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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"

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Published undnr the Direct ion of the Prnsiilcnt of tlie United States, fro 
the onginiil iManu«(:ri|ils in the Dopaitnienl uC Sl.ite, confiirmubly 
to a Resolution ol" Congress, ol March SiTlh, 1816. 








,M 11*' 

Steam Power Press— W. L. Lewis' Print. 
No. 6, Congress Street, Boston. 







To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Sep- 
tember 10th, 1781, 3 

Communicating the commission of M. Holker, as 
Consul General of France. 
To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Sep- 
tember 18th, 1781, 4 

Desires the appointment of a committee, to whom he 
may communicate his despatches. 

Communications of the French Minister to Con- 
gress. In Congress, September 21sf, 1781, - 4 

Proposed mediation of the Imperial Courts. — The 
French Court requires the establishing of some 
preliminaries, as to the admission of an American 
Minister to the proposed Congress, and the char- 
acter in which England will treat the United 
States. — The British Court requires the submission 
of its revolted subjects in America. — Necessity of 
■" vigorous operations in America. — Mr Dana's mis- 
sion to St Petersburg. — The accession of Mary- 
land to the confederacy should be followed by 
vigorous measures. — Mr Adams in Holland. — Aids 
to America. — No further pecuniary assistance can 
be furnished by the French Court. 
To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Sep- 
tember 24th, 1781, 17 

Transmitting the memorial of a Spanish subject. 

Memorial of Don Francisco Rendon to the Minister 
of France, ------ 17 

Requesting the release of certain prisoners taken at 
PensacoTa by the Spanish forces, and afterwards 
captured by an American vessel. 

Congress to the Minister of France. Philadelphia, 
September 25ih, 1781, " . " " - 19 

Relative to the preceding memorial. 
From Congress to the King of France, - - 20 

Returning thanks for aid. 
The King of France to Congress, - - - 21 

Birth of the Dauphin. 
Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Phila- 
delphia, October 24th, 1781, - - - 21 
Announces his appointment to the Department of 
Foreign AfFai»s. 

To Robert R. Livingston, Secretary of Foreign 
Aflairs. Philadelphia, October 25th, 1781, - 22 

Expressing his pleasure at Mr Livingston's appoint- 
Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 
of Foreign Affairs, November 2d, 1781, - 23 

Conirress request permission to present to the 
Count de Grasse two pieces of ordnance taken at 
To George Washington. Philadelphia, November 

4th, 1781, 24 

Acknowledging the receipt of certain papers. 
To the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Philadelphia, 
November 4th, 1781, . - . - 25 

Erection of a triumphal column at Yorktown.— The 
United States are named before the King in the 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 
of Foreign Affairs, November 6th, 1781, - 26 

The order in which the United States and France 
were named, was accidental. 

Robert R. Livingston to the President of Congress. 
Office of Foreign Affairs, November 6th, 17S1, 28 

Proposes the giving Fiance the precedence in any 
subsequent acts, where the two countries are 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 
of Foreign Affairs, November 21st, 1781, - 29 

Complains of the proceedings of the Court of Ad- 
miralty in the French islands. 



Heads of a verbal Communication made to the 
Secretary of Foreign Affairs by the Minister of 
France. In Congress, November 23d, 1781, 30 

Satisfaction of the King with the appointment of 
Ministers for negotiating a peace. — Refusal to 
accede to the mediation, unless the Ameiican 
Ministers were acknowledged. — Necessity of ex- 
ertion in America to compel Britain to a peace. 

The Answer of his ftlost Christian Majesty to the Ar- 
ticles proposed by the two Mediating Courts, 33 
The Answer of the Court of London to the Prelitn- 

inary Articles proposed by the Mediating Courts, 40 
The verbal Answer of the King of Great Britain to 
the verbal Observations made by the Count de 
Belgiojoso, Austrian Ambassador in London, 43 

Reply of the Mediators to the Belligerent Powers, 45 
Answer of the Court of France to the Reply of the 

Mediators, - 48 

To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, Novem- 
ber 23d, 1781, ------ 51 

Congress to the King of France, - - - 51 
Congratulations on the successes of the French 
arms in America. — Services of de Grasse, de Ro- 
chambeau, and de Lafayette. 
To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, Decem- 
ber Uth, 1781, 53 

Enclosing papers. 
To Count du Durat, Governor of Grenada. Phila- 
delphia, December 11th, 1781, - - - 54 
Relative to an English ship carried into Grenada by 
American sailors. 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 
of Foreign Affairs, December 21st, 1781, - 55 

Relative to captures. 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 
of Foreign Affairs, January 19th, 1782, - 55 

Enclosing suspicious letters of Mr Deane. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, January 
20th, 1782, 56 

Complains of the process in Massachusetts in regard 
to effects libelled. 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 
of Foreign Affiiirs, January 24th, 1782, - 57 

Communicating certain resolutions. 



To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelpliia, January 
25th, 1782, - 57 

Thanking him for the preceding. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Jan- 
uary 28th, 1782, 58 

Propriety of instructing Mr Franklin, in relation to 
the acts necessary to bind the United States in 
their engagements with France on account of the 
loan raised in Holland. 

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs to the President 
of Congress. Philadelphia, January 29th, 1782, 59 

Communicating extracts fram letters of Count de 
Vergenne.s to the French Minister, expressing the 
desire of France to procure the most advantageous 
terms for America. — Indisposition of Great Britain 
to a peace. — Neither Holland nor Russia are dis- 
posed to an alliance witli the United States. — 
France cannot furnish additional supplies. 
Count de Vergennes lo Robert R. Livingston. 
Versailles, January 31st, 1782, - - - 62 

On his appointment to the Department of Foreign 
To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, February 

1st, 1782, C2 

Instructions to Dr Franklin. In Congress, Febru- 
ary 5ih, 1782, 63 

Empowering him to enter into engagements on the 
part of the United States to discharge the loan 
raised in Holland. 

Resolves of Congress respecting the Communica- 
tions made by the Minister of France. In Con- 
gress, February 8th, 1782, - - - - 64 

Urging the necessity of further supplies from 
France. — Empowering Dr Franklin to raise a loan 
of twelve millions of livres. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, February 
18th, 1782, 66 

Requesting the revision of a sentence of condemna- 
tion against certain prizes. 
The Marquis de Bouille to M. de la Luzerne. 
Widiout date, ------ 67 

Relative to the recapture of neutral ships tiading to 
Dominica by American privateers. 

Memorial of the Council of Dominica, - - 69 

Same subject. 



Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 
of Foreign Affairs, February 20tli, 1782, - 71 

Case of the capture of the neutral ships trading to 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, March 
8th, 1782, 73 

M. de Marbois will remain as Chargi d'affaires 
during his absence. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, April 7th, 
1782, - 73 

Requesting the settlement of the accounts of Baron 
de Kalb and others. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, April 13th, 

1782, 74 

Warlike appearances in Europe. — Want of prepara- 
tion in America. — Requests information of tiie 
strength of his forces. 

Count de Rochambeau to M. de la Luzerne. Wil- 
liamsburgh, April 16th, 1782, - - - 77 

Plans and operations of the enemy. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, April 18th, 
1782, 78 

Recommending Count Beniowsky. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. New- 
burgh, April 28th, 1782, -. - - - 79 

Statement of his forces. — Enemy's force. 

Communication of the French Minister to the Sec- 
retary of Foreign Affairs. In Congress, May 
1st, 1782, ------ 84 

Representing the necessity of vigorous exertion. — 
The English intend to push operations with vigor. 

Decree of the King's Council in France, - - 85 

Relative to the exportation of merchandise taken 
from prizes 

To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, May 7th, 

1782, _ - - - - - - - 87 

Appointment of M. d'Annemours, as French Consul 
for the five Southern Slates. 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 
of Foreign Affairs, May 8th, 1782, - - 87 

Accounts of Baron de Kalb and otliers. 

To Robert R, Livingston. Philadelphia, May 9th, 

1782, - - 88 

Applications of bearers of loan certificates for the re- 
payment of their capital, or the payment of the 



Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 

of Foreign Affairs, May 9th, 1782, - - 89 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 

of Foreign Affairs, May 12th, 1782, - - 89 

The address of Congress is, Gentlemen of the Con- 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, May 17th, 
1782, - 90 

Reported actions in the West Indies. 

Congress to the King of France, - - - 90 

Congratulations on the birth of the Dauphin. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, May 25th, 
1782, - - 92 

Requests the execution of certain resolutions of 
Congress in relation to Baron de Hokendorft'. 

Verbal Communication of the French Minister to 
the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Li Congress, 
May 28th, 1782, 

Attempts by the English to effect a partial peace with 
America and with France.— The French Court re- 
fuse to treat separately. — Vigorous preparations 
necessary to secure a peace. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, June 5th, 1782, _ - - - 9G 

Enclosing the congratulations of the army, and 
offering his own on the birth of the Dauphin. 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 
of Foreign Affairs, June 7lh, 1782, - - 97 

Accounts of Baron de Kalb, Baron de Holzendorff 
and others. 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 
of FoTeign Affairs, June 9th, 1782, - - 98 

Answer to tlie applications of holders of the loan 
office certificates. 

To George Washington, Commander in Chief, and 
other Officers of the American Army, on Hud- 
son's River. Philadelphia, June 10th, 1782, 98 

Birth of the Dauphin. 

Congress to the King of France, - - - 99 

Condolence on the death of the Princess Sophia of 

To Count de Rochambeau. Philadelphia, June 
14th, 1782, __.--_ 100 

Movements of the English forces. — Plan of counter 



George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head 

Quarters, Newburgh, June 24th, 1782, - 102 

Impracticability of the plan of operations abovemen- 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, July 3d, 
1782, 103 

Flans of Count de Rochambeau. — Disposition of 
Holland to form an alliance with America. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, July 8th, 
1782, --__-.. 104 

Inviting him to attend tlie rejoicings on the birth of 
the Dauphin. 

Count de Vergeunes to George Washington. Ver- 
sailles, July 29th, 1782, - - - - 105 
Interceding in favor of Captain Asgill. 

Lady Asgill to Count de Vergennes. London, July 
18th, 1782, ...--- 107 

Imploring his interference on behalf of her son. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, August 5th, 
1782, - . - - - . - 108 

Requesting him to communicate with M. de Vau- 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, August 
14th, 1782, _-.--- no 

Liberation of American prisoners in England. — In- 
disposition of England to peace. 

To the President of Congress. Pliiladelphia, Sep- 
tember 1st, 1782, - - - - - 111 

Relative to the America, presented by Congress to 
the King of France. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, Septem- 
ber 5th, 1782, - - - - - - 112 

Enclosing the preceding. 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 

of Foreign Affairs, September 12th, 1782, - 112 

The Marquis de Vaudreuil to M. de la Luzerne. 
. Boston, September 20th, 1782, - - - 113 

Expressing his gratification at the offer of the 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Sep- 
tember 23d, 1782, - - -. - - 114 

Desires the appointment of a committee with whom 
he may communicate. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, September 24th, 1782, - - - 114 
The British meditate an attack on the squadron of 


M. de Vaudreuil. — Has taken measures to coun- 
teract their schemes. 

CommLinicatioii of the French Muiister to a Com- 
mittee of Congress. In Congress, September 
24th, 1782, 115 

The British Court indulge the idea of separating 
France and America. — Congress should take 
measures to destroy any hopes of such a result. 
— It is desirable that the negotiations sliould be 
conducted in Europe. — State of the negotiation. — 
The French cabinet refuse to treat except in con- 
junction with their allies. 

To Robert K. Livingston. Pliiladolphia, Septem- 
ber 2Ttb, 1782, - - - - - 123 

Communicating a decree of the French Council, 
relative to the fraudulent importation of English 
goods into America. 
To George Washington. Piiiladelphia, September 
29th, 1782, 124 

State of the negotiations for peace. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, October 

1st, 1782, 124 

Requesting him to facilitate the entrance of M. 
Barbe into iNew York. 
Report of a Committee of Congress on Communi- 
cations made by the French Minister. In Con- 
gress, October 3d, 1782, - - - - 125 

Congress will listen to no propositions for a sepnrate 
peace. — They rely on the support of France to their 
demands in regard to boundaries, the fisheries, and 
the navigation of the Mississippi. — Difficulties at- 
tending any restitution of, or compensation for 
confiscated property. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, 
October 16th, 1782, - - - - - 127 
Desiring an interview with a committee of Con- 
George Washington to the President of Congress. 
Head Quarters, October 25th, 1782, - - 128 

Receives the letters relative to Captain Asgill, and 
transmits them to Congress. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, October 
25th, 1782, ------ 128 

Repayment of sums expended for French service. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, October 25th, 1782, - - - 129 

Case of Captain Asgill. 



To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Oc- 
tober 28th, 1782, - ~ - - - 130 

Complains that the English fleet is supplied with 
provisions by citizens of the United States. 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 
of Foreign Affairs, October 30th, 1782, - 131 

Case of the seizure of an American prize by the 
French authorities at St Domingo. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, Novem- 
ber 4th, 1782, - 133 

Desires the passing of laws corresponding to the 
thirteenth Article of the treaty of commerce. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, November 
Gth, 1782, _--.-- 134 

The enemy are supplied with provisions by Ameri- 

To Count de Dillon, Governor of St Christopher's. 
Philadelphia, November 8th, 1782, - - 135 

Affair of the Ltetitia. 

To Sir Guy Carleton. Philadelphia, November 
9th, 1782, ---__- 135 

Enclosing resolutions of Congress relative to Cap- 
tain Asgill. 

To Sir Guy Carleton. Philadelphia, November 
9th, 1782, 137 

Requesting him to permit the exchange of M. de la 

To George Washington. Piiiladelphia, November 
12ih, 1782, 137 

Apology for corresponding with General Carleton. 

George Washington to Captain Asgill. Head 
Quarters, November 13th, 1782, - - - 138 

Enclosing the resolution of Congress relative to him. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, November 13ih, 1782, - - - 139 

Regrets that he is unable to prevent the supplying of 
the enemy with provisions. 

George Washington to Count de Vergenne.s. Head 
Quarters, Newburgh, State of New York, No- 
vember 21st, 1782, ----- 140 

Affair of Captain Asgill. 

Robert R. Livingston to M. de la Luzerne. Office 
of Foreign Affairs, November 26th, 1782, - 141 

Mr Jefferson appointed Minister for negotiating 
a peace. 



To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, Novem- 
ber 29th, 1782, ------ 142 

Expresses his satisfaction with Mr Jefferson's ap- 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, November 
30th, 1782, - - - - - - 142 

Relative to the supplj'ing the enemy with provision. 

To Ro''3ert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, Decem- 
ber 11th, 1782, - 143 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, December 
18th, 1782, _..--- 144 

Enclosing a letter for his perusal. 

To the Marquis de Vaudreuil. Philadelphia, De- 
cember 18th, 1782, 144 

The Danae aground in the Chesapeake. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, De- 
cember 2Gth, 1782, - - . - . - - 145 

Expressing his Majesty's gratification with the pro- 
ceedings of Congress relative to the birth of the 

Substance of a verbal Communication from the 
French Minister. Office of Foreign Affairs, 
December 30th, 1782, - - - - 146 

State of the neffotiations. — Lord Shelburne's policy 
df'ceitful. — Proposed mediation. 

To the President of Congress. December 31st, 

1782, - 150 

Satisfaction of the King with the conduct of Con- 
gress, in regard to the overtures of the English in 
Anierica, and the unanimity with which the States 
determine not to treat separately. 

Resolves of Congress on the Departure of the 
French Army. In Congress, .January 1st, 1783, 152 

Recommending the army to his Majesty's favoralile 
notice. — Declaring their high sense of the merits 
and services of the Count de Rochambeau. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, January 
10th, 1783, ------ 154 

The capitulations permitting exportations from the 
islands captured by the French to British ports 
will not be renewed. 

To Robert Morris. Philadelnhia, March 15th, 

1783, - - - - - - - 155 

Loan of six millions procured by France for Amer- 
ica. — Conditions of the loan. — It will be impossible 
to furnish further supplies. — Necessity of establish- 
ing a public revenue in the United States. 



To George Washington. Philadelphia, March 15ih, 
1783, - _ - - - - - - 158 

Conclusion of preliminaries of peace. — Necessity of 
continuing preparations with vigor to secure fa- 
vorable terms definitively. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, March 
18th, 1783, IGI 

George Washington to.M. de la Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, March 19th, 1783, - - - 161 

Agrees that the articles of the treaty are so inconclu- 
sive as 10 render a liostile attitude still necessary. — 
Will endeavor to prevent the supplying of the 
enemy with provisions. 

Minutes of a verbal Communication from the Min- 
ister of France. Office of Foreign Affairs, 
March 22d, 1783, - - - - - 162 

No essential difference exists between England and 
France, but the latter will act only in conjunction 
with her allies. — Jf military operations in America 
should cease, and the war be continued elsewhere, 
the United States may exclude the English from 
intercourse with them. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, March 29th, 1763, - - - 166 

Congratulations on the peace. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, April 10th, 
1783, - 167 

The French troops in America will return immedi- 

To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, April 
29th, 1783, - - - - - - 167 

Requests him to inform Congress of the intended 
departure of the French forces. 

George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head 
Quarters, May 13th, 1783, - - - - 168 

Inviting him to be present at the rejoicings on ac- 
count of peace. 

To Robert R. Livingston. Philadelphia, May 
19th, 1783, ---_.. 1G9 

Affair of Mr Durham. — Complaints against Commo- 
dore Gillon. 

Count de Vergennes to M. de Lafayette. Ver- 
sailles, June 29th, 1783, - - - - 170 

Definition of a Free Port. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Sep- 
tember 17th, 1783, - - - - - 170 

Communicating the following letter, and requesting 


information as to the measures taken in regard to 
the subject. 

Count de Vergennes to M. de la Luzerne. Ver- 
sailles, March 10th, 1783, - - - - 171 

Circumstances under which the last loan was ob- 
tained from France. — Contract made on the oc- 
To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, No- 
vember 2d, 1783, - - - _ _ 175 

General peace. — Commercial arrangements. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, November 
21st, 1783, - 176 

His testimony in faror of the French officers. 
— Conoratulations on the evacuation of New 

M. de Calonne to M. de Lafayette. Versailles, 
January 9th, 1784, - - - - - 177 

L'Orient, Bayonne, Dunkirk, and Marseilles, will be 
declared free ports in favor of tlie Americans. — 
The commercial intercourse of the two countries 
will be favored by all possible facilities. 

To the President of Congress. Annapolis, January 
29th, 1784, 178 

Requests to be informed what measures have been 
taken by Congress relative to the contract for loans 
made by Fiance. 
To the President of Congress. Annapolis, January 
30th, 1784, 179 

Appointment of French Consuls in America. 

To the President of Congress. Annapolis, Febru- 
ary 18th, 1784, ISO 

Accounts of M. de la Radicre. 

To the President of Congress. Annapolis, April 
6th, 1784, - - - - - - 180 

Arrival of portraits of the King and Queen of France 
for Congress. 

To the President of Congress. Annapolis, April 
9th, 1784, - 181 

Requests to be informed what arrangements have 
been made relative to the loans procured from 
Count de Vergennes to M. de la Luzerne. Ver- 
sailles, December 24th, 1783, - - - 182 

Free ports in France. 

Congress to the King of France, - _ _ 183 

Reception of the portraits of his Majesty and his 

To the President of Congress. Office of Finance, 
April 16th, 1784, 184 

Enclosing letters of Lafayette on the commercial re- 
lations of France and America. — Services of La- 
fayette in that matter. 

To the President of Congress. Annapohs, April 
21st, 1784, 185 

Intends to return to France. — Pleasure afforded by 
his residence in the United States. — Leaves M. de 
Marbois Charge cV Affaires. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, April 
28th, 1784, 186 

Claims of the heirs of Baron de Kalb. — Case of M. 
de Fleury. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May 

6th, 1784, ' - 189 

Nomination of a Vice Consul at Charleston. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May 
13th, 1784, . - - _ - _ 190 

Expresses his regret on leaving America. — Case of 
M. de Fleury and of the heirs of Baron de Kalb. 

Congress to M. de la Luzerne. In Congress, May 
17th, 1784, 191 

Regretting his departure. 

To John Jay, Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Paris, 
(date uncertain) 1787 ? - - - - 193 

Requesting him to present to Congress his letter of 
recall from his intended mission to America. 


Organization of a Foreign Department. In Con- 
gress, January 10th, 1781, - - - - 201 

Appointment of a Secretary of Foreign Affairs. In 
Congress, August 10th, 1781, - - - 203 

Election of Mr Livingston. 

To Major General Nathaniel Greene. Philadelphia, 
October 20th, 1781, 203 

Desires to open a correspondence with him. — Con- 
gratulations on his successes. 

To Governor George Clinton, of New York. Phil- 
adelphia, October 22d, 1781, - _ _ 204 

Congratulations on the capture of Cornwallis. — Re- 
quests information. 



To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Oc- 
tober 29th, 1781, 205 

Requests permission to examine the Secret Journals 
and papers of Congress. 

Circular to the Governors of the States. Philadel- 
phia, November 12th, 1781, - - - 205 

Requesting a return of the damage done by the Brit- 
ish in the respective States. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, No- 
vember 18th, 1781, '"- - - - - 207 

Payment of the foreign Ministers. — Allowance for 
different agents. — Atfair of Mr John Temple. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, No- 
vember 25th, 1781, 209 

Enclosing certain papers. 

General Greene to Robert R. Livingston. Camp 
Round O, South Carolina, December 13th, 
1781, ..----- 210 

State of aflFairs in the south. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Janu- 
ary 18th, 1782, 211 

Mr Deane's letters. 

To Governor Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut. 
Philadelphia, January 22d, 1782, - - - 212 

Enclosing copies of Mr Ueane's letters, confirming 
the charges against him. — Desires an account of 
the damage done by tlie British in Connecticut. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Janu- 
ary 25th, 1782, - - - - - - 213 

Proposing certain changes in the organization of his 

To Major General Greene. Office of Foreign 
Affairs, Philadelphia, January 31st, 1782, - 217 

Military operations in Europe. — State of the negoti- 
ations. — important influence of success in America 
on the same. 

Circular X<etter to the Governors of the States. 
Philadelphia, February 18th, 1782, - - 219 

Transmitting resolutions of Congress, relative to 
uniformity in the laws concerning foreigners, and to 
boundaries of the respective States. 

To Governor Rutlege of South Carolina. Office 
of Foreign Affairs, Philadelphia, February 19th, 

1782, 220 

Desires to open a correspondence with him. 



Circular Letter to the Governors of the States. 
Philadelphia, February 19th, 1782, - - 221 

Results of the last campaign. — Present disposition 
and means of England, Holland, Spain, and France. 
— Necessity of exertion at home.^-Urges the 
adoption of measures for raising regular supplies. 

To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 
Affairs, February 21st,"l782, - - - 227 

Recommends a rehearing of the cases of the Dutch 
ship Resolution, and of the Flemish biigantine 
Eeirsten, captured by American privateers, and 
condemned by the American Courts. 

Regulations for the Department of Foreign Affairs. 

In Congress, February 22d, 1782, - - 230 

To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 

Affairs, February 23d, 1782, - - - 234 

Organization of his department. 

To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 
Affairs, February 26th, 1782, - - - 235 

Questions relative to the distribution of fhe prize 
money from the prizes made by the Bon Homme 
To Robert Smhh, Commercial Agent at Havana. 
Philadelphia, Febi-uary 26th, 1782, - - 237 

Desires information relative to the Island of Cuba. 

To Don Francisco Rendon. Philadelphia, Mai-ch 
6th, 1782, ------ 238 

Answer to questions relative to the military force ; 
the resources of the United States ; the probable 
extent of their commerce with Spain : means of 
preventing an illicit commerce with the Spanish 
Colonies ; Spain will be permitted to build and 
arm ships in the United States. 

To John Paul Jones. Philadelphia, April 17th, 
1782, 241 

Enclosing the protest of the commander of a Dutch 
ship. — Requesting information as to the distribu- 
tion of the prize money among the crew of his 

Thomas S. Lee to Robert R. Livingston. An- 
napolis, in Council, April 19th, 1782, - - 242 
Robert Morris to Robert R. Livingston. Office of 
Finance, April 27th, 1782, - - - _ 243 
Desires to be furnished with an account of the sala- 
ries of the foreign Ministers. 



Circular Letter to the Governors of the States. 
Office of Foreign Affairs, Philadelphia, May 2d, 
1782, 243 

The British cabinet refuses to admit the interference 
of the mediating powers between England and her 
Colonies. — Attempts will be made to open negotia- 
tions with the separate States. — Necessity of adopt- 
ing decisive and vigorous measures to counteract 
this policy. — Languidness on the part of the States. 

To Robert Morris. Philadelphia, May 8th, 1782, 247 

Salaries of Ministers. 

To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 

Affairs, May 8th, 1782, - . - - - 247 

Expenses of the foreign department. — Expenses of 
the Ministers abroad. — Enclosing resolutions regu- 
lating the allowance, &c. to the Ministers. 

Charles Thomson to Robert R. Livingston. May 
9th, 1782, - 252 

Places assigned to the Heads of Departments in 
Congress, on occasion of a public audience of the 
French Minister. 

To the Commander in Chief, and Major General 
Greene. Philadelphia, May 13th, 1782, - 253 

Intelligence of the birth of the Dauphin. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May 
13th, 1782, 253 

Proposing an expression of the inviolable attach- 
ment of the United States to the alliance with 
Office of Foreign Affairs, May 13th, 1782, - 254 

Resolution above referred to. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May 
15th, 1782, 255 

Proposing a resolution, granting Mr Jay permission 
to leave Madrid for France or Holland, if he 
thinks proper. 

Office of Foreign Affairs, May 1 5th, 1782, - 255 

Resolution above mentioned. 

To Richard Harrison of Cadiz. Philadelphia, 
May 2 1st, 1782, - - - - - 256 

Professions of kindness from the British commander 
treated with distrust in America. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May 
2lst, 1782, 257 

Enclosing drafts of letters to Mr Dana. 

George Washington to Robert R. Livingston. Head 
Quarters, May 22d, 1782, - - . - 257 

Preparations to celebrate the birth of the Dauphin. 



Governor Trumbull to Robert R. Livingston. Hart- 
ford, May 23d, 1782, 258 

Enclosing copies of letters to Mr Deane. 
To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 

Affairs, June 5th, 1782, - - - - 258 

To Robert Morris. Office of Foreign Affairs, June 

6th, 1782, - 259 

Requesting information relative to interest due on 
Loan Office certificates. 

To Robert Morris. Office of Foj-eign Affairs, June 
6th, 1782, --__.. 259 

Robert Morris to Robert R. Livingston. Office of 
Finance, June 7th, 1782, _ _ . . 260 

Congress have applied to the States for a duty on 
imports, to pay tlie debt. 

To Governor Trumbull. Office of Foreign Affairs, 
June 12th, 1782, - . _ - _ 260 

Mr Deane. 

Governor Greene to Robert R. Livingston. New- 
port, June 15th, 1782, - - - - 261 

Enclosing a letter of congratulation on the birth of 
the Dauphin. 

Robert Mori is to Robert R. Livingston. Office of 
Finance, June 20th, 1782, - - _ _ 262 

Requesting him to make estimates of the expense of 
his department. 

Robert Morris to Robert R. Livingston. Office of 
Finance, June 20th, 1782, - - - _ 262 

Persons having claims on the United States must 
account with vouchers. 

The Governor of North Carolina to Robert R. Liv- 
ingston. North Carolina, June 24th, 1782, 263 

Military preparations of the State.— The State 
records being dispersed, is unable to furnish an 
estimate of the damages done by the British. — 
Transmits a map, showing the boundaries of the 

To the Minister of France. Philadelphia, July 3d, 
1782, - - - - - - _ 264 

Transmitting the letter of congratulation on the birth 
of the Dauphin, from the authorities of Rhode 

To William Lee, at Brussels. Philadelphia, July 

ISth, 1782, .265 

Dr Franklin is directed to discharge his demands. 



Governor Martin to Robert R. Livingston. North 
Carolina, August 20th, 1782, - - - 265 

Disposition of North Carolina towards the enemy. — 
No overtures will be listened to by that State. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Au- 
gust 23d, 1782, - 267 

Accounts of the Ministers. 

To William Moore, President of the Council of 
Pennsylvania. Office of Foreign Affairs, Sep- 
tember 8th, 1782, - - - - - 268 

Urging the passing of laws conformable to the treaty 
of commerce and amity with France. 

To Governor Weare, of New Hampshire. Office 
of Foreign Affairs, September 9th, 1782, - 269 

Case of Mr Mc Clintock. 

To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 
Affairs, September 9th; 1782, - - - 270 

Requests leave of absence. 

To Governor Martin, of North Carolina. Office of 
Foreign Affairs, September 9th, 1782, - - 270 

Requests that further documents relative to the 
boundaries of North Carolina may be transmitted. 

To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 
Affairs, September 11th, 1782, - - - 271 

M. Dumas. — Mr Adams's accounts. — Mr Deane's 
To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 
Affairs, September 12th, 1782, - - - 273 

Enclosing papers. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Sep- 
tember 12th, 1782, 274 

Services of M. Dumas.— Objections to appointing 
him Charge. dJiffaires. 

To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 
Affairs, September 12th, 1782, - - - 275 

Resignation of Mr Laurens. — His salary continued. — 
False account of his conduct in England. 

Circular to the Governors of the States. Office of 
Foreign Affairs, September 12th, 1782, - 276 

Enclosing a resolution of Congress. — Complains that 
former resolutions have not been complied with. 

Circular to the Governors of the States. Office of 
Foreign Affairs. September 15th, 1782, - 277 

Reception of Mr Adams by the States-General. 



General Greene to Robert R. Livingston. Head 
Quarters, October 2d, 1782, - - - 278 

Celebration of the birth of the Dauphin. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Oc- 
tober 29th, 1782, 279 

Recommending Mr Harrison to the notice of Con- 

To Thomas Jefferson. Philadelphia, November 
13th, 1782, 280 

Transmitting his appointment as Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary for negotiating a peace. 

To Governor Matthews, of South Carolina. Phila- 
delphia, November 20th, 1782, - - - 280 

Requests information relative to debts contracted by 
Mr Gillon on behalf of South Carolina. 

To Thomas Barclay. Philadelphia, November 
26th, 1782, - 281 

Transmitting his appointment as Commissioner for 
adjusting the accounts of Congress in Europe. 

Thomas Jefferson to Robert R. Livingston. Ches- 
terfield, November 26th, 1782, - - - 281 
Accepting his appointment as Minister. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, De- 
cember 2d, 1782, 282 

Offers his resignation. — Inadequacy of the allowance. 

To Richard Harrison. Philadelphia, December 
5th, 1782, ------ 284 

State of military affairs in America. 

To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 
Affiiirs, December 9tb, 1782, - _ _ 285 

The Count de Rochambeau orders liis troops to em- 
bark for the West Indies. — Forces remaining. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, De- 
cember 16th, 1782, - - - - - 286 

Extracts from a letter of Mr Jay relative to the 
Western boundary. 

General Greene to Robert R. Livingston. Head 
Quarters, South Carolina, December 19th, 1782, 287 

Evacuation of Charleston. 

To the Committee of Congress appointed to repair 
to Rhode Island. Philadelphia, December 20th, 

1782, ,---.-._ 287 

Improbable that any further supplies will be furnished 
by France. — Nothing is to be expected from Spain. 


To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, De- 
cember 22d, 1782, 288 

Conclusion of the treaty of commerce with Holland. 

Governor Martin to Robert R. Livingston. North 
Carolina, December 23d, 1782, - - - 289 

Is unable to transmit an account of the damages 
done by the British, without an Act of the As- 

Circular to the Governors of the States. Philadel- 
phia, December 23d, 1782, - - - 290 

Enclosing a copy of Mr Oswald's commission to treat 
with the United States. 

To William Greene, Governor of Rhode Island. 
Philadelphia, January 4th, 1783, - - - 291 

Foreign loans and grants since 1779. — Spain. — Por- 
tugal. — Holland. — France. 

Thomas Jefferson to Robert R. Livingston. Bal- 
timore, February 7th, 1783, - - - 297 

Prevented from sailing by English cruisers. 

Thomas Jefferson to M. de la Luzerne. Balti- 
more, February 7th, 1783, - - - - 298 

Is unwillino- to expose the French frigate offered to 
convey him, on his account. 

To General Greene. Philadelphia, February 14th, 
1783, ..---.- 299 

Importance of the evacuation of Charleston. — Pros- 
pect of peace on favorable terms. 

To Thomas Jefferson. Philadelphia, February 
14th, 1783, - 300 

Enclosing a resolution of Congress. 

To Thomas Jefferson. Philadelphia, February 
18th, 1783, - - - - - - 301 

Congress will be unwilling to lose his services, if the 
negotiations are not concluded. 

To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 
Affairs, February 18th, 1783, - - - 302 
Enclosing letters from Mr Jefferson and Mr Lee. 
To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, Feb- 
ruary 26th, 1783, 303 

Inexpediency of keeping Mr Dana at St Petersburg. 
To George Washington. Philadelphia, February 
26th, 1783, - - - - - - 304 

Great Britain appears disposed to peace. — State of 
the negotiations. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, March 
12th, 1783, 305 

Signing of the Preliminary Articles. — Mr Oswald 


proposes that the British forces in America be per- 
mitted to embark for West Florida without moles- 

To General Greene, Philadelphia, March 12th, 
1783, - - 307 

Signing of the preliminaries. — Remaining obstacles 
in the way of a definitive treaty. 

To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 
Affairs, March 13th, 1783, - - - - 309 

Probability of an expedition against West Florida. 

To the Pi-e.sident of Congress. Office of Foreign 
Affairs, March 18th, 1783, - - - - 309 

Appearances of distrust of France in the signing of 
the preliminaries, and the insertion of the Separate 
Article. — Evils which may arise from these meas- 
ures. — Proposes that Congress adopt resolutions, 
directing the communication of the article to the 
French Minister, and declaring the preliminaries 
are not to take efl'ect until peace is signed between 
France and Great Britain. 

Circular to the Governors of the States. Philadel- 
phia, March 18th, 1783, - - - _ 315 

Forwarding a copy of the preliminary treaty. — The 
conclusion of the definitive treaty is yet uncertain. 
— Warlike preparations are continued by France 
and England. — Desires that an account of the dam- 
age done by the enemy may be transmitted to him. 

To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 
Affairs, Philadelphia, March 21st, 1783, - 317 

Enclosing a letter from Mr Barclay. 

To George Washington. Pliiladelphia, March 
24th, 1783, - 318 

Intelligence of a general peace. 

To Sir Guy Carleton. Philadelphia, March 24th, 
1783, ---._.. 319 

The French cruisers are recalled. — Expresses a wish 
that measures may be taken by the English com- 
manders to discontinue hostilities. 

To Rear Admiral Digby. Office of Foreign 
Affairs, Philadelphia, March 24th, 1783, - 320 

Desiring that measures may be concerted for the 
cessation of hostilities. 

Sir Guy Carleton to Robert R. Livingston. New 
York, March 26th, 1783, - - - - 321 

Does not feel authorised to order a cessation of 
hostilities without official communication. — Pre- 
sumes that Congress will immediately release 
prisoners of war. 




Admiral Digby to Robert R. Livingston. New 
York, Marcb 27th, 1783, - - - - 322 

Cannot withdraw his cruisers until the reception of 
official accounts- 

To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 
Affair.",, March 28th, 1783, - - - - 323 

Moneys remaining in his hand. 

To Thomas Jefferson. Philadelphia, April 4th, 1783, 324 

His departure is rendered unnecessary by the peace. 

William Paca to Robert R. Livingston. In Coun- 
cil, Annapolis, April 4th, 1783, - - - 324 

Measures taken to ascertain the damages done by 
the British. 

Sir Guy Carleton to Robert R. Livingston. New 
York, April 6th, 1783, - - - - 325 

Receives official information of the conclusion of 
peace. — Liberation of prisoners. — Restitution of. 
confiscated estates. 

Admiral Dighy to Robert R. Livingston. Lion, 
offNew York, April 6th, 1783, - - - 327 

Recall of British cruisers. 

To the President of Congress. Office of Foreign 
Affairs, April 10th, 1783, - - - - 327 

Communicating tlie preceding letters.— Doubts as to 
the time of the cessation of hostilities. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, April 
10th, 1783, ------ 328 

Encloses a draft of a Proclamation for the suspension 
of hostilities. 

To Gen. Greene. Philadelphia, April 12th, 1783, 329 
Communicating the Proclamation of the suspension 
of hostilities. 

To Sir Guy Carleton. Philadelphia, April 12th, 
1783, -"•----- 330 

Cessation of hostilities. 

To Rear Admiral Digby. Philadelphia, April 
]2th, 1783, ----- _ 332 

Recall of American cruisers. — Captures made subse- 
quent to the 3d of March on the American coast. 

To George Washington. Philadelphia, April 12th, 
1783, - ''- - - - - - 333 

Congratulations on the peace. — No time fixed for the 
evacuation of New York. 

Circular to the Governors of the States. Philadel- 
phia, April 12lh, 1783, - - . _ 334 

Congratulations on the peace. 


Sir Guy Carleton to Robert "R. Livingston. New 
York, April 14th, 1783, - - - - 335 

Requests the appointment of an agent of Congress to 
superintend the embarkations on the evacuation of 
New York. 
To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, April 
21st, 1783, - - - - - - 335 

Inexpediency of advancing the sums required by Mr 
Dana, in case of a treaty with Russia. 

George Washington to Robert R. Livin2;ston. Head 
Quarters, April 22d, 1783, - ^ - - 336 

Liberation of prisoners. 

George Washington to Robert R. Livingston. Head 
Quarters, May 13th, 1783, - - - - 337 

Indecisive interview witli Sir Guy Carleton. — Dis- 
inclined to give up Long Island. 

To the Chairman of a Committee of Congress. 
Philadelphia, May 19th, 1783, - - - 338 

Desires to retire from his ofRce. — His expenses have 
exceeded the salary. 

To Joseph Nourse. Philadelphia, May 26th, 1783, 340 

Account of the moneys received from Holland, 
France, and Spain. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, June 
2d, 1783, ------- 342 

Transmitting a letter from M. Dumas. 


Organization of the Finance Department. In Con- 
gress, February 7tb, 1781, - - - - 347 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, 
March 13th, 1781, - - - - - .348 

Objections to accepting tlie office of Superintendent 
of Finance. — Conditions on which he will enter 
the post. 

Proceedings in Congress, _ _ _ _ 352 

Resolutions empowering Mr Morris to appoint his 
own assistants. 

To a Committee of Congress. Date uncertain, 353 

Powers necessary for conducting the affairs of his 

department. — Officers that must be subject to his 

Proceedings in Congress, - _ _ _ 355 

Relative to the appointment and removal of officers 
by the Superintendent of Finance. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May 
14th, 1781, ..---- 360 

Causes which will delay his entering on the duties 
of his office. — Requests that all past transactions 
may be adjusted, and that all debts remaining due 
may be funded. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May 
17th, 1781, - - - - - - 364 

Enclosing a plan for a National Bank. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May 
23d, 1781, - - - - - - 3C4 

Requests to be autiiorised to import specie at the risk 
of Congress. 

To Alexander Hamilton. Philadelphia, May 26ih, 
1781, - 365 

Reasons for the small capital of the bank. 

To Major General Philip Schuyler. Philadelphia, 
May 29th, 1781, 367 

Requesting him to purchase flour. — Pledges himself 
in his public and private capacity to advance the 
money for the same. 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, June 
4th, 1781, 370 

The money granted by France has not been placed 
to his order. 

To B. Franklin. Philadelphia, June 8th, 1781, 370 

The grant of France having been committed to his 
disposition, he has made Le Couteulx & Co. his 

To Messrs Le Couteulx &. Co., Bankers in Paris. 
Philadelphia, June 8th, 1781, - - - 372 

Appointing them bankers for the United States. 

To M. de la Luzeine, Minister of France. Phila- 
delphia, June 8th, 1781, - - - - 373 

Requesting him to order five hundred thousand 
livres to be deposited with Le Couteulx & Co. 

Circular respecting the National Bank. Philadel- 
phia, June 1 Ith,^ 1781, - - - - .374 

To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, June 
21st, 1781, - - - - - - 376 

Desires to be intrusted with th^ disposition of bills 
deposited by Congress with the Pennsylvania bank. 

To B. Franklin. Philadelphia, July 13th, 1781, 377 

Efforts to restore the credit of the United States. — 
Necessity of foreign aid. — Applications are di- 
rected to be made to Spain. — Desires a loan of 
fifteen millions from France to pay off the Loan 
Office Certificates. 



ToB. Franklin. Philadelphia, July 14th, 1781, 383 

Requests him to converse with the Paris bankers on 
tlie plan of the National Bank. — The bank will 
deal profitably in bills of exchange. — Intended in- 
crease of the capital. 

To the Governor of Havana. Philadelphia, July 
17th, 1781, -...-- 384 

State of the finances. — Plan of the National Bank. — 
Solicits deposits from Spain. — Sends bills for this 
purpose. — Sends a frigate to receive the sum 
drawn for in specie. 

To Robert Smith. Philadelphia, July 17th, 1781, 390 

Directing him to use his efforts in favor of the bank. — 
Sends a cargo of flour to be returned in specie. — 
Bill of exchange on Messrs Le Couteulx & Co. 
to be presented to the Governor of Havana. 

To B. Franklin. Philadelphia, July 19th, 1781, 395 

Supplies obtained by Colonel Laurens. — The pro- 
posed new loan may be retained in France. 

To B. Franklin. Philadelphia, July 21st, 1781, 396 

Banking operations in regard to the Pennsylvania 
emission of bills of credit. — Has been unable to 
fulfil Dt Franklin's contract relative to supplies. 

Circular to the Governors of the States. Philadel- 
phia, July 25th, 1781, - - - - 400 

The accounts of the United States with the States 
will be liquidated as soon as possible. — Desires to 
be informed of the revenue and financial operations 
of the State. 

B. Franklin to Robert Morris. Passy, July 26th, 
1781, - - - - - - - 405 

Expressing his satisfaction with Mr Morris's appoint- 
ment. — Difficulties in the situation of a public officer. 

B. Franklin to Robert Morris. Passy, July 26th, 

1781, - - - - "- - - 406 

Disposition of the moneys raised in France. 

To the Governors of several States. Philadelphia, 
July 27th, 1781, - - - - - 408 

Importance of a compliance with the recommendation 
of Congress for laying an impost on imports. — 
Answer to the objection, that commerce will not 
bear the duty. — Error of the notion that the dut\' 
should be carried to the account of the State where 
levied. — The debt cannot be apportioned to the 
States. — Hopes of the enemy from disunion. 

To John Jay. Philadelphia, July 29th, 1781, 414 

Enclosing the above letters to the Governor of 
Havana and Mr Smith. 

To the President of the Council of Pennsylvania. 
Philadelphia, July 30th, 1781, - - - 415 


Financial operations of Pennsylvania. — Accounts 
with the United States. — Mr Searle's mission to 

George Washington to Robert Morris. Head Quar- 
ters, Dobbs's Ferry, August 2cl, 1781, - - 417 

Plan of striking a blow in Virginia. — Wishes informa- 
tion as to the probability of obtaining vessels and 
provisions in the Chesapeake. la Luzerne. Pliiladelphia, Aug. 2d, 1781, 419 

Fluctuations in the exchange between the United 
States and France. — Efforts to raise and settle the 
value of the bills. — The bills issued by the French 
have disturbed his operations. — Offers to negotiate 
their bills, or supply tlie French forces. la Luzerne. Philadelphia, Aug. 4th, 1781, 423 

Rate of exchange. — Sum necessary to supply the 
French army. 

To tlie Governor of Massachusetts, Office of Fi- 
nance, August 4th, 1781, _ . - _ 424 

Desiring him to equip the America, and to fit the 
Deane and Alliance for sea. 

To the Governors of Delaware, Maryland, and 
New Jersey. Philadelphia, August 4th, 1781, 425 

Requesting them to comply with the demands of Mr 
Gouverneur Morris during his absence. 

To George Washington. Camp, Aug. 13th, 1781, 426 

Impolicy of making large demands on the Stales. — 
Proposing reforms in tlie army. — Proposing queries 
on this subject. 

George Washington to Robert Morris. Head Quar- 
ters, Dobbs's" Ferry, August 17th, 1781, - 430 

Provisions required for the expedition to Virginia. — 
Necessary to give the troops one month's pay. — 
Requires five hundred guineas for secret services. 

To George Washington. Office of Finance, Au- 
gust 22d, 1781, ------ 431 

Difficulty of raising specie. 

To the Governors of New Jersey and Delaware. 
Office of Finance, August 22d, 1781, - - 432 

Urging the furnishing of supplies. 

To the Governor of Virginia. Office of Finance, 
August 23d, 1781, -.-..." : "434 

Preparations necessary in Virginia. — Desires in- 
formation as to the amount of supplies which can 
be furnished. 

To Messrs Le Couteulx h Co. Office of Finance, 
Philadelphia, August 26th, 1781, - - - 435 
Bills drawn on them. — Funds deposited to meet the 


George Washington to Robert Morris. Cliatham, 
August 27tii, 1781, - - - - - 436 

Preparations for the expedition into Virginia. — De- 
sires pay for the troops. 

To Donaldson Yeates, Office of Finance, August 
.2Sth, 1781, ..__-- 438 

Directing him to engage vessels for the transporta- 
tion of the expedition into Virginia. 

To B. Franklin. Philadelphia, August 28th, 1781, 439 

Drafts on Le Couteulx «fc Co. — Resignation of M. 
Necker. — Arrival of Colonel Laurens. — Expe- 
dition to Virginia. 

To the President of Congress. August 28th, 178J, 442 

Urges the settlement of the accounts of the States. — 
A certain quota of the past expenses, except the 
public debt, should be established for each State. — 
Amount of the requisitions to March 1st, 1780. — 
Manner of apportioning the sums. — Accounts since 
March 18th, 1780. — Reasons for excepting the 
public debt trom this apportionment. — Suggests 
appropriations for the payment of the debt. — Man- 
ner of liquidating accounts of holders of certifi- 
cates, for articles taken in the public service. 

To the Governor of Maryland. OlRce of Finance, 
Philadelphia, August 28th, 1781, - - - 459 

Urges supplies for the operations in Virginia. 

Circular to the Governors of the States. Office of 
Finance, September 4th, 1781, _ _ _ 462 

Desiring the adoption of measures facilitating the 
operations of the bank. 

To the Count de Rochambeau. Office of Finance, 
September 6th, 1781,- - - - - 464 

Requesting the payment of money promised, to the 

To George Washington. Chester, Sept. 6th, 1781, 466 

Promising a month's pay to General Lincoln's troops. 

George Washington to Robert Morris. Head of 
the Elk, September 6th, 1781,- - - - 467 

Urging a supply of money for the troops. 

George Washington to Robert Morris. Head of 
the Elk, September 7th, 1781, - - - 467 

The sum promised by Rochambeau insufficient. 

To George Washington. Office of Finance, Sep- 
tember 10th, 1781, - - - - - 468 

Difficulty of advancing an additional sum of money. 

B. Franklin to Robert Morris. Passy, September 
12th, 1781, -.-... 4G9 

Obtains the sum necessary to meet the payments 
in Holland. — Cannot meet the new drafts. 



To M. de ]a Luzerne. Office of Finance, Sep- 
tember 20th, 1781, - - - - - 471 

Wishes to be allowed further time for repaying the 
sum advanced by the Count de Rochambeau. 

To the Piesident of the Council of Pennsylvania. 
Office of Finance, September 20th, 1781, - 472 

Unable to promise any assistance. 

To M. de la Luzerne. Office of Finance, Septem- 
ber 25th, 1781, - - - - - - 473 

Amount of bills drawn on Messrs Le Cbuteulx & Co. 
— Rates of sale. — Necessities of the United States. 

To the Speaker of the Assembly of Pennsylvania. 
Office of Finance, September 28th, 1781, - 478 

Accounts between Pennsylvania and the U. States. 

To the Count de Rochambeau. Office of Finance, 
October 1st, 1781, - - - - - 484 

Reasons for not repaying the sum advanced by him. 

To Major General Greene. Office of Finance, 
October 3d, 1781, - - - - - 484 

Inefficiency of the confederacy. — Funds in his hands. 

To the Commissary General of Purchases. Office 
of Finance, October 4th, 1781, - - - 48G 

Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland, must furnish sup- 

To Messrs Le Couteulx & Co. Office of Finance, 
October 12th, 1781, - - - - - 487 

Depositing money subject to his drafts. 

To the Loan Officers of the States. Office of Fi- 
nance, October 13th, 1781, - - - - 488 

Requiring- preparations for settling their accounts 
with the United States. 

To the Governor of Virginia. Philadelphia, Octo- 
ber 16th, 1781, - 489 

Inadequacy of paper emissions and specific supplies. 
— Necessity of a revenue in hard money. 

To the President ot Congress. Office of Finance, 
October ISth, 1781, - - - - - 490 

Impolicy of settling private demands on Congress. — 
Estimate of sums required for immediate service 

Circular to the Governors of the several States. 
Office of Finance, October 19th, 1781, - - 494 

Too much reliance has been placed on foreign aid. 
— Aid furnished by France. — Annual expense of 
the war. — Necessity of a solid revenue. — Urges a 
compliance with the requisitions of Congress. 

To Major General Greene. Office of Finance, 

November 2d, 1781, 502 

Difficulty of procuring pecuniarv supplies. 




C. A. DE LA i;UZEK,NE ; 






Philadelphia, September 10th, 1781. 

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
has the honor of communicating to Congress the com- 
mission of M. Holker, as Consul General of France, in 
the States of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and 
Delaware. He requests Congress to pass an act, or four 
different acts, in order to procure for this Consul the 
exequatur in each of the States, to which his functions are 
to extend. 





Philadelphia, September 18tb, 1781. 

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
has the honor of informing Congress, that he has received 
despatches from his Court, containing important details 
relative to the communications, which have taken place 
between the belligerent and mediating powers. He 
wishes that Congress woi>ld be pleased to appoint a com- 
mittee, to whom he shall communicate them, and with 
whom he shall confer upon the present state of affairs. 
He has also received orders frotn his Court, relative 
to the advances made on account of the Tliirteen States, 
and concerning their finances ; he will have the honor 
of communicating them to Congress through a com- 



In Congress, September 21st, 1781. 

The committee, to whom was referred the Memorial of 
the Minister Plenipotentiary of France, dated th6 18th 
instant, requesting a conference, report, 

That they have this day held a conference with the 
said Minister Plenipotentiary, and received the following 
communications contained in sundry despatches from 
Count de Vergennes, Minister for Foreign Affairs to his 
Most Christian Majesty, viz. 


From a letter of the I9th of April. — That Count de 
Vergennes had transmitted to the Minister the details 
respecting the proposed mediation ef the Courts of Vi- 
enna and Petersburg. The Minister observed, tliat this 
had already been communicated to Congress through a 
committee. He repealed, for our recollection, that the 
acceptance on the part of France of the proposed me- 
diation depended entirely, at that lime, on the concurrence 
of the United States ; and that with respect to Spain, its 
conduct would be determined by the dissolution of the 
negotiation with Mr Cumberland. That the Court of 
Spain had informed the Court of London, on the first 
proposal of the mediation of the Imperial Courts, ihat as 
a direct negotiation with the King of Great Britain 
was opened through Mr Cumberland, a mediation was 

That affairs since that time had taken a different turn. 
Mr Cumberland has been recalled ; and the Catholic 
King, being now entirely at liberty, has accepted the me- 
diation of the two Imperial Courts. That the King, our 
ally, had done the same ; but that both Kings had de- 
clared at the same time to the two mediators, that the 
mediation could not possibly have any activity, without 
previously establishing some fundamental preliminaries. 
Of this observation the two mediating Cou);3" had already 
felt the propriety. That France was then (viz. the 19th 
of April) expecting the effect, which this communication 
would produce on the Court of London. That the first 
question proposed by France, related to the admission 
of an American Plenipotentiary; and that the object of 
the second was to know, upon what footing the King of 
England intended to treat with the United States, The 


Court of France, not knowing that the United States had 
agreed to accept the mediation, again invite us to it. 

The Minister here observed, that Congress would judge 
by the questions proposed to the mediating powers, by the 
King his master, of the principles, by which his Majesty 
was actuated with respect to the United States. He as- 
sured us, that his Majesty is invariably resolved to abide 
by those principles, and will enter into no negotiation what- 
ever before he shall receive a satisfactory solution of those 
two questions. He added, that the French Ministry 
trusted, that this conduct would more and more convince 
the United States, and would cause them lo imitate the 
example of the King, and to feel that their honor and their 
interest call for their constant attachment, their friendship, 
and unreserved confidence towards him. 

The Count de Vergennes observes, that it is plain from 
these circumstances, that the negotiation for peace will be 
full of difficulties, and that it will probably be necessary, 
in pretensions as well as proceedings, to be very cautious, 
and to act so as to remove those difficulties, and every- 
thing, which might increase the acrimony, to which the 
English Plenipotentiaries may be naturally inclined. 

From another letter of the same date. — That when 
this letter was written, the Court had received informa- 
tion of the sentiments of the Court of London with re- 
spect to the United States. The Count de Vergennes 
mentions, that in the act, by which the Court of London 
accepts the mediation of Russia, and requests the me- 
diation of the Emperor, she declares, that she is ready 
to make peace, as soon as the league between France 
and her revolted subjects shall be dissolved. That this 
pretension had met from the Court of France the con- 


tempt which it deserved. She on her part has declared, 
that if this proposition contained the last determination of 
England, it would be in vain to think of peace ; and she 
has desired the English Ministry to give a positive answer 
on the two questions above mentioned. That this declara- 
tion had been exactly transmitted by the Court of Vienna 
to that of London ; and the result of the answer made by 
that Court to the Imperial Majesty is, ^Hhat in all points 
to he agitated in a future Congress, England will behave 
vnth great equity and condescension ; but the dependence 
of her rebel subjects in America must be pre-established, 
and that this matter must be left entirely to the care of 
Great Britain.'^ That it is easily to be perceived, that 
while things remain in this situation there can be no possi- 
bility of a mediation or peace. 

The Count de remarks, that Congress will 
be finally convinced, that it is only by arms and the most 
vigorous exertions, that our independence can be extorted 
from the Court of London, and not at all by negotiation 
or persuasion. That the Court of France will transmit to 
the Court of Vienna the sentiments of the King on the 
British answer. That if these sentiments should be for- 
warded to the Court of London without any commen- 
tary, it is probable they would make but a slight impres- 
sion ; but it may be hoped from the justice of his Impe- 
rial Majesty, that they will be so supported by such reflec- 
tions as to make a greater impression on the British Court; 
altliough it is not to be expected, that the Austrian Court 
will fully enter into the views of his Most Christian Maj- 
esty, until the matter shall be more perfectly explained. 
The Count, nevertheless, urges the necessity of sending 
forward proper instructions and powers for the mediation- 


From a letter of the llth of May. — That the affair 
of the mediatioH has made no progress; and that it is 
very probable, that the mediators will not be soon ena- 
bled to begin the negotiation. That the admission of an 
American Plenipotentiary presents the greatest difficulties. 
That the Count, however, will take every measure in his 
power to have this admission decided in favor of the United 
States, before the regulai; opening of the mediation. The 
Count urges the Chevalier de la Luzerne to observe to 
Congress, that the best manner of removing these obsta- 
cles would be a decisive victory, gained by the United 
States in the present campaign. 

From a letter of the 27th of July. — Count de Vergennes 
observes on an opinion, which prevailed in America, re- 
specting the friendly disposition of the powers of Europe 
towards the United Stales, that as yet, not one Court had 
taken the least step, which manifests their disposition to- 
wards the United States. Tiiat the Courts of Vienna 
and Petersburg, having assumed the character of medi- 
ators, cannot be too reserved. For by a different conduct 
they would become obnoxious to one o:' other of the bel- 
ligerent powers, and lose the important and glorious part, 
with which they are intrusted. That it results from these 
observations, that the United States ought to look upon 
themselves as being still separated from all other powers; 
and that they have but one professed friend, which is 
France ; and that the United States ought to rely princi- 
pally upon their own resources. 

The Count de Vergennes observes, that he has talked 
circumstantially with Mr Adams on these subjects, who 
appeared to be satisfied with what had been done in favor 
of his country. That he had communicated to Mr Adams 


the preliminary overtures made by the two Imperial 
Courts, as well as the intended answer of his Most Chris- 
tian Majesty. That the great or only difficulty concerns 
America. That France will do all in her power to re- 
move that obstacle, upon which depends the activity of 
the mediation. That as soon as it shall be removed, or 
proved to be insurmountable, proper instructions will be 
forwarded to the Chevalier de la Luzerne, concerning the 
conduct, which the state of "affairs will require from Con- 
gress. That the Court of France had received, with 
great satisfaction, information, that Congress were disposed 
to trust their interest to the two mediating powers. The 
Chevalier de la Luzerne is directed to inform Congress, 
that no use shall be made of this disposition, in the present 
state of affairs ; and that it shall be communicated only 
when it can be done consistently with the dignity of the 
United States. 

From a letter of the I9th of April. — That Mr Dana 
has communicated to Count de Vergennes his appointment, 
and requested his advice concerning the conduct, which 
circumstances demanded on his part. That it gave the 
Count great pleasure to observe this proof of the confi- 
dence, which Congress and their Ministers reposed in the 
friendship and advice of his Court. That the Count in- 
formed Mr Dana, that he would run the risk of exposing 
his person, and the dignity of the United States, if he as- 
sumed any character whatsoever in Russia, while the Em- 
press had not acknowledged the independence of the 
United States, and expected to act the part of a mediatrix, 
which demanded the most perfect impartiality. That 
Mr Dana felt the propriety of the observation ; and pro- 
posed to the Count, that he should appear in Russia in 

VOL. XI. 2 




the character of a common traveller, keep his commission 
a secret, and avoid with the greatest care to speak of bus- 
iness, unless requested so to do by the Russian Ministry. 
That the Count fully approved of this prudent scheme ; 
and apprized Mr Dana of all the difficulties he would 
meet with. He had him recommended to the Marquis de 
Verac, Envoy Extraordinary at the Court of Petersburg ; 
and the Chevalier de la Luzerne is directed to assure 
Congress, that the Marquis de Verac would do all in his 
power for Mr Dana's best reception, and with pleasure 
assist him with his counsels, as often as he should have 
recourse to them. That the Marquis de Verac had com- 
municated to the Russian Ministry the resoli-.iion of Con- 
gress, concerning the principle of the declaration made 
by the Empress of Russia to the belligerent powers. 
That this Envoy informs the Count de Vergennes, that 
the contents of this resolution had afforded great satis- 
faction to Count Panin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who 
intended to submit it without delay to the perusal of the 
Empress. That the Marquis de Verac did not doubt, 
but that she would be pleased with the readiness of Con- 
gress to adopt that principle ; and that correspondent 
resolutions will have been taken respecting the navigation 
of the neutrals. 

From a letter of the 29ih of June. — That the acces- 
sion of the Slate of Maryland to the general confederation, 
in the opinion of the Court of France, presents very great 
advantages ; among which is this, that Congress having 
at last acquired that power, which the act of confederation 
has assigned them, it is to be expected, that their orders 
win be fully and exactly executed, and that thpy will take 
advantage of the resources of their country, to give to 



American patriotism new energy. The Minister is directed 
to inform Congress of the satisfaction the King has re- 
ceived on that account, and to tell them at the same time, 
that there is the most pressing necessity to take more ef- 
fectual measures than heretofore to drive the British out 
of this continent. It is thought needless to enter into de- 
tails about the circumstances, which render this measure 
necessary. The King entreats the United States, as his 
friends, not to lose a .Tioraent in acting as vigorously as 
possible against the common enemy. That Congress can- 
not be particularly acquainted with the different burdens, 
which France has upon her hands. She wishes to be in 
a situation to continue as effectual assistance to tl e United 
States as at this moment ; but future events may happen 
in a manner different from what we may expect, though 
nothing can change her unalterable resolution to support 
the independence of her ally. Tiie Count de Vergennes 
observes, that he shall not speak any more of the non 
arrival of the second division, having reason to believe 
from orders given to Count de Grasse, that the delay will 
be judged of greater utility to the United Stales, than if 
the annoimced reinforcement bad been sent in the time 
expected. He -adds, that the Chevalier de la Luzerne 
had been already informed of the causes, which had pre- 
vented a compliance with the expectation, which he had 
been authorised to give. 

From a letter of the Wth of May. — That the Count 
de Vergeimes had been informed by the Due de la 
Vauguyori, Ambassador to the United Provinces, of the 
intention of Mr Adams to display his character as a Min- 
ister of the United States in Holland. That the Duke 
gave him no assistance on that occasion, knowing the ap- 



plication would have no favorable issue. The Chevalier 
de la Luzerne is directed to inform confidentially a com- 
mittee, or Congress themselves, of these circumstances, 
in order, that they may transmit to their said Minister 
Plenipotentiary such instructions as they may think proper. 
France is too much interested in the fate of the United 
States not to give them such counsels as would have for a 
principal object their advantage and their dignity. 

At a second conference, on the 24th of September, the 
following additional communications were made by the 
French Minister to the committee. 

From a letter of the I9th of April, 1781.— That Count 
de Vergennes remarks, that on the application of Chev- 
alier de la Luzerne, and his representation of the distresses 
of the United States, measures had been taken for our 
aid when Colonel Laurens arrived. That it being impos- 
sible for the King to comply with all Colonel Laurens's 
demands, he took the resolution to offer his guarantee for 
ten millions of livres tournois, to be borrowed in Holland, 
for account of the United States. That the King was 
sensible of the wants and distresses of Congress, and 
wished to relieve them ; but that it ought to be considered; 
that the French squadron and troops are in America for 
our immediate assistance. That Count de Grasse's ex- 
pedition to America will occasion great expense; and that 
all those things collected together, would go far beyond 
even the expectation of Congress. That the most essen- 
tial manner of showing the gratitude of the United States 
would be, by making all the exertions in their power, to 
co-operate in a gl rious and effectual mainer with the 
King's forces for their own speedy deliverance. 


The Count de Vergennes observes, that a part of the 
six millions of livres would be employed in purchasing 
the different articles, contained in a list delivered by Mr 
Laurens. That three millions would be given by instal- 
ments to Dr Franklin, for the payment of bills of exchange 
drawn by Congress. That a fourth million would be re- 
served for unforeseen emergencies, and particularly to pay 
for the supplies embarked in the ship Lafayette. That 
Count de Vergennes had been Dr Franklin's security for 
a part of those supplies, amounting to four hundred and 
seventeen thousand livres. That he is unacquainted with 
the measures, which had been taken to effectuate the loan 
of ten millions in Holland, that affair being in the province 
of M. Necker, who probably would settle that matter with 
Mr Laurens, or with Mr Adams, who at that time was 
still in Holland to fill up a loan of a million florins, which 
he had opened several months before. 

From a letter of the Wth of May. — That Count de 
Vergennes informs the Chevalier de la Luzerne, that or- 
ders had been given by the King to have the loan of 
ten millions, on account of the United States, negotiated ; 
that the Due de la Vauguyon had received orders to 
propose it to the States of Holland, but met with insu- 
perable ditficulties, not only because the United States 
had no credit in Holland, but also because that Province 
was afraid of exposing itself; and that indeed granting 
a loan to the United States would be the same thing as 
countenancing their independence, which would be con- 
trary to the obligations entered into by the republic with 
the neutral powers ; that in order to remove this difficulty, 
the King had presented himself as a principal borrower, 
and as being alone accountable for the sums, which were 
to be furnished. 


The Count adds, that he thinks these proceedings need 
no comnnentary ; and that a mere exposition of them will 
be sufficient to excite the gratitude of the United States, 
and to engage them at last to make ail the exertions ia 
their power. The Count flatters himself, that the meas- 
ures, which have been taken by his Court, will enable 
Congress to put their finances in the best order. That the 
Chevalier de la Luzerne had often written to him, that 
the most certain way to effectuate so happy an event 
would be, to put Congress for a while out of their dis- 
tressing situation, and to enable them, by an external re- 
lief, to take internal measures without precipitation, and 
wit!) solidity. That these considerations determined the 
King ; and that from affection he has done more for his 
ally than mere prudence would, perhaps, have suggested 
to him. That the Council of the King have no doubt 
but this resolution will be productive of the good effects, 
which the Chevalier de la Luzerne had announced. The 
Count exhorts Congress to take hold of the present cir- 
cumstances for the common advantage. He thinks it his 
duty freely and openly to declare, that the moment is 
come not to spend the time in expectation, deliberation, 
and useless exhortations ; that though he would wish to 
avoid every disagreeable intimation, friendship and com- 
mon interest oblige France to speak without reserve, and 
with perfect sincerity. That the King has done on (his 
occasion what he can do no more ; that Congress, if well 
informed of the situation of his Majesty's affairs, would 
be sensible that an exertion like the present caimot be 
repeated ; and that the Court would feel the deepest con- 
cern, if it was under the disagreeable but indispensable 
necessity of refusing the demands of an ally, whose cause 
is now become its own. 


From a letter of the I4th of May. — That Count de 
Vergennes observes, that Colonel Laurens had taken leave 
of the King, and that he ought to be satisfied with the suc- 
cess of l)is nnission, although he had not obtained all that 
he demanded. That the Court of France hopes these 
denriands will not be renewed ; for how disagreeable soever 
to refuse allies whom the King sincerely loves, necessity 
would oblige him to reject pecuniary detnands of any kind 

From a letter of the 27th of July. — That the Cheva- 
lier de la Luzerne observed, that in March last he inform- 
ed Congress, that the Court no longer pay the bills drawn 
upon France ; upon which declaration he believes Con-- 
gress stopped all drafts on Dr Franklin. That he informed 
the Court of that resolution of Congress. The Court in 
the meantime had resolved to grant a subsidy of six mil- 
lions, to be employed in purchasing arms, ammunition, and 
clothing, to be sent from France to the United States ; and 
the remainder of the sum to be employed in paying the 
drafts of Congress, or of any person they might appoint. 
Mr Morris being appointed Superintendent, the Minister 
according to his instructions authorised him to draw for half 
a million of livres, and informed M. Necker of this meas- 
ure ; accordingly funds were prepared for a regular pay- 
ment. The Chevalier de la Luzerne had agreed with the 
Superintendent, that he might draw in the whole for a 
million and a half, including the half million above men- 
tioned ; of all which he had informed Count de Vergennes. 
Colonel Laurens being in the meanwhile arrived in 
France, it was found from iiis representation, that the 
mode of drawing was prejudicial to Congress, and that 
if the specie was imported, there would be no loss; and 


it was agreed, that he should bring over two millions and 
a half, out of the six millions, in specie. In consequence 
of this measure, Count de Vergennes acquaints the Chev- 
alier de la Luzerne, that he hopes the Superintendent will 
not have drawn more than the before mentioned half mil- 
lion of livres. He wishes it the more earnestly, as bills 
for a greater sum would embarrass the finances of France 
in a great degree, the goods delivered to Colonel Laurens 
exceeding already the sum remaining out of the six mil- 
lions, and the goods taken on board the Marquis de La- 
fayette being not yet replaced. 

For a fuller explanation, the Chevalier de la Luzerne 
communicated to the Committee an account of the sums 
already furnished, and to be furnished from this time to 
the end of the present year for the service of the United 
States. That he had orders to take hold of this oppor- 
tunity to repeat to Congress, that the King for the next 
year cannot continue any supplies to the United States, 
even of a much less nature. That it is time for them to 
relieve his Majesty from the heavy burdens in a war, which 
he had undertaken and carries on for their sakes. That 
the Count de Vergennes expects, that Congress will not 
have drawn more bills of any kind after the 1st day of 
April last ; that firmly relying on this, he had engaged the 
King to procure the necessary sums to answer the bills 
drawn before that period, and desired Dr Franklin to ac- 
cept no more, if he had no other means of paying them j 
that this resolution could not be altered by any circum- 
stances whatever. 

The Count de Vergennes proceeds to state, how far 
the abuse of the King's benevolence had been carried, he 
supposes against the will and instructions and without the 


knowledge of Congress. That the bills drawn upon Mr 
Jay, Mr Adams, and Mr Laurens, had been sent back to 
Dr Franklin, that is, in effect to the Court of France. 
That the Republic of Holland had been unwilling to hear 
of any loan, even under the guarantee of the King, when 
it was known that the money was intended for the use of 
the United States ; and that to remove this obstacle, as he 
had before observed, the King was induced to present 
himself as the principal borrower. The Court was still 
unacquainted widi the effect of that proposition. 



Philadelphia, September 24th, 1781. 

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
has the honor of communicating to Congress a Memorial, 
which has been sent to him by Don Francisco Rendon. 
He entreats Congress to take it into consideration, and he 
has no doubt that the resolution, which that body shall 
pass upon the subject, will be as advantageous to the sub- 
jects of his Catholic Majesty as justice will allow. 




May it please your Excellency, 
Don Francisco Rendon, resident in this city, Encargado 
de JVegocios for the Couit of Spain, with all due respect, 

VOL. XI. 3 


informs your Excellency, that in consequence of the arti- 
cles of capitulation granted to the troops and inhabitants 
of his Britannic Majesty at the reduction of Pensacola, by 
Don Bernardo de Galvez, commander in chief of the 
forces of his Catholic iVlajesty, permission was granted 
by the Governor of the place to Captain Jahleel Smith, 
with his vessel called the Sally, her crew and passengers 
contained in the passport, to go to New York, six of the 
passengers being prisoners on parole, to be exchanged for 
an equal number of Spanish prisoners ; that in his pas- 
sage the said flag was captured by an American vessel, 
called the Betsy, Captain Enos, belonging to tlie Slate of 
Pennsylvania ; that in consequence thereof, the said J. 
Smith has presented to me a petition and an account, 
which I herewith enclose, praying me to obtain for him 
an indemnification and payment for the dafnages he has 
sustained, and that liberty may be granted him by the 
supreme authority to pass freely to the place of his des- 
tination, agreeable to the permission of the Generals of the 
King, my master. 

I therefore entreat, that your Excellency would be 
pleased to present this Memorial, with the documents ac- 
companying it, to the Honorable Congress, and pray them 
to order paytnent to be made to the Captain of the flag, 
for the delay and damages occasioned by this capture, 
and gra t the said prisoners of his Catholic Majesty men- 
tioned in the passport, free permission to go to New York, 
in order to discharge their parole and obtain their ex- 
change. I am induced by your Excellency's goodness to 
hope for this favor, and am, he. 




Philadelphia, September 25th, 1781. 

The United States in Congress assembled, ever desir- 
ous to observe good faith and maintain the rights of neu- 
trality, and sincerely disposed to cultivate the friendship 
of his Catholic ]\Iajesty, liave referred the Memorial pre- 
sented by your Excellency, in lavor of Jahleel Smith, 
master of the schooner Sally, to a committee of Congress, 
who now have it under consideration. 

To form a right judgment of the transaction it is con- 
ceived necessary, that an authentic copy of the capitula- 
tion granted by his Catholic Majesty's General to the 
British officer lately commanding at Pensacola, and re- 
ferred to in the Memorial of Don Francisco Rendon, 
residing in this city, Encargado de JVegocios for the 
Court of Spain, should be communicated to the United 
States. In the meantime it requires no deliberation to 
assure your Excellency, that the laws of the land are com- 
petent for redressing every injury perpetrated by vessels 
of war commissioned by the United States, or under 
their authority, although tiie security for the good beha- 
viour of the officers and crews may not be adequate to 
the damages claimed. 

THOMAS M'KEAN, President. 



The United States in Congress assembled, to their 
Great, Faithful and Beloved Friend and Ally, Louis 
the Sixteenth, King of France and Navarre. 
Great, Faithful and Beloved Friend and Ally, 

We feel an additional obligation to your Majesty, for 
your friendly reception of our late special Minister Lieu- 
tenant Colonel John Laurens. By him we received your 
Majesty's letter, containing new assurances of what the 
United States have been long convinced, your Majesty's 
affectionate patronage of American independence. His 
report, while it proves that our attachment has not been 
misplaced, will increase our gratitude. We have charged 
our Minister Plenipotentiary at your Court to render to 
your Majesty more particular acknowledgments for your 
zeal for the re-establishment of peace, upon principles co- 
inciding with the liberty and sovereignty of the United 
States, and for the important succors lately administered 
to our necessities. We shall also instruct liim to inform 
your Majesty of the arrangements, which have taken place 
for calling forth the resources of the United States with 
decision and effect against the common enemy. 

We pray God, that he will keep your Majesty, our 
Great, Faithful and Beloved Friend and Ally, in his holy 

Done at Philadelphia, the eighteenth of October, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty- 
one, and in the sixth year of our independence. By the 
United States in Congress assembled. 
Your faithful friends and allies. 

THOMAS M'KEAN, President. 

Attest, Charles Thomson, Secretary. 




Very Dear and Faithful Allies, 

Satisfied of the interest you take in every event which 
affects us, we are anxious to inform you of the precious 
mark, which Divine Providence has just given us of his 
goodness, and of the protection he has granted to our king- 
dom. We do not doubt that you will partake in the joy 
we feel on the birth of our son, the Dauphin, of whom 
the Queen, our most dear spouse, is just now happily 

You will easily be convinced of the pleasure, with which 
we shall receive every proof that you may give of your 
sensibility upon this occasion. We cannot renew at a 
period more afiecting to us, the assurance of our affection 
and of our constant friendship for you. Upon which we 
pray God, that he would have yeu, very Dear, Great 
Friends and Allies, in his holy keeping. 

Written at Versailles, the 22d of October, 1781. 
Your Good Friend and Ally, 



Philadelphia, October 24th, 1781. 

I do myself the honor to transmit you a copy of the 

resolution, by which Congress have been pleased to 

appoint me their Secretary of Foreign Affairs. They 

have annexed to this department the agreeable duty of 

receiving and making those communications, which 

the reciprocal interest of the allied nations may render 



I need not tell you, Sir, with what pleasure I enter 
upon that task, when (by the direction of Congress) I 
enclose an account of the signal success obtained by 
the united arms of America and France. The cement 
it so happily affords to their connexion may justly be 
numbered among the important advantages, that will 
result from it to both countries. 

I have the honor to be. Sir, with the highest respect 
and esteem, &c. 




Philadelphia, October 25th, 1781. 

I have received the letter, with which you honored 
me on the 24th instant, and it is with the most sincere 
satisfaction, that I see in it your determination to 
accept the office, to which Congress have appointed you. 
It will give me great pleasure to address myself to 
you, in sending to Congress those communications, 
which I shall have it in my power to make ; and I 
shall be no less flattered to receive through you every 
communication, which that body shall think proper to 
make to me. I can assure you, Sir, that the choice 
now made by Congress will give great satisfaction in 
Europe, where your patriotism, your past services, 
and your wisdom have long been known. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 




Office of Foreign Affaiis, November 2d, 1781. 

It is with peculiar pleasure that I obey the direc- 
tions of Congress in making communications, which 
show their sense of the exertions of their ally, and of 
the merit of the officers he employs. The confidence 
inspired by the first, and the esteem excited by the 
last, form new bands of union between nations, whom 
reciprocal interests had before connected. In this 
view I flatter myself the enclosed acts of Congress will 
be agreeable to you, and that you will with pleasure 
communicate to his Most Christian Majesty their 
desire, with his permission, to present to the Count 
de Grasse tvvo pieces of field ordnance, taken from the 
enemy at York, with inscriptions calculated to show 
that Congress were induced to present them from con- 
siderations of the illustrious part, which he bore in 
effectuating the surrender.* 

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect 
and esteem, &c. 


* In Congress, October 28th, 1781. " Resolved, That the thanks of 
the United States in Congress assembled be presented to his Excel- 
lency the Count de Rochambeau, for the cordiality, zeal, judgment, 
and fortitude, with which he seconded and advanced the progress of 
the allied army against the British garrison in "York. 

" That the thanks of the United States in Congress assembled be 
presented to his Excellency the Count de Grasse, for his display of 
skill and bravery in attacking and defeating the British fleet off the 
Bay of Chesapeake, and for his zeal and alacrity in rendering, with 
the fleet under his command, the most efi"ectual and distinguished 
aid and support to the operations of the allied army in Virginia. 




Philadelphia, November 4th, 1781. 

I have received the letter, which you did me the 
honor to write on the 29th ultimo, and the papers 
from Count de Grasse, which you had the goodness to 
send to me, and for which I beg you will accept my 

" That the thanks of the United States in Congress assembled be 
presented to the conrmanding and other officers of the corps of 
artillery and engineers of the allied army, who sustained extraordi- 
nary fatigue and danger in their animated and gallant approaches to 
the lines of the enemy. 

" Resolved, That the United States in Congress assembled will 
cause to be erected at York, in Virginia, a marble column, adorned 
with emblems of the alliance between the United States and his 
Most Christian Majesty, and inscribed with a succinct narrative of 
the surrender of Earl Cornwallis to his Excellency General Wash- 
ington, Commander in Chief of the combined forces of America and 
France, to his Excellency the Count de Rochambeau, commanding 
the auxiliary troops of his Most Christian Majesty in America, and 
his Excellency Count de Grasse, commanding in chief the naval 
army of France in the Chesapeake. 

" Resolved, That two pieces of the field ordnance, taken from the 
British army under the capitulation of York, be presented by the 
Commander in Chief of the American army to Count de Rocham- 
beau, and that there be engraved thereon a short memorandum, that 
Congress were induced to present them from considerations of the 
illustrious part, which he bore in eft'ectuating the surrender. 

" Resolved, That the Secretary of Foreign Affairs be directed to 
request the Minister Plenipotentiary of his Most Christian Majesty 
to inform his Majesty, that it is the wish of Congress, that the Count 
de Grasse may be permitted to accept a testimony of their appro- 
bation, similar to that to be presented to the Count de Rochambeau." 


We are encouraged to hope for your arrival here, 
I shall be extremely happy to be able to testify to you 
in person the joy, which I have received from your 
success. That joy is universal, and it can but increase 
the attachment and esteem of all orders of citizens, 
and of my own countrymen, to your Excellenc}'. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 




Philadelphia, November 4th, 1781. 

I have received the letter, with which you honored 
me on the 2d instant, with the resolutions of Congress 
of the 28th of October, which accompanied it. I have 
no doubt that they will be most agreeable to his 
Majesty, and that he will learn with great pleasure, 
that the remembrance of the success obtained by the 
allied arms is to be preserved by a column, on which 
a relation of this event will be inscribed, and mention 
made of the alliance. 

I shall be glad, before any farther resolutions are 
taken on this subject, to communicate to you some 
ideas relative to this monument. It is so honorable to 
the two nations, and so well adapted to perpetuate the 
remembrance of their union, that we ought to be 
mutually desirous of giving it all the solidity and dura- 
bility of which the works of man are susceptible. 
Besides, Sir, I observe that the United States are 
named before the King in these resolutions. This is 

VOL. XI. 4 


the second time within my knowledge, that this form 
has been adopted. I remarked on it the first time, 
and was then positively assured, that it was an error, 
which should be corrected on the journals. I entreat 
you to be pleased to let me know distinctly what 
usage Congress intends to adopt on this subject, in 
order that I may make it known to my Court. 
I have the honor to be, &-c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, November 6th, 1781. 


Having been honored with your letter of the 4th 
instant, I remark with pleasure, that the mode in which 
Congress propose to perpetuate the success obtained 
by the allied armies at York, is such as will in your 
opinion be agreeable to his Most Christian Majesty. 
As Congress must concur with you in wishing to ren- 
der this monument of the alliance, and of the military 
virtues of the combined forces as lasting, if possible, as 
the advantages they may reasonably hope to reap from 
both, they will, without doubt, pay all due deference 
to any ideas you may think proper to suggest relative 
to the manner of carrying the resolutions of the 23lh 
of October into effect. I shall receive. Sir, with 
pleasure, and submit to Congress any communications, 
that you will do me the honor to make on this subject. 

I am sorry to find, that you consider the order, in 
which the allied nations or their Sovereigns are placed 
in the resolutions, as anywise exceptionable. This 


mode of expression might perhaps be justified by the 
absolute equality established between sovereign pow- 
ers, and the common practice of independent nations 
to recognise no superior in acts to be executed by 
themselves, within their own limits. But, Sir, I am 
so well satisfied that Congress wish to avoid discus- 
sions, which must be treated with great delicacy by 
nations situated as ours are, where every demand on 
the one part, not strictly authorised by the law of 
nations, might derogate from the generous protection, 
which we make it our boast to have received, and the 
denial of just rights on the other subject us to the 
imputation of ingratitude, that I think you may safely 
rely upon their practice, when some future occasion 
shall present, to evince that the order in which the 
allied nations are mentioned did not originate in 
any settled rule, and above all, that no want of respect 
for his Most Christian Majesty dictated the resolution 
to which you object. Be persuaded. Sir, that regard- 
less as the United States are of form and ceremony, in 
matters that relate to themselves alone, they will think 
their endeavor to support France in the high rank 
which her extent, wealth, and power have given her, 
a small return for the wise and generous use she 
makes of these advantages. 

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the 
greatest respect and esteem, &c. 




Office of Foreign Affairs, November 6th, 1781. 

I do myself the honor to submit to Congress a 
letter to the Minister of France, which covered 
their resolutions of the 2Sth of October, his answer 
thereto, and the draft of a letter in reply to his. 
As the last implies a promise on the part of 
Congress, I did not think myself authorised to send it 
without their approbation. 

Congress will observe, that I endeavor to wave a 
question, which perhaps it might have been imprudent 
to answer by a direct avowal of the propriety of the 
resolution, or in the present circumstances to yield in 
express terms. By seeming to slight matters of mere 
ceremony, we may avoid troublesome di.scussions in 
future, and leach the old world by the example of the 
new to get rid of a clog, which too often fetters the 
most important transactions. I take the liberty to 
submit to Congress the propriety of directing in the 
next vote, which they shall have occasion to pass, in 
which France and America, or their Sovereigns, are 
mentioned, the preference to be given to the first, and 
so that we may seem to have established no rule on a 
subject of so little moment as rank or precedence. 

I bs^ye the honor to be, &c. 




Office of Foreign Affairs, November 21st, 1781. 

Finding by frequent applications from the French 
Islands, that their Courts of Admiralty are not fully 
acquainted with the resolutions of Congress, passed the 
14th of October, 1777, which vest in the captors the 
property of such of the enemy's vessels as are taken 
by their mariners ; and being called by the letter, a 
copy of which I do myself the honor to enclose, to 
attend particularly to the case of Captain Jones and his 
crew, I must beg. Sir, that you will do me the favor 
to recommend it to the notice of the General and 
Commander in Chief of the French Leeward Islands, 
for whose use I enclose a certified copy of the above 
mentioned resolutions of Congress, presuming that the 
Court of Admiralty will pay some respect to them in 
their decisions, though they may not be strictly agree- 
able to the rules they have adopted, since it would be 
highly disadvantageous to both nations to have that 
considered as lawful prize in one port, which is not so 
in another. But should the Court think they are not 
warranted in condemning the vessel, slie should at 
least be restored to Captain Jones or his agent, that 
she might, by being brought to a port of the United 
States, become lawful prize. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 




In Congress, November 23d, 1781. 

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs laid before Congress 
the following heads of a verbal cooinfiunication made to 
him by the Minister of France. 

Tiie Minister of France informed the Secretary of 
Foreign Affairs, that the Count de Vergennes, in a letter 
to him of the 7th of September, 1781, assured him that 
the King of France had received with great pleasure, an 
account of Mr Adams, Mr Franklin, and Mr Jay's ap- 
pointment to the place of Ministers for the negotiation of 
peace ; and after expressing favorable sentiments of them 
and of Mr Jefferson, from his general reputation, adds, that 
they iiave little reason to hojie for the assistance of Mr Lau- 
rens, since the enemy will probably continue his captivity 
during the war. That the King accepted \vi;h pleasure 
the proofs, which Congress have given him of their con- 
fidence, when they intrusted to his care the interests of 
the United States. That he would use his influence and 
credit for the advantage of his allies, whenever a nego- 
tiation should render their interests a subject of discussion. 
That if he did not obtain for every State all they wished, 
they must attribute the sacrifice he might be compelled to 
make of his inclinations, to the tyrannic rule of necessity. 
That, however, he had no reason to believe, that the events 
of the campaign would make an unfavorable change in 
the situation of affairs ; and that from the present view of 
them, he had no cause to dread a disadvantageous peace. 

The Count adds, that he presumes Mr Adams has com- 


rnunicated to Congress his Majesty's refusal to accede to 
the terms of the mediation of the Imperial Courts, until 
they should agree to acknowledge the American Plenipo- 
tentiaries in the manner most conformable to the dignity 
of the United States ; and observes thereon, that if the 
King was so attentive to a matter of form, though it might 
indeed in our present situation be considered as important, 
he would not be less tenacious of our more essential in- 
terests, which he will be zealous to promote, as far as cir- 
cumstances will allow. But that if notwithstanding this, 
Congress, or even a considerable part of its members, 
should regret the confidence they had placed in his Maj- 
esty, or wish to free their Ministers from this restraint, his 
Majesty would not disapprove the measure j provided they 
made their Ministers answerable, as in justice they should 
be, in proportion to the powers, with which they invested 
them. He expresses his satisfaction at the extensive 
powers, with which the Ministers are invested as to the 
matter of boundary, and the truce, which he says, the 
interests of France as well as of us, require to be as long 
as possible. 

With respect to the statu quo, he says, that though from 
the number of their conquests it would be beneficial both 
to France and Spain, yet it has not entered into their sys- 
tem so far as it regards America, and that his Majesty 
accordingly refused to accede to the plan of negotiation 
proposed by the mediating powers, which held up that 
idea. He exhorts the Minister to recommend to Con- 
gress the most vigorous exertions, and to assure them, that 
the expulsion of the enemy from this continent depends 
in a great measure on the exertion of the United States ; 
that France would be able to afford us very little assist- 


atice ; and that Britain, so far from discovering any in- 
clination to peace upon reasonable terms, absolutely re- 
fused the plan of negotiation proposed by the mediating 
powers; so that arms alone could compel her to it. 
He mentions, that the King being apprehensive, that 
the capture of the Marquis de Lafayette might reduce 
us to some difficulties, had ordered her cargo to be re- 
placed immediately ; and that in consequence of applica- 
tions from the States of Virginia and Maryland, he had 
ordered a number of arms and military stores to be ship- 
ped to them, subject however to the order of Congress. 
That this and the cargo designed to replace that of the 
Marquis de Lafayette, were to be paid for out of the loan 
negotiated in Holland, which he had occasion to think 
would be completed. He expresses a desire, that the 
plan for the appointment of Consuls should be digested 
and adopted, as the Court of France wished to make it 
the basis of some commercial arrangements between 
France and the United States. 

