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JASPER MAUDUIT TO HARRISON GRAY 1
LONDON, October 27, 1762
SIR, -I read with pleasure your Letter of the Ith of August, and rejoice in the opportunity which our mutual concerns afford me of opening a Correspondence with a Gentleman of your known Integrity and goodness. The Zeal which animates the Gentlemen of your province to endeavor the Conversion of the Canadian Indians is truly commendable, and worthy of all kind of Encouragement. As an individual and a friend to religion and Virtue I must naturally wish success to your undertaking. And this prompted me upon the first notice of it, sent me by Mr. Oliver, to propose to the New England Company here, the giving something as a testimony of our hearty concurrence with them. As the Agent of the Province I shall certainly do my utmost to get your Charter established. Besides all the other motives which your letter, and Mr. Secretary and Mr. Bowdoins suggests to me, there is one other Consideration, which with me gives it a peculiar propriety. Mary declares, that the winning the Indian natives of the Country to the knowledge and obedience of the only true God and Saviour of Mankind and the Christian faith, was what his Royal Majesty, our Royal Grandfather, King Charles the first in his said Letters patent declared was his royal intentions (and the adventures free Profession) to be the principal End of the said Plantation. You may be sure that I shall urge this with its full force in the proper place, and I hope that it may have its weight. Thus far I can act with Consistency; and you may depend upon my doing my utmost to get the act of Incorporation of the Society confirmed. But you will yourself, Sir, easily see the impropriety of my solliciting Subscriptions to it, when I am myself not only a member, but Treasurer of another more antient Society, founded on a Royal Charter, and established for the promoting the very same end and purpose with this new one. How much soever I may have to offer in favour of your new Society, all of it must be equally applicable to our own: and it would therefore be acting a very inconsistent part for me to sollicit for any other in preference to that which
1 Mass. Arch., LVI. 407.
2 On the same date as this letter the English Society sent the following resolution: "Resolved, that the Treasurer do acquaint Mr. Oliver that tho' the Company expressed their willingness to allow some money towards the new Society for propagating Christian knowledge among the Indians in North America, they did not expect the Commissioners would have appointed money for that purpose, before the plann they went upon was laid before the Company.” Ms. in the Society's collections, (013.24, f. 17).
1 The history of the attempt to obtain articles of incorporation for a society in New England for propagating Christian knowledge amongst the Indians of North America is given in Province Laws, iv. 562. Mauduit was appointed its agent. Mauduit to Bowdoin, October 27, 1762, and in a letter of April 7, 1763, he gives an account of his proceedings in the matter. 6 Collections, IX. 9, 14.
"Our General Court has lately incorporated a considerable Number of persons here, by the name of the Society for propagating Christian knowledge among the Indians of N. America: of which Society I am a Member. The Act of Incorporation is sent Home for his Majesty's Approbation, without which it cannot take Effect. I shall send you a Copy of it. We have about £2000 st. already inscribed as a fund. We are not without apprehensions that our good Friends of the Church of Emd will endeavor to obstruct this scheme; but hope, to no purpose. If our charter is confirmed, we shall endeavor to get our Subscription enlarged, both here and in other parts; and to apply ourselves to this business, in the prosecution of which we are, however, in expectation of meeting with many difficulties.” Jonathan Maybew to Thomas Hollis, April 6, 1762. Ms.
A committee of the Privy Council reported, May 11, against the act of incorporation, and on May 20 the Council accepted the report. The records show that the committee found " that this Act is liable to the following objections - Vizt. Ist. That the operation of the Act, though the Society itself would consist only of the Inhabitants of the Massachusetts, erected by an Act of that Province, would extend beyond the Limits of the Province itself. 2d. That so extensive a Power given to One Colony, may hereafter interfere with any general Plan Your Majesty may think it advisable to sue for the Management of Indian Affairs in North America: Besides which the Society is by the Act subject to no Controll, Audit or Examination, though they are made capable of receiving any Grants of Lands and of disbursing sums for any Services to a very great Extent." Acts of the Privy Council (Colonial), 1745-1766, 559.
