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Title: The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX
Author: Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 [Editor]
Language: English
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by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at
http://gallica.bnf.fr)



THE

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE

OF THE

AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

VOL. IX.



THE

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE

OF THE

AMERICAN REVOLUTION;

BEING

THE LETTERS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, SILAS DEANE, JOHN ADAMS, JOHN JAY,
ARTHUR LEE, WILLIAM LEE, RALPH IZARD, FRANCIS DANA, WILLIAM
CARMICHAEL, HENRY LAURENS, JOHN LAURENS, M. DE LAFAYETTE, M. DUMAS,
AND OTHERS, CONCERNING THE FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES
DURING THE WHOLE REVOLUTION;

TOGETHER WITH

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

ALSO,

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


Published under the Direction of the President of the United States,
from the original Manuscripts in the Department of State, conformably
to a Resolution of Congress, of March 27th, 1818.


EDITED

BY JARED SPARKS.


VOL. IX.


BOSTON:

NATHAN HALE AND GRAY & BOWEN;

G. & C. & H. CARVILL, NEW YORK; P. THOMPSON, WASHINGTON.


1830.



Steam Power Press--W. L. Lewis' Print.

No. 6, Congress Street, Boston.



CONTENTS

OF THE

NINTH VOLUME.


WILLIAM CARMICHAEL'S CORRESPONDENCE.

                                                                 Page.

    To the Committee of Secret Correspondence. Amsterdam,
    November 2d, 1776,                                               5

        Sent by Mr Deane on a mission to Berlin.--Disposition of
        the Dutch.--Financial credit of the different
        powers.--Credit of the United States.--Plan for
        attacking the English coasts.--The conduct of Congress
        in relation to Portugal has made a favorable
        impression.--Offers of a House in Amsterdam to discount
        bills of Congress, drawn on certain conditions.

    To William Bingham, at Martinique. Paris, June 25th to July
    6th, 1777,                                                      14

        Reasons for opening a correspondence with him.--Causes
        of the temporising policy of France.--The English loan
        completed at home.--Dispute between Spain and
        Portugal.--Warlike preparations of France and Spain.

    To the President of Congress. Yorktown, June 17th, 1778,        19

        Receives information of his appointment as Secretary to
        the Commissioners.

    To the President of Congress. Off Reedy Island, November
    25th, 1779,                                                     19

        Acknowledges the reception of certain resolutions of
        Congress.

    To the President of Congress. Martinique, December 27th,
    1779,                                                           20

        Naval operations of the English and French in the West
        Indian Seas.

    To John Jay. Madrid, February 18th, 1780,                       21

        Interview with the Count de Florida Blanca, who promises
        to answer Mr Jay's letter.--Advises Mr Jay to prepare
        for a journey to Madrid.--Mr Lee's correspondence.

    To the President of Congress. Madrid, February 19th, 1780,      23

        Favorable reception.--Kindness of the French Ambassador
        and of M. Gerard.--English forces.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Aranjues, May 28th,
    1780,                                                           24

        Difficulty of communication.--Dispositions of the
        Spanish Court.--English policy in Spain.--Dispositions
        of the other European powers.--Bills on Mr Jay.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Madrid, July 17th,
    1780,                                                           30

        Mr Cumberland, English agent at Madrid.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. St Ildefonso, August
    22d, 1780,                                                      32

        Finances of Spain.--Mr Cumberland.--Armed
        neutrality.--Naval forces and operations of France and
        Spain.--M. Gardoqui succeeds M. Miralles.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. St Ildefonso, September
    9th, 1780,                                                      38

        Failure of the Spanish loan attributed to M.
        Necker.--Scheme of the loan.--Unsettled policy of
        Spain.--Armed neutrality.--The navigation of the
        Mississippi the chief obstacle to the opening of
        negotiations with Spain.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. St Ildefonso, September
    25th, 1780,                                                     43

        Supplies from Spain.--Conference with the Count de
        Florida Blanca.--The Count declares that Spain will
        never relinquish the exclusive navigation of the
        Mississippi.--Finances of the belligerent powers.--The
        Count de Montmorin.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Madrid, October 15th,
    1780,                                                           47

        The Spanish government finds it difficult to raise
        money.--The armed neutrality and Holland.--Revolt in
        Peru.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Madrid, November 28th,
    1780,                                                           50

        Finances and financial operations of Spain.--Vigorous
        preparations of England.--Spain aims at the exclusive
        possession of the Gulf of Mexico.--The European powers
        are jealous of the House of Bourbon.--Suggests the
        expediency in securing the alliance of Spain by further
        concessions.--Proceedings in Holland.--The Count de
        Vergennes informs Mr Jay that France cannot pay the
        bills drawn on him.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Madrid, December 19th,
    1780,                                                           56

        Amount of bills drawn on Mr Jay.--Accession of Holland
        to the armed neutrality.--Disposition of the
        Emperor.--Mr Cumberland continues to reside at Madrid.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Madrid, January 4th,
    1781,                                                           58

        England declares war against Holland.--Supplies promised
        by Spain.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Madrid, January 29th,
    1781,                                                           59

        Offer of mediation by the German Emperor and the Empress
        of Russia.--Spanish policy in regard to America.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Madrid, February 22d,
    1781,                                                           62

        Supplies.--Imperial offer of mediation.--Russia
        unfavorably disposed towards England.--English
        preparations.--French preparations.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Madrid, March 4th,
    1781,                                                           66

        M. Gardoqui.--The correspondence of the American
        Ministers is known to the European governments, by
        opening the letters.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Madrid, March 11th,
    1781,                                                           68

        Mr Cumberland intends to leave Spain.--Naval forces of
        the belligerents.--Bad consequences of the mutiny of the
        Pennsylvania line.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Aranjues, May 25th,
    1781,                                                           69

        Secret armament preparing at Cadiz.--Difficulty of
        communicating safely with America.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Aranjues, May 26th,
    1781,                                                           70

        Naval operations.--Supplies granted by France.--Probable
        destination of the force raising in the South of Spain.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Aranjues, June 2d,
    1781,                                                           72

        Dismission of M. Necker disagreeable to the Court of
        Spain.--M. Necker not favorable to the granting of
        supplies to the United States.--His character.--Proposed
        mediation by the Court of Vienna.

    James Lovell to William Carmichael. Philadelphia, June 15th,
    1781,                                                           74

        His communications have been valuable to Congress.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. St Ildefonso, August
    16th, 1781,                                                     75

        Progress of the negotiations.--Loans raised by
        Spain.--Bills on Mr Jay.--Apprehensions that the demands
        of Spain may delay the general peace.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. St Ildefonso, September
    28th, 1781,                                                     78

        The Court promises to appoint a person to treat.--M. Del
        Campo.--Little prospect of a general negotiation.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Madrid, October 5th,
    1781,                                                           81

        No progress has been made in the
        negotiation.--Complaints against Commodore Gillon.--The
        rebellion in Peru quelled.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Madrid, November 17th,
    1781,                                                           84

        Arrest of an English agent.--No progress towards opening
        a conference with Mr Jay.--Animosity of the Irish at the
        Spanish Court against America.--Account of M.
        Cabarrus.--Spanish expedition against their
        Colonies.--French naval expeditions.--State of affairs
        in Holland and France.

    Robert R. Livingston to William Carmichael. Philadelphia,
    December 20th, 1781,                                            91

        Mr Carmichael's communications valuable to
        Congress.--Commodore Gillon is not in a United States
        ship.--Delays of Spain beget feelings of ill-will in
        America.--Evacuation of Wilmington.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, December 20th, 1781,           94

        Motives of his correspondence.--Delays of
        Spain.--General satisfaction in Spain at the capture of
        Lord Cornwallis.--Imperial and Swedish Ambassador desire
        to favor the trade with America.--Advances by M.
        Cabarrus.--State of the sieges of Gibraltar and
        Mahon.--M. Cabarrus's plan of a new bank.--Spain
        endeavors to discourage the commerce of foreigners in
        her ports.--Attempt to exclude salt-fish, by the sale of
        indulgences permitting the use of meat on fast
        days.--Character of the Spanish Ministry.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, December 24th, 1781,          102

        Mr Jay receives promises of supplies.--The Count de
        Florida Blanca also promises to interfere with Portugal
        in favor of the United States.--Probable consequences
        of the death of the Empress.--Proceedings of England.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, Feb. 18th, 1782,              105

        Difficulty of meeting the drafts.--Financial
        embarrassments of the Spanish Court.--Capitulation of
        Mahon.--Imperial mediation.--Reply of Lord Stormont to
        the proposal.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, February 27th, 1782,          111

        Mr Jay is unable to obtain supplies.--No progress made
        toward negotiations.--The King of England is said to be
        determined to push the war in America.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, April 14th, 1782,             113

        Mr Jay obliged to protest bills.--Conduct of the Spanish
        Minister on this occasion.--The Spanish Court delays
        negotiations from policy.--Colonial
        disturbances.--Reforms of the Emperor.

    Robert R. Livingston to William Carmichael. Philadelphia,
    May 1st, 1782,                                                 120

        Desires a continuance of his correspondence.--Affair of
        Captain Huddy.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, June 12th, 1782,              122

        The Spanish Ministers show no inclination to
        treat.--Jealousy of the House of Bourbon among the
        European powers.--Financial difficulties of
        Spain.--Siege of Gibraltar.

    Robert R. Livingston to William Carmichael. Philadelphia,
    July 6th, 1782,                                                124

        Complains of want of information.--Payment of salaries.

    To Robert R. Livingston. St Ildefonso, July 8th, 1782,         126

        Interview with the Count de Florida
        Blanca.--Conversation with M. Del Campo.--New offer of
        mediation from the Imperial Courts.

    To Robert R. Livingston. St Ildefonso, July 22d, 1782,         129

        Count de Florida Blanca's answer to the proposed
        mediation.--The neutral powers desire a Congress.

    To Robert R. Livingston. St Ildefonso, September 8th, 1782,    132

        Interview with the Count de Florida Blanca.

    Robert R. Livingston to William Carmichael. Philadelphia,
    September 12th, 1782,                                          135

        State of affairs in America.

    To Robert R. Livingston. St Ildefonso, September 29th, 1782,   137

        Failure of the attack on Gibraltar.--Financial
        embarrassments of Spain.--State of the negotiations at
        Paris.--The preparations for war continue.

    Count de Florida Blanca to William Carmichael. St Lorenzo,
    October 14th, 1782,                                            141

        The English frigate carried into Cadiz by American
        seamen is ordered to be sold, and the proceeds to be
        deposited to the credit of Congress.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, October 29th, 1782,           142

        The progress of the negotiations will be impeded by
        Spain.

    Robert R. Livingston to William Carmichael. Philadelphia,
    November 28th, 1782,                                           144

        America will make no peace inconsistent with her
        engagements to her allies.--State of the military forces
        in America.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, December 10th, 1782,          147

        Terms of the treaty between Great Britain and the United
        States.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, December 30th, 1782,          149

        Dissatisfaction of Spain with the conclusion of the
        treaty.--Letter from M. de Lafayette.--Financial
        operations in Spain.--Receives the ceremonial visits of
        the _Corps Diplomatique_.--Intends to leave Spain, if
        the Court does not change its conduct.--Divisions in
        Holland.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, January 18th, 1783,           154

        Interruptions of the communication with
        America.--Endeavors to induce the Ministry to receive
        him formally.--M. Gardoqui will soon be despatched on a
        mission.--The Ministry desires peace.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, February 21st, 1783,          158

        Is formally received as _Chargé d'Affaires_ of the
        United States, through the influence of M. de Lafayette.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, March 13th, 1783,             161

        Dines with the Count de Florida Blanca.--Supposed
        motives of the offer of mediation by the Imperial
        Courts.--Reported confederacy of Russia, Austria, and
        Prussia for the partition of Turkey.--State of affairs
        in England.--Friendly propositions from other
        powers.--The army and navy commissaries have agreed to
        obtain supplies from America.--Proposes M. Josè Llanos
        as Minister to the United States.--Recommends the
        nomination of distinguished Spaniards as members of
        American societies.