The Secretary for Foreign Affairs further informed 
Congress, that the Minister of France had communicated 
to him the following extract of a letter from the Count de 
Vergennes, which he had transmitted to the Superinten- 
dent of Finance. 

Extract of a letter from the Count de Vergennes, Sep- 
tember 7th, 1781. 

"We think that since the arrival of Colonel Laurens, 
you have stopped the hills of Mr Morris on Messrs 
Le Couteulx. If the Superintendent has not followed 
your advice, he will cause us some embarrassment, as we 
have not destinated any fund for that article. We have 


peremptorily declared to Dr Franklin, that we will not in 
future discharge any bills, that had not been drawn with 
your consent. As to you, Sir, we cannot but repeat our 
former instructions on this subject ; and we direct you to 
authorise no draft even for a small sum." 

No. 1. 

The Answer of his Most Christian Majesty to the Arti- 
cles proposed by the two Mediating Courts.* 


The mediators are too well satisfied of the moderation 
of the King, and his constant wish for the re-establishment 
of peace, not to be previously assured, that his JMajesty 
will receive with as much gratitude as warmth the Pre- 
liminary Articles they have communicated. The King, 
the more fully to convince the two high mediators of his 
frankness and of the purity of his intentions, as well as of 
the unreserved confidence, that he places in the justice and 
impartiality of their High Imperial Majesties, believes he 
ought to make some confidential observations upon these 
Preliminary Articles. His Mrjesty flatters himself, that 
th is will be more acceptable to them as its sole objects are 

* Austria and Russia proposed to act as mediators for a general 
peace about the beginning of the year 1781. Some particulars on 
this subject will be found in John Adams's Correspondence, Vol. VI. 
p. 98 ; — also in Flassan's Diplomatic Frangaise, Vol. VII. p. 300. — 
The papers here inserted are imperfect, but they are all that could 
be found in the Department of State. They will serve to illustrate 
that part of the preceding communication of M. de la Luzerne, 
which relates to the proposed mediation. 
VOL. XI. 5 


to prevent discussions, which are equally mischievous and 
complicated, and to facilitate the much wished for success 
of their generous interposition. 

"Article i. There shall be a negotiation at Vienna^ 
by the united care of the two Imperial Courts, embracing 
all the objects for the re-establishment of peace, which the 
belligerent parties, who intrust them with the mediation, 
shall judge proper to be there proposed. A negotiation 
shall in the meantime be entered into between Great 
Britain and her Colonies for the re-establishment of peace 
in America, but without the intervention of either of the 
other belligerent parties, or even of the two Imperial 
Courts, unless their mediation shall be formally demanded 
and accorded for this object." 

According to the verbal observations, the expressions in 
the first part of this Article have been used merely to 
place the King of Spain in a situation to propose the ces- 
sion of Gibraltar, and this turn has been judged necessary 
because the Court of London had previously declared, that 
it ought to be made without reference to this cession, while 
the Catholic King demands it as a preliminary ; as this 
part of the Article immediately affects the Court of Mad- 
rid, the King cannot but refer himself to it for the answer 
that shall be made thereto. His Majesty is content to 
observe, that having united himself in the same cause with 
the King, his uncle, he neither can nor will separate his 
interests from those of that Prince, and that he regards the 
satisfaction he claims as a condition, without which he 
cannot personally treat of those matters. 

As to the second part of the Article, the two Imperial 
Courts cannot flatter themselves with the hopes of bring- 


ing ibeir mediation to a happy issue, if they do not pre- 
vent the subterfuges, die subtellies and false inteipretationsj 
which either of the belligerent powers may avail themselves 
of to explain according to their views the preliminary 
propositions, which will certainly liappen if they do not 
previously ascertain the sense of the expressions, which 
relate to America. 

The Court of London will elude as much and as long 
as she possibly can, the direct or indirect acknowledge- 
ment of the independence of the United States, and will 
avail herself of the terms, that are used in speaking of 
then), to maintain, that she is not obliged to treat with her 
ancient Colonies as with a free and independent nation. 
That she is consequently not reduced to admit a Plenipo- 
tentiary on their part, and that she is at liberty to view the 
American representative as a deputy from a part of her 
subjects who demand a favor. From whence it will fol- 
low, that when the mediation is in force, and they shall 
be about to enter upon the negotiation, that they will dis- 
pute the character, in which the American Plenipotentiary 
shall be received. The King of England will consider 
him as his subject, while Congress will demand, that he 
shall be received as the representative of a free people, 
by means whereof the mediation will be stopped at the first 

To prevent this inconvenience it should seem, that pre- 
vious to any other measure, the character of the American 
agent ought to be determined in the most precise and pos- 
itive manner, and Congress should be invited to confide its 
interests to the mediation. This invitation is so much the 
more interesting, as the negotiation relative to America 
should go hand in hand with that of the Courts of Madrid 


and Versailles, and by consequence, the negotiations al- 
though separate should cominence at the same time. 

But who will invite the Congress to treat with England ? 
The King cannot, since the First Article excludes him 
from the negotiation. This task then can only be executed 
by the mediators themselves ; all that the King can do, 
and that he will do with zeal and fidelity, is to invite the 
Americans to the peace, ami to facilitate it by every means 
that they believe compatible with their essential interests. 
But that the King may take this step with safety, and the 
hopes of success, and with the certainly of not rendering 
himself suspected by the Americans, it is necessary that 
he should first know the determination of the mediators 
upon the observations now made to them, and that this 
determination should be such as to secure to the Ameri- 
can States their political existence. 

The two high mediators and their Ministers are too en- 
lightened not to perceive, that without this preliminary 
measure the Congress will send no person to Vienna, and 
that the King can make no attempts to engage them there- 
to, without incurring the danger of involving himself, by 
means whereof, and for the reasons already urged, the 
mediation will be stopped at its first outset. These reflec- 
tions appear to merit the most serious attention of the two 
mediating Courts. 

"Article u. This separate peace cannot, hoivever, be 
signed, except conjointly, and at the same time with that 
of the powers whose interests shall be treated by the medi- 
ating Courts. Although neither peace, notwithstanding 
thy are treated separately, shall be concluded without the 
other, yet care shall be taken to inform the mediators con- 


stantly of the progress of that, which regards Great Brit- 
ain and the Colonies, to the end, that (he mediation may 
be able to regulate the measures intrusted to it according 
to the state of the negotiation relating to the Colonies, and 
both of the pacifications, which shall have been separately 
concluded at the same time, shall be solemnly guarantied 
by the mediating Courts, and by every other neutral 
power, whose guarantee the helligerent powers may think \' 
proper to claim." 

When the United States shall have been duly called to 
the Congress at Vienna, and shall have commenced their 
separate negotiation with England, this Article will make 
no dinicLilty with his Majesty. 

"Article hi. To render the negotiations of peace in- 
dependent of events of war, always uncertain, which may 
arrest, or at least retard their progress, there shall be a 
general armistice between the tivo parties, during the term 
of one year, reckoning from of the month of 

of the present year, or reckoning from the month of 
of the year 1782. Should it happen, that a general 
peace should not be re-established during the first term, or 
whilst the duration of either of these terms continues, 
everything shall remain in the same state, in which it 
shall be found at the signing of these preliminaries." 

Tills Article includes two objects equally important ; 
an armistice and a statu quo. The mediators have 
already acknowledged, that without this preliminary basis, 
they cannot enter upon a serious negotiation for a peace ; 
and, for still stronger reason, these preliminaries should be 
established before a truce can be spoken of. 

38 ^ LUZERNE. 

The two mediating Courts are themselves ot this 
opinion, since they do not propose the armistice, but in 
consequence of the acceptation of the first and second 
Preliminary Articles. The King thinks, that before they 
can agree to an armistice, it is necessary that the belliger- 
ent parties should have established preliminaries ; and it 
cannot be denied, that the basis, which the high mediators 
have proposed, may lead to a delay of those preliminaries, 
which should serve as the pledge and security for the 
re-establishment of peace, when, in fact, they really afford 

But when these preliminaries shall be invariably estab- 
lished, it may be of consequence to determine what dura- 
tion should be given to the suspension of arms. The plan 
of the mediators proposes one year ; but this term appears 
too short not to be illusory. In fact, it should be observed, 
that the fire of war being kindled in the four quarters of the 
world, one part of the year will h^ve revolved before the 
orders can be received by the respective commanders ; 
so that tranquillity will be established in Europe, while 
hostilities continue in America and in the Indies. Be- 
sides, all the powers remaining armed, the slightest cir- 
cumstance may occasion a violation of the truce. 

In fine, it is in vain to flatter ourselves with the hope of 
concluding a definitive peace in the short space of one 
year; as, exclusive of the variety of subjects, that must 
necessarily be discussed, the two mediating Courts are at 
a great distance from each other; nor is there less bcHvveen 
the belligerent powers ; and we should deceive ourselves, 
if we supposed, that all the propositions, which will be 
made on the one part, and on the other, will not give 
room for much debate and altercation ; or, that they will 
not, consequently, consume much time. 


To these considerations we ought to add, that an armis- 
tice for one year would be very burdensome, because the 
powers at war will be obliged to remain in arms, to their 
manifest loss, as it will be impracticable to disarm, as well 
from the dispersion of the troops, as froin the enormous 
expense, if, (which is highly probable) it should become 
necessary to renew hostilities. If, then, the mediators 
wish sincerely to establish the peace they propose, they 
should prefer a truce of many years to a simple armistice 
for one year. This expedient is better adapted to con- 
solidate their work, than a suspension of arms for a short 
time. But a truce will have the same inconveniences, 
and be equally dangerous with an armistice, if the bellig- 
erent powers remain under arms. Thus it seems neces- 
sary to agree at the same time reciprocally to disarm. 

But supposing these two points settled, there remains 
another equally important, that is the statu quo. Neither 
France nor Spain have any reason to reject it, so far as 
they are individually concerned. This is not the case 
with the Americans. To be satisfied of this, we need 
only cast our eyes upon the points, that the British troops 
actually occupy upon the continent of North America. 
The question, then, will be to obtain the consent of the 
United States, and this consent can only be demanded by 
the two Courts that offer their mediation, for the reasons 
that have already been urged. 

"Article iv. This plan of negotiation being adopted 
by all the parties, the belligerent powers shall request the 
mediators to open the conferences of the Congress, and 
shall without delay give their respective plenipotentiaries 
such full powers and instructions, as they shall judge 
necessary for the success of the negotiation.^^ 


The King will conform himself, with as much pleasure 
as earnestness, to this Article, as soou as the preliminary 
basis shall be irrevocably established, agreeably to the 
observation above mentioned. And the King will then 
authorise his plenipotentiaries to treat immediately of the 
Preliminary Articles, which should lead to a cessation of 
hostilities ; and, as soon as these Articles shall have been 
agreed to, to labor with zeal and assiduity for the early 
conclusion of a definitive treaty. The high mediators 
may be assured, that his Majesty will facilitate this double 
task by every means, which he shall deem compatible with 
his dignity, with his interest, and with those of his allies ; 
and that as far as depends upon him, they will acquire the 
glory of having established, upon a solid and unalterable 
basis, the peace and tranquillity of every part of the world. 

No. 2. 

The Answer of the Court of London to the Preliminary 
Articles proposed by the Mediating Courts. 

I am authorised to return an answer to the paper, 
which, by order of your Court, you delivered me, and of 
which 1 have given an account to his Majesty. 

The answers marked A and B,* which I have the 
honor to submit to you, explain the unalterable sentiments 
of the King, upon points essential to his dignity, and 
demonstrate the reasons, that obliged his Majesty to de- 
cline the plan proposed, so far as it relates to his rebel- 
lious subjects. The King knows the justice and the im- 
pnrtiality of the mediating Courts, and he considers the 

* These papers are missing. 


plan with that spirit of conciliation which they give birth 
to. But liis jMajesty cannot but see it in a very different 
point of view, from that in whicli it appeared to the august 
mediators when they supposed it admissible in all points. 

The King persuades himself, that after having consid- 
ered it again, they will not entertain the same judgment 
relative thereto as heretofore ; and that they will even 
cease to wish that it should be admitted, since, from their 
intention, as well as from the principles, which they have 
laid down with so much wisdom, and which the King adopts 
altogether, it necessarily results, tl)at ever) thing inconsistent 
with the dignity of his Majesty, the essential interests of 
his nation, and the rights of his crown, is inadmissible. 
A just and honorable peace with the belligerent powers, 
under the mediation of the two Imperial Courts, is the 
first object of his Majesty's wishes. The King knows, 
that the two august mediators will pursue the great work, 
that they have undertaken, with the same sentiments, 
which induced them to engage therein, the desire of 
being useful to the belligerent powers ; and his Majesty 
hopes, that their generous care will be crowned with 
success, and that they will serve to reconcile all the 
sovereigns at war, by a safe and honorable peace, which 
it shall be the interest of all parties to accept, and which 
shall not wound the dignity of either of them. 

The sincere desire of peace, the gratitude due to the 
august sovereigns, who have been willing to charge them- 
selves with the mediation of it, and the sentiments with 
which the King will always receive whatever shall be 
proposed to him by them, would dispose his Majesty to 
accept the proposed Articles, if that acceptation could be 


recontiled to his disunity, tlie interests of the empire, and 
the rights of his crown. 

1st. On every occasion, in which there has been a 
question of negotiation, since the commencement of the 
war with France, the King has constantly declared, that 
he could never admit in any manner whatsoever, nor 
under any form, that there should be any interference 
between foreign powers and his rebellious subjects. 

2dly. The resolution of his Majesty upon this im- 
portant object is founded upon what the King owes to 
his own dignity, upon the essential interests of his 
people, and upon the incontestible right, which every 
Sovereign has to determine at his pleasure, that which 
is clearly within his jurisdiction. This resolution is 
as immutable, as the foundation upon which it rests. 
From the application of this principle to the different 
points of the first, second, and third articles, results 
the melancholy, but indispensable necessity of declin- 
ing all that is proposed in these different articles rela- 
tive to the rebellious subjects of his Majesty. 

The King invariably entertains the desire, which he 
has so often manifested, of terminating the war in 
which he is engaged with the belligerent powers, by a 
just and honorable peace, under the mediation of the 
Imperial Courts, and for this purpose his Ministers 
shall be furnished with instructions and full powers, 
necessary to treat of all objects directly relative to the 
said powers. They shall be ordered to pursue the 
negotiation conformably to the principles explained 
therein, with all possible zeal, and to contribute on 
their part every suitable means to conduct it to a 
happy end. 


No. 3. 

The verbal Answer of the King of Great Britain to the 
to the verbal Observations made by the Count de Bel- 
giojoso, Austrian Ambassador in London. 

Since the King finds himself under the necessity of 
declining a plan proposed by the two mediating 
Courts, he should think himself wanting in that respect, 
which is due to them on so many accounts, if he did 
not give some details of the reasons, which have ren- 
dered it indispensable for him to take this step. His 
Majesty is persuaded, that when the two august medi- 
ators shall have considered them with that spirit of 
justice and impartiality, which cliaracterises them, 
they will become sensible of their weight. 

The King would derogate from his rights of sover- 
eignty, should he consent in any manner to the 
admission of any person whatever, delegated to the 
Congress by his rebel subjects ; this admission being 
absolutely incompatible with their quality of subjects. 
For the same reason, conciliatory measures employed 
to put an end to a rebellion, ought not to be inter- 
mixed, either in their commencement or in their con- 
clusion, with a negotiation between sovereign States. 

In consequence of the same principle, his Majesty 
can never enter into any engagements, nor adopt any 
plan, which may limit or suspend the incontestible 
right, which every Sovereign has, to employ all the 
means in his power to terminate a rebellion kindled in 
his dominions, either by the progress of his arms, or 
by conciliatory means employed in the country itself. 


If, instead of taking advantage of the present disposi- 
tion of a great part of liis rebellious subjects to return 
to their allegiance, he was to stop the effect and pro- 
gress of that disposition by stipulating a suspension of 
arms, he would retard the instant of that reconcilia- 
tion, which he wishes so much to hasten, and would 
furnish the leaders of the rebels with the means of 
fostering and strengthening their rebellion, and op- 
pressing the well-affected by the weight of their 
usurped authority ; he would put it in the power of 
his enemies to prolong the troubles, if he made the 
return of peace in America to depend on the success 
of a negotiation with a belligerent power, a negotiation 
which it would always be in their power to render 

The favorable intentions of the King towards his 
rebellious subjects, and his desire to make them expe- 
rience the effects of his clemency, and restore to them 
the happiness, which they enjoyed before their rebel- 
lion, are generally known, but whatever may be the 
arrangements, which his Majesty will make to restore 
and ensure the quiet of his Colonies, and link the hap- 
piness of his American subjects to that of the metrop- 
olis, they will be in their nature as all things are, 
which are merely national, arrangements of internal 
policy, and as such, they cannot properly be the object 
of the mediation or guarantee of any foreign power. 
When the King availed himself of the dispositions of 
the two Imperial Courts and employed their medi- 
ation, his Majesty gave it plainly to be understood, 
that he aimed at the restoration of peace between the 
belligerent powers, to which alone it appeared to him 


that a mediation could be applied. Persisting inva- 
riably in the same sentiments, the King wishes that 
the mediation, at the same time that it confines itself 
to this particular object, may comprehend it in its full 
extent, and that the war between Great Britain and 
the Republic of Holland may be included in it. 

If the negotiation is opened, agreeably to these prin- 
ciples, and directed solely to this salutary end, if the 
other belligerent powers bring to it the same concilia- 
tory spirit which his Majesty will show, the generous 
care of the mediating powers will meet with a suc- 
cess the most complete, and the most conformable to 
their views. 

No. 4. 

Reply of the Mediators to the Belligerent Powers. 


The Courts of Versailles and Madrid having transmitted 
to the two Imperial Courts their respective answers* to 
the Articles proposed to serve as a basis to the negotiation, 
which had been communicated to them, as the Court of 
London had done on the 15th of June last, the two Im- 
perial Courts think, that they must not deiay to commu- 
nicate their reply reciprocally to the three respective 
Courts, as necessary to their mutual directioo, and they 
have directed in consequence their Ambassadors and Min- 
isters with the said Courts, to present copies of them to 
their respective Ministers. 

Their Imperial MajesUes have seen with the greatest 
* The answer of the Court of Madrid is missing-. 


satisfaction, in that which was transmitted to them by his 
Most Christian Majesty, the assurance of the grateful sen- 
timents and real pleasure, with which his Majesty has re- 
ceived the said Articles, but they could not but be so 
much the more affected by the exposition of the motives, 
which have appeared to his Britannic Majesty sufficient to 
prevent his acceptation of them. It appears convenient 
to ihem in the actual slate of things to refer to another 
time, and oii)er circumstances the observations, which they 
might produce, and which it would ))robably be useless to 
expose in the present moment, but what cannot be so 
either at present or in future, is that the belligerent powers 
may see in their proper light the Articles, which have been 
proposed to them, and may in consequence appreciate 
them properly. 

The mediating powers could not allow themselves to 
make any propositions, which might wound the dignity or 
delicacy of either of the parties, or any of those, which 
might in the first instant have obliged them implicitly or 
explicitly to decisions, which can only be the result of a 
consent obtained by the way of negotiations. They must 
consequently have confined themselves to seeking and 
finding out some proper means to enable the belligerent 
powers to assemble their respective Plenipotentiaries, at 
the place where the Congress shall sit, to endeavor, under 
the mediation of the two Imperial Courts, to settle ami- 
cably all the differences, which are the causes of the pres- 
ent war, and when once they have met, and are provided 
with instructions for all possible cases, to be continually at 
hand, to seize one of those happy moments, which circum- 
stances sometimes bring on, and which are often lost for- 
ever, or at least for a great while, when one has not been 
at hand to take advantage of them. 


They have found at the same time no other inconve- 
niency in this, but that perhaps che progress of the nego- 
tiation might not be altogether so rapid as it would 
undoubtedly be wished. The suspension of arms and of 
the statu quo by itself, independent of the remaining . part 
of the proposition, can either be adopted or rejected ; and 
after having weighed with the greatest impartiality the in- 
conveniencies and advantages, which may result from the 
acceptation of their propositions, it has consequently ap- 
peared to them, that nothing could better suit the respec- 
tive interests of the belligerent powers, as well as their 
general and particular circumstances. They still persist 
in that opinion, and from the sincere interest, vvhich they 
take in the circumstances ol all the belligerent parties, 
they cannot but wish, that they might still admit between 
themselves, with such modifications as they should think 
proper, the Articles, which have been proposed to them, 
and which, as his Most Christian Majesty well observes, 
are not Preliminary Articles, as in the nature of things 
they could not be such, but which can no less be the 
means, not only of bringing on at one moment or other 
the conclusion of a preliminary treaty, but perhaps even 
that of peace, a speedy return of which is so much to be 
wished for. 

The two Imperial Courts have thought, that in return 
for the confidence, with which his Most Christian Majesty 
has expressed himself in his answer, they ought to show 
as much in exposing to him the light, in which they have 
seen the step they have taken in proposing the Articles, 
which they have caused to be communicated to him, and 
which they still persist in holding out, that the belligerent 
parties may still be able to adopt virhat has been proposed 


to them, or if not, to communicate some other idea, which 
may be productive of the same good efiects, or of happier 
ones if possible. His Most Christian Majesty may be 
persuaded beforehand, that in that case they will with the 
greatest zeal make such use of it as they shall think most 
useful and convenient. Nothing can certainly add to the 
sincerity, with which they will take care to justify on every 
occasion the confidence, which the high belligerent parties 
have shown in accepting their mediation. 

No. 5. 

Answer of the Court of France to the Reply of the 


The King has received, with equal sensibility and grati- 
tude, the answer of the two mediating Courts ; his Majesty 
regards it as a new proof of their friendship for him, of 
the just estimate which they form of his confidence in 
their impartiality, and of the true interest which they take 
in the prompt re-establishment of peace. 

The King has not changed, and will not change, in his 
desire to second views so salutary ; and the two liigh 
mediating powers may be assured, that so far as concerns 
his Majesty, it will not be owing to him, if they are not 
soon in a situation to give full scope to their beneficent 

But the Court of London deprives the King of every 
expedient and every hope, on this subject, by its inva- 
riable resolution to regard and treat the Americans as its 


subjects. Such a resolution renders abortive every exer- 
tion, that may be made for obtaining peace. It utterly 
destroys the plan of the two mediating powers, since it 
decides, in the most peremptory manner, the question 
which is the subject of dispute, and the direct or indirect 
decision of which should be the preliminary basis of the 
future pacification. 

In this state of things the King thinks, that the confer- 
ences, proposed by the two mediating Courts, would at 
present be without effect, and that the meeting of the 
respective plenipotentiaries would be but a vain pretence, 
which would not diminish nor abridge the horrors of war, 
and which might compromise the dignity of their Imperial 

The King is truly sorry to see, that things have taken a 
direction so contrary to his wishes, and to the expectations 
of their Imperial Majesties; and, if it were in his power 
to change it, he would do it with an eagerness, which 
would show to them the purity of his intentions ; but his 
Majesty thinks it his duty to observe, that he has allies 
with whom he has inviolable engagements, that he should 
betray them by abandoning the American cause, and that 
he should betray this cause, if he consented to negotiate a 
peace separate from and independent of the United States. 
The high mediating powers have perceived the impos- 
sibility of such a proceeding, since they have themselves 
proposed to place the negotiation of the King, and that of 
the United States, upon an equal footing. 

But even admitting, that the King should lay the affairs 
of America out of the question, that he should be content 
to act only for his own personal interest, and that he should 
|eave to llie Americans the care of coming to an accom- 

VOL. XI. 7 


inodation with their mother country, what would be tlie 
result of this mode of proceeding ? 

The result would be, that the peace would be decep- 
tive ; that it would have a merely speculative existence. 
In fact, if, as appears from the strongest evidence to be 
probable, the Americans should persist in their refusal to 
return to their obedience to the British crown, the war 
between Britain and her former colonies would still 
continue. The King would then be obliged, as at present, 
to assist them ; the King of Spain, on his part, would be 
under the necessity of assisting his Majesty ; so that 
France and Spain, after the signature of their private 
treaty, would be in the same situation as they now are. 

These considerations seem to the King to be most 
forcible, and his iMajesty has too just an idea of the 
wisdom arid penetration of the two high mediating powers, 
not to be convinced, that they will regard them in the 
same point of view, and that they will wholly approve 
the cautious course which they oblige him to pursue. 

The King is earnestly desirous to be able to change this 
course, and it is in consequence of this desire, that he 
invites the high mediating powers to employ all their 
influence at the Court of London to induce that Court to 
show dispositions, which may convince us, that it is at last 
resolved to unite, in good faith, in a prompt and equitable 

The King thinks, that he ought to inform the high medi- 
ating powers, that his Ambassador at Vienna is at present 
authorised to attend to all overtures and all expedients, 
which tend to this object, whether they come from 
the Court of London, or are proposed by their Imperial 
Majesties ; and he is also authorised to join in the oegotia- 


tion, if sufficient grounds are presented to him, tor con- 
ducting it safely to a happy conclusion, under the auspices 
of their Imperial Majesties. 



Philadelphia, November 23d, 1781 . 

1 have the honor of sending lo you a letter, which I 
wrote to the comiriandin<i; officer of St Domingo, in con- 
sequence of that with which you honored me yesterday. 

Be pleased to send the two despatches to those inter- 
ested, in order that they may send them to their Fonde de 
Procuration by safe opportunities. 
I have the honor to be, &:c. 



The United States in Congress assembled to their 
Great, Faithful, and Beloved Friend and Ally, Lewis 
the Sixteenth, King of France and Navarre. 

Great, Faithful, and Beloved Friend and Ally, 
At a period so glorious to the arms of France, both 
by sea and land, and so favorable to the fortunes of 
America, it is with particular satisfaction that we con- 
gratulate the Monarch, whose wise counsels and gene- 
rous support have so largely contributed to events, 
illustrious in themselves, and promising consequences 
truly important. 


We wish to convey to your Majesty our sense of 
the victory obtained by the Count de Grasse over the 
enemy's fleet on our coast, and the subsequent reduc- 
tion of the British armament in Virginia ; and w^e 
repeat our grateful acknowledgments for the various 
aids so seasonably extended to us. From the benev- 
olence and magnanimity, which has hitherto interested 
your Majesty in the welfare of these States, we are 
convinced, that you will on this occasion feel an 
equal pleasure with ourselves, whose immediate ad- 
vantage is the result of such fortunate exertions. 

We mention with great pleasure the zeal and ability- 
manifested by the Count de Rochambeau, commanding 
your Majesty's forces in the allied army. His con- 
duct, and that of his officers under him, merit our 
fullest approbation ; and we are made further happy 
by the perfect harmony and affection, which has sub- 
sisted between the troops of the two nations. 

The distress occasioned to the common enemy by- 
combined operations will, we trust, point out to both 
nations the utility of similar measures in future 5 and 
whilst it induces your Majesty to supply that naval 
force, which the situation of our country renders ne- 
cessary, will urge the United States to every effort 
which their particular interests, added to their desire 
of seconding your Majesty's views, can call forth to 
ensure the complete success of attacks upon the 
enemy's strong holds. 

It is with great pleasure, that the United States 
continue to number some of your Majesty's subjects 
amongst their most able, spirited, and faithful officers. 
It affords the world a striking proof of the intimate 


connexion, which subsists between the allied nations, 
at the same time serves to cement the union which it 

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 favor- 
able 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 

We pray God, Great, Faithful, and Beloved Friend 
and Ally, always to keep your Majesty in his holy 

Done at Philadelphia, the twentyninth day of No- 
vember, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven 
hundred and eightyone, and in the sixth year of our 
independence. By the United States in Congress 
assembled. Your faithful Friends and Allies. 

JOHN HANSON, President. 

Charles Thomson, Secretary. 



Philadelphia, December 11th, 1781. 

I have received the letter, with which you yester- 
day honored me. I have, consequently, the honor of 
sending you triplicate copies of a letter, which I wrote 
to the Count du Durat, Governor of Grenada. Be 


pleased to send it to the persons whom it concerns, 
and at the same time to advise them to annex to it 
copies of their memorial in French. I hope that it 
may prove satisfactory to them. I can do nothing 
else in affairs of this kind, except to invite the Admi- 
ralties of our Islands to take them into consideration. 
I have the honor to be, Sic. 




Philadelphia, December Jlth, 1781. 

I have the honor of sending you a copy of a memo- 
rial presented to the State of New Hampshire, and 
sent by that State to Congress, relative to a ship car- 
ried to Grenada by some American sailors, whom the 
English had compelled to serve on board of her. I do 
not know what are the rules or usages, to which the 
Admiralty of Grenada conform in such cases, I 
merely inform you, Sir, that by the laws of Congress, 
when insurgent sailors bring an English vessel into 
the ports of the United States, it is adjudged as a prize 
to them. The Admiralty of St Domingo, knowing 
these laws, have not hesitated, in a similar case, to 
restore the prize to the Americans, who had conducted 
it into port, after deducting the expenses of the pro- 

I have the honor to be, &c. 




Office of Foreign Affairs, December 21st, 1781. 
I do myself the honor to enclose an extract of my 
letter to Dr Franklin, on the subject of the late ordi- 
nance of Congress, relative to captures. Though in it 
I suggest a mode, by which the identity of goods 
captured and shipped may be authenticated, yet I have 
not thought it prudent to give it the preference to any 
other, which Dr Franklin, upon communicating with 
the Minister, may think more proper. I have only to 
request, that you will by your representations second 
his, and urge the Court of France to adopt the regu- 
lation above suggested, or any other that will best 
guard against this illicit commerce on the one hand, or 
the injury of innocent dealers on the other. 
I have the honor to be, Sec. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, January 19th, 1782. 
I do mjself the honor to enclose two letters from 
Mr Deane, which were delivered with his own hand 
to a Mr Marshal, who has sworn to their identity. 
These add so much weight to the suspicions already 
entertained against him, that thsy may probably be of 
use to your Court in justifying any measure, which 
they may deem it proper to adopt, to prevent the ill 


effects of the principles he endeavors to disseminate, 
and to invalidate the ill-found«d assertions he makes. 

I beg to be informed whether you think it probable 
that the Hermione has sailed yet, and if not, whether 
you have any express going down to her. 
I have the honor to be, &,c. 




Philadelphia, January 20th, 1782. 

I thank you for communicating to me Mr Deane's 
two letters. I shall transmit them to my Court. I 
am not at present, sending any express to the Chesa- 
peake, but I shall probably send one as soon as I shall 
have received the letters, which should have been 
brought by the Sybil. It is still possible that the 
Hermione may be charged with them. 

I proposed to have the honor, at the first opportu- 
nity, of conversing with you upon a circumstance, 
which it is desirable that Congress should alter. In 
the State of Massachusetts there is no Marshal of the 
Court of Admiralty. The custom in that State is, to 
put into the hands of the agent of the Ubellant the 
effects libelled, and the proceeds of their sale, if it has 
taken place. This practice has already been attended 
with great inconveniences, as it respects French mer- 
chants, and particularly as it respects a Spanish vessel, 
the owners of which, it is thought, have lost from 
twentyfive to thirty thousand pounds sterling, merely 
because the contested property had not been put into 


the hands of a responsible public officer. You will be 
better able, Sir, than I am, to judge by what means 
these inconveniences may be remedied. 
f have the honor to be, &.c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, January 24th, 1782. 

Reflecting that our not communicating the resolu- 
tions of the 22d to you, when we send them to Dr 
Franklin, might appear to the Count de Vergennes to 
betray a want of confidence in you, which I am per- 
suaded Congress do not entertain, I am led to con- 
sider my not having received instructions to commu- 
nicate them as a mere accidental omission, and accord- 
ingly take upon me to enclose a copy of them. You 
will, I presume, put them in cypher before they are 
sent off. To give you leisure to do it, I have not sent 
them to your house, but have ordered my servant to 
find you at the Assembly. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 




Philadelphia, January 25th, 1782. 
I have the honor of sending back the resolution of 
Congress of the 22d instant, and of thanking you for 

VOL. XI. 8 


this communication. The letters which I have had to 

write to France, in answer to those which I received 

by the Sibyl, being now finished, I shall have the 

honor of communicating to you, before the end of the 

week, the news which I have received. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 




Philadelphia, January 28th, 1782. 
The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of 
France to the United States, has the honor of inform- 
ing Congress that a great part of the loan of ten 
millions of livres tournois, opened in Holland on 
account of the United States, was taken up in October 
last, and that the interest on it has been fixed at 4 per 
centum. It is now proper that Congress should be 
pleased to send to Mr Franklin, the instructions and 
the authority necessary for performing the acts re- 
quired to bind the United States, in their engagements 
with his Majesty on account of this loan, as well as of 
the interest and expenses which it has occasioned. 
The undersigned has informed the Superintendent of 
the Finances, that after deducting the money advanced 
by his Majesty for this loan, there would remain about 
four millions of livres, at the disposal of the United 
States when the loan is entirely taken up, 




Philadelphia, January 29th, 1782. 


The Minister of France informed me, that he was 
desirous of making some communications from letters 
received by the Sibyl. Ten o'clock this day was ap- 
pointed to receive them. He accordingly came, and 
read to me passages of a letter of Count de Vergennes 
to him, dated October 17th, 17S1, which contained in 

That France wished (as was evident, from her going 
into the war on our account) to obtain every advan- 
tage for us. That powers at war must often be 
governed by circumstances. That if events would 
enable her to command them, we might depend on 
everything she could obtain. That her political sys- 
tem depended not only on America, but on the other 
powers at war. That if France snould continue hostil- 
ities merely on account of America, after reasonable 
terms were offered, it was impossible to say what the 
event might be. That his Majesty was, however, at 
all events, determined to adhere to the true principles 
of the alliance, and would farther endeavor to obtain 
for us whatever we demanded, as far as events would 

He observed, that people in America appeared to 
be greatly deceived with respect to the disposition of 
the belligerent and mediating powers, and to imagine 
that all were anxious for a peace ; that this was so far 
from being the case, that Great Britain had not yet 

60 ' LUZERNE. 

returned any answer to the overtures of the Imperial 
Courts, nor had any reply been made by the latter to 
the answer given them by France, from which delay 
it might be easily imagined peace was far distant. 
That from the present situation of Spain, there was 
strong reason to suppose she could not spare us any 
money, her own operations requirini^; all she had. 
That he hoped France would not be called upon to 
make up her deficiencies, as they were in no situation 
to make new grants. Besides, that in order to rid us 
of our embarrassments, they had already made efforts 
in our behalf, which they had reason to believe ex- 
ceeded our expectations, and that what they had done 
for America this year, entitled them to an exemption 
from further demands. 

In a letter of October 20th, 1781, from the Count 
de Vergennes to the Minister of France, it is observed, 
that the United Provinces would not embarrass them- 
selves at present by an alliance with us ; that in this 
they will follow the example of Spain ; that, however, 
it will be prudent to keep an agent in Holland, and 
direct him to advise constantly with Dr Franklin, that 
we may observe some consistency in our politics. 
That he fears America founds hopes on the aid of 
Russia ; that nothing can be more groundless ; that 
though he believes she is not averse to the independ- 
ence of America, yet we ought not to expect that she 
will move a step in our favor ; that she has no partic- 
ular interest in terminating the war ; that as she means 
to assume the character of a mediator, she must pre- 
serve that of justice and impartiality ; that nothing, 
therefore, can extort from her measures that are favor- 


able to us, but a conviction, that we cannot be brought 
back to the dominion of Great Britain. That this 
should lead us to think (a sentiment which he desires 
the Minister to inculcate) that our success depends 
upon our exertions, and upon our relinquishing the 
inactivity into which false hopes, excited by success, 
do sometimes plunge us. 

He repealed, that France could lend us no more 
money ; that the ten millions borrowed upon our ac- 
count in Holland, were greatly sunk by advances made 
in France; that no bills would be paid in France, 
which the Minister did not authorise us to draw ; that 
he hoped our officers would have too much prudence 
to risk the credit of the United States by drawing; 
that the negotiations are still inactive, and will remain 
so, till events oblige one or other of the parties to sue 
for peace. That the success of the expedition against 
Portsmouth (that being the supposed post of Cornwal- 
lis) might possibly have some effect. That the great 
object of England is America ; that she will not cede 
it while she can carry on the war ; that she will cer- 
tainly make great exertions the ensuing campaign ; 
that equal exertions are therefore necessary on our 
part. That Spain and Holland view America as the 
great obstacle to a peace, from which consequences 
may flow, which people of judgment may easily 





Versailles, January 3lst, 1782. 

I have received, Sir, the letter with which you hon- 
ored me on the 20th of October of last year. I heard 
of your appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs 
of the United States, with the greater pleasure, as I 
already knew the extent of your knowledge and your 
zeal for the interests and the glory of your country. 

I am convinced. Sir, that it will be the dearest ob- 
ject of your cares and labors to support the cause for 
which the United States are contending, and to main- 
tain the principles, which serve as the basis of the 
union between them and his Majesty. Be assured, 
Sir, that I shall omit nothing that lies in my power, 
effectually to second your good intentions. My con- 
fidence in your zeal and patriotism is equal to the 
sentiments of respect, with which I have the honor to 
be, Sir, 

Your most obedient and humble servant, 




Philadelphia, February 1st, 1782. 

1 have received the letter, with which you honored 
me on the 31st ultimo, and the affidavit enclosed in it. 


I have the honor of sending it back to you, and I also 
annex a letter for the commanding officer of the Island 
of St Domingo. It will be necessary, that Mr Wil- 
liam Marshall should be charged to prosecute this affair 

I have the honor to be, &c. 


Instructions to Dr Franklin. 

In Congress, February 5th, 1782. 

On the Report of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, to 
whom was referred the note (dated January 28) from the 
Minister of France, 

Resolved, That the following powers and instructions 
be given to the Minister Plenipotentiary of the United 
States of America at the Court of Versailles. 

Whereas, the Minister of his Most Christian Majesty 
has informed the United States in Congress assembled, 
that the loan of ten millions of livres tournois, opened in 
Holland on account of these United States, was in a great 
measure completed in October last, and requested in con- 
sequence thereof, that full powers might be expedited to 
bind these United States to discharge the principal and 
interest of the said loan, agreeably to the terms thereof, 
with such expenses as might have accrued in making such 
loan 5 you are, therefore, hereby authorised, directed, and 
empowered, to enter into such engagements with his Most 
Christian Majesty, with the Slates General of the United 
Provinces, with any particular State or Province, or with 
any man or body of men whatsoever, uith whom you may 
find it necessary to enter into engagements, for the purpose 


of binding these United States to discbarge the said loan, 
with interest, agreeably to the terms thereof; and also for 
the re-payiiient of such expenses as have arisen, or nr)ay 
arise by reason of the said loan. And the said United 
States of America do hereby pledge their faith to confirm 
what you shall execute in pursuance of the above power. 
JOHN U ANSON, President. 


In Congress, February 8th, 1782. 

On the Report of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, to 
whom was referred the communication made to him by the 
Minister of France, (November 23d) containing, among 
other things, an opinion of Count de Vergennes, that his 
Catholic Majesty will not have it in his power to advance 
any money to the United States ; and expressing in 
strong terms the Count's hopes, that, the United States 
will not imagine that France should make up the sums 
they expected from Spain, after the assistance they have 
already derived from France ; 

Resolved, That Congress are fully sensible of the fre- 
quent, friendly and generous interposition of his Most 
Christian Majesty in their behalf, and are led from thence 
to hope a continuation of his assistance, since nothing has 
been wanting on their part, so to apply the aid he gener- 
ously affords, as to distress the common enemy, and lead 
to the great object of their alliance, a safe and honorable 

Resolved, That Congress cannot, without injustice to 


themselves and their ally, withhold from him a knowledge 
of their present circumstances, or neglect to mention the 
ruinous consequences that may attend a refusal of those 
aids, which as well the friendly dispositions of his Most 
Christian Majesty, as the success that has attended his 
interposition in their hehalf, gave them reason to hope 
would be continued till the States, which have lately 
been ravaged by the enemy, had so far recovered their 
commerce and agriculture, as to be able more effectually 
to contribute to the general expense ; and that his Majesty 
may be assured, that their applications for this purpose 
shall not exceed what may be absolutely necessary for the 
support of the common cause. 

Resolved, That the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, con- 
sulting with tile Superintendent of Finance, explain to 
the Minister of the United States at the Court of Ver- 
sailles, the extensive advantages, which have resulted from 
moneys supplied by his Most Christian Majesty to these 
United States, and the engagements, which have been 
entered into with a view to render the next campaign deci- 
sive, the consequence of failing in those engagements, and 
the little prospect there is of fulfilling them without an 
additional loan or subsidy, for the year 1782, of at least 
twelve millions of livres tournois, in order that the said 
minister may present a memorial on this subject to his 
Most Christian Majesty, and at the same time lay before 
him the several resolutions lately passed by the United 
States in Congress assembled, which evidence their unal- 
terable resolution to make every exertion, for a vigorous 
campaign, which their present situation will allow. 

Resolved, That the Minister Plenipotentiary of the 
United States of America at the Court of Versailles be, 
voi>. XI. 9 


and he is hereby instructed and empowered to borrow, on 
account of these United States, the sum of twelve millions 
of livres tournois, and to enter into engagements on the 
part of the United States for the repayment of the same, 
together with the interest, wliich is not to exceed the terms 
allowed or given on national secinMty in Europe. 



Philadelphia, February 18th, 1782. 

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor 
of communicating to Mr Livingston a letter from the 
Marquis de Bouille, commanding officer of the Windward 
Islands, and a memorial presented to that General by the 
Council and Assembly of the Island of Dominica. One 
of the two cases mentioned in them, that of the Dutch 
vessel, the Resolution, has been decided by the Court of 
Appeals, and the sentence of the Court of Admiralty of 
Philadelphia, has been amended in almost every point. 
The case of the Eeirsten has been decided at Boston in 
the first instance, and recently by the Supren.e Court of 
Appeals. As the annexed papers seem to contain means 
for the revision of the first case, and proofs, which were 
not known to the Judges when the decision was made, the 
undersigned has the honor of communicating them to Mr 
Livingston, and requests him to be pleased, after reading 
them, to send them back to him. 

The agent of the merchants at Dominica designs to 
solicit the said revision, with a view to have all the cargo, 


without exception, acquitted, The uudersigned Minister 
flatters himself, that Congress will he pleased to enable the 
said agent to avail himself of the new proofs, which he 
says that he has obtained. The letter of the Marquis de 
Bouille, and the request of the Council and Assembly of 
Dominica, may hereafter serve to determine the true 
meaning of the capitulations of the English Islands, taken 
by the forces of his IMajesty ; and it is for this reason also, 
that the undersigned requests that they !!:ay be laid before 
the Tribunal of Appeals. This letter and this request, 
leave no room to doubt, that the Ostend ship Eeirsten 
sailed under the faith of the capitulation, and that her 
owners ought to participate in the advantages secured by it 
to the capitulators. 

The undersigned Minister appeals to the justice of Con- 
gress, and of the American tribunals, in favor of those 
inhabitants or capitulators of the Island of Dominica, who 
are interested in the cargo of this ship, as subjects of the 
King, his master, and in favor of those people of Ostend 
who are interested, as subjects of his Imperial Majesty, 
who is allied to the King, his master, both by blood and 
by treaties. 




Without date. 

I have the honor to transmit you a Memorial from 
the Council and Assembly of the island of Dominica, v/ho 
lay claim to the Dutch ship Resolution, Captain Water- 
burg, which has been retaken from an English privateer 


from Carolina, by the American privateer Ariel, belong- 
ing to Messrs Robert Morris, Samuel Inglis, and William 
Bingham, brought into Philadelphia, and condemned there 
as a legal prize. 

This neutral ship, employed in the exportation of the 
produce of Doi^iinica, by virtue of the proclamation of his 
Britannic Majesty in favor of neutral ships bound for the 
British Colonies, conquered by France in the course of 
this war, would not hiive been condemned as a legal prize, 
had it remained in the power of the British privateer, and 
been brought into a port belonging to his Britannic Majesty. 
She could not, then, be condemned by the Admiralty of 
Philadelphia, smce tiiat Court could not consider her 
otherwise than as a neutral vessel, sailing under the faith 
of his Britannic Majesty's proclamation, which, the com- 
mander of the English privateer was no doubt ignorant of, 
and after which she could no longer be considered as a re- 

This affair, Sir, deserves all your attention, and the 
particular protection which I request you to grant it, that 
the owners of this vessel may obtain, from the Council of 
Prizes of the United States the justice due to them. 

It is feared at Dominica, lest the Osiendian ship Eeir- 
sten. Captain Thomson, which sailed for the said Island, 
and was taken by an American privateer and brought 
into Boston, may likewise have been condemned ; and 
should this have been the case, I also request your inter- 
position in favor of the owners of the said vessel. 
I have the honor to be, &tc. 




To liis Excellency the Marquis de Bouille, Marshal of 
the King's Camp and Armies, Lieutenant General and 
Governor General, in and over the Islands of Martinico, 
Dominica, Grenada, and St Vincent, Tobago, &.c. &ic. 

The Memorial of the Council and Assembly, represent- 
ing the capitulants of this Island. 

By virtue of the I7ih Article of the capitulation signed 
by your Excellency, the capitulants of this Island were 
authorised to ship the produce of their estates, in neutral 
ships, to neutral ports in Europe, and to receive from them 
the necessary supplies of provisions and plantation stores. 

Annexed to the oaths of the respective shippers of pro- 
duce on neutral vessels, his Excellency the Marquis du 
Chilleau, his Majesty's Governor in this Island, granted to 
the master of each vessel his certificate, that such ship- 
pers were capitulants, and tlie produce laden in such ves- 
sel was the growth of their estates, and therein recom- 
mended those vessels and their cargoes to the protection 
of all his Majesty's subjects, those of his Most Catholic 
Majesty and to the Americans in alliance with France. 
These certificates were always respected till now, and in 
consequence such neutral vessels, although detained and 
examined at different times, arrived at their destined ports. 

To the infinite surprise of your meniorialists, they have 
received advice from Philadelphia, that the Dutch ship, 
the Resolution, Captain Waterburg, was retaken from an 
English privateer, belonging to Carolina, by the Ariel, an 
American privateer, belonging to Messrs Robert Morri.s, 
Samuel Inglis, and William Bingham of Philadelphia, 
carried into that city, and was there condemned and 


sold with her cargo, without respecting either the capitu- 
lation, or the certificate and recommendation of his Excel- 
lency the Marquis du Chilleau. This ship was loaded 
at Dominica and regularly cleared there for Amsterdam 
within the time limited by his Britannic Majesty's Procla- 
mation in favor of Dutch vessels, loading in the conquered 
Island, the commander of the Carolina privateer, unac- 
quainted with the Proclamation, had detained her as a 
Dutch ship. That this ship would certainly have been re- 
leased in Carolina cannot even be doubted, as she had 
before been carried into the Island of Nevis on the same 
voyage, and released with a compensation after her papers 
were examined. 

Your memorialists have received further advice, that 
another American privateer has taken and carried into 
Boston, the Ostend brig Eeirsten, Captain Thomson, 
bound from that port to this Island, and laden with pro- 
visions and plantation stores for the estates of your memo- 
rialists, where we fear she will have the same fate. 

If the Americans should persist and be authorised to 
take and confiscate neutral vessels, loaded with the pro- 
duce of capitulants' estates under the authority of the 
French government, and those who in return are loaded 
with the provisions essentially necessary to them, what is 
the trade of this Island ? This must put an effectual end to 
it ; what resources are then left to us ? 

The inhabitants of this Island are capitulants, and they 
dare flatter themselves, that under their present govern- 
ment they have the merit of having constantly manifested 
the most uniform propriety of conduct ; the Americans 
should not only have respected, but protected their pro- 
perty. Bound to do so by their treaty of friendship with 


France, by the capitulation, and by the certificate and 
recommendation of the French Governor. 

Your memorialists do therefore most earnestly entreat, 
that your Excellency will be pleased to take this Memorial 
into consideration. 

Council Chamber, in Roseau, the 23d day of Novem- 
ber, 1781.* 

ABRAHAM SHAW, President in Council 

House of Assembly, Roseau, this 23d day of Novem- 
ber, 1761. 

J. MORSOU, Speaker of the House of Assembly. 


Office of Foreign Affairs, February 20th, 1782. 
I was yesterday honored witli your note, covering the 
papers, which relate to the ship Resolution's cargo, and 
the brigantine Eeirsten's. With respect to the first, I believe 
there ig little doubt, that that part of the cargo, which is 
condemned would be acquitted upon a rehearing, and 
proving, that it was the property of capitulants. The 
case of the brigantine is much more intricate, and carries 

* Extract from an authentic copy of the capitulation, granted by 
the Marquis de Bouille to the Island of Dominica. 

"Article 7th. That they (the inhabitants of Dominica) shall 
pay no other duty to his Most Christian Majesty, than they have 
paid to his Britannic Majesty, without any charge or imposts. The 
expenses attending the administration of justice, the Minister's sti- 
pends and other customary charges, shall be paid out of the reve- 
nue of his Most Christian Majesty in the same maimer as under 
the government of his Britannic Majesty. 

"Granted, and that the inhabitants of Dominica may freely export, 
their produce to all parts, on paying into the custom house the 


Strong marks with it of a fraudulent design to protect 
British property, contrary to the spirit of the capitulation. 
One of the Judges who condemned this vessel assures me, 
that tiiere was strong proof, that the cargo belonged to 
British owners, even after she parted from Ostend, nor 
was there any evidence that the bottom was neutral. 
The capitulation does not certainly tend to cover any other 
property of the capitulants, but that which should be ship- 
ped from the Island, or to the Island from a neutral port, 
otherwise its trade with Britain would stand upon the same 
footing as it did before the capture. However, I have not 
had such a view of facts, as will enable me to give an 
opinion upon the subject, and if I had it would not fall 
within my department to determine upon it. 

The line in which justice will most speedily be done, 
will be for the parties who conceive themselves aggrieved 
to petition Congress for a rehearing. If, Sir, you shall 
approve it, I will lay before them your note, with the pa- 
pers annexed, and my opinion thereon. I doubt not, that 
they will readily adopt such measures as are most con- 
sistent with justice, and the respect they will feel for your 

I have the honor to be, &c. 


duties, which the inhabitants of the French Islands pay in the 
Islands or in Europe ; but the expenses for administration of justice 
shall be paid by the Colony. 

"Article 17th. The merchants of the Island may receive vessels 
to their address from all parts of the world, without their being con- 
fiscated, and they may sell their merchandise, and carry on their 
trade ; and the port shall be entirely free for them for that purpose, 
paying the customary duties paid in the French Islands. 

"Granted, until the peace, English vessels excepted." 




Philadelphia, March 8th, 1782. 

I have the honor of informing your Excellency, that I 
am about to take a journey to Virginia, and shall probably 
be absent some weeks. M. de Marbois will remain here 
during this interval, as Charge d'affaires of his Majesty. 
Be pleased to honor him with your confidence, in case 
that circumstances shall render it necessary for him to 
make any communication to Congress. 

Tf your Excellency has any commissions, with which to 
intrust me, for Virginia, I entreat you to be assured of my 
punctuality in performing them. 
I am, Sir, respectfully, Sic. 




Philadelphia, April 17th, 1788. 

1 have repeatedly applied to the Department of War, to 
have a settlement made of the accounts of M. de la 
Radiere, an officer of Engineers, and General Baron de 
Kalb, both of whom died in the service of the United 

I have been answered, in the absence of General Lin- 
coln, that the demands, which I made by order of my 
Court, for the benefit of their heirs, were jest ; but as yet 
no money has been paid to me, and I therefore entreat 
you to be pleased to procure it as soon as possible. I 

VOL. XI. 10 


have received several letters from the family of Baron de 
Kalb, and I wish to be able to send them a satisfactory 
answer. General Lincoln having returned, I hope that 
these two affairs will suffer no delay. 

The Count de Barras also demanded, in the month of 
July of last year, the payment of the sums due to the 
volunteers, who have served on board the Ariel, Captain 
Paul Jones ; and on leaving the Chesapeake he has re- 
newed his demands, in order that this money may be sent to 
France, where it will be paid to those to whom it belongs. 
This debt amounts to four thousand one hundred and 
ninetyseven livres tournois, not including the sum of one 
thousand one hundred and fiftyone livres, which has been 
paid to Joseph Caron, Fran9ois Marais de Tulipe, Joseph 
Powaruce, and Paterne Jean, who were on board the Her- 
mione. Congress, by a resolution, the date of which 1 
cannot recollect, last year ordered the whole of this sum 
to be paid. I entreat you. Sir, to be pleased to persuade 
the Board of Admiralty to bring this affair to a close, and 
to transmit this sum to his Majesty's Consul, that he may 
send it to those to whom it is due. 
I have the honor to be, &;c. 




Philadelphia, April 13th, 1782. 

I embrace the first moment after my return from Vir- 
ginia, to comply with the request of the principal officers 
of our army, in tendering you their sincere respects. 

I have already forwarded to your Excellency a letter 


from Count de Rochanibeau ; on my return here, 1 found 
letters from my Court, dated in February last. They do 
not ainiotince anything pacific, on the part of our enemies. 
No progress is made in the mediation of the Courts of 
Vienna and Petersburg, and the Court of London seems 
determined to risk the event of another campaign, in which 
they will employ all the strength they have left. The plan 
for the campaign was not yet finally decided, it depending 
on some arrangements, which were yet to be made with 
the Court of Madrid, and on some advices, which were 
expected from the Antilles. It nevertheless seemed to be 
the intention to act vigorously for the assistance of the 
United States, and though no particular assurances could 
be given me on this head, yet from what they write me, it 
is probable that New York or Charleston, or perhaps both, 
will be the object of their efforts next campaign. 

I think it, however, proper to inform you, that at the 
same time they announce to me their general views, they 
observe, that it is an unhappy circumstance, that the Amer- 
ican army is so weak as it is ; and they seem to fear, that 
it will not be in a condition to second their efforts, when it 
shall be necessary to strike a decisive stroke, or to under- 
take operations, in which such extensive means are re- 
quired as in a siege. 

I beg your Excellency would enable me to give my 
Court the necessary information on a matter so important 
as this is. 1 am not curious to know any of the particular 
details relative to your army, which it may be necessary to 
keep secret, but the military operatiosis of France and 
America are so intimately connected, that it is indispensa- 
ble for us to know what is the actual force and means 
which you have, in order to calculate with any degree of 


probability what enterprises can be undertaken. Our igno- 
rance in this respect cannot but be very prejudicial to our 
affairs, because, if from false infornnation we consider your 
army as weaker than it really is, it will prevent our forming 
plans, which it would be possible to execute ; and if, on 
the contrary, we are led to believe it stronger than it really 
is, we run the risk of forming plans impracticable in their 
execution. It is from these considerations, that I beg of 
you to confide to n)e such information on this head as 
you may think proper, both with respect to the actual 
force you have at the different parts of the continent, and 
what it will probably be in the course of the campaign. 
It is equally interesting to know the force of the enemy, 
both in regulars and militia. 1 beg you to rest assured of 
the discretion, with which I shall make use of these com- 

I cannot refuse myself the pleasure of communicating to 
you the sentimeniS, with which our Court and the nation at 
large are inspired, from the reports of the French officers, 
respecting your Excellency, on their return to Versailles. 
Their testimony could add nothing to the universal opinion 
of the great services you have rendered your country, but 
to the esteem and admiration of the French are now 
added a sentiment of affection and attachment, which are 
the just return for that attention which our military expe- 
rienced from you, and the progress they made in their 
profession by serving under your orders. 
I have the honor to be, he. 




Williamsburgh, April 16th, 1782. 

1 send you under a flying seal, my dear Chevalier, the 
letter I have written to M. de Guerny, commanding the 
Emerald frigate. You will observe, that I am yet in a 
state of ignorance, not having received my ministerial des- 
patches. It is of the greatest consequence, that this letter 
should be forwarded by a safe route, through the hands of 
General Washington, that it may be despatched as quick 
as possible. 

Our last news from Edenton is of the 8th of April, by a 
captain of a vessel, who left Georgetown the 25th of 
March. The enemy employ all the wagons ef Charles- 
ton in transporting their stores on board the empty vessels, 
which came from New York. 

I think General Washington would do well to have all 
the works levelled, which we made at Rhode Island round 
Newport, and even the fort on Butts' Hill, if he has not 
troops vigorous and firm to keep possession of it. 

The plans of the enemy seem to give their marine all 
the superiority they can in these seas. I think they must 
have it much at heart to re-occupy the port of Rhode 
Island. The port c f New York being precarious, the entry 
depending on the tides, they run the greatest risks in their 
naval combats, in not having a port where they can take 
refuge at all times. 

I have not time to translate this into English ; I beg you 
to transmit it to our General, as well as that for M. de 
Guerny, that he may forward it with the greatest despatch. 

I submit, with reason, all my reflections on Rhode Island 


to him. I have always in inind Lord North's speech, and 
the news which seemed to follow, of the pretended evacu- 
ation of Charleston. 

Count Ferson sets off to meet n)y despatches ; he tells 
me that there is a detachment of about one hundred men, 
which might be employed jointly with the militia in level- 
ling the works. 




Philadelphia, April 18th, 1782. 
On my return to this place. Count Beniowsky delivered 
to me a plan, which he wislied to have communicated to 
your Excellency before your departure from Philadelphia, 
bat as he was particularly recommended to me by my 
Court, he deferred taking that step till my arrival. He 
will not make any proposition to Congress without first 
consulting your Excellency and obtaining your approba- 
tion, and it is with this view he now goes to the army. 

I need not recall to your Excellency's n)ind, the ser- 
vices and actions, which have recommended Count Beni- 
owsky. His fervor you are acquainted with, and 1 am 
persuaded, that if you think he can be useful to the United 
States, no one will more sincerely support him in carrying 
into execution those views, which brought him to this con- 

1 have the honor to be, &,c. 




Newburgh, April 28th, 1782. 

I receive with much gratitude the remembrance and 
compliments of the principal officers of the French army 
in Virginia, and thank your Excellency for the trouble of 
being the bearer of them to me, and the letter from Count 
de Rochambeau. 

With equal sensibility and pleasure, I received and do 
now acknowledge my obligations to your Excellency for 
the communications from your Court, which, though not 
decisive, are nevertheless important. The late instance of 
their generous aid, hinted at by your Excellency and par- 
ticularised by Mr Morris, is one among a variety of im- 
portant considerations, which ought to bind America to 
France in bonds of indelible friendship and gratitude, never 
I hope to be sundered. Induced by that entire confi- 
dence, which I repose in your Excellency, and a full con- 
viction, that a nation, who combines her force with ours, 
for purposes of all others most interesting to humanity, 
ought not to be deficient in any information I can give to 
point objects to means, that an accordance with them may 
be inseparable, I shall, without hesitation, give you the state 
of our present force, and my ideas of the increase of it by 
recruits, from the best view of it which is before me. 

It can scarcely be necessary to inform your Excellency, 
that our military establishment for the present year consists 
of one regiment of artillery, four legionary, and two parti- 
san corps, and fifty regiments of infantry, beside the corps 
of invalids ; or that Congress have called in pointed terms 
upon each State to complete its regiments to the establish- 


ment, the aggregate of which, if complied with, would 
amount to thirtyfour thousand three hundred and eight 
men, exclusive of commissioned officers, sergeants, and 
music, Hazen's regiment, and the corps of invalids. Of 
this force, one legionary corps, two regiments of artillery, 
and twentytwo of infantry, besides Hazen's regiment and 
the invalids, compose the northern army ; but as Hazen's 
regiment is fostered by no State, discouraged from recruit- 
ing by all, and without funds if the case were otherwise, 
it must scon dwindle to nothing, being now very weak. 

The present totality of the rank and file, exclusive of 
sergeants, of those regiments which compose the northern 
army, amounts to nine thousand one hundred and fortysix. 
From this number the sick men, in different branches of 
the staff department, and such as are employed on other 
extra du:ies, which the peculiarity of our circumstances 
compels me to furnish from the army, being deducted, will 
reduce the efficient operating force of these corps to seven 
thousand five hundred and fiftythree rank and file, and I 
should be uncandid if I were not to acknowledge, that I 
do not expect it will be increased by recruits in the course 
of the campaign, to more than ten thousand fit for duty in 
the field. This, Sir, in my opinion will be the full amount 
of the established regiments of the States east of Pennsyl- 
vania. To ascertain the number of njilitia, who may be 
assembled for occasional offensive operations, is more than 
I can do. The general opinion is, that there will be no 
want of militia for any enter[)rise we can have in view. Be 
this as it may, this one thing is certain, that this class of 
men are not only slow in their movements, but undertaking 
to judge also of the propriety of them in point of amount, 
will wait till the necessity for it strikes them, which, in 


most cases, is as injurious to the service ns inability or 
want of inclination ; disappointment being the consequence 
of delay. Tiiis observation I could not refrain from mak- 
ing, because in all combined operations, especially those 
which may depend upon the season or a limited period for 
their execution, it is of the utmost importance to be known. 
.The enclosed return, which is a copy of the last state of 
the force under the order of Major General Greene, which 
has come to my hands, will give your Excellency every 
information in my power, respecting the state and condition 
of that army ; which was to be augmented by the partisan 
corps of Colonel Armand, consisting of about two hundred 
horse and foot. Independent of those, there are two small 
regiments at Fort Pitt. One from the State of Pennsyl- 
vania, the other from Virginia, which are included in the 
general establishment of the army ; but no particular re- 
turn is here given of them. 

What measures are adopted by the States of Georgia 
and North and South Carolina, to recruit their battalions, 1 
know not. Virginia marched about four hundred men the 
latter end of February for the southern army ; and by an 
act of the legislature, passed at their last session, resolved 
to raise more ; but in what forwardness they are, or what 
is to be expected from the act, I am equally uninformed. 
Maryland and Pennsylvania depend upon voluntary enlist- 
ments, and are proceeding very slowly in the business of 

This, Sir, is an accurate state of the force we have at 
present, and my expectation of what it may be, indepen- 
dent of militia. 

The enemy's force, from the best information I have 
been able to obtain of it, may stand thus at New York ; 

VOL. XI. 1 1 


Rank and Fil« 

Regulars, including their established corps 

of Provincials, 


Militia of the city, refugees, and indepen- 

dent companies, 


Sailors and marines, according to the num- 

ber of ships which may be in the harbor ; 

— this being uncertain no number is 


Now in New York, 


Charleston, about 


Savannah, about 


In Canada, including British, German, and 

established Provincials, 


Penobscot, about 


Halifax and its dependencies, uncertain, but 



In all, 26,000 

The above estimate, so far as it respects New York, 
Charleston, and Savannah, is, I believe, to be depended 
upon. The force of Canada by some accounts is more, 
by others less, than five thousand. The regular British 
and German troops in that country cannot exceed four 
thousand ; but in addition to these, are the corps of Sir 
John Johnson and others, which I am told have been con- 
siderably increased by the disaffected of this, and other 
States, who have fled to Canada. But it is to be observed, 
that this force, be it what it may, is employed in the occu- 
pation of posts from Quebec to Michillimackinac, and on 
Lake Champlain, through an extent of not less than seven 
or eight hundred miles, and that all these posts are depen- 
dent upon the former for provisions and supplies of every 


kind. I am less certain of the enemy's force in Nova 
Scotia than elsewhere. The number here given is not 
from recent intelligence, or strengthened according to cir- 
cumstances. Cumberland, Windsor, Annapolis, St John's 
River, &ic., are posts dependent upon Halifax, and included 
in the three thousand and five hundred men here men- 

If this state of matters can be satisfactory to your Ex- 
cellency, or useful in the formation of any plans against 
the common enemy, I shall be happy in having given it. 

Permit me now, Sir, to express the high sense I have 
of the honor you have done me, in communicating the 
favorable opinion entertained of my conduct by the Court 
and nation of France, and to acknowledge my obligations 
to those officers who have inspired these sentiments. To 
stand well in the eyes of a nation, which 1 view as one of 
the first in the world, and in the opinion of a Monarch, 
whom I consider as the supporter of the rights of human- 
ity, and to whom I am personally indebted for the com- 
mand he has been pleased to honor me with, is highly 
flattering to my vanity, at the same time it has a first claim 
to all my gratitude. 

It is unnecessary I hope to add fresh assurances of the 
respect and esteem, with which I have the honor to be, 
Sir, &tc. 




In Congress, May 1st, 1782. 

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs having laid before 
Congress the following minutes of a coinmunicatiou, made 
to him the 28th of April, by the Minister of France, from 
letters of the Count de Vergennes, dated the 24th of De- 
cember and the 22d of January last, viz. 

"After expressing his satisfaction in the success of our 
arms in Virginia, he laments the weakness of our army, 
and the incapacity in which it leaves us of pursuing so im- 
portant a blow, before England can recover from it, he says, 
though the plan of the ensuing campaign is not yet deter- 
mined on, lie has reason to believe, that means will be 
used to aid us in the exertions we shall make lo expel the 
enemy from this continent ; and he wishes that this con- 
sideration, and the obstinate adherence of the British to 
their plan of subduing this country, evidenced by their 
answer to the mediators, may rouse the United States to 
an early and animated exertion. He observes, that the 
British are much embarrassed with respect to the measures 
they ought to pursue ; that they still continue to represent 
us as a weak and divided people, in the hope, that this 
may have some effect upon the powers of Europe, more 
particularly upon the mediators. He is of opinion, that 
England will endeavor to make proposals to the several 
States separately ; and though he does not apprehend, 
that they will succeed in their attempt to detach them 
from the alliance, yet he presumes, while the issue is 
unknown, that they will avail themselves of it to induce 
a belief, that they have a considerable interest in this 


country, and tliat the people at large wish to be connected 
with them. He hopes the wisdom of Congress will de- 
vise some means to frustrate this design. He expresses 
in strong terms the resolution of his Majesty to adhere to 
the principles of the alliance, and to form no treaty of 
peace, which does not secure to the United States the 
objects of it." 

And this communication having been referred to a com- 
mittee, and the committee having reported thereon, it was 

Resolved, That the Secretary of Foreign Affairs be, 
and he is hereby directed to make a confidential com- 
munication to the several States of the intelligence received 
by Congress on the 29th of April last through his depart- 
ment, in order that the States may be more fully im- 
pressed with the necessity of such united and determined 
exertions, as, with the co-operation of our generous ally, 
will expel the enemy from their remaining posts within 
the United States, and display to the world the falsehood 
of the assertions of the British Court, that the people of 
these States are neither united nor determined in support 
of their national independence. 



Decree of the King's Council of State, prescribing the 
formalities to be observed on the exportation, from the 
ports of the kingdom, of merchandise obtained from prizes. 

Extract from the records of the Council of State. 

"The King having been informed, that the facility 
granted by the Fourteenth Article of the decree of his 


Council of the 27th of August, 1778, concerning mer- 
chandise obtained from prizes, has been abused, so that 
merchandise of English origin is taken on board, when 
under sail, or in foreign countries, and is imported under 
the character of merchandise taken as prize, into nations 
in alliance with his Majesty, he has thought proper to ex- 
plain his intentions. Wishing to remedy this evil, and 
having heard the report of M. Joly de Fleury, one of the 
Common Council of State, and of the Royal Council of 
Finance, the King in Council has commanded and com- 
mands, that all the merchandise named in the said Four- 
teenth Article of the regulation of August 27th, 1778, and 
the adjudication of which is made only upon condition of 
its re-exportation to a foreign country, cannot be exported 
from the ports of his kingdom, unless it be accompanied 
with the copy of the proces-verbal of the sale made by 
the Admiralty, or by the Intcndant or the Director of the 
Marine, duly certified by the register, or by the Controller 
of the Marine, and examined by the Receiver and Con- 
troller of the Bureau des Fermes, which, conformably to the 
Eighteenth Article of the same decree, must mention, that 
the goods have actually been taken from the mart, and 
embarked on board of the vessel designated. His Maj- 
esty forbids the clerks and overseers of the Adjudicataire 
de ses Fermes, under penalty of being deprived of their 
offices, and subjected to the severest punishment if it 
should be done, to allow any of the merchandise in ques- 
tion to be exported, without the previous formalities hav- 
ing been observed. 

"Done at the King's Council of State, his Majesty being 
there present, held at Versailles, the 4th of May, 1782. 




Philadelphia, May 7th, 1782. 

I have the honor of sending you the commission, by 
which the Chevalier d'Annemours has been appointed his 
Majesty's Consul in the five southern States. Be pleased 
to have the kindness to lay it before Congress, that they 
may pass an act for the recognition of his character, and 
that the necessary letters may in consequence be de- 
spatched to the difTorent legislatures. I will myself see 
that they are forwarded, if you will send them to me. 
The representatives of iVlaryland and Virginia being now 
assembled, you will confer a particular favor on me, by 
bringing this affair to a termination as soon as possible. 

I have the honor to be, he. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, May 8th, 1782. 

I was yesterday honored with yours of that date. I 
have this day presented the comn)ission, with a draft of 
the necessary resolutions thereon to Congress, and I doubt 
not that they will immediately pass, when the letters and 
papers you request will be put into your hands. 

I do myself the honor to enclose a letter from Mr Mor- 
ris to me in answer to one I had written him on the sub- 
ject of the volunteers, who served on board the Ariel. You 
will see by that a state of the accounts, and that the bal- 


ance is ready to be paid to their order. I have requested 
the Paymaster General to make up the accounts of the 
late Baron de Kalb, and M. de la Radiere, and shall en- 
deavor as soon as possible to enable you to give a satis- 
factory ansvv^er to their representatives on that subject. 
You vi^ill be pleased to return me the enclosed letter, after 
having made such use of it as you may think proper. 
I have the honor to be, &.c. 




Philadelphia, May 9th, 1782. 

Several different bearers of certificates of the different 
loans obtained by the United States, have applied to me 
to induce Congress to pay them back their capitals, or to 
pay the interest stipulated. Their claims are supported by 
recommendations from his Majesty's Ministers. I entreat 
you to be pleased to enable me to inform them of the 
measures taken on this subject. They have now suffered 
for a long time on sccount of the suspension of the pay- 
ments, and it is a long time since 1 asked for the informa- 
tion, which has been successively promised to me. 

I am, Sir, respectfully, &c. 




Office of Foreign Affairs, May 9th, 1782. 
I have the honor to enclose resolutions of Congress, 
settling the ceremonial for the public audience on Mon- 

Mr Morris will deliver you the commission of the Chev- 
alier d'Annemours ; when you shall have made the altera- 
tions and returned it, I will immediately lay it before 

I have the honor to be, Sic. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, May 12th, 1782. 

The undersigned. Secretary to the United States of 
America for the Department of Foreign Affairs, has 
the honor to notify to the Minister Plenipotentiary of 
his Most Christian Majesty, that Congress have deter- 
mined, by a resolution of the 20th of July, 1778, that 
the style of address to them should be in future "Gen- 
tlemen of the Congress." 

The undersigned hopes, that the Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary of France will be pleased to make use of this 
form, in the address which he proposes to make to 
Congress tomorrow, as well as on every future occa- 


* See the result of this audience in the Secret Journal of Congress, 
Vol. III. p. 107. 

VOL. XI. 12 




Philadelphia, May 17th. 1782. 

I write only to acknowledo-e the receipt of the let- 
ter your Excellency did me the honor to write on the 
2Sth ultimo. I feel myself extremely obliged by the 
freedom, with which you have been pleased to furnish 
me with the information I requested, and I beg you to 
be persuaded, that I shall make use of it only to con- 
tribute to the success of our common operations. 

The reports of the action between the fleets in the 
West Indies are so vague, that I can form no certain 
judgment thereon. I presume, however, that the 
handbill published at New York, the 12th of this 
month, is at least partly false. They write me from 
Martinique the 13th of April, that Count de Grasse 
has beaten the English. 

I am, with the most respectful attachment, &c. 



The United States in Congress assembled, to their 
Great, Faithful Friend and Ally, Louis the Sixteenth, 
King of France and Navarre. 

Great, Faithful, and Beloved Friend and Ally, 
Among the many instances that Divine Providence 
has given us of his favor, we number the blessings he 

* See the letter, to which this is an answer, dated October 22d, 


has bestowed on your Majesty's family and kingdom. 
Nothing was wanting to the happiness of the first, but 
a son to wear the lionors, which the father had earned ; 
or, to the prosperity of the latter, but the prospect of 
seeing the Crown transmitted to an heir, who would 
find in the example of his parent, a powerful incite- 
ment to promote the happiness of his people. This 
example, we presume to hope, will also influence his 
future conduct towards these United States. When, 
in the history of the present day, he shall read your 
Majesty's generous interference in their behalf, their 
firm and affectionate attachment, and the blessings 
with which both were crowned, he will be studious to 
preserve to his kingdom and these States, the recipro- 
cal advantages of the alliance, which your Majesty has 
formed, and to emulate his ancestor in adding to his 
titles the glorious appellation of Protector of Mankind. 

We receive with the most lively pleasure your Ma- 
jesty's renewed professions of friendship. You will 
easily believe, that the attachment, which we have so 
often and so truly professed for your Majesty, could 
suffer no diminution, when every day afforded us new 
instances of your magnanimity, and of your affec- 
tionate interference in our behalf. 

We pray God, Great, Faithful, and Beloved Friend 
and Ally, always to keep you in his holy protection. 

Done at Philadelphia, the 20th day of May, in 
the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 
eightytwo, and in the sixth year of our independence. 
By the United States in Congress assembled. Your 
Majesty's Faithful Friends and Allies. 

JOHN HANSON, President. 




Philadelphia, May 25th, 1782. 

The Baron de Holzendorff, Major in the service of 
his Majesty, came to America in 1776, to offer his 
services to the United Slates. He was obliged by cir- 
cumstances, which it would take too long to mention 
in detail, to return to France in 1778. Congress, before 
his departure, had adopted the annexed resolutions in 
relation to him ; but the departure of this officer took 
place before he could procure the execution of them, 
which he now solicits, Dr Franklin having told him 
that the settlement of this business belonged to Con- 
gress. The undersigned Minister, requests Mr Liv- 
ingston to be pleased to take measures to forward to 
this officer a decision of Congress, or of the Depart- 
ment of War. 

The Chevalier de la Luzerne takes the liberty of 
renewing his solicitations respecting the money to be 
paid to the heirs of Messrs De Kalb and De la Radiere, 
and also respecting the reasons, which have suspended 
the payment of the interest on different classes of 




In Congress, May 28th, 1782. 

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs laid before Con- 
gress the following verbal communication made to Mr 

Tl>e Minister of his Most Christian Majesty has the 
honor to inform Mr Livingston of several particulars rela- 
tive to the negotiation, that the Court of London appeared 
disposed to open in Europe. The first steps were taken 
under the former administration. This remark is essen- 
tial, because it is possible that the new Ministers may take 
others more decisive ; or it is equally possible, that they 
may entirely change the system, and continue the war still 

Emissaries have been sent to Paris and to the Hague, 
to sound, on the one hand, Mr John Adams, in the hope 
that his connexion with some independent members might 
facilitate an accommodation; and, on the other side, in the 
hope that very advantageous ofTers might seduce his Maj- 
esty, and engage him to make a separate peace to aban- 
don his allies. The Chevalier de la Luzerne is not in- 
formed of the steps that have been taken ai Madrid, or by 
the States General. 

The proposition made secretly to France tended to a 
partial peace. It offered France the possession of their 
conquests in the West Indies, the suppression of an Eng- 
lish Commissary at Dunkirk, and advantages in the East 
Indies. These offers were certainly satisfactory to his 
Majesty ; and he would have had no reason to reject them 


if he had had no allies. But his engagements marked out 
another line of conduct. He replied, that how sincerely 
soever he was disposed to peace, iie would commence no 
negotiations to this end without the participation of his 
allies. The emissary easily comprehended, that this 
answer related as well to the United States as to Spain ; 
and pretended that the condition was inadmissible ; that 
England, in treating upon this foundation, would acknowl- 
edge the independence of her colonies, which made no 
part of her system. The Minister of his Majesty replied, 
that their independence was considered by the King as 
an indispensable point, and tliat it made the basis of his 

The English Agent then demanded, if there were no 
means to avoid treating with us of the affairs of America. 
The Count de Vergennes replied, by referring iiim to the 
answer given to the first overtures of pacification made by 
the mediators, and communicated to Mr Livingston. 

It should be observed, that whether England treats of 
the affairs of the United States with the Court of Ver- 
sailles, or whether she opens a direct communication with 
the United States, she cannot avoid treating with the 
American negotiators sent by Congress. In either case 
she will be under the necessity of acknowledging that body. 

The conduct of his M-;jesty on this occasion being 
strictly conformable to justice and his engagements, his 
Minister confines himself to a simple communication of it 
to Mr Livingston. He confides also to him, that the 
Count de Vergennes, in declaring to the English Agent, 
that his Majesty could not listen to any negotiations of peace 
if the Court of London did not treat at tlie same time with 
his allies, added verbally, that the King did not attend to 
his own satisfaction till that of his allies was procured. 


Besides this, the effects of these steps taken by the 
Court of London, have been to engage France to pursue, 
with redoubled vigor, the measures that have given birth 
to these appearances of peace, but which would certainly 
not terminate in it, if England perceived that her enemies 
relaxed their efTorts in any manner. It is above all things 
indispensable, that the United States should, in the course 
of this campaign, be in a situation to co-operate in vigorous 
enterprises, which may be formed. It appears that the 
design of the Court of London, pointed out by the debates 
in Parliament, is to reduce, by a defensive war, their ope- 
rations upon this continent. The Minister of his Most 
Christian Majesty has at present no information relative to 
the plans of the approaching campaign. But whatever 
they may be, it would be useful to be enabled to inform 
his Court, that the United States will not adopt an inac- 
tivity, which would be equivalent to the truce required. 
But that their design is to trouble the repose, that the 
enemy wish to deliver themselves to, and that the opera- 
tions, whether combined or separately undertaken by the 
United States, will be pushed with activity during the en- 
suing campaign. 

As to the place of the negotiations, Congress knew in 
1779, when they named a Plenipotentiary, and in 1781, 
wlien they gave him three Colleagues, that it could only 
be in Europe, and that this was the most efTectual n)eans 
of preventing delays and jealousy, and of maintaining the 
confidence and harmony, which has so happily subsisted 
hitherto between the allies. It would be important, that 
the Minister of his Majesty could inform his Comt, that 
Congress persists in these dispositions; and, that in case 
Commissaries offer to treat upon this continent, they 


should be referred to the Ministers of the United States, 
who are provided with instructions on this subject in Eu- 
rope ; that the Court of London should address itself to 
them ; and that it is impossible that the seat of negotiation 
should be in America. When these overtures were made 
to the Court of Versailles, the agent made no mention of 
those that were to be made in America, or to the Ameri- 
can Ministers in Europe. It is obvious, that the design of 
this conduct is to inspire reciprocal distrust ; and the 
Chevalier de la Luzerne conceives it can in no way more 
effectually be prevented, than by a full communication of 
every circumstance, which shall relate to the pacification 
and to the interests of the alliance, which shall come to his 


Head QuarterB, June 5th, 1782. 

I have the honor of conveying to your Excellency the 
enclosed address of the officers of the Awierican army 
under my immediate command, on the auspicious event 
of the birth of a Dauphin. 

Happy in this opportunity of presenting to you this 
united testimony of respect and veneration for your royal 
Master, I pray you to believe, that I enjoy the highest 
satisfaction in having such an occasion of manifesting to 
your Excellency the very particular pleasure I feel in 
every event, which affects the happiness of his Most 
Christian Majesty, especially in one which is so interesting 
and important to his domestic felicity and that of his people. 
1 have the honor to be. Sir, &,c. 




Office of Foreign Affairs, June 7th, 1782. 

I have the honor to enclose you an account of the 
moneys received by Baron de Kalb and Lieutenant Colonel 
La Radiere, as extracted from the Paymaster's books. 
By this it will appear, that both have received more than 
the amount of their pay, even if tlie depreciation is 
allowed. If their friends have furnished you with vouch- 
ers to account for the expenditure of still further sums 
upon the public account, the whole, when stated, will be 
liquidated at the treasury offices, and the balance paid. 

I have applied to Congress for direction on the subject 
of the Baron de Holzendorff, though it would appear to 
me, that if he had received the thousand dollars directed 
to be paid him, there can be nothing further due to hira, 
since the resolution itself implies, that there would proba- 
bly be a balance to be repaid in bills of exchange. You 
must see. Sir, the extreme difficulty 8f settling these ac- 
counts, unless the gentlemen, who have demands, will be at 
the trouble of stating their accounts precisely, and produce 
vouchers for the money, which has passed through their 
hands. This is never dispensed with in the case of our 
own citizens. I shall, however, do myself the honor to 
lay before you the determination of Congress in this case. 

I have written to Mr Morris on the subject of the inter- 
est due on the loan office certificates, and shall transmit 
to you his answer as soon as I shall receive it. 

I enclose for your perusal a very extraordinary letter 
from Mr Deane to Governor Trumbull, together with his 
reply, which was unanimously approved by the Legislature 

VOL. XI. 13 


of Connecticut. You will please return them after you 
have read, or, if you think proper, taken copies of ihem. 
1 have the honor to be, &c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, June 9th, 1782. 
I have the honor to enclose the copy of a letter from 
the Superintendent of Finance in answer to one I wrote 
him on the subject of the loan office certificates. I am 
sorry for the necessity which dictated it, and look forward 
with some degree of impatience to the period when ample 
justice shall be done to all the public creditors. In the 
meanwhile foreigners will not feel themselves hurt when 
we make no distinction between them and our own 

I have the honor to be. Sir, &;c. 




Philadelphia, June 10th, 1782. 

I shall transmit to his Majesty the address you have 
been pleased to send me on the birth of an heir to his 

It will afford him infinite satisfaction to find with what 


joy this event iias inspired yon, and he will see with 
pleasnre, that the same army which has given so many 
proofs of courage and patriotism, and which has in the 
most perfect harmony and concert with his own troops 
fought the common enemy, now hastens to show, that 
nothing which affects the French nation can be indifferent 
to them. 

Tiie young Prince, whose birth is the object of your 
congratulations, will, from iiis infancy, hear recounted the 
glorious actions, by which you have effected the indepen- 
dence and happiness of a vast continent ; and when there 
shall be cited to him examples of disinterestedness, con- 
stancy, courage, and every other military virtue, there will 
be repeated the names of illustrious chiefs. 

He is born at a moment when victory has crowned both 
our nations. This circumstance is a happy presage of his 
future glory, and promises, that he will one day be the 
support of your independence as well as of li)e alliance, 
which unites France with the Thirteen United States. 

The venerations that your actions and virtues have 
inspired me with. Gentlemen, augments the pleasure 1 
have in conveying your sentiments to the King, my master. 

I beg you to be persuaded, that no one is with more 
sincere respect. Gentlemen, your very humble and obe- 
<iient servant. 



The United States in Congress assembled to their 
Great, Faithful, and Beloved Friend and Ally, Louis 
the Sixteenth, King of France and Navarre. 



Great, Faithful, and Beloved Friend and Ally, 
We learn with extreme grief, an event which has 
disturbed your Majesty's felicity, and unite with you 
in offering that tribute of sorrow to the memory of 
your most dear and beloved aunt, the Princess Sophia 
Philippina Elizabeth Justina of France, which is due, 
as well to the eminent virtues she possessed, as to the 
relation in which she stood to your Majesty. We 
trust that our sensibility on this occasion, will be con- 
sidered as a fresh proof of the interest we take in every 
event, which may affect your Majesty, and that our 
sincere condolence, when such afflictions as are the 
lot of humanity put it out of our power to offer more 
effectual consolation, will evince our earnest desire 
on every occasion to contribute to your Majesty's 

We pray God, Dear, Great, Faithful Friend and 
Ally, always to preserve and keep you under his holy 

Done at Philadelphia, the 13th day of June, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 
eightytwo, and in the sixth year of our independence. 
By the United States in Congress assembled. Your 
Majesty's Faithful Friends and Allies. 

JOHN HANSON, President. 



Philadelphia, June 14th, 1782. 
My Dear General, 
I have just received your letter of the 8th of this 
month, and the packets which accompanied it. 1 have 


not now time to reply to it, as I profit by an express 
on the point of departure, and whom I cannot detain. 

The movements of the English troops at New 
York, indicate an intention of sending off detachments 
from that garrison. It is even possible, though not 
very probable, that they propose to evacuate that place, 
either to reinforce the English Islands, or to act offen- 
sively against the conquered Islands, which will not 
be in so good a state of defence as our ancient posses- 
sions. This last supposition cannot take place, unless 
they retain their superiority, and although I hope that 
this will not be the case, it is, however, but prudent 
to be in readiness against every event. 

The most sure means of preventing the enemy from 
making any detachment from New York, is to ap- 
proach that place, and to give a jealousy to G-eneral 
Carlton, of a combined attack. Congress regard the 
matter in this light, and think that General Wash- 
ington will make a movement towards New York, in 
case such a measure is agreeable to his designs, or to the 
intelligence he may have. I am ignorant what steps 
he will take in this conjuncture. It is possible that he 
may think it proper not to quit his present station, till 
he hears that you approach. In all cases the enemy 
will be cautious of weakening themselves, if they 
hear that you are on the march to form a junction. 

I submit these ideas to you, my Dear General, and 
am persuaded that you will take such measures as are 
most advantageous. 

We have news, which I have no reason to believe, 
that M. de la Motte Piquet is not far distant from 
these coasts. 

I have the honor to be, &c. LUZERNE. 



Head Quarters, Newburgh, June 24th, 1782. 
I was in the moment of sending off a despatch to 
Count de Rochambeau, of which I have the honor to 
enclose a copy, when your Excellency's letter of the 
14th instant arrived. 

