Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Thomas Hutchinson, 29 July 1769

From Thomas Hutchinson8

Letterbook copy: Massachusetts Archives, Office of the Secretary of State.

Boston 29 July 1769

Dear Sir

I cannot omit my complements to you by Sir Francis Bernard who embarks in the Rippon to report to His M[ajesty] the state of the Province which he is able to do in the fullest manner and is disposed to do in the most just and candid manner.9 I know his esteem for you and that he will be ready to acquaint you with all our late occurences which renders it quite needless for me to do it. Only give me leave to remark upon them that the air of indecency and contempt which our publick proceedings carry with them can have no other tendency than further to provoke a power it cannot Reach. And yet I hope some allowances will be made for them. They are the artful performances of one or two designing men whose political existence depends upon keeping up a Clamour.1 And the greatest part of the men who vote for them see neither the design or tendency of them. I shall be much obliged to you if you will communicate any occurences relative to the Colonies which may be of use to me in my critical situation. I am with the utmost sincerity and esteem

D Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Chief justice of Massachusetts since 1760, lieutenant governor since 1758, and about to be acting governor on Bernard’s departure. He was appointed governor in 1770 and received his commission in 1771. See above, V, 367 n.

9Bernard had been governor since 1760, and was recalled because of charges made against him by the Massachusetts Assembly. He sailed from Boston on Aug. 1, 1769, carrying with him this letter to BF. The government had already shown its confidence in Bernard by creating him a baronet on April 5, 1769. See above, X, 353 n.

1This sentence has a touch of irony in view of future developments. By 1772 BF was convinced that Hutchinson himself belonged in the category of “designing men” who stirred up trouble, and his conviction was a factor in his deciding to send the Hutchinson letters back to Massachusetts.

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