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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 1


This foot note contained in document ADMS-06-01-02-0074
16. Copies of Letters from Governor Bernard &c. to the Earl of Hillsborough, a pamphlet containing six letters to Hillsborough from Bernard and one from Gen. Gage, appeared in Boston in April. Copies of the letters had been sent to the Massachusetts Council by William Bollan, the former provincial agent who still acted as an agent for the Council. Very influential Bollan was able to gain access to the correspondence when it was laid before Commons in Jan. 1769 (T. R. Adams, American Independence , No. 68a–e; Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo, 3:163).
Although paragraph “7” is canceled from the draft, it appeared in the Boston Gazette in this form:
“Another Object of great Importance, and which requires your earliest Attention, is a late flagrant and formal Attack upon the Constitution itself: An Attempt, not only to deprive us of the Liberties, Privileges and Immunities of our Charter, but the Rights of British Subjects. We have seen Copies of Letters published here, authenticated by the Clerk of the Papers to the Honorable House of Commons, the Contents of which must have awakened the Jealousy of the Country—the Design of the Writer is sufficiently apparent: And considering his Station, as Representative of the first Personage in the Empire, and the rank of the Minister to whom he addressed himself, we cannot wonder that Credit has been given to his Letters in Great-Britain, and that they have already produced Effects alarming to the Colonies, and dangerous to both Countries. It is therefore expected that you use the whole Influence you may have, that the injurious Impressions which they have unhappily made, may be removed, and that an effectual Antidote { 230 } may be administered, before the Poison shall have wrought the Ruin of the Constitution.”