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Butler, John (before 1749-1791) to Joshua Mauger

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03902.065 Author/Creator: Butler, John (before 1749-1791) Place Written: Halifax, Nova Scotia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1 January 1776 Pagination: 11 p. ; 22.5 x 18 cm.

Butler, a Loyalist and Mauger's agent, transmits a letter written to Mauger 29 December 1775, marked as a duplicate. In the 1775 letter, Butler states "Canada in the hands of the Rebells, & I fear the Army will be burnt out of Boston if so they must come here- how these matters will End God knows." Discusses business matters regarding military and provincial stores, and the orders of Lord William Barrington, Secretary at War. Mentions his high standing with British General Eyre Massey, in charge of Halifax 1776-1778. Refers to the death of an individual (possibly a sailor) named Day. States that he might obtain the appointment of Commissary General at his current location. Implores Mauger to recommend his appointment, and cites the need for additional troops in Canada. Relates news pertaining to recent rebel activity in Boston, referring to Admiral Graves (possibly British Admiral Thomas Graves, former Governor of Newfoundland). Complains extensively regarding Francis Legge, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, and states "this place cannot be held by less than 3000 good Troops." Discusses dangers posed to Mauger's provincial land and holdings by a possible Colonial invasion of Nova Scotia. Declares that he will not remain at his post if Legge remains Governor of the province. Expresses dismay at former criticism Mauger directed at him regarding business affairs, stating "I hope you do not think that I am keeping any of your Property in my hands- or using your Money- If you do you greatly Injure me." Mentions Mr. Belcher, possibly Jonathan Belcher, former Chief Justice of Nova Scotia.

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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