I have only to refer you to my letter of the 20th of 
April, for a perfect statement of matters in this quarter; 
and as little alteration has taken place since that period, 
your Excellency will readily perceive the impractica- 
bility of the movement expected by Congress, (and 
mentioned in your letter to Count de Rochambeau,) 
especially too, when you consider how unprej)ared we 
are to encounter any expense, that can possibly be 

My ideas on this head, the removal of the French 
army in our present state of uncertainty, the conse- 
quent call of the militia to occupy the posts they 
would leave, and cover the stores, shipping, &c. which 
must necessarily remain, and on the general posture of 
our affairs, were communicated fully to the Secretary 
of War, when he was here, with a request that he 
would unfold them to your Excellency, as I could not 
commit them to paper without a cypher. 

Tiie enemy, from the best intelligence I get from 
New York, has made no detachment. Things remain 
there in statu quo. They seem to be suspended and 
are waiting for orders from their Court, which 1 hear 
they anxiously expect. As I am just stepping into a 
boat for Albany, and dare not commit more to paper, 


I have only to give a fresh testimony of the respect 
and esteem with which I have the honor to be, &c. 



Philadelphia, July 3d, 1782. 

I received a letter yesterday from Count de Rocham- 
beau, dated on the 24th of last month, wherein he informs 
me, that he had come to a determination to move on the 
27th towards the head of the Bay, where he will be at 
hand to take such measures as you may judge proper, as 
soon as we receive news from Europe. He desires me 
to communicate this to your Excellency, till he can write 
you himself. As he does not go any distance from the 
Bay, and as he will always be ready to turn off to the 
southward if necessary, I hope it will meet your ap- 

I wait his answer respecting the interview, which you 
have proposed to him, and which 1 sincerely desire may 
take place here. It seems to me impossible, that we 
should not have some news from France towards the mid-' 
die of this month. 

From the last intelligence from Europe, up to the 1st of 
May, we learn nothing important, except the general dispo- 
sition of the Dutch to ally themselves with the United 
States. But it is probable, that Mr Adams will open the 
negotiation by demanding the acknowledgment and guar- 
antee of your independence, and this circumstance may 


prevent the conclusion of a treaty of commerce, whicii 
seems to be the point that has most influence with the 
Stales General. But as the inclination of ihe people seems 
absolutely towards the alliance, I hope the difficulties will 
be successively got over. 
I have the honor to be, &tc. 




Philadelphia, July 8th, 1782. 

You will receive by M. de Vauban a letter from Count 
de Rochambeau, informing your Excellency that he will 
be here on the 13th or 14th of this month. 1 hope for 
the honor of seeing you here by the 1 5th at farthest, and I 
felicitate myself, that matters will concur to bring you here 
precisely at the time, when I shall celebrate the birth of 
the Dauphin. Your presence, and that of Mrs Washing- 
ton, will render the festival complete, and I hope the gen- 
tlemen, who compose your family, will accompany you. 
I do not send any written invitations to them, nor to the 
Generals and other officers of your army, but your Excel- 
lency knows, that nothing would be more agreeable to me, 
than their participation in celebrating an event, which is so 
interesting to us, and which I know is so to all otw allies. 
Everybody, whom your Excellency may bring with you, 
will be welcome. 

I have the honor to be, he. 





Versailles, July 29th, 1782. 

It is not in quality of a King, the friend and ally of the 
United States, (though with the knowledge and consent of 
his Majesty,) that I now have the honor to write to your Ex- 
cellency. It is as a man of sensibility, and a tender father, 
who feels all the force of paternal love, that I take the lib- 
erty to address to your Excellency' my earnest solicitations 
in favor of a mother and family in tears. Her situation 
seems the more worthy of notice, on our part, as it is to 
the humanity of a nation, at war with her own, that she has 
recourse, for what she ought to receive from the impar- 
tial justice o( her own Generals. 

I have the honor to enclose your Excellency a copy of 
a letter, which Lady Asgill has just wrote me. I am not 
known to her, nor was I acquainted that her son was the 
unhappy victim, destined by lot to expiate the odious crime 
that a fornjal denial of justice obliges you to revenge. 
Your Excellency will not read this letter without being ex- 
tremely affected ; it had that effect upon the King and 
Queen, to whom I communicated it. The goodness of 
their Majesties' hearts induces them to desire, that the in- 
quietudes of an unfortunate mother may be calmed, and 
her tenderness reassured. 1 felt, Sir, that there are cases 
where humanity itself exacts the most extreme rigor; per- 
haps the one now in question may be of the number ; but 
allowing reprisals to be just, it is not less horrid to those 
who are the victims ; and the character of your Excellency 
VOL. XI. 14 


is too wsll known, for me not to be persuaded that you de- 
sire nothing more than to be able to avoid the disagreeable 

There is one consideration, Sir, which, though it is not 
decisive, may have an influence on your resolution. Cap- 
tain Asgill is doubtless your prisoner, but he is among those 
whom the arms of the King contributed to put into your 
hands at Yorktown. Although this circumstance does not 
operate as a safeguard, it however justifies the interest 1 
permit myself to take in this affair. If it is in your power, 
Sir, to consider and have regard to it, you will do what is 
agreeable to their Majesties ; the danger of young Asgill, 
the tears, the despair of his mother, affect them sensibly ; 
and they will see with pleasure the hope of consolation 
shine out for those unfortunate people. 

In seeking to deliver Mr Asgill from the fate which 
threatens him, I am far from engaging you to seek another 
victim ; the pardon, to be perfectly satisfactory, must be 
entire. I do not imagine it can be productive of any bad 
consequences. If the English General has not been able 
to punish the horrible crime you complain of, in so exem- 
plarv a manner as he should, there is reason to think he 
will take the most efficacious measures to prevent the like 
in future. 

I sincerely wish. Sir, that my intercession may meet suc- 
cess ; the sentiment which dictates it, and which you have 
not ceased lo manifest on every occasion, assures me, that 
you will not be indifferent to the prayers and to the tears of 
a family, which has recourse to your clemency through 
me. It is rendering homage to your virtue to implore it. 

I have the honor to be, with the most perfect considera- 
tion, Sir, yours, &tc. 




[Enclosed in the preceding.] 

London, July 18th, 1782. 

If the politeness of the French Court will permit an ap- 
plication of a stranger, there can be no doubt but one in 
which all the tender feelings of an individual can be inter- 
ested, will meet with a favorable reception from a noble- 
man whose character does honor, not only to his own coun- 
try, but to human nature. The subject, Sir, on which I 
presume to implore your assistance, is loo heart-piercing 
for me to dwell on ; and common fame has, most proba- 
bly, informed you of it ; it therefore renders the painful 
task unnecessary. 

My son, (an only son) as dear as he is brave, amiable 
as he is deserving to be so, only nineteen, a prisoner under 
the articles of capitulation of Yorktown, is now confined in 
America, an object of retaliation. Shall an innocent suffer 
for the guilty ? Represent to yourself. Sir, the situation of 
a family under these circumstances ; surrounded as I am 
by objects of distress, distracted with fear and grief, no 
words can express my feeling, or paint the scene. My 
husband given over by his [)hysicians, a few hours before 
the news arrived, and not in a state to be informed of the 
misfortune ; my dau'j;hter seized with a fever and delirium, 
raving about her brother, and without one interval of rea- 
son, save to hear heart-alleviating circumstances. 

Let your feelings, Sir, suggest and plead for my inex- 
pressible misery. A word from you, like a voice from 
Heaven, will save us from distraction and wretchedness. I 
am well informed General Washington reveres your char- 


acter ; say but to him you wish my son to be released, and 
he will restore him to his distracted family, and render him 
to happiness. My son's virtue and bravery will justify the 
deed. His honor, Sir, carried him to America. He was 
born to affluence, independence, and the happiest pros- 
pects. Let me again supplicate your goodness ; let me 
respectfully implore your high influence in behalf of inno- 
cence ; in the cause of justice, of humanity ; that you 
would, Sir, despatch a letter to General Washington, from 
France, and favor me with a copy of it, to be sent from 

I am sensible of the liberty I have taken in making this 
request ; but I am sensible, whether you comply with it or 
not, you will pity the distress that suggests it ; your hu- 
manity will drop a tear on the fault, and efface it. 1 will 
pray that Heaven may grant you may never want the com- 
fort it is in your power to bestow on 




Philadelphia, August 5th, 1782. 

This letter will be handed you by M. de Cloisy, who 
will inform you particularly of the motives of his journey 
to the northward. 

I address myself with freedom to your Excellency, for 
a service, that no one has it more in their power to render 
than yourself, and which is of the greatest importance to 
the naval army commanded by M. de Vaudreuil. It is 
not to be doubted, that a large naval force will arrive at 


New York, either from the West Indies or from Europe. 
It is essential that our naval commanders should have 
the most exact and most frequent intelligence in this re- 
spect, respecting the number of vessels, their names, their 
destination, the time of their arrival, of their departure, the 
number of troops they embark, or artillery ; in fact, not 
a single movement can be known with too much preci- 
sion. And I must request, that you will take the necessary 
measures to give M. de Vaudreuil regular information on 
all these points. It could be wished, that you would sta- 
tion regular expresses to facilitate the communication 
between you and him. 

I ought to be well convinced of your goodness to take 
so much liberty, but the object is of such importance to 
the common cause, that I have no doubt of your excus- 
ing me. 

If the communication between you and M. de Vaudreuil 
is regular and sure, you might. I should think, correspond 
without cypher J if not I must beg you to furnish M. de 
Vaudreuil with a cypher to make the matter more secure, 
and if your Excellency will from time to time give me the 
same information I shall be exceedingly obliged. 

The procuring of the necessary intelligence must be 
attended with extraordinary expense ; I must beg that 
your Excellency will charge some one to acquaint me of 
the sums necessary for the purpose, and to whom I shall 
pay it. These expenses being wholly for the semce of 
our fleet, must be charged to the Department of the 
Marine, and I have taken the necessary measures that 
they may be exactly paid. 

By our last accounts from France the Due de Lauzun, 
and many other officers who had sailed, were obliged to 

1 10 LUZERNE. 

put back, having met with a storm. It is supposed they 
may have sailed again towards the last of June. 
I am, &c. 




Philadelphia, August 14th, 1782 

A cartel will probably have arrived at Boston with 
American sailors from England. One is arrived here 
with two hundred and forty sailors, whom England has set 
at liberty. One of the Captains, with whom I have con- 
versed, tells me that a fleet of two hundred sail was to 
leave Portsmouth a few days after the cartels ; they were 
to separate into three divisions, one for Charleston, one 
for New York, and one for Quebec ; they are to be con- 
voyed by frigates only ; and they assure me the last divis- 
ion is the most important, having soldiers on board, and 
many articles necessary for the defence of Quebec, and 
for the subsistence of the inhabitants. 

From the different accounts I can collect, it seems to be 
the design of England to make a general peace, but the 
demands on one side and the other will render a conclu- 
sion extremely difficult, and in such a case, that power 
will spare nothing to effectuate a peace with the United 
States, and turn all her efforts against France. As to a 
separate peace with the United States it will not take 
place. I am certain that they will not make peace but in 
concert with France. 

I am, inc. 





Philadelphia, September 1st, 1782. 
The undersigned, Minister of France, has the honor of 
informing Congress, that he will transmit to his Court the 
resolution, by which Congress offers the ship of the line 
America, to replace the ship the Magnifique, which ran 
ashore at Boston, and which there is little hope of relieving. 
The Chevalier de la Luzerne cannot anticipate the deter- 
mination of his Majesty, with regard to this offer, but as the 
desire of Congress to substitute immediately the America 
for the Magnifique cannot be accomplished if the under- 
signed Minister waits for the orders of his Court on this 
subject, he will, without delay, inform the Marquis de 
Vaudreuil of the resolution adopted by Congress on the 4th 
instant. This General will judge for himself, whether the 
fieet of the King will be stationed on the coast long enough 
to allow time for launching this vessel, arming her, and 
transporting on board of her the crew, artillery, and rigging 
of the Magnifique. In that case, the America will imme- 
diately join the fleet, in conformity with the wishes of 

But whether circumstances shall allow this vessel to join 
his Majesty's fleet, or render it impracticable, the under- 
signed Minister can assure Congress, that his Majesty will 
behold with great pleasure, the eagerness with which the 
United States, his allies, have made this offer, and that this 
new mark of their attachment and friendship will be infin- 
itely agreeable to him. 





Philadelphia, September 5th, 1782. 
A resolution of Congress of the 3d instant, has been 
communicated to me, containing the offer which that 
Assembly has been pleased to make of the ship America, 
to be joined to his Majesty's fleet. I have the honor of 
sending you a note, in answer to this communication. 
Whatever may be the result of this offer, I entreat you. 
Sir, to be persuaded, that my Court will be very sensible 
of the kindness of it, and as an individual, I am very desir- 
ous that this vessel should join the fleet of the King.* 
I am, with the most sincere respect. Sir, &,c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, September 12th, 1782. 
I have been honored by your favor of the 4th instant.t 
I have taken measures to obtain from the State of Penn- 

* In Congress, September 3d, 1782. " Whereas the Magnifique, a 
seventyfour gun ship belonging to the fleet of his Most Christian 
Majesty, commanded by the Marquis de Vaudreuil, has been lately 
lost by accident in the harbor of Boston, and Congress are desiroois 
of testifying on this occasion to his Majesty, the sense they entertain 
of his generous exertions in behalf of the United States ; 

" Resolved, That the Agent of Marine be, and he is hereby in- 
structed, to present the America, a seventyfour gun ship, in the 
name of the United States, to the Chevalier de la Luzerne, for the 
service of his Most Christian Majesty." 

t Missing. 


sylvania the law you mention, which may be necessary to 
give validity to the eleventh Article of the treaty of amity 
and commerce. 

The demand upon the State of Georgia shall be trans- 
mitted as soon as possible, and I doubt not, that they will 
see that full justice is done to the gentlemen in wliose be- 
half you make the representation. 

As it appears clearly from the state of facts transmitted 
by Count de Durat, that the vessel taken by Mr Clintock 
and his associates is lawful prize, agreeably to the marine 
laws of this country, I shall renew ^piy instances upon this 
subject, and direct Dr Franklin to apply to your Court for 
redress; I must, therefore, again request your aid in pro- 
moting this claim in that channel, iu which you observe, 
that it ought in future to be made. 

I have the honor to be, &;c. 




Boston, September 20th, 1782. 

I have received with the greatest satisfaction the letter, 
with which your Excellency honored me on the 5th in- 
stant, with the copy of the resolution of Congress relative 
to the present, made by Congress to the King's navy, of 
the ship America. The eagerness of the United States to 
replace the Magnifique, which was lost without hope of 
being relieved, and the cordial manner in which they iiave 
offered the America, induce me to accept this vessel with 

VOL. XI. 15 


much gratitude. I shall take care that she is promptly 
armed, and that she joins his Majesty's squadron. M. de 
Macarty de Marteigne, who will command her, will go to 
Portsmouth today for that purpose, and I have given orders 
to the vessels in that port, to furnish hitn with all the assist- 
ance that he may need. 

I shall enjoy the honor, with which I feel much flattered, 
of numbering among my ships, this mark of the friendship 
and regard of our allies. 

I have the honor to be, Stc. 




Philadelphia, September 23d, 1782. 

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
has received orders to communicate to Congress, many 
details relative to the negotiation for [)eace. He is desir- 
ous, that a committee should be appointed to receive these 
communications, and he will, at the same time, have the 
honor of informing Congress of some circumstances, which 
concern the common cause, and relate to the actual situa- 
tion of affairs in Europe. 



Head Quarters, September 24th, 1782. 

Sundry accounts from New York having reached me, 

informing me that the British were more than meditating 


an enterprise against the squadron of the Marqnis de Vau- 
dreuil, which they have learned is at present in two de- 
tachments in Boston and Portsmouth harbors, and that 
preparations were makings for that purpose, I have nriade 
the Marquis acquainted with this intelligence, and the prob- 
ability of such an event. 

At the same time that I gave this information to the 
French Admiral, I have written a letter to Governor Han- 
cock, requesting that arrangements may be made with the 
militia of his State, in such manner as to give immediate 
and effectual support, in aid and protection of his Most 
Christian Majesty's ships, in case an attempt should be 
made upon them. 

The like information I shall give to the Governor of the 
State of New Hampsliire, and request similar assistance 
from him, in case o( the enemy approaching near Ports- 

With the highest regard and esteem, &i,c. 



In Congress, September 24th, 1782. 

The committee appointed to hold a conference with the 
Chevalier de la Luzerne, Minister of France, in pursuance 
of his note to Congress of the 23fl, report j 

That yesterday your committee held a conference with 
the Minister of France, agreeably to the said appointment, 
the substance of which consisted in the communication of 
advices lately received by the s^id Minister of France, 
from his Excellency the Count de Vergennes, as follows. 


The Minister inlbrmed the committee he had received 
several despatches from his Court, of which he thought it 
his duty to communicate an extract to Congress. 

The first was dated 9th April last. It expressed the 
opinion of the Count de Vergennes, that tiie Court of St 
James had formed a design to make a separate peace with 
one or more of the powers at war with it. That France 
was perfectly easy with respect to the disposition of Con- 
gress j and that the uniformity and steadfastness of their 
conduct did not leave the least douht with regard to the 
part they would take in this circumstance. That the 
steps the King had taken on a similar occasion, and the 
disappointment of several British emissaries, was already 
known to Congress. Tiiat they had met with the same 
reception at Madrid ; and there was the greatest proba- 
bility, that their intrigues would not be more successful at 
the Hague. The Minister of France observed, that the 
glory and honor of the present confederacy, of which his 
Majesty was the centre, would be their having been inac- 
cessible to artifice ; and this extraordinary instance would 
be crowned with success, if the four powers persisted inva- 
riably in a firm attachment to their union, and if, on the 
one hand, making the greatest exertions to procure the 
completest satisfaction, they, on the other hand, confined 
themselves within such bounds of moderation as would 
give no umbrage to any one of the powers at war with 
Great Britain. 

That the King had, in different circumstances, taken 
the proper measures to deprive the enemy oi all hopes, 
which they might have formed of introducing dissensions 
between his Majesty and his allies. That it was to be 
wished, that the Court of London was fully convinced of 


the impossibility of treating separately with America 
That this had always been the chimerical and favorite 
idea of England ; and that so long as it subsisted, there 
would perhaps be no possibility of treating seriously about 
the conditions of a peace. That their negotiations would 
only be an artifice to scatter divisions among the allies, 
and retard their exertions for continuing the war. That the 
shortest way to put a stop to their intrigues, would be to let 
it be known publicly in the most explicit manner, that the 
United States neither can nor will make any peace without 
the concurrence of their ally ; and that if England has any 
overtures of peace to make to them, the Atnerican Pleni- 
potentiaries are sufficiently empowered to receive them, 
and to negotiate a peace, il those overtures are admissible. 

That this peremptory language would free Congress 
from all the embarrassments, which the English Ministers 
could throw in the way ; that it would bring them to a 
sincere disposition to make peace ; put an end forever to 
their machinations with the mediating powers ; deprive 
them of the means of feeding the Parliament and people 
of England with the hopes of a separate peace ; and 
finally save the Americans from all the difficulties, which 
would infallibly take place if England were allowed to ne- 
gotiate in America, [t would convince England, that the 
United States are not less attached to their engagements 
with their ally than sensible of the respect due to the 
Courts of Vienna and Petersburg, whose mediation Con- 
gress have accepted. 

The Minister added, that though the situation of the 
belligerent powers, the distance of America, and the slow- 
ness and difficulty of communication made it advantageous 
that the seat of negotiation should be in Europe, and that 


the enemy should be informed of this resolution, yet Con- 
gress had the fullest liberty to follow the system which 
France had pointed out in her answer to the mediating 
powers, in consequence of which the American Ministers 
might negotiate immediately and directly, conformably to 
the instructions they had received from Congress ; but the 
negotiations of France and America would be carried on 
in an equal progression, a continual and reciprocal com- 
munication would be given, and the two treaties signed at 
the same time, and one be inefTectual without the other. 

The Count de Vergennes in the same despatch, gave 
information of the Dutch having acknowledged the inde- 
pendence of America, of which Congress are already 

The letters of May 2d and June 28th, urged the same 
point of referring the British negotiators in America to the 
American Plenipotentiaries in Europe, with this addition in 
the letter of May 2d, that it was now evidently the object 
of Great Britain to lessen their exertions on this continent 
as much as in their power, and to adopt a defensive mode 
of carrying on the war ; that being unable to support a 
double war by land and by sea, she proposed to suspend 
the one in order to carry on the other more effectually ; 
and in case of success, to return against the United States 
with redoubled efforts. 

The Minister mentioned the attempts, that had been al- 
ternately made at the Court of Versailles, and with the 
American Plenipotentiaries, for a separate peace, and said, 
that Dr Franklin had communicated his and Mr Ad- 
ams's answers to the British emissaries; that the King 
thought them firm and consistent with the principles of the 
alliance, and wished that Congress might be informed of 


the satisfaction they afforded him. That to remove for- 
ever such expectations, it behooved the wisdom of Con- 
gress to declare, that no peace but a general one would be 
attended to ; that when negotiations are entered into with 
sincerity, the King would most readily employ his good 
offices in support of the United States, iti all points relating 
to their prosperity ; that Congress were themselves sensi- 
ble of the distinction between the conditions of justice and 
rigor, and those of convenience and compliance, which de- 
pended on the good or bad situation of affairs ; that though 
the circumstances of the allies were very promising, such 
events might happen as might make it advisable to adopt 
the part of moderation. 

But the best way to obtain every possible advantage, 
, was to preserve a perfect connexion, and to let them know, 
that the United States would not only reject a separate 
peace, but that they would continue the war against the 
common enemy by all manner of ways, until their allies 
should also conclude a peace ; that this declaration would 
convince the British Ministers, that they would not get rid 
of the Americans by merely acknowledging their inde- 
pendence ; and that though they removed their troops 
from the continent, they would be attacked wherever 

The despatch of the 28th of June dwelt chiefly on the 
negotiation ; and contained details, which the Count de 
Vergennes directed the Minister to make to Congress, 
but which have in a great measure been already trans- 
mitted to them by their Ministers in Europe. These de- 
tails related to the emissaries sent to Dr Franklin and 
Mr Adams, and their satisfactory answers. Mr Oswald, 
in an interview with the Count de Vergennes, hinted to 


him the desire of the Court of London, and the necessity 
it was under to make peace ; and received for answer. 
that the King was equally disposed to make an honorable 
and solid peace. Mr Oswald went to London to carry 
this information ; returned soon, and was immediately 
followed by Mr Grenville, the intimate friend of Mr Fox. 

Mr Oswald repeated to Dr Franklin the assurances of 
the disposition of the Cabinet of St James ; and Mr Gren- 
ville, in answer to his overtures to the Count de Ver- 
gennes respecting the disposition of the King of Great 
Britain, was informed by the express order of the King, 
tJiat his Majesty was disposed to negotiate for peace, 
provided it was a general one, and the allies and friends 
of his Majesty were satisfied. This answer was just 
given when the news of the action of the 12th of April 
reached Europe. Nevertheless, the King of Great Bri- 
tain sent full powers to Mr Grenville to negotiate the 
peace with his M^jjesty. In communicating ihem the 
English Agent declared, that the King of England, in 
order to facilitate peace, was disposed to treat of the inde- 
pendence of the United States with his Majesty, provided 
all other matters were put upon the footing of the treaty 
of 1763. 

To this the King answered, 1st. That the powers of 
Mr Grenville were insufficient, as they did not mention 
the allies of his Majesty. 2dly. That his Majesty could 
not himself negotiate for the interests of America, having 
no powers to this purpose ; and that it became the dignity 
of the King of England and of the United Slates to 
open a direct negotiation on this subject. 3dly. That in 
order to conclude a solid and lasting peace, it ought not 
to be founded upon the treaty of Paris, but upon justice, 
and the dignity of all the contracting powers. 


The British Ministry adopting these observations, sent 
new powers to Mr Grenviile, authorising him to treat with 
all the belligerent powers. Mr Grenviile presented to the 
Count de Vergennes a copy of these powers, and declared, 
that the King of England, being disposed to acknowledge 
and declare directly the independence of America, it would 
no longer be a conditional article of peace. And as to 
France, the English Plenipotentiary proposed to take the 
treaty of Paris for the basis, not of the peace itself, but of 
the negotiations tvhich were to be entered into. 

The Count de Vergennes, on the 21st of June, commu- 
nicated to Mr Grenviile the answer of the King. In this 
communication his Majesty declared his wishes for the 
restoration of peace, and his satisfaction, that the King of 
Great Britain was disposed to treat with all the belligerent 
powers, and that he intended to make a direct acknowl- 
edgment and declaration of the independence of the 
United States of America, and that this point would no 
longer be a conditional Article of a general pacification. 
That the King consents to adopt, according to the proposi- 
tion of the King of England, the treaty of Paris for a 
basis of the negotiation, not as a confirmation of all its 
stipulations, but with exceptions and alterations respecting 
the East Indies, Africa, the fisheries of Newfoundland, and 
commercial regulations in Europe to mutual advantage. 
Restitution and compensation to be treated of, when the 
negotiation shall be established, with respect to which the 
King will be governed by the principles of justice and 
moderation, which are the basis of his policy. If these 
overtures are agreeable to the King of England, his Maj- 
esty will explain himself precisely on the different points. 
His Majesty expects, that his Britannic Majesty will make 

VOL. XI. 16 


to all the belligerent powers and slates, without delay, such 
overtures as he may think conducive to promote the nego- 
tiation as far as it respects their interests. That no doubt 
may be left with respect to his Majesty's sentiments, he 
declares anew, that he will neither treat nor terminate any 
negotiation, unless the interests of his allies and friends 
shall be conjointly discussed and determined, or sepa- 
rately, according to the wishes of his Britannic M.-ijesty 
and the allied and friendly powers of his Most Christian 

Such was the state of affairs on the 28th of June, at 
which time there appeared some obstructions to the nego- 
tiation, owing, as it was believed, to the misunderstanding 
which prevailed among the British Ministers. Tergiver- 
sations were discovered on the part of the British nego- 
tiator. The bill authorising the King of England to 
treat with the Colonies of America had not then passed. 
These uncertainties made it essential to guard against 
British emissaries on the continent of America ; and to 
prevent with all care their admission ; and to recommend 
the same measure to the several Legislatures. 

The Minister finished the conference by informing the 
committee of the fortitude of the King on receiving the 
news of the action of the 12th of April. He immediately 
gave orders for constructing twelve ships of the line, the 
greater part of the first rate. The city of Paris and seve- 
ral other cities and corporations had offered some others, 
and it was expected, that the King would, in the course of 
the next campaign, have twenty new ships to oppose the 
enemy. His Majesty was resolved not to make the least 
alterations in his plans for the future negotiation ; and he 
exhorted his allies to the same resolution and the same 




Philadelphia, September 27th, 1782. 

I have the honor of sending lo yon a decree of his Maj- 
esty's Conncil of State, made in consequence of the meas- 
ures taken hy Congress for preventing the fraudulent im- 
portation of English merchandise into this country. 1 
desire that you would be pleased to con)municate it to 
Congress, in order that it may be published under tlie seal 
of authority, and that American merchants and sailors may 
be informed, that it is in their own power to procure in 
the ports of France, the papers necessary for making it 
certain, that the English merchandise, which they take on 
board, is obtained from prizes. This decree agrees very 
well with the laws passed by several States, and particu- 
larly with that passed by the Assembly of Pennsylvania 
during its last session, to prevent commerce and all com- 
munication with the enemy. ! have also the honor of 
sending to you, Sir, the copy of a letter from the Marquis 
de Vaudreuil, which i request you to be pleased to trans- 
mit to Congress.* 

I have the honor to be, &,c. 


* See above p. 113. 




Philadelphia, September 29th, 1782. 

I have received the letter, which your Excellency did 
me the honor to write lo me on the 22d of this month, 
with the news which accompanied it. 1 beg yon to accept 
my sincere thanks. 

I have the honor to transmit you the extract of an 
answer, made by express order of the King, on the 21st 
of June, to Mr Grenville. I pray you to be pleased to 
keep it a secret ; all that 1 can add is, that the negotiations 
were still in agitation the beginning of July, but there had 
been in the conduct of the British Minister many circum- 
stances, 'Which led to doubt his sincerity; I believe, that 
even if there had been a sincere disposition to treat, the 
death of the Marquis of Rockingham had occasioned a 

I have just received your Excellency's letter of the 
24th ; I cannot but thank you for the goodness, which you 
have had in transmitting me the detail, which it contains. 
1 doubt not but M. de Vaudreuil will profit by the advice, 
and put himself in a posture of defence. 
I have the honor to be, &;c. 




Philadelphia, October lit, 1782 

I send to New York M. Barbe, who has the honor to 

be known to your Excellency. The principal objects of 


bis journey, are some arrangements relative to the French 
prisoners carried into New York, and of some Spa iards, 
who have been carried there also. I have charged him 
to see M. la Touche, and to give him such consolation as 
depeuds upon me. I would at the same time wish to re- 
purchase in New York some effects, which I had coming 
from France in the Eagle, and which I cannot replace 
here. I could wish you, Sir, to give all the assistance in 
your power to M. Barbe's gaining admission into New 
York and returning. 
I am, &ic. 



In Congress, October 3d, 1782. 

The committee, towhom were referred the notes of 
the communication made by the Minister of France 
to a committee of Congress, on the 24th of Sep- 
tember, brought in a report, which was agreed to, as 
follows ; 

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 affection and confidence, which his wise, 
steady, and liberal conduct in every stage of the war 
has so justly inspired. 

That his Most Christian .Majesty's declaration to the 
British Minister at Paris, that he will neither treat 


nor terminate any negotiation unless the interests of 
his friends and allies shall be considered and deter- 
mined, is entirely correspondent to the part, which 
these United States are resolved to take in any nego- 
tiation for peace. 

That Congress, with the utmost satisfaction embrace 
this opportunity to renew their assurances, that in 
every event these United States will inviolably adhere 
to their alliance with his Most Christian Majesty, 
which they consider 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 with his Most Christian Majesty, agreeably to 
the declaration made to his Minister Plenipotentiary 
on the 31st day of May last. 

That upon this principle, Congress did not hesitate 
a moment, to reject the proposition made by the 
British General and Admiral, as Commissioners of 
Peace, for admitting Mr Morgan, their Secretary, to 
an interview at Philadelphia. 

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 place the utmost confidence in his 
Majesty's assurances, that he will readily employ his 
good offices in support of the United States in all 
points relative to their prosperity ; and considering 
the territorial claims of these States as heretofore 
made, their participation of the fisheries, and of the 
free navigation of the Mississippi, not only as their 
indubitable rights, but as essential to their prosperity, 


they trust that his Majesty's efforts will be success- 
fully employed fo obtain a sufficient provision and 
security for those rights. Nor can they refrain from 
making known to his Majesty, that any claim of resti- 
tution or compensation for property confiscated in the 
several States, will meet with insuperable obstacles, 
not only on account of the sovereignly of the indi- 
vidual Slates, b}' which such confiscations have been 
made, but of the wanton devastations, which the citi- 
zens of these States have experienced from the enemy, 
and in many instances from the very persons in whose 
favor such claims may be urged. That Congress trust, 
that the circumstances of the allies at the negotiation 
for peace, will be so prosperous as to render these 
expectations consistent with the spirit of moderation 
recommended by his Majesty. 



Philadelphia, October 16th, 1782. 

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of 
France, requests Congress to be pleased to appoint a 
committee, to which he proposes to communicate some 
measures which are provisional, and which are to re- 
main secret till the moment of their execution. 




Head Quarters, October 25th, 1782. 


I have the honor to transmit to your Excellency the 
copy of two letters* from the Count de Vergennes, 
which were sent out in the packet from England, and 
have just come to my hands by a flag of truce from 
New York. They contain a very pathetic and affec- 
tionate interposition in favor of the life of Captain 

I lose no time in forwarding them by a special mes- 
senger to Congress, without any observations, being 
persuaded that Congress will not fail to give a very 
early decision respecting his further treatment. 

The enclosed newspaper contains all the information 
I have been able to obtain since the arrival of the 

I have the honor to be, &,c. 




Philadelphia, October 25th, 1782. 


I have received the letter your Excellency did me 
the honor to write me on the 10th instant, with the 
amount of expenses incurred by the expresses, which 

* That is, th« copy of a letter from Count de Vergennes, and one 
from Lady Asgill to him. See these letters above, pp. 105,107. 


formed the communioation with the Marquis de Vau. 
dreuil. The treasurer of our army will pay to your 
Quarter Master General the five hundred and thirty- 
seven dollars he has been so kind as to advance for 
that purpose. I beg also, that you will please to send 
me the amount of expenses incurred in procuring the 
intelligence from New York, and that you will accept 
my thanks for the trouble you have had in these 

I will be exceedingly obliged to your Excellency to 
inform me where the seventyfifth regiment of grena- 
diers actually is. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 



Head Quarters, October 25th, 1782. 

The enclosed letter, which I have the honor to 
transmit to your Excellency, was received this mo- 
ment by a flag of truce from New York. It was 
accompanied by one addressed to me from the Count 
de Vergennes, on the same subject.* 

The case of Captain Asgill having, before the re- 
ceipt of these letters, been submitted to Congress, I 
have immediately transmitted to that body, copies of 
the Count's letters to me, and have permitted myself 
to sc4icit from them, an early decision of his fate, 
which, judging from my own feelings, I persuade my- 
self cannot be an unfavorable one. 

* See this letter above, p. 105. 
VOL. XI. 17 


I send your Excellency a transcript of intelligence, 

which I have this day forwarded to the Marquis de 


I am, he. 




Philadelphia, October 2ah, 1782. 
The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of his 
Most Christian Majesty, has had too frequent oppor- 
tunities of satisfying himself, that Congress fully per- 
ceives how intimately the interests of the two nations 
are connected, not to be convinced that they will learn 
with pain, that very considerable quantities of provis- 
ions have been sent by the Raritan to New York, and 
along the river opposite to Staten Island. The under- 
signed Minister cannot enter into the details of this 
proceeding, which he knows only by reports, though 
by reports upon which he has the strongest reasons for 
believing that he can depend. This trade is, more- 
over, carried on in the most open manner, and he is 
convinced, that by inquiries, instituted with prompt- 
ness and secrecy, he shall be able to obtain proofs of 
it, and to procure the means of putting a slop to it. 
Cattle of all kinds have served to furnish with provis- 
ions the enemy's fleet, which has just sailed down to 
the Hook. It is asserted, that the quantities sent from 
the Jerseys are immense, but the Chevalier de la Lu- 
zerne thinks it unnecessary to attempt at present, to 


determine them exactly, and contents himself with 
observing, that the nineteen vessels thus supplied, will 
not, perliaps, depart immediately, and that it will be 
necessary to shut up the channels by which these pro- 
visions have reached them. 

There are, besides, eight other ships of the line at 
New York, which they intend to supply with provis- 
ions in the same way. Congress are aware how 
important it is to prevent the enemy from obtaining 
from the United States tiie means of putting to sea, 
and even of supplying the garrison. The undersigned 
also knows what efforts have been made by that body, 
on different occasions, to put a stop to those illegal 
operations, and how desirous it is effectually to guard 
against them. He also knows, that all the good citi- 
zens of the Jerseys grieve to see the enemy obtaining 
from their own State, supplies, which are employed 
against the allies of the United Stales, and he is con- 
vinced, that it is only necessary to point out the evil, 
in order that all may cordially unite in providing a 
remedy for it. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, October 30th, 1782. 

The Secretary of tlie United States for the Department 
of Foreign Affairs has the honor to inform the Minister 
Plenipotentiary of his Most Christian Majesty, that a peti- 
tion has been presented in behalf of the owners and officers 
of the brig La^titia, commanded by Robert Collins, and 
commissioned by the United States. That the said brig. 


while at anchor in the road of Basseterre, on the 3d day of 
May last, near the Island of St Christophers, captured by 
her boat a brig called the Francis, belonging to the sub- 
jects of his British Majesty, bound from the port of Liver- 
pool in England to the Island of Tortola, and having on 
board a valuable cargo. 

That after the prize had been brought to anchoi in the 
road of Basseterre, by the officers and mariners of the 
said brig Laetitia, the harbor master of the Island of St 
Christophers, aided by a guard, took possession of her, 
under pretence, that she was included in the capitulation, 
though the contrary appears from the affidavits annexed ; 
that the said prize was afterwards advertised and sold as 
a prize to the subjects of his Most Christian Majesty, with- 
out any condemnation in the Courts of Admiralty of the 
Island. As the sale of this prize fully demonstrates, that 
she could never have been included in the number of those 
vessels protected by the capitulation, it is not doubted, that 
the justice of his Most Christian Majesty's Ministers will 
induce them to direct, that the value of the prize be repaid 
to the legal captors, when the Chevalier de la Luzerne 
shall have submitted the above state of facts, and the an- 
nexed affidavits to their inspection, together with such 
observattons as his own candor and equity will induce him 
to make thereon. 





Philadelphia, November 4th, 1782' 


Congress, in the year 1780, recommended to the dif- 
ferent States to pass laws analogous to the Thirteenth 
Article in our treaty of commerce. Some States have 
complied with this recommendation, others, among which 
is Pennsylvania, have neglected to do it. I know, that 
severaJ Frenchmen, who have acquired funds in this State 
do not trust to the protection of prosecutions de Vechiquier 
general for want of a law of this nature. I entreat you, 
Sir, to be pleased to procure the passing of such a law, 
in case that you think, that the said Article of the treaty is 
not sufficient to secure to them the quiet possession of the 
funds, which they have acquired. 

I have the honor of sending you. Sir, a letter from the 
Count de Durat, Governor of Grenada, relative to an 
affair, concerning which I wrote to him, by your recom- 
mendation. It seems to me, agreeably to his answer, that 
those interested should for the future apply to Dr Frank- 
lin, to procure satisfaction. You will perhaps think proper 
to communicate to them the letter of M. de Durat. 

You will also find annexed, Sir, some papers relative to 
an affair, which concerns the United States, or the State 
of Georgia. Be pleased to let me know what answer I 
can send to those inhabitants of the Cape who are inter- 

I am. Sir, with the greatest respect, &,c. 


1 34 LUZERNE. 



Philadelphia, November 6th, 1782. 

1 duly received the letter your Excellency honored me 
with on the 25th ultimo, relative to Captain Asgill; it appears 
that Congress are favorably disposed respecting him, but 
they have not yet passed any resolution on that head. 
When they do, I doubt not it will be favorable. 

I have seen with much pleasure a Proclamation of the 
Governor of the State of New York, to prevent sending 
provisions to the enemy. The accounts I have recently 
received on that subject from the States of Jersey and 
Connecticut, give me more pain than I can express. They 
are positive, and from people who had ocular demonstra- 
tion ; they prove, that the enemy's fleet could not have 
quitted New York for some time, if they had not received 
immense quantities of provisions, living and dead. This 
commerce is carried on regularly and openly, as if it were 
peace, or as if the cattle were for your army. Your Ex- 
cellency knows how important the despatch or detention 
in fitting out fleets is, and I know the efforts you have 
made to put a stop to this destructive commerce. I must 
however entreat you. Sir, to use your influence with the 
Governors of Jersey and Connecticut, to adopt such meas- 
ures as may prove efficacious. I am sure there is not a 
single good citizen in America, who is not hurt at seeing 
the enemy thus furnished from this continent, and thereby 
enabled to distress us in the West Indies. 
I have the honor to be, &tc. 





Philadelphia, November 8th, 1782. 

I have the honor of sending you a copy of the depo- 
sitions of some sailors of the brig La^tilia. I entreat you 
to be pleased to cause an examination to be made into this 
affair, for which they have presented a Memorial to Mr 
Livingston, Minister of the United States for Foreign Af- 
fairs, who has sent it to me, in order that I might transmit 
it to you. I have assured that Minister, that he may rely 
upon your justice and care, that such restitution shall be 
made to the plaintiffs, as after the investigation into the, 
affair they shall seem justly entitled to. 
I have the honor to be, &ic. 




Philadelphia, November 9th, 1782. 

It is with much pleasure, that I now have the honor to 

enclose you the resolution of Congress in favor of Captain 

Asgill.* I am well persuaded, that your justice and hu- 

* In Congress, November 7th, 1782. "On the report of a commit- 
tee, to whom were referred the letter of the 19th of August from 
the Commander in Chief, the report of a committee thereon, and 
also another of the 25th of October from the Commander in Chief, 
with the copy of a letter to him from the Count de Vergennes, dated 
the 29th of July last, interceding for Captain Asgill ; 


manity will induce you to prevent in future the excesses, 
that gave rise to this disagreeable affair. 

I shall send this resolution to France by different oppor- 
tunities, and hope it will be forwarded immediately to Lady 
Asgill, and put an end to the anxiety she has suffered ok 
account of her son. But as it is possible that my letter 
may arrive later than yours, I beg you, Sir, to transmit it 
also by the first opportunity. I shall solicit General 
Washington to permit Captain Asgill to return to Europe 
on his parole, that Lady Asgill may have her joy com- 
plete, and if possible be recompensed for the alarm she 
has been so long in. 

Receive the assurance, &ic. inc. 


"Resolved, That the Commander in Chief be, and he is hereby 
directed to set Captain Asgill at liberty." 

Jfovembcr 8th. "Resolved, that the Commander in Chief be instruct- 
ed to call, in the most pointed terms, on the British commander at 
New York, to fulfil his engagement contained in his letter of the 
13th day of August last, 'to make further inquisition into the mur- 
der of Captain Huddy, and to pursue it with all the efiect, which 
a due regard to justice will admit.' 

"Resolved, that to prevent any misconstruction, which may arise 
from the resolution directing Captain Asgill to be set at liberty, it 
be declared, and it is hereby declared, that the Commander in Chief, 
or commander of a separate army, is, in virtue of the powers vested 
in them respectively, fully authorised and empowered, whenever 
the enemy shall commit any act of cruelty or violence, contrary to 
the laws or usage of war, to demand adequate satisfaction for the 
same ; and in each case, if such satisfaction shall not be given in 
a reasonable or limited time, or shall be refused or evaded under 
any pretence whatever, to cause suitable retaliation forthwith to 
be made ; and the United States in Congress assembled will support 
them in such measures." 




Philadelphia, November 9th, 1782. 


By a letter I have this moment received from New 
York, I am informed, that M. de la Touche is yet pris- 
oner on board the Lion, or on Long Island. I should be 
extremely glad if he could be exchanged immediately, 
promising to return the first officer of the same rank, who 
shall fall into our hands; or if that favor cannot be ob- 
tained, that he may be permitted to come to Philadelphia 
for some time. I am well aware, that this matter is not 
properly in your department, but the actual circumstance 
of the affair, and the letter of Commodore Elphinston to 
Baron Viomenil, must give weight to your recommenda- 
tion, if you will please to employ it. 

I have the honor to be, &;c. 




Philadelphia, November 12th, 1782. 

I hope you will not find it amiss, that I have sent 
directly to General Carleton the two letters, of which 
the enclosed are copies. M. de la Touche wrote me, 
that he was yet detained at New York, and that he 
would probably have time to receive my answer if 
it came directly, which induced me to write him by 
way of Elizabethtowu, rather than by Dobb's Ferry. 
If there is any impropriety in the step I have taken, I 

VOL. XI. 18 


hope your Excellency will excuse it in consideration 
of the object in view. I dare even to ask your Excel- 
lency to enforce my request. 

I also take the liberty to request your Excellency 
to permit Captain Asgill to return to Europe. The 
situation of his mother has been so unhappy for some 
time past, that he has a sort of claim on your Excel- 
lency's goodness. 

I have the honor to be, Sec. 



Head Quarters, November 13th, 1782. 

It affords me singular pleasure to have it in my 
power to transmit you the enclosed copy of an act of 
Congress of the 7th instant, by which you are released 
from the disagreeable circumstances in which you 
have so long been. Supposing you would wish to go 
into New York as soon as possible, I also enclose a 
passport for that purpose. 

Your letter of the 18th of October came regularly 
to my hand. I beg you to believe, that my not an- 
swering it sooner did not proceed from inattention to 
you, or a want of feeling for your situation ; I daily 
expected a determination of your case, and I thought 
it better to wait that, than to feed you with hopes that 
might in the end prove fruitless. You will attribute 
my detention of the enclosed letters, which have been 
in my hands about a fortnight, to the same cause. 

*See other letters respecting Captain Asgill's case, above, pp. 105, 
107, 128, 129, 133, 135. 


I cannot take leave of you, Sir, without assuring 
you, that in whatever light my agency in this unpleas- 
ing affair may be received, I never was influenced 
through the whole of it by sanguinary motives, but by 
what I conceived a sense of my duty, which loudly 
called upon me to take measures, however disagree- 
able, to prevent a repetition of those enormities, which 
have been the subject of discussion, and that this im- 
portant end is likely to be answered, without the effu- 
sion of the blood of an innocent person, is not a greater 
relief to you, than it is to. Sir, j^our most obedient, 
and humble servant, 



Head Quarters, November 13th, 1782. 

I am honored with your Excellency's letter of the 
6th instant, on a subject not more distressing to you, 
Sir, than to myself. I have at various periods of the 
war written to Congress and to the States, endeavor- 
ing to convince them of the necessity of passing the 
most vigorous laws, to prevent the inhabitants from 
furnishing the enemy with provisions. I will write 
them again and will use every argument I am master 
of for that purpose. Tn all other nations, I believe, 
the persons guilty of that crime are punished with 
death, and unless the States on this continent will 
pass similar laws, I see no means of putting a stop to 
that destructive practice. Anything the military 
could do in that matter, would be in vsin. To post as 


many guards as would be necessary, would be destruc- 
tive to the army, as those guards would be continually 
liable to be cut off by the enemy ; and, indeed, the 
whole army would not suffice to guard the extensive 
coasts where this illicit commerce is carried on. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 



Head Quarters. Newburgh, State of New York, > 
November Slst, 1782. > 

After I had the honor of receiving your Excellen- 
cy's letter of the 29th of July, I lost not a moment in 
transmitting it to Congress, who had then under delib- 
eration the proceedings of the British Court Martial 
upoh Captain Lippincot for the murder of Captain 
Huddy, and the other documents relative to that in- 
human transaction. What would otherwise have been 
the determination of that honorable body, I will not 
undertake to say, but I think I may venture to assure 
your Excellency, that your generous interposition had 
no small degree of weight in procuring that decision 
in favor of Captain Asgill, which he had no right to 
expect from the very unsatisfactory measures, which 
had been taken by the British Commander in Chief to 
atone for a crime of the blackest dye, not to be justi- 
fied by the practices of war, and unknown to this day 
amongst civilized nations. I flatter myself, however, 
that our enemies have been brought to see this trans- 
action in its true light, and that we shall not experi- 
ence a repetition of the like enormity. 


Captain Asgill has been released and is at perfect 
liberty to return to the arms of an affectionate parent, 
whose pathetic address to your Excellency could not 
fail of interesting every feeling heart in her behalf. 

I have no right to assume any particular merit from 
the lenient manner, in which this disagreeable affair 
has terminated. But I beg you to believe, Sir, that I 
most sincerely rejoice, not only because your humane 
intentions are gratified, but because the event accords 
with the wishes of his Most Christian Majesty and his 
royal and amiable consort, who, by their benevolence 
and munificence, have endeared themselves to every 
true American. 

I have the honor to be, with profound respect, 
Sir, &c. 



Office of Foreign Affiiirs, November 26th, 1785!. 

1 have the honor to inform you, that Congress were 
pleased, on the 12th instant, to pass the enclosed reso- 
lution, by which they renew their appointment of Mr 
Jefferson, as Minister Plenipotentiary for negotiating 
a peace. 

Mr Jefferson's established character, his abilities and 
the honorable offices he has sustained with reputation 
in this country, leave no room to doubt that this ap- 
pointment will be highly acceptable to your Court, 
when you shall have placed them in that favorable 


point of view, in which, I persuade myself, you take a 
pleasure in representing them. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 




Philadelphia, November 2!tth, 1782. 
I have received the letter, in which you inform ine of the 
renewal of Mr Jefferson's commission, and the resolution 
of Congress, which accompanied it. I was sorry to see 
that Minister decline taking part in the negotiation for 
peace, and I learn with great pleasure, that he is making 
arrangements for joining the other Ministers to whom Con- 
gress has intrusted it. The ability of Mr Jefferson, and 
the important services, which he has rendered to the United 
States, are very well known in Europe, and you n)ay be 
assured, Sir, that all, who are interested in the prosperity 
and welfare of this country, will approve of the choice 
made by Congress. 

I have the honor to be, &ic. 




Philadelphia, November 30th, 1782. 
1 received the letters your Excellency honored me with 
the 1 3th, 19th, and 22d of this month, and have forwarded 


yours for the Count de Vergennes. From the reports 
which I liave received from the Jerseys, it appears, that 
the care of the Legislature and the vigilance you have ex- 
cited in the Executive, have produced happy effects in 
stopping the facility, with which supplies were sent to New 
York. I well know the impossibility of preventing that 
commerce by means of military guards ; but in putting the 
zeal of the good citizens in activity, I am persuaded some 
bounds may be put to a practice so destructive to the in- 
terests of the United States as well as of her allies. 

I am under great obligations to your Excellency for 
communicating to me what has passed relative to the fleets 
of the enemy at New York. I beg you to continue this 
communication, even after M. de Vaudreuil has departed, 
for by transmitting these accounts to the Minister of Ma- 
rine, I enable him to judge better of the measures he has 
to take, knowing the force and movements of the enemy 
on these coasts. 

I have the honor to be, &;c. 




Philadelphia, December 11th, 1782. 

I have received the letter, with which you honored me 

yesterday. I have, in consequence, the honor of sending 

you triplicate copies of a letter, which I wrote to the Count 

de Durat, Governor of Grenada. Be pleased to send it 

to the persons whom it concerns, and to recommend to 

them to annex to it French copies of their Memorial. I 


hope that it may contribute to their satisfaction. I can only 
invite the Admiralties of our Islands to take affairs of this 
kind into consideration. 

I have the honor to be, &cc. 




Philadelphia, December 18th, 1782. 

I have the honor to enclose your Excellency a letter, 
which, after having read and sealed, I am to request you 
to forward with all possible despatch. I hope that the ar- 
rival of my despatches will enable me to be more particu- 
lar. It will be necessary to recommend to the chain of 
expresses, to hohd themselves in readiness to carry on the 
despatches, which I shall have to send by another courier. 

f have the honor to be, he. 




Philadelphia, December 18th, 1782. 
I this instant learn by an express arrived from the Capes, 
that the Danae entered the day before yesterday, and in a 
thick fog had the misfortune to get aground ; probably she 
will be got off; she is within the Capes. She left France 
the 8th of November ; the express has not brought a sin- 
gle letter, and I do not expect them till tomorrow or the 


day after. If there are any for you, they shall be sent on 
with the greatest despatch, and if there are none, you shall 
have an express with the news. It is said, that there are 
many packets for the army, and one hundred and eighty 
thousand livres. 

The only Frenchmen of our acquaintance on board are 
General Duportail and M. de Gouvion. 

The whole of the force at Cadiz, as well land as naval, 
is destined for the West Indies. 
I have the honor to be, Sic. 




Philadelphia, December 26th, 1782. 

The undersigned Minister Plenipotentiary of France has 
the honor of informing Congress, that his Majesty has re- 
ceived, with the most lively sensibility, the proofs of the 
measures taken by ihern on the birth of the Dauphin.* The 
King has ordered the Chevalier de la Luzerne to assure 
this Assembly, that they could not have manifested their at- 
tachment to him, on an occasion more dear to him, and that 
this circumstance will, if possible, add new force to his af- 
fection for the United States, as well as to his wish to 
establish their happiness upon a permanent foundation. 
I have the honor to be, he. 


* See the proceedings of Congress here alluded to in the Secret 
Journal, Vol. III. p. 106. 

VOL. XI. 19 



Office of Foreign Affairs, December 30th, 1782. 

The substance of a verbal communication made to 
the Secretary for Foreign Affairs by the Minister of 
France, on the 30th and 31st of December, 17S2, 
offered to the consideration of Congress on the 1st of 
Januar}', 1783, by the said Secretary. 

The Minister of France came this day agreeably to 
appointment, to the Office of Foreign Affairs, and 
read to Mr Livingston a letter from the Count de 
Vergennes to him, dated the 12th of August last, 
which contained in substance ; that the negotiations 
begun by Mr Grenville and Mr Oswald were inter- 
rupted by the resignation of Mr Fox. That previous 
to that, the King of England appeared disposed to ac- 
knowledge the independency of America in express 
terms, without making it a condition of the peace ; 
that Mr Grenville encouraged them to hope, that this 
object would be rendered complete by an act of Par- 
liament ; that they looked in vain for this act till they 
were apprised of the resignation of Mr Fox ; that the 
difference which arose between him and Lord Shel- 
burne led them to suppose, that the design of the first 
was to recognise the independency of America and 
treat for a general peace upon fair and honorable 
terms J that Lord Shelburne's was, on the contrary, 
to endeavor to excite distrusts, and particularly to en- 
deavor to mislead the Americans ; that in pursuance 
of this system in the month of June last, at the very 


time that they opened their treaty in Europe, he pro- 
posed to offer the most advantageous terms to America 
upon condition that the Americans laid down tlieir 
arms and left France to settle the dispute alone. This 
insidious conduct was pursued during Mr Grenville's 

That Mr Fox's resignation suspended the negotia- 
tion, though the new Administration declared, that 
this event should occasion no change of measures ; 
that the Court of France expected the effect of this 
declaration, when a commission was expedited to Mr 
Oswald to treat with the American Plenipotentiaries, 
and another to authorise Mr Fitzherbert to resume the 
negotiation begun by Mr Grenville ; that he had pre- 
sented his credentials the 4th instant ; that Mr Os- 
wald had yet received only a copy of his, owing to 
the Chancellor's absence ; that Mr Fitzherbert had 
returned the answer of Great Britain to the counter 
proposition given by France ; that this contains full 
evidence of the unsteadiness of Lord Shelburne's con- 
duct, since, instead of making the independence of 
America a separate object, it proposes it as a condi- 
tion, and as the price of peace, and adds, that every 
other circumstance should be placed upon the basis of 

He observes, that the Chevalier de la Luzerne will 
judge from this, that they affected much surprise at 
the counter propositions, and that they did not assent 
to them ; neither on the other hand, have they yet 
refused them, but confine themselves to demanding 
explanations. That this was then the state of their 
negotiations ; that Mr Oswald had presented his com- 


mission, to which Mr Franklin and Mr Jay had yet 
given no reply, suspending it till they knew his (the 
Count de Vergennes's) sentiments; that as yet he had 
formed no opinion, waiting the result of a conference, 
which he was to have the next day with those Minis- 
ters; that the commission was in the usual form, but 
speaks of the Americans as Colonies, without naming 
them rebels, or asserting any claims upon them. 

That he did not for his part believe, that Lord 
Shelburne would negotiate a general peace sincerely, 
till he lost all hopes of sowing dissensions and treating 
separately ; that they were convinced, that neither 
France nor Spain were to be deceived, and that he (the 
Count de Vergennes,) entertained the same sentiments 
with respect to the Americans, but that the British 
Ministry, deceiving themselves, may continue to tempt 
them till a peace is signed ; that the information they 
(the Court of France,) had received from him (the 
Minister of France,) had left them little doubt on that 
head, and that those doubts will be entirely removed 
when the States shall have respectively imitated the 
example of Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey. 

That, however, good faith was not all that was re- 
quired of an ally ; that they must feel themselves in a 
situation to impose terms on the enemy ; that unhap- 
pily the Americans had neglected this ; that the 
Minister of France could not press this too closely 
upon us. 

He then proceeds to inform the Minister, that while 
the British had set on foot a direct negotiation, the 
Imperial Court renewed their instances with that of 
Tjondon to engage them to accept their mediation ; that 


this gave birth to an answer, in which his Britannic 
Majesty, without taking notice of the negotiation 
begun at Paris, declared, that he was ready to receive 
through them, every pacific overture, and even to 
admit the Dutch and the Americans to the negotiation. 
This answer was dated on the 29th of April, when Mr 
Oswald was already in Paris. That they continued 
their negotiations, and sent Mr Grenville powers, 
which were dated on the 21st of May ; that they did 
not conceal this from the Imperial Court, but pre- 
tended that it was at the instance of France. 

That this false accusation, and above all the fear of 
seeing the mediation vanish, had engaged the Imperial 
Court to communicate to the Court of Versailles and 
Madrid, the last Memorial of the Court of London, 
and to exhort them to establish a negotiation under 
their auspices ; that it was easy to refute the unskilful 
accusation of the British, which he (the Count de 
Vergennes,) thinks they (the Court of France,) have 
done with success ; that the answer is transmitted ; 
that they had determined, without rejecting the medi- 
ation, to pursue the direct negotiation as long as it 
might be convenient to the Court of London ; that he 
had not seen the answer of the British, which could 
not, however, be very satisfactory, since they have 
expedited the commission to Mr Fitzherbert and Mr 
Oswald ; that he (the Count do Vergennes,) was igno- 
rant of the part, that the Imperial Courts would take 
upon their declinatory answer. 

But that they had always been candid, clear, and 
open, and would have no objection to confide their 
interests with the mediators upon the established basis, 


whenever the Court of London shall decline the direct 
negotiation she had begun; that the King did not 
doubt but that Congress would think with him on this 
subject, and that he would not hesitate, if circum- 
stances should require it, to give such assurances to 
the two Imperial Courts. In a postscript he adds, 
that he had seen Mr Jay and Mr Franklin, and that 
they had together discussed both the substance and 
form of the commission to Mr Oswald, and that in 
spite of his (Mr Oswald's) instances, they had agreed 
to decline entering into the matter with him, until he 
shall have produced the original of his commission. 



December 31st, 1782. 

The undersigned. Minister Plenipotentiary of 
France, has had the honor of communicating to the 
Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, sev- 
eral facts and circumstances relative to the negotiation 
for a general peace, which is now carried on at Paris, 
between the belligerent powers. That Minister will 
communicate them to Congress; but the undersigned 
Plenipotentiary, has received orders himself, to express 
to that Assembly, the satisfaction of the King, his 
master, at the conduct, which they have observed on 
occasion of the overtures, made by the English Com- 
missioners commanding at New York, at different 


times, for establishing a particular negotiation with the 
United States, or with any one of them. 

The King has seen with pleasure the resolutions 
taken by his allies under these circumstances, and 
their perfect harmony with those, which he has taken 

He has observed with equal satisfaction the unanim- 
ity, which has reigned in the different States of the 
Union, which have expressed their sentiments in rela- 
tion to the proposal for a separate peace ; their deter- 
mination honorably to reject every proposal of this 
kind, corresponds perfectly with the opinion formed 
by his Majesty, of their fidelity in the observance of 
their engagements, and of the wisdom which presides 
in their Councils. 

The communications made to the Secretary of the 
Department of Foreign Affairs, encourage the pre- 
sumption, that conduct, as prudent and advantageous 
as it is just and wise, will soon bring the allies to a 
happy conclusion of the present war. The British 
Minister showed a peaceable disposition ; he had rea- 
sonable fears respecting the fate of several naval ope- 
rations, which, on the contrary, have had a result 
much more favorable than the Court of London seemed 
to expect. Possibly these unexpected successes may 
change his disposition for peace, and on that supposi- 
tion, the undersigned Minister thinks, that it will be 
wise in the United States not to relax their efforts and 
their preparations for the ensuing campaign. Con- 
gress may be assured, that his Majesty will, on his 
part, hold himself in readiness to carry it on with 


vigor, and that he will apply all his resources to that 




Ill Congress, January 1st, 1783. 

On Report of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, 
The Minister Plenipotentiary of his Most Christian Maj- 
esty having commnnicated to Congress, througli the Secre- 
tary of Foreign Affairs, on the 7th instant, the resolution 
taken to embark the army under the command of the 
Count de Rochambeau, and on the 29th their having actu- 
ally embarked and sailed, together with his INIajesty's in- 
tention to direct them to return, whenever an object should 
offer in which they might effectually co-operate with the 
troops of the United States ; 

Resolved, That the Secretary of Foreign Affairs inform 
the Minister of France, that though Congress cannot see 

*In Congress, January 3d, 1783. " On report of the Secretary of 
Foreign Affairs, to wliom was referred the foregoing note, 

" Resolved, That the Secretary of Foreign Affairs inform the 
Minister of France, that Congress learn with great pleasure, that the 
steps taken by Congress and the respective States, their constituents, 
in opposition to the attempts of the British Court to bring about a 
partial negotiation, has been satisfactory to his Most Christian Ma- 
jesty. That his Majesty's conduct in the progress of the negotiations 
commenced in Europe, as it has been communicated to Congress, is 
sufficient to inspire a just abhorrence of every act derogatory to the 
principles of the alliance, and serves to fortify the resolutions, which 
his repeated acts of friendship, and a sense of their own honM and 
dignity had dictated to the United States in Congress assembllo, and 
the States they represent." 


ai:d i^ood conduct they are so greatly indebted for the re- 
duction of the enemy's force in this country, yet, that they 
have too muoh confidence in the attention of his M-ijesty 
to the interests of the alliance, not to be persuaded, that 
the order for tiieir departure was dictated by a conviction, 
that they could elsewhere be more usefully employed 
against the comnjon enemy. That they wish him to make 
known to his Majesty the grateful sense they entertain of 
his attention to their immediate interest, manifested in the 
important aid thus long afforded them, and in his generous 
determination to direct his troops to return to this country, 
whenever circimistances will admit of an advantageous co- 
operation with the arms of the United States. That they 
desire through him to recommend in a particular manner 
the Count de Rochambeau, and the army under his com- 
mand, to the favor of his Majesty, having the higiiest rea- 
son to be satisfied with their bravery and good conduct, 
and with that strict discipline, to which they are indebted 
for the perfect harmony, which has so happily subsisted 
between them and the soldiers and citizens of the United 

Resolved, That the Presideru make the acknowledge- 
ments of Congress, in a particular manner, to his Excel- 
lency the Count de Rochambeau, and signify to him tiie 
high sense they entertain of the distinguished talents dis- 
played by him, with so much advantage to these States, in 
the most important conjunctures, as well as of the strict 
and exemplary discipline, which has been uniformly con- 
spicuous in the troops under his comniand, and which 
has deservedly acquired the admiration and esteem of the 
citizens of these States, by whoai his signal services, and 
VOL. XI. 20 


the delicate attention at all times paid to their private rights, 
will ever be held in affectionate remembrance. 



Philadelphia, January 10th, 1783. 


The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
has made a seasonable report to his Court, of the incon- 
veniences, which miglit result from the advantageous capit- 
ulations granted to the Islands of St Christopher, Nevis, 
and Montserrat, conquered by the forces of liis Majesty. 
The term of six months, which had been granted to the 
capiiulators for receiving the vessels, which they expected 
from England, and for sending them back under a neutral 
flag, even to the ports of Great Britain, expired some time 
ago, and thus no inconvenience can result from this stipu- 
lation. Some of the said capitulations gave power to the 
Governors to authorise by particular permissions, even 
after the expiration of the six months, exportations from 
these conquered Islands to the ports of the enemy. 

The undersigned has the honor of informing the Secre- 
tary of Foreign Aflairs, that, in consequence of orders 
given to the Governor General of these Islands, these per- 
missions will not be given ; and, therefore, nothing will 
prevent the entire execution of the resolutions of Congress 
in relation to the importation of English merchandise into 
this country. Congress may be assured, that his ]\lajesty 
will concur in all measures of this kind, which shall have 
for their object the prevention of commerce with Great 






Philadelplra, March 15th, 1783. 

I have the satisfaction of informing yon, that his Majesty 
has procnred for the United States, a lo.^n of six milliniiS, 
to be employed in the Department of War, during the 
course of the present year. In announcing to you, Sir, this 
new mark of the friendship of the King for the Ujiited 
States, I must enter into some details, which relate to 
your operations, and which will make you acquainted with 
the motives, which have induced his Majesty to make this 
new effort in favor of his allies. 

In the course of the last year. Sir, 1 gave an account to 
his Majesty's Minister, of the order, which seemed to me to 
be introduced into the department intrusted to you, of the 
re-establishment of the public credit, and of the economy, 
which attended your operations. I added, that I consid- 
ered the establishment of a public revenue, for the pay- 
ment of interest, and the progressive redemption of the 
capitals, as extremely probable, and as the delay and the 
difficulty of communication would not allow me to wait till 
this operation was completed by the different Legislatures, 
before I should explain what were the wants of the United 
States, I took it upon myself to write to the Coc.nt de Ver- 
gennes, that the disposition of the people to fulSl the en- 
gagements made, and to be made by Congress, appeared 
to me sufficiently favorable to induce his Majesty to lend a 
new sum of money to the United States, for this year, if 
the state of his finances should allow it. Tliese assur- 


ances determined the loan of six millions ; but the event 
has proved, that I had deceived myself in the hopes, which 
I had thought myself authorised to give to my Court, and 
so far from the financial affairs being improved since the 
month of February, the time at which my letters on this 
subject were written, they have, on the contrary, taken a 
retrograde direction, and I see no certainty of the payment 
of the sums previously lent, and of that which has just 
been lent. 

Thus, Sir, my hasty assurances have determined his 
Majesty to advance this money, and, at the moment in 
which I am informed of it, I am under the disagreeable 
necessity of acquainting his Minister, that the hopes, which 
I had given have vanished, and that my assurances were 
without foundation. 

I shall say nothing to you of the embarrassing situation, 
in which I am personally placed by these circumstances. 
But 1 shall take the liberty of observing to you, that in the 
present juncture, the best remedy is to take, as soon as 
possible, the measures which have not been taken within 
the time which I had announced. 

The Count de Vergennes, Sir, informs me, that the six 
millions are lent to the United States, in the same manner, 
and on the same conditions, as the sum which was lent last 
year ; that is to say, that they will be paid from month to 
month, at the rate of five hundred thousand livres a month; 
but as it appeared, according to what you did me the 
honor of writing to me previously, that you had anticipated 
a part of this loan, I must entreat you to observe, that the 
first months of this year will serve for paying the money 
thus anticipated, and thus, that it is, accordingly, proper so 
to arrange the drawing of your bills, as that they may only 


be presented from month to montli, and at the times when 
the money for paying them sliall have been obtained. 

1 have had llie honor to inform you, Sir, that this money 
was loaned to the United Stales in order to enable them to 
continue the war ; the wisdom of Congress will determine, 
according to circumstances, the manner of effecting this 
important object, and by united efTor.s, of compelling the 
enemy to conclude a firm and lasting peace. 

It remains for me to inform you, Sir, that the King has 
not been able to make this last effort, without great diffi- 
culties. 1 have had the honor of communicating to you 
those, which prevent the success of loans of any considera- 
ble magnitude ; they are so great, that I am ordered to 
announce to you, in the most positive manner, that it will 
be impossible for the King, under any supposition what- 
ever, to procure new advances of money for Congress, for 
the next year. With regard to the resomces, which you 
may seek in other places besides France, the letters, which 
I have had the honor of reading to you, do not allow any 
success to be looked for, until the United States shall have 
established a permanent public revenue ; and the delay 
and repugnance, with which they proceed in doing this, 
being known in Europe, the inclination for lending money 
to Congress, which may have existed, has disappeared j 
the lenders make odier investments ; the speculations, 
which might have been directed towards the United States, 
go farther and farther from them, and it will certainly be 
difficult to bring them back. 

I refrain from repeating here the other parts of the des- 
patches of the Count de Vergennes, which 1 have had the 
honor of communicating to you, because the truths con- 
tained in ihem are well known to you. Sir, and because 


they all may be reduced to this. Withont the speedy es- 
iablishment of a siibstantial public revenue, and without 
the vigorous execution of the engagements entered into by 
Congress, the hope of obtaining loans in Europe must be 
given up. 

I am also ordered, Sir, to represent to Congress, that 
my Court relied upon final and satisfactory measures being 
taken to secure the payment of the interest, and of the 
debt contracted by the United States toward his Majesty. 
But I content myself with mentioning this circumstance to 
you, and before directly announcing it to Congress, 1 shall 
wait till their present embarrassments are diminished. 

You will judge. Sir, by these details, how impossible it 
is to draw bills upon your Plenipotentiaries, beyond that 
part of the six millions' loan of this year, which is unap- 
propriated. It is clearly shown, that these bills will not be 
paid by us, and it is with a full confidence in your regu- 
larity in this respect, that I shall inform die Count de Ver- 
gennes, that he may be assured, that no demand will be 
made for any sums whatever, beyond that sum, which has 
just been determined upon. 

1 have the honor to be, he. 




Philadelphia, March loth, 1783. 
Your Excellency will doubtless receive directly, a state 
of affairs in Europe. I thought, however, that it would be 
interesung to inform you of some particulars, which I am 


ordered not to make public, but vvbich will also be commu- 
nicated to Congress. The British Minister has iiastened 
to conclude au eventual treaty of peace with the United 
States, and to grant tiiem in the utmost extent every ad- 
vantage they could desire. The malevolence with which 
that power has carried on the war in America, did not 
forebode this extreme facility in them, and it has been an 
agreeable surprise to the belligerent powers, and you will 
easily judge. Sir, that our satisfaction has been com()lete, 
and in seeing the great obstacle to peace put, as it were, 
on one side. 

We think we may hope, that the epocha of a general 
peace is not far distant. However, the English, though 
disposed to come to a conclusion with the Courts of Ver- 
sailles and Madrid, seem much more difficult in the nego- 
tiation carrying on with the States-General. But the 
King, who through the whole of this war, has refused to 
conclude a peace without obtaining for his allies a just ar)d 
reasonable satisfaction, persists in these sentiments, and he 
doubts not that the United States will on their part fulfil 
their engagements by continuing the war till a definitive 
treaty is concluded, and thereby entirely disconcert the 
projects of the English, who flatter themselves, that by 
means of the eventual treaty, which they have concluded, 
they will be able to establish on the Continent a suspension 
of hostilities equal to a truce, written and signed. 

It is possible, that the firmness and resolution of his 
Majesty will determine England to make those restitutions, 
to which she shows so much repugnance ; but it is also 
possible, that the war will continue another year, and to 
put the United States in a situation to continue the war 
with vigor, his Majesty has lent them six millions of livres ; 


six hundred thousand livres are arrived in the Wasiiington, 
but 1 have learnt \vi{h much pain that Mr Morris has, 
through vvnnt of means, been forced to anticipate the pecu- 
niary succors he hoped to receive, so that the six millions 
is not so considerable a help as was to have been desired. 

It remains lo examine in what manner we can disturb 
and shut up the enemy during the next campaign. 1 shall 
not take the liberty to sound your Excellency on these 
points, but I beg you to permit me to say, that it will be 
serving the common cause essentially to stop those exces- 
sive exportalions of subsistence to New York, and in case 
of an evucuation of that place, to prevent them as much as 
possible from procuring subsistence from hence to carry on 
the campaign in the West Indies. 

The Due de Lauzun will confer with you on these 
points on his return from llie eastward, and I beg you. Sir, 
to consider with him how to make the legion early useful ; 
it may be very usefully employed in the service above 
mentioned, and the Duke will be happy to act in any man- 
ner your Excellency may wish. 

In all cases, it cannot but be of service to hold ourselves 
in a hostile posiiion. If the negotiations produce the happy 
effects we wish, I will lose no time in informing you, and 
knowiug your humane disposition, I think I never shall an- 
nounce to you a more agreeable event than a general 
peace, honorable and safe to the allies. You are con- 
vinced how sincerely the King wishes it, and the sacrifices 
he has made to obtain it will prove this. 

If the treaty has been conununicated to you. Sir, you 
will have seen that the King of England has reserved 
to himself the liberty to conclude, or not to conclude, the 
treaty of peace with America, so that the act signed the 


30th of November by the respective Commissioners, is 

merely conditional and eventual. 

I have the honor to be, he. 




Philadelphia, March 18th, 1783. 
I have the honor of sending you a copy of a letter, which 
I have written to Mr Robert Morris. I shall soon have 
the honor of communicating to you some news, which I 
have just received from France by the packet boat Wash- 

I have the honor to be, &ic. 



Head Quarters, March 19th, 1783. 

I am exceedingly obliged to your Excellency for your 
communication of the loth. The Articles of the treaty 
between America and Great Britain, as they stand in con- 
nexion with a general pacification, are so very inconclu- 
sive, that I am fully in sentiment with your Excellency, 
that we should hold ourselves in a hostile position, prepared 
for either alternative, peace or vcar. 

I shall confer with the Due de la Lauzun on the objects 
you are pleased to mention ; and as I have ever viewed 
the practice of the States in supplying the enemy in New 
York with the means of subsistence, as a very pernicious 

VOL. XI. 21 


one in its tendency, both to ourselves snd to our allies, you 
may depend upon me to exert every measure in my power 
to prevent it. 

I am at all times happy in receiving any intelligence 
from your Excellency, and should it be in your power to 
announce a general peace, you cannot make a more pleas- 
ing communication to me. 

Persuaded of the pure and benevolent intentions, which 
animate the breast of his Most Christian Majesty, I am as- 
sured, if that happy event should not result from the pres- 
ent negotiations, that the failure will not rest on his part. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, March 22d, 1783. 

The Minister of France, waiting upon Mr Livingston at 
12 o'clock agreeable to appointment, communicated to him 
a letter from the Count de Vergennes, dated the I9tli of 

This was wholly confined to matters of finance, and 
contained in substance nothing more than Congress have 
already seen in the letter, written by the Minister of France 
to Mr Morris. He then read to Mr Livingston a letter 
of the 22d of November, which related to ihe satisfaction 
the King, his master, had received in the testimony the 
United States had given of their friendship, in preseniing 
to him the ship America. The substance of this letter has 
been inserted in the note sent to Congress the 28th instant. 


The Minister also read to Mr Livingston, a letter of the 
19th of December, from the Count de Vergennes, in 
which he informs him, that their treaty was not so forward 
as that of the Americans. Though if his Majesty had 
wished it, he could have signed before the American Plen- 
ipotentiaries, as no essential difference existed between 
France and Great Britain. But that the King's delicacy 
induced him to wish, that all his allies should be first satis- 
fied, and he had accordingly resolved to continue the war, 
whatever advantages might be offered him, if Great Britain 
should bear hard upon any of them. That it still re- 
mained to reconcile the interest of Spain, and those of 
Holland. That he had reason to believe with relation to 
the first, that they would soon be fully settled. That the 
foundation was already laid, and that nothing now remained 
but to settle forms. That he was of opinion, that it was 
for the interest of the United States to facilitate a connex- 
ion with this power, which will be their neighbor. 

That it would become the wisdom of Congress to disco- 
ver moderation with respect to them. That he is persuaded 
England will see with pleasure, divisions introduced be- 
tween the United States and the Court of Madrid, and 
that it is probable, that they will even endeavor to animate 
them one against the other. That British emissaries have 
been employed to inspire Spain with apprehensions as to 
the ambitious views of America. But they will now avail 
themselves of this intimacy with the American Ministers, 
to render them suspicious of Spain, and even to excite 
their resentments against her. Congress will defeat this 
design by removing the difficulties, which now oppose 
themselves to a union with his Catholic Majesty. That 
the King wishes so much to see his allies enjoy a solid and 


durable peace, that in exciting the Americans on one side 
to discover a more conciliatory spirit, he will spare nothing 
on the other to remove the difSculties, which may be 
raised by the Court of Spain. That he apprehends delays 
and embarrassments from Holland. That the British Ad- 
ministration appear very unfavorable to them. 

The Minister of France then read to Mr Livingston 
another letter from the Count de Vergennes, of the 20th 
of December, 1782, which contained in substance; that 
peace was not yet concluded ; that it was anxiously de- 
sired by the King. That his Majesty's obligations to his 
allies had not yet permitted him to pronounce with cer- 
tainty as to the termination of the war. That expecting 
peace, prudence required, that the allies should act as if 
the war was to continue. That Congress will judge of the 
manner in which they can most effectually contribute 
to distress the common enemy. That in the present 
state of things it would not be prudent to invite the Amer- 
icans to form any direct enterprise against the common 
enemy. That the Provisional Articles would, when ex- 
ecuted, at the general peace, put New York into the 
hands of the Americans, and that Congress could judge 
better than they could what part it would be expedient for 
them to take in the then state of things. That proposing 
nothing they leave everything to their discretion. That 
the Minister should however inform them, that he could 
not yet determine whether they were at the eve of the war 
or if another campaign must be opened. That in the 
latter case there were two essential objects, on which the 
Minister of France should impart to Congress the opinion 
of his Court, and the desires of his Majesty. 

That though if their towns were evacuated the 


Americans could not lake an active part, yet they can 
compel the enemy to wish for peace, by excluding 
them from all connexion with them and prohibiting 
under very severe penalties, the consumption or im- 
portation of British manufactures. That a considera- 
ble party among the British wish to form commercial con- 
nexion with the United Slates. That when they shall be 
convinced, that they can reap no benefit therefrom, but by 
a solid definitive peace, conformable to the treaty already 
agreed upon, they will become more tractable, and con- 
clude the definitive treaty, which will give force and vigor 
to the provisional articles, and set the seal to the indepen- 
dence of America. That it would also be proper to state 
to Congress the necessity of providing means to prevent 
the sending provisions into New York, by which the Brit- 
ish armaments are amply supplied with fresh provisions of 
every kind. 

That the King persuades himself, that the Legislatures 
of the respective States will concur in measures for this 
salutary purpose, when they shall be informed of the injury 
occasioned to their ally by the want of the necessary 
precautions on this subject. That these precautions will 
not be unnecessary if the enemy are about to abandon 
New York, without which the enemy will carry with them 
the means of supplying the places to which they transport 
their troops. 

That he persuades himself, that Congress will perceive, 
that they are indebted to the harmony, that has subsisted 
between the King and them for the present happy state of 
their affairs. But that nothing being yet concluded, the 
present moment is precisely that in which it is of most im- 
portance to preserve the same system. 




Head Quarters, March 29th; 1783- 


The news of a general peace, which your Excellency 
has been so good as to announce to me, has filled my mind 
with inexpressible satisfaction ; and permit me to add, that 
the joy I feel on this great event is doubly enhanced, by 
the very obliging manner in which you have been pleased 
to express your congratulations to me and the army on this 
happy occasion. 

The part your Excellency has acted in the cause of 
America, and the great and benevolent share you have 
taken in the establishment of her independence, are deeply 
impressed on my mind, and will not be effaced from my 
remembrance, or that of the citizens of America, but with 
the latest effects' of time. You will accept, Sir, my warm- 
est acknowledgements and congratulations, with assurances 
that I shall always participate, with the highest pleasure, in 
every event which may contribute to your happiness and 

The articles of a general treaty do not appear so favor- 
able to France, in point of territorial acquisitions, a.s they 
do to the other powers ; but the magnanimous and disin- 
terested scale of action, which that great nation has ex- 
hibited to the world during this war, and at the conclusion 
of peace, will insure to the King and nation that reputa- 
tion, which will be of more consequence to them, than 
every other consideration. 

IMrs Washington begs your Excellency to accept her 
sincerest thanks for the joy you have communicated to her. 


and to receive a return of her congratulations on this most 
, happy of all events. 

I have the honor to be, &tc. 




Philadelphia, April 10th, 1783. 
I have to inform your Excellency, that I have just re- 
ceived instructions from the Minister, that in consequence 
of the peace, the French troops actually here, are to be 
sent to France without delay. If you see no cause to de- 
fer it, I shall accordingly take immediate measures for 
their departure. 1 impatiently wait the arrival of the Due 
de Lauzun to give the necessary orders, as no definitive 
arrangements can be made in his absence. 
I have the honor to be, he. 




Philadelphia, April 29th, 1783. 
I wrote sometime ago to General Washington to know 
whether he thought proper, that the legion of Lauzun, and 
the other detachments of the army of Rochambeau, should 
leave this continent, in order to return to France. Ac- 
cording to his answer, dated the 23d inst. he entirely ap- 
proves this measure ; consequently I beg you will have 


the kindness to inform Congress that the departure will 
take place immediately. 

Permit me to embrace this opportunity of assuring you, 
in concert with the Due de Lauzun, that the otficers and 
soldiers of this army will always recollect with pleasure the 
three years which they passed in this continent, the union 
which has existed between the two nations, and the hospi- 
tality with which they have been treated by the inhabit- 

I have the honor to be, &;c. 



Head Quarters, May 13th, 1783. 

We are making some preparations in the army for a dis- 
play of our joy on the happy event of a general peace. 
The exhibition will be delayed till the arrival of the defini- 
tive treaty. If your Excellency can make it convenient to 
honor us with your company on the occasion, it will be a 
great addition to our happiness. 

I take the liberty to put under cover to your Excellency, 
several letters, which I wish to convey to some gentlemen 
of your army, late in America. If the Due de Lauzun 
should have sailed before their arrival, I shall be much 
obliged by your care of their conveyance by some other 
good opportunity. 

With great regard and respect, 





Philadelphia, May 19th, 1783. 

I have received the letter, with which you honored me 
on the 4th of this month, and the INlemorial of INIr Durham, 
which accompanied it. I cannot form any opinion upon 
such a statement, and I shall be unable to know whether 
the complaints are just, before I learn the motives of tl>e 
conduct, which he professes to have observed on bis part. 
I have the honor of sending you a letter for the Marquis de 
Bouille, in relation to this affair, and I entreat you to have 
the kindness to send it to that individual, vviio will take 
care to send it to the commander. 

You have been informed, Sir, of the affair of Mr Gillon, 
or rather of the many affairs, which have been the subject 
of controversy between him and the subjects of the King. 
You will find a statement of it in a IMeniorial which 1 an- 
nex, requesting you to be pleased to return it when read ; 
I have addressed it to the State of South Carolina ; I re- 
quest you to be pleased to read the resolutions taken in 
consequence of it by the Assembly of that State, and the 
annexed copies of which you may keep. I have also the 
honor of sending you, Sir, some new demands against that 
officer, which I have lately received. I shall make no re- 
flection respecting the resolutions of Carolina; but I en- 
treat you to be pleased to point out the most proper course 
for obtaining justice, and to inform me whether it would 
seem to you proper, that I should lay this matter before 

I have the honor to be, &ic. 

VOL. XI. 22 




Versailles, June 23th, 1783. 

I have received the letter, which you did me the honor 
to write on the 17ili of this month. You desire to know 
what is meant hy free port. 

By this term, Sir, we mean a place to whicii all mer- 
chandises, as well forcii^n as domestic, may be iiDported, 
and from which they may be freely exported. You will 
judge, Sir, by this definition, that all the merchandises of 
the north, without exception, mny be imported into L'Ori- 
ent, and exported from it by the Americans. In a word, 
L'Orient will be reputed foreign with regard to France, as 
far as it respects commerce. The prohibitions and duties 
upon foreign merchandises will take effect only in case any 
person desires to introduce into the interior parts of the 
realm the merchandises subjected to the one or the other. 
I have the honor to be, &,c. 




Philadelphia, September 17th, 1783. 


The undersigned Minister Plenipotentiary has the honor 
of communicating to Congress an extract from a letter of 
the Count de Vergennes, and a copy of a contract between 
the King and the Thirteen United States. He requests 
Congress to be pleased to send the ratification of it to their 
Minister at his Majesty's Court, in order that he may settle 


The undersigned received the papers, of which a copy is 
annexed, nearly four months ago. He had received orders, 
at tlie same time, to inform his Court of the measures, 
which the United States might have taken, for the accom- 
plishment of the different articles of the contract of the 
l6Ui of July, of last year. The undersigned has deferred 
till this time, the communications in question, in the hope 
that circumstances might become more favorable. As the 
peace has made these stipulations, which were only even- 
tual, executory, he can refrain no longer from requesting 
Congress to acquaint him with the arrangements which 
may have been made by the United States, or those which 
they propose to make, for the execution of the contract of 
the IGth of July, of last year, as well as with those to be 
made for the execution of the contract, of which a copy is 



(Annexed to the note, sent on the 17th of September, 1783.) 


Versailles, March 10th, 1783. 

Dr Franklin, in the month of Fehruarv last, com- 
municated to me different decrees of tlic Con<^ress of 
the United States of North America, passed on the 
14lh and 23d of September, and several letters from 
Messrs Morris and Livingston, which not only author- 
ised that Minister, but even cxprcs.sly ordered iiim to 
negotiate in Euroj)e a loan of four millions of dollars, 


amounting to about twenty millions of livres tournois, 
for the service of the United States during the present 
year, and under their warranty. It was at the same 
time enjoined on Dr Franklin, earnestly to solicit the 
continuance of the favors of the King, in the crisis in 
ifhich Congress was then placed. 

In the enumeration of the motives^ which the Su- 
perintendent of the finances alleged, in order to obtain 
a new loan of money from his Majesty, he did not 
deny, that the Minister of France might assign good 
reasons for declining to comply with this request, but 
he added, that, as it was the last of this kind, which 
Congress would have occasion to make, he hoped that 
it would not be rejected. 

Dr Franklin, on his part, in obedience to the orders 
of Congress, implored, in l"avor of tlie United Slates, 
the assistance of the King, and added to the reasons 
previously given, that, without this assistance the 
continental army could no longer be kept together, 
nor disbanded without danger. 

After having conferred on this subject with M. Joly 
de Fleury, I made a report upon it to the King. I 
informed his Majesty of the embarrassments of Con- 
gress, and of their inability to provide for their neces- 
sities by means of taxes, which the imperfections or 
the weakness of a rising Administration did not per- 
mit them to levy. The King had already, by great 
sacrifices, fulfilled in their behalf, the duties of a most 
tender father, during the continuance of their moral 
infancy. Since the nation reached the period of ma- 
turity, consecrated by its emancipation and political 
independence, it seemed that it ought to be sufficient 


for itself, and not to require new cflbrts of the gene- 
rosity of its ally; but without being prevented by 
these considerations, the King, faithful to his attach- 
ment to the United Slates, was pleased, under these 
circumstances, to give a new proof of it, and notwith- 
standing the difficuhies, which his Majesty exj)eri- 
enced in his own finances, he determined, according 
to my report of the 20th of December last, to grant to 
Congress a new loan of six millions of livrcs tournois, 
for the service of the United States, during the course 
of the present year. He also authorised the advanc- 
ing of a sum of money previously granted, which Dr 
Franklin earnestly solicited. I informed that Minister 
of it, who, in his answer of January 25th, gratefully 
accepted these new favors in the name of the United 
States. I informed him, moreover, that they could 
not be increased, and that his Majesty would in no 
case be a guarantee for other loans, which he might 
p-.ocure in Holland or elsewhere. 

