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Editorial Note vii 

Trumbull Papers. 

Early Miscellaneous Papers 1-209 

Letters of Dr. William Samuel Johnson ...... 211-490 

Letters of Colonel Jedediah Huntington 491-518 

Index 519-546 


"The Trumbull Papers" in the Historical Society's ar- 
chives, of which this volume is the first to be printed, consist of 
twenty-eight folio volumes and two volumes in quarto. The 
Society came into possession of the papers in the following 

In April, 1794, three years after the Society had been insti- 
tuted, Dr. Belknap, the Corresponding Secretary, received the 
following letter. 

Rev. J. Belknap : — 

Sir, — My father, the late Governor Trumbull, collected with care 
the most important official papers which passed through his hands 
during the very interesting period of the Revolution, with the inten- 
tion that they should be preserved and deposited in some public library, 
as materials for future historians. 

Had the Massachusetts Historical Society existed during his life, 
there is no doubt that he would have chosen to give them to an insti- 
tution whose patriotic views they would so directly subserve, in prefer- 
ence to a collegiate or other library, where they probably would soon 
become ' ' food for worms." 

His heirs, therefore, think they cannot so well fulfil the Governor's 
intentions on this subject, as by offering them, as I am commissioned 
to do, to the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

You will be pleased to communicate this offer to the Society in our 

names, permitting us to suggest the propriety of their sending some 

person to make a selection of such papers as may be thought most 

useful, should it be thought an object worth your personal attention. 

We shall be happy to give you the best evidences in our power of the 

respect which we especially have for you. 

I am, sir, your most obedient servant, 

Da vtd Trumbull. 
Lebanon, 15 April, 1794. 


David Trumbull, the writer of this letter, was the third son, 
the second then living, of Governor Jonathan Trumbull of 
Connecticut, who had died nine years before, that is, on the 
17th of August, 1785. 

Dr. Belknap laid this communication before the Historical So- 
ciety at the next meeting, on the 11th of June, the record of 
which recites that a letter was read " from David Trumbull, 
Esq., offering the valuable papers of his father, and desiring 
that the Society would send some person to make a selection 
of those which may be proper for their use." 

" Voted, That the offer be accepted, and that the Corresponding 
Secretary be requested to write a letter of thanks to David Trumbull, 
Esq., in the name of the Societ} r , and inform him that a suitable 
person will be sent to Connecticut as soon as possible to make a 

At the meeting of the Society on the 28th of April, next year, 
1785, it was 

" Voted, That Dr. Belknap be requested to take a journe} 7 to Leba- 
non for the purpose of inspecting the papers of the late Governor 
Trumbull, and that the Society engage to bear one half the expense 
of the journey." 

In Dr. Belknap's interleaved almanac for this year occur 
these entries : — 

" July 7. I set out in the mail stage for Providence, Norwich, 
and Lebanon, to visit the family of the late Governor Trumbull, and 
select papers for the Historical Society. 

" 9th. Got to Lebanon. Stayed there till 13th ; then set out for 
home ; and arrived safe, 15th, at five o'clock p. m." 

At a meeting of the Society on July 30th, this record was 
made: — 

" Dr. Belknap informed the Society that he had been to Lebanon, 
in Connecticut, and examined the books and papers of the late Gov- 
ernor Trumbull, a general list of which he read, adding that they 
would be sent forward by the packet in August. He also exhibited 
his account of expenses, amounting to $ 17.19, one half of which is to 
be paid by the Society." 

Dr. Belknap's almanac for this year continues its record : — 

"Dec. 12. Arrived at my house the chests and boxes of papers 
from Governor Trumbull's at Lebanon. They were sent from Nor- 


rich, carted across Cape Cod, and thence brought up to Boston in a 
ressel from Barnstable." 

It is quite probable that the Norwich and Boston packet, — 
perhaps it was " Harris, the Norwich coaster," who plied be- 
tween these two ports, — on board which these papers were 
shipped, was cast away on the south side of Cape Cod. Dr. 
Belknap records in his almanac, on the 8th of this month, a 
great storm and wrecks on the coast. 

At a meeting of the Society on the 26th of July, 1796, it was 

" Voted, That the Librarian and Judge Minot be a committee to 
take a list of the manuscripts presented by Mr. Trumbull, and other 
manuscripts which are on the files." 

These Trumbull Papers, probably not long after they were 
received, were roughly classified and bound in volumes, making 
twenty-three in number. Volumes 1 to 18 cover the period in 
order from 1750 to 1783 ; Vol. 20, from 1769 to 1783. Vol. 21 
consists of " Susquehannah Papers " (which were probably 
bound together as they now are when received). Vol. 22 
consists of early papers relating principally to the Narragan- 
sett country, yet including several of a miscellaneous character. 
Vol. 23 consists principally of printed papers and broadsides. 
Vol. 19 was burned when Mr. Savage's law office was destroyed 
in the Court Street fire of 1825. Mr. Savage was then pre- 
paring Winthrop's History for the press, and had taken several 
rare volumes from the library of the Historical Society for con- 
sultation, all of which were lost. See Proceedings, I. 392, 393. 
This volume contained early precious papers, but Mr. Savage 
said, in 1846, that " the most valuable part of all that volume 
had been recently printed in the first of third series," in 1825. 
Proceedings, II. 332. An additional volume, more recently 
bound, not numbered, contains " Military Returns," from 1752 
to 1784. 

These twenty-four volumes (or twenty-three, if we exclude 
Vol. 21) probably comprised the papers originally received in a 
loose or detached condition. 

An unnumbered volume, labelled " Washington," contains 
principally official papers, the greater part of which were only 
signed by him, — 1779 to 1783. There are four letter-books, 
containing copies of official letters, as well of those received as 


of those written, covering a period from 1753 to 1779. Lettersj 
of Washington, Schujder, and Gates are included among others. 
The letters of Washington are numerous. One of these volumes 
consists largely of Governor Trumbull's correspondence with the 
President of the Continental Congress. 

One volume of quarto size contains the letters of Dr. William 
Samuel Johnson, agent for Connecticut in London during the 
years 1767 to 1771, addressed to Governors Pitkin and Trum- 
bull. The letters were bound together when received. 

Another quarto volume consists of the manuscript copy, in 
several parts, of Winthrop's Journal, from which ultimately the 
volume was printed, in 1790, by Elisha Babcock, in Hartford. 
At the end are several pages of extracts from Winthrop's Jour- 
nal, made by Governor Trumbull. This volume was evidently 
bound by the Society. 

It will be seen that the Trumbull Papers now comprise thirty 
volumes, 1 These have always been open to the use of historical 
students and investigators, under the rules which apply to all 
the Society's manuscripts. No purpose has hitherto been formed 
of printing in a series of volumes this large mass of papers, the 
greater part of which belong to the period of the Revolutionary 
War, and consist of correspondence with Governor Trumbull 
himself on a great variety of topics; "the matter being ex- 
tremely miscellaneous," said Mr. Savage, in a report on these 
papers nearly forty years ago, " the value attaching to which 
must be ascertained in general one or two hundred years 
hence," some of the papers probably existing in duplicate. 
Two or three years ago, however, at the earnest solicitation of 
the President of the Society, a movement was made to enter 
upon this work, namely, "to publish the Trumbull Papers," 
and a committee was appointed, but nothing was done. In 
June of last year the present committee was appointed "to 
publish a volume of Trumbull Papers," the previous committee 
having been dissolved. One volume was all that the present 
committee, or its chairman, was prepared to undertake. 

In selecting, therefore, materials for a single volume from this 
large mass of manuscripts, with no plan of making it one of a 
series of volumes, the Committee aimed to bring together such 

1 We do not include a email duodecimo memorandum-book of Governor Trum- 
bull, in several parts, bound together, 1771-1775. 


apers as would form a unit of themselves, or which would not 

e a mere section of a larger whole. They also thought it 

rould be desirable to print the papers of earliest date, if any 

onsiderable number could be found that would conform to this 

eneral plan. In examining the papers it was seen that Vol. 22 

onsisted of documents belonging to the seventeenth century, 

vhich related principally to the Narragansett country, — a ter- 

itory whose jurisdiction for many years was the subject of con- 

roversy between the Colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island, 

vhich was claimed by the heirs of the Duke of Hamilton, and 

lilso in part by the Atherton Company, whose members were 

largely residents of Massachusetts. The papers in this volume 

•elated to all these controversies. Several letters and docu- 

nents had no immediate connection with those described, but 

;vere regarded as too important to be omitted should the others 

De selected. The committee decided to print these papers, and 

to include everything except generally such as had already 

oeen published; and these are enumerated below. 

The papers in Vol. 22 make, however, but 209 pages, or 
about one halt a printed volume of the usual size. To com- 
plete this, the committee have printed the volume of letters of 
Dr. William Samuel Johnson, before mentioned. Johnson was 
appointed to represent the Colony in London in the somewhat 
famous rt Mohegan Case," which on appeal was tried before the 
Privy Council, and was finally settled in 1771. It was a very 
vexatious case, which had been in the courts for over seventy 
years. The final trial at this time was attended also with great 
delay and expense. But Johnson, while patiently waiting the 
slow movements of Privy Councillors and attorneys, attended 
the debates in Parliament, which at that time intimately con- 
cerned America. His agency covered the exciting period which 
immediately followed the repeal of the Stamp Act, and included 
the passage of the Townshend Act, and its partial repeal, the 
exception being the one offensive article of tea ; while in Amer- 
ica the riots in Boston, the non-importation agreements in the 
several Colonies, &c, all tended to kindle the feeling of hostil- 
ity in Parliament. Johnson regularly attended its sessions. He 
was a man of rare insight, great common sense, and most excel- 
lent judgment, and his letters, written with great elegance of 
style, graphically report the proceedings of Parliament and the 
speeches of the members. 


At the end of the volume will be found a few letters of Colo 
nel, afterwards General, Jedediah Huntington of Connecticut 
to Governor Jonathan Trumbull, written from the army befor< 
Boston, during the siege. Colonel Huntington was stationec 
with his regiment at Roxbury, from which place his letters an 
principally addressed. 

Many of the earlier papers in this volume are transcripts 
often in unknown hands, and it was not thought necessary o: 
desirable to perpetuate in print their peculiarities in spellinj 
or punctuation. In these respects, therefore, they have beei 
made to conform to modern usage ; and, indeed, this remarl 
will apply to all these early papers. Abbreviated words hav 
been spelled out at length. The spelling of the names of pei 
sons and places has been scrupulously preserved. The paper 
of the later period, which consist principally of Dr. Johnson' 
letters, fall so naturally into the class of modern writings, tha 
the rules of Mr. Wilson's printing-office, which have beei 
applied to them, would find little to change. 

Dr. Belknap appears to have been so favorably impressec 
with the value of Dr. Johnson's letters, as historical material 
that he early formed a purpose of printing them in the His 
torical Society's Collections. He therefore addressed a lette 
to Dr. Johnson, then President of Columbia College, New York 
asking his consent to their publication. The following corre 
spondence in Dr. Belknap's hand, is preserved in the Letter 
Book of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Dr. Johnson'i 
letter written to him in reply is no longer on file. 

To W m Sam 1 Johnson, Presid 1 of New York College. 

Boston, November 7, 1795. 

Sir, — By the favor of the Trumbull family in Connecticut, th( 
Historical Society in this State have become possessed of a large col 
lection of manuscripts, and among them a quarto volume of } 7 our Let 
ters to Governor Pitkin and Governor Trumbull during your agency 
in England from 1767 to 1771. We esteem them so valuable material* 
in the history of our country, that we contemplate the publishing o; 
them in our Collections, which are given to the public once in everj 
three months ; but delicacy requires that we ask your permission, anc 
therefore I address you at this time, hoping you will not deny us this 
request. At the same time, sir, permit me in the name of the Societj 


to ask whether it be in your power to contribute anything further to 
aid the cause in which we are engaged, and whether we shall have an 
opportunity to thank you for any further communications. 

I am, &c, 

Jeremy Belknap, Cor. Sec. 

To the foregoing I received an answer dated the 15th of December, 
which is on file ; and immediately wrote the following to Jonathan 
Trumbull, Esq. , Senator of the United States in Congress. 

Boston, December 26, 1795. 

Dear Sir, — I think it my duty to enclose to you copies of a letter 
which I wrote to Dr. Johnson, and his answer, received this day, that 
you may be able to advise me what kind of reply to make to him. 
My letter was dictated by the purest respect and delicacy, and I do 
not wish to reply to him in any other style ; but I think it highly 
proper that you should see what he has written to me, and be able to 
compare it with what he may possibly write to yon. 

The Letters which we wished and asked his permission to publish 
were doubtless the property of Governor Trumbull, and by him des- 
tined as materials for a part of American history. The property has 
been fairly transferred to our Society and I do not see any reason that 
Dr. Johnson has to expect that we will return them to him. The 
publication of them would do him honor, as he appears in them to 
have been a firm friend to the liberties of his country, and a faithful, 
vigilant, discerning agent, detecting the artifices, evasions, and blun- 
ders of the British Court, and giving the best information, advice, and 
caution to his employers. There is nothing in them that can " injure 
his character," much less, that can " insult the public" ; and why his 
indignation should be raised to such a degree is beyond my power to 
conjecture. His letters are not in the hands of "mercenary book- 
sellers nor avowed enemies," and had he expressed his disapprobation 
of our wish in terms less energetic, he would have answered his pur- 
pose full as well, and have saved me and you the trouble and disgust 
which we must feel from perusing his letter. I add a copy of the 
letter from your brother, b}- which we were first made acquainted 
with Governor Trumbull's intention, and from which it will certainly 
appear that your family do not merit the harsh and abusive censure 
of "violating private friendship and public trust." 

I shall suspend writing to him till I hear from yo\x. 

I am, &c, 

Jeremy Belknap. 


The Rev, Jeremiah Belknap, D. D,, Boston, 

Philadelphia, 15 January, 1796. 

Dear Sir, — I have your favor of the 26th ult. with its enclosures 
Before this time I hope you have received mine of the 24th of the 
same month, written in consequence of what I had received from 
Doctor Johnson. 

The Doctor had given me a pretty faithful detail of what he had 
written to you: his style, his manner, and, above all, his very grea\ 
anxiety, I confess surprised me much ; nor am I able now to accounl 
for it. I have conjectured, however, two causes. One, a fear lesl 
something should appear from those letters to fix a suspicion, which 
attached itself to him during our Revolution War, of his too great 
predilection for the British nation. The other cause, perhaps, thai 
nice feeling for reputation, which is apt to attack you literary gen- 
tlemen. The latter, I suspect, is the greater motive to his concern, 
for the reasons given by himself : such as "the letters having been 
written by him in a hasty manner, on the spur of the occasion, as 
opportunities presented, &c." ; which might lead him to suspect thai 
inaccuracies might have occurred, which, to appear to the world 
without his correction, might serve to injure his literary reputation. 
Although on this score he may not, as I fancy, have much reason 
for apprehension, }-et his sensibility may be alarmed, and may 
have formed to himself an excuse for his precipitate prohibition. 
But be his reasons what they may, I have so great a respect and 
regard for the old gentleman, that I am very sorry for the pain he 
seems to have felt on the occasion, and am disposed to give him all 
the quiet I can, consistent with other duties and relations. 

You will have seen by my first letter to you that I wished to calm 
the very great anxiety of Dr. Johnson ; but perhaps it may be unne- 
cessary to precipitate a redelivery of the volume in question to him, 
or any other person, at present. 

With much esteem and regard, I am, dear sir, 

Your obedient servant, 

Jona. Trumbull. 

Dr. Belknap relinquished his plan of printing the letters, 
in deference to the feelings of the writer of them, and in sc 
doing paid Dr. Johnson a high compliment by saying, < 
have read the letters repeatedly with delight, and have gained 
a better idea of the political system than from all the boob! 
published during that period." See Life and Times of Willian 


Samuel Johnson, LL. D., by E. Edwards Beardsley, D. D., LL. D., 
p. 150. 

Below is a list of papers in Vol. 22 of the "Trumbull 
Papers" not printed in this volume, pointing out the places 
where they may be found already printed. Each paper in the 
volume is numbered as below. 

2. Coginiquand's Deed to the Atherton Proprietors, July 4, 
1659. In R. I. Col. Rec, III. 227, under 1687. 

6. Report of Cranfield and others, Commissioners to the King, 
Oct. 20, 1683. In 1 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., V. 235, and 
R. I. Col. Rec, in. 140. 

8. Major Willard's Commission, Sept. 25, 1654. The form is 

in the Records of United Colonies, II. 130. 

9. John Winthrop to the Colony of Connecticut, about New 

Haven, March 4, 1662-3. New Haven Rec, 11. 498, and 
Trumbull's Connecticut, I. 520. 

10. Duplicate of No. 2. 

11. Coginiquon's Deed to Atherton Proprietors, June 17, 1659. 

In R. I. Col. Rec, I. 464. 

18. John Winthrop, Jr.'s Commission, 18th July, 1635, and 

Articles between Lord Say and Seal, and others, 7 July, 
1635. In Trumbull's Connecticut, I. 497, 498. Also 
citations as to boundaries from several New England char- 
ters, all in a comparatively modern hand. 

19. Coginaquon's Deed to Atherton Proprietors, 11th June, 1659. 

In R. I. Col. Rec, I. 464, not accurately printed. 

20. Duplicate of 49. 

24. Nicolls, Carr, and Maverick's Order relative to King's Prov- 
ince, Sept. 15, 1665. In R. I. Col. Rec, II. 95. 

26. Extracts ^rom the Colonial Records of Connecticut, under May 

16, 1661, relative to an Address to the King respecting 
a new Charter. In Records, I. 367, 368. 

27. Extract from the Rhode Island Colony Records, relative to 

the Government of the King's Province. In Records, II. 
226, 227. 

28. Agreement of Uncus and others, in behalf of the Indian 

people of Winsor, Hartford, &c, Aug. 3, 1666. In Colo- 
nial Records of Connecticut, II. 41 , 42. 

30. Duplicate of 46. 

37. Duplicate of 36. 

44. Duplicate of 38. 


No. 53. Narragansett Sachems' Deed to the Atherton Company, Oct. 
13, 1660. In R. I. Col. Rec, I. 465. 

" 66. Lord Say and Seal's Letter, July 10, 1661. In Hutchin- 
son, I. 220, 221, note. 

" 70. Petition of William and Anne, Duke and Duchess of Ham- 
ilton, May 6, 1664. In Trumbull, I. 524, 525. 

" 72. Copy of Conclusion of Commissioners respecting Connecticr 
Charter, Sept. 17, 1662. In Rec. United Colonies, I 
286, 287. 

11 77. Extracts from the Colonial Records of Connecticut relativ 
to John Winthrop's visit to England to procure a newj 
Charter, &c, June 7, 1661. In Records, I. 369. 

11 78. Plymouth's Agreement with King Philip, Sept. 28, 1671 
In Plymouth Col. Rec, VI. 79, there dated Sept. 29. 

" 81. Extract from Colonial Records of Connecticut, under May 
12, 1670, relative to the appointment of a Committee to 
meet a Committee from Rhode Island, to confer about 
boundaries and other grievances. In Records, II. 134, 

" 84. Petition and Remonstrance of the Inhabitants of King'sj 
Province to James II., July 29, 1679. In R. I. Col. Rec, 
III. 58-60. Names do not quite correspond. 

44 86. Extract from Colonial Records of Connecticut, May 10, 1679. 
Petition of John Saffin, in behalf of sundry gentlemen 
claiming rights in the Narragansett Country. In Records, 
II. 315, 316. 

" 87. Extract from Colonial Records of Connecticut, May 9, 1678 
Answer to a Petition of Waite Winthrop for liberty to 
settle a number of families in the Narragansett Country 
In Records, III. 15, 16. 

" 89. Rhode Island Act, Oct. 30, 1672, repealing the lawagainsti 
the Atherton Proprietors. In Records, II. 477, 478. 

" 90. Fragment of Agreement between Thomas Savage and oth- 
ers, on behalf of Connecticut, and sundry Indians, relating 
to Narragansett. The whole in Hutchinson, I. 289-291, 

" 91. Duplicate of 89. 

44 99. General Assembly of Connecticut to Commander of the| 
Dutch Fleet, Aug. 7, 1673. In Colonial Records, App., 
II. 561. 

44 100. Commission to Cranfield and others, April 7, 1683, to in- 
quire in the Claims to the Narragansett Country. In! 
1 Mass. Hist. Soc Coll., V. 282, 283. 


ko. 101. Declaration of the Commissioners of the United Colonies 
respecting the Dutch Fleet, Aug. 27, 1673. In Rec. 
United Col., II. 387. 

'* 105. Secretary Nicholas Ba}*ard's Answer, in Dutch, to No. 99, 
from Fort William Hendrick, Aug. 24, 1673. For English 
version, see Colonial Records of Connecticut, II. 561, 562. 

4k 111. Duplicate in part of 103. 

r 116. A printed broadside summons of a meeting, Aug. 22, 1683, 
in the Narragansett Country, under Commission to Cran- 
field. No. 100, signed by William Wharton. In 1 Mass. 
Hist. Soc. Coll., V. 233." 

f 120. Connecticut Agreement with Uncas, May 18, 1681. In Co- 
lonial Records, III. 309-311. 

" 122. Duplicate of 120. 

f 124, 125. Duplicate of 6, with signatures and a brief addition, 
omitted in former copy. 

f 131. Governor Winthrop's Address to the King, in 1661, in the 
name of the General Court of Connecticut. In Records, 
I. 582. 

| 4 132. Andros's Commission. In 3 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., VI. 139. 

" 133. Act for quieting men's Estates, an English Law from Statutes 
at Large, printed in London in 1676. 

M 134. An obscure writing of one sheet of paper, apparently in 
the hand of John Winthrop, Jr., labelled, "Nenecun- 
natt. Speeches at Nameag, Feb. 1646. The examination 
of John, the Poquannuk Indian." Probably nowhere 

r 155. Extracts from Colonial Records of Connecticut. Request of 
Owerieco, Oct. 13, 1692, and Petition of New London, May 
13, 1703. In Records, IV. 88 and 415. 

Note. — About forty years ago, after the Sbciet}' had had pos- 
session of the Trumbull Papers for fifty years, a claim was made to 
them by the State of Connecticut, as belonging to the archives of that 
Commonwealth. The demand was not acknowledged by the Society. 
The action taken respecting the claim may be seen in the Proceedings 
of the Society, II. 322, 323, 331-333, 343-346, 357-359. 

Boston, February 2, 1885. 





To the Right Worthily Honored Governor of Massachusets, these present. 
Possesion House, 2 this 4th day of the week, month 6, [1637]. 

Honored Sir, — My most humble and due respect to 
your Worship, Mr. Deputy, my. Colonel, with all the rest 
of our noble worthies. 

Sir, the messenger staying for us, I must make haste. 
|How God hath dealt with us, I doubt not but your Wor- 
ship hath full intelligence by them from Block Island. 
[Now, since their departure, there came some Mohegens to 
[the house, and brought the [new]s of a great sachem, 

1 This letter was written from Connecticut in August, 1637, near the 
close of the Pequot war. Some parts of it are illegible, and particularly the 
latter portion of it; but the name of Richard Davenport is sufficiently clear 
as the writer. It is well known that he was on service as Lieutenant in a 
Massachusetts company, and was wounded in the swamp fight, as the writer 
of the letter says that he was. — Eds. 

2 " The ' Possession House ' was the house built by Stoughton, on or near 
the neck of land on which Fort Trumbull now stands, in New London. See 
Miss Caulkins's History of New London, pp. 36 and 37, and note ; also pp. 104 
and 105. It is repeatedly mentioned in the discussion, before the Commis- 
sioners of the United Colonies, of the Massachusetts title to the Pequot country 
by conquest and occupation." — J. Hammond Trumbull, Manuscript Letter, 
March 1, 1884. 

Mr. Trumbull can give us no light upon the location of another place men- 
tioned near the end of the letter, — " Marriadge Point. " A name of kindred 
significance was given at a later period to a place in the Pequot country, in 
; commemoration of an interesting incident related in Miss Caulkins's History 
| of New London, pp. 48-50, — " Bride Brook." 

" Qenepiake," of course, is New Haven — Eds. 



as they said greater than Sasacus, he being Momono 
link's son, — a mighty fellow for courage, and one that; 
I know by some experience his desperateness in the 
swamp ; for as I gather by the description of him, and 
also the Indians' report that slew him, that he said he 
killed one in the swamp, shooting him in the belly, and ( 
another he killed with arrows, which was myself. But, 
blessed be God, we all live. Two days after this, the 
same Indians killed another, who was then run away from 
Sasacus. He said he thought that Sasacns was killed • for 
that Monowhaak had beset the wigwam where they were, 
and so fell upon them, and this man, lying at the door, 
ran away. But what credit to give to it, we knew not. 
Two days since I went up to the head of this river, with 
twenty men, to cut corn, or gather beans ; and coming 
thither I found a great company of Mohegens, who were 
returned to their country, — about five hundred of men 
women, and children. They were somewhat fearful at 
first, but after spoke with us, and lovingly entertained 
us. They tell for certain that Sasacus is killed, as the! 
former suspected, and forty men with him, and some 
women. Six men are escaped, whereof Mononotak k 
one. I perceive the Indians would be glad to make 
women of all the Pecotts now, except the sachems anc 
captains and murtherers ; but them they would kill 
They seem to fear the Naregansick men, but hope the 
English will not suffer them to be wronged. Captair 
Stoughton is gone a week since to Conetecutt planta 
tions; and I hear that the sachems of Long Island d 
now wait for him with their tribute at the river mouth 
I suppose, under favor, this place will not prove gooc 
for a plantation, so far as I can judge, having seen th 
greatest part of the country; but I must extol Qene 
piake and Marriadge Point. But this I knew you hear( 
of. I see not what business here will be for many mei 
long. I know not Captain Stoughton's mind till hi 


leturn about marching [illegible'] the Nipnets home. My 
Captain and myself are for it. 

[Some] of our soldiers have no mind to work, and how 
khey would fight I know not. They murmur much for 
butter and cheese, etc. But I hope God will give so 
much wisdom to endeavor their pacifying. I confess 
some spirits here will trouble a patient man. My Captain 
humbly salutes you, with the Council. For myself, dear 
sir, I bless God I am wholly recovered of my hurts ; only 
some [illegible'] I want. My Captain desires some goose 

Shot by the first. [Rest of the letter illegible.] 

Richard Davenport. 

Indorsed, " Rec* 6, 25, 1637." 


The Colony of Conecticutt doth challenge a just inter- 
est in the jurisdiction of the plantations in the Pequot 
country, by the possession taken by the agent of the 
first proprietors of Seabrooke, according to their first 
patent, at the first settling of Seabrooke fort. 

Sept. 23, 1650. But the Commissioners of Connecti- 
cut not having at present any other copy of their patent 
jthan what was formerly presented, and the Commission- 
ers for Massachusetts standing upon the original, or a 
| copy under seale, or sufficiently witnessed to their satis- 
| faction, there could be no agreement for present. 1 

Ed : Hopkins, President. Theoph. Eaton. 

Symon Bradstreet. Tho. Prence. 

W M - Hathorne. Joh. Browne. 

Joh. Heines. Steven Goodyear. 

1 These brief memoranda taken from the "Records of the Commission- 
! ers of the United Colonies," relative to Connecticut's claim to the Pequot 
! country, are not in precise chronological order. They are in the hand of 
John Winthrop, Jr. The entire Records, being now in print, may be 
1 consulted with ease. They comprise one of the most valuable sources of 
i New England history. — Eds. 



Concluded. — Sept. 18, 1646. There it was conclu 
that whereas the Commissioners for the Massachfe 
propounded their interest by conquest, and Coned 
by patent, purchase, and conquest, they concluded 
unless the Massachuset hereafter show better title 
jurisdiction should belong to Connecticut. 

At a meeting concluded Sept. 17, 1647, declared 
jurisdiction goeth constantly with the patent, and 
eluded that the jurisdiction of that plantation doth 
ought to belong to Connecticut. 

The same year 1647, Sept. 17, concluded about Efu 
teck lands. 

At the meeting concluded at Plimouth, Sept. 19, 1 
the Commissioners have testified under their hand 
these words, page 173 of Boston Book : — 

The copy of the patent for Connecticutt hath form 
been viewed by the Commissioners, and lately owne 
England; but was not either called for the last yea 
not so insisted upon as to make any demur upon the ([n 
missioners' proceedings ; but upon demand the cop 
the said patent was now produced and read, by whk 
clearly appeareth that both the place and jurisdictic 
granted to the lords and gentlemen, and their assoc 
or assigns. At the meeting of Commissioners atpl 
mouth, Sept. 19, 1648, alleged by the Commissioner 
Connecticut, page 168 of Boston Book, that the 
of the patent was seen when the confederation was m(ie 
and the thing itself was well known to many, and h 
owned in England by the Commissioner, &c. 

Whereas the Colony of Connecticut did always pa 
lenge the jurisdiction of the Plantation in the Pepc 
country by their first patent ; which patent was ojae 
fully by the Commissioners, and attested as approve 
them after the sight of the copy. 





To the Worshipful John Winthrop, -Esq., at his house at Pequit, these 
present, with trust. 

g IR? — I hope that you and yours are all well. After 
my service to you remembered, I desire to acquaint you 
with God's mercy to me and my wife and little one, 
bringing us safe along through the country, though very 
weary, having not the help of any horse, but came all the 
way from the trading-house to Poquatucke afoot. Sir, my 
father Palmer desired me to remember his service to 
you. Moreover, as I came through Ninicrat's country, 
he sent for me and my wife to his house ; and it was to 
entreat me to send to your Worship concerning some 
news that he hears, that Uncus's men have tak^n a 
canoe of his and some of his men which he sent to 
the southward. Upon this occasion there came two of 
the Ambukes with him, which live to the southward, to 
whom he gave ten fathom to come with him, and to fetch 
that which he owed to the Ambukes ; that is to say, for 
two guns, three raccoon coats, two bearskins, and one # 
painted skin of great price, and some physic. Moreover, 
he says that the two southward Indians had a great deal 
of wampum given them at dancings in the Narraganset 
country, and some they won at play ; and one of them 
sold a gun to one of Ninicrat's men, which Ninicrat 
says that this is the things for which the wampum that 
is in the canoe was sent. Moreover, Ninicrat says that 
he have plotted no evil, nor wrought no evil against the 
English ; and further, Ninicrat would pray you to stand 
his friend, that his men which is taken may not be 

1 Thomas Minor, formerly of Charlestown, Mass., then of New London, 
was probably now a resident of Southerton, tc which place his father-in-law 
and Mr. Cheesebrook had removed, and from which this letter was written. 
See Mass. Col. Rec, Vol. IV. Pt. I. p. 353. - Eds. 



killed, neither dismembered of hands, feet, fingers, nor 
toes. He desires also that his wampum which he sent to 
pay that he owes may be restored again. As near as 
we understand, he said also that he stands in fear of the 
English, and therefore paid his tribute ; and should he 
practise other ways, this, as near as we can, I have 
written to you what we understood both from Ninicrat 
himself, and likewise the same is confirmed by one of his 
chief men that came to Goodman Cheesbrooke's, and 
stood by when I was writing. So, with haste, I rest 
yours to command. 

Thomas Minor. 

From Mr. Hains, forward the 
2d of April, 1653. 

Indorsed, " Tho: Minor, about Ninicraft's message." 


To the Right Worshipful John Winthrop, at Pequott. 

Worthy Sir, — The occasion of my writing to you 
these few lines is this : our sachem of Montacutt hath 
had, both formerly and now of late, several messengers 
from Uncas, the Mohegin sachem, to this purpose : that, 
if he would send him wampum, he would avenge him 
upon the Narrhigganset, for the blood they shed last 
year ; and I perceive he is somewhat jealous of his faith 
fulness towards him in this matter, yet at last is willing 
to venture somewhat that way, and hath sent, as they say 
seven hundred fathom of wampum for the present, and 
more by a great deal he shall have hereafter, if he stand 
up of his side ; only I perceive the sachem here, being 
wise, is fearful of giving also offence to the English an^ 
way. Therefore, he desires your Worship might be 
acquainted with it, either to stop it if you think no1 


well of it, or to be a witness of the unfaithfulness of 
Uncas, if he shall deceive him in this matter. So I rest, 
my best respects remembered to yourself and Mr. Blin- 
man, though unknown, and humbly take my leave. 
Yours to command in any office of love, 

Thomas James. 

Easthamptox, 1 April 4, '54. 


Boston, July 9, 1659. 

To the much-honored John Winthrop, Esq., Governor of Connecticut 
Colony, at Harford, this present. 

Hoxored Sir, — After my service presented unto your- 
self and Mrs. Winthrop, and all yours for whose absence 
I was troubled that I did so unhappily to delay one day 
too long in my coming to New London, so that I could 
not speak with you there, I had thoughts to come up to 
Harford ; but the weather being so hot, I darest neither 
venture myself nor my horse. Sir, you may remem- 
ber, when I spoke with you last at New London, I 
gave you a hint of my intents concerning the Narra- 
gancet country, which business, as I conceive, is fully 
effected with the chief sachem. The quantity, as I 
judge, is twelve mile alongst in the Narragancet Bay. 
The trading-house being in the middle, it is judged to 
be the only place in the country for a plantation. There 
are at the present seven purchasers besides yourself. 
The purchase hath cost six score pound. Many there 
is that would willingly join in it; but w T e shall do 
nothing before we speak with you, yourself being men- 
tioned first in the purchase. Those that are concerned 

1 On Long Island. See Thompson's Long Island, I. 295. — Eds. 


in it is Major Adderton, Mr. Smith and his son, Lieut. 
Hudson, Captain Hutchinson, Mr. Tinker, and myself. 
But if this come once to be settled, it will make Quinne- 
bawge of greater value. As concerning our friends at 
Wennam, Mr. Newman was here the last week ; but 
Mr. Maygate hath been there since, who can inform you 
concerning their health. As for news I have not any! 
at present, only things are pretty sad in regard of old 
Mr. Duncome in respect of his late losses disenables him 
of satisfying his creditors. They now coming upon 
him forceth him to leave off his dealings, and I doubt 
his son in the same condition ; so by this we may see 
the uncertainty of these outward things. Thus I rest 
yours to command, 

Amos Richerdson. 1 

Sir, I would entreat you to remember my service to 
Mr. Stone. 

Indorsed, u Mr. Richardson about the purchase at Narraganset." 


Whereas Coginaquand hath given to Mr. John Win-! 
throp and Major Humphrey Atherton and partners two: 
parcels of land lying in Narragansetts country, as appears 
by two writings, one bearing date the 11th of June, 1659,) 
the other the 4th of July, 1659, as may more amplyj 
appear : Now we, Cosuequansh and Scuttup, chief saga-j 
mores or sachems of Narragansetts, do freely and abso- 
lutely give and make over all our right and interest in 
both the said parcels of land to the said Mr. John Winthrop 

1 The reader is referred to Savage's Genealogical Dictionary of New Eng- 
land for information about the writer of this letter. — Eds. 


knd the rest of his friends, according to the contents of 
the said writings. As witness our hands, the fifth day 
Df August, 1659. 

The mark \ of Scuttup. 

Signed and delivered in the 
presence of us, — 

Valentine Whitman, Interpreter. 
John Sassaman, Indian Interpreter. 
Edwaed Hutchinson. 
The mark of Panatuk, X Indian. 

John Sossaman affirmed before the court, that, having 
Subscribed his name as a witness to the writing within 
[written, was present when Scuttup, the sagamore within 
[mentioned, signed and subscribed his name by his mark to 
Ithe same, and that he as an interpreter did read the said 
within written to the said Scuttup before he signed it, so 
as he well understood what he did. And was also pres- 
ent with [when ?] Cosuequansh, the other chief sagamore, 
said unto Scuttup that what he did in relation to the 
confirmation of lands by Cogiquand, given to the gentle- 
men within mentioned, as in two other writings may 
appear, he did and would own as done by himself, and 
further saith not ; only Cosuequansh in his hearing said 
that the land within given was not so properly his as it 
was Scuttop's, and therefore what he did was good. 
That this was so affirmed on the 24th 2d month, 1660. 

Attests : 

Edw : Rawson, Recorder. 

Indorsed, " Scuttop's confirmation of the deeds from Cojanaquand. 
Aug. 5, 1659. No. 3." 



To the much-honored the Commissioners sitting at Hartford or elsewhere at 
Quoneticot for the United Colonies in New England. 

Honored Gentlemen, — Yours, we being informed, 
are to meet at Quonecticut, Commissioners for the United 
Colonies : and there lying some grievance upon us, by 
reason of the indirect proceedings of some within your 
Colonies in going about to purchase lands of the Indians 
without our knowledge or consent, which land is within 
our charter : Now, to the end that offences may be pre- 
vented, and peace may be still continued, we have made 
our addresses unto yourselves by these few lines, hoping 
that your wisdom will weigh and consider how just it is 
that we should endeavor by all just means to maintain our 
due rights, as we know yourselves would do in the like 
case. If any of the inhabitants of our plantations should 
come into yours and buy lands of the natives without 
your order and consent they should not only lose their 
lands and their moneys paid for it, but be fined also at 
your pleasures. And as you have a law by which all are 
prohibited from buying any land of the natives, the like 
law was established amongst us before any such purchase 
was made as is now pretended by yours. And in truth 
had there been liberty for any to have purchased land foi 
themselves without a particular order from our Court 
this land, now said to be purchased by some of yours 
had been purchased by some of ours before this time. 

Gentlemen, we doubt not but you well remembe 
about twenty-two years since many of ourselves had on 
abode with you, and because we could not comply witl 
you in your proceedings in banishment, etc., and ourj 
selves being desirous of liberty of conscience for al 
conscientious men in the worship of God, and were sue 
men as lived justly and uprightly in the kingdom o 


men ; but this would not be granted, nor by your courts 
tolerated, and so were some banished and others forced 
and constrained to depart, and thereby caused to cast 
themselves wholly upon the Lord in seeking to find a 
rest in the wilderness ; and in that time God was very 
gracious to us, and did provide for us after the hard deal- 
ings we had met withal. And this was no small mercy 
that God was pleased thus to provide for us, but yet 
more abundantly hath been pleased since to enlarge his 
favors towards us, and was pleased to raise up the hearts 
of our honored friends in England, we mean the chief 
intrusted in state affairs, to commiserate our condition ; 
and they were pleased not only to grant us a charter of 
civil government, but were pleased also to enlarge our 
accommodations. Understanding the straitness of our 
confines, they did freely and absolutely enlarge us with 
the full and absolute grant of the Narragansett lands with 
the islands adjacent, part of which lands some of yours are 
endeavoring to take from us. This we thought meet to 
commend to your Wisdoms' serious considerations. And 
withal to the end you may be fully informed that the 
said land of the Narraganset is not only granted to us in 
our charter, but also is declared to yourselves in a letter 
sent to you from the state of England, the which letter 
we have herewith sent you a copy of, and whereas you 
are required in the mentioned letter that, if any have 
taken possession of any part of the said land of the Nar- 
ragansett, it should be speedily and suddenly delivered up 
to us again, we therefore desire that you will be pleased 
to give notice to such persons as do pretend to have pur- 
chased the afore-mentioned land, which is Major Atherton 
and some others with him, that they will cease to beget 
any further trouble to themselves or us concerning the 
said lands. And if this means we have now used will not 
be attended, that peace and right may take place, we shall 
be forced to make our addresses unto the high court of 


Parliament for relief, under whose wings, next under God, 
we expect protection for the quiet enjoyment of that they 
have so fully and freely granted unto us ; and in the mean 
time we are engaged to the execution of our laws concern- 
ing the premises which by the assistance of the Almighty 
we shall prosecute in the premises to the utmost of our 
power. And thus, not further to trouble you at present, 
excepting only that we earnestly desire a line or two by 
way of answer from you, we rest in expectation thereof j 
by the soonest opportunity. Your most affectionate 
friends and countrymen from the General Assembly of 
the Colony of Providence Plantations. 

(Subscribed,) John Sanford, 

Clark of the Assembly. 
Held at Portsmouth, dated 23 August, 1659. 


These are to certify that I have received, this 16th 
day of November, 1660, of Captain Edward Hutchinson, 
by the appointment of Major Humphrey Atherton and 
Company, for and by the appointment of Quesoquens 
and Niniglad and Scuttop, the three chief sachems of Nar- 
raganset, the full sum of seven hundred and thirty-five 
fathom of wampumpeag, whereof five hundred ninety 
and five fathom is for so much ordered by the Commis- 
sioners of the Colonies to be paid by the Naragansets for 
some injuries and great molestations to the English by 
some of their men, done at the new plantation near to, 
Monheagon and at Mr. Brewstor's farm, and the rest for* 
the charges of divers messengers and others employed in 
reference to the same, which the said sachems had also< 
engaged to satisfy, and is in full discharge of that en- 
gagement made by them to the Commissioners under 
their hands and seals, the 29th day of September, 1660. 


I say received. Witness my hand the day and year above 
written. John Winthrop. 

This is a true copy of the original receipt, examined the 
20th day of September, 1662, by 

Robert Howard, 

Not: Publ. Massachusett Colonice, Novce Angl. 
Indorsed, " Copy of receipt of wampum from Narraganset Indians." 


Sir, — Whereas we by some of your own countrymen 
were informed that you (upon what pretence we know 
not) doth obstruct the commerce and correspondence 
between the inhabitants of New England and this Prov- 
ince ; moreover, that you have a commission from the 
king of Portugal, upon which you, or at least your sea- 
men, are intended and have threatened to surprise Dutch 
vessels, and amongst other a fisher-boat newly by our 
inhabitants set forth, which I much wonder, because of 
your first coming and passing by this place yourself did 
declare unto me in my house, and few days after your 
merchant, Schott, declared the same unto Mr. Johannes 
| Van Brugge, Cornelis Steenwyck, and to other merchants 
of this town, that you had no commission nor any inten- 
tion to obstruct traffic or to surprise our vessels, but" to 
seek and make trade. Therefore, I can hardly imagine 
myself that you should undertake such a scurvy busi- 
ness against your own word and promise, and against the 
articles of peace, which as I suppose doth give and grant 
both nations living in these remote parts of America 
that neighborly correspondency and manner of traffic as 
the neighborly nations in Europa doth enjoy; videlicet, 
that our subjects without any molestation may fish, pass 
and repass in the harbors of New England, Kod Island, 


and Virginia, and bring there with their own vessels 
the product of our native country. If not, it will be 
requisite, and conduce more unto your own honor and 
credit, to walk in a just and open way in forewarning 
friends and neighbors for their losses, as to ensnare them 
by words as having no commission ; these presents were 
only therefore directed, that you would declare your- 
self, and inform us whether you or your seamen were 
intended to make any surprisal of our vessels, either upon 
act of Parliament, S weed's or Portugal's commission, that 
we may order our affairs thereunto. If the articles of 
peace doth not admit the neighborly correspondence and 
manner of traffic to the neighbor's nations in these 
parts of both nations in Europe doth enjoy being by 
any neighborly government, and informed of the matter, 
we shall forbear and forbid our subjects to go and trade 
where it is not free. For here, Salva lege talionis, if occa- 
sions and need shall require it; but if you or your sea- 
men, upon any commission of our enemy, should intend 
any reprisal against any of our subjects, it is requisite that 
you renounce the commission and colors of friends and 
confederates, that we without infraction of the terms off 
peace may deal with you or yours to our safety. So after 
my respects, I rest. 

Your friend in what I may. Was subscribed — 

P. Stuyvesant. 

Amsterdam in the N. Netherlands, this 21 of January, A . 1660 [n. s.]. 

Indorsed by Gov. Winthrop, " Copy of the Duch Governor's letter to 
Capt. Penny." 



To the Honored and Worthy Sir John Winthrop, Esq., Governor of 


Much honored Sir, — In or about the latter end of 
November, here is arrived and passed by a English 
frigate, whereon was one Captain Penny 1 and his mer- 
chant, one Nicolas Schott. At the first arrival they both 
gave me a visit. Amongst other discourses (how it 
came to pass I remember not) they both did declare 
they had no commission, nor the least intention to 
obstruct any trade, or to take any Dutch vessels, but 
to seek and to further traffic, declaring few days after 
the same unto two of our merchants, being both magis- 
trates, in a loving way. From hence departed they were 
altered, not so much of air and climate as in condition 
and intention, and have, as it doth appear, taken and sur- 
prised two vessels, either Dutch or English, and upon what 
pretence I know not certain. It is reported the one was 
hired and in use by Lieut. Gardener ; the other, as it 
doth appear, was bought by one Mr. Richard Way man, 
as I suppose well known by your Honor. The said 
Way man, here coming to seek and to make proof of his 
bargain, doth inform us that the above-mentioned Captain 
Penny, now riding at New Haven, had two commissions ; 
to wit, besides the English, one of the King's of Por- 
tugall, and that his seamen had threatened to take and 
to surprise all Dutch vessels what they could get, and 
amongst others a fisher boat newly set out by some in- 
habitants of this place, only for that use and lawful trade. 
The owners, fearful for their losses, have applied them- 
selves unto us, and, presupposing in their request the 
common interest of neighborly correspondency, have 
prevailed with us to write unto your Honor for these 

1 Additional matter relating to Capt. John Penny maybe seen in the New 
Haven Colony Records, II. 327 et seq. — ED3. 


and for the common casse, if happily any remedy fort 
the safety of neighborly correspondency against such and! 
others obstructers of lawful trade and neighborhood may 
be helpened. The truth is, we know no equitable order! 
nor requisite interdiction of any neighborly government 
whereby is declared and manifested that the inhabitants! 
of this our Province may not have that freedom in neigh- 
borly correspondency and traffic in your Colonies as thei 
inhabitants of New England here do enjoy. We are slow! 
to intermeddle with any of your orders, much less to: 
oppose them ; but only that you will be pleased to mani-l 
fest unto us, whether the good subjects of both nations,] 
English and Dutch, in these remote parts of America as| 
loving neighbors living, may not have that common; 
benefit of correspondency, access, and recess in eachj 
other's harbors and manner of traffic, — at least, accord- > 
ing to act of Parliament, — with the product of their 
native countries as our principals and their subjects in 1 
Europe do enjoy ; if not, that we upon manifestation off 
your orders may forewarn and hinder our subjects fofl 
further trouble and losses in ordering our occasions ac-j 
cordingly. What I have writ unto the aforesaid Captain! 
about his Portugall commission may be deducted out off 
the enclosed copy. I hope and doubt not your Honor 
will [be] in favor of equitable justice and in maintaining 
of the articles of peace, and unite in all possible manner! 
[to] prevent and hinder such unlawful acts and piracy.! 
So, after my due love and respects, I shall remain 
Your loving friend and neighbor, 

P. Stuyvesant. 1 

Amsterdam in the N. N. Lands, this 22d of January, A. D. 1660 [n. s.]. 

1 These two letters of Stuyvesant — the former sent enclosed in the latter 
to Gov. Winthrop — were not in the Dutch Governor's hand, but the letter 
to Winthrop was signed by him. — Eds. 



Universis et singulis Christi fidelibus ad quos pre- 
sentes Literature Testimoniales pervenerint, aut quos 
infra Scripta tangunt seu tangere poterunt, quomodo et 
in futurum. Gulielmus Providentia divina Cantuariensis 
! Archiepiscopus totius Angliae Primas et Metropolitanus 
1 Salutem in Domino sempiternara ac Fidem indubiam 
: presentibus adhiberi. Ad Universitatis vestrae Notitiam 
» deduciraus ac deduci volumus per presentes Quod scru- 
( tato Registrorum Curiae nostras Prerogativae Cantua- 
r riensis in Archivis ejusdem bene et fideliter Custoditis 
' comperimus luculenter et invenimus (inter alia) in eodem 
quod Tricesimo Die Mensis Aprilis, Anno Domini Mil- 
[ lesimo sexcentesimo, quinquagesimo Septimo, Coram 
Judicibus ad probanda Testamenta Literasque Admini- 
strationum tunc temporis constitutis, probatum appro- 
batum et Insinuatum fuit Testamentum apud London 
Edwardi Hopkins nuper Parochiae S te Olavi, Hartstreet 
London Armigeri, et commissa fuit administratio omnium 
et singulorum bonorum Jurium et Creditorum dicti de- 
functi et ejus Testamentum qualitercunque concernen- 
tium Henrico Dalley Nepoti et unico Executori in dicto 
Testamento nominato primitivo, de bene et fideliter 
administrando eadem ac de pleno et fideli inventariG 
omnium et singulorum bonorum Jurium et creditorum 
dicti defuncti conficiendo ; et illud in dicta Curia pro 
probatione Testamentorum et Literarum Administrationis 
concessione citra Centum Diem exhibendo, Necnon de 
pleno et vero computo Calculo sive ratiocinio inde red- 
dendo ad Sancta Dei Evangelia Jurat. Cujus quidem 

1 Extracts from this will, from some other source, were published by- 
Mr. Savage, in Vol. I. pp. 228-230 of Winthrop's Journal, to which is 
appended a long note by the editor. — Eds. 



Testamenti tantum predicti Tenor verus sequitur in his 
Verbis et est talis (videlicet). 

The Sovereign Lord of all creatures giving in evident 
and strong intimations of his pleasure to call me out of 
this transitory life unto Himself, it is the desire of me, 
Edward Hopkins, Esq., to be in a readiness to attend his 
call in whatsoever hour he cometh, both by leaving my 
soul in the hands of Jesus, who only gives boldness in 
that day, and delivers from the wrath to come, and my 
body to a comely burial, according to the discretion of 
my executor and overseers, and also by setting my small 
family (if it may be so called) in order; and in pursuance 
thereof, do thus dispose of the estate the Lord in mercy 
hath given me. First, my w T ill is that my just debts may 
be first paid out of my entire estate, wherever the said 
debts shall be found justly due ; viz. if any debts shall 
appear to be due in New England, that they be paid out 
of my estate there, and if any shall appear to be due here 
in Old England, that they be paid out of my estate here. 
As for the estate I have in New England, the full ac- 
count of which I left clear in my book there, and the 
care and inspection whereof was committed to my loving 
friend, Capt. John Cullecke, I do in this manner dispose :U 
Item, I do give and bequeath unto the eldest child of 
Mistress Mary Newton, wife of Master Koger Newton r 
of Farmington, and daughter to Master Thomas Hooker' 
deceased, the sum of thirty pounds ; as also the sum of 1 
thirty pounds unto the eldest child of Master John Cul-! 
leek by Elizabeth, his present wife. Item, I do give and i 
bequeath unto Mistress Sarah Wilson, the wife of Master 
John Wilson, preacher of the Gospel, and daughter of 
my dear pastor, Master Hooker, my farm at Farmington, j 
with all the houses, out-houses, buildings, land, etc. be-j 
longing thereunto, to the use of her and the heirs of herj 
body forever. I do also give unto Mistress Susan Hooker,; 
the relict of Master Thomas Hooker, all such debts as are; 



due to me from her upon the account I left in New Eng- 
land. And the residue of my ",tate there I do hereby 
give and bequeath to my father, Theophilus Eaton, Esq., 
Master John Davenport, Master John Culleck, and Master 
William Goodwin, on full assurance of their trust and 
faithfulness in disposing of it according to the true intent 
i and purpose of me, the said Edward Hopkins, which is to 
1 give some encouragement in those foreign plantations for 
the breeding up of hopeful youths in a way of learning, 
' both at the grammar school and college, for the public 
j service of the country in future times. And as for the 
1 estate the Lord hath given me in this England, I thus dis- 
! pose, and my will is, that one hundred and fifty pounds 
| per annum be yearly paid by my executor to Master 
! David Yale, brother to my dear distressed wife, for her 
comfortable maintenance, and to be disposed of by him 
for her good, she being not in a condition not [?] fit to 
manage it for herself; and I do heartily entreat him to 
be tender and careful over her. And my will is that this 
be paid quarterly by thirty-seven pounds ten shillings 
each quarter, and to continue to the end of the quarter 
after the death of my said wife, and that my executor 
give good security for a punctual performance thereof. 
My will also is that the thirty pounds per annum given 
me by the will and testament of my brother, Henry Hop- 
kins, lately deceased, be given to our sister, Mistress 
Judith Eve, during her natural life, and that it be made 
up fifty pounds per annum during her life. I do give unto 
my sister, Mistress Margaret Thomson, the sum of fifty 
pounds, to be paid her within one year after my decease. 
I do give to my nephew, Henry Thomson, eight hundred 
pounds, whereof four hundred pounds to be paid within 
sixteen months after my decease, and the other four hun- 
dred pounds within six months after the decease of my 
wife. I do likewise give and bequeath unto my niece, 
Katherine Thomson, but now Katherine James, over and 


above the portion of five hundred pounds formerly given 
her, one hundred pounds. I do also give and bequeath 
unto my nieces, Elizabeth and Patience Dallye, unto each 
of them two hundred pounds, provided they attend the 
discretion of their brother or aunts, or such as are capa- 
ble of giving them advice, in the dispose of themselves in 
marriage. I give unto my brother, Master David Yale, 
two hundred pounds ; to my brother, Master Thomas 
Yale, two hundred pounds ; and unto my sister, Mistress 
Hannah Eaton, two hundred pounds. My further mind 
and will is that, within six months after the decease of my 
wife, five hundred pounds be made over into New Eng- 
land, according to the advice of my loving friends, Major 
Robert Thomson and Master Franciss Willoughby, and 
conveyed into the hands of the trustees before men- 
tioned in further prosecution of the aforesaid public 
ends, which, in the simplicity of my heart, are for the 
upholding and promoting the kingdom of the Lord Jesus I 
Christ in those parts of the earth. I do further give 
unto my beloved wife a bed, with all furniture belonging j 
to it, for herself to lie on, and another for the servant- 1 
maid that waits on her, and twenty pounds in plate for 
her present use, besides one third part of all my house- 
hold goods. I give unto Master John Davenport, Master! 
Theophilus Eaton, and Master Cullecke, to each of them| 
twenty pounds, to be made over to them into New Eng-j 
land, where they are. And my will and pleasure is thatl 
twenty pounds be put into a piece of plate, and presented! 
in my name to my honored friend, Doctor Wright, to whom': 
I owe more than [that, being] much engaged, desiring him] 
to accept of it only as a testimony of my respect. I del 
give unto my servant, James Porter, ten pounds ; unto mj j 
maid Margaret, five pounds ; unto my maid Mary, fortyi 
shillings. I do give unto my honored and loving friends! 
Major Robert Thomson and Master Franciss Willoughbyll 
twenty pounds apiece in a piece of plate, as a token o) 


my respects unto them ; and I do give unto my servant, 
Thomas Hayter, twenty pound. I do give unto my sister 
Yale, wife of Master David Yale, twenty pounds ; as also 
unto John Lello, a youth now with my sister Eve, twenty 
pounds, to further him out to be an apprentice to some 
good trade, and twenty pounds more at the time of his 
coming to his own liberty, to encourage him to set up 
his trade, if he continues living so long. I do give 
unto my nephew, Henry Dally, Master of Arts in Cam- 
bridge, my land and manor of Thirkoe, in the county of 
Essex, and for the payment of all debts, dues, and lega- 
cies do give unto him all my other personal and real 
estate ; and by these presents, renouncing and making 
void all other wills and testaments, do declare, constitute? 
and make him my sole executor, and my good friends, 
Major Eobert Thomson, Master Franciss Willoughby, 
overseers of this my last will and testament. 

Memorandum. — Before the signing, sealing, and pub- 
lication of this will, consisting of sixty-four lines, written 
in two sheets of paper, annexed one to the other, there 
was interlined between the third and fourth line of the 
first sheet these words, " and my body to a comely 
burial, according to the discretion of my executor and 
overseers " ; and in the twentieth line of the first sheet 
and in the third of the second sheet the word " Daven- 
port " hath been altered, and in the thirty-fourth line of 
the first sheet the word " the " between " Thomson " and 
"eight" blotted out; between the first and second line 
of the second sheet was interlined these words, " besides 
one third part of all my household goods,'' and between 
the fourth and fifth line, the word " engaged," and 
between the eleventh and twelfth line, the word " be." 
And then was it signed and sealed, declared and pub- 
lished by the said Edward Hopkins, Esq., at his house at 
London, on the seventeenth day of March, in the year 


of our Lord one thousand six hundred fifty and seven, to 
be his last will and testament. 
In presence of us, — 

Edward Hopkins. T. Antaby. 

William Barbour. Tho. Hayter. 

In quorum omnium et singulorum premissorum fidem 
et Testimonium has Literas Nostras Testimoniales fieri Si- 
gilloque Curiae Nostras Prerogative Cantuariensis predict, 
quo in hac parte utimur appendente communiri et cor- 
roborari fecimus. Dat m Londini quoad Scrutinium et 
Sigilationem, Vicesimo Quinto Die Mensis Februarii 
juxta cursum et Computationem Eclesiae Anglicanae, 
Millesimo Sexcentesimo Sexagesimo et nostras transla- 
tionis Anno primo. 


Simo : Rulleston, Regrarius. 

A true copy of an exemplification of the will of Edward 
Hopkins, Esq., in the Secretary's Office for the Colony of 
Connecticut. Examined by 

George Wyllys, Secretary} 


Whereas Coginaquend hath given to Mr. John Win- 
throp and Major Atherton and other their partners two 
parcels of land lying in Narragansetts country, as appears 
by two writings under hand and seal, one bearing date 
the 11th of June, 1659, the other the 4th of July, 1659 > 
which writings we have seen and heard interpreted to 
us ; the dimensions and grants in the several writings 
appears. Now we, Cosuequansh and Scuttop and We- 
quackannit, being also chief sagamores or sachems of 

1 Secretary of Connecticut from 1735 to 1796. — Eds. 


Narragansetts, and having with Coginaquend full power 
to dispose of all the land in ~ " irragansett country, do 
therefore freely, absolutely, and effectually give and 
make over the said two tracts of land, together with 
the privileges in the land above it to the northward 
and westward of mowing and feeding and timber of all 
our land above the said land up into the country, accord- 
ing to the contents of the said writings, unto Mr. John 
Winthrop, Governor of Connecticut, Major Humphry 
Atherton of Massachusetts, Captain Edward Hutchin- 
son, Lieut. William Hudson, Mr. Amos Richenson, and 
Mr. Richard Smith, Senior, and Mr. Richard Smith, Jun- 
ior, and such others as they shall take in with them, 
to them and their heirs and assigns forever. In witness 
whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals, the 
fourteenth day of June, 1660, And hereby promise to 
defend the same from all others that shall lay claim 
to any part of the said land from any pretence of title 
from any others. 

Scuttop, his X mark and a (seal). 

Tuckquaksh, his \ mark and a (seal). 

Wequakannit, his -Q mark and a (seal). * 

Signed, sealed, and delivered, in the presence of (with 
the words or clause in the last lines after the date before 
signing and sealing) 

John Cranston. Caleb Carr. 
Valentine Whitman, Interpreter. 

Thomas Minor. 
Nucombe, O the Indian, his mark. 
Awashus, o Indian, his mark. 1 

Indorsed, " Scuttop, Suckquench, Quequackannet, confirmation of two 
deeds of Cojanaquands. No. 4." 

1 This Indian deed and the signatures affixed are simply copies, as are 
those on pp. 25 and 26. — Eds. 




To the Right Worshipful Mr. John Wintrop, Governor at Hartford, 

these present. 

Seabrook, this 18 July, 1660. 

Much honored Sir, — We have received an order from 
the Court of Magistrates, dated the 13 January, 1660, 
wherein we are appointed to take care of the estate of 
Master Fenick upon his farm and in the town, and 
accordingly we have endeavored to provide fodder for 
his cattle at his farm at Six Mile Island, and have hired 
four men to mow twenty acres of grass and make it into 
good hay, and have promised them pay when their work 
is done, which they affirm is done according to agree- 
ment, and therefore demand their pay of us, which we 
suppose would have been paid them out of Master 
Fenix's estate at the farm, we understanding by 
Kobert Lay that he had corn of Master Fenix, and 
butter and cheese, that was ready to make pay to these 
men aforesaid, according to the agreement we made with 
them ; but it seems his mind is changed, upon what 
ground we know not, and refuses to pay for the work 
done, which is at present a stop to further proceedings, 
and a discouragement for any to be further employed 
in this service. We have sent up to your Worship one 
of the men we employed in the service aforesaid. His 
name is John Whittlese, who can further inform you in 
the case propounded, who himself and the rest demands 
satisfaction for loss of time in seeking their pay, and for 
his journey now up to court. For our desire is that we 
might have clear order from your Worship what we may 
do further in the case, and how satisfaction may be had 
for any service done with respect to the estate of Master 
Fenix ; for Robert Lay professes no pay shall go out of 


his hand, unless we put in bond to secure him from Cap- 
tain Cullick, or the marshal taL ; t from him by power. 
We could not have hired these men to have done this 
work, but their necessities being so great for want of 
com, and Eobert Lay affirming they should have what 
we ens^ao-ed to them. Thus being not willing to trouble 
your Worship further, with our humble respects pre- 
sented, we remain yours to be commanded. 

Johx Clarke, \ 

Robert Chapman, ( ^ 

TTr _, > Townsmen. 

William Prat, [ 

William Waltar,J 

Indorsed, " The Townsmen of Saybrooke, about pay for workmen provid- 
ing hay for Mr. Fen wick's cattle." 


Know all men by these presents, that we, the sachems 
of the Naraganset, in consideration of five hundred 
ninety-five fathoms of wampum, required of us by the 
Commissioners to be paid within four months, we say in 
consideration thereof we do hereby firmly mortgage, 
make over, bargain, and sell unto the Commissioners of 
the United Colonies all our whole country, with all our 
rights and titles thereunto, and all the privileges and ap- 
purtenances thereunto appertaining unto them, the Com- 
missioners, their heirs, administrators, or assigns forever, 
to them and their proper use and behoof, always provided 
that in case we, the said Narogancet sachems, shall well 
and truly pay unto or cause to be paid to the Governor 
of Coneticut fiye hundred ninety-five fathom of wam- 
pum within four months after the date hereof, together 
with the charge of the five messengers sent unto us by 
the Commissioners, that then this bargain, mortgage, or 
sale shall be void and of none effect, otherwise to stand 


in full power and force. In witness whereof we, the Naro- 
gancet sachems, have hereunto set our hands and seals, 
this 29th of September, 1660. 

Quissoquas, X his mark and seal. 

Nineglad, c his mark and seal. 

Scattape, S his mark and seal. 

Signed, sealed, and delivered 
in the presence of us, — 

Richard Smith. 

Samuel m Eldridge, his mark. 
Wecom, O the Indian, his mark. 
Awashons, o his mark. 


To our trusty and well-beloved Jno. Endicott, Esq., and all and every other 
the Governor or Governors of our Plantation of New England, and 
of all the Colonies thereunto belonging that now are or hereafter shall be, 
and to all and every of the Ministers and Officers of our Plantation and 
Colonies whatsoever within the Continent of New England, 

C. R Trusty and Well-beloved, we greet you 
well. Having been informed that several of our subjects 
amongst you, called Quakers, have been and are impris- 
oned by you, whereof some of them have been executed, 
and others, as hath been represented unto us, are in 
danger to undergo the like, we thought fit to signify our 
pleasure on their behalf for the future, and do hereby 

1 This is known as the " King's Mandamus." It was printed, probably 
for the first time, in Bishop's New England Judged, Second Part, London, 
1667. The copy here is in a contemporaneous hand, and on the reverse side 
of the sheet on which it is written is a transcript, also in the same hand, of 
the well-known letter of Lord Say and Seale, dated 10 July, 1661, published 
in Hutchinson, I. 220, 221. Of this latter transcript the writer says, " This 
is a copy of his own letter, written in his own hand." Quite likely both 
papers were copies from the originals, which arrived in Boston at the same 
time, or nearly so, and were speedily transmitted to the neighboring Col- 
ony. The "Mandamus" had arrived by November. — Eds. 


require that, if there be any of those people called Qua- 
kers among you now already condemned to suffer death 
or other corporal punishment, or u it are imprisoned and 
obnoxious to the 'like condemnation, you forbear to pro- 
ceed any further with them, but that you forthwith send 
the said persons, whether condemned or imprisoned, over 
into this our kingdom of England, together with their 
respective crimes or offences laid to their charges, to the 
end such course may be taken with them here as shall be 
agreeable to our laws and their demerits ; and for so doing 
these our letters shall be your sufficient warrant and 
discharge. Given at our Court at Whitehall. By his 
Majesty's command. WlLL> MoRRIS . 

Sept. 9, 1661, the 13th year of our reign. 


To the Honored and Right Worship/id John Winthrop, Esq., these present 

in London, 

Honored Sir, — Your tender sympathy with innocent 
sufferers, your known integrity in the cause of justice, in 
conjunction with the gracious aspect of royal favor on 
your undertakings for his Majesty's loyal subjects of 
Connectacut, strongly invites our application to yourself, 
who have purchased the Narraganset, entreating you to 
interpose your wisdom and improve your interest tor 
us in the present juncture, that we may not be given 
up to Road-Island for government, but affixed to the 
jurisdiction of Connectacut. This we earnestly choose ; 
that we intensely dread ; for Roade Island is (pardon 
necessity's word of truth) a rodde to those that love to 
live in order, — a road, refuge, asylum, to evil livers. 
What lives thrive amongst themselves may be judged 
by what flows unto them from others with ready enter- 


tainment. Each nature covets, seeks, delights in the 
congregation of that which is homogenial to it. The 
public rolls record what malefactors, what capital offend- 
ers, have found it their unhallowed sanctuary. What 
though it hath been a buggerer, yet, say they, a fellow- 
creature, and therefore must not suffer. Hence such 
a one, being pursued and to pass through their liberties, 
they have rescued out of the hands of the officer, and 
so from the justice of the Massatusets, to whom the said 
offender did pertain. They make religion the Indian's 
scorn, by working and drinking on the Lord's days ; 
on which they made, some of them, a great canoe, and 
called it Sundy, by the name of the days on which 
they made it. The Indian says, either they are not Eng- 
lish, or other English lie in saying there is a Sunday. 
Many such things, for which you know their fame, we 
rather refer to prove when need requires, then choose 
to write. Again, Kode Island hath no right to these 
lands (as we suppose) by patent; we are sure by pur- 
chase they have no right. The Indians grant that they 
had leave to dig black-lead, indeed; but their pretended 
deed of sale for the land they disavow, as the evidences 
sent declare. Had not we restrained, the incensed hea- 
then had ruined their houses and burnt their hay as a 
sharp correction to their violent intrusion. Besides, the 
Koad-Islanders have no need of these lands ; for at our 
first purchase we granted, offered, liberty to the civil 
and sober of them needing land to plant with us. Some 
(for number two to one of us) accepted, and were enter- 
tained into the town we planted, with greater shares then 
we took unto ourselves. Lastly, the Road-Islanders have 
deserved otherwise ; that have by fraud, pretending a 
deed, and by force, seized on possessions to which they 
had no right, though the Indians constantly refused to sell 
the land unto them. As also they have in like manner 
dealt with Southerton, building houses and planting fields 


on the lands thereof, which, you know, hath been divers 
years planted by the people of the Massatusetts and 
Connectacut, disturbing our servants with insolencies not 
a few, and high threatenings that by his Majesty's favor 
we shall be brought und' their government. To this 
they plead title from an Indian's grant, which all the rest 
aver to have no right unto it. Our right by conquest and 
by other means you know as much as we. The premises 
being such, confidence in the justice and favor of his 
Majesty emboldens us to hope that by your means we 
may escape our fears, and come to enjoy our hopes ; viz. 
to have our Xarraganset lands settled under the juris- 
diction of Connectacute. This will be an effectual means 
of planting those lands with a sober and considerable 
people, knit together in the beautiful order of a well- 
managed government, whereas that would render this 
place desirable to such only as for vileness of opinions 
and corruptness of manners are less fit for other socie- 
ties, and so a dishonor to the English, a cutting vexation 
to neighbor plantations, and a scandal to poor heathen 
natives, whose civilizing is so acceptable, whose Christian- 
izing will be so glorious, to our renowned sovereign and 
his most honorable Council. We beseech you, therefore, 
to do your best for those who also entreat you to enroll 
their names, and themselves by your favor are bold to sub- 
scribe themselves, honored sir, your servants to command 
in love to yourself, and all loyalty to God and our King. 

Daniel Denison. 
Jos: Winslow. 
John Alcocke. 
Will m . Hudson. 
Richard Smtt, Sen r . 
Richard Smith, Jun r . 
George Denison. 
Tho. Stanton, Senyar. 
Tho. Stanton, Junyar. 
Indorsed, " Letter from proprietors of Narrorganset." 



For the Right Wonshipful John Winthorpe, Esqr., these present. To be 
left at Mr. John HarwoooVs, Merchant, at Bednal Greene, for him. 

Boston, 24 September, 1661. 1 

Honored Sir, — After our services presented to your- 
self, we make bold to request this favor to be added to all 
your former. Considering it may be for our further com- 
fort to have the lands we have at Naragansets in some 
patent, and yourself being now in England, and having 
an interest with ourselves therein, we conceive that if 
you could procure them into Conecticot patent, it would 
be best ; and therefore, if you could procure the line to 
run along from Conecticot by the Bay's patent till it meet 
with Plimath patent, and so by Plimath patent till it come 
into Naraganset Bay, and so into the sea, and bounded by 
the sea till it meet with the further part of Conecticot 
jurisdiction, with all the islands adjoining, it would reach 
the whole. But notwithstanding this our advice, w T e de- 
sire to have our particular interest from the Indians to be 
reserved to us, and only the jurisdiction or government 
to be within Conecticot, only we leave it to yourself, 
which way you find most feasible, whether in Conecticot 
patent or Plimath, provided whichever it be our par- 
ticular interest be reserved to ourselves ; if you cannot 
attain these bounds, yet we desire if it may be that our 
particular lands, the propriety always reserved to our- 
selves, may be got into Conecticot patent, however freed 
from Eoade Island. Thus craving excuse for our bold- 
ness, we take leave, only subscribing ourselves your real 

1 Governor Winthrop went this year to England, commissioned as agent 
to procure a new charter for Connecticut. He sailed from New Amster- 
dam, 21st July, in the Dutch ship " De Frouw." — Brodhead's New York, 
I. 695. 


servants, appointed to subscribe our names in the behalf of 

the rest. 

Edward Hutchinson. 

Rich d Lorde, Jn r . 

Wi LLM Hudson. 

Amos Richtsen. 

The former is what we formerly writ by Mr. Lorde, and 
not having anything to add send the same again ; only the 
Lord hath made a sad breach amongst us by taking to 
Himself Major-General Atharton, who was slain by a fall 
from his horse. 1 

Indorsed, " Capt. Hutchinson, Capt. Lord, TV. Hudson, A. Richarson." 


To the much-honored the Governor and Council of Conetticut, these 


Much-honored Gentlemen, — We suppose you are 
not ignorant of our right and interest in the Narrogaset 
country, which we have purchased of the Indians, when 
no English, to our knowledge, pretended any title there- 
unto, the Commissioners of the United Colonies taking 
it to be the proper right of the natives by accepting a 
mortgage of those lands for the security of a payment 
to be made by those Indians upon a judgment of the 
Commissioners at their meeting at New Haven. And for 
the improvement of our said right (besides the purchase) 
we have been at considerable charge in possessing our- 

1 General Humphrey Atherton, whose death, it appears, took place after 
the first copy of this letter was sent, died on the 17th of this month. 

This letter and those letters bearing Edward Katchinson's name alone are 
all in his handwriting. It will be seen that this writer usually adds the 
"Jr." to his name. In those instance? here where the " Jr." is omitted, the 
name is written close to the edge of the paper. 


selves thereof by building, &c. But meeting with some 
opposition from some of Road Island, who have pulled 
down some of our houses, and otherwise disturbed us, we 
have been put upon the consideration of the best and most 
orderly way of maintaining our right; and understanding 
your design of procuring a patent and employing your 
honored Governor for that end, we were willing to expect 
the issue thereof, assuring ourselves that, if the govern- 
ment of those parts were granted unto you, our right 
would be secured to us by your justice ; and accordingly 
we have signified to Mr. Winthrop, both before and since 
his going for England, our readiness to submit to your 
government, and have not in the least interrupted or 
opposed your design, which had been no more difficult 
for us to have done then for those of Road Island ; of 
which moderation and confidence in you we hope we 
shall have no cause to repent, and therefore are bold 
(our interest highly pressing us, and yourselves being by 
the return of your Governor in as full capacity as you or 
we may expect) to crave a clear and full resolution of own- 
ing our right by purchase (whereof if you doubt, we are 
ready to make apparent) to the said lands under your 
government, which hath been our expectation and is our 
desire, that we may thereby be encouraged effectually to 
improve our interest therein, or, if otherwise, that we 
may seasonably by some other means provide for our 
security. We have requested your Governor for a speedy 
and seasonable return, which we most earnestly beg of 
yourselves, whereby you will further oblige 
Your humble servants, 

Simion Bradstreet, Amos Richison, 
Daniel Denison, John Alcocke, 

Tho. Willett, George Denison, 

Jn? Paine, Will*. Hudson, 

Edward Hutchinson, Jr., 

For Ourselves and Company. 

Indorsed, " A letter from the (Gentlemen) Purchasers of Naragansett." 



For Capt. Edw. Hutchinson^ at Narroganset. 

Honored Sir, — According to your desires in those 
letters from yourself and Mr. Richardson and the other 
of your company, of 1 that Plantation of Narragansett was 
included within Connecticott Charter, yet so as it was 
according to the very words of their old charter, which 
was to Narregansett River. I had only those words put 
in for explication and avoiding controversy about the 
meaning of Narragansett River. These words are added, 
" commonly called Narrogansett Bay, where the said river 
falleth into the sea"; and by what I saw by the copy of 
Providence Charter the words are there, that the whole 
extent of the tract was about twenty-five miles, which, 
by calculation from the further part of Providence, would 
reach but to the Narrogansett country. 

After the Charter was under the Great Seal and finished, 
Mr. Clarke then appeared with great opposition as agent 
for Road Island Colony. He never before made it known 
to me that he was agent for them, nor could I imagine it 
for a good while after my arrival here. Mr. Alderman 
Peake told me he had received letters from Road Island, 
with an address enclosed, and was desired by those letters 
to deliver that address, and afterward told me he had 
procured Mr. Mauerick to deliver it. I could not by this 
conceive they had any other agent, but was resolved in my 
business to keep to the words of the old patent as near as 
might be. I am sorry there should be any controversy 
between friends. If they had desired to have joined 
with our Colony, I doubt not but they might have had all 
equal liberties with them. Mr. Clarke might have done 

1 "Of" is superfluous. These letters of John Winthrop, from Loudon, 
are contemporary transcripts, not in his own handwriting. — Eds. 



their business before my arrival, or all the time since, I 
should not have opposed anything therein. And whether 
he had done anything, or were about it, I did not inquire ; 
but that he hath done nothing in it (if it be so) is not 
through the least act from myself, who only minded our 
business according to a former grant. And when that was 
finished, then Mr. Clarke began to stir, and oppose what 
he could, which was a great wrong, to the hindrance of 
my voyage. Why he did not rather act about their busi- 
ness before, when he could have had none to oppose, or 
all this time when he should have had no opposition from 
myself nor any other, but to act only by making a con- 
troversy after our business was finished, I know not the 
reason. I desire you to present my remembrance to 
Mr. Brenton, and Mr. Arnold, and Mr. Williams, and our 
friends of those parts, and let them know that this is the 
whole truth of the business, however Mr. Clarke may rep- 
resent it to them. They are friends that I always did and 
do respect and love, and had not the least intent of wrong- 
ing them, intending only that service to the Colony to 
their old Charter, which they had purchased at a great 
price ; and according to the desires of yourselves, the 
purchasers of that in Narrogansett. I shall not add at 
present but my love and respects to yourself and Mr. 
Smith, and the rest of your company, and rest your loving 

John Winthrop. 

London, September 2, 1602. 

Indorsed, " September 2, 1662. From Mr. Winthrop." 


These presents witness that we, Powtuck, Corman, 
House, and Nop, who did see Scuttube, Narraganset sa- 
chem, in the behalf of himself and brother and friends, 


deliver possession of all his lands to the norward and 
northwest of Pittacomcot Rock, unto Capt. Edward Hutch- 
inson, Lieut. William Hudson, and Richard Smith, they 
receiving it in behalf of themselves and the rest of the 
company concerned in it with them, many English wit- 
nesses being there present, as namely John Button, Wil- 
liam Cotton, and John Rhodes. 

This writing being read and interpreted to the four 
Indians above named in the presence of the Commission- 
ers of the United Colonies, they did attest to the truth of 
what is above written. 

Daniel Dennison, PresH. 

Sept. 11, 1662. 

This is a true copy, compared with the original, left on 
file amongst the Commissioners of the United Colonies' 
Acts in Boston, as attests 

Edward Raws on, Seer. 

Indorsed, " The testimony of four Indians of delivery of possession." 



We, John Button, William Cotton, John Rhodes, and 
Ambrose Leech / sworn, say that the spring of this year, 
being at Narragansett and going to Petacompscott with 
Capt. Edward Hutchinson, Capt. William Hudson, Mr. 
Richard Smith, and others, Scuttub, one of the chief 
Narragansett sagamores going along with us, with many 
other Indians, both of his council and others, where they 
also met with Ninicraft and his council, and many other 
Indians with them, to the number of two or three hun- 
dred in the whole ; in the presence of these Indians and 

1 There are two copies of this deposition in this collection, one of which 
contains simply the attestation of Governor Endicott, in his own hand. — 


divers English, Scuttub, in the behalf of himself, brother, 
and friends, delivered possession by turf and twig of 
the land at Petacompscott and the country thereabout to 
Capt. Edward Hutchinson, Capt. Wm. Hudson, Mr. Eich- 
ard Smith, Junior, in behalf of themselves and the rest of 
their company concerned in it, declaring the lands to be 
already sold by deed by the rest of the sagamores, as well 
as by himself, to the said Capt. Edward Hutchinson and 
company, and farther say not. 

These four above named came before me the 22d day 
of September, 1662, and took their solemn oaths to the 
truth of the premises which I testify. 

John Endicott, Governor, 

This is a true copy of what we gave our oaths to before 
the Governor, and examined by us. 

John Button. 

William Cotton. 

John Rhoades. 

Ambrose A Leach, his mark. 

This is to certify that John Button, Wm. Cotton, and 
John Koads came the 29th of August, 1664, and acknowl- 
edged this paper to be a true copy of their oaths, as 
above as attests. 

Edward Rawson, Seer. 

This is recorded in the 27th page of the old Court Book, 
as attests 

John Allyn, Seer. 

Hartford, September 7, 1664. 

Indorsed, "In the spring 1662. A copy of Jn°- Button, Will. Cotton, 
Jn°- Rhoa[de]s, and Ambros Leech's testimony of possession delivered. 
No. 8." 




To the Honored and Right Worshipful John Winthorpe, Esqr., these 
present f at Winchester House in Southwarhe, or elsewhere in London. 

Boston, 17 September, 1662. 

Honored Sir, — We have been so deeply engaged to 
you for your loving remembrance of us in proving the 
Naraganset country to lie within Conecticot patent that 
we know not how to express ourselves thankful enough ; 
for truly, should it have fallen out that we had been cast 
under Roade Hand's government, it would have been no 
small inconvenience. Therefore, we cannot but request 
of you that you would still improve all the interest you 
can, that we may be continued in your patent. For a 
copy of our deeds you shall have them sent by this ship, 
attested by a public notary ; and we hope his Majesty will 
be pleased to cast a favorable eye upon us, so as to place 
us under your Colony if there should be any obstruc- 
tions by Mr. Clarke, seeing we approve not of that govern- 
ment as it is managed, but approve of yours. Therefore, 
we being some of us met together, and knowing it is the 
mind of the rest, we thought good to certify it under our 
hands. Thus with our humble service presented, we rest 
Yours in all due respects, 

Edward Hutchinson, Jr. John Stanton. 

George Denison. John Button. 

Will m - Hudson. Ambrose Lech. 

Amos Richison. John Crabtree. 

Richard Smith, Sin r . William Cotton. 

Richard Smith, Jun r . John Rhoades. 

Tho. Stanton. Elisha Hutchinson. 
John Viall. 

Indorsed, " Proprietors of Narroganset. ' 



For the Right Worshipful John Winthorpe, Esqr., at Winchester House in 
Southwarke, these present. 

Boston, 22 September, 16G2. 

Honored Sir, — After due respects presented to your 
Worship, I make bold to present you with a line or two, 
desiring to return you thanks for your remembrance of us 
and of myself in particular. Sir, by order of the company, 
I have sent these papers to you, if they may be of use. 
There is the deeds for all the three purchases. There is 
only one deed more not sent, because it was apprehended 
not so useful, which is a deed of Tom Tokos for Point 
Jude ; but having Ninecraft's deed for the whole, we con- 
ceive more sufficient [sic]. Sir, I make bold to inform 
you also of a report I heard lately at Roade Hand, though 
I think it not true, and if true no great matter in it, but 
thought good to give you a hint of it, that you may 
make use of as occasion serves. It is reported the sachems 
have sent over two agents to the King, both which lived 
some time at Roade Hand, to complain against the Eng- 
lish, and in special against ourselves, for taking away their 
lands, and have empowered their agents to subject them- 
selves and their lands to his Majesty, and to desire pro- 
tection from him from the injuries of his subjects here ; 
and it is said they gave them a great parcel of peague to do 
their business for them. If any such thing be, I conceive 
it is but some that have deceived the Indians of their 
peague, and persuaded them, as easily they may, that 
they will do them a great favor with the King ; but 
I thought not amiss to hint it, lest there should be 
by Roade Hand agent anything produced from the sa- 
chems that they may procure from them, which, if it be 
by him or them produced, it may not come suddenly 


upon you. Thus desiring to take leave of you, only 
subscribing myself 

Your Worship's servant, 

Edward Hutchinson, Jr. 

Indorsed, " Capt. Hutchinson." 


For the Right Worshipful Jno. Winthorpe, Esqr., at Winchester House, 
in Southwark, these dd. 

Boston, 22 September, 1662. 

Honored Sir, — After respects presented, by advice of 
friends I thought meet to add this to my former letter, to 
certify you that when, as I understand, an objection was 
made by Mr. Clarke concerning want of enlargement to 
divers of the inhabitants of Providence Plantations, I was 
sent to the Court at Roade Hand by our company, who 
empowered me to act, and I in the behalf of our com- 
pany told them we were as ready to receive any honest 
men from them as from any other parts as inhabitants 
with us. And afterwards, when we came to set apart a 
township to be settled upon the Naraganset country, we 
kept but one third to dispose of by ourselves, and two 
thirds we disposed of to and by order of the inhabitants of 
Roade Island men and the other inhabitants of Providence 
Plantations, and we were as careful as we could to dispose 
it to deserving men of them, and left it to them of that 
place to nominate the rest, so that it is plain that is a 
pretence want of enlargement. For if they be men that 
are sober and fit for neighbors, they need not complain, 
for those that have not may be supplied ; but it is such 
persons as are turbulent that we are careful to avoid, 
though they so abound in that place we had need have 
a more strict government than is at Roade Hand to keep 


them in good order, and I wish we have not been deceived 
by some we have received ; but I hope the government 
under yourself will regulate them. Sir, not else save 
respects. I commit you to God, and rest your servant to 

Edward Hutchinson. 

Indorsed, " Capt. Huchinson, about Narroganset." 


For his honored Friend, Mr. John Winthorpe, at Mr. Jeames Porter House, 
at the Red Heart in LeadenhaU Street, the upper end of the Street, 
towards Algate, these ddd., p. Mr. Zacre Gillam. 

Boston, 3 November, 1662. 

Honored Sir, — After respects presented to yourself and 
your sons, this may certify of the receipt of yours of 2 Sep- 
tember, wherein we perceive you meet with much trouble 
with Mr. Clarke concerning your patent after the passing 
the seal. 1 We have formerly writ by Capt. Perce, and by 

1 In a note on page 30 we have said that Governor Winthrop sailed for 
England in July, 1661, on a mission for Connecticut, to procure a Charter 
for that Colony. In this mission he was successful. The instrument bears 
date April 23, 1662. It passed the seals, May 10, and was received in Con- 
necticut early in September, coming by way of Boston. Soon after the 
Charter had been completed in the public offices in London, John Clarke, who 
had been in England for some years, appeared as the agent of Rhode Island 
in opposition to it. The story is told by Winthrop in his letter to Hutch- 
inson, ante, pages 33 and 34, the receipt of which is acknowledged in the 
letter above. Clarke's principal objection to the Connecticut grant was be- 
cause it bounded " on the east by the Narragansett River, commonly called 
Narragansett Bay," which brought the whole of the Narragansett country 
under Connecticut; whereas the jurisdiction of that territory had long been 
claimed by Rhode Island under its Charter of 1643-4, granted to Williams 
by the Commissioners for Foreign Plantations. A company of land specu- 
lators, principally from Massachusetts, known as the Atherton Company, and 
also as the Narragansett Company, headed by Humphrey Atherton, whose 
sudden death is announced to Winthrop in an earlier letter, had made exten- 


him sent you a copy of our several deeds for the Naragan- 
set country. Now I perceive by Sir Thomas Temple and 
Capt. Scott that as yet Mr. Clarke is not at rest, though 
I perceive he hath not much to say for himself; but I 
perceive he now at last pleads upon their patent, and I 
have spoke with Mr. Braudstreete about it, and he saith 
that by reason the patent was procured from the Lords 

sive purchases of land from the Indians in the Xarragansett country, in vio- 
lation of Rhode Island law; and they were anxious that their lands should 
be placed under Connecticut jurisdiction. Their letters to Winthrop in this 
volume, written principally by Edward Hutchinson, who represented the 
Company, indicate their purpose. Before some of the letters could have 
reached Winthrop, he had procured the Charter and sent it home. Yet 
Clarke, as we have seen, protested against its eastern boundary. He was now 
petitioning for a new Charter for Rhode Island, and he pleaded for a rectifi- 
cation or an amendment of that of Connecticut. Winthrop continued to 
remain in London, and finally, through the intervention of common friends, 
an agreement was made between him and Clarke, dated April 7, 1663, by 
which the Paucatuck River should be the certain boundary between the two 
Colonies, and should hereafter be called Xarragansett River. It was also 
agreed that the proprietors and inhabitants of certain lands about Smith's 
Trading-house, claimed or purchased by Atherton, Hutchinson, and others 
from the Indians, should have free liberty to choose to which Colony they 
would belong. This agreement, with two other stipulations, will be seen 
farther on. "Winthrop soon after, in April, sailed from the Downs for 
New England, landing at Boston, and by July had arrived in Connecticut. 
Soon after he had left England, the agent of the Xarragansett purchasers, 
John Scott, made an attempt, by corrupt means, to traduce the character of 
Clarke, and to set aside this agreement between him and "Winthrop: and he 
actually procured a letter from the King, addressed to the United Colonies, 
representing the Atherton Company as desirous of forming an English col- 
ony, and recommending it to their protection, as having been unjustly 
molested by the turbulent spirits of the Providence Colony. Scott's letter, 
dated April 29, 1663, and the King's missive of June 21, may be seen a few 
pages farther on. Xotwithstanding all these adverse influences, Clarke suc- 
ceeded in securing a new Charter for Rhode Island, dated July 18, 1663, in 
which were embodied the several agreements with Winthrop. Thus much 
we have said in explanation of the several letters and papers in this volume 
relating to the affairs of the Atherton or Xarragansett Company, and should 
add, that Winthrop had no intention of doing injustice to Rhode Island. 
The old patent of Connecticut, of 1631-2, was bounded on the Xarragansett 
River. The discussion of the subject is pursued at length in the first volume 
of Arnold's History of Rhode Island, who has printed four of these letters 
from the Trumbull Papers; and reference may also be made to the Proceed- 
ings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, V. 400, VI. 41. — Eds. 


Commissioners of Parliament, he, the said Clarke, never 
did mention it before his coming away. For if he had, 
there was a patent granted to the Masachusets from the 
same Commissioners of that tract of land, bearing date 
before theirs about four months (the copy of which I now 
send enclosed) ; and the reason he spake not of it was by 
reason it was in your patent, and it being in the United 
Colonies he questioned not fair correspondence in it with 
yourself. But now you may make use of it as you see 
cause, but that patent and so ours is bounded by the Nara- 
ganset country ; and whereas there is a clause in it reaching 
about twenty-five miles to the Pequid River and country, 
it seems to carry it as if that river were betwixt the Nara- 
ganset country and the tract of land of twenty-five miles 
in that patent. You know very well there is the whole 
Naraganset country betwixt them, which they are first 
bounded by, so that indeed there never was anything of 
that country in their patent, if it had been a patent. 
But the truth is, Mr. Clarke, for anything I perceive, in- 
tends to cover some misdemeanors and crimes committed 
by divers of their Colony upon the land which they now 
would get a patent for; for at Paucatuck, which you 
know is fifty or sixty miles from the place where they 
pretend the outside of their patent to begin, they have 
riotously and by force come and set up some houses and 
laid out lands upon part of the Pequod country to the 
eastward of Paucatuck River, upon some lands which was 
disposed of by the General Court here, (by virtue of the 
conquest of the Pequods, and by agreement of the Com- 
missioners of the United Colonies within their division,) 
and after the possession of them seven years in peace, 
which, if they had anything to pretend, should not in a 
hostile way have so acted, and at Petacomscot we taking 
possession of our own lands purchased by setting up of a 
house, they the next night after in the night cuts it down. 
Now I know that no authority will suffer such outrages, 


but the law is provided to prevent such courses. Now, 
to cover these things, if Mr. Clarke thinks (after they have 
done such things) to procure a patent for the country, if 
it be understood, he will receive no small check for it, if 
no worse thing. Besides, sir, you know what a receptacle 
that place is to all malefactors that shall run away from 
other Colonies, be the crimes what they will, as Mr. Tal- 
cot lately told me of one lately from Harford gaol, and so 
divers from Boston, both for theft and other worse crimes. 
But I need not inform you of these things, you know them 
so well. But I am persuaded, if his Majesty and Council 
knew the place as well as we here do, they would be far 
from granting any charter at all to them, but rather put 
them into some other Colony ; for, as I am informed, some 
of them have said they will be as a Dunkirke. And well 
may they say so ; for else without authority they durst 
not take any vessel as one was there belonging to a man 
of the Kiver's mouth. I shall not trouble your ears any 
further, only certify you that it is all our desires to be in 
Conecticot Colony ; and I am informed that very many 
amongst them desires it also. Thus not else save re- 
spects, I subscribe myself, your humble servant, 

Edward Hutchinson, Jr. 

Indorsed, " Capt. Hutchenson." 


Boston, 18: 9 month, 1662. 

Honored Sir, — We have received yours from London. 
We thought good to send you a copy of what we sent to 
Connecticott to consider of, only think good to add that 
we are bold to presume you do not consider that what you 
have procured in the Charter reaches the whole of the 


Narragansett country ; and whereas you speak of twenty- 
five miles, we understand not your meaning, for your 
patent and Plimouth joins, reaching both the Narragan- 
sett River ; and whereas Mr. Clarke pretends a patent, we 
have sent a copy of one to the Massachusetts of the same 
land, dated before theirs, which answers theirs, and we con- 
ceive may give satisfaction. 1 But however it is necessary 
for avoiding contention to yield no way to Road Island, 
for they are not rational. It seems Mr. Clarke hath much 
abused you ; but I wonder not at it, for their principles 
leads them to no better. But for any tract of land of 
twenty-five miles, there is not any such tract ; for their 
patent is bounded by the country inhabited by the In- 
dians. Though after there be an expression, reaching to 
Pequid River, yet the whole country of the Narragansett 
lies betwixt Pequid River and Prouidence, which is inhab- 
ited by Indians, and therefore that expression no better 
than a cheat ; for from the outside of Prouidence bounds 
to Pequid River is at least sixty miles, taking in all the 
Indian country, which they are not to do by their patent. 
Therefore, if Prouidence township and Road Island should 
be granted a patent, yet the country inhabited by Indians 
is excepted, which is that we have purchased : therefore 
we are bold to crave of you to consider what you yield 
to before you yield, and whatever you do to reserve our 
particular interest. But if that Prouidence, Warwick, 
and Road Island should procure a patent for the bounds 
of these four towns, to come as far as Warwick rails, 
where they now stand, and to go along by the river Pau- 
tuckett, not by the Bay, but to Warwick Pointe, which will 
be about twenty or twenty-five miles to reach to Boston 
line, we should not oppose, which is indeed more then 
anything they can pretend claim to. Thus not further to 

1 See, in reference to the patent here spoken of, Proceedings Mass. Hist. 
Soc, V. 400, VI. 41. — Eds. 


trouble you, we take leave, and rest your servants to our 

Ed : Hutchinson, 
by appointment of the Company, 

Indorsed, " ISth November, 1662. Copy of a letter to Mr. Winthrop to 
Lno." [Copy not in Hutchinson's hand.] 1 


Honored Sir, — The proposals I mentioned concerning 
the business of employing the Indians in our parts of New 
England, depending upon a large stock, may probably 
be unseasonable, considering what I now understand of 
the diminution of the stock of the corporation, and their 
disappointments of moneys for necessary occasions. Yet 
having mentioned something to your Honor concerning 
the same, as also to the Treasurer, I shall briefly hint 
something further about the same : those western parts 
of New England between the Narogansett Bay and the 
River of New London are most populous of Indians, and 
a people more civil and active and industrious than any 
other of the adjacent parts. Amongst them also there are 
a people which live very near the English, and do wholly 
adhere to them, and are apt to fall into English employ- 
ment. Therefore, I have thought it an opportunity for 
the civilizing of them, and thereby the bringing them to 
hearken to the Gospel may be the easier effected ; and 
there is one Mr. William Tomson, a minister, who speak- 
eth their language very well, applied himself wholly to 
instruct some of them. 

1 Several of the letters included in th±s Atherton Company correspondence 
are already printed in Arnold's History of Rhode Island, I. 378-383. — Eds. 


The Proposals concerning the Employing the Indians in New England. 

1. The benefit to themselves would be the civilizing 
of them. 

2. They would thereby be in a nearer way to receive 
employment, and the knowledge of the religion, which is 
that great work this honorable corporation intends. 

3. They would be furnished with such necessaries as 
may make their lives more comfortable, as civil people 

4. It would be a great benefit to the English people here 
in a way of vending store of their commodities, especially 
drapery, of which now the Duch have the greatest trade 
in those parts ; for there be many thousands which would 
willingly wear English apparel if they knew how to pur- 
chase it, which must be easily done by the improvement 
of their own labor in a due way ; and besides, many other 
manufactures would be vended. 

5. England would be supplied with substantial com- 
modities, as hemp, flax, several sorts of other things, as 
pitch, tar, wheat, prairie grass, and some other .... 
commodities very proper to the country. 

A revenue for the maintenance of the chief business of 
the corporation may thereby out of their own labor be 
raised without any charge to the people of England, which 
is a principal part of the intendment of this proposal. 

Proposition to the Honorable the Governor and Corporation for the Prop- 
agating the Gospel in New England, tending to the settling the Indians 
for that mercy by civilizing them in a way of employment. 

First, a considerable stock must be provided. The 
stock proposed for the carrying on the work is <£3,000 
this year, and next year £2,000, or what more can 
be procured. This stock shall be paid back the third 
or fifth year at farthest, either with interest if the Cor- 


poration or others do not adventure it ; or with such 
proportion of the clear profit as shall be thought fit, 
which proportion of profit may be laid out in some pur- 
chase there, or further employed to profit, the yearly 
produce to be returned as it ariseth, in such com- 
modities as shall be raised by their labor, but returned 
back in commodities, only the interest deducted, till the 
three or five years be expired ; and after that the thing 
being sufficiently put in a way, there may be a continu- 
ance of future supply upon reasonable and certain allow- 
I auce of profit to those that have thus supplied the stock 
; for the beginning, or a continuance only of the supply out 
of the returns out of the produce. The way to raise such 
a stock may be by motion from the corporation ; not, as in 
the former transactions, b} r a collection of a stock in a 
free gift by way of charity, but only a supply for valu- 
able consideration, which shall yearly be paid out of the 
produce, at first for the further encouragement to the 
work upon bare interest and insurance ; and afterward, 
when that term shall be expired, of three, four, or five 
years, then the usual allowance as other traders give 
for their commodities. Of this stock about £1,000 in 
money, the rest only in goods at money price, security 
to be given for the principal, stock, and interest; but 
if any persons for the forwarding such a good work 
will contribute to such a stock, to have principal re- 
turned without consideration, it may be the greater 

Indorsed, " Rough draught of proposals to the corporation for Nine- 
craft's Indian business. The most perfect draught I left with them at their 
meeting at Coopers' Hall, which they intended to transcribe and give me 
again." l 

1 This draft, in Winthrop's hand, bears no date, but the paper must have 
been presented while he was in England, 1661-63. - - Eds. 



To the honored Court of his Majesty's Patentees, at Hartford in Conect. Col- 
ony, to be delivered at their sitting this present March, '62-63. 

Honored Gentlemen, — I suppose it needless to re- 
capitulate the edict ^ warrant under the hand of the 
Worshipful John Mason, Deputy-Governor, with your or- 
ders under your seal, and therein implicit charges com- 
prised, which from your General Court we received, nor 
our return of free willing obedience and loyalty signed 
with our hands to you, his Majesty's patentees ; but much 
wonder that after these acts you seem not only to leave 
us naked, but also to lay us open to the scourge of our 
antagonists. We by vote sent our fittest (yid. Tho. 
Hunt) to Fairefield, there expecting order had been 
taken for stating a constable amongst us, but was re- 
turned with a non-official order. Our latitude for court 
ye appointed us Fairefield ; but our longitude to fetch 
warrants and officers to execute (being fifty miles) is 
intolerable. We well hoped that as great care had been 
taken for our tranquillity and enjoyment of our good and 
comfortable order and peace, as for our subjugation under 
you according to his Majesty's royal will and pleasure. 
But the present production is turbulent distractions. 
Our magistrates have thrown away their Dutch dig- 
nity, having under their hands signed to you ; occasions 
of issuing controversies are presented. Club law is yet 
avoided, if it be executed. Judge ye who are the vir- 
tual instruments. Our miserable condition six days since 
caused the inhabitants to meet together. Proposition 
was for a new choice of magistrates to be established bv 
the Dutch. Positively protested against ^> myself and 
Sergeant Ponton by virtue of your order derived from 
his Majesty's patent (of which we have a copy), and also 
our own subjection under our hands unto you which will 


be returned to us again, we protested against any that 
in that sphere acted. 

John Kichinson, of this town, an Englishman with a 
Dutch heart, lodging two nights since in the house of one 
Waldrose, 1 scout, a mongrel English and Dutch man, — 
at the magistrates the said Richinson reports that he, 
the said scout, showed him the copy of a letter, or a 
letter, that was sent from some of the patentees from 
Conecticote to the Dutch Governor, therein affirming that 
what Capt. John Young acted on Long Hand was without 
order from the General Court, and also that what we 
received was not with the said court's order; but that 
they did desire that the Governor of the Manhatens 
might enjoy as formerly, and live in peace each with 
other, titling Peter Stiverson Governor of the Man- 

Gentlemen, if so it be that ye retract, let us that are 
his Majesty's loyal subjects according to your order know 
thereof, that so we may rather run then lie in their stink- 
ing prison until we rot, as we are threatened, and are 
not by you hitherto comforted nor supported by word 
nor act. Before you sent unto us your edict and orders, 
and we submitted, we lived in peace and enjoyed our 
own without disturbance or danger. I pray, for our loy- 
alty, leave us not worse then you found us. 

We daily are threatened and put in fears. We are under 
much perplexity of mind, dreading those that formerly 
have sore afflicted us on these like account ; (the burnt 
child dreads the fire.) But most especially I am threat- 
ened for that I refused to deliver the writings we received 
from you unto the scout whom the Dutch Governor with 
soldiers sent for them. I have them still in safe keeping ; 
and also because I protested against the choice of magis- 
trates to be instated by the Dutch. 

1 Waldron was the Dutch agent or schout sent to West Chester at this 
time. — Eds. 



We humbly entreat that we may have an officer or 

officers established for our peace, and encouragement of 

your supportation in our most loyal and lawful demeanor ; 

for we retort not to our enemies, though they rage and 

threaten. We humbly beseech you to consider of us your 

forlorn hope, and to deal honorably by us according to 

the dignity of yours and our master, which, hoping ye 

will do, we remain his Majesty's loyal subjects under your 

commands. -r> , T 

Richard Mills, 

In the name of some others. We are 

not all one man's children. 1 

Westchester, 14th of March, 62-63. 
Indorsed, "Westchester letter to the court.' 9 


Whereas some differences hath of late fallen out 
between Mr. John Winthrop, agent for the taking out 

1 For an account of the West Chester troubles at this time, see Brod- 
head's New York, I. 709. — Eds. 

2 This document is a transcript, nearly contemporaneous with its date. 
We have compared it with a copy in 1 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., V. 248, 249, and 
with a copy from the Carter-Brown manuscripts, printed in the Rhode Island 
Colony Records, I. 518. There is a substantial agreement in the several texts; 
but while a few clerical errors appear in each, the Carter-Brown copy is most 
free from them. In the copy before us, two names are left blank; namely, 
11 Brereton" — which is supplied, in brackets, from the Carter-Brown copy, 
printed " Brenton " in the Historical Society's copy — and "Atherton." 
Among the witnesses to the sealing, the name of " J. Beane " is wanting in 
the copy before us; while the name of M Richard Dean " as one of the signers 
(erroneously printed " Doane " in the Historical Society's copy) is wanting 
in the Carter-Brown copy; and the name of " John Clarke " is also wanting in 
the two copies last named. The Historical Society's copy omits the date of 
the first signing, and "the 17 of April" is given as the date of sealing and 
delivering. The copy printed by the Historical Society is included in a mass 
of papers relating to Rhode Island, presented to the Society in 1798 by Fran- 
cis Brinley, and was probably a collection made by his ancestor of the same 
name. See 1 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., V. 253 ; Proc, I. 122. — Eds. 


of a patent for the Colony of Conecticut, and Mr. John 
Clark, agent for the taking out of a patent for the 
Colony of Providence and Rhoad-Island, concerning the 
right meaning of certain bounds set down in a patent 
lately granted to the said Colony of Conecticut ; and 
whereas, by reason of the doubtfulness of some names 
and expressions mentioned in the said patent, and for 
the better preventing of all disputes that might arise 
between the said Colonies hereafter by reason of such 
uncertainties or dubiousness, 1 they, the said John Win- 
throp and John Clark, have jointly and mutually nomi- 
nated, chosen, and appointed William [Brereton,] Esq., 
Major Robert Thompson, Capt. Richard Dean, Capt. 
John Brookhaven, and Doct r Benjamin Worsley, or any 
three or more of them, to hear and to consider the state 
of the said difference, and to determine what they judge 
might be most commodious in order to the settling 
said bounds, clearing of all uncertainties, and giving a 
mutual satisfaction to both the said Colonies, — We, 
whose names are here underwritten, having in pursu- 
ance of their requests met together, and having at 
lai^e heard what hath been alleged, on both sides, on the 
behalf of themselves and their respective Colonies to 
whom they do respectively belong, upon serious de- 
bate and consideration had of the whole matter, we have 
jointly and unanimously agreed to offer 2 this advice, as 
followeth : — 

1st. That a river there, commonly called and known 
by the name of Paucatuck River, shall be the certain 
bounds between those two Colonies, which said river 
shall for the future be also called alias Narragansett, 
or Narragansett River. 