    Robert R. Livingston to William Carmichael. Philadelphia,
    May 7th, 1783,                                                 169

        The past conduct of Spain has not been such as to
        conciliate America.--She ought not to exclude America
        from the privileges allowed to Great
        Britain.--Operations of the provisional treaty.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, July 19th, 1783,              172

        Receives assurances of the favorable disposition of the
        King.--The Spanish-Americans treat him as their
        countryman.--Plans of Austria and Russia.--Mr Fox raises
        difficulties to the conclusion of the Definitive
        Treaty.--Points in the treaty with Spain.--Spanish
        expedition against Algiers.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, July 22d, 1783,               179

        Dispersion of the armament against Algiers by stress of
        weather.--Slow progress of the negotiations at Paris.

    From the Saxon Minister in Spain to William Carmichael.
    Madrid, July 28th, 1783,                                       181

        Establishment of commercial relations with America.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, July 29th, 1783,              183

        Proceedings relative to the formation of commercial
        connexions between Saxony and the United States.--Treaty
        between France, Spain and Portugal.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Madrid, August 2d, 1783,              184

        M. Thieriot appointed Saxon Commissary-General of
        Commerce in America.

    To Robert R. Livingston. St Ildefonso, August 30th, 1783,      185

        Interview with the Count de Florida Blanca.--Objections
        of that Minister to his presentation.--Second interview
        on the same subject.--The King consents to fix a day for
        his presentation.--The presentation.


JOHN LAURENS'S CORRESPONDENCE.

    Instructions to John Laurens. In Congress, December 23d,
    1780,                                                          199

    Additional Instructions to John Laurens. In Congress,
    December 27th, 1780,                                           201

    To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, January 3d,
    1781,                                                          203

        Method of obtaining supplies.

    To the President of Congress. Boston, February 4th, 1781,      204

        Delay of his departure.

    To the President of Congress. Boston, February 7th, 1781,      206

        Preparations for sailing completed.

    To the President of Congress. L'Orient, March 11th, 1781,      207

        Remains at L'Orient in expectation of an interview with
        the Marquis de Castries.--Naval preparations at Brest.

    To the President of Congress. Passy, March 20th, 1781,         208

        Conversation with the Marquis de Castries.--Answer of
        the Count de Vergennes to the application of Congress
        for aid, granting six millions.--Urges the necessity of
        further aid.--Naval forces of the belligerents at sea.

    Memorial to the Count de Vergennes,                            211

        On the necessity of further aid in money, and of a naval
        superiority of the allies.--Answer to the objections
        made to the raising of a loan in France by the United
        States.

    Questions proposed to Colonel Laurens, with his Answers to
    them. Paris, March 29th, 1781,                                 218

        Advantages of augmenting the army.--Causes of the
        weakness of the southern army.

    To the President of Congress. Versailles, April 9th, 1781,     220

        France consents to guaranty a loan of ten millions to be
        opened in Holland.--Solicitations for supplies.

    Memorial from Colonel John Laurens to Count de Vergennes,      222

        Represents the grant already made to be insufficient and
        requests supplies in arms, &c. on credit.--Desires the
        amount of the loan proposed to be raised in Holland may
        be advanced by France.--Urges the necessity of
        maintaining a naval superiority in the American seas.

    To the President of Congress. Paris, April 24th, 1781,         226

        Remittance of the aid in specie.--Reasons for engaging
        the South Carolina ship, the Indian, for the
        conveyance.--Nature of supplies in arms, ammunition, &c.

    Memorial from John Laurens to the Director-General of
    Finance,                                                       230

        Urging the increase of the intended remittance of
        specie.

    To the President of Congress. Paris, May 15th, 1781,           231

        Failure of the plan of obtaining remittances from Vera
        Cruz.--Refusal of Holland to countenance the proposed
        loan in that country.--Promises of additional succors
        from France.

    Count de Vergennes to John Laurens. Versailles, May 16th,
    1781,                                                          233

        Disposition of the six millions granted by
        France.--Additional grant of four millions.--The
        proposed loan of ten millions shall be advanced by
        France.--Military and naval operations.

    To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, September 2d,
    1781,                                                          235

        General account of his proceedings on his late mission
        to France, as contained in the preceding letters.

    To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, September 6th,
    1781,                                                          247

        Confinement of Henry Laurens in the Tower.


CORRESPONDENCE OF C. W. F. DUMAS.

    B. Franklin to M. Dumas. Philadelphia, December 19th, 1775,    255

        Acknowledges the reception of certain works of M.
        Dumas.--Requests him to sound the Ministers to discover
        if America can expect countenance from any of the
        European powers in declaring independence.--State of the
        country.--Desires that skilful engineers may be sent
        out.

    B. Franklin to C. W. F. Dumas. Philadelphia, March 22d,
    1776,                                                          260

        Introducing Mr Deane.

    To B. Franklin, Chairman of the Committee of Secret
    Correspondence. Utrecht, April 30th, 1776,                     260

        Conversation with the French Minister relative to
        rendering assistance to the Colonies.--Writings of M.
        Dumas.--Receives a letter without signature, desiring a
        meeting at the Hague.

    To the Committee of Secret Correspondence. Utrecht, May
    14th, 1776,                                                    267

        Interview with the writer of the letter from the
        Hague.--Letter from Mr A. Lee recommending Hortalez.

    To the Committee of Secret Correspondence. August 10th,
    1776,                                                          271

        Extract of a letter from Mr Lee, recommending Hortalez
        to his confidence.--Correspondence with the person with
        whom he had the interview at the Hague.--Interview with
        the same person and with the Spanish Ambassador.--Mr
        Ellis requests him to write to America that there is a
        strong American party in England.

    Arthur Lee to C. W. F. Dumas. London, July 6th, 1776,          276

        Introducing Mr Ellis.--State of affairs in America.

    Silas Deane to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, July 26th, 1776,         277

        Desires to correspond with him.--Wishes to know if there
        would be any personal risk in visiting Holland.

    Arthur Lee to C. W. F. Dumas. London, August 13th, 1776,       278

        The Colonial expenses of Great Britain were undertaken
        for her own benefit.--Scotch hostile to America.

    Silas Deane to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, August 18th, 1776,       280

        Intends visiting Holland in a private character.--The
        American Colonies do not desire aid nor alliances, but
        only free commerce.

    William Lee to C. W. F. Dumas. London, September 10th, 1776,   282

        The declaration of Independence changes the character of
        the contest between Great Britain and America.--England
        uses every means to prevent the interference of France.

    Silas Deane to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, September 11th, 1776,    283

        If free commerce were allowed America, the Colonies
        would need no assistance.--The English Ambassador is
        acquainted with Mr Deane's official character.

    Arthur Lee to C. W. F. Dumas. London, September 23d, 1776,     285

        Sentiments of the English nation.--Character of the
        English Ministry.

    To the Committee of Secret Correspondence. September 30th,
    1776,                                                          288

        Communicates his letters from America in a certain
        quarter.--Reasons for signing an assumed name.

    B. Franklin to C. W. F. Dumas. Philadelphia, October 1st,
    1776,                                                          290

        Acknowledging the receipt of letters.

    Silas Deane to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, October 3d, 1776,        291

        Obtains an opportunity of sounding the sentiments of the
        Prussian Cabinet.

    Silas Deane to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, October 6th, 1776,       291

        Disposition of the American people in regard to an
        accommodation.--American commerce.

    Silas Deane to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, October 9th, 1776,       294

        Introducing Mr Carmichael.

    Silas Deane to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, October 13th, 1776,      295

        Treatment of an American citizen in Holland.

    William Carmichael to C. W. F. Dumas. Amsterdam, October
    22d, 1776,                                                     296

        Informing him of his intended visit.

    Committee of Secret Correspondence to C. W. F. Dumas.
    Philadelphia, October 24th, 1776,                              297

        Dr Franklin appointed Commissioner to the French
        Court.--Committee of Secret Correspondence.

    William Carmichael to C. W. F. Dumas. Amsterdam, October
    27th, 1776,                                                    298

        Requesting certain papers.

    Arthur Lee to C. W. F. Dumas. London, November 15th, 1776,     299

        Disposition of the British Court.--The Rockingham party
        proposes to secede from Parliament.--Cause of the
        advantage gained by the English on Long Island.

    Silas Deane to C. W. F. Dumas. Without date,                   301

        Difficulties of his situation.--Prospect of ultimate
        success.

    Silas Deane to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, December 13th, 1776,     304

        Arrival of Dr Franklin in France.

    William Carmichael to C. W. F. Dumas. Havre, January 21st,
    1777,                                                          304

        Return from a tour in Germany.--Impolicy of the present
        measures of France.

    Arthur Lee to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, January 26th, 1777,       305

        Want of intelligence from America.--Interest of Holland
        to secure the commerce with America.

    B. Franklin to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, January 29th, 1777,      307

        Forwarding letters from America.

    William Lee to C. W. F. Dumas. London, March 21st, 1777,       308

        State of the British and American forces.

    Silas Deane to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, April 2d, 1777,          309

        Enclosing a remittance.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, April 12th,
    1777,                                                          310

        Inadequacy of the allowance hitherto made him.

    William Carmichael to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, April 28th,
    1777,                                                          312

        Dangers of the temporizing policy of the European powers
        toward America.--Mr Carmichael is offered a pension on
        condition of bringing the Colonies to terms.--The
        acknowledgment of the independence of America by the
        European States is all that is necessary to her success.

    The Committee of Foreign Affairs to C. W. F. Dumas.
    Philadelphia, May 8th, 1777,                                   314

        Desiring him to communicate information to the
        Commissioners at Paris.

    William Carmichael to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, May 9th, 1777,    315

        English papers intercepted.--False rumors propagated by
        the English Ministry.--Arrogant policy of that Court.

    B. Franklin to C. W. F. Dumas. Passy, near Paris, May 12th,
    1777,                                                          317

        Communicates advices from America.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Amsterdam, May 16th,
    1777,                                                          318

        The author of 'Advice to Hessians,' threatened with
        arrest.

    Silas Deane to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, June 7th, 1777,          319

        Reports of reconciliation spread by English
        agents.--There will be no accommodation without an
        acknowledgment of independence.--The balance of power in
        Europe is a mere chimera.--One power must finally
        preponderate.--Growing importance of Russia.

    William Carmichael to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, June 13th,
    1777,                                                          323

        American privateering.--Preparations for the war in
        England.--Had the English operations been successful in
        America, the same tone would have been assumed towards
        France as Holland.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. June 14th, 1777,          326

        Disposition of the Dutch towards America.--Success is
        necessary to gain Holland.--The Dutch houses refuse to
        take up the English loan.--Ignorance of American affairs
        in Europe.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. August 22d, 1777,         327

        Subject to persecutions on account of his agency in the
        American service.--Dutch vessels captured by the
        English.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, October
    14th, 1777,                                                    329

        Meeting and proceedings of the States-General.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. December 16th, 1777,      330

        Impression produced by the news of Burgoyne's
        capture.--Proceedings of the States-General.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, April 14th,
    1778,                                                          332

        Effect of the declaration of France in Holland.--The
        Republic will maintain her neutrality.

    To M. Van Berckel, Pensionary of Amsterdam. July 27th, 1778,   333

        Communicating the treaty between France and the United
        States.

