Textual Introduction

    Readers seeking a more complete statement of editorial principles should refer to TH Correspondence, volume 1, of the series, but a few brief reminders may be in order here. The letters selected here have been chosen principally for their political content and relevance to the imperial crisis with Great Britain. They represent only a little more than half of Hutchinson’s surviving correspondence. The editors have chosen to publish occasional non-epistolary documents, especially when they bear particularly close relation to the content of the letters.

    Preference has been given to receiver’s copies or duplicates of receiver’s copies where they exist. Where multiple copies exist, they are listed in the source notes. In a few rare instances, where drafts show significant revision, both versions have been printed in their entirety; otherwise, slight variations appear in the endnotes.

    The presentation of the letters follows the following conventions:

    • Datelines: moved to the top of all letters and placed flush right, regardless of placement in manuscript.
    • Capitalization: follows the author’s usage, but the first letter of every sentence begins with a capital.
    • Spelling: follows the author’s usage with an endnote with an alternative if the word is misspelled nearly beyond recognition.
    • Punctuation: follows the author’s usage except dashes and commas used to end sentences are changed into periods; ambiguous cases follow the author’s usage. Dashes within sentences are retained.
    • Abbreviations: expanded, except in the cases listed below:
      • proper names of people, places, organizations
      • titles and honorifics
      • days of the week, months of the year
      • titles of books or publications
      • monetary denominations
    • Abbreviated Text: expanded, with the above noted exceptions.
    • Conjectural Readings: appear in brackets when three or more letters in one word are conjectural with a question mark if the reading is particularly uncertain; an endnote is used for an alternative reading; an endnote is used if there is a reason for the conjecture (tear, blot, tape).
    • Illegible Material: appears in brackets in italic type ([illegible]); an endnote estimating length is included if illegible material is more than a few words; illegible material that has been crossed out is not included unless it is part of a larger legible passage.
    • Editorial Directives: appear in brackets in italics ([blank space in MS], [MS torn]) and are not read as part of the text.
    • Interlineations: incorporated into the text with carets when significant (not to correct spelling or grammar); when the author did not use carets, the material is placed as best possible and indicated with an endnote.
    • Marginalia: treated in the same way as interlineations with an endnote specifying that the material was written in the margin.
    • Cancellations: appear in cancelled type when significant and legible; if a sizable passage is cancelled and illegible, an endnote has been included to indicate such.
    • Variant Readings: only significant variants are included; variants are provided in endnotes with sources.

    Textual devices within the transcriptions are represented as follows:


    conjectural reading or material otherwise obscured


    uncertain conjectural reading or material otherwise obscured


    material supplied by the editors because of a tear, blot, or cut in the MS; specifics are provided in the endnote; note that several bracketed insertions may be addressed in a single endnote.


    editorial direction or description


    substantive interlineation or marginalia


    substantive cancellation

    Each document is followed by a source note, and semicolons separate the sections of each source note. Periods separate the information provided for multiple versions of the same document.

    1. 1. Document Versions. The editors employed the following symbols:




    Author’s copy, most likely made with authorial control, either on a loose sheet of paper or in a letterbook


    Receiver’s copy, the original letter as sent by the author


    Duplicate of the receiver’s copy, sent as a backup in case the original was lost in transit


    Scribal copy, created without authorial control, either on a loose sheet of paper or in a letterbook

    1. 2. Repositories and Manuscript Citations; the following abbreviations are used throughout the volume to represent each archive with relevant manuscript holdings.

