor of William Clap, who challenged his father Samuel’s will on the basis of mental incapacity. Samuel Clap Jr., a younger son, appealed Cushing’s decision to the governor and Council, acting as the Supreme Court of Probate for the province. On 2 March 1768, as TH describes, the Council reversed Cushing’s decision (Adams’ Address and Minutes of the Argument, Supreme Court of Probate, 1768, Legal Papers of John Adams 1:248–55).
4 This letter was conveyed by James Warren (1726–1808) of Plymouth, who married Mercy Otis, the sister of James Otis Jr.
5 John Cotton (1728–1775) was deputy secretary of the province and the half-brother of Margaret Sanford Hutchinson (therefore TH’s brother-in-law). He was also register of probate for Suffolk County (Harvard Graduates, 12:114–17).
2 The piece in question was written by “True Patriot” and appeared in the Boston Gazette, 14 March 1768. Harbottle Dorr identified Joseph Warren as the author (Dorr Collection, Massachusetts Historical Society). This was the second letter by “True Patriot” sharply criticizing Governor Francis Bernard (see No. 305, below).
2 The abbreviation most likely stood for “despicable” or “desperate.”
4 The “gentleman” of the Council has not been identified.
5 “True Patriot” charged Governor Francis Bernard with “Jesuitical Insinuations” to “induce a worthy Minister of State to form a most unfavorable opinion of the Province in general and some of the most respectable Inhabitants in particular.” The piece concludes with the lines: “If such Men are by God appointed, The Devil may be the Lord’s anointed.” Bernard, who had been urged by Lord Shelburne to prosecute the authors of libelous or seditious newspaper articles as long as he had sufficient evidence and the support of the legislature, asked the Council if they would direct the attorney general to indict the author for libel. The Council was initially sympathetic, but the House claimed no libel had taken place since no particular person had been named and refused to interfere with the “Liberty of the Press” (JHR, 44:210–11; Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:121–24).
6 TH in his charge to the grand jury at the opening of the March session of the Superior Court commented at length on laws governing libel, telling the jury that no particular person needed to be named for a libel to occur as long as the identity of the libeled individual was clearly inferred. He also instructed them that public persons were entitled to protection from libel as well as private citizens. Despite TH’s obvious expectation of an indictment, the grand jury found no bill for libel (Portrait of a Patriot, 5:611, 613, 617–25; Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:112–18, 121–24, 198–200). By including mention of “High Treason,” TH might also have been hoping for an indictment against the unidentified author of the “Sui Imperator” letter from the previous fall. For more on the letters, see Nos. 279 and 284, above.
7 The images represented Customs Commissioner Charles Paxton (see BD) and Inspector General of Customs John Williams, who had arrived at the same time as the commissioners.
8 Several words in this sentence are written in TH’s cipher. The Massachusetts Spy printed this passage thus: “They were very desirous the Governor should write to the General (partly in short hand) for a R.” The letter “R.,” in this instance, would presumably stand for a regiment.
9 Because of the ambiguity of the Earl of Chatham’s speech of 14 January 1766, it is unclear here whether TH means a distinction between internal and external taxes, or, more likely, a distinction between taxation and legislation (Neil York, “When Words Fails: William Pitt, Benjamin Franklin, and the Imperial Crisis of 1766,” Parliamentary History 28 (October 2009), 347–50).
10 A meeting on 1 March of the “Merchants and Traders of Boston” resolved to halt imports beginning on 1 June for a period of eighteen months (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:108–10, 135–39).
11 The interlineation has no mark for position.
12 TH’s sons, Thomas Jr. and Elisha (see BD), refused to subscribe. The initials “R” and “H” in all likelihood stand for John Rowe and John Hancock, both of whom subscribed.
13 The abbreviations probably stand for “Treasury” and “Board of Customs.”
14 The words in brackets are written in the MS in TH’s cipher. Matthew Snider of California State University at Fullerton decoded them for the editors based on the key illustrated in TH Correspondence 1 and other coded passages elsewhere in TH’s letterbooks. Because of the difficulty of TH’s handwriting and the indeterminate nature of some of the symbols in the code, these readings should be treated as highly conjectural.
15 Spelled “extemmely” in MS.
16 The postscript is written sideways in the margin.
3 The interlineation has no mark for position.
4 The House’s 3 March message to Bernard stated that it felt “fully justified in [the] Determination to take no further Notice of it” (JHR, 44:210–11).
5 The interlineation has no mark for position.
7 The interlineation has no mark for position.
1 Israel Mauduit conveyed a warrant for the supplement to TH’s salary as chief justice, to be drawn from the revenue generated by the Townshend duties.
2 Robert Clive (1725–1774), created Baron Clive in 1762, rose from a clerk in the East India Company to become a major general and governor of Bengal. After Clive amassed a fortune in India, his name became a byword for corruption.
3 TH understood that all Crown officers would be compensated from the revenue generated by the Townshend duties.
4 TH’s reference here is unknown.
5 Mauduit had advocated that TH be awarded additional compensation for his service as chief justice.
6 The reference is unclear in what way TH intended to gratify Benjamin Franklin, who at this time was living in London, serving as agent for both Pennsylvania and Georgia and working with Richard Jackson to advocate the repeal of the Townshend duties in Parliament. Perhaps an honorary degree as suggested by the following paragraph?
7 The ensuing paragraph describes the events aboard John Hancock’s ship Lydia on the night of 9 April 1768. The presence of Daniel Malcom was of particular note since Malcom had forcibly resisted the searching of his own cellar by customs officers in 1766, and in February 1768, just two months before the events TH describes here, Malcom unloaded a cargo of sixty pipes of Madeira in the outer harbor and carried it to town in wagons guarded by men with clubs. See Oliver Dickerson, The Navigation Acts and the American Revolution (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1951), pp. 234–35, and Zobel, Boston Massacre, p. 72.
8 The statute of 7 and 8 William was the Treason Act of 1695. The “Respective Acts” were the Revenue Acts of 1764 and 1766.
9 The 14 of Charles was An Act for the Encouragement of Trade (1663), one of the Navigation Acts.
2 Bollan had written two earlier pamphlets that touched on the rights of the colonists: Coloniae Anglicanae Illustratae (London, 1762) and A Succinct View of the Origin of Our Colonies. . . (London, 1766).
1 The interlineation has no mark for position.
2 The interlineation has no mark for position.
1 Edward Lloyd IV (1744–1796), a planter and merchant of Talbot County, was by reputation one of the richest men in Maryland and served as a delegate from that state to the Confederation Congress in 1783 and 1784. TH had corresponded with him previously as part of his mercantile business (see TH Correspondence, 1:515, 533, 537, 538, 540). See also, Jean B. Russo, “A Model Planter: Edward Lloyd IV of Maryland, 1770–1796,” WMQ 49 [January 1992]:62–88).
2 Mr Chaumiere has not been identified.
1 This material has been interlined vertically in left margin and position marked with an “X.”
2 James Otis Jr. was reminding the House of TH’s £200 warrant to supplement his salary as chief justice (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:172–77).
3 Bernard vetoed the choice of James Otis Sr., Joseph Gerrish, Thomas Saunders, Jerathmiel Bowers, John Hancock, and Artemas Ward for the Council. For more on these negatives, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:166–71.
4 Latin, which when translated means “a vague right or law.”
1 Artemas Ward (1727–1800), of Shrewsbury, graduated from Harvard College in 1748 and eventually served on the Council from 1770 to 1774 and again from 1776 to 1779. He became a lieutenant colonel of militia in 1767 and commanded American forces during the siege of Boston until he was superseded by George Washington. He was one of four major generals in 1775 and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1791 through 1795.
2 James Otis Sr., Joseph Gerrish, Thomas Sanders, and Jerathmiel Bowers were all negatived for seats on the Council, as were Ward and John Hancock. For more on Governor Francis Bernard’s negatives, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:166–71.
3 The MS is torn here and in the next instance of brackets.
4 A straw, rush or twig; hence a thing of little importance (OED).
6 John Wilkes had recently returned to England, while still officially an outlaw, and was elected a member of Parliament for Middlesex.
7 By “Old O—” TH meant James Otis Sr.
8 “R___n” was not identified
9 John Erving likely received this information through his connection to John Temple, who had extensive political connections in England, or James Bowdoin (see BD) who had married Erving’s daughter. TH was presumably referring to George Scott (d. 1767), a career army officer, who served in the French and Indian War, became the governor of Grenada, and later lieutenant governor of Dominica. He was killed in a duel in 1767.
11 The HMS Romney arrived in Boston Harbor on 17 May.
12 Sally was the family’s name for Sarah Hutchinson, TH’s eldest daughter (see BD).
13 Sally’s father-in-law was Peter Oliver Sr.
2 In the winter of 1767–1768, the vacancy in Virginia enabled a rearrangement of colonial governors. For Governor Francis Bernard’s possible removal to Virginia, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:155–57.
1 The Duke of Grafton was first lord of the treasury.
3 Before the election, rumors circulated that if TH were restored to the Council, Francis Bernard would accept James Otis Sr. as a member, (Papers of Francis Bernard 4:168).
4 Artemas Ward was backed by Otis Jr. for TH’s place on the Council.
5 Secretary Andrew Oliver lost his Council seat at the same time TH did in 1766.
3 In response to the Massachusetts Circular Letter, Virginia on 15 April generated three petitions: the Petition to His Majesty, the Memorial to the House of Lords, and the Remonstrance to the House of Commons, all protesting against the Townshend Act.
4 Arrangements for correspondence between colonies did not become as regular as TH imagined for another four years (Maier, From Resistance to Revolution, p. 224).
2 James Otis Jr. convinced the House to nominate Artemas Ward instead of TH. John Chandler III (1721–1800), a principal landowner and probate judge in Worcester County, had been a member of the Council since 1765. Andrew Belcher (1706–1771) was a merchant and member of the Council since 1764. Governor Francis Bernard described Chandler as “a Friend of Government who will be as serviceable in the House” but called Belcher “a Gentleman of no Consequence.” For more on the Council election, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:172–77.
3 This piece appeared in the Boston Gazette on 6 June 1768.
4 Daniel Malcom was present during the Lydia affair as discussed in No. 309, above. The insurance office was most likely that of Nathaniel Barber (1728–1787) who together with Malcom commissioned Paul Revere’s famous “Liberty bowl.” See Jonathan L. Fairbanks, “Paul Revere and 1768: His Portrait and the Liberty Bowl,” in Jeannine Falino and Gerald W. R. Ward, eds., New England Silver & Silversmithing, 1620–1815 (Boston: Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 2001), p. 141.
1 Hewing a broad arrow into the mast would signify the vessel was now the king’s property. Boston merchant and representative John Hancock owned the sloop Liberty, the vessel at the center of this dispute between the customs service and the patriots because of an undeclared shipment of Madeira wine. Customs officials Joseph Harrison (collector of customs), his son Richard Harrison (a customs clerk), Benjamin Hallowell (comptroller of customs), and John Williams (inspector general of customs) would all find themselves or their homes—or both—under attack in the disruptions that followed their attempt to seize Hancock’s ship. For Governor Francis Bernard’s account of the subsequent Liberty riot, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:185–90, 201–5; Archer, Enemy’s Country, pp. 87–90; and Zobel, Boston Massacre, pp. 68–77.
2 The area beneath the Liberty Tree in the South End had become known as Liberty Hall.
3 The Boston Gazette for 20 June 1768 provided an account of the meetings of the Sons of Liberty, first at the Liberty Tree and then at Faneuil Hall, as well as the official town meeting, summoned by the constables, at Old South Meeting House.
4 The petition, principally drafted by James Otis Jr., and Governor Francis Bernard’s response to it were also printed in the Boston Gazette for 20 June 1768. The town’s petition blamed the riot, in part, on press gangs sent out by the Romney during the days just prior. It also criticized the extent of the powers of the commissioners of customs.
5 Customs commissioners Henry Hulton, William Burch, Charles Paxton, and John Robinson moved from the Romney to the Castle on 20 June, where they would seek refuge on several occasions in the future (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:207–12).
6 Governor Francis Bernard’s country house was in Jamaica Plain.
7 Merchants often met casually to do business on the Exchange (the Change), an area of King Street adjacent to the custom house.
8 For a comprehensive treatment of naval impressment in the colonies, see Christopher P. Magra, Poseidon’s Curse: British Naval Impressment and the Atlantic Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).
9 Jackson first entered Parliament as a member for Weymouth in December 1762 but was forced to give up that seat in favor of Lord Waltham in 1768. He re-entered Parliament that same year as a member for New Romney, a seat at the disposal of the Treasury. He was, as TH observed, an advocate for “the Col[onies],” but TH believed that like other agents who preceded him, most notably Bollan, the legislature failed to pay him properly for his services.
10 Lack of official recognition in Whitehall limited what Dennys DeBerdt, the agent for the House, could accomplish. TH implies the House was afraid to choose an official provincial agent since he might not be approved by Bernard. Thus, the House was willing to let the Massachusetts side of the border dispute with New York (as described in No. 276, above) go unrepresented in London.
11 Hallowell departed Boston for England on 20 June carrying a collection of papers for the ministry, which would be widely disseminated (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:214).
12 The town’s instructions were printed in the Boston Gazette on 20 June.
13 According to Bernard, such a measure was proposed but did not pass (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:209). The account of the town meeting as printed in Reports of the Records Commissioners of Boston, 16:257–59, makes no mention of such a resolution. William Cooper was the town clerk at the time. The lawyer and member of the Sons of Liberty cannot be positively identified but could well be James Otis Jr., who was moderator of the town meeting in question.
14 Captain John Corner, commander of the Romney, initiated the impressments after his arrival in port on 17 May.
2 Boston’s instructions to its representatives can be found in BTR, 16:257–59.
3 The committee dispatched by the town to present the petition included Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Dr. Thomas Young, and Daniel Malcom (Zobel, Boston Massacre, pp. 78–80).
1 Governor Francis Bernard sought the use of Faneuil Hall for a celebratory dinner at the time of the annual elections in May but was refused its use because he had invited the commissioners of customs (Henry Hulton, p. 127).
3 The friend has not been identified but may well have been Richard Jackson himself.
4 John Pownall, secretary to the Board of Trade, was Thomas Pownall’s brother.
7 Since the close of the Seven Years’ War, Thomas Secker (1693–1768), archbishop of Canterbury, had advanced a plan for a “purely spiritual” Anglican bishop to be settled in North America to facilitate the ordination of new clergy. Colonial Dissenters, especially in New England, vigorously opposed the plan arguing that it carried an implicit threat to establish the Church of England throughout North America. Although the king himself was favorably inclined, Lord Shelburne (himself friendly to Dissenters) persuaded the other ministers in the fall of 1767 that the plan would only fan the flames of discontent ignited by the Stamp Act (Paul Whitaker, “The Bishop Controversy, the Imperial Crisis, and Religious Radicalism in New England, 1763–74,” NEQ 90 [September 2017], 306–43).
8 The king granted Bernard leave to go to England on 22 June, but he would not receive formal notification until mid-September (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:218).
9 On the political influence of the Duke of Bedford, see No. 284, above. He had been lord president of the council during Grenville’s administration, and a number of Bedford supporters joined the Grafton administration in December 1767, although he himself did not return to power.
10 Rogers apparently believed Dennys DeBerdt, the agent of the House, was ineffectual since he lacked official recognition as a provincial agent.
2 Customs Commissioner John Temple was generally at variance with his fellow commissioners and was connected by marriage to James Bowdoin and other leading patriots.
4 The letter from the Speaker of Virginia’s House of Burgesses appears at JHR, 45:104–7.
5 TH was referring to William Cooper (Boston town clerk), and Samuel Adams (clerk of the House of Representatives).
7 The House’s agent, Dennys DeBerdt, was less successful in pressing the patriot agenda in London than many had hoped.
8 If Bernard left for England, TH as acting governor would be able to throw his support behind an effort to settle Bollan’s account.
9 John Spooner Jr. (1732–1768?) married Margaret Oliver (b. 1740), daughter of Andrew Oliver, in 1762.
10 “Goffe” was Edmund Trowbridge’s assumed name early in life. In this way, TH, as acting governor, would not appear to be the initiator of a settlement with Bollan.