    M. Van Berckel to C. W. F. Dumas. Amsterdam, July 31st,
    1778,                                                          334

        Disposition of the Regency of Amsterdam to enter into
        amicable and commercial relations with the United
        States.

    To M. Van Berckel. The Hague, August 17th, 1778,               335

        Rejection of the propositions of the British
        Commissioners by the United States.--Extract of a letter
        from W. Lee, complaining of the indecision of Holland.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, December 3d,
    1778,                                                          337

        Amsterdam protests against the resolution of the States,
        refusing a convoy to ships carrying naval stores to
        France.

    Memorial, presented by his Excellency, the Duc de la
    Vauguyon, Ambassador of France, to the States-General of the
    United Provinces. The Hague, December 7th, 1778,               338

        Necessity that Holland should protect her commerce, if
        she desires to enjoy the privileges of neutrality.

    To the Commissioners at Paris. The Hague, December 18th,
    1778,                                                          340

        The Admiralty gives an evasive answer to the Memorial of
        the French Ambassador.--This answer adopted by the
        States.--Amsterdam protests.--The English Court declares
        its intention of seizing Dutch ships carrying munitions
        of war to France.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, December
    25th, 1778,                                                    342

        Resolution of the States and protest of
        Amsterdam.--Desires letters of credence.--Inadequacy of
        his compensation.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, January 1st,
    1779,                                                          345

        Containing a note of the Duc de la Vauguyon, explanatory
        of his Memorial; the answer of the States of Holland to
        the same, and the protest of Amsterdam against the
        answer.--The answer adopted by the
        States-General.--English influence at the Dutch
        Court.--The French Ambassador has a declaration of his
        Court excluding Holland from the French order in favor
        of neutrals.

    To the Commissioners at Paris. The Hague, January 12th,
    1779,                                                          351

        Proceedings of the States of Holland.--The American
        interest gains ground.--The Duc de la Vauguyon presents
        to the States-General the order excluding Holland from
        the privileges of neutrals.--Proceedings in relation to
        the same.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, March 1st,
    1779,                                                          357

        Desires to be invested with the character of _Chargé
        d'Affaires_ of the United States.--His past services.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, April 29th,
    1779,                                                          359

        Assembly of the States of Holland.--Misrepresentations
        on American affairs.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, May 15th,
    1779,                                                          360

        Naval force ordered to be equipped by the
        States-General, for purposes of convoy.

    M. Chaumont to C. W. F. Dumas. Passy, September 2d, 1779,      364

        Requesting him to render all necessary aid to the
        squadron of Commodore Jones.--Catalogue of the vessels
        composing the squadron.

    To B. Franklin. The Hague, September 14th, 1779,               365

        Proceedings in Holland and France relative to the
        granting convoys to Dutch commerce.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, September
    20th, 1779,                                                    366

        Intends going to Texel to meet Commodore Jones.

    Agreement between John Paul Jones and Captain Pearson,         367

        Relative to British prisoners in the squadron of
        Commodore Jones.

    The College of Admiralty of Amsterdam to the States-General.
    Amsterdam, Oct. 8th, 1779,                                     369

        On the request of Commodore Jones to be permitted to
        land his prisoners.

    Placard of 1756, referred to in the above letter,              370

        Containing directions for foreign vessels bringing
        prizes into Dutch ports.

    From the College of Admiralty of Amsterdam to the
    States-General. Amsterdam, Oct. 12th, 1779,                    373

        Proposing to grant permission to land the sick and
        wounded from Commodore Jones's squadron.

    Permission to land the sick and wounded of the English
    vessels taken by Paul Jones. Extract from the records of
    their High Mightinesses. October 15th, 1779,                   375

    Instructions of Holland and West Friesland to their
    Deputies,                                                      376

        Directing them to order the squadron of Commodore Jones
        to sail as soon as possible, according to the general
        practice of Holland in regard to belligerents bringing
        prizes into the Dutch ports.

    The Duc de la Vauguyon to John Paul Jones. The Hague,
    October 29th, 1779,                                            378

        Informing him that he will receive instructions at
        Dunkirk.

    Sir Joseph Yorke to the States-General. The Hague, October
    29th, 1779,                                                    379

        Demanding the seizure of the King's vessels in the hands
        of Paul Jones, a pirate and rebel.

    John Paul Jones to Lieutenant Colonel Weibert, in the
    service of the United States,                                  381

        Instructions for the care and safe keeping of the
        wounded prisoners landed on the island of Texel.

    John Paul Jones to the Duc de la Vauguyon. Texel, November
    4th, 1779,                                                     382

        Interview with the Commandant of the Road.--Causes of
        the delay of sailing.

    M. Dumas to the Duc de la Vauguyon. Helder, November 9th,
    1779,                                                          384

        Proceedings of Commodore Jones.

    To the Duc de la Vauguyon. On board the Serapis, November
    11th, 1779,                                                    386

        Visit to the Dutch Vice-Admiral in company with
        Commodore Jones.

    The Duc de la Vauguyon to C. W. F. Dumas. The Hague,
    November 11th, 1779,                                           387

        Landing of the prisoners.

    The Duc de la Vauguyon to C. W. F. Dumas. The Hague,
    November 12th, 1779,                                           388

        Directing Commodore Jones not to sail till he has
        received instructions.

    To the Duc de la Vauguyon. Nov. 13th, 1779,                    388

        The Dutch Vice-Admiral urges the departure of Commodore
        Jones.

    The Duc de la Vauguyon to C. W. F. Dumas. Amsterdam,
    November 17th, 1779,                                           389

        The States of Holland adopt a resolution to compel
        Commodore Jones to set sail.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, December
    9th, 1779,                                                     389

        Urgency of the Dutch Vice-Admiral for the departure of
        Commodore Jones.--M. Dumas reads to him a declaration,
        promising to set sail with the first fair wind.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. December 10th, 1779,      391

        Resolutions of the States-General relative to Sir Joseph
        Yorke's demand of the seizure of Commodore Jones and his
        prizes.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, December
    11th, 1779,                                                    395

        Further proceedings relative to the squadron of
        Commodore Jones in consequence of the transference of
        the Commodore to the Alliance.

    John Paul Jones to the Duc de la Vauguyon. Alliance, Texel,
    December 13th, 1779,                                           396

        Rejecting the offer of a letter of marque from
        France.--Expresses his indignation at the offer.

    John Paul Jones to B. Franklin. Alliance, Texel, December
    13th, 1779,                                                    399

        Remarks on his treatment by the French Court.

    John Paul Jones to C. W. F. Dumas. Alliance, December 13th,
    1779,                                                          400

        Enclosing the preceding letters.

    Vice-Admiral Reynst to John Paul Jones. Amsterdam, December
    17th, 1779,                                                    401

        Requiring to be informed of the character of the
        Alliance, and demanding that the French flag be hoisted
        on board that frigate, or that she be put to sea without
        delay.

    John Paul Jones to Vice-Admiral P. H. Reynst. Alliance,
    Texel, December 17th, 1779,                                    401

        Refuses to hoist the French flag.--Is ready to put to
        sea whenever the pilot will conduct his ship.

    John Paul Jones to C. W. F. Dumas. Alliance, Texel, December
    17th, 1779,                                                    402

        Thanking him for his advice.

    M. de Livoncourt, French Navy Agent at Amsterdam, to John
    Paul Jones. Helder, December 17th, 1779,                       402

        Requesting him to hoist the French flag.--Reasons for
        addressing to him the commission alluded to in a
        preceding letter.

    John Paul Jones to C. W. F. Dumas. Alliance, at Sea,
    December 27th, 1779,                                           403

        Succeeds in getting to sea.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, December
    30th, 1779,                                                    404

        Difficulties on account of the Alliance.--Desires to be
        formally named agent of Congress.

    B. Franklin to C. W. F. Dumas. Passy, January 27th, 1780,      405

        Regrets his differences with the Ambassador.

    To the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Hague, March 15th,
    1780,                                                          406

        Transmits the plan of a treaty between the United States
        and Holland.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, March 21st, 1780,     407

        Enumeration of his services and sacrifices.--Inadequacy
        of his compensation.--Complains of William and Arthur
        Lee.

    B. Franklin to C. W. F. Dumas. Passy, March 29th, 1780,        412

        Acknowledging the receipt of certain papers and
        requesting information.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, April 13th, 1780,     413

        Deliberations on the Russian Memorial to the
        States-General.--Resolutions in favor of unlimited
        convoys and declining succors to England, adopted by
        several Provinces.--Necessity of an American Minister in
        Holland.

    B. Franklin to C. W. F. Dumas. Passy, April 23d, 1780,         414

        Receives visits from gentlemen from Holland, who desire
        information relative to the rumored treaty between
        Amsterdam and the United States.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, May 21st, 1780,       416

        Dissatisfaction of the northern powers with the conduct
        of England.--Address of Amsterdam to the States.--Claim
        of M. Van der Perre to a ship captured by Commodore
        Jones.

    John Adams to C. W. F. Dumas. Paris, June 6th, 1780,           417

        Relative to a certain letter of General Clinton,
        suspected of being a forgery.--Duplicity of the British
        agents in America.

    Protest of the City of Amsterdam. Extracted from the
    Resolutions of the Council of that City of the 29th of June,
    1780, and inserted in the Acts of the Provincial Assembly of
    Holland, at the Hague, July 1st, 1780,                         419

        Urging a connexion with the neutral powers.

    James Lovell to C. W. F. Dumas. Philadelphia, July 10th,
    1780,                                                          425

        Services of M. Dumas.--Introduces Mr Searle.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, July 15th, 1780,      426

        Intrigues of England in Holland and Germany.--Affair of
        the choice of a Coadjutor of Munster and Cologne.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, July 22d, 1780,       427

        Rumors unfavorable to America.--Declaration of Denmark.

    William Carmichael to C. W. F. Dumas. Madrid, July 24th,
    1780,                                                          429

        The Americans will not be discouraged by their
        reverses.--False report of Mr Jay's being sent from
        Spain.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, July 25th, 1780,      430

        Past services.--Inadequate compensation.

    John Paul Jones to C. W. F. Dumas. Ariel, Road of Croix,
    September 8th, 1780,                                           433

        Reception in Paris.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, September 12th,
    1780,                                                          435

        Naval operations.--Affairs of Europe.

    To B. Franklin. The Hague, October 3d, 1780,                   437

        Proposed terms of accession to the armed neutrality by
        Holland.--Plan of the Empress.

    Extract of Letters from London to C. W. F. Dumas. London,
    October 6th, 1780,                                             439

        Treatment of Mr Laurens in the Tower.

    To the President of Congress. Amsterdam, December 19th,
    1780,                                                          441

        Proceedings of the Provincial States of
        Holland.--Accession of the Republic to the armed
        neutrality.

    Robert Morris to C. W. F. Dumas. Philadelphia, December
    24th, 1780,                                                    445

        Attacks on his character.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, February 5th, 1781,   446

        Proceedings in regard to the armed neutrality.--Reported
        rupture between Russia and England.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, February 22d, 1781,   448

        Delays in the decision of the Court on the conduct of
        Amsterdam.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, March 5th, 1781,      449

        Disposition of the Empress to support the demands of
        Holland against England.--The proposed imperial
        mediation will be founded on an acknowledgment of the
        independence of the United States.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, March 22d, 1781,      450

        Causes of the delays in Holland.--Proceedings of the
        merchants of Amsterdam and Rotterdam relative to the
        seizure of St Eustatia.