2dly. If any part of that purchase at Quinnibogue 
doth lie along upon the east side of the river that goeth 

1 " Disturbances " in copy. — Eds. 

2 " After "in copy. — Eds. 


down by New London, within six miles of the said river, 
that then it shall wholly belong to Conecticut Colony, 
as well as the rest which lieth on the western side of 
the aforesaid river. 

3dly. That the proprietors and inhabitants of that land 
about Mr. Smith's Trading-house, claimed or purchased 
by Major [Atherton], Capt. Hutchinson, Lieut. Hudson, 
and others, or given unto them by Indians, shall have free 
liberty to choose to which of those Colonies they will 

4thly. That propriety shall not be altered nor de- 
stroyed, but carefully 1 maintained through the said 

Dated this 7th of April, 1663. WlLLIAM [Brereton]> 

Robert Thompson. 
Benja: Worsley. 
Richard Dean. 
John Brookhaven. 

To the four proposals above mentioned, we, the said 
John Winthrop and John Clark, do consent and submit, as 
a full and final issue of all the controversies between js. 
In witness whereof we have interchangeably set our 
hands and seals, this seventh day of April, anno Domini 
1663, and in the fifteenth year of the reign of our sover- 
eign lord, Charles the Second, by the grace of God King 
of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of 
the Faith, &c. JoHN WlNTHR0P> 

Signed, sealed, and delivered in John Clark. 

the presence of 

Wtlltam Potts. 2 
Robert Thompson. 

Indorsed, " A copy of the agreement made in England between the two 
agents in the year 1663." 

1 " Cheerfully" in copy. — Eds. 

a William Potter, in 5 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll. VIII. 83. — Eds. 



April 29, 1663. 

Mr. Hutchinson, and my honored friend, — Mr. Win- 
throp was very averse to my prosecuting your affair, he 
having had much trouble with Mr. Clarke whiles he re- 
mained in England ; but as soon as I received intelli- 
gence of his departure from the Downes, I took into the 
Society a potent gentleman, and preferred a petition 
against Clarke, &c., as enemy to the peace and well-being 
of his Majesty's good subjects, and doubt not of effecting 
the premises in convenient time. And in order to accom- 
plish the business, I have bought of Mr. Edwards a parcel 
of curiosities to the value of 60/. to gratify persons that 
are powerful, that there may be a letter filled with author- 
izing expressions to the Colonies of the Massachusetts 
and Conecticott, that the proprietors of the Naraganset 
country shall not only live peaceably, but have satisfac- 
tion for injuries already received by some of the said pro- 
prietors; and the power that shall be so invested, viz. 
the Masachusets and Conecticott, by virtue of the said 
letter, will jointly or severally have full power to do us 
justice to all intents as to our Naraganset concerns. Sir, 
Mr. Sam 11 Sedgwick disbursed the money, the obliga- 
tion, I doubt not, of satisfaction of according to time, 
which is by March next ; and by that time, and long 
before, I doubt not of satisfying your desires, or else I 
will satisfy the said bill to Sedgwick myself. I cannot 
deem those terms Mr. Winthrop made with Clarke any 
way to answer your desires, were there a certainty in 
what Clarke hath granted. 

Your friend and servant unceremoniously, 

John Scott. 

Indorsed, " A copy of Mr. Scott's letter to Capt. Hutchison from London, 
April 29, 1663." 



To our Trusty and Well-beloved Subjects, the Governor and Assistants of 
Massachusetts, Plymouth, New Haven, and Connecticut Colonies, New 

fffearlts g. 

Trusty and Well-beloved, — We greet you well. 
Whereas we have been given to understand that our 
good subjects, Thomas Cliffinch, John Scot, John Win- 
throp, Daniel Dennison, Shnond Bradstreet, Thomas 
Willet, Richard Smith, Edward Hutchinson, Amos Rich- 
ardson, John Alcock, William Hudson, and their asso- 
ciates, having in the right of Major Atherton a just 
propriety in the Narraganset country in New England 
by grants from the native princes of that country, and 
being desirous to improve it into an English colony and 
plantation, to the enlarging of our empire and the com- 
mon good of our subjects, they are yet daily disturbed 
and unjustly molested in their possession and laudable 
endeavors by certain unreasonable and turbulent spirits 
of Providence Colony in New England aforesaid, to the 
great scandal of justice and government, and the emi- 
ment discouragement of that hopeful plantation, we 
have therefore thought fit hereby effectually to recom- 
mend the said proprietors to your neighborly kindness 
and protection. 

Willing proprietors to be permitted peaceably to im- 
prove their colony and plantation in New England ; will- 
ing you to be on all occasions assisting to them against 
such unjust oppressions and molestations, that so they 
may be secured in the full and peaceable enjoyment of 
their said country according to the right and title they 
have to it, wherein we will not doubt of your readiness 
and care, and shall on all good occasions express how 
graciously we accept of your compliance with this 


our recommendations. And so we bid you farewell. 
Given at our Court at Whitehall, the twenty-first day of 
June, 1663, in the fifteenth year of our reign. 
By his Majesty's command. 

Henry Bennet. 

Vera copia, examined by the original, being under the 
signets, and lying on file among the records of the Mas- 
sachusetts Colony. 1 

Ed. Randolph, Secretary? 

Indorsed, " Copia of his Majesty's letter to the Colonies, anno 1663. 
No. 2." 


To Capt ; Tho : Willet, of New Amsterdam. 

Honored Sir, — I received your letter by Capt : 
Varlet, with another from the Right Honorable General 
of Newnetherland, who writes to me for answer about 
certain bounds, which he saith were set by the Commis- 
sioners long since, of which your letter also intimates 
something. There hath been yet no meeting of the 
General Court of this Colony, whom it will concern when 
they are together to return answer to such questions, 
except the concernment of all the Colonies by the Com- 
missioners should require their consideration thereof, my 
occasions requiring speedily my return to Boston. I 
came now up rather upon a visit to my family and 

1 See R. 1. Col. Records, I. 466, and Hazard, II. 498, 499, where will be 
seen a copy of this letter; and in Hazard another letter accompanying it, 
addressed to the authorities of Rhode Island by the Commissioners of the 
United Colonies, dated Hartford, Sept. 9, 1664. — Eds. 

2 This is Randolph's autograph signature. — Eds. 

8 Thomas Willet was the first Mayor of New York after the conquest of 
New Netherland by the English. — Eds. 


friends, then with any intent of officiating, especially till 
the General Court could assemble. However, I have 
made bold to propound a way that may be most prob- 
able to issue matters in difference before very long time, 
which you may understand from himself. I doubt not of 
your wisdom and care to use all opportunity of promot- I 
ing matters that tend to the settling and continuance of ) 
peace, as you are pleased to intimate also yourself in your 
letter, which I hope may be fully attained by that means 
propounded. Concerning wampum, I suppose there was 
left an account at that time by Capt. Lord, or sent 
with it, or yourself entrusted with it, as it should fall 
out to see a fit opportunity to dispose of it for the Cap- 
tain, of which there may be further opportunity to know 
from yourself at your leisure, and shall not add at present, 
but remembrance of all love and respects, &c. 

Your obliged friend and servant, 

J. W. 

Indorsed, " Copy of letter to Capt. Willet, July 18, 1663," in Winthrop's 
own hand. 


Honored Sir, — Since I came hither, I am informed of 
the state of matters concerning the plantation of West- 
chester, that it was purchased by Mr. Pell and other 
Englishmen belonging to this Colony in the time of the 
war between the English and Duch ; and that, as it was 
possessed and inhabited afterwards by the purchasers and 
many other English families upon their right, so the said 
Mr. Pell and other his associates have continued the 
claim to it from time to time, although some of the in- 
habitants were by durance compelled to submit to the 


commands of the Duch, and others constrained there- 
upon to leave their habitations. 

Indorsed, " This was intended to be added to Mr. Willet, but was omit- 
ted for some reason for personal." 1 


To the Bight Honorable Peter Stuyvesant, General of New Netherlands, at 
New Amsterdam, dd. 

Eight Honorable, — I received a letter by Capt. 
Nicol: Varlet from your Honor, directed to myself; but I 
perceive by the contents thereof it is about matters of pub- 
lic concernment. Since my late arrival here there been 
no assembly of the General Court, so as my condition 
as to the matter of officiating stands as it did before my 
arrival, being not in a capacity to act as yet in those public 
affairs. 3 The business propounded by your Honor concern- 
ing the bounds being mentioned as your agreement with 
the Commissioners, I conceive it will not be impertinent 
that it come to their cognizance at their meeting at Bos- 
ton in September next; and the result of their considera- 
tion will thereupon be fitly represented to the General 
Court of this Colony the beginning of October next, who I 
doubt not will be ready to attend any rational way which 
your Honor may be pleased to propound of issuing any 
difference that may have fallen out ; which in my appre- 
hension may be best accommodated by some persons 
commissionated from yourself, with full power to treat 

1 A memorandum in Winthrop's hand, of no date, but probably made at 
the time the letter immediately preceding was written. — Eds. 

2 Governor Winthrop appears to have received two letters from Stuyve- 
sant at the same time and by the same bearer. To one of them he replied 
on the same day, reserving this reply to the other letter till the following day. 
See 4 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., VI. 526, 535. — Eds. 

3 Winthrop had recently returned tc Connecticut from England. — Eds. 


with such others as may likewise be empowered by the 
General Assembly of this Colony, the transactions by 
letters being an uncertain and imperfect way of compos- 
ing matters, and that may possibly attain the end pro- 
pounded by your Honor, of issuing and settling here any 
such matters in question without further trouble, it being 
undoubtedly the mind of the magistrate here to promote 
all amicable ways of peace and neighborhood as most desir- 
able for so few Christians amongst those barbarous people, 
the Indians ; and for my particular, however, for present, 
my occasions require my speedy return to Boston, where 
its probable I may stay till after the Commissioners' meet- 
ing in September. Yet I shall not be wanting, if oppor- 
tunity be offered any time, to help forward such means as 
may conduce to those ends, which I doubt not but may be 
attained in due time, if your Honor please to let all further 
transactions cease till after these forementioned meetings, 
and a place and time be agreed upon, either in these or 
your parts, or Milford or New Haven, or some such medi- 
ate place, where some commissionated from both parts 
may attend that affair. I shall leave the motion to your 
Honor's consideration in your own time, and with all due 
respects and love remembered shall rest, Right Honorable, 
Your loving friend and servant, 

J. W. 

Hartford, July 18, 1663. 

Indorsed, " Copy of letter to Duch Gover", July 18, 1663," in Winthrop's 


Propositions touching Southerton for [torn"] and of Differences between 
Masacusetts and Conecticut Colonies. 

1. That all propriety within the said town derived from 
either General Court be confirmed ; and if there should 


be any difference between any persons that claim propri- 
ety touching the seniority or extent of their grants, such 
differences shall be determined by the Commissioners. 

2. That all acts or things lawfully done by the people 
of Southertene by virtue of the authority derived from 
the jurisdiction of Masacusetts be confirmed, and indem- 
nity given to that people for all irregularities by them 
committed in the time they have been under the jurisdic- 
tion of Masacusetts, except matters capital. 

3. That those things being fully agreed by both Colo- 
nies in their General Courts, then the Commissioners do 
propose it, as the advice to the General Court of Massacu- 
setts, to surrender up the right of jurisdiction to Conecti- 
cutt Colony over the said place and people, it being 
included under their patent, hoping and desiring them to 
extend equal favor and protection to that people with 
their other plantations. 

Indorsed, "Propositions about Southerton." 



At a meeting of the Council at Hartford, April 2, 1664, 
upon the motion of the townsmen of Wickford, the Coun- 
cil did nominate and appoint Capt. Edward Hutchinson, 
Capt. Wm. Hudson, and Mr. Richard Smith, Senior, to 

1 There is no date to these Propositions. — Eds. 

2 In another copy of this record here preserved it appears that there 
were present at this meeting, John Winthrop, Eso , Governor, Mr. Mat- 
thew Allin, Mr. Richard Treat, Captain John Talcott, and John Allin. The 
Atherton proprietors, who were settled about Smith's Trading-house, had 
immediately — in July, 1663 — accepted the jurisdiction of Connecticut, 
under Winthrop's agreement with Clarke. They were in the same month 
organized, and the place was named Wickford. See Colony Records of Con- 
necticut, I. 407. — Eds. 


be Commissioners for the town aforesaid and the places 
adjoining within the Colony of Connecticott, and they 
are invested with magistratical power within the limits 
aforesaid ; and the aforesaid Commissioners themselves, 
or any one of them, with the assistance of the Selectmen 
of Wickford, have power to keep court for the determi- 
nation of all causes under the value of forty shillings, and 
all matters of criminal nature that come under their cogni- 
zance. It is also ordered that the inhabitants of Wickford 
aforesaid do assemble themselves together at a time and 
place appointed, and elect out of and from amongst them- 
selves one or two able and judicious men to serve as 
constables for the said town ; and one or either of the Com- 
missioners aforesaid are hereby authorized to administer 
the constable's oath to the persons that shall be elected 
to the office of a constable as aforesaid. It is also ordered 
that, if any differences do arise at Wickford that are 
above the cognizance of the court at Wickford, that the 
issue of such matters be referred to a determination to 
the next court from that time that shall be at New Lon- 
don. It is the desire of this Council that the inhabitants 
of Wickford would be careful seasonably to provide an 
able Orthodox minister to dispense the Word of God to 
them ; and if God please to incline Mr. Brewster to come 
amongst them, it is desired he might have all due encour- 
agement, which will be very acceptable to this Council. 
Capt. Edward Hutchinson is desired and appointed to be 
Commander-in-chief for the town of Wickford, who is to 
exercise all male persons from sixteen years to sixty in 
the art and skill of handling their arms, and in military ; 
discipline, as they are capable, six times a year, until the 
Court order otherwise. It is the order of this Council that' 
the officers respectively take due care to suppress sin and 
profaneness, and encourage piety according to their best; 
skill. Capt. Hutchinson and Capt. Hudson took the Com- 
missioner's oath in the Council. Capt. Hutchinson is to ; 


administer the oath of a Commissioner to Mr. Richard 
Smith, Senior. 

Extracted out of the Records of the Council, this 4th 
April, 1664, per me, 

John Allyn, 
Secretary to the Colony of Connecticott. 

To the Constable of Wickford to publish : — 

constable's oath. 

I, A. B., do swear by the great and dreadful name of 
the ever-living God, that, for the year ensuing and until 
a new be chosen, I will faithfully execute the place 
and office of a constable for and within the Planta- 
tion of W: and the limits thereof; and that I will en- 
deavor to preserve the public peace of the said place and 
Colony, and will do my best endeavor to see all watches 
and wards executed, and to obey and execute all lawful 
commands or warrants that come from any magistrate, 
magistrates, or court. So help me God in the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

commissioner's oath. 

You do swear by the great and dreadful name of the 
everlasting God, that, for this year ensuing and until 
new be chosen, you shall faithfully execute the place 
and office you are chosen unto, according to the extent 
of your commission. So help you God in the name of 
the Lord Jesus Christ. 

These are true copies of the commissioner and consta- 
ble's oath, as attests 

John Allyn, Secretary. 

For pilfering and stealing, treble damages to be paid, 
and such severe punishment as the Court shall think fit. 


Persons swearing, to pay , or sit in the stocks, not 

above three hours, nor less than one. 

Cursing, same penalty. 

Drunkenness, penalty 10s. ; excess drinking, 3s. kd. ; 
unseasonable tippling, 5s. 

He that is drunk in private house, penalty 20s. ; the 
owner of the house where he is proved to be made 
drunk, penalty 10s. ; lying, penalty 10s. ; neglect of 
training, 2s. 6c?. a day. 

A record is to be kept of all court acts, and of all fines 
taken, and of all actions tried. 

For every action entered the Clerk of the Court's fees, 
2s. 6c?. ; and for the court to defray these charges, 2s. 

For execution after judgment, 2s. fid. 

All lands should be recorded in a book. 

A register in each town. 

For every parcel he records he is to have Sd., and is to 
send a copy of what he records, with 2d. for every parcel, 
to the Secretary of the Colony. 

Indorsed, " 1664. Copy of a commission from Hartford." 


These for our Muck-honored Friend, John Winthrop, Esq., Governor of his 
Majesty's Colony of Conecticot, at New London. 1 

Sir, — We now intend (God willing) to be in the Nar- 
roganset country on the first March next, to determine, as 
far as we can, the differences betwixt his Majesty's Colo- 
nies of Conecticot and Road-island ; and therefore, we 
desire that some gentlemen may be appointed to inform 
us in those things which [concern ?] your Colony, that 

1 This is the original letter. — Eds. 


nothing of prejudice may be done to it, by, Sir, your 

affectionate friends and servants, 

Kobert Carr. 
George Cartwright. 

Samuell Mavericke. 
Boston, Feb. 4, 1664. 

Indorsed, " [*o™] King's Commissioners from Boston. Received about 
the middle of February, 1664." 


Proposals for certain Quitrents to be paid yearly to his Majesty by the Pro- 
prietors of the Narragansett country, or King's Province, within his 
Majesty's Dominion of New England. 

1. That all the lands within the Narragansett country 
be hold en of his Majesty in free and common soccage, 
and that the said country may be called the King's 
Province. 1 

2. Whereas the country is not yet divided into parcels, 
nor any improvement made, and that his Majesty would 
for the first ten years accept yearly of six beaver-skins as 
a quitrent for all the lands within the said country. 

3. That after ten years be expired, for twenty-one 
years a certain quit-rent of a bushel of Indian corn be 
yearly paid by each proprietor for every hundred acres of 

4. That after the end of one and thirty years, there be 
yearly paid to his Majesty forever four bushels of Indian 
corn for every hundred acres. 

5. That his Majesty's General Governor of New Eng- 
land may receive the aforesaid rents, &c. 

Indorsed, " Proposals for certain quitrents in Naroganset." 

1 The King's Commissioners directed that the Narragansett country 
should be so called by an order dated March 20, 1664-5. See Potter's Early 
Hist. Narragansett, p. 181. — Eds. 



To the Honorable Mr. John Winthrop, Governor of his Majesty's Colony of 
Conecticott, these, at Hartford. — Recommended from New York to the 
care of the Magistrates to whom these shall come, to be sent with dili- 
gence, as above directed by me, Richard Nicolls. 

Feb. the 23th, N. Yorke [1664-5]. 

Honored Sir, — Yours by the way of Milford, dated 
January , and your last of the 1st of February, Hart- 
ford, are both received. I am very sorry that the copy of 
your laws will not come early enough to my hands, out 
of which I might have made a choice before the general 
meeting, which will be next Tuesday, at Hempsteed, 
having made it my whole business to prepare a body of 
laws against that time ; but however I shall be glad to 
review your laws, knowing that nothing of so public a 
nature as laws can be perfect at first, especially from my 
collection, whose genius and capacity (if any) hath not 
been applied to matters of that nature. Since my last I 
have not heard of any attempts of the Senekes or appear- 
ance of other forces about Fort Albany ; rather, that they 
be fallen into a war with the Susqusohannaughs, who have 
sent to me to know if they were not included in the gen- 
eral peace made at Fort Albany, they being friends to the 
English, and not of the three excepted nations, farther 
desiring me to send to the Seneckes to mediate a peace, 
which I have done in some measure. But whilst the 
general union of Indians against Christians is suspected, 
I shall be slow in the matter, because I am firmly of the 
judgment that it is more than equivalent to the loss of 
some trade that a little war be fomented between them- 
selves to divert their restless, barbarous thoughts from a 
war with Christians, which opinion I submit to wiser and 
more practised men in the sea parts. 1 By a ship lately 

1 This word is "separts "; perhaps intended for " seaports." — Eds. 


arrived here from Amsterdam, by which it was not to be 
expected we should have any certainty of a war with 
England, which mi^rht render their welcome hither uncer- 
tain, but coming within the time and insisting upon the 
Articles, I allowed them prattique 1 after twenty days, as 
coming from a place suspected at least for the plague, 
though all the passengers came in good health, and re- 
main so. When I perceived they were resolved not to 
tell any news, I sent to Mijn Heere Styvesant and Mr. 
Van Ryvens to bring me their letters, which they did, the 
contents whereof would be tedious ; and therefore I have 
sent you the copy of one wherein the substance of both 
are contained as written from the West India Company. 
Also herein I take so much notice of their threats to bring 
a war into these parts, and to be revenged on all hands, 
calling us robbers and disannulling the Articles, that I find 
myself obliged so far to abide their displeasure as to serve 
upon their effects, and to remit the decision to his Majesty, 
whether after such a letter they ought to claim any benefit 
by Articles what in so contemptuous a manner they have 

There came lately a ship to Maryland from London, 
Captain Tainan master, which says that the Duke of 
Yorke was at sea with a great fleet ; that to his sight and 
knowledge thirty or forty ships of the Dutch were taken 
in the Channel, but that the Dutch men-of-war were gone 
into their harbors. Mr. Needham, Mr. Delavall, 2 and all 
here, present their services to you and your son. 

I desire you will present my faithful service to those 
worthy gentlemen who accompanied you here, 3 and the 
rest of your worthy Council, and your son. 

1 French, pratique. For a definition of the term as appli' d to quarantine 
regulations, see Worcester's Dictionary. — Eds. 

2 See Brodhead's New York, I. 738. — Eds. 

8 At the capitulation of the Dutch to the English in the September pre- 
vious, Governor Winthrop and other gentlemen were present as Commission- 
ers appointed by Xicolls. — Eds. 



This I send by the way of New London, hoping it will 
find a safe passage, as is the desire of your most affec- 
tionate humble servant, -p ^ 1 

Indorsed, " Col. Richard Nicolls. Received March 8, 1664." 


To our much-honored Friend, John Winthrop, Esq., Governor of his 
Majesty's Colony of Gonecticot, at Hartford. 

Sir, — We are at length come so near you as Koad 
Island, and have, by God's assistance, overcome some diffi- 
culties both within and without doors. We hope the 
weather will be so moderate that we may (as we desire 
and intend) meet some gentlemen appointed by you, to 
inform us of your eastern bounds, at Mr. Porter's in Peta- 
comskot, on Thursday at night, the 16th of March ; 
where, if wind and weather permit, with God's blessing, 
we intend to be, and to do what in duty we ought in the 
observance of his Majesty's commands. We desire that 
those you send may be empowered to agree and deter- 
mine as they shall see reason ; and when they return, we 
shall accompany them, that we may enable ourselves to 
give his Majesty some reasonable information of your 
Colony, and an account of what would add greater advan- 
tages to it, both which we hope from you. In the mean 
time, we rest, Sir, 

Your affectionate friends and servants, 

Robert Carr. 
George Cartwright. 

Samuell Mavericke. 2 
Road-island, March 9, 1664. 

Indorsed, " Commissioners from Roade Rand. Received at Pacatuck." 

1 The original letter. — Eds. 

2 The original letter. — Eds. 


To the Honorable his Majesty's Commission for America. 

The humble petition of William Billing humbly 
showeth, — 

That whereas your petitioner being an inhabitant in 
that neck of land which by your Honors is found to be the 
King's Province, and also not being concerned with the 
gentlemen of his Majesty's Colony of the Massachusetts, 
and being formerly tenant to Eichard Smyth, Junior, doth 
humbly crave that your Honors would be pleased to let 
him continue inhabitant there, and to let him understand 
your Honors' pleasure whose tenant he shall be. And 
your petitioner shall be ever bound to pray, &c. 

You are from henceforward to be the King's tenant, 
and to pay after the rate of seven pounds a year, and to 
begin at Lady day, 1665, and pay the first half of the 
said rent at Micaellmas next, and pay your rent to the 
Governor of Road Hand till the King's pleasure be 


Rob art Carr. 
George Cartwright. 
Samuell Mavereck. 

March 21, 1664. At Petacomscot, and to all the rest. 

Vera copia. Transcribed out of the original, and there- 
with compared this 3d of June, 1675, per me, 

John Birchard, Cl 

[This on face of letter.] 



De Heere Pieter Stuyvesant, in Niew Amsterdam. 

The letter from the Governor-General of the New Neth- 
erlands and his Council, of the 16th September past, hath 
signified unto us how, in what manner, and for what rea- 
sons the conquest of the New Netherlands, after forty 
years' possession, hath been pretended to and demanded 
by some English, and surrendered to them by the Gov- 
ernor-General and his Council upon such articles and 
conditions as were sent unto us before we could have 
any knowledge of this last rencounter with the English ; 
whereby (God amend it!) the profits arising from that 
conquest, after such excessive expenses in obtaining 
them, are all lost, and we are, much against our wills, 
discharged of a care which for the welfare of the good 
inhabitants hath been always very pleasing unto us. (To 
pass by a long discourse of the troubles and other incon- 
veniences which have befallen you, only by your aban- 
doning of the conquest of the New Netherlands.) This 
only seems to remain, that hereafter we take upon us the 
care and pains to find out some expedient to have repara- 
tion for the injuries done unto us on all hands, and satis- 
faction of such as have been aiding and assisting therein ; 
in which we do not only comprehend what we are obliged 
unto against this violence done by the English, but do 
declare our just reasons of proceeding in endeavoring 
the regaining of that conquest, and to call such as are 
concerned to a particular account for its surrender. For 
we disavow all the articles and capitulations made by 
the Governor-General and Council with the English, and 
whatsoever relates thereunto. Moreover, we find that 
the proceedings both before and after the agreement 
can never be approved on by the States or us, unless 


other more satisfactory reasons can be given then are 
mentioned in the papers sent unto us. Wherefore, hav- 
ing- well weighed the merits of the business, we are 
resolved to bring it to some issue, good or bad ; our 
inclinations carrying us also to a care for the retaking of 
that conquest. In the mean time we shall do what we 
possibly can to secure our further losses by the English. 
And though the Articles are disavowed by us, where there 
is permission given to secure our effects, we charge you 
to withdraw what you can of our goods which they as 
robbers have taken away by force. We have thought 
fit to employ Cornelius van Ruyven, formerly Counsellor 
and Secretary, and to authorize him (as we have written 
to him touching that particular) to save what can be 
yet saved of our goods with more vigilance and pru- 
dence then the conquest itself was preserved. In the 
mean while we expect your coming over hither, that we 
may receive by word of mouth more comfort from you 
than was found in your papers, and that you may give 
us and the States a full account of all things, who, 
being sensible of the great importance of that conquest, 
it is fit they should receive all due satisfaction concern- 
ing it. 

The commanders of the West Indya Company from the 
Chamber of Amsterdam. 

(Signed,) Cornelis Cloeck. 

Dircti Spiegell. 

Amsterdam, November 28, 1664 [k. s.]. 

This is a perfect translation of the original. 

R. Nicolls. 

Indorsed, " Copy of letter from West India Company to Herr Stevesad." 




Whereas I, Scattup, together with the rest of the Nar- 
ragansett sachems, sold and made over all our lands in 
the Narragansett, Neantick, and Cowesett countries unto 
Major-General Atherton and his friends, as appears by 
certain writings formerly given under our hands and seals ; 
and whereas I, Scattup, have, in the behalf of myself and 
the rest of the sagamores, given possession of the said 
lands by turf and twig, according to the English custom, 
to Capt. Edward Hutchinson, one of the friends of the 
late Major Atherton, in behalf of himself and company 
interested with him, which I did deliver at Petacomscott 
before those English that lived there and divers other 
English, as also before Ninecraft and some hundreds of 
Indians ; and whereas I, Scuttup, of my own voluntary 
mind, without any one moving me thereunto, sent Wisk- 
hunsh and Seapowomshe, two of my counsellors, and 
John the Indian for an interpreter, unto Boston to desire 
of Capt. Edward Hutchinson, and the rest of the com- 
pany concerned with him in the Narragansett lands, that 
in regard of my sickness, I not knowing how long I shall 
live, to desire of them that, as they have been always 
friends to me, so they will continue to be friends to my 
sister after me, and to all the Indians under me, having 
always found them ready to show their friendship to us 
all upon all occasions ; and still declaring themselves, 
they will so continue in all things that is just ; — 

In sure confidence of their love to us, I, the said Scat- 
tup, together with my sister and my counsellors, in behalf 
of all the rest of the Indians under us, do hereby de- 
clare under our hands and seales by this writing signed 
by us, that we all do so well approve of the government 
and manners of the English in the United Colonies, that 
we voluntarily and of our own accord do desire to be 


governed by the English laws and Governors, and desire 
to be no longer under the Indian government, but to 
conform ourselves to the English laws and manners ; and 
therefore, have made choice of our own accord, without 
being stirred up thereto, of our loving friend, Mr. John 
Winthrop, Governor of Connecticott, Capt. Thomas Wil- 
lett of Plimouth Colony, Capt. Edward Hutchinson of 
Massachusetts Colony, and the rest of the company 
concerned with them, to settle us and our people under 
the government of such English within the United Colo- 
nies as they themselves shall make choice on to put 
themselves and their lands purchased of us, together 
with ourselves and people under. And in testimony of 
this our voluntary act, we have put to our hands and 
seals this 28th of December according to the English 
account, 1664. 

The mark of 

Scattup, — i alias Mehomoc, and (a seal). 

The mark of 

Quenemique, Scuttup's Sister, and (a seal). 

The mark of 

Wiskwonck, x Scattup's Councellour. 

The mark of 

Sepowomsh, -|- Scattup's Councellour. 
Mokey, [ his mark, Chiefe Capt. 

The mark of 

John, + Indian Interpreter. 

The mark of 

Joseph 3 Dallauar. 
Lawdiwick A Vpdick. 

his mark. 

Indorsed, "28th December, 1664. Scuttop and his sister acknowledge 
the sale and possession, &c. No. 9." 



To our honored Friend, the Governor and General Assembly of his Majes- 
ty's Colony of Connecticut. 

Gentlemen, — We are very sorry we could not reach 
Hartford, where we intended to have freely discoursed of 
these things which we now make our requests, and they 
are : — 

That we may have something in writing to return to 
the King concerning the grant of sixty miles square on 
the eastern side of Connecticut River, &c, to Jeames, 
Marquis Hamilton, from the Council of Plimouth in 
Devon, in the year 1635. 

That there may be a place appointed betwixt the two 
rivers of Pawcatuck and Mohegen for those Pequot In- 
dians who now live on the eastern side of Pawkatuck 
River, where they shall continue till March the 1st, 1665 ; 
and that then, if not before, they may be removed to that 
appointed place, and leave the King's Province free. 

That they may continue a distinct body of themselves, 
not put under other sachems nor their own, but under an 
Indian Governor appointed by the Court, at least till the 
King's pleasure be known, they having requested this of 
us upon good reasons. We mean the whole body of 
the Pequott Indians, both Robin's company as well as the 

And that you would let us know in what particulars 
you would have us to be solicitous to his Majesty for the 
advantage of your Colony, and it shall cordially be en- 
deavored by your assured friends, 

Robert Carr. 
George Cartwright. 
Samuell Maverick. 

New Londo, March 25, 1665. 


This is a true copy of the original presented to the 
Court, and now attested so to be, per me, 

J. Winthrop. 

April 20, 1665. 

To the Governor and General Court of Conecticutt. 

We were commanded principally to recommend these 
things to you from his Majesty : — 

1. That all householders inhabiting this Colony take the 
oath of allegiance, and that the administration of justice 
be in his Majesty's name. 

2. That all men of competent estates and of civil con- 
versation, though of different judgments, may be admit- 
ted to be freemen, and have liberty to choose, or to be 
chosen, officers both military and civil. 

3. That all persons of civil lives may freely enjoy the 
liberty of their consciences and the worship of God in that 
way which they think best provided that this liberty tend 
not to the disturbance of the public nor to the hindrance 
of the maintenance of ministers regularly chosen, in 
each respective parish or township. 

4. That all laws and expressions in laws derogatory to 
his Majesty, if any such have been made in these late 
troublesome times, may be repealed, altered, and taken 

off the file. 

Robert Carr. 
George Cartwright. 
Samuell Mauericke. 

This is a true copy of the original, which was pre- 
sented to the court, and now is attested by me, John 
Winthrop, 1 April 20, 1665. 

Indorsed, " Copy of the proposals of the Kings's Commissioners." 

1 This copy is principally in the hand of Governor Winthrop. See Colo- 
nial Records of Connecticut, Vol. I. pp. 439-441, for the answer to this 
request of the Commissioners. — Eds. 



The old Queen's Covenant to Rich: Smyth and to Maj\ Atherton, 
May 8, 1668. — To be returned to Mr. Shrirnpton. 

We, whose names are underwritten, being counsellors 
and chief men unto We:tous:Soun:k:u:tous, mother to 
Scuttap and Que:quag:a:newett, late deceased, do by 
these presents own and acknowledge that all the lands 
within the bounds of a deed bearing date the 4th July, 
1659, made by Coginaquand l unto Major Atherton and his 
friends, to be to them, their heirs and assigns forever, as 
also the lands of Richard Smith excepted in the foresaid 
deed, it being bounded by a maple tree on the northwest 
side of his house to a rocky hill, and so to Anock:atuck:et 
River on this side the great plain, and all on the other 
side to belong, from thence to Pasackawen and Matta- 
tuxitt Brook down to Pittaquamscutt to the sea, to Major 
Ather[ton] and Company, according to the contents of 
the abovesaid deed, and do engage not to disturb any 
English building within the foresaid bounds. Witness our 
hands, this 8th May, 1668. Also we own that any of the 
abovesaid parties have liberty to mow or make hay, or 
cut timber in any place without the foresaid bounds. 
Witness our hands, the day and year abovesaid. 

The mark of 

Powtuck, -kj Counselor. 

The mark of 

Ma:ga:nott, Z Counselor. 

The mark of 

No:na:pem:o V, Counselor. 

The mark of 

Ye:ya:nompamett, tj Counselor. 

The mark of 

No:sa:tack, 8, also John. 

1 This chief, whose name — spelled with some variation — so often ap- 
pears in these several deeds to the Atherton proprietors, is said to have been 


Witness hereunto : — 

Pop-pow, ^g 04 his mark, Indian. 

The mark of 

John h Johnson. 
Ladwick E andick. 1 

Indorsed, " The old Queen's Counsellors with Richard Smith. No. 5." 


These presents witness that I, Mattamtuck, Squo 
sachem of Narragansett, and mother to Scuttub, de- 
ceased, do by these presents ratify and confirm all deeds 
made by my sons, formerly signed unto Major Atherton 
and his associates, the one bearing date the 29th of Sep- 
tember, 1660, the other the 13th day of October, 1660 ; 
all which deeds, as afore, I do by these presents ratify, 
confirm, and own to be authentic and firm unto Major 
Atherton and associates, to them and their heirs forever, 
and do promise that none of that company shall be 
molested in the peaceable enjoyment of any and all 
lands mentioned within the foresaid deeds. Also whereas 
my son did give possession formerly of all the lands at 
Petaquamscott Rock, I do by these presents own and 
acknowledge that lawful and full possession was tl/en 
given unto Capt. Edward Hutchinson, Capt. William 
Hudson, and Richard Smith, in the behalf of them- 
selves and their associates; also I do promise to give 

a brother of Miantonomo. See the paper in this volume giving " the lineal 
and collateral" descendants of Canonicus. A brief summary of several of 
these Indian deeds may be seen in the Appendix to Vol. II. No. VII. Colonial 
Records of Connecticut, headed " The Mortgaged Lands, Major Atherton 
and his Partners." See also Potter's Early Hist, of Narragansett, passim, 
for documents relating to these Indian grpnts. — Eds. 

1 Uncertain; probably intended for Lodowick Updick. — Eds. 


possession again of the foresaid lands. Witness my 
mark, the 1st of October, 1668. 

The mark of 

Mattantuck, t Squo Sachem. 1 

Witness hereunto English and Indians : — 

Powtuck \ Nosaike, D alias John. 
Pawcounts, T his mark. 
The mark of V Magramt. 
The mark of a Wantoke. 
Richard Wayte. 

The mark of 

William W Wright. 
Samuel Mosely. 
Samuel Wait. 
Anapangew, C his mark. 

I, Quo:na pinick, do own that all the grass in the Nar- 
ragansett that I have any right to belongs to Major 
Atherton and Company, and do ratify and allow of what 
is expressed in this above writing, as witness my mark, 
the day and year above said. 

The mark of 
Quo: PINACK, b . 


Instructions for Mr. James Richards on behalf of this Colony of Conecti- 
cutt, respecting the Narragansett Lands. 

1st. That the Narragansett lands lie circumscribed 
within the bounds of our Charter. 

2dly. That although the Rhode Island agents obtained 

1 No one of the Indian deeds hitherto printed in this volume is the origi- 
nal document. They are all simply transcripts, so that probably but little 
confidence can be placed in the genuineness of the signatures or "marks " 
of the signers as to their resemblance to the originals. And in representing 
these copies in print we have attempted to give only a general resemblance. — 


afterward an agreement with Mr. Winthrop, 1 yet, 1st, his 
agency for the Colony was expired then, and himself hath 
so declared ; 2dly, that agreement was made null by their 
own violation of the honor and terms of it by their op- 
posing the proprietors' or inhabitants' liberty to choose 
and subject themselves to that government which they 
had elected and submitted unto ; 3dly. by that means the 
country was planted in such a dissolute, forlorn, and hea- 
thenish manner as was both to the dishonor of God, our 
King and nation, and so forlornly situate as exposed it to 
ruin by the heathen ; 4thly, by them, that is the heathen, 
it was wasted and so totally depopulate and burnt up as 
it is ; 5thly, Ehode Island refused or neglected to assist in 
the war to recover it ; 6thly, that by the success in the 
war it was reduced and vanquished upon the account of 
this Colony's charge in great part, and loss of many lives. 
7thly, from hence it may appear that Rhode Island's 
after Charter (with non obstante) was illegal and surrep- 
titious. By it both his Majesty, ourselves, and the said 
people inhabiting abused. As for their plea of the Com- 
missioners' concessions, it is invalid, for that Colonel 
Nickols being the only quorum was not present when it 
was done, nor was it approved by him. 2 

Indorsed, " Instructions to Mr. James Richards from the Court at Hart- 
ford about Road Island Charter." 

1 Since writing the note on page 50, to the agreement between Wintt/op 
and Clarke, here referred to, in which we noticed the several copies extant of 
that document, we have seen still another copy, which is printed in the Appen- 
dix to Vol. II. of the Colonial Records of Connecticut, p. 528; and which, the 
editor says, is taken from the original indenture on file in the Secretary's 
office. In this copy the name of " Richard Dean " is wanting among the 
signers to the first part, and the date also is wanting to the signing, seal- 
in?, and delivering; while as witnesses to the latter neither the name of 
"J. Beane" nor "William Potts" appears; and that of "B. Worsley," 
who signed above, is there substituted. Winthrop's signature is wanting, but 
that would not be necessary if the paper were his part of an indenture. — Eds. 

2 There is no date to this paper, but it is in answer to a Rhode Island 
letter bearing date April 20, 1668. See Records of the Colony of Rhode 
Island, II. 229, 230; Colonial Records of Connecticut, II. 531, 532.— Eds. 



Sirs, — Being desired by a squadron of justices of the 
peace, as the fag end of a late committee, to give them a 
meeting at Stonington, am informed that some persons 
by authority from Rhode Island have seized the justice 
and constable appointed by yourselves at Wickford, 
whom they have imprisoned, and there remain to the 
scandal of your government and ruin to themselves and 
families. How far we are guilty of their sufferings you 
may easily perceive, when by the power of government 
we pretended a right to them, and by that power forced 
them from their obedience to a government under which 
they remained, though unjustly, yet with peace to them- 
selves and estates, and by this action left them in a condi- 
tion a thousand times more unhappy, and subject to the 
prejudices of their former pretenders. I presume these 
unhappy consequences upon the change of government 
were foreseen by yourselves ; but by what accident it was 
forgot to leave a sufficient authority to check such ex- 
travagant proceedings, I cannot now remember. The 
necessity of some speedy relief in this extremity to sur- 
prise and secure the heads of that unruly faction at Peta- 
quamscot pleads hard for your favor. The people here 
have expressed extraordinary readiness to attend your 
commands in the prosecution of this matter to a full issue. 
The general opinion (and I believe grounded upon good 
reason) runs strong that the principal hindrance to a 
quiet compliance is chiefly from those impertinent brutes 
at Petaquamscot, who yet may easily be reduced to a 
Conecticot civility ; and for the present, till farther com- 
mand from the General Court, I presume that if there 
were a power left in the hands of some particular per- 
sons in these parts to manage those concernments in your 
absence, it might I question not occasion a quiet settle- 


ment. For I dare confidently assure you that the only 
last hope of that Colony is grounded upon the wonted 
slowness and moderation of your motions, — an in- 
conveniency which in this case may prove of unhappy 
consequence. Sirs, haste forbids me to add. The gen- 
tlemen being hasty to attend you, prevents me from a 
more orderly discourse, which I hope you will please to 
excuse and preserve in your good opinion. Sirs, your 
affectionate, faithful, humble servant, 

J. W. 

Stonixgton, July, 1670. 

Indorsed, " A copy of my letter to Capt. Allyn and Mr. James Richards, 
sent by Mr. Noyes and Mr. Palmer." Neither this copy nor the indorsement 
is in Gov. Winthrop's hand. 


Whereas Uncas, Owaneco, and Attawanhood, sachems 
of Moheage, have formerly fully and freely given and 
granted to Major John Mason, his heirs and assigns, the 
benefit and profit of all such lands as do belong to us, 
or either of us, or shall at any time be sold or disposed to 
any person or persons, to him, the said Major Mason, his 
heirs and assigns forever ; and now, for divers good causes 
and considerations, we do ratify and confirm the sam/,'. 
And we, the said Uncas, Owaneco, and Attawanhood, do 
promise, engage, and bind ourselves, our heirs and succes- 
sors, for the performance thereof, that he, the said Major 
Mason, his heirs and successors, shall have and receive to 
their proper use and behoof the one half the profit and 
value of all such lands, woods, ponds, minerals, herbage, 
rents, &c, that shall at any time arise and accrue upon 
the premises. And we, the said Uncas, Owaneco, and 
Attawanhood, do promise and firmly engage and bind 


ourselves, our heirs and successors forever, that neither 
we nor either of us, our heirs or successors forever, shall 
at any time make sale or any ways dispose of the prem- 
ises, or any part of the same, without the consent and 
allowance of him, the said Major Mason, his heirs and 
successors. In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our 
hands, the 14th of December, 1665. 

Be it therefore known to all men by these presents, that 
I, the said Major Mason, for divers good reasons and con- 
siderations, do entail and bind over unto the said Uncas, 
Owaneco, and Attawanhood a certain parcel of land at 
Mushantackuck, thus bounded, viz. : Abutting upon the 
Eiver of Moheage on the east, upon New London 
bounds southerly, and so to go westward to the utter- 
most extent of London bounds, and from thence north- 
erly to the uttermost end of the western bounds of 
Norwich, and from thence eastwardly to the mouth of 
Trading Cove ; which aforesaid tract or parcel of land 
I, the said Major Mason, do by these presents dispose, 
confer, establish, and confirm unto and upon Uncas, 
Owaneco, and Attawanhood, their heirs and successors 
forever, that neither they, their heirs or successors, shall 
at any time make sale or any other ways dispose of the 
premises or any part or parcel thereof; and if any per- 
son or persons whatsoever shall at any time procure any 
grants from the aforesaid sachems or their successors, the 
same shall be of no value or effect. In witness whereof 
I have hereunto set my hand, the 9th of May, 1671. 

John Mason. 

Testi : James Fitch, Sen! 
Daniell Mason. 

The above written is a true copy of the original, being 

examined and compared therewith this 17th of May, 1671, 

as attests 

John Allyn, Secretary. 


The above written, with what is on the other side of 
this half-sheet, is a true copy of the original instrument, 
signed i; John Mason," as it stands recorded in the public 
records of her Majesty's Colony of Connecticut^ in the 
24th foil of Book Number A. 

Test. Eleazar Kimberly, Secr'y. 


Wickford, June 14th, 1672. 

Whereas the Narragansett country being within the 
limits and precincts of his Majesty's Colony of Conecti- 
cott, the General Court did erect government and consti- 
tute officers for the orderly government of those parts, 
which, besides their patent rights and duty, having been 
often much solicited thereunto by Mr. Richard Smith, 
Capt. Hutchinson, Capt. Hudson, and many other prin- 
cipal inhabitants and proprietors, we therefore, the Com- 
missioners of the General Court of Conecticott, according 
to commission given by the said Court, May 9, 1672, 
under the seal of the Colony, 1 do hereby declare Mr. 
Richard Smith to be invested with magistratical power 
throughout the Narragansett country, who, with r*ie 
assistance of Capt. Hutchinson, Capt. Hudson, and Mr. 
Cole, or any one or two of them, whose authority as Com- 
missioners is hereby renewed and confirmed, are hereby 
fully authorized and empowered to keep courts in the 
said country, to hear and try by juries all causes not 
exceeding twenty pounds, provided Mr. Smith be presi- 
dent of the said courts, or in his absence Mr. Hutchinson. 

1 See Colonial Records of Connec'icut, Vol. II. p. 173. — Eds. 



And we do hereby declare that it is expected and re- 
quired by the General Court of Conecticott that all the 
inhabitants of the Narragansett country do yield due 
obedience and subjection to the wholesome laws and law- 
ful authority established by the said government of Con- 
necticott, hereby declaring all commissions granted to 
any other person within the limits of Narragansett to be 
wholly void and null ; and that all persons whatsoever are 
hereby required and commanded to forbear exercising any 
authority, upon their peril, but what shall be derived from 
the Colony of Connecticott, unto which we have sub- 
scribed our hands, affixed our seals, the day and year 
above said. 

Sam 1 ?- Willys. (Seal.) 

John Tallcott. (Seal.) 

John Winthrop. (Seal.) 

Indorsed, " Copy of a commission at Wickford, 1672." 


Whereas my father, Cochanaquand, lately of the Naro- 
gansets, deceased, sold unto Governor Winthrop, Major- 
General Humprey Atherton, and their associates, a certain 
tract of lands in the Narroganset country aforesaid, he 
being sachem and chief owner thereof: Know all men 
by these presents, that I, Quanapin, his son, do hereby 
declare and manifest, so that there may be no farther 
scruple of any further contest in or about the sale of the 
premises, that I give my free consent and full confirma- 
tion of the sale thereof, never any demand to be of any 


right from me or mine, or my heirs forever, as witness my 

mind, 24 October, 1672. 

Quanapin, $ Sachem, his mark. 

Test. : Two interpreters, called by 
the names of Joseph, that lived at 
Tho. Gold's, , — his mark. 
Pottawana Sam, r- his mark. 
Sam ll his mark Bosworth. 


Indorsed, " 24 Oct., 1672. Quanapin, son of Cojanaquand, and Sachem. 
Confirmation of his father's grants. No. 6." 


For the Honorable John Wintrop, Esq., Governor of his Majesty's Colony 
of Coneticutt, and Hartford, these. Post-paid. — F. Louelace. 

Fort James, 27th December, 1672. 

Dear Sir, — I here presented you with two rarities, — 
a packet of the latest intelligence I could meet withal, 
and a post. By the first you will see what has been acted 
on the stage of Europe ; by the latter you will meet with 
a monthly fresh supply, so that if it receive but the same 
ardent inclinations from you as first it had from myself, 
by our monthly advices all public occurrences may te 
transmitted betwixt us, together with several other great 
conveniences of public importance, consonant to the 
commands laid upon us by his Sacred Majesty, who 
strictly enjoins all his American subjects to enter into a 
close correspondency with each other. This I look upon 
as the most compendious means to beget a mutual under- 
standing ; and that it may receive all the countenance 
from you for its future duration, I shall acquaint you with 
the model I have proposed, and if you please but to make 


an addition to it, or substraction, or any other alteration, 
I shall be ready to comply with you. This person that 
has undertaken this employment I conceived most 
proper, being both active, stout, and indefatigable. He 
is sworn as to his fidelity. I have affixed an annual 
salary on him, which, together with the advantage of his 
letters and other small portable packs, may afford him a 
handsome livelihood. Hartford is the first stage I have 
designed him to change his horse, where constantly I 
expect he should have a fresh one lie ledger. All the 
letters outward shall be delivered gratis, with a significa- 
tion of post-paid on the superscription, and reciprocally 
we expect all to us free. Each first Monday of the month 
he sets out from New York, and is to return within the 
month from Boston to us again. The mail has divers 
bags, according to the towns the letters are designed to, 
which are all sealed up, till their arrivement, with the 
seal of the Secretary's office, whose care it is on Saturday 
night to seal them up ; only by-letters are in an open bag, 
to disperse by the ways. Thus you see the scheme I 
have drawn to promote a happy correspondence. I shall 
only beg of you your furtherance to so universal a good 
work ; that is, to afford him directions where and to whom 
to make his application to upon his arrival at Boston, as 
likewise to afford him what letters you can to establish 
him in that employment there. It would be much ad- 
vantageous to our design if in the interval you discourse 
with some of the most able woodmen to make out the 
best and most facile way for a post, which in process of 
time would be the King's best highway, as likewise pas- 
sages and accommodation at rivers, fords, or other neces- 
sary places. But I need not enlarge myself on this 
subject, knowing you understand the scope as well as 
myself, and therefore I entirely recommend it to you. 
Lastly, if this can inflame your zeal to so public a con- 
cern, to have the possibility of receiving a personal 


trouble from me to discourse it further (Deo volente), this 

next spring I shall attend I am, with all respect, 

your very affectionate friend, 

Fra. Lovelace. 

I have sent you all the news I lately received, which, 
when you have perused, you may dispose of to your 
friends at Boston, and desire them to return all now is 


For the Honorable John Winthrop, Esq., Governor of his Majesty's Prov- 
ince of Gonecticott, at Hartford. — Post-paid. 

Sir, — In my former letters, which I designed should 
have visited you soon after New Year's day, I sent you all 
the intelligence these parts could afford ; since which I 
have received advertisement by a vessel from Mary-Land 
of the arrival of several ships to that place, as likewise 
to Virginea, to the number of above sixty sail, all which 
were conducted through the Channell by a strong con- 
voy of his Majesty's. They bring little tidings, save 
the despair of a peace between the Protestant nations. 
Presses both by sea and land are very vigorously prose- 
cuted. The Hollander has absolutely lost three of their 
Provinces. They have disposed of all their men-of-wat, 
and given liberty to all that will venture on privateering, 
insomuch that forty sail, well fitted, are despatched to- 
wards the West Indyes. If so, it will be high time for 
us to begin to buckle on our armor, and to put ourselves 
into such a posture of defence as is most suitable to our 
several conditions. However, it will be absolutely neces- 
sary that in the first place a good understanding be made 
and preserved amongst us, conformable to his Majesty's 
gracious care and good pleasure ; to which end I have 


erected a constant post, which shall monthly pass be- 
twixt us, or oftener if occasion requires. I desire of you 
to favor the undertaking by your best skill and counte- 
nance. I have writ to you my more particular desires in 
a former letter, which this bearer brings likewise, to which 
I refer you. 1 Sir, the occasion of the retardment of the 
post was the great expectation of our Albany post, being 
desirous to have some tidings from thence. The occasion 
of his stop so long you will find by the enclosed letter from 
the Governor there, which I desire you to peruse, and if 
you please to signify the contents to the neighboring Colo- 
nies, but send me the letter back. I dare not absolutely 
promise you to give you the trouble of a visit in the 
spring, it being times for action, and I would not willingly 
disappoint you, though my desires are very ardent to wait 
on you. Sir, I heartily condole with you the loss of your 
excellent lady ; but we must all stoop to Fate. God pre- 
pare us all for that change ! I am, with all respect, your 
affectionate friend, 

Fran. Louelace. 

Fort James, January 22, 1672-3. 

Indorsed by Gov. Winthrop, " Gove r Lovelace. Received Feb. 6, 1672." 

1 See the letter immediately preceding. " Lovelace," says Brodhead 
(Hist, of New York, II. 198), " is certainly entitled to the credit of having 
established the first post between New York and New England, but the pio- 
neer whom he intended to despatch on New Year's day was kept back until 

the Albany news reached the capital Massachusetts does not appear 

to have taken any steps respecting a post until 1677. See Mass. Col. Rec, 
V. 147, 148; Palfrey, III. 306, 548." — Eds. 



Tliese to my honored Friend, Capt. John Winthrop, present. 

Hartford, July 29th, 1673. 

Dear Sir, — Our Governor having long since a design 
to give a visit to the Governor, your worthy father, in 
which I was to have a vacation from other business, and 
to accompany him, I thought myself happy in the oppor- 
tunity, thinking more particularly to receive the content 
of kissing your hands, and for some season to enjoy your 
good society ; but at length being arrived, I find my ill 
fortune deprives me of that satisfaction, by your affairs 
detaining you elsewhere, to which place I should quickly 
post, did not my attendance on the Governor's return this 
morning homewards deny me that privilege. I am not 
yet willing to despair of your coming once more to New 
York, where you may rest confident to receive as hearty 
a welcome as ever, both from the Governor and others, 
of whom I shall not be the most backwards in expressing 
to my utmost the service I owe you. In near time, as 
occasion presents, I shall be infinitely glad to hear of 
your welfare, promising to omit no opportunity of dis- 
coursing with you by letter, since I cannot attain a nearer, 
conversation, and by all means shall endeavor to approve 
myself, dear sir, your most affectionate humble servant, 

Matthias Nicolls. 1 

Indorsed, " Capt. Nicolls, Secretary of N. York. Aug. 3, 1673." 

1 The writer was Secretary of the Province of New York under the Eng- 
lish; soon to be superseded by Nicholas Bayard, who was Secretary under 
the new Dutch government to be set up on the following day. — Eds. 



These to the Hon. John Winthorp, Esq., Governor of his Majesty's Colony 
of Conecticott, present at Hartford. — Haste, haste, post-haste ! For 
his Majesty's special service. 1 

Dear Sir, — At Newhaven I received the unwelcome 
news of the Dutch approach before New York. 2 I call it 
unwelcome in regard I was not in the place. They ap- 
peared at first with ten sail, afterwards seventeen ; yester- 
day, about five or six of the clock, they stormed it. A 
hot dispute, it seems, it was. How the success was I can- 
not as yet learn. They, I understand, have breakfasted 
on all my sheep and cattle on Staten Hand. I am hasten- 
ing as fast as I can to make on. God spare me but to 
get in, and I doubt not but [to] give a good account of it. 
Capt. Treate and all the worthy gentlemen that accom- 
panied me have been very civil and active to advance my 
journey. They have formed a post from Mr. BisbeH's to 
you. Pray let it be continued for intelligence. I wrote 
to you from Milfourd to Mr. Bryan, wherein I gave you 
my sense how necessary it will be to form a militia ; for 
if it should miscarry, they must not radicate long. I am 
yet out of their power, and am hastening now over to 
Long Hand to raise the militia there. You shall hear of 
my motion. Pray despatch away to Boston. I have no 
more. But God Almighty preserve you, and send us a 

1 This letter is already printed, with some passages omitted, in 3 Mass. 
Hist. Soc. Coll., X. 86, and in Brodhead's Documents, III. 198; but it prop- 
erly finds a place here in connection with Winthrop's reply. The writer was 
returning home from a visit to Gov. Winthrop. — Eds. 

2 The reconquest of New York by the Dutch took place on the 30th of 
July, 1673, on which day Fort James surrendered; that is to say, the day 
before this letter was written. See Brodhead's History of New York, Vol. II., 
for a minute account of the proceedings which these letters serve to illustrate. 
Mr. Brodhead had the advantage of consulting and making use of these 
letters in preparing this part of his History. — Eds. 



happy meeting, — if not here, yet hereafter, which is 
much better. I am your affectionate friend, 

Fran. Louelace. 

Momorinock, Thursday, at 10 of the clock. 
[July 31, 1673.] 

Indorsed by Gov. Winthrop, " Gov. Lovelace. Received Aug. 1, 1673." 


Honorable Sir, — I received yours of Thursday last 
from Momorinack the next day at evening, and am very 
much troubled that you met such unwelcome news by the 
way in your return. So much of it as we heard before 
from New Haven was presently hasted towards Boston ; 
and this farther intelligence by your letter was that night 
despatched by post thither also, and we have likewise 
posted away the notice thereof to New London, and those 
and other parts of this Colony, and to Road Island and 
those parts also, as also that way to the Governor of New 
Plimoth. There is yet no notice any way come hitherto 
what fleet it is, whether those privateers spoken of long 
since, or that fleet out of the West Indies which were seen 
at Guardeloope, nor what number of men they have, which 
may be guessed at by the bigness of the ships, if that 
could be known. There is order hence for the careful 
continuance of that post from Mr. Richbell's and the inter- 
jacent places, by which we hope for farther constant and 
speedy tidings, whereby we may be directed, and desire 
the Almighty to direct yourself and us all in these great 
concerns, and to put a good issue, in the preservation of 
all his Majesty's Colonies. 

Having been something ill lately, I was constrained 
after I had written those lines, and was about to tran- 
scribe them, to make use of the help of Mr. Allyn, as 


appears, and must therein desire your excuse upon some 
renewed infirmity of your most humble servant, 

J. Winthrop. 

Hartford, August 2, 1673. 

Postscript. — Sir, just as this letter was sealing, I re- 
ceived from Boston a packet of letters to your Honor, 
which I have by this post conveyed to your Honor. I 
also received a letter from the Governor of Boston, dated 
July the 29, which saith that " that day arrived a sloop 
from Virginia with ten days' passage, who brings intelli- 
gence of the Dutch fleet being seventeen in number, all 
ships of force, who, upon the 12 of July instant, being 
Saturday last was fortnight, about two of the clock in 
the afternoon, fell in upon his Majesty's frigates and 
the merchant-men that were embodying in the bay, and 
engaged them while within two hours of night, in which 
action one Capt. Gardiner in one of his Majesty's ships 
of forty-six guns passed through the enemy three times. 
The merchant-men not keeping up with him according to 
engagement, upon his third pass he came up with the 
Dutch admiral, gave him a broadside, and brought him 
by the lee, and so made his retreat, securing the mer- 
chant-men in going up the river, in which action the 
Dutch destroyed six and took six more of our English 
merchant-men. Since that day they keep about Poynt 
Comfort, and give out they intend to land and fortify 
there, only three of their men-of-war are plying be- 
tween the Capes, where this vessel left them. The 20th 
instant, the frigates and merchant-men are mostly in 
James Kiver. They also report that the Dutch are able 
to land three thousand men, who say their design is for 
more than ships and tobacco, but what I do not under- 
stand. This I thought incumbent to communicate to 
your Honor. Having not farther to trouble you with, 
but my due respects and service, I commend you to God, 
and remain, sir, your humble servant, J. L." 


I have despatched two ways the advice of this matter 
to Governor Lovelace. I was constrained also to have 
this postscript transcribed out of Governor Leveret's let- 
ter by the same hand, which is all the intelligence that 
is this week come to the cognizance of your faithful 
servant, 1 


Indorsed by Gov. Winthrop, " The original which was directed to Gov. 
Lovelace and sent with another packet for him from Mr. Dervall from 
Boston, but were both sent back from Fairfield by Mr. Gold, there being no 
passage for them to Gov. Lovelace, not being known where he was to direct 
it to him." 


For his much-honored Friend, Jo. Winthrop, Esq., Governor of the Colony 
Conetecutt, at Hartford. 

Dear Sir, — Meeting with this opportunity to write, I 
durst not neglect it, not knowing but it may be the last. 
The sad catastrophe that has attended his Royal Highness's 
interest is unspeakable and insupportable to me ; but we 
must all stoop to the disposal of the hand of Providence, 
without whose permission a sparrow falls not to the 
ground. I had the honor to see those gentlemen you 
sent on your deputation just at their arrival, and assured 
them I would improve that short interview to a long^ 
enjoyment, to which end appointed a place to meet me ; 
but I could not obtain so great a favor from them, though 
I was coming to them. But Mr. Nicolls assured me they 
were newly departed. I am now intending for England, 
with all the conveniency I may, unless prevented. Al- 

1 The last paragraph in the text of this letter and the last paragraph in 
the postscript are in Gov. Winthrop's hand, the remainder in that of Secre- 
tary Allyn. This is the original letter sent to Gov. Lovelace, and returned, 
as explained in Winthrop's note. — Eds. 


bany is surrendered on the same terms this did, which 
was too lean and poor for persons of honor, however 
they would willingly frame some excuses, and shoulder the 
blame and burthen from one to the other. Some shelter 
themselves under the shield of my absence, which, though 
(it is confessed) it proved unfortunate, yet the means that 
were afforded them to a handsomer resistance and pru- 
dent managery can plead no excuse. To be brief, it was 
digitus Dei, who exalts and depresses as He pleases, and 
to whom we must all submit. Would you be curious to 
know what my losses might amount to, I can in short 
resolve you. It was my all which ever I had been col- 
lecting, too great to miss in this wilderness, and consider- 
ing the voyage I am about. Sir, I shall detain you no 
longer then what my best wishes can speak and procure, 
that God would afford you a proportionable strength to 
resist all accidents, and bless the end with great success. 
My service to all our friends, and to your most excellent 
daughters. Farewell ! Your most affectionate humble 

Fran. Louelace. 

Manhatans, 15th of August, 1673. 

Indorsed by Gov. Winthrop, " Gov. Lovelace. Received Aug. 22." 


These to the Hon. John Winthrop, Esq., Governor of his Majesty's Colony 
of Conecticott, present at Hartford. 

Honorable Sir, — Mr. Sharpe (one of our fellow suf- 
ferers, w T ho with me came of the last of our nation out 
of New Yorke, who are not permitted to stay there), 
travelling the way for Boston, I thought myself obliged, 
in duty and gratitude for your civil favors, to present you 
my best respects and service in a line or two by him. To 


him I refer your Honor for intelligence about the affairs 
and late transactions at New Yorke. I understand Col. 
Morris, who is now bound for that place, at his return 
intends to give your Honor a visit, when I think to wait 
on you with him. In mean time I humbly take my leave, 
and subscribe, honorable sir, your most humble and obe- 
dient servant, 

Matthias Nicolls. 

Milford, Sept. 24, 1673. 

Indorsed by Gov. Winthrop, "Capt. Nicolls. Received Sept. 27." 


These for the Commander-in-Chief of the Duch Forces in the Manadus. 

Hartford, October 21, 1673. 

Sir, — It being not the manner of Christian or civil 
nations to disturb the poor people in country cottages or 
open villages in the times of. war, much less to impose 
oaths upon them, but to suffer them to go on with their 
husbandry and other country affairs, we cannot but won- 
der to hear that some of yours, (notwithstanding a cau- 
tion formerly to the sea commanders,) having been lately 
down towards the eastern end of Long Island, have urged 
his Majesty's subjects there to take an oath contrary /o 
their due allegiance to their sovereign, and to use many 
threatening expressions towards them in case of the refu- 
sal of such an oath. We thought fit, therefore, hereby to 
let you know that we can scarce believe that such com- 
mission could proceed from yourself, whom we have heard 
to be a soldier, and well acquainted with martial affairs, 

1 The text of this letter, to Anthony Colve, the new Dutch Governor, is 
printed in the Colonial Records of Connecticut, Vol. II., App. xiv., but the 
answer following it is now for the first time printed. — Eds. 


and may suppose you understand better the law of na- 
tions and the customs and usages of persons of honor 
in their pretences of war ; and we cannot guess at the 
reasons should move to such molestation towards poor 
planters, except it be to obtain some plausible pretence 
for plundering and pillaging, which, if it should be done, 
we know very well where there may be easy reparation 
among your boores and open dorps ; but the English will 
scorn such unchristian designs, except barbarous depreda- 
tions from yourselves should necessitate retribution to the 
injured. You may be assured, if you proceed in provo- 
cations to constraine the rising of the English Colonies, 
they will not make it their work to tamper with your 
peasants about swearing, but deal with your headquar- 
ters ; which yet, if reduced to obedience to his Majesty? 
may certainly expect thereby much more happiness and 
larger immunities without such imposture than can be 
enjoyed by them in the station wherein they now are. 
Mr. John Bankes is a messenger, by whom we send these, 
who can further inform you how tender we are of effu- 
sion of Christian blood, yet cannot but resent with great 
indignation if any malicious oppression shall be forced 
upon our dear neighbors, his Majesty's good subjects. 

These animadversions are represented to your serious 
consideration, from 

John Allyn, Secretary, 
In the name and by the order of the Governor 
and General Court of Conecticutt. 

Indorsed by Gov. Winthrop, " Copy of the letter to the Dutch Com- 
mander sent from Manhatoes in his letter of Nov. 5 Stilo Novo." 1 

1 The copy was returned with this memorandum at foot: — 

"The superscription was, These for the Commander-in-Chief of the 

Duch forces in the Manadus, this per me, John Bankes. 

"The original of this above-written paper was delivered unclosed and 

unsealed, only being folded up, and in the margent a drop of sealing-wax 

impressed with a thumb or finger." — Eds. 



To Mr. John Winthrope, commanding at Hartford, and the Assembly of the 
English Inhabitants of Conecticut. 

Messieurs. — Yesterday I had your letter of 31st 
October, old style, wherein perceive that the former of 
21st of same month, delivered by John Bancks, came 
from you, to which this serves for answer. It is very well 
known unto me in what manner the subjects of their High 
and Mightiness' inhabitants of open parishes and villages 
ought to be used, but more well known that am not held 
to give you any account concerning it. It is sufficiently 
known, and can also appear by their written requests, that 
the inhabitants of the east end of Long Islands have sub- 
mitted and declared themselves subjects of their High and 
Mightiness, giving over their colors and constables' stands, 
performing nomination of schout magistrates and secreta- 
ries. Tire election of the same, as ought, is also followed 
thereupon. Further, by their deputies requested that the 
appointed magistrates might be excused from coming 
hither to take the oath ; but in regard it was needful to 
send commissioners thither to bring the commons under 
the oath, that they might be qualified to administer the 
same in like manner to the magistrates, which was coV- 
sented to for their conveniency, and also unquestionably 
would have been attended by them if some evil disposed 
that went out from you had not hindered them therein. 
I am here to maintain the right of their High and Mighti- 
ness and his Serene Highness, the Lord Prince of Orange, 
therefore take little notice of your strange and threaten- 
ing expressions, knowing with the power I am intrusted 
withal, under God's blessing, to take such means in 
hand to. bring rebels to their due obedience, and cause 


those that stiffen such in their unright-measured pro- 
ceedings to change their evil undertakings. 

Concerning your writing of that, Through barbarous 
instigations should be necessitated to do great disturb- 
ances to the Dutch open parishes, but that the English 
abhor such like unchristian designs : it is known through 
the whole world in what soft manner vanquished enemies 
are treated by us, whereof your nation is not ignorant, 
as well in the former as present war ; our fleets having 
had opportunity enough to cause great damage, yea ruin 
of whole countries ; but have not showed any disposition 
thereto, which was not omitted by your nation upon the 
Island Ter Schellingh to poor fishers and husbandmen. 
I count it unneedful to answer any further particulars of 
your letter, therefore break off and subscribe, 

By order of the Honorable Lord Governor-General of 
New Netherland, 

N. Bayard, Secretary} 

Fort Wm. Hendrick, 14th November, 1673 [n. s.]. 

Indorsed by Gov. Winthrop, ''English copy of the Dutch Commander's 
letter, by J. Banks." 

1 The original of this letter to Gov. Winthrop, written by the Secretary, 
Nicholas Bayard, in the Dutch language, is on rile. That bears the date of 
18th November, while this English version, filed with it, is dated the 14th. 
The letter to the Dutch Commander, or " Governor- General," of October 21, 
immediately preceding this, from which we print, is a copy made by Secre- 
tary Bayard, in the same hand as the Dutch letter, and returned to Gov. 
Winthrop without an answer, but with the memorandum at foot which we 
print. It seems that the requisite diplomatic formalities of envelope and 
seal did not accompany the communication from the Connecticut authorities, 
and it required a second letter to bring an answer. 

Two months earlier, on the 7th of August, Connecticut sent a remon- 
strance to the Dutch commander for outrages committed on its citizens, to 
which a reply was received. The papers are here on file, but we do not 
print them, as they have already been published in the Colonial Records of 
Connecticut, II., App. xiv. — Eds. 




A List of the Persons slain and wounded in the engagement with thi 
Indians, on 19 December, '75. 

Major Apleton, 

2 dead, 

22 wounded. 

Capt. Mosley, 

9 " 


Capt. Olliuer, 

5 « 


Capt. Gardiner, 

7 " 


Capt. Johnson, 

3 " 


Capt. Davenport, 

4 " 


And 5 lost 

30 " 





New Hauen County, 8 dead, 12 wounded. 

Capt. Sealy, 20 dead and wounded. 

Capt. Marshall, 14. 

Capt. Watts, 17. 

Capt. Bradford and Capt. Gorum, 20 dead and wounded. 

Two troopers dead. 

Captains slain : — 

Capt. Dauenport. 
Capt. Johnson. 
Capt. Gardner. 

Captains wounded : — 
Capt. Sealy. 
Capt. Watts. 

Lieutenants wounded : — 
Lieut. Sauage. 
Lieut. Ting. 

Capt. Goulding, wounded. 
Nichs. Power, dead. 
Eichard Updike, dead. 
James Updike, wounded. 

Capt. Marshall. 
Capt. Gallop. 

Capt. Mason. 
Capt. Bradford. 

Lieut. Swaine. 
Lieut. Vpham. 

Indorsed by Gov. Winthrop, " List of soldiers killed and wounded at 
the swamp at Xaraganset." 




Copia. A List of the Names of the Proprietors of the mortgage lands 
at Narragansett, chosen and admitted by Major Humphry Atherton to 
he equal sharers and partners with him, taken out of the records of the 
said land, this 3d January, 1676. 

1. Major Humphry Atherton. Now Mr. Tho. Dearie's and 

Jno. Saffin's. 

2. Mr. Jno. Winthrope, Governor of Connetticutt, 1. 

3. Mr. Simon Bradstreet, 2. 

4. Major Danl 11 Denison, 3. 

5. Major Josiah Winslow, 4. > Now Capt. Tho. Willett's 

6. Capt. Tho. Willett, 5. ) grandchildren's. 

7. Capt. Ric d Lord, 6. 

8. Capt. George Denison, 7. Now Mr. Simon Lynd's. 

9. Capt. Edw. Hutchinson, 8, 

10. Lieut. William Hudson, 9, 

11. Mr. Amos Richardson, 10, 

12. Elisha Hutchinson, 11, 

13. Mr. Ric d Smith, Sr., 12,} 

14. Mr. Ric d Smith, Jr., 13, >of Narragansett. 

15. James Smith, 14,) 

16. Mr. Tho. Stanton, Sr., 15. 

17. Mr. Tho. Stanton, Jr., 16. 

18. Mr. Increase Atherton, 17. Now Jno. Saffin's. 

19. Mr. Jno. Alcock, of Rocksbury, 18. 

20. Mr. Jno. Brown, Sr., 19. Now Mr. James Brown & 


oo' at!' w5* w?!i!?fl } Humphry Atherton, 20th. 1 

-of Boston. 

22. Mr. Wait Winthrope. j 

Indorsed, " A catalogue or list of the names of the first English proprie- 
tors of Narragansett country, 22 in all." 

1 Why Humphrey Atherton 's name, which heads this list, should have 
been placed here apparently against the names of Fitz and Wait Winthrop 
is not clear. It may be due to a later scribbler, who also inserted the words 
'* of Boston " and " of Narragansett " against the names of some of the pro- 
prietors in the same hand, which is unlike that of the body of the paper, 
and it may have no significance. Humphrey Atherton died in 1661. — Eds. 



Whereas, by very pregnant reports and intimations 
in letters from, &c, and by the relation of an Indian 
formerly belonging to Philip, but hath continued many 
months at Nahigansett, and is lately returned thence to 
Taunton in Plymouth Colony, there is much suspicion 
and probabilities that Indians have been sent from the 
Nahigansetts to the assistance of the Phillipians and the 
other uplanclers now in open hostility with the English, 
and that those Nahigansetts have joined with the others 
in destroying many of the English, their houses and 
goods, at Springfeild, Northampton, Deerfeild, and other 
places, and that have entertained wounded men from 
those our enemies, and keep constant correspondence 
with them, besides the detaining those Wampanoge cap- 
tives beyond the time they engaged to deliver them up 
to the English. 

The Commissioners of the United Colonies, having seri- 
ously considered the present danger of the English in- 
habitants by reason of the rage of the barbarous natives, 
do agree and determine that, besides the one thousand 
soldiers formerly appointed to be raised, there be forthwith 
one thousand more raised, in like proportion in the sev- 
eral Colonies, and well fitted every way with provision 
and ammunition, to be ready for the service of the coun- 
try at one hour's warning, and as the Commissioners shall 
further appoint. 

Also the Commissioners do ap;ree and determine that 

1 This rough draft or memorandum is in the handwriting of Gov. Win- 
prop. It was probably drawn up provisionally, preparatory to the meeting 
of the Commissioners at Boston, November 2, 167o, at which Winthrop was 
present, when the substance of the order was adopted. See Hazard, II. 531. 
Winthrop died in Boston, on the 5th of the following April. — Eds. 


forthwith meet persons be appointed and empowered to 
repair to the Nahigansetts, and demand the delivery of 
our enemies fled to them for relief and succor, and 
in case of refusal to be prosecuted as the abetters and 
friends of our enemies. 

The Commissioners do also agree and determine to 
leave the management of this whole affair to the Massa- 
chusetts Council, who are for that end empowered to 
appoint a meet number of persons to attend the same; 
and also they are hereby requested and empowered to 
appoint a commander-in-chief over the one thousand 
soldiers to be raised as above said, and to give him com- 
mission and instruction for their improvement as they 
shall judge best, for the [illegible'] appear to be in [illegible] 
and we recommend it to the General Courts or Councils 
of the several Colonies for their consideration, approba- 
tion, and speedy preparations accordingly. 1 

Indorsed by Gov. Winthrop, "Meeting and subduing of the Narragan- 
setts as there shall be need." 


These for the Worshipful Jno. Cranson, Esq., Governor of his Majesty's 
Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantacons, fyc, to be commu- 
nicated to the General Court or Council. 

Gentlemen, — We crave your patience to let you 
understand we are not a little dissatisfied at your late 
severe proceedings against one of our inhabitants, Mr. 
John Saffin, a proprietor of Narraganset, for a matter 
wherein himself and the rest of the proprietors might 

1 Mr. Saffin was one of the Atherton Company proprietors, he having suc- 
ceeded to a portion of the interest of Atherton himself. He had been arrested 
and imprisoned. See Arnold's Rhode Island, I. 447. — Eds. 


have expected the encouragement of your government 
for the planting and settling that country, being moved 
thereunto by his Majesty's letter to all the Colonies to be 
helpful to the said proprietors, for the end aforesaid, which 
we hope upon further consideration you will find just 
reason to do, and consequently to remit your sentence 
against Mr. Saffin, and you may expect the like justice 
from us to any of yours. Otherwise, we shall take such 
consultation and course in obedience to his Majesty's 
letter of favor on the behalf of those gentlemen, and for 
their quiet settlement and improvement there, as may 
be just for them and honorable for ourselves, and shall 
plainly tell you we account the United Colonies, to whom 
it is recommended by his 4 Majesty's said letter, the meet 
judges therein, and your hasty procedure extra-judicial 
and imposing. With our respects to you, remain your 
loving friends, 

Edward Bawson, Secretary, 

In the name and by the order of the Governor 

and Council of the Massachusetts. 

Boston, 3d June, 1679. 

Indorsed, " Copia of a letter from the Court or Council of the Massachu- 
setts to Rhode Island, in behalf of John Saffin, 1679." 



March, 1679. 

The Genealogy and Lineage of Uncas, Sachem of Moheage, beginning at 
Tamaquawshad, vjho was Grandfather to the said Uncas his Father, 
and so bringing it down to Uncas and his successors, in which is also 
showed his native right to such lands, with their respective boundaries, 
as are hereafter mentioned. 

The above-named Tamaquawshad had many relations, 
which lived above Queenabaug River, and also up the 


Nipmuck country, who were never privileged by mar- 
riage into the royal stock ; for the said Tamaquawshad 
had decreed to keep the royal blood within the realm of 
the Moheags and Pequots. 

The great-grandmother of said Uncass was a great 
queen, and lived at Moheage. Her name was Au-camp- 

His mother's grandfather was the chief sachem of the 
Pequot country in his time, and lived at Au-cum-bumsk, 
in the heart of the country, and was named Nuck-quut- 

Uncas his grandfather was the son of Nuckquutdowaus 
above named, and was the chief sachem of the Pequot 
country, and lived at Au-cum-bumsk above named, and 
was named Weipequund. 

His grandmother was the daughter of Weeroum, the 
chief sachem of the Narragansetts, and her mother's 
name was Kesh-ke-choo-wat-ma-kunsh, the chief sa- 
chem' s squaw of the Moheages ; and she was niece to 
Ahaden, who was the son of Nuckquutdowaus, and she 
was sister to Aucomppachang Saggunsh. 

Uncas his father, who was wholly of the royal blood, 
his name was Owaneco, and he was the son of Weipe- 
quund, and the said Weipequund and Uncas his mother 
had both one mother. The said Uncas his mother was 
called Muck-cun-nup, and her mother before her was called 
by the same name. Tatobem's father's name was Wo- 

The said Uncas further declareth that, about the time 
of his father's decease, his said father moved to Tato- 
bem, who was then the great sachem of the Pequot 
country, for a match between his eldest son and said 
Tatobem's daughter. The said Tatobem did readily era- 
brace the motion abovesaid, and gave his free consent, 
alleging that by this conjunction they should keep their 
lands entire from any violation either from neighboring 


or foreign Indians. But before the consummation of this 
match the said eldest son died ; and then, by the deter- 
mination of the Indian council, both of the Pequots and 
Moheags, it was concluded and jointly agreed that Uncas, 
the next brother to the deceased, should proceed in the 
said match, which thing Uncas accepted, and was married 
to her about ten years before the Pequot wars, and had 
three children by her, two of which died, Owaneco only 

Further, the said Uncas doth declare, and looks upon it 
a thing which may be easily proved from the contract of 
the great sachems, viz. his father and the sachem of the 
Pequott country, upon the making of that match above 
specified, that his right to the Pequott country was good 
and unquestionable, who, although she was of the Pequott 
blood, she neither would nor did forsake him in the time 
of the war; and also he himself, though in such affinity 
unto the said Pequotts, yet his wife and he showing 
their fidelity unto the English, himself adventuring for 
their assistance in that war, that it would look hard to 
him by this unhappy war to be deprived of his true and 
legal right to that country, which if it shall seem good to 
my good friends the English, to my successors, so far as 
reason shall appear to maintain, it will without doubt be 
a friendly though not a costly requital of my former or 
later adventuring my life in my own person, with the 
lives of my subjects, for their assistance in offence of iie 
enemies of my good friends the English, I shall thank- 
fully accept it from their hands. 

Uncass also declares that his grandmother and Momo- 
hoes' great-grandmother were own sisters, and that Catta- 
pesset by Usorquence and Man-go-wan-mett of Long 
Island are both derived of the lineage Nuckquutdowans, 
and being of the royal blood he desires the English would 
respect them as such. 


October the 19, 1692. The General Court allows the 
above written, upon Owanecoe's request, to be recorded. 

Test, John Allyn, Secretary. 

The above written, with what is on the other side of 
this half-sheet, is a true copy of the original as it stands 
recorded in the Public Records of her Majesty's Colony of 
Connecticutt, in Book Number P, pp. 299, 300. 

Test, Eleazar Kimberlet, Beery} 

Indorsed, " The Genealogy and Lineage of Uncas, Sachem of Moheag." 


The Lineal and Collateral Descent of the Chief Sachems of the Narragan- 
sett Country, from whom the legal and most undoubted right of us, the 
English proprietors of those lands, are derived: drawn down from 
Connonicus, who when the English came into this Wilderness was 
known to be and treated with as the Chief Sachem of all those 

I. Connonicus. 

II. Mecksa was eldest son of Connonicus. 

III. Scuttop was Mecksa's son, and also succeeded 
him ; but he and also Quequacknewett, his brother, both 
died without issue. 

IV. Queneinigus was sister to Scuttop and Quequack- 
newett; and Mattantuck, wife to Mecksa and sister to 
Ninicraft, was their mother; she was called the old 

1 This paper, copied from the Connecticut Records, is not in Secretary 
Kimberley's hand. He simply attests to its being a true copy. Kimberley, in 
1696, succeeded Col. John Allyn as Secretary of the Colony of Connecticut, 
and so continued to his death, in February, 1709. 

The paper was first printed in 1769, in a volume known as " The Moge- 
gan Case." In 1856 it was reprinted in the Historical and Genealogical 
Register, Vol. X. pp. 227, 228. — Eds. 


Queen, and of great authority amongst the Indians. 
She was slain by the English at Providence in the last 
war, anno 1676. 

Thus ended the lineal descent of that great sachem, 

V. Meaxtomixy 1 was collaterally descended from Con- 
nonicus, being his brother's son. 

VI. Cosequaxce was brother of Meantominy, and 
succeeded him ; was afterwards called Connonicus. 

VII. Nunxantinut alias Quixoxsett came. upon the 
stage of action, and in the late rebellion of the Indians 
was shot to death at Stoning Town, anno 1676. 

Pesacus, after named Mosup and Manatoweck, was 
the same person before named Cosequance ; for they 
often change their names. 

VJbll. Cojaxaquaxt was brother to the said Cose- 

IX. Quixapix was Cojanaquant's son and heir. He 
was put to death at Rhode Island some time after the 
breaking out of the late rebellion of the Indians. 

X. Xixigrett alias Nixicraft was also a sachem, being 
old Connonicus's sister's son, and brother to Webotamo. 
He married one of the great sachem's daughters, and died 
since the late Indian war, leaving only one daughter to 

By which genealogy above written (epitomized out 
of long relations of the ancient and most knowing In\ 
dians) may be clearly understood whence those chief 
sachems above mentioned were descended, and how they 
were related to each other both lineally and collaterally, 
from whom the right and title of those lands are derived 
to the English proprietors and confirmed to them by 
sundry of those chief sachems (in their times), who had 
the native right thereof, is also by this ensuing narrative 
more fully demonstrated. 

1 Usually spelled " Mkntinomy." — Eds. 


And, first, the Narragansett lands called the Northern 
and Southern Purchases were given and granted to John 
Winthrop, Esq. and Major Humphrey Atherton and 
Company, by Cojanaquant, with the free will and consent 
of the other sachems, confirmed by deeds under hand 
and seal, bearing date 11 June, 1659, and 4 July, 1659, 
confirmed also by Scuttop under his hand, dated 5 Au- 
gust, 1659, who then entered into a more strict and firm 
league of friendship with the English ; for all which re- 
ceived satisfaction as by receipt dated 6 July, 1659. 
Witnesses John Woodmansey and John Viall. The sale 
or alienation of which lands was afterwards confirmed 
by Quinapin, the said Cojanaquant's son, the 24th of 
October, anno 1672. 

2. Likewise Scuttop, Cosequance, and Quequackne- 
wett did jointly ratify the said grants under hand and 
seal, and Quequacknewett gave receipt for <£15 0s. lOd. 
in part for the same, and receipt was also given by 
Cojanaquant, 28 July, 1659, for £20 0s. Od. more. 

3. For Point Judith and the Ponds they were given 
and granted by Tunintokowe by deed under his hand and 
seal, dated 4 March, 1659. 

4. The whole country of Narragansett, &c, besides, 
were by the chief sachems mortgaged to Major Ath- 
erton and his associates, by an instrument under the 
hands and seals of Cosequance, Scuttop, Ninigrett, and 
Quequacknewett, bearing date 13 October, 1660, for cer- 
tain sums of money by them taken up ; and afterwards 
Scuttop, Chief Sachem, in behalf of himself and the 
other sachems concerned, did give full and peaceable 
possession of all and singular those lands, with all their 
rights, members, and appurtenances, by turf and twig, at 
Pettaquamscutt, (a part in the name of the whole,) in the 
presence of some hundreds of Indians and English, before 
whom they acknowledged the sale of those lands ; and 
by their act of livery and seisin they did then and there 


fully confirm the same, as by the testimonies of John 
Button, William Cotton, John Rhodes, and Ambrose 
Leach, sworn before John Enclicott, Esq., then Governor, 
the 22d of September, Anno 1662, doth appear. 

5. Likewise Wiskhunck, Sepowampshe, and John, In- 
dian Councillors, did by order and appointment of Scut- 
top, Chief Sachem, receive of the proprietors twenty 
pounds more in peague, as by their receipt under their 
hands and seals, dated 28 November, 1664, in full of all 
demands for the lands aforesaid. 

6. Also Scuttop and Quenemigus, his sister, con- 
firmed the aforesaid grant and possession given of the 
said lands by the acknowledgment thereof, and farther 
submission of themselves to, and desire to be under, the 
government of his Majesty by the English here, as by 
an instrument under their hands and seals, bearing date 
28 December, 1664, appeareth. 

7. To which may be added Mattantuck, Queen Sa- 
chem, relict of the Great Sachem Mecksa, and mother 
of Scuttop, her confirmation of the acts of her son and 
the rest of the said sachems touching the premises ; 
all which acts and deeds all the said sachems respectively 
were made clearly to understand. 

8. There is likewise the confirmation of all and sin- 
gular the afore-mentioned grants, &c, by all the grand 
sachems of those countries, done by their delegates in 
their behalf at the same time when the last treaty oV 
peace was made and concluded with the English at Nar- 
ragansett, as by the Seventh Article now in print may 
appear, given under their hands and seals, July 15, 
1675; in which treaty, and also upon their after-rising, 
they never made any complaint or manifested the least 
discontent with any of the English in or about the 
purchase of those lands, but freely acquiesced in what 
was done with us, the proprietors, and confirmed all to 
the last. 


In fine, the grants and purchases of all those lands 
aforesaid have from time to time been approved and 
confirmed unto the proprietors thereof, some time by his 
late Majesty's gracious letters (as hath been showed). 
Also by the English governments respectively ; — by the 
King's Commissioners, viz. Col. Nicholls, Sr., Eobert Carr, 
&c., as by their instruments under their hands and seals 
may appear ; yea, by the Rhode Islanders themselves, 
at a General Assembly held at Newport, 30th October, 
1672, wherein they acknowledge and confirm the pur- 
chases of and grants to Major Atherton and Company or 
associates, even of all the lands in the Narragansett coun- 
try, &c, according to their respective deeds for the same ; 
which was occasionally done in that court about some 
transactions of their own, and not by any application of 
us, the proprietors, to them. All which is most humbly 
offered to your Excellency for consideration. 

By yours, humbly devoted to your service. 1 

Indorsed, " Narragansett Sachems' Genealogy and Proprietors' derivation 
of their title to those lands, &c. No. 2." 


To all People to whom these presents shall come, 
These : Whereas we, the subscribers to this instrument of 
discharge, being properly the inhabitants of the plantation 
of Indians called Sascoe, and formerly were proprietors 
of the lands pertaining to Sascoe, which lands we have 
formerly sold to the town of Fairfeild, and have accord- 

1 This document, which bears no date nor signature, is written in a 
beautiful and clerkly hand, of the period of the close of the seventeenth 
century. — Eds. 


in a- to agreement received satisfaction for it to our con- 
tent ; reserving only that the said town should provide 
us some lands for our subsistence in some such conve- 
nient place as the said town should think meet ; and 
whereas the said town of Fairfeild hath by their Com- 
mittee presented several parcels of land to answer the 
said town's engagement to us for our maintenance as a 
tract of land called the Rocky Neck, lying in Sascoe 
Feilcl, on the left hand of the path as you go to the 
Farms; also a hill of land lying on the west of Maxemus 
Farms, as it is already bounded out, and hath made it 
over to us and our successors by a legal deed, with 
the addition of five acres elseivhere. Now know ye that we, 
the subscribers to this instrument, that we have re- 
ceived from the town of Fairfeild the abovesaid lands in 
full satisfaction to us ; that they are engaged to us in 
our bill of sale of Sascoe lands in an instrument bearing 
date the 21 March, 166^, in all which parcels of land 
we are well contented and satisfied ; and therefore do for 
ourselves, heirs, and successors forever acquit, exoner- 
ate, and discharge the said town of Fairfeild and their 
successors from any demands whatever of land within 
the bounds of Fairfeild as due to us upon any account ; 
acknowledging that what lands they possess that some- 
times was ours and our predecessors they have law- 
fully bought and paid for it ; and what lands they were 
engaged to provide for us they have already done it) 
We also engage these several parcels of land we have 
received from them for our improvement and propriety ; 
we do engage ourselves and our successors that we will 
not sell it or any part of it from us nor from our succes- 
sors to any person whatever without the leave of the 
town of Fairfeild. In witness whereof we have here- 
unto set to our hands, this 14 day of June, 1680. 

It is to be noted that, when the above-said Indians shall 
improve the hill of land by Maxemus Farmes, we will 


make and maintain a sufficient fence about our field to 
preserve our corn from damage. 

Nauwassecumb, his □ mark. 
Sasco (( James, his mark. 
Yeereensq 5 aw, her mark. 
Cokecro, X his mark. 
Nanaskeco, ^ his mark. 
Yeedowco, V his mark. 
Wayreenoote, — ^ his mark. 
Weecong, v his mark. 
Chickinns, ] his mark. 
Capt. Weeteteree, O his mark. 
Wunneeseside, her C mark. 

Witnessed per us, and subscribed 

and delivered in our presence. 

John Minor, ) T 

TC1 > Interpreters. 

John Sherwood, 5 r 

This instrument is recorded in the 3 book of the Rec- 
ords of Wills and Inventories of the County of Fairfeild, 
at fol. 37, per me, WjllM Ri ^ ^^ 

28 September, 1680. Whereas we, Marwoeumopum, 
alias Rororemy, and Wamsunkewy, Sascoe Indians, were 
not present when the discharge within was signed by the 
rest of their neighbor Sascoe Indians, this day by inter- 
preters they were informed the reasons of the within 
acknowledgment ; and they do fully consent thereto. 
In witness whereof they have set to their hands, the 
date abovesaid. 

m,) , . . 

> I his mark. 

'1 ) L 

Wamsunkewy, ] mark. 


alias Roremy, 

Signed in the presence of us, 
James Boor. 
Daniel Silliman. 

Indorsed, " An original of the purchase of Sasqua Indians." 



The Names of the Chief Proprietors of the Lands of the Narragansett, 
Niantick, and Cowesett Countries, chosen and admitted by Major 
Humphry Atherton, deceased, or his assigns, viz. : — 

Jn° Winthrop, 
Simon Bradstreet, 
Dan ll Denison, 


Thomas Willett, 
Jx° Brown, 


Increase Atherton. 
Major Winthrop. 
Waite Winthrop. 
Thomas Dean. 
Elisha Hutchinson. 
W M Tailer. 

Thomas Chiffinch. Ric d Wharton. 

Ric d Smith, Sen r . Jn° Saffin. 

Ric d Smith, Jun r . James Smith. 

Edw: Hutchinson. Francis Brenley. 

W M Hudson. Tho : Stanton, Sen r . 

Amos Richardson. Tho : Stanton, Jun r . 

Simon Lynde. Jn° Scott. 
Ric d Lord. 

Twenty-seven in all. 

This a true copy of the names of the proprietors given 
to my Lord Culpeper, when here in N. E. 1 

Indorsed, " Copia of the names of the proprietors given my Lord Cul- 
peper, Ano. 1681." 

1 Lord Culpepper, Governor of Virginia, came over to that Colony in\ 
April, 1680, but returned to England the same year by the way of Boston. 
The proprietors of the Narragansett Company had this year petitioned the 
King, setting forth their grievances against Rhode Island, and praying to be 
set off from that government or to be made a separate government of them- 
selves; and through John Saffin, a member of the Company, the interest of 
Lord Culpepper was gained in their favor. The number of proprietors was 
now increased; and Lord Culpepper, who soon afterward returned to Vir- 
ginia, had acquired one sixteenth interest in all the lands of the Company, 
and he petitioned the Crown in their behalf. In 1683 a commission was 
issued to Edward Cranfield, Governor of New Hampshire, and eight others, 
to examine and report on the King's Province. Their decision, both as to 
soil and jurisdiction, was adverse to Rhode Island. But Rhode Island would 
not yield. Soon afterward the government of this Colony fell, and Andros 



Time to Capt. Waite Wintkrop, or in his absence for Major John Win- 
throp, at New London. — To be left with Mr. Smith, who is desired 
carefully and speedily to convey it. 

Boston, July 16, 1683. 

Dear Brother Winthrop, — At Piscataway the Nar- 
roganset Commission came to my hands, 1 and was pre- 
sented to Governor Cranfield, who intends to-morrow to 
be here, and on Wednesday to consult the other Commis- 
sioners, and to appoint time and place of session, and to 
send forth significations to the Colonies and persons con- 
cerned, and to consider upon methods for the Court's pro- 
ceedings. The Major's presence is (by all here that are 
concerned in that affair) thought absolutely needful to 
fix and prepare some fickle spirits, who otherwise, it 's 
feared, may be influenced to our prejudice. There will, 
it 's probable, be some motions to Roud Island, which can 
be of no good effect; but the Major's company may 
prevent, therefore if possible bring him with you. 

All yours and mine, blessed be God, are in good health. 
Brother C. 2 still languishes : things there in the same pos- 
ture as you left them. The swordman is now at Salem 
upon his last errand, resolving now either to effect his 
business or bid a perpetual adieu. 

was installed as Governor of New England. He was appealed to, to lend a 
hand in settlement of this prolonged controversy, and in the year 1687 an 
agreement was effected. But questions of jurisdiction continued occasion- 
ally to arise between Connecticut and Rhode Island, in which the territory of 
the Atherton or Narragansett Company formed the subject, and it is difficult 
to say when peace was really established. See Arnold's History of Rhode 
Island, I. 464, 466, 469, 474, 479, 507, 530, 534. — Eds. 

1 See this paper, dated April 17, 1683, and the Commissioners' Report, 
in 1 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., I. 232-244. — Eds. 

2 "Brother C." is probably John Curwen of Salem, who had married 
Margaret Winthrop, the sister of Richard Wharton's wife, and who had 
really died four days before the date of this letter. — Eds. 


My business in the Province of Maine succeeded to my 
expectation. I hope to patch up matters to look like a 
whole piece. 1 Mr. Brinley is the bearer of this to Narro- 
gansett, and will thence send it forward by an Indian. 
No news since you went. My sister expects you at home 
this week ; therefore, and because of the uncertainty of 
the conveyance, writes not. I intended to write largely 
to the Major ; but Mr. Brinley is mounting, so must beg 
excuse, and desire him to read this as directed to himself, 
and not to fail his friends and his own interest. Pray 
communicate the copy of the Commission which accom- 
panies this to Major Palms, to whom I shall give season- 
able notice of the resolves and appointments that may be 
made here. Dear sir, I am your affectionate brother and 

R D Wharton. 2 

Indorsed, "Mr. Richard Wharton. July 16, 1683. The Narrogansett 
Commission enclosed." 

1 On the 4th of July, 1683, twelve days before the date of this letter, 
Richard Wharton purchased a large tract of land at Pejepscot, in the Prov- 
ince of Maine, which after his death formed the basis of the well-known 
"Pejepscot Company." See Wheeler's "History of Brunswick," &c, 
pp. 11-21. — Eds. 

2 From the references to political affairs and to certain business trans- 
actions in this letter, we should infer that the writer was the Richard 
Wharton who was, a few years later, one of Andros's Council, and of whom 
Savage has a long notice in his Genealogical Dictionary, where he gives 
the names of two wives and their children ; while several official documents 
among these papers, bearing the same signature, tend to confirm this opinion. 
But at the beginning of the letter, which is inscribed to Waite Winthrop, or 
in his absence to his brother Fitzjohn, we read " Dear Brother Winthrop." 
Now Mr. Savage finds another Richard Wharton at Boston, a contemporary 
and apparently a younger man, who, he says, married Martha, the daughter 
of John Winthrop, the Governor of Connecticut, and the sister of the brothers 
to whom this letter is addressed; and he gives the particulars of the births of 
their several children. We have not space for a long genealogical note, but 
we are now convinced, from investigation, that Mr. Savage's two Richard 
Whartons should be rolled into one, and that this one had three wives, the 
last of whom was Martha Winthrop. It may be added, that the William 
Wharton on the following page is probably a son by Richard Wharton's 
first wife. See Winthrop Papers, Part TV. p. 464. — Eds. 




To Fitzjohn Winthrop and [torn~\, Esqrs., at New London. — To be left at 
Mr. Amos Richardson's, at Stonington, for speedy conveyance. 

Boston, 23d of July, 1683. 

Gentlemen, — I am, by order of Governor Cranfeild 
and the rest of the Commissioners here, to acquaint you 
that your names are inserted in the Narragansett Com- 
mission, and that in pursuance of the same they have 
concluded to convene at Mr. Smith's, in the Narragansett 
country, on Wednesday, the 22d of August next, as you 
will perceive by the printed briefs 1 which accompany this, 
where they promise themselves the happiness of your 
Companies and assistance. In the interim have only to 
salute you with their respects and service, which please 
also to accept from, gentlemen, your most humble ser- 

William Wharton. 

Indorsed, " Mr. Will. Wharton, July 23d, 1683, with the Commission- 
ers' certification of their meeting at Mr. Smithe's." 


These for the honored Oapt. Waite Winthrop and Mr. Richard Wharton, 
in Boston this dd. — To be communicated to those concerned in the 
propriety of the Narrogancett. 

Hartford, December 13, 1683. 

Gentlemen, — By letters from Mr. Randall, Mr. Whar- 
ton, and Mr. Saffen, we are informed of a claim made by 
Duke Hamilton and his Duchess, and the Earl of Aran, 

1 The " printed briefs " are copies of a broadside sheet issued as a sum- 
mons to the meeting. A copy is among these papers, and it is printed in 
1 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., V. 232, 233. — Eds. 


to sixty mile square of land from Conecticutt River by 
virtue of a grant from the Plimouth Company, which 
bears date the 20th of April, 1635, which tract of land, we 
suppose, takes in some of the Massachusetts and Plimouth 
grants and Rohcl Island, besides great part of ours, which 
formerly was granted by the Earl of Warwick to the Lord 
Say and other noblemen and gentlemen, March 19, 1631, 
as you will find, by the copy of the grant in the hands 
of Captain Winthrope, which was purchased of Mr. Fen- 
wick by this Colony, December 5, 1644, and remained in 
the possession of this Colony ever since. We are ready 
to conclude that amongst Gov. Winthrop's papers may be 
found some writings that may be useful in this matter, as a 
commission to him from the lords to take possession (in 
their behalf) of their grant, and to erect some fort or forts 
upon it, &c, as our said honored Governor hath informed 
some of us ; and also, when his present Majesty renewed 
our Charter, our said honored Governor did make use of 
our purchases and conquests to be the grounds of his Ma- 
jesty's confirmation of those lands included in our Charter 
to this Colony. We suppose there may be amongst the 
Governor's papers some writings that may give light 
in this case. Therefore, we request that care may be 
taken to view our Governor's papers, that what may be 
of use may be laid ready to be improved. You may also 
take notice that, according to his Majesty's appointment, 
we attended his Majesty's honorable Commissioners ai 
Xarrogancett, and made answer to those claims pre- 
sented to the Narrogancett country, and asserted our 
claims according to our Charter grant, and had the prom- 
ise of the honorable Commissioners, upon their adjourn- 
ment to Boston, that if other claims should come or 
disputes arise we should have time to give our answer 
before them. We did also desire and appoint our hon- 
ored friend, Capt. Wayte Winthrop, to appear in our 
behalf, and to answer for us ; but by reason of Mr. Ran- 


dolph coming over, and his short stay in these parts, 
neither we nor our agent had opportunity to appear 
before the said honorable Commissioners to make our 
answer to those claims made by Mr. Edward Randolph, 
his Grace Duke Hamilton's attorney; and therefore we 
desire, if it may be, that we may have opportunity yet to 
do it before the honorable Commissioners before they 
make return to his Majesty ; and for that end we have 
enclosed a letter to the honorable Governor Cranfield, 
which you, if you see cause, may peruse and seal and 
send to him to desire a farther hearing, if it be not too 
late. And in case it may be granted, we do hereby em- 
power Captain Wajte Winthrop and Mr. Rich d Wharton in 
our behalfs to make farther plea against Duke Hamilton 
and the Earl of Aran's claim, and to defend our own 
right, fearing the season may forbid our travel from 
hence ; but if that cannot be obtained, we have enclosed 
some general pleas, which we request that together with 
your own pleas may be presented to his Majesty by such 
suitable person as you shall improve, and that a farther 
hearing may be obtained, (if his Grace insists upon his 
claims,) that so our pleas may be heard by the honorable 
Commissioners or some other appointed by his Majesty in 
New England ; for we have met with such losses that it 
will be very difficult for us to manage our affairs in Eng- 
land, and answer the charge thereof. Gentlemen, we 
shall not farther trouble you at this time ; but, with pre- 
sentation of our respects to you, we rest your affectionate 
friends, the Governor and Council of his Majesty's Colony 
of Conecticutt. Per their order signed 

John Allyn, Secretary} 

Indorsed, " From Governor and Council of Connecticut. December 13, 

1 This letter was authorized by the General Court, sitting at Hartford, 
November 14, 1083. In App. liv. to Vol. III. of the Colonial Records of Con- 



The testimony of the said Thomas Tibball of Mil- 
ford, Sen., aged seventy or thereabouts, testifleth that he 
being a soldier in the Pequit war, being in pursuit of the 
Pequits, which Capt. Omsteed and many other soldiers 
they pursued them as far as Sasqua ; and finding the 
Pequits and Sascoe Indians together, there was many 
shots passed between those Indians and the English 
against them, whereby several of the English were 
wounded, and afterwards they went into the Pequit 
Swamp, so called ; and after a parley between the Eng- 
lish and them there was about eight or nine score came 
forth and surrendered themselves to the mercy of the 
English. And those Indians that came forth out of the 
swamp we took them and brought them away captives, 
and further saith not. 

Capt. Richard Omsteed, of Norwark, aged seventy-six 
years of age, or thereabouts, being at the same fight, tes- 
tifleth as is above written. 

Sworn in court, Sept. 20, 1683, as attest 

Sam 1 * Eels, Clerke. 

Indorsed, " Capt. Olmsteed and Sargt. Tibballs, their testimony of the 
conquest of the Indians.' ' 

necticut is an abstract of the documents relating to the Duke of Hamilton's 
claim, now revived by Edward Randolph as attorney for the heirs, William 
and Ann, Duke and Duchess of Hamilton, and their son James, Earl of Ar- 
ran. We print herewith a full statement of the olaims of the heirs. The 
several documents referred to in this letter as being in the possession of 
the Winthrop family are all printed in the Appendix to Trumbull's History 
of Connecticut, where will be found an answer to the Duchess of Hamilton's 
claim. — Ed3. 



Upon the examination of the Indian Netorah in the 
Court, he owned that the Pequit Indians came to them as 
they fled before the English, and that the Sasqua and the 
Paquamuck Indians went into the swamp along with 
them ; and the English offering of them quarter, they 
came out of the swamp and resigned themselves and 
their deer-skins and wampum to them. Also says that 
he knew neither the mother nor grandmother of this 
Prask that was wife to John Wompas. All which the 
aforesaid Netorah testifies, as appears by these two inter- 
preters then present, and subscribing thereto this 21st of 
September, 1683. 

