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β€˜ [286] same.’ On the election of Councillors, he disapprov-
Chap. XLI.} 1769. May.
ed of no less than eleven; among them of Brattle and Bowdoin, who had been chosen by a unanimous vote.1 The House then considered the presence among them of troops, over whom the Governor avowed that the civil power in the Province did not extend. At that very time Gage, who had been intrusted with discretionary authority to withdraw the forces from Boston, ordered two regiments to Halifax, and required Bernard's written opinion respecting the proper disposition of the rest.2

After some hesitation,3 and after conferring with his associates, Bernard reported it to be β€˜the opinion of all that the removal of the troops at that time would have very dangerous consequences;4 and that it would be quite ruinous to the cause of the Crown to draw them all out of the town of Boston. Two regiments, one in the town, the other at the castle, might be sufficient.’5

During this secret discussion, the Assembly,6 in a message to the Governor, represented that the use of the military to enforce the laws was inconsistent with the spirit of a free Constitution, and that a standing army, in so far as it was uncontrollable by the civil authority of the Province, was an absolute power.

Bernard, whose chief anxiety was to get a grant

1 Bradford's History of Massachusetts, i. 185.

2 Gage to Mackay, 4 June, 1769; Mackay to Gov. Gage, 12 June. 1769.

3 Bernard to Gage, 12 June, 1769.

4 Bernard to Gage, 19 June, 1769.

5 Bernard to Gage, 26 June, 1769; Gage to Hillsborough, No. 32.

6 Answer of the House of Representatives to the Governor's Message of May 31, 1769, June 13; in Bradford's Massachusetts State Papers, 169, 171.

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