Colin Nicholson, "The Infamas Governor": Francis Bernard and the Origins of the American Revolution

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Author: John Grenier
Date: Oct. 2002
From: American Studies International(Vol. 40, Issue 3)
Publisher: George Washington University
Document Type: Book review
Length: 465 words

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(Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2001), xiii + 326 pp., $50.00 (cloth).

Francis Bernard, governor of Massachusetts during the first years of the imperial crisis between the colonies and Great Britain, became, in contemporary Patriot polemicists' and later hagiographers' writings, the focus of vituperative attacks. Bernard, they claimed, personally symbolized a ministerial conspiracy to destroy colonial rights and liberties. For generations of pro-American authors, Bernard deserved blame for igniting the flames of protest in the late 1760s, bringing British troops to "occupy" Boston in 1768, and persuading King George III and his ministers to take the hard line toward the American colonists.

Colin Nicholson, editor of Bernard's papers, aims to rehabilitate Bernard's reputation. For Nicholson, Bernard is...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A94775490