ePub 版

that he would do all that lay in his power to promote it; assuring them that he would Write Home in their favour, by setting forth the Necessity of such a Projection."1 Aside from this assertion in a partisan pamphlet full of violent attacks upon the governor and his friends, there is no evidence that Dudley favored the plans of the Land Bank party. Perhaps he was not altogether frank in the interview, and to avoid immediate difficulties appeared to consent to a scheme which he knew would be negatived either in the Council or in England; but that he ever really was prepared to urge the plan cannot be believed. Dudley's career as governor was marked by insistence upon sound economic principles, and his supporters were found not among the Land Bank party, but among the conservatives of the Council. Even if he had inclined to such dubious doctrines, his son Paul would either have restrained him or have taken a course different from the one he adopted; for as soon as the petition was presented Paul Dudley, as attorney-general of the province, offered a memorial in opposition, wherein he called attention to the faults of the project.2 As a result the Council passed an order prohibiting the promoters from printing their schemes or emitting notes until they should lay their proposal before the General Court.3 Although this order was printed in the News Letter, it was followed by an advertisement announcing that the promoters would continue to receive subscriptions.4

At the fall session of the General Court, Dudley laid the matter before the House in a speech wherein he said that the House was undoubtedly familiar with the proposition of

1 "A Vindication of the Bank of Credit," . . . 1714, reprinted ibid. 147166.

'Davis, Currency and Banking, ii. 87.

'Ibid.; also Council Records (Ms.), August 20, 1714.

* Davis, Currency and Banking, ii. 87.

several gentlemen to supply the defect in the currency "by a certain method of Bills of Credit founded upon Land security by way of mortgages made to themselves."1 Although he made no specific recommendation, he hoped that the House would take such action "as might secure the Honor of his Majesties Government over us & be for the Security & Benefit of the Subject in their Trade & Commerce." On October 22, a joint committee of the House and the Council was appointed, and on October 28, it presented its report.2 This report must have been a severe blow to the Land Bank party, for it recommended the emission of £50,000 of bills of credit, which should be vested in the hands of trustees and loaned out on mortgages at five per cent interest.3 Thus in its encounter with the General Court, the bank party received a check.

The stand taken by the government "lessened the party for the private bank, but it increased the zeal, and raised a strong resentment in those which remained";4 and it precipitated a war of pamphlets. Paul Dudley came to the support of the government and criticised the project in the guise of "A Letter to John Burril Esq., Speaker to the House."6 To Paul Dudley the bank was a "Pandora's Box," from which would come dire consequences to the colony, both constitutionally, since the House had no power to erect such a bank, and economically, since further emissions of doubtfully secured paper currency were not the proper remedies for the financial troubles of the colony. "But," said he, "if we Import from Abroad, more than we can Pay for, by what we Produce our selves, or Purchase from others with our own Commodities,

1 October 20, 1714, Records of the General Court (Ms.), ix. 417.
'Ibid. 421-425.

'Massachusetts Acts and Resolves, i. 750.

* Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, ii. 190.

1Boston, 1714; reprinted in Davis's Tracts, 85-110.

we shall unavoidably grow Poor, and a Million of PaperMoney won't help the matter at all." This able pamphlet, with its sound but scathing criticisms, brought rejoinders from the other party. "A Letter from One in Boston to his Friend in the Country" was an obvious attempt to defend the project and win the votes of some of the country members of the House.1 Both this and "A Vindication of the Bank of Credit"2 contain not merely the economic arguments of the time, but also savage attacks upon Paul Dudley and the governor, who is accused of bad faith in having at one time favored the plan. The struggle in the colony became so bitter that it "divided towns, parishes, and particular families."3 The hostility of the Land Bank party naturally centred upon the governor and his family, who were rightly held to be largely responsible for the failure of the project. Nor did Dudley's activity stop with the defeat of the scheme in the colony. He learned that the Land Bank party was about to carry its case to England, and to obtain there the charter which the General Court refused to grant. He therefore sought "with considerable Warmth" to have most emphatic instructions to oppose the petition sent to Jeremiah Dummer, the agent for Massachusetts.4 Instructions were sent, though not so emphatic as the governor wished; but even these were unnecessary, for, as Dummer reported, the Board of Trade would not hear him on the subject, "for they were so clear in it that they answered me at once that no such thing should be done."6

•Printed 1714; reprinted ibid. 111-145.
•Printed 1714; reprinted ibid. 147-166.
* Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, ii. 189.

4Sewall's Diary, November 30, 1714, Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, 5th Series, vii. 27.

•April 5, 1715, Massachusetts Archives (Ms.), li. 273-277. The petition of the Land Bank party is in the Bodleian Library, Rawlinson Mss., C. 128, f. 21.

Thus, believing that the defeat of the project both in Massachusetts and in England was due to the governor, the private bank party brought all its influence to bear to bring about the removal of Dudley and the appointment of some other man who would be more pliable. Although opposed by Dummer and Sir William Ashurst, it at length found an instrument in one Colonel Elizeus Burgess, a mercenary office-seeker, who had at one time been an aide to Stanhope. What inducement the private bank party offered Burgess is not known; but he promised not to interfere with its plans and to use his influence with Stanhope to bring about Dudley's removal. In this he was successful; for, although Dudley had in a measure lived down his unpopularity in Massachusetts, his friends and supporters were no longer in power in England, and the new ministers sought to find positions for their own supporters. However, the private bank party reaped little advantage from the removal of Dudley, for Dummer paid Burgess £1000 to resign the office in favor of Shute, a man pledged to oppose all the schemes of the radical party; and Dudley, though removed from office, had the satisfaction of knowing that his opposition had postponed the financial disasters which later overtook Massachusetts.


To retain his post during the thirteen troubled years of his administration Dudley was forced to be continually on the defensive. A royal governor attempting to carry out the policy of England could not hope for the support of the province; rather must he be prepared to encounter bitter opposition in the performance of his duty. His every act would be judged by the colonists, not from the point of view of the advantage to England, nor even from that of the need of the colonies as a whole, but from the effect that such a policy would have upon Massachusetts. Nor had Massachusetts a clearly formulated policy which a royal governor could adopt; hardly a question other than the safety of the colony could be brought forward for which a governor could obtain united support. The same feeling of individualism which arrayed the colony against England was to be found in the parties and factions within the colony. The House was jealous of the Council, the country towns of the wealth and influence of Boston, and the people of any exercise of executive authority; while all these tendencies were generally united in common opposition to any manifestation of royal prerogative.

The personal popularity of a governor might, as in the case of Bellomont, silence some of the most malicious attacks and prevent concerted attempts to obtain his removal, but no personal popularity had ever enabled a royal governor to carry out completely the desires of England. Dudley, more

« 上一頁繼續 »