I am a Member of. I have by this conveyance wrote as
JAMES OTIS TO JASPER MAUDUIT
Boston, October 28th, 1762
Sir, — I very gratefully received the honor of your most agreeable favor of the 30th of July. Your letters to the Province are also come to hand and afford the highest satisfaction to your friends here, not only from your acceptance of the agency, and the kind profession you are pleased to make of your attachment to the interest of this Province, but from the convincing proofs you have already given of this attachment, by negotiating our affairs with so great dispatch and success. Our pleasure is only allayed by the consideration of the ill state of health; which I pray God may be soon mended. It is with pleasure we hear you are bless'd with a brother, so able and willing to assist you and
You may rely upon your friends doing everything that is possible to bring about his election as a joint agent with you. That this will finally take place I have no great doubt. But the difficulties in the way at present may partly appear from my former letter. I shall in this be more explicit. Mr. Bollan tho' not a native of this place, came here young, and by the reputation he afterwards gained at the Bar, and a family connexion with Mr. Shirley, our former Governor, whose daughter he married, became so considerable as to be chosen nominal agent for the Province about the year 1746; but in fact has, in the opinion of some, ever since been little more than agent for his
father-in-law, and what is here called the Shirlean faction, a motley mixture of high church men, and dissenters who, for the sake of the offices they sustain, are full as high in their notions of prerogative as the churchmen. At the head of this party is the Lieutenant Governor who by the superficial arts of intrigue, rather than by any solid parts, by cringing to Governors and pushing arbitrary measures, has so far recommended himself to mr. Shirley and to our present Governor that by their means, tho' he was bred a merchant, he is now President of the Council, Chief Justice of the Province, Lieut. General and Captain of castle William, the Capital fortress in the Province, [and] Judge of the Probate of Wills for the County of Suffolk, the first County in the Province. Besides this he has filled the Supreme Court of Judicature with his friends, and the other Courts with his relations and dependants. How incompatible these offices are I need not tell you. How the subject groans under the oppression you may easily guess. This Gentleman stood candidate against you last spring, and, as I am informed, had a promise from the Governor mr. Bernard, induced by fear, that if chosen his posts here should all be given to his friends, except that of chief Justice, which was to lie vacant during his absence. The Lieutenant Governor had rather have mr. Bollan agent than any man living, but himself; and accordingly has ever supported mr. Bollan, with all his might against everybody else. But whenever he has had any prospect of succeeding himself, mr. Bollan has ever been deserted. In short he thinks going home agent would enable him to get the Government which event would be as terrible to the honest part of this Province as a Volcano or an Earthquake. They
1 In 1768 Bernard suggested that Hutchinson succeed him as Governor. Barrington-Bernard Correspondence, 174.
have groaned under his Tyranny twenty years already. Upon Mr. Bollan's dismission last spring there arose three partys. Mr. Bollan's friends adhered pretty generally to the Lieutenant Governor. Mr. Jackson had as many votes as the Governor could make. The rest fell to your share, which as I remember were about sixty-five out of ninety. The Governor never made so small a figure as in this affair, which indeed he had no business with; the house having formerly had an agent of their own, as a check upon the Governor. But latterly the General Court, for the better promotion of peace and harmony, have joined in the choice of an Agent, and so the Governor has had a negative, yet it is tho't too officious in a Governor to interfere at least openly in the election. Mr. Bernard was and I believe now is against Mr. Hutchinson, the Lieutenant Governor, from the motive of fear, lest he might thereby obtain the Government. He was for Mr. Jackson from views of interest hoping in him to have a private agent of his own invested with a publick character. Mr. Jackson being agent for Connecticut, to say no more, was sufficient to defeat his choice. The Lieut. Governor had made himself dreaded by his enormous strides in power, and the lot became yours. The Governor very reluctantly consented to the choice. A dissenting agent is a bitter pill to an Oxonian, a bigot, a Plantation Governor, whose favorite plans are, filling his own pockets at all hazards, pushing the prerogative of the crown beyond all bounds, and propagating high church principles among good peaceable Christians. Perhaps you may wonder at this after the hopes I expressed in my first letter that we should make a convert of the Governor but we are now convinced he is gone. You must not be surprized that such an one is now violent in his opposition to you and that he and the Lieut. Governor