I have thought proper to enter into these details 
with you, Sir, in order that you may be able to com- 
municate them to Congress, and that ihat body may 
be informed by you of the last financial arrangements, 
which his Majesty has been pleased to decide upon, in 
favor of the United States. I have since concerted 
with Dr Franklin, those measures, which were neces- 
sary for fixing the conditions and the terms of pay- 
ment of the loan of six millions of livres, of which I 
have been speaking. They were stipulated in a con- 
tract made on the 25th of Ft^bruary last, which we 
signed by virtue of our respective full pov.-ers, as we 
had done with regard to preceding advances, by a 


contract previously made on the 16th of July, of last 
year, of which I informed you at the time, and of 
which we are now expecting the ratification on the 
part of Congress. Although I do not doubt that Dr 
Franklin has transmitted this new act to Congress, I 
have still thought it proper to send the annexed copy 
of it to you. 

By the first article, you will see, Sir, that the King 
lends Congress the sum oi six millions of livres, payable 
at the rale of five hundred thousand livres in each of 
the twelve months of the current year, on condition of 
the repayment of the capital with interest at five per 
cent per annum. 

The second article recapitulates and verifies the pre- 
ceding aids furnished by his Majesty, and divides 
them into three distinct classes. The first consisting 
of the sums loaned, amounting to eighteen millions of 
livres. The second, of a fund of ten millions, arising 
from a loan obtained in Holland for the service of the 
United States, and guaranteed by his Majesty. The 
third, of subsidies, gratuitously furnished, amounting 
to nine millions of livres, the gift of which to the 
United States is confirmed by his Majesty. 

The third Article fixes the repayment to the royal 
treasury, of the new loan of six millions, with the in- 
terest thereon, at six periods, fixed at the times most 
convenient for the financial operations of Congress. 

By the fourth Article, it has been agreed, that the 
interest on the last loan of six millions, shall not com- 
mence till the 1st of January, 17S4. The King being 
pleased to give and remit to Congress the partial inter- 
est on the capital for the present year. 


The fifth and sixth Articles contain stipulations of 
usage and form. 

All attesting the sentiments of affection entertained 
by the King for the United Statss, and his tender 
anxiety to contribute to their prosperity. 

I desire you, Sir, to assure Congress, that these 
sentiments are deeply engraven on the heart of the 
King, that his Council feel tiiem no less deeply ; and 
that his Majesty will never cease to take the most 
lively interest in the welfare of the United States, his 

You will be pleased to inform me of the reception of 
this letter, and of the annexed paper. 

1 have the honor to be, &:c. 




Philadelphia, November 2d, 1783. 

I have received the letter, which your Excellency did 
me the honor to write to me on the 27th ultimo, and the 
resolutions of Congress, which were annexed to it, and 
which express the sentiments of Congress with relation to 
the dispositions' of his Majesty, and the other belligerent 
powers, not to sign the definitive treaty, except in conce.'-t 
with the United States. It appeared by the last news 
received, that this conduct has produced the desired etTect, 
and that it has in fine, been followed by a general peace. 

The United States may be assured, that his Majesty 


will adopt with pleasure all commercial arrangements, which 
may be advantageous to them, and which will not be pre- 
judicial to his subjects. I also know, that it is his Maj- 
esty's intention, that the United States should enjoy, in the 
ports of his kingdom, not only all the advantages, which 
they enjoyed before their independence, but even some 
favors, V/'liich have not heretofore been granted to them. 

1 have the honor to be, 8ic. 




Philadelphia, November 21st, 1783. 


I have received the letter your Excellency did me the 
honor to write me by Messrs Villefranclie and Rochefon- 
taine, the testimony you l)ave been pleased to give in favor 
of these two officers will have the greatest weight with 
those persons who can contribute to their advancement, 
and it gives me the greatest pleasure to receive these testi- 
monies, from Congress and from your Excellency, of the 
satisfaction the French officers have given in the service 
of the United Slates. 

1 beg your Excellency to receive my sincere congrat- 
ulations upon the evacuation of New York ; this grand 
event completes your glory. I hope to be at New York 
the 2Sih of tliis month, to be witness of the rejoicings you 
have ordered, and to renew to you the assurances of at- 
tachment, with which I have the honor to be, &c. 





Versailles, January 9th, 1784. 


I have communicated to the King the observations con- 
tained in the memoir, which you transmitted to me relative 
to the commerce of America, and those, which you made 
at our last conference. 

I am authorised to announce to you, that it is the in- 
tention of his Majesty, to grant to the United States the 
ports of L'Orient and Bayonne as free ports ; and besides 
these, that of Dunkirk and that of Marseilles, the first of 
which enjoys absolute freedom, and the other is restrained 
in the exercise of that freedom only with regard to tobacco, 
which is there subjected to a duty. The Americans may 
from this moment send their vessels to those four ports, 
where they will not meet with any kind of difficulty. 

You may, if necessary, explain what is meant by free 
ports, agreeably to the signification thereof given by M. 
de Vergennes, in his letter of the 29lh of June last.* The 
Americans will find, above all at Dunkirk, all the facilities 
they can desire for the sale of their leaf tobacco, their rice, 
their timber, and other merchandise, as well as for the 
purchase of what they want ; such as linens, woollens, 
brandy, &ic. It is proposed to establish stores and maga- 
zines there, which shall be well supplied, on terms very 
advantageous for their commerce. 

I have given orders to the Farmers-General to treat in 
preference, and at a reasonable price, for the purchase of 
ihe tobaccocs of North America. And, moreover, the 

* See above, p. 170. 
VOL. XL 23 


United States will be as much favored in France, in mat- 
ters of commerce, as any oilier nation. The complaints, 
which ihey may make to you, or which Dr Franklin and 
the other American iVJinislers, whom I should be very glad 
to see, may trnnsnnt to me on their behalf, shall be exam- 
ined with great atteiition ; and government will not suffer 
them to exj erience any kind of vexations. Every pos- 
sible precaution will also be taken to prevent the sending 
out had tnerchandise, which if it has hitherto taken place, 
can only be attributed to the avarice of some merchants of 
the lowest order. 

I am going immediately to examine what relates to the 
customs and duties, which hurt coirmierce. This is an 
important subject, and requires great attention. In fine. 
Sir, yon may rely, that I s!iall be always disposed, as well 
as the Marshal de Castries, and the Count de Vergennes, 
to receive and listen with attention to the demands and 
further representations, which you shall think proper to 
make in favor of the cotnmerce of Ameiica. 
1 have the honor to be, &c. 


P. S. The ports of Bayonne and L'Orient will be made 
similar to that of Dunkirk with regard to entire freedom. 



Annapolis, January 29th, 1784. 

1 have the last year presented to Congress several notes, 

respecting which no answer has been given me. I have 

reason to believe, iiowever, that it has taken resolutions on 


many of these notes. Not to impoi-turie Copgreis by reit- 
erations, I [)ray you to be pleased to inform me of ivhat 
lias passed on this snbjeet, and especially with regtud to 
the ratification of the contraet entered into between the 
King and liie United States, for the various loans, wl^icli 
liis Majesty has made them, and concerning the measures 
taken for the payment of the interest on ihe snm<; lent to 
the United States by his Majesty, or for which he lias 
become responsible. 

1 have the honor to be, Sec. 




Annapolis, January 30th. 1784. 
The imdersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
has the honor to inforn\ Congress, that his i\]ajesly desir- 
ing to favor the progress of cotnmerce between his king- 
dom and the United States, has appointed four Consuls 
and five Vice Consuls, to reside in those cities of this con- 
tinent, where he has judged that the presence of these 
officers would be useful to his commercial and sea-faring 
subjects. He has also appointed a Consul-General, whose 
duly shall be more particularly to attend to the general 
objects of commerce. M. de Marbois has been appointed 
to fill this office. His Majesty hopes, that this choice will 
be the more agreeable to Congress, as he has resided 
many years in America, and especially as he has the honor 
of being known to that body. The new distribution, 
. which has just been made of Consulates and Vice Con- 


sulates requiring a particular attention, the undersigned 
desires Congress to be pleased to appoint a committee, 
empowered to treat with M. de Marbois on every subject 
relative to the recognition of the character of these new 




Annapolis, February 18tli, 1784. 

The undersigned. Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 

has the honor to inform Congress, that the family of the 

Sieur de la Radiere, who died about four years ago, in 

the service of the United States, is desirous of receiving 

the benefits, which Congress grants to the other heirs of 

the officers, who have served in the armies of the United 

States. The Sieur de la Radiere was attached to the 

corps of engineers. The undersigned begs Congress to 

enable him to give an answer to the family of this officer, 

as well as to those who may be in the same situation. 




Annapolis, April 6th, 1784. 

The undersigned. Minister of France, has the honor to 
inform Congress, that the portraits of the King and Queen 
have arrived at Philadelphia, and that he has orders to 
present them to that body. 


The undersigned Minister has had the honor to trans- 
mit to his Excellency, the President, his Majesty's letter, 
in answer to that of the 14th of June, 1779, in which 
Congress have expressed their desire to have the portraits 
of their Majesties. This letter expresses to Congress 
the pleasure, with which the King gives the United States 
this testimony of his affection and friendship for then:. 
The undersigned has made the necessary arrangements 
for the safe keeping of these two portraits, until Congress 

can receive them. 




Annapolis, April 9th, 1784. 


I have the honor to communicate to your Excellency 
an extract from a letter, which I received from Count de 
Vergennes, dated the 24ih of December last. 

I received orders at the same time to inform his Maj- 
esty's Minister of the measures, which have been taken by 
the United States, relative to the payment of portions of 
the principal, and of the interest of the sums, which have 
been loaned them by the King. I make mention, Sir, of 
portions of the capital, because, by the terms of the con- 
tract of the 16th of July, 1784, the reimbursement of the 
first loan of eight millions is to begin three years after the 
peace, and it is expedient to take seasonable measures 
with regard to this subject. 

I am also to inform my Court of the arrangements, 
which have been made for the payment of interest on the 
loan of five millions of florins, made in Holland, the 5th of 


November, 1781, and for which his Majesty became 
guarantee. 1 know the efforts of Congress to effect the 
discharge of the p'lhlic debt, and their wish to fulfil their 
engagements ; and I consider it superfluous to recall to your 
Excellency all the motives, which combine to induce the 
United Slates to fulfil faithfully those, which ti.ey have con- 
tracted with the King. I confine myself to desiring you to 
enable me to dissipate the imeasiness, which may have 
been excited at my Comt, hy the delay in proceeding to 
raise funds to effect the payment of this debt. 
I am with respect, Sir, &ic. 




Versailles, December 24th, 1783. 

His Majesty has decided irrevocably, that the port of 
L'Orient shall be free, and American sailors may actually 
consiiler it so. The edict of the King has not yet been 
published, however, because his Majesty's intention being 
to give this arrangement as wide an extent as possible, the 
regulations should be drawn up after a careful deliberation, 
and conceived in such terms, that the advantages allowed 
to the merchants of the United States, may not be essen- 
tially prejudicial to our own commerce, and the revenues 
of the Slate. 

The merchants of the United States enjoy equally the 
liberty of freqisenting the ports of Marseilles and Dunkirk, 
and they partake, like other nations, in ilie immunities and 
privileges of these two places. 




The Uniled Slates in Congress assembled to their 
Great, Faithful, and Beloved Friend and Ally, Louis 
the Sixteenth, King of France and Navarre. 

Great, Faithful, and Beloved Friend and Ally, 

Your Majesty's letter of the 13th of August last, has 
been received by the Uniled Slati^s in Congress assembled, 
with a degree of saiisfaciion and pleasure, which those only 
can conceive, who, to the highest seniiinenis of respect, 
unite feelings of the most affeclionnle friendship. 

The portraits of yoin- Majesty and of your royal consort 
having arrived al Pliihidclphia, have been caiefullv pre- 
served by }()ur fi.iihful Minister, the Chevalier de la Lu- 
zerne, whose attention (in this, as on all other occasions, 
merits the acknowledgem.ents of Congress. 

These lively representations of our august and most be- 
loved friends will be placed in our council chamber ; and 
can never fail of exciting in the mind of every American, 
an admiration of the distinguished virtues and accoiiiplish- 
ments of the royal originals. 

We beseech the Supreme Ruler of the universe con- 
stantly to keep your xMajesty anil your royal consort in his 
holy protection, and to render the blessings of your admin- 
istration as extensive as the objects of your Majesty's be- 
nevolent principles. 

Done at Annapolis, in the State of IMaryland, this 16th 
day of April, 1784, by the Uniled States in Congress 

Your faidiful Friends and Allies, 

THO.MAS MIFFLIN, President. 



Office of Finance, April 16th, 1784. 


I do myself the honor to enclose to Congress the dupli- 
cate of a letter from the Marquis de Lafayette, dated the 
26ih of December, together with tiie copy of his letter of 
the 18th of June last, to the Count de Vergennes ; the 
Count's answer of the 29th of the same month ; a letter 
to him from M. de Calonne of the 18th, and another of 
the 25th of December, all which were enclosed in that du- 
plicate to me, as were also the observations on the com- 
merce between France and the United States, which I 
have also the honor of transmitting. With respect to this 
paper, I must pray leave to refer Congress to the caution 
contained in the letter to me, and pray their compliance 
with his intention. The masterly manner in which the 
Marquis has treated a subject, certainly foreign to his for- 
mer habits and views, merits great applause, and will I 
doubt not, procure that a|>probation from Congress, which 
will be to him a grateful reward for his zealous and dex- 
terous exertions to promote the interests of America.* 

I pray leave also to submit to Congress the enclosed 
extract from another letter of the Marquis de Lafayette, 
of the lOili of January, together with the copy of M. de 
la Calonne's letter therein mentioned. This last, which 
shows the labois of that young nobleman to have been 
crowned with the wished for success, will I doubt not be 
pleasing to Congress, as it is certainly very interesting to 
the commerce of the United States. 
I have the honor to be, &;c. 


* This paper on commerce, as well as the letters above referred 
to, are missing. 




Annapolis, April 21st, 1784. 


In the course of last summer I requested leave of his 
Majesty to return to France. By letters from my friends, 
I am informed that it is granted ; but the loss of the 
packet, which conveyed the Minister's letter, lays me 
under the necessity of writing again on that subject. I 
should have waited his answer before I took leave of Con- 
gress, had I not reason to believe, that it will not reach me 
till their recess. 

I cannot however depart, without entreating your Ex- 
cellency to communicate to them my warm acknowledge- 
ments for the manner, in which they have treated with me 
during my mission, which has lasted near five years. I 
have had the satisfaction of agreeing with Corigress on all 
the subjects, which I have had the honor of negotiating 
with them ; and I owe my success to the good fortune I 
had of being ihe Representative of a just and generous 
Monarch, to a wise and virtuous Republic. I shall ever 
retain a grateful remembrance of this, and shall always 
consider the time I have spent on this continent, as the 
most honorable period of my life. My satisfaction would 
be complete, were it not accompanied with regret, at part- 
ing from a Senate composed of members, on whose friend- 
ship I flatter myself I have a just claim, by an intimate 
acquaintance of several years. Your Excellency permits 
me to rank you among those who honor me with their 
friendship ; and I am persuaded, that the expression of 
VOL. XI, 24 


my aUacliment and respect for Congress will lose nothing 
of its force, if you will be pleased to convey it. 

The letters, by which I have received advice of my 
having obtained leave to return, inform me also, that INI. de 
Marbois will be his Majesty's Charge d'Jlffaires wiih the 
United States. His zeal, and his attachment for the 
cause, which unites France and America, are well known 
to Congress, and 1 have not tlie least doubt, but his Maj- 
esty's choice will be agreeable to that assembly. 
I am, Sir, with great respect, &ic. 




Philadelpliia, April 28lh, 1784. 

You will see by tlie subjoined letter of Mr Pierce, the 
situation of the Baron de K.db wiih regard to the United 
States, at the lime when he was killed at Camden. The 
continental money which he had received must have been 
eniployed in subsisting the body of troops under his com- 
mand ; or, if any part of these funds remained in his 
Iiands, it must have been plundered and taken by the 
enemy, with all the baggage of this General. 

1 think, then, that Congress will be pleased to take 
these circumstances into consideration, and excuse the 
heirs of the B;uon dc Kalb from producing vouchers, 
which circumstances do not allow ihem to procure. I 
pray your Exci'llt-ncy to be pleased, also to inrluce Con- 
gress to determine whether the resolutions of the 15tli of 
jMay, 1778, and the 24th of August, 1780, extend to the 
widow and orphans of the Baron de Kalb. 


A difficiiliy has also arisen with regard to IVl. de Fleury, 
Lieiiteiirnt Colonel, and it can be removed only by a reso- 
lution, which I request your Excelhjncy to solicit fioin the 
gooflness of Congress in favor of this officer. He did not 
quit the American army without leave granted, and Con- 
gress, in consideration of his services s'nd good conduct, 
lias been pleased to consider him as riluny? \^'^'ii_ ?ittached 
to the American army. It seems, ttK..., :.^u^ij asii, that 
ho should enjoy the same advantages r.s the other officers, 
and the rather, that he was attached to the French army, 
which served on this continent. General Lincoln, in 17S2, 
did not place him on the list of officers retained in the 
service; but this omission ought not to be prejudicial to 
the prior resolutions of Congress. He was, at this very 
time, detached to the Roanoke, with the troops of the 
French division, that he might support General Greene, in 
caso the latter were attacked. Thus, ignorant of what 
was passing in Congress, as well as in the War Depart- 
ment, it was impossible for him to make any representa- 
tions on this subject. He was born without fortune, and if 
he did not, like the other officers, enjoy his pay to the od 
of, November, 1783, his affairs would be found rather- 
involved than meliorated by his residence in this continent. 
The payments, which Mr JNJorris has been authorised to 
make, have been claimed for the years 17S2 and 1783; 
and M. de Fleury would be found excluded, unless the 
justice of Congress should allow him the same treatment, 
which the other officers receive, and the advantages of the 
commutation. The third resolution of Congress of De- 
cember 31st, 1781, seems to protect the rights of M. de 
Fleury, and authorise the demand, whioh 1 pray you to 
present to Congress in his favor. 



The different articles subjoined will enable Congress to 
judge of the justice of the demands, concerning which I 
beg you, Sir, to inform me of the intentions of that body.* 
I have the honor to be, &z;c. 


* The following is the statement of Baron de Kalb's account. Mr 
Pierce's letter is missing. 

Office of Accounts, April 19th, 1784. 

1 have examined sundry papers relative to the claim of the Bar- 
oness de Kalb, for the pay of her husband, (the late Baron de Kalb, 
deceased) as a Major General in the service of the United States of 
America, and find, 

That from the 31st of July, 1777, the date of his ap- 
pointment, to the 19th of August, 1780, the day of his 
death, being thirtysix months and twenty days, his 
pay, at $166| per month, amounts to - - - $6,111 10-90 

That per certificate of John Pierce, Paymaster General, it ap- 
pears he received sundry sums, in money of the old emissions, on 
account of his pay, which are extended to his debit in specie, by the 
Massachusetts scale, as follows, viz. 

1778, February, 830 dollars, at 464 per cent 




" May, 
" October, 

1779, January, 
" May, 
" September, 664 

1780, November, 664 
That said certificate also includes a charge for $2000 

old emissions, advanced him in August, 1777, which 

at 238 per cent are equal to 

That he is also chargeable with the following sums, viz 

Received from Silas Deane, in France, on the 22d 

of November, 1776, as appears per receipt annexed to 

his agreement with said Deane, 6000 livres, at 5 livres 

and 5 sols per dollar, are equal to - - - - 

Six thousand livres paid him in bills of exchange, 

$173 79-90 
114 43-90 
96 21-90 
79 55-90 
40 86-90 
39 15-90 
27 73-90 

840 30-90 

1,142 79-90 




Philadelphia, May Gth, 1784. 

The King having as yet made no appointment to the 

Consulate of Charleston, the intention of his Majesty was, 

that M. de la Forest, Vice-Consul at Savannah, should in 

the interim perforin its duties. 1 have, consequently, 

transmitted to him, as well as to M. de Marbois, letters of 

recommendation, which we thought sufficient to induce the 

Governor and Council of South Carolina to recognise him 

in this provisional capacity. Our hopes with regard to this 

agreeable to a resolve of Congress of September 14, 

1777, at 5 livres 8 sols per dollar, equal to - - 1,171 10-90 

That on this account, there appears a balance of two 
thousand four hundred and thirtythree dollars and 
61-90 due to the estate of the Baron de Kalb - 2,433 61-90 

$6,111 10-90 
Exclusive of the sums carried to the Baron's debit in the foregoing 
state, he is charged in the Paymaster General's books with the fol- 
lowing, in old emissions, viz. 

November 17th, 1777. Fifty dollars paid for transporting his 
baggage. If he was in actual service at the time, and in such a 
situation as rendered extra means necessary for this purpose, I am of 
opinion that he ought not to be charged with this sum. 

May, 1780. Two hundred and twentysix thousand dollars, said to 
be for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the Maryland line, 
on their march to the southward, or for defraying the deficiencies of 
clothing due to the Maryland line. To oppose to this charge there is 
nothing yet produced. I therefore submit to consideration, the pro- 
priety of admitting to the credit of his estate the balance, which 
appeals due on account of his pay, as per the foregoing adjustment. 
WILLIAM RAMSEY, Clerk of Accounts. 


subject were built upon tiie second article of tlie draft of a 
contract for the establishiDent of Consids ; and we ihotiglit 
that its provisional execution, presenting no inconveniences, 
would meet with no difficulty, although we are yet igno- 
rant whether this contract has been signed. 

As the interests of comnierre render the actual estab- 
lishment of a Vice-Consul at Charleston of very urgent 
necessity, I pray your Excellency to propose to Congress, 
to piss a resolution for the provisional execution of this 
second article of the draft of the contract. This measure 
is so much the more necessary, as it is the only means of 
preventing the suspension of the Considar duties, which 
has often occurred in case of the absence or death of Con- 
suls or V'ice-Consuls, and a year might sometimes pass be- 
fore the arrival of new appointments or commissions, and 
before resolutions should be passed by Congress. Such 
an interruption of (he office of Consul would be attended 
with inconveniences, which Congress will easily perceive. 
Moreover, Sir, we ask nothing on this occasion, but what 
is customary in the other Consulates, and it is a power 
which will be readily allowed to Mr Barclay. 

I have the honor to be, &ic. 




Philadelpliia, May 13ll), 1784. 
I have received the letter, which your Excellency did 
me the honor to write to me on the Gth of tr.e present 
month, and the acts ol Congress accompanying it. 


I pray yon, Sir, to be pleased to inform Congress, that I 
have received a letter from the Count de Vergennep, which 
grants me the absence, which 1 had asked. This minister 
informs me at the same time, that his Mnjesly has appointed 
M. de Marbois, his Charge d'affaires to the United States. 
I repeat to your Excellenciy the request that you will be 
pleased to express for me to Congress, tiie regret with 
which I leave this continent, and the sentiments of respect, 
which I shall cherish through life towards that body. 

Permit me to recall to your mind. Sir, the business of 
JVl. de Fleury, and of the widow of the Baron de Kalb. I 
pray you, also, to be pleased to enable me to make known 
here the intentions of Congress relative to M. de la Ra- 
die-e, and to the money which was due to him at the time 
of his death, as well as with regard to the communicatio:7, 
if it takes place. 

1 have the honor to be, he. 



In Congress, May 17th, 1784. 

The United States in Congress assembled, are informed 
by the letter, which you were pleased to address to them, 
the 21st of April, that having the last year requested of 
his ]M;tjesty leave to return to France, you learn it has 
been granted, but that the official letter of the Minister 
being lost, you expect a duplicate, which will probably 
arrive in the recess of Congress. 

It is with great concern, Sir, that Congress receive this 
information, as it resj^ects a Minister for whom they entei"- 
taia the most perfect esteem. 


From the time of your arrival in America, to the sign- 
ing of the provisional treaty, the conduct of the vpar has 
been attended with numerous difficulties and perils, to sur- 
mount which the joint efforts of the United States and 
of their great and good ally have been necessary. 

Congress consider it as a fortunate circumstance, that 
during that period the affairs of his Most Christian Majesty 
in this quarter have been under the direction of an able 
and faithful Minister, whose anxiety to promote the views 
and essential interests of his sovereign, has been ever at- 
tended with a laudable endeavor to reconcile them to those 
of his allies. Without such a disposition it is evident there 
could not have existed a concert of those measures, which 
by the smiles of Providence, have hastened the conclusion 
of the late distressing war. 

The abilities of the gentleman, who as you are informed, 
is to be charged with the affairs of your department, and 
his thorough knowledge of the principles, on which the 
alliance was founded, will we doubt not, conspire to pro- 
duce on his part, such measures as will best promote the 
mutual interest of the two nations. 

We now, Sir, bid you an affectionate adieu, with the 
fullest assurance, that you will be happy in the smiles and 
approbation of your royal sovereign ; and we sincerely 
wish, that you may be 'Equally so in an interview with your 
friends, and in your future engagements. 





Paris, (date uncertain) 1787 ? 

I dare not flatter myself, that your E'fcellency has any 
recol'ection of a man, who had the benefit of your ac- 
quaintance but a few days, and even at a time when he 
could not express himself in your language. 

I arrived in America, Sir, when, after having rendered 
the most important services to the confederacy, and sus- 
tained with the greatest dislinction, the office of President 
of Congress, that body had intrusted you with the impor- 
tant ciire of conducting their affairs in Spain, and in the 
principal Comts of Europe. 

I have resided in America five years, as Minister Plen- 
ipotentiary of the Kinj^ to Congress, and though indeed 
I cannot but be well satisfied with the kindness and the 
confidence, which that illustrious body have ever shown me, 
1 have always regretted, that you were not during that 
period one of its members. You departed from Europe 
when I returned to it. At that time I flattered myself, 
that 1 should again see you in America, and resume my 
duties there. But his Majesty has thought fit to give me 
another destination. Will you have the goodness to pre- 
sent to Congress my letters of recall, and to express to that 
body for me the high sentiments of respect and venera- 
tion, with which I have long regarded them. Allow me 
also to request your Excellency to accept the assurances 
of the attachment and consideration, with which 1 have 

the honor to be, he. 


VOL. XI. 25 






For more than five years from the commencement 
of the Revolution, the foreign concerns of Congress 
were transacted through a committee, which was first 
appointed on the 2Slh of November, 1775, and called 
the Committee cf Secret Correspondence. It was their 
duty to correspond wiih all the American Agents, 
Commissioners, and Ministers abroad, to report to 
Congress on these matters from time to time, and re- 
ceive such instructions from that body as occasion 
required. It is to be understood, howe\'cr, that in this 
respect they acted only a subordinate part, for it was 
customary for the Ministers abroad to direct their 
letters to the President of Congress. AAer having 
been read in that Assembly, they were put into the 
han«ls of the Committee, whose business it was to 
answer them. On account of the absence of the mem- 
lers, the committee itself was frequently very thin, 
and sometimes for weeks together not more than one 
member was present at the seat of Government. 
Hence responsibility rested nowhere?, and it is no 
wonder that delays, neglect, and ill management were 
the consequences. 

Various causes retarded the adoption of a better 


system, but chiefly the warmth of party and internal 
jealousies, which prevailed within the walls of Con- 
gress for a long time, and too often defeated measures 
of essential importance, when there was a probability 
that they would throw a new weight of power into a 
scale of doubtful preponderance. To this state of cir- 
cumstances it is in a great degree to be attributed, that 
no plan for a regular Department of Foreign Affairs 
was resolved upon till the 10th of January, 1781, and 
that no person was appointed to fill the office thus 
created till seven months later. On the 10th of 
August, Robert R. Livingston was chosen Secretary 
of Foreign Affairs, but he did not enter upon the duties 
of the Department till the 20th of October. 

From this date a salutary change found its way into 
the management of Foreign Affairs. To abilities and 
other qualifications well suited to the station, Mr 
Livingston added energy, diligence, and promptitude, 
as his numerous letters on a great variety of topics 
abundantly testify. We hear no more complaints 
from the Ministers abroad, that their letters are for- 
gotten and unanswered, or that they receive no intel- 
ligence nor instructions from home. 

The details of the Department were so modified, 
after he accepted the appointment, as to embrace 
Domestic Affairs to a certain extent. He was to 
correspond with the President of Congress, the Gov- 
ernors of the States, the Commander in Chief, and 
generally with all persons on topics in any manner 
connected with the primary objects of his office. His 
letters to the American Ministers at Foreign Courts, 
and to the French Ministers in this country, have 


already been printed in the correspondence of those 
persons respectively. This order was thought pre- 
ferable, as the continuity of the subjects embraced in 
the different branches of correspondence would thus 
be more distinctly preserved. The letters, which 
follow, are chiefly to the President of Congress, and 
to other officers and persons, who were in the United 
States at the time they were written. 

Mr Livingston continued a little short of two years 
in the Department of Foreign Affairs. He resigned 
in June, 1783. 




In Congress, January 10th, 1781. 

Congress took into consideration the report of the 
committee appointed to consider and report a plan for 
the Department of Foreign Affairs, wherein they 

That the extent and the rising power of these 
United Stales, entitle them to a place among the great 
potentates of Europe, while our political and commer- 
cial interests point out the propriety of cultivating 
with them a friendly correspondence and connexion ; 

That to render such an intercourse advantageous, 
the necessity of a competent knowledge of the inte- 
rests, views, relations, and systems of those potentates, 
is obvious ; 

That a knowledge, in its nature so comprehensive, 
VOL. XI. 26 


is only to be acquired by a constant attention to the 
state of Europe, and an unremitted application to the 
means of acquiring well grounded information; 

That Congress are moreover called upon to main- 
tain with our Ministers at foreign Courts a regular 
correspondence, and to keep them fully informed of 
every circumstance and event, which regards the pub- 
lic lienor, interest and safety ; 

That to answer those essential purposes, the com- 
mittee are of opinion, that a fixed and permanent office 
for the Department of Foreign Affairs ought forthwith 
to be established, as a remedy against the fluctuations, 
the delay and indecision to which the present mode of 
managing our foreign affairs must be exposed ; where- 

Resolved, That an office be forthwith established for 
the Department of Foreign Affairs, to be kept always 
in the place where Congress shall reside ; 

That there shall be a Secretary for the despatch of 
business of the said office, to be styled " Secretary of 
Foreign Affairs ;" 

That it shall be the duty of the said Secretary to 
keep and preserve all the books and papers belonging 
to the Department of Foreign Affairs; to receive and 
report the applications of all foreigners : to correspond 
with the Ministers of the United States at foreign 
Courts, and with the Ministers of foreign powers and 
other persons, for the purpose of obtaining the most 
extensive and useful information relative to foreign 
affairs, to be laid before Congress when required ; also 
to transmit such communications as Congress shall 
direct, to the Ministers of the United States and oth- 


ers at foreign Courts, and in foreign countries ; the 
said Secretary shall have liberty to attend Congress, 
that he may be better informed of the affairs of the 
United States, and have an opportunity of explaining 
his reports respecting his Department; he shall also 
be authorised to employ one, or, if necessary, more 
clerks to assist him in the business of his oiBce; and 
the Secretary, as well as such clerks, shall, before the 
President of Congress, take an oath of fidelity to the 
United States, and an oath for the faithful execution of 
their respective trusts. 

In Congress, August 10th, 1781. 
Congress proceeded to the election of a Secretary of 
Foreign Affairs; and, the ballots being counted, Rob- 
ert R. Livingston was elected, having been previously 
nominated by Mr Floyd. 


Philadelphia, October 20th, 1781.* 
Dear Sir, 

Congress having done me the honor to appoint me their 
Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and made it my duty to col- 
lect and transmit such intelligence as may be useful to our 
Minicters, I take the liberty to open a correspondence with 

* Although Mr Livingston was appointed Secretary of Foreign 
Affairs on the 10th of August, he did not enter on the duties of the 
office till this day. See his letter to John Adams, in Mr Adams's 
Correspondence, Vol. VI. p. 178. 


you. From the past, I have reason to hope, that your 
future operations will furnish the most agreeable and useful 
information at foreign Courts ; for nothing is more incon- 
trovertibly true, than that splendid victories and a wise 
Administration at home, are the best negotiators abroad. 

Give me leave. Sir, to congratulate you upon your suc- 
cess. We have reason to hope, that it will be attended 
with the most important consequences, more especially, if 
as we may expect, the Commander in Chief should be 
enabled to make a considerable addition to the brave corps 
you command. 

The enemy have sailed from New York with twentysix 
ships of the line, including three of fifty guns, having on 
board their ships of war five thousand lacd forces, in order 
to attempt the relief of Cornwallis. For that, happily, they 
are too late j but as sympathising friends afford consolation 
to the distressed, he may possibly derive some comfort 
from their sharing, at least in part, his fate. 
I have the honor to be, he. 



Philadelphia, October 22d, 1781 

Dear Sir, 
Give me leave to congratulate your Excellency, and 
through you the Legislature of our State, on the success of 
our arms at the southward. Cornwallis surrendered his army 
on the 17th of October. Count de Grasse was employed 
on the 18th in taking his marines on board, which 1 hope, 
by the blessing of Heaven, will be the prelude to a second 


My removal being far from having in any manner less- 
ened my attachment to New York, I shall be anxious to 
hear that the present attempt of the enemy upon our fron- 
tiers, has only added to their disgrace, and enabled my 
countrymen to increase the reputation they have so 
justly acquired. Your Excellency will do me the honor 
to give me the earliest intelligence of the movements of the 
enemy. . 

I am, Sir, with the greatest respect and esteem, &ic. 


Philadelphia, October 20th, 1781. 

The business of the department in which Congress have 
been pleased to place me, rendering it necessary to have 
recourse to the Secret Juurnals, and other books and pa- 
pers in the possession of their Secretary, I take the liberty 
to request them by their order, to enable Mr Tiiomson to 
admit ine to examine, and copy from such books of a se- 
cret nature in his possession, as may in anywise relate to 
the department of Foreign AfTairs. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 



Philadelphia, November I2th, 1781. 

Congress some time since, called upon the different 

Stales to make returns of the damage done by the enemy 


within each of them, by the wanton destruction of prop- 
erty, and no measures, that I can learn, have as yet been 
taken to ascertain such damage^ though as your Excel- 
lency will easily conceive, it may become an important ob- 
ject of inquiry, whenever a treaty shall be set on foot for a 
general pacification, or be made to answer valuable pur- 
poses during the war, by showing our enemies in their true 
light to the nations of Europe. 

In this view, I think it my duty to endeavor to collect 
them, and you will, Sir, I am persuaded, take the neces- 
sary measures to send as soon as possible, returns from the 
State over which you preside. I could wish to have the 
damages, (particularly that to real property,) ascertained 
by the affidavits of people of known characters, and dupli- 
cate copies of such affidavits transmitted to my officers, 
under the great seal of your State, and, if possible, accom- 
panied with a short recital of each transaction, so that it 
may at once appear, whether the injuries were such as the 
laws of war justified, or whether they originated only in 
the malice and cruelty of the enemy. 

Your Excellency will oblige me, and serve the public, 
by transmitting to me accounts of every occurrence, in 
which the United States are materially interested, which 
may arise within your government, or which you may de- 
rive from your correspondents abroad. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect and esteem, 





Philadelphia, November 18th, 1781. 


The subject mentioned in the letters of Mr Adams, and 
their enclosures, requiring their express direction, I hum- 
bly submit to the consideration of Congress. 

In Dr Franklin's letter of the 6th of August to Mr Ad- 
ams, he informs him, "that he cannot depend on receiving 
any more nmney in Franre applicable to the support of tlie 
Ministers of Congress, and that what aids are thereafter 
granted, will probably be transmitted by the government 
directly to America." Congress need no arguments to 
convince them of the disgrace and danger of permitting 
their most confidential servants to be necessitous iu a 
foreign country. 

I will with their approbation, concert with the Superin- 
tendent of Finance, the means of supplying our Ministers, 
Agents, and Secretaries. But to facilitate these means, 
and convince the powers to whom we are indebted for 
money, that we know the value of their aids, I would hum- 
bly submit to Congress the propriety of practising the 
strictest econorny, as far as it may be consistent with their 
honor, and the justice due to those they employ. That 
Congress may determine the more readily whether their 
establishment will admit of any reduction, or devise the 
most effectual means of defraying the expense of it, I take 
the liberty to lay before them the annual amount of the 
salaries of their servants now abroad. 

If I am well informed, it is usual to distinguish the allow- 
ances to Ministers by the expenses of the country in which 
they live, and the character they are obliged to support. 


Such a rule would be productive of great saving to us, 
whose policy it is to have agents without any acknowl- 
edged public characters, at Courts which refuse to receive 
our Ministers. How far so important a station as that of 
Secretary to an Embassy might be supplied by private 
secretaries with moderate salaries, at least till the existence 
of the Embassy was acknowledged, must be submitted to 
tiie wisdom of Congress. Certain it is, that foreigners 
who may not be acquainted with the dignified characters 
of those we eniploy abroad as secretaries, will be surprised 
to find their emoluments equal, if not exceeding those al- 
lowed by the richest potentates in Europe, and that too, 
when the great object of the mission is to represent our 
wants, and solicit supplies for civil and military establish- 
ments at home. 

Perhaps, too, from the ground on which the successful 
issue of this campaign has placed us. Congress may see it 
improper to solicit Courts, who are so little disposed to 
serve us as those of Petersburgh and Lisbon, or to expend 
additional sums of money on agencies to Russia or Poitu- 

Another part of the despatches referred to me, are those 
that relate to John Temple, to which Congress alone are 
competent to give directions. The reports currently cir- 
culated in England relative to his first mission, his coming 
by way of New York, his return to England, his abode 
there, his present visit to America, render him an object of 
attention, not only to the people of this country, but to 
those of Europe, and give weight to those suspicions of 
attachment to England, which, as it is her policy to keep 
up, it should be ours on every occasion to discourage. 
Congress will judge how far it is proper to suggest any 


measures to the State of Massachusetts. I take the liberty 
to submit to them, whether at least it would not be expe- 
dient to adopt such resolutions as would leave the Execu- 
tive of that State uninfluenced in their conduct towards 
him, by his being the bearer of public despatches. Con- 
gress will observe, that I have no personal acquaintance 
with Mr Temple, nor any knowledge of facts, which would 
lead me to suspect his principles, other than the matters, 
which are above stated and publicly known. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 



Philadelphia, November 25th, 1781. 
1 er.close to Congress the heads of the communication, 
which I had the honor to make to ihein on the 23d, as far 
as I could obtain permission from the Minister of France 
to reduce them to writing. There is but one omission, the 
reason of which was assigned at the time I made the ver- 
bal communication. I also enclose an extract of a letter 
from the Count de Vergennes to the Minister of France, 
as translated and coumuinicated to me by him, which I 
have thought it necessary to submit to the perusal of tlie 
Superintendent of Finance. 

I am at a loss to judge whether Congress intended in 
their reference of General Duportail's letter, that i should 
report to them, or write to Dr Franklin on the subject my- 
self j supposing the latter to have been the case, I have 
accordingly written ; but lest I may have heea mistaken, I 


submit my letter to their inspection, and if it is not con- 
formable to their intentions, I beg to be honored with their 
further direction. 

I have tiie iionor to be, &c. 



Camp Round O, South Carolina, ) 
December I3th, 1761. ) 

Dear Sir, 

Your n.vor of the 22d of October came to hand a day 
or two since. 

I shall be happy to communicate anything from this 
quarter, that may be useful to you, or to our afliiirs abroad, 
and I have the pleasure to inform you, that \vc have com- 
plete possession of all the Southern Slates, Charleston and 
Savannah excepted. 

Civil government is established in Georgia, and the As- 
sembly of South Carolina will set the 1st of next month, at 
Camden. We are making preparations for the siege cf 
Charleston, and are not altogether without hopes of oblig- 
ing the enemy to abandon the place, even if our good ally 
should not be able to co-operate with us. The tyrant of 
Syracuse was never more odious than the British army in 
this country. Even the slaves rejoice, and feel a kind of 
Irecdom from oppression, in the return of their masters. 

I beg leave to coiigiatulate you upon our h.te glorious 
success in Virginia, and upon your own appointment of 
IMinister of Foreign Affiiirs. 

I have the honor to be, &.c. 




Philadelpliia, January ISlh, 1782. 
I do my«elf the honor to subnsit to I'.ic iii-rectioii of the 
United States, in Congress, an affidavit made by Mr Mar- 
shall on the subject o( Mr Denne's leUerp, and have di- 
rected copies of the letters and affidavit to be made out for 
the IMinister of his Most Chrisliau M; jes' y, and the Sun°r- 
intendent of Finance. Measures have long since been 
taken to put our Ministers upon their guard against Mr 
Deane. I shall add to them, as oppoMunilies ofter, the 
new proofs which these letters furnish of his defection. 
Copies will also be sent to the Governor of Connecticut, 
unless the Representatives of that State, in Congress, who 
propose to make them the ground of judicial proceedings, 
should prefer taking copies to be examined and compared 
with the original, by a [)erson who could prove such exam- 
ination, or to authenticate them in any other way, which 
will ensure their being received as evidence conformably 
to the practice of their Courts. 

1 had pro[)Osed to mention them in my correspondence 
with the first Magistrates of the respective Slates, as afford- 
ing proofs of the distant prospect of peace, and the neces- 
sity of relying only upon our own exertions to procure it, 
but am deterred from this measure, by the weight which it 
might possibly give to Mr Deane's ill- founded assertions. 

I shall endeavor to conform to the views of the United 
States, in any further direction with which they may please 
to honor mo. 

1 have the honor to be, he. 




Philadelphia, January 22d, 1782. 

I do myself the honor to enclose certified copies of 
two letters from Silas Deane, which serve in some 
measure to authenticate those that have been published 
in his name, and strongly mark such a change in his 
sentiments and principles as is worthy of the attention 
of the State of which he is a citizen. The originals 
are lodged in this office, to which your Excellency 
may at any time apply, if such copies should be re- 
quired, as would amount to legal evidence ; I have also 
enclosed a copy of an affidavit of Mr Marshall to prove 
the identity of the letters, and his having received 
them from Silas Deane. 

I some time since did myself the honor to write to 
you, relative to the damage done by the enemy in 
your State, to that letter I have not been as yet 
favored with an answer. Your Excellency will easily 
see the propriety of keeping up a correspondence with 
this office, since there are so many inferior objects, 
which escape the general attention of Congress, which 
it may be extremely useful to detail in our negotiations. 
Such, for instance, as an authentic account of the cru- 
elties committed by the British at New Haven. Nor 
is it of less moment to be minutely informed by every 
State of the resources for carrying on the war, the 
means used to call out those resources, the temper and 
disposition of the people with respect to them. With 
a view of obtaining these from you at your leisure, I 
have taken the liberty to open this correspondence 


with your Excellency. I persuade myself you will 
not put the trouble it may give you in competition 
with the slightest advantage, that our country may 
obtain from it. I shall in return give you from time 
to lime, such European news as we may receive here, 
which I conceive will contribute either to your 
amusement or the advantage of your State. 

And as I have nothing positive at present, let me 
inform you, what I would wish every State to know, 
that we have not as yet any intelligence, that leads to 
a speedy peace, so that we have every reason to expect 
.another campaign, and a campaign too, that will call 
for our greatest exertions. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 



Philadelphia, January 25th, 1782. 

In the first organization of a new Department, some 
things are frequently omitted, which experience will 
show ought to be inserted, and many inserted which 
might be omJtted ; it becomes the duty of those, who 
are placed at the head of such Departments, to m.cntion 
the difficulties that may arise from these causes, and 
leave it to the wisdom of Congress to alter them, or to 
judge whether they can be changed without introduc- 
ing greater inconveniences. Upon this principle, Sir, 
I am induced to offer the following observations. 

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs is to correspond 
with the Ministers of the United States at foreign 


Courts, and with the Ministers of foreign powers. 
This correspondence must necessarily detail such sen- 
timents as the sovereign wishes to have known, and 
lead to such inquiries as they choose to make. An 
intimate knowledge of their sentiments is, therefore, 
absolutely necessary to a discharge of this duly ; and 
we accordingly find, that the Minister of Foreign 
Affairs is, in monarchical governments, considered as 
the most confidential servant of the Crown. In Re- 
publics, it is much more difficult to execute this task, 
as the sentiments of the sovereign sometimes change 
with the members, which compose the sovereignly. 
It is more frequently unknown, because no occasion 
offers, on which to call it forth. It is never perfectly 
expressed but by some public act. Waiting for this 
lime, the advantages of embracing a favorable oppor- 
tunity are frequently lost. There are numberless mi- 
nutiae, upon which no act is formed, and about which, 
Tiotwiihslanding their sentiments s!iould be known to 
their Ministers, there are even occasions, in which 
their Secretary should speak a sentiment, which it 
would be improper for them to declare by a public act. 
Congress, sensible of the inconveniency, that the 
officer intrusted with the management of their foreign 
affairs must labor under in the execution of his duty, 
without a more perfect knowledge of their sentiments, 
than can be obtained from their public acts, have been 
pleased to admit him to attend Congress, that (as the 
ordinance ex])resscs it,) he may be better informed of 
the affairs of the United States, and have an opportu- 
nity of explaining his reports respecting his Depart- 
ment ; but here it stops short, and does not say in 


what manner he is to gain the senliments of Congress, 
when he does himself the honor to atlentl upon ihem. 
It is true they may in part be collected from an atten- 
tion to the debates, but it often so happens, ibat the 
debate does not take the turn that he would wish, in 
order to satisfy a doubt, and he goes away, after hear- 
inj^ a subject largely discussed, ignorant of the only 
point upon which he wishes to be informed, when 
perhaps by a single question, his doubt might be re- 
moved, or by a word of information, which he has 
the best means of acquiring, a debate might be short- 

It is true the power of explaining his reports given 
by the ordinance, seems to imply a permission to offer 
his sentiments when they are under consideration, but 
as I do not wish to assume a liberty which is not ex- 
pressly given, 1 must beg the sentiments of Congress 
on this sul)ject. The ordinance is also deficient, in not 
affording a power to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs 
to take order upon the application eiliier of foreigners, 
or subjects, relative to matters not of sufficient moment 
to engage the altenrion of Congress; as for instance, 
applications for aid in procuring the release of an 
American, taken under particular circumstances in 
English ships, and confined in the French West In- 
dies or elsewhere; claims upon prizes carried into the 
French Islands, &c., which cases occur every day, and 
are attended vvith long memorials, which would take 
up much of the time and attention of Congress. 

As I have hitherto taken the liberty to transact bus- 
iness of this kind with the Minister of his Most Chris- 
tian Majesty, and the Governors or Generals of the 


French Islands, I wish to be justified in so doing by 
the orders of Congress. As a check upon myself, I 
keep a book, though it is attended with much labor, 
in which all such applications, and the steps taken in 
consequence thereof, are inserted at length. 

Tiie organization of this office will, too, I presume, 
render some alteration necessary in matters of form 
and ceremony as heretofore settled by Congress in 
conformity to the practice of other nations, and to ena- 
ble us to avail ourselves of the advantages they some- 
times afford in creating useful delays, and concealing 
for political reasons the views of the sovereign. 

Congress having vested me with the power of ap- 
pointing clerks, I have appointed two gentlemen, in 
whose integrity and abilities I can confide. These 
are barely sufficient to do the running business of the 
office, >vhich is much greater than I imagined it would 
be, five copies, besides the draft being necessary for 
every foreign letter or paper transmitted. To copy 
all the letters, which have hitherto been received, 
with the Secret Journals and other extracts from the 
books and files of Congress, though absolutely neces- 
sary, both for order and security, will be impossible, 
without further aid for at least one year. Congress 
have not, indeed, limited the number I may employ, 
nor have they fixed their salaries, upon both of wliich 
I could wish for their direction. An interpreter is so 
necessary, both for this Department and the Admi- 
ralty, that I cannot but recommend to Congress the 
appointment of one, from whom, if a man in whom I 
could confide, I might receive assistance as a Secretary 
when hurried with business. 


It may possibly Le expected, Sir, that I should 
close this long letter by a report on the matters it 
contains, but as it is a delicate subject to point out a 
mode for extending my own powers, I only beg leave 
to recommend the enclosed resolve. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, Philadelphia, ) 
January 31st, 1782. 5 

Dear Sir, 

I was this day favored with yours of the 13lh ultimo. 
I need not tell you, that the intelligence it conveyed, and 
the spirit in which it was written, afforded me the most 
sensible pleasure. The idea it holds forth of an attempt 
upon Charleston, and the prospect of success in it, is one 
that we dare not indulge here, more especially as troops 
have sailed from New York, and as we presume to 
Charleston, but you have taught us rather to measure 
your success>^by your genius than by your means. 

I wish it were in my power to tell you, that our ac- 
counts from Europe were proportionate to our expecta- 
tions. The combined fleets, as you know, have returned 
and separated, without having effected anything. The 
British are again masters of the ocean. Gibraltar is a 
rock, on which all the exertions of Spain seem to split, 
and the siege of fort St Philip seems to be carried on in 
the most energetic manner. We have no prospect of 
forming an alliance, either with Spain or Holland, who 
both appear to sigh for peace. Our loan on the guarantee 

VOL. XI. 2S 


of France with the last, is nearly completed. But what 
is noi 'i liitle uniiatisfriclory, it is also nearly expended by 
advances, wliich France has made ns on the credit of it. 
From we are likely to get nothing. 

The negotiations for a peace are entirely at a stand ; 
the niediutins powers h:ive no interest in wishing it, and 
the belligerent nations are neither of them sufficiently 
weakened to request their interposiiion. The Count de 
Vergennes a^.-uns ni, iliat Britain will still make the most 
vigorous exeriions. I mention these circumstances not 
only for your information, but that you may n)ake the 
proper use of them in animating the exertions of the 
Southern States. It is the misfortune of America to pre- 
sume too much upon each dawning of success, and to 
believe that peace must tread upon the heels of every 
lilile advantage, instead of being taught by lier own strug- 
gles and difHculiies, that every nation has resources, that 
surpass the expectations of its en-Muies. 

Would to God that you could be enabled, by the ani- 
mated efforts of the Southern States, to expel the enen)y 
from them wiihcut the aid of our allies. This would re- 
establish our character for activity in Europe, where 1 am 
sorry to say, it has for some time past been u|)on the de- 
cline, and I do sincerely believe, tliat co-ojicrating with 
the brilliant successes of the last fall, it would incline the 
enemy to peace, without which I have no expectations of it. 
But I fear this is rather to be wished for than expected. 

Domestic news we have none, but what Colonel Ter- 
nant will give, or you may collect from the enclosed papers. 

If anything turns up worth your notice, you sliall hear 
from me. I flatter myself that you will think with me, 
that our distance is too great to wait for the ceremony of 


answer and reply, and lavor ine wiili a line as occasion 

I liave the honor to be, Sir, &ic. 



Philadelphia, February 18th, 1782. 

1 do rn) sell" the honor to transmit to your Excellency 
several resolutions of Congress, which having a reference 
to the Dciiartment o( Foreign Affiiirs, are in course to go 
through this office. Tlie n.ecessiiy ol canning them into 
effect is loo obvious to need observations. 

Wiiile we liold an intercourse witli civilised nations, 
we must conform to law, which humanity has established, 
and uhich custom has consecrated among ihem. On this 
the rights, which the United States or their citizens may 
claim in foreign countries must be founded 

One of the resolutions passed Congress in consequence 
of a convention about to be concludetl between his Most 
Christian JMajesty and the United States ui America, wliich 
affords an additional reason for paying it the eariicit atten- 
tion. Yum- Excellency and the Legislature will see the 
propriety of rendering the laws on these subjects as sim|)le, 
and the cxecntion of them as expeditious, as possible, 
since foreigner?, who arc the great object of ihem, are 
easily disgusted at conii)lex sy?ieiiK-, uliicii iliey find a 
difficulty in understanding, and the honor ?.in\ pence of a 
nation are Irequenily ns much wi)ui5,!eJ Lv a delnv as by 
a denitd of justice. 

Another resolution relates to your boundaries, and is 
designed as one means of ascertaining the territorial ri'/bis 


of the United States collectively, which can only be accu- 
rately known by each State's exhibiting its claims, and 
the evidence on which they found them. Your Excel- 
lency will therefore be pleased to direct, authentic 
copies from your records of all grants, charters, maps, 
treaties with the natives, and other evidences, to be trans- 
mitted to this office, as soon as you can conveniently col- 
lect them. I could wish, that the copies might be proved, 
by having the great seal of your State annexed. 
I have the honor to be, &,c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, Philadelphia, ) 
February 19th, 1782. 5 

Dear Sir, 

1 wish to avail myself of the opportunity Colonel Ter- 
nant affords me, to convey the agreeable intelligence con- 
tained in the enclosed letter from Mr Harrison, our agent 
at Cadiz. Many olher objects present themselves, on 
which I would write could I do it without detaining Co- 
lonel Ternant, who only waits for this. 

I propose to have the honor of writing more at large 
by the next safe conveyance. In the meanwhile, I should 
consider it as a favor, which might be rendered useful to 
the public, as well as agreeable to me, if your Excellency 
would open a correspondence with this office, in which an 
exact state of affairs iu the government, over which you 
preside ought to be detailed, which could not fail to have 
some influence in the direction of our foreign affairs. 

1 have the honor to be, 8ic. 




Philadelphia, February 19th, 1782. 

Where a Government is composed of independent States, 
united not by the power of a sovereign but by their common 
interest, the Executive Departments form a centre of com- 
munication between each State and their Chief Council, 
and are so far links of the chain, which should bind them 
together, as they render to each similar views of great 
national objects, and introduce uniformity in their measures 
for the establishment of general interests. A mistaken idea 
of our own importance to other nations, of their attachment 
to us, and of the weakness of our conmion enemy, having 
lulled us into a very imprudent security, I beg leave to 
state to your Excellency the information last received from 
Europe. Our success in this important war, under the 
favor of Heaven, must be built upon ti)e weakness of our 
enemy, the strength and perseverance of her foes in Europe, 
and our own exertions. 

It is an undeniable fact, that Britain has not, in the course 
of the last campaign, gained any advantage of her enemies, 
but, on the contrary, has seen their fleets ride triumphant 
in the seas, she proudly called her own, and an army, in 
which she placed her fondest hopes, made captive. But, 
on the other hand, we are compelled to admit,_that she has 
met with no such reverse of fortune as materially to debili- 
tate her, or weaken her resources for another camj)aign. 
Her trade has, for the most part, returned in safety. Her 
fleets have blocked up those of the Dutch, and, upon the 
separation of the combined fleets, recovered the superiority 
in the Europear) seas. The army taken in America is only 


SO far decidedly ruinous to lier afT.iirs here, as we know 
how to avail ourselves of the advantage it affords. 

That her pride is not humbled, that she did j:ot wish for 
peace prior to this advantage, is obvious, 1st. From her 
refusing to make a separate treaty with the Dutch, who, 
under the mediation of the Empress of Russia, seemed 
anxiously to wisli it ; 2dly. From her neglect to notice the 
last proposals of the mediating powers, which yet remain 
unanswered ; so that if any alteration is made in their senti- 
ments on this subject, they must originate in their ill success 
in America, for in every other quarter their defensive war 
seems to have been supported with advantage. How far 
ihis will operate admits of a doubt, which prudence directs 
us not to rely upon. Money, the great support of modern 
wars, has been raised with more facility in England, than 
in any country in the world; and we find the minoriiy last 
year censuring Lord North for giving the advantage of 
lenrling to his friends. Their losses may indeed render 
subscriptions more expensive to the public; but there is no 
well grounded roou) to suppose they will not fill up; and 
still less reason to believe, if the means for carrying on the 
war are attainable, that the vindictive spirit of the King and 
his ministry, and the overweening nride of the nation, will 
soon yield to make a peace, which involves their disgrace and 
huiijiliation. But as strengiii or weakness are mere com- 
parative terms, we can form no judgment of the measures 
of Britain but by attending to the lorce and disposition of 
her enemies. 

The United Provinces were evidently dragged into the 
war, and have prosecuted it as if they momentarily expected 
a peace. The Colonies in the West Indies have been taken, 
without being in a state to make the smallest resistance, 


and tlie nctive interposition of France alone saved those 
in the East from sharing tlie same fate. Our last letters 
from Holland place the distress of their commerce in a 
strong point of view. They are unhappily rent hy parties, 
vvliich clog the wheels of governtnent ; though it is said 
the party opposed to England are the most numerous and 
growing in strength, so that at some fu'.ure day we may 
reasonably hope they will assume the entire ascendency ; 
yet we can l)iiild very little on this, till the close of another 
year. Tl)is much is certain, they ore not yet allied to us, 
nor have they given us reason to believe, that they intend 
to be so. They wish for peace, and will take no measures 
that can obstruct it. They have lent us no money, nor 
are they likely to do it ; from whence ws may presume, 
either that they doubt oin* success, or do not much interest 
themselves in it. 

Our expectations from Spain are scarcely more flattering. 
Son)e little aids of money have been received after long 
solicitation, hardly so much as paid the expense of soliciting. 
Wo have reason to suppose that no more will be granted. 
They are still cold wiili regard to our alliance; nodjing but 
brilliant success can bring it to a conclusion. Nor have 
we the smallest reason to expect any pecuniary aid from 
her, even if she should confederate with us in time to be 
of use for the next campaign. She has at this moment very 
many and very expensive operations on hand ; and, till she 
has allied herself to us, we have no certainty thai she will 
choose to continue the war for the attainment of onr indepen- 
dence, if Britain should be sufficiently humbled to sacrifice 
to her the objects which led her into the war. 

To France, then, we turn, as the only enemy of Great 
Britain, who is at the same time our ally, who will perse- 


vere in ihe war for the attainment of our independence. 
She has aheady done so much for us, in order to afford us 
the means of doing something for ourseU'es, that she may 
reasonably hope to find the effects of her benevolence. 
Her fleets have protected our coasts, her armies have fought 
our battles ; she has made various efforts to restore our 
finances, by paying the interest of our loans, by obtaining 
credit in Europe on our account for clothing, arms, and 
necessaries; by advancing money, and by opening and 
guaranteeing a loan for us, to a considerable amount in 
Holland, when, by the abolition of paper, our finances were 
totally deranged. These sums are nearly expended, and 
another campaign is about to be opened. France assures, 
that it is not in her power to make us any further grants of 
money, her ministers repeat this to us in every letter, in a 
tone that persuades us of their determination on that point. 
What then is to be done? Are we to relinquish the 
hopes, which the present debility of the eneiny affords us of 
expelling them by one decided effort, and compensating all 
our losses by the enjoyment of an active commerce? Are 
we to return to the wretched, oppressive system we have 
quitted ? Are we to csrry on a weak defensive war with an 
unpaid army, whose precarious subsistence must depend 
upon what can be torn by violence from the industrious 
husbandman ? Shall we vainly, and I think disgracefully, 
supplicate all the powers of Europe for those means, which 
we have in our own hands, if we dare call them forth, and 
which, after all, must be called forth if we continue the war, 
(and upon that subject there can be no doubt, till the end 
for which we took up arms is attained.) The only question 
is, whether each Slate shall fairly and regularly contribute 
its quota, or whether that which happens to be the seat of 


war sliall (as has too often been the case) bear the whole 
burden, and suffer more from the necessities of our own 
troops, than the ravages of tl^e enemy. Whether we shall 
drive the enemy from their posts with a strong body of regu- 
lar troops, or whether we shall permit them to extend their 
devastations, while, with our baUalions and fluctuating corps 
of militia, we protract a weak defensive war, till our allies 
ore discouraged, and some unfavorable change takes {)lace 
in the system of Europe. 

Your Excellency, 1 am persuaded, will pardon the free- 
dom with which I write. You see the necessity which 
dictates my letter, and were it in my power to communi- 
cate all that our friends in Europe think of our inactivity, 
I am persuaded you would urge your State to exertion in 
much stronger terms than I dare venture to use. 

When Congress call upon a State for supplies, they are 
usually answered by pleas of disability, urged, too, by the 
State with good faith, and a firm persuasion that they 
speak their real situation, a recurrence to facts, that have 
passed under their own observation, will convince them that 
they are deceived. 

From the time that the depreciation of the Continental 
bills of credit began, till they were no longer current, the 
States that received them paid a tax equal to all the expen- 
ditin-es of the army, and a very considerable one beyond it ; 
for if we suppose ten millions of dollars, in specie, a year, 
to be necessary for their support, then the expense, till the 
close of the campaign of 1779, must have amounted to 
upwards of fifty millions, exclusive of the supplies from 
Europe; and yet, in March, 1780, the whole national debt 
contracted in America did not, in fact, amount to five 
millions ; so that forlyfive millions were paid by the United 

VOL. XI. 29 


States in those five years of the war, when they had the 
least commerce and agricuUure, an(i when they were most 
distressed by the enemy ; aad this tax, too, was the most 
unjust and partial that can be conceived, unless we except 
that, by which we have since raised much more fron) the 
people, without giving so much to the public ; I mean the 
laws for impressing, SiC, which placed the greatest burden 
of the war upon the shoulders of a particular order of men 
in particular States only. 

Now surely, if by partial and unjust measures, for which 
necessity alone can plead, we have been able to draw from 
every State, a tax more than equal to the present demand, 
no State can say, that it cannot afTord its proportion of a 
more equitable tax. Those who have hitherto borne the 
weight of the war, must warmly espouse a measure, which 
is so greatly calculated for their relief. Ihose who have 
hitherto been eased from the burden, must be more able to 
take it up at this time, when they have the most promising 
expectation of 'elinquishing it soon. 

It is certain, that if we put ourselves in a state to 
take advantage of circumstances early in the ensuing 
spring, we have the best grounded reason to hope, that 
a few months will remove the war from our doors. 
Whereas if we delay to enable Congress to say to their 
allies, " we are ready for an effectual co-operation 
with any force you may send," they will turn their 
attention to other objects, and leave us to lament in 
vain the opportunities we have lost. Every motive 
then, national honor, national interest, public econ- 
omy, private ease, and that love of freedom, which 
pervades every Legislature on the Continent, call 
loudly not only for a compliance with the requisitions 


of Congress, but for so early a compliance as to render 
it cfTecliial. 

It is true we are at present in such a situation as to 
have no apprehensions for the final establishment of 
our independence ; but surely it is a matter of some 
moment to us, whether we shall obtain it, or at least 
be freed from the ravages of the enemy and the bur- 
den of the war in the course of six months at the 
expense of eight millions of dollars, or whether we 
shall wait for it till a general and perhaps a distant 
peace, and be subject in the meanwhile to infinitely 
more expense, and all the distress that attends a coun- 
try which is the seat of war. 

But, Sir, it is time to dismiss a subject, which wants 
no arguments to illustrate it. I am confident that you 
will use every means to convince the State over which 
you preside, of the danger which will result from re- 
lying more upon the weakness of the enemy than 
their own strength, more upon the aid of their allies 
than their own exertions, more upon unjust, partial, 
hazardous, and expensive expedients, than upon an 
equal and regular support of the measures, which 
Congress, upon the most mature deliberation have 
reco.mmcnded to their attention. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, February 21st, 1782. 
I do myself the honor to lay before Congress the 
enclosed note from the Minister of France, a letter 


from the Marquis de Bouille with translations of both, 
and the proceedings of the Council of Assembly of 
Dominique; all of which relate to the case of the ship 
Resolution's cargo, part of which was adjudged lawful 
prize by ihe sentence of the Court of Appeals; and 
the case of the brigantine Eeirsten and her cargo, 
which was also adjudged lawful prize by ihe said 

The case of the ship Resolution, as far as I have 
been able to learn, was simply this, she was a Dutch 
vessel, freighted on account of capilulants at Domi- 
nique, and bound for Holland, agreeably to the seventh 
Article of the capitulation. She was taken by a 
British ship, retaken by one of our privateers, and 
condemned by the Court of Admiralty of this Stale, 
whose decree was reversed and the ship and cargo ac- 
quitted, except a small part of the latter, on the prin- 
ciple of its not being the property of capilulants, and 
because, as was alleged, it was not protected by the 
ordinances of Congress, approving the principles of 
the armed neutrality, Great Britain and Holland being 
at open war; from whence it was inferred by ihe 
Court, that the Dutch vessel could not be considered 
as sufficiently neutral to protect the property of an 
enemy. The papers referred to in the memorial of 
the Minister of France serve to show, that the whole 
cargo belonged to capilulants. 

The other vessel, the Eeirsten, was purchased in 
London by a company of Imperial subjects residing at 
Ostend, freighted in Englan4 with British properly 

* See an account of these ships in M. de la Luzerne's Correspond- 
ence, above, pp. 66—72. 


for the use of the capitulants at Dominique. The ves- 
sel sailed from London, and on her way to Dominique 
touched at the port of Ostend, for the purpose of con- 
verting her English papers into German. In the pas- 
sage from Ostend to Dominique, this brigantine was 
taken by an American privateer, carried into Boston 
and acquitted, with her cargo; but the Judges of Ap- 
peals have condemned as lawful prize, both vessel and 
cargo. They consider the cargo as unprotected by the 
capitulation of Dominique. They consider the vessel 
as carrying on a trade advantageous to the enemy, in 
contravention to the seventeenth Article of the capitu- 
lation ; that she forfeited the right of neutrality by not 
showing an exact impartiality to the belligerent pow- 
ers ; and because she had false and colorable papers on 
board, with a view to give the cargo tiie appearance of 
neutral property. They allow, that a vessel under 
their circumstances is to be considered as an enemy's, 
and that by the law of nations, they should be subject 
to seizure and confiscation. They consider the cargo 
as unprotected by the laws of Congress, because (as 
they affirm) this vessel cannot be thought to be strictly 
neutral, that Congress meant to pay a regard to right 
of neutrality, that the right of neutrality only extends 
protection to the efiects and goods of an enemy in neu- 
tral bottoms, not engaged in the violation of this right. 
I have sent the seventh and seventeenth Articles of 
the capitulation for the information of Congress. 

From this statement Congress will judge of the ex- 
pediency of directing a re-hearing in both cases. In 
the first, it seems to be dictated by a regard for justice 
upon the new proofs. And in the second, the reason- 


ing, which determined the Court, does not nppear to 
be so conclusive as to render it improper in so intri- 
cate a case, more particularly as our situation wiih 
respect to the Emperor is peculiarly delicate: from 
which consideration, as well as from the respect which 
is due to the representation of the Minister of his 
Most Christian Majesty, I am humbly of o])iriion that 
a re-hearing ouglit to be granted, and that in the 
meanwhile the officers of the Court should be directed 
to retain in their hands the proceeds of the vessel and 

1 have the honor to he, &ic. 



In Congress, February 22d, 1782. 

On ilie report of a committee, consisting of INIr Ellory, 
Mr Rand(^ipli, and Mr Eveleigh, lo whom was referred a 
letter of the 25ih of January, from the Secretary of 
Foreign Affairs respecting his department. 

Resolved, that the Department of Foreign Affairs be 
under the direction of such oflicer as the United States, in 
Congress assembled, have already for that purpose ap- 
pointed, or shall hereafter appoint, who shall be styled, 
"Secretary to the United Slates of America for the De- 
partment of Foreign Affairs," shall reside where Congress, 
or the Committee of the States, shall sit, and hold his 
office during the pleasure of Congress. 

That the books, records, and other papers of the United 


States that relate to this department, be committed to Lis 
custody, to wiiicli, and all other papers of his office, any 
member of Congress shall have access ; provided that no 
copy shall be taken of matters of a secret nature without 
the special leave of Congress. 

That the correspondence and communications with the 
Ministers, Consuls, and Agents of the United States in 
foreign countries, and with the Ministers and other officers 
of foreign powers with Congress, be carried on through 
the office of foreign affairs by the said Secretary, who is 
also empowered to correspond with all other persons from 
whom he may expect to receive useful information relative 
to his department ; provided always, that letters to Minis- 
ters of the United States, or Ministers of foreign powers, 
which have a direct reference to treaties or conventions 
proposed to be entered into, or instructions relative thereto, 
or other great national subjects, shall be submitted to the 
inspection, and receive the approbation of Congress before 
they shall be transmitted. 

That the Secretary for the Department of Foreign 
Affairs correspond with the Governors or Presidents of all, 
or any of the United States, affording them such informa- 
tion from his department as may be useful to their States 
or to the United States, stating complaints that may have 
been urged against the government of any of the said 
States, or the subjects thereof, by the subjects of foreign 
powers, so that justice may be done agreeab'y to the Ipws 
of such slate, or the charge proved to be groundless, and 
the honor of the government vindicated. 

He shall receive the applications of all foreigners rela- 
tive to his department, which are designed to be submitted 
to Congress, and advise the mode in which the nieniorifils 


and evidence shall be stated, in order to afford Congress 
the most comprehensive view of the subject ; and if he 
conceives it necessary, accompany such jVJemorial with his 
report thereon. 

He may concert measm-es with the Ministers or officers 
of foreign powers, amicably to procure the redress of pri- 
vate injuries, which any citizen of the United States may 
have received from a foreign power, or the subjects 
thereof, making minutes of all his transactions relative 
thereto, which iiave passed on such occasions. 

He shall report on all cases expressly referred to him 
for that purpose by Congress, and on all others touching 
his department, in which he may conceive it necessary. 
And that he may acquire that intimate knowledge of the 
sentiments of Congress, which is necessary for his direc- 
tion, he may at all limes attend upon Congress; and shall 
particularly attend when sun)moned or ordered by the 

He may give information to Congress respecting his 
department, explain and answer objections to his reports 
when under consideration, if required by a member, and 
no objection be made by Congress. 

He shall answer to such inquiries respecting his depart- 
ment as may be put from the chair by order of Congress, 
and to questions slated in writing about matters of fact, 
which lie within his knowledge, when put by the Presi- 
dent at the request of a member, and not disapproved of 
by Congress. The answers to such questions may, at 
the option of the Secretary, be delivered by him in 

He shall have free access to the papers and records of 
the United States in the custody of their Secretary, or in 


the offices of finance and war and elsewhere. He may he 
furnished with copies, or lake extracts iherelVoin, when he 
sljail find it necessary. 

He shall use means to obtain from the Ministers and 
agents of the United States in foreign countries, an abstract 
of their present stale, their commerce, finances, naval and 
military strength, and the characters of Sovereigns and 
IMinisiers, and every other political information, which may 
be usehd to the United States. All letters to sovereign 
powersj letters of credence, plans of treaties, conventions, 
manifestoes, instructions, passports, safe conducts, and 
other acts of Congress relative to the Department of For- 
eign Afiairs, when the substance thereof shall have been 
previously agreed to in Congress, shall be reduced to form 
in the office of Foreign Affairs, and submitted to the opin- 
ion of Congress ; and when passed, signed, and attested, 
sent to the office of Foreign Affairs, to be countersigned 
and forwarded. If an original paper is of such a nature 
as cannot be safely transmitted wiihoui cyphers, a copy 
in cyphers, signed by the Secretary for the Department 
of Foreign Affairs, shall be considered as authentic, and 
the Ministers of the United States at foreign Courts may 
govern themselves thereby in the like manner as if the 
originals had been transmitted. And for the better execu- 
tion of the duties hereby assigned him, he is authorised to 
appoint a Secretary, and one, or if necessary more clerks, 
to assist him in the business of his office. 

Resolved, That the salaries annexed to this department 
shall be as follows ; 

To the Secretary of the United States for the Depart- 
ment of Foreign Affairs, the sum of four thousand dollars 
VOL. XI. 30 


per aniiim, exclusive of office expenses, to commence 
from ilie first day of October ];ist. 

To the Secieiary, one thousand dollars per annum. 

To the cIhiIss, entli tive hundred dollars per annum. 

Resoh *.(.!. 'iliiii die Secretary for the Department of 
Foreign Aff.iirs, and each of the persons employed under 
liiu), shall lake an oath oefore a Judge of the Stale where 
Congress shall sit, for the laidiful discharge of their res|)ec- 
tive trusts, and an onih of fidelity to the United' .Stales, 
before diey enter upon ofHre. 

Resolved, Thai the act of the lOlh of January, ITS I, 
res| ecling the Department of Fureign AfTiirs, be and here- 
by is repealed. 


Office of Foreign Affairs, February 23d, 1782. 

Tlie resolution passed by Congress on the 22d of Feb- 
ruary, for the more perfect organization of the Department 
of Foreign Affairs, having no reference to the I'uie pas. in 
fixing the salaries of the secretaries or clerks, 1 am left 
wiihout a rule for that pur()Ose, but presume as I have had 
two gentlemen employed for some tiine, wiihout any ilis- 
tinction of rank, tliat no objection will lie to my giving them 
orders for the time that they have served at the rate of 
seven hundred and fifty dollars a year each. 

1 am sorry to be the means of taking up a moment of 
[he time of Congress, but find myself eudiarrassed by their 
present arrangement, wi)icli fixes one secretary, and re- 
duces the other gentleman in the orfice to the rank of a 
common clerk. If no material objection should lie against 


the mensiire, I would propose, as \he inisiiiess of ilie office 
naturally (iivides itself into two branches, foreign and do- 
mestic, that instead of a secretary there should be two 
under secretaries, whose rank and pay shall be settled ac- 
cording to their merit and abilities by the Secretary of 
Foreign Afiairs, provided that the pay of both taken to- 
gether shall not exceed the suu) of fifteen hundred dollars ; 
this will not only be an incitement to diligence and atten- 
tion, but possibly enable me to procure two persons, in 
whose integrity and abilities I can confide, instead of a 
common clerk, without increasing the expense of the de- 

1 have the honor to be, &:c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, February 2Gth, 1782. 

1 am somewhat at a loss to determine upon what princi- 
ple the petition of John Jordan and others, was referred to 
me, but [)resunie, that it was with a view to obtain from 
me such information relative to i!ie (iislribution of the prize 
money arising from the prizes taken by the l3on Homme 
Richard, as the papers in this office can afford. 

There were no papers relative to this transaction in this 
office ; but anmng those of th(! Board of Admiraliy, I find 
a letter from Dr Fraid<lin to Francis Lewis, dated the I7ih 
of March last, covering some inquiries on this subject, and 
a copy of a Concordat entered into by John Pa;d Jones, 
commanding the Bon Honmie Ricli nd : J^'.nc Landais, 
captain of the Alliance ; Dcnnij Nii ■'! .s C )iiiucau, cap- 


min of the Pallas; Joseph Varage, captain of the Cerf; 
and Pliilip Nicolas Ricot, captain of the Vengeance ; 
by which, among other things, they agree to divide their 
prizes, agreeably to the American regulations, as tiiey 
sailed under American colors and commissions ; and con- 
stituted M. Chaumont their agent to receive and distribute 
the prize money in behalf of the crew of each ship, and to 
be answerable for it in his own private name. 

From Dr Franklin's letter, it appears that the whole of 
the pi-izes belonged to the captors; that the King offered 
to purchase the ships of war they had taken, according to 
an established rate ; that the seamen objected to it, and 
chose they should be sold at vendue ; that this occasioned 
a delay in the sale ; that he does not know the amount of 
the value of the prizes, nor whether 'they were distri[)uted, 
which he considers as a private transaction between the 
officers and crews of the ships and M. Chaumont. 

From this state of facts. Congress will judge if anything 
more can be done relative to the claim of three of the pe- 
thioners to their share of the value of the prizes, (die fomih 
being out of the question) than to assist tiiem in the n)ode 
of authenticating the evidence of their being entitled there- 
to, and to forward it widi powers of attorney to tl e Consul 
of the United States in France. This I will readily do for 
them, and write to .Mr Barclay on die subject, without any 
express direction from Congress, when the petitioners shall 
call at this office. 

I have the honor to be, he. 




Philadelphia, February SClh, 17S2. 

Your leiter to ilie Superinlendent of Finance was re- 
ceived, and referred by Conj^res-s to this ofHco, when npon 
innture deliberation it was determined for various political 
reasons, not to recommend the issuing of any comnJssions 
for letters of rirarqiie, or reprisals from any of the Spanish 
Islands. Congress having considered these reasons, came 
into this view, and passed the resolution, which I enclose 
in pmstrance nf their orders.' 

It is expected, dial the several Consuls and ■ggents of 
Congress, wherever settled, will keep up a regular and 
constant correspondence with me, in order that tl;e United 
Stales, in Congress, may have the fullest Inforination of 
every transaction in which they may be materially con- 
cerned. This task I dare say you will readily impose 
upon yoinself, when you reflect on the advantages that 
may result from it. The pni:its on which I shall chiefly 
trouble ynu for informniion, are the naval and military 
strengih of the I<lai;d at the time yo;i wrile, not merely as 
to the number of ships and men, but their actual state of 
preparation for defensive or offensive operations, their sta- 
tions, their prospects and designs, as far as you ran learn 
then>. Al your leisure, I wish to have an accoimt of the 
population, militia, commerce, husbandrj", and revenue of 
the Island, the sentiments of the people with respect to this 
war^and everything else you may deem curious or inter- 

If a paper is printed at t!ie Havana, you will be p'eased 
to send ii to me by every opportunity. I need not suggest 


to you the nccessily of preparing yotir letters, so tlmt ilipy 
may be sunk in rase of c!iini;,er, wlieu they contain anything 
which mny be of use to the enemy. 
1 have the lionor to be, k.c. 



rhiladelpliia, March Cth, 1782. 


I will wiili pleasure give you such information on the 
subjects you write u|)on, as 1 can wiih propriety nu'niion 
to a gentleman of whose attachment I entertain no doubt, 
but who lins, ncveriheless, uiven me no reason to think, 
that his inquiries have any farther object than his personal 

1. In answer to the fir?t question, I can only Inform you, 
that Congress have voted ihirlysix thousand infantry, which, 
with the cavalry and artillery, will amuinil to about fnriy 
thousand men. It is not probable, however, that the whole 
of tl:ii niunber will be raised ; 1 think it uoidd be prudent to 
make a ducluctiou of about one fourth. But you have been 
tf)o long in ill's country to form any judgment of the sirength 
of our arniy from the regidar cstablibhmeni, since it has 
been, -.mA always will be increased (more pariicidarly in the 
Nordiern Slates) by large bodies of militia, when ihcir 
ap[)rehens!ons, or the hope of splendid advantages shall call 
them foilh. Of this, the events of the year 1777, among 
others, afTjrd the most striking evidence. 

* A Spanisli genlleman residing in Pliiladelplila, and apparently 
intrusted with some kind of agency by the Spanish government. 


2. It is not expected, that in the present sitiiniion of the 
coiuiiry, the whole sum of 'j'ig,ht millions of tJollars c:iii he 
raised in time. Wi-at the dtjficiency will be, must depend 
on the motions and strength of our er.emy early the next 
spring ; the success of our commerce ; the remittances that 
shall be made to this coimtry hy our allies, which, being 
expended here, may, by frequent taxes, be brought into the 
public treasury, and repeatedly applied to public use. 

3. The resources of the next campaign lay in taxation, 
in the strictest economy, and in the assistance which we 
may reasonably hope to receive from the enemies of Great 
Britain, wliile we are making every exertion in the common 
cause. We flatter ourselves, that those powers who wish 
for peace, and who see America as the great object in 
Britain, in carr}ing on the war, will not suffer it to be 
lengthened out beyond the present year, when, by a mode- 
rale supply to us, they can terriiiiiate it in the course of one 
campaign. We form some expectations from the wisdom 
and generosity of S|)air. ; and as we know she has the 
means, so we cannot suppose she can want ilie inclination 
to promote own interests, and insure the esteem and 
gratitude of n rising nation, whose conmierce and alliance 
cannot but be iniportarit from the situation of her (colonies. 

4. This q;esiion is answered above, only it may be 
proper to observe, tliat if, in this reasonable expectation, 
America should be disappointed, she will still find resources 
in herself, not indeed to expel the enemy, but to preclude 
them from extending their cotiquests, and to compel them 
to ofTtr her such terms as are necessaiy for her security, 
though perhaps short of her wishes. 

5. The conur.ercial cotniexion between the United 
Stales and Spain, will Jiulurully be very extensive, if it 


meets with the lenst enconrngement. The Spanish Islands 
will be stipiilieii with provisions horn them, at such easy- 
rates as miis'i give ihem great advantages in the cultivation 
of sugars, for which America will afford a consitlerable 
market ; fis^h, Imnber, and iron will also be exporteiJ to 
ihem if it should be permitted ; and salt, as well ao sugar, 
brought back in return, if the duties shoidd he lowered, or 
a drawback allowed on the exportation. Our trade with 
Spain will consist chiefly in naval stores, masts, iron, furs, 
fish, and tobacco ; in return for which we shall take the 
produce and matuifaclui-es of Spain of almost every kind. 

G. It is impossible for the United Slates to use means to 
prevent an illicit commerce with the Spftnish Colonies, 
uiihoiit interfering in their internal regulations. All they can 
do, is, to crnsider the regulations made for that purpose as 
binding upon their sulijects, and not to demand satisfaction 
if they stiffe:' by the [)enaltie3, which the laws attempted to 
be infringed, may impose. T'» this they will not ohject, 
while the pu-iisiiment is reasonable, and not confined to 
crin»es ccmmitted within the jurisfliction of the power 
imposing it. If it is extended further, such further exten- 
sion must depend upon treaties between the United Slates 
and Spain, and will be the subject of discussion whenever 
such treaty shall be set on foot. 

7, S|)ain will be allowed, withcut the least difliculty, 
either to purchase vessels built in America, or to appoint 
agents of her own for building vessels of any kind, as well 
as for arming them, if she thinks pro[)er, from the iron 
foundrries, which are lately erected here, and which will 
continue to increase in |)roportion to the encouragement 
wliich shall be given them. 


The last question must be referred to a general treaty, 
and is of such a nature as not to be properly answered 

I am, with great regard and esteem, 



Philadelphia, April 17th, 1782. 

I enclose an extract from a protest made by Captain 
A. de Neef, commanding the brigantine Berkenbosch, 
which has been transmitted to Congress, and by them to 
me, in order that I might inquire into the facts therein 
alleged. I must beg the favor of you to ^tate them to me 
as far as they come within your knowledge, that measures 
may be taken to vindicate your reputation, and that of the 
American flag, if, as I presume, the charges are ill founded, 
or to repair any injury, which you may undesijj;nedly have 
occasioned him. 

Complaints have been made to Congress by officers and 
men, who formerly belonged to the crew of the Bon Homme 
Richard, and the Alliance frigate, of their not having yet 
been able to obtain the share of prize money due to them ; 
in consequence of which Congress have directed me to 
draw a memorial to the Court of France, praying its inter- 
position, in obtaining justice for them. As this whole 
business, as far as I can collect from the Concordat entered 

* The question here referred to is as follows ; " In case that Spain 
succeeds in conquering East Florida, what will be the pretensions of 
Congress in regard to the Southern boundaries of Georgia?" 
VOL. XI. 31 


into by you and the gentlemen commanding the other 
vessels under your command, appears to have been a private 
transaction, I am at a loss upon what to ground an apj)li- 
calion to the Court, more particularly as neither of the 
parties have as yet called upon this office with proof of 
their having applied to M. Chaumont, or been denied justice 
by him. You will oblige me by giving me all the light in 
your power upon this subject, if possible, by the next post. 
I have the honor to be, &.c. 



Annapolis, in Council, April 19th, 1782. 

We have bet u duly honored with your several letters 
of the 12lh of November, 1781, and the ISth and 19th of 
February, 1782, which shall be laid before our Assembly, 
at their meeting the 25th of the present month, when, we 
doubt not, their very important contents will meet with the 
consideration they so well deserve. 

Whenever we are possessed of anything, in which the 
United States are materially interested, we shall with great 
pleasure communicate it. 

The document you require, in consequence of the reso- 
lution of Congress, enclosed in the letter of the ISth of 
February, shall be properly authenticated, and transmitted 
as soon as the whole can be collected. 
We have the honor to be, &ic. 

tThomas s. lee. 



Office of Finance, April 27th, 1782. 

His Excellency, the Minister of France, having in- 
formed on the part of his Court, that no extraordinary 
sums will be paid to the Ministers of the United States 
in Europe, I must request that you will furnish me 
wilh an account of their several salaries, payable to the 
foreign Ministers and their Secretaries, and I will 
make out bills in 3'our favor on the banker of the Uni- 
ted States in Paris for the last quarter, commencing 
with the present year. I must at the same time pray, 
you will require of those gentlemen, the state of their 
several accounts with the public for salaries, that the 
whole may be adjusted, and all future expenses of that 
sort be classed under the proper head of the Depart- 
ment of Foreign Affairs. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, Philadelphia, ) 
May 2d, 1762. 5 

The enclosed resolution of Congress will explain 
the cause of this letter. The information it refers to, 
is an assurance that Britain had absolutely declined 
any interference of> the mediating powers between 
them and what they call their rebel subjects. They 
persist on every occasion in representing us as a di- 


vided people, who anxiously wish to return to our con- 
nexion with England. In this they have two objects 
equally important to them. 1st. They encourage Eng- 
land to continue a war, which they expect to see ter- 
minated by our own weariness and languor; and 2dly. 
They put such a face upon their affairs as will entitle 
them on a negotiation to make demands at our ex- 
pense, which they would not presume to think of, if 
the mediators were acquainted with our firm resolu- 
tion never to return to our obedience to their Govern- 
ment. Besides which, they cast a degree of odium 
upon the conduct of France, representing it as the 
support of a discontented faction, rather than as the 
generous ally of an oppressed nation. 

There is reason to apprehend, that in order the 
better to secure the advantages of this deceitful policy 
to themselves, they will make proffers to each of the 
United States. If any of them should listen to them, 
(which cannot, however, be presumed,) they will urge 
this, as a proof of their assertions, even if they should 
decline receiving their proposals^ and refer them to 
Congress, as from the nature of our Union they un- 
doubtedly must ; still as the result of the experiment 
cannot be known for some time in Europe, they will 
avail themselves of it in part, if negotiations should 

This artifice of the enemy may be counteracted in 
two ways, both of which deserve the serious attention 
of your Legislature. The first and most important is, 
by making such exertions to procure a respectable 
army early in the season, that the mediators casting 
their eyes upon the muster rolls, may there read a full 


refutation of all that British artifice can suggest. I 
need not observe, that this measure must go hand in 
handiwith taxation, since an army without the means 
of supporting it, would only increase our evils. The 
second is to anticipate the attempt of Great Britain by 
such resolutions as the information contained in this 
letter suggests, resolutions which strongly mark a 
spirited determination in the Legislature of each Slate 
to listen to no negotiations, except through the inter- 
vention of Congress, which manifest their attaciiment 
to the independence of their country, and inviolalile 
regard to the faith they have pledged to each other, 
and to their allies. These may either prevent the 
attempt I apprehend, or arrive in time to counteract 
this effect, which the false expectations built thereon 
might otherwise have in Europe. 