1 TH misjudged the significance of the Massachusetts Circular Letter (see No. 292 and 294, above), perhaps not fully realizing how it would be perceived in England, but Lord Hillsborough persuaded the cabinet to order the House to rescind it. On 15 June, Governor Francis Bernard received Hillsborough’s instructions to prorogue the General Court if it did not rescind the letter. See Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:149–52. Bernard presented the House with the demand on 21 June, occasioning an impassioned speech by James Otis Jr. The House voted not to rescind on 30 June and passed previously drafted responses to Bernard and Hillsborough. The members had begun a petition to the king to remove Bernard as governor before they were dissolved on 1 July (JHR, 45:68–69, 75, 85, 89–94, 98). For the text of the Circular Letter and an overview of its passage, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:359–62 and TH History, 3:141–44.
2 Although TH may have belittled any rumor of attacks on Castle William, Bernard certainly thought it was a real possibility (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:240–41, 244).
4 In stating that Parliament should assert, but not enforce, its legislative authority over the colonies, TH displayed a tactical disagreement with Bernard and Hillsborough. His line of thinking was closer to that of moderates within the cabinet like Lord Shelburne.
5 The Council was at work on an address to the king just as Bernard was preparing to prorogue the General Court. He allowed them to complete their work and dispatched the address to Lord Hillsborough on 16 July. For the preparation of the petition to remove Bernard, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:223, 229, 244. The address rehearsed the province’s sacrifices on behalf of the empire from early settlement through the French and Indian War and pleaded that the recent taxes had drained the province of specie and decreased its ability to consume British manufactures. James Bowdoin’s draft of the address is in the Bowdoin-Temple Papers, Loose MSS, at the Massachusetts Historical Society. The Colonial Office copy is reprinted in Papers of Francis Bernard, 4: Appendix 11.
6 TH referred to Joseph Dudley, who was governor of Massachusetts from 1702 to 1715, and Edmund Andros, who was governor of the short-lived Dominion of England from 1686 to 1689.
7 For a more detailed account of the return of the confiscated molasses, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:243, 248–49.
8 The Latin, when translated, means “domination by the lower orders, or common people.”
2 For the responses of other colonies to the Circular Letter, see JHR, 45:104–12.
4 Inspector General of Customs John Williams was a target during the Liberty riot the month before, although the crowd found he was not at home and retired after breaking his windows.
5 Thomas Young (1732–1777), a physician from Albany, rose swiftly to a leadership role among the patriots after arriving in Boston in 1766. A member of the North End Caucus, he later served as a member of the committee of correspondence.
6 TH was referring to Daniel Shute (1722–1802), who delivered and then published A Sermon Preached before His Excellency Francis Bernard, Esq. . . . and the Honourable House of Representatives, . . ., May 25th, 1768; Being the A[n]niversary for the Election of His Majesty’s Council (Boston, 1768).
1 TH’s correspondent has not been identified.
2 Jonathan Belcher Jr. (1710–1776) graduated from Harvard College in 1728, became chief justice of Nova Scotia in 1754, was appointed lieutenant governor in 1761, and published The Perpetual Acts of the General Assemblies of His Majesty’s Province of Nova Scotia (Halifax, 1767). Belcher’s father, when governor of Massachusetts, was an early political patron of TH.
3 Governor William Shirley (see BD) urged the House to undertake a general revision of the province laws in 1756 with no result (JHR, 33, pt.1: 135). The editors are indebted to Adrian Weimer for this reference.
6 After being returned as a member of Parliament for Middlesex, John Wilkes waived his parliamentary immunity and was sentenced to two years in prison.
7 TH was perhaps making a veiled reference to Samuel Adams, who owed money to the town of Boston for arrears during his service as tax collector and was perennially in debt.
2 William Burch, Henry Hulton, Charles Paxton, and John Robinson were the four commissioners who fled to Castle William and the four who provoked the populace’s ire.
4 Letters Sent to Great-Britain: “no particular illegality”
5 John Temple, the fifth commissioner and former surveyor general, was forced, after the appointment of the American Board, to share his former power with the other commissioners and had personal connections with the patriots that kept him in their good graces.
6 The commissioners of customs dispatched Benjamin Hallowell to England to provide a firsthand account of the Liberty riot. He left Boston on 20 June.
7 Letters Sent to Great-Britain: “fair trader”
8 Letters Sent to Great-Britain: “illicit trader”
9 Letters Sent to Great-Britain: “we should have had no additional duties if there had been no board”
11 Letters Sent to Great-Britain: “my post as chief justice, and I must have declined it, and I should do it although no greater salary had been affixed to the chief justices place than the small pittance”
12 Letters Sent to Great-Britain: “it was agreed by all present to give”
13 The Boston merchants voted on 8 August not to import goods for one year beginning 1 January. Unlike their previous agreement in March, this resolve was not contingent upon the actions of merchants in New York and Philadelphia. For more on this agreement, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:280–82, and TH History, 3:145–46.
1 The letter is written to a justice of the Superior Court other than Edmund Trowbridge. The possibilities are John Cushing, Benjamin Lynde Jr. (see BD), and Peter Oliver.
2 “Goffe” was Edmund Trowbridge’s surname as a young man.
3 Robert Auchmuty Jr., for whom see TH Correspondence, 1:349n, had become a judge of the Massachusetts vice-admiralty court upon the death of Chambers Russell in 1767. Since he also practiced privately as an attorney, he may have had a case before the August session of the Superior Court.
4 TH refers to James Otis Jr., Samuel and John Adams (see BD), William or Samuel Cooper (see BD), and Benjamin Church. Church (1734–1778) was a physician who graduated from Harvard in 1754, wrote a number of newspaper essays, was a member of the committee of correspondence, served in the provincial congress, and was elected the first chief physician of the Continental Army at Cambridge. Ultimately, he was revealed to be a spy, was imprisoned in Connecticut, later paroled, and presumably drowned on a voyage to the West Indies. The Boston Gazette for 25 July 1768 contained an alleged conversation between “a Pensioner and a Divine,” whom Harbottle Dorr identifies as TH and “the Rev’d Mr. Gardner of Stow,” in which TH objects to clergy involvement in politics. John Gardner (1695–1775) was the pastor of the church in Stow.
5 Brookfield, Massachusetts, was just across the border from the much better known Stafford Springs, Connecticut, America’s first spa resort. Governor Francis Bernard’s wife, Amelia, made frequent visits there for her health.
6 The Boston Gazette for 1 August 1768 contained a letter by “F. F.” objecting to the fact that, since the House had been prorogued, the proceedings of the Council were secret and asserting that Governor Francis Bernard had warned at a recent Council meeting that troops at Halifax stood ready to answer his summons to Boston should he request them. TH was apparently making light of this charge.
1 This letter may possibly have been written to Thomas Whately since TH mentions receiving a letter from Whately in late May in No. 316, to which No. 315, both above, may have been a reply. But it may equally well be written to others; see note 2 below.
2 TH thoroughly reviewed the historical argument for the inclusion of the secretary and the lieutenant governor as members of the Council in a letter to an unknown recipient in No. 243 and to Thomas Pownall in No. 246, both above.
3 TH would usually have used the phrase “infamous Boulefeu” to describe James Otis Jr., but in this context, since he was discussing English politics, he may have meant John Wilkes (see BD).
4 In this case, TH probably did not mean a religious test for officeholders (as was the case with the Test Act in England) but rather that officeholders should subscribe to some set of particular principles about the imperial relationship.
5 This paragraph is in parentheses in the MS, but it is unclear whether the parentheses are TH’s or were added later by a different hand.
6 A rift existed not only between John Temple and the four commissioners who had fled to Castle William in mid-June during the Liberty riot, but also between a majority of the commissioners and their own subordinates, as described in Nos. 332 and 338, both below.
7 Henry Hulton held a number of positions in the imperial bureaucracy before joining the American Board of Customs.
8 Acting Governor Cadwallader Colden (see BD) of New York was conspicuous in his efforts to suppress the Stamp Act riots before he was superseded by Sir Henry Moore as governor in November 1765. Colden’s chief critics were members of the Livingston family and their partisans, who led the opposition to the Quartering Act.
9 Both TH and Governor Francis Bernard expected Lord Hillsborough to take a firm line against colonial resistance to parliamentary authority in his capacity as secretary of state for the colonies.
10 The meeting that adopted the August nonimportation agreement was styled a meeting of the “Merchants and Traders of Boston” but was much more inclusive than previous merchants’ gatherings. James Otis Jr. and Samuel Adams, neither of whom were merchants, both played prominent parts in directing the meeting.
11 There were initially twenty-seven nonsubscribers when the agreement was first circulated in March, including TH’s eldest sons, TH Jr. and EH (Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots, pp. 258–77).
1 Rumors that the arrival of troops was imminent heightened tensions in Boston and may have prompted the threat against TH. Lucius Sergius Catilina (108–62 bce), denounced by Cicero, was the aristocratic ally of the plebs and conspirator against the Roman Republic.
1 Dft: “Honorable Gentlemen”
2 Jonathan Sewall was advocate general of the vice-admiralty court as well as attorney general of Massachusetts. The commissioners found Sewall insufficiently zealous in prosecuting customs violations in the months following the passage of the Stamp Act, and their frustration came to a head over the seizure of John Hancock’s ship Liberty. Sewall’s reluctance may have had less to do with a lack of desire to prosecute and more with tactical differences of approach given the uncertain legal basis of the case. The dispute between the two parties—Sewall and the customs board—lasted for several months and is thoroughly laid out in the Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:307–13.
3 The only significant difference between this copy of the letter and the draft, other than the salutation, is one sentence at this point that TH crossed out in the draft. It reads: “I knew that if a report should be spread of such a proceeding in the Board of Commissioners it would increase the prejudice which so unreasonably prevails against the Board.”
1 This is TH’s first mention of the impending arrival of troops, although Governor Francis Bernard had known of the dispatch of troops from Halifax since 3 September and of the additional two regiments from Ireland by 18 September (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:290–92, 271–76).
2 Norborne Berkeley (1718?–1770), 4th Baron Botetourt, was governor of Virginia from 1768 to 1770. Bernard was granted a leave of absence together with the offer of the lieutenant governorship of Virginia on 22 June 1768, as described in a document that did not arrive until mid-September. During the interim, the ministry decided not to appoint a lieutenant governor but to send out a person of superior rank (Lord Botetourt) as governor. Governors generally arrived and departed aboard vessels of the Royal Navy. The vessel carrying Lord Botetourt, which would land at Boston before proceeding to Virginia, would be a suitable conveyance for Bernard. The offer to Bernard of the lieutenant governorship of Virginia was almost immediately superseded by another letter from Lord Hillsborough informing Bernard of the news that two additional regiments had been dispatched from Ireland and implying he should remain in Massachusetts to see that the troops were properly accommodated, the civil magistracy in Massachusetts reformed, and an investigation conducted into the causes of the province’s civil disorders. For more on Hillsborough’s letter, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:218, 271–76, 325–26.
3 Sir William Pepperell (died 1816), 1st Baronet, was born William Sparhawk, the grandson and eventually the namesake of his grandfather, the victor of Louisbourg. He inherited his grandfather’s estates on the condition that he also assume his name. He was made a baronet in 1774 and proscribed in the Massachusetts Banishment Act of 1778.
4 Alarmed by the impending arrival of troops, the town of Boston dispatched a circular letter to the other towns in Massachusetts urging them to send representatives to a special convention to consider the situation. The assembly was still prorogued and could not legally meet. See Richard D. Brown, “The Massachusetts Convention of the Towns, 1768,” WMQ 26 (January 1969): 94–104.
1 Letters Sent to Great-Britain: “4th October”
2 Mather Byles (1707–1788), well-known wit and occasional poet, was the minister of the Hollis Street Church and a future Loyalist.
3 Benjamin Hallowell left Boston for England soon after the Liberty riot in June carrying reports from the customs commissioners to the Treasury on the situation in Boston, as described in No. 321, above.
4 Letters Sent to Great-Britain: “rank above the vulgar, and some in public posts have countenanced and encouraged them”
7 TH’s version of the charge has not been found, but Josiah Quincy, who was present in the courtroom, included his version in Portrait of a Patriot, 5:610–25. See also Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:125–26.
8 Letters Sent to Great-Britain: “news came of two regiments.” For more on General Thomas Gage (see BD) sending troops to Boston and the negotiations between the Council and Governor Francis Bernard regarding the billeting of the troops and the meaning of the Quartering Act of 1765, see No. 333, above.
9 Bernard’s detailed report of how the patriots responded to the rumored arrival of the troops is in his letter to Gage of 16 September (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:316–18).
10 The proceedings of the Boston town meeting on 12 September can be found at BTR, 16:261–63, but Bernard also relayed a firsthand account of the meeting he received from an unnamed source in a letter to Lord Hillsborough dated 16 September (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:318–24). The full text of Boston’s circular letter to the towns calling for a convention was printed in at least three contemporary newspapers: Boston Evening-Post, 3 October; Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 3 October; and the Essex Gazette, 4 October. Bernard also included a copy in his letter to Lord Hillsborough of 16 September. It appears in Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:400–1.
11 Despite an order from Bernard to disperse, the convention of the towns met from 22 to 29 September, for which see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:330–31.
12 This was the Council’s interpretation of the Quartering Act of 1765. For the actual text of the passage in question, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:336n.
13 The resolution of the Council was printed in the Massachusetts Gazette on 26 September. The full text can be found in Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:340–42.
14 The MS is blotted; text supplied from Letters Sent to Great-Britain.
1 General Thomas Gage remained in Boston until 24 November, trying to settle the regiments in quarters for the winter. The Council chose to interpret the Quartering Act in such a way that the troops would be kept far from the town at Castle William. For more on the Council’s views on the Quartering Act and the negotiations with Gage and Governor Francis Bernard, see No. 333, above.
2 The many versions of the Mutiny Act passed since 1689 caused considerable confusion in the colonies concerning which specific provisions applied there (John W. Shy, Toward Lexington: The Role of the British Army in the Coming of the American Revolution [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965], p. 187; Eric Hinderaker, Boston’s Massacre [Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2017], pp. 95–96). Section 23 of the Quartering Act of 1765 (which applied to the colonies explicitly) fined those harboring deserters, but it did not explicitly penalize those inducing soldiers to desert.
3 Lord Hillsborough instructed Bernard in a letter dated 30 July to dismiss all justices of the peace who refused to suppress civil disorders and replace them with those who would. Additionally, Bernard was ordered to launch an inquiry by the Council into the causes of the recent customs riots in Boston and told that should the inquiry identify any treasonous actions to send the guilty parties to England for trial at the King’s Bench under the treason statute of 35 Henry VIII c. 2. Lastly, when Bernard was ready to summon the General Court back into session (after its suspension because of its refusal to rescind the Circular Letter), it should meet at Salem, Cambridge, or anywhere but Boston. For Hillsborough’s letter to Bernard, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:271–76.
1 A full account of the confrontation between Sheriff Stephen Greenleaf and John Brown, who was in charge of the Manufactory House at the time of the incident, appeared in the Boston Gazette on 24 October 1768; the source of Brown’s legal advice is not known but could certainly have been James Otis Jr.
2 The Mutiny or Riot Act required that a justice of the peace must first order a mob to disperse before soldiers fired on civilians.
3 The five justices of the Superior Court at this time were TH, Peter Oliver, John Cushing, Benjamin Lynde Jr., and Edmund Trowbridge.
1 The Council presumably appointed justices of the peace and militia officers for Hampshire County on that day.
2 Since formal meetings of the legislature were still prohibited by the ministry, the Council appointed magistrates and other local officers. The Council’s relations with Governor Francis Bernard were strained by the controversy over billeting the British troops.
3 Bernard delayed his leave of absence in order to deal with the arrival of the troops (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:326).
4 On 13 September 1768, the Boston town meeting adopted resolves challenging Parliament’s ability to raise money in the colonies without local consent and pledging to resist any encroachments on these rights to self-government by all “constitutional means.” In one extraordinary resolve, the town urged citizens to arm themselves in preparation for a “French war,” even though no threat was imminent. The covert meaning was that the town should prepare to resist the landing of the troops, for which see No. 334, above.
1 In conversation with two employees of the board (Secretary Samuel Venner and Solicitor David Lisle), Jonathan Sewall had become convinced that members of the customs board, in letters they had sent to England, doubted his ability to fulfill adequately the role of advocate general of the Admiralty. See No. 332, above, and Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:154–58, 192–93. The board voted on 15 November to dismiss Venner and Lisle for misrepresenting the nature of its correspondence to Sewall.