    General J. H. Bedaulx to C. W. F. Dumas. Nimeguen, April
    28th, 1781,                                                    452

        Requesting information concerning his nephew in America.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, May 1st, 1781,        453

        Mr Adams visits the Grand Pensionary, preparatory to
        presenting himself in the character of Minister of the
        United States.--The Grand Pensionary, the President of
        the States-General, and the Prince of Orange decline
        receiving the Memorial of Mr Adams.--Mr Adams causes it
        to be printed.--The President and the Privy Counsellor
        of the Prince decline receiving a letter from Mr Adams,
        announcing the completion of the
        confederation.--Amsterdam demands the exclusion of the
        Duke of Brunswick from the public councils.--Imperial
        mediation.--Coolness of the Emperor toward the Duke of
        Brunswick.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, August 23d, 1781,     460

        French loan will be agreed to by the
        States-General.--Correspondence between the Stadtholder
        and Baron Lynden relative to the Duke of
        Brunswick.--Anti-Anglican proceedings in
        Holland.--Proceedings of the States of Holland in regard
        to the Duke of Brunswick's letter to the
        States-General.--French loan.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, October 11th, 1781,   467

        Letter of Baron Lynden to the Prince of Orange in regard
        to the Duke of Brunswick.

    Robert R. Livingston to C. W. F. Dumas. Philadelphia,
    November 28th, 1781,                                           468

        Desires him to transmit journals and pamphlets.--Capture
        of Cornwallis.--Congress cannot make any addition to his
        allowance.

    To the President of Congress. Amsterdam, January 7th, 1782,    471

        The French loan has been taken up in one
        day.--Diminution of English influence in Holland.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, January 15th, 1782,   473

        Visit to the Secretary of the States-General and the
        Deputies of the Province with Mr Adams, to demand
        permission to present his credentials.

    To the President of Congress. The Hague, January 30th, 1782,   474

        Proceedings of the States-General.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, March 29th, 1782,          475

        Friesland and Holland adopt resolutions in favor of the
        reception of Mr Adams.

    To Robert R. Livingston. Amsterdam, April 4th, 1782,           476

        Purchases a hotel for Mr Adams.--Mr Adams will probably
        be received without further delay.

    John Adams to C. W. F. Dumas. Amsterdam, May 2d, 1782,         477

        Declines the invitation to dine at Schiedam.--M. Dumas
        ought to be appointed _Chargé d'Affaires_ of the United
        States.

    Verbal message of C. W. F. Dumas to the city of Schiedam,      479

        Mr Adams declines the invitation to a dinner.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, May 10th, 1782,            479

        Reception of Mr Adams.--Transmits Mr Adams's letter
        recommending him to the attention of Congress.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, June 1st, 1782,            483

        Attempts to effect a separate peace between Holland and
        England.--Insincerity of the English in their proposals
        of peace.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, August 16th, 1782,         487

        Proceedings of the States of Holland relative to the
        negotiations at Paris.

    Robert R. Livingston to C. W. F. Dumas. Philadelphia,
    September 5th, 1782,                                           488

        Receives no communications from him.--Affairs in
        America.

    Robert R. Livingston to C. W. F. Dumas. Philadelphia,
    September 12th, 1782,                                          489

        Congress will take his requests into
        consideration.--State of things in America.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, September 27th, 1782,      491

        Proceedings in Holland relative to the naval force
        ordered to join the French fleet.--Complains of the
        neglect of Congress.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, November 15th, 1782,       494

        Reasons for the infrequency of his communication.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, December 12th, 1782,       496

        Riot at the Hague.--Representations of the Prussian
        Envoy on the dissensions in Holland.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, December 17th, 1782,       500

        Representations of the Prussian Envoy on a libel against
        the Princess of Orange.--Reply to the same.--The
        prisoners arrested on account of the disturbances at the
        Hague allowed to escape.--Obtains passports for
        Americans.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, January 11th, 1783,        503

        Proposed mission of a Minister from the Republic to the
        United States.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, January 20th, 1783,        504

        Proceedings in Holland.--Minister to the United States.

    Memorial of the Prussian Ambassador. January 20th, 1783,       505

        On the opposition to the Prince of Orange.

    To John Adams. The Hague, January 24th, 1783,                  508

        Is requested to consult Mr Adams, whether his powers
        authorise him to accede to the armed neutrality, and to
        enter into a similar negotiation with the allied
        belligerents.

    To John Adams. The Hague, January 28th, 1783,                  509

        Dissatisfaction of the Dutch with the conduct of France.

    To John Adams. The Hague, January 30th, 1783,                  511

        Same subject.

    To John Adams. The Hague, February 4th, 1783,                  512

        Same subject.--Reasons of the Count de Vergennes for
        hastening the signing of the treaty.

    To John Adams. The Hague, Feb. 18th, 1783,                     514

        Is requested to inquire if the United States will enter
        into a convention with Holland, guarantying freedom of
        navigation.--Considerations which authorise the American
        Ministers to accede to this demand.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, March 4th, 1783,           515

        Appointment of M. Van Berckel Minister to America.

    To John Adams. The Hague, March 4th, 1783,                     516

        The States adopt a resolution, giving instructions to
        their Plenipotentiaries in regard to a general peace.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, March 5th, 1783,           517

        Requesting him to make preparations for M. Van Berckel.

    To John Adams. The Hague, March 6th, 1783,                     518

        Guarantee of the freedom of navigation desired by
        Holland.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, March 27th, 1783,          519

        Domestic affairs of Holland.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, April 18th, 1783,          522

        Same subject.--Is requested to inquire of Mr Dana if he
        will negotiate a convention on the principles of the
        armed neutrality with Holland.--The Secretary of the
        States-General desires to be informed of the titles by
        which Congress is to be addressed.

    Robert R. Livingston to C. W. F. Dumas. Without date,          525

        Impropriety of a foreign Envoy engaging in the parties
        of the country where he resides.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, May 8th, 1783,             526

        Proceedings in Holland.--Difficulties in settling the
        articles of peace between Holland and Great Britain.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, May 25th, 1783,            528

        Recommending Captain Riemersma.

    Notes to the States-General. The Hague, June 5th, 1783,        529

        Laying before them the treaty and convention between the
        two Republics.

    M. Fagel to C. W. F. Dumas. The Hague, June 19th, 1783,        530

        Agrees to exchange ratifications of the treaty and
        convention.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, June 20th, 1783,           530

        Proceedings in Holland.

    To Robert R. Livingston. The Hague, June 23d, 1783,            531

        Exchanges ratifications of the treaty and convention
        between the two Republics.



THE

CORRESPONDENCE

OF

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL;

CHARGÉ D'AFFAIRES FROM THE UNITED STATES TO
THE COURT OF SPAIN.



William Carmichael was a native of Maryland. At the beginning of the
revolution he was in Europe. From London he went over to Paris in the
spring of the year 1776, and was there when Silas Deane arrived as a
commercial and political agent from the United States. He lived with
Mr Deane for some time in Paris, and aided him in his correspondence
and the transaction of his affairs. It was suggested by the Prussian
Minister, that the King would be pleased with information respecting
American commerce, and would receive at Berlin any American who could
give such information. Mr Deane proposed the enterprise to Mr
Carmichael. He performed the journey in the autumn of 1776, by way of
Amsterdam.

From Berlin he returned to Paris, where he lived on intimate terms
with the American Commissioners, occasionally executing specific
duties at their request, for more than a year, till he sailed for his
native country. He arrived at Boston in May, 1778, and soon afterwards
received an appointment which had recently been conferred on him by
Congress, as Secretary to the Commissioners at the Court of France. It
does not appear that he ever accepted this appointment, for on the
19th of November following he took his seat in Congress as a delegate
from Maryland.

Mr Carmichael remained in Congress till Mr Jay was elected Minister
Plenipotentiary to the Court of Spain. He was chosen Secretary of
Legation to the same Mission on the 28th of September, 1779, and went
to Spain in company with Mr Jay, and remained with him during the
whole of that Minister's residence in Madrid. When Mr Jay joined Dr
Franklin in Paris, June, 1782, to aid in the negotiations of peace, Mr
Carmichael was left as _Chargé d'Affaires_ at the Court of Spain.
After the peace he was regularly commissioned in that character by
Congress, and recognized as such by the King of Spain.

He continued to reside there in the same capacity during the term of
the old Confederation, and for some time after the organization of the
new government under Washington. In the year 1793, Mr Short was joined
with him in a commission for negotiating at Madrid a treaty between
Spain and the United States. Several months were passed in this
attempt, but without success. Mr Carmichael returned soon afterwards
to the United States.



THE

CORRESPONDENCE

OF

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

              TO THE COMMITTEE OF SECRET CORRESPONDENCE.

                                         Amsterdam, November 2d, 1776.

  Gentlemen,

Previous to your attention to what follows, it will be necessary for
you to know that I have lived with Mr Deane since his first arrival at
Paris; that I took that city in my way from London to Nantes, to find
a passage to my native country, and with despatches, which Mr Arthur
Lee intrusted to my care, for the honorable Congress. Having a relapse
of a disorder, which prevented me from travelling, I stopped at Paris,
and endeavored to find out, by means of Count d'Estaing and other
persons of eminence, the sentiments of the French Court respecting our
affairs; and the moment I knew of Mr Deane's arrival, offered him all
the services in my power, and, of consequence, we have lived together
until the 10th of the present month.

At that time the agent of the King of Prussia, who had often, as Mr
Deane has informed you, made proposals of a commercial nature,
expressed a desire that some American would go to Berlin, and this he
gave us to understand was at the instance of his Sovereign, who wished
to have a clear idea of the nature of our commerce, and expressed a
curiosity, which he wished to gratify, by a minute detail of our
affairs. Mr Deane thinking this an opportunity not to be neglected to
interest a Prince, who for several years has been dreaming of making
his port of Emden, an Amsterdam, proposed it to me. However unequal to
the task, I have cheerfully accepted it; happy to find any opportunity
of showing with what a fervent zeal I am devoted to the glorious
cause, which, at present, by interesting their humanity as well as
policy, gives us so much consequence in the eyes of Europe.

Here I have endeavored to engage merchants to speculate in a direct
commerce to America, to find out the sentiments of the people in
general respecting us, to know whether, in case of necessity, the
United States would be able to negotiate a loan, whether England would
be able to obtain further credit, and by this barometer of the ability
of Princes, to discover their present situation. On these heads I have
written Mr Deane, but having an opportunity by the way of St Eustatia,
and thinking none should be neglected of giving information, though
mine, perhaps, may not be of importance enough to merit that title, I
have taken the liberty of addressing the honorable Committee. Arriving
but two days after the accounts had reached this city, of our
misfortune on Long Island, I found many, even of the sanguine friends
of America dejected, and those of England almost in a frenzy of joy.
In this disposition, it is easy to judge, no hopes could be
entertained of engaging merchants in a direct trade. I find they have
the greatest inclination to serve us, and at the same time
themselves, for no people see their interests clearer, but their fears
that we shall be subdued, the confident assertions of the friends of
England confirming these apprehensions, the prodigious sums they have
in the English funds, with this unlucky business at New York, all
conspire to prevent direct speculation.

As my letters from Paris introduced me to the first houses here, I
have had the best opportunity of knowing their sentiments, and I can
venture to say, that with many who are apparently adverse to us, it is
interest combating with principle, for insulted, searched, and
plundered as the Dutch were the last war, and are at present, there
are individuals who by no means want sensibility to feel, though the
public wants spirit to resent the injury. The States have, however, in
answer to a fresh remonstrance of General Yorke, declared that their
ports are open to vessels of all nations, and that their trade to and
from their own Colonies shall be unmolested, their subjects complying
with the ordinances issued by their High Mightinesses. In fact, their
prohibition of exporting warlike stores, extends to all British
subjects. I hope it will not be long before all Europe will own us in
another character. It is very certain, that without a very material
and apparent success of the British arms in America, a loan would be
very slowly negotiated for England here. There is nothing hinders them
now from selling out of the English funds, but their not knowing what
to do with their money; for this country may be called the treasury of
Europe, and its stock of specie is more or less, according to the
necessity of the different Princes in Europe. It being a time of
peace, the call has not been very great of late.

