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Intercepted Letters from Brook Watson


Montreal, October 16, 1775.

DEAR SIR: I have had the long wished for satisfaction of hearing from you at last. On the 7th instant I received yours of August the 14th, and immediately desired my friend at Quebeck to find Mr˙ Bliss, and get from him your letter of the 13th August, which I received the 14th instant, with an excuse of Mr˙ Bliss, that he had left it on board with his baggage. Your letter, in answer to mine of April the 6th, I have not received; hence, you may naturally conceive me very unhappy concerning you and Mrs˙ Faneuil; but am now relieved, and happy to learn you had determined on going to winter in Nova-Scotia, because you will certainly be in safety there. The Admiral can never suffer the Colonists to cross the Bay of Fundy, and seize the Province, nor can publick affairs continue to be conducted as they have been hitherto. From the little knowledge I have of America, and of military operations, I do conceive General Gage cannot winter at Boston, and that ere this he will have determined to quit it; because, should it remain longer undetermined, it may not be in his power to quit Boston without quitting America. My meaning is, that he cannot winter all his troops at Halifax; therefore, part of them must come to Quebeck; and it is necessary, to that end, that they should now be embarked, or they will not get up the river. The Hunter, sloop-of-war, is arrived at Quebeck, from Boston. Perhaps she may bring some news of the kind.

Your intention of quitting America next spring, and with the fragments of your fortune purchasing an annuity for your and Mrs˙ Faneuil' s lives, in case publick affairs shall not alter much for the better, I greatly approve; at the same time, hope you will not have occasion to carry it into execution. Surely the Kingdom of Great Britain cannot much longer be governed by such weak counsels and feeble efforts. She has scarcely got a secure Province in


America. As to this, it has long been on the brink of falling into the hands of the most despicable wretches. Had not the inhabitants of this Town gone out to meet Colonel Allen, on Monday, the 25th ultimo, the Town and principal part of the Province would have been in their hands, and that fellow would probably have been Governour of Montreal. Thank God, that day' s action turned the minds of the Canadians; and I have reason to hope the Province out of danger, at least for this year, and, doubtless, ample protection will be afforded it early in the next.

As to the affairs of W˙ & R˙, I have great pleasure in telling you I have sent them home forty thousand Pounds sterling since my arrival, thirty-two thousand Pounds of which in furs, per the ship Pomona, Captain Green, which sailed from Quebeck the 2d instant. Had it not been for the unhappy troubles which have reigned this year, I should have sent ten thousand Pounds more; but I have reason to be content and happy in having made a voyage to America in 1775.

The Province of Nova-Scotia stands much indebted to W˙ & R˙, and I should be happy to have it in my power, as it is my wish, to visit it before my return to England; but I conceive both the affairs of that Province and this demand my presence in London as soon as possible; for which reason, it is my intention to leave Quebeck in the ship Adamant, about the 10th of next month, hoping to arrive on or about the 15th December, before Parliament shall be adjourned. Should my presence in Nova-Scotia be absolutely necessary, I shall, in discharge of my duty, visit it next spring. At the same time, I hope in God that may not be the case, for I ardently long for peace and home.

Your friends, Messrs˙ Jonathan and Isaac Clarke, would have done well, had not these troubles followed them to this Province. They have long had their goods packed, ready for embarking; but I hope they will not be obliged to ship them.

Our friend Butler writes me he had resolved to go to London, with his wife, in the Canadian, Captain Abbott. Should that happen, I hope you will get to Halifax before his departure, and take charge of W˙ & R˙' s power of attorney.

Pray make my compliments and affectionate regards known to Mrs˙ Faneuil; and be assured that I am, dear Sir, your faithful and affectionate friend,


To Benjamin Faneuil, Jun˙, Esq˙, Boston.

P˙S˙ My friend, Mr˙ John Orillat, of this City, is now prisoner with the Colonists. I esteem him much, and W˙ & R˙ have great commercial concerns with him and partner, Mr˙ Forctier, The last news I had of him, he was at Ticonderoga. Now, dear Sir, use your interest with General Gage to have him exchanged, get him released and retumed to his family, supply his wants, and thereby render a most acceptable service to your friend,