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Full text of "The Diplomatic correspondence of the American Revolution : being the letters of Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, John Adams, John Jay, Arthur Lee, William Lee, Ralph Izard, Francis Dana, William Carmichael, Henry Laurens, John Laurens, M. de Lafayette, M. Dumas, and others, concerning the foreign relations of the United States during the whole Revolution : together with the letters in reply from the secret committee of Congress, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs : also, the entire correspondence of the French ministers, Gerard and Luzerne, with Congress : published under the direction of the President of the United States, from the original manuscripts in the Department of State, conformably to a resolution of Congress, of March 27th, 1818"

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THE 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 



OP THE 



AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 



VOL. X. 



THE 

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 



OP THE 



AMERICAN REVOLUTION; 



.n.l« f ""^ BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, SILAS DEANE, JOHN 

A^AMS, JOHN JAY, ARTHUR LEE, WILLIAM LEE, RALPH 

IZARD, FRANCIS DANA, WILLIAM CARMICHAEL, HENRY 

LAURENS, JOHN LAURENS, M. DE LAFAYETTE M 

DUMAS, AND OTHERS, CONCERNING THE FOREIGN 

RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES DURING 

THE WHOLE REVOLUTION j 

TOGETHER WITH 

THE LETTERS IN REPLY FROM THE SECRET COMMITTEE OF 
CONGRESS, AND THE SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS. 

ALSO, 

THE ENTIRE CORRESPONDENCE OF THE FRENCH MINISTERS 
GERARD AND LUZERNE, WITH CONGRESS. 



ionfori 

iei8. 



.._ . -^-^. ^„„ x^..o,,Munoi me rresiaentot the United States, fto 

the ongina^ Manuscripts in the Department of SiMefconfSly 
to a Resolution of Congresffpof March P^**- '^'° 



BY JARED SPARKS. 



voL.x.4e-'^-'/o 




BOSTON; 

NATHAN HALE AND GRAY & BO WEN ; 

a. t C. & H. CARVILL, KEW rORK ; P. THOMPSON, TVASHIITOTON 

1830. 



:3eK:ea 



steam Power Press-W. L. Lewis' Print 
No. 6, Congress Street, Boston. 



CONTENTS 



TENTH VOLUME 



GENERAL LAFAYETTE'S CORRESPONDENCE. 



Page. 
Resolve of Congress respecting General Lafayette. 
Li Congress, November 23cl, 1781, . _ 5 

Expressing their sense of his services, and di' acting 
the foreign Ministers and other officers of the 
United States to consult with him. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Antony, near Paris, 
March 30th, 1782, 7 

Ministerial changes in England. 

To Robert R. Livingston. St Germain, June 25th, 
1782, _----.- 8 

Composition, character, and policy of the Shelburne 
Ministry. — Defeat of Coant de Grasse. — Siege of 
Gibraltar. 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de Lafayette. Phila- 
delphia, September 18th, 1782, - - .-!<'> 

The Count de Segur. — Character of the British 
Ministry. 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de Lafayette. Phila- 
delphia, November 2d, 1782, . - - 16 

Political and military state of America. 

To the President of Congress. Brest, December 
3d, 1782, - 19 

Is about to embark on a voyage in the service of 
America. 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de Lafayette. Phila- 
delphia, January 10th, 1783, - - - 20 
Discontents in the army on account of the want of 
money. — Regrets the departure of thvi French 
troops. 
VOL. X. B 



VI CONTENTS. 

Page. 
To William Carmichael, at Madrid. Cadiz, January 
20tl], 17S3, 22 

America ought To treat with Spain only on an equal 
footing. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Cadiz, February 5th, 

1783, - 24 

Objects of his voyage. — Mr Carmichael desires his 
presence at Madrid.— Disposition ol' Spain. — 
Southern boundaries. — Recommends Mr Harrison 
to be Consul at Cadiz. 

To the President of Congress. Cadiz, February 
5th, 1783, ------- 28 

Congratulations on the peace. — Desires the annexa- 
tion of Canada to the United States. — His presence 
required in Madrid. 

To the Count de Florii^ Blanca. Madrid, February 
19th, 1783, „_ - - - - 20 

Submitting to his revision the results of previous 
conferences on American affairs. 

Count de Florida Blanca to M. de Lafayette. 
Pardo, February 22d, 1783, . . - 32 

Acknowledges the correctness of the statements con- 
tained in the preceding letter. — The King is dis- 
posed to settle tiie affair of the boundaries amicably. 

To the Count de Florida Blanca. Madrid, Feb- 
ruary 22d, 1783, 33 

The Spanish Minister explains his sentiments 
concerning the boundary. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Bordeaux, March 2d, 
1783, 33 

Interviews with the Count de Florida Blanca. — 
The Spanish Court fears the effect of the Ameri- 
can revolution on its Colonies. — Conferences with 
the other Spanish Ministers. — Disposition of the 
Spanish Court towards the United States. — Urges 
the necessity of strengthening the union. 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de Lafayette. Phila- 
delphia, May 1st, 1783, - - . . 38 

Acknowledges the importance of his correspondence, 
and his services in Europe in the cause of Amer- 
ica. — Proceedings in America in consequence of 
the ratification of the Provisional Articles. 
To the President of Congress. Chavaniac, in the 

Province of Auvergne, July 20th, 1783, - 40 

Russia is determined on a Turkish war. — Endeavors 
to obtain L'-Orient and Marseilles as free ports. 



CONTENTS. Vll 

Page. 

To the President of Congress. Nantes, September 
7th, 1783, - - - - - - - 42 

Applies to the French Ministry and the American 
Commissioners on the subject of American debts. — 
Commerce between France and America. — War- 
like preparations in the East. — Necessity of con- 
ciliating the army and cementinir the union. — 
Will return to America as soon as his presence in 
Europe ceases to be useful. 

To the President of Congress. Paris, December 
26th, 1783, _--.-- 45 

Changes in the British Ministry. — Affairs in the 
East. J 

To John Jay, Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Mount 
Vernon, November 25th, 1784, - - - 46 

Regrets the publication of certain papers relating to 
the Indian treaty. 

To John Jay. Versailles, February 8th, 1785, 48 

Affairs of Europe. 

To John Jay. Paris, March 19th, 1785, - - 50 

Urges the surrender of New Orleans to America, or 
the declaration of it as a free port. — European 
affairs. — Opposition of the mercantile interest to a 
liberal commercial policy. 
To John Jay. Paris, May llth, 1785, - - 51 

European affairs. — Endeavors to obtain privileges for 
the American trade in France. — Intends to visit 
the south of France and Germany. 

To John Jay. Vienna, September 6th, 1785, - 52 

Calls the attention of Congress to the Memorial of 
M. d'Argaynarat. 
To John Jay. Paris, February llth, 1786, - 53 

Sentiments of the German Courts concerning Amer- 
ica. — The stability of democratical forms of gov- 
ernment, and of the union of the States distrusted 
in Europe. — European affairs. 

To John Jay. Paris, OctobiM- 2Sth, 1786, - 57 

Expresses his astonishment that M. Gardoqui should 
raise any doubts respecting the adoption of the 
English limits in America. — The navigation of the 
Mississippi must be enjoyed by the United States. 
—The appointment of the convention has a good 
effect in Europe.— Recommends a confederacy of 
America and the powers of southern Europe 
against the Barbary States. 

To John Jay. Paris, February 7th, 1787, - 59 

European affairs.— The disturbances in New Eng- 
land excite distrust in Europe. 

To John Jay. Paris, May 3d, 1787, 

Proceedings of the notables in France.— The interest 



60 



rill CONTENTS. 

Page- 

of the American debt unpaid. — Hopes from the 
convention at Fliiladelphia. — Character of Brienne. 

To John Jay. Paris, October loth, 1787, - 63 

State of affairs in Europe. — Effects of a maritime 
war on America. — The present time favorable for 
obtaining the restoration of the forts and the navi- 
gation of the Mississippi. 



THE CORRESPONDENCE OF THE COMMIS- 
SIONERS FOR NEGOTIATING A PEACE 
WITH GREAT BRITAIN. 



Commission to treat of Peace, - - - - 71 

Commission to accept the mediation of the Empress 
of Russia and the Emperor of Germany, - 73 

Instructions to the Commissioners for Peace. In 
Congress, Jtme 15th, 1781, - - - - 75 

The King's warrant for Richard Oswald's first Com- 
mission for negotiating Peace, - - - 76 

Richard Oswald's second Commission for negotia- 
ting Peace, ------ 80 

Commission to William T. Franklin, - - 83 

From Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, appointing 
him Secretary to the Commissioners. 

Resolutions of Congress. In Congress, October 3d, 
1782, - - - - - - - 86 

Declaring their intention to adhere to their alliance 
with France, and to prosecute the war till the con- 
clusion of a general peace, and their entire confi- 
dence in the support of France. 

Articles agreed on between the American and Brit- 
ish Commissioners. October 8th, 1782, - 88 

Richard Oswald to the Commissioners. Paris, No- 
vember 4th, 1782, ----- 92 

Insisting on the restoration of the property confis- 
cated for attachment to the British cause, and on 
a general amnesty. 

Articles taken to England by Mr Strachey. No- 
vember 5th, 1782, ----- 94 

H. Strachey to the Commissioners. Paris, Novem- 
ber 5th, 1782, ------ 98 

Urging the indemnification of the refugees as indis- 
pensable to peace. 



CONTENTS. IJt 

Page. 

To Richard Oswald. Paris, November 5lli, 1782, 09 

Restitution of the estates of the refugees is impossi- 
ble. — Indemnification can only be granted on con- 
dition of retribution to American citizens for the 
destruction of their property during the war. — The 
amnesty cannot be extended any further. 

To H. Strachey. Paris, November 6th, 1782, 101 

Enclosing the preceding letter. 

Third set of Articles. November 25th, 1782, - 101 
Article proposed and read to the Commissioners, 
before signing the Preliminary Articles, - - 106 

Demanding compensation for all the private property 
seized or destroyed during the war. — Facts in 
regard to this subject. 

To M. de Lafayette. Paris, November 28th, 1782, 108 

Approve of his return to America. 

Provisional Articles of Peace, - - - - 109 
To Francis Dana at Petersburg. Paris, December 
12th, 1782, - - - - - - 116 

Informing him of the signing of the Provisional 
Articles, and advising the communication of his 
mission. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Paris, December 14th, 
1782, - - - - - - - 117 

Enclosing a copy of the preliminaries of peace, with 
remarks on some of the articles. 

Resolution of Congress respecting Commercial 
Stipulations. In Congress, December 31st, 1782, 121 

Instructing the Commissioners to stipulate for a 
diiect commerce between the British dominions 
and the United States. 
English Commissioners' Declaration of the Cessa- 
tion of Hostilities. Paris, January 20th, 1783, 121 
Signature of the above Declaration by the American 
Commissioners, - - - - - - 123 

British King's Proclamation, Declaring a Cessation 

of Arms, - - 124 

Alleyne Fitzherbert to the Commissioners. Paris, 
February 18th, 1783, ... - 126 

Enclosing passports for American vessels and the 
preceding proclamation. 

American Commissioners' Declaration of the Ces- 
sation of Hostilities, _ . - - - 127 
Robert R. Livingston to the Commissioners. 
PhUadelphia, March 25th, 1783, - - - 129 
General satisfaction with the Preliminary Articles.— 
Remarks on the 5th Article.— Regrets the signing 



X CONTENTS. 

Page. 

of the treaty without communication with the 
French Court, and the concealing of the Separate 
Article. 

Proclamation of Congress, Declaring a Cessation of 
Arms, - - - - - --133 

Robert R. Livingston to the Commissioners. Phil- 
adelphia, April 21st, 1783, - - - -•136 

Proceedings in Congress relative to the ratification 
of the FrovisionarArlicles. — Points out some am- 
biguities in the Articles. 

Mr Grand to the Commissioners. Paris, May 10th, 
1783, - - - - - - - 139 

Enclosing a statement of sums for which he is re- 
sponsible on behalf of the United States. — Diffi- 
culty of meeting the payment. 
M. de Lafayette to the Commissioners. Paris, 
May 12th,' 1783, - - - - - 141 

Is requested by the Count de Vergennes to inquire 
if the Commissioners will conclude the treaty 
under the mediation of Austria and Russia. 

David Hartley's Commission, - - - - 142 
An Order of the British Council. At the Court of 
St James, May 14th, 1783, - - - - 144 

Authorising the importation of unmanufactured 
aiticles from the United States, and allowing the 
same privileges on merchandise exported into the 
United States, as upon those exported to the 
foreign dominions of Great Britain. 

Count de Vergennes' Proposed New Articles, - 146 

Interpreting the 2d and 3d Articles of the treaty of 
commerce of 1778, so as to place the two powers 
mutually on the footing of the most favored nation. 

To Mr Grand. Paris, May 22d, 1783, - - 147 

Regret that they cannot relieve his difficulties. 

Robert R. Livingston to the Commissioners. Phil- 
adelphia, May 28th, 1783, - - - - 148 

Violation of the Articles of the Provisional Treaty, 
by the British General sending off slaves. — Com- 
plains of want of information from the Commis- 
sioners. 

Robert R. Livingston to the Commissioners. Phil- 
adelphia, May 31st, 1783, - - - - 149 

Propositions from Holland. — Congress will be averse 
to engagements that may involve them in Eu- 
ropean quarrels. — Dissatisfaction with the 5th and 
Gth Preliminary Articles. 

John Adams's Proposed Agreement. June, 1783, 151 
John Jay's Proposed Agreement. June, 1783, - 153 



CONTENTS. Xt 

Page. 

David Hartley's Proposed Agreement. June, 1763, 154 
Report of a Committee of Congress, - - - 155 

On the proposition of Holland, that America should 
accede to the treaty of the armed neutrality and con- 
clude a similar treaty with tiie other bellirrerents. — 
Congress came to the resolution, to instruct the 
Commissioners not to enter into any engagement, 
which should bind the contracting parties to sup- 
port it by arms. 

David Hartley to the Commissioners. Paris, June 
14th, 1783, - - - - - - 158 

The British Court desires a sincere reconciliation of 
the two countries. — It is not an exact literal reci- 
procity that is desirable, but a substantial reci- 
procity. — The old British policy cannot easily be 
abandoned at once. — A temporary convention be- 
tween the two powers would tend to remove the 
difficulties in the way of an entire reconciliation 
and reciprocity. 

David Hartley's Memorial to the Commissioners, 165 

On the proposed reciprocity of intercourse between 
Great Britain and America. — Circumstances which 
must prevent a permanent connexion between 
America and France ; Spain ; the Italian powers ; 
the Northern powers ; Holland. — Great Britain 
and America must be connected in friendly or 
hostile relations. 

The President of Congress to the Commissioners. 
Philadelphia, June 16th, 1783, - - - 172 
Transmitting papers in consequence of Mr Livings- 
ton's resignation. 

Henry Laurens to the Commissioners. London, 

June 17lh, 1783, 173 

Interview with Mr Fox.— Symptoms of coldness. 

The President of Congress to B. Franklin. Phila- 
delphia, June 18th, 1783, - - - - 174 

Thanks him for medals — The Americans are irritated 
by the British holding New York and sending 
away negroes. 

Henry Laurens to the Commissioners. London, 
June 20th, 1783, 176 

Coolness of the Ministry. 
To the Count de Vergennes. Passy, June 28th, 

1783, 177 

Desiring assistance to meet the bills drawn by Mr 
Morris. 

Propositions made by the Commissioners to David 
Hartley for the Definitive Treaty, - - - 178 



Xll CONTENTS. 

Page. 
David Hartley's Six Propositions for a Definitive 

Treaty. June, 1783, - - - - - 182 
The Commissioners' Answers to Mr Hartley's Six 

Propositions, ------ 183 

To David Hartley. Passy, July 17th, 1783, - 185 

Communicate the ratification of the Provisional 
Articles by Congress. — Complain of the violation 
of the articles by the British commander in 
America. — Piopose that no executions shall be 
issued against British debtors in America under a 
delay of three years. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Passy, July 18th, 1783, 187 

Defence of their conduct in regard to the Separate 
Article. — Reasons for framing the article, and for 
withholding the communication of it to France 
and Spain.— Explanations of the alleged ambigui- 
ties in the other articles. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Paris, July 27th, 1783, 193 

State of the negotiations. 

Project for a Definitive Treaty of Peace, - - 195 

Ratification of the Provisional Articles by Great 
Britain, - - 206 

An Act of the British Parliament, repealing certain 
Acts prohibiting Intercourse with the United 
States, ------- 207 

David Hartley to the Commissioners. Paris, Au- 
gust 29th, 1783, - - - - - 209 

Desiring_them to fix the day for signing the Defini- 
tive Treaty. — His instructions confine him to 
Paris. 

To David Hardey. Passy, August 30th, 1783, 209 

Appointing a time for signing the treaty. 

David Hartley to the Commissioners. Paris, Sep- 
tember 4th, 1783, - - - - - 210 

Congratulates them on the signing of the treaty. — 
.\ssures them of the sincere wish of the British 
Court for an entire reconciliation. 

B. Franklin to Charles Fox. Passy, September 
5th, 1783, - - - - - - 211 

Expressing his satisfaction with Mr Hartley. 

To David Hardey. Passy, September 5th, 1783, 212 

Desire a return of cordiality between the two coun- 
tries. — Some of the proposed stipulations are not 
within their instructions. 

To David Hartley. Passy, September 7th, 1783, 213 

Transmitting a resolve of Uongress, ordering the 
issuing of a commission to negotiate a treaty of 
commerce 



CONTENTS. Xiil 

Page. 

To the President of Congress. Passy, September 
10th, 1783, - 214 

Recommending Mr Thaxter.— Account of their ne- 
gotiations subsequent to the signing of the Provis- 
ional Articles. — The articles relating to the tories. 
— Injurious impressions made in Europe by the 
popular assemblies in America. — Recommends the 
appointment of a Minister to Great Britain. — 
Connexions with other powers. — Necessity of a 
common national policy in the States. 

From Congress to the Commissioners. October 
29th, 1783, --.-.- 222 

Instructing them to express to the Emperor the de- 
sire of Congress to enter into a treaty of amity and 
commerce with him ; to meet the advances of 
other European powers on the basis of perfect 
equality and reciprocity ; to demand satisfaction of 
the Danish Court for the seizure of American 
prizes in Danish ports ; to report to Congress in- 
formation as to the expedition of Commodore 
Jones ; to take no further steps for the admission 
of the United States into the confederacy of the 
neutral powers ; to hasten the conclusion of the 
Definitive Treaty ; to negotiate an explanation of 
a paragraph in the Declaration of the cessation of 
hostilities — Authorising Mr Jay to call Mr Car- 
michael to Paris for the purpose of adjusting their 
accounts. — Giving Mr Jay leave to go to Bath. 

Ratification of the Definitive Treaty by Congress, 226 
Proclamation of Congress respecting the Definitive 
Treaty, - - 226 

Accompanied by Resolutions recommending the 
adoption of measures by the States for the restitu- 
tion of confiscated property of British subjects. 

Ratification of the Definitive Treaty by Great 
Britain, 229 



CONRAD ALEXANDER GERARD'S CORRESPON- 
DENCE. 

Letter from the King of France to Congress, - 235 

Letter of credence for M. Gerard, in the character of 
Minister of France to the United States. 

Appointment of Consul-General of France in the 

United States, 236 

The King of France to Congress, - - - 238 
Letter of credence for Count d'Estaing. 
VOL. X. C 



xiv CONTENTS. 

Page. 

Count d'Estaing to the President of Congress. At 
Sea, July 8th, 1778, ----- 239 
Commuuicatinu his credentials and his readiness to 
co-operate wUh General Washington. — M. Gerard. 

Resolves of Congress respecting the Count d'Es- 
taing's Letter,"and the reception of M. Gerard. 
In Congress, July Uth, 1778, - - -241 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July 
14th, 1778, 243 

OfFeri ig the protection of Count d'Estaing's squad- 
ron to the armed vessels of the United States. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July 
Uth, 1778, ------ 244 

Requesting Congress to make provision for the Eng- 
lish prisoners on board the French squadron. 

Ceremonial of admitting the French Minister to 

Congress. In Congress, July 20th, 1778, - 245 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, No- 
vember 9th, 1778, - - - - - 251 
Requesting Congress to take measures for the sail- 
ing of vessels with supplies for the French forces. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, No- 
vember 20th, 1778, - - - - - 253 

Infoi minor Congress, that it is not usual to publish 
trf'aties until the ratifications have been ex- 
changed. 

Notes of M. Gerard to Congress. Philadelphia, 
December 2d, 1778, 253 

Method of rendering acts in America valid in France. 
— Plan for discharging the debt due to Hor- 
talez & Co. by furnishing the French forces in 
America with provisions at the expense of the 
United States. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, De- 
cember 6th, 1778, - - - - - 254 

Intends to encourage the capture of ships loaded 
with ship-timber by privateers. 

To the PresideiU of Congress. Philadelphia, De- 
cember 7th, 1778, - - - _ _ 255 

Requesting to be informed if the United States have 
reserved the liberty of treating sepaiately with 
England, 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, De- 
cember 14th, 1778, 257 

On the purchase of flour and rice for the French 
fleet. 



CONTENTS. XV 

Page. 

To the President ot Congress. Philadelphia, Janu- 
ary 4th, 1779, - - - - - - 258 

The articles furnished by Beaumarcliais were sold to 
him by the government, who is, therefore, a credi- 
tor of the United States. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Janu- 
ary 5th, 1779, 260 

Complaining of certain assertions in the newspapers, 
which imply that P'rance had assisted America 
previous to the alliance. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Janu- 
ary 10th, 1779, - 262 

Urging an answer of Congress to the representations 
of the preceding letter. — Answer of Congress dis- 
proving the passages referred to. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Janu- 
ary 14th, 1779, ------ 263 

Acknowledging the answer of Congress abovemen- 
tioned. 

To the President of Congress. Pliiladelphia, Janu- 
ary 15th, 1779, ------ 264 

Relative to the sentiments of Congress concerning 
certain French officers. 

Messrs Duportail, La Radiere, and Laumoy to M. 
Gerard. Philadelphia, January 15th, 1779, 265 

Consenting to remain in the service of the United 
States. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Feb- 
ruary 3d, 1779, - - - - - - 267 

Supply of provisions for the French fleet in the Gulf 
of Mexico. 
To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Feb- 
ruary 8th, 1779, - - - - - 267 

Requesting to be admitted to an audience by Con- 
gress. . 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, h eb- 
ruary 9th, 1779, - - - - - - 268 

The King of France grants a new supply of seven 
hundred and fifty thousand livres.— The articles 
furnished by Beaumarchais were not a present 
from France.— The French Court cannot answer 
for the house of Hortalez & Co. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Feb- 
ruary 9th, 1779, - - - ".:••" ^^^ 

The Kincr of Spain has determined to adopt decisive 
measures.— Advises the nomination of agents to 
conduct the negotiations for peace.— Conference 
of M. Gerard with Congress. 



JtVlll CONTENTS. 



Page. 



Report of a Committee respecting a Conference 
with the Minister of France. In Congress, July 
10th, 1779, 312 

Containing seven articles read by the Minister, 
with his verbal explanations on each article, re- 
lating to the claims of Beaumarchais, the dis- 
avowal by Congress of any disposition to conclude 
a separate peace, the appointment of a Minister 
Plenipotentiary to France, the want of preparation 
for the approaching campaign on the part of the 
States, the desire ot the English Court to be recon- 
ciled with France without an express acknowl- 
edgment of American independence, &c. 
To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July 
26th, 1779, - - - - - - 323 

Returning thanks for the permission to expedite the 
supply ship, and requesting an examination into 
the pretended frauds, practised with regard to the 
ships employed in carrying provisions to the 
French fleet. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July 
26th, 1779, - - - - ' - - 324 

Requesting that the provisions destined for the 
French fleet may remain in the public magazines. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July 
26th, 1779, ------ 324 

Demanding satisfaction for the attacks made on M. 
Holker, French Consul, and requesting the adop- 
tion of measures for protecting the officers of 
France from future insults. 

M. Gerard to the President of the State of Penn- 
sylvania. Philadelphia, July 26th, 1779, - 327 

M. Holker to Joseph Reed, President of Pennsyl- 
vania. Philadelphia, July 24th, 1779, - - 331 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July 
28th, 1779, 334 

Enclosing certain papers relative to M. Holker, viz. ; 

Joseph Reed to M. Holker. Philadelphia, July 
24th, 1779, 335 

Joseph Reed to William Henry, Chairman of the 
Committee. Walnut Street, July 23d, 1779, 337 

William Henry to Joseph Reed. Friday After- 
noon, 5 o'clock. Committee Room, - - 338 

M. Holker to M. Gerard. Philadelphia, July 29th, 
1779, - 339 

Transmitting papers relative to the affair of the 
flour at "Wilmington. 



CONTENTS. XIX 

Page. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July 
30th, 1779, 340 

Transmitting papers relative to M. Holker. 

Resolves of Congress. In Congress, July 30th, 
1779, 341 

Resolves, assuring the protection of the United 
States to the officers of his Most ('hristian Maj- 
esty, approving the conduct of M. Holker, &c. 

The President of Pennsylvania to M. Gerard. In 
Council, Philadelphia, July 31st, 1779, - 342 

Expressing regret that any disagreeable discussions 
should nave taken place, and informing him that 
the flour is now at the disposition of M. Holker. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Au- 
gust 5th, 1779, 344 

Acknowledging the reception of certain resolutions 
of Congress. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Au- 
gust 5th, 1779, - - - - - - 345 

Expressing his satisfaction with the resolutions of 
Congiess on the affair of M. Holker, and request- 
ing that no prosecutions may be commenced 
against the offenders. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Au- 
gust lUh, 1779, ---.-.-- 346 

Failure of the attempt to procure military stores at 
Martinique. 

The Marquis de Bouille to M. Gerard. Martinique, 
July Uth, 1779, 347 

Unable to furnish any supplies for the United States. 
Resolution of Congress. In Congress, August 
23d, 1779, 348 

Resolution, appointing a committee to offer con- 
gratulations on the birth-day of his Most Christian 
Majesty. 

M. Gerard to the Committee of Congress. Phila- 
delphia, August 23d, 1779, - - - - 348 
Acknowledging the reception of the foregoing reso- 
lution. 
The Count de Vergennes to M. Gerard, - - 349 
Spain joins the alliance.— The English Court will 
attempt to separate America from the alliance by 
advantageous offers. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Sep- 
tember I5rh, 1779, - - - - - 350 

Appointment of Mr Wilson Attorney General for 
France in the United States. 



XX CONTENTS. 

Page- 
To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Sep- 
tember 15th, 1779, - - - - - 350 
Requesting an audience of leave. 

M. Gerard's Speecli on taking leave of Congress, 351 
Reply of the President of Congress to M. Gerard's 

Speech on his taking leave, - _ _ 352 

Congress to the King of France, . . _ 354 

Expressing their approbation of M. Gerard's conduct 
and character. 

Proceedings of Cone;ress. In Congress, Septem- 
ber 25th, 1779, - 355 

Draft of a letter to M. Gerard, reported by a com- 
mittee, expressing the inviolable attachment of the 
United States to their allies. — Letter as adopted by 
Congress. 



CAESAR ANNE DE LA LUZERNE'S CORRES- 
PONDENCE. 

Substance of a Conference between M. de la Lu- 
zerne and General Washington at Head Quarters, 
West Point. September iGih, 1779, - - 361 

Relative to a co-operation with a proposed expe- 
dition of Count d'Estaing to the American coasts, 
and also with the Spanish expedition against the 
Floridas. — Project of an invasion of Canada and 
Nova Scotia. 

Reception of the French Minister by Congress. In 
Congress, November 17th, 1779, - - - 367 

Containing his letter of credence, his speech to Con- 
gress, and their answer. 

Don Juan Miralles to M. de la Luzerne. Phila- 
delphia, November 25th, 1779, - - - 373 

Desiring the co-operation of the United States with 
the Spanish forces in the Floridas, and against the 
English possessions northeast of Louisiana. — Re- 
quests to be informed what kind of supplies may 
be expected from the States. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, No- 
vember 26th, 1 779, 376 

Communicating the foregoing letter. 
To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, De- 
cember 6th, 1779, 377 

Requesting instructions as to the disposition of cer- 
tain property captured by American seamen. 



CONTENTS. XXI 

Page. 

The President of Congress to M. de la Luzerne. 

In Congress, Dec(3mber IGth, 1779, - - 378 

Plan of co-operation with tlie Spanish forces in 
Florida. 

M. Holker to M. de la Luzerne. Piiiladelphia, 
January lOlh, 1780, - - - - - 380 

Representing the injurious effects of a law of Mary- 
land on his measures for supplying the French 
forces. 

William Smith to M. Holker. Baltimore, January 
7th, 1780, ------- 362 

The supplies intended for the French forces will be 
seized by the American Coiuniissioners. 

The President of the Council of Maryland to Wil- 
Ham Smith. In Council, Annapolis, January<6th, 
1780, - - 383 

The supplies purchased for the French fleet cannot 
be exempted from seizure for the American army. 

To the President of Congres'S. Philadelphia, Janu- 
ary 10th, 1780, ------ 384 

Urging the adoption of measures for securing the 
supplies raised for the French forces from liability 
to seizure. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, January 
23d, 1780, .--..- 386 

The English government are unable to raise sol- 
diers, and intend to obtain them by an exchange 
of prisoners in America. — In case of exchange, 
advantage may be taken to obtain a virtual ac- 
knowledgment of independence. 

Extract of a Memorial communicated by the Am- 
bassador of England to the Court of Madrid, on 
the 28th of March, 1779, - - - -389 

Ultimatum proposed by the Court of Madrid to the 
Courts of France and England, dated 3d of 
April, 1779, - - - ■• - - 390 

Extract from the Exposition of the Motives of the 
Court of Spain relative to England, - - 392 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Janu- 
ary 24th, 1780, ------ 393 

Announcing the appointment of a French Consul for 
North Caiolina. 
To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Janu- 
ary 25th, 1780, 394 

Preparations for another campaign by the European 
VOL. X. D 



IXii CONTENTS. 

Page. 

belligerents. — Necessity of similar preparations on 

the part of America. — Desires to concert a plan of 

common operations. 

Report of a Connniuee on the Communications of 

the French jMiuister. In Congress, January 

28th, 1780, 395 

The French Minister informs Congress,^ that great 
exertions are making in Europe by England, to 
persuade the other powers that America may be de- 
tached from France ; that her negotiations may 
result in an armed mediation, to which it would be 
necessary to submit; that in this case, it would be 
probably necessary to leave Great Britain what- 
ever territories in America were actually in her 
hand ; he, therefore, urges the necessity of pushing 
the approaching campaign with vigor. 
Answer of Congress to the Communications of the 
French Minister. In Congress, January 31st, 
1780, - 399 

Forces and plans of Congress for the approaching 
campaign. — The general disposition in the United 
States is to adhere to the alliance. 
Communications of tl)e French Minister to a Com- 
mittee of Congress at a second Conference. In 
Congress, February 2d, 1780, - - - 402 

Communicating the views of the Spanish Court on 
the Western boundary, the exclusive navigation of 
the Mississippi, the possession of the Floridas, and 
the lands on the left bank of the Mississippi. 

George Washington to M. de hi Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, Morristovvn, February 4th, 1780, - 404 

The small number of British prisoners will, probably, 
prevent any important concessions for the sake of 
effecting an exchange. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, Morristown, February 15th, 1780, 406 

Declines granting a detachment requested of him, 
on account of the feebleness of his forces. — A cov- 
ering party, if necessary, may be furnished by the 
militia. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, 
March 8th, 1780, - - - - - 408 

M. Gerard obtains facilities for fittinor out the Con- 
federation in Martinique, but has no materials for 
masts. 

The Kine; of France to Consjress, _ > . 409 

Communicating an additional grant of aid. 



rONTKNTS. 



George Washington to M. tlo la I^iizcrnc. Mor- 
ristown, Miiy 5lh, 1780, - - - - 410 

Expressing his esteem for M. de la Luzerne, and liis 
satisfaction witli his upprolialion of tlie state of the 
army. 
George Washington to M. c1(j la Jjuzcrnc. Mor- 
ristovvn, May 1 1th, 1780, - - - - 4J 1 

Expresses his pleasure at the arrival of M. de La- 
fayette. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, IMorristown, May 14th, 1780, - - 412 

French fleet in the West Indies. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, JMay 
16th, 1780, - - - - - . 412 

His Majesty intends to send out a reinforcement. — 
Desires tlie concurrence of Congress in combining 
a plan of operations. — Requests information as to 
the forces, resources, and posts of the enemy. — 
Additional supplies obtained by Dr Franklin. — 
Favorable situation of affairs. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, May 21st, 
1780, ----- - - 415 

Operations of the approaching campaign. 

Report of a Committee of Congress on a Confer- 
ence with the French Minister. In Congress, 
May 24th, 17S0, -' - - - - 416 

Plan for raising supplies. — Propose the establish- 
ment of posts from Boston to Charleston to facili- 
tate communication. — Recommend the prepara- 
tion of a reinforcement to the French fleet, and 

- the adoption of measures to prevent desertions 
from the same. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Mor- 
ristown, June 5th, 1780, - - - - 419 

The French troops will be cordially received. — De- 
sires to maintain a correspondence with him. 

Report of a Committee of Congress respecting 
Communications from the French Minister. In 
Congress, June 5lh, 1780, . - - - 420 

Raising of supplies for the French troops. — Mode of 
paying them. 

Report of a Committee of Congress respecting a 
Conference with the French Minister. In Con- 
gress, June 7th, 1780, - - - - 423 

Raising of supplies for the French forces. 



Xxiv rONTENTS. 

Page. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, June 

18th, 1780, ------ 425 

Uro-ing the completion of the American army. — 
Forces necessary for an effective co-operation. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, June 

28th, 1780, - - - . - . - -4^^ 

Desiring permission for the supplying of the Span- 
ish forces with provisions. 

Congress to the Minister of France. In Congress, 
July 7th, 1780, ----- 428 

Supplies for the Spanish forces. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July 
22d, 1780, ------ 429 

Arrival of part of the French forces destined to act 
in America. — The other part separated tor security. 
To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July 
25th, 1780, ------ 430 

Requesting that the American vessels of war may 
join the French squadron. 

Joseph Reed to M. de la Luzerne. In Council, 

Philadelphia, July 25th, 1780, - - - 431 

The Hessian deserters are at liberty to enter the 
French service, if desired. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July 
26th, 1780, - - - - - - 432 

Desiring arrangements to be made for the subsist- 
ence of the Hessian recruits. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, July 27th, 1780, - - - -433 

Plan of a junction of the French fleets. — Rumored 
project of an attack on the French forces by Gen- 
eral Clinton. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, July 30th, 
1780, ------- 434 

Relative to certain proposed naval operations. 
George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Peeks- 
kill, August 4th, 1780, - - - - 434 
Project of junction of the two divisions of the French 
forces. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Peeks- 
kill, August 6th, 1780, - - - - 436 

Relative to the employment of American frigates 
to aid in the junction of the French forces. 
To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Au- 
gust 15th, 1780, ----- 437 
Readines.s of the French government to co-operate 



CONTENTS. XXV 

Page 
with the American forces against the common 
enemy. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Au- 
gust 15th, 1780, - _ . - _ 438 

Case of a citizen of Bermuda. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Sep- 
temher l-st, 1780, - - - - - 439 

Improbable that certain bills of exchange drawn on 
Dr Franklin will be accepted. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, Bergen County, September 12th, 
1780, __-..-- 440 

Projected naval operations. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Sep- 
tember lolh, 1780, . - - . . 441 

Desires the publication of the treaty for the purpose 
of settling difficulties arising as to the 11th and 
12th Articles. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Sep- 
tember 16th, 1780, - . - - . 442 

Announcing the appointment of M. de Marbois as 
Chargi d' Affaires during his absence. 

M. de Marbois to the President of Congress. Phil- 
adelphia, October 8th, 1780, - - - 443 

Acknowledging the reception of certain resolutions 
of Congress. 

M. de Marbois to the President of Congress. Phil- 
adelphia, October 27th, 1780, - - - 443 

Requesting a convoy for store ships. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, No- 
vember 1st, 1780, - - - - - 444 

Suggesting changes in the mode of authenticating 
ships' papers. 

From Congress to the King of France, - - 445 

Unprosperous state of things. — Retrospect .i\;vents. 
— Praying for assistance in raising a loan. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, December 
5th, 1780, 449 

Expected arrival of clothing for the army. — Spanish 
operations. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. New 
Windsor, December 14th, 1780, - - - 451 

Forwards his despatches for Rhode Island. 

' To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Janu- 
ary 15th, 1781, - - - - - - 452 

American prizes carried into French ports will be 
judged in the same manner as those of subjects. 



XXVI CONTENTS. 

Page. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Feb- 
ruary 25th, 1781, - - - .. 452 

Arrival of a French squadron in the Chesapeake. 
To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Feb- 
ruary 2Sth, 1781, - - - - - 453 

Authorises Mr Morris to draw bills of exchange. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, March 
2d, 17S1, .-.---- 454 
The French squadron sails from the Chesapeake. 

M. Destouclics to M. de la Luzerne. On Board 
the Due de Bourgogne, iMarch 19th, 1781, - 455 

Engagement between a French and English squadron. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, March 

24lh, 1781, - 457 

Supplies granted by France. — Proposes Congress 
should furnish the French forces with provisions, 
receiving in payment bills on the Treasury of 
France. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, March 27th, 
1781, - - 460 

Failure of the expedition of M. Destouches. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, New Windsor, March 31st, 1781, 461 

Return of M. Destouches to Newport. — Good con- 
duct of the expedition. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, May 7th, 
1781, - ^- - - - - - 462 

Forwarding proposals of an expedition to M. Des- 
touches. 

To M. Destouches. Philadelphia, May 7th, 1781, 463 

Dangerous situation of Virginia and Maryland. — 
Proposes an expedition into the Chesapeake for 
their relief 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May 
9th, 1781, - - - - - - 465 

Abuse of intercepted ships' papers by the English. — 
Proposes the adoption of measures of prevention. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May 
22d, 1781, ------ 4(36 

Transmitting the King's letter. 

The King of France to Congress, . _ - 455 

Granting further assistance. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Weath- 
ersfield. May 23d, 1781, - - - - 467 

Intended attack on New York. — Urges the presence 
of the French West India fleet in the American 



CONTENTS. XXvii 

To the President of Congress. Philadelpliia, May 
25th, 1781, - - - - > - 4(]() 

The expected reinforcements of the French forces 
have not been despatched. — Pecuniary grant of tlie 
French government. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May 
26th, 1781, 47-2 

Offered mediation of Austria and Russia between 
the belhgerents. — France declines accepting the 
offer without the consent of the United States. — 
Urges the appointment of Plenipotentiaries to take 
part in the proposed negotiations. 

Report of a Conference with the French Minister. 
In Congress, May 28th, 1781, - - - 475 

The French Ministry considers the mission of Mr 
Dana to St Petersburg premature. — Desires that 
Mr Adams may be restricted by instructions. — 
English agent at Madrid.— Spain and France de- 
cline the mediation, but will accept it finally.— De- 
sires to know the sentiments of America. — Advises 
moderation in the demands of the United States. 

Congress to tlie King of France, - _ . 483 

Returning thanks for supplies. — Their opinion as to 
the mediation will be communicated through their 
Minister. 

To George 'Washington. Philadelphia, June 1st, 

1781, 484 

Regrets the delay of the reinforcements from 
France. — Promises to propose his plan of opera- 
tions to the Count de Grasse. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, New Windsor, June 13th, 1781, - 486 

Desires that a body of land forces may accompany 
the Count de Grasse's squadron. 

Report of a Conference with the French Minister. 
In Congress, June 18th, 1781, . _ . 437 

Communications of the Minister relative to losses of 
French subjects in America. — Proceedings of the 
armed neutrality. — Violation of its principles by 
American privateers. — Mr Cumberland's negotia- 
tions in Spain. — Supplies.— Mediation of the Im- 
perial powers. — Situation of affairs in Europe 
obliges France to maintain a considerable force. — 
State of affairs in Holland. — Amount of the pecu- 
niary aid granted by France. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July 

1st, 1781, - - 493 

Leaves M. de Marbois Chargi d'affaires during hie 
visit to the American army. 



XXVUl CONTENTS. 

Page. 

M. de Marbois to the President of Congress. Phil- 
adelphia, July 9th, 1781, - - - - 494 
The French naval commander desires permission to 
recruit his forces by the impressment of French 
seamen. 

M. de Marbois to the Secretary of Congress. Phil- 
adelphia, July 1 1th, 1781, - - - -495 

On the appointment of Mr Mc Kean to the Presi- 
dency. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July 
20th, 1781, - - - - - - 495 

Desires to communicate despatches from his Court 
to Congress. 

Report of Communications from the French Min- 
ister. In Congress, July 23d, 1781, - - 496 
Causes of the delay of the intended reinforcement of 
the French arms in America. — The relations of 
Holland and England render a connexion between *" 
that country and America probable. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July 
26th, 1781, - 498 

Communication of a draft of a convention relative to 
the establishment of Consuls by France and 
America. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Au- 
gust 23d, 1781, - - - - - - 499 

Desires the recognition of the French Consul for 
New England, regularly appointed. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Sep- 
tember 6th, 1781, " - - - - - 500 

Desires the passing of acts authorising the French 
Consul for New England to exercise his official 
functions. 



THE 



CORRESPONDENCE 



OF 



GEN. LAFAYETTE; 



ON THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE UNITED STATES. 



VOL. X. ] 



Although the services of General Lafayette to the 
United States were rendered chiefly in the military line, 
yet he contributed very essentially by his efFortb, and the 
weight of his personal character, to promote the interests 
of our foreign relations. When he left the United States 
at the close of the year 1781, Congress instructed the 
American Ministers abroad to consult him on the public 
affairs of the United States. His correspondence with 
Congress, now to be published, will show how effectually 
he executed his trust in this respect, and how deeply and 
constantly he watched over the interests of his adopted 
country, long after his return to Europe. These letters 
are a testimony not more of his patriotism, love of liberty, 
the warmth of his affections, and the fulness of his grati- 
tude, than of his close observation, correct opinions, and 
enlarged views on political affairs. 



rut 



CORRESPONDENCE 



GENERAL LAFAYETTE 



RESOLVE OF CONGRESS RESPECTING GENERAL LA- 
FAYETTE. 

In Congress, November 23d, 1781. 

On the report of a Committee, consisting of Mr Carroll, 
Mr Madison, and Mr Cornell, to whom was referred a 
letter of the 22d, from Major-General the Marquis de La- 
fayette, 

Resolvedy That Major-General the Marquis de La- 
fayette, have permission to go to France ; and that he re- 
turn at such time as shall be most convenient to him. 

That he be informed, that on a review of his conduct 
throughout the past campaign, and particularly during the 
period in which he had the chief command in Virginia, the 
many new proofs, which present themselves of his zealous 
attachment to the cause he has espoused, and of his judg- 
ment, vigilance, gallantry, and address in its defence, have 
greatly added to the high opinion entertained by Congress 
of his merits and military talents. 



6 LAFAYETTE. 

That lie make known to the officers and troops whom 
he commanded during that period, that the brave and 
enterprising services with which they seconded his 
zeal and efforts, and which enabled him to defeat the at- 
tempts of an enemy far superior in numbers, have been 
beheld by Congress with particular satisfaction and appro- 
bation. 

That the Secretary of Foreign Affairs acquaint the Min- 
isters Plenipotentiary of the United States, that it is the 
desire of Congress that they should confer with the Mar- 
quis de Lafayette, and avail themselves of his information 
relative to the situation of public affairs in the United 
Stales. 

That the Secretary of Foreign Affairs further acquaint 
the Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of Versailles, 
that he will conform to the intention of Congress by con- 
sulting with, and employing the assistance of the Marquis 
de Lafayette, in accelerating the supplies, which may be 
afforded by his Most Christian Majesty for the use of the 
United States. 

That the Superintendent of Finance, the Secretary for 
Foreign Affairs, and the Board of War, make such com- 
munication to the Marquis de Lafayette, touching the 
affairs of their respective departments, as will best enable 
him to fulfil the purpose of the two resolutions immediately 
preceding. 

That the Superintendent of Finance take order for 
discharging the engagement entered into by the Marquis 
de Lafayette with the merchants of Baltimore referred to 
in the act of the 24th of May last. 

That the Superintendent of Finance furnish the Mar- 
quis de Lafayette with a proper conveyance to France. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 7 

That the Secretary of Foreign Affairs report a letter 
to his Most Christian Majesty, to he sent by the Marquis 
de Lafayette.* 

TO ROBERT K. LIVINGSTON. 

Antony, near Paris, March 30th, 1782. 

Dear Sir, 

I have been honored with your letter by the Hermione, 
and have made the best use I could of the intelligence you 
were pleased to communicate. The sailing of the Alliance 
was unexpected, and I could not improve that opportunity. 
This letter will be carried by a vessel that is immediately 
despatched. I shall soon have an opportunity to write by 
a frigate. Dr Franklin, whom I have acquainted with the 
departure of this vessel, has 110 doubt communicated very 
important intelligence. Mahon has been taken rather 
sooner than was expected ; the siege of Gibraltar is going 
on, and some do not consider it impossible that it should 
fall into the hands of the Spaniards. The taking of St 
Kitts was felt in England ; the more so, as Sir Samuel 
Hood had given great expectations of preserving the Island. 

There is a great deal of confusion in England, which 
their late resolutions clearly prove ; many think the loss of 
the majority is n finesse of Lord North ; but from later ad- 

* Extract of a letter from Congress to the King of France, dated 
November 29th, 1781. 

"Major-General the Marquis de Lafayette, has in this campaign so 
greatly added to the reputation he had before acquired, that we are 
desirous to obtain for him, on our behalf even, notice, in addition to 
that favorable reception, which his merits- cannot fail to meet with 
from a generous and enlightened Sovereign ; and, in that view, we 
have directed our Minister Plenipotentiary to present the Marquis to 
your Majesty." 



S LAFAYETTE. 

vices it appears there will be a change of Ministers. The 
opposition members do not agree together, and none of 
them are true friends to America ; none of them are wish- 
ing for independence ; they want to make the best bargain 
they can, either with France, at the expense of America, 
or by satisfying America at the cheapest rate. By Mr 
Adams's letters 1 find Holland is about acknowledging 
American independence, as far as it will neither cost them 
blood nor money ; but at this period I think it important to 
obtain such a political advantage. 

I beg you will please to communicate the contents of my 
letter to Congress ; as I do not enter into any particulars 
with the President. Accept the assurance of the high 
esteem and most affectionate sentiments with wliich I 

am, &ic. 

LAFAYETTE. 

P. S. Since writing the above, we have just got cer- 
tain intelligence that Lord North has left his place. It is 
generally believed he will be replaced by Lord Rocking- 
ham. 



TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON. 

St Germain, June 25th, 1782. 

Dear Sir, 

It is needless for me to enter into such details as will of 
course be communicated to Congress by the Minister. 
Dr Franklin will doubtless be very particular. But as 
Congress have been pleased to order that I should give 
my opinion, 1 now have the honor to tell you what I think 
upon the several transactions that have lately taken place. 

Before the change of Ministry, the old Administration 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 9 

had sent people to feel the pulse of the French Court and 
of the American Ministers. They had reasons to be con- 
vinced tiiat neither of the two could be deceived into sep- 
arate arrangements, that woidd break the union and niake 
both their enemies weaker. In the meanwhile, a cabal 
was going on against the old Ministry. New appointments 
took place, anrl it is not known how far Lord North would 
have gone towards a general negotiation. 

It had ever been the plan of the opposition to become 
masters of the Cabinet. But while every one of them 
united against the Ministry, they committed this strange 
blunder, never to think what would become of diem after 
their views had been fulfilled. They even made Ministers, 
and upon the same day they did not know how to divide 
the prey ; upon the second they perceived that they had 
different interests and different principles to support ; upon 
the third ihey were intriguing against each other. And 
now the British Ministry are so much divided, that nothing 
but their disputes can account for their indecision in public 
affairs. 

The Marquis of Rockingham has nnlliing of a Minister, 
but the parade of levees, and a busy a{)peariince. He is 
led by Mr Burke. He is also upon die best terms with 
Charles Fox. The principles of the latter everybody 
knows. That })r.i'ty it appears is on one side of the Ad- 
ministration. 

The Duke of Giafio;] and Lor^l Camden think il their 
interest to support Ijord Shelburne, whom, liowever, they 
inwardly dislike. Tlie Earl of Shelburne seems to have 
by far the greater share in the King's confidence. He is 
intriguing, and, upon a pretence to follow liord Chat- 
ham's opinions, he makes himself agreeable to the King by 

VOL. K. 2 



10 LAFAYETTE. 

opposing American independence. He is, they say, a 
faithless man, wisliiiig for a continuation of the war, by 
which he hopes to raise his own importance ; and, should 
the Rockingham party fall, should Lord Shelburnf^ be 
found to divide power with another party, he is not far, it 
is said, from uniting with Lord North and many others in 
the old Administration. 

The King stands alone, hating every one of his Minis- 
ters, grieving at every measure that combats his disposi- 
tions, and wishing for the moment when the present Minis- 
try, having lost their popularity, will give way to those 
whom he has been obliged to abandon for a time. 

Such is the position in which they stand, and I am going 
to relate the measures they have taken towards negotiation. 

It appears Lord Shelburne, on the one hand, and Charles 
Fox on the other, went upon the plan which Lord North 
had adopted, to make sotne private advances, but they 
neither communicated their measures to each other, nor 
said at first anything of it in the Cabinet. Count de Ver- 
gennes said that France could never think to enter into a 
treaty, but in concurrence with her allies, and upon being 
told that America herself did not so much insist upon ask- 
ing for independence, he answered, "people need not ask 
for what they have got." Mr Adams in Holland, and Dr 
Franklin in Paris, made such answers as were consistent 
with the dignity of the United States. But they as well as 
Count de Vergennes, expressed a sincere desire for peace, 
upon liberal and generous terms. 

From the very beginning Mr Adams has been persuaded, 
that the British Ministry were not sincere — that the greater 
part of them were equally against America as any in the 
old Administration, and that all those negotiations were not 



DIFLOMATIC CORRESFOMDENCE. n 

much to be depended upon. His judgment of this affair 
has been confirmed by the events ; though at present the 
negotiation has put on a better outward appearance. 

Dr Franklin's pen is better able than mine can be, to 
give you all the particulars through which Mr Grenville, a 
young man of some rank, is now remaining in Paris, with 
powers to treat with his Most Christian Majesty, and all 
other Princes or States now at war with Great Britain. 

I shall only remark, that in late conversations with Count 
de Vergennes, Mr Grenville has considered the acknowl- 
edgtnent of independence as a matter not to be made a 
question of, but to be at once and previously declared. 
But upon Count de Vergennes's writing down Mr Gren- 
ville's v,'ords to have them signed by him, the gentleman, 
instead of this expression, "the King of England has re- 
solved at once to acknowledge," he, insisted to have the 
words is disposed made use of in what he intended to be 
considered as his oAicial communication. He has also 
evinced a backwardness in giving Dr Franklin a copy of 
his powers ; and their Ministry are so backward also in 
bringing before Parliament a bill respecting American inde- 
pendence, that it does not show a great disposition towards 
a peace, the preliminaries of which must be an acknowl- 
edgment of America as a separate and independent 
nation. 

It is probable llial within these two days, Dr Franklin 
had some communication with Mr Grenville, which may 
throw some light upon the late points! have Just now men- 
tioned. 

Mr Jay is arrived from Madrid. Mr Laurens, it seems, 
intends to return home. Mr Adams's presence in Holland 
is for the moment necessary. A few days will tnake us 



J 2 LAFAYETTE. 

better acquainted with the views of Great Britain ; and 
since the Ministers from Congress liave thought that 1 
ought for the service of America to remain here some lime 
lonc'er, I shall, under their direction devote myself to pro- 
mote the interests of the United States. The fooling 1 am 
upon at this Court enables me sometimes to go greater 
lengths than could be done by a foreigner. But unless an 
immediate earnest negotiation, which 1 am far from hoping, 
renders my services very useful, I will beg leave to return 
to my labors, and be employed in a shorter way to ensure 
the end of this business, than can be found in political dis- 
sertation. 

I have communicated the opinion of Mr Adams, such as 
I found it in his letter. Dr Franklin's ideas will be pre- 
sented by himself, and also those of Mr Jay, both of which 
must be preferable to mine, though I do not believe 
ihey much differ. But from what I have collected by 
communications with your Ministers, with those of the 
French, and by private intelligence, 1 conclude ; 

1st. That the British Ministry are at variance between 
themselves, embarrassed upon the conduct they ought to 
hold, and not firm in their principles and their places. 

2dly. That negotiations will go on shortly, establish 
principles, and facilitate a treaty j but that the King ot 
England and some of the Ministers, have not lost the idea 
of breaking ihe union between France and the United 
States. 

3dly. That the situation of England, want of men and 
money, and the efforts France is about to make, will reduce 
the former to a necessity for making peace before the end 
of next spring. 

America will no doubi exert herself, and send back 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. I3 

every emissary to her Plenipotentiaries iiere ; for the Min- 
istry in England are now deceiving the people with the 
hope that is going to operate a reconciliation, and 

with many his of the same nature. 

In the course of this affair, we have been perfectly sat- 
isfied with the French IVlinistry. They have proved can- 
did and moderate. Mr Jay will write about Spain. Very 
little is to be said of her, and by her very little is to be 
done. It appears Holland is going on well, and I believe 
Mr Adams is satisfied, except upon the affair of money, 
which is the difficult point, and goes on very slowly. 

By all I can see, 1 judge that if America insists on a 
share in the fisheries, she will obtain it by the general 
treaty ; this point is loo near my heart to permit me not 
to mention it. 

The news of Count de Grasse's defeat has been very 
much felt in France, and the whole nation was made truly 
unhappy by this disagreeable event. The general cry 
of the people was such, that I do not believe any French 
Admiral will, in any case take upon himself to surrender 
his own ship. The people at large have perhaps been too 
severe, and government have not pronounced, as there is 
to be a court martial. But I was happy to see a patriotic 
spirit diffused through every individual. The States of 
several Provinces, the great cities, and a number of differ- 
ent associations of men, have offered ships of the line to a 
greater number than have been lost. In the meanwhile, 
government are using the greatest activity, and this has 
given a spur to the national exertions. But independent 
of the stroke in itself, I have been sighing upon the ruin 
of the plans I had proposed towards a useful co-operation 
upon the coasts of America. My schemes have been 



14 LAFAYETTE. 

made aliiiosi iinpiacticable, and my voyage (the case of 
negotiations excepted) has not been so serviceable to the 
public, as I had good reasons to expect. 

The Spaniards are going at last to besiege Gibraltar. 
Count d'Artois, the King of France's brother, and the Due 
de Bourbon, a Prince of the blood, are just setting out to 
serve there as volunteers. They intend to begin in the first 
days of September ; so that we may expect one way or 
other to get rid of that encumbrance, and let the siege 
succeed or miscarry, we may expect hereafter to make 
use of the combined forces ol the House of Bourbon. 

We are waiting for intelligence from the East Indies, 
where it appears we have got a superiority, and are en- 
titled to expect good news from that quarter. The enemy 
had some despatches by land, but either our operations 
are of a later date, or they only have published a part of 
their intelligence. 

Paris, June 29th. Dr Franklin and Mr Jay will ac- 
quaint you with Count de Vergennes's answer to Mr 
Grenville, and also with what Mr Grenville has said re- 
specting the enabling act. This act and also the answer 
to Count de Vergennes, are every day expected in Paris, 
and the way in whicli both will be expressed may give us 
a pretty just idea upon the present intentions of the British 
Ministry. The only thing that remains for me to inform 
you of, is, that under the pretence of curiosity, admiration, 
or private affairs, England will probably send emissaries 
to America, who cannot hope to insinuate themselves 
under any other but a friendly appearance. 
With the greatest regard, Sic. 

LAFAYETTE. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 15 

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO M. 1)E I-AFAYETTE. 

Philadelphia, September I8th, 1782. 

You should not, my Dear Sir, have beeu thus long with- 
out hearing from me, had I not persuaded myself, that I 
should see you before a letter could reach you. I still en- 
tertain this hope from a passage in Dr Franklin's letter, 
but have been in this often disappointed ; I will not indulge 
it longer, so far as to let it arrest my pen. 

The Count de Segur delivered me your letters of April. 
I thank you sincerely for having made him the bearer of 
them, since you know the eagerness with which 1 embrace 
your friends, even without taking into consideration, that 
merit which makes ihem so. The Count leaves tovpn for 
the army today, so that I shall not have the full benefit of 
your introduction to him till next winter, when 1 flatter 
myself you will join our circle. The Prince de Broglio 
told me last night, that he had a letter from you to me. 
1 expect to see him here this morning. 

1 cannot help remarking the just estimate you made of 
the British Ministry. Late events have fully justified it. 
They are made up of heterogeneous particles, and, as 
might naturally be expected, they begin to fly off from 
each other. You have nothing to apprehend from your 
adopted country. We are injmovably fixed in our de- 
termination to adhere to om- allies, in spite of every en- 
deavor to change our sentiments. I am sorry that I have 
not leisure to enlarge. AJy horses wait to carry me to 
the banks of the Hudson, while I write ; let me however 
inform you of the misfortune that has happened to Chev- 
alier de Latouche ; his frigate being pursued by the enemy 
was run on shore in the Delaware, and is lost. The gen- 



16 LAFA.YETTE. 

Tlemen, his passengers, are however happily saved, to- 
i;ether with the money and papers. Everything else is 
lost, and what is most to be lamented, he himself must 
have fallen into the hands of the enemy. The flag that 
went to inquire his fate is not yet returned. 

The fleet of the Marquis de Vaudreuil has also sustained 
a loss in the sinking of the Magnifique, in the harbor of 
Boston. Congress have endeavored to repair this, by pre- 
senting the America to his Majesty. 

The troops from Virginia have joined those on the Hud- 
son. Our army is in noble order at present; you will be 
charired to see our countrymen well dressed, since you 
used to admire thetii even in their rags. 

I send you the papers for a month back ; they contain 
all our public news, and some particulars worthy your at- 
tention. 

1 am, my Dear Sir, &ic. 

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON. 



ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO M. DE LAFAYETTE. 

Philadelphia, November 2d, 1782. 
Dear Sir, 

The confusion occasioned by the misfortune of the 
Eagle, and the delay that the gentlemen who saved their 
baggage experienced in getting here, prevented my receiv- 
ing your favor of the 25th and 29th of July till the last of 
September, although I had acknowledged the receipt of the 
letters, by the same conveyance, much earlier. 

Your letter contained so much important matter, that it 
was laid before Congress, for knowing it would be advan- 
tageous to you and place your assiduity and attention to 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENClv 17 

llieir interests in its btroiii^est [)oii)t of liglii. I choose to 
consider most of yours as public. letters ; this last was par- 
ticularly acceptable, as neither Or Franklin nor Mr Jay had 
been so explicit, as we harl reason to expect, (-)ur system 
of politics has been so much the same for a long time, tend- 
ing only to one point, a determination to support the war 
till we can make peace in conjunction with our allies, that 
the whole history of our Cabinet amounts to nothin-^ more 
than a reiteration of the same sentiments in ditierent lan- 
guage ; and so plain is our political path, so steadily do we 
walk in it, that I can add nothing to what I have already 
written you on that subject. 

The events of the campaign are as uninteresting ; the 
inactivity and caution of the enemy liave given us leisure 
to form the finest army this country ever saw, while they 
conspire to render that army useless for the present. The 
troops are gone into winter quarters; ours at Fislikill, 
West Point, and its vicinity ; the French as far east as 
Hartford. 

This day we are informed from New York, that four- 
teen sail of the line, one of forty guns, and seven frigates, 
sailed from thence on the 26ih. We cannot learn that 
they had troops on board or under convoy. 

The Magnifique is lost, f believe without hope of re- 
covery. She will, however, be well replaced by the Ame- 
rica, which all accounts concur in calling a line sliip. But 
unless your fleet is very considerably strengthened in those 
seas, another campaign may slip away as uselessly as the 
last ; for I see no reason to suppose, while Ijord Shelbui-ne 
is at tlie head of Administration, that the negotiations for 
peace will wear a serious aspect. 1 believe with you. that 
his royal master is set u})on risking everything, rather than 
vol,. X. 3 



18 LAFAYETTE 

acknowledge our independence, and as he possesses the 
art of seduction h^ a very eminent degree, it will require 
more firmness to resist his solicitations, than is generally 
found among courtiers. 1 am very much pleased to hear 
that the siege of Gibraltar is at last undertaken, with some 
prospects oi" success. This 1 sincerely wish. England 
has found in that single fortress a more powerful ally than 
any other she could make in Europe. It has for the most 
part employed the navy of Spain, and cost them five ships 
of the line. 

You need feel no anxiety on the score of an apology for 
your absence ; everybody here attributes it to its true 
cause, and considers it as a new proof of your attachment 
to the interests of America. 

The papers I send with this will serve to confirm this 
assertion. 1 thank you for the acquaintance of the Prince 
de Broglio and the Count de Segur ; they handed me 
your letters the day 1 was unfortunately obliged to leave 
town. Tijey have, however, promised to be here this 
winter, and to give me an opportunity of consoling myself 
for your absence by the attention they will enable me to 
show to those you love. Your brother-in-law is gone I 
find to the siege of Gibraltar. I beg you to write particu- 
larly to remind him of his American friends. He shall hear 
from me by the first opportunity ; in the meanwhile,' tell 
him he will not do justice to our expectations if he neglects 
to promote the great object, which we discussed together a 
little before he left this country, foreseeing then that he 
would ere long he called to Spain. I ought not to conclude 
this without informing you, that the chair of state is trans- 
ferred to Mr Boudinol, Mr Hanson's term having expired. 
I am. my Dear Sir, &c. 

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 19 

TO THK PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Brest, December :W, 1782 

Dear Sir, 

I have the honor to beg the attention ot' Congress 
upon a subject, which, though it appears personal, may 
bring about events of public utility. 

On a past voyage I have had the happiness to return 
with such means as proved useful to the United States, 
and when I embarked last, I had a leave of absence 
till such a time as I would think proper. 

What has been done respecting former demands of 
money, has been communicated to Congress. As to 
the late ones, 1 leave it to the Ministers of Congress 
to give an account of those transactions. 

I have the heartfelt happiness to think, that I did 
not leave Versailles until 1 had, to the utmost, exerted 
every means in my power; and I wnsh they had been 
an aid to promote every view of Congress and every 
interest of the United States. 

The Ministers of Congress in Europe have in for- 
mer letters acquainted them with the request they 
made, that I should defer my departure to America. 
They thought I might serve her in the political field, 
and I yielded to their opinion. 

Now, Sir, that I am going to embark, I have done 
it by their advice. Upon the voyage, the mode and 
the time of it, 1 have taken their opinion, and it has 
been, that I was acting consistent with the interests of 
America, and the instructions of General Washington. 
But I could not submit to think, that any member of 
Congress, mighty from public report, imagine that 1 



20 



LAFAYETTE. 



enlarge so lar their permission, as to follow pursuits, 
that would not particularly promote the views of 
America; and as they do not choose being intruded 
upon with minute details of military plans, let it suf- 
fice to say, that I beg leave to refer them to the opin- 
ion of General Washington. 

With a heart bound to America by every sentiment 
of a grateful, an everlasting, and, I may add, a patri- 
otic love, 

I have the honor to be, &c. 

LAFAYETTE. 

KOBERT K. LIVINGSTON TO M. DE LAFAYETTE. 

Philadelphia, January 10th, 1783. 
Dear Sir, 
I was honored by yours of the 14th of October last. 
It contains much useful information, and upon the 
whole exhibits a pleasing picture of our affairs in Eu- 
rope. Here the scene is more chequered with good 
and evil ; the last I think predominates. The want of 
money has excited very serious discontents in the ar- 
my. Thev have formed committees. A very respec- 
table one, with General McDougal at their head, is 
now here. Their demands, though strictly just, are 
such as Congress have not the means of satisfying. 
The states upon whom they call, complain of inability. 
Peace is wished for with more anxiety than it should 
be; wearied out with the length of the war, the peo- 
ple will reluctantly submit to the burdens they bore^t 
the beginning of it; in short, peace becomes necessa- 
ry. If the war continues we shall lean heavier upon 
France than we have done. If peace is made she 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 21 

must add one obligation more to those slic has already 
imposed. She must enable us to pay ofl'our army ; or 
we may find the reward of her exertions and ours sus- 
pended longer than we could wish. 

Charleston is at length evacuated ; the enemy made 
a convention with General Greene and were suffered 
to depart in peace. In one of the papers I send you, 
you will see the general orders at going off. 

The embarkation of your army, before the war in 
this country had closed, gave me some pain. Their 
stay might have answered useful political purposes, 
had they been at hand to operate against New York, 
which they will not otherwise quit. 

Congress saw this in its true light, but were too del- 
icate to mention it : I enclose their resolutions on be- 
ing apprized of it. You speak of operations in Amer- 
ica. I agree with you, that they are devoutly to be 
wished, both by France and by us ; but if they are to 
depend upon operations in the West Indies, it is ten 
to one but they fail. The machine is too complex. 
If it is to be worked in any part by Spanish springs, 
the chance against it is still greater, for whatever the 
latter may be in Europe, in the West Indies they lose 
their elasticity. 

The great cause between Connecticut and Pennsyl- 
vania has been decided in favor of the latter. It is a 
singular event. There are few instances of independ- 
ent States submitting their cause to a Court of Justice. 
The day will come, when all disputes in the great re- 
public of Europe will be tried in the same way ; and 
America be quoted to exemplify the wisdom of the 
measure. 



22 LAFAYETTE. 

Adieu my Dear Sir, continue to love this country, 
for though she owes you much, she will repay you all 
with interest, when in ages to come she records you 
with her patriots and heroes. 

I have the honor to be, Dear Sir, with the sincerest 
esteem and regard, &c. 

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON. 



TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL, AT MADRID. 

Cadiz, January 20thj 1783. 
Dear Sir, 

Your letter of the 14lh iias this day come to hand. 
The occasion of it I lament, but it becomes my duty to 
answer it. 

From an early period, I liad tiie happiness lo rank 
among the forernost in the American revolution. In the 
affection and confidence of the people, I am proud lo say, 
I have a great share. Congress honors me so far as lo 
direct, that I am to be consulted by their European Minis- 
ters, which circumslantes I do not mention out of vanity, 
but only to show, ihat in giving my opinion, I am called 
upon by dictates of honor and duty, which it becomes me 
to obey. 

The measure being right, it is beneath me lo wait for a 
private opportunity. Public concerns have a great weight 
with me, but nothing upon earlh can intimidate me into 
selfish considerations. To my opinion you are entitled, 
and I offer it with the freedom of a heart that ever shall 
be independent. 

To France you owe a great deal ; lo others you owe 
nothing. As a Frcuchmau, whose: htiiil is glovviug with 



DIPLOMATIC CORRKSPONDKxNCE. 23 

patriotism, I enjoy the jjait France has acted, and ilie 
connexion she lias made. As an American, I acknowl- 
edge the obligation, and in that 1 think true dignity con- 
sists ; but dignity lorbade om- sending aljroad pohlical 
forlorn hopes, and 1 ever objected to the condescension ; 
the more so, as a French treaty had secured their allies to 
you ; and because America is more likely to receive ad- 
vances, than to need throwing herself at othei- people's 
feet. 

The particulars of the negotiation with Spain I do not 
dwell upon. In my opinion they were wrong, but 1 may 
be mistaken. Certain it is, that an exchange of Ministers 
ought to have been, and now an exchange of powers must 
be, upon equal footing. What England has done is noth- 
ing, either as to the right or the mode. The right consisted 
in the people's will, the mode depends upon a conscious- 
ness of American dignity. Bert if Spain has hitherto de- 
clined to acknowledge what the elder branch of the Bour- 
bons thought honorable to declare, yet will it be too strange, 
that England ranks before her in the date and the benefits 
of the acknowledgment. 

There are more powers than you know of, who are 
making advances to America ; some of them I have per- 
sonally received ; but you easily guess that no treaty would 
be so pleasing as the one with Spain. The three natural 
enemies of Britain should be strongly united. The French 
alliance is everlasting, but such a treaty between the friends 
of France is a new tie of confidence and affection. The 
Spaniards are slow in their motions, but strong in their at- 
tachments. From a regard to them, hut still more out of 
regard to France, we must have more patience with them 
than with any other nation in Europe. 



24 LAFAYETTE, 

But peace is likely lo be made, and how then can the 
iiiiHi, who advised against your going at all, propose your 
remaining at a Court where you are not decently treated ? 
Congress, I hope, and through them the whole nation, do 
not intend their dignity to be trifled with, and, for my part, 
I have no inclination to betray the confidence of the Amer- 
ican people. I expect peace, and I expect Spain to act 
by you with propriety ; but should they hesitate to treat 
you as a public servant of the United States, then, how- 
ever disagreeable the task, Mr Carmichael had better go 
to Paris where France may stand a mediator, and through 
(hat generous common friend, we may come to the wished 
for connexion with the Court of Spain. 

With a high regard and sincere affection, &tc. 

LAFAYETTE. 



TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON. 

Cadiz, February 5th, 1783. 

Dear Sir, 
On the 7th of December, I had the honor to write 
to you from Brest, and my letters down to that date 
have contained accounts of our political affairs. Since 
which time, 1 have been taken up in preparations of a 
plan that would have turned out to the advantage of 
America ; indeed, it exceeded my first expectations, and 
to my great surprise, the King of Spain had not only con- 
sented his forces should co-operate with us, but on the 
consideration of obtaining a necessary diversion, he had 
been induced by Count d'Estaing to a[)prove my being 
detached into Canada with a French lorce. Nay, had 
the war continued, I think that, if not for love, at least 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCK. 25 

on political motives, they would have consentecl to offer 
peeuniajy assistance. 

The conditions o( the peace I do not dwell upon. I 
hope they are such as will be agreeable in America. 
They have no doubt been sent from France, and the part 
that respects the United States will have been immediately 
forwarded for their ratification. 1 do not hope to send 
you the first tidings of a general peace. Yet I have pre- 
vailed upon a small vessel to alter her course, and my own 
servant is going with the despatches, to prevent either 
neglect or other accidental delays. 

On the moment of my arrival at Cadiz, I began a 
close correspondence with Mr Carmichael. It at first 
respected money matters, but soon took a still more im- 
portant turn. Having been officially asked my advice 
upon his future conduct, I gave it in a letter, of which 
the enclosed is a copy. Whatever light my opinion 
may appear in at Madrid, or elsewhere, I think it is 
consistent with the dignity of the United States. 
Now, Sir, while enjoying- the hope of being in a few 
weeks on the American shore, I have a letter from Mr 
Carmichael, wherein he requests my assistance at Ma- 
drid. How far it may serve him I do not know ; but 
since I am thought useful, I shall yield lo my zeal for 
the service of America, I readily oive up personal 
gratifications. On my arrival at Madrid, I shall have 
the honor to give you my opinion of our situation 
there. Among the Spaniards wc have but few well 
wishers, and as they, at the bottom, hate cordially the 
French, our alliance, though a political, is not a senti- 
mental consideration with them. But I wish a settle- 
ment of boundaries may remove the moie immedia'j 

VOL, X. 4 



2^ LAFAYETTE. 

prospects of dispute. It is, I believe, very important 
to America; the more so, as she became a national 
ally to France, a national enemy to Britain. But the 
Spaniards will be forever extravagant in their territo- 
rial notions, and very jealous of the increase of Amer- 
ican wealth and power. But it is good policy for us 
to be upon friendly terms with them, and I wish on 
my return to Paris, that I may carry for Mr Jay some 
hopes of better success in his Spanish negotiation. 

I have just heard that both Floridas were given to 
Spain. This accounts for Lord Shelburne's condescen- 
sion in fixing our Southern limits. The people of 
Florida will, I hope, remove into Georgia. But the 
Spaniards will insist upon a pretended right to an ex- 
tent of country all along the left shore of the Missis- 
sippi. Not that they mean to occupy it, but because 
they are afraid of neighbors that have a spirit of lib- 
erty. I Am sorry those people have the Floridas. 
But as we cannot help it, we must endeavor to frus- 
' trate Lord Shelburne^s views, which I presume are 
bent upon a dispute between Spain and the United 
States. A day will come, I hope, when Europeans 
will have little to do on the northern continent; and 
God grant it may ever be for the happiness of mankind 
and the propagation of liberty. 

On the perusal of my letter to Mr Carmichael, I beg 
you will remember it is calculated to undergo the in- 
spection of both cabinets at Versailles and Madrid ; 
and to be a proof against the unfriendly connexions of 
a Spanish Ministry. Be pleased to tell Mr Morris, 
that I remember his want of money extends further 
than occasions of war. At the lime of my leaving 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 07 

France, I had been made to hope, but do not know lor 
the present what has taken place. On my arrival at 
Madrid, 1 will be very attentive to that j)oint, but 
shall lake care to preserve the dignity of the United 
States, of which I have a proper and exalted sense. 

In my determination to go to Madrid, I have con- 
sulted with Mr Harrison, a gentleman whose residence 
at this place enables him to know a great deal about 
the Spaniards. He has to this moment acted as a 
consul in this place ; so far at least, as to serve his 
countryn>en, and spend his own money ; for he has no 
public character, and what he has done he undertook 
at Mr Jay's request. There ought, I think, to be a 
consul at this place, and if the appointment is defer- 
red, several inconveniences will be laid upon the 
American trade. There is no gentleman, exclusive of 
what his voluntary services deserve, who could better 
fill the place than Mr Harrison, and was I to take the 
freedom to advise, I would warmly recommend him 
for the appointment. 

So far as we know of the Spanish preliminaries, 
they give up their claim upon having Gibraltar, but 
keep Mahon, and have the two Floridas. The islands 
of Providence are returned to England. We hourly 
expect a French courier. Tobago excepted, they gave 
up their conquests in the West Indies, and have St 
Lucia again. Before the vessel is gone I hope to be 
more particular. As to the American preliminaries, 
they have long ago been sent to Philadelphia. 

While I am writing a French courier is arrived. 
Enclosed you will find an extract of the preliminaries, 
such as they are, sent to me. May I beg you will 



28 LAFAYETTE. 

please to communicate my letter to General Washing- 
ton, though it is a public one, I may ask the favor 
from you, as I would otherwise have sent him a copy 
of it. 

With the highest regard, I have the honor to be,&c. 

LAFAYETTE. 

/-*. S. I have just received a note from the French 
Ambassador at Madrid, whereby I find that my letter 
had a good effect. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Cadiz, Febiuary 5th,, 1783. 
Sir, 
Whatever despatch I make in sending a vessel, I do 
not flatter myself to apprize Congress with the news 
of a general peace ; yet such are my feelings on the 
occasion, that I cannot defer presenting them with my 
congratulations. Upon their knowledge of my heart, 
I depend more than upon expressions, which are so 
far inadequate to my sentiments. Our early times I 
recollect with a most pleasing sense of pride; our 
present ones make me easy and happy. To futurity I 
look forward in the most delightful prospects. 

Former letters have acquainted Congress, that, upon 
my intending to leave France, I had been detained by 
their Commissioners. To my letter of the 3d of De- 
cember I beg leave to refer them for a further account 
of my conduct. 

Now the noble contest is ended, and I heartily re- 
joice at the blessings of peace. Fortynine ships of the 
line and twenty thousand men are now here, with 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 29 

whom Count d'Estaing was to join the combined forces 
in the West Indies; and during the summer they 
were to co-operate witli our American army. Nay, it 
had lately been granted, that, whilst Count d'Estaing 
acted elsewhere, I should enter the St Lawrence river 
at the head of a French corps. So far as respects me, 
I have no regret, but, independent of personal gratifica- 
tions, it is known that I ever was bent upon the addi- 
tion of Canada to the United States. 

On the happy prospect of peace I had prepared to 
go to America. Never did an idea please me £o much 
as the hope to rejoice with those to whom I have been 
a companion in our labors; but however painful the 
delay, I now must defer my departure. In the dis- 
charge of my duty to America no sacrifice shall ever 
be wanting, and when it hod pleased Congress to di- 
rect that their Ministers should consult with me, it 
became my first concern to deserve their confidence. 

From my letter to Mr Livingston an opinion may- 
be formed of our situation in Spain ; my advice has 
been called for, and I have given it ; my presence is 
requested, and instead of sailing for America, I am 
going to Madrid, being so far on my way ; and as Mr 
Jay is in Paris, I think it is better for me to go there. 
But unless Congress shall honor me with their com- 
mands, I shall embark in the course of June, and am 
eager for the moment when I may again enjoy the 
sight of the American shores. 

Now, Sir, our noble cause has prevailed; our inde- 
pendence is firmly settled, and American virtue enjoys 
its reward. No exertions, I hope, will now be want- 
ing to strengthen the Federal Union. 



30 LAFAYETTE. 

May the States be so bound to each otlier, as forever 
to defy European politics. Upon that union their 
consequence, their happiness, will depend. This is 
the first wish of a heart more truly x4.merican than 
words can express. 

With the highest respect I have the honor to be, &c. 

LAFAYETTE. 

TO THE COUNT DE FLORIDA BLANCA. 

Translation. 

Madrid, February 19th, 1783. 
Sir, 

Having had the honor to confer with your Excel- 
lency on the objects relative to the United States, and 
being soon to repair to the American Congress, 1 
wish to be fully impressed with the result of our con- 
versations. Instead of the indifference, and even of 
the divisions, which another nation would be glad to 
foresee, I am happy to have it in my power to inform 
the United States of your good dispositions. It is to 
you. Sir, I am indebted for this advantage, and in or- 
der to make it complete, and to make myself certain 
that I forget nothing, give me leave to submit to your 
Excellency the account which I intend to lay before 
Congress. 

His Catholic Majesty desires, that a lasting confi- 
dence and harmony may subsist between him and the 
United States, and he is determined on his part to do 
everything that will be necessary to keep it up. The 
American Charge d\^ffaires is at this moment received 
as such, and your Excellency is going lo treat of the 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDKNCE 31 

interests of the two nations. As you wish to show Mr 
Jay every kind of regard, 5'ou wait only till the Count 
d'Aranda shall have notified your dispositions to him, 
before you present Mr Carmichael to his Majesty. 

With respect to the limits, his Catholic Majesty has 
adopted those that are determined by the prelimina- 
ries of the 30th of November, between the United 
States and the Court of London. The fear of raising 
an object of dissension, is the only objection the King- 
has to the free navigation of the river Mississippi. 
The Virginia tobacco, and the naval stores, may furn- 
ish matter for reciprocal conventions in the treaty, and 
by means of the productions of America, arrangements 
might be made which would be useful to her finances. 
When I had the honor to speak to you in favor of a 
diminution of the duties on codfish, you answered, that 
it would be necessary to give to France a similar ad- 
vantage, and that by virtue of former treaties, the 
English might set up pretensions to the same ; but that 
you will do in every respect all that will be in your 
power to satisfy America. 

I would with very great pleasure touch upon every 
detail, which may enter into a connexion between 
Spain and the United States, but I am not to be con- 
cerned in this happy work. The Ministers of the 
United States, and the one whom you may send thither 
are to make it their business, and I content myself 
with reminding you of the general ideas you have 
given me. A word from you will satisfy me that I 
have not omitted anything. The dispositions of his 
Catholic Majesty, and the candor of your Excellency, 
will leave no pretexts tor misrepresentations. The 



32 LAFAYETTE. 

alliance of the House of Bourbon with the United 
Slates is founded on reciprocal interest ; it will still 
acquire greater strength from the confidence which 
your Excellenc}' wishes to establish. 

Such, Sir, are the conclusions, which 1 have drawn 
from our conferences, and the account which I intend 
to give to Congress, without having any mission for 
that purpose. I am acquainted with the sentiments of 
Congress, and I am convinced they will set a just 
value upon your dispositions. In permitting me to 
acquaint them with these particulars, you will have a 
claim to my personal gratitude. To the assurance of 
this I join that of the respect, with which I have the 
honor, &c. LAFAYETTE. 

COUNT DK FLORIDA BLANC A TO M. DE LAFAYETTE. . 

Translation. 

Pardo, February 22d, 1783. 
Sir, 

I cnniiot comply better with your desire, than by asking 
your leave to give you here my answer. You have per- 
fectly well understood whatever 1 have had the honor to 
cornnuinicnte to yon, with respect to our dispositions 
towards the United States. 1 shall only add, that although 
it is his Majesty's intentions to iibicle, for the present, by 
the limits established by the treaty of the 30th of Novem- 
ber, -1782, between the English anil the Americans, yet 
the King intends to inform himself particularly whether it 
can be in any ways inconvenient or prejudicial to settle 
ihat affair amicably with the United States. 
I have the honor to be, &ic. 

COUNF DE FFXJKIDA BLANCA. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 33 

TO THE COUNT DK FLOJIIDA r.l.ANrA. 

'rrniislnlioii. 

Madrid, Fehrtiury 22i\, 1783. 

On receiving the tuiswer of the Count (Je F'ioricJa 
Blanca, I desired aii exphuialioi^. respecting the addition 
that rehites to the limits. 1 was answered, that it was a 
fixed principle to ahide hy the limits estahlished by the 
treaty between the English and Americans, thai his re- 
marks related only to mere unimportant details, vviiich lie 
wisheil to receive from the S|)aiiish commandants, which 
would he amicably regulated, and would by no means op- 
pose the general principle. \ aslced bin), before the Am- 
bassador of France, whetiier he could i^ive me his word of 
honor for it. He answered me, he would, and that I 

miaht engage it to the United States. 

f.AFAYETTE. 

TO llOBy.irr R. r.IVINGSTON. 

Bordeaux, March 2d, 1783. 
Dear Sir, 

Upon the news of a general peace, I had the honor to 
write to you, and took the liberty to address Congress in a 
letter, of which the enclosed is a (hi plicate. Those des- 
patches iiave been ^-ent by the 1'riomplie, a Fiench vessel, 
and bv her you will also have received a note of the gene- 
ral preliminaries. 

The reasons of my going from Cadiz to Madrid being 
known to you, 1 shall only inforni you, that ujion my ar- 
rival there, I waited upon the King, and paid a visit to the 
Count de Florida Blanca. Independent of niy letter to 
Mr Carniichael, of which you have a copy, 1 had very 

VOL. X. T) 



34 LAFAYETTE. 

openlv said, that 1 expected to return with liim to Paris. 
So that niter the first compliments, it was easy for me to 
mm tl)e conversation npon American affairs. 1 did it with 
the more advantage, as 1 had beforehand fully conversed 
with Mr Carmichael, who gave me his opinion upon every 
point, and 1 was happy to find it coincided with mine. 

In the course of our conversation, I could see, that 
American independence gives some umbrage to the Span- 
ish Ministry. They fear the loss of their Colonies, and 
the success of our revolution appears to be an encourage- 
ment to this fear. Upon this subject their King has odd 
notions, as he has indeed npon everything. The recep- 
tion of Mr Carmichael they wanted to procrastinate, and 
yet they knew it must be done. In offering my opinion 
to Count de Florida Blanca, T did it in a very free man- 
ner. I rejected every idea of delay. I gave a descrip- 
tion of America, and of each of the Slates, of which Count 
de Florida Blanca appeared to know very little. While 1 
abated their fears from our quarter, I endeavored to 
awaken them upon other accounts. It is useless to men- 
tion the particulars of this conversation, which lasted very 
long, and which he promised to lay before the King. In 
two days he said he should pny me a visit at Madrid.* 

Agreeably to the appointment, I waited for Count de 
Florida Blanca, and there, in presence of the French Am- 
bassador, he told me that the King had determined im- 
mediately to receive the Envoy from the United States. 
Our conversation was also very long, and 1 owe Count de 
Montmorin the credit to say, that not only at that time, but 
in everv instance where he could operate on the Count de 

•The Court was theu at Pardo. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 35 

Florida Blanca in our favor, lie threw in all the weight ol 
the influence of France. 

It was on Wednesday that I received Cuutit de Florida 
Blanca's visit. In conformity with the Spanish style, he 
endeavored to delay our affairs. I took the liberty to say, 
that on Saturday I must set out, and it was at last fixed 
that on Friday, Mr Carmichael should deliver his creden- 
tials, and on Saturday would be invited to the dinner of 
the foreign Ministers. 

As to more important matters, I conversed upon the 
affair of limits, and upon the navigation of the Mississippi, 
to the last of which points I found him very repugnant. I 
spoke upon the codfish duties. I wanted to have a 
prelerence eugnged foi- iu writing, upon ;dl bargains res- 
pecting tobacco and naval stores : in a word, I did my 
best, and would have been more particular in point of 
money, had not the Minister's answer put it out of my 
power to do it in any otlier way, than such as was incon- 
sistent with the dignity of the United Stateti. 

As Count de Florida Blanca was taking leave, I told 
him that my memory must be somewhat aided. 1 pro- 
posed writing to him, and getting from him an answer. 
To this he first objected, but afterwards consented, say- 
ing, however, that his word was as good as his writing. 
And as I had been sometimes a little high toned with him 
in behalf of America, he added, that Spain was sincere in 
her desire to form an everlasting friendship, but did not 
act out of fear. I had before observed, that it was on 
Spain's account that I wished for a L^ood understanding 
between her and America. 

The reading of my letter, a copy of which I enclose, 
will better inform you of the points that have been either 



36 LAFAYETTE. 

wholly or partially granted. I endeavored to make the 
best of our convcisalions, and to engage him as far as 1 
could. On the other hand, 1 kept our side clear of any 
engagement, which it was easy for me to do in my private 
capacity. 1 did not even go so far us general professions. 
But since I had been called there, 1 desired only to induce 
him into concessions that might serve the purposes of Mr 
Jay. iVJy letter w^as delivered on Thursday. The next 
day I accompanied Mr Carmichaej, who is much and uni- 
versally beloved and respected in that country. On Sat- 
urday, before dinner, I received the answer, which for fear 
of ambiguities, 1 had requested to be given at the end of 
the letter. A sentence of the answer 1 made him exjilain 
before the French Ambassador. Herein are joined tliose 
copies, and 1 keep the original for Mr Jay, whose political 
aid de cam[) 1 have thus been. [ have of course referred 
to him everything, and ihis ncgoiialion, wherein he has 
exercised the virtue of patience, will now require his care 
and his abilities. The Ministers of some powers, Prussia 
among them, having asked me if Congress would be wil- 
ling 10 make an advance towards them, 1 have answered, 
that the United States ought in my opinion not to make, 
but to receive advances. 

