Transcribed by Garth Bulman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter: James Bardin Palmer To William Roubel Charlotte T. 2nd May, 1819 2:00 a.m.
Reference: Acc. 2849 Item 86 PEIPA
Transcribed by Garth Bulman 8th June, 2002
Note: This document was extremely hard to transcribe. This letter was written late at night, as Palmer prepared to retire, and appears to be a working copy only. There are many interspersed comments, and his handwriting didn't improve as he tired. Words we cannot be certain of, or that are unreadable are placed in square brackets. Palmer shows his sense of humour in his comments about Speaker Mcauly.
I have been anxious since the commencement of Winter to give you a journal of occurrences of this delightful place but apprehension at the same time that I might be induced to draw false conclusions from those occurrences, in consequence of the rapidity with which they have taken place.
On my return I received the same hint which had been given me before my departure that I might ask and have my reinstatement upon making any kind of acknowledgement. This was promptly and decidedly refused as before. I received Mr. Goulbourne's letter to His Ex., and a copy of the Memorial of Hillís creditors to Lord B - he assured me that he had never received any communication on the subject - The winter set in (for I did not arrive till December) I saw the shameful mismanagement of the dangerous situation of my cause with Marsh my Chant law affairs and that money was to be made in Chancery - On the other hand I saw the prospect of an unproductive winter & all its ?. And the affair was patched up temporarily by a Memorial from the merchants stating their former certificate expressing their good opinion of me. - Their undeviating adherence to the same sentiments and the necessity of my professional reestablishment affecting the facilitation of commerce and the credit of the Colony. Bowley presented this and in half an hour afterwards Mr. Lane the Gov'r Son? in Law who is now regír in Chancery. Called him to say that the Gov. had a very different view of men & things from that he had formerly entertained, as a little time would shew them. Lane advised that I should present a memorial which, after a day of consideration, I did - reciting that already mentioned and praying my reestablishment "for the reasons therein stated." - Neither memorial touched upon the ground of my dismissal or even mentioned the circumstances. In three days afterwards His Ex. ordered the Memorials to be read in Chancery and that I should be reinstated "for the reason therein mentioned." Shortly afterwards Holland and Johnston were put out of Council the G. assaying? as a reason that "that he could not carry on the public business with safety as long as they sat at the Board."
A general election took place during my absence, it was reported that I should not return and Binns filled my place. The new House were - Queens County Macauly (Speaker) Cambridge, Hyde & Ewen Cameron Charlotte Town Nelson & Paul Mabey. Kings County Worrell - Coffin, Kelly & McLaren - George Town Alley - Prince County Murray McNeill Alex Campbell and Binns - Prince Town Townshend & Dugald Stewart. They attacked the Gov. immediately put his son in jail for breaking their windows - passed a great number of bills - (some of them very much wanted), and were prorogued suddenly without a speech. The session was nearly over on my arrival, and I devoted my entire attention to private affairs, thus keeping out of all scrapes, but being accounted crafty.
Whether Smith sees or fears I canít say, but he is much changed as you may suppose on hearing that my professional attention is almost entirely engrossed in Chancery affairs where it is said that I am very fortunate.
Holland designates me as Prime Minister - the fact is I meddle in politics just as much as you who are absent, and no more. Several hints have been given me but I am now forty eight years old, and am endeavoring to seek peace, fees, and an honorable removal. The return of the packet will bring all the winter mails - none have arrived, and my fate I presume will soon be declared. There is a Cabal against Smith very like our old friend his predecessor Holland and Johnston are working hard so is Boswell? the Collector Rollings was returned Sheriff by a majority. Cambridge, the Stewarts & Duncan MacKay are busy, - Goff gently behind the curtain & Curtis, I believe the whole House of Assembly (except Binns) particularly Alex Campbell, Ewen Cameron and Paul Mabey. They are taking much the same course as formerly, but they have not yet come to [Dinner?]. Weather Cock Macauly goes before the wind - he married Donald McDonald of Tracadie to Miss Brecken, and being censured on account of their religious opinions he is making a popular thing of it.
I am tired of the subject and therefore shall conclude by saying that he has never given me Saunders. Tho he promised it to me upon honor, and has had fifty messages from me. Your £ 5 I paid, but I understand the payment is now set against a trumped up demand for boat hire - however to end the matter, I will pay that also in a day or two. This day correspondent, I caught the volume of [Turner?], and when the Doctor hands me Saunders? I will religiously perform my promise - indeed I should not have waited for that but I am making up a cargo of timber for agency remittances, which has drained me of every farthing.
I am fast asleep.