John Minor, ) T , 

T > Interpreters. 

John Sherwood, ^ ■* 

Taken upon oath before the Court, this 17th June, 
1684, as attests 

Jonat. Pitman, Gierke. 

Indorsed, "Etoro's test, that Sasqua and Paquanock Indians were con- 
quered, that he knew neither the mother or grandmother of Prask." 


A Testimony of Mr. Higison, late Pastor of the Church at Gilford. 

Being desired to express what I remembered concern- 
ing the transactions between the English at Corneticut 
and the Indians along the coast, from Quilipoke to the 
Manatoes about the land, the substance of what I can say 
is briefly this : — 

That in the beginning of the year 1638, the last week 
of March, Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Goodwin, being employed 


to treat with the Indians and to make sure of that whole 
tract of land, in order to prevent the Dutch and to ac- 
commodate the English who might after come to inhabit 
there, I was sent with them as an interpreter for want of 
a better ; we, having with us an Indian for a guide, ac- 
quainted the Indians as we passed with our purpose, and 
went as far as about Norwalke before we stopped. Com- 
ing thither, on the first day we gave notice to the sachem 
and the Indians to meet there on the second day, that 
we may treat with them all together about the business. 
Accordingly on the second day there was a full meeting, 
and as themselves said, of all the sachems, old men, and 
captains from about Mil ford to Hutsons Eiver. After 
they had understood the cause of the coming, and had 
consulted with us and amongst themselves, and that in as 
solemn a manner as Indians use to do in such cases, they 
did with an unanimous consent express their desire of the 
English friendship, their willingness the English should 
come to dwell amongst them, and professed that they did 
give and surrender up all their lands to the English sa- 
chems at Corneticut, and hereupon presented us with two 
parcels of wampum, — the lesser they would give us for 
our message, the greater they would send as a present to 
the sachems at Corneticott. It being not long after the 
English conquest, and the fear of the English being then 
upon them, it being moved amongst them which of them 
would go up with us to signify this agreement, and to\ 
present their wampum to the sachems at Corneticut, at 
last Wanwham and Wonwequack offered themselves, and 
were much applauded by the rest for it. Accordingly 
these two Indians went up with us to Hartford. Not 
long after there was a committee in Mr. Hooker's barn, 
the meeting-house then not builded, where they two 
did appear and presented their wampum; but old Mr. 
Pinchin, one of the magistrates there then, taking him 
to be the interpreter then, I remember I went out and 


attended the business no further; so that what was fur- 
ther done, or what writings there were about the busi- 
ness, I cannot now say; but I suppose, if search be 
made, something of the business may be found in the 
record of the Court. And I suppose, if Mr. Goodwin be 
inquired of, he can say the same for substance as I do, 
and William Cornwill, of Seabrook, who was there. Mr. 
Nicholas Knell testifies to the same with Mr. Higgison as 
respecting the Indians giving the land to the English, 
and remembers the payment of money to the Indians as 
gratuity for their gift, — twenty coats, besides hoes and 

Nicholas Knell. John Higgison. 

Recorded per me, Joseph Hawlt, Recorder, 

The abovesaid is exactly copied from the records, per 

Joseph Curtis, Recorder. 

September 12, 1683. 

Being requested to give in the former testimony upon 
oath, I do now own it, and do well remember all the 
passages contained within this writing, except the par- 
ticulars of the twenty coats, and witnessed by N. Knell, 
though in the general I well remember the magistrates 
would not take the land merely upon free gift, but would 
and did give the Indians a considerable gift for it ; where- 
with, as I understand, they were fully satisfied. 

John Higginson. 

Mr. John Higginson, Sen., made oath to the truth of 
the above-written, this 14th day of March, 16 8f. Before 
me, Barth Gedney, Assistant} 

Indorsed, " Mr. Higgisson's test to the record of his account of the sur- 
render of the Indians' land to the English." 

1 The testimonials of Higginson and Gedney, written on the back of the 
principal paper, are in their respective handwritings. — Eds. 



The testimonies of several Indians hereunto subscrib- 
ing is as folio we th : — 

The Indians testify, by name, Quontoson, aged seventy 
years or thereabouts; Tussawacombe, aged sixty years of 
age ; Winnepoge, aged sixty years of age ; Crauereeco, 
aged sixty-two years of age ; Hetora, aged fifty-seven 
years of age ; Nonopoge, aged fifty-eight years of age ; 
That in the Pequit war, when the Pequits fled and the 
English pursued them, they coming this way being many 
in number and they but few, Sasqua and Poquonock 
Indians fled into the swamp Munnacommock with the 
Pequits, now called the Pequit Swamp, in Fairfeild bounds, 
and did there join with the Pequits, and fight against 
the English. Whilst in the swamp, Mr. Thomas Stanton 
being with the English made a speech, and told the Sas- 
qua and Poquonock Indians that the Pequits were the 
English great enemies, and that, if they, the Sasqua and 
Poquonock Indians, would come forth and peaceably sur- 
render themselves to the English mercy, they should have 
their lives. Whereupon they came forth and surrendered 
themselves, with wampum, skins, and their land. Then 
the English told them that they should have sufficient 
lands for themselves and theirs to live upon. Four of 
whom were personally in the swamp, and the other two, 
Winnepoge and Nonopoge, were not. \ 

Quontoson, -^ his mark. 

Tussawacombe, — N his mark. 

Winnepoge, — N his mark. 

Craucreeco, — N his mark. 

Hetora, -^ his mark. 

Nonopoge, -^ his mark. 1 

1 This and the next following paper are, without doubt, the originals of 
the depositions taken, and of the Indian signatures or marks made ; but 
the marks are simply scratches ; and though the deponents in each paper 


May the 5th, 1684, Joshuah Knap, aged forty-eight 
years, interpreter, and John Shirwood, aged twenty-eight 
years, another interpreter, did jointly and severally affirm 
upon their corporal oaths that these above-said Indians 
truly declared what is above written, as that they did 
testify to the truth thereof, and signed it in their presence. 

Before me, 

Robert Treat, Governor. 

Indorsed, "The Indians' testimonies that Sasqua Indians fought against 
the Euglish, and after surrendered themselves and their lands to the 



The testimony of the several Indians hereunto sub- 
scribing is as folio we th: — 

The Indians testify that Romonock, being a great war- 
rior and often fighting with strange Indians, got many 
wives, one of which died at Mawhegemuck, called Albeny, 
and having then a child about five years of age called 
Prask, was fetched from thence by Romonock, and brought 
into these parts. But the squaw or mother of the child 
they know not from whence she was, neither do they know 
where the said child that was called Prask was born, 
affirming that she was not of Sasqua. And further they 
do testify that, according to their custom, the title of 
lands goes by the man and not by the woman. Also fur- 
ther testify that Romonock was a stranger, and came 
here as a captain, not belonging to any of these seaside 
parts, whose land lies near three days' journey from the 

are the same persons, the marks of any one individual have no resemblance 
to each other. No purpose is therefore gained in attempting "to imitate 
them. — Eds. 


seaside, at a place called Pawchequage, near to Hutson 


Quontoson, ■— N his mark. 

Tussawacombe, -^ his mark. 
Winnepoge, — N his mark. 
Ceaucreeco, — s his mark. 
Hetora, -^ his mark. 
Nonopoge, -^ his mark. 

May the 5th, 1684, Joshuah Knap, aged forty-eight 
years, and John Sherwood, aged about twenty-eight years, 
Indian interpreters, did jointly and severally affirm upon 
their corporal oaths that the Indian tests above written 
and signed by them in their presence is understood by 
them and truly interpreted as above mentioned in this 
their above-said testimonies, and note the words called 
Prask, interlined, was before signing 6th and 7th lines. 

Sworn before me, 

Robert Treat, Governor. 

Indorsed, "The Indians' tests that Romonock was no native at Fairfeild ; 
that his daughter Prask was no native there, but a Stranger; that right of 
lands is in the male line by their custom." 



To all people to whom these presents shall come : — 
John Blake, of Wrentham in the Colony of the Massa- 
chusets in New England, husbandman, and Edward Pratt, 
sometime of St. Paul's, Shadwell, in the County of Mid- 
dlesex, within the realm of England, victualler, and now 
of Mendham within the aforesaid Colony, executors of 
the last will and testament of John White, alias Wampers, 1 

1 John WTrite, alias Wampers or Wampus, had married Praske, called by 
the English Ann, a daughter of Romai-ock, an Indian chief, the alleged 


late of Boston in New England aforesaid, mariner, de- 
ceased, send greeting : Know ye that the said John 
Blake, Edward Pratt, executors as above said, for divers 
good causes and considerations them thereunto at this 
present especially moving, have assigned, ordained, and 
made, authorized, constituted, and appointed, and in their 
stead and place by these presents do assign, ordain, 
make, authorize, constitute, and appoint their trusty and 
well-beloved friends, John Comer, John Pittom, John 
Jackson, George Dauson, Joshua Hewes, William Harri- 
son, and William Mumford, of Boston aforesaid, Richard 
Thayre of Brantry aforesaid, John Smith and Robert 
Taft of Mount Hope in New England aforesaid, to be 
their true, sufficient, and lawful attorneys, giving and by 
these presents granting unto their said attorneys, jointly 
and severally, full power and lawful authority for them, 
constituents, and in their names, (but to and for the 
only proper use and behoof of the said Edward Pratt, 
John Comer, John Pittome, John Jackson, George Dau- 
son, Joshua Hewes, William Harrison, William Mumford, 
Richard Thayre, John Smith, Robert Taft, their heirs and 
assigns,) to enter into and take possession of and enjoy all 
and singular such lands, tenements, plantations, grounds, 
steadings, pastures, and hereditaments whatsoever, by 
what name or names soever the same be called, in whose 
tenure, occupation, or possession the same or any part 
thereof is now or late was in, and in what place or places 
whatsoever in the country of New England or elsewhere 
the same or any part thereof is situate lying. And all 

owner of lands in Fairfield, Connecticut ; and to these lands he had some 
years before his death made claim. Being in England, he petitioned the 
King for redress, and an order in his behalf was issued from Whitehall, in 
March, 1079, which may be seen in Vol. III. of the Colonial Records of Con- 
necticut, App. No. XXII. The several depositions relating to the Sasqua 
Indians and Wampers's wife and father-in-law, printed in this volume, show 
the interest which this claim excited in the Colony. It will be seen that, in 
the suit which followed, the executors of VVampers lost their case. — Eds. 


profits, privileges, commodities, and appurtenances what- 
soever to the same or any part thereof belonging or in 
any wise appertaining, according as the same was given 
and bequeathed to the said Blake and Pratt by the said 
last will and testament of said White, alias Wampers, bear- 
ing date the fifth day of September, Anno Dni 1679, ref- 
erence whereunto being had more plainly appeareth. And 
all and every person and persons whatsoever that does 
unlawfully occupy, possess, and enjoy the above-men- 
tioned premises, or any part thereof, to expel, evict, and 
eject. Also the same lands, plantations, hereditaments, and 
appurtenances, or any part thereof, to manage, improve, 
grant, bargain, sell, let, set, and lease for life or lives, 
estates of inheritance or otherwise, and for such sum and 
sums of money as by them shall be thought fit and re- 
quisite to the utmost profit and best advantage of the 
said Pratt and fore-mentioned persons ; and deeds, instru- 
ments, and conveyances for the same to make, seal, and 
deliver as the matter shall require, and likewise for and 
in the name of the said constituents (but to and for the 
uses of the above-mentioned persons) to ask, demand, 
sue for, levy, require, recover, and receive of and from 
all and every person and persons whatsoever all and every 
such debt and debts, sum and sums of money, rents, ar- 
rearages and remainders of rents or estate whatsoever, 
which is, are, or hereafter shall be due, owing, belonging, 
or appertaining unto them, the said constituents, from or 
by virtue of the above-mentioned premises ; and upon 
nonpayment and delivery the said debtors, or others with- 
holding or detaining the same, to sue, arrest, attach, im- 
plead, imprison, and condemn his and their bodies, lands, 
tenements, goods, and chattels in execution to take, and 
out of execution to deliver, and to compound, compro- 
mise, conclude, refer to arbitrament, reckon, account, 
adjust, and balance any accounts with the said debtors 
or others, and with them to agree, as the matter shall 


require, and, upon satisfaction, composition, receipts, and 
recoveries, to give acquittances or other sufficient dis- 
charges in due form of law, and if need be to appear 
before any lords, governors, judges, justices, or magis- 
trates in any courts of judicature, and there to answer, 
defend, and reply in all actions, matters, and things re- 
lating to the premises, and to appeal from court to court 
as need shall require, and generally in and concerning 
the premises to use all lawful ways and means what- 
soever for the recovery thereof, either by suit of law 
or otherwise, as fully and amply as the said constituents 
themselves might or could do if they were personally 
present, with ample power to substitute one or more 
attorneys under them with like or limited power, and 
the same again to revoke, ratifying, allowing, and holding 
firm and valid all and whatsoever their said attorneys, 
jointly or severally, shall lawfully do or cause to be done 
in and about the premises by virtue of these presents. 

In witness whereof the said John Blake and Edward 
Pratt have hereunto set their hands and seals the fifth 
day of March, Anno Dom. one thousand six hundred 
eighty and three, 168 J annoq. Regni Caroli Secundi 
nunc Anglte, &c, XXXVI. Jq ^ Blake 

Edward Pratt. 
Signed, sealed, and delivered in the 
presence of us by Edward Pratt on the 
day of the date. 

Simeon Messinger. 
Jeremiah Bumsteed. 

Mr. John Blake, personally appearing, acknowledged 
this instrument to be his act and deed before 

Mar. 12, 168f. Joseph Dudley, Assist. 

Signed by John Blake in presence of 
Edward Pelham. 
Samuel Shrimpton. 


Edward Pratt, personally appearing, acknowledged the 
etter of attorney above to be his act and deed, before 

May 9th, 1684. John Richards, Assist. 

The above written is a true copy of the original upon 

ile left in court at Fairefield, June 16th, 1684. As 


Jonas Pitman, Clerk. 

Indorsed, "Copy of John Blake and Edward Pratt's Letter of At- 


lie Answer and Defence of Peter Clappham and Isaac Frost to the 
Action commenced against them by the Attorney or Attorneys of John 
Comer, George Dauson, Edward Peat, John Blake, for refusing to 
deliver the possession of a certain parcel or tract of Land, S?c. : 
whereby they already, they the Plaintiffs, are damnified above five 
thousand pounds. 

The tenants and defendants do answer that the lands 
ied for or upon are lawfully held by these defendants. 
id unlawfully claimed by the plaintiffs and demand- 
its. The defendants have now held no land but 
hat they have either by immediate grants from the 
;wn, or such persons to whom the town or owners from 

e town of Fairfeild had granted it, as is proved by Seethe attested 

e attested copies under the Recorder's, a magistrate's Records. 

d selectman's hand, which we herewith present to 

e Court. 

Also, by the established law of this Colony, under title, 

3cord, fol. 61, 62, grants from towns and others are 


appointed to be recorded, which being done the said la* 

expressly saith, " And every copy of the same under th 

hands of the said Register or town clerk and one of th 

townsmen and one of the Assistants or Commissions 

shall be a sufficient and legal evidence to all and ever 

person or persons that shall have the same, to all intent 

ends, and purposes for the holding of the same firm 1 

See the law, him, his heirs, and assigns forever," the benefit of whic 

title Records, law the defendants desire ; and that alone is enough 1 

prove that the defendants ought not to have been sued b 

the plaintiffs in this action. 

See the in- Also the defendants allege that the town of Fairfei] 

and discharges, had good right to grant the said land to them and the 

both of land - , p . _ _. . 

and payments, granters, as appears by a purchase irom the Indians, tl 
the land prom- 20th of March, 166f, and another deed dated October 6t 

ised to them in n . » t i t t n t 

the deeds. 1680, and the Indians discharge, dated 14th 01 Jun 

1680, with sundry other evidences. 

Attested copy The said town's right is farther good by grants fro 

court's grant, the honored General Court, as on the 11th of Octobe 

1666, wherein also mention is made of a former grar 

The said grant from the General Court to the town, ai 

from the town to particular persons, is moreover by la 

Law, folio 38. under title, Lands, the Tenor of our Lands, fol. 38, esta 

lished to be held after the most free tenor of East Gree< 

wich according to our Charter. 

Also the title of the Colony, and consequently tl 

town of Fairfeild and the defendants, is put beyond * 

question by the conquest of the English of the nativ 

Capt. Bull, °f these parts, which is proved by the testimonies, Th 

SeTTibblu : s Bull, Tho: Spenser, Capt: Olmsteed, and Sarj : Ti 

Indians' test balls, who fought with the natives ; the Indians' confc 

hefore the 
CJncas and 

sion by interpreters before Governor Treat ; Netora, I 

Netora's tests, confession before interpreters; Sachem Uncas, his tes 
recordcd 3 ietter. Mr. Tho : Stanton's recorded letter ; the General Cour 
of t Gene d rai° py order, dated June 11th, 1640, that the tribute should 
lortribnte. T paid by the Indians of these parts. Yet further .by t 


Indians' own submitting themselves and lands, as byKneiiand 
Mr. Knell and the Reverend Mr. Higgisson's recorded tesff ss 
testimony appears, which is since sworn unto by the said 

Mr. Hiccprisson. 

So that the defendants' title stands under the benign Copy of the 
aspect, — 1st, of his Majesty's gracious Charter; 2dly, the ing the lands 
General Court's grant; 3dly, the town's grant; 4thly, 
part of it from persons' grants derived from the town ; 
5thly, conquest ; 6thly, submission of the Indians ; 7thly, 
purchase and payment of any possible right remain- 
ing in the Indians, wherein the English greatly conde- 
scended to them, to take away all pretence of right in 
the natives. 

Further, these defendants pray this Honored Court to copy of the 
consider that our Charter makes the conquest a principal 
motive of his Majesty's gracious grant, and thereupon 
among other reasons in the said Charter makes these 
defendants a persons able and capable in the law to plead 
and defend all suits," &c, as other of his liege people of the 
realm of England ; and also saith u shall have and enjoy all 
liberty and immunities of free and natural subjects within 
any his Majesty's dominions," which these defendants pray ' 
the Court to admit ; one of which liberties is expressed in 
the statute made in the twenty-first year of King James seethestatut 
of blessed memory, whereby it is enacted, " that no per- SeeHuiiand 

- ,.. . , ' Banks's tests, 

son or persons shall at any time hereafter make entry with the date 

1 . . J i-,. , ofFairfeild 

into any manors, lands, tenements, or hereditaments, but deeds, and dai 

.-•. n i • i««i 'i ^ General 

within twenty years next alter his or their riorht or title, court grants. 

a Date of the 

which shall hereafter first descend or accrue to the same ; conquest in 

i • i p i i ^ i • i Ca ^- Bu]1 ' 9 

and in default thereof such persons so not entering, and test, && 

their heirs, shall be utterly excluded and disabled from 
such entry after to be made," &c. 

The plaintiffs sue as heirs by will to Wampus, who 
claims from Romonock; therefore, the plaintiffs and Wam- 
pus as heirs to Romonock are excluded, unless Romo- 
nock's title accrued within twenty years last past. But 



■,e Hull's test, they cannot prove any such thing: yea, the defendants 
d dates can prove that they and the town have possessed the land 

ov6 men- 

med. above twenty years last past without any lawful entry of 

d oomp- Romanock or Wampus; therefore, the plaintiffs are by the 
said statute excluded from after-entry. 

If it be objected that these statutes are not here of 
force, the defendants answer, as before, we have the liber- 
ties of natural subjects, may defend as liege people of the 
realm, therefore are to have benefit of the said statutes, 
e the clauses Also the patent saith, " These our letters patents shall be 
these. are firm, good, and effectual in the law," &c, and "shall be 
construed, reputed, adjudged most favorable on the behalf 
and for the best benefit and behoof of the said Governor 
and Company," &c. 

Also by the Charter our laws are under that limitation 
of being " not contrary to the laws of this realm of 
England." Since the laws of that realm do acquit the 
defendants if they had detained Romanock's land, no 
administration of law here can find us guilty. 

If it be further objected, Romanock was not liable to- 
those laws, the defendants answ T er, — 1st, that as a Cap- 
tain he was liable ; 2dly, if he were not, yet the law is our 
Hen. vm. privilege ; 3dly, by the 32cl of Hen. VIII. chap. 16, it is 
said " that every alien and stranger, born out of the King's 
obeisance, not being denizen, which now or hereafter shall 
come in or to this realm, or elsewhere within the King's 
dominions, shall, after the said first day of September 
next coming, be bound en by and unto the laws and stat- 
utes of this realm, and to all and singular the contents 
of the same." 

Also, the defendants allege that by the established law, 
w, foi. 38. fol. 38, under title, Lands not to be purchased by particu- 
lar Persons of the Indians, it is ordered that buying, hir- 
ing, receiving as a gift or mortgage, any lands of Indians, 
shall not be but to the use of the Colony, or some planta- 
tion or village, with the allowance of the General Court. 


Which law still makes and reserves all purchases of lands 
or gifts of lands, &c, to be to the use of the Colony, 
which declaration of uses is good also by the Charter, 
which saith that "all such laws, statutes, and ordinances, seeitinthe 
instructions, impositions, and directions, as shall be so 
made by the Governor, Deputy Governor, and Assist- 
ants as aforesaid, and published in writing under their 
common seal, shall lawfully and duly be observed, kept, 
and performed, and put in execution," &c. 

Therefore this law and imposition is to be kept, and it is 
no more than what all corporations almost enjoy. In the 
city of London, if one foreigner buy of another foreigner, 
the city hath the goods. In the Turkey, Guiney, East 
India corporations the trade is restrained to the company, 
and converts to their use, let who will deal ; and without 
such laws no bodies politic can subsist, but interlopers 
would ruin all. So that, if it were supposable that these 
persons had any right from Indians, the law making it to 
the use of the Colony, and the Colony having passed their 
right to the town of Fairfeild, and so to the defendants, 
as to the land in question the plaintiffs are barred by the 
said law and imposition, which the Charter saith shall be 

As the defendants have before proved their title good, 
in and by the laws, &c, wherein is included much of the 
insufficiency of the plaintiffs' claim, yet, secondly, the de- 
fendants clo further defend against the plaintiffs' claim 
in many other respects. 

As, first, Comer, Dauson, Prat, and Blake, by their See comer and 

, . . „ i ■« t ™ Dauson's deed 

attorneys are plaintiffs, yet only Prat and Blake are from Prat and 

executors ; so that Comer and Dauson must be, and See 32 Henry 

we suppose by their deeds will appear to be, buyers 

of Prat and Blake, which is unlawful by the 9th of 32 This waived P r 

Hen. VIII., which is, that none shall buy or covenant 

to have titles to land unless the seller have a whole 

year possessed it next before the bargain. See the statute 


at large, with several statutes there cited; as 1 Edw. 
III. 14; 20 Edw. III. 4; 1 Rich. II. 4; 3 of Edw. I. 
25; 33 Edw. I.; 28 Edw. 1st and 11th, made against 
uamons. champerty, embracery, and maintenance. And whether 
such suits are to be granted as depend on bargains un- 
lawful to be made is before the Court. We plead it void 
in law, and insufficient to sue upon. 

Secondly. In the action, the land in question is ex- 
pressly said to be " now the proper estate and inheritance 
of the said Prat and Blake." If the right of inheritance 
be proper to these two, viz. Prat and Blake, then the right 
is not common to all the four plaintiffs, and so the very 
state of the action excludes Comer and Dauson from 
right to the land. Therefore the jury cannot give to the 
four, and therefore ought not to find for the plaintiffs, 
which are four, and sue jointly, and not severally. 
e Minor's, Thirdly. The plaintiffs have proved no right by any 
iiffon ? s tests, evidence or law, which, in brief, we shall make out by 
scanning their tests. As to the things witnessed by Cap- 
tain Minor, Kniffon, and Green, it is to be considered that 
Minor is a single witness, and so is Green in part ; but 
also Minor's saying, if he knew where the case might 
principally hinge, &c, looks not well in the countenance 
of a witness. Yet if the matter of their testimonies had 
twenty witnesses, it amounts in sum but to this : That 
Romanock owned Prask to be his daughter; that other 
Indians owned her; that several Indians said she was pro- 
prietor to the whole tract of land in and about Sasquage ; 
and how her right came by her mother and grandmother ; 
that he saw her take possession. So Minor. That at 
another time Romanock cut a stake, drove it into a 
hole, said, " Mee narrowe," &c. ; that he planted on land 
that one of the defendants now hath; that he cut up a 
turf, and said, " Mee narrowe," &c. Suppose it be true 
that such things were said by the Indians and done by 
Romanock. If such sayings and doings shall enervate 


the right of the defendants, settled by deeds according 
to law, and laws established, the English will have enough 
of such sayings, and doings too, and no people shall be 
sure of their rights. Our law gives value to written 
deeds, records, conquest, twenty years' possession, &c. ; 
but gives no value to such sayings or doings as the 
plaintiffs would amuse the Court withal. 

1st. Therefore, these things were before or after May 
1, 1661, which is twenty-three years since. If before 
that time, the statute 21st of Jacobus, cap. 16, bars their 2Uacobus, 
entry, because it is above twenty years since this accru- 
ing of their title. But if since May 1, 1661, our law, fol. Law, foi.62 
62, desolates it from being any conveyance or bargain, 
as unwritten. 

2dly. We have abundant testimony that proves that see the 
Prask had nor mother nor grandmother at Sasqua ; before a* s 
therefore what the Indians told Minor was false, and is Mr! Fitch, 

-i. , Mr. Griswol 

disproved. Fairfeild 

3dly. That neither Romanoek nor she that is Prask Beers, ' 
were inheritable at Sasqua is proved, first, in that they their deeds c 
were conquered captives, and also as no natives of the See the tests 

, the conquest 

place. quoted befor 

. . . v . . _ 1 . and Denison 

4thJy. JNot cutting stake, tun, or any other action, by and staple's 
our law, will give either right or entry where others 
were prepossessed. Let the plaintiffs show any more vir- 
tue in those actions than if they had whistled there. 

5thly. Nothing is said by the witnesses that those ac- 
tions were done relatively. He did not say, hereby or 
herewith I deliver you such or such lands. As it is 
witnessed, it is but a single delivery of the stake, turf, or 
hole, and not of more at most. 

6thly. No limits or bounds mentioned what, or how far. 
It may be a delivery of all America, as of all Sasqua. 

7thly. No declaration of uses, whether to Wampus 
only, or him and his wife, or their heirs, or for a time, 
or forever, or to whom else. 



8thly. If bare planting prove propriety, then every 
tenant, by lease or at will, hath property of inheritance. 

9thly. Second-hand testimonies, such as Captain Minor's, 
were never authentic to prove things known only at the 
second hand. Though it stand for true that the Indians 
said so to him, yet it will not, cannot, stand for evidence 
till they sa}^ so before lawful authority. Every one is not 
an examiner of witnesses, nor was Captain Minor then 
Commissioner, though twenty-two or twenty-three years 
after he was. 

lOthly. If the Indians should say so in Court, yet, when 
there is so much proved to the contrary, they are not to 
be believed. Many other things might be noted, as some 
difference between Green's and Kniffon's test as to the for- 
mality. They speak of their unskilfulness in the Indian 
tongue, whereby they might take one word for another, 
the long time since, together with the privacy of these act- 
ings, when as Captain Minor knew how Fairfeild was con- 
cerned. The unreasonableness of the things asserted, 
as that Prask was sole proprietor, not only to all Sasqua, 
but to all about Sasqua ; whereas nothing is more evident 
than that Shonamonten and his children were sagamores 
of Sasqua, and many others natives there. And if that 
word " about" be carried far enough about, it may take in 
Captain Minor at Strattford and Woodbury. The offers 
he had, as he owned to Mrs. Gold and elsewhere. And 
so the uncertainty of those dumb signs, if they may be 
called signs, of turf, twig, stake, which are of no certain 
interpretation. The nonsense of "Me narrowe " ! If me, 
then it is Latin and Indian ; if mee, it is English and 
Indian; but it is nonsense, because there is no case to 
the verb, nor anything that answereth to the question, 
What and to whom do you narrowe, or give ? if it were 
certainlv that word. And if nonsense can make titles, it 
is peculiar to these plaintiffs ; yet with these wooden dag- 
gers do they flourish and brandish them, as if they could 


win a prize of above 5,000/. ; for it seems a bare 5,000/. 
will not serve their turn. 

Also Wampus his will, and their letter of attorney; the 
writings, as writings, may possibly be good. But they 
prove not that Wampus had right to the land in question, 
and so are as a handsome box with nothing in it, or as 
empty dishes brought to a table. 

We may not omit one considerable plea as to their 5 Rich. 11. 7. 
pretended entry on the land. And that is, that by the 
statute of 5th of Rich. II. cap. 7, all entry must be given 
by law. Theirs was not so, therefore void. See the stat- 
ute. Nor do their witnesses set any time down when 
those ceremonies were done which they mention. 

Also there is James Beers's test, that Romanock himself Beers's test, 
told his daughter Prask, when she requested him to give 
her land at Sasqna, that he had no land there. And 
Romanock told Cornelius Hull that he was present when Hull's test. 
this land was given solemnly to the English. As for the 
things testified by Captain Minor, they were at or before 
September, 1660, as his test proves ; and the right accru- 
ing or pretended to accrue thereby is outlawed, anti- 
quated, or excluded by the statute 21 Jac. 16. As for 21 j^c. 16. 
the things testified by Green and Kniifon, they set no 
time, and so they are nullities in law ; because by that 
statute, 21 Jac. 16, and our law, fol. 62, limitations are Law, foi. 62. 

_ . Blount on 

given, and things are or are not good in law according to Declaration. 
the time wherein they were done ; therefore the plaintiffs 
in their count or declaration, or these tests answering 
neither year nor day when it was, it is not good nor 
capable to be answered. 

Fourthly. We defend that what lands we hold and 
are now in question, we hold them not jointly or in 
common, but in several, as appears by our respective 
records, therefore not condemnable on a joint action, 
whatever either of us severally sued might have been. 
See Blount on Several Tenancy, citing Brook, fol. 273. JS** 11 " 



fol. 19. 

And this plea and exception we make each for our- 

Fifthly. We defend and answer that the plaintiffs have 
not proved that either they or their ancestors, at least 
within twenty years last, have had the full profits of the 
land in question, called Esplees, and therefore their plead- 
ing is not good. Blount on Esplees, citing Ley, &c. 

Sixthly. We defend that the plaintiffs have not proved 
their abuttals, and therefore their pleading is not good. 
Broke's Reports, 2 part, fol. 164, cited by Blount. For 
if it were proved (which yet it is not) that Romanock had 
a right, yet till the extent of that right and his abuttals 
be ascertained, the law can give nothing; for what the 
law doth, it doth on certainty and by measure. If it were 
only proved that a man owes money to another, the law 
hereupon can give no certain sum. 

Seventhly. Their action lies "for refusing to deliver 
possession," &c. We answer, this is not proved that we 
refused to deliver possession ; for they never demanded 
such a thing before their summons. Now the cause of 
the action having no being before the action, they allege 
a false cause, viz. refusal, when there was no such thing ; 
and unless they prove such a refusal, they prove not their 
action as they have stated it; and as stated, so it is to 
be tried. 

Eighthly. They allege that this refusal is " to the 
damage of the plaintiffs above five thousand pounds." 
Whether this be not a most immodest falsehood, we de- 
sire the Court to judge, when they have compared the 
assertion with their proofs of such damages, and contrary 
to law, fol. 19. And we desire the Court to do us the 
justice of the law as to fine them suitably for it ; for by 
these artifices of making great pretences through the 
country, upon no sufficient grounds, they have procured 
and created such jealousies in some, fears in others, and 
vain confidences in themselves and their abetters, as 


becomes a snare and temptation to many, as if there 
were really some considerable right vested in them ; and 
Wampus's title cried up, and Romanock's, as if champerty 
might be disputed with for it. And, as to Cardinall Wool- 
sey's cap, the best men must do their reverence to it ; 
whereas the bottom of all is, that Romanock, the fountain 
of their claim, was no native, nor had no right of land at 
Sasqua, as is proved. And the defendants have each for 
himself as good title as any man or men in this Colony. 
If conquest, submission, purchase, and payment of, from, 
and to the native proprietors ; if the statute or common 
law of Old England ; if the King's gracious charter ; if 
the laws of this Colony, deeds, records, evidences, be of 
any force in law, — by all these, we have with a long pos- 
session abundantly proved our right to what we possess, 
and therefore humbly pray that, as his Majesty's liege 
people and subjects, we may have the benefit of his laws, 
(that so the like danger as is threatened us may not be 
feared by other the King's subjects,) and that our costs 
may be given us. 

W M Pitkin, Attorney for the Defendants. 1 

June 16th, 1684. 

1 We do not find the plaintiff's brief among these papers. — Eds. 



A special Court held at Fairefield, the 16th of June, 

1684 > By 

Robert Treat, Esq., Governor. 
William Jones, Esq., Assistant. 
Major John Nash, Esq., Assistant. 
Jonathan Pitman, Clerke, sworn in Court. 


CApT. John Beard. Samuel Buckingham. 

Lieut. Abraham Dickerman. Jokeamah Gunn. 

Ensign Sam l Munson. Serjeant Thomas Hawes. 

John Allen. Johiel Preston. 

Thomas Kimberly. Abel Gunn. 

Mr. Benjamin Fenn. Serjeant Ebenezer Johnson. 

Joshuah Howes, ^ Attorneys substitutes to John 

Christopher Webb, and > Comer, George Dauson, &c., 
Joseph Holmes, J attorneys, to Edward Pratt 

and John Blake, executors 
to the last will and testa- 
ment of John Wampers, alias 
White, late of Boston, mari- 
ner, deceased, 
Plaintiffs, against Peter Clapham and ) ^ f _ 
Isaac Frost, J 

In an action of the case for refusing to deliver posses- 
sion of a certain parcel or tract of land, lying in the 
township of Fairefield, in or about a place formerly 
called Sashquage, and now in the town and occupation 
of the said Clapham and Frost, but formerly the land and 
propriety of Romanock, an Indian, and by him aliened 
to his son and daughter, John and Ann Wampers, alias 
White, and now the proper estate and inheritance of the 


said Pratt and Blake, as by the last will and testament of 
ithe said Wampers and other evidence shall be made to 
appear, the detainour whereof is to the damage of the 
plaintiffs above five thousand pounds. 

In the action above mentioned the jury finds for the 

\ defendants. 

Costs of Court. 

The Court accepteth of the verdict, and orders judg- 
ment to be entered accordingly. The cost allowed by the 
Court is as follows : — 

£ s. 

(Viz.) the Court and attendance ... 3 12 

The Clerk 10 

{New Haven, four jurymen, 9s. p. piece . 1 16 
iDerby, two jurymen, 85. p. piece ... 16 
tMilford, five jurymen, 7s. p. piece . . 1 15 

[Stratford, one juryman 05 £ s. d. 

8 14 00 

To the Marshal 05 00 

8 19 00 

'Allowed for the defendants' cost of court for £ s . d. 

two witnesses from Norwalke, two days . . 00 08 00 
iFor two witnesses in town, 6s. ? and four wit- 
nesses taken in Court, 2s 00 08 00 

,To charge in procuring Indian evidence from 

Norwich line and at home ... ... 01 10 00 

To copies of records from Mr. Hill, 9 papers . 00 10 00 
(To journey to Hartford for General Court 

orders and copies 01 00 00 

,To copies from Mr. Eeles at Milford, and 

fetching them 00 08 00 

.To their own and attorneys' attendance and 

pains 01 00 00 

Mr. John Burr, his journey to Norwalke for 

witnesses 00 03 00 

5 7 00 


The plaintiffs, Mr. Hughes, &c., being called into the 
Court, the Governor told them that they being strangers 
might not so well understand our laws and methods of 
practice ; therefore, if they saw cause to desire an appeal 
or other lawful [torn], they had liberty so to do, provided 
it were done before the Court did break up. 

Extracted out of the Court Records, the 17th of June, 

Jonas Pitman, Clerke. 

To the honored Major John Winthrope, Esqr. 

Honored Major, — After all serviceable respects pre- 
mised, &c, these are in brief to inform that the bearer 
hereof, Wonkow, [was] formerly Viceroy to, or rather 
second in Nenecraft's kingdom, both by his birth and 
title Chancellor and Privy Counsellor; next unto him 
was Cornman in great place, but not of great parent- 
age, &c. The said Wonkow testifieth as followeth : 
That some year[s] since, soon after the war began at 
Mount Hope, Nenecraft called upon him and Cornman 
to attend upon him, in order to obtain such speech with 
yourself by the path-side in the Naragansett country as 
you were coming out of the Bay, where they made a 
fire, and stayed by it until you came ; the said sachem 
declaring that he would put an issue to the great contro- 
versy about his country, or native right of his land ; 
which deponent testifieth and saith that at that time 
the said sachem, being greatly obliged to your honored 
father, in consideration of his former kindness and lenity 
towards him, and in special in not taking advantage of 
him for the wrongs and injuries done unto him at Fisher's 
Island in the time of their war with the Long Islanders, 



&c. ; and now he being ancient, told us then that he had 
chosen Major Wintrope to be a guardian to his children, 
they to live where he should appoint them, in manner 
and form as he should judge meet; in token whereof the 
brass gun and the Spanish gun should be given to Major 
Winthrope, and to his brother Capt. Wintrope, and such 
a girdle ; and gave us special charge to publish to the 
people. After that it was enacted by himself, at the 
same time aforesaid, that after his decease he did freely, 
fully, clearly, and absolutely will and give, grant, and 
make over all his right of inheritance unto Major Win- 
trope, to order and dispose of as he should see cause, 
declaring that he had sufficient reasons to confide in 
Major Winthrop's heart that he would not suffer his 
children to be wronged, but would do more for them 
then they should be capable of doing for themselves. 
So much in short : Wonkow himself will speak more 
large and ample. Tummukwhus is yet alive, who was 
appointed to make the fire as aforesaid, and can testify to 
the substance before expressed : Yerbum sapienti satis 
est. The bee in the month of May hath recourse to all 
sorts of flowers : so in great haste I humbly subscribe my- 
self your Honor's most candid and affectionate servant, 
according to the narrow compass of my poor ability. 

John Stanton. 

Stoxixgtox, May 12th, 1685. 

The bearer complaineth of a generation that knew not 
Joseph's afflictions, as appears by their ignorance of all 
the transactions of state affairs, agitated always in pri- 
vate amongst the natives in former days, &c. — Vale ! 

The bearer affirmeth that no man living is able truly to 
say that ever this will was altered, or that ever the said 
sachem gave his children one foot of land. 

Indorsed, " Capt. John Stanton, about Ninecraft's discourse. Received 
May 12th, 1685." 



To the Honored Collonel Winthrop at New London. 

Honored Collonel Fits Jno. Winthrop, — After most 
hearty love and serviceable respects premised, hoping 
these may greet your Honor in good health. I should 
have paid my duty in giving your Honor a visit and wel- 
come home after your long absence, and being very de- 
sirous to speak with you concerning sundry matters; but 
by an accident I am prevented at this time by lameness, 
a hurt on one of my legs, &c, but hope to see you speed- 
ily. Sir, the more immediate occasion of troubling your 
patience at this time is per the earnest request of the 
old Chancellor Wonlow, and the General Major, Samson, 
and his brethren, &c, who complain of some rash and 
rigorous proceedings, as acts of hostility committed per 
the young prince and his company of giddy-headed pre- 
cipitate young fellows, viz. their coming in the night upon 
said Samson and his relations, and burnt their bodies with 
fire, animated per said prince to take his own knife and 
stab, or cut and gash, and his own pistol to improve as 
the matter should require, &c. : i. e. thereby signifying 
that he would justify them in those acts ; also the said 
prince cutting the forehead of Abachuchood, — a very 
great wound, — they say, done without any just cause, 
but by the instigation of the prince his mother, she ac- 
cusing the said Abachuchood of a kind of petty reason, 
viz. of his calling himself by or after the name of Mama- 
nowunt, the mother alleging to her son that it was in 
derision or upbraiding of her and him, her son, saying that 
her near relations deceased were formerly called by that 
name, &c. ; which, although in itself a heinous thing 
amongst them, as your Honor knows their custom in that 
respect, yet this other ways circumstanced, because it 


was his proper name, and had been called and known by 
it a long time, and made use of it at that time no other- 
wise then as a man signs a bill, or in that sense, he being 
bargaining then with the young prince for a cup of rum, 
used that expression : I, Mamanowunt, will pay you to- 
morrow in good wampum, etc. These persons intend not 
a remonstrance, but rather that your Honor may be fur- 
nished with the true state of their disasters of this kind, 
which, if not timely prevented, they fear will prove fatal ; 
therefore the hopes and desires are that your Honor 
would instruct, advertise, and counsel said prince so to 
demean himself towards his people as may conduce to his 
own and their advantage ; and to imitate his predecessors, 
who, in their youthful days, laid down their knife and 
hatchet to their counsellors, that is, their power, so as 
not to commit any illegal act of violence immediately by 
themselves. The next thing requested is that you would 
be pleased to order the young prince to deliver a gun 
of Joseph Stanton's which was given in exchange with 
the queen for another gun, which gun afterward ap- 
peared to be that individual gun which was taken per 
Wankow from Phyllup's men in the w T ar time, and given 
in gratuity, per Nenecraft, unto Woncow. This proved 
and strongly acknowledged by sundry witnesses and trials 
before the justice at Squomacutt, said Wonkow obtains 
judgment for his gun, and hath it, so that the other gun 
ought to be returned to Joseph Stanton, because their ex- 
change is null and void. And all the people say amen, 
only impute some default to the relict widow for con- 
cealing the gun so long, &c. ; but your Honor will un- 
derstand more particularly and at large per the bearers 
hereof. Sir, as you are the young prince his guardian 
and overseer, you signify to him that the honor of a 
jprince consisteth in the multitude of his subjects, and 
that if his men through discontent flee from him, that the 
|last evil [will] be worse then all that ever befell him, and 


that he should adhere unto the sages, and learn wisely 
to court his counsellors, and not slight those who have 
approved themselves faithful to the crown and dignity of 
his predecessors ; thereby may they unite and strengthen 
the young men. So, lest I should be prolix and weary 
your patience, humbly subscribe, 

Your Honor's unworthy friend and servant, 

John Stanton. 1 

Indorsed, " Capt. Stanton about Nenicraft's son." 


To the honored Commissioners now assembled at Boston, the humble 'peti- 
tion of Obochickwood and Cassinomon in the name and behalf of other 
Pequots, now dwelling at Namiog, humbly showeth, — 

That whereas our sachems and people have done 
very ill formerly against the English before the Pequott 
war, for which they have justly suffered and been right- 
fully conquered by the English, we, your humble petition- 
ers, who had no consent nor hand in shedding the English 
blood, but by the advice of Wequash fled from our coun- 
try, being promised by Wequash that the Englysh should 
not hurt us if we did not join in war against them, do 
now humbly beseech the commissioners to take us under 
the subjection of the English, and appoint us some place 
where we may live peaceably under the government of 
the English. 2 

Indorsed by Gov. John Winthrop, "Copy of Pequot Indian petition to 
the Commissioners. ' ' 

1 The writer was probably the son of the well-known Thomas Stanton 
of Stonington, the Indian interpreter. The father early dedicated the son to 
the same office. See Savage's Biographical Dictionary. There is no date 
to the letter; but the reference to Fitzjohn Winthrop's recent return home 
from a long absence may reasonably point to 1698, he having arrived in 
Boston 11th December, 1697, after a five years' absence in England. — Eds. 

3 This brief paper, which bears no date nor signature, is partly in the 



James the Second, by the grace of God King of Eng- 
land, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the 
Faith, &e. 

To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting : 
Whereas a writ of scire facias hath been issued out of 
our High Court of Chancery against the late Governor 
and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, 
whereby the government of that Colony and members 
thereof is now in our hands ; and we being minded to 
give all protection and encouragement to our good sub- 
jects therein, and to provide in the most effectual man- 
ner that due and impartial justice may be administered 
in all cases, civil and criminal, and that all possible 
care may be taken for the just, quiet, and orderly govern- 
ment of the same : Know ye, therefore, that we, by and 
with the advice of our Privy Council, have thought fit 
to erect and constitute, and by these presents for us, our 
heirs and successors, do erect, constitute, and appoint a 
President and Council to take care of all that our ter- 
ritory and dominion of New England in America, com- 
monly called and known by the name of our Colony of 
the Massachusetts Bay, and our Provinces of Newhamp- 
shire and Maine, and the Narraganset country, otherwise 
called the King's Province, with all the islands, rights, and 
members thereunto appertaining, and to order, rule, and 
govern the same according to such methods and regula- 
tions as are hereinafter specified and declared, until our 
chief Governor shall arrive within our said Colonies. 

handwriting of Gov. John Winthrop; the remainder is in a hand we do not 
recognize. The Records of the United Colonies throw no light on it. As 
Gov. W r inthrop died in 1676, it is certain that we have not given the paper 
its true place here. — Eds. 



And for the better execution of our royal pleasure in 
this behalf, we do hereby nominate and appoint our trusty 
and well-beloved subject, Joseph Dudley, Esq., to be the 
first President of the said Council, and to continue in the 
said office until we, our heirs or successors, shall otherwise 
direct; and we do likewise nominate and appoint our 
trusty and well-beloved subjects, Simon Bradstreet, Wm. 
Stoughton, Peter Bulkley, John Pynchon, Bobert Mason, 
Rich fl Wharton, Wate Winthrop, Nathaniel Saltonstall, 
Bartho. Godney, Jonathan Tyng, John Usher, Dudley 
Bradstreet, John Hinkes, Francis Champernoon, Edward 
Tyng, John Fitz Winthrop, and Edward Randolph, Esqrs., 
to be of our Council within our said territory and Col- 
ony ; and that the said Joseph Dudley and every succeed- 
ing President of the said Council shall and may nominate 
and appoint any one of the members of the said Council 
for the time being to be his deputy, and to preside in his 
absence, and that the said President or his deputy and any 
seven of the said Council shall be a quorum. And our 
express will and pleasure is that no person shall be admit- 
ted to sit or have a vote in the said Council until he hath 
taken the oath of allegiance and the oath hereafter men- 
tioned for the due and impartial execution of justice and 
the faithful discharge of the trust in them reposed, 1 which 
oaths we do hereby authorize and direct the said Simon 
Bradstreet, Wm. Stoughton, Peter Bulkley, John Pinchon, 
Robert Mason, Rich d Wharton, Waite Winthrop, Nathan- 
iel Saltonstall, Barthol. Godney, Jonathan Tyng, John 
Usher, Dudley Bradstreet, John Hinkes, Frau. Champer- 
noon, Edw d Tyng, John Fitz Winthrop, and Edward 

1 This Commission, constituting a President and Council for Massachu- 
setts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Narragansett, with Joseph Dudley as the 
first President, is now for the first time printed. A brief extract from it, 
ending at this place, was printed in 1 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., V. 244, 245, 
probably included among the papers relating to Narragansett communi- 
cated by Francis Brinley in 1798. See Proceedings, I. 122. — Eds. 


Randolph, or any three of them, first to administer 
unto the said Joseph Dudley, the first President; and 
the said Joseph Dudley having taken the said oaths, we 
do will, authorize, and require him and the President for 
the time being to administer the same from time to time 
to all and every other the members of our said Council ; 
and we do hereby will and require and command our said 
President and Council, and every of them to whom this 
our pleasure shall be made known, that all excuses what- 
soever set apart they fail not to assemble and meet 
together at our town of Boston in New England as soon 
as may be within the space of twenty days at the farthest 
next after the arrival of this our commission at our said 
town of Boston, and there to cause our commission or 
letters-patent to be read before such of them as shall be 
there assembled, together with the exemplification of the 
judgment passed in our High Court of Chancery against 
the said late Governor and Company of the Massachu- 
setts Bay, 1 and having duly first taken the said oaths to 
proceed to choose, nominate, and appoint such officers 
and servants as they shall think fit and necessary for our 
service, and also to appoint such other time and place for 
their future meetings as they or the major part of them 
(whereof the President or his Deputy to be one) shall think 
fit and agree; and our will and pleasure is that our said 
Council shall from time to time have and use such seal 
only for the sealing their acts and orders and proceedings 
as shall be appointed by us, our heirs and successors, 
for that purpose ; and we do by these presents, our heirs 
and successors, constitute, establish, declare, and appoint 

1 The exemplification of the judgment against the Charter of Massachu- 
setts Bay, brought over with this commission, was published by this Soci- 
ety in 1854, in the fourth series of their Collections, II. 246-278, from a 
manuscript in the Society's archives, presented by Mr. F. B. Crownin- 
shield in 1846, who bought it from an auction sale of English books in 
Boston, two years before. — Eds. 


our said President and Council and their successors for the 
time being to be a constant and settled Court of Eecord 
for the administration of justice to all our subjects inhabit- 
ing within the limits aforesaid, in all cases, as well civil as 
criminal ; and that the President or any seven of the 
Council for the time being shall have full power and 
authority to hold plea in all cases from time to time, as 
well in pleas of the Crown and in all matters relating to 
the conservation of the peace and punishment of offend- 
ers, as in civil suits and actions between party and party, 
or between us and any of our subjects there, whether the 
same do concern the realty and relate to any right or free- 
hold and inheritance, and whether the same do concern 
the personalty and relate to some matter of debt, con- 
tract, damage, or other personal injury, and also in all 
mixed actions which may concern both realty and person- 
alty ; and therein, after due and orderly proceeding and 
deliberate hearing on both sides, to give judgment and to 
award execution as well in criminal as civil cases as afore- 
said, so always that the forms of proceedings in such 
cases, and the judgments thereupon to be given, be as 
consonant and agreeable to the laws and statutes of this 
our realm of England as the present state and condition 
of our subjects inhabiting within the limits aforesaid and 
the circumstances of the place will admit. And the 
President and Council for the time being, and every one 
of them respectively before they be admitted to their 
several and respective offices and charges, shall also take 
this oath following: " You shall swear well and truly to 
administer justice to all his Majesty's good subjects in- 
habiting within the Territory and Dominion of New Eng- 
land under this his Majesty's government, and also duly 
faithfully to discharge and execute the trust in you re- 
posed according to the best of your knowledge. You 
shall spare no person for favor or affection, nor any per- 
son grieve for hatred or ill-will. So help you God ! " 


And we do further hereby give and grant Unto our said 
President and Council, or to the major part of them, full 
power and authority to erect, constitute, and establish 
such and so many county courts, and other inferior courts 
of judicature and public justice, within our said Colony 
and Dominion, as they shall think fit and necessary for the 
hearing and determining of all causes, as well criminal as 
civil, according to law and equity, and for awarding of ex- 
ecution thereupon with all reasonable and necessary pow- 
ers, authorities, fees, and privileges belonging unto them. 

Nevertheless, it is our will and pleasure, and so we 
do hereby expressly declare, that it shall and may be 
lawful from time to time to and for all and every person 
who shall think him or themselves aggrieved by any sen- 
tence, judgment, or decree pronounced, given, or made 
as aforesaid in, about, or concerning the title of any land 
or other real estate, or in any personal action or suit 
above the value of three hundred pounds and not under, 
to appeal from such judgment, sentence, or decree unto 
us in our Privy Council ; but with and under this cau- 
tion and limitation, that the appellant shall first enter 
into and give good security to pay full costs in case 
no relief shall be obtained upon such appeal. And for 
the better defence and security of all our loving sub- 
jects within our said Territory and Dominion of New 
England, our further will and pleasure is, and we do 
hereby authorize, require, and command our said Presi- 
dent and Council for the time being, in our name and 
under the seal by us appointed or to be appointed to 
be used, to give and issue forth commissions from time 
to time to such person and persons whom they shall 
judge best qualified for the regulation and discipline of 
the militia of our said Territory and Dominion, and for 
the arraying and mustering the inhabitants thereof, and 
instructing them how to bear and use their arms, and 
that care be taken that such good discipline shall be 


observed as by the said Council shall be prescribed, and 
that if any invasions shall at any time be made, or other 
destruction, detriment, or annoyance made or done by 
Indians or others upon or unto our good subjects inhabit- 
ing within the said Territory and Dominion, we by these 
presents, for us, our heirs and successors, declare, ordain, 
and grant that it shall and may be lawful to and for our 
said subjects, so commissioned by our said Council, from 
time to time and all times for their special defence and 
safety, to encounter, expel, repel, and resist by force of 
arms and all other fitting ways and means whatsoever, all 
and every such person and persons as shall at any time 
hereafter attempt or enterprise the destruction, invasion, 
detriment, or annoyance of any of our said loving subjects 
or their plantations or estates. 

And above all things we do by these presents will, re- 
quire, and command our said Council to take all possible 
care for the discountenance of all vice, and encourage- 
ment of virtue and good living, that by such example 
the infidels may be incited and desire to partake of the 
Christian religion. And for the greater ease and satis- 
faction of our said loving subjects in matters of religion, 
we do hereby will, require, and command that liberty of 
conscience shall be allowed unto all persons, and that 
such especially as shall be conformable to the rights of 
the Church of England shall be particularly countenanced 
and encouraged. 

And further, we do by these presents, for us, our heirs 
and successors, give and grant unto the said Council and 
their successors, for the time being, full and free liberty, 
power, and authority to hear and determine in all emer- 
gencies relating to the peace and good government of our 
subjects within the said province ; and also to summon 
and convene any person or persons before them, and pun- 
ish contempts ; and to cause the oath of allegiance to be 
administered to all and every person and persons who 


shall be admitted to any office or preferment. And for 
supporting the charge of our government of our said Ter- 
ritory and Dominion in New England our will and pleas- 
ure is. and we do by these presents authorize and require 
the said President and Council to continue such taxes and 
impositions as have been and are now laid and imposed 
upon the inhabitants thereof, and that they levy and dis- 
tribute, or cause the same to be levied and distributed, to 
those ends, in the best and most equal manner they can. 
Also our will and pleasure is, and we do hereby direct 
and appoint, that if the said President of oar Council shall 
happen to die, that then from and after the death of the 
said President, his Deputy shall succeed him in the office 
of President, and shall and may nominate and choose any 
one of the said Council to be his deputy to preside in his 
absence ; and the said deputy so succeeding shall continue 
in the said office of President until our further will and 
pleasure be known therein. And if any of the members 
of the said Council shall happen to die, our will and pleas- 
ure is, and we do hereby direct and appoint the President 
of our Council for the time being to elect some other per- 
son to be a member of the said Council for that time, and 
to send over the name of such person so chosen, and the 
names of two more whom our President shall judge fitly 
qualified for the said trust that we, our heirs and succes- 
sors, may nominate and appoint which of the three shall 
be the member in the place of the member so dying. 
And lastly, our will and pleasure is, that the said Presi- 
dent and Council for the time being do prepare and send 
unto us such rules and methods of their own proceedings 
as may best suit with the constitution of our Territory and 
Dominion aforesaid, and for the better establishing our 
authority there and the government thereof, that we may 
alter or approve the same as we shall think fit. In wit- 
ness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made 


Witness ourself at Westminster, the 8th day of October., 
in the first year of our reign [1685]. 

™* Ed. Randolph, Secretary. 1 

Indorsed, " Copy of the King's Commission for government of his Majes- 
ty's Territory and Dominion in New England." 




In [pursuance of] His Majestie's Commands for the 
Regulation and Settlement of Government in the 
Narraganset Countrey, or Kings- Province, Wednesday, 
the Twenty Third of this Instant Moneth of June, is 
appointed for the Meeting and Opening of a Court, to 
be Held by the President, Deputy -President, or some of 
the Members of His Majesties Council, at Major Richard 
Smith's in the aforesaid Province, for the end aforesaid, 
and for Erecting such other Courts of Pleas upon the 
place as may be Thought needful for the Future. And 
all Persons Concerned are at Ten a clock in the Morning 
on the Day and Place afore-appointed to give their 

Given at the Council-House at Boston, this %th 
Day of June, Anno Domini 1686. Annoq. 
Regni Regis Jacobi Secundi fecundo. 

Edward Randolph, Secretary. 


Printed by Richard Pierce, Printer to the Honourable His Majesty's President 
& Council in this His Territory and Dominion of New-England. 2 

1 This is Edward Randolph's autograph signature. The paper contained 
the impression of a seal, described on page 157, note, the wax having now 
almost entirely disappeared. — Eds. 

2 This is a small broadside sheet, partly torn, the typography of which 
we have closely imitated here. — Eds. 




By the President and Council of his Majesty's Territory and Dominion 

in America. 

To Joseph Dudley, William S to ugh ton, John Winthrop, 
Edward Randolph, and Richard Wharton, John Black- 
well, Edward Palmes, and Samuel Seawall, Esqrs., 
Elisha Hutchinson, Richard Smith, Francis Brinley, 
and John Saffin, Esqrs., John Fones, Thomas Ward, 
James Pendleton, Gent. 

Know T ye, that we, his Majesty's President and Council, 
by virtue of authority to us given by his Majesty's com- 
mission under the Great Seal of England, for government 
of this his Majesty's said Territory and Dominion, bearing 
date at Westminster, the eighth day of October, in the 
first year of his reign, have nominated, appointed, and 
assigned you, and any five or more of you, whereof the 
said Joseph Dudley or William Stoughton or John Win- 
throp to be one, his Majesty's Justices of the Peace and 
Commissioners within the Narragansett Country, other- 
wise called the King's Province, to settle and dispose of 
the affairs of that Province and the people thereof, accord- 
ing to such methods and regulations as are hereafter 
specified and declared, until we shall otherwise order; 
and we do hereby will and require you, his Majesty's 
said Justices and Commissioners, and every of you, that 
all excuses whatsoever set apart, you fail not to assemble 
and meet together at Major Richard Smith's, in the Narra- 
gansett Country, and hold a Court in his Majesty's name, 
at or upon Wednesday, the 23d day of this instant June, 
and then and there to cause his Majesty's said Com- 
mission, Letters Patents, or the exemplification or copy 
thereof, attested by the Secretary of his Majesty's Council 
here, and this, his Majesty's Commission, for constituting 


the [same to] be publicly read ; and to appoint such 
officers and servants, and such [other time] and place 
for your future meetings as you, or any three or more 
of you, whereof you, the said Joseph Dudley, or William 
Stoughton, or John Winthrop to be one, shall think fit 
and agree on for his Majesty's service ; and that you, the 
said Joseph Dudley, and William Stoughton, John Win- 
throp, Edward Randolph, or Richard Wharton, or any of 
you, or any other member of his Majesty's Council, to- 
gether with any two of the Justices of the Peace here- 
after named, and in absence of all and every of the 
members of his Majesty's Council, you, the said John 
Black well, Edward Palmes, Samuel Seawall, Elisha Hutch- 
inson, Richard Smith, Francis Brinley, and John Saffin, 
who are by this Commission all assigned to be Justices of 
the Peace and of the Quorum, or any one of you together 
with any two others of the Justices of the Peace, viz. 
John Fones, Thomas Ward, and James Pendleton, shall 
have power, and are hereby authorized and appointed to 
be a constant and settled Court of Record for the adminis- 
tration of justice to all his Majesty's subjects inhabiting 
within the limits of his Majesty's said Province, and all 
rights and members thereunto appertaining, in all cases, 
as well civil as criminal. And shall have full power and 
authority to hold plea in all cases from time to time, as 
well in pleas of the Crown, and in all matters relating to 
the conservation of the peace and punishment of offenders, 
not extending to life or limb, as in all civil suits or actions 
between- party and parties, or between his Majesty and 
any of his Majesty's subjects, whether the same do concern 
the personalty, and relate to some matter of deed and 
contract, damage, and other personal injury; and also 
in all mixed actions which may concern both realty and 
personalty; and therein, after due and orderly proceeding 
and deliberate hearing of both sides, to give judgment 
and to award execution, not extending to life or limb, as 


aforesaid in criminal as in civil cases as aforesaid ; so 
always that the forms of proceedings in such cases, and 
the judgments thereupon to be given, be as consonant 
and agreeable to the laws and statutes of his Majesty's 
realm of England as the present state and condition of 
his Majesty's subjects inhabiting within the limits afore- 
said and circumstances of the place will admit ; having 
always due regard to his Majesty's gracious indulgence 
for liberty of conscience in matters of religion. And in 
case any person shall be charged before you with any 
capital offence or crime against his Majesty's government 
and authority here, you are to commit him to safe cus- 
tody, and upon any probable evidence of his guilt and 
recognizance taken for prosecution, you are to send such 
person under safe guard and custody, to be delivered up 
to the order of the President or other of his Majesty's 
Council at Boston. And you, and every one of you, re- 
spectively, before you be admitted to the exercise of the 
power aforesaid, shall take this oath following : " You 
shall swear well and truly to administer justice to all his 
Majesty's good subjects inhabiting within the Territory 
and Dominion of New England, under this, his Majesty's 
government; and also duly and faithfully to discharge 
and execute the trust in you reposed, according to the 
best of your knowledge. You shall spare no person for 
favor or affection, nor any person grieve for hatred or ill 
will. So help you God." Which said oath w r e do hereby 
authorize you, the said Joseph Dudley, William Stoughton, 
John Winthrop, or any other member of his Majesty's 
Council or justice of the quorum to administer. Never- 
theless we, his Majesty's President and Council, do hereby 
expressly declare, that it shall and may be lawful from 
time to time, to and for all and every person, who shall 
think him or themselves aggrieved by any sentence, judg- 
ment, or decree pronounced, given, or made as aforesaid, 
in, about, or concerning the title of any land or other real 


estate, or in any personal action or suit above the value of 
[torn'] and not under, to appeal from such judgment, sen- 
tence, or decree unto us, his Majesty's said President and 
Council; but with and under this caution and limitation, 
that the appellant shall first enter into and give good 
security to pay full costs in case no relief shall be ob- 
tained upon such appeal. 

And for the better defence and security of his Majesty's 
loving subjects within the said Province, we, his Majesty's 
President and Council aforesaid, do hereby authorize you, 
or any three or more of you whereof the said Joseph 
Dudley, W m Stoughton, or John Winthrop, or some other 
member of the Council, or in their absence you, John 
Blackwell, Edward Palmes, Samuel Seawall, Elisha Hutch- 
inson, [or] Richard Smith, to be one, his Majesty's Com- 
missioners for the ordering, regulation, and discipline of 
the militia of his Majesty's said Province ; for the arraying 
and mustering the inhabitants thereof, and instructing 
them how to bear and use their arms, and to take care 
that such good discipline, rules, and orders be observed 
as by his Majesty's said President and Council shall be 
prescribed ; and, from time to time, to nominate unto us, 
his Majesty's said President and Council, the names of 
such persons upon or within the said Province as you 
shall judge fit to be appointed commanders and other 
officers of the said militia, and to administer to all such 
commanders and military officers, and to all justices of 
the peace, constables, and other officers already appointed 
and commissioned in all or any the affairs of his Majesty 
in the said Province, that have not already in due form 
taken the same, as well the oath of allegiance appointed 
by law as the oath herein before recited for the faithful 
and due discharge of their respective offices, trusts, and 
employments. And above all things we, his Majesty's 
said President and Council, do by these presents will and 
require you and every of you, his Majesty's commis- 


sioners in the affairs hereby committed to you, to take 
all possible care for the discountenancing all vice, and 
encouragement of virtue and good living, that by such 
example the infidels may be invited and desire to par- 
take of the Christian religion. And we do further here- 
by give and grant to you, or any three or more of you 
whereof the said Joseph Dudley, William Stoughton, or 
John Winthrop, or some member of his Majesty's Council, 
or in their absence you, the said John Blackwell, Edward 
Palmes, Elisha Hutchinson, Richard Smith, and Fr: Brin- 
ley, or John Saffin to be one, full and free liberty, 
power, and authority to hear and determine in all emer- 
gencies relating to the peace and good government of 
his Majesty's subjects within the said King's Province ; 
and also to summon and convene any person or persons 
before you, to punish contempts, and to cause the oath 
of allegiance to be administered to all and every person 
and persons who shall be admitted into any office or pre- 
ferment within the same Province. 

In witness whereof we have caused this our commission 
to be attested and ratified under the seal appointed by his 
Majesty for confirmation of the public acts and orders and 
commissions of us, his Majesty's said Council. 

Dated at Boston, the 18th day of June, in the second 
year of his Majesty's reign [1686]. 

By order of the President and Council, 

Edward Randolph, Secretary} 

Indorsed, " Commission for settling the affairs in the King's Province." 

1 This paper, as well as that on p. 145, bears the autograph signature 
of Randolph. It has the remains of a large wax seal, too much obliterated 
to enable us to decipher the device or the motto which encircled it. The 
form of the seal was oval, of about two and a half by two inches in diam- 
eter. Mr. Arnold, in his History of Rhode Island, I. 495, says: " The seal 
employed by the President and Council represented an Indian with a bow in 
his left hand and an arrow in his right, and the inscription, ' sigillum pr^e- 
8ID. concil. dom. reg. in nov. anglia,' within tne border." The proceed- 
ings of a court inaugurated under this commission, June 23, 1686, may be 
seen in 1 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., V. 246, 247. —Eds. 



These questions were given and answers taken from the 
Pequots and some ancient and noted Narrogancets, by 
Amos Richardson and James Noyse, in the presence 
of Mr. Tho. Minor, Commissioner, August 15, 1679. 

Question. How far the Pequot country extends east- 
ward ? 

Answer. Suckquiskheeg and Waquachichgun, two an- 
cient Pequit Indians, affirm, upon their own certain 
knowledge, that the Pequot country was bounded east- 
ward by Wequapaug Brooke. 

Quest. Whether Paucatuck River was ever called Nar- 
rogancet River ? 

Ans. Corman, an ancient Narrogancett counsellor, 
and Tomsquash, Susquiskheeg, Waquechichgun, ancient 
Pequits, agree and affirm with the consent of many In- 
dians present, that the river called Pawcatuck River lies 
in the Pequit country, and was never called Naragancet 
River to their knowledge. 

Quest. Whether Soso, an Indian, had any title to the 
land called Squamacut, on the east side of Pawcatuck 
River ? 

Ans. Corman and Pametaquet, two noted ancient Nara- 
gancets, and Tomsquash, Sucquiskheeg, and Waque- 
chickqun, noted ancient Pequits, with many other Indians 
present, affirm that Soso was a Pequot captain, and no 
sachem, and that he never was an owner of land, and ran 
to the Narrogancet in time of war, and treacherously 
returned to Pequit, and killed a great Pequit captain, and 
the Naragancet sachems rewarded him with a bag full of 
peage, which bag was made of a young bear skin, and 
that they gave him no land, neither had he any right to 
Squamacut land. 


Quest. Where is the head of Pawcatuck River ? 

Ans. The above-said Indians all agree and affirm that 
the head of Paucatuck River is a pond called Chipchug, 
which lies above the pond called Acquibapauge. 

Quest. Where is the eastward bounds of the Narragan- 
cett country ? 

Ans. Corman and Pametaquet and all the Pequot In- 
dians present, which were many, agree and affirm that 
the river near to Mr. Blackstone's house, which river is 
called in Indian Pawtuck (which signifies a fall), because 
there the fresh water falls into the salt water, and now 
a saw-mill stands there, is the dividing bounds betwixt 
the Narrogancett country and the Wempanoags' land. A 
Pequot woman was the interpreter, called Hannah, who 
well understands the Indian language and English. 

The mark of Hannah, (9 Indian interpreter. 

Stephen Richardson and Jos. Minor, being acquainted 
with the Indian language and present, they do attest unto 
the true interpretation, that it is the substance of what 
was spoken by the Indians. Stephen Richardson hath 
attested to the truth of this above w T ritten, upon oath, 
that he rightly understood it to be so, before me, 

Thomas Minor, Commissioner. 

Stoxeixgton, the 15th September, 1679. 

The V mark of Simon, an Indian that can speak Eng- 
lish, attests to the truth of what is above written. That 
on the other side and the above is a true copy of the 
original. December 15, 1679, per 

James Richards, Assistant. 

The above is a true copy of the original of this on 
file, being compared therewith this 3d of October, 1686, 
per me, 

John Allyn, Secretary. 



For the Honored Major John Winthorpe, Esqr., at his house in New 
London, this dd. 

Hartford, October 4th, 1686. 

Honorable Sir, — Yours by Mr. James I received, (and 
am glad to hear of your good health and welfare,) and 
in obedience to your commands have enclosed all that I 
know of or can find in reference to Sosoe his title to 
lands. If it may anyways be serviceable unto you, I shall 
count my labor well spent ; and if in anything I may be 
serviceable unto you, it will be very contentful to me to 
receive your commands, which you may assure yourself 
will be readily obeyed. I desire, Sir, that I may not want 
the favor of your letters, and in them what of news 
is communicable. I understand by your letters you are 
bound for a Court at Mr. Smith's next week. I wish you 
a good journey thither, and good success in your affairs 
and administrations. I have long been disappointed of 
seeing of you, and of having discourse with you. I had 
hoped you would have had some occasion this way be- 
fore this time ; but that failing, I must take some other 
way or else I shall still be disappointed. Now there are 
so many of the pleasant branches of that ever honored 
stock together makes me covet a visit, but I fear I shall 
not attain it. The last time I was at your town, the night 
I came home, my mill was burnt, both corn and saw mill, 
and I am building it again, and hope to have them going 
before winter ; so that I am afraid I shall not accomplish 
to see you before winter, but shall t^ke the first good 
opportunity for it. Sir, pray present my respects to 
good Mrs. Curwin, Mrs. Ann, and your daughter, and all 
good friends with you, with my respects to yourself, is all 
the needful. 

From your most affectionate servant, 

John Allyn. 


Mr. Hooker safely arrived with his cargo from your 
country, and presents his service to you. 

Indorsed, "Captain John Allyn, Oct. 4, 1686, about Soso, an Indian, 
pretending right in the Naroganset country." 


To all Christian people unto whom these presents shall 
come, Greeting : — 

Whereas per a former order, bearing date the 21st 
of March, 1683, the major part of the proprietors of 
that part of the Naroganset country, formerly called the 
Mortgaged Lands, did nominate and appoint Mr. Rich- 
ard Wharton, Captain Elisha Hutchinson, and Mr. John 
Saffin to be a committee in their behalfs, and manage 
the affairs of the said lands according to their best judg- 
| ments and discretion respecting the good and welfare 
of the said country, and benefit and advantage of the 
proprietors, which order being thought too general, and 
not expressive of the particular matters now presenting 
; in the present settlement of the said country, therefore 
to give better satisfaction to all those that are desirous 
to settle and make improvement in the said lands, as 
well as those already settled, we, the major part of pro- 
prietors, being met together and taking the premises 
1 into consideration, have thought fit to continue the said 
! Mr. Richard Wharton, Captain Elisha Hutchinson, and 
! Mr. John Saffin, or any two of them, to be a committee in 
our behalf. And do by these presents expressly, each for 
i his respective concern in said lands, give and grant unto 
j the said Richard Wharton, Elisha Hutchinson, and John 
Saffin, or any two of them, all our full power, strength, 
and lawful authority as agents for us and in our behalf, 



being proprietors together with ourselves and others of 
the above-mentioned lands, farther to encourage and pur- 
sue the orderly settlement of the said lands and planta- 
tions ; and to grant, bargain, sell, or lease any tracts, 
parts, or parcels of the above-mentioned lands, with their 
appurtenances, to such person and persons, for such estate 
for life or lives, inheritance or otherwise, and for such 
sum and sums of money, under such rents, covenants, 
agreements, and reservations as to our said committee 
and agents, or any two of them, shall be thought meet and 
convenient to the best advantage, profit, safety, and com- 
modity of the proprietors. And the deed or deeds, con- 
veyances, leases, instruments, and writings of the same 
grants and estates so to be made for and in the names 
and behalf of themselves and the rest of the proprietors 
to sign, seal, and execute to the use or uses of the person 
or persons to whom the same shall be so made, and the 
counter parts of the same deeds, leases, instruments, or 
writings in the name of the proprietors to accept and 
receive. Likewise to demand, collect, sue for, levy, re- 
cover, and receive all such payments, rents, and arrear- 
ages of rents, profits, and incomes which now are, or that 
at any day or days hereafter shall be owing, accrue, and 
be payable unto the said proprietors, (so long as the pro- 
prietors shall see cause to continue this power,) for any of 
the said lands already disposed or leased out, or that shall 
hereafter be granted, disposed, or leased, and to give acquit- 
tance or acquittances in due form of law for what they shall 
so receive in the name of the proprietors, and if need be 
for the same to contest in law unto a definitive sentence. 
And by all due and lawful ways and means to maintain 
and defend our right, title, and interest in the said lands, 
against all unjust claimers, pretenders, obtruders, and 
trespassers. And if they see cause, in point of pursuit or 
defence, to substitute attorney or attorneys under them 
to that end ; generally to manage, transact, and negotiate 


for, in the name and behalf, and to the use and benefit of 
the proprietors, in all things touching the due and orderly 
settlement and improvement of the said lands. And to 
act and do in our names and behalf respecting the same 
whatsoever we, and either of us, respectively, could or 
might lawfully do or cause to be done being personally 
present. Hereby ratifying and allowing of all and what- 
soever our said committee, agents, or any two of them, 
shall lawfully do or cause to be done in the premises, 
according to the true import and meaning of these pres- 
ents, they rendering unto us, our heirs, executors, admin- 
istrators, or assigns, from time to time, an account of their 
actings, and payments that shall be made to them by vir- 
tue of this power, and our respective shares and effects, 
as often as it may be demanded or need shall require. 
And also applying themselves unto the proprietors for 
farther power and instructions as need shall be. 

In witness whereof, we have hereunto put our hands 
and seals, the fifteenth day of December, Anno Domini 
one thousand six hundred eighty-six, Annoq. R. Rs. Jacobi 
Angliae, etc. Secundi secundo. 

Simon Bradstreet. (Seal.) 

Wait Winthrop, for my 

brother and self. 


Rich Smith. 


Simond Lynde. 


Francis Brinley. 


Joshua Lamb. 


Signed, sealed, and delivered in the presence of us, 
Ephraim Savage. 
Is A Addington. 

Indorsed, " Copia. Commission or letter attorney from the proprietors of 
Narragansett lands to R. W., E. H., and J. S. Anno 1686." 




1683. A true and brief Account of the just and legal right which we, his 
Majesty's subjects petitioning, have of the lands in the Narragansett Coun- 
try and parts adjacent in his Majesty's Dominions in New England. 

In all humility presented. 

Imp rs . We, his Majesty's most loyal subjects, have de- 
rived our interest and long since purchased our said lands 
from Connonicus, the great sachem and prince of those 
countries at the first coming of the English into these 
American parts; and from those sachems which succeeded 
said Connonicus, his undoubted heirs, and from whom we 
have received legal and authentic deeds for all the lands 
aforesaid, under their hands and seals respectively, with 
legal possession of the same given unto us by the said 
sachems, the last whereof was about nineteen years since, 
in the presence of several hundreds of English and In- 
dians to their mutual satisfaction, manifested by the free 
consent of the under sagamores and counsellors, who all 
gave up their several rights, or pretended interests they 
had, to any part of the countries aforesaid. And by their 
receipts of money from us by the said sachems and their 
interpreters at sundry times, under their hands and seals, 
manifested their free consent to all the grants of the great 
sachems aforesaid. We, the said purchasers, being very 
careful at all times and upon all occasions to satisfy any 
of the native Indians that had the least pretence of right 
to any of the lands aforesaid. 

2. The said sachems have, by our instance, subjected 
themselves and people to our sovereign Lord the King, 
his government in and by the United Colonies in New 
England. And all the said Colonies have accordingly 
owned and approved of our purchase, right, and interest 
in those countries, and have by their several acts and 


instruments manifested the same, in particular by their 
late letter and humble address to his Sacred Majesty; 
for our actions about the said lands were open and not 
clandestine, our deeds and evidences being registered, and 
remaining in divers courts of record to this day. 

3. His Majesty was graciously pleased to allow and 
confirm our rights to the lands aforesaid, by his royal let- 
ters to the several Colonies, dated the 21st day of June, 
1663, commanding them to protect and defend us in our 
just rights against the intrusion, molestation, and inju- 
ries done unto us by Rhode Island men, terming their 
irregular and tumultuous actions a scandal to justice and 

4. The chief sachems of the said countries did in the 
times of the late bloody rebellion of Phillip (before they 
also revolted), by their delegates, ratify and confirm all 
and singular the grants of the lands aforesaid unto us the 
proprietors, as by the seventh article of their treaty now 
in print may appear ; nor did the Indians which at any 
time inhabited those countries ever manifest the least dis- 
content or grievance at or about the claim, possession, or 
improvement of those lands by us, the proprietors, but 
were always well satisfied therewith. 

And whereas it hath been falsely affirmed by one John 
Green and Randall Holden of Warwick, that these lands 
of Narragansett were never purchased by any English, 
but that the Indians gave all their lands to King Charles 
the First of blessed memory, which they would seem to 
prove by a declaration out of Mr. Gorton's book — 

To this we answer : — 

1. That a great part of the lands aforesaid were 
purchased by Mr. Roger Williams, yet living, and by 
Mr. Richard Smith deceased, above fifty years ago, and 
possessed to this day by his son, Mr. Richard Smith, and 
divers others yet alive. 

2. That the subjection of the Indians, their lands and 


their people, to his late Majesty by that instrument, was 
(as we humbly conceive) no other than a putting them- 
selves under the protection and owning the sovereignty 
of the King of England as his loyal subjects, which was 
the same that the Indians have ordinarily done in Pli- 
mouth Colony of old, and in other parts of America in 
his Majesty's dominions, manifesting their desire to live 
in amity and peace with the English under his Majesty's 
respective governments. 

Whereas it is objected that three of his Majesty's 
commissioners, viz. Sir Robert Carr, George Cartwright, 
and Samuel Maverick, Esq., did, in the year 1664, under 
their hands and seals, make null all the deeds and evi- 
dences we, the said proprietors, had and still have for the 
said lands, ordering all the tenants and inhabitants to 
go off and quit their interest in and possession of those 
lands by such a time ; but with this proviso, or limitation, 
that the Indians should forthwith pay unto the English 
proprietors 1053 fathom of wampum peague. 

To which we reply : — 

1. That the said commissioners (under favor) had no 
power by his Majesty's said commission so to determine, 
much less, without legal process to null or make void any 
title of lands, or dispossess any of his Majesty's good 
subjects of their just rights in these parts. 

2. If it be admitted that the said commissioner had a 
power to put men out of their possession, which they had 
then quietly enjoyed about thirty years, yet, there being 
no act they could do by virtue of their commission valid 
or binding, except Colonel Rich d Nicholls (with whom as 
chief the rest were joined in commission) were present 
and by his consent confirmed the same, as by the said 
commission may appear : but the said Colonel Nicholls 
was then many hundred miles off. Therefore, &c. : 

3. If it be granted (which we cannot but deny) that 
what the first-named three commissioners then did was 


by their commission and according to law, yet the proviso 
or condition thereof, viz. that the Indians should forth- 
with pay to the proprietors so many fathom of wampum 
peague, being not performed, their said act is void. 

4. That notwithstanding whatsoever those three com- 
missioners aforesaid had done, or j)retended to do about 
dispossessing our tenants and inhabitants, or destroying 
the titles of us, the proprietors, yet upon better consider- 
ation the said Colonel Nicholls and the rest of the com- 
missioners did by several instruments under their hands 
and seals make null and void the same. 

By all this may appear the absurdity and invalidity of 
the allegations and pleas of the said Holden and Green 
against the rights and just interest of us, the proprietors 
in the lands aforesaid. 

All which we, the said proprietors, are ready to prove 
and make good by legal deeds and the testimonies of 
persons yet alive upon the place, at any time when and 
before whom his Majesty shall be graciously pleased to 
commissionate to hear and determine the justice and 
legality thereof. 1 

Thus far is a true copy of what was by us, the proprie- 
tors, presented unto his late Majesty of famous memory 
in defence of our just right to the lands aforesaid. 

1686. To which may be added : — 

That Mr. Gorton and Mr. Holden, etc., themselves at 
the same time of that submission of the Indian sachems, 
their people and lands, &c, to his Majesty and the state 
of England (as Gorton in his book words it), understood 
no other than we now do and have declared, viz. to be the 
King of England's loyal subjects, to be governed by and 
have the benefit of his laws, and enjoy the privilege of 
his royal protection, &c, as is inserted in the said Gorton's 

1 This petition, ending here, is printed in Potter's " Early History of 
Narragansett," pp. 226-228. — Eds. 


book, page 82, 83, 85, 87, and other places. 1 Otherwise 
why did Gorton, Holden, Green, and others of their party 
presume to purchase the King's lands of the Indians divers 
times since without the King's special license, and sell 
some of them again ? Witness Mr. Holden's deeds, ac- 
knowledged before your Excellency in Council, besides 
other of their deeds and conveyances that might be men- 
tioned. And whereas Mr. Holden and Green do pretend 
they have a deed for Coweset lands, it proves itself false 
in that there are different copies by Green himself as a 
public officer, which contradict each other in the most 
essential and principal parts thereof, which is obvious to 
every eye. Add unto this, the Rhode Islanders them- 
selves, at a General Assembly held at Newport, October 
the 30th, 1672, have owned and so far as in them lies 
confirmed the purchases made by and grants to Major 
Humphry Atherton and Company or Associates, even all 
the lands in the Narraganset Country, &c, according to 
their respective grant or grants, deed or deeds, for the 
same ; which was occasionally done in that Court by 
some transactions of their own, and not by any application 
of us, the proprietors, to them. Hence surely it follows 
that that which all parties, both English and Indians, by 
their words and actions, sooner or later, upon all occasions, 
have acknowledged to be truth, must of necessity be so. 

R D Wharton. 

Elisha Hutchinson. 

John Safpin. 
Boston, 24 February, 168f . 

Indorsed, " A copy of a declaration of the proprietors to his Majesty affect- 
ing their right to the Narragansett lands, Anno 1683." 

1 The references are to Samuel Gorton's "Simplicities Defence," &c, 
London, 1646. — Eds. 



To his Excellency, Sir Edmond And,ros, Knight, Captain General, and 
Governor in Chief of his Majesty's Territory and Dominion of New 

The humble petition and claim of Richard Wharton, 
Elisha Hutchinson, and John Safnn, being a committee or 
agents for the proprietors for the greatest part of the 
lands in the Narragansett Country, or King's Province, 
Showeth : That in obedience to a commission from his 
late Majesty of ever blessed memory, directed to Edward 
Cranfield, William Stoughton, and Joseph Dudley, Esqrs., 
and others, bearing date at White hall, the seventh of April 
in the thirty-fifth year of his reign, the said proprietors 
exhibited their challenge and claim, with clear evidence 
of their title in the lands aforesaid, and obtained the said 
commissioners' report to his said Majesty of their right. 

That your petitioners, understanding his Majesty, our 
now gracious King, hath directed your Excellency to 
make farther inquiry and report in the matter aforesaid, 
your petitioners wait upon your Excellency with a dupli- 
cate of the said report, and the evidences on which the 
same was drawn, together with some additional proof of 
their right; humbly praying for opportunity to exemplify 
the same, and to make defence against all counter claims 
and pretensions; and that your Excellency after a full 
hearing would be pleased to make such farther report to 
his Majesty of the proprietors' right as your Excellency 
shall find contained in their evidence. And your peti- 
tioners shall ever pray. RD Wharton> 

Elisha Hutchinson. 
Boston, 24th February, 168f . JOHN SAFFIN. 1 

Indorsed, "Messrs. Wharton, Hutchinson, and Saffin's petition and claim 
for land in Narracransett." 

1 The signatures to this and the preceding paper are genuine auto- 
graphs. — Eds. 



Boston, May 16, 1687. 

Upon the petition of Rich d Wharton, Elisha Hutchinson, 
and Jn° Saffin, a committee or agents for the proprie- 
tors of the greatest part of the lands in the Narragansett 
Country, or King's Province, to his Excellency, setting 
forth that they wait on him with a duplicate of reports 
given in that matter, and the evidences on which the 
same was drawn, with some additional proof of their 
right, praying opportunity to exemplify the same, and 
that his Excellency, after full hearing, would please to 
report their right to his Majesty, two of the clock after- 
noon was by his Excellency appointed to hear them 
therein. Who accordingly came and brought many pa- 
pers, purporting to be deeds from Indians, by which, and 
his Majesty's patent to Connecticott, his Majesty's let- 
ters, and the Government's of Rhoad Island owning 
their purchase and possession, they pretend rights to all 
Narrogansett Country, &c. ; all being read and much 
time spent in debate of the matter. Their greatest claim 
was under Governor Winthrop and Major Atherton, to 
whom the Indian deeds are said to be made. And there- 
upon they were ordered to bring in who they were that 
claimed under the said Winthrop and Atherton, and by 
what manner and upon what they grounded their pre- 
tences, and the certainty of what they pretended to, that 
report might be made by his Excellency accordingly. 1 

1 A copy without signature or indorsement. — Eds. 



Whereas there was articles of agreement made and 
concluded between Kichard Wharton, Esqr., Elisha Hutch- 
inson, and John Saffin, the committee for the proprietors 
of the Narragansett Country, and Ezekiell Care, Peter 
Berton, and others, French gentlemen, their friends and 
associates, whose names are thereunto subscribed, bearing 
date the 12th day of October last, concerning the settle- 
ment of a place called the Newberry Plantation in the 
Narragansett Country, which upon second consideration, 
in resrard of the remoteness of the same from the sea, 
they have by the mutual consent of the said committee 
declined the settlement of the said plantation, and the 
said Mr. Ezekiell Care, Mr. Peter Berton, in behalf of 
themselves and others, their friends and associates who 
have hereunto subscribed, are now come to and have 
made a new agreement, in manner and form follow- 
ing, this 4th day of 9bre, 1686, annoq. R. Rs Jacobi 
Secundi Anglise, &c. secundo, viz.: — 

Imprimis. That the said Richard Wharton, Esqr., Cap- 
tain Elisha Hutchinson, and Jno. Saffin, the aforesaid 
committee, do by these presents covenant, grant, and 
agree to and with the said Ezekiell Carre, P. Berton, 
French gentlemen, their friends and associates, who have 
hereunto subscribed, to lay out a meet and considerable 
tract of land in the township of Rotchester, 1 about the 
long meadow Kickameeset, above Captain John Jones his 
house, wherein each family that desire it shall have one 
hundred acres of upland in two divisions ; viz. a house-lot 
containing twenty acres, being twenty rods broad in front, 
laid out in due order, with a street or highway of six rod 

1 Now Kingston. — Eds. 


broad to run between the said lots upon which they shall 

Secondly. That the second division to make up the 
said hundred acres of upland shall be laid out on the 
western side of the said house-lots, as near as the land 
will bear. That all the said meadow, with that which 
lieth adjacent between the southern purchase and w T est 
line that is to run from Jno. Andrew's northern corner 
above the path, shall be divided into one hundred parts, 
each one to have his proportion according to the quantity 
of land he shall take up and subscribe for. That there 
shall be laid out for the said Mr. Ezekiell Carre, the pres- 
ent minister, one hundred and fifty acres of upland in the 
same manner, and meadow per proportionable, gratis to 
him and his heirs forever ; and one hundred acres of 
upland, and meadow proportionable, to an orthodox Prot- 
estant ministry ; and fifty acres of like land towards the 
maintenance of Protestant schoolmasters for the town 
forever. That for every hundred acres, be it upland or 
meadow, laid out in form aforesaid, each one shall pay 
unto the said committee or assigns twenty pounds, in cur- 
rent money, or in goods answerable to their satisfaction. 
That those that are not able, or do not see cause at present 
to pay for their land, they shall have three years' time 
of payment at the rate of twenty-five pounds per hun- 
dred acres, laid out as aforesaid, and so according to pro- 
portion for what land they shall take up and subscribe for. 
And in case they do not pay within the term of three years, 
each one shall pay interest for the same at the rate of six 
per cent. And for what money any one shall pay sooner, 
it shall be bated accordingly. That until the said meadow 
be divided, those that inhabit first on the place in manner 
aforesaid shall have the benefit of improvement, and like- 
wise of the undivided lands adjacent, until they be other- 
wise disposed. That upon payment of the money for the 
land as aforesaid good and legal deeds shall be given, 


signed and sealed by the said committee, to each one 
according to his proportion of land granted. 

In witness whereof, the parties within mentioned have 
each for themselves interchangeably set their hands and 
seals, the day and year above written. Signed, sealed, 
and delivered by Mr. Hutchinson and Saffin in the pres- 
ence of Walter Stephens, Jun., Lodowick Updick, John 
Gove, Alexander Hunting. 

Rich d Wharton. (Seal.) 

Elisha Hutchinson. (Seal.) 
John Saffin. (Seal.) 

Indorsed, " 29th July, 1688. Copy of the agreement made by Wharton 
and others with the French people settled in the King's Province." * 


To the Honorable John Winthrop^ Esqr., Commander-in-chief of the 
Forces at Saraghtoge. 

Albany, August 2d, 1690. 

We received yours, and have sent what wagons could 
be provided, likewise the order for all others where 
they may be procured, not doubting but the negro hath 
safely delivered your letters, an answer whereof the post 
stays. Please to let us know if he may be returned. 
We likewise pray your utmost care in returning the 
horses belonging to the inhabitants, who are so clamorous 
that it is intolerable. If they come not, we must be 
forced to subscribe for payment. Hoping all things may 

1 These were Huguenots who escaped from France on the revocation of 
the Edict of Nantes, Oct. 24, 1685. See Arnold's History of Rhode Island, 
I. 496, 497. — Eds. 

2 For an explanation of this letter, see Trumbull's Connecticut, I. 382. 
Milborne was son-in-law to Jacob Leisler of New York, who at the Revo- 
lution seized the government there for King William. The indorsement, 



prove more fortunate then what you have notice from 
Fishers Island and those parts, wishing all that can make 
you easy and successful, 

We are your humble servants, 

Jacob Milborne, Oom^. 

Indorsed, " Thos. Milburne, from Albany." 


Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, 

Essex ss. 

An°- R. R. et Reginse Guilielmi et Marise Anglise, etc., Quarto Anoq. 

Dom. 1692. 

The jurors, for our sovereign lord and lady the King 
and Queen, present : That Mary Osgood, wife of Captain 
John Osgood, of Andiuo r in the county of Essex, about 
eleven years ago, in the town of Andivo r aforesaid, 
wickedly, maliciously, and feloniously a covenant with 
the Devil did make, and signed the Devil's book, and 
took the Devil to be her God, and consented to serve 
and worship 'him, and was baptized by the Devil, and 
renounced her former Christian baptism, and promised to 
be the Devil's both body and soul forever, and to serve 
him ; by which diabolical covenant by her made with the 
Devil she, the said Mary Osgood, is become a detestable 
witch, against the peace of our sovereign lord and lady 
the King and Queen, their crown and dignity, and the 
laws in that case made and provided. 

Indorsed for filing, "Mary Osgood, for covenanting with the Devil." 
Also, " Billa vera, Robert Payne, foreman." Also, " Ponet se," and 
"Non Cull, found." 

1 We do not find the indictment against Mary Osgood anywhere published. 
Her examination and confession, 8th September, 1692, are given in Hutch- 
inson, II. 31-33; also her recantation, at p. 40. As appears by the indorse- 
ment on the bill, — " Non cul[pabilis] found," or " Not guilty, " — she was 
acquitted. — Eds. 



The Corporation of Conecticutt Colony in New Eng- 
land, not having under their public seal surrendered their 
charter, and there being no surrender upon record, only 
when it was proposed to them by the late King James 
that they should take their choice whether they would 
be under the Governor of New York or of Boston, they 
humbly prayed they might still enjoy the privilege of 
choosing their own Governor according to their charter. 
But if the King was resolved otherwise, they said they 
had rather be under Boston than under New York. 

After which, in the year 1687, Sir Edmond Andros did, 
by a commission from the late King James, invade the 
liberty of the people in that Colony, and exercise a gov- 
ernment over them contrary to their charter, which they 
most unwillingly submitted unto; but since the late happy 
revolution in England, the people of Conecticut have 
chosen a Governor and Assistants according to their 
charter, and doubt not but what they have a legal right 
to their former privilege. 

Query, whether the charter belonging to Conecticutt 
in New England is, by means of their involuntary submis- 
sion to Sir Edmond Andros' government, void in law, so 
as that the King may send a Governor to them contrary 
to their charter privileges, where there hath been no 
judgment entered against their charter, nor any sur- 
render thereof upon record ? 

I am of opinion that such submission as is put in this 
case doth not invalidate the charter, or any the powers 
therein which were granted under the great seal, and 
that the charter not being surrendered under the com- 

1 The substance of this paper is printed in Trumbull's Connecticut, I. 
386, 387. — Eds. 


mon seal and that surrender duly enrolled of record, nor 
any judgment of record entered against it, the same re- 
mains good and valid in the law, and that the corporation 
may lawfully execute the powers and privileges thereby 
granted, notwithstanding such submission and appoint- 
ment of a governor as aforesaid. 2d August, 1690. 

Edw. Ward. 
I am of the same opinion, 

J. Somers. 

I am of the same opinion ; and as this matter is stated, 
there is no ground of doubt. p rp 

The above-written is a true copy of the original on file, 
being compared therewith, September 25, 1693, per me. 

John Allyn, Secretary. 

Indorsed, "The Solicitor and Attorney General and Mr. Warde's opin- 
ion, &c. No. 10." 


To our trusty and well-beloved the Governor and Magistrates of our Colony 
of Connecticot in JVeiv HJngland, now and for the time being. 

Trusty and Well-beloved, — We greet you well. 
Having received your humble petition presented unto us 
by Major-General Fitz John Winthrop, your agent, humbly 
praying that our commission to our trusty and well-beloved 
Benjamin Fletcher, Esqr., our Governor of our Province of 
New York, for the command of the militia of our Colony 
Conecticot, may receive such explanation and restriction 
as in our royal justice and wisdom we shall think fit : j 
We, being well pleased with your dutiful submission to 


our royal determination herein, and having great care 
and tenderness for the preservation and security of all our 
loving subjects, as well within our Colony of Conecticot 
as other our adjacent Colonies, we have referred the 
consideration of the said petition to the Lords of our Privy 
Council, appointed a Committee of Trade and Foreign 
Plantations ; who having consulted our Attorney and So- 
licitor Generals what may be done by us for the uniting 
the strength of our said Colony of Conecticot and the 
adjacent Colonies for the defence of our subjects in those 
parts against the French, and having presented unto us 
the opinion of our said Attorney and Solicitor Generals 
thereupon ; that we may constitute a chief commander, 
with authority to command or order such proportion of 
the forces of each Colony as we shall think fit ; and far- 
ther, in time of invasion and approach of the enemy, with 
the advice and assistance of the Governors of the Colonies, 
to conduct and command the rest of the forces for the 
preservation and defence of such of our said Colonies as 
shall most stand in need thereof, as by our order in 
Council, dated the nineteenth day of April last, upon the 
report of our Attorney and Solicitor Generals in this mat- 
ter, which order or a duplicate thereof you will herewith 
receive, is more at large set forth ; we have thereupon 
farther signified our pleasure to our said Governor of New 
York, that in the execution of the powers of his said com- 
mission he do not take upon him any more then during 
! war to command a quota or part of the militia of our said 
I Colony of Conecticot, not exceeding the number of one 
hundred and twenty men, which we do here think fit to 
signify our pleasure to be the measure of the assistance 
to be given by our said Colony ; with especial directions 
to our said Governor of New York that he do net com- 
mand or draw more of the said quota of the militia of our 
said Colony of Conecticot then he shall in proportion 
command or draw out from the respective militias of the 



adjacent Colonies ; except in case of imminent clanger of 
an actual invasion of the enemy, in which case we have 
farther directed him that, with the advice of the Governor 
of our said Colony, he conduct and command the rest of 
the forces of that our Colony for the preservation of our 
said Colony, or of such other of our adjacent Colonies as 
shall most stand in need thereof, he taking care that he 
do not leave onr said Colony unprovided of a competent 
force for the defence and safety thereof. And not doubt- 
ing of your ready and cheerful obedience, in a matter 
wherein the security and preservation of all our good sub- 
jects within our said Colony of Conecticot and the parts 
adjacent are so much concerned, we do hereby require 
and command you, as there shall be occasion, to give 
obedience to our said commission; and the powers and 
authorities thereof to be executed in such manner as we 
have directed our said Governor of New York, according 
to the signification of our pleasure as aforesaid. And 
the said Major-General Fitz John Winthrop will, upon his 
arrival, inform you of our gracious intentions to continue 
our royal protection to you and all our subjects of that 
our Colony ; and particularly in what may relate to the 
preservation of the peace, welfare, and security of the 
same, and maintaining your just rights and privileges, 
wherein your said agent has been as well very zealous 
and careful in your behalf as diligent in soliciting our 
royal determination in the matter, which we thought fit 
to let you know. And so we bid you farewell. 

Given at our Court at Whitehall, this twenty-first day 
of June, 1694, in the sixth year of our reign. 

By her Majesty's command. 

J. Trenchard. 

Indorsed, " Copy of their Majesties' letter to Conecticot." 



To the Right Honorable the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. 

May it please your Honors, — In obedience to an 
order of reference of the Eight Honorable the Lords of 
the Committee of Trade and Plantations, signified to me 
by Mr. Povey, the 22d of May, 1695, upon the petition 
of Wayt Winthrop and others concerning the settlement 
of the King's Province or Narragansetts Bay in New 
England, — 

I have considered of the said petition, and do find that 
King Charles the Second, by letters patents bearing date 
the 23d day of April, in the 14th year of his reign, 
granted to the Governor and Company of Conecticot and 
their successors Narragansetts Bay in New England, to- 
gether with all firm lands, soils, grounds, havens, ports, 
rivers, waters, fishings, mines, minerals, precious stones, 
and all and singular other commodities and jurisdictions 
whatsoever, reserving to his Majesty, his heirs and suc- 
cessors, the fifth part of the ore of gold and silver only. 

That after the said grant, viz. in July, 1663, the said 
Country of Narragansetts Bay was by letters patents 
granted to the Governor and Company of Road Island 
Plantation. But I am humbly of opinion that this grant 
to Road Island is void in law, because the country of 
Narragansetts Bay was granted before to Conecticott, 
and that therefore the government of Narragansetts Bay 
doth of right belong to Conecticott, and not to Road 

All which is humbly submitted to your Honors' great 

Tho. Trlvor. 

October 28th, '96. 

Indorsed, " Attorney-General's Report about the government of the 
Narrig* Lands. Narragenset Land to Connecticut." 




For Sir Henry Ashurst. 

Honorable Sir, — I am a little surprised at the report 
in a letter, which is said to be sent from the Government 
of the Mattachusets, and delivered to the Secretary of 
State, and a duplicate of it to my Lord Bellomont, reflect- 
ing upon the Government of his Majesty's Colony of 
Conecticot; but I hope my Lord, and yourself their agent, 
will do me so much justice to give me opportunity to 
clear up any objections against them from the Province 
of the Mattachusets or any other, to prevent a misunder- 
standing at Court by such unkind and needless sugges- 
tions, which may be of ill consequence. Yourself will do 
me a great favor to appoint any time of the day to wait 
upon my Lord Bellomont with yourself, which shall be 
acknowledged a particular obligation put upon 

Your most humble servant. 

London, March 29th, 1697. 

Indorsed, " Copy to Sir Henry Ashurst, about a letter from Boston." 


To the King's Most Excellent Majesty. 

The humble petition of Anne, Duchess of Hamilton, 
daughter and heir of James, late Duke Hamilton, showeth : 

That your petitioner is, by virtue of an ancient grant 
made to the said James, Duke of Hamilton, entitled to a 
tract of land in America, formerly called the county of 
New Camebridg, and now known by the name of the 
Narroganset Country, or the King's Province, ana to sev- 
eral islands adjacent thereunto, as by the annexed state of 


the case may more fully appear ; which said tract of lands 
and islands your petitioner's father intended to settle, 
until he was prevented by the Rebellion in England, where- 
in he, espousing the royal cause of King Charles the First, 
lost his life, leaving your petitioner very young ; during 
which war and your petitioner's minority several persons 
possessed themselves of the best and most considerable 
part of the said tract of land and islands, without any title 
derived from your petitioner's said father or herself, and 
have never paid any quitrent, or made any acknowledg- 
ment for the same, though your petitioner and her late hus- 
band, William, Duke of Hamilton, made frequent claims to 
it after the restoration of King Charles the Second, and 
offered, as your petitioner still does offer, to confirm to 
the planters their respective settlements under such rea- 
sonable acknowledgments as are paid by other planters 
in the like case. 

Your petitioner therefore most humbly prays your 
Majesty to give order that she may be established in her 
right to the said tract of land, and that the said inhabit- 
ants may pay her such quitrents for her lands they have 
taken up as your Majesty in your great wisdom shall 
think just ; and that the residue of the lands unimproved 
may be put into your petitioner's possession. And your 
petitioner shall ever pray, &c. 

A true copy, 

William Bridgeman. 

At the Court at Kensington, the 22d day of April, 1697. 

Present, the King's Most Excellent Majesty in Council. 

Upon reading this day at the Board the humble peti- 
tion and case of Anne, Duchess of Hamilton, daughter and 
heir of James, late Duke of Hamilton, his Majesty, taking 
the same into his royal consideration, is pleased to order 
in Council, That the said petition and case (copies whereof 


are annexed) be and are hereby referred to the Right 
Honorable the Council of Trade for their consideration, 
and to report the state of the matter, with their opinion 
what they conceive his Majesty may fitly do therein for 
the honorable petitioner's just satisfaction. 

Copy, William Bkidgeman. 

Indorsed, "The Petition of Ann, Duchess of Hamilton, and the King's 
order of reference thereon, April 22, 1697." 


3d of November, 1620. King James the First, by let- 
ters patent, incorporated the Duke of Lenox, Marquis 
of Buckingham, and divers others, by the name of the 
Great Council of Plimouth, in the County of Devon, for 
the planting, ruling, ordering, and governing New Eng- 
land in America, and grants to them and their successors 
all the lands, &c, in America lying between forty and 
forty-eight degrees of northerly latitude, and all islands, 
seas, rivers, creeks, inlets, and havens within these degrees, 
reserving only a fifth part of the ore, gold, and silver. 

22d of April, 1635. The Great Council of Plimouth, 
reciting the letters patent above, in performance of an 
agreement amongst themselves and for a competent sum 
of money, grant to your petitioner's father, James, then 
Marquis of Hamilton (afterwards Duke of Hamilton), his 
heirs and assigns, amongst other things, all that part and 
portion of the main lands of New England beginning at 
the middle or mouth of the entrance of Conecticot River, 
and from thence along the sea-coast to the Naroganset 
River, or harbor there, to be accounted sixty miles in 
length and breadth ; and all islands and islets/" as well 
embayed as within five leagues' distance of the premises, 
and abutting upon the same or any part thereof, not 


otherwise granted by any by special name, and appoints 
the premises to be called from thenceforth by the name 
of the County of New Cambridg. 1 

1636. The Duke of Hamilton sent over an agent to 
survey and settle the country ; but the Civil War begin- 
ning soon after, and the Duke of Hamilton being engaged 
in the King's service had no farther leisure to look after 
his interest in America, and the revolt of those Colonies 
from the King made it impracticable for him so to do. 

