To Philanthrop (III)

in by Warren

Author: Paskalos, a pseudonym of Joseph Warren

Date: February 2, 1767

Source: Boston Gazette

Sir,

As you have frequently declared yourself to be a friend to truth and justice, I have been greatly surprized to find you so audaciously trampling upon both. You are too contemptible to be the object of my resentment; and I should think my time very unnecessarily spent, in proving you an enemy to truth, and a traitor to your country – Yet I cannot avoid mentioning several of the many mistakes, and design’d misrepresentations, of which you have been guilty. In the case of Waterman, you erred in the most important point – as has been proved. In the affair of Mount-Desart, you assert that his E—y never made application for it – many members of the house precisely know to the contrary. You say the grant was unanimous – recourse to the journals of the honorable house will confute you. You affirm, that the land is not worth the sum which his E—y has expended upon it – this is so notoriously false, that many gentlemen can readily be found, who would gladly give five times that sum for a title to it. Think on these follies Philanthrop – and guard against the sin which so easily besets, & so amazingly captivates you. I must take notice also of the evasive manner in which you reply to the charges bro’t against your Hero. And because your pretended vindication of his E—y in the matter of the Dedimus is most recent – I shall instance in that particular. Mr. B. B. charges his E—y with an attempt to encroach upon the privilege of the house, in taking upon himself to judge of the qualifications of their members – whereas in fact, the house only are legal judges in this matter; & so no power on earth besides can rightfully exclude any gentleman who is returned, from setting and voting with the house. Now instead of proving that the G—r did not make this attempt, you give us a long detail of particulars, no way related to the point in debate: for altho’, according to your account, those gentlemen were not duly qualified as members; yet it by no means follows, that the G—r had a right to break in upon the privilege of the house, by setting himself up for sole judge in a matter which belonged entirely to another department – But his conduct must be considered as an arbitrary attempt to destroy the established form of government – for which attempt, you in one of your publications have been pleased to inform us in what manner he is to be treated. – But I have taken as much notice of you as I think proper.

I now in few words enter upon that grand point in debate, which first induced me to take up my pen; and which is of the highest importance to this province.

We are a dependent people; and it is of the utmost consequence to us, to be viewed in a favorable light by our most gracious Sovereign, and the Court of Great-Britain. For my own part, I must believe that his Majesty has not in any part of his extensive dominions, subjects more loyal and affectionate, than are the people of this province – yet the ass—ly, which is the representative body of the people, have, by Verres, been openly charged with a formal attack upon government, and an oppugnation of the King’s authority. This being the case, it is not A. B. C. or the illiberal Paskalos, that are particularly concerned in the dispute; the whole province were accused; and if the great accuser gains belief, the whole people must expect to feel the resentment of the King and the British Parliament. By this injurious treatment all confidence in him is destroyed, & the breach made is so wide that nothing can possibly make it up, unless the accuser will publickly withdraw his charge, and acknowledge his error. Instead of this, we find by Lord Shelburne’s letter, that he still persists, and u[n]happily for us, gains too much credit.

To bring this long debated point to an issue. Either the province are disloyal to the King, and disaffected to, and opposers of his authority; or Verres has maliciously and falsly accused them. – If the first be true, (which God forbid) let me seriously advise every guilty individual, humbly to repent: & let me earnestly recommend it to the general ass—ly, to acknowledge the fault, and implore the Royal forgiveness. But if (as I believe) the latter is the case, let me call upon every order of men to testify their j[ust] [r]esentment: and particularly, let me conjure [th]e faithful guardians of my country, the g—l ass—ly, to do every thing legally in their power, to save us from ruin. It is certain that while Verres thinks himself under a necessity to make us appear odious to our Sovereign, he will be continually endeavouring to ensnare us: and while he continues in his present station, he will have too many opportunities to accomplish it. But to our great consolation, our Monarch is just, and has a paternal regard for his subjects. And I am convinced, that a true account of the state of the province, and an humble remonstrance to his Majesty, will restore us to his favour, and deliver us from intestine broils. That this many be done speedily, is the earnest wish, and humble prayer of many thousands in the province, particularly of

Paskalos.”

Commentary: The controversy continues over Governor Francis Bernard’s communications to Great Britain concerning Whig activities in the Massachusetts Assembly and in the community.

Previous post:

Next post: