Governor Lawrence to Lords of Trade. November 9th, 1757.

As the calling an Assembly is doubtless a point of great importance to the welfare & prosperity of the Province and a measure about which I have been much more embarrassed than any other that has occurred since I have had the honor to conduct the administration of affairs here, I am extremely happy to find by your Lordships letter of the 10th of March last that your Lordships are of opinion with me the same reasons may in part tho’ perhaps not altogether, operate against calling an Assembly under the present circumstances of the times and of the Province, as served to obstruct the well peopling and settling the evacuated and other valuable Lands within it.

That those reasons and obstructions did heretofore, and do still subsist was the opinion not only of your Lordships and myself but also of the most knowing of the most substantial and of the truest well wishers to the Colony’s welfare, that are to be found amongst its inhabitants. Of the same opinion were the people of New England whose notions of liberty and of Government your Lordships are too well acquainted with to need any account thereof from me, for when I was amongst them last winter I took every occasion of discovering their sentiments on this subject, in order to be well satisfied whether there was any truth in the reports that had been industriously propagated by some evilly disposed persons amongst us, that to the want of a House of Representatives it was principally owing that the evacuated lands were not already settled, the more I enquired into the truth of such reports the better I became convinced that they were without the least foundation.

And I am further to observe to your Lordships that no person whatever with whom I have conversed and on whose judgment and advice I could the least rely, have of late considered the measure of calling an assembly of the people, situated and circumstanced as they are at present, and in a state of hostilities with so dangerous and near a neighbor, otherwise than as Chimerical. I have said above that the most substantial of our own Inhabitants have opposed it, and that they have done so may appear by their own memorials begging it might not take place whilst the Province continued in a state of War, knowing of how little use it could be, and of what disservice it possibly might be, those who have urged it, have done so, to inflame the minds of the people, who they have much deceived and misled to deprive me of their confidence and regard, and in short to embarrass the affairs of Government, without any other views -than those of private advantage, and from no other motives than those of resentment for disappointments in places and employments with which it was not in my power to gratify them.

As the uneasiness that has been given on this head has proceeded from scarcely any person that has property in the Province or that has even applied to me for the possession of an Acre of land within it, I shall pass over the Calumnies that have been spread, without troubling your Lordships further than just to observe, that had we been infinitely better prepared for such a measure than we truly are, my being called by the Earl of Loudoun to Boston last winter, my being ordered on the expedition against Louisbourg this summer, my going to Chignecto when that expedition was dropped and the multiplicity of military affairs in which the safety and the ‘very being of the Colony have constantly engaged my attention, have rendered the accomplishment of such a measure utterly impracticable for these twelve months past.

For these reasons I hope your Lordships cannot be displeased that it has not been already carried into execution, nor even that if it be deferred till some happy change in the face of American affairs promises more success in an undertaking of so much moment, nevertheless if it should be still your Lordships express pleasure that at all hazards and events an assembly shall absolutely be called without waiting for a favorable alteration in our circumstances, I beg leave to assure your Lordships that I shall without a moments delay after receiving your Lordships commands execute the plan that I formed last winter for that purpose, by the advice and assistance of His Majestys Council.

Kennedy, William P. Statutes, Treaties and Documents of the Canadian Constitution: 1713-1929. Oxford Univ. Pr., 1930.