Correspondence of William Shirley, Governor of Massachusetts and Military Commander in America, 1731- 1760 - Vol. 1

Correspondence of William Shirley, Governor of Massachusetts and Military Commander in America, 1731- 1760 - Vol. 1

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Correspondence of William Shirley, Governor of Massachusetts and Military Commander in America, 1731- 1760 - Vol. 1

Correspondence of William Shirley, Governor of Massachusetts and Military Commander in America, 1731- 1760 - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

William Shirley was one of the few popular English governors in America during the Colonial period. Born in Sussex County, England, on December 2, 1694, he was descended from an old and distinguished English family. The son of a London merchant, he was for a considerable time identified with that center of the English world as a lawyer, and there acquired a good knowledge of the intrigues which characterized the Court of George II and the methods employed to secure results in the government of Great Britain. Coming to America in 1731, he, ten years later, became a governor of Massachusetts, approved by the people of that colony and trusted by his official superiors at London. The words used by Mrs. Shirley in her letter to the Duke of Newcastle, March 2, 1737, when seeking office for her husband, contained much truth: "From his own capacity and the general esteem the people have for him, he may be of great service to the Crown, and I am sure will employ his utmost ability and industry in return for any favors bestowed on him, and I may venture to say the King wants such men in America."

Shirley's experience in America during the ten years preceding his appointment as governor was a good preparation for his duties as chief executive of the colony, and contributed much to the efficiency shown by him in that position. As Surveyor of the King's Woods he learned the value of the forests of New England, and particularly of the tall pines reserved for use as masts in the royal navy; and the knowledge of the geography and resources of northeastern America gained when in this office served him in good stead in the defense of the country during his fifteen years of warfare against the French and Indians in his double position as governor of Massachusetts and Military Com-

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