    American Philosophical Society

    American Philosophical Society Library, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Beinecke Library

    Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

    Boston Athenæum

    Boston, Massachusetts

    Boston Public Library

    Special Collections, Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts

    Boston University

    Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

    British Library

    London, England

    Clements Library

    William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Columbia University

    Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University, New York

    Connecticut Historical Society

    Hartford, Connecticut

    Dartmouth College

    Rauner Special Collections, Dartmouth College Library, Hanover, New Hampshire

    Haverford College

    Special Collections, Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania

    Historical Society of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Houghton Library

    Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Huntington Library

    San Marino, California

    Maine Historical Society

    Portland, Maine

    Maryland Historical Society

    Baltimore, Maryland

    Massachusetts Archives

    Office of the Secretary of State, State Archives, Boston, Massachusetts

    Massachusetts Historical Society

    Boston, Massachusetts

    Morristown National Historic Park

    Morristown, New Jersey

    National Archives UK

    National Archives of the United Kingdom (formerly the Public Record Office), Kew, England

    National Library of Scotland

    Manuscript and Archive Collections, Department of Collections and Interpretation, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland

    New-York Historical Society

    Manuscript Department, Library, New-York Historical Society, New York

    New York Public Library

    Manuscripts and Archives Division, New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations, New York

    New York State Library

    Manuscripts and Special Collections, New York State Library, Albany, New York

    Northumberland Archives

    Northumberland, England

    Nova Scotia Archives

    Halifax, Canada

    Parliamentary Archives

    Houses of Parliament, London, England

    Rhode Island Historical Society

    Providence, Rhode Island

    Rhode Island State Archives

    Office of the Secretary of State, State Archives Division, Providence, Rhode Island

    Royal Society

    London, England

    Sheffield Archives

    Sheffield City Council, Libraries Archives and Information, Sheffield, England

    South Carolina Historical Society

    Charleston, South Carolina

    Staffordshire Record Office

    Staffordshire City Council, Stafford, England

    1. 3. Notes on handwriting are provided when written in a hand other than the author’s, either partially or entirely; each of the Hutchinson children when acting as his secretary is cited by name, and the editors designated the others as clerks, none of whom have been more specifically identified; if letters were written in another hand but signed by Hutchinson, that information is included as well; all letters written by Hutchinson in this edition are in Hutchinson’s hand unless otherwise noted.
    2. 4. Any notations on the letters indicating their status (such as “not sent” or “Duplicate”) are provided.
    3. 5. Any physical features of the manuscripts that require additional explanation or description are provided.
    4. 6. Additional information regarding markings indicating the addressees, either on envelopes or attribution lines written in the same hand as the rest of the letter, is provided.
    5. 7. Brief notes to clarify the dates the letters were written are provided; more extensive notes regarding conjectural dates are placed in endnotes.
    6. 8. Endorsements, written in the hands of the recipients, or docketings, written in the hand of someone other than the recipients, are provided.
    7. 9. Markings for postage or information regarding how the letters were conveyed to the recipients are provided.

    Enclosures that have been located are listed at the end of the source note, as are contemporary printings that appeared during Hutchinson’s lifetime in books, journals, and newspapers in New England, with the addition of J. Almon’s London Remembrancer.

    Commonly cited sources within the volumes are abbreviated as follows:

    AAS Procs.

    American Antiquarian Society, Proceedings (Worcester, Massachusetts: American Antiquarian Society, 1843–).

    American Manuscripts

    Helen Cripe and Diane Campbell, eds., American Manuscripts, 1763–1815: An Index to Documents Described in Auction Records and Dealers’ Catalogues (Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources, 1977).

    Anderson, Crucible of War

    Fred Anderson, Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754–1766 (New York: Knopf, 2000).

    Archer, Enemy’s Country

    Richard Archer, As If an Enemy’s Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2010).

    Bailyn, Ordeal

    Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1974).

    Barrington-Bernard Correspondence

    Edward Channing and Archibald Cary Coolidge, eds., The Barrington-Bernard Correspondence and Illustrative Matter, 1760–1770, Harvard Historical Series, vol. 14 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1912).

    Belknap, New Hampshire

    Jeremy Belknap, Belknap’s New Hampshire: An Account of the State in 1792; A Facsimile Edition of Volume III of the History of New Hampshire (Hampton, New Hampshire: P. E. Randall, 1812).

    Blackstone, Commentaries

    Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1765).

    Boston Massacre Documents

    Neil L. York, ed., The Boston Massacre: A History with Documents (New York: Routledge, 2010).

    Briefs Am. Rev.