At the same time I was employed in conversation with 
Qount de Florida Blanca, I did not neglect speaking upon 
the same subject with the other Ministers. M. de Galvez, 
in whose department the indies are, appears much averse 
to the English limit. He has for the present sent orders 
to the Spanish governors, to abide by those limits, and an 
ofticial copy of those orders has been j)romised to me. 
But M. de Galvez was of opinion, that those limits would 
not do. 1 have iherelore thought it proper, officially by 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 37 

writing, and before witnesses, so ellectually lo Ijintl them, 
that the affair of limits cannot now but be settled on iheii 
side. Independent of their iiand writing, France, througii 
her Ambassador, is a witness to the engagement 5 and yet, 
being in a private capacity, I look care not to engage 
America lo anything. 

Never was a man lurtiier from a partiality for Spain than 
1 am. But 1 think I now have left them in a sincere and 
steady intention to cultivate the friendship of xYmerica. 
The French party at that Court will be for it. They labor 
under fits of occasional madness. They have an ill con- 
ducted pride. It is disagreeable lo treat with them, and 
their own interest does not persuade them out of their 
prejudices. But though they had rather there were not 
such a place as North America, they are truly ard ear- 
nestly desirous to maintain a good harmony and live in 
friendship and neighborly union with the United States. 
The Mississippi is the great affair. I think it is the in- 
terest of America lo be well with Spain, at least for 
many years ; and particularly on account of the French 
alliance ; so that T very much wish success to Mr Jay's 
negotiations. 1 have advised Mr Carmichael to continue 
his conferences, and I think they will be of service. 

On my arrival at ilVis city, I hear that Lord Shelburne 
is out of place, and has been succeeded by Lord North. 
But I cannot give it as certain. The An)erican flag has 
already made its appearance before the city of London. 

Upon the principles of an unbounded zeal for America, 
can I be permitted to repeat, that every American patriot 
must wish that the federal union between the States may 
continue to receive additional strength ? Upon that inti- 
mate national union their happiness and their consequence 
depend. 



38 LAFAYETTE 

Hoping that my voluntary excursion to Madrid may 
have somewhat prepared the way to fulfil the intentions of 
Congress, I hasten to join Mr Jay, whose abilities will im- 
prove the account 1 shall lay before him. 

I have the honor to be, with the most affectionate re- 
gard, &c. 

LAFAYETTE. 



ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO M. DE LAFAYETTE. 

Philadelphia, May 1st, 1783. 
Dear Sir, 

1 am now to acknowledge your favor of the 5th of Feb- 
ruary, by the Triomphe, and that of the 2d of March, 
from Bordeaux. You were the happy messenger of glad 
tidings on both occasions. Before her arrival we had re- 
ceived no account of the signature of the general prelim- 
inaries, or of the cessation of hostilities. You can easily 
conceive the joyful reception it met with here, where we' 
began to be heartily tired of the war ; nor was it less wel- 
come intelligence to the army, than to the other citizens of 
America. 

The second letter, which promises a happy settlement 
of all differences with Spain, was flattering to those among 
us who knew the importance of lier friendship, both in a 
commercial and political view. Congress feel themselves 
under great obligations to you, for the ardor you discov- 
ered in accelerating this happy event ; and the address 
with which you placed it in such a train as to make it 
difficult for the Spanish Minister to go back from his en- 
gagements. 

By this conveyance I send our Ministers the ratification 
of the provisional articles. Carleton and Digby have sent 
out their prisoners, and we are making arrangements to 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 39 

send in ours. Congress having determined on tlieir part 
to do, not only all thnt good faitli may require, but by this 
mark of confidence to convince ihem, that they liave no 
doubt o( the sincerity of their professions. Om- IVlinisters 
will show you the letters that have passed between Carle- 
ton and nie. Some among us, from finding nothing yet 
done that leads to the evacuation of New York, have been 
apprehensive that the British will effect delays on that sub- 
ject, till the tories are satisfied, which f can venture to tell 
you in confidence they never will be unless the English shall 
on their part repair all the cruel losses they have unneces- 
sarily occasioned. I this moment received a letter from the 
General, informing me, that he had proposed a personal 
interview with Carleton, in hopes of learning something of 
his intentions with respect to the evacuation, but 1 fear he 
will be deceived in this hope, if I may judge from the de- 
bates of the 3d of March, which prove thai no orders had 
then been transmitted. 

I cannot leave writing, without ex(»ressing how sincerely 
I agree with you, in your wishes that unanimity may pre- 
vail, and the band of union among us be strengthened ; 
there is no thinking man here, who does not at the same 
time feel the necessity and lament the difficulty of effect- 
ing a measure, on which our happiness so greatly depends. 
Congress have niade some general arrangements in their 
finances, which if adopted by the several States, will ren- 
der our national debt a national tie, which time and ex- 
perience may strengthen. Our Ministers will show you 
those resohitions ; I will not therefore unnecessarily butp- 
den Colonel Ogden with them. For general information 
1 refer you to him, 

And have the honor to be, he. 

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON. 



40 T.AFAYETTE. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Chavaniac, in the Province of ^ 
Auvergne, July 20th. 1783. S 

Sir, 

Having been for some days in llie country, where 
1 am waiting for the arrival of the Trimophe, [ am hon- 
ored with your Excellency's favor of the 1 2th of April, 
which I hasten to acknowledge. It is for me a great hap- 
piness to think, that Congress have been pleased to ap- 
prove my conduct, and that an early intelligence has 
proved useful to our American trade. To my great sat- 
isfaction I also hear, that my endeavors in Spain have 
been agreeable to Congress. Upon my arrival iu Paris 
I made Mr Jay acquainted with my proceedings. The 
concessions ! had obtained iVom the Spanish Court (with- 
out any on our part) were also put into his hands. Since 
which I could have no more to do in the negotiations, 
wherein I had taken the part of a temporary volunteer. 

However repeated may have been the marks of confi- 
dence, which Congress have conferred upon me, they ever 
fill my heart with a new satisfaction. What you have 
mentioned respecting payment ol debts, will of course be- 
come my first and most interesting object. 1 have warmly 
applied to the French Pvlinistry, and will on that point so- 
licit the confidence of the gentlemen in the American 
Commission. But upon hearing of an opportunity, I could 
not an instant defer to acknowledge your Excellency's 
letter. Agreeably to the last flespatches, I am waiting for 
the orders which I hope to receive by the Triomphe. 
Any commands which Congress may have for me, shall 
be cheerfully executed, by one of their earliest soldiers, 
whose happiness it is to think, that at a less smiling moment 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 41 

he had llie honor to he adopted hy America, and whose 
hlood, exertions, and atrections, will in lier good limes, as 
they have heen in her woist, he entirely at her service. 

It appears Russia is determined npon a Tmkish war, 
and should they give it up now, the matter would only be 
postponed. What part the Emperor is to take, we cannot 
at present so well determine. Wiienever the way is opened 
to me, 1 endeavor to do tliat which may prove agreeable 
to Congress, and intend to keep them acquainted with 
political occurrences. Jt is a pleasing idea for me now to 
think, that notliing can derange our glorious state of 
liberty and independence. Nothing, I say, for 1 hope 
measures will he taken to consolidate the Federal Union, 
and by those means to defeat European arts, and insure 
eternal tranquillity. 

With the highest respect, I have the honor to be, &tc; 

LAFAYETTE. 

P. S. Congress have no doubt received accurate 
accounts respecting the afTair of free ports. On my 
arrival from Spain, 1 found that Bayonne and Dunkirk 
had been pitched upon, and I immediately applied for 
L'Orient and Marseilles. L'Orient is by far the most 
convenient on the coast, and we now have got it. 
That being done, I am again applying for Bayonne, 
which has some advantages, and I wish Congress 
would send orders to Mr Barclay. In the meanwhile, 
the more free ports we have the better. This affair of 
free ports, the subject which Congress have recom- 
mended, and the despatches I am directed to expect 
by the Triomphe, will determine the time when, 
having no more American business here, I ma}' in- 

VOL. X. 6 



42 LAFAYETTE. 

dulge my ardent desire to return to the beloved shores 

of America. 

LAFAYETTE. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Nantes, September 7th, 1783. 
Sir, 

In consequence of the late arrangements, the French 
September packet is about to sail, and I beg your Ex- 
cellency's leave to improve that regular, speedy, and 
safe opportunity. At the same time, Congress will 
receive a definitive treaty. But upon this point, since 
I left Madrid, my services have not been wanting. 
From our Commissioners, Congress will of course 
receive better information. This one object I must 
however mention, which respects American debts. 
As soon as I knew the wishes of Congress, I did, as I 
ever shall in such a case, earnestly apply to the French 
Ministry and the American Commissioners. But I 
was answered that it could not be done, and did not 
even consist with the powers of the British Ministry. 
After which, and at that time of the negotiation, I had 
no means to improve the hint I had received from 
your Excellency. 

As to mercantile affairs in France, Mr Barclay 
will acquaint Congress with their present situation. 
Bayonne and Dunkirk having been pointed out as 
American free ports, and the opinion of Congress not 
being known, I took upon myself to represent the 
harbor of L'Orient as preferable to either of those 
abovementioned. It has lately been made a free port; 
and I now wish the affair of Bayonne may be again 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESrOWDEiNCE. 



43 



taken up. Those three ports, with Marseilles, would 
make a very proper chain, and in the meanwhile, I 
hope L'Orient will prove agreeable to the American 
merchants. 

There now exist in this kingdom many obstacles to 
trade, which I hope, by little and little, will be erad- 
icated, and from the great national advantages of this 
country over England, it will of course result that a 
French trade, generally speaking, must prove more 
beneficial to America. Upon many articles of Ameri- 
can produce I wish preference may be obtained from 
this government, and besides commercial benefits in 
Europe, your Excellency feels that West India ar- 
rangements cannot easily be adjusted, with European 
notions and at the present costs. Upon those objects, 
Mr Barclay has had, and again will have, conferences 
with the Ministers. Circurpstanced as we now are, he 
is, an'd the Commissioners also are of opinion, that 
my presence in France may be serviceable. As he 
was pleased to apply to me on the subject, saying he 
would mention the matter to Congress, and as their 
orders which I was to expect have not yet reached 
me, I think it my present duty, and it ever shall be 
my rule, to do that in which I hope to serve the 
United States. 

Warlike preparations are still going on in the east- 
ward. Immediately after she had signed a commer- 
cial treaty with the Turks, it pleased the Empress of 
Russia to seize upon the Crimea under a frivolous 
pretence. Her armies are ready to take the field, 
stores and troops have been collected upon the borders 
of the Black Sea, and the Turks are making immense, 



44 



LAFAYETTE. 



but I think not very formidable, preparations. By 
our last accounts the Austrians were gathering upon 
those borders, which lead towards an invasion of 
Turkish Provinces ; and it is thought by many, that 
for fear of the plague, the two Imperial powers will 
])refer winter operations. How far matters may be 
carried, or compromised, cannot yet be well deter- 
mined. What part France, Prussia, and England will 
take, is not yet known. The Levant trade cannot but 
be interested in the affair. 

In every American concern, Sii-, my motives are so 
pure, my sentiments so candid, my attachments so 
warm and so long experienced, that from me nothing, 
I hope, will appear intruding or improper. Upon 
many points lately debated, my opinions, if worth a 
remark, are well and generally known. But I must 
frankly add, that the effect which some late transac- 
tions have upon European minds cannot but make me 
uneasy. In the difficulties, which a patriotic and de- 
serving army have met with, Europeans have been 
misled to conceive a want of public gratitude. In the 
opinions that have from every quarter been stated, 
Europeans have also mistaken partial notions for a 
want of disposition to the Federal Union ; and, with- 
out that Union, Sir, the United States cannot preserve 
that dignity, that vigor, that power, which insures the 
glory and the happiness of a. great, liberal, and inde- 
pendent nation. Nay, it would be ill fate to us, who 
have worked, fought, and bled in this cause, to see the 
United States a prey to the snares of European poli- 
tics. But I am only mentioning the opinions of men 
Qn this side of the water, and in my heart, I hope 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 45 

everything will be adjusted to the satisfaction of thai 
part of the citizens, who have served in the army, and 
that other part in the civil line, who, durins; the war, 
have sympathised with their troops. I, above every 
other earthly wish, most fervently pray, that the ene- 
mies of liberty, or such as are jealous of America, may 
not have the pleasure to see us deviate from the prin- 
ciples of the Federal Union. And upon a recollection 
of my introductory apology, I hope the observations I 
humbly offer will be as kindly received, as they are 
respectfully and affectionately presented. 

When it is thought my presence here can be dispensed 
with, or in case the situation of affairs should persuade me 
it were more useful in America, I will not delay to join a 
wished for and beloved land. Any orders or commands 
whatever, which Congress may be pleased to give me, I 
shall most cheerfully obey ; and as every moment in my 
life is devoted to the love and respect of the United States, 
so will it ever be ray happiness to serve them. 

With every sentiment of an affectionate regard, I have 

the honor to be, &c. 

LAFAYETTE. 

TO THE rilESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Paris, December 26th, 1783. 
Sir, 
Having received no commands from Congress by the 
last packet, 1 must, however, trespass upon their time to 
give them a few hints respecting American commerce. 1 
have of course directed them to Mr Morris ; and although 
Dr Franklin (the other Ministers being in England) will 
give you political intelligence, I cannot help adding, that by 



46 , LAFAYETTE. 

a refined piece of cunning, the King of England has got 
Mr Fox out of the Ministry. After having entangled him 
by a success in the House of Commons, he found means 
to stop him short in the House of Lords ; in consequence 
of which Mr Fox has been dismissed. Mr Pitt, and the 
last of the Temples called in, and the new administration, 
(Lord North being also out) necessitates the calling of a 
new Parliament. 

The affairs between Russia and the Ottoman Empire 
are still negotiating, and although in my opinion a war can- 
not be much deferred in that quarter, there is no proba- 
bility of its taking place so soon as next summer. The 
Emperor is in Italy, upon which some say he has also got 
an eye, and there he will meet with the King of Sweden. 
There is no change in the French Ministry, since M. de 
Calonne has succeeded to M. de Omillon, and Baron de 
Breteuil to M. Amelot, both of whom are more sensible 
than their predecessors. 

Unless 1 have some commands from Congress to exe- 
cute in Europe, I shall in the Spring embark for America, 
and present them with the personal homage of one, whose 
happiness is to feel himself forever a zealous member in 
the service of the United States. 

With the utmost regard, and affectionate attachment, I 

have the honor to be, he. 

LAFAYETTE. 



TO JOHN JAY, SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS. 

Mount Vernon, November 25th, 1784. 

Dear Sir, 
Although I ho[)e in a few days to have the pleasure of 
seeing you, I must beg leave to mention a matter, which 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 47 

has not a little hurt my feelings. Yoti probably know that 
on my way, passing ihroiigh New York, and particularly 
on my visit to Albany, it was intimated my |)resence at the 
Indian treaty wonld be of some nse to the public. At 
Fort Schuyler I was desired to speak to the Indians, which 
1 did, and the Commissioners had the papers filled up with 
their other transactions. But copies were taken, which 
was thought then a matter of no conse(}uence. The en- 
closed letter from Mr St John, and the gazette that accom- 
panied it, will show you that from the most obliging and 
humble motives in the world, he attempted to translate and 
print such incorrect parts of the relation as he had been 
able to come at. Had his kind intentions only given him 
an instant 10 reflect, he might have seen the impropriety of 
that measure, but in the meanwhile, it looks as if it had my 
consent ; and such deviation is it from the manner in which 
our servants of the United Stales ever did business, that 
out of respect for Congress, for the Commissioners, and 
myself, I could not rest easy until the matter should be 
fully explained. Enclosed in my letter to the French 
Consul, which, after you have taken out such extracts as 
you think proper, I beg you will seal up and send by the 
bearer. Indeed, my Dear Sir, upon your friendship 1 de- 
pend to have this little circumstance officially laid before 
Congress, and should these letters be worth their reading, 
it will be, I hope, a satisfactory explanation of the affair. 

In the first days of next month I shall have the pleasure 
to meet you at Trenton, and at that time will have the op- 
portunity of conversing with you on several subjects. No 
answer from you ever came to hand. 
T have the honor to be, he. 

LAFAYETTE. 



48 LAFAYETTE. 

TO JOHN JAY. 

Versailles, February 8th, 1785 

Dear Sir, 

After thirty days passage, I was safely landed at Brest, 
and ain so lately arrived in Paris, that 1 had better refer 
you to your Ministerial intelligence. In consequence of 
Austrian demands upon the Dutch, and the gun these 
have fired at forty thousand men were sent 

to the Low Countries by the Emperor, and a second di- 
vision was in motion the same way, when France gave 
orders for two armies to be got in readiness, the one, 
probably, in Flanders, and the other in Alsace. Holland 
is gathering some troops, the greater number purchased in 
Germany, and will have at the utmost, diirty thousand 
jiien in the field. Count de Mailicbois, an old and able 
French General, has been demanded by them. Russia 
seems friendly to the Emperor ; and although the Stadt- 
holder is a friend to the King of Prussia, while the patri- 
ots are wholly attached to France, yet Prussia will, no 
doubt, side in politics with France, and the Stadtholder 
will command his own country's troops. 

A grand plan is spoken of, whereby the Emperor would 
endeavor to obtain Bavaria, and in return, give the Low 
Countries to the Palatine House ; a bargain, which 
betters and increases the hiij^erial Ibrces. Under these 
circumstances, negotiations cannot but be very interesting. 
Although the freedom of Holland, and the protection of 
the German Princes, are very proper objects for France 
to suj)port, yet a war with the Emperor must be peculiarly 
disagreeable to tlje Court. It will certainly be avoided, 
i( consistent with the liberties of Holland, with faith, and 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 49 

dignity ; and, upon llie whole, I arii strongly of opinion, 
that no war will take place, at least for this year. The 
appearance of things, however, is still warlike enough to 
have made it propor for nic to he arrived at the liino I 
did; an idea, I confess, ihe mor(; necessary for the situa- 
tion of my mind, as I most heartily lamented the shortness 
of this visit to America, and the obligation ] had been 
under to give up favorite plans, and break off more agree- 
able arrangements. The officers of the regiments under 
marching orders. Colonels excepted, have joined their 
corps. But I hope mailers will be compromised ; and 
such at least is my private opinion ; but even they, who 
know more than I do on the subject, woidd, perhaps, find 
it difficult to form a precise one. 

The Ministers of Congress will, no doubt, inform you of 
the situation of their negotiations in Europe. You will 
have seen M. de Castine's compliance with engagements. 
He had taken a letter to me, which Mr Morris laid before 
Congress. Noshifig Jiew was granted, and although the 
suspended decisionji about flour and sugars were favorable 
to them, the French merciianis have complained of what 
has been ohlaitied. !n every country, mercanli'e pre- 
judices wear otf by little and little. 

1 hem, my Dear Sir, you will forgive the hm-ry in which 
I write. Be pleased to remember me to all our friends. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 

I.AFAYETTE. 



vor<. X, 



50 LAFAYETTE. 



TO JOHN JAY. 

Paris, March 19th, 1785. 

Dear Sir, 

1 have been honored with your letter of January the 
19th, and am happy to hear that federal ideas are thriving 
in America. The more I see, hear, and think in Europe, 
the more I wish for every measure that can ensure to the 
United States, dignity, power, and public confidence. 
Your three Ministers being in Paris, they will, of course, 
acquaint you with the present state of America, and also 
of European politics. Great Britain perseveres in her ill- 
humor. Spain in her ill-understood policy. On my ar- 
rival, I repeated what I had written; namely, the idea 
of getting New Orleans, or at least to advise the Span- 
iards to make it a free port. The former is impossible. 
As to the second, I had no })ositive answer, but 1 am 
sure my opinion was not thrown away. However, I con- 
fess it is difficult to make converts of a Spanish cabinet. 
You know them better than I do. 

Negotiations in Europe are still going on, and there 
is every reason to hope this will be terminated without 
bloodshed. Enclosed you will lind a declaration, which 
has been published officially in some measure, in the Ley- 
den Gazette. Count de Maiilebois is now in Holland, 
where they are raising troops, and where parties run very 
high. In the meanwhile, tlie Emperor had another plan 
in view, of which I wrote to you in my last letters ; it was 
to exchange his dominions in the Low Countries for the 
Electorat'i of Bavaria. But, fortunately for all the mem- 
bers of the empire, the Duke of Deux Fonts, nephew 
and heir to the Elector, has fn'uily opposed il. A report 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 51 

had been spread, that the Emperor had intended to sur- 
prise Maestricht. But although matters are not yet finally 
settled, I am pretty certain there will not be this year 
any Dutch war, nor Bavarian war, both of which could 
not fail to involve France. It is, however, difficult to be 
decided in an opinion upon a matter, which the ideas of 
one naan may derange. 

You speak to me of the introduction of Hour in the 
West Indies. My wishes and my efforts are not unknown 
to you. But such clamors have been raised by the 
merchants against what we lately have obtained, that our 
efforts now, must be directed towards hoJding it fast. 
These people are encouraged by the narrow politics of 
England, who, say they, have all the trade of America. I 
have appointed a conference with the Due de la Vau- 
guyon, who is setting out for Spain, and I will tell him 
everything 1 know respecting the Mississippi. 

Your Ministers will, probably, write to you respecting 

the Algerine business. What information I can collect 

will be presented to them. 

I have the honor to be, &;c. 

LAFAYETTE. 



TO JOHN JAY. 



Paris, May 11th, 1765. 



Dear Sir, 

This opportunity being very safe. Congress will have 
been fully informed by their Minister and the bearer, Mr 
John Adams's son, who is himself very well fit to give 
them proper intelligence. 

The appearances of a war are more and more remote. 
Politicians do, however, look towards the Ottoman Empire. 



52 



LAFAYETTE. 



The Emperor is restless. The Empress of Russia is am- 
bitious ; the King of Prussia is old ; a King of the Romans 
is to be elected ; an arrangement for Bavaria, a reason or 
a pretence, an interest or a whim might set fire to com- 
bustible matters ; but it is not expected for the present. 

As it seems to me that favors granted to American im- 
})ortations are one of the best services that can be rendered 
to American trade, 1 wish it liad been possible to obtain a 
tola] abolition of duties upon whale oil. But in this mo- 
ment government are taken u[) with a scheme to revive 
that fishery in France. It was therefore necessary to 
follow a round about course, and Mr Adams is charged 
with some private proposals, which may be advantageous. 

In a few days 1 intend visiting Nismes, Montpellier, and 
Rochelle, which are manufacturing and trading towns. 1 
hope my little journey may not be quite useless ; after 
which I shall go to Berlin and Silesia, to Vienna and Bo- 
hemia, where the King of Prussia, and the Emperor, at 
several periods of the summer, have grand manoeuvres ex- 
ecuted by their troops. Should I in those visits find the 
least opportunity to gratify my zeal lor the United States, 
I should think myself more happy than 1 can expect, and 
as much so as your patriotic heart can feel. 

With the most sincere regard and affection, I have the 

lionor to be, he. 

LAFAYETTE. 

TO JOHN JAV. 

Vienna, September 6th, 1785. 



Dear Sir, 
enclosed is 
rats, which has been recommended to me by persons of the 



The enclosed is a Memorial in behalf of M. d'Argayna- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 53 

most respectable charncter. It seems M. d'Argaynarat's 
situation is very particular, and ihe distress of hiinself and 
family very urgent. As in the number of petitions that 
may be received, it is not possible for Congress to lie ac- 
quainted with the family affairs of individuals, I hope it is 
not improper for me to lay before them this particular 
case ; and while it is officially presented by others, not to 
withhold my certificate of the accounts which respectable 
characters have given me about M. d'Argaynarat's present 
distresses. 

With the highest and most affectionate regard, I have 
the honor to be, &:c. 

LAFAYETTE. 

TO JOHN JAY. 

Paris, February 11th, 1786. 

Dear Sir, 

I have not for a long lime had ihe ijonor to address 
you, either in public or private letters. This has been 
owing to a tour I made through several parts of Europe, 
and to a derangement in the packets, which, to my great 
concern, I found to have taken place during my absence. 

In the course of a journey to Prussia, Silesia, the AuS' 
trian dominions, and back again to Berlin, 1 could not but 
have many opportunities to improve myself by the inspec- 
tion of famous fields of battle, the conversation of the 
greatest Generals, and the sight of excellent troops ; those, 
of Prussia particularly exceeding my expectations. I had 
occasions not less numerous to lament the folly of nations, 
who can bear a despotic government, and to pay a new 
tribute of respect and attachment to the constitutional prin- 
ciples we had the happiness to establish. Wherever I 
went, America was of course a topic in the conversation.. 



54 



LAFAYETTE. 



Her efforts during tlie contest are universally admired ; 
and in the transactions, which have so gloriously taken 
place, there is a large held of enthusiasm for the soldier, of 
wonder and applause for the politician ; and to die philos- 
opher, and the philanthropist, they are a matter of un- 
speakable delight, and I could say of admiration. Those 
sentiments I had the pleasure to find generally diffused. 
But to my great sorrow, (and 1 will the more candidly tell 
it in this letter, as it can hurt none more than it hurts my- 
self,) 1 did not find that every remark equally turned to the 
advantage of my pride, and of that satisfaction I feel in the 
admiration of the world for ilie United States. 

In countries so far distant, Linder constitutions so foreign 
to republican notions, the affairs ot America cannot be 
thoroughly understood, and such inconveniences as we 
lament ourselves aie greatly exaggerated by her enemies. 
It would require ahnost a volume to relate how many mis- 
taken ideas I had the opportunity to set to lights. And it 
has been painful for me to hear, it is now disagreeable to 
mention, the bad effect which the want of federal union, 
and of effective arrangements for the finances and com- 
merce of a general establishment of inilitia have had on the 
minds of European nations. It is foolishly thought by 
some, that democratical constitutions will not, cannot, last, 
that the States will quarrel with each other, that a King, 
or at least a nobility, are indispensable for the prosperity 
of a nation. But I would not attend to those absurdities, 
as they are answered by the smallest particle of unpreju- 
diced common sense, and will, I trust, be forever destroyed 
by the example of America. But it was impossible for 
me to feel so much unconcerned, when those points were 
insisted upon, for which I could not hut acknowledge 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 55 

within myself there was some ^romul ; altliough it was so 
unfairly broached upon by the enemies of the United 
States. It is an object with the Enmpean governments to 
check and discourage the spirit of emigration, which, I 
hope, will increase among the Germans, with a more per- 
fect knowledge of the situation of America. And while I 
was enjoying the admiration and respect of those parts of 
the world for the cliaracter of the United States ; while I 
was obliged to hear some remarks, which, although they 
were exaggerated, did not seem to me quite destitute of a 
foundation, 1 heartily addressed my prayers to heaven, 
that by her known wisdom, patriotism, and liberality of 
principles, as well as firmness of conduct, America may 
preserve the consequence she has so well acquired, and 
continue to command the admiration of the world. 

What I now have the honor to write, is the result of 
conversations with the principal characters in the countries 
I have visited ; and particularly the Austrian and Prussian 
Ministers, the Emperor, Duke of Brunswick, Prince 
Henry, a man equally great and virtuous, the Prince 
Royal, and the King of Prussia. With the last I have 
often dined in the company of the Duke of York, second 
son to his Britannic Majesty, when Ameiican affairs past 
and present were brought on the carpet, and sometimes 
in a manner not a little embarrassing for an English Prince. 
My stay at Vienna was short, but I had a very long con- 
ference with the Emperor, in which we spoke much of 
the American trade, and I found he h?.d imbibed British 
prejudices. The next day Prince de Kaimilz introduced 
the same subject to me, and expressed some astonishinent, 
that the United States did not make advances towards the 
Emperor. I answered, advances had been uiade formerlv, 



56 LAFAYETTE. 

and more than were necessary on the part of America, 
whom there was ns nmch occasion to court, as for her to 
se^k for alliances. But that my attachment to his Imperial 
Majesty made me wish he would address, on that business, 
the Ministers of Congress, now at Paris and London, 
through the medium of his Ambassadors. I added, tliat 
the best measure to he taken immediately, was to open 
the Italian ports to American fish. But I do not think the 
United States will ever find a very extensive commercial 
benefit in her treaties with that (Joiirt. 

In everything that concerns France, my respected friend 
Mr .Jefferson will f^ive you sufficient information. The 
affair of American commerce wears a better prospect than 
it has hitherto done ; so far at least, that a committee has 
been appointed to hear what wo have to say on the trade 
between this kingdom and the United States. 

The King of Prussia is very unwell, and cannot live 
many months. His nephew is an honest, firm, military 
man. From the Emperor's temper a war could be feared. 
But our system is so pacific, and it will lie so difficult for 
England to involve us in a quarrel without acting a part 
which she has no interest to do, that I do not think the tran- 
quillity of Europe will be deranged. Holland is checking 
Stadlholderian influence, but no lurther. The King of 
Naples and his father are quarrelling on account of a Min- 
ister, leaning; to liie House of Bourbon, and devoted to 
other powers, whom the son wants to keep. I had lately 
an opportunity to know, that the last revolt in Peru has 
lost a hundred thousand lives; but from the same account 
1 find that those people are ('m remote from the ideas 
which lead to a sensible revolution. 
I have the honor to be, Sec. 

LAFAYETTF. 



DIl'LOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 57 

TO JOHN JAY. 

Paris, October 28th, 1786. 
Dear Sir, 

Owing to several circmnstanccs, and particularly to a 
journey I iiave made through some garrison (owns, your 
favor of June the 16th has reached me very late. That 
there should remain the least doubt with ^I. Gardorjui re- 
specting the adoption of the English limits, is a matter of 
amazement to me. The original letter having been sent 
I herewith enclose a copy, with a few observations. I 
thinik its presentation to IM. Gardoqui, will the better con- 
vince him, as he knows Count de Florida Blanca's respect 
for his own word of honor. And may I be allowed to 
add, that die more this letter is known, the better it will 
impress the j)ubiic with ideas favorable to the Spaniards, 
and the Spaniards, with a sense of engagements, which 
men of honor cannot trifle with.* 

As to the navigation of the Mississippi, you know better 
than I what are the strong prejudices of that Court against 
it. But we both know equally well, that in a little time 
we must have the navigation one way or other, which 1 
hope Sj)ain may at last understand. 

It has been said in some newspapers, that the Floridas 
should be given up to France. But nothing has come to 
oiu- knowledge, which gives the least ground for an idea 
of that kind. As Mr Jefferson sends you a letter relative 
to commerce, which improves the condition of the treaty 
vvilh England, whereby she has no claims on the favors 
enjoyed by the United States, althougli she is to be treated 

'^ See these letters to and from Count tie Florida Blanoa, above, 
pp. 30, 32. 

vor.. X. S 



58 1.AFAYETTE 

like the other most favored nations, and as M. Dumas is 
writing on Dutch affairs, I will only heg leave to inform 
you, that the appointment of the convention has had 
already a good effect in Europe, and that great benefit will 
be derived on this side of the water also, from the com 
mercial and federal measures, which it is my happiness to 
hear are now under consideration. 

Although there may ho a diversity of opinions, whether 
a peace must be purchased at any rate from the Barbary 
Powers, or a war must be carried on against them until 
they come to proper terms, there can in no mind be any 
doubt about the advantages of a third measure, which is a 
confederacy of six or seven powers, each of them giving 
a small quota, and the reunion of which would ensure a 
constant and sufficient cruise against those pirates, and 
after they are brought to terms, would guard against the 
breaking of a peace which the powers would mutually 
guarranty to each other. Portugal, Tuscany, Naples, 
Venice, and Genoa, are now at war with those regencies. 
I would like at the same time to have the armament so 
managed as to use American flour, fish, and naval stores. 
This plan is not as yet very well digested in my head, but 
1 beg leave to submit to Congress the propriety ol impow- 
ering their Ministers to stipulate for such an arrangement. 
I have the honor to be, &;c. 

LAFAYETTE. 

P. S. In case Congress have no particular orders for 
me, (in which case I should be most happy to wait on 
them, either as a soldier in their armies, or in any other 
manner) 1 may perhaps accept tlie invitation of the Em- 
press of Russia, to be presented to her next spring in her 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESrONDENCE. 59 

new dominions of Crimea, which excite my curiosity. 
Should anything turn out that may employ me as a servant 
of the United States, I hope they know my zeal. 



TO JOHN JAY. 

Paris, February 7th, 1787. 
Dear Sir, 

This letter goes in the first packet from Havre, a change 
advantageous both to passengers and correspondents, and 
through the hands of Colonel Franks, whose good conduct 
at Morocco has entided him to a share of that respect, 
which has been deservedly paid to the American Em- 
bassy. Mr Barclay's refusal of the presents has been a 
matter of wonder to every African, and 1 dare say to 
some Europeans, whose accounts do full justice to him. 

To Mr Jefterson's despatches I refer for useful intel- 
ligence. The affairs of Holland do not make a pro- 
gress towards conciliation. It seems that the King of 
Prussia will not find himself the better for counteracting 
in many points, the line of conduct of his deceased uncle. 
A treaty of commerce is signed between France and Rus- 
sia. The Empress has set out on her journey towards 
Crimea. She had permitted my wailing on her, but I am 
detained by the Assembly of Notables, an event not very 
common, neither expected, which does honor to the King 
and his Ministry, and will, 1 trust, be producUve of public 
good. 

I have had the honor to send copies of my old corres- 
pondence with the Count de Florida Blanca. The en- 
closed one will supply any accident that may have befallen 
the others. We are told, that the unhappy disturbances 



50 LAFAYETTE. 

in New England have subsided. To us they do not ap- 
pear so dangerous as to Europeans ; but sufficiently so to 
give us a great deal of concern. May all Americans know 
the blessings of their own constitutions, and from compar- 
ison judge, that if they are to correct, it would be mad- 
ness in them to destroy. 

I hope the convention at Philadelphia will answer the 
essential and urgent purposes of the confederation, com- 
merce, and the establishment of a uniform and republican 
militia. Each State has within itself the means fully suf- 
ficient to set right the opinions of mistaken citizens, and 
those means seem to me principally founded on the good 
sense, knowledge, and patriotic liberality of the people. 
Every wrong measure of theirs would hurt, not only the 
consequence of the United States, but also the cause of 
liberty in all parts of the world. 

With the most sincere regard and attachment., I have 
the honor to be, &ic. 

LAFAYETTE. 



TO JOHN JAY. 

Paris, May 3d, 1787. 
My Dear Sir, 

Had I been sooner acquainted with Mr Forrest's de- 
parture, I would have given you more particular ac- 
counts of the latter part of our session, but have only 
time to enclose the speeches that were made by the 
heads of the several departments. Not that such 
etiquette speeches are in any way interesting on the 
other side of the Atlantic, but because you will in the 
same book find that of the Archbishop of Toulouse^ 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESi'UiNDEiNCE 



61 



wherein he gives the King's answer to the several de- 
mands of the Bureau. You will see, that if the mad- 
ness and corruption of the late administration have 
laid us under a necessity to acknowledge that, after all 
other means would be exhausted, taxes must be cm- 
ployed to fill up the vacancy, yet we have gained not 
a little by the convocation of the Assembly. A more 
equal repartition of taxes, including the clergy, who 
hitherto had escaped them, and the powerful ones 
among the noblesse, who were not very exact ; Provin- 
cial Assemblies on an elective principle, which, by the 
bye, are big with happy, very happy consequences, 
that will come to light as we go on ; economies to the 
amount of forty millions at least ; the destruction of 
interior custom houses; a modification of the Gabelle ; 
an annual publication of the account of the finances; 
the printing of all pensions, gifts, &c. ; more proper 
arrangements within some departments ; and a more 
general instruction, habit of thinking on public affairs, 
&c. &c. are the good effects of this Assembly, which, 
although it was not national, since we were not repre- 
sentatives, behaved with great propriety and patri- 
otism. 

On the last day of our session, I had the happiness 
to carry two motions in my Bureau which were, I 
may almost say, unanimously agreed to ; the one in 
favor of the Protestant citizens of France, the other 
for an examination of the laws, particularly the crim- 
inal ones. Enclosed is the resolve framed by the Bu- 
reau, which Count D'Artois, our President, presented 
to the King, and was graciously received. I was the 
more pleased with it, as some step of the kind, with 



62 



LAFAYETTE. 



respect to the protestants, that had been tried in the 
Parliament of Paris, had not tlie proper success. So 
far are we from religious freedom, that even in asking 
for tolerance, we must measure our expressions. I 
was more liberally supported, by a learned and virtu- 
ous prelate, the bishop of Langres, who spoke admira- 
bly on the religious motion 1 had introduced. You 
will see that the Bureau clogged it with many compli- 
ments to the Roman creed, to appease the priests and 
devotees. 

I cannot express to y®u, my Dear Sir, what my 
feelings have been, whenever the unpaid interest of 
the American debt has been spoken- of in the examin- 
ation of the accounts. May the convention be the 
happy epocha of federal, energetic, patriotic measures ! 
May the friends of America rejoice ! May her ene- 
mies be humbled, and her censors silenced at the news 
of her noble exertions in continuance of those princi- 
ples, which have placed her so high in the annals of 
liistory, and among the nations of the earth. 

The archbishop of Toulouse is the ablest, and one of 
the most honest men, that could be put at the head of 
administration. He will be the prime influencer in 
everything, and we may depend upon him as a man 
equally enlightened and liberal. 

I beg you will present my respectful compliments 
and those of Madame de Lafayette to Mrs Jay. Re- 
member me to General Knox, Colonel Hamilton, 
Colonel Wadsworth, the Chancellor, Mr Madison, 
Doctor Cochran, the Governor, in a word, to all 
friends. 

Please send the enclosed printed speeches, and 



DIPLOMATIC COJlIlESl'ONDKNCi:. (y;^ 

copied resolves of the liureau, to Mr Otho; vvlio must 
be very desirous ol' getting them. 

Most respectfully and affectionately yours, 

LAFAYETTE. 



TO JOHN JAY. 

Paris, October loth, i7r<7. 

Sir, 

The present state of pohtics having been laid bel'orc 
Congress, I shall the less intrude on their time with repe- 
titions, as the late transactions in Holland have nothing 
pleasing to dwell upon. That the republican party have 
been disunited in many respects, and blinded in the choice 
of a General, that our cabinet have been treacherously de- 
ceived, are true, but insufficient apologies. The Otto- 
mans, roused by England, will, probably, pay for their 
folly with one half of iheir empire. It now lies with Eno-- 
land, whether a maritime war is to break out, which must 
involve the continent, and connect France with the two 
Imperial Courts. France is sincere in her politics and 
moderate in her pretensions, as it is the ardent wish of the 
King, Ministers, and nation, to devote themselves to in- 
ternal improvements. But the affairs of Holland, those in 
the east, the giddiness of the King of Prussia's head, and 
British rancor for the assistance given to America, are 
causes of war, which, notwithstanding the disposition of 
this Ministry, may, probably, be blown up in Great 
Britain. 

It is natural for a citizen and servant of the United 
States to consider what effect a maritime war would have 
upon them ; and I am hap|)y to find in their indulgence 



i]i LAFAYETTE. 

and lon^ cxperieiu'cd confidence, every encouragement to 
oflcr my opinion. 

A co-operation against a j)roud and rancorous enemy 
would equally please my politics as a Frenclitnan, n)y 
feelings as an American, my views as an individual. I 
was nine years ago honored with the choice of Congress, to 
command an army into Canada, a>id never have I ceased 
to enjoy the prospect of its enlranchisement. A success- 
ful war, too, might divide the fisheries between France and 
America. But are not the United States so circum- 
stanced for the present, as to render a war too expensive 
for them and too dangerous to their commerce ? 

Convinced as I am, that it is the case, I think myself 
bound in duly and love for them, not to indulge my am- 
bition further than a neutrality useful to them cind favor- 
able to their allies. Every American harbor will offer a 
shelter for tlie Frencli ships, a market for their prizes, and 
all the conveniences of repair and victualling ; all which 
being consistent with treaties gives no ground of complaint. 
Although the trade is going on between England and Amer- 
ica, it does not hinder the French Colonies from being 
supplied with all their wants. Privateering itself, if under 
French colors, does no harm ; and so may the United 
States enrich themselves with a free trade with both 
nations, at the same time that they maintain their own 
tranquillity and help their allies. And should they be 
forced into a war, 1 would wish at least it was delayed as 
long as possible, and postponed, for obvious reasons, to the 
last campaign. 

It is to be confessed, that France n)ight lay some claims 
on more decisive measures, but sensible as she is of ihe 
unavoidable situation of affairs in Auierica, 1 have reasons 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 55 

to believe she vvoiild not hurry her into a wnr, and will be 
satisfied with such a friendly, helpinj; neutrality. 

But I consider the present time as a proper one to ob- 
tain the restoration of the forts, and, perhaps, the naviga- 
tion of the Mississippi, two points, which I confess I could 
never submit to the idea of giving up. The one is 
ours* by the laws of nations, the other by the laws of 
nature; and may 1 he permitted to add, that either con- 
cession would be inconsistent with the character of the 
United Stales. 

Mr Jefferson gives an account of the measure taken 
respecting the commerce between this kingdom and Amer- 
ica. I wish that affair hud been terminated in tin)e for the 
departure of Count de Momtier, a gentleman whose per- 
sonal character will, 1 trust, deserve the confidence and 
approbation of Congress. 

We are anxiously wailing for llie result of the conven- 
tion at Philadelphia, as an event which, being engrafted in 
the present dispositions of die people, will, probably, add a 
lustre and a proper weight to the affairs of America in 
Europe ; and, while it ensures internal happiness and 
prosperity, will baffle the insidious wishes, and annihilate 
the absurd reports of her enemies. 

The next month is the appointed time for the sessions 
of all Provincial Assemblies, an establishment, which 
will be productive of the best consequences. 

The liberty I have taken in expressing my opinion on 
an event not certain, but not improbable, cannot be re- 
ferred, I am sure, to any principles of vanity or self-suffi- 

* It must be remembered, that in these letters (Jeneral Lafayelle 
always speaks of himself as an American. 
VOL. X. 9 



^^ LAFAYETTE. 

66 

ciency ; but to ihe gratitude so well grounded, and the zeal, 
which shall ever rank .ne among the most devoted servants 
of Ihe United States. 

With every sentiment of personal attachment and re- 
gard, I have the honor to be, &c. ^^^p^yETTE. 



THE 



CORRESPONDENCE 



OF THE 



COMMISSIONERS 



FOR NEGOTIATING A PEACE WITH GREAT BRITAIN. 



As early as September 27th, 1779, John Adams was 
appointed by Congress Minister Plenipotentiary for nego- 
tiating a treaty of peace and commerce with Great Britain. 
whenever that power should be prepared to acknowledge 
the independence of the United States, and enter into a 
treaty. Mr Adams went to Europe on this mission, but as 
no opportunity occurred for putting it into execution, he 
received another appointment as Minister to Holland. 

Meantime Congress, on the 14th of June, 1781, annulled 
Mr Adams's first commission for negotiating a treaty, and 
associated with him four other persons for this purpose, 
namely, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Henry Laurens, 
and Thomas Jefferson. To these five commissioners, or 
to a majority of them, or any one of them alone, in case 
accident prevented the presence of the others, was assigned 
the power of making a treaty of peace with such commis- 
sioners, as should be appointed for the same object on the 
part of the English Court. Richard Oswald was the Bri- 
tish Commissioner. He went to Paris in the Spring of 
1782, and commenced the negotiation with Dr Franklin, 
who was then the only one of the American Commission- 
ers present. Mr Jay arrived in Paris from Spain on the 
23d of June, and united with Dr Franklin in the labors of 
the mission. As Mr Adams was then employed in com- 
pleting a treaty with Holland, he did not join his colleagues 



70 

till near ilie end of October. The Provisional articles 
were signed on the 30th of November. Mr Laurens was 
present at tiie signature of the treaty, having arrived only 
two days previous to that event. Mr Jefferson did not en- 
gage in the mission. 

Adams, Franklin, and Jay remained in Paris after the 
signature of the preliminary articles, as Commissioners for 
making a Definitive Treaty. The English government sent 
David Hartley to Paris for the same purpose. Many pro- 
positions passed between the Commissioners of the respec- 
tive countries, but after ten months' fruitless discussion, the 
Definitive Treaty was signed in the exact words of the 
Provisional Articles, on the 3d of September, 1783. 

As the Commissioners corresponded singly with the 
Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and the President of Con- 
gress, during the whole period of the negotiation, they 
wrote but few letters in concert. The records of the 
Commissioners, kept by their Secretary, have also been 
lost. Nearly all the papers, which have much value, have 
been found and arranged for the present publication, but 
there are yet some deficiencies. The history of the nego- 
tiation can only be understood by reading carefully, in con- 
nexion with these papers and letters, the correspondence 
of each of the Commissioners during the same period. 



CORRESPONDENCE 



COMMISSIONERS 



FOR NEGOTIATING A PEACE WITH GREAT BRITAIN 



COMMISSION TO TREAT OF PEACE. 

The United States of America, in Congress assembled, 
to all to whom these presents shall come, send greeting. 

Whereas, these United States, from a sincere desire of 
putting an end to the hostilities between his Most Christian 
jMajestv and these United States, on the one part, and his 
Britannic Majesty on the other, and of terminating the 
same by a peace founded on such solid and equitable prin- 
ciples as reasonably to promise a permanency of the bless- 
ings of tranquillity, did heretofore appoint the honorable 
John Adams, late a Commissioner of the United States of 
America at the Couit of Versailles, late Delegate in Con- 
gress from the State of Massachusetts, and Chief Justice 
of the said State, their Minister Plenipotentiary, with fidl 
powers, general and special, to act in that quality, to con- 
fer, treat, agree, and conclude with the Ambassadors, or 
Plenipotentiaries, of his Most Christian IMajesty, and of his 
Britannic Majesty, and those of any other Princes or States, 
whom it might concern, relating to the re-establishment of 
peace and friendship ; and whereas, tiie Hames of war 



72 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

have since that time been extended, and other nations and 
States are involved therein, 

Now know ye, that we, still continuing earnestly desir- 
ous, as far as it depends upon us, to put a stop to the effu- 
sion of blood, and to convince the powers of Europe, that 
we wish for nothing more ardently, than to terminate the 
war by a safe and honorable peace, have thought proper to 
renew the powers formerly given to the said John Adams, 
and to join four other persons in commission with him, and 
having full confidence in the integrity, prudence, and ability 
of the honorable Benjamin Franklin, our Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary at the Court of Versailles, and the honorable John 
Jay, late President of Congress, and Chief Justice of the 
State of New York, and our Minister Plenipotentiary at 
the Court of Madrid, and the honorable Henry Laurens, 
formerly President of Congress, and commissioned and 
sent as our Agent to the United Provinces of the Low 
Countries, and the honorable Thomas Jefferson, Governor 
of the Commonwealth of Virginia, have nominated, consti- 
tuted, and appointed, and by these presents do nominate, 
constitute, and appoint, the said Henjamin Franklin, John 
Jay, Henry Laurens, and Tiiomas Jciferson, in addition to 
the said John Adams, giving and granting to them, the said 
John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Henry Lau- 
rens, and Thomas Jefferson, or the majority of them, or of 
such of them as may assemble, or, in the case of the death, 
absence, indisposition, or other impediment of the others, 
to any one of them, full power and authority, general and 
special, conjunctly and separately, and general and special 
command to repair to such place as may be fixed upon for 
opening negotiations for peace, and there for us, and in our 
name, to confer, treat, agree, and conclude with the Am- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 73 

bassadors, Commissioners, and Plenipotentiaries of the 
Princes and States, whom it may concern, vested with 
equal powers relating to the establishment of peace, and 
whatsoever shall be agreed and concluded for us, and in 
our name to sign and thereupon n)ake a treaty or treaties, 
and to transact everything, that may be necessary for com- 
pleting, securing, and strengthening the great work of pa- 
cification, in as ample form, and with the same effect, as if 
we were personally present and acted therein, hereby pro- 
mising in good faith, that we will accept, ratify, fulfil and 
execute whatever shall be agreed, concluded, and signed 
by our said Ministers Plenipotentiary, or a majority of 
them, or of such of them as may assemble, or, in case of 
the death, absence, indisposition, or other impediment of 
the others, by any one of them ; and that we will never 
act, nor suffer any person to act, contrary to the same, in 
whole or in any part. 

In witness whereof, we have caused these presents to be 
signed by our President, and sealed with his seal. 

Done at Philadelphia, the fifteenth day of June, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand seven lumdred and eighty- 
one, and in the fifth year of our independence, by the United 
Stales in Congress assembled. 

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, President. 



COMMISSION TO ACCEPT THE MEDIATION OF THE EM- 
PRESS OF RUSSIA AND THE EMPEROR OF GERMANY. 

The United Slates of America to nil (o wlioni iliese 
presents shall come, send Greeting. 

Whereas his Most Christian iMaj(,'sly, our ii,r(.'at and 
VOL. X. 10 



7 \ COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

beloved iVieiKl and ally, has informed us by his Minister 
Plenipotemiary, wliorn he lins appointed to reside near us, 
that their Imperial jMajesties the Empress oi' Russia and 
the Emperor of Germany, actuated by sentimeius of 
huDianity, and a desire to put a .-^lop to the calamities of 
war, iiavc ofiered their mediation to the belligerent powers, 
in order to promote peace ; now know ye, that we, desirous 
as tar as depends upon us, lo put a stop to the effusion of 
blood, and convince all the powers of Europe that we 
wish for nothing more ardently than lo terminate this war 
by n safe and honorabie peace ; relying on the justice of 
our cause, and persuaded of the wisdom and equity of their 
Imperinl Majesties, who have so generously interposed 
their good offices for promotini; so salutary a measure ; 
have appointed and constituted, and by these presents do 
constitute and appoint, our trusty and well beloved John 
Adams, late delegate in Congress, from the State of Mas- 
sachusetts, and Benjamin Franklin, our Minister at the 
Court of France, John Jay, late President of Congress, 
and now our Minister at the Court of Madrid, Henry Lau- 
rens, formerly President of Congress, and commissioned 
and sent as our agent lo the United Provinces of the Neth- 
erlands, and Thomas Jefferson, Governor of the Comiuon- 
weallh of Virginia, our Ministers Plenipotentiary, giving 
and granting lo them, or such of them as shall assemble, or 
in case of death, absence, indisposition, or other impedi- 
ment, of the others^ lo any one of ihem, lull power and 
authority in our name, and on oiu' behalf, in coL.currence 
with his Most Christian iMajcsty, to accept in due form, 
the tiiediaiion of their Imperial Majesties iIk; Empress of 
Russia and ihe Emperor oi Germany. 

In testimony whereof, w(^ have caused ihese presents to 
be signed by our President, and sealed with his seal. 



DIPLOMATIC (JORRESPONDEJNCK. 75 

Done at Philadelphia this fifteenth day of June, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty- 
one, and in the fifth year of our independence. 

By the United States in Congress assembled. 

SAiMUEL HUNTINGTON, President, 



INSTRUCTIONS TO THE COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

In Congress, June 15th, 1781. 

To the Honorable John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John 
Jay, Henry Laurens, and Thomas Jefferson, Ministers 
Plenipotentiary in behalf of the United States, to nego- 
tiate a treaty of peace. 

Gentlemen, 

You are hereby authorised and instructed to concur, in 
behalf of these United Stales, with his Most Christian 
Majesty, in accepting the mediation proposed by the Em- 
press of Russia and the Emperor of Germauy. 

You are to accede to no treaty of peace, which shall 
not be such as may 1st, eftectually secure the indepen- 
dence and sovereignty of the Thirteen United States, ac- 
cording to the form and effect of the treaties subsisting 
between the said United States and his Most Christian 
Majesty 5 and 2dly, in which the said treaties shall not be 
left in their fiill force and validity. 

As to disputed boundaries, and other particulars, we re- 
fer you to the instructions given to Mr John Adams, dated 
I4th of August, 1779, and 18th of October, 1780,* from 
which you will easily perceive the desires and expectations 
of Congress. But we think it unsafe, at this distance, to 

* See these instructions in John Adams's Correspondence, Vol. IV 
p. 339 ; and Secret Journal, Vol, II. p. 339. 



76 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

lie you up by absolute and peremptory directions upon any 
other subject, iban the two essential articles above men- 
tioned. You are therefore at liberty to secure the interest 
of the United States, in such manner as circumstances may 
direct, and as the state of the belligerent, and th':; disposition 
of the mediating powers may require. For this purpose, 
you are to make the most candid and confidential commu- 
nications upon all subjects to the Ministers of our generous 
ally, the King of France ; to undertake nothing in the ne- 
iioliations for peace or truce, without their knowledge and 
concurrence ; and ultimately to govern yourselves by their 
advice and opinion, endeavoring in your whole conduct to 
make them sensible liow much we rely upon his Majesty's 
influence for efl^ectual aid in everything that may be neces- 
sary to the peace, security, and futiu'e prosperity of the 
United States of America. 

If a difficulty should arise, in the course of the negotia- 
tion for peace, from the backwardness of Great Britain to 
acknowledge our independence, you are at liberty to agree 
to a truce, or to make such other concessions as may not 
affect the substance of what we contend for ; and provided 
that Great Britain be not left in possession of any part of 
the United States. 

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, President. 



COMMISSION FOR NEGOTIATING PEACE.* 

George R. 
Our will and pleasure is, and we hereby authorise and 
command you forthwith to prepare a bill for our signature, 

* The parts of this Commission, which were objected to by the 
American Commissioners are printed in italics. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 77 

to pass our great seal of Great Britain, in ihe words or to 
the effect following, viz ; 

George the Third, hy the Grace of God, King of Great 
Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and so 
forth. To our trusty and wall beloved Richard Oswald, of 
our city of London, Esquire, Greeting. Whereas by virtue 
of an Act passed in the last session of Parliament, enlided 
"An Act to enable his Majesty to conclude a peace or truce 
with certain Colonies in North vVnierica iherein mentioned," 
it is recited, 'that it is essential to the interest, welfare, and 
prosperity of Great Britain and the Colonies or Plantations 
of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, 
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the 
lower counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Nortli 
Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, in North America, 
that peace, intercourse, trade and commerce, should be re- 
stored between them ;' Therefore, and for a full manifes- 
tation of our most earnest wish and desire, and that of our 
Parliament to put an end to the calamities of war, it is 
enacted, that it should and might be lawful for us to treat, 
consult of, agree and conclude, with any Commissioner or 
Commissioners, named or to be named, by the said Colo- 
nies or Plantations, or with any body or bodies, corporate 
or politic, or any assembly or assemblies or description of 
men, or any person or persons whatsoever, a peace or 
truce with the said Colonies or Plantations, or any of them, 
or any part or parts thereof, any law, act, or acts of Parlia- 
ment, matter or thing, to the contrary in anywise notwith- 
standing. 

Now know ye that we, reposing special trust in your 
wisdom, loyalty, diligence, and circumspection in the man- 
agement of the afFairs to be hereby committed to your 



78 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

charge, have nominated and appointed, constituted and 
assigned, and by these presents do nominate and appoint, 
constitute and assign you, the said Richard Oswald, to be 
our Commissioner in that behalf, to use and exercise all 
and every the powers and authorities, hereby intrusted and 
committed to you, the said Richard Oswald, and to do, 
perform, and execute all other matters and things, hereby 
enjoined and committed to your care, during our will and 
pleasure, and no longer, according to the tenor of these 
our letters patent. And it is our royal will and pleas- 
ure, and we hereby authorise, empower, and require you, 
the said Richard Oswald, to treat, consult, and conclude 
with any Commissioner or Cornmissioners, named or to 
he named, by the said Colonies or Plantations, and any 
body or bodies, corporate or politic, assembly or assem- 
blies, or descriptions of men, or person or persons, what- 
soever, a peace or truce with the said Colonies or Planta- 
tions, or any of them, or any part or parts thereof; any 
law, act or acts of Parliament, matter or thing, to the con- 
trary notwithstanding. 

And it is our further will and pleasure, that every 
regulation, provision, matter or thing, which shall have 
been agreed upon between you, the said Richard 
Oswald, and such Commissioner or Commissioners, body 
or bodies, corporate or politic, assembly or assemblies, 
descriptions of men, person or persons as aforesaid, with 
whom you shall have judged meet and sufficient to 
enter into such agreement, shall be fully and distinctly 
set forth in writing, and authenticated by your hand 
and seal, on one side, and by such seat or other signatures 
on the other as the occasion may require, and as may he 
suitable to ike characitr and authority of the Commissioner 



DII'LOMAIMC; CORRKSFONDEINCE. 79 

or Covimissioncr.s, ^yr. us aforcsmd so agreeing, and such 
instruments so authenticated shall be by you transmit- 
ted to us through one of our principal Secretaries of 
State. 

And it is our further will and pleasure, that you, the 
said Richard Oswald, shall promise and engage for us 
and in our royal name and word, that every regulation, 
provision, matter, or thing, which may be agreed to 
and concluded by you, our said Coinmissioner, shall 
be ratified and confirmed by us in the fullest manner 
and extent, and that we will not suffer them to be vio- 
lated or counteracted either in whole or in part by any 
person whatsoever. And we hereby require and 
command all our officers, civil and military, and all 
others our loving subjects whatever, to be aiding and 
assisting unto you, the said Richard Oswald, in the 
execution of this our commission, and of the powers 
and authorities herein contained ; provided always, 
and we hereby declare and ordain, that the several 
offices, powers and authorities hereby granted shall 
cease, determine, and become utterly null and void, on 
the first day of July, which shall be in the year of our 
l4)rd one thousand seven hundred and eightythree, 
although we shall not otherwise in the meantime have 
revoked and determined the same, in witness, &c. 
And for so doing this shall be your warrant. 

Given at our Court of St James, the twentyfifth 
day of July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty- 
two.* In the tweutysecond year of our reign. By 
his Majesty's command. 

THOMAS TOWNSHEND. 

To our Attorney or Solicitor-General. 

' This commission was signed by the King on the 7th ol' August 



80 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 



RJCHARD OSWALD S SECOND COMMISSION FOR NEGOTI- 
ATING PEACE.* 

George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of 
Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the 
Faith, and so forth. To our trusty and well beloved 
Richard Oswald, of our city of London, Esquire, 
Greeting. Whereas, by virtue of an Act passed in the 
last session of Parliament, entitled "An Act to enable 
his Majesty to conclude a peace or truce with certain 
colonies in North America therein mentioned," it is re- 
cited, Hhat it is essential to the interest, welfare and 
prosperity of Great Britain and the Colonies or Plan- 
tations of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Isl- 
and, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsyl- 
vania, the three lower counties on Delaware, Maryland, 
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Geor- 
gia in North America, that peace, intercourse, trade and 
commerce should be restored between them ;' There- 
fore, and for a full manifestation of our earnest wish 
and desire, and of that of our Parliament, to put an 
end to the calamities of war, it is enacted, that it 
should and might be lawful for us to treat, consult of, 
agree and conclude, with any Commissioner or Com- 
missioners, named or to be named by the said Colonies" 
or Plantations, or any of them respectively, or with 
any body or bodies, corporate or politic, or any assem- 
bly or assemblies, or description of men, or any person 
or persons wliatsoever, a peace or a truce with the said 

'The parts of this Comniissiun. which were altered or added, in 
consequence of the objections of the American Commissioners to Mr 
Oswald's first commission, are printed in italics. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRfJSPONDENCE. Qi 

Colonies or Plantations, or any of them, or any part or 
parts thereof; any law, act, or acts of Parliament, 
matter or thing to the contrary, in anywise, notwith- 
standing. 

Now know ye, tiiat we, reposing special trust in 
your wisdom, loyalty, diligence and circumspection, 
in the management of the affairs to be hereby commit- 
ted to your charge, have nominated and appointed, 
constituted and assigned, and by these presents do 
nominate and appoint, constitute and assign you, the 
said Richard Oswald, to be our Commissioner in that 
behalf, to use and exercise all and every the powers 
and authorities hereby intrusted and committed to you, 
the said Richard Oswald, and to do, perform, and exe- 
cute all other matters and things hereby enjoined and 
committed to your care, during our will and pleasure, 
and no longer, according to the tenor of these our let- 
ters patent. And it is our royal will and pleasure, and 
we do hereby authorise, empower, and require you, 
the said Richard Oswald, to treat of, consult, and con- 
clude with any Commissionei's or parsons vested luitli 
equal pollers, by and on the part of the Thirteen United 
States of America, viz. JYew Hampshire, Massachusetts 
Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, A^eiv Jersey, Pennsylva- 
nia, the three lovjer counties on Delaware, Maryland, 
Virginia, JYorth Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, 
in JVorth America, a peace or a truce with the said Thir- 
teen United States ; any law, act, or acts of Parliament, 
matter or thing to the contrary, in anywise, notwith- 
standing. 

And it is our further will and pleasure, that every 
regulation, provision, matter or thing, which shall have 

VOL. X. 1 J 



82 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

been agreed upon between you, the said Richard Os- 
wald, and such Commissioiiei's or persons as aforesaid, 
with whom you shall have judged meet and sufficient 
to enter into sucii agreement, shall be fully and dis- 
tinctly set forth in writing, and authenticated by your 
hand and seal on one side, and by the hands and seals 
of such Commissioners or persons on the other, and such 
instrument so authenticated shall be by you transmit- 
ted to us, through one of our principal Secretaries of 
State. 

And it is our further will and pleasure, that you, the 
said Richard Oswald, shall promise and engage for us 
and in our royal name and word, that every regula- 
tion, provision, matter or thing, which may be agreed 
to, and concluded by you, our said Commissioner, 
shall be ratified and confirmed by us in the fullest 
manner and extent, and that we will not suffer them 
to be violated or counteracted, either in whole or in 
part, by any person whatsoever. And we do hereby 
require and command all our officers civil and military, 
and all others our loving subjects whatsoever, to be 
aiding and assisting unto you, the said Richard Oswald, 
in the execution of this our commission, and of the 
powers and authorities l>erein contained ; provided 
always, and we do hereby declare and ordain, that the 
several offices, powers and authorities hereby granted, 
shall cease, determine, and become ulterly null and 
void, on the first day of July, which shall be in the 
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 
eightythrec ; although we shall not otherwise in the 
meantime have revoked and determined the same. 

^Ind wliereas in and by our commission and letters pa- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 83 

tent under our great seal of Great Britain, bearing date 
the seventh day of August last, we nominated and ap- 
pointed, constituted and assigned you, the said Richard 
Oswald, to be our Commissioner to treat, consult of, agree 
and conclude, with any Commissioner or Commissioners, 
named or to be named, by certain Colonies or Plantations 
in America therein specified, a peace or a truce with the 
said Colonies or Plantations ; now know ye, that we 
have revoked and determined, and by these presents do 
revoke and determine our said commission and letters pa- 
tent, and all and every power, article and thing therein 
contained. In witness whereof we have caused these 
our letters to be made patent. 

Witness ourself at Westminster, the twentyfirst day 
of September, in the twentysecond year of our reign. 
By the King himself. 

YORKE. 

Paris, October ist, 1782. 1 certify that the adjoin- 
ing is a true copy of the commission of which it pur- 
ports to be a copy, and which has been shown to Mr 
Franklin and Mr Jay. 

RICHARD OSWALD, 
The Commissioner therein named* 



COMMISSION TO WILLIAM T. FRANKLIN. 

To all to whom these Presents shall come, Benjamin 
Franklin and John Jay send Greeting. 

Whereas the United States of America, in Congress as- 
sembled, did on the 15th of June, in the year of our Lord 
1781, appoint and constitute the said Benjamin Franklin, 



84 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

John Jay, John Adams, Henry Laurens, and Thomas 
Jefierson, and the majority of them, and of such of them 
as sliould assemble for the purpose, their Commissioners 
and Plenipotentiaries, to treat of, and conclude peace in 
their behalf; and whereas the said United States, in 
Congress assembled, did on the 26th of June, in the year 
of our Lord 1781, appoint Francis Dana, until he could 
proceed to the Court of Petersburg, either in a public or 
private capacity, to be Secretary to the said Plenipoten- 
tiaries for negotiating a peace with Great Britain, and in 
case Mr Dana should have proceeded, or thereafter pro- 
ceed to Petersburg, or to any part of the dominions of the 
Empress of Russia, the Ministers appointed by the said 
act of Congress of the 15th of June, 1781, or a majority 
of such of them as should assemble, should be, and there- 
by were, authorised to appoint a Secretary to their com- 
mission, and that he be entitled to receive, in proportion to 
his time of service, the salary of one thousand pounds 
sterling per annum allowed to Mr Dana. And whereas his 
Britannic Majesty has issued a commission, dated the 
21st of September, 1782, to Richard Oswald, to treat of, 
and conclude peace with any Commissioners, or persons 
vested with equal powers, by, and on the part of the 
Thirteen United States of America ; and whereas the said 
Richard Oswald is at Paris, ready to execute his said 
commission, and has exchanged with the said Benjamin 
Franklin and John Jay, copies of their respective com- 
missions, and entered on the business of the same, where- 
by the appointment of a Secretary to the American com- 
mission has become necessary, and the said Mr Dana 
now being at Petersburg, the right of appointing such 
Secretary has, in pursuance of the afore-rccited act of 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 85 



Congress, devolved on the said Commissioners, and on the 
majority of them, and of such of tiiem as have assembled 
for the purpose of executing their said commission ; and 
whereas Mr Jefferson, one of the said Commissioners, 
has not come to Europe, and Mr Laurens, another o( 
them, has declined to accept the said office, and Mr 
Adams, another of them, is at the Hague, so that the said 
Benjamin Franklin and John Jay are the only Commis- 
sioners now assembled to execute the said commission ; 

Now know ye, that they, reposing special trust and con- 
fidence in the ability and integrity of William T. Franklin, 
to perform and fulfil the duties of Secretary to their said 
commission, have appointed and constituted, and by these 
presents do appoint and constitute the said William T. 
Franklin, Secretary to the said commission. 

In witness whereof, the said Benjamin Franklin and 
John Jay, have hereunto set their hands and seals, this first 
day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand 
seven hundred and eightytwo, and in the seventh year of 
the independence of the said United States. 

B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY. 

Approved on my part, Mr Franklin having acted with 
propriety as Secretary to the commission from the time of 
my arrival here. Paris, January 10th, 1783. 

HENRY LAURENS. 

Approved on my part, Mr Franklin having acted with 
propriety as Secretary to the commission from the time of 
my arrival here. Paris, September 8th, 1783. 

JOHN ADAMS. 



86 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 



RESOLUTIONS OF CONGRESS. 

In Congress, October 3d, 1782. 

On report of a Committee, to whom were referred 
notes of a conference with the Minister of France, held 
by a Committee of Congress on the 24th of September 
last f 

Resolved, That the Minister Plenipotentiary of his Most 
Christian Majesty be informed ; 

That the communication, made by the said Minister on 
the 24th of September last, is considered by Congress as 
an additional proof of his Majesty's magnanimity, and has 
confirmed those sentiments of aflection and confidence, 
which his wise, steady, and liberal conduct in every stage 
of the war had so justly ins|)ired ; 

That his Most Christian Majesty's declaration to the 
British Minister at Paris, that he will neither treat, nor ter- 
minate any negotiation, unless the interests of his allies and 
friends siiall be considered and determined, is entirely cor- 
respondent to the p;ut, which these United States are re- 
solved to take in any negotiations for peace ; 

That Congress, with the utmost satisfaction, embrace 
this opportunity to renew their assurances, that, in every 
event, the United States will inviolably adhere to their al- 
liance with his Most Christian Majesty, which they con- 
sider to be equally essential to their interest and their 
glory ; 

That they will hearken to no propositions for peace, 
which shall not be discussed in confidence and in concert 

" See these Notes of" a Conference in the Secret Journals of Con- 
gress, Vol. III. p. 21d. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. S7 

vvilli liis Most Christian Majesty, agreeably to the (ieclara- 
tioQ made to the Minister Plenipotentiary on the 3 1st day 
of May last f 

That upon this principle, Congress did not hesitate a 
moment to reject the proposition made by the British Gen- 
eral and Admiral, as Commissioners of peace, for admit- 
ting Mr Morgan, their Secretary, to an interview at Phila- 
delphia ; 

And that they are resolved to prosecute the war with 
vigor, until a general peace shall be obtained, in which 
their allies shall be comprehended ; 

That Congress placed the utmost confidence in his 
Majesty's assurances, that he will readily employ his good 
offices in support of tiie United States, in all points relative 
to their prosperity ; and considering the territorial claiiiis 
of these States, as heretofore made, their participation of 
the fisheries and of the free navigation of the Mississippi, 
not only as their indubitable right, but as essential to their 
prosperity, they trust, that his Majesty's efforts will he suc- 
cessfully employed to obtain a sufiicient provision and se- 
curity for those rights. Nor can they refrain from making 
known to his Majesty, that any claim of restitution, or 
compensation for property confiscated in liie several 
States, will meet with insuperable obstacles ; not only on 
account of the sovereignty of the individual States, by 
which such confiscations have been made, but of the wan- 
ton devastations, which the citizens of these States have 
experienced from the enemy, and, in many instances, from 
the very persons in whose favor such claim may be urged ; 

That Congress trust that the circumstances of the allies, 
at the negotiation for peace, will be so prosperous as to 
* Secret Journal, Vol. III. p. 138. 



C3 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

render these expectaiions consistent with the spirit of mod- 
oration recommended by his Majesty. 

Ordered, That the Committee, wlio brought in the 
report, commnnicale to the honorable Minister of France 
the above answer of Congress to his communications. 

Ordered, Tlint the Secretary for Foreign Affairs trans- 
mit, by the first opportunity, a copy of tiie same to the 
Ministers of these States at foreigii Courts. 



ARTICLES AGREED ON BETWEEN THE AMERICAN ANJJ 
BRITISH COMMISSIONERS.^' 

October 3th, 1782. 

Articles agreed upon by and between Richard Oswald, 
the Commissioner of his Britannic Majesty, for treating 
of peace with the Commissioners of the United States of 
America, on the behalf of his said Majesty on the one 
part, and Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, of the Com- 
missioners of the said States, for treating of peace with the 
Commissioner of his said Majesty on their behalf, on the 
other part. 

To be inserted in, and to constitute the treaty of peace, 
proposed to be concluded between the Crown of Great 
Britain and the said United States ; but which treaty is not 
to be concluded, until his Britannic Majesty shall have 
agreed to the terms of peace between France and Britain, 
proposed or accepted by his Most Christian Majesty ; and 
shall be ready to conclude with him such treaty accord- 
ingly. It being the duty and intention of the United States 

* These Articles were sent to England for the King's consideration. 
See Fraii/ilin's Correspondence, Vol. IV. p. 49. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESrONDENCE. 89 

not to desert their ally, but faithfully, and in all things to 
abide by, and fulfd their engagements with l)is Most Chris- 
tian Majesty. 

Whereas reciprocal advantages atid inulua! convenience 
are found by experience, to form the only permanent loun- 
dation of peace and friendship between States, it is agreed 
to frame the articles of the proposed treaty, on such prin- 
ciples of liberal equality and reciprocity, as that partial 
advantages (those seeds of discord) being excluded, such 
a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the two 
countries may be established, as to promise and secure to 
both the blessings of perpetual peace and harmony. 1st. 
His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the s^id United States 
viz. New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island 
and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New 
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, sove- 
reign and independent States ; that he treats with tliem as 
such ; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes 
all claims to the government, propriety, and territorial rights 
of the same, and every part thereof; and that all disputes 
which might arise in future, on the subject of the bounda- 
ries of the said United States, may be prevented, it is 
hereby agreed and declared, that the following are, and 
shall remain to be their boundaries, viz. 

The said States are bounded north, by a line to be drawn 
from the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, along the high 
lands, which divide those rivers which empty themselves 
into the river St Lawrence, from those which fall into the 
Adantic ocean, to the northernmost head of Connecticut 
river ; thence down along the middle of that river to the 
fortyfiflh degree of north latitude, and thence due west in 
VOL. X. 12 



90 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE 

ihe latitude loityfivc tiegiees north from the equator, to 
the norlhvvesternmosi side of the river St Lawrence, or 
Cadaraqui ; thence slrais;ht to the south end of the lake 
Nipissinf^, and thence straight to the source of ihr river 
Mississippi, west hy a line to be drawn along the middle of 
llie river Mississippi, from its source to where the said 
line shall intersect the iliirtyhrst degree of north latitude ; 
south by a line to be drawn due east from the termination 
of the line last mentioned, in the latitude of thirty one de- 
^vees north of the equator to the middle of the river Ap- 
alachicola or Calahouchi ; thence along the middle thereof 
to its junction with the Flint river ; tljence straight to the 
head of St Mary's river ; thence down along the middle 
of St Mary's river to the Atlantic ocean ; and east by a 
line to be drawn along the middle of St John's river, from 
its source to its mouth in the Bay of Fundy ; comprehend- 
ing all islands within twenty leagues of any part of the 
shores of the United States, and lying between lines to be 
drawn due east from the points where the aforesaid boun- 
daries, between Nova Scotia, on the one part, and East 
Florida on the ether, shall respectively touch the Bay of 
Fundy and the Athintic ocean. 

2dly. From and immediately after the conclusion of the 
proposed treaty, there shall be a firm and perpetual peace 
between his Britainiic Majesty and the United Slates, and 
between the subjects of ih'j one and the (;itizens of the 
other ; wherefore all hostilities, both by sea and land, shall 
then immediately cease; all prisoners on both sides shall be 
set at liberty; and his Britannic Majesty shall forthwith, and 
without causing any distinction, withdraw all his armies, 
garrisoEis, and fleets, from the said United States, and from 
every post, place, and harhor, within the same, leaving in 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. gj 

all fortifications the American artillery that may be therein ; 
and shall also order and cause all archives, records, deeds, 
and papers, belonging to either of the said States, or their 
citizens, which in the course of the war. may have fallen 
into the hands of his officers, to he forthwith restored, and 
delivered to the proper States and persons to whom they 
belong. 

3dly. That the subjects of his Britannic Majesty and 
people of the said United States, shall continue to enjoy 
unmolested, the right to take fish of every kind on the 
banks of Newfoundland, and other places where the in- 
habitants of both countries used formerly, to wit, before 
the last war between France and Britain, to fish and also 
to dry and cure the same at the accustomed places, 
whether belonging to his said Majesty or to the United 
States ; and his Britannic Majesty and the said United 
States will extend equal privileges and hospitality to each 
other's fishermen as to their own. 

4thly. That the navigation of the river Mississippi, from 
its source to the ocean, shall forever remain free and open, 
and that both there, and in all rivers, harbors, lakes, ports, 
and places, belonging to his Britannic Majesty or to the 
United States, or in any part of the world, the merchants 
and merchant ships, of the one and the other, shall be 
received, treated, and protected, like the merchants and 
merchant ships of the sovereign of the country. That is 
to say, the British merchants and merchant ships, on the 
one hand, shall enjoy in the United Stales, and in all places 
belonging to them, the same protection and commercial 
privileges, and be liable only to the same charges and 
duties as their own nierchants and merchant ships ; and on 
the other hand, the merchants and merchant ships of the 



92 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

United States, shall enjoy in all places belonging to his 
Britannic Majesty, the same protection and comnnercial 
privileges, and be liable only to the same charges and du- 
ties of British merchants and merchant ships, saving always 
to the chartered trading companies of Great Britain, such 
exclusive use and trade, and their respective posts and 
establishments, as neither the subjects of Great Britain, 
nor any of the more favored nations participate in. 

Paris, October 8th, 17S2. A true copy of which has 
been agreed on between the American Commissioners and 
me, to be submitted to his Majesty's consideration. 

RICHARD OSWALD. 

Alteration to be made in the treaty, respecting the boun- 
daries of Nova Scotia, viz. East, the true line between 
which and the United States shall be setded by Commis- 
sioners, as soon as conveniently may be after the war. 



RICHARD OSWALD TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

Paris, November 4th, 1782. 

Gentlemen, 
You may remember, that from the very beginning of 
our negotiations lor settling a peace between Great Britain 
and America, I insisted that you should positively stipu- 
late for a restoration of the property of all those persons, 
under the denomination of loyalists or refugees, who have 
taken part with Great Britain in the present war ; or if the 
property had been resold and passed into such variety of 
hands, as to render the restoration impracticable, (which 
you asserted to be the case in many instances) you should 
stipulate for a compensation or indenmification to those 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 93 

persons, adequate to their losses. To these propositions 
you said you could not accede. Mr Strachey, since his 
arrival at Paris, has most strenuously joined me in insist- 
ing upon the said restitution, compensation, or indemnifi- 
cation, and in laying before you every argument in favor 
of those demands, founded upon national honor, and upon 
the true principles of justice. These demands you must 
have understood to extend, not only to all persons of the 
above mentioned description, who have fled to Europe, 
but likewise to all those who may be now in any parts of 
North America, dwelling under the protection of his Maj- 
esty's arms or otherwise. 

We have also insisted upon a mutual stipulation for a 
general amnesty on both sides, comprehending thereby 
an enlargement of all persons, who on account of offences, 
committed or supposed to be committed, since the com- 
mencement of hostilities, may be now in confinement ; and 
for an immediate repossession of their properties, and 
peaceable enjoyment thereof, under the government of the 
United States. To this you have not hitherto given a 
particular or direct answer. 

It is, however, incumbent on me, as Commissioner of 
the King of Great Britain, to repeat those several demands; 
and without going over those arguments upon paper, 
(which we have so often urged in conversation,) to 
press your immediate attention to these subjects, and to 
urge you to enter into proper stipulations for the restitu- 
tion, compensation, and amnesty above mentioned, before 
we proceed further in this negotiation. 
I have the honor to be, he. 

RICHARD OSWALD. 



94 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

ARTICLES TAKEN TO ENGLAND BY MR STRACHEY.* 

November 5, 1882. 

Articles agreed upon by and between Richard Oswald, 
Commissioner of his Britannic JMajesty, for treating of 
peace with the Commissioners of the United States of 
America, on behalf of his said Majesty on the one part ; 
and John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay, three 
of the Commissioners of the said States, for treating of 
peace with the Commissioner of his said Majesty, on their 
behalf, on the other part, to be inserted in, and to consti- 
tute the treaty of peace, proposed to be concluded between 
the Crown of Great Britain and the said United States ; 
but which treaty is not to be concluded until his Britannic 
Majesty shall have agreed to the terms of a peace between 
France and Britain, proposed or accepted of by his Most 
Christian Majesty, and shall be ready to conclude with 
him such treaty accordingly ; it being the duty and inten- 
tion of the United States not to desert their ally, but faith- 
fully and in all things to abide by and fulfil their engage- 
ments with his INFost Christian Majesty. 

Whereas reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience 
are found by experience to form the only permanent foun- 
dation of peace and friendship between States, it is agreed 
to form the articles of the proposed treaty on such princi- 
ples of liberal ecjuality and reciprocity as that partial ad- 
vantages (those seeds of discord) being excluded, such a 
beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the two 
countries may be established as to promise and secure to 
both perpetual peace and harmony. 

■ 'riu'se Articles were iiyreed lu iit'ler llif H'liiiii of llie iiisl set, 
which had heen sent to England OcMober f^tli. Se«' above p. 80. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 95 

His Britannic iViajesly acknowledges the said United 
States, viz. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Isl- 
and, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylva- 
nia, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South 
Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, sovereign, and inde- 
pendent States ; that he treats with them as such ; and for 
himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to 
the government, propriety and territorial rights of the 
same and every part thereof; and that all disputes which 
might arise in future on the subject of the boundaries of 
the said United States may be prevented, it is hereby 
agreed and declared, that the following are and shall remain 
to be their boundaries, viz. 

From the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, being that 
angle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the 
source of St Croix river to the highlands which divide the 
rivers which empty themselves into the river St Lawrence 
from those which fall into the Atlantic ocean, and along 
the said higiilands to the northwesternmost head of Con- 
necticut river, thence down along the middle of that river 
to the 45th degree of north latitude, following the said lati- 
tude until it strikes the river Mississippi ; thence by a line 
to be drawn along the middle of the said river Mississippi, 
until it shall intersect the northernmost part of the 31st de- 
gree of latitude north of the equator; south, by a line to 
be drawn due east from the termination of the line last 
mentioned in the latitude of the 31st degree to the middle 
of the river Apalachicola or Catahouchi, thence along the 
middle thereof to its junction with the Flint river, thence 
straight to the head of St Mary's river, and thence 
down along the middle of St Mary's river to the Atlantic 
ocean ; east, by a line from the mouth of said St Mary's 



95 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

river to the mouth of the river St Croix in the Bay of 
Fundy, and by a line drawn through the middle of said 
river to its source, and from its source directly north to the 
aforesaid highlands, which divide the rivers which fall into 
the Atlantic ocean from those which empty themselves 
into the river St Lawrence, comprehending all islands 
within tvventy leagues of any part of the shores of the 
United States, and lying between lines to be drawn due 
east from the points where the aforesaid boundaries of St 
Croix river and St iMary's river shall respectively touch 
the Bay of Fundy and the Adantic ocean. 

It is agreed, that all such royalists or refugees, as well as 
all such British merchants or other subjects as may be resi- 
dent in any of the United States at the time of the evacua- 
tion thereof by the arms and garrisons of his Britannic 
iVIajesty, shall be allowed six months thereafter to remove 
to any part of the world ; and also, at their election, to 
dispose of, within the said term, or to carry with ihem their 
goods and effects. And it is understood, that the said 
States shall extend such further favor to the said merchants, 
and such amnesty and clemency to the said refugees, as 
their respective circumstances and the dictates of justice 
and humanity may render just and reasonable ; and par- 
ticularly, that anmesty and indemnity be granted to ail such 
of the said refugees, as may be unaffected by acts, judg- 
ments, or prosecutions, actually passed or commenced a 
month previous to such evacuation. 

That the subjects of his Britannic Majesty and the peo- 
ple of the said United States, shall continue to enjoy un- 
molested, the right to take fish of every kind on all the 
Banks of Newfoundland, also in the Gulf of St Lawrence, 
and all other places where the inhabitants of both countries 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 



97 



used at any linie heretofore to fisli ; and also to dry and 
cure their fisli on the shores of the Isle of Sables, Cape 
Sables, i:nd the shorns of any of the unsettled bays, har- 
bors or creeks of Nova Scotia, and of the Magdalen 
lsla!ids. And iiis Britannic Majesty and the said United 
States will extend equal privileges and hospitality to each 
other's fishermen as to their own. 

Whereas certain of the United Sla^tes, excited thereto 
by the unnecessary destruction of private property, have 
confiscated all debts due from their citizens to British sub- 
jects ; and also in certain instances, lands belonging to the 
latter ; and whereas, it is just tliat private contracts made 
between individuals of the two countries before the war, 
should be faithfully executed ; and as the confiscation of 
the said lands may have a latitude not justifiable by the 
law of nations, it is agreed, that British creditors shall, not- 
withstnnding, meet with no lawful impediment to recover- 
ing the full value or sterling amount of sucii bona fide debts 
as were contracted before the year 1775. And also, that 
Congress will recommend to the said States, so to correct 
(if necessary) their said acts, respecting the confiscation of 
the lands in America, belonging to real British subjects, as 
to render the said acts consistent with peri'ect justice and 
equity. As to the cession made of certain lands in Geor- 
gia, by a number of Indians there, on the 1st of June, 
1773, for the purpose of paying the debts due from them 
to a number of traders, the Ainuricim Commissioners 
say, that the State of Georgia is alone competent to con- 
sider and decide on llie same ; lor that it l)eing a matter of 
internal police, with which neither Congress nor tlieir Com- 
missioners are authorised to interfere, ii must of necessity 
be referred to tlie discretion and justice of that Stale, who, 
vol.. X. 13 



gg COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

without doubt, will be disposed to do what may be just and 
reasonable on the subject. 

Similar reasons and considerations constrain the Com- 
missioners to give the like answer to the case of Mr Penn's 
family. 

From and immediately after the conclusion of the pro- 
posed treaty, there shall be a perpetual and firm peace, 
&c. (the same as the second article in the preceding set of 
articles.) 

That the navigation of the river Mississippi from its 
source to the ocean, shall forever remain free and open. 

Separate Article. It is hereby understood and 
agreed, that in case Great Britain at the conclusion of the 
present war shall be, or be put in possession ot West Flor- 
ida, the line of north boundary between the said Province 
and the United States, shall be a line drawn from the 
mouth of the river Yazoo, where it unites with the Missis- 
sippi, due east to the river Apalachicola, and thence along 
the middle of that river to its junction with the Flint 
river, &tc. 



H. STRACHEY TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

Paris, November 5th, 1782. 
Gentlemen, 

Knowing the expectation of the King's Ministers, that a 
full indemnity «hall be provided for the whole body of refu- 
gees, either by a restitution ol their property or by some 
stipulated compensation for their losses, and being con- 
fident, a.s I have repeatedly assured you, that your refusal 
upon this point will be the great obstacle to a conclusion 
nnd intifirntion of that pnire, which is meant as a solid 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESl^ONDENCE 99 

perfect, permanent reconciliation and retjnion between 
Great Britain and Anierica, 1 am unwilling to leave Paris 
without once more submitting the matter to your consider- 
ation. It affects equally, in my opinion, the lionor and the 
humanity of your country and of ours. How far you will 
be justified in risking every favorite object of America, 
by contending against those principles, is for you to deter- 
mine. Independence, and more than a reasonable posses- 
sion of territory, seem to be within your reach. Will you 
suffer them to be outweighed by the gratification of resent- 
ment against individuals ? I venture to assert, that such a 
conduct has no parallel in the history of civilized nations. 

I am under the necessity of setting out by two o'clock 
today ; if the time is too short for your reconsideration, and 
final determination of this important point, I shall hope that 
you will enable Mr Oswald to despatch a messenger after 
me, who may be with me before morning at Chantilly, 
where I propose sleeping tonight, or who may overtake 
me before I arrive in London, with a satisfactory answer 
to this letter. 

I have the honor to be. he. 

H. STRACHEY. 

TO RICHARD OSWALD. 

Paris, November 5th, 1782. 

