They include the voluminous correspondence of all military and civil officers, and Indian Agents, employed in America; memorials of the American Commissioners
of Customs; narratives, affidavits, informations, and answers of witnesses, illustrating the most important occurrences; the journals of the Board of Trade; its Representations to the King
; its intercourse with the Secretary of State
; the 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 accounts of the debates on the days most nearly affecting America.
Many papers, interesting to Americans
, are preserved in the British Museum, where I have great reason to remember the considerate attention of Sir Henry Ellis
At the London Institution
, in Albemarle Street, also, the Secretary
, Mr. Barlow
, obtained for me leave to make use of its great collection of American military correspondence.
It was necessary to study the character and conduct