    John P. Reid, ed., Briefs of the American Revolution (New York: New York University Press, 1981).

    British Establishment

    Alan Valentine, ed., The British Establishment, 1760–1784, 2 vols. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1970).


    Records Commissioners of the City of Boston, Boston Town Records, 1631–1822, 38 vols. (Boston: Rockwell and Churchill, 1876–1909).

    Burgesses Journals

    John Pendleton Kennedy, ed., Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1619–1776, 13 vols. (Richmond, Virginia: Colonial Press, E. Waddey, 1905–1915).

    Carp, Defiance

    Benjamin L. Carp, Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2010).

    Chartrand, Forts of New France

    René Chartrand, The Forts of New France in Northeast America, 1600–1763 (Oxford, England: Osprey, 2008).

    Conn. Colony Records

    J. Hammond Trumbull and Charles J. Hoadly, eds., The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 1636–1776, 15 vols. (Hartford, Connecticut: Lockwood and Brainard, 1850–1890).

    CSM Pubs.

    Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Publications (Boston: Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 1895–).

    Docs. Am. Rev.

    K. G. Davies, ed., Documents of the American Revolution, 1770–1783, 21 vols (Dublin: Irish University Press, 1972–1981).

    Early Mass. Broadsides

    Some Early Massachusetts Broadsides (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1964).

    Essex Hist. Colls.

    Essex Institute Historical Collections, 129 vols. (Salem, Massachusetts: Essex Institute, 1859–1993).

    Fair Account

    [Francis Maserès?], A Fair Account of the Late Unhappy Disturbance at Boston in New England (London: B. White, 1770).

    Franklin Papers

    Leonard Larabee et al., eds., The Papers of Benjamin Franklin (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1959–).

    Freiberg, “First Fifty Years”

    Malcolm Freiberg, “Thomas Hutchinson: The First Fifty Years (1711–1761),” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 15 (1958): 35–55.

    Freiberg, “Footnote to a Riot”

    Malcolm Freiberg, “Footnote to a Riot: or, How Not to Preserve a House,” Old-Time New England 48 (Spring 1958): 104–06.

    Freiberg, Prelude to Purgatory

    Malcolm Freiberg, Prelude to Purgatory: Thomas Hutchinson in Provincial Massachusetts Politics, 1760–1770 (New York: Garland, 1990).

    Gipson, British Empire

    Lawrence Henry Gipson, The British Empire before the American Revolution, 15 vols. (New York: Knopf, 1936–1970).

    Griffin, Townshend Moment

    Patrick Griffin, Townshend Moment: The Making of Empire and Revolution in the Eighteenth Century (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2017).

    Harvard Graduates

    John Langdon Sibley, Clifford Kenyon Shipton, et al., eds., Biographical Sketches of Those Who Attended Harvard College (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1873–).

    Henry Hulton

    Neil L. York, ed., The Writings of Henry Hulton: An Outsider’s Inside View of the American Revolution (Boston: Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 2011).

    Hinderaker, Boston’s Massacre

    Eric Hinderaker, Boston’s Massacre (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2019).

    Hoerder, Crowd Action

    Dirk Hoerder, Crowd Action in Revolutionary Massachusetts, 1765–1780 (New York: Academic Press, 1977).

    Hosmer, Life of TH

    James Kendall Hosmer, The Life of Thomas Hutchinson, Royal Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1896).

    House of Commons

    Lewis Namier and John Brooke, eds., The House of Commons, 1754–1790, 3 vols. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964).

    Instructions to Mass. Governors

    Instructions to Massachusetts Governors, 1631–1775, arranged by Albert Matthews, Massachusetts Archives (Boston).

    JA Diary and Autobiography

    L. H. Butterfield et al., eds. Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 4 vols. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1961).

    JA Legal Papers

    L. Kinvin Wroth and Hiller B. Zobel, eds., Legal Papers of John Adams, 3 vols. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1965).

    Jasper Mauduit

    Jasper Mauduit: Agent in London for the Province of Massachusetts-Bay, 1762–1765: The Charles Grenfill Washburn Collection of Letters and Papers, Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, vol. 74 (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1918).