1 For the original advice of the Council, which was to quarter the troops at Castle William, see No. 334, above. For Governor Francis Bernard’s account of his dealings with the Council over the quartering of the troops, see his report to Lord Hillsborough in Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:79–82.
3 The Council’s address to General Thomas Gage is can be found in Papers of Francis Bernard, 5: Appendix 1. It was originally printed in the Boston Gazette and the Boston Post Boy and Advertiser on 31 October and the Massachusetts Gazette on 3 November.
4 TH was referring to James Bowdoin, who became the dominant figure on the Council after TH was dropped from that body in May 1766.
5 On 29 October, Jonathan Sewall filed suit against John Hancock for triple damages regarding the £3,000 cargo of Madeira aboard Liberty. Five of Hancock’s subordinates were also sued with him. For details of the suit, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:109–11.
6 The abbreviation stands for “hogsheads.”
7 No record of TH’s charge to the Essex grand jurors appears to have been made.
8 The attorney general was Jonathan Sewall.
1 For Pownall’s amendment, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 140n.
2 John Robinson and Charles Paxton were two of the commissioners of customs. Robinson’s appearance in town was the first by any of the commissioners since the Liberty riot in June. Paxton, because of his friendship with Charles Townshend (see BD), was widely blamed for proposing the Townshend Act.
3 TH’s nephew Nathaniel Rogers called upon Pownall during his extended stay in England, for which, see No. 323, above. Pownall had also received TH Jr. when he was in London in 1766. See TH Correspondence, 1: Nos. 179, 208, and 230.
1 Samuel Hood (see BD) was appointed commander-in-chief of naval forces in North America in April 1767. William Campbell (circa 1732–1778) was a captain in the navy and future governor of Nova Scotia, serving there from 1766 to 1773.
2 See the queries written by the Reverend John Cleveland in the Boston Gazette for 5 September 1768. Cleveland asserted that British subjects did not give up any of their rights when they migrated to America and challenged the validity of much recent parliamentary legislation for the colonies. For the resolves of the town of Boston challenging Parliament’s right to raise money in the colonies without local consent, see No. 337, above.
3 For the publication of Bernard’s letters, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:11–13.
4 The interlineation has no mark for position.
1 The MS is blotted.
3 Governor Francis Bernard requested instructions from the ministry concerning when the assembly should meet again in his letter to Lord Hillsborough of 6 August 1768 (Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:277–80). An answer was not dispatched until 12 October and was not received in Boston until 4 January 1769 (Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:85–86).
4 Presumably the troops would otherwise have been sent to frontier regions.
2 Material is written vertically in left margin and position marked with an “X.”
3 Presumably “O” in this instance stands for James Otis Jr.
2 William Palmer was another member of the firm Thomas Palmer & Sons and one of TH’s principal London correspondents (See BD).
3 Rogers published under his own name a letter in the Boston Evening-Post for 21 November 1768 suggesting that if the colonies were to moderate their constitutional claims, many political leaders in England might be inclined to repeal the Townshend duties based on their anti-commercial nature, even if they would never concede that taxing the colonies was an unwarrantable extension of Parliament’s supreme legislative power.
2 Pownall published in quick succession several editions of his book, The Administration of the Colonies (London, 1764) with subsequent editions in 1765, 1766, 1768, and 1774. This edition was the fourth edition, published in 1768.
3 Rogers evidently suggested that Pownall become the provincial agent. As someone acceptable to both patriots and friends to government, the selection of Pownall might prompt the House of Representatives to cease maintaining Dennys DeBerdt as its own exclusive agent.
4 The abbreviation stands for “selectmen.”
5 Thomas Gage returned to New York on 24 November after supervising the settlement of the four regiments in winter quarters.
6 With the arrival of the 64th and 65th regiments from Ireland in mid-November, Lieutenant Colonel John Pomeroy (1724–1790) of the 64th superseded William Dalrymple (see BD) as commander.
7 Samuel Hood, chief of the North American station, arrived from Halifax on 14 November.
8 Here TH uses an alternative spelling for “succedaneum,” meaning an inferior substitute, usually a less efficacious medicine; in this instance, however, TH probably meant that during the suspension of the General Court, the Boston town meeting functioned as an alternate forum for the presentation of grievances.
1 The last extent letter from Mauduit (see BD) to TH is dated 10 December 1767, but clearly TH must have received a more recent communication, which has not been found, concerning the English reaction to news of the Liberty riot and subsequent events. “Hall” is an abbreviation for Benjamin Hallowell, who was dispatched by the commissioners of customs to report on the riot in England.
2 On 11 October 1768, the New York Journal published the “Journal of Occurrences,” a series of weekly articles, usually attributed to Samuel Adams, describing in hyperbolic terms encounters between the British regulars and the citizens of Boston and intended to provoke sympathy for Boston under military occupation. The Pennsylvania Chronicle ran the same material four days later. See Oliver M. Dickerson, Boston under Military Rule (1768–1769) as Revealed in a Journal of the Times (Boston: Chapman & Grimes, 1936).
1 The likely recipient for this letter was either Lord Hillsborough or Lord Shelburne.
4 Colonel Alexander Mackay (1717–1789) of the 65th Regiment, became commander-in-chief of forces at Boston after his arrival in April 1769 and, consequently, received a local promotion to major general, eventually confirmed in England in 1770. He relinquished command when his regiment departed for Halifax in August 1769.
1 “Dr. Eliot” is Andrew Eliot (see BD). Most likely Silliman (see BD) refers to the will of the English Puritan merchant William Pennoyer (1603–1670) who directed that the income of one of his properties fund two fellowships and two scholarships at Harvard.
2 For William Samuel Johnson, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 228n.
3 Martin Howard, whose house was pulled down in the Rhode Island Stamp Act riot, became chief justice of North Carolina in 1767. Charles Paxton and Benjamin Hallowell, two Massachusetts sufferers, were made commissioners of customs, and TH received a £200 supplement to his salary as chief justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. Jared Ingersoll (see BD) was eventually appointed judge of the newly created vice-admiralty court in Philadelphia.
1 At the end of November, eight members of the Council met without Governor Francis Bernard present and drafted petitions to both the House of Commons and the Lords against the Townshend Acts and dispatched them to William Bollan, who had been acting as agent of the Council since there was no provincial agent. Dennys DeBerdt acted solely as the agent of the Massachusetts House (Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:130–33).
2 Samuel Danforth (1696–1777) was a 1715 Harvard graduate, Cambridge resident, probate judge, and medical doctor. He was a member of the Council since 1739 and eventually, by virtue of seniority, its president.
1 Returning to Boston from Castle William in early November after spending five months there after the Liberty riot, the customs commissioners sought from Bernard and the other chief officers of the province an endorsement that would justify their prolonged absence.
2 With his close connections to the patriots, customs commissioner John Temple was frequently at odds with his fellow commissioners and was never threatened by crowd action.
1 Latin, translated as, “the last argument of kings,” i.e. war.
2 See Maier, From Resistance to Revolution, pp. 223–24, for the increasing tempo of intercolonial correspondence between radical leaders during this period.
1 For the controversy within the board, see No. 338, above. The board’s former secretary, Samuel Venner, and its former solicitor general, David Lisle, were made scapegoats in the controversy between Jonathan Sewall and the customs commissioners. Gradually, Governor Francis Bernard began to suspect that John Temple, the disaffected fifth member of the board, was the source of the rumors that led to Sewall’s suspicions. See Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:154–57. Richard Reeve was the current secretary of the board; he replaced Venner after his dismissal in late 1768.
1 Oliver Partridge (see BD) became a member of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas in Hampshire County on 26 October 1768. Partridge was appointed justice of the peace 1 February 1769 and named as part of the Quorum, a select group of justices without at least one of whom the county courts could not meet. For further action on Partridge’s appointment, see No. 358, below.
2 Williams was referring to John Worthington (see BD).
1 TH misdated the letter 1768, but he did not meet Lieutenant Colonel John Pomeroy, commander of the 64th Regiment, until January 1769.
3 William Hutchinson (1586–1641) of Alford, Lincolnshire, established himself as a merchant in Boston in 1634 and accompanied his wife Anne to Rhode Island after she was banished in the Antinomian Controversy in 1638.
4 TH evidently sent the first two volumes of his History as a gift.
6 The passage when deciphered reads “tears of my eldest daughter.”
1 On 31 December 1768, the New York Assembly passed resolutions asserting that inhabitants of that colony could only be taxed by their own assembly and not Parliament, prompting Governor Henry Moore to dissolve the Assembly two days later. See Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:158–61, in which Bernard described the second New York resolution as exceeding in explicitness “every Thing that has been published against the Acts of Parliament.”
2 At the opening of Parliament on 8 November 1768, the king’s speech noted “a state of disobedience to all law and government in Massachusetts” and “a disposition to throw off dependence on Great Britain.” The Boston Evening-Post published the text of the king’s speech in a special supplement on 16 January 1769.
3 For Lord Hillsborough’s instructions to Bernard to send those accused of treason to England for trial, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 4:271–76.
4 The Boston Gazette for 30 January 1769 contained on its second page a long letter from “Shippen,” whom Harbottle Dorr identified as Samuel Adams. “Shippen” pointed out that the responses of both the Lords and the House to the king’s speech were much more moderate in tone than the words written by the cabinet for the monarch. “Shippen” also observed how difficult it would be in Boston to enforce some of the more severe measures advocated by the ministry.
5 The text was interlined without mark for position.
1 The word “illicit” in this sentence appears in italicized type in Letters Sent to Great-Britain. The text of the king’s speech initially caused alarm in Massachusetts (see No. 356, above). In addition, on 15 December 1768, the House of Lords passed a series of resolutions denouncing the claims of the Massachusetts Assembly, the resolves of the town of Boston, and the convention of the towns. A report of a committee chaired by the Duke of Bedford also called upon the governor of Massachusetts to send to the secretary of state the names of all those suspected to be guilty of treason or misprision of treason since 13 December 1767. Those resolutions would not be debated by the Commons until 26 January 1769. Whately’s letter, if the ship carrying it had an unusually swift passage, might be discussing the Lords’ response to the king’s speech or he may have had advance information from within the cabinet of the intended legislation.
2 “I think it ought to be so” appears in italicized type in Letters Sent to Great-Britain.
3 “it is all over with us” appears in italicized type in Letters Sent to Great-Britain.
4 The text was interlined in the margin.
5 After this letter was published without TH’s permission in 1773 in Letters Sent to Great-Britain, this sentence was often taken out of context and treated as emblematic of his entire thinking on the constitutional problem, whereas here he probably meant that distance alone would render it impossible that the inhabitants of the colonies could enjoy exactly the same liberties as the king’s subjects living in England. (See note preceding Appendices, below.) The phrase “is called English Liberty” appears as “are called English liberties” in Letters Sent to Great-Britain.
6 “Liberties”: “Liberty” in Letters Sent to Great-Britain.
7 The letter is signed “Tho. Hutchinson” in Letters Sent to Great-Britain.
2 There are several extracts of letters from London in the Boston News-Letter for 26 January 1769, but most likely TH is referring to the one on the back page, dated 19 November 1768, that describes a hostile mood in both Houses of Parliament to news of the so-called Boston Resolves, the convention, and the Council’s reluctance to provide quarters for the king’s troops.
3 Governor Francis Bernard, Lord Hillsborough’s chief source of information on Massachusetts, consistently advocated a Council appointed by the king, rather than one elected by the legislature.
4 A quo warranto proceeding against the governor and Council for exceeding the authority granted them led to the end of the government under the first charter in 1684.
5 A Latin phrase translated as “felons against themselves,” i.e. self-murderers or those who deliberately brought an end to their own existence.
6 Bernard was blocked in his hopes for the lieutenant-governorship of Virginia by the cabinet’s decision to send out Norborne Berkeley, Baron Botetourt, as resident governor. See Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:102–3.
1 The Boston Gazette for 20 February 1769 provides a summary of the selectmen’s letter, which requested that Governor Francis Bernard provide them with the “facts only” included in his letters to Britain describing the state of the town, believing that his account prompted the dispatching of troops to Boston. Bernard responded by saying that the printed proceedings of the town would alone have been sufficient to justify summoning troops. See Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:196–97, for the full text of the selectmen’s letter. See also TH History, 3:158–59.
2 Without TH’s enclosed list (which was not found) the identifications of the persons mentioned in the postscript are speculative, but George Leonard (b. 1698) had resigned from the Council in protest at the time of the purging of TH and other government party councilors in 1766.
3 TH was most likely referring to Secretary Andrew Oliver and perhaps Edmund Trowbridge and John Worthington.
4 TH certainly intended Judge of the Admiralty Robert Auchmuty, but the “good man of a good estate” was not identified.
1 Oliver misspelled Aesculapius, the Latin name for Asclepius, son of Apollo, Greek god of healing.
2 Latin for “I came, I saw, I conquered,” the supposed words of Julius Caesar in a letter to the Senate in 46 bce after the battle of Zela.
3 Oliver was perhaps referring to Edmund Burke’s speech in Parliament on 8 November 1768. William Dowdeswell offered an amendment to the House’s response to the king’s speech deleting language expressing approval of the measures the ministry had already taken (e.g., the dispatching of troops to Boston) and promising a general parliamentary inquiry instead. Burke’s speech in support of Dowdeswell’s amendment was assumed to be a summary of the Rockingham Whigs’ position on American affairs. It ridiculed the Townshend Act and castigated Lord Hillsborough.
4 The missing material alluded to the commissioners of the customs.
5 Oliver speculates that the “Liberty Boys” will threaten to pull down the house of Jonathan Sewall, just as they had destroyed TH’s own house in 1765. Sewall, the advocate general, was prosecuting John Hancock and others charged with smuggling in the Liberty affair and had just been appointed one of the new vice-admiralty judges for the court in Halifax.
6 In other words, it is highly unlikely TH will have time to write a long letter: beavers are notoriously skittish and hard to catch sight of.
1 Dft: “have gone from hence, which if given credit in England must set them in a very unfavorable light”
2 Dft: “a Sufficient excuse”
3 Dft: “your Lordship for my compliance with their desire”
4 Dft: “established.”
5 Dft: “disrespect”
6 Dft: “obtain”
7 John Temple was the son-in-law of James Bowdoin and often at variance with the other members of the board.
8 Dft: “dislike & contempt.”
10 Dft: “office.”
11 This is a reference to Hancock’s sloop Liberty being towed away from the dock to the protection of HMS Romney after it was seized.
12 Dft: “false suggestions. By means of the incessant endeavours and misrepresentations of the Enemies of Government the ^very^ name of a Commissioners of the Customs ^before their arrival^ had been rendered almost odious as that of a Stamp Master and the fidelity of the Commissioners ^since their arrival^ in carrying the Acts of Trade ^some of^ which had for a long time been little regarded into execution made them still more odious and has had much the same effect upon the minds of the people as ^the execution of^ Acts of Trade intirely new would have had. These I am well satisfied are the true causes of the unpopularity of four of the Commissioners. And every man who will be faithful to his trust in the Colonies may depend upon a greater or less degree of unpopularity and ^more or less^ false suggestions against him.”
13 John Carver (1710–1780) served with Rogers’ Rangers during the French and Indian War and spent over a year exploring parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota in 1766–1767 in an effort to find a route to the Pacific. He published a popular account of his travels in 1778, which has been subsequently criticized for plagiarizing accounts of previous explorers. See also Terry A. Barnhartt, American Antiquites: Revisiting the Origins of American Archaeology (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 2015), pp. 66–67.
1 The enclosed pamphlet was almost certainly The Controversy between Great Britain and Her Colonies Reviewed: The Several Pleas of the Colonies, in Support of Their Right to All the Liberties and Privileges of British Subjects, and to Exemption from the Legislative Authority of Parliament: Stated and Considered, and the Nature of their Connection with and Dependence on Great Britain, Shewn upon the Evidence of Historical Facts and Authentic Records (London, 1769). This anonymous pamphlet is attributed to William Knox (1732–1810), one-time agent for the colony of Georgia and undersecretary of state for the colonies. George Grenville is believed to have written pp. 66–86 of the pamphlet (Joseph Sabin, Bibliotheca Americana: A Dictionary of Books Relating to America, from Its Discovery to the Present Time [New York: 1868–1936], 9: no. 38180).
