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Hutchinson Letters


HUTCHINSON LETTERS, between Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson and officials in London—particularly Thomas Whately—discussing colonial unrest and urging abridgment of colonial liberties. For the rest of his life after the publication of these letters—which effectively destroyed his career—Hutchinson doggedly pursued the mystery of who had turned the letters over to colonial agent Benjamin Franklin, who in turn sent them to Massachusetts. Between 1768 and the end of 1771, Hutchinson wrote Whately at least thirteen letters, six of which were published in America in 1773. Although the letters were for the most part restrained and merely cautionary, and contained little that the public had not heard Hutchinson express before, their publication provided a catalyst for colonial protest.


Bailyn, Bernard. The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1974.

Pencak, William. America's Burke: The Mind of Thomas Hutchinson. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1982.

Leslie J.Lindenauer

See alsoColonial Policy, British .

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