    Journals of the House of Lords (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1767–).


    Journal of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, 55 vols. (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1919–1990).

    Johnson Papers

    Papers of Sir William Johnson, 14 vols. (Albany: University of the State of New York, 1921).

    Jones, Loyalists of Mass.

    E. Alfred Jones, The Loyalists of Massachusetts: Their Memorials, Petitions, and Claims (London: St. Catherine’s Press, 1930).

    Journal of Trade

    Journal of the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, 14 vols. (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1920–1938).

    Kammen, A Rope of Sand

    Michael G. Kammen, A Rope of Sand: The Colonial Agents, British Politics, and the American Revolution (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1968).

    Labaree, Boston Tea Party

    Benjamin Woods Labaree, The Boston Tea Party (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1979).

    Letters Sent to Great-Britain

    A Copy of Letters Sent to Great-Britain, by His Excellency Thomas Hutchinson, the Hon. Andrew Oliver, and Several Other Persons, Born and Educated among Us (Boston: Edes & Gill, 1773).

    Maier, From Resistance to Revolution

    Pauline Maier, From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765–1776 (New York: Norton, 1972).

    Maine Documentary History

    James Phinney Baxter, ed., Documentary History of the State of Maine, 19 vols. (Portland: Maine Historical Society, 1897).

    Mass. Acts and Resolves

    Acts and Resolves Passed by the General Court of Massachusetts (Boston: Secretary of the Commonwealth, 1663–).

    Mass. Council Records

    Legislative and Executive Records of the Governor’s Council, Massachusetts Archives (Boston).

    MHS Colls.

    Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1798–).

    MHS Procs.

    Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1835–).

    Montgomery, Textiles in America

    Florence M. Montgomery, Textiles in America, 1650–1870: A Dictionary Based on Original Documents, Prints and Paintings, Commercial Records, American Merchants’ Papers, Shopkeepers’ Advertisements, and Pattern Books with Original Swatches of Cloth (New York: Norton, 1984).

    Morgan and Morgan, Stamp Act Crisis

    Edmund S. Morgan and Helen Morgan, The Stamp Act Crisis: Prologue to Revolution, 3rd. ed. (Williamsburg, Virginia: Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1995).


    New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847–).


    New England Quarterly (Boston, 1928–).

    Newbold, Albany Congress

    Robert C. Newbold, The Albany Congress and Plan of Union of 1754 (New York: Vantage Press, 1955).

    New York Journals

    Journals and Proceedings for the General Assembly of the Colony of New York, 1691–1776, 9 vols. (Albany: State Printer of New York, 1764–1820).

    N.H. Papers

    New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers (Concord: New Hampshire State Printer, 1867–).

    Nicolson, “‘Infamas Govener’”

    Colin Nicolson, The “‘Infamas Govener’”: Francis Bernard and the Origins of the American Revolution (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2001).


    Oxford English Dictionary.


    Bernard Bailyn, ed., Pamphlets of the American Revolution, 1750–1776: Volume 1, 1750–1765 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1965).

    Papers of Francis Bernard

    Colin Nicolson, ed., The Papers of Francis Bernard: Governor of Colonial Massachusetts, 1760–1769 (Boston: Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 2007–).

    Parliamentary Debates

    Great Britain, Parliament, The History, Debates, and Proceedings of Both Houses of Parliament of Great Britain, from the Year 1743 to the Year 1774: Containing the Most Interesting Motions, Speeches, Resolutions, Reports, Petitions, Evidence, Protests, and Papers, Laid before Either House. Together with the Supplies and Ways and Means of Each Session. Also Lists of Each Parliament, and of the Divisions upon the Most Important Questions, 7 vols. (London: J. Debrett, 1792).

    Parliamentary History

    The Parliamentary History of England from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803, 36 vols. (London: Hansard, 1813).

    Pencak, America’s Burke

    William Pencak, America’s Burke: The Mind of Thomas Hutchinson (Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1982).

