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41 It is now a great Question whether the King s
Troops will be suffer d to enter the Town or not ".
And " the Design against the Castle is now so well
known that it is probable that the very Names of the
People who were enroll d for that Service to the
Number of Five Hundred, or of the Chiefs of them
will be discover d ". It is pretty remarkable the Gov
ernor in the former Part of this Letter inform d his
Lordship, that he did not relate this very Account as
a certain Fact ; his Spies must then make very quick
Rotations, and the Intelligence flow in very fast, to
be so well assured of it before he concluded ; or the
Governor must be so unfortunate, perhaps not having
Time in the Multiplicity of his Affairs, to keep a
regular Diary, as to forget what he had wrote, and
as we every now and then find it happens, in the
"overflowings" of his Zeal, to be inconsistent with

It would be an endless Task to take particular No
tice of every false and injurious Representation con-
tain d in these voluminous Letters.* No one can

* Indeed it might be said, the whole World would not contain all the
Remarks that might be justly made upon them. One instance how
ever seems to have been overlooked by the Town ; and as it is an in
stance of importance, it is hoped, its being notic d in the Margin will
not be thought amiss. The Governor, after having prevail d upon the
Council, at a very thin Board, and by a Majority of One out of only
Eleven Gentlemen present, to advise to the clearing the Manufactory-
House in Boston, for the Reception of a Part of the two Irish Regi
ments then expected ; in his Letter to Lord Hillsborough of Nov. ist,

1769] SAMUEL ADAMS. 439

read them without being [31] astonish d at seeing a
person in so important a Department as Governor
Bernard sustain d, descending in his Letters to [32]
a Minister of State, to such Trifling Circumstances,
and such slanderous Chit-chat : Boasting, as he does
in one of his Letters of his over-reaching those with
whom he was transacting publick Business ; and in

he gives him an Account of the Steps he had order d for the Removal
of the Families out of the House. And it seems, that the Governor, by
a Power which he has assumed, appointed the Sheriff and two of his
Deputies, Bailiffs for the Governor and Council, for the Purpose :
These Families however, refus d to submit to such Authority, even
tho the Chief Justice himself condescended to go with the Sheriff, and
advis d them to give up the House. The Sheriff upon the third At
tempt says the Governor, " finding the Window open, enter d ; upon
which the People gathered about him and shut him up ; he then
made a Signal, to an Officer who was without, who brought a Party of
Soldiers, who took Possession of the Yard of the Building, and reliev d
the Sheriff from his Confinement " This is the Governor s Account of
the Matter ; but others give a very different Account of it, and say
that the Sheriff attempted a forceable Entry, and was resisted by the
People within the House ; and by them only : Certain it is, that one of
them commenced an Action of Trespass against the Sheriff; but what
became of the Action the Records of the Court of Common Pleas will
best show : It is also certain that an Officer, a Military Officer, was
without and at Hand; and upon a Signal from the Sheriff, bro t a
Party of Soldiers, the whole Regiment being then encamped in Sight
on the Common ; and the Soldiers (not the Inhabitants as the Gover
nor asserts) " kept the House blockaded all that Day and best Part of
the next." It is further certain, and it may be attested by the Oaths
of divers Persons of Credit, that Offers were made to the Sheriff, of suf
ficient Aid in the legal Execution of his Office, if he would dismiss the
Troops ; illegal Steps being at the same Time excepted against
Great Numbers of People during the Seige as it may be properly called,
were collected in the Street, which is as spacious as in any Part of the
Town, but the Governor owns they did no Mischief : He indeed repre
sents it in his usual Manner, as a GREAT MOB assembled with some of
the Chiefs of the Faction, intimating thereby as in his former Letters
44 an intended Insurrection ": The General on the other Hand says the
Matter " occasion d a little Disturbance of no Consequence "; but
takes Care to add, that " it serv d to show a most obstinate Spirit of


Order to prejudice the most respectable Bodies,
meanly /ticking from Individuals belonging to those
Bodies, what has been drop d in the Course of Busi
ness or Debate: Journalizing every idle Report
brought to him, and in short acting the Part of a
Pimp rather than a Governor. As these Letters,
being now made public, will be a monument of Dis-