3 John Wilkes, already in jail, was expelled from Parliament in February 1769 on the grounds that he was an outlaw when he was first elected. He was indeed returned as member of Parliament for Middlesex in that same month, just as Mauduit predicted.
4 The resolutions of the Lords in response to the king’s speech called for the apprehension of treasonous individuals in Massachusetts and their return to England for trial according to the statute of 35 Henry VIII, c. 2.
5 Thomas Thynne (1734–1796), Viscount Weymouth, secretary of state for the northern department, reminded Daniel Ponton, chairman of the Lambeth magistrates, of the availability of troops to suppress any disorder when riots broke out following John Wilkes’s imprisonment. Wilkes, while still in prison, sent a copy of Weymouth’s letter to his printer, together with an introduction he had written, accusing the ministry of plotting in advance the St. George’s Fields Massacre that led to the killing of at least seven and the wounding of fifteen pro-Wilkes demonstrators. This “libel upon the ministry,” as the Duke of Grafton saw it, prompted him to move for Wilkes’s expulsion from the House of Commons on 15 December 1768.
6 John Swan was an employee of Henry Baldwin, the printer of St. James’s Chronicle. Swan testified before Parliament that he received a copy of Lord Weymouth’s letter and the accompanying introduction from Wilkes and gave it to Baldwin.
1 For the origin of Samuel Danforth’s petition, see TH’s previous letter to Whately, No. 350, above. On 25 January, a motion to refer the petition to the committee of the whole House failed, and no action was taken.
2 Since those members of the Council who signed the petition together with Danforth met at a time when the General Court was suspended, the petition could not be received as the act of any legislative body. See William Bollan to Samuel Danforth, 30 January 1769, Papers of Francis Bernard, 5: Appendix 2.
3 When Danforth’s petition was not received, Bollan prepared his own petition to the House along similar lines to the Council’s but pleaded not just the inexpediency of parliamentary taxation of the colonies but also challenged Parliament’s right to do so. After considerable debate, it too was laid aside. See Papers of Francis Bernard, 5: Appendix 2.
4 Andrew Oliver as Secretary of the province was the appropriate official to receive the admonitions of the Lords.
5 The resolutions of the Lords condemned the conduct of both branches of the Massachusetts legislature as well as the Boston town meeting. Followers of Lords Shelburne and Rockingham favored more conciliatory language, while hard-liners like George Grenville objected that the resolutions made empty threats but took no explicit action.
6 By invoking the Treason Act of 1543 (35 Henry VIII, c. 2), Lord Hillsborough and other advocates of a more forceful approach hoped to circumvent colonial grand juries, which would be unlikely to indict their countrymen of high crimes and misdemeanors. Transporting miscreants for trial to Westminster surely ran counter to traditional English expectations that trials take place in the location where the crimes were committed, and the accused well might wonder how fair their trials might be on the other side of the Atlantic.
7 The Treason Act of 1547 (1 Edward VI, c. 12) was intended to consolidate and supersede laws pertaining to treason enacted under Henry VIII.
8 Brooke’s or Cobham’s Case involving Henry Brooke (1584–1618), 11th Baron Cobham, and a plot against King James I is cited in Edmund Anderson, Reports of Many Principal Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Time of Queen Elizabeth in the Common Bench (London, 1664) and James Dyer, Reports of Cases in the Reigns of Hen. VIII, Edw.VI, Q. Mary and Q. Elizabeth, Taken and Collected by Sir James Dyer, Knt. Some Time Chief Justice (London, 3rd ed., 1794). Connor Maguire, 2nd Baron of Enniskillen (1616–1645), though an Irish nobleman who theoretically could only be judged by his peers, was transported to England and tried before a common jury. The treasons of Brian O’Rourke (d. 1591) and Sir John Perrot (1528–1592) also took place in Ireland but were tried in England. Together with Maguire’s case, they are included in State Trials (London, probably 3rd ed. in 10 vols., 1766). Sir Matthew Hale (1609–1676) was chief justice under King Charles II. He was the author of A History and Analysis of the Common Law of England (London, 1713) and the Historia Placitorum Coronae (London, 1736). The case of Regina v. Kirkby began in Antigua but was transferred to London on the advice of Attorney General Edward Northey (1652–1723) and Solicitor General Robert Raymond (1673–1733). Lord Chancellor Simon Harcourt (1684–1720), 1st Viscount Harcourt, and Chief Justice Thomas Parker (1666–1733), later the 1st Earl Macclesfield and Lord Chancellor, heard the case, which is recorded in Sir Geoffrey Gilbert, Cases in Law and Equity, Argued, Debated and Adjudged in the King’s Bench and Chancery in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Year of Queen Anne (London, 1760), p. 310.
10 The letter was not found.
1 The foremost political difference between TH and Governor Francis Bernard concerned the necessity of sending British troops to Boston. TH never supported the idea. The second point of difference concerned whether or not the Massachusetts charter should be altered to make councilors appointed by the Crown (as in royal colonies) rather than elected by the legislature. TH may have been aware from private conversations with Bernard that the governor had written on 4 February 1769 to Lord Hillsborough, who always looked favorably on the idea of reforming the Council, trying to drive home the need to act while the ministry was particularly annoyed with the state of affairs in Massachusetts (Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:185–88). In this letter to an unknown correspondent, TH clarified that the cause of the Council’s recent obstructive behavior was the personal animus of James Bowdoin, John Temple, and their family relations toward Bernard and his supporters. Thus, TH did not favor a change in the charter amending the way the Council was chosen. It is important to note that TH, who was always cautious about mentioning the names of his political opponents, chose not to send this letter.
3 TH focused increasingly on the relations between Temple and Bowdoin’s extended family in February 1769 (see No. 362, above). They were indeed a well-connected network. In 1748, Bowdoin married the daughter of Captain John Erving (see BD), a senior member of the Council, and in 1732, Bowdoin’s sister married the merchant James Pitts (1710–1776). Pitts began serving as a councilor in 1766 following the purge of TH and other leading government party figures from the Council.
4 Prior to the creation of the American Board of Customs Commissioners, Temple served as surveyor general of customs for the northern district, and many Bostonians assumed the change in position had brought a reduction in fees if not in salary.
1 TH initially dated this letter in late January, possibly 30 January. He then crossed out the first part of the month, changing it to February, and wrote over the initial date, obscuring it.
2 TH was most likely referring to William Bollan, Continued Corruption, Standing Armies, and Popular Discontents Considered: and the Establishment of the English Colonies in America, with Various Subsequent Proceedings, and the Present Contests, Examined with Intent to Promote their Cordial and Perpetual Union . . . (London, 1768), since TH had already received and distributed copies of Epistle to Timoleon in 1768. See No. 312, above.
1 Grafton was the only duke among TH’s correspondents, and as first lord of the Treasury the commissioners of customs would have been directly under his supervision.
2 Henry Hulton and William Burch were the two “non-resident” commissioners who arrived from England to take up the job when the American Board was established in 1767.
3 The text was interlined without mark for position.
5 The text was interlined without mark for position.
6 Bashaw, i.e. a pasha, an oriental potentate.
8 This threat by John Hancock is not corroborated by other sources.
9 A paragraph of 16 lines has been crossed out so heavily that it is illegible. For Andrew Oliver’s treatment during the Stamp Act riots, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 103.
10 The text was interlined without mark for position.
11 The text was interlined without mark for position.
12 The text was interlined without mark for position.
13 TH perhaps alluded to the split between the majority of the board and their employees, former secretary Samuel Venner and former solicitor general David Lisle, which TH believed to be part of the machinations of John Temple.
1 In No. 344, above, TH mentioned that Secretary Andrew Oliver had written to friends in England regarding a rumor that Lord Hillsborough hoped to make Oliver lieutenant governor should TH succeed Francis Bernard as governor.
2 TH Original Papers was not published until the fall.
3 All of this correspondence was published in a supplement to the Boston Evening-Post on 10 April 1769.
1 The letter was not found.
2 The original of the Council’s lengthy letter to Lord Hillsborough of 15 April 1769 is National Archives UK, CO 5/758, ff. 90–104, which is printed as Appendix 4 in Papers of Francis Bernard, vol. 5.
3 TH was referring to Thomas Flucker (see BD), who was politically more attuned to the government party but had family connections to the Bowdoins.
2 For Governor Francis Bernard’s orders, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:234–35.
1 For Lord Hillsborough’s permission to hold the court in Boston, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:234–35.
2 For Governor Francis Bernard’s appointment as baronet, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:234–35.
1 The May elections were the first since the suspension of the assembly following their refusal to rescind the Circular Letter. In this and the following sentence, TH confused the words “Rescinders” and “Non-Rescinders.” Of the seventeen Rescinders, only five were chosen in 1769 (John Ashley, Jonathan Bliss, Chillingworth Foster, Timothy Ruggles, and Israel Williams), and only two attended.
2 Thomas Flucker, Nathaniel Ropes, Timothy Paine, and John Worthington, all friends to government, were dropped from the Council. Governor Francis Bernard negatived the newly elected Jerathmiel Bowers, Joseph Gerrish, Benjamin Greenleaf, John Hancock, Joshua Henshaw, James Otis Jr., Thomas Saunders, and Artemas Ward. He also vetoed James Bowdoin and William Brattle, two former members of the Council, who had distinguished themselves in opposition.
3 Joseph Hawley, with whom TH had sharp differences in the past, refused election to the Council and remained in the House.
1 Virginia enacted a set of resolves on 16 May 1769 asserting the sole right of the House of Burgesses to initiate taxes, the lawfulness of colonial assemblies to solicit the agreement of other assemblies when petitioning the Crown, and demanding that all treason trials should take place in Virginia. The resolves were published in the Boston Chronicle on 5–8 June. The Massachusetts House was also at work on a series of resolves, modeled in part on those of Virginia, but adding complaints against standing armies and its own criticisms of Governor Francis Bernard for allegedly unconstitutional actions. The Massachusetts Resolves were not complete until 7 July.
2 Latin from Cicero’s First Oration against Catiline, Book 1: Line 1, translated as, “how long will you abuse our patience?”
1 Alternative reading: 16
2 Governor Francis Bernard’s summary of this contentious session of the legislature can be found in Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:295–303. After the revelation of Bernard’s letters to Lord Hillsborough, the General Court refused to vote his annual salary, usually done in the first week of the legislative session.
4 Alternative reading: Cardon
5 HMS Rippon, a sixty-gun ship of the line, was dispatched from Halifax to transport Francis Bernard to England. See Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:283–84.
2 Governor Francis Bernard provided a summary of the legislative session, which was published in Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:295–303. See also TH History, 3:168–73.
3 The four councilors who were friends of government and thus dropped in the 1769 election were Thomas Flucker, Nathaniel Ropes, Timothy Paine, and John Worthington.
4 Jerathmiel Bowers and Walter Spooner were Quakers. A century before, Quakers in Massachusetts would have been regarded as unfit for public office (TH History, 3:169).
1 The election of councilors appears only to have been reported in the Boston Gazette, 5 June 1769.
2 For Governor Francis Bernard’s message and the reply, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:295–303.
4 Latin, translated as, “as the circumstance arises.”
1 This letter is also printed in Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:290–91.
2 Bernard never followed through with the implied threat to inform Lord Hillsborough of TH’s alleged change of opinion. His instructions as governor obliged him to seek a permanent salary, not an annual grant that would be subject to fluctuating political opinions. The same instructions would apply to TH when he became acting governor. TH merely disagreed with Bernard’s decision to conduct no business until a permanent salary was enacted, as described in No. 376, above. The tone of Bernard’s letter suggests that the disagreement was the most significant breach between them in nine years of working together.
1 This letter was also printed in Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:291.
2 The letter was not found.
2 William Sanford Oliver (1748–1813) was Andrew Oliver’s youngest son.
4 For Bernard’s message to the House, see JHR, 45:139.
5 The text was interlined in the left margin.
6 Concerning the York court, see JHR, 45:139–40.
7 Copies of the petitions of the Council to the Lords and Commons, circa 30 November 1768, are enclosed with Samuel Danforth to William Bollan, 5 December 1768, Bowdoin-Temple Papers, Loose MSS., Massachusetts Historical Society. Bollan’s letter explaining his inability to present the petitions is printed in Papers of Francis Bernard, 5: Appendix 2.
3 A preliminary version of the resolves appeared in the Boston Gazette, the Boston Post Boy, and the Boston Evening-Post, all on 3 July 1769.
4 TH was referring to James Otis Sr.
5 James Bowdoin, after being excluded from the Council by Governor Francis Bernard, was being considered as a possible agent.
6 The Speaker of the House of Representatives was Thomas Cushing.
7 In other words, the House declined to elect a provincial agent, who would represent all three branches of the government, but instead chose to continue employing Dennys De Berdt as its own exclusive agent. For an account of the failure to choose a single agent for the province, see TH History, 3:176n.
8 The action of the House prompted the Council to retain Bollan as their agent. TH may have wished that the unusual situation might come to an end while he was still lieutenant governor and that there would be just one agent for the province, as had long been customary, once he became acting governor after Bernard’s departure.
2 A number of the strongest advocates for nonimportation were among the town’s wealthiest merchants who had large stocks of goods on hand. See Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots, ch. 3.
3 The merchants’ resolves did not appear in print before 31 July, so perhaps TH kept this letter open for two weeks.
4 This may have been a false report. Both the Boston Gazette and Boston Evening-Post for 31 July contained anonymous letters from London, but neither of the printed letters matched the actual letter Dennys De Berdt sent to Thomas Cushing on 16 May 1768, which was much less sanguine (CSM Pubs., 13:454). The last letter written by De Berdt and recorded in the House journals for the session was dated 3 April and read on 12 June.
1 Benjamin Hallowell (1761–1834), the son of Boston’s comptroller of customs Benjamin Hallowell, later became an admiral in the British navy and assumed the last name Carew in 1828 when he inherited property from a British cousin.
2 The Merchants and Traders of Boston had been considering continuing their nonimportation agreement, despite the arrival of news that the next Parliament was likely to repeal the duties on paper, glass, and paint. On 26 July, they resolved to continue the agreement until the duty on tea was repealed as well. See No. 385, below.
3 Andrew Oliver was a member of the royal commission appointed to establish the northern boundary of New Jersey with New York.
4 TH was most likely referring to the anonymous pamphlet, A Dialogue between Sir George Cornwell, a Gentleman Lately Arrived from England, with a Design to Travel Incog. thro’ the Continent of America, and Mr. Flint, an Independent Gentleman, Descended from a Good Family of the First Settlers of New-England, That Is Neither Placed nor Pensioned (Boston, 1769). In the Dialogue, various members of the “prerogative party” are memorably lampooned, especially TH as the “Tall Man,” who is charged with ambition and avarice. Thomas Flucker, also satirized in the Dialogue, apparently believed John Temple to be the author.
3 This crossed-out passage is preceded by two lines of crossed-out, illegible text.
4 The Massachusetts House passed a series of resolutions on 7 July challenging the authority of Parliament (modeled on the Virginia Resolves), alleging misrepresentations by Governor Francis Bernard, and protesting actions by the commissioners of customs (JHR, 59:168–72).
5 Sir William Johnson finally secured royal approval of a grant of 80,000 acres of land obtained by him from the Mohawk Indians in December 1760. TH had been concerned about large losses of Native American land in western New York to speculators since the Albany Conference in 1754.
1 The text is obscured by tape.
2 TH alludes here to the resolves passed by the Massachusetts House on 7 July, as in Version 1, above.
3 This text is interlined over a paragraph of nine lines that has been heavily crossed out and is now illegible.
4 This interlineation was written at the bottom of the page, and its placement marked by an X in the text.
1 The 13 May circular letter from Lord Hillsborough promising partial repeal of the Townshend duties prompted the Boston merchants to extend their boycott until the duty on tea was repealed as well. For the text of Lord Hillsborough’s circular letter, see Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:263–64.