Sir, 
In answer to the letter you did us the honor to write on 
the 4th instant, we beg leave to repeat what we often 
said in conversation, viz ; that the restoration of such of 
the estates of refugees as have been confiscated is imprac- 
ticable, because they were confiscated by laws of partic- 
ular States, and in many instances have passed by legal 



100 



COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 



lilies through several hands. Besides, Sir, as this Is a 
matter evidently appertaining to the internal polity of the 
separate States, ihe Congress, by the nature of oui con- 
stitution, have no authority to interfere with it. 

As to your demand of compensation to those persons, 
we forbear enumerating our reasons for thinking it ill 
founded. In tlie moment of conciliatory overtures, it 
would not be proper to call certain scenes into view, over 
which a variety of considerations should induce both par- ' 
ties at present to draw a veil. Permit us therefore only to 
repeat, that we cannot stipulate for such compensation, 
unless on your part it be agreed, to make retribution to 
our citizens for the iieavy losses they have sustained by the 
unnecessary destruction of private property. 

We have already agreed to an amnesty more extensive 
than justice required, and full as extensive as humanity 
could demand. We can therefore only repeat that it can- 
not be extended farther. We should be sorry, if the abso- 
lute impossibility of our complying further with your prop- 
ositions, should induce Great Britain to continue the war 
for the sake of those who caused and prolonged it. But 
if that should be the case, we hope that the utmost latitude 
will not be again given to its rigors. 

Wliatever may be the issue of this negotiation, be as- 
sured. Sir, that we shall always acknowledge the liberal, 
manly, and candid manner in which you have conducted it, 
and that we shall remain, with the warmest sentiments of 
esteem and regard, Sir, your most obedient and very hum- 
ble servants, 

JOHN ADAMS, 

B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDE.NCE. 



JOl 



TO H. STKACHEy. 

Paris, November tith, 1782. 

Sir, 
We have been honored with your favor of the 5th inst., 
and as our answer to a letter we received from Mr Oswald 
on the same subject contains our unanimous sentiments 
respecting it, we take the liberty of referring you to the 
enclosed copy of that answer. 

We have the honor to be, &tc. 

JOHN ADAMS, 
B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY. 

Third Set of Articles. 
Monday, JVovember 25th, i782. The three Com- 
missioners, Adams, Franklin, and Jay, met at Mr Oswald's 
lodgings at the Hotel de Muscovie, and after some confer- 
ences Mr Oswald delivered them the following Articles, 
as fresh proposals of the British Ministry, sent by Mr 
Strachey, viz ; 

Articles agreed upon by and between Richard Oswald, 
the Commissioner of his Britannic Majesty, for treating of 
peace with the Commissioners of the United States of 
America, in behalf of his said Majesty, on the one part, 
and John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay, three 
of the Commissioners of the said States, for treating of 
peace with the Commissioner of his said Majesty, on their 
behalf on the other part, to be inserted in, and to constitute 
the treaty of peace, proposed to be concluded between the 
Crown of Great Britain and the said United States, but 
which treaty is not to he concluded, until the terms of a 



102 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

peace shall be aiiieed upon between Great Britain and 
France, and bis Britannic Majesty shall be ready to con- 
clude such treaty accordingly. 

Whereas reciprocal advantages and mutual conven- 
ience are found by experience to form the only permanent 
foundation of peace and friendship between States, it is 
agreed to form the Articles of the proposed treaty on such 
principles of liberal equity and reciprocity, as that partial 
advantages, (those seeds of discord,) being excluded, such 
a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the two 
countries may be established, as to promise and secure to 
both perpetual peace and harmony. 

Article i. His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the 
said United States, viz, New Hampshire, Massachusetts 
Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connec- 
ticut, New York, New Jersey^ Pennsylvania, Delaware, 
Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and 
Georgia, to be free, sovereign and independent States, that 
he treats with them as such, and for himself, his heirs and 
successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, pro- 
priety, and territorial rights of the same, and every part 
thereof ; and, that all disputes which might arise in future 
on the subject of the boundaries of the said United States 
may bo prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared, that 
the following are and shall be their boundaries, viz ; 

Article ii. P^rom the northwest angle of Nova 
Scotia, viz ; that angle which is formed by a line drawn 
due north from the source of St Croix river to the high- 
lands, along the said highlands, which divide those rivers 
that empty themselves into the river St Lawrence from 
those which fall into the Atlantic ocean, to the northwest- 
ernrn(5S! head of Coniicclirul river, tliuiicc down along the 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 



103 



middle of that river to the 45tli dej^ree of north latitude ; 
from thence by a line due west on said latitude until it 
strikes the river Jroquois or Cataroquy ; thence along- the 
middle of said river into Lake Ontario, through the mid- 
die of said Lake until it strikes the communication by 
water between that Lake and Lake Erie ; thence along the 
middle of said communication, into Lake Erie, through 
the middle of said Lake, until it arrives at the water com- 
munication between that Lake and Lake Huron ; thence 
along the middle of said water communication into Lake 
Huron ; thence through the middle of the said Lake, 
to the water conmiunication between that Lake arid Lake 
Supeiior ; thence through Lake Superior, northward of the 
Isles Royal and Philippeaux to the Long Lake ; thence 
through the middle of said Long Lake, and the water com- 
munication between it and the Lake of the Woods, to the 
said Lake of the Woods ; thence through the said Lake to 
the most northwestern point thereof; and from thence on a 
due western course to the river Mississippi, thence by a 
line to be drawn along the middle of the said river Missis- 
sippi until it shall intersect the northernmost part of the 
3 1 St degree of north latitude. South by a line to be 
drawn due east from the determination of tlie line last 
mentioned, in the latitude of 31 degrees north of the equa- 
tor to the middle of llie river Apalachicola, or Catahou- 
chi ; tlience along the middle thereof to its junction with 
the Flint river, thence straight to the head of St Mary's 
river; and thence down along the middle of St Mary's 
river to the Atlantic ocean. East by a line to be drawn 
along the middle of the river St Croix, from its mouth in 
the Bay of Fundy to its source ; and from its source di- 
rectly north, to the aforesaid highlands, which divide the 



}04 COMMISSIONERS FO R PEACE. 

rivers that fall into the Atlantic ocean from those which 
Lil into the river St l^awrence ; comprehending all Islands 
within twenty leagnes of any part of the shores of the United 
States, and lying hetween lines to he drawn due east from 
the point where the aforesaid boundaries between Nova 
Scotia on the one part, and East Florida on the other shall 
respectively touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic 
ocean ; excepting such Islands as now are, or heretofore 
have been, within the limits of the said Province of Nova 
Scotia. 

Article hi. The citizens of the said United 
States shall have the Uherty of taking fish of every kind 
on all the banks of Newfoundland, and also in the Gulf 
of St Lawrence ; and also to dry and cure their fish on 
the shores of the Isle of Sables and on the shores of 
any of the unsettled bays, harbors and creeks of the 
Magdalen Islands, in the Gulf of St Lawrence, so long 
as such bays, harbors and creeks shall continue and 
remain unsettled ; on condition that the citizens of the 
said United States do not exercise the fishery, but at 
the distance of three leagues from all the coast belong- 
ino- to Great Britain, as well those of the continent as 
those of the islands situated in the Gulf of St Law- 
rence. And as to what relates to the fishery on the 
coast of the Island of Cape Breton out of the said gulf, 
the citizens of the said United States shall not be per- 
mitted to exercise the said fishery, but at the distance 
of fifteen leagues from the coasts of the Island of Cape 
Breton. 

Article iv. It is agreed, that the British creditors 
shall meet with no lawful impediment to the recovery 
of the full value, in sterling money, of such buna fide 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 105 

debts as were contracted by any persons who are citi- 
zens of the United States, before the year 1775. 

Article v. It is agreed, that restitution shall be 
made of all estates, rights and properties in America, 
which have been confiscated during the war. 

Article vi. There shall be a full and entire 
amnesty of all acts and offences, which have been or 
may be supposed to have been committed on either 
side, by reason of the war, and in the course thereof; 
and no one shall hereafter suffer in life or person, or 
be deprived of his property, for the part he may have 
taken therein. All persons in confinement on that 
account, shall immediately on the ratification of the 
treaty in America, be set at liberty ; all prosecutions 
which may be depending in consequence of any of the 
said offences, shall cease, and no fresh prosecutions 
shall at any time hereafter be commenced thereupon. 

Article vii. There shall be a firm and perpetual 
peace between his Britannic Majesty and the said 
States, and between the subjects of the one, and the 
citizens of the other; wherefore all hostilities both by 
sea and land shall then immediatel}^ cease; all priso- 
ners on both sides shall be set at liberty ; and his 
Britannic Majesty shall with all convenient speed and 
without causing any destruction, withdraw all his ar- 
mies, garrisons and fleets from the said United States, 
and from every poi't, place and harbor within the 
same, leaving in all fortifications the American artil- 
lery that may be therein. And shall also order and 
cause all archives, records and papers, belonging to 
any of the said States or their citizens, which in the 
course of the war may have fallen into the hands of 

VOL. X. 14 



106 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

his officers, to be forthwith restored and delivered to 
the proper States and persons to whom they belong. 

Articlb VIII. The navigation of the Mississippi, 
from its source to the ocean, shall forever remain free 
and open to the subjects of Great Britain and citizens 
of the United States. 

Separate Articlk. It is hereby understood and 
agreed, that in case Great Britain, at the end of the 
present war, shall be, or be put in possession of West 
Florida, tlie line of north boundary between the said 
province and the United States, shall be a line drawn 
from the mouth of the river Yazoo, where it unites 
with the river Mississippi, due east to the river Apala- 
chicola. 

ARTICLE PROPOSED AND READ TO THE COMMISSION- 
ERS, BEFORE SIGNING THE PRELIMINARY ARTI- 
CLES.'^ 

It is agreed, that his Britannic Majesty will earn- 
estly recommend it to his Parliament to provide for 
and make a comj)ensation to the merchants and shop- 
keepers ot" Boston, whose goods and merchandise were 
seized and taken out of their stores, warehouses and 
shops, by order of General Gage and others of his 
commanders and officers there ; and also to the inhab- 
itants of Philadelphia, for the goods taken away by his 
army there ; and to make compensation, also, for the 
tobacco, riee, indigo, and negroes, &c. seized and car- 

' This .litiric, iiiul ttu' rails w'liich follow, were drawn up by Dr 
Franklin, atid intended to be insisted on, in case the British Com- 
inissioners persevered in their demands resperlinn- the fisheries. 
S<'P Frdnllitf's f^irrrrspovihiin . Vol. IV. j). ."(I. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. io7 

ried off by his armies under Generals Arnold, Corn- 
wallis, and others, from the States of Virginia, North 
and South Carolina, and Georgia, and also for all ves- 
sels and cargoes, belonging to the inhabitants of the said 
United States, which were stopped, seized, or taken, 
either in the ports, or on the seas, by his Governors, 
or by his ships of war, before the declaration of war 
against the said States. 

And it is farther agreed, that his Britannic Majesty 
will also earnestly recommend it to his Parliament to 
make compensation for all the towns, villages, and 
farms, burnt and destroyed by his troops, or adhe- 
rents, in the said United States. 

FACTS. 

There existed a free commerce, upon mutual faith, 
between Great Britain and America. The merchants 
of the former credited the merchants and planters of 
the latter, with great quantities of goods, on the com- 
mon expectation, that the merchants, having sold the 
goods, would make the accustomed remittances; that 
the planters would do the same by the labor of their 
negroes, and the produce of that labor, tobacco, rice, 
indigo, &c. 

England, before the goods were sold in America, 
sends an armed force, seizes those goods in the stores ; 
some even in the ships that brought them, and carries 
them off ; seizes, also, and carries off the tobacco, 
rice, and indigo, provided by the planters to make re- 
turns, and even the negroes, from whose labor they 
might hope to raise other produce for that purpose. 



106 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

Britain now demands that the debts shall, neverthe- 
less, be paid. 

Will she, can she, justly, refuse making compensa- 
tion for such seizures ? 

If a draper, who had sold a piece of linen to a neigh- 
bor on credit, should follow him, take the linen from 
him by force, and then send a bailifi' to arrest him for 
the debt, would any court of hw or equity award the 
payment of the debt, without ordering a restitution of 
the cloth ? 

Will not the debtors in America cry out, that, if 
this compensation be not made, they were betrayed 
by the pretended credit, and are now doubly ruined ; 
first, by the enemy, and then by the negotiators at 
Paris, the goods and negroes sold them being taken 
from them, with all they had besides, and they are 
now to be obliged to pay for what they have been 
robbed of? 



TO M. DE LAFAYETTE. 

Paris, November 28th, 1782. 
Sir, 

We have received tiie letter you did us the honor to 
write on the 25th instant. 

Our country has h.ad early and repeated proofs both of 
your readiness and abilities to do her service. Tlie pros- 
pect of an inactive campaign in America induced us to 
adopt the opinion, that yon might be more useful here than 
there ; especially, in case the negotiation for peace, on the 
part of France in England^ should be committed to your 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCi:. 109 

management ; for your knowledge of our affairs and at- 
tachment to our interest, might have been very advanta- 
geous to us on such an occasion. But as an opportunity 
now offers of your being instrumental in producing a co- 
operation, which would, probably, put a glorious and 
speedy termination to the war in America, we, for our 
part, perfectly approve of your going with Count d'Es- 
taing, in the manner proposed. 

We have the honor to be, Sic. &;c. 

JOHN ADAMS, 
B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY. 



PROVISIONAL ARTICLES OF PEACE. 

Articles agreed upon by and between Richard Oswald, 
Esq. the Commissioner of his Britannic Majesty for treat- 
ing of peace with the Commissioners of the United States 
of America, in behalf of his said Majesty on the one part, 
and John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and 
Henry Laurens, four of the Commissioners of the said 
States for treating of peace with the Commissioner of his 
said Majesty, on their behalf, on the other part ; to be 
inserted in, and to constitute the treaty of peace, proposed 
to be concluded between the Crown of Great Britain and 
the said United Slates. But which treaty is not to be con- 
cluded, until terms of peace shall be agreed upon between 
Great Britain and France, and his Britannic Majesty shall 
be ready to conclude such treaty accordingly. 

Whereas reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience 
are found by experience to form the only permanent foun- 



110 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

dation of peace and friendship between States, it is agreed 
to form llie articles of the proposed treaty on such princi- 
ples of liberal equity and reciprocity, as that partial ad- 
vantages (those seeds of discord) being excluded, such a 
beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the two 
countries may be established, as to promise and secure to 
both perpetual peace and harmony. 

Article i. His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the 
said United Stales, viz. New Hampshire, Massachusetts 
Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecti- 
cut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, 
Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and 
Georgia, to be free, sovereign, and independent States ; that 
he treats with them as such ; and, for himself, his heirs 
and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, 
propriety, and territorial rights of the same, and every part 
thereof; and that all disputes, which might arise in future 
on the subject of the boundaries of the said United States, 
may be prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared, that 
the following are and shall be their boundaries, viz. 

Article ii. From the northwest angle of Nova 
Scotia, viz. that angle, which is formed by a line drawn 
due north, from tJie source of St Croix river to the high- 
lands, along the highlands which divide those rivers that 
empty themselves into the river St Lawrence from those 
which fall into the Atlantic ocean, to the northwesternmost 
head of Connecticut river ; thence down along the middle 
of that river to the I5th degree of north latitude ; from 
thence by a line due west on said latitude, until it strikes 
the river Iroquois or Cataroquy ; thence along the middle 
of said river into Lake Ontario ; through the middle of 
said Lake until it birikes the connnunicntion bv water, 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPOiNDENCE. 



HI 



between thai Luke and I^ake Eiio ; thence along the mid- 
dle of said coininiuiicaiion into Lake Erie ; through the 
middle of said Lake nntil it arrives at the water communi- 
cation between that Lake and Lak(; Huron, thence along 
the middle of said water communication -into the Lake 
Huron ; thence through the middle of said Lake, to the 
water communication between that Lake and Lake Supe- 
rior ; thence through Lake Superior, northward of the 
Isles Royal and PhilippeauK to the Long Lake ; thence 
through the middle of said Long Lake and the water com- 
munication between it and the Lake of the Woods, to the 
said Lake of the Woods ; thence through the said Lake, 
to the most northwestern |)oint thereof; and from thence 
on a due west com-se to the river Mississippi ; thence by a 
line to be drawn along the middle of the said river Mis- 
sissippi until it shall intersect the northernmosL part of the 
31st degree of north latitude ; south by a line to be drawn 
due east from the determination of the line last mentioned 
in the latitude of oist degree north of the eijuator, to the 
middle of tb.e river Apalachicola or Catahouchi, thence 
along the middle thereof, to its junction with the Flint 
river, thence straight to the head of St Mary's river, to the 
Atlantic ocean. East by a line to he drawn along the 
middle of the river St Croix, from its mouth in the Bay of 
Fundy to its source ; and from its source directly nortii to 
the aforesaid highlands, which divide the rivers that fall 
into the Atlantic ocean from those which fall into the 
river St Lawrence ; comprehending all islands within 
twenty leagues of any part ol' the shores ol the United 
States; and lying between lines to be drawn due east, 
fron^ the points where the aforesaid boundaries, between 
Nova Scotia on the one part, and East Florida on the 



112 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

olhor, shall respectively touch the Bay of Fundy, and the 
Atlantic ocean ; excepting such islands as now are or here- 
lutbre have been within the limits of the said Province of 
Nova Scotia. 

Article hi. It is agreed, that the people of the 
United States shall continue to enjoy unmolested the right 
to take fish of every kind, on the Grand Bank, and on all 
the other hanks of Newfoundland ; also in the Gull ot St 
Lawrence, and at all other places in the sea, where the 
inhabitants of both countries used at any time heretofore 
to fish. And also that the inhabitants of the United 
States shall have liberty to take fish of every kind on 
such part of the coast of Newfoundland, as British 
fishermen shall use, (but not to dry or cure the same on 
that island) and also on the coasts, bays and creeks of all 
other of his Britannic Majesty's dominion in America. 
And that the American fisl)ermen shall have liberty to dry 
and cure fish, in any of the unsettled bays, liarbors and 
creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalen islands, and Labrador, 
so long as the same shall remain unsettled ; but so soon as 
the sanic ov either of them sfiall be settled, it shall not be 
lawful for the said fishermen to dry or cure fish at such 
selllemeut, witliout a previous agreement for that purpose, 
with the inhabitants, proprietors, or possessors of the 
ground. 

Articlk IV. It is agreed, that creditors on either 
side shall meet with no lawful impediment to the lecovery 
of the full value, in sterling money, of all hnna fide debts, 
heretofore conliacted. 

Article v. It is agreed, that the Congress shall 
earnestly recoM)mend it to the Legislatures of the respec- 
tive States, to providt^ lor the restitution of all estates, 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESl'ONDKNCF. 113 

rights, and [)roperties, vvljich have heen conliscalecl, helorig- 
ing to real Britisli subjects, and ni.so of the estates, rights, 
and properties of persons resident in districts in the pos- 
session of his Majesty's arms, and who have not borne arms 
against the said Uniterl States ; and that persons of any 
other description shaM have free liberty to go to any part 
or parts of any of the Thirteen United States, and therein 
to remain twelve months unmolested in their endeavors to 
obtain the restitution of such of their estates, rights, and 
})roperties, as mjiy have been confiscated. And that Con- 
gress shall also earnestly recommend to the several States, 
a reconsideration and revision of all acts or laws regard- 
ing the premises, so as to render the said laws or acts 
perfectly consistent, not only with justice and equity, but 
with that spirit of conciliation, which on tlu return of the 
blessings of peace should univei'sally prevail. And that 
Congress shall also earnestly recommend to the several 
Slates, that the estates, rights, and [)roperties, of such last 
mentioned persons shall be restored to them, they refunding 
to any persons who may be now in possession, the bona 
fide price (where any has been given) whicli such persons 
may have j)aid on purchasing any of the said lands, rights, 
and properties, since the confiscation. And it is agreed, 
that all persons who have any intei-est in confiscaterl lands, 
either by debts, marriage settlements, or otherwise, shall 
meet with no lawful impeditDent in the proserution of their 
just rights. 

Article vi. That there shall be no hittu'e confisca- 
tions made, lior any j)rosecutions commenced against any 
person or j)crsons, for or by reason of the part which he 
or tl»ey may have taken in the present war, and that no 
person shall on that account suffer any hiture loss or dam- 
vof,. X. 1 5 



114 COMMISSIOxNERS FOR PEACE. 

age, either in his person, liberty, or properly, and that 
those who may be in confinement on such charges at the 
time of the ratification of the treaty in America, shall be 
immediately set at liberty, and the prosecutions so com- 
menced be discontinued. 

Article vii. There shall be a firm and perpetual 
peace, between his Britannic Majesty and the said States, 
and between the subjects of the one and the citizens of the 
other, wherefore all hostilities, both by sea and land, shall 
then immediately cease. All prisoners on both sides shall 
be set at liberty ; and his Britannic Majesty shall, with all 
convenient speed, and without causing any destruction, or 
carrying away any negroes or other property of the Amer- 
ican inhabitants, withdraw all his armies, garrisons, and 
fleets, from the said United States, and from every port, 
place, and harbor, within the same, leaving in all fortifica- 
tions the American artilleiy that may be therein. And 
shall also order and cause all archives, records, deeds, and 
papers belonging to any of the said States, or their citizens, 
which in the course of the war may have (alien into the 
iiands of his officers, to be forthwith restored and delivered 
to die proper Stales and pfM-sons to whom they belong. 

Article viii. The navigation of the Mississippi river, 
from its source to the ocean, shall forever remain free and 
open to the subjects ol Great Britain and the citizens of 
the United States. 

Article i\. In cnsci it should ^o happen, that any 
place or territory, belonging to Great Britain or the United 
Stales, should be conquered by the arms of either from 
the other, before the nrriva! of these Articles in America, 
it is agreed, that the same shall be restored without diffi- 
culty, and without requiring any compensation. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 115 

Done at Paris, the tliiitietli day of November, in the 
year one thousand seven hundred and eightytwo. 

RICHARD OSWALD, 
JOHN ADAMS, 
B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY, 
HENRY LAURENS. 
Witness, CALEB WHITEFOORD, 
Secretary to the British Commission. 
W. T. FRANKLIN, 
Secretary to the American Commission. 

Separate Article. It is hereby understood and 
agreed, that in case Great Britain, at the conclusion of 
the present war, shall recover or be put in possession of 
West Florida ; the line of north boundary between the 
said Province and the United Stales, shall be a line drawn 
from the mouth of the river Yazoo, where it unites with 
the Mississippi, due east, to the river Apalachicola. 

Done at Paris, the thirtieth day of November, in the 
year one thousand seven hunclred and eightytwo. 

RICHARD OSWALD, 
JOHN ADAMS, 
B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY, 
HENRY LAURENS. 
Attest, CALEB WHITEFOORD, 

Secretary to the British Commission. 
W. T. FRANKLIN, 

Secretary to the American Commission. 



116 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

TO FKANCrS DANA AT PETERSBURG. 

Paris, December 12th, 1782. 
Sir, 

We have the honor to congratuicHe you on the signa- 
tuie of the preliminary treaty of peace, between his Brit- 
annic Majesty and tlie United Stales ol America, to be 
inserted in the definitive treaty when France and Britain 
shall have agreed upon their terms. The articles, of which 
we do ourselves the honor to enclose you a copy, were 
completed on the oOih of last month. 

To us, at this distance, the present opportunity appears 
to be the n)osl favorable for you to communicate your mis- 
sion to the Ministers of the Empress of Russia, and to the 
Ministers of the other neutral powers residing at her Court, 
and if you have no objections, we presume you will wish 
to be furnished with the enclosed paper, to communicate 
at the same time. 

We heartily wish you success, and if you should inform 
us of a fair prospect of it, we shall propose an article in 
the definitive treaty, to secure lh(^ freedom of navigation, 
according to tiie principles of the late marine treaty between 
the neutral powers. 

With great respect, we have the honor to be, &;c. 

JOHN ADAMS, 
B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 117 

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON. 

Paris, December 14th, 1782. 
Sir, 

We have the honor to congratulate Congress on the 
signature of the ])reliminaries of a peace between the 
Crown of Great Britain and tlie United States of 
America, to be inserted in a definitive treaty so soon 
as the terms between the Crowns of France and Great 
Britain shall be agreed on. A copy of the Articles is 
here enclosed, and we cannot but flatter ourselves, 
that they will appear to Congress, as they do to all of 
us, to be consistent with the honor and interest of the 
United States, and we are persuaded Congress would 
be more fully of that opinion if they were apprized of 
all the circumstances and reasons which have influ- 
enced the negotiation. Although it is impossible for 
us to go into that detail, we think it necessary never- 
theless to make a few remarks on such of the Articles, 
as appear most to require elucidation. 

Remarks on Article 2dy relative to Boundaries. 
The Court of Great Britain insisted on retaining all 
the territories comprehended within the Province of 
Quebec, by the Act of Parliament respecting it. They 
contended that Nova Scotia should extend to the river 
Kennebec; and they claimed not only all the lands in 
the western country and on the Mississippi, which 
were not expressly included in our charters and gov- 
ernments, but also all such lands within them as re- 
mained uhgranted by the King of Great Britain. Ir 
would be endless to enumerate all the discussions and 
arguments on the subject, 



lie COMMISSlOiNERS FOR PEACE. 

We knew this Court and Spain to be against our 
claims to the western country, and having no reason 
to think that lines more favorable could ever have 
been obtained, we finally agreed to those described in 
this Article ; indeed they appear to leave us little to 
complain of, and not much to desire. Congress will 
observe, that although our northern line is in a certain 
part below the latitude of fortyfive, yet in others it 
extends above it, divides the Lake Superior, and gives 
us access to its western and southern waters, from 
which a line in that latitude would have excluded us. 

Kemarks on Article 4th, respecting Creditors. 

We had been informed that some of the States had 
confiscated British debts, but although each State has 
a right to bind its own citizens, yet in our opinion, 
it appertains solely to Congress,' in whom exclu- 
sively are vested the rights of making war and peace, 
to pass acts against the subjects of a power with which 
the Confederacy may be at war. It therefore only 
remained for us to consider, whether this Article is 
founded injustice and good policy. 

In our opinion no acts of government could dissolve 
the obligations of good faith, resulting from lawful 
contracts between individuals of the two countries 
prior to the war. We knew that some of the British 
creditors were making common cause with the refu- 
gees, and other adversaries of our independence ; 
besides, sacrificing private justice to reasons of State 
and political convenience, is always an odious meas- 
ure ; and the purity of our reputation in this respect, 
in all toriiigti commercial countries, is of infinitely 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. ] 19 

more importance to us than all the sums in question. 
It may also be remarked, that American and British 
creditors are placed on an equal footing;. 

Remarks on Articles bth and 6(h, respecting Refugees. 
These Articles were among the first discussed, and 
the last agreed to. And had not the conclusion of this 
business, at the time of its date, been particularly im- 
portant to the British administration, the respect, 
which both in London and Versailles, is supposed to 
be due to the honor, dignity and interest of royalty, 
would probably have forever prevented our bringing 
this Article so near to the views of Congress and the 
sovereign rights of the States as it now stands. 
When it is considered, that it was utterly impossible 
to render this Article perfectly consistent, both with 
American and British ideas of honor, we presume that 
the middle line adopted by this Article, is as little 
unfavorable to the former as any that could in reason 
be expected. 

As to the Separate Article, we beg leave to observe, 
that it was our policy to render the navigation of the 
river Mississippi so important to Britain, as that their 
views might correspond with ours on that subject. 
Their possessing the country on the river, north of the 
line from the Lake of the Woods, affords a foundation 
for their claiming such navigation. And as the im- 
portance of West Florida to Britain was for the same 
reason rather to he strengthened than otherwise, we 
thought it advisable to allow them the extent con- 
tained in the Separate Article, especially as before the 
war it had been annexed bv Britain to West Florida, 



jJO COMiMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

and would operate as an additional inducement to their 
joining; with us in agreeing, that the navigation of the 
river should forever remain open to hoth. The map 
used in the course of our negotiations was MitchelFs. 
As we had reason to imagine that the Articles 
respecting the boundaries, the refugees, and fisheries, 
(lid not correspond with the policy of this Court, we 
did not communicate the preliminaries to the Minister 
until after they were signed ; and not even then the 
Separate Article. VVe hope that these considerations 
will excuse our having so l\u' deviated from the spirit 
of our instructions. The Count de Vergennes, on pe- 
rusing the Articles, appeared surprised, but not dis- 
pleased, at their being so favorable to us. 

VVe beg leave to add our advice, that copies be sent 
us of the accounts directed to be taken by the different 
States, of the unnecessary devastations and sufferings 
sustained by them from the enemy in the course of the 
war. Should they arrive before the signature of the 
definitive treaty they might possibly answer very good 
purposes. 

VViih great respect we have the honor to be, Sir, 
your most obedient and most humble servants, 

JOHN AD.^MS, 
B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY, 
HENRY LAURENS. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPOiNDENCK. 12 j 

RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS RESPECTING COMMERCIAL 
STIPULATIONS. 

In Congress, Doceinber :Ust, 1782, 

On the report of the committee lo whom was refer- 
red a letter of the 14tli of October last, from the Min- 
ister Plenipotentiary at tlie Court of Versailles, 

Resolved, That the Ministers Plenipotentiary for 
negotiating peace, be instructed, in any commetcial 
stipulations with Great Britain, vvhich may he compre- 
hended in a treaty of peace, to endeavor to obtain for 
the citizens and inhabitants of the United States, a 
direct commerce to all parts of the British dominions 
and possessions, in like manner as all parts of the 
United States may be opened to a direct commerce of 
British subjects; or, at least, that such direct com- 
merce be extended to all parts of the British domin- 
ions and possessions in Europe and the West Indies. 
And the said Ministers are informed that stipulations 
are particularly expected by Congress, in case the citi- 
zens and subjects of each party are to be admitted to 
an equality in matters of commerce with the natives 
of the other party. 



KNGLISH COMMISSIONERS DECLARATION OF THE CESSA- 
TION OF HOSTILITIES. 

Paris, January aOth, 1783. 
DECLARATION. 

Wjjereasthe Preliminary Articles ai^reetl to, and signed 
this day, between bis ■Majesty, the. King of Gi-eut Britain, 

VOL. X. IG 



122 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

and his Most Cliristian Mnjesty, on the one pnrt, nnd also 
between his said Britannic Majesty and his Catholic Maj- 
esty, on the other part, stipulate a cessation of hostilities 
between tliosc three powers, which is to commence upon 
the exchange nl' the ralificalions of the said Preliminary 
Articles ; and whereas by the provisional treaty signed on 
the thirtieth of November last, between his Britannic Maj- 
esty and the United Stales ol' North America, it was stip- 
ulated, that the said treaty should have its eHecA as soon as 
peace between the said Crowns should be established ; the 
underwritten Minister Plenipotentiary of his Britannic Maj- 
esty dcch.res, in the name and by the express order of the 
King, his master, that tljc said United States of North 
America, their subjects and their possessions, shall be com- 
prised ill the suspension of arms above mentioned, and that 
they shall^ consequently, enjoy the benefit of the cessation 
of hostilities, at the same periods and in the same manner 
as the three Crowns aforesaid, and their subjects and pos- 
sessions, respectively ; on condition, however, that on the 
part, and in llic name, of the said United States of North 
America, there shall be delivered a similar declaration, 
expressing their assent to the present suspension of arms, 
and containing an assurance of the most perlect reciprocity 
on theii- f)art. 

In faith whereof, we, the Minister Plenipotentiary of his 
Britannic Majesty, have signed this present declaration, and 
have thereto caused the seal of our arms to be afTixed, at 
Versailles, this twentieth day of January, one thousand 
seven hundred and eightythree. 

ALLEYNE FITZHERBEKT. 



DIPLOMATIC CORKESl'ONDENCE. 123 



Signature of the above Declaration by the American 
Commissioners. 

We, the undervvrittei), Ministers Plenipotentiary of the 
United States of North America, having received from Mr 
Fitzherbert, Minister Plenipotentiary of his Britannic Maj- 
esty, a declaration relative to a suspension of arms to be 
established between his said Majesty and the said States, 
of which the following is a copy, viz ; [See the preceding 
Declaration.] 

We have, in the name of the said United States of North 
America, and in virtue of the powers we are vested with, 
received the above declaration, and do accept the same by 
these presents, and we do reciprocally declare, that said 
States cause to cease all hostilities against his Britannic 
Majesty, his subjects and possessions, at the terms or 
periods agreed to between his said Majesty the King of 
Great Britain, his Majesty the King of France, and his 
Majesty the King of Spain, in the same manner as stipu- 
lated betweeji those three Crowns, and to have the same 
effect. 

In faith whereof, we. Ministers Plenipotentiary from the 
United States of America, have signed the present declara- 
tion, and have hereunto affixed the seals of our arms, at 
Versailles, the twentieth of January, one thousand seven 
hundred and eightythree. 

.lOHN ADAMS, 
B. FRANKLIN. 



124 COiMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

BRITISH king's PROCLAMATION DECLARING A CESSATION 
OF ARMS. 

By the King. 
A proclamation, declaring the cessation of arms, as well 
by sea as land, agreed upon between his Majesty, the 
Most Christian King, the King oi' Spain, the States- 
General of the United Provinces, and the United States 
of America, and enjoining the observance thereof. 

George R. 

Whereas Provisional Articles were signed at Paris, on 
the thirtieth day of Xovember last, between our Commis- 
sioner for treaiing of peace with the Commissioners ol the 
United States of America, and the Commissioners of the 
said States, to be inserted in, and to constitute the treaty 
of peace proposed to be concluded between us and ihe^ 
said United Stales, when terms of peace should be agreed 
upon between us and his Most Christian Majesty ; and 
whereas preliminaries for restoring peace between us and 
his Most Christian Majesty were signed at Versailles on 
the twentieth day of January last, by the Ministers of us 
and the Most Christian King ; ami whereas preliminaries 
for restoring peace between us and the King of Spain 
were also signed at Versailles on the twentieth day of Janua- 
ry last, between the Ministers of us and the King of Spain ; 
and whereas for pulling an end to the calamity of war, as 
soon and as far as il nu.y be possible, it has been agreed 
between us, his Most Christian Majesty, ihe King of Spain, 
the Stales-General of the United Provinces, and the United 
Stales of America, as follows, that is to say ; 

Tliat such vessels and eflects as should bo taken in the 
Channel and in the North Seas, after the space of twelve 
days, to be computed from ihe ratification of the said Pre- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 125 

liininary Articles, should be restored on all sides ; that the 
term should be one month from the Channel and the 
North Seas, as far us the Canary Islands inclusively, 
whether in the ocean or in the Mediterranean ; two 
months from the said Canary Islands, as lar as the equi- 
noctial line or equator ; and, lastly, five months in all other 
parts of the world, without any exception, or any other 
more particular description of lime or place ; 

And wliereas the ratifications of the said Preliminary 
Articles, between us and the Most Christian King, in due 
form were exchanged by the Ministers of us, and of the 
Most Christian King, on the third day of this instant Feb- 
ruary ; and the ratifications of the said Preliminary Articles, 
between us and the King ol Spain, were exchanged 
between the Ministers of us and of the King of Spain, on 
the ninth day of this instant February, from which days, 
respectively, the several terms above njenlioned, ol twelve 
days, of two months, and five months, are to be computed ; 
and whereas, it is our royal will and pleasure, that the 
cessation of hostilities, between us and the States-General 
of the United Provinces, and the United States of Amer- 
ica, should be agreeable to the epochs fixed betw{?en us 
and the Most Christian King ; 

We have thought fit, by and with ths advice of our 
Privy Council, to notify the same to all our loving subjects; 
and we do declare that our royal will and pleasure is, and 
we do hereby strictly charge and comtnnnd all our officers, 
both at sea and land, and all our other subjects whatso- 
ever, to forbear all acts of hostility, either by sea or land, 
against his Most Christian Majesty, the King of Spain, the 
States-General of the United Provinces, and the United 
States of America, their vessels, or subjects, from and after 



126 COMMISSlOiNERS FOR PEACE. 

the respective limes above mentioned, and under the pen- 
alty of incurring our highest displeasure. 

Given at our Court at St James, the fourteenth day of 
February, in the iwenlythird year of our reign, and in the 
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty- 
three. 

God save the King. 

ALLEYNE FITZHERBERT TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

Paris, February 18th, 1783. 

Gentlemen, 

I have the honor to transmit to you herewith a 
packet, containing one hundred passports for American 
vessels, which I have this moment received by a cou- 
rier from England. 

I take this opportunity of acquainting you, that a 
proclamation was issued out in the King's name on 
the 14th instant, making known the cessation of hos- 
tilities, which has been agreed upon between the sev- 
eral belligerent powers ; and declaring further, that 
the several epochas, at which the said armistice is to 
commence, between his Majesty and the United States 
of North America, are to be computed from the third 
day of this instant February, being the day on which 
the ratifications of the preliminaries were exchanged 
between his Majesty and the Most Christian King. I 
must add, that his Majesty was induced to take this 
step, under the firm expectation, that you, Gentlemen, 
will correspond to it on your parts, by adopting the 
same measure reciprocally, in the name of the States, 
your masters. 

I li;ive I he honor lo be, i^c. 

ALLEYNE FITZHERBERT. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 127 

AMERICAN COMMISSIONEKS' DKCLAKA'i'ION OF THK 
CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES. 

By the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United 
States of America for makino- peace with Great 
Britain, 

A DECLARATION 

Of the cessation of arms, as well by sea as land, 
agreed upon between his Majesty the King of Great 
Britain and the United States of America. 

Whereas Preliminary Articles were signed at Paris, 
on the thirtieth day of November last, between the 
Plenipotentiaries of his said Majesty the King of Great 
Britain and of the said States, to be inserted in, and to 
constitute the treaty of peace, to be concluded between 
his said Majesty and the said United States, when 
terms of peace should be agreed upon, between his 
said Majesty and his Most Christian Majesty. And 
whereas preliminaries for restoring peace, between 
his said Majesty the King of Great Britain and his 
Most Christian Majesty, were signed at Versailles, on 
the twentieth day of January last, by the respective 
Ministers of their said Majesties ; and whereas pre- 
liminaries for restoring peace, between his said Ma- 
jesty the King of Great Britain and his Majesty the 
King of Spain, were also signed at Versailles on the 
twentieth day of January last, by their respective 
Ministers; and whereas, for putting an end to the 
calamity of war, as soon and as far as possible, it has 
been agreed, between the King of Great Britain, his 
Most Christian Majesty, the King of Spain, the States- 



128 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

General of the United Provinces, and the United 
Stales of America, as follows, that is to say ; 

That such vessels and effects as should be taken in 
the Channel and in the North Seas, after the space of 
twelve days, to be computed from the ratification of 
the said Preliminary Articles, should be restored on all 
sides ; that the term should l)e one month, from the 
Channel and North Seas as far as the Canary Islands, 
inclusively, whether the ocean or the Mediterranean : 
two months from the said Canary Islands, as far as the 
Equinoctial Line, or Equator; and, lastly, five months 
in all other parts of the world, without any exception, 
or any other more particular description of time or 
place ; 

And whereas the ratifications of the said Prelimi- 
nary Articles between his said Majesty the King of 
Great Britain and his Most Christian Majesty, in due 
form were exchanged by their Ministers, on the third 
day of this instant February, from which day the 
several terms abovementioned, of twelve days, of one 
month, of two months, and of live months, are to be 
computed, relative to all British and American vessels 
and efiecls ; 

Now, therefore, we, the Ministers Plenipotentiary 
frojii the United States of America, for making peace 
with Great Jiritain, do notify to the people and citi- 
zens of the said United States of America, that hostil- 
ities on their part against his Britannic Majesty, both 
by sea and land, are to cease at the expiration of the 
terms herein before specified therefor, and which 
terms are to be computed from the third day of Feb- 
ruary instant. And we do, in the name and by the 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 129 

authority of the said United States, accordingly warn 
and enjoin all their oflicers and citizens, to forbear all 
acts of hostility whatever, either by land or by sea, 
against his said Majesty the King of Great Britain, or 
his subjects, under the penalty of incurring the high- 
est displeasure of the said United States. 

Given at Paris, the twentieth day of February, in 
the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 
eightythree, under our hands and seals. 

JOHN ADAMS, 
B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY. 

RdBKRt R. LIVINGSTON TO THE COiMMISSIONERS. 

Philadelphia, March 25th, 1783. 
Gentlemen, 

I am now to acknowledge llie favor of your joint letter 
by the Washington, together witii a copy of the Prelimi- 
nary Articles ; both were laid before Congress. The Ar- 
ticles have met with iheir warmest approbation, and have 
been generally seen by the people in the most favoral5le 
point of view. 

The steadiness manifested in not treating without a[i 
express acknowledgment of your independence previous 
to a treaty is approved, and it is not doubted but it accel- 
erated lliat declaration. The boundaries are as extensive 
as we have a right to expect ; and we have nothing to 
complain of with respect to the fisheries. Alv sentiments 
as to English debts you have in a former letter. No 
honest man could wish to withhold them. A little for- 
bearance in British creditors, till peoi)le have recovered in 
part from the losses sustained by the war. will be neces- 
VOL. X. 17 



130 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

sary to render this Article palatable, and indeed to secure 
more effectually the debt. Tlie Article relative to the 
loyalists is not quite so accurately expressed as I could 
wish it to have been. What for instance is intended by 
real British subjects ^ It is clear to me that ii will operate 
nothing in their favor in any State in the union, but as you 
made no secret of this lo ihe British Commissioners, they 
will have nothing to charge you with ; and indeed the whole 
clause seeiDs rather lo have been inserted to appease the 
clamor ot" these poor wretches, than to satisfy their wants. 
Britain would have discovered more candor and magna- 
nin^ity in paying lo tiiem three monlhs' expense of the war 
establishmentj which would have been an ample compen- 
sation for all their losses, and left no germ of dissatisfaction 
lo bud and bloom and ripen into discontents here. Anoth- 
er mad Adtninistralion inay think the noncompliance of 
the Legislatures witii the reconnnendations of Congress on 
this subject, a sufticient cause for giving themselves and us 
new troubles. You iiowever were perfectly right in agree- 
ing to the Article, the folly was theirs, who did not either 
insist upon more, or give up this. 

But, Gentlemen, though the issue of your treaty has 
been successful, ihough I am satisfied that we are much 
indebted to your tirmness and perseverance, to your accu- 
rate knowledge of our situation, and of our wants for this 
success, yet I feel no little pain at the distrust manilested 
in the managemenl ol it ; particularly in signing the treaty 
without comnuuiicaling it to the Court of V'ersailles till 
after the signature, and in concealing the Separate Article 
from it even when signed. 1 have examined with the 
most minute attention all the reasons assigned in your sev- 
eral letters to jusliiy these suspicions. I confess they do 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 131 

not appear to strike me so forcibly as tliey have done 
you ; and it gives me pain, that the character (or candor 
and fidelity to its engagements, which should always char- 
acterise a great people, should have been impeached 
thereby. The concealment was in my opinion absolutely 
unnecessary ; for had the Court of France disapproved 
the terms you had made, after they had been agreed upon, 
they could not have acted so absurdly as to counteract 
you at that late day ; and thereby put themselves in the 
power of an enemy, who would certainly betray them, and 
perhaps justify you in making terms for yourselves. 

The Secret Article is no otherwise importani, than as 
it carries in it the seeds of enmity to the Court of Spain, 
and shows a marked preference for an open enemy. It 
would in my opinion, have been much better to have fixed 
on the same boundaries for West Florida, into whatever 
hands it fell, without showing any preference, or rendering 
concealment necessary ; since all the argutnents in favor 
of the cession to England would then have operated with 
equal force, and nothing have been lost by it ; for there 
can be no doubt, that whether Florida shall at the close of 
the war be ceded to England or to Spain, it will be ceded 
as it was held by Britain. The Separate Article is not, J 
suppose, by this time a secret in Europe ; it can hardly be 
considered as such in America. The treaty was sent out 
to the General with this Article annexed by Sir Guy 
Carleton, without the smallest injunction of secrecy. So 
that I dare say it has been pretty generally read at head 
quarters. Congress still conceal it here. I feel for the 
embarrassment explanations on this subject must subject 
you to, when this secret is known to your allies. 

I intended to have submitted this letter to Congress, but 



132 



COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 



I find (here is not the least prospect of obtaining any de- 
cision upon it in time to send by this conveyance, if at all. 
I leave you to collect their sentiments, as far as I know 
them, from the following state of their proceedings. After 
your joint and separate letters, and the journals had been 
submitted to them by me, and had been read, they were 
leferred back to me to report upon, when I wrote them 
a letter, and when it was taken into consideration, mo- 
lions were made and debated a whole day. After which 
the letter and motions were committed, and a report 
brought in. This was under consideration two days, when 
the arrival of a vessel from Cadiz with letters from the 
Count d'Estaing and the iMarquis de Lafayette, containing 
accounts, that the preliminaries were signed, induced many 
members to think it would be improper to proceed in the 
report, and in that state it remains without any express 
decision. From this you will draw your own inferences. 

I make no apology for the part I have taken in this 
business. 1 am satisfied you will readily acquit me for 
having discharged what I conceived to be my duly upon 
such a view of things as you presented to me. In declar- 
ing my sentiments freely, I invite you to treat me with 
equal candor in your letters, and in sending original papers, 
I guard against misrepresentations that might give you pain. 
Upon the whole I l)ave the pleasure of assuring you, that 
the services you h.ave rendered your country, in bringing 
this business to a happy issue, are very gratefully received 
by them ; however we may differ in sentiments about the 
mode of doing it. 

I ain sorry that the extreme negligence of the difterent 
States, has prevented, and will probably long prevent, my 
being able to send you a slate of the injury done to real 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 133 

property, and the number of slaves destroyed and carried off 
by the British troops and tlieir allies, though no pains have 
been, or shall be wanting, on my part to urge them to it. 
I have the honor to be, Gentlemen, 

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON, 



PROCLAMATION OF CONGRESS DECLARING A CESSA- 
TION OP ARMS. 

By the United States of America in Congress as- 
sembled. 

A PROCLAMATION, 

Declaring the cessation of arms, as well by sea as by 
land, agreed upon between the United States of Amer- 
ica and his Britannic Majesty ; and enjoining the ob- 
servance thereof. 

Whereas Provisional Articles were signed at Paris 
on the 30th day of November last, between the Min- 
isters Plenipotentiary of the United States of America 
for treating of peace, and the Minister Plenipotentiary 
of his Britannic Majesty, to be inserted in, and to con- 
stitute the treaty of peace proposed to be concluded 
between the United States of America and his Britan- 
nic Majesty, when terms of peace should be agreed 
upon between their Most Christian and Britannic Ma- 
jesties ; and whereas preliminaries for restoring peace 
between their Most Christian and Britannic Majesties 
were signed at Versailles, on the 20th day of January 
last, by the Ministers of their Most Christian and 
Britannic Majesties ; and whereas preliminaries for 
restoring peace between the said King of Great Brit- 
ain and the King of Spain, were also signed at Ver- 
sailles on the same 20th day of January last ; 



134 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

By which said Preliminary Articles it has been 
agreed, thai as soon as the same were ratified, hostili- 
ties between the said Kings, their kingdoms, states 
and subjects, should cease in all parts of the world ; 
and it was further agreed, that all vessels and eflfects 
that might be taken in the Channel and in the North 
Seas, after the space of twelve days from the ratifica- 
tion of the said Preliminary Articles, should be re- 
stored ; that the term should be one month from the 
Channel and North Seas as far as the Canary Islands, 
inclusively, whether in the ocean or the Mediterra- 
nean ; two months from the said Canary Islands as far 
as the Equinoctial line or Equator ; and lastly, five 
months in all other parts of the world, without any 
exception or more particular description of time or 
place ; 

And whereas it was declared by the Minister 
Plenipotentiary of the King of Great Britain, in the 
name and by the express order of the King his master, 
on the said 20th day of January last, that the said 
United States of America, their subjects and their pos- 
sessions, shall be comprised in the above mentioned 
suspension of arms, at the same epochs, and in the 
same manner as the three Crowns abovementioned, 
their subjects and possessions respectively ; upon con- 
dition, that on the part and in the name of the United 
States of America, a similar declaration shall be deliv- 
ered, expressly declaring their assent to the said sus- 
pension of arms, and containing an assurance of the 
most perfect reciprocity on their part ; 

And whereas the Ministers Plenipotentiary of these 
United States, did, on the 20tli day of January, in the 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 135 

name and by the authority of the said United States, 
accept the said declaration, and declare that the said 
States should cause all hostilities to cease against his 
Britannic Majesty, his subjects and his possessions, at 
the terms and epochs agreed upon between his said 
Majesty the King of Great Britain, liis Majesty the 
King of France, and his Majesty the King of Spain, so 
and in the same manner as had been agreed upon be- 
tween those three Crowns, and to produce the same 
effects ; 

And whereas the ratifications of the said Prelimi- 
nary Articles, between their Most Christian and Bri- 
tannic Majesties, were exchanged by their Ministers 
on the 3d day of February last ; and between his 
Britannic Majesty and the King of Spain, on the 9th 
day of February last ; 

And whereas it is our will and pleasure, that the 
cessation of hostilities between the United States of 
America and his Britannic Majesty, should be con- 
formable to the epochs fixed between their Most 
Christian and Britannic Majesties ; 

We have thought fit to make known the same to 
the citizens of these States ; and we hereby strictly 
charge and command all our officers, both by sea and 
land, and other subjects of these United States, to for- 
bear all acts of hostility, either by sea or by land, 
against his Britannic Majesty or his subjects, from and 
after the respective times agreed upon between their 
Most Christian and Britannic Majesties, as aforesaid. 

And we do further require all governors and others, 
the executive powers of these United States respec- 
tively, to cause this our proclamation to be made pub- 



136 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

lie, to the end that the same may be duly observed 
within their several jurisdictions. 

Given under the seal of the United States. Witness, 
his Excellency Elias Boudinot, President, this 
twelfth day of April, in the year of our Lord one 
thousand seven hundred and eightythree, and of the 
sovereignty and independence of the United States the 
seventh. 



ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

Philadelphia, April 21st, 1783. 

Geulleuiei), 

Upon the receipt of the Provisional Articles, and a 

subsequent account brought by a vessel, despatched by 

Count d'Estaing, I wrote letters to Sir Guy Carleton 

and Admiral Digby, to which I received answers. 

You will find them cold and distant. Those* they 

wrote to the Minister of France, in answer to similar 

communications made by him, were still more so, and 

contain the same illiberal doubts which are mentioned 

in mine, expressed in much stronger terms. When 

they received an authentic account of the treaty, they 

sent a copy of it, [no part being omitted) to Congress, 

through the General. When the Proclamation for the 

cessation of hostilities was received at New York, it 

was sent to me by an officer with a letter, to which I 

returned an answer. 

After this two great cpiestions were agitated in Con- 
gress. 1st. Whether they should proceed to the im- 
mediate ratification of the Provisional Articles ; and 
2dly. Whether they should release their prisoners. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 



137 



Some maintained with respect to the first of these 
points, that they knew not in what light to consider 
the Provisional Articles, whether as preliminaries or a 
definitive treaty. That the preamble said they were 
to constitute the treaty, while at the same time, they 
were only to be inserted in it. These terms they con- 
sidered as contradictory ; and they wished to have ex- 
planations from you on this head, to know what the 
operation of a ratification would be, and they inferred 
from your silence, that none was necessary. They 
observed, that no time was set for the evacuation of 
New York ; that the ratification would in some meas- 
ure compel them to release their prisoners, and thus 
strengthen their hands, when it was possible a defini- 
tive treaty might not take efiect between Great Brit- 
ain and France ; and that the ratification and the 
restoration of prisoners, if it left us nothing more to 
do, was in some sort to desert our allies. To this it 
was answered, that the Provisional Articles were only 
to be received as preliminary, that from the very na- 
ture of them, they could not be definitive; that the 
ratification would not alter the nature of them, but 
confirm them as they stood ; that they were confessedly 
very advantageous to us ; that the neglecting any such 
acceptation of them as was necessary on our part 
would give the enemy a pretence for violating the 
stipulations they contained ; th?t the principal pointd 

between France and Great Britain being settled, we 

» 
had no reason to apprehend a failure of a definitive 

treaty ; that it was important to show, that we were 
determined to adhere in every particular to the en- 
gagements you had made. These arguments prevailed, 

VOL. X. 18 



138 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE 

and a resolution passed directing the ratification which 
I enclose. It is probable that the definitive treaty will 
be signed before this can reach you, otherwise it 
would be extremely desirable that some ambiguities in 
the Provisional Articles should be cleared up, and 
other objects, which have been at different times 
touched upon in my public letters, attended to. 

The sixth Article is not so precisely expressed as to 
point out to what lime the word future refers, whether to 
the signature of the Provisional Articles, whether to the act, 
which gave it the tbrce of a treaty, or to the definitive 
treaty. Though I should suppose the second to be the in- 
tention from the opposition between the words now^ and 
the time of the ratification in America. 

The sevOnth Article leaves the time for the evacuation of 
New York upon so loose a footing, that I fear our trouble- 
some guests svill long continue to be such, unless a day is 
fixed on for their departure, in the definitive treaty. You 
can easily conceive the impatience that the distressed in- 
habitants of New York feel at every moment's delay ; and 
the fears and jealousies that prevail among them lest it 
should be meant to retain these posts as pledges for the 
performance of the stipulations in favor ol' the tories. By 
the debates in Parliament on the 3d of March, it is evident 
that they had then no orders to evacuate. 

You will observe that die ratification does not extend to 
the Separate Article. The treaty between Spain and Great 
Britain renders it unnecessary ; and Congress not caring 
to express any sentiment npon that subject, I refer you to 
my letters to Dr Franklin and Mr Jay upon the subject of 
a free trade with the West Indies, and the logwood trade, 
which are important objects here ; and, I hope, will be at- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 139 

tended to in your definitive treaty. It were to be wished 
that the ambiguity with respect to the time of the cessa- 
tion oi hostilities upon this coast was cleared up, and the 
construction we put upon it adopted, to wit, that by as far 
as the Canaries^ was intended the latitude of the Cana- 
ries, which construction can be supported by a variety of 
arguments, and is extremely important to us, as a number 
of our vessels have been taken since the 3d of March. 
I have the honor to be, &z;c. 

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON. 



MR GRAND TO TMF. COMMISSIONERS. 

Paris, May 10th, 1783- 
Gentlemen, 

It is some months ago since 1 had the honor to write 
you, and am well persuaded, although I received no answer 
thereto, that it will have engaged your attention. I earn- 
estly wish it may have been productive of an improvement 
to the finances of Congress, which 1 then foresaw would 
be short of our wants, and which is, unfortunately, too 
much the case at present. 

Last montli, I remitted to the honorable Robert Morris, 
the state of his account; the balance of which was 
413,892 livres 13c. 9^. due to me. This, added to the 
subsequent payments I had to make, would have thrown 
me into a state of perplexity, had it not been for the assis- 
tance given me by the Garde du Tresor Royal. 

You will see, Gentlemen, by the statement 1 have the 
honor to enclose for your consideration, that the sums I 
am to pay, exceed by one million those that are to be paid 
me. And making even abstraction of all that is not Mr 



140 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

Morris' bill, there still remains a defect of 500,000 livres, 
independent of the allowance to be made for his usual 
wants, from January 24lh (date of his last bills) up to the 
I2th of March. 

I am happy to have it in my power to say, that I have 
exerted to this instant, all that my zeal and my faculties 
could suggest to me. Did the last keep pace with the 
former, I should never have applied but to them. How- 
ever, the state of affairs is such now, that a resolution must 
be taken relative thereto ; and, even, without delay ; the 
bearers of Mr Morris's bills growing so urgent upon me, that 
rather than to have occasioned any difficulty before I 
could be informed of your resolution, I preferred accept- 
ing a further sum of 54,000 livres this day. 

I crave your Excellencies will honor me with a quick 
answer ; meantime, 1 remain he. 

GRAND. 



State of the Finances of Congress at Paris, on the lOth 
of May, 1783. 

Balance due to me on the last ac- 
count, Livres 413,892 13 9 

Sums paid by his Excellency Benjamin 

Franklin's orders, 172,001 5 1 

The honorable Robert Morris's drafts to 

be paid, 1,872,871 1 10 

His fresh drafts from January 24th, at 
60 days sight, of which I have already 
accepted 54,000 livres, 804,371 8 



3,263,136 8 8 
Carried forward, 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESFONDENCK \4[ 

Brought forward, 3,263,136 8 8 

Interest on the Dutch Loan, 400,000 

Sabatier h Desprez' claim 
for articles to the Mar- 
quis de Lafayette, 134,000 



534,000 



Livres 3,797,136 8 8 



M. DE LAFAYETTE TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

Paris, May 12th, 1783. 

Gentlemen, 

Having yesterday conferred with Count de Vergennes 
upon some public concerns, he requested I would tell you 
what, instead of troubling you with the demand of a meet- 
ing, I think better to mention in this note. 

The several powers, said he, are going to make up their 
treaties, and when ready to sign, they will, of course, 
meet to do it all together. The mediation of the Emperor 
and that of Russia have been required, and under that me- 
diation the French treaty will be signed ; it now rests with 
America to know, if she will conclude her treaty under the 
mediation, or chooses to let it alone. There is no neces- 
sity for it. But, in case you prefer to have it, Count de 
Vergennes thinks it is time to join with England in making 
a combined application to the Court of Vienna and that of 
Petersburg. 

So far, Gentlemen, I have been requested to speak to 
you. I will add, that from my last conference? on the 
subject, I hope we may get the harbor of L'Orient, as we 
have wished, for the American trade. 

Be pleased to accept the assurances of my great and 
affectionate respect. LAFAYETTE. 



J 42 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE 



George R. 

George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great 
Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke 
of Brunswick and Lunenburg, Arch Treasurer and 
Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, and so forth, 
to all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting. 

Whereas, for the perfecting and establishing the peace, 
friendship, and good understanding so happily commenced 
by the Provisional Articles signed at Paris, the thirtieth day 
of November last, by the Commissioners of us, and our 
good friends, the United States of America, viz; New 
Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecti- 
cut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three 
lower Counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, in North America, 
and for opening, promoting, and rendering perpetual, the 
j)uitual intercourse of trade and commerce, between our 
kingdoms aod the dominions of the said United States, 
we have thought proper to invest some fit person with 
full powers on our part to meet and confer with the Minis- 
ters of the said United Slates, now residing at Paris, duly 
authorised for the accomplishing of such laudable and sal- 
utary purposes. 

Now know ye, that we, reposing special trust and confi- 
dence in the wisdom, loyalty, diligence, and circumspection 
of our trusty and well beloved David Hartley, (on whom 
we have heretofore conferred the rank of our Minister Plen- 
ipotentiary,) have nominated, constituted and appointed, 
and by these presents do nominate, constitute and appoint 
him, our true, ceriain, and undoui)le(l Coniini.ssioner, Pro- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 143 

curator, and Plenipoteiuiary ; giving iind granting to him nil, 
and all manner ot faculty, power, and authority, togetiier 
with general, as well as special order (so as the general 
do not derogate I'rofn the special, nor on the contrary,) for 
us, and in our name, lo meet, conler, treat, and conclude 
with the Minister or Ministers, furnislied with sufficient 
powers, on the part of our said good friends, the United 
States of America, of and concerning all such matters and 
things as may he requisite and necessary for ac(f)njplishing 
and completing the several ends and purposes herein he- 
fore mentioned, and also for us, and in our name to sign 
such treaty or treaties, convention or conventions, or other 
instruments whatsoever, as may be agreed upon in the 
premises ; and mutually to deliver and receive the same in 
exchange, and to do and perform all such other acts, mat- 
ters, and things, as may be anyways proper and conducive 
to the purposes abovementioned, iu as full and ample form 
and manner, and with the like validity and effect, as we 
ourself, if we were present, could do and perform the 
same ; engaging and promising, on our royal word, that 
we will accept, ratify, and contirin in the most effectual 
manner all such acts, matters, and things, as shall be so 
transacted and coiicluded by our aforesaid Commissioner, 
Procurator, and Plenipotentiary, and that we will never 
suffer any person to violate the same, in the whole, or in 
part, or to act contrary thereto. 

In testimony and confirmation of all which, we have 
caused our great seal of Great Britain to be affixed to 
these presents, signed with our royal hand. 

Given at our palace at St James, the fourteenth day of 
May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and eightythree, and the iwenlythird year of our reign. 



)44 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

I, David Hartley, the Minister abovementioned, certify 
tlie foregoing to be a true copy from my original commis- 
sion, delivered to the American Ministers this 19th day of 
May, 1783. 

D. HARTLEY. 



AN ORDER OF THE BRITISH COUNCIL. 

Copy of the Order in Comicil, the 14th of May, 1783, 
read to, and left witli the American Ministers, this 21st 
day of May, 1783, by Mr Hartley. 

At the Court of St James, May 14th, 1783. 

Present. The King's Most Excellent Majesty in 
Council. 

Whereas, by an act of Parliament passed this session, 
entitled, "An Act for preventing certain instruments from 
being required from ships belonging to the United States 
of America, and to give to his Majesty, for a limited lime, 
certain powers for the better carrying on trade and com- 
merce between the subjects of his Majesty's dominions and 
the inhabitants of the said United States," it is, among 
other things, enacted, that, during the continuance of the 
said act, it shall, and may be lawful for his Majesty in 
Council, by order or orders to he issued and published 
from time to lime, to give such directions, and to make 
such regulations with respect to duties, drawbacks, or 
otherwise, for carrying on the trade and commerce be- 
tween the people and territories belonging to the Crown of 
Great Britain, and the people and territories of the said 
United States, as to his Maje?ty in Council shall appear 
most expedient and salutary, any law, usage, or custom to 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 145 

the contrary notwithstanding. His Majesty, does, there- 
fore, by, and with the advice of his Privy Council, here- 
by order and (hrcct, that any oil, or unmanufactured goods 
or merchandises, being the growth or production of any of 
the territories of the said United States of America, may, 
(imtil further order) be imported directly from thence into 
any of the ports of this kingdom, either in British or Amer- 
ican ships, by British subjects, or by any of the people in- 
habiting in, and belonging to the said United States, or any 
of them, and such goods and "merchandises shall and may 
be entered and landed in any port in this kirjgdom, upon 
payment of tiie same duties, as the like sort of goods are, 
or may be subject and liable to, if imported by British 
subjects in British ships from any British island or planta- 
tion in America, and no other, notwithstanding such goods 
or merchandises, or the ships in which the same may be 
brought, may not be accompanied with the certificates, or 
other documents heretofore required by law ; and it is 
hereby further ordered and directed, that there shall be 
the same drawbacks, exemptions, and bounties on mer- 
chandises and goods exported from Great Britain into the 
territories of the said United States of America, or any of 
theu^, as are alknved upon the exportation of the like 
goods or merchandise, to any of the islands, plantations, or 
colonies belonging to the Crown of Great Britain in Amer- 
ica ; and it is hereby further ordered and directed, that all 
American ship3 and vessels, which shall have voluntarily 
come into any port of Great Britain, since the 20tli of 
January, 1783, shall be admitted, together with the goods 
and merchandises on board the same ships and vessels, to 
liie full benefit of this order ; and the Right Honorable 
VOL. X. 19 



14() COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

the Lords, Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury, and 
the Lords, Commissioners of the Admiralty, are to give 
the necessary directions herein, as to them may respec- 
tively appertain."^ 

WILLIAM FAVVKNER. 



COUNT DR VERGFNN^;s' I'ROPOSKD NFW ARTICLES. 

[Delivered to Dr Franklin on the 20th of May, 1783.] ^ 

Translation. 

The intention ol his Most Christian Majesty and the 
United States of North . America, in concluding between 
them n treaty ol amity and commerce, hnvins; been, that 
their respective subjects ^^honkl f'njoy all the advantages, 
privileges, aiul exemptions, which (lie most favored na- 
tions enjoy or may enjoy, i\\^d his said Majesty and the 
United Slates, wishing to prevent any misunderstandings 
liiat may arise by a false application of the 2d and 3d 

* See the following Papers in Henry iMvrens's Correspondence, 
Vol. II. pp. 499—502, viz. 

1. Articles proposed to the .American Commissioners by Mr 
Hartley. 

2. Mr Hartley's proposed Article of Agreement, delivered by him 
to the American Commissioners for their consideration, May 21st, 
1783. 

3- Observations and propositions of Mr Hartley, left with the 
American Ministers, May 21st, \7>^'.\. 

Also in Franklin's Corrcspondenrc, V'ol. IV. pp. 78, 80. 92. and the 
following, viz. 

1. Conciliatory Propositions 

Q. Sketch of a Provisional Treaty of Commerce. 

U. Supplemental Treaty. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE J47 

Articles of the treaty of commerce of February 6th, 1778, 
have thought it proper to determine in a precise manner 
the principles which ought to be followed on one part and 
the other, concerning the matter in question. In conse- 
quence, it is proposed, that his Majesty and the Congress 
of the United States agree to the following Articles. 

Article i. To interpret, as far as is necessary, the 2d 
Article of the treaty of amity and commerce, concluded 
February 6th, 1778, the United Stales declare, that all 
"^he advantages, privileges, and exemptions, which are 
accorded, or may be accorded hereafter, in regard to nav- 
igation and commerce, to any nation, power, or state, 
whatever, shall be common 10 the French nation, and that 
these shall be enjoyed conformably 10 Article 3d of the 
treaty, in such manner that in no case, or under any pre- 
text, shall the said United Stales exact any con)pensation 
from his Most Christian Majesty. 

Article 11. His Most Christian Majesty promises 
and engages on his part, to cause the subjects of the United 
States to enjoy, in conformity with the 3d Article above- 
mentioned, all the advantages, privileges, and exemptions, 
which the most favored nations now enjoy, or may enjoy 
hereafter, and that without exacting any compensation from 
the said States. 



TO MR OHAND. 

Paris, May 22th, 1783. 
Sir, 

We have received the letter you did us the honor 

to write us on the 10th day of this month, containing a 

brief state of the affairs of the United States, in your bands. 



14S COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

We see the difficulties you are in, and are sorry to say 
that it is not in our power to afford you any relief. 
We have the honor to be, Sir, &,c. 

JOHN ADAMS, 
B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY. 

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

Philadelphia, May 28th, 1783. 
Gentlemen, 

Bv the direction of Congress contained in the enclosed 
resolutions, I have the honor to transmit you the correspon- 
dence between General Washington and Sir Guy Carleton, 
together with minutes of their conference, when in pursu- 
ance of the invitation of the first, they met in Orange county. 
Nothing ca'i be a more direct violation of the seventh Article 
of the provisional treaty, than sending off the shives, under 
pretence, that their Proclamations had set them free, as if 
a British General had, either by their laws or those of 
nations, a right by Proclamation, to deprive any man what- 
ever of his property. They may with much more pro- 
priety pretend to re-establish every one of their adherents 
in all the rights they had before the war, since they en- 
gaged so to do, and the people with whom they made 
these engagements were capable of entering into them, 
which slaves were not. Or even if they were, the promise 
made to them must be under the same limitations with 
those made to their other adherents in this country, and 
amounts to nothing more than this ; "make yourselves free, 
and we will protect you in that freedom as long as we can." 
The Articles imply, that they were no longer able to pro- 
tect them. You will be pleased to remonstrate on this 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 149 

subject, and inform Congress of the etFects of your repre- 
sentations. 

We have been much embarrassed by your silence, not 
having had a line from you since the Provisional Article,*, 
took effect, nor being at all acquainted with tiie [)rogress 
of the definitive treaty ; though the earliest information on 
this subject becomes very important. Congress, after 
some hesitation have ventured to hope, that it will meet 
with no obstructions, and have accordingly discharged by 
the enclosed resolution a considerable part of iheir army 
upon those principles of economy whicii extreme necessity 
dictated. As scarce a week passes without several arrivals 
from France, Congress complain with some reason of your 
silence. For my own part I could wish, that you would 
severally impose upon yourselves the task of writing 
weekly, and sending your letters to Mr Barclay. As you 
are possessed cf cyphers, there can be no hazard in this, 
where the subject of your correspondence requires secrecy. 
I have the honor to be, &ic. 

ROBERT R. LlVlNGSTOx\. , 



ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

Philadelphia, May 31st, 1783. 
Gentlemen, 
Congress yesterday passed the enclosed resolutions 
on the subject of the payment of British debts. The 
language they speak requires no comment. 

I complained in my last of your long silence, or 
ruther laid before you the complaints of Congress. 
These, I think receive additional force from the intel- 
ligence that I have since had, that the negotiations are 



IM) COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

still going on ; and that important propositions have 
been made you from Holland. As Congress have ad- 
journed for two days, and the packet sails tomorrow, I 
cannot procure their instructions on this subject ; 
though I think I may venture to say that they will not 
without reluctance go one step further than their 
honor requires of them in making new engagements 
which may involve them in the disputes of Europe, 
from which they wish to be totally disengaged. I 
make no observations on these propositions, or your 
power to accede to them, being well persuaded that 
you will take no step in this business without a full 
persuasion that important advantages will result there- 
from to these States. The second proposition, in case 
France and Spain should decline acceding to the first, 
is more peculiarly delicate from the inability of the 
contracting powers to enforce them ; if, which is 
hardly to be supposed, they should unite in wish- 
ing it. 

I cannot help lamenting since so much time has 
elapsed before any conclusion is formed, that you had 
not thought it advisable to write me on this subject, 
explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the 
measure, and enabling me to take the sense of Con- 
gress thereon ; for though they have the highest con- 
fidence in your judgment and knowledge of the true 
interests of this country, yet I am persuaded that they 
think it a duty to see with their own eyes ; and to 
form their own conclusions on great national objects, 
where there is a possibility of so doing. The experi- 
ence of the last war has shown that the propositions of 
the Empress of Russia were little mor(! than a dead 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 151 

letter. Those whom England dared to ofl'end derived 
no advantage from them. Our engagement therefore 
on this head will, in my opinion, add little weight to 
them, unless the great maritime powers of Europe 
agree to support them, and ihey may involve us in 
disagreeable discussions. These however are only my 
sentiments; those of Congress I am ignorant of. 

The fiftii and sixth Articles of the provisional treaty 
excite much ferment here. For though the most dis- 
satisfied spirits acknowledge the whole treaty taken 
together to answer their highest expectations, yet they 
wish to take only what they like, and leave out what 
tliey disapprove ; and such is the relaxation of gov- 
ernment, and so great the disorder and uneasiness in- 
troduced by the war, that it will be found very diffi- 
cult to bridle the just resentments of some, and the 
unfounded apprehensions that others entertain of re- 
imbursement that may effect their particular interests. 
I have the honor to be, &c, 

ROBERT R. LIVIxNGSTON. 



June, 1783. 
ARTICLES 

Agreed upon by and between David Hartley, Minis- 
ter Plenipotentiary of his Britannic Majesty for and in 
behalf of his said Majesty, on the one part, and John 
Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and Plenry 
Laurens, Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United 
States of America, for treating of peace with the Min- 
ister Plenipotentiary of his said Majesty, on their be- 
half, on the other part, 



152 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

In addition to those Articles agreed upon, on the 
;50th day of November, 17S2, by and between Richard 
Oswald, the Commissioner of his Britannic Majesty for 
treating of peace with the Commissioners of the Uni- 
ted States of America, in behalf of his said Majesty, on 
the one part, and the said John Adams, Benjamin 
Franklin, and Henry Laurens, Commissioners of the 
said States, for treating of peace, with the Commis- 
sioner of his said Majesty, on their behalf, on the 
other part ; 

Whereas it is expedient, that intercourse and com- 
merce should be opened, between the people and terri- 
tories subject to the Crown of Great Britain and those 
of the United States of America, and that this inter- 
course and commerce should be established on the 
most enlarged principles of reciprocal benefit to both 
countries ; 

1st. It is agreed, that Ministers shall be forthwith 
nominated and vested with full powers, to treat, agree, 
and conclude, upon a permanent treaty of commerce 
between the two powers and their respective citizens, 
subjects and countries. 

2dly. For the purpose of a temporary regulation of 
such intercourse and commerce, it is agreed, 

That the citizens of the United States shall import 
into, and export from, any part of the dominions, sub- 
ject to the Crown of Great Britain, in American ships, 
any goods, wares, and merchandises, which have been 
so imported, or exported, by the inhabitants of the 
British American Colonies before, the commencement 
of the late war, paying only the same duties and 
charges, as the like sort of goods or merchandises 



niPLOMATlC CORRESPONDENCE. 153 

are now, or may be, subject to, if imported by Britisli 
subjects, in British ships, from any British island, or 
plantation in America; and that the subjects of his 
Britannic Majesty shall import to, and export from, 
any part of the territories of the United States of 
America, in British ships, any goods, wares, and mer- 
chandise, which might have been so imported, or ex- 
ported, by the subjects of his Britannic Majesty, before 
the commencement of the war, paying the same duties 
and charges, as the like sort of goods, wares, and mer- 
chandises are now, or may be, subject to, if imported 
in American ships, by any of the citizens of the said 
United States. 

This agreement to continue in force for all vessels, 
which shall sail from any port of either party, on or • 
before the day of and no longer ; 

provided always, that nothing in this agreement shall 
at any time hereafter be argued on either side, in sup- 
port of any proposition, which may be made in the 
future negotiation of a permanent treaty of commerce. 



JOHN JAY^S PROPOSED AGREEMENT. 

June, 1783. 
Whereas a variety of circumstances and considerations 
oppose the forming at present a permanent treaty of com- 
merce, between the Imperial Crown of Great Britain and 
the United States of America ; and whereas it is expedient 
that a commercial intercourse should be without delay 
opened and regulated between the kingdom and territories 
of Great Britain and the said States, by a temporary con- 
vention, therefore, 

VOL. X. 20 



154 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

It is agreed that for the term of from the 

date hereof, &c. &c. 

Provided that the subjects of his Britannic Majesty shall 
not have any right or claim under the convention, m carry 
or import, into the said States any slaves from any part of 
the world ; it being the intention of the said States entirely 
to prohibit the importation thereof. 

And whereas questions may arise respecting the opera- 
tion of this convention on Ireland, it is agreed that it shall 
not restrain that kingdom from accepting from, and grant- 
ing to, the said Slates further and more extensive com- 
mercial privileges than that Island and the British Amer- 
ican Colonies enjoyed with respect to each other before 
the late war. 

And whereas this convention is dictated by temporary 
convenience, and the discussion of questions respecting 
reciprocity has, in forming it, been avoided ; therefore, it 
is agreed, that no arguments shall be drawn from it, for or 
against any propositions or claims, which either party may 
make in treating of, and framing the proposed future 
treaty of commerce. 



DAVID HARTLEY'S PROPOSED AGREEMENT. 

June, 1783. 
It is agreed, that the citizens of the United States of 
America shall be permitted to import into, and export from, 
any port or place of the territories belonging to the Crown 
of Great Britain, in American ships, any goods, wares and 
merchandise, which might have been so imported by the 
inhabitants of the British American Colonies before the 
commencement of the late war, upon payment of the same 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 155 

duties and charges, as the like sort of goods or merchan- 
dise are now, or may be, subject and liable to, if imported 
or exported by British subjects, in British ships, into and 
from any port or place of the territories belonging to the 
Crown of Great Britain ; provided, however, that the citi- 
zens of the United States shall not have any right or claim, 
under this convention, to carry on any direct intercourse of 
commerce between the British West India Islands and the 
ports of Great Britain. 

It is agreed, likewise, that the subjects of Great Britain 
shall be permitted to import into, and to export from, any 
part of the territories of the United States of America, in 
British ships, any goods, wares, and merchandise, which 
might have been so imported, or exported, by the subjects 
of Great Britain before the commencement of the late war, 
upon payment of the same duties and charges, as the like 
sort of goods, wares, and merchandise are now, or may be, 
liable to, if imported, or exported, in American ships by 
the citizens of the United States of America. 



REPORT OF A COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS. 

By the United Slates in Congress assembled, June 12ih, 
1783. 

The Committee, to whom was referred a report of the 
Secretary for Foreign' Affairs, on a letter of the 20th of 
March last from M. Dumas, and sundry papers enclosed, 
report ; 

That it appears from the said letter and the papers en- 
closed, that propositions have been made, on the part of 
the States-General, to the Ministers of the United States of 



156 COMiVIISSlOiNERS FOR PEACE. 

America at Paris, in order to render an express stipulation 
in favor of the iVeedom of navigation less necessary in the 
treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United 
Provinces of the Netherlands, either to accede to the 
treaty of the armed neutrality already concluded between 
some powers of Europe, or to enter into similar engage- 
ments with France, Spain, and the United Provinces of 
the Netherlands, or, in case France and Spain should re- 
fuse to enter into a Convention founded on the principles 
of the armed neutrality, or wish to delay it till after the 
general peace, to form a separate convention for similar 
purposes, between the United Provinces of the Nether- 
lands and the United States of America. That the ans- 
wers to these propositions do not appear from the papers 
transmitted, though there is room to infer from M. Du- 
mas's letter of the fourth and eighteenth of February, that 
the two first of these propositions were encouraged by our 
Ministers, and that the States-General proposed to act in 
consequence thereof, and had made the last proposition, 
in order to be prepared in case either, or both, of the two 
first should fail. 

It appears from die report of the Secretary for Foreign 
Affairs, that no powers are at present vested in any person 
in Europe, to agree to any treaty, similar to that entered 
into by Russia, Sweden, Denmark, and the United Prov- 
inces of the Netherlands, after the peace shall be con- 
cluded. The resolution of the 5th of October, 1780, em- 
powers the Ministers of these States, if invited thereto, to 
accede to such regulations conformable to the spirit of the 
declaration of Russia, as may be agreed upon by the Con- 
gress expected to assemble, in pursuance of the invitation 
of her Imperial Majesty. Our Ministers received no invi- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 157 

tatioii, and <.pecial powers were afierwaids given lo Mi- 
Dana, which, in their nature, suj)erseded that resolution. 
Mr Dana was by liis comtnission and instructions em- 
powered to sign the treaty or convention, for the protection 
of commerce in behalf of the United States, eitiier with 
her Imperial Majesty, in conjunction with the other neu- 
tral powers, or if that shall be inadmissible, separately with 
her Imperial Majesty, or any of those, that is, those neutral 
powers. The treaty being only made to continue during 
the war, his powers terminated with tiie war, or, at most, 
extended only to sign it with the neutral powers, and not 
to form a new separate treaty. 

Whereupon Congress came to the following resolution. 

Whereas the primary object of the resolution of October 
5th, 1780, and of the coaunission and instructions lo Mi- 
Dana, relative to the accession 01' tiie United States to the 
neutral confederacy, no longer can operate, and as the true 
interest of the States requires, that they should be as little 
as possible entangled in the politics and controversies of 
European nations, it is inexpedient to renew the said 
powers either to Mr Dana, or to the other Ministers of 
these United Slates in Europe. Biit, inasmuch as the 
liberal principles, on which the said confederacy was es- 
tablished, are conceived to be, in general, favorable to 
the interests of nations, and, particularly, to those of the 
United States, and ought, in that view, to be promoted by 
the latter, as far as will consist with their fundamental 
policy ; 

Resolved, that the Ministers Plenipotentiary of these 
United States for negotiating a peace be, and they are 
hereby instructed, in case they should comprise in the de- 
finitive treaty any stipulation, amounting to a recognition of 



158 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

the rights of neutral nations, to avoid accompanying them 
by any engagements which shall oblige the contracting 
parties to support those stipulations by arms. 

ELTAS BOUDINOT, President, 



DAVID HARTLEY TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

Paris, June 14th, 1783. 
Gentlemen, 

Permit me to address the enclosed Memorial to your 
Excellencies, and to explain to you my reasons for so 
doing. 

It is because many consequences, now at a great dis- 
tance, and unforeseen by us, may arise between our two 
countries, perhaps from very minute and incidental trans- 
actions, which in their beginnings may be imperceptible 
and unsuspected as to their future effects. Our respective 
territories are in vicinity, and therefore we must be insep- 
arable. Great Britain, with the British power in America, 
is the only nation with whom, by absolute necessity, you 
must have the most intimate concerns, cither of friendship 
or hostilit}'. All other nations are three thousand miles dis- 
tant from you. You m'ay have political coimexions with any 
of these distant nations, but with regard to Great Britain it 
must be so. Political intercourse and interests will obtrude 
themselves between our two countries, because they are 
the two great powers dividing the continent of North 
America. These matters are not to come into discussion 
between us now. They are of loo much importance, 
either to be involved, or even glanced at, in any present 
transaction. 

Let everv eventual [iiinciple be kept untouched, until 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 159 

the two nations shall have recovered from tlie animosities 
of the war. Let them hnvc a pacific interval, to con- 
sider deliberately ol their mutual and combined interests, 
and of their engagements with other nations. I^et us not, 
at the outset of a tenjporary convention, adopt the severe 
principle of reducing every transaction between the two 
countries to the footing of exact reciprocity alone. Such 
a principle would cast a gloom upon conciliatory prospects. 
America is not restrained from any conciliation with Great 
Britain by any treaty with any other power. The princi- 
ples of conciliation would be most desirable between Great 
Britain and America ; and forbearance is the road to con- 
ciliation. After a war of animosities, time should be al- 
lovved for recollection. There are all reasonable appear- 
ances of conciliatory dispositions o«i all sides, which may 
be periected in time. Let us not, therefore, at such a 
moment as this, and without the most urgent necessity, 
establish a morose principle between us ; if it were a de- 
cided point against amity and conciliation, it would be time 
enough to talk of partition and strict reciprocity. To pre- 
sume in favor of conciliatio!i may help it forward ; to pre- 
sume against it, may destroy that conciliation, which might 
otherwise have taken place. 

But, in the present case, there is more than reason to 
presutne conciliation. I think myself happy, that I have 
it in my power to assure you, from autiioiity, that it is the 
fundamental principle of the British Councils, to establish 
amity and confidence between Great Britain and the 
American States, as a succedaneum for the relation, in 
which they formerly stood one to the other. The proof 
of this consists, not in words, but in substantial facts. His 
Britannic Majesty has been graciously pleased to send 



J (50 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

orders to his commanders in North America, for the 
?j)eedv and complete evacuntion of all the territories of the 
United States. His Majesty has iijiven orders in conncil, 
on the 14th of the last month, for the admission of Ameri- 
can sl)i|.)s and cargoes into Great Britain ; and on the 6th 
rr.stant, he has .given farther oriiers, permitting the importa- 
tion from America of several articles, which have been 
usually considered as manufactures. He has, likewise, 
provided for the convenience of Americp.n merchants, who 
may wish to land tobacco in Great Britain for re-exporta- 
tion. Upon the sanie j)rinciple, Mr Fox, the Secretary of 
State, corresponding with America, has moved for, and 
received the liberty of the House of Commons, [nem, con.) 
to bring in a bill, that any American merchants, importing 
rice into Great Britain, fnav, upon re-exportation, draw 
back the whole duty paid on its first importation. All 
these circuu)stances put together, undoubtedly form the 
most indisputable evidence of the disposition, which pre- 
vails in the British Councils to sive every facility to the 
je-establishment of that intercourse, which must be so ben- 
eficial to both nations. 

I am ordered to inform you, that his Majesty entirely 
approves of the plan of making a temporary convention, for 
the purpose of restoring immediate intercourse and com- 
merce, and more particularly for the purpose of putting 
off, for a lime, the decision of that important question, how 
far the British acts of navigation ought to be sacrificed to 
commercial considerations, drawn from the peculiar cir- 
cumstances of the present crisis ; a question, which will 
require much deliberation, and very much inquiry, before 
it can be determined. I am sure, Gentlemen, you will see 
and admit the reasonableness of our proceeding, in such 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. jfii 

a case, with deliberfltion and discretion ; more especially, 
when these acts of prudence do not proceed from any 
motives of coolness or reserve towards yon. In the mean- 
lime, the temporary convention may proceed upon princi- 
ples of real and accommodating reciprocity. For instance, 
we agree to put you upon a more favorable footing than 
any other nation. We do not ask a rigid reciprocity for 
this, because we know, by your present subsisting treaties, 
it is not in your power to give it to us. We desire only to 
be put upon the footing of other nations with you, and, 
yet, we consent that you shall be upon a better footing 
with us than any other nation. 

Thus far, we must be allowed to be giving something 
more than reciprocity, and this we do, as I said before, 
because we are unwilling to ask what you are unable to 
give. Surely, it is not unreasonable, nor more than, from 
principles of reciprocity, we have a right to expect that 
you should imitate our conduct in this particular, and that 
you should abstain from asking things, under the title of 
exact and literal reciprocity, which, upon the consideration 
of our case, you must know that we cannot give. Virtual 
and substantial reciprocity we are willing to give ; literal 
reciprocity is impossible, as much from your engagements, 
as from our system of navigation. 

If we can agree upon an article of intercourse and com- 
merce, in the nature of a temporary convention, on the 
basis of the Memorial, which I had the honor of giving 
lately to you, bearing date 19th of May, 1783, no time 
need be lost in finishing this business ; but with this expla- 
nation, that although it is proposed, that the commerce be- 
tween the United States and the British W^est Indies 

VOL. X. 21 



[Q2 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

should be free with regard to iheir respective productions, 
yet, that we are not bound to admit the importation of 
West India commodities into Great Britain in American 
vessels. Believe me, Gentlemen, that this restriction does 
not proceed from any invidious disposition towards the 
American States. It is imposed by indispensable pru- 
dence and necessity upon the British Ministers, who, in 
the present state of things, could not be justified to their 
own country, to go hastily to a larger extent of concession. 
This point is not to be looked upon merely as commercial, 
but as affecting fundamentally the great political system of 
British navigation ; and you are to consider, that the prin- 
ciple, upon which the whole of our proposed temporary 
convention is to stand, is, that the commerce between the 
two countries is to be revived nearly upon the old fooling ; 
but that each nation is to keep in its own hands, the power 
of making such regulations respecting navigation, as shall 
seem fit. I assure you, that this point has been discussed 
by the Ministers of the British cabinet with infinite candor, 
and with every possible disposition of amity and favor 
towards your country ; but the more diey have inquired 
upon this subject, the more they are overborne by convic- 
tion, that the prejudices upon this matter (if that be the 
name these opinions deserve) are so strong, that such a 
measure as a relaxation of the ac: of navigation, in this in- 
stance, never can be taken, but upon such a full and sol- 
emn Parliamentary inquiry, as it is impossible to go into at 
this time of the year, and in this stage of the session. I 
cannot, therefore, Gentlemen, help flattering myself, that 
you, who are so well acquainted with difficulties, which 
must embarrass an English administration in a business of 
this sort, wiJl rather endeavor to remove them, than to in- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 163 

crease them ; and I nm sure, that such a plan, on your 
part, would ultimately be most conducive to your own ob- 
jects. When an amicable intercourse is once opened, and 
when conciliatory confidence comes to take place of those 
jealousies, which have lately subsisted, you may easily 
conceive in how different a manner the whole of this mat- 
ter will be considered. 1 am confident that this will be 
the case, but if it is not, the provisions being only tempo- 
rary, it will be in the power of the United Slates, to take 
up any hostile mode of proceeding, by restraints and pro- 
hibitions, &£C. whenever they may think fit. 

1 have made use above of the word prejudices in speak- 
ing of the principles of the British act of navigation. I 
hope you will accept that term from me, as proceeding so 
far in compliance towards the future consideration of the 
points now between us, as to keep the question open and 
free for discussion. If Great Britain should, in any case, 
throw down the barriers of her act of navigation towards 
America, she should be very secure against the possible 
case of future enmity, or alliance against her. Such con- 
siderations as these, lead to objects far beyond our present 
scope or powers. But 1 must still add one word more 
upon this article of prejudices. Such prejudices (if they 
are so) are not confined to Great Britain. By your com- 
mercial treaty with France, Article 4th, you are only en- 
titled to an European trade with that kingdom, and not, 
even by that treaty, to any direct commerce between their 
West India Islands and the ports of the American States; 
much less to the immediate communication between the 
French Islands and the dominions of the Crown of France 
in Europe. Every public proceeding in England, since 
the commencement of our present negotiation for opening 



154 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

the intercourse and commerce between our two countries, 
will, I am sure, support me in saying, that we have very 
liberally taken the lead ; that we have not waited for any 
assurance of reciprocity, but have given orders for almost 
a universal admission of American articles, before we 
even know that any vessel from Great Britain will find ad- 
mission into any American ports. What do we ask in 
return ? No more than this ; that while we, gratuitously, 
and without stipulation, give advantages and favors to the 
American States, which we deny to all other nations, they 
would so far justify our liberal way of proceeding, as to 
receive us in the same manner as other nations, which are 
foreign, and to permit us to carry to North America, what 
it is evidently for their interest that we should carry 
thither. 

I need hardly add, that it is of infinite importance, that 
some temporary convention should be finished without loss 
of time. 1 hope and trust that we shall not find much 
more difficulty in this business. You must see the advan- 
tage of an immediate renewal of intercourse, and from the 
candor of your dispositions, I am sure you must likewise 
be convinced, that to give us some facility in the outset, is 
the sure road to such an equitable arrangement for the 
future, as you must have at heart. The reasons, which I 
have given in the Memorial appear to me to be cogent and 
convincing, upon the natural alliance between our two 
countries. And when the intercourse has once begun, 
everything will go in its natural road. It is, therefore, 
of infinite consequence to begin that intercourse. Great 
Britain, by all public proceedings of repeals, proclama- 
tions, he. &ic. has made the first advances, with warmth 
and confidence, and, therefore, I conclude, with the fullest 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 1Q5 

assurance, that you will meet tliose advances with cordial 
reciprocity. 

I have the honor to be, he. 

D. HARTLEY. 



DAVID hartley's MEMORIAf. TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

The proposition, which has been made for a universal 
and unlimited reciprocity of intercourse and commerce, 
between Great Britain and the American United States, 
requires a very serious consideration on the part of Great 
Britain, for the reasons already stated in a Memorial, dated 
May 19th, 1783, and for many other reasons, which in the 
future discussion of the proposition will appear. To the 
American States, likewise, it is a matter of the deepest 
importance, not only as a proposition of commercial inter- 
course, which is the least part, but most principally, as a 
political basis and guarantee for their newly established 
constitutions. The introduction of British interests into 
a communion of intercourse, will bring forward a univer- 
sal guarantee on the part of Great Britain, in the future 
progress of political events, which may afiect the United 
States of America in their national capacity. The propo- 
sition is fertile in future prospects to Great Britain ; and 
America also may wisely see in it a solid foundation for 
herself. 

All circumstances are most fortunately disposed between 
Great Britain and the American States, to render them 
useful friends and allies to each other, with a higher de- 
gree of suitableness between themselves than any other 
nations can pretend to. France cannot interchange reci- 
procities with the American States, by reason of number- 



^(55 COMMISSIOiSERS FOR PEACE. 

less impediments in her system of government, in her mo- 
nopolies, and her system of commerce. France has the 
o-reat disability of difference in language to contend with ; 
and the institution of the present French manufactures has 
never, at any tin)e heretofore, been trained or adapted to 
American commerce. The only particular and pacific facil- 
ity which France ever possessed for American intercourse, 
has for many years been transferred into the British scale 
by the cession of Canada to Great Britain. The future 
commerce, between France and America, will chiefly be 
regulated by such conveniences as France can draw to 
herself from Americii, without much aptitude on the part 
of France, to accommodate her manufactures and com- 
merce to American demands. In short, an interchange 
of reciprocities between France and America, would run 
against the stream on both sides ; and all established habits, 
manners, language, together with the principles of govern- 
ment and commerce, would militate against such a system. 
Conformably to this reasoning, it appears, that France 
has not at any time entertained any systematical design of 
forming any union or consolidation of interests with Amer- 
ica. She took up the American cause, as instrumental 
to her political views in Europe. America likewise ac- 
cepted the alliance with France, ior her separate views, 
viz. for the establishment of her independence. The alli- 
ance, therefore, is completed and terminated, without leav- 
ing behind it any political principle of future permanent 
connexion between them. Occasional circumstances pro- 
duced a temporary alliance. Similar circumstances 
may, on any future occasion, produce a similar event of a 
temporary compact. Dissimilar circumstances, arising 
from i\\\\ future poiiiical \wv,'^ of ihe Court of France 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. ]67 

in Europe, may without any inconsistency of principle, 
throw tiie power ol that kingdom into a scale adverse to 
the future interests of the American States. In such case, 
therefore, where there cannot exist any permanent poiiiical 
connexion between France and America, and where the 
commercial attachments can be but feeble, it would bo 
vain to expect in the French nation any such ally, as newly 
established States ought to look out for, lo 2;ive maturity 
and firmness to their constitutions. 

As to Spain, every argument which has bnen stated 
respecting diversity of language, manners, government, 
monopolies, and system of commerce, from those which 
prevail in the United States of America, obtains in a supe- 
rior degree. And much more to add besides, for Spain 
is not only incompetent to interchange reciprocities with 
the American States, but likewise her own situation in 
America will at all limes render her extremely jealous of 
her neighbors. The only activity which Spain has ex- 
erted in the war, has been to procure a barrier against the 
American States, by annexing West Florida to her former 
acquisition of New Orleans ; thereby embracing the mouth 
of the Mississippi, and by means of that river, jointly with 
her landed possessions, establishing a strong and jealous 
boundary against any future progress of the American 
States in those parts. Spain, therefore, cannot be looked 
upon by the American States as a suitable object of their 
election, to become a pern:anent ally and friend to them. 
Portugal likewise, labors under all the disabilities of lan- 
guage, manners, monopolies, goveruinent and system of 
commerce. Her national power and importance would 
be likewise insufficient lo constituttj a strong and perma- 
nent ally lo the American States. All liiese nstions will 



]rj3 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE 

unHoubtedly be found lo have many commodious qualities 
lur participation in commerce ; but the permanent faculties 
necessary to constitute a firm and permanent ally to the 
American States, will be found deficient in them. 

As to the Italian States, or any other powers in the 
Mediterranean, they are certainly not adequate to any 
competition of political alliance with the rising States of 
America. They will also form very commodious links 
and connexions in the general circuit of commerce ; but 
beyond these considerations, they have no share in the 
present question. The several States in the Germanic 
body are in the same predicament. 

As to the Northern powers, viz. those in the Baltic, they 
are not favored either by vicinity, or climate, for a fre- 
quent or facile intercourse of commerce with America. 
And even respecting several material articles of commerce, 
jealousies and competitions might arise. As to political 
alliances, there are no such in prospect from them to the 
American State?. Even if there were any superfluity of 
force in any of them beyond the necessities of their re- 
spective domestic situations, the extreme distance would 
be conclusive against any possible application of such 
power, as a political alliance favorable to the establishment 
and conformation of the i\merican States. 

The only maritime state on the continent of Europe re- 
maining to be discussed, as a competent candidate for 
commerce, or connexion with America, is the Republic 
of the United Netherlands, commonly called Holland. In 
respect to American commerce, the Dutch have among 
themselves everv facility combined, which the separate 
Slates of Europe possess distinctly in their own concerns, 
or nearly. Their industry, frugality, and habits of" com- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 159 

merce, may even cany them so far, as to make ihem 
rivals lo the Americans themselves, in the transportation of 
European merchandise to America. These faculties of 
commerce would have been of infinite importance to the 
American States, if the war had continued between Great 
Britain and them. But upon the event of peace, it be- 
comes a matter of the most perfect indifference to Amer- 
ica, whether each European State navigates its own com- 
merce into the ports of America, which will open lo all, 
or whether the commercial faculties of Holland enable her 
to exceed in rivalship her European neighbors, and there- 
by to navigate European goods to America beyond the 
proportion of her national share. The faculties of a nation 
of carriers may be fortunate for the marine of that nation ; 
but considered in themselves, and with respect to other 
nations, they are but secondaries in commerce. They 
give no ground of reciprocities, or participation. That 
one nation should say to another, you shall navigate all our 
rivers, harbors, lakes, ports, and places, if we may do the 
same in yours, is a proposition of reciprocity ; but that 
Holland should say to America, we will bring European 
goods to you, or you may be your own carriers, is neither 
concession nor reciprocity. Holland is not a nation of 
rivers, harbors, lakes, ports, and places^ for the distribution 
of goods and manufactures for internal consumption, and, 
therefore, her reciprocities must be very scanty. Holland 
is the market-place of Europe, and the Dutch seamen 
are the carriers appertaining to that market-place. The 
admission of American ships to that market-place, freely to 
import and to export, is, undoubtedly, an act of reciprocity 
on the part of Holland as kv as it goes, but in no degree 
VOL. X. 22 



170 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

adequate to the unlimited participation of American com- 
merce throughout the rivers, harbors, lakes, ports, and 
places of that vast continent. The commercial reciproci- 
ties of Holland, therefore, being inferior, on hf , part, 
towards America, the next point of view in which Holland 
is to be considered, as relevant to this question, is, as a 
nation of power, capable of becoming an effectual and per- 
manent ally and guarantee to the American States, for 
that is the great object, which America, as a wise nation, 
recently arisen into independence, ought to keep in view. 
Holland has certainly been a nation of great and celebra- 
ted naval force. She remains so still ; but haviiig for 
many years suspended her exertions of force, and having 
directed the faculties of her people into tlie commercial 
line, she seems not to have any superfluity of force beyond 
the necessity of providing for her own security ; and, cer- 
tainly, no such redundance of power, as to extend to the 
protection of distant nations, as allies or guarantees. It 
appears, therefore, upon the whole of this argument, that 
Holland, although a commercial nation, cannot even inter- 
change commercial reciprocities with America upon an 
equal footing, and that her faculties of force are inadequate 
to those, which America ought to expect in the permanent 
allies and guarantees of her country. 

The independence of the American States being estab- 
lished, their first consideration ought to be, to determine 
with what friendships and jiliiances they will enter into the 
new world of nations. They will look round them, and 
cast about for some natural, permanent, and powerful ally, 
with whom they may interchange all cementing reciproci- 
ties, both counnercial and political. If such an ally be to 
be found anywliere for them, it is still in Great Britaiu j at 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 171 

least, it is certain, that, in looking round Europe, no other 
is to be found. There is no inherent impossibility to pre- 
vent such a connexion from taking place ; it must depend 
on the free will and common interest of the parties. 
There are aU possible faculties on both sides, to give and 
to receive all adequate and beneficial reciprocities, which 
are practicable and more likely lo be permanent between 
independent parties, than between two parties, of which 
one is dependent on the other. Great Britain is, undoubt- 
edly, the first of European nations, in riches, credit, facul- 
ties, industry, commerce, manufactures, internal consump- 
tion, and foreign export, together with civil liberty, which 
is the source of all, and naval power, which is the support 
of all. The dominions appertaining to the Crown of 
Great Britain are large and fertile ; its Colonies still ex- 
tensive, and in close vicinity to the American States, Great 
Britain being an American, as well as an European power, 
and all her empire connected by her naval force. 

The territories of the American Stales, from the Atlantic 
ocean to the Mississippi, contain an inexhaustible source 
of riches, industry, and future power. These will be the 
foundations of great events in the new page of life. In- 
finite good, or infinite evil, may arise according to the 
principles upon which the intercourse between Great 
Britain and America shall be arranged in its foundation. 
Great Britain and America must be still inseparable, either 
as friends or foes. This is an awful and important truth. 
These are considerations not to be thought of slightly ; 
not to be prejudged in passion, nor the arrangements of 
them to be hastily foreclosed. Time given for considera- 
tion may have excellent effects on both sides. The pause 
of peace, with friendly intercourse, returning affection, and 



172 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

dispassionate inquiry, can alone decide these important 
events, or do justice to the anxious expectations of Great 
Britain and America. 



THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

Philadelphia, June 16th, 1783. 
Gentlemen, 

I am sorry to inform you, that by the resignation of Mr 
Living^ston as Minister for Foreign Affairs, it has become 
necessary that you should receive the resolutions of Con- 
gress, relative to your mission through my hands. The 
disadvantage arising A'om this necessity, until a successor 
to that vs^orthy gentleman is appointed, will be yours, as it 
is impossible for me to do more than barely to transmit the 
acts of CoQgress necessary for your information. 

Enclosed you have one of the 1st of May last, and 
another of the 1 2th instant, which I hope will get safe to 
hand time enough for your government. The commission 
and instructions referred lo in the first, not being ready, it 
was thought best to forward the resolution without delay, 
that you might know what was intended in the present im- 
portant period of your negotiation. We have been much 
surprised, that we have not received any communications 
from you since the cessation of hostilities, except a letter 
of the 5th of April, from Mr Laurens. 
I have the honor to be, &ic. 

ELIAS BOUDINOT, PresidenU 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 173 

HENRY LAURENS TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

London, Jnne 17th, 1783. 

Gentlemen, 

I had the honor of addressinj^ you on the 10th, immedi- 
ately after my landing at Dover. As early as possible 
after my arrival here, I obtained an interview with Mr 
Secretary Fox, who was pleased to read to me part of his 
latest despatches to Mr Hartley, which he supposed would 
reach Paris on the 14th. It is probable, therefore, that 
before this time, as much of the contents as is proper for 
your knowledge has been communicated. 

"Reciprocity," since the 10th of April, has undergone 
a certain degree of refinement. The definition of that 
term appears now to be possession of advantages on one 
side, and restrictions on the other. "The navigation act 
is the vital of Great Britain, too delicate to bear a touch." 
The sudden and unexpected, perhaps illicit, arrival of 
ships and cargoes from America, may have caused this 
change of tone. But you have heard in detail, and are 
more competent to judge. 

From a desire of forming an opinion, I asked Mr Fox, 
whether he thought I might venture for a few daj^s, to take 
the benefit of Bath, and yet be in time enough at Paris 
for the intended commercial agreement } He replied, "I 
rather think you may." One need not be a conjurer to 
draw an inference ; you will either have finished the busi- 
ness before I could travel to Paris, or without being missed 
there I may go to Bath and repair my nerves. 

In this state of uncertainty, when it is easy to perceive 
affections are not as we could wish them, nor quite so warm 
as we had been taught to believe, it would not be wise to 



174 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

commit the United States ; wherefore I shall rest the bus- 
iness till I hear from yon, or until a more favorable pros- 
pect ; flattering myself with hopes of your surmounting the 
late seeming difficulties. An inconvenience on your side is 
preferable to the hazard of a disgrace. 

J am, with great regard and respect, Uc. 

HENRY LAURENS. 



THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS TO B. FRANKLIN. 

Philadelphia, June 18th, 1783. 
Sir, 
I have tiie honor of enclosing you an official letter, di- 
rected to our Ministers Plenipotentiary at Paris. 

The resignation of the late Secretary for Foreign Affairs, 
(occasioned by his preference of the Chancellorship of 
the Slate of New York, which he could not hold longer 
and retain his Secretaryship,) has cast the business of his 
office on me, till a successor is elected, which 1 hope will 
speedily take place. 

As part o( the resolution of Congress of the 12th instant, 
enclosed in that letter, is of a secret nature, I have written 
it in cyphers, but not having that of Mr Livingston's, I 
thought it best to use Mr Morris's to you, which he has 
obligingly supplied me with; so that the Ministers will be 
indebted for your decyphering it. 

Your letter to Mr Livingston of iht 15th of April, en- 
closing the iwc; medals, came to hand this morning. I am 
sorry to find, iliai you have cause for similar complaints to 
those we have been making for two months past, on the 
subject of want of intelligence. We have not heard from 
auy of our Commissi'.uers al Paris, since Febriiury, ex- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 175 

cepting a letter tVorn Mr Laurens, though our cUixiely and 
expectations have been wound up to the highest pitch. 

1 feel myself much indebted lor youi- polite compliment 
of the medal ; it is thought very elegant, and the device 
and workmanship much admired. You will be pleased, 
Sir, to accept my acknowledgments on this occasion. As 
I doubt not but the copper one was designed lor Mr Liv- 
ingston personally, 1 shall send it to him by the first con- 
venient opportunity. He is a worthy deserving character, 
and the United States will suffer greatly by his resignation, 
though 1 ihit)k him justified in attending to the calls of his 
private affairs. 

You will receive herewith a number of our late news- 
papers, in which are inserted many resolves, associa- 
tions, &.C. from all parts of the country, which 1 earnestly 
wish could be kept out of sight. But the truth is, that 
the cruelties, ravages, ?nd barbarisms of the refugees and 
loyalists, have left the people so sore, that it is not yet time 
for them to exercise their good sense and cooler judgment. 
And that cannot take place, while the citizens of New 
York are kept out of their city, and despoiled daily of 
their property, by the sending off their negroes by hun- 
dreds, in the face of the treaty. It has been exceedingly 
ill judged in the British to retain New York so long, and 
to persist in sending away the negroes, as it has irritated 
the citizens of America to an alarming degree. 
1 have the honor to be, he 

ELIAS BOUDINOT. 



176 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

HENRY LAURENS TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

London, June 20th, 1783. 
Gentlemen, 

Permit me to refer to what I had the honor of writing 
to you the 17th. You will recollect my suggestions, as 
soon as we perceived the falling off from those warm as- 
surances, which had heen pressed in March and April. 
They were not ill founded. 1 delayed a week in hopes 
of intelligence, and left you with reluctance ; the temper 
of the times forbids even an essay. 

What a happy country is this, where everything pertain- 
ing to the public is rendered to them in public newspa- 
pers. See the enclosed, containing nearly as accurate an 
account of certain recent occurrences, as if it had been 
penned by one of the parties. It might indeed have been 
made a little stronger. Modest men are sometimes re- 
strained from attempting a public good, from a dread of 
the effects of envy, of being held up in an invidious light. 
It would be cruel to disturb them. 

I have heard nothing from America, save what you may 
have read in the prints. Tomorrow 1 shall proceed to 
Bath, and be waiting .<"or intelligence, as well from your- 
selves as frojn Congress. Some consolation arises from 
reflecting, that while I am endeavoring to mend my health, 
you suffer no inconvenience from my absence. 
With sincere regai-d and respect, 

HENRY LAURENS. 



Sir, 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 177 

TO THR COUNT D£ VERGENNES. 

Passy, June 26th, 1783 



Mr Grand, banker to tlie Congress, having laid be- 
fore us the annexed state of their affairs in his hands, 
we conceive ourselves indispensably obliged to com- 
municate the same to your Excellency, as some im- 
portant interests of both countries are concerned.* 

Before the peace was known in America, and while 
Mr Morris had hopes of obtaining the five per cent 
duty and a larger loan from his Majesty, the immediate 
urgent necessities of the army obliged him to draw 
bills, and sell them to the merchants, to raise money 
for the purchase of provisions, to prevent their starv- 
ing or disbanding. 

The merchants have thereupon formed their plans 
of business, and remitted those bills to their corres- 
pondents here, to pay debts, and purchase goods in this 
kingdom, to be carried home in the ships, that are 
come, or coming to France, thus to open a larger 
commerce with this nation. 

If those bills cannot be paid, the creditors of Amer- 
ica will be disappointed and greatly hurt, and the 
commerce will bo deranged and discouraged in its 
first operations, of which the numerous ill conse- 
quences are more easily imagined than described. 

Our loan in Holland is going on, and with such 
prospect of success, that the bankers, who have the 
care of it, have lately sent by express to Mr Adams 
all the blank obligations, necessary to complete it, for 

* See Mr Grand's letter above, p. 139. 
VOL. X. 23 



178 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

him to sign, that they might have them ready to de- 
liver as demanded, his return thither being delayed. 

This loan will, therefore, probably answer the bills 
Mr Morris has drawn on those bankers. 

But the protesting any of his bills here would occa- 
sion such an alarm there, as must probably entirely 
stop any further progress of that loan, and thereby in- 
crease the mischief. 

The government of the Congress would also be en- 
feebled by it. 

We apprehend, too, that, in the present unsettled 
situation of our affairs with England, such a failure 
might have very ill effects, with respect to our nego- 
tiations. 

We therefore request your counsel, hoping your 
wisdom, which has so often befriended our nation, 
may point out some way, by which we may be extri- 
cated from this distress. 

And as the King has hitherto so generously assisted 
us, we hope that, if it is any way practicable, his Ma- 
jesty will crown the glorious work, by affording us 
this help, at the different periods when itvvill be 
wanted, and which is absolutely the last that will be 
asked. 

We are, with sincere and great respect, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY. 

PROPOSITIONS MADE BY THE COMMISSIONERS TO DA- 
VID HARTLEY FOR THE DEFINITIVE TREATY. 

Article i. To omit in the definitive treaty the 
exception, at the end of the second Article of the 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE, 179 

provisional treaty, viz. these words, " excepting such 
islands as now are, or heretofore have been within the 
limits of the said Province of Nova Scotia." 

Article 11. The prisoners made respectively, by 
the arms of his Britannic Majesty, and the United 
States, by sea and by land, not already set at liberty, 
shall be restored reciprocally and bona fide, immedi- 
ately after the ratification of the definitive treaty, with- 
out ransom, and on paying the debts they may have 
contracted during their captivity ; and each party shall 
respectively reimburse the sums, which shall have 
been advanced, for the subsistence and maintenance of 
the prisoners, by the sovereign of the country where 
they shall have been detained, according to the re- 
ceipts and attested accounts, and other authentic titles, 
which shall he produced on each side. 

Article hi. His Britannic Majesty shall employ 
his good offices and interposition with the King or 
Emperor of Morocco or Fez, the Regencies of Algiers, 
Tunis and Tripoli, or vvith any of them, and also with 
every other Prince, State or power of the coast of 
Barbary, in Africa, and the subjects of the said King, 
Emperor, States and powers and each of them, in or- 
der to provide as fully and efficaciously as possible for 
the benefit, conveniency and safety of the said United 
States and each of them, their subjects, people and in- 
habitants, and their vessels and efiects, against all vio- 
lence, insult, attacks or depredations on the part of 
the said Princes and States of Barbary, or their 
subjects. 

Article iv. If war should hereafter arise between 
Great Britain and the United Slates, which God for- 



IgO COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

bid, Ihe merchants of either counlry then residing in 
Ihe other, shall be allowed to remain nine months to 
collect their debts and settle their affairs, and may- 
depart freely, carrying off all their effects without 
molestation or hinderance. And all fishermen, all cul- 
tivators of the earth, and all artisans and manufactur- 
ers unarmed and inhabiting unfortified towns, villages 
or places, who labor for the common subsistence and 
benefit of mankind, and peaceably follow their respec- 
tive employments, shall be allowed to continue the 
same, and shall not be molested by the armed 
force of the enemy in whose power, by the events of 
war, they may happen to fall ; but if anything is ne- 
cessary to be taken from them, for the use of such 
armed force, the same shall be paid for at a reasonable 
price. And all merchants or traders with their un- 
armed vessels employed in commerce, exchang;ing the 
products of different places and thereby rendering the 
necessaries, conveniences and comforts of human life 
more easy to obtain, and more general, shall be al- 
lowed to pass freely unmolested. And neither of the 
powers, parties to this treaty, shall grant or issue any 
commission, to any private armed vessels, empow^ering 
them to take or destroy such trading ships, or inter- 
rupt such commerce. 

Article v. And in case eitiier of the contracting 
parties, shall liappen to be engaired in war with any 
other nation, it is iurther agreed, in order to prevent 
all the difficulties and misunderstandings that usually 
arise respecting the merchandise heretofore called con- 
traband, such as arms, ammunition, and military stores 
of all kinds, that no such articles carrying by the ships 



DIPLOMATIC COKRESPONUEISCE. igj 

or subjects ot" one of the parties to the enemies ol" the 
other, shall on any account be deemed contraband, so 
as to induce confiscation and a loss of property to 
individual^. Nevertheless, it shall be lawful to stop 
such ships and detain them for such length of time as 
the captors may think necessary to prevent tlie incon- 
veniences or damage that might ensue from tiieir pro- 
ceeding on their voyage, paying, however, a reason- 
able compensation for the loss such arrest shall occasion 
to the proprietors. And it shall further be allowed to 
use in the service of the captors, the whole or any 
part of the military stores so detained, paying to the 
owners the full value of the same. 

Article vi. The citizens and inhabitants of the 
said United States, or any of them, may take and hold 
real estates in Great Britain, Ireland, or any other of 
his Majesty's dominions, and dispose by testaments, 
donations or otherwise of their property, real or per- 
sonal, in favor of such person as to them shall seem 
fit; and their heirs, citizens of the said United States, 
or any of them residing in the British dominions or 
elsewhere, may succeed them ah intestaio, without be- 
ing obliged to obtain letters of natural>zation. The 
subjects of his Britannic Majesty shall enjoy on their 
parts, in all the dominions of the said United States, 
an entire and perfect reciprocity, relative to the stip- 
ulations contained in the present Article. 

Article vii. The ratifications of the definitive 
treaty shall be expedited in good and due form, and 
exchanged in the space of five months, or sooner if it 
can be done, to be computed from the day of the sig- 
nature. 



132 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

Article viii. Query. Whether the King of 
Great Britain will admit the citizens of the United 
States to cut logwood on the district allotted to his 
Majesty by Spain, and on what terms } 



DAVID hartley's SIX PROPOSITIONS FOR A DEFINITIVE 
TREATY. 

June, 1783. 

1st. That lands belonging to persons ot' any descrip- 
tion, which have not actually been sold, shall be restored 
10 the old possessors without price. 

2dlv. That an equal and free participation ot the 
different carrying places, and the navigation of all the lakes 
and rivers of that country, through which the water line of 
division passes between Canada and the United Stales, 
shall be enjoyed fully and uninterruplediy by both parties. 

3dly. That in any such places, within the boundaries 
assigned generally to the American States, as are adjoining 
to the water line of division, and which are not specifically 
under the dominion of any one State, all persons at pres- 
ent resident, or having possessions or occupations as mer- 
chants, or otherwise, may remain in peaceable enjoyment 
of all civil rights, anci in pursuit ol their respective occupa- 
tions. 

4thlv. That in any such places adjoining to the water 
line of division, as may be under the specific dominion of 
any particular Stale, all persons at present resident, or 
havino" possessions or occupations as merchants, or other- 
wise, may renr^in in the peaceable enjoyment of all civil 
ncbts, and n) pursuit oi iheir occupauoni^, .mtil they shall 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCK. 183 

receive notice ol" reirjoval from ilie State to wliich any 
such place may appertain ; and, upon any such nf)lice ot 
removal, a term o( three years shall be allowed ior bcllin'*, 
or \vithdravvin2; their valuable effects, and for seniinj^ their 
affairs. 

5thly. That his Britannic Majesty's forces, not ex- 
cec^ding in number, may continue in the posts 

now occupied by them contiguous to the water line, for 
the term of three years, for the purpose of securing the 
lives, properly, and peace of any persons settled in that 
country, against the invasion or ravages of the neigh- 
boring Indian nations, v;ho may be suspected of retaining 
resentments, in consequence of the late war. 

6thly. That no tax or impost whatsoever, shall be laid 
on any articles of commerce passing or repassing through 
the country, but that the trade may be left entirely open, 
for the benefit of all parlies interested therein. 



THE COMMISSIONERS .\NSWEKS TO MR HARTLEY S SIX 
PROPOSITIONS. 

To the 1st. This matter has been already regulated in 
the 5th and 6th Articles of the Provisional Treaty, to the 
utmost extent of our powers. The rest must he left to 
the several States. 

2dlv. AH the lakes, rivers, and waters, divided by 
the -boundary line, or lines, between the United States and 
his Britannic Majesty's territories, shall be freely used and 
navigated by both parties, during the whole extent of such 
divisions. Regulations concerning roads, carrying places, 
and any land communications between said waters, whether 
within the line of the United Stales or that of his Majesty, 



Ig4 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

fogetlier with the navignlion of all waters and rivers in 
America, belonging; lo either party, may be made in a ne- 
gotiation of a treaty of commerce. 

odly. That in all places belonging to the United 
Slates, in the country adjoining to the water line of divis- 
ion, and which, during the war, were in his Majesty's pos- 
session, all persons at present resident, or having possess- 
ions or occupations as merchants, or otlierwise, may 
remain in the peaceable enjoyment of all civil rights, and 
in pursuit of their occupations, until they shall receive no- 
tice of removal from Congress, or the State to which any 
such place may appertain ; and that upon any such notice 
of removal, a term of two years shall be allowed for sell- 
inir, or withdrawing their effects, and for settling their 
affairs. 

4thly. That his Britannic Majesty's forces, not cx- 
ceedins; in number, may continue in the 

posts now occupied by them contiguous to the water liiic, 
until Congress shall give them notice to evacuate the said 
posts, and garrisons of their own shall arrive at said posts, 
for the purpose of securing the lives, p.roperty, and peace 
of any persons settled in that country, against the invasion 
or ravages of the neighboring Indian nations, who may be 
suspected of retaining resentments, in consequence of the 
late war. 

othly. The consideration of this proposition may be 
left to the treatv of commerce. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. JSS 

TO DAVID HARTLKY. 

Passv, July 17th, 1783. 

Sir, 
We have the honor to inlorm you, thai \vc have just re- 
ceived from Congress, their ratification in due form, of the 
Provisional Articles of the 30th of November, 1782, and 
we are ready to exchange ratifications vvith his Britannic 
Majesty's Ministers as soon as may be. 

By the same Articles it is stipulated, that his Britannic 
Majesty shall, with all convenient speed, and without 
causing any destruction, or carrying away any negroes, or 
other property of the American inhabitants, withdraw all 
his armies, garrisons, and fleets from the United States, 
and from every port, place, and harbor within the same. 
But, by intelligence lately received from America, and by 
the enclosed copies of letters and conferences between 
General Washington and Sir Guy Carleton, it appears that 
a considerable number of negroes, belonging to the citizens 
of the United Stales, have been carried off from New 
York, contrary to the express stipulation contained in the 
said Article. We have received from Congress their in- 
structions to represent this matter to you, and to request 
that speedy and effectual measures be taken to render 
that justice to the parties interestetl, which the true 
intent and meaning of tht> Article in question plainly 
dictates. 

We are also instructed to represent to you, that many 

of the British debtors in America have, in the course of 

the war, sustained such considerable and heavy losses by 

the operations of the British arms in that country, that a 

VOL. X. 24 



186 



COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 



great number of tliein have been rendered Incapable of 
immediately satisfying those debts ; we refer it to the 
justice and equity of Great Britain, so far to amend the 
Article on that subject, as that no execution shall be issued 
on a judgment to be obtained in any such case, but after 
the expiration of three years from the date of the defini- 
tive treaty of peace. Congress also think it reasonable, 
that such part of the interest, which may have accrued on 
such debts during the war, shall not be payable, because 
all intercourse between the two countries had, during that 
period, become impracticable, as well as improper. It 
does not a[)pear just, that individuals in America should 
pay for delays in payment, which were occasioned by the 
civil and military measures of Great Britain. In our 
opinion, the interest of the creditors as well as the debtors, 
requires that some tenderness be shown to the latter, and 
that they should be allowed a little time to acquire the 
means of discharging debts, which, in many instances, 
exceed the whole amount of their property. 

As it is necessary to ascertain an epocha for the restitu- 
tions and evacuations to be made, we propose, that it be 
agreed, that his Britannic Majesty shall cause to be evacu- 
ated the posts of New York, Penobscot, and their depen- 
dencies with all other posts and places in possession of his 
Majesty's arms within the United States, in the space of 
three months after the signature of the definitive treaty, or 
sooner, if possible, excepting those posts contiguous to the 
water line, mentioned in the 4th proposition, and those 
shall be evacuated when Congress shall give the notice 
therein mentioned. 

We do ourselves the honor of making these communi- 
cations to you. Sir, that you may transmit them, and the 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. \S7 

papers accompanying them, to your Court, and inform 

us of their answer. 

We have the honor to be, &ic. &ic. 

JOHN ADAMS, 
H. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY. 



TO ROBERT K. LIVINGSTON. 

Pa«sy, July 18th, J 783. 
Sir, 

We have had the honor of receiving by Captain 
Barney your two letters of the 25th of March and 
21st of April, with the papers referred to in them. 

We are happy to find, that the Provisional Articles 
have been approved and ratified by Congress, and we 
regret, that the manner in which that business was 
conducted, does not coincide with your ideas of pro- 
priety. We are persuaded, however, that this is 
principally owing to your being necessarily unac- 
quainted with a number of circumstances, known to 
us, who were on the spot, and which will be particu- 
larly explained to you hereafter, and, we trust, to 
your satisfaction, and that of the Congrecs. 

Your doubts respecting the Separate Article, we 
think, are capable of being removed ; but as a full 
state of the reasons and circuinstances, which promp- 
ted that measure, would be very prolix, we shall 
content ourselves with giving you the general out- 
lines. 

Mr Oswald was desirous to cover as much of the 
eastern shores of the Mississippi with British claims 



Ig3 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

as possible ; and, for this purpose, we were told a 
great deal about the ancient bounds of Canada, Louis- 
iana, kc. &c. The British Court, who had, probably, 
not yet adopted the idea of relinquishing the Floridas, 
seemed desirous of annexing as much territory to them 
as possible, even up to the mouth of the Ohio. Mr 
Oswald adhered strongly to that object, as well to ren- 
der the British countries there of sufficient extent to 
be (as he expressed it) worth keeping and protecting, 
as to aflbrd a convenient retreat to the tories, for 
whom it would be difficult otherwise to provide ; and, 
among other arguments, he finally urged his being 
willing to yield to our demands to the east, north, and 
west, as a further reason for our gratifying him on the 
point in question. He also produced the commission 
of Governor Johnson, extending the bounds of his 
government of West Florida, up to the river Yazoo ; 
and contended for that extent as a matter of right, 
upon various principles, which, however, we did not 
admit, the King not being authorised, in our opinion 
to extend or contract the bounds of the colonies at 
pleasure. 

We were of opinion, that the country in contest was 
of great value, both on account of its natural fertility 
and of its position, it being, in our opinion, the inter- 
est of America to extend as far down towards the 
mouth of the Mississippi as we possibly could. We 
also thought it advisable to impress Britain with a 
strong sense of the importance of the navigation of that 
river to their future commerce on the interior waters, 
from the mouth of the St Lawrence to that of the 
Mississippi, and thereby render that Court averse to 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPOJNDENCK. 139 

any stipulations with Spain to relinquish it. These 
two objects militated against each other, because to 
enhance the value of the navigation, was also to en- 
hance the value of the countries contiguous to it, and 
thereby disincline Britain to the dereliction of them. 
We thought, therefore, that the surest way to reconcile 
and obtain both objects would be by a composition 
beneficial to both parties. We therefore proposed, 
that Britain should withdraw her pretensions to all the 
country above the Yazoo, and that we would cede all 
below it to her, in ca§e she should have the Floridas 
at the end of the war; and, at all events, that she 
should have a right to navigate the river throughout 
its whole extent. This proposition was accepted, and 
we agreed to insert the contingent fact of it in a sepa- 
rate Article, for the express purpose of keeping it se- 
cret for the present. That Article ought not, there- 
fore, to be considered as a mere matter of favor to 
Britain, but as the result of a bargain, in which that 
Article was a quid pro quo. 

It was in our opinion, both necessary and justifiable, 
to keep this Article secret. The negotiations be- 
tween Spain, France, and Britain were then in full 
vigor, and embarrassed by a variety of clashing de- 
mamls. The publication of this Article would have 
irritated Spain, and retarded, if not have prevented 
her coming to an agreement with Britain. 

Had we mentioned it to the French Minister, he 
must have not only informed Spain of it, but also been 
obliged to act a part respecting it, that vvould prob- 
ably have been disagreeable to America ; and he cer- 
tainly has reason to rejoice that our silence saved him 
that delicate and disagreeable task. 



190 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

This was an Article, in which France had not the 
smallest interest, nor is there anything in her treaty 
with us, that restrains us from making what bargain 
we please with Britain about those or any other lands, 
without rendering account of such transaction to her 
or any other power whatever. The same observation 
applies with still greater force to Spain ; and neither 
justice nor honor forbid us to dispose as we pleased of 
our own lands without her know^ledge or consent. 
Spain at that very time extended her pretensions and 
claims of dominion, not only over the tract in question 
but over the vast region lying between the Floridas 
and Lake Superior ; and this Court was also, at that 
very time, soothing and nursing those pretensions by 
a proposed conciliatory line for splitting the difference. 
Suppose, therefore, we had offered this tract to Spain, 
in case she retained the Floridas, should we even have 
had thanks for it ? or would it have abated the cha- 
grin she experienced from being disappointed in her 
extravagant and improper designs on that whole coun- 
try f We think not. 

We perfectly concur with you in sentiment, Sir, 
that ^^honesiy is the best policy.^' But, until it be shown 
that we have trespassed on the rights of any man, or 
body of men, you must excuse our thinking that this 
remark as a])plied to our proceedings was unnecessary. 
Should any explanations, either with France or 
Spain become necessary on this subject, we hope and 
expect to meet with no embarrassment. We shall 
neither amuse them nor perplex ourselves with flimsy 
excuses, but tell them j^lainly, that it was not our 
duty lo u,ivL' llic'in the informnlion ; wc considered 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 191 

ourselves at liberty to withhold it. And we shall re- 
mind the French Minister that he has more reason to 
be pleased than displeased with our silence. Since 
we have assumed a place in the political system of the 
world, let us move like a primary and not like a sec- 
ondary planet. 

We are persuaded, Sir, that your remarks on these 
subjects resulted from real opinion and were made 
with candor and sincerity. The best men will view 
objects of this kind in different lights even when 
standing on the same ground ; and it is not to be 
wondered at, that we, who are on the spot and have 
the whole transaction under our eyes, should see many 
parts of it in a stronger point of light, than persons 
at a distance, who can only view it through the dull 
medium of representation. 

It would give us great pain if anything we have 
written or now write respecting this Court should be 
construed to impeach the friendship of the King and 
nation for us. We also believe that the Minister is so 
far our friend, and is disposed so far to do us good 
offices, as may correspond with, and be dictated by his 
system of policy for promoting the power, riches, and 
glory of France. God forbid that we should ever 
sacrifice our faith, our gratitude, or our honor, to any 
considerations of convenience ; and may He also for- 
bid that we should ever be unmindful of the dignity 
and independent spirit, which should always character- 
ize a free and generous people. 

We shall immediately propose an Article to be in- 
serted in the definitive treaty for postponing the pay- 
ment of British debts for the time mentioned by Con- 
gress. 



192 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

There are, no doubt, certain ambiguities in our Articles, 
hi!t it is not to be wondered at, when it is considered how 
exceedingly averse Britain was to any expressions, which 
explicitly wounded the tories; and how disinclined we were 
to use any, that should amount to absolute stipulations 
in their favor. 

The words for returning the properly of real British 
■subjects were well understood and explained between us, 
not to mean or comprehend American refugees. Mr Os- 
wald and I\Ir Fitzherbert know this to have been the case, 
and will readily confess and admit it. This mode of ex- 
pression was preferred by them, as a more delicate mode 
of excluding those refugees, and of making a proper dis- 
tinction between them and the subjects of Britain, whose 
only particular interest, in America consisted in holding 
lands or property there. 

The Cth Article, viz. where it declares, that no future 
confiscations shall be made, &lc. ought to have fixed the time 
with greater accuracy. We think the most fair and true 
construction is, that it relates to the date of the cessation of 
hostilities. That is the lime when peace in fact took 
place, in consequence of prior informal, though binding, 
contracts to terminate the war. We consider the defini- 
tive treaties, as only giving the dress of form to those con- 
tracts, and not as constituting the obligation of them. Had 
the cessation of hostilities been the effect of truce, and con- 
sequently nothing more than a temporary suspension of 
war, another construction would have been the true one. 

We are officially assured by Mr Hartley, that positive 
orders for the evacuation of New York have been de- 
spatched, and that no avoidable delay will retard diat event. 
Had we proposed to fix a time for it, the British Comniis- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 193 

sioner would have contended, that it should be a time pos- 
terior to the date ol the definitive treaty, and that would 
have been probably more disadvantageous to us, than as 
that Article now stands. 

We are surprised to hear, that any doubts have arisen 
in America, respecting the time when the cessation of hos- 
tilities look place there. It most certainly look place at 
the expiration of one month alter the date of that declara- 
tion, in all parts of the world, whether by land or sea, that 
lay north of the latitude of the Canaries. 

The ships afterwards taken from us, in the more north- 
erly latitudes, ought to be reclaimed and given up. We 
shall apply to Mr Hartley on this subject, and also on 
ihal of the transportation of negroes from New York, con- 
trary to the words and intention of the provisional articles. 
We have the honor to be, &:c. 

JOHN ADAMS, 
B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY. 

TO ROBERT H. I.IVINGSTON. 

Paris, July 27th, 1783. 
Sir, 
The definitive treaties between the late belligerent pow- 
ers are none of them yet completed. Ours has gone on 
slowly, owing partly to the necessity Mr Hartley, successor 
of Mr Oswald, thinks himself under of sending every pro- 
position, either his own or ours, to his Court for their ap- 
probation, and their delay in answering, through negligence 
perhaps, since they have heard our ports are open, or 
through indecision, occasioned by ignorance of the sub- 
ject, or through want of union among the Ministers. We 
VOL. X. 25 



194 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

send yon herewith copies of several papers, that have 
passed between us. He has lor some time assured us, that 
he is in hourly expectation of answers, but they do not 
arrive. The British Proclamation, respecting the com- 
merce, appears to vex him a good deal. We enclose a 
copy. And we are of opinion, that finally we shall find 
it best to drop all commercial articles in our definitive 
treaty, and leave everything of that kind to a future special 
treaty, to be made either in America or in Europe, as 
Congress shall think fit to order. Perhaps it may be best 
to give powers for that purpose to the Minister, that prob- 
ably will be sent to London. The opinion here is, that it 
will be becoming in us to take the first step towards the 
mutual exchange of Ministers, and we have been assured 
by the English Minister, who treats with us here, that ours 
will be well received. 

The Dutch preliminaries are not yet agreed on, and it 
seems to be settled, that we are to sign all together, in the 
presence ot the Ministers of the two Imperial Courts, who 
are to be complimented with the opportunity of signing as 
mediators, though they have not yet, and perhaps will not 
be consulted in the negotiations. Mr Adams has gone to 
Holland for three weeks, but will return sooner if wanted. 
The propositions you mention, as made to us from that 
State, we suppose he has given you an account of. Noth- 
ing was, or is likely to be, done upon them here, and 
therefore it was less necessary to say ^mything concerning 
them. A Minister Iroru thence has been s:one some time 

o 

to Congress, and it he has tlio<e propositions in charge, 
they will best be considered there. 

With great esteem, up have the honor to be, Sic. 

B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 195 



PROJECT FOR A DEFINITIVE TREATY OF PEACE. 

Project for the Definitive Treaty of Peace and Friend- 
ship, between his Britannic Majesty and the United 
States of America, concluded at the 

day of 1783. 

Be it known to all those, lo whom it shall or may in any 
manner belong. 

It has pleased the Most High to diffuse the spirit of 
union and concord among the nations, whose divisions had 
spread troubles in the four parts of the world, and to in- 
spire them with the inclination to cause the comforts of 
peace, to succeed to the misfortunes of a long and bloody 
war, which having arisen between Great Britain and the 
United States of America, in its progress communicated 
itself 10 France, Spain, and the United Netherlands. 

Consequently the United States of America, did, on the 
fifteenth of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand 
seven hundred and eightyone, name and appoint their 
Ministers Plenipoiemiary, and resolve, ordain, and grant 
their Commission in the following words, viz. [See 
page 71.] 

And his Majesty, the King of Great Britain, did on the 
tvventyfirst day of September, in the twentysecond year 
of his reign, issue his Commission, under the great seal 
of Great Britain, to Richard Oswald, in the words follow- 
ing, viz. [See page 80.] 

And his said Britannic Majesty, on the one part, and 
the said United Slates of America on the other, did lay 
the foundations of peace in the preliminaries, signed at 
Paris, on the thirtieth of November last, by the said Rich- 



i96 COMiMISSIONERS FOR PEACE 

ard Oswald, on the part of his said Majesty, and by the 
said John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and 
Henry Laurens, on the part of the said United States, in 
virtue of their respective full powers aforesaid, and after 
having mutually shown to each other their said full powers 
in good form, and mutually exchanged authenticated 
copies of the same. 

And his said Britannic Majesty did, on the twentyfourth 
day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand, seven 
hundred and eightytwo, and in the twentysecond year of his 
reign, issue his Commission, signed with his royal hand, and 
under the great seal of Great Britain, to Alleyne Fitzherbert, 
in the following words, viz. [Here follows the Commission.] 

And the said Alleyne Fitzherbert, on the part of his said 
Britannic Majesty, and John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, 
in the necessary absence of the said John Jay and Henry 
Laurens, on the part of the said United States, did, at Ver- 
sailles, on the twentieth day of January last, communicate 
to each other their full powers aforesaid, in good form, and 
agreed upon an armistice in the words following ; [See 
pp. 121, 123.] 

And his Britannic Majesty did on the 
day of in the year of our Lord, one 

thousand seven hundred a^id eightythree, and in the 
iwentythird year of his reign, issue his Commission, signed 
with his royal hand, and under the great seal of Great 
Britain, to David Hartley, in the following words, viz. ; 
[Here follows the Commission.] 

And now the said David Hartley, Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary of his said Britannic Majesty, in beiialf of his said 
Majesty on the one part, and John Adams, Benjamin 
Franklin, and John Jay, Ministers Plenipotentiary of the 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 197 

said United States of America, in behalf of the said States 
on the other, having communicated to each other their 
aforesaid full powers in good form, and nmtually ex- 
changed authenticated copies of the same, have, by virtue 
thereof agreed, and do hereby agree and conclude upon 
the Articles, the tenor of which is as follows, viz. 

Whereas reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience 
are found, by experience, to form the only permanent 
foundation of peace and friendship between States, it is 
agreed to form the Articles of this treaty on such princi- 
ples of liberal equity and reciprocity, as that partial advan- 
tages, those seeds of discord, being excluded, such a bene- 
ficial and satisfactory intercourse between the two coun- 
tries may be established, as to promise and secure to both 
perpetual peace and harmony. 

ARTICLE I. 

The same as Article 1st of the preliminary treaty, but 
finishing at "every part thereof." 

ARTICLE II. 

The same as Article 2d of the preliminary treaty, but 
commencing with the remaining part of Article 1st, "and 
that all disputes," he. and ending with the words, "and 
the Atlantic ocean." 

ARTICLE 111. 

The same as Article 3d of the preliminary treaty. 

ARTICLE IV. 

It is agreed, that creditors on either side, shall meet 
with no lawful impediment to the recovery of the full value 
in sterling money of all bona fide debts heretofore contrac- 



198 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

ted, excepting that the respective governments on both 
sides may, if they think proper, pass acts directing, that, in 
consideration of the distresses and disabilities brought on 
by the war, and by the interruption of commerce, no exe- 
cution shall be issued on a judgment to be obtained in any 
such case, until after the expiration of three years from the 
date of this definitive treaty ; nor shall such judgments in- 
clude any allowance for interest for the time that passed 
during the war, and until the signing hereof. 

ARTICLE v. 

And whereas doubts have arisen concerning the true 
construction of the 5th Article of the provisional treaty, 
and great difficulties are likely to arise in its execution, it 
is hereby agreed, that the same shall be declared void, 
and omitted in this definitive treaty. 

And, instead thereof, it is agreed, that as exact an 
account as may be, shall be taken by Commissioners to be 
appointed for thai purpose on each pan, of all seizures, 
confiscations, ur destruction ol property belonging to the 
adherents of the Crown of Great Britain in America, (ex- 
clusive of prizes made at sea, and debts mentioned in the 
preceding Article,) and an account of ail seizures, confis- 
cations, or destruction of property belonging to the ad- 
herents o\ the Dnited Stales residing either therein, or in 
Canada; and ihe said property being duly appraized and 
valued, the accounts thereof shall be compared, and the 
balance shall be paid In money by the parly, which has 
suftered leasi, within one year after such adjustment of the 
said accounts. And it is further agreed, thai all persons, 
who have any interest in confiscated lands, either by debts, 
or marriage seidemenis, or otherwise, shall meet wilh no 
lawful impediment in the prosecution of their just rights. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 199 

ARTICLK VI. 

The same as Article 6th of the preliminary treaty. 

ARTICLE VII. 

There shall be a firm and perpetual peace between his 
Britannic Majesty and the said States, and between the 
subjects of the one, and the citizens of the other. And his 
Britannic Majesty shall, with all convenient speed, and 
without causing any destruction, or carrying away any 
negroes, or other property of the American inhabitants, 
withdraw all his armies, garrisons, and fleets from the said 
United States, and from every port, place, and harbor 
within the same, leaving in all fortifications tl>e American 
artillery that may be therein. And shall also order and 
cause all archives, records, deeds, and papers belonging to 
any of the said States, or their citizens, which, in the 
course of the war, may have fallen, into the hands of his 
o/Ticers, to be forthwith restored and delivered to the 
proper States and persons to whom they belong. And all 
destruction of property, or carrying away of negroes, or 
other property belonging to the American inhabitants, con- 
trary to the above stipulation, shall be duly estimated and 
compensated to the owners. 

ARTICLE VI 11. 

The navigation of the rivers Mississippi and St 
Lawrence from their sources to the ocean, shall for- 
ever remain free and open to the subjects of Great 
Britain and the citizens of the United States. 

AKTICLIi: IX. 

The prisoners made respectively by the arms of his 
Britannic Majesty and the United States, by land and 



200 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

by sea, not already set at liberty, shall be restored 
reciprocally and bona fide, immediately after the ratifi- 
cation of the definitive treaty, without ransom, and on 
paying the debts they may have contracted during 
their captivity ; and each party shall respectively re- 
imburse tiie sums which shall have been advanced for 
the subsistence and maintenance of their prisoners by 
the sovereign of the country where they shall have 
been detained, according to the receipts and attested 
accounts and other authentic titles, which shall be 
produced on each side to commissioners, who shall be 
mutually appointed for the purpose of settling the 
same. 

ARTICLE X. 

His Britannic Majesty shall employ his good offices 
and interposition with the King or Emperor of Mo- 
rocco or Fez, the Regencies of Algiers, Tunis, and 
Tripoli, or with any of them, and also with every 
other Prince, State, or Power of the coast of Barbary 
in Africa, and the subjects of the said King, Emperor, 
States, and Powers, and each of them, in order to 
provide, as fully and ejfficaciously as possible, for the 
benefit, conveniency and safety of the said United 
States, and each of them, their subjects, people, and 
inhabitants, and their vessels and effects, against all 
violence, insult, attacks, or depredations, on the part 
of the said Provinces and States of Barbary, or their 
subjects. 

AKTICLE XI. 

If war should hereafter arise between Great Britain 
i\a\ the United States, which God forbid, the mer- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 201 

chants of either country, then residing in the other, 
shall be allowed to remain nine months to collect their 
debts and settle their affairs, and may depart freely, 
carrying off all their effects, without molestation or 
hinderance. And all fishermen, all cultivators of the 
earth, and all artisans or manufacturers, unarmed and 
inhabiting unfortified towns, villages, or places, who 
labor for the common subsistence and benefit of man- 
kind, and peaceably follow their respective employ- 
ments, shall be allowed to continue the same, and shall 
not be molested by the armed force of the enemy, in 
whose power, by the events of war, they may happen 
to fall ; but if anything is necessary to be taken from 
them for the use of such armed force, the same shall 
be paid for at a reasonable price. All merchants or 
traders, with their unarmed vessels employed in com- 
merce, exchanging the products of different places, and 
thereby rendering the necessaries, conveniences and 
comforts of human life more easy to obtain, and more 
general, shall be allowed to pass freely unmolested. 
And neither of the powers, parties to this treaty, shall 
grant or issue any commission to any private armed 
vessel, empowering them to take or destroy such 
trading ships or interrupt such commerce, i 

•ARTICLE XII. 

And in case either of the contracting parties shall 
happen to be engaged in war with any other nation, 
it is further agreed, in order to prevent all the difficul- 
ties and misunderstandings that usually arise respect- 
ing the merchandise heretofore called contraband, such 
as arms, ammunition, and militar}' stores of all kinds, 
VOL. X. 26 



COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE 



that no such articles carrying by the ships or subjects 
of one of the parties to the enemies of the other, shall, 
on any account, be deemed contraband, so as to induce 
confiscation and a loss of property to individuals; 
nevertheless, it shall be lawful to stop such ships and 
detain them for such length of lime as the captors may 
think necessary to prevent the inconvenience or dam- 
age that might ensue from their proceeding on their 
voyage, paying, however, a reasonable compensation 
for the loss such arrest shall occasion to the proprie- 
tors. And it shall further be allowed to use in the 
service of the captors, the whole, or any part of the 
military stores so detained, paying to the owners the 
full value of the same, to be ascertained by the current 
price at the place of its destination. 

ARTICLE XIII. 

The citizens and inhabitants of the said United 
States, or any of them, may take and hold real estates 
in Great Britain, Ireland, or any other of his Majes- 
ty's dominions, and dispose by testament, donation, or 
otherwise, of their property, real or personal, in favor 
of such persons as to them shall seem fit; and their 
heirs, citizens of the United States, or any of them, 
residing in the British dominions, or elsewhere, may 
succeed them, ah intesiatOy without being obliged to 
obtain letters of naturalization. 

The subjects of his Britannic Majesty shall enjoy 
on their part, in all the dominions of the said United 
States, an entire and perfect reciprocity, relative to the 
stipulations contained in tlie present Article. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 203 

ARTICLE XIV. 

His Majesty consents, that the citizens of the United 
States may cut logwood as heretofore in the district 
allotted to his subjects by the treaty with Spain, on 
condition that they bring or send the said logwood to 
Great Britain, or Ireland, and to no other part of 
Europe. 

ARTICLE XV. 

All the lakes, rivers, and waters, divided by the 
boundary line, or lines, between his Britannic Majes- 
ty's territories and those of the United States, ls well 
as the rivers mentioned in Article shall be 

freely used and navigated by the subjects and citizens 
of his said Majesty and of the said States, in common 
over the whole extent or breadth of the said lakes, 
rivers and waters. And all the carrying places, on 
which side soever situated of the said dividing waters, 
or between the said rivers and the waters or territories 
of either of the parties, may and shall be freely used 
by the traders of both, without any restraint, demand 
of duties, or tax, or any imposition whatsoever, ex- 
cept such as inhabitants of the country may be sub- 
ject to. 

ARTICLE XVI. 

That in all places belonging to the United States, or 
either of them, in the country adjoining to the water 
line of division, and which, during the war, were in 
his Majesty's possession, all persons at present resident 
or having possessions or occupations as merchants or 
otherwise, may remain in the peaceable enjoyment of 



204 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

all civil rights, and in pursuit of their occupations, 
unless they shall within seven years from the date 
hereof, receive notice from Congress or the State to 
which any such place may appertain, to remove, and 
that upon any such notice of removal a term of two 
years shall be allowed for selling or withdrawing their 
effects and for settling their affairs. 

ARTICLE XVII. 

It is further agreed, that his Britannic Majesty's 
forces, not exceeding in number, 

may continue in the posts now occupied by them, 
contiguous to the water line, until Congress shall give 
them notice to evacuate the said posts, and American 
garrisons shall arrive at said posts for the purpose of 
securing the lives, property, and peace of any persons 
settled in that country, against the invasion or ravages 
of the neighboring Indian nations, who may be sus- 
pected of retaining resentments in consequence of the 
late war. 

ARTICLE XVIII. 

It is further agreed, that his Britannic Majesty shall 
cause to be evacuated the ports of New York, Penob- 
scot and their dependencies, with all other posts and 
places in possession of his Majesty's arms within the 
United States, in three months after the signing of this 
treaty, or sooner if possible, excepting those posts 
contiguous to the water line abovementioned, which 
are to be evacuated on notice as specified in Article 

XVII. 

ARTICLE XIX. 

It 19 agreed that all vessels, which shall have been 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 206 

taken by either party from the other, after the term of 
twelve days within the Channel or the North Seas, or 
after the term of one month anywhere to the north- 
ward of the latitude of the Canaries inclusively, or 
after the term of two months between the latitude of 
the Canaries and the Equinoctial line, or after the 
term of five months in any other part of the world, 
(all which said terms are to be computed from the third 
day of February last,) shall be restored. 

His said Britannic Majesty and the said United 
States pron*iise to observe sincerely and bona jide^ all 
the Articles contained and settled in the present 
treaty ; and they will not suflfer the same to be in- 
fringed, directly or indirectly, by their respective sub- 
jects and citizens. 

The solemn ratifications of the present treaty, expe- 
dited in good and due form, shall be exchanged in the 
city of London, or Philadelphia, between the contract- 
ing parties in the space of months, or sooner 
if possible, to be computed from the day of the signa- 
ture of the present treaty. 

In witness whereof, we, the underwritten, their 
Ministers Plenipotentiary, have signed with our hands, 
in their name, and in virtue of our full powers, the 
present definitive treaty, and have caused the seal of 
our arms to be put thereto. 

Done at the day of 

1783. 



206 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 



RATIFICATION OF THE PROVISIONAL ARTICLES BY GREAT 
BRITAIN. 

George R. 

George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great 
Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke 
of Brunswick and Lunenburg, Arch Treasurer, and Prince 
Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, &ic. 

Wliereas Provisional Articles between us and our good 
friends, the United States of America, viz. New Hamp- 
shire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence 
Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Penn- 
sylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, 
South Carolina, and Georgia, were concluded and signed 
at Paris, on the thirtieth day of November, one thousand 
seven hundred and eighlylwo, by the Commissioners of us 
and our said good friends, duly and respectively authorised 
for that purpose ; which Provisional Articles are in the 
form and words following ; [Here follows the treaty. See 
pages 109 to 115.] 

We having seen and considered the Provisional Articles 
aforesaid, have approved, ratified, accepted, and confirmed 
the same in all and every one of their clauses, and provi- 
sos, as we do by these presents, approve, ratify, accept, 
and confirm them, for ourself, our heirs, and successors ; 
engaging and promising upon our royal word, that we will 
sincerely and faithfully perform and observe, all and sin- 
gular the things which are contained in the aforesaid Pro- 
visional Articles, and that we will never sufier them to be 
violated by any one, or transgressed in any manner, as far 
ae it lies in our power. For tiie greater testimony and 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 207 

validity of all vvljicli, we have caused our great seal of 
Great Britain to be affixed to these presents, which we 
have signed with our royal hand. 

Given at our Court at St James, the sixth day of Au- 
gust, one thousand seven hundred and eightythree, in the 
twenlythird year of our reign. 

GKORGE R. 



All Act of the British Parliament, repealing certain 
Acts prohibiting Intercourse with the United States. 

An Act to repeal so ntiuch of two Acts, made in the six- 
teenth and seventeenth years of the reign of his present 
Majesty, as prohibits trade and intercourse v»ith the United 
States of America. 

Whereas it is highly expedient, that the intercourse 
between Great Britain and the United States of America 
should be immediately opened ; be it therefore enacted 
and declared by the King's IVlost Excellent Majesty, by 
and with the advice and consent of the Lords Sj)iritual and 
Temporal and Commons, in the present Parliament assem- 
bled, and by the authority ol the same, that an Act passed 
in the sixteenth year of his Majesty's reign, entitled, "An 
Act to prohibit all trade and intercourse with the Colonies 
of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, 
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the 
three lower counties on Delaware. Maryland, Virginia, 
North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, during the 
continuance of the present rebellion within the said Colo- 
nies respectively, for repealing an Act made in the four- 
teenth year of the reign of his present Majesty, to discontinue 
the lading and discharging, lading or shipping, of goods, 



208 COxMMISSiONERS FOR PEACE 

wares, and merchandise, at the town and within the har- 
l)or of Boston in the province of Massachusetts Bay ; and 
also two Acts, made in the last session of Parliament, for 
restraining the trade and commerce of the Colonies in the 
said Acts respectively mentioned ; and to enable any per- 
son or persons, appointed and authorised by his Majesty 
to grant pardons, to issue proclamations, in the cases and 
for the purposes therein mentioned ;" and also an Act, 
passed in the seventeenth year of his Majesty's reign, 
entitled, "An Act for enabling the Commissioners for exe- 
cuting the office of XiOrd High Admiral of Great Britain, 
to grant commissions to the commanders of private ships, 
and vessels employed in trade, or retained in his Majesty's 
service, to take and make prize of all such ships and ves- 
sels, and their cargoes, as are therein mentioned, for a 
limited time ;" so far as the said Acts, or either of them, 
may extend, or be construed to extend, to prohibit trade 
and intercourse with the territories now composing the 
said United States of America, or to authorise any hostil- 
ities against the persons or properties of the subjects and 
citizens of the said Un?led States, after the respective peri- 
ods set forth in his Majesty's proclamation for the cessa- 
tion of hostilities between Great Britain and the United 
Slates of America, bearing date the fourteenth day of Feb- 
ruary, one thousand seven hundred and eightythree, shall 
be, and the same are henceforth repealed. 

Anno vicesimo tertio Georgii 1 1 J, Regis ; cap. 26. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 209 

DAVID HARTLEY TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

Paris, August 29th, 1783. 
Gentlemen, 
As the day is now fixed for ihe signatures of the defin- 
itive treaties, between Great Britain, France, and Spain, 
I beg leave to inform your Excellencies, that 1 am ready 
to sign the definitive treaty, between Great Britain and 
the United States of America, whenever it shall be con- 
venient to you. I beg the favor, therefore, of you to fix 
the day. My instructions confine me to Paris, as the 
place appointed to me for the exercise of my functions, 
and, therefore, whatercr day you may fix upon for the 
signature, I shall hope to receive the honor of your com- 
pany at the Hotel de York. 

I am, Gentlemen, with the greatest respect, yours, he. 

DAVID HARTLEY. 



TO DAVID HARTLEY. 

Passy, August 30th, 1783. 

The American Ministers Plenipotentiary for making 
peace with Great Britain, present their compliments to 
Mr Hartley. They regret that Mr Hartley's instructions 
will not permit him to sign the definitive treaty ol peace 
with America at the place appointed for the signature of 
the others. They will, nevertheless, have the honor of 
waiting upon Mr Hardey at his lodgings at Paris, for the 
purpose of signing the treaty in question, on Wednesday 
morning at eight o'clock. 
VOL. X. 27 



210 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

DAVID HARTLEY TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

Paris, September 4th, 1783. 
Gentlemen, 

It is with the sincerest pleasure that I congratulate, 
you on the happy event which took place yesterday, 
viz. ; the signature of the definitive treaty between our 
two countries. I considered it as the auspicious pre- 
sage of returning confidence, and of the future inter- 
course of all good offices between us. I doubt not 
that our two countries will entertain the same senti- 
ments, and that they will behold with satisfaction the 
period which terminates the memory of their late un- 
happy dissensions, and which leads to the renewal of 
all the ancient ties of amity and peace. I can assure 
you, that his Britannic Majesty and his confidential 
servants entertain the strongest desire of a cordial good 
understanding with the United States of America. 
And that nothing may be wanting on our parts to per- 
fect the great work of pacification, I shall propose to 
you in a very short time, to renew the discussion of 
those points of amity and intercourse which have been 
lately suspended, to make way for the signature of the 
treaties between all the late belligerent powers, which 
took place yesterday. 

We have now the fairest prospects before us, and an 
unembarrassed field for the exercise of every benef- 
icent disposition, and for the accomplishment of every 
object of reciprocal advantage between us. Let us, 
then, join our hearts and liands together in one com- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 211 

mon cause for the reunion of all our ancient affections 

and common interests.* 

I am, Gentlemen, &c. 

DAVID HARTLEY. 



B. FRANKLIN TO CHARLES FOX. 

Passy, September 5th, 1783. 
Sir, 

I received in its time the letter you did me the 
honor of writing to me by Mr Hartley ; and I cannot 
let him depart without expressing my satisfaction in 
his conduct towards us, and applauding the prudence 
of that choice, which sent us a man possessed of such 
a spirit of conciliation, and of all that frankness, sin- 
cerity, and candor, which naturally produce confi- 
dence, and thereby facilitate the most difficult nego- 
tiations. Our countries are now happily at peace, on 
which I congratulate you most cordially ; and I beg 
you to be assured, that as long as I have any concern 
in public affairs, I shall readily and heartily concur 
with you in promoting every measure that may tend 
to promote the common felicity. 

With great and sincere esteem and respect, I have 
the honor to be, &c. 

B. FRANKLIN. 

* As the definitive treaty was an exact copy of the Provisional 
Articles (see above, p. 109) it is here omitted. 



212 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

TO DAVID HARTLEY. 

Passy, September 5th, 1783. 
Sir, 

We have received the letter you did us the honor 
to write yesterday. 

Your friendly congratulations on the signature of 
the definitive treaty meet with cordial returns on our 
part ; and we sincerely rejoice with you on that event, 
hy which the Ruler of nations has been graciously 
pleased to give peace to our two countries. 

We are no less ready to join our endeavors than 
our wishes with yours, to concert such measures for 
reo-ulatins: the future intercourse between Great Brit- 
ain and the United States, as, by being consistent with 
the honor and interests of both, may tend to increase 
and perpetuate mutual confidence and good will. 

We ought, nevertheless, to apprize you, that as no 
construction of our commission could at any period 
extend it, unless by implication, to several of the pro- 
posed stipulations ; and as our instructions respecting 
commercial provisions, however explicit, suppose 
their being incorporated in the definitive treaty, a re- 
currence to Congress previous to the signature of them 
will be necessary, unless obviated by the despatches 
we may sooner receive from them. 

We shall immediately write to them on the subject, 
and we are persuaded that the same disposition to con- 
fidence and friendship, which has induced them al- 
ready to give unrestrained course to British commerce 
and unconditionally to liberate all i)risoners at a time 
when more caution would not liave appeared singular, 
will also urge their attention to tlie objects in question, 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 213 

and lead them to every proper measure for promoting 
a liberal and satisfactory intercourse between the two 
countries. 

We have communicated to Congress the repeated 
friendly assurances with which you have officially 
honored us on these subjects, and we are persuaded 
that the period of their being realized will have an 
auspicious and conciliating influence on all the parties 
in the late unhappy dissensions. 
We have the honor to be, &c. 

JOHN ADAMS, 
B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY. 



TO DAVID HARTLEY. 

Passy, September 7th, 1783. 
Sir, 
We have the honor of transmitting, herewith en- 
closed an extract of a resolution of Congress of the 1st 
of May last, which we have just received. 

You will perceive from it, that we may daily expect 
a commission in due form, for the purposes mentioned 
in it ; and we assure you of our readiness to enter 
upon the business whenever you may think proper.* 
We have the honor to be, &c. 

JOHN ADAMS, 
B. FRANKLIN, 
JOHN JAY. 

* In Congress, May Isl, 1783. On the report of a committee to 
whom was referred a letter of February 5th, from the honorable John 
Adams. 

"Ordered, That a commission be prepared to Messrs John Adams, 
Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, authorising them, or either of 



214 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Passy, September 10th, 1783. 

Sir, 

On the 3d instant definitive treaties of peace were con- 
cluded between all the late belligerent powers, except the 
Dutch, who the day before settled and signed preliminary 
articles of peace with Britain. 

We most sincerely and cordially congratulate Congress 
and our country in general on this happy event ; and we 
hope, that the same kind providence, which has led us 
through a rigorous war to an honorable peace, will enable 
us to cnake a wise and moderate use of that inestimable 
blessing. 

We have cominimicaled a duplicate original of the 
treaty to the care of Mr Thaxter, who will go immediately 
to L'Orieni, whence he will sail in the French packet to 
New York. That gentleman left America with Mr Adams 
as his private Secretary, and his conduct having been per- 
fectly satisfactory to that Minister, we join in recommend- 
ing him to the attention of Congress. We have ordered 
Mr Grand to pay him one hundred and thirty louis d'ors, 
on account of the reasonable expenses to be incurred by 

them in the absence of the others, to enter into a treaty of commerce 
between the United States of America and Great Britain, subject to 
the revisal of the contracting parties, previous to its final conclusion, 
and in the meantime to enter into a commercial convention, to con- 
tinue in force one year. 

"That the Secretary of Foreign Affairs lay before Congress, with- 
out delay, a plan of a treaty of commerce, and instructions relative to 
the Bame.to be transmitted to the said commissioners." 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE '215 

his mission to Congress, and his journey from thence to his 
family at Hingham, in the Massachusetts Bay. For the 
disposition of tlie money he is to account. The defini- 
tive treaty heing in the terms of the Provisional Articles, 
and not compreliending any of the objects of our subse- 
quent negotiations, it is proper that we give a summary 
account of them. 

When Mv Hartley arrived here, he brought with him 
only a set of instructions, signed by the King. We ob- 
jected to proceeding with him until he should have a com- 
mission in form. This occasioned some delay. A proper 
commission was, however, transmitted to him, a copy of 
which was shortly after sent to Mr Livingston. 

We having been instructed to obtain, if possible, an Ar- 
ticle for a direct trade to the West Indies, made to Mr 
Hartley the proposition No. 1.* 

He approved of it greatly, and recommended it to his 
Court, but they declined assenting to it. 

Mr Hartley then made iis the proposition No. 2 ;f but 
being asked, whether he was authorised to sign it, in case 
we agreed to it, he answered in the negative. We, there- 
lore, thought it improper to proceed to the consideration of 
it, until after he should have obtained the consent of his 
Court to it. We also desired to be informed, whether his 
Court would, or would not, comprehend Ireland in their 
stipulations with us. 

The British Cabinet would not adopt Mr Hartley's 
propositions, but their letters to him were calculated to in- 
spire us with expectations, that as nothing but particular 

* See Mr Adams's proposed agreement, above, p. 151. 
t See Mr Hartley's proposed agreement, p. 154. 



216 COMMISSIOiNERS FOR PEACE. 

local circumstances, which would probably not be of long 
duration, restrained them from preferring the most liberal 
system of commerce with us, the Ministry would take the 
earliest opportunity of gratifying their own wishes, as well 
us ours, on that subject. 

Mr Hartley then made us the propositions No. 3.* At 
this time, we were informed, that letters for us had arrived 
in France from Philadelphia; we expected to receive 
instructions in them, and told Mr Hartley, that this expec- 
tation induced us to postpone giving him an answer for a 
few days. 

The vessel by which we expected these letters, it seems 
had not brought any for us. But at that time information 
arrived from America, that our ports were all opened to 
British vessels. Mr Hartley thereupon did not think him- 
self at liberty to proceed, until after he should communi- 
cate that intelligence to his Court and receive their further 
instructions. 

Those further instructions never came ; and thus our 
endeavors as to commercial regulations proved fruitless. 
We had many conferences, and received long Memorials 
from Mr Hartley on the subject ; but his zeal for systems 
friendly to us, constantly exceeded his autiiority to concert 
and agree to them. 

During the long interval of his expecting instructions, 
for his expectations were permitted to exist almost to the 
last, we proceeded to make and receive propositions for 
perfecting the definitive treaty. Details of all the amend- 
ments, alterations, objections, expectations, &ic. which oc- 
curred in the course of these discussions, would be volu- 
minous. We finally agreed that he should send to his 

■* Above, p. 182. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 217 

Court the project or draft of a treaty, No. 4.* He did 
so, but after much time, and when j)ressed by France, 
who insisted that we should all conclude together, he was 
instructed to sign a definitive treaty in the terms of the 
Provisional Articles. 

Whether the British Court meant to avoid a definitive 
treaty with us, through a vain hope, from the exaggerated 
accounts of divisions among our people, and want of au- 
thority in Congress, that some revolution might soon hap- 
pen in their favor ; or whether their dilatory conduct was 
caused by the strife of the two opposite and nearly equal 
parties in the Cabinet, is hard to decide. 

Your Excellency will observe, that the treaty was signed 
at Paris, and not at Versailles. Mr Hartley's letter of 
August 29th, and our answer, will explain this. His objec- 
tions, and indeed our proceedings in general, were com- 
municated to the French Minister, who was content that 
we should acquiesce, but desired that we would appoint 
the signing early in the morning, and give him an account 
of it at Versailles by express, for that he would not pro- 
ceed to sign on the part of France, till he was sure that 
our business was done. 

The day after the signature of the treaty, Mr Hartley 
wrote us a congratulatory letter, to which we replied. 

He has gone to England, and expects soon to return, 
which for our parts we think uncertain. We have taken 
care to speak to him in strong terms, on the subject of 
the evacuation of New York, and the other important 
subjects proper to he mentioned to him. We think 
we may rely on his doing everything in his power to influ- 
ence his Court to do what they ought to do ; but it does 

* See above, p. 195. 

VOL. X. 28 



218 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

not appear, that tliey have as yet formed any settled sys- 
tem for their conduct relative to the United States. We 
cannot but think, that the late and present aspect of affairs 
in America, has had and continues to have, an unfavorable 
influence, not only in Britain but throughout Europe. 

In whatever light the Article respecting the tories may 
be viewed in America, it is considered in Europe as very 
humiliating to Britain, and tlierefore as being one, which 
we ought in honor to perform and fulfil with the most scru- 
pulous regard to good faith, and in a manner least offensive 
to the feelings of the King and Court of Great Britain, 
who upon that point are extremely tender. 

The unseasonable and unnecessary resolves of vari- 
ous towns on this subject, the actual expulsion of tories 
from some places, and the avowed implacability of almost 
all who have published their sentiments about the matter, 
are circumstances, which are construed, not only to the 
prejudice of our national magnanimity and good faith, but 
also to the prejudice of our governments. 

Popular committees are considered here, as with us, in 
the light of substitutes to constitutional government, and as 
being only necessary in the interval between the removal 
of the former and the establishment of the present. 

The constitutions of the different States have been trans- 
lated and published, and pains have been taken to lead 
Europe to believe, that the American States, not only 
made their own laws, but obeyed them. But the contin- 
uance of popular assemblies, convened expressly to delib- 
erate on matters proper only for the cognizance of the dif- 
ferent legislatures and officers of government, and their 
proceeding not only to ordain, but to enforce their resolu- 
tions, has exceedingly lessened the dignity of the States in 
the eyes of these nations. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 219 

To this we may also add, that the situation of the army, 
the reluctance of the people to pay taxes, and the circum- 
stances under which Congress removed from Philadelphia, 
have diminished the admiration, in which the people of 
America were held ainong the nations of Europe, and 
somewhat abated their ardor for forming connexions with 
us, before our affairs acquire a greater degree of order 
and consistence. 

Permit us to observe, that in our opinion, the recom- 
mendation of Congress, promised in the fifth Article, should 
immediately be made in the terms of it, and published, 
and that the States should be requested to take it into con- 
sideration, as soon as the evacuation by the enemy shall 
be completed. It is also much to be wished, that the 
legislatures may not involve all the tories in banishment 
and ruin, but that such discrimination may be made, as to 
entitle the decisions to the approbation of disinterested men 
and dispassionate posterity. 

On the 7th instant we received your Excellency's letter 
of the 1 6th of June last, covering a resolution of Congress 
of the 1st of May, directing a commission to us for making 
a treaty of commerce, &;c. with Great Britain. This in- 
telligence arrived very^ opportunely to prevent the anti- 
American party in England from ascribing any delays, on 
our part, to motives of resentment to that country. Great 
Britain will send a Minister to Congress, as soon as Con- 
gress shall send a Minister to Britain, and we think much 
good might result from that measure. 

The information of M. Dumas, that we encouraged the 
idea of entering into engagements with the Dutch, to de- 
fend the freedom of trade, was not well founded. Our 
sentiments on that subject exactly correspond with those of 



220 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

Congress ; nor did we even think or pretend, that we had 
authoriiy to adopt any such nneasures. 

We have reason to think that the Emperor, and Russia, 
and other commercial nations, are ready to make treaties of 
commsrce with the United States. Perhaps it might not 
he improper for Congress to direct, that their disposition 
on the subject be communicated to those Courts, and 
thereby prepare the way for such treaties. 

The Emperor of Morocco has manifested a very friendly 
disposition towards us. He expects, and is ready to re- 
ceive a Minister from us ; and as he may either change 
his mind, or may be succeeded by a prince differently dis- 
posed, a treaty with him may be of importance. Our trade 
to the Mediterranean will not be inconsiderable, and the 
friendship of Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli may be- 
come very interesting, in case the Russians should succeed 
in their endeavors to navigate freely into it by Constanti- 
nople. 

Much, we think, will depend on the success of our ne- 
gotiations with England. If she should be prevailed upon 
to agree to a liberal system of commerce, France, and 
perhaps some other nations, will follow her example ; but 
if she should prefer an exclusive, monopolizing plan, it is 
probable that her neighbors will continue to adhere to their 
favorite restrictions. 

Were it certain that the United Stales could be brought 
to act as a nation, and would jointly and fairly conduct 
their commerce on principles of exact reciprocity with all 
nations, we think it probable that Britain would make ex- 
tensive concessions. But, on the contrary, while the pros- 
pect of disunion in our councils, or want of power and en- 
ergy in our executive departments exist, ihey will not be 



DIPLOMATIC CURKESPOJNDEJNCE. 221 

apprehensive of reialiation, and consequently lose iheir 
principal iriolive to liberty. Unless, vvitli respect to all 
foreign nations and transactions, we uniformly act as an 
entire united nation, faithfully executing and obeying the 
constitutional acts of Congress on those subjects, we shall 
soon find ourselves in the situation in which all Eu- 
rope wishes to see us, viz. as unimportant consumers of 
her manufactures and productions, and as useful laborers 
to furnish her with raw materials. 

We beg leave to assure Congress that we shall apply 
our best endeavors to execute this new commission to their 
satisfaction, and shall punctually obey such instructions as 
they may be pleased to give us relative to it. Unless Con- 
gress have nominated a Secretary to that commission, we 
shall consider ourselves at liberty to appoint one ; and as 
we are satisfied with the conduct of Mr Franklin, the Sec- 
retary to our late commission, we propose to appoint him, 
leaving it to Congress to make such compensation for his 
services as they may judge proper. 

Count de Vergennes communicated to us a pro[)osition. 
viz. herewith enclosed,* for explaining the 2d and 3d Ar- 
ticles of our treaty with France in a manner different from 
the sense in which we understand them. This being a 
matter in which we have no right to interfere, we have not 
expressed any opinion about it to the Court. 

With great respect, we have the honor to be, Sir, your 
Excellency's most obedient and most humble servants, 

JOHN ADAMS, 
B. FRANKLIN, 
.lOHN JAY, 

* See above, p. 146. 



222 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 

FROM CONGRESS TO THE COMMISSIONERS. 

October 29th, 1783. 

By the United States in Congress assembled. 
To the Commissioners of the United States of America 

at the Court of Versailles, empowered to negotiate 

a peace, or to any one or more of them ; 

1st. You are instructed and authorised to announce to 
his Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Germany, or to his 
Ministers, the high sense which the United States in Con- 
gress assembled entertain of his exalted character and em- 
inent virtues, and their earnest desire to cultivate his friend- 
ship, and to enter into a treaty of amity and commerce for 
die mutual advantage of the subjects of his Imperial Ma- 
jesty, and the citizens of these United States. 

2dly. You are instructed to meet the advances and 
encourasje the disposition of the other commercial powers 
in Europe for entering into treaties of amity and commerce 
with these United States. In negotiations on this subject, 
vou will lay it down as a principle in no case to be de- 
viated from, that they shall respectively have for their basis 
the mutual advantage of the contracting parties on terms of 
the most perfect equality and reciprocity, and not to be 
repugnant to any of the treaties already entered into by the 
United States witii France and other foreign powers. 
That such treaties shall, in the first instance, be proposed 
for a term not exceeding fifteen years, and shall not be 
finally conclusive until they shall respectively have been 
transmitted to the United States in Congress assembled, 
for their examination and final direction ; and that, with the 
drafts or propositions for such lrealio5-, ^hall be transmitted 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE, 22^? 

all the inlormation which shall come vvitliin the knowledge 
of the said Ministers respecting the same; and their obser- 
vations after the most mature inquiry on the probable ad- 
vantages or disadvantages and effects of such treaties 

respectively. 

3dly. You are instructed to continue to press upon the 
Ministers of his Danish Majesty the justice of causing sat- 
isfaction to be made for the value of the ships and goods 
captured by the Alliance frigate and sent into Bergen, and 
how essentially it concerns the honor of the United States 
that their gallant citizens should not be deprived of any 
part of those prizes, which they had so justly acquired by 
their valor. That as far as Congress have been informed, 
the estimate of those prizes at fifty thousand pounds 
sterling is not immoderate ; that no more however is de- 
sired than their true value, after every deduction which 
shall be thought equitable. That Congress have a sincere 
disposition to cultivate the friendship of his Danisii Majesty, 
and to promote a commercial intercourse between his sub- 
jects and the citizens of the United States, on terms which 
shall promise mutual advantage to both nations. That it 
is therefore the wish of Congress, that this claim should 
still be referred to the equitable disposition of his Danish 
Majesty, in full confidence that the reasonable expecta- 
tions of the parties interested will be fully answered ; ac- 
cordingly you are fully authorised and directed, after 
exerting your best endeavors to enforce the said claim to 
the extent it sliall appear to you to be well founded, to 
make abatements if necessary, and ultimately to accept 
such compensation as his Danish Majesty can be prevailed 
upon to grant. 

4thly. You are further instructed, to inquire and re- 



224 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE 

port to Congress the reasons why the expedition of the 
Alliance and Bon Homme Richard, and the squadron 
which accompanied them, was carried on at the expense 
and on account of the Court of France ; whedier any part 
of the profit arising therefrom accrued to the United 
vStates ; or any of the expense thereof has been placed 
to their account ; whether the proceeds of any of the 
prizes taken in that expedition, and which is due to the 
American officers and seamen employed therein, is depos- 
ited in Europe ; and what amount, where, and in whose 
hands. 

5thly. The acquisition of support to the independence 
of the United States having been the primary object of the 
instructions to our Ministers respecting the convention of 
the neutral maritime powers for maintaining the freedom of 
commerce, you will observe, that the necessity of such 
support is superseded by the treaties lately entered into for 
restoring peace. And although Congress approve of the 
principles of that convention, as it was founded on the 
liberal basis of the maintenance of the rights of neutral 
nations, and of the privileges of commerce, yet they are 
unwilling at this juncture, to become a party to a confed- 
eracy which may hereafter too far complicate the interests 
of the United States with the politics of Europe; and, 
therefore, if such a progress is not already made in this 
business as may render it dishonorable to recede, it is the 
desire of Congress and their instruction to each of the 
Ministers of the United States at the respective Courts in 
Europe, that no further measures be taken at present 
towards the adinisslon of the United States into that con- 
federacy. 

6thly. The Ministers of these States for negotiating a 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 225 

peace with Great Britain are hereby instructed, authorised 
and directed, to urge forward the definitive treaty to a 
speedy conclusion ; and unless there shall be an immediate 
prospect of obtaining articles or explanations beneficial to 
the United States, in addition to the Provisional Articles, 
that they shall agree to adopt the Provisional Articles as 
the substanc3 of a definitive treaty of peace. 

7thly. The Minister or Ministers of these United 
States for negotiating a peace are hereby instructed to ne- 
gotiate an explanation of the following paragraph of the 
declaration acceded to by them on the 20th of January, 
1783, relative to captures, viz. "that the term should be 
one month from the Channel and North Sea as far as the 
Canary Islands, inclusively, whether in the ocean or the 
Mediterranean." 

Sthly. Mr Jay is hereby authorised to direct Mr Car- 
michael to repair to Paris, should Mr "Jay be of opinion 
that the interest of the United States at the Court of 
Madrid may not be injured by Mr Carmichael's absence ; 
and that Mr Carmichael carry with him the books and 
vouchers necessary to make a final and complete setde- 
ment of the accounts of public moneys which have passed 
through the hands of Mr Jay and himself; and that Mr 
Barclay attend Mr Jay and Mr Carmichael to adjust those 
accounts. 

Othly. Mr Jay has leave to go to Bath, should he find 
it necessary for the benefit of his health. 

VOL. X. 29 



^^ COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE. 



RATIFICATION OF TUE DEFINITIVE TREATY BY CONGRESS. 

Know ye, that we, the United States in Congress as- 
sembled, having seen and considered the Definitive Articles 
aforesaid, (meaning the treaty signed by the Commission- 
ers in Paris, on the 30th of November, 1782,) have ap- 
proved, ratified, and confirmed, and by these presents do 
approve, ratify, and confirm the said Articles, and every 
part and clause thereof, engaging and promising, that we 
will sincerely and faithfully perform and observe the same, 
and never suffer them to be violated by any one, or trans- 
gressed in any manner, as far as lies in our power. 

