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Coming of the American Revolution: Document Viewer
Massachusetts Historical Society
America's oldest historical society, founded 1791.

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Letter from Thomas Hutchinson to James Murray, 23 July 1774

Letter from Thomas Hutchinson to James Murray, 23 July 1774

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"I would have done what I could"
In May 1774, General Thomas Gage replaces Thomas Hutchinson as governor of Massachusetts. Although he was born and raised in Massachusetts, Hutchinson travels to London and becomes an advisor to King George III and the British ministry. While governor, Hutchinson's relationship with his colonists (and Bostonians in particular) was often rocky. As the crown's representative in Massachusetts, he felt it necessary to uphold ministerial policies, even when he did not fully agree with their terms. Once in London, however, he becomes an advocate for the colonies, encouraging the ministry to take a more moderate approach. Will Hutchinson's presence in London be enough to improve Boston's situation?

Questions to Consider

1. Does Hutchinson agree with the terms of the recent acts Parliament has imposed on the colonies?

2.To what specific acts is her referring?

3. What does he hope that his presence in London will do for Bostonians?

Further Exploration

4. Compare Hutchinson's views in his letter to other accounts written about him by American colonists. Is his profession of supporting the colonies in line with other things he has said, or does this letter present Hutchinson in a new light?