2 The third resolution reads, “No man can be taxed or bound in Conscience to obey any Law to which he has not given his consent in Person, or by his Representative.” The Boston Post Boy first reported what was later described as the “substance” of the resolves on 3 July 1769. The challenge to parliamentary supremacy embodied in the third resolve so alarmed Colonel Alexander Mackay that he delayed embarking his regiment to leave Boston, causing the patriots to soften the language rather than lose the chance to rid themselves of at least some British troops. Various amendments were subsequently added before the resolves were officially entered on the House journals for 7 July, JRH 45:56-60
3 TH alludes to the resolutions of the Lords and Commons drafted in response to the king’s speech, which condemned the actions of New York and Massachusetts and threatened treason trials in England. The resolutions, however, provided little means of implementation. See No. 357, above.
1 This letter is also printed in the Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:311–12.
2 John Cotton was identified in No. 303n, above. William Cooper (1720–1809) was the older brother of the Reverend Samuel Cooper. William was the Boston town clerk from 1761 until his death in 1809 and was presumed by some to be an editor of the “Journal of Occurrences.”
2 The cause of the “affray” was not identified, but perhaps it involved John Fenton, brother-in-law of Commissioner of Customs John Temple, who was commissioned a lieutenant in the 1st Regiment of Foot on 15 February 1756 and was currently on half-pay. Fenton was suspected of being a coauthor with Temple of satirical articles in the Boston papers lampooning Francis Bernard, Temple’s long-standing enemy, and other government party figures (Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:211–14). Fenton, who later settled in Plymouth, New Hampshire, became a loyalist and died in Dublin in 1785.
1 The governor was Sir Henry Moore of New York.
2 “Mr. R” was an abbreviation for Nathaniel Rogers, TH’s nephew; for Oliver’s son “Billy,” see No. 381, above. Rogers heard from Lord Hillsborough that he intended to appoint Oliver lieutenant governor once TH succeeded Francis Bernard as governor. “The plan of Links” has not been identified but perhaps involved the appointment of Oliver to some other office as compensation for his losses during the Stamp Act riots.
3 Philip Livingston (1716–1778) was a delegate to the Albany Congress in 1754 and the Stamp Act Congress in 1765, served as Speaker of the New York Assembly at the time this letter was written, and was later a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1775–1776 where he signed the Declaration of Independence. “Dr. Parker” was not identified. William Franklin was the illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin and the governor of New Jersey (see BD). Samuel Wharton (1732–1800) was a merchant and speculator in Ohio River Valley lands. Baynton, Wharton, & Morgan enjoyed great success in the Native American trade at the conclusion of the French and Indian War but fell into receivership in 1767.
4 Neither “Mr. Seabury” nor his plans were identified, since they appear to have been discussed in a missing letter.
6 Oliver was the treasurer of the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, a missionary effort to the Indians.
2 John Hancock, Henderson Inches (1726–1780), and William Phillips (1722–1804), a selectman and former partner of Andrew Oliver’s, met with TH’s nephew, Nathaniel Rogers.
3 Several merchants, including William Jackson and John Bernard, refused to subscribe but agreed independently not to import goods until 1 January or the date of a general end to the agreement.
4 The merchant Joseph Greene Jr. shared TH’s dilemma that the unpredictability of Parliament’s response to colonial actions made it difficult for government party men to know how it was best to conduct themselves.
5 Clergyman “I” was not identified, but “P.” may have been TH’s close friend Ebenezer Pemberton (see BD).
6 The Naval Office, created by Parliament in 1673, recorded the arrival and departure of ships and cargoes. Because the naval office charged fees and duplicated, in many ways, the function of the collector of customs, the office annoyed many merchants who regarded it as a patronage post.
7 TH was perhaps referring to Ralph Wormeley (1744–1806), a wealthy planter who became a member of the Council in 1771 and who attempted to remain neutral during the Revolution but ultimately was confined to his estates as a Loyalist. Benjamin Ogle (1749–1809), son of Samuel Ogle (1694–1752), the former governor of Maryland, became a member of the Council, a friend of George Washington, and ultimately governor of Maryland from 1798 to 1801. It is doubtful the twenty-one-year-old Ogle, who had been educated in England during the previous ten years, could contribute much information about the political state of his home colony.
1 AC and RC: “certain time or until they have the leave”
2 AC and RC: “join in the general agreement.” The Merchants and Traders met on 26 July to extend their agreement until all the Townshend duties were repealed, including the tax on tea. In the weeks since, they had redoubled their efforts to force nonsubscribers to comply. By the time of their meeting on 11 August, they had reduced the number of nonsubscribers from twenty-five in April to just seven firms: Nathaniel Rogers, Theophilus Lillie, Thomas and Elisha Hutchinson, James and Patrick McMasters, Richard Clarke & Sons, John Bernard (son of the governor), and John Mein (see BD), printer of the Boston Chronicle. See Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots, pp. 118–20; Boston Evening-Post, 14 August 1769.
3 AC and RC: “& the authority of Government is so feeble” interlined.
1 The second round of letters obtained by William Bollan proved just as embarrassing as the first, bringing further disrepute to not only Francis Bernard but also General Thomas Gage, Commodore Samuel Hood, Comptroller of Customs Benjamin Hallowell, and Customs Collector Joseph Harrison. For Harrison, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 193.
2 Captain John Erving, a member of the Council, was the father-in-law of John Temple, and, therefore, eager to exculpate Temple’s actions.
3 Lady Amelia Bernard was hoping to recover her health at Stafford Springs. Walter Logan was a protégé of Bernard’s and the former comptroller of customs at Perth Amboy. Logan, who was born in Scotland, left Boston with the British army in March 1775 and later made an application to the Loyalist Claims Commission (Nicolson, ‘Infamas Govener,’ p. 236).
5 Samuel Adams had begun organizing commemorative celebrations of the first Stamp Act riot to encourage continued vigilance by the people in the defense of their liberties. These festivities reached their greatest elaboration on the fourth anniversary in 1769, when over 350 people processed past the Liberty Tree in the South End to the Liberty Tree Tavern in Dorchester. Their celebratory dinner there concluded with a series of patriotic toasts.
6 The postscript was written in the margin and at the bottom of the page. Although the names of the principal organizers of the nonimportation movement in Boston were well known, they had not previously appeared in print, leaving little evidence for TH to pass on. The members of the committee were Thomas Cushing, John Hancock, John Rowe, Edward Payne, William Phillips, and Jonathan Barrett. The names first appeared in an advertisement on 17 August, suggesting that although TH may have begun the letter on 11 August, he continued it at a later date.
1 New installments of the “Journal of Occurrences” appeared in the Boston Evening-Post on 7 and 14 August.
3 William Beckford (1709–1770) was a member of Parliament, a supporter of John Willkes, an alderman, and later twice lord mayor of London. He obtained copies of the letters for William Bollan, the agent of the Council, who sent them on to Boston. See William Bollan to Samuel Danforth and Others, London, 23 June 1769, in Bowdoin-Temple Papers, MHS Colls., Sixth Series, 9:146–48; see also TH History, 3:163.
4 The general TH referred to was General Alexander Mackay.
2 Despite TH’s wishes, Letters to the Right Honorable Earl of Hillsborough from Governor Bernard, General Gage and the Honorable His Majesty’s Council for the Province of Massachusetts Bay was soon published, first in Boston by Edes & Gill in their capacity as printers to the House of Representatives and later in 1769 in London by J. Almon, who would also published the series called the Remembrancer, which featured reprintings of letters and reports related to American affairs. Copies of the former were available for purchase in Boston as early as mid-August. See Boston Gazette, 14 August 1769
1 The niece TH referred to was Margaret Oliver Spooner, the daughter of Andrew Oliver.
2 An abbreviated version of the Latin maxim, “Misera est servitus, ubi lex est vaga aut incerta,” which translates as, “Miserable is the subject where the law is vague and uncertain.”
3 The MS is torn.
1 Jonathan Sayward (1713–1797), a mariner and merchant, was appointed justice of the peace in York County, Maine, in 1761 and served as a representative in the House of Representatives for York from 1764 through 1768.
2 Eventually, Sayward was appointed to the Court of Common Pleas for York County in 1772 and became judge of probate for the same in 1774. Perhaps one of these appointments was under discussion as early as 1769. In 1775, Sayward was stripped of his offices and confined to the town as a Loyalist.
2 The Dukes of Brunswick and Lunenburg became the electors of Hanover in 1708. When the Elector George Louis became king of Great Britain in 1714, the inhabitants of Hanover shared the same sovereign as the British but were not subject to the Acts of Parliament.
3 The MS is torn.
5 The text is written in the margins without mark for position.
6 The letter was not found.
7 Oliver was most likely referring to Peyton Randolph (1721–1775), the Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses until it was dissolved in 1769 because of its response to the Townshend Act.
8 TH omits any closing marks to the quotation from Andrew Oliver’s letter, but likely they should be inserted here or at the end of the next sentence.
1 Richard Clarke and his sons, TH’s North End neighbors, were previously hold-outs from the nonimportation agreement. Their submission occurred on 17 August, and news of it appeared in the Boston Gazette on 21 August 1769.
2 John Bernard, as well as Thomas Jr. and Elisha Hutchinson, continued to refuse to subscribe to the nonimportation agreement.
3 The Statute of Praemunire (16 Ric. 2, c. 5) was passed by Parliament to protect the Crown against rival claims of sovereignty in the initial instance by the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire. Over time, however, the statute was used to block any encroachment on royal authority, as when the Massachusetts Land Bank began to issue its own currency in 1741.
4 John Choate (1697–1765) was a representative from Ipswich, Massachusetts, periodically during the 1740s and 1750s. He was particularly active in the House of Representatives in 1741 as an advocate of the Land Bank. He failed to win election as Speaker that year. For Robert Hale see BD. Violators of the Statute of Praemunire risked capital punishment.
5 The Thursday newspaper was the Boston News-Letter, 24 August 1769. It is not clear whether TH intended to dispatch the Boston Gazette for 21 or 28 August 1769.
8 Francis “Frank” Bernard Jr. (1743–1770) was Governor Francis Bernard’s eldest son. Despite a promising scholarly beginning, he was eventually sent down from Christ Church, Oxford. His father summoned him to Boston in 1761 to discuss his future. Frank, however, instead of settling into a career, was intent to see the American frontier in the Ohio River Valley. Bernard eventually succeeded in 1766 in having Frank share the Massachusetts Naval Office with Benjamin Pemberton, a position Frank held until his death. See Nicolson, “Infamas Govener,” pp. 45–47. Bernard appointed Thomas Goldthwait (see BD) to be truck master (manager of the Indian trade) at Fort Pownall, which stood at the mouth of the Penobscot River.
1 The letter was not found.
2 Hood left aboard the Romney on 25 July.
3 Captain Scott arrived 10 August 1769.
2 TH was likely referring to John Simpson, a future Loyalist who was a minor violator of the nonimportation agreement.
3 A man found guilty of bribery or corruption according to 2 George II, c. 24, was forbidden to vote or hold office “as if he were naturally dead.”
5 It was one of TH’s frequent themes that no attorney general would undertake unpopular prosecutions unless a generous salary was attached to the office. James Putnam (1726-1789) practiced law in Worcester, where John Adams studied law with him. He left Boston with the British fleet and was proscribed as a Loyalist in 1778. Sibley’s Harvard Graduates 12:57-64.
6 These words were inserted in the margin.
7 This text in the margin appears without a mark for position here, as do the next four insertions.
1 Considering the reference to Joseph Harrison in the second paragraph, the recipient may well have been Benjamin Hallowell, commissioner of customs and, much earlier, captain of the province ship King George.
4 The MS is torn here and in instances of brackets below. The material supplied in brackets is conjectural based on partial letters still visible.
5 Francis Waldo Jr. (1728–1784) was a Harvard College graduate of 1747 and the second son of the victor of Louisburg in 1745, General Samuel Waldo. Francis was deputy collector at Falmouth and later a proscribed Loyalist. “Papneur” was not identified.
2 TH refers to Collector of Customs Joseph Harrison, Samuel Adams and Customs Commissioner William Burch.
3 The secretary of the customs board was Richard Reeve.
4 TH was referring to James Otis Jr. and Samuel Adams.
5 In the Boston Gazette for 4 September 1769, Otis published a public advertisement charging the commissioners with falsely representing him in their official communications as someone inimical to the Crown, concluding with the following words directed at John Robinson: “I have a natural right if I can get satisfaction no other way to break his head.”
6 The unnamed fifth commissioner was John Temple.
7 The MS is torn.
8 The province’s treasurer was Harrison Gray (see BD).
9 Robinson severely injured Otis, who never fully recovered, becoming less politically active and showing signs of increasing mental instability until his death in 1783.
10 The Boston Gazette for 11 September 1769 contained an account of the affray and identifies John Gridley as the man who came to Otis’s assistance. An affidavit by Gridley as well as an account from a “Bye Stander” appeared in the Massachusetts Gazette on 14 September 1769. “Browne” was William Burnet Brown (1739-1784), a Salem native who moved to Virginia in 1767.
11 The three most recent installments of the “Journal of Occurences” (sometimes known as the “Chronicle of the Times”) appeared in the Boston Evening-Post on 14 and 21 August and 4 September 1769.
2 AC: “in the Newspapers”
3 AC: “Commissioners & others”
3 According to No. 408, below, although TH had been granted £200 a year as an addition to his salary as chief justice out of the money generated by the Townshend duties, he had never actually received any payment. As soon as the grant was generally known, the legislature refused to grant him his usual provincial salary, leaving TH with nothing, as described in No. 359, above.
4 The text is interlined without mark for position.
5 Latin, which translates as, “let arms yield to the toga”; in other words, “let military power yield to civil authority.”
1 This circular letter was calendared but not printed.
2 AC: “to account and to put a stop to any other proceeding.” was crossed out and “to account. I am . . . Assembly.” was interlined above it.
3 AC: “Effects of transmitting publick Letters back to America.” was crossed out and “Effects of transmitting the papers laid . . . Commons.” was interlined above it. Both the Boston Gazette and the Boston Evening-Post were published on 11 September 1769 and discussed papers from colonial officials laid before Parliament. The enclosed newspaper was not found.
2 Such a view of the affair was put forward by the Boston Gazette, 11 September 1769, and Massachusetts Gazette, 14 September 1769.
3 TH received information from visitors from Virginia and Maryland suggesting that some colonies would be satisfied with a partial repeal of the Townshend Act (see No. 392, above). He believed the nonimportation agreement to be a confederacy to negate an act of the sovereign legislature of the empire, and, therefore, punishable by the Statute of Praemunire, as outlined in No. 400, above.
2 TH refers to Joseph Hawley, who had been disciplined by the Superior Court for publick criticism of TH as chief justice.
1 In the postscript to No. 392, above, TH told Bernard that recent visitors to Boston from Virginia and Maryland suggested that those colonies would be satisfied with the repeal of the duties on paper, paint, and glass, and would not persist with nonimportation if the duty on tea alone was maintained.
2 The full text of the petition to the king is printed in Papers of Francis Bernard, 5: Appendix 6. Dennys DeBerdt, the agent of the House of Representatives, presented the petition to the king on 14 September 1769.
3 The newspaper was not identified.
4 TH was alluding to the long-standing boundary conflict between Massachusetts and New York that had led to bloodshed during the summer of 1766. TH attended a conference at New Haven (see No. 276, above) in September 1767 that he believed resolved the matter, but the controversy was not finally put to rest until 1773.
5 William Kellog was presumably acting as agent for settlers in the disputed area who held land titles granted by Massachusetts, see calendar for 6 June 1769.
8 Jonathan Sewall presumably resigned his position as advocate general in Boston because it was incompatible with his new position as judge of the Halifax Vice-Admiralty Court. His resignation did not become final until November when he was replaced by Samuel Fitch (1724–1799), an active member of the bar who would be proscribed as a Loyalist in 1778.
9 John Adams was a friend of both Sewall and Fitch.
10 It had been Charles Townshend’s intent that revenue generated by the new duties on trade could be drawn upon to support the salaries of Crown officials in the colonies, particularly those involved in the administration of justice, but because of Townshend’s premature death, the arrangements were never completed. The fund began to pay the salary of the attorney general of New York in 1768, and TH was eventually allotted £200 supplement to his salary as chief justice.
12 It is not clear what the family tie was between Fitch and John Temple, although it should be noted that Fitch was related by marriage to TH.
2 TH’s sons Thomas Jr. and Elisha and his nephew Nathaniel Rogers refused to sign the nonimportation agreement despite great pressure to do so.