The Duke of Hamilton lost his life for the King, and 
leaving your petitioner, his daughter and heir, under age, 
whose misfortune as well as minority incapacitated her to 
assert her right. 

During this time several persons, from other adjacent 
Colonies, settled themselves on the petitioner's lands, 
without any legal authority derived from her or her 

1 This claim of the Duchess of Hamilton was based on the division of 
the territory of the Council for New England, made in 1635, when that body 
surrendered their charter to the King, previous to which the several mem- 
bers of the company had passed to each other deeds of feoffment bearing 
date 22 April. James, Marquis (afterwards Duke) of Hamilton, the father 
of the claimant, was one of the members of the Council, and he received 
his share of the division. See Records of the Council for New England, in 
Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society for April, 1867. It was 
hoped and expected that the King would confirm this act of division, and 
incorporate these several districts into distinct governments, but it was never 
done. Sir Ferdinando Gorges, in 1639, received a charter incorporating his 
division. But this was all. A copy of the Marquis of Hamilton's deed is 
on file with the Trumbull manuscripts, and is printed here to accom- 
pany the papers relating to it, .although it has already been printed in Mr. 
H. H. Hinman's Antiquities, or " Letters from the English Kings and 
Queens," &c, Hartford, 1836, pp. 15-19. Connecticut was cited before royal 
commissioners several times to answer to this claim, and uniformly pleaded 
the possession of an earlier deed received through Fenwick, known in the 
history of Connecticut as the Warwick deed, or Old Patent of Connecticut, 
concerning which it would be desirable to have more information than we 
now possess. This deed and other allied documents may be seen in Hin- 
man's book, and also in the Appendix to Vol. I. of Trumbull's Connecticut. 
See a note on the so-called Warwick Patent, in the Narrative and Critical 
History of America, III. 75-77. — El s. 


1664. After the restoration of King Charles the Second, 
the late Duke and present Duchess of Hamilton made 
their claim by petition to the King, who referred it to 
the Commissioners then appointed to settle the affairs of 
New England, to examine the petitioners' title, and re- 
store them to their right, or to report their opinion to 
the King. 

This reference did not arrive till two of the Commis- 
sioners, viz. Sir Robert Carr and Colonel Cartwright, were 
returned for Old England ; but the other two Commis- 
sioners, Col. Richard Nichols and Mr. Mauerick, in 1666, 
report that the grant 1 made to the petitioner's father took 
in all Rhode Island Colony and about half of Conecti- 
cot, and that the sachems of the Naroganset Country, or 
King's Province, had, in 1644 (which was twenty-three 
years after the grant from King James the First to the 
Council of Plimouth, and nine years after their grant to 
the Marquis of Hamilton), by a deed surrendered them- 
selves and country into the protection of King Charles 
the First, and that two of these very Indian kings deliv- 
ered the same deed to the Commissioners in 1664 ; who 
thereupon entered into the country, in the name of King 
Charles the Second, and named it the King's Province, 
and appointed justices of the peace to govern it till the 
King's pleasure were farther known. 

Notwithstanding this evasive report, taking no notice 
of the petitioner's claim, King Charles the Second issued 
out a proclamation prohibiting all persons to intrude or 
plant on the said Naroganset country, to prevent the 
irregular settlements which have since happened in that 
place, of which the petitioner complains. 

1682. King Charles the Second appoints Mr. Cran- 
feild, Mr. Stoughton, and Mr. Dudly, Commissioners for 

- - 

1 The word "grant " is substituted for " report," an obvious error, cor- 
rected here by another copy of this paper. — Eds. 


examining the titles of all persons claiming right in the 
Naroganset Country. 

The late Duke of Hamilton and the petitioner, having 
notice of this commission, empowered Mr. Edward Ran- 
dolph to exhibit their title before those Commissioners ; 
but they had finished and sealed up their report before 
he arrived there. 

Mr. Randolph notwithstanding made his application 
to the Commissioners, and produced the petitioner's title 
before them ; but the fleet being then ready to sail for 
England, and the persons of whom the petitioner com- 
plained being then not present, the Commissioners only 
made a short report, that they had seen the petitioner's 
grant, and that it comprehended the greatest part of 
the Naroganset Country, and that they had sent copies 
of it to the planters who had intruded into that country 
without title, that they might return their answer to 

1687. Sir Edmond Andros, then Governor of New Eng- 
land, received a commission to make farther inquiry into 
the propriety of the Naroganset Country ; who, upon a 
full hearing of all persons then possessing that country, — 

Report, that the possessors had no legal title, but were 
intruders ; and that the grants of that country to Conecti- 
cot and Rhode Island people, which were obtained from 
King Charles the Second in 1662 and 1663, were got by 
surprise and false suggestions of some prior grants, which 
he avers in that report were never made. 

Of this commission and report the petitioner had no 
manner of notice, and therefore could make no claim 
before him ; otherwise the petitioner makes no doubt but 
her title had been sustained at that time. 

Indorsed, ''The Case of Ann, Duchess of Hamilton." 1 

1 An earlier indorsement on this paper is, except the following, care- 
fully erased: " April 22d, 1697. No. 5." — Eds. 



Memorandum. — Upon the 29th of April, 1697, the 
Earl of Arran delivered to the Council of Trade another 
copy of the case of Anne, Duchess of Hamilton, in 
whioli the paragraph beginning, " Mr. Randolph notwith- 
standing," &c, was altered in the words following : — 

" Notwithstanding the commission's being closed, upon 
the application of Mr. Randolph, they gave in an addi- 
tional report in the year 1683, wherein they declare that 
they had summoned the proprietors who made claim to 
the King's Province, or Naragansett country, and in their 
presence had read the copy of the Duke and Duchess of 
Hamilton's deeds, and heard Mr. Randolph's pleas and 
improvements thereon as agent from the Duke and 
Duchess of Hamilton, and have also received the answer 
and defence of the said proprietors, and at the same time 
they did also order copies of the deeds of the Duke and 
Duchess of Hamilton to be sent to the Colony of Con- 
necticutt, to the end that they might make answer there- 
unto, which w T as done in eighty-three ; and in December 
following the Governor and Council of Connecticut gave 
in their answer to the Duke and Duchess's claim, which 
the petitioner is ready to produce, with her reply there- 

A true copy, taken out of the office of record for his 
Majesty's Colony of Connecticut^ and compared with 
the original upon file in Hartford, this 28th of January, 


Per me, 

Eleazar Kimberley, Secretary, 

Indorsed, " A copy of the Earl of Arran's Memorial, 1697." 



This indenture, made the 22d day of April in the 
eleventh year of the reign of our sovereign lord, Charles, 
by the grace of God King of England, Scotland, France, 
and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c, between the 
Council established at Plymouth, in the County of De- 
von, for the planting, ordering, ruling, and governing of 
New England in America, of the one part, and the Right 
Honorable James, Marquis Hamilton, of the other part, 
witnesseth, that whereas our late sovereign lord, King 
James of blessed memory, by his Highness's letters pa- 
tents, under the great seal of England, bearing date at 
Westminster the third day of November in the eigh- 
teenth year of his Highness's reign over the realm of 
England, for the considerations in the same letters patents 
expressed, hath absolutely given, granted, and confirmed 
unto the said Council and their successors forever all the 
lands of New England in America lying and being in 
breadth from forty degrees of northern latitude from the 
equinoctial line to forty-eight degrees of the said north- 
erly latitude, inclusively, and in length of and within 
all the breadth aforesaid throughout the main land from 
sea to sea, together also with all the firm lands, soils, 
grounds, havens, ports, rivers, waters, fishings, mines, 
and minerals, as well royal mines of gold and silver as 
other mines and minerals, precious stones, quarries, and 
all and singular other commodities, jurisdictions, royal- 
ties, privileges, franchises, and pre-eminences, both within 
the said tract of land upon the main, and also within the 
islands and seas adjoining, as by the said letters patents, 

1 See note, p. 183. — Eds. 



amongst divers other things therein contained, more at 
large it doth and may appear. Now this indenture fur- 
ther witnesseth, that the said Council, in performance 
of an agreement made by and between themselves, and 
enacted the third day of February last past before the 
date of these presents, for a competent sum of money, and 
also for other good causes and considerations them the 
said Council hereunto especially moving, have given, 
granted, bargained, sold, enfeoffed, and confirmed, and by 
these presents do give, grant, bargain, sell, enfeoff, and 
confirm unto the said James, Marquis Hamilton, his heirs 
and assigns, all that part, purpart, and portion of the main 
land of New England aforesaid, situate, lying, and begin- 
ning at the middle part of the mouth or entrance of the 
river of Connecticut in New England, and from thence to 
proceed along the sea-coast to the Narragansett river or 
harbor, there to be accounted about sixty miles, and so 
up the western arm of that river to the head thereof, and 
into the land northwestwards till sixty miles be finished, 
and so to cross over land southwestwards to meet with 
the end of sixty miles to be accounted from the mouth of 
Connecticutt up northwest, and also all islands and islets 
as well imbayed as within five leagues' distance from the 
premises, and abutting upon the same or any part or 
parcel thereof not otherwise granted to any by special 
name ; all which part and portion of lands and premises 
shall from henceforth be called by the name of the 
County of New Cambridge ; and also the said Council, for 
the considerations aforesaid, have given, granted, bar- 
gained, sold, enfeoffed, and confirmed, and by these pres- 
ents do give, grant, bargain, sell, enfeoff, and confirm 
unto the said James, Marquis Hamilton, his heirs and 
assigns, all that other parcel or portion of lands, woods, 
and wood grounds, lying on the east side of the river of 
Sagadahock, in the easterly part of New England afore- 
said, containing and there to contain tc*i thousand acres, 


and to be had and taken together as conveniently as the 
same may be towards the head of the said river, and next 
unto the land of Edward, Lord Georges, there, which 
from henceforth is to be called by the name of 

; and moreover the said Council, 
for the consideration aforesaid, have given, granted, bar- 
gained, sold, enfeoffed, and confirmed, and by these pres- 
ents do give, grant, bargain, sell, enfeoff, and confirm 
unto the said James, Marquis Hamilton, his heirs and 
assigns, together with the said bargained premises, all the 
firm lands, soils, grounds, havens, ports, rivers, waters, fish- 
ings, mines, and minerals, as well royal mines of gold and 
silver as other mines and minerals, precious stones, quar- 
ries, and all and singular other commodities, jurisdictions, 
royalties, privileges, franchises, and pre-eminences, both 
within the aforesaid tracts of lands upon the main, and 
also within the islands and seas adjoining, saving, except- 
ing, and reserving out of this present grant only the fifth 
part of all the ore of gold and silver due to his Majesty, 
his heirs and successors, and in and by the said letters 
patents reserved, — To have and to hold all those the said 
several parcels of land, and all other the said bargained 
premises, with their and every of their appurtenances 
(except before excepted), unto the said James, Marquis 
Hamilton, his heirs and assignees, to the only proper use 
and behoof of him the said James, Marquis Hamilton, his 
heirs and assignees, forever, and to be enjoyed as fully, 
freely, and in as large, ample, and beneficial manner and 
form, to all intents and purposes whatsoever as they the 
said Council and their successors, by virtue of the said 
recited letters patents, may, might, or ought to have, 
hold, and enjoy the same, or any part or parcel thereof. 

In witness whereof to the one part of this present 
indenture, remaining in the hands of the said James, 
Marquis Hamilton, they the said Council have fixed their 
common seal ; and to the other part of this present in- 


denture, remaining in the hands of the said Council, the 
said Marquis hath set his hand and seal. 

Dated the day and year first above written, Annoq. 
Domini 1635. 


King James the First, in the 20th year of his reign, by 
letters patent incorporates the Duke of Lenox and divers 
other persons, by the name of the Great Council of Ply- 
mouth here in New England, for the planting, ruling, 
and governing New England in America ; and grants to 
them and their successors all the lands, &c. in Amer- 
ica, between forty and forty-eight degrees of northerly 

The said Council of Plymouth, who never had posses- 
sion of said land, the 2d 2 of April, 1635, grant to M. H. 3 
and his heirs all that part and portion of the main lands 
of New England, beginning at the mouth of Connecti- 
cut River and from thence to Narragansett River, to be 
accounted sixty miles in length and breadth, and all 
islands within five leagues' distance of the premises. 

About the same time the said grant was made to M. H., 
or soon after, several persons, his Majesty's subjects living 
in New England, (but without any notice or knowledge of 
the said grant to M. H.,) purchased of the Indian princes 

1 This paper bears no date, but it belongs to the period covered by the 
other documents here printed. The body of the paper is in one hand, 
and the answers to the queries, afterwards written in, indented, are in a 
different hand, — the same in which the signature, " Fr. Pemberton," is 
written. The substance of this opinion is given in Trumbull's Connecti- 
cut, I. 163. — Eds. 

2 Should be the 22d.— Eds. 

8 The Marquis of Hamilton. — Eds. 


and others, the true and natural owners and proprietors 
thereof, divers parcels of land lying within the limits of 
the said grant to M. H. ? as is now pretended, particularly 
an island called Rhoad Island, and great part of a tract 
of land called Connecticutt, Narragansett, Warwick, and 
other places ; and in the years 1659 and 1660, other of 
the Narragansett Country ; which places have been pos- 
sessed by the said purchasers and those deriving from 
them ever since the said several purchases ; and the said 
purchases have been always approved of by the several 
governments there, and never disallowed or disapproved 
of here, and several towns have been built, many farms 
and plantations settled, great treasure laid out, and sev- 
eral descents cast. 

M. H. nor his heir, or any deriving from him, have 
never had possession nor laid out anything upon the 
premises, nor made any claim in the said country until 
the year 1683, which was about forty-eight years after 
the said grant, the said heir by his attorney claimed the 
said lands at Boston in New England, which is above 
seventy miles from the premises, and in another country. 
The heir of said M. H., after threescore and two years, 
demands the said premises or a quitrent. 

1 Query. Whether the heir of said M. H., there having 
been no possession in the said M. H. or heir, nor purchase 
by them from the Indians, the owners of said lands, nor 
anything expended by them in the settlement thereof, 
may by law recover the premises, and oust or eject the 
said purchasers and proprietors who are now in posses- 
sion, or force them to pay a quitrent ? 

Upon consideration of the case, I am of opinion that 
the purchasers of these lands and grounds, w T ho 
bought of the said Indian princes, and the 
heirs and assigns of those purchasers, have a 
good right to these lands and grounds, and the 
buildings and improvements thereon ; and that 


the heir of M. H., after such purchases, and so 
long and quiet enjoyment of them under those 
purchases, ought not upon such a 'stale de- 
mand, without any possession or claim (for I 
look upon that pretended claim at Boston as 
idle and null), to recover any of the said lands 
or grounds or quitrents out of them. 

2 Query. Whether the said purchasers and those deriv- 
ing from them, having had so long and uninterrupted 
possession under a purchase from the natural owners, and 
with allowance and approbation of the said governments 
there, and after so many towns built, treasure spent, 
and several descents cast, have not an undoubted and 
unavoidable title to the said lands by them purchased and 
possessed ? 

I am of opinion that these purchasers, by virtue of 
their purchases and so long and uninterrupted 
possession under them, have an undoubted right 
and title to these grounds and lands, and the 
buildings and improvements of them, and ought 
not now, after so much money laid out upon 
them and such enjoyment of them, to be dis- 
turbed in their possession of them. 

3 Query. Whether the heir of the said M. H., if he 
sues the said purchasers, ought not to sue them in New 
England, where the lands in controversy lie, &c. ? 

I think regularly by the rules of our laws, any action 
brought for these lands or grounds, and the 
houses and buildings on them, ought to be 
where the lands lie. 

Fr. Pemberton. 

Indorsed, " Sir Francis Pemberton's opinion of the case of the pur- 
chasers and proprietors of Lands in Narraganset. " 



Sir, — I formerly acquainted you of my Lord of Aran's 
claim in Connecticut, and begged the favor that it might 
be notified to such as were principally concerned, which 
I hope was done, and that they have come to a resolution 
what offers to make. I now, sir, humbly desire that you 
would please transmit them to me to Boston, that I may 
carry them over by the first ships to my Lord. I should 
be extremely glad they were such as my Lord may think 
fitting to close with, and which the people would grant 
without a grudge. They would be taken under the care 
of a noble family, who in all times to come would be their 
patrons to protect them from injuries and to promote the 
peace and prosperity of the place. 

I am, sir, your most obedient servant, 

And. Hamilton. 1 

Rhode Island, 28th May, 1698. 


Sir, — I was very ambitious, after I left yourself at 
New York, to do my Lord Arran some particular service, 
by acquainting the General Assembly of this Government 
with the contents of your letter of the 5th of May ; but 
upon my coming to Hartford I found the Court ready to 
adjourn, and it was impossible to continue their sitting, 
at that very busy time of the year, to have intercourse 
with the general proprietors so far distant within the 

1 The writer was probably the Colonel Andrew Hamilton who some years 
before had been Acting-Governor of East Jersey. See Broadhead'sNew 
York, II. 491, 512, 559, 561, 612. The letter has no address, but it 
'was, without doubt, written to Fitzjohn Winthrop, who replied to it — 
or to a previous letter of similar import — in that which immediately 
follows. — Eds. 



bounds of my Lord Arran's claim. But as to themselves 
(who have the rule and government of the country) do 
refer to a former answer, now in his Lordship's hands; 
and such proprietors as are near have expressed their 
resentment of the demand, as hard and never preee- 
dented in any age ; that, after above sixty years' peacea- 
ble possession, their purchase of the princes of the country, 
their confirmation and settlement by King Charles the 
Second, they should now become tenants and lose their 
property, — the reward of their travel into this wilder- 
ness, and for the expense of their blood and treasure. 
They suggest that many that have title to a thousand 
acres of land within my Lord's claim, have not ten acres 
which can be improved for grain, the rest miserable 
wilderness, mountains, and not to be cultivated by the 
most diligent husband. As to what you mention of my 
interest within the limits of the claim, I can only offer 
to you that it is a purchase and possession of more then 
sixty years ; and I must also add, that I think the im- 
provement of it has little more then balanced its many 
accidents and the charge laid out upon it. I would be 
very glad to serve my Lord Arran in anything I could, 
and my little interest should not stand in the way ; but 
the demand concerns all the villages and particular plant- 
ers within the bounds mentioned, which does extend itself 
into our neighbor governments, and so will need some 
longer time for their fitting answer. Every one, as you 
mention, should think it an honor to be under my Lord's 
patronage, and, indeed, no thing can be greater ; but the 
people here, strangers to many customs and usages in 
England and Scotland, have a strange notion and fright 
of the word quitrent ; and being the successors to the 
first planters, who so long time since ventured their lives 
and spent considerable estates for which they have yet 
no fitting compensation, do think it the hardest thing in 
the world to have any difficulty laid upon their lands, so 


dearly purchased. Yourself knows very well the ways of 
improvement in this hard country, the difficulties they 
conflict with, and under what toil and unreasonable labor 
they advance their common subsistence ; and besides that, 
how all mankind in this country think themselves happy 
in that one understanding, that they have a just and 
firm title to their lands by purchase from the natives, 
and supported by the King's gracious charter. Sir, your- 
self has been very just to my Lord Arran in asserting 
the interest he proposeth in this wilderness, and, having 
discharged that trust, it is hoped you will express a 
kindness for the poor planters, and lay before his Lord- 
ship their purchase and possession as arguments to en- 
courage, not to distress them. 

These country expressions are the sentiments of the 
poor people, and I must not alter their dialect. I pray 
you to set me right in my Lord's good opinion, to whose 
service I am greatly devoted, as having the honor to be 
known to him whilst I was in England. I hope to wait 
upon you before your voyage, and what I can know far- 
ther in this affair shall be communicated to you. I wish 
you happy and prosperous as yourself desires, and am, 
Sir, your most humble servant. 1 

New London, June 9th, 1698. 

Indorsed, " Copy to Colonel Hamilton about my Lord Arran's claim. 
pane 9th, 1698." 

1 This is a rough draft or copy, without signature, of a letter evidently 
kritten by Fitzjohn Winthrop to Colonel Hamilton. Several letters in the 
|VVinthrop Papers, Part IV. pp. 350, 531, 537, confirm this opinion. Ham- 
ilton sailed from Boston home in the latter part of July of this year. There 
■ffas a report that he had purchased the Earl of Arran's claim to lands 
n Connecticut. — Eds. 



By us whose names are hereunto subscribed, who are 
Commissioners for the Colony of Rhoad Island and 
Prouidence Plantations, as to treaty with the Com- 
missioners for the Colony of Coneticott, as to boun- 
daries between the said Colonies, make a return unto 
a writing termed, A Memorial given us, dated at 
Stoningtown, June 29th, 1698. 

Gentlemen, — Whereas, by a letter from the Right 
Honorable the Lords Commissioners for Trade and For- 
eign Plantations, their Honors have and were pleased to 
recommend to our Colony, and endeavoring after and 
propagating an issue of those differences which yet re- 
mains between said Colonies, and that it might be effected 
by an amicable compliance, whose favorable manifesta- 
tions therein we humbly accept, and with all readiness 
do thankfully acknowledge ; and pursuant thereunto our 
Colony have taken that care and such measures that a 
meeting is propagated for that purpose between your- 
selves and us ; and having had much debate of the mat- 
ter with yourselves by a verbal discourse, and thereby 
could not find that you did propose anything that might 
be likely to effect that which we desire, and which your- 
selves did pretend to at our first coining together, viz. an 
amicable agreement whereby our Colonies might for the 
future correspond in love and peace ; but perceiving that 
such way of debate seemed not to have its tendency to 
effect the matter premised, we rather inclined that what! 

1 This is the original paper, in the handwriting of Weston Clarke. See; 
further in relation to the subject of it in the Colonial Records of Connecticut,! 
IV. 238, 243, 259, 271, 299, 363, 399; Records of the Colony of Rhode Island,) 
III. 356. — Eds. 


should further be said in that affair might be by writing 
given us ; and having received some lines from you, the 
which we have perused, and find it to be much like the 
former discourses which you treated us with, you not com- 
ino* to the matter of a line between the two Colonies, which 
is the great cause of difference between us, nor give us 
your opinions where the western bounds of our Colony 
is, that so things might be more plainly seen into, and 
the more plainly appear where the difference lieth by 
being brought into a narrow compass; but instead thereof 
you make claim unto our whole Colony, or at least all 
the main land thereof, which you claim, as you say, your 
most just right and due, of which you seem to propose 
to be willing for peace sake to make abatement; but how 
much thereof you will abate, that we understand not; 
for you are silent as unto that, and it seems if we in 
that should take up with you it would be but your be- 
nevolence to us, for you claim it as your own home 
to Pautucket Riuer, and so make void our charter. Also 
asserting that we have by means and ways, which you 
suppose not to be justifiable in the law, gotten into pos- 
session of a very considerable tract of land lying within 
the eastern bounds of the Colony of Coniticott, between 
the said Narrogansett River and Bay and a river in the 
Pequott Country, commonly called Paucatuck Riuer, by 
all which you render our Colony only to be intruders 
by exercising jurisdiction anywhere upon the main ; 
and yet seem to call upon us for propositions for agree- 
ment, when you make none } T ourselves. If you would 
have owned our charter, we might conclude you would 
then prescribe something of western bound, and so come 
to the matter where the difference lieth, and then mis;ht 
be some likelihood of compliance ; but it not being owned 
by you that we have any western bounds, how can we 
expect any agreement for an issue to the premise ? 

Gentlemen, notwithstanding what you are pleased to 


assert on the behalf of your own charter and as to the in- 
valuing of ours, yet we must tell you that we do account 
our charter to be of as good authority on the east side of 
Paucatuck Kiuer, according as our charter expresseth, as 
Coniticott charter is of the west side of said river. 

Gentlemen, our desires have been for peace and agree- 
ment, and the same have been endeavored after by 
us ; but if it shall not take place, we must cease, and 
be minding to make our return, according to our instruc- 
tions, to our General Assembly, from whom we received 
our power. 

Stoningtown, June 30th, 1698. By us, the Commis- 
sioners for the Colony of Khoad Island and Proui- 
dence Plantations. 

John Greene. 
Nath ll Coddtngton. 
Wes t Clarke. 
Tho: Olney. 

Indorsed, " Commissioners of Rhoad Island, their answer to our memorial, 
June, '98." 


To Samuel Mason, Daniell WitheriU, James Noise, Gideon Saltingston, 
Esqrs., Commissioners for his Majesty's Colony of Conecticut. 

Gentlemen, — Whereas you were pleased to present 
us with a paper signed by yourselves quite contrary to 
the power reposed in you by your commission, the copy 
thereof delivered us, signed by your Governor, the Hon- 
orable John Winthrop, which commission was only to 

1 This is the original paper, apparently in the hand of Nathaniel Cod- 
dington. — Eds. 


treat about the proposing a way and means to end the 
difference between the Colonies concerning the bounda- 
ries, and our commission from our Governor, wherein 
we were fnlly empowered for the same end, the both 
being to give obedience to their Lordships' commands 
therein ; and as we have here met on that end, and to 
debate that concern, so we have really attended the same, 
and what propositions we have made have been as near 
as may be to the settling the boundaries ; but none made 
by you, but what is to swallowing up the whole Colony. 
We not being desirous to take upon us anything to dis- 
turb or disquiet any people under the government of his 
Majesty's authority of Ehoad Island and Providence Plan- 
tations, or to act anything beyond our power, so we ad- 
mire that you should not be as cautious in what you 
present to us, which we find, on the contrary, being only 
to disquiet the people under this Government, if you can 
by any means so do, and to hinder the promoting the 
good and weal of his Majesty's people in this the Narra- 
ganset Country. We therefore say and answer thereto, 
that your brief is wholly with many words out and from 
that end you came or were empowered by commission. 
We therefore shall conclude to make a return of the brief 
presented us to his Majesty's Government of this Colony 
and the Assembly, that care may be taken to keep his Ma- 
jesty's subjects in this Colony in order, according to our 
laws made for that end. And we readily comply with the 
propositions that his Excellency, the Earl of Ballamount, 
may have a hearing of the differences when it may be con- 
veniently obtained, not doubting but we shall fully make 
appear our just claims of jurisdiction and government; and 
then, if no means be procured for a determination of the 
created difference between us, we shall readily njake our 
application to his Majesty (and their Lordships from whom 
we have received oar commands), not doubting but we 
shall be justified in all our just claims of jurisdiction and 


government as we have already said. So we remain, 
your affectionate friends, chosen Commissioners for the 
Colony aforesaid. 

John Greene, Dep. Governor. 

Nath ll Coddington. 

Wes t Clarke. 

Tho: Olney. 
Kings Towne, December 8, 1698. 


Gentlemen : — Mr. Thomas Oney, Esqr., Major Tew, 
Capt. Arnold, Mr. Barton, Mr. Martingal, and Capt. 
William Champlin. 

You propose to us for agreement to settle a line be- 
twixt us, the Colony of Connecticut and Rhoad Island, 
that Paucatuck River should be the dividing line as 
far as Paucatuck River runs north, and then to run a 
north line to the Massachusets south line. Only you will 
allow six miles east of Quinnebog River, if the north 
line comprehend any part of Quinnebog purchase, which 
you allow us according to the agreement betwixt the 
Governor John Winthrop and Mr. John Clark ; yet you 
deny to give this under your hand, wherefore we write 
that we may be under no mistake in our report to our 

To which we reply, that the ground or foundation of 
your charter is an agreement with said Governor John 
Winthrop and Mr. John Clarke, which is, 1. that Pauca- 
tuck Riuer shall be the certain bounds, and mentions no 
north line ; and therefore Paucatuck Riuer, the greater 
stream, is to be the bounds as far as that runs. 2. Provision 

1 This paper, with real signatures, is in the hand of James Noyes. It is 
printed, with some variations, in the Colonial Records of Rhode Island, III. 
380, and also the answer thereto. — Eds. 


is made, if any part of Quinnebog purchase fall in your 
claim, that, 3. the proprietors and inhabitants about Mr. 
Smith's trading-house, claimed and purchased by Major 
Atherton, Captain Hutchinson, Lieutenant Hudson, &c, 
have full liberty unto which of those Colonies they will 

4. That properties shall not be altered or destroyed, 
as it is more fully declared in the said agreement ; which 
articles of agreement, if you will give under your hands to 
fulfil, we are readily disposed to an amicable agreement. 

Samuell Mason. 

Daniell Witherell. 

James Noyes. 

At Mr. John Eldrets, November 9th, 1699. 

Indorsed, "The Commissioners of Conecticut and Rhode Island, their 
proposals and answers. November 9th, 1699." 


To Joseph Crandall, especial Constable appointed for 
this present expedition, Greeting. 

Whereas 1 hath been made unto me, Samuel Cranston, 
Governor of his Majesty's Colony of Rhoad Island and 
Prouidence Plantations, &c, by Captain William Champlin 
and Mr. Joseph Clarke, of Westerly, Justices within said 
Colony, that they have met with some obstruction in 
the town meeting by several persons of said town remon- 
strating under their hands against the choosing of rate 
makers, (according to an Assembly's act, at Warwiok, 
October 25, 1699,) as will more at large appear under the 
hands of the said persons, viz. James Pendelton, Joseph 

1 Noyes, who copied this warrant, omitted the word "complaint." See 
p. 203, line 18 from bottom. — Eds. 


Pemberton, George Denison, Joseph Stanton, John Lewis, 
Daniell Crumb, Jn°- Babcock, Joseph Pendelton, Edward 
Bliuing, Eoger Larkin, James Lewis, Israel Lewis, and 
Joseph Babcock, Edward Wilkocks, the which act of 
theirs doth tend to the subversion of his Majesty's 
authority, established in this Colony under the great seal 
of England, and is a high contempt against the same. 
These are, therefore, in the name of his Majesty William 
the Third, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, 
and the dominions and territories thereunto belonging, 
to apprehend the persons of the aforesaid James Pendle- 
ton, Joseph Pemberton, George Denison, Joseph Stanton, 
Jn°- Lewis, Daniel Crumb, Jn°- Babcock, Joseph Pendel- 
ton, Edward Bliuin, Roger Larkin, James Lewis, Israel 
Lewus, Joseph Babcock, and Edw T ard Wilcoks, and bring 
them before me, that they may be proceeded with accord- 
ing to their demerits. And you are hereby authorized 
and empowered to take sufficient aid, and all or any of 
his Majesty's loving subjects within this Colony are here- 
by required to be aiding and assisting to you in the exe- 
cution of your said office, if thereunto commanded by you, 
as occasion shall require. Hereof you are not to fail, as 
you '11 answer the contrary. 

Given under my hand and seal in Newport, this second 
day of December, and in the eleventh year of his Majes- 
ty's reign over England, &c, Annoq. Domini 1699. 

Samuell Cranston. 

Vera copia, attests Joseph z Crandal's marke, Con- 
stable constituted for the same. 

A true copy, compared with an attested copy by James 



These for the Reverend Mr. Saltonstall at New London, dd. 

Stonningt. December 18, '99, Monday night. 

Reverend Sir, — After the tenders of my service to 
yourself and the honored Governor to whom I write by 
you. Just now Mr. Ja. Babcock informs me Mr. Joseph 
Pemberton, Jno. Lewis, Edward Wilcocks, Jo. Babcock, 
are carried away to Khoad Island by Joseph Cranclal, 
Captain Champlin also in company, John Clark, William 
Champlin, Jo. Johnson, also Jno. Maxon assisted in the 
first seizure, we suppose, but are not certain. Said Bab- 
cock persuaded the prisoners to go back, there being 
several friends with said Babcock; but he could not 
persuade them to go back, although our friends were 
very much too many and strong for the other. An at- 
tested copy of the instrument I have sent, but I believe 
the word " complaint" was omitted in the copy. I wish 
the prisoners had not gone ; for I fear they will because 
they must conquer them now they have them, or their 
case falls to the ground. But they are stiff blades that 
are gone, especially Jno. Lewis. Let them do what they 
will with the prisoners, the way to strengthen the re- 
mainder would be as speedily and cunningly as we can 
to take off Jo. Crandal, and Maxon, and John Clark, 
and bring them under bonds to our Colony, as to make 
a plaster for the sore which may possibly be made at 
R. Island, for I fear they may weary them out to give 
bonds to pay, &c. 

If we can adventure to do to purpose, to strengthen 
and rescue and defend our friends, Deacon Palmer, who is 
prudent, had need be sent to, that he act as need require, 
employing Nath. Cheesbrough, or Eobert Denison, or 
some suitable man, as constable pro tempore, taking aid 
and taking of the heads, and giving them quitt for quo. 


Or I propose to have Mr. George Denison empowered 
as constable for the families on this side Pancatuck to 
keep the King's peace in behalf of Connecticot as to per- 
sons and estates; and this day he says he will warrant 
to overdo any that shall disturb in the behalf of Rhoad 
Island, he having so many rugged, resolute fellows on 
his side against the Island as to pay anything, viz. 
John Alcraft, Josshua Holms, three Randals, G. Birch, 
&c, and he hath two sons, men's fellows, and John 
Renols. And Mr. James Babcock, made constable to 
keep the peace for Connecticut on the east of Pancatuck 
River, and he thinks such as refuse to pay are two 
thirds. As we told you before, if this may be clone 
Rhoad Island interest must fall. 

About Friday next, or rather next Monday, it will 
be a suitable time to find a sheriff, or make a deputy 
sheriff ; and a man or two with him, and all the friends 
at Squammacut, or enough to rule the rest and help to 
seize the persons mentioned, will meet at the Weirs, and 
then the case will hopefully issue well. If we do noth- 
ing, I doubt they will with their presumptions crush 
such as are our friends. I must not acid but hearty 
acknowledgment of your [*om] kindnesses, and am your 


James Notes. 1 

I sent Mr. George Denison to Capt. Mason this night to 
discourse him, and he very well approves of a Constable 
to be made on the west of Paucatuck River ; but he dis- 
coursed not of the east. It was not then in my thoughts. 

J. N. 

Indorsed, " Mr. Noyes to Mr. Saltonstall about Narogansett lands. Dec. 
18th, 1699." 

1 The writer wos a distinguished clergyman of Stonington for many years. 
See Allen's Biographical Diet, and Savage's Genealogical Diet. — Eds. 



At a meeting of the Governor and Council, in N. L : 
Dec. 25, '99. 

Present : 

The Honorable Governor. 

Capt. Samuel Mason, Esq. 

Capt. Daxiel Withe rell, Esq. . 

Mr. Rich. Christophers,) t Jt 
Ti/r at ci > Justices. 

Mr. Nehemiah Smith, ) 

Ordered, that, if any person whatsoever, under color of 
an order from the government of Rhoad Island, shall pre- 
sume to distrain for any rate or rates upon any man's 
person or estate, in inhabiting on the east side Pawcatuck 
River within the ancient bounds of Stoningtown and the 
parts of the Narraganset next adjoining, that Capt. Sam- 
uel Mason, Esq. shall depute a deputy sheriff, and give 
full power to seize and secure any such person, and all 
such as shall be aiding or assisting to him therein, and 
bring them before some of his Majesty's authority within 
this Colony, that they may be dealt with all according to 

Entered in the Council Book per 

Richard Christophers, Councett Clark. 

A copy compared. Attest, 

Samuell Mason, 

Daniell Wetherell, Assistant. 

Indorsed, "Copy of an order of Council to Capt. Mason to depute • a 
Deputy Sheriff within the ancient bounds of Stonington, and the parts of 
Naroganset adjoining. Dec. 25th, 1699." 



To the Honored General Assembly sitting at Warrwich, \0th inst., and for 
her Majesty's Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, the 
last Wednesday in October, 1705. 

The exhibition and petition of Nenegrate, Sachem, heir 
and successor of Nenegrate, one of the chief sachems 
of Narraganset Country, humbly showeth, — 

That whereas I understand that my predecessor, Nene- 
grate, with some other sachems, did mortgage a parcel 
of land in the Narragansett Country to Major Humphry 
Atherton and his associates for a considerable quantity of 
wampum pegue, as by the deed bearing date the 13th 
day of October, 1660, will appear, which said pegue, as 
they say, remains yet unpaid ; whereupon they claim the 
land, which hath caused much trouble in this Colony, 
and for as much as I am the true and undoubted heir of 
that great sachem, Nenegrate, who ever stood as well as 
myself in true fidelity and allegiance to the Crown of 
England ever since our submission to his Royal Majesty, 
King Charles the Second of blessed memory, which sa- 
cred King was graciously pleased to take us into his 
royal grace and favor as his loving subjects, a token 
whereof I have here to show to this Honored Assembly, 
if they see cause. And inasmuch as I am informed by 
Englishmen learned in the law that the heir hath power to 
redeem the lands mortgaged by his ancestor at any time, 
he paying the principal and the lawful interest there- 
upon accruing, I being heir as aforesaid, and in true alle- 
giance to her Majesty, hope that I may have the privilege, 
as other of her Majesty's liege subjects ought to have. 
Wherefore my humble request is that you would be 
pleased to countenance and give allowance to me, and 
I will pay that principal money of the abovesaid mort- 


gage, if any there be due, with the lawful interest there- 
upon accruing, and the land shall be at this Colony's 
service for them to purchase ; and I will grant them deeds 
at such reasonable rate as the Colony shall think most 
expedient in their wisdom for raising the aforesaid money 
and interest. Ancl for those persons that are settled al- 
ready on the land without the Colony's order, I will grant 
deeds by the Colony's order, and they shall pay towards 
the said money as shall be thought fit by the Colony ; 
and for the remaining part of land which will fall to me 
after the money is paid, I do promise not to withhold, but 
will sell it to the freemen of this Colony, ancl to no other 
persons, as reasonably as can be always provided. And it 
is my real intent and meaning not to infringe upon any 
purchase or upon any of the lands granted by the Col- 
ony, but only of that land undisposed of by the Colony 
which is contained in the abovesaid mortgage deed. 

All which is humbly submitted to your Honors, by 
yours to command, 

Nenegrat, Sachem} 

Indorsed, " Copy of what said to be Nenegrate petition." 


Sir, — upon the Questions to aske Nenegrate may be 
as much as cann be remembered on Ninegrates Com- 
plaints to his hono r the Gou r formerly of wrong done him 
by many in the Colony for when he Complained twice 
about Westerly mens takeing away his lands he then did 
say that he had Complained to Go r Winthrop abou f now 

1 If this petition was presented to the Rhode Island Assembly, as stated 
no record was made of it. — Eds. 


the Lands the tooke from him was lands ordered him on 
agreement by the morgage men his first Complaint was 
about 8 years a goe and the 2 d was about four year a go 
wherein he alwayes laid the stress of his Complaint on 
Capt Wm. Champlin of Westerly to be the principle 
man & the old Indian the Interpreter Cann evid es the 
same which please to examine strictly into that Concern 
of their takeing and setlins; such land 3 and abuseing him 
on his Complaints to the Gov r and assembly both times 

2. pray examine who put it into his head to petition 
the assembly siting at Warwick in October last telling 
him that he was heir of all the Narraganset Country, and 
whither the promised him an Reward in saying as the 
would haue him 

3. whither any person on the acco** of the Morgage 
ever tooke away any lands he was Settled on and whither 
Capt. Wm. Champlin and others did not after the had 
taken and setled his lands Infuse seuer 11 storryes into his 
head as If some were intending to take away his lands 
when they had done it before so to hid their own actions 

4. what land he understood was his fathers and whither 
h_e knowes what land his father had, but by the Informa- 
tion of Champlin &c of late since the would agree with 
him to confirme them lands to them that before the took 
away from him 

5. whither all the people that are settled mostly on the 
Morgage Lands and All sorts are not such as some haue 
been with him to git Confirmation deeds of him for the 
lands the haue taken up and whither Joseph Hull and 
Wm. Champlin and some other did not tell him that he 
must giue them Confirmation deeds and that what was 
so mentiond in his petition to the Assembly which he 
knew not nor was the petition his but as the told him 
what he must spake to as the put in the petition 

6. who Choose him (them men) as the Call themselves 
his atturney to act for him whither he nominated any of 


them or whither some others did not nominate them and 
order him to allow them 

7. whither there be not a great many persons as some 
scores or a 100 or more that are Joined on said Concernes 
of the Narragans* Lands morgaged by the other Sachems 
to Maj r Atherton &c and whither he knowes that any of 
the Sachems was of any kind to him or so discoursed 
of to be a kind to him but note of late which they people 
tell him of 

and on what other queryes you please onely one thing 

whither he hath giuen any deeds to any persons and 
whither them that he hath giuen deeds hath not taken 
and settled the Lands before he gaue the deeds 

and what lands he hath promissed to the men as is to 
assis* him what share of the Country and what lands haue 
I he giuen them a grant on allready to goe on said con- 
cern and whither some haue not any possession of any 
j of the land he claimes to carry on their designe l 

Indorsed, "Queries." 

1 This paper, which bears no date or signature, evidently was called out 
by the foregoing petition of Ninegrate. It may be a first draft. It was 
written by a very illiterate hand, and it seems hazardous to meddle with its 
orthography or punctuation . We therefore print the paper verbatim et lite- 
ratim, and leave it to the reader to make out its meaning. — Eds. 









To the Honorable William Pitkin, Esq., Governor of the Colony of 
Connecticut, Hartford. 

Sandy Hook, December 24th, 1766. 

Sir, — I have the pleasure now to write to you from 
on board the packet, under a fair gale, just putting out 
to sea, and in a few hours I hope to be out of sight of 
land, and in about a month's time to write you again 
from Falmouth. I have the satisfaction to find I am on 
board a good ship, with a worthy captain and several 
agreeable passengers, Colonel Maxwell, Captain Ross, the 
Honorable Mr. Ramsey, &c. While I was in New York 
I waited several times upon Judge Smith, who was pleased 
to confer very freely with me upon the Mohegan Case, 1 
has furnished me with some valuable papers, and kindly 
recommended both me and the cause to Mr. Debert, his 
correspondent in England. I have also obtained letters of 
recommendation to Colonel Barre, General Monkton, Sir 
Henry Seaton, and other considerable people in England, 
whose interest and influence I hope to avail myself of in 
the conduct of the case. Nothing, I assure you, shall be 
omitted on my part to bring it to a happy issue, if God 
gives me a safe arrival in England. I have the honor to 
be, with the greatest regard, 

Your Honor's most obedient, humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

1 See page 222, note. — Eds. 



Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, February 12, 1767. 

Sir, — I arrived at Falmouth the 30th of January, after 
a very boisterous and disagreeable passage. The severe 
eastwardly weather which they have had in England met 
us at sea, and obliged us to lie to near a fortnight, which 
rendered our voyage much longer than might have been 
expected at this season of the year. As there was no 
ship like to sail from that port sooner than this packet, I 
thought it needless to trouble you with a letter from 
thence ; but came on to London with all the despatch 
that the badness of the roads (which, it seems, have been 
much affected by the severe frosts and snow which they 
had here in January) would admit of, and happily found 
myself in season to prepare and solicit the important affair 
with which I am charged. Mr. Jackson received me in a 
very friendly manner, and seems perfectly well disposed 
to co-operate with me in making the best we can of our 

Lord Northington, President of the Council, is, it seems, 
at present unwell, has done no business for some time, 
and, it is thought, will not soon be in a condition to re- 
sume it. Indeed, Mr. Jackson seems rather to wish he 
may never be concerned in the decision of this case, as he 
imagines, from his temper and turn of mind with respect j 
to the Colonies, he is in danger of being rather against 
us than for us. Mr. Jackson acquaints me that he has 
very lately wrote you so largely upon the present state 
of the case that it is unnecessary for me to add anything 
upon that head. The proposal for an accommodation, 
which he has stated to you, has not yet been made in 
form, and if it had, we have certainly no power to treat 
upon a matter of that kind; and it is also, I believe, 


at present very uncertain whether the government will 
make any grant of the lands upon the Ohio which may 
lay a- foundation for any such agreement; so that no 
ideas of this nature will by any means divert our atten- 
tion from making the most effectual preparation for a 
public discussion of the case. I find with the greatest 
pleasure that we may, as the case is now circumstanced, 
have the full advantage of the arguments from the inval- 
uable and essential right of the tenants in possession to 
have their title to the lands tried by a jury, and from the 
length of time since the appeal was entered. These will be 
introduced in the previous question, whether at this time 
of day, after so long an acquiescence under the decree in 
favor of the Colony, and under the present circumstances, 
they shall be admitted to revive the cause ; upon which 
points, if we have justice done us, I apprehend we cannot 
but prevail. A brief is preparing upon these points, and 
will be finished in a few days; though it is not expected 
that Sir Fletcher Norton (who, by the way, is I find our 
only counsel, except Mr. Jackson, in the case) will be at 
leisure to attend to it fully till the London and Middlesex 
sittings are over, when, without fail, he shall be made 
perfectly acquainted with the whole matted. 

As I have been so few days in London, you will not 
j imagine that I can write you with any precision upon the 
political news of this country, which seems to be as vague 
and indeterminate here as in America. I can therefore 
only give you, as it is called, the news of the day. It is 
said the complexion of the Ministry and of Parliament 
seems rather unfavorable to the Colonies ; and it is im- 
agined that new plans are meditating with respect to 
them, but what they are does not appear. Mr. Townsend, 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, a few days past, u£ on an 
accidental mention of America, said in the House, "I do 
not know any distinction between internal and external 
taxes ; it is a distinction without a difference, it is perfect 


nonsense ; if we have a right to impose one, we have the 
other;" and, looking up, added with emotion, "I speak 
this aloud, that all you who are in the galleries may hear 
me." Mr. Greenville omits no opportunity to insist upon 
the ill policy of repealing the Stamp Act ; he was upon it 
yesterday in the House, where I heard another gentleman 
too, from whom I did not expect it, who was last year 
connected with the Ministry, and consequently voted 
for it, in declaiming against Lord Chatham, with great 
warmth, mention this as an instance of his profusion of the 
public treasure, and disregard to the means necessary to 
increase the revenue. It is certain Lord Shelburne, who 
has the principal management of American affairs, is very 
much disgusted at New York for refusing to billet the 
troops, pursuant to the act of Parliament for that purpose. 
Ill and groundless reports have been circulated, as though 
the Colonies were even yet in a state of tumult and con- 
fusion (or, as some of them are pleased to term it, rebel- 
ion), and scarce an hour has passed since I have been 
here in which I have not been questioned upon these 
subjects. A new duty, it is said, will be laid upon tea 
and China ware, and the drawback upon exportation in- 
creased, to induce us to leave smuggling it from Holland, 
and consume none but what we have from this country. 
The act of last sessions, so far as it relates to our export- 
ing flaxseed, &c. directly to Ireland, will undoubtedly be 
repealed ; but it was not, I find, by mistake, as we chari- 
tably hoped, that it was pen'd so generally. Troops 
are going out to America, but whether to execute new 
designs with respect to us, or to relieve those who are 
there, does not yet appear. The great affair of the East 
India Company is to come on next week, which, as it is a 
question arising upon a charter, may perhaps be interest- 
ing even to us. Lord Chatham is not yet come to town 
from Bath, but is hourly expected, when it is imagined 
all will open that is intended for this session. I shall be 


as assiduous as I can in tracing out the designs on foot, 
and communicate everything that may seem worthy 
your attention, and in the mean time remain, with the 
greatest regard, 

Your Honor's most obedient, humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

P. S. Please to direct for me at Mrs. Wilson's, in 
Lancaster Court, near St. .Martin's Church, in the Strand, 


Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, March 19, 1767. 

Sir, — Such has been the confusion amongst the Minis- 
ters in this country, and so great the uncertainty with 
respect to all public measures since I came here, that I 
have been in fear to write you at all upon public affairs, 
lest I should mislead, and give wrong notions ; or lest, if 
I should give you the best intelligence that could be col- 
lected in the morning, the whole face of things should be 
changed before evening, and it would become necessary 
to contradict one day what I had wrote you on the other. 
Either the designs of government and their system is too 
complex, deep, and close to be discovered, not by my 
very weak and feeble penetration only, but by the whole 
body (and they are certainly a very numerous and re- 
spectable one) of those who are endeavoring, not only to 
discover, but many of them to counteract them too ; or 
else they have very little design, and act without a plan, 
and only from the varying appearances as they arise. I 
wish it were the first, as I should then hope that some- 
thing truly great and excellent would by and by appear ; 
but I confess I fear it is rather the latter, and that it is 


therefore altogether in vain to attempt to determine what 
will or will not be done with regard either to the affairs 
of this country or of America. At present, all attention 
is engaged by the altercations upon the subject of the im- 
mense acquisitions of the East India Company; whether 
they belong to the government, or to the Company, or to 
both; and how they shall be divided and regulated; which 
are truly intricate and important questions, equally inter- 
esting and uncertain in their issue. As soon as this is 
over, it is said, the Parliament will enter upon American 
affairs; and the objects held out to view are the new 
duties upon tea and China ware, (which I mentioned to 
you in my letter of the 12th of February,) the petition 
of the New York merchants relative to trade, and the re- 
fusal of that province to billet the troops, though I wish 
something else may still divert them ; for the less they 
think, or we give them occasion to think of us, I imagine 
the better for us. Sometimes I have been flattered with 
an opinion that they will do nothing this sessions relative 
to America ; and again I have been alarmed with as- 
surances that something very striking certainly must and 
will be done, and that the anxious spirits of this country 
can no longer brook the impositions upon them, without 
some similar impositions upon America. This is owing, 
I am sensible, to the different company I converse with 
(and I choose to mix with some of both kinds). Those 
who are friends to America, and wish to have us in some 
sense forgot, flatter themselves and me that nothing dis- 
agreeable to us will take place ; on the contrary, those 
who wish to see us burdened and humbled insist in all 
companies that it will be done, and that this country can 
bear no longer delay. Which conjecture most accurately, 
a little time will discover; the latter, however, I imagine, 
speak not what they have any real assurances of, but 
rather what they hope, and which I wish may be as the 
hope of the hypocrite. 


I have been very solicitous to know what was the des- 
tination of the troops, going or gone out to America ; and 
from all quarters, and in such a manner as I trust I may 
depend upon it, am assured that they are only to relieve 
a like number who are to return from thence ; and that 
no new plan is yet adopted for them, nor their numbers 
to be increased. 

New York and the Colonies from thence southward 
have, I find, instructed their agents to endeavor to obtain 
a repeal of the late act of Parliament, relative to their 
paper currency, prohibiting them from making it a tender 
in payment of private debts, &c. ; and they are making 
all the interest they can to obtain such repeal, and flatter 
themselves with some prospect of success. If they suc- 
ceed, it will, no doubt, pave the way for the Northern 
Colonies to apply (if they please) that they may be put 
upon the same footing, and have like indulgence with 
their neighbors. If they do not, it seems very evident 
that any attempt on our part for a repeal or alteration of 
the act peculiar to the New England Governments would 
be quite fruitless. At present, therefore, I do not see that 
it is necessary for us to interest ourselves immediately in 
the affair, especially as the Northern Colonies ought, in 
such case, to be united, and I do not find that any of their 
agents have received instructions upon this head. 

There is another affair, however, to which I thought it 
my duty to be as attentive as possible ; viz. the interrup- 
tion last year given by Commodore Paliser to the North 
America fishery. He founded, it seems, his very extra- 
ordinary behavior upon a rigorous construction of the 
statutes relating to the Newfoundland fishery ; and upon 
a pretence that, under color of the fishery, the North 
Americans were managing an extensive contraband trade 
with the French, at the islands of Miquillon and St. Pierre, 
which, I believe, is without any manner of foundation. I 
cannot find, however, that he is countenanced in these 


things by government, though they do not choose to pass 
any censure upon his conduct, but leave those who have 
been injured to their remedy against him at law, which 
they are undoubtedly entitled to ; but to prevent anything 
of the kind for the future, Mr. Jackson (who is very 
attentive to American affairs), Mr. De Bert, and some 
others, have been laboring to obtain, and were encouraged 
to hope that an act of Parliament should pass the sessions 
to explain those statutes, and place the fishery upon an 
equal and fair footing. But at present the Ministry do 
not think proper to undertake that any act shall pass this 
session ; but promise, at least, that Paliser shall receive 
(when he goes out again this spring) very positive in- 
structions not to impede or prejudice the New England 
fishery; which, I hope, will prevent any farther complaints 
from that quarter, and leave our people to make the most 
they can of that valuable branch of business. Or should 
they, contrary to expectation, be again interrupted, I 
am persuaded that, upon proper representations, effectual 
measures will be taken to prevent any future difficulty. 

There is also another design on foot, in which I do not 
apprehend that we have much concern, though I think it 
might as well be omitted ; which is to establish a board of 
Commissioners of the Customs in America, in lieu of the 
present Surveyors-General. It is said that such board 
will be more eligible to the people, as they will be less 
despotic than a single officer ; and that the Crown will be 
better served by a number of gentlemen, who will be in 
effect checks upon each other, as well as add weight and 
dignity to the whole system relative to the customs. On 
the other hand, I think it may be said that it will be at 
least a needless establishment of a set of great officers 
with large salaries, who will necessarily have a set of 
dependents upon them in several subaltern stations ; for 
whose support the revenue now usually collected will be 
expended to the prejudice of the Crown, or the trade 


must be charged with fresh burdens to make good the 
deficiency, either of which will be mischievous ; yet it is 
a favorite idea of at least one minister, though uncertain 
whether it will take place at present. 

We are yet in some uncertainty when the Mohegan 
Case will be heard, as when I wrote you last. Lord 
Korthington is sometimes better and sometimes worse, 
but most generally has ill health, and does no business of 
this kind, and very little of any other. Mason, though 
extremely confident of a determination in his favor, yet 
seems willing to accommodate (upon the plan which Mr. 
Jackson has communicated to you), if a grant of lands 
can be obtained upon the Ohio ; in which General Lyman 
is greatly encouraged that he shall succeed. I have told 
Mr. Mason that whatever probability there may be of 
obtaining such grant, or however reasonable it may ap- 
pear to treat of such an accommodation, yet he must be 
sensible that we have no authority from the Colony to 
enter into a negotiation of this nature ; that therefore, 
whenever he thinks proper to make a proposal of this 
kind in form, it shall be immediately communicated to 
the government, and proper instructions requested there- 
upon. On his part, I see an uncertainty with regard to 
the grant, which must be the basis of the proposal, and 
an unwillingness to make a formal offer to compound, 
lest it should seem to imply a diffidence of his cause, of 
which he would appear (and I believe really is, though I 
hope without just grounds) very confident. In this un- 
certain situation, it seems very obviously our duty to 
lose no opportunity for a trial in expectation of an agree- 
ment ; but to bring the affair as soon as possible to a 
public decision. And in this intention, I remain, with 
the greatest respect, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

¥ J Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received May, 1767." 



London, April 11, 1767. 
Sik, — It does not yet appear when our case with Ma- 
son will be brought to trial. 1 Lord President is indeed so 
well as to be able to go abroad, and has appeared several 
times in the House of Lords, but does not think his health 
sufficiently firm to attend the trial of the causes which 
lie before him ; we are, however, in hopes, as he is recov- 
ering, that it will not be long before he will be able to sit 
for the despatch of business. In this interval, as I have 
already mentioned to you, the necessary preparations 
have been making, that we may be ready at the shortest 
warning. Sir Fletcher Norton has been made acquainted 
with the cause. He is, I find, a gentleman of strong natu- 
ral powers, thinks clearly, and has a great extent of legal 
knowledge, and, though not the most graceful speaker, 
expresses himself with great propriety, and in a nervous 
masculine style. He is generally esteemed one of the 
first counsel at the bar, and has peculiar influence with 
Lord Mansfield, which, as well as some other circum- 
stances, makes us rather wish that nobleman might have 
the decision of our case, which he might indeed now take 
up if he pleased, but (as they have not the best affection 

1 The " Mohegan Case," referred to in the first of this series of letters, 
and now at this place, was a long-continued claim of the remnant of the 
Mohegan tribe of Indians in Connecticut to lands alleged to have been un- 
justly withheld from them by that Colony. The story is told by Trumbull, 
I. 410-413, 421-427, and by De Forest in his " History of the Indians of Con- 
necticut," pp. 309 et seq. See also a book known as the " Mohegan Case," 
being a "Certified Copy of Book of Proceedings before Commissioners of 
Review, 1743." It was published in London in 1769, just before the final 
hearing. There had been several appeals to the Crown, by both parties, from 
decisions made during a period of nearly seventy years, and hearings there- 
upon. Mason, a descendant of the old Pequot warrior, appeared in behalf 
of the Indians, and Johnson was sent over to appear for the Colony. The 
case was finally decided, in 1771, in favor of the Colony. See Palfrey, IV. 
364-366. — Eds. 


for each other) he will absolutely meddle with nothing 
at the cockpit while Lord Northington is President of the 
Council. Sir Fletcher is clearly of opinion that the origi- 
nal commission to Governor Dudley was totally illegal, 
and that the subsequent ones have been but a repetition 
of the same error, and an infringement of the rights of 
the Colony, who are vested with sufficient powers to try 
all causes, at least in the first instance, as well between 
Indians (inhabiting the Colony) and the English, as be- 
tween Englishman and Englishman ; and that the cause 
could never have regularly come here but after a decision 
first had in the ordinary courts of the Colony. He thinks, 
too, that the length of time elapsed after entering the 
appeal, and the extraordinary nature and conduct of the 
case, were reasons abundantly sufficient for a total dis- 
mission of the cause, and that the last order for sum- 
moning the tertenants, and reviving the cause even 
conditionally, should by no means have been made. He 
doubts of the propriety of the Colony's objecting at this 
time of day to the legality of the latter commissions, be- 
cause the second was issued upon their petition by Sir 
H. Ashurst against Dudley's judgment, and they sub- 
mitted to a trial under that, as well as the last. But he 
admits that in the name of the tenants in possession, at 
least, we may object against the legality of the last order, 
as well as of the commissions, and to all the proceedings 
as irregular, and upon the whole gives us good encour- 
agement to hope for a favorable issue of the affair, though 
he says at the same time, very justly, that whatever de- 
pends upon the judgment of other men, and those too 
who perhaps will be induced to give but a small share of 
attention to so complex a subject, must after all be in a 
considerable degree precarious and uncertain. Ar>d that 
he may be fully prepared upon the merits, as well as 
upon these previous questions, he has assured me that he 
will take the book (or whole record of the case) down 


into the country with him, and make himself master of 
it in the approaching holidays, during which there will 
be a recess from public business, and he will have leisure 
to give a cool attention to the subject. 

These consultations and preparations, I find, are already 
very expensive, and the trial whenever it comes on will 
be greatly so. You will therefore pardon me for taking 
the liberty to suggest my fears that (should the whole 
sum be drawn for that was last ordered) the money left 
in Mr. Jackson's hands, being subject to his and Mr. Life's 
salaries and my expenses, as well as the expenses of the 
suit, will not be sufficient for all these purposes. I have 
not, however, the least doubt but these things will be duly 
considered, and proper steps taken to support the cause 
with reputation. 

Nothing very material has actually taken place, either 
with respect to this country or America, since I had the 
honor to write you of the 19th of March, though much is 
talked of. The East India affair is not yet over, and the 
House of Commons are constantly employed in examining 
into it. The House of Lords about ten days ago took up 
American affairs, and spent two afternoons upon them in 
a very general manner, declaiming upon the supposed 
ingratitude of the Colonies, and that spirit of disregard to 
this country, and the views of independence which (found- 
ing themselves chiefly upon the conduct of New York in 
refusing to billet the troops, and of the Massachusetts 
Bay in their disputes with their Governor) they mis- 
takenly imagine have taken place there. Variety of 
measures, and some severe ones, were by the different 
speakers mentioned as expedient to be gone into for the 
better regulation of the Colonies and to reduce them to 
order; but nothing was directly insisted upon, because 
the Ministry said they had a plan in intention which in 
due time they would propose. 

Yesterday the Lords in opposition fell upon the late 


Act of General Pardon and Indemnity which the Massa- 
chusetts Assembly tacked to their act for granting com- 
pensation to the sufferers in the riots, which they repre- 
sented and declaimed upon as an insult upon Parliament 
and a high encroachment upon the King's preroga- 
tive, founding themselves upon this general principle, 
that the King alone can grant a pardon, and that even 
Parliament can pass no act of that kind but what is ori- 
ginated by the Crown, and in the very language and 

extent proposed by the King. The Duke of B d 

therefore moved that an humble address should be pre- 
sented to his Majesty, that he would be graciously 
pleased to take into consideration that part of the said 
Massachusetts act which imported to be a general par- 
don, &c, and upon its appearing to be null and void, 
that the same should be in the most effectual manner 
declared to be of no force or effect, &c., &c. This motion 
was with great vigor supported by Lords M — sf — d, 

T e, S k, T — s — d, T 1, &c. ? &c. ; and as 

warmly opposed by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Presi- 
dent, Duke of G n, Lord S — b — e, 1 and the friends 

of the Administration ; not by vindicating the act, for 
it was treated with the greatest indignity by every 
lord that spoke, as wrong in its principle and very ex- 
ceptionable in its form ; but such address was considered 
by the Administration as needless, because the act might, 
and they said certainly would, be. disannulled by the King 
in Council, to whom in course of office it properly be- 
longed to vacate any improper act passed in the Planta- 
tions ; and they insisted that the address would carry 
with it an implied censure upon the Administration, (as 
it was certainly intended it should,) as being inattentive 
to so important a subject, and so negligent of their duty 

1 Lords Alansfield, Temple, Suffolk, Townshend, Talbot, the Duke of 
Grafton, and Lord Shelburne. — Eds. 



as to demand the interposition of Parliament. The Duke 

of G n therefore moved for the previous question, 

and, after about six hours' warm debate, it was carried 
by the Administration upon a division, 63 against 36, and 
the act left to the decision of the King in Council, for 
which purpose it is now before the Attorney and Solicitor 
General. In the course of this debate, it being said by 
one of the Administration, " Perhaps we had as good look 
into the Massachusetts Charter before we come to a reso- 
lution," Lord T — ns — d said in answer, " Can anybody 
doubt whether we now understand the American charters 
after having studied them all last winter ? No ! Let us 
deliberate no longer. Let us come to firm resolutions, and 
act with vigor in consequence of them, now, while we 
can call the Colonies ours and have it in our power to 
secure them to this country. If you do not, they will 
very soon be left forever," &c. And Lord M — ns — d,| 
in his reply, declared it as his opinion that there was no 
room to consult charters upon the subject, because this 
was a prerogative of the Crown, which the King could 
not grant away nor divest himself of, even by the most 
express words. I was chagrined upon both these occa- 
sions to observe so much warmth against the Colonies, 
but am satisfied it is in some degree owing to the spirit 
of party, and that, when they declaim against the Ameri 
cans, they mean to attack the Administration as the sup- 
posed friends of the Colonies (from the part they took in 
the repeal of the Stamp Act) at least as much as they do 
the Colonies themselves. Very unhappy, however, it is 
for us, that maltreating us should subserve the purposes of 
opposition, and that we should become the object of party, 
since, if it produces no other ill effect (which is much to be 
feared), yet at least it certainly tends to alienate affection 
and instil principles most pernicious to both countries. 

The House of Commons have appointed a future day 
to take into consideration the state of the Colonies, when 


it is presumed the plan mentioned by the Ministry will 
be at least in part disclosed. I have very good intelli- 
gence that they would rather have avoided anything of 
the kind, and wish the behavior of New York and Massa- 
chusetts Bay had not given the opposition so much (at 
least seeming) weight against them, and laid them under 
a kind of necessity to produce some plan or other, and in 
some degree give up America to secure themselves ; and 
though they have several schemes in idea, they are much 
in doubt what to fix upon. The real friends of the Colo- 
nies, and those whose more immediate concern it is, are 
using all their endeavors, and forming all the friendships 
thej^ can, to avoid if possible any question upon the sub- 
ject, and if that cannot be done, to moderate resentments 
and soften the measures as far as may be ; and I am not 
without hopes that the remaining time of the session will 
be found too short to perfect even any plan at all. But I 
have taken the liberty in a former letter to tell you that 
party is so prevalent here, and everything so uncertain, 
that it is in vain to attempt conjectures, and I ought not 
therefore to trouble you with anything of that nature. 

Lord Chatham continues yet very unwell, cannot ap- 
pear in public, nor give much attention to business, which ' 
is a great misfortune to the Administration at least, if not 
to the public, as business proceeds but slowly, and they 
are subjected to so much censure that changes are every 
day talked of, and frequently very confidently expected. 
It was told me just now by a gentleman whose intelli- 
gence may be a good deal relied upon, that Lord 
C — th — m had repeatedly said, that if he recovered, 
and could not dismiss Secretary Conway and Lord Talbot, 
and bring the others joined with him into better order, 
he would quit the Administration and they might all go 
to — destruction together. But I am telling you trifles. 
Be it so ; yet they are anecdotes of the times, and your 
candor will impute my mentioning them to a fond desire 


to acquaint you with some things which may contribute 
to your amusement, as well as others of real utility, and 
in that light you will excuse it. I am, with the greatest 

Your Honor's most obedient humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

P. S. Though with regard to myself I believe it per- 
fectly needless, yet it may not perhaps be amiss to men- 
tion to you, that very great offence has been taken here 
at the frequent publication in America of extracts of 
letters from agents and others residing here, especially 
w T hen they have taken the liberty to mention the names 
of great persons in or out of administration. This has 
not been often done in Connecticut, and I doubt not all 
proper prudence will be used with respect to everything 
of this kind. 

Indorsed, " Received 11th Jane, 1767." 


Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, May 16th, 1767. 
Sir, — I have already acquainted you that the consid- 
eration of American affairs was by Parliament assigned 
for the first Thursday after the holidays, but for various 
reasons has been postponed to this time. During this 
interval various meetings and consultations have been 
had upon these matters, and the utmost pains taken by 
the friends of the Colonies to moderate the resentments 
unreasonably conceived against them, and to extinguish 
the jealousies which had arisen in the minds of many in 
power ; which have so far had a happy effect as to dis- 
suade the Ministry from at least one odious and disagree- 


able measure which was upon the point of being adopted ; 
viz. a duty upon salt, which was for some time strenu- 
ously insisted upon, but is now given up. Mr. Jackson 
has been very assiduous upon this occasion, and we are 
again beholden to the merchants, with Mr. Trecothick at 
their head, for their kind interposition in our behalf. The 
Chancellor of the Exchequer (who is at present in great 
estimation, is the principal manager in the House of 
Commons, and bids fair to conduct the counsels of the 
nation) declared at one of these meetings, that, although 
he did not in the least doubt the right of Parliament to 
tax the Colonies internally, and that he knew no differ- 
ence between internal and external taxes, (which, by the 
way, is a doctrine very generally adopted here,) yet 
since the Americans were pleased to make that distinc- 
tion he was willing to indulge them, and chose for that 
reason to confine himself to regulations of trade, by 
which a sufficient revenue might be raised in America. 
But upon being told that the army perhaps might with 
safety be withdrawn from America, in which case the 
expense would cease and there would be no farther occa- 
sion for a revenue, he refused to hear anything upon that 
subject, declaring peremptorily that the moment a reso- 
lution should be taken to withdraw the army from Amer- 
ica he would resign his office and have no more to do in 
public affairs, insisting that it was absolutely necessary to 
keep up a large army, both there and here, to be pre- 
pared against the designs which he knew the enemies of 
this kingdom were meditating against it. " An American 
army, and consequently an American revenue, are," said 
he, " essentially necessary ; but I am willing to have both 
in the manner most easy to the people, and will pursue 
the most moderate measures consistent with the ;attain- 
ment of these important objects." Amongst the other 
American papers which were laid before Parliament were 
the letters which passed to and from General Gage relative 


to the billeting the troops in Connecticut. I was at first 
alarmed with some observations which were made upon 
the delay which happened in that case ; but have the 
happiness to find that, upon considering the nature of our 
constitution, and the eventual compliance with the requi- 
sition, the Colony are justified, and no notice will be 
taken of it. The resentment against the Massachusetts 
Bay and New York still continued, and it was for some 
time a doubt which of those Provinces should be made 
the example of Parliamentary indignation ; but finally it 
was concluded that, as the disobedience of New York was 
the most direct, they should be the first sacrifice, and the 
resolution w T as taken to divest them of their legislative 
powers until they should submit and provide for the 
troops agreeable to the late act. Thus the matter stood 
until it was opened in Parliament, and I am very un- 
happy that I cannot give you a particular account from 
my own knowledge of what passed in the House on 
Wednesday, when they at last entered upon this business, 
and sat till one o'clock the next morning ; but although 
there had been an indulgence to strangers before that 
time, it was to our great surprise specially ordered upon 
this occasion that the agents of the Colonies should be 
excluded, and neither they nor the American merchants 
were allowed to be present at the debates. I can there- 
fore only tell you what I can collect from those members 
who are of a communicative turn. The debate was 
opened (it is said with much candor) by the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, who, after commenting upon the behavior 
of those Colonies who in his opinion had transgressed 
(amongst whom, however, he was so just as to exculpate 
Connecticut and Pennsylvania), upon the necessity they 
were under to do something to assert the sovereignty of 
Parliament, and the expediency of distinguishing the 
guilty from the innocent, to prevent its being a common 
cause, proposed the disfranchisement of New York, as 


above mentioned ; the establishment of a board of Com- 
missioners of Customs in America, the better to prevent 
smuggling ; taxes upon window-glass, paper, China ware, 
white-lead, and painters' colors ; upon wine, oil, and fruit 
from Portugal, with liberty to go directly from thence to 
the Plantations ; and that the Governor and Chief Jus- 
tices in the King's governments should be rendered more 
independent by giving the first £2000 : : and the latter 
£500:0: per annum, to be paid out of the American 
revenue. The proposal with respect to New York was 
opposed by Secretary Conway, Mr. Dowdeswel, and Mr. 
Burke, and a provincial tax proposed in lieu of it. Mr. 
Greenville, on his part, concurred in the taxes mentioned 
by Charles Townsend, but opposed the permission to go 
directly from Portugal to America as inconsistent with 
the Act of Navigation, and as an additional resource pro- 
posed a general paper currency for the Colonies, to be 
issued on loan and the interest remitted here and applied 
to the increase of the American revenue. He opposed 
the measure for New York as too lenient and ineffectual, 
aud advised that the treasurer of the Colony should be 
ordered to issue the money at the treasury, out of the 
first aids in his hands, and in case of refusal to be 
judged guilty of a premunire, triable and punishable in 
this country ; and because he said the disloyalty of the 
Colonies was general, as they persisted in the denial of 
the Parliamentary right of taxation, he offered to con- 
sideration a political test for America; that all persons 
at their entering into office, and every member of council 
or assembly, before he should be allowed to sit and act, 
should subscribe a declaration nearly in the words of the 
late declaratory act of Parliament, acknowledging the 
sovereignty of this country and the Parliamentary power 
of legislation and taxation in America. These several 
points having been largely canvassed in a general man- 
ner, an amendment was proposed to Mr. Townsend's 


resolution relative to New York, which upon a division, 
about one o'clock in the morning, was carried by Mr. 
Townsend almost two to one. The duty upon tea is post- 
poned till the East India affair (which is yet in litiga- 
tion) shall be settled. In the course of the debate, it is 
said, Mr. Yorke was particularly severe upon the Colonies, . 
and it was observed by others and generally approved, 
that by repealing the Stamp Act they had already greatly 
weakened the authority of Parliament ; that they must 
therefore repeal no more acts upon such pretences, but 
determine absolutely to vindicate and effectually support 
such measures as for the future they should think best to 
adopt. The resolution with respect to New York is de- 
signed as a specimen of their sovereignty, and she is to 
serve as an example to the other Colonies, who, they flat- 
ter themselves, will take no part in the controversy, as 
they are not immediately attacked. If she submits, say 
they, all will be well, the honor of Parliament will be 
vindicated, and the Mutiny Act will probably be suffered 
to expire silently by its own limitation, and be no more 
revived ; if she continues to oppose, farther and more 
severe measures must be adopted. Sensible of the dan- 
ger of involving all the Colonies in one common contro- 
versy, the present policy seems to be to attack them 
singly, as occasion may require, and by degrees reduce 
them all to that state of subordination and humble obe- 
dience which they very injudiciously seem to think 
necessary to their safety and happiness. 

On Friday, the report of the committee upon the reso- 
lutions relative to New York being made to the House, 
Mr. Garth and Mr. Fuller moved to have them recom- 
mitted, as not being well founded in fact, the disobedience 
of New York not being direct, as the resolution expresses 
it, but constructive only ; and because the directions of the 
act had not been, as they thought, properly pursued by 
the Governor in his part of the conduct of the affair; 


these objections were, however, but indifferently sup- 
ported. Secretary Conway, Mr. Dowdeswell, &c., were 
for recommitting, in view, as they said, to contrive some 
measure, if possible, still more lenient, but equally effect- 
ual ; all who spoke being agreed (except Mr. Beckford, 
whom nobody would mind) that it was become absolutely 
necessary to do something to assert and support the sov- 
ereignty of this country and the dignity of Parliament. 
Mr. Greenville and his party went into the same opinion, 
because the measure was not severe, or, as they would 
have it, effectual, nor general enough. This variety of 
opinions occasioned a long and warm debate, and it 
seemed for some time as if the resolution would be re- 
committed ; but Mr. Townsend by his superior eloquence 
and influence at length brought them back to their first 
resolutions, and it was carried against the recommittal, 
without a division, about nine at night. Mr. Greenville 
then moved, as a foundation for his test, that the House 
would resolve generally that in many of the Colonies the 
sovereignty of this country and the Parliamentary rights 
of legislation and taxation were denied and oppugned ; 
which he lost upon a division by a large majority. He 
then moved his test, which he had mentioned on Wednes- 
day, which brought on a farther debate ; but upon a 
division he had only 43 to 146. The principles upon 
which these two motions w r ere opposed were their sever- 
ity ; and that the consequence of them would be a second 
union of the Colonies against this country, and the same 
inconveniences that had followed from the Stamp Act. 
After this Mr. G. said, since he found the House would 
not come into any effectual resolutions in support of 
their sovereignty, he hoped at least that they would take 
some notice of those who had endeavored to support it 
in America, and had suffered in consequence of their 
loyalty ; and therefore moved that an humble address 
should be presented to his Majesty, that he would be 


pleased to bestow some marks of his favor upon those 
Governors and officers who had suffered by their obedi- 
ence to the acts of this legislature, &c, in which all par- 
ties joined him, and it was carried nem. contr. Finally 
he moved that the island of Barbadoes, who had distin- 
guished themselves by their loyalty and had lately suf- 
fered by fire, should be distinguished by Parliament, and 
have something done for them to repair their late severe 
loss; which was opposed, as not peculiar to them, there 
having been other Colonies equally loyal, and as set- 
ting up odious distinctions amongst the Colonies, which 
might be productive of very mischievous effects, &c. ; and 
was negatived without a division, after one o'clock this 
morning. This will serve to give you a general idea of 
what has passed here upon this occasion. Next week 
the other matters stated by the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer will probably be farther considered, and I shall 
continue to give you as I have opportunity the best ac- 
count I can collect of the progress of these affairs, which 
may perhaps be of some use in conducting the counsels 
of the Colony, which it certainly behooves should at this 
critical conjuncture be guided with the greatest prudence, 
moderation, wisdom, and caution. I ought perhaps to 
mention, that I found means (though it is yet known to 
but one person here) to be present at the last debate. 
Whether I shall succeed in future is uncertain, but I shall 
certainly attempt it, though at the risk of being taken 
into custody. A change of ministry is still much talked 
of, and expected erelong to take place ; but nothing is 
less to be depended upon than the conjectures and opin- 
ions upon this subject. Lord Chatham is quite disabled 
from doing business, and it is generally thought his un- 
derstanding is much affected by his disorders. 

Nothing new has occurred relative to the Mohegan 
Case. Lord Northington now and then appears in the 
House of Lords, but hears no causes. 


The moment I am finishing this letter I am favored 
with yours of the 14th of February, and in answer beg 
leave to assure you that I shall, agreeably to your direc- 
tions, be very attentive to whatever relates to the general 
interests of the Colony, as well as the particular affair I 
am charged with; and continually consult with Mr. Jack- 
son, 1 as I have hitherto done. 

There is no doubt, as you remark, that the charter of 
Connecticut has its enemies, both in its neighboring gov- 
ernments and here ; but upon the most minute inquiry, 
I do not find that there is at present any design to attack 
that in particular, or to infringe in any respect upon the 
special privileges of the Colony. The danger seems to 
be, rather, that by general regulations the universal liber- 
ties of America may be endangered, and by degrees the 
charters and Assemblies in general, in effect and conse- 
quence, be superseded and rendered useless, rather than 
taken away or abolished. The sentiments of people in 
general are indeed unhappily very unfavorable to the 
Colonies. But (so far as one may be allowed to compare) 
Connecticut is at present rather a favorite Colony, and 
I flatter myself will meet with no particular marks of 
resentment. How long these favorable (or rather less 
unfavorable) sentiments will continue, it is impossible to 
foresee, for opinions here are very fluctuating and un- 
certain ; but as it is my duty, so it will certainly be my 
particular pleasure, to cultivate and increase as far as pos- 
sible the present good opinion of the Colony, and to place 
it upon every occasion in the most advantageous point of 
light that I can. With the greatest respect and esteem, 
I remain, 

Your Honor's most obedient and very humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received 27th of July." 

1 Richard Jackson, who was the Colony's resident agent. — Eds. 



Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, June 9th, 1767. 

Sir, — The enclosed votes of the House of Commons, 
containing the resolutions with respect to the duties upon 
several articles imported into America, will show you all 
that has passed there, relating to the Colonies, since my 
last of the 16th of May. Those upon wine, oil, and fruit, 
which were proposed to be attended with an open trade to 
Portugal, the Ministry have given up, upon the principle 
that it would at present be dangerous to relax the Act of 
Navigation, the chief security of the supremacy of this 
country, while the Colonies were disputing and denying 
that very sovereignty which this act was principally in- 
tended to establish. It is also said that one gentleman 
objected to those duties because, with a permission to 
trade directly to Portugal, they would be agreeable to the 
Americans, and that they ought not at present to do 
anything that would please us. The affair of the paper 
currency, also, seems to be laid aside, at least for this 
session. Notwithstanding the duty upon tea, yet, as you 
see, all the present duties are to be taken off upon ex- 
portation (and to be made good to government by the 
East India Company). It must be much cheaper in Amer- 
ica than it has usually been, and as there will be very 
little, if any, temptation to run it from Holland, &c, it is 
expected that America will in future be entirely supplied 
from hence, and the consumption be increased, so that 
the trade will be beneficial to the East India Company, 
and at the same time produce a very considerable reve- 
nue. How wise would it be in the Americans to substi- 
tute in lieu of this expensive exotic some of the more 
salutary herbs of their own country ! 

In the House of Lords there have been again two very 


long debates upon the Massachusetts Act of Indemnity, 
and the pardon annexed to it. It had been set aside by 
the Privy Council, with a saving of any question which 
might arise with respect to its validity previous to this 
decision of the Council, and the right which any of the 
sufferers may have to retain the compensation they may 
have received by virtue of it. This did not satisfy the 
opposition, who wanted to have that part of it, at least, 
which related to the pardon, declared void ah initio. In 
view, therefore, obliquely to censure the Ministry, they 
moved first that the opinion of the judges should be asked 
upon this subject ; and afterwards, with the like purpose, 
proposed an address to his Majesty founded rvpon their 
idea of the invalidity of the act. The first of these mo- 
tions they lost by a majority of six, and the second only 
by three, including two princes of the blood ; which they 
consider as a kind of victory, since no doubt these mo- 
tions were made rather to try the strength of the Ministry 
in that House than from any real concern in what manner 
or in what terms the act should be disannulled. A few 
days since, intelligence arrived from Georgia that they 
had not only refused to provide for the troops, but also 
to submit to the Post-Office Act, which, it seems, has 
never been introduced into that Colony. This has filled 
the government here with fresh indignation, and is 
spoken of as unexampled insolence in a Colony which has 
been, at a very great expense, settled and supported by 
the Crown. No resolutions have been taken in conse- 
quence of this advice, nor can I yet learn what is in- 
tended ; perhaps they will choose to try first the effect of 
the measure with respect to New York. 

Though they wish to keep the Colonies disunited, yet 
they seem too ready to impute to ail the transgressions of 
any one of them, and consider them as all alike disaffected 
to this country, and seeking an entire independency 
upon all Parliamentary restraint or authority. They 


are, therefore, all obnoxious enough at present, though 
I believe Connecticut as little so as any one of them. 
America has few friends, and those we have are prevented 
from doing us the service they would by the violence 
of our enemies and the unhappy success they have had 
in rendering it unpopular to appear as an advocate for 
the Colonies. 

The friends of the Ministry say they wished to have 
done nothing with regard to America ; but that the im- 
prudences of that country since the repeal of the Stamp 
Act had given their enemies so much advantage against 
them, that they found it absolutely necessary to do some- 
thing in order to secure themselves and keep peace here ; 
that the measures which have been adopted (particularly 
that with respect to New York) were the most lenient 
they could devise; and that, whatever seems disagreeable, 
to the Colonies, they must now blame themselves for, as 
being the necessary consequence of their own indelicacy 
with respect to the dignity of this country and the au- 
thority of Parliament, which they are indispensably obliged 
to vindicate. It is already the usual time for Parliament to 
rise, but it is said they will sit at least three weeks longer. 
I own I wish to see an end of the session, as I am very 
sure they will do nothing that can be very beneficial to 
us, and am every day in fear of their starting some new 
and disagreeable measures, and hope when they come to- 
gether again it will be with a better temper towards the 
Colonies than seems to prevail at present. I am, with 
the greatest esteem and respect, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W VI Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, "Received Sept. 1st." 



Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, July 13th, 1767. 

Sir, — Parliament rose the 3d instant without having 
done anything farther relative to the Colonies than in my 
former letters I have acquainted you was likely to take 
place. I clo not send you the acts which have passed, 
because I am told at the public offices that they will be 
forthwith sent by government. 

The 26th chapter of this session, beside its imposing 
heavy duties upon such necessary articles as paper, glass, 
&c, and the strict regulations it contains relating to the 
customs, which will be severely enough felt, will by all 
hearty Americans be considered as of the most dangerous 
consequence to the Colonies, especially that part of it 
which enables his Majesty to apply the produce of these 
duties towards defraying the charges of the administration of 
justice and the support of the civil government within all or any 
of the Plantations. By this regulation, the Governors will 
be rendered independent of the people, and, wanting no 
support from them, will have very little inducement to 
call the Assemblies together; nay, in time, and it may be 
feared very soon, the King's government will all become 
sinecures for the support of the friends of administration 
here, and an American Governor need not know whether 
his government is in that country or in Indostan, in Ben- 
gal or at the Cape of Good Hope, nor have any con- 
cern with it, other than to receive the salary appointed 
for him, which will enable him to buy a borough, and 
qualify him to prostitute his vote in the service of that 
Minister who shall have given him his government. 

The judges, too, while they are made independent of 
the people by the establishment of their salaries, are left 
perfectly dependent upon the Crown, as their commissions 


are now during pleasure ; whereas, to leave them fairly 
unbiased, they should hold, as they do here, during good 
behavior. The consequences of this act will therefore 
intimately concern those Colonies, at least, which are 
immediately under the Crown. 

With respect to the charter Colonies, I cannot find that 
any use is intended to be made of this regulation, though 
you see the act is penned in general terms, and equally 
includes them all. This great inconvenience, however, 
they will be subjected to, that while they pay their full 
proportion of those duties by which the civil establish- 
ments of the other Colonies will be supported, they must 
maintain theirs at their own expense ; which in event 
amounts to the payment of a tax to the other Colonies. 
To avoid this inequality, some think it would be advisable 
for them to apply that their proportion of the duties may 
be appropriated to the support of their own officers ; but 
this subject is so delicate, and the consequences which 
might follow from a step of this kind are of so dangerous 
a nature, that I think it would be by no means prudent 
to attempt it. Would it not rather endanger their con- 
stitutions ? Would it not be said, in answer to such an 
application, that the King cannot support (with propriety) 
officers whom he does not appoint ? and that this ine- 
quality would therefore be better remedied by putting all 
the governments upon the same footing, &c. ? At least 
I think it would bring on questions and inquiries which 
in these dubious times had better not be moved, and 
which the longer they are suffered to sleep, the safer 
those constitutions will be. 

The commissioners to be appointed under the authority 
given in the 41st chapter are not yet named, though 
three of them are certain ; viz. the two Surveyors-General, 
Temple and Stewart, now in America, and Mr. Paxton of 
Boston, who is here. It is not settled whether the board 
shall consist of five or seven, nor whether it shall be fixed 


at Boston or New York, though most probably at the 
first. The compliance of New York with the Mutiny 
Act (intelligence of which is just arrived) gives much 
satisfaction here, and is esteemed a great point gained of 
the Colonies. The warm spirits, however, yet ask : But 
have they complied in terms with the act ? Have they 
adopted it in form ? Do they submit to it directly, as 
being bound by the authority of Parliament, or have they 
only avoided the point of right by making a general pro- 
vision for the troops in their own way ? Questions these 
more captious than candid, more nice than good-natured. 

As soon as Parliament broke up, the confusions at 
Court again revived, and ministerial matters are yet 
in much disorder. Secretary Conway resigned ; Lord 
Northington offered to go out. Lord Chatham wrote 
to his Majesty that his health would not permit him 
to serve as he wished ; and it is said he only waits to 
get a pension for his son before he retires. 

The leaders of one party and another were sent for to 
Court. They are closeted. Councils are held. Nego- 
tiations are on foot. One won't serve without another, 
and each must bring in his friends ; all is bustle and 
intrigue, but nothing determined. There are so many 
discordant interests to be adjusted, and so many impor- 
tant persons to be provided for out or in, that all the 
officers of state, and all its pensions, which are already 
multiplied beyond measure, and almost beyond the 
utmost bearing of the people, are far too few to pro- 
vide for the contending parties, or pacify the numerous 
pretenders to places and pensions. Efforts have been 
made, and endeavors are still making, to unite the three 
great parties of Bedford, Rockingham, and Greenville 
upon what they call a broad bottom, and to form a 
ministry superior to all opposition ; but here, too, great 
difficulties arise, and to determine how it will end, or 
who will rise or fall in this (if I may be allowed the 



expression) rapid whirl of fortune's wheel, requires 
more skill in the doctrine of chances than was possessed 
by Newton and all the mathematicians of the last age. 
Some administration, at least, will erelong be found neces- 
sary ; at present there is none, nor has been for some 
time past. 

This unsettled state of things, you will see, must have 
prevented, and will still probably prevent, the decision 
of the Mason cause, and totally disable me from giving 
you any intelligence, or even conjectures when it is 
like to come on, or what will be its event. Neither 
Mr. Jackson nor I have had the honor of any letters 
from you since those of February, from whence we 
presume that either nothing material has occurred, or 
that some of the spring ships are yet missing. I am, 
with the greatest respect, 

Your Honor's most obedient and very humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received 5th of October, 1767." 


For the Honorable William, Pitkin, Esqr., Governor of the Colony of 
Connecticut, at Hartford in Connecticut, New England, America, 1 
per London Packet, Captain Billings. 

London, September 15, 1767. 

Sir, — In expectation that I might receive the honor 
of some of your favors, which might require an imme- 
diate reply, and having little of consequence to acquaint 
you with, I have postponed writing to your Honor, until 
this ship, I find, is upon the point of sailing, and gives 
me time only briefly to acquaint you that one of the 
most material things which has occurred since my las 
is the death of Charles Townshend, Chancellor of the! 


Exchequer, one of the principal persons of the pres- 
ent administration, who, after the failure of all their 
negotiations, resumed their several offices, and continued 
the conduct of public affairs, as they had done before. 
Mr. Townshend was a gentleman of the first abilities, but 
of extreme instability. His admirable talents made him 
esteemed, feared, and courted by all parties, while his 
versatility equally prevented his strict* union with any 
of them and their placing an entire confidence in him. 
He affected, of late, great apparent friendship for the 
Colonies ; but I cannot say that I think his friendship 
was real or well grounded ; and he was certainly so 
very easily capable of becoming their enemy, that, upon 
the whole, I do not apprehend they have lost much 
by his fall. Lord Mansfield succeeds him pro tempore, 
but either new aids must be called in to strengthen and 
support the present administration, or an entire new one 
formed before the meeting of Parliament. 

The Privy Council, solicitous to find some means to 

' ease the Crown of the immense expenses attending the 

', present management of Indian affairs, which have been 

5 long and loudly complained of, have adopted the idea 

of forming some new settlements in the Illinois country, 

; or upon the Ohio ; with intention to devolve the care of 

Indian affairs upon the Colonies, and leave it to them, 

. as formerly, to make and keep peace with them in the 

best manner they can, at the same time directing the 

I future settlements in such manner as to form the best 

i barrier they can against their future insults and inroads. 

The Board .of Trade have it in charge to consider and 

digest a plan for this purpose, and it is said the present 

I Superintendencies will be abolished, and a total end put 

to that method of managing the Indians. 

The establishment of the two French free ports of 
- St. Lucia, and Port St. Nicholas on Hispaniola, by the 
j French King's Arret of the 29th of July last, will, it 


is hoped, add some facilities and benefits to the trade 
of the Northern Colonies; but it creates much jealousy 
here, from an apprehension that it is meant, too, as a 
means of introducing the manufactures of France into 
the British Colonies ; all goods imported there, from 
Europe, being allowed to be exported by foreigners 
from those ports, as well as rum and molasses. 

Those of the Commissioners of Customs who are here 
are going out in a few days to Boston, where the board 
is fixed. At this season of the year, very little business 
is done at the public boards, so that we cannot expect 
the Mohegan Case can come on before November at soon- 
est. Mr. Mason has been endeavoring to leave his affairs 
with Captain Parke, and return with this ship, but it is 
doubtful whether he will be able to effect it. I hope 
to be soon favored with letters from your Honor, and 
am, with the greatest respect, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received 20th of November, 1767." 


Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, November 13, 1767. 

Sir, — I am now honored with your very agreeable 
favor of the 17th of June, acknowledging the receipt 
of mine down to the 11th of April, for which I return 
my sincere thanks. As the proposal for an accommo- 
dation of the Mohegan dispute had never been made 
in form, I did not much expect the Assembly would 
take it up, and give any explicit directions about it. 
That this important cause should still continue to be 
an object of much concern in the Colony is no doubt 


very just, as a determination against us would certainly 
be attended with very unhappy consequences. But I 
still have good hopes of it; at least nothing farther 
than I have formerly mentioned yet appears to dis- 
courage me, unless it be the delay which attends it ; 
and even that, in some respects, continually strengthens 
our defence. After we had passed the month of July, 
indeed, I did not imagine it could come on before this 
month at soonest; and I am yet equally uncertain when 
to expect it, as there is yet no time assigned for the 
meeting of the Council. Whenever its period shall ar- 
rive, I hope with your Honor that both law and equity 
will appear so clearly on the part of the Colony as to 
leave no room for a decision against us. The intelli- 
gence you favor me with, of a farther sum left in Mr. 
Jackson's hands, is very acceptable, as he had, I believe, 
balanced his former account by his and Mr. Life's sala- 
ries, and the sums advanced for my support, in this very 
expensive country; and I could with but an ill grace 
request him to go farther than the money in his hands 
would admit, (having no particular orders for it,) had he 
been ever so well disposed to give a credit to the Colony, 
which, however, as every gentleman here seems to have 
abundant use for his money, I had no reason to think 
would be very agreeable to him. Considering the cir- 
cumstances of the Colony at the time of General Gage's 
demand of quarters for the troops, as well as its consti- 
tution, no reasonable exception could be taken to the 
procedure upon that occasion, and I have already ac- 
quainted you that it not only passed without censure, 
but was pretty generally approved. Mr. Jackson tells 
me he will very soon comply with your directions re- 
specting the Mediterranean passes. 

Since my last very little has turned up but what 
every newspaper will tell you very minutely ; viz. the 
death of the Duke of York, the birth of a prince, &c. &c. 


Lord North has taken the place of Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, and is esteemed a man of good abilities, 
though by no means of such brilliant talents as his 
predecessor. It is said, he understands the business of 
the finances very well, and it is thought will be inclined 
to frugality, and economy in the conduct of the revenue. 
He was with the Ministry in all the measures of last 
winter, but did not speak very often in the House; 
when he did, he was well heard, and has a dignity in 
his manner that gives weight to his sentiments, which 
were generally sensible, cool, and temperate. He was 
against the Colonies in the affair of the Stamp Act, 
though not amongst the most violent. But if he con- 
tinues in this station, we shall soon be able to form a 
much better estimate of his character than can be 
made upon any former scenes he has appeared in. As 
the Parliament, by its limitation, must end, I think, 
in March (at least early in the spring), they will soon 
meet for the despatch of business, probably in a fort- 
night. I do not yet find that any great matters are 
in agitation, and it is to be hoped they will be mod- 
erate and cool, especially as they are so near their 
dissolution, and have their hands so full of the prepara- 
tions, canvassings, and intrigues for the next election. 
American affairs are not much mentioned of late, every- 
body being in a kind of suspense, waiting to see what 
reception the proceedings of last session meet with in 
the Colonies. After all the bustle, intrigue, and nego- 
tiation about a change of administration, all has been 
for some time past quiet, and no alteration seems now 
to be much expected ; but how long this calm will 
continue in this variable climate, nobody can guess. 
The Board of Trade have still in consideration the pro- 
posals for settlements on the Ohio, and at Detroit. 
They have consulted the merchants upon the subject, 
who reported in favor of the design, notwithstanding 


which I find it will meet with some opposition, though 
there is a good probability of its success. It gives me 
very great satisfaction to find that my correspondence, 
so far as it had gone, was not disagreeable to you. I 
shall therefore continue to acquaint you with whatever 
occurs here (within m the reach of my inquiries and ob- 
servation) which I can imagine worth your knowledge, 
and in the mean time am, with the greatest respect and 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received 3d of February, 1768." 


Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, December 26th, 1767. 

Sir, — My last, of the 13th of November, acquainted 
you that we were then tolerably quiet here with regard 
to American affairs, which happily has hitherto met with 
no very great interruption. Mr. Greenville and his 
friends indeed, at the opening of Parliament, threw out 
some censures upon the Ministry for their tame conduct 
(as they called it) with respect to that country, and very 
soon afterwards he made a formal complaint against cer- 
tain papers, published at Boston, relative to the New York 
act, and as libellous and treasonable. It was the first 
endeavor of the House to persuade him to withdraw his 
complaint; but when this appeared impossible, they went 
into a long debate upon it. Nobody attempted to justify, 
or even excuse, those publications ; but the Ministry said 
it was below the dignity of Parliament to pay any regard 
to angry newspaper writers, who were as frequent and as 
impudent here as they could be in any country ; that 


by the last accounts from thence it appeared that the 
sober, sensible, steady part of the people in America dis- 
approved of those publications, and were disposed to con- 
tinue peaceable and easy, and enter into no new contests 
with this country; that they therefore hoped they would 
have no ill effect and be very soon forgot, or, if they must 
be prosecuted, it might be clone by ministerial orders to 
the Governor, without the interposition of Parliament. 
Secretary Conway and Lord Barrington, particularly, said 
many things, very kind and candid, in favor of the Colo- 
nies ; much more indeed than I should have expected 
from the latter, who has not been remarkable for his 
affection for them. It soon appeared to be the general 
sense of the House by no means to intermeddle in the 
affair ; but how to get rid of it was still the question, 
as it seems it is a standing rule never to dismiss the com- 
plaint of a member without a resolution upon the merits 
of it, which in this instance they wished to avoid ; and 
finally hit upon this expedient, to adjourn the debate 
for six months, before which time Parliament will be 

The next thing that occurred to give any disturbance 
was the intelligence from Boston, that they had entered 
into an agreement not to import or use a great variety of 
British manufactures, but to set on foot and encourage 
manufactures of the like kind amongst themselves. This 
was received by very many with great indignation, and 
at first seemed to threaten some mischief Some pains 
was therefore taken by the friends of the Colonies to ex- 
cuse this proceeding, and place it in as favorable a light 
as it would bear, — as founded in the necessities of the 
country, its want of trade, the scarcity of its specie, and 
their utter inability to pay the debts already contracted 
and continue any beneficial intercourse with this country, 
without greater economy, industry, and frugality than we 
have formerly practised. That it could be no advantage 


to this country for America to take off more of their 
manufactures than she can pay for, and eventually become 
bankrupt in their debt ; and that our natural propensity 
to luxury, as well as the attachment we have to the culti- 
vation of our lands in preference to manufactures, will 
always induce ns to take off as much as we can really 
afford to consume, &c. Observations of this kind have 
weight, and the heat seems to be cooling ; but still it is 
objected that this agreement at Boston was apparently 
entered into with other motives ; viz. to show their resent- 
ment against this country, and the laws and regulations 
established by the last session of Parliament. To which it 
is replied, that there is no clear ground for this position, 
and that it is a harsh, uncandid construction, which ought 
not to be made, since there are so many justifiable mo- 
tives to which it may be imputed, without supposing 
anything of this kind. I must own, indeed, that our best 
friends do rather condemn the time and manner of doing 
it, and hope the example will not be followed in other 
towns and Colonies. Say they, We see as clearly as you 
I do that it is by all means right for you to practise all pos- 
; sible industry and economy, and to make the most you can 
of your own manufactures. It is both your duty and your 
J interest. But why should there be these public associations, 
1 these votes and subscriptions ? Why make such a parade 
• about it, which must unavoidably give umbrage here, and 
add strength to the enemies of that country, — whose con- 
! stant theme it is, that all these steps are taken with a view 
very soon to renounce all dependence upon this king- 
: dom ? Why may not these things be as effectually done 
I without noise or notice, even by individuals, every one 
' in his own private sphere pursuing, inculcating, and prac- 
tising those maxims, so beneficial to the country? . These 
are some of the observations, both of our friends and 
1 foes, upon this occasion, of both which perhaps good use 
' may be made. 


The Ministry, on their part, seem hitherto disposed to 
let the Colonies alone, at least for the present ; and wish, 
they say, for nothing more than that they themselves 
would be careful to do nothing to serve the purposes of 
Opposition here, who lay hold of everything that happens 
there to give them trouble ; and when once any matter 
is brought into Parliament, the most they can for their 
own sakes do is to moderate and soften, as this country 
would by no means bear the full exertion of ministerial 
power in order to carry any point in favor of the Colonies. 
This moderation is owing, not only to real friendship for 
the Colonies, which yet I am willing to hope is tolerably 
sincere in some of them (the two Secretaries of State 
particularly), but to another reason, which I believe I 
have before suggested, and which operates very strongly 
at this juncture ; viz. that they have their hands and 
hearts both full of the preparations for the next elec- 
tion, and wish to have nothing to divert their atten- 
tion from it ; so that, I dare say, they will on their part 
propose no new regulations for America this session, nor 
scarcely even mention it, unless the Opposition render 
it necessary. 

Hitherto Parliament has been employed upon the 
subject of provisions, the affairs of the East India Com- 
pany, the business of the ordinary supplies, &c. It was 
expected there would have been a warm push for a far- 
ther reduction of the land tax; but it passed quietly at 
3 s. in the pound, as fixed last year. The exportation of 
corn has been farther prohibited, and importation both of 
wheat and Indian corn from America permitted. Not- 
withstanding all they have done, the distress of the poor 
for want of bread is very terrible and affecting. A bill 
was brought in for liberty to import salt provisions also 
from America, as well as Ireland ; but as it met with 
some opposition it was laid by for the present, and the 
House adjourned upon the 21st instant to the 14th of 


January. The scene which succeeded to this is perhaps 
a very important one. It was evident at the opening of 
Parliament that the Bedford party did not speak of the 
Ministry with all their wonted acrimony ; and it soon 
appeared that they had left the Greenvillians and Rock- 
inghamites, and were entered into a treaty with the 
Ministry for themselves ; the result of which, after much 
negotiation, is a coalition of that party with the Ministry. 
In consequence whereof, Lord Gower is President of the 
Council in lieu of Lord Northington, who retires with a 
pension of £3,000 per annum; Lord Weymouth to be 
Secretary of State in place of Mr. Conway, who is to have 
the first military preferment that falls, but to continue 
Secretary till February, in order to carry the principal 
business through the House; Lord Shelburne to continue ; 
Lord Hilsborough to be created Secretary of State for the 
Colonies only ; Lord Sandwich joint Postmaster-General, 
vice Lord Hilsborough; the Duke of Marlborough to have 
the first vacant blue ribbon ; Mr. Rigby one of the Vice- 
Treasurers of Ireland, in the room of Mr. Oswald ; Lord 
Charles Spencer a Lord of Admiralty, vice Mr. Charles 
Jenkinson ; and some others in lower departments. These 
appointments are not all declared yet, and v there may be 
some alteration ; but the general plan is looked upon as 

The Ministry will gain much strength by this arrange- 
ment. Whether it will probably be advantageous to the 
Colonies, or not, I will not at present take upon me to 
say. There is at least some good reason to conjecture 
that, upon the whole, it may be rather beneficial. The 
Greenvillians are at least weakened, and can now do noth- 
ing without joining with the Rockingham party, who, it is 
to be presumed, will not unite with them to destroy what 
they themselves did when in power, or directly counter- 
act the principles they proceeded upon ; and if they ad- 
here to them, they can never heartily coalesce with Mr. 


Greenville and his friends. If the Ministry therefore pre- 
serve the same good disposition, now that they are united 
with this party, which they expressed some time before it 
took place, it seems as if the Colonies would be pretty 
safe. Lord Gower will certainly not meddle in law 
matters ; so that we may now expect our Mohegan Case, 
when it comes on, will probably be decided by Lord 
Mansfield. All American affairs will now be thrown into 
an entire new channel ; all is to begin anew with Lord 
Hilsborough ; new negotiations are to be commenced, 
new connections formed, &c, which is an unhappy delay 
to all who have any affairs of that country to solicit. 
Lord Hilsborough is esteemed a nobleman of good nature, 
abilities, and integrity; is a man of business, alert, lively, 
ready, but too fond of his own opinions and systems, and 
too apt to be inflexibly attached to them ; by no means 
so gentle and easy to be entreated as his predecessor in 
that branch of business, but much more to be depended 
upon if he once adopts your ideas of any measure. As a 
native of Ireland, and possessed of vast property there, it 
may be hoped he has formed reasonable notions of the 
rights and liberties of the distant branches of this empire, 
and would not be disposed to confine all power and 
all political felicity to the shores of this island. Lord 
W — y — h has not the reputation of being a very great 
statesman, and Lord S — ndw — h's character is already 
too well known in America to make it necessary for 
me to repeat it here. The principal object of the two 
last, in pushing into place, is money, which they both 
want, and will perhaps be more attentive to amass wealth 
than to form new political projects ; though I own I fear 
the latter, who has abilities, and seems enough inclined to 
be busy and meddling, and most so where he ought to 
be least. Lord G — w — r's chief view was no doubt the 
honor and dignity of so high a post ; and thus possessed 
of it, he will not probably much interpose in public affairs, 


but leave them to others to conduct, while he shares in the 
honor. Mr. Eigby is a gentleman of good natural talents, 
but not greatly cultivated ; rough, daring, and intrepid in 
the House, but out of it a man of pleasure, soft, jovial, 
and gay. Though it is of some good use in America to 
know a little of the characters of those who are to manage 
the public business here, yet I fear you will think I am 
going too far, and shall therefore conclude with only say- 
ing, that I know to whom I confide these free stric- 
tures, and am persuaded no imprudent use will be made 
of them. I am, with the greatest esteem and respect, 
Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W* 1 Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, "Received 7th of March, 1768." 


Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, February 13th, 1768. 

Sir, — As soon as Lord Hilsborough publicly entered 
upon his office of Secretary of State for the American 
department, I thought it my duty to wait upon his Lord- 
ship and congratulate him upon his appointment to that 
important office, and to recommend the Colony of Con- 
necticut to his Lordship's favor and protection. He re- 
ceived the compliment very politely, and replied that the 
Colony might always depend upon his friendship and 
affection. But upon my saying it was a loyal and virtu- 
ous Colony, and had always endeavored to conduct with 
prudence, and upon all occasions to demonstrate by every 
means in their power their firm loyalty to the Crown, 
and sincere attachment to his Majesty's family and gov- 
ernment, he said, we were a very free Colony; but he 
acknowledged with pleasure that he had not heard but 


that generally we had used our very extraordinary poivers 
with a pretty good degree of decency and moderation; that, 
however, he could not but take notice to me, that he had 
remarked, when he presided some years ago at the Board 
of Trade, (and he believed it had been always much the 
same case,) that we were very deficient in our corre- 
spondence, seldom writing to his Majesty's Ministers, and 
when we did giving them but an incomplete idea of the 
state of our affairs ; so that they were often quite in the 
dark about us, and seemed to have too little connection 
with that Colony. I assured him, in answer, that I be- 
lieved he might depend upon it that everything was com- 
municated which the government there could imagine it 
fit to trouble the King's Ministers with ; and that if there 
was comparatively less correspondence with that Colony 
than with the others, I hoped it was because there was 
less occasion for it, owing to the good order and tran- 
quillity which had so generally prevailed in that quiet 
Colony ; that in proportion as government was wisely 
administered there, and the people were easy and happy, 
there must necessarily be the less room for applications 
to government here, and, when nothing material oc- 
curred, it would be inexcusable to take up their attention 
with a detail of matters of no consequence. Add to this, 
that, from the nature of our constitution, his Lordship 
would see that fewer occasions would occur of troubling 
the King's Ministers with our affairs than in those gov- 
ernments immediately under the Crown, which must ne- 
cessarily be, in some sort, actually administered by the 
Ministers themselves; and if in any cases real delays had 
happened in course of correspondence with any of our 
Governors, it must have been only in those instances 
where it was necessary for them to consult the General As- 
sembly, which could not, without extreme inconvenience, 
be convened but at the stated periods of their sitting ; 
an inconvenience to which, however, in all cases of great 


importance, (as in all requisitions made for troops, &c. 
during the late war, and upon other occasions,) the Colony 
had cheerfully submitted. To these and similar circum- 
stances I begged his Lordship would impute the seeming 
want of punctuality and fulness in our correspondence 
which he had remarked, and not to any affected negli- 
gence or want of respect to his Majesty's Ministers, which, 
I was very sure, neither the Colony nor any of our 
Governors whom I had the honor to have known were 
by an}^ means chargeable with. He seemed pretty well 
satisfied with this apology, but then proceeded to a much 
more interesting subject. 

He had, he said, in his circular letter, requested that 
a copy of our Colony laws should be sent him; he had 
known the like demand made when he was at the Board 
of Trade, and been informed that it had been repeatedly 
made long before that, but he could not find that any 
obedience had been paid to the requisition. I told him, 
I believed the Colony had several times sent over copies 
of the printed law book ; that I thought there was one 
or more at the Plantation Office, and imagined they might 
even be had in England. He replied, however that 
might be, as his was a new office, it would be necessary 
that a copy should be lodged there ; and he thought it 
the duty of the government to send it, and transmit 
from time to time, not only the laws that should pass, 
but all the minutes of the proceedings of Council and 
Assembly, that they might know what we were about, 
how government was administered, and rectify what- 
ever might be amiss. I said, if his Lordship wanted a 
copy of our laws for his private perusal, or to remain 
in his office for the information of his secretary and 
clerks, or to be referred to whenever any affairs of 
the Colony were under consideration, I did not doubt 
the Colony would send him one of their law books; 
and I flattered myself, if his Lordship would take the 


trouble to examine it, he would find it as good a 
code of laws as could almost be devised for such an 
infant country, and in no respect inferior to any col- 
lection of the kind in any of the Colonies; but if his 
Lordship meant to have the laws now in force there, 
and those which should hereafter pass, transmitted (as 
from the Colonies immediately under the Crown) for 
the inspection of the Ministry as such, and for the pur- 
pose of approbation or disapprobation by his Majesty 
in Council, (which I saw very plainly w T as what he was 
driving at,) it was what the Colony had never done, 
nor thought themselves obliged to do, and I was per- 
suaded would never submit to ; and if his Lordship 
would be pleased to attend to the charter granted us 
by King Charles II., I did not doubt he would be 
clearly of opinion, that the Colony were thereby vested 
with a complete power of legislation, and that their 
acts needed no farther approbation, nor were subject 
to any subsequent revision ; and in point of fact, his 
Lordship w T ell knew that those laws had never been 
re-examined here, that the Colony had been for more 
than a century in the full exercise of those powers, 
under the eye and with the approbation of govern- 
ment here, without any the least check or interruption, 
except in a single instance, in such times, and under 
such circumstances, as I believed his Lordship would 
not mention but with detestation, much less consider 
as a precedent. He said, he had read our charter 
with some attention, and knew what powers we had 
exercised under it; that it was very full and express- 
ive, but there were such things as extravagant grants, 
which were therefore void ; and however great a lati- 
tude of expression was made use of in it, still there 
might be a doubt, perhaps, what would really pass by 
it in legal construction ; that he believed I would admit 
there were many things which the King could not grant 


as the inseparable incidents of the Crown, &c. ; and it 
might deserve consideration whether some things which 
King Charles had pretended to grant to the Colony of 
Connecticut were not of that nature, particularly the 
power of absolute legislation, which tended to the ab- 
surdity of introducing imperium in imperio, and to create 
an independent state. 

I replied, that, for the purpose of his argument, I 
apprehended it was not necessary either to admit or 
deny that there were some prerogatives of the Crown 
so inseparably incident or annexed to it that they could 
not be granted away, (upon which subject some law- 
yers had, however, refined so much as to render them- 
selves very unintelligible,) since nobody had ever reck- 
oned the power of legislation among those inseparable 
incidents of the Crown ; all lawyers were agreed, that it 
was a peculiar and undisputed prerogative of the Crown 
to create corporations, and that the power of law-mak- 
ing was incident to evefty corporation, at least in some 
degree and to some purposes, whether granted by ex- 
press words or not; that the corporation once created, 
the power of legislation did not depend merely upon 
the words of the grant, but was founded in the reason 
of things, and the nature of such a body, and would 
be coextensive with the purposes for which it was 
created ; that every corporation in England enjoyed it 
as really, though not so extensively, as the Colony of 
Connecticut, they to their particular purposes for which 
they were created, we to ours ; that therefore no ques- 
tion could be made upon the Crown's right to create 
such bodies, and to grant such powers at least in degree ; 
and that once admitted, it would be very difficult to 
limit the bounty of the prince. The law had no' done 
it, and since there had been hitherto no legal, limita- 
tion how far he should extend his grace, who could 
draw the line ? surely not the Ministers of the prince ! 



The powers of the corporation of London were immense 
compared with those of a petty corporation in Cornwall, 
yet both stood originally upon the same basis, — the right 
of the Crown to create corporations, with power to make 
laws, for the well regulating and good government of 
their inhabitants. That the Colony charters were in 
several respects of a higher nature, and founded upon 
a better title than even those of the corporations of 
England, particularly that those here were mere acts 
of grace and favor, whereas those in America were 
granted in consideration of very valuable services done, 
or to be performed, which having been abundantly ex- 
ecuted, at an immense expense by the grantees, by the 
peopling and cultivation of a fine country, to the vast 
extension of his Majesty's dominions, and the prodigious 
increase of the trade and revenues of the Empire, they 
must now be considered as grants upon valuable con- 
sideration, sacred and most inviolable. That if it were 
possible to suppose that there might have been a ques- 
tion made upon the validity of such grant as that to 
Connecticut, in the clay of it, yet Parliament, as well 
as the Crown, having for more than a century acquiesced 
in the exercise of the powers claimed by it, this would 
amount to an approbation, so that the Colony had now 
a Parliamentary sanction, as well as a title by prescrip- 
tion, added to the royal grant ; by all which they must 
be effectually secured in the full possession and exercise 
of all their charter rights. His Lordship endeavored to 
distinguish between the ordinary corporation powers (in 
which he would admit the power of making by-laws was 
included) and that legislative power exercised in the 
charter Colonies, upon which he was pretty full • and 
I still endeavored to avail myself of those distinctions 
in favor of my argument, upon this principle, that the 
very creating of a corporation for the purpose of estab- 
lishing a colony included in its idea full power of 


legislation, the government of a colony being a more 
extensive and complicated object than that of a single 
city or town, and necessarily requiring more full and 
absolute powers, which it must therefore be injudicious 
to limit by comparing them strictly with those of cor- 
porations for inferior purposes. Finally, upon this point, 
his Lordship said, these were matters of nice and curi- 
ous disquisition, and required a longer time for full 
discussion than he could then well spare ; he seemed, 
however, to yield the necessity of any royal approba- 
tion as requisite to the validity of our laws, but still 
insisted that (admitting the validity of King Charles's 
grant) they ought to be regularly transmitted for the 
inspection of the Privy Council, and for disapprobation, 
if found within the saving of the charter, repugnant to 
the laws of England ; that those who claimed under the 
charter must admit the force of that limitation of their 
legislative powers, at least, and that alone would render 
it necessary that their laws should be transmitted and 
inspected here. Upon which I begged leave to observe 
to his Lordship, that the Colony did not apprehend 
that any extrajudicial opinion of his Majesty's Ministers, 
or even of the King's Privy Council, could determine 
whether any particular act was within that proviso or 
not ; that this could only be decided by a court of law, 
having jurisdiction of the matter about which the law 
in question was conversant ; that though perhaps we 
should not contend, but that, if the General Assembly 
should make a law repugnant to a statute of Great Britain, 
(not in the sense of diverse form, but flatly, and in terms 
contradictory to it,) such law, by the saving in the charter, 
might be void, yet a declaration of the King in Council 
would still make it neither more nor less so, feut be 
as void as the laiv itself ; because its being void or 
not depended merely upon the restraining clause in the 
charter, not upon any authority reserved to the Crown, 


or the Privy Council, to decide about it, from which 
they were by other words in the same charter clearly 
and expressly excluded ; that therefore the only method 
which could be taken in such case must be for the 
persons aggrieved by such act to bring their action at 
law, in such manner as to bring in question the validity 
of such act of Assembly, when the court before whom 
the trial should be, could fairly and legally determine 
upon it ; that this might be done in the courts of law 
in the Colony, and I doubted not would be very fairly 
decided there, and leave no room for an application 
here, or, if the contrary should ever happen, the inter- 
position here (if any) I conceived must be in the judi- 
cial only, not by any means in the official way. As 
against the Crown, especially, the charter grant was com- 
pletely, and to all intents and purposes, conclusive ; 
King Charles II. had, for himself and his successors, 
absolutely granted all their power, by which the Crown 
must be bound, and forever estopped to say that there 
was any ground for the Privy Council, or any of the 
King's Ministers, who were still but the delegates of 
the Crown, and acting in behalf of it, and by authority 
derived only from thence, to interpose in confirming or 
disannulling the laws of that Colony, and consequently 
there could be no manner of occasion for transmitting 
our acts to his Majesty's Ministers, or for their giving 
themselves any trouble about them. 

The judicial power of the Privy Council (which I find 
here they affect to ground rather upon custom than 
prerogative, though the latter was undoubtedly the true 
basis of it) his Lordship did not mention, nor indeed, 
as he had stated it, did it properly belong to this argu- 
ment, nor did I think it advisable for me, upon this 
occasion, to introduce so delicate a subject, which would 
but have opened a new field for debate, as I have no 
doubt he would extend it much farther (as they generally 


do here) than the Colonies can prudently admit it ought 
to reach. 

As to the minutes of Council and Assembly, which 
he had said ought also to be sent them, I told his 
Lordship that there were none kept, but only in* short 
notes upon the several papers of business, which would 
be perfectly unintelligible unless the Colony sent their 
Secretary, after every session, to explain them ; for 
that neither he, nor the clerk of the lower House, were 
paid for entering' them at large, or drawing them out 
fair, nor was it expected of them. His Lordship said 
we had a very particular method of doing business; 
that he had not seen these things quite in the light 
which I had endeavored to place them in, and he 
feared we were in danger of being too much a sepa- 
rate, independent state, and of having too little con- 
nection with or subordination to this country, upon 
which our security and well-being depended ; that, 
however, these things merited a farther consideration; 
he hoped, at least, the Colony would send him their 
laws, and we might perhaps talk farther upon these 
subjects, upon some future occasion ; that he was very 
sure his Majesty had equal affection for his American 
as for his other subjects, and wished as far as possible 
to make us all happy ; and that I might be perfectly 
assured, that he, and all his Majesty's Ministers, had 
very great regard for that country, that they considered 
us all as Britons having one common interest with them, 
and had no disposition to do anything that was injurious 
to our rights, or that should bear hard upon us. 

I said it would be happy both for that country and this 
that such ideas should be the ground of all their mutual 
conduct towards each other ; that upon the repeal of 
the Stamp Act, we had hoped these were the principles 
adopted ; but the proceedings of last winter, in impos- 
ing new duties, and making other essential regulations 


in America, had somewhat damped those flattering ex- 
pectations, and I believed had given some alarm to 
the Colonies. 

He said, I knew very well that those duties and regu- 
lations were projects of Mr. Townsend's, and were occa- 
sioned by the then particular situation of affairs, but 
he hoped were not such as would give us any un- 
easiness ; we ought not to be too suspicious of them, 
nor they too jealous of us, and on neither side to 
stick at small matters. As to taxes especially, he said, 
we were infinitely better off than any of our fellow 
subjects in Europe ; he himself paid taxes both in Eng- 
land and Ireland, and he found a very material differ- 
ence in favor of his Irish estate, and he believed we 
were much less burdened than even the Irish. To which 
I replied, that if we paid less, we had less ability, and 
fewer advantages ; and, all circumstances considered, 
our burdens were truly very great, and even more 
than we knew how to bear, and I hoped this country 
would not add to them, as they would certainly find 
it would eventually redound to their own prejudice, at 
the same time that it* effectually ruined us. 

This was the substance, or rather these were the sub- 
jects (for I cannot pretend to recite all that passed) of 
about two hours' conversation, with which his Lordship 
indulged me. I must do him the justice to say, he was 
very complaisant, candid, and kind, heard with atten- 
tion, replied without warmth, seemed willing to know 
the true state of things in America, and expressed great 
desire to do that country service. But I own, upon 
the whole, I gave him more credit for his complaisance 
than for his sentiments, and left him not well pleased 
to find that he had entertained such ideas, and was 
in danger of such opinions, as you see, from the tenor 
of his conversation, must at least have made some 
impression upon him, and been revolving in his mind 


ever since he was at the Board of Trade ; nor could I 
by all his politeness be induced to think him that very 
cordial friend to the Colonies which he seemed so 
much to wish I should esteem him to be. I believe 
I need some apology for troubling you with this detail 
of a general conversation, which tended to no particular 
purpose ; but as this nobleman is now at the head of all 
American affairs, and will no doubt have an essential 
influence in all that concerns us here, and the subjects 
he was pleased to take up were really very interesting, 
I imagined it might be of some use to acquaint you 
what kind of language he holds with respect to us, 
as well as gratify some curiosity to see what loose, mis- 
taken notions those who are esteemed very great men 
(and really are so in many respects) are capable of 
entertaining of Colony rights; nor had I anything else 
of equal importance to communicate to you at present. 

The proceedings in Parliament have produced noth- 
ing with regard to the Colonies, except only the act for 
permitting the free importation of salt beef, pork, bacon, 
and butter from America until May, 1769, and I have 
already acquainted you, in mine of December 26th, that 
it is probable very little will be farther done, this ses- 
sion. Mr. Jackson has, I presume, acquainted you with 
the difficulty which occurred with respect to the Medi- 
terranean passes ; the Admiralty doubted whether they 
might trust them to a charter Governor : surprising 
objection ! 

Captain Parke, to whom Mason has committed the 
management of his case, has been using all his industry 
to bring it to trial, and we have now strong expectations 
that it will be heard some time next month; but lest 
some accident should delay it still longer, as nothing 
here seems to be very certain, methinks it is time I 
should inquire how long it will be expected I shall attend 
upon it. 


The expense of living here with any tolerable decency, 
in spite of all the economy I can use, is really very great; 
and I cannot but with regret, and even indignation, con- 
sider the vast expense which for half a century the Colony 
has been put to, and which is every day increasing, by a 
paltry Indian claim, which in my apprehension never 
had the least foundation either in law or equity. Must 
I in all events continue here, and wait the decision of 
the cause ? or, if it appears that it must be still delayed, 
shall I leave it under the best circumstances that I can, 
and return ? It is indeed probable it will be at an end 
before I can receive an answer to these questions ; but 
as it may be otherwise, and the affair has already been 
prolonged very far beyond what the General Assembly 
could have any idea of at the time of my being appointed 
to undertake this business, perhaps they will now think 
it expedient to fix some limits to my residence here, pro- 
vided it shall still remain uncertain when to expect a de- 
cision of the cause, which, however, is humbly submitted, 
and I remain, with the greatest respect, their and 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam^ Johnson. 

Indorsed, "Received April 18th, 1768." 


Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, March 12th, 1768. 

Sir, — Parliament is now dissolved, without having 
passed any other very material acts than I have before 
mentioned to you relative to the Colonies, except one to 
enable his Majesty to appoint three or four Judges of 
Admiralty, in lieu of the one formerly established at Hali- 
fax. When I wrote you some time ago, the great people 


here seemed to have their hands so full of their own 
affairs, and all things were so quiet with regard to the 
Colonies, that I thought, with many others, they would 
hardly be mentioned in the House during this session ; 
but some of our particular friends could not let us quite 
escape, and the proceedings at Boston, especially, afforded 
too good an opportunity to scold at the Colonies to be 
suffered to pass unnoticed. Mr. Greenville attacked the 
Ministry for not having laid before the House the answers 
of the several Governors, (demanded, it seems, in pursu- 
ance of an address of the House in 1766,) relative to the 
state of manufactures in their respective Colonies. The 
Ministry excused themselves for not having produced 
those letters, as not being, in their opinion, obliged to 
do it unless they were called for, and because they had 
received no answers from five of the Governors ; but 
promised to lay all they had upon the table in a few days. 
Upon this occasion, some severe things were said against 
the Colonies, and it seemed to be the sense of several 
gentlemen, that they had good right to restrain the man- 
ufactures of America, especially if they were carried to 
such a pitch as to prejudice those of this country; that 
they ought even to do it very soon, and declare such 
meetings and associations as those held at Boston illegal 
and punishable ; and especially that some method should 
be taken to prevent the manufacturers of this country 
from going in such numbers to America. These were, 
however, only the sentiments of particular members, upon 
which the House came to no resolutions. When the pa- 
pers were, a few days after, laid upon the table, a farther 
conversation arose upon the subject, much to the same 
effect with the former. Mr. Greenville seemed to think 
that the accounts which the Governors had given (none of 
which were alarming) w T ere partial and incomplete ; and 
recommended it strongly to the Ministry to give close 
attention to this subject, and to gain all the lights they 


could from every quarter relative to it, to require the 
Governors to be very full and exact in their intelligence, 
as well as punctual in transmitting annual accounts of 
everything of this nature ; and insisted that those Gov- 
ernors who had delayed their answers, or totally neglected 
the order, should be severely reprimanded, and, if guilty 
of a second neglect after such reprimand, effectually pun- 
ished or removed. If the Ministry would undertake this, 
he said, he would not trouble the House with any motion 
upon the subject at present ; and they consenting to it, 
the matter went off. 

The next mention of the Colonies was upon occasion 
of renewing the bounties upon the British whale fish- 
ery, (which are continued till 1770, when the act relating 
to the American whale fishery will also expire,) when 
some bitter things were again dropped by one or two 
members, and it was laid down for doctrine, which re- 
ceived no contradiction, that the Americans had no right 
to the fishery but by the mere indulgence and favor of 
this country; and the bounty seemed to be continued 
upon this idea, that both the British and American whale 
fishery should remain upon their present footing until the 
expiration of the American act, when the whole matter 
would be open, and should be resumed again, and some 
new regulations established, which may give a clear pref- 
erence to that of Britain. 

These things bode no good to the Colonies, and, not- 
withstanding all the flattering things thrown out by the 
present Ministry, I have very good intelligence that 
some of the chiefs among them, irritated by the Boston 
resolves and proceedings, had it in idea to have pro- 
ceeded against that Province, and punished them in a 
manner which even some of the friends of Mr. Green- 
ville thought too severe ; and for that reason, as well 
as the brevity of the session, and the preparations for 
the election, the design was laid aside. It is certain, 


however, that they are angry enough at that Province, 
and I think it will be well if they escape another session 
without some severe wrath of their resentment. 

While I am writing, I have the honor of your two 
favors of the 17th of November and 4th of December, 
with a duplicate of that of June 17th, for all which I 
return you my sincere thanks. The remarks you are 
pleased to make upon the state of things here, and the 
measures which have been found beneficial for that 
country, as well as this, are equally just and important. 
Experience has shown the utility of moderate measures ; 
and every deviation from the former system of conduct 
will, I am persuaded, be found prejudicial to both countries. 
Some there are here who have the same right notions 
of these matters, amongst whom I may name the worthy 
Mr. Treco thick, who has very just and clear opinions of 
the true interests of Britain and her Colonies, and is a 
friend to America upon principle, as well as by education ; 
though, unfortunately for him, these opinions and this 
friendship are now turned warmly against him. He has 
offered himself a candidate for the city of London at the 
approaching election, and is almost every day violently 
abused in the papers as an enemy to this country, and 
unfit to represent his fellow citizens, because he received 
his education at Boston, and has, upon many occasions, 
warmly espoused the interests of the Colonies. Strange 
objections these, you will say ! especially in the mouths of 
those who, at the same time, insist that the members of 
Parliament which they elect are also the representatives 
of America. It has, I know, been long the labor of our 
enemies to render the cause of the Colonies unpopular, 
and they would now, it seems, have a friendship for Amer- 
ica constitute an odious character in the city of London, 
and render enmity to that country a necessary qualifica- 
tion for a member of Parliament in this. What would 
the Colonies then have to expect, or rather what might 


they not fear, from a legislature thus constituted ? Sur- 
prising as these objections must appear to all unprejudiced 
observers, yet seconded as they are with warm declama- 
tions upon the inimical nature and tendency of the Boston 
resolves and proceedings with respect to the trade and 
manufactures of this country, they seem to make unhappy 
impressions, and will, I fear, endanger this gentleman's 

You very justly exculpate the Colony from having in 
any measure increased the expense of the Crown in In- 
dian affairs. They have not only always borne their 
own charges at all interviews with them, but have had 
no share, neither in the exorbitant profits which have 
been made upon the trade with them, nor upon pres- 
ents distributed amongst them, nor in any of the various 
lucrative transactions and negotiations with them, or rela- 
tive to them ; which, it seems, have really cost the Crown 
amazing sums, though they have answered few valuable 
purposes; yet the present American Minister does not 
seem to see this matter in the same light as his predeces- 
sor did. It is rather doubtful whether he will encourage 
any of those settlements which were proposed ; at least 
the affair seems to be laid aside for the present. 

I was assured at the public offices that the acts of 
Parliament relating to America would be regularly trans- 
mitted to you by the first opportunity, as a thing of 
course, and am therefore surprised you had not received 
them, and will inquire of this matter again very soon. 

Changes in administration are again talked of, and it is 
said Mr. Greenville's party gain ground. Much, however, 
will depend, both with regard to the state of parties here, 
and their conduct towards America, upon the event of 
this election, to which all parties are now eagerly atten- 
tive, and hastening down into the country replete with 
the most anxious hopes and fears. It looks as if the 
town would almost be deserted, which will probably delaj 


for a while the trial of the Mohegan Case ; but in this 
scene of party rage, high living, contention, and riot, it 
must be expected, it seems, that most of the politicians 
will be engaged for a month or six weeks, where I leave 
them for the present, and remain, with the greatest 
respect and esteem, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

P. S. I am sorry to acquaint you that Mr. Occam, 
who was embarked and at Gravesend with Dr. Whitaker, 
bound to America, has, at the instigation of Captain Parke, 
left him, and is returned to town. This is colored with a 
pretence of his being summoned by Mr. Parke as a wit- 
ness in the Mohegan Case; but I fear he has been induced 
to enter with an unbecoming spirit into this affair, and, in 
despite of the agreement he entered into before he left 
America, is to be made use of, by telling a doleful tale of 
imagined injuries and abuses, to excite as much com- 
passion for the Indians, and make as much clamor against 
the Colony, as he can, by way of preparation for the ex- 
pected trial. Perhaps I may be too uncharitable in my 
suspicions ; but I think, considering the stipulation he 
made, it would have been more honorable to have pro- 
ceeded his voyage than to have returned in this manner, 
under pretence of a summons, which is not even a dis- 
guise, much less an excuse, for his contravening the 


Your Honor's most obedient, 

W. S. J. 

All of a sudden, and almost unexpected by everybody, 
the famous Mr. Wilks yesterday offered himself a candi- 
date for the city of London. He is like to obtain his 

Indorsed, " Received in May, 1768." 


Hon. William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, April 29th, 1768. 

Sir, — My last acquainted you that the people of this 
country were just then embarking in the elections with 
uncommon warmth and earnestness. They are now over, 
and, as was foreseen, have proved a scene of tumult, con- 
fusion, riot, and disorder in almost every part of the 
kingdom. It would, I apprehend, be no satisfaction to 
you for me to paint to you those shocking disorders and 
extravagances which have appeared upon this occasion, 
since they are only fresh proofs of the folly and madness 
of mankind, which need not these striking examples 
to confirm them. In general, it is said, it has been 
the warmest and most expensive election that ever was 
in this country. Many millions have been expended; 
in divers places it has cost the candidates £20,000 or 
£30,000 apiece; and in Cumberland particularly it is 
affirmed that one gentleman alone has spent near an 
£100,000, and after all it remains to be disputed, at a 
great expense, before the House, who shall finally sit. 
Several towns have been in a manner ruined, and many 
lives lost. The courts of justice will for a long time 
have full employment in punishing the rioters ; but the 
worst part of it is, that the punishment will fall upon the 
misguided populace, and not, as it justly ought, upon 
those who, by their influence and an iniquitous distribu- 
tion of their money and liquor, have inflamed and set 
them on to commit these outrages. Among the rest, 
and above all others, Mr. Wilks has made the most con- 
spicuous figure, and is indeed as remarkable a man as has 
almost appeared in any age or country. An exile and 
outlaw, without money or apparent friends, convict (as 
Mr. Pitt formerly expressed it) a libeller of his King and 


a blasphemer of his God, yet trusting to his popularity, 
founded upon his brave and noble opposition to general 
warrants, he boldly adventured, in defiance of the gov- 
ernment, to return from his exile, and offer himself a can- 
didate for the metropolis ; and though he failed there, 
after a warm struggle, actually succeeded and carried his 
election for the first county in the kingdom, in conse- 
quence of which the town was filled with rejoicing and 
riot, and those windows which were not illuminated were 
broken, particularly those of the Mansion House, to 
the value of £500. After this, amidst an amazing con- 
course of people, he surrendered himself in the Court of 
King's Bench ; and in the same speech in which he sub- 
mitted himself to the justice and laws of his country, he 
ventured to attack the Chief Justice (Lord Mansfield) in 
his own court, and charge him with an iniquitous and 
illegal alteration of the records to his prejudice. The 
Chief Justice defended himself, and then calmly heard 
him and his counsel move that he might be admitted to 
bail, for the purpose of bringing writs of error to re- 
verse the several judgments against him ; but the court 
agreed they could not take notice of him, not being in 
custody, nor consequently legally before the court. He 
was then taken upon a capias iitlagatum, and being in cus- 
tody, and having obtained a fiat for a writ of error, some 
days after was brought into court, and by his counsel 
again moved to be admitted to bail, which after long 
argument was refused by the whole court, as being 
against law after conviction, and he w r as ordered to be 
committed to prison. As he was proceeding there in a 
coach with the officers, the populace seized the coach, dis- 
missed the coachman and his horses, turned it about, and 
themselves drew it in triumph into the city, where they 
dismissed the officers, and intended to have kept him 
under their protection ; but he had the honor, as soon as 
he could, to retire from them, and (as he had promised) 


surrendered himself to the Marshal of the King's Bench 
Prison, in whose custody he remains, while the whole 
nation in anxious suspense are waiting to see what will 
be the end of these things. 

It is said there are at least an hundred and seventy 
new members, which is a very uncommon number. The 
Ministry have lost many elections which they depended 
upon carrying, but have succeeded in others which they 
were very doubtful of, so that upon the whole it is 
thought they will be able to secure a majority. The 
last House, now they are dissolved, are freely spoken of 
as the most infamous that ever existed. I wish this may 
be better. How they will be affected towards the Colo- 
nies is impossible to guess, though, from the general 
spirit which seems to prevail, one has no great reason to 
expect that they will be more favorable than the last. 
I mentioned to you how much Mr. Trecothick suffered by 
his supposed connection with that country, and affection 
for it. Notwithstanding the most violent opposition, he 
however succeeded, and I trust w T ill be a very useful, wor- 
thy member. Should they be inclined to give the Colo- 
nies trouble, I imagine the vast number of disputed 
elections (more than ever were upon any former occa- 
sion) will at least divert them for some time, and before 
they are all settled other circumstances may occur to 
produce the same effect. The less they think of us, or 
meddle with us, the better, and I am always glad when 
I find they are like to have other employment. Mr. 
Wilks will find them business for a while. They meet 
the 10th of May to take the oaths, and perhaps hear 
some disputed returns ; but it is not expected they will 
enter much, if at all, into the general affairs of the 

Mr. Parke says he is not yet ready to bring on the Mo- 
hegan cause ; and if he was, it being term time, neither of 
the Chief Justices could attend it, and without one of them 


Lord President will not meddle with it. I am sorry to 
acquaint you that, although I have been as frugal as de- 
cency would admit, my expenses have been so considera- 
ble that Mr. Jackson tells me that, deducting his and Mr. 
Life's salaries, and the other charges which have arisen, 
the Colony money will again be soon exhausted ; and 
whenever the cause comes on, a large sum will be needed. 
The attorney on the other side told Mr. Jackson they in- 
tended to give their counsel £300 or £400 apiece with 
their briefs. We shall not think of being in any degree 
so profuse as that comes to, especially as there are four 
counsel in the case ; but let us be as frugal as we will, 
it must be no inconsiderable sum that must then be 
advanced, beside what they receive every time we con- 
sult with them, which cannot, it seems, be less than ten 
or twelve guineas apiece. A lawyer here is hardly 
thought worth employing who cannot make from £6,000 
to £8,000 per annum by his business. The Colony will, 
I doubt not, be surprised at these enormous expenses ; 
but this is a country where money goes but a little way 
compared with what it does in Connecticut. An amaz- 
i ing luxury and dissipation, added to the vast wealth of 
! individuals, and the extreme dearness and scarcity of 
1 many of the necessaries of life, have, as it were, reduced 
! the value of money, while custom (that tyrant to whom 
all must in some degree submit) has rendered it neces- 
' sary for a man to spend a great deal of it, who would 
I live with decency or make any tolerable appearance 
' amongst his fellow-mortals. And so rapid is the progress 
of luxury and the increase of the rate of living, that an 
American gentleman who was here five or six years ago, 
and returned again last fall, tells me he finds that the 
expense of living is at least one third higher now than 
when he was here before. 

Mr. Occam is, I am told, returned home : at least, he 
has not appeared of late, and Mr. Parke will own no 



knowledge of him. He was sent to Lord Hilsborough 
and some others to make such representations as he was 
no doubt instructed might serve the Mason interest ; but 
care was taken that his Lordship should be previously 
informed who he was, and the nature and ground of the 
complaints he was like to make, and guarded in the 
best manner could be done against anything he should 
say to the prejudice of the Colony or the cause ; and I 
do not yet find that he has made any very deep or dan- 
gerous impressions ; so that I hope no ill consequences 
will follow from this artful attempt to make use of him 
to our disadvantage, which I believe he was inadver- 
tently drawn into, and rather wished, when he came to 
reflect coolly upon it, he had not embarked in, and there- 
fore relinquished it as soon as he could. I remain, with 
the greatest respect and esteem, 

Your Honor's most obedient and very humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

P. S. As the conveyance by which this was to have 
been forwarded failed, it gives me opportunity to re- 
sume Mr. Wilks's story where I left it, and to acquaint 
you that a few days after his commitment the writ of er- 
ror for reversal of his outlawry was learnedly argued by 
Sergeant Glyn on his part, and Thurloe, counsel for the 
Crown, on the other ; but another argument being moved 
for on the part of the Crown, and the exceptions taken 
being nice, and depending upon a variety of cases cited 
on both sides, the cause was adjourned to the next term,* 
in June, which has given great offence to Mr. Wilks's 
friends as it prevents his taking his seat in Parliament. 
In the mean time they seem here to be almost in a state 
of anarchy. Ever since Wilks has been in prison he has 
been attended by a vast concourse of people, and, the 
populace having been guilty of some disorders, several 
were taken up and committed. On Tuesday, the mob 


increasing and demanding Mr. Wilks, and being very 
riotous, the guard, which had been constantly doing 
duty at the jail, were increased. The justices read the 
riot act, and ordered the troops, if they were farther 
insulted, to fire upon the people ; which they did several 
times that day and the next, by which eight or ten per- 
sons were slain outright and many wounded, several of 
whom have since died of their wounds. Some of these 
are considered by the people as murders. They are 
exasperated, insist upon prosecutions against some of the 
officers and soldiers (w r ho, unfortunately for them, hap- 
pened to be Scotchmen), and party rage runs very high. 
Beside these the seamen, the coal-heavers, the watermen, 
the journeyman hatters, sawyers, and weavers are up in 
large bodies, all complaining of the high price of provis- 
ions, &c, and demanding an increase of their wages. 
One or other of these mobs are almost continually pa- 
trolling the streets. On Wednesday the seamen to the 
number of about eight thousand w r ent down to Westmin- 
ster w T ith great regularity, and, without committing any 
outrages, presented a petition to Parliament, requesting 
an act for regulating their wages, &c. By this rising of 
the seamen the maritime trade of London has been 
totally stopped, and no ship permitted to go down the 
river for several days. Some concessions have been 
made to them and to the coal-heavers in respect to their 
wages, in consequence of which some have gone to work 
again ; but in general they are not satisfied. These sev- 
eral mobs seem yet to be quite independent of each 
other ; but the discontent seems so great and so general 
among the people, that, should they unite, very fatal conse- 
quences may be apprehended. These disorders are strong 
proofs that something is much amiss in the state. They 
perplex the present administration, and w T ill give great 
strength to the opposition, and may perhaps produce some 
revolution in their favor. I have the mortification to 


hear many perversely impute them to the example (as 
they say) set in the Colonies, and the debility discov- 
ered by government here in yielding to them and re- 
pealing the Stamp Act, which (being so totally without 
any manner of foundation) only serves to show how 
very ready those who make these observations are to 
turn every circumstance to the disadvantage of the 

Parliament was opened on the 10th, by commission, 
in the usual manner, and Sir John Cust again chosen 
Speaker ; but they have hitherto entered upon no busi- 
ness of any consequence. His Majesty's sister, the 
Princess Louisa Anne (who had been for some time past 
declining) d^ed yesterday morning. I remain, with per- 
fect respect, your Honor's most obedient servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

London, May 14th, 1768. 

Indorsed, " Received 22d of August." 

To Mr. William Samuel Johnson. 

Hartford, 6th June, 1768. 

Sir, — You will be advised by this that the late act of 
Parliament for granting certain duties in the British Colo- 
nies and Plantations in America, &c, has arrived here, and 
has been read to the General Assembly of this his Majes- 
ty's Colony of Connecticut; in which, in the humble 
opinion of this Assembly, there are many things enacted 
that in the most unhappy manner tend to deprive the 
inhabitants of this Colony of their essential rights as 
Englishmen, and in their consequence will be most preju- 
dicial and fatal to the interest of the nation ; and in this 
most important and interesting affair have made their 


humble supplication to his gracious Majesty the King for 
relief, and their application to the Earl of Hillsborough, 
one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, for his 
kind interposition in their behalf . The Assembly have also 
thought proper on this occasion to instruct their agents 
to represent to his Majesty's Ministers and others of influ- 
ence, and in the strongest manner possible consistent with 
decency press the reasons and arguments which in their 
opinion most clearly entitle them to relief. 

The express design of that act is to raise a revenue 
for his Majesty in America ; and the grant is made by the 
Commons of Great Britain for the purpose of defraying 
the charge of the administration of justice and the sup- 
port of civil government, and for defraying the expenses 
of the defending and securing his Majesty's dominions, in 

This act, in the opinion of this Assembly, to be sure, 
the principle and manner in and by which it is made, 
most undeniably deprives the Colonists of their essential 
rights as Englishmen, may strip them of all that is good 
and valuable in life, take away even all their estates with- 
out their consent, and subject them to and oblige them 
to support a civil and military authority over them that 
the Colonists have no other interest in or connection with 
than barely what their offices create ; and in such a case 
would there be the least shadow, we don't say of English 
or British, but of any civil liberty at all ? l 

Our fathers, who came to this continent with the royal 
consent and settled this Colony, are allowed to be free- 
born subjects, and as such entitled to the privileges of 
the constitution as fully as those they left in England. 
The innumerable dangers, incredible labors, and hard- 

1 This paragraph is marked, in the margin of the draft from which we 
print, " To be omitted." Probably the Governor thought the sentiments ex- 
pressed in it were already fully set forth in other parts of the letter. — Eds. 


ships they underwent in coming to, settling, improving, 
and defending this country, (by which so large a territory 
was added to his Majesty's dominions, and the trade and 
wealth of the nation so much increased,) instead of being 
considered as a forfeiture, must be looked upon as a most 
powerful and meritorious argument that those privileges 
in truth do continue, and ought to continue, to us their 
descendants inviolate. In this light, most certainly, the 
matter was viewed by the Court in the reign of King 
Charles the Second, who was never thought to have too 
favorable a regard for the Puritans; yet that prince was 
pleased, for those very considerations aforesaid, expressly 
to grant to them, our fathers, and their heirs and assigns, 
the land described, and all the privileges and liberties con- 
tained in the royal charter to the people of this Colony ; 
in which charter, we say, all the effectual privileges and 
liberties of the English constitution were clearly and ex- 
pressly confirmed to the inhabitants of this Colony, and by 
the name of the Governor and Company of the English 
Colony of Connecticut in New England, and were made 
a body politic, with full power to enact and do whatever 
they found necessary for their well-being and defence ; and 
the same has been allowed and recognized by the Crown 
in every succeeding reign, and by the Parliament and na- 
tion for more than a century past. Are we not, then, most 
clearly entitled to all the essential privileges and liberties 
of the English or British constitution, — by birth, by 
charter, by long uninterrupted usage and possession, and, 
in fine, by every claim of right that any people on earth 
can plead in their favor ? And may we not say that no 
act made agreeable to the fundamental principles of the 
constitution can deprive us of the privileges of it ? 

The British constitution we conceive to be the most 
consummate system to answer the grand ends of govern- 
ment, founded on the reason and unalterable nature of 
things, — a resemblance of the divine law and model of 


government, designed by Infinite Wisdom and Benignity 
to secure and advance the highest good, the moral and 
social happiness of man in the world. This, we are sure, 
has been the glory and boast of the nation, and in this we 
have ever esteemed them the happiest people on earth. 
And is it not clearly the law of Heaven, the Giver of all 
things, and a principle interwoven into the very essence 
of the British constitution, that whatever a man acquires 
by the proper exertion of his powers is his own, and no 
man or body of men may take it from him without his 
consent, by himself or his representative ? How can the 
British Parliament take away the property of the Colo- 
nists, who make no part of that august body, and have no 
representative there ? Can they be virtually represented 
by the House of Commons, and taxed by them as the rep- 
resentatives of the Colonists ? Did the Colonists choose 
any of them ? Do they depend on the Colonists in any 
measure for their seats in that honorable House ? Do 
they bear any part of the burdens themselves that they 
lay on us ? And is not all this included in the very 
idea of a representative in Parliament ? 'T would be an 
affront to common sense to deny it. The glory of the 
constitution is, that it secures the rights, the liberty and 
property, of the subject ; and we have ever esteemed it 
our chief glory and felicity that we were partakers of 
those inestimable privileges, — the offspring of the nation 
in a natural and political sense, and heirs of the distin- 
guished blessings of our mother state, always rejoicing in 
her protection, in her glory and prosperity. How painful 
the thought, that we must be stripped of these darling 
joys of life, and with this most afflicting circumstance, 
to have it done by our mother state, where we natu- 
rally looked for protection, and by an act said also to be 
made agreeable to the British constitution, the effectual 
and inviolable principles of which were the grand security 
of our free and uninterrupted enjoyment ! Nor will it be 


enough to say, that, because we own ourselves to be a part 
of the British empire, and look to the mother state for 
protection, therefore that state must have a superintend- 
ing power and right to make such laws as she shall judge 
necessary and best for the whole. Most surely the au- 
thority of the Parliament itself is limited and circumscribed 
by the constitution that formed it, and from whence it 
derives all its authority; and as it may be said with honor 
to God, the Supreme Kuler, that he cannot do wrong, 
because of His absolute perfection, so with due deference 
may it be said of the British Parliament, they cannot do 
wrong, cannot do any act by virtue of the authority given 
them by the constitution that will destroy it, or deprive the 
subject of the essential privileges of it. Admitting, there- 
fore, that there is a superintending supreme power in the 
British Parliament to regulate and direct the general 
affairs of the empire, it cannot surely be inferred from 
thence that the British Parliament can, by an act made 
agreeable to the constitution, deprive the subject of the 
essential privileges of it. The supposition is absurd, and 
involves in it a contradiction. A revenue to the King is 
also considered by the principles of the constitution as a 
free gift of the people to the King ; and how are the 
Colonists dishonored in that regard by this act, and de- 
prived of the pleasure of testifying their affection and 
loyalty to their sovereign by a free contribution of their 
estates to the support of his royal person and dignity ? 

Nor is the disposition and manner of collecting of the 
revenue less grievous than the manner of raising it. 
The revenue is to be applied to the support of the admin- 
istration of justice, civil government, and the securing and 
defending his Majesty's dominions in America. Has not 
justice been as well administered, and civil government 
as well supported, and good order kept in the Ameri- 
can Colonies, especially in Connecticut, as in any other 
parts of his Majesty's dominions? What need of such 


extraordinary provisions and expense at this time ? 
Have not the Colonists gained their land by purchase 
and conquest, subdued and defended the same, when 
they were few in number, against a much more numer- 
ous foe, without any expense from the Crown? Why 
this extraordinary provision to secure and defend his 
Majesty's dominions in America at this day ? We of this 
Colony doubtless have borne more than our proportion 
of expense, in treasure as well as blood, in every war 
the nation has been engaged in since the first settlements 
in xlmerica; and in the last war especially, as well as 
other times, have gone much beyond our ability to pay. 
Witness the credit we were always obliged to betake our- 
selves to, particularly in the last war, and the vast sums 
that still remain unpaid, notwithstanding the reimburse- 
ments of the Parliament of Great Britain. We are at 
perfect peace now, and want no aid for our own defence, 
and stand ready to exert ourselves to the utmost, when- 
ever our safety or the safety of the nation shall require 
it. But the revenue, it may be said, is to secure and 
defend the new acquisitions. Are they not as well worth 
settling and defending as the lands we purchased, subdued, 
settled, and defended, without any aid from the Crown ? 
These acquisitions have greatly diminished the value of 
our estates, drained off the inhabitants, and lessened our 
ability to bear the burden of the expense, and nothing 
can reasonably be required from us on that account. 
And we fear worse things may be the consequence of the 
provisions made in the act; for when we view this in 
connection with the Mutiny Act, what dismal apprehen- 
sions crowd into the mind ! Our property taken from us 
by a sovereign act, and applied to the support of the ad- 
ministration of justice and civil government, and a,n army 
to be billeted also at our expense, that we stand in no 
need of on any account, but will debauch the inhabitants, 
— what is all this, in plain English, but to force the Colo- 


nists to submit to support officers of justice, government, 
and war, perhaps strangers that they have no interest 
in or connection with but what arises from their offices 
alone ? How grievous and dispiriting the thought ! Such 
measures tend to take everything that is valuable in life 
entirely from us. The power that makes laws for us, the 
power that takes our property from us, that rules us, that 
judges us, that defends us, is entirely independent on us 
for appointment or say. Bare, naked power is an awful 
thing, and very unamiable to a people that have been 
used to be free. How r unavoidably will jealousy and such 
bitter altercations arise between such officers and the 
people as will necessarily destroy the peace and happiness 
of society ! How cruelly will such measures damp every 
generous principle of emulation in the hearts of the Colo- 
nists to contribute to the glory of the British empire, — 
destroy the life and spirit of industry, the fruits of which 
naturally flow to the centre of it ? 'T is obvious to ob- 
serve that such measures are not less impolitic than 
unconstitutional. It is certain that such is our natural 
and habitual attachment and affection to the King, the 
British constitution and nation, such our pride, glory, 
and safety in the British empire, such our genius, busi- 
ness, and trade, that everything we can raise, and more 
than we can spare, naturally flow into the nation in 
remittances for their manufactures which we consume in 
the Colonies ; and no part of the empire would more freely 
sacrifice their lives and their all for its glory and defence. 
Now to go into such measures as would break the spirits 
and discourage the industry of so great and well disposed 
a part of the empire must certainly not only be very in- 
humane, but extremely impolitic, — very prejudicial to 
the nation as well as destructive to the Colonies. 

The administration cannot set easy upon them, until 
they have lost every generous feeling and laudable princi- 
ple of action ; and can it be expected that such a dejected 


and dispirited people will have heart to clear and improve 
this wilderness, or care very much about the defence of 
it ? Have we not hitherto been a quiet, industrious, and 
loyal people ? has not the nation had the command of all 
our riches and strength ? What can they have more ? 
Are they afraid, if we are not soon restrained by force, 
we shall get out of their power ? How vain and idle the 
imagination ! There is nothing more foreign to the desires 
of the Americans. Where should we go ? Don't we idol- 
ize the British constitution, government, and nation, and 
despise all other states in comparison thereof? Shall we 
set up a kingdom by ourselves ? Every Colony has such 
peculiarities of their own that they are so fond of, that, 
if we had numbers and wealth sufficient, the Colonies 
would never unite into one state, and most certainly 
it could never be for their interest; and if we should 
increase ever so much in numbers and wealth, the avails 
of all our labor would certainlv flow into the nation : and 
we venture to say, if the Colonies are treated friendly, 
and indulged their freedom, the course of their trade and 
business will always carry home their money and wealth ; 
that it never will be in their power nor inclination to 
renounce their dependence on their mother country. 
And if the freedom of the Colonies is preserved, and this 
vast country comes to be subdued, what vast increase of 
wealth, numbers, naval and every sort of military strength, 
may she expect and receive from her Colonies and acqui- 
sitions in America ? 

Can a few customs, picked up by a new set of officers 
and their voracious dependents in a manner so odious to 
the Colonists, which, considering their course of business 
and the scarcity of money, will be very hard for them to 
pay, — can such customs, we say, in any measure, coun- 
tervalue the damage the King and the nation will sustain 
thereby? Moreover, did ever a trading nation before 
this send officers to the ports where they wanted to vend 


their goods, and encumber the sale by laying heavy 
duties on the buyers, and be at such vast expense to 
maintain officers there which can be of no service but to 
discourage the trade ? For the same revenue might be 
collected by the same duties on the same goods at home 
by the usual officers there. 

It is demonstrable, in the opinion of the Assembly, 
that the true art and only good method of governing 
colonies well, and making them most subservient to the 
interest of the nation, is to preserve their freedom and 
encourage their industry and trade. Here is a vast coun- 
try to subdue and people ; and if the Colonists are in- 
dulged their freedom, no doubt but all this wilderness will 
become a fruitful land ; and such measures will fasten the 
Colonies to their mother country by the happiest and 
most permanent ties. The nation will reap all the ad- 
vantage of their industry, and increase in wealth, gran- 
deur, and power more by this means than any other she 
is favored with. This, doubtless, is the true policy of 
governing the Colonies ; and the want of the knowledge 
of this plain, obvious, and almost self-evident truth in the 
Ministry and nation, we fear, will be very detrimental to 
us and them, and perhaps ruinous to both. 

You will not fail, then, to use your utmost endeavors, 
by the hints above mentioned, and all other arguments 
and means in your power, to make them fully sensible of 
it before it is too late. 

I am, with great truth and regard, sir, your obedient 
and humble servant, W m p ITKIN 

In the Upper House. The within draft for a letter to 
W m Sam 11 Johnson, Esq., Agent for Colony, &c, is ap- 
proved at this Board. a 
r Test, George Wyllys, Sec. 

In the Lower House. Read and concurred. 

Test, W. Williams, Clerk. 



Richard Jackson, Esq. 

Hartford, June 10th, 1768. 

Sir, — The several acts of Parliament passed the last 
year relating to the Colonies have been transmitted by 
the Secretary of State to the Governor and Company of 
this Colony, and laid before the General Assembly. We 
are deeply concerned at the tenor and import of some 
of those acts. We apprehend that they are directly lev- 
elled against our liberties, which are dearer to us than 
every other worldly enjoyment. The act laying certain 
duties upon paper, glass, &c, we can't but esteem as an 
infringement of our rights as Englishmen, they being 
articles necessary for our use and comfort, and we are 
prohibited from obtaining them from any other country 
than Great Britain ; and these duties are expressly laid 
for raising a revenue in America, and so are really a tax 
imposed on the people of the Colonies without their con- 
sent, for they were in no sense represented in Parliament 
when this act for raising a revenue was made. And what 
security can the Colonists have for the enjoyment of their 
property, if their money may be granted away by others 
without their consent? It is always esteemed grievous 
to a people to be restrained in their trade, to be obliged to 
carry and vend their goods and produce only to a particu- 
lar place or people, and from thence obtain the necessary 
articles of life and comfort ; but it is intolerable to be 
obliged to take of them those articles loaded with such du- 
ties as they themselves shall see cause to lay upon them. 

This can be done only because the enjoiners have force 
enough to see it effected ; and viewed in this light, all 
freedom and liberty is at an end. Is it not to be feared 
that these hard measures will prevent the continuance 
of that good agreement, harmony, and confidence that 


ought to subsist between us and our mother country? 
Is not mistrust and disaffection the natural result of 
restraint and oppression ? 1 

It can't once be supposed that the people of this Colony 
ever deserved ill of their mother country. Our ances- 
tors, by royal approbation, for the sake of liberty, came 
into this country, then a wilderness, obtained part of the 
lands by purchase, and other parts by conquest, cleared, 
improved, and cultivated the same, repelled their bar- 
barous enemies, and guarded themselves with unpar- 
alleled courage, expense, and fatigue, and in the smiles 
of Divine Providence this Colony is become a consider- 
able addition to his Majesty's dominions ; and this has 
been brought about without any expense to the Crown or 
our mother country. And we have not only settled and 
maintained ourselves, but have afforded aid to the British 
Crown in every war since our planting here for subduing 
and repelling the enemies of the British nation abroad, 
and have cheerfully complied with all royal requisitions 
to our utmost ability, and even beyond our just propor- 
tion. Our ancestors were Englishmen before they left 
their mother country; they brought their English lib- 
erties and immunities with them, always acknowledged 
their allegiance to the Crown of England, even before the 
Charter ; and for the consideration of their having pur- 
chased and conquered the country, his Majesty King 
Charles the Second, by his royal charter granted and 
confirmed to them all the lands therein described and 
incorporated, and made them a body politic, and gave 
them power to make all laws and ordinances for the well 
governing of the people, whereby the right of legisla- 
tion and taxation is invested in the General Assembly of 
the Colony. We are now not to be considered as indi- 

1 This paragraph is marked "To be omitted " in the original draft from 
which we copy. — Eds. 


vidual emigrants from England, but a body politic, sub- 
jects of the British Crown. We have, ever since that 
charter was made, been treated w T ith as such. All requi- 
sitions have been made upon us by the King, and com- 
plied with by the General Assembly of the Colony. It 
is expressly declared and granted in the charter, that the 
people of this Colony should have and enjoy all liberties 
and immunities of his Majesty's free and natural subjects 
born within the realm of England, by which it appears 
that we are entitled to all the rights of Englishmen, and 
all privileges and immunities of the British constitution, 
which secures to all his Majesty's free subjects the en- 
joyment of their properties, so that no part of it may be 
taken from them without their consent, given either in 
person or by their representative. And as the people of 
this Colony are not, and by reason of their local circum- 
stances cannot be, represented in Parliament, we apprehend 
they cannot be subjected to the payment of any duties or 
taxes, for the purpose of raising a revenue by act of Par- 
liament, consistent with their constitutional rights. 

We are emboldened to say that his Majesty has no sub- 
jects more loyal than the people of this Colony. Not a 
disloyal thought lurks in the breast of any one ; and 
nothing but the most plain and severe oppression can vio- 
late our attachment to our mother country, whose welfare 
and our own we esteem inseparable. It is with anxiety 
that we view the uneasiness of the people here, occa- 
sioned by measures which they esteem hard and uncon- 
stitutional. We can't but be of opinion that the interest 
of Great Britain and the Colonies also is much disserved 
by these restrictions. And what necessity can there be 
for these measures, or what advantages will accrue to 
his Majesty or the nation thereby ? The charges of the 
administration of justice and support of civil government 
in the Colonies may be provided for by their respective 
Assemblies, as usual, in a way much more agreeable and 


less expensive to them. And will not great part of the 
moneys arising by these duties be expended in support- 
ing a Court of Commissioners of Customs, and their offi- 
cers, for the management and collection of a revenue in 
America ? And may not the trade of the Colonies be as 
well regulated, and the acts of trade duly executed, as 
heretofore, by a collector at each port, without the ex- 
pense of such a multiplicity of new officers, which must be 
very burdensome to the Colonies at a time when they are 
groaning under a heavy load of debt incurred by the late 
war ? And it is apprehended that maintaining troops in 
the Colonies now, in this time of profound peace, would be 
an unnecessary expense, and have an unhappy tendency 
to produce uneasiness among the people, hurt their mor- 
als, and hinder their industry. 

The Governor and Company have presented a humble 
petition to the King for redress of their grievances ; and 
have addressed a letter to the Earl of Hillsborough, one 
of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, and we 
desire you to make known our sentiments to his Majes- 
ty's Ministers, and implore a favorable consideration of 

We apprehend, further, that the establishment of an 
Episcopate in America will tend to heighten our difficul- 
ties, throw us into a very disagreeable situation, and have 
the most fatal tendency to complete our misery. I am, 
with great truth and regard, sir, 

Your obedient humble servant, 

Richard Jackson, Esq. Wm - Pitein - 

In the Upper House. This draft for a letter to Rich- 
ard Jackson, Esq., Agent for the Colony, &c, is approved 

at this Board. m , ^ „ r a 

Test, George Wyllys, Sec. 

In the Lower House. This draft, &c. is approved. 

Test, Wm. Williams, Clerk. 



Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, July 23d, 1768. 

Sir, — I received your favor of the 11th of March, a 
few days ago, and was in hopes I might, before an oppor- 
tunity offered to return an answer, be able to inform you 
with some certainty when we might expect the Mohegan 
Case would be determined ; but, unhappily, we remain in 
the same state of uncertainty as when I wrote you last. 
And as the time for the recess of the public boards is now 
approaching, it is much to be feared that it will be delayed 
till they resume business again in the autumn. However, 
I do not yet quite despair but that it may be ended be- 
fore they break up, so that I may yet return to America 
before winter, which I very much wish to do. It must 
certainly appear very surprising to those who are not well 
acquainted with the state of things here, that I should be 
still detained upon a cause which the Colony were noti- 
fied to attend the final decision of, so long ago as the 
beginning of last February, twelve months ; but there is 
no hastening the people in power here. They will take 
their own time for business, and we have only to sub- 
'mit to their measures, and attend them when pleased to 
appoint us. 

I have already acquainted you that the outlawry of Mr. 
IWilks was reversed, and have no need, I believe, to add 
'(as every newspaper is full of his affairs) that the final 
'judgments against him were for twenty-two months' im- 
prisonment, £1,000 fine, and to stand bound to his good 
behavior for seven years. His friends thought these judg- 
ments very severe ; but though the proceedings against 
him continue to be the subject of much warm altercation 
in the public papers, yet the noise and tumult with re- 
spect to him begins a good deal to subside. The justice 



of peace who gave the orders for firing at the late slaugh- 
ter of the people assembled at the King's Bench Prison 
has been tried upon an indictment for murder, and ac- 
quitted ; the officer who commanded the party, and some 
of the soldiers, will take their trials at the next assizes. 
Many have been tried and punished for the late riots, &c, 
and nine coal-heavers executed for murder, &c. com- 
mitted in those tumults. There are many prosecutions 
still depending, and by the various methods pursued by 
government the late mobs are pretty well quelled, and 
the town is now in tolerable quiet. 

It has long been expected that Lord Shelburne would 
soon quit the administration ; but he still keeps his ground, 
and his friends seem to think he has of late gained some 
strength. Some lesser changes have taken place ; but the 
most material one that has occurred with respect to the 
Colonies is, that Lord Clare has taken the vice-treasurer- 
ship of Ireland, and Lord Hilsborough is again placed at 
the head of the Board of Trade, so that in this capacity 
and that of Secretary of State for the Plantations, which 
he still retains, he will have almost the entire manage- 
ment of American affairs in his own hands. I have 
already given you my sentiments of him. If, indeed, one 
might lay any stress upon his declarations, which are 
extremely warm and friendly to the Colonies, and did not 
think them rather the language of the courtier than of the 
minister, Ave might expect everything favorable from him; 
but when one attends minutely to his character, and ob- 
serves attentively those principles of government which 
he holds, the rules of conduct which he lays down, and 
those unfavorable hints which, as it were by accident, 
fall from him, even amidst those pompous declarations 
of affection for the Colonies, I cannot but apprehend that 
we have, upon the whole, much more to fear than to 
hope from his administration. 

I should have mentioned to you when I wrote last, (but 


that my information was too vague to be relied upon, nor 
have I been able since to obtain any intelligence abso- 
lutely to be depended upon though I think it probable 
that I am not misinformed,) that orders are gone to Gov- 
ernor Barnard to require the Assembly of his Province to 
erase their late resolves approving of the resolutions of 
the town of Boston with respect to the importation and 
use of British manufactures, their circular letter, &c, and 
in case of their refusal, to dissolve them ; to make the like 
requisition of the new Assembly which he shall convene, 
and if they refuse, to dissolve them also, and so Mies quo- 
ties, until there is a compliance with the demand ; that the 
other Governors are ordered also to dissolve their respect- 
ive Assemblies, in case they attempt to make any resolves, 
or take any steps of the like nature. I hope, indeed, 
that I am misinformed, and that so despotic a measure 
has not been in fact adopted ; but it is certain they are 
enough offended at every measure taken there to preju- 
dice the trade, and prevent the consumption of the manu- 
factures of this country. The approbation, also, which the 
Farmer's Letters have so generally met with in America, 
gives much umbrage. Many do not hesitate to affirm 
'that it is a treasonable, seditious paper; that the author 
and publisher ought to be prosecuted, &c. A writer in 
lone of the papers proposes a more reasonable method, 
;and promises the public to give an answer to them. He 
will, I think, find he has undertaken a very difficult work, 
and it is most probable it is only a puff ; but if he ap- 
pears to be a writer of any merit, I hope the Farmer will 
jreply, that the rights of the Colonies may be fairly can- 
(vassed, and established upon the firm basis of reason and 

The petitions from the Massachusetts Bay, and another 
from Virginia, penned, it is said, in a still freer style, and 
requesting the repeal of the late act, not as a favor, but 
as of right, though they have not been presented in form, 


have yet engaged the attention of the politicians, and 
are freely enough censured. Some of the Ministry, I 
am told, have said they wish they may be fairly able to 
repeal the act, not because the Americans are uneasy 
with it, nor for the reasons they urge, but as being in 
its principle prejudicial to Great Britain, and to be con- 
sidered in no other light than as giving premiums to 
encourage American manufactures, for which reason, say 
they, we were equally fools to make, and the Americans 
to find fault with it. But the consideration and thorough 
canvassing of all these matters seems, by common consent, 
to be referred until the meeting of Parliament, which 
it is now expected, will be a very interesting and busy 
sessions, both for this country and the Colonies. 

I have made all the inquiry I could, since I received 
your letter, concerning writs of assistance to custom- 
house officers, but cannot yet perfectly satisfy myself 
with respect to them. It is surprising how little atten- 
tion gentlemen here pay, and how slender intelligence 
they can give one relative to things not immediately 
within their own departments. It seemed to be clearly 
the opinion of several lawyers that I spoke with upon 
the subject, that they were not issued but in particular 
cases, and upon information on oath ; not in general terms, 
nor to be made use of as general warrants at the discre- 
tion of the officer, which appeared to me to be the only 
legal and reasonable method. But upon application to 
the clerks of the Exchequer for copies of the usual writs 
issued here in cases of this nature, they have furnished 
us with the enclosed, which you will see are very general, 
and not grounded upon any particular fact or information; 
and they add, that all the additional instruction beside 
what the writs express and direct is that the King's offi- 
cer take unto him a peace officer if he breaks open any 
house or place. I am not satisfied, however, that this 
ought to be the procedure in Connecticut ; nevertheless, 


I thought it expedient to forward these copies to you as 
soon as I could ; but shall continue to make farther in- 
quiry into this matter, and, if anything material occurs, it 
shall be immediately communicated to you. The Medi- 
terranean passes have been at length obtained; with what 
difficulty, &c, Mr. Jackson has, I presume, fully informed 
you. They cost £15, and go by Captain Miller, under 
the care of Mr. Tiler, via New York. I wish them safe 
to your hands, and am, with the greatest respect and 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

P. S. While this letter waited a conveyance, the intel- 
ligence relating to the commotions in Boston has been 
received here with equal concern and indignation. The 
impressions it at first made were surprising ; the mer- 

I chants were in fear for their property and their trade ; 

1 the stocks fell greatly, and there seemed to be a general 
consternation ; but indignation soon took place of every 

i other sentiment, and all parties united in denouncing ven- 

j geance (as they expressed it) against that insolent town. 
A cabinet council was immediately called, and they have 

i sat several times since upon the subject. Their deter- 
minations have not yet transpired ; but it is generally 

i believed that troops and ships of war will be ordered out 
to join those already supposed to be there from Halifax 

] and New York, with instructions to reduce the town to 
order and hold it under a strong militarv restraint. The 

! newspapers indeed go farther, and tell us that Lord How 
is actually ordered out with a strong squadron, that trans- 
ports are hiring, men-of-war getting ready, artillery and 

! stores embarking with all despatch at Woolwich, and that 
everything wears the face of war. All this, however, is 
denied by many, and some say the Marquis of Granby is 
first to visit the Colonies and make report before any 


force is made use of, with variety of other conjectures not 
worth mentioning. The truth is, I believe, no man not 
in administration yet knows what has been resolved upon, 
if indeed any resolutions are yet actually taken ; and 
since there are such repeated deliberations upon this busi- 
ness, I have some hope that there will be time for the 
present indignation to cool, and give place to moderate 
and prudent counsels, before any measures are absolutely 
gone into; which all the remaining friends of the Colo- 
nies will labor for. After all, I own I tremble for Boston, 
and am in deep concern for the other Colonies. Con- 
necticut yet stands in as fair a light as any one of them, 
and I hope the same prudence and good conduct by which 
that Colony has been hitherto distinguished will, under the 
Divine protection, still preserve her from every misfortune. 
It is now no longer made a secret of by the Ministry that 
the orders I have mentioned relative to the dissolving the 
Massachusetts Assembly were issued some time ago; which 
I presume was the reason also for ordering the troops 
there from Halifax and New York. 

Lord Hilsborough has said openly " that it had been 
agreed upon, by himself and others in administration, to 
repeal the late act; and that it would undoubtedly have 
been done had not these disturbances happened, by which 
it should seem that the Colonists were resolved to trample 
upon the authority of Parliament, and insult the officers 
of the Crown upon every occasion, and carry all their 
points by violence and tumult, which must prevent their 
friends from serving them here, however good disposi- 
tions they had towards them; that these outrages were 
no longer to be borne with, and some method must be 
gone into for the better government of a people so prone 
to violence and riot," &c. They forget upon these occa- 
sions the very frequent tumults and riots in this country, 
or think they are crimes of a much deeper dye in America 
than in England. They need to be reminded that all 


free states are subject to these inconveniences, and that 
the only effectual way to prevent them is to govern with 
wisdom, justice, and moderation. I remain, with the 
utmost respect, 

Your Honor's most obedient, humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

London, July 30th, 1768. 

There is much talk in town of a war with France, &c. ; 
but the most sensible people think there is at present 
no reason to apprehend it. Lord Bottetourt is going out 
Governor of Virginia ; he is a Lord of the Bedchamber ; 
of great affability, a soft address, attentive to business, 
and in high estimation here ; but from some things I have 
heard fall from him in the House of Lords, I fancy the 
Virginians will not find him so great a friend to American 
liberty as they could wish. 

Indorsed, "Received October 3d, 1768." 


Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, October 20th, 1768. 

Sir, — Your favors of the 6th and 10th of June, en- 
closing copy of the petition to the King, &c, and their 
duplicate, both came to hand together, ten days ago, and 
were very soon succeeded by that of the 25th of August. 
Immediately upon the receipt of the first, I waited upon 
Lord Hillsborough to inquire after the original petition ; 
when he informed me it was just come to hand, and that he 
should that morning present it to his Majesty. Though 
I was before no stranger to his Lordship's sentiments 
upon this subject, yet both then and in a second audience, 
which I have since had, I insisted largely upon those 
arguments so judiciously and tally stated and urged in 


yours of the 6th of June in support of the petition, 
endeavored to point out to him in the fullest manner the 
ill consequences which must unavoidably attend the ad- 
hering to such injudicious regulations, and begged his 
Lordship's attention to the subject, and favorable interpo- 
sition to obtain for us the repeal of an act so very 
grievous to the Colonies and prejudicial to the interest 
of the whole empire. 

His answers were, in substance, that I might assure 
my constituents that his Majesty and his Ministers were 
sincerely disposed to give the Colonies every relief con- 
sistent with the constitution ; that one of the first things 
he had proposed to Lord North at his coming into admin- 
istration was the repeal of this act as being extremely 
anti-commercial. " But," says he, "the Colonies have 
rendered it impossible, by imprudently uniting to dispute 
the right of Parliament, which, since the late declarative 
act especially, we cannot permit to be called in question. 
I am sorry that your Colony, which you have so often 
represented to me in so favorable a light, have listened 
to the factious suggestions of the Massachusetts Bay. 
Had they petitioned on the ground of inexpediency only, 
they would have succeeded ; but while you call in ques- 
tion the right, we cannot hear you. It is essential to the 
constitution to preserve the supremacy of Parliament 
inviolate ; and tell your friends in America as my opin- 
ion, — and it is that of an honest man, at least, for I will 
not pretend to be a very wise one, — that it is as much 
their interest to support the constitution and preserve the 
supremacy of Parliament as it is ours. Neither of us can 
be safe but upon that ground. You mistake, too, in peti- 
tioning the King alone, and (as some others have done) 
remonstrating to the House of Commons. He cannot, 
you know well enough, repeal acts of Parliament ; and 
we understand very well why you take this step. But 
let me tell you it will only serve to excite the indigna- 


tion of Parliament, before whom I expect the petitions 
will be laid by his Majesty. What will be done, I will not 
pretend to foresee ; but depend upon it, Parliament will 
not suiter their authority to be trampled upon. We wish 
by every reasonable means to avoid any severities to- 
wards you ; but if you refuse obedience to our laws, the 
whole fleet and army of England shall enforce it." Upon 
the general principle of right, he said, he had read all 
that had been written upon it ; and if the arguments 
we urged proved anything, they equally concluded to an 
exemption from all laws of what kind soever made by 
Parliament while we were not represented there, which 
could never be admitted, and which the Colonists them- 
selves did not even pretend to. " You have not," said 
he, " disputed our right to make laws to regulate your 
trade ; and he must be a very weak Minister indeed that 
cannot raise a sufficient revenue by such regulations. 
The American writers have admitted that we could make 
laws to affect your lives and liberties, a fortiori, we can 
bind your property." I answered these observations and 
objections upon the usual grounds and distinctions, which 
have been so often urged, and which I need not repeat to 
you. After much conversation upon the subject he said, 
"It is in vain for you and I to dispute these points. 
Parliament will decide upon them. I hope they will take 
the matter up coolly, but fear they will be in a blaze when 
they see the Virginia petition ; and it will be happy for us 
if we can stop the torrent." Such, in brief, is the lan- 
guage of the American Minister. Notwithstanding this, 
many think the act will finally be repealed. It must be 
confessed, it looks at present rather doubtful ; but there 
is room to hope that some expedient may be hit upon 
to save the honor of Parliament, about which they are so 
exceedingly concerned, and at the same time to get rid 
of the act, which is agreeable to none on either side of 
the question. 


I have since seen most of the agents for the Colo- 
nies. Those who have received their instructions (and 
it is hoped that those who have not will very soon 
receive them) seem disposed to enter heartily into the 
matter, and do everything that shall be thought requi- 
site upon this interesting occasion, for which purpose we 
shall very soon have a meeting to consider the subject, 
and lay down a plan to be pursued by each individual in 
their several applications. For Mr. Jackson, myself, and 
some others, I can answer that no step will be omitted 
which may tend to obtain the wished for relief, and hope 
that all the rest will be equally in earnest. The merchants 
say they had no thanks for what they did upon a former 
occasion, and do not seem yet to interest themselves 
much in our favor. Should they embark in the cause, 
it would give great weight to our solicitations. Measures 
are therefore taking to engage their assistance to coun- 
terwork the effect of the agreements which have been 
entered into at Boston and New York, to import no goods 
until the act is repealed. It is affirmed in the public pa- 
pers here that some of the subscribers to those agreements 
have notwithstanding ordered goods, but desired their 
invoices may be antedated, so as to save appearances. 
I have made an extensive inquiry among the merchants, 
and hitherto find no ground for this assertion, nor will yet 
believe that any American of consequence can have been 
guilty of such detestable tergiversation ; yet unhappily 
the report gains credit, and with too many places us in a 
most contemptible and ridiculous light. Several of the 
late political writers here have taken up the idea of an 
incorporation of the Colonies with Great Britain, and 
urged the necessity of admitting them to a representa- 
tion in Parliament, in order to put an end to the present 
disputes. It may perhaps even be proposed in Parlia- 
ment ; but if it should, it will be opposed by others as 
well as by all the friends of the Colonies, and there is 


little danger of its making any progress. The present 
conjuncture is extremely critical, both with respect to 
Great Britain and the Colonies. The state of the nation 
is allowed on all hands to be very deplorable. The minds 
of all sober men are alarmed, and in anxious, gloomy sus- 
pense, waiting to see what course will be taken by Parlia- 
ment, on whom all depends, and who are to assemble the 
8th of next month. Meantime the struggles of party are 
continued. Lord Chatham has resigned the Privy Seal, 
which is not yet redelivered, nor, it is said, the resigna- 
tion absolutely accepted. Lord Shelburne has given up 
his office of Secretary of State, and is succeeded by Lord 
Rochford, late Ambassador at the Court of France. Other 
changes are expected, but what effect they will have upon 
the public measures we are at a loss to determine. 

I am happy to find that you have remitted a farther 
sum for the supply of our heavy expenses here. I do not 
yet know that the bills are come to hand, though I hope 
they may have reached Mr. Jackson, who has been some 
time in the country. The relief will be very seasonable ; 
for I assure you I have been some time already out of 
public cash, and am now living entirely upon credit. The 
state of the Mohegan Case is such that we may undoubt- 
edly expect it will be tried some time this winter ; and 
since the Assembly choose I should attend the event of 
that, as well as of the petition to the Crown, and it is 
both my duty and my inclination to render them every 
service in my power, I have given up all thoughts of 
returning until they are both determined, and you may 
rely upon it shall continue to give the most assiduous 
attention to those matters, and to everything else that 
concerns the Colony. I remain, with the greatest re- 
spect and esteem, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 



Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, November 18th, 1768. 

Sir, — Soon after I wrote you of the 20th of October, 
we received the intelligence of the proceedings of the 
town meeting at Boston, relative to the proposed conven- 
tion to meet at Boston on the 22d of September. The 
votes they passed disclaiming all obligations to obedience 
to laws passed without a representation, and the intima- 
tions they gave relating to the troops and the prepara- 
tion of their arms, were considered here as steps directly 
tending to rebellion. It was expected that the troops 
would be opposed, should they attempt to land ; that 
Massachusetts Bay, if not all the Colonies, must hence- 
forward be considered as in a state of actual rebellion ; 
and measures were concerting to proceed against them in 
that light. It was justly esteemed a dreadful and de- 
structive conflict which they were about to engage in, 
yet they were determined to undertake it at all hazards, 
and to rely upon the superiority of their arms for the 
support of their authority in America. They saw the 
event with horror, yet seemed to think it absolutely 
necessary to meet the danger, and hazard everything 
rather than recede in the least degree from the plan they 
had adopted with respect to that country. During this 
period, nothing but war and dissolution were thought of. 
All hopes of the repeal of the late act, or any reconcilia- 
tion, seemed to be at an end. Such was the situation of 
things here when the news arrived that the troops had 
landed at Boston without opposition ; that the conven- 
tion had dispersed without doing anything material, and 
all thoughts of resistance were at an end. The pleasure 
this intelligence gave was inexpressible. Joy appeared 


j in every countenance, and nothing was to be seen but 
j mutual congratulations upon the happy event. The 
i spirit of resentment subsided. 1 To this succeeded a calm 
j contempt of that people, and the Bostonians are now con- 
sidered as having made a vain bluster and parade to no 
J purpose. However disreputable this might be with re- 
spect to them in particular, yet it became a ground of 
hope with respect to the Colonies in general. It was in 
fact an answer to one of their great objections against 
I the repeal of the act, and a clear confutation of the asser- 
\ tion that the Colonists were ripe for rebellion, and were 
determined to resist with force the authority of this 
j country. 

Such was the state of things when Parliament opened 
i on the 8th instant, and was uncommonly full. The 
King's speech you will have seen in the public papers, 
; of which perhaps I must say no more than that it is suffi- 
ciently severe upon us. It is always in the House con- 
sidered and treated as the speech of the Minister; and 
we are, without doors at least, at liberty to imagine it to 
be so, though perhaps we may not remark upon it as 
such. The address of the Commons occasioned a long 
debate, or rather conversation (as they call it here when 

1 The proceedings in Parliament narrated in these interesting letters, as 
well as the effect they produced in Massachusetts, notably in Boston, are 
familiar to the readers of our ante- Revolutionary history. The Townshend 
Acts and the appointment of Commissioners of the Customs, following the 
repeal of the Stamp Act, furnished occasions for reviving the irritation, 
which had begun to subside. The news of the riot in Boston in June of this 
year, occasioned by the seizure of Mr. Hancock's vessel for a false entry made 
by the master, had reached London by the latter part of the following month, 
and the effect of it in London is described in the postscript (dated the 30th 
of July) to Mr. Johnson's letter of the 23d. The excited proceedings which 
followed in Boston, and which culminated in the meeting of a convention of 
delegates in that town on the 22d of September, chosen by several of the 
towns of the Province, are related by Hutchinson in the third Volume of 
his History. " That the convention dispersed without doing anything mate- 
rial," was probably as much a surprise to Bernard and Hutchinson as it was 
to the King's Ministers. — Eds. 


the speakers are not restrained to particular points 
of argument), which continued till near midnight, in 
the course of which the state of affairs at home and 
abroad, both with respect to the Colonies and foreign 
powers, was largely considered. The danger of a 
war, the attack upon Corsica, the discontents of the 
people, the prostration of government, the confusion 
of the finances, the decay of commerce, &c, &c, were 
abundantly insisted upon ; and Administration were re- 
proached with great severity by the Opposition for their 
unsteadiness, negligence, insufficiency, and w T ant of wis- 
dom, firmness, and spirit. Upon that part of the address 
relating to America, a question was made whether they 
should so fully approve the measures which had been 
pursued there by Administration ; and Lord Hillsbor- 
ough's mandate to the Massachusetts Bay Assembly, 
to rescind upon pain of dissolution, was very freely cen- 
sured. Mr. Greenville himself upon this occasion became 
the advocate of the Colonies, and declared it to be an 
illegal and unconstitutional step, an arbitrary attack 
upon the rights of a corporation, and an exercise of 
power which belonged only to the supreme legislature 
of Great Britain. The disobedience of the Colonies, par- 
ticularly of the Massachusetts Bay, and the combinations 
not to import goods were largely expatiated upon ; and 
the late convention and resolutions, particularly with 
respect to the furnishing themselves with arms, were 
treated as highly seditious and treasonable, meriting a 
severe chastisement. Some, on the other hand, were so 
good as to defend and excuse in some respects those pro- 
ceedings ; and Alderman Beckford went so far as to say 
they had better repeal the late act, and conciliate the 
Colonies by moderation and kindness ; to which the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1 who is considered as 

1 Lord North. — Eds. 


the Minister in the House, was pleased to reply that he 
would never think of repealing it until he saiu America 
prostrate at his feet. "America," says he, "must fear you 
before they will love you." Some, however, thought this 
too severe and absolute, and chose to leave it open to far- 
ther consideration, though in general they seemed to 
think it could not be clone in the present state of things. 
Many of the speakers lamented the repeal of the Stamp 
Act as a fatal giving way to the Americans, and re- 
proached Lord Camden and Lord Chatham for the part 
they had taken in it, which the Rockingham party de- 
fended upon the ground of expediency, but nobody upon 
the principle of right, it being almost universally given 
up as completely settled by the late declaratory act. 

Upon the whole, the temper of the House seemed to be 
enough against us, though not so violent as many feared. 
I do not, therefore, yet quite despair of our obtaining 
some relief, though I think we must expect that Boston 
will meet with some chastisement. No day is yet as- 
signed for resuming the consideration of these matters ; 
but it is expected they will not be very long deferred. 
The agents have had several meetings upon American 
affairs, and all appear heartily disposed to co-operate to- 
gether, and will, I believe, exert themselves to the utmost 
in the service of their constituents, however unfavorable 
may be the prospect of success. Mr. Wilks has peti- 
tioned Parliament for relief, stating all his grievances, 
f;ncl the whole proceedings against him from the issuing 
of the general warrant to the day of his final commit- 
ment to the King's Bench Prison. The petition is ordered 
to lie upon the table, and the records of the proceedings 
against him to be brought up by the proper officers, so 
that the House may be possessed of the whole matter. 
The much litigated contest relating to Sir Jeff. Amherst 
was settled (it is said by express royal mandate) a day or 
two before the meeting of Parliament. He is restored to 


his regiments, is to have a pension, is promised a peer- 
age, &c, &c. Lord Bristol has the Privy Seal, in lieu 
of Lord Chatham. The former was the avowed friend 
of the latter; and it is now a question agitated among 
the politicians whether Lord Chatham's interest will be 
thrown into the scale of Administration or into that of 
Opposition. The Duke of Newcastle died yesterday; 
and his party, which has been long decaying, will now 
no longer exist as a body, but be divided among several 

There was last night, for the first time this session, a 
division of the House upon the question relating to the 
late negotiations with France, which Administration car- 
ried 232 to 84, which show^s the great superiority they at 
present possess in the House. It may indeed diminish, 
when the contested elections are all settled, but will no 
doubt continue, after all, sufficiently large to enable them 
to carry any point which they shall effectually engage in. 
I remain, with the greatest respect and esteem, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received January, 1769." 

Hon. William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, January 3, 1769. 

Sir, — Parliament having now taken the usual recess 
for the holidays, and adjourned to the 19th of January, 
I am to acquaint you with what has hitherto occurred 
relating to the Colonies. The Agents having had various 
meetings, and concerted the best measures they could 
devise for effecting the good purposes aimed at by their 
constituents, in pursuance of the plan agreed upon, among 


other steps repeatedly, but separately, waited upon Lord 
Hilsborough to solicit this important business. His Lord- 
ship, for some time, only entered into general discussions 
I upon the subject, but gave no determinate answers, till 
at length he acquainted us that, it being necessary that 
' the matter should soon come before Parliamant, a Cabinet 
] Council would be held to determine the measures which 

I government would take upon this occasion ; after which, 
to save him the trouble of a particular explanation with 
each individual, he wished us to attend him together, 
. which we accordingly did. He then acquainted us, that 
; Administration had taken the matter into consideration, 
r and concluded to enforce the authority of the Legislature 

I of Great Britain over the Colonies in the most effectual 
manner, but to proceed therein with all the moderation 
1 and lenity that the nature of the thing would admit of; 
that all the petitions they had received were very offen- 
sive, as containing a denial of the authority of Parliament 
to bind the Colonies by their laws, though some of them 
were expressed in more decent terms than others ; that 
as to the acts complained of, they had no particular fond- 
ness for them, and particularly the late Duty Act was so 
anti-commercial that he wished it had never existed, and 
it would certainly have been repealed had the Colonies 
said nothing about it, or petitioned only upon the ground 
of its inexpediency; but that the principle they went 
upon equally extended to all laws whatsoever, and they 
could not therefore think of repealing it, at least this 
session of Parliament, or until the Colonies had properly 
submitted to the authority of Parliament and dropped 
the point of right ; that the conduct of the people of 
Boston, in particular, had been such as rendered it impos- 
sible for government to recede in the least degroe, or 
even let their proceedings pass without a severe censure, 
and that the matter would in a few days come before 
Parliament, when he hoped we should see that the sense 



of the Legislature was conformable to that of Adminis- 
tration. To this general declaration he added his usual 
observations in support of his general principles and the 
necessity of obedience on the part of the Colonies ; which 
were again answered, and the various arguments in favor 
of the Colonies fully urged, by the Agents, in the course 
of a lengthy discussion ; but he remained inflexible, and 
left it to the decision of Parliament. Accordingly the 
papers relating to the Massachusetts Bay were imme- 
diately laid before both Houses. It was soon evident 
that Administration chose to confine the attention of Par- 
liament, for the present, only to what had passed in Mas- 
sachusetts Bay, for Lord Hilsborough in the House of 
Lords and Lord North in the Commons only acquainted 
them that they were possessed of a memorial to the 
Lords, and a remonstrance to the Commons from Virginia; 
but that they were so very offensive that they would not 
produce them unless they were directed by the respective 
Houses to do it, and they have not yet been called for. 

After some days spent in reading and considering the 
papers, the matter was first taken up in the House of 
Lords, when Lord Hilsborough opened the subject with a 
very long speech, in which he expatiated upon his affec- 
tion for the Colonies and attention to their interests, the 
views he had in coming into that branch of administration, 
and his real intention to serve them to the best of his 
abilities; gave a history of the proceedings relative to 
the Stamp Act, and his own opinions with respect to it; 
said it had been always his opinion that nothing was more 
clear than the right of Parliament to tax the Colonies; 
but that he thought the Stamp Act was inexpedient, had 
advised against it when first proposed, and voted for its 
repeal upon that principle, as he believed almost every- 
body else had done ; — that he hoped the repeal of that 
act, together with the Declaratory Act, would have estab- 
lished the right, at the same time that it gave peace to 


both countries; but was very sorry to find it had not 
produced that good effect ; — that the Colonies, and espe- 
cially the Massachusetts Bay, had gone on ever since to 
deny the right, and to call in question the authority of 
Parliament upon every occasion, and, instigated by flagi- 
tious and designing men, had carried their opinions into 
practice, and broke out into the most violent resistance 
to the laws and abuse of the King's officers, into riots 
and tumults destructive to all good order and legal gov- 
ernment. And having dwelt long and largely upon this 
subject, and mentioned minutely the occurrences at Bos- 
ton, and given a comment upon them showing their 
nature and tendency, he said the matter was now brought 
to a point ; that Parliament must now give up its author- 
ity over the Colonies, or they be brought to effectual 
submission to its laws ; that he thought their Lordships 
would see it absolutely necessary to stand firm, and not 
recede an ace ; that for his part he could not entertain 
a thought of repealing the late acts, and hoped nobody 
would even move it, or so much as wish for it ; that it 
was not the amount of the duties (which he believed 
would not be more than £8,000 or £10,000 per annum 
in all North America) that was complained of, but the 
principle upon which the laws were founded, the suprem- 
acy and legislative authority of Parliament, — a principle 
essential to the existence of the empire ; that legislation 
and taxation were essentially connected, and would stand 
and fall together ; that the notions the Americans enter- 
tained (which he called a polytheism in politics) were the 
most absurd that could be imagined, fatal to the consti- 
tution, and must never be admitted here ; that, however, 
he wished them to proceed with moderation and temper; 
that he considered the North Americans in general as a 
very good set of people, and only misled by their leaders, 
— Si few wicked, factious, and designing men (upon whom 
he was most severe), but who he hoped might by prudent 


and moderate measures be brought to a sense of their 
duty, and a submission to Parliamentary authority ; that 
therefore he would, for the present, only propose to them 
to come to several resolutions which might show America 
the sense of the legislature upon this subject, and con- 
vince them of the firm purpose of this country to main- 
tain its authority over its Colonies, by means of which he 
hoped they would see their error and quietly submit, in 
which case it would be right to give them every relief 
and encouragement that they could reasonably desire ; that 
this he hoped would be sufficient, but if it was not, that 
the hand of power must be so lifted up, and the whole force 
of this country exerted to enforce its laws, and bring the 
Colonies into due subjection. Having largely canvassed 
all these topics, he finally concluded with reading his 
resolutions, a copy of which I enclose. He was seconded 
by the Duke of Bedford, who also proposed in addition 
the address to his Majesty. Lord Temple rose next, and 
said he had come down to the House that day in hopes 
that Administration would open to them some large, wise, 
and well-concerted plan with respect to the Colonies, 
which might put an end to this dispute forever ; but 
that this which they had proposed appeared to him to be 
totally insufficient ; that he was weary of a paper war ; 
that something more effectual must be done to bring the 
Colonies to due submission ; that their resolutions would 
answer no good purpose, and were so insignificant and 
futile that he would neither give their Lordships nor him- 
self any farther trouble with them ; and went abruptly 
out of the House. The Duke of Grafton then, and after 
him the Earl of Holderness, went over the same general 
topics which Lord Hilsborough had insisted upon, ex- 
pressed the same sentiments, approved of and supported 
the proposed resolutions. The Duke of Richmond and 
Lord Shelburne alone spoke on the other side, and 
endeavored to excuse some part of the proceedings at 


Boston, and found fault with particular clauses of the 
resolutions ; but avoided going particularly into the sub- 
ject, reserving themselves, as they said, (for what reason 
I cannot imagine,) for some future opportunity. They 
were answered by Lord Waymouth and Lord Hilsborough, 
and the resolutions passed without farther opposition, and 
were immediately transmitted to the Commons for their 
concurrence, who (being engaged in the disputed elections 
and other matters) adjourned the consideration of them 
to the 23d of January. Our once zealous friend, Lord 

| Camden, now Lord Chancellor, said not a word during 
the whole debate. Such changes do place and power 
produce ! The enclosed copy of the resolutions is such 

I as they were first proposed by Administration ; but the 
5th and 7th, relating to the Council, were dropped, and 
never offered to the Lords; otherwise, I imagine they 
would have passed as readily as the others. 

It is certain Administration can carry these resolutions 
through the House of Commons if they please ; yet some 
of our friends there wish us not to give up all hopes 
of seeing them rejected, and even the repeal of the of- 
fensive laws moved for, and, to encourage us, foretell 
many alterations in Administration before the 23d of 
January, or at least a change of sentiments in those 
who are to act, and particularly wish that the Colonies 
may take no steps upon what has already passed, nor 
until they hear farther. For my own part, I have seen 
so much of the uncertainty of all political conjecture, 
and know so well the sentiments and strength of the 
Bedford part of Administration, who now carry all before 
them, and are only moderated, not restrained, by the 
small remains of the other party, that I have, I own, little 
hopes of any relief while they continue in power. . How- 
ever, I am willing not to despair, and at all events think 
it our duty still to make the best we can, even of an 
almost desperate game ; and it is possible we may even 


yet excite a vigorous opposition in the House. It is sur- 
prising how few friends we have there, who are so upon 
real principle. I fear I could not name above five or six; 
but those who will be so upon the ground of opposition 
may be pretty numerous, though I fear all too few to stem 
the present tide, which sets strongly against the Colonies. 
But however little prospect there may be of relief from 
the present applications here, the Colonies have no reason 
to despair; their safety is with themselves. Frugality, in- 
dustry, attention to their own true natural interests, and 
a prudent conduct, will eventually render them superior 
to all opposition, frustrate the ill effects of the present 
misguided policy of this country with respect to them, 
and in the end set us all right. These resolutions are, I 
think, after all, proposed by Administration to please the 
people here, and give them the appearance of a bold, firm, 
and spirited Administration, rather than with any expec- 
tations they have that they will produce much effect 
in America, unless it be to frighten some persons whom 
they wish to restrain by the terrors of the old, musty, 
misapplied statute of the 35th of Henry VIII. 

As a farther punishment to the town of Boston, the seat 
of .government is to be removed for the present to Salem. 
The petitions to the King are answered by letters to the 
several Colonies ; that to Connecticut you will, I presume, 
have received long before this reaches you, and it now 
seems as if Administration did not intend to lay them be- 
fore Parliament, but confine their attention,' for this ses- 
sion, only to Massachusetts Bay, though they will certainly 
be moved for in the House of Commons. The Pennsylva- 
nia petition (the only one to the Commons) was offered to 
the House some time since, but objected to as denying the 
authority of Parliament, and contradictory to the declara- 
tory statute ; and it appearing that it would be rejected if 
pushed, it was thereupon withdrawn for that time, but will 
be offered again at a more proper time, though there is 


little hopes of its being received. It is given out that if 
the Colonies are quiet, and show a proper submission, that 
probably, next session, the Duty Act will be repealed, and 
no others be in future proposed ; that the right, being once 
established, shall not however be exercised, and the contro- 
versy suffered to sleep. How far this may be relied upon, 
I will not pretend to say. Administration avail them- 
selves of every appearance of want of union in the Col- 
onies, and have plumed themselves much upon the refusal 
of Pennsylvania and the Southern Colonies to come into 
the agreement not to import goods. The Opposition now 
speak of Lord Hilsborough's order to dissolve the Massa- 
chusetts Assembly in more favorable terms, and do not 
seem to think it so irregular as they did at the first open- 
ing of Parliament. The troubles in the North threaten 
to involve all Europe again in war ; and, it is said, Kussia 
has actually demanded the aid of a British fleet against 
the Turks, pursuant to treaty. If these dangers in- 
crease, we shall find more moderation on this side in 
the American dispute. 

Sergeant Glyn, the friend of Mr. Wilks, notwithstanding 
the most spirited opposition by Sir William Beauchamp 
Proctor under the countenance of the Court, and a dan- 
gerous riot in which two or three persons were slain, is 
elected member for Middlesex in the room of Mr. Cook. 
The Lords have censured some late publications of Mr. 
Wilks relative to the slaughter last May in St. George's 
Fields, and the Commons have adjudged the considera- 
tion of that, and the whole of his business, to the 27th 
of January, and it is expected it will then produce a 
warm contest in the House ; meantime, he was yester- 
day chosen one of the Aldermen of London, and his in- 
terest, which was some time ago at a very low ebb, seems 
now again reviving. The papers say with confidence that 
a revolution in Administration is agreed upon ; that the 
Duke of Grafton with all his connections go out; that 


Mr. Greenville will be placed at the head of the Treas- 
ury, and with his friends join the Bedford people already 
in power. It would be a natural alliance, and I should 
not be surprised to see it take place ; but as I shall not 
have time before the mail is closed to examine into the 
grounds of the report, I give it you only as the news of 
the day, and not greatly to be relied upon. 

Nothing new has occurred with respect to the Mohegan 
Case, nor can we yet determine with any precision when 
it will come to trial, though we have reason to expect it 
will be soon. I remain, with the greatest respect and 

Your Honors most obedient and very humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received 8th of March." 


Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, February 9, 1769. 

Sir, — My last but one enclosed you copy of the reso- 
lutions of the House of Lords relative to the proceedings 
at Boston, the consideration of which, I acquainted you, 
was by the Commons adjourned to the 23d of January, but 
did not come on until the 26th, and then, in a committee 
of the w^hole House, produced a very warm and spirited 
debate, which continued until near four o'clock the next 
morning. In the course of it, the conduct of Adminis- 
tration towards the Colonies, and of Governor Barnard 
and the Commissioners at Boston, was warmly attacked, 
and the resolutions themselves very minutely canvassed. 
Mr. Greenville himself opposed them, upon the ground of 
their insufficiency, and the improbability that such a 
measure could answer any valuable purpose. Governor 


i Pownall remarked well and largely upon them, as not 
1 founded in fact, nor warranted by the evidence before 
| them. Colonel Barre, Mr. Burke, Mr. Dowdeswell, Mr. 
j Fuller, the Aldermen Beckford and Trecothick, and sev- 
I eral others, opposed them upon both those grounds, as 
1 well as upon exceptions to the diction, nature, and ten- 
| dency of them. They would not undertake, indeed, to 
; defend the proceedings at Boston in general ; but in some 
' respects excused them, and retorted the attack, endeavor- 
I ing to show that they were provoked by Administration, 
lj by Governor Barnard, and the Commissioners ; that both 
1 parties were to blame ; that it behooved Administration, 
j therefore, to interpose a remedy adequate to this increas- 
I ing evil, and not trust to such partial, injudicious meas- 
| ures as they had of late adopted and were still pursuing, 
! &c, &c. The argument was managed with great ability 
I by the Opposition, and several of the speeches were truly 
lj excellent, particularly Colonel Barre's, who, being now 
i out of Administration, and unembarrassed with former 
, opinions, spoke admirably upon the subject of the dis- 
; pute with the Colonies in general, as well as the resolu- 
tions in particular. His reasoning was just and conclusive, 
, his figures bold and striking, his language flowing and 
forcible, his voice and action finely animated ; and, warmed 
' by so noble a subject, he poured the whole tide of elo- 
l quence upon his auditory, and charmed all that heard 
' him. 

I should do injustice to so fine a speech, should I at- 
tempt to give you from my memory (for we can take no 
! notes in the House) any part of it ; but as I mentioned 
to you Lord North's rash declaration at the opening of 
Parliament, I must not omit the notice he took of that 
haughty position. Having gone through the subject im- 
mediately before him, after a pause, he said : " Before 
I sit down I cannot forbear a word upon what fell upon 
another occasion [meaning the first day of the sessions] 


from a noble Lord over against me [pointing to Lord 
North], who said, if I did not mistake him, that he would 
listen to no propositions for repealing the offensive acts 
until he saw America prostrate at your feet. Good 
heavens ! what an idea is that, Sir ! America prostrate 
at your feet ! I have, upon a former occasion, told you 
my opinion, that it is not so easy, as some imagine, to 
effect it. The Americans are a numerous, a respectable, 
a hardy, a free people. But suppose it were ever so 
easy to effect it. Do you really wish to see America 
thus prostrate, America thus humbled, ruined, undone? 
Does any wise man ? Does any friend to his country 
wish it ? Surely, no ! It is impossible. In such a situ- 
ation, what use could she be of either to herself or to 
you ? She could serve only as a monument equally of 
your vengeance and of your folly, and would remain 
your everlasting reproach. For my part, the America 
I wish to see is America increasing, flourishing, pros- 
perous, rising in graceful dignity, and with becoming 
freedom and firmness asserting at your bar her rights, 
supporting upon all proper occasions her own importance, 
and vindicating her and your liberties. This is the 
America I wish to see, — that every friend to his coun- 
try should wish to see. This is the America that will be 
able to fight your battles with you and for you, to sus- 
tain and strengthen you when perhaps hard pushed by 
some proud prevailing foreign foe ; and by her industry 
and increase to consume your manufactures, support your 
trade, and pour wealth and splendor into your towns 
and cities." 

But alas! what signifies reason or eloquence when 
opposed to an inflexible administration, backed by a 
determined majority ? Upon the division, the numbers 
were 213 to 81 for agreeing with the Lords in the reso- 
lutions in general ; and after a renewed debate upon the 
address in particular, when it was so late that many had 


I retired, that also was carried by 115 to 89. Yet the Op- 
i position were not discouraged, but determined to attack 
I them again upon the report, which, though ordered for 
| that day seve'night, was not offered until yesterday ; when 
Mr. Ross Fuller moved to postpone receiving it, that they 
1 might consider a measure of so much importance more 

* fully than they had yet done, and, if possible, gain some 
J new lights in so very interesting a business. This was 
i opposed by the Administration, who were determined to 
I finish it as soon as possible, and brought on a debate 
« which continued until near midnight, in the course of 
j which the whole matter was debated over again, as it 
1 had been in the committee ; the former arguments were 

again urged, and some new ones adduced, to show that 

1 the resolutions were not well founded, to evince the im- 

1 propriety and unreasonableness of the measure in general, 

; and especially the illegality, hardship, and injustice of 

* bringing Americans over here to be tried for any sup- 

* posed crimes committed in that country, where justice 
. was as impartially administered as here. Mr. Dowdeswell, 
: Governor Pownall, &c, spoke very fully and properly 

upon these points, and the latter also expatiated excel- 
lently well upon the ill conduct of this country towards 
the Colonies for several years past, and pointed out, with 
great force, the fatal consequences which must inevitably 
follow, and which they would very soon feel, from such 
preposterous conduct. No thorough American will adopt 
all this gentleman's opinions upon American affairs, but we 
ought to do him the justice to say that he has, upon this 
occasion, stood forth nobly and veay ably in our defence, 
and declares he will continue to do so upon all future oc- 
casions. This debate, however, notwithstanding all the 
efforts of our friends, ended as unsuccessfully as the other. 
The resolution to have the report then brought up was 
taken without a division ; and after it had been read and 
debated, Mr. Fuller finally moved for a recommitment, 


and pushed it to a division, but was supported only by 
65 against 169. The Administration so well knew their 
strength that they did not, upon this occasion, give 
themselves much trouble in their replies, except the 
Solicitor-General, who undertook to answer the objec- 
tions to the address, and went pretty fully into the con- 
sideration of the statute of the 35th of Henry VIII. He 
endeavored to show that it was a subsisting law, unre- 
pealed and uncontradicted (both which had been objected) 
by any subsequent act ; that it did extend to the Plan- 
tations, was a beneficial law, and that it was both neces- 
sary and equitable in this case to proceed upon it. That 
it was a subsisting law, he labored to show by comparing 
it with the subsequent statutes upon that subject, and 
from several judicial decisions and book cases determined 
upon it. That it extended to the Plantations, he argued 
from the authorities, which clearly settled its extension 
to Ireland (which he took to be in like case with the Col- 
onies), and the precedents of judgments given thereon, 
for crimes committed both in that kingdom and in one 
instance also in the island of Antigua. That it was a 
beneficial law, he contended, as being an additional se- 
curity for the good behavior of the Americans, which it 
behooved them to make the most of. The necessity and 
equity of proceeding upon it, he maintained by the 
stronger case (as he said) of Scotland, from whence the 
rebels in 1746 were, by an ex post facto law, brought to 
England, tried, and executed here ; and, upon this ground 
especially, that this being a controversy in which all the 
people of North America were concerned, and had taken 
part, they were all therefore so far interested, and even 
parties, that justice was not to be expected, nor could be 
reasonably hoped for, on trials by juries of that country 
of offences of this nature, in which they were all, in some 
degree, involved. 

This kind of reasoning is very inconclusive, and several 


answers were given to it ; but the true one, especially 
upon the last point, which carries a plausible appearance 
with it, I think was omitted ; viz. that if the people of 
America are so interested on the one side of the question 
as to be unfit for judges or jurors on any trials relative 
to it, the people of Britain are as much, nay, if possible, 
more interested on the other side of the question, and 
equally unfit to assume the character of judge or juror 
in a case so manifestly their own. For, clearly, the con- 
troversy is not, as in the ordinary cases of treasons and 
other crimes, between the prince and the subject, but 
between subject and subject, between the people of 
America and the people of Britain, which shall have 
the power over American property in the very impor- 
tant point of taxation. After all, supposing the proceed- 
ing upon this statute of Henry VIII. might be, strictly 
speaking, legal, (which, however, all the refined arguments 
which have been urged on the part of government have 
not yet convinced me of,) yet the severity, the hardship, 
the unreasonableness, and the injustice of it is so striking, 
it is so abhorrent to the common sense and feelings of 
Englishmen, that I cannot yet believe that the Adminis- 
tration will or do seriously mean to carry it into execu- 
tion. I persuade myself that they consider it as a mere 
brutum fidmen, though they hope it will make the people 
of Boston tremble, and wish it may even strike terror 
through the continent. In truth, their great object was 
to obtain a Parliamentary sanction of the measures they 
had taken, and this they have very fully effected. 

Complete as this victory appears on the part of Gov- 
ernment, yet the Opposition in the House of Commons 
has been of very good use. It has checked that per- 
verse, peremptory spirit with which Administration set 
out at the opening the sessions. It has put them upon 
consideration, and shown them that the Colonies can even 
yet muster friends, who have already given them some 


trouble, and may yet give them much more. The asso- 
ciation, also, not to import goods, begins to have some 
weight (and if the Philadelphia merchants had concurred 
with their neighbors, would by this time have produced 
very sensible effects) ; so that I think it evident enough, 
to an attentive observer, that they wish the controversy 
was well over, or that they could retreat with tolerable 
reputation. They have their hands full, and see difficul- 
ties on every side, both at home and abroad ; and could 
we once get the laws now complained of repealed, we 
should not, I fancy, very soon see a Minister hardy enough 
to impose another tax ; but their honor, the dignity of 
Government, &c, as I have often mentioned to you, they 
still insist will not admit of such repeal at present. 