Having mentioned the credit of England, that of France is next to be
considered, and I am very sorry to say that has been very low here of
late. The dreadful mismanagement of the finances in the late King's
reign, and the character of the late Controller General, M. d'Olugny,
had reduced it so low, that it was impossible to borrow anything
considerable on perpetual funds. Perhaps a Minister of Finance, in
whose probity the world have a confidence, may restore their credit.
At this moment that is in some measure the case, for the French stocks
rise on the appointment of M. Taboreau. That it is possible for France
to borrow may be demonstrated; for at the time M. Turgot was removed,
he was negotiating a loan here, and was likely to succeed, for sixty
millions of guilders. The credit of Spain is extremely good, and that
kingdom may have what money it will, and on the best terms. The
Emperor's credit is also good, not as Emperor, but from his hereditary
dominion. Sweden and Denmark both have good credit. The former, the
best; they have money at four per cent; and it is not long since the
King of Sweden borrowed three millions of guilders at this interest,
to pay off old debts at five per cent. His interest is paid
punctually. Prussia has no credit here, but the King's treasury is
full by squeezing the last farthing from the people, and now and then
he draws a little money from this Republic, by reviving obsolete
claims. The credit of the Empress of Russia is very good; for she has
punctually paid the interest of twelve millions of guilders, which she
borrowed in her war with the Turks, and has lately paid off one
million and a half of the principal. These are the strongest
circumstances she could have in her favor with a mercantile people. I
have this statement of credit from persons employed in negotiating the
several loans, and, therefore, can depend upon the truth of the
information.

To come next to America, should time and necessity oblige her to look
abroad for money. In the present state of affairs, it is not probable
that a loan is practicable. But should success so attend our arms,
that it should appear evident that we are likely to support our
independence, or should either France or Spain acknowledge our
independence, in either of these cases I believe we might have money,
and when it was seen that we were punctual in our first payments of
the interest, we should have as much as we pleased. The nature of the
security, or the fund for the payment of interest, I have not been
able to imagine. But, observing in a letter to Mr Dearethart, it was
the writer's opinion, that the honorable Congress did not wish to
circulate too much paper, for fear of depreciating its value, I
thought that bills issued similar to those in circulation in the
Provinces, and lodged in a public bank in Europe, might be accepted as
a pledge or deposit for money borrowed by the United States. I beg
pardon for the crudity of the idea, and would not have mentioned it
here, but that having hinted at it in general conversation, people
thought it might, on a future occasion, be adopted.

You will please to observe, that everything here mentioned came from
an individual, who only as such avowed himself interested for his
country's fate, and for its benefit sought information.
Notwithstanding the rise of stocks, occasioned by our misfortune on
Long Island, the Dutch are selling out, and my strongest
representations have not been wanting to contribute a mite to this
circumstance. The price of our product is great. Rice sells for
twentyfive shillings sterling per cwt. and tobacco for eight stivers
and four ---- per pound. You have been threatened, that the Ukraine
would supply Europe with tobacco. It must be long before that time can
arrive. I have seen some of the tobacco here, and the best of it is
worse than the worst of our ground leaf. Four hundred thousand pounds
have been sent here this year. The Russian Ambassador said at the
Baron le Guerre's, Ambassador from Sweden, where I had the honor to
dine, that Russia soon would be able to supply the market with that
article. In this he spoke more like an Ambassador than as a merchant.
I took occasion in reply to observe, that if that was the case, and on
many other accounts, it was the interest of her Majesty that all
intercourse between Great Britain and America should be broken off,
for that then the former would be dependent on Russia for all those
articles, which hitherto the latter had supplied her with.

Having expressed a desire of knowing these reasons at large, with the
assistance of M. D---- and the approbation of Mr Deane, I purpose
giving in a little memoir on the subject, which the Ambassador assures
me shall be sent to St Petersburg. Not being so sanguine as to think,
that it will prevent Russia from supplying England with troops, should
the other demand them, but it may give a secret dilatoriness to their
assistance, which may finally operate in our favor.

If it should be determined to send any cargoes of tobacco here, on the
public account, it will perhaps be thought proper to convoy them. The
frigates destined to that service might retaliate the injuries we have
received by the destruction of Falmouth and Norfolk, by destroying the
towns and shipping of Greenock and the port of Glasgow, or Ayre and
Cambleton. I have been particularly informed of the situation of
those places until the present moment. They have no batteries to
protect, or soldiers to defend them, or quartered near enough in any
numbers to be assembled for that purpose, and not a vessel of war on
the whole coast larger than a tender, to receive men for the sea
service. Their rendezvous might be the entrance of the northern
channel, where, while they waited a junction, in case they should be
separated, they might take the outward bound ships, and by the
information obtained from them, insure their success. In returning, a
party landed on the Isle of Bute, might destroy the house of that
favorite. Little objects strike most forcibly little minds. This
affair completed, which would alarm Britain and astonish Europe, the
ships trading to the Baltic, with cargoes not only that suit, but are
necessary for our Provinces, might be their next object. This ought
all to be done in the months of March, April, and May. The destruction
of the Greenland fishery, might be the last object of the expedition.
I am confident, that not having a distrust of such attempts, the
success would be more certain. Should there be a necessity of seeking
shelter or refreshments, I have it from the Swedish Ambassador here,
that we shall find both in their ports. I only hinted to him, that it
was possible some of our adventurers might explore those seas in
search of plunder.

This is the rough outline of a plan, which the honorable Congress may,
should it in any shape be approved, digest into form. I would stake my
life on the success of the greatest part of it, if inviolable secrecy
is preserved, and the execution is trusted to persons who have not
only wealth but glory in view. If prompted by a heated and indignant
imagination, this plan should appear dangerous and impracticable, I
hope it will be imputed to the desire of retorting our injuries on
that country, which has in some measure been the cause, and is at
present endeavoring, with the rancor of private animosity, to
accumulate our distress. I entreated Mr Deane to propose some part of
it to the consideration of Congress sometime ago, and I have the
pleasure to find his opinion corresponds with my own on the subject.

The resentment, which it is said the honorable Congress have shown, on
the conduct of the King of Portugal towards us, has been attended with
a very good effect, and should a manifesto be published by that
honorable body, hinting only the necessity of taking similar measures
with all those who denied them the common rights of mankind, I am
persuaded it would be to our advantage. It was the dread of such a
blow to their trade, that was one of the strongest arguments made use
of by the merchants of this country, in their petition to the States.
I need not mention to you anything respecting what is like to take
place in Europe another year, for of that ere this, you, I hope, have
information. I will only say, that the greater part contemplates with
pleasure the gloomy prospect for England; there is not an Envoy of the
most petty State in Italy, but exults at it. The want of intelligence
from America, hurts the cause prodigiously in Europe, and the anxiety
of those who have its interest at heart, is from that circumstance,
inconceivable. I hope I need not offer assurances to convince the
honorable Congress of the zeal with which I wish to serve them. To be
directed by that honorable body in what manner to do it most
effectually, will be the happiest circumstance of my life.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

_P. S._ I cannot seal this letter without recommending Colonel Prevet,
should the fortune of war put him into our hands, to all the
indulgence, to himself and family, his situation will possibly admit
of. Mr Grand, his wife's father, an eminent merchant here, animated
with that love of liberty which distinguishes his country,
(Switzerland) offers all the services in his power to the public, and
a thousand civilities to its individuals. If by the same fortune, Mr
Dowdswell, of the first regiment of guards, should fall into our
hands, his father's merits and his own reluctance, will give him the
same indulgence.

Since I wrote the above, Mr Grand has assured me, that should the
honorable Congress determine to negotiate loans in Europe, and would
draw bills accepted by the principal merchants in America, payable at
two, three, and five years' sight, and send them to their house, they
should be discounted by them at five per cent interest. This was the
manner in which money was raised for the city of Leipsic during the
last war. The gentlemen of the committee will please to observe, that
this is to be kept very secret, for no loan can be publicly negotiated
here as yet. The firm of this house is Messrs Horneca, Fizeaux & Co.
and is one of the most capital in this city. Should any cargoes be
consigned here on public account, perhaps it may be thought proper to
address them to these gentlemen. I can assure you, gentlemen, and that
from my own knowledge, that many bills remitted from America, and
supposed to be drawn on account of Congress, have been refused payment
by the English Ministry knowing beforehand when they would be
presented for payment, and by that means, having an opportunity of
bribing, threatening, or flattering the parties on whom they were
drawn, either to refuse payment absolutely, or at least noting them
for protest, in order to hurt the credit of our merchants in Europe. I
do think that the less connexion, for this and other reasons, we have
in future with houses whose principal business depends on Great
Britain, the better. I beg pardon for giving my opinion thus freely,
but it is the effect of my zeal.

                                                                 W. C.

       *       *       *       *       *

                  TO WILLIAM BINGHAM AT MARTINIQUE.

                                   Paris, June 25th to July 6th, 1777.

  Sir,

A letter from a person unknown to you but by name, had need of a long
introduction to apologise for the address, but not being a man of
ceremony myself, and besides having but little time for formality, I
content myself with saying, that engaged in the same cause with
yourself, I have assisted Mr Deane since his arrival in Europe, and
know intimately well our affairs abroad, their situation here, and in
such Courts, where it has been thought necessary to address ourselves
for countenance and assistance. I have of course been no stranger to
your correspondence, and have been sorry to find so punctual a
correspondent should have any reason to complain of the want of
punctuality in others. This is not owing to want of inclination in Mr
Deane, but to the multiplicity of business which occupies his whole
time; for Mr Lee is absent, being at Berlin, where I first broke the
ice last autumn,[1] and the age of Dr Franklin in some measure hinders
him from taking so active a part in the drudgery of business as his
great zeal and abilities would otherwise enable him to execute. He is
the master to whom we children in politics all look up for counsel,
and whose name is everywhere a passport, to be well received. As I
trouble you therefore with forwarding some letters to my friends, I
wish to pay the postage by any European intelligence in my power to
communicate.

I have another motive to incite me, which is, that I think your
situation of singular consequence to bring on a war so necessary to
assure our independence, and which the weak system of this Court seems
studiously to avoid. Either from this weakness, or from a jealousy,
that by a precipitate interference, our independence would be too soon
and too formidably established, the Court shuns everything in Europe
which might appear a glaring violation of their treaties with England.
This line of conduct has delayed the stores so long promised, and at
last sends to Martinique, what ought to have been on the continent in
February at furthest. This occasioned the loss of the Seine, which was
despatched half laden, that such necessary articles as tents and
fusils, might get early to America, the captain having positive orders
to proceed thither without touching at the Islands, and I myself
protested to the ship's owners, that Mr Deane would have no concern in
the risk, if on any account but stress of weather, the vessel
proceeded to the West Indies. As such is their miserable policy, it is
our business to force on a war, in spite of their inclinations to the
contrary, for which purpose, I see nothing so likely as fitting out
privateers from the ports and Islands of France. Here we are too near
the sun and the business is dangerous; with you it may be done more
easily, and indeed has already been attended with happy effects, as
you will see by the enclosed copy of a letter from the Chamber of
Commerce at Liverpool to that of Bristol. The natural antipathy of the
nation is such, that their passions being once fully excited, they
will proceed to such acts of reprisal and mutual violence, as will
occasion clamors and altercations, which no soft words can palliate.
As I pretend to know something of the counsels of both nations, I know
there are strong advocates for war in both. The more reasons they have
to produce in favor of their system, the sooner it will be adopted.