I mention this to your Excellency without any ex- 
press direction from Congress. It is more than prob- 
able, that your judgment, and the zeal ami wisdom of 
the Legislature, may improve these loose hints to the 
general advantage of the United States. I have the 
pleasure of assuring your Excellency and the Legisla- 
ture, that the fairest prospects are now before us of 
terminating the war by a single exertion, though I am 
not at liberty to say, that the plan of the ensuing cam- 
paign is absolutely determined on, yet I have great 
reason to believe, that we shall receive such jjowerful 
military aid, as, with becoming exertions on our part, 
will free every Slate in the Union from the grasp of 
the enemy. 

Here, Sir, I might pause, and suffer my imagination 
to dwell upon the animating prospect before us ; but 


reasoning from the past to the future, I dare not in- 
dulge the pleasing idea. We have at no period been 
in a situation to second fully the endeavors of our ally 
to serve us ; we either neglected to assemble our army 
in time, or to provide the means for supporting or 
moving them ; a feather would have turned the bal- 
ance last year, notwithstanding the powerful aid we 
received from abroad. Providence blinded our adver- 
saries ; to their temerity we owe our success. 

But, Sir, let me ask, whether any State did then, or 
has even now, done all in its power to enable our 
Generals to prosecute this victory ? Or rather let me 
turn to what is more within our line, by observing, 
that the inferiority of our army in point of numbers 
to that of our ally while they acted at Yorktown, has 
been considered in Europe as a proof of the assertions 
of Britain, and has been urged as an argument of our 
weakness, our weariness of the war, or our internal 
divisions. A moment's reflection will show the ad- 
vantages, that this affords our antagonist in a negotia- 
tion. How much it weakens the claims we make, and 
how many important benefits may be lost forever by 
our appearing in Kurope to receive our independence 
rather as a gift, than to have established it by our 
exertions ! 

But, Sir, it is still in our power to repair thes3 
errors. Let us avail ourselves of this favorable mo- 
ment for expelling the enemy, and recovering our 
diminished credit among the nations of the earth. 

I make no apology for the liberty I take. Your 
Excellency, I am persuaded, is too sensible of the 
truth of these observations, to think they could be de- 


livered with less earnestness by one, who feels their 
importance, and I am confident that you will bring 
them before the Legislature of your State in such 
manner as will best serve to ensure them their at- 

I have the honor to be, &c. 



Philadelphia, May 8th, 1782. 

I Dear Sir, 

I enclose the list of salaries you requested. The 
charges of those who act as secretaries to Dr Franklin 
and Mr Adams are not yet settled. I shall lay the 
list before Congress and make them some propositions 
on the subject. It will be necessary to afford a small 
sum to each of the Ministers to enable them to defray 
contingent expenses, which are continually happening, 
particularly to Dr Franklin, who is at the centre of all 
our communications. I will converse with you on 
this subject, and endeavor to form an estimate of what 
this ought to be. 
i,.-- I am, Sir, he. 



'' _ Office of Foreign Affairs, May 8th, 1782. 


The enclosed account of the annual expense of the De- 

partment'of Foreign Afliiirs, exclusive of contingent ex- 


penses, was made out at the request of the Superintendent 
of Finance, that measures might be taken to discharge the 
salaries of the gentlemen in Europe, who express great un- 
easiness on the subject ; but as it is incomplete till the 
allowance to the private secretaries of Dr Franklin and Mr 
Adams are ascertained, I have thought it proper to lay the 
whole before Congress, for their direction thereon. 

Congress were pleased to order by their resolution of 
the 2d of January last, that ihe Secretary of Foreign Af- 
fairs should lay before them an estimate of the expenses, 
which will probably be incurred by the foreign Ministers 
of the United States respectively, and their secretaries. I 
find myself under great embarrassments in preparing a re- 
port agreeably to their order, from not being able to enter 
fully into their views. I should presume, that the expense 
of foreign Ministers ought to be regulated by their sala- 
ries, though I feel that the desire of supporting the dignity 
of an office, to which the salary is incompetent, often urges 
men to quit the line, how much soever they may be em- 
barrassed thereby. Justice and pdicy suggest, that the 
salaries of officers, who are engaged in so delicate and diffi- 
cult a department as that of Foreign Affairs, should have 
such appointments as to free thsm from embarrassments 
with respect to their private affairs. I believe Congress 
had this in view when they settled those of their foreign 
Ministers, none of whom complain of their being inade- 
quate, unless it be Mr Jay, who has given us some reason 
to think his salary, in his opinion, is barely sufficient for his 
support, and that 1/ls manner of living is not equal to what 
he conceives the dignity of the United States require^. 
With respect to the salaries of the secretaries to the Em- 
bassies, it is in my opinion, (founded upon the practice of 
other nations) at least the double of what it ought to be. 


If, as T presume, Congress intended '.y their resolution, 
that I sliould liiy bcfcjre them an account of the manner in 
u'liich oiii- loreis^n Ministers live at present, tliat they 
n)ii5,ht themselves l)e enabled to judge of the proportion it 
bore to their appointments, 1 can only say, that the result 
of inquiries on this head must necessarily be extremely 
uncertain. I submit them as far as they have come to 
my knowledge. 

Dr Franklin has a part of M. Chaumoni's house at 
Pa5sy ; he keeps a chariot and pair, and three or four ser- 
vants, and gives a dinner occasionally to the Americans 
and others ; his whole expense is, as far as I Can learn, 
very much within his income. 

Mr Adams lives in lodgings, keeps a chariot and pair, 
and two men servants ; he has hitherto retained a private 
secretary in the absence of Mr Dana, who will, it is to be 
presumed, be paid by Congress. I have lately heard that 
Mr Adams was about to take a house. 

Mr Dana's salary, even if he should assume a public 
character, in a country where the relative value of money 
is so high, that, if 1 am well informed, an elegant house 
may be had for fifteen guineas a year, is very ample. 

Of Mr Jay's matmer of living, I have been able to obtain 
no account, but should conclude from the price of the ne- 
cessaries of life, in the part of Spain in which he lives, 
from the port the Court and the people about it maintain, 
and above all, from its sitting in different parts of the king- 
dom, that to live in the same style witii Dr Franklin or Mr 
Adams, his expenses must amount to nearly double of 

But as every conjecture of this kind must be very uncer- 
tain, all 1 can do is to lay before Congress the relative ex- 
voL. XI. 32 


pensp, ns far as I can learn it, between the diflerent places 
at which our Ministers reside^ taking Philadelphia for the 
common standard. 

Paris, if wine, clothing, and the wages of servants are 
included, is about twenty per cent cheaper than Piiiladel- 
phia ; Amsterdam ten, and at Madrid the expenses of a 
family are somewhat higher than at this place. But the 
unsettled state of those who follow the Court, their travel- 
ling equipage and charges must greatly enhance this ex- 

Congress will make their own deductions from these 
facts, after allowing for their inaccuracy. 1 would, how- 
ever, take tiie liberty to liie enclosed resolutions to 
Congress; the first is founded upon the propriety of sup- 
plying Dr Franklin with a secretary, which iiis age and the 
dignity of his employment render necessary. As Mr Jay 
is not yet acknowledged, Mr Carmichael's services in 
Spain may be dispensed with. 

The second, third, fifth, and sixth, are designed to make 
a reform in the article of expense. 

The fourth to prevent the claim which any gentlemen, 
who may be appointed to any of the Northern Courts, may 
have to the salary settled by Congress on the 5th of Octo- 
ber, and to adapt the character to the allowance. 

The sixth to enable Congress, without injming the dig- 
nity of their Ministers, to proportion the allowance to the 
expense of the Court they reside at, as well as to the port 
which they would wish them to maintain. 
1 have tlie honor to be, kc. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, May Sth, 1782. 

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs limiibly submits the 
following lesoliitioiis to the consiiJeralioii of Cnngress. 

Resolved, That iVlr Carmicliacl be ajipointed Secretary 
to the Embassy from the United States to the Court of 
Versailles, with a salary of four thousand dollars per annuiii. 

Resolved, That Mr Jay be empowered to appoint a 
private secretary, with a salary of one thousand dollars per 

Resolved, That Mr Laurens, when he enters upon lii.s 
mission to the Unitt^d Provinces of the Low Countries, be 
empowered to ajipoint a Secretary with a salary of one 
thousand ilollars per annum. 

Resolved, That the Commissioners for negotiating a 
peace, in case I\ir Dana shall not return, appoint a Secre- 
tary to the Conmiission, with a salary of one thousand dol- 
lars per annum. 

Resolved, That the commission of Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary from the United States of America to the Court of 
Petersburg be revoked, and lint o comu'.ission issue to 
Francis Dana, constituting him Resident at the said Court. 

Resolved, That when lie shall have been received in 
that character, he be empowered to appoint a private sec- 
retary, wiih a salary of eight himdred dollars per annum, 
who shall remain in office till Congress think it proper to 
n;ake another ap[)ointment. 

Resolved, That the appointment of no Secretary to any 
of the Northern Courts in future, shall exceed a thousand 
dollars per annum, and that the appointments of a Secretary 
to the Embassy in France, Spain, and Holland, shall in 


future be twelve hundred dollars, excepting such Secreta- 
ries as have been heretofore appointed. 

Resolved, That the salaiy of a Minister Plenipotentiary 
from the United States, from the 1st day of January next, 
shall not exceed five thousand dollars, or that of a Resi- 
dent three thousand, but that an allowance be made for 
household expenses, at and after the following manner ; 

To the Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of Ver- 

To the Minister in Spain, 

To the Resident in the United Provinces, (a Minister 
being unnecessary,) 

To the Resident at the Court of Petersburg, and each 
of the other Noiiliern Courts, 


May 0th, 1782. 

The United States in Congress assembled, having ap- 
pointed Monday, the 13th instant, at twelve o'clock, for 
giving a public audience to the Minister of Krance, and 
having resolved, that a place be assigned to the priiitipals 
in the three Executive Departments under Congress, 

I have the hor.or to inform you, that the place assigned 
to those gentlemen, is wiihin the bar to the right, and next 
to the members of Congress on the left of the ciiiiir. 

The United States in Congress assembled have further 
resolved, That the assistants and principal secretaries in 
each of the departments, be admitted without the bar of 
the house. The IVIessenger of Congress has orders to 


furnish you w'uli tickets for sticli of the gonilemen in your 
departmc't, ns con\e ivitliin the above description. 
I have ihe hor.or to he, Sec. 



Fhiladelpliia, May 13Ui, 1762. 

I have tiie honor to inform you, tliat the Minister Plen- 
ipoteiiliary of France this day announced to the United 
States in Congress issembled, at a public audience, the 
birth of a Daupliin, and that Congress received this an- 
niKJciation of an event, in which the hnpniness of their ally 
was so deeply engaged, with the most lively marks of sat- 
isfaction, it is their wish, that your Excellency, and the 
troops inider your command should partake in this |)leas- 
ure. 1 have their orders to inform you of this event, to 
the end, that you may cause the same to be published in 
the army, with such deiiiOnslralions of joy as you shall 

I have the iionor to he, kc. 



Piiiladelphia, May 13th, 1782. 

The late change in the measures and in the administra- 
tion of Great Britain, and the arts that are daily practised 

* The same inlelligenre was conununicated in the same formal 
way to the Governois of the States, 


to infuse a belief in Europe, t!int ihe most perfect har- 
mony does not subsist between the Unitetl Slates and their 
ally, induce tne to wis-h, that Congress would embrace 
the opjTortuniiy, whicli this day's audience affords, to 
declare their attachment to the alliance in such terms, as 
will serve fully to defeat every expectation of sowing the 
seeds of division between the United Slates and Frrmce. 

For which purpose I humbly submit the following addi- 
tion to the answer proposed to be given to the address of 
the ftliiiiste.- Plenipotentiary of France. 

1 have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, 

Office of Foreign Affairs, May I3lh, 1782. 

The following addition to the answer to the address 
proposed to be made by the IMinisier of France, is humbly- 
submitted to the approbation of Congress, by the Secre- 


taiy of Foreign Affairs. 

"A union, the mutual advantages of which become daily 
more cons|)icuous, and which has derived new lustre and 
addiiional force from every effort of the common enemy 
to dissolve it ; Congress do not enlarge upon the subject, 
but satisfy themselves with the representations, which your 
own observiuions will enable, ami yotn- regard to the in- 
terests of both countries will induce you to make of the 
affectionate attachment, wliich every rank of people within 
these United States manifest to your Sovereign, atid of 
their inviolable fidelity to the princij>les of the alliance." 



riiiladelphia, May loth, 1782. 

In order to have the sense of Congress upon Mr Jn) 's 

rco,rest, coniained in liis letter of ihe 6ih of Febrnary last, 

I do myself llie honor to subn)it the enclosed resolve ; for 

though I do not see any advantage, which would at present 

result from his leaving Madrid, yrn as cases may arise, 

which would render it proper, it may safely he left lo his 


I have the honor to he, &:c. 


Office of Foreign Affairs, May 15lh, 1782. 

The following resolution is humbly submitted to tl;e 
consideration of tlie United Slates in Congress, by the 
Secretary of Foreign Affairs. 


It having been represented to the United States in Con- 
gress, that certain circumstances might render it expedient 
to permit Mr Jay lo leave the Cotnt of Madrid, and repair 
either to the United Provinces or to Versailles, 

Resolved, that such permission be granted him, pro- 
vided he shall conceive, that such absence will be attended 
with important advantages to the United States, and that 
it does not exceed three months. 



riilladelphia, May 21st, 1782. 

You li:ive probiihly lioanl of Cf)ioiKl Living-ton's mis- 
foruine, wliicli dejuived me of llie pleasin-e of lier.rin^ 
finin you l-y him. Oi:r pni ts have heen so closely bloi ked 
up for some lime past, ihiit it is wiili ^reat difficuliy \vc 
can iiet rmy vessels in or out. He shared the common 
fiilo, and Wiis carried into New York, from whence he 
is come out with i\lr Vaii^'han upon parole. He destroyed 
all his letters, and his parole closing this month, we have 
been able .o learn nothing of Importance frouj him. 

The new system, which England seems to be about to 
adopt, with respect to America, has not yet discovered 
itsell here, except in general professions, which the present 
Cnmmunder in Chief, Sir Guy Carloton, is continually 
making of his k-ndness and the afiection, that still subsists 
in Kngland towards the people of this country. This has 
produced not the least effect here ; all ranks of people 
consider it rather a proof of their imbecility, than of their 
good will, and the Legislatures of the several Slates will 
1 imagine enter into resolutions, similar to those passed 
by Maryland, which you will find in the enclosed papers. 
1 direct them to you ; after you have read them, 1 wish 
you 10 enclose and send them to Mr Jay as soon as pos- 
sible. I commit to your j)articular care the several pa< k- 
ets, that go with this ; trusting that you will send them in 
such way as to escape inspection. They contain very 
impoitant papers, as well those that go to JMr Adams as 
to Mr Jay. 

I have the honor to be, Sic. 




Philadelphia, May 21st, 1782. 

I have the honor to enclose for the inspection of Con- 
gress, the draft of a letter to Mr Dana, together with a 
quadruplicate copy of one written the 2d of March, that 
Congress by seeing both may judge whether any further 
directions are necessary. 1 must take the liberty. Sir, to 
request you to turn their attention to this subject, and to 
the draft, which I had the honor to lay before them, of a 
letter to the King, as soon as possible. Unless Congress 
decide upon them today, I shall lose a favorable opportu- 
nity of transmitting them to Europe. 
I have the honor to be, he. 



Head Quarters, May 22d, 1782. 

1 have been honored with your favor of the 13th, com- 
municating to me the formal annunciation to Congress, by 
the Minister of France, of the birth of a.Dauphin. 

Measures are ordered to convey to the army the news 
of this happy event, which will be celebrated with such 
demonstrations of joy as the occasion requires, and our 
circumstances will admit. 

This Information will be transmitted to General Greene, 
that the army under his Cv.mmand may participate in the 
general joy. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 

VOL. XI. 33 



Hartford, May 23d, 1782. 

1 do myself the honor to enclose you copies of a letter, 
which I received some time since from Mr Deane ; as he 
appears lo be somewhat knowing in the counsels of Great 
Briiain,! thought it not improper to return him an answer; 
you will find copies of what 1 have wrilten likewise en- 
closed, and it is my duty to acquaint you, that upon being 
laid before the General Assembly of the State, this answer 
was approved by both houses neminc coniradicente. 

You will be pleased to lay both papers before^Congress 
and the Minister of France, and you will judge of the 
propriety of sending a copy likewise to Dr Franklin, or 
our other Ministers in Europe. 

I beg leave also to recommend to your care for convey- 
ance, the letter covered for Mr Deane, and am, Sir, with 
the sincerest sentiments of esteem, &,c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, June 5th, 1782. 

I have the honor to submit to Congress the enclosed 

letter from Mr Lee with his accounts. As Congress were 

pleased to give no directions^ relative to the brigantine 

Berkenbosch, 1 presume it was their intention, that I 

should transmit to Dr Franklin a state of the information 

I had collected on that subject, which 1 have accordingly 


done. If Congress have any further commands, I wish 
to be honored with liiem as soon as convenient. 
I am, Sir, with the highest respect, &c. 


Office of Foreign Affairs, June 6th, 1782. 

I have the honor to enclose the translation of a letter 
from the Minister of France to me, on the subject of an 
interest due on Loan Office certificates, as this relates 
peculiarly to your department, you will do me the honor 
to enable rae to return some answer to this application, 
which has been several times reiterated. 
I have the honor to be, &;c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, June 6tli, 1782. 

I have the honor to enclose the translation of a cor- 
respondence between the Count de Vergennes and Dr 
Franklin, on the subject of complaints contained in the 
Memorial accompanying the letter from the Count, a trans- 
lation of which is also enclosed. You will be pleased to 
cause an inquiry to be made into the facts, and to favor 
me with such information, as will enable me either to 
show, that the coinplaint is ill founded, or that it will be 
treated with the attention it merits. 
I have the honor to be, Sec. 




Office of Finance, June 7th, 1782. 


1 received this morning the letter you did me the 
honor to write on the 6th. Congress have asked from 
the several States a five per cent duty on goods im- 
ported, and on prizes and prize goods, as a fund for 
paying the principal and interest of their debts, this 
fund when granted will not be sufficient, and it is not 
yet granted by all. I expect, however, the requisition 
will speedily be complied with. I shall not cease 
urging it, and also such further revenues as may be 
sufficient for the purpose. When they shall have been 
obtained, they will be duly applied in liquidation of 
the public debts; but until that period arrives, neither 
the principal nor the interest of such debts can be 

I have the honor to be, with very great respect, 


Office of Foreign Affairs, June 12tli, 1782 

I was honored with your letter of the 23d of May, 
with both the enclosures, which I laid* before Con- 
gress, and furnished copies to the Minister of France. 
The spirit in which your answer to Mr Deane's letter 
is written, is such as must bring him to some sense of 
the disgraceful and contemptible part he is acting, and 
awake in him that remorse, which is the severest pun- 


ishment of guilt. I shall avail myself of the permis- 
sion you give me to transmit it to Dr Franklin, since 
I see that important advantages may result from de- 
claring to Europe your sense, and that of so reputable 
a body as the Legislature of Connecticut, upon the im- 
portant points it discusses. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 



Newport, June 15th, 1782. 


I had the honor of receiving your address of the 
14th of May past, informing me, that the Minister 
Plenipotentiary of his Most Christian Majesty, had 
announced to the United Stales in Congress assem- 
bled, at a public audience, the birth of a Dauphin of 
France, which I laid before the General Assembly, 
who were pleased to request me to transmit the 
enclosed letter of congratulation upon that happy event 
to his Excellency the Minister of France, which I re- 
quest may be delivered to him in the name of the 
Governor, Council, and Representatives of the State 
of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in Ge- 
neral Assembly convened. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 




Office of Finance, June 20th, 1782. 

I do myself the honor to request that you will be 
pleased to make out accurate estimates for your De- 
partment during the year 1783, that I may form those 
general estimates for the service, which it is my duty 
to lay before the United States in Congress. 

I am, with perfect esteem and respect, &c. 



Office of Finance, June 20th, 1782. 

The copy of a Memorial from the Minister of 
France, of the 25th of last month, which you handed 
me, has been laid before the Controller of the treas- 
ury, who has examined the resolutions of Congress, 
and reported to me. I am now, therefore, to observe, 
that if the gentlemen mentioned in that Memorial, or 
their representatives, have any claims against the 
United States, they must form accounts thereof, and 
stale them in the usual manner to the Controller of 
the treasury, with the vouchers, who will cause them 
to be examined, according to the rules and regulations 
in that behalf established, and any balances which may 
appear due will be by him certified to me, at which 
time, and not before, I can decide on the subject. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 




North Carolina, June 24th, 1782. 
Your letters of the 18th and 19th of February, cov- 
ering the resolutions of Congress, dated November 
28th, January 25th, and February 11th, I was favored 
with in May last, which I did myself the honor to lay 
before the General Assembly. 

The important observations you are pleased to make 
relative to our affairs, our friends, allies, and enemies, 
have their just weight, which the Legislature are very 
sensible of. To be prepared, therefore, for whatever 
measures the enemy may take, they have passed a law 
to draft every twentieth man in the State, to serve in 
our Continental battalions eighteen months ; as enlist- 
ments during the war cannot be obtained in this State, 
so as to answer any general purpose. I flatter myself, 
we shall have a respectable body of men soon in the 
field, under Major General Greene. In August they 
are to rendezvous. One hundred wagons, for the Con- 
tinental service, the State is also to furnish, in lieu of 
one hundred men. 

I have given directions for the damages, which the 
inhabitants of this State have received from the British, 
to be ascertained as nearly as may bcj agreeably to 
your request. 

The records of our Secretary's office being scattered 
in different parts, to prevent their falling into the hands 
of the enemy, during their incursions and marches 
through the State, I have been prevented from pro- 


curing you copies of the papers you mention ; but I 
have sent by Mr Blount, the bearer, and one of our 
Delegates, a map, or short sketch of the outlines of the 
State ; extending to the westward as far as Mississippi, 
the boundary formed by the treaty of Paris in 1763, 
which we consider ourselves not absolutely bound by, 
having a previous right by the charter of Charles the 
Second, which I shall shortly transmit to you. By 
this our territory extends from sea to sea, that is from 
the Atlantic to the Western ocean. 
I have the honor to be, &o. 



Philadelphia, July 3d, 1782. 
The undersigned, Secretary of the United States for the 
Department of Foreign Affairs, has the honor to deliver 
the enclosed letter of congratulation, on the birth of the 
Dauphin, in the name and behalf of the Governor, Coun- 
cil and Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and 
Providen-ce Plantations, in General Assembly convened, 
agreeably to the request of his Excellency, Governor 
Greene. The undersigned will do himself the honor to 
transmit to them any reply, which the Minister of France 
shall think it proper to make thereto. 




Philadelphia, July 18th, 1782. 

I have the honor lo enclose a resolution of Congress, 
directing Dr Franklin to discharge the balance of your ac- 
count against the United States. I have written to him 
upon the subject, and doubt not that the money will be 
paid immediately upon your application. 
1 have the honor to be, &,c. 



North Carolina, August 20th, 1782. 

Only a k\v days ago I was favored with your letter, of 
the 2d of May, 1782, covering a resolution of Congress of 
the Isi, on a report of a committee to whom was referred 
a communication of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. 

However insidious the designs of the Court of Britain 
may be in representing us as a divided people to the seve- 
ral mediating European powers, the several great exertions 
making by the Continental Union, to prosecute the war 
with vigor against her, J make no doubt, will shortly unde- 
ceive them, and expose our enemy to the just contempt 
and ridicule he will draw upon himself by such false and 
illusive insinuations. 

Whilst the enemy held the impcytant post of VVilming- 

' ton, the above suggestion might be too true respecting its 

environs, and the disaffected settlements of this State, but 

since they have abandoned the same, our late revolted citi- 

voL. XI. 34 


zeris, conscious of their delusion, return wiih cheerfulness 
to their allegiance and duty in support of the common 
cause, ond I flatter myself ue shall soon be a reunited peo- 
ple, and join our efforts with more efficacy to those of our 
sister States, in terminating the war with honor to our 

Sensible of the great attention paid to the several States 
by the Congress in this resolution, and the pertinent obser- 
vations you have made thereon, with a zeal becoming its 
importance, in putting our Legislature on their guard against 
any separate overtures that may be made to them by Bri- 
tain, without the intervention of Congress, I shall with 
pleasure do uiyself the honor to lay t!ie same before them 
at their earliest meeting, which will be on the 1st of No- 
vember next, at Hillsborough. In the meanwhile, Sir, I 
can venture to pledge the faith of the State, that the Gene- 
ral Assembly will listen to no negotiation, however flatter- 
ing, and apparently advantageous, but what is made 
through the great Council of the Continent. 

Yours of the I4lh of May, announcing the birth of the 
Dauphin of France, I have had the honor to receive, 
which jnyful event as it concerns the happiness of our great 
and illustrious ally, and future welfare of his kingdom, I 
have comrininicated to the good citizens of this Slate. 

Enclosed you have a copy of the acts of our last Gene- 
ral Assembly, agreeably to your request, which by the de- 
lay of the printer could not reach you sooner. I hope my 
letter, accompanied with a map, has safely come to hand. 
1 have the honor to be, he. 




Philadelphia, August 23d, 1782. 


Bv a late arrangement of the Superintendent of Finance, 
he lias directed that the salaries of the Ministers and their 
Secretaries be paid here, and only one acconnt opened with 
th.e office of Foreign AfTairs; in consequence of which I 
have, at his request, stated thoir accounts quarterly, and 
laid out the proceeds in the piu'chase of bills, which I liave 
ren^.itted to Dr Franklin, with direction to answer their 
several drafts to the amount of the money so remitted. 
Bui as these bills nre endorsed by me, I by that means 
render myself responsible for their payment in my private 
character; and as I am not authorised by Congress, or by 
the gentlemen in whose behalf the money is remitted, to 
act as their agent, I am liable to answer to them for the 
money received here, if they should disapprove of its 
having been laid out in the purchase of bills. I also render 
myself accountable to them severally, if the money remitted 
to Dr Franklin should, by neglect or other cause, be applied 
to some other use than that for which it was remitted. 

I have endeavored to obviate these inconveniences by 
writing to the Ministers and their Secretaries, informing 
them of this arrangement, and requesting them to appoint 
agents, who shall manage their business here. In the mean- 
while, I must request, for my justification, some resolutions 
of Congress, authorising me to act as their agent till they 
shall make such appointments. I have thought it reasonable 
to charge lliem the usual commission upon the purchase 
of bills, and shall continue to do so, till they appoint 
other agents. 

I liave ihe ijonor to be, Sir, &ic. 




Office of Foreign Affairs, September 8th, 1782. 

The State of Pennsylvania not having as yet passed 
laws conforinab'y to the eleventh Aiticle of tiie Treaty of 
Amity and Commerce between his Most Christian Majesty 
and these United Stales, agreeably to the requisition of 
Congress to the several States, passed the 14ih day of 
January, 17S0, a copy of which is enclosed, I find myself 
called upon by the Minister Plenipotentiary of his Most 
Christian Majesty, in behalf of such of the subjects of 
France, as in confidence thereof have purchased real 
property in this State, to solicit for ihem the security they 
are entitled to by this article. 

1 have the honor, therefore, to request your Excellency 
to take measures for calling the attention of the Legislature 
to this stipulation in the Treaty, when at their earliest 
leisure from such business as they conceive requires more 
immediate despatch. I beg also to be informed, whether 
any, and what steps, have been taken to carry into effect 
the several resolutions of the United States in Congress 
assembled, contained in the letters I d"d myself the honor 
to write to your Excellency, of the following dales, 18th 
and 19th of February, and 2d of May, 1782. 
I have the honor to be, &:c. 




Office of Foreign Affairs, September 9th, 1782. 
I have the honor to enclose copies of letters, which have 
been received from the Governor of the Island of Granada, 
in consequence of letters written, on my application, by the 
Minister of France, and the state of Mr Mc Clintock's 
case, fansmitied by me. 

From this answer, I think the justice of Mr Mc Clintock's 
claim is put out of doubt ; but, at the same time, redress 
will be rendered more difficult, by our being now obliged 
to seek it in another channel. I shall, however, direct a 
memorial to be presented on the subject to the Court of 
France, and send over authentic copies of the documents 
in my possession. It would greatly facilitate this business, 
if Mr Mc Clintock had an agent in Franco, who would 
prosecute his claim, and to whom I would afford all the 
facilities in my power. I mention this matter to your 
Excellency, because the Legislature of New Hampshire, 
having interested themselves th'jrein, I presumed that it 
would be agreeable to them to know that it was not 

I beg you to assure them, Sir, that I shall receive with 
pleasure any further instruction with which they may please 
to honor me, relative to this or any other subject, in vvjiich 
I may promote the views of the State, or the interest of 
its members. 

Not having been honored with answers to my several 
letters to your Excellency of the following dates, ISih and 
19ih of February and 2d of May, 1782, I beg leave to 


ask, whether (hey have been received, and what measures 
have been taken in consequence of ihem. 
1 have the honor to be, &ic. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, September 9th, 1782. 
The situation of my affairs rendering my personal atten- 
tion necessary, I take tlie liberty to request your Excel- 
lency to communicate to Congress my design, (if it meets 
their approbation,) to visit the Si?te of New York for a few- 
weeks. J shall lake measures to have tlie earliest commu- 
nication made to Congress of such intelligence as may be 
received in my absence, and for the general direction of 
the business of the department. Your Excellency will do 
me the honor to obtain the sense of Congress upon this 
subject, and to believe me, with the hii^iiest resppct, &c. 


Office of Foreign Affairs, September 9th, 1782. 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 

Excellency's letter of the 24th of June, by Mr Blount, 

together with the map you were pleased to transmit. I 

shall expect, at your leisure, the other documents you 

mention as explanatory of your boundaries. Copies of the 

most westerly grants, that have been made by the Crown 

within your Slate, would tend greatly to elucidate your 


claim, as would also copies of acts of the Legislature Inying 
out the back country into counties or parishes, if any 
such exist. 

I receive, with great pleasure, the account you give of 
the exertion of your State in filling their line, though I iliink 
we have some reason to hope, that you will not be able to 
find employment for them near home. 

I could wish to have had it in my power to give your 
Excellency some account of our foreign negotiations, but 
by an extraordinary neglect, or, which is more [)robable, by 
some accident, we have had no official information either 
from our own Ministers, or through the Minister of France, 
for a very long tirrie past. As to public news, it is not 
worth while lo trouble you with it, as this letter will proba- 
bly lay some days before the gentleman, who has promised 
to charge himself with it, calls. I shall therefore direct, 
as the best means of giving the news of the day, that the 
latest papers of this place be sent with it, when he is just 
about to set out. 

I have the honor to be. Sir, he. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, September 11th, 1782. 
I have the honor to lay before Congress a number 
of letters received last night ly Captain Smedley, 
from Mr Adams, Mr Dana, and Mr Barclay. I have 
arranged and numbered them, and translated those of 
Mr Dumas. The compliment of the merchants of the 
tov/n of Schiedam being very long, it is not yet trans- 


lated, when it is, it will be laid before Congress. Mr 
Dana has by some accident neglected to put up the 
first sheet of his letter, so that the subject is broken in 
upon, and we are ignorant of its date. 

I take the liberty to recommend that some attention 
be paid to Mr Adams's request with respect to Mr 
Dumas, who has certainly been a very assiduous ser- 
vant of the United Slates ; I could wish at least to be 
enabled to inform him of the sense of Congress 
thereon. Perhaps it would be expedient to commit it 
to the committee appointed to consider the salaries of 
foreign Ministers, &c. Mr Adams has as yet received 
no answer to the letter on the subject of his purchase 
at the Hague. Should Congress approve the form, 
which Mr Adams proposes for the ratification of his 
agreement, I presume Mr Thomson will have their 
orders for endorsing it, and the agreement will be im- 
mediately returned to this office, so that Congress may 
avail themselves of the means, that now offer for trans- 
mitting it. 

I also lay before Congress a large packet, containing 
Mr Deane's accounts, which I shall deliver to the 
Office of Finance, unless Congress would choose to 
have it disposed of in some other way. I must beg, 
Sir, that the letters be returned to this office, as soon 
as Congress have examined them as I wish to avail 
myself of the present opportunity to answer them. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 




Office of Foreign Affairs, September 12th, 17S2. 

I have the honor to lay before Congress two letters 
from Messrs de Neufville and Son, under cover of 
which last I received the enclosed letter, which con- 
tains what I suppose to be the first sheet of Mr Dana's 
letter, probably sent immediately after he had discov- 
ered his mistake. I send the other parts with it. I 
also enclose for the perusal of Congress an act of the 
British Parliament for the exchange of American pris- 
oners, which, when returned to the office I shall have 

I find in a Lcydcn paper some account of Mr Grcn- 
ville's negotiation, and the alterations proposed by the 
committee of the States-General to the treaty submit- 
ted to their consideration by Mr Adams. These may 
be objects of curiosity, and as such I enclose them. 
They will be printed on Saturday if the papers are 
returned in time. 

A Dutch paper of the 13th of July, mentions that 
the Baron Viomenil, the Marquis de Lavall, and other 
oflicers, left Paris the beginning of July, in order to 
sail in the frigate ; that the Marquis do 

Lafayette was not to accompany them, as it was pro- 
posed ; that he was wailing the issue of the negotia- 
tion in Paris. 

The Count D'Artois has obtained leave of the King 
of Spain to serve as a volunteer at the siege of Gibral- 
voL. XI. 35 


lar. This may pcrliaps be concluded as an indication 
of iheir hope of success in the attempt to reduce it. 
I liave liie honor to he, he. 



Philadelphia, September 12th, 1762. 


I have I lie honor to enclose two reports upon JVIr 
Adams's letters. I would propose in addition to the 
fu-ft to direct the substance of Mr Adams's letter of 
the 23d of April, containing his note, and the apjioiut- 
ment of a committee, to be printed as articles of intel- 
ligence, not under the express direction of Congress, 
since the business is not conchulcd. 

With respect to the second report, I am led to 
make it by Mr Adams's recommendation, anil by my 
sense of the zeal and diligence, whic!i M. Dumas has 
so long testified in the cause of America, when it was 
very far from being a popular one in Holland. 
Though I must confess 1 feel some reluctance in see- 
ing any but an American in the line, which ougfjt to 
serve as a school for future Ministers. IJut this case 
has peculiar circumstances by which it must be deter- 
mined. The commission of Charge (TJiffalres I should 
conceive too important a:ul too confidential to be 
])laced in any hands, but those of a citizen of the 
United States. There arc other reasons, which will 
suggest themselves to Congress, against this measure, 
which it is unnecessary to mention. The salary I 
}iave left blank, as that subject is under the considcra- 


lion of a commiltee. The second resolulion is to take 
away the necessity of making it greater liian our cir- 
cumstances will allow. 

The merits of the other gentlemen mentioned by 
JSIr Adams, together with his recommendation, might 
justly perha|)s induce Congress to show them some 
ir.arks of their attention, if the situation of their finan- 
ces would permit, but as neither of those gentlemen 
are in the service of Congress, it is to be presumed 
llu'.t they will not choose to lake any public notice of 
that part of his letter, till they are in circumstances to 
satisfy the just claims of those who have demands 
U])on them. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 



Office of Foreign Afiairs; September ]2tli, 1782. 

Having carefidly examined Mr Laurens's letter,* I 
believe Congress will think with me, that the subjects 
of it arc such as I can in no other way report on, than 
by recommending it to be submitted to a special com- 

The two great points arc his resignation and ex- 
change. The first of these Congress only are compe- 
tent to decide upon; and the last, not relating in any 
way to my Dcj)artment, is intimately connected with 
a subject already under the consideiation of a commit- 

* See this letter in Henry Laurens's Correspondence, Vol. II. p. 


tee. With respect to his support, I believe that (here 
can be no doubt that Mr Laurens's salary is to be 
paid, till Congress determine to accept his resignation. 
I have considered it as a part of the expenses of this 
Department, and accordingly remitted the amount of 
two quarters' salary to Dr Franklin, commencing in 
January last, previous to which, that brsiness was 
under the direction of Dr Franklin. I sliall continue 
to include his salary in my drafts on Mr Morris, till I 
receive directions from Congress to discontinue it. 
Congress having empowered Mr Laurens to appoint 
a secretary, there can be no doubt about the pro- 
priety of discharging his salary. 

The enemy having published an account of Mr 
Laurens's petition for relief, &c. which aj)pears b}' his 
letter to have been without foundation, I b' g leave to 
submit to Congress the propriety of printing his own 
account of this transaction, since it evidences in con- 
tratliction to their reports, that he always acted with 
tiie dignity and firmness, which became his station 
and character. 

I have il;e honor lo be, &:c. 



OfRce of Foreign Affairs, September 12th, 1782. 


Agreeably to the direction of Congress, contained in the 

enclosed resoluiion, I am to solicit your Excellency's nlien- 

tion to the object of i', and to prny that means n)ay b^ used 

by the Slate over wliich you preside, to furnish the returns 


tliey require, sending quadruplicate copies of them, under 
the se;il of the Slate, to this office. I am sorry lo have 
reason to complain of the little attention that the recom- 
mendations of Congress, and my letter of the I2ih day of 
November, 1781, relative to a similar ohject, has met wiih 
from your State, since the want of those returns will, with- 
out doubt, be severely felt by our Ministers, whenever they 
shall commence the negf)tia'ions for a general peace. 
1 have the honor to be. Sir, &c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, September 15th, 1782. 

I have the honor to inform yon, by the direciion of 
Congress, that I have lately received official advices horn 
Mr Adams, of the resolutions of their High Mightinesses 
the Slates General, to receive and acknowledge the said 
Mr Adams in quality of Minister Plenipotentiary of the 
United States of America, and to request your Excellency 
to cause this interesting event to be made [)ublic. I liave 
the honor to enclose copies of tiie resolutions ol their High 
Mightinesses on this sul.ject, and to inform you that the 
States General did, on the 23d day of A|)ril, appoint a Grand 
Committee to confer with Mr Adams, to whom, having 
been introduced in the usual forms by two noblemen, he 
laid before tliem the plan of a Treaty of Amity and Com- 
merce, whicii was immediately printed, and sent to ihe 
different members of the sovereignty. 

1 cannot conclude without congiatulaiing your Excel- 
lency upon an event, which widens the basis of our inde- 


penrlence, and leads to an immediate connexion wiili a 
powerful nation, whose alliance a vaiieiy of ciiriimstances 
in their origin and government render extremely desirable. 
1 have the honor to be, Sir, &:c. 



Head Quarters, October 2d, 1782. 

Your letter of the I3dt of I\Iny did not come to hand 
until some time in An;;usl, before the receipt of whi( h 
liis Excellency, General Washington, had communicated 
the agreeable informalior. of the biith of a Dauphin, and 
directed that some public declaration of om* feelings shoidd 
be had upon the occasion. Accordingly, on the 4ili of 
July, we (lied a/eu dejoie, and gave every tesiiu)ony in 
our power of the pleasure and happiness we fell upon an 
event so interesti-jg to our good ally, and so intimately 
connected with the welfare of America ; and 1 beg you 
will communicate to the Minister in Piiiladeiphia, how 
sincerely the officers of tliis army participate In the genera! 
joy, which this public blessing difTuses ihiough France and 

It is with infinite satisfaction that I inform you, that the 
enemy is making every preparation for the evacuation of 
Charleston, the last and only place they hold in any of the 
Southern United Slates. 

I hope a general peace will follow, and that America 
may long enjoy, without intprruplion, the blessings she lias 
been so long contending for. 

1 have the honor to be, &ic. 




Philadelphia, October 29th, 1782. 


I have the honor to enclose, for ihe insppciion of Con- 
gress, a letter froiu Mr Harrison. So much of it as relates 
to the slate of his accounts, has hecn sent to the Office of 
Finance. As this suhject has before been slrons;ly insisted 
upon iiy Mr J;iy, I iloubt not that Mr Morris uil! j)ay every 
attention to it, which the means in his hands will permit. 

Mr Harrison is so well spoken of by Mr Jay, anil has 
manifested, on many occasions, watchful attention to the 
welfare of the United States, and discovered such disin- 
terestedness in every transaction which related to them, that 
I cannot but hope that Congress will think hirn worthy of 
some public notice. Should they be of opinion, that it 
would be improper to appoint him constd at a time when 
he could not be received in his public character, and when 
an attempt to display it mi^hi draw upon the United States 
new indignities, yet it would give me pleasure to he enabled 
to assure him from Congress, that they entertain a just 
sense of his services, that they wit-h him to continue to act 
under the authority he has received from Mr Jay, 'ill the 
politics of Spain shall render it proper to vest him with 
more ample powers. This earnest of the favor of Con- 
gress would stimulate him to merit further marks of their 

I have the honor to he, k.c. 




Philadelphia, November 13th, 1782. 


I have the honor to transmit a resolution of Congress, 
appointing ynii one of lljeir Ministers Plenipotentiary for 
negoiiaiir.g peace. I rejoice in this fresh proof of (heir 
confidence in yonr virtue and ahilities. The sacrifices you 
have heretofore made to the interests of yonr coiniiry, 
induce tne to hope that you will suffer no personal consid- 
eration to prevent their heing employed in its service upon 
this important occasion. 

1 have the honor to be, Sic. 



Philadelphia, November 20th, 1782. 

I have the honor to transmit the copy of a letter from 
Comit de Vergennes to Dr Franklin, accompanied with a 
memorial from Messrs Le Marque and Fabre, on the 
subject of debts contracted by Mr Gillon, as is said, in 
behalf of the Slate of South Carolina. 1 wish. Sir, you 
would enable me to afford such an answer to it as will 
exculpate the State from any censine which .Mr Gillon may 
have deservedly incurred. If he was vested with such 
powers as enabled him to bind the State, they will doubt- 
less have the justice to direct thst his engagements be made 
good, notwithstanding any loss they may incur thereby. If 
he had no such powers, they will embrace the earliest 
opportunity of disavowing ihera. 


I shall trouble your Excellency to apprize me of the 
steps, that may be taken in consequence of this information, 
that I may embrace the earliest opportunity, by placing this 
matter in its true light, to do that justice to the integrity and 
good faith of the State, which they will undoubtedly merit. 
I have the honor to be, Sir, &;c. 



Philadelphia, November 26th, 1782. 

I have the pleasure of transmitting a resolution of Con- 
gress, by which you are appointed a Commissioner for ad- 
justing their accounts in Europe. I flatter myself, that this 
fresh mark of their confidence in you will be highly ac- 
ce|)table, and that you will take the earliest opportunity to 
enter upon the task assigned you, since not only the inter- 
est, but the honor of the United States, has greatly suffered 
by the delay, which this necessary business has heretofore 

I am, Dear Sir, &z,c. 



Chesterfield, November 26th, 1782. 

I received yesterday the letter, with which you have 
been pleased to honor me, enclosing the resolution of Con- 
gress of the 12th instant, renewing my appointment as one 
of their Ministers Plenipotentiary for negotiating a peace, 
VOL. XI. 36 


and beg leave through you to return my sincere thanks to 
that august body, for the confidence they are pleased to 
repose in tne, and to tender the same to yourself for the 
obliging manner in which you have notified it. 

I vpill employ in this arduous charge, with diligence and 
integrity, the best of my poor talents, which I am conscious 
are far short of what it requires. Tliis I hope will ensure 
to me from Congress a kind construction of all my transac- 
tions ; and it gives me no small pleasure, that my commu- 
nications will pass through the hands of a gentleman, with 
whom I have acted in the earlier stages of this contest, and 
whose discernment and candor 1 had the good fortune then 
to approve and esteem. 

Your letter finds me at a distance from home, attending 
on my family under inoculation. This will add to the de- 
lay which the arrangement of my particular affairs would 
necessarily occasion. I shall lose no moment, however, in 
preparing for my departure, and shall hope to pay my 
respects to Congress and to yourself some time between 
the 20th and the last of December. 
I have the honor to be, he. 



Philadelphia, December 2d, 1782. 

Having lately been informed, that the business of the 
Court of Chancery in the Stale of New York has increased 
so much as to demand more of my attention than is con- 
sistent with the duties of the place, which I have the honor 
to hold under the United States, I must pray your Excel- 


lency to lay before Congress my request to be permitted 
to resign the latter, and to assure them at the same time, 
of the grateful sense which 1 shall always retain, not only 
of the iionor done me by the appointment, but of those dis- 
tinguished marks of confidence, which they have repeatedly 
shown me in the execution of tny trust. 

Tiiat the business of this office may sustain no injury by 
my resignation, I shall, if Congress approve, continue to 
perform its duties till they shall be pleased to appoint a 
gentleman to succeed me, or direct some other mode for 
carrying it on, in confidence that they will make their ar- 
rangements as early as is consistent with the deliberation 
they may conceive them to require. 

I take the liberty to recommend to the protection of 
Congress, and the gentleman who is to succeed me, Mr 
Morris and M. Duponceau, my secretaries, having the 
greatest reason to confide in their fidelity and attention to 
the business intrusted to their care. The Reverend Mr 
Tetard, who is likewise employed in the office, has some 
claim to their attention ; he rendered essential services to 
our army in Canada, suffered many personal inconve- 
niences there, and finds himself reduced, at an advanced 
age, to absolute ruin by the enemy and our own army, both 
having contributed to lay waste his farm, destroy his build- 
ings, and pillage his property. For tliese facts, I take the 
liberty to refer Congress to his Memorial. 

As Congress in making a new appointment will probably 
wish to adapt the salary to the necessary expense of the 
department, of which they have heretofore had no oppor- 
tunity to be fully informed, it is a duty I owe to them, as 
well as to my successor, to assure them that my expenses, 
exclusive of purchase and wear, carriages, horses, and 


household furniture, have exceeded my allowance from 
Congress, upwards of three thousand dollars. As I have 
now no personal interest in mentioning this circumstance, 
Congress will, I am persuaded, attribute the liberty I have 
taken, to my desire of seeing a department, in which 1 
have had the honor to preside, supported with dignity. 

Be pleased, Sir, to receive my thanks for your personal 
attention, and believe me to be, with tlie most respectful 
attachment and esteem, &.c. 



Philadelphia, December 5th, 1782. 
Dear Sir, 
I have this moment learned that a vessel will sail for Ca- 
diz in an hour's time. I beg to recommend to your par- 
ticular care the letter for IVIr Carmichael, which the captain 
will deliver to you. It contains a cypher, and must not 
therefore pass through the post office. 

Congress, as yet, have done nothing in your affair, 
though it has been particularly recommended to them, and 
now lies before them. One obstruction is the difficulty of 
appointing Consuls, till some treaty or convention between 
us and Spain shall authorise it. 

The season of the year admits of no military operations 
here ; and the packet of newspapers sent herewith, will 
give you the current news. You will find by them, that 
we are still in suspense with respect to the fate of Charles- 
ton, though it is generally believed, that it cannot be long 
ere the evacuation will be completed. The French fleet 
Rre still at Boston, though prepared to sail. Nothing 


astonishes us more, than the effrontery of the British pub- 
lications, which affirm boldly, that great tumults have 
been excited in the Eastern States, on account of their re- 
luctance to the war, when there is not the slightest founda- 
tion in fact for such an assertion. This I suppose, is cal- 
culated to give a momentary popularity to Lord Shelburne. 

I am, Sir, he. 



Office of Foreign Afiairs, December 9th, 1782. 

I have the iionor to inform Congress, that the Minister 
Plenipotentiary of France communicated to me the con- 
tents of a letter, received on Saturday from Count de Ro- 
chambeau, by which he was apprized, that the Count, in 
pursuance of his instructions, had ordered the troops under 
his command to embark, and that they were to proceed 
with the fleet to the Islands. 

The legion, and a detachment of about six hundred 
men, together with the convalescents are to remain on the 
continent. The whole may amount to about sixteen hun- 
dred men. The Minister further informed me, that in 
consequence of his representations on the subject, he had 
received assurances, that such a force should be detached 
from the West Indies, as would be adequate to the pro- 
tection of the trade upon this coast dining the winter. 

The enclosed extract of a letter from Boston, contains 
an account of the success of the British in relieving Gib- 
raltar. Though it is not official it is to be (eared it is too 
well founded. 

T have the honor to be, Stc. 




Philadelphia, December 16lh, 1782. 

I have ihe honor to enclose for the inspection of Con- 
gress a short letter from Mr Jay, which contains important 
information, and explains some passages in Dr Franklin's 
letters. Unless the commission given to Mr Fitzherbert 
on the 24ih of July is revoked, it will be difficult to ac- 
count for Mr Oswald's being appointed to treat with the 
Thirteen United States, unless we suppose, either that his 
powers are more limited, or that the British Administration 
design to treat under the mediation of some neutral Prince, 
upon the plan proposed by the Imperial Courts, so as that 
the negotiations with America may be distinct from those 
with the other belligerent powers. 

Just as I was closing this, a private letter from Mr Jay 
was delivered of the 4th of September, which contains the 
following remarkable passage. "I am preparing a map to 
show you the line, which Count d'Aranda proposes for 
our western boundary. It will not be finished in time for 
this conveyance. I am persuaded it is best for us to take 
time. My further reasons shall be explained at large in 
a future letter, which I shall begin as soon as my health 
will permit." He adds, "that Spain has issued more bills, 
and that the depreciation has increased." I delay report- 
ing on the passage in Dr Franklin's letter, relative to the 
demands of Spain, as there is no immediate opportunity 
of writing to Europe, and as I am in hourly expectation of 
receiving something more particular on this subject. 
I have the honor to be, &ic. 




Head Quarters, South Carolina, ) 
December 19th, 17ti2. 5 
Dear Sir, 

The Southern States, so long oppressed by the weight 
of a destructive war, are now happily relieved by the evac- 
uation of Charleston, and the total departure of the Brit- 
ish troops from this country. This event, so^ very impor- 
tant to all America, took place on the 14th instant. 

The fleet, with the troops on board, fell down into Re- 
bellion Road, and on the 17th crossed the bar and went 
out to sea. The British regiments are said to be destined 
for the West Indies, and the German troops for New York. 
They took with them a great deal of property, and between 
five and six thousand negroes, the greater part of which 
they had once promised to deliver up. 

Governor Matthews, with all the officers of government 

are now in town ; and civil police fully established and 


I am, &ic. 



Philadelphia, December 20th, 1782. 
I can only reply to your inquiries with respect to the 
probability of extending our loans in France, by informing 
you, that the general tenor of our public despatches dis- 
courages the idea, as will appear by the extracts of letters 
herewith sent you. To them I have added such official 


communications as 1 have received from time lo time from 
the Minister of France. 

J might add to these the result of several private con- 
versations with him upon that subject, having frequently 
introduced it, to know how far we might in case of 
extreme necessity lean on France. He has always ex- 
pressed on these occasions a strong sense of our wants, 
and a wish to relieve them, accompanied with an appre- 
hension, that the heavy expense incurred by France, in 
creating and supporting a large marine, would render it 
highly imprudent to expect, that she should add anything 
to the liberal supplies already afforded us, and the main- 
tenance of an army in America on our account. Of late, 
too, the unproductiveness of our taxes, and the uneasiness 
of the public creditors in the United States, has not escaped 
his observation. His reflections on this subject are so 
obvious, that 1 need not repeat them, I am seriously 
alarmed for their effect on the loans we have already 
opened. A private letter from Mr Jay informs me, that 
the paper struck by Spain has greatly depreciated, so that 
had we needed any further assurances on that head, we 
must now be fully convinced, that we have nothing to ex- 
pect from that quarter. 

1 have the honor to be, &ic. 



Philadelphia, December 22d, 1782. 
I have just received my despatches, which consist of 
duplicates from Dr Franklin and the enclosed, which have 


not yet been submitted to Congress, together with a copy 
of Mv Oswald's commission. 

Mr Jay has also written, but his letter is not yet decy- 
phered. A private letter from the Marquis de Lafayette 
to me, (the whole of which is not yet decyphered) contains 
much the same account of our negotiations, with that given 
by Dr Franklin, and the following passage from a letter of 
Mr Adams to him of the 29th of September ; 

"We have at length the consent of the Cities, States, 
and Provinces, and have adjusted and agreed upon every 
article, word, syllable, letter, and point, in the treaty of 
commerce, and clerks are employed in making out fair 
copies for signature, which will be done this week." 

By a paper of the 22d of October, I find the treaty was 
signed by seven deputies, one for each Province, and by 
Mr Adams on the 4th of October. 

The Marquis also mentions, that several accounts, but 
none official, say, that Madras has been taken by the 
French troops, that landed at Port Novo, in conjunction 
with those of Hyder Ally. He adds, that though this 
account is believed, yet it is not confirmed. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, &tc. 


North Carolina, December 23d, 1782. 

I am favored with your two letters of the 12th and 1 5th 
of September last, and your circular, in which you an- 
nounce the acknowledgment of the independence of the 
United States by the States of Holland ; an event that will 
VOL. XI, 37 


greatly add to the national importance of America, not 
only in the councils of Europe, but through the world. 

The resolution of Congress respecting damages, which 
the inhabitants of this State have received from the British 
enemy, 1 cannot carry into effect until I have an Act of 
Assembly for this purpose, to point out the particular 
mode in obtaining the same ; the account of which, as 
soon as it can be procured from the different parts of the 
State, shall be transmitted to you, without loss of lime. 
I have the honor to be, k.c. 



Philadelphia, December 23d, 1782. 

The steps that may lead to so important an event as 
peace upon safe and honorable terms, are too interesting 
to be vvithl)eld from you ; 1 have the honor, therefore, to 
enclose a copy of Mr Oswald's commission to treat with 
the Thirteen United States of America, which will cer- 
tainly smooth the way to it, though the variety of interests 
to be adjusted at a general Congress (and, perhaps, too, 
the success of the British arms at Gibraltar) may place it 
further off than our wishes would otherwise lead us to 

Your Excellency will see the propriety of not suffering 
copies of this commission to be taken for the press, and 
of accompanying the communication you may think proper 
to make of it, with such recommendations to exertion and 
vigilance, as prudence and the critical state of our affairs 
may require, since on a review of the conduct of the en- 


emy, it will not appear extravagant to suppose, that this 
may be another of those artifices so often practised to 
deceive and put us off our guard. Though we have no 
official accounts, yet we have every reason to believe, that 
the treaty of commerce wiih the United Provinces was 
signed on the 7th of October. 
I liave the honor to be, &tc. 



Philadelphia, January 4th, 1783. 

Agreeably to the order of Congress, I have the honor 
to lay before your Excellency the enclosed copy of a mo- 
tion made by Mr Howel, and the resolutions of Congress 
thereon, together with the state of the applications for 
foreign loans, and the results thereof. 

Without troubling your Excellency with those inconsid- 
erable and secret aids, which we received at the begin- 
ning of the controversy, I shall take the applications and 
the grants, that were made in the year one thousand seven 
hundred and seventynine, and since. To begin with 


The 9th of September, 1779, Congress proposed to 
obtain a subsidy from Spain during the continuance of the 
war, which they offered to purchase by a very important 
cession. Spain having hitherto declined an alliance with 
the United Slates, no such subsidiary treaty took place. 

In the same month Mr Jay was instructed to borrow 
five millions of dollars. 


tions, he obtained one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, 
and was compelled to protest bills of exchange drawn upon 
him by Congress, on the presumption, that Spain would 
certainly enable him to redeem ihem. This protest, which 
was made on the l6th of March last, was as follows ; 

"Mr Jay says, that when he accepted the bills hereunto 
annexed, he had good reason to expect to be supplied 
with funds necessary to pay them ; that he has been dis- 
appointed in the expectation he was encouraged to enter- 
tain on this subject, and that his endeavors to obtain 
money, both here and elsewhere, have been unsuccessful, 
although the bills which remain to be paid by him, together 
with his other engagements, do not exceed twentyfive thou- 
sand pounds sterling, but these disappointments being un- 
expected, he cannot for want of time have recourse to 
Congress, and therefore finds himself reduced to the mor- 
tifying necessity of permitting them to be protested." 
These bills were redeemed after the protest, by money 
borrowed in France. I have reason to believe, that no 
money has since been obtained on account of the United 
States in Spain ; so that the application for five millions 
of dollars has only been answered by the grant of one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand dollars. 

On the 11th of January, 1782,- Mr Jay was directed, in 
conjunction with the Superintendent of finance, to under- 
take a lo?n in Spain or Portugal, without limiting the 
amount of such loan. And Mr Jay was directed to send 
Mr Carmicliael to aid their endeavors. This power was 
restricted by a subsequent resolution, directing Mr Jay not 
to send Mr Carmichael, unless he had some prospect of 


succeeding. Not having sent him, it is to be presumed 
he had no prospect of succeeding. 

On the 26th of October, 1779, Mr Laurens, having 
been appointed a commissioner for that purpose, was 
directed to borrow a sum not exceeding ten millions 
of dollars. Mr Laurens having been captured, his 
place was supplied by Mr Adams, who had similar 
powers and instructions. He made several attempts 
to open a loan, but with so little success, that he never 
has transmitted an account of the amount, but has since 
informed me, that he had applied it in part of payment 
for a house purchased at the Hague. His salary has 
hitherto been paid by money drawn from France. 
A loan, however, has been opened with success in 
Holland on our account by his Most Christian Ma- 
jesty, and under his special guarantee for ten millions 
oflivres. Mr Adams informs Congress by a letter 
dated the 5lh of July last, that he also has opened a 
loan in Holland on account of the United Slates for 
five millions of florins, but adds, that he does not 
expect to obtain that sum for a long time, that if he 
gets a million and a half by Christmas, it will be more 
than he expects. 

In a letter of the ISth of August, the last I have 
received from Mr Adams, he says, that "when he re- 
ceives the ratification of his treaty for a loan, there 
will be thirteen or fourteen hundred thousand guilders 
to be paid to the orders of Congress." This is con- 
firmed by a letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, of 
which he sends me an extract. 


As that ratification must have been received long 
since, we may setihe loans actually made in Holland 
on our credit, at 

Three millions of livres, « 3,000,000 

Those made under the guarantee and on 

the credit of France, at 10,000,000 

Ten millions of livres, 13,000,000 

Our further prospects of borrowing arc too uncertain 
to be stated. As this is a private loan it is reasonable 
to suppose, that the clamors of the public creditors 
here, when heard in Holland, will have some effect 
upon our credit there. 


In France various applications were made, and sev- 
eral grants obtained previous tothe year 1779, though 
they are not clearly stated, from the irregular manner 
in which the books of the Secret Committee, and the 
Committee of Foreign Affairs were formerly kept. It 
appears, that the whole sum obtained from France pre- 
vious to the year 1780, exclusive of one million ob- 
tained on a contract for tobacco with the Farmers- 
General amounted to nine millions of livres. In 
November, 17S0, Congress applied to the Court of 
France for an aid of twentyfive millions of livres in 
money, exclusive of a considerable supply of arms, 
ammunition, and military stores, which they declared 
would fall short of their wants for the ensuing year 
without the greatest internal exertion. 

They sent Mr Laurens as a Minister on this special 
occasion, and in this year and the year 17S1, Congress 
received fourteen millions of livres, including the 


goods and military stores, without counting the loan 
opened for the United States in Holland, of which 
mention is made before. 

But as this sum fell ver}' far short of our wants, Dr 
Franklin was instructed on the 8th of February, 17S2, 
to borrow twelve millions of livres. In answer to 
which, that Minister, writing to me on the 25th of 
June, after acknowledging the receipt of my letters, 
one of which was written on the subject of the above 
instruction, says, "the second (the second letter) en- 
forces some resolutions of ^Congress sent me with it 
respecting a loan of twelve millions of livres to be 
demanded of France for the current year. I had al- 
ready received the promise of six millions, together 
with the clearest and most positive assurances, that it 
was all the King could spare us, that we must not 
expect more, that if drafts and demands came upon me 
beyond that sum, it behooved me to take care how I 
accepted them, or where I should find funds for the 
payment, since I could certainly not be further assisted 
out of the royal treasury. Under this declaration, 
with what face could I ask for another six millions? 
It would be saying, 'you are not to be believed, you 
can spare more, you are able to lend me twice the 
sum, if you were but willing.' If you read my letter 
to Mr Morris of this date, I think you will be con- 
vinced how improper any language capable of such a 
construction would be to such a friend." 

On the 14th of September Congress were pleased to 
direct that four millions of dollars be borrowed ia 
Europe, exclusive of the loan negotiating in Holland. 
A copy of which resolution is directed to be commu- 


nicated to his Most Christian Mnjesty, with directions 
to Dr Franklin to assure his Majesty of the high sense 
the United States in Congress entertain of his friend- 
ship and generous exertions, their reliance on a con- 
tinuance of tliem, and the necessity of applying on the 
present occasion to him. And on the 23d of Septem- 
ber Congress resolved further, in answer to the above 
letter from Dr Franklin, and one of a similar nature to 
the Superintendent of Finance of the same date, that, 
notwithstanding the information contained in those 
letters, it is the direction o^ Congress, that he use his 
utmost endeavors to effect the loan, which, by the re- 
solve of the 14th instant is to be negotiated. 

I should observe that in the above statement of the 
grants made to the United States, I have not distin- 
guished between loans and gifts, but included both in 
the gross sums above mentioned, though about eight 
millions of that granted by France has been given, 
without any expectation of being repaid. 

It is unnecessary to draw those inferences from the 
above facts, which they naturally suggest. They can- 
not escape your Excellency's observation. I can only 
wish, that the low state of our credit abroad may 
excite us to such internal exertions as must be its best 
support. Those only can borrow with dignity, who 
give unequivocal proofs of the design to repay their 
debts with honor. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 




Baltimore, February 7th, 1783. 

- I arrived here on the 30th of last month, and had a 
short interview the same evening with the Chevalier 
de Villc Brune, commander of the Romulus. There 
appeared at that time little apprehension, but that we 
might sail within a few days, but we were not very 
particular in our conference, as we expected so soon 
to see each other again ; the severity of the cold, 
however, which commenced that night, obliged the 
Chevalier de Ville Brune to fall twelve miles below 
this place, and excluded all correspondence with him 
till yesterday, when I found means to get through the 
ice on board his ship. He then communicated to me, 
by direction of his Excellency the Minister of France, 
intelligence as to the number and force of the cruisers 
now actually watching the Capes of the Chesapeake. 

I must acknowledge, that these appear such as to 
render a capture certain were we to hazard it. The 
Minister was pleased at the same time to submit the 
Guadeloupe to my wishes, if I chose to adventure. I 
take the liberty of troubling you with a copy of my 
letter to him on that subject. 

I should certainly be disposed to run very consid- 
erable risks myself to effect my passage, but I should 
think it an unfortunate introduction to an ally, who 
has already done so much for us, were I to add to his 
losses and disbursements, that of a valuable ship and 
crew. I wish that the present delay offered some 
period less distant than the lassitude of an avaricious 
VOL. XI. 38 


enemy to watch for prey. Perhaps you may be able 
to put me on some more expeditious mode of passage 
than the one under which I am acquiescing at present. 
I shall be much pleased to adopt any such, which may 
come recommended from you, without regard to per- 
sonal risk or trouble. In the meantime, any intelli- 
gence which you can be able to collect, and will be 
pleased to give me as to the state of our coast, will be 
of utility in determining whether and when we shall 
depart hence. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 



Baltimore, February 7th, 1783. 

The Chevalier de Ville Brune was so kind as to 
communicate to me your Excellency's letter to him of 
January, together with the intelligence therein refer- 
red to. I feel myself bound to return you my thanks 
for your orders to the Gaudeloupe frigate to receive 
me. If I should think a passage should be hazarded 
under present circumstances, according to this infor- 
mation, (which is the most worthy of credit of any 
we have received here,) it would seem, that our cap- 
ture would be unavoidable were we to go out now. 
This then is a risk, to which I cannot think of ex- 
posing his Majesty's vessel and subjects, however I 
might be disposed to encounter personal hazards, from 
my anxiety to execute with all the promptitude in my 
power a service, which has been assigned to me. I 


shall, therefore, wait wiih patience the arrival of the 
moment, when the Chevalier de Ville Brune shall be 
of opinion, that the one or the other of the vessels 
may venture out without any greater risk, than he 
shall think proportioned to her proper object, inde- 
pendently of mine. 

It has been suggested to me this evening, that per- 
haps their safe departure might be greatly forwarded 
by their falling down to York or Hampton, there to 
be ready at a moment's warning, to avail themselves 
of those favorable circumstances, which the present 
season sometimes offers, but of this yourself will be 
the proper judge. 

1 cannot close my letter without expressing to you 
my obligations to the Chevalier de Ville Brune for the 
particular attention he has shown to my accommoda- 
tion on board his ship. The apartments he has had 
constructed for me are ample and commodious, and 
his politeness and merit as an officer are an agreeable 
presage of everything, which shall depend on him. 

I have the honor to be, with the highest sentiments 
of esteem, &c. 



Philadelphia, February 14lh, 1783. 

Dear Sir, 

Receive my congratulations on the important event, 

you have announced in your favor by Major Burnet. 

The influence that the evacuation of Charleston will 

have on our affairs if the war continues is obvious. 


The southern States, by this means relieved from 
their burdens, will be capable of contributing largely 
to the general cause, and I doubt not when they have 
breathed a little, that they will be as willing as ihey 
are able. I feel. Sir, a personal interest in this great 
event from the distinguished honor it reflects upon 
you. In every other department our expectations 
have gone beyond our means of satisfying them. You 
have afforded the first instance of the contrary, and by 
creating the means have exceeded our most sanguine 

We have the highest reason to conclude, that the 
preliminaries of a peace are signed before this. I 
have reason to hope that the terms of peace will com- 
prize most of the great objects we have in view, and 
in some points almost exceed our expectations. The 
present policy of Britain is to make sacrifices to the 
Manes of the affection, which once subsisted between 
her and us. I have just put the last hand to our treaty 
of amity and commerce with the United Provinces by 
signing the ratification, which Congress have directed. 
I congratulate you upon this event, which adds not a 
little to our political importance. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 



Philadelphia, February 14th, 1783. 
I have delayed answering your favor of the 7th instant, 
till I could obtain the sense of Congress on the matter it 


contains. I conceive it hardly possible, wiille the British 
cruisers retain their present station, for you to ehide their 
vigilance, in either of the ships offered to your clioice. 
This, concurring with the late advices from England, has 
induced Congress to pass the enclosed resolution. We 
have reason to conjecture that peace is already concluded, 
whether it is or not, a few days must determine. 

I transmit you the speech of His Britannic Majesty, 
which, with what you already know of the state of our 
negolii.iions, will enable you to form your opinion on the 
same ground that we do. 

1 have the honor to be, he. 



Philadelphia, February 18th, 1783. 
I vvas honored yesterday with your favor of the 14th, 
which I shall lay before Congress this morning. As you 
have by this time received their resolution, which I had the 
honor to send you by the last post, and again enclose, you 
will be relieved in some measure from your embarrassments, 
though not entirely from your suspense with respect to their 
final determination. But that cannot be long doubtful, 
since the negotiations have certainly arrived at such a crisis, 
as either to terminate soon in a p&ace, or a total rupture. 
In the latter case, you will necessarily be obliged to proceed 
on your voyage, as Congress seem anxious to avail them- 
selves of your abilities and information in the negotiations; 
unless they are fully assured that a speedy peace will pre- 
clude them from that advantage. 


I enclose a paper, which contains all that we have yet 
received on this interesting subject. It may, perhaps, be 
difficult to account for our Ministers having signed before 
those of France. But if this letter is genuine, it serves, 
when compared with their instructions, to prove that the 
terms are acceptable to us, and not disagreeable to France. 
1 have the honor to be. Sir, &ic. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, February 18th, 1783. 


I have the honor to lay before Congress, the enclosed 
letter from Mr Jefferson, upon which I presume they will 
not think it necessary at present to take any other resolution 
than that already transcnitted to him. i also enclose an ex- 
tract from a letter of JNlr William Lee to me, dated the 3 1st 
of March last, wjiich nierits attention, though, in the present 
state of our affairs. Congress may not think it advisable to 
pass any resolutions thereon, till they are more perfectly 
acquainted with the actual state of our affairs in Europe, 
and what alterations may be occasioned by a peace. 

I have leuers from Messrs De Neufville of the 27th 
of September and 24th of October ; but as they contain 
little more than a pressjng request to have their accounts 
settled, and the balance paid, I shall not trouble Congress 
with them, but deliver copies to the Superintendent of 

I have the honor to be, Sir, &.c. 




Philadelphia, February 2Gth, 1783. 

I have the honor to lay before Congress a letter received 
yesterday from IVIr Dana. 1 must confess, I am at a loss 
to discover any reason for detaining that gentleman longer 
at a Court, where it is, as he justly observes, improbable 
that he can be publicly acknowledged till Britain has no 
longer any objections to such acknowledgment. After 
which a treaty can be concluded, if necessary, here or at 
the Hague ; a commission for that purpose being sent to 
Mr Adams, with as much ease as at Petersburg. Congress 
will then judge whether it will be proper to have a Minister 
at the Court of St Petersburg, or whether a Resident, with 
consular powers, will not answer all their purposes, and 
save expense. 

The desire which Mr Dana expresses to return, takes 
from me the delicacy I before felt in staling this matter so 
fully to Congress. I also enclose, in obedience to the 
commands of Congress, a list of the names, titles, salaries, 
and places of residence, of tl.e officers of the United Stales, 
employed in the Department of Foreign Affairs. 

I take the liberty to remind Congress that a variety of 
matters, which have been submitted [)y me, remain yet not 
acted upon ; and that the business of the office is very 
much obstructed as well by this delay, as by the detention 
of the letters and papers which refer to them. As this has 
probably been occasioned by a change in the Comuiittees, 
I humbly submit to Congress the propriety of directing 
them to be filled up. 

I have the honor to be. Sir, &:c. 




Philadelphia, February 26th, 1783. 
Dear Sir, 

In compliai.ce with the directions of Congress, contained 
in the enclosed resolution, I have the honor to inform your 
Excellency, that our last despatches, dated in October, 
announce a disposition in the belligerent powers to terminate 
the war by a general peace. The Court of London, whose 
sincerity was most suspected, because it was to make the 
greatest sacrifices, appears to have smoothed the way by 
tlie commission to Mr Oswald (which your Excellency has 
seen,) empowering him to treat with the Thirteen United 
States of America; M. de Rayneval (brother to M. Gerard) 
having been sent from France to sound the intentions of 
the British Ministry, returned perfectly satisfied of their 

A little before our despatches were closed, our Ministers 
had delivered their propositions to the Court of London. 
They consisted of three general heads, which comprised 
our right to the fisheries, the extent of our territories, and 
commercial objects. Though these propositions contained 
all we could ask under each of these heads, yet Mr Oswald 
gave our Ministers reason to conclude, that they would be 
granted ; which I am inclined to believe they have been, 
in their fullest extent, from the lead which our Ministers 
have taken in signing Provisional Articles. France, Spain, 
and Holland, had made their proposals ; so that tlie King 
of Great Britain was perfectly apprized of their demands 
before he met his Parliament ; there is little room, there- 
fore, to doubt, when these facts are compared with the 
speech of His Britannic Majesty, that unless some unfore- 


seen event should arise, a general peace will be concluded 
before tlic opening of tlie next campaign. 

I was honored with your letter of the 18th, and have 
delivered the one enclosed to Mr Jefferson, who is detained 
by order of Congress, till they receive more certain ad- 
vices as to the issue of the negotiation. I should also 
acknowledge the receipt of your Hn'or o( the 8th of Jainiary, 
which I tound here on my return frocn the country. I 
think, with you, that the British administration will choose 
to take the advice of Parliament on the terms of peace, 
before they agree to them. Yet they have gone every 
longlh with respect to us. In this, however, they are per- 
fectly safe, as the opposition have all along dictated that 
measiu'e, so that on quarter they are secured from 
their attack. More circums()ection will be necessary in 
adjusting the articles with the other belligerent powers. 
To this cause, we may probably attribute lite delays that 
this business still seems to struggle with. 

15e pleased to accept my compliments, and those of my 
fiunily, who join me in returning our best respects to Mrs 

I have the honor to be. Dear Sir, &,c. 



Philadelphia, March 12th, 1783. 

Dear Sir, 

The Washington packet arrived this morning. I jjave 
not yet had leisure to read all my letters, but as an express 
is ready to go early tomorrow, I rather choose to rely upon 
your goodness to excuse a letter written in extreme baste, 

VOL. XI. 39 


tlian to holil myself inexcusable, by not informing yon of 
what we yet know of the state of our negotiations. None 
of my letters is of a later date than the 25ih of December. 
All difficulties had then been removed wiih respect to ns, 
and the preliminaries were signed ; they consist of nine 

The Jirst acknowledges our Independence. 

The second describes our boundaries, which are .as ex- 
tensive as we could wish. 

T!ie third ascertains our rigiils as to the fishery, and 
puts them upon the same footing that ihey were before the 

The fourth provides that all British debts shall be paid. 

The Jifth and sixth are enclosed for your perusal, as 
they are likely to be the least satisfactory here. 

The seventh stipulates that hostilities shall inmiediaiely 
cease, and that the British troops be vviilulrawn without 
carrying off any property, or dismantling fortifications ; 
that records and archives shall be restored. 

The eighth stipulates that the navigation of the Missis- 
sippi shall be open to us and Great Britain. 

The ninth, that all conquests made in America after the 
ratification sliull be restored. 

These preliminaries are only provisional upon the deter- 
mination of a peace with France, whose negotiations have 
not made such progress as ours. I believe they find them- 
selves very much embarrassed by the deinands of their 
other allies. 

The Count de Vergennes, in a letter of the 25th of De- 
cember, says, "I cannot foresee the issue, for difficulties 
arise from the disposition we have shown to remove them. 
It would be well, Sir, to prepare Congress for every event. 
I do not despair ; I rather hope ; but all is yet uncertain." 


But, Sir, whatever the event of the negotiations may be, 
1 persuade myself tlie enemy will leave these States. Mr 
Oswald his made some propositions to our Ministers upon 
this subject, proposing that they might be pennilled to em- 
bark without molestation, and endeavor to recover West 
Florida from the Spaniards. This last communication, 
(which you will consider as confidential,) I thought might 
be important to your Excellency. By attending to their 
conduct, you will be able to judge if they mean to pursue 
this system, or if it was only thrown out to deceive. 

I enclose also for your perusal, extracts from the ad- 
dresses, not having time to have them copied at large. 
They are mere eciioes to the speech. Supplies were voted, 
without one dissenting voice. 

I must pray your Excellency to send on the enclosed 
packets ; any expense it occasions will be paid by the 

I have the honor to be, &ic. 



Philadelphia, March 12tli, 1783. 

Dear Sir, 
The arrival of the Washington packet affords me an op- 
po'-tunity of sending you the preliminary articles, agreed 
upon between our Ministers and those of Great Briiain. 
In every point but one they are unexceptionable ; in that 
one I believe our Ministers have labored to obtain all that 
circumstances would admit, and by the reference of the 
tories to their respective States, they have made a very 
slender provision for the restitution they stipulate. 


What it imports you more to know is, liiat though our 
principal difficuliies are removed, yet many remain to re- 
tard the peace. Our allies do not appear to have made 
much progress in their negotiations, and Coimt de Ver- 
gennes, in a letter of the 25ih of Decemher, speaks with 
great uncertainty of the issue of his negotiations ; yet not 
so as to destroy our hopes of a happy conclusion ; at all 
events, I hclieve that the war will be removed from us, and 
directed to other objects in the spring. 

The British commissioners have njade some propositions 
to ours about a convention for percnitiing the army to de- 
part in pence ; but as nothing was concluded, some doubts 
may slill remain on this head ; ihougli you will fiu'l in Lord 
North's speech, in the enclosed paper, a passage that seems 
to lake the evacuation for granted. As, however, I have 
reason to suppose, that they ilo not mean to rest coniented 
with the loss of West Florida, and are apparently collecting 
a force for its reduction at Augiisiine, I should ihink it pru- 
dent to maintain so respectable a force in Geoig-a and 
South Carolina, as would discourage any attempts upon 
them in case the negotiations should prove abortive. 

A treaty is now on foot between Sweden and us. The 
comujission to his Swedish Majesty's Minister, contains an 
ample and an h:)norabIe recognition of our independence. 

The committee charged with the arrangements for the 
establishment of a Minister from the United Provinces at 
this place, have reported to the States of Holland on his 
salary and appointments, so that the Di[iloitiaiic Corps here 
will shortly be increased. 

The general news of this place, as well as what relates 
particularly to the arrangements made and now making for 
the army, you will learn from Major Burnet, who does me 


the fiivor to be the bearer of this. It will not be necessary, 
therefore, to leiigihen this fiiriher than to declare liie sin- 
cere esteem and respect, with which I iiave the honor to 

be, Sir, Stc. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, Marcii 13th, 1783. 

I have ihe honor to lay before Congress the enclosed 
letter from Mr JtefTcrt-on, who is wailing at this place liieir 
determination. As jVlajor Bnrnet is now in town, and will 
be the bearer of despaiches to Genera! Greene, 1 take the 
liberty to request the earliest attention of Congress to those 
parts of the despatches submiiled to them, that induce a 
lielief that tiie enemy will tnrn their arms against \Vest 
Florida, uhich the force diey now have at Augustine ren- 
ders probable. Congress may, jierhajis, think it atlvisable 
to order that the force in llie Southern States should be so 
respectable as to discourage a second attempt irpon them 
in case the fuilnre of the"negoiiation should occasion any 
chai:ge in the British C-ibinet. 
1 have the honor to be, Sic. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, Marcli 18lh, 1783. 

The important matter contained in the despatches lately 
received, renders me unwilling to reply to them without 


being well satisfied of ilie sentiments of Congress. But, as 
the subjects on wlrcli I wisii to be inforinsd, are of too 
delicate a nature to be rendered formal acts, [ sliall submit 
to them the drafts of my reply to the joint letter of our 
Ministers, now at Paris. Previous to this, it will be neces- 
sary that Congress come to some exiress determination 
upon points which arise out of the treaty, and which, if they 
see in the same light that J do, they will consider as the 
most embarrassing, as well as the most important that can 
claim their attention. 

Congress have hitherto, in all the'r acts, both of a public 
and private nature, manifested the utmost confidence in the 
Court of France. In answer to every communication, they 
have reiterated their resolutions on that subject, and so 
lately as the 4th of October last, resolved unanimously, 
"That they will not enter into the discussion of any over- 
tures of pacif;ca:irn but in confidence and in concert with 
his Most Christian Majesty ;" and directed that a copy of 
the above resolution should not only be furnished to the 
JNIinisier of France, but be sent to all the Ministers of the 
United States in Europe, and published to the world. Yet, 
Sir, it has unfortunately so hajipened, that the Ministers of 
these States have imagined they had sufficient grounds to 
sus )ect ti e sincerity of the Court of France, and have not 
only thought it prudent to agree upon and sign preliminaries 
with Great Britain, without cwnmunicating them, till after 
the signature, to the Ministers of his Most Christian Majes- 
ty, but have permitted a separate article to be inserted in 
their treaty, which they still conceal from the Court of 

This rednces Congress to the disagreeable necessity, 
either of making thems'^lves parlies to this concealment, 


and thereby to contradict all their former professions of 
confidence in their nlly, made not only to that ally, but to 
their own citizens, and to every Court at which tl'.ey l;ad a 
Minister, or of revealing it at the expense of the conliilence 
they would wish to maintain between their INliniisters and 
the Court of France, and that, too, when diose Ministers 
have obtained such terms from the Court of London, as 
does great honor to thein, and at least equals our highest 

I feci the more pain on this subject, because, from the 
manner in which this treaty is drawn, as well as from the 
article itself, 1 am inclined to believe that England Lad no 
other view in its insertion, but to be enabled to produce it as 
a mark of the confidence we reposed in them, and to detach 
us from our ally, if the nation could be brought to continue 
the war. 

The preamble, drawn by our Ministers, contained pro- 
fessions of attachnjent to the alliance, and declared that 
the treaty should not be obligatory till His Britannic Majesty 
shall have agreed to accept the terms of a peace between 
France and Britain, proposed or accepted by his INIost 
Christian Majesty, and shall be ready to conclude loith him 
such treaty. The preamble, agreed to, and, as there is 
reason to conclude, framed in England, is so expressed as 
to render it very doubtful whether our treaty does not take 
place the moment France and England have agreed on the 
terms of their treaty, though France should refuse to sign 
till her allies were satisfied. This construction is strongly 
supported in the House of Commons by the administration. 
The separate article is in itself an object of no moment; 
the territory it cedes is of little importance, and if, as our 
Ministers assert, it made a part of West Florida previous 


to the war, it will, on tlie pence, be annexed to the nalion 
thai sIimI! retain that Colony; but it is extremely well n.l- 
culatecl to sow the seeds of distrust and je-aiousy betwi^en 
the United Stales and iheir allies. li deinonslir.tes a 
marked preference for ihc Engiisli over the present pos- 
sessors, and seems lo inviie Biilain to reconq-ier it. 
Tliotis;li tliij may promote our parlicidar interest, it never 
can consist wi h om- honor lo prefer an open enemy lo a 
nation cngn<5ed in ilie same caiiste with ns, and closely con- 
nected to onr al'y. This article woidd, in my opinion, if 
avowed by the United Slates, fully justify Sp:,in in making 
a separate [)eare wiihoiil the least n^gard to our interest. 

lint this. Sir, is an inconsiderable evil, compaied with 
those which may result from its having been concealed 
from the Court of Versailles. IMr Laurens informs Con- 
gress (a<id that too from lellers of a late date from Loivlon,) 
"that^he people of England still retain the 'n\fii\ o{ ovr Inte 
Colonies and of reconciliation ; that Government gives 
evcrij possible encourngement to this humor; that it has 
been iheir incessant endeavor to delach us from <)ur ally, 
and that it is given out in London, thai, bi/ signing the 
Inte preliminaries, they have oiit-mnncenvred the Court of 
France; that every engine had been set at work; that 
every degree of crafi, under the mask of returning affec- 
tion, will be practised for creating jealousies between the 
States a::d their good and great ally." Mr Adams's letters 
of November, speak the same language. If, Sir, we sup- 
pose these gentlemen to have been Wt-li informed, how 
much reason have we to apprehend ihat this secret article 
will prove in ihe hands of Britain a most dangerous engine. 
They may reveal to the Court of France the jealousies 
our Ministers entertain, the confidence they repose iu them. 


With such lalsehoods :ui(l additions as will best serve their 
purposes, and, by producing this secret article, gain credit 
for all they advance. This line they certainly pursued with 
respect to France, revealing all that tb.ey learnt h-om the 
Count de Vergennes, relative to his opinion of the first 
commission ; nor is there room lo doubt, that Marbois' 
letter was received through the same channel. And there 
is no reason to believe, it (as our Ministers suppose) the 
Court oi France had put themselves more in their power, 
that they would neglect such promising means of increasing 
the suspicions our Plenipotentiaries already enteitained. 

Add to this, that this aiticle may be used in Parliament, 
and with the British nation at large, as a most powerful 
argument for continuing the war, adducing, from the resent- 
ment it discovers to Spain, and the disirnsis it manifests of 
France, that the (juadrtiple knot is untied. 

But suppose, what may possibly be the case, that the 
Brilisli administration are sincere, liovv is the honor and 
good faith of the United States to be justified to their allies, 
and to the world, if by any of those causes which daily 
operate, this secret, which is now known lo sixty or seventy 
people, should be discovered ? To tell the world that we 
suspected France, will not suffice, tniless wc can show 
probable grounds for such snspicioi!. Our Ministers inform 
us, that when they communicated the articles of the treaty 
to Count dc Vergennes, " he appeared surprised, but not 
displeased at their being so favorahlf to us." Mi- lijuircns 
declares expressly, *' That he sees no cause for entertaining 
more particular jealousy, than ought lo be kepi up against 
eveiy negotiating Court in the world, and not half so niucli 
as .should at this '.liomenl be upon the watch against eveiy 
motion arising irom our new half Inends.'" 

VOL. XT. 40 


I confess. Sir, tlioiigii my sontimeiits nre of little moment 
t!iat I !im lully of this n|)iiiin!i. and tli;it I trenjblo lest 
should this hour be on the efl<;e of a precipire, the n^.nre 
daiigeroii?, as we have fixed our eyes on the fiaiteriiig 
prospect which lies beyond it. I am |)er?uaiiejl th. t ih(3 
old maKiu), " Honesty is the best policy," applies witii as 
much force to Slates as to individuals. In that persuasion, 
1 ventu'-e humbly to recommen<i, that such nieasiucs be 
adopted as to manifest, that repeated professions of fideliiy 
to their engni;ements, and confidence in their ally, may not 
appear to have been made by Congress to mask (lectt-it. 
The caution, which negotiations req lire, and the liilit in 
wliich objects have appeared to our Ministers, may jiistify 
them, aiul |>erl!a|)S entitle them to credit for attempting to 
serve us at every personal hazanl. 

But, Sir, it certainly cannot consist with the honor of 
these States, upon such slight grounds, to contradict their 
own resuluiions, and forfeit the coiifiilence of an ally, to 
whom it has been so much indebted, and whose aid it is at 
this moment supplicating for the means of carrying on 
another campaign. 

Under these impressions, 1 hutnbly submit these resolu- 
liou', namely ; 

'• That the Secretary of Foreign AfFurs be directed to 
comnuMUcate the Si^parate Article in the Provisional Pre- 
liminary Treaty with Great Britain, to the Minister of his 
Most Christian Majcty, in such manner as will best tend 
to remove any milavorable impression it may make on the 
Court of France, of the sincerity of these Slates or their 

"That the Ministers for negotiating be informed of 
this communication, and of the reasons uliich influenced 


Ciin2;ress to rnike it. Tint they Ue iusnuctLMl to agree, 
tlial in ulijilcvcr Ir.nuls West Florida m:)y remain at the 
tniuhi>ioii of ll;e war, tlie United States '.vill l)e satis^fied 
that Slie line of Norlliern boundary be as described in ibe 
said separate articles. 