3 After an absence from public life of over two years, Lord Chatham returned to London and met in a private conference with the king on 7 July 1769. On Monday, 11 September, the Boston Chronicle printed “The Speech of a Noble Earl to a Great Personage, July 7, 1769,” but on 14 September the Boston News-Letter assured the public that statements made in the speech were “entirely without foundation.”
1 AC does not include Daniel Vose’s name.
2 AC: “are every day”
3 Daniel Vose (1741–1807), owned a paper mill on the south bank of the Neponset River. James Boies (1702–1798) had another paper mill on the Neponset. The two mill owners were brothers-in-law.
4 AC: TH originally wrote “encouragement of manufacturers” and then crossed out “encouragement” and interlined “increase.” Around 1753, the province established a linen manufactory on Boston Common for the encouragement of industry and the employment of the poor. The enterprise never flourished, although it was apparently still in use in October 1768, since John Brown and some of the building’s inhabitants resisted efforts to quarter troops there (No. 336, above). In March 1769, William Molineux (see BD) attempted to revive the enterprise.
1 AC: “Advocate General in the Province”
2 The word was omitted from the AC.
4 AC: “with spirit and vigour” omitted
2 The letter has not been found.
3 “Young Mr. H” was possibly Benjamin Hallowell, son of the comptroller of customs then in London (see No. 384, above). For the hints warning TH against indiscretion in his correspondence to England, see No. 414, above.
1 There are many possible candidates for “Mr. Greene,” but the other man was Nicholas Boylston (TH History, 3:185). For a fuller account of the arrival of restricted goods, see Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots, pp. 127–28.
2 “The young fellow” was Englishman Patrick Smith, not otherwise identified (Boston Gazette, 9 October 1769).
3 The enclosed narrative was not found but likely refers to a statement made by TH’s sons, Thomas Jr. and Elisha, regarding the pressure they came under to sign the nonimportation agreement. They reluctantly signed the agreement the same day it was presented (Archer, As If an Enemy’s Country, p. 160).
4 For more on John Bernard and the merchants, see Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots, p. 128.
6 Samuel Danforth (see No. 350, above) and James Russell (1715–1798, of Charlestown) were the councilors who lived nearby, and Samuel Dexter and Isaac Royall (see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 17n), who lived in Dedham and Medford, respectively, would have sought to avoid coming to town.
7 The express purpose of John Hancock’s visit to Philadelphia was to meet John Dickinson, the author of The Farmer’s Letters, but he may also have been attempting to convince Philadelphia merchants to persist with nonimportation despite a partial repeal of the Townshend duties (William Palfrey to John Wilkes, 21 October 1769, MHS Procs., 47:212).
8 By “livery men,” TH meant “freemen” or voters. In London, the right to vote was linked to membership of one of the ancient livery companies. The town meeting convened on 4 October to consider Bernard’s letters and appoint a committee to work out the best way to defend the town against the governor’s aspersions (Boston Gazette, 9 October 1769).
9 “P,” was perhaps John Perkins (1698–1781), a correspondent of Benjamin Franklin and James Otis Jr.’s physician. Another possibility would be Dr. Nathaniel Pekins (1715-1799). Perkins evidently told Foster Hutchinson that the patriots now counted on support in England from the many critics of the Duke of Grafton’s faltering ministry.
11 TH was curious how Franklin might try to achieve an imperial reconciliation, while he himself was becoming increasingly skeptical that relations could improve without Parliament relinquishing its authority over the colonies.
12 The Boston News-Letter and Massachusetts Gazette (now merged) reported the events of the town meeting of 5 October 1769. “Adams” was presumably Samuel Adams. “Kent” was not identified.
13 After the departure of Alexander Mackay, William Dalrymple became the commander of the British regulars stationed in Boston.
14 Nathaniel Rogers, TH’s nephew, refused to subscribe to nonimportation and was proscribed in the newspaper advertisements of the merchants’ committee.
2 TH Original Papers was published in the fall of 1769.
3 Joseph Harrison, collector of customs, was in Britain reporting to his superiors on the situation in Massachusetts.
4 For Grafton, Rockingham, Dartmouth, Shelburne, Conway, Grenville, Franklin, Hillsborough, and Thomas and John Pownall, see BD. For Yorke and deGrey, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 170n.
1 No letter has been found for 17 September 1769.
1 TH was evidently providing a letter of introduction to Hillsborough for Joseph Harrison, collector of customs, already in London.
2 Dft: four lines of crossed-out material appear after “memorials,” reading “[illegible] all occasions of offence except what necessarily came from the duty of his office and in the discharge of that duty though he was faithful to his trust yet he conducted with great discretion.”
3 Dft: This paragraph is followed by another paragraph that TH crossed out reading, “I shall take the liberty to inclose to your Lordship a [illegible] the Inhabitants of the Town of Boston to meet & consider [illegible] Insults & memorials. It is not possible to [illegible] such an assembly will [illegible] upon but I have [illegible] persons of influence will endeavor to prevent any [tumult or any] riotous proceedings. I have the honour to be your Lordships most faithful and most obedient humble servant.” TH then started a new letter to Hillsborough, dated “Boston [illegible] October 1769” and beginning “My Lord, This Vessel being detained I shall send under this cover the proceedings of the Town of Boston.”
4 Dft: “numberless insults with patience.”
6 Dft: TH crossed out an entire paragraph here, which read, “I am not without apprehensions of tumults & riots whilst any persons refuse to submit to these new governors the people by a strange infatuation supposing these proceedings to be necessary & [illegible]. If this should be the case I shall endeavour to demean myself with honour & discretion. I have the honour to be”
1 For Peter Leitch, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 179n.
2 TH wrote most of the postscript in heavily abbreviated text.
2 The interlineation has no mark for position.
3 Samuel Adams was clerk of the House of Representatives, and William Cooper was clerk of the Boston town meeting.
2 Such was voted in the town meeting of 4 October as reported in the Boston News-Letter and Massachusetts Gazette of the same date.
3 The message delivered by Joseph Harrison was No. 421, above. “Mr. Barrett” was presumably Samuel Barrett (1738–1798), graduate of Harvard College in 1757, a lawyer and merchant. John Erving Sr., James Pitts, and Royall Tyler were all members of the Council.
4 TH meant William Molineux, James Otis Jr., Samuel Adams, and either Samuel or William Cooper.
2 The interlineation has no mark for position. The enclosed letter was not found.
5 Richard Draper was the printer of the Boston News-Letter and Massachusetts Gazette.
1 Dft: “at any time hereafter” omitted.
2 The merchants met on three consecutive days beginning 17 October 1769.
3 Dft: TH interlined this paragraph in the margin, replacing another paragraph he crossed out which read, “Subscription papers are carried about & the town having declared it to be legal no persons have any scruples upon that account some object to the [expediencies] of it & the printer tells me they wait to see the success of the subscription before they publish the proceedings of the meeting.” For a report of the town meeting, see No. 421, above. The resolutions of the Boston town meeting of 4 October 1769 are printed in BTR, 16:299–300. They were eventually printed in Samuel Adams, An Appeal to the World; or a Vindication of the Town of Boston, from Many False and Malicious Aspersions Contain’d in Certain Letters and Memorials, Written by Governor Bernard, General Gage, Commodore Hood, the Commissioners of the American Board of Customs, and Others, and by Them Respectively Transmitted to the British Ministry. Published by Order of the Town (Boston: Edes & Gill, 1769; London: J. Almon, 1770).
4 RC and Dft: “with regard to the colonies, in general,”
5 Dft: TH originally ended the letter here, writing his standard closing phrase, “I have the honour to be [illegible],” but then he crossed it out and continued his draft.
1 Letters Sent to Great-Britain: “July 18”
3 Letters Sent to Great-Britain: “they are put to their shifts”
4 Letters Sent to Great-Britain: entire sentence is italicized.
5 Letters Sent to Great-Britain: word is italicized.
1 Matthew Hale (1609–1676), chief justice of the King’s Bench, is said to have noted, “O keep God thy Friend, for it is most certain thou wilt have need of him again.”
2 Francis Bernard arrived in London in early September and wrote to TH on 19 September. TH would not have received the letter by this time.
3 At about this time, Joseph Hawley was restored to the bar by the Superior Court after having been previously suspended for his public criticism of TH.
2 Samuel Dexter, James Pitts, and Royall Tyler were all Council members.
3 The text is interlined without mark for position.
4 For the Albany Plan of Union and TH’s role in it, see TH Correspondence, 1: Nos. 9–11.
6 TH’s reference to “Adams” is certainly Samuel Adams, with “the gentleman of the Council” most likely being James Bowdoin.
1 This letter’s references to Frank Bernard’s consultations with TH and Francis Bernard’s recent departure make it clear that TH wrote it in 1769, not 1763.
2 The governor’s son Frank had recently shown increasing signs of emotional instability.
3 Although Frank was provided for with an appointment to share in the fees of the Massachusetts Naval Office, he had always shown an interest in frontier adventure. For his trip to Fort Pownall, see No. 400, above.
4 The Massachusetts legislature granted Mount Desert Island in Maine to Francis Bernard back in 1762. See TH Correspondence, 1: Nos. 47–49.
2 Thoughts on the Origin and Nature of Government ([London], 1769) by Allan Ramsay was a strongly pro-Tory pamphlet. (The editors are indebted to Gordon Wood for this reference.)
1 For details of the tarring and feathering, see the Boston Evening-Post, 30 October 1769.
2 SCs: “which he very willingly did.” William Dalrymple was the commander of His Majesty’s forces at Boston.
3 SCs: “make any Attempt to suppress or”
4 SCs: “if not legal, was, however, laudable”
2 Since justices of the peace could not be removed without the agreement of the Council. Governor Francis Bernard added TH’s brother, Foster Hutchinson (see BD), to the list in an effort to strengthen enforcement of the law. The effort appears to have been unsuccessful in Foster’s case.
3 John Fleming (or Fleeming) was Mein’s business partner.
4 Passersby of a crowd, who were carting an informer they had just tarred and feathered, claimed they were fired upon as they passed Mein’s printing office and brought away two charged muskets as evidence (Boston Evening-Post, 30 October 1769).
5 Mein’s friend, Richard Hirons, eventually joined the Third Company of the Loyal American Association on 5 July 1775.
1 The justice was Benjamin Lynde Jr.. Sampson Toovey’s deposition appeared in the Boston Gazette on both 12 June and 9 October 1769. Toovey was a clerk to James Cockle (see BD) at the Salem Customs House. He testified in 1764 that he routinely negotiated for Cockle bribes of wine and fruit from vessels arriving from Lisbon in return for ignoring cargoes on which duty was due. Toovey further asserted that Cockle used to share the bribes with Governor Francis Bernard. Benjamin Pickman Sr. (1708–1773) was a merchant, selectman, member of the Council, justice of the peace, and member of the Quorum.
2 Benjamin Pickman Jr. (1740–1819), merchant and justice of the peace, was banished from Massachusetts during the Revolution and took up residence in England.
3 The interlineation was made without a mark for position.
1 RC: “under my direction”, AC: “under my direction ^correction^.”
2 Both the Boston Gazette and the Boston Evening-Post for 30 October 1769 reprinted excerpts of the provincial law forbidding the gathering of armed and disguised persons as was traditional at the annual Pope’s Night celebrations on 5 November. The Boston Gazette followed with a paragraph reminding TH that no violent demonstrations had taken place on that night since 1765, when Ebenezer Mackintosh reconciled the traditionally hostile North and South End crowds.
1 Although TH dated this draft 30 October, the RC was almost certainly dated the 31 October, as both SCs are so dated.
1 It is not clear why Jonathan Sewall, attorney general of Massachusetts and former advocate general of the Admiralty, would have written to a court regarding Robinson. Sewall had resigned the latter post when he became the (absentee) judge of the vice-admiralty court at Halifax. Perhaps he wrote to explain the charges of assault against Robinson stemming from his fight with James Otis Jr., for which see No. 404, above.
2 Richard Reeve was the secretary of the American Board of Customs.
3 Robinson married on 5 October 1769 the daughter of James Boutineau, a merchant and lawyer, who later became a mandamus councilor. (The editors are indebted to Neil York for this information.)
5 Samuel Venner, the previous secretary of the customs board, was dismissed for leaking information to Jonathan Sewall concerning the commissioners’ unfavorable opinion of his work, as mentioned in No. 353, above. Venner went to England after his dismissal.
6 Some members of the board came to believe Venner acted at the behest of John Temple to stir up trouble for the rest of the customs board (see Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:154–57). Corbyn Morris (1710-1779) was a member of the Board of Customs Commissioners in England since 1763. A political protégé of the Duke of Newcastle and the author of a number of mercantilist tracts, he may have helped secure Temple’s appointment to the American Board. In a letter from Joseph Harrison to Temple written 12 January 1765, Harrison reported that Morris “highly applauded” Temple’s conduct in his dispute with Francis Bernard about the governor’s allegedly corrupt relations with James Cockle, (Bowdoin-Temple Papers, MHS Colls 9:44). [The editors are indebted to Neil York for this reference.] TH and his son WSH dined at Morris’s house in Wimbledon, 18 July 1774 (TH Diary and Letters 1:193).
7 Henry Hulton, William Burch, and Charles Paxton were members of the customs board who shared Robinson’s views about Temple and the state of affairs in Boston.
2 Latin, translated as, “When all is uncertain, save yourself,” a rather free recollection of a thought by Seneca, the “Ancient Atheist” in his Epistulae Morales, Liber II: XIII.
4 Latin, translated as, “O ship, waves will again carry you out to sea. Take care. Stay close to port,” from Horace, Odes, 1.14.
1 The abbreviation “MB” stands for Massachusetts Bay.
1 The Resolves of the Massachusetts House of Representatives were reprinted as Appendix O in TH History, 3:361–64. The House’s answer to Governor Francis Bernard’s message was printed in the Boston Gazette, 17 July 1769.
2 Bernard prorogued the assembly until 10 January 1770 (TH History, 3:179n).
3 See Lloyd’s Evening Post, 4–6 October 1769, for an example of a petition against the ministry and interference in parliamentary elections.
4 A majority in Parliament refused to seat John Wilkes after his second election as member for Middlesex following his imprisonment in King’s Bench Prison. They stipulated that an outlaw could not be a member. A petition from the City of London, organized by William Beckford and others, in late June, called for the dismissal of the ministry, and petitions from other locales followed suit. Followers of the Marquis of Rockingham joined the petition movement in midsummer, demanding the dissolution of Parliament and new elections. By the end of 1769, eighteen counties and thirteen cities had petitioned the Crown.
5 Mauduit presumably was referring to Dennys DeBerdt, the agent of the Massachusetts House.
6 The merchant in question has not been identified, but TH certainly believed that Rhode Islanders had been heavy importers while professing to subscribe to nonimportation. See TH History, 3:188n.
7 Sinking funds were bonds issued to fund the national debt. “Michs.” was an abbreviation for Michaelmas, observed in England on 29 September.
8 For Hillsborough’s remark, see Nicholson,“Infamas Govener,” pp. 205–6.
2 RC and AC: word omitted.
3 RC and AC: “applied to me for protection”
5 RC and AC: “In Ireland, perhaps, where the people have been long used to the military upon an apprehension”
6 RC and AC: “any publick declarations”
7 RC: “that power which, alone, is able to give us relief.” AC: “that power which alone can give us relief.”
8 RC and AC: “As I am fully convinced”
9 RC and AC: “proceedings”
10 RC and AC: “I have the honour to be with the greatest respect My Lord Your Lordships most humble & most obedient servant, Tho Hutchinson”
11 Dft: “did not appear to be ^to be of a most dangerous tendency, an^ in the highest degree offenses against ^comtempt of^ the Parliamentary authority as well as assumption of powers vested which from the nature of government ought to be exercised by none but the known established authority and which this authority will not interpose is nevertheless is acquiesced in or connived at by the ^established^ authority in this and almost every other government to the southward of it as far as Georgia. I humbly hope that this may be a sufficient apology for me to your Lordship. I have the honour to be with the greatest respect My Lord &c.”
2 Francis Bernard embarked for London aboard the Rippon on 2 August 1769.
3 The letter has not been found.
1 Neither TH’s correspondent nor the name of the nobleman who made the offer has been identified, but the letter appears to relate to the next letter, No. 457, below, and an alternative post for TH other than succeeding Francis Bernard as governor.