In England, when General Howe's successes in the Jersies, and the
prospect of getting possession of Philadelphia, made the Ministry hope
for a speedy termination of their dispute with us, I know war with
France was nearly determined on. The insolence of apparent success
dictated that Memorial, which Sir Joseph Yorke presented to their High
Mightinesses, and which you have undoubtedly seen. One of a still more
insolent nature was prepared and even sent to Lord Stormont here, and
a refusal and even delay of compliance with the requisitions therein
made, was to have been the harbinger of war, and the immediate
destruction of the French commerce and Islands. Happily for our
enemies, the news of our success at Trenton prevented its delivery.

In France, the nation and some of the Ministers wish to act
vigorously, but are retarded in all their operations by the imbecility
of age, or the more powerful operation of English gold. As the English
Ministry seem convinced of the pacific, or rather undecided, state of
the rulers here, they hasten, by the most vigorous exertions against
us, to end the war, and are less reserved in the treatment of the
French prisoners abroad. Could they be provoked to unequivocal proofs
of violence, it would be a good point gained. This your situation may
bring about, by encouraging the arming of vessels manned by Frenchmen,
and by prompting the captains to provoke unjustifiable reprisals, on
the part of the inhabitants of the English Islands.

To you, filled with liberal ideas, and a high sense of the interest of
the French nation, to give us powerful support, these hints may appear
extraordinary, but from experience I can assure you, that public
councils, at least in Europe, are directed more by caprice, or the
interest of _individuals_, than by a generous concern for the whole.
At a distance, we think more of the wisdom of statesmen than they
merit. The nearer we approach them the less is our reverence. If our
enemies are not successful, they mean to close with us on the best
terms they can, sensible, that if this great effort does not succeed,
they have little to hope in future. This is an animating reason for us
to persevere in the glorious contest. In the meantime, it is our
business to keep up the spirits of our common people to the utmost.
For which reason, what I write you is in confidence, or for the
inspection of the Committee only, if it may be thought to merit their
notice.

The English have completed their loan among themselves. No foreigners
have assisted them, although the terms to the lender are better than
any yet offered by that nation, except once. Foreigners know that they
have yet several millions to fund, for which they must offer still
better terms. The Spaniards have refused the mediation of France and
England in their dispute with Portugal, being determined to prosecute
the war until Portugal demands peace, and makes reparation. They have
taken the important Island of St Catharine's, on the coast of Brazil,
without loss, and mean vigorously to prosecute their operations on
Brazil. This I have from undoubted authority, one of the family
Ministers. A report prevails, that the Indians of the east have fallen
on their oppressors, and have taken Madras. India stock has,
consequently, fallen. Both France and Spain continue their armaments
as if preparing for some great event. This obliges England to do the
same. All their naval and army contracts are for five years, and they
employ as many workmen in their dock yards, as they did in the height
of the last war. You will serve us essentially, by pushing the
cruisers who visit you into the European seas, particularly those of
the north, in the months of August, September, and October, directing
them to send their prizes into France or Spain. It would render our
negotiation with Prussia more successful, if a tobacco ship could by
any means be pushed into Emden, which ship might make her returns in
manufactures necessary for us, and fifteen or twenty per cent cheaper
than we can have them here. Urge it to the honorable Committee.

I am, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

_P. S._ Two vessels with stores are just despatched from different
ports. Forward them, my Dear Sir, immediately to our dear country.
Captains Wickes, Johnson, and Nicholson, have just destroyed sixteen
vessels on the English and Irish coast. I am despatching Conyngham
from hence on the same business in a privateer. I begin to think war
unavoidable.

                                                                 W. C.

_Dunkirk, July 6th._


FOOTNOTES:

[1] Mr Carmichael's letters from Berlin, if he ever wrote any, are
missing.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                            Yorktown, June 17th, 1778.

  Sir,

Since my arrival here, I have been informed of the honor conferred on
me by Congress, in being appointed Secretary to the Commissioners at
the Court of France, an honor which greatly overpays the feeble
efforts of my zeal, and is more than I could expect, considering the
well founded pretensions of others to their notice.

I beg leave through you, Sir, to express my grateful sensibility of
this proof of their confidence, as well as the ardent desire I have of
meriting it in future.[2]

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.


FOOTNOTES:

[2] It does not appear that Mr Carmichael ever accepted this
appointment. He was chosen a delegate to Congress from Maryland, and
joined that body on the 19th of November, 1778.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                Off Reedy Island, November 25th, 1779.

  Sir,

I received at Chester, the copies of the resolves, you did me the
honor to enclose me, and shall punctually comply with your request, by
forwarding them as soon as I arrive, to Dr Franklin and Mr Johnson. I
am sorry that the business with respect to the latter, is left in its
present state, because there are very few men, who neglect a certain
and profitable occupation, to engage in another where they are sure of
offending, without an equal certainty of an adequate reward for their
trouble and impartiality.

I am much obliged to you for your good wishes, although I must
candidly own they would be still more agreeable accompanied by a ship
of the line, for we are informed that the Romulus and Roebuck, are
waiting for us to intercept us, and were they animated, would, like
the Death and Sin of Milton, bless their lucky stars 'destined to that
good hour.' I beg you to make the proper compliments for me to the
gentlemen of your family.

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

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                      Martinique, December 27th, 1779.

  Sir,

I take the liberty of enclosing to your Excellency, a paper containing
a relation of a late affair, between part of the small squadron
commanded by M. la Motte Piquet, and the English fleet, under the
orders of Sir Peter Parker. It was given me by direction of the French
Admiral, that a true account of this action, which has done him much
honor here, might be published in America.

On the 23d of this month, Admiral Arbuthnot arrived at Barbadoes with
six or seven sail of the line, and sixteen regiments. An attack on the
Grenadas or Dominica, is daily expected. The latter is well fortified
and garrisoned by twelve hundred men. The Marquis de Bouillè seems to
have no apprehensions for any of their Islands, except those lately
taken from the enemy.

Mr Jay informs Congress by this opportunity, of the misfortune which
befel us, and the reasons which induced the officers to bring the ship
to this Island.[3] I can only express my regret for the delay, which
this accident will occasion in the execution of the business with
which Congress has done us the honor to intrust us. With the highest
sentiments of respect,

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.


FOOTNOTES:

[3] See _Jay's Correspondence_, Vol. VII. p. 174.

       *       *       *       *       *

                             TO JOHN JAY.

                                          Madrid, February 18th, 1780.

  Dear Sir,

I did myself the honor of writing to you by a courier whom the French
Ambassador despatched to Cadiz yesterday morning; since which, I have
been introduced to their Excellencies, delivered your letter to the
latter, and explained to the former the reasons, which induce you to
address the other, with which he was perfectly satisfied. Don Joseph
de Galves told me, that he should give your letter to the Count de
Florida Blanca, whose business it was to lay it before the King, and
receive his orders on the subject, and that the Count or himself would
be directed to answer it. I repeated the substance of your
instructions to me as far as they respect him, and was answered, that
he would take an opportunity of conversing with me on our affairs, and
would inform me through the French Ambassador, when it would be
convenient for him to receive me. Some compliments passed with respect
to the characters he had received of us, which it is unnecessary to
repeat.

The Count de Florida Blanca told me that he would lay your letter
before the King the same night for his consideration. I took this
opportunity of mentioning the pleasure it would give Congress to hear
of your reception at Madrid, from the earnest desire they had to
cultivate the King's friendship, that their expectations were
sanguine, having been led to believe the dispositions of the Court
were favorable, by the suggestions of persons supposed to be well
acquainted with its intentions, that the hopes of the people were also
great, and I hinted, that there were several vessels about to sail
from Bilboa, and the ports of France, by which you would be happy to
communicate this news to Congress, and to gratify the expectations of
the people.

He then told me he had informed the King of your arrival at Cadiz,
although they had understood your original destination was to France;
that the King had ordered him to receive your overtures, and that I
was at liberty to give you this information, and after a pause, added,
that on Monday he hoped to have it in his power to return an answer.
You will please to observe, that it had not been read by either when
this conversation passed. He also told me, that he would take an
opportunity to converse with me, and would inform me when it would be
convenient for him to see me through the channel beforementioned.

On Monday next I go to the Pardo, by their appointment. Here I see
every day a person, who I believe to be sent by them to converse with
me, although I appear to know nothing of his connexion with the Court.
I think you may make the necessary preparations for your journey on
the receipt of this. Messrs Adams and Dana were at Bordeaux the 2d
instant. They mean to proceed to Amsterdam from thence, so that the
plan spoken of has taken place. They go in a good time, as the Dutch
are at present much irritated against Great Britain.

Mr Arthur Lee corresponded with the Count de Florida Blanca, but if I
am well informed, the correspondence consisted of American news on the
one part, and compliment on the other.[4] M. Gerard leaves this
tomorrow, he has had conversations with the Spanish Ministers, of
about two hours at one time and three at another. I am in a way of
obtaining most of the information you desired. I beg you to present
the proper compliments to your lady and Colonel Livingston.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.


FOOTNOTES:

[4] See _Arthur Lee's Correspondence_, Vol. II. pp. 36-54.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                          Madrid, February 19th, 1780.

  Sir,

The short time I remained at Cadiz, and the constant employment in
which I was engaged of copying Mr Jay's letters and making the
necessary preparations for my journey, prevented me from doing myself
the honor of writing to your Excellency from thence. But having now an
opportunity by M. Gerard to France, and an offer from M. Gardoqui to
forward my letters by the way of Bilboa, I enclose to Congress copies
of those I have written to Mr Jay since my arrival in this city, as
they contain the most material intelligence I have been able to
procure. I have every reason to be pleased with the disposition of
those whom I have seen here, as well foreigners as natives, and I
cannot sufficiently express my gratitude for the liberal and friendly
manner in which I have been received by the Count de Montmorin, the
Ambassador of France, which I should impute entirely to M. Gerard's
good offices, was not his own good will and desire to conform to the
favorable disposition of his Court apparent. M. Gerard in the circle
of foreign Ministers, is more of an American than a Frenchman, and I
should do him injustice if I did not mention it.

The English squadron sailed from Gibraltar the 13th instant, and part
of it is said to be destined for the West Indies. The French will have
seventytwo sail of the line in actual service this year. The troops,
at the disposition of the person mentioned in the first[5] letter to
Mr Jay, will amount to near four thousand, and consist chiefly of
Germans; six sail of the line will escort them, and I am well informed
they will sail in less than two months. It is said the English
Ministry will be able to procure the necessary supplies for the
present year, owing to their late successes. I beg leave, through your
Excellency, to assure Congress of my unremitted attention to merit the
confidence reposed in me.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.


FOOTNOTES:

[5] See _Jay's Correspondence_, Vol. VII. p. 207.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                             Aranjues, May 28th, 1780.

  Gentlemen,

Mr Jay having judged it proper for me to reside at this place while
the Court remains here, I did not know until his letters for Congress
were closed, that Mr Harrison, who charges himself with the care of
them to Cadiz, was on the point of setting out from Madrid for that
city. This prevented me from assisting him in copying papers, which he
tells me he has transmitted by this opportunity. I regret exceedingly,
my not having received earlier information, because I wished to convey
several papers, which I do not choose to trust to the ordinary post.
Our situation in this respect is very disagreeable and delicate, for
we can neither send nor receive letters without their being subject to
the inspection of others, and, indeed, we have sometimes the
mortification to hear of the arrival of letters from America in the
sea-ports, which, notwithstanding, never reach us. Our opportunities
of information thus become very precarious, and I am much afraid, that
the same cause will frequently interrupt our correspondence with
Congress.