"That it is the «ensc of the United St:it(?s in Congress, 
that the articles agreed upon helweer tiie iMini^teis of these 
Siales, and those ol his Biilannic M;ij(-iy, are not lo lake 
place until :: peace shall have hedi adnilly ?i'^ned between 
their Most anti Biitish .Majesties." 

Coiiiiress will easily believe, that I oflVr ihe?e sentiments 
with the ntniosi diffiilence ; Uiat I see many and pfjwerfnl 
ar^nments that militi.te against tliei:) ; that 1 feel extreme 
pain in advising a measure, which may hnrt the ieelings of 
IMirihters, to whom we are indebted for their continued 
zeal -and assiduity, all of whom I respict, and with one of 
whom I have had the closest and most intnnate Iriendsiiip 
from our earliest youth. But, Sii', it is a duty that my 
ofilcc requires; and I am Iripjiy in reflecting that this duty 
is discharged, when I have projiosed what I think riglit, 
aii<i that liie better judgnsenl of CoiJgress is lo determine.* 

I have the lienor lo be. Sir, &lc. 



riiiladelj.hia, March JSth, 1783. 

Congress n fcv days since directed me lo transmit 

lo your Kxcellcncy a copy of the provisional licaty 

* See furtlier remarks l)y Mr Livingston on this siil)ject in Jolin 
Jay's Correspondence, Vol. V'lll. p. 215; also Corrcspundcncc of the 
Cuminissioncrs for Ftacc, Vol. X. p. ViO. 


for a peace between the United States and Great Brit- 
ain. I should have done it at an earlier day without 
any particular direction, had not an order passed in 
Congress for furnishing the Delegates of each State 
with a copy, that it might be transmitted through 
them. In conformity to the second direction I have 
the honor to enclose a copy, though I have no doubt 
that I have been already anticipated by that forwarded 
by the Delegates of your State. Yet, Sir, this letter 
may not be entirely useless when it assures you that 
the conclusion of the treaty is still very uncertain. 
My public letters are of such a nature as not to free 
me from apprehensions that Britain still seeks rather 
to divide her enemies than to be reconciled to them. 
Though this suspicion may not perhaps be well 
founded, yet such conduct is so conformable to the 
general tenor of British Councils, that it is at least the 
part of prudence to be upon our guard against it. But 
whatsoever their intentions may be, the peace must 
still depend upon so many contingencies that no pre- 
paration for another campaign should be omitted on 
our part. None is neglected by our antagonists. 
They have voted one hundred and ten thousand sea- 
men for the ensuing year. France continues her pre- 
parations, and will not close the war till she can obtain 
honorable terms for her allies. Little progress was 
made in their negotiations when my letters were writ- 
ten. Count de Vergennes has thought it prudent to 
advise Congress of this circumstance, that they might 
be prepared for every event. I communicate it to 
your Excellency wiih similar views. I doubt not 
you will avail yourself of this information to urge the 


State in which you preside, to take such measures 
that they may not be found unprovided in case our 
hopes of peace should be frustrated. 

It would give me pleasure to learn the measures 
that have been adopted, in consequence of the requisi- 
tions made in my letters to your Excellency or your 
predecessors in office at different periods relative to 
my Department, and more particularly to receive the 
account so frequently called for of the damage done 
by the enemy in your State.* I have reason to think 
had it been furnished in time, it might have been of 
singular use to our Ministers, and perhaps have tended 
to obtain some relief for the sufferers. It may not 
yet come too late to be useful. Let me pray your 
Excellency to take measures for furnishing three au- 
thentic copies by the earliest opportunity. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, Philadelphia, > 
March 21st, 17«3. S 

I enclose for the inspection of Congress a letter re- 
ceived by the Washington from Mr Barclay. I take 
this opportunity to remind Congress, that I had the 
honor of laying before them, on the 23d day of Decem- 
ber, a letter from the same gentleman, which con-- 

' Proper alterations were made to this paragraph in the letter to 
the Governor of Connecticut, as he had already sent the accounts 
herein mentioned. 


iaincil ohjcclimis lo iho convcnlion for the appoitit- 
nieiit of Consuls, proposed lo he ciilcre-l into between 
Frnncc nnd the United States, reasons fur >endinj> iiim 
a new commission, constituting him Consul General in 
Fnincc, uiih Count dc \'ergennes' ol»jection to ii)c one 
lie now holils ; also a rerpiest of blank ctnumissions for 
priva'eers and Icllers of marque. This letter was 
commiitcd lo a sjieciai committee. I have not yet 
been informed, wliether thoy have rej)oricil ; nor 
have I been honored with the commands of Congress 
relative to these ohjeols. 

J have the honor to he, &:o. 



rhiladeli>Iiia, March 24lli, 1733. 
Dear Sir, 

You will by this express receive the as^reeable in- 
telliiience of a general pzace, upon which I most sin- 
cerely conj;ratulate yon and the army. Harmony, a 
lej^ard fur justice and fidelity to our enj^ai^ements, are 
all that no.v remains to lender us a happy people. 
T!ie vessel that brought these despatches was sent out 
by the Count d'Kstaing lo recall ll.e French cruisers. 
As the Minister tells me he will forward the orders 
and passporls lo your, I will not detain Iho 
messenger till I have mine copied. 1 his should in 
my opinion be immediately sent either by Congress or 
yjour Kxceliency to Sir Guy Carleton. 

A private letter to me mentions, tint the Bahama 
Islands aie also cedeil to the B.iiisli. Holland seems 
to have come worst off, and France by gellinij lililc fur 


liersclf iins laid in a sloiT of rcpiilniion. which will he 
woith more than niticii Ifiritory. I must ifquost your 
Kxccilcncy lo send on t!ic enclosed letters by express 
to the Goveiiior. 

1 have ihe honor lo he, S:c. 


P. S. I have th.on<;ht j)ro|)er lo send Mr Lewis 
ISIorris to New York, to inforin General Ciirlelun of 
ihc linppy re-nnion of ihe powers nt uar, and also of a 
resolution of Con<;ress of this day, dircctinj^ their 
A;;cnt of Marine lo take proj)er measures lo slop all 
furiher hoslililics by sea. 


Office of Foreign Affairs, Pliiladflpliia, } 
Ma:cli a4tii, I7c3. ) 

I have the honor lo inform your Exrcllcncy, that a 
vessel arrived here last night from Cadiz, despatched 
by oriler of Count d'Kstainu; to recall ihe cruisers of 
his Most Christian Majesty, and to prevent the furiher 
effusion of blood at sea. A copy of the order is en- 
closed, havinj; l.een cerlilicd by the Chevalier ile la 
Luzerne to he a Iruc copy. 'J|.'iiO!igh this may not be 
considered by your Excellency as ofllcial, yet your 
liumanily v.ill induce you to think it suflficienlly au- 
thcr.lic to justify your taking imniediale measures lo 
stop the furliier effusion of blood, on which j)rinci|)le 
Congress have been pleased lo pass the enclosed rcso- 


The vessel which brought these orders did not sail 
with express design to come to the port of Philadel- 
phia, and has, therefore, brought no official letters, so 
that I have it not in my power to afford you any fur- 
ther information as to the terms of a general peace, 
than what are contained in the enclosed extract trans- 
mitted to me by the Marquis de Lafayette ; with this 
further addition, that the Bahama Islands are restored 
to Great Britain. 

Mr Morris, one of ray Secretaries, will have the 
honor to deliver this to 3'our Excellency, and maj-^ be 
intrusted with any despatches which you may choose 
to deliver him, that may contain further information 
than we have yet received on an event so interesting 
to us and to humanity as the return of peace. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, Philadelphia. > 
March 24th, 1783. ] 

I have the honor to enclose for your perusal the 
copy of a letter, which I have just written to his Ex- 
cellency General Carleton. If the subject of it should 
relate more to you than to his Department, I am sat- 
isfied that you will find equal pleasure in adopting 
such measures as humanity dictates, and mutually con- 
cur with the United States in the best means of ex- 
tending, as early as possible, the blessings of peace te 
the subjects or citizens of the nations at war. 

I have tlie honor to be, &c. 




New York, March 26th, 1783. 

I have received your letter of the 24th instant, en- 
closing a resolution of Congress of the same date, taken 
in consequence of the arrival of the cutter, Trionnphe, 
commanded by Lieutenant du Quesne, with orders of the 
10th of February last, given at Cadiz by Vice Admiral 
d'Estaing, for him to put to sea and cruize on such stations 
as he shall judge most likely to meet with ships of his 
nation, and inform them of the happy reconciliation of the 
belligerent powers, and to order all their ships of war to 
cease hostilities against those of Great Britain ; the Pre- 
liminary Articles of a general peace being signed the 20th 
of January. You thereupon are pleased to express your 
expectation that T would think this information thus con- 
veyed, "sufficiently authentic to justify my taking imme- 
diate measures to stop the further effusion of blood." 

For my own part, I have hitherto abstained from all 
hostilities, -and this conduct 1 meant to continue so far as 
our own security would permit ; but how great soever my 
desire is to put an entire stop to the calamities of war, and 
whatever respect this information may deserve, yet I. do 
not find myself thereby justified in recommending measures 
that might give facility to the fleets and armies menacing 
any part of the King's possessions, to carry their hostilities 
into execution. 

To adopt a measure of this importance, it is necessary I 
should receive orders from home, which I may reasonably 
expect every hour, as a cruiser sent out on other purposes 
is already arrived at Philadelphia ; and I assure you, Sir, 

VOL. XI. 41 


I only wait ihe official certainty of this great event, to 
assume the langimge, and the spirit too, of the most perfect 
conciliation and peace. 

I perceive, Sir, by the resolution enclosed in your letter, 
that Congress have thought fit to consider this information 
as authentic, and, tliereupoii, have tai<en one considerable 
step towards carrying the terms of peace into immediate 

Another, not less important, I presume, has been taken, 
or is taking. With the cessation of hostilities, I perceive, 
is connected in the seventh Article of the provisional treaty 
an engagement, that "all prisoners on both sides sl)all be 
set at liberty ;" of this event, therefore, 1 hope likewise 
speedily to receive the very necessary and welcome notice, 
as 1 shall find the highest satisfaction in seeing released on 
all sides, men upon whom the evils and calamities of war 
have more peculiarly fallen. 

I am, Sir, &tc. 



New York, March 27lh, 1783. 

I have received your letter, enclosing me the resolve of 
Congress, with a copy of a letter to his Excellency, Sir 
Guy Carleton, but, as I have as yet received no official 
accounts from England, 1 must wait till you, on your side, 
relieve our prisoners, before 1 give that general relief to 
you, 1 so much wish. There can be no reason for detain- 
ing our prisoners one moment, as Congress must suppose 
the peace signed. I shall take every precaution in my 
power consistent with my duty, to §top any further mis- 


chief upon the seas, but should recommend the preventing 

nny vessels sailing, as I have not yet received sufficient 

authority to enable me to withdraw my cruisers. 

1 am, Sir, &tc. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, March 28th, 1783. 


There remains in my hands the sum of thirtyeight 
thousand three iiundred and thirtytwo livres, equal on ex- 
change at par to about seven thousand three hundred and 
ten dollars, arising from the excess on the payment of the 
salaries of the Ministers of the United States in Europe, 
occasioned by the course of exchange during the last year, 
which Congress have been pleased to direct that 1 should 
pass to the account of the United States. In this I have 
not calculated six hundred and eightyeight livres excess 
upon M. Dumas's account, being too inconsiderable to 
make a deduction worth attention. 

Desirous of settling all my accounts on the 1st of April, 
previous to my leaving the department, I pray Congress to 
pass some order relative to the disposition of the money, 
so thq^ I may discharge myself of it. As Congress may 
be led to suppose, from a passage in Mr Laurens's letter, 
that I have charged a commission on this transaction, I 
take the liberty to ii:form them, that though this is an 
extra service attended with some trouble and risk, I once 
had it in view, if our Ministers compelled me to be their 
agent, to charge a commission while t!ie exchange was in 
their favor, yet not having then done it, I cannot think it 


would be reasonable to deduct a commission from the re- 
duced sum that is now paid them. 
I have honor to be, he. 



Philadelphia, April 4th, 1783. 


1 have the honor to inform you, by the direction of Con- 
gress, in answer to your letter of the 13th of Marcii, "that 
they consider the object of your appointment as so far ad- 
vanced, as to render it unnecessary for you to pursue your 
voyage ; and that Congress are well satisfied with the 
readiness you have shown in undertaking a service, which 
from the present situation of affairs, they apprehend can 
be dispensed with." 

I have caused your account to be settled to the 1st of 
April, and hope to be able to send you the warrant for the 
amount tomorrow. If you please, I will apply for such 
further sum as you may think proper to charge for the 
time that may be necessary to carry you home, as 1 think 
that within the spirit of the resolution of Congress. 
I have the honor to be, he. 



In Council, Annapolis, April 4th, 1783. 
We have been honored with your favor of the 18th 
The requisitions made in your former letters have been 


regularly laid before the Legislature of this Stale, (IMary- 
land) and we are very sorry to find that the early attention 
which their importance merited has not been paid to them. 
The Assembly at their last session, passed an act di- 
recting persons to be appointed in each county to ascertain 
upon oath the damages done by the enemy within their 
respective counties, and to report the same to this Board. 
As soon as we are furnished with their returns, you may 
rest assured, Sir, that no time shall be lost in transmitting 
to you, properly authenticated, the information you have 
been solicitous to obtain. 

With great regard and respect, k,c. 



New York, April 6th, 1783. 

A packet from England arrived at this port last night, 
by which I have despatches from Mr Tovvnshend, one of 
his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, communicating 
official intelligence, that Preliminary Articles of Peace 
with France and Spain were signed at Paris, on the 20th 
of January last, and that the ratifications have been since 
exchanged at the same place. 

The King, Sir, has been pleased, in consequence of 
these events, to order a Proclamation to be published, de- 
claring a cessation of arms,* as well by sea os land, and 
his Majesty's pleasure signified, that I should cause the 
same to be published in all places under my command, in 

* See this Proclamation in the Correspondence of the Commission- 
ers for Peace, Vol. X. p. 124, 


order, tlint his IMojesfy's subjects mny pay immediate 
and due obedience thereto, nnd sncli Prochimation I shall 
accordingly cause to be made on Tuesday next, the 8ih 

In consequence thereof, and in conformity to the Arti- 
cles of peace, all our prisoners of war are to be set at 
liberty and restored, with all convenient despatch ; enter- 
taining no doubt, but that similar measures will be taken 
on tlje part of the United States of America. In like 
manner no doubt can be entertained, but that Congress, in 
confortniiy to the fifth Article of the provisional treaty, will 
lose no time in earnestly recommending to the Legislatures 
of the respective States, to provide for the restitution of 
confiscated estates, and to reconsider and revise all laws 
of confiscation, that they may be rendered perfectly con- 
sistent, 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 1 am further to inform you, Sir, that an instrument 
of accession to the suspension of hostilities, by the States 
General of the United Piovinces, having been received 
in England, a cessation of arms with those States has been 
thereupon included in the Proclamation. 

Upon this great occasion, Sir, I am to ofTer my strong- 
est assurances, that during the short period of my com- 
mand here, I shall be ready and earnest to cultivate that 
spirit of perfect good will, which betwe,en the United 
States of America, and the King of Great Britain, and the 
subjects and the citizens of both countries, will I trust 
always remain. 

I am, with much consideration. Sir, &z,c. 




Lion, off New Yoik, April Gth, 1783. 
I have this moment received the enclosed Proclamation 
from his Mnjesly's Secretary of Slate, and shall immedi- 
ately despatch one of the sloops of war to withdraw all 
my cruisers upon this coast, and shall also release all the 
prisoners as quickly as 1 can dispose of them in the most 
convenient way to themselves. 

] am, Sir, Sac. 



Office of Foreign Affairs, April 10th, 1783. 

I have the honor of laying before Congress two letters, 
received yesterday by express ^ from New York, the one 
from General Carleion and the other from Rear Admiral 
Digby. Both covered copies of his Britannic Majesty's 
Proclamation for a cessation of hostilities. I presume 
Congress will consider this advice as sutficiently authentic 
to justify the discharge of their prisoners, who are now a 
useless expense, though not so much so as to render it 
proper to proceed to the measures directed by the fifth 
Article of the provisional treaty, till that treaty is officially 
communicated and ratifications exchanged. 

I am at a loss to determine when hostilities are of right 
to cease between the United States and Great Britain. 
If, as the Proclamation asserts, the times therein mentioned 
were agreed between the Ministers of the several powers 


at war, to take effect upon their respective ratifications, 
then hostilities have not yet ceased between ns and Great 
Britain, except so far as the King of Great Britain has 
thought proper to shorten the term by his special act. If 
no such ratification was necessary on our part, then hos- 
tilities ceased immediately after ratifications were ex- 
changed between France and England. If the same 
term has been fixed for the cessation of hostilities between 
Great Britain and the United States, as that agreed upon 
between France and Great Britain, then it becon)es a 
question, what is nr.eant by "as far as the Western Islands'?" 
If it refers to the latitude, then all prizes made after the 
3d of March, on the greater part of our coast, must be re- 
stored. As much property may depend upon the decision 
of these questions, 1 presume Congress will do do act, 
which shall lead to a determination of it, till we receive 
further advices from our own Ministers. 

I shall be pardoned when I take the liberty to request, 
that the enclosed letters may not find their way into the 
papers, unless Congress shall determine, that this publica- 
tion may answer some useful purposes. 
I have the honor to be, Sir, he. 



Philadelphia, April 10th, 1783. 

I do myself the honor to enclose the draft of a Procla- 
mation for the suspension of hostilities between the United 
States and Great Britain, and the resolution for the dis- 
charge of prisoners, together with one for referring a part 



of Mr Adams's letters, which is all that it is necessary to 
report upon the letters referred to me. 
I liave the honor to be, &:c. 



Philadelphia, April 12th, 1783. 
Dear Sir, 

1 am now to congratulate you on the return of peace, 
and a cessation from your labor. I .some time since sent 
you the Provisional Treaty between Great Britain and the 
United States. On Wednesday last, Sir Guy Carleton 
sent me the enclosed Proclamation of his Britannic Majes- 
ty, and informed me, that he had directed a similar 
Proclamation to issue at New York, and proposed to dis- 
charge a'l our prisoners. I had a letter from Admiral 
Digby to tlie same effect ; the next day I received advices 
ol the agrefcuent of the cessation of hostilities, from our 
Ministers. Congress, in consequence of these advices, 
yesterday issued the enclosed Proclamation. 

I reported to them on the propriety of releasing their 
prisoners. The report is to be considered today, and I 
doubt not that it will be agreed to. The British Parlia- 
ment appear to be extremely dissatisfied at the terms of 
peace ; a majority, headed by Lord North, has been 
obtained against the Administration, so that I think Lord 
Shelburne has little prospect of continuing in the Adminis- 
tration ; but this is of no consequence to us, unless we are 
bound to like ?.n Administration that has served us against 
their will. As doubts may arise with respect to the resti- 
VQL. XI. 42 


tution of prizes taken after the epoch fixed by the Proclama- 
tion, it may not be improper for me to mention to you, 
thot we conceive, that hostilities ceased in those parts of 
the Atlanlic Ocean, which lay in the same latitude with the 
Canaries, on the 3d of March. 
I am, Sir, &;c. 



Philadelphia, April 12th, 1763. 

I received your letter of the 6ih instant, informing me 
of the arrival of a Packet, by which you have official 
inteliigerce, that the Preliminary Articles of Peace with 
France and Spain were signed at Paris on the 20th of 
January last ; that the ratifications have been since ex- 
changed, and that his Britannic Majesty has ordered a 
cessation of arms to be proclaimed, as well by sea as by 
land ; and that you propose, agreeably to Mb orders, to 
issue a similar Proclamation, and to set at liberty your 
prisoners of war. 

This interesting intelligence was communicated to the 
United States in Congress, who, though they had yet re- 
ceived no official accounts, would immediately have made 
it the basis of pacific measures, without entertaining doubts 
of its authenticiiy, or yielding to suspicions which would 
tend to prolong the calamities of war ; but while these 
measures were under consideration, they received from 
their Ministers official advices of the agreement between 
them and the Court of Great Britain relative to a cessa- 
tion of hostilities, on which they have founded the enclosed 


Proclamation.* They have likewise under consideration 
measures for the discharge of their prisoners ; these 
measures will be carried into effect as soon as possible 
after they are determined on. 

It cannot be doubted, Sir, as you justly observe, that 
Congress will embrace the earliest opportunity to perform 
the stipulations contained in the fifth, as well as every other 
of the Provisional Articles, immediately after the same shall 
have been ratified. In the meanwhile, it must be obvious 
to your Excellency that a recommendation to restore to 
the loyalists the estates they have forfeited, will conr.e 
with less weight before Legislatures composed of men, 
whose property is still withheld from them by the con- 
tinuance of his Britannic Majesty's fleets and armies in this 
country, than it will do when peace and the full enjoyment 
of their rights shall have worn down those asperities, which 
have grown out of eight years' war. This reflection will, 
I doubt not, induce you to give every facility in your power 
to the execution of the seventh Article of the Provisional 
Treaty, and to fix as early a day for the e-vacuation of 
New York, and its dependencies, as may consist with 
your orders. 

I give the fullest credit. Sir, to your assurances, that you 
are ready to cultivate the spirit of harmony and good will 
between the subjects and citizens of his Britannic INlajesty 
and these States, since I find them warranted by the 
humanity which has uniformly distinguished your command 
in America. But, Sir, time only, with liberality in those 
that govern in both countries, can entirely efface the 
remembrance of what has passed, and produce that per- 

* See this Proclamation in the Correspondence of the Commissioners 
for Peace, Vol. X. p. 133. 


feet good will, which I sincerely concur with you in wishing 

to culiivale. 

1 am, Sir, he. 



Philadelphia, April 12th, 1783. 

I received your letter, enclosing a Proclannaiion for the 
suspension of hostilities, and informing me of your design 
to recall your cruisers and release your prisoners. In re- 
turn. Sir, I have the pleasure to enclose a Proclamation by 
the United States of America for a suspension of hostilities. 
Congress have the measures necessary for the return of 
their prisoners under consideration ; I shall acquaint you 
vviih those they adopt. 

The resolution transmitted in my last, hns already in- 
formed you, that the humanity of Congress induced them, 
on the first intimation of the cessation of hostilities, to recall 
their cruisers. It is to be hoped. Sir, that no difficulties 
will arise on cither side as to the restitution of such vess:;ls 
as may have been taken after the epoch mentioned in the 
Proclamations of his JBritannic Majesty and the United 
States. For though this may be of no great moment 
when considered in a national light, yet it becomes impor- 
tant, from the number of captures made on this coast within 
the latitude of the Canaries, since the 3d of March last, 
as well as from the presages, which the first steps may 
furnish, of the rf>spect that will in future be paid to the 
stipulations in the treaty. 

The gentleman, who delivered me your letter, will in- 


form you, that it came open to my lianrls from a mistake 
in the direction. I am so fully persuaded, Sir, that I do 
not deceive myself, when I impute this raiiier to mistake, 
than to the princi[)le followed, in some instances, in an 
early period of the late war, that I should not have noticed 
it now but 10 prevent, in future, the inconveniences, willi 
which it has been in this instance attended. 
I am, &ic. 



Philadelphia, April 12th, 1783. 
Dear Sir, 

I congratulate your Excellency most sincerely upon 
the cessation of hosliliiies, which you will learn from the 
enclosed Proclamation. You will doubtless have heard 
directly from General Carleton on the suliject, so that it 
will not be necessary to trouble you with the substance of 
his letter to me. 

Congress will this day, upon njy report, take into con- 
sideration the p.opriety of discharging the ["risoners, and 
the manner in which it is to be done. Sir Guy Carleton 
presses hard in his letter for the execution of the fifih of 
the Preliminary Articles. 1 have replietl, that it cannot 
be executed till the treaty is ratified ; and in the moan 
lime endeavored to convince him, that the recommendation 
of Congress will be received with much more respect, 
when the persons, who compose our Legisl.itines, have 
returned to their respective homes, and the asperities occa- 
sioned by the war shall be a little worn down by the 
enjoyment of peace. It is a very capita! omission in our 


treaty, that no ti:ne has been fixed for the evacuation of 
New York. 

It were to be wished, tiiat General Carleton's intentions 
on this head could be sounded by your Excellency. 
I have the honor to be, Dear Sir, he. 



Philadelphia, April 12th, 1783. 

Permit me to offer yon my congratulations on the im- 
portant event announced by the United States, in Congress, 
in the enclosed Proclamation for the cessation of hostilities ; 
an event, which is not only pleasing, as it relieves us from 
the accumulated distresses of war in the bowels of our 
country, but as it affords the fairest and most flattering 
prospects of its future greatness and prosperity. I need 
not, 1 am persuaded, Sir, use any argtmients to urge your 
Excellency and the State over which you preside, to the 
most scrupulous attention to the execution of every stipula- 
tion in our treaty, which may depend on you or them. A 
national character is now to be acquired. I venture to 
hope, that it will be worthy of the struggles by which we 
became a n.ition. 

I have the honor to be, he. 




New York, April 14th, 1783. 
As I observe in the seventh article of the Provisional 
Treaty it is agreed, after stipulating that "all prisoners on 
both sides shall be set at liberty," that "his Britannic Ma- 
jesty shall with all convenient speed, and without causing 
any destruction, or carrying away any negroes, or other 
property of the American inhabitants, withdraw all liis 
armies, garrisons, and fleets from the United Slates, and 
from every port, place, and harbor within the same, he. ;" 
and as embarkations of persons and property are on the 
point of being made, I am to request that Congress would 
be pleased to empower any person or persons, on behalf of 
the United States, to be present at New York, and to assist 
such persons as shall be appointed by me to inspect and 
superintend all embarkations, which the evacuation of this 
place may require ; and they will be pleased to represent 
to me every infraction of the letter or spirit of the treaty, 
that redress may be immediately ordered. 

I am. Sir, &cc. 



Philadelohia, April 21st, 1783. 

I have the honor to enclose a letter, just received from 
iMr Dana. I am much surprised to find that such consid- 
erable sums as he mentions are necessary on the signature 
of a treaty with Russia, since 1 cannot learn that n^oney is 
deirianded of right on similar occasions by any civilized 


nation in Europe ; thougii it is usual among them to pre- 
sent gratifications to ilie Ministers on botli sides, wliicli be- 
ii!g for the most part of equal value, the account is bal- 
anced. As I do not conceive, that we are under the least 
necessity of buying a treaty with Russia, I think it would 
be well for INlr Dana, (if he should not have been misin- 
formed) to declare to the Court of St Petersburg, that the 
Ministers of the United States are restrained from receiv- 
ing [)resents, that to make them in such circumstances, 
would be either to arrogate a superiority to which they 
were not entitled, or to acknowledge that they were so far 
the inferior of those with whom they treated, as to be com- 
pelled to purchase a connexion, wliich should be founded 
in equality and mutual advantage. That he therefore 
found himself compelled in tho one case, by respect for the 
Empress, in t!ie other by a regard to the United States, 
rather to break off the treaty, than to take a step which 
might he su|)posed to derogate fiom either. After all, I 
apprehend, that Mr Dana has not received his information 
on this subject through the best channel, and that he must 
have mistaken a particular case for a general custom. 
I have ib.e honor to be, &c. 



Head Quarters, April 22d, ]783. 
I Inve been honored with your two favors, dated the 
12ih and 15ih instant. 

In consequence of the resolutions of Congress on the 
15ih instant, and the express declarations of the Secretary 


at War, respecting the sense and expectations of Congress, 
arrangements have been agreed upon between him and 
me, for an immediate liberation of all land prisoners; and I 
have yesterday given this inforination to Sir Guy Carlcton. 
Tlie pariiculars of the arrangement, with the opinion given 
the Briiish Comnjander in Chief, you will obtain through 
the Minister at War. 

In order to obtain the sense of Sir Guy Carleton upon 
the mniters, contained in the resoUition of the 15ih, 1 iTave 
proposed a personal interview with him at an early day. 
The result of this meeting, if acceded to, will probably lead 
us to a decision upon some questions, which are more 
doubtful, and that with grester decision and despatch, than 
could otherwise be procured. 
1 have the honor to be, &c. 



Head Quarters, May 13th, 1783 

Your favor of the 3d came to hand by the last post. 
Before this time you will have seen the report I made 
to Congress of the interview with Sir Guy Carleton. I 
am very sorry its result proved so indecisive. That this 
arises from the cause you mention I am not fully per- 
suaded. I believe a want of information from his Couit, 
which had been for some time without any administration, 
has been a great embarrassment to him. 

The civil jurisdiction of West Chester County Sir Guy 
Carleton appeared very willing, in his conversation, to re- 
linquish to the State ; but what reply he will make to the 
VOL. XI. 43 


Governor, wlien lie comes to reduce it to writing, I know 
not. Long Island he seemed to think could not be so easily 
delivered i:p. It would be attended with ninny inconven- 
iences, and he mentioned particularly the facility it would 
give to deser ions, and (he necessity of holding it for the 
accomnuxhitipn of those people, who must eventually be 
obliged to leave the country. Siaten Island was also 
necessary for his convenience. 

I ijave had no reply from Si'' Guy since his return to 
New York, nor, I presume, iias Governor Clinton heard 
anything from hinj. 

I have the honor to be, &ic. 



Philadelphia, May lOlh, 1783. 
Tho inquiries that the committee were pleased to do 
me the honor to make this morning, relative to my continu- 
ing to exercise the office of Secretary of Foreign Affairs, 
were extremely embarrassing to me, because, on the one 
hand, I find it impossible to continue in the office on the 
present establishment, without material injury to my pri- 
vate affairs, and, on the other, to propose the terms on 
which 1 would stay would be to overrate my own im- 
portance, and to suppose that others could not be had 
upon such conditions as Congress have been pleased to 
consider as sufficient. Having given my whole time, and 
a considerable part of my property to the public during 
the war, I see, with pleasure, that the affairs of the United 
Slates are not now in such a situation as to render the 


contributions of an individual necessary. It is my wish to 
endeavor to repair the injuries my estate has sustained by 
the ravages of the enemy, and my own neglect, by the 
offices I have held. 

From my former letter, Congress will be ab'e to judge 
how far my expenses in the office exceed the salary. But 
as it by no means follows, that another by greater economy 
and humbler, but, perhaps, more just ideas of the im- 
portance of this office, could not live at less expense, I do 
not think that n)in« should be any reason to induce Con- 
gress to make other changes, than such as they shall of 
ihemsplves deem necessary. And in this view, I re- 
quested the committee, that called upon me last winter, to 
keep the matter of emoluments entirely out of sight in their 
report, as I then considered my stay only as a temporary 

At present, Sir, I must choose between tiie office I 
have been honored with from Congress and an important 
State office. If I continue in the first, I must suppose it 
the business of years, and lose sight of all other objects in 
my own State, where 1 have something to hope from my 
connexions and the favor of my coui.trynien, and where I 
possess an estate, the value of which dejiends in a great 
measure upon my attention to it. Under these circuni- 
stances, I flatter myself that the committee will not think 
me blamable, when I assure them, that though I am willing 
to give my lime and services to the public if they should 
be deemed necessary, yet I cannot injustice to myself or 
my family, add to this gift that of such a portion of my 
pro()eriy as 1 find absolutely necessary to support llie 
tffice I hold. 

Permit me, Gentlemen, to add, that having no wishes 


upon this sul.ject, T am sincerely desirous iliat personal con- 
siderations may not enter into the nrrangemenis that Con- 
gress make thereon. 1 feel ntyself extremely honored hy 
the attention they liave shown me in directing yon to con- 
fer with me on this snhject ; and I reflect with great 
pleasure on the reasons I have had to be satisfied with 
their conduct towards me since 1 have been honored with 
the office. 

1 am, Gentlemen, &ic. 



Philadelphia, INIay 2Clh, 1783. 
In compliance with your request, I have collected from 
the papers in my office the following account of tJKj 
moneys received by loans, or otherwise, from Holland,- 
Fiance, and Spain. 

The first loan that was opened in Holland on niir ac- 
count with success, was opened by His Most Cinisiian 
Majesty, and under his special guarantee, (or ten millions of 
livrcs. Since that, another loan was contracted hy Mr 
Adams with private banking houses, to the amount of five 
millions of florins. 

These houses, in a letter directed to n>e of the IGih of 
August last, write that they had at that time in cash by 
them, one million four hundre.i and eighty four thousand 
florins, of which the interest ran as follows ; 
1,314,000 florins, from the 1st of June, 
170,000 florins, from the 1st of July. 


They add, iliat they had already paid to the ordn- of 
Mr Aihims, in favor of siiii(h-y individuals, tlie sum of two 
llioiisaiid nine hundred and two florins, and that that Min- 
ister had hinted to them, tiiat it would be necesoary to 
pay some <hafis of Mr Laurens's when arrived, and j« few 
other unavoidable expenses, which would amount to about 
tv»o himdred iJiousaiid florins. By a letter of the iSili 
of November last, they have acknowledged the receipt 
of the contract duly ratifieil, so that the money they 
had on hand has been since that li(ue at the disposal of 

The moneys received from France before the year 
1780^ cannot be very accurately stateil, for the want of 
order in lite books kept by the Committee of Foreign 
Affairs. Hy the best estimate I have been able to make, 
the amoinit of, such moneys appears to be about nine 
millions of livres, exclusive of one million received from 
the Farmers-Genlral on a particular contract. To this, 
must be added the grants oljfiincd l*y Colonel Laurens, 
which, including military stores, amomit to fourteen mil- 
lions of livres. So that the whole of the money received 
from F^rance, amounts to about four and twenty millions 
lournois. I shoidd observe, that I ha»'e not iiere made 
any distinction between loans and gifts, though about eight 
nnllions of the above sum have been granted by France 
without any expectation of being repaid. 

From S|)ain we have only received one jjundred and 
fifty thousand dollars, which were granted to Air Jay in 
the beginning of the year 17S0. 

1 have not menlioi'ed the engagement, which France 
has lately entered into to supply the United States with 
six millions of livres, as you may find everything that 


relates to it in the appendix to the address of Congress to 
the Stnles. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 



riiiladelphia, June 2d, 1783. 
I hiive the honor to submit to Congress a letter from 
M. Dumas, wiiii several papers relative to a negotiation, 
which appears to have been commenced by the Slates of 
Holland iviih our jNIinisters. As this subject may be very 
important m its consequences, it is to be presumed, tliat 
they would wish to have the direction of Congress. I 
woidd therefore take the liberty to suggest, that these pa- 
pers be committed to a special coinmiitee. 

As my stay in town will not admit of my executing the 
commission, whicli M. Van Berckel requires, I must pray 
Congress also to give some direction iherein. 
1 have the honor to ije, he. 







During the rtrst years of the Revolution the finan- 
cial concerns of Congress were managed by a Com- 
mittee, under the general supervision of that body. 
Disorder and confusion were the gradual results of 
such a system. It was at length resolved to put this 
Department into the hands of a responsible individual, 
and Robert Morris was unanimously chosen Super- 
intendent of Finance, on the 20th of February, 1781. 
Various reasons prevented his engaging in the duties 
of the office till the May following. 

The high expectations of Congress, and of the 
country, were fully answered by the ability and suc- 
cess with which Mr Morris administered the affairs of 
this new Department. Funds were provided, and 
public credit restored. He remained in office till 
November 1st, 1784. 

Nothing can afford a stronger proof of his zeal, assi- 
duity, and unwearied labor, than the correspondence 
which he has left respecting the transactions of his 
office. The letters here published are a selection only 
from the large mass, which has been preserved. They 
pertain chiefly to the foreign relations of the United 
States, either as effected by European loans, or by the 
agency of the internal resources of the country. In 
fact, all the financial operations of Congress were more 
or less connected with their Foreign Affairs, since 
loans from abroad were necessary, and these could be 
])rocured only on the strength of public rredit and (he 
means of sustaining it at home, 
vol.. XI. 44 



In Congress, February 7lh, 1781 . 

Congress resumed the consideration of the plan for 
the arrangement of the civil executive departments of 
the United States ; and thereupon, 

Resolved, That there be a Superintendent of Fi- 
nance, a Secretary at War, and a Secretary of Marine j 

That it shall be the duty of the Superintendent of 
Finance, to examine into the state of the public debts, 
the public expenditures, and the public revenue; to 
digest and report plans for improving and regulating 
the finances, and for establishing order and economy 
in the expenditure of the public money ; to direct the 
execution of all plans, which shall be adopted by Con- 
gress respecting revenue and expenditure ; to superin- 
tend and control the settlement of all public accounts; 
to direct and control all persons employed in procur- 


ing supplies for the public service, and in the expen- 
diture of public money; to obtain accounts of all the 
issues of the specific supplies furnished by the several 
States; to compel the payment of all moneys due to 
the United Stales, and in his official character, or in 
such manner as the laws of the respective States shall 
direct, to prosecute in behalf of the United States, for 
all delinquencies respecting the public revenue and 
expenditures ; to report to Congress the officers who 
shall be necessary for assisting him in the various 
branches of his Department. 

In Congress, February 20th. Congress proceeded to 
the election of a Superintendent of Finance; and the 
ballots being taken, Robert Morris was unanimously 


Philadelphia, March 13th, 1781. 

I had tlie honor to receive yoc.r Excellency's letter of 
the 21st of last month, enclosing the Act of Congress of 
the 20Ui. whereby 1 am appointed, by a unanimous elec- 
tion of that honorable body, to the important office of 
Superintendent of Finance. Perfectly sensible of 
the honor done me by this strong mark of confidence from 
the sovereign authority of tlie United Stales, I feel myself 
bound to make the acknowledgments due, by pursuing 
a conduct formed to answer the expectations of Congress, 
and promote the public welfare. Were my abilities equal 
to my desire of serving America, I should have given an 
immediate determination after this appointment was made ; 


but conscious of my own deficiencies, Tune for considera- 
tion was absolutely necessary. Little, however, of that 
time, wiiich has elapsed have 1 been able to devote to this 
object, as the business before the Legislature of Pennsyl- 
vania, wherein I liave the honor of a seat, has demanded 
and continues to demand my constant attendance. 

So far as the station of Superintendent of Finance, or 
indeed any other public station or office, applies to myself 
I should without the least hesitation have declined an ac- 
ceptance ; for after upwards of twenty years assiduous 
application to business as a merchant, I find myself at that 
period when my mind, body, and inclination combine to 
seek for relaxation and ease. Providence had so far 
smiled on my endeavors as to enable me to prepare for the 
indulgence of these feelings, in such a manner as would 
be least injurious to the interest of my family. If, there- 
fore, 1 accept this appointment, a sacrifice of that ease, of 
much social and domestic enjoyment, and of every mate- 
rial interest, must be the inevitable consequence ; and as 
my ambition was entirely gratified by my present situation 
and character in life, no motive of that kind can stimulate 
me to the acceptance. 

Putting myself out of the question, the sole motive is 
the public good ; and this motive I confess comes home to 
my feelings. The contest we are engaged in appeared 
to me, in the first instance, just and necessary ; therefore 
I took an active part in it. As it became dangerous, I 
thought it the more glorious, and was stimulated to the 
greatest exertions in my power, when the affairs of Amer- 
ica were at the worst. Sensible of the want of arrange- 
ment in our monied affairs, the same considerations inipel 
me to this undertaking, which I would embark in. without 


hesitation, could I believe myself equal thereto ; but fear- 
ing this may not be the case, it becomes indispensably 
necessary to make such stipulations, as may give ease 
to my feelings, aid my exertions, and tend to procure 
ample support to my conduct in office, so long as it is 
founded in and guided by a regard to the public prosperity. 

In the first place then, I am to inform Congress, that 
the preparatory steps I had taken to procure to myself 
relaxation from business, with least injury to the interests 
of my family, were by engaging in certain commercial 
establishments with persons, in whom I had perfect con- 
fidence as to their integrity, honor, and abilities. These 
establishments I am bound in honor and by contracts to 
support to the extent agreed on. If, therefore, it be in 
the idea cf Congress, that the office of Superintendent of 
Finance is incompatible with commercial concerns and 
connexions, the point is settled ; for I cannot on any con- 
sideration consent to violate engagements or depart from 
those principles of honor, which it is my pride to be gov- 
erned by. If, on the contrary. Congress have elected me 
to this office under the expectation, that my mercantile 
connexions and engagements were to continue, an express 
declaration of their senfunents should appear on the 
minutes, that no doubt may arise or reflections be cast 
on this score hereafter. 

I also think it indispensably necessary, that the appoint- 
ment of all persons who are to act in my office, under the 
same roof, or in immediate connexion with, should be made 
by myself; Congress first agreeing, that such secretaries, 
clerks, or officers, so to be appointed are necessary, and 
fixing ihe salaries for each. I conceive, that it will be 
impossible to execute the duties of this office with effect, 


unless the nbsolute power of dismissing from office or em- 
ployment all persons whatever, that are concerned in the 
official expenditure of public moneys, be committed to 
the Superintendent of Finance. For unless this power can 
be exercised without control, I have little hopes of effi- 
cacy in the business of reformation, which is probably the 
most essential part of the duty. 

These being the only positive stipulations that occur to 
me at this lime, the determination of Congress thereon 
will enable me to determine whether to accept or decline 
the oppointment. I must, however, observe that the act 
of Congress of the 7th of February, describing the 
duties of the Superintendent of Finance, requires the ex- 
ecution of many things, for which adequate powers are not 
provided, and it cannot be expected, that your officer can 
in such case be responsible. These however may be the 
subjects of future discussions. 

With sentiments of the highest respect, for you and 
Congress, I have the honor to subscribe myself, your 
Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant. 

* During the whole period in which Mr Morris held the office of 
Superintendent of Finance, he kept a Diary, in which he entered 
daily the principal transactions of his department. The following 
is an extract from the Diary. 

"On the 21st of February I received a letter from the President of 
Congress, enclosing the resolves of the 20th, whereby I was unani- 
mously elected the Superintendent of Finance of the United States. 
This appointment was unsought, unsolicited, and dangerous to ac- 
cept, as it was evidently contrary to my private interest, and if ac- 
cepted must deprive me of those enjoyments, social and domestic, 
which my time of life required, and to which my circumstances enti- 
tled me ; and a vigorous execution of the duties must inevitably ex- 
pose me to the resentment of disappointed and designing men, and to 



'h. A letter of the 13tli instan 
Morris was taken into consideration, and it was 

Resolved, that the United StatPs in Congress assembled 
do not require him to dissolve the commercial connexions 
referred to in the said letter. 

March 2\st. The consideration of the letter of the 
13ih instant, from Robert Morris being resumed, a motion 
was made, and it was 

Resolved^ that the Superintendent of Finance be, and 
he is hereby empowered to appoint and remove at his 
pleasure, his assistants in his peculiar office or chamber of 
business in immediate connexion with him ; it being first 
determined by the United States in Congress assembled, 
that such assistants so to be appointed are necessary, and 
what the salary of each shall be. 

Ordered, that the remainder of Mr Morris's letter be 
referred to a committee of three. The members appointed 
were Messrs Houston, Burke, and Wolcott. 

the calumny and detraction of the envious and malicious. 1 was 
therefore determined not to engage in so arduous an undertaking. 
But the solicitations of my friends, acquaintance, and fellow citizens, 
a full conviction of the necessity, that some person should commence 
the work of reformation in our public affairs, by an attempt to in- 
troduce system and economy, and the persuasion, that a refusal on 
my part, would probably deter others from attempting this work, so 
absolutely necessary to the safety of our country ; these consider- 
ations, afler much reflection and consultation with friends, induced 
me to write a letter to the President of Congress, dated the I3th 
of March, 1781," 



Date Uncertain. 

When I liad llie honor of a visit from you on the 
subject of my interview with Congress, it was agreed 
Ihat I should make out and deliver you a list of the 
several officers concerned in the expenditure of jjublic 
money, over whom I judged it necessary for the Su- 
perintendent of Finance to have the uncontrolled 
power of dismission. But on reflection I found it was 
not in my power to render such a list, because I do 
not know the several degrees of officers now in em- 
ployment, and even if I did, such a list would not 
ansvv'er the end, because others may hereafter be crea- 
ted, who should also be subjected to the power of the 
Financier, and it would be very troublesome for Con- 
gress on every such appointment to pass a resolution 
for the purpose. There will also be appointments 
made occasionally by the Commander in Chief, the 
Heads of Department, and by other officers, in which 
the expenditure of public moneys will be involved, and 
of course such appointments must also be subject to 
the same authority. For these reasons, it seems 
proper that the power of the Minister of Finance, with 
respect to the control and dismission from office of all 
persons concerned in the expenditure of public prop- 
erty, should be defined in one Act of Congress, vesting 
him with that authority. 

To me it appears absolutely necessary, that this 
power should be vested in the Financier to enable him 
voi„ xt. 45 


to remedy and prevent public abuses; and the extent 
shouM be measured by the necessity and the use. As 
to myself, 1 am far from desiring power for the sake 
of power. Indeed I think it is generally more dan- 
gerous to the possessor than to the objects of it. 
sConsequently I cannot have a wish to extend it be- 
yond the necessity and utility mentioned, 

Th3 whole business of finance may be described in 
two short but comprehensive sentences, if I have 
proper notions on the subject. It is to raise the public 
revenues, hy such modes as may he most easy and most 
equal to the people; and to expend them in the most fru- 
gal, fair, and honest manner. In our case the first part 
must ever be the business of Congress, and the Legis- 
latures of the respeclive States; because the powers of 
taxation cannot be delegated. The second I take to 
be the most essential part of the duty of the Superin- 
tendent of Finance. He must ever have it in view to 
reduce the expenditures as nearly as possible to what 
in justice and in reason they ought to be; and to do 
this, he must be vested with power to dismiss from 
employment those officers he shall find unnecessary, 
unequal to their stations, inattentive lo their duty, or 
dishonest in the exercise of it. 

In a moii3rchy this power need not be officially 
vested in a Miniiter, because he can have constant in- 
tercourse vvith the Sovereign, and by that means he is 
in the daily exercise of it. Where the sovereignty is 
vested in a public body of men, such an intercourse is 
impracticable; and I am persuaded that a Minister 
who would venture to execute the duties of his office 
with vigor, without possessing uncontrolled the power 


of dismission, would in a few months jjiit it out of his 
power to proceed in his business, and Congress would 
have full emplo\'ment to hear and determine between 
him and suspended officers. On the contrary, if a 
dismissed officer can have no appeal but to the laws of 
the land, Congress will not be troubled, business may 
be conducted with decision, and the very knowledge 
that such a power exists, will have a tendency to pre- 
vent the frequent exercise of it, after the first reforms 
are effected , 

I have been told, that some gentlemen considered the 
expressions in my letter to Congress on this subject so 
general as that they might be construed to compre- 
hend the Commander in Chief, Heads of Department, 
&c. But this cannot be. The Commander in Chief 
is not concerned himself, but employs others in the 
expenditure of public money, to whom he grants war- 
rants or drafts on the military chest; and the persons 
so employed ought to be accountable, and subject to 
dismission. I suppose officers of the army may fre- 
quently be so employed, and in tliat case it cannot be 
supposed, that the power of the Financier extends to 
the military commission, for it certainly must be con- 
fined to the money matters. There is one exception 
with respect to what I have said of the Commander in 
Chief, and that is the expenditures for secret service, 
and in tiiis respect I think he should be responsible to 
the Sovereign only. 

The Quarter Master General, having a military as 
well as a civil duty, he cannot be under the control of 
the Financier, for the first, although he certainly 
ought to be the last, which has great connexion with 


heavy expense, and perhaps it wouKl be best, that he 
should execute all the business of expenditures by one 
or more deputies, which would exonerate him from 
that power, which they must be subjected to. The 
Commissary General, and every person employed 
under him, are the immediate objects of this power. 
The Paymaster General, may be considered as a chan- 
nel of conveyance, through which money passes from 
the treasury to the army, and as he is subjected to the 
law military, the Minister of Finance needs no other 
authority over him and his officers, than the power of 
putting under arrest and suspending for mal-conduct 
in office. 

All persons employed as Commissaries of military 
stores, of clothing, or any other denomination, wherein 
the expenditure of public money or property is con- 
nected, ought to be subjected to this authority. The 
expenses in the medical department are said to havo 
exceeded Ihoce of the like kind in any other country. 
It is, therefore, evident that the Purveyors, Commis- 
saries, &c. in this department should be subject to the 
same immediate control as others; and alihoii2;h the 
Financier cannot judge of the medical skill of tiie Di- 
rector General and his officers, yet if any waste or 
misapplication of public property in their department 
should come to his knowledge, he should have author- 
ity to bring offenders to a Court Martial. 

There is no possibility of introducing public econ- 
omy without the fiequent adjustment of accounts; and 
the more various these may be, the greater is the ne- 
cessity of constant attention to liquidate them speedily 
and well. The Financier ought, therefore, to havo 


the power of removing any of the officers, whose busi- 
ness it is to examine and settle the public accounts, 
that so he may be cnableii to obtain a proper anil early 
settlement, and prevent the dangerous elfects of inat- 
tention or corruption on one hand, or of delay, inso* 
Icncc, and tyranny to individuals concerned in such 
accounts, on the other. And on account of this power 
the Financier should have no accounts with the public 
himself, but wherever expenditures are nec( ssary in 
his department, he should employ proper pe;sons 
therein, subject to the same powers and modes of ac- 
countirig with every other person emplo)ed in 
expending public properly ; or if of necessity he shall 
at any time have accounts with the public, Congress 
can appoint a committee, or special bocrd, to examine 
and settle his accounts. 

From what I have already said, I think it is evident, 
that the power I have stipulated for is absolutely ne- 
cessary ; and alihou^jh it is not possible to enumerate 
every object of that power, yet the general lines 
within which they may be comprehended can be 
drawn from the observations I have made, alihou-^h I 
have said our foreign departments, as these may be 
brought into consideration hereafter when it shall 
appear necessary. 

Whoever contemplates the extent of the United 
States, and the vast amount of their present expenses, 
while at the same time all our operations languish, 
must certainly be convinced that some immediate rem- 
edy ought to be applied. The office of Superintendent 
of Finance I suppose is meant as one means of restor- 
ing economy and vigor; and nothing will keep up in 


the minds of the public servants such a constant sense 
of their duty, as a knowledge of the power to remove 
them in the hands of a person of vigilant and decisive 
character. Whether I shdU have sufficient courage 
and perseverance to act up to that character, and 
whether my small abilities, supported by application 
and attention, will enable me to render essential ser- 
vice in the execution of this office, is become an object 
of great consideration, that fills my mind with much 
apprehension, and induces me to wish I had declined 
this arduous undertaking in the first instance. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 



April 2lst. On a report of the committee, to whom 
was referred Mr Morris's letter of the 13lh of March, 

Resolved, That the Superintendent of Finance be 
and he is hereby authorised, to remove from office or 
employment, for incapacity, negligence, dishonesty or 
other misbehavior, such persons, not immediately 
appointed by the United States in Congress assem- 
bled, as are or may be officially intrusted with, and 
immediately employed in the expenditure of the pub- 
lic supplies, stores, and other property; in stating, 
examining and passing the public accounts, or in the 
receipt of the continental revenues of the United 
States, and such of the said persons as are or may be 
in his judgment unnecessary, reporting to such author- 
ity, board, minister, or office, to whom it may belong 


to supply the vacancy, the respective names of the 
persons so removed. 

That he be authorised to suspend from office or em- 
ployment, for similar causes, persons officially em- 
ployed and intrusted as aforesaid, immediately 
appointed by the United Siatcs in Congress assembled, 
reporting forthwith their names and the reason of 

Provided, that in all cases where any of the persons 
aforesaid, are or may be amenable to the law martial, 
the Superintendent be, and he is hereby authorised 
and directed, if he shall deem it most expedient for 
the public service, to put them in arrest by order in 
writing, and to apply to the officer whose duty it may 
be, to order a court martial ; and such officer is hereby 
directed to order proceedings on the arrest accord- 

That in every case of suspension, all pay and emol- 
uments cease from the dale thereof, unless the persons 
suspended be, upon trial, acquitted and restored ; and 
the Superintendent shall have power to supply the 
place when it may be necessary, b}'^ a temporary ap- 
pointment, to continue until the person suspended be 
restored or dismissed. 

That the aforesaid powers shall not be construed to 
interfere with the rank, commission, or military duty 
of any officer in the line of the army, or those who 
may be duly intrusted with money for secret services 
by Congress, or the Commander in Chief of the army, 
or commanding officer of a separate department. 

That the powers aforesaid be exercised during the 
pleasure of Congress, but not to extend beyond the 
duration of the war. 


^pril21ih. On a further report of the committee 
on Mr Morris's letter of the 13ih ultimo, 

Resolved, that in order that the Superintendent of 
Finance may be at liberty to devote his time and at- 
tention to the more immediate duties of his office, he 
be, and hereby is authorised, to appoint by letter of 
attorney, or otherwise, such person or persons, as he 
may think proper, to prosecute or defend for him, in 
his official capacity, or in behalf of the United Slates, 
in all places where the same may be necessary. 


Philadelphia, May 14lh, 1781. 

The ho:;or conferred by Congress in appointing me 
Superintendent of Finance, their several resolutions of the 
20ih of March, and the 21st and 27th of April, which 
your Excellency has been pleased to transmit, and a 
serious conviction of that duty, which every citizen owes to 
his country, especially in times of public calamity, will no 
longer permit me to hesitate about the acceptance of that 
office, alihough 1 nmst again repeat, that 1 have the fullest 
sense of my own inability. I shall, however, strive to find 
such assistance as will enable me, in some measure, to 
answer the reasonable expectations of Congress, to whom 
I can promise for myself nothing more than honest industry. 

You will readily perceive, that much time must be con- 
sumed in procuring proper officers ; fixing on men for 
assistants, whose abilities and integrity may be depended 
on ; in laying plans for obtaining money with the greatest 
ease to the people, and expending it with the greatest 


advantage to ihe public; foraiing arrangements necessary 
to cany these plans into execution ; and obtaining infor- 
mation as to the present state of things, in order thai abuses 
mny be, if possible, speeddy and efFiiClually remedied. 

Besides this, it will be necessary that I should confer 
vviili the Commander in Chief, on the various expenditures 
of the war, and the means of retrenching stiiii a^are 
unnecessary. Let me add, that the accounts of my private 
business must be adjusted, so as that all my affairs may be 
j)tit into the hands of other persons, and subjected to their 
fnanagement. My necessary commercial connexions, not- 
uiihstnuding the decided sense of Congress, expressed in 
their resolution of the 20ih of IMarch, might, if tlie business 
were transacted by myself, give rise to illiberal reflections, 
equally painfid to me and injiuious to the public. This 
reason rdone would deserve great attention ; but, further, 
I exj)Hct that my whole time, study, atid attention wiil 
be necessarily devoted to tlie various business of my 

Having thus stated some of the causes, which will pre- 
vent me from imnjediaiely entering on the arduous task 
assigned me, I pray leave to call the attention of Congress 
to the advanced season, and then I am persuaded their 
own good sense will render it unnecessary for me to 
observe, that very little can he expected from my exer- 
tions during the present campaign ; they will, therefore, 
easily perceive the propriety of the request 1 am to make, 
that the business may go on according to the present 
arrangements, or such other as Congress may devise, until 
1 can take it u|), which 1 promise to do as speedily as 
possible. By this means, 1 n)ay be enabled so to dispose 
of the several members of my department, as to form them 
VOL. XI. 4G 


into a regular system ; whereas, by throwing the whole 
immediately upon me, [ shall be inevitably involved in a 
labyrinth of confusion, from which no human efforts can 
ever afterwards extricate me. 

Another consideration of great magnitude, to which I 
must also pray the attention of Congress, is the present 
puyjc debts. I am sure no gentleman can hope that these 
should be immediately paid out of an empty treasury. If 
I am to receive and consider tiie applications on that sub- 
ject, if I am to be made responsible, that alone will, I fear, 
be full employment for the life of one man, and some other 
must be chosen to attend to the present and provide for the 
future. But this not all ; if from that, or any other cause, 
I am forced to commit a breach of faith, or even to incur 
the appearance of it, from that moment my utility ceases. 
In accepting the office bestowed on me, I sacrifice much 
of my interest, my ease, my domestic enjoyments, and 
internal tranquillity. If I know my own heart, I make 
these sacrifices with a disinterested view to the service of 
my country. I am ready to go still further ; and the 
United States may command everything I have, except my 
integrity, and the loss of that would effectually disable me 
from serving them more. What I have to pray, then, is, 
that the juljustment of all past transactions, and of all that 
relates to tiie present system, may be completed by the 
means already adopted, that whatever remains unpaid may 
become a funded debt, and that it may in that form be 
committed to me, to provide for the yearly interest and for 
the eventual discharge of the principal. This task I will 
cheerfully undertake ; and if, in the progress of things, I 
am enabled to go further, with equal cheerfulness it shall 
be done ; but I must again repeat my serious conviction, 
that the least breach of faith must ruin us forever. 


It is not from vanity that I ineniian the expectations, 
which the public seem to have formed from my appoint- 
ment. On the contrary, I am persuaded, tiiey are raised 
on a vveaic foundation, and I must lament them, because I 
foresee they must be disappointed. I must, therefore, 
entreat that no flattering prospect of immediate relief may 
be raised. 

Congress will know that tlie public credit cannot be 
restored without method, economy, and punctual per- 
formance of contracts. Time is necessary to each ; and 
therefore the removal of those evils we hiljor under can be 
expected from time only. To hold out a different idea 
would deceive the people, and consequently injure the 
public service. 

I am sure it is unnecessary to add, before 1 close this 
letter, that I confidently expect uiy measures will meet 
with the fullest support from Congress, so long as they are 
honestly directed to the general welfare. In this convic- 
tion, and with every sentiment of respectful atten:ion, I 

have the honor to be, he. 


* May I4th. Wrote a letter to the President, promising to accept 
the office. At this time, however, various reasons occurred to prevent 
an immediate acceptance of the Commission ; but particularly it was 
necessary to retain my seat in the Assembly of Pennsylvania, in 
order to lay a foundation for such measures as might tend to their 
support of me in pursuing the public good, not doubting but their 
example would have proper influence on the Legislatures of the 
other States, especially in their determination upon general points, 
such as their repealing those tender and penal laws, which in their 
operation had destroyed all public and private confidence and credit; 
in passing effective tax bills, that might yield substantial aid to the 
United States for calUng in the paper money, that had lost its credit; 
and in adopting plans of revivirig and establishing the credit of 



Philadelphia, May 17lh, 1781, 

I beg leave to suhmit the enclosed plan for establi.ojiing 
a National Bank in these United Stales, and the IJljserva- 
tions on it, to the perusal and consideration of Congress. 

Anticipation of taxes and funds is all that oujil.t to be 
expected from any systrm of paper credit. This seems 
as likely to rise into a fabric equal to the weight, as any i 
have yet seen or thought of; and I, submit wheilier it 
may not be necessary and proper, that Congress slmuld 
make immediate application to the several Slates, to invest 
them wiili the powers of incorj)oraiing a [)ank, and for 
prohibiting all other banks, or bankers, in these States, ai 
least during the war.* 

I have the honor to be, &:c. 



Philadelphia, May 23d, 1781. 
As I have heard in times past, tiiat the treasury has fre- 
quently been in wiuil of hard money, to comply wiili en- 
gagements made with the approbation of C.)ngres«, and 
sometimes obliged to obtain it on terms inconsistent with 

such as had been injured in some degree, but which, being neces- 
sary in circulation, and originally issued on funds sufficirnt for its 
redemption, ought not to be given up to ruin, if possible to prevent 
it. Dim y. 

* See the Plan of the National Bank here mentioned, and also the 
Observations on it, in John Jaij's Correspondence, Vol. Vll. p. 444. 


llie (li^niiy of government, nnti nol very consonant to the 
public interest, I would wish to ^unrd nf^ninst llie like in- 
conveniences by irn|-.oiting from foreign coiuilries n supply at 
Iciisl sufficient to p;iy rents of the houses :itid offices neces- 
sarily employed for the Contineniid service ; also to answer, 
as far as may be, the calls for secret service. Aiul even 
if I could devise the means of obtaining it, I sliouhi sup- 
pose it would be agieeable to bring such sums as may an- 
swer odier valuable pur|)0ses ; but as it cannot be imporied 
but at the risk of being captured by the enemy, and the 
danger of the elements, you will perceive the necessity of 
my beii'g authorised liy Congress to enter oi and execute 
this business at the risk, and for account of the Continent, 
on the best terms in my power. 

The sum may be limited if thought needful ; although 1 
should sujipose it is not possible in our circumstances to 
obtain too much ; yet the smn lo be risked in any one bot- 
tom may very properly not exceed a certain amount in a 
luic of battle ship, or frigate, ami a smaller in any one mer- 
ch«1# vessel. Should Congress think proper lo audiorise 
these measures, as 1 hope they will, the private journals 
will be most proper to insert the proceedings in; as a want 
of secrecy may endanger the money. 
1 have the honor to be, &.(•. 



Philadelpliia, May 2Cth, 1781. 

It is sonie time sir.ce I received your performance, dated 
the oOdi of Ajjril last. 1 have read it with that attention, 


which it justly deserves, and finding many parts of it to 
coincide with my own opinions on the subject, it naturally 
strengthened that confidence, which every man ought to 
possess to a certain degree in his own judgment. 

You will very soon see the plan of a bank published, 
and subscriptions opened for its establii^hment, having al- 
ready met with the approbation of Congress. It only re- 
mains for individuals to do their part, and a foundation will 
be laid for the anticipation of taxes and funds, by a paper 
credit that cannot depreciate. The capital proposed fell 
far short of your idea ; and, indeed, far short of what it 
ought to be ; but I am confident if this is once accom- 
plished, the capital may afterwards be increased to almost 
any amount. To propose a large sum in the outset, and 
fail in the attempt to raise it, would be fatal. To begin 
with what is clearly within our power to accomplish, and 
on that beginning to establish the credit, that will inevitably 
command the future increase of capital, seems the most 
certain road to success. 

I have thought much about interweaving a securitj'%ifith 
the capital of this bank, but am apprehensive it would 
convey to the public niind an idea- of paper being circulated 
on that credit, and that the bank in consequence must fail 
in its payments, in case of any considerable run on it ; and 
we must expect, that its ruin will be attempted by external 
and internal foes. I iiave, therefore, left that point to the 
future deliberations of the Directors of this bank, to whom 
in due time, 1 shall communicate your address. 

I esteem myself much your debtor for this piece, not 
merely on account of the personal respect you have been 
pleased to express, but chiefly on account of your good 
intentions ; and for these, and the pains yon have taken, I 


not only think, but on all proper occasions shall say, the 
public are also indebted to you. 

My office is new, and I am young in the execution of it. 
Communications from men of genius and abilities, will 
always be acceptable, and yours will ever command the 
attention of, Sir, your obedient humble servant, 



Philadelphia, May 29th, 1781. 
Dear Sir, 

You will probably have heard that Congress have done 
me the honor to bestow their confidence, by appointing me 
to the important station of Superintendent of Finance of 
North America ; a station that makes me tremble when I 
think of it, and which nothing could tempt me to accept, 
but a gleam of hope, that my exertions may possibly re- 
trieve this poor distressed country from the ruin with wliich 
it is now threatened, merely for want of system and econ- 
omy in spending, and vigor in raising the public moneys. 
Pressed by all my friends, acquaintances, and fellow citi- 
zens, and still more pressed by the necessity^ the absolute 
necessity f of a change in our uionied system, to work salva- 
tion, I have yielded, and taken a load on my shoulders, 
which it is impossible to get clear of without the faitliful 
support and assistance of those good citizens, who not only 
wish, but will promote the service of their country. In 
this light I now make application to you, Sir, whose abili- 
ties I know, and whose zeal I have every reason to believe. 
The object, however, before me, is not of such magnitude 
as to require any great exertion of either at present, ai- 


though it is of sufficient importance lo induce the invoca- 

Gcnei-iil Washington is distressed for want of an ioime- 
diate supply of flour, and as I am not even yet fairly en- 
tered on the execution of my office, and wheti I do, iiave 
to meet an empty treasury, and a totally exhnuslejl credit, 
it must he some time l)efore (unds can be created or mo- 
ney be conunandt'd for any purpose whatsoever ; and as ( 
do not know any gentleman of such resources as General 
Schuyler, he seems the most likely of all men to give as- 
sisianre under the present circmnslances. 1 must, iheie- 
fore, request that you will take the most speedy and effec- 
tual measures to deliver lo the order of his Excellency, 
GtMieral VViishiugton, one thoiisaiul barrels of flour, which 
I am sure you will pmchase and cause to be transported 
on the most reasonable terms that are practicable. No 
time must be lost, but the flour must be sent down in the 
parcels as f.isl as procured. The Pennsylvania Bank had 
all the flom- they su|i|)lied to the army, seemed with out- 
side lining hoops on each head of every barrel, and the 
weight and tare marked on t?ach cask. If you were lo 
cause this to be done, and add to the mark your name, it 
would save a waste of flour, oblige the Issuing C(<mmissary 
to take notice of an account f'^r the weights as well as bar- 
rels, and leach the army to think that ihey are indebted to 
your exeriions for a seasonable supply. 

I have the nieans of raising hard tnoney to pay for this 
flour, and the charges on il ; but the longer time I am al- 
lowed to do it, the more 1 can consult the public interest. 
I take it for granted, that you can, upon your own credit 
and engagements, either borrow the money for a few 
mouths, uecessiuy to accomplish this business ; or that you 


can make the purchases on such credit, without giving 
hi<^her prices ; and for your reimbursement, you may either 
take me as a public or a private man, for I pledge myself 
to repay you with hard money wholly, if required, or part 
hard and part paper, if you so transact the business. In 
short, I promise, and you may rely, that no consideration 
whatever, shall induce me to make a promise, that I do 
not see my capability to perform, that I will enable you to 
fulfil your engagements for this supply of flour. If you 
find it convenient, you may draw on me for hard money or 
paper, payable in such sums, and at such times, as you can 
conceive may not be inconvenient, judging by what I have 
said on this subject. #hould good bills on France be 
wanted, at about hard money your currency, for five 

livres tournois, I will furnish them, drawn or endorsed by 
myself, for the whole, or any part of this purchase. 

I hope we shall hereafter supply our army by contracts, 
and your information and observations on this subject would 
be very obliging. Perhaps if you are not fully employed 
otherwise, you might start some worthy man under your 
patronage, that might render essential service to the public, 
with proper advantage to himself and connexions in this 

I am, Dear Sir, yours, &c. 


P. S. Remember, that I put absolute dependence on 
you for this one thousand barrels of flour, and it must be 
sent to the army directly. 
VOL. XI. 47 



Philadelphia, June 4th, 1781, 

Having been informed by several members of Congress, 
as also by his Excellency, the Chevalier de la Luzerne, 
that it was determined to put the management of the 
moneys lately granted by his Most Christian Majesty under 
my direction, in order that they might be punctually ap- 
plied to the purposes for which the grant was made, viz. 
a vigorous prosecution of the present campaign ; 1 had, in 
conjunction with the Minister of France, formed some ar- 
rangements for drawing part of this money into immediate 
use; but, on applying to the Secretary of Congress, I do 
not find that any act has been passed giving me authority 
over the moneys so granted ; consequently, all proceedings 
must stop until the previous steps are taken by Congress. 
1 have, the honor to be, &ic. 



Philadelphia, June 8th, 1781. 
Dear Sir, 

In a private letter, which 1 did myself the honor to 
write you on the 6th instant, I announced the appointment 
I have received from the honorable Congress, to the office 
of Superintendent of the Finances of the United States of 
North America ; and I now beg leave to address you in 
my official character. 

Congress have thought j)roper to commit to me the dis- 
position and management of the money granted lo the 


United States by his Most Christian Majesty, in aid, of our 
operaiions for the present campaign, in order that the same 
may be solely applied to that use ; and for iliis reason, I 
have found it necessary to keep the whole sum of this 
grant separate and distinct from any other, so that its ap- 
plication may at any time be clearly seen. Instead, tliere- 
fore, of drawing upon your Excellency, who have many 
other bills running upon you, I have judged it expedient to 
name Messrs Le Couteulx h Co., bankers in Paris, to 
receive the money from his Majesty's Ministers, so that 
they may be able to honor my bills with acceptance when- 
ever they appear, and punctually to acquit ihem as they 
fall due. I have written to Messrs Le Couteulx, that you 
would join and support them in any application that may 
become needful to his Majesty or his Ministers, whi^h I 
hope you will readily do. 

And, on the other hand, your attention to the interest of 
this country will lead you to inform yourself whether the 
house of Le Couteulx and Company, are as perfectly safe 
and rich as they ought to be, to entitle them to this trust. 
They are represented to me as one of the safest and most 
prudent banking houses in Europe ; and iiis Excellency, 
the Minister of France at this place, now writes to have 
five hundred thousand livres tournois deposited with them, 
on account of the United States, subject to my drafts or 
orders. Should their credit not entitle them to this trust, 
you will please to interfere, and consult with M. Necker 
what banker to employ in such case, directing those you 
do employ, to accept and pay my drafts. However, I 
imagine lljese gentlemen will be found sufficiently safe. 

SlioukI it be more agreeable to M. Necker that any- 
other banker be made use of, ^ive me the name and write 


me the propriety of such alteration, and I shall acquiesce 
in such change immediately on the receipt of your letter, 
for I have no partiality in public business. All I wish is 
to act with security, and to the best advantage. 

If you think It proper to inquire- into the terms on which 
the bankers will receive and pay this money, and settle 
their commissions on the most reasonable footing, 1 shall 
be happy in your doing so. I do not, however, wish to 
give you any trouble that is not proper and necessary ; 
being, with the highest respect, your Excellency's most 
obedient, humble servant, 



Philadelphia, June 8lh, 1781. 

In a private letter, 1 have already informed you of my 
appointment, by the honorable Congress, to the office of 
Superintendent of the Finances of the United States of 
North America ; and in that character I now address you. 

His Most Christian Majesty having been graciously 
pleased to grant an aid of money for the purpose of in- 
vigorating our operations during the present campaign, I 
find it convenient to make use of your house as bankers to 
receive from his Majesty's Ministers such sums as they 
may have occasion to deposit, in order that you may 
accept and pay my drafts on you as fast as they shall 
appear. His Excellency, the Minister Plenipotentiary of 
France at this place, now writes to his Court, at my re- 
quest, desiring that five hundred thousand livres totirnois 
may be placed in your hands thirty days after the receipt 


of his letter, the said sum lo be subject to my drafts or 
orders, and I shali proceed to draw upon you as fast as 
purchasers offer for the bills ; therefore, I beg you will be 
prepared to honor my bills, drawn as Superintendent of 
P'inance, whenever they offer ; for I would not, on any 
accoiMit, that there should be the least demur; and I am 
confident, that his Most Christian Majesty's Minister of 
Finance will enable you punctually to make payment as 
they fall due. I shall communicate this matter lo his 
Excellency, Benjamin Franklin, Minister Plenipotentiary 
from these States to the Court of Versailles, who will joirs 
you in any application that may become necessary in this 
business ; which, however, I expect will be conducted 
much to your satisfaction. And as it may become im- 
portant, I hope your attention to it can be relied on, and 
that you will render the charges as moderate as possible. 
I have the honor to be, he. 



Philadelphia, June 8th, 1781. 
The honorable Congress having thought proper to invest 
me with the power, disposition, and management of the 
moneys granted by his Most Chrisiii.n Majesty to the United 
States, for the purpose of assisting them to carry on the 
present campaign with vigor, I have, with your concur- 
rence, taken some arrangements for drawing it into the 
uses for which the grant has been made ; and in conformity 
with your promise, I pray you to write immediately to his 
Majesty's Ministers, that they cause the sum of five hun- 


dred thousand livres touniois to be deposited with Messrs 
Le Couteulx & Co., bankers in Paris, for account of 
the United Slates of North America, and subject to my 
drafts or orders as Superintendent of Finance of the said 
United States. 

This deposit I hope may, without inconvenience, be 
made in thirty days after the receipt of your letter ; and I 
shall proceed to draw on INlessrs Le Couieulx &l Co. in 
full confidence thereof, until my bills on them shall amount 
to the said sum of five hundred thousand livres tournois, 
when I will give you timely notice, that another deposit 
may be made for the like purpose, and by this means I 
hope we shall occasion as little trouble to his Majesty's 
Minister of Finance as the nature of this transaction will 
admit of. 

With great respect and esteem, &:o. 



Philadelphia, June lllh, 1781. 

No doubt you have seen in the public papers, the plan 
for establishing a National Bank, the necessity of which 
everybody sees, that allows himself the least time for 
reflection on the present state of public credit. All the 
public bodies in America have, more or less, lost the 
confidence of the world as to money matters, by trying 
projects and applying expedients to slop a course of depre- 
ciation, which original errors had fixed too deeply to admit 
of any radical cine. 

It is in vain to think of carrying on war any longer by 


means of such a depreciating medium, and at the same 
time an efficient circulation of pa|)er that cannot depre- 
ciate, is absolutely necessary to anlicipate the revenues of 
America. A National Bank is not only the most certain, 
but will prove the most useful and economical mode of 
doing so. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that 
this first essay, confined as it is in point of capital, should 
be bvoiight into action with the greatest expedition. I am 
sensible that plans of public utility, however promising and 
pleasing they may be on their first ap])earance, soon grow 
languid, unless it be the particular busi.iess of some man, 
or set of men, to urge them forward ; this may be said to 
be my duty in the present instance. But as I cannot be 
everywhere, 1 must apply for support to gentlemen of your 
character and zeal for the service of their country, request- 
ing in the most earnest manner, that you will urge your 
friends and fellow citizens to become proprietors of this 
bank stock. 

Every subscriber will find his own interest benefited in 
proportion to the capital he deposits, and I dare say few 
will find the other parts of their fortunes to yield them so 
large or so certain an income as the stock they may have 
in the bank ; and at the same time they will have the satis- 
faction to be considered forever as the promoters of an 
institution that has been found beneficial to other countries, 
and inevitably must be so in the highest degree to this ; an 
institmion, that most probably will continue as long as the 
United States, and that will become as useful to commerce 
and agriculture in the days of j)eace, as it must be to 
government during the war. 

The capital proposed is but small, when the extent and 
riches of the United States are considered ; but when put 


in motion, the benefits flowing from it will be so percep- 
tible, that all difficulty about increasing the capital or 
securing its credit, will vanish, and we shall only have to 
appeal to the interest of mat. kind, which, in most cases, 
will do more than their patriotism ; but there have been, 
and will continue to be, many instances, where interest is 
sacrificed to patriotism ; and in that belief, I ask you to 
devote some of your time to this infant plan, which, as it 
gathers strength, may in the end prove the means of saving 
tlie liberties, lives, and property of the virtuous part of 
America. My good opinion of you is an excuse for giving 
you this interruption. 

I am. Sir, yours, &tc. 



Philadelphia, June 21st, 1781. 
I find that the new payment of the moneys due to the 
subscribers to the Pennsylvania Bank materially injures 
and impedes the subscription to the National Bank. At 
the same time, I am informed, that Congress are unwilling 
to dispose of the bills lodged as a security, lest the Minister 
of the United Slates at Madrid should be incommoded by 
it. I have the honor to observe to your Excellency, that 
if these bills shall be submitted to my disposal, 1 think I 
can pay the debts above mentioned, and cause the greater 
part of the money to be subscribed to the National Bank, 
thereby rescuing, in some measure, the public credit and 
forwarding the service, while, at the same time, 1 shall put 
the bills in such a train of negotiation, that at least a very 


considerable time must elapse before they can be pre- 
sented, and probably they may not be presented at all. 
1 have the honor to be, he. 



Philadelphia, July 13th, 1781. 

The unanimous appointment to the Superintendency of 
our Finances, with which Congress have honored me, and 
my conviction of the necessity that some one person should 
endeavor to introduce method and economy into the admin- 
istration of affairs, have induced me, thoi-gh with reluc- 
tance, to accept that office. Mr Jay will receive by this 
conveyance, and forward to you, copies of those resolutions 
and letters which may be necessary to explain my appoint- 
ment and powers. 

I wish I could as readily effect, as I most ardently desire, 
the accotnplishment of a!! proper arrangements. Thorough- 
Iv convinced that no country is truly independent, until, 
with lier own credit and resources, she is able to defend 
herself and correct her enemies, it shall be my constant 
endeavor to establish our credit and draw out our resources 

* July 4th. I met the Directors of the Pennsylvania Bank, and a 
number of the subscribers to that bank called, at my desire; and 
I proposed that they should transfer their subscriptions from the 
Pennsylvania to the National Bank, and deliver up to me the bills 
of exchange deposited by Congress with the Directors as security ; 
and I undertook to place the amount of what remained due to them 
from Congress, in the hands of Messrs Clymer «& Nixon, in pay- 
ment of such transferred subscriptions to the National Bank; which 
all that were present agreed to. Diary. 

VOL. XI. 48 


in such manner, that we may le liiile burdensome, and 
essential')' useful to our friends. 

I am sure I need not mention to you the importrnce of 
collecting a revenue vviili ease, ami expending it wiiii 
economy. As liiile need I detail the time, the auihoriiy, 
the ability, the favorable circmnstances, thai must combine 
for these purposes. But I think that I niny assert, that 
the siluation of a cotnitry just emerging from dependence 
and struggling for existence, is peculiarly unfavorable ; and 
I may add, that this cou;:try, by relyiiig loo much on |)aper, 
is in a condition of peculiar disorder and debility. To 
rescue and restore her, is an object equal to my warmest 
wishes, though probably beyond the stretch of my abilities. 

Success will greatly depend on the pecuniary aid we 
may obtain from abroad ; because money is necessary to 
introduce economy, while, ai Ihe same linte, economy is 
necessary to obtain money ; besides that a greater |)lenty 
of solid circulating medium is required to support those 
operations, which must give stability to our credit, fruiiful- 
ness to our revenue, and activity to our operations. Among 
those things, which, after the experience and example of 
other ages and nations, I have beftn induced to adopt, is 
that of a national bank, the plan of which I enclose. I 
mean to render this a principal pillar of American credit, 
so as to obtain the money of individuals for the benefit of 
the Union, aiid thereby bind those individuals more strcngly 
to the general cause by the ties of private interest. To 
tiie efficacy of this j)lan, as well as to the esiablishment of 
a Mint, which would also be of use, a considerable sum 
of money is necessary, and, indeed, it is indispensably so 
for many other piuposes. 

lie not alarmed, Sir, from what I have said, with the 


;ipprelicn«inn ih;U T am aI;oii to dippci snlicitnt'oiis to \he 
Ci)iirt ol' Vors:iiIles ; uhicii, after the repeated fiivois tliey 
linve cnnfeiied, iiv.isl be pecidiaily disaj^reeable. On the 
contrary, as I am coinitired that tlie moneys of France 
will all be iiselMlly employed in the vigorous prosecution of 
the war, by lier own fleets and armies, 1 hmient every sum 
uh'ch is diverted from ihem. Om- necessities have inih.'ed 
called lor her aid, and perhaps they may continue !o do so. 
Those calls iinve i.itherlo been favorably attended to, and 
the pressure of our necessities has been generously alle- 
viated ; nor do I at all doubt that future exi:;encies will 
excite the same dispositions in our favor, and thai those 
dispositions will be followed with correspondent eflects. 
But I again repeat my wish, at once to render A.nerica 
independent of, and useful to her Iriends. 

With these views, I have directecJ Mr Jay to ask a con- 
siderable sum from the Comt of Aladrid, to be advanced 
us at the Havana, and broitght thence by us, if it cannot 
conveniently be landed here from Spanish men-of-war.* 
I siy a conmhruhle sum, because, as I have declared to 
him, [ do not wish to labor under the wei2,ht of obligation 
without deriving from it any real benefit ; and because [ 
consider the advance of sfUuW sums rather as a temporary 
palliation than a radical remedy. Om- disorders are sucli, 
that the former can be of no use, and it would be belter to 
desist in a desuitory defence, than to put on the delusive 
npi)earances of a vi^or we <\o not feel ; for this lulU liie 
jieople into a dangerous secuiity, and softens those hopes 
of the enemy, which give diiraiiou and extent to the war. 
It is the disorder of our finances, wliicb have prevented us 

* See a letter from Mr Morris, in John Jai/s Correspondence, Vol. 
VII. p. 421. 


from a powerful co-operation with our allies, and wliich 
have enabled the enemy to linger on our coasts with the 
dregs of a force once formidable ; and it is from this 
cause that ihey have been permitted to extend the theatre, 
and multiply the victims of iheir ambition. 

America alone will not derive benefit from the advances 
which Spain mny make to her. All the associates in the 
war will feel the consequential advantages. The expense 
of the American war now hangs a heavy weight about the 
neck of Britain, and enfeebles her on that element, which 
she called her own. An increase of that expense, or the 
loss of her posts here, must necessarily follow from ad- 
ditional efforts on our part, and either of these must be a 
consequential benefit to those who are opposed to her. 
France will derive a small immediate benefit from it, as 
she will thereby get more money here for her bills of ex- 
change, than she can at present procure. But it is not so 
much from any advantage, which may be expected to that 
kingdom, or from any motives of interest, as from the gen- 
erosity and magnanimity of the Prince, that we hope for 
support. 1 will not doubt a moment, that at your instance, 
his Majesty will make pressing representations in support 
of Mr Jay's application, and I hope that the authority of 
so great a SovLMt-ign, and the arguments of his able Min- 
istry, will shed auspicious influence on our negotiations at 

From the best returns 1 have been able to collect, and 
which are in some measure imperfect, from the confusions 
and disasters of lbs Southern States, I find that there are 
about seven millions two hundred thousand dollars due on 
certificates, which bear an interest of six percent, payable 
in France, at the rate of five livres for every dollar. 


Many causes have conspired to dejweciate the certificates, 
notwithstanding the interest is so well secured, and has 
been punctually paid. This depreciation is so great, that 
they are daily offered for sale at u very considerable dis- 
count, which is attended with two pernicious conse- 
quences ; one, that a considerable expense is unneces- 
sarily incurred, and the other, that the public credit is un- 
necessarily impaired. If I hf.d the means, therefore, I 
would remove this evil by purchasing in the certificates; 
and to procure the means, I am to pray that you would 
state this matter fully to the Ministers of his Most Christian 
Majesty. The interest being guarantied by the Court of 
France, they now pay for this purpose, two millions one 
hundred and sixty thousand livres annually ; a sum, which 
in less than ten years, would pay a debt of fifteen millions 
of livres at five per cent interest. With fifteen millions of 
livres, however, prudently managed, the whole of these 
certificates might be paid. I am sure it is unnecessary to 
dwell on the advantages, which would result from making 
such a loan for this purpose, and, 1 trust, that if this matter 
is stated to M. Necker, that enlightened Minister will co- 
operate in the plan, to the utmost of his ability. I again 
repeat, that I do not wish to lay any burdens on France ; 
but this proposal is calculated to relieve us both ; and, in 
any case, the expense to France will be the same. 
Should it be adopted, I must request the earliest notice, 
that my operations may commence ; and, in any case, I 
hope that secrecy will be observed, for the most evident 

I am sorry to inform you, that we have as yet no satis- 
factory news of the ship Lafayette ; but, en the contrary, 
her long delay occasions the most alarming apprehensions. 


If, as but too prnbnblp, that ship is lost, yon will mn^-e 
easily coiireive iban 1 can desciibe what will lie the sim- 
alion of our troops next winter. 

1 could wi-ib, as soon a? possible, to have a state of 
all tlie public accounts Iransujitleil, to the end that moneys 
(hie to liie United Stales may be paid, and measures 
taken to [)rov:He for such su.ns as ibey stand indebied in 
to others. Yoin- Excellency will, I dare say, send iheni 
as s^on as may be convenient ; anfl I hope d)e public 
afTa-rs will hereafter be conducted in such a nninier as to 
give yon much less of that inniecessary trouble, whicii you 
have hiiberto experienced, and whii h coidd not but biive 
iianissed you exceedingly, and, perhaps, taken up time, 
which would otherwise have been devoted to njore iii;- 
portant objects. 

I shall, probably, hove frequent occasion to address yon, 
and shall ahvays be happy to iiear from yon; but the mis- 
chiefs, which aiise from having letters intercepted, are 
great and alarn»ing. I have, therefore, enclosed you a 
cypher, and in the duplicate of my letters, I shall enclose 
another. If both ai-rivr, you will use one, and, in case of 
your absence, leave the other with such person as n>ay 
supply your place. Let me know, however, which cypher 
you use. 

The bearer of this letter, Major Franks, formerly an 
Aid-«le-camp to General Arnold, and honorably acquiited 
of all connexion with him, after a bril and impartial in- 
qniiy, will be able to give you our public news ntore [»ar- 
ticuiarly than 1 could relate them. He sails hence for 
Cadiz, and on his arrival will proceed to Madrid, where 
having delivered my leit"rs to Mr Jay, he will lake liis 
oiilers for you. He will then wail your orders, and, 1 


liope, will soon after meet a safe opportunity of coming to 

With the most perfect esteent ami regnrd, 1 liavc the 
IioMor to be, &ic. 



Pliilailelphia, July 14lli, 17S1. 
Dear Sir, 

If Miijur Franks had departed yosterdiiy, as was ex- 
pected, he wouiil have left the enclosed cypher ht-hind. 
It was supposed to h.ave been wilh the plans of the in- 
teiidefl hank, but was left out by accident. I wi<h you 
would, when leisure and opportunity will permit, con- 
verse with some of the en)inent bankers in Paris on this 
plan, and ask whether a correspondence and connexion 
with the directors will be agreeable, and whciLcr they 
would establish a credit for this bank, and to what amount, 
to be replaced again by remittances in other bills within 
such time as tliey may limit. Or, if they decline giving 
such credit, then the ternis on which they will receive re- 
mittances anil pay dralts of the bank. 