In testimony whereof, we have caused the seal of the 
United States to be hereunto affixed. Witness, his Excel- 
lency Thomas Mifflin, President, this fourteenth day of 
January, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven 
hundred and eightyfour, and in the eighth year of the 
sovereignty and independence of the United States of 
America. 



PROCLAMATION OF CONGRESS RESPECTING THE DEFINI- 
TIVE TREATY. 

By the United States in Congress assembled, 

A PROCLAMATION. 

Whereas Definitive Articles of peace and friendship be- 
tween the United States of America and his Britannic 
Majesty, were concluded and signed at Paris, on the third 
day of September, one thousand seven hundred and eighty- 
three, by the Plenipotentiaries of the said United States 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 227 

and of his said Britannic Majesty, duly and respectively 
authorised for that purpose ; which Definitive Articles are 
in the words following ; [Here follows the treaty.] 

And we, the United States in Congress assembled, hav- 
ing seen and duly considered the Definitive Articles afore- 
said, did, by a certain act under the seal of the United 
States, bearing date this 14th day of January, 1784, ap- 
prove, ratify, and confirm the same, and every part and 
clause thereof, engaging and promising, that we would 
sincerely and faithfully perform and observe the same, and 
never suffer them to be violated by any one, or transgressed 
in any manner, as far as should be in our power ; an^ 
being sincerely disposed to carry the said Articles into ex- 
ecution, truly, honestly, and with good faith, according to 
the intent and meaning thereof, we have thought proper 
by these presents, to notify the premises to all the good 
citizens of the United States, hereby requiring and enjoin- 
ing all bodies of magistracy, legislative, executive, and ju- 
diciary, all persons bearing office, civil or military, of 
whatever rank, degree, and powers, and all others the 
good citizens of these States, of every vocation and con- 
dition, that reverencing those stipulations entered into on 
their behalf, under the authority of that federal bond, by 
which their existence as an independent people is bound 
up together, and is known and acknowledged by the nations 
of the world, and with that good faith, which is every 
man's surest guide, within their several offices, jurisdic- 
tions, and vocations, they carry into effect the said Defini- 
tive Articles, and every clause and sentence thereof, sin- 
cerely, strictly, and completely. 

Given under the seal of the United States. Witness, his 
Excellency Thomas Mifflin, our President, at Annapolis, 



228 COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE 

this fourteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord, 

one thousand seven hundred and eightyfour, and of the 

sovereignty and independence of the United States of 
America, the eighth. 

Resolved, unanimously, nine States being present, that 
it be, and it is hereby earnestly recommended to the legis- 
latures of the respective States, to provide for the restitu- 
tion of all estates, rights, and properties, which have been 
confiscated, belonging to real British subjects ; and also ol 
the estates, rights, and properties of persons resident in 
districts, which were in the possession of his Britannic 
Majesty's arms, at any time between the thirtieth day of 
November, 1782, and the 14ih day of January, 1784, and 
who have not borne arms against the said United States ; 
and that persons of any other description shall have free 
liberty to go to any part or parts of any of the Thirteen 
United States, and therein to remain twelve months unmo- 
lested in their endeavors to obtain the restitution of such of 
their estates, rights, and properties, as may have been con- 
fiscated ; and it is also hereby earnestly recommended to 
the several Stales, to reconsider and revise all their acts or 
laws regarding the premises, so as to render the said laws 
or acts perfectly consistent, not only with justice and 
equity, but with that spirit of conciliation, which, on the 
return of the blessings of peace, should universally prevail ; 
and it is hereby also earnestly recommended to the several 
States, that the estates, rights, and properties of such last 
mentioned persons should be restored to them, they refund- 
ing to any persons who may be now in possession, the bona 
fide price, (where any has been given) which such persons 
may have paid on purchasing any of the said lands, rights> 
or properties since the confiscation. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 229 

Ordered, That a copy of the Proclamation of this date, 
together with the recommendation, be transmitted to the 
several States by the Secretary. 



RATIFICATION OF THE DEFINITIVE TREATY BY GREAT 
BRITAIN. 

George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great 
Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, 
Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg, Arch Treasurer, and 
Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, &z;c. To all 
to whom these presents shall come, Greeting. 

Whereas a definitive treaty of peace and friendship, be- 
tween us and our good friends, the United States of Amer- 
ica, viz. New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island 
and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New 
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, 
North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, was con- 
cluded and signed at Paris, the 3d day of September last, 
by the Plenipotentiaries of us, and our said good friends, 
duly and respectively authorised for that purpose, whicri 
definitive treaty is in the form and words following ; [Here 
follows the treaty.] 

We, having seen and considered the definitive treaty 
aforesaid, have approved, ratified, accepted, and confirmed 
it, in all and every one of its Articles and clauses, as we 
do by these presents, for ourself, our heirs and successors, 
approve, ratify, accept, and confirm the same, engaging 
and promising, upon our royal word, that we will sincerely 
and faithfully perform and observe all and singular the 
things which are contained in the aforesaid treaty, and that 



230 COMMISSIONERS FOR 'PEACE. 

we will never suffer it to be violated by any one, or trans- 
gressed in any manner, as far as it lies in our power. For 
the greater testimony and validity of all which, we have 
caused our great seal of Great Britain to be affixed to 
these presents, which we have signed with our royal hand. 
Given at the Court of St James, the ninth day of April, 
one thousand seven hundred and eightyfour, in the twenty- 
fourth year of our reign. 

GEORGE R. 



THE 



CORRESPONDENCE 



OF 



CONRAD ALEXANDER GERARD ; 

MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY FROM THE COURT OF 
FRANCE TO THE UNITED STATES. 



Conrad Alexander Gerard was the first Minis- 
ter from any foreign Court to the United States. 
When the American Commissioners went to Paris, in 
the year 1776, he was principal Secretary to the 
Council of State, and on terms of the strictest intimacy 
and confidence with Count de Vergennes, the Minister 
of Foreign Affairs. Under the auspices of that Min- 
ister, and in concert with him, M. Gerard early took 
a strong interest in the concerns of the United States, 
and abetted the cause of their independence. He ne- 
gotiated, on the part of the French government, the 
first treaties of alliance and commerce with the United 
States, signed on the 6th of February, 1778, by him 
for one of the contracting parties, and by Franklin, 
Deane, and Lee for the other. 

His knowledge of American affairs, and his general 
ability, pointed him out as the most suitable person to 
represent the French Court as Minister to Congress. 
He came over to this country in the fleet with Count 
d'Estaing, and arrived in Philadelphia about the mid- 
dle of July, 177S.- After discharging the duties of a 
Minister Plenipotentiary for more than a year, in a 
manner highly acceptable to Congress and the whole 
country, as well as to his own government, he asked 
his recall, and took his final leave of Congress on the 
17th of September, 1779. He returned to Europe in 
the same vessel, which took out Mr Jay as Minister 
Plenipotentiary to the Court of Spain. 

VOL. X. 30 



CORRESPONDENCE 



CONRAD ALEXANDER GERARD; 



MINISTER FROM FRANCE. 



LETTER FROM THE KING OF FRANCE TO CONGRESS. 

Very dear and great Friends and Allies, 
The treaties which we have signed with you in 
consequence of the propositions made to us on your 
part, by your deputies, are a certain guarantee to you 
of our affection for the United States in general, and 
for each one of them individually, as well as of the 
interest which we take, and shall always continue to 
take, in their happiness and prosperity. In order to 
convince you of this in a more particular manner, we 
have appointed M. Gerard, Secretary of our Council 
of State, to reside near you in quality of our Minister 
Plenipotentiary. He is the better acquainted with the 
sentiments which we entertain towards you, and is the 
more able to answer for them to you, as he has been 
intrusted on our part with negotiating with your 
deputies, and as he has signed with them the treaties 
which cement our union, we request you to give full 
credit to all that he shall say to you on our part, par- 



236 



GERARD. 



ticularly when he shall assure you of our aflfection and 
of our constant friendship for you. Moreover, we 
pray God, that he will have you, very dear and great 
Friends and Allies, under his holy and worthy pro- 
tection. 

Written at Versailles, the 2Sth of March, 1778. 
Your good Friend and Ally, 

LOUIS. 



APPOINTMENT OF CONSUL-GENERAL OF FRANCE IN 
THE UNITED STATES. 

Louis, by the Grace of God, King of France and 
Navarre, to all those to whom these presents shall 
come, Greeting. 

Thinking it necessary to create the office of our 
Consul-General at Boston, and other ports belonging 
to the United States of North America, and being de- 
sirous to confer a favor on M. Gerard, we have 
thought that we could not make choice of a better per- 
son than he, to fulfil the duties of this office, by our 
knowledge of his zeal and affection for our service and 
for the interests of our subjects, and of his judgment 
and ability in naval affairs ; for these reasons, and 
others moving us thereto, we have nominated and ap- 
pointed the said M. Gerard, and by these presents 
signed with our hand, do nominate and appoint him 
our Consul-General at Boston, and other ports belong- 
ing to the United States of North America, with 
power to appoint consuls and vice-consuls in the 
places where he shall judge them necessar}' ; to have 
and to hold the said office, to exercise, enjoy, and use 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 337 

it, so long as it shall please us, with the honors, authori- 
ties, advantages, prerogatives, privileges, exemptions, 
rights, benefits, profits, revenues, and emoluments 
which belong to it, such, and the same as those which 
our other Consuls-General enjoy. We prohibit all 
French merchants, and all persons sailing under the 
French flag, from disturbing him in the possession, 
duties and exercise of this consulate. We enjoin on all 
captains, masters and commanders of ships, barks and 
other vessels, armed and sailing under the said flag, as 
well as on all our other subjects, to acknowledge the 
said M. Gerard, and to obey him in this capacity. 
We pray and request our very dear and great Friends 
and Allies, the Congress of the United States of North 
America, their governors and other officers whom it 
shall concern, to allow the said M. Gerard, and the 
consuls and vice-consuls whom he shall appoint to the 
said office, to possess it fully and peaceablj'', without 
causing, or allowing to be caused to them, any dis- 
turbance or hinderance ; but on the contrary to give 
them all favor and assistance ; offering to do the same 
for all those who shall be thus recommended to us on 
their part. In witness whereof we have caused our 
privy seal to be affixed to these presents. 

Given at Versailles, the twentyeighth day of March, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and seventyeight, and of our reign the fifth. 

LOUIS. 



238 GERARD 



THE KING OF FRANCE TO CONGKESS. 

Very dear and great Friends and Allies, 

You will learn, undoubtedly, with gratitude, the meas- 
ure, which the conduct of the King of Great Britain 
lias induced us to take, of sending a fleet to endeavor to 
destroy the English forces upon the shores of North 
America. This expedition will convince you of the eager- 
ness and the vigor, which we are resolved to bring to the 
execution of the engagements, which we have contracted 
with you. We are firmly persuaded, that your fidelity lo 
the obligations, which your Plenipotentiaries have contrac- 
ted in your name, will animate more and more the efforts, 
which you are making with so much courage and perse- 
verance. 

The Count d'Estaing, Vice-Admiral of France, is 
charged to concert with you the operations, the conduct of 
which we have intrusted to him, in order that the combi- 
nation of measures on each side may render them as ad- 
vantageous to the common cause as circumstances will 
permit. We entreat you to give full credit to everything, 
which he shall communicate to you on our part, and to 
place confidence in his zeal and in his talents. 

Moreover, we pray God, that he will have you, very 
dear and great Friends and Allies, under his holy protec- 
tion. 

Written at Versailles, the twentyeighth day of March, in 

the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and 

seventyeiglii. 

LOUIS. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 239 

COUNT d'eSTAING TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

At Sea, July 8th, 1778. 

Sir, 

I have the honor of informing your Excellency, and by 
you of giving notice to Congress, of tlie arrival of the 
squadron of the King upon the shores of the United States 
of America. 

Honored with full powers from the King to treat with 
Congress, I have the honor. Sir, of sending to your Ex- 
cellency the copy of my credentials relating to this sub- 
ject, the honor of presenting them myself; my desire to 
wait upon the respectable representatives of a free nation, 
my eagerness to reverence in them the noble qualities of 
wisdom and firmness, which distinguish them, virtues 
which all Europe admires and which France loves, are a 
happiness, which can be delayed only by my desire to 
i-ender tnyself worthy of the favors of the United States, 
while I begin by performing the duties, which circum- 
stances and my military functions impose upon me ; I hope 
that they will serve as my excuse, and that your Excel- 
lency will have the kindness to offer them as such to Con- 
gress. 

1 have the honor of writing to his Excellency, General 
Washington, and shall have that of sending to his head 
quarters two officers in succession, in order to offer to him 
to combine iny movements with his own. The merited 
reputation, which so great a soldier has so justly acquired, 
does not allow me to doubt that he is convinced better 
than any one else of the value of tlie first movements. I 
liope that the authority vested in him by Congress, has al- 
lowed him the liberty of taking advantage of them, and 



240 GERARD. 

that we shall be able immediately, and without any delay, 
to act in concert for the benefit of the common cause ; 
which seemed to me to require, that the orders of Con- 
gress should remove as speedily as possible, the legal diffi- 
culties, of which, perhaps, there are none. 

Monsieur de Chouiii, Major of infantry, and relation of 
M. de Sartine, is charged with delivering this letter to your 
Excellency ; he is one of the officers whom I send to 
General Washington. 

The readiness with which his Excellency, M. Gerard, 
Minister Plenipotentiary of the King, is hastening to 
take up his residence near Congress^ and there to dis- 
play the character with which his Majesty has invested 
him, will prevent all the delays, which my distance might 
occasion with regard to the military agreements. I have 
the honor of assuring your Excellency, that I shall make it 
my duty and pleasure to execute everything that M. 
Gerard shall promise. The promises, which he will make 
to you, will tieed no other ratifications on my part than 
those, which my physical force demands, and which the 
nature of the prol'essiou makes necessarily to depend upon 
the military or naval force, which is in operation. 

A Minister so happy as to have had the glory of signing 
the treaty, which unites two powers whose interests are so 
intimately <;onnected, will preserve the most important in- 
fluence upon my further designs. The escort, which 
conducts him, that by which the King sends back to the 
United States his Excellency, Silas Deane, is, undoubt- 
edly, the most brilliant which has ever accompanied Am- 
bassadors. 1 dare hope that it will prove useful to the 
mutual interest of the two nations. 

That will be the happiest moment of my life, in which I 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 241 

shall be able to contribute to it in anything. I shall, at the 

same time fulfil my duty, as an officer charged with the 

orders of his Majesty, and I shall satisfy my principles and 

my mclination as an individual. 

I have the honor to be, &,c. 

ESTAING. 

P, S. Permit me to recommend to the favor of Con- 
gress, Messrs John Nicholson, Elias Johnson, and Henry 
Johnson. Mr Nicholson preserved the ship Tonnant, 
which is the second in the squadron, and Mr Elias John- 
son conducted himself with the greatest zeal and the 
greatest bravery on board the frigate Engageantc, in the 
engagement in which she took the privateer Rose, in the 
Chesapeake Bay. 



RESOLVES OF CONGRESS RESPECTING THE COUNT d'eS- 
TAINg's LETTER, AND THE RECEPTION OF M. GERARD. 

In Congress, July 11th, 1778. 

Resolved, that General Washington be informed by the 
President, that it is the desire of Congress, that he co-op- 
erate with the Count d'Estaing, commander of a French 
squadron now on the coast of North America, and pro- 
ceeding to New York, in the execution of such offensive 
operations against the enemy as they shall mutually ap- 
prove. 

His Most Christian Majesty, the King of France, hav- 
ing thought proper to send on the coasts a powerful fleet, 
in order to co-operate with the forces of these States in 
the reduction of the British army and navy. Resolved, 
that General Washington be impowered to call on the 
VOL. X. 31 



242 GERARD. 

States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Connecti- 
cut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, or such of 
them as he shall judge proper, for such aids of their militia 
as he shall think requisite for carrying on his operations, in 
concert with Count d'Estaing, commander of the French 
fleet ; and that it be earnestly recommended to the above- 
mentioned, to exert themselves in forwarding the force, 
which may be required of them with the utmost despatch. 

Resolved, that the Marine Committee be directed to 
order the Commissioners of the navy to the eastward, to 
fit out as many continental frigates and armed vessels as 
possible, with the utmost despatch, to join the French 
squadron in their operations against the enemy. 

Ordered, that the Board of War take measures for pro- 
viding a suitable house for the accommodation of M. Ge- 
rard ; and that they give the necessary orders for receiv- 
ing M. Gerard with proper honor on his arrival. 

Resolved, that a committee of five be appointed to wait 
on M. Gerard on his arrival, and conduct him to his 
lodgings. 

The members chosen, Mr Hancock, Mr Lee, Mr Dray- 
ton, Mr Roberdeau, and Mr Duer. 

Next morning the committee went to Chester to meet 
M. Gerard, who received them on board the frigate. la 
going on board they were saluted with fifteen guns. They 
then went on shore and waited on him to Philadelphia, 
and conducted him to General Arnold's head quarters, 
where a dinner was provided for him and his suit, and a 
number of the members of Congress. Before dinner he 
waited on the President. 

On Tuesday he delivered to the President sundry pa- 
pers to be laid before Congress,* desiring to know in what 
* Letters from the King, and notes of M. Gerard. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 243 

capacity Congress were willing to receive him ; whether 
as Minister Plenipotentiary or resident, intimating, that in 
whatever quality he was received, it would be expected, 
that the Commissioners from the States at the Court of 
France should be vested with the same. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

PMladelphia, July 14th, 1778. 
Sir, 

His Excellency, the Count d'Estaing, Vice-Admiral of 
France, commander of the squadron of the King, being 
desirous to procure for the armed vessels, whether public 
or private, of the United States, the means of availing 
themselves of the operations of this squadron, in order to 
take prizes from the common enemy, the undersigned has 
the honor to inform Congress, that all their armed vessels 
will enjoy the most extended protection of the squadron of 
his Most Christian Majesty, and that the prizes which they 
may be able to take will belong entirely to them. He 
leaves it to the wisdom of Congress to fix upon the means 
of deriving from this arrangement, the advantage of which 
it is susceptible. The American vessels, which shall apply 
to his Excellency the Vice-Admiral, will receive the sig- 
nals which will be necessary ; and the undersigned will 
successively communicate them to Congress, that informa- 
tion of them may be given to those who shall sail from the 
ports. He relies on the prudence of Congress in relation 
to the measures necessary to ensure success in this matter. 

GERARD. 



244 GERARD. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 14th, 1778. 

Sir, 

The squadron which the King, my master, has sent, in 
order to act in concert with the United States, against the 
common enemy, having taken some prisoners during its 
passage, the keeping of whom on board of the vessels 
would be embarrassing and even dangerous, the under- 
signed requests the Congress of the said United States to 
have the goodness to cause these prisoners, as well as those 
whom the King's squadron shall be able to take in the 
course of its operations, to be received, to cause provision 
to be made for their safe keeping and subsistence, in the 
same manner as that which it makes use of for its own pris- 
oners, and to hold them at the disposal of the King, and 
subject to the orders of his Excellency, the Count d'Es- 
taing, Vice-Admiral of France, and commander of his 
Majesty's squadron. 

The undersigned will take care to cause all the ex- 
penses incurred on this occasion to be reimbursed at certain 
periods, in such manner as the Congress shall be pleased 

to point out.* 

GERARD. 

* Congress took into consideration the Memorial respecting pris- 
oners, and thereupon 

"Resolved, that all prisonefs taken, or which may be taken, by the 
squadron of his Most Christian Majesty, under the command of the 
Count d'Eslaing, Vice-Admiral of France, be received by the Com- 
missary-General of prisoners, and that he provide for their safe cus- 
tody and subsistence in like manner as has been usual for the prison- 
ers of these States. That he make monthly returns of all prisoners, 
which shall be by him so received, to the Board of War. That he 



DIPLOMATIC CORRJEBPONDENCE. 245 

CEREMONIAL OF ADMITTING THE FR£NCH MINISTER TO 
CONGRESS. 

In Congress, July 20th, 1781. 

Resolved, That the ceremonial for a Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary, or Envoy, shall be as follows ; 

When a Minister Plenipotentiary, or Envoy, shall ar- 
rive within any of the United States, he shall receive at all 
places where there are guards, sentries, or the like, such 
military honors as are paid to a general officer of the 
second rank in the armies of the United States. 

When he shall arrive at a place in which Congress shall 
be, he shall wait upon the President and deliver his cre- 
dentials, or a copy thereof. Two members of Congress 
shall then be deputed to wait upon him, and inform him 
where and when he shall receive audience of Congress. 

At the time he is to receive his audience, the two mem- 
bers shall again wait upon him in a coach belonging to the 
States, and the person first named of two, shall return with 
the Minister Plenipotentiary, or Envoy, in the coach, 
giving the Minister the right hand, and placing himself on 
the left, with the other member on the firont seat. 

When the Minister Plenipotentiary, or Envoy, is arrived 
at the door of the Congress Hall, he shall be introduced to 
his chair by the two members, who shall stand at his left 
hand. Then the member first named shall present and 

make monthly returns to the treasury, of the accounts of all moneys 
expended for the purposes aforesaid, and that the prisoners be held 
at the disposal of his Most Christian Majesty, and subject to the 
orders of his Excellency Count d'Estaing. 

"Ordered, that the paper relative to the encouragement given by 
the Count d'Estaing to American armed vessels, whether public or 
private, be published." 



246 GERARD. 

announce him to the President and the House, whereupon 
he shall bow to the President and Congress, and they to 
hira. He and the President shall then again bow to 
each other and be seated, after which the House shall sit 
down. 

Having spoken and being answered, the Minister and the 
President shall bow to each other, at which time the 
House shall bow, and then he shall be conducted home in 
the manner in which he was brought to the House. 

Those who shall wait upon the Minister shall inform 
hira, that if in any audience he shall choose to speak on 
matters of business, it will be necessary previously to de- 
liver in writing to the President what he intends to say at 
the audience, and if he shall not incline thereto, it will, 
from the constitution of Congress, be impracticable for 
him to receive an immediate answer. 

The style of address to Congress shall be, "Gentlemen 
of the Congress." 

All speeches or communications in writing may, if the 
public Minister choose it, be in the language of their res- 
pective countries, and all replies or answers shall be in the 
language of the United States. 

After the audience, the members of Congress shall be 
first visited by the Minister Plenipotentiary, or Envoy. 

July ^Oth. Resolved, That Thursday next be assigned 
for giving audience to the honorable M. Gerard, Minis- 
ter Plenipotentiary from his Most Christian Majesty. 

August 5th. Resolved, That when the Minister is 
introduced to his chair by the two members, he shall sit 
down. 

His Secretary shall then deliver to the President the 
letters of his Sovereign, which shall be read and trans- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 247 

lated by the Secretary of Congress. Then the Minister 
shall be announced. At which time the President, the 
House, and the Minister shall rise together. The Minister 
shall then bow to the President and the House, and they 
to him. The Minister and the President shall then bow 
to each other and be seated ; after which the House shall 
sit down. The Minister shall deliver his speech standing, 
the President and the House shall set while the Minister is 
delivering his speech. 

The House shall rise, and the President shall deliver the 
answer standing. The Minister shall stand tvhile the 
President delivers the answer. 

Having spoken, and being answered, the Minister and 
the President shall bow to each other, at which time the 
House shall bow, and then the Minister shall be conducted 
home in the manner in which he was brought to the 
House. 

Resolved, That the door of the Congress chamber be 
open during the audience to be given to the Minister Pleni- 
potentiary of his Most Christian Majesty. 

That the delegates of Pennsylvania be requested to in- 
form the Vice President, the Supreme Executive Council, 
and the Speaker and Assembly of the said State, that the 
Minister Plenipotentiary of his Most Christian Majesty, the 
King of France, will receive his audience of Congress at 
twelve o'clock tomorrow, when the doors of the chamber 
will be opened. 

That each member of Congress may give two tickets 
for the admittance of other persons to the audience, and 
that no other persons except those specified in the fore- 
going resolution, be admitted without such a ticket signed 
by the members appointed to introduce the Minister to the 
Congress. 



248 GERARD. 

Thursday, August 6th. According to order the hon- 
orable M. Gerard was introduced to an audience by 
two members of Congress, and being seated, his Sec- 
retary delivered to the President a letter from his 
Most Christian Majesty, directed "To our very dear 
and great Friends and Allies, the President and Mem- 
bers of the General Congress of the United States,'' 
in the words following ; 

[See this letter above, p. 235, dated March 28th, 
1778.] 

The Minister was then announced to the House, 
whereupon he arose and addressed Congress in a 
speech which, when he had finished, his Secretary de- 
livered in writing to the President, and is as follows ; 

Translation. 

"Gentlemen, 
*'The connexions which the King, my master, has 
formed with the United States of America, are so 
agreeable to him, that he has been unwilling to delay 
sending me to reside near you to unite them more 
closely. His Majesty will be gratified to learn, that 
the sentiments which are manifested on this occasion 
justify the confidence, with which the zeal and the 
character of the deputies of the United States in 
France, the wisdom and the firmness which have di- 
rected your resolutions, together with the courage and 
the constancy which the people have displayed, have 
inspired him. You know. Gentlemen, that .his con- 
fidence has laid the foundation of the truly friendly and 
disinterested plan, upon which his Majesty has treated 
with the United States. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 249 

"It has not rested with him, that his engagements 
could not secure your independence and your tranquil- 
lity without the further effusion of blood, and without 
aggravating the miseries of mankind, of which it is his 
whole ambition to secure the happiness ; but the hos- 
tile dispositions and resolutions of the common enemy 
having given a present force, positive, permanent, and 
indissoluble, to engagements wholly eventual, the 
King, my master, has thought that the two allies should 
occupy themselves only with the means of fulfilling 
them in the manner the most useful to the common 
cause, and of the most effect in obtaining peace, which 
is the object of the alliance. It is in conformity with 
this principle, that his Majesty has hastened to send 
you a powerful assistance. You owe it, Gentlemen, 
to his friendship, to the sincere interest which he takes 
in the welfare of the United States, and to the desire 
which he has of concurring effectually in securing your 
peace and your prosperity on honorable and firm foun- 
dations. He hopes, moreover, that the principles 
adopted by the governments will contribute to extend 
the connexions, which the mutual interest of the res- 
pective nations had already begun to form between 
them. The principal point of my instructions is to 
make the interests of France and those of the United 
States keep pace together. I flatter myself, that my 
past conduct in affairs which interest them, has al- 
ready convinced you that I have no more earnest 
desire, th. n that of executing my instructions in such a 
manner as to deserve the confidence of Congress, the 
friendship of its members, and the esteem of all the 
citizens." 

VOL. X. 32 



250 GERARD. 

To this speech the President returned the following 
answer ; 

"Sir, 

"The treaties between his Most Christian Majesty 
and the United States of America so fully demonstrate 
his wisdom and magnanimity as to command the 
reverence of ail nations. The virtuous citizens of 
America in particular can never forget his beneficent 
attention to their violated rights, nor cease to acknowl- 
edge the hand of a gracious Providence in raising for 
them so powerful and illustrious a friend. It is the 
hope and the opinion of Congress, that the confidence 
his Majesty reposes in the firmness of these States 
will receive additional strength from every day's ex- 
perience. 

"This assembly are convinced, Sir, that had it 
rested solely with the Most Christian King, not only 
the independence of these States would have been 
yniversally acknowledged, but their tranquillity fully 
established ; we lament that lust of domination, which 
gave birth to the present war and has prolonged and 
extended the miseries of mankind. We ardently wish 
to sheathe the sword, and spare the further effusion of 
blood ; but we are determined, by every means in our 
power, to fulfil those eventual engagements, which 
have acquired positive and permanent force from the 
hostile designs and measures of the common enemy. 

"Congress have reason to believe, that the assistance 
so wisely and generously sent will bring Great Britain 
to a sense of justice and moderation, promote the in- 
terests of France and America, and secure peace and 
tranquillity on the most firm and honorable foundation. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 251 

Neither can it be doubted, that those who administer 
the powers of government, within the several States of 
this Union, will cement that connexion with the sub- 
jects of France, the beneficent effects of which havo 
already been so sensibly felt. 

"Sir, from the experience we have had of your ex- 
ertions to promote the true interests of our country as 
well as your own, it is with the highest satisfaction 
Congress receive as the first Minister from his Most 
Christian Majesty, a gentleman, whose past conduct 
affords a happy presage that he will merit the confi- 
dence of this body, the friendship of its members, and 
the esteem of the citizens of America/' 

The Secretary of Congress delivered to the Min- 
ister a copy of the foregoing speech, dated "In Con- 
gress, August 6th, 1778," and signed "Henry Lau- 
rens, President." Whereupon the Minister withdrew, 
and was conducted home in the manner in which he 
was brought to the House. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, November 9th, 1778. 

Sir, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor 
to inform the Congress of the United States of North 
America, that he has obtained, on account of his Majesty, 
the cargo of two schooners ; the one called the Gentil, 
George Andre, Captain, and the other the Adventurer, 
commanded by Captain Joseph Taffier, these two ves- 



252 GERARD. 



sels being now in the port of Petersburg, Virginia, and their 
cargoes delivered, consisting of from twelve to thirteen hun- 
dred barrels of flour, and about fifty barrels of biscuit. 
The destination of these provisions, requiring that they 
should depart imnr.ediately, the undersigned Minister Plen- 
ipotentiary requests Congress to be pleased to take the 
measures which it shall judge necessary, in order, that the 
departure of these two vessels with their cargoes may meet 
with no obstacle. An express will wait for the orders, 
which it may be necessary to send into Virginia, in relation 

to this object. 

•^ GERARD. 

Whereupon Congress ordered, that the President write 
to the Governor of Virginia, explain to him the nature of 
this transaction, and the necessity of the vessels' immedi- 
ate departure, and desire him to give orders accordingly. 



JVovember ISih, 1778. Two letters from the Honorable 
the Minister Plenipotentiary of France were read, request- 
ing a passage on board of one of the continental frigates, for 
the Chevalier de Raymondis, Captain of the Caesar, and 
that a vessel on board of which are a number of invalids, 
may be taken under convoy of the frigate until she be safe 
at sea. These were referred to the Marine Committee, 
with directions to comply with the request therein con- 
tained. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 263 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, November 20th, 1778. 
Sir, 

The Minister of France thinks it his duty to have the 
honor of communicating to the President of Congress the 
reflection that, according to ordinary rules, treaties are not 
published until the respective ratifications have been ex- 
changed, and that so far as he is informed, that of the King 
has not arrived. If Congress, however, has motives to 
proceed immediately to this publication, the Minister re- 
quests it not to be stopped by his reflection ; the wisdom 
of their views deserving all preference over what can only 
be regarded as a mere formality. 

GER.\RD. 



Philadelphia, December 2d, 1778. 

The President communicated to Congress the following 
unsigned note from the Minister of France. 

"It is thought proper to inform persons, who have busi- 
ness in France, that all judicial and extra-judicial acts, 
powers of attorney, he. which are destined to be sent 
thither, ought to be invested with the authorisation of the 
Minister Plenipotentiary, or the Consuls of this Crown es- 
tablished in the different States of America. By means 
of this formality, all the acts valid in America will have 
the same validity in France in all cases." 

December 4th. The President communicated to Con- 
gress another unsigned note from the Minister of France, 
relative to a plan he had proposed for discharging the debt 



254 



GERARD. 



due to Roderique Hortalez &i Co. namely, by furnishing 
the French fleet in America with provisions, for the amount 
of which the Court would procure the United States a 
credit with Hortalez &i Co. The note was delivered in 
English, in the words following. 

"Leave is begged from the Honorable the President of 
Congress to submit to him some reflections upon a late con- 
versation. The insinuation made was founded upon the 
consideration, that ti)e method proposed would be more 
simple, more easy, and more convenient, than any other, 
and that besides, the troubles, the expenses, the dangers 
of the sea, and of the enemy, the spoiling of the cargoes, 
&ic. would be avoided. 

"The manner of executing this plan, if adopted, would 
be very simple, and attended with no inconveniency ; the 
Court shall take upon itself to satisfy the furnisher of the 
articles in question, and Congress shall receive the dis- 
charge for ready money, in their accounts with the Court." 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, December 6th, 1778. 

Sir, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, considering 
that it is of great importance for the interests of France 
and the United States of America to prevent, or to delay as 
much as possible, the repairs, and consequently the activ- 
ity of the enemy's ships, and that one of the most effica- 
cious means would be, to intercept the masts which they 
are obliged to bring from Halifax, h firmly persuaded, that 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 255 

this subject has not escaped the consideration of Congress,- 
but believing that it is for the interest of the King, his n^as- 
ter, that his Majesty should contribute to the measures 
which may effect this object, his intention is to offer a re- 
ward to the owners of privateers, who shall take or destroy 
vessels loaded with masts proper for ships of the line or 
for frigates. This encouragement seemed necessary, in 
order to turn the efforts of privateers in this direction, con- 
sidering the low price of this commodity in proportion to 
other cargoes, but the said Minister did not wish to exe- 
cute this plan without communicating it to Congress, and 

before knowing its opinion on this subject. 

GERARD. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OP CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, December 7lh, 1778. 
Sir, 
I have had the honoc to make known to you the 
reasons of my perplexity, with regard to transmitting 
to my Court some ideas respecting certain persons 
strongly suspected of being emissaries of the Court of 
London, as well as concerning the doctrine of the lib- 
erty, which it is pretended the United States have 
preserved of treating with this power separately from 
their ally, so long as Great Britain has not declared 
war upon the King my master. I have expressed to 
you how far it is from my character to pay regard to 
public rumors and to the reports of any individuals, in 
a matter as important as it is delicate, and the desire 
which I feel that Congress would be pleased to furnish 



^56 GERARD. 

me with the means of placing my Court, and by its 
means, all the present and future friends of the United 
States in Europe, on their guard against the impres- 
sions which these ideas might produce. They ap- 
peared to me particularly dangerous in relation to 
England, where they would nourish the hope of sow- 
ing domestic divisions in the bosom of the United 
States, and of separating them from their ally, by 
annulling, also, the treaties concluded with him. It 
seems, in fact, that as long as this double hope shall 
continue, England will not think seriously of acknowl- 
edging your independence on the footing expressed in 
the treaty of Paris. Your zeal. Sir, for your country, 
and for the maintenance of the harmony so happily 
established, is too well known for me not to hope that 
you will be pleased to lay before Congress this sub- 
ject, which my solicitude for whatever concerns the 
maintenance of the reputation of the alliance has caused 
me to regard as very important. 

I am persuaded. Sir, that you will at the same time 
have the goodness to inform Congress of the proof of 
firmness, and of attachment to the interests of the 
United States, to the common cause and to the alli- 
ance, which the King my master has given, in rejecting 
the overtures which the Court of London has made 
through Spain. 

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of re- 
spect, &c. 

GERARD. 

To the memorial respecting masts, an answer was 
returned on the 16th. And in answer to the above 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 257 

letter Congress passed a resolution on the I4th of 
January, 1779, as follows; 

"Whereas it has been represented to this House by 
M. Gerard, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, that it 
is pretended that the United States have preserved the 
liberty of treating with Great Britain separately from 
their ally, as long as Great Britain shall not have 
declared war against the King, his master, therefore, 

"Resolved unanimously, That as neither France nor 
these United States may of right, so these United 
States will not conclude either truce or peace with the 
common enemy without the formal consent of their 
ally first obtained, and that any matters or things 
which may be insinuated or asserted to the contrary 
thereof tend to the injury and dishonor of the said 
States/' 

TO THE PRESIDENT OP CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, December 14th, 1778. 
Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the 

honor to remind Congress, that they were pleased to 

order in Virginia the purchase of eighteen thousand 

barrels of flour to complete the quantity of provisions 

destined for the fleet of his Most Christian Majesty, 

but the undersigned being informed of the scarcity of 

th^s article has confined himself to ten or twelve 

thousand. Information since received from Virginia 

causing him to fear that the flour of the current year 

has a disagreeable taste, and that, consequently, the 

aforesaid quantity cannot be furnished of a quality 

VOL. X. 33 



^5^ GERARD. 

suitable for bearing the climate of the islands, the un- 
dersigned presumes that a part of it may be replaced 
by rice taken from South Carolina, where he is in- 
formed this article abounds. 

It is from these considerations that the undersigned 
Minister takes the liberty to request Congress to take 
the measures necessary in order that six thousand bar- 
rels of rice may be bought and exported from South 
Carolina, the said Minister being resolved to employ 
American citizens in these kinds of purchases, as he 
has promised, proposes to intrust this commission to 

Mr Gervais. 

GERARD. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, January 4th, 1779. 
Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France learns by 
M. Francy, that, from the offer which he made in 
relation to the payment by compensation of a part of 
the sums due from the United States to M. de Beau- 
marchais, consequences have been drawn, which are 
contrary to the intentions of the undersigned. 

He finds himself obliged to prevent all mistakes by 
declaring in writing, as he always has done verbally, 
that all the supplies furnished by M. de Beaumarchais 
to the States, whether merchandise or cannons and 
military goods, were furnished in the way of com- 
merce, and that the articles which came from the 
King's magazines and arsenals were sold to M. de 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 259 

Beaumarchais by the department of artillery, and that 
he has furnished his obligations for the price of these 
articles. He is, consequently, a debtor to the war 
department, whilst he is a creditor of the United States 
by the sale of these same articles, which had become 
his property. On the other side the King is a debtor 
to the United States. 

It is this situation, namely, the difficulty which 
Congress finds in paying M. de Beaumarchais by re- 
turn of merchandise, and the considerable saving 
which would result to Congress, that has determined 
the undersigned to offer a mutual compensation, and to 
pay the King's debts to the United States to the 
amount of the receipts of M. de Beaumarchais, which 
Congress will receive in ready money. This is the 
simple and natural operation, which the undersigned 
has offered, and which ought not at all to change the 
situation of M. de Beaumarchais with regard to Con- 
gress, since he is and continues to be a creditor in his 
own name, of the United States, and since the under- 
signed simply offers to pay to the discharge of Con- 
gress a certain sum, which the undersigned will de- 
termine in concert with M. de Francy, when Con- 
gress shall have passed a resolution on this offer. 

The undersigned thinks that he owes these explanations 
to his respect for Congress, and he hopes that if there 
may remain any false ideas on this subject, Congress will 
be pleased to place him in a situation to supply all the in- 
formation which may yet be desired. 

GERARD. 



260 GERARD 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, January 5th, 1779. 
Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France cannot forbear 
to submit to the Congress of the United States, the pas- 
sages underscored in the two gazettes annexed, under date 
of the 3d and 5th of this month. He has no doubt of the 
indignation of Congress at the indiscreet assertions con- 
tained in these passages, which equally bring into question 
the dignity and reputation of the King my master, and 
that of the United States. These assertions will become, 
in the hands of the enemies of the common cause, a 
weapon the more powerful and dangerous, as the author is 
an officer of Congress, and as he takes advantage of his 
situation to gi?e Credit to his opinions and to his affirma- 
tions. 

The aforesaid Minister relies entirely on the wisdom of 
Congress to take measures suitable to the circumstance. 
It has not been owing to him, that the author has not him- 
self repaired the injury which he has done, the Minister 
Plenipotentiary having hastened to convince him of the 
wrongs of which he was guilty, when the first of these 

gazettes appeared in public. 

GERARD. 



The passages referred to in the above were contained 
in a piece published in the Pennsylvania Packet, under 
the title, "Common Sense to the Public on Mr Deane's 
Affair," written by Thomas Paine, then Secretary to the 
Committee of Foreign Affairs ; and are as follows ; 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 261 

"If Mr Deane, or any oilier gentleman, will procure an 
order from Congress to inspect an account in my office, or 
any of Mr Deano's friends in Congress will take the 
trouble of coming themselves, I will give him or them my 
attendance, and show them in a hand-writing, which Mr 
Deane is well acquainted with, that the supplies he so 
pompously plumes himself upon" (namely, those which 
were sent from France in the Amphitrite, Seine, and Mer- 
cury) were promised and engaged, and that as a present^ 
before he even arrived in France, and that the part which 
fell to Mr Deane was only to see it done, and how he has 
performed that service, the public are now acquainted 
with." The last paragraph in the account, is "upon Mr 
Deane's arrival in France, the business went into his 
hands, and the aids were at length embarked in the Am- 
phitrite, Mercury, and Seine." "I have been the more 
explicit on this subject, not so much on Mr Deane's ac- 
count, as from a principle of public justice. It shows, m 
the first instance, that the greatness of the American cause 
drew at its first beginning the attention of Europe, an J that 
the justness of it was such as appeared to merit support ; 
and in the second instance, that those who are now her allies 
prefaced that alliance by an early and generous friendship ; 
yet, that we might not attribute too much to human or 
auxiliary aid, so unfortunate were those supplies, that only 
one ship out of the three arrived ; the Mercury and the 
Seine fell into the enemy's hands," 



252 GERARD. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, January 10th, 1779. 
Sir, 
I cannot forbear to present to Congress the striking ob- 
servations occasioned by the delay, which the answer to 
my representation of the beginning of the past month meets 
with. Already the enemies of the common cause repre- 
sent it as a proof of the diversity of the opinions which 
prevail in Congress, as if there could exist a contrariety of 
sentiments upon a subject so simple, and a matter so clear, 
that to call it in question would be at the same time to 
call in question the solidity, and even the existence of the 
alliance. Certainly, Sir, no one is farther than myself 
from adopting suspicions, which would be so fatal to the 
common cause ; but I have had the honor to explain the 
motives, which should induce Congress to give to this sub- 
ject a ready, formal, and explicit declaration. They know 
that erroneous opinions become more difficult to destroy 
when they have had time to take root in men's minds ; it 
is then wished to remedy the evil, but it is found irremedia- 
able. The greater part of these reflections is applicable 
in an equal degree to the declaration, which I had the 
honor to make to Congress on the 5th of this month, and 
I wait impatiently for answers, which may quiet my Court 
against the eflforts made by the enemies to draw from the 
facts in question, inferences injurious to the allies and the 
alliance, efforts of which Congress alone can avoid the 
dangers. My zeal and my respect do not allow me to 
conceal from them apprehensions, which seem to me but 
too well founded and worthy of all their attention. 
I have the honor to be, he. GERARD. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 263 

On the 12th ol' January, Congress taking into consider- 
ation the publication in the Pennsylvania Packet of the 
2d and 6th instant, under the title of "Common Sense to 
the Public on Mr Deane's Affair," of which Mr Thomas 
Paine, Secretary of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, has 
acknowledged himself to be the author, and also the me- 
morials of the Minister Plenipotentiary of France, of the 
5th and 10th instant, respecting the said publication ; "Re- 
solved, unanimously, that in answer to the memorials of 
the Plenipotentiary of his Most Christian Majesty, of the 
5th and 10th instant, the President be directed to assure 
the said Minister, that Congress do fully, in the clearest 
and most explicit manner, disavow the publications re- 
ferred to in his said memorials, and, as they are convinced 
by indisputable evidence, that the supplies shipped in the 
Amphitrite, Seine, and Mercury, were not a present, and 
that his Most Christian Majesty, the great and generous 
ally of these United States, did not preface his alliance 
with any supplies whatever sent to America, so they have 
not authorised the writer of the said publication to make 
any such assertions as are contained therein, but, on the 
contrary, do highly disapprove of the same." 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, January 14th, 1779. 
Sir, 

I have received the letter, with which you honored me 

on the 13th of this month, on sending me the resolution of 

Congress in answer to the representations, which I had the 

honor to make to it on the 5th and 10th. 



264 



GERARD. 



I request you to receive, and to offer to Congress, all the 
sensibility with which I have seen the frank, noble, and 
explicit manner in which they have destroyed false and 
dangerous insinuations, which might deceive the misin- 
formed people, and give arms to the enemies of the com- 
mon cause. 

The King, my master, Sir, does not need these proofs, 
in order to place his confidence in the disposition of firm- 
ness and constancy, which is exhibited by Congress in the 
principles of the alliance ; but his Majesty will always see 
with pleasure the measures that Congress shall take to 
maintain its reputation inviolate, and it is from this same 
consideration, that I flatter myself he will have found 
ray representation of the 7th of December last, equally 
worthy of his attention. 

I am, with respect and esteem, &tc. 

GERARD. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, January 15th, 1779. 
Sir, 

With all my eagerness for whatever can be agreeable to 

Congress, I have made use of their resolution relative to 

M. Duportail, and the officers who accompany him. They 

feel much honored by the praises, which their services and 

conduct have merited, as well as by the confidence which 

Congress shows in them, by desiring them to pass another 

campaign in the service of the United States. Their letter, 

a copy ot which is annexed, expresses their resolution to 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 265 

accept this invitation, and moreover contains proofs of an 
unlimited confidence in the justice and goodness of Con- 
gress. 

I do not doubt, Sir, that tliese sentiments will increase 
the degree of esteem and good will, which they already 
deserve on account of their distinguished services. This 
affair being thus settled, I shall lose no lime in asking of 
the King the consent, which the officers of engineers need. 
My knowledge of the dispositions of the King nnd his Min- 
istry, in relation to whatever may be useful to the United 
States, does not allow me to doubt, that my conduct, and 
the attachment of these officers to the American service, 
will be approved. 

I am, with respectful esteem, he. 

GERARD. 

MESSRS DUPORTAIL, LA KADIERE, AND LAUMOT TO M. 
GERARD. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, January 15th, 1779. 
Sir, 
We have been penetrated widi gratitude on seeing in 
the resolution of Congress, annexed to your Excellency's 
letter, proofs of esteem with which we are honored by our 
illustrio<is General, and which gives occasion to the propo- 
sition which is made to us, of continuing in the service of 
the United States through the next campaign. We will- 
ingly consent to it, since your Excellency thinks, that we 
shall thereby fulfil the intentions of the Court, and since 
you are so kind as to take upon yourself the trouble of 
asking from it the necessary permission. Relying also on 
VOL. X. 34 



266 GERARD. 

the justice of Congress for the favors which we may merit 
from longer services, we affix no conditions to the contin- 
uance of our residence in America. But we deem it our 
duly to state, that being determined to remain here hy our 
desire of serving, and of being useful to the United States, 
if the means of usefulness should disappear on any account 
whatsoever, we shall be desirous of preserving the liberty 
of returning into our country. Sensible of the interest 
which your Excellency is so kind as to take in this affair, 
we beg you to accept our most humble thanks. 

We are, respectfully, your Excellency's most obedient 

humble servants, 

DUPORTAIL, 

LA RADIERE, 

LAUiMOY. 

P. S. M. de Goudion has said, that he would agree 
to whatever we should do. 



January 2\st. A Memorial from M. Gerard, Minister 
Plenipotentiary of France, and Consul-General, was read, 
enclosing a commission of Consul in the port of Bos- 
ton, and other ports in Massachusetts Bay, to the Sieur 
Valnais. The commission was referred to the Marine 
Committee, and they were instructed to register it and to 
return the original to M. Valnais, and to take measures for 
making him known to all whom it may concern, as Consul 
of France in the State of Massachusetts. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 267 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, February 3d, 1779. 
Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has ihe honor 
to represent to the Congress of the United Slates, that it 
is of infinite importance to the safety of the King's squad- 
ron, stationed in the Gulf of Mexico, to determine the 
supply of provisions on which it may rely. And several 
vessels being ready to sail for Martinique, the wisdom of 
Congress will show to that body the necessity of informing 
the commander of this squadron of it without delay. 

GERARD. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, February 8th, ITTO. 
Sir, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, being ordered 
to communicate to Congress subjects of the iiighest impor- 
tance, has the honor to inform the President of it, and 
requests him to inform him, whether he wishes him to ex- 
ecute his orders through him, or if he prefers that ho 
should communicate them to Congress in an audience. 

GERARD. 

"Ordered, that the President acquaint M. Gerard, Minis- 
ter Plenipotentiary of France, that Congress will admit 
him to a private audience, when he shall present himself, 
to make the communication he is instructed to make to 
Congress." 



263 GERARD. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, February 9th, 1779, 
Sir, 

By instructions addressed to the undersigned on the 
29th of October last, he is ordered to transmit to Congress 
the answer of the King to certain communications made 
to his IM.njesly by the Commissioners ol the United States. 

J St. Tijese Commissioners having desired his Majesty 
to continue the subsidy vvliich he had granted them, he 
gave them to understand, that his affairs did not permit 
hirn to make this engagement, since the war which he is 
carrying on against England, and the general situation of 
Europe, require expenses which absorb all his resources, 
yet in consequence of the representations made by the 
deputies, of the difficulty which they found in honoring 
the bills of exchange which Congress had drawn upon 
them, for the interest due upon money which had been 
borrowed, his Majesty has been pleased to grant a sum of 
seven hundred and fifty thousand livres, as a new proof of 
his friendship for the United States. 

2dly. The same Commissioners made known to the 
King, that Congress had reason to presume, that a part of 
the articles furnished to the United States, was a present 
on the part of his Majesty. The undersigned is author- 
ised to declare, that this intention never existed, that it 
was an affair entirely commercial, in which the Ministry 
had no other part, than that of permitting M. de Beau- 
marchais to take from the magazines and arsenals of the 
King, on condition of replacing ihem, the articles with which 
fCOoimerce could not supply him, that consequently the Mia- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 209 

islry had no oilier power in this affair, than that of preventing 
Congress from being pressed too soon for payment for the 
articles taken from the magazines and arsenals of the King. 
As to the contract made with Roderiqne Hortalez &£ Co, 
the Ministry has declared to the American deputies, who 
asked their advice, upon the ratification or rejection of 
this contract, that they did not know the house of Rodcr- 
ique Hortalez h Co. and that they could not answer for 
it, nor express an opinion as to its stability and fidelity in 
the performance of its engagements. 

GERARD. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OE CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, February 9th, 1779. 
Sir, 

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
has received a formal order from the King, his master, to 
make known to Congress, that the King of Spain, in 
order to put an end to the tergiversations of England, l.ns 
determined upon a decisive and peremptory proceeding. 
His Catholic Majesty has, consequently, made to the King 
of England a final offer of his mediation ; but with the 
declaration that it was the last, and that if it was as fruit- 
less as those which preceded, it would only remain to 
him to perform the duties, which his alliance with the King 
imposes upon him. 

The King of Spain, by taking this proceeding upon him- 
self in a friendly manner, has shown a disposition most 
favorable to the alliance. The King, my master, on his 
side, persists in the invariable resolution not to separate 



270 GERARD. 

his interests from those of America, and to support the 
cause of the United States, as if it were his own personal 
cause. 

His Majesty thinks, while fulfilling the duties of the al- 
liance by this confidential communication, that he ought to 
invite and urge Congress to furnish immediately with the 
necessary powers and instructions the person or persons 
whom they shall think proper to authorise to assist in the 
deliberations, and in the conclusion and signing of the 
treaty. His Majesty trusts that Congress will perceive the 
inestimable value of time in a juncture so critical and so 
important ; and that the injuries caused by any delay 
would be irreparable both to the alliance and the allies. 
In complying with the invitations of the King, the United 
States would regard equally their dignity and their inter- 
ests. The place of the negotiation is fixed at Madrid. 

His Majesty, while engaging in everything that can 
hasten the happy moment in which America can enjoy, 
peaceably, internal and external prosperity, which is the 
object of the revolution and the limit of his Majesty's 
wishes, has instructed the undersigned to suggest to Con- 
gress, that at a time in which they are employed in fixing 
their political existence, it seems to belong to their fore- 
sight to consider the sentiments of the States as to tlie 
peace in relation to Spain, and they will perhaps ihirvk, 
that the means of preventing all future discontents merits 
their attention, and ought to be one of the subjects of the 
positive and definite instructions, which the States will give 
for the conclusion of the peace. 

GERARD. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 271 

February 13^A. The President was directed to inform 
the Minister, that Congress will take the subject of liis 
memorials of the 9ih into immediate consideration, and 
that if he wishes to communicate anything farther to them, 
Congress will receive the same from him in a private au- 
dience. And it was at the same time resolved, that all 
private audiences given to foreign Ministers be held in a 
committee of the whole. 

February Ibth. The President acquainted the House, 
that pursuant to their order, he had informed the Minister 
of France, that Congress will take his memorials of the 
9th into immediate consideration, and that if he wishes to 
communicate anything farther to them. Congress will re- 
ceive the same in a private audience ; that the Minister 
wished to make further communications to Congress, and 
would attend the House at twelve o'clock this day. 

The Minister, agreeably to his appointment, was intro- 
duced, and bad a free conference with Congress, in which 
he represented the present state of affairs in Europe, the 
dispositions of the Spanish Court, and the measures it was 
about to take in order to restore peace ; from thence he 
took occasion to press upon Congress the necessity of 
having a Minister in Europe properly empowered and in- 
structed. He further signified, that it was the desire of his 
Most Christian Majesty, that the United States would 
speedily put themselves in a condition to take that pj^rt in 
the negotiation for peace apparently about to take place, 
which their dignity and interest required ; and that they 
should lay a solid foundation for obtaining a speedy peace 
agreeably to the terms of the treaty, by giving their Pleni- 
potentiary the most ample instructions and full powers. 
Tills he enforced by sundry arguments, and pressed the 
utmost despatch. 



272 GERARD. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS, 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, Maich 14th, 1779. 
Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, undersigned, 

does not doubt that ilie conimiitee, charged on the part of 

Congress to persuade the undersigned to keep the rate 

of exchange at nine liundred per cent, in order to slop the 

farther depreciation which circumstances threatened, has 

reported the answer wiiich the said Minister gave on this 

subject ; but as the undersigned is still ignorant of the 

manner in which Congress has received tliis answer, he is 

the more desirous of being informed of it, as he must give 

an account to liis Court of the success of tlie course wliich 

he has adopted, and as the agent of the royal navy has, 

till this time, confined himself to the rule proposed on the 

part of Congress, without any return to the interests of his 

Majesty. 

GERARD. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, March 16th, 1779. 
Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, being about 

10 send M. de Maulcon to New York to effect the 

exchange of the French prisoners, who arc detained there, 

takes the liberty to request the Congress of the United 

Stales of America to have the goodness to allow them the 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 273 

same facilities as heretofore, by charging their Commis- 
sioners to receive them on their landing at Elizabelhtown 
and New London, and from thence as far as Philadelphia 
or Boston, and to give them, at the expense of his IVlost 
Christian Majesty, the same treatment which American 
prisoners receive. 

GERARD. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OP CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, March 17th, 1779. 
Sir, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the 
honor to remind the Congress of the United States of 
North America, that in executing for five months the 
instructions with which he has been charged by the 
King, his master, in relation to the present state of 
affairs, the undersigned has expressed his Majesty's 
desire, that the United States should quickly put 
themselves in a situation to take, in the negotiation for 
peace which seems on the point of taking place, the 
part which their dignity and their interests require, 
and that they should lay firm foundations for obtaining 
a speedy pacification conformable to the terms of the 
alliance, by giving to their Plenipotentiary instruc- 
tions the most ample, and powers the most extensive. 
It is, in fact, impossible to be too economical of time, 
when a correspondence is carried on at so great a dis- 
tance, upon a business so important and so liable to be 
changed by many incidents impossible to be foreseen. 
These observations have still greater force, when the 
VOL. X. 35 



274 GERARD. 

opening of the campaign is approaching, and when the 
greatest celerity alone can anticipate the moment of it. 
Every day's delay increases the obstacles to the suc- 
cess of the advantageous plans, which the King has 
communicated to the United States. To prolong the 
deliberation upon peace may be to reject it. His Ma- 
jesty, who thinks that he has deserved the confidence 
of the United States, believes, moreover, that he has a 
right, after the assurances which Congress have so 
often repeated with regard to the uniformity of senti- 
ments on the subject of his alliance with the United 
States, to hope that this subject will be treated with 
the promptness which the juncture requires. 

The indulgence with which Congress has received 
the reflections of the undersigned authorises hini to 
submit these to their wisdom and prudence. He adds, 
that there may be reason to fear that longer delays 
may give rise to suspicions, and authorise the asser- 
tions which have been made in Europe, respecting a 
division of opinions and sentiments prevailing in 
Congress, and strengthen the hope which the enemy 
continues to entertain of fomenting this domestic dis- 
cord, and at the same time of exciting distrust be- 
tween the allies by pretending to treat with each of 
the States singly, in order to take them separately in 
the snare of their credulity, and to deprive them of 
the mutual support which they derive from their 
union. It is, moreover, well known, that the prelimi- 
nary condition of the Court of London to the United 
States would be to renounce the alliance formed with 
France, to form an offensive coalition, and to restrain 
the commerce of America. The undersigned is very 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 275 

far from believing, that the wisdom and rectitude of 
Congress do not protect them from the effects of this 
insidious policy ; but their glory and interests seem to 
require, that they should prevent the farther establish- 
ment of an opinion, which, more than anything else, 
vvrill contribute to support the false expectation and the 
obstinacy of the common enemy. 

GERARD. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, March 31st, 1779. 

Sir, 

I have the honor to inform you, that the season 
proper for my departure for France is coming on, and 
I take the liberty to request you to persuade Congress 
to hasten the time of it as much as possible. Even if 
my health did not require this voyage, circumstances 
would have induced me to undertake it, because I per- 
ceive how important it is for the common cause, that 
in the present situation of affairs, those men alone, 
who are informed of the actual state of things and 
opinions in America, and who enjoy an unlimited 
confidence, should be employed in this negotiation. 

Besides, Sir, as I must presume from the wisdom of 
Congress, that they have made the same reflections, 
that they have fixed, or will fix the choice of their 
Minister or Ministers Plenipotentiary, in consequence 
of what they must also have felt, that the only way of 
proceeding is to choose persons, who should enjoy the 
fullest confidence of the allied or friendly Courts, and 



276 GERARD. 

to furnish them with the fullest and most extensive 
powers. In this case it will, in my opinion, be proper 
that I should depart with one or more of your Minis- 
ters, and it is an additional motive for urging this 
whole arrangement, with which your own interest 
inspires me, by increasing my eagerness to go where 
I shall think myself happy to announce, that union 
and unanimity prevail in America. 

Moreover, Sir, I request you to inform me in what 
manner Congress will judge proper that I should take 
my leave, with regard to the secrecy, which I endeavor 
to keep as to my speedy departure. I also flatter my- 
self, that if they shall think proper to give me any 
commission, they will rely upon my carrying into 
France the same zeal for the interests of the United 
States and of the common cause, of which I have 
sought to give proofs during my residence in America. 

I have the honor to be, with respect and esteem. 
Sir, your most obedient humble servant, 

GERARD. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Mount Pleasant, April 6th, 1779- 
Sir, 

I have the honor of sending you the abstract of 

news, which I have just received from Martinique. It 

is not very interesting, but it will at least make 

known the present state of things. I send at the same 

time a paper relatii^e to a financial operation, which has 

been performed in France. I request you to send it 



y 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCi:. 277 

back to me again, and to accept the sentiments of 
respect with which I have the honor to be, Sir, &.c. 

GERARD. 



Abstract of several Letters^ dated Martinique^ Febru- 
ary 25th. 

"The King's vessels, Robuste of seventyfour guns, 
commanded by the Count de Grasse, commander of the 
squadron ; Magnifique of seventyfour, by M. de 
Branche ; Dauphin Royal of seventy, by M. de Mit- 
ton ; and Vengeur of sixtyfour, by M. de Retz, having 
sailed from Brest the 14th of January, arrived at Fort 
Royal the 20th of this month. They had on board the 
second field regiment, eight hundred and fifty recruits, 
and a company of miners." 

March 6th. "We learn that Admiral Byron has on his 
part also received a reinforcement, but we do not know 
the force of it. He has not yet undertaken any operation. 
He has only twice sailed out with some ships, but he re- 
turned the day after. It is true, that he has not troops 
enough to make conquests and to preserve them. Sick- 
ness continues to make great ravages among those that are 
at St Lucia." 

March 9th. "The convoy from France, so much 
wished for, has just arrived, attended by many vessels. 

"The islands of St Martin and St Bartholomew, which 
the English had taken from us, have just been retaken 
without much exertion by three of our frigates, and an 
end put to the triumph, which our enemies had reaped 
from this easy conquest. 

"M. de Kersin, the lieutenant of the ship, look two 



27g GERARD 



prizes last week ; one a merchant store-ship called Eliza, 
armed with twentyeight twelve pounders. Her crew con- 
sisted of one hundred and forty men, and her cargo of 
provisions and sails, to the value of twentyfive thousand 
livres. The store-ship was sheathed with copper. The 
other is a privateer of eighteen guns, and with a crew of 
seventysix men. So.me American privateers have sent 
here two prizes coming from Halifax, loaded with fish and 
boards. The Minerva has also carried to Cape Francois 
another English frigate of twentyfour guns. The ability 
of tlie captain saved her from the danger of being taken 
by a ship of war and three frigates, by which she had been 
surprised in a calm." 

Baltimore, April 2d. "The captain of a sloop, which 
has arrived in twentytwo days from Martinique, reports that 
sickness had made dreadful ravages in the English army 
and fleet at St Lucia, that the two squadrons are su[)- 
posed to be nearly equal in force, that the French frigates, 
are constantly at sea, often engaging with the English, that 
one of the former has taken the frigate Liverpool ol 
twentysix guns, that in other respects, the situation of the 
French is entirely satisfactory to them, and that they ap- 
pear to be unconcerned with regard to the success of the 
operations, which Admiral Byron intends to undertake." 

Martinique, March I4th. "We learn from France, 
that news has been received by Portuguese vessels re- 
turned from India, that the English commenced hostilities 
against the French in the month of April. A ship of war 
and a frigate attacked at that time the Brilliant, of seventy- 
four guns, commanded by M. de Tronjoly, who repelled 
die attack. We learn also, that they are making great 
exertions for the repair and arming of a force of fortyfive 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 279 

privateers, which the royal navy has taken from the Eng- 
lish, and that the greater part of these vessels will in a 
short time be ready to sail." 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, April 24th, 1779. 
Sir, 

Although the undersigned is not invested with any 
power on the part of his Catholic Majesty, he hopes that 
the Congress of the United States of North America, 
knowing the closeness of the union subsisting between his 
Catholic and his Most Christian Majesty, will not be sur- 
prised if the Minister of France has the honor to submit 
to them the representations, which two captains of Spanish 
vessels have made to Don Juan de Mirales. The facts on 
which these representations rest are contained in the an- 
nexed memorial, being taken from the letters of the cap- 
tains. In a short time, the proceedings, and the act of 
appeal relating to one of the Spanish ships, whose cargo 
has been confiscated, will be laid before Congress, as well 
as the papers relating to the second ship, if this suffers 
the same fate ; in order to implore the justice of Congress. 
Meanwhile it has been thought proper to communicate the 
facts to Congress, in order that they may be pleased pre- 
viously to examine this affair, on which we are persuaded 
that they will be pleased to bestow the greater attention, as 
it involves the observance of a law generally adopted by 
commercial nations, for the maintenance of the public se- 
curity upon the sea, as well as of the right of neutrality, 
which affects the interests of the United States, as much 



230 GERARD. 

and more than those of any other nation, and in order not 
to give just cause of discontent to a power like Spain, by 
violating the immunity and dignity of her flag, and by de- 
priving her subjects of their property without cause or 
pretext. GERARD. 

Memorial respecting two Spanish Vessels, 

Translation. 

Memorial or relation of the injury sustained by two 
Captains of Spanish merchantmen, which had sailed, the 
one from the river of London, loaded with merchandise 
for Cadiz, on the account and at the risk of Spanish mer- 
chants ; and the other from the port of Cadiz, loaded 
with wines, fruits, cochineal, and other articles, of the 
growth of the Spanish territory, belonging also to Span- 
lards, bound for London. These two vessels were stop- 
ped by two different privateers, carrying the flag of the 
United States of America, and brought the one to New- 
bury and the other to Beverly, and then on the demand 
of the owners of the privateer, the cargo of one of them 
was declared a lawful prize at Boston, the 28th of last 
March. They were on the point of passing sentence on 
the other at the same place, and not doubling that it will 
suffer the same fate as the first, according to the letters 
written by the said Captains from the said port of Boston 
to Don Juan de Mirales, one of which is without date, and 
the other bearing date of the 3d of this month, he has the 
honor to impart their contents to his Excellency M. Gerard, 
Minister Plenipotentiary of the Court of France to the 
United Stales of America, requesting him to have the 
goodness to lay the information before the iionorable Con- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 281 

gress of the said States, in order to obtain all the satisfac- 
tion due to the honor of the flag of his Catholic Majesty, 
his master, in conformity to the tenor of Articles 14th, 
15th, 25th, and 2Gth, of the treaty of alliance and com- 
merce, between his Most Christian Majesty and the said 
States of America, signed the 6th of February, 1778. 
He asks also for the punishment of the infringers of the 
treaty, or captors, and requests that the Judges may be 
punished, who have unjustly condemned and sentenced as 
a lawful prize the said cargo ; and provided that the other 
vessel has met with the same fate, to sentence them to 
the payment of all the indemnities, expenses, dimages, 
and losses, resulting from the injury sustained by the said 
vessels, and the interruption of their voyages, besides the 
injury which this occasions to the proprietors of the same ; 
and this, seeing that at the time in which they were stop- 
ped, his Majesty the King of Spain was at peace with all 
the powers of Europe, and consequently had no enemy 
to fear ; whereas it is possible that since that time, the 
state of peace between the Court of Spain and other 
powers may have changed, or will change, before the said 
Spanish vessels can perform the voyages for which they 
were designed ; and also the decay of the vessels and of 
the merchandise with which they were loaded, and the 
great risk offered by a voyage from this continent to any 
European port, he. he. to wit; 

Captain Joseph Llanos, by his letter without date, 
(although there can be no doubt that it comes from Boston) 
says, that he sailed from London with his vessel, (without 
mentioning its name) belonging to Don Philip Aguixxe 
de San Fadder, loaded with merchandise for Cadiz, 
amounting to nearly two hundred thousand current piastres, 
VOL. X. 36 



282 



GERARD. 



and that in the course of his voyage he was stopped by a 
privateer schooner of Newbury, called the Success, Felix 
Trask Captain, belonging to Nathaniel Tracy of said New- 
bury, and forcibly brought to this place, notwithstanding, 
that he assured the said Captain Tracy, that the cargo 
belonged entirely to Spaniards, and that he was convinced 
of it by the bills of laden found on board, notwithstanding 
which, that the said cargo has been sentenced as a lawful 
prize, although the papers exhibit no fraud ; as will be 
seen by the process, which is copied in order to be 
presented to the honorable Congress, to which appeal is 
made. 

The Captains claim the protection of the honorable 
Congress, that of his Excellency M. Gerard, and that of 
Don Juan de Miralles ; the navigation of the Spanish being 
very much injured by the privateers of this continent, there 
being three vessels belonging to this nation in the same 
situation as the above, brought in by different privateers. 
These three. vessels also propose to appeal to the honor- 
able Congress, and are resolved to defend the rights of 
the Spanish. 

Captain Joachin Garcia de Luca, commander of a 
Spanish ship with three masts, her crew Spanish, says, in 
his letter dated at Boston, the 3d of the present month, 
that he sailed from Cadiz for London, loaded with wines, 
oils, cochineal, and fruits, on the account and at the risk 
of Spaniards, and that he was stopped, on the 21st of De- 
cember, 1778, wh^n pursuing his voyage, by a privateer 
frigate, with the flag of the United States of America, 
which brought him to Beverly ; that having learned that 
the owners of the said privateer were desirous, that the 
cargo of the Spanish vessel should be confiscated, he went 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 283 

to Boston, wlieie the court of justice sits, beloie which lie 
appeared on the 2d of the current month, not knowing al 
that time, but he should meet with the same fate, which his 
friend Don Joseph de Llanos has suffered with regard to 
his cargo, which was condemned on the 28th of last March. 

1, Don Juan de Miralles, truly certify, that the above 
was extracted from the letters which the Spanish Captains, 
Don Joseph de Llanos and Joachin Garcia de Luca, wrote 
to me, and which I received on the 10th current, at eight 
o'clock in the evening. 

DON JUAN DE MIRALLES. 

Philadelphia, April 21, 1778. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 3d, 1779. 
Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has learnt, by 
despatches from his Court under date of the 25lh of De- 
cember, that the negotiation, which has been the subject 
of the overtures which the said Minister has had the honor 
to make to the Congress of the United States of North 
America for nearly three months, continues, and that his 
said Court earnestly desires, that Congress would be 
pleased to take prompt measures to take part in the said 
negotiation, as soon as circumstances shall have brought it 
to its proper state of advancement, which may happen at 

any moment. 

GERARD. 



284 GERARD. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

May 4th, 1779. 

"The Minister of France delivered to the President a 
letter from the King of France, with the following note." 

The custom in Holland, for sending to the States-Gen- 
eral the letters by which the King notifies them of mar- 
riages or births, is to give them to the President of the 
week, who then goes to the house of the Ambassador, or 
Minister of the King, to compliment him in the name of 
the States-General, upon the event which forms the subject 

of the letters of notification. 

GERARD. 

FROM THE KING OF FRANCE TO CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Very dear, and great Friends and Allies, 
We do not delay informing you of the birth of the Prin- 
cess, to whom the Queen, our very dear consort, has just 
happily given birth. Our confidence in your friendship 
does not permit us to doubt your interest in this event, nor 
your participation in the satisfaction which we derive from 
this first fruit of the divine blessing on our marriage. 

The interest that we take in the prosperity of your 
Republic is our warrant for the pleasure, which we have 
in repeating to you the assurances of our esteem, and of 
our constant affection. Moreover^ we pray God, that he 
may keep you, very dear and great friends and allies, 

under his holy and worthy protection. 

LOUIS. 
Written at Versailles, December 19th, 1778. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 285 

"This letter being read, the President, with a committee 
consisting of one member from each State, was immedi- 
ately to wait upon the Minister, and in the name of the 
United States to congratulate him upon the birth of the 
Princess. A committee was also appointed to prepare the 
draft of an answer to his Majesty's letter." 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 6th, 1779. 
Sir, 

The anxiety of the undersigned, Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary of France, for the maintenance of the most perfect 
harmony, and the care which he has been in the habit of 
taking from the commencement of the alliance to establish 
such a confidence, as can alone maintain it and conduce to 
its prosperity, do not allow him to conceal from the Con- 
gress of the United States the perplexity under which he 
labors, with regard to informing his Court of the delays 
which the negotiation, commenced in the month of Feb- 
ruary last, meets with. It must be allowed, that no affair 
so important and so pressing ever experienced so much 
delay, and the undersigned declares, that he can see no 
reason for warning France and Spain against the sinister 
interpretations, with which attempts are made to inspire 
them in regard to this conduct. The zeal and the good will 
of the petitioner do not suggest to him any other expedient, 
than that of requesting Congress to approve of his having 
the honor of imparting to them, as he now does, his per- 
plexity and embarrassment. 



286 GERARD 

He adds, that the Court ol France has received intel- 
ligence, that England was resolved to send a considerable 
reinforcement of troops to the continent of North America, 
and to carry on the war there with all possible vigor, in 
order to proceed to the conquest of America at the same 
time by force and by intrigue. The King, in consequence 
of his attention to whatever may concern the security and 
the happiness of his allies, has ordered his Minister Plen- 
ipotentiary to conmiunicate this intelligence lo the Con- 
gress of the United States. The undersigned has the 
honor to [)erform this commission by the present note. 
He believes that he should add, that his Majesty, adher- 
ing scrupulously to the spirit and principles of the alliance, 
which has the independence of the United States as an 
essential object, is always resolved to assist America by all 
the means, that the resources of his kingdom, and the gen- 
eral state of affairs, will permit him successively to devote 
to this grand object, without being turned from it by the 
idea of any conquest for himself. 

It is in consequence of these same dispositions and of this 
same disinterestedness, that his Majesty, although he has 
made no engagement to furnish supplies of money to the 
United States, and although the active and direct war 
which he is carrying on against the common enemy ab- 
sorbs his resources, and ought to exempt him from all 
accessory and entirely voluntary expenses, is desirous to 
contribute to the re-establishment of the American finances, 
so far as his own necessities allow him to do so. He has 
thought that he should partly fulfil this object, by securing 
the payment of the interest on the loans, which have been 
stipulated to be paid in France, presuming that the credit 
of one of the public funds of the States would efTectually 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 287 

contribute to the support of the others, and to the success 
of the measures, which the wisdom of Congress may adopt 
on this subject. A society of bankers, established under 
the authority of the King, lias consequently taken upon 
itself to make the necessary advances, in the form of a loan 
made to America. The undersigned has not yet received 
the exact details of this arrangement, but he will have the 
honor of communicating them, so soon as he shall receive 
them. 

The confidence which the King places in the reciprocal 
attachment of the United States of America to the alliance, 
can alone induce him to determine upon proceedings, 
which are useful only to America, burdensome to France, 
and destitute of all advantage for her. His Majesty hopes 
to receive reciprocal proofs of these sentiments and feel- 
ings, but he neither demands nor expects anything for 
himself on the part of Congress. He only desires, that 
the States should employ all the resources at their dis- 
posal, in order to provide for their own security and tran- 
quillity. 

GERARD. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS, 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 9th, 1779. 

Sir, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, having thought 
it his duty to take upon himself to inform the Count d'Es- 
taing of the desire, which Congress had expressed to him, 
that the King's squadron should come to the assistance of 
Georgia, this Vice- Admiral has just replied, that the supe- 



288 



GERARD. 



riority of the enemy in the Islands had not till this time, 
permitted him to leave those latitudes ; but that in conse- 
quence of the intentions of his Majesty, which are, to grant 
to the United States, his allies, all the assistance compat- 
ible with the security of his own possessions, and with the 
general position of affairs, he proposes to sail immediately 
to the Southern coasts of the States, and to exert himself 
for the deliverance of Georgia, and the preservation of the 
Carolinas. From thence the King's squadron will sail 
to the mouth of the Delaware, and its further operations 
will depend upon the agreement that shall be made be- 
tween Congress and the commander of his Majesty's 
forces, and will be calculated for the greatest advantage 
of the United States. 

The undersigned has no doubt, that this new proof 
of his Majesty's generous and disinterested friendship 
strengthens the confidence, with which these engagements 
and his conduct must have inspired the governments and 
people of America. Facts so evident will serve, on the 
other hand, to confound those ill-disposed men, who, by 
silent and clandestine insinuations, destitute of all proof, and 
of all probability, directed solely by private views, and evi- 
dently opposed to the honor and interest of the confeder- 
ated Republic, seek to sow distrusts and jealousies, of 
which the common enemy alone can reap the advantage. 

The undersigned must add to the details above given, 
that it is impossible for the Count d'Estaing to carry pro- 
visions from Martinique sufficient for the campaign, which 
he proposes to make in the seas of North America. He 
hopes that Congress will be pleased to give the most pre- 
cise and effectual orders for their being got in readiness 
and placed on the coast, so that the squadron may easily 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 289 

take them on board. The undersigned Minister, hopes 
that Congress will be pleased to inform him successively 
of what shall be done on this subject, since the said Min- 
ister must be personally responsible for these measures, 
the failure of which would expose to the greatest misfor- 
tunes the forces, which the King has destined to bring 
direct and immediate assistance to the United States, 
although his engagements, which he will always scrupu- 
lously fulfil, do not impose this duty on him. 

GERARD. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OP CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 9th, 1779. 

Sir, 
When the Congress of the United States did me the 
honor to ask my concurrence in inducing the Count d'Es- 
taing to assist Georgia, I asserted, that this Vice-Admiral, 
in conformity with the intentions of the King, would do all 
that circumstances should permit. I proposed at the same 
time the means of proceeding to the execution of this 
plan ; but Congress observed an entire silence, and did not 
deign to inform me of their resolution. It was only through 
a public channel, thai I learned that the plan Vvas aban- 
doned ; but my zeal having led me to write previously to 
the Count d'Estaing, and having received the answer of 
this Vice-Admiral, I do not think. Sir, that the interest 
of the alliance and of the United States allows me to ac/ 
according to the presumed negative resolution of Congress, 
VOL. X. 37 



290 GERARD. 

and I request you consequently to submit to that body 
the annexed Memorial.^ 

I have the honor to be, with the highest esteem, Sir, 
your humble and most obedient servant. 

GERARD. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 19th, 1789. 
Sir, 
I take the liberty of addressing to you a note of Don 
Juan de Miralles, concerning the Spanish ships carried 
into New England, and beg you to lay it before Congress, 
and to represent to them, that there is reason to fear, if the 
appeal which the council of Boston has reserved to itself 
should be decided before any measures be taken by Con- 
gress, the ships and merchandise will be sold, to the irre- 
parable loss of the Spaniards. 

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the greatest 
respect. Sir, your most obedient humble servant. 

GERARD. 

MEMORIAL. 

Translation. 

Don Juan de Miralles, who, under date of the 21st of 
April last, had the honor to present a Memorial to his Ex- 
cellency M. Gerard, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Court 
of France to the United States of America, to inform him 
of the proceedings of different privateers, with the flag of 

* This Memorial is missing. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 291 

the said United States, against three vessels lawfully pro- 
vided with the Spanish flag, which had sailed, one of them 
from London for Cadiz, and the two others from Cadiz 
for England, loaded with merchandise helonging, as well 
as the said vessels, to subjects of his Catholic Majesty, his 
jnaster, which have been carried into different ports of 
New England, under the jurisdiction of the Province of 
Massachusetts, and that the respective indictments have 
been drawn against them before the Court of Admiralty of 
the city of Boston, where the cargo of one of the said ves- 
sels which sailed from London has been condemned, to 
the profit of the owners and crew of the privateer which 
captured her ; another of the said vessels, which sailed 
from Cadiz, has also been condemned, and there is no 
doubt that the third has suffered or will suffer the same 
fate. 

Don Joseph de Llanos, Captain of the vessel which 
sailed from London, and Don Joachin Garcia de Luca, 
of the other which sailed from Cadiz, which, as has been 
said, have been condemned, have sent me an express, with 
copies of the said proceedings, which I have had the honor, 
in concurrence with the said M. Gerard, and in his pre- 
sence, to deliver to his Excellency the President of the 
Honorable Congress, who was so kind as to receive them, 
and to offer to lay them before the Honorable Congress, 
in order that it may take into consideration an affair of so 
great consequence, and be pleased to order what is just, 
as well as it regards the interest of the proprietors of the 
vessels and cargoes, as the honor due to every neutral flag, 
and particularly to that of his Catholic Majesty. 

Having learnt, that considering that the said court of 
Boston has not agreed to grant to the said condemned 



292 



GERARD. 



Captains the appeal, which they have made from their sen- 
tences to the said Honorable Congress, and which has 
only been referred to the Supreme Court of the said Prov- 
ince of Massachusetts, they are to judge the said indict- 
ment definitively, in the last resort, and that there is no 
doubt that the first sentences pronounced by the Court of 
Admiralty of Boston will be confirmed ; the said Don 
Juan de Miralles earnestly requests his Excellency, the said 
M. Gerard, that he would be pleased to interpose his influ- 
ence and his mediation with the said Honorable Congress, 
in order that it may have the goodness to pass a resolution 
ordering the said Supreme Court of Massachusetts, and 
every other tribunal, to suspend every proceeding and 
determination with regard to the aforesaid three Spanish 
vessels and their cargoes, until the said Honorable Con- 
gress shall have decided definitively on this affair, and that 
this may be done soon, so that the order, which it may 
be pleased to give, may arrive at Boston before the sard 
6th of June next, which is the time at which the said 
causes are to be judged definitively and in the last resort. 

JUAN DE MIRALLES. 
Philadelphia, May 18, 1779. 



The foregoing letter from the Minister of France, to- 
gether with that of Don Juan de Miralles, was referred to 
Mr Burke, Mr Duane, and Mr Lovell, who on the 22d 
delivered in a report, and thereupon Congress passed the 
following resolution. 

Resolved, That the resolutions of Congress passed the 
6th day of March last, relative to the control of Congress, 
by appeal in the last resort, over all jurisdictions for decid- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 293 

ing the legality of captures on the high seas, be immedi- 
ately transmitted to the several States, and that they be 
respectively requested to take effectual measures for con- 
forming therewith. 

Resolved, That the following letter be written to the 
Minister Plenipotentiary of France, and signed by the 
President. 

"Sir, 

"Congress having taken into consideration your letter of 
the 19th of this month, I am directed to assure you, that 
as soon as the matter shall in due course come before 
them, they will attend very particularly to the caies of the 
vessels, stated in the note from Don Juan de Miralles, to 
have been sailing under the flag of his Catholic Majesty, 
and captured by armed vessels under the flag of the United 
States, and that they will cause the law of nations to be 
most strictly observed ; that if it shall be found after due 
trial, that the owners of the captured vessels have sufl^ered 
damage from the misapprehension or violation of the rights 
of war and neutrality, Congress will cause reparation to be 
made, in such a manner as to do ample justice, and vindi- 
cate the honor of the Spanish flag. That Congress have 
every possible disposition to cultivate the most perfect har- 
mony with his Catholic Majesty, and to encourage the 
most liberal and friendly intercourse between his subjects 
and the citizens of these United States. 

"But they cannot consistently with the powers intrusted 
to them, and the rights of the States and of individuals, in 
any case suspend or interrupt the ordinary course of jus- 
tice." 



•94 GERARD. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 22d, 1779. 

Sir, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, not having 
heen hitherto informed by Congress of the result of their 
deliberations upon the important overtures, which have 
formed for more than three months the constant subject 
of his representations, has reason to presume, that the 
resolutions relative to them have not yet been passed. 
Delays, so long and so unnatural, in a matter so clear, and 
in a juncture which requires so much celerity, and which 
so essentially concerns the United States, have rendered 
the undersigned apprehensive lest some doubt had arisen, 
either as to the main point of the matter, or as to the man- 
ner of proceeding, or as to the dispositions and views of 
the Kino- • and as the said Minister is instructed to conceal 
from Congress nothing that can be useful to the interests of 
the United States, he asks permission to submit to them the 
summary of the most essential things, which seemed to him 
to deserve attention in the further course of its deliberations. 
It is well known, that the direct and essential object of 
the alliance, which subsists between his iVlost Christian 
Majesty and the United Slates, is to maintain effectually 
the liberty, the sovereignty, and the independence, absolute 
and unlimited, of the said States, as well with respect to 
government as to commerce, and consequently, the territo- 
rial rights belonging to sovereignty. To this object all the 
efforts and proceedings of the King are constantly tending. 
It is in order to attain it, and to procure for the people of 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 295 

America the power of tliis valuable independence, and the 
cessation of the evils and dangers under which an active 
and obstinate war makes them groan, that his Majesty has 
undertaken a difficult and expensive war against England, 
without any view of personal interest, and even with the 
refusal of the advantages which the United States appeared 
ready to grant him. He has already given brilliant proofs, 
that his friendship does not confine itself to the mere ful- 
filment of his engagements. He is in fact disposed to give 
to the United States all the assistance compatible with the 
situation of his own aiFairs, and with the general state of 
things, and he regards the interests of the United States as 
his own, in everything that relates to the object of the alli- 
ance, and that is conformable to the invariable principles 
on which his reciprocal connexions with the United States 
are founded. It is in consequence of his attention to exe- 
cute literally the treaty of alliknce, that he has not lost a 
moment in informing Congress of the overtures relative to 
the projected pacification, in entreating them to take with- 
out delay that part in this negotiation, which the dignity and 
interests of the United States require. He has moreover 
repeated to Congress the promise, that he would not treat 
with the common enemy, without making it a primary and 
essential condition, that the independence of the United 
States should be acknowledged, conformably to the stipu- 
lations of the treaty of alliance. His Majesty has at the 
same time ordered his Minister Plenipotentiary to lay 
before Congress some considerations relative to the state 
of affairs, and particularly to observe to them, that the alli- 
ance, unless victorious, cannot dictate terms to the com- 
mon enemy. The undersigned has executed these orders 
eidier verbally or in writing. 



296 GERARD. 

It is evident then, that his Majesty desires only the tran- 
quillity and prosperity of America, upon the foundation of 
an honorable and firm peace, conformable to the stipula- 
tions of the treaty of alliance. He rejects every idea of 
conquest and acquisition of territory for himself. In order 
promptly to attain this advantageous object, and to fulfil 
his engagements, he is disposed to carry on the war with 
vigor, if the common enemy refuses the pacific system, 
which his Majesty has announced to the whole world, and 
which the United States adopted on signing the alliance. 
But in case that the perseverance of the Court of London 
in the desire to subdue, or to conquer America, should 
prolong the calamities of the war, his Majesty will consider 
himself at liberty to concert with the United States all the 
further measures adapted to this new order of things, and 
conformably to the mutual interests of the allies and of the 
common cause. It is thus that the King fulfils, and pro- 
poses to fulfil, the duties resulting from Articles 1st and 
8lh of the treaty of alliance, by urging on one side the 
United States to participate in the negotiation, which can 
conduct to the conclusion of a truce and of a peace, by 
making common cause with the said States, and on the 
other side, by enabling the two allies mutually to assist 
each other by their good offices, their councils, and their 
forces, as circumstances may require ; in fine, by showing 
his perseverance, conformably to Article 8th, in the res- 
olution not to lay down arms till independence shall have 
been formally or tacitly acknowledged. But as this last stip- 
ulation limits his Majesty's engagements on this subject 
to the very time of this acknowledgment, if England im- 
mediately agrees to this essential condition, his Most Chris- 
tian Majesty will have fulfilled all his positive and direct 
enea?ements in relation to the conclusion of peace. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 297 

It follows from these observations, 

1st. That the King has engaged to procure for the 
United States, by means of arms, the acknowledgment of 
their independence, and that his Majesty is faithful to fulfil 
this obligation, and even disposed to lend them assistance, 
to which he is not obliged by the treaty. 

2dly. That he has made no other engagements than 
those expressed in the stipulations of the treaty. 

3dly. That the United States have neither title nor 
right to require anything more, and that if they wish to 
persuade him to further engagements, it can only be vol- 
untary on his part, and by uniting reciprocal counsels, con- 
formably to the expression of Article 1st of the treaty, and 
as is proper for good and faithful allies. Even in this case, 
it is impossible to foresee the state of things and minds in 
Europe, or to judge what measures the important care of 
maintaining his reputation, and the system of equity and 
moderation, which he has made the fundamental principle 
of his reign, may require on his Majesty's part. These 
considerations seem particularly due to an ally, when he 
has contracted gratuitous obligations without any reciprocal 
advantages. 