3 This paragraph is in a heavily abbreviated script.
6 Evidently Doctor John Perkins (see No. 421, above) was also advising on the care of Frank Bernard. Lady Amelia Bernard’s health was apparently fragile as well, since she had made a trip earlier in the fall to Stafford Springs in Connecticut for the restoration of her health.
7 The Duke of Grafton, as first lord of the treasury, would need to grant John Temple leave from his post as customs commissioner in Boston in order for him to visit England. Temple was anxious to present to authorities there his version of his long-standing quarrel with Francis Bernard.
1 Andrew Oliver was the province secretary.
1 For the details of the taxes on tea, see Labaree, Boston Tea Party, pp. 20–21.
2 Lord Hillsborough sent a circular letter to the North American governors signifying the ministry’s intention to repeal all the Townshend duties except the duty on tea. The circular letter can be found at Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:263–64.
3 The member of Parliament has not been identified.
4 For example, George Grenville and the Marquis of Rockingham, both sharp critics of the Grafton administration, were far apart concerning North American policy.
5 Thomas Jr. and Elisha Hutchinson, along with John Bernard, were all proscribed as violators of the nonimportation agreement.
1 Bruce evidently arrived around mid-November (see No. 458, above). What the news was that the Sons of Liberty found so discouraging is not certain, but No. 461, below, makes clear that the resolves of the town of Boston, the remonstrance of the House against Governor Bernard, and the renewed and extended nonimportation agreement were not well received in London.
1 The last printed proceedings of a merchants’ meeting appeared in the Boston Gazette, 9 October 1769.
2 The Land Bank was quashed by the extension of the Bubble Act of 1720 to North America in 1741. See TH Correspondence, 1: No. 3n.
3 For rumors that William Franklin (Benjamin Franklin’s son) would be appointed governor of Massachusetts, creating a vacancy in New Jersey where he was then governor, see No. 414, above. After his turbulent career as governor of Massachusetts, Bernard recollected fondly his two years as governor of New Jersey. He had accepted the appointment in Massachusetts because of its larger salary and his need to provide for a large family, not realizing how contentious his administration would be.
6 TH discussed an “empire of commerce” in No. 414, above. The “late writer” has not been identified. The Latin phrase “imperium in imperio” was a shorthand reference to the idea that no sovereign power could tolerate within its government an independent sovereignty it did not control.
9 In No. 414, above, TH advanced the name of “Mr. Putnam of Connecticut” to serve as attorney general of Massachusetts should Jonathan Sewall resign that post as well. This was presumably James Putnam, as in No. 402, above.
2 The publication in Massachusetts of Bernard’s official letters that were read before the House of Commons prompted the Massachusetts Assembly to demand his dismissal for willful misrepresentation of the state of affairs in the province.
3 TH was only acting governor. Bernard, although in England, remained governor and TH lieutenant governor.
4 Bernard was probably referring to John, rather than Thomas, Pownall and Richard Jackson.
1 TH referred to merchant and patriot William Molineux. Both customs officers and naval officers depended on fees to supplement their salaries. For more on the merchants’ suits against unauthorized fees, see No. 483, below.
1 Williams’ son was Israel Williams Jr. (b. 1738).
2 Williams suggests TH meant in his earlier letter the Boston Gazette, but he may, in fact, have meant the “Chronicle of the Times” printed in the Boston Evening-Post, for which see Nos. 404 and 412, above.
3 Writers in the Boston Gazette began to derisively refer to Thomas Jr. and Elisha as “the Children” when discussing their lack of compliance with the nonimportation agreement. “Alfred,” identified as Samuel Adams by Harbottle Dorr, published a particularly bitter attack on the Hutchinson family in Boston Gazette, 2 October 1769. Further attacks appeared in Boston Gazette, 23 October 1769.
5 The “one individual” was presumably Hawley, the “source of discontent” Boston.
6 TH had written Williams urging him to attend the next meeting of the General Court (No. 412, above). The absence of representatives from western Massachusetts, who were generally friendly to the government, left the Patriots largely unopposed in the House.
2 The other individual to whom James Cockle sent wine has not been identified.
3 This interlined passage appears without mark for position; its intended placement is not clear.
1 Dft: “do not seem to be ^are not so^ much regarded in England I the less wonder because [illegible] ^as I expected.^”
2 Dft: “evidence of the feeble state of the ^lost^ authority of government.”
3 Dft: “giving intelligence and possibly [illegible] of the [illegible] parlt may more fully appear by that time.”
5 Dft: “there is nothing [illegible] against you but what you would be you are”
6 This letter was not found in Dennys DeBerdt’s collected correspondence as published in CSM Procs., vol. 13.
7 TH presumably meant Samuel Adams, clerk of the House, speaking to Thomas Cushing, its Speaker.
8 Dft: “The September pacquet is not yet arrived. If the following pacquets should be as long in coming I [illegible] If ^I have^ no Instructions”
9 Dft: “prorogued The [dependence] of the [illegible] altogether [expose] the troubles in Engd. which they [illegible] vengeance. If I have nothing from [illegible]”
10 Dft: “Province as far as shall be [illegible]”
11 TH referred to James Otis Jr.
12 For Dr. Sylvester Gardiner, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 209n. Dft: “he was concerned in.”
13 Dft: “can be repaired.”
14 TH referred to Judge Peter Oliver.
15 Dft: “Most probably”
16 Dft: “an object sufficient”
17 Dft: “our^them^selves”
18 Dft: “our ^their^”
19 William Palfrey (1741–1780) was John Hancock’s chief clerk and the principal contact between the Boston Patriots and John Wilkes. Palfrey was later paymaster general of the Continental Army.
20 John Temple was embarking for London, believing that he would have to answer to his superiors when Bernard made accusations about his conduct as surveyor general and customs commissioner. The loan to “Mr B—n” probably referred to James Bowdoin, Temple’s father-in-law, who would have provided him with cash to pay bribes at court. Dft: “supply Mr T so that he will not come to you a suppliant empty handed as to money but what sort of defence he will make for the part he has taken here against government for three years past I cannot conceive.”
21 Dft: “chase”
22 Dft: “belong to it.” Councilors John Erving Sr., James Bowdoin, and James Pitts were all Temple’s relatives by marriage.
23 Dft: “many”
2 The phrase is interlined without a mark for position.
5 Richard Dana (1700–1772), Harvard College graduate of 1718, among all the justices of the peace was the most sympathetic to the Patriot cause. The Superior Court eventually gave private orders to its clerk not to act on these bills of indictment. See TH History, 3:189.
1 The DupRC contains this same correction, suggesting that TH did not strike out the mention of John Temple’s name until after writing both the RC and the DupRC. TH made the same cancellation on the AC as well.
4 DupRC: “It is expected that they then meet to do business.”
5 DupRC: “I shall make it my endeavour to confine the business of the Session to the interior concerns of the Province as much as may be.”
6 Despite warnings that other colonies would be satisfied with a partial repeal of the Townshend duties, Boston merchants voted on 17 October to continue nonimportation beyond the original expiration date of 1 January 1770 until the tax on tea was repealed as well. The failure of New York and Pennsylvania to support such an extension signaled the beginning of the collapse of the agreement (Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots, pp. 129–30, 139).
7 The number of proscribed importers fluctuated throughout the summer. The Boston Gazette of 14 August 1769 listed seven firms (eleven individuals), whereas the Gazette for 13 November (immediately after the letter to the Salem merchants was written) listed three firms and four individuals (John Bernard, John Mein, James McMasters, and Patrick McMasters).
8 The Act of the 4th of Geo. III was commonly known as the Sugar Act, and that of 6th of Geo. III as the Revenue Act of 1766.
9 These names are all bracketed together under the word “Committee.”
1 See TH Correspondence, 1: No. 200n.
3 Sir Henry Vane (see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 88n) and William Hutchinson (1586–1641) were both principal figures in the Antinomian Controversy.
4 For Edward Hutchinson, TH’s great-grandfather, see TH Correspondence, 1: No. 88n. He married Catherine Hanby of Ipswich, England, in October 1636 (TH Diary and Letters, 2:464).
5 The Elisha Hutchinson and Thomas Hutchinson referenced here were TH’s grandfather and father respectively (TH Correspondence, 1: No. 102n).
3 Bernard meant the Stamp Act Congress of 1765.
3 “Mr. J” was presumably Richard Jackson.
2 According to TH, this instruction to refuse his consent for separate agents for the House and Council, caused him a “great deal of trouble,” and so alienated William Bollan that it later provoked him to transmit TH’s private letters to the House (TH History, 3:176n).
3 Michael Francklin (1733-1783) was lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia, an Englishman with ties by marriage to James Boutineau of Boston. [The editors are indebted to Colin Nicolson for this reference.] William Evelyn (1723–1783) was lieutenant colonel of the 29th Regiment, part of the detachment stationed at Boston.
2 Notice of the merchants’ meeting appeared in the Boston Gazette on 4 December 1769, but the proceedings were not published in subsequent issues.
1 Although this letter is unaddressed, it was almost certainly written to John Pownall, based on the topic and tone. In addition, TH’s surviving correspondence shows that he received two letters written on 4 October 1769: one from Francis Bernard and one from Pownall. Note that both Bernard and TH numbered their letters to one another and this letter is lacking a number, a further indication that TH wrote this letter to Pownall. The volume index has a handwritten note initialled “MF” for Malcolm Freiberg and dated 1951 identifying the recipient of this letter as “John Pownall.”
1 For plans to contest the fees of the naval office and customs house, see No. 465, above. On 4 December 1769, the same day the Boston Gazette announced the merchants’ meeting, the newspaper reprinted the two provincial laws concerning fees at the customs house and naval office.
2 William Sheaffe (1705–1771) was deputy collector of customs at Boston.
3 Joseph Harrison, the collector of customs, was in London at the time reporting on the Liberty riot and the obstacles to the strict enforcement of customs law at Boston.
4 George Gailer, an alleged informer, was tarred and feathered on the same day John Mein was attacked in the street (Boston Evening-Post, 30 October 1769). See also Archer, Enemy’s Country, pp. 162–63. The elided reference is to William Molineux, who initiated the resistance to fees in excess of what was specified in provincial law (No. 465, above).
2 For further details on the repeal of the Townshend duty on tea, see Labaree, Boston Tea Party, pp. 40–46.
3 The chief “preliminary business” to be got through was finding another suitable position for Bernard, who was still governor of Massachusetts.
1 AC: “a most extravagant act”
3 The Boston Gazette for 11 December 1769 printed a letter from Hillsborough to General Thomas Gage, dated 8 June 1768 and marked “secret and confidential,” ordering troops to Boston and advising him to use his discretion in their quartering.
1 Text is written at the bottom of the page, and the intended position of the interlineation is marked by an “X.”
2 John Temple married the daughter of James Bowdoin, becoming thereby a relation by marriage of councilors James Pitts and John Erving Sr.
3 Henry Hulton and William Burch were the two commissioners from England.
4 Charles Townshend was a moving force behind the creation of the American Board of Customs.
5 Part of this interlineation appears at the bottom of the page with its intended position marked by an “X.”
6 TH may have lost the thread of his meaning in this heavily revised sentence. Bowdoin seems to be the subject, but any “District” would be Temple’s when he was surveyor general.
7 The MS is torn here and in the next instance of brackets in this sentence.
8 TH was referring to Timothy Folger (1732–1814), a customs collector and representative from Nantucket in 1767 (see Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:161n).
1 In this context, the term “faculty” means “pecuniary ability, means, resources; possessions, property” (OED).
2 Perhaps TH began the letter two days earlier when both the Boston Gazette and the Boston Evening-Post appeared on 18 December 1769. Both papers contained further criticism of Bernard and the customs commissioners.
3 The same demand by Samuel Adams and others greatly delayed action in Bernard’s last session with the General Court.
4 TH’s reference was to compliance with the Quartering Act.
5 The Livingston and DeLancey families headed the two factions in New York politics, often trading positions in power. As mentioned in No. 330, above, the Livingstons led the opposition to the Quartering Act. See Patricia U. Bonomi, A Factious People: Politics and Society in Colonial New York (New York: Columbia University Press, 1971).
1 AC: “concerned in the piratical Acts consequent thereupon is now”
2 The governor of New Hampshire was John Wentworth, and the governor of Rhode Island was Joseph Wanton (1705–1780).
3 TH refused to call the Council together in its official capacity while the assembly was prorogued.
4 The case in question was the trial of Michael Corbet who killed Lieutenant Henry Panton when the latter was attempting to impress him on 22 April 1769 (Legal Papers of John Adams, 2: Case #56, Rex v. Corbet). See also TH History, 3:166–67n.
5 The Greenwich Hospital Duty was a six-penny charge first imposed in 1696 for the support of indigent seamen (Allyn B. Forbes, “Greenwich Hospital Money,” NEQ 3 (July 1930): 519–26, and Henry Hulton, pp. 51, 82).
1 TH was referring to Captain Robert Linzee (1739–1804) of the ten-gun sloop HMS Viper.
5 “Mr. O” is James Otis Jr.
7 TH was attacked in the Boston Evening-Post on 18 December 1769 for his efforts to obtain the post of secretary of New Hampshire for his nephew Nathaniel Rogers. The secretaryship may have been the post Rogers alluded to No. 323, above, but there is no record elsewhere in TH’s surviving correspondence of his soliciting the job for his nephew.
1 James Murray (1713–1781), not to be confused with the British general of the same name, was a Scottish merchant who established a sugar refinery when he moved to Boston in 1765. Francis Bernard made him a justice of the peace in late 1768 once it became clear how reluctant other Boston justices were to summon the troops to the aid of civil government. Murray eventually became a Loyalist (see Papers of Francis Bernard, 5:114n).
2 The Boston Gazette for 25 December 1769 contains an article by “Philadelphos” with rejoinders to extracts from Commodore Samuel Hood’s letters to the Admiralty.
1 It was William Bollan who obtained from Alderman William Beckford the thirty-three letters of Governor Francis Bernard, the commissioners of customs, General Thomas Gage, and Commodore Samuel Hood that stirred such controversy when they arrived in Boston in the summer of 1769.
1 pp. 472-473, below.
2 pp. 473-474, below.
3 pp. 474-475, below.
4 In this short passage Hutchinson was dealing with an extremely tangled question of textual interpretation and at the same time disposing of two famous arguments of Otis’s: one (1761) in which Otis had quoted Coke’s opinion in Bonham’s Case to justify prohibiting the use of writs of assistance (general search warrants) in a suit over which Hutchinson had presided as chief justice and that he had disposed of legally by reference to English precedents; the other (1764) in the pamphlet The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved, in which Otis had denied Parliament’s right to tax the colonies on the ground of sheer constitutional illogicality (Parliament can no more tax unrepresented people than it can “make 2 and 2, 5”) but had explained that Parliament would correct its error of false taxation by its own inner self-rectifying mechanism. Hutchinson, in this passage of his Draft Treatise, is answering Otis by asserting or implying three points, (1) With the received tradition of English jurisprudence, he is saying that it is not the business of the courts to make or unmake laws; common law courts articulate and enforce laws that are made by other properly constituted, law-making bodies. (2) Parliament, on the other hand, though a “high court,” is not limited as the ordinary courts are; its business is to make law—it is the final and absolute law-making body, and Otis’s quite metaphysical notion of an inner self-correcting mechanism is a romantic irrelevance. (3) As to Otis’s use of Coke’s dictum concerning “voidance” in Bonham’s Case, the misconception, Hutchinson is saying, lies in the aggressive power that Otis had incorrectly imputed to the phrase “adjudge . . . to be void.” What. Coke had meant in declaring that “when an act of Parliament is against common right and reason, or repugnant, or impossible to be performed, the common law will control it, and adjudge such act to be void” is not that the courts were empowered to create voidances, that is, to void by their own action particular laws of Parliament that otherwise would be compelling, but only to recognize them. That is, Coke had meant that it was the duty of the ordinary courts to observe which of Parliament’s laws that body, for whatever reason, declined to execute or that were impossible to execute, and to declare them, as a matter of fact and not of judgment, to be void. Courts and “private subjects” were justified, Hutchinson wrote, in “the non observance” of particular acts only when “they who made them would not put them in execution,” an interpretation, he said, that was based on other passages of Coke’s opinion in Bonham’s Case than that referred to by Otis. See Bailyn, Hutchinson, pp. 54–56; L. Kinvin Wroth and Hiller B. Zobel, eds., Legal Papers of John Adams (Cambridge, 1965), II, 106ff., esp. 116–121; Bernard Bailyn, ed., Pamphlets of the American Revolution, I (Cambridge, 1965), 414–417, 718–719.