Before Mr Jay arrived in the capital, I did myself the honor to inform
his Excellency, the President, of my arrival at Madrid, and enclosed
him copies of the letters I wrote to Mr Jay, on the subject of his
reception, and of the disposition in which the Court appeared to be.
As I sent several copies of these letters, I subjoined all that
occurred worthy of the notice of Congress in the interval of the
departure of several copies. Not having had any instructions to
address myself to Congress, unless in the absence of Mr Jay, or in
case of any event that deprived the public of his services, I know not
whether I may not appear officious at present; particularly as I have
already communicated to him regularly, all the intelligence I have
been able to procure, as also my reflections on that intelligence,
which his ability and long experience in affairs, will enable him to
put in a much clearer point of view than I can pretend to do. If I
err, I hope the Committee will set me right, and instruct me how to
conduct myself in future.

The King, the Prince of Asturias, and the Ministry, appear favorable
to our cause, but I am much afraid their ability to assist us in the
article of money, is neither equal to our expectations, or their
desires to serve us. The papers sent by Mr Jay, will show the
sentiments of this Court with respect to the object of his mission. I
think the negotiation will be attended with more delay than Congress
had reason to apprehend when we left America. This Court manifest a
strong desire of excluding every other nation from the navigation of
the Mississippi, and indeed of the Gulf of Mexico. The situation of
the affairs of America will undoubtedly regulate the conduct of
Congress on this subject, and I hope it will be such as to enable them
to adhere to the rights of all the States.

Our enemies are making use of the time before Spain takes a decided
opinion, to sow jealousies between us. Governor Johnson sounded the
dispositions of this Court early last winter. At the close of it Sir
John Dalrymple obtained permission to come to Madrid, on the pretence
of the bad state of health of his lady. His strange Memorial to the
Count de Florida Blanca, is transmitted to you.[6] I have no doubts
that other attempts will be made to bring about a negotiation. If they
succeed no better than Sir John's, we shall not have much to apprehend
on that score. The Count de Florida Blanca appears to act with much
candor, and gives Mr Jay such strong and frequent assurances of the
King's favorable intentions, and his own disposition to second them,
that I hope we may rely on what he tells us. His character for probity
is high in this country, and among the foreign Ministers at this
Court. As I have frequent opportunities of mixing with the latter, I
have not omitted to give them proper impressions of our strength,
union, and firmness, without seeming too solicitous to do it. It is
possible, that if the neutral maritime powers were fully persuaded of
this unanimity and firmness, and were sincerely disposed to bring
about a peace, instead of regarding with pleasure the mutual losses of
the House of Bourbon and Great Britain, they might end the war by
declaring their disposition to acknowledge our independence.

The King of Prussia seems to be a cool calculator, prepared to profit
by the general distress. Denmark is influenced by Russia, and Sweden
by France. Great Britain also still retains some influence in Denmark.
The Court of Vienna will be adverse to us, as long as the Empress
Queen exists. How the Emperor is inclined, I do not know. Sardinia and
Portugal are friendly and attached to England. The Dutch are divided
into parties, neither of which is strong enough to give firmness and
decision to the conduct of the Republic. The Stadtholder and his party
find means to thwart and retard all the vigorous resolves, which the
French and republican party engage the state to enter into, to support
their honor and dignity. The hopes entertained in Great Britain of the
influence of the former party, and the proneness of the King and his
Ministers to violent measures, induced the late extraordinary conduct
of that Court, with respect to the Dutch. They will submit to this and
more, rather than go to war. If the Empress of Russia is determined to
support her late declaration, and to coincide effectually with the
powers whom she has invited to accede to it, Great Britain must,
however, recede from her present conduct, or offend highly the neutral
powers.

The negotiation between Russia and Holland proceeds slowly. The Court
party in England has gained once more its superiority in Parliament; a
feigned sickness of the speaker, Sir Fletcher Norton, gave the
Minister time to rally his forces, since which opposition grows more
feeble every day. That of Ireland, for want of system and union among
its members, and by the promises of places and honors, is a little
staggered. There is however a fermentation in both nations, which the
continuance of the war and its consequent distresses will probably
increase, if not bring to maturity. The distresses of our army last
winter, the depreciation of our paper money, the exaggerated accounts
of our divisions, and our apparent inactivity, have had a bad effect
in Europe, which I hope the firmness and unanimity of Congress, added
to the exertions of our ally, and those of this Court, will entirely
efface.

The expedition, which sailed from Cadiz the 28th ultimo, consisting of
twelve sail of the line, besides frigates, and eleven thousand five
hundred men, proceeds to the Windward Islands, and there joins M. de
Guichen, or goes against Jamaica or the Floridas, as circumstances may
render it proper. Another expedition from France, follows M. Ternay's,
I believe, to reinforce M. de Guichen, who, if I am not deceived, will
join the Spaniards to the leeward in the hurricane months, and if
necessary and practicable, send eight or ten ships to our coasts in
the beginning of the autumn. This depends, however, much on the
events of war. Spain in concurrence with France, will have between
forty and fifty sail of the line, to oppose the grand English fleet,
which I am informed will sail the last of this month or the beginning
of next. The allied fleet is not in such readiness. Strong interest is
making for the Count d'Estaing to command in chief, and I think he
will be nominated.

A very little time will determine the fate of the bills drawn on Mr
Jay. I received the first last week, in a letter from M. Nesbitt of
L'Orient who very prudently did not negotiate it, until he consulted
me on the subject. I am also informed, that bills on Mr Laurens are in
circulation, and we have not yet heard of his arrival. I have written
to Dr Franklin, and Messrs Adams and Dana, and if I have not heard
from them oftener, I impute it to the miscarriage of their letters,
which was the case of those of Dr Franklin, the first two months after
my arrival at Madrid. Mr Jay will transmit an account of the revenues,
and expenses of Spain, with which I have furnished him, which will
show, that Congress cannot depend on such pecuniary assistance from
this nation as they expected.

Mr Jay's situation has been particularly disagreeable; the sum
allotted by Congress, by no means accords with his necessary expenses,
even if he received his salary as it became due. I do not complain,
although I have been obliged since my departure from America to expend
more than six hundred and fifty pounds sterling, and have not as yet
received more than two hundred pounds of my salary. Almost everything
that passes, even in Congress, is known here, either by intercepted
letters, or otherwise. You, Gentlemen, will conceive, how delicate Mr
Jay's situation must be, if he delivers faithfully his sentiments of
men and measures. I must repeat again, however, that there is a great
appearance of candor and good faith. The Count de Florida Blanca, and
M. Galvez speak with much apparent civility and frankness, and seem
desirous of doing all that is possible to succor us consistent with
the actual situation of their finances, the former particularly. I
have sent a copy of this via Bilboa, and another from Cadiz. I have
not yet had the pleasure of receiving one letter from any one member
of Congress.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.


FOOTNOTES:

[6] See this Memorial in _John Jay's Correspondence_, Vol. VII. p.
268.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                              Madrid, July 17th, 1780.

  Gentlemen,

Since writing the preceding letter, bills to the amount of about
fifteen thousand dollars have been presented, and at a time when the
news of our misfortune at Charleston made an impression much to our
disadvantage. These bills however are accepted, and the Count de
Florida Blanca appears to interest himself more than ever in
contributing to aid us, repeating in the strongest manner his Catholic
Majesty's favorable intentions. What he hinted at with respect to the
attempts of the enemy, to thwart Mr Jay's negotiations has proved
true. A Mr Cumberland, Secretary to Lord George Germain, has obtained
permission to come to Madrid, and is actually here at present. But as
his Excellency has promised to communicate his proposals, whatever
they may be, on the subject of an accommodation, we cannot entertain a
doubt, but that he will do it with the same frankness, with which he
made known to us those of Sir John Dalrymple. The Count de Montmorin,
Ambassador for France here, is not the least alarmed by the reception
of this gentleman, and that Court is full as much interested as we are
in the object for which he is sent. Mr Jay will transmit to Congress a
narrative, which I have given him, of this gentleman's motions.

We have likewise received an account of the death of M. Miralles. He
will soon have a successor, by whom we shall write more fully, and I
hope more to the satisfaction of Congress. Nothing can hurt us here,
or in Europe, so long as we are united, firm, and vigorous. I
experienced at first a little coldness from the foreign Ministers at
this Court, after the news of the surrender of Charleston, but that is
worn off.

The public papers will announce the disturbances, which have lately
arisen at London; all is at present quiet in that quarter, and
government seems to have acquired fresh confidence and vigor. The
Count d'Estaing is expected at St Ildefonso the 1st of next month, to
go from thence to take the command of the united fleets, which will
consist of thirtysix sail of the line, from Cadiz, including the
French from Toulon, and other French ports, and twelve or fifteen from
Brest. The last advices import that the English squadron amounted to
twentyeight, chiefly capital ships; they left port about the 20th ult.
The rest of Europe is in the same situation that I have already
mentioned.

Since writing my letter of the 28th of May, I received a letter from
the Baron de Schulenburg,[7] of which the enclosed is a copy, in
answer to a civil letter, which I wrote him on my arrival here,
representing the situation of our affairs in a favorable light. I
daily expect another letter from him more particular, in consequence
of an address, which I have transmitted to him, by which he may write
to me in safety. I have cultivated the friendship of the foreign
Ministers and their Secretaries as often as I have had occasion, and
as I have always avoided an appearance of prejudice, I flatter myself,
that I have been listened to with attention. My conduct has been the
same with those of this nation with whom I have found means to be
acquainted, and I doubt not, with time and patience, we shall
ultimately succeed. I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of the
Count de Montmorin, personally or politically. M. Gerard in his
letters to me, expresses the same attachment as ever to our cause, and
his late acquisition of dignity and consequence, puts it more in his
power to be useful to us. As yet, Mr Jay has received but one letter
from Congress, which conveyed their resolves respecting the bills of
exchange drawn on him. I beg leave to acknowledge the receipt of a
letter from Mr Houston last week, which I shall answer, if possible,
by this opportunity.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.


FOOTNOTES:

[7] Missing.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                       St Ildefonso, August 22d, 1780.

  Gentlemen,

In the course of this month I did myself the honor of writing to you
by the General Pickering from Bilboa, and the Captain Kyan from Cadiz,
as also via France. In these letters I informed you of the situation
of our affairs here, and of that of Europe in general; since which, we
have advanced very little. The Minister had informed Mr Jay, on the
5th of July, that he had sent for a person to succeed M. Miralles, and
that on his arrival, arrangements would be made with respect to the
bills presented to Mr Jay for payment, and that he would then enter
into discussions on the other objects of Mr Jay's mission. Before and
since that period, bills to the amount of thirty thousand dollars have
been presented, of which Mr Jay has accepted for fourteen thousand, by
the direction of the Minister, and none of the others have as yet been
protested.

You will see by a state of the finances of this country, which in
compliance with Mr Jay's instructions to me, at my departure from
Cadiz, I have had the honor to give him, that their revenues and
resources since the war have greatly diminished, and that previous to
that period, they were by no means so flourishing as Congress had
reason to suppose. In most of the conferences with the Minister, the
scarcity of cash has been objected more than the want of inclination,
and hints have been thrown out, that it would be much more convenient
for the Court, to grant the United States aids in money from their
possessions in America than in Europe. Although hopes have been as
constantly given, that a part of the sum drawn for would be furnished
at the end of the present year, or commencement of the next, and that
measures in the mean time might be taken to prevent embarrassments, in
case of the arrival of bills after that period, great surprise has
been expressed, that Congress should take such a step without
previously informing the Court of their intentions, and obtaining its
approbation of the measure. Congress will therefore judge of the
propriety of disposing of any bills, that may remain unsold, until it
is fully ascertained, that they will be punctually paid. Mr Jay, now
at Madrid, where the death of his child, and the consequent distresses
of his family, detain him a few days, will undoubtedly transmit more
ample intelligence on this subject, with the various papers in his
possession necessary to explain it. This Court has been obliged to
make considerable loans, for their own current expenses, the nature of
which I hope to be able to explain in a future letter. It has lately
obtained seven millions, five hundred thousand current dollars, in
France and elsewhere. The loan is for nine millions, and from the
nature of it will create a temporary paper circulation to that amount
in this kingdom. I shall transmit to Congress, as soon as it becomes
public, a full detail of its operations.