4thly. By uniting the expressions of Articles 11th and 
I2th, it will be seen, that the success of the war being 
alone able to fix the fate of empires, it has been found im- 
possible on concluding the treaty of alliance to determine 
the possessions that the United States may obtain on mak- 
ing peace ; that consequently, the engagement of France 
can only be conditional and eventual on this subject; that 
she is not now held to any particular engagement, in rela- 
tion to these possessions, whether real or pretended ; and 
that this obligation will not commence till the time in which 
VOL. X, 38 



298 GERARD. 

the possessions of the United States shall be fixed by the 
cessation of the war. 

5thly. In fine, it is indispensable to add to these con- 
siderations, that when any doubt arises as to the express- 
ions, the extent and the application of the stipulations of 
a treaty, the laws of reason, and of universal justice, as 
well as the rules of a good and faithful alliance, decide, 
that an ally has no right to interpret it arbitrarily and par- 
tially ; that the attempt would at the same time offend the 
dignity, and destroy the confidence of his ally ; that neither 
of them can in fact arrogate to himself the superiority in 
connexions, which ought to be equal and reciprocal ; that 
it is only by a friendly explanation, by a formal agreement, 
that these doubts can be removed, and the exact meaning 
of treaties determined ; that in short, this method would 
become still more indispensable, if it should happen, that 
the pretensions of one of the parties were founded only 
upon farfetched inductions, subject to discussion and con- 
tradiction, and would tend to alter the essential and funda- 
mental system of an alliance. 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France is fully confi- 
dent, that the Congress of the United States, knowing the 
laws of proceedings, and the respect which Sovereigns 
mutually owe to each other, will observe them in their con- 
duct towards his Most Christian Majesty ; but the impor- 
tant, critical, and pressing juncture, in which the affairs of 
the alliance stand at the present moment, imposes on the 
undersigned Minister the sacred duty of contributing, as 
much as lies in his power, to hasten the resolutions of Con- 
gress, to prevent all mistakes and every subject of misun- 
derstanding, to preserve the most perfect harmony and 
uniformity of views and sentiments, concerning the accom- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 299 

plishment of the advantageous stipulations of the alliance, 
and thus to deceive the expectation of the common enemy, 
who henceforth founds his principal hopes on the divis- 
ions, which he is intent upon fomenting. In fine, one of 
the objects of this Memorial is, to prove, solemnly, the faith- 
ful and friendly conduct of the King in this juncture, his 
Majesty hoping, that the knowledge of this conduct will 
confirm the governments and people of America in the 
sentiments of confidence, which the proceedings of his said 
Majesty have already inspired. It is only by thus placing 
before the eyes of Congress the indubitable principles ex- 
pressed above, that the Minister Plenipotentiary of France 
thought that he could fulfil his duties to the King, his mas- 
ter, and to the alliance, and protect from all reproach his 
zeal for the common cause between France and America. 
If he has deceived himself in his conjectures, as to the 
immediate and apparent utility of his mode of proceeding, 
he begs Congress to accept his excuses for having con- 
sumed time of so much value, and he flatters himself, that 
knowing his attachment to the alliance, and to the United 
States, it will attribute bis conduct to these sentiments 

alone. 

GERARD. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 24th, 1779. 

Sir, 
I avail myself of the first respite, which my sickness 
allows me, to congratulate you as well as Congress upon 
the resolution, which I am assured they have taken, in re- 



300 GERARD. 

lation to their finances. The execution of the system, 
which appeared connected with this first operation of a tax, 
will show to your friends and your enennies the extent of 
your resources, your firmness, and your ability to make a 
suitable and efficacious use of them. The eagerness with 
which the people seemed to expect an arrangement of this 
kind, gives beforehand the proof of their favorable dispo- 
sitions and of their good will. This state of things. Sir, 
cannot but strengthen the very friendly intentions of the 
King, my master, by the confidence with which your own 
efforts, and the displaying of the resources of America, will 
inspire him in your dispositions. It will only remain for 
you to show vigor in your military operations, in order to 
destroy the hope entertained by the common enemy, of 
conquering America ; then everything will inspire us with 
the hope of soon seeing the happy day dawn, in which 
America will enjoy independence, together with the advan- 
tages and delights of peace. Congress has received all 
the possible assurances of the King's, my master's, desire to 
hasten that moment, and he is convinced, that Congress 
will place no obstacle in the way. 

1 have the honor to be, with respectful esteem, Sir,' your 

humble and most obedient servant. 

GERARD. 



May 24th. Information being given to Congress of 
some outrages and wanton barbarities, committed on sub- 
jects of France by the enemy, on their landing in Virginia, 
the following resolutions were passed. 

Whereas it has been represented to Congress, that the 
enemy at the time of, and since their landing in Virginia, 
have perpetrated the most unnecessary, wanton, and out- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 30 1 

rageous barbarities, on divers of the citizens of that State, 
as well as on several of the subjects of his Most Christian 
Majesty residing therein, deliberately putting many of them 
to death in cool blood, after they had surrendered, abus- 
ing women, and desolating the country with fire. 

Resolved, That the Governor of Virginia be requested 
to cause diligent inquiry to be made into the truth of the 
above representations, and to transmit to Congress the evi- 
dence he may collect on the subject.. 

Resolved, That Congress will retaliate for cruelties and 
violations of the laws of nations committed in these States, 
against the subjects of his Most Christian Majesty, in like 
manner and measure as if committed against citizens of the 
said States, and that the protection of Congress shall be on 
all occasions equally extended to both. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 25th, 1779. 
Sir, 

I have received with the most lively satisfaction the let- 
ter with which you honored me on the 24th of this month, 
as well as the resolutions of Congress of the same date, 
which accompanied it, and which relate to the atrocious 
actions committed by the enemy's troops in Virginia, which 
violate equally the laws of war established between civil- 
ized nations, and the first principles of humanity, and attack 
the foundations of all human society. 

The whole world cannot but be convinced of the justice 
of the necessary measures to which the conduct of the 



302 GERARD. 

common enemy compels Congress to have recourse, in 
order if possible to put an end to sucb horrible excesses. 

I must confine myself here, Sir, to requesting you to 
place before Congress this assurance of the sensibility with 
which the King, my master, and the whole French nation 
will receive the strong proof of friendship, union, and iden- 
tity of feelings and interests, which the United States give 
in declaring, that they will make no distinction, in this re- 
spect, between their own subjects and those of their ally. 
This will give the common enemy a new evidence of the 
inviolability of the alliance which unites the two nations, 
and will afford the French, who have already given so 
many proofs oi their individual attachment to the senti- 
ments of the alliance, and of their zeal for the United 
States, a new motive of encouragement. By thus increas- 
ing more and more the connexions and the mutual confi- 
dence, the means of braving the efiects of the ambition and 
the revenge of the common enemy will be increased. 

I have the honor to be, with respect and esteem. Sir, 
your most humble and obedient servant. 

GERARD. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 27th, 1779. 

Sir, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, in consequence 
of the sentiment and the views, which have prompted his 
previous representations, has the honor to observe to the 
representatives of the United States of America in Con- 
gress assembled, that independently of the principal and 



DIFLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 303 

direct interest of the confederated republic in the overtures 
of pacification, which the undersigned has been ordered to 
make to Congress, the general good of the alliance urges 
with all possible earnestness the hastening of the resolution 
of the said States. It is in fact only by enabling the 
Court of Spain to bring its mediation to its critical and 
decisive point, that it can be hoped that this power, con- 
vinced of the injustice of the views and of the ambition of 
England, will join the alliance, acknowledge the indepen- 
dence of the United States, and take an active part in the 
war. On the contrary, by delaying without communicat- 
ing to the parties interested the motives which induce them 
to it, the States will be in danger of fatiguing this power, 
which keeps on foot the forces of the whole monarchy, 
principally with a view to give respectability to a mediation 
which appears to be neglected ; they incur the risk of 
cooling the good will of his Catholic Majesty, and perhaps 
of alienating him as much by delays, as if resolutions, con- 
trary to the system which he has appeared disposed to 
favor by his mediation, should give him lawful reasons for 
changing his conduct. 

The alliance will thus be deprived of a decisive support, 
which the goodness of its cause, the wisdom of its gonduct, 
and the close union subsisting between France and Spain 
seemed to promise it. Moreover, the suspension of the 
said resolutions operates equally in another point of view, 
in a manner the most disadvantageous for the alliance in 
general, and for France in particular. On the one side, 
in fact, the expectation of the resolutions of Congress 
necessarily infuses into plans and measures an uncertainty 
injurious to the common good, and if the Count d'Estaing 
does not carry into execution the plan of coming upon the 



304 GERARD. 

American coast, it can only be attributed to this cause. 
On the other hand, the season is already so far advanced, 
that this same uncertainty, by destroying the hope of see- 
ing Spain declare herself during the course of the present 
campaign, leaves France alone exposed to the efforts of the 
principal body of the enemy's forces. 

The wisdom of Congress, and the faithful attachment 
which they show on every occasion, in a manner as con- 
spicuous as it is satisfactory to the alliance, and the respect 
which they have always expressed for Spain, do not per- 
mit a doubt as to the attention which they will be pleased 
to give to considerations of such importance. The present 
Memorial is the last tribute that the zeal of the Minister 
Plenipotentiary of France will allow him to consecrate to 
the duty of facilitating and accelerating, as much as lies in 
his power, the deliberations of Congress, by suggesting 
considerations which might have such an influence. 

GERARD. 



June 22d. A Memorial from the Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary of France was read, accompanied with a commission 
given by him to the Sieur de St Hilaire, appointing him 
Vice-Consul for the port of Alexandria in Virginia. Or- 
dered, that the same be referred to the Marine Committee 
to take order thereon. 

Another Memorial from the Minister was received and 
read, accompanied with two Memorials relative to violences, 
of which divers subjects of his Majesty complain. These 
were also referred to the Marine Committee. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 305 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, June 21 et, 1779. 

Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor 
to represent to the Congress of the United States of Amer- 
ica, that the daily experience of several ports of the con- 
tinent proves how prejudicial the want of the proper reg- 
ulations for maintaining the immunity of the flag, which is 
the foundation of a free commerce, is to navigators, to 
French merchants, and even to the interests and to the 
honor of the French nation. The treaty of commerce has 
foreseen this state of things, and has expressed the wish of 
the two parties to remedy it. The undersigned would 
have proposed to Congress, some time ago, to enter upon 
this negotiation, had he not perceived that their time was 
occupied by subjects of greater importance ; but as the 
evil increases daily, it becomes indispensable and urgent 
to provide a remedy for it, at least with regard to the 
most pressing subjects, and by provisional regulations, 
which will have no force till the contract, stipulated by the 
treaty of commerce, is made. 

The Minister Plenipotentiary consequently thinks it his 
duty to lay before Congress the annexed plan, and to pro- 
pose a method, which seemed to him calculated to effect 
this object. 

Several States, perceiving the inconveniences of the 
present uncertainty, seemed disposed to provide a remedy 
for it by domestic laws ; but the undersigned has not been 
willing to urge them, without being previously informed of 
the sentiments of Congress on this subject. He conse- 
voL. x. 39 



QQg GERARD. 

quently requests that body to be pleased to inform him of 
them, and if they think proper that the daily complaints 
should be redressed by provisional regulations, while wait- 
ing; till the subject shall be acted upon by a convention, to 
recommend this matter itself to the Legislatures of the 
several States. The regulations which they may make 
will show by experience, whether they are calculated to 
effect this object. They will throw light upon the rules 
observed among all commercial nations, and will give to 
the United States in general an opportunity of becoming 
acquainted with the manner in which the commerce 
between the two nations can be regulated, according to the 
principles of justice and equality, which should form the 
foundation of all the connexions that shall subsist between 
them, and according to the principles and forms which 

vary in different States. 

GERARD. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 5th, 1779. 

Sir, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, has already 
had the honor to recommend to Congress the request 
made by the King's navy agent in relation to the expe- 
dition of the ship Defence, loaded with provisions for Cape 
Francois. He renews his entreaties by the present Me- 
morial. The quantity of provisions on board this vessel 
is so inconsiderable, particularly considering the abundance 
of old grain which we see now, that the undersigned hopes 
that Congress will think that the exportation of them may 
be allowed, without injury to the service of the army or of 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 307 

the public. The undersigned, however, offers to have 
these same provisions received, so as to be deducted from 
the quantity promised for his Majesty's squadron, and par- 
ticularly the flour, on account of the thousand barrels, to 
which the eighteen thousand, promised for the same ser- 
vice, have been reduced. The want of provisions is so 
great at Cape Francois, particularly in the vessels of 
Count d'Estaing's squadron, which are stationed there to 
protect the reciprocal commerce, that the said Minister is 
ready to subscribe to whatever conditions Congress shall 
think proper to impose with regard to this expedition. 
But he requests with the greatest earnestness, that they 
would be pleased not to defer giving a positive answer, in 
order not to increase, if its decision is in the negative, the 
costs and expenses which the King will be obliged to pay 
to the proprietors and fitters out of the said vessel. 

With regard to its destination, the undersigned had 
thought that he could flatter himself, that his character and 
conduct would prevent the doubts which a member of 
Congress has communicated in writing to the King's navy 
agent. Nevertheless, as so weighty a suspicion, declared 
in so serious a manner, and impeaching the probity and 
fidelity of the officers of the King, acting; immediately under 
the direction of the said Minister, cannot have been sug- 
gested to Congress without important reasons, the under- 
signed entreats and requests them to be pleased to cause 
an account to be rendered of the reasons of his suspicions, 
and of the facts upon which they may have been grounded. 
The undersigned requests further, that the result of this 
verification may be communicated to him, in order that he 
may be in a situation to take the further part, that the dig- 
nity of the King, his respect for Congress, his regard for 



308 



GERARD. 



the public interest of America, and the dehcacy which 
ought to characterise the conduct of every public man, may 
require. 

The undersigned makes the same request, and for the 
same reasons, with regard to the accusation made to Con- 
gress, that the vessels, which have been fitted out in the 
name of the King, have been loaded with quantities of 
flour on individual account. He declares that his first 
rule has always been to cause the whole of the vessels to 
be freighted on his Majesty's account ; but if any frauds 
have been committed in this matter, it is of equal impor- 
tance to the public good, and to the dignity of the King, 
that its authors should be known, rn order to prevent 
further frauds. The delegates to Congress, by a verbal 
declaration made to the King's navy agent, have confined 
this imputation to one vessel alone, but it is not less im- 
portant that the fact should be verified. 

Besides, although the Minister Plenipotentiary of France 
insists on this point, in order lo make these odious impu- 
tations fall on those who may deserve them, he could have 
contented himself with declaring, that not having the right 
of police and inspection over the proprietors, owners, and 
Captains of the American vessels, which have been em- 
ployed in these transportations, and ho ought to be better 
acquainted than strangers with the laws of the country, it 
is only the officers of the State, appointed to receive the 
declarations of the ships which sail from the ports, who 
can, in examining the cargoes, determine the frauds which 
may have been committed ; and that without directly and 
positively blaming the officers of the King, they cannot be 
made responsible for frauds, which it is not in their power 
to prevent. Very far from desiring any connivance on the 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 309 

part of the officers or of the governtnents of the difTerent 
States of America, the undersigned earnestly desires, that 
they would be pleased to execute with vigor the powers 
which belong to them, and the laws which may have refer- 
ence to these subjects. 

The undersigned hopes that Congress will be pleased 
not to defer its resolution, whatever it may be, respecting 
the ship Defence, till the verification of these facts. The 
two affairs have nothing in common, and the Minister 
Plenipotentiary, in repeating his offers expressed above, 
flatters himself that Congress, if they think proper to per- 
mit this expedition, will find that these arrangements can 
be made even after the departure of this vessel. 

GERARD. 



This Memorial being read, it was immediately 
Resolved, that it be recommended to his Excellency 
the Governor of Maryland to permit the ship Defence, 
which is loaded with provisions for the fleet of his Most 
Christian Majesty, to depart and carry her cargo to the 
place of her destination, and that care be taken that she 
carry no other provisions than the above, and what may be 
necessary for the crew. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 5th, 1779. 

Sir, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor 
to represent to Congress, that faithful to the promises 



310 GERARD. 

which that body has asked for, on his part, in relation to 
llie purchase of provisions destined for the squadron, which 
the King sent last year to the assistance of the United 
States, he has never authorised any purchase except 
through the very overseers appointed by Congress, or 
without giving notice of the operation to the members of 
the committees intrusted with this business. He has de- 
clared to them several times, that the provisions bought on 
the account, and with the money of the King, would always 
remain at the disposal of Congress, either for the public 
service, or for that of the American army. The under- 
signed hopes, that their members will be witnesses of it to 
Congress. Delicacy has been carried so far, that it has 
been preferred to expose the King's squadron to the want 
of provisions, which it has procured only in consequence of 
some happy accidents, rather than to break through an ar- 
rangement which Congress had judged necessary. The 
same principle has guided the conduct which has been pur- 
sued in the last place, when the undersigned, by his knowl- 
edge of the chief motives of Congress, having been obliged 
to demand the assurance of a certain quantity of provisions, 
the difficulty of circumstances induced him to combine 
purchases by way of commerce with the direct measures 
which Congress has judged proper to take. As Congress 
must have been informed of all that has taken place on this 
subject, the undersigned will not introduce it again here, 
and he will abstain from all reflection. 

He confines himself to representing to Congress, that 
the produce of these private purchases is reduced to a 
very small quantity, by the obstacles which the continental 
officers have thrown in their way, and by the seizure, by 
authority, of the articles bought, as well as by other similar 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 311 

events j and the agents employed on the King's account, 
being thus deprived of the security and of the power which 
every American citizen, and every foreign merchant en- 
joys, and the property of the King being so uncertain and 
exposed, the undersigned begs Congress to be pleased to 
cause all the provisions bought on the account and with 
the money of his Majesty, to be placed in the hands of 
the officers whom they shall judge proper to appoint for 
this purpose, in order that Congress may dispose of them 
in such manner as their own prudence and the public 
interest shall dictate ; the undersigned declaring, that from 
the moment in which he was informed of these proceedings 
and of these obstacles, he has given order to put an end 
to every kind of purchase and supply of provisions. He 
annexes here the note of the provisions now in the hands 
of the King's agents ; and if the commissions given here- 
tofore have produced a greater quantity of them, he will 
have the honor to give notice of it to Congress, according 
as he shall be informed of it himself. 

But he must at the same time call the attention of Con- 
gress to the proposition, which he had the honor to make 
to them by the Memorial which contains the request for 
this new supply, that is to say, that they would be pleased 
to declare, whether the Minister Plenipotentiary of France 
may reckon upon the quantity of provisions, which are ne- 
cessary for the important object which he has had the 
honor to communicate to Congress. In order to facilitate 
the success of his measures on this subject, the undersigned 
confines himself at the present time to requesting, that the 
quantity of five thousand barrels of flour may be immedi- 
ately held in readiness. The remainder can be furnished 
in the course of September next, from grain the product 
of this year's harvest. 



312 GERARD. 

The reasons alleged in the said Memorial compel the 
undersigned to repeat to Congress the formal demand of 
a prompt and explicit answer, with which he has not hith- 
erto been honored. Congress has too much wisdom for 
any one to allow himself to set forth to it all the inconve- 
niences which might result to America, and to the alliance 
from the least delay. The reports hitherto communicated 
are so uncertain, that it is impossible to make them the 
foundation of a confidence, which the experience of the 
past does not encourage, unless Congress authorises them 
by its sanction. A formal and explicit assurance on the 
part of Congress can alone effect an object so important, 
upon which the Minister Plenipotentiary of France has 
insisted since the month of May, and which the advance- 
ment of the season renders still more critical and pressing. 

GERARD. 

REPORT OF A COMMITTEE RESPECTING A. CONFERENCE 
\VITH THE MINISTER OF FRANCE. 

In Congress, July 10th, 1779. 

The President informed Congress, that the Minister of 
France had communicated to him certain intelligence, 
about which it would, in his opinion, be expedient for 
Congress to confer with the Minister. 

Resolved, That the honorable M. Gerard be in- 
formed by the President, that Congress are desirous of 
conferring with him in a committee of the whole, on the 
subject of the intelligence communicated by him to the 
President, and that if agreeable to him, a private audi- 
ence be had on Monday next, at 12 o'clock. 

Monday, July \2th. The President informed the 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 313 

house, that he had communicated to the Minister of France 
the resoliTtion of Saturday, and that the Minister had 
agreed to meet Congress, in a committee of the whole, at 
12 o'clock. Whereupon Congress was resolved into a 
committee of the whole, and had a conference with the 
Minister, and on the 14th of July, Mr Laurens, chairman 
of the committee, reported. 

That in obedience to the order of Congress, the com- 
mittee of the whole have conferred with the Miaister Plen- 
ipotentiary of France, who introduced the conference by 
saying, that he had received some despatches from his 
Court, which he was ordered to communicate to Congress, 
but that he expected no answer. That though it was not 
the usual practice to offer communications of this nature in 
writing, yet as it had been intimated to him by the Pres- 
ident, that this mode would be most agreeable to Congress, 
he had committed the heads of them to paper, not as a 
Memorial, but merely for the assistance of the memory, in 
a form to which the term of '■^ad statum legendV is appro- 
priated by the usage of the Courts of Europe ; that in 
reading the said paper he would take the liberty of making 
some explanations and reflections. 

That he then proceeded to read the paper herewith de- 
livered, marked No. 1, divided into seven Articles, and at 
the close of each separate Article he added explanations 
and reflections, the substance of which the committee have 
endeavored to recollect, and have committed to writing in 
the paper marked No 2. 

VOL. X. 40 



314 GERARD. 

NO. I. 
Ad statum legendi. 

1st. The King has approved all the overtures, which 
were made by his Minister Plenipotentiary to the Honor- 
able Congress, respecting the affairs of M. de Beaumar- 
chais. Therefore a line ought to be drawn between the 
stores, which this gentleman has been permitted to take 
out of the royal magazine, for which he has made himself 
debtor to the department of war, and between those articles 
which the same gentleman has bought in the common way 
of trade for the use of the United States. 

2dly. A hint having been given to the Minister Pleni- 
potentiary, that Congress desire to recruit their ships in 
France, from the English prisoners there, the Court in 
consequence of his representations is willing to facilitate 
this mode of recruiting seamen. 

3dly. The King and Ministry were extremely pleased 
with the resolution, which Congress has taken, to maintain 
only one Minister Plenipotentiary at this Court, as well as 
with the exclusive appointment of so steady and honest a 
man, and so firm and solid a patriot, as Dr Franklin. 

4thly. The Congress has given very great satisfaction to 
the Court of France, by the timely and spirited step, which 
was taken to disavow a certain ill- grounded and pernicious 
doctrine, relating to the mutual obligations of the allies, to 
conclude no truce or peace without the knowledge or con- 
sent of eachother. The Court of France is of opinion, 
that this doctrine could only be maintained by those men, 
whose aim it was by any means to weaken the ties of the 
alliance, and to create disgust and diffidence between the 
allies. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 315 

5thly. The Court has received with some surprise the 
intelligence, that Congress has published llie treaties con- 
cluded with it, without the previous knowledge and con- 
sent of the party interested. It is not to be denied, that 
such a proceeding is but little consistent with reason, and 
with the general practice of Courts and nations. Never- 
theless, this observation involves not any kind of reproach, 
but the King thinks, tliat so noble and generous a system 
of politics could but produce desirable effects by its pub- 
lication. 

Cthly. The intelligence, that in the first month of last 
winter there were no adequate preparations made in Amer- 
ica towards a vigorous and successful campaign, was 
received at Versailles with all the concern, which the dan- 
ger of the United States and the prolongation of the pres- 
ent contest can create in the most friendly mind. The 
Court of France is fully in the opinion, that the exertions 
of the United States are necessary to bring the common 
enemv to a proper sense of all the disappointments which 
he shall meet with. 

Tthly. The Court, being desirous to acquaint Congress 
exactly with the state of affairs relating to the common 
cause, would not delay to inform this honorable body, that 
the Court of London, showing on one side dispositions to 
a reconciliation with France, rejects on the other side the 
very idea of a formal and explicit acknowledgment of 
the independence of the United States, which his Most 
Christian Majesty perseveres to hold up as a preliminary 
and essential condition. The behavior of the common 
enemy in this respect rendered a great deal more proba- 
ble the conjecture, which was communicated to Congress 
some time ago, that the point of honor and pride of the 



316 



GERARD. 



King of England will be the greatest obstacle to the con- 
clusion of peace upon those explicit terms ; and perhaps 
the manner of overcoming this difficulty will of course 
become the most decisive object of the deliberations of 
Congress, when this honorable body shall determine to 
make peace, whatever middle way may be hit upon, that 
England shall treat with the United States as with a free 
people, and evacuate immediately all the territories belong- 
ing to them. 

NO. II. 

The Substance of what the Minister said at the Confereiice 
in explanation of the several Articles in the foregoing 
Paper, entitled '^ad statim legendi" as reported by 
the Committee. 

Article 1. From the bills and accounts with which 
Congress have been furnished by M. de Beaumarchais, 
Congress will be enabled to distinguish those articles 
which were drawn from the royal magazines, and those 
which he supplied in the way of trade. For these last, 
Congress will without doubt make remittances to M. de 
Beaumarchais in their own way, to enable him to perform 
the contracts he has entered into as a merchant. That 
for the former articles, the King, his master, taking upon 
himself to be creditor to the United States, would wart 
until Congress shall find it convenient to make compen- 
sation. 

Article 2. Though his Court had not resolved to re- 
taliate upon the prisoners taken by the common enemy, 
yet for the reasons assigned, the King, his master, had 
assented to the proposal. But in carrying this matter into 
execution it would be proper to take such precautions, and 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 317 

to give such orders to the Captains, or other persons em- 
ployed in this business, that it may be managed with 
prudence. 

Article 3. There is every reason to believe, that 
Congress v^rill very soon receive proofs of the confidence, 
which his Court was always willing to show to the servants 
of these States. The personal character of Dr Franklin 
will enable the Court to act with a frankness becoming the 
alliance, and they will have no occasion to withhold any 
more the secrets which may interest the United States and 
the alliance. 

Article 4. The King, his master, after this explicit 
step, relies with the highest confidence upon the candor 
and faithfulness of Congress, in understanding as well as 
in executing the treaty, and in rejecting every arbitrary and 
unnatural interposition or construction, which false, subtle, 
or designing men can contrive. Congress by their own 
feelings must be sensible, that such interpretations and con- 
structions are always hurtful, against common decency and 
dignity, and may oftentimes endanger mutual confidence, 
and of course the very existence of a treaty. But the 
sense Congress has manifested in this particular affair gives 
his Court the greatest hopes, that there will be no further 
motive for the painful reflections, which that affair gave 
rise to. 

Article 5. He begged leave to add, that this publi- 
cation interfered with the situation of affairs in Europe, 
and was in a certain degree disadvantageous to tlie com- 
mon cause, because it gave the common enemy a full 
knowledge of our system, and our mutual engagements, 
without procuring us any reason to guess at their views 
and resolutions. Happily these inconveniences have not 



318 



GERARD. 



been felt, and ample compensation has been obtained by 
convincing the people of America, not only that the treaty 
was just and equal, but that the heavy task which France 
had taken upon her was magnanimous, gratuitous, and 
without reward. The whole world was at the same time 
convinced, that war, conquest, and ambition, were not the 
objects of the alliance, nor of any of the allies, but only the 
peaceable enjoyment of the sovereignty, liberty, security, 
and independence of these United Stales. And this con- 
viction gave much honor, credit, and consideration to the 
alliance. 

Article 6. On this he observed, that he had endeav- 
ored since last fall, by order of his Court, to impress upon 
every mind, that England will never evacuate New York 
willingly, and could only be brought by proper exertions 
on the part of America to think seriously of granting inde- 
pendence. He believed that Congress had adopted a sys- 
tem so conformable to their engagements and to the situ- 
ation of affairs, his Court was better informed than he was. 
But without reflecting on past events, the King hopes, that 
his amicable apprehensions will be overcome by the suc- 
cess of the campaign ; that henceforth the United States 
will follow the example set them by his Majesty, and that 
they will exert themselves in their own cause, as his Maj- 
esty exerts himself for their sakes and in their cause, which 
he has adopted. 

Article 7. He said he was authorised to tell Congress 
in confidence, that this reflection is the result of the obser- 
vations which the Court of Spain made upon the conduct 
of England throughout her negotiation of mediation ; that 
the British Ministry seem to be solicitous to be reconciled 
with France, and to keep up this negotiation ; that from 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 319 

thence probable hopes may be entertained of their internal 
disposition to peace, but at the same time they reject with 
haughtiness the formal acknowledgment of the indepen- 
dence insisted on by France and Spain. New orders 
have been given to the Spanish Ambassador at London, to 
ascertain as nearly as possible those dispositions. In these 
circumstances, the King, his master, ordered him to com- 
municate this intelligence to the United States, that they 
may, if they think proper, take under consideration, if it 
would not be expedient to give their Plenipotentiary in- 
structions and full powers, founded upon the necessity of 
the conjuncture and upon the treaty of alliance, the express 
and formal terms of which are, that peace shall not be 
made without an express or tacit acknowledgment of the 
sovereignty, and, consequently, and afortiori, of the rights 
inherent in sovereignty, as well as of the independency of 
the United States in matters of government and of com- 
merce. 

Thi9 substantial alternative in an engagement, which is a 
mere gratuitous gift, without any compensation or stipula- 
tion, ought, indeed, never to be forgotten in a negotiation 
for peace. France foresaw the extreme difficulties, which 
a formal and explicit acknowledgment might meet with. 
She knew by her own experience in similar contests, in 
which she has been deeply concerned, respecting the Re- 
publics of Holland, Genoa, and the Swiss cantons, how 
tenacious monarchs are, and how repugnant to pronounce 
the humiliating formula. It was only obtained for Hol- 
land tacitly, after a war of thirty years, and explicitly after 
a resistance of seventy. To this day, Genoa and the 
Swiss cantons have obtained no renunciation or acknowl- 
edgment, either tacit or formal, from their former sover- 



320 GERARD. 

eigns. But they enjoy their sovereignty and indepen- 
dence only under the guarantee of France. His Court 
thought it important to provide, that difficulties of this 
nature, which consist merely in words, should not delay 
or prevent America from enjoying the thing itself. 

From these considerations arose the very important and 
explicit stipulation in the treaty, which he just now men- 
tioned, and which has received the sanction of the United 
States. The circumstances seem such as call for the ap- 
plication of the alternative of tacit or explicit acknowledge- 
ment. All these considerations are adduced, that Con- 
gress may, if they think proper, consider whether the lit- 
eral execution of the treaty in this point is not become 
necessary, and whether the safety and happiness of the 
American people, as well as the essential principles of the 
alliance, are not intimately connected with the resolutions 
that may be taken on this subject. And it remains with 
the prudence of Congress to examine, whether instructions 
upon some particular conditions may not frustrate the sal- 
utary purpose of the treaty of alliance, relative to a tacit 
acknowledgment which the situation of affairs may require. 

In thus executing, continued he, the orders I have re- 
ceived, 1 cannot omit observing, that these orders were 
given with the full presumption, that the business, which I 
laid before Congress in February last, would have been 
settled long before these despatches should come to my 
hands. However sensibly my Court will be disappointed 
in its expectations, I shall add nothing to the information 
and observations, which, with the warmest zeal for the 
interests and honor of both countries, and by the duties of 
my office, and my instructions, I found myself bound to 
deliver from time to time to Congress, in the course of this 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 321 

business. The apprehension of giving new matter to those 
who endeavor to blame Congress is a new motive for me to 
be silent. I beg only to remind this honorable body of the 
aforesaid information and reflections, and particularly of 
those which I had the honor to deliver in an assembly sim- 
ilar to the present. I shall only insist on a single point, 
which I establislied then and since, in one of my Memo- 
rials, namely, the manifest and striking necessity of ena- 
bling Spain, by the determination of just and moderate 
terms, to press upon England with her good offices and 
bring her mediation to an issue, in order that we may know 
whether we are to expect peace or war. This_ step is 
looked upon in Europe as immediately necessary. It was 
the proper object of the message 1 delivered in February 
last. I then established the strong reasons, which require 
that at the same time, and without delay, proper terms 
should be offered to his Catholic Majesty, in order to, re- 
concile him perfectly to the American interest. I did not 
conceal, that it was to be feared, that any condition incon- 
sistent with the established system of the alliance, which 
is the binding and only law of the allies, and contrary to 
the line of conduct, which Spain pursued in the course of 
her mediation, would lead her to drop the mediation, and 
prevent his Catholic Majesty, by motives of honor and of 
faithfulness, from joining in our common cause, and from 
completing the intended triumvirate. No loss, no unhappy 
event, could be so heavy upon the alliance as this. Indeed, 
although the British forces are already kept in check by 
the combined efforts of France and America, it is never- 
theless evident, that the accession of Spain can only give to 
the alliance a decided superiority, adequate to our purpose, 
VOL. X. 41 



322 GERARD. 

and free us from the fatal chance, that a single unlucky 
event may overthrow the balance. 

The committee then taking notice of what the Minister 
had said concerning a tacit assurance of the independence 
of these States, and the reluctance of the King of Great 
Britain to make an express acknowledgment thereof, re- 
quested to know his sense concerning the manner in which 
such tacit assurance could be given. To which, he pre- 
mising that what he should now say ought to be considered 
only as his private sentiments, replied, that the British Court 
would probably endeavor to avoid an express acknowledg- 
ment, by imitating precedents, that had occurred in Europe 
on similar occasions, instancing the cases of the Swiss can- 
tons, and the United Provinces of the Netherlands ; that 
the mode adopted in the latter case had been for the Arch- 
duke, to whom the King of Spain had transferred his right 
of sovereignty, to treat with them "as with free and inde- 
pendent States." And that with respect to the cantons, 
France had not been able to obtain for them in the treaty 
of Munster any other than a declaration, that they should 
be in possession of as full liberty and exemption from the 
empire, and be in no manner subject to the jurisdiction 
thereof. But that in his opinion the circumstances of these 
States, and the manner in which they had conducted their 
opposition, would justify their expecting a more full dec- 
laration. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 323 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 26th, 1779. 
Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has received 
with gratitude the permission, which the Congress of the 
United States has been pleased to grant him, for the expe- 
dition of the ship Defence. His Court will be very sen- 
sible of tlie regard, which Congress have been pleased to 
pay to the situation of the vessels of war stationed at Cape 
Francois. 

The said Minister takes the liberty of reminding Con- 
gress of the request, which lie made in one of his Memo- 
rials, dated the 5th of this month, relative to the accusa- 
tions, which have been made before the whole House, of 
frauds which were thought to have been practised with 
regard to the cargo of the ship Defence, and of other 
vessels loaded with provisions for the French squadron. 
The undersigned has, by writing, on the 1 7th of this month, 
urged the committee intrusted with this verification, to be 
pleased to hasten its report, and he takes the liberty of 
addressing the same request to the Congress of the United 
States itself. Congress is also referred to the reflections 
contained in his said Memorial of the 5th instant. 

GERARD. 



224 GERARD. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 26th, 1779, 
Sir, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has received 
the resolution of Congress, dated the 15th of this month, 
in relation to the supplies of provisions destined for the 
squadron of the King. He requests Congress to accept 
his thanks for the measures, which have been taken to 
effect this important object. He is only under the neces- 
sity of representing, that no one of the officers of the King 
can, and that no American citizen will, take it upon him- 
self to receive and take care of the provisions destined 
for this purpose. The unjust and arbitrary proceedings, 
to which they have been exposed, terrify them, and the 
undersigned is obliged to request Congress to leave the 
said provisions in their own magazines, and in the hands 
of their own officers, till the time of making use of them 
arrives. This request has more particular reference to 
the flour taken from Wilmington, and which has become 
the direct property of Congress by the transfer of it, which 
l\e undersigned made to Congress in one of his latest Me- 
morials. 

GERARD. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 26th, 1779. 
Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor 

to lay before ,lhe Congress of the United States of Amer- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 325 

ica the sequel of the proceedings inserted in the public 
papers against M. Holker, Consul of the King, and his 
Majesty's general Navy Agent. The first part of these 
same proceedings is already in the hands of this august As- 
sembly. The Minister of France intended merely to lay 
the facts before them, and to leave to their wisdom to 
determine the measures, that they sliould judge proper for 
putting an end to this offence ; but the late unjust, inju- 
rious, and incompetent proceedings, v^rhich have been car- 
ried on against a public officer of the King in relation to 
the exercise of his functions, the further dangers with which 
he is threatened, the indirect consequences, which already 
result from them to the representative of his Majesty, and 
those which may result more directly from the sentiments 
and principles which are manifested, do not permit the 
Minister any longer to observe the same moderation. 

Congress have received the credentials of the under- 
signed Minister in the name of all the United States. They 
have accepted, and invested with their authority the other 
officers of his Majesty. It consequently belongs to Con- 
gress to protect them against the attacks, which may be 
made in their persons on the dignity of his Most Christian 
Majesty, and the laws common to all nations governed by 
the laws of police, relative to the free exercise of their 
functions. Congress is too enlightened to need a comment 
upon the insulting writings, which the Minister lays before 
them. He merely requests thenj to take into considera- 
tion the contents of the letter, which the said Minister has 
written to the President of the Executive Council of Penn- 
sylvania, as well as that which the Consul of the King has 
addressed to him. Copies of them are annexed. He is 
persuaded that Congress will have the less hesitation to 



326 GERARD. 

take this cause in hand, as facts are involved in it rela- 
tive to the secret of the alliance, which have happened in 
the sight and with the consent of a comnnittee ; and as 
this reason alone would justify them in taking an exclusive 
cognizance of it ; besides, the Consul of the King will most 
fully prove, if Congress think it necessary, that the orders 
he has given have been exactly conformable to the agree- 
ment made with the committee, and to the territorial laws 
of the State in which they were executed. 

Agreeably to these considerations, the Minister Pleni- 
potentiary of France has the honor to beg and formally to 
request the Congress of the United States of America ; 

1st. To be pleased to take under their special protec- 
tion the Consul of the King, and, if circumstances require 
it, his Majesty's other officers. 

2dly. To cause the public notice already given to be 
repeated, that M. Holker has been accepted by this august 
body, and recognised as the Consul of his Most Chris- 
tian Majesty. 

3dly. To grant to this public officer, or to procure for 
him, justice and satisfaction for the attacks publicly made 
on his honor and reputation. 

4thly. To declare that the Consul of the King has acted 
conformably to the views and wishes of Congress, in seek- 
ing to procure provisions for the King's squadron by the 
way of trade ; that the condition of these private purchases 
has always been, that the articles procured should remain 
at the free disposal of Congress, either for the army, or 
for the benefit of the public, and that not a single barrel of 
flour should be exported without their consent and formal 
authorisation ; that, in consequence of this agreement, the 
undersigned Minister has transferred to them the hundred 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 327 

and eightytwo barrels bought at Wilmington, and that this 
quantity of provisions has, from this lime, become the 
property of the United States. 

Finally, the undersigned Minister requests Congress to 
take the effectual measures that their wisdom shall dic- 
tate, for protecting all the officers of the King, his master, 
from every unjust, injurious, and arbitrary proceeding, and 
for securing to them the liberty necessary for the exercise 
of their functions, without seeing the dignity of his Majesty 
and the honor of his officers exposed to farther insults. 

The justice of Congress, and their regard for the honor 
of a monarch, who is a friend and ally of the United States, 
will, doubtless, prevent the serious discussions and the mis- 
understanding which such proceedings, if they are not 
promptly and authentically made amends for, would un- 
doubtedly occasion. It is with the most entire confidence, 
that the undersigned Minister places this whole affair in 

the hands of Congress. 

GERARD. 



The Papers referred to in the foregoing Memorial, 
No. 1. 

M. GERARD TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE STATE OP 
PENNSYLVANIA. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 26th, 1779, 

Sir, 

M. Holker, Navy Agent and Consul of the King, my 

master, has presented to me his defence in relation to the 

suspicions, which some have been pleased to excite as to 

his conduct concerning the subsistence of the French fleet. 



328 



GERARD. 



I approve and confirm all the contents of his letter, and i 
declare, that he has acted on this occasion in his capacity 
of a public man and an officer of his Most Christian Maj- 
esty, and that all the orders that he has given for the said 
subsistence have been given under my direction, and with 
the consent and agreeably to the desire of the committee 
of the general Congress of the United States. 

I hope that the defence of the Consul of the King will 
satisfy your Excellency and the Executive Council of this 
Province, as well as every honest and unprejudiced man. 
At any rate, M. Holker and all the other consuls and 
officers of his Most Christian Majesty scattered throughout 
America, will always be ready, when they shall be prop- 
erly requested, to answer as to anything that shall relate 
to the law of the country. It is the serious will of his Maj- 
esty ; his representatives are ordered to see to it ; and it 
is for this reason, that the offers of M. Holker have antici- 
pated your wishes in this respect. But, Sir, in paying 
this just tribute to the sovereignty and to the territorial 
law, I must have the honor of observing to you, that there 
is no civilized nation where the agents and public servants 
of a foreign sovereign do not enjoy immunities and exemp- 
tions, which by the unanimous consent of these nations 
have been regarded as indispensably necessary for the free 
exercise of their functions ; even when they act contrary 
to the law of the country, care is taken, and caution used, 
in order not to wound the dignity of their constituents, and 
not lightly to injure the public character of their officers. 
If they have acted only in their official capac^lty, people 
have neither the right nor the power to set themselves up 
for judges ; but if there are evident proofs, they are trans- 
mitted to the superior officer, if there is one in the country, 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 329 

and it may be to tlie sovereign himself, and it is for him to 
cause satisfaction to be made, or the proper punishments to 
be inflicted. 

These ofllcers, moreover, cannot be subjected to any 
inspection or inquisition with regard to the execution of 
their public functions, except to that of their own sovereign 
and his representatives ; it does not belong to any one 
whatsoever to assume in this respect a power and an au- 
thority, which would become an attack on the rights of the 
sovereign of another country, and an injury to its represen- 
tatives. This would be a violation of the laws common to 
nations governed by the laws of police, and a manifest in- 
fraction of the principles upon which the mutual and neces- 
sary communication between friendly nations is founded, 
and without which the appointment and the residence of 
the respective public officers would become dangerous and 
impossible, if in any country whatever these principles 
were not acknowledged, or if any person pretended, with- 
out the consent of a sovereign, to set up for a guardian 
of his officers, and to censure and condemn their conduct 
in his name, or under the pretext of his interest. If 
this usurped power extended even to actions, the scene of 
which was without the territory of the State ; if it were 
allowable to take the property of a sovereign by force from 
the place of deposit, notwithstanding the protest of the 
civil magistrate, and in a foreign State, to which alone 
it would belong to protest against the violence of its laws ; 
in fine, if after assuming the pretext of taking care of his 
interests, any one should dare to sentence explicitly or by 
implication a foreign King to pay a penalty or fines, and if 
the public officers were represented as enemies of the 
country, even while they were employed in affairs of the 
VOL. X. 42 



330 GERARD 

Utmost secrecy and of the greatest importance for this very 
country's own interest, they would then he deprived of the 
liberty, which every citizen and every other stranger en- 
joys ; while, on the other hand, the terrified citizens would 
refuse to take part in any affair relating to this power, in 
order to preserve their reputation and tranquillity. These 
officers would then be prevented from fulfilling their duties 
to their master, particularly if the crime of falsehood were 
publicly imputed to them while their title and quality were 
called in question, although publicly and authentically ac- 
knowledged by all the powers of the country. Such con- 
duct would be a marked insult, and this situation very near 
to a state of hostilities would tend to destroy all confi- 
dence, all commerce, and all correspondence between the 
two friendly and allied nations ; and there would remain 
only one course to be pursued by the representatives of 
that which should be injured, and which could not obtain 
immediate satisfaction ; namely, that of seeking an asylum 
in a country where the respect which a nation owes to an 
independent, friendly, and allied power, as well as to its 
representatives, is known, and where, by conforming to 
the territorial laws, one can rely upon the effectual protec- 
tion of the sovereign, against every injurious, violent, and 
arbitrary proceeding. 

My duty. Sir, places me under the necessity of offering 
these remarks to your Excellency and the Executive 
Council. Having no direct credentials for the Republic 
of Pennsylvania, I cannot demand reparations from it as a 
Minister, and I can only address myself to the Congress of 
the United States, forasmuch as the facts in question have 
all happened under its sanction and by its authorisation ; 
but my desire to preserve the decency, harmony, and good 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 331 

understanding, which ought to prevail between two allied 
States, will justify me in earnestly requesting your Excel- 
lency and the Executive Council to take immediately into 
consideration the preceding observations, and without delay 
to communicate to me your opinion on this subject. Aa 
explicit and positive answer is indispensable in this deli- 
cate and critical juncture, in order that I may take the 
measures suitable to the dignity of the King, my master, as 
well as to the tranquillity and to the honor of his officers of 
all ranks and denominations, and at all events to enable his 
Majesty to provide himself for the maintenance of his 
dignity. Meanwhile 1 give orders to suspend every pro- 
ceeding susceptible of new inconveniences, and every ope- 
ration in the State of Pennsylvania on account of his Most 
Christian Majesty on the part of his officers, until the rules 
to which they are to conform shall be known and fixed, 
and till the public is convinced that the citizens do not 
expose their honor and their tranquillity, when they treat 
with the officers of the King, and when they conform to 

the laws of their States. 

GERARD. 



No. 2. 



M. HOLKEIl TO JOSEPH REED, PRESIDENT OF PENNSYL- 
VANIA. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 24th, 1779. 
Sir, 
1 have the honor of forwarding to your Excellency Mr 
Dunlap's publication of this day, in which I find, with 
some degree of surprise, a paragraph levelled at me and 



332 



GERARD. 



my official transactions. I observe that notwithstanding the 
most explicit and repeated offers I made to you yesterday 
morning, and through you to the honorable the Supreme 
Executive Council of this State, of proving that I had not 
in any shape violated or infringed the laws of Pennsyl- 
vania, that I had acted in perfect conformity therewith ; 
notwithstanding I solemnly declared that the flour seized 
was bought and destined for the sole use of his Majesty's 
fleet ; notwithstanding the many and forcible reasons urged 
to your Excellency to convince you that more proper and 
more decent measures might have been pursued, and that 
the steps I had taken to supply his Majesty's fleet were 
not only proper, but were dictated by mere necessity 5 
notwithstanding all these circumstances, I am still held up 
to the public in a suspicious light, and as if I were answer- 
able or accountable for the private and personal transac- 
tions of Mr Rumford of Wilmington, transactions totally 
foreign to me and to the instructions or orders given him 
by me. 

My application to you, Sir, in this respect, seems to 
have been so far ineffectual, as also your just and pointed 
representation on this subject, which you were pleased to 
communicate to me by your letter of this day. I am 
sorry to remark, that though 1 have acted in concert with 
his Excellency, our Minister Plenipotentiary, that Con- 
gress has always been apprised of the purchases made by 
my orders ; though all the provisions purchased and de- 
livered into the hands of my agents have been at all times 
at the disposal of Congress in consequence of express 
stipulations ; though 1 have given with pleasure the widest 
room for inquiry into the grounds of all suspicions, in order 
that a thorough investigation might establish public tranquil- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 333 

Jity and public confidence, which I had the greatest reason 
to expect, because it is evident, even by the publications, 
that not a single suspicion was founded on solid ground, 
but merely on surmise ; still his Majesty's representative in 
this Commonwealth, his Agent General in all the ports of 
the United States, acknowledged as such by Congress, by 
yourself, and the board at which you preside, specially 
charged, in conjunction with the Minister Plenipotentiary, 
with procuring the necessary supplies for his Majesty's 
squadron, expressly fitted out for the defence of these 
States against the common enemy, and for the protection 
of his dominions in America, acting in the strict line of his 
office and duty, is most wantonly traduced to the public, 
branded with the most injurious and unfair imputations in 
the newspapers published in this very city, where these 
facts and my public character are most notorious, under 
your eyes, with your knowledge, and in contradiction to 
your personal advice and disapprobation. 

I need not expatiate on the evil consequences, that may 
arise from such illiberal aggression. I need not claim 
your interposition. But the reasons I gave you yesterday, 
becoming every instant more forcible and more pressing, 
it is necesjsary that I demand the most immediate exer- 
tions of government on this occasion. 

It is with the utmost reluctance I sit down to appeal in 
this solemn manner to the Executive power of Pennsyl- 
vania for justice, lest my request may be construed an 
opposition to the respectable motives of the informers on 
my conduct ; but I am accountable to my royal master for 
my actions, and obliged to exact that respect due to his 
representative in this State, and to support the dignity of 
the character with which he has been pleased to invest me. 



334 GERARD. 

Therefore, it is in compliance with my duty, that I sub- 
mit these facts and the repeated insults I meet with, to the 
reflections of your Excellency and Council, relying fully 
on your sense of propriety, and on your exertions on this 
occasion, as in all others, where I have applied for 
redress.* 

I remain with respect, your Excellency's most obedient 

and humble servant. 

HOLKER. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 28th, 1779. ' 
Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France thinking it 
tiecessary to lay before Congress all the information rela- 
tive to the affair of the flour from Wilmington, has the 
honor to annex the copy of a letter, which the President 
of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania has written to 
M. Holker, as well as of the three pieces, which were an- 
nexed to this letter, and of which this Consul has informed 
the said President that he retained a copy. 

The undersigned Minister must at the same time have 
the honor to represent to Congress, that he is informed 
that there will be a new meeting of the city on Monday 
morning, and that the critical state of affairs seems to re- 
quire, that it should be seen fit, before this time, to take 
some eflfectual measures conformable to the petition and to 
the request, which he has had the honor to address to 

* Tlie publications relative to these complaints are found in the 
Pennsylvania Packet of Saturday, July 24th, 1779. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 335 

Congiess. Otherwise the undersigned, and the other offi- 
cers of the King, would have no protection and no security 
against the effects of the unjust, injurious and violent 
principles and proceedings, of which the said Minister has 
complained ; and he would be compelled to leave Phila- 
delphia and Pennsylvania, in order to seek an asylum in 
another State, where liberty and protection could be se- 
cured to him, till he could receive the orders of the King, 
his master. 

GERARD. 



Copies of the Papers enclosed in the above Letter. 
No I. 

JOSEPH REED TO M. HOLKER. 

Philadelphia, July 24th, 1779. 
Sir, 
After the visit you favored me with yesterday, and in 
consideration of the point on which we conversed, I wrote 
the letter enclosed, and about six o'clock the answer, also 
enclosed, was delivered me. I informed the gentlemen, 
two of the committee, that I had seen you that morning, 
that you conceived yourself able to remove the imputations 
conveyed in their representations, and had requested the 
Council to point out the parts of your conduct, on which 
doubts might arise. The gentlemen promised me they 
would inform the other gentlemen of what I had repre- 
sented ; and also that I still thought there would be an im- 
propriety in making the publication in the present circum- 
stances. 1 observe this morning, that the gentlemen have 
been of a different opinion, doubtless deeming themselves 



336 



GERARD, 



under a public obligation to communicate the transaction 
to the world without delay. 

I have the honor to be, he. 

JOSEPH REED. 

P. S. Not having any copies of the enclosed, I must 
beg you to return them after perusal. 

No. 2. 

In Council, Philadelphia, July 23d, 1779. 

A paper, dated in committee, and signed William Henry, 
chairman, in answer to the reference made by this Board 
on the 14th instant, having been read. 

Ordered, that the Secretary do write to the said Mr 
Henry to inform him, that the papers alluded to in said 
answer did not accompany it, and to desire that they may 
be forwarded as soon as convenient. 

The President having informed this Board, that M. Hol- 
ker had conferred with him on the above representation, 
and showed a copy thereof received by him (M. Holker) 
from the committee, and requested that this Board would 
point out such parts thereof as may appear to convey any 
imputations upon him, or distrust of his faithful perform- 
ance of his duty as a public officer, 

Ordered, that the said paper be further considered to- 
morrow, that a proper answer may be given to the said 
request. 

Extract from die minutes, 

JAMES TRIMBLE, 

for T. MATLACK, Secretary, 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 337 

No. 3. 

JOSEPH REED TO WILLIAM HKNllY, CHAIRMAN OF THE 
COMMITTEE. 

Walnut Street, July 23d, 1779. 
Sir, 

I received this morning the report of the committee on 
the affairs of M. Holker, which by a particular accident I 
was prevented from laying before the Council this morning. 
I observe it is proposed to publish it, but I presume this 
does not mean an immediate publication, as there will be 
an indelicacy and violation of usual forms to do this, until 
a return has been officially made thereupon by us to Con- 
gress, through whom the matter came to us. In all cases 
of petitions or other papers, to be presented to any public 
body, 1 take it to be a standing rule, that the matter shall 
be first communicated to them, before it is published to 
the world. As I observe you have sent a copy to M. 
Holker, I presume it is intended thereby to give him an 
opportunity to explain, deny, or admit, such a part of it as 
he may think proper to do. A publication will in some 
measure debar him from this, whereas at a future day, if 
the publication is still thought necessary, the whole may be 
given together ; at all events, it will be the duty of the 
Council to make some report to Congress, in which this 
narration will appear. As to the flour itself, perhaps there 
may be no inconvenience in letting it remain a few days 
in its present condition. My earnest wish is, that this busi- 
ness may be conducted without fear, favor, or partiality, 
to the real interests of the community, all first suspicions 
converted into solid proof, and those of a contrary kind 
effectually banished. 
VOL. X. 43 



338 GERARD. 

The good sense of the gentlemen to whom I address 
myself will, 1 am persuaded, make the necessary and pres- 
ent distinction between persons acting in a public capacity 
and character, especially of another nation, and our own 
citizens, who are to stand or fall by their own laws, and 
the estimation of their countrymen. 
I am, Gentlemen, he. 

JOSEPH REED. 

No. 4. 

WILLIAM HENRY TO JOSEPH REED. 

Friday Afternoon, 5 o'clock, Committee Room. 

Sir, 

We had the honor of your favor of this morning, and 
beg leave to observe in answer thereto, that Mr Morris 
having already published an account of the flour, both in 
behalf of himself and M. Holker, as may be judged by his 
publishing M. Holker's letters, and that publication being 
prior to any report from the Council to Congress, we 
conceive there can be no impropriety in our now taking the 
matter publicly up. Besides which, we apprehend our- 
selves laid under an immediate necessity to give satisfac- 
tion to our fellow citizens on the subject, and to publish 
our proceedings for the previous consideration of the meet- 
ing on Monday. 

M. Holker, we conceive, ought in justice to himself to 
have appealed to the Council agreeably to the resolution 
of Congress, which he has not done. We have deferred 
the matter to the last moment, and cannot now, without 
exposing the reputation of the committee, defer it longer. 

Your Excellency is sensible that nothing but the most 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 339 

pressing iiec(3ssity could induce us 10 depart from ilic 
advice you are pleased to give, and we request you to 
accept the reasons we liave assigned as an apology for so 
doing. 

By order of the committee. 

1 have the honor to be your Excellency's most obedient, 
humble servant, 

WILLIAM HENRY, Chairman. 



All the above memorials, letters, and papers received 
from the Minister this day, were referred to a committee 
of five, namely, Mr Huntington, Mr Laurens, Mr Smith, 
Mr Morris, and Mr Kean, who were instructed to confer 
with the President and the Supreme Executive Council of 
the State of Pennsylvania and with the Minister and Con- 
sul of France, and to prepare and report a state of facts, 
together with their opinion of the measures proper for 
Congress to adopt thereupon. 



M. HOLKER TO M. GERARD. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 29th, 1779. 
Sir, 

I have the honor to send you the several annexed cer- 
tificates, which have been sent to me by Mr Rumford of 
Wilmington. As these papers have a direct relation to 
the conduct of Mr Rumford, and to the seizure made of 
the flour bought by him for the King's squadron, and as 
they may give room for fuller information, as well with re- 
gard to my transactions as to that of this commissary, or of 



340 GERARD. 

every one else, in relation to the said flour seized, I think 
it my duty to request you to transmit them as soon as pos- 
sible to Congress, informing that body that I have sent 
duplicates of them to the Council of the State of Pennsyl- 
vania. I hope that there will be found in them proofs of 
the desire, which has always animated me to conform in 
everything to the resolutions or recommendations ol Con- 
gress, as well as to dispel all the doubts or suspicions 
which insinuations, assertions, or publications could have 
shed upon me. I dare even flatter n)yself, that I shall at 
last receive the satisfactory testimonial, to which my con- 
duct, my transactions, public or private, in everything that 
can concern the United States of Anierica, seem to entitle 
me on the part of Congress. 

I am, Sir, respectfully, your obedient humble servant, 

HOLKER. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 30th, 1779. 

Sir, 

Mr Rumford has sent to the Consul of the King some 
new documents, which throw great light on the affair of 
the flour from Wilmington. I have the honor to forward 
them to you, in the hope that you will be pleased to lay 
them before Congress, as well as the letter of JVl. Holker, 
which accompanies them. 

1 have the honor to be, with the greatest respect. Sir, 
your most humble and obedient servant, 

GERARD. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 



341 



In Congress, July 30th, 1779. 

The above papers were referred to the committee of five, 
before mentioned, who on the 2d of August delivered in a 
report, whereupon Congress came to the following resolu- 
tions ; 

Resolved, That the Minister of France be assured, that 
Congress will at all times afford every countenance and 
protection to the Consuls and other servants of his Most 
Christian Majesty, with the powers and authorities to them 
delegated by their constituents. 

That the several appointments of Consuls made, and 
which may hereafter be made and approved by Congress, 
be duly registered in the Secretary's office, and properly 
notified by the President to the Executive authorities of 
the respective States in whose ports such Consuls may 
reside. 

That the measures taken by M. Holker to procure flour 
for the fleet of his Most Christian Majesty in the way of 
commerce, have from time to time been made known 
unto, and been fully approved by Congress; that the 
several proceedings and publications complained of by 
the Minister on that subject are very injurious to the ser- 
vants of his said Majesty, and that Congress do highly dis- 
approve of the same. 

That the President and Supreme Executive Council of 
Pennsylvania be informed, that any prosecutions which it 
may be expedient to direct for such matters and things in 
the said publications or transactions, as may b*^ against the 
laws of nations, shall be carried on at the expense of the 
United States. 

That the Minister of France be informed that the Presi- 



342 GERARD. 

deot and Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania 
have taken proper measures to restore the flour taken 
from the agents of M. Holker. 



THE PRESIDENT OF PENNSYLVANIA TO M. GERARD. 

In Council, Philadelphia, July 31st, 1779. 

Sir, 

1 have now the honor of addressing you in answer to the 
representation you were pleased to make to this Board on 
the 24th instant. When, to every principle of public affec- 
tion, policy, and justice, there is added our experience of 
your personal friendship to America, and your attachment 
and engaging deportment to the citizens of Pennsylvania of 
every rank, all professions on our part to make your resi- 
dence in the State happy, easy, and honorable, must be 
unnecessary. It is not easy, therefore, for us to find lan- 
guage to express our concern at any transaction which 
may disturb your repose, and interrupt the exercise of 
those functions discharged with so much honor to yourself 
and satisfaction to those, who are called to take any part in 
public affairs. 

In some communications which the Honorable Congress 
liave been pleased to make to us, we also see, with great 
concern, that apprehensions are expressed, the reality of 
which we should deplore as an evil of the first magnitude. 
Be assured, Sir, that the citizens of Philadelphia, and of 
Pennsylvania, cannot entertain sentiments so unworthy ; but 
if there are any so lost to every sense of propriety, decency, 
and order, the authority of the State has power equal to 
its inclination to check and sn})press so licentious and 
wicked a procedure. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 343 

We entreat you, therefore, to dismiss every idea so 
painful and so dishonorable to us as that of personal insult, 
and repose confidence in us when we confirm to you our 
assurances of the affection, respect, and esteem of our 
constituents. And if there are any persons, who presume 
to insinuate dangers of outrages, as suggested in your rep- 
resentations, we most earnestly request you to consider them 
either as ignorant of the real sentiments of those of whom 
they speak, or as acting from less honorable motives. 

I have now the honor of acquainting you, that upon the 
requisition of this Board, the flour in question, and which 
has given rise to this unhappy discussion, is delivered up 
to this Board, and that it is ready to be put into the dis- 
posal of M. Holker, or any person he may direct, for the 
purposes of its original destination, without any condition 
or restriction, a measure, which we hope both as to you 
and himself, will be considered as a relinquishment of 
those terms, which form a ground of your complaint. 
Our desire to make the most early and explicit avowal of 
our sentiments and intentions has induced us to make this 
communication, at the same time all other business being 
laid aside, we are considering the papers which touch the 
character of M. Holker, upon which we shall, without 
delay, address ourselves to the Honorable Congress of the 
United States, through whom those communications have 
been made to us, and we trust it will fully appear, that a 
veneration for the Prince, whose servant he is, respect to 
your interposition, justice to him, and a due regard to the 
rights and interests of this State, have influenced our de- 
termination. 

We observe all the papers respecting this transaction 
have been transmitted to you, except a resolution of this 



344 



GERARD. 



Board passed on the 14th instant, which, probably, by- 
some accident has been omitted. I have now the honor of 
enclosing it, that every proceeding may be fully before you. 
Signed in and by order of Council. 

JOSEPH REED, President. 



In Congress. On the 4th of August the committee to 
whom was referred the Memorial of the Minister, relative 
to the ship Mary and Elizabeth's cargo, delivered in a re- 
port, whereupon, 

Resolved, That Congress do not entertain any suspi- 
cion, that M. Holker, agent of the marine of his Most 
Christian Majesty, had any participation in, or knowledge 
of, the shipping of provisions on private account on board 
vessels despatched in the name of his Most Christian 
Majesty. 

Resolved, That frauds by masters and shippers are 
offences against the municipal laws, and are to be investi- 
gated by the magistrates of the States respectively. 



TO' THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, August 5th, 1779. 

Sir, 
I have received with gratitude the resolution of Con- 
gress, which you were so kind as to send me yesterday. 
1 express my sentiments on this subject in the annexed 
Memorial, which I request you to be pleased to lay before 
Congress. 

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect. Sir, 
your most obedient and humble servant, 

GERARD. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 345 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

. Philadelphia, August 5th, 1779. 

Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France is eager to 
thank Congress for the readiness with which they have 
been pleased to yield to his representations of the 26th of 
last month. 

The resolutions, which have been communicated to the 
undersigned in the name of Congress, appear to him to 
leave nothing to be desired ; he only hopes that the public 
will be informed of the opinions of Congress, in whatever 
form they shall think the most suitable ; and the Minister 
Plenipotentiary is persuaded, that his Court will regard 
the said resolutions as a suitable and sufficient satisfaction 
for the proceedings which they condemn, and the oifence 
which has resulted from them. 

It is under this impression, that the undersigned Minister 
takes the liberty to request Congress not to carry into ex- 
ecution that one of their resolutions which orders, that those 
who on this occasion may have violated the laws of na- 
tions shall be prosecuted. The King's greatness of mind 
forbids his Minister to insist upon such a measure. Be- 
tween nations closely connected by the most powerful 
motives of friendship and interest, even the most lawful 
reparations ought always to stop short of revenge, ft is 
sufficient to undeceive the public, and to restrain the evil- 
disposed men, who sometimes conceal themselves under 
the pretence of the common good. The said Minister, 
consequently, earnestly requests Congress to stop the said 
VOL. X. 44 



345 GERARD. 

prosecutions, and he dares hope this from the modera- 
tion of Congress, provided that motives foreign to France 
and independent of the present affair do not cause this 
august body, or the Executive Council of Pennsylvania, to 
see in this indulgence inconveniences, which are out of the 
sphere of the undersigned Minister. 

GERARD. 



In Congress, August 9th, 1779. 

Resolved, that the Minister of France be informed, 
that the resolutions alluded to in his Memorial of the 5th 
instant will be published in the journals of Congress, and 
that in the meantime he consider himself at liberty to 
make such use of the copies transmitted to him, as he may 
think expedient. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, August 11th, 1779. 
Sir, 
It is with the greatest regret that T learn, that the 
attempt made at Martinique to obtain military stores has 
been fruitless. You will see the reasons of it in the letter 
of the Marquis de Bouille, which I have the honor to send 
you. Nothing but the impossibility of the thing could pre- 
vent the servants of the King from rendering all possible 
services to the American cause, and compel them to delay 
complying with the requests of Congress. 

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, Sir, 
your most humble and most obedient servant. 

GERARD. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 347 

THE MARQUIS DE BOUILLE TO M. GERARD. 

Translation. 

Martinique, July lltli, 1779. 

Sir, 
1 have received the letter, which you did me the honor 
to write on the 8th of June, in which you inform me of Con- 
gress' want of powder. 1 am very sorry that the supplies 
for this colony, which are mttch less than they ought to be, 
will not permit me to furnish any to the United States of 
America. The immense and unforeseen consumption oc- 
casioned by Count d'Estaing's fleet, and his unhappy 
expedition against St Lucia, have laid me under the ne- 
cessity of purchasing up all the powder in the hands of 
merchants to the amount of fifty thousand pounds, and 
you must be sensible, that nothing but the most urgent 
necessity could have induced me to go to such expense on 
account of the King, at a time when I am in so much want 
of money. Mr Bingham who is here, an agent of Con- 
gress, will be able to purchase lead of the merchants. As 
to arms they are become scarce. 

I have the honor to be, he. , 

BOUILLE. 

F. S. I beg of you, Sir, to use all your efforts, that 
we may receive as much provisions as possible before the 
month of November next at farthest, and cause them to 
be addressed to me either at Fort Royal, at St Pierre, or 
at Trinite in this Island, and that you would not let the 
price of freight prevent you. You will thereby do us the 
most essential service. 



348 GERARD. 

In Congress, August 23d, 1779. 

Resolved unanimously, that a committee consisting 
of one member from each State be appointed to con- 
gratulate the Minister of France on the anniversary 
of the birth of his Most Christian Majesty, and to 
assure him that the pleasure, which we feel on this 
occasion, can be estimated by those only who have a 
just sense of the extensive blessings, which many na- 
tions have already derived from his wisdom, justice, 
and magnanimity, and of the prospect of general hap- 
piness to mankind through the influence of his Maj- 
esty's virtuous exertions and glorious example. 



M. GERARD TO THE COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, August 23d, 1779. 
Gentlemen, 

The manner in which Congress are pleased to ex- 
press their sentiments on the occasion of the anniver- 
sary of the birth of the King, my master, is a mark of 
their friendship and respect for his Majesty. Your 
expressions are truly worthy of a faithful ally, and I 
dare assure you, that the account, which I shall ren- 
der to his Majesty of them, will be in the highest 
degree agreeable to him. 

GERARD. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 34^ 



THE COUNT D£ VERGENNES TO M. GERARD. 

In Congress, September 1th, The President laid 
before Congress a paper of intelligence, which he re- 
ceived from the Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
and which is as follows, being an extract of a letter 
from Count de Vergennes to M. Gerard, dated Ver- 
sailles, June 29th, 1779. 

Translation. 
"Sir, 

"The decision of Spain is public. Her Ambassador 
quitted London on the 18th of this month ; he is now 
at Paris. Her forces are on their march to join with 
ours. The junction made, they will endeavor to in- 
flict on England a blow sufficiently heavy to force her 
to acknowledge the independence of America. To 
free herself if possible from this hard necessity, and 
to procure herself the power of opposing at some 
future time a nation, which she will not without great 
reluctance consent to free from the servitude, which 
she wished to impose upon them, it seems that she 
has sent two emissaries to Congress with the offer of a 
truce, and even with power to withdraw all the En- 
glish forces, if America will determine to give up our 
alliance, and to separate herself from us. 

"I do not imagine that this treachery can even enter 
into the mind of Congress, but if they should be en- 
ticed by the love of peace, a single reflection ought 
to stop it. As soon as England shall have proved the 
defection, she can settle her affairs with us, and we 
shall have no reason to refuse to do it j she will then 
fall upon America with the whole mass of her power, 



350 GERARD 



very certain that no nation in Europe will afterwards 
take any interest in a nation, which shall have signal- 
ized its birth by the most unworthy cowardice of 
which a government can be guilty. I am persuaded, 
Sir, that this reflection seasonably presented, will be 
of great effect. There are many other reflections, 
which certainly will not escape your wisdom." 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, September 15th, 1779. 
Sir, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor 
10 inform the Congress of the United States of America, 
that he has appointed Mr James Wilson Attorney-General 
of the French nation, in order that he may be intrusted 
with all causes and matters relative to navigation and com- 
merce. The said Minister diought it jiroper to communi- 
cate this proceedinc: to Congress. 

' GERARD. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, September 15th, 1779. 
Sir, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, who is pre- 
paring to depart immediately, has the honor to request the 
Congress of the United States to be pleased, in the course 
of the week, if it be not inconvenient, to grant him an au- 
dience for the purpose of taking leave of Congress. 

GERARD. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 351 

In Congress, September 15th, 1779. 

Resolved, That Friday next be assigned for granting a 
private audience to M. Gerard, Minister Plenipotentiary of 
France, in order to his taking leave. 

Resolved, That this private audience be in full Con- 
gress. 

Friday, September Mth. Resolved, That two mem- 
bers be appointed to introduce the Minister to the private 
audience. 

The Minister being introduced, took his leave in the 
following speech. 

M. Gerard's speech on taking leave of congress. 

Translation. 

"Gentlemen, 
"The King, my master, having been pleased to accept 
the representations, which my bad state of health com- 
pelled me to make to him, has permitted me to return. 
At the same time he has been in haste to send another 
Minister Plenipotentiary to America, in order that there 
may be no interruption in the care of cultivating the mu- 
tual friendship. I must leave it to the talents of the 
Chevalier de la Luzerne to explain to you his Majesty's 
sentiments, and will confine myself here, Gentlemen, to 
expressing to you the satisfaction I shall experience in 
giving an account to him of the events, of which I have 
been a witness during more than a year's residence with 
you. He will perceive in them the sentiments, which ani- 
mate and direct your counsels, your wisdom, your firm- 
ness, your attachment to the alliance, and your zeal for the 
prosperity of the common cause and of the two respective 



352 GERARD. 

nations. He will see, with pleasure, the valuable union, 
which constitutes the principal force and power of confed- 
erated America, that not only the citizens are in no want 
of zeal or vigor to repel the incursions, which henceforth 
can have no other object than a barbarous devastation, but 
also that there is no American, who does not perceive the 
necessity of uniting to humble the common enemy more 
and more, and to weaken him by efforts proportionate to 
the importance of putting a happy end to a glorious revo- 
lution, and also of securing to confederated America, by a 
firm and honorable peace, as quickly as possible, the ines- 
timable advantages of liberty and independence, which 
form the essential and fundamental object of the alliance, 
and of the war provoked and made necessary by England. 
"It remains to me. Gentlemen, to offer you in general 
and individually, the tribute of my gratitude for the marks 
of confidence and esteem, and for the attentions which t 
have received from you. I have always endeavored to 
deserve them by the most sincere and lively attachment to 
the interests and to the dignity of the United States, as 
well as to the principles and sentiments resulting from the 
alliance. I have not lacked zeal for everything that might 
relate to them, and cement more and more the connexions, 
whether political or personal, between the two nations. 
The most flattering recompense of my labors would be the 

expression of your satisfaction. 

GERARD." 

REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT OP CONGRESS TO M. GERARD's 
SPEECH ON HIS TAKING LEAVE. 

"Sir, 
"We receive with much concern the intimation you 
have given us, that the bad state of your health obliges you 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 353 

to leave America ; though, at the same time, we are sen- 
sible of the continued friendly care of his Most Christian 
Majesty in sending a new Minister Plenipotentiary to these 
States. 

"Great as our regret is in thus parting with you, yet it 
affords us pleasure to think how well disposed you are to 
improve the favorable opportunities you will have on your ' 
return to France, of evincing to his Majesty the reality of 
those sentiments on our part, which may justly be termed 
the animating principles of the United States. 

"By such representations, the King will be assured that 
the citizens of these States observe with the most lively 
satisfaction the repeated instances of his amity for them ; 
that they regard the alliance as an inestimable connexion, 
endeared to them by the purity of the motives on which it 
was founded, the advantages derived from it, and the 
blessings it promises to both nations ; that their resolution 
of securing its essential objects, liberty and independence, 
is unalterable ; that they are determined, by all the exer- 
tions in their power, to advance the common cause, and to 
demonstrate, that while they are attentive to their own in- 
terests, they as ardently desire to approve themselves not 
only faithful, but affectionate allies. 

"By a residence of more than a year near Congress, 
you are enabled to form a competent judgment of the 
difficulties we have had to encounter, as well as of our 
efforts to remove them. 

"Sir, we should be deficient in the respect due to dis- 
tinguished merit, if we should fail to embrace this oppor- 
tunity of testifying the high esteem, which you have ob- 
tained throughout this country by your public and private 
conduct. You have happily combined a vigilant devotion 
VOL. X. 45 



354 GERARD. 

to the dignity and interest of our most excellent and il- 
lustrious ally, with a zealous attachment to the honor and 
welfare of these States. 

"Your prudence, integrity, ability, and diligence in dis- 
charging the eminent trust reposed in you, have secured 
our entire confidence, and now solicit from us the strongest 
declarations of our satisfaction with your behavior. 

"That you may be blessed with a favorable voyage, the 

approbation of your sovereign, the perfect recovery of 

your health, and all happiness, is among the warmest 

wishes of every member of this body. 

"By order of Congress, 

JOHN JAY, President:' 



CONGRESS TO THE KING OF FRANCE. 

Great, Faithful, and Beloved Friend and Ally, 
The conduct of your Majesty's Minister, M. Gerard, 
during his residence in America, has been in every respect 
so commendable, that we cannot forbear testifying to your 
Majesty our sense of his merit, without feeling that un- 
easiness which arises from a neglect of the obligations of 
justice. 

His behavior appears to us to have been uniformly regu- 
lated by a devotion to your Majesty's dignity and interest, 
and an adherence to the terms and principles of the alli- 
ance, while, at the same time, he demonstrated his attach- 
ment to the honor and prosperity of these States. 

Thus serving his sovereign, he acquired our entire con- 
fidence and esteem, and has evinced your royal wisdom in 
selecting a person so properly qualified to be the first Min- 
ister sent to the United States of America. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 355 

That the Supreme Ruler of the universe may bestow 
all happiness on your Majesty, is the prayer of your faith- 
ful and affectionate friends and allies. 

Done at Philadelphia, the seventeenth day of Septem- 
ber, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and seventynine, by the Congress of the United States of 

America. 

JOHN JAY, President. 



In Congress, September 25th, 1779. 
The committee to whom was referred the paper of in- 
telligence communicated by M. Gerard, on the 7th instant,* 
reported the draft of a letter in answer to the said com- 
munication, which was read as follows ; 

"Sir, 

"The sentiments contained in the paper laid before 
Congress on the 7th instant have given us great uneasi- 
ness, as they admitted the possibility of an event, which 
we cannot contemplate without pain and regret. Never- 
theless, as they demonstrate the anxieties of a faithful 
friend, Congress are willing again to testify their unalter- 
able attachment to the terms and principles of the alliance, 
more especially as we wish you on leaving America to 
take with you a solemn assurance of our fixed dispositions. 

"Reposing ourselves upon that Almighty power, whose 
interposition in our behalf we have often seen and adored, 
confident of the unanimity and zeal of our fellow-eitizens 
throughout these States, assured of the assistance and sup- 
port of our great ally, relying that the good and brave 
everywhere regard our cause with interested attention, 

* See this paper above, p. 349. 



366 GERARD. 

we firmly repeat what we have already declared, that no 
offer of advantage, however great and alluring, no extremes 
of danger, however alarming, shall induce us to violate the 
faith we have given and the resolutions we have adopted, 
for the observance of which we have solemnly pledged our 
lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." 
^ After debate, Ordered, that the President return the 
following answer ; 

"Sir, 
"Congress feel themselves obliged by your communica- 
tion of the 7th instant, and are happy that M. Gerard will 
be able to contradict from the fullest evidence every insin- 
uation, which may be made prejudicial to the faith and 
honor of the United States." 



THE 



CORRESPONDENCE 



OF 



C. A. DE LA LUZERNE ; 

MINISTER PLENIPOTENTURY FROM FRANCE 
TO THE UNITED STATES. 



Caesar Anne de la Luzerne succeeded M. Gerard 
as Minister Plenipotentiary from France to the United 
States. He had previously been employed in a diplo- 
matic capacity, and with much success, in Bavaria, which 
he left in July, 1778. He was soon after appointed to 
supply the place of M. Gerard, and arrived in Philadel- 
phia on the 21st of September, 1779. As his predecessor 
was still discharging the functions of his office, the Cheva- 
lier de la Luzerne did not receive his first audience of 
Congress till the 17th of November. 

From that time to the end of the war he applied himself 
sedulously to the duties of his station, and by the suavity 
of his manners, as well as by the uniform discretion of 
his official conduct, he won the esteem and confidence of 
the American people. His efforts were all directed to the 
support of the alliance, on the principles of equity, and the' 
broad basis of reciprocal interests established in the treaties. 
After remaining in the United States more than five 
years, he obtained permission to visit France, although he 
did not then resign his commission as Minister. A few 
months afterwards, however, he wrote to Mr Jay, then 
Secretary of Foreign Affairs, that, being designed by the 
King for another appointment, his character as Plenipo- 
tentiary to the United States had ceased. M. Barbe 
Marbois, who had been the Secretary of Legation during 
the whole of M. de !a Luzerne's residence in America, 
succeeded him as Charge d'' Affaires. 



360 

The Chevalier de la Luzerne accepted the appointment 
of Ambassador from France to the Court of London, in 
January, 1788. He remained there till his death, which 
happened on the 14th of September, 1791, at the age of 
fifty years. 



CORRESPONDENCE 



C. A. DE LA LUZERNE, 



SUBSTANCE OF A CONFERENCE BETWEEN M. DE LA 
LUZERNE AND GENERAL WASHINGTON AT HEAD QUAR- 



TERS, WEST POINT.* 



September 16th, 1779. 



The Minister opened the conference by observing, that 
the Council of Massachusetts had represented to him the 
disadvantages, which their commerce was likely to suffer 
from the late misfortune in Penobscot, and the advantages 
which would result if his Excellency, Count d'Estaing, 
could detach a few ships of the line and frigates to be sta- 
tioned upon their coast for protecting their commerce, and 
countenancing the operations of their cruisers against that 
of the enemy. But before he should propose such a 
measure to Count d'Estaing, he wished to know from the 
General, what purposes the detachment would answer to 

* The Chevalier de la Luzerne arrived at Boston on the 2d of 
August, and on his way to Philadelphia visited General Washington 
at West Point. Hence this conference took place before his public 
introduction to Congress as Minister Plenipotentiary. 
VOL. X. 46 



3Q2 LUZERNE. 

his military operations, and whether it would enable him to 
prosecute any offensive enterprise against the enemy. 
That if he could accompany the request of the Council 
with assurance of this kind, a motive of such impor- 
tance would have the greatest influence in determining the 
concurrence of Count d'Estaing, and might the better 
justify him in deranging or contracting his plans in the 
West Indies, by making a detachment of his force. 

The General answered, that if Count d'Estaing could 
spare a detachment superior to the enemy's naval force 
upon this continent, retaining such a force in the West 
Indies, as would put it out of the enemy's power to detach 
an equal force to this continent without leaving themselves 
inferior in the Islands, the measure would have a high 
probability of many important and perhaps decisive advan- 
tages ; but these would depend upon several contingen- 
cies ; as the time in which the detachment can arrive, aod 
the position and force of the enemy when it arrives. That 
the season proper for military operations was now pretty 
far advanced, and to make a winter campaign would re- 
quire a disposition of our magazines peculiar to it, which 
could not be made without a large increase of expense, a 
circumstance not to be desired in the present posture of 
our affairs, unless the arrival of a naval succor was an 
event of some certainty. That with respect to the position 
and force of the enemy, they had now about fourteen 
thousand men at New York and its dependencies, and be- 
tween three and four thousand at Rhode Island ; that to 
reduce the former, if it should be concentered on the 
Island, would require extensive preparations beforehand, 
both as to magazines and aids of men, which could not 
with propriety be undertaken on a precarious expectation 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 353 

of assistance. But that if the garrison of Rhode Island 
should continue there, we should have every reason to 
expect its reduction by a combined operation ; it might, 
however, be withdrawn ; he added, that the enemy ap- 
pear to be making large detachments from New York, 
which the present situation of their affairs seems 10 exact ; 
that there is a high probability of their being left so weak 
as to give us an opportunity, during the winter, of acting 
effectually against New York, in case of the arrival of a 
fleet to co-operate with us, even with the force we now 
have and could suddenly assemble on an emergency ; that, 
at all events, the French squadron would be able to strike 
an important stroke, in the capture and destruction of the 
enemy's vessels of war, with a large number of transports 
and perhaps seamen. 

He concluded with observing, that though in the great 
uncertainty of the arrival of a squadron, he could not un- 
dertake to make expensive preparations for co-operating, 
nor pledge himself for doing it effectually, yet there was 
the greatest prospect of utility from the arrival of such a 
squadron, and he would engage to do everything in his 
power for improving its aid, if it should appear upon our 
coast ; that if the present or future circumstances should 
permit Count d'Estaing to concert a combined operation 
with the troops of these States against the enemy's fleets 
and armies within these States, he would be ready to pro- 
mote the measure to the utmost of our resources, and 
should have the highest hopes of its success ; it would, 
however, be necessary, to prevent delay and give eflicacy 
to the project, that he should have some previous notice. 

The Minister replied, that the General's delicacy upon 
the occasion was very proper, but as he seemed unwilling 



364 LUZERNE. 

10 give assurances of effectual co-operation, in conveying 
the application to the Admiral he would only make use of 
the name of the Council, which would, no doubt, have all 
the weight due to the application of so respectable a body. 

The General assented, observing, that occasional men- 
tion might be made of the military advantages to be ex- 
pected from the measure. 

The Minister next informed the General, that there had 
been some negotiations between Congress and M. Gerard, 
on the subject of the Floridas and the limits of the Spanish 
dominions in that quarter, concerning which, certain reso- 
lutions had been taken by Congress, which he supposed 
were known to the General. He added, that the Span- 
iards had in contemplation an expedition against the Flo- 
ridas, which was either already begun or very soon would 
be begun, and he wished to know the General's opinion of 
a co-operation on our part ; that it was probable this ex- 
peditioa would immediately divert the enemy's force from 
South Carolina and Georgia, and the question then would 
be, whether General Lincoln's army would be necessary 
elsewhere, or might be employed in a co-operation with 
the Spanish forces. That the motive with the French 
Court for wishing such a co-operation was, that it would 
be a meritorious act on the side of the United States 
towards Spain, who, though she had all along been well 
disposed to the revolution, had entered reluctantly into the 
war and had not yet acknowledged our independence ; 
that a step of diis kind would serve to confirm her good 
dispositions, and to induce her not only to enter into a 
treaty with us, but, perhaps, to assist with a loan of money. 
That the forces of Spain in the Islands were so consider- 
able, as would in all appearance make our aid ui\necessary ; 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 3(35 

on which account the utility of it, only contingent and pos- 
sible, was but a secondary consideration with the Court of 
France ; the desire to engage Spain more firmly in our 
interests, by a mark of our good will to her, was the lead- 
ing and principal one. 

The General assured the Minister, that he had the 
deepest sense of the friendship of France, but replied to 
the matter in question, that he was altogether a stranger to 
the measures adopted by Congress relative to the Floridas, 
and could give no opinion of the propriety of the co-ope- 
ration proposed in a civil or political light ; but considering 
it merely as a military question, he saw no objection to the 
measure, on the supposition that the enemy's force in 
Georgia and South Carolina be withdrawn, without which 
it would, of course, be impossible. 

The Minister then asked, in case the operation by the 
Spaniards against the Floridas should not induce the Eng- 
lish to abandon the Southern States, whether it would be 
agreeable that the forces, either French or Spanish, em- 
ployed there, should co-operate with our troops against 
those of the enemy in Georgia and South Carolina. 

The General replied, that he imagined such a co-ope- 
ration would be desirable. 

The Minister inquired in the next place, whether in 
case the Court of France should find it convenient to send 
directly from France a squadron and a few regiments at- 
tached to it, to act in conjunction with us in this quarter, 
it would be agreeable to the United States. 

The General thought it would contribute much to ad- 
vance the common cause. 

The Minister informed us, that Dr Franklin had pur- 
chased a fifty gun ship, which the King of France intended 



366 LUZERNE. 

to equip for the benefit of the United States, to be sent with 
two or three frigates to Newfoundland to act against the 
enemy's vessels employed in the fishery, and afterwards to 
proceed to Boston to cruise from that port. 

He concluded the conference with stating, that in Bos- 
ton several gentlemen of influence, some of them members 
of Congress, had conversed with him on the subject of an 
expedition against Canada and Nova Scotia; that his 
Christian Majesty had a sincere and disinterested desire to 
see those two Provinces annexed to the American Con- 
federacy, and would be disposed to promote a plan for 
this purpose ; but that he would undertake nothing of the 
kind unless the plan was previously approved and digested 
by the General. He added, that a letter from the Gene- 
ral to Congress some time since, on the subject of an ex- 
pedition to Canada, had appeared in France, and had been 
submitted to the best military judges, who approved the 
reasoning, and thought the objections to the plan, which 
had been proposed, very plausible and powerful. That 
whenever the General should think the circumstances of 
this country favorable to such an undertaking, he should 
be very glad to recommend the plan he should propose, 
and he was assured that die French Court would give it 
all the aid in their power. 

The General again expressed his sense of the good dis- 
positions of his Christian Majesty, but observed^ that while 
the enemy remain in force in these States, the difficulties 
stated in his letter alluded to by the Minister would still 
subsist ; but that whenever that force should be removed, 
he doubted not it would be a leading object with the gov- 
ernment to wrest the two aforementioned Provinces from 
the power of Britain ; that in this case, he should esteem 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 367 

himself honored in being consulted on the plan ; and was 
of opinion, that though we should have land force enough 
for the undertaking, without in this respect intruding upon 
the generosity of our allies, a naval co-operation would 
certainly be very useful and necessary. 

The rest of the conference consisted in mutual assur- 
ances of friendship of the two countries, &£C. interspersed 
on the General's side with occasional remarks on the im- 
portance of removing the war from these States, as it 
would enable us to afford ample supplies to the operations 
in the West Indies, and to act with efticacy in annoying 
the commerce of the enemy, and dispossessing them of 
their dominions on this continent. 

Head Quarters, September 18th, 1779. 

