Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

the connection that, as early as 1767, during a serious illness of Lady Huntingdon, he was spoken to concerning the taking over of her chapels in the event of any such exigency. His house at Sandwell, near Birmingham, was the resort of many of the preachers, and Lady Dartmouth's drawing-room at Cheltenham was opened for religious meetings. In this, way he became acquainted with Whitefield, who calls him “the Daniel of the age,” Wesley, Toplady, Hervey, Romaine, Venn, Rector of Huddersfield, and other eminent supporters of Calvinistic Methodism. In the present Calendar, limited as it is to American affairs, many names are recognized as belonging to the same circle, notably the rich merchant John Thornton, “who “ expended an ample fortune in the most splendid charity, and “ who preceded Simeon in the practice of purchasing advowsons “and bestowing them on evangelical preachers ” (Lecky III., 123). Other names are Lord Bath, Rev. Martin Madan (pp. 407, 528) of the Lock Chapel, to which Lord Dartmouth and Baron Smythe gave the weight of their rank and influence, Rev. Mr. Rawlings (p. 472, &c.) formerly a student at Oxford, and for forty years Vicar of Padstow, and the Rev. Bryan Broughton, Rector of All Hallows, Lombard Street, Secretary to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts and one of the original Methodists at Oxford. It was Lord Dartmouth who prevailed on the Bishop of Lincoln to ordain John Newton, and it is well known that his Lordship is alluded to by Cowper in the words “who wears a coronet and prays.” It was also Lord Dartmouth who accompanied the Countess of Huntingdon and the Duchess of Ancaster in her audience with their Majesties to remonstrate on the balls and routs held by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and to Lord Dartmouth the King expressed his agreeable surprise at finding Lady Huntingdon so different from what he had expected.

The very interesting letters and papers in connection with the Indian Charity School in Lebanon, Connecticut, first started by the Rev. Eleazer Wheelock, and which afterwards developed into Dartmouth College, should not fail to be noticed. The entire text of those from Dr. Wheelock has in most cases been given, others are from Nathaniel Whitaker, who in 1766 came to England with Samson Occom, Dr. Wheelock's first Indian

scholar, to rouse interest and gain subscriptions for extending the 'scheme. I have elsewhere in a footnote (p. 12) directed attention to Chase and Lord's history of the College. The letter from Dr, Wheelock of 22nd December 1768 transmitting specimens of Indian merchandise is by a regrettable misprint on page 65 dated from London instead of from Lebanon. In 1767, Trustees being nominated, Lord Dartmouth was appointed President of the Board, John Thornton, Treasurer, and Robert Keen; a woollen-draper in the Minories, Secretary. In 1773, Thornton writes (p. 132) of 5001, he is willing to give towards the building of the College. In 1776 he begs that the safety of the College might be recommended to both General Sir William Howe and his brother the Admiral. In 1826 a question arises as to the whereabouts of a full-length portrait of the Earl by Copley, supposed to have been in the College but not to be found. His grandson kindly supplying another, it is detained on its way to its destination by the citizens of New York, and at their request placed for the day of the National anniversary, the 4th of July, in its case, beside the portraits of Washington, Franklin, and other eminent Americans' (pp. 489-492).

· Many interesting, if perhaps partisan, letters are froin Ambrose Serle, who had been in Lord Dartmouth's service while Secretary of State, is appointed in January 1776 Clerk of Reports, and who accompanies the British Army in America from 1776 to 1778, in what capacity exactly does not appear, but that part of the time in New York he had control of the press. While recounting the military or general occurrences he writes very freely his own reflections and opinions :

“Among the causes of the present Civil War is one which i...i.. may probably hinder more than any, all the Endeavours for Peace and Reconciliation .... Religion, added to the very active and unbecoming Part the Preachers here of all Denominations have taken in these Controversies . ... the War is at the Bottom very much a religious War, and every one looks to the Establishment of his own Party upon the Issue of it.” Among other Engines, which have raised the present Commotion next to the indecent Harangues of the Preachers, none has had a more extensive or stronger Influence than the Newspapers of the respective Colonies. One is astonished to see with what Avidity they are sought after and how implicitly they are believed, by the great Bulk of the People. The Congress saw the necessity of securing this Advantage entirely to themselves, and of preventing all Publications, which might either expose or refute the Policy of their Measures. A free Press, however, teeming with heterogeneous Matters, would at least have retarded their great Design Government may find it expedient in

E 82140.

the Sum of things, to employ this popular Engine, and if it be impossible to restrain the Publication of Falsehood, it will be its Interest to give Power and Facility to the Circulation of Truth.”

While he sees all the distress of the people, the want of government or misgovernment of the leaders, the poor remnants of their army, he yet feels the significance of their Declaration of Independence, which the Government persists in ignoring.

"If it be not too much Presumption to say what has been uniformly my own Opinion, the Idea of treating with the Rebel Leaders, after their Declaration of Independence, and much more after their refusal to treat with us but upon that ground has given us a Wound, wch only the future Vigor of our Arms can heal ..., unless we beat and beat down too, all Men that oppose us with Arms, I believe we have no other human means for the Possession of America."