An American baid< must deal largely in bills of ex- 
change. It will thereby rule the price of bills so as to 
keep it pretty s-teady, by jiassing most of the bills draw^n 
on the continent through their channel, so as to leave a 
certain moderate profit. And the use of a credit in Eu- 
rope will be, to have paid for their honor such bills as may 
he protested on account of tlie draweis; by which means 
the baid< will secme the damages of twenty per cent, and 
pay only interest for advance aiid commission for iiego- 


tiating. Occasion mny also offer, when the bank, by 
drawing on Europe, shall get a high price for bills, and in 
a few months replace them much cheaper. 

I do not wish to give you trouble on this occasion; but, 
if opportunities offer, you can mention the subject, and if 
any of the bankers will write me proposals, I will lay them 
before the directors. You will tell them, that although the 
very moderate sum of four hundred thousand dollars is 
proposed as the first capital, I intend to increase it gradu- 
ally to ten times that sum. The only difficulty is to get it 
into action now that people have but little money and 
less confidence. I should be glad to see your name in 
the list of subscribers to an institution, that 1 believe will 
be I ermanent. 

I ever am, Dear Sir, yours, 8ic. 



Philadelphia, July 17th, 1781. 


The favorable attention shown to me by your Excel- 
lency in my private character, has excited those sentiments 
of esteem and respect, whicli now impel me to ask your 
assistance for my country. 

The United States of North America, are at the present 
moment, possessed of more strength in men, arms, and 
ammunition, tlian when they first ventured to wage war 
with Great Britain. The means of subsistence are abun- 
dantly equal to our own wants, and will essentially contri- 
bute to the relief of our friends. A variety of causes, too 
numerous to be detailed in the compass of a letter, have 


combined to destroy the credit of that paper money, which 
has enabled us hitherto to support the war. It has there- 
fore become necessary to provide the means for paying 
the expenses to be incurred hereafter. Our people are 
not yet inured to taxation, neither has the revenue, which 
this country is capable of affording, been drawn fairly or 
fully into use. The derangement of our credit and finances, 
consequent upon the loss of laith in our paper, rendered 
it necessary for Congress to create a Superintendent of 
the Finances of the United States, in order, that he might 
regulate and settle the present debts, point out new funds, 
with the best means of collecting them, and superintend 
the public expenditures, so as to prevent as much as pos- 
sible all excess or abuse. This arduous task is assigned 
to me, by a unanimous choice of that honorable body ; and 
nothing couJd have induced me to luidertake it, but my 
perfect conviction, that it is necessary that some person 
should undertake the work of reformation and economy. 
I have engaged in this business with the sole view of sav- 
ing my country, and therefore think myself entitled to 
seek support from all who are really friends to her inde- 
pendency, and particularly from those nations, which have 
become parties in the war. 

I have commenced my administration with a proposal 
to establish a National Bank ; the plan of which I take the 
liberty to enclose. The subscriptions to it are going on, 
and I expect the very moderate sum therein proposed will 
soon be completed. When that is done, the directors will 
be chosen, incorporated, and proceed on their business. 
As the bank notes are intended to be made use of by 
government in anticipation of the revenues of this country, 
VOL. XI. 49 


yon will easily perceive, that the sum proposed is far 
short of the object, which it is intended to accomplir,h. 
My present pursuit, therefore, is to obtain such additional 
sums as will, when deposited in the bank, not only facil- 
itate the anticipations above mentioned, but induce further 
subscriptions among our own countrymen. For when 
they see and feel the use of an insliiuiion, which they are 
yet unacquainted with, they will cheerAdly and liberally 
support it. 

It is to your Excellency that I apply for foreign aid. 
The vicinity of your situation, the frequent intercourse 
between your port and this, and your ability lo comply 
with what I shall request, all point out the propriety of 
that apj)licaiion. Your friendly disposition towards these 
"Cii'Ufi Si;:t' s, ;M»d above all your strong attachment to 
the interests ni \^\ r: ow.i country, will dispose. you to yield 
me every assistant u in your power. Tlie United States 
have already received very considerable aid from the 
Court of Madrid. Much more, however is expected,* 
and in time to come these services will be re|)ald with 
lienor, as they now are acknowledged with gratitude. 

Our distresses induced Congress to order certain bills 
of exchange to be drawn on their Ministers at the Courts 
of Versailles and Madrid. The former have been all ne- 
gotiated and paid off by the assistance of that Court. 
Many of tlie latter have also been negotiated, and those 
that have appeared for payment have been discharged. 
There is every reason to believe, that this would still hap- 
pen ; but we learn that the advance of money in Europe 

* This anticipation was never realized, as the whole amount of 
the Spanish loan to the United States during the war, was no more 
than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. 


is rendered inconvenient during the war, by the itnped- 
inients, which it occasions to the usual course of remit- 
tances from liis Majesty's American territories. We 
have dtisisted, iliereforc, from the further sale of those 
bills, es[)ecially as we have reason to expect, that in con- 
sequence of measures adopted here, Mr Jay will obtain 
from your country a much larger sum than we had before 
asked for; and that the greater part, if not liie whole of 
it, will be paid to us at your port. However this may be, 
my present view is to obtain from Havana, as expedi- 
tiously as possible, four hundred thousand Mexican dollars, 
in order to deposit them in the bank, and thereby doubling 
the capital, give its operations such force as will draw the 
attention of our own citizens, and induce them to afTord it 
such assistance as will reduce our necessities, and place 
us in a situation to be less troublesome to our allies and 
friends in the common cause. 

His Excellency llie Chevalier de la Luzerne, Minister 
of France at this place, in consequence of orders from his 
Court, has authorised me to draw bills nf cxc'iango on 
Paris to a very considerable amount ; miuI bting sci-.siblo 
of the propriety of my proceedings, he will give you assur- 
ances, that they shall be punctually paid. I transujit a 
bill for five hinidred thousand livres to Robert Smith, now 
appointed agent for these United States at your port, in 
order that he may negotiate it, and ship the money back 
to my address. Should it in any manner promote the 
interest of your Court he will certainly give your Excel- 
lency a (jreference in the purchase; and I am confident, 
that if this should not be convenient to you, you will coun- 
tenance and promote his negotiations with private persons. 
I have also transmitted to Mr Smith certain bills, drawq 


some lime past by order of Congress, on his Excellency 
John Jay, to the amount of one hundred and twenty thou- 
sand, three hundred and eightyone dollars. 1 am to re- 
quest, and have strong hopes, that when Mr Smith shall 
have deposited these bills with you, your Excellency will 
advance that sum, so that he may immediately ship it to 
my address. 

We are convinced that these bills, if sent forward, 
would have been paid by your Court ; but as such a 
negotiation would bring no money into the treasury, I 
propose that you keep them in your possession until 
the pleasure of the Court shall be known. I will 
write very fully to Mr Jay on this subject, and obtain 
the earliest information. But lest the Court should 
not choose that these bills be finally accepted by you 
in discharge of the moneys advanced on them, I have 
empowered Mr Smith for your perfect security to 
enter into conditional stipulations to repay your Ex- 
cellency that money by a delivery of flour to the 
amount, at such price as you and he may agree for ; 
the payment to commence as soon after the pleasure of 
the Court shall be known as circumstances will admit. 

I hope, Sir, you will find it agreeable to your incli- 
nations, and perfectly consistent with the duties of 
your station to gratify my desires. They are very 
moderate considering the necessities of this country, 
and your ability to minister to its relief. Besides, 
your Excellency's good sense will readily perceive, 
that money granted to invigorate the operations of 
America will weaken and distress the common enemy 
much more than the same sums expended in Europe, 
because the enemy must prosecute the war here at 


more than four times the expense at which it must be 
carried on there. 

Assuring myself of assistance from your Excellency 
I have ordered one of the continental frigates to pro- 
ceed with these despatches for Havana. She will take 
with her some flour, which I have ordered returns for 
in dollars. 

There are two most cogent reasons why this frigate 
should be despatched instantly from your port with 
the money. The first is, because we are much in want 
of it ; and the second is, to prevent our enemies from 
the possibility of receiving any advice of her. We 
have so contrived things here, that everybody be- 
lieves she is going to join the French fleet at Rhode 
Island, and to carry the flour for their use. 

On the whole, I most earnestly entreat your Excel- 
lency, that if it be at all convenient and consistent with 
your duty, you will advance the whole of the four 
hundred thousand dollars in question to Mr Smith, so 
that the frigate may immediately return. 

I am sensible that there are certain duties payable 
to his Majesty on the exportation of money from your 
port; but as this which I apply for, is to be expended 
in carrying on the war against his Majesty's enemies, 
I hope it may be dispensed with; if not, our Minister 
at Madrid will be directed to make application to the 
Court on that subject, so that the duty being charged 
to us in the first instance, may, if not remitted, be 
added to the general sum. The same observations will 
apply to the flour on board this frigate, which is also 
public property. 

I hope it is not necessary to add anything more to 


induce a full compliance witii my requests. But his 
Excellency the Chevalier de la Luzerne, Minister of 
France, and Don Francisco Rendon, your own Agent 
here, will also write you on the subject of this appli- 

I have the honor to remain, with sentiments of the 
highest esteem and respect, &c.* 



Philadelphia, July 17th, 1781. 


Upon a proper representation of your character, sit- 
U-tlion, and attachments to your country and its cause, 
the Congress of the United States of America have 
thouglit proper to appoint you their Agent at the port 
of Havana and Island of Cuba. I take much pleasure 
ia transmitting your commission, whicli you will find 
enclosed herein ; because n)y knowledge of you leads 
me to expect every exertion, which your situation and 
the ciicumslances attending it will admit of, in favor 
of your country. 

You will not find any salary annexed to your ap- 
pointment for this plain reason, that we cannot aflbrd 
any. It is our present business to reduce salaries 
lieietofore given, and not to create new ones. This 
appointment, however, may be attended with pecuni- 

*For several letters from Mr Morris to Mr Jay, on the subject of 
loans in Spain, and the National Bank, see John Jays Correspond- 
ence, Vol. VII. pp. 421—449. 


ary a(lvanta_2;es, because a public cbaraetcr may, and 
no doubt will, point you out to American merchants 
as the proper person to intrust with their commercial 
affairs. Continental prizes and other objects may oc- 
casionally turn up, wiiich will leave a reasonable com- 
mission behind ; and you will have the pleasure of 
serving Con«;ress when necessary, and tlie citizens and 
commerce of your country, as often as opportunities 
for so doing may occur. 

I shall now put your talents to the proof. You will 
find enclosed a letter I have written for his Excellency 
Governor Navarro (or should he be gone, for his suc- 
cessor) which will untold to you very fully my 
intentions. You will find enclosed in it for him, as in 
this letter for you, the plan of a National Bank, which 
I have proposed to establish for many valuable pur- 
poses. You will observe that the sum proposed as a 
caj)ital is far short of what it ought to be; but I was 
afraid of attempting too much at first, and must now 
endeavor to increase it by other means. If any of 
your acquaintances in the Havana have a mind to 
speculate in the American funds, I think they cannot 
place their money on a more secure or profitable 
establishment. This Bank will, I believe, exist for 
ages to come; and I am persuaded the annual divi- 
dends will not be less than from eight to ten per cent. 
They may also have the honor and pleasure of seeing 
their names enrolled among the first promoters of this 
useful institution, on which the salvation of our coun- 
try in some measure depends. Should any of them 
incline to subscribe, they must send hither money at 
their own risk ; consigning it to whomsoever they 


please, with power to act for them. I hope you will 
promote this business, and in order that you may be 
able to show the profits arising from it, I am to ob- 
serve, that when once, by punctual payment, the notes 
of the bank have obtained full credit, the sum in spe- 
cie, which will be deposited, will be such, that the 
bank will have the interest of a stock two or three 
times larger than that which it really possesses. 
Should M. Miralles, or any of the family be so 
inclined, I will put any part of their rtioney into the 
bank, which they may think proper. 

By captain James Nicholson, commanding the frigate 
Trumbull, I send a bill of lading and invoice of five hun- 
dred barrels of flour, which is all fresh and good, and a 
considerable part of it superfine. This flour I have caused 
to be shipped to your address, on account and risk of the 
United States of North America. Be pleased to receive 
it as quickly as may be from the ship, make the most ad- 
vantageous sale of it, which you can, and remit the net 
proceeds in Mexican dollars, consigned to my order, for 
account and at the risk of the United Stales. I evpect 
you will not charge more than five per cetit for transacting 
the business, that is, two and a half per cent on the sales, 
and the same on the returns. 

I have also enclosed a bill of exchange, drawn by my- 
self on Messrs Le Couteulx & Co. bankers in Paris, to the 
amount of five hundred thousand livres tournois ; this bill is 
at sixty days' sight, and you may depend it will be punctually 
paid, for I have the authority of the Court of Versailles to 
draw it, and every assurance I could wish. You will ob- 
serve, by my letter to the Governor, that he is to have the 
refusal of this bill ; you will therefore offer it to him in the 


first instance. When I consider the risk, which must at- 
tend sending money from Havana to Cadiz, and the remit- 
tances, as well private as public, which are to be made 
from one place to the other, I cannot but persuade myselt, 
that unless the government and the people are alike blind 
to their interest?, good bills must sell at a very considera- 
ble advance. Should the Governor decline taking the bill 
on Paris, as it is not probable that any one private person 
woidd purchase it, you may either remit it to the House of 
Le Couteulx &. Co. in. Paris, or to the House of Messrs. 
J. L. &. L. Le Couteulx &. Co. at Cadiz, as may be most 
convenient for your operations. You will then draw on 
the House to whom you remit the bill, and sell your bills 
to the same amount. Should you remit to the House in 
Cadiz, let me know it, that I may write and apprize them 
of it ; but this I shall do provisionally, beforehand, so that 
they may be prepared for you. 

I have also, as you will perceive, written to his Excel- 
lency on the subject of certain other bills of exchange, 
drawn on Mr Jay. You will endeavor to get the money 
for these, if possible; and in case it is required, you will 
enter the stipulations there mentioned, as to the shipment 
of flour. In this last case, get the flour fixed at as high a 
rate as possible, and let me have due notice, so that I may 
punctually cause to be fulfilled, whatever contracts you 
shall, on the part of the public, have entered into. 

Should his Excellency be inclined to make those ad- 
vances of money, which I have so earnestly pressed upon 
Ifun, you will be able the sooner to despatch the frigate, 
which I hope will be done without delay. But as there is 
a risk in placing large sums on board of any one vessel, 1 
am to observe, th'it if there should be any fast sailing ves- 
voj^. XI 50 


sels about to leave the Haviina at the same time, and if in 
consideration of convoy, they will take the public money 
freight h-ee, you will then prudently distribute it amon*' 
them, and direct Captain Nicholson to give them signals, 
and to take them under his convoy. But I must caution 
you, ihat on no consideration is any private property to be 
covered as belonging to the public, eiiiier to save the du- 
ties or for any other purpose. You will, therefore, use all 
proper vigilance to prevent everything of this sort, should 
it he attempted. If there are not such vessels as Ca|)tain 
Nicholson and you shall approve of ready to sail, then ship 
the whole money in the frigate ; for the risk of being way- 
laid by the enemy in consequence of any unnecessary de- 
lay, is greater than that of being otherwise intercepted. 

It is unnecessary for me to mention to you, that we want 
money exceedingly. This very measure must convince 
you of it. Exert yourself therefore to get it, and you will 
merit much at the hands of your country. Should you not 
succeed in getting the wjiole sum 1 have asked for, get as 
much as you possibly ran ; and if the Governor should de- 
cline advancing any money on the bills drawn by order of 
Congress on Mr Jay, perhaps the Intendant may accept 
your contract for flour, and take these bills in security, or 
you may possibly borrow on their credit from individuals, 
to be repaid v;ben 1 shall send you shipments of flour, 
which I will cause to be done so soon as I shall hear from 
you to this effect. 

I have forbidden Captain Nicholson to cruise, but should 
fortrme enable him lo bring a good prize into Havana, the 
Continent has one iialf, and you must send that half to me 
in dollars. Whatever supplies the fr g le is absolutely in 
need of, you must let her have ; but I entreat, that the 


expenses may be as moderate as possible, and the best 
way to secure this is to despatch hei* (piickly, for the mo- 
ment ihey gel clear of the sail wait- r air, and feel their land 
lacks on board, every soul of llieiii will try to get his hands 
into yom pockets ; but take care. 

1 have desired Captain Nicholson to constdt with and 
obey you whilst in Havana, and to push off whenever you 
say the word. I shall send you flr)ur by private vessels, 
for the sake of getting money back, and write you further, 
as occasion may require. 
I am, Dear Sir, &ic. 



Philadelphia, July 19th, 1781. 


The foregoing nre duplicates of my letters of the several 
dates there mentioned, by Major Franks, who has sailed 
for Cadiz. I now enclose to you du()licate copies of the 
letters and resolutions, referred to in mine of the ihirteenth. 

I do not write to Colonel Laurens, because 1 know not 
whether he is still in France, and because I am confident 
you will make to him all necessary commimications. I 
pray you, if he is still with you, to present my compliments 
to him, and inform him of the reasons of my silence. 
Colonel Laurens's letter of the 9ih of April last, from 
Versailles, has been received, and I am induced to hope, 
ihat the ten millioiis of livres mentioned in it, to be bor- 
rowed in Holland, '.vill be, as he says he shall request, 
advanced from the treasury of France. 

He mentions also a promise of the Marquis de Castries 


to make immediate arrangements for the safe transporta- 
tion of the pecuniary and otiier succors destined liiilier. 
It would be well that the money, or as much of it as pos- 
sible, were in heavy half Johannes. Whether this letter 
may arrive in time I know not, but if it should, you will, 
I hope, be able to effect njy views. 

If the fifteen millions of livres I mentioned in my letter 
of the 13th, obtained, it will be best that they should 
be retained in France, provided the ten millions be sent to 
America; for in that case, the exch;inge may, I believe, 
be put upon such a footing as to answer every valuable 
ptupose. Of consequence the risk will be saved to 
America, and France will not suffer by the exportation of 
so much coin. To this it may be added, lliat a loan will 
probably be more easily obtained, if the days of payment 
of the money by the subscribers to it be somewhat distant, 
which u ill answer very well for bills of exchange, though 
not quite so well for the exportation of money. 

I have the honor to be, &tc. 



Philadelphia, July 21st, 1781. 

I have now to inform you, that the State of Pennsylvania 
had emitted five hundred thousanii pounds in bills of credit, 
funded in such manner, that there could be no reasonable 
doubt of their redemption. But the public confidence had 
been so impaired, that these bills, soon after they came 
out, rapidly depreciated, notwithstanding the solidity of the 
funds by which they had been secured. The executive 


aiiihority of government, therefore, declined issuing more 
of tliem than were then in circulaiion (being one iinn- 
dred and thirty thousand pounds), and called together the 
Legislature. The Assembly, at their late meeting, took 
measures for the collection of a very considerable tax, 
suflicient to absorb all the paper then in circulation, and 
which was receivable in taxes, as also a considerable 
balance in specie. It is therefore evident, that if the lax. 
has time to operate before any more of the paper be issued, 
it tniist necessarily rise in value. 

Tiie Assembly did me the honor to commit this sum of 
five hundred thousand pounds to my care, for the purpose 
of paying to Congress a balance due on the resolutions of 
that honorable body, of the ISih of .March, 17S0, and 
of procuring the specific supj)lies which had been called 
for, the greater part of wiiich had been unpaid. In this 
situation, it has been my study to rfTect both these objects, 
without making any new issues of the paper money. I 
cannot easily describe to you the good consequences which 
would follow from the appreciation of it. You will paiily 
conceive them, when I inform you, that it is now at five 
for one, and that my expectation of specific supplies, or 
rather of furnishing rations to the amount of them, is very 
much founded upon the rise of its value. 

Finding, however, that the balance of money due to the 
United States has been already drawn for by them, and 
that the holders of those drafts are very clamorous for 
payment, I must put money into the hands of the proper 
officer immediately. To accomplish this, I have fallen 
u|)on an expedient, which, while it answers that purjjose, 
will be productive of another very considerable advantage. 
To explain which, I must previously inform you, that 1 


have lately refused to draw bills on Messrs Le Couteulx U 
Co. for any other than specie; so that the paper will no 
longer answer the purpose of procuring a remittance to 
Europe. I shall, at the same time, borrow such of it as I 
can discover to have been hoarded, and by paying it to the 
holders of the i.'rafts drawn by Congress, throw it again into 
circulation. I shall then draw bills on you for four hundred 
thousand livres, payable at six months' sight or more, for 
which I ex()ect to get foiir hundred thousand paper dollars ; 
a sun) sufficient to satisfy the demand. I shall draw on 
Messrs Le Couteulx &i Co. in your favor, to this amoi.nt, 
payable at sixty dnys' sight, which will probably leave four 
months for my operations ; but at any rate, it will leave 
three mondis, wliich will be am[)ly sufficient ; anil, there- 
fore, in three months afier I shall have drawn on you, 1 
shall refuit you my drifts on iMessrs Le Couteulx h Co. 
If in that period this money can he appreciated, it will be a 
gain to the United States of the difference, which you will 
clearly see to be very considerable. By this means, also, 
1 shall so economise the funds placed in my hands, that I 
can make them productive of the supplies from this Stale. 
In mentioning these sup|)lies, it occurs to me, also, to 
make mention of what has passed, relative to the contract 
you entered into for a part of them, to the amount of four 
hundreil thousand dollars. Colonel Mennonvllle spoke to 
me on this subject, from the Count de Rochambeare, 
shortly after my appointment. Upon considering the very 
slender situation of our revenue, or rather the total want of 
it, and that the several Stales had omitted furnishing (he 
specific supplies demanded of them, 1 told Colonel Mcn- 
nonville, and told him tru'y, that I had but little prospect 
of complying vviili your proujise. It is not easy to convey 


to your mind an idea of the pain I suffered from being 
obliged to make ihis decluialion. I felt for ynu, for Con- 
gress, for America. There is no in ilie world more 
deeply impressed than myself with the importance of ful- 
filling every compact made by a proper authority. All my 
reasonings, my feelings, and my experience, have con- 
curred in producing a thorough conviction, that it is essen- 
tial according to the principles of justice, from a regard 
to our national honor, ami for the sake of our general 
interests. I shall, therefore, notwithstanding what has 
passed between Colonel Mennonville r.nd myself, assidu- 
ously endeavor 10 perform your promise, and I am happy 
to add, that I am not without hopes of success. 

With respect to the bills I intend to draw on you, I 
must apologize for the trouble they will give you, 
which I hope will be but little. It will be only ne- 
cessary to accept th.em, and direct the holders what 
banker to ap[)ly to for payment. That banker will be 
enabled to make payment, by the bill I shall draw on 
jNlcssrs Le Couteulx, & Co. in your favor. Perhaps 
it may be most convenient to send the bill holders to 
Ihem, but this you will be the best judge of. It is 
unnecessary to state any reasons to you for accepting 
these bills, as I cannot suppose you will have the least 
hesitation on that subject. 1 take this opportunity, 
however, of pledging myself to you, that you shall 
suffer no inconvenience from honoring them with your 
acceptance, as I shall most certainly remit in time the 
bills sufficient to discharge all I draw on you. My 
reason for drawing them on you at all arises from this 
circumstance, that I am desirous of keeping the trans- 
action entirely distinct, and that many inconveniences 


would follow from drawing bills on Messrs Le Cou- 
teulx, & Co. at six months' sight for paper, wliile I 
draw others at sixty days' sight for specie, especiidly 
after my refusal to draw on them except for specie, 
Avhich refusal was, as you will perceive, a necessary 
part of my plan. Add to this, also, that the arrange- 
ments I had made with the Minister of his Most 
Christian Majesty would not permit it. When this 
transaction shall be fini5.hed, that is, when my remit- 
tances to you and my drafts on you are all paid, be 
pleased to send me copies of the bankers' accounts. 
1 have the honor to be, &c. 



Philadelphia, July 25th, 1781. 

I hail the honor to write to you on the instant, 

enclosing a certiHed copy of the account of your State, 
as it stands in the treasury books of the United Slates. 
I now pray leave to recall your attention to it. 

It gives me great pain to luarn, that there is a per- 
nicious idea prevalent among some of the Slates that 
their accounts are not to be adjusted with the eonti- 
nent. Such an idea cannot fail to spread listless lan- 
guor over all our operations. To suppose this expen- 
sive war can be carried on without joint and strenuous 
efforts, is beneath the wisdom of those who are called 
to the high offices of legislation. Thofc who inculcate 
maxims, which tend to relax these efforts, most cer- 
tainly injure the common cause, whatever may be the 


m"»liv(s which inspire their con(hict. If once nil 
o|)init»n is atlmiuctl, ihal ihosc Slates who do the lca>t 
a-id cl)ar<;c mo"<i will (lerive the u;rc:Jiest bcnclil, and 
endure the stnallest evils; your Kxccllonry must per- 
ceive tliai >harr.elej'S inactivity mnst take ihc place of 
that nohle emulation, which oiigiit to |)ervadc antl ani- 
mate i!)e whole Union. It is niy particular duly, wiiilc 
I remind my fellow citizens of the tasks, which il is 
inc.imhenl on them to perform, to remove, if I can, 
every impediment which lies in the way, or which 
may have been raiseii by disaffection, self interest, or 
mistake. I take, therefore, this early opportunity to 
assure you. thai all the accounts of the several .Stales 
wiih the I'nited States, sliall he specilily liquiilalrd if 
I can possibly clFeci it, and my efforts for that purpose 
sh.dl be unceasing. I make this assurance in the most 
solemn manner, and I entreat that the consequences of 
a contrary assertion may be most seriously weighed 
and ronsidci-ed, before it is made or believed. 

These accounts naturally divide themselves into two 
considerable branches, viz. those which are subsequent 
to tne resolutions of Congress of the ISih of March, 
17^0.* The former must be a<ljiislcd as soon as 
proj)er ofTIccrs am ho fouiid and appointed for i!ic 
purpose, a:id proper princii)les established so as that 
tiicy may be liquidated in an equitable manner. I 
sny, Sir, in an equitable manner, for I am determined 
that justice shall be the rule of my conduct, as far as 
the measure of abilities, which the Almighty has been 
pleased to besto.v, shall enable me to distinguish be- 

* It stands tlius in the manuscript, but there seems to be an oniis* 
sion of what is meant by ihe^ir*-^ branch of the accounts. 
VUL. XI. 51 


tween right and wrong. I shall never permit a doubt, 
that tiie Slates will do what is right ; neither will I 
ever believe that any one of them can expect to de- 
rive advantage from doing what is wrong. It is by 
being just to individuals, to each other, to the Union, 
to all ; by generous grants of solid revenue, and by 
adopting energetic methods to collect that revenue ; 
and not by complainings, vauntings, or recriminations, 
that these States must expect to establish their inde- 
pendence and rise into power, consequence and gran- 
deur. I speak to your Excellency with freedom, 
because it is my duty so to speak, and because 1 am 
convinced that the language of plain sincerity is the 
only proper language to the first magistrate of a free 

The afcounts I have mentioned as subsequent to the 
resolutions of the I8ih of March, 1780, admit of an imme- 
diate settlement. The several States have all the neces- 
sary materials. One side of this accoimt consists of de- 
mands made by resolutions of Congress, long since for- 
warded ; the other must consist of the compliances with 
those demands. This latter part 1 am not in a capacity 
to state, and for that reason I am to request the earliest 
information, which the nature of things will permit, of the 
moneys, supplies, tronsporiaiion, &ic. which have been paid, 
advanced, or furnished, by your State, in order that 1 may 
know what remains due. Tlie sooner full information can 
be obtained, tiie ^oom-r >hall we know what to rely on, 
and how to ilo cq ml juaiice to those who have contributed, 
and those who have not, to those who have contributed 
at one period, and those who liave contributed at another. 
T enclose an account of the specific supplies demanded 


of your State, as extracted from the journals of Congress, 
but without any mention of what has been done in conse- 
quence of those resolutions. Because as 1 have already 
observed, your Excellency will be able to discover the 
balance much better than I can. 

I am further to entreat, Sir, that I may be favored with 
copies of the several acts passed in ynnr State since the 
18ih of March, 1780, for the coll. cii' n <.f iisxi s and the 
furnishing sujjplies, or other aids to ilie United States; the 
manner in which such acts have been executed, the times 
wl)ich may have been necessary for them to operate, and 
the consequences of their operation. 1 must also pray to 
be informed of so much of the internal police of your 
State as relates to the laying, assessing, levying, and col- 
lecting taxes. I beg leave to assure your Excellency, tliat 
I am not prompted either by an idle curiosity, or by any 
wish to discover what prudence would dictate to conceal. 
It is necessary that 1 should be informed of these things, 
and 1 take the plain, open, candid method of acquiring 
inforn^ation. To palliate or conceal any evils or disorders 
in our situation, can answer no good purpo5e ; they must 
be known before they can be cured. We must also know 
what resources can be brought forth, that we may pro- 
portion our efforts to our means, and our demands to both. 
It is necessary, that we should be in condition to prose- 
cute the war with ease, before we can expect to lay down 
our arms with security, before we can treat of peace hon- 
orably, and before we can conclude it with advantage. I 
feel myself fettered at every movement, and embarrassed 
in every operation from my ignorance of our actual state, 
and of what is reasonably to be asked or expected. Yet 
when I consider our real wealth and numbers, and when 


I compare i!iem with iliose of oilier co-nt ies, I fHcl a 
thoroiijiiii coiivicli m, that we niny do I'lucli more llian wo 
have yet Hone, >m(l wiih more case lo ourselves tliaii wc 
liave y 't felt, pravide.l we ;ul.>pt the proj»er modes of 
leveiiiie n;)(l expend. tiire. 

Your Kxcellenc\'s good sense will ainic-ipnte n;y obsrr- 
valioison ihe ncc'"s?ily of l.eiiif^ iidormed what moneys 
are in your ireasmy, and wiiat smr.s yon txp'^-t lo have 
there, as also the times, hy whicli iliey mnst probably be 
brought in. In addition to this, 1 imibl pray yon tu com< 
immicalo the severt.! appropriations. 

A mislortnne jiernliar to Amerirn, requires that I en- 
treat your Excellency lo undertake one mo'e laj-k, which 
perhaps is far from being die least dirficult. It is, Sir, 
that you will wiiie me very fully as to the amount of the 
several paper currencies now circuhitiiig in your Siale, the 
probable increase or decrease of each, and the resj)eciivc 
ntes of deprcciai'(m. 

Having now staled liie several comnujiiicriions, which 
are most in(!ispensab!e, let me cnireat ofyom- Kxcvillency's 
goodness, that they may be made as speedily as possible, 
to iiie e\u\, dial I may be early prepared widi liiose p:o|io- 
siiioiis, which from a view of all circumstances, nij.y be 
nu)st likj'Iy in extricate us from our present (hnicullics. 
] am also to entreai, ihat you will inlr.rm me when your 
Lesiislaiure is to meet. IMy reason lor mrdxing ibis r«'<|iust 
is, that any proposals to be made lo them, may arrive in 
season for ibeir allentive deliberation. 

1 know ll;at I s;ive you umcli Iroulile, bnl I also know, 
th-H it will be pleasing lo yon, because die lime and the 
1 til tr will be expi'nded i i llie service of yotu- couniry. I', 
Sir, my feeble but honest < (Torts, should open to us the 


prospect of American 2;'r;iy ; if we sho il 1 l)e cii!il)'((l lo 
Jook forward lo :i perioil, u lien, supported iiy solid rewmie 
and resonrres, this war should liave n(» other duration or 
extent than ilie wL-idom of Congress might allow, and wiien 
its ol.jtcl should be the honor and not the in<icpendence 
of om- c'onntry ; if with liiese fair views the States sh uld 
be roused, excileii, an-mn'.ed, in the pursuit, and unitedly 
determining to be in that happy situation, find themselves 
jilaretl there by the very determination ; if, Sir, these 
thini;s should happen, and what is r.iore, if they sliouhl 
happen soon ; the reflection that your industiy has prinri- 
j ally contrdnned to effect them, would be the rich rewnrtl 
of your toi!'?, and u^wg to yom- best feelings their amplest 
.1 have the honor lo be, &c. 



Tassy, July 2(',Ai, 1731. 
Dear Sir, 

I Itive just received your vciy friendly letter of the 

Gth of .lime past, annonncini; your appointment io the 

superintendeiu'c of our finanois. This j^ave me ureal 

plea^uie, as from your intelligence, intciirity and ahiU 

iii«-s. tliere is rea>on to hope eveiy ailvantage, that the 

pui)!ic can i^ossibly receive; from smb an ollioe. ^"ou 

are vvi>e in (Stimating befonhand, as th.e piincipal 

advanlaiie you c;in ex|)ect, the conscion>ness of liiiving 

<lonc service to vour connirv; for the bu>iness you 

have undertaken is of >o complex a nature, and mu^l 

cngiobs so ninth of your lime allcution, as r.'tccs- 

406 ROBElit MORRIS. 

sarlly to injure your private interests; and the public 
is often niggardly even of its thanks, while you are 
sure of being censured by malevolent critics and bu"-- 
wrilers, who will aLuse you while you are serving 
them, and wound your character in nameless pam- 
phlets; thereby resembling those little dirty insects, 
that attack us only in the dark, disturb our repose, mo- 
Jesting and wounding us, while our sweat and blood are 
contributing to their subsistence. Every assistance 
that my situation here, as long as it continues, may 
enable me to afford you, shall certainly be given ; for, 
besides my affection for the glorious cause we are 
both engaged in, I value myself upon your friendship, 
and shall be happy if mine can be made of any use to 

With great and sincere esteem, I am ever. Dear 
Sir, &c. 



Tassy, July 26th, 1781. 

Dear Sir, 

I have received the letter you honored me with, of 
the 8th of June past, acquainting me, that as Superin- 
tendent of Finance, you have named Messrs Couteulx, 
& Co. at Paris to receive from his Majesty's Ministers 
Ihe money granted to Congress, tliat they may be 
enabled to honor your bills whenever they appear; 
and you iniimate a desire to be informed of the respon- 
sibility of that house. 

With regard to the six millions given by the King 


in aid of our operations for the present campaign, be- 
fore ihe arrival of Mr Laurens, 2,500,000 of ii went 
in the sanne ship wiih him in cash ; stores equivalent 
to 2,200,000 more cf it were ordered by him, and are 
shipped ; 1,500,000 were sent to Holland, to go in the 
ship commanded by Commodore Gillon. Add to this, 
that Captain, Tackson, by his orders, purchased clothing 
and stores in Holland, to the value of about £50,000 
sterling, for which he has drawn bills on me, which 
bills I accepted, and also agreed to pay those drawn 
on Messrs Laurens, Jay, and Adams ; expecting aid 
from a projected loan of 10,000,000 of livres for our 
use in Holland. But this loan meeting with unfore- 
seen difficulties, and its success uncertain, I have 
found myself obliged to stop the money in Holland, in 
order to be able to save the honor of the Congress 
drafts, and to comply with my engagements. By 
these means you have really at present no funds 
here to draw upon. I hope, however, that Messrs 
Couteulx, & Co. will be enabled to honor your drafts ; 
but I trust in your prudence that you will draw no 
more till you have advice of funds provided. And as 
the laying out so much money in Holland instead of 
France is disapproved here, and the payment will, 
therefore, not be provided for, I must earnestly re- 
quest your aid in remitting that sum to me before 
December next, when my acceptances will become 
due, otherwise I shall be ruined with the American 
credit in Europe. 

With regard to the wealth and credit of the House 
of Le Couteulx, & Co. I have never heard it in ques- 
tion. But as Mr Ferdinand Grand, banker at Paris, 


nntl hi-! Iirokcr, Sir Gcorc;e Gran:), Ijnnkcr in Ilollnil, 
havi' been nsir zcmIcmis .-mil firtn frifiids ever since our in France, lia\c aidtMl us ^really by llicir per- 
sonal iiileresl and sniieitahons, and liavc ollen been si>c 
or seven bnndred ihousand livres in advance fur ns, an»l 
arc iionses of unquestionable jsolidity, I cannot iiut be 
concerned at any step f.»r laUinj; onr business out of 
llieir hands, and wi>!) your fulure bills may be ilrawu 
on I'eidiiiand Gnind, for I think it concerns our j)ublic 
rcpuialiuu, to preserve the character of j^ralilude, as 
well .TS thai «if honesly and juNlicc. The coniniission 
hitherto charged to us by Mr Grand for reccivinji; and 
payinjr our inor.fy is a half per cent, which, consid- 
erinj; the ircjulile >:;iven by the vast -.lUmbcr of small 
drafts for interest of the loans, appears to nic a mod- 
cral2 consider.ition. 

With jrreat and sincere esteem, I have the honor to 
be. Dear Sir, &,c. 



riiiladeliiliia, Jiilj 27ai, 17S1. 


I find upon examination, tliat the recommendation 
of Conjrress of the 3d of February last, for layini; an 
impost of five per cent on goods imported, ant! a like 
impost of five per cent on prizes and prize gooJs, has 
not l)cen complied with I)v yotii- Stale. 

The olijjci which Congress had in view when they 


issued Ihis recommendation was of the utmost import- 
anco, and every day gives it an additional weight and 
magnitude. Whether these States are able to support 
the annual expenses of the war by their annual reve- 
nue, and whether it would be prudent and wise to 
draw forth such revenue, are questions which may 
hereafter be agitated, considered, and answered. For 
tlie present it is sufTicient to observe, that no methods 
have hitherto been adopted to produce a revenue by 
any means adequate to the current expenses. The 
public debt, therefore, is large and increasing. The 
failh of the United Stales is pledged to the public 
creditors. At every new loan it must be pledged 
anew, and an appeal is now made to the States indi- 
vidually, to support the public faith so solemnly 
pledged. If they do, it is possible that public credit 
may be restored, if not our enemies will draw from 
thence strong arguments in favor of what they have so 
often asserted, that we are unworthy of confidence, 
that our union is a rope of sand, that the people are 
weary of Congress, and that the respective States are 
determined to reject its authority. I fear that a mere 
verbal contradiction of these assertions will have but 
little effect. No words will induce men to risk their 
property upon the security of a nominal union. Your 
Excellency will be able at once to determine whether 
thai union is more than nominal, in which any part 
shall refuse to be bound for the debts of the whole, or 
to contribute to the general defence. I must be per- 
mitted, however, to observe, that in matters of public 
credit long delay is equivalent to direct refusal. 

Despotic tjovernments are in war ?iiporior to otljers by 
VOL. XI. 52 


the union of efforts, the secrecy of operations, and the 
rapidity with which every wheel may be moved by one 
sovereign will. This superiority, however, is amply com- 
pensated to free governments by the ardent attachment of 
their citizens, and the general confidence, which enables 
them to make exertions beyond their force, and expend in 
one year the revenues of many. A single view of our 
enemy, in the unequal contest she now carries on, will 
demonstrate these advantages more clearly than any argu- 
ments. The credit of Great Britain is not only her chief, 
but it is almost her only support. Inferior in everything 
else to the associates combined against her, she still makes 
head everywhere, and balances the opposition through the 
four quarters of the globe. While we feel the force of 
these last strugglings of her ambition, we must admire the 
source from whence they flow. Admiring, we should 
endeavor to imitate, and in order to succeed, we need 
only to make the attempt. There was a time when public 
confidence was higher in America than in any other coun- 
try. Hence the existence of that paper, which bore us 
tiironiiii (lie conflict of five years' hostility. In the moment 
when no others daii-d oppose Great Britain in her career 
towards universal empire, we n)et her ambition with our 
fortitude, encountered her tyranny with our virtue, and 
opposed Iier credit with oiu- own. We may perceive what 
our credit would have done, had it been supported by 
revenue, from what it has already effected without that 
support. And we have no reason to doubt but that it may 
be restored, when we reflect on the fate which paper cur- 
rencies have formerly sustained. The appeal, as I have 
already had the honor to observe, is made by Congress to 
the several States. Some of them have answered by 


passing the laws required, others are silent. Whence this 
silence proceeds, 1 confess myself at a loss lo determine. 
Some reasons, indeed, I have heard assigned by individuals 
in conversation, but 1 cannot conceive that they should 
have weighed with the Legislatures. Indeed I can hardly 
conceive how any reasons can have weighed against a 
matter of such importance as the keeping public faith 

I have heard it said, that commerce will not bear a five 
pCi' cent duty. Those who make such assertions must 
be very liitle acquainted with the subject. The articles of 
commerce are either such as people want, or such as they 
do not want. If they be such as people want, they must 
be purchased at the price for which they can be had; and 
the duty being on all, gives to no seller any advantage over 
another. If, on the contrary, the article be such as people 
do not want, they must either increase their industry so as 
to afford the use of it with the duty, or else they must 
dispense with that use. In the fornier casi', the commerce 
is just where it was, and in the latter case the people con- 
sume less of foreign superfluities, which certainly is a 
public benefit.* 

1 have also heard it said, tliat the liuty should be carried 
to the account of the Stale where it is levied. What can 
be the object of those, who contend for this point I know 
not. If there are doubts as to the justice of Congress, that 
body should not have been intrusted with the power of 

* For a very interesting letter from the President of Congress to 
the Governor of Rhode Island, on the matter of duties to be levied 
by the States, reported by a Committee, of which Hamilton was 
Chairman, see the Public Journals of Congress, under the date of 
April 29th, 1783. 


apportioning quotas on the several States. If, on tlie con- 
trary, those who make this proposition, expect that the 
commercial States, by carrying the Gve per cent duty to 
iheir private account, can derive from their neighbors, the 
idea is as fallacious as it is iinjusl. The equity of Con- 
gress would lead them to relax so much in the quotas as 
would render the contribution of the States proporiiouate, 
or if that could not be done, the suffering State would be 
induced to carry on its commerce. Thus the eml would 
be defeated, as indeed it ought ; for surely the advantage 
derived by the mercantile States, as a mercantile profit, 
is sufficient without exacting a revenue in addition to it. 
Articles imported into tiie country are consinned in the 
country. If each pays a duty, that duty will be paid by 
ell. The tax will fall equally on all, and therefore ought, 
in justice, to be carried to the general account. 

1 have also heard it suggested, that the public debts 
ought to be divided among the several States, and each be 
called to provide for its proportion. This measure would 
be sufficient to destroy the credit of any country. The 
creditors trust the Union, and there can be no right to alter 
the pledge which they have accepted for any other, even 
for a better one, without their free consent. But this is 
not all; there is in it a principle of disunion implied, which 
must be ruinous. Even at this late period, the States might 
singly be subjugated. Their strength is di-rived from their 
union. Everything, therefore, which injures tliat union, 
must imp{«ir the strength which is dependent upon it. 

I shall not encroach longer upon your Excellency's 
pauence, by adducing farther arguments. Everything for 
and against the proj)Osition, has doubtless been considered 
by the United States in Congress assembled, with that 


attention which is due to the importance of tliose ohjects 
on which they deliberate. I think, however, it may hiiily 
be concluded, thr.t ihose who wish to re-establish tlie credit 
and confirm the union of these States, will com|ily with 
this requisition. As I do not doubt that this is the senti- 
ment of that State over which you preside, 1 shall believe 
that the L^^gislature at their next session, will pass the 
proper laws, and I shall at present only entreat that it may 
be done as speedily as possible. 

I take the liberty, however, on this occasion, to make 
an observation, which applies indeed to many others. 
Those who have the public weal very seriously at heart, 
cannot but lament that the acts passed by many States 
on the requisitions of Congress, have been fettered with 
restrictions, as to their operation and effect, very inconsis- 
tent with that confidence which is due to the integrity of 
the United States in Congress assendded. Nothing can 
be more pernicious than the jealousy vvliich dictates clauses 
restraining the operation of laws, until similar laws shall 
have been passed by the other Stales, or confining the 
revenue or supplies to partial or particular objects, not 
within the design of Congress, or short of their intentions j 
or any other clauses, which show a distrust of the States in 
the sovereign representative of America, or in each oilier. 
Such jealr/.oies must [-.rove highly detrimental, if not 
ruinous. And surely there can be no ground to entertain 
tliem, for the Congress is composed of Representatives 
freely chosen, and is of consequence under the control of 
those by whom they were appointed. Nothing, therefore, 
ought to prevent the free and generous connnmncation of 
all necessary powers to Congress; and I am confident that 
sncii a conimunicaiion will more efleclually dishearten the 


enemy, encourage our friends, and promote the general 
and unanimous efforts of the whole community, tiian any 
other circumstance which could possibly happen. It is a 
truth, that the enemy does not even pretend to hope any- 
thing except from sowing discord among us, and it is but 
too true, lliat while the whigs of America are daily more 
firm and united in the cause of independence, there has 
been too iitile attention paid to give to that union of senti- 
ment a proper political form and consistency. I am not, 
however, the less confident that in this, r,s in everything 
else, the enemy will, to their cost, discover that their hopes 
have been extremely fallacious. 

With every sentiment of respect, he. 



Philadelphia, July 29tb, 1781. 

1 enclose you copies of my letters, of the 17th, to the 
Governor of Havana, and Robert Smith. These letters 
will require no explanation to you. In addition, however, 
I am to inform you, that my letter to the Governor was 
shown to Don Francisco Rendon, whose full approbation 
of it is contained in the enclosed copy of his note to me. 

I am to request your early attention to tiiis matter, and 
that you will support and justify the measures I have taken, 
and which may be taken in consequence of them by others. 
Will) every sentiment of respect, &ic. 




Philadelphia, July 30th, 1781. 

I am favored with your Excellency's letter, of the 27ih 
instant, for which 1 beg leave to make my acknowledge- 

I must again repeat my regret, that the means devised 
by the Legislature are unequal to the exigencies of the 
State. A majority of the Assetnbly seemed much dis- 
posed, at their late meeting, to adopt such measures as 
were calculated to promote the public service ; and there- 
fore it is to be lamented that they were not called, after 
passing the resolutions mentioned in your letter, to appro- 
priate to the disposition of Council, such funds as might 
have been adequate to the demands they are liable to, if 
those which remained for that purpose were deemed insuf- 
ficient. I still hope, however, that the collection of specie 
in taxes may enable the Council to effect more than pre- 
sent appearances promise ; but it is evident, that the money 
allotted to my disposal is intended for the procuring specific 
supplies, and paying the balance of the four tenths of the 
new Continental emission, and that I cannot apply any part 
of it to other purposes, without crediting the State in ac- 
count with the United States for such part, at a value equal 
to gold and silver. I must observe, that the resolutions 
taken by t!ie Assembly, were consequent upon a report 
made to them, and communicated to me by order of the 
House, after it had been made. This report also was 
by a committee appointed on a message from your Ex- 
cellency in Council to the Assembly, and it is therefore 
to be presumed, that it originated in that message. Be 

416 ROBERT MORRIS. as it may, tills at least is certain, that the resolutions of 
the Assembly were proposed by them, and accepted by 

With respect to the balances due from the State, I am 
to observe, tliat I have a perfect conviction of and reliance 
on the jiisiice of Congiess, vvho will I am persuaded, make 
every equitable and proper allowance; and your Excel- 
lency will perceive by the circular letters 1 have had the 
honor to transmit, my deierniination to have the accounts 
of every State with the United Stales settled on just prin- 
ciples, witii all possible expedition. 

I am obliged by your conmumication as to iMr Searle's 
missioi!,* and assure you, that I lament his disapijointments, 
and still more so. that his negotiations have met with any 
oppo'^iiion, which to me was quite unexpected. I freely 
confess, that I did not expect he woidd be successful ; 
nevertheless, he had my good wishes, and had it been in 
my power, he shoidd have experienced my readiness to 
assist every public measure. I wish his efforts in Holland 
may be productive, but I have v«My little expectation of it, 
being convinced that war with England will create such 
dema.:d for money, and procure for the lenders such secu- 
rity as will prevent them from listening to American propo- 
sals. It was from a belief that your Excellency and the 
Council would give your support to measures which have 
the public good for their object, that I sought your confi- 
dence, asked your advice, and reiied on your assistance. 
Entertaining still the same opinion, 1 shall freely and can- 
didly give my sentiments and opinions on every proposition, 
which the Council may think proper to refer to me. 

"Mission to Holland, for the purpose of borrowing money for the 
State of Pennsylvania. 


The nrgmnputs ar;aiiist H'auing pnper money from the 
treasury, and ihiowing it into ciictilaiion, had forcibly im- 
pressed my minci ; and nothing hut necessity will compel 
me to iuu'e recourse to it, being very desirous to pay every 
possible attention to your Excellency's request. 

The determination to proceed with vigor and energy in 
the collection of taxes, coincides with my judgment, and 
of coinse meets with my earnest wishes for success. And 
your promise to strengthen my hands, and enable me to 
jiroceed with cheerfulness, in the great work I have under- 
taken, excites my warmest gratitude. The delays which 
atteirtl the collection ol taxes, are indeeil gieat and alarm- 
ing. To remedy them will be highly beneficial, and per- 
iiaps the modes suggested in your letter may l)e effectual. 
Every proposition of this sort will conmiand my serious at- 
tention ; as'.d if it shail appear to me productive of the pub- 
lic good, your Excellency may rely that it shall meet with 
all the support in my power. 
1 am, respectfully, &ic. 



Head Quarters, Dolilis's Ferry, > 
August --'J, ITbl. 5 
Dear Sir, 
The expectation of the |)leasm'e of seeing you, has pre- 
vented me hitherto from making a connntmication of a 

most lui 


tant and interestins: nature. Btil circumstances 

will not admit of further delay, and I must trust it to 
paper. It seems reduced almost to a certainty, that the 
enemy will reinforce New York with part of liieir troops 
VOL. XI. 53 


from Virginia. In lliat cgse, the attempt against the 
former must be laid aside, as it will not be in our power to 
draw together a force sufficient to justify the undertaking. 
The detachment, which the enemy will probably leave in 
Virginia, seems the next object which ought to engage our 
attention, and which will be a very practicable one, should 
we obtain a naval superiority, of which I am nni without 
hopes, and he ablo to carry a body of men suddenly round 
by water. The principal difficulty which occurs, is in ob- 
i;iiMi;ig iriinFpiiris at ti.e moment they may be wanted; for 
if llipy are liikew up Intorehand, the use for which they are 
designed cannot lie concealed, and the enemy will make 
arrangements to deficit the plan. 

What 1 would therefore wish you to inform yourself of, 
without making a direct inquiry, is what number of tons of 
shipping could be obtained in Piiiindelphia at any time be- 
tween this and the 20th of this month, and whether there 
could also be obtained at the same time, a few deep 
waisted sloops and schooners, proper to carry horses. 
The number of double decked vessels wliich may be 
wanted, of two hundred tons and upwards, will not exceed 
thirty. I shall be glad of your answer as soon as possible, 
because, if it is favorable, I can direct certain preparations 
to be made in Philadelphia, and at other convenient places, 
without incurring any suspicions. There certainly can be 
no danger of not obtaining flour in Philadelphia, and as 
you seem to have doubts of procuring salt meat there, I 
shall direct all that which is to the eastward, to be col- 
lected ot points from whence it may be shipped at the 
shortest notice. 

You will also oblige me by giving me your opinion of 
the number of vessels which might be obtained at Balii- 


more, or other places in the Chesapeake, in the lime be- 
fore mentioned, or thereabouts. 
I have tlie lienor to be, &ic. 



Philadelphia, August 2d, 1781. 

Aj^reeably to the intimations I made to your Excellency 
some (lays ago, it was my intention to have gone to camp 
yesterday. But an act of Congress of the of 

July, rendered it necessary for me to hold a conference 
with a Committee of Congress and the Board of War. 
This was doi^e ; and it was determined, that a member of 
the Board of War should go with me to camp. 

This circiiinstnnce has |>ostponed my journey for a few 
days. But this is not all ; the daily demands on me for 
money are considerable, and beyond the utmost extent of 
any funds I can command. The demands for past dues 
in compensation for past services, and the like, are re- 
jected ; but those for the prosecution of the campaii^n 
must be attended to. If, in my absence, and from that 
cause there be afjy stopppge, or considciL'ole dilay, tlie 
cf)nsequences will be equally injurious 10 Miy reputation, 
and to the public service. 

I have before mentioned to you, that my dependence 
for immediate supplies of money, is on the produce of bills 
of exchange. I ain sorry now to observe, th.-'t this depen- 
dence fails, and from a cause equally prejudicial to France 
and to the United Stales, considered in iheir collective 
capacity, though, perhaps, advantageous to individuals. 


Your Exrellenry will remember, that when T was called 
lo the adiniiiisiraiion, the bills of your army had been 
selling for two thirds, and even so low as for one" half of 
their value in Kurope. What migiit have been the causes 
of this, it is not my business to inquire. The fact is incon- 
testable. Your Excellency observed it, and endeavored 
to remedy the evil, by holding yom- own bills at five sixihs. 
But the merchants, \\ho had benefited l»y llie foru«er low 
rate, could not be brought at once to make so consider- 
able an advance. They expected that the same causes, 
which had reduced bills to one half, must ag^iin bring 
them down ; and, therefore, were disposed to wail the 

I take the liberty here to observe, that the fluctuation of 
exchange will naturally slrengilien that expectation, and 
nothing but steady, firm perseverance on the part of the 
administration, can, or indeed ought, to produce a ready 
sale on good terms. Bills of exchange are rcmiitod to 
France in paynient for European commodities. If the 
cost of this remittance is fixed, commerce may so far be 
established on trsie commercial principles ; otherwise, it is 
a mere game of liazanl. Sensible of tnis, the merchant 
will rather wait, with his money in his chest, the event of 
public necessity, than invest that money in bills, which 
may shortly alter be bought on better terms by his more 
cautious neighbor. Hence it follows, that the public will 
really command less money than they otherwise might. 
Nor is that all. While the public can conunand the 
money of the merchants as fast as it comes into their 
hands, the servants of the public can spend that money to 
advantage, and the very expenditiue will increase the cir- 
culation, so as to bring it again sooner ii'to the hands of the 


Your s^ood sense. Sir, your PXjierienoe, niul ilie iirire- 
milteil ntten'.'u)!!, wliicli I liave perceived yon \y\\ to every 
obj.'ct whicli ran relu« to ilie servire of your Soven^ii^n, 
will render it unnecessary for nie lo prosecute any ftjrtlier 
these ol)serv.-.jions. 

It was from a kmw!edi;e of this sniijert, wjiiilj many 
years' constant attention to lliis business bad inipirted, lliat 
1 saw tiit^ neressiiy of raising the vnlue of bills by degrees, 
and, at the same time, of opposing the mo&i inflexible 
fninness to every attempt at Idwerin;; their price. The 
bills I drew on Messrs Le Couteids &: Co., at sixiy days' 
si,:lit, were selling readily at four filibs, until the bills for 
your army were ofTered at thirty days' sigl t, and at a lower 
late. This, Sir, has checked my sales ; and this induces 
me to mention t.o you anoihe:' mailer, which will, I fore- 
see, become of great importance. 

'J'he concurrence of many venders of bills cannot be 
more pernicious thai: ihe concurrence of many purchasers 
of supplies. The merchant cannot reason more efTeciii- 
ally on public necessities, which he may conjrciure, than 
the husbandman on such wants as he has octdar deiiuMi- 
stration of. jMelancho'.y experience has shown, that ihe 
contest betwre'.i our purchasers has been exiremel) per- 
nicious. What may lu've b<'en the miinner of c»)nduciing 
the business l)y the agents of the King, I do not positively 
know; but if I were to credii many i;.!cs which I have 
heard about it, I .»hoidd lielieve there had been errors at 
least. IJ'i! I know too well tlie weakness and iinpropriefy of lo slanderous reptnis; and I am xeiy confident, 
that all care will be taken of the iiiierests of bis 

Jiui, Sir, if I'.jc supplies for the French army and navy 


are kept in a disiinct channel, ! do not believe it will be 
possible to obtain them so cheap as they might otherwise 
be had. The ration consisting of one pound of bread, 
one pound of beef, or three quarters of a poimd of pork, 
one gill of country made rum ; and to every hundred 
n.iions one quart of salt, two quarts of vinegHr ; also to 
every seven huisdred rations eight pounds of soap, and 
three pounds of candles, is now furnif^hed to the Uniicd 
Slates in this city, at nine pence, with a half penny allowed 
over for issuing. It may jjerhaps cost more to fiunisli 
rations to the army, periiaps as high nS ten pence or eleven 
pence, Pennsylvania currency. 

You I suppose. Sir, can command the necessary ac- 
coimts to determine what the King now pays for the sub- 
sistence of his troops ; but ns the French and American 
rations difTer, I take the liberty for yom- further informa- 
tion to mention, that the parts of the ration are estimated 
as follows ; ftir one poimd of bread, two ninetieths o( a 
dollar ; for one pound of beef, or three quarters of a pound 
of poik, four and a quarter ninetieths ; for one gill of rimi, 
two ninetieths ; far soap, candles, vinegar, and salt, one 
and a quarter ninetieths for each ration. You will also 
observe. Sir, that when exchange is at four filths, one livre 
tournoiij is eqi:al to fourteen pence and two fifihs of a 
penny, Pennsylvania money. 

I go into these details to enable your Excellency exactly 
to determine what is most for the interest of France, for I 
conceive it my duty to give you a confidential stale of our 
affairs, whenever it can promote his Majesty's service, 
which I beg leave to assure you, I have every possible 
desire to assist ; being convinced, that lean I y no other 
means more fully com|)ly with t!»e wishes of the United 
Suics ill Congress asseiuUed. 


I beg leave fiiiilier *.-> observe, that I have no personal 
wish to negotiate your bills, or to supply your fleets and 
arn:ies. You nnist be very sensible that I l.ave already 
before nie a fit^id of business siifficieniiy large. To extend 
it, will give ine labor and pain, J can derive no advantage 
from it, nor will anything induce me to engage in it, ex- 
cept it be the prospect of rendering efTectnal service to 
tiip coiinnon cause. 1 make this declaration, not because 
I conceive it necessary to you, or Ironi an ostentatious 
display of those motives, which actuate my conduct, but 
there may be persons to whom I an) not so well known 
as I have the honor of being to your Excellency, and who 
from ignorance or interest might give to the present inten- 
tions th;j foulest interpretation. 

I have been led much fmther, Sir, than the occasion 
strictly required, but perhaps my observations may de- 
mand your attention ; they certainly appeared to me of 
importance, or I would not have given you the trouble of 
so long a letter. 

I pray you to believe me, with respect, &c. 



riuladelphia, August 4lh, 1781. 
I was honored with your letter of the 3d yesterday 
evening ; I am happy that the sentiments expressed in 
mine of the 2d, meet with your Excellency's approbation, 
and shall readily confide in your direction, to make such 
use of it as you think pr(»per. 

The two questions you ask do not admit of a precise 


answer. The ratfi nf excliiin^e on-i^hl hy no means to be 
iindf!' r.)iir filiiis; ititle<Ml I coiiM \vi>ii iluii ii were liiijlu'r, 
and am not wi'lioiii lin|)('s of raii^ing it ; bnl that n)nst 
ch*|)en(l on circmnsinnri'S, which I c -nnot command. The 
smn, uhich can he furnishi'd to die Preucli army monlhly 
by the ?ale of hills, admits still less than the other of being 
precisely ascertained. Lei me a(!«i, Sir, that the s«im, 
which your army may want, nmst greatly depend npoii 
the measures, which may he taken to ^npp!y thent. Gov- 
Pinmenl ouilit to know its expenses precisely, if that were 
possible. Upon this j>rin<iph', it will be oi use, that your 
s'ipulalions should be to pay a certain sum in France f<»r 
every ratijin ; consequently you will want no money here 
for ihat purpr^se. 

I wi>h it were in my power to reply more pointedly, for 
I aui well conviiiced of the importance of inlormaiion on 
that suliject. Whenever I am in a condition to know 
more, I shal' readily communicate to you the extent of my 
inquiries. But while it is uiy determination to speak to 
you with that confidence, which yom- ingenuous conduct 
Ins merited, I am equally determined neither to comprom- 
ise myself nor mislead you, by relying on unfounded con- 

I have the honor to be, Sec. 



OIBce of Finance, August 4lh, 1781. 
On the 23d of June last, the United Slates in Congress 
assembled, di-ecied me lo take measures for the speedy 


launcliing and equipping the ship America, and directed 
the Board of Adniirully to assign to me the share of the 
United States, in the prizes taken by Captain Barry, to 
enable me to carry their orders into effect. 

By a lett°r Oom the Navy Board in the eastern district, 
dated the 18ih of Juiy at Boston, it appears, that the 
s;reater part of this money is already expended, and that 
more is wanting to fit the Deane and Alliance for sea. 
Congress have referred this letter to me, and in conse- 
quence, as I am convinced that expense will constantly 
accrue while those vessels continue in port, 1 request of 
your Excellency to furnish to the Navy Board, such 
moneys as may be necessary to fit ihem out, with all pos- 
sible expedition. I must further entreat to be favored 
with an account of the sums furnished, that they may be 
carried to the credit of your State on the laJe requisitions 
of Congress, and the Navy Board to be debited with 
them in the treasury books. 

I have the honor to be, he. 



Philadelphia, August 4th, 1781. 

Being obliged to go to camp on public business, I 
shall set off this day. During my absence, it is highly- 
probable that the service may reqtiire various applica- 
tions to your Excellency. Should this be the case, 
they will be made to you by Mr Gouverneur Morris, 
who is m}' official assistant. I am, therefore, to pray 
VOL. XI. 54 


the same attention to liis lellcrs as If ihcy were writ- 
lei) by mo. 

With great respect, &c. 



Camp, August 13th, 1731. 

The (irders of Con2:ress, which we have the Iionor 
to comniunicyle, (lircotinjj; us to ctnifer wiili your Ex- 
cellency on the subject of llie proposed numbers and 
arran;;ements of the army for the next campaiy;n, not 
hd\ in<; pointed out llic reasons for inducing the mejs- 
iire, wo have llie honor to lay before you our ideas on 
the subject, so far as we arc acqualnicd with the 
matter, Irom a long conference at which we were 
present in Philadelphia, held by a committee of Con- 
gress, the Superintendent of Finance, and the Board 
of VV^ar, pursuant to a resolution of Congress, with a 
coj;y of which your Excellency has been furnished. 

After the full conversation with which we were hon- 

*August 4<A. Having omitted in my minutes to make mention of 
the assistance I have received from Gouverneur Morris, I lliink it 
proper to declare, that he has most cheerfully afforded me every 
advice and assistance, which his genius and abilities enabled him to 
afford, from my first appointment to this time ; and that I found him 
so capable and useful as to induce me to solicit his assistance in an 
official character, which having readily consented to, I made a 
verbal engagement with him, since confirmed by my letter of ap- 
pointment, dated on the 6th of July last, being the date of the Acts 
of Congress, which fixes a salary for my assistant, and he is of 
course entitled to that salary from that date. Diary. 


ort<\ on the 12lh instant, it is unnecessary to enter at 
large into those reasons, or to urge the pressing neces- 
sity of economising our affairs so as to make our reve- 
nues in a great degree meet our expenses. Your 
P'xrellenoy must be equally sensible with us of the 
necessity, and we are j;erfectly convinced that you are 
disposed to assist in every mdasure lending to promote 
so desirable an object. You are also sensible of the 
impolicy of calling on the States for men or money, in 
numbers or quaniiiies so extensive as to excite among 
even the zealous and considerate, ideas of the imprac- 
ticability of carrying on the war on such terms. De- 
mands of this nature, instead of animating to exertions, 
are only productive of hopeless languor. Your morti- 
fying experience of the inadequate compliance of the 
States h'ereloforc, wiih your former requisitions, will 
explain the n-.otivcs inducing to the expediency of 
moderating those demands, so as to render them pro- 
ductive, and in case cf failure to leave the delinquent 
Stale without excuse. Your Excellency has no doubt 
considered that tiie class of men who are willing to 
become soldiers is much diminished by the war, and 
therefore the difficulties of raising an army cqtial to 
former establi>hnients has increased, and will continue 
to increase, and embarrass the Slates in their measures 
for filling up their quotas, should the mode of recruit, 
ing the army be continued in the present line. You 
will also have considered, that the enemy proportion- 
ably (lebilitated by war, is incapable of opposing to us 
the force we originally had to encounter; and, there- 
fore, the necessity of such extensive levies as we 
formerly raised, seems to be in some measure super-= 


In what degree the forces of these States should be 
decreased, we do not pretend to determine, leaving 
this to your Excellency's belter judgment. But from 
past experience it appears, that the States are inca- 
pable of bringing into the field an army equal to that 
called for by the last arrangement ; or, if all the de- 
mands of Congress on the Slates become merely pecu- 
niary, it does not seem probable that they can or will 
furnish money for raising, equipping, and supporting 
such an army. 

We wish we were capable, from any information 
we are possessed of, to assist your Excellency in the 
investigation of the subject with respect to the prob- 
able designs or force of the enemy the next campaign. 
This must in its nature depend upon contingencies at 
present even beyond conjecture. At this tim#, there- 
fore, in cur apprehension, the only solid grounds of 
procedure is to consider what force these States are 
capable of producir)g. 

Having thus, in general, mentioned the ideas which 
have arisen on tiie subject, we beg to leave the mailer 
to your consideration, and take the liberty of pro- 
posing the following queries, after further slating that 
it has been liiought that it would be expedient, in case 
of a reform, to lessen the number of regiments so as 
to make fewer commissioned officers and privates in 
the regiments. It has been supposed that a consider- 
able saving would arise from this measuie, by not 
having so many officers in full pay, with their horses, 
servants, baggage, and other consequent expenses in 
the field. Or if they remain in quarters from want of 
commands, they are in a situation disagreeable to their 


own feelings, and uselessly expensive to the public. 
We presume that gentlemen qualified for staff officers, 
and that artificers and other persons employed by the 
staff department, should not come into the calculation, 
as the officers at the head of those departments should 
be enabled to carry on their business without taking 
men from the line, a practice introduced from neces- 
sity, very prejudicial to discipline, and productive of 
pernicious consequences by lessening the effective 
force of the army. 

Quere 1. Is a reduction of the number of the offi- 
cers and men, as fixed by the last arrangement, expe- 
dient or proper? 

2. How can the reduction be brought about, consist- 
ently with the good of the service? and what arrange- 
ment should be made in consequence of this resolution ? 

The answer to the above queries will no doubt in- 
clude the number of men necessary for the next 
campaign, and the organization of them so as to desig- 
nate the numbers of regiments, and the numbers in 
those regiments, both of commissioned and non-com- 
missioned officers and privates, as well regimentally as 
by companies. The expediency of having fewer 
regiments of artillery and horse, and of consolidating 
the independent corps, will also, we presume, come 
into your Excellency's consideration. 

3. What periods of enlistment, under present cir- 
cumstances, are most proper to be adopted? 

4. What regulation can be made to modify the prac- 
tice of taking servants from the line by officers? and, 
on this head we beg leave to submit to your opinion a 
copy of a motion made in Congress on this subject. 


5. What is lo be done uilh officers by brevet, or 
those wlio have no pririicuhir commands? Can ihcv 
not bo placed in the legimeiUs, or retire on half pay ? 

6. WoiiM ii be praciicable, consixient uiih justice, 
and llic <:;()0(l of the service, to call inio aclnai service 
officers who have retired on h:df pay, by ihe fonner 
arrangement, to fill vacancies happening in the lines 
lo which ihcy respectively belong? 

We have the honor lo be, wilh much regard, &c. 


Head Quarters. Dobbs's Ferry, > 
August 17ih, 17il. 5 

Dear Sir, 

I have in confidence iniparted to yon die aheralion of 
our late [ilan, and made you acquainted widi om- intended 
operaiioi'.s. J3esides ilie jirovision necessary at ihe bead of 
the Elk to carry die liof-ps down ihe bay, a very consider- 
able qiianiiiy will be wanted in Virj^inia. I s.'iouKI suppose 
«hree hnndri'd barrels of flour, as many of salt meal, and 
eii^ht or len bngsheads of rum, woidd be sufli( ient ill the 
Elk. For what will be consumed in Virginia, I imasiiue 
be order must be genera!, as we can neither ascenain ihe 
ninnber of men whit h will be drawn logelher, or the lime 
they will be i-mployed. 

I have wiiiien lo ilie Count de Grasse, anfl have re- 
quested him lo send up hi< lighl vessels of every kind lo ihe 
Elk; but I woidd, neveriheless, wish to have all that may 
be at B.iliiinore, sind the ujtper parts of the bay, secured. 


I shall therefore he ohliged to ynii, to take niensiires at 
the proper lime for that purpose. When thai lime ui 1 he, 
and when yon shall give orders fur the depo5-il at the Elk, 
I will hereafter inform yon. 

I shall direct the Quarter IMaster in due season to take 
lip all tlie small craft in the Delaware, for the pnr|)ose of 
transporting the troops from Trenton to Clnisiima. ShonKl 
he have occasion for advice or assistance from yon on this 
occasion, I mnst request yon to give him hoih. 

I am confident it will he necissary to give the American 
troops, destined for Stinthern services, one nionilTs pay in 
specie. This will amontit to ahont doliars. If it 

will he possilile for yon to procm-e this smn, yon will 
infinitely ohl ge me, and will nmch h(!nefit the service. I 
shall also stand in need of a snm of specie for secret 
services ; I snppose ahont five hnndred guineas. 
I have the honor to he, &cc. 



Office of Finance, August 22(1, 1781. 
Dear Sir, 
I arrived in town the day before yesterday. Having 
taken the earliest opportunities to acquire inforniaiion, I 
am sorry to inform you, that I find money matters in as 
bad a situation as possible. The exchange, by the con- 
course of venders, has run down to five shillings, and hills 
are ofl^ered at that rate in such great numbers, as to com- 
mand all the money which is to be disposei! of; so that 
reducing the price of bills still lower, would not command 
money, or answer any other good purpose. 


The paper of this State, (Pennsylvania) is indeed appre- 
ciating; but to issue it, in the present moment, would 
destroy i.i embryo all my hopes from that quarter, cut off 
the only resource which I have the chance of commanding, 
and shake a confidence which has been reposed in me, 
and which the public interest calls upon me to cherish. 
I am sorry to observe, in consequence, that you must 
expect to meet with disappointments; but I assure you, 
that I will make every possible exerlioii to place you in the 
most eligible situation wiiich my means will admit of. 
1 am, Sir, your most obedient, Sec. 



Office of Finance, August 22d, 1781. 

I have, in a former letter, forwarded to your Excel- 
lency, an account of the specific supplies, which Congress 
had demanded from your Slate. It now becomes my duly 
again to press for a compliance with those demands. The 
exigencies of the service require immediate attention. 
We are on the eve of the most active operations ; and 
should they be in anywise retarded by the want of neces- 
sary supplies, the most unhappy consequences may follow. 
Those who may be justly chargeable with neglect, will 
have to answer for it to their country, their allies, to the 
present generation, and to posterity. I hope, entreat, 
expect, the utmost possible efforts on the part of your 
State ; and confide in your Excellency's prudence and 
vigor to render those efforts effectual. 

I beg to know, most speedily, Sir, what supplies are 


colli.'cted, aiu! at wliat places ; as also tlio times aiul phu-rs 
at uliicli llu; rcinaiiuiei- is to l)e expc^ctcd. I tauwot 
express to you my solicitiule on this occasioii. My declii- 
raiion to Coc^res?, when I entered upon my nflke, will 
prevent the blame of ill accidents from lij^hiing upon me, 
even if I were less allenlive than I am ; hiH il is inipossihle 
not to feel most deeply f:n oce:.sions wIkmc the greati'st 
o! jects may he impaired or destroyed, l)y indoh-nce or 
neglect. 1 mtis;, tlierefKrc, again reiterate my requests ; 
and w hilt; I assin-e yon, tint noilKng bni the mgency of 
onr jifF.iiis would render me thus im)U)riutiaie, I nmst also 
assure you, that while those afTairs coniiniie so uigenij I 
Hiust continue to inmortnne. 

Willi all possible respect, kc. 


* August. 21 s<. Duririff my slay at camp, I liad constant applications 
for money from almosl everybody, as all had claims on llie public. 
I took wLlh me only one hundred and fifty guineas; and, finding so 
many demands, I thought it best to satisfy none, therefore brouo-lit 
the money bank. 1 had conferences with the Quarlei Master 
General, Paymaster General, Clothier General, Commissary Gen- 
oral of Issues, Direct )r General of the Hospitals, and witii many 
other persons; but as these chiefly ran on the wants of then'.selves 
and others employed in their departments, I could only recommend 
the strictest economy in thetr expendituies, that I might thereby be 
the better warranted in making reasonable requisitions from the 
several States ; always promising what I mean most punctually to 
perform, that is, to use my utmost endeavors to establish such 
revenues, as will enable the regular payment of their salaries and 
other just demands; but always concluded with assuring them, that 
this ultimately depended on the several Legislatures, which cculd 
only be induced to grant such revenues from a conviction, that their 
grants would be faithfully and frugally used. I made the same 
observations to the general officers and others, who spoke to me on 
money matters. Diary. 

vuL. XI 56 




Office of Finance, August 23d, 1781. 

I am just returned from the head quarters of the Com- 
mander in Ciiief, where I Isave been for some days, in 
order to confer will) him on the various military operations 
and arrano:ements, as far as they are connected with the 
duties of my department. Of consequence the defence 
of that vahiable part of Virginia now invaded, became 
much a subject of consideration, and I am happy to inform 
you, that every measure will be pursued for its safety, 
whicii is consistent with the general objects of the war. 

The force in Virginia ought to be very considerable, 
for reasons, which it is unnecessary to mention to you, who 
are so well acquainted with the country. But it is neces- 
sary to observe, that the supplies to this force must be 
proportionably gicat. I have already done myself the 
honor to transmit to your Excellency an account of spe- 
cific supplies, whirl) have been required by Congress. 
Virginia stands debited for the whole, and it is not in my 
power, perhaps not in yours, to state as yet the credit side 
of that account. Let, however, the amount of the articles 
already furnished, be vv')at it may, this at least is certain, 
that I iiave the command of no money from the several 
States, which will serve to maintain a force in Virginia. 
Much, therefore, must depend on the provisions and for- 
age, which that State can call forth. 

It is necessary for me to inform the General what re- 
liance can be made on your resources, and it is also neces- 
sary, that this information should be just. Your Excel- 
lency must perceive, that his arrangements will greatly 
depend upon my communication ; and therefore you will 


need no incitement to transmit to me as soon as possible 
the answers to my inquiries. 

Let me then entreat, Sir, to know uhat qc.antity of 
flour, beef, and pori<, both fresh and salted, and what 
quantity of hay and Indian corn, or other forage, can be 
delivered by iiie State of Virginia, at what places, and by 
what times. 1 shall also be happy to be informed, where 
the tobacco required of your State is deposited, that I may 
take proper measures for the disposal of it. 
With all possible respect, &ic. 



Office of Finance, Philadelphia, > 
August iJOth, 17«1. 5 

My former letters advised you of the sundry hills T had 
drawn on yoii to the 2d day of this month, being num- 
bered from one to one hundred and thirtyone inclusive, 
and amounting to five hundred and twentyonc thousand, 
six hundred and ihirtyfour livres, sixteen sous, and eight 
dernier tournois, as yon will perceive by a copy 0/ a list 
of said bills, herein enclosed. To which you will find 
added the list of sundry bills drawn on the 10th instant, 
numbered one himdred and thirtytwo to one liundred and 
fiftyeight inclusive, all at sixty days' sight, in favor of Mr 
Haym Solomans, amounting to two hundred and one thou- 
sand, three hundred and twenlythree livres, eight sous 

On the Sth of this month I had occasion to visit his Ex- 
cellency General Washington at camp, and at my de- 


pnrtme I left tl;ese bills signed. Tliry were srJd f!»iriiig 
i:iy niiscsire, and i pniy lli;it lliey may lie duly linnon-d. 
^OLiwill be ennUed lo pay dn.'se piinct;i;dlv, as bis Ex- 
celJt^nry ibe Minister PIcnipolentiiny of France liiis en- 
gni;ed, diat five liundred tliousand livres loinp.ois, slionld 
be phiced uid) yon lor that purpose ; of course you will 
Ifave rei-eived one nnllion of livies, snbjeci lo niy dr;ifi?, 
nnd ! shall conlinue to pass lliern on you as occasion may 

On the ITili of July last, T drew one bill on )on at sixty 
days, ill favor of Robert Suiiili, or order, for five liundred 
tliousand livres, but that bill is eiilur punk, or lias fallen 
into the eneni} 's IkukIs, therefore should it ever appear it 
must he refusud as a fraud. 

1 have the honor to be, &ic. 



Chatham, August 27lh, 1751. 
Dear Sir, 

Arroiuits brought by several vessels lo PhiliuUljihia, 

and to the eastward, leave little doubt but ilnu the Count 

de Grasso tnu.^l have already arrixcd iu ilit Chesapeake, or 

that he innsi be very soon there. The Count de IWham- 

beau and myself have therefore determined, (hat no lime 

oughrto be lost iii making preparations for o»;r lr;:u=por- 

lation from Trenton to Clhiistiana, and from the head of the 

Eik down the Cliesaj eake. I have wiiiien by :his oppor- 

luni'y to Ct)lonel IMilts, and have directed him iuiuie<ii- 

aiely in eng;ige all the proper kind of craft for the navigation 

of the Dciiuvare, wliich tan be found in riiiladelphia, or iu 


ihe creeks -above and below It ; ant! as your advire may 
Uv nsefcl 10 biiii, more especially as Jar as respecls |>rc>- 
cmiig «lie ve.-sels at a distance from Pliiladelpbia, I liave 
desired biin Ut wait upon you lor tliat purpose. 

I sliul! also be oblijj,ed to you for nsina; your influence 
with tiie gentlemen of Baltimore lo pertiiil any vessels, 
uhiili may be in lliat port to come up to llie E\k to assist us 
ill transportation. 1 have little donbl, from the clieerful- 
ncss with which they fnrnislie<i the IVlar(].;is de Lafayette 
last winter, that they will comply with your reqnisitij)n on 
the present oc-casion. But lest there should be a necessity 
for the interference of the Execinive of the State, 1 have 
written lo Governor Lee, upon thai and other matters. 
1 enclose ihe letter under flyint; seal lor your inforinatifm, 
and you will be good enough lo forward it by a chain of 
expresses, which is established. Any vessels, which may 
be procured in the Chcsa|»eake, should rendezvous as 
soon as possible in Eik river. 

You will be j)leased to make the (ieposit of flour, rum, 
nnd salt meat, al ilie liead of the Elk, which i leqnesicd in 
a former letter. 

I am very fta:fiil, fhat about fifteen hundred barrels of 
sail provi>ions, and thirty hf)g<heads of rum, which I 
directed lo be sent from Connecticut and Rhode Island, 
under convoy of the Couiit lie Barras, wotdd nol have 
been ready when the fleet sailed from Newport. Should 
that have been the case, the (isaj^poiutnsenl will be great. 
1 would wi?h yf)u to sec whether a like (luantit)' of those 
art.cles can be pracm-od in Philadelphia, or in Maryland, 
if we sh.)uld find ih.ii they have nol gone round horn the 
•1 uiust entreat you if possible lo [irocurc c>ne month's 


pay in specie for the detachmer.t, which I have under my 
command. Part of the troops have not been paid any- 
thing for a long time past, and have upon several occasions 
shown marks of great discontent. The service they are 
going upon, is disagreeable to the northern regiments, but 
I make no doubt, that a douceur of a little hard money 
would put them in proper temper. If the wliole sum can- 
not be obtained, a part of it will be better than none, as 
it may be distributed in proportion to the respective wants 
and claims of the men. 

The American detachment will assemble in this neigh- 
borhood today. The French army tomorrow. 
I have the honor to be, he. 



Office of Finance, August 28lh, 1781. 

The express which carries this letter will bring you one 
from Colonel Miles, on the same subject. It is necessary, 
that vessels be procured as speedily as possible, to trans- 
port a body of from six to seven thousand n)en from the 
bead of the Elk to Virginia, with their necessary apparatus. 
You will, therefore, collect them at the head of the Eik, on 
the 5ih of September, and as soon after as may be, engage 
theu» by the day on the cheapest terms you can, to be paid 
in hard money, and obtain as long a credit as possible. 
There will be little or no risk of the vessels, and therefore 
you may insure them to the owners, if that will tend to ob- 
tain them either sooner or cheaper. The express has let- 
ters to William Smith and iMatihew Ridley, of Baltimore, 


on this subject, and they will give you their advice and as- 
sistance, as will some other gentlemen, to whom 1 have 
written, should eitlier be necessary. He has also letters 
to the Governor of ftlaryland, who will I am confident give 
every aid, which the Executive authority of the State can 
afford. You will therefore either apply to the Governor 
or not, as circumstances shall require. 

Any engagements you enter into on this account, shall 
be fulfilled ; but 1 must again request, that you will be as 
economical as the nature of the business will permit. 1 
ex|)ect and rely on the exertion of your utmost industry 
and attention and am, Sir, very respectfully, to. 



■: Philadelphia, August 28th, 1781. 


Herewith I send you triplicates of my letters of the 13ih 
and 14ihof July last, and duplicates of my letters of the 19th 
and 21st of July last. 1 have not yet executed the plan 
mentioned in mine of the 21st of July, of drawing bills on 
you, for reasons, which it is not necessary to enumerate at 

Since my letter to you of the Sih of June last, I have 
found it necessary to apply to the Minister of his Most 
Christian Majesty in this place, to direct another sum of 
five hundred thousand livres to bo deposited with Messrs 
Le Couteulx h Co., and I am now drawing bills for that 
sum, wherefore I must pray your Excellency to take meas- 
ures, that they be put in cash to answer my drafts. Al- 
though I have no doubt that this will be done on the Che- 


valier (!e la Liizerne'i applicjiiion, ypt as his Icfieis may 
iniscany, or oilier unavoitlaltle inislbriiine liappeii, 1 lake 
this addiiioiial piTcaiiiioii, because it is of llie uUnosl itn- 
ponaiice lo the United Slates, that ihese bills be duly 

The last advices fjoui Europe iiiform us of.M. Neckcr's 
re>igii;.lioi! and reniova', vviiich f.rcasions ninch spoeiilalion, 
as lo the fai!?es uhich produced this event. 1 slioidd be 
glad lo hear from you upon thai suhjecl. 

We learn from Boston tiie arrival of the frigale I\Iag,i- 
cienno, wiili a larije store sliip lailcn with (loihinsr, &ic. fov 
the United Slates ; another store ship put lo Corunnn, 
as is said, having been dismasted in a grde of wind. If 
this be so, it is a loss which will be more easily piipj)lied 
than ihat of ihe Lafayette, which ship we ure informed was 
taken and carried into Euzliind. 

Colonel Laurens's embarki'lion on bf)arJ a hi^;ale for 
• his place, wiih money, is also announced, and 1 hope she 
will speedily arrive. The Bosion account of the iGlh of 
August, mentions die arrival of ihe AJajL-jicienne in fifiy 
days. If Colonel 1-iaurens had then sailed, he must now 
have been out sixiytwo days, wh'ch is a very long period 
for a single frigate lo be engaged in thai voyage. If that 
frigate arrives safe, with five hundred ihousand dollars, 
which is, as I am informed, on board of her, it will relieve 
me from many very great diflicullies, which I have now lo 
struggle with, and give a much beiier a(>pearance to our 
afTiirs, as it will enable us to operate wiih far mure vigor 
and aciiviiy. 

It is now a very long lime since we have had any 
tidings rf Mr Adam?. Wo have indeed been inforniod, 
though not from himself, that he had opened a loan for a 


million of florins ; but we are much in the dark as to the 
success of it, as well as many other particulars relative to 
his situation, which would be very interesting. 

September "Ith, 1781. Since writing the above letter, 
Colonel Laurens has come to this city from Boston, at 
which place he arrived in the Resolve, with the two store 
ships under lier convoy, after a passage uncommonly 
tedious. It is certainly unnecessary lo mention how great 
pleasure we have received from this occurrence. 

Another equally pleasing, is the arrival of the Count de 
Grasse la the Chesapeake Bay, on the 30th of August, 
with twenty eight sail of the line, viz. one of one hundred 
and ten guns, three of eightyfour guns, nineteen of seventy- 
four guns, four of sixtyfour guns, and o'ne of fifty guns.- 
The Count de Barras sailed from Rhode Island on the 
24ih, so that probably he has before this made a junction 
with the Count de Grasse, although he had not on the 31 si 
of August. A detachment of about seven thousand men 
is on the way to Virginia, of which about two thousand and 
five hundred were at the head of the Elk. As many more 
must have arrived there this evening, and the remainder 
tomorrow. There are landed, from the fleet, three thous- 
and men, and we are told these will receive an addition of 
one thousand and five hundred marines, besides the army 
under the command of the Marquis de Lafayette, wliich 
was before in Virginia, and consists of about five thousand, 
including the militia. Lord Cornwallis was entrenched at 
York, in Virginia, with five thousand men. General 
Wasiiington takes the command of the southern army in 
person. The fleet under the Count de Grasse took on its 
way a packet from Charleston to Great Britain, on board 
VOL. XI. 56 


of uliich was Lord Rawdon. From this combination of 
circumstances, yon will perceive, that we have reason to 
flatter ourselves with tlie expectalion of pleasini; occur- 

Will) the greatest respect, he 



Oflace of Finance, August 28Ui, 1781. 

My circular letter to the Governors, of the 25th of 
July, a copy whereof was sent to Congress on the 6th 
of August, contains a solemn assurance, that all the 
accounts of the several States with the United Slates 
should be speedily liquidated, if I could possibly eflect 
It, and that my efforts for that purpose should be un- 
ceasing. If after this declaration, I could possibly 
have forgotten it, the reference made to me, on the 
23d instant, of two letters from the State of Massa- 
chusetts and a report on them of the 14th instarjt, 
would have called for an immediate attention. 