Opposition to every Measure of Government " The Governor further
says, the Inhabitants "were very abusive to the Soldiers"; The
Contrary is most certainly and notoriously true. He says also, That
"the Soldiers were withdrawn on the Evening of the second Day ":
So far is this from Truth, that the Guard of Soldiers to whose Custody
the Sheriff committed the Cellar of the House, which he had got the
Possession of, kept their post a much longer Time ; and Application
was made to divers of his Majesty s Justices of the Peace for their Re
moval by tlie Force of Law near three Weeks after. And again the Gov
ernor says, that "this Building was kept filled with the Outcast of the
Workhouse, to prevent its being used for the Accommodation of the
King s Troops "; Which is contradicted by the Oaths of all the Over
seers of the Poor, who must have known it if it had been true, for the
Care and Government of the Workhouse is by Law vested in them.
The Truth is, the People gathered upon this extraordinary Occasion,
but were very peaceable ; some few it may be to carry Intelligence to the
Governor, but by far the greater Part, from a just Abhorrence of this
Measure of Government, to borrow the General Expression, and an
Anxiety for the Event of this first open and avow d Effort of Military
TYRANNY I The Governor declares, that the Council who were alarm d
at the Violence of this Proceeding, must have known that the Entry
" could not have been made without Force ; " and he sufficiently ex
plains what sort of Force he meant, in the Reason he gives, why the
Soldiers were withdrawn for that Time, which was, because "the
Building was not immediately wanted", the Irish Regiments, for
whom it was design d, as was pretended, not being yet arriv d. Per
haps the Governor gives this circumstantial Account to his Lordship
to confirm what he had before said, that " Two Regiments were not
sufficient to AWE THE TOWN ! This Attack upon the Security of
People s Dwelling-Houses, was as violent as has ever been known even
under the most despotick Governments, tho happily it proved unsuc
cessful. This is one of the bright Glories of BERNARD S Administration :
He who with so much Readiness and exact Propriety afforded the Aid
of his Advice, and PREJUDG D the Matter, claims however his Share
in the Annals of Fame.

1769] SAMUEL ADAMS. 441

grace to him, it cannot be suppos d that any Honor
can be deriv d from them, to those great Men to whom
they were addressed. [33]

Notwithstanding the Town have been oblig d in
Justice to themselves, to say thus much in their own
Vindication, we should yet be glad, that the ancient
and happy Union between Great-Britain and this
Country, which Governor Bernard has so industri
ously labor d to interrupt, might be restor d. Some
have indeed flatter d themselves with the Prospect of
it; as Intelligence is said to have been receiv d from
Administration, that all the Revenue Acts would be
repealed : But as it since appears by Lord Hills-
borough s own Account, that nothing more is in
tended, than the taking off the Duties on Paper,
Glass, and Painter s Colours, upon commercial Prin
ciples only ; if that is all, it will not give Satisfaction :
It will not even relieve the Trade from the Burdens
it labours under ; much less will it remove the
Grounds of Discontent, which runs thro the Conti
nent, upon much higher Principles. Their Rights
are invaded by these Acts ; therefore untill they are
all repeal d, the Cause of their just Complaints can
not be remov d : In short, the Grievances which lie
heavily upon us, we shall never think redress d, till
every Act, pass d by the British Parliament for the
express Purpose of raising a Revenue upon us with
out our Consent, is Repeal d ; till the American
Board of Commissioners of the Customs is dissolv d ;
the Troops recall d, and Things are restor d to the
State they were in before the late extraordinary Meas
ures of Administration took Place.


