Thomas Hutchinson (governor)
Thomas Hutchinson (September 9, 1711 – June 3, 1780) was a businessman, historian, and a prominent Loyalist politician of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in the years before the American Revolution. A successful merchant and politician, Hutchinson was active at high levels of the Massachusetts government for many years, serving as lieutenant governor and then governor from 1758 to 1774. He was a politically polarizing figure who, despite initial opposition to Parliamentary tax laws directed at the colonies, came to be identified by John Adams and Samuel Adams as a proponent of hated British taxes.
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- I never think of the measures necessary for the peace and good order of the colonies without pain. There must be an abridgment of what are called English liberties. I relieve myself by considering that in a remove from a state of nature to the most perfect state of government, there must be a great restraint of natural liberty. I doubt whether it is possible to project a system of government in which a colony 3000 miles distant from the parent state shall enjoy all the liberty of the parent state. I am certain I have never yet seen the projection. I wish the good of the colony when I wish to see some further restraint of liberty rather than the connexion with the parent state should be broken; for I am sure such a breach must prove the ruin of the colony.
- Letter 20 January 1769, as printed in James Kendall Hosmer, The Life of Thomas Hutchinson (1896), Appendix C