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others suppose you were induc'd to acquiesce in a 2d duty from some Letters that were wrote to England, as is said, by People concerned in the Customs and who share a dividend of all Forfeitures; It is reported that these Letters represented that a Two penny Duty woud answer and so (it is suggested by some) it will for the Letter Writers but not for the Crown, for it will never raise a Revenue. The trade will not bear it. Consequently People will leave the Trade or be under a Temptation to run the Molasses in clandestinely. This will frequently occasion seizures. The Officers of the Customs and others will be benefitted and the Revenue lost. No wonder, (say they) these People are for Two pence, a penny they know will be paid and therefore will not answer their Purpose. I am really apprehensive the Ministry by endeavouring to raise a large sum by means of this Duty will lose their aim and get but very little.1 1

You say some further Regulations are intended and I hear some other Duties are proposed. I doubt not you will be as you always have been, attentive to our Interest and will be vigilant and active in opposing every Project of this Nature; Really Sir, the Ministry by these schemes are not

1 In a letter of March 23, 1763, Mauduit had acquainted the General Court with a motion made by the first Lord of Trade, for lowering the duty on foreign molasses from 6d to 2d per gallon, in order more effectually to collect the duty. The bill was deferred to the next session of Parliament, and Mauduit at the end of December forecast the probable action: "The quantum of the duty is to be one of the first things considered immediately after the meeting of the Parliament. All agree that a practicable duty should be laid, and the payment of it enforced. To attempt to controvert either of these would be to no manner of purpose. As the General Court have not been pleased to instruct me in their sentiments upon this subject, I was left to pursue my own, in conjunction with the other agents. And their silence inclined me to think that such a scheme, if duly moderated, might not be disagreeable, tho' they might not choose to appear openly to approve it. The sum at first thought of by the Treasury was 4d. But Mr. Grenville seems to be now satisfied with 2d. We are endeavouring at a penny. It will not probably be more than two pence. All that the duty can be brought to under that, must be reckoned as gain." Mass. Arch., XXII. 340. 30 Lee 63


pursuing the true interest of Great Brittain and at the same time are oppressing these Colonies; It is the interest of our Mother Country to keep us engaged in trade and to draw our attention as much as possible from Husbandry and Manufactures. While this is the case we shall constantly have large demands for all kinds of Manufactures from Great Brittain but the Minute our Trade is cramp'd by heavy duties and we are diverted from the pursuit of it, we have nothing else to recur to, for subsistance, but Husbandry and Manufactures, we must live within ourselves, and the demand for goods from England will necessarily cease and Great Brittain lose more by this means, beyond all account, than she will ever be benefitted by any Duties that may be collected. I am with much Esteem Your most humble Servant, THOMAS CUSHING.

P. S. I write in confidence to a Friend and therefore conclude no Intelligence I furnish will be divulged as coming from me.


BOSTON, June 22, 1764.

SIR, Since my last the General Court have had a Session at Concord and your several Letters to the Speaker have been communicated; By this Conveyance you will receive an Answer instructing you to endeavor to get the Act laying a Duty of 3d per gall on Molasses etc. repealed and to oppose most strenuously any Stamp Duty.

The House acknowledged you had timely advised them of the intention of the Ministry to impose those Duties, but thought it necessary to write you, in the manner they have, with respect to any concessions you have made, least their

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Silence shoud be construed as an acquiescence in those Measures; I doubt not you will make a proper Improvement of what they have wrote you upon this Head, as also of the State of the Rights of these Colonies inclosed you at the same time.

Mr. Hutchinson, it seems, was disposed to be improved at this time as an agent at Great Brittain. His Friends accordingly in a very pressing manner moved at this Session, that he might be joined with yourself in the Agency, but the Motion was rejected by a very great Majority. It was judged altogether needless, as we had the management of our Affairs in the hands of a Gentleman whom the Court coud confide in and whose conduct hitherto had been so acceptable, besides as His Honor held a Commission immediately from the Crown he was thought not so suitable a Person to oppose Ministerial Measures.

I doubt not your Brother might have been join'd with you in the Agency had there been time properly to have adjusted matters, but the session was very short and the Court at this Busy Season of the year in a great hurry; It was thought best, therefore by your Friends, not to push the affair at this time but to refer it to the next session, by which time all obstacles I verily believe will be removed. The Truth is; The Friends of the Lt. Governor have been in great hopes ever since Mr. Bollan's Dismission of prevailing with the Court to send him Agent and the Governor at the same time has been very desirous of having Mr. Jackson 1 join'd with you, this has hitherto prevented your


1 In writing to Ebenezer Silliman, early in November, 1764, Hutchinson said: "I have corresponded largely with your agent [Jackson] upon the state of the affairs of the colonies. He is certainly a worthy man. I have taken pains for his being appointed for this government also. The more respect shown him the greater weight he will have; but our misfortune is that we are influenced by party personal views more than by a regard for the public interest." Mass. Arch., XXVI. 118.

Brother's being joined, but as they now begin to dispair of choosing either of the Former, I believe the opposition to your Brother will in a great measure if not altogether cease. I woud not have him therefore be weary of well doing but persevere in his good services to the Province for which he has the Thanks of the House by this Conveyance. He may depend his Friends will do all in their power to have him join'd the first opportunity.

One reason, among others, urged for the Lt. Governor's being joint Agent, was that he might expedite the Settlement of the Disputes, which have long subsisted, betwixt this and some of the neighbouring Governments with respect to their boundary Lines; but this was judged not a sufficient reason, as you were furnished with all the necessary Papers relative to this subject and the Court depend upon your attention to it and that you will gett these Disputes settled with all Convenient Speed.

I wrote you some time ago that I sometimes imported woolen goods and as I was informed you were concerned considerably that way, desir'd to know upon what terms you woud supply me with Cloaths, Shalloons, Tammys, etc., but suppose the Letter miscarried If Trade shoud revive and I shoud meet with any Encouragement from my old Customers I don't know but I shoud engage again in the trade. Please, therefore to inform me as to this


This will be handed you by my Kinsman, Mr. Thomas Bromfeild,1 whom I recommend to your Patronage. Any respect shown him will be gratefully received by Your humble Servant, THOMAS CUSHING.

1 (1733-1816), son of Edward and Abigail Bromfield.



BOSTON, July 11, 1764.

Besides my engaging in the service of the province is rendered more difficult by the most injudicious conduct I ever knew the House of Representatives guilty of. As I had received no letters from England my friends made no motion about the agency, and it was supposed nothing would be done that session. When it was thought to be near the close, I left the court to go upon the Eastern, which is the longest circuit, and several of the East members went with me and others of like disposition went home. A member of the town of Boston who had always been inimical to me, and I think to the country, took this opportunity to propose a letter to the agent as a report of a committee of which he was chairman; and although the agent has always been considered as an officer of the Court, yet this letter was never sent to the Council for their concurrence, but being accepted by the House, was, I suppose, signed by their Speaker. And they have been so infatuated as to print it in their journal. It is very certain I should never have engaged in their service with such instructions. I think if I had been at liberty to engage, my friends could have prevented such from being given. I never was of opinion that any good could come from a sturdy and sullen behavior of the Colonies. The only ways in which I thought they could be served was by an humble representation of their claim, submitted to the wisdom and justice of a British Parliament in whose determinations British colonies must always acquiesce. If their claim of natural rights or to an equitable consideration of their case should

1 Mass. Arch., xxvi. 85.


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2 Under date June 13, 1764.

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