The foregoing is, to the best of my recollection, the 

substance of a conference at which I was present at the 

time mentioned, and interpreted between the Minister and 

the General. 

A. HAMILTON. 



RECEPTION OF THE FRENCH MINISTER BY CONGRESS.* 
In Congress, November 17th, 1779. 
According to order the Chevalier de la Luzerne was 
introduced by Mr Mathews and Mr Morris, the two mem- 
bers appointed for that purpose ; and being seated in his 
chair, the Secretary of the Embassy delivered to the 
President a sealed letter from his Most Christian Majesty, 
in the terms following ; 

* The ceremonial of the introduction of M. de la Luzerne to Con- 
gress was the same, as had been adopted in the case of M. Gerard. 
See the Correspondence of M. Gerard, above, p. 245. 



368 



LUZERNE. 



THE KING OF FRANCE TO CONGRESS. 



"To our dear great Friends and Allies, the President 
and Members of the General Congress of the United 
States of North America. 

Very Dear Great Friends and Allies, 

"The bad state of health of M. Gerard, our Min- 
ister Plenipotentiary to you, having laid him under the 
necessity of applying for a recall, we have made choice 
of the Chevalier de la Luzerne, a Colonel in our 
service, to supply his place. We have no doubt, that he 
will be agreeable to you, and that you will repose entire 
confidence in him. We pray you to give full credit to all 
he shall say to you on our behalf, especially when he shall 
assure you of the sincerity of our wishes for your pros- 
perity, as well as the constancy of our affection and our 
friendship for the United States in general, and for each 
one of them in particular. We pray God to keep you, 
our very dear great friends and allies, in his holy pro- 
tection. 

"Done at Versailles, the 31st of May, 1779. 

"Your eood friend and ally, 

LOUIS." 

The Minister being announced, he addressed Congress 
in the following speech. 

Translation, 

"Gentlemen, 
"The wisdom and courage, which have founded your 
Republic, the prudence which presides over your deliber- 
ations, your firmness in execution, the skill and valor dis- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 359 

played by your Generals and soldiers during die course of 
the war, have attracted the admiration and regard of the 
whole world, 

"The King, my master, was the first to acknowledge a 
liberty acquired amidst so many perils and with so much 
glory. Since treaties dictated by moderation have fixed 
upon a permanent basis the union of France with the 
American Republic, his Majesty's whole conduct must 
have demonstrated how dearly he cherishes your pros- 
perity, and his firm resolution to maintain your indepen- 
dence by every means in his power. The events, 
which have successively unfolded themselves, show the 
wisdom of those measures. A powerful ally has acknowl- 
edged the justice of those motives, which had compelled 
the King to take arms, and we may reasonably hope for 
the most solid success from the operations of the united 
fleets. The naval force of the enemy has been diverted 
from your continent, compelled to flee to the defence of 
their own possessions. All their efforts have been too 
feeble to prevent our troops from conquering a consider- 
able part. Other British Islands feared the same lot, 
when the French General stopped the current of his suc- 
cess to seek new dangers here. In conforming to his 
Majesty's intentions, he has acceded to his own inclina- 
tions, to the desires of the French, and to the request of 
the Americans, who invited him to join his arms to those 
of your Republic. Events have not completely answered 
his courage and his efforts, but his blood and that of my 
countrymen, shed in a cause so dear to us, has cemented 
the basis on which the alliance is founded, and impressed 
on it a character as indelible as are all those by which it is 
already consecrated. 
VOL, X. 47 



370 LUZERNE 

"That alliance, Gentlemen, becomes daily more indis- 
soluble, and the benefits, which the two nations derive 
from it, have given it the most perfect consistency. 

"The relations of commerce between the subjects of the 
King, my master, and the inhabitants of the Thirteen 
United States, continually multiply, and we may already 
perceive, in spite of those obstacles, which embarrass the 
reciprocal communication, how natural it is, how advan- 
tageous it will be to the two nations, and all who partici- 
pate in it, and how much the monopolising spirit, the 
jealous attention and prohibitory edicts of the enemy to 
your freedom, have been prejudicial to your happiness. 
It is under these circumstances. Gentlemen, that the King 
has been pleased to appoint me his Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary to your Republic. You have seen in the letter, 
which I had just now the honor to deliver from him, fresh 
assurances of his friendship. 1 consider as the happiest 
circumstance of my life a mission, in the course of which I 
am certain of fulfilling my duty, when I labor for your 
prosperity, and I felicitate myself upon being sent to a 
nation, whose interests are so intimately blended with our 
own, that I can be useful neither to France nor the Ameri- 
can Republic, without rendering myself agreeable both to 
the one and the other. 

"It was certainly desirable that the affairs with which I 
am charged had remained in the hands of that enlightened 
Minister, whom I succeed, and whose health compels him 
to return to France. I have not his abilities ; but like him, 
I have an unbounded zeal for the welfare and success of 
the common cause. Like him, 1 am directed to concur 
in everything, which can be useful or agreeable to your 
Republic. I have the same attachment to the people 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 374 

whom you, Gentlemen, represent, and the same admira- 
tion of their conduct. J have the most fervent wish to give 
you the proof of it ; and I hope by these different titles to 
merit your confidence and your esteem. 

LUZERNE." 
The translation of the foregoing speech being read to 
the House by the Secretary of Congress, the President 
returned the following answer. 

"Sir, 

"The early attention ol" our good friend and ally to 
these United States is gratefully felt by all their virtuous 
citizens, and we should be unfaithful representatives if we 
did not warmly acknowledge every instance of his regard, 
and take every opportunity of expressing the attachment of 
our constituents to treaties formed upon the purest prin- 
ciples. 

"His Most Christian Majesty, in rendering himself a 
protector of the rights of mankind, became entitled to as- 
sistance from the friends of man. This tide could not but 
be recognised by a monarch, whose diadem is adorned 
with equity and truth. That monarch, by joining his arms 
to those of our great ally, has given a fatal blow to the 
common enemy, and from the justice of the motives which 
unite the combined fleets, we expect the most solid benefits 
will crown their operations. Nor can we doubt that other 
powers will rejoice to see that haughty nation humbled, in 
proportion as they have been insulted by her presumptuous 
arrogance. We well knov/, and all the world must ac- 
knowledge, the moderation and friendship of the Most 
Christian King, in neglecting conquests which courted his 
acceptance, for the benevolent pleasure of succoring his 



372 LUZERNE. 

allies. In this, as in every other instance, we perceive his 
strict adherence to the principles of our defensive alliance. 
We are sensible of the zeal of the French General in ex- 
ecuting his Majesty's orders. We esteem his courage, we 
lanfient his wounds, and we respect that generous valor, 
which has led your countrymen to contend with ours in 
the same common cause in the same field of glory ; a 
noble emulation, which has poured out ihe blood of the 
two nations and mingled it together as a sacred pledge of 
perpetual union. 

"The consequences, which have followed from the ap- 
pearance of the French fleet upon our coasts, particularly 
by disconcerting the enemy's plans of operations, and des- 
troying a considerable part of their naval force, demon- 
strate the wisdom of the measure. That they have not 
been still more beneficial is to be attributed to those inci- 
dents, which in the hand of Providence determine all 
human events. But our disappointment is compensated 
by reflecting on the perfect harmony, that subsisted be- 
tween the Generals and the troops of the two nations. 

"The prosperous course of this campaign gives a pleas- 
ing hope that the moment of peace may soon arrive, when 
the reciprocation of mutual good offices shall amply recom- 
pence our mutual labors and cares, and we doubt not but 
in that moment the commerce between the allied nations, 
now struggling under great inconveniences, will shoot forth 
with vigor and advantage, and happily demonstrate the inju- 
ries we once suffered from the restraints of our enemies. 

"While we lament, Sir, the loss of your worthy prede- 
cessor, we are led from your personal character to the 
pleasing expectation, that you will possess that confidence 
and esteem which he enjoyed. They are due to the ser- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 373 

vant of our benefactor ; we are happy in his choice, and 
being thoroughly convinced of the intimate connexion 
between the interests and views of the allied nations, we 
cannot but persuade ourselves, that the more attentively 
you shall perform your duty to your Sovereign, and the 
more sedulously you shall guard and promote the welfare 
of your country, the more agreeable and respectable you 
will render yourself to the citizens of America.* 

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, President.'^ 



DON JUAN MIRALLES TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, November 25th, 1779. 

Sir, 

I had the honor of communicating to you on the 22d 
instant two letters, which I received from the Governor- 
General of the Island of Cuba, dated the 13th and the 22d 
of July last. He informs me by order of the King, my 
master, that the declaration of war against the King of 
Great Britain, made by his Majesty, was solemnly published 
at Havana, on the 22d of the said month of July, and he 
requests me to ask for the co-operation of the United 
States of America in the measures, the substance of which 
I am now to have the honor of recalling to your recol- 
lection. 

The Honorable Congress having formerly proposed to 
lay siege to the town of St Augustine in East Florida, in 

* Mr John Adams came over from France in the same ship with 
M. de la Luzerne, and the Secretary of Legation, M. de Marbois. 
See his account of these gentlemen in John Adams's Correspondence, 
Vol. IV. p. 310. 



374 LUZERNE. 

order to restore it, in case of success, to the troops of his 
Catholic Majesty, I am ordered to urge the said Congress 
to direct the arms of the United States against that place, 
ill the hope that this diversion will give powerful assistance 
to those, which the forces of the King have made by their 
attack on Pensacola ; and that consequently, the English 
troops may be more readily driven from the territory of 
the American Republics. I am to inform the Governor- 
General of Havana, at what time the Honorable Congress 
will be able to undertake this conquest, as well as what 
land and naval forces that body will be able to employ in 
effecting it; in order that the Spanish Generals may 
arrange their operations agreeably to the information, 
which I shall transmit to them. 

I am also ordered to invite the Honorable Congress to 
undertake the conquest of the territory and the possessions 
held by the English to the northeast of Louisiana ; and as 
the Governor of that province may by his experience con- 
tribute greatly to the success of such an enterprise, he is 
desirous of knowing the plan of operations, which Congress 
will adopt in this affair, in order that on his part he may 
second it by every effort in his power. 

The Governor-General of Havana is desirous of know- 
ing the quantity and kind of provisions, productions, and 
supplies, with which the United States of America will be 
able to assist Havana, and the Island of Cuba, as well as 
the other possessions of his Majesty in America, in order 
that he may decide according to such information, upon 
the measures to be adopted for procuring his supplies of 
provisions. 

I had yesterday the honor of communicating these vari- 
ous requests to the Honorable Congress, which body was 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 375 

pleased to appoint three of its members to confer with me 
upon them. They declared, Sir, that they should be 
much gratified to see my proposals supported by you ; and 
1 entreat you to be pleased by your intervention to give 
all requisite weight to the importance of these great objects. 

The sending as soon as possible, of such forces and 
stores as Congress shall think proper, is of the greatest 
consequence. Of equal importance are the means of 
securing their arrival at their place of destination, with all 
the security which circumstances will allow. It is then 
desirable. Sir, that you would have the kindness to per- 
suade the Count de Grasse to be pleased to take them on 
board of his squadron, and to conduct them under his con- 
voy to South Carolina or Georgia ; and the deputies of 
Congress have desired me to make this request of you. I 
have answered them, in consequence of the communica- 
tions, which you have been pleased to make to me, that 
you had already made some overtures to that commander, 
in relation to the operations in which he might engage, 
and that you were now expecting his answer. 

The interests of our Sovereigns, Sir, are so closely con- 
nected, the independence and welfare of United America 
are objects so dear and so important to you, that I have 
no doubt you will use all efforts to secure a compli- 
ance with the requests, which I have the honor to make 
of you in the name of the King, my master, and on the 
success of which depends, in a great degree, the success 
of the general operations of the allied powers. 
I have the honor to be, he. 

DON JUAN DE MIRALLES. 



376 LUZERNE. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, November 26th, 1779. 
Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor 
of communicating to the Congress of the United States, 
a letter of Don Juan de Miralles, containing sundry pro- 
positions, which appear to him to deserve the most serious 
attention. Although the Chevalier de la Luzerne has no 
instructions from his Catholic Majesty, he is too sensible 
of the good understanding and intimate connexion subsist- 
ing between the Courts of Versailles and Madrid, not to 
recommend these overtures in the most pressing manner to 
the consideration of Congress. 

The great design is to act against the common enemy, 
and the more pains that are taken to unite the strokes 
aimed against them, the more certain will be their effects. 
As to what regards the concurrence of the royal fleet in 
the operations proposed, the underwritten has the honor 
to observe, that he is entirely uninformed touching the part 
it will be able to take. He has, however, written a letter 
to the Count de Grasse, which that commander will re- 
ceive on his arrival at Hampton. As soon as the under- 
written shall have received an answer, and the necessary 
information, he will take the earliest opportunity of commu- 
nicating them to such of the delegates as Congress shall 
be pleased to appoint. 

LUZERNE. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 377 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, December 6th, ITTQ. 
Sir, 

The undersigned Minister Plenipotentiary of France has 
the honor of informing Congress, that he has received 
from St Domingo intelligence of the capture of the Grey- 
hound, by eight American sailors. He annexes a sum- 
mary of some facts relative to this capture. 

In the terms of the intelligence, given on the 4th of 
August, of the present year, by the officers of the Admi- 
ralty of Port Paix. "the eight American sailors, having 
taken the said schooner, without being provided with any 
commission, have been sent back before Congress, in order 
that this affair may be decided in conformity with the laws 
of their country." 

The undersigned Minister is then desirous, that Con- 
gress would be pleased to inform him, what use they shall 
judge proper to make of the thirteen thousand nine hundred 
and eightynine livres, ten sols, which remain in the registry 
of the Admiralty of Port Paix; whether it be thought 
proper that this sum should be remitted to the agent of 
Congress at St Domingo, in order that he may transmit it 
to the eight men interested, in such manner as he shall 
think fit, or whether Congress shall adopt an entirely dif- 
ferent mode of proceeding. The Chevalier de la Luzerne 
will hasten to communicate to the commandants of the 
Island of St Domingo, whatever resolution may have been 
adopted, in order that they may without delay make ar- 
rangements accordingly. The undersigned would have 
wished to spare Congress the detail of this affair, by ad- 
voL. X. 48 



378 LUZERNE. 

dressing himself directly to the States of Massachusetts and 
Rhode Island, in order to ascertain their intentions, but 
the intelligence upon which the order of the General 
and Intendant of St Domingo has intervened, obliges the 
parties to come before Congress ; besides, this form is the 
best adapted to prevent all delays, and to cause this money 
to arrive promptly at the destination, which shall be deter- 
mined upon. 

LUZERNE 



PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

In Congress, December 16th, 1779. 
Sir, 

I am directed to inform you, that Congress in order to 
testify their attention to the interest of his Catholic Maj- 
e.sty, appointed a commissioner to confer with General 
Washington on the subject of your letter, accompanying the 
representation of Don Juan de Miralles ;* and though from 
the result of their conference, they have reason to believe 
that our grand army cannot be weakened while the enemy 
retain their present force at New York, without consider- 
able danger, yet they have upon mature deliberation deter- 
mined rather to incur that danger, than not to comply, as 
far as is consistent with our circumstances, with the views 
of his Catholic Majesty, to whom they feel themselves 
bound by that union of interest, which a common enemy 
creates, by the favorable disposition manifested by his 
Catholic Majesty to these United States, and by those 
ties, which connect the House of Bourbon with the hap- 
piness of mankind. 

See above pp. 373. 375. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 379 

Under these impressions they have ordered a consider- 
able detachment from the grand army to join the troops 
in Carolina, which, together with the forces already there 
or on the way, will amount to about four thousand men, 
exclusive of the militia of the Southern States, whom 
Congress have called for upon this occasion. Congress 
have also ordered three of their frigates to Charleston, to 
be put under the direction of the commanding ofHcer in 
thai department. 

This force they conceive will make so powerful a diver- 
sion in favor of his Catholic Majesty's army, as to afford 
probable hopes of their being crowned with success. You 
will perceive, Sir, that any other co-operation with the 
troops of Spain is impossible, while Savannah opposes a 
barrier to a junction of our force. This, from its present 
strength, it will not be easy for us to remove, till a more 
decided superiority in this quarter enables us to transfer a 
greater proportion of our army thither. Unless, in the 
meantime, the Governor of Havana shall think proper to 
furnish such aid, as when joined with the forces of the 
United States in that quarter, will be sufficient to effect the 
purposes before mentioned. But as Congress were de- 
sirous of extending their views still further, and conceiving 
the conquest of East Florida to be an object of great im- 
portance, as well to his Catholic Majesty, as to these States, 
they have therefore directed me to inform you, and througli 
you Don Juan de Miralles, by whom the intentions of his 
Catholic Majesty are communicated, that they have given 
full power to their General commanding in the Southern 
department to correspond and concert with the Governor 
of Havana, or any other person or persons, authorised by 
his Catholic Majesty for that purpose, such plan as can 



380 LUZERNE. 

be agreed upon between them for carrying our views into 
execution. 

I am, Sir, directed further to inform you, that though 
Congress cannot promise any considerable quantity of pro- 
visions until the army of the United States are supplied, yet 
as soon as that can be done, every means will be used to 
furnish provisions for his Catholic Majesty's Islands and 
fleet. But in the meantime they conceive, that a large 
supply of rice may be afforded by the State of South Car- 
olina, while Congress will readily aid the agents of Spain 
in procuring the same. 

I have the honor to be, he. 

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, President. 



M. HOLKER TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, January 10th, 1780. 
Sir, 

I have the honor of transmitting to you the annexed 

letter, and copy of a late law of the State of Maryland, 

which I have this moment received from Mr William 

Smith, a merchant at Baltimore. As it is of a nature to 

alarm us in relation to all the operations, which have been 

concerted in the Islands, or contemplated with respect to 

other places during the course of the ensuing summer; 

as, moreover, the vessels and store-ships, which I expect 

from Martinique, to supply the place of those which were 

destined by the Count d'Estaing for the Chesapeake Bay, 

and which the officers of the King have thought it their 

duty to sacrifice and sell to the State of Carolina, with a 

view to contribute, as far as lay in their power, to the se- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 381 

curity and defence of that place ; as, I say, these store- 
ships might arrive immediately, and I might be obliged to 
send them back in ballast, if the corn and wheat, which I 
have purchased in Maryland, should be seized, and as, 
thereby, all my transactions and engagements would not 
only become uncertain, but might terminate in a manner 
disgraceful to me, and in the failure of the naval operations 
of the King in America, I cannot forbear to claim, in the 
most urgent manner, the influence of your character with 
the Congress of the United States upon this occasion, 
while I observe to you, that if the law of Maryland is put 
in execution in relation to the provisions, which 1 have 
collected at a great expense and with every possible pre- 
caution, I shall, for the future, be unable to take a single 
step in the service of the King, and shall be obliged to pay 
large sums to indemnify those with whom I have made 
engagements. 

Your Excellency is aware of the innumerable difficul- 
ties, which I have experienced since I have been engaged 
in this country, in the naval service of the King. They 
seem to multiply every moment, and have become so great 
that I am compelled to declare to you, that I cannot guar- 
anty or be answerable for the success of the least opera- 
tion, unless you shall be able most speedily to persuade 
Congress to take with each and every State in the Union, 
decisive and effectual measures to cause respect to be 
shown to my transactions, carried on in the name and on 
the account of his Majesty ; while I repeat my offers to 
oblige my agents and correspondents to conform to such 
suitable formalities, as your Excellency shall think proper 
to prescribe for the general tranquillity and satisfaction. 
1 am, Sir, &.c. 

HOLKER. 



382 LUZERNE. 



WILLIAM SMITH TO M. HOLKER. 

Baltimore, January 7th, 1780. 

Sir, # 

By express I send enclosed a copy of a letter 1 re- 
ceived yesterday from the Governor and Council of this 
State, in answer to my application for permission to load 
the brig Hawk with flour for Cape Francois, on account of 
his Most Christian Majesty. You will perceive by this 
letter, that I am not permitted to proceed in loading this 
vessel as you direct, nor will any permission lor that pur- 
pose be granted until the army is supplied. 

That the army ought to be supplied, I doubt not you 
will think right ; but that the wheat and flour collected 
in this port should be taken for that purpose, when I pre- 
sume a sufficient quantity may be had much more con- 
venient to the army and less prejudicial to your interest, 
you will, probably, conclude is not so convenient, and 
might, if duly considered, have been avoided. 1 am well 
informed that the public purchasers in Harford county have 
now on hand upwards of three thousand barrels, which, for 
a wagon at this season of the year, are at least three days 
nearer camp than this place. Besides, very considerable 
magazines must be provided on the eastern shore of this 
State ; and it seems to me, that the distresses of our army 
have arisen more from the want of carriages to convey a 
sufficient quantity of flour to camp, than from any other 
cause. 

Be that as it may, 1 find that the Commissioners for this 
county are determined to lay their hands on all your wheat 
and flour, and have already seized some of your wheal, 
and 1 doubt not but tiie whole on the eastern and 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 393 

western shores will be taken as soon as they conveniently 
can do_ it. Therefore, I thought it my duty to despatcli 
this information to you by express, that you may lake such 
measures in the premises as you judge best. You will see 
by the enclosed letter, that no relief is to be expected from 
our Governor and Council. Perhaps an application to 
Congress may procure a resolve directing your magazines 
to be spared, by lending some for the present emergency. 
But that ought to be taken when most convenient for the 
army, and least prejudicial to you. 

You will please to favor me with a line by return of the 
bearer, directing whatever steps you may think will be 
tpost conducive to the interest of his Most Christian 
Majesty. 

I have the honor to be, he. 

WILLIAM SMITH. 



THE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF MARYLAND TO 
WILLIAM SMITH. 

In Council, Annapolis, January 6th, 1780. 
Sir, 

We received your favor of the 3d instant by express. 

As the grand object of the "Acts for the immediate supply 

of the army, &tc." is to procure an immediate and full 

supply of provisions for our army, it was necessary that 

the Commissioners should be vested with extraordinary 

powers, that those powers should be accurately defined, 

and that the mode to be pursued by them should be plainly 

delineated ; which is done. We do not think that flour or 

wheat purchased for the Marine of France, privileged or 

exempted from seizure, and we are certain it was not the 



384 LUZERNE. 

intention of the Legislature that those articles should be, 
because such exemption would, in a great degree, if not 
wholly, frustrate the design of the law. 

We deem it our duty to afford the Commissioners every 
aid in our power to facilitate the execution of the law, and, 
therefore, cannot at this time grant permission to export 
flour or wheat purchased by the agents of France ; be- 
cause we should thereby restrain that extensive operation 
of the act, by which alone we can obtain an immediate 
supply adequate to our pressing wants. We are sensible, 
that it is of importance that the Marine of France should 
be furnished with flour, and it is with the utmost regret 
that we have refused permission, and nothing could have 
induced us to do it, but the alarming and distressful situa- 
tion of our army ; and when we have assurances that their 
wants are relieved, we shall with pleasure grant license as 
heretofore. 

The numerous evils, that would result from procrasti- 
nating the supplies when contrasted with the inconvenien- 
cies alluded to by you, will, we trust, evince the propriety 
of our conduct and justify our refusal. 
We are, with respect, Sir, &tc. 

J. T. CHASE, President of the Council. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OP CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

PhUadelphia, January 10th, 1780. 

Sir, 
The undersigned Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
has just received from M. Holker a letter, of which a copy 
is annexed, in relation to a law, passed by the State of 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 385 

Maryland, lo authorise the Commissioners therein named 
o seize the grain, corn, and rice, which may be found 
stored in the hands of individuals in that State, and to 
carry them away. It is to be presumed, that if the Gene- 
ral Assembly of Maryland had been informed of the 
measures taken, at a great expense, to procure supplies 
for the fleets of his Majesty and for his garrisons in the 
French Islands, and of the pressing wants which they 
suffer, they would have excepted from this law the provis- 
ions found in the hands of Mr Smith. 

The undersigned is about to take suitable measures for 
inducing the government to refrain fron»i seizing the said 
provisions, and to replace them in case that they are 
already seized. He earnestly entreats Congress to be 
pleased, on its part, to recommend to the Councils and 
Assemblies of the Thirteen States to refrain, in circum- 
stances of this nature, and in all other cases, from all 
measures which may cause any uncertainty in the opera- 
tions of the King's Navy Agents, endanger the success of 
the plans of the campaign, and expose to want and to the 
greatest inconveniences the garrisons of the French Islands, 
the governors of which are previously informed of the 
measures taken to procure supplies for them in the United 
States, and in concert with Congress and the respective 
governments of the States. 

The present juncture being of a very pressing nature, 
the undersigned entreats Congress to be pleased to come 
to a decision on this subject as quickly as possible. He, 
moreover, proposes to the Council of Maryland to subject 
the agents and Commissioners, charged with making pur- 
chases on account of his Majesty, to all the legal forms 
best adapted to prevent every kind of abuse on their part ; 
VOL. X. 49 



38G LUZERNE. 

and he is desirous that the States, in which purchases 

of this nature may he made, should be pleased to take 

similar measures. 

LUZERNE. 



TO GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, January 23d, 1780. 
Sir, 

Advices recently received from Europe make mention 
of the efforts, which the English have made in Germany 
to procure recruits and new levies, and of the difficulty 
they have experienced even on the part of those Courts 
with whom they had before treated. The greatest part 
of the German Princes, who have sold soldiers to the 
Court of London, now blush at these sales, which have 
excited their subjects against them, and which besides 
have drained their States. They are reluctant to give 
troops to a power, that is making war against France, with 
whom they have always preserved amicable ties, and I am 
assured, that it is even doubtful whether the English will be 
able to procure a few recruits to complete the corps they 
have in America. 

I am informed, that these circumstances have deter- 
mined the British government to make every effort to 
obtain men in America, whom they cannot procure in 
Europe, and that Mr Clinton has received orders to spare 
no pains to effect the exchange or deliverance of the troops 
of the Convention of Saratoga, and of other prisoners, who 
are in the hands of the Americans. It is added, that the 
want of the Court of London for soldiers is so pressing, that 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 387 

General Clinton has been authorised to surmount all the 
difficulties, which may arise in the negotiation of this ex- 
change, and that he is even permitted in case of absolute 
necessity to treat with Congress, or their Ministers, on 
terms of perfect equality, and ?\,s with an independent 
power. He has also equally full liberty to agree upon the 
number of private soldiers, who may be given in exchange 
for an officer of any rank whatsoever ; and they order him 
simply to remember in treating of this matter, that an En- 
glish soldier transported to America is of an infinite price to 
England, and they exhort him to employ all his efforts to 
bring about an exchange whatever may be the conditions. 
I hasten to communicate these interesting ideas to Con- 
gress, and I have learned, that they were confirmed by the 
event, and that Major General Phillips had in effect drawn 
on a negotiation, the progress of which had been entirely 
confided to your Excellency. They prayed me at the 
same time to send you a communication of these objects, 
which the Congress think ought greatly to influence the 
measures, which it will be in your power to take, when 
you know that the English Commissioners have orders to 
pass over all difficulties, and to grant all the demands, 
which may be made, rather than to lose the occasion of 
reinforcing the army they have upon this continent. 

I join to this some extracts, the contents of which have 
appeared to me of a nature to interest your Excellency. 
You will see besides, Sir, by the despatch of the British 
Minister, with what affectation he seeks to make the Thir- 
teen States to be considered as subjected to the English 
domination, and you will judge of what importance it is to 
you to treat with the Court of London upon the footing of 
perfect equality, and how useful an act of this nature may 



38g LUZERNE. 

be to the negotiations of Congress in Europe, when they 
can add to all the facts, of which the Court of Madrid makes 
mention in its memoir, a cartel regulated on the footing of 
perfect parity, and which would prejudge beforehand the 
question of your independence. I congratulate myself, that 
this negotiation is in your hands, and I am well persuaded, 
that nothing will pass derogatory to the part, which my 
Court has taken in acknowledging the independence and 
the perfect sovereignty of the United States. 

I shall intrust to your Excellency, that the King is dis- 
posed to send over succors to this continent, of arms and 
ammunition, but as the events of the sea are uncertain, 1 
believe that it will be proper to make no change in the 
measures, which may have been taken otherwise to pro- 
cure them. This news not having reached me till yester- 
day, I have not yet been able to make a communication 
of it to Congress. 

As you may be retained in yoin* quarters by important 
considerations, I propose to go to render you my duties 
in the course of the next month, and confer with your 
Excellency on objects of great importance, and relative to 
the measures necessary to push the next campaign with 
vigor, and to put the American army in a condition truly 
proper to hold the enemy in check upon the continent, 
whilst his Majesty and the King of Spain shall display in 
the other parts of the world all their forces to secure ad- 
vantageous terms of peace to the allies. 
I am, with respect, Sir,. 

LUZERNE. 

P. S. This letter will be delivered to your Excellency 
by M. de Galvan, who has been raised to the rank of Major 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 380 

by your goodness ; he desires to merit it anew, and prays 
me to solicit you to put his zeal in activity. I shall be 
very grateful for what you may be pleased to do for him. 
He was particularly recommended to me by the Minister 
of France. He appeared to me to merit a great deal from 
his zeal, and from his personal attachment to your Ex- 
cellency. 

PAPERS MENTIONED IN THE ABOVE LETTER. 

No. 1. 
Translation. 

Extract of a Memorial communicated by the Ambassador 
of England to the Court of Madrid, on the 2Sth of 
March, 1779. 

Let the Colonies expose also their grievances, and the 
conditions for their security, or for their precaution, in 
order that the continuance and authority of lawful govern- 
ment may be re-established ; and then we shall see if a 
direct and immediate accommodation can take place. If 
this same method is preferred in this last case only, let a 
truce be made in North America, that is to say, a real 
truce and suspension of arms, during which may be estab- 
lished and secured the liberty and estates of persons of 
every condition, and let all sort of violence against the 
respective subjects, or against the estates or effects which 
they possess, be made to cease. During this truce, the 
French may treat upon their particular concerns, avoiding 
thereby the suspicions, to which they would necessarily 
expose themselves, if they wish to involve in the negotia- 
tion their private advantage relatively to the pretended in- 



390 LUZERNE. 

terests of those, whom France with affectation calls her 
allies ; and his Majesty will be able to establish the gov- 
ernment of his own dominions, without suffering the humil- 
iation of not receiving, but from the hand of a declared 
enemy, the conditions which regard this government. 



No. 2. 
- Translation. 

Ultimatum proposed by the Court of Madrid to the Courts 
oj France and England, dated 2d of April, 1779. 

If these overtures or propositions had arrived here im- 
mediately after the King had made his to adjust the plan 
of reconciliation, several difficulties might have been some 
time since removed, by the modifications, which might 
have been negotiated, counting upon good faith and recip- 
rocal confidence, as well as the desire of obtaining a peace ; 
but after having lost more than two months, without reck- 
oning the time that uselessly passed before, and after hav- 
ing observed that during this interval they did not cease 
to make great preparations of war, it must necessarily be 
suspected, that the object of England is to let glide away 
the months, which the campaign might still last, to continue 
the war with vigor. In«lhis case all the efforts of the King 
to bring back the belligerent powers to peace would be 
ineffectual. Nevertheless, his Majesty, wishing to give one 
more proof of his love of humanity, and to make it appear 
that he has neglected nothing to slop and prevent the 
calamities of war, has ordered to propose to the two Courts 
the following plan, which will be on his part an ultimatum 
in this affair. 

"That there shall be an unlimited suspension of arms 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 391 

with France on the condition, that neither of the belligerent 
powers can break it without advertising the other a year 
beforehand. 

"That with a view of re-establishing reciprocal security 
and good faith between the two Crowns, by means of this 
suspension of hostilities, there shall be a general disarming 
in the space of one month on the side of Europe, in four 
months on that of America, and in eight months or a year 
for those of Africa and of Asia the most remote. 

"That they shall determine in a month the place where 
the Plenipotentiaries of the two Courts shall assemble, to 
treat of a definitive accommodation of peace, and to regu- 
late the restitutions or compensations relative to the repri- 
sals, which have been made without adjudication of war, 
and to other grievances or pretensions of one or the other 
Crown. For this purpose the King will continue his me- 
diation, offering in the first place the city of Madrid to 
hold a Congress. 

"That the King of Great Britain shall grant a like 
cessation of hostilities to the American Colonies, by the 
intercession and mediation of his Catholic Majesty, a year 
beforehand, to the end, that he may apprize the said 
American Provinces, that they are equally ordered to 
make a reciprocal disarming at the epochas, and for the 
spaces of time, which have been specified with regard to 
France. 

"That the bounds be fixed beyond which neither of 
the two parties shall pass from the positions and territories, 
in which it shall be at the time of the ratification of this 
arrangement. 

"That they may send to Madrid one or more Commis- 
sioners on the part of the Colonies, and that his Britannic 



392 LUZERNE. 



Majesty may also send others on bis part under the medi- 
ation of the King, if necessary, in order to adjust all 
those points and others, which respect this suspension 
of arms, and the effects which it ought to produce, 
so long as it shall subsist, and that during this interval the 
Colonies shall be treated as independent in fact. That 
in case all the belligerent powers, or any others among 
them, or even the Colonies themselves, demand that the 
treaties or accommodations, which are concluded, be guar- 
antied by those powers and by Spain, they shall in effect 
be so guarantied. And the Catholic King now offers his 
guarantee for the preliminaries." 



No. 3. 
Translation. 

Extract from the Exposition of the Motives of the Court 
of Spain relative to England, 

Among the propositions of the ultimatum of the King 
of Spain, there is one for which the British Cabinet has 
affected to have the greatest repugnance, and that is the 
proposition which imparts, that the Colonies shall be treated 
as independent in fact, during the interval of the truce. 
It is extraordinary, since it is even ridiculous, that the 
Court of London after having treated the Colonies during 
the war as independent, not only in fact, but also of right. 
should have any repugnance to treat them as independent 
only in fad, during the truce, or suspension of arms. The 
Convention of Saratoga, General Burgoyne considered as 
a lawful prisoner, the exchange and liberation of other 
Colonial prisoners, the nomination of Commissioners to 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 393 

meet the Americans at their own homes, the act of having 
asked peace of them, and to treat with them, or with Con- 
gress, and a hundred other facts of this nature, authorised 
by the Court of London, have been genuine signs of an 
acknowledgment of the independence of the Colonies. 

It is the English nation itself, who can best judge and 
decide, whether all these acts are as compatible with the 
honor of the British Crown, as would be that of granting 
to the Colonies, by die interposition of his Catholic Majesty, 
a suspension of arms to discuss their differences, and to 
treat them during this interval as independent in fact. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, January 24th, 1780. 
Sir, 
1 have the honor of sending you the credentials, by 
which M. d'Anmours is provisionally appointed his Majes- 
ty's Consul in the State of North Carolina. I entreat you 
to be pleased to cause them to be invested with the sanc- 
tion of Congress, by having them entered upon the regis- 
ters, and by taking the trouble to affix your approval, or 
causing that of Mr Thompson to be affixed, according to 
the mode heretofore pursued in similar cases. 
I have the honor to be, &.c. 

LUZERNE. 

VOL. X, 50 



394 LUZERNE. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, January 2r)th, 1780. 
Sir, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has received 
express orders from the King, his master, to inform Con- 
gress, that the present situation of the affairs of the alli- 
ance in Europe announces the necessity of another cam- 
paign, which is indispensable to bring England to an ac- 
knowledgment of the independence of the Thirteen United 
States, which is the essential purpose of the present war. 
That power is making preparations the most proper for 
continuing the war with vi^or, and appears willing to em- 
ploy, in the course of this year, all the means possible to 
procure reparation, by some important enterprise, for 
the losses it has already sustained. Congress cannot 
doubt, that in this situation of affairs his Most Chris- 
tian Majesty and the King of Spain have concerted plans 
to maintain that superiority by sea, which has begun to 
appear in their favor ; and the underwritten has reason 
to believe, that the United States have nothing to desire 
of their ally, touching the use he is making of the resources 
of his realm, and the efficacy of the measures adopted by 
the Cabinets of Versailles and Madrid. 

But while this powerful diversion retains in Europe, and 
the West Indies, the greater part of the land and sea 
forces of the common enemy, it is absolutely necessary, 
that the United States, on their part, should make efforts 
proportionable to the greatness of the object for which they 
are contending. The only means of putting an end to 
the calamities of the war is to push it with new vigor ; 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 395 

to take effectual measures immediately for completing 
the army and putting it in condition to begin an early cam- 
paign. 

It is also necessary lo concert, as far as the distance of 
places will permit, a plan of common operations ; and this 
is one of the principal points on which the underwritten 
Minister is ordered to consult with Congress. He is also 
ordered to assure this Assemhly, that the King being in- 
formed of the wants of the American army, with respect 
to arms and ammunition, has commanded his Ministers to 
make suitable arrangements for supplying them. It is ne- 
cessary that the underwritten Minister should confer with 
Congress on the subjects just mentioned. Besides, he has 
some particular circumstances to communicate relative to 
the present or probable state of the negotiations ; and he 
desires that this assembly will be pleased to inform him in 
what manner they will receive the communication, the sub- 
ject of which, as well as the plan of operations for the 
ensuing campaign, requires the most profound secrecy. 
In the meanwhile, he now only assures Congress, that in 
the whole course of the negotiations carried on last year, 
the King would not listen to either peace or truce, without 
afi assurance, of some sort, of the independence of the 
United States. 

LUZERNE. 



REPORT OF A COMMITTEE ON THE COMMUNICATIONS OF 
THE FRENCH MINISTER. 

In Congress, January 28th, 1780. 

The committee appointed to receive the communica- 
tions of the Minister of France, reported the following 



ggg LUZERNE. 

summary, accompanied with extracts of papers, which he 
had recently received.* 

The Minister of France informed the Committee, that 
he had it in command from his King to impress upon the 
minds of Congress, that the British Cabinet have an almost 
insuperable reluctance to admit the idea of the indepen- 
dence of these United States, and will use every possible 
endeavor to prevent it That they have filled several of 
the Courts of Europe with negotiations, in order to ex- 
cite them to a war against France, or to obtain succors ; 
and are employing the most strenuous endeavors to per- 
suade the several powers, that the United States are dis- 
posed to enter into treaties of accommodation. That many 
persons in Europe are actually employed in bringing such 
treaties to perfection ; and that they have no doubt of their 
success. That the objects which the British Cabinet hope 
for from those measures are, to destroy the superiority, 
which France has now at sea, by diverting her powers 
and resources from naval to land operations, and by en- 
gaging her in a land war, where she must risk very impor- 
tant interests, while England would risk nothing but money ; 
or to break, or weaken the alliance, by destroying the con- 
fidence, which the allies ought to have in each other. 

That his Most Christian Majesty gives no credit to the 
suggestions of Britain, relative to the disposition of the 
United States ; and it is necessary, that measures be taken 
for the preventing of other powers from being deceived 
into a belief of them. That the negotiations of Britain, as 
far as could yet be learned, had not succeeded. That the 

• These extracts were the same as had been sent to General 
Waehington, and are printed above, in connexion with M. d« la 
Luierne'B letter to him, dated January 23d, 1780. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 397 

dispositions of all the European powers are, as far as can 
be known, very friendly to France ; but some of tliem 
may be engaged in secret treaties with Britain, which may 
oblige them, in some event, to assist her with troops even 
against their inclinations. That such event may arise, and 
if it should, it is probable it will produce an armed medi- 
ation, the consequences of which would be, that the allies 
must accept of the terms proposed by the mediator, or con- 
tinue the war under the disadvantage of having the forces 
of the mediator united with those of their enemies. That 
in such event, it is possible the terms proposed will be 
such as Spain offered, and Britain rejected, in the last 
proposed mediation. 

That, though the powers who may be under such en- 
gagements by treaty to Great Britain, from their friendly 
disposition towards his Most Christian Majesty, may be 
very unwilling to give assistance to his enemies, yet they 
may find it indispensably necessary in compliance with 
their engagements ; but it is not in\probable that their re- 
hictance, or the distance of their dominions, may delay 
such assistance, if granted at all, so as to be too late foi' 
the next campaign. That should the enemy be in pos- 
session of any part of the United States at the close of the 
next campaign, it will be extremely difficult to bring Great 
Britain to acknowledge their independence ; and if a me- 
diator should be offered, while the enemy is in possession 
of any part, an impartial mediator could not easily refute 
the arguments, which might be used for its retaining such 
possessions. And, probably, a mediator well disposed 
towards Great Britain might insist on her holding them ; 
and if not agreed to, the hostility of such a mediator would 
be the necessary consequence. That should Great 



398 LUZERNE. 

Britain form such alliances, or procure such aids, as are 
the objects of her present negotiations, there will be every 
reason to fear a long and an obstinate war, whereof the 
final event may be doubtful. 

That this view of affairs plainly points out the necessity 
for the greatest possible vigor in the operations of the next 
campaign, in order to dispossess the enemy of every part 
-of the United States, and to put tliem in condition to treat 
of peace, and accept of a mediation with the greatest ad- 
vantage ; and the preparations for it ought to be as speedy 
and as effectual as possible. That France and Spain are 
prepared to make a very powerful diversion, and will exert 
themselves most strenuously for preserving and improving 
their naval superiority, and for employing the powers of 
the enemy in Europe and the West Indies. The Minister 
declared, as from himself, that he doubted not his Most 
Christian Majesty will spare some ships to the United 
States, if it can be done without endangering his superi- 
ority at sea ; and that an application made to the Minister 
informally is more eligible than to the King, because it 
would give his Majesty great pain to refuse the request, 
though he might be in no condition to grant it. That at 
all events, supplies should be prepared on a supposition 
that the ships will be granted ; and such supplies should 
be put into the hands of the Agent for the Marine of 
France, and considered as the King's property. 

He desires to be informed, as far as Congress may 
deem proper, what force the United States can bring into 
the field next campaign ? On what resources they rely for 
their maintenance and necessary appointments ? And what 
shall be the general plan of the campaign, on supposition 
either of having, or not having the aid of ships of war ? 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 399 

He gives it as his opinion, that an application foi clotliing 
may be made to his Most Christian Majesty with prospect 
of success ; and ahhough measures have been taken for 
sending arms and warlike stores to America, yet it would 
be prudent in Congress not to neglect any other means for 
procuring those supplies, or supplies of clothing. 



ANSWER OF CONGRESS TO THE COMMUNICATIONS OF THE 
FRENCH MINISTER. 

In Congress, January 31st, 1780. 

Congress taking into consideration the communications 
of the French Minister, as reported by the committee on 
the 28th instant, 

Resolved, That the following answer be given to the 
communications of the honorable the Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary of France ; 

That Congress entertain the most grateful sense of the un- 
remitting attention given to the interests of the United States 
by their illustrious ally ; and consider the communications 
made to them by his Minister under his Majesty's special 
command as equally wise and interesting. That the confi- 
dence which they repose in his Majesty, in consequence of 
his so generously interesting himself in the affairs of these 
United States, and the wisdom and magnanimity of his 
councils, determine them to give the most perfect informa- 
tion in their power of their resources, their views, and their 
expectations. 

That to this end, they state as follows ; that the United 
States have expectations, on which they can rely with 
confidence, of bringing into the field an army of twenty- 
five thousand effective men, exclusive of commissioned 



400 



LUZERNE. 



officers. That this army can be reinforced by militia so 
as to be in force sufficient for any enterprises against 
the posts occupied by the enemy within the United 
States. That supplies of provisions for the army in its 
greatest number can certainly be obtained within thje 
United States ; and the Congress, with the co-operation of 
the several States, can take effectual measures for pro- 
curing them in such manner as that no operation will be 
impeded. That provisions, also, for such of the forces of 
his Most Christian Majesty, as may be employed in con- 
junction or co-operation with those of the United States, 
can be procured under the direction of Congress ; and 
such provisions shall be laid up in magazines, agreeably 
to such instructions as his Majesty's Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary shall give ; and the magazines shall be put under the 
direction of the Agent of the Marine of France. 

That Congress rely on the contributions of the States 
by taxes, and on moneys to be raised by internal loans, 
for the pay of the army. That supplies of clothing, of 
tents, of arms and warlike stores, must be principally ob- 
tained from foreign nations ; and the United States must 
rely chiefly on the assistance of their ally for them ; but 
every other means for procuring them are already taken, 
and will be prosecuted with the greatest diligence. 

That the United States, with the assistance of a com- 
petent naval force, would willingly, during the next cam- 
paign, carry on the most vigorous offensive operations 
against the enemy in all the posts occupied by them within 
the United States. That without such naval force, little 
more can be attempted by them than straitening the quar- 
ters of the enemy, and covering the interior parts of the 
country. That their forces must be disposed in such 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 401 

manner as to oppose the enemy with the greatest effect, 
wheresoever their most considerable operations may be 
directed. 

That at present, the Southern States seem to be their 
principal object, and their design to establish themselves in 
one or more of them ; but their superiority at sea over the 
United States enables them to change their objects and 
operations with great facility, while those of the United 
States are rendered difficult by the great extent of country 
they have to defend. 

That Congress are happy to find that his Most Chris- 
tian Majesty gives no credit to the suggestions of the Brit- 
ish cabinet relative to the dispositions of the United States, 
or any of them, to enter into treaties of accommodation 
with Great Britain ; and wish his Majesty and all the 
powers of Europe to be assured, that such suggestions are 
insidious and without foundation. 

That it will appear by the constitutions and other pub- 
lic acts of the several States, that the citizens of the United 
States possessed of arms, possessed of freedom, possessed 
of political power to create and direct their magistrates as 
they think proper, are united in their determinations to 
secure to themselves and their posterity the blessings of 
liberty, by supporting the independence of their govern- 
ments, and observing their treaties and public engagements 
with immovable firmness and fidelity. And the Congress 
assure his Majesty, that should any individual in America 
be found base enough to show the least disposition for per- 
suading the people to the contrary, such individual would 
instantly lose all power of efl^ecting his purpose, by forfeit- 
ing the esteem and confidence of the people. 

VOL. X. 51 



402 LUZERNE. 



COMMUNICATIONS OF THE FRENCH MINISTER TO A COM- 
MITTEE OF CONGRESS AT A SECOND CONFERENCE. 

In Congress, February 2d, 1780. 

The Committee report, tliat in a second conference 
with the honorable the Minister Plenipotentiary of France 
he communicated to them ; 

That his Most Christian Majesty, being uninformed of 
the appointment of a Minister Plenipotentiary to treat of 
an alliance between the United States and his Catholic 
Majesty, has signified to his Minister Plenipotentiary to the 
United States, that he wishes most earnestly for such an 
alliance ; and in order to make the way thereto more 
easy, has commanded him to communicate to the Congress 
certain articles, which his Catholic Majesty deems of great 
importance to the interests of his Crown, and on which it 
is highly necessary that the United States explain them- 
selves with precision, and with such moderation as may 
consist with their essential rights. 

That the articles are, 

1st. A precise and invariable western boundary to the 
United States. 

2dly. The exclusive navigation of the river Mississippi. 

3dly. The possession of the Floridas ; and 

4thly. The lands on the left or eastern side of the 
river Mississippi. 

That on the first article, it is the idea of the cabinet of 
Madrid, that the United States extend to the westward no 
farther than settlements were permitted by the royal pro- 
( lamation bearing date the day of 1763. 

On the second, that the United States do not consider 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 403 

themselves as having any right to navigate the river Missis- 
sippi, no territory belonging to them being situated thereon. 

On the third, that it is probable that the King of Spain 
will conquer the Floridas during the course of the present 
war ; and in such event, every cause of dispute relative 
thereto between Spain and these United States ought to 
be removed. 

On the fourth, that the lands lying on the east side of 
the Mississippi, whereon the setdements were prohibited 
by the aforesaid proclamation, are possessions of the Crown 
of Great Britain, and proper objects against which the 
arms of Spain may be employed, for the purpose of 
making a permanent conquest for the Spanish Crown. 
That such conquest may, probably, be made during the 
present war. That, therefore, it would be advisable to 
restrain the Southern States from making any settlements 
or conquests in those territories. That the Council of 
Madrid consider the United States as having no claims to 
those territories, either as not having had possession of 
them before the present war, or not having any foundation 
for a claim in the right of the sovereignty of Great Britain, 
whose dominion they have abjured. 

That his Most Christian Majesty, united to the Catholic 
King by blood and by the strictest alliances, and united 
with these States in treaties of alliance, and feeling towards 
them dispositions of the most perfect friendship, is exceed- 
ingly desirous of conciliating between his Catholic Majesty 
and these United States, the most happy and lasting 
friendship. 

That the United States may repose the utmost confi- 
dence in his good will to their interests, and in the justice 
and liberality of his Catholic Majesty ; and that he cannot 



404 LUZERNE. 

deem the revolution, which has set up the independence of 
these United Stales, as past all danger of unfavorable 
events, until his Catholir, Majesty and the United States 
shall be established on those terms of confidence and amity, 
wliich are the objects of his Most Christian Majesty's very 
earnest wishes. 



GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Head Quarters, Morristown, February 4th, 1780- 
Sir, 
Major Galvan delivered me the letter, which your Ex- 
cellency did me the honor to write to me on the 23d of 
January, to which I have paid all the attention the im- 
portance of its contents demands. I am much flattered by 
this commencement of a correspondence, from which I 
have everything to gain, and equally indebted for the in- 
teresting communications it affords. 

It is a happy circumstance, that the efforts made by the 
British Court for obtaining troops in Germany are attended 
with so little success. This will naturally increase their 
exertions for procuring men in this country, and will, no 
doubt, make them more solicitous for effecting the ex- 
change or release in some way or other, of their prisoners 
in our hands. It will be well, if in the negotiations on this 
subject, we can extract concessions favorable to those, 
which may take place in Europe, and you may depend 
the experiment shall be fully tried. But from the aspect 
of the late propositions on the part of the enemy, I should 
not entertain any sanguine hopes of the success of this ex- 
periment. The reinforcement they would derive from a 
full compliance with their proposals is not calculated at 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 406 

more than ten or eleven hundred private men ; and this 
seems hardly to be an object of sufficient magnitude to 
induce them to concede to points of the nature, which your 
Excellency's information supposes ; especially, as you em- 
phatically express it, "after having sought with so much 
affectation to make the Thirteen States be considered as 
subjected to the English domination." The offers made 
through Major General Phillips are far more moderate, 
than any that have hitherto come from them, and appear, 
in a great measure, to have been influenced by his per- 
sonal solicitations, dictated by an extreme anxiety to be 
released from captivity. But notwithstanding the matter 
in its present form wears to me the appearance I have 
mentioned, I shall not neglect any measure, which it may 
be in my power to take, to improve the intimation your 
Excellency has given, and entreat you to be assured, that 
1 shall endeavor to make the event confirm the opinion 
you do me the honor to entertain, that nothing will be 
done derogatory to the magnanimous part your Court has 
acted, or the honor or interest of the United States. 

The inconsistency of the Court of London, so well de- 
lineated by that of Madrid in the extract you had the 
goodness to annex, would appear extraordinary, if their 
whole conduct in the course of the war did not exhibit 
many similar examples. But it is evident, that their re- 
fusing to consider these States as independent in fact, 
during a negotiation, was a mere pretext to cover their 
unwillingness to concur in the pacific views of His 
Catholic Majesty ; and the Memorial from the British 
Ambassador shows, that they were artfully aiming to 
effect a separation of interests between France and 
these States, the better to prosecute their hostile de- 
signs against either or both. 



406 LUZERNE 

I thank your Excellency for the agreeable intelli- 
gence you give me of his Christian Majesty's inten- 
tions to send over succors of arms and ammunition. 
It is a new and valuable proof of his friendship, and 
will be of essential utility. I agree with you, that 
there ought to be no relaxation in the measures other- 
wise intended to be taken to procure the necessary 
supplies of those articles. 

I am sensibly mortified, that the present situation of 
affairs will by no means suffer me to yield to the desire. 
I have of paying you my respects in Philadelphia; and 
I shall impatiently look for the opportunity of doing it 
here, which your Excellency promises me in the course 
of this month. Besides the important objects of public 
utility, which I am authorised to hope from it, I shall 
take pleasure on every occasion of testifying to you 
those sentiments of respect and esteem, with which I 
have the honor to be, &c. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

P. S. The interest your Excellency is pleased to 
take in Major Galvan, will be an additional motive 
with me to avail myself of his talents and zeal, as far 
as circumstances will possibly permit. 



GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Head Quarters, Morristown, February 15th, 1780. 
Sir, 
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
Excellency's letter of the 4th,* which only reached 
me on the 13th. 

" Missing. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 407 

Sincerely desirous of doing everything in my power, 
by which the interest of his Christian Majesty, insepa- 
rablo from that of these States, can in any manner be 
promoted, and still more in a point so essential as that 
which makes the subject of your letter, I should not 
hesitate to furnish the detachment required by Mr 
Duer, whatever might be my opinion of its necessity, 
did not the present state of the army absolutely forbid 
it. I with confidence assure your Excellency, that our 
force is so reduced by the expiration of the terms for 
which a considerable part of it was engaged, and will 
be so much more diminished in the course of a month 
or two from the same cause, as scarcely to suffice for 
the exigence of the service, and to afford just cause for 
uneasiness should the enemy be actuated by a spirit of 
enterprise, before we receive the reinforcements in- 
tended for the next campaign. So circumstanced, my 
duty to the common cause will not justify me in adding 
to the insecurity of our situation, by making a detach- 
ment, which, though apparently inconsiderable, would 
be materially felt in our present weakness ; and I am 
persuaded, after the information now given, that your 
Excellency will wish me not to hazard the measure. 

With respect to the necessity of a covering party, I 
shall not venture to decide; but I should imagine in 
the present state of things, that the business may be car- 
ried on with tolerable security without one. The conse- 
quences of the late expedition promise tranquillity for 
some time to our frontier, and make it at any rate 
improbable that the savages will be able to penetrate 
so far at so early a period, and the proposition does not 
require that the covering party should remain longer 



408 



LUZERNE. 



than until the last of April. The intelligence I have 
received corresponds with these ideas. It might be 
added, that the garrison at Wyoming gives some de- 
gree of protection to the part of the country in ques- 
tion. But as it is very important, that no interruption 
should be given to the workmen, if a covering party 
should upon the whole be thought requisite, the best 
mode of furnishing it will be from the neighboring 
militia. For this purpose on your Excellency's appli- 
cation to Congress, I cannot doubt they will immedi- 
ately make the necessary arrangements. 

I have the honor to be, with the most respect and 

attachment, &c. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OP CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, March 8th, 1780. 

Sir, 

I have just received from Martinique, a letter from 
M. Gerard, who informs me, that at his request the 
commander of Martinique has procured for the frigate 
Confederation, belonging to Congress, the same sources 
and facilities as are enjoyed by his Majesty's own 
vessels. But there are no materials for masts, and as 
this vessel has been dismasted, M. Gerard knows no 
other means of hastening her repairs, than that of send- 
ing masts to him from Boston, or any other part of 
the continent where Congress can procure them.* 

I have the honor to be, &c. LUZERNE. 

* See further particulars on this subject in the Correspondence of 
John Jay, Vol. VII. pp. 171, et seqq. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 409 

THE KING OP PRANCE TO CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

To our Very Dear Great Friends and Allies the 
President and Members of the Congress of the United 
States of North America. 

Very Dear Great Friends and Allies, 
We have received your letter of the 22d of Novem- 
ber last, which you directed Dr Franklin to deliver. 
We have seen therein with pain the picture of the dis- 
tressed slate of your finances, and have been so afiected, 
that we have determined to assist you as far as our 
own wants and the extraordinary and enormous expen- 
ses of the present war, in which we are engaged for 
your defence, will permit. The Chevalier de la Lu- 
zerne is enjoined to inform you more particularly of 
our intentions. And we are persuaded, that the details 
which he will make will induce you to exert your 
utmost efforts to second ours, and will more and more 
convince you how sincerely we interest ourselves in 
the cause of the United States ; and that we employ all 
the means in our power to make it triumphant. You 
may rely on our perseverance in the principles, which 
have hitherto directed our conduct. It has been fully 
proved, as well as the sincere affection we entertain for 
the United States in general, and for each in particu- 
lar. We pray God to have you, very dear great 
Friends and Allies, in his holy protection. 

Written at Versailles, the 10th of March, 1781. 

Your good Friend and Ally, 

LOUIS. 

VOL. X. 52 



410 LUZERNE. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Morristown, May 5th, 1780. 
Sir, 

Two days since I had the honor of receiving your 
Excellency's letter of the 29th of April. 

The polite terms in which you mention the attention, 
which my respectful attachment for you dictated dur- 
ing your stay in camp, add to the obligation I felt for 
the honor of your visit. I was happy in that opportu- 
nity of giving you a new proof of my sentiments, and I 
entreat you to afford me others as frequently as possi- 
ble. As the Minister of a Prince, to whom America 
owes so much, you have every title to my respect ; 
and permit me to add, your personal qualities give you 
a claim, which my heart cheerfully acknowledges, to 
all my esteem and all my regard. 

I beg you to accept my thanks for your intention to 
represent the army in so favorable a light, as will re- 
commend it to the approbation of his Most Christian 
Majesty ; an honor as flattering as it will be precious. 
It would be a want of gratitude not to be convinced 
of the intimate concern he takes in our affairs, after the 
repeated and decided proofs he has given. 

I have the honor to be, with the highest consider- 
ation, &c. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

9 o'clock, A. M. 

P. S. I have this instant received a letter from my 
much esteemed and amiable friend, the Marquis de La- 
fayette, dated in Boston harbor, the 29th of last month. 
In the course of a day or two I shall expect to see him. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 411 

GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Morristown, May 11th, 1780. 
Sir, 

The attentions anil honors paid to M. de Miralles* 
after his death were a tribute due to his character and 
merit, and dictated by the sincere esteem, which I al- 
ways felt for him. 

I am much obliged to your Excellency for your 
intention of sending me a detail of the land and sea 
forces arrived at Martinique, which I beg leave to in- 
form you was forgotten to be enclosed in your letter. 

You will participate in the joy I feel at the arrival 
of the Marquis de Lafayette. No event could have 
given me greater pleasure, on a personal account, and 
motives of public utility conspire to make it agreeable. 
He will shortly have the honor to wait upon your 
Excellency, and impart matters of the greatest moment 
to these States. He announces a fresh and striking 
instance of the friendship of your Court, and which 
cannot fail to contribute greatly to perpetuate the 
gratitude of this country. 

1 am always happy to repeat to you the sentiments 
of respect and inviolable attachment, with which I 
have the honor to be, &c. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

* M. de Miralles, Agent for the Spanish Government in thia coun- 
try, died in General Washington's camp, and was buried with mili- 
tary honors. 



412 LUZERNE. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Head Quarters, Morristown, May 14th, 1780. 
Sir, 
Since my last I have had the honor to receive the 
detail of his Most Christian Majesty's fleet in the West 
Indies, vv^hich your Excellency has had the goodness 
to send me. I congratulate you very sincerely, Sir, on 
this very respectable armament, which I found to sur- 
pass my expectation, and I would willingly hope that 
an occasion will be afforded the Count de Guichen to 
strike some important blow with it, which shall ad- 
vance the honor and interest of his Majesty, and of 
course the interest of these United States. 
I have the honor to be, he. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 16th, 1780. 
Sir, 

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
has the honor of informing Congress, that the King, in con- 
sequence of his affection and friendship for the United 
States, and of his desire to put an end by effectual meas- 
ures to the calamities of the present war, has resolved to 
send to this continent a reinforcement of troops, intended 
to act against the common enemy, and of vessels, which 
will be employed in assisting the operations of the land 
troops. As soon as Congress has decided on the plan of 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 413 

the campaign, the Marquis de Lafayette will receive all 
communications on this subject ; and will on his part make 
the overtures, which shall be necessary to the success of 
the operations. But as despatch and secrecy ought to be 
the very soul of these operations, and as, moreover. Con- 
gress will undoubtedly find it indispensable to arrange 
them in concert with the Commander in Chief, the Chev- 
alier de la Luzerne requests this Assembly to consider, 
whether the course most proper to be adopted under these 
circumstances be not to appoint, without the least delay, 
a small committee, who shall repair to the army, furnished 
with instructions, and there fix upon measures, which shall 
be carried into execution immediately on the arrival of the 
land forces, under the command of the Count de Rochara- 
beau. Lieutenant General of the armies of the King, and 
the Chevalier de Ternay, commander of the squadron, at 
whatever part of the continent they may have had orders 
to land. 

As the measures to be taken, in relation to the supply of 
necessaries and provisions to the auxiliary troops, will re- 
quire the concurrence of the Legislatures and Governors 
of the several States, and particularly of those of Rhode 
Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, the un- 
dersigned Minister requests Congress to authorise the 
same committee to render their assistance to the measures, 
which the French General, or the Chevalier de la Luzerne, 
or the Commissioners authorised by them, shall be able to 
take with the different Legislatures ; and with this view, 
to give to the delegates, who shall compose it, powers as 
extensive as Congress shall deem expedient. 

An object, which next to that just mentioned, requires 
all the attention of Congress, is the information, which it 



414 LUZERNE. 

is important to obtain as to the forces, the situation, and 
the resources of the enemy, in all the posts in their pos- 
session on this continent. The Chevalier de la Luzerne 
is consequently desirous, that Congress would be pleased 
to appoint a committee to collect immediately all the in- 
telligence, details, and information, which may exist in 
their deposits and archives, relative to the ports of North 
America, now held by the English, from Halifax to St 
Augustine, including Canada, to the depth of the bays, 
creeks, and anchorages ; to the forces which are stationed 
there, and the forts and fortresses, which have been erected 
there, the dispositions and number of the inhabitants, the 
resources with regard to provisions, and in general, all 
that information, which may promote the success of the 
operations. It is equally desirable, that this committee 
should have authority to carry on a correspondence, as 
long as may be necessary, in the different parts of the 
continent, whence this information can be obtained, in 
order that the intelligence being always fresh, the com- 
manders o( the expeditions may be able to establish their 
plans upon sure bases. The Minister of France requests, 
that the committee may be authorised to communicate to 
him this various information, so far as such communication 
shall not be inconvenient to Congress. Whatever prompt- 
ness these measures require, the Chevalier de la Luzerne 
prays Congress not to take them into consideration, till 
after the subject mentioned at the beginning of this Memo- 
rial has been definitively setded. 

Dr Franklin has undoubtedly rendered an account to 
Congress of the measures, which he has taken for sending 
to this continent arms, stores, and clothing, as well as of 
the means of facihtating the loan of three millions of livres, 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 415 

which that Minister has procured, as well to meet this ex- 
pense, as to give effect to the treaties of Congress in rela- 
tion to it ; and the Chevalier de la Luzerne will not go 
into any detail on this subject. 

He will not close this jVlemorial, without congratulating 
the American Senate on the zeal and ardor, which are 
shown on every side to render the ensuing campaign de- 
cisive, and to inHict upon the common enemy blows, which 
shall be most sensibly felt, to expel him from this country 
without the possibility of return, and to secure forever the 
liberty of the Thirteen States. 

Circumstances have never been more favorable ; the 
enemy, hard pressed on every side, is not in a state to op- 
pose an effectual resistance ; the American forces are 
about to become more respectable than they have ever 
been, those of the King bring with them to this country 
the most sincere desire to second the brave efforts of their 
allies, and the two nations closely united for the purpose 
of bringing their combined enterprises to a successful issue, 
will seek only to distinguish themselves by their zeal, and 
their attachment to the common cause.* 

LUZERNE. 



TO GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 21 st, 1780. 
Sir, 
You will be informed by the Marquis de Lafayette, of 
the measures adopted by the Congress relative to the ope- 

* For the proceedings of Congress on the subject of this letter, see 
the Public Journals, under the date of May 19th, 1780. 



416 



LUZERJNE. 



rations of the next campaign. 1 will not enter into a detail 
with respect to them. I confine myself to assure your 
Excellency of the eagerness of my countrymen to share in 
your success, of the zeal which animates them for the 
cause which you so gloriously defend, and of the desire I 
have to receive your advice and orders in everything in 
which you shall believe, that I may contribute to the suc- 
cess of the combined operations. 

I have the honor to be, &lc. 

LUZERNE. 

REPORT OF A COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS ON A CON- 
FERENCE WITH THE FRENCH MINISTER. 

In Congress, May 24th, 1780. 

The committee appointed to confer with the Minister 
of France on the subject of supplies and other matters 
mentioned in this appointment, report as follows. 

That in their first conference with the Minister, he men- 
tioned his solicitude to procure the necessary provisions 
for the fleet and army of his Most Christian Majesty ; that 
he wished to render every step he should take on this sub- 
ject conformable to the designs of Congress, and condu- 
cive to the support of the combined forces ; that he would 
therefore lay before the committee the measures, that he 
had already entered into, and was desirous to agree upon 
any plan for our mutual benefit, which we should think it 
proper to adopt. 

That previous to our appointment, the moments being 
precious, he had despatched an agent to consult the Com- 
mander in Chief and General Greene on the subject of sup- 
plies, and would inform us of their sentiments at his return; 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 417 

that lest his purchases might interfere with those, which 
the States should make on account of the continent, he liad 
thought it most advisable to let the whole business pass 
through their hands, and had accordingly written to Gov- 
ernor Trumbull for a limited supply of beef, pork, and 
mutton, leaving it to his option, either to be paid in bills 
upon France, specie, or continental bills of credit. 

The committee have stated this information, that Con- 
gress may, if they should find it necessary, give them their 
directions before they digest any plan with the Minister of 
France on the return of his agent. 

The committee conceive the establishment of posts and 
expresses, who shall bring the earliest intelligence of the 
arrival of the fleet of our ally, and the motions of the en- 
emy, as so necessary to the right application of our force, 
that they submit the following resolution. 

Resolved, that the Committee of Intelligence be direct- 
ed to establish regular posts to and from the different parts 
of the sea coasts of this continent, from Charleston to Bos- 
ton, in such manner as will most effectually procure infor- 
mation of the approach of the fleet of our ally, and the 
movements of the enemy in consequence thereof. 

The committee are further of opinion, from the repre- 
sentations of the Minister of France, that every means 
should be used to add to the strength of the fleet of our 
ally on their arrival, particularly by completing the ship 
America, since it is highly probable, that the naval force, 
which the enemy may send to this coast, in order to frus- 
trate the friendly endeavors of our ally in our behalf, will 
be adapted to that of France, without taking into the cal- 
culation any addition which it may receive here. They 
therefore submit the following resolutions. 
VOL. X. 53 



418 



LUZERNE 



Resolved, that the Board of Admiralty be directed ta 
fit for sea, with the utmost expedition, the several ships of 
war and frigates now in port. 

Resolved, that it be earnestly recommended to the re- 
spective States within whose ports any of the said ships or 
frigates may be, to afford every assistance to the Board of 
Admiralty on this application for artificers, laborers, and 
materials, for preparing the same for sea, and for com- 
pleting this compliment of men. 

Resolved, that Congress will defray every necessary 
expense, which any State shall incur in consequence of 
the above resolution. 

Resolved, that the Board of Admiralty be empowered, 
if they shall think it advisable to dispose of the Saratoga, 
to apply the proceeds thereof to complete the America, or 
any of the frigates, which may by that means be shortly 
fitted for sea. 

And whereas it is proper to make provision for repair- 
ing any damage, which the fleets of our ally may sustain 
by storms or otherwise. 

Resolved, that the Board of Admiralty be directed to 
cause as many masts, yards, and spars, as they shall deem 
necessary for the above purposes to be procured. 

Resolved, that they may be also directed to settle sig- 
nals with the commanding officers of any ship or ships of 
our ally, which may now or shall hereafter be upon the 
coasts of the United States. 

And for the promoting of harmony and forwarding the 
common views of France and America, it was further 
agreed between the Minister of France and your commit- 
tee, that they should suggest to Congress the propriety of 
adopting measures to prevent desertion from the fleet and 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 419 

army of our allies, in which view they submit the following 
resolution. 

Resolved, that it be recommended to the leg'slatioii of 
these United States, to pass laws for the punishment of 
such persons as shall encourage desertions from the fleets 
or armies of any foreign power, who shall prosecute the 
war in America in conjunction with these United States, 
^'](t for the recoverinsf such deserters as shall endeavor 
to conceal themselves among the inhabitants thereol. 

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON, Chairman. 



GKORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Morristown, June 5th, 1780. 
Sir, 

JMy lime has been so entirely engrossed in the prelimi- 
nary arrangements of immediate necessity towards the in-" 
tended co-operation, that I have not been able till now to 
<io myself the honor to thank your Excellency for your 
letter of the 2 1st of May. We liave too many proofs of 
the general zeal of your countrymen in the cause of Amer- 
ica, not to be entirely convinced of it, and to feel all that 
the most grateful sensibility can inspire. 

1 am happy in believing, that the troops and citizens of 
these States will eagerly embrace every opportunity to 
manifest their affection to (he troops and citizens of your 
nation, as well as their gratitude and veneration to a Prince, 
from whom they have received the most important bene- 
fits. Penetrated with a sense of these, I shall think it my 
duty to cultivate correspondent sentiments, as far as my 
influence extends. 
' The Marquis de Lafayette has given me an account of 



420 LUZERNE. 

all your Excellency has done for the advaucement of the 
combined operations. It will no doubt contribute essen- 
tially to their success, and gives you a claim to the ac- 
knowledgments of the two countries. 

I am too sensible of the value of the permission you 
gave me to solicit your aid in everything, in which you 
can continue to afford us your good offices, not to make 
use of it as frequently as possible. 1 begin by entreating 
you to favor me with your advice with the greatest free- 
dom, on whatever occurs to you interesting to our affairs 
at this period. 

I have the lionor to be, he. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 



REPORT OF A COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS RESPECTING 
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FRENCH MINISTER. 

In Congress, June 5th, 1780. 

The committee appointed to receive the communi- 
cations of his Excellency, the Minister of France, re- 
lating to supplies for the forces of his Most Christian 
Majesty, and on other matters, beg leave to report, that 
in a conference had on the 3d of the present month, 
the Minister was pleased to make the following com- 
munications, viz. 

That M. de Corney, Commissary of the troops of 
his Most Christian Majesty, had orders to purchase a 
number of horses, and to purchase or hire a number of 
teams in the States where they could be most conven- 
iently procured, for the use of the forces of his 
Most Christian Majesty, that should arrive toco-operate 
with the forces of these United States. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 42 1 

That M. de Corney had also orders to endeavor to 
procure in the several States, where it should be found 
most convenient, provisions for the forces above men- 
tioned, in such manner as should least interfere with 
the purchaser of the States or agents of Congress, and 
as should be best adapted to support and establish the 
credit of the paper currency. That M. de Corney 
would apply to the supreme executive powers of the 
several States, in which the purchases were to be made, 
for their advice and aid in the matter. 

To obtain which, the Minister wished for the appro- 
bation of Congress, and that if they should think fit, 
letters might be written by the President to the su- 
preme executive powers of the several States, request- 
ing their advice and aid to M. de Corney in procuring 
those supplies. 

That M. de Corney had received £7000 of the bills 
lately emitted by the State of Pennsylvania, to use for 
the purposes above mentioned, and would in his nego- 
tiations avail himself of all opportunities for contribut- 
ing to the utmost of his power for establishing the 
currency of the public bills of credit. 

That it would be necessary to give the said forces of 
his Most Christian Majesty the option of receiving 
their pay in specie, from their unacquaintedness with 
paper money in general, and ignorance of the language 
in which the bills of these United Slates are struck. 

Which circumstance the Minister thought proper to 
suggest, that Congress might take any measures they 
should judge necessary to prevent uneasiness arising 
therefrom to the troops of these United States, who 
might receive their pay in a different manner. 



422 LUZERNE 

That to prevent loss happening to any of the citi- 
zens of these United States, from receiving from the 
troops of his Most Christian Majesty any small coins 
they may be possessed of that shall be below the 
standard alloy, the same will be exchanged for other 
coins by persons that shall receive orders therefor. 

The Minister desired to be informed of the mode of 
intelligence Congress would rely on to give them im- 
mediate notice of the arrival of the forces from France, 
and for keeping up a constant communication after 
their arrival, and again repeated his wishes that nothing 
might be left unprovided for, that could promise 
despatch to their operations and render them most ex- 
tensively useful to these United States. 

The Minister also wished to recommend to the con- 
sideration of Congress M. Louis Ethis de Corney, 
Provincial Commissary of the troops in the service of 
his Most Christian Majesty, for the honor of a brevet 
commission of Lieutenant Colonel, which title his of- 
fice had given him in the French service. M. de 
Corney desired not command or pay, but was ambi- 
tious to deserve a mark of honor from these United 
States, from which benefits might result to him here- 
after. 

Upon the foregoing information your committee beg 
leave to submit to the consideration of Congress the 
following resolutions, 

That a brevet commission of Lieutenant Colonel be 
granted to M. Louis Ethis de Corney. 

That M. de Corney be furnished with letters from 
the President to the supreme executive powers of the 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 423 

several States, or to such of them as M. de Corney 
shall apply for, requesting their advice and aid to him 
in procuring provisions and other necessaries for the 
forces of his Most Christian Majesty expected to arrive 
in these United States, in such manner a? will best 
avoid a competition of purchases for the use above 
mentioned, and those for the use of the troops of these 
United States. 

That the Minister of France be informed, that it is 
the opinion of Congress, that the public service will 
be best promoted by having the same currency made 
use of, so far as may be, to procure supplies for the 
forces of his Most Christian Majesty as for those of 
these United States. 

That the Governors of the States of Virginia and 
Maryland be requested immediately to engage trusty 
persons in those States respectively, at proper dis- 
tances from each other, on the main road from Cape 
Henr)'' in Virginia to Philadelphia, to hold themselves 
in readiness, should the French fleet be discovered oflf 
that Cape or the adjacent coast, to forward intelligence 
thereof, and any despatches that may be received from 
them to Congress, in the most expeditious manner. 



REPORT OF A COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS RESPECTING A 
CONFERENCE WITH THE FRENCH MINISTER. 

in Congress, June 7th, 1780. 
The committee appointed to confer with the Minister of 
France on the mode of obtaining supplies for the forces of 
his Most Christian Majesty, and on other matters, re- 
port ; 



424 LUZERNE. 

That the Minister of France has communicated to your 
committee, that as M. de Corney, Commissary of the troops 
of his Most Christian Majesty, will go into the State of 
Connecticut to procure some supplies, it would be con- 
venient for him to receive there an advance of money 
from these United States, either in Continental bills or the 
bills of that State, to be replaced in specie on the arrival 
of the fleet from France, and the Minister engages that 
the moneys, which shall be so advanced by these United 
States to M. de Corney, shall be replaced in specie as 
above mentioned. 

Upon which communication your committee beg leave 
to submit to the consideration of Congress the following 
resolution, viz. 

That the Governor of the State of Connecticut be, and 
he hereby is, authorised to receive on account of these 
United States, out of the moneys raised by that State more 
than sufficient to discharge the drafts heretofore made by 
Congress, and to comply with the requisition of Congress 
of the 20ih of last month, or out of the bills that shall be 
completed and lodged in the Continental Loan Office in 
that State for the use of the United States, pursuant to a 
resolution of Congress of the ISth of March last, one 
million two hundred thousand dollars of the bills now in 
circulation, or thirty thousand dollars of the bills last men- 
tioned, or a proportion of each, on the application of M. 
de Corney, Commissary of the troops in the service of his 
Mobt Christian Majesty, and advance the same to him, 
taking his receipt therefor, to replace the same in specie in 
the Treasury of these United States when required by 
Congress ; said receipts to be transmitted to the Treasury 
Board as soon as may be. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 426 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, June 18th, 1780. 
Sir, 

The undersigned Minister of France has witnessed the 
efforts of Congress to enable the Commander in Chief to 
make a glorious commencement of the campaign ; he is 
convinced of the zeal with which all its members are ani- 
mated, and if the army has not hitherto received any of 
the reinforcements announced in January last, he is per- 
suaded that Congress deeply lament those delays, and are 
sincerely desirous to prevent the fatal consequences, which 
might result from them. The undersigned has, since the 
beginning of this year, continued to make the most press- 
ing representations on this subject, and all the answers 
that he has received tend to assure him that the ar- 
rangements, which were announced, would be carried into 
full execution at the beginning of this month. Now that 
the time fixed for putting the army on a respectable foot- 
ing has passed by, and it is but too certain, that the rein- 
forcements demanded four or five months ago have not yet 
arrived, he earnestly entreats Congress to be pleased to 
pay immediate attention to the supply of these troops, and 
to the fulfilment of their promises. 

The King, after the positive assurances, which he has 
received, has not the least doubt, that the American army 
is now twentyfive thousand strong, not including commis- 
sioned officers, and that it is, at this moment, in a con- 
dition to undertake the most vigorous offensive operations 
against the enemy in the posts, which he occupies vrithin the 
VOL. X. 54 



426 LUZERNE. 

territory of the United States. Congress, while giving 
these assurances, expressed in an urgent manner the wish, 
that a French squadron sliould facilitate the operations of 
the land troops. The King has been eager to comply 
with the requests of the Thirteen States. Their assur- 
ances are the basis of the . measures which his Majesty 
has taken. A squadron is on the point of arrival, and the 
French Generals expect to find forces, respectable in 
numbers, ready to enter upon action. If, at the moment 
of their arrival, they are deprived of the co-operation, upon 
which they have reason to rely, the most precious time for 
action will be lost ; the enemy will have time to take the 
necessary measures for defence, and, perhaps, to receive 
reinforcements ; the soldiers' ardor will be quenched in 
inaction, and this delay will cause the loss of all the advan- 
tages of a campaign, which, if conducted with suitable 
promptness and activity, might have been made most useful 
to the common cause, and perhaps decisive. 

It being manifestly necessary to complete the army, the 
undersigned has no doubt that Congress, as well from re- 
gard to the public interest, as to its own glory and the per- 
formance of its promises, will immediately take, for the 
accomplishment of this object, measures more effectual 
than those which have hitherto been taken. He hopes 
also, that the proper arrangements will be made for con- 
stantly maintaining, during the whole campaign, the num- 
ber which has been announced, and he takes the liberty of 
recommending this important object in an equal degree to 
the consideration of Congress. 

The Minister of France, convinced of the zeal for the 
public good, which inspires this Assembly, as well as of its 
wisdom and prudence, hopes that it will see in his repre- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 427 

sentatioiis only a new proof of his attachment to the 
common cause ; that it will not he offended at the freedom, 
with which he expresses himself upon so important a sub- 
ject, and that it will be pleased to put him in a situation 
to transmit to his Court satisfactory details respecting the 
fulfilment of the assurances made to him by Congress in 
Januarv last.* 

LUZERNE. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, June 28th, 1780. 
Sir, 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor 
of informing Congress, that the Court of Madrid has sent 
to Havana land and naval forces sufficient to make a 
powerful diversion there. The Governor of Havana, 
having been informed of the assurances given by this As- 
sembly on the 16th of December last, respecting the pro- 
visions of which the islands and the fieet of his Catholic 
Majesty might stand in need, is desirous that such quanti- 
ties of corn as shall not be necessary for the subsistence of 
the armies destined to act upon this continent, may be suc- 
cessively sent to him. ft is desirable, that the quantity 
now about to be sent should amount to three thousand 
barrels, and, with the approbation of Congress, the under- 
signed will give immediate orders to some merchants of 
this city to make purchases in the Slates in such manner 
as Congress shall think proper. 

* See the proceedings of Congress on the subject of this letter in 
the Public Journal of Congress, under the date of June 21st, 1780. 



428 LUZERNE. 

The Governor of Havana is also desirous of being sup- 
plied with beef, and pork, suet, lard, and vegetables, and 
with large and even small live cattle. The IVlinister of 
France entreats Congress to be pleased to enable him to 
send to Havana a favorable answer to these ditferent de- 
mands, and he will take pleasure in transmitting to the 
Court of Madrid the intelligence of the facilities for sup- 
plies of provision, which the Spanish Colonies shall have 
enjoyed throughout the Thirteen States. 

LUZERNE. 



CONGRESS TO THE MINISTER OF FRANCE. 

In Congress, July 7th, 1780. 

The Minister of France having, in a note dated the 
28th of June, informed Congress that the Court of Madrid 
has sent to the Havana a considerable body of forces to 
make a diversion in that quarter ; and that the Governor 
of Havana desires, that as much flour and fresh provisions, 
such as cattle, hogs, suet, lard, and pulse, as can be 
spared, should be sent thither ; and the Minister having in- 
timated, that three thousand barrels of flour are immedi- 
ately wauted, and that he will undertake to have that 
quantity purchased and sent, if Congress approve the 
measure, the following answer was returned ; 

That the Minister of France be informed, that through 
the loss of Charleston, the numerous army the States are 
under the necessity of maintaining in the Southern depart- 
ment, the ravages of the enemy, and the lightness of the 
crops in the Middle States, as well as the present extraor- 
dinary demand for the purposes of an effectual co-operation 
with the expected armament of his Most Christian Maj- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 439 

esty, have not left these States in a situation to admit of 
any considerable export ol provisions ; yet Congress, de- 
sirous to testily their attention to the necessities of his 
Catholic Majesty's Colonies and armaments, and as far as 
lies in their power to compensate for the failure of sup- 
plies of rice, which an alteration in the circumstances of 
the Southern States has unhappily rendered it impracti- 
cable to afford, have resolved, that it be recommended to 
the State of Maryland to grant permission to such agent, as 
the Minister of France shall appoint, to purchase within 
that State any quantity of flour, not exceeding three thou- 
sand barrels, and to ship the same to such Colonies of his 
Catholic Majesty in the West Indies, as the Minister of 
France may direct. That many of the articles mentioned 
in the Memorial of the Minister being such as the Colonies 
of his Catholic Majesty furnish upon better terms than 
they can be procured from these States in their present 
situation, it is to be presumed they will feel no inconven- 
ience from Congress' not entering at this time into any 
determination thereon. 

Resolved, That Congress will from time to time afford 
such supplies to the Colonies of his Catholic Majesty, as 
their circumstances may require, and the situation of these 
States enable them to grant. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 22d, 1780. 

Sir, 
I take the earliest opportunity to inform you, that his 
Majesty's Minister, in giving me notice of the expedition 



430 LUZERNE 

of the squadron, which arrived at Rliode Island on the 
12th instant, informs me, that particular considerations 
relative to the movements of the English, have induced 
his Majesty to send, in two divisions, the forces which are 
designated to act in this country. The first division, having 
happily arrived, will be immediately ready for active 
service. With regard to the second, it was to quit the 
French coast as soon as circumstances should permit. 
Will you have the kindness. Sir, in imparting this news to 
Congress, to inform that body, that it ought to be kept 
secret till the moment of execution. 1 hope that Congress 
will approve of this reserve, both on account of the uncer- 
tainty of events at sea, and because the enemy should 
be kept in ignorance of our measures. 

I have the honor to be, he. 

LUZERNE. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 25th, 1780. 

Sir, 

As the present state of things may render the frigates, 
and other vessels at the disposal of Congress, useful to tlie 
combined naval operations, I pray you to have the good- 
ness to propose putting these vessels under the orders of 
M. de Ternay, commander of the French squadron, while 
instructions, such as shall be thought proper, are given to 
the American captains. If Congress approves of this 
proposition, it will be necessary to send orders to the 
frigates, which are now in t!ie eastern ports, so that they 
may join the French squadron as soon as possible ; if, 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 431 

however, they have been destined to any other service, 
and Congress is reluctant to change their destination, do 
not, I pray you, Sir, insist on my demand. If these 
vessels shall receive orders to join the French squadron, I 
wish to have it in my power to inform M. de Ternay at 
what time he may look for them, what signals they will 
make on their approach, and what signals he shall use in 
reply to theirs. 

I had hoped. Sir, after the assurances, which Congress 
was pleased to give me, that the Confederacy would be 
ready about the 15th of this month, at farthest. Will you 
have the kindness to let me know, with as much accuracy 
as circumstances will permit, about what time you think 
that she will be ready to set sail.* 
I have the honor to be, &ic. 

LUZERNE. 



JOSEPH REED TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

In Council, Philadelphia, July 25th, 1780. 
Sir, 
In answer to your Excellency's favor of this day, I have 
the honor to acquaint you, that the enlisting any deserter 
in the Continental army being expressly contrary to the 
direction of the Commander in Chief, the Hessian de- 
serters are quite at liberty to enter into the service of his 

* In Congress, July 27</i— "Resolved, That the frigates Trumbull, 
Confederacy, and Deane, and the sloop of war Saratoga, be put 
under the direction of General Washington, to be employed in co- 
operating with the fleet ^h\s Most Christian Majesty, commanded 
by the Chevalier de Ternay, in any naval enterprise on the coasts of 
North America." 



432 LUZERNE. 

Most Christian Majesty, if his officers approve it, and they 
will in that case receive every encouragement from us so 

to do. 

1 have the honor to be, he. 

JOSEPH REED, President of Pemisylvania. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 26th, 1780. 
Sir, 
Some Hessian deserters having come to me to obtain 
service in the body of French troops sent by the King 
to this continent, I have thought proper, before ac- 
cepting their offers, to know the opinion of the State 
of Pennsylvania on this subject ; and President Reed, 
whom I consulted, returned for answer the letter of 
which I annex a copy. Particular arrangements, rela- 
tive to the subsistence of these new recruits, will make 
it necessary for me to have recourse to the Board of 
War; and I request, Sir, that Congress would be 
pleased to authorise the members composing it to agree 
with me on such measures as circumstances shall ren- 
der necessary.* 

1 have the honor to be, &tc. 

LUZERNE. 

In Congress, July 3lst, ]780.— "On areport from the Board of War, 
to whom the Minister's letter of the 26th was referred, 

'' Resolved, Thdii, agreeably to the request of the Honorable the 
Minister of France, the Board of War be authorised to take such 
measures relating to the subsistence of the recruits, who shall be en- 
listed into the service of his JVIost Christian Majesty out of the Ger- 
man deserters from the enemy, as tlie said Board shall deem proper " 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 433 

OEORaE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Head Quarters, July 27th, 1780. 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose to your Excellency a let- 
ter, which has just come to hand, from the Count de 
Rochambeau, of the 22d instant. It is certainly of 
great importance, that the precaution he mentions 
should be taken without loss of time. I should think 
the Delaware the best place for the reception of the 
second division, though there ought to be cruisers off 
both bays. It is necessary that a plan should be pre- 
viously fixed for the junction of the fleets after the 
debarkation. I shall immediately write to the Count 
for this purpose. 

