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BOWDOIN AND TEMPLE PAPERS.
THOMAS POWNALL TO JAMES BOWDOIN.*
RICHMOND, Feb. 28, 83.
MY OLD FRIEND, - Permitt me through you to congratulate the STATE MASSACHUSETTS-BAY on the establishment of its SOVEREIGNTY IN POLITICAL FREEDOM ; & may I beg of you to render acceptable to the State & citizens the congratulations of an Old Governor (Ultimus Anglorum according to Charter). This address arises from old friendship to that people mixt with the profoundest reverence for the State: & I wish to express this sense in the most marked terms of respect.
In congratulating the State I congratulate you a citizen participant of its sovereignty & freedom. May you live to see & have health to enjoy the progress of the blessing.
I consider this wonderfull Revolution as the visible interposition of Divine Providence, superceeding the ordinary course of human affaires.
I mean most certainly to come & see the country in its sovereignty & freedom. It will be a sight worth travel
*For a notice of Governor Pownall see the first part of these Papers, 6 Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. ix. p. 138 note. He and Governor Bowdoin were frequent correspondents. —EDS. † Virgil, Eneid, ix. 6. — EDS.
ling to see. It hath pleased God to take from me every connexion (my allegiance excepted) which I could wish to hold with this my native land; & to give me a feel of wishing that branch of the English nation & that country which shall adopt me, My Country. It hath pleased him to give me health & energy of spirits equall to such a voyage; and I am determined to come & see it (if so please God) before I dye. To see the commencement of a great empire at its first foundations is an object that no other period, no other part of the world ever since it was a world, could exhibit: it is an object more worthy the contemplation of a speculating philosopher than can be or ever could be seen in any other country. And to one who loved that country so rising empire must be a scene of joy not to be felt in any other view of this world. I wish very much & should be glad to hear from you on this subject. My plan is to come first to Boston, then to make the tour of the continent, if I find things as I wish, to look for some place of settlement, where I can be best at ease for the remainder of my daies. On this plan I mean to purchase in America. I could bring over with me (if my plan of settling takes place) a number of experienced farmers & usefull labourers, if they could be anywhere settled jointly with me. I know the nature of settling too well to suffer any (who take my advice) to go into the woods. Such emigrants as coming to you may make settlements usefull to your country & beneficial to themselves must sett down on such half-reclaimed lands, such half-made farms, as are called improvements. Are there any such to be had so as that half a dozen or ten families may sett down to gather upon in as many farms with one pretty large one adjoyning to them? & where abouts will the prices of such run? The first thing however which I wish to be informed in is, how a traveller like myself, how I myself would be received, and whether permitted to travel with the same liberty that one may