Butler, John (before 1749-1791) to Joshua Mauger
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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03902.064 Author/Creator: Butler, John (before 1749-1791) Place Written: Halifax, Nova Scotia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 28 October 1775 Pagination: 4 p. ; 23.5 x 18.5 cm.
Written by Butler as Mauger's agent in Nova Scotia to Mauger as a British Member of Parliament who was formerly Nova Scotia's agent in London. Mauger was considered the unofficial spokesman of the colony in Parliament. This document contains three letters, all of which appear to be copies. They are dated 28 October 1775 (marked "Triplicate"), 18 November 1775 (marked "Duplicate"), and 29 December 1775. 28 October letter: army is shut up in Boston and "The Rebells" have designs on Canada. Just heard that General Prescott defeated the Americans at St. Johns and that they are retreating. Says New York Governor Tryon has 800 men on Long Island and 1500 more joining him soon. Says Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore has made progress. 18 November letter: relates General Gage's account of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Tells of great losses by the British but says the Americans "run like Deers." Has word from Boston that the Americans are assembling in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but does not think they have the courage to storm Boston. Says he has not received confirmation of American defeats in Canada, but hopes they are true. Disparages the conduct of "our Governor" and says Halifax needs at least 2000 troops to be secured. Relates information dealing with Mauger's various accounts. 29 December letter: strikes a despondent tone. Says he is ill and claims "Canada in the hands of the Rebels & I fear the army will be burnt out of Boston if so they must come here - how these matters will end god knows." Butler was wrong about Canada's capitulation. The Americans were defeated outside Quebec on 31 December. But he was correct on the British retreat from Boston to Halifax, which took place March 1776.
Mauger was a British sea captain, shipowner, and business man active in British Canadian politics. He served as Nova Scotia's agent in London 1762-1762. Butler served as Mauger's agent for many years, supervising business transactions between Nova Scotia and England. He also supervised the Indian Department at Niagara for the British during the Revolutionary War.
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