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he instructions and letters, sent to America, whether from the King, the Secretary of State, or the Board of Trade; the elaborate abstracts of documents prepared for the Council; opinions of the Attorney and Solicitor General; and occasionally private letters. I examined these masses of documents slowly and carefully; I had access to every thing that is preserved; and of no paper however secret it may have been in its day, or whatever its complexion, was a copy refused me. I owe to Lord John Russell permission to extend my inquiries to the records of the Treasury, of which he at the time was the head; so that all the volumes of its Minutes and its Letter-books, which could throw light on the subject of my inquiries, came under my inspection. The proceedings in Parliament till 1774 had something of a confidential character; from sources the most various, private letters, journals, and reports, preserved in France, or England, or in America, I have obtained full and trustworthy a