We have repeated accounts from New York, that 
General Clinton is making a large detachment for a 
combined attack upon the French fleet and army. This 
will be a hazardous attempt, and, therefore, though I 
do not regard it as impossible, I do not give it entire 
faith. The Count de Rochambeau has been some time 
since apprized of these demonstrations, and seems to 
have been preparing for what might happen. 

I have the honor to be, with every sentiment^ of 
respect and attachment, &c. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

VOL, X. 55 



434 LUZEiRNE. 

TO GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 30th, 1780. 
Sir, 

I enclose to your Excellency a letter for M. de 
Ternay, in which you will see what measures I have 
taken to fulfil the intentions, which you imparted to 
me on the 27th instant. I beg you will seal this packet 
and send it to his address by the first opportunity. 

Congress have put under your orders the frigates, in 
directing them to come into the Delaware. You will 
be able to judge, after your arrangements with the 
Chevalier de Ternay, whether these vessels, or one of 
them, may not accomplish the commission desired. 
Their cruise may then be useful to the commerce of 
the United States. I know not whether M. de Ter- 
nay will communicate to them any signals, by means 
of which they may approach the coast without danger. 
Your Excellency may be able, should you think it 
necessary, to suggest it to him. 
I have the honor to be, &:c. 

LUZERNE. 

«EORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Peekskili, August 4th, 1730. 
Sir, 

Colonel Jamet arrived here last night, by whom I 

had the honor to receive your Excellency's request, 

that I would send instructions for the second division 

coming from France, with respect to the measures. 



DIPLOMATIC COKRESPONDENCE. 4J5 

which it should pursue for forming a junction with the 
first. I beg leave to inform your Excellency; that I 
wrote to the Count de Rochambeau, agreeably to my 
letter to you of the 27th ultimo, and requested that he, 
in concert with the Chevalier de Ternay, would com- 
municate to me, that it might be transmitted to your 
Excellency, the line of conduct which they should 
judge proper to be pursued by this division. 

As the Marine are concerned, and the junction in 
present circumstances is a matter of peculiar delicacy, 
I did not think myself qualified to decide on the point. 
I have not received their answer yet, and therefore I 
cannot pretend to determine what should be done ; I 
will, however, take the liberty to observe, that if the 
ships of war with this division are superior, or even 
fully equal to those of the enemy, off Rhode Island, I 
should suppose it would be eligible for them to proceed 
there at once, should they be met by the cruisers your 
Excellency has sent out on the Southern coast. If this 
is not the case, they ought to make the Delaware as 
soon as possible. In this event the troops might be 
forwarded to Trenton in the first instance, and the 
ships might remain until ulterior measures, with respect 
to them, should be determined. These, however, I 
would not offer but as mere suggestions, and much it 
would seem must depend on circumstances and the 
discretion of the officer commanding the division. 

Perhaps if the ships of war should proceed directly 
to Rhode Island, it will be best for them to disembar- 
rass themselves of their transports, and send them into 
the Delaware as in the dther case. I take it for 
granted, that signals of recognisance have been precon- 
certed between the two divisions. 



436 LUZERNt: 

On the 31st ultimo, the enemy's fteet in the Sound 
returned from Huntington Bay to New York. From 
every information the Count de Rochambeau and his 
army were certainly their object, and they had em- 
barked in considerable force, with a view of attacking 
him. 1 cannot determine with precision the reasons, 
which induced the enemy to relinquish their plan ; but 
it is not improbable that the movements of our army, 
and the ulterior measures 1 was about to prosecute, 
operated in some measure to produce it. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 



GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Peekskill, August 6th, 1780-. 

Sir, 

I had this morning the honor to receive your Ex- 
cellency's letter of the 30th of July, with the one ad- 
dressed to the Chevalier de Ternay, which I have 
sealed and forwarded by an express. 

With respect to the Continental frigates, I beg leave 
to inform your Excellency, that I did not apprehend, 
from the resolution of Congress concerning them, that 
they were to be under my orders, or to receive any 
instructions from me, until they had joined the Chev- 
alier de Ternay, after assembling in the Delaware. 
This being the case, I cannot give any directions about 
them at present, and would take the liberty to recom- 
mend to your Excellency to apply to Congress or the 
Board of Admiralty ; to the latter of whom I have 
written to give their orders to the captains of the 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 437 

frigates, on the conduct they are to pursue. The em- ' 
ployment for them, or at least for one which your 
Excellency has suggested, appears to me to be proper, 
and that it will answer the double purposes you 
mentio . 

I have, by my letter of today to the Chevalier de 
Ternay, requested him to advise me in what manner 
he thinks the frigates can be most usefully employed 
to assist his fleet, and that there might be no further 
delay, when matters with respect to them are ulti- 
mately fixed, I requested him also to communicate to 
the Captains of the frigates at Boston, as well as to 
myself, the signals of recognisance. 

When I receive his answer I will embrace the earli- 
est occasion to transmit the signals. 
1 have the honor to be, &ic. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, August 15th, 1780. 

Sir, 
I have received the letter, with which you honored me 
on the 12th instant, with the resolutions of the 5th and 
12th instants, which accompany it. Be pleased to assure 
Congress, that I will neglect no means in my power ior 
securing the success of the prudent and patriotic measures, 
which are about to be taken, and 1 can assure you of the 
eagerness, with which the King will second those measures 
and of his resolution to assist the Thirteen States, to the 



438 



LUZERNE 



Utmost of his power. I shall transmit to his Majesty tlie 
resolution, which yoii have been pleased to communicate 
to me, and I have reason to believe, that he will entiirely 
approve of everything, that may contribute to the immedi- 
ate deliverance of the States invaded by the enemy. 

With regard to the concurrence of the forces of his 
Catholic Majesty, 1 am entirely uninformed, and although 
the good dispositions of the Court of Madrid towards the 
Thirteen States are undoubted, I do not know in what 
points the Spanish troops can assist the American armies. 
1 have the honor to be, &c. 

LUZERNE. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, August 15th, 1780. 
Sir, 

I have received the letter, which you did me the honor 
of writing to me on the 12th instant, with an act of Con- 
gress relative to the petition of George Basden. 1 shall 
transmit the whole to the Governors of St Domingo, in 
order to know their opinion on a subject of this nature, 
but I can inform you beforehand, that it seems to me 
doubtful, whether their opinion will be favorable to the 
petitioner, as the Bermudians, living under the English gov- 
ernment, are not excepted from the number of our ene- 
mies, by any public act, which has come to my knowledge. 

Allow me, Sir, to have the honor to remind you on this 
occasion, that several notes, which I had the honor of 
sending to the Committee of Commerce, in relation to 



DIPLOMATIC CO<lJi|:SPONDENCE. 4^ 

met'chandise deposited in the hands of the Sieur Cara- 
burse, at St Domingo, have remained unanswered- 
I have the honor to be, &.c, 

LUZERNE. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONOHESS, 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, September let, 1780. 

Sir, 
I have received the letter, with which you yesterday hon- 
ored me, and the account of the bills of exchange drawn on 
Dr Franklin. I deeply fpel the confidence, which Con- 
gress repose in me, in confiding to me the details of this 
affair, and I have no doubt, that Congress are persuaded of 
the zeal ^nd interest with which I shall lay before his Maj- 
esty's Minister, the actual state of the finances of the Tliir- 
teen United States. Their representatives are not igno- 
rant how desirous the King js to render them effectual 
assistance, and the measures lately taken are new proofs 
of his friendship and kindness for them. 

As to the bills of exchange in question, I have said with 
freedom to the committee, with which I had the honor qf 
conferring, that I was in no way authorised to give any 
hopes, that they would be accepted. I confided to that 
committee, with equal sincerity, my reasons for fearing, 
that great difficulties would be experienced in the payment 
of them, unless Congress themselves succeed in placing 
funds in the hands of their Plenipotentiary. I am persuaded, 
Sir, that the explanations, which I have had the honor of 
transmitting to Congress, by the committee appointed to 
confer with me, are conformable to the system of sinceiity 



440 LUZERNE. 

and frankness, which ought to exist between allies whose 
interests are so closely connected.* 
I have the honor to be, &ic. 

LUZERNE. 



GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Head Quarters, Bergen County, 
September 12th, 1780. 

Sir, 

1 have the honor to enclose you a letter, which upon the 
whole I have thought it advisable to write to the Count 
de Guichen. As its contents are of a nature to make its 
falling into the enemy's hands in its present form danger- 
ous, and as I have no cypher of communication with the 
Count, I take .he liberty to request your Excellency's as- 
sistance, in making use of yours, and forwarding it by 
triplicates with your despatches by the first opportunities. 

I make no mention of a land force, because though it 
would be useful, it may be dispensed with. But if a body 
of troops could conveniently accompany the fleets, it would 
give greater energy and certainty of success to our ope- 
rations. I am the more induced to desire it, as the com- 
position of a considerable part of our army is temporary, 
and I am not informed what measures may be taken to 
replace the men whose times of service will expire. 

I need use no arguments to convince your Excellency 
of the extremity, to which our affairs are tending, and the 
necessity of support. You are an eye witness to all our 
perplexities and all our wants. You know the dangerous 

* See the resolutioDB of Congress, respecting the bills of exchange 
here mentioned, in the Public Journal of Congress, for August 9th 
and 15th ,51 780 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 441 

consequences of leaving the enemy in quiet possession of 
.their southern conquests ; either for negotiation this winter, 
or a continuance of the war. You know our inability alone 
to expel them, or perhaps even to stop their career. 

I have the honor to be, with the sincerest sentiments 
of respect and attachment, 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OP CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, September 15th, 1780. 
Sir, 

I have received the annexed Declaration,* with orders 
to communicate it to Congress. Some American mer- 
chants, not knowing that Articles II th and 12th, thereiu 
mentioned, had been annulled, have made use of them in 
the French Islands, to demand an exemption from the 
duties paid on the exportation of molasses. 

An authentic publication of the treaty will remove all 
remaining doubts as to the payment of this duty, to which 
the subjects of his Majesty are themselves subjected. 
I have the honor to be, &ic. 

LUZERNE. 

* See this Declaration, annulling the 11th and 12th Articles of the 
Treaty, in the Correspondence of the Commissioners in France^ Vpl. 
I. p. 432. 

VOL. X. 56 



442 LUZERNE. 

TO THE PRESin£NT Ot CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, September IGth, 1780. 
Sir, 
The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
being about to leave Philadelphia for some weeks, and 
being desirous that in the present state of things, there 
should be no interruption to the communications be- 
tween Congress and the French Embassy, has the 
honor of informing this body, that M. de Marbois will 
emain here as Charge (f Affaires of his Majesty. As 
he President and Delegates are aware of the attention, 
which he has paid to the affairs relative to them, the 
undersigned hopes that they will be pleased to grant 
him their confidence.* 

LUZERNE. 

*In Congress, September \9th. "A letter of the 16th, from the Hon- 
orable the Minister Plenipotentiary of France, was read, informing 
Congress that he is about to leave Philadelphia, and to be absent for 
some weeks ; but that M. de Marbois will remain here in quality of 
his Majesty's Charge (V Affaires ; and hoping, that from his known 
attention to matters relative to the embassy, Congress will grant him 
their confidence ; whereupon, 

^^Resolred, That the President inform the Minister of France, that 
in his absence they will readily continue their intercourse with the 
embassy of his Most Christian Majesty, through M. de Marbois, as his 
Majesty's Charg^. d'.^ffaires, in whose abilities and attention to the 
interests of the Court of France and those of the United States they 
have just confidence." 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. ^43 

M. DE MARBOIS TO THE PRESIDENT OP CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, October 8th, 1780. 
Sir, 
I have received the letter, with which your Excel- 
lency honored me on the 7th instant, and the accom- 
panying resolution of Congress. I shall, in compliance 
with the wishes of Congress, send it in three despatches 
to his Majesty's Minister, and shall make use of three 
different vessels, which will sail for France in the 
course of this week. I have no doubt that my Court 
is sensible of the attention, which Congress shows in 
communicating to it these measures, and that they will 
appear equally just, moderate, and prudent. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 

MARBOIS. 

M. DE MARBOIS TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, October 27th, 1780. 
Sir, 
In obedience to an order, which the Captain of the 
store-ships in this port has just received, he will sail 
for Boston or Rhode Island on Monday or Tuesday 
next. Will your Excellency have the kindness to 
inform me, if he can be convoyed to the mouth of the 
Delaware, or to any other distance, by one of the Con- 
tinental frigates. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 

MARBOIS. 



444 LUZERNE. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, November 1st, 1780- 

Sir, 

The Governors of the West India Islands express a 
wish, that Congress would be pleased to take into con- 
sideration the various inconveniences resulting from 
the abuse by the English of the papers, which they 
find on board of the American prizes, which fall into 
their hands. They make use of these papers to enable 
themselves to commit the most daring actions, and it 
is the more difficult to prevent them, as they some- 
times have subjects of the United States on board, and 
as the English language is spoken by them in common 
with our allies. 

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of his 
Most Christian Majesty, has the honor to propose to 
Congress, that henceforth every Captain bound to the 
French Colonies shall sign his own papers in presence of 
the Commissioners of the American Admiralty, in order 
that, on his arrival in the French Islands, it may be 
ascertained whether this signature be the same as that 
which shall be made by him as Captain of the American 
vessel. It would be of equal use to endorse the signature 
of the Captain on the papers. If Congress think of 
any other form equally adapted to fulfil the object 
desired, the undersigned will endeavor to have it 
adopted by the Governors of the French Islands. 

LUZERNE. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 445 



FROM CONGRESS TO THE KING OP FRANCE. 

The United States of America in Congress assem- 
bled, to their Great, Faithful and Beloved Friend and 
Ally, Louis the Sixteenth, King of France and 
Navarre. 

Great, Faithful and Beloved Friend and Ally, 
Persuaded of your Majesty's friendship, and of your 
earnest desire to prosecute the war with glory and 
advantage to the alliance, we ought not to conceal 
from your Majesty the embarrassments, which have 
attended our national affairs, and rendered the last 
campaign unsuccessful. 

A naval superiority in the American seas having 
enabled the enemy, in the midst of the last winter, to 
divide their army, and extend the war in the Southern 
States, Charleston was subdued before a sufficient force 
could be assembled for its relief. 

With unabated ardor, and at a vast expense, we pre- 
pared for the succeeding campaign ; a campaign from 
which, in a dependence on the co-operation of the 
squadron and troops generously destined by your Ma- 
jesty for our assistance, we had formed the highest 
expectations. Again the enemy frustrated our meas- 
ures. Your Majesty's succors were confined within 
the harbor of Newport, while the main body of the 
British army took refuge in their fortresses, and under 
protection of their marine, declining to hazard a battle 
in the open field ; and regardless of their rank among 
civilized nations, they descended to wage a predatory 
war. Britons and savages united in sudden irruptions 



446 LUZERNE. 

on our northern and western frontiers, and marked 
their progress with blood and desolation. 

The acquisition of Charleston, with the advantages 
gained in Georgia, and the defeat of a small army 
composed chiefly of militia, which had been hastily 
collected to check their operations, encouraged the 
British commander in that quarter to penetrate through 
South Carolina into the interior parts of North Caro- 
lina. And the ordinary calamities of war were embit- 
tered by implacable vengeance. They did not, how- 
ever, long enjoy their triumph. Instead of being 
depressed, impending danger served only to rouse our- 
citizens to correspondent exertions ; and by a series of 
gallant and successful enterprises they compelled the 
enemy to retreat with precipitation and disgrace. 

They seem, however, resolved by all possible eflbrts, 
not only to retain their posts in Georgia and South 
Carolina, but to renew their attempts on North Caro- 
lina. To divert the reinforcements destined for those 
States, they are now executing an enterprise against 
the seacoast of Virginia ; and from their preparations 
at New York and intelligence from Europe, it is man- 
ifest that the four southern States will now become a 
principal object of their hostilities. 

It is the voice of the people and the resolution of 
Congress to prosecute the war with redoubled vigor, 
and to draw into the field a permanent and well ap- 
pointed army of thirtyfive thousand regular troops. 
By this decisive effort we trust that we shall be able, 
under the divine blessing, so effectually to co-operate 
with your Majesty's marine and land forces, as to 
expel the common enemy from our country, and render 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 



447 



the great object of the alliance perpetual. But to 
accomplish an enterprise of such magnitude, and so 
interesting to both nations, whatever may be our spirit 
and our exertions, we know that our internal resources 
must prove incompetent. The sincerity of this decla- 
ration will be manifest from a short review of our 
circumstances. 

Unpractised in military arts, and unprepared with the 
means of defence, we were suddenly invaded by a formi- 
dable and vindictive nation. We supported the unequal 
conflict for years with very little foreign aid, but what was 
derived from your Majesty's generous friendship. Exer- 
tions uncommon, even among the most wealthy and best 
established governments, necessarily exhausted our finances, 
plunged us into debt, and anticipated our taxes; while the 
depredations of an active enemy by sea and land made 
deep impressions on our commerce and our productions. 
Thus encompassed with difficulties, in our representation to 
your Majesty of June 15, 1779, we disclosed our wants, 
and requested your Majesty to furnish us with clothing, 
arms, and ammunition for the last campaign, on the credit 
of the United States. We entertain a lively sense of your 
Majesty's friendly disposition, in enabling our Minister to 
procure a part of those supplies, of which, through unfor- 
tunate events, a very small proportion has arrived. The 
sufferings of our army from this disappointment have been 
so severe, that we must rely on your Majesty's attention to 
our welfare for effectual assistance. The articles of the 
estimate transmitted to our Minister are essential to our 
army, and we flatter ourselves, that through your Majesty's 
interposition they will be supplied. 

At a time when we feel ourselves strongly impressed bv 



448 



LUZERNE. 



the weight of past obligations, it is with the utmost reluct- 
ance that we yield to the emergency of our affairs in 
requesting additional favors. An unreserved confidence in 
your Majesty, and a well grounded assurance, that we ask 
no more than is necessary to enable us effectually to co- 
operate with your Majesty, in terminating the war with 
glory and success, must be our justification. 

It is well known, that when the King of Great Britain 
found himself unable to subdue the populous States of 
North America by force, or to seduce them by art to 
relinquish the alliance with your Majesty, he resolved to 
protract the war, in expectation that the loss of our com- 
merce, and the derangement of our finances, must eventu- 
ally compel us to submit to his domination. Apprized of 
the necessity of foreign aids of money to support us in a 
contest with a nation so rich and powerful, we have long 
since authorised our Minister to borrow a sufficient sum in 
your Majesty's dominions, and in Spain, and in Holland, 
on the credit of these United States. 

We now view the prospect of a disappointment with the 
deeper concern, as the late misfortunes in the southern 
States, and the ravages of the northern and western frontiers, 
have, in a very considerable degree, impaired our internal 
resources. From a full investigation of our circumstances 
it is manifest, that in aid of our utmost exertions a foreign 
loan of specie, at least to the amount of twentyfive millions 
of livres, will be indispensably necessary for a vigorous 
prosecution of the war. On an occasion, in which the 
independence of these United States and your Majesty*s 
glory are so intimately connected, we are constrained to 
request your Majesty effectually to support the applications 
of our Ministers for that loan. So essential is it to the 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 449 

common cause, that we shall without it be pressed with 
wants and distresses, which may render all our efforts lan- 
guid, precarious, and indecisive. Whether it shall please 
your Majesty to stipulate for this necessary aid as our secu- 
rity, or to advance it from your royal cofiers, we do hereby 
solemnly pledge the faith of these United States to indem- 
nify, or reimburse your Majesty, according to the nature of 
the case, both for principal and interest, in such manner as 
shall be agreed upon with our Minister at your Majesty's 
Court. 

We beseech the Supreme Disposer of events to keep 
your Majesty in his holy protection, and long to continue 
to France the blessings arising from the administration of a 
Prince, who nobly asserts the rights of mankind. 

Done at Philadelphia, the 22d day of November, in the 
year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty, 
by the Congress of the United States of North America, 
and in the fifth year of our independence. 

Your Faithful Friends and Allies. 

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, President. 

Attest, Charles Thomson, Secretary. 



TO GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, December 5th, 1780. 
Sir, 

I flattered myself, that the clothing destined for the army 

under the command of your Excellency had at length 

arrived in the river, in the vessel of Paul Jones, or in one 

of those coming under his convoy ; but I regret that you 

VOL. X. 57 



450 LUZERNE. 

have not yet had that satisfaction. A passenger, who 
arrived in one of this convoy, told me, that when this little 
squadron, which left France on the 8ih of October, should 
arrive, they would bring but little clothing, being in great 
part laden with arms and ammunition ; but he added, that 
the Serapis is destined to bring the remainder of the 
clothing, and that we may hope to see the vessel arrive 
soon in our ports. I am anxious to have an opportunity 
of giving your Excellency notice of the arrival of these 
articles. 

I have received certain intelligence, that an expedition 
composed of four thousand troops, convoyed by eight ves- 
sels of war, departed on the 16th of October from the 
Havana to attempt an expedition against Pensacola. But 
it is thought that the terrible tempests, which they may 
have received on the passage, may have retarded the fleet. 

Another expedition was to depart in the month of De- 
cember to attack St Augustine. It was to be composed 
of ten thousand men, regulars and militia, and twelve ves- 
sels of war. I wish sincerely that the operation may meet 
with success, and thus make an advantageous diversion in 
favor of the United States in that quarter. 

The Chevalier de Chastellux, and the officers who had 
the honor of visiting you at head quarters, desire me to 
present their respects to you. They hope to have the 
honor of seeing you again on their return. 
1 am, he. 

LUZERNE. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 451 

GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

New Windsor, December 14th, 1780. 
Sir, 

Yesterday brought me the honor of your Excellency's 
favor without dale ; but which I suppose to have been 
written on the 5th instant, as it accompanied a letter from 
the Marquis de Lafayette of that date. 

Receive, my good Sir, the expressions of gratitude, 
which are due to your Excellency for the important intel- 
ligence you have communicated, relative to the designs of 
the Spanish Court upon the Floridas. I have transmitted 
the account of these interesting events to Count de Ro- 
chambeau, and the Chevalier de Ternay, with proposi- 
tions, which, if acceded to, I shall do myself the honor of 
communicating to your Excellency. 

It would have been fortunate for the army, if your Ex- 
cellency's feelings for its want of clothing could have been 
relieved by the agreeable tidings of the arrival of that arti- 
cle ; but, alas ! we are so accustomed to want, that we dare 
not flatter ourselves with relief. 

Your Excellency's despatches for Rhode Island, accom- 
panying your letter to me, came to hand at the instant the 
post was setting out, and were committed to his care. It 
is the only means of conveyance now left me, since the 
chain of expresses formed by the dragoon horses, which 
were worn down and sent to their cantonment, have been 
discontinued. The Quarter Master General has it not in 
his power, for want of money, to furnish an express upon 
the most urgent occasion. 

I anticipate with much pleasure the visit I shall receive 
from the Chevalier de Chaslellux and the other gentlemen 



452 LUZERNE . 

of the French army, on their return to Rhode Island, and 
beg the favor of your Excellency to present my corapli- 
ments to them and to M. de Marbois. 

With great respect and personal attachment, I have the 
honor to be, he. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. ^ 

Philadelphia, January 15th, 1781, 
Sir, 
I have just received an authentic copy of a letter from 
the King to the Due de Penthievre, Admiral of France, 
in relation to prizes taken by American privateers, in the 
ports of the kingdom. I have thought it proper, Sir, to 
communicate it to you, in order that the Americans, who 
take that course may be duly informed of the regulations, 
which it contains, and may know, that it is the intention of 
his Majesty, that they shall be treated in the same manner 
as his own subjects, in the judgment of the prizes, which 
they shall bring into the ports of the kingdom. 

I have the honor to be, &lc. 

LUZERNE. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, February 25th, 1781 
Sir, 
The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
has the honor of informing Congress, that M. de Tilly, 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 453 

commander of the King's sixty gun ship, I'Eville, arrived in 
the Chesapeake Bay on the 11th instant, with two frigates. 
The undersigned has received no news of them later than 
the 16th, at which time it seems, that the commander of 
this little squadron proposed to prolong his stay as long as 
circumstances would permit, in order to co-operate with 
the land troops commanded by Generals Steuben and 
Nelson. 

The Chevalier de la Luzerne does not know how long 
these vessels will remain in their present station ; but as 
it is important, that the communications between M. de 
Tilly and Philadelphia should take place with the greatest 
possible despatch, he requests Congress to inform him, 
whether the line of expresses has been kept up, and if so, 
to whom he is to apply in order to make use of it. 

LUZERNE. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, February 28th, 1781. 

Sir, 
1 think it necessary for the information of the depart- 
ment of finance to inform you, that Mr Robert Morris 
having strongly represented to me, that it was of impor- 
tance to his operations, and to those of General Washing- 
ton, to have a stock of bills of exchange, which might en- 
able him to wait for the arrival of the funds brought by 
Colonel Laurens, I have taken upon myself to authorise 
him to draw bills of exchange, to the amount of 219,018 
livres, 4s. 8d. Funds to that exact amount will be raised, 
and I hope that my Court will approve of the course, 



454 LUZERNE. 

which I have taken, in consideration of the importance of 
he operations now going on. 

I have the lionor to be, Sir, he. 

LUZERNE. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, March 2d, 1781. 
Sir, 

The undersigned, Minister of France, has the honor of 
informing Congress, that M. de Tilly has left the Chesa- 
peake Bay with his squadron. He took there ten prizes, 
among which are two strong privateers, and during his 
passage from the Chesapeake to Newport in Rhode Island, 
he met the Romulus, of fortyfour guns, pierced for fifty 
guns. He took her and carried her into Newport, which 
he entered on the 24th ultimo, with five hundred English 
prisoners. The Chevalier de la Luzerne is informed, that 
the America, an English vessel, whose fate since the hur- 
ricane of the 21st of February had been unknown, has 
sailed into Gardner's Bay. 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France is desirous, that 
Congress would be pleased to appoint a committee, to 
whom he will have the honor of communicating some 
further information relative to these operations. 

LUZERNE. 



On Board the Due de Bourgogrve, 
March 19th. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 455 

M. DESTOUCHES TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Translation. 

gogrve, ) 
I, 1781. 5 

Sir, 

The enemy, informed without doubt, in some manner, 
arrived at the same time with myself at the Capes of Ches- 
apeake Bay, and it would have been impracticable to at- 
tempt to disembark the troops, even from the vessels of 
war, in spite of the English squadron and under its fire. 
Obliged to renounce, for a time at least, the hope of ren- 
dering assistance to the State of Virginia, I have been em- 
ployed only with the care of preserving the honor of his 
Majesty's arms, and I flatter myself that it has not suffered 
in my battle with the enemy. 

On the 16th instant, in consequence of a violent south 
wind, which had carried the squadron to the northeast, 
we discovered, at break of day, a frigate two gun-shots to 
windward. A short time after, we perceived several large 
vessels in rear of the squadron. I had then no doubt that 
this was the English squadron, which, being informed of 
my project, had arrived, almost at the same time, upon the 
coast of Virginia. 1 immediately made a signal to the 
squadron to form in line of battle, the English squadron 
being about two leagues to the south, and running on the 
same tack with me. At nine o'clock, I tacked, and the 
enemy did the same. Before one o'clock, afternoon, their 
vanguard was not more than half a league distant from the 
rear of my line. Till that time, I had manoeuvered with- 
out avoiding or seeking an engagement, because I per- 
ceived, that even the greatest success, with which I could 



456 LUZERNE. 

flatter myself, would still render it impossible for me to 
fulfil my object ; but the determined design, which was 
shown by the enemy of attacking my rearguard, and the 
honor of the royal arms, which I had to sustain, made me 
resolve to go and meet him. At one o'clock the firing 
commenced on both sides ; the head of the English line 
had borne down, and the van of my squadron had done 
the same, so that the two squadrons fought for some time 
while running before the wind. A little before two o'clock, 
I determined to make the squadron haul nearer the wind, 
a movement, which made the whole squadron file before 
the head of the enemy's line. 

This manoeuvre completely succeeded ; their leading 
ship had hardly felt the fire of the fifth vessel, when she 
retired from the engagement, under the escort of a frigate, 
which came to her assistance. The rear of the English 
squadron had still continued the combat with my rearguard, 
but that part of my squadron has sustained little injury. 
At a quarter before three o'clock, the firing ceased on 
both sides. The English squadron being in the rear, and 
10 windward of mine, I made a signal to form again in 
order of battle, which was done in a short time. I then 
designed to turn again upon the enemy, who appeared to 
have sustained more injury than my own squadron ; but 
the signals, which were made by the ships le Conquerant 
and V Ardent, informed me that these vessels, and particu- 
larly the former, had been considerably injured in the 
ent'agement. I then continued to run on the same tack, 
under easy sail, ready to receive the enemy, if he should 
think proper to risk a second encounter, but he prudently 
kept in the rear and to windward during the remainder 
of the day, without availing himself of the superior advan- 
tages of his situation for renewing the engagement. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 457 

When night came on, the English squadron bore up, 
and 1 continued to run to the southeast. On the next 
morning, I assembled llie captains to know the state of 
their vessels. 1 found that the rudder and all the masts of 
the ship, le Conquerant, were in the most dangerous state, 
and that the mainmast of VArdent was very much in- 
jured ; and also that several other vessels had received 
cannon-shots in their lower masts ; it was, consequently, 
determined that the squadron should return directly to 
Newport to repair. 

I cannot too highly praise the courageous boldness, 
which was shown by the captains, officers, and crews of 
my squadron, as well as by the troops, embarked as pas- 
sengers. Their valor made n}y force equal to that of the 
English squadron, which had one vessel more than mine, 
and if it had been only necessary to the success of our ex- 
pedition to give the enemy another check, I should have 
regarded it as certain, notwithstanding the superiority of 
their forces. 

I have the honor to be, Sic. 

DESTOUCHES. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, March 24th, 1781. 
Sir, 
The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France 
has the honor to inform Congress, that the King, being 
made acquainted with the situation of the affairs of the 
confederacy, had resolved to continue during the next cam- 
paign the land and sea forces, which are now in this Con- 
tinent. That unforeseen obstacles had prevented the 
VOL, X. 58 



456 



LUZERNE. 



junction of the second division of sea forces with the first 
as soon as was expected, but that it was to sail as soon as 
possible, and that Congress should use their utmost exer- 
tions to have their army ready for action without the least 
delay. 

But while the King, actuated by his love for the United 
States, of his mere motion was giving them succors, which 
he was under no obligation to do, and out of regard to them 
lessened the efforts, which he could have made for his own 
advantage, he had reason to expect a proportionable activity 
from Congress, and he hopes that the United States, which 
have so much to gain or lose by the isstie of the contest, 
will employ all their resources in the present conjuncture ; 
and that the Congress, who are intrusted with their dearest 
interest, will hasten to adopt effectual measures for con- 
ducting matters to a happy issue. 

The Clievalier de la Luzerne, when he communicated 
to the King the news of the final ratification of the confed- 
eration, >hought himself warranted to assure his Majesty, 
that this event would have a happy influence on the coun- 
cils of ibis Republic ; that they would thereby acquire all 
the energy necessary for conducting the important business 
intrusted to them; that the Union would receive new 
force, and he did not doubt but the ensuing campaign 
would give decisive proofs of this. And the Minister relies 
that his hopes, which are the same as are entertained by 
the whole continent, will not be disappointed. It is at the 
same time essential, while Congress are making the neces- 
sary arrangements for the ensuing campaign, that they 
should know for certain that they are to count only on their 
ovvn resources for defraying the expenses that it will 
require. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. ^^g 

Tl)e I'rankness o(" the King, and tiie friendship he hears 
to the United States, will not permit him to encourage an 
error, which they appear to be in, with respect to the pecu- 
niary aids, which they seem to expect. The desire of 
securing their independence had induced his Majesty to 
exceed the measure of the engagements lie had contracted 
with them, and he will continue to support their interests, 
either by powerful diversions or by immediate succors, and 
they may rely not only on his most scrupulous punctuality 
in the execution of his engagements, but upon all the ex- 
traordinary assistance, which it will be in his power to give 
them. But as to pecuniary aids, the enormous expenses 
of the present war, and the necessity of preserving credit, 
which is the only means of providing for those expenses, 
do not permit his Majesty's Ministers to give Congress the 
least hope in that respect. 

The Chevalier de !a Luzerne will not dissemble, that his 
Court was exceedingly surprised on being informed of the 
step, which Congress had taken in disposing of bills drawn 
on their Minister, although ihey could not be ignorant that 
they .had no funds for discharging them. This is a con- 
duct totally inconsistent with that order, which his Majesty 
is forced to observe in his finances, and he has no doubt 
but in future Congress will most studiously avoid a repeti- 
tion of it. He has, nevertheless, resolved to discharge the 
bills, which became due last year, to the amount of one 
million of livres ; and it is probable his Majesty will be. 
able to provide funds to the amount of three millions for 
the discharge of those, which will become due in the course 
of the present year. 

The King's Ministers have also procured for Dr Franklin, 
whose zeal, wisdom and patriotism, deserve their utmost 



460 LUZERME 

confidence, the sums necessary for the purchase he is 
ordered to make. These expenses, joined to those occa- 
sioned by sending a fleet and army to this rontinent, far 
exceed what Congress had a right to expect from the 
friendship of their ally, and the Chevalier de la Luzerne is 
persuaded, that from this moment Congress will abstain 
from that ruinous measure of drawing bills of exchange 
without the previous knowledge and consent of his Ma- 
jesty's Ministers. And as their attention is employed in 
what may be most for the convenience of the United States, 
they propose that Congress should furnish the fleet and 
army of his Majesty, which are in this country, with the 
necessary provisions, and receive in payment bills on the 
treasury of France, which will he punctually discharged. 

As to the manner in which this arrangement may be 
made, the Minister will have the honor of entering into a 
minute discussion with a committee, wliich he begs Con- 
gress would be pleased to appoint to confer with him on 
the subject.* 

LUZERNE. 



TO GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, March 27th, 1781- 
Sir, 

I have the honor to send to your Excellency an 

open packet for the Count de Rochambeau. You will 

there find the copy of a letter to me from M. 

Destouches. I lament the ill success of an expedition, 

" The above was referred to a committee of six, namely, Mr Jones, 
Mr 8. Adams, Mr Burke, Mr M'Kean, Mr Madison, and Mr Hanson 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 451 

which, if it had succeeded, would have been doubly 

agreeable to us by its utility to our allies, and by the 

honor it would have reflected upon the arms of the 

King. As to the rest, it appears that our commanders 

have fulfilled this latter point, and all the world is 

satisfied, that, having a superior force to contend 

against, the manner of the contest has been highly 

honorable to them. 

I wait for happier events, Sir, from the campaign, 

which is now about to open, and I doubt not the 

Count de Rochambeau has giv^n you in detail the 

news, which he has received from France. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 

LUZERNE. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Head Quarters, New Windsor, March Slst, 1781. 
Sir, 

1 was last evening honored with your Excellency's 
favor of the 27th, covering an open letter for the 
Count de Rochambeau, by which you have been so 
good as to make me the earliest communication of the 
action on the 16th, between the French and British 
fleets off the Capes of the Chesapeake. By ihe enclosed 
you will be informed of the return of the former into 
the harbor of Newport. 

I must confess to your Excellency, that I was never 
sanguine as to the success of that expedition, after the 
sailing of the two fleets so nearly together, knowing it 
would turn in great measure upon the arrival of M. 
Destouches in the Chesapeake before Mr Arbuthnot; 
a circumstance of the utmost uncertainty, not depend- 



452 LUZERNE 

ing upon the skill or valor of the commanding officer, 
but upon winds and weather. And I assure you I 
more sensibly feel the anxiety expressed by the Baron 
Viomenil and the Chevalier Destouches, lest anything 
should be attributed to the want of execution on their 
parts, than I do the disappointment in the plan, which 
we had in contemplation. But certain I am, that 
instead of sentiments of so ungenerous a nature, there 
will be a universal admiration of the good conduct and 
bravery exhibited by the officers and men of his Most 
Christian Majesty's squadron, when opposed to one of 
superior force. 

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect and 
warmest personal attachment, &c. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

TO GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 7th, 178K 
Sir, 

1 have the honor to send you the copy of a letter, 
which I write to the Chevalier Destouches. 1 pray 
you to be persuaded, that I do not take upon me to 
propose an expedition to that commander, except at 
the pressing entreaties of the invaded States. But if it 
should be found at variance with the plans of the cam- 
paign, which you have formed, I beg you to withdraw 
my letter to M. Destouches, and the packet addressed 
to the Count de Rochambeau, from the express, who 
will deliver this to you, and to send them back to me 
by the first safe opportunity. 

I am, with respectful attachment, &c. 

LUZERNE. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 453 

TO M. DESTOUCHES. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 7th, 1781. 
Sir, 

The accounts from Virginia and the other southern 
States leave no doubt but the English are resolved to 
attack them in very superior forces. They are already 
in a condition to command them by the advantage, 
which they have of transporting themselves by the sea 
and by all the rivers, as it suits them. Virginia, one 
of the most powerful States in the Union, finds herself 
by these means reduced to a state of inaction, and as 
the Bay of Chesapeake is entirely in the possession of 
the enemy, it is to be feared that Maryland will find 
herself shortly in the same condition and in the same 
danger. It is manifest, that the plan of the English is 
to harass and desolate them without intermission, to 
inspire part of the inhabitants with a desire of seeing 
an end of the quarrel, and when they think their 
weariness and their calamities are at the height, to 
make them propositions advantageous enough to with- 
draw them from the Confederation. 

Although these States are firmly attached to their 
independence, it has in the meantime become very 
important to make them participate as much as it is 
possible in the assistance, which his Majesty has 
granted to his allies, and I can assure you, Sir, that you 
cannot in present circumstances render them a greater 
service, than by entering the Bay of Chesapeake, and 
endeavoring to establish yourself there. 

Many other political considerations, into the details 



464 LUZERNE. 

of which I shall not enter, press that measure, and if 
it be possible for you to carry it into execution, I have 
reason to believe that you will entirely disconcert the 
enemy's plans against Virginia and Maryland, and when 
you shall have given to those two States the liberty 
of exerting themselves, you will contribute very much 
at the same time to the relief of the more southern, by 
the assistance which they will be capable of affording. 
Your position in the Bay of Chesapeake will restrain 
also their communication between New York and 
Charleston, and perhaps prevent other events, which 
may be yet more grievous to the invaded States. 

In giving. Sir, my opinion upon the utility of the 
movement, I avow to you that I am totally ijicapable 
of forming one as to the possibility of carrying it into 
execution. I have had the honor of transmitting to 
you from time to time the details and plans, which can 
enable you to form a judgment. M. de Tilly having 
been better situated during his stay in Hampton Roads 
to make the necessary observations, you can decide 
by them. I pray you also to regard my entreaties, 
although pressing as the circumstances render them, 
as entirely subordinate to the instructions, which you 
may have received from the Court. 

I do not propose to you to change your position, 
only upon a supposition that you have no orders to the 
contrary, and that you have received no other desti- 
nation. 

As to the measures you are in this case to expect 
from the States, which you will go to assist, I beg you 
to assure yourself, Sir, that they will spare nothing to 
satisfy you, and if an assemblage of land forces is 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 455 

judged necessary, as I presume it will be, they will 
send their instructions in consequence of it to the offi- 
cers who command them. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 

LUZERNE. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 9th, 1781 
Sir, 

Congress has been pleased, by a resolution, dated the 
1 0th of November last, to take the measures suggested by 
the undersigned Minister of France, concerning the abuse 
by the English, of the papers, letters of marque, and com- 
missions, which they find on board of the American 
vessels, of which they succeed in gaining possession. The 
Governors of our Islands observe, that the precautions 
pointed out in the resolution of Congress are insufficient, 
unless, independently of the vessels and ships of war, they 
extend to merchant vessels, and, in general, to all ships 
sailing from this continent. The similarity of language 
enables the English to gain admission into our Islands 
with great fiu;ility, by means of intercepted papers, and to 
send their spies and emissaries into the very middle of our 
ports, where their presence may be most dangerous. 

The said Governors remark, that the greater part of the 
vessels, which arrive at the Islands, do not conform to the 
resolutions of Congress ; and, although they carry letters 
of marque, yet they do not take the precautions required 
by them. The undersigned requests, that this Assembly 
would be pleased to consider these observations, and to 
VOL, X. 59 



4gg LUZERNE. 

adopt, on this subject, such measures as shall seem best 
adapted to prevent the abuses in question. 

The commanding officer of St Domingo is also desirous, 
that Congress should be informed that the commanders of 
the American frigates have, while stationed at the Cape, 
given strong proofs of zeal for the common cause, whether 
in cruising against the enemy, or in convoying, at their 
departure, merchant vessels sailing from that Colony. 

LUZERNE. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 22d, 1781. 

Sir, 
I have the honor of sending you a copy of a letter from 
the King, in answer to that written to him from Congress, 
on the 22d of November last. I shall have the honor of 
sending you the original this evening. 

My despatches contain several important subjects, which 
1 shall hasten to communicate to Congress, as soon as they 
shall be wholly decyphered. 

1 have the honor to be, he. 

LUZERNE. 

THE KING OF FRANCE TO CONGRESS. 

To our Very Dear Great Friends and Allies, the Presi- 
dent and Members of the General Congress of the United 
States of North America. 

Very Dear Great Friends and Allies, 
We have received your letter of the 22d of November 
last, which Dr Franklin was ordered to place in our hands. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 457 

We have seen with pain, the picture of the embarrassment 
of your finances, and we Iiave been so much touched by 
it, that we have resolved to assist you as much as our own 
necessities, and the extraordinary and very great expenses 
required on our part by the war, which we are carrying 
on (or your (iefence, will permit. We have ordered the 
Chevalier de la Luzerne to acquaint you more particularly 
with our intentions. We are already convinced, that the 
details into which he shall enter, will induce you to make 
the greatest efforts to second our own, and that you will 
be more and more convinced by them, that we take the 
most sincere interest in the cause of the United States, and 
that we are employing every means in our power to ensure 
their final triumph. You may rely upon our perseverance 
in the principles, which have hitherto directed our con- 
duct ; it is exerted upon all occasions ; as well as upon 
the sincere affection, which we entertain for the United 
States in general, and for each one of them in particular. 

We pray God, very dear great Friends and Allies, to 
keep you in his holy protection. 

Written at Versailles, this 10th of March, 1781. 
Your good friend and ally, 

LOUIS. 



GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Weathersfield, May 23d, 178J. 

Sir, 
The letter, which 1 have the honor to enclose from the 
Count de Rochambeau, will, 1 imagine, inform your Ex- 
cellency of the intended march of the French army 



458 LUZERNE. 

towards the North River, and of the destination of the 
King's squadron now in the harbor of Newport, if circum- 
stances will admit of the respective movements. I should 
be wanting in respect and confidence, were I not to add, 
that our object is New York. 

The season, the difficulty and expense of land transpor- 
tation, and the continual waste of men in every attempt to 
reinforce the Southern States, are almost insuperable ob- 
jections to marching another detachment from the army 
on the North River ; nor do 1 see how it is possible to 
give effectual support to those States, and avert the evils 
which threaten them, while we are inferior in naval force 
in these seas. It is not for me to know in what manner 
the fleet of his Most Christian Majesty is to be employed 
in the West Indies this summer, or to inquire at what 
epoch it may be expected on this coast ; but the appear- 
ance and aid of it in this quarter are of such essential im- 
portance in any offensive operation, and so necessary to 
stop the progress of the enemy's arms, that 1 shall be ex- 
cused, I am persuaded, for endeavoring to engage your 
Excellency's good offices in facilitating an event on which 
so much depends. For this I have a stronger plea, when 
I assure you that General Rochambeau's opinion and 
wishes concur with mine, and that it is at his instance 
principally that I make you this address. 

If we are happy enough to find your Excellency in sen- 
timent with us, it will be in your power to inform the 
Count de Grasse of the strength and situation of the 
enemy's naval and land force in this country ; the destina- 
tion of the French squadron under Admiral Barras and the 
intention of the allied arms, if a junction can be formed. 
At present, the British fleet lies within Block Island, and 
about five leagues from Point Judith. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 459 

The Count de Rochambeau and the Chevalier Chastel- 
lux agree perfectly in sentiment with me, that, while affairs 
remain as they now are, the West India fleet should run 
immediately to Sandy Hook, if there are no concerted 
operations, where they may be met, with all the informa- 
tion requisite, and where, most likely, it will sliut in, or cut 
off Admiral Arbuthnot, and may be joined by the Count 
de Barras. An early and frequent communication from 
the Count de Grasse would lead to preparatory measures 
on our part, and be a means of facilitating the operation 
in hand, or any other which may be thought more 
advisable. 

1 know your Excellency's goodness, and your zeal for 
the common cause too well, to offer anything more as an 
apology for this liberty ; and I persuade myself it is un- 
necessary for me to declare the respect and attachment, 
with which I have the hor.or to be, &ic. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 25th, 1781. 

Sir, 
The undersigned Minister Plenipotentiary of France has 
the honor of informing Congress, that it has been found 
impossible to send the second division of the troops under 
the command of Count de Rochambeau, and of the 
French squadron designed for the defence of the coasts of 
the Thirteen States, and that it can no longer be expected 



470 



LUZERNE. 



durint' the course of this campaign. The necessary 
measures have, however, been taken for increasing the 
body of troops now at Rhode Island, and, by sending some 
vessels of force, for putting the squadron into a condition 
to enter again upon active service. 

The undersigned requests Congress to be pleased to 
appoint a committee, to whom he will communicate the 
causes which have occasioned tiiis change ; and Congress 
will find in them new proofs of the wisdom of the motives, 
which direct the conduct of his Majesty. But if consider- 
ations of the greatest importance deprive him of the satis- 
faction of assisting the Thirteen United States in their own 
country, by sending a number of vessels and of auxiliaries, 
as considerable as he had proposed, he will make no less 
vigorous efforts against the enemy ; and he hopes that 
these powerful diversions wiH* prevent the enemy from 
forming any enterprise, to which the resources and the 
courage of the Thirteen States shall be unequal. 

The King has, at the same time, resolved to give a new 
proof of his affection and of his earnest desire to afford a 
remedy for the difficulties, which they experience in pro- 
curing the funds necessary for acting with vigor and effect 
during the present campaign. With this view, the King, 
notwithstanding the immense expense at which he is 
obliged to support the war in which he is engaged, has re- 
solved to dispose of a considerable fund, which shall be 
appropriated to the purchase of clothing, arms, and stores, 
for which Dr Franklin has been instructed to ask. The 
Count de Vergennes will concert measures on this subject 
with the Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States, Dr. 
FVanklin ; and M. Necker proposes to take the proper 
precautions, in order that the merchandise may be of a 



DIPLOMATtC CORRESPONDENCE 471 

good and sound quality, and at a price answering to its 
exact value. 

The subsidy which the King has resolved to grant to the 
Thirteen United States amounts to six millions of livres 
tournois, independent of the four millions, which the Min- 
istry have enabled Dr Franklin to borrow for the service of 
the current year. It is presumed, that this sum of six 
millions will not be wholly applied to the purchase of the 
articles asked for; and in that case, it is his Majesty's 
intention that the surplus should be reserved, that it may 
be at the disposal of Congress, or of the Superintendent of 
the finances of the Thirteen States, if they think proper to 
confide the management of it to him. It has not been pos- 
sible for the Court, by reason of the speedy departure of 
the vessel which brought this intelligence to the undersigned 
Minister, to determine what will be the amount of the sums 
of money remaining after the purchase of the above men- 
tioned articles, but lest there should seem to be any delay 
in supplying the wants of the Thirteen States, the Cheva- 
lier de la Luzerne takes it upon himself, without waiting 
for any further orders, to fix the amount of these sums at 
fifteen hundred thousand livres tournois, and if Congress, 
in fact, think that they shall need this whole sum, he will 
without delay inform his Court of it, in order that the ne- 
cessary measures may be taken for discharging the bills of 
exchange, which shall consequently be drawn. As it is the 
intention of the King, that the greatest regularity shall take 
place in the payments, it will be well for the undersigned 
to agree with Congress, or with the Superintendent of 
Finance, and fix upon the times at which these bills shall 
be negotiated, and upon those at which they shall he pay- 
able. It is necessary that these times of payment should 



472 



LUZERNE. 



be at sufficient distances from each other, so that the 
depvartment of finance may not be obliged to pay consid- 
erable sums in too short intervals of lime. 

The intention of the King, in granting to the Thirteen 
States this purely gratuitous subsidy, is to put ihem in a 
condition to act vigorously during this campaign ; and his 
Majesty is desirous that Congress would be pleased to give 
the necessary orders, that it may be entirely applied to this 
important object, which admits of no delay. The com- 
munications, which the undersigned is instructed to make 
to Congress, will convince that body of the necessity of 
losing no time. 

LUZERNE. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, May 26th, 1781. 
Sir, 

The underwritten. Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
has received orders to communicate to Congress some 
important details touching the present situation of sundry 
affairs, in which the United States are immediately inter- 
ested. The most essential are in regard to some over- 
tures, which announce on the part of Great Britain a desire 
of peace. The Empress of Russia having invited the King 
and the Court of London to accept her mediation, the 
latter Court considered this as a formal offer and accepted 
it. This Court appeared at the same time to desire the 
Emperor of Austria to take part therein ; and this 
Monarch has in fact proposed his co-mediation to the 
belligerent powers in Europe. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 473 

The King could not but congratulate himself on seeing 
so important a negotiation in the hands of two mediators, 
whose understanding and justice are equal. Neverthe- 
less, his Majesty, actuated by his affections for the United 
States, returned for answer, that it was not in his power 
to accept the offers made to him, and that the consent of 
his allies was necessary. The King wishes to have this 
consent before he formally accepts the proposed mediation. 
But it is possible that circumstances joined to the confi- 
dence he has in the mediators, and the justice of his cause, 
and that of the United States, his allies, may determine him 
to enter upon a negotiation before the answer of Congress 
can reach him. 

But in either case, it is of great importance, that this 
Assembly should give their Plenipotentiary instructions 
proper to announce their disposition to peace, and their 
moderation, and to convince the powers of Europe, that 
the independence of the Thirteen United States, and the 
engagements they have contracted with the King, are the 
sole motives, which determine them to continue the war; 
and that whenever they shall have full and satisfactory 
assurances on these two capital points, they will be ready 
to conclude a peace. The manner of conducting the ne- 
gotiation, the extent of" the powers of the American Pleni- 
potentiary, the use to be made of them, and the confidence 
that ought to be reposed in the French Plenij)otentiaries 
and the King's Ministers, are points, which should be fully 
discussed with a committee. 

And the underwritten Minister entreats, that Congress 
would be pleased to name a committee with whom he will 
have the honor to treat. He thinks that this Assembly 
will be sensible, that the King could not give a greater 

VOL. X. 60 



474 



LU2ERNE. 



mark of his affection for the Thirteen United States, or of 
his attachment to the principles of the alliance, than by 
determining not to enter upon a negotiation before they 
were ready to take part therein, although in other respects, 
his confidence in the mediators, and the relation he stands 
in to one of them, were sufficient motives to induce him 
to accept their oflers. Congress are too sensible of the 
uncertainly of negotiations of this sort not to know, that 
the moment of opening them is that precisely wlien the 
efforts against the enemy ought to be redoubled ; and that 
nothing can facilitate the operation of the negotiators 
so much as the success of the arms of the allies ; that 
a check would be productive of disagreeable consequences 
to both, and that the enemy would rise in their pretensions, 
their haughtiness, and obstinacy, in proportion to the lan- 
guor and slackness of the confederates. 

The undersigned will have the honor to communicate 
to the committee some circumstances relative to the send- 
ing Mr Cumberland to Madrid ; to the use, which Mr 
Adams thought he was authorised to make of his Plenipo- 
tentiary powers ; to the mission of Mr Dana ; to the asso- 
ciation of the neutral powers ; and to the present state of 
affairs in the south. Congress will find new motives for 
relying on the good will of the King, and on the interest he 
takes in favor of the United States in general, and of each 
one of them in particular. 

LUZERNE. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 475 

REPORT or A CONFERENCE WITH THE FRENCH MINISTER. 

In Congress, May 28th, 1781. 
The committee appointed to confer with the Minister of 
France, report, 

That tlie Minister communicated some parts ot a 
despatch, which he had received from the Count de Ver- 
gennes, dated the 9ih of March, 1781. That the resolves 
of Congress, which had been adopted on the association of 
the neutral powers, were found very wise by the Council 
of the King, and that it was thought they might be of 
service in the course of the negotiation. The French 
Ministry did not doubt but they would be very agreeable to 
the Empress of Russia. But they were not of the same 
opinion with respect to the appointment of Mr Dana, as a 
Minister to the Court of Petersburg. The reason is, that 
Catharine the Second has made it a point until now to 
profess the greatest impartiality between the belligerent 
powers. The conduct she pursues ou this occasion is a 
consequence of the expectation she has, that peace maybe 
re-established by her mediation ; therefore, she could by 
no means take any step, which might show on her side the 
least propension in favor of the Americans, and expose her 
to the suspicion of partiality towards America, and of course 
exclude her from the mediation. The appointment of Mr 
Dana, therefore, appears to be at least premature, and the 
opinion of the Council is, that this deputy ought not to 
make any use of his powers at this moment. Tn case he 
applies to the Count de Vergennes for advice, he shall be 
desired to delay making any use of his powers. The 
Count observes, it would be disagreeable to Congress that 
their Plenipotentiary should meet with a refusal, that their 



^^g LUZERNE 

dignily would be offended, and that sach a satisfaction 
011^1)1 not to be given to the Court of London, especially 
when negotiations of a greater moment are about to com- 
mence. However, the French Minister had orders to 
assure the committee, that iiis Court would use all their 
endeavors in proper time, to facilitate the admissions of the 
Plenipotentiary of Congress. 

The Minister communicated to the committee several 
observations respecting the conduct of Mr Adams; and in 
doing justice to his patriotic character, he gave notice to 
the committee, of several circumstances, which proved it 
necessary that Congress should draw a line of conduct to 
that Minister, of which he might not be allowed to lose 
sight. The Minister dwelt especially on a circumstance 
already known to Congress, namely, the use which Mr 
Adams thought he had a right to make of his powers to 
treat with Great Britain. The Minister concluded on this 
subject, that if Congress put any confidence in the King's 
friendship and benevolence ; if they were persuaded of his 
inviolable attachment to the principle of the alliance, and 
of bis firm resolution constantly to support the cause of the 
Unitft<j States, they would be impressed with the necessity 
of prescribing to their Plenipotentiary a perfect and open 
confidence in the French Ministers, and a thorough reliance 
on the King, and would direct him to take no step without 
the approbation of his Majesty ; and after giving him, in hb 
instructions, the principal and most important outlines for 
his conduct, they would order him, with respect to the 
manner of carrying them into execution, to receive his 
directions from the Count de Vergennes, or from the per- 
son who might be charged with the negotiation in the nam« 
of the King. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 477 

The Minister observed, thai this matter is llie more 
important, because, being allied with the United States, it 
is tlie business of the King to support their cause with those 
powers with whom Congress have no connexion, and can 
have none, until their independence is in a fair train to be 
acknowledged. That the King would make it a point of 
prudence and justice to support the Minister of Congress ; 
but in case this Minister, by aiming at impossible things, 
forming exorbitant demands, which disinterested medi- 
ators might think ill-founded, or perhaps by misconstruing 
his instructions, should put the French negotiators under 
the necessity of proceeding in the course of the negotiation 
without a constant connexion with him, this would give rise 
to an unbecoming contradiction between France and the 
Thirteen United States, which could not but be of very 
bad effect in the course of the negotiation. 

In making these observations, the Minister remarked, 
that it was always to be taken for granted, that the most 
perfect independency is to be the foundation of the instruc- 
tions to be given to Mr Adams, and that without this there 
would be no treaty at all. The Count de Vergennes 
observes, that it is of great importance that the instructions 
aforesaid be given as soon as possible to Mr Adams. And 
the Minister desired the committee to press Congress to 
have this done with all possible despatch. 

He communicated to the committee the following partic- 
ulars, as a proof that this matter admits of no delay, and 
that it is probable the negotiation will very soon be opened. 
He told the committee that the English Ministry, in the 
false supposition that they might prevail on the Court of 
Madrid to sign a separate peace, had begun a secret nego- 
tiation with that Court, by the means of Mr Cumberland, 



478 



LUZERNE. 



but without any success. That the Court of Spain had 
constantly founded her answer on her engagements 
with his Most Christian Majesty. That on the other 
side, the King of France had declared to the King, his 
cousin, that the independence of the United States, 
either in fact, or acknowledged by a solemn treaty, 
should be the only foundation of the negotiations of 
the Court of France with that of London. That the 
British Court not seeming to be disposed to grant the 
independency, it appeared the negotiation of Mr Cum- 
berland was superfluous. However, this English 
emissary continued, and still continues, his residence 
at Madrid, although he cannot have any expectation of 
obtaining the object of his commission. That this 
direct negotiation was known to all Europe, and that 
it seemed to render every mediation useless. That, 
however, the Empress of Russia, excited by motives 
of friendship to the belligerent powers, and in conse- 
quence of the share, which the association of the neutral 
powers had given her in the general emergency, has 
invited the king of France and the Court of London to 
require her mediation. That the Court of London has 
accepted the invitation with a kind of eagerness, and 
at the same time desired the Emperor of Germany to 
take a part in it. That the answer of the King of 
France to the overtures of the Court of Petersburg 
was, that he should be glad to restore peace by the 
mediation of Catharine, but that it was not in his power 
immediately to accept her offers, as he had allies 
whose consent was necessary for that purpose. 

To the same application made by the Court of 
Petersburg to that of Madrid, this Court answered, that 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 479 

having entered into a direct negotiation with the Court 
of London, by the means of Mr Cumberland, it 
thought proper to wait the issue of it before it had 
recourse to a mediation. The Emperor, as has already 
been observed, having been desired by the Court of 
London to take part in the mediation, immediately 
informed the King of France, as well as his Catholic 
Majesty, of this circumstance, offering his co-mediation 
to both the allied Monarchs. To this, the King of 
France gave the same answer, which he had given to 
the Empress of Russia. As to the King of Spain, he 
again expressed his surprise at the English Ministry's 
requesting a mediation, after having entered into a 
direct negotiation ; and he declared, that unless this 
negotiation should be broken off by the English them- 
selves, it would be impossible for him to listen to a 
mediation, which, in any other circumstance, would 
be infinitely agreeable to him. 

These answers, though of a dilatory nature, may be 
looked upon as an eventual acceptation of the medi- 
ation. The Minister observed, that it will be, in 
effect, difficult to avoid it. That a refusal will not be 
consistent with the dignity of the two powers, that had 
offered their interposition. That the King is obliged, 
from friendship and good policy, to treat them with 
attention. He further observed, that the demands of 
the King of France will be so just and so moderate, 
that they might be proposed to any tribunal whatever. 
That the only reason the King could have to suspend 
a formal acceptation is, that, at the time the offer was 
made, he was not acquainted with the intentions of his 
allies, namely, Spain and the United States. 



480 LUZERNE. 

The Minister observed to the committee, that in his 
opinion this conduct must afford Congress a new proof 
of the perseverance of the King in the principles of the 
alliance, and of his scrupulous attention to observe his 
obligations; he added, that, however, it is not without 
inconveniency, that this dilatory plan has been adopted. 
The distance between th^ allied powers of France and 
the United Slates, has obliged the Court of Versailles 
to adopt that plan, though liable to inconveniences, in 
order to conform to the engagements made by the 
treaties, to determine nothing into a negotiation with- 
out the participation of Congress. Besides, several 
States being invaded by the enemy, the French Council 
thought it inconvenient to begin a negotiation under 
these unfavorable circumstances. And being in hopes 
that the diversions made by the King's arms, will pre- 
vent the British from making very great exertions 
against the Thirteen United States, the French Min- 
istry expected, that during the course of the present 
campaign they might be enabled to present the situa- 
tion of their allies in a more favorable light to the 
Congress, that mi^ht assemble for peace. These delays, 
however, cannot with propriety take place for any 
long time, and it was the opinion of the French Min- 
istry, that it would be contrary to decency, prudence, 
and the laws of sound policy, again to refuse listening 
to the propositions of peace made by friendly powers ; 
for which reason, the Chevalier de la Luzerne was 
directed to lay all these facts confidentially before 
Congress. 

The Minister informed the committee, that it was 
necessary, that the King should know the intentions o 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 431 

the United States with regard to the proposed media- 
tion, and that his Majesty should be authorised by- 
Congress to give notice of their dispositions to all the 
powers, who would take part in the negotiation for a 
pacification. The Minister delivered his own opinion, 
that he saw no inconveniency arising from the Con- 
gress imitating the example of the King, by showing 
themselves disposed to accept peace from the hands of 
the Emperor of Germany and the Empress of Russia. 
He added, that Congress should rely on the justice and 
wisdom of those two Sovereigns ; and at the same 
time, he renewed the assurances, that his Majesty will 
defend the cause of the United States as zealously as 
the interests of his own Crown. 

He informed the committee, that according to all 
accounts, the British Ministry were removing as far 
as possible, in this negotiation, every idea of acknowl- 
edging the independence of what they call their 
Thirteen Colonies; and he said, that Congress would 
judge by themselves, that the Court of London would 
debate with the greatest energy and obstinacy the 
articles relating to America. He availed himself of 
this reflection to impress the committee with the 
necessity Congress are under, of securing in their 
favor the benevolence and good will of the mediating 
powers, by presenting their demands with the greatest 
moderation and reserve, save independence, which will 
not admit of any modification. He further observed, 
that it was possible the difficulty of making a defini- 
tive peace might engage the mediators to propose a 
truce ; and that it was necessary, therefore, to au- 

VOL. X. 61 



^g2 ^ LUZERNE. 

thorise eventually the Plenipotentiary of the United 
States to declare their intention thereon. 

He further observed, that whatever might be the 
resolution of Congress, they would do well to recom- 
mend to their Plenipotentiary to adopt a line of 
conduct, that would deprive the British of every hope 
of causing divisions between the allies, and to assume 
a conciliating character, as much as can be consistent 
with the dignity of his constituents, and to show such 
a confidence in the Plenipotentiary of his Most Chris- 
tian Majesty, as is due to a power so much interested 
to support the dignity and honor of a nation, whose 
independence they have acknowledged. 

The Minister told the committee, that whatever 
might be the resolution of Congress, respecting a peace 
or a truce, it was necessary to carry on the war with 
the utmost vigor. He urged reasons too well known 
to Congress to be related. 

He desired the committee to inform Congress, that 
in case the offer of mediation from the two Imperial 
Courts should become so serious and so pressing, as 
to oblige the King to give a decisive answer, his Ma- 
jesty would accept of it conditionally for himself and 
for the United States. The taking this resolution 
would have no inconvenience, as the Court of France 
knew no reasons, which could prevent them from fol- 
lowing the example of the King, by trusting their in- 
terests in the hands of just and wise mediators, and 
the refusal being liable to very dangerous consequences. 
The Minister concluded the conference by observing, 
that a great object was to secure the United States 
from the proposition of uti possidetis ; that the surest 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 4^0 

way to obtain that end was to reduce the English to 
confess, that they are not able to conquer thenn. That 
present circumstances require great exertions from the 
consideration, and that it was plain that every success 
gained by the army of Congress would infinitely 
facilitate the negotiations of their Plenipotentiaries.* 



CONGRESS TO THE KING OF FRANCE. 

The United States in Congress assembled, to their Great 
Faithful and Beloved Friend and Ally, Lewis the Six- 
teenth, King of France and Navarre. 

Great, Faithful, and Beloved Friend and Ally, 
We have received your Majesty's letter of the 10th of 
March. The measures adopted by your Majesty in con- 
sequence of the representation made of the situation of 
our finances, the repeated testimonies of your Majesty's 
unalterable determination to render the cause of the United 
States triumphant, and also the affection, which your Maj- 
esty* has been pleased to express for the United States in 
general, and for each State in particular, demand from us 
the strongest sentitnenls of gratitude. 

* June 6th. '-Resolved, That the Minister Plenipotentiary, be au- 
thorised and instructed to concur, in behalf of these United States, 
with his Most Christian Majesty, in accepting the mediation pro- , 
posed by the Empress of Russia and the Emperor of Germany ; but 
to accede to no treaty of peace, which shall not be such, as may 
effectually secure the independence and sovereignty of the Thirteen 
States, according to the form and effect of the treaties subsisting 
between the said States and his Most Christian Majesty, and in 
which the said treaties shall not be left in their full force and va- 
lidity." 



4g4 LUZERNE 

The important communications made by your Majesty's 
Plenipotentiary have been considered by us with the 
greatest attention. The result of our deliberations will be 
made known to your Majesty by our Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary at your Court, and will evince the entire confidence 
we have in your Majesty's friendship and perseverance in 
the principles, which have directed your conduct in main- 
taining the interest of the United States to this time. 

We pray God, that he will keep your Majesty, our 
great, faithful, and beloved friend and ally, in his holy pro- 
tection. 

Done at Philadelphia, the I3lh day of June, in the year 
of our Lord, 1781, and in the fifth year of our indepen- 
dence. 

By the United States in Congress assembled. 
Your Faithful Friends and Allies. 

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, President. 
Chables Thomson, Secretary. 



TO GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, June 1st, 1781. 
Sir, 
I have received the letter, which your Excellency did 
me the honor to write on the 23d of the past month, and 
that of the Count de Rochambeau, with which it was 
accompanied. 

I wait with extreme impatience the news of the arrival 
of the French division before New York, and no one can 
desire more earnestly than I do to see it under your im- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 495 

mediate command. I hoped that you would have been 
this spring in the command of a more considerable body 
of auxiliaries. The causes, which have hindered the ex- 
ecution of that plan, have been so urgent and so decisive, 
that I am sure you will approve thenj, after I shall have 
had the honor of making you acquainted with them. I 
have nevertheless been much pained, that 1 could not ex- 
plain to you this change of measures, and my attachment 
to the cause, which you defend, has made me feel as sen- 
sibly as any citizen of America all the delays, that could 
happen to the assistance, which we wish to give to the 
Thirteen States. 

I am impressed with the necessity of maintaining a per- 
fect confidence with your Excellency upon these different 
points, and I shall seize the first occasion which presents 
itself to visit your army. 

In the meantime I shall transmit to the Count de Grasse 
what your Excellency did me the honor to communicate. 
Be persuaded that I shall use the most pressing motives to 
determine him, and J shall do it with so much the more 
zeal, as I feel the necessity of it. I shall transmit to that 
General an extract of your letter, and I know nothing more 
likely to give weight to the demand, which I shall make 
of him. 

The King has charged me, Sir, to inform Congress, 
that he grants them a gratuitous subsidy to enable them to 
make the greatest efforts in the course of this campaign. 
This subsidy, amounting to six millions of livres tournoisy 
is to be employed in the purchase of arms, ammunition, 
and clothing, and it is the intention of the King, that the 
surplus shall be at the disposal of Congress. I have not 
been instructed as to what will be the exact amount of 



486 LUZERNE 

this sur[)lus, but it is determined, that one milhon and a 
half shall be employed by the Superintendent of Finance, 
according to the directions, which you shall give him, after 
the arrangements you shall make with him in the visit, 
which he intends paying you. 

[ have informed Congress, and I intrust it to your Ex- 
cellency, that the Emperor of Austria, and the Empress 
of Russia, have offered their mediation to the Court of 
London, who has accepted it. The same has also been 
offered to the Court of Versailles, and that of Madrid. 
But they have given for answer, that time must be left for 
Congress to determine, if it suits them to put the interests 
of the Thirteen United States into the hands of the medi- 
ators. In any event, it is o( the greatest importance, that 
the allies make all their efforts to drive the enemy from 
this continent, and nothing will be more likely, than the 
success of the confederate arms, to make a successful 
negotiation. 

1 have the honor to be, &.c. 

LUZERNE. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE. 

Head Quarters, New Windsor, > 
June 13th, 1781. > 

Sir, 

His Excellency the Count de Rochambeau having re- 
quested me to forward the despatches herewith transmit- 
ted, by the safest possible conveyance, I now do myself 
the honor to send them by a gentleman of the Quarter 
Master General's department. 

Having been made acquainted by the Count de Ro- 
chambeau with the designs of the Count de Grssse, to 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 437 

come to this coast with h'is fleet, 1 cannot forbear express- 
ing to your Excellency my ardent wishes, that a body of 
land forces might also attend this naval armament ; as 1 
am apprehensive such a decided superiority of men may 
not be drawn together by us, by the time the Count de 
Grasse will be here, as to insure our success against the 
enemy's most important posts ; as his continuance in these 
seas may be limited to a short period, and as the addition 
of a respectable corps of troops from the West Indies 
would, in all human probability, terminate the matter very 
soon in our favor. If these should likewise be your sen- 
timents, and if this plan should not interfere with the inten- 
tions and interests of his Most Christian Majesty elsewhere, 
I entreat your Excellency, by the first good conveyance, 
to represent the propriety and necessity of the measure to 
the commanders in the West Indies ; that by one great 
decisive stroke the enemy may be expelled from the con- 
tinent, and the independence of America established at 
the approaching negotiation. 

I have the honor to be, &ic. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 



REPORT OF A CONFERENCE WITH THE FRENCH MINISTER. 

In Congress, June 18th, 1781. 

The committee appointed to confer with the Minister 
Plenipotentiary of France, report, 

That on the second conference with the Minister of 
France, he communicated some parts of a despatch, dated 
the 7th of August, 17 SO, the first part relating lo losses 
suffered by French merchants, either trading with private 



488 LUZERNE. 

houses in America, or engaged in transactions of com- 
merce for Congress, or the several States. He informed 
the committee that several papers, v^^hich should have ac- 
companied this despatch, were not come to hand, so that 
he could not state what kind of compensation the mer- 
chants might expect. The Minister, however, mentioned 
in the conference, that without waiting the arrival of those 
papers, which may have been lost, or may be delayed for a 
long time, some recommendation might be thought proper 
to be sent from Congress to the several States, in order to 
prevent forever the effect of the tender laws operating 
against foreign merchants ; that this would be an encour- 
agement to commerce, and remove the fears of foreign 
traders in their transactions with the citizens of the United 
States. The Minister communicated that part of the Count 
de Vergennes' letter relating to the discussion between him 
and Mr John Adams, with respect to the depreciation of 
the paper money, and the effect this had produced on the 
French trade ; however, he did not enter fully into the 
matter, not being furnished with the proper papers. 

The other objects of the communications of tlie Minister 
of France were the measures taken by the Court of 
Russia, and the northern powers, on account of the rights 
of neutrality, and ihe conduct to be observed by the bel- 
ligerent powers towards subjects of neutral powers; and 
he informed the committee, that those northern Courts had 
made formal declarations to the powers at war respecting 
the principles of neutrality ; and that they had concluded 
a convention for the security of their navigation and of 
their fair trade. That this convention was particularly 
obnoxious to the Court of London, as it was now obliged 
to i-especl neutral flags, which it had till then treated with 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 439 

the greatest severity, exercising against them every kind of 
depredation, according to its former practice. That France 
fully approved of that convention, the consequence of whicli 
was, that all the powers concerned, while they did justice 
to the principles of the King's Council, considered the 
British more and more as the tyrants of the sea. 

The Kiwg's Council, therefore, thought it proper to 
transmit this intelligence to Congress, leaving it to their 
wisdom to adopt the principles of the neutral powers laid 
down so long ago as the 26th of July, 1778, in an ordi- 
nance of the King, which the Minister of France delivered 
several months ago, with other printed papers on the same 
subject, to the Board of Admiralty. The Minister thought 
i the more important for the United States to conform 
their maritime laws to that system, as they would thereby 
conciliate to themselves the benevolence of the neutral 
powers. He observed, that American privateers had pre- 
sumed to stop neutral vessels loaded with English mer- 
chandise, which had given rise to unfavorable observations 
and complaints against the United States. He observed, 
that Holland had taken a part in the association of the 
northern Courts ; and that therefore she ought to be com- 
prehended in the orders of Congress, if it should be 
thought proper in those orders to mention the names of 
particular powers. But if Congress adopted a conduct 
similar to that of France, they would extend their orders 
in favor of all neutral powers generally. 

The Minister then gave a short historical account of the 
negotiation of Mr Cumberland, observing that the matter 
being now obsolete, it was sufficient to mention that this 
agent, having made proposals of peace to the King of 
Spain, the first question he was asked was, what were the 
VOL. X. 62 



490 LUZERNE. 

intentions of the Court of London respecting the United 
Slates ? That he, having no instructions on this subject, 
or pretending to have none, had sent an express to Lon- 
don. That the express had not returned when this letter 
was written. 

The Minister informed the committee, that the Court 
of Versailles had neglected nothing to procure arms, ammu- 
nition, and clothing, for Congress. That the good inten- 
tions of the Court had not been well seconded by the 
American agents ; that it was their fault if these articles 
had not been forwarded in time ; that the Ministers did 
not intend to accuse any one in particular ; but were of 
opinion, that Congress should inquire into the cause of the 
delay, in order to inflict such punishment as would prevent 
the like conduct in future. 

The Minister then communicated the substance of a 
despatch of the 9th of March, 1781 ; and entering fully 
into the subject, he told us, that so early as the beginning 
of the year 1780, he had informed Congress, that a me- 
diation might be opened in Europe. That the mediators 
might propose the uti possidetis as the basis of tlie nego- 
tiation. That it was of the utmost importance to prevent 
the effect of a proposition, so inconsistent with the indepen- 
dence of the United States. That the Court of France 
wished to give them every assistance in their power ; but 
he had observed at the same time, that the political system 
of the kingdom, being closely connected with that of other 
European powers, France might be involved in difficulties, 
which would require the greatest attention, and a consid- 
erable part of her resources. That he had informed 
Congress confidentially, that the death of the Sovereigns 
of some of the European States, with whom the Court of 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESFOJNDEiNCE. 49] 

France had the most intimate connexion, miglu oblige 
her to employ the greatest part of lier resources to secure 
her against the dangers, which might be occasioned by 
such an event. That since that communication was made 
to Congress, both tliose cases had happened. That the 
Empress Queen was dead. That the Court of Versailles 
flattered itself, that this will not at this time give rise to 
any material change in the politics of the Courts of Vienna 
and Berlin. That circumstances, however, are such, that 
prudence dictates not to leave the frontier of France bor- 
dering on Germany unprovided for defence. That the 
character the King bears of guarantee or protector of the 
liberties of the German empire, obliges him to be ready 
to assist effectually the members of that body, whose safety 
may be endangered, and of consequence occasions extra- 
ordinary expenses. That France is at the same time oblig- 
ed to spare the land forces of the kingdom, and at the pres- 
ent crisis not to keep them at too great a distance. That 
this, however, is only a point of caution and prudence. 
That the Court of France still hopes the issue will be 
peaceable and agreeable to her wishes ; but has thought it 
proper to inform Congress of it. 

That matters are different with respect to the Dutch. 
That they are now in a state of war with the English; but 
there is among them a party in favor of England ; and not- 
withstanding the accession of the two opposing provinces 
to the resolution of the States for making reprisals, a me- 
diation has been entered into betwecin London and the 
Hague ; and the Empress of Russia acts as mediatrix. 
That it is evident the Court of London, by opening this 
negotiation, designs to draw^ the Seven Provinces to her 
side ; and even goes so far as to expect, that she may em- 



492 LUZERNE. 

ploy the resources of the Dutch against France, either , 

directly or iiidirecily. That the disposition of that Re- J 

public is still such as friends would wish. But the strong- | 

est aigument, which the British party make use of to 
separate the Seven Provinces from France is, that they 
are destitute of a naval force ; that their seamen are cap- 
tured by the British ; that all their riches will likewise fall a 
sacrifice; and that their settlements in the East and West 
Indies are in the greatest danger. That under these circum- 
stances it was become necessary for France to afford im- 
mediate protection to the Dutch in Europe ; and to make 
without delay a diversion, which may possibly save their 
East India possessions. That these measures had ren- 
dered it actually impossible to send to the United States 
the reinforcement, which was announced. 

The Minister of France thinks, that this confidential and 
friendly explanation of the situation of France will con- 
vince Congress, that the King could not pursiie a different 
line of conduct ; and that the consequences of the meas- 
ures he has taken must at last turn to their advantage. 
That, however. Count de Rochambeau and M. Barras 
will receive some reinforcements, and will inform the 
Chevalier de la Luzerne how considerable they are. 

The Minister told the committee, that the friendship 
and benevolence of the King for the Thirteen United States 
had engaged him to trust Congress with these details, ob- 
serving at the same time, that it would be proper to keep 
them secret. 

In giving an account of the subsidy granted by the 
King of France, the Minister concluded by observing, thai 
the Count de Vergennes writes, that what remains of the 
six millions, after purchasing the supplies of arms and am- 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 493 

munition, would be at the disposal of Congress ; or if 
they should so direct, at the disposal of the commander in 
chief, or of their financier, if there should be one ; and 
that the resolution Congress took on this subject should 
be made known to the Ministry, that funds may be pro- 
vided accordingly. In the course of the conference the 
Chevalier mentioned the sums, that had been procured for 
these States since the beginning of the year 1780, That 
in that year the Count de Vergennes had, on his own 
credit, procured for Dr Franklin three millions of livres. 
That in December Dr Franklin wanted one million more 
to honor the bills drawn by Congress ; and that he re- 
ceived the fourth million. That in the course of the pres- 
ent year, the Count has procured for him on loan four 
millions of livres, which make eight millions borrowed on 
the guarentee of France, since the aforementioned period. 
And now the King makes a gratuitous donation of the 
subsidy of six millions, which in the whole make up the 
sum of fourteen millions, since the commencement of the 
year 1780. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July Ist, 178>. 

Sir, 
I am ready to go to the army of General Washington, 
and I shall have the honor of receiving your commissions 
this evening. My absence will, probably, be of short du- 
ration ; I think it proper, however, to inform you, that M. 
de Marbois will perform, during this interval, the duties of 
Charge d* Affaires of his Majesty, and I entreat you, Sir, 



454 LUZERNE. 

to be pleased to honor him with your confidence, in case 

you have any communications to make to, or receive from, 

the King's embassy. 

I have the honor to be, &,c. 

LUZERNE. 



M. DE xMARBOIS TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 9th, 1781. 
( Sir, 

The undersigned, Charge d'affaires of France, has the 
honor of informing Congress, that the Count de Barras, 
commander of his Majesty's squadron stationed on the 
coasts of the Thirteen States, labors at this moment under 
an urgent necessity of completing his crews. The dis- 
eases, which have prevailed on board of this squadron, the 
battle in which it has been engaged, a long absence from 
the ports of the kingdom, and the manoeuvres employed 
by many individuals to excite the French sailors to deser- 
tion, are causes, which have diminished in a considerable 
degree the number of those, who were employed on board 
of this squadron. The undersigned is instructed to com- 
municate these circumstances to Congress. The French 
commander thinks, that if he may be authorised by the 
Legislatures of the New England States to impress 
French sailors, and to remove them from the different 
vessels, in which they may be found, he will very soon be 
enabled to remedy the diminution of numbers, which he 

has experienced. 

' MARBOIS. 



DIPLOMATIC CORKESPONDENCE. 495 

M. DE MARBOIS TO THE SECRETARY OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 11th, 1781, 

Sir, 
1 have received, in the absence of the Chevalier de la 
Luzerne, the letter which you took ihe trouble to write, 
to inform that Minister of the King, that the Honorable 
Thomas McKean had been chosen President of Congress, 
in the place of the Honorable Samuel Huntington. I shall 
communicate this change to his Majesty's Minister, on his 
return to Philadelphia, and also to the Minister having the 
direction of Foreign Affairs in France. We are very 
sorry to see that Mr Huntington is obliged, by ill health, 
to resign an office, in the exercise of which he has given 
frequent proofs of his wisdom, and of his attachment to the 
Thirteen States, and to the alliance. But the choice by 
Congress of the Honorable Mr McKean, leaves nothing 
to be wished for, and I can assure you. Sir, that his Ma- 
jesty's Minister will be eager to show to him the same 
confidence, which he has shown to his predecessor, and 
that we shall use all exertions to merit his in return. 
[ have the honor to be, &,c. 

MARBOIS. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, July 20th, 1781. 
Sir, 

The undersigned. Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 

has the honor of informing Congress, that he has received 



496 LUZERNE. 

despatches from his Court, the contents of which may be 
interesting to this Assembly, and that he is desirous of 
communicating them to it through a committee, if Congress 
shall be pleased to appoint one to confer with him. These 
communications relate to the state of public affairs in Eu- 
rope, in the months of January and February last, to the 
rupture between England and the United Provinces, and 
to the measures to be taken to facilitate an alliance be- 
tween the Thirteen United States and that Republic. 

LUZERNE. 



REPORT OF COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FRENCH 
MINISTER. 

In Congress, July 23d, 1781. 

The committee appointed to receive the communica- 
tions of the Minister of France, delivered in the follow- 
ing,report. 

The Minister, from his despatches of the 9th of January, 
1781, communicated to your committee the causes which 
delayed the measures, which the Court of France pro- 
posed to take for the naval operations of this campaign, the 
length of the passage of Count d'Estaing to Brest, and 
other circumstances not necessary now to be recapitulated ; 
and then told us that he was desired, in the meanwhile, to 
continue to assure Congress, that the interest which his 
Majesty takes in the American cause will essentially 
influence his measures for the present campaign. 

The Minister coDtinued by observing, that the present 
situation of affairs between Great Britain and Holland 
presented a favorable opportunity for a union of the two 
Republics. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 497 

Your committee will not repeat the details of what has 
happened between the two powers of England and Hol- 
land ; it is sufficient to observe, that Sweden and Denmark 
have adopted the plan of the armed neutrality, framed by 
the Empress of Russia ; that the Dutch, upon invitation, 
had done the same, and the Court of London, irritated by 
this step, look hold of the pretence afforded by the papers 
found on Mr Laurens, and published a manifesto on the 
21st day of December, as well as a proclamation for expe- 
diting letters of marque. That this state of affairs, and 
the other consequences of this step, deserve the attention 
of Congress. That, if their High Mightinesses should join 
in this war, it would bring the two Republics to terms of 
more intimate union. That the opinion of the Council of 
the King was, that Congress ought not to neglect to send 
to Holland a prudent and able man, with full powers. It 
would likewise be advantageous to give proper instructions 
to that Minister ; and as it may happen in the course of 
the negotiations that unforeseen incidents may present 
themselves, and as it is impossible at this distance to have 
quick information, it would be proper to have further in- 
structions given by Dr Franklin, in order to avoid all 
inconsistency or contradiction, and that the political opera- 
tions of Congress, aiming towards the same end, may of 
course be more successful. 

The Minister communicated to your committee the 
contents of another despatch, of the 19th of February last. 
After stating some facts relating to Mr Laurens's capture, 
and its consequences, which Congress are already ac- 
quainted with, the Minister informed your committee, that 
the Empress of Russia had, on the 5th of January, received 
the accession of the United Provinces to the association of 
VOL. X. 63 



498 LUZERNE. 

neutral powers, and that there was great probability, that 
her Imperial INIajesty would support the Dutch against the 
tyranny of England, and that on every supposition, Con- 
gress would do well to take such measures, as to prepare, 
without delay, the means of uniting the interest of the two 
Republics, by making proper advances to the States- 
General. The Minister added, that he was authorised by 
the King to offer Congress his interposition for this 
purpose. 

The Minister informed, that according to appearances 
the Empress of Russia seemed to be well disposed to the 
independence of the United States ; and that these dispo- 
sitions give reason to think, that the Empress will see with 
pleasure, that Congress have adopted her principles as to 
the neutrality, and that the Count de Vergennes has sent 
that resolution to the Marquis Verac, the Minister of 
France to the Court of Russia. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

PhUadelphia, July 26th, 1781. 
Sir, 

The twentyninth article of the Treaty of Amity and 
Commerce, between his Most Christian Majesty and the 
United States, reserves to the two contracting powers, *' the 
liberty of having, each in the ports of the other, Consuls, 
Vice-Consuls, Agents, and Commissaries, whose functions 
shall be regulated by a particular agreement." In conse- 
quence of this stipulation, the Court of Versailles has 
caused a draft to be made of a convention, relative to the 
establishment of Consuls, which the undersigned. Minister 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 499 

Plenipotentiary of France, has the honor to communicate 
to Congress. It is the desire of his Majesty, that this draft 
should be examined by Congress, and those points marked 
which admit of no difficullf ; and that the others should be 
submitted to the examination of delegates appointed by both 
parties, who may make such observations as they shall 
judge proper, and propose such alterations as they may 
think convenient. These objects will require discussion in 
repeated conferences, and the undersigned entreats, that 
Congress would determine in what manner these confer- 
ences shall be held. The proposed convention requires 
the most mature consideration of both parties ; while at 
the same time, it is equally the interest of both with all 
speed to introduce consistency and uniformity into their 
respective commercial establishments, and the undersigned 
is of opinion, that Congress will think it necessary to pros- 
ecute this business with all possible despatch.* 

LUZERNE. 



TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, August 23d, 1781. 

Sir, 
The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
has the honor of informing Congress, that the situation of 
affairs requires, that M. de I'Etombe, Consul General of 
France, in the four States of New England, should pro- 
ceed immediately to his destination. This officer being 
provided with the commission of his Majesty, in the form 

* See the draft of this Convention in the Secret Journal, Vol. III. 
p. 6. 



500 LUZERNE. 

iiiade use of for the other French Consulates, in the 
different quarters of the world, it is desirable that his char- 
acter should be recognized in the manner and form, which 
for the future are to take place uniformly throughout the 
Thirteen United States. The undersigned, Minister 
Plenipotentiary, consequently entreats Congress to deter- 
mine provisionally, what this form shall henceforward be, 
without waiting till the plan to be agreed upon shall be 
definitively settled. He is also desirous, that Congress 
will be pleased to pass a resolution on the subject of the 
recognition of the character of Vice-Consuls. 

LUZERNE. 

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 

Translation. 

Philadelphia, September 6th, 1781. 
Sir, 

Tlie undersigned. Minister Plenipotentiary of Francs, 
has the honor of communicating to Congress the com- 
mission of M. de I'Elombe, as Consul General of France 
in the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode 
Island, and Connecticut. He requests Congress to be 
pleased to pass an act, or four different acts, in order to 
procure for the said Consul the exequatur in each of the 
States, to which his functions are to extend. 

LUZERNE. 



END OF THE TENTH VOLUME. 



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