What they intend to propose next to Parliament, re- 
lating to the Colonies, or whether anything, does not yet 
appear ; but Opposition, I know, do not intend to let the 
matter pass so, though they have not yet fixed upon 
the plan they will pursue. That the repeal of the Duty 
Act will be moved for, I pretty confidently expect ; but 
that it will be actually repealed this sessions, we are not 
authorized to hope, unless the peremptory spirit of Ad- 
ministration should, by some fortunate events, be yet 
farther reduced, and they be induced to entertain more 
modest ideas of their own honor, with regard to which 
the conjectures at present must be so loose and indeter- 
minate that it is not worth while to trouble you with 
them. The best, I trust, will be done here that the 
present situation of things will admit of, and we hope 
the most prudent measures will be pursued on that side 
of the water, on which very much depends, for the coun- 
sels here will materially vary, according to the intelli- 
gence from time to time received from thence. The 
merchants of Philadelphia, it is said, will now concur in 
the resolution not to import. But give me leave to ask, 
Why should this depend upon the merchants only, whose 


interest it must be to continue that trade by which they 
acquire wealth ? They have, indeed, shown a noble dis- 
interested spirit, which does them great honor ; but is 
not the true ground this, that the people cease to consume ? 
There both interest and duty will concur, and the ground 
will be absolutely sure. The merchants must cease to im- 
port if the people will not purchase, and their inability to 
pay the debts they have already contracted should, one 
would imagine, (if there were no other inducement, as 
there are, indeed, very many,) be sufficient to prevent 
their engaging in new ones. Were the prudent spirit 
of frugality and industry once diffused through the bulk 
of the people of America, the whole difficulty would be 
over. It would produce such effects — But I need not 
describe them. Nor is it my part to prescribe ; it is 
enough to furnish intelligence. The Colonies cannot 
but see their situation. I know they have wisdom to 
discern what that situation requires of them, and will 
yet believe they have also virtue and firmness enough 
to pursue what that wisdom will dictate upon so interest- 
ing an occasion. 

The petition of the Massachusetts Council, after some 
debate, (chiefly upon the question whether they were a 
Council regularly called by the Governor, and so in a 
capacity to petition, for they were silent upon the point 
of right,) was received and ordered to lie upon the table ; 
but the House rejected one preferred by Mr. Bollan, late 
Agent for that Province, against the resolutions and ad- 
dress, which contained some good observations upon the 
subject of treason, and was of some use, though not re- 
ceived. Whether those from the other Colonies to the 
Crown will be laid before Parliament by Administration 
does not yet appear. The Pennsylvania petition has not 
been offered a second time, but is still intended. The 
resolutions and address received some few amendments 
in the committee, but they are so little different from 


those I have sent you that it is unnecessary to trouble 
you with another copy ; beside, I presume you will very 
soon have them published in all your newspapers, from 
the printed votes of the House. 

Mr. Wilks's writs of error were tried upon the first 
meeting of the Lords after the holidays, and both the 
judgments against him affirmed. His petition to the 
House of Commons took up several days in the trial 
and debates, and at length was dismissed as not sup- 
ported by evidence, and his attack upon Lord Mans- 
field, for altering the record, voted frivolous and abusive, 
tending to asperse and obstruct the course of public jus- 
tice. They next took up his late publication of Lord 
"Weymouth's letter, with a preface relating to the trans- 
actions in St. George's Fields, and concurred with the 
Lords in censuring it, as an infamous and seditious libel. 
Animated with this success, the Administration imme- 
diately moved his expulsion, and carried it by a majority 
of eighty-two. They even talk of bringing in a bill to 
disable him from holding any place, post, or office. He 
will, however, be re-elected by the County of Middle- 
sex, though not permitted to sit in the House. 

Nothing new has occurred relating to the Mohegan 
Case since I wrote last. Mr. Mason's return to the Con- 
tinent, (of which I advised you in my last,) under a 
notion of collecting farther evidence, and perhaps money, 
added to the deep engagements of the solicitors and coun- 
sel, who are to prosecute it for him, in other matters of 
important and public concern, will, I fear, still delay the 
cause, and postpone the hope I have for some time past 
entertained, that I should soon see an end of it, or find 
it in such a situation that I might fairly leave it, for 
which I am exceedingly anxious, and remain, with the 
greatest respect and esteem, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 


P. S. Just as I had finished the above, I received 
he honor of your favor of the 1st of November, and am 
rlad to find the Mediterranean passes, &c. have arrived 
afe. My former letters, which have, I hope, come to 
Land since the date of yours, will, if I recollect right, 
iave given you the intelligence you request relative to 
he two addresses from the Colony. That in 1766, I 
ras informed upon my arrival here, had been presented 
,nd very graciously received. That forwarded to Lord 
lilsborough last June, his Lordship told me, he had him- 
elf laid before his Majesty, and I afterwards learned from 
im and others, that it was the intention to answer that, 
nd those of the like nature from other Colonies, by let- 
ers to the several Assemblies ; which I presume was done, 
nd that you have received that to Connecticut. Whether 
^rliament are to have any knowledge of them in the 
fficial way depends wholly upon Administration, and, as 

have said above, does not yet appear ; but the Agents 
ave taken care that it should be sufficiently known, both 
rithin and without doors, that such addresses have been 
resented. I very heartily concur in your sentiments of 
he utility and importance of a firm union between Great 
iritain and the Colonies, and most ardently unite in your 
ood wishes that we may soon see it take place upon the 
rue ground of common liberty and the just principles of 
he British constitution. The prospect is, however, but 
do gloomy ; yet I do not quite despair that something 
lay even yet, before the end of this sessions, be done 
Dwards that blessed purpose ; at least, I may repeat my 
tesurances that the utmost pains will be taken by many 
fiends to both to effect something of this nature, and in 

opes of some success in so good a design, I remain 
Your Honor's most obedient servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received April 26, 1769." 




Hon. William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, March 23, 1769. 

Sir, — Your favor of the 23d of January, enclosing 
copy of Colonel Babcock's letter relating to a petition of 
several Mohegan Indians to his Majesty, came safe to hand 
a few days ago. This is not the first attempt that has 
been made to give an undue influence to the cause ; sev- 
eral have been discovered before, and defeated, as I trust 
this will be. Upon receiving this intelligence, I waited 
immediately upon Lord Hilsborough, and begged to know 
whether any such petition had been presented to him, 
and very frankly told him the information we ha^ that 
he was the adviser, and even draftsman of it. He said 
he had received no such petition, and totally disavowed 
all knowledge of it, and especially of having advised or 
approved of anything of that nature. I then told him 
that I had flattered myself that it was a mere calumny, 
and that his Lordship could have no concern in it, but 
that we were well assured such petition did exist, and 
he would probably hear of it in a few days ; that I 
looked upon it as a vile attempt to interest Government i 
here, very improperly, on one side of a controversy which 
w T as fairly depending in a court of justice, and which they 
had but too much espoused already ; that the Indians 
were imposed upon by interested and designing persons, 
and knew not what they did ; that far the greater and 
better part of them adhered to the Colony ; that, in 
case of such surrender of their lands to the Crown, they 
would be totally unable to pay any quitrent, being un- 
able even to support themselves with any decency ; that 
they were already taken due care of by the Colony, nor 
had the least cause of complaint; that the Crown had 
no reason to, nor could by right, have anything to do 


with them, and would only suffer itself to be deceived 
and imposed upon, and injure the Colony by intermed- 
dling in the business, &c, &c. He agreed with me that 
such an endeavor to influence the cause was not 'to be 
justified ; and that, if he had advised it, he should have 
acted a very improper part. He thanked me for the 
information I had given him of the ill use which had 
been made of his name, begged that I would exculpate 
him with the Colony from having taken any part (much 
less so improper a one) in the affair, and assured me he 
neither had nor would give any countenance to any step 
of this kind ; that he hoped the fairest trial would be 
given to the cause, and the most impartial justice done 
in it. After these full declarations, however much he 
may wish to see such a petition presented, yet I think 
(all courtier as he is) he cannot in honor give it any sup- 
port, and will not, at least openly, espouse it. Though 
I his Lordship is the proper channel for introducing a thing 
I of this kind, yet to stop, if possible, every avenue to 
prejudice, I went yesterday, and again this morning, to 
wait upon the Lord President of the Council, to represent 
the state of the matter to him, and prevent his being pre- 
. possessed in favor of it, as they are too apt to be by 
everything coming from Indians, but found him both 
I times too much engaged to enter fully into it. I shall, 
(however pursue it until I obtain an effectual audience, 
j and hope to prevent any ill consequences from this in- 
sidious step, which, I think, shows that our opponents 
1 are conscious of the weakness of their cause, upon its 
I merits, and the necessity they are under to take indirect 
1 measures to support it. 

When I wrote last, I had some hopes that the instruc- 
i tions from the electors of London, Bristol, &c. to their 
; representatives in Parliament, which I knew were pre- 
paring, together with some other occurrences, would give 
! a favorable turn to affairs here, and that we might hope 


for a repeal of the offensive laws ; but they have yet had 
no sensible effect, and Administration continue resolutely 
determined to abide by them, at least for this session of 
Parliament. Mr. Trecothick offered the New York repre- 
sentation a few days ago, and, after a debate of about 
three hours, it was rejected without a division. It was 
admitted to be couched in decent and proper language, I 
but insisted upon that, as it drew into question the right 
of Parliament to tax the Colonies, it could not be received. 
All parties agreed that it was necessary to maintain the 
right as essential to the supremacy of Parliament ; but sev- 
eral were for receiving the petition, and some for repeal- 
ing the act, as inexpedient and injudicious. Mr. Dowdes- 
well, Mr.. Burke, the Aldermen Trecothick and Beckford, 
Colonel Barre, &c, spoke very well upon the subject, but 
all to no purpose. Lord North opposed it as inconsistent 
with national honor and Parliamentary dignity; and it 
stood no chance. The Pennsylvania remonstrance, being 
in the same predicament and equally calling in question 
the power of Parliament, is of course determined by this 
resolution, and will, I believe, be no farther pushed. The 
New York petition to the Lords is still intended to be 
preferred, but will, no doubt, meet with the same fate, 
Thus, all the applications of the Colonies are rejected or 
ineffectual. There seems no farther hope that anything 
will be done in their favor this session, and they are left j 
with only a kind of ministerial encouragement that, if they 
are very quiet and quite silent upon the right, and will hum- 
big ask it as a favor, perhaps the offensive acts shall be 
repealed next winter. Such is the attention paid to the 
united voice of all America, and this their boasted readi- 
ness to hear and redress all real grievances ! That the 
Colonies will resent this treatment of them, nobody can 
doubt ; but I hope wisdom and prudence will still direct 
all their measures. 

The Agents, in the course of their several consultations 


upon this subject, aware of the fate which all the peti- 
tions and representations disputing the right of Parlia- 
ment to tax the Colonies were like to meet with, have 
had it in contemplation to prefer a joint petition, silent 
with respect to the right, and praying a repeal of the act 
upon the ground of inexpediency only. To this it was 
objected, that silence upon so essential a point might 
perhaps be construed a consent to waive, at least, if not 
to give up, the right, and would be dangerous ; that all 
the petitions, remonstrances, &c. from America, having 
uniformly denied the right, it was not fit for the Agents 
to take upon themselves to waive it, nor ought they to 
be even silent upon it, without express instructions from 
their constituents to that purpose; that several Assem- 
blies having, upon debate, concluded to petition the 
Crown only, and not Parliament, lest even that step 
should seem to admit their right, and even those who 
have applied to the House of Commons, having avoided 
i for the same reason the very term " petition," it must 
i be presumed that they would not approve of a formal 
; petition from their Agents passing that important point 
over in silence, especially since it was at the same time 
so very doubtful whether even such a petition would suc- 
ceed, and it might perhaps even be made use of by Ad- 
; ministration as a ground of declaration that the Colonies 
' had, by their Agents, in effect receded from their claim of 
exemption from Parliamentary taxation as of right ; so 
I that, at least, it was running a very great risk, without 
1 any well-grounded expectations of benefit by it. These 
1 objections, with some others, appeared so insurmountable 
to several, that they declined being concerned in it, though 
i such petition was drawn up and canvassed; whereupon 
those who would have taken that measure gave it up, and 
the project seems to be at an end. Some thought the 
Colonies would rather choose the act should continue 
unrepealed for the present, than that it should be done 


upon the ground of such a petition on their part. Other 
designs have been in agitation, some of which are already 
given up, and whether any of them will take effect can- 
not yet be determined ; but, from the last debate in the 
House, it seems very apparent that all our measures will, 
for the present, be equally unsuccessful. This, however, 
ought not to discourage us, nor will prevent our attempt- 
ing everything that has the least plausible appearance of 
utility or success. 

We w T ere alarmed some time ago with intelligence that, 
upon occasion of further continuing the Mutiny Act, it 
was intended to introduce into it a clause authorizing the 
quartering the troops in America in private houses. You 
will not doubt but that the Agents thought themselves 
bound in duty to exert their utmost efforts to prevent so 
detestable a design from taking effect. Whether influ- 
enced by the warm remonstrances made against it, by 
the apprehensions of its creating such general uneasiness 
in America that they might not be well able to manage 
us, by the clamor it might excite here, by the ill policy 
of such a measure even with respect to this country, or 
by what other motive I cannot determine, the majority 
of Administration soon gave up the idea. Nevertheless, 
the Secretary at War, when the act came before the 
House, actually moved for such a clause ; but Colonel 
Barre opposing it, and Lord North declaring his disap- 
probation of the measure, it was soon given up. I am 
at a loss to determine why the Secretary at War, be- 
tween whom and the rest of Administration there is 
the closest connection, moved it at all, when he knew 
Lord North would not come into it. There seems to be 
some mystery in this. Perhaps it was done in concert 
between them, to give the Colonies notice that such a 
thing was thought of, in hopes it might put them in fear, 
and keep them in awe from the apprehension that it 
might be hereafter adopted, if they should not behave 


towards the troops as they would have them ; but I can- 
not yet explain the true grounds of it. 

To show a kind of seeming lenity towards the Colonies, 
they have adopted a clause providing that, when the sev- 
eral Assemblies shall make billeting acts of their own, 
which shall be approved by the King in Council, they 
shall take place of the Act of Parliament, and allowing 
voluntary agreements to the same purpose between the 
civil authority of the several towns and the officers of 
the army. Some think this will be mighty agreeable and 
extremely beneficial to the Colonies ; but I hardly think 
that any of them will very much thank Parliament for 
giving them this kind of permission to make an act, 
|j (which must be the same in substance as the act of Par- 
liament, or otherwise it will not probably be approved,) 
when they must know that they have sufficient authority 
! to make such acts without such permission, and that, as 
I they are much better judges of their own abilities and 
circumstances, and consequently of the particular provis- 
I ions which ought to be inserted in such acts, than Parlia- 
! ment can possibly be, that therefore the whole matter, in 
reality, ought to be left entirely to them. It looks too 
like adopting a practice similar to the practice of the 
Parliaments of France, who are humbly to register edicts 
about which they have no right of deliberation. Here a 
liberty is given to make a law, indeed, but if it is not just 
such a one as the act of Parliament, or so little different 
from it as to please Administration, the act of Parliament 
still binds ; and whatever law they make, it must still be 
considered as done in pursuance of, and in obedience to, 
the act of Parliament. But whether the act be agreeable 
or disagreeable to the other Colonies, it is rendered totally 
useless to the Colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island 
by the condition annexed, that such act must be approved 
by the King in Council. Nay, more ; it is not only rendered 
useless, but this condition is in fact, I think, designed as 


a snare for us ; they hope we shall be induced to trans- 
mit such act for approbation, which will then serve as 
a precedent, and lay a foundation for requiring all other 
laws to be so transmitted. I am well founded in say- 
ing this, I think, because the clause was first brought 
in by Governor Pownall without that condition, and from 
a sly, obscure intimation of Mr. Dyson, one of the Lords 
of the Treasury, when he proposed the alteration, inti- 
mating that no law ought to be of force for a moment 
without such approbation. I was advised to get it op- 
posed, and if possible left in general terms, as it was at 
first proposed ; but upon considering it, I thought it too 
delicate a point to meddle with, and durst not attempt 
it, lest, heated by opposition, they should have taken it 
into their heads, rather than give it up, to propose a 
general act requiring us to transmit all our laws for the 
purpose of receiving such sanction, which would have 
involved us in a most disagreeable and dangerous contro- 
versy. The object, if it could have been obtained, was 
not, I trust you will think, worth running such a risk for, 
and therefore I hope will approve our silence upon this 

That you may see the whole progress and various 
mutations of this business, I enclose you copies of the 
several propositions which were made, and of the act 
as it now stands. Governor Pownall first moved the 
clause with the very proper preamble, as in No. 1. To 
the preamble, Administration objected, as containing a 
censure or oblique charge upon Parliament as insufficient 
to act in such cases, and an acknowledgment that the 
Assemblies in the Plantations were more properly conver- 
sant of, and therefore more proper to enact, those regu- 
lations than Parliament, and to the subsequent part as 
giving a kind of superior power to an act of Assembly 
over an act of Parliament, to exclude or restrain it. One 
gentleman said it was very true, he believed, that the 


Colonies were better judges of and more capable of mak- 
ing laws for themselves than Parliament was, but he did 
not know whether they had best own it or not ; and after 
a little further conversation, Mr. Garth proposed the clause 
No. 2, which, being in some measure approved, Mr. Dyson 
moved the condition of a confirmation of such act by the 
King in Council, which was at once received. At another 
day, Governor Pownall finally proposed it in the words 
in which the act now stands passed, No. 3. Had it passed 
with his preamble, that at least would have been of real 
service ; and, after all, it must be allowed that the very 
making the act does admit the Colony Assemblies to be 
better judges of this subject than Parliament can be ; and 
the reasoning may be advantageously applied to the case 
of taxation, as stronger than that of billeting, and will be 
so improved. And if there is any real benefit in the act 
with regard to quartering the troops, &c, the Colony of 
Connecticut may enjoy all the material advantages of it, 
by acting, if they choose it, under the proviso authorizing 
voluntary agreements, though they cannot avail them- 
selves of the other part ; for, I trust, nobody will once 
think of passing an act to be transmitted here for appro- 

Parliament are now adjourned for the holidays, and, 
it is said, will not sit long after they meet again, and 
since there is so little prospect of their doing us or the 
nation any very great good, the sooner, I think, they 
break up, the better. 

The controversy relative to Mr. Wilks still continues, 
and parties run very high. He has been expelled a third 
time, yet the people seem determined to re-elect him. 
There is less danger of a war at present than there was 
some time ago. The Ministry will avoid it, if possible, 
for very many reasons, and amongst the rest, that they 
may be more at liberty to w T atch the Colonies. 

We saw here yesterday a very desperate mob, who 


attacked the merchants going to present their address to 
his Majesty at St. James's, dispersed most of them, broke 
their coaches, pelted those who persevered with stones, 
mud, &c., and even pursued them in that manner up to 
the palace gate, where Majesty itself was insulted, and 
all was for some time tumult, confusion, and uproar. 
The particulars, I presume, you will have at large in the 
public papers, and I need not trouble you with a repeti- 
tion of them, but remain, with the greatest respect and 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received May 6." 


Joseph Trumbull, Esq. 1 

London, April 15th, 1769. 

My dear Sir, — It gave me, I assure you, very great 
pleasure to hear of your safe arrival in America, espe- 
cially after so very disagreeable and dangerous a passage ; 
and I now rejoice with you in your preservation, and 
thank you for your favor of the 7th of January, and the 
communications it contains. You will have seen in the 
resolutions of Parliament the result of all our fond hopes 
and expectations from the present session of Parliament. 
Entirely directed by a weak and wicked Administration, 
instead of calmly sitting down to inquire into the griev- 
ances of the Colonies, and planning a sober system of 

1 Joseph Trumbull was the eldest son of Jonathan Trumbull, who suc- 
ceeded Pitkin as Governor of Connecticut. He was associated with his father 
in business, and made voyages to England on behalf of the firm. He died in 
1778, at the early age of forty-two. He was the first Commissary-General of 
the United States. See Stuart's Life of Jonathan Trumbull, Sen., pp. 424 
et seq. — Eds. 


reconciliation and future harmony, they have only made 
a string of harsh, hasty, ill-founded, ill-natured, and inju- 
dicious resolutions with regard to Boston, which must 
irritate the Colonies, and widen the breach between us ; 
but cannot, as far as I can comprehend, answer any one 
good purpose whatsoever, even upon their own principles. 
To add to the mischief of those ill-timed resolutions, they 
have also, with impatient malevolence, rejected all the 
American petitions and representations; and now, as if 
they had exhausted all the resources of political wisdom, 
cry, We have done enough for this session with respect 
to America. The Colonists will now see and admire our 
amazing wisdom and firmness, will in future humbly sub- 
mit to our dictates, acquiesce in our laws, and give us no 
farther trouble. This they call a mild plan of moderation 
and prudence. Foolish men, and unwise ! If they meant 
to sport with our grievances, and laugh at our calamities, 
they have done too much ; if they thought to conciliate 
the Colonies, too little. In truth, they know not what to 
do themselves. Too obstinate to retract, too weak and 
irresolute to advance, they have chosen this insignificant 
middle measure of resolution, — seeming to do something, 
yet really doing nothing, — which can produce only con- 
tempt. Wisdom and folly will forever be the same, in 
private and in political conduct. When an individual has 
taken a wrong step, true wisdom will forever dictate to 
him to confess it, to retract it, and mend as soon as pos- 
sible the mischief of his malconduct. If he will not be 
wise, he may still perhaps obtain the character of firmness 
and intrepidity, even by persevering boldly in a wrong 
measure, and fortifying himself in mischief; but if he has 
neither the wisdom to repent, nor the firmness to perse- 
vere, the light he next appears in is that of insignificancy, 
and he meets contempt and scorn. The latter, I fancy, 
will be the character of the present Administration. In 
a word, the language of their political conduct seems to 


be this : " We own the late act to be very wrong, yet we 
will not repeal it, because you first pointed out the error 
to us, and it will gratify you to disannul it. The act, it 
is true, is injudicious and injurious; you have reason to 
complain of it, but when you do so, you are seditious, 
turbulent, and traitorous. We will be sure not to make 
another such act, nor will we persevere in the principle 
upon which this is founded ; but we will keep this in 
existence, that we may still have something to quarrel 
about. We will obtain a Parliamentary authority and the 
King's order to punish you, but we assure you we will 
not do it. We mean to frighten you, and we will even 
point our artillery against you ; but w T e tell you, at the 
same time, you need not be frightened, we will not hurt a 
hair of your heads." Is not this more than silly ? Yet 
such seems to be the wisdom of the present set of poli- 

Equally absurd has been their conduct with respect 
to Wilks's affair, in which they have done just enough 
to provoke, to irritate, and inflame both him and the 
people, — nothing to conciliate, to cool, or quiet the con- 
troversy, — by which means the fire of party has been 
burning bright through the winter, and now blazes with 
unremitting rage. Would it but consume only those who 
have kindled and kept up this dangerous flame, it would 
be useful, and purify the kingdom from much filth ; but 
it threatens a more extensive destruction, and one can 
hardly guess when or how it is like to be extinguished. 
The story of the times, their squabbles, mobs, and mad- 
ness, you see fully delineated in the papers, and I need 
not repeat them. Many flatter themselves that they will 
terminate in a speedy change of Administration, and from 
the appearance of things one would imagine that event 
could not be very far distant; yet those who seem to have 
the best intelligence affirm that the present possessors 
are high in the King's favor, and that he will certainly 


continue to support them against all opposition. While 
they are thus warmly contending amongst themselves 
here, let the Colonies but be firm, cool, moderate, and 
prudent, eat their own bread, drink their own beer, wear, 
as far as possible, their own wool, &c, &c, and I trust 
they will be in no very great danger. 

1 am glad our friends at Lebanon ha9 no share in the 
injudicious proceedings there. You judged right, that 
I should be attacked upon that score. I was so, very 
warmly ; and had enough to do to palliate, to excuse, and 
to defend them. Happily, it was most of it laid to the 
charge of Boston ; yet, after all, had Lebanon been a town 
of greater extent and consequence, it is very probable 
that you would by this time have seen a regiment there to 
hold you in awe. There are, you know, many here who 
are very glad to have this kind of excuse for employing 
the military gentry to assist in governing us, or, as they 
call it, in keeping the peace, and will, I doubt not, agree 
with me, that it is not our part to give them any plausible 
pretences for intermeddling in our affairs. Our friend, 
General Lyman, 1 is well ; but I don't find that his affair is 
yet like to be very speedily determined. Contrary to all 
expectation, Sir W. Johnson's treaty, which we imagined 
would forward and facilitate his business, is made use of 
as an excuse for further delay, under some strange pre- 
tence that he has got more land from the Indians than he 
ought to have done. 

I am glad to find the Colony is so nearly out of debt ; 
though I doubt not, as you say, that, notwithstanding 
the balance in the constables' hands, they will still be in 
arrear. You are aware that our being so little in debt 
is earnestly urged here as a reason why we should acqui- 
esce in the impositions laid upon us by Parliament ; for 

1 General Phineas Lyman of Suffield, Conn., who, after the campaign of 
1755, visited England as agent to support a claim of the officers of the Pro- 
vincial troops. See Barber's Connecticut Hist. Coll., 109, 110. —Eds. 


which reason, as well as others, I wish them to know 
as little as possible of our internal circumstances and 
police, especially in point of taxation, which they will 
never clearly understand, and which may be liable to 
much misconstruction. Lord Hilsborough's questions are, 
I doubt not, many of them insidious enough, and it will 
be right to meet Ministerial art with American prudence. 
It is very surprising that the treasurer should have been 
so very incorrect in his accounts as to be unable to 
account for so large a sum. This event will probably 
induce the Colony to see the accounts of their treasurer 
more frequently liquidated than they have been wont to 
do. Methinks they are not so very voluminous but that 
it might be done annually. Mr. Jackson happening to be 
in the country, the letters and petitions were forwarded 
to him there, and I had no notice of them until he came 
to town, which occasioned some difference in point of 
time in our acknowledging the receipt of them ; but there 
was no failure. They were received seasonably enough 
to answer all purposes, and to meet the common fate of 
all the others. Present my most respectful compliments 
to his Honor the Deputy-Governor, to Major Williams, 
and all friends, and believe me very sincerely, dear sir, 
Your most obedient and affectionate humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " D*. Wm. f$L Johnson, from London, to Capt. Joseph Trum- 


Hon. William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, April 26th, 1769. 

Sir, — I acquainted you in a former letter that the 
repeal of the American Revenue Act would be formally 
moved for before the end of the session. Accordingly, 


on the 19th instant, Governor Pownall moved the House 
to resolve itself into a committee of the whole House to 
take that act into consideration, in order to move regu- 
larly for its repeal. This was done, not from any hopes 
that it would succeed, but to take from Administration 
every degree of excuse, and to put them as much as 
possible in the wrong, that, in case any future ill conse- 
quences should follow in America, they might never have 
it to say that their plan had been acquiesced in, and that 
nobody had pushed for a repeal of the act. In support 
of his motion, he said he allowed that the supremacy of 
Parliament over the Colonies was essential to the security 
of the empire, and must, at all events, be maintained ; — 
that the Declaratory Act had established nothing new ; 
it was a fundamental right which they had been always 
possessed of; — that he would not now make any objec- 
tions to that act, though he thought all acts of that kind 
rather dangerous ; but, since it was passed, it must now be 
considered as a kind of hoisting their colors, which they 
could never again lower, — no, not an inch, — and as tak- 
ing a ground from which they could never recede; — that, 
happily, America was now in a state of repose, and in effect 
did acknowledge that supremacy, and had even acquiesced 
in the exercise of their right of taxation, by paying the 
duties imposed by the late act, though they esteemed it 
injurious, derogatory to their rights, and highly oppres- 
sive; — that Parliament had now rejected all the petitions 
and applications, and retired within their own ground, and 
refused to repeal the act upon any American motives ; — 
that, however, the act was universally allowed to be ex- 
tremely anti-commercial, and prejudicial to the manu- 
factures of this country, and even unjust, as it imposed 
duties for the support of government equally upo.n those 
who had and those who had not provided funds for that 
purpose, and instanced in the provision made in Jamaica, 
the 41 per cent duty in Barbadoes, and the £27,000 


granted in Virginia ; — that under these circumstances, 
in his opinion, now was the favorable crisis to repeal the 
act, save their honor, and give peace to the Colonies; it 
might now be done upon British grounds, upon commer- 
cial motives only ; but if they neglected this, he feared 
they should never again have so favorable an opportunity 
for it ; — that the Colonies certainly would not take pa- 
tiently the rejection of their petitions, and the inattention 
which, through the whole session, had been shown to 
their united applications ; from the genius of the people it 
was not to be expected ; — that they were all combining 
against the trade and manufactures of this country; new 
provocations would certainly be given, and the longer 
they persevered, the more deeply their honor would be 
engaged, and the more difficult Government would find 
it to recede ; — and therefore he hoped Parliament would 
seize the present moment, now interpose before it was 
too late, and, by repealing this disagreeable, oppressive, 
and injurious act, put an end to the controversy, and 
restore peace to the two countries. 

He was seconded by Alderman Treco thick, in a judi- 
cious, sensible speech, urging especially the commercial 
reasons for repealing the act, and recounting the various 
steps taking in America to prevent the consumption of 
British manufactures, and to encourage their own. 

They were opposed by Lord North and Mr. Dyson, 
who in substance said, that they were equally concerned 
for the unhappy breach between the two countries, and 
wished as much as anybody could do that a reconciliation 
should take place between them, if it could be obtained 
upon good grounds, but that it was in vain to think til 
retaining any connection with the Colonies but upon thej 
sure ground of their clear subordination to Parliaments 
and submission to its laws ; that they sincerely wished to 1 
avoid all controversy with the Colonies, but they thought \ 
it absolutely necessary to assert and maintain their su- 


premacy over them ; that that supremacy was denied, 
and their authority disputed, and' while this was the case, 
it was not, in their opinion, a time to make concessions 
to them ; that the argument which had been urged from 
the combinations not to import or consume British manu- 
factures, and to establish them amongst themselves, were, 
with them, the strongest arguments against the repeal ; 
that to submit to them was to give up Parliament and all 
its authority into the hands of the Americans ; that they 
were threatenings which they should disdain to take any 
notice of, and to submit to them must forever encourage 
disobedience ; they were arguments which might be ap- 
plied upon every occasion, and, if they once yielded to 
them, they would find that in future, whenever any act 
of Parliament was made not perfectly agreeable to the 
[Americans, they would constantly go into the same meas- 
[ures to obtain a repeal, and in the end, by the same 
[means, get rid of all acts of Parliament, even that essen- 
[tial one, the Act of Navigation, the basis of the wealth 
|and power of Great Britain ; that it was now too late in 
the session to think of going into the consideration of the 
act, had it been ever so proper to have done it; and 
though they would give no opinion, that should in any 
measure be binding upon them, but leave the matter to 
be considered upon all its circumstances as it should 
(hereafter appear, yet they would not say but that, if the 
Americans should behave in a proper manner, it might be 
proper in the next session to go into the consideration 
iboth of this act and other points, both of American finance 
and police. The two Mr. Burkes spoke upon the subject, 
in a very general manner, but without giving any direct 
opinion whether they ought or ought not now to repeal 
ithe act. 

Edmund Burke said he believed all parties were now 

pretty well agreed that it was in vain to think further 

'of any real practical plan of raising a revenue in America, 



and he hoped it would never more be attempted. The 
money of the Colonies must be drawn from them in an- 
other way, viz. by commerce alone ; but at the same time 
they must insist upon the obedience of America to their 
laws, and take effectual care of their supremacy, upon 
which that commerce, and even the very existence of the 
empire, depended. That he thought it would serve to 
very little purpose to discuss this subject much in Parlia- 
ment ; that the government and conduct of the Colonies 
must be the business of Administration. Parliament could 
only give them general principles, and correct them when 
they went manifestly wrong ; but it lay upon the Ministers 
to form and to pursue a wise, well weighed, connected, 
and effectual system of sound policy, by means of which 
peace and harmony should be restored, and all the affairs 
of the Colonies so regulated that they might be of real 
and extensive emolument to Great Britain. That he had 
not, indeed, any great expectations from the present 
managers, but that it was their duty to do it, and they 
must do it at their peril, &c. 

In truth, even this set of men (the Rockingham party), 
who have generally appeared the most favorable to Amer- 
ica, do not seem through the sessions really to have wished 
the repeal of the act, but rather that it should remain to 
embarrass the present Ministers, and as a means of their 
destruction, to whom they hope to succeed. They had | 
rather have the honor of doing it themselves, and mean 
in their turn to govern the Colonies, though in a different 
way ; which induces them to assert the supremacy of Par- 
liament in almost as strong terms as the Ministerial party, 
and to avoid giving any encouragement to the Colonies 
which they apprehend may tend to render them untracta- 
ble and unsubmissive to the dictates of this country, the 
counsels of which they resolve, if possible, erelong to con- 
duct. Indeed, this must be the case with every party, in 
some degree ; the Colonies, therefore, if they are wise, will 



take care not to become the dupes of any party, nor con- 

I nect themselves too deeply with any set of men in this 

1 country; but, conscious of their own importance, and at- 

l tentive to their own rights and true interest, will avail 

f themselves, as they may, of the divisions here as they 

arise, make use of each party in their turns as they find 

J it expedient, but be absolutely subservient to none, and 

I in the end it is not improbable they may be courted 

| by every party, and eventually gain an ascendant over 

! them all. 

But to return to the debate. Nobody would defend the 
j act, nor many urge its repeal ; and it appearing by this 
f time that there w T as no hopes of making any figure with 
I this motion, Colonel Barre proposed another, viz. that 
! they should come to a resolution that it would be proper 
1 in the next sessions of Parliament to make a revision of 
I all the laws relative to the Colonies, which had passed 
' since his present Majesty's accession. This he urged, 
I with his usual force, from this motive especially, that it 
| would show the Colonies that they were attentive to their 
} concerns, and open to their complaints, would keep up 
; their hopes, prevent their running into a state of desper- 
ation, and preserve the peace of that country. He was 
| seconded by Alderman Beckford. This was, however, 
1 opposed by Lord North and Mr. Dyson, for the same rea- 
j sons they had before urged, and from the additional con- 
sideration, that it would be an implied censure of all the 
i laws of this reign, and excite such expectations and hopes 
in the Americans as they could never gratify, and open 
• fresh sources of controversy. 

Colonel Barre's motion meeting with but little encour- 
' agement, General Conw T ay finally moved that they should 
i resolve only that they would, next session, take into con- 
sideration this act alone ; upon which Colonel Barre 
i agreed to give up his motion, and to concur in the Gen- 
' eral's ; Sir George Savile, Lord Beauchamp (though as 


well as Conway a Ministerial man), Mr. Jackson, Mr. 
Gray, Alderman Beckford, and others, supported it with 
various arguments; but principally upon the ground of 
the propriety and reasonableness of holding out to Amer- 
ica some prospect of relief from the burdens they com- 
plain of, for the purpose of keeping up their expectations, 
and preserving their quiet. Mr. Greenville said such a 
resolution would be contrary to the rules of the House, 
and perfectly nugatory ; as the resolution of this session 
could not bind the next, and would become void by the 
prorogation. He was reminded of his own previous reso- 
lution with regard to the stamp duties in America, made 
twelve months before the act passed, with a view to give 
the Colonies notice of what was intended ; which he en- 
deavored to distinguish from the present proposal, though, 
I think, without discovering any material difference. 
Upon the general point of the expediency of the repeal, 
he said he would give no opinion until he saw some plan 
proposed by Administration worthy their attention. At 
present, he believed Administration had none, and it was 
not worth while to spend time about the affair while they 
were so fluctuating and unsettled. " But why," said he, 
" have you no plan ? Why do you dally and delay, in a 
business of such infinite importance ? Why feign excuses, 
pretend it is too late in the session, that this is not the 
time, &c, when the difficulty is every day increasing upon 
your hands ? If the act is wrong, or you cannot maintain 
it, give it up like men. If you do not mean to bind the 
Colonies by your laws in all cases, even of taxation, tell 
the Americans so fairly, and conciliate their affections. 
If you will not make them your subjects, make them at 
least your allies. If you do mean to bind them in all 
cases whatsoever, be frank : let it be known and under- 
stood, and conduct yourselves accordingly. Let us no 
longer hesitate between two opinions. Let us take some 
ground or other, and maintain it firmly. Do not any 


longer deceive both yourselves and them, but act a bold, 
open, decisive part, and put an end to a controversy 
equally pernicious to us all." 

Administration, in reply, said, in effect, that they had 
no plan but that of adhering to the laws as they now 
stood, and still opposing General Conway's motion. Lord 
North finally put an end to the whole conversation by 
moving the previous question for the order of the day, 
which was carried without a division. Governor Pow- 
nall, a few days after the debate, gave the House notice 
that he should renew his motion again early in the next 
session, and Sir William Meridith declared he would 
second it. 

This is the last effort that will be made in behalf of the 

Colonies during this session, which is expected to end 

» next week. The detail I have troubled you with will 

! discover to you the general sentiments thrown out upon 

this occasion, and the temper in which they leave this 

' subject for the present, which may perhaps be of some 

' utility in conducting the counsels of the Colony in this 

' delicate conjuncture. Since they would hold out no 

■ hopes to America from any measures to be taken here, 

[ the negative of these motions seems fairly to imply that 

, the Colonies are to take care of themselves, and I trust they 

will accordingly do it, as a friend of the Colonies well 

expresses it, " by opposing prudence to perverseness, and 

policy to power." 

The eager strife of parties relative to the affair of Mr. 
Wilks has rather increased than decreased since my last. 
He was opposed at the election by Colonel Luttrell, who 
mustered 296 votes against Wilks's 1,143. The House 
spent two days in warm, and even violent debate, upon 
the sheriff's return. The first day ended with a declara- 
tion of the nullity of Wilks's election. The second day's 
question was whether Colonel Luttrell should be declared 
duly elected ; which, about thiee o'clock next morning, 


was resolved in the affirmative by a very moderate ma- 
jority, and he has accordingly taken his seat as member 
for Middlesex. This procedure has exceedingly exas- 
perated the freeholders of the county, who immediately 
held a meeting, and appointed a numerous committee of 
grievances and apprehensions, directed a petition to his 
Majesty, in nature of a remonstrance, to be drawn up, 
which is to be reported to-morrow, and presented as 
soon as possible. It is no longer considered as the cause 
of Mr. Wilks, but that of the county of Middlesex, and, in 
effect, of all the electors of Great Britain. They have 
now a great and very important constitutional question of 
representation to agitate, which nearly affects all their 
rights, and is not totally unconnected with that of the 
Colonies, who may perhaps derive some material advan- 
tages from this litigation. The subject has attracted the 
attention, and excites the expectations of all the people 
of England ; and if the freeholders and those who have 
espoused their cause persevere with the same fervent zeal 
by which they seem at present to be animated, the affair 
may, perhaps, be attended with very serious conse- 

The late petition of the Mohegan Indians makes no 
progress yet, and, I flatter myself, will not meet with 
much encouragement, nor does our cause come to a de- 
cision. It is now alleged that they must wait the return 
of Mr. Mason with the papers and evidence (or rather 
money) he is sent for, before they can bring it on. I 
very thankfully acknowledge the receipt of your favor of 
the 15th of February, and have the honor to be, with the 
greatest respect and esteem, 

Your most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, "Received 17th of June." 



Hon. William Pitkin, Esq. 

London, May 25th, 1769. 

Sir, — When I had the honor to write you, the 26th 
ultimo, it was intended that Parliament should break up 
the Tuesday following ; it was, however, postponed a 
week longer by a petition of the freeholders of Middle- 
sex against Colonel Luttrell, which was unexpectedly 
presented the 29th of April, and appointed to be heard 
I at the bar of the House on Monday, the 8th instant. 
1 Upon this decisive occasion the members, many of whom 
f had gone down to their country seats, were summoned 
t from the remote parts of the kingdom, and some even 
recalled from France; a full House was assembled, and 
\ the cause was learnedly argued by counsel at the bar, 
from one o'clock in the afternoon to seven in the evening, 
\ when Mr. Dowdeswell opened the debate in the House, 
i which was kept up with great spirit and ability, on both 
: sides, till half after two o'clock next morning, when 
: Colonel Luttrell was again declared duly elected, and the 
petition rejected by a majority of 221 to 152. As it 
is an affair not immediately relating to the Colonies, I 
will not trouble you with a minute detail of the debate. 
In general, the question turned principally upon the 
validity, force, and operation of the antecedent vote of 
the House, declaring Mr. Wilks ineligible for this Parlia- 
ment ; which the Crown lawyers, and those who sup- 
ported them, contended was a judicial decision of a su- 
preme court having competent jurisdiction of the cause, 
the House of Commons being, as they affirmed, a court 
of record, possessed of complete jurisdiction to .all the 
purposes of the admission, expulsion, and castigation of 
their own members, and all other matters touching elec- 
tions ; — that this decision was the just censure of his 


crimes, which rendered him infamous and unfit to be a 
member of that House, was a judgment founded upon 
and conformable to the Lex et consueiiido Parliament^ 
which was part of the common law of the land, and must 
conclude all the subjects of the realm ; that it was there- 
fore a legal disqualification, — a disqualification at com- 
mon law, and equally operative as a disqualification by 
act of Parliament, from whence they inferred that those 
freeholders who voted for Mr. Wilks, knowing him to be 
thus disqualified, voluntarily threw away their votes, as 
much as if they had voted for an alien, or a person not 
in existence ; and consequently, that Colonel Luttrell, 
having the majority of those voices, which alone could 
be taken notice of, must be declared duly elected. 

The other side insisted, that the right of the House of 
Commons to expel, which was admitted, did not infer an 
authority to disqualify, — in the one case, they had a 
proper and complete jurisdiction, in the other not; that 
the disqualification relied upon, being founded upon a 
vote of one branch of the legislature only, could not be 
considered as a legal disqualification, which could be cre- 
ated only by an act of Parliament ; that this vote of the 
House, res inter alios acta, could not conclude the freehold- 
ers of Middlesex, who had not been heard upon it, nor 
were parties or privies to it, and had an absolute right to 
vote for any person they pleased, not legally disqualified 
by an act of the whole legislature ; that the giving Colo- 
nel Luttrell a seat in the House upon the ground of 296 
voices only, in opposition to the declared sense of the 
freeholders, was depriving them of the exercise of a 
franchise, of all others the most important and dear to 
Englishmen, and under all the circumstances of this case 
must be considered as a ministerial appointment of a 
member for the county, in defiance of the electors and 
of all their rights, and would form a precedent in its 
consequences fatal to the liberties of the people and 


| absolutely subversive of the constitution. Many prece- 
• dents were cited, and great variety of arguments and 
j elucidations urged, on each side, in support of these dif- 
ferent opinions and principles, by the several numerous 
jspeakers; amongst whom Lord North, the Attorney- 
General, Sir Fletcher Norton, Dr. Blackstone, and Mr. 
I Fox, on the part of Colonell Luttrell, or rather of Ad- 
ministration, and Mr. Greenville, Mr. Wedderburn, Mr. 
j Burke, and Colonel Barre, on the other side, particularly 
'signalized themselves, and acquired great applause. The 
I Administration came to this debate flushed with success, 
■ in having the week before, by their address, prevented 
the meeting of the Livery of London in Common Hall, 
for the purpose of petitioning in support of the Middle- 
; sex freeholders ; and by this second complete victory 
seem to think that they have effectually established 
themselves, and broken the Opposition ; that the spirit 
of party will by degrees cool down, and the whole Mid- 
dlesex controversy subside. It must be owned they 
are now triumphant, and perhaps may be able to retain 
the superiority they have gained ; but it is imagined that 
the freeholders and their adherents will by no means 
give up the point, but rather exert themselves with fresh 
vigor in consequence of this disagreeable and disgusting 
defeat. Their petition to the King, however, which w 7 as 
suspended to wait the decision of the House of Commons, 
has not even yet been presented, nor are they, I believe, 
: fully agreed amongst themselves what measures to pur- 
sue next. 

This debate closed the session, which the King the 
same morning put an end to by the speech from the 
throne, which has been alreadv communicated to vou, — 
still, you see, in the same strain with regard to the Colo- 
i nies as that which he delivered at the opening of the 
session, marking those who have adhered to the interest 
of their country, disputed the exorbitancy of Parliamen- 


tary prerogative, and opposed the encroachments and 
oppressions of ministerial power, as factions and seditious, 
and distinguishing those who would surrender every- 
thing into the hands of Administration, or of Parliament 
directed by Administration, and submit to the most un- 
reasonable impositions of this country (if any such there 
be) as the only well disposed and loyal and valuable sub- 
jects. Let the latter, conscious, as they must be, of their 
own demerit, console themselves (if they can) with the 
miserable trappings of misapplied and mistaken epithets, 
bestowed upon them by a well-meaning but misinformed 
sovereign ; w 7 hile the former exult in the heartfelt satis- 
faction of having continued firm in the cause of consti- 
tutional liberty, and done their duty to their country, to 
themselves, and to posterity, as well as to their King, 
and, conscious of their own integrity, will sustain with 
patience the unmerited censure cast upon them, though 
coming from the Crown they reverence and love. 

Yet in opposition to the sentiments conveyed by the 
royal speech, in direct contradiction to the express dec- 
larations of Lord North and other Ministers, in the last 
conversation in the House of Commons upon Ameri- 
can affairs, which I have related to you, no sooner was 
Parliament prorogued but the subject of the American 
revenue was again taken up in council, and the Adminis- 
tration agreed to do that by their own authority which 
they would not permit Parliament to do ; viz. to declare 
that the late revenue act shall next winter be repealed, 
and no new taxes imposed upon America, provided the 
Colonies continue quiet, and no new provocations are 
given. Accordingly, intelligence of this intention has 
been given out to the merchants here, to be by them 
transmitted to their correspondents abroad, and, we are 
told, has also been communicated, by a circular letter, to 
all the Governors upon the continent. It may be asked 
with propriety, Whence proceeds this sudden change ? 


Why might not Parliament have given this encourage- 
ment, as well as Ministry ? Why might not the act have 
been repealed as well this session as next ? If it will 
| be right to do it then, why was it not so now ? Or what 
reason will operate then that had not equal force before 
Parliament broke up ? How shall we account for this un- 
expected flow of good humor towards the Colonies, and 
what is the policy of this measure ? Some of these ques- 
tions I believe Administration cannot answer themselves, 
and others of them it is easy to answer for them. I will 
hazard my conjectures, which if they are not all perfectly 
well founded, are certainly not totally groundless. 

Had Parliament given this encouragement, it must have 
been public and positive, it would have appeared in their 
votes, and they would have been bound by it. Ministry 
are not so. As they have conducted the affair, they can 
recede with ease, if they should find it expedient. The 
motives that now influence them may cease before next 
winter ; they may not continue in power, or, if they do, 
can never want pretences and plausible excuses for avoid- 
ing a declaration so indeterminate and conditional as this 
is. They imagine, however, that it may amuse the Colo- 
nies in the mean time, and finally leave them, when Par- 
liament meets, to do as they please. They have now 
been informed that all the Colonies are united in their 
resolutions not to import goods. That union appears 
formidable. They hope by this artifice to recover the 
trade of America, which they see begins to languish, 
and if not revived will certainly create uneasiness here. 
They hope the merchants, in prospect of the proposed 
repeal, will now depart from their resolutions, and give 
orders for goods. At least some may be induced to do 
it. It may, perhaps, produce a difference in opinions. 
The Colonies may be divided ; and their union once 
broke, they are sure of ruling them in their own way. 
If it answers no other end, yet it will keep the mer- 


chants and manufacturers here quiet for the present, in 
expectation of the effects they wish it may produce in 
America. Besides, I have reason to believe that there 
was a difference in opinion upon the conduct which 
they should hold towards the Colonies, between the two 
branches of the Administration, — the G — f — n and the 
B — f — d, which produced warm altercation, and could not 
be reconciled but by adopting this measure. They mean, 
too, the securing themselves in power, by taking from 
Opposition the merit they may claim with the public 
from any proposal of this nature on their part ; by this 
step they meet them in their own way, forestall them 
(if I may be allowed the expression) with the public, 
and wrest out of their hands a weapon which they saw 
they would wield against them with success. These, or 
something like these, I conjecture from the whole face 
of things, were the motives and occasion of this declara- 
tion on the part of Administration ; not any real change 
of opinions, nor any new affection for, or better disposi- 
tion towards the Colonies. Not that I mean to insinu- 
ate that the act will not be repealed next session; on 
the contrary, I think it very probable. I thought so 
before this declaration as much as since. Nay, it is not 
impossible but it may be the strife of all parties to effect 
it, and the only struggle may be which shall have the 
merit of doing it. I mean only that this declaration 
ought not to be a ground of confidence, nor to put the 
Colonies off their guard, nor induce them to remit their 
attention to this important object, nor to omit any one 
reasonable step to insure success. Whether the act shall 
be repealed or not will, after all, depend upon their own 
conduct. I hope, therefore, this declaration will have 
no more effect in the Colonies than it ought to have, 
namely, to convince them that their cause is far from 
being desperate, and especially that it will not break 
that union, and harmony, and collected attention to their 


own interests, which are their greatest and best security. 
Their firm perseverance in the principle of maintaining 
their just rights, and in encouraging and practising in- 
dustry and frugality, will be infinitely a better security 
for the redress of all their grievances than any Minis- 
terial declarations or promises can be. The one cannot 
fail; the other is of all things the most precarious. 
These sentiments would be condemned here, and per- 
haps may be so in America, as flowing from unnecessary 
fears and unreasonable jealousy. I think they merit 
better epithets, and are founded in necessary prudence 
and justifiable circumspection. It is no uncommon thing 
in the course of contests for men to speak peace, while 
war is yet in their hearts ; and after such a series of 
artful, not to say insidious policy, as has been exercised 
towards the Colonies of late years, a little incredulity, 
at least a good deal of caution, on their part, cannot be 
a crime. There are many degrees, in common life, be- 
tween the plausible professions of friendship, and the 
actual sincere practice of it ; there are yet many more 
in political life. Let us see a little of the latter before 
we remit that vigilance which has probably procured us 
the former. 

I must not forget to acquaint you farther, that, not- 
withstanding the generality of the declaration, as given 
out here, which implies a total repeal of the act, it 
already appears, as you may perhaps also collect from 
the circular letter, that Administration have a saving 
with regard to the duty upon tea, which they probably 
mean to retain. This, say they, the Colonies will not 
object to, because the tax is easy, and the late regula- 
tion really makes tea come cheaper to them. The fact 
is, duty upon that article has already been considera- 
ble, and they apprehend will hereafter amount to a 
much larger sum ; all the rest, they see plainly, are and 
must be trifling, and may without injury to the revenue 


be sacrificed. But if they retain the duty upon any one 
article for the purpose of revenue, do they imagine the 
Colonies will not see that it is still an actual exercise 
of the right of taxation which they claim, and consti- 
tutes a precedent against them, in which the Colonies 
cannot consistent with their principles or rights acqui- 
esce. It is not, I apprehend, the amount of the duties 
arising by this act that is the chief ground of the dis- 
pute, but the nature and purpose of them. The prin- 
ciple upon which they are founded, alone, is worth con- 
testing. A tax of a penny is equally a tax as one of a 
pound ; if: they have a constitutional right to impose the 
first, they may the last ; and if they continue the one, 
with the acquiescence of the Colonies, though for the 
present no more be pretended, I, who am no prophet, 
will foretell with certainty, that, upon the ground of 
that precedent once admitted and established, they will 
impose the other also, and finally will be limited by 
no other consideration but what the people may be com- 
pelled to pay, not what it is right they should give. 

Besides, the other duties (perhaps all of them), in 
several respects, are advantageous to the Colonies, or 
certainly may be so, because they must operate by way 
of premium upon American productions, will encourage* 
the people to extend and increase their manufactures of 
every species, and especially those of the particular arti- 
cles so taxed, and are a powerful discouragement to 
unnecessary consumption and luxury of every kind. So 
that, were it not for the precedent established by the 
act, as being an actual exercise of the power of taxation, 
one might very safely pronounce this to be the most 
beneficial act of Parliament, in its operation, that ever 
was contrived for the Colonies. It will be considered, 
also, that if any manufactures of glass, paper, &c. have 
been, in consequence of this act, established in the Col- 
onies, as I doubt not there have, the repeal of the tax 


upon those articles will certainly injure those manufac- 
tures especially, and prejudice every other, if not totally 
ruin them, and in future discourage any attempts of the 
like kind; than which nothing can be more fatal. A 
partial repeal of the act, or a modification of it, is there- 
fore certainly not to be wished for by the Colonies, since 
they must lose by it the manufactures they have already 
established, with the prospect of all future ones, and in 
point of right or precedent will have gained nothing. 
Nay, in this point of light, when one considers the good 
effects which it has already had, and will probably pro- 
duce, one is almost tempted for a moment to forget the 
matter of right, and to affirm that the Colonies should 
rather beg it may remain forever untouched, and, instead 
of asking again for the repeal of the act, or consenting 
to it, should address Great Britain to this effect : " You, 
unwisely for yourselves, and injuriously with respect to 
us, imposed duties upon your own manufactures, which 
you had in effect obliged us to take, by prohibiting us 
to purchase at any other market. Not content with the 
monopoly of our trade, and the right you had by that 
means acquired of charging your goods to us at your 
own rate, you wished to extort a further price still by 
revenue laws, the produce of which was to be applied 
to the most odious and dangerous purposes. We, un- 
willing to depart from the course we have been so long 
habituated to, of cultivating our lands and consuming 
the manufactures of others, attached to the luxuries you 
had indulged us in and taught us to be fond of, yet tena- 
cious of our rights, — alarmed at this attack upon our 
property, and solicitous for your happiness as well as our 
own, — we pointed out to you the injustice, the ill policy, 
the imprudence of the measure you had adopted. We 
petitioned, we remonstrated, we begged you, for your 
own sakes as well as ours, to correct your mistake : we 
entreated you by every consideration of equity and pru- 


dence to repeal the act. You rejected our petitions, you 
condemned our advice, you turned a deaf ear to all our 
supplications ; and, while we submissively asked it, sternly 
refused to relax your authority, or recede from your res- 
olution, because we had presumed to question your right 
to do wrong both to yourselves and to us. You remained 
inexorable. Behold now the consequences ! It has 
opened our eyes, and caused us to see and attend to our 
true interests; it has taught us industry and economy, 
given us manufactures, increased our frugality, discour- 
aged luxury, retrenched a ruinous trade, moderated our 
vanity, warmed our public virtue, given us union, har- 
mony, and political vigor, enlarged our views, shown us 
our own strength, and taught us to provide for ourselves. 
You meant it a burthen, we have converted it into a 
blessing ; you meant it a means to increase your own 
revenues, we have rendered it an inexhaustible source 
of internal wealth to ourselves ; you intended to drain us 
of the little property we had, we have prudently pre- 
served that, and laid deep foundations for acquiring still 
more extensive and permanent property. In fine, you 
gave it as a mark of our dependence and subjection to 
your will; we have made it a sure means of obtaining 
those real riches which will give us stability, and render 
us independent, at least of your caprice. We see, we 
feel, the happy effects of the imprudent step you have 
taken. We have by remonstrating secured our own 
rights, and, by denying your authority to tax us, pre- 
vented this act from becoming a precedent for future 
impositions. You can never have it to say that we ac- 
quiesced in the exercise of the unreasonable authority 
you claim, to take our money without our consent, and 
imagine you will not soon nor rashly repeat the experi- 
ment. You are welcome to the miserable pittance you 
can obtain by a duty upon articles which we will not con- 
sume, which you have kindly taught us to despise, and 


shown us that we can either make for ourselves or do 
very well without, a principle which we will also apply 
to innumerable other articles of luxury, and even to 
every necessary which our own heaven-favored climate 
and country will supply us with ; which, in truth, will 
leave us nothing worth enjoying to seek from abroad, or, 
at most, nothing but what we can very well afford to 
pay for. Thus instructed by you, and taught that wis- 
dom which, without the aid of your discipline, we should 
very late, perhaps never, have learned, we now beg you 
will not repeal this beneficial act, lest we, yet feeble 
in virtue, return again to our former follies, neglect our 
manufactures, relax our industry, forget our frugality, 
and, lost again in luxury, sink down into irretrievable 
infamy, contempt, and ruin. Let it remain, we beseech 
you, as a perpetual spur to our industry, an incentive 
to frugality, a monitor of our former dangers, a guard 
against future evils, and a support to those virtues which 
I you have implanted in us. Do not now destroy our 
I infant manufactures ; do not again involve us in a trade 
I which must finally ruin us ; do not again open to us 
! the sources of idleness and dissipation ; but cultivate the 
i good dispositions you have inspired us with ; perfect the 
\ good work you have begun ; in fine, persevere in your 
I folly, that we may persevere in our wisdom." 

Such a petition would indeed be a most curious phe- 
, nomenon in the political world ! I do not say such 
j address ought to be presented ; it were sufficient that the 
facts upon which it might be grounded really existed ; 
they themselves would speak with a voice louder than 
the hoarse thunder which would be heard in the remot- 
est corner of this kingdom, and make it tremble to its 

Lord Rockingham and Mr. GreenviUe, with their re- 
spective parties, have been the latter part of the session 
of Parliament united in opposition. Strange, unexpected, 



heterogeneous conjunction, and totally incredible, if any- 
thing in the politics of this age could be so ! It is now, 
too, with confidence affirmed, that they have agreed 
upon the subject of the American question. Lord Rock- 
ingham is to concur with Mr. Greenville in asserting 
and maintaining, in the most explicit manner, the right of 
Parliament to tax the Colonies , and to bind them by all laws 
tvhatsoever, while Mr. Greenville is to admit, with Lord 
Rockingham, that it is not expedient to continue the late 
revenue act, nor to impose any new taxes at present. Ad- 
mirable savings and explanations ! If this be true, it 
will confirm what I believe I have before said, that the 
Colonies ought not to rely upon any of the parties which 
divide this country. It is not expedient to tax the Col- 
onies at present. While they are awake and aware of 
our machinations, it will not be prudent to attack 
them. Let us first lull them again to sleep with our 
gentle guarded declarations, and the moment they repose 
in filial confidence in our promises, the state of the case 
will instantly change ; it will then become expedient to 
tax them, because it may then be done with success. Such 
is the language of these conventions ! Happily for the 
Colonies, neither Ministry nor Opposition, neither one 
party nor another, nor all united, have any authority to 
agree away their rights or liberties; and I hope they 
will agree to watch them all alike, be amused by none 
of them, become the property of no party, stand firm 
upon their own ground, be united amongst themselves, 
be cool and moderate in their deliberations, prudent and 
firm in their resolutions, sedate and steady in their con- 
duct, virtuous, frugal, and industrious in their manners, 
— in a word, wise in all their ways ; and then, under the 
Divine protection, they need fear nothing. No weapon 
formed against the Colonies can prosper while they 
adhere to their true interests, and avail themselves, as 
they ought to do, of the uncommon advantages they 


possess, and for which they can never be sufficiently 
thankful. These sentiments, I doubt not, very readily 
occur to all who consider the subject with any atten- 
tion, and I beg pardon for the unnecessary repetition 
of them. 

We are told here, and you may probably hear in 
America, that Administration are forming a variety of 
new plans for the government of the Colonies, for a 
revision of all our laws, the new modelling our consti- 
tutions, the establishing a Parliament for the Colonies to 
meet at New York, &c., &c. ; in short, for an entire new 
system of American administration and police, which 
they intend to digest this summer, and propose next 
winter to Parliament. This would indeed open a vast 
scene of deep consideration and interesting discussion 
for all the Colonies, and for none so much as for the 
Colony of Connecticut; but you will at present give no 
credit to these reports should they reach you. There 
is yet no good authority for any of them, nor should 
I mention them but only to prevent any unnecessary 
anxiety which such intelligence might occasion. If there 
really are such designs in hand, they will be discovered ; 
and as they open and appear to be of any importance, 
I will, while I continue here, carefully observe them, and 
have the honor to communicate to you whatever seems 
to merit your attention. 

The Mohegan cause remains much in the same situa- 
tion as when I wrote last. I sometimes imagine that the 
Colony — wearied, as I am, with these delays, and cha- 
grined at the burdensome expense attending this disas- 
trous cause — will wish I had long since come away and 
left it to its fate, or had done anything rather than con- 
tinue here spending the public money. Could- 1 have 
persuaded myself that it was consistent with their inter- 
est, or my duty, I should certainly have done so long 
ago, especially as my own affairs have so strongly de- 


manded my return ; but the cause, though thus post- 
poned, has been constantly and still is in such a situation 
as to seem to promise a speedy decision, as well as to 
require that attention which it is my duty to give both 
that and all the other interests of the Colony. It seems 
probable, also, that it may be of some utility still to 
attend to the general affairs of the Colonies, in which 
we are so deeply interested ; to observe with care the 
various windings and turnings of those in power, and 
discover, as far as may be, their views, schemes, and 
designs, as well as the different mutations, combinations, 
connections, and struggles of the several parties here, 
especially as they either do now or hereafter may affect 
that country, and in general whatever in the course of 
affairs here may tend to serve or be dangerous to it. In 
this situation, it seems to be my duty not to abandon the 
cause, and I presume it is expected of me that I abide 
by it until I see its event, or receive some further direc- 
tions with respect to it ; and however inconvenient it 
may be with respect to myself, I will always endeavor to 
submit without reluctance to the dictates of duty. It 
is more inexpedient, perhaps, than difficult, to explain 
particularly the different reasons and occasions of these 
delays, and the true grounds of the particular conduct 
which has been held on the part of the Colony and the 
proprietors. The reasons for such silence will readily 
occur, when the affair is considered in all its connections 
and circumstances. Some explanation has, I believe, 
been made by Mr. Jackson, and as to anything further 
we have only to beg that the Colony will be assured that 
nothing has been done, or omitted to be done, in the 
course of this tedious affair, but upon mature delibera- 
tion, and the closest attention to the real interest of the 
public and of the proprietors of the lands in controversy, 
as well as by the best advice. Prudence in business is 
of equal importance with despatch, and caution is always 


preferable to precipitation. Those who serve the public 
or individuals with purity of intention and a sincere 
regard to their interest only, according to their best 
judgment and abilities, need never, I think, distrust the 
kindness and candor of their employers, nor doubt that 
a favorable construction will be made of their own con- 
duct. With these sentiments, and the long experience 
I have had of both, I cannot but have the clearest con- 
fidence in the continuance of your candor and that of the 
Colony I have the honor to serve. More I cannot say 
upon this subject at present with propriety ; less, perhaps, 
would have become me better, and I remain, with the 
most sincere respect and esteem, 

Your honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam 1 ^ Johnson. 

P. S. The Middlesex petition, I find, was presented 
very quietly this morning, and the Council are to meet 
this evening, I presume upon this business. You will 
probably soon see a copy of it (which is not yet to be 
obtained) in the public papers, and the answer it re- 
ceives, and whether it produces any considerable effect. 
It mentions the American grievances amongst the rest. 

Indorsed, " Received 31st of July." 


Honorable William Pitkin, Esq. 

Westminster, September 18th, 1769. 

Sir, — When I wrote you, the latter end of July, the 
Ministry still quietly adhered to the resolution, which I 
had before acquainted you they had taken, of repealing 
the late revenue acts upon commercial principles, and in 


part only reserving the duty upon tea, which it was im- 
agined would be the most beneficial part of those duties, 
— a measure which they vainly thought would satisfy the 
Colonies, and restore the trade they were in danger of 
losing ; nor did there, as you will have seen by my letter 
at that time, seem to be any probability of a change of 
Administration. Soon after that the resolutions of Vir- 
ginia arrived, and were quickly followed by those of the 
Assembly of Massachusetts Bay, which discovered a firm- 
ness and intrepidity that was little expected. It had 
been hoped that the resolutions of Parliament and the 
other steps taken by government would have at least 
repressed the zeal of the Colonists, if not intimidated 
them, and would have produced caution on their part, 
if they did not draw from them concessions. Happily, 
nothing of this kind appeared ; on the contrary, all the 
intelligence from that side disappointed their expectations 
and contradicted their views, which conspiring with the 
increasing disorders of this country, they were in a situa- 
tion not easily described ; their measures both at home 
and abroad seemed to be broken, and their system, so far 
as they had any, at an end. Since it was apparent that 
they could not intimidate the Colonies by violence, nor 
deceive them by finesse, the Ministry seemed disposed to 
give way to them ; not indeed upon principle, but from 
conviction that it would be impossible to carry their point 
while things were in such disorder at home. They wished, 
I believe, to make peace at almost any rate with the Amer- 
icans, that they might with more collected force combat 
their domestic opponents. They who always speak the 
sense of the principal Ministers said in confidence to 
those who did not keep their secret : " It will be necessary 
to yield to these obstinate Americans. We can never 
manage them in this way. We must certainly let them 
have their will, at least for the present ; by and by, per- 
haps, we shall find a more convenient opportunity to 


bring them into order.' • Questions were also asked of the 
advocates of the Colonies which were of deep import : 
What would you have ? How shall we satisfy you ? You 
do not mean surely to be absolutely independent of this 
country, nor are you yet in a condition to set up for your- 
selves. We must therefore stop somewhere. Will you be 
content if the late revenue acts are totally repealed ? Will 
you not also ask a dissolution of the Courts of Admiralty, 
of the commission of the revenue, and of the custom-houses? 
In fact, will you not insist upon the repeal of the Act of 
Navigation, and all others that depend upon it ? These 
questions were not asked by accident, nor, I believe, with- 
out instructions, and plainly enough indicated an inten- 
tion to get out of the controversy as easily as they could. 
It was even conceived by many, that, if the present set 
of Ministers continued, the Colonies would probably soon 
have it in their power almost to make their own terms 
with them, and it was hoped that their demands would 
be high enough to secure all the capital points of liberty, 
and prevent future disputes. This seemed to be the state 
of things some time ago, and until the intelligence arrived 
of the destruction of the armed sloop Liberty at Rhode 
Island 1 (which they would fain construe into an act of 
high treason) ; of the abuse of a King's officer, by tarring 
his clothes and wrapping him in feathers, which some 
would have to have passed at New London, though I see 
no evidence of its having been done, either there or any- 
where else ; of the transactions at New York relative to 
certain goods imported there ; of the positive refusal of 
the Massachusetts Assembly to make any provision for the 
expense of the troops ; of the contemptuous resolutions 
(as they call them) of the Boston merchants, renouncing 

1 This occurred on the 19th of July, 1769. This sloop was the same 
vessel which had belonged to John Hancock, and which had been seized by 
the revenue officers in Boston, the year before, for smuggling. See p. 301, 
note. — Eds. 


all acquiescence in any repeal of the duties which may 
be made upon commercial principles only ; and other late 
transactions in the Colonies, which have greatly excited 
the resentment of the Administration, and they hope 
will awake the indignation of all parties, and unite them 
against the Americans. In hopes that this will be the 
case, they now give out doubts whether any parts of the 
late acts will be repealed, or anything done which may 
seem to favor the Colonies ; and hint at farther measures 
of severity as necessary to repress what they are pleased 
to call the rebellious spirit so predominant amongst them. 
These suggestions, however, may perhaps be intended 
only to secure them an opening to take such part as the 
state of parties may require at the meeting of Parlia- 
ment, that, having thrown out intimations both of plans 
of indulgence and schemes of severity, they may without 
embarrassment adopt either the one or the other, as the 
temper of the House shall seem inclined, or they may 
think will best answer their own purposes. What effect 
Governor Barnard's representations will have (which have 
not yet been fully considered) cannot now be determined; 
but hitherto it seems most probable that the plan of con- 
cession will be adopted. On the part of the Colonies 
nothing could have been done farther, that I know of, to 
put their cause upon the best ground, but for the mer<r 
chants to have adhered more perfectly to their resolutions \ 
of not importing goods. It has been most industriously 
given out here, that, notwithstanding those agreements, 
ships have been continually going out deep laden with 
goods of every kind ; that it even appears by the custom- 
house entries that the exports of this year have been 
very little, if at all, inferior to those of former ones, with 
various other reports of the like kind, which have been 
propagated with great assiduity to keep up the spirits 
of the people. I know from my own inquiries that those 
representations are false, and that all the accounts of 


the exports have been exaggerated far beyond the truth. 
Yet I must own that the same inquiries have convinced 
me that those salutary agreements, upon which our safety 
and success in this country so much depend, have in 
many instances been shamefully broken through by some, 
and as artfully evaded and counteracted by others, by 
which too much ground has been given to represent the 
Colonies as unstable, divided, and irresolute, — to per- 
suade the people here that they cannot exist a moment 
without the trade of this country, and that all the pre- 
tences of declining it are mere finesse, frivolous, and vain. 
I see, however, that some care has been taken on that side 
to prevent the sale of the goods so clandestinely imported, 
which may perhaps discourage further attempts of that 
kind ; and I am satisfied that the trade, notwithstanding 
all the infractions of the agreements, has so far declined, 
and is still farther declining, as to be pretty severely felt 
by the manufacturers in the ensuing winter, and to render 
it very necessary for Parliament to do something for their 
relief. I have had the great pleasure, also, in several ex- 
cursions I have made into the country in the course of 
the summer, to find that the cause of the Colonies has 
gained ground among the country gentlemen and the 
bulk of the substantial people, as it had before done in 
the city ; — with many, I believe, from a rational convic- 
tion of the justice and equity of our claims ; with more, 
perhaps, from apprehensions of the loss of those emolu- 
ments which they have derived from our connection with 
them. Upon the whole, notwithstanding the present in- 
dignation of the Ministry, our affairs have a tolerable 
promising appearance, and we seem to have reason to 
hope for a reasonable share of attention in the delibera- 
tions of the approaching Parliament, which it is appre- 
hended will be as important both for the Colonies and this 
country as any we have seen, though it is whispered that 
Ministry do not intend they shall meet for the despatch 


of business until after Christmas, and it may, perhaps, 
after all the great things now expected of it, turn out 
as insignificant as the last. We, in fact, seem to be at 
the eve of some very decisive political revolution ; but 
how these struggles will end, or what will turn up, it is 
impossible for any man to determine with precision ; and 
with respect to any future events I can only give you 
bare conjectures ; — such indeed as the present state of 
things seems pretty fairly to authorize, but yet very un- 
certain, because, in the very fluctuating condition we are 
now in, affairs are every day almost varying, and assuming 
new appearances. 

The ferment amongst the people occasioned by the 
introduction of Colonel Luttrell into the House of Com- 
mons in opposition to Mr. Wilks, has been most assidu- 
ously kept up and increased through the summer, both 
by his friends and by the Opposition (who, though acting 
with different views, and upon very different principles, 
all equally conspire to awaken as far as possible the re- 
sentment of the people against the Ministry) ; and aided 
by a late spirited attack upon some great men (connected 
with Administration) relative to their malconduct in nego- 
tiating the late peace, and some other accidental causes, 
it is now worked up into real rage, which threatens not 
to be satisfied with the dismission (even if that can be 
obtained) of the present Ministers. The history of this 
country in every age shows us, that, when the indignation 
of the people of England is thoroughly inflamed, they are 
not to be satisfied but with the destruction of those who 
are the unfortunate objects of their wrath. This seems 
almost to be the case at present, and we already hear 
many cry aloud even for the blood of those by whom 
they believe the liberties of the nation have been at- 
tacked, and its honor sacrificed. Petitions are also com- 
ing up from divers quarters, and every new one seems to 
assume a still stronger style and a bolder tone. Several 


jhave already been presented, and others are preparing, 
In which not only the Administration is charged as being 
Arbitrary, oppressive, weak, and wicked, but the House of 
Commons itself is attacked as venal, corrupt, and aban- 
doned, and his Majesty is expressly requested to dissolve 
them, as unworthy of the trust reposed in them. The 
Ministry on their part, though evidently embarrassed, put 
bn as good a face as they can, affect sometimes to despise, 
knd at others to ridicule, the clamors of the people, and 
peem to think that by adhering to their measures and 
holding on their course (as they express it) with mod- 
eration and firmness they shall be able to ride out the 
Istorm, the fury of which they hope will erelong blow 
lover ; and their friends affirm that his M y, consid- 
ering their cause as in some measure his own, and the 
'attacks upon them as the efforts of faction and sedition 
to disturb his government, — not the zeal of patriotism 
soberly solicitous for the public weal, — is determined at 
'all events to support them. On the contrary, the Op- 
iposition affirm (and it seems to be the more general 
opinion) that it is altogether improbable that they should 
continue. The K — g, say they, will soon see that this 
is a controversy in which all may be lost, and nothing can 
be gained. 

Lord Chatham has certainly in a good degree recovered 
his health and is united with his brethren Lord Temple 
and Mr. Grenville, 1 and intends, if his present health con- 
tinues, to take again a part in public affairs, which, not- 
withstanding the cloud he has so long lain under, must 
no doubt be a very respectable one. We are well enough 
assured, too, that a negotiation has been long on foot, and 
is very far advanced, to conciliate effectually the Rocking- 
ham party, who, as I have acquainted you, in many things 

1 This, we believe, is the first time that this name has been spelled 
in these letters with a single e in the fiVst syllable, — the usual way of 
spelling the name of this statesman. — Lds. 



acted with them in the last sessions. Indeed, should 
these three great parties, headed by such able men asjloi 
belong to each of them, be perfectly reconciled, and with L 
united force engage heartily in Opposition, it seems to 
be hardly possible that the Ministry, especially with the 
odium they are already under with the people (who have 
yet some weight, though infinitely less than they ought 
to have), should be able to maintain their ground, or sup- 
port themselves against them, unless they should fairly 
throw off the mask (which some of them have undoubt- 
edly more than once thought of doing), employ the army, 
and subdue by force those whom they cannot govern by 
policy. In this case, which I mention only as possible, 
not, I hope, as very probable, we should see this country 
in the most critical situation that it ever experienced. 
Never did the people engage in the struggle for liberty 
under so many disadvantages. Never did Ministers at- 
tempt to establish despotism, possessed of such power, or 
supported by such regular, well-disciplined force. Never 
was public virtue at so low an ebb, nor Ministerial influ- 
ence (by means of places, pensions, &c.) so unlimited. 
Never were the people so unarmed, so unskilled, so un- 
prepared to exert force, nor the Administration so well 
furnished with every means of subverting the constitution. 
Nevertheless, when the spirit and the wealth of this peo- 
ple and other circumstances are well considered, I flatter 
myself that the friends of liberty and the constitution need 
not be discouraged, and that there is great reason to hope 
that, should the contest be pushed even to this last extrem- 
ity, the struggle would end, as all others in this country 
have hitherto done, in the re-establishment of the consti- 
tution, and the increase of public liberty. Not to mention 
other favorable circumstances, the army themselves, degen- 
erate as they are and dangerous as they always naturally 
must be to liberty, could not yet, I hope, be brought to 
give their assistance in abolishing the constitution of their 


country. Even if the superior officers, by the prospect 
pf large emolument, might be wrought upon to embark 
in so villanous and unnatural a design, yet I believe the 
Inferior officers and soldiers have too much honest virtue 
and public spirit left to become the detestable tools of 
pespotism. Reflections and conjectures of this kind will 
almost unavoidably crowd themselves upon one when the 
ktate of things here is considered, though it is to be hoped 
that there is by no means any immediate prospect of our 
feeing the experiment made. It is much more to be ex- 
pected that, after some farther struggle, we shall see a 
[change of Ministers, and, in consequence of that, a change 
[of measures, at least in part ; and that things will after a 
fwhile return again pretty nearly to their former state. 

Whether we of the Colonies have much reason to wish 
[for a speedy change of Administration, I am in doubt. 
[Hitherto these men have certainly, however little they 
intended it, played into our hands, and, harassed as they 
are with their own internal dissensions, solicitous to re- 
tain their power, and doubtful of its continuance, perhaps 
we shall find no set of men so little able to carry into 
execution any vigorous measures against the Colonies, or 
who, to settle a controversy which adds greatly to their 
other embarrassments, will make greater concessions to 
them. They certainly wish to have as little as possible 
upon their hands, and will interfere no farther than is 
absolutely necessary for their own security in any distant 
dissensions, either European or American, that they may, 
as I have said, with more collected attention and force 
apply themselves to their domestic disputes, and to the 
security and increase of their own power, the ultimate 
object of all their conduct and designs. Besides, if a 
change does take place, it is most probable that it will 
be effected by a union of the three great parties above 
mentioned, who will in that case, whatever plan they 
adopt, be very formidable in America, as well as in this 


country. They have all long since agreed that America! 
must be governed by and rendered effectually useful andi 
subordinate to this country, though they have differed* 
in the mode; with regard to which, though there are 
very essential differences even to us, yet in the end, if 
they are to reap the fruits of all our labors, and conduct 
all our affairs, solely with a view to their own emolu- 
ment, we shall certainly find the domination of any of 
them disagreeable enough. How these three seemingly 
opposite parties may agree upon the subject of America, 
I have, I believe, before mentioned to you. Mr. Gren- 
ville will give up the idea of direct taxation for the pur- 
pose of revenue only, to unite with Lord Rockingham in 
maintaining the right even to that, (though not expedient 
to be directly exercised at present,) and effecting the 
same thing in a less odious manner by commercial regu- 
lations, in which Lord Chatham will concur, though he 
gives up the right of taxation ; while he adds to the 
commercial principle of the two former the dangerous 
idea of a right to restrain us absolutely from every 
species of manufacture, even, as we know he expressed 
it in his speech at the repeal of the Stamp Act, from 
manufacturing even a horseshoe ; and whatever he says 
shall be done, or not done, we know, should he come into 
power, must be punctually obeyed, or, to use the language 
of a celebrated writer, all the dogs of war are instantly lei 
loose. It is with him but a word and a blow, and the one 
commonly so soon succeeds the other that it is sometimes 
difficult to determine which issued first. At least, it is so 
uncertain which set of men will be most beneficial for us, 
and so doubtful what principles will be adopted by either 
of them, that (merely as Americans) I think we need 
neither anxiously hope nor fear a change, but may fairly 
stand by and let them squabble it out as they can, while 
(as, if I recollect right, I have before suggested) we em- 
bark deeply with neither, but attentively mind our own 


[business, get rid as we may of the burdens we are now 
hinder, and prepare ourselves to meet the measures of 
[either party which may happen to possess power, or of 
[all of them, whenever we find them inconsistent with the 
[true interest of the Colonies. 

I have now the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt 
jof your favor of the 1st of June, which came to hand 
la day or two ago, and relates principally to the Mohegan 
cause. I do not wonder that Mr. Mason should give 
lout such confident declarations with respect to the suc- 
cess of his cause : he might think them necessary to 
keep up the spirits and increase the numbers of his 
Sfriends, and, being matter of opinion only, might in- 
nocently enough be the suggestions of a warm imagi- 
nation, willing to flatter itself with agreeable prospects. 
!But I am much surprised to find that he should ven- 
jture to assert that the agents of the Colony have en- 
deavored to prevent a trial of the case, and especially 
I in so unworthy a manner as that of bribing his uncle's 
j attorney, — accusations perfectly groundless and inj uri- 
nous. It is true, all fair and reasonable endeavors have 
been used by them, as was their duty, to prevent his 
Majesty or his Ministers from being imposed upon, and 
prejudiced against the Colony, by the insinuations of his 
'friends, or their engaging the Exchequer of England in 
a groundless controversy with the Colony of Connecticut. 
This has been done openly and avowedly, yet fairly - but 
j the agents of the Colony have not descended so low as 
to tamper with his attorneys, or interfere in his debts, 
: which neither their regard to the honor of the Colony, 
nor to their own reputation, would ever have permitted 
' them to do ; nor, even if they could have been so mean, 
t would it have been an object in any degree worthy their 
I attention. He knows not, I am persuaded, to this day, 
I the particular steps that were taken in this business 
1 (having been personally very little conversant in it), nor 


the true grounds of the order which was issued by the 
Treasury to their Solicitor, to pay his debts, and to carry 
on the cause ; and I am sorry he should take upon him 
to misrepresent what he appears to be so much unac- 
quainted with. But such representations will, I trust, 
neither benefit him nor his cause, nor prejudice us ; and 
I am therefore very little solicitous about them. His 
friends have not been w r anting to suggest here, whenever 
they thought it would make any impression, — as he 
has done, it seems, in America, — that he could get no 
evidence taken or authenticated by the officers of the 
Colony, which I never imagined had the least founda- 
tion; and the calumny has been obviated in the best 
manner it could, but will be more effectually contradicted 
by the intelligence you have favored me with. The evi- 
dence he has taken relative to the mean profits, they 
must be sensible, can have no fair weight in the case, 
but is calculated, as many other branches of their case 
are, to amuse and mislead those who do not understand 
the state of that country, but which, I fancy, they will 
find to be of no great service to them. Since his return, 
his friends have boasted much of their success in detach- 
ing the Indians totally from the interest of the Colony, 
(which I am sorry to find is so well grounded,) and 
amused themselves with ridiculing the unsuccessful steps 
taken by government to conciliate them, — particularly 
those in consequence of the death of Benjamin Uncas, the 
late sachem. It was too late in the season before Mr. 
Mason arrived to have much hopes of a trial before some 
time in the winter, and they now say they shall be ready 
for it the first opportunity. I am glad the tenants in 
possession of the land did not think proper to enter into 
compositions with him, which, however the cause may 
issue, I apprehend could be of little use to them. 

Lord Hillsborough is at present in Ireland ; as soon as 
he returns, I shall present him the thanks you direct. I 


shall with great pleasure receive from the committee you 
mention any notices they shall be so good as to give 
me relative to the Mohegan affairs, and am, with the 
greatest esteem and respect, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

P. S. I have found it necessary to remove from Lan- 
caster Court, and have taken lodgings at Mr. Lightfoot's, 
Linen Draper, next door to the Swan Tavern, in Bridge 
Street, Westminster, where you will be so good as to 
direct for me, when you favor me with your commands. 

Indorsed, " To Governor Pitkin, dated Sept. 18th, 1769. Received by J. 
Trumbull, Dec. 27th, 1769, at Hartford." 

Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, October 16th, 1769. 

Sir, — I have the honor of your very agreeable and 
entertaining favor of the 14th of July, and return you 
my best thanks for the particular and very useful infor- 
mation it contains relative to the Mohegan controversy. 
It appears by all the intelligence with regard to Mr. 
Mason's proceedings in America, and from what I have 
learned from him since his return, that the principal 
object of his voyage was to obtain farther supplies of 
money towards carrying on his cause. 1 The evidence he 
has taken is, I believe, in the opinion of his friends, of 
little importance farther than as it may serve to amuse 
those who are unacquainted with the affairs of that 
country, but of none to the merits of the cause. It is 

1 See page 320 — Eds. 


intended to serve the same purposes, no doubt, with the 
petition from the Indians, offering the Crown a quit- 
rent for their lands ; to magnify his pretensions to con- 
ciliate favor, or, what is perhaps of more importance, to 
represent those lands as an object worthy the attention 
of those who are attentively looking out for every source 
of acquisition in this and in every other country ; and 
who they hope, perhaps, may be thereby induced to lend 
their assistance in recovering them, nominally indeed for 
the Indians, but in reality that they may in the event 
themselves derive some emolument from them, — unrea- 
sonable and unrighteous purposes, which it will be our 
business if possible to prevent. It seems his friends, flat- 
tered with fond hopes of success, have furnished him with 
some money. I am glad, however, that the tenants in 
possession have had the firmness to resist both their flat- 
teries and their threats. Notwithstanding all the fine 
things he has, I find, said there, and the confidence with 
which he has assured his friends of success, neither has 
he any fresh grounds of hope, nor we of fear. I do not, 
indeed, pretend to say that we are in no danger of losing 
the case. No man who knows the uncertainty of legal 
controversy, even where justice may be depended upon, 
so far as the diversity of the opinions and judgments of 
even wise and good men will permit us to be sure of it, 
will pretend to assurance, or speak with absolute confi- 
dence of the events of a lawsuit ; much less will a man 
do so with respect to a cause which has such a mixture 
of politics, as well as of fact, law, and equity in it, as this 
has ; in which kind of ambiguous causes men of ordinary 
integrity often seem to think, though I hardly know 
why, that they are less precisely confined to strict rule 
than in the decision of mere legal disputes. Least of 
all can one assume such confidence, when so mixed a 
cause happens to come in question, at a time when the 
jealousies and the resentments of all men are awakened, 


land every passion of the mind agitated, by the interesting 
[controversy between the two countries ; in which those 
fwho may take a part in deciding this particular dispute 
pave had no inconsiderable share. The latter circum- 
stance, especially, removes all ground of assurance, though 
Iperhaps not equally, yet most surely, from both par- 
ties. For who can balance the force of all the consid- 
erations which, in such a case as this, may be derived 
[from policy, prejudice, party, prudence, resentment, law, 
pnd equity ? or pretend to determine with any precision 
twhat effects each of them will have, or which will pre- 
vail, in the minds of even learned judges, and much 
pnore of ignorant ones ? for such (at least of the full 
jextent and real merits of so complicated a cause as this) 
may chance to fall to our lot. But it is enough to op- 
ipose these considerations to the confident assurances with 
[which Mr. Mason has endeavored to amuse the people, 
and to assure the tenants in possession that he speaks 
'what he wishes, not w T hat he knows, and that in fact he 
ihas no particular foundation for his confidence other than 
the force of his own imagination ; while, on the other 
hand, they must be satisfied (if they have at all exam- 
lined it) of the justice and equity of their cause, which 
is in all cases the best, indeed the only sure, ground to 
stand upon, and on this they ought calmly to rely. In 
all events, what would any composition with Mr. Mason 
avail them ? He can neither convey the title, nor protect 
them against the claims of the Indians. His influence 
over them may not be permanent, and will not, I fancy, 
continue long after the decision of the cause, nor, if it 
should, will it be uncontrolled ; nor will it be left in his 
power to dispose of any part of the lands, so that in all 
events compositions with him must be fallacious and 

The appointment of a committee to treat with and 
inform the Indians, upon occasion of the death of their 


sachem, was a judicious step. The state of the case you 
have favored me with is extremely well drawn up, and, 
with the representations made to them by you and the 
other gentlemen of the committee, admirably well cal- 
culated to give the Indians, as well as all who wished 
to be acquainted with it, a just idea of the dispute ; nor 
can I doubt but that the visit you have made them will 
have good effects, however little impression it might at 
first seem to make upon them. Mr. Occum, I saw when 
he was here, was warmly enough engaged in the affair, 
and with more prejudice and passion than I hoped he 
would have expressed, after the many favors he had 
received in the Colony, and more than I thought became 
his situation. It is chiefly by his influence, I imagine, 
that Mason's interest is extended amongst the Indians, 
and their minds farther alienated from the Colony, which, 
though of little consequence in itself, is endeavored to be 
represented here as of very high importance. It is pre- 
tended that they have very close connections with the 
Five Nations, and through them with all the far tribes 
throughout the continent; and that there will be the 
utmost danger of an Indian war (which, by the way, they 
dread here almost as much as one with France), if the 
Mohegans are not gratified ; than which nothing can be 
more groundless and ridiculous. But when men get 
deeply engaged in controversy, they are too apt to throw 
off all restraint, and to represent as fact things which it 
is impossible they should themselves seriously believe to 
exist, and at most barely imagine to be possible. 

The genealogical draught will be of use, — of as much, 
I fancy, as Mr. Palmer's papers, which it would be worth 
while to receive as a present, had he the generosity and 
justice to give them up, but are by no means worth pur- 
chasing. Your idea of the grounds and occasion of this 
injurious controversy, and the means by which it has 
been kept alive, are perfectly just ; and when one con- 


Isiders the fair and full title obtained by the Colony and 
Ithe people holding under them, and the clear, upright 
[conduct of both towards these Indians, from the year 
11636 down to the time you last met them at Mohegan, 
[one is surprised how the controversy could ever have 
(existed, and much more that it should have gone the 
[lengths it has. Indeed, nothing can fully account for 
|it but the most bitter and implacable malice, not only 
Jagainst the people, but also against the constitution of 
the Colony, which, I think, it is clearly seen has been 
jail along struck at, and intended to be affected by this 
junreasonable and groundless prosecution. I am loath to 
3 impute so dark a design to all the immediate actors in 
[this business, but I am well founded, I think, in saying 
that to this it has been owing that they have, from time 
jto time, met with so much countenance and support, both 
jin this country and in that. What renders the case pecu- 
liarly hard is, that the only plausible pretensions they 
may have are founded upon the superabundant kindness 
and benevolence of the Colony to these Indians. For 
had the Colony relied absolutely upon the title acquired 
by the contest, and the deeds of 1640 and 1659, and 
given themselves no farther concern with them, there 
never could have been a shadow of pretence that the 
Indians had any title left ; nay, we know they would not 
now have even existed. The only difficulty arises from 
the transactions on the part of the Colony, which seem, 
after all, to admit the Indian right. They treat them as 
though they w r ere the owners of the land, notwithstanding 
the conquest they had made and the deeds they had 
taken, and thereby seem to tvaive the title they had ac- 
quired. And though by the treaty in 1681 a title was 
acquired, if there had been none before, yet still they go 
on to speak of them, and deal with them, as the oivners 
of the land, and recede from their rights, however clearly 
and substantially ascertained. Now, though we perfectly 


know how all this happened, that it was done in conde- 
scension to their ignorance and infirmities, and flowed 
from humanity, benevolence, and sound policy, not from 
any diffidence of the equity, nor doubt of the legality, 
of their title ; yet it is a conduct so unusual, so contrary 
to the general practice of mankind, that it is difficult to 
give men of the world, who judge of others by them- 
selves, right notions of it, or to persuade them to im- 
pute it to its true cause. Such uncommon generosity 
and goodness was in its nature liable to misconstruction, 
and we accordingly find it has been misconstrued, and 
has in fact been the source of all the trouble we have 
had in this business. Ex ore tuo is the ground of the 
only reply they can make to our title, which is of any 
even seeming validity. But however difficult it may 
be, I hope we shall yet be able to set these matters in 
their true light, and to convince the most obstinate that 
justice may be claimed where generosity has been prac- 
tised, and that moderation and benevolence, however 
long continued, and how far soever extended, do not 
extinguish a right once fairly acquired ; but that, when 
a title is once legally vested, however for reasons of 
humanity, prudence, or policy it may at times seem to 
be waived, yet it cannot be renounced but by transac- 
tions equally solemn and efficacious with those by which 
it was created, and must be adjudged valid whenever 
ingratitude renders it necessary to resume and insist 
upon it. 

The intelligence you have favored me with of the steps 
which have been taken relative to writs of assistance, is 
very obliging as well as useful to the purpose you men- 
tion. It gives me pleasure to find that it is so probable 
that the courts of the other Colonies will be agreed with 
you in this important point. Union in this, as in every- 
thing else, is of the last importance. If an united stand 
is made upon this occasion, I think it extremely probable 


that this capital point will be carried without much diffi- 
culty ; and it will be a very great satisfaction, and not a 
little redound to their honor, that the Superior Court of 
Connecticut have taken the lead in a matter of so much 
consequence to the liberty, the property, and the security 
of the subject. The examples of the courts of the Massa- 
chusetts Bay and New Hampshire ought not to influence 
the courts in the other Colonies. It is easy to account 
for their conduct. But of them it is most candid to say, 
that they were surprised into this injudicious step, and to 
suppose that they wish it were now res Integra, and to do 
again, that they might unite with their brethren through- 
out the continent in making a necessary and noble stand 
against so dangerous an encroachment upon the rights 
of a free people. 

The assurances you are so good as to give me, of the 
firm universal union of all the people of America to 
assert and maintain their indubitable rights, give me the 
highest pleasure ; especially as it has lately been propa- 
gated here, with much malicious assiduity, that the South- 
ern Colonies differ greatly from the Northern, think they 
are going too great lengths, and will probably erelong 
entirely renounce all connection with them. This would 
be very fatal indeed ; whereas such union, fortitude, and 
steady firmness as you assure me of, joined to a prudent, 
well-advised conduct, must render them impregnable, and 
insure their success. 

Our Ministers have long listened to the flattering, fal- 
lacious representations of their interested, wretched syco- 
phants, and persuaded themselves that the opposition in 
America was no more than a petty, desperate, dying 
faction, not worth their notice. Though fully warned 
by the true friends of the Colonies, as well as of this 
country, of the weakness as well as falsehood of these 
representations, they easily believed what they wished, 
and fondly flattered themselves that their firm friends 


had not misled, and would not deceive them. They 
acted upon those ideas, and have found themselves 
mistaken. Now that they see all their measures inef- 
fectual, and their designs frustrated, that the Colonies 
can neither be intimidated nor amused, they begin, I 
believe, to think the affair is of a much more serious 
nature than they were aware of, and that it is necessary 
to act with more vigor, or with greater moderation, — 
to conciliate them completely, or subdue them entirely 
Prudence points out the one, Indignation dictates the 
other. The interests of trade, the security and repose of 
the empire, and their own quiet, induce the first ; while! 
false notions of honor, passion, prejudice, pride, and thej 
lust of power, urge the latter. Which will prevail, I will 
not take it upon me to say ; perhaps, after all, that they 
may appear tvondroas wise, they will adopt neither abso-j 
lutely, but endeavor to hit upon some middle measure] 
that shall partake of both ; though I will venture to tell 
them that there is no medium, and that the only effectual, 
sensible system they can adopt is that of moderation and 
candor. They must resume the old plain (but almost 
forgotten) plan of justice and equity; nothing else will 
do. In truth, nothing is so easy, so plain, as the path 
they ought to pursue ; to mistake it requires all the pains. 
Let them puzzle themselves and perplex us ever so long 
with their fine-spun artificial policy and prudence, they 
must at last find that all refinements are vain, and return 
from political cobwebs to common sense and common 
honesty before they can settle affairs upon a stable and 
secure basis. There would be more hopes of their soon 
doing this were it not for their intestine divisions and 
party squabbles, which have really risen to a most 
alarming height, and not only prevent a just and sober 
attention to the real interest and happiness of the nation, 
but actually seem to threaten a dissolution of the whole 
political system, and the ruin of the empire. From this 


H, however, great as it is, we derive one perhaps not 
nconsiclerable consolation, that the malice of those mad- 
uen, who w r ould wreak all their wicked wrath npon 
he Colonies, and plunge us in blood and perdition, is 
endered impotent and ineffectual. Thus divided, they 
:annot act against us with vigor, were they so disposed ; 
nd the disease itself, which has occasioned in part our 
>resent troubles, will prove a remedy for them, or at least 
>revent their being urged to the utmost extreme. 

The spirit of liberty is well awakened, and in full glow 
here, as well as in the Colonies, though not so well or 
visely directed as it were to be wished it was. Hitherto, 
t is pointed rather at men than at measures, and con- 
lucted rather to subserve the vile vices of party, than to 
he recovery of the constitution, the re-establishment of 
mblic liberty, and the promotion of the general weal, 
►vhich ought alone to be the objects of patriot attention 
ind political contest. It is to be hoped, however, that by 
legrees it may be brought to run in right channels, and 
that happy effects may follow from the general ferment, 
which is, at this instant, working most fervently through- 
Dut the kingdom, and produces petitions to the Throne 
ibr dismission of Ministers and the dissolution of Parlia- 
ment, popular elections in cities and boroughs, and, as 
usual, to the disgrace of a good cause, mobs, libels, and 
licentiousness. Though the first effects may be the de- 
struction of some bad men, who it were to be wished 
might atone by their forfeited heads for the badness of 
their hearts, yet the subsequent consequences may be of 
more extensive importance, and redound to the lasting 
benefit of the people. The last material struggle has 
been between the Aldermen Beckford and Trecothick 
(who are both our friends) against Sir Henry Banks for 
the mayoralty of the city. The Livery, by a vast major- 
ity npon the poll, returned the two first ; the Court of 
Aldermen appointed Beckford, who at first refused, but 


has now taken upon him the office, and will, I trust, en- 
deavor to direct the interest and influence of the city on 
the side of liberty, and in favor of the Colonies. 

It is expected that political affairs will assume a new 
face at the meeting of Parliament, which is anxiously ex- 
pected by all men, (for it is not generally imagined that 
his Majesty will dissolve the House,) though the Ministry, 
for what reason it cannot be guessed, unless they fear a 
diminution of their strength, do not, it is said, intend they 
shall sit for the despatch of business until after Christmas 
Whenever they assemble, it seems impossible that the ( 
should any longer stand neuter in these great national 
litigations in which they themselves are directly attacked, 
And if they are wise, they will now, before it is too late 
take a deep and determinate part, and will labor with 
united counsels to dissipate the dark clouds that hang 
over us, to remove all real causes of complaint, to defem 
decisively that public liberty founded upon the laws' 
which is the essence of the British government, and espe- 
cially to restore the pristine harmony and tranquillity of 
the empire by every healing, every conciliatory, every 
gracious measure. Both Ministers and Parliament should, 
by what has passed on both sides of the Atlantic, be at 
length convinced that the people of Great Britain and 
her Colonies, too brave to be driven, too sensible to be 
cajoled, can never be subdued or governed but by the 
force of reason alone, — the only force that authority 
ought ever to wish to use with free-born subjects, — a 
force which they will generally yield to with pleasure, 
and the exercise of which on one side, and the ready sub- 
mission to it on the other, will always be the greatest 
triumph of the natural good sense of the one, and the 
strongest proof of the genuine patriotism of the other. 
But whether the event will justify these hopes from Par- 
liament, time alone can discover. It is rather, I fear, to 
be ardently wished, than in any good degree expected. 


We must, however, hope the best, and, having clone all in 
our own power, calmly leave the event to that wise and 
good Providence which superintends all affairs, — which 
ruleth not only the raging of the sea, but also the counsels 
of princes and the tumults of the people, and will direct all 
events, as well in the moral as natural world, to the best 
good of the whole. I am, with perfect truth and esteem, 
Your Honor's most obedient, humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

You will before this time have seen Mr. Lane, and, I 
hope, settled your affairs with him to your mutual satis- 
faction. If I can do you any service in any other affair, 
pray, command me. 

P. S. Before I close my letter I will give you an extract 
of a letter, this instant opened, from a worthy friend in 
high life (a clergyman, and therefore not suspected by 
those he converses with), whose intelligences are directly 
from the fountain, communicated in confidence, and from 
pure disinterested affection to the cause of liberty and 
the Colonies : " I shall begin with politics, and you may 
be sure I think my notices authentic, otherwise I should 
postpone them. The friends of Sir Francis Barnard hope 
that the disagreement of the Southern from the Northern 
Colonies will effect the subjection of all to the legisla- 
tive power of Britain. You may depend on it, the return 
of B. is not fixed upon. I should imagine that its con- 
trary is resolved on. The Yorkshire petition is the 
most alarming to Administration of any other. In truth, 
(though my knowing neighbor says otherwise,) I begin to 

think P 1 will be dissolved. If the Americans unite 

at this most critical juncture, they may carry their point. 
If they do not now unite, effectual care will be taken to 
prevent their uniting to any purpose, at any future period. 
It is pretty certain that Sir F. B.'s friends have hardly 


any hope left excepting what arises from the disunion 
of the Colonies. You know what use to make of the 
hints I venture to give you, and I confide in your cau- 
tion. Your situation is critical. May God direct you," 
&c. You have this under the same confidence that I 
receive it. 


W. S. J. 

Indorsed, " Received January 19th, 1770." 


William S. Johnson, Esq. 

Lebanon, 8th November, 1769. 

Sir, — The death of the Honorable Wm. Pitkin, Esq., 
our late Governor, happened on the first day of last 
month. I heartily condole with you on this mournful 
occasion. His civil and religious character in public and 
private life was truly amiable, and his memory precious 
to us all. 

This event happening so near the time of the usual 
meeting of the General Assembly, a special call thereof 
on this occasion became unnecessary. When the same 
convened, it was recommended to proceed to a new elec- 
tion of a Governor in his room and place ; they then 
elected myself to that office until the general election in 
May next; Matthew Griswold, Esq., Deputy Governor, 
and Chief Judge of Superior Court ; and William Pitkin, 
Esq., one of the Judges of the same. 

Your two last letters to Governor Pitkin, dated 26th 
April and 25th May ult., which came to his hand, I had 
the pleasure to communicate to the Assembly, by whom 
they are much approved. The delays of the Mohegan 
cause are wonderful. That an affair wherein those In- 


dians have been treated with such justice, kindness, and 
tenderness shall be and hath been the occasion of so 
much vexation, and made use of as a rod over the Col- 
ony. There are none that doubt your purity of inten- 
tion, and sincere regard for our public interest, and I trust 
you will abide by the cause until you see it ended. 

I have enclosed a resolution of the late sessions of the 
Assembly, occasioned partly by the Susquehannah Pur- 
chase, and to explain the right of Connecticut to all 
the lands which are contained within the bounds of our 

The Earl of Warwick obtained from the Council of 
Plymouth a grant of the sea-coast, from Narraganset 
River to the southwest forty leagues, to keep the breadth 
to the South Sea. This he assigned, in 1631, to Lord 
Say and Seal, Lord Brook, Lord Rich, Charles Fiennes, Sir 
Nathaniel Rich, Sir Richard Saltonstall, Richard Knightly, 
John Pym, John Hampden, John Humphrey, and Herbert 
Pelham, Esqrs. 

The people of Connecticut purchased the title of the 
Lords, of Mr. George Fenwick, December 5th, 1644, and 
the money was paid for it ; but the deed is not found 
with us. It may possibly be found in the hands of Mr. 
Fenwick's or Mr. Hopkins's descendants. The latter was 
Governor here at the time, and the former after that 
sale joined with the Colony, and was chosen an Assistant. 
They both returned and died in England, in the spring of 
the year 1657. Colonel Fenwick, by his last will and tes- 
tament, proved in Sussex in England, April 27th, 1657, 
gave £500 to the public use of the country of New Eng- 
land. Mr. Hopkins left at least £2,000, to be employed 
for breeding youth at the grammar school, or college, in 
New England. The donees intended by the testators have 
never yet had the benefit thereof, and perhaps never will, 
although it is great pity they should be deprived of it. 
You see the design of this resolution, and will diligently 


search after such things as you shall think proper, on ex- 
amination of that, and the short hint I have given. En- 
closed are copies of the answers sent Lord Hillsborough 
to his letters No. 12, 14, 15, 16, thereby to acquaint you 
with the correspondence on the part of the Colony. 

I expect some of your favors soon, and you may 
depend on my frequent communicating the needful oc- 
currences from hence. I am, with sincere respect and 
esteem, sir, your most obedient, humble servant, 

Jon th Trumbull. 

P. S. You have Governor Fitch's manuscript, which 
will point you to the matter of the Earl of Warwick's, 
&c. grants. I shall inquire after the grant to the Duke of 
York, — Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, 
&c, — at those several governments, and write you again 
relative to what is needed from that side the water. 


Indorsed, " W. S. Johnson, Esq. Copy." 

Hon, Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, December 5th, 1769. 

Sir, — I see in the papers, which arrived by the last 
ships from America a few days ago, an account of the 
death of Governor Pitkin ; and, as I fear there is no room 
to doubt the authenticity of this intelligence, I take the 
earliest opportunity to condole with you and the Colony 
on the loss of so worthy a magistrate ; to whose memory 
it is the least tribute we can pay to lament him as an 
honest man, a good citizen, a sincere Christian, an upright 
ruler, the zealous, hearty friend of his country, who ar- 
dently wished, and assiduously endeavored to promote, its 


welfare and happiness upon all occasions. And, as this 
event devolves upon you the immediate care of the affairs 
of the Colony, give me leave to congratulate you upon 
the honor which attends so elevated a station, and to 
wish you most heartily all the success and happiness that 
can accompany the most ahle and acceptable discharge of 
so important a trust. 