Once conquered, too, he foresees that future policy must be fundamentally adjusted, suggesting an American Constitution, co-ordinate with the British, otherwise the country would naturally shake off British authority in half a century. He recommends Joseph Galloway of Pennsylvania, forwarding some of his long and interesting letters to Richard Jackson (solicitor to the Board of Trade, King's Counsel, and M.P. for New Romney from 1768 to 1784) on the subject of the government of America, besides letters on the state of the country as he viewed it. Mr. Galloway supplies Lord Dartmouth with a number of American statistics (pp. 454-5), and arguments against the proposed evacuation of Philadelphia (p. 466).

Another correspondent and intimate friend is Sir James Adolphus Oughton of Caroline Park, near Edinburgh, Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty's Forces in Scotland. It was he who introduced Dr. Beattie, in whose Journal (Forbes' Life of Beattie) are many references to Lord Dartmouth's courtesy and kindness. Yet another is James Hutton, the Chief of the Moravians in London and a well-known figure of the period.

Lord Dartmouth received, like his successor in the American Department, Lord George Germain, various “Opinions of the best Measures to be pursued towards America," "Thoughts on the disputes” and “Schemes of Union," more or less practicable, many of them without names or dates, but some bearing the names of Lord Drummond, Lord Hyde, Lord Marchmont, Paul Wentworth, and William Knox.

William Knox, Under Secretary of State in the American Department for more than twelve years, is well known as a political writer, Paul Wentworth, who has already been

mentioned in connection with the New Hampshire Grants, turned his attention towards supplying the Government with secret information of the attitude of France and Holland towards the Colonies. He was later frequently employed confidentially by the Southern or Foreign Department to discover the exact position in which the American Commissioners at Paris (Dr. Franklin, Deane, and Lee) stood with the French Ministry. One of his stipulations for remuneration was that of a seat in Parliament, and it is curious to note that he did obtain his wish for the short period of two and a half months, being elected for Saltash, 12th July 1780, which borough it is stated in the history of the Secret Service of George III. was “ under the arrangement of Government with attention.” The Parliament dissolved 1st September following.

This notice would not be complete without a reference to the indefatigable Under Secretary, John Pownall. For many years Secretary to the Board of Trade and Plantations he became, in addition, when the office of Colonial Secretary was created, Under Secretary of State to that Department, filling both offices under Lord Hillsborough and Lord Dartmouth. He was returned to Parliament 23rd November 1775 for St. Germans borough just after Dartmouth's resignation as Secretary of State, and 31st May 1776 was appointed one of the Commissioners of Excise, which may be the “cup of comfort ” alluded to by himself on page 412. He was a brother of the better known Governor Thomas Pownall.

The manuscripts relating more exclusively to the West India possessions are chiefly letters from the various Governors and Lieutenants-Governors and others on the affairs pertaining to the local governments, letters from applicants for the governorships and other posts, descriptions of the islands, &c.

The manuscripts touching Canada, Labrador, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and St. John's Island have, as already stated, been calendared by Mr. Douglas Brymner.

The papers relating to the province of Quebec range from 1757 to 1792 (pp. 545-573). From 1764 to 1772 they chiefly relate to the serious question of the establishment of courts and the impartial administration of justice in a newly acquired territory whose inhabitants had both language and laws of their

E 82140.

own, to the question of the position of the Roman Catholics and to that of the legislative powers of the Governor and Council. Attention may be called to the additional instructions to Governor Murray as to the composition of juries in cases of British born subjects or Canadians ; a long report of the Attorney and Solicitor General on the measures for removing the various causes of complaints in the civil government 1766 (p. 552); abstract of such of the regulations proposed in Mr. Solicitor General's Report as it may be expedient to establish by Act of Parliament, 6th December 1772 ; and abstract of such as the Provincial Legislature of Quebec may carry into execution. In 1773 and 1774 are drafts, memoranda, and correspondence on the constitutional change known as the Quebec Act. Here are many of the letters of Roubaud, a Jesuit priest and unprincipled man, who for many years continued to weary the Government with his persistent claims for attention and remuneration.

Part of the papers on Labrador (pp. 574–580) deal with the mission and settlement of the Moravians at Esquimaux Bay. Their first attempt to establish a mission in Labrador was frustrated by the murder of the missionaries, but in 1764 the attempt was renewed. In 1769 an Order in Council was framed favouring the mission and granting the land desired by them. James Hutton, as Secretary to the Brethren's Mission, supplies Lord Dartmouth with reports of their proceedings. The other papers relate to George Cartwright and his seal and salmon fishing posts, and to the general regulations he proposes for the fisheries there.

Of the few papers touching Newfoundland the most important are on the fortifications of St. John and Placentia.

Those relating to Nova Scotia are more numerous. In 1766 are memorials, proposals, &c., of Colonel Alexander McKnott for a settlement of lands on a large scale. The later papers 17751778 should be read with those of corresponding date calendared in the previous Report already noticed, especially such as relate to the dispute between Governor Legge and his Government. Here are Governor Legge's reply to the petitions brought against him, his defence of his conduct, and the report of the Board of Trade to the King The Board, while finding that the

« AnteriorContinuar »