I have thought much on this subject and feci very 
anxious about it. The settlement of those accounts is 
of the utmost importance, for, until it be comj)leled, 
the States will |)ersuade themselves into an opinion 
that their exertions are unequal. Each will believe in 
the superiority of its own efforts. Each claim the 
merit of having done more than others; and each 
continue desirous of relaxing to an equality of the sup- 
posed deficiencies of ilc, neighbors. Hence it follows, 
that every day they become more and more negligent. 


a clansrerous s'jpincncss pervades ilie continent, and 
recommendations of Congress, capable in the year 
1775 of rousing all America to action, now lie ne- 

The settlement of former accounts being considered 
as a thing forgotten, men, naturally rcaso intz; fron 
them to those which are now present, conclude, that 
they also will drop into forgetfulncss, and consider 
everything not furnished as so much saved. The 
Legislatures will not call forth the resources of their 
respective constituents. The public operations lan- 
guish. The necessity of purchasing on credit enhances 
expense. The want of that credit compels to the use 
of force. That force offends. The country is daily 
more jdimged in debt, and its revenues more deeply 
antici|)ated, A situation so dnngerous calls lor more 
accurate principles of administration, and these cannot 
too speedily be adopted. The settlement of accounts 
is the first step, but it is necessary not only that tliis 
settlement be speedy but that it be final; for, if it be 
not final, the disputes on that subject will have the 
same baleful influence with those now subsisting. 
Disunion among the States must follow in the event. 
Disgust must take place in the moment. The same 
opprobrious indolence will continue, and in the mean- 
time it is to little purpose, that our country abounds 
in men and subsistence, if they cannot be called forth 
for her defence. 

All the requisitions of Congress upon the several 
States contain a provision for future liquidation, when 
the quotas shall have been ascertained according to the 
articles of confederation. The evil consequences 


which have followed from this are very evident, and 
the great advantages which would have resulted from 
rendering every appointment final and conclusive are 
equally evident. But those, who, on such ground, 
build a censure against Congress, ought to eonsider, 
that they could not act otherwise, before the confeder- 
ation was completed. 

The changes which have already happened, in the 
affairs of the several States at the different periods of 
the war are so great, that any apportionment formerly 
made, however equitable then, would be inequitable 
naw. To determine the quota, therefore, from the 
present situation, or from any particular moment of 
the past, must be equally improper. But the quotas 
must be determined at some period or other. If we 
suppose it already done, we shall clearly see how 
many inconveniences would have been avoided, and 
how many advantages gained. True it is, that let this 
final adjustment of the quota take place when it will, 
difficulties will arise by reason of those changes in the 
circumstances of the several States, which have been 
already mentioned. But those difficulties will be daily 
increased, and beconie at length insurmountable. If a 
final determination of past quotas were made now, it 
must be arbitrary in some degree ; but if we carry our 
ideas forward to the end of several yearS) it must be 
still more arbitrary. To attempt a settlement of ac- 
counts subject to after revision, and after determination, 
is still worse; for it is liable to every objection, which 
lies against leaving them unsettled, to every difficulty, 
which could attend the final settlement, and has the 
additioiial evil, that by placing the several precise bal- 


unces immediately before the eyes of Con2;rcss, they 
could take no step, which would not be charged with 
partiality. I will dwell no longer on this sul)ject, for 
I trust the United States in Congress will aqree with 
me in one leading position, that after taking a general 
view of the past, from the commencement of the war 
to the present moment, a certain rate or quota should 
be established for.eacii State of the whole expense now 
incurred, excepting the public debt of the United 
States. I will presently assign the reasons for this ex- 
ception ; but that general position which I have 
advanced is the corner stone; without it nothing can 
be done, at least such is my conviction. Hence we 
have the irresistible conclusions, 

1st. That while a demand of Congress is the mere 
request of a loan, instead of a complete appointment of 
it will not be attended to. 

2dly. That while from the unsettled state of public 
accounts, the individual Stales are led to suppose that 
there is a balance in their favor, by superior exertions 
for which they neither have, nor are like to have any 
credit, they will relax their efforts. 

3dly. That the final settlement of these accounts 
cannot take place until the quotas be finally ad- 

4ihly. That a settlement of accounts, which is not 
final will [blank in the manuscript] 

I feel, therefore, a demonstration, that the past cir- 
cumstances and situations of the several Stales should 
be candidly reviewed, that tiie- apportionment of all 
the past expenses should be made now, and that it 
should be final. Thus, if the whole expense be slated 


at one hundred, each State would be declared charge- 
able with a certain number of pai'ts of that hundred, 
and thus a standard will be established by which to 
determine the proportion, let the amount be what it 
may. I know it is not possible to do strict justice, 
but it is certain that less injustice will be done in this 
mode than any other, and that without adopting it 
nothin*;; eflectual can be done. 

After the proportion is fixed the principles on which 
to admit the various charges will next come into 
consideration. I know it will be difficult to draw such 
a line as will apply to all cases, or which will be abso- 
lutely just even in those to which it does apply. Yet 
neither of these objections ought to prevent Congress 
frjin laying down those general rules, which shall on 
the whole appear to be most equitable. The various 
requisitions have been made payable at certain days. 
The value, therefore, of the demand ought to be esti- 
mated at the day of payment fixed by each, and the 
proper mode of doing tliis would be by the table of 
depreciation, formed the 29ih day of July, 1730, in 
pursuance of the Act of Congress of the 2Slh day of 
June preceding. It is possible that this table is not 
perfect ; but we must rernember, that it has been fixed 
by the authority of the United Slates, and acted ujion. 
It ought, therefore, to be adhered to ; for there is 
always less of inconvenience and danger in pursuing 
an established rule, than in the frequent change of 
rules; because the former is at the worst only aparlial, 
but the latter is a general evil. Assuming then this 
table as a stan,dard, the account of the requisitions pre- 
vious to the ISth of March, 17S0, will stand thus; 


by the resolutions of the 22d of November, 1777, 
there is pa)'able as follows. 

dollars, ninetieths. 

January 1st, 177S, 1,250,000 dol- 
lars, eqi:al to 857,222 20 

April 1st, 1778, 1,250,000 dol- 
lars, equal to 621,423 55 

July 1st, 1778, 1,250,000 412,804 52 4 

October 1st, 177S, 1,250,000 268,472 2 

By the resolutions of January 2d, 
1779, and May 21st, 1779, 
there is payable by Januc^ry 1st, 
17S0, 60,000,000 dollars, equal 
to ■ 2,042,500 

By the resolution of October 6th, 

1779, payable by February 1st, 

1780, 15,000,000, equal to 451,041 60 
March 1st, 1780, 15,000,000, 

equal to 401,450 30 

5,054,982 39 4 
Thus the whole dennand made on the Slates, from 
the be2;inning of the war to the 1st of March, 1780, is 
but little more than five millions of dollars. And yet 
this demand, moderate as it is, has not been complied 

By the various resolutions of Congress on the sub- 
ject of requisitions it is provided, that interest at six 
per cent shall be charged on the sums due, and allowed 
on the sums paid. The sums paid do, in no instances, 
amount to the value of the demand, but each Slate has 
an account against the Union for advances, by supplies 
furnished of various kinds, and by payments made to 


militia. As no taxes were laid b}' the States, the 
sums they expended were procured partly from the 
continental treasury and partly by the emission of 
State currency, which tended to depreciate the conti- 
nental paper, and impede its circulation. A consider- 
ation of the mischiefs arising from this circumstance 
will much diminish the merit, whicli is assumed from 
those advances. If the State paper had not been 
issued, the same services might have been performed 
by an equal sum of continental money, and the general 
torrent of depreciation would then have swept away 
those expenditures, which now exist as State charges. 
From hence it might in strictness be inferred, that the 
continent should not be charged for the amount of 
State paper aclvanced, and that amount be estimated at 
its value when redeemed by the Slate, especially as 
Congress have not only urged the States not to emit 
money, but even to call in what they had already 
emitted. But this inference would perhaps be rather 
too strvng. No such idea has been formerly advanced 
by Congress, and therefore the Slates, not having had 
due notice, might conceive the determination at this 
]ale period to be inequitable. 

On the whole, therefore, it may be proper lo estimate tlie 
sums paid by them according to the rule already noticed, 
especially as the method of redeeming the old continental 
money formerly adopted, will, if pursued, work some de- 
gree of equality. For it will create a demand for the old 
money in those Slates, which, by the amount of their own 
emissions, have expelled it from themselves and forced it 
upon their neighbors. There must, however, be a distinc- 
tion made in the advances of the several States ; much of 


lliem Ills beon for il;p |ny an;! support of the iniliiin, ami 
iiPicli of liiat for ilie priv.itB defence of particular Slates, 
nnd of that again a part has frequently been unnecessary. 
To ^o, at this late period, into a close investigation of the 
snlijeci, is impraclicable, and |)erliaps dangorons. Neither 
Would it answer any valnahle purpose. Some general 
iii!e, theref'Tc, must be adopted, and propriety seems to 
require, that credit should be given only for those expen- 
diltn-es on inililia, which were previously riiuhnrised and 
required by express resolutions of Congress. VVidi respect 
to :dl other articles, there is also to be noted a distinction 
between those which were furnished by the several Slates 
pievionsly to the 22d of November, 1777, when the first 
demand of money was made, and those made subsequently 
to that period. 1 would propose that the former, as also 
the militia expenses not ex|)ressly authorised as abovt men- 
tioned, should be taken together into one account, and ihe 
specie valu2 of the wji(>le esiimaled. That the amount of 
both, throughout America, should be apportioned by tiie 
san»e standard will) the other expenses. And ihs.t the 
several actual expenditures of each State shoidd be settled 
and liquidated with its proportional part of the whole, and 
the several balances carried to their respective debits and 
credits in ihe general accomits. These balances should 
bear interest at six per cent to the I8ih of iMarch, 1780. 
Thus, suppose the whole of those expenses shoidd auionnt 
to one million of dollars, and that the State A be held to 
pay ni.;e, and the Stale B ten parls out of every h nulred ; 
the Slate A would be accountable for ninety thousand 
dollars, and ^ihe Stale B for one hundred thousand (hdlars. 
Aral if it should appear, that the former ha, I paid one 
hundred thousand, and the latter oidy ninety thousand, the 
VOL. XI, 57 


farniT wo'.il.l !)f crediiod, aiiH tlie h.tter dchliet] ten 
llionsand ilsllrtii-, ^viili six per cent interest. 

I would propnsi', iliat tlie advances made by the several 
Slates, subsequent to ilie 2iil of Navember, and prior to 
the ISib of xMareli, 1780, exeej)iin« those to niilitiii not 
authorised, should be estimated as aforesaid, and carried to 
account regularly upon the advances of money niade to 
eacii from tiie Coniinenial treasury, and tJje apponionment 
ol the several demands made by Congress, in hke maimer 
with the moneys paid to their order. And that i. Merest, 
at six per cent, should be charged or credited upon llje 
several balances, until the iSth of March, 17S0. 

I would further propose, that on that day these bidanccs, 
and those befoie mentioned, shoidd be liquidated together, 
and the final capitals be considered as |H'incipal sums, 
beari ig interest at six per cent. Thus, supposing the 
State A, in one account, to be credited ten thousand dol- 
lar<, amounting, with interest, to eleven ibousand, and 
dj.'biied in liie other account five thoushnil, amounting, with 
interest, to six ; in tiiat case, i!)e i^\^c,\ balance, on t!ie ISih 
of March, would be a creUu of Cive thousand dollars. 

On the ISih of March, we come to a new and more 
enligiitened era of public accounts. The appointmf>nt 
fbrineily mentioned as preliminary to a settlen»ent, will 
determine the quota due by each Slate for the two hun- 
dred millions of old Continental money, valued at foriy for 
one. These resolutions of the 18th of March, 17S0, i.ot 
having been fully complied with, there appears to be a 
propriety in the following plan. 

1st. To charge the several States with their proportions 
of it at that rate. 

2dly. To fix some future day for the full compliance 
with the resolution. 


3(!ly. To receive olfl p.i|ier at ihe vnte of forty for one, 
in riischari^e of those proportions, until thai diy ; and, 

4ihiy. To c!iarj;e the balances then unpaid in «;pccie, 
with a debit and creciit of interest at six per cent in the 
manner before meniioned. 

1 am sensible, that tnai;y persons now condemn the rcso* 
lutions of the I81I1 of JMarch, anil among these are foimil 
some of those wlio warndy advocated it previously to that 
period. It is not my business to enter into argiintents on 
the subject. Be those resolutions wise or unwise, they are 
acts of the sovereign authority, which have be;'n obeyed 
by some, if not by all, and therefore those who have 
obeyed ought not to suffer by their obedience. They are 
acts for the redemption of bills isstied by that sovereign, 
and they iiave formed the standard of public opinion with 
respect to those bills. If, therefore, for argument's sake, 
it were admitted, that the measure was impolitic and ini- 
jdst, yet, now that it has taken place, tliere would certairdy 
be lioth injustice and bad policy in altering it. The re- 
spective Slates have ridier f)beyed it in the whole, or in 
part, or have totally neglected it. The first have a right 
to insist upon a compliance with it. The second nuist 
have so far acconmiodated themselves to it, as that interior 
mischiefs woidil arise fiom changing the system. And iha 
last, whatever may be their claim to superior wisdont, will 
at least acknowledge, that life precedent of disobedience 
once established, om* Union must soon be at an end, and 
tjie amlioriiy of Congress reduced to a nunaphysical idea. 
Besides, the claim of sucli States must ultimately rest 011 
ihe foundation of their own neglect ; and as this will always 
be in their own power, ii will be suflicient to rear any 
argument iur any purpose. 


By the resnlmions of ihe ISth of iMarch, 1780, ten 
millions of fiolhirs of new paper were to Ijiu'e been issretl, 
wlieioof four millions were to be ;it the order of Coi!2;ress. 
Uy the resoliiiions of the 2Gtii of Aiigiij-t, ITSO, three 
millions more were demnntied. By the risolutioiis of the 
4lli of Niivemlier, ITSO, besides the specifi.-. supplies, an 
additional demand was made of one million, six lumdrcd 
and fortylwo tliousnnd. nine hnndred and ci^hiysuven and 
two thirds dollars in money ; and by the resohiiions of the 
IGih of Marci), ITS I, six millions more are required. 
These snnjs amomii in the whole to fourteen millions, six 
hundred and furiytwo thousand, nine himdred and eisihiy- 
sev.-ii rjollars and two thirds. A very small pari of this 
smn lias yet been paid ; but admiitinv; that there may have 
been circnlaled '»y the United Stall's two millions, six hun- 
dred and fortytvvo thousand, nine hmuired and eightyseven 
(i(>lldrs and two thirds, twelve millions would still remain 
due. If from this we deduct the whole of the new emis- 
sions, it woulil leave a balance of two n»illions. I piopose, 
therefore, the following plan. 

L«t. I'hai no more of these new emissions be used on 
any pretence. 

2dly. That ns fa^t as the old Continental money is 
broujiht in, the several States be crediicd for the new 
emissions to have been issued as spefie, agreeably to the 
scvt-ral resolutions of Congress upon that subject ; and, 

3(lly. That on all those requisitions last men:ioned, the 
money of the new emissions of any particular Slate bo 
received as specie. 

It is true, that these propositions are liable to exceptinn, 
but they have the great advantage of being consi>tent with 
former resolutions of Congress, which shotdd alwa)s bo 


nllended lo as rmicli as possiljle. I am s;ire thai Congipss 
imisl be roMviiued ol ilii?, for lliey are iioi to Icarii, tiiat 
a:iilif)rity is weakened by ilie firqneiit cliange o(" incasniTS 
and piiistiils ; that such changes injure llie reiunaliou of 
su|Meuie power in public opinion, and that opinion is the 
source and support of the sovereii^n auli)ority. It is liu'- 
llicr to 1)0 observed, ibat die inolives lor coniplyinj; with 
ibe resolulions of die iSth of March, will, il die above plan 
is adopt«>i], become very sirong ; lor in ilia! case, every 
foriy dollars ol old Conlinenlal, [ aid by a Slate, will ino- 
duce lo the credit side of its account three dollars in spe- 
cie ; because in the first place, the whole iiroporiion of 
old C()nii:;'^nnl being changed at lorty for one, and re- 
ceivable until n certain day at tl:e same rale, that ))ayment 
will sn far operate a discharge of one dollar ; and in the 
second place, it will entitle the Slate lo two dollars of th(^ 
WW emission, which not beiiig i?sued, will also be cnrried 
lo its credit upon its s'^verril re<)ni?iiioi)s. 

U will be in the wisdom of the United Slates, in Con- 
gress assembled, to determine whether alu-r the expiration 
of die day to be fixed for the a'.ove purpose, they will per- 
mit the possessors of the old Continciital money to biinj^ it 
in loan at the rate of forty for one. it is true, ih::t this 
niiilht operate against those Stales, who have not complied 
with the resolutions of the IS'.h of ^larcli, 1780, and v\Iio 
liave not now the old C'oMineiital to comply wiib i; ; but it 
is enlirely cons^i^lent wilii the former rf'soiniions of Con- 
gress, and the Stales are tliemselvc^s blamable for iIkj 
neglect. In^sides, those who now hold ilie Conliuental 
do il eilher hfvii clioice, because of their confidence in 
Congress, or from necessity, because it has been poured 
i.i upon them from those places where il was of inlefior 


v.nltie, and this inlVriority vvns cuing to the neglect ofljiose 
StiUfcS in not passing the laws wliich Congress reconi- 
mended. There is, therefore, a degrte ol jiisiii;e and 
fiiinness in that rnensnre, wliic h will create con6dcnce in 
the Intuie acts oi the Uiiited States. 

Whatever principles may he er-iahlished for settling these 
accounts, and however jn>t they may he, many donhts will 
arise in the ap])Iication of them. It must always lie re- 
membered, that the Slates are independent ; and that while 
they are pressed to a compliance with ilieir duty, they 
must have full evidence, that Congress act fairly. It might 
therefore be proper, that for the setilenient of their ac- 
counts, Coiiunissioners should be chohcn as follows ; one 
by the Stale, one by the UniK'd Slates, one by the oilier 
two, and ihe decision of the nwijority to be final. 

Hiiherto I have taken no notice of the specific supplies 
called fur from the several Slates. IVIany of these have 
been furnished, and many remain to be provided. I WDiiId 
exclude iliem entirely from the oilier public atcotnits ; hut 
as llie app(>rlionmenl so often mcnlioned, will give a rule 
to go l)y, I shall continue to press for il:e suppli. ? ; or 
where they are not wanted, make such composition 
the Slates in lieu of ihose which remain to be furu'shed, as 
the public service shall render most eligible. 

1 have observed, thai the piddic debts ought to be ex- 
cepted frcjm the apporlinnment of past expenses. The 
reason is clear. Those debts, or at least a greai pan of 
them, may subsist until the relativi? wealih of the Stales 
lias entirely changed. Those who are now most lich, 
may become poor, and ihosf.* who are poor, may become 
rich. This is not all ; these pre hithcrlo unfunded. 
Thu crediiois have indeed the general promise of govern- 


merit, and sonio of ilicin Imve cerlificntos as evidencrs of 
thai promise ; but iiiiiil measures are taken in provide solid 
Aiiiils for llie final pnydjenl, llie puLlic credit must l<iiif;nisli. 
To ••111 cidiglitened mind, it is needless to ddate on the nd- 
vaiilages residling from national credit. Congress will 
doubtless pursue the steps necessary for its perfect cstab- 
lislmicnt. And this cannot be otherwise accomplished, 
than by raising taxes in hard money from sources which 
must be prniluctive and increasing. Tliose taxes must be 
so bound to the ptd)lic creditors for the debts due to then), 
that the produce cannot be diverted. Tiiese taxes ouglit 
to be raiseil from the. same article.-, at the same rates, and 
in the same manner throughout the whole confederaiioi; ; 
nnd constqnently, a |iresent apportionment of the public 
debts will be as tmnecessary as it would be unjust. 

I ihiuk it my dniy, while I am upon tiiis subject, to men- 
tion my opinion, tliat in addition to the five per cent called 
for on ariicles imported, and on prizes and prize <;oods, it 
ivould be proper to appropiiate to the payment of the pub- 
lic debts, ? land tax, a poll lax, and an excise on spirituous 
liquors. I readily grant that neither of these taxes would 
be strictly equal between the States, nor i:u!eefl can ay.y 
other tax be so, but I am convinced, that all of them taken 
together, woidd be as nearly equal as tl.e (luctuating na- 
ture of hiUTian affairs will |)ermit. 1 am, however, to ob- 
serve in addition, that the land tax should be laid at a cer- 
tain rate per acre, because the superior certainty of such a 
lax will give it the preference of others, although it cannot 
perhaps be so great as might have been expected. What- 
ever inequal.ties may remair), must be adjusted among in- 
dividuals, by the several Stales in raising their quotas, and 
although those quotas will be most considerable during the 


war, ye\ it must Ijr reireinbered, that nficr the conclosion 
of it, S!ir-li Slims v\ill be neccssniy for the eslnblisliins^ a 
iniiiiiic ;jii(! o'.h'.-r n!ilion:il |nii|)osep, :is will still eiuible llie 
Sia'.i's to CDiiiiiiiu; tiieir iiilerior regulations fur cqiiiiliziiiSi. 
the gt'ncral taxes. 

Amoiiji; «Im' puljlic dt-bis, there are a considerable miiii- 
l)er<)l'ceni(ic=iies y^iveii l)y public officers to the c tizciis of 
the several Slates for arfclcs ocf.'.sioiiiilly taken for the 
p'iblic tise. Willi respect to these ceitificates, ii is imne- 
cessary to meiilion, that ihey have aiilicipaled ihe revenue, 
and brought us to ihe brink of desiruction. But it is lime 
to pay a particular alleiition lo ihem. jNJany ways may be 
fallen upon for their litpiidaiion, idl of which &re perhaps 
justly rxce|.iioriable. 

l.H. Thry n)ay he consolidated uiih the rest of ihe pub- 
lic debt, and be made payabh; at a fulure period ; hut this 
could only be by fjicing a loan from the people, Ui.iny of 
whom are unable to make il, and of consequeticu it would 
be a hard measure, if not an unjust «)ne. Perhaps it could 
not be executed, ll')r laws repugnant to ihe general feelings 
of mankind arii only a dead leiier. 2illy. Another mode 
is by receiving them in taxes, but this is very dangerous 
for several, among which, liie two lollowing arc 
cogent. The public revenue will not bear such a heavy 
deiiuclion as those certificates would create, and the collec- 
tors of taxes would be liable to be defrauded themselves, 
or the remedy for lliat would give them op|)oriunilics of 
defrauding the public, vvhi(-h coiisidefing the naluial bent 
and disposition ol many men, ought to be carefully provided 
against. A third mode would be, by turning over the 
holders of these cerlificales to iheir respective Stales, and 
giving credit for ihem on account of the sj)ecific supplies. 


This may in some degree become necessary in cases 
where the negligence of the States on the one liand, and 
the necessities of the army on the other, have compelled to 
seize by force what ought to have been collected by law. 
But in many cases it cannot be done, and it would be im- 
proper in many others where it is practicable. 

Among the bad consequences, which attend the present 
mode of supplying our armies, or rather leaving them to 
supply themselves, it is one of no small magnitude, that the 
officers who are compelled to the melancholy duty of plun- 
dering their fellow citizens, endeavor by the sum ol their 
certificates, to compensate for the manner of taking as well 
as for the value of the thing taken. Nor is that all j wiiere 
there is a disposition for fraud, an ample opportunity is 
afforded to commit it. Whatever may be the cause, 1 am 
informed, that these certificates are for sums vastly beyond 
the value of the services and articles obtained for thera. 
The respective Slates would naturally be led to give to these 
certificates their specified value, and it cannot be^expected 
that they will scrutinise them so rigidly as lh<-;y ought, if they 
are to be accepted in discharge of demands-existing against 
the j)articular State. To all these modes there are also 
some further objections. Among which it is my duty to 
stale the lollowing. The accounts of the several staff 
officers still remain unsettled. The certificates given by 
them, if they are to be paid by the public, ought to be 
carried boih to the debit and credit of llieir casli accounts, 
and the articles obtained carried to their debit in tiie ac- 
count of expenditures. Of consequence the amount of 
these last debits must depend much upon the amoQnt of 
the certificates, and tlic-rcfore either the certificates given 
should be known, and the accounts settled with those 
VOL. XI. 58 


charges, or the account should be settled, and no other 
certificates allowed but such as are charged in it. 

A further mode of liquidating these certificates would be, 
by purchasing them from the holders ; but it is needless 
to state any other ol)ject:ons to it than the want of money, 
which is felt through all our operations. There still re- 
mains this method. 

1st. That at present those certificates should neither be 
receivable in taxes nor transferable. 

2dly- That they should be taken up and examined in 
the course of s'Htiing ihe public accounts. 

3dly. That they should be brought to the amount in 
specie, which the article procured, or service performed, 
was reasonably wortli. 

4thly. That where the sum due to any person on cer- 
tificates is small, a bill for the amount should be given, 
payable at the distance of a year. 

5tbly. That where the sum is large it should be divided 
into five different parts, and bills given payable in one, 
two, three, four, and five years, calculating on each part 
an interest of six per cent, and adding it to the amount. 
As if for instance, the sum were one hundred pounds, 
then the bills would be for twenlyone pounds four shil- 
lings, twentytwo pounds eight shillings, twentythree pounds 
twelve shillings, twentyfour pounds sixteen shillings, and 
tvventyfive pounds. 

6thly. That these bills should be drawn payable to the 
bearer, and in such form as not to be counterfeited with- 
out great difficulty. 

7thly. That they should be receivable in continental 
taxes, within any of the States, as cash, at the times when 
they are respectively due, or il not so received, payable 


by the continental treasurer, or any receiver of the con- 
tinental taxes, on demand, after collecting the taxes, in 
which they were respectively receivable. 

In this way a credit would be obtained not only with- 
out injtny, but probably with advantage to the individual. 
The anticipation of the public revenue would not be very 
great, and, as a list of these notes would be kept, the 
amount of every year's anticipation would be accurately 
known. Exceptions may probably be found even to this 
mode, but unfortunately for us, we have only an a'ternative 
of difficulties. All which human prudence can do in such 
cases is to choose the least. 

I have the honor to be, Sir, &ic. 



Office of Finance, Philadelphia, 7 
August 26lh, 17bl; 5 


Whilst I was at Head Quarters, near Dobbs's Ferry, the 
determination was taken by his Excellency the Comman- 
der in Chief, to send a very considerable force against the 
enemy's troops under Earl Cornwallis in Virginia ; and 
immediately on my return hither, I did myself the honor 
to address your Excellency, respecting the specific supplies 
due from the State of Maryland to the United States, 
upon the requisitions of Congress, of the 25th of February 
and 4ih of November, 1780, well knowing the whole 
balance due on these calls of Congress would now 
become absolutely necessary to the intended operations. 

1 am very sensible that your government have upon 




all occasions executed demands of Congress with a deci- 
sion and vigor, which does them honor, and on that account 
I should decline saying anything calculated to stimulate 
their present exertions, did I not know, that everything 
depends thereon. Virginia, North and South Carolina, 
have long subsisted large armies, and that expense of pro- 
visions must come to their credit. The New England 
States, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, have 
supported, and must continue to support, tiie main army. 
Pennsylvania will also contribute towards the support of 
the southern army, and her supplies will be directed both 
ways, as circumstances may require. Delaware and 
IMaryland must chiefly be depended on. Virginia 'and 
North Carolina will, I hope, continue to do all they can. 
But your Excellency must be perfectly sensible, that I 
have not any funds wherewith to purchase supplies ; no 
State in the Union has hitherto supplied me with money, 
except Pennsylvania. But as the money of that State 
is (in consequence of plans adopted for that purpose) very 
rapidly rising in value, it would be improper to call it into 
circulation at present, when it is at tlie rate of only two 
for one, though it has been as low as seven, because the 
public interest would thereby be injured, and indeed I 
might be charged with defeating the measures I myself 
had taken, in the very moment when they bid f;.irest for 

The security of your State, the safety of individuals 
and their property are so immediately connected with 
the present operations, that I persuade myself your 
Excellency will receive every aid and support in your 
exertions, that you can wish, both from public bodies 
and individuals. My dependence, therefore, on re- 


ccivins; the supplies from your State seems well 

I have the honor to transmit your Excellency here- 
with a letter from the Commander in Chief on the 
same suhject, which will add weight to my entreaties. 
I have written to Donaldson Yeates, Quarter Master 
of the States of Maryland and Delaware, to procure 
immediately as many craft or vessels suitable for trans- 
porting; the troops from the head of the Elk to Virginia, 
as will carry about seven thousand men, with the ne- 
cessary provisions and apparatus. I have written to 
Mr Ridley, William Smiih, and some others in Balti- 
more, to assist in procuring these vessels, and should 
any application to your Excellency be necessary on 
this subject, I persuade myself, that the authority of 
the government or weight of its influence will be 
brought in aid of the Quarter Master's endeavors to 
procure the shipping. I have also written to Mr Cal- 
houn to know what part of the specific supplies he has 
ready, and what prospects for the remainder. He must 
bestir himself, as indeed must every person on whom 
the procuring of these articles depends. 

While the demands for the campaign are constantly 
transmitted to me, and so much depends upon the 
measures I am constantly taking to economise the 
public funds and facilitate our military operations, your 
Excellency will perceive that full, early, and accurate 
intelligence upon the various objects of my Depart- 
ment is of the utmost importance. I must, therefore, 
reiterate my requests for it. To act from necessity 
and on the spur of occasion is not only the source of 
waste and extravagance, but frequently defeats plans 


Otherwise the best concerted, while on the other hand, 
that timely forecast and early provision, which com- 
plete knowledge of circumstances can alone permit of, 
will save much public money, and go very far to in- 
sure victory to our arms. 

I am, with great respect, &c. 



Office of Finance, September 4th, 1781 

I do myself the honor to enclose the plan of a Na- 
tional Bank, which I laid before the United Stales in 
Congress assembled on the 17th day of May last, and 
which was adopted by them on the 26ih. I have now 
the pleasure to inform your Excellency, that an elec- 
tion for Directors will be held iu this city on the 1st 
day of November next. 

It is important that the execution of this plan be 
facilitated as much as possible, and particularly that of 

"^ugvst 30th. Went out to meet his Excellency General Wash- 
ington, who arrived in this city about one o'clock, amidst the uni- 
versal acclamations of the citizens, who displayed every mark of joy 
on the occasion. His Excellency alighted at the City Tavern, 
received the compUments of many gentlemen, who went out to 
escort him, and of others who came there to pay him their respects, 
and then adjourned to my house with his suit, Count de Rocham- 
beau, the Chevalier Chastellux, General Knox, General Moultrie, 
and others, to dinner. The owners of several ships in the harbor 
ordered them out into the stream, and fiied salutes, whilst we drank, 
The United States, His Most Christian Majesty, His Catholic Ma- 
jesty, The United Provinces, The Allied Armies, Count de Grasse's 
speedy arrival, &c, &c. Diary. 


it which relates 4:o the currency of the bank notes. 
The inhabitants of the United States aheady suffer 
from the want of a circulating medium. Of conse- 
quence the taxes must* soon press heavily on the 
people. My feelings conspire with my duty in 
prompting me to alleviate those burdens. Therefore 
I pray the speedy attention of your Legislature to that 
resolution, by which the notes are to be receivable in 
payment of all taxes, duties, or debts due, or that may 
become due or payable to the United States. 

I do not doubt either the credit or currency of bank 
notes, but I wish to render them equally useful to 
America in the individual as well as collective capa- 
city, and to supply the necessities of the husbandman 
as well as the merchant. I shall not at present men- 
tion the other articles to be attended to ; nor will I 
adduce any arguments in favor of my j)resent propo- 
sition, as it is evidently calculated for the ease and 
benefit of the people you preside over. I hope, how- 
ever, that your Legislature will not only pass the 
proper laws to make bank notes receivable in the 
manner mentioned in the resolution, but that it will 
be done soon. 

With all possible respect, &c. 


* September 5th. The Commander in Chief having repeatedly 
urged, both by letter and in conversation, the necessity of advanc- 
ing a month's pay to the detachment of troops marching to the 
southward, under the command of Major General Lincoln, and my 
funds and resources being at this time totally inadequate to make 
that advance, and at the same time answer the various demands that 
are indispensable, I made application to the Count de Rochambeau 
for a loan of twenty thousand hard dollars, for such time as his mill- 



Office of Finance, September 6th, 1781. 

In consequence of the conversation I had the honor to 

hold with your Excellency yesterday, and your promise 

to supply the United States with the sum of twenty thou- 

taiy chest could, without inconvenience, spare that sum, promising- 
repayment at the time he should name. 

1 was desired to meet the Count at the Chevalier de la Luzerne's 
house, which I did on Wednesday the 5th instant, where I met the 
said Minister, Count de Rochambeau, and General Chastellux. 
They informed me of their strong desire to comply with my request, 
but that their treasury was at present not well filled, considering the 
daily drains upon it, and that altliough they had money arrived at 
Boston, it would require six or eight weeks to get it from thence; 
that although they expected money by the fleet of Count de Grasse, 
yet it was not then arrived, and of course that supply was less cer- 
tain than the other ; that the Intendant and the Treasurer were set 
out for tlie head of the Elk, and their consent was necessary ; how- 
ever, they concluded this subject with requesting that I should ride 
down to Chester, where we should overtake those gentlemen, and if 
it were possible on consideration of all circumstances they would 
supply the money required. 

General Washington was extremely desirous, that the troops 
should receive their month's pay, as great symptoms of discontent 
had appeared on their passing through this city without it. This 
affair being considered of great importance, I desired Mr Governeur 
Morris, my assistant, to accompany me, on account of his speaking 
fluently the French language. We set out at three o'clock for 
Ciiester, and on the road met an express from General Washington, 
who left us in the morning to join his troops at the head of the Elk, 
with the agreeable news of the safe arrival of Count de Grasse and 
his fleet in the Chesapeake. This news I received with infinite sat- 
isfaction on every account, and among the rest one reason was the 
facility it would give the French treasury in complying with my 
-views, and this I found was actually the case, as Count de Rocham- 
beau very readily agreed at Chester to supply at the head of the Elk 


sand dollars, for an itninediate purpose, to be replaced on 
the 1st day of Octoljer next, I iiave directed 'Slv Pliilip 
Aiidiljert, the bearer of this letter, to wait upon you. I 

twenty thousand hard dollars, to such person as I should appoint to 
receive them. I engaged to replace the same sum in their treasury 
by the 1st day of October next. 

On Thursday forenoon I returned to this city about twelve o'clock' 
having been impeded in my journey by meeting the last division of 
the French army, their artillery, and baggage on the road. On my re- 
turn I immediately despatched Mr Philip Audibert, Deputy Paymas- 
ter General, to the head of the Elk, with orders to receive the money, 
pay the troops, <tc. agreeably to instructions given him in writing. 
In the conferences with Count de Rochambeau and General Chas- 
tellux, they asked whether, if upon any oqjiasion their treasury 
should stand in need of temporary aids, I thought they could procure 
loans in this city. I answered, that money is very scarce, that the 
people who have property generally keep it employed, and that no 
certain dependence can be placed on any given sums, but that I 
knew the people to be very generally disposed to assist our generous 
allies, and should such occasions offer, I was certain they would 
exert themselves ; and as to my own part they might on every occa- 
sion command my utmost services, assistance, and exertions, both 
as a public officer, and as an individual. I mentioned to them again 
the affair of exchange, showing that they had reduced the price 
below what it had been raised to by my measures, and requested 
that in future when they expected to raise money by bills, they 
should in good time previously lodge them with the Minister, and 
that on his giving me timely notice, I would cause the most advan- 
tageous sale to be made of them, and deliver him the money without 
any other charge or deduction, than the expense of the brokerage. 

I observed, that this mode of proceeding was now become essen- 
tially necessary, as there is no general market for bills of exchange 
to the southward, but that Philadelphia, in that respect, is as Boston 
to the eastern States. They answered, that they expected to pro- 
cure their supplies with money, without occasion to draw bills, but 
if it happened otherwise they would pursue ray advice. In regard 
to the articles of provisions, forage, wood, transportation, &c. ne- 
eessary for their army, and which, when at camp, I had offered to 

VOL. XI. 59 


shall be much obliged to your Excellency if you will be 
pleased to direct, that the above sum be [ aid to Mr Audi- 
bert, and that duplicate receipts be l;.keii of him, one of 
wljich I pray may be transmitted to me. I will take care 
that the money be replaced at the time agreed upon. 
With every wish for the most biilliant success to the allied 
arms, and for your own personal glory, I an), very respect- 
fid ly, &ic. 



* Chester, September 6th, 1781. 

Dear General, 

Permit me most sincerely to congratulate you on the 
arrival of tiie French fleet, nnd to exi)ress my warmest 
wishes for the success ot your future operations. 

As soon as I arrive at P!jiladel|)hia, I shall give direc- 
tions for the Deputy Paymaster to repair to die head of 
the Elk, and make the payment of a month's pay in specie 
to tlie detachment under the command of General Lincoln. 
I wish the Stales had enabled me to do more, but it is 
to be lamented, that the supineness cf the several Legis- 
latures still leaves the servants of the public to struggle 
with ummeriied distresses. 

procure for them on the same terms as for the continental army, by 
contract, I proposed to postpone that matter, as it might be best to 
continue their present method of supplies during the active scenes 
they are likely to be engaged in, as their Agents have given satis- 
faction, and are acquainted in the country where they are going, 
and that I could advertise for proposals to supply them the ensuing 
winter, and lay before them such offers or proposals as I should re- 
ceive. This appeared very satisfactory, and here that subject rests 
for the present. Diary. 


It shall, however, be a part of my business lo rouse 
ihetn into exertion, aurl I hope soon to see the army better 
paid than heretofore, and I confide, that your Excellency 
will, with every ether public officer, exert your influence 
to aid me in this necessary task. 
With the greatest res|)ect, &.c. 



Head of the Elk, September Glh, 1781. 
Dear Sir, 
Every day discovers to me the increasing necessity of 
some money for the troops. I hope by this time you are 
provided to give a month's pay. 1 find it of the last im- 
portance to hr-sten forward myself to join the Marquis de 
Lafayette as soon as possible. I may leave this in a few 
hours ; I cannot do it, however, without entreating you in 
the warmest terms to send on a month's pay at least, with 
all the expedition possible. 1 wish it to come on the 
wings of speed. 

1 am, Dear Sir, he. 



Head of the Elk, September 7th, 1781. 
Dear Sir, 
\ have received your two favors of yesterday. 1 find 
myself so pressed by circumstances, tliat it will be impos- 
sible for me to stay at this place till the payment of the 
money committed to Mr Audibert can be effected. 1 must 


leave the head of the Elk this afternoon or early tomorrow 
morning. I sJiall however leave instructions with Gen- 
eral Lincoln to do all that is necessary on the occasion. 
The sum of twenty thousand dollars will fall much short 
of the sum necessary. 

The five hundred guineas on my own account 1 have 

1 have the honor to be, &;c. 



Office of Finance, September 10th, 1781. 
Dear Sir, 

The sole intent of this is to acknowledge the receipt of 
your two letters of the 7th instant ; that which related 
to th'i month's |)ay you would see was answered by the 
steps previously taken, but 1 am a good deal disappointed 
and put to inconvenience by the money at the Elk falling 
short of the object, which obliges me to send money thither 
that was absolutely necessary to fulfil my engagements here. 
1 must struggle through these difficulties, but the doing so 
requires that attention and time, which ought to be be- 
stowed upon greater objects. 

The letter respecting the crimina Iwas too late, the poor 
fellow was gone. I am sorry for it, and remain your 
Excellency's most obedient, &ic. 


* September ISth. Several members of Congress and others called 
on me last evening, desiious to know the reasons for my writing 
to Mr Jay a letter of the 15th of August last, which being inter- 
cepted, Rivington has published, and graced with his remarks, 



Passy, September 12th, 1781. 

Dear Sii', 

I have received your letters of July 13ili, i4il;, lO'i), 
and 21st, all at once, by way of L'Orient. The originals 
of those you mention to have sent by Major Franks are 
not yet come to hand, nor have I liciird of his arrival in 

Your letters of June 6ih and 8th were remarkably lucky 
in getting to hand. I think I have received seven of the 
copies you had the precaution to send of them. I enclose 
copies of my answers. 

1 have now the pleasure to acquaint you, that I have ob- 
tained a promise of the sum I wanted to pay the bills I had 
accepted for the purchases made in Holland ; so that your 
supplying me with remittances for that purpose, which I 
requested, is now unnecessary, and I shall finish the year 
with honor. But it is as much as 1 can do, with the aid of 
the sum I stopped in Holland ; the drafts on Mr Jay and 
on Mr Adams much exceeding what I had been made to 

1 had been informed, that the Congress had promised to 
draw no more bills on Europe, after the month of March 
last, till they should know they had funds here ; but I learn 
from Mr Adams, that some bills have been lately presented 

wherein I direct Mr Jay to protest certain bills of exchange 
drawn by authority of Congress. The explanation is easily given, 
as the ship on board which I had remitted these bills was taken. 
The moment I knew her fate, I judged it proper to stop payment 
of the bills, lest the enemy, with their usual cunning, might attempt 
to procure the money ; but I am now of opinion, that the Captain 
sunk them when captured. Diary. 


to him, drawn June 22d, on Mr Laurens, who is in the 
tower, which makes the proceeding seem extraordinary. 
Mr Adams vannot pay these bills, and I cannot engage for 
them ; for I see hy the minutes of Congress you have sent 
me, that ihongL' they have stop|)ed issuing bills drawn on 
the Ministers at Madrid, and the Hague, until they shall be 
assured that funds are provided for paying lliem, they have 
left open to be sold those drawn on their Minister at Ver- 
sailles, funds or no funds; which, in the situation you will 
see I am in by iRe letters of the Count de Vergennes, ter- 
rifies me ; for I have promised not to accept any drafts 
made on me by order of Congress, if such should be after 
the time above mentioned, unless I have funds in my hands, 
or in view, to pay them. After its beit/g declared to me, 
that such bills could not be provided for, and my [iromise 
not to engage for them, it will be impossible to ask (or the 
motley, if I should accept them ; and I believe those bills 
of Mr Ross must go back protested. 

The projected loan in Holland has of late some appear- 
ances of success. 1 am indeed told it is agreed to by the 
States ; but I do not yet think it so certain as to venture, 
or advise the venturing, to act in expectation of it. The 
instant it is assured, I will send you advice of it by every 
opportunity, and will, from lime to time, send parts of it in 
cash by such ships of war as can conveniently take it. 

1 cannot write to you fully by this opportunity. 1 will 
not, however, delay acquainting you, that iiaving the fullest 
confidence in your assurances of enabling me to pay them, 
I shall cheerfully accept your l)ills for four hundred thous- 
and livies. 

explain Gillon has sailed from Holland, without taking 
under his convoy the two vessels that were freighted to 


carry llie goods purchased by Captain Jackson, in Holland. 
There has been terrible management there ; and from the 
confusion in the ship, before and when she sailed, it is a 
question if she ever arrives in America. 

They are hard atwoik here, in providing the supplies to 
re])lace those lost in the INlarquis de Lafayette. 

^Vilh best wishes of success to yon in your new employ- 
ment, and assurances of every aid 1 can afford you, 1 am, 

Dear Sir, &,c. 



Office of Finance, September 20th, 1781. 
His Excellency the Count de Rochambeau having gen- 
erously made me a very considerable advance of money, I 
was thereby enabled to give the detachment of our army 
under General Lincoln, one month's pay, whicb was earn- 
estly pressed upon me by the Commander in Chief. I 
pron)ised iNI. de Rocliambeau, that I would replace the 
sum borrowed, on the 6fst of next month, wherever the 
army should then be. 

The movement which lately took place to the souihward, 
has been attended with a variety, of expenses, which have 
been very heavy, and have absorbed all the money 1 could 
command, notwidistanding which. many demands still re- 
main unsatisfied, so that I cannot obtain the sums neces- 
sary for the service from any ordinary means. 

As it is probable that the moneys which the Count de 
Grasse lias brought, will prevent any immediate want by 
the fleets or armies of his Most Christian Majesty in the 
States of Maryland and Viri£;inia, t am induced to believe, 


that no inconvenience would arise from delaying the pay- 
tnenl, until the money in Boston shall be brougi)t forward, 
which will be speedily, as a very active person has gone 
for it, who will lose no tin)e in the business committed to 

Should your Excellency be of this opinion, I shall be 
glad if you will signify it to me, and if that be in yom- 
power, that you will extend the time when payment is to 
be made. But if you think the money must be forwarded 
to Virginia immeJintely, you may depend that 1 will in- 
stantly endeavor to procure it, and although that cannot be 
done but with great difficulty and much loss, yet nothing 
shall deter me from complying with my engagements. 
I have the honor to be, Stc. 



Office of Finance, September 20lh, 1781. 

I am honored with your Excellency's letter of this date, 
and most sincerely wish my situation was such as to jus- 
tify a promise of aid, equal to the present necessities ; I 
mean the necessities that will be created by the call of 
the militia at this time, but unluckily tiie late movements 
of the army have so entirely drained me of money, that I 
have been obliged to pledge my personal credit very (\ee\)\y 
in a variety of instances, besides borrowing money from 
my friends, and advancing, to promote the public service, 
every shilling of my own. In this situation I was prepar- 
ing an application to the honorable Council and Assembly 
for relief from my advances, from the State of Pennsyl- 


vania, and this will be the more necessary, as this alarm 
whilst it lasts wili cut off all possibility of recruiting the 
treasury. Those who possess hard money will keep it, 
and those who have demands will become more eager for 
payment, therefore, all I can promise is the use of my 
credit, and an exertion of any influence I may have in 
lavor of such measures as may be deemed necessary. At 
the same time T do not recede from my first opinion, that 
the enemy do not meditate any attack on this city. 
1 have the honor to be, &,c. 



Office of Finance, September 25th, 1781. 
I received last night your Excellency's billet requesting 
to be informed of the amount of the bills drawn by mc as 
Superintendent of the Finances, on Messrs Le Couteulx 
& Co. of Paris, under the sanction of your nngagpinents. 

* September 2lst. At one o'clock I waited on the President of 
the State of Pennsylvania, at his house in Market Street, and met 
there Mr Peters and Mr Cornell, of the Board of War, General 
St Clair, General Irvine, and General Iniin, of the militia. This 
conference lasted a considerable time, and in its consequences took 
up the rest of the day. I gave it as my opinion, that Sir Henry 
Clinton did not intend for this city, nevertheless, as the inhabitants 
are alarmed and uneasy, I agreed to the propriety of being prepared, 
although I lamented the expense such preparations would put us 
to. 1 advised the placing a garrison at Mud Island, and putting 
that place in a posture of defence, and mentioned the plan pro- 
posed to me by Mr Paine, of collecting immediately one quarter's 
rent from all the houses in Philadelphia, in order to have an irame 
diate supply of money to defray the expenses, tfec. Diary. 
VOL.. XI. 60 


This comrniinication I intended making to your Excel- 
lency in consequence of the conversation that passed be- 
tween us a few days since ; but it was only yesterday that 
I completed the delivery of such bills as had been sold 
previous to that conversation, which amounted to fiftyseven 
thousand seven hundred and eighty livres ; and now on 
summing up the whole I find, that I have drawn one hun- 
dred and eightyone sots of bills, all at sixty days' sight, in 
favor of various persons to whom they have been sold, 
amounting to nine hundred and one thousand and eighteen 
livres, four sou--, and eight denier? tournois ; of these bills 
three hundred and seventysix thousand one hundred 
and twentytwo livres, ten sous, hove been sold at five 
shillings and six pence for five livres, and five hundred 
and twentyfour thousand eight hundred and ninetyfive 
livres, fourteen sous, eight deniers, at six shillings for five 
livres ; by which it appears the discount does not ex- 
ceed sixteen and five eighths per cent on the value in Eu- 
rope ; and were this money to be imported 1 suppose the 
freight and insurance might amount to nearly the value of 
that discount ; if so, this mode of bringing it into use is not 
a bad one. Besides I irtust again observe, that by a union 
of management in the sale of bills drawn for the service of 
his Most Christian Majesty's fleets and armies, and those 
drawn for account of the United States, still better prices 
might be obtained, nay, I should not despair of trying to 
raise the price of exchange to par, by means of partial im- 
portations of money, and passing bills before the expenditure 
thereof, so that necessity might not have any influence in 
fixing the price. 

What your Excellency has said to me respecting the 
advances made this year by his Majesty to ihe United 


States, has left on my mind tiiosu impressions you intended 
to make. You may depend, Sir, tliat it is my wish, and 
shall be a part of my study, to render these States as 
little troublesome to liis Majesty as possible, and 1 shall 
probably have nifiny opj)ortunities to convince you, that 
it is a fixed point with me, that the United States, to 
become . truly independent, must trust more to their own 
exertions, and lean but lightly on their allies. But, Sir, 
you must remember the situation, in which 1 found their 
affairs ; you are not ignorant, that altiiougli I have cut off 
entirely many sources of expense, and curtailed others, yet 
that I have not been able to obtain either supplies of money 
or permanent revenue from the Slates, which however 1 
attribute chiefly to the recess of the several Legislatures 
during the greatest part of the time that I have been in 
office, for I hope and expect that they will severally attend 
to the calls upon them, when they shall come to know 
their real situation. 

But in the meanwhile, what am I to do if the means 
of supplying indispensable wa»ts are cut off? The im- 
portant operations now carrying on by General Washing- 
ton depend so materially on the performance of my en- 
gagements, that ~ the most fatal consequences may ensue 
from any breach of them. Your Excellency well remem- 
bers, that you thought yourself justifiable in giving me 
assurance's, that Messrs Le Couteulx h Co. should be sup- 
plied with one million five hundred thousand livres tour- 
nois, to answer my drafts to that extent; the produce 
whereof to be employed in the service of the present cam- 
paign. You will also recollect, that previous to my journey 
in August to camp, I judged it necessary to know, whether 
that sum was the whole on which I could place depea- 


dence, because, as the General's operatioas would in a 
great measure depend on the aids I could afford him, it 
was absolutely incumbent on me to be informed of their 
extent in every channel, through which I expected them 
to flow. 

Your Excellency, convinced of the propriety of my ob- 
servations, and of the actual necessities of our situation, 
ventured the assurance of another million of livres. There- 
fore, whilst 1 was at camp, during the consultations on the 
measures, I gave his Excellency reason to believe, that the 
amount of two millions five hundred thousand livres of 
bills on France, in conjunction with the resources provided 
by Congress, should be brought to the support of his opera- 
tions. Counting upon this as certain, General Washington 
has taken his measures accordingly. 

It has been my study to make the bills as productive as 
circumstances would permit, and to apply the money to 
the purposes for which it was granted, under the most 
scrupulous and assiduous attention to the principles of 
economy, and I may hazard the opinion, that no money 
has been more frugally or usefully expended by the United 
Stales during the war, without the least danger of being 
put in the wrong. 

You are sensible that the money which arrived with 
Colonel L'uurens, although landed on the Continent, cannot 
be brought into use until its arrival here ; and although I 
have sent for it, yet it is but now on the road, and the 
General cannot stop his operations, nor can I refuse or 
defer corppliance with my engagements until its arrival. 
The ruinous consequences that would follow, must appear 
too strong and clear to a gentleman of your reflection and 
information, to need any other demonstration than the bare 


mention of tiie tacts. Consequently your Excellepxy will 
be well convinced of the absolute necessity of peimiiting 
me to draw to the extent agreed upon, and 1 hope his Ma- 
jesty's IVlinisters will be too strongly impressed with appre- 
hensions of the fatal consequences that would follow any 
neglect of my bills, to suffer the least inattention to them ; 
and as the sum in total will not be of such magnitude as to 
occasion great inconvenience, 1 hope his Majesty will find 
cause to applaud your zeal and attention upon the occa- 

A committee of Congress have laid before me the com- 
munications your Excellency has lately made to Congress, 
which will claim my utmost attention, and your Excellency 
will do me the justice to believe that my most strenuous 
endeavors shall be to promote what is so strongly urged by 
his Majesty's Ministers, the most spirited exertions of these 
States to diive the enemy from our country. And that 
my affection for, and gratitude to France, are unalterably 
fixed, as is also my respect and esteem for your Excellen- 
cy's person and character. Being, Sir, yom- most obe- 
dient, Sic. 


P. S. Upon a more exact calculation of the sale of 
bills, a few of which were sold a little higher than the rest, 
I find that nine hundred one thousand and eighteen livres, 
four sous, eight deniers, produced fiftytwo thousand two 
hundred and eleven pounds, ten shillings and ninepence, 
Pennsylvania currency ; which is equal to one hundred 
twentyfivo thousand three hundred and seven French 
crowns, and seven tenths of a crown, at eight shillings four- 
pence, Pennsylvania currency, for a crown ; and the same 
number of livres reduced into crowns at six livres each 


crown, is one hundred fifty thousand one luuidred sixty- 
nine and four sixths crowns. Consequently the discount 
is little more than sixteen and a half per cent. 


Office of Finance, September 28th, 1781. 

As the Honorahle House of Assembly are now sitting, 
and have before them the several letters which I had 
the honor to write during their recess to his Excellency 
the President in Council, I shall now endeavor to state, in 
a short manner, the situation of accounts depending be- 
tween Pennsylvania and the United States, and propose 
such measures, as, I think, will lead to a speedy and satis- 
factory settlenjent of them. 

In the treasury books of the United States, there is an 
account current open for transactions connnencing with the 
revolution, and continuing to the 18th of March, 1780, 
wherein the State of Pennsylvania stands charged with ad- 
vances, made at different periods during that time, to the 
amount of fotu- nnllions four hundred and fortyfour thou- 
sand and seven hundred dollars, and has credit to the 
amount of one hundred and thirtysix thousand and ninety- 
eii^ht dollars. INlost of these advances were made whilst 
money was valuable ; but 1 expect that the expenditures 
of the State on behalf of the United States kept pace with 
the advances made, and that, probably, when this account 
comes to be settled, there may be no great balance either 
way ; but in this respect, 1 do not pretend to speak wiili 
certainty. However, I must here observe, that every 
State in the Union has an account of the same sort de- 


pending ; wherefore, I propose that Congress should "fix 
such general principles as will lend to do justice on the 
settlement of the whole, and appoint immediately Auditors 
to go through the whole ; so that when the balance of 
each shall be justly ascertained, it may be paid or received, 
according as the same shall happen to be due, to or from 
the United States, and this will put every State on an equal 
footing so far. 

You will find by the resolution of Congress of the 
22d of November, 1777, Pennsylvania is called on to 
pay, in four quarterly payments, commencing on the 
1st day of January, 177S, the sum of six hundred and 
tv/enty thousand dollars. By the resolutions of the 
3d and 5th of January, 1779, Pennsylvania is called 
on to pay, during that year, the sum of one million 
nine hundred thousand dollars. By the resolution of 
the 21st of May, 1779, Pennsylvania was called on to 
pay, by the 1st of January, 1780, the sum of five mil- 
lions seven hundred thousand dollars. By the resolu- 
tions of the 6th and 7th of October, 1779, a monthly 
tax of fifteen millions is called for, of which the pro- 
portion of Pennsylvania is two millions three hundred 
thousand dollars, making for the two months payable 
the 1st of February and the 1st of March four millions 
and six hundred thousand dollars. Thus the whole of 
these requisitions appears to have amounted to twelve 
millions eight hundred and twenty thousand dollars, 
of which there appears to have been paid on diflferent 
■ drafts to the amount of six millions four hundred and 
fiftyfour thousand one hundred and fourteen dollars 
and two thirds, leaving a balance still due of six mil- 
lions three hundred and sixtyfive thousand eight 


hiindred and eightyfive dollars and one third, of the old 

By the resolution of the 10th of March, 1780, the 
fifteen millions of monthly taxes is continued so as to 
include thirteen months, making for the proportion of 
Pennsylvania twentynine millions nine hundred thou- 
sand dollars; of which sum ten millions six hundred 
thousand dollars have been paid into the Loan Office ; 
of consequence, there remains due nineteen millions 
three hundred thousand dollars. 

By the resolutions last mentioned, new money was 
to be issued, at the rate of one for every twenty of 
the old ; of which new money Congress had reserved 
four tenths to their disposal, and the Treasury Board 
have already issued warrants to the amount thereof. 
The State paper being of equal value with the new- 
emission, and the former not bearing interest, I have 
thought it most for the benefit of this State and of the 
United States, to draw from the treasurer a sum of the 
new State paper equal lo the balance of those four 
tenths, and have accordingly done so. 

By the resolution of the 26th of August, 1780, the 
States are called on to pay into the treasury by the 
last day of December then next ensuing, three mil- 
lions of dollars, of which the quota of Pennsylvania is 
four hundred and sixty thousand dollars. 

By the resolution of the 4th of November, 1780, 
Pennsylvania is called upon to pay two hundred and 
seventythree thousand eight hundred and thirtytwo 
dollars and two tliirds, in quarterly payments, com- 
mencing the 1st day of May last; and by the resolu- 
tion of the 1 6th of March, 1781, Pennsylvania is 


called upon to pay one million and fiftynine thousand 
eight hundred ar.d sixtythree dollars, in quarterly pay- 
ments, commencing the 1st day of June last. All 
these are payable in the new emission, or specie. 
Thus the whole of the requisitions will, on the 1st 
day of March next, amount to one million seven hun- 
dred and ninetythree thousand six hundred and nine- 
tyfive dollars and two thirds. Of this sum there 
appears to have been paid seventeen thousand seven 
hundred and forty dollars; wherefore, there will still 
remain a balance of one million seven hundred and 
seventyfive thousand nine hundred and fiftyfive dol- 
lars and two thirds. 

By a note from David Rittenhouse, I find that he 
has in his hands one hundred and thirlyeight thousand 
nine hundred dollars of the new emission, and four- 
teen millions one hundred and fortyfive thousand six 
hundred dollars of the old, in which latter sum, nev- 
ertheless, is included some State money received at 
seventyfive for one, the amount of which cannot be 
determined until it is sorted and counted ; wherefore, 
the old emission may be estimated at about fourteen 

On this state of things, I take the liberty of propos- 
ing to the honorable House, that all the old money be 
immediately paid in, and the new taken out, which 
will be about seven hundred thousand dollars, and 
that, with what is now in the Treasurer's hands, will 
make eight hundred and thirtyeight thousand nine 
hundred dollars. I further propose, that this be paid 
to me, as Superintendent of Finance, on account of the 
above balance of one million seven hundred and sey- 



entyfive thousand nine hundred and fiftyfive dollars 
and two thirds, which will then be reduced to nine 
hundred and thirtyseven thousand and fiftyfive dollars 
and two thirds. I further propose, that the remaining 
sums of old continental, due from the State, be 
collected and paid as soon as possible, which, besides 
discharging that demand, will also enable the State to 
receive the further sum of two hundred and sixty 
thousand dollars of the new emission, and that, being 
paid in as before, will still further reduce the balance 
against the State to six hundred and seventytwo thou- 
sand and fiftyfive dollars and two thirds. There are 
at present in circulation of the new emission three 
hundred and ninetyone thousand one hundred dollars, 
which ought certainly to be brought in as soon as pos- 
sible, and applied to the same purposes already spe- 
cified ; by which means the eventual balance payable in 
specie, would be two hundred and eighty thousand 
nine hundred and fiftyfive dollars and two thirds; to 
which must be added, thirteen thousand three hun- 
dred and thirtyfour dollars, required by Congress on 
the 8lh day of January last to be paid in specie; being 
together one hundred and ten thousand tliree hundred 
and fiftyeight pounds, twelve shillings and sixpence. 
To explain all which more fully, I enclose the ac- 
counts, number one, two, and three, to which I pray 
leave to have reference. 

The specific supplies will still remain to be provided 
for, in order that all the demands of Congress may be 
fully answered ; but I hope that the specie tax now 
collecting will go a great way towards the accomplish- 
ment of this necessary object, and at any rate, as the 


state of paper, notwithstanding every eflfort, has not 
yet appreciated to par, I would propose that no more 
of it be issued from the treasury, except as equal to 
gold and silver, and then the collection of the present, 
taxes will at least prevent any depreciation, and in the 
meantime, the fund on which it was emitted, become 
more productive. The next Assembly will be able to 
take such additional measures as may be necessary, 
further to raise the value of it. This can only be done 
by holding it up from circulation, on the one hand, 
and on the other, by raising taxes, in which the public 
receive it as equivalent to the precious metals. 

It is my determination, as Superintendent, to deposit all 
the money of the new emission, which shall be received 
from the several States, in the Continental Treasury, and 
not to issue one shilling of it, unless compelled by absolute 
necessity ; which, I hope, will not be the case, if the States 
take measures to pay in the eventual balances. 

Whether the House will find it consistent with the situ- 
ation of tbeir constituents to lay an additional tax this 
session, is for tl'.eni to determine ; but it is my duty to 
mention it, which I do from a conviction that it is neces- 
sary. They will perceive, that very great arrearages are 
due, and they must be sensible, that taxation alone can 
support the public credit, or enable government to carry 
on the war. 

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



Office of Finance, October 1st, 1781, 

TIlis being the day agreed upon for repayment of the 
moneys your Excellency was so kind as to advance me, I 
do myself the honor of assigning to you the reasons why it 
is not done. I had detertnined to make every effort and 
every sacrifice for the sake of complying with my engage- 
ments. But his Excellency, the Minister of France, per- 
ceiving that it would be very inconvenient to me, and being 
convinced that you were not in immediate want of it, was 
«o kind as to assure me, that he would write to you on the 
subject, and that, in the meantime, I might delay the pay- 
ment until the arrival of money from the eastward. I shall 
then take care to have your advance replaced. 

Being convinced. Sir, that M. de la Luzerne has al- 
ready made the proper representations to you upon the 
subject, 1 should not have troubled you with reading this 
letter, but that I feel a pleasure in seizing every oppor- 
tunity to express my wishes for your success and glory, as 
well as to assure you, that I am, Sic. 



Office of Finance, October 3d, 1781. 


I have received your letter, dated the 18th of August 

last, at the high hills of Santee, and am now to thank you 

for it. Your observations on public affairs are, 1 fear, too 

just, but I hope that when our situation is thoroughly per- 


ceived by the people, they will adopt those effectual 
remedies, which every friend to his country ought to wish. 
That more power ought to be given to Congress is evi- 
dent now to many, and will, probably, become soon very 
apparent to all. The disobedience of many Stales, and 
the partial obedience of others, discontents every one of 
them, and that will, in itself, be a reason for enabling the 
sovereign representative to exact a compliance with its 
requisitions ; but, as you justly observe, all these things 
are in the womb of time, which can alone disclose the 
events we plague ourselves with guessing at. 

From the latter part of your letter, I perceive that you 
greatly misunderstood me. When I requested you to 
draw on me, I meant to extend those drafts so far as might 
be necessary for secret service money, and the like small, 
but indispensable occasions. I well knew that you could 
not, by bills of exchange, supply the wants of your army, 
and, if I had thought it practicable, I should have been 
more explicit, for I could not then have paid the bills you 
would have drawn. 

To give you an idea of my situation as to money, I 
think I need only inform you, that since 1 have been in 
office, I have only received the sum of seven thousand five 
hundred pounds, Pennsylvania money, from the Treasury cf 
this State, and that was in part payment of advances made 
for them. This is all I have received from the funds of 
America. It is true, that Colonel Laurens has lately ar- 
rived, and brought with him a sum of money from France. 
And it is also true, that 1 have made use of a very limited 
credit given me on France, by drawing bills of exchange ; 
but both of these resources, taken together, are vastly 
short of what is necessary, though they have contributed 
to the present operations. 


I have lost no occasion of showing to the several States 
their situation, but hitherto '.vithout success ; and, unless 
some unforeseen event turns up very speedily, it is im- 
possible to say what niay be the consequences. However, 
it is our business to hope all things, and that Providence, 
who has hitherto carried us through our difficulties, will, 
I trust, continue his bountiful protection. 

Your circumstances have long been arduous, but you 
have hitherto risen so superior to them, that we should be 
almost as much surprised now, if you should be unsuccess- 
ful, as we formerly were at your successes. I wish I 
could contribute to render you more easy. As far as my 
abilities extend, I shall do it most cheerfully ; but they un- 
fortunately are very limited. Accept, I pray you, my 
good wishes, which are almost all I have to give, and be- 
lieve me to be, &ic. 



Office of Finance, October 4th, 1781. 


[ have received your letters, dated at Alexandria the 
19th, and WiHiamsburgh the 23d of September last. 

I am very glad that you push hard upon the States for 
supplies. It is, I find, necessary that you and 1 should 
understand each other on the subject. The General will, 
I dare say, take care to have as few unnecessary mouths 
as possible ; but, after all, a certain quantity of provisions 
is indispensably necessary. Now this quantity must be 
furnished by the States of Virginia, Maryland, and Dela- 
ware. If you rely on my exertions, you will, probably, 


be disappointed. Sliould the operations against Corn- 
wallis fail for want of supplies, the States must thank tiieir 
own negligence. If they will not exert themselves on the 
present occasion, they never will. As to all that can be 
said about the failure of the one or of another kind of 
money, it is left to themselves. Let them tax in money, 
which will not fail. It is their business to provide supplies 
and money too. If they neglect or omit this necessary 
duty, I again repeat, they must answer for the conse- 

I shall be glad at all times to hear from you very par- 
ticularly, with all such information as you shall think ne- 
cessary. But do not lean too hard upon me. Do not 
expect too much help from me. You will be deceived 
and disappointed if you do. Urge the States. Urge 
Delaware in particular. When I do furnish anything, it 
must be money. Let some of your people, therefore, 
apply when you intend applications. I cannot run about 
the city to purchase articles. That is the duty of an 
assistant Commissary ; and my time is too much, and, 
I hope, loo well employed, to permit it. 
I am. Sir, &c. 



Office of Finance, October 12th, 1781. 
In consequence, of a new arrangement taken with his Ex- 
cellency, the Chevalier de la Luzerne, Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary of France, a further sum of money will be deposited 
with you, subject to my drafts on behalf of the United 


States of America, so that I shall continue those drafts, as 
occasion may require, until, in the whole, they amount to 
one million two hundred thousand livres tournois, where I 
shall stop, unless circumstances should happen to induce 
an extension of this operation, of which I will advise you ; 
and whenever it is completed, I shall require an account 
current from you for the whole. I have not yet had the 
pleasure of receiving from you any letters directed to me 
in my official capacity, but I doubt not your punctual care 
and attention to discharge all my drafts as they fall 

I have the honor to be, &.c. 



Office of Finance, October 13th, 1781. 

As the organization of the Treasury Department will 
soon be completed, it becomes my duly to inform you of 
that circumstance, and to request that you will prepare for 
a full settlement of your accounts. I must also request, 
that you will be pleased to make out and transmit to me 
an accurate list of all the certificates issued, with their 
dates, sums, and the persons to whom th?y were given. 
It will be necessary that an account of the public debt 
be prepared for the public inspection. This cannot be 
done until the proper materials be obtained from the 
several offices ; wherefore, I make no doubt that you will 
exert yourself to comply with my request. As I am in- 
formed that the late Treasury Board gave orders for send- 
ing back the blank certificates, I suppose they are now on 


the way hither ; but, if that should not be the C'se, I must 
require an iinsTiediate performance of the tliisction? given 
by tl)e Board, and I must insi=t that no nior ,• certificates 
be issued on any pretence whatever. 

With great respect, I liaee the honor to be, &ic. 



Philadelphia, October IGth, 17S1. 

I would willingly write you an official letter by this post, 
on the subject of supplies for the year 1782; but 1 must 
decline it, until 1 can obtain the proper estimates, which 
are now preparing. In the meantime, as I learn that your 
Legislature are now sitting, I write you this private letter 
on that subject. 

My former public letters will fully have stated my ideas 
•as to the present den)ands on the existing requisitions of 
Congress. I hope and expect, that those requisitions will 
be immediately complied with. It is my decided opinion, 
founded on the best observations I have been able to 
make, and the most accurate and extensive infor.nation I 
coidd possibly obtain, that paper emissions will no longer 
answer the purpose of carrying on this war, and experi- 
ence must by this time have convinced every dispassionate 
observer, that specific supplies are at once burdensome to 
the people, and almost useless to the government. 

it is unnecessary to draw the conclusion, which I am 

sure will strike your mind, that a revenue in hard money 

must be obtained ; but 1 will observe to you, that the 

present moment is very favorable to that object in your 

VOL. XI. 62 


State. While the war is in your country, the expenses of 
it will be so diffused as to possess its inhabitants of specie, 
and should it be happily removed to a distance, your com- 
merce will bring in resources equal to your necessities. 

I take the liberty to request that you will communi- 
cate these sentiments to my worthy friend Colonel Har- 
rison, and { pray you to believe me very sincerely your 
friend, Slc. 



Office of Finance, October 18th, 1781. 

The honorable committee, on the letter of the Board 
of War of the 11th instant, have favored me with a perusal 
of it. I think it my duty, on this occasion, to express my 
approbation of that attention the Board of War have paid 
the public service. That letter has opened a subject, 
which had pressed itself strongly on my mind, and which 
I had determined to mention to Congress, but was re- 
strained by the hope, that a review of their own proceed- 
ings, and a sense of our difficulties would soon have ren- 
dered it unnecessary. 

This matter being now before them, it would be unpar- 
donable in me not to enforce those seritimcjit?, which I 
myself am most deeply affected with. I am convinced, 
that a slight view of the situation, in which their finances 
now are, will give a strong im|iression of the necessity 
there is to guard against pecuniary solicitations from every 
quarter. If the revenue were equal to the demands upon 
it, nothing can be more simple and clear, than that all 
those demands should be speedily and punctually paid. 


Unfortunately tiiis is lar from being the case. I believe 
much further than many are liware of. When I say, that 
I cannot command more than one twentieth of the sum 
necessary for the current service of the year, I am within 
the strictest bounds of truth. It is with equal truth that 
I assure you, that 1 have not since my appointment re- 
ceived one shilling from any State in the Union, Penn- 
sylvania excepted. And from Pennsylvania I have re- 
ceived paper money to the amount of the four tenths due 
to the United States, the appropriation whereof Congress 
must be thoroughly acquainted widi, and seven thousand 
five hundred pounds in specie, which is applied to the 
payment of contracts within the State, and still leaves a 
balance against them for articles of their specific supplies 
which I have furnished. 

The moneys drawn for by permission of the Minister 
Plenipotentiary of his Most Christian Majesty have been 
already applied to the public service, and the engagements 
I have entered into amount to a very considerable sum. 

I enclose a few out of many articles, which immediately 
suggest themselves to me. Had I sought for tlie smaller 
instances they would have been numerous, and of course 
weighty. Instead of this, I have omitted many consider- 
able articles, such for instance, as expense of stores for 
the hospitals, much of which is now due, and more to be 
immediately provided for. You will perceive, that I have 
no't even mentioned the expense of transporting military 
stores, such as shot, shells, &c. to the camp before York, 
which the Board of War assure me will be very great, 
and indeed it must be so. Neither have I mentioned the 
expense of transporting money, clothing, medicines, arms, 
&ic. from Boston to this place, and hence to the south- 


ward. Besides all this, I am told it will be necessary to 
procure ten thousand suits of clothes for the ensuing winter. 
If this be so, that article alone will amount to at least two 
hundred thousand dollars. 

I might go much further, but I shall only observe, that 
exclusive of all these things, the enclosed estimate amounts 
to above two hundred thousand dollars. Yet attention must 
be paid to the wants of three large armies. Congress 
know the extent of my means. 

In this situation of things, it is proper to ask on every 
occasion, before private grants of money are made, whether 
the public service will not suffer by it. But this is not all, 
1 am bound to observe, that the expectations of our troops 
now in the field may be much disappointed, and that they 
will conceive it unjust to dispose of any moneys, which 
might be spared, unless as an equal division among them. 
To press this point any further would imply a want of that 
confidence, which I really have in the wisdom and dis- 
cernment of Congress. They will see, that while the 
indispensable calls for money to forward general operations 
continue to be so loud as to draw from me all my private 
funds, it cannot be expected, that I shall pay warrants in 
favor of individuals. I am sure they will feel for me, 
when I mention the pain I suffer from being compelled 
to refuse money on their resolutions. A regard for their 
honor is the second motive of my conduct. I hope it is 
unnecessary to say, that a regard for the public interest 
is the iiiSt. I am far from wishing to insinuate a line of 
conduct to Congress ; but I must place before their eyes 
those facts, which it is for their honor and their interest to 
be informed of. They will draw the proper conclusions. 
With the most perfect respect, I am, &ic. 





Due to the French Treasury for so much bor- 
rowed of them at Chester, delivered at the 
head of the Elk, 26,000 

Due to the French army, a quantity of flour 
exchanged in the State of New York, to be 
replaced at the southward, which will require 10,000 

Due for transports hired in the Delaware and 

Chesapeake, 15,000 

For flour now purchasing to supply General 

Heath's army, 10,000 

Horses purchased last summer for the Quarter 

Master General, and shortly to be paid for, 4,000 

To recruit and mount Colonel Armand's Legion, 50,000 

Saddles and accoutrements for General Greene's 

army, 14,000 

Flour lately purchased in Virginia for General 

Washington's army, and now due, 5,000 

Articles necessary for General Greene's army 
and the transportation of articles to him, and 
money for essential services, 5,000 

Clothing purchased on a credit for Fort Pitt 

and Wyoming, 5,000 

Estimate from the Navy Board at Boston, 40,000 

Rum now sending on to General Washington's 

army, 5,000 

My own money already advanced for the public 

service, 12,000 




Office of Finance, October 19th, 1781. 

I am now to address you on a subject of very great im- 
portance. I have to detail some facts, which will demand 
the most serious attention from every Legislature, and 
from every public officer in the United States. It is my 
determination to administer the affairs intrusted to my care 
according to plans, which are founded in sincerity and 
truth. Convinced of the folly of our enemy, in supposing 
that any considerable body of men in the United States 
are opposed to the Revolution, I am persuaded that, in 
order to remove the greater part of our difficulties, the 
first proper step is to state them fully to the people through 
their representatives. It shall, therefore,, be a part of my 
study to prepare every transaction for the public eye, so 
that the meanest individual may be in due time informed of 
those affairs, in which, as a iree citizen, he is interested. 
The various reports, which have been circulated, the pub- 
lications in the several gazettes, and even letters from 
some who ought to have known better, all these things have 
conspired to infuse an opinion, that every power in Europe 
is favorable to us ; that great sums of money are already 
advanced to us, and that still greater may be obtained. 
Whatever may be the fate of my administration, I will 
never be subjected to the reproach of falsehood or insin- 
cerity. I, therefore, take the earliest moment, in which I 
am permitted, to make those communications, which will 
give an insight into our real situation. 

With respect to the situation and politics of Europe, 
it is neither my business to detail them, nor am I in a 


capacity to do it with certainty. But this, at least, is 
certain, that the disposition of the European powers., 
however friendly, has been too much relied vjpon. As 
a proof I need only observe, that not a single State 
has acknowledged our independence except France, 
although our alliance with that respectable monarchy 
has now subsisted nearly four years. Yet that mon- 
archy is certainly the first in the world. It is in the 
closest connexion with Spain. Spain has long been 
engaged in the war, and still longer solicited to form a 
union upon the basis of the treaty with France. The 
armed neutrality, which gave such splendid hopes to 
many, has not yet produced the benefits expected. 1 
will not proceed on the ground of conjecture, nor is it 
necessary for me to dwell longer on our political state 
with respect to foreign powers. But as there is little 
reason to expect, so I hope there is no American, who 
would wish an alliance with any empire on earth, 
until they shall be so sensible of our importance, as to 
treat on principles of equality. 

The public opinion, as to the conduct of other 
Princes and States, has greatly injured us by relaxing 
our exertions. But the opinion as to pecuniary aid 
has been still more pernicious. People have flattered 
themselves with a visionary idea, that nothing more 
was necessary, than for Congress to send a Minister 
abroad, and that immediately he would obtain as much 
money as he chose to ask for. That, when he opened 
a loan, hundreds would run to see who should have 
the honor of subscribing (o it, and the like. But 
surely a, moment's reflection should have convinced 
every reasonable man, thai, without the clear prospect 


of repayment, people will not part with their property. 
Have the efforts in this country been so successful as 
to ground any hopes from abroad ? Or, is it to be 
supposed, that foreigners will interest themselves more 
in our prosperity or safety, than our citizens ? Or, 
can it be belreved, tliat credit will be given abroad 
before solid funds are provided at home ? Or, could 
it be imagined, that the disorders necessarily incident 
to a great revolution, would be considered as a better 
source of trust and confidence, than the regularity and 
consistency of ancient establishments? 

The Congress, conformably to the public wish, have 
appointed Ministers, requested grants, and opened 
loans. In Holland they have got nothing, and in 
Spain but very little. Loans were expected from in- 
dividuals in Holland, but nothing of that sort has been, 
or probably will be, obtained. Loans were not ex- 
pected in Spain, unless from the King, and from him 
they have been solicited with but little success. 

The distressed situation of public affairs forced the 
Congress to draw bills of exchange on their Ministers. 
Some were drawn on France, some on Spain, and 
some on Holland. The first were honored and paid, 
the others were accepted, but recourse was finally had 
to the Court of France for the payment of those also. 
They were drawn at long sight. The sales were slow. 
They were remitted from time to time, and every op- 
portunity afforded the Ministers of the United States to 
obtain the moneys for discharging them, but in vain. 
Of consequence, these bills have been regularly re- 
ferred to the Court of France for payment ; and this 
has done us injury, by anticipating the aid, which 


France has been disposed to afford us, and at the same 
time has justly alarmed and greatly embarrassed the 
French Ministry. 

These things it appears necessary that you should 
know, and your Legislature will undoubtedly draw 
the proper inferences. They will see how much has 
been suffered by delaying to call forth the resources of 
our own country, and relying on the empty bubbles of 
hope, instead of the solid foundations of revenue. 
They will, I trust, clearly see, that all their hopes and 
expectations are narrowed down to what France may 
give or lend. But here, as in other cases, delusion 
takes place of reality. We flatter ourselves with ideal 
prospects, and are only convinced of our folly, by the 
fatal crisis of national distress. In order that you may 
clearly understand the succor afforded by France, I 
enclose an account extracted from a statement lately 
furnished to Congress by the Minister Plenipotentiary 
of his Most Christian Majesty. 

You will observe that his Majesty granted to the 
United States a subsidy for the current year of six 
millions of livres ; and on a representation of our dis- 
tresses, he was pleased to become security for a loan 
to be opened on our account in Holland. And when 
it appeared, that there was but little probability of 
obtaining any money there in season, he further agreed 
that the sum to be borrowed should be advanced for 
us, in the first instance, from the royal treasury. 
Thus the gift and the loan together amount to sixteen 
millions of livres, which would, if in this country, be 
equal only to two millions nine hundred and sixtytwo 
thousand nine hundred and sixtytwo dollars, although 
VOL. XI. 63 


at the rate of estimating dollars in France, it is there 
equal to three millions and fortyseven thousand six 
hundred and nineteen dollars. But at the highest rate 
of exchange, which has hitherto taken place, this sum 
if drawn for, would have amounted to no more than 
two millions five hundred and sixty thousand dollars. 
I have been thus particular with respect to the amount 
of this sum, because the difference of currencies very 
often tends to deceive those to whom their real value 
is not a familiar subject of attention. 

The enclosed account is in livres, and the two first 
articles contain the total of the grant and loan, amount- 
ing to sixteen millions of livres. The remainder con- 
tains the deductions to be made ; the two first articles 
whereof, amounting to two millions three hundred 
thousand livres is for the payment of the bills drawn 
on France, Spain, and Holland, which I have already 
mentioned, the produce of the sales whereof had been 
applied to the public service long before my appoint- 
ment. The next article, being two millions of livres, 
is appropriated to the payment of the interest bills ; 
wherefore, no part of it can be applied to other pur- 
poses. The fourth article, I need say nothing of here, 
as it has long been in the mouths of everybody. The 
fifth and sixth articles are for those stores, which were 
laden on board of four transports by order of Colonel 
Laurens, three of which have safely arrived, and the 
other put back in distress. The seventh article, is in 
consequence of the loss of that valuable ship, the Mar- 
quis de Lafayette, which contained a great number of 
public stores, the replacing of which is necessary for 
the army and its operations, and which will amount to 
that sum. 


The last article contains the amount of moneys de- 
posited to answer my drafts, which have been made 
from time to time, and the produce appropriated to 
the service of the current year. On the whole, there 
remains a balance of three millions and sixteen thou- 
sand four hundred and ninetynine livres. This, with 
the sum brought by Colonel Laurens, may be consid- 
ered as of the value of about one million of dollars, 
which is the utmost ; for it would exceed that only by 
twentyone thousand five hundred and seventyfour dol- 
lars, if it were now in this country. 

Thus then you see the extent of that pecuniary suc- 
cor, which has filled the minds of all with such teem- 
ing expectation, is narrovved down to one million of 
dollars. But by the best accounts and estimates I 
have been able to procure, this war has hitherto cost 
about twenty millions annually. 1 do indeed expect 
that the future expenditures will be greatly curtailed; 
but it must be remembered that the most rigid econ- 
omy has its bounds, and that it cannot exist without 
the punctual performance of those engagements, on 
which the first steps towards it must depend. As soon 
as the proper estimates for the next year can be made 
out, the demands founded upon them will be stated, 
and I shall shortly advertise for contracts, as the most 
effectual mode of husbanding our resources. I feel it 
to be my duty, however, to observe, that a note this 
day sent to Congress, of some of my principal engage- 
ments for money, amounts to upwards of two hundred 
thousand dollars. Yet the calls for it from every 
quarter are incessant. 

I would gladly quit the subject of foreign supplies 


and expectations here, but it is necessary that the 
States should know all, and I should not answer the 
views of Congress, if I did not add, that the Court of 
France place the aid now afforded us among the num- 
ber of those extraordinary efforts, which cannot be 
repeated. The declaration, that no more pecuniary 
assistance can be afforded to us, is as plain as language 
will admit of; and although the applications may, and 
probably will, be made by our Ministers to the Court 
of Versailles, yet surely no prudent man would form 
any reliance on such applications, in the face of such 
a pointed and express assurance to the contrary ; and 
especially, when, to every request a short answer can 
be made, by asking what we have done for ourselves. 
Sir, I must speak to you most plainly. While we do 
nothing for ourselves, we cannot expect the assistance 
of others. 

This is a very painful subject to dwell upon, but a con- 
sideration of great magnitude remains behind, and sooner 
or later it must come forward. Prudence, tlierefore, bids 
us examine it now, and provide for it in season. The 
neglect in funding the public debt, has introduced a prac- 
tice of issuing Loan Office certificates, for the interest due 
on other Loan Office certificates. This \ have absolutely 
forbidden, nor will I ever consent to it. Such accumula- 
tion of debt, while it distresses the public, and destroys its 
credit, by no means relieves llie unfortunate individual, who 
is a public creditor ; for if revenue is not provided, in- 
creasing ihe (.'ertificates would only lessen their value. 
This would be such a fraud as would staqnp our national 
character with indelible marks of infamy, and render us 
the reproach and contempt of all mankind. It is high time 


to relieve ourselves from the ignominy we have already 
sustained, and to rescue and restore the national credit. 
This can only be done by solid revenue. Disdaining, 
therefore, those little timid artifices, which, while they 
postpone the moment of difficulty, only increase the dan- 
ger and confirm the ruin, I prefer the open declaration to 
all, of what is to be expected, and whence it is to be 
drawn. To the public creditors, therefore, 1 say, that 
until the States provide revenues for liquidating the princi- 
pal and interest of the public debt, they cannot be paid ; 
and to the States, I say, that they are bound by every 
principle held sacred among men to make that provision. 

I have gone through the task, which I proposed to my- 
self in writing to your Excellency this letter, which I pray 
you to communicate to the Legislature of your State. I 
hope the Congress will soon be able to transmit their requi- 
sitions, and I shall endeavor that those be as moderate as 
possible. But I must pray that every man, whether in 
public or private life, will seriously consider the importance 
of complying with these requisitions. It is not by the bril- 
liant successes of wgr, the splendor of conquest, or the 
shouts of victory, that a wise ministry are to be affected. 
The superiority of national resources is the sure ground on 
which to hope for success, and that superior resource 
steadily and perseveringly applied, must eventually attain 
its objects. It is for these reasons, that the enemy have 
hoped everything from the derangement of our finances ; 
and on the other hand, as I am well informed, it is from 
the establishment of a national bank, and the forming of 
contracts to supply our armies, that they have the greatest 
apprehensions. By the bounty of the Almiglity, we are 
placed in a situation where our future late depends upon 


our present conduct. We may be happy or miserable, as 
we please. If we do our duty now, the war will soon be 
brought to a close ; if not, it may last for many years, and 
what will then be its termination, it is not in human wisdom 
to foresee. Thoroughly convinced that the enemy must 
ask for peace, when we are in a condition vigorously to 
prosecute the war, and that we shall be in that condition, 
whenever our affairs are reduced to order, and our credit 
restored, and that for these purposes, nothing more is ne- 
cessary than a proper system of taxation ; I cannot avoid 
expressing my sentiments on the subject in all the warmth 
with which they flow from my heart. I hope and pray 
that the facts, which I have stated, may meet that calm at- 
tention, which is due to their importance, and that such 
measures may be taken as shall redound to the honor and 
interest of our country. 

With all possible respect, I have the honor to be, &ic. 


Office of Finance, November 2d, 1781. 

Your favor of the 17th of September last has been de- 
livered to me by your Aid, Captain Pierce. Your recom- 
mendations and his own character, give him a double title 
to every mark of attention. 

I hope it is unnecessary to make assurances of my dis- 
position to render your situation both easy and respectable. 
I am sure it is unnecessary to remark, how inadequate the 
provisions have been, which the States have hitherto tnade. 
At least, it is unnecessary to you. Much less need I dis- 


play the detail of expenditures, which have been i-eqiiisite 
for the accomplishment of that happy event, which has 
taken place in Virginia. 

I have neither forgotten nor neglected your department. 
I iiave done the utmost to provide clothing, arms, accoutre- 
ments, medicines, hospital stores, he. ; and I flatter my- 
self that you will, through the different departments, re- 
ceive both benefit and relief from my exertions. I have 
detained Captain Pierce a day, in order to make up with 
infinite difficulty, one thousand pounds Pennsylvania cur- 
rency in gold, which he is the bearer of, and which will, 1 
hope, be agreeable and useful. You have done so much 
with so litde, that my wishes to increase your activity have 
every possible stimulus. I hope soon to hear that you 
have gathered fresh laurels ; and that you may wear them 
as long and as happily as they have been speedily and 
worthily acquired, is the earnest wish of yours, he. 

























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