92
92
Hutchinson, Thomas, Royal Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony
Estimate
5001,500
LOT SOLD. 250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
92
Hutchinson, Thomas, Royal Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony
Estimate
5001,500
LOT SOLD. 250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

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New York

Hutchinson, Thomas, Royal Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony
Autograph letter signed ("Tho. Hutchinson"), 4 pages (12 x 7 1/4 in.; 305 x 184 mm), Milton, [Massachusetts], 12 September 1766, to Charles Paxton (at London); formerly folded, lightly browned, a few tiny holes at folds without loss. Blue half-morocco drop-box, gilt-stamped title on spine.
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Provenance

Christie's New York, 14 December 1984, lot 201

Literature

See B. Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson (1976), pp. 51 ff.

Catalogue Note

A detailed letter describing the violent actions of the colonists against English officials over the imposition of the Stamp Act.

Hutchinson (1711–1780) writes to one of his hated customs inspectors, who was using writs of assistance to search for contraband imports: "...The six weeks since you sailed have passed here without any remarkable event. A mob about a collector or controller's house, if they do not pull them down, is a small affair. The Falmouth people kept Frank Waldo beseiged, one night, long enough to carry off a parcel of foreign rum that was under seizure, and I dare say none of the actors will ever be discovered. Farther East, a mob beset Doctor Gardner's house when he was in it, and he escaped out of a window into the woods and came away presently after to Boston. This is said by some to be only a scheme to drive him from that part of the country and that they intended no harm to his person."

He reports on conflicts at the western border with New York, and hopes that the colony is "returning to our former orderly state, but I do not believe the people at Boston have more virtue than the people at Falmouth."

Hutchinson had suffered the loss of his town house to the mob and was applying to Court and to the Massachusetts House for compensation, without success: "It will be hard upon me, however, to winter at Milton again in this cold season, for I do not intend to furnish my house in town 'til my loss is made up. I have enough to do to make half of it habitable, and to provide decent apparel for myself and children. Whether I shall be relieved here, is at best doubtful."

He is plagued by James Otis (both father and son), attorneys who had opposed Hutchinson's elevation to chief justice of the superior court: "Otis when you sailed pretended it was certain, provided I would petition the House. As soon as he heard I was willing to do it, he declared he would oppose the grant with all his might. This desultory wretch shifts and changes as often as a weather cock, says and unsays and nevertheless retains his influence .... I have letters from several friends, who assure me that one time or other I shall have some mark of royal favour as a reward for my services and sufferings." Hutchinson muses that if a new Governor is appointed, he will resign, but remain as chief justice. To his misfortune, he was appointed governor in 1770, but he did succeed in renovating his house in Boston.

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

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New York