Besides these Letters of Governor Bernard, we find
others written by General Gage, and Commodore
Hood. And we cannot but observe, that altho both
these Gentlemen were perfect Strangers in the Town,
they have yet taken such extraordinary Freedoms,
and the General in particular has wrote in such a
positive Strain, as must unavoidably give high Dis
gust to every Reader of Candor and Impartiality.
If these Gentlemen received the Character of the
Town, or of any of its Individuals, from Governor
Bernard, as we are ready to think they did, they must
have been long before convinced, if they knew any
Thing at all of the State of the Town, that the Gov
ernor was too deeply interested in misrepresenting, to
be credited in a Point of that Importance ; and there
fore common Justice would have dictated a Suspen
sion of their publick Testimony to the Prejudice of a
Community, till they could have had [34] the Oppor
tunity of doing it upon impartial Enquiry, or their
own Observation The General seems to have early
imbib d some Sort of a Prejudice against a Town, that
had been before prejudiced in his Favor : For the
Governor in one of his Letters to Lord Hillsborough
acquaints him, that the General "had sent Capt.
Montresor from New York, to assist the Forces as
Engineer, and enable them to RECOVER and maintain
the Castle, and such other Posts as they could secure ",
upon Intelligence that the People in and about Bos
ton had revolted. Now even the Gov. himself de
clares this to be a mistake, and says that Things were
not quite " so bad as that came to." As there are two
constant and regular Posts between this Town and

1769] SAMUEL ADAMS. 443

New-York, each of which carries Intelligence from the
one to the other in the Course of a Week ; and more
especially as he might reasonably expect authentick
Accounts of a Matter of such Importance, by Express
in a shorter Time ; it is strange, if the General s
Mind was unbias d, that he should so strongly rely
upon private Advice, as to form his Measures from
them, which the Governor asserts. It was a Measure
of Importance, as it issued, to the Town : for Col.
Dalrymple who had the Command of the Regiments,
from the A^Uhority of these new Orders, as the Gov
ernor declares, tho t proper to alter the Plan, which
was to land only one, and landed both the Regiments
in Boston without Loss of Time. Perhaps it was
under the Impression of these private Advices, and
" the Narrative of the Proceedings of the Town
Meeting", which the Governor also mentions as influ
ential on the General s Measures, and which possibly
was a Narrative of the Governor s own writing, that
so wrought upon the General s Imagination, as to in
duce him to give his Opinion to his Lordship that the
" Intentions of the Town were suspicious, and that
he was happy the Troops from Halifax arriv d at
the Time they did " ! These and many such like
unprovoked Expressions are to be found in the Let
ters of both these Gentlemen, and especially the
General s ; but as they partake of a full Portion of
the Spirit of Governor Bernard s, and as the sense
of this Province fully appears in the late spirited
Resolves of the House of Representatives, we shall
avoid troubling the Publick with particular Remarks
upon them, and to borrow an Expression of great


Authority, " treat them with the Contempt they de
serve". [35]

The Town of BOSTON, at their meeting before-men-
tion d, came into the following Resolutions, viz.

RESOLVED, That the Letters and Memorials of
Governor Bernard and the Commissioners of the Cus
toms in America, transmitted by them respectively to
his Majesty s Ministers, and laid before the Parlia
ment of Great-Britain, authentick Copies of which are
now before this Town ; had a Tendency to deceive
the Ministry and lead them unavoidably to misinform
his Majesty, with Regard to the Affections and
Loyalty of his American subjects in general : And
that the said Governor Bernard and the Commis
sioners have particularly, in their Letters and Mem
orials before-mentioned, [36] discover d an implacable
Enmity to this Town, and the most virulent Endeav
ours to traduce it even to his Majesty himself ; by
Means whereof the Inhabitants very sensibly feel the
Displeasure of their Gracious Sovereign.

RESOLVED, That this Town have Reason to rejoice in
the Measure taken by the Honorable House of Repre
sentatives, in the last Session of the General Assembly;
by so seasonably preferring their Dutiful and Loyal
Petition to his Majesty, for the removal of Governor
Bernard/i?rz/r from the Government of this Province :
And the Town take this Opportunity to express their
most ardent Wish ; that the Prayer of said Petition to
his Majesty may be graciously heard and granted.

RESOLVED, That General Gage and Commodore
Hood in their several Letters to his Majesty s Minis
ters and Servants, authentick Copies of which are

1769] SAMUEL ADAMS. 445

now before this Town, have discover d an unreasonable
Prejudice against the Town. And the General in
particular, in declaring in his Letter to the Right
Hon. the Earl of Hillsborough, one of his Majesty s
Secretaries of State that " in Truth there was very
little Government in Boston ; and in making Use of
other Expressions alike severe, has done great Injus
tice to the [37] Town, and an irreparable Injury.
And it is moreover the Opinion of the Town, that the
Readiness he has discover d to receive unfavorable
Impressions of it, and the publick Testimony he was
prevail d upon to bear against it, before he could
have Time to make an impartial Enquiry, betray d a
want of Candor unbecoming his Station and Character.
RESOLVED, That many of the Letters and Memor
ials aforesaid are false, scandalous, and infamous
Libels upon the Inhabitants of this Town, Province
and Continent, of the most virulent and malicious, as
well as dangerous and pernicious Tendency : And
that the Selectmen be and hereby are directed to
apply and complain to proper Authority, that the
wicked Authors of those incendiary Libels, may be
proceeded with according to Law, and brought to
condign Punishment. 1

The Reader is desired to correct the following, and any other Mis
takes of the Press.

Page 7. line 4, for is read in.

Page 1 8. line 8 from bottom, for senticat, in some of the Copies,
read sentiunt.

1 The town also " Voted, That Messrs. Edes and Gill have the Printing of
the vindication of the Town of Boston from the many false and malicious As
persions contained in Governor Bernard, and others Letters &c. as Reported
by the Committee" The House of Representatives had, on June 23, 1769,
designated this firm to be public printers.



[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, vol. i., Lenox Library; a text, dated Nov.

16, 1769, appears in W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams,

vol. i., pp. 288, 289.]

BOSTON Nov r 6 1769

S r

I rec d your fav r by M r Reed, whose good Sense,
agreable Conversation & polite Behavior entitle him
to very great respect & Esteem among the best part
of the World.

It is with Astonishment & Indignation that the
Americans contemplate the folly of the British Minis
try, in employing Troops which have heretofore been
the Terror of the Enemies to Liberty, only to parade
the Streets of Boston ; & by their ridiculous merry
Andrew Tricks to become the objects of the Con
tempt even of Women & Children. If the noble
Corsicans were not worthy the least of their Attention,
surely they ought to have been alarmd at the large
Strides which the french & Spaniards the inveterate
foes to Britain, are making towards the recovery of
their lost Territorys in America. One Winter more
trifled away, or worse than trifled in fruitless Endeav
ours to enslave a people, who are more than ever re-
solvd to be free, may afford those powers the
opportunity of completing a plan already begun, &
finishing a Stroke in America which may awaken the
Attention of Britain in vain. We tremble for her
fate we wish her prosperity we hope she will soon

1 On July 13, 1769, De Berdt had been appointed by the House agent for one
year, but he died before the expiration of the term. On November i, 1770, the
House passed a resolution directing the payment to his executor of ^"750 for
services from November, 1767, to May, 1770. See above pages, 34, 61.




employ herself to much nobler purposes than picking
up pins & pebbles. Those who have succeeded in
their Endeavors to alienate the Affections of her Col
onies have servd her Enemies in the very point they
could have wishd for. Britain may fall sooner than
she is aware ; while her Colonies who are struggling
for Liberty may survive her fate & tell the Story to
their Childrens Children.

I conclude in haste

Yours &c



Attention is called to the following slight misprints in the earlier pages of
this volume, which have been occasioned by an inadvertence in the manu
facturing office :

Page 6, line 28, for Assembly read humbly.

" 52, " 22, after people read here.
91, 4, after to read their.

" 92, " 5, for to read of.

" 92, " 25, after suppress read it.

" 93 > * *7i teforftowa. read the.

" 96, " 10, for person read persons.

" 102, " 32, after did read not.

"105, " 27, after good read reason.

" 149, " 31, for Episcopal read Episcopate.

" I 77i " 3> f or ere now have read have ere now.

"178, " 17, after in read the.

"178, " 28, before have read may.

"185, " 4, for The read This.

" 185, " 20, for has read hath.

" 1 86, " 14, _/<?r legislature read legislative.

" 187, " 3, before to raz</it.

" 187, * 7, /i?r may read shall.


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Online LibrarySamuel AdamsThe writings of Samuel Adams (Volume 1) → online text (page 31 of 31)