Hutchinson’s interpretation of these controversial passages is revealing. He was, here as always, striking out against the effort to limit the legal power of Parliament or to justify any violation of the law, and he was doing so by seeking to put Coke’s words back into their original context. He does not, of course, anticipate the view of modern scholars that Coke was enunciating a “canon of construction” in the context of private law and not a notion of the constitutional relationship between two branches of government; but he was far closer to that strictly correct historical view than Otis was. Otis had imputed to Coke an anachronistic awareness of the later development of Parliament’s political authority and had yet sought both to restrain it by a vague notion of judicial review, which Coke had never intended, and to disavow any effort to defy Parliament openly by explaining that body’s self-correcting benevolence, Hutchinson knew that the common law courts, in the existing British constitution, had no power whatever to control acts of the sovereign political power. This passage of the Draft Treatise was an effort to explain Coke’s dictum in a way that was faithful to the text and that at the same time asserted the rule of law against exceptions which, in the constitutional world as it then existed, Hutchinson believed would destroy it. Judicial review and the active voidance of legislative enactments became compatible with the rule of law only in the later context of written constitutions and the separation of functioning powers of government. strictly correct historical view than Otis was. Otis had imputed to Coke an anachronistic awareness of the later development of Parliament’s political authority and had yet sought both to restrain it by a vague notion of judicial review, which Coke had never intended, and to disavow any effort to defy Parliament openly by explaining that body’s self-correcting benevolence, Hutchinson knew that the common law courts, in the existing British constitution, had no power whatever to control acts of the sovereign political power. This passage of the Draft Treatise was an effort to explain Coke’s dictum in a way that was faithful to the text and that at the same time asserted the rule of law against exceptions which, in the constitutional world as it then existed, Hutchinson believed would destroy it. Judicial review and the active voidance of legislative enactments became compatible with the rule of law only in the later context of written constitutions and the separation of functioning powers of government.
5 pp. 476-477, below.
6 pp. 477-479, below.
1 These words are quoted from John Dickinson’s Second Farmer’s Letter.
2 There are approximately five words illegible at this point.
3 These words are quoted from Lord Camden’s speech to the House of Lords, 10 February 1766, in response to the second reading of the Declaratory Act, see Max Beloff, ed., The Debate on the American Revolution (London, 1949), ch.12.
4 These words are paraphrased from John Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Government (London: 1689), ch. 11.
5 The words “and therefore . . . Nature” were written vertically in the left margin.
6 The founding of the Dutch Republic occurred in 1581.
7 In the States General, each of the seven provinces had one vote.
8 Here TH alludes to Gilbert Burnet, Bishop Burnet’s Travels through France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland (London: 1687).
9 These words are a paraphrased from Locke’s Second Treatise, ch. 11.
10 One fifth of the MS page is blank, as is all of the following verso. The MS begins abruptly in mid-sentence at the top of the next recto.
11 This may be an allusion to James Otis Jr.’s The Rights of the Colonists Asserted and Proved (Boston: 1764).
12 Thus, TH rejects a dichotomy between taxation and representation. See “The Taxation-Legislation Dichotomy,” John Philip Reid, Constitutional History of the American Revolution, vol. 2 (Madison: 1987), ch. 8.
13 The New York petition to the House of Commons (18 October 1764), acknowledged the right of Parliament to regulate trade but not to use customs duties to raise revenue, which would imply recognizing Parliament’s power to legislate but not to tax.
14 Here TH alludes to the Declaratory Act of 1766.
15 The Latin phrase “ius dare” means in essence the right to make a law, that is, the power of the legislature. The phrase “ius dicere” means the power to expound the law, that is, the power of the courts.
16 Here TH may once again be referring to Otis.
17 James Otis Jr. had cited Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke’s decision in Bonham’s Case (1610) when arguing against the writs of assistance, urging that the courts could ignore Acts of Parliament “against the constitution and against natural equity.” Coke had, in fact, said, “In many cases, the common law will control Acts of Parliament,” and Otis’s reading was probably incorrect. Rather than suggesting that the courts could rule on the constitutionality of Acts of Parliament, Coke likely meant that the courts could void acts that had fallen into disuse, see Bailyn, introduction, p 469, above. Still Coke’s decision was controversial even at the time it was made, and by TH’s era most legal theorists had come to accept William Blackstone’s view that Parliament was the sovereign lawmaker.
18 This material is interlined without a mark for position.
19 The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye was concluded in 1632.
20 The succession changed as a consequence of the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution.
21 This material was written vertically in the left margin and marked for position with a caret.
22 This may be a reference to the ordinance of 2 October 1643, appointing the Earl of Warwick admiral and governor of the foreign plantations, and adding commissioners to those named in the ordinances passed 21 March 1645/6. (Ordinances were Acts of Parliament passed during the Civil War without the king’s assent.)
23 In the following pages, TH paraphrases Livy’s description of the events recorded in Chapter 27, Parts 9–10, and Chapter 29, Part 15, in his History of Rome in order to demonstrate that Rome had indeed taxed her colonies, despite the claims of some patriot writers to the contrary. See Bailyn, introduction, pp. 467-68, above.
1. The fragment (MA 28: 109B-I, in the pagination described below for the Dialogue as a whole) consists of two sheets written on both sides. The right bottom quarter of the second sheet is torn off, but the writing that remains is decipherable.
2 The idea of “abridgments” of British rights in the colonies and the word “abridge” in its various forms occur frequently throughout the Dialogue. The word seems to have fallen naturally into place in everything Hutchinson wrote on Anglo-American relations in these months. It is little wonder that he was astonished at the public turmoil that resulted from the publication of one such use of the word in his letter to Whately of January 20, 1769. The sentences in that letter, published in 1773 with others he had written in 1768 and 1769, that caused the public fury from which Hutchinson could never thereafter escape, are: “There must be an abridgment of what is called English liberty. . . . I doubt whether it is possible to project a system of government in which a colony 3000 miles distant from the parent state shall enjoy all the liberties of the parent state. . . . I wish to see the good of the colony when I wish to see some restraint of liberty rather than the connexion with the parent state should be broken, for I am sure such a breach must prove the ruin of the colony.” (TH to Whately, January 20, 1769, MA, XXVI, 338–339). The same idea, expressed in various forms, underlies much of the Dialogue which, as has been indicated, may well have been written, in part at least, as a response to Whately’s interest in Hutchinson’s ideas. See Bailyn, Hutchinson, pp. 91–92, 224ff.
3 Cf. James H. Kettner, “The Development of American Citizenship in the Revolutionary Era: The Idea of Volitional Allegiance,” American Journal of Legal History, 28 (1974), 208–242.
4 W. H. Greenleaf, Order, Empiricism and Politics . . . 1500–1700 (Oxford, 1964), p. 21.
5 P. 109B.
6 P. 109C.
7 P. 109D.
8 P. 109B.
9 Bailyn, Hutchinson, p. 17.
1 The sentence paraphrases a passage in William Pitt’s speech opposing the Stamp Act which he delivered in the debate on repeal in the House of Commons, 14 January 1766. The speech, widely reprinted in America, became famous particularly for its peroration, “I rejoice that America has resisted. Three millions of people, so dead to all feelings of liberty, as voluntarily to submit to be slaves, would have been fit instruments to make slaves of the rest.” But the passage TH refers to came earlier in the debate: “When, therefore, in this House we give and grant, we give and grant what is our own. But in an American tax what do we do? We, your Majesty’s Commons of Great Britain, give and grant to your Majesty, what? Our own property? No, we give and grant to your Majesty, the property of your Majesty’s commons of America. It is an absurdity of terms.” Pitt then proceeded to his main point, that “the distinction between legislation and taxation is essentially necessary to liberty,” which TH refers to at the start of European’s reply. William Cobbett and T. C. Hansard, eds., The Parliamentary History of England (London, 1806–1820), 16:104, 99–100. For the Boston Gazette’s account of the speech, which TH undoubtedly read, see the issue of 12 May 1766.
2 The name is difficult to make out. It appears to be spelled Delaney, but the reference is almost certainly to Daniel Dulany and his pamphlet, Considerations on the Propriety of Imposing Taxes on the British Colonies (Annapolis, 1765), which denied Parliament’s right to impose taxes for revenue but conceded its right to regulate American commerce even if such regulation incidentally produced revenue. For an analysis of the pamphlet and an edited text, see Pamphlets, pp. 599–658.
3 The sentence echoes Pitt’s reply to Grenville in the speech quoted in note 2: “If the gentleman docs not understand the difference between external and internal taxes, I cannot help it.”
4 Petition and Representation of the House of Representatives . . . to the King . . . 20th January, 1768 (Boston, 1768), p. 2, printed as an Appendix to A Journal of the . . . House of Representatives (December 30, 1767–March 4, 1768), (Boston, 1768). This brief and quite obscure document, which TH himself barely mentions in his own history of these years, served his purpose in the “Dialogue” particularly well. It seems to have furnished him with a handy guide to the arguments he wished to put into the mouth of American. The petition sketches briefly Massachusetts’ early constitutional history in terms similar to those that American uses at much greater length, states the colony’s unswerving loyalty to the king, and, while acknowledging Parliament as “the supreme legislative power of the whole empire,” limits that authority by the vague and vulnerable language that TH quotes directly. After protesting the recent efforts of Parliament to tax the colonies “with the sole and express purpose of raising a revenue,” the petition advocates taxation by requisition, and appeals to the Crown to protect the colony against Parliament’s usurpations.
5 The surviving fragment of the first draft of the “Dialogue,” described in the Introduction, centers on the passage from this point through page 103A. A comparison of the two versions reveals these smooth paragraphs to be intricately contrived mosaics of TH’s original phraseology. He obviously devoted much thought and effort to perfecting this discussion of the historical grounds for allegiance.
6 The passage that follows within the carets was written as an afterthought in the margin of the page, keyed to the text at this point.
7 On the adventures of the enthusiastic Scottish colonizer Alexander, his remarkable quasi-feudal grant (1621) to settle Nova Scotia (Acadia), his floundering efforts to realize his romantic dreams of recreating a feudal Scotland between New England and the St. Lawrence River (1622–1629), and Charles I’s restoration to France, in 1632, of all English-occupied territories in “New France, Acadia, and Canada,” see Charles M. Andrews, The Colonial Period of American History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934–1938), 1:314–19.
8 TH apparently intended to insert at this point six lines he had written vertically in the margin of the page but then changed his mind, obliterated those lines, and inserted instead on a separate slip the following passage, most of which he adapted from the first draft.
9 The reference is to the opinion of the notorious royalist, Lord Chief Justice George Jeffreys, in East India Co. v. Sandys (1683–1685) in which he declared that the Crown had the exclusive right to create monopolies of overseas trade and “that no act of Parliament does restrain this prerogative.” European is apparently discrediting this view (which was repudiated by Parliament in 1693 and never thereafter advanced by the Crown) in order to justify Parliament’s role in colonial affairs.
10 For TH’s accuracy in stating the nature of allegiance in eighteenth-century Britain, see Kettner, “Development of American Citizenship,” cited above, Introduction, n. 3, p. 488, above.
11 At this point TH inserted vertically along the margin three lines that began, “Your subjection did not cease upon your first leaving England. At what one particular point of time since, more than another, did.” He then crossed these lines out and pasted on a slip containing the passage that follows in carets.
12 Henry Scobell, comp., Collection of Several Acts . . . whereunto Are Added Some Ordinances of Parliament [1640–1656] (2 vols., London: 1656).
13 The passage that follows is written on a slip pasted to the page at this point.
14 Procul a Jove, procul a fulmine: Far from Jove, far from the lightning.
15 TH’s facts are largely correct. At the conclusion of Leisler’s Rebellion in New York (1689–1691), the leader of the uprising, Jacob Leisler, was convicted of treason and murder, and executed; by a bill of attainder his property was confiscated. In 1695 Parliament, on the petition of his son, annulled the attainder and exonerated Leisler posthumously. Seven years later, when the Leislerians were once again in power, the New York Supreme Court, in a carefully arranged trial, convicted the leading anti-Leislerian, Nicholas Bayard, of treason, and sentenced him to death. The decision was quickly reversed by the Privy Council (not Parliament) on recommendation of the anti-Leislerian governor, Lord Cornbury. In 1741 Parliament extended the Bubble Act of 1720 to America in order to destroy the private land bank that had been created in Massachusetts the year before.
16 Italics have been added here and in the text to distinguish the titles of offices. The letter referred to (Letters to His Friends, 13:76), which Hutchinson correctly identifies, is a brief, undated note to the magistrates of an unnamed municipium seeking a clear land title for a friend or client. Fregellae, it should be noted, had once been a corporate municipium, but after its revolt against Rome in 125 bce it was utterly destroyed by that imperial power, and another, loyal community was established elsewhere in the vicinity.
17 The rest of this paragraph and the five paragraphs that follow were taken almost verbatim from the “Draft Treatise.” These passages from Livy (books 27, ix, 7ff., and 29, xv) are rendered on the whole accurately. Cf., Loeb ed., VII, 243ff.; VIII, 263.
18 The number is twelve in Livy and in the “Draft Treatise.”
19 Maryland’s support of the British war effort in the Seven Years’ War was weak throughout and subordinated to local factionalism, the lower House insisting that the financing of Maryland’s contribution come from the Proprietor and the wealthy and not from the population at large. In 1757 the assembly refused to garrison Fort Cumberland, which was on its own territory, on the ground that it offered more protection to Virginia than it did to Maryland. See Gipson, British Empire, 6:75, 185, 186; 7:46, 249, 253, 296, 297–98, 333.
20 See above, Introduction, n. 4. pp. 468-69
21 The Succession Act, 1 Jac. I, c. 1.
22 The two sentences that follow are a complex patchwork of excisions and amendments. Apparently TH had originally written: “If anything could make me doubt, it would be the disorders and confusions which of late have prevailed not in the colonies only but in the government from whence they sprang.” The words “perhaps . . . liberties” in the second sentence substitute for a clause TH carefully obliterated.
23 It seems that at this point the loose manuscript pages were bound into the Archives volume in the wrong order. The sense of the argument suggests that 107C was meant to precede 107A, and that order has been followed here.
24 This quotation from Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, like the others that follow, is almost perfectly accurate.
25 This final quotation from Locke is written vertically in the margin of the page, with no precise indication as to where TH meant it to be inserted.
26 The two sentences that follow were inserted vertically along the margin, keyed to the text at this point.
27 Among the savage penal laws by which England sought to wipe out Roman Catholicism in Ireland or to degrade its adherents and reduce them to impotence was this provision for double taxation of land, a burden for which there could be no political remedy since, as European points out, Catholics were denied the franchise.
28 The section within the carets substitutes for a passage of equal length that TH crossed out so thoroughly that none of it can be read.
29 European is apparently reverting back to American’s original argument in this part of the discussion, that an individual is not obliged to obey an immoral law.
30 The quotation is from the beginning of chap. i of Magna Carta: “The English Church shall be free, and shall have her rights entire.”
31 TH had a great deal of trouble presenting the agrument that follows. Having written the paragraph substantially as it now stands, he went back over it and inserted after the first sentence the words, “If [illegible] go back to a time when what you call fundamentals were not so”; he then broke off and crossed that revision out. Other attempted revisions in the paragraph are indicated where they appear. TH’s wording of this important argument was obviously left unfinished, but his meaning, summarized in the last sentence of the paragraph, is clear throughout.
32 For a discussion of these arguments against the Septennial Act (1716), which by extending the tenure of Parliaments increased the value of seats in the House of Commons and contributed to the stability of mid-century politics and to the independence of the House from both the Crown and the electorate, see Betty Kemp, King and Commons, 1660–1832 (London: 1965), pp. 39–51.
33 TH simply means that one may conceive of small unattached populations forming direct democracies and larger populations forming representative republics.
34 Laymen (Law French).