    Portrait of a Patriot

    Daniel Coquillette and Neil York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot: The Major Political and Legal Papers of Josiah Quincy Jr., 6 vols. (Boston: Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 2005–2009).

    Pringle Letterbook

    Walter B. Edgar, ed., Letterbook of Robert Pringle, 2 vols. (Columbia: South Carolina Historical Society, 1972).

    Privy Council Acts

    William Lawson Grant and James Munro, eds., Acts of the Privy Council of England, Colonial Series, 1720–1745, 6 vols. (Hereford, England: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1908–1912).


    Edmund S. Morgan, ed., Prologue to Revolution: Sources and Documents on the Stamp Act Crisis, 1764–1766 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1959).

    Quincy, Reports of Cases

    Josiah Quincy Jr., Reports of Cases Argued before the Superior Court of Judicature in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, between 1761 and 1772, ed. Samuel M. Quincy (Boston: Little, Brown, 1865).


    John Almon, ed., The Remembrancer; or, Impartial Repository of Public Events, for the Year 1775–1784, 17 vols. (London: J. Almon, 1775–1784).

    Saltonstall Papers

    Robert E. Moody, ed., Saltonstall Papers, 1607–1815 (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1972).

    Short Narrative

    [James Bowdoin, Joseph Warren, and Samuel Pemberton], A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston (Boston: Edes & Gill and T. & J. Fleet, 1770).

    Smith, Writs Case

    M. H. Smith, The Writs of Assistance Case (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978).

    Speeches of the Governors

    Alden Bradford, ed., Speeches of the Governors of Massachusetts, from 1765 to 1775 (Boston: Russell and Gardner, 1818).

    Statutes at Large

    Danby Pickering, ed., The Statutes at Large from the Magna Charta to the End of the Eleventh Parliament of Great Britain, Anno 1761 [Continued to 1806], 46 vols. (Cambridge, England: J. Bentham, 1762–1807).

    TH Ancestors

    W. H. P. Oliver, comp. and ed., The American Ancestors of Thomas Hutchinson, 1711–1780: The Last Civil Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay and Six Generations of His Descendants (Morristown, New Jersey: N.p., 1946).

    TH Correspondence

    John W. Tyler et al., eds., The Correspondence of Thomas Hutchinson (Boston: Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 2014–).

    TH Diary and Letters

    Peter Orlando Hutchinson, ed., The Diary and Letters of His Excellency Thomas Hutchinson, 2 vols. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1884–1886).

    TH History

    Thomas Hutchinson, The History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts-Bay, ed. Lawrence Shaw Mayo, 3 vols. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1936).

    TH Original Papers

    Thomas Hutchinson, ed., A Collection of Original Papers Relative to the History of the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay (Boston: John and Thomas Fleet, 1769).

    Thomas, Townshend Duties Crisis

    P. D. G. Thomas, The Townshend Duties Crisis: The Second Phase of the American Revolution (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987).

    Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots

    John W. Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots: Boston Merchants and the Advent of the American Revolution (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1986).

    Unger, American Tempest

    Harlow Giles Unger, American Tempest: How the Boston Tea Party Sparked a Revolution (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 2011).

    Walett, “Massachusetts Council”

    Francis G. Walett, “The Massachusetts Council, 1766–1774: The Transformation of a Conservative Institution,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 6 (1949): 605–27.

    Waters, Otis Family

    John J. Waters, The Otis Family in Provincial and Revolutionary Massachusetts (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968).

    Whitmore, Mass. Civil List

    William Henry Whitmore, The Massachusetts Civil List for the Colonial and Provincial Periods, 1630–1774 (Albany, New York: J. Munsell, 1870).


    William and Mary Quarterly (3rd series, 1944–).

    Yale Graduates

    Franklin Bowditch Dexter, ed., Biographical Notices of the Graduates of Yale College, 6 vols. (New York: Holt, 1885–1912).

    Zobel, Boston Massacre

    Hiller B. Zobel, The Boston Massacre (New York: Norton, 1970).