Parliament having been postponed beyond its usual 
time of meeting, neither American affairs nor any other 
political matters can, you are sensible, have come to 
any decisive crisis. The King's Ministers, amongst the 
variety of schemes which have been proposed relative to 
that country, seem of late to have resumed and adhered 
to their first design of repealing the late revenue acts, 
so far only as they were anti-commercial, and to try the 
effect that would have before they proceeded farther. 
The apprehension of endangering the supremacy of Par- 
liament, of which they have formed the most exalted 
ideas, seems to have absorbed all other considerations. 
They affect to imagine, that, by giving way in any meas- 
ure to the claims of the Colonies, they should hazard the 
loss of all their hold of them ; that one indulgence would 
require another, and one relaxation induce still farther 
concessions, until the Colonies would become totally in- 
dependent of this country. On this idea they determined 
to retain such parts of the late revenue acts as were 
necessary to mark the subordination of the Colonies, and 
to rescind only so much of them as appeared to be evi- 
dently contradictory to the immediate interests of this 
country. The Americans, said they, claim too much ; we 
can therefore grant them nothing upon the ground of 
those claims, but we will remove every impediment to 
the commerce of Britain, by which means we shall acquire 
the affections of this country, and engage their support 
in establishing the subordination of the Colonies. Two 
circumstances have, more especially, encouraged them to 


adhere to these ideas. The one is, that the Opposition 
have of late rather lost ground. Their efforts have, in 
several late instances, been unsuccessful, and of conse- 
quence the Administration found themselves strength- 
ened, and more at liberty, and more able, to pursue their 
own system of inflexibility. The other and more impor- 
tant consideration is this : that they found the American 
resolutions of non-importation of goods had hitherto made 
little or no impression upon the manufacturing and com- 
mercial part of the kingdom. That they have not is, 
unfortunately, fact. This we imputed at first to the fail- 
ures of the Americans themselves in adhering to those 
agreements; but, upon a more minute examination of 
the subject, it appears that, though those breaches of the 
agreements have contributed their share, yet a surpris- 
ing and unexpected coincidence of commercial causes has 
more especially prevented those resolutions from having 
the effects that were expected from them. The north- 
ern war between the Turks and Russians has occasioned 
a vast demand for British manufactures in that quarter. 
The East India Company have exported prodigious quan- 
tities to supply an extraordinary demand in that part of 
the world. New sources of trade have arisen in Germany, 
and avenues for exportation have been opened into France 
itself, while at home all the supernumerary hands in the 
kingdom have, during the summer past, found full em- 
ployment in the vast works which are carrying on in 
divers parts of the kingdom, to extend and enlarge its 
inland navigation by cutting amazing canals, and, with 
immense labor, opening convenient communications be- 
tween the principal trading towns. These, and some 
other lesser causes, have for the present prevented their 
feeling the decrease of the American trade ; insomuch 
that the manufacturers, upon application to them upon 
the subject of petitioning, have declared that they have 
no cause to complain, but, in fact, have hitherto had 


greater demands for goods than it was possible for them 
to supply. Most of these causes are indeed temporary, 
but for the present the Ministers have found themselves 
under no necessity to depart from their plans, or vary 
their measures, by any apprehensions from the manufac- 
turers or merchants. In this situation of things a new 
scene, all of a sudden, opened to us, by which the whole 
face of affairs may perhaps very soon be changed. 

France seems to threaten us with a war, and all atten- 
tion has, this fortnight past, been turned to that important 
object. The danger that the northern war would spread, 
and by degrees involve all Europe in flames, has indeed 
long been foreseen and feared ; and all the powers upon 
the Continent have been accordingly preparing themselves 
in the best manner they could to obviate or meet so un- 
fortunate an event. But Britain of all other nations held 
itself most detached from this war, and seemed least in 
danger of being drawn in. The insolence of France was, 
therefore, equally unforeseen and unexpected. Her im- 
j mediate pretences are, a late dispute in the Downs between 
ian English and French frigate about the honors of the 
I flag, and a controversy which happened here last summer 
I between the French and Russian Ambassadors about pre- 
jcedency, in which France affects to imagine that we did 
Snot enough espouse the cause of her Ambassador. But 
[these are ostensible reasons only; the true idea seems 
[rather to be this, that the haughty, ambitious Minister of 
| France (who is a perfect phenomenon in the political 
[world), intoxicated with his good fortune in the acquisi- 
tion of Corsica, with the influence that has given him with 
his prince, and with the success he has had in humbling 
all ranks of men in that kingdom, seeing Britain op- 
pressed with the heavy load of her national debt, torn to 
pieces with internal dissensions, and at variance with her 
Colonies, thinks it a favorable moment to attack the 
nation he most heartily hates, under these disadvantages, 



in hopes that she can make but a feeble resistance, and 
that he may gratify both his pride and resentment, and 
obtain some revenge for their losses in the last war. 
He has, therefore, by the suppression of several of the 
religious orders, it is said, brought six millions into the 
King's coffers, and now behaves so insolently that there 
is hardly any bearing with him. The Spaniards, too, 
have been very saucy. We are therefore arming as all 
the other powers of Europe have done before us. A 
strong squadron of men-of-war is fitting out, and we are 
preparing to meet the threatening storm. Every en- 
deavor will certainly be used to prevent a rupture, for 
which we are very illy prepared ; and as they are in fact 
no less so, it seems most probable that, if our Ministers 
hold a firm tone, and are sufficiently steady and prepared, 
France will recede ; but should we be driven into a war, 
it is extremely probable that it will soon change the state 
of our political affairs. Some means must be found out 
to reconcile the interior dissensions of this country, as 
well as the disputes with America. It is not imagined 
that the present Ministry can raise money for a war, and 
consequently that others must be taken in, who have a 
better interest with the people, and especially with the 
moneyed men. In a word, an entire new system must 
probably be adopted. But this is deducing consequences 
before we are sure of the facts from which they must 
result. All the arts of negotiation must first be tried, 
and are now most busily employed; nor will anything 
farther than the preparations I have mentioned be re- 
solved upon before Parliament meets, which is now fixed , 
for the 9th of January. 

Pursuant to the directions I received from his Honor 
the Governor, I presented Lord Hilsborough the thanks 
of the Colony for his favorable declarations relative to the 
Mohegan Case, and the late petition of the Indians. He 
received the compliment favorably, and I had, at the same 


time, a long conference with him upon the affairs of 
America in general as well as those of our Colony in par- 
ticular. I cannot say that his general ideas are much 
altered, but, upon the whole, he expressed himself with 
much candor towards the Colony of Connecticut, and the 
conversation ended favorably enough, considering the 
present state of affairs. 

You will see that some of the bills of exchange re- 
mitted to Mr. Jackson have been protested, and will 
receive from him an account of the moneys in his hands. 
By this failure, as well as from the increasing expenses in 
the Mohegan Case, it will be apparent that farther sums 
will be wanted, and, I doubt not, due care will be taken 
to furnish him with what is necessary. We expect very 
soon to have a trial of the cause, and must immediately 
advance two or three hundred pounds to our counsel. I 
am, with the greatest esteem and respect, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

December 6th. 

P. S. I have several times been attacked upon a com- 
plaint preferred to some considerable persons here against 
a late law of the Colony imposing a duty of five per cent 
upon all British goods imported into the Colony, which 
has been exacted of a captain of a ship, or some merchant 
who makes this complaint. The act itself, I find, gives 
great umbrage, and those who wish us no good mean to 
avail themselves of it in the course of next session of Par- 
liament. It is, I am told, in the hands of Sir Francis 
Barnard. I shall apply to him for it, and, if possible, 
get a sight of it. You may rely upon it, that I shall do 
everything in my power to prevent any inconveniences 
from this petulant charge. But I could have wished to 
have known the terms of the act (if such an one there be), 
the reasons upon which it was grounded, and all the cir- 


cumstances of this particular case, as well as the true 
state of the affair at New London (which is also strongly 
objected to us), that I might be prepared to give the most 
effectual answers to these accusations. For the present, 
I must put the defence, as I have indeed already done, 
upon such general grounds as, I trust, will be sufficient ; 
and you will be so good as to give such information of 
particulars as you think may be useful to 

Your Honor's most obedient, humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

It is said that large quantities of British goods have 
been shipped to Surinam, St. Eustatia, and other foreign 
as well as British ports in the West Indias, with intent to 
be clandestinely introduced into the continental Colonies 
as opportunity offers. How surprising are the efforts of 
the commercial spirit of the country ! 

Indorsed, " Received March 2d, 1770.'* 

Wm. S. Johnson, Esq. 

Hartford, 12th December, 1769. 

Sir, — Since the foregoing, 1 I have received none of 
your favors, nor any answer to mine of the 14th July 
ult. I think I have good authority to give you the fol- 
lowing information, — that in a letter, dated last summer, 
from Mr. Moses Park to Mr. Edward Mott, he desires his 
friend Mr. Mott, as soon as a certain action is decided 
in the County Court at Norwich, if determined against 
Mr. Park's interest, to give him immediate intelligence 

1 [was written, &c] This letter, or the copy from which we print, im- 
mediately follows, on the same sheet, the letter printed on pages 380- 
382. — Eds. 


of it, to be improved in the cause of the Mohegan In- 
dians, to show that any person endeavoring to obtain 
justice for those Indians cannot expect justice for him- 
self in the courts of this Colony. The case is, that, at 
the time the city of Havana on Cuba was besieged by 
the English forces, many of the enemy's negroes were 
taken, and brought into the English camp, there kept, 
and improved by the officers. Captain Robert Durkee 
had one, Lieutenant Jedidiah Hyde one, Lieutenant 
Park one or more, and others had to a considerable 
number ; that one Chadwick, master of a vessel return- 
ing to New London from thence, with the assistance of 
Mr. Moses Park, then a lieutenant in that service, clan- 
destinely took on board and eloigned six of those ne- 
groes : among them were the two who had been in the 
care of Captain Durkee and Lieutenant Hyde, and taken 
without their knowledge. On Chadwick's arrival at New 
London, he sent three of them to Mr. Park's family, at 
Preston ; the other three he kept and disposed for his 
own use and benefit. In camp the general issued orders 
that all such negroes should be brought together and 
delivered up. Whoever failed of their duty therein, to 
forfeit for each negro concealed or kept back 2250 dol- 
lars. It was soon suspected that Captain Chadwick 
had brought off the six which were missing. Adver- 
tisement sent after him, with reward offered for de- 
tecting him, &c. When he dare stay no longer at 
Middletown, he went to Carolina, from thence to the 
West Indies, where he died. Captain Durkee, after his 
return, found the negro taken from his custody, in the 
hands of a master, to whom Chadwick had sold him, in 
Middletown. Captain Durkee brought his action against 
the master, and recovered the negro. Lieutenant Hyde 
found at Preston the negro taken from him, and brought 
his action against Mr. Mott, who had him of Park, ob- 
tained a verdict in his favor last November term, at 


Norwich. In the trial Lieutenant Hyde produced two 
intercepted letters from Mr. Park to some of his friends, 
wherein some things are acknowledged disadvantageous 
to this cause. These were denied to be Mr. Park's hand- 
writing : to show by parity of hands they were not, the 
first-mentioned letter was produced, and viewed by both 
court and jury. Whether they thought to intimidate the 
court, and if that did not succeed, then to be made use of 
to dishonor the Colony, I shall leave others to judge. 

Will such artifices have any influence against this just 
and loyal Colony ? To prevent such injurious design, I 
thought fit to give you this long account of the case. 

If the motion for a Bishop in the American Colonies is 
pushed, I trust you will use your influence to prevent his 
having authority to exercise spiritual jurisdiction over 
such who are not professors of the Church of England, 
and secular powers of any nature or kind whatever. 

I have desired Mr. Jackson to favor me with his opin- 
ion relative to the Governor and Company's title to and 
granting of the land westward of New York, and extend- 
ing our jurisdiction thither. Desire you to consult him, 
and others you think fit, on the subject, and send me 
their and your own opinion thereon, timely enough for 
the sessions of our Assembly in May next, when it will 
be brought under consideration. 

Mr. Davenport, the very venerable minister of the 
gospel at New Haven, exhibited a memorial to the As- 
sembly of that old Colony, praying that a college be 
erected in that place, money raised for the purpose, and 
for encouragement inserts a paragraph of a letter from 
his good friend, Mr. Edward Hopkins, dated in London in 
the year 1654, wherein he desires Mr. Davenport to pro- 
mote the design of erecting a college for education of 
youth for the ministry among them, and offers to give 
his lands in New England for its support, with a hand- 
some sum of money besides. This appears on the old 


records of the New Haven Colony, for the year 1655, and 
Colonel Davenport of Stamford, who has his good ances- 
tor's papers in his hands, promised me to look and see if 
he could find the original letter. The Assembly send to 
the towns in the Colony for each to give towards it what 
should be in their ability. New Haven granted £400, 
Milford, £100. Branford and Guildford returned they 
would consider it. Mr. Hopkins's and Colonel Fenwick's 
| donations, in and by their last wills and testaments, were 
undoubtedly designed for the College at New Haven. 1 
| The £500 given by Mr. Hopkins was neglected from the 
I time of his death until 1710. One of his descendants 
( mentioned it to Mr. Banister, — inquired after a college in 
I New England. He told him of that at Cambridge, and 
| on notice to the corporation there, they applied and had 
a judgment in Chancery to receive it. Colonel Fen wick, 
who died two days after Mr. Hopkins, in his last will 
gave the like sum to the public in New England, to be 
applied by his good friend, Mr. Hopkins : Sergeant May- 
nard gave his opinion, that, it being for a charitable use, 
it ought to be paid ; but no application hath been made 
for that. 

Will length of time extinguish the right, when it can 
be made evident ? I think all these donations do evi- 
dently belong to the College at New Haven. Pray my 
compliments to General Lyman and Mr. Wyllys when 
you see them. I am, with great truth and esteem, sir, 
your most obedient humble servant. 

Jon th Trumbull. 

1 See Mr. Hopkins's last will, ante, pp. 17-22. — Eds. 


Hon, Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, January 2d, 1770. 

Sir, — The affair I mentioned to you relating to the 
law of the Colony imposing a duty upon all goods im- 
ported by persons not inhabitants of the Colony, soon 
became very serious. The complaint was preferred to 
Lord Hilsborough, and by him laid before the Lords of 
Trade, &c, where it is still depending. I attended him 
as soon as I had any intimations of his being possessed 
of it, and explained to him the reasons upon which I 
presumed it was founded. He was much displeased at 
the act, insisting that it was of the same nature with the 
acts of Parliament which we complain of, as imposing 
duties which amount to a tax ; and that it was very 
surprising a Colony Assembly should presume to impose 
duties upon goods imported at a time when they were 
contending that Parliament could not do it. At least, he 
said, we should have had the modesty to have excepted 
goods imported directly from England, and by Britons ; 
otherwise, in the American idea of taxation, it was in effect 
a tax imposed upon the whole empire, by authority of a 
Provincial Assembly ; and, at any rate, such a regulation 
of trade as our authority could not extend to. That the 
Parliament of Ireland never presumed to impose a duty 
upon imports from Britain, &c. I urged that the inten- 
tion was only to confine the trade, as far as possible, to 
the inhabitants of the Colony who supported its estab- 
lishments ; to prevent an inundation of goods from the 
neighboring governments, by persons who contributed 
nothing to the support of government, but by a quick, 
captivating, fallacious trade collected all the little cash 
the people were possessed of, and retired before any ordi- 
nary rules of taxation could reach them, to the great det- 


riment of the honest settled trader ; and in this light that 

■ was a beneficial, reasonable regulation, well within the 
bowers of. the Assembly, &c. Still he insisted that we 
should have excepted importation directly from Britain ; 
and, notwithstanding any apologies I could make, de- 
blared he could not be excused from laying the matter 
oefore the Board of Trade and the other servants of the 
Crown. This dispute also occasioned a fresh discussion of 
several other laws of the Colony, and even of its consti- 
tution, which I defended in the best manner I could. 
With regard to the other laws, I hope, he was pretty well 
satisfied ; but this he could not by any means be induced 
to put up with, but finally insisted, as I have said, that it 
must be laid before government. What length it will be 
parried, I cannot pretend to say. The intimations given 
but by some inferior officers of government are, that it 
must be declared null and void by the King in Council, 
pr the Colony be enjoined By a decree of the Lords of 
Council to repeal it ; or, finally, that it be made a ground 
pf an act of Parliament obliging the Colony in future to 
send home all their acts for the royal approbation or dis- 
allowance. I need not say how very disagreeable either 
pf these courses would be, or what inconveniences they 
knight involve us in, and shall prevent them if possible. 

■ is rather unfortunate that this dispute happens just at 
this juncture, to irritate the minds of Administration, at 
the -moment our cause is coming to a decision \ however, 
we must make the best of it. 

At a meeting of the Lords of the Council the 22d ult., 
a motion was made that their Lordships would assign a 
day for hearing a motion we proposed to make for dis- 
mission of the appeal in the Mohegan Case, upon the 
extraordinary nature of it, and for want of due prosecu- 
tion. Mr. York (counsel against us) strongly opposed this, 
insisting that we were not entitled to such motion sepa- 
rate from the merits, but that the whole must be heard 


together. After some debate we prevailed, and the Lords • it 
appointed the first day of their next sittings for hearing 
this motion, which the Lord President assured us should 
be, at farthest, before the expiration of this month. After 
much deliberation, we thought it advisable to take this 
ground, and make it a separate previous point, because, 
should we succeed, it puts an effectual end to the cause, 
and will save us some expense ; if we do not succeed, we 
shall still have the merits of the cause open to us, and 
shall probably litigate it with better advantage by thisj 
previous trial of our adversaries' strength, as well as from 
what we may be able to collect of the sentiments of the 
Lords upon this opening, especially as it is intended to 
select and insist upon such parts of the merits as tend] 
immediately to show the hardship of the case, and the 
extraordinary nature of the proceedings. Nothing, I asn 
sure you, will be omitted, to make the most of this and (h 
every other part of the case. How it will issue nobody 
can pretend to say ; but should it even turn out unfor- 
tunately, it will be no inconsiderable consolation that we 
have fought every inch of ground, and done everything 
in our power to defend ourselves against this unreason- 
able demand. 

It is not \|orth while to trouble you with anything 
relative to the general state of political affairs before 
the meeting of Parliament, which is now very near, and 
will probably open some new scenes. I must however 
inform you, that, though Ministry have hitherto adhered 
to their idea of repealing only a part of the late revenue 
act, and though we do not yet seem likely to have much k 
aid from the merchants or manufacturers, to enable us to Jllj] 
push it much farther, yet there is a tolerable prospect of 
our receiving some assistance from a quarter whence we 
did not expect it. The East India Company, it is proba- 
ble, will petition for a repeal of the duty upon tea, the 
only article which Ministry themselves much wish to 



Id i 





tain. They have, in fact, reason to complain. At the 
lie of their late stipulation with government to give 
em £400,000 per annum, this article of tea was also in 
(►ntemplation, and when the old duty upon exportation 
as taken off, the company were also induced to agree to 
[demnify government to the amount of its net produce, 
it expectation that, tea becoming so much cheaper in 
ie Colonies, the consumption would not only be greatly 
kreasedj but all smuggling totally prevented. They 
JDped, therefore, by the increased sales, to be reim- 
lursed, not only the amount of the old duty, which as 
j sum in gross they had agreed to pay to government, 
jut also to make a considerable additional profit to the 
[ompany. The late duty that we complain of as an 
pair of revenue, (though less than the former duty,) and 
pe consequent dispute, have defeated their expectations. 
[hey therefore find themselves holclen to pay a large cer- 
iin sum to government, without any prospect of being 
eimbursed in the manner they expected, and that was 
y Administration held out to their view as the ground 
f the agreement. In fact, the consideration of the stip- 
lation has ceased, or rather appears never to have ex- 
ited, or at least to be totally inadequate ; and they think, 
rith reason, that they ought to be released from it. This 
natter is, however, only in its embryo, and it is not cer- 
ain anything can be made of it; but pains will be taken 
o cultivate it, and it may perhaps produce good fruit. 

I acquainted you some time ago that w r e had very 
sanguine expectations of a war with France and Spain, 
rhose apprehensions have subsided for the present. Our 
Ministers, to do them justice, have behaved upon this 
>ccasion with becoming spirit, and though we are not yet 
et into the particulars of the transaction, it seems pretty 
jvident that they have by their firmness and fortitude 
•epressed the insolence of France, and shown them that 
hey were, notwithstanding all their embarrassments, nei- 


ther to be frightened nor bullied. Indeed, that spirit of q 
intrepidity and obstinacy, which renders them so dis- L 
agreeable to the free people of England, is perhaps the ( 
best qualification they could possess in treating with for- 
eigners, and especially with the haughty Court of France 
and the insolent Minister of that country. By whatever 
means it has been effected, the fact is their Ambassador is 
arrived in England, has quietly resumed his office, and 
everything for the present wears the face of friendship 
and good humor. That it is, however, perfectly hollow 
and deceitful, nobody doubts. 

Having so lately mentioned to you that we should 
speedily want more money, I would not so soon repeat it, 
did I not see our expenses every day increasing, in such a 
manner as to render it very necessary to ask farther remit- 
tances to prevent bur running behindhand, which for the 
honor of the Colony, as well as the advantage of the cause, 
I am solicitous to avoid. Not to mention my own expen- 
ses, which you see by the accounts transmitted are very 
considerable (and I cannot with any decency reduce them), 
every consultation with our counsel costs us twenty guin- 
eas, though but for an hour ; they cannot have less than 
twenty-five guineas with their briefs (I fear more), besides 
forty guineas per diem while they attend at the Cockpit. 
Our Case, which you know is uncommonly long, must " 
be printed, 1 besides solicitor's fees, and a variety of other 
charges, almost endless to enumerate. Such is the enor- 
mous expense of causes of consequence before the Coun- 
cil; much beyond that of any other courts even here, 
and truly amazing to American moderation. I am, with 
the greatest respect and esteem, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 



1 The volume known as " The Mohegan Case," printed at this time, is 
already referred to in a note on page 222. That was printed by Mason, and 
includes the Case as presented in 1743. The formal Case for the Colony as 
printed by Johnson, here referred to, we have never seen. — Eds. 



January 3d. 

Since the above, I have seen Lord Hilsborough again, 

ho insists that the late law must be laid before the King 

h Council, for their determination thereon. All I can 

jbtain is, that I shall be notified when it comes on, and 

admitted to appear before them to justify the act, &c. I 

ill do so, and make the best defence I can. 

Your most obedient servant, 

W. S. J. 

Indorsed, " Received from Hartford Post- Office, May 1st, 1770.' ' 

Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, January 10th, 1770. 

. Sir, — I have a few moments' time, by an unexpected 
felay of the packet, to enclose you the King's speech, and 
Jo acquaint you that there were last night very warm 
lebates upon the address, in answer to it, in both Houses 
>f Parliament. The Duke of Ajicaster moved the address 
ffi the House of Lords, which was seconded by Lord Dun- 
nore, Governor of New York. The Earl of Chatham 
who, after three years' absence from Parliament, has again 
ippeared in opposition) immediately moved an amend- 
nent, the substance of which was to assure his Majesty 
hat they would inquire into the causes of the uneasiness and 
complaints of the people, particularly relative to the Middlesex 
lection. This was the ground of the debate, in which all 
;he principal speakers amongst the Lords were engaged 
)n one side or the other. But I should lose this con- 
veyance should I attempt to give you even the most 
concise idea of it ; nor is it so very material, as it turned 
ihiefly upon the Middlesex affair. America was but inci- 


dentally mentioned. Lord Chatham said, in substance, 
with regard to it : " The chapter of America is too long to 
go into at present; it is, however, a great and important 
subject. I have not altered my general ideas with regard to 
the principles upon which America should be governed. I own I 
have a propensity towards that country. I love liberty ivherever 
it is seated. That country ivas settled upon ideas of liberty, and, 
to use the allusion of Scripture, the vine has taken deep 
root and spread through the land. May it long flourish ; 
but I am the friend, not the flatterer, of America. I own they 
have done tvrong in many things, yet I wish you would not 
use so harsh an expression with regard to their proceed- 
ings as to call them (which is the language of the address) 
umvarrantable combinations. Let us inquire coolly and can- 
didly into the nature of them, before we censure them so 
severely. Call them dangerous if you will, but strike out 
the other word ; it implies a great deal. Two millions of 
subjects should be treated more candidly." In another part 
of his speech, speaking of the dangerous attack made 
upon the constitution in the Middlesex Case, which he 
called laying the axe to the root of the tree : " Let us 
save this noble, this amiable constitution, thus danger- 
ously invaded at home. Let us extend the benefits of it 
to the remotest corners of the empire. Let slavery exist 
nowhere amongst us. It is of so dangerous, so cankerous a 
nature, if it is established in any part of the dominions, it 
will spread through the whole. America enslaved may help 
to enslave you" &c. To the surprise of everybody, the 
Lord Chancellor in the Lords, and the Marquis of Granby 
in the Commons, deserted Administration and joined the 
Opposition upon the point of the Middlesex election. 
The Lord Chancellor said, as to America, he in general 
agreed with his noble friend, Lord Chatham. He was the friend 
of America, and wished to recover its obedience by lenient meas- 
ures, but he could not enter into the subject at present. 
The Duke of Richmond, Lord Shelburne, &c, also spoke 


leveral kind things in our favor. The other side said 
lome pretty severe things, but preserved tolerable temper 
[o wards the Colonies. After all, upon the division, 100 
■fere against the amendment to 36 for it. It seems to 
jje intended to declare the agreements not to import 
boods unlawful combinations ; but it is not fit to determine, 
tvith any precision, what is intended, or what course 
things will take upon this first opening. 

The debate was, if possible, still more animated in the 
House of Commons (where a like amendment to their 
fiddress was also moved), and did not end till this morn- 
ing at one o'clock. There, too, America was but inci- 
pentally touched. The Middlesex controversy seems 
almost to swallow up all other matters. However, Barre 
and Burke both lashed and ridiculed the conduct of Ad- 
ministration towards the Colonies with great spirit and 
humor, and the latter made himself and the House very 
merry with Lord Botetourt's speeches and proceedings 
with the Virginia Assembly, and their resolves. The di- 
vision in the House of Commons was 244 to 136. 

Such is the strength of Administration ! It is a doubt 
whether the Lord Chancellor will not be obliged to re- 
sign the seals in consequence of this desertion. It must 
be owned, in justice to the Duke of Grafton, that he 
defended himself both against Lord Chancellor and Lord 
Chatham with very great ability and eloquence. He 
shows himself to have both talents and application; his 
firmness nobody doubts, and farther experience will make 
him a very able Minister, if, indeed, he is not so already. 
He was well seconded by Lord Mansfield, whose speech 
was a master-piece of art and address, and showed his 
! amazing abilities in a most striking point of light. But 
I can no more. The mail closes this instant, and I am, 
with perfect respect and esteem, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

\V M Sam ll Johnson. 


Ireland is in great confusion. I cannot now state the 
occasion of it. I trust you will see it in the papers. It 
is a question of prerogative. 

Indorsed, " Received from Hartford Post-Office, May 1st, 1770." 


To Wm. Samuel Johnson, Esq. 

Lebanon, January 29th, 1770. 

Sir, — I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt 
of your favor to Governor Pitkin of September 18th, 
which came to my hand 27th of December, and men- 
tions one you wrote to him, the latter end of July, not; 

This shows us the fluctuating, distracted condition the 
nation is in ; the difficulties and embarrassments men al- 
ways bring on themselves whenever they forsake the old 
path of justice and equity and attempt to establish des- 
potism ; the danger of embarking deeply with any party 
while both are desirous to render the Colonies effectually 
useful and subordinate to that country, that they may 
reap the fruits of all our labors, and conduct all our 
affairs solely with a view to their own emolument. Mu- 
tual interests alone can bind the Colonies to the mother 
country. When those interests are separated, each side 
must assuredly pursue their own ; and that side can use 
but one fair, honest, and effectual way to prevent detri- 
ment from this, — which is to maintain our mutual con- 
nection in interest, to encourage our raising such growth, 
and making such manufactures, as will not prejudice their 
own in any degree equal to the advantage they bring. 
When any such commodities are raised or made, they ought 
to be taken off our hands, or the best markets pointed 


out to us, and the people ought not to be forced to find 
out other markets by stealth; nor the trade loaded with 
duties and encumbered with officers to seek out our vital 
! blood, with no other benefit to the mother country or 
I to this than that of taking off some of their dependent, 
jwretched sycophants and their detestable tools. This 
'country has long been accustomed to industry and fru- 
igality, and when they see others reap the largest fruits 
of their labors to uphold domination over them, and live 
'away in luxury among them, it is an insupportable bur- 
iden. The old path is the safest, and change cannot be 
imade without the utmost danger. The people of all the 
'Colonies, excepting officers and their dependents, so far as 
I can find, are firmly united for the maintenance and 
I support of their rights and privileges, — unwilling to be 
(taxed internally or commercially by any legislative but 
their own, or to have any Commissioners of the Customs 
Ito lord it over them, or drain off their earnings. 

I have now the satisfaction of your very useful and 
interesting favor to myself of October 16th. On the first 
part, relative to the Mohegan controversy, I know noth- 
ing at present, from this side, to be added on that sub- 
ject, only that I have been told that some of the Indians 
begin to think themselves mistaken, and endangered by 
[embarking so far with Mr. Mason in the pursuit of that 
i controversy, and to be sensible of the justice and hu- 
manity of the Colony towards them. The close connec- 
tions the Mohegan Indians have with the Five Nations, 
and through them with the far tribes throughout the con- 
tinent, is a far-fetched stretch of imagination, altogether, 
las you say, groundless and ridiculous. Any disinter- 
ested American on that side of the water, acquainted with 
I them, their situation and connections, knows it to be so. 
;You have General Lyman and Mr. Wyllys there, who, I 
dare say, must know the falsehood of such suggestion. 
I very much question whether there is any one of the 



Mohegans known to a single Indian belonging to the 
Five Nations, or any, the lowest kind of connection sub- 
sisting between them. However, I trust the justice and 
equity of the cause of our side will appear, and defend 
against the injurious designs formed against us; nor are 
the advantages that can accrue to undertakers for them 
an object worthy their attention. 

There have no new applications been made here rela- 
tive to writs of assistance; and, I believe, all the courts 
of the other Colonies are united with us, save only of 
the Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire, the , reason 
of whose conduct is well known. The friends of Sir 

F B d are using every artifice to bring about 

a disunion at Boston, and insinuate that the Southern 
Colonies differ greatly from the Northern; that they will 
erelong renounce all connections with them. This event they 
wish, rather than can think probable. The resolutions of 
the Virginia Commons' House of Assembly were commu- 
nicated from the Speaker, as well to ours as to the other 
Assemblies, and return was sent to them from hence in 
full concurrence. I cannot learn from any quarter that 
the union, fortitude, and steady firmness of any of the 
Colonies are in any measure relaxed or abated. Un- 
wearied endeavors are used by the Opposition to break 
all union and confidence in each Colony, as well as to 
disunite the Southern from the Northern, which, I be- 
lieve, will be beyond their power to accomplish. 

What you have kindly communicated in your post- 
script serves to explain to us the conduct of Sir F 

B d's friends at Boston. The Assembly is, by order 

from his Majesty, prorogued until March. Sundry mer- 
chants, who had agreed with their brethren to the non- 
importation of goods, — viz. the sons of Lt. Gov. H , 

Ben Green and sons, &c, — have broke off from the 
agreement, and use measures to induce others to do the 
like ; and many shopkeepers, whose daily bread depends 


on that business, unable to stand the shock, would will* 
: ingly depart therefrom. This occasions a hard struggle 
. among them. Threats are given out to use the troops 
, there, and the commanding officer hath ordered his men 

to equip themselves with twelve rounds for an attack; 

while the people stand their ground firmly, and it is to be 

• hoped the struggle will end without success to Sir F 

\ B el's friends. The principal people in Boston, and 

] the landholders and most substantial people in the neigh- 
' borhood and through the country, stand firm to the 
\ agreement, and manufactures appear to increase and 
j flourish. Such as these are the marks of union. 

If Parliament is dissolved, will it be necessary for the 
Colonies to form new addresses to the King for redress of 
' grievances ? In what manner can it be done ? This and 
Rhode Island Colony can meet; but most probably the 
t others, under the King's Governors, will not have oppor- 
: tunity. It is hard to break connections with our mother 
| country; but when she strives to enslave us, and turn all 
I our labors barely to her own emoluments, without con- 

* sidering us as her own sons and free-born fellow subjects, 
I the strictest union must be dissolved. This is our conso- 
•, lation, that the All-wise Director of all events will bring 
i to pass his own good purposes, — establish his own de- 
: signs and works, — to whom we may look for direction, in 
j this our critical situation. 

I have enclosed, for your own private use, sundry 
] things. First, one of our old Colony books, a copy of the 
j old patent for Connecticut from the Earl of Warwick, 
said to be Governor or President of the Council of Ply- 
mouth, to Lord Say, &c, March 19th, 1631. Salmon says, 
that the same, which he afterwards granted as afore- 
said, was confirmed by King Charles to the Earl of 
Warwick in the year 1630. Mr. George Fen wick sold 
the same to this Colony, agreement dated 5th December, 
1644. It is wanted to be known here how these things 


stand. Second, is a letter sent from the Colony of Con- 
necticut to Lord Say, &c, by Governor Winthrop, at 
the time he went agent from this Colony to obtain our 
charter. Third, is the petition of the General Court at 
Hartford to King Charles the Second for a charter of 
incorporation [»%.] on which thereby a charter or patent 
to this Colony was obtained. These will serve to show 
you some of the ancient proceedings relative to the title 
of the Colony to the lands therein contained. Fourth, the 
agreements relative to New York, and the line settled 
between his Royal Highness' s patent and that to Con- 
necticut. It is requested of you to get authentic copies 
of the Duke of York's grants, and likewise those to Penn- 
sylvania, that we may have them to use on occasion of 
any future claims or de[mands] that may arise. For 
your further information I have enclosed a memorial 
presented by Sir Henry Ashurst relating to appeals from 
the Colony of Connecticut to his Majesty in Council; 
and also copy of an act for reuniting to the Crown the 
government of several Colonies and Plantations in Amer- 
ica, wherein the provisos are [to] be remarked. Against 
passing this bill, Sir Henry Ashurst petitioned the Lords, 
and was heard. What became of it is not known here 
at this time. 

I have special direction to write to you to prove the 
authentic copies of the Duke of York's and Mr. Penn's 
patents. The rest of my letter, and the enclosed copies, 
you will use with the caution and circumspection due to 
any other friendly correspondent. 

I wish to know, if it may be with safety, who are the 
special friends and directors of Mr. Mason in the Mohegan 
cause. Surely they must be deceived in their expectations 
to gain any great emolument to themselves thereby. I 
am, with full confidence and perfect truth and esteem. 1 

1 The above is printed from a rough draft, in some parts illegible, of 
Governor Trumbull's letter to Mr. Johnson. — Eds. 



Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, February 3d, 1770. 

Sir, — The motion for dismission of the Mohegan cause 
jwas heard a few days ago, and decided against us. The 
Lords were of opinion that they could not dismiss it upon 
j motion, but have determined to hear it at large upon 
'the merits, as soon as possible. At first, they thought 
the business of Parliament and the common law courts 
would prevent their sitting again before June; but upon 
our earnest entreaties they agreed to try it, if possible, 
the second week in April. The point was well argued, 
but we were very unfortunate in not having Sir Fletcher 
Norton at the board, on whose opinion we very much 
relied, and who was, a few days before, chosen Speaker of 
the House of Commons. The Master of the Eolls took it 
up very strongly against us, upon very narrow principles 
of mode and form, to which he is much attached, neglect- 
ing the large ideas of right and policy upon which we 
founded our motion. Some of the Lords, indeed, thought 
that the late and former war, during which they had de- 
clined determining American titles, excused the delay 
which had happened on the part of the appellants. 
Nothing fell from any of them from whence w T e could 
collect their opinions upon the merits ; but it is apparent 
from the event of this motion that we can expect no de- 
gree of favor. We have nothing to rely upon but the 
justice of the cause, and I wish that may have fair play. 
If it has, I am persuaded it will be decided in our favor; 
if not, there is no judging of consequences. 

American affairs have not yet been taken up in Parlia- 
ment, but we expect they will be entered upon in a very 
few days. Lord North, who is now at the head of all af- 
fairs, tells us they intend to repeal only the duty upon the 


three articles. Our assurances that this will signify noth- 
ing yet make no impression upon them. The merchants, 
after several meetings, have agreed to apply for the repeal 
of the whole act, and their petition will be presented im- 
mediately, though they do not seem to be very sanguine 
in their expectations of success. Though they and the 
manufacturers make some complaints, they are by no 
means clamorous ; and the opponents of the repeal allege 
that they cannot have a more proper time to try whether 
Britain or America will hold out longest, and that it is 
best to let the matter be now determined in that way. 
It is said here, and I fear it is in part true, that large 
quantities of goods still go out, especially to New England, 
in one clandestine manner or another. They threaten us 
with some act or resolutions to render agreements not to 
import criminal ; and it seems not unlikely that something 
of this kind will be attempted. Will this have any other 
effect than to make the people agree not to consume, 
which will be much more effectual than any agreement 
not to import ? What seems most to influence against the 
repeal is the opinion many have formed, (founded, as they 
pretend, upon the extravagant demands of the people of 
Boston,) that America will not be satisfied with anything 
less than the repeal of all the acts of Parliament relating 
to the Colonies, even that of Navigation, and that there- 
fore they had best make their stand where they now are, 
disannulling only those duties which are anti-commercial. 
I am not sure that the Opposition will take up our cause 
with spirit ; at least, if they do, I fear it will be only so 
far as may serve the purposes of pure opposition, not 
upon the great principles upon which we stand, and if so, 
what they do will lose much of its weight. The East 
India Company will, I think, disappoint the hopes we had 
formed of them. They are divided into two bitter parties, 
and what one approves and pursues, the other, of course, 
almost disapproves, and as far as they can, defeats. One 


party (and the strongest at present) say they will apply 
to Parliament only to be discharged of the stipulation so 
far as it affects them, and then let Government, if they 
,-please, lay a duty of 2/6 instead of 3d. in America, to re- 
imburse themselves ; that they have a sufficient vent for 
their black teas (the kind that alone goes to the Colonies) 
in Europe, and care not whether America takes any or not. 
They may leave off the use of it entirely, or get it, if 
jthey can, from Holland or France, as far as they are con- 
cerned. Such is the language of many, so that it seems 
I as if we must stand pretty much upon our own ground; 
; and in that case our prospect of success at present is not 
(the most sanguine. It may, however, turn out better 
I than I imagine. I can write only for the present moment. 
In this ferment, or rather paroxysm of politics, the symp- 
toms vary almost every twenty-four hours. 

I enclose you Governor Pownall's State of the Consti- 
tution of the Colonies, which, though you will not agree 
with him in every particular, you will think curious ; and 
it is of use also to know the ideas of different gentlemen 
upon this various and complicated subject, upon which 
hardly any two men in this country think exactly alike. 
This paper is not published, but only handed out to 
particular friends. The last point, relative to the mili- 
tary, is of vast importance; but, I fear, will not bear to 
be pushed much at present. 

Our 5 per cent act is not yet come before the Lords 
of the Council. Lord Hilsborough, in the last conver- 
sation I had with him upon the subject, was a little more 
moderate, and I wish I may be able to keep it where it 
is ; but this I am not sure of. 

The public papers will, I presume, have acquainted 
you with the various changes which have taken place 
amongst the great officers of government ; but lest they 
should not, I will mention some of the principal ones. 
The seals were taken from Lord Camden, and, after be- 


ing refused by the two Chief Justices, Lord Mansfield 
and Sir Eardly Wilmot, were given to Mr. Yorke, who 
died three days after ; and they are now in commission 
with Baron Smythe, and the Judges Bathurst and Ashton, 
nor is there any appearance who will take them next. 
The Marquis of Granby resigned all his employments ex- 
cept his regiment, and is succeeded as General of the Ord- 
nance by Mr. Conway; but his post of Commander-in-chief 
of the Army remains vacant. The Dukes of Manchester 
and Northumberland, the Earls of Huntington and Cov- 
entry, with several others in high offices about the court, 
also resigned, or were dismissed. These changes were all 
occasioned by the dispute about the Middlesex election. 
Sir Jno. Oust, on account of his ill health, resigned the 
chair, was replaced, as I have said, by Sir Fletcher Nor- 
ton, now Speaker of the House of Commons, and died a 
few days afterwards ; and, when all seemed to be settled 
again, of a sudden, to the astonishment of everybody, but 
to the great joy of very many, the Duke of Grafton (Prime 
Minister) also resigned. This, it was thought at first, 
would have overset the whole system; but Lord North 
has taken his place, retaining still his office of Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, and they seem determined to stand 
their ground, and pursue the same system. The conjec- 
tures upon the Duke of Grafton's resignation are innu- 
merable. He says he found his constitution would not 
bear the fatigue he was obliged to undergo; but it is 
probable there was also some difference between him and 
the Duke of Bedford and his friends. He has since ac- 
cepted the Privy Seal, and promises his support to his 

Thus surprising have been the fluctuations on the side 
of Government. On the other hand, the several great 
parties of Rockingham, Chatham, Grenville, Temple, Shel- 
burne, &c. (however differing amongst themselves), are 
all firmly leagued in Opposition, and make a formida- 


ble figure. These changes have greatly interrupted the 
proceedings of Parliament. All the time, almost, that 
they have had to spare from them, has been appropriated 
I to the Middlesex election, which has been debated in both 
Houses with the most consummate ability and eloquence, 
and with all the vehemence, and even acrimony, of party. 
The first debate in the Commons continued from two 
o'clock in the afternoon till four in the morning, and the 
second till one ; and in the Lords, from two in the after- 
noon till three in the morning. Hitherto, the Ministry 
have carried it in favor of the last year's decision by a 
majority, on the first division in the Commons, of 44, and 
on the second by 40, which are considered as small major- 
ities for the House of Commons. The divisions in the 
House of Lords were, on the first debate, exclusive of 
proxies, 96 to 47, and on the second, including proxies, 
106 to 49 ; but neither House has yet done with it, and 
they are so eagerly engaged on this subject that they 
can hardly attend to anything else. The great question 
is whether the House of Commons alone can declare inca- 
pacities, or whether expulsion includes incapacity. The 
minority contend that incapacities can be created only 
by act of Parliament, and that the House of Commons 
have violated the rights of all the electors of England, 
and sapped the foundations of the constitution ; the other 
side insist (and it is hitherto so resolved) that expulsion 
includes incapacity, and that the Commons have kept 
within the bounds of their proper and necessary juris- 
diction. The people are pretty quietly waiting their de- 
termination, and the K — g is perplexed enough. 

Before I conclude, give me leave (lest my former let- 
ters should have miscarried) to repeat my requests for 
farther remittances of money, as well to carry on the 
cause as for my support. The government's money, Mr. 
Jackson tells me, is all, or very nearly, expended ; and I 
know we must owe a large sum to our solicitor, &c, as 


well as incur farther very large and inevitable expenses 
at the future hearing. We have credit, I make no doubt, 
and I can myself, perhaps, do well enough upon that 
ground; but it is neither an agreeable, nor, I appre- 
hend, a prudent situation, to be carrying on so impor- 
tant a lawsuit upon credit only. It certainly cannot 
proceed with that spirit which proper supplies of cash 
afford to every undertaking, especially in this opulent, 
not to say mercenary country. It has the appearance of 
a disagreeable and unbecoming poverty, which will be 
in danger of placing us and our affairs in an unimpor- 
tant, perhaps a despicable light. Pardon this liberty, 
which the necessity of my situation compels me to take, 
and permit me to assure you that I am, with the greatest 
truth and esteem, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

February 5th. 

Sir, — I have now the honor of yours of the 8th of 
November, and beg leave to repeat my hearty condolence 
with you on the loss the Colony has sustained by the 
death of our late very worthy Governor, and to rejoice 
sincerely with you and the Colony in your elevation to 
the chief command, and the happy supply of the vacancies 
occasioned thereby, in consequence of which, I doubt not, 
the affairs of the government will be well and wisely ad- 
ministered. Nothing is of so much importance as that 
the. principal departments of government should be filled 
by gentlemen of the first reputation for ability, wisdom, 
virtue, and integrity. On this the honor and interest of 
the Colony, and its security and happiness, (for which 
I am extremely solicitous,) do most essentially and abso- 
lutely depend. 

I am much obliged to you for communicating to me 
the correspondence with Lord Hilsborough, which, so far 


as I may presume to judge, has been prudently and 
properly conducted. 

The inquiry you direct, after the several conveyances 
ijrelative to the title of the Colony, shall be pushed with 
kll diligence, but I fear will be fruitless farther than 
jto the grant of the Plymouth Company. The others, I 
Idoubt, are not to be found in any public repository, and 
it must be extremely difficult to trace them if in private 
pands. However, due search shall be made, and, I hope, 
jwill be attended with success. The Duke of York's grant, 
Sand those to the other governments, may certainly be had 
mere, if not obtained there. I have already mentioned to 
you all that seems material in the occurrences here, and 
•have the honor to be, 

Your most obedient and most humble servant, 

Indorsed, " Received April 20th, 1770." 


Hon. Jon th - Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, February 26th, 1770. 

Sir, — I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt 
of your favor of the 13th of December, 1769, with dupli- 
cate of that of the 8th of November, and am exceedingly 
surprised that you should then have received no later 
letters from me than those of the 26th of April and 26th 
of May. They must certainly have miscarried, or been 
very uncommonly delayed, since I wrote Governor Pitkin 
several times in the course of July, August, and Septem- 
ber, and in answer to yours of the 14th of July in October, 
all which should, in course, have come to hand by the 
time you wrote. I also did myself the honor to write to 
you the beginning of December, as soon as I heard of the 


death of Governor Pitkin, and have since continued the 
correspondence on the 2d and 10th of January and 3d 
and 5th of February, which I hope will reach you in 
due time. 

It is very extraordinary that Mr. Park should hope to 
make use of one wrong action as a means to support 
another. From your state of the case it appears very 
evident that justice has been done in the suit against 
Mr. Mott, and I myself remember to have been consulted 
by Captain Durkee, and to have concurred in advising 
the action he brought, and in which I have the pleasure 
to see he has recovered. Certainly they could have no 
pretence to hold the negroes, either against Captain Dur- 
kee or Captain Hyde, and may think themselves very 
well off that they escape only with returning them, or 
paying damages for the detention, as the transaction 
seems clearly to have been something more than a sim- 
ple trespass. I hope their insinuations against the justice 
of the Colony will not have much effect ; they certainly 
cannot, where we can have opportunity to confront them 
by a true state of facts ; but the mischief is, that these 
insinuations are made in secret, and are often only dis- 
covered by the pernicious effects they have produced. 
It is extremely infamous to make use of such low, vile 
acts, which set all honor, truth, and honesty at defiance. 

It is not intended, at present, to send any bishops into 
the American Colonies; had it been, I should certainly 
have acquainted you with it ; and should it be done at 
all, you may be assured, it will be in such manner as in 
no degree to prejudice, nor, if possible, even give the 
least offence, to any denomination of Protestants. It has, 
indeed, been merely a religious, in no respect a political 
design. As I am myself of the Church of England, you 
will not doubt that I have had the fullest opportunity to 
be intimately acquainted with all the steps that have been 
ever taken in this affair, and you may rely upon it that it 


never was, nor is, the intention, or even wish, of those 
who have been most sanguine in the matter, that Ameri- 
can bishops should have any the least degree of secular 
power, of any nature or kind whatsoever, much less any 
manner of concern, or connection, with Christians of any 
other denomination ; nor even any poiver, properly so 
called, over the laity of the Church of England. They 
wish him to have merely the spiritual powers which are 
incident to the episcopal character as such, which in the 
idea of that Church are only those of ordination and 
confirmation, of presiding over and governing the clergy 
of that Church ; which can of course relate to those of 
that profession only who are its voluntary subjects, and 
can affect nobody else. More than this would be thought 
disadvantageous rather than beneficial ; and would be 
opposed, I assure you, by no man with more zeal than 
myself, even as a Churchman. Nay, I have the best 
grounds to assure you, that more would not be accepted 
by those who really understand and wish well to the 
design, were it offered. 

We are making search for the conveyances you directed 
to be inquired after, have found the grant to the Ply- 
mouth Company, and hope to discover the rest ; but the 
other affair you mention, of Major Fenwick, is, I fear, too 
obscure, and of too long standing, to be made anything 
of. Though there is no express statute limitation of suits 
for legacies, yet the presumption of payment or discharge, 
arising from such a length of time, as effectually bars 
any demand of this nature as even any statute could do. 
However, I will see what can be discovered with regard 
to it. 

Ttie grants we are searching for, if discovered, will give 
some light in the Susquehanah affair, and may be neces- 
sary to give a complete opinion upon the subject ; but, 
as thus advised, I have a very good opinion of the legal 
right of the Colony to those Western lands, notwithstand- 


ing the settlement with New York, and know not how 
it could be avoided upon a fair trial at law. Those 
lands are plainly within the words of the charter, and 
that settlement ought not to preclude the title to the 

The opinion, however, that in general prevails here, 
founded upon some decisions of the Lords of the Council, 
is, that all the ancient charters and patents in the Colo- 
nies, being vague in their descriptions, drawn by persons 
often unacquainted with the geography of the country, 
and interfering frequently with each other, must be lim- 
ited by the actual occupation, or other efficient claim, 
evidenced by overt acts of the early settlers ; and since 
this is their notion of the matter, it seems plain that such 
claim would not be very highly favored here, and will 
probably give much offence if made by the Colony. 
Whatever opinion, therefore, I have of the legal right, 
and though I wish extremely well to the Susquehanah 
Company, and have great reason to do so, yet in faithful- 
ness to the Colony, as well as obedience to your com- 
mands, I must say that I think it by no means advisable 
for them to interfere at all in the affair, at this critical 
conjuncture. It appears to me that it can never be of 
any advantage to the Colony, as such, to extend their 
jurisdiction to that country, or to attempt settlements 
there ; I fear the contrary. To do it now will certainly, 
as I have said, give umbrage here, and provoke resent- 
ments, which may be followed with very ill consequences. 
We are watched with a very jealous eye, and no occasion 
will be lost of increasing that jealousy. Such a con- 
stitution cannot but be envied, nor will any favorable 
pretences for subverting it be overlooked. In such a 
contest we should, I fear, not only have to combat the 
prejudices and power of this country, which are great 
enough, I assure you, but could expect no assistance from 
our sister Colonies, — unless from Rhode Island, which 


perhaps would be worse than none, as they, I believe, 
had rather see us reduced to their standard than continue 
in our present situation. At least, that we ought to be 
so. I have known to be the opinion of many gentlemen of 
weight, whom I have met with here from different parts 
of the Continent, as well as of very many of this country, 
otherwise perfectly good friends to the liberties of Amer- 
ica, but who very mistakenly imagine it would be best 
that the constitutions of all the Colonies should be nearly 
similar, and all royal governments. What the opinions 
of those who are not our friends, in other respects, are, 
I need not say. At best, should such claim to that 
Western country not involve us in a contest with 
government, yet at least it will engage us in a dis- 
agreeable controversy with Mr. Penn, and other pow- 
erful individuals, which may be attended with more 
trouble and expense than can be compensated by any 
emolument the Colony can, as far as I see, ever hope 
to derive from the claim, even suppose it established ; 
and with regard to the Susquehanah Company, for 
whose interests, as I have said, I am enough solicitous, 
it does not appear to me that a grant to them is at 
all necessary from the Colony, to enable them to de- 
fend against Mr. Penn. He must make out his own 
title, and recover in his own strength. They are in 
possession, and that possession is good against him, 
until he establishes a clear title, both under the Crown 
and from the Indians, which he can never do while 
it appears that the lands (i. e. the Crown title to 
them, and the right of pre-emption of the natives) were 
granted to the Colony of Connecticut in 1662, before 
the date of his patent. Since, therefore, such grant 
would be of no essential service to the Susquehanah 
Company, and may possibly, at this juncture, be very 
prejudicial to the Colony, in point of prudence I 
think it had better be omitted. Indeed, after the gen- 


tlemen of the Susquehanah Company have tried the 
matter at law (as I apprehend they intend to do), and 
shown the insufficiency of Penn's title, as prevented from 
taking effect by the prior right of the Colony, I should 
think it perfectly right to give them a release of the 
Colony title, when the controversy is over ; but to do 
it now, while the dispute is on foot, will if not cham- 
pertuous, at least seem to be taking some part in the 
controversy ; and it will then, I fear, be thought here 
to be no longer the controversy of the Company, but 
of the Colony (it is indeed already spoken of in that 
light, and it has cost me no small pains to evince that 
it was not so), the resentment will be against the 
Colony alone, and they, we know, may feel conse- 
quences which the Company cannot. I do not, you 
see, at all call in question the right, of which, as I 
have said, I have a very good opinion, and in better 
times should not hesitate to advise the Colony to avow 
it. I doubt only the wisdom and prudence of setting 
up such claim at present, or of interfering in the dis- 
pute of the Susquehanah Company at this time, and 
under the present circumstances of affairs. It is very 
possible, too, that I am not possessed of all the facts 
and circumstances necessary to form a right judgment 
upon this delicate subject, and I may perhaps, be too 
cautious or too timid ; but as you call upon me for 
my opinion, I think it my duty to express these doubts, 
which, however, are with all possible deference sub- 
mitted to your better judgment, and to the wisdom of 
the General Assembly, by whom, you tell me, the mat- 
ter is to be considered. 

Since my last, Parliament, beside proceeding in the 
common routine of business, of supplies, ways and 
means, &c, have again debated the Middlesex election, 
with renewed vigor and vehemence. They have now 
resolved that the decision of the House of Commons inca- 


pacit citing John WilJcs, Esq. ivas agreeable to the laiv of the 
land, and the hioivn and established laiv and custom of Par- 
liament. This was carried by a majority of seventy- 
eight, after a debate of twelve hours; and being so 
pointed a determination, I do not see how the affair 
can be again revived in Parliament, the Lords having 
also resolved that they have no right to examine into 
this or any other determination of the Commons rela- 
tive to matters of election. It is expected the people 
will remonstrate ; but if they do, it can have no imme- 
diate effect. The minority have also tried another pop- 
ular question ; viz. a motion for leave to bring in a 
bill to diminish the influence of the Crown in elections, 
by restraining all officers of the customs and excise 
from giving their votes in the choice of members of 
Parliament, which they lost, after a long debate, by 
a considerable majority. These events give equal 
strength to Ministry, and discouragement to the mi- 

American affairs have been strangely postponed from 
one appointed day to another, and are now set down 
again for the 5th of March; but we have no farther 
grounds of hope than when I wrote last. Our act of 
Assembly is not yet come before the Council, nor ever 
shall if I can prevent it. Lord Halifax is appointed 
Lord Privy Seal, which is an accession of strength to 
Administration. There is nothing farther, I believe, 
worth mentioning to you at present, and I remain, with 
the greatest respect and esteem, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

\Y M Sam ll Johnson. 

P. S. The minority in the House of Commons have 
vigorously pushed an inquiry into the causes of the 
late prodigious arrears of the civil list ; not that they 
are ignorant of them, (for I believe most of them have 



had a share in the expenditure of the money,) but to 
have an opportunity to lash Administration upon a sub- 
ject where no Administration can well speak out, and, 
if possible, to oblige them to disclose certain secrets of 
state not very honorable to those concerned in the 
management of public moneys. The Lords have also 
moved an inquiry into the state of the navy, and an 
increase of seamen, which gave Lord Chatham, and 
others, a fine field to canvass the ministerial conduct 
and proceedings in foreign affairs, as well as in various 
other respects ; and I assure you he did not spare them. 
Indeed, he developed almost the whole system of policy, 
both in peace and war, from the beginning of the pres- 
ent century to the present time, and especially since 
his Majesty's accession; upon which latter period he 
was very particular, and disclosed many important 
secrets. Both these questions, however, were lost by 
considerable majorities. This is said to be the busiest 
session ever known, and that there have been more long 
days, as they call them, or labored debates pushed to 
divisions, already, in the short time Parliament has sat, 
than ever occurred in any former session, however long. 
Your Honor's most obedient servant, 

W. S. J. 

The Assembly of Massachusetts Bay having furnished 
their Agent with no documents in support of their peti- 
tion or complaint against Sir Francis Barnard, it will be 
dismissed, with censure. 

Indorsed, "Received 5th May, 1770." 



William Samuel Johnson, Esq. 

Lebanon, March 3d, 1770. 

Sir, — You will find the authenticity of the account you 
\mention concerning Governor Pitkin s death from my letters, 
I forwarded and I hope received by you before this time. I have 
the satisfaction to acknowledge your favor of December 
5th, to render you my best thanks for the intelligence it 
j contains, for your assiduity in giving the earliest notice 
of the complaint preferred against a late law of the Col- 
|ony, and for your care to prevent any inconveniences 
from this petulant charge. The first two lines and half 
inserted here. I have without loss of time procured and 
enclosed a printed copy of the only act I can think to be 
meant. The grounds of it are, that many persons not in- 
habitants of the Colony transported in small vessels into 
our harbor, rivers, and creeks, and others brought in by 
land, goods and merchandise to sell among the inhabitants 
of the Colony to the prejudice of our own merchants and 
shop-keepers, w T ho pay taxes, you know, to the public 
in proportion to their gains and returns; when these 
people, who reside in the Colony but a short time, pay 
nothing, and thereby are enabled to unsell our own fair 
dealers ; that many such interlopers are men of little or 
no integrity, who often impose on such as purchase of 

It is therefore judged that £5 per cent is not more than 
equivalent to the tax paid by our own dealers, and the 
risk of imposition run by the purchasers, and the charge 
of collecting. You will see by the terms of the act, 
that British goods are not distinguished; indeed, North 
American and West India merchandise and wares are 
equally liable to the same duty. On the New London 
affair, not having in my hands the letter from the col- 


lector of the customs on that occasion, can only say at 
present it made no great noise here. My son, going to 
Hartford, is directed to get and enclose a copy of it for 
your use. I fancy the whole will appear of no great con- 

There was another transaction of the kind at New Ha- 
ven, at the Commencement in September ; an informer 
was taken up and carted about [the] streets with con- 
tempt and ridicule ; the particular occasion and circum- 
stances never came to my knowledge. I believe inferior 
to what hath been usual at other places, both in that 
country or in this. The Northern and Southern Colonies 
remain firmly united, notwithstanding the efforts used to 
bring to pass a disunion. The British goods you mention 
as shipped to foreign as well as British ports in the West 
Indies, clandestinely to be introduced into the Continen- 
tal Colonies, are guarded against, and the non-importa- 
tion agreement is more firmly established : this practice 
shows us that goods are on hand they want to send this 
way. The danger of war you mention is alarming. Our 
natural enemies are restless, and the Northern war is 
likely to light up the flames throughout Europe. Our 
great consolation is, " The Lord reigneth ; let the earth 
rejoice, and the multitude of the isles be glad thereof." 
Are not the accomplishment of some notable prophecies 
at hand ? 

I am, with great truth and esteem, sir, your obedient 
humble servant, 

J. Trumbull. 

P. S. Enclosed from the New London Gazette an ac- 
count of the meetings and doings of the merchants and 
traders of this Colony, at Middletown. This shows their 
spirit, and is attended with general approbation. This 
paper I write on is better than British gilt. It is the 
manufacture of our own Colony. 



Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, March 6, 1770. 

Sir, — At length the American Revenue Act has been 
debated in the House of Commons. Lord North moved 
yesterday for leave to bring in a bill to repeal the duty 
upon three articles only, which he grounded upon the 
promise made by Administration, in their circular letter, 
to propose it to Parliament, and upon the anti-commer- 
cial nature of those duties. The conduct of America, he 
said, had been such as in his opinion to prevent their go- 
ing farther, — by their refusing to be content with this, — 
by their entering into and continuing their combina- 
tions against the trade of this country, which he called 
insolent, unwarrantable, and illegal, and such as Parlia- 
ment must not yield to, nor could without giving up all 
authority over the Colonies. He insisted that the pre- 
amble to the act and the duty on tea must be retained, 
as a mark of the supremacy of Parliament, and an effi- 
cient declaration of their right to govern the Colonies. 
He said it was also an operative duty, and fairly within 
our old distinction between internal and external taxes, 
the latter of which we had admitted they might impose. 
This was a port duty, not an internal tax. That our 
new distinction between taxes for raising a revenue and 
duties for regulation of trade, was too vague to be a line 
of conduct, and would never answer any practical pur- 
pose ; that whatever duties were imposed, they might 
call them regulations of trade, while we should insist 
they were for the purpose of revenue, and the conse- 
quence would be they could impose none to which Amer- 
ica would agree. He expatiated upon the infractions of 
the agreements by the people of Boston, and various 


other circumstances there, (of which he appeared to have 
the most minute and circumstantial intelligence,) as tend- 
ing to evince that those agreements would soon come to 
nothing ; upon the impossibility of our manufacturing for 
the supply of any considerable part of our necessities, 
and their ability to check us if it should ever become 
necessary ; and concluded that our necessities and want 
of union would open the trade, and, with the attention of 
government, secure the dependence of the Colonies. He 
admitted that New York and Pennsylvania had kept 
strictly to their agreements, but imagined they would 
soon give way, as they found them disregarded by 
others, &c., &c. 

The Lord Mayor of London urged the repeal of the 
whole act, upon the ground of justice to the East India 
Company, and upon commercial principles ; but found 
much fault with the claims and principles advanced in 
a pamphlet lately published by the Boston merchants. 
Governor Pownall pursued the same points in a very 
sensible speech, demonstrated the ruinous, alarming sit- 
uation of the trade, from the course of exchange, the 
petition of the merchants, and many other circumstances; 
urged the ability of America to manufacture, the prog- 
ress she had already made, the ill policy of pursuing 
such measures as tended to push her into them, and pro- 
duce at the same time disaffection in the Colonies ; went 
into many other collateral points relative to America, 
and concluded very warmly on the subject of the mili- 

General Mackey, lately returned from Boston, told a 
long, stupid story of his observations in that country, 
very little to the advantage of Boston, and much of it, I 
believe, very ill-founded. Mr. Grenville repeated his old 
opinions of American affairs, insisted upon the want of 
plan in the conduct of Administration, and, till there was 
some plan or other, said he would have no concern in the 


business: if there was any honor to be acquired by what 
they were doing, he wished for none of it; if there was 
any blame to be incurred, he would bear no part of it; 
;and refused to give his vote upon this occasion. He was 
^seconded in his general notions by Mr. Wedderburn, and 
[some others. Lord North was supported by several Min- 
isterial speakers, who repeated and enforced his ideas. 
Lord Barrington, and some of his friends, expatiated 
'(though not in very harsh terms) upon the ill conduct of 
I the Colonies, and upon that ground opposed the repeal of 
. any part of the act. General Conway, Sir William Mer- 
ideth, and Colonel Barre spoke for the repeal of the 
whole, the two latter, especially, extremely well. Barre 
had some fine strokes. Upon the whole, it was not a very 
lively debate, and finally, about twelve o'clock, it was car- 
ried against the Amendment (which had been proposed 
by Mr. Pownall, to include the tea with the other articles), 
by 244 to 142 ; several, I believe, having followed the 
example of Mr. Grenville, and voted on neither side. The 
bill will therefore be brought in only for the repeal of 
the other duties, exclusive of the tea. Lord North, how- 
ever, finally said a negotiation was on foot between the 
Treasury and the East India Company, which it was pos- 
sible (though he would not say probable) might produce 
a repeal of that also ; for though he would never submit 
to repeal it upon the ground of the American pretensions, 
or of their illegal combinations, yet he would not say he 
should oppose it upon the foot of a beneficial agreement 
for the revenue. 

After all the tergiversations amongst the merchants, 
the trade has been this year reduced about seven hun- 
dred thousand pounds, as you see by the following ac- 
count, nearly as it was stated last night from the Custom- 
House entries : — 



Value of all Goods exported from England to the Colonies in North Amer- 
ica, from Christmas, 1767, to do. 1769, distinguishing each Colony. 

1767 to 1768. 

1768 to 1769 

Canada .... 

. 110,000 


Carolina .... 



Florida .... 



Georgia .... 



Hudson's Bay . . 



New England . . 

. 419,000 


New Foundland . 



New Providence . 



New York . . . 



Nova Scotia . . 



Pennsylvania . . . 



Virginia and Marylai 

id 475,000 


How forcible would the commercial argument have 
appeared, had all the Colonies abated in the proportion 
New York has done, who seem to have imported only 
the articles by the agreements ! 

Lord Chatham, speaking two or three nights ago upon 
another subject, took occasion to throw out some of his 
ideas relative to America, which I will repeat to you, I 
believe, pretty nearly in his own words : — 

" The state of affairs in America is also matter of seri- 
ous consideration. I hoped when I came into the affairs 
of Government, some plan would have been discovered 
and adopted for conciliating that country, and quieting 
the disputes we have with our fellow subjects there ; but 
in this, as in all the rest, I have been disappointed and 

" I have been thought to be, perhaps, too much the 
friend of America. I own I am a friend to that country. 
I love the Americans because they love liberty, and I 
love them for the noble efforts they made in the last war. 
But I must own I find fault with them in many things : 
I think they carry matters too far ; they have been 
wrong in many respects. I think the idea of drawing 


money from them by taxes was ill-judged. Trade is your 
object with them, and they should be encouraged ; those 
millions who keep you, who are the industrious hive 
employed, should be encouraged. But (I wish every 
sensible American, both here and in that country, heard 
what I say) if they carry their notions of liberty too far, 
as I fear they do, — if they will not be subject to the 
laws of this country, — especially if they would disen- 
gage themselves from the laws of trade and navigation, 
of which I see too many symptoms, as much of an Amer- 
ican as I am, they have not a more determined opposer 
than they will find in me. They must be subordinate. 
In all laws relating to trade and navigation especially, 
this is the mother country, they are the children ; they 
must obey, and we prescribe. It is necessary ; for in 
these cases, between two countries so circumstanced as 
these two are, there must be something more than con- 
nection, there must be subordination, there must be obe- 
dience, there must be dependence ; and, if you do not 
make laws for them, let me tell you, my lords, they do, 
they will, they must, make laws for you. I say this, 
though rather foreign to the present question, because I 
may not have opportunity, my health may not permit 
me, to explain myself again upon this subject." 

All this tends to evince what I have, I believe, often 
said, that America is to take care of herself. In me mea 
spes omnis est, is a reflection she has but too much reason 
to make upon all these occurrences. But if I go farther 
at present, I shall lose my conveyance, which must also 
apologize for the haste and incorrectness with which I 
write. I am, with perfect esteem and respect, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

The Livery of London have just now agreed to a most 
spirited remonstrance to his Majesty. 


Intelligence is this minute arrived of the revival of the 
spirit of non-importation amongst the Boston merchants, 
which was thought here to be almost at an end. What 
pity it did not arrive five days sooner ! It would have 
spoiled great part of Lord North's argument, but is now, 
I fear, too late to have much effect. 

Indorsed, " Received per Post, May 5th, '70." 

Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

"Westminster, March 28th, 1770. 

Sir, — It is perfectly unnecessary, I presume, to tell 
you particularly what has occurred here since my last of 
the 6th instant, as every newspaper on the Continent l 
must certainly give you the remonstrance of the City of 
London, the King's answer to it, the address of the Lords 
and Commons in consequence of it, (which was the sub- 
ject of much Parliamentary debate before it passed,) the 
procession of the minority, with two hundred thousand 
people at their heels, from the Thatched House, 2 opposite 
the King's palace, into the city to dine with the Lord 
Mayor, the subsequent remonstrance of Westminster, 
and that of the freeholders of Middlesex, which is all 
that is material. 

From the same papers you will also see that this spirit 
of remonstrating will probably yet proceed much farther, 
and where it will end no man can tell. The minority lost 

1 It may be quite unnecessary to say that by the word "Continent," 
here and elsewhere in these letters, the writer means America, or especially 
North America. — Eds. 

2 Thatched House Tavern, St. James Street. A celebrated tavern, with 
a large room for public meetings. — Eds. 


ground on the divisions relative to the address ; many 
of the country gentlemen left them, thinking that the 
remonstrance had gone too far in denying the legality 
of Parliament, and that it was indecent with respect to 
the King. Indeed, nobody would undertake the absolute 
defence of it. They only insisted, that, the right of peti- 
tioning the King being founded in common right, ascer- 
tained by the common law, and secured by the resolutions 
iof Parliament and the express provision of the statute 
! called the Bill of Rights, it could not be punished, even 
though very improperly exercised ; and that they had, 
'therefore, best not to interfere in the matter. The ma- 
jority, however, thought otherwise, which produced the 
address; but it is not expected that they will proceed 
Ho punishment, many who voted for the address having 
(at the same time declared they would go no farther. 
The King, the Princess Dowager of Wales, the Ministers, 
and Parliament have been treated with the utmost con- 
ceivable indignity, in pamphlets, newspapers, and ballads, 
I the former of which are daily hawked through the streets, 
;and the latter sung at every corner and in every square. 
ij Various prosecutions at law have been instituted against 
the publishers, printers, and supposed authors of them, 
"which, however, have yet given no check to these pub- 
'lications, which are continued with the keenest virulence, 
and the most intrepid boldness. Indeed, prosecutions 
and even punishments are courted by very many, as the 
best means of growing into consequence, and wished for 
J by politicians, as likely to render the Ministry and the 
Court still more odious. 

We have been amused with repeated intimations that 
the duty upon tea (as well as the other articles) would be 
repealed before the expiration of the session, and many 
yet rely upon it. For my own part, I think it very little 
to be expected, though we must not absolutely give it 
up, as it is barely possible. The Ministry, I believe, 


intend to see whether the merchants and people of Amer- 
ica have either the resolution or the ability to persevere 
in their agreements. They think it cannot be done, and 
it will now be seen whether America is really in earnest, 
and resolved to preserve her liberties. Surely it will be 
done! And are not the Colonies much obliged to the 
Ministers for this opportunity of giving the fullest proofs 
of their zeal and attachment to their true interests ? 

Governor Pownall tells me he is resolved to move, be- 
fore the end of the session, in the affair of the military, 
which is hinted at towards the close of his paper, which 
I had the honor to send you. This is his own idea, and 
he is fond of it ; but he will certainly, at present, find 
very little support in it. Something may, however, one 
day or other, come of it ; for which reason I encourage 
him to push it, that we may at least know what can be 
said on the other side of the question. 

Lord Hilsborough has been prevailed upon to drop, 
for the present, his design of laying the complaint rela- 
tive to the Connecticut Duty Act before the King in 
Council, and to give the legislature of the Colony oppor- 
tunity to correct it if they think proper, which I insisted 
he ought in justice to do, before any proceedings were 
had upon it here. You will therefore, if you think 
proper, suggest it to their consideration. I have never 
seen the act, though I have repeatedly applied for it, and 
cannot therefore write with precision upon it, but I have 
heard no other objection to it, of any consequence, (or 
which has not been got over,) than that it should have 
excepted goods imported directly from Great Britain by 
British subjects, that is, inhabitants of Great Britain ; for 
it has not finally been denied that we may restrain the 
inhabitants of the other Colonies from importing goods 
into the Colony, though directly from Great Britain. If 
that amendment were therefore made, it would, I pre- 
sume, obviate every objection. I have very cautiously 


|i avoided giving any assurances that any alteration at all 
H would be made in it, and only contended that justice and 
|j propriety required that opportunity should be given for 
it, if the General Assembly of the Colony should upon 
|j reconsideration think proper to do it; to whom alone it 
jmust be referred, and who I had no doubt would do what 
•was wise and fit with regard to it. By putting it upon 
this ground, the present disagreeable altercation of it, 
■ while our other controversy is on foot, is avoided, and it 
; is happily in such a situation that the Assembly may 
| repeal or alter it, salvo et honor e et dignitate, or abide by it, 
Hf they think it of importance enough to risk the conse- 
l quences. In a word, it is fairly open to their determina- 
tion, uninfluenced by any considerations other than such 
las their own wisdom and prudence may suggest. 

Of the conveyances directed to be inquired after, we 
jean yet only find the grant to the Council of Plymouth, 
which I imagine it is hardly worth while to forward till 
'we can discover the others, for which purpose we shall 
i continue our researches. We still expect the Mohegan 
\ cause will be tried in April. We are doing all we can 
jto secure success, but I own to you I am extremely anx- 
ious about the event, and remain, with perfect esteem 
and respect, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam 1 ^ Johnson. 


Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, April 14th, 1770. 

Sir, — I am very sorry to inform you that the trial 
of the Mohegan cause is again postponed. One of the 
counsel for the appellants was not ready to proceed 


this week ; the Attorney-General, on our part, has the 
gout ; Lord Chief Justice Wilmot was obliged to go out 
of town on business; and the Lord President and oth- 
ers of the Council were resolved to do so, for amuse- 
ment or pleasure, during the recess of Parliament for 
the holidays. It is some satisfaction, however, that they 
have peremptorily fixed the 11th of June for the hear- 
ing, beyond which it is agreed on all hands it shall not 
go. No earlier day (on account of the approaching terms, 
and the business of Parliament) could be found, on which 
either the lawyers or Lords of Council could attend upon 
it, and it seems impossible it should be delayed longer 
than that time ; before which I hope we shall receive 
some money, of which we are quite destitute, though it 
is very much wanted. 

It is now absolutely and finally determined, not to 
repeal the duty on tea, in this session of Parliament. 
Alderman Trecothick, having previously demanded a 
day for that purpose, in a very sensible speech repre- 
sented to the House the vast importance of the trade 
of North America to this country ; the absurdity of 
taxing the Colonies, or wishing to draw a revenue from 
thence, when they were possessed of a monopoly of 
their trade, by which they obtained all they had to 
spare, and even more ; the necessity of restoring har- 
mony and quiet to the two countries, from the general 
ill state of affairs in Europe as tending towards a war; 
the injustice of the Stamp Act, and the late Eevenue 
Act ; the insignificancy of the duty on tea ; the en- 
couragement it gave to smuggling ; the necessity the 
late measures had put the Americans under of man- 
ufacturing for themselves, in prejudice to the mother 
country ; the fallacy of their dependence upon the pres- 
ent brisk trade to Germany, and other parts, which 
now found employment for their manufacturers, and 
prevented their complaints, which would have other- 



wise been extremely loud, — a trade which he said was 
in its nature temporary and precarious, and must soon 
fail and leave them (if the Colonies should continue their 
resolutions not to import) in great distress. 

He stated the deficiency of the trade in the last year, 
though several of the Colonies had very illy observed 
their agreements, at seven hundred thousand pounds ; 
that there were ten ships now in the river, whose 
orders for New York alone amounted to three hun- 
dred thousand pounds, which must go out in ballast 
if the duty on tea was not repealed ; and therefore 
finally moved for liberty to bring in a bill for that 
purpose. He was seconded by the Lord Mayor, and 
several others, amongst whom was Lord Beauchamp, 
son of Lord Hertford, — a perfect courtier, who it was 
not expected would have appeared on that side of the 
question. The Minister and his friends would not enter 
directly into the merits of the question, but insisted 
that they could not, in point of order, by the rules 
of the House, resume the consideration of it again in 
this session, it having been before moved to add the 
article of tea to the bill for the repeal of the other 
duties, debated, and rejected. On this question of order 
the debate chiefly turned, and continued several hours. 
Finally, upon Lord Clare's motion for the other order 
of the day, it was carried in the affirmative by eighty 
to fifty-two (the House being very thin), which put an 
end to Trecothick's motion. Mr. Dowdeswell, General 
Conway, the late Solicitor General Mr. Dunning, Sir 
George Savil, &c, spoke for us on the point of order, 
as well as upon the general question. So far as the 
Ministerial speakers went into the argument upon the 
merits, (which was but slightly,) they reasoned upon 
the ill policy of yielding to the combinations of the 
Americans, and the probability that, if Parliament stood 
firm, those agreements would come to nothing, and the 


trade be opened by the necessities of the people. Lord 
North said he wished, as much as any man could do, 
to conciliate the Americans, and to restore harmony 
to the two countries; but he would never be intimi- 
dated by the threats, nor compelled by the combina- 
tions, of the Colonies, to make unreasonable or impolitic 
concessions to them. 

Thus the matter is fairly brought to this issue, whether 
the Americans have or have not the resolution, or the 
ability, to continue and conform to their agreements to 
decline the trade of this country. Many here think it 
impossible, and the Ministry are of the opinion that it 
is now a happy time for them to make the experiment, 
while their trade to other parts of the world is so flour- 
ishing. Not that they have any idea of parting with the 
trade of the Colonies ; they imagine it will return of its 
own accord, and that they shall then forever have done 
with this embarrassment in their management of the Col- 
onies, as the combinations, once dissolved, will never be 
renewed again, or if renewed will give the people of 
this country no apprehensions. No man therefore can 
be at a loss to determine what the Colonies ought to 
do upon this occasion ; and as they determine and con- 
duct, such will be their fate. All depends upon it ; the 
game (if I may be allowed the expression) is in their 
own hands, and whether they will play it well or ill 
depends upon themselves; but without union and firm- 
ness they can do nothing. Happy would it have been 
had the other Colonies imitated the firmness and in- 
tegrity of New York (who, it does not appear here, 
have in any respect infringed their agreements) ; we 
should, I think, have seen a different issue of this busi- 
ness, even in this session. But let us forbear censure. 
It is not too late to repair any miscarriages that have 
happened ; and I must yet believe that there is wisdom, 
virtue, and patriotism enough in that country, not only 


to save it from ruin, but to fix its rights upon a firm 
basis. I am, with the greatest respect and esteem, 
Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Parliament met again the 24th inst. Several things 
relative to the Colonies are yet in idea, but I question 
whether anything very material will be hazarded in this 
i session. 


London, 7 May, 1770. 

Sir, — In answer to your favor of the 15th December, 
I think it necessary to have a little farther time before I 
give my answer to the two important questions you ask 
me. I have not yet read the manuscript Mr. Johnson 
sent me last night. I have had no leisure to search for 
and peruse the grants among our public records ; much 
less have I had opportunity to collect together all the 
other instruments and facts material to the decision ; but 
as a ship sails for New York to-day, I cannot omit saying 
a word on the subject, though I intend to write again by 
a ship that will sail in a few days ; especially as I think 
it incumbent on me to acquaint you that we lost our 
question on the total repeal of the revenue act of the 
7th of his Majesty, by 62, the numbers being 142 against 
204. However, the rest of the act will be repealed, and 
I shall do my farther endeavors to procure the repeal of 
the duty imposed on tea. 

Whatever title the Colony may have to the lands on 
Susquehannah, I think it advisable not to grant that 
title : it may prejudice the Colony in the opinion of those 
whose ill opinion may hurt them ; and I think will not 



sever the grantees, because, if the right of the Colony be 
a good one, neither Mr. Penn nor any one else can have 
a title good enough to recover upon, and therefore any 
one against whom Mr. Penn sets up a claim or institutes 
a suit may make use of the Colony's right to show Mr. 
Penn has none. 

I here enclose Mr. Johnson's receipts not before sent, 
pursuant to the directions I have received from the Col- 
ony. I sent in my last an account between the Colony 
and myself, by which it appears that there is at pres- 
ent £112 Is. lOd. in my hands. In my next, I shall 
transmit a copy of the same account, examined by Mr. 
Johnson. I likewise send the original of my last letter, 
of which the copy was sent by packet. I am informed 
that we shall want for Mr. Johnson's expenses, those of 
the suit, &c, &c, near £1,000, in the course of two or 
three months. I hope the suit will be finally determined 
in two months' time. 

I am, with sincere esteem and great truth, sir, your 
most obedient, most humble servant, 

Richard Jackson. 

I had almost forgot to speak on the subject of a 
Bishop ; for my own part, I shall always oppose from 
principle the sending any Bishop to America, with or 
without authority, and though I believe there are many 
people who do not think as I do on this subject, yet I 
am convinced there is not the least danger of a Bishop 
with any spiritual jurisdiction, unless it be over their own 


Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, May 21st, 1770. 

Sir, — We now see the end of another session of Par- 
liament, very little I fear to the emolument of the Colo- 
nies or of this distracted country. The intelligence of 
the late shocking catastrophe at Boston awakened some 
degree of attention to American affairs, which seemed to 
have been laid aside for the remainder of the session ; 
but as it produced no effect of consequence, I need not 
trouble you with a particular detail of their proceedings. 
Mr. Trecothick immediately moved that all the intelli- 
gence received by Administration relative to the Colo- 
nies, and particularly the transactions at Boston, should 
be laid before the House ; which was agreed to without 
much debate, with an exception, however, that Ministry 
might conceal, as far as they thought proper, the names 
of the informants. While the papers were preparing, 
Governor Pownall, after having been put off from time 
to time, found a favorable opportunity to make the mo- 
tion, which I have before informed you he intended to 
offer, relative to the state of the civil and military com- 
mands in the Colonies. He stated, in a long speech, the 
commissions to the Governors, and that to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Army, explained the nature and 
extent of them, showed their inconsistency with each 
ether, pointed out the dangerous consequences which had 
already followed in some Colonies, and which must in- 
crease and become general, and still more fatal, in all the 
Provinces, from such a separation of powers, rendering the 
military in effect independent of the civil establishment; 
and then moved "That an humble address should be 
presented to his Majesty, most humbly praying his Ma- 
jesty that he would be graciously pleased, with the advice 


of his Privy Council, to give his directions for the exami- 
nation of the several powers and authorities contained in 
the respective commissions granted, and in the respect- 
ive orders and instructions issued to the several com- 
manders, civil and military, in America, to the end that 
all such commissions, instructions, and orders may be 
explained, corrected, and amended in such cases where- 
in they clash or interfere with each other, or contain 
any powers and authorities that are not warranted by 
law and the constitution." He was ably seconded by 
Governor Johnston, who had himself, as Governor of 
West Florida, been involved in some very interesting 
disputes with the military, which have since received 
their determination in Westminster Hall. The Secretary 
at War, Lord Barrington, who took the principal share of 
this debate, defended the military commission, chiefly 
upon the ground of its having been drawn up and ap- 
proved by the late Lord Chancellor Hardwick, who was 
both a very great lawyer and statesman, but he admitted 
it was a delicate subject, and deserved consideration ; that 
therefore, as soon as they understood that doubts had 
been conceived with respect to it, they had stated a case 
for the opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor General, 
before whom it lay for consideration ; and that, in conse- 
quence of their report, this matter would be regulated in 
a satisfactory manner. This effectually forestalled Pow- 
nall's motion, which therefore went off without a divis- 
ion. He had, however, the pleasure of having brought 
the Ministry into this measure, and it is probable that 
some good consequences will follow from it. 

The next thing that occurred was a call of the House, 
by Mr. Burke, to take into consideration the American 
papers, when for three hours he very ably discussed all 
the conduct of Administration relative to the Colonies 
for three years past, which he insisted had been futile, 
inconstant contradictory, absurd, and pernicious; and 


thereupon moved the resolutions which you see in the 
enclosed votes of the House, all tending to censure 
Administration for what was passed, but pointing out 
no plan for the future. Administration defended them- 
selves but very indifferently. Burke was well support- 
ed by Mr. Wedderburn, Mr. Grenville, Colonel Barre, 
and others ; but upon the division they were only 79 
to 199. 

The same resolutions, in substance, were afterwards 
moved by the Duke of Richmond in the House of Lords, 
which you will see in the enclosed newspaper, — which 
also gives you the King's speech at the close of the ses- 
sion, and the second remonstrance of the city of London, 
which is to be presented on Wednesday next. The 
Duke of Richmond was supported by Lords Temple, 
Shelburne, Littleton, &c., and opposed by the Lords Hils- 
borough, Weymouth, and Poulet; but the debate was 
cold, feeble, and unanimated ; neither side seemed to be 
much in earnest, and they were rejected on a division by 
60 to 26. Lord Chatham was not there. He sent word, 
the morning it was to come on, that he was ill ; but there 
are few, I believe, who imagine it was other than a polit- 
ical illness. It is plain enough that these motions were 
not made for the sake of the Colonies, but merely to 
serve the purposes of the Opposition, to render the Minis- 
try, if possible, more odious, so that they may themselves 
come into the conduct of affairs, while it remains very 
doubtful whether they would do much better, if at all, 
than their predecessors. The truth is, they are none of 
them pleased with the face of things in America : the 
Opposition, therefore, only wished to show upon this oc- 
casion how well they could find fault with what had been 
already done, without giving the least hint at what they 
thought ought to take place for the future, with regard 
to which they choose to be perfectly disengaged. The 
Administration were also so cautious of explaining them- 


selves, and continue so close, that there is no saying 
with precision what course they will pursue. From what 
fell from the Secretary at War in the last debate, it 
seems probable that the troops will be removed from 
Boston, and perhaps the Board of Commissioners may 
soon follow them. They are of opinion that the agree- 
ments not to import will come to nothing of themselves, 
otherwise they would have censured them ; and they 
hope the repeal of the duty on the three articles will 
give some satisfaction, and, together with the disunion 
amongst the merchants, effectually open the trade. It 
is certain Administration (and indeed all parties) are 
perplexed enough with regard to the affairs of the Colo- 
nies, and I rather think they have come to no fixed 
determinations, but wait for some farther intelligence 
from that side of the water, which is every day ex- 
pected. Parliament have continued some of the boun- 
ties upon American productions which were near ex- 
piring, and given New York liberty to issue £120,000 
in bills of credit on loan, to be a tender only at their 
loan office and in the treasury. They have passed a 
temporary act relative to custom-house officers' fees, in- 
cluding the Naval Officer, directing that they shall take 
such fees as have been usual, until farther regulations 
are enacted ; and amongst a great many trifling acts, 
and some very ill ones, they have passed two very good 
ones, — one for regulating the trials of contested elec- 
tions, and the other for taking away the privilege of 
Parliament except so far only as relates to the persons 
of the members, by each of which much iniquity and 
injustice may be prevented. 

You will see by the copy of Mr. Penn's petition against 
the Susquehanah Company, which I have forwarded to 
Colonel Dyer, that they are determined, if possible, to 
involve the Colony in that controversy. I shall, I hope, 
erelong know more of this matter, and be able to write 


more fully upon the subject. We still confidently expect 
the trial of the Mohegan cause about the 11th of June. 
Such is the temper of the times towards the Colonies, 
and such the state of things here, that we have but too 
little to hope, and much to fear, with regard to it ; how- 
ever, we have made the best preparations possible, shall 
exert our utmost efforts at the trial, and must then leave 
the event to Providence. I return you my best thanks for 
your obliging favor of the 29th of January, and shall pur- 
sue with attention the instructions you therein favor me 
with, and am, with the greatest respect and esteem, 
Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received July 23d, 1770." 


Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, June 28th, 1770. 

Sir, — I had the strongest expectations that before 
this time I should have been able to have acquainted you 
with the event of the Mohegan cause ; but unfortunately, 
for me at least, it is still depending, nor can I say when 
we are to see an end of it. It was appointed, you recol- 
lect, for the 11th of June. On that day the Master of the 
Rolls could not attend. The next day, however, it was 
entered upon, and the counsel for the appellants took up 
that and the following day in opening their case. Their 
arguments were long and labored, replete with the most 
illiberal and ill-founded abuse and misrepresentation, both 
of the Colony and the landholders, whom they represented 
as a set of the greatest tyrants, hypocrites, cheats, and 
deceivers that the world ever saw. After their argument 


was closed, an arrangement was made for the argument 
on our part. I have, I believe, informed you that we 
have four counsel, two of whom appear in the name of 
the landholders, and two for the Colony. It was proposed 
by the Lords that the counsel for the Tertenants should go 
first, and open the cause on our part. This was what we 
both expected and wished, and the Attorney-General had 
attended and taken notes for that purpose. The cause 
was then adjourned to the Thursday following, when the 
Attorney-General was to enter upon the defence. Most 
unhappily, before that day arrived, he was taken ill with 
the gout, and we were obliged to ask a farther day, 
which was given us to the 28th. But the Attorney- 
General growing still worse, so that there was no pos- 
sibility of his coming abroad, our other counsel, at a 
consultation last evening, were unanimously of opinion 
that it was neither reasonable nor safe to proceed without 
him, and that justice both to the Colony and the Terten- 
ants required it should be delayed till his recovery ; and 
we were directed to apply again to have it postponed. 

Upon application for that purpose, this morning, their 
Lordships readily agreed that it ought not to come on 
in the absence of the Attorney-General ; but said, since it 
could not proceed as was proposed, they would not un- 
dertake to hear it till after the long vacation, that is, 
till next fall. This being perfectly disagreeable to both 
parties, was remonstrated against on both sides ; but all 
that could be obtained was, that if the Attorney-General 
should be able to come abroad in a short time, we might 
apply, and they would see what could be done. Such is 
the cruel state of suspense we are in, and we have only 
to hope that the attorney may recover before the Lords 
go out of town for the summer ; for this is the secret 
of the whole matter, that the Lord President is resolved, 
as soon as the affairs of state will permit, to go down to 
his country seat in the North, and will not be detained 


by this cause. Nothing could have happened more un- 
fortunately than the illness of our first and leading coun- 
sel at this critical moment, but it is the act of Providence, 
which could neither be foreseen nor prevented, and we 
must submit. It is impossible to say what will be the 
event of the cause. They have adduced no new argu- 
ments, at least none that we were not aware of. The 
strength of their argument lies in the repeated admis- 
sions, on the part of the Colony, of right or title in the 
Indians, subsequent to their several conveyances and 
surrenders, and in their groundless clamor upon the igno- 
I ranee, the poverty, and the misery of the Indians, on the 
f one hand, and the power, policy, cunning, fraud, and 
imposition of the Colony and landholders on the other. 
Upon these topics they have not been wanting to declaim 
loudly and at large, and, as I have said, to acid to them 
much misrepresentation and abuse ; and in the present 
temper of the times, open to every calumny against the 
Colonies, it is not much to be wondered at that the gen- 
eral sense seems to be much in their favor. Our counsel 
are prepared to state the matter in a very different light ; 
and though there is ground enough for fear, I do not yet 
despair of favorable issue. Be it as it may, all has hith- 
erto been done that was possible, and we must with 
patience wait the event. What I at present most regret 
is the enormous expense that attends it, which is greatly 
enhanced by these unfortunate delays, and exceeds even 
all that I could have any conception of. I will not go 
into particulars at present, because it cannot answer any 
purpose, and I trust provision is already made by the 
Assembly for some present relief, and that we shall very 
soon receive some remittances. If we do not, I shall lose 
all credit, (upon which alone both I and the cause have 
for a long time depended,) and shall be in a sad situation. 
Mr. Jackson is particularly uneasy, and knows not how 
fo account for his having received no intelligence rela- 


tive to the protested bills so long since returned by him ; 
which I hope, however, came safe to hand, and that he 
will soon have the money replaced. 

As to American affairs in general, little was said about 
them, after Parliament broke up, till the arrival of Cap- 
tain Scott with a cargo of returned goods from Boston, 
and the intelligence that Philadelphia and New York 
(who, as I have informed you, it was expected would give 
up their agreements) were likely to continue their reso- 
lutions. This awakened the attention of Administration, 
and the Privy Council (including all the great officers of 
state) have been sitting several days, examining wit- 
nesses, and making a solemn inquiry into these matters. 
What the purpose of this inquiry is, is not known, and as 
they have of late learned to be extremely close in all 
their proceedings, it is not improbable you may know 
the result in America before it is made public here. But 
it is said they are laying a foundation for some spirited 
and effectual measures with respect to the Colonies, 
though by the witnesses who have been hitherto exam- 
ined, who are chiefly the officers of the Crown from 
Boston, Captain Scott, who brought back the goods, and 
the passengers who came with him, it should seem that 
the immediate object is the Province of the Massachu- 
setts Bay. It is my conjecture that they aim at laying 
a foundation for altering their constitution ; but this you 
will yet consider as conjecture only. Some of the ques- 
tions which have been asked the witnesses, I have dis- 
covered ; which related to the state of the Province, its 
government and police ; the proceedings of the town 
meetings, the agreements of the merchants, the obstruc- 
tions given to the importation of goods and the vending 
them in the town of Boston, the treatment of the import- 
ers and their customers (towards whom it is said many 
acts of violence have been committed), the manner in 
which the goods have been taken from the importers, 


why and how stored, or reshipped ; the mobs in that 
own ; how far the government or magistracy have inter- 
posed in any or all these matters, to prevent or to encour- 
age them, &c, &c. Upon the whole, the complexion of 
ijhis inquiry appears to me very unfavorable, and I wish 
ijt may not have very disagreeable consequences. • 
! I have had several conferences with Mr. Penn's agent, 
Ipon the subject of their joining the Colony in their peti- 
[ion against the Susquehannah Company, and had some 
lopes of persuading him to alter or give up that part of 
[he petition, but finally find him inflexible. He says, 
Whatever I or anybody else can say to the contrary, he 
knows the Colony do take part in that business, and he 
s resolved, therefore, to compel them either to defend or 
lisavow their claim. There is also another obvious reason 
for their making the Colony party to the controversy, as 
Jt gives them a better color for proceeding in this method 
lefore the Council, which, after long deliberation, they 
resolved to adopt in preference to bringing suits in the 
province, which is certainly the only fair and legal way 
If determining the dispute. I do not imagine there will 
Irery soon be any farther proceedings in the affair, so 
lhat there will be time for the Colony to consider what 
part to take in it. 

Since my last I have the honor of your favor of the 
3d of March, and its duplicate, for which I return my 
3est thanks. The act imposing a duty of five per cent 
m goods imported rests till it appears whether the As- 
sembly will choose to make any alteration in it or not. 
'. have the pleasure to find I had stated that act to 
Administration exactly in the same light in which you 
place it, and supported it precisely upon the same princi- 
ples. It is difficult to answer at present with precision 
your question, who are the principal supporters and 
friends of our antagonists in the Mohegan Case. In gen- 
eral they are, in a greater or lesser degree, all those 



who are enemies to the liberties of America in general, 
and to the privileges of the Colony of Connecticut in 
particular, — a long, formidable, and d-t-st-ble list. 

It gives me the highest pleasure to find the people 
of the Colony making such rapid progress in their man- 
ufactures, particularly in that of paper, of which the 
specimen you favor me with is a most agreeable and ' 
striking proof. 

The Colonies have lost a very valuable friend in the !1 
late Lord Mayor, but it is some consolation that he will 
be succeeded by Mr. Trecothick, who w 7 ill do them all ie 
the service in his power. 

Your conjecture seems extremely probable, that the 
great operations now carrying on in the North, in the 
Mediterranean, and in the Morea are, in the course of 
Providence, preparing the way for the speedy completion 
of the prophecies relative to the Turkish empire, as well r 
as the Pontifical tyranny, both which are certainly upon 
the decline, and seem hastening to their period. The 
latter is indeed already become contemptible in almost f al1 
every court in Europe, and has been obliged to put up b J 
with very gross affronts, even from the powers which 
were imagined most devoted to its interests. Europe is 
now so enlightened by science, and the liberty both of 
speaking and writing has gained so much ground even in 
the most despotic states, that this system of superstition, 
villany, and folly needs only to be vigorously attacked, ca 
and it would at once dissolve away and vanish, like the 
baseless fabric of a vision ; which God grant it may 
very soon do ! I am, with the most perfect esteem and 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received September 18th, 1770. ' ' 




Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, August 20th, 1770. 

Sir, — All the united efforts of both parties to bring 
jhe Mohegan cause to its final hearing have been ineffect- 
lal. Such was the impatience of the Lords of the Coun- 
cil to get into the country, that nothing could be done ; 
Jnd so very unfortunate was the Attorney-General's ill- 
tess just at that critical moment when it might have 
leen finished. There is now very little probability that 
It can be taken up again before the beginning of Novem- 
ber, if so soon, though it will doubtless be finished either 
Ihen, or, at farthest, during the recess from public busi- 
ness, about Christmas. This disappointment chagrins me 
Exceedingly, as the situation of my family and of my pri- 
vate affairs, after so long and so unexpected an absence, is 
iuch as most strongly to require my attention, and I had 
jdmost assured both my friends and myself that I should 
by this time have been actually in America. Yet I know 
pot how to leave the cause in its present situation ; for 
[hough the preparations for the hearing on our part are 
klready as effectually made as it is in my power to make 
them, and I have suggested to our counsel, both in writ- 
ng and at frequent consultations, everything that has oc- 
curred, yet they may need to be reminded again of some 
things, and it is possible also something may turn up at 
the trial in which I may be of use towards securing a 
favorable issue of the cause ; and even if it should be 
determined against us, it may be of much importance 
towards regulating the future conduct of the Colony to 
be able to report to you with precision the principles 
upon which it is decided. 

These, and other considerations of the like nature, 
make me doubtful how it is my duty to conduct in this 


situation, and it would give me inexpressible pleasure to 
be able to have your directions on so critical an occasion; 
but as this is impossible, I can only exercise my own best 
discretion, and take the advice of my friends here, which 
I shall do, and proceed as shall upon the whole appear 
most advisable. What adds greatly to the difficulty of my 
situation is, that neither Mr. Jackson nor I have received 
any letters or intelligence from the Colony since your 
favor to me of the 3d of March, and particularly that we 
hear nothing with respect to any money matters, neither 
as to the bills returned protested, nor any other remit- 
tances proposed to be made. Mr. Jackson has been 
almost led to doubt whether the Colony do intend to 
advance any more money in support of the Mohegan 
cause ; and though he says he is very ready to advance 
any sum upon the credit of the Colony, yet to do it with- 
out request, or any intelligence that the Colony would 
approve of, or wish to have him do it, or propose any 
method to refund him, seems to be rather extraordinary. 
He therefore chose, for the last money I received of him, 
to include in my receipt a promise from me to repay it, 
in case the Colony should not choose to do it. Mr. Life 
is also much in advance, beside his amount for services. 

For my own part, though I know the Colony have 
reason enough to be weary of so tedious and expensive 
a cause, yet, as it is of so very great importance and they 
are unavoidably embarked in it, I have no doubt that they 
intend to see the end of it, both with spirit and honor; 
yet I must own I am much embarrassed by this failure of 
intelligence, and if we do not hear something by the next 
packet, which is hourly expected, I shall be perfectly at a 
loss what to do, as I hardly know how either to stay here 
with reputation, or to come away with honor, even if I 
knew which would be most agreeable to the Colony, to 
whose intentions I wish above all things to conform myself. 
We know not how to account for our not hearing, as, in 


jso long a space, if some letters had failed, yet others must 
Jprobably have come to hand, and there is now intelli- 
gence from America down to the 9th or 10th of July. 

We are, I trust, happily delivered from any apprehen- 
sion of further trouble or danger at present from Mr. 
(Penn's petition to the Crown, relative to the Susque- 
hannah lands, copy of which I transmitted some time ago 
to America. Soon after I w T rote you upon that subject, 
(much sooner, indeed, than it was expected the petition 
kvould have been taken up,) w T e received a summons to 
(attend the Board of Trade. Accordingly, I attended with 
bur solicitor, Mr. Life, and their Lordships were pleased to 
[give me an opportunity to state to them at large the claim 
bf the Susquehannah Company, their proceedings from 
pie beginning, the ground of their title, the part the 
fcolony had taken in the affair, the former proceedings of 
government here, as grounded upon supposed uneasiness 
lof the Indians, the consequences that followed in America, 
the subsequent treaty with the Indians, the occasion and 
intention of the late entry made by the Company upon 
■the lands, &c. Upon the whole of which I insisted that 
tt was a fair claim of property on the part of the Susque- 
Ihannah proprietors, which ought to be decided at law, 
land not drawn into examination before the public boards 
lof state, in such extra-judicial manner as was attempted 
Iby this petition. I did not think we were authorized to 
lavow any claim on the part of the Colony, nor that it 
Iwould have been expedient to have done it ; since they 
Imust, in that case, according to their principles, have 
[taken up the matter and gone into a full trial of it. Nor, 
fon the other hand, did I choose to renounce their title 
jin such manner as should be in any respect prejudicial, 
or prevent their making such claim at any future time, 
should they think proper . to avail themselves of it. I 
was, therefore, extremely cautious upon this head, en- 
deavoring, as far as possible, to keep the Colony out of 


sight, and insisting chiefly that it was a sufficient answer 
to this petition, that the claimants did not enter under 
any immediate authority from the Colony, or to their use, 
but solely in right of, and to the use of, the Susquehannah 
Company; that the Colony had yet done no public act 
ratifying their entry, or in any respect relative to it, nor 
had given any instructions to their agents concerning 
it ; that, therefore, as before their Lordships, the Colony, 
whatever title or claim they might have, were altogether 
out of the question, and it ought to be considered only as 
the affair of the Susquehannah proprietors, who did avow 
a title, and were ready, as I was informed, to defend it in 
the regular course of law, where alone they ought to be 
called upon to answer, &c. When I attended, some time 
after the hearing at the office, to learn the result, after 
repeated applications, I was at length told, to my surprise, 
that it was considered as a matter of state, and as such 
not to be communicated. I have, however, found means 
to obtain what I presume is a copy of their report, which 
I enclose you ; but you will be so good as not to take 
any public notice of it, nor let it be so communicated as 
that it may by any means be known here that such copy 
has been sent out in this manner, which might be at- 
tended with very ill consequences. Indeed, all the cor- 
respondence with America is now so narrowly watched, 
and so much umbrage is taken at the communication of j 
anything, either in point of fact or opinion, that they are J 
pleased to call improper, that it is become more than j 
ever necessary for all on this side to request of their] 
friends the utmost degree of caution with respect to what- 
ever they write, for this obvious reason amongst many 
others, lest by exposing them they occasion their being so 
guarded against as to render it impossible for them to 
obtain the intelligence they would wish to have communi- 
cated. Some imprudences of this kind in some of the 
other Colonies have been very prejudicial. 


I fear I have done amiss in being so long silent myself, 
land desiring Mr. Jackson to be silent, upon a subject of so 
jrnuch importance as that of the resignation of his agency. 
BSince he accepted the office of counsel to the Board of 
■Trade (an office which could be in no person's hands in 
England so beneficially for the Colonies as in Mr. Jack- 
ton's), he has no longer considered himself as agent for 
the Colony. I at first suggested to hitn that perhaps the 
Colony would not think there was any inconsistency in 
ijthe offices, and would desire him to continue his agency ; 
but he said he could by no means think of retaining it, 
and must certainly resign. I then desired him to post- 
pone the formality of a resignation till I should return to 
[America ; which was then, and has been ever since, ex- 
pected to take place very soon. My reason for doing so 
Iwas this. As I conceive it to be a point of very great 
[importance, I wished that another should not be appointed, 
Sat least on this side of the water, till I could explain to 
lyou, and all who ought to be informed, both the state 
jof things here and thfc characters of men who would 
Bprobably be thought of for that purpose, more fully and 
[confidentially than it was proper, or even possible, to do 
[by letter ; and I still think, if anybody here is to be ap- 
pointed, that it will be best it should be deferred till my 
Ireturn ; though, as I have been so unhappily detained 
Ibeyond all expectation, and am yet in doubt when I shall 
get away, I dare not any longer omit mentioning it, and 
[submitting the whole to your wisdom. In the mean time 
I think I may, without breach of modesty, venture to 
promise that while I do continue here none of the affairs 
of the Colony shall suffer, so far, at least, as attention, 
care, and assiduity shall be able to prevent it ; nor will I 
leave them but in such a situation as that I apprehend 
our solicitor may take all proper care of them till the 
Assembly shall be able to give such directions, and to make 
such farther appointments, as they shall think proper. I 



know not whether Mr. Jackson has yet said anything to 
you upon this subject, and as he is not now in town, I 
cannot now acquaint him that I have thought it necessary 
to mention it to you ; if he has not, you cannot perhaps 
with propriety at present write to him about it. This, 
however, I also submit to your better judgment. 

I cannot express to you with what astonishment and 
confusion, on one hand, and with what exultation and 
triumph on the other, the news that the merchants of 
New York have agreed to open the trade has been re- 
ceived here. The exception of tea and other dutiable 
articles is esteemed of little consequence. It is expected 
the merchants in all the other Colonies will immediately 
follow the example, and that the American controversy 
is now at an end. The Ministry are confirmed in their 
system, their prudence and firmness are applauded, the 
advocates for the Colonies are confounded, and hardly 
dare show their faces. Is this, it is said, your American i 
firmness ? Are these the examples you give us of your 
fortitude, your patriotism and j^rseverance ? The eyes 
of all Europe were turned towards America, and on the 
issue of this controversy was to be formed their idea of 
your character. It is done ; your character is now fixed; 
you will make a very contemptible figure in the eyes of 
all mankind, and disgrace the fair page of history. What 
can an American say to this ? Nothing, but that we still 
trust and believe the virtue of the people is yet entire; 
that they will persevere firmly in those ideas of industry, 
frugality, and good economy which have been so strongly 
inculcated upon them, the necessity of which they have 
seen, which they have adopted, and of which it is pre- 
sumed they have already begun to feel the good effects. 
If they do this, let the merchants do what they will, all is 
safe. If the people have but virtue, and will consume no 
more than is absolutely necessary, it is a firm ground to 
stand upon ; it is the best ground, and there can be no 


^danger, let the merchant import what he will. They will 
jjsoon be able to furnish themselves with all that is neces- 
sary within themselves, and the importation must cease 
I without any combinations to prevent it. 

The merchants of New York, it seems, justify them- 

J|selves on the ground of the breaches of the agreement 

Jby the merchants of the other Provinces, particularly of 

Boston. They have, perhaps, but too much cause to 

Kcomplain ; but how glorious w T ould it have been for them 

Ito have persevered in their greater virtue ! When men 

■once begin to accuse and to recriminate, all confidence in 

leach other is soon at an end. Nothing can be more fatal 

to the Colonies, nor give greater triumph to their enemies, 

than to be seen accusing, condemning, ■ and contending 

with each other; it is certain they can then no longer 

act in concert, and on their union depends most of their 

importance in any dispute with this country. Alas the 

1 fatal effects of disunion and discord ! How many states 

|and empires have they ruined, and will yet ruin! But 

the subject is too disagreeable to dwell upon, and I quit 

it, at least till we know more of this matter than we do 

at present. 

The resolutions of the late Councils I mentioned to 
you, on American affairs, have not yet transpired. Gam- 
bier went out very soon after to take the command of 
the ships upon that station, and is perhaps by this time 
arrived at Boston, w T here it is said he is to continue. 
What his orders are, we know not; but from the character 
of the man, nothing good is to be expected. 

You will see by the papers the particulars of the two 
great Russian victories over the Turks, which is all the 
general news we have to present, and I remain, with the 
most perfect esteem and respect, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 


Sir, — As it is possible your answer may arrive before 
the Mohegan Case is finally decided, it is proper I should 
mention to you that it does not appear, as far as we can 
discover from the record of the Case, that there was ever 
any Indian conveyance for the lands contained in the 
two grants to the Governors Winthrop and Saltinstall, 
of two hundred acres of land apiece, under which they 
had laid out about eleven hundred acres, as appears by 
Prent's survey. 1 

The counsel for the Indians, in their opening, pressed 
both the extravagance of the measure and the want of an 
Indian conveyance very strongly, as direct evidence of 
fraud, and an indisputable encroachment upon the Indian 
property in the sequestered lands (which our answer, in 
the recorded pleadings, admits to have been always con- 
sidered as belonging to them), and this by express authority 
of the Assembly, the survey having been returned to and 
approved by the Assembly, and ordered to be recorded, 
and the whole confirmed by their committee in 1721. 
As to the large measure, there is an obvious answer; but 
if there is any Indian conveyance, it so obscurely de- 
scribes the land that it has escaped us. If you know of 
any, or can explain to us how it came that they did not 
take Indian deeds, as all or most others seem to have 
done, it will be of use to inform us of it. Those grants 
are indeed in some sort confirmed (but in very imperfect 
words) in Owenico's deed to Livingston and others ; but 
it should seem as if there must have been some deed 
prior to that, and more conclusive. 

I am your Honor's most obedient servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

I write this separately, that you may communicate it 
only so far as you think proper. 

1 This survey was probably made by Captain John Prentis, or Prent, 
as the name often appears. — Eds. 


To the Right Honorable the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plan- 
tation Affairs. 1 

My Lords, — Pursuant to your Lordships' order of the 
25th of May last, we have taken into our consideration. a 
| petition to his Majesty in Council, of Tho s Penn and 
IRich d Penn, Esq 8 ., true and absolute proprietors of the 
Province of Pennsylvania, setting forth, amongst other 
things, that several of the inhabitants of the Colony of 
Connecticut have forcibly seated and possessed them- 
selves of a certain tract of land lying within the limits 
of the petitioners' charter, and humbly praying that im- 
mediate directions may be given for removing the said 
people from such forcible possessions ; and that the Gov- 
ernor and Company of the Colony of Connecticut may 
set forth their claim (if they have any) to the lands in 
question, and in the mean time that they forbear mak- 
ing any further encroachment in the premises, till the 
right of the said lands shall be determined by his Majesty 
in Council. Whereupon we beg leave to report to your 
Lordships, — 

That the request contained in the proprietors' petition, 
that the Governor and Company of Connecticut may be 
ordered to set forth their claim (if they have any) to the 
lands in question, appears to us to be a very proper one, 
and to contain the only matter necessary for his Majes- 
ty's consideration in the case to which their petition re- 
fers. We have, therefore, thought fit to call the agents 
for the Colony before us ; and they having signified to 
us that they have no instructions to avow the proceed- 
ings of the settlers upon the lands in question as founded 
upon any authority from that Colony, or to set forth, on 
behalf of the Colony, any claim to the said lands, we are 

1 This document was enclosed in M.\ Johnson's foregoing letter of 
August 20. — Eds. 


clearly of opinion that the forcible intrusion alleged by 
the proprietaries of Pennsylvania is a matter entirely 
within the jurisdiction of this Province ; and that it 
would be both unnecessary and improper for his Majesty 
to interpose his authority in a case where there is not 
the least color of plea that the charter of the Province of 
Pennsylvania does not contain the powers necessary to 
the decision of any suits which may be brought into the 
courts there, in cases where the title to the lands may be 
in question, nor that the state of the Province does not 
afford the means to support the execution of the laws, 
preserve the public peace, and enforce the legal process 
of the magistrates, and the courts of judicature. 

We are, my Lords, your Lordships' most obedient and 
most humble servants, 


Ed: Eliot. 
John Roberts. 
W M Fitsherbert. 
(Copy.) Rob: Spencer. 


Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, October 12th, 1770. 

Sir, — I have no other occasion to give you the trouble 
of a letter at present, than only to return you my best 
thanks for the honor of your favor of the 18th of July, 
which after so long a delay of intelligence, and the state 
of anxiety and suspense it had produced (in others more 
than myself), gave me the most sensible pleasure. By 
the best advice of my friends, and after much deliberation, 
I have concluded to wait the decision of the Mohegan 
Case through one season more, in which determination 


I find myself confirmed by your direction to that pur- 
pose, and am much obliged both to you and to the hon- 
jorable Assembly for the provision they have been so 
Igood as to make for my support, and the other expenses 
Jof the cause, which will, no doubt be brought to a con- 
jclusion some time this winter. As Mr. Jackson is yet in 
(the country, I do not know whether any of the bills are 
(yet come to hand. The cursory view you have had of 
1 the appellants' case has given you a specimen of the mis- 
representations and abuse by which their cause is sup- 
ported, and which have upon no occasion been spared. 
The plan they have adopted one would imagine to be 
[that old, ungenerous one, to throw as much dirt as possi- 
ble, in hopes that some will certainly stick. We have on 
our part taken all possible pains to prevent the ill effects 
of this uncandid method of proceeding, but with what 
'success we cannot yet determine. All cases before the 
Lords of Council must be printed; ours was therefore 
done at the same time as theirs. They chose to print 
also all the proceedings, which we thought unnecessary. 
We have dispersed great numbers of our cases wherever 
we imagined it might be of use, and I should have sent 
you a copy had I not hoped long since to have had the 
pleasure of delivering it w T ith my own hand ; but as you 
wish to see it immediately, I now send you a set, to- 
gether with the copies of such of the papers you directed 
me to procure as I have been able to discover, and shall 
continue the inquiry for the others. 

Nothing new can be said with regard to American 
affairs. All attention has, for some time past, been taken 
off from every other object of political consideration, by 
the strong appearances of an approaching war, for which 
the most vigorous preparations are making ; and there 
are already a great number of capital ships ready to put 
to sea. Men are collecting in all the ports of the king- 
dom, both by impress and enlistment, and the navy of 


England (notwithstanding the late disaster at Ports- 
mouth) will soon be in a formidable condition, prepared 
to meet anything that can probably appear upon the 
ocean. Whether we shall actually engage, remains yet 
undetermined, and there are very various opinions and 
conjectures upon the subject. It would, therefore, ill 
become any man to be in any degree positive, where 
there is so great a diversity of sentiments, even amongst 
those who have the best means of information ; but con- 
sidering that our rupture with Spain would no doubt very 
soon involve all the rest of Europe in a war, and that 
there is not a power that is really in a condition for it, I 
cannot help thinking it may yet blow over. The Minis- 
ters are very secret, but I imagine their present ideas 
are these. They think the insult upon the nation in dis- 
possessing us of the Falkland Islands is too great to be 
tamely put up with ; they have therefore addressed the 
Court of Spain in the most peremptory terms, demanded 
a categorical answer to their claims, and are arming with 
the most determined vigor and despatch. They hope 
that Spain, however, will make the necessary concessions, 
in which case they will derive very great honor from so 
spirited a behavior ; if not, they will declare war, or con- 
tinue to negotiate, as they perceive the temper of the 
people, and particularly of the city of London, to be 
inclined to war or peace. They have no money in the 
Exchequer, and are therefore resolved, if there be a war, 
it shall be the war of the people, and which they shall be 
engaged to support ; thus their reputation as active Min- 
isters will they hope be secured. They will be ready, 
but will not strike, till they find the people so far en- 
gaged that they may be boldly called upon for money. 
This idea will, I fancy, account for all the present ma- 
noeuvres and appearances, both of vigor and of caution, 
— of vigor in point of preparation, and of caution and 
delay in respect to declaring war, or striking any stroke 


which may render it inevitable. These, however, are but 
conjectures, and may not be justified by the event. In 
the mean time Parliament is summoned to meet for the 
despatch of business so early as the 13th of next month, 
when they will be obliged to open at least a part of their 
designs, and we shall be able to judge with more cer- 
tainty what we have to expect. However it terminates, 
it is certain the spirited conduct of Lord North has given 
him great reputation, and tends strongly to secure him in 
[his present situation ; indeed, everything at this moment 
I seems to promise permanency to the present Aclministra- 
Ition. The Opposition appear to be much broken and 
[disconcerted, nor does it seem very probable that they 
[will be able to push themselves soon into power, unless 
[aided by some extraordinary occurrence. 

The plague is making great ravages, not only in Asia, 
!but in several parts of Europe, and seems to gain ground 
in spite of all endeavors to stop its progress. From the 
, extensive trade of this country, it begins to be much 
'dreaded here. It was yesterday reported that it was 
even so near as Dunkirk, but this proves to be a mistake. 
His Majesty has issued, some time ago, his proclamation, 
strictly enjoining all ships from the neighborhood of the 
infected countries to perform quarantine. Many people, 
however, think those measures will be insufficient, and 
call aloud upon government for some more effectual se- 
curity. I hope, however, that the danger of its importa- 
tion is not so great as they seem to apprehend, and that 
an all-gracious Providence will preserve us from so terri- 
ble a scourge. I am, with perfect esteem and respect, 
Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received 4th January, 1771." 


To Win. S< Johnson , Esq. 

Lebanon, November 7th, 1770. 

Sir, — In my last to Mr. Agent Jackson, I informed 
that I had discovered several things relative to the Pe- 
quot conquest, the right of Uncas, and other transac- 
tions which appear to me material in the cause of the 
Mohegan Indians. Enclosed is, first, a report made by 
Denison, Stanton, and Latham, three Indian interpreters, 
to the Commissioners of the four United Colonies of New 
England, concerning the Pequot conquest and the right 
of Uncas; dated 19th September, 1663, — an old copy of 
a copy, that, attested by Secretary Kimberly, was sent 
to Sir Henry Ashurst, and by him used against the judg- 
ment of Dudley and others, which appears in the account 
of papers sent him, and being the petition he laid before 
the Queen. 2d. Uncas's testimony respecting the con- 
quest of the lands in the westward part of the Colony ; 
an original, signed by him and attested by Governor 
Treat and Major John Talcot. 3d. The testimony of 
Thomas Stanton, the Indian interpreter, who was present 
at the last fight with the Pequots, at the swamp beyond 
Fairfield, witness to the deed of September 18th, 1640, 
and fully acquainted with the transactions of that time. 
4th. Mr. Higgison's evidence, &c. respecting the same. 
5th. Extracts of the records of the doings and proceed- 
ings of the Commissioners of the four United Colonies 
of New England. 

You will remember that I told you, before your de- 
parture from hence, that the matter of the conquest had 
never been insisted on, as it ought to have been, in the 
present dispute. Every inquiry and discovery concern- 
ing those ancient transactions more and more confirm the 


lame. The state of the case, taking up on that ground, 
Will plainly show that the chief sachem was of Pequot 
mat we call the Sovereign Lord and Proprietor of all the 
jands, and Governor of all the people that then were 
vithin the bounds now possessed by the inhabitants of 
this Colony. His power and authority extended even 
Oeyond Hudson's River. The many sachems thereon paid 
bim tribute for their lands, and yielded obedience to all 
ais commands, both in peace and war. 

That he was the most sovereign, despotic, and rich of 
liny chief sachem or monarch in the four Colonies of New 
England, and enjoyed the largest territory. Conquest 
rained over him spread the English right over all the 
lands now actually possessed within the same. He gave 
the Dutch a deed of the lands at Hartford. He com- 
manded the Indians wherever he went to the westward, 
kill his final overthrow. That thereupon the Indians 
surrendered their lands to the English conquerors, and 
pumbly sued for protection, mercy, and their favor, and 
submitted themselves. All that was granted them, and 
bind to plant ; and, to take away from those natives all 
grounds of complaint, or hardship and injustice done 
them, or any possible pretence of right remaining in 
them to any lands, they condescended to give them 
boats, hoes, hatchets, &c., and took deeds from them 
knowing their submission, acquiescence, and grant of the 
fame. This was the case of all the sachems at Nian- 
fcick, Quinepiack, holding under the chief sachem of Pe- 
huot, — particularly Uncas, a near kinsman and son-in- 
law to Tatobam, or Sassacus, the chief sachem of Pequot, 
Iwho, for his pride and treachery, Sassacus had several 
times chastised and turned off from his land, and who 
had, at the time of the English war bescinnino; against 

o coo 

Sassacus, newly or again revolted, and came personally, 
with only one other Indian called Wequash with him, 
to the English at Hartford, and offered himself to go 


their pilot against the Pequots. He and Wequash went, 
with a number of Indians collected at Hartford, Win- 
sor, and Weathersfield, called River Indians, and really 
the subjects of Sassacus, who were willing to cast off the 
Pequot yoke. At Narraganset a number of Miantonimy's 
men joined them ; their behavior and Captain Mason's 
success is shown in Mason's history. 

The conquest being made and the war ended, the 
English, desiring to extinguish the name of Pequot, 
made sale of two hundred captives, Pequots, — eighty to 
Myantonimy, eighty to Uncas, and forty to Ninegret, — 
they paying an annual tribute for them according to 
agreement, the name of Pequot to be extinguished, and 
they were to be called Narragansetts and Pequots for- 
ever ; which payment was but poorly made ; yet some 
part was done annually, and a settlement made with 
them in 1655, and they came into further engagements 
for it in future. Uncas, by his deed, September 18th, 
1640, conveys all his territories to the English, they al- 
lowing him to have ground for planting ; and receives 
a gratuity for it, although in fact the conquest covered 
the whole. This deed is mentioned by the Commission- 
ers of the United Colonies, 1646, and no other deed was 
ever given by him before, nor until eighteen years after- 
wards ; viz. those to Richard Houghton of Massapeag, 

and Rogers of Pommachaug, — both directed to the 

Assembly to confirm. And the consideration to him was 
their assistance and saving him from the Narragansetts, 
at that time at war with him, and he and his fort in 
imminent danger of being taken ; and truly, the English 
instead of being protected by Uncas, he was at all times 
protected by them ; and had they neglected to afford it 
to him, the Colony would have never been troubled with 
this expensive litigation. It appears by every transac- 
tion of the Assembly of Connecticut with him, or in ref- 
erence to him, that they looked on themselves under no 



lother particular obligation to him, only to provide him 
find his Indians with land to plant. 

Indorsed, ''Copies to W m - S. Johnson, Esq., November, 1771[0] ; do. 

ki^h do." 1 

Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, November 15, 1770. 

Sir, — The debates at the opening of Parliament have 
been by no means so interesting, nor so full of informa- 
jtion, as was expected, yet it may not perhaps be unac- 
ceptable to you to receive some general accounts of them. 
Lord Greville moved the address of thanks for the King's 
speech in the House of Commons, and was seconded by 
[Mr. Rice, of the Board of Trade. Sir Charles Saunders 
(made some strictures upon the preparations for war, said 
foe thought many things were amiss ; but that he would 
not speak out all he thought, lest it should do mischief 
and encourage our enemies, which he by no means wished 
to do. Sir William Meredith then objected to the speech, 
that it named only the Governor of Buenos Ayres as hav- 
ing attacked the honor of the Crown, and did not boldly 
mention the King and Court of Spain, from whom alone 
the affront could come. This, he said, looked too like 
committing the King of Great Britain with a paltry Span- 
ish governor, and was infinitely degrading. The address, 
he conceived, contained too strong an approbation of the 
measures of Ministry, and seemed to engage at all events 
to support the war, and refund any expense the Minis- 
ters should think proper to incur. It was like an unlim- 

1 A rough draft of apparently but one letter. — Eds. 


ited vote of credit, &c. He concluded with saying that 
something seemed to be threatened against the Province 
of Massachusetts Bay, and he feared it was intended to 
attack their privileges, — those privileges under which 
they had emigrated, and settled the country ; that, if this 
was the case, he should oppose it as strenuously as he 
would any attack upon the rights of the people of Eng- 
land. Colonel Barre gave the House a very spirited 
speech upon the general state of affairs, the unprovided 
condition of our fleets and armies, the defenceless state 
of our fortifications and garrisons of Ireland and the 
Colonies, the fishery, and the West India Islands. The 
inattention of the Ministry to these great objects, not- 
withstanding the warnings which had been given them 
(particularly by the Opposition in the course of the last 
session) upon the divisions at home, the dissensions in 
Ireland, and the discontents in the Colonies, all which he 
charged upon the Ministers, and thence inferred that we 
were in very ill circumstances to commence a w T ar. His 
Majesty, says he, if he now goes out to war, will go out 
with but half his people to support him. The rights of 
the people have been invaded and trampled upon. Re- 
store them their rights, conciliate their affections, estab- 
lish unanimity at home upon a firm basis, before you go 
out to war, — as did the great statesman who led our fleets 
and armies to glory and to conquest in the last war, and 
shook the whole power of the House of Bourbon in every 
quarter of the globe. Do this, or you go out to sure 
destruction, &c. He also made himself merry with their 
having now set up Don Francisco, the insignificant Gov- 
ernor of Buenos Ayres, as the enemy of the King of 
Great Britain, just as they had before opposed him to a 
wretched libeller, John Wilks, a late inhabitant of the 
King's Bench prison. Mr. Burke displayed his elegant 
talents in a general descant upon the inanity of the 
speech, and the futility of the address, and insisted they 


ought to have fuller information of what had been, and 
fchat was proposed to be done, before they pledged them- 
selves even so far as they were called upon to do by that 
kddress. He insisted, also, that the Ministry should have 
oegun their preparations as soon as they had the first 
Intelligence from Falkland Islands, in June last; that they 
had been negligent when they should have been vigilant 
knd active, and, when at last they were awakened, were 
In trepidation and confusion, cried out War, but begged 
for Peace, and were now negotiating under the mediation 
of France. He dwelt largely also upon the discontents of 
Ihe people and the violation of their rights, both in Eng- 
land and Ireland; and with regard to the Colonies said, 
the Ministry had no reason to plume themselves so much 
ks they did upon the concessions of the Americans, since 
:hey had receded only in exact proportion as Parliament 
pad done, and both upon commercial principles ; one had 
taken off duties, the other extended the liberty of imports, 
parliament retained the duty upon tea as a test of their 
pght to tax, and America forbid the importation of it, in 
Birect denial of that right; so they were but pretty nearly 
tvhere they were at first. Mr. Dowdeswell spoke upon 
me same general topics that Colonel Barre and Mr. 
purke had discussed, but in a different manner, and 
pledged himself to bring again in question the Middlesex 

Lord North was up several times, and in a very able and 
candid manner replied to all the objections that had been 
started, to the speech, the address, and the conduct of 
administration. The speech, he insisted, contained as much 
information as could properly be given, and more than was 
Usual ; the address he considered as a proper compliment 
to the Throne, which would not bind the House should they 
afterwards, upon examination of the papers they might 
ball for, find reason to disapprove of any steps that had 
been taken, or were intended. That they had not begun 


their preparations sooner he justified upon this ground, 
that the intelligence they had received in June was only 
of a warning given by the Governor of Buenos Ay res 
to the English to depart the island, upon a claim of prop- 
erty, which had been very properly replied to when 
given, and was therefore a proper ground of negotiation, 
not of war, nor of preparation for it ; that had they then 
armed, Spain and France would also have armed, pari 
passu, so that we could have only had the start of them a 
little, as we now have ; but when that Governor had 
presumed to employ force for the removal of the King's 
subjects from the island, it was such an insult upon the 
honor of the nation as could not be a moment endured ; 
that therefore they had instantly begun to arm, and made 
immediate demand from the Court of Spain for proper 
reparation for the injured honor of the nation, and if they 
did not give it, a war was unavoidable. He absolutely jll 
denied that they were negotiating under the mediation of 
France, and, with a truly British spirit, said, England had 
no mediator, he thanked God. England had no need of any 
mediator ; she ivas able to vindicate her own cause, and to do 
herself light, not only against Spain, but against the tvhole 
House of Bourbon and all' the combinations they could form 
against her. That the Governor of Buenos Ayres alone, 
and not the Crown of Spain, was mentioned in the speech, 
he conceived, he said, to be both right and prudent, since 
it was plain, from the course of the affair, that the Gov- 
ernor had not acted under any particular order from the 
Court of Spain, there not having been sufficient time be-ML 
tween the warning and the attack for him to have trans- 
mitted an account of his proceedings to his Court, andj 
to have received orders thereon ; that they had not yel} 
avowed the act, and till they did it was not fair to charge 
it upon the Court of Spain, nor to deprive them of the 
opportunity to disavow the Governor, and prevent a war. 
if they chose to do it. He was very sorry, he said, when 


•ve were in so critical a situation, that anybody should 
lake pleasure in laying open our weakness (as Colonel 
Barre had done), or pointing out to the enemy where 
jmd how we were most open to attack ; but however, he 
ihought it would be found, upon trial, that we were as 
!vell prepared in every quarter as we had been upon 
jury former occasion. And whatever apprehensions some 
gentlemen had expressed, with regard to their dissensions 
Lnd divisions, he did not doubt, if his Majesty found it 
necessary to go to war, but he would go out with his ivhole 
people ; for he could not imagine that the political differ- 
ences by which they had been agitated could prevent 
Iheir uniting with hand and heart, in the common cause, 
to vindicate the honor of the Crown and the dignity of 
Ihe nation, &c. This Minister, in truth, acquitted himself 
[veil, and acquired much reputation upon this occasion. 
liThe subject of America he chose to waive entirely for 
the present. After much conversation of this kind, the 
address passed, not only without a division, but without 
puch contradiction. 

In the House of Lords, Lord Sandys moved the address, 
iind was seconded by Lord Grantham, who made an apol- 
bgy for speaking so early, having that day only taken 
pis seat. The Lords Rockingham, Manchester, Rich- 
mond, and Bolton attacked the speech, address, and Min- 
istry, upon the same general grounds as were taken in 
the House of Commons, and were answered by the Lords 
power, Sandwich, and Denbiegh. The Lords in Opposi- 
tion were pretty severe upon Administration. The Duke 
bf Richmond said they had very much to fear, and the 
Duke of Bolton went so far as to say he tvished soon to 
\see some of their shoulders upon the block. There was a trifling 
amendment proposed, to leave out the word immediate as 
applied to the preparations for war and the demand upon 
Spain ; but they had no division, and did not sit late. 

Upon the whole of these proceedings, it seems to be but 



too probable that we shall have a war, and it is evident 
that the Ministry are quite firm. Indeed, the political 
state of this country is very surprisingly changed since last 
session of Parliament. The Opposition have been continu- 
ally losing ground, and of late have lost both weight and 
strength by the death of Mr. Grenville, the Marquis of 
Granby, and other persons of consequence. They have 
not only suffered much in the loss of their leaders, but 
are also greatly divided amongst themselves. Mr. Wilks, 
after a strange attempt to procure an impeachment against 
Lord North, which ended in an insignificant remonstrance 
from the electors of Westminster, seems now to be 
quarrelling with his best friends, and likely to fall again 
into obscurity, unless the Ministry should give him fresh 
consequence by some new prosecution, which he is labor- 
ing to provoke. It appears at present as if Ministry will 
hardly have anything to impede them, but may carry 
whatever they please, with the utmost ease. 

With regard to the Colonies, the mercantile combina- 
tions are esteemed to be at an end, and will have no fur- 
ther weight in the present deliberations than may be 
derived from the resolution not to import tea and other 
dutiable articles ; and how far that is like to go, after what 
has happened, you will easily judge. The Colonies are 
also considered as effectually divided amongst themselves, 
and not likely to be again very soon united. What then, 
in this state of things, has Massachusetts Bay to ex- 
pect ? Certainly, that whatever Ministry propose will be 
adopted. What they will propose, I cannot yet tell you 
with any precision. I know only that a bill is preparing, 
and will probably be soon offered to Parliament, not, it is 
said, absolutely to take away their charter, but to intro- 
duce some new regulations only. Of what value their 
charter will be, after those regulations take place, we 
shall be able to judge when we know what they are, and 
may very shrewdly guess, even now. 


You will certainly ask me, with some impatience, And 
(what, in this state of things, has Connecticut to expect ? 
knd I must fairly answer, I know not. Jam proximns ardet 
uTcalegon. When the flames are so near us we should be 
stupid indeed not to be alarmed. When charters are called 
In question, we have certainly more to fear, because we 
pave more to lose, than any other people upon earth. Our 
situation is extremely delicate. We are certainly not out 
of danger ; yet I hope we shall escape, at least if no new 
ground of resentment should appear. What has occurred 
ps, I hope, pretty well got over, and I trust the Colony 
[will continue to conduct with that prudence and temper 
las not to endanger the most valuable privileges that 
people ever enjoyed. All I can say further is, that, as I 
pave carefully watched this affair from its first rise in the 
. Council, of which I believe I gave you some intimation, 
to its present stage, so I shall continue to give it every 
attention, and do everything in my power to prevent the 
Colony from being affected by it. Was ever situation 
imore critical than that of all our affairs? At this dubious 
juncture, too, we have had another day of hearing in the 
Mohegan cause. It was all taken up by the Attorney- 
General, who gave us a very good argument; but how 
far the Lords were convinced by it, we cannot judge. 
That they are strongly prejudiced by the cry of iniquity 
and injustice done to the poor, ignorant, helpless, friendless 
Indians, which the other side constantly din in their 
ears, there is no doubt; but we must still hope that truth 
and justice may finally prevail over noise and clamor. 
The Lord President intended to have gone on and fin- 
ished the cause ; but Sir Fletcher Norton (the Speaker) 
could not attend on account of the meeting of Parliament, 
nor the lawyers on account of the term. It is therefore 
intended to close it during the recess of Parliament, either 
a little before, or soon after Christmas. It is very well,, 
indeed, in one respect, that we have had this hearing, as 


we should otherwise probably have lost the benefit of the 
Attorney-General, who it is expected will be very soon 
made Lord Keeper, or Lord High Chancellor. I have the 
honor to be, with the greatest esteem and respect, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Sir, — Having been unfortunately disappointed of the 
conveyance by which I expected to have forwarded the 
above, I beg leave very briefly to mention what has oc- 
curred since. The Duke of Richmond, in the Lords, and 
Mr. Dowdeswell in the Commons, both on the same day, 
the 22d ult., moved for an address to his Majesty, that he 
would be pleased to lay before them the papers relative 
to the dispute with Spain. The Ministry opposed it, be- 
cause the negotiation was still depending, and insisted it 
ought not to be done, as, in this stage of the business, it 
must probably be very prejudicial to the negotiation, and 
perhaps even put an entire stop to it. The matter was 
labored with great ability in both Houses. The debate 
was by no means confined to the point before them ; but 
the Opposition took up everything that they imagined 
might tend to cast blame or odium upon the Ministry. 
The Lords Chatham, Littleton, and Shelburne, the Dukes of 
Manchester, Richmond, and Bolton, did their best amongst 
the Lords, while Barre, Dowdeswell, Burke, Wedderburne, 
Sir William Meredith, &c. strained every nerve in the 
Commons ; but all to no purpose. The divisions showed 
how weak they were : in the Lords they were only 28 
to 92, and in the Commons 101 to 225 ; so able are the 
Administration to maintain their ground, and they must 
continue firm unless some unforeseen, unexpected accident 
should occur to shake them. A few days after this, the 
Opposition tried a motion for a bill to deprive the Attor- 
ney-General of the power of information ex officio, upon 
which occasion the proceedings of the Courts in West- 


Ijminster Hall in criminal prosecutions, and particularly in 
imatters of libel and several late trials of that nature, par- 
ticularly those relative to Junius's letter to the King, 
pere very largely and fully canvassed ; but upon the 
division they lost it by more than two to one. Lord 
Chatham has also lately made two motions in the House 
bf Lords relative to the dispute with Spain, with a view 
to disclose and canvass the proceedings of the Admin- 
istration in the negotiation with that court, and in the 
preparations for war. He was supported by his usual 
seconds, and the dispute ran very high, but the Ministry 
still refused to let him into any of their secrets, or to 
account, at present, for any of their conduct • and, upon 
jthe division, the minority made but an indifferent figure. 
rThe Commons have voted forty thousand seamen, includ- 
ing eight thousand marines; the guards, artillery, and 
jmarching regiments are ordered to be augmented fifteen 
men to each company, and everything wears the face of 
war ; but it is not absolutely determined upon, and we 
(remain in anxious suspense for the decision. The cities 
lof London and Westminster have remonstrated again for 
the dissolution of Parliament and the dismission of Min- 
isters ; but the King remains firm, and gives for answer, 
that he has seen no reason to alter his opinion, and there- 
fore cannot grant their petitions. Even Lord Chatham 
and Lord Shelburne, and the lawyers in Opposition, have 
given their opinions for the legality of pressing seamen to 
man the navy ; so that that important point, which it was 
expected would have been the subject of much Parlia- 
mentary debate and public dissension, is now at an end. 
Lord Chatham himself offered in the House to join with 
Administration in bringing to condign punishment those 
Aldermen of London, viz. Wilks, Townsend, Oliver, &c, 
who had presumed to discharge the impressed men who 
had been brought before them, calling them patricides, 
enemies to their country, and seditious demagogues. 


The only public act that has been passed, and which 
was also much opposed, is for prohibiting for a further 
limited time the exportation of wheat, rye, barley, and 
other grain. The bill relative to the Massachusetts Bay 
is not yet brought forward, and- all possible pains will be 
taken by those who wish well to the Colonies to put a 
stop to so disagreeable an affair. 

I have the honor to be, with perfect respect, your most 
obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Westminster, December 5th, 1770. 
Indorsed, " Received March 16th, 1771." 

Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, January 2d, 1771. 

Sir, — When I wrote you last, I was full of the most 
anxious concern lest the dark cloud which seemed ready 
to burst upon the Massachusetts Colony would also deso- 
late the neighboring Colonies, particularly those of Con- 
necticut and Rhode Island. I did not, however, think it 
proper to trouble you with all my fears, because I knew 
it would fill you with the deepest concern, without there 
being the least possibility of your doing anything at pres- 
ent to avert the impending mischief. Blessed be the God 
of all our salvations, I have now the pleasure to inform 
you that those dark and distressing apprehensions are in 
a good degree dissipated. I have happily obtained such 
confidential assurances from government that I think I 
have nothing particular to fear for the Colony of Con- 
necticut, — except what depends upon the decision of 


£he Mohegan cause, the consequences of which I cannot 
yet pretend to answer for. Even Lord Hilsborough has 
Assured me that I may be at peace for the present, and 
that, whatever is done with regard to others, it shall not 
involve us ; and with respect to the Massachusetts Bay, 
there is very great reason to hope that the design of 
Altering its constitution will be laid aside. The bill I 
mentioned to you as preparing for that purpose has been 
settled and approved by many principal officers of state ; 
(yet so strong have been the applications against it, such 
,the representations of the injustice and the ill conse- 
quences which would attend it, such is the situation of 
[things, and, let me add, to do justice, such is the mod- 
eration of some of his Majesty's Ministers, that I believe 
[(though it is not absolutely determined) that it will go no 
iurther at present. The Massachusetts Bay by no means 
|owe their safety, so much as they ought to have done, 
to their own conduct, or to any care they have taken of 
themselves or their affairs; but I will not trouble you 
with the particulars of the negotiation upon this occasion, 
which cannot well be explained in a narrow compass, and 
would perhaps be tedious in the detail. 

Parliament now stands adjourned to the 22d instant, 
having done little since I wrote you, beside debating, to 
very little purpose, upon the subject of libels, the doc- 
trine of informations and of attachments for contempt, 
the proceedings in Westminster Hall in matters of crim- 
inal jurisdiction, and a controversy between the Houses 
about admitting each other's members to be present at 
their respective debates, in which we who are strangers, 
and wish to observe their proceedings, have been unfor- 
tunately involved. The important point of the land-tax, 
which is advanced to 4s. in the pound, and which was 
expected to have been firmly and warmly opposed, they 
got over without much difficulty. The Ministry carry 
everything with great ease. It is said, and very gener- 


ally believed, that the late Mr. Grenville's whole party 
have agreed to go over to Administration ; that Mr. Wed- 
derburne is to be Attorney-General, and Mr. Whateley 
Secretary to the Treasury : this, if so, will add no incon- 
siderable strength to Ministry, and will be seen at the 
meeting of Parliament. The negotiation with Spain is 
yet proceeding, but it is hardly thought can end but in 
a war. However, upon some difference of opinion upon 
this subject in Council, Lord Weymouth, in whose hands 
the negotiation was, has resigned, and is succeeded, as 
Secretary of State, by Lord Sandwich, though it is im- 
agined the treaty with Spain is gone into the hands of 
Lord Rochford ; but as a proof to the people that Lord 
Weymouth has not resigned in disgust, his brother has 
succeeded Lord Sandwich in his lucrative station in the 
Post-Office. Everybody is astonished at the surprising 
revolution which has happened at the court of France. 
The Duke de Choiseul, the most absolute, and perhaps 
the ablest, minister in Europe, is dismissed with disgrace, 
and a total change has taken place in every department 
of the French government. Nothing, it was thought, 
could have shaken the confidence of the King in the 
Duke de Choiseul, and his disgrace was looked upon as 
impossible ; but it has been at length effected by the 
intrigues of the Prince de Soubize, and of Madame de 
Barre, the King's mistress. This event, it is expected, 
will have no little influence upon the counsels of this 
country, and of all Europe ; but whether it will tend to 
hasten, or to procrastinate a war, is by no means agreed 
by our politicians, and is yet warmly disputed amongst 
them. Upon the whole, I should imagine it must be of 
service, as he was confessedly a very able minister, and 
the avowed enemy of this country. 

Our cause, we expect, will be finally heard about the 
17th of this month, and may be decided before the end 
of it ; after which I hope to be at liberty to prepare for 


my return to America, and am, with perfect esteem and 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

P. S. — Just as I had finished the above, your favor of 
the 7th and 9th of November came to hand. As the mail 
closes this moment, I can only say I will make the best 
use I can of the valuable papers you have favored me 
with. Though I have hardly time to run them over, I 
see they will be of great use, if they can be given in 
evidence ; but I much fear whether it will be permitted 
in this stage of the cause. Even if refused, it will be of 
some service to offer them. Yours, 

W. S. J. 

Indorsed, " Received 5th April, 1771." 

Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, February 5th, 1771. 

Sir, — The interval since I wrote last, having been the 
usual season of recess and repose, produced nothing mate- 
rial till at the reassembling of Parliament, on the 22d 
ult., two things of importance were announced to us at 
once; viz. the signature of a convention with Spain, and 
a very considerable accession of strength to the Admin- 
istration. Lord Suffolk was appointed Lord Privy Seal, 
in the room of Lord Halifax, made Secretary of State in 
lieu of Lord Sandwich, placed at the head of the Admi- 
ralty. Mr. Bathurst, now Lord Apsley, was appointed 
Lord High Chancellor; Mr. De Gray Lord Chief Jus- 
tice of the Common Pleas, in lieu of Lord Chief Justice 
Wilmot, who retired upon a pension; Mr. Thurloe sue- 


ceeded Mr. De Gray as Attorney-General; Mr. Wedder- 
burne accepted the office of Solicitor- General, together 
with that of Cofferer to the Queen ; and Mr. Whately 
was made one of the Lords of Trade. By these changes 
and preferments, and some others not yet quite settled, 
it is understood that most, if not all, the Grenville party 
are reconciled to Administration, who are thereby abun- 
dantly prepared to support the convention they have 
entered into with Spain, which was soon laid before 
Parliament, and will be vigorously attacked by the Op- 
position, with all the strength they can muster. Indeed, 
they seem to have good ground to condemn it, as it 
barely restores to us the possession of Falkland's Island, 
(leaving the title to it open to future discussion,) without 
providing any reparation for the insult, or indemnifica- 
tion for the large expenses incurred in consequence of 
this infraction of the peace, which has cost the nation 
more than two million of pounds sterling, besides the in- 
terruption to commerce, and the distress it has brought 
upon individuals. Thus ends for the present, with dis- 
grace to both parties, a ridiculous dispute about an in- 
significant island, not worth sixpence to either power. 
Yet I have no doubt the transaction will be approved by 
Parliament, and thanks given for the happy termination 
of this silly dispute ; for the Ministry may do what they 
please, and still meet with approbation. Never was there 
in the history of this country an Opposition so formida- 
ble as the present was last winter, in the space of twelve 
months so broken, melted down, and discomfited as this 
has been. Never was there a more sudden and total 
change of sentiment than appears at present with regard 
to the Opposition, who seem to have effectually con- 
vinced the impartial world that they were equally, at 
least, destitute of principle with those they opposed, and 
had no manner of intention to serve the public, but 
merely to aggrandize themselves. 


We absolutely depended upon it that the Mohegan 
pause would have been finished during the recess, as it 
had been agreed at the last hearing it should ; but the 
Speaker (without whom nothing could be done), having 
bot down to his country seat, could not be prevailed 
jupon to come up to town till it was too late, and we are 
pow referred to the next recess. Such is the hard fate 
pf those who depend, for the despatch of affairs, on the 
Caprice of these men in power, who seem to have no feel- 
ings for their fellow subjects, but think they are ap- 
pointed to offices and employments solely for their own 
benefit, and are under no sort of obligation to do the 
business of their offices, if it at all interferes with their 
pwn convenience and amusements. Every effort shall 
be exerted to get it finished at the next opportunity, but 
if it be further postponed I trust I shall be excused if 
I leave it, as I cannot think of staying longer here (un- 
less the affairs of the Colony should appear to be par- 
ticularly pressing) than this spring ; and everybody must 
(be convinced that it is their intention to delay this cause 
■ill the parties are wearied out with the contest. 

It is hinted that, since the dispute with Spain is ad- 
justed, they may perhaps resume the consideration of 
^American affairs, and particularly of the charters ; but I 
Irather think those intimations are not well founded, and 
that we shall pass this session without any particular 

As I knew not exactly what money of the Colony was 
in Mr. Jackson's hands, nor the amount of Mr. Life's 
account, (though I knew it must be large,) I could not 
in my last, with any precision, answer your question with 
regard to money; but upon inquiring of Mr. Jackson and 
Mr. Life, they both tell me a further considerable sum 
will be wanted before the cause is through. I am happy 
in seeing that the Assembly have generously made provis- 
ion for it, and doubt not you will remit it as soon as you 


have opportunity. I some time ago mentioned to Colonel 
Chester my having, while we were destitute of money, 
expended in the service of the Colony part of his money 
in my hands, amounting to about £325 sterling, and that 
it would be very agreeable to me if government would 
be so good as to pay him, and take his order upon me for 
that sum. I have not heard from him upon the subject, 
but wish it may have been found agreeable and con- 
venient to the Colony and to him to have adopted that 
idea; and am, with perfect esteem and respect, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received May 8th, 1771." 


Hon, Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, March 15th, 1771. 

Sir, — So little has occurred of late worthy of your 
attention, that I omitted writing by the last packet, in 
hopes I should by this time be able to give you some 
material intelligence relative to the Mohegan cause ; but 
can yet only tell you that the Lord President assures us 
he will appoint the earliest day, for the further hearing, 
on which the Speaker can be disengaged from his neces- 
sary attendance on the House of Commons. 

The general state of things here is extremely calm. 
The Ministry, in perfect plenitude of power, seem to wish 
for nothing so much as to possess that power in peace, 
and to continue undisturbed in their offices. To this end, 
they avoid, as far as possible, everything that may tend 
to awaken the attention, to unite the force, or increase 
the strength of that Opposition they have so surprisingly 
and so unexpectedly vanquished and dissipated. The 


lieaders of the remaining Opposition, on the. other hand, 
leave no means untried, by popular motions and spirited 
harangues within doors, and by warm essays and bold 
publications without, to keep up the spirits and add to 
ithe numbers of their party. Their most assiduous en- 
jHeavors, however, seem to be hitherto attended with little 
fcuccess. The people, finding themselves much at ease, 
under no actual or immediate oppression, and unmindful 
bf the future, seem to be weary of political contests, and 
turn all their attention to the pursuits of wealth, amuse- 
hient, dissipation, or pleasure, as their several inclinations 
lead them. As in nature, so in politics, a dead calm has 
succeeded a most furious storm, and all are intent upon 
repairing the losses they have sustained, or enjoying the 
acquisitions they have made, while the tempest raged. 
The proceedings in Parliament (the standard of every- 
thing in the political world) have been by no means so 
Interesting as to afford me any excuse for troubling you 
With a particular detail of them. The convention with 
Spain, as we expected, was approved by both Houses, 
land an address of thanks voted to the Throne for obtain- 
ing so honorable and ample a satisfaction for the affront 
[which it had received. The majority in favor of it, 
[though abundantly sufficient for the Ministry, was not, 
[however, so large as it has been upon all other occasions. 
[Many of the army, navy, contractors, &c, who were sure 
ko have profited by a war, could not easily be induced to 
thank the Crown for accepting a convention which de- 
prived them of the sure means of acquiring wealth and 
fame. Besides the general question respecting the con- 
vention, the Opposition moved and debated, on several 
days, divers other collateral questions, relative to the pro- 
ceedings touching Falkland Islands, and upon the Spanish 
papers, all tending to impeach the conduct of Adminis- 
tration in that business, which, after all, had no other 
effect than to show the great superiority of their antago- 


nists. Since that, they have made a faint attempt to 
revive the question of the Middlesex election. There 
has also been much debate upon what is called the Nul- 
lum Tempus Bill, or an act limiting the prosecution of 
Crown claims to sixty years, which originated from a 
dispute between Sir James Lowther and the Duke of 
Portland, in which the Opposition were apparently in the 
wrong, wishing, by an ex post facto law, to affect private 
property. Another ground of litigation has been the 
right of the city of London to the soil, and the extent of 
their conservancy of the river Thames ; which was occa- 
sioned by their opposing an embankment of the river, 
and the erecting of a splendid set of buildings, at a place 
called Durham Yard, which, though very disagreeable to 
the city, will be supported by Parliament. The rights of 
jurors to determine both the law and the fact, in trials 
for libels, has been another subject of discussion, which 
they have, at last, left where they found it. And they 
are now most warmly combating upon the subject of pun- 
ishing the printers for publishing their speeches ; — or, 
rather, for making speeches for them, for they are very 
little like those delivered in the House, and most of them 
perfectly fictitious. Upon this occasion they have had 
two very long debates, one of which continued till five? 
and the other till six, o'clock in the morning. They 
have taken several printers into custody, some have ab- 
sconded, and some boldly set them at defiance. Most 
of the House, I believe, wish they had not taken up so 
disagreeable a business ; but since they have engaged 
in it, think it necessary to go through with it, and it is 
probable some punishments will be inflicted. Besides 
these matters still in agitation, we are told several patri- 
otic motions will be made, as for Triennial Parliaments, 
a Place Bill, &c, &c; but it is evident enough they must 
all come to nothing, and even many who will espouse 
them do not, I believe, at bottom, wish they should sue- 


< ceed. The agitating of them will, however, serve some 
purposes of Opposition ; at least that of teasing the Ad- 

) ministration. No very great matters, upon the whole, I 

; believe, are to be expected of this session, and with re- 
gard to America, in particular, it is the general opinion 

'that nothing should be done at present. It is enough 
that they know that goods are going out there, this 
spring, to the amount of more than a million sterling, 
and that they know, too, (by their own experience,) the 
wonderful political effects that luxury can produce. 
I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect and 

i esteem, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

I had scarcely finished the above, when a new scene 
of political contention arose, which has very greatly dis- 
turbed the repose we were in, is become the subject of 
much warm altercation, and may produce very consider- 
able consequences. Some of the printers having refused 
to obey the order of the House for their attendance, the 
speaker issued his warrant for apprehending them, and 
the King (at the request of the House) published a proc- 
lamation offering a reward of fifty pounds for their ap- 
prehension. One was taken up under the proclamation, 
and another seized by the messenger of the House, on 
the Speaker's warrant. They were carried before the 
Lord Mayor and the Aldermen Wilks and Oliver, who de- 
clared the proclamation and the arrest under the Speak- 
er's warrant both illegal, dismissed the printers, bound 
over the messenger to the Sessions for an assault and 
false imprisonment, and, upon his refusing to give bail, 
actually signed a warrant for committing him to gaol. 
The grounds they went upon were, a franchise of the 
city, granted by one of their charters and confirmed by 
act of Parliament, importing that no process shall be 
served in the city but such as issues from their own 


magistrates, and is executed by their own officers, and 
an opinion that the House of Commons have no right to 
order any persons before them but their own members. 
This, however, threw the House into a flame ; they con- 
sidered it as a high breach of privilege ; the Lord Mayor 
and Oliver were ordered to attend in their places, being 
members, and Wilks at the bar. Wilks refused to attend 
at the bar, wrote a letter to the Speaker demanding his 
seat as member for Middlesex, then retired into the city, 
and still sets them at defiance. The Lord Mayor and 
Oliver being before the House, and refusing to make any 
submission, after several days' violent debate, were both 
committed to the Tower, where they are visited by vast 
numbers of people, and appear to be very happy in 
their confinement. While the matter was in agitation, 
they were daily attended to and from Westminster by 
very numerous bodies of people, who surrounded and 
filled all the avenues to the House, tumultuously ap- 
plauding those members they esteemed their friends, 
and insulting their foes, as they passed to and from the 
House. On Wednesday last, Lord North, at the door of 
the new passage to the House, was seized in his chariot, 
the chariot broken, and his person severely maltreated 
by the mob, and he with difficulty escaped out of their 
hands, covered with dirt, his arm wounded, &c. Indeed, 
had not Sir W. Meredith and some other gentlemen 
come seasonably to his assistance, it is probable he would 
have been torn to pieces, and perished on the spot. The 
King himself, the next day, going to the House of Lords 
to give his royal assent to such bills as were ready, was 
also hissed, and very highly insulted by the populace. 
The House have appointed a numerous committee to in- 
quire into the causes of these riots and tumults, with a 
view to discover and punish those who have excited or 
encouraged them. The city are in a high ferment at 
the imprisonment of their magistrates, and will give the 


House of Commons all the trouble they can. The Min- 
istry are sincerely sorry this business of the printers was 
at all moved, but say they must, at all events, vindicate 
the honor of the House. What they will do with Wilks, 
or how the affair will end, does not yet appear, and I 
remain your Honor's most obedient, humble servant, 

W M Sam^ Johnson. 

Bridge Street, March 30th, 1771. 


Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. 

Westminster, June 4th, 1771. 

Sir, — After the most unexpected and incredible de- 
lays that perhaps ever attended any cause, we are at 
length come to a further hearing with the Mohegan 
Indians. It begun yesterday, when we went through 
the evidence, and Mr. Dunning began his argument ; it 
is discontinued to-day only as being the King's birthday, 
when everybody must be at Court, and will be resumed 
to-morrow, so that I trust in a few days I shall see an 
end of this very tedious affair. Whether it will be favor- 
able or adverse we have yet no means to determine, and 
can only say we have done everything possible to secure 
the first, while we have but too much reason to appre- 
hend the latter. Be it whichsoever it shall please Provi- 
dence to direct, I hope I shall soon have the honor to 
kvait upon you with a full account of it, and in the mean 
time shall continue to do the best I can, in every respect, 
for the true interest of the Colony, the only object of my 
bolicitude. There is not a single article of news worth 
(relating to you. The Lord Mayor and Alderman Oliver 
kery quietly returned from the Tower upon the proroga- 
tion of Parliament, and all the political world have been 



ever since surprisingly at peace. We have not even a 
newspaper controversy, except between Mr. Wilks and 
his late friends, Mr. Home, &c., who are now lashing 
each other, if possible, with greater keenness and acri- 
mony than they lately attacked the Ministry. This bitter 
contest of the Opposition amongst themselves leaves the 
Administration in perfect peace, and affords them no 
small amusement. Which of these two subdivisions of 
Opposition will carry their point it is difficult to deter- 
mine, though it seems most probable that Mr. Wilks will 
obtain the Sheriffalty of London, which is one immediate 
object of the contention. However the dispute ends, it 
is most certain that both parties will very greatly suffer 
by it, if not be absolutely ruined, in the public opinion. 
I have given due attention to the information and direc- 
tions you have favored me with in yours of the 15th of 
January last, for which I return you my sincere thanks, 
and am with the most perfect esteem and respect, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

Indorsed, " Received August 8th, 1771, per Hartford Post. Paid postage 
to Hartford, 4/6." 


The Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq., Governor of Connecticut at Lebanon 
in Connecticut, New England. 

Westminster, June 12th, 1771. 

Sir, — I have now to acquaint you that the hearing of 
the Mohegan cause ended yesterday. Their Lordships 
have not yet rendered judgment, nor given us any inti- 
mation what it will be, nor when they will give it. I hope 
it may be in a few days, that I may bring with me an 
account of their determination ; but as it can be of very 
little importance that I should be present at the render- 



ing of it, or when we bear what it is, and all other affairs 
relative to the Colony are in as good a situation as I can 
expect to leave them in, I think it my duty, as soon as 
possible, to return to America ; and have accordingly 
engaged a passage in the ship Lady Gage, Captain Kem- 
ble, who proposes to sail for New York in three weeks 
jor a month. Though passages at this season of the year 
pre usually rather long and tedious, yet we may hope, 
(God willing, to arrive by the middle of September, and 
at furthest, I depend, by the permission of Providence, 
(to have the honor and happiness to pay my respects to 
wou at the meeting of the General Assembly in October. 

The day after I wrote you last, viz. the 5th inst., the 
bueen (whom everybody loves) was happily delivered of 
la prince. The Earl of Halifax, Principal Secretary of 
State, died on Saturday last, and I expect will be suc- 
ceeded by Lord Suffolk, which will occasion some new 
arrangements amongst the Ministers, but will make no 
alteration in political affairs in general. All things are 
very quiet, except in the city, where the canvass and 
Contest for the Shrievalty is proceeding, as I mentioned 
(to you, with great spirit. I have only to add that I am, 
[with the greatest respect and esteem, 

Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 1 

Indorsed, "Received 30th August, 1771." 

1 This letter ends the official correspondence of Mr. or Doctor Johnson, 
as he was called, from London with the Governors of Connecticut, under his 
commission from the General Assembly, of October, 1766. The end of the 
Mohegan Case had now been reached. It had dragged its slow length 
along in the Privy Council, wearying the patience of Dr. Johnson, who was 
anxious to return home. He attended at the Cockpit the final hearing of 
the cause, Tuesday, June 11, 1771, "and if," says Dr. Beardsley, "the 
verdict proved not entirely in favor of the Colony, it was not a victory for 
the heirs of Mason. He made immediate preparations to return to America, 
.... and sailed from Gravesend for New York on Saturday, the 3d of 
August, and at seven o'clock in the eveniLg of the first day of the following 



London, March 14th, 1767. 

Sir, — I have deferred writing you since my arrival 
here, in hopes that by still farther observation and in- 
quiries I should be able to give you some tolerable ac- 
count of the plans and intentions of government, both 
with respect to this country and America, as well as fix 
a period when we might expect a trial of the Mohegan 
cause ; but can yet do neither, and will upon so uncertain 
prospects delay no longer the pleasure of paying my 
respects to you. 

Lord Chatham is considered here as the head of the 
Ministry, and is supposed to have the conduct of affairs ; 
he was, however, unhappily detained in the country by 
the gout, and all affairs of government dragged heavily 
on, in expectation, however, that his arrival, which was 
every day expected, would give life and vigor to the 
whole system, and produce some measures beneficial to 
the public. Meantime, variety of schemes were talked 
of with respect to the heavy taxes of this kingdom : the 

October he was safe at his home in Stratford." Here he quietly lived dur- 
ing the Revolution which followed, enjoying his studies, as he could not, 
from his moderate views, conscientiously take part in the war against Eng- 
land. He was by profession a lawyer, and had rendered his State impor- 
tant service in her councils. In 1787 he was appointed the first President 
of Columbia College, New York, after its organization as the successor of 
King's College, of which his father, Samuel Johnson, had been President. 
Dr. Johnson died in 1819, on the 14th of November, two months after he 
had reached his ninety-second birthday. See " Life and Times of William 
Samuel Johnson, LL.D., . . . " by E. Edwards Beardsley, D.D., LL.D., 
(New York, 1876,) pp. 85, 86, 112, 129, 181. — Eds. 

1 This letter was discovered among the miscellaneous letters of the Trum- 
bull collection, too late to be inserted in chronological order. It bears no 
address, but it was probably written to Jonathan Trumbull, at this time 
Lieutenant-Governor. Though not belonging strictly to this series of offi- 
cial letters to the Governors of Connecticut, and though repeating somewhat 
the political gossip contained in the letter to Governor Pitkin, of near date, 
we have thought best to give the letter a place here. — Eds. 


scarcity and exorbitant price of provisions ; for the better 
regulation of America; for the settlement of the affairs 
t)f the East India Company, &c., &c. Nothing, however, 
jsvas actually proposed, much less effectually pursued : all 
Jsvas reserved for the arrival of Lord Chatham. In this 
fetate I found affairs when I came here, and in this situa- 
tion they continued till the acting Ministers, unable to 
delay longer, found it necessary to bring on the consid- 
eration of the supplies, and, amongst other things, pro- 
posed that the Land Tax should be continued at 4/ in the 
pound. This occasioned a warm debate in the House, and 
It was finally carried for 3/ against the Ministry, by a 
targe majority; which showed their want of weight in the 
Pouse, and threw them into the utmost confusion. This 
^ointwas decided on Friday, the 26th of- February. Lord 
Chatham came to town the Sunday following, and for 
ten days afterwards the Ministers did nothing but quarrel 
amongst themselves. At first it was said that Lord Chat- 
ham would somehow bring on the affair again ; and then, 
that he put a good face upon it, and said it was perfectly 
right that the Land Tax should be abated, but blamed the 
JMinisters that they did not propose the reduction them- 
selves. They differed too in opinion upon the proposals 
Jnade by the East India Company ; Secretary Conway 
and Charles Townsend, Chancellor of the Exchequer, were 
bhaprined, and every circumstance portended a change in 
the Ministry. At length, however, it seems a peace was 
toatched up amongst them, the storm has blown over for 
the present, and things are now pretty quiet at Court. 
IA.11 agree, however, that the public affairs are in an un- 
happy situation, every one solicitously taking care of 
himself, no one of the public ; and it seems as if this would 
brove but a barren sessions of Parliament. The East In- 
pia affair at present engrosses all their attention. I need 
pot tell you, I presume, that the question is, whether the 
^Company can by their charter hold the immense territory 


they have acquired in India. Lord Chatham, it is said, 
insists they cannot, but that it belongs to the Crown ; or, 
if they could, that it has been obtained by the aid of 
government, and they must at least have a share. The 
Company offer 500,000 per annum, by way of composi- 
tion. Mr. Conway and Charles Townsend would accept 
this, or at least treat upon it. Lord Chatham will not, 
but insists upon trying the right. The House have 
ordered the papers to be printed. It is a subject of great 
altercation, and how it will end cannot be foreseen, 
though the general opinion is that a composition will 
finally take place. 

One comfort we Americans may derive from all the 
contentions and confusions here : that while they are thus 
immersed in cabals, and so busy about their own affairs, 
they will not probably have leisure to contrive anything 
very mischievous to America, towards which many are 
however enough disposed. We have reason, too, I think, 
to wish the present Ministry may be permanent, because 
there seems no great reason, in case of a change, to 
expect the last set will be restored ; and should Mr. Green- 
ville and his friends step in, it is certain they are impla- 
cable towards us. And from the best intelligence I can 
get, the leading members of the present set are deter- 
mined no violent measures shall be taken with regard 
to us. Mr. Conway, especially, I should be loath to part 
with, who seems to have very just notions of America, 
to be mild and moderate in his temper, reasonable and 
accurate in his inquiries, and sincerely desirous to unite 
both countries, in affection as well as interest. But cer- 
tain it is that we have unhappily lost many friends since 
last winter. Great pains have been taken to irritate the 
people of England against America, especially the free- 
holders, and to persuade them that they are to pay in- 
finite taxes and we none ; they are to be burdened that 
we may be eased ; and, in a word, that the interests of 


Britain are sacrificed to those of America. The mer- 
| chants, too, are grown very cool in their regard towards 
;us, partly because they have not received the remittances 
J they expected since the repeal of the Stamp Act, and 
; because they think we did not, as they say, express 
'proper gratitude to them for the service they did upon 
I that occasion. Mr. Ray told me the other day, that from 
(most of the Provinces, and particularly Connecticut, they 
had not received even answers to their letters : though 
I assured him I knew such letters were prepared, and I 
believed forwarded. The New York petition (relative to 
their trade) offended many, and their conduct in refusing 
to billet the troops, more. And, to complete the whole, 
Sir H. Moor has assured the Ministry, in a letter which 
was laid before the House, that they must not expect that 
obedience will ever be paid in America to an act of Par- 
liament, unless they have a military force there sufficient 
to enforce it. So that, from these and other concurrent 
circumstances, we have, upon the whole, greatly lost 
ground. Yet I thank God we have still many firm 
friends, and, as I have already said, am pretty well as- 
sured that while the present Ministry continue nothing 
very grievous will be done. Mr. Greenville, however, 
loses no opportunity to attack us, and reproach the late 
Ministry as having given up the honor of the nation ; 
he has also a considerable party who adhere to him, 
and, in the unstable situation of things here, stands 
no very ill chance of raising himself again to power. 
Many who are not unfriendly to America flatter them- 
selves that, if this event should happen, he would not 
in fact be so great an enemy to America as he now ap- 
pears to be; but for my own part I fear everything 
from him, and would deprecate his advancement to the 
conduct of affairs as the worst of evils that could happen 
to my country. Which opinion I found upon what I have 
several times heard from his own mouth in the House, 


and what has fell from his friends in conversation. Upon 
the whole, quiet, prudent, steady measures should be 
pursued in America, and in that case I trust we shall be 
tolerably safe. 

As to the Mohegan Case, I have the satisfaction to 
find it lies under as good circumstances as we could 
expect. The' arguments relative to the irregularity and 
unreasonableness of such a method of determining titles 
to lands, and the equity and expediency of terminating 
by an effectual dismission a controversy which has been 
so long and so warmly litigated, at such infinite expense, 
and now suffered to sleep so long since the last appeal, 
are pretty fairly open to us. And should we be driven 
to a trial upon the merits, good use, I think, may be made 
of the idea of conquest, which you have so often and so 
advantageously mentioned. A brief is prepared upon the 
previous question, and ready for Sir Fletcher Norton's 
perusal and attention, which in a few days we hope to 
engage ; but when we shall have opportunity for an argu- 
ment upon the subject is not so easy to foresee. The 
President of the Council, upon whom all depends in that 
court, is an old and infirm gentleman, not very able to 
attend the trial of causes, and is beside enough con- 
cerned in the present disquietudes and cabals of the 
Court to engross all the attention he is able to give to 
business. He has not sat this winter, nor given any 
intimations when he intends it. Meantime, among other 
persons of consequence to whom I have spoken upon the 
subject, I have had opportunity to state the whole case 
to one Privy Councillor of the first rank, who was pleased 
to assure me that he would certainly attend the trial 
whenever it should come on, and hoped to find the cause 
as just as I had represented it to him. This, however, 
for more reasons than one, I think, should not be men- 
tioned to any of Mason's friends. 

I am also soliciting the affair of the College ; but its 


best friends give me little encouragement to hope for 
Success, both from the badness of the times here in gen- 
feral, the ill temper at present prevailing with respect to 
America, and the very late applications in behalf of Mr. 
Wheelock's school, which have prospered exceedingly, 
find exhausted the bounty of well-disposed persons for 
the present. I do not, however, absolutely despair, but 
shall make farther and repeated applications. This I 
pave not hinted to anybody else, and leave it with you to 
mention or suppress it, as you think best. ' 

There is no material foreign news. Our Court, it is 
paid, is not upon good terms with that of Portugal, nor 
are we in the best humor with the Dutch; but both these 
disputes, it is thought, will be accommodated without 
pauch difficulty. 

I know you must be weary of this long letter ; yet, 
since the conclusion was rather favorable to the Colony, 
[ will detain you long enough to tell you that, in an audi- 
ence which I had of Lord Shelburne this morning upon the 
affair of the New Hampshire lands, after I had despatched 
that particular business, I led on to a general conversa- 
tion upon American affairs, which his Lordship readily 
took up, and dwelt long upon it, saying it was his favorite 
theme. I do not mean to trouble you with the particu- 
lars of the conversation. But, in general, he said no 
man was, or could be, a better friend to America than he 
was ; and he should be always attentive to her interests, 
which were inseparably the true interests of this country 
also; but he could not be answerable for the conse- 
quences of the step New York had taken with respect 
to the troops, which, he must say, was at best very impru- 
dent at this critical juncture ; yet he hoped no violent 
measures would be pursued, &c, &c. But when I repre- 
sented to him the circumstances of the Colony of Con- 
necticut, — its loyalty, good behavior, and decent conduct 
upon all occasions, — and begged leave to recommend it 


to his protection, &c, he was pleased to say : " That Col- 
ony, sir, from what you now acquaint me with, and from 
all I have heard before, I must esteem as a well-regulated, 
virtuous, and prudent Colony, and as such they may 
always depend upon my friendship and regard/' This 
might be the language of the courtier, though spoken 
with all the appearance of sincerity ; yet it gave me 
pleasure (as I know it will you) to have so much rea- 
son to think that we stand well in the opinion of the 
Minister who fit present has the principal conduct of 
American affairs. With compliments to your son (sev- 
eral of whose old acquaintance here have inquired after 
him in a very friendly manner), to Colonel Dyer, Major 
Williams, and all friends, I remain, with the greatest 
regard and esteem, 

Your Honor's most obedient, humble servant, 

W M Sam ll Johnson. 

The moment I had sealed my letter, I received intelli- 
gence that the Council have adopted the idea of forming 
a settlement in the Illinois country or upon the Ohio, and 
referred it to the Board of Trade to consider of and form 
a plan for carrying it into execution ; so that General 
Lyman is now in a very good way, and will probably 
write his friends more particularly what expectations are 
given him upon this occasion. This system of extending 
settlements into the Indian country is adopted in view to 
ease the Crown of the enormous expense of Indian affairs, 
and with intention to devolve it, as formerly, upon the 
Colonies, — to do what they think necessary or expedient 
towards preserving peace with them. Will not this also 
furnish the Colonies with an additional argument against 
their keeping up an army in America, the chief pretence 
for which has been the fear of these Indians, who are 
now, it seems, to be delivered over to the care and atten- 
tion of the Colonies ? 






Wrentham, 12 o'clock, Wednesday [26 April, 1775]. 

Honoeed Sir, — Yesterday morning I had between one 
and two hundred men pretty well equipped ready to 
move, and moving, towards our great army at Cambridge, 
when I received authentic intelligence that they were 
not wanted at present, upon which I ordered them to 
wait further orders before they proceeded; now find 
that most of the Connecticut troops are on the return. 
Ehode Island are to raise 1500 men. Lower House were 
unanimous in the measure except the members from New- 
port. The Governor, Deputy- Governor, and two of the 
Council only dissented in the Upper House, and have 
protested ; a copy of which, taken in haste, I now trans- 
mit, as it may possibly reach you sooner by this express 
than any other way, and may serve to confute a story 
which I found was gone into our Colony, that there 
were great divisions in the Assembly. I had the pleas- 

1 Colonel, afterwards General, Jedediah Huntington, of Norwich, Con- 
necticut, son of Jabez, was born in 1743, and graduated at Harvard College 
in 1763. He was now on his way to join the army before Boston, and, as 
will be seen by the letter immediately following this, arrived at Cam- 
bridge on the evening of the 2Gth of April. Here he found General Putnam, 
who had preceded him. These few letters, with two or three exceptions, 
are addressed to Governor Jonathan Trumbull, whose daughter Faith he had 
married. Being stationed at Roxbury, his regiment was not in the action 
at Bunker's Hill on the 17th of June. He was in the battle of Long Island, 
and served during the remainder of the war. For notice of him see F. M. 
Caulkins's History of Norwich, p. 417. It may be added, that several of 
these letters are already printed in Force's "American Archives." — Eds. 


ure of spending a few minutes with Governor Ward * this 
morning: he says, among other encouraging things, that 
his friends in the Southern Provinces have very lately 
wrote him with the strongest assurances of the good prep- 
arations making in those parts for a defence by arms. 
In haste, I am your dutiful son, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Indorsed, " Enclosing Protest of Gov r , &c. of Rhode Island." 

protest of governor wanton and others of 
rhode island. 

We the subscribers, professing true allegiance to his 
Majesty, King George the Third, beg leave to dissent 
from the vote of the House of Magistrates for enlist- 
ing, raising, and embodying an army of observation of 
fifteen hundred men to repel any insult or violence 
that may be offered to the inhabitants, and also, if it be 
necessary for the safety and preservation of any of the 
Colonies, to march them out of the Colony to join and 
co-operate with the forces of our neighboring Colonies. 

Because we are of opinion that such a measure will 
be attended with the most fatal consequences to our 
charter privileges, involve the Colony in all the horrors 
of a civil war, and, as we conceive, is an open violation 
of the oath of allegiance, which we have severally taken 
upon our admission into the respective offices we now 
hold in the Colony. 

J. Wanton. 

D. Sessions. 

Tho s Wickes. 

W M Potter. 

1 The late Governor of Rhode Island, Samuel Ward. — Eds. 


N. B. The Lower House were all in the vote for rais- 
ing men except the New Port members. 

Indorsed, " Protest of the Governor, D. Governor, and two Assistants of 
HRhode Island, 1775." 1 

Mr. Jonathan Trumbull, Junr. 

Cambridge, Thursday, 27 April. 

Dear Sir, — I came into this place through Roxbery 
Oast evening ; find great numbers of troops, or rather 
formed men, in much more confusion than I expected, 
[but perhaps with as little as possible in this disordered 
State of the Massachusetts. Most of the soldiers here 
are inhabitants of this Province, who are now enlisting 
in a regular manner. General Ward is at Roxberry ; 
General Putnam is Commander-in-Chief at this place. 
They have both of them too much business upon their 
hands. I wish our general officers as soon as appointed 
might immediately repair to head-quarters ; they will 
at this crisis of Provincial politics be very cordially 
accepted, and be of eminent service. The Committee 
of Safety, who are the primum mobile in the military 
movements, are crowded with business. It is expected 
by many that the inhabitants of Boston will have leave 
to come out this day with their effects, provided they 
leave their arms and provisions : it is said that pork 
sold there, yesterday, for a pistareen per pound, and 
milk for a pistareen per quart. Many are suspicious 
that the General intends to deceive them till he gets 

1 In the Rhode Island Colony Records. VII. 311, this document bears 
date, "Providence, April 25, 1775." — Ers. 


To the Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq., in Lebanon. Per Post. 
Camp at Roxbury, 10th August, 1775. 

Honored Sir, — I received your favor per post yes- 
terday. Am much obliged for the commissions and 
the intelligence respecting the men-of-war, &c. off New 
London. I hope the worst consequence of their ap- 
pearance will be the loss of ammunition that will be' 
dealt out upon the occasion. There has been an affray 
between the man-of-war at Cape Ann, and the inhabit- 
ants. 2 The former had taken a vessel from sea, which 
the latter retook, and secured the cargo and vessel; 
afterwards two more in like circumstances ; and gave 
the man-of-war so good a beating as to induce her 
to leave the port, but not without destroying and 

1 Mr. Quincy died on the 26th of April, a few hours before the vessel in 
which he was a passenger entered the harbor of Gloucester. — Eds. 

2 See Gordon's History of the American Revolution, II. 96, 97. — Eds. 


possession of their arms. An experienced engineer 
deserted the Castle the 25th inst. Mr. Josiah Quincy 
is arrived from London in a very low state of health, 
and not expected to live. 1 The Restraining Act is come 
by the same ship. The reinforcements from England 
were not to sail till the middle of April. I will if pos-i 
sible enclose you a Salem paper. I expected to haveB 
seen Brother Joseph by this time. 

Your affectionate brother, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Indorsed, " 27th April, 1775. Colo. Jed. Huntington to Mr. Jon 01 . Trum-1 
bull, Junr." 


damaging a few houses. I hope my brother will be 
successful in procuring the flour he is gone to pur- 
chase ; the Connecticut troops, whose provisions are 
thrown into common stock, do not like it very well 
that they are to help eat up a large quantity of rye 
purchased for this Province. The new regulations in 
this camp, in many things, give uneasiness; but I hope 
and believe that, when the Commissary-General has got 
his channels open, supplies will flow regularly and in 
plenty : at present they have not that provision which 
the Colony stands engaged for. All my companies 
are in, except Tyler's, Rowley's, and Lyon's. Part in 
tents, others in houses for want of tents. This day 
a return is to be made to head-quarters of all our 
covering, upon which I expect better provision will 
be made in that article. Our dangers are increasing : 
it behooves our land, and the army in special, to have 
their eyes upon God and trust in him. I desire your 
prayers that I may be faithful. My love to mother, 
son, &c, and am 

Your dutiful and affectionate son, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Indorsed, " 10th August, 1775. Colo. Jed. Huntington, received 12th 
August. Cape Ann affair." 

To the Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq., in Lebanon. 

Roxbury Camp, 14 August, 1775. 

Honored Sir, — There is the ensigncy in my own 
company vacant. I have one Mr. Newell in Major 
Clark's company to fill it, if it is agreeable. I am told 




three of my companies are ordered to New London. 
I hope they will soon join the regiment, consistent 
with the public safety. The army is very sickly, but 
there are not many deaths ; Captain Chester has had 
thirty-one of his company in the hospital together. 
Our medicine-chests will soon be exhausted. As soon 
as the supply of powder expected arrives, I imagine 
General Putnam will knock up a dust : he has got one 
floating battery launched, and another on the stocks. 
I remain, with proper respects to all, 

Your dutiful and affectionate son, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Indorsed, <; 14th August, 1775. Colo. Jed. Huntington, received 16th 
instant from Norwich per Woodstock." 


To the Honorable Jonathan Trumbull, JEsg., Lebanon. Per Post. 

Roxbury Camp, 17 August, 1775. 

Honored Sir, — I have your esteemed favor of the 
14th August. I could wish to have my companies join 
the regiment, but I submit willingly their disposition 
to the public service. If the Ministerial troops do not 
leave us before some works are finished, which are 
near completed, and a supply of powder is in, I ex- 
pect we shall be ordered to begin the salute. I am 
glad to hear my wife has made you a visit ; hope she 
will be able to visit you often. There is not proper 
and sufficient provision made for our sick, and some 
other necessary matters I could wish the Governor and 
Council would order General Spencer to see that it be 
done. Many of our sick are in a suffering condition 


for want of house room, &c. Many of our soldiers 
might as well be at home as here, whose arms are out 
of order, no armorers established. I have made fre- 
quent applications for iron, but cannot obtain any. If 
the officers here had authority to procure such things 
as the public service absolutely requires, it would, I 
trust, be quickly and prudently done ; but we are not 
willing to do much of our own heads. Brother John 
will be in my mess. The post calls. I conclude with 
that I am most respectfully your dutiful and affectionate 

Jed. Huntington. 

The enemy are now endeavoring to molest our people 
at work near Lamb's Dam by cannon and bombs. 

Indorsed, " Received 19th inst." — Eds. 


To the Honorable Jonathan Trumbull, Esqr., Lebanon. Per Col. Champion. 

Roxbury Camp, 25th August, 1775. 

Honored Sir, — I have your favor of the 21st inst. 
I have told Doctors Turner and Cogswell to make out a 
state of circumstances of their department. As to armor- 
ers, I have just received some tools from Norwich ; and 
a general order was out yesterday to the quartermaster 
to make necessary provision. Hope now, though late, to 
have my arms in good order. I was aware of difficulties 
you would have in filling vacancies from the many com- 
petitors : there always will be. I wish the fittest may ever 
succeed. My brother Eb: is not without some essential 
qualifications ; he has in several instances whilst at this 
camp exhibited evidences of his courage. Poor Tracy, 


my adjutant, is very dangerously sick, and unable to at- 
tend to any business; I fear will not recover; for the 
present Lieut. Hillyer of Capt. Humphry's company, an 
old soldier, a sensible man, and good scholar, officiates as 
adjutant. I shall likely continue him if Tracy fails, which 
will make a second lieutenancy vacant. I am unwilling 
to interfere much in appointments; I should think the 
General would be more so. I have been impatient at the 
slow progress of our movements at the northward, but 
believe all for the best. Hope to see my brother pay- 
master's letter, mentioned in yours. My regiment has 
been very sickly, and is much so yet, but think the sick- 
ness is abating. The old soldiers say my companies came 
into camp at a season that always proves sickly to new 
troops. I don't know any one now dangerous but Mr. 
Tracy. His and Mr. Fanning's sickness has thrown more 
business on my hands than I could have wished, but I 
have been so happy as to enjoy much health myself. I 
remain, with salutations of love and duty, your affec- 
tionate son, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Saturday Morning, 26th. 

Not having opportunity to forward this, I add that yes- 
terday four boats from the Castle and men-of-war below 
came up to Fox Point in Dorchester, sounding the chan- 
nel. They were fired at by our troops on that station, 
and made a speedy departure. We have been told that 
our enemies have for some time past been toasting the 
25th August, intending then to make a visit to us, and 
that General Gage has given Earl Percy the command of 
the lines on the Neck, who is to exhibit such proofs of his 
military abilities as will retrieve the honor he lost at the 
Lexington affray. But matters remain this morning in 
statu quo. I took leave of Ensign Tracy last evening 
expecting next to hear of his death, to which he seems 


to be well reconciled, and expresses a good hope as to 
another life. 

By return of my regiment the 25th 

there were . . . 

General Spencer's . . 

" Parsons's . . 

Indorsed, " Received 28th, pr. Col. Champion.' 


a ' 






































To Governor Trumbull. 

Camp in Roxbury, 6th September, 1775. 

Honored Sir, — I have vour esteemed favor of the 4th 
September. Observe that provision is made for Mr. Dyer. 
I this day hear of the death of my first lieutenant. I 
strongly recommend my second lieutenant, Mr. Jonathan 
Brewster, to succeed ; he is an officer I set as much by as 
any one in the regiment, although there are so many 
worthy men among the number. A secret expedition is 
on foot under the command of Col. Arnold ; a draft is to 
be made of about 1100. Col. Enos, Major Meigs, Major 
Bigelo, Capt. Hanchet, Doctor Turner, are of the party. 
I call it a secret expedition ; but it is become, like many 
others, known to everybody. The design is against Que- 
beck by the way of Kennebeck River. Should Doctor 
Turner go, I shall be left without any surgeon but Doc- 
tor Holmes. Doctor Waldo of Pomfret is discharged, 
and gone home on account of his ill state of health. 
Doctor Waldo of Coventry has been here some time, at 
my desire, administering to the sick. His assistance 


has been much needed, and will be more so when 
Turner is gone. Waldo will expect something to de- 
pend on upon the pecuniary score if he continues any 
longer. We are this night making approaches towards 
our enemies on the Neck : expect they will show their 

Thursday Morn. 

Three separate intrenchments were thrown up last 
night which will cover our out sentries and advanced 
night parties. No opposition made. Nothing farther to 
detain you. I remain, with suitable regards to all, 
Your dutiful and affectionate 

Jed. Huntington. 

Indorsed, " Received 9th." 

To the Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esqr., Lebanon. Per favor Mr. Gray. 

Koxbury Camp, 9 September, 1775. 

Honored Sir, — I should be glad that my second 
lieutenant, Mr. Jonathan Brewster, might succeed Lieut. 
Kingsbury, and my first sergeant, Mr. Ebenezer Perkins, 
have the ensigncy in my company. The second lieuten- 
ancy I could wish Mr. Simeon Huntington w r ould accept. 
I want officers of a military spirit. Many are appointed 
who are worthy men, but very indifferent in camp. I once 
mentioned Mr. Newel to fill Mr. Tracy's place in my 
company, but as there will be an opening in Capt. Hum- 
phry's company, I think it best on some accounts that, if 
he is promoted, it should be in that company. The ap- 
pointments for my company which I have mentioned, I 
think, will be for the service of the regiment. I would not 
wish to have it known to any one what I say as to want 
of good officers. Doctor Church tells Doctor Turner there 


are to be brigade surgeons appointed by the Continental 
Congress, and that he will recommend Doctor Turner for 
one of them. If you should think proper to say anything 
in the Doctor's favor it may be of much service to a man 
very valuable in his place. My love and duty to the 
family, &c. I remain, 

Most affectionately, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Indorsed, "Received 16th." 

Master Jabez Huntington. 

Roxbury Camp, 21st September, 1775. 

Dear Child, — It gives me satisfaction to hear from 
you and to write to you, especially as you seem desirous 
of profiting by my letters. It is of great importance to 
you that good impressions be made on your mind at this 
time of life, You must always keep in remembrance, 
that God created you for his own glory ; and whenever 
you are going to do anything, think whether you shall 
honor God or dishonor him, and take care to perform the 
former and avoid the latter. To this end you are to look 
to him for grace. There is a promise made to children 
which is better than what all your friends on earth can do 
for you. God has said, " They that seek me early, shall 
find me." Give my love to your mamma when you see 
her, and to your uncles and aunts ; duty to grandpas and 
grandmas ; respects to Master Tisdale. 

From your affectionate parent, 

Jed. Huntington. 



To the Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, Esq., in Lebanon. Per Post 

Roxbury Camp, 21st September, 1775. 

Honored Sir, — I have your favor per post enclosing 
the commissions for Brewster and Perkins. We were 
called upon in yesterday's orders from head-quarters to 
apply for our Continental commissions. Some officers are 
suspicious they shall be holden in service during pleasure 
of Congress if they accept them. However, I believe they 
will not be so cautious as the soldiers are, who in general 
decline signing the Continental Articles of War, lest they 
should be retained thereby longer than the term of their 
first engagements. It will be agreeable to me to see the 
other part of my regiment, but am sorry it must be with 
the necessity of further exertions of our Colony for its 
own and the common safety. How free has she been 
with men and money for the public cause ! Surely there 
is a reward for her. I am astonished that anything in 
the General's letter should bear a construction injurious 
or dishonorable to Connecticut, as it seems by brother 
D.'s letter to brother Major is the case. 1 I am gratified 
whenever I can do any service to brother Jack. My love 
and duty to mother, &c. 

I remain your dutiful and affectionate 

Jed. Huntington. 

Indorsed, " Received per Loomis, 23d Sept." 

1 See Stuart's Life of Jonathan Trumbull, Sen., pp. 207, 208. — Eds. 



To Governor Trumbull. 

Roxbury Camp, 5th October, 1775. 

Honored Sir, — I am much obliged to you and father 
Huntington for the information I have concerning my 
wife. Her own letter was not explicit enough, though 
was able to gather from it that she was not in usual good 
health, which gives me much trouble and concern. I feel 
myself in great straits. The numberless applications for 
furloughs lately have rendered it dishonorable to ask leave 
of absence from the army. The General is troubled that 
so many officers — and principal ones, too — are willing to 
leave the service on one occasion and another. Indeed, it 
has given me not a little concern to find some, not a few, 
ready to sacrifice our most important cause to interest, 
prejudice, pique, and other gratifications ; and yet it is 
with the utmost uneasiness I can stay from Mrs. Hun- 
tington in her indisposition. If the journey to Weth- 
ersfield which is proposed does not take place, or is not 
beneficial, I could wish to meet her at Dedham. I think 
a journey will be very serviceable. If you think best 
upon the receipt of this and the then circumstances at 
home that I should come, I will come immediately, and 
also soon wait upon you at New Haven, if desired. I shall 
with much impatience wait to hear further from her whose 
life, health, and happiness is so intimately connected with 
my own. 1 I am 

Your dutiful and affectionate son, 

Jed. Huntington. 

1 Colonel Huntington's wife, -with a party of young friends whose curi- 
osity had been excited by the novelty of military scenes, visited the army 
before Boston. She joined her husband ac Roxbury, and witnessed some 
of the horrible realities of war of the 17th of June. Being a woman of deep 


General Howe succeeds General Gage ; his commission 
was published in Boston yesterday. General Clinton is 
to command at Bunker Hill. 

The regiment which I have the honor to command was 
mustered yesterday by the Muster-Master-General, and 
were well spoken of by him. I now have four muster- 
rolls for each company to see completed, and certificates 
to sign agreeable to the 57th Article of the Rules and 
Regulations of the Continental Army. It will be a busi- 
ness of two or three days to have them [torn] and accurately 
done. This will prevent my coming home so early as you 
desire ; otherwise, I believe I should immediately apply 
for leave of absence. My anxiety increases with every 
line I write. 

Indorsed, " Received 7 Oct." 


The Hon. Jonathan Trumbull, .Esquire, in New Haven. Per Post. 

Roxbury Camp, 19th October, 1775. 

Honored Sir, — His Excellency, General Washington, 
has discharged at their desire three of the officers of my 
regiment; — Lieut. Terrel of Ripley's company, Ensign 
Markham of Ellsworth's, and Ensign Stoughton of Hum- 
phry's; and I have promoted Lieut. Hillyer of Hum- 

and affectionate sensibility, writes her brother, the moment of her visit was 
most unfortunate. She saw too clearly the life of hardship and danger upon 
which her husband and a favorite brother had entered, and it overcame her 
strong but too sensitive mind, and she became deranged. This is the story 
as told by her brother, John Trumbull, in his Autobiography, p. 22. She 
returned to her home in Norwich ; but, at the suggestion of her husband in 
this letter, she came on to Dedham, where he joined her, and where she 
died, 24th November, 1775. See Stuart's Life of Jonathan Trumbull, Sen., 
pp. 194-196. — Eds. 


Iphry's to the Adjutancy, which makes four vacancies 
[in the whole. The principal officers of the regiment 
lhave desired me to recommend them to be filled up in 
[the following manner, in case blank commissions are 
mot sent to me. I believe the disposition will be gen- 
erally agreeable, and for the service of the regiment. 
Ensign Abraham Wright of Major's company to be 
2d Lieut, in the 4th company (Humphry's), vice Lieut. 
Hillyer. Sergeant Jonathan Humphry, Junr., of the 4th, 
to be Ensign, vice Ensign Stoughton. Sergeant Simeon 
Newell of the Major's (that is, the 3d) company, to be 
i Ensign, vice Ensign Wright. Ensign Nathaniel Bingham, 
I of Lieut. Col. Douglas's company to be 2d Lieut, of 
j Ripley's (which is the 10th), vice Lieut. Chamberlain, to 
I be promoted to the 1st Lieutenancy, vice Lieut. Ter- 
rell. Sergeant John Kinsman, of Col. Douglas's, to be 
Ensign, vice Ensign Bingham. Sergeant Solomon Make- 
peace, of the 5th company (that is, Elsworth's), to be 
Ensign, vice Ensign Markham. We have many fears 
concerning the Commissary-General of our army, who we 
just hear is dangerously sick at your house. 1 The univer- 
sal satisfaction he has given in his station and in private 
life fills every one with much anxiety for his recovery. 
The night before last, one of our floating batteries was 
much damaged by the bursting of a cannon ; two men 
killed and several wounded. We had three fine floating 
batteries, two in Cambridge and one in Mistick River, 
— two of them remain good yet ; and about twenty 
flat-bottom boats that will carry near one hundred men 
each, besides a number of whale-boats. What is to be 
clone with them I know not. Our enemies continue 
their defensive operations. They have taken down the 

1 This was Joseph Trumbull, the oldest son of the Governor, and brother- 
in-law of Colonel Huntington. He recovered from this illness, but died 
June 27, 1778, aged forty-two. He was the first Commissary-General of 
the United States. — Eds. 



buildings not far from the Haymarket, South End of 
Boston, and made an opening from water to water, and 
are busily raising batteries. All the articles of news 
from the other side of the water are full of threats. 
All appearance of a reconciliation between this country 
and Great Britain, commonly though erroneously called 
the Mother Country, is vanished out of sight. The 
breach is daily widening. I begin to think the Golden 
Age of New England is past, — that she will enjoy no 
more of her good days such as she has seen, till the 
time comes when there will be none to hurt or destroy 
in all the holy mountain. With most dutiful respects, 
I remain your affectionate son, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Indorsed, " Received at New Haven." 

To Governor Trumbull. 

Camp at Roxbury, 14th January, 1776. 

Honored Sir, — I have your esteemed favor of the 
8th insi, and would devoutly join in your petitions that 
the hand of the Almighty in his public and private deal- 
ings may be properly and profitably attended to. God 
has indeed appeared for our land, contrary to all human 
reasoning. The principles and hopes of our enemies have 
failed them. The King's speech, threatening as it is, 
yet betrays in almost every sentence the imbecility of his 
measures. The Ministry, it seems, have still a morbid 
majority. It will give the minority new spirits, that so 
eminent and respectable characters as the Duke of Graf- 
ton, General Conway, and Bishop of Peterborough are 
added to their number ; and before this time the King's 
affairs in Canada will look with a dark aspect. 

Boston papers are nowadays something of rarities. I 


J enclose you one for your amusement. The lengthy 
I address in it animadverting on the address from our head- 
| quarters to the soldiers has inserted one sentence very er- 
roneously. "Your officers tell you," he says, " that men 
who are possessed of a vivacity," &c. ; the word not, which 
is essential to the meaning of the sentence, is left out. 

As light as they make of the burning two or three old 
houses at Charlestown, they have pulled down the three 
I or four that escaped the flames. The troops in Boston 
were under arms all night. 

I have alighted upon some old proclamations in the 
house where I am. As they are old things, and the pro- 
ductions of eminent men, I have had thoughts of sending 
some of them to you. 

Recruits come in slowly ; the regiments on average are 
not more than 400 strong. We have, however, more men 
than arms. 

By brother David's letter to the Major, the situation of 
affairs at New York requires immediate attention. That 
Colony has hitherto been, and I fear will forever be, a 
moth to us. I almost wish its capital was in ashes. 

I send my love and duty to mother, brothers, and sis- 
ters, and a letter to son. I long to embrace the offspring 
of my dear companion. I implore the Divine mercy that 
he may by his improvements and dutifulness make some 
amends to his grandparents for the loss of their lovely 
daughter, that he may be a blessing to his friends and the 
world ; above all, that his name be written in heaven ; 
that you may experience much of the presence of the 
Father of Lights carrying you through the important 
business of your station, and have occasion to rejoice in 
the happy fruits of your care and labor. 

I am, with all duty and affectionate regards, 
Your bereaved son, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Indorsed, " Received 20th instant, per Loomis." 




The Honorable Jonathan Trumbull, Esq., in Lebanon. 

Camp at Roxbury, 22d January, 1776. 

Honored Sir, — I enclose you copy of General Orders 
providing arms, &c. Have sent Lieut. Huntington to pur- 
chase for my regiment. As the time allowed him by the 
orders is short, I fear he will not be able to look up many 
among individuals, from whence I suppose they must 
come. If he should be so happy as to find a considerable 
number together, he may accomplish the business by the 
time. He is directed to procure one hundred, which I 
hope will be sufficient with what the soldiers will furnish 
themselves. I have ordered him to let you know what 
success he meets with, that you may take such measures 
for a supply as you shall think proper and necessary. 

We much lament the death of the brave General Mont- 
gomery ; hope it will be rightly improved by the army 
there and here. The impatience of the soldiers, and per- 
haps of the subordinate officers, was the immediate cause 
of it. It will teach us — and there is too much need of 
the lesson — not to depend on an arm of flesh. Please to 
give my love and duty to mother, son, brother, &c. 
I am most affectionately and dutifully yours, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Bro r Major desires to be remembered. 

Indorsed, " Received per Li Huntington." 

To Governor Trumbull. 

Roxbury Camp, 15 February, 1775[6]. 

Honored Sir, — Since I wrote you last, there has been 
much talk of attacking the strong fortress of our enemies. 


It has all along been said by the army and others, that 
when the season should make a good bridge of ice, then 
would be the time to rout our enemies. We have had 
such an opportunity, but were not prepared to improve 
it. Many, however, would have been glad to have en- 
gaged in the enterprise, as circumstances were. A can- 
nonade and bombardment will now be attempted, but I 
fear with little effect, and that finally we must be content 
to remain in our present state. But all is for the best. 
The defeat at Quebec may eventually be to the advantage 
I of our cause. The time the news of it got into Boston 
1 was opportune ; it happened to be published in their paper 
i just as Admiral Graves was sailing for England, that Gen- 
eral Carleton was twelve hundred strong in the city, and 
our army only twelve hundred ; this will probably make 
the Ministry easy as to an early reinforcement, which 
might otherwise be expected. However, I judge that 
object will not be in the least neglected by us. I wish a 
part of this army might be spared to strengthen our posts 
at the northward. Some sensible, experienced officers in 
the army are of opinion that a brisk cannonade with car- 
casses and shells will render the town so disagreeable as to 
oblige the enemy to abandon it. How happy would such 
an event be ! In that case, and Quebec in our hands, this 
army only might, properly disposed, be sufficient to de- 
fend our whole extensive coast, backed as it is by a good 
militia. Much blame has been thrown on our guard at 
Dorchester, on occasion of the late excursion of the en- 
emy there, and burning a few desolate houses, but I hear 
General Ward approves their conduct. I understand the 
General has importunately asked for what powder you 
can supply him, which I hope will be granted. 

My love and duty to mother and all as is one, and am 
Your dutiful and affectionate son, 

Jed. Huntington. 


To Master Jabez Huntington, Lebanon. 

Koxbury Camp, 16 February, 1776. 

Dear Son, — I wrote you the week before last by 
Mr. Miner, of Norwich, which I suppose he left at your 
Grandpa Huntington's, to be forwarded to you, since 
which there has not anything happened at camp ; there- 
fore I have no news to tell you at this time, only that I 
am well, as are your uncles. 

I want to see how much you are grown these last six 
months, and how much you have improved in your learn- 
ing and behavior. Be industrious to lay up a good stock 
of useful knowledge, which you can easily get in your 
present situation ; and be desirous of getting it, not only 
for the pleasure and profit it will bring you, but for the 
sake of doing good with it to others. Be always ready 
to do kind things to your fellow creatures. By and by, 
if you have anything to spare to those who want charity, 
you will be asked for it ; and I hope you will give accord- 
ing to what you have. But even now you can be char- 
itable ; that is, you can be kind and obliging. I will 
give you an instance. Suppose you should see good old 
Mr. Aid en, who, you know, is blind, walking without a 
guide towards a deep ditch or some deep water, and you 
should run and lead him out of the danger, you would do 
the old gentleman more real kindness than if you had 
your hand full of money to bestow. So, if you have a 
disposition to oblige, you will find a great many opportu- 
nities to exercise it. 

Ylih. — I have received your letter, dated the 12th of 
this month. I am sorry for your uncle David's misfor- 
tune. Hope he will be well soon, as I know he will be 
much poorer than your old cat if he is obliged to sit all 


his time by the fire. Give my love to him, to grandma, 
and all. 

From your affectionate parent, 

Jed. Huntington. 1 

To Governor Trumbull. 

Roxbcry Camp, 19th February, 1776. 

Honored Sir, — If a fair occasion should present itself, 
in the course of your correspondence with our worthy 
Commander-in-Chief, and you should think proper, to 
mention Major Chester as a fit person to fill any suit- 
able place that may be vacant in the army, I think it 
will serve our cause and oblige the General, who is very 
desirous that persons of character and military spirit 
should be nominated for offices. Many of a very different 
spirit have, by some means or other, got into the army. 

The sickness which for three weeks past has much pre- 
vailed in our camp, and been very mortal, is now abating. 
Every now and then some one breaks out with the small- 
pox ; but this has not been mortal. 

Three of our sentries, who were taken by the enemy in 
their late excursion to Dorchester Point, were brought 
out by a flag of truce, and delivered up to us this day. 
The others who were made prisoners at the same time, 
the officers on the lines say, do not choose to come out. 
But why they have permitted any to return to us is a 
matter of speculation. 

1 Colonel Huntington's son, to whom two or three of his letters of parental 
advice are here addressed, was now nine years old. He became a useful 
and respectable man, was deacon in his church and president of the Nor- 
wich Bank, dying in Xorwich in 1848, at the age of eighty-one years. See 
F. M. Caulkins's History of Norwich, p. 417. — Eds. 



A vessel from the West Indies to this continent has 
been lately cast away on Cape Cod : cargo and people 
saved. Among them is a gentleman who says he is a 
Prussian officer, and is lately from France ; appears to be 
well acqainted with the history of our times ; says the 
French papers are full of the American affairs, and that 
every success of ours gives them joy. 

The bearer, whom I should have mentioned in the 
beginning of my letter, is Mr. Hooper, of North Caro- 
lina, one of the delegates of Congress, an old and par- 
ticular acquaintance of brother Jonathan's. 

My love and duty to mother, son, &c. 

I subscribe, your affectionate son, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Indorsed, " Per Wm. Hooper, Esq. Received 27th ." 


To the Honorable Jonathan Trumbull, Esq., in Lebanon. 

Roxbury Camp, 6th March, 1776. 

Honored Sir, — I have two of your much esteemed 
favors since I wrote you last. You will have had before 
this the circumstances of our taking possession of Dor- 
chester. We hoped our enemies would meet us there ; 
but as the weather was, it could not be. If we are not 
able to draw them out of their fastnesses, I don't see 
what we can do to get rid of them. Our offensive 
efforts, I imagine, affect them but little. We have been 
frowned upon in the loss of several of our largest mor- 
tars, the fine one taken by Manly among the rest. I 
have all along expected some remarkable interposition 
of Divine Providence in our favor, that our dependence 
on all human means might appear vain. We have 


now such works on Dorchester Hills as will put the 
bravery and art of our enemies to a severe trial, if they 
take them from us. Perhaps an attempt will be made 
to draw them out Chelsea side. Since our fortifications 
are increased, the necessity is increased of subduing 
or driving away the enemy, as it will require so great 
a number of men and constant vigilance to maintain 
all the posts we now possess, which are all nearly alike 
important. I heartily mourn the loss of that eminently 
learned and pious divine, Dr. Williams, You must be 
greatly affected with his death. No measure can be 
made of the friendship of so agreeable and valuable a 
man. I never knew what it was to sorrow till my best 
earthly friend was taken away from me. I devoutly 
wish that my improvements in goodness, love, and friend- 
ship to her parents and relations may bear some pro- 
portion to those qualities which shone in my lovely 
companion, that we may be prepared for the period of 
our continuance here, be matured for the enjoyment of 
our ascended Saviour, and in the highest degree partake 
of the society of our departed dear ones. 

I have not time to write to my dear son, but shall not 
neglect him long. If my life is spared, I will not fail to 
give you particulars of any occurrences worth communi- 
cating. In mean time I remain, with tenders of love and 
duty to you, mother, son, and all, 

Yours most affectionately, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Indorsed, "Received 13th Vespere." 



Master Jabez Huntington, in Lebanon. 

Roxbury Camp, 14th March, 1776. 

Dear Son, — I have now a prospect of visiting you 
and all my friends, as it is expected that our army will 
march to the westward ; how long a visit I shall make 
I cannot tell you, but I shall make it as long as ever my 
duty in the army will allow of. I received your letter 
of the 26th February, in which you informed me of the 
languishing state of Doctor Williams, since which I hear 
he is gone from this world of pain and sorrow ; his death, 
though it is great gain to him, is a very great loss to you 
and all who had the happiness to sit under his ministry ; 
he was the best, or at least one of the best, of preachers. 
I hope his place will be filled up . soon by some worthy 
man that will make good his predecessor's ground. My 
love to your grandpa and 'ma, &c. 

From your affectionate parent, 

Jed. Huntington. 


To the Honorable Jonathan Trumbull, Esq., Lebanon, per Roger Perkins. 

Norwich, 29 March, 1776. 

Honored Sir, — I got into town last night just after 
you left. Was sorry I had not been a little earlier, that 
I might have seen you. I want to see my little son much, 
and understand he is in want of clothes ; — have sent 
Roger for him. Intend to wait on you and family very 
soon. My love and duty to mother, brother David, &c. 
I am, with most hearty affection, your son, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Indorsed, "29th March, 1776, Colo. Jed. Huntington. Received idem, 
per Roger." 



To the Honorable Governor Trumbull, Lebanon^ per favor Colo. Pitkin, 

Norwich, 1st April, 1776. 

Honored Sir, — I purposed to see you this day. but 
the weather is not so good as I could wish. I have been 
exercised with a very bad cold and cough ever since the 
5th of March, and am fearful of bad weather : the first 
good I shall improve. A visit to Lebanon, which used to 
afford me great pleasure, must now be grievous. Bro. 
Jack I left pretty well, — had something of a cold. It 
will fall to his Brigadier to bring up the rear of the army. 
He desired leave to come home with me, but could not 
obtain it. I trust it will not be long before you will have 
a short, if not a long, visit from him. My love and duty 
to mother, &c, 

And am yours most affectionately, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Indorsed, " 1st April, 1776. Colo. Jed. Huntington. Rec d idem, ante 10 
o'clo. a. m., per Colo. Pitkin." 


To the Honorable Governor Trumbull, Lebanon, per Roger. 

[Norwich, April 8, 1776.] 

Honored Sir, — Mr. Leffingwell is very sorry he has 
not the pleasure of waiting on you in company with Gen- 
eral Washington. The General will take bed at Col. Jz- 
Huntington's. 1 I have told the General I expected you 
down. It will much gratify him and all of us if you 
can do us the pleasure of your company. The General 

1 Colonel Jabez Hurtington. — Eds. 


intends for New London to-morrow, where he expects to 
meet Admiral Hopkins. We will sup late, or breakfast 
late, if you conclude to come. I wish brothers would 
attend you. 1 

Yours most affectionately, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Three o'clock, Monday. 

Indorsed, "Three o'clock, 8 April, 1776. Colo. Jed. Huntington's invi- 
tation to breakfast with General Washington." 

1 Governor Trumbull responded to this invitation of his son-in-law, and 
came on to Norwich, a distance of some ten miles, where he had an interview 
with General Washington. Washington had left Boston on the 4th of April, 
and proceeded, via Providence, Norwich, New London, &c, to New York, 
where he arrived on the 13th. Colonel Huntington also proceeded thither 
with his regiment, and continued to address letters from the army to 
Governor Trumbull. — Eds. 



H Abachttchood, wounded by Ninicraft's 
son, 142. 

Act of Indemnity, in Parliament, 237. 
of General Pardon, considered in 

Parliament, 225. 
of Navigation, the, 231, 236. 

Addington, Isaac, witness, 163. 

Administration of England, changes in, 

Agreement, between John Winthrop and 
John Clarke concerning Connect- 
icut Charter, 50 and note ; with 
French people settled in Narra- 
gansett, 171. 

Ahaden, Indian squaw, 102. 

Albany, surrender of, 92. 

Albeny, wife of Indian Romonock, 122. 

Alcocke, John, letter signed by, 29 ; a 
Narragansett proprietor, 98, 111. 

Alcraft, John, mentioned, 204. 

Allen, John, juror, 138. 

Allyn (Allin), John, Secretary of Colony 
of Connecticut, 36, 61, 94, 104 ; 
present at a certain meeting, 59 
note ; letter from John Winthrop, 
concerning the government at 
Wickford, 78; mentioned, 89; 
letter concerning claim of the 
heirs of Duke of Hamilton, 114, 
116 note ; Secretary, 159 ; letter 
to Pitzjohn Winthrop relative 
to Soso's right in Narragansett 
country, 160. 

America, to be made subordinate to Eng- 
land, 365, 366 ; Lord Chatham's 
sentiments concerning, 398. 

American Revenue Act, debated in 
House of Commons, 421; de- 
bate in Parliament on, 422. 
(See Duty Act.) 

Amherst, Sir Jeff., contest of, 303. 

Amsterdam, England, 65. 

Anapangew, witness to deed, 76. 

Ancaster, Duke of, in Parliament, 

Andrew, John, concerning certain boun- 
dary lines, 172. 

Andros, Sir Edmund, installed Governor 
of New England, 111 note ; peti- 
tion of Atherton proprietors to, 
169 ; exercises government over 
people of Connecticut, 175 ; re- 
port concerning claim of Duke 
of Hamilton, 185. 

Antaby, T., witness to will of Edward 
Hopkins, 22. 

Army, necessity of, in America, con- 
sidered in Parliament, 229 ; sta- 
tioned at Cambridge, 493. (See 

Arnold, Captain, concerning certain 
boundary, 200. 
Colonel, commands secret expedi- 
tion, 501. 
Mr., mentioned, 34. 

Arran, Earl of. (See Hamilton, James, 
Duke of.) 

Ashton, Judge, of England, 408. 

Ashurst, Sir Henry, letter to, 180 ; 
concerning the Mohegan Case, 
223 ; memorial presented by, 



Assembly of Rhode Island, protest against 
the purchase of Narragansett, by 
Governor Winthrop et al., 9. 

Atherton (Aclderton), Major Humphrey, 
concerning purchase of Narragan- 
sett, 7, 8, 22 ; concerning