Mr Cumberland, whom I mentioned in my last, and whose name you will
find in all the European gazettes, is still at Madrid, from whence he
has lately had permission to send a courier to London, but as the
Spanish Minister has engaged to impart any serious proposals he may
make, and as the French Ambassador expresses no uneasiness from the
residence of this gentleman in Spain, although this circumstance at
this crisis is extraordinary, we cannot presume there can be solid
ground for apprehension. Considerable revolutions, however, have
happened in the system of politics of this country, ever since the
accession of the House of Bourbon, and where governments are often
more influenced by the counsels, and sometimes the caprices of
individuals, than from regard to the real and permanent interest of a
nation, there is always something to fear. Congress judging from the
assurances of the Minister, and the King's character, which is
remarkable for steadiness, on the one part, and from the circumstance
of Mr Cumberland's residence here, and the constant endeavors of our
enemies by every insidious art to misrepresent our situation, on the
other, will be best able to draw conclusions from the whole.

The treaty proposed by Russia to the neutral maritime powers, to
secure their commerce, and protect their navigation, has been or will
be acceded to by Sweden, Denmark, the Hanseatic towns, and Holland,
and a Russian squadron is expected in the Channel daily. Portugal, it
is said, influenced by England, will not accede to this treaty, which
will put a stop to the piratical conduct of that country. France and
Spain exclaim, against the partiality of Portugal to Great Britain,
and I have been informed, but I do not pretend to vouch for the
authenticity of the intelligence, that strong representations have
been made to that Court, either to shut its ports against the armed
vessels of the nations at war, or to take a part in it. The French
Minister to that Court said something to the same purpose to me at
Madrid, on his way to Lisbon. The English at present sell their prizes
there, without the formality of condemnation.

The Count d'Estaing is now here, and on every occasion manifests the
strongest attachment to the United States and their interests. The
general opinion gives him the command of a part, if not the whole of
the combined fleets, which amount to thirty six sail of the line, now
at sea, commanded by M. Cordova. The English fleet under Geary, is
also cruizing between Ushant and Cape St Vincent, to prevent the
junction of the ships from Brest and Ferrol with the Spanish Admiral,
and to protect their outward end homeward bound convoys, and to
intercept those of the allies.

I had written thus far, when a courier arrived with the important news
of the combined fleets having fallen in with, and taken fiftysix sail
out of sixty, destined to the East and West Indies, Madeira and
Quebec. I have requested Mr Harrison at Cadiz to enclose to the
Committee a list of the prizes, and the nature of their cargoes, as it
has not yet been received here. This will be severely felt in England,
and will occasion more clamor against the Ministry, than all their
naval losses since the war. Mr Jay has heard from Congress but once
since we have been in Spain, and very seldom from our other
correspondents, the last letters from Paris, mention that Messrs
Franklin, Adams, and Dana, were well, and that Mr Adams was going to
Holland.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

_P. S._ Since sending off a copy of the preceding letter, I have the
pleasure to inform you, that the gentleman expected by the Minister
has arrived, and proves to be Don Diego Gardoqui, who is already known
by his former correspondence with America. Our affairs are once more
in train, some bills have been accepted since his arrival, but nothing
certain has been as yet determined, and indeed I fear the Court is too
much pressed for money, to do anything considerable for us here in
that way. Probably this gentleman will be sent to America, by whom we
shall have an opportunity, I hope, of conveying the final
determination of the Court with respect to our affairs. The
navigation of the Mississippi appears to be the great, and if we can
credit the assertions of men in power, the sole obstacle.

Mr Cumberland has been here, and is expected again with his family in
a few days. I have been informed, that he has offered on the part of
Great Britain, to restore to Spain what they lost by the treaty of
Paris, and has been permitted to reside at this Court in expectation
of being authorised to make further concessions, and indeed on no
other principle can I account for his residence here at this crisis. I
mentioned in my letter of the 22d ult., that representations had been
made to the Court of Portugal, either to shut its ports against the
armed vessels of all nations at war, or take a part in it. I have the
honor to inform you, that the above Court has consented to the first
of these propositions, although this is not yet public. Another vessel
has arrived at Nantes from Philadelphia, by which neither Mr Jay nor
myself have received any letters. The Russian fleet, consisting of
fifteen sail of the line, and four frigates, is arrived in England.
Admiral Geary returned to Spithead the 19th ult. This fleet, it is
said, will soon be sent to sea, although he had upwards of two
thousand sick when he returned to port. Stocks fell considerably in
England when the news arrived of the loss of the convoy
beforementioned.

A fleet of seven sail of the line sailed from Ferrol the 22d ult. to
convoy off the coast a fleet of transports for the French islands, and
probably to cruise to intercept the homeward and outward bound fleets
of the enemy. This circumstance joined to the late loss of the convoy,
has raised insurance prodigiously in London. The Parliament does not
meet until the 28th of September.

                                                                 W. C.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                    St Ildefonso, September 9th, 1780.

  Gentlemen,

I did myself the honor of writing to you the 6th instant, via Cadiz,
Bilboa, and France, informing you that the person mentioned in my
letters of last month, as chosen by the Minister to succeed M.
Miralles, had arrived here, and proves to be M. James Gardoqui, and
that since his arrival, our affairs are once more in train. I also
mentioned that the Ministry were negotiating loans, to answer
extraordinary expenses. I expected to have been able to send the
Committee a full account of the nature of these loans, as I founded my
hopes of the Court's paying the bills drawn on Mr Jay, by means of the
supplies obtained in this way. I am therefore very sorry to inform the
Committee, that the success of the most considerable has not answered
the expectations of the Ministers, and what is worse, they impute its
failure to the interference of M. Necker and others, influenced by
that Minister, which has created a soreness, that for the moment must
be disagreeable to our ally, and may be disadvantageous to us, unless
more important considerations obviate the ill effects to be
apprehended from such disappointment, and the personal disgust and
resentment consequent thereof.

A person with whom I am well acquainted, is the projector of the loan
abovementioned, and although for near three months I have known that
such a measure was in agitation, I was not able to discover the plan,
it having been preserved with great secrecy, in order to secure its
successful and complete operation. As this measure is so far important
to Congress, as it may influence the conduct of the Court with
respect to money matters, and affect the credit of the nation in
future, on which all the vigor of military operations in a great
measure depends, I will endeavor to give the outlines of the money
negotiation to the Committee, and will forward the plan and the King's
ordinance thereon as soon as I receive them.

The original design of this loan was to procure nine millions of
dollars, or thirtysix millions of livres in four months, and possibly
to enlarge the sum according to exigencies. The projector was to
receive ten per cent for expenses and profit, which he was at liberty
to divide as he thought proper with the original lenders. To these, I
think, he gave three, or three and a half per cent for the use of
their money for four months, which money they were to remit in bills
of exchange on Spain, and to redraw at the end of four months for
their principal and interest. The great secret of the operation is,
that government instead of repaying their bills in specie, issues
paper to repay them, the credit of which is guarantied by the Crown
and the different Chambers or Councils of the Kingdom, viz of Castile,
&c. &c. This paper bears an interest of four per cent. A _cedula_, or
royal ordinance, will be published the 20th or 21st of this month,
which gives it currency, and inflicts severe penalties on any one who
refuses it as a legal payment. M. Necker did not discover the latter
part of the scheme until large sums had been remitted from France, and
I suppose, fearing that its operation would be complete before his
representations of what he thought its evil tendency, could be
attended to here, he immediately gave orders not to receive the bills
of exchange of the houses concerned in this measure at the _Caisse
Royale_ in France. Besides, the house of Gerardot, Haller & Co. one of
the most considerable in Europe, and of which he was once the head,
and his brother is still a partner, wrote circular letters to all
parts of Europe discrediting the loan.

The consequence has been, that the persons in France and elsewhere,
whose bills were refused at the _Caisse Royale_ have been pushed here
so hard by their creditors, that the Spanish government has been
obliged to make considerable remittances to support their credit, that
further advances of money have been stopped, and that bills of
exchange on Spain have sold at a loss of one and one and a half per
cent. This has irritated the merchants here, and perhaps we may be the
innocent victims. For I am persuaded, that Spain, without obtaining it
by loans, has not money in Europe to afford us considerable aids, how
great soever her inclination may be to assist us, and I think the
Committee will be of the same opinion, on reading the information I
gave Mr Jay on the subject of the revenues of this country, in
consequence of his instructions to me at Cadiz.

I shall be happy to have it in my power to inform the Committee, that
my apprehensions have been ill grounded.

The fate of our bills must soon be determined. More than forty
thousand dollars have been presented, of which the amount of about
fourteen thousand have been accepted by order of the Minister. The
Count d'Estaing will leave this in a few days, and go to Cadiz; by the
time he can arrive at that port, the whole of the combined fleet will
be assembled; thirtysix sail are now at Cadiz, seven on a cruise, and
two of a hundred and one hundred and ten guns are on their voyage from
Brest. The Count will urge a vigorous and decisive conduct, and seems
to enjoy the King's esteem, and the good will of most of the Ministers
and Courtiers.

The English emissary, Mr Cumberland, is still at Madrid, and is
permitted to receive from and send couriers to London. The conduct of
the Court appears unaccountable, and I cannot persuade myself, that it
can be agreeable to France, although the Count de Montmorin frequently
assures me, that we need not have any inquietude on account of the
gentleman's residence. He no doubt, however, endeavors to insinuate
many things to our disadvantage, and makes propositions to alienate
Spain from the alliance with France, and from supporting the United
States. Those about him are perpetually circulating bad news from
America, and assert with confidence, that several States and many
individuals in others, are negotiating to make their peace with Great
Britain. Spain may possibly be amusing his employers, as he is
employed to amuse the Spanish Ministry.

The treaty for an armed neutrality was signed by Sweden the 4th of
August; Denmark had not signed it the 8th of the same month, but there
is no doubt she will. The English party in Holland opposed and
retarded it there as long as possible, and finally clogged it with
such conditions as they hope will prostrate the negotiation; for
instance, they propose to the contracting powers, to guaranty all
their possessions in Europe, Asia, and America, but as the States have
gone so far, they will scarce recede, should this article be refused
by the others. The eyes of Europe are anxiously turned to America and
the West Indies; the friends of liberty hope everything from our union
and perseverance, and the expectations of our enemies are founded on
the reverse. Neither Mr Jay nor myself have received letters from
Congress since we left America, except one from the Committee,
enclosing the bills of exchange, so that we are without intelligence,
without money, or the certainty of conveying to Congress as regularly
as we wish, the information necessary for them to receive, which will
plead my apology with the Committee for the repetitions they will meet
in this letter of what several other letters contain.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

_P. S._ The declaration of Portugal, shutting their ports against the
armed vessels of the nations at war, which I mentioned in a letter of
the 6th, has not yet been made public. It is supposed that the present
Parliament will be dissolved and a new one called, while the influence
of the present Ministry continues high. Considering the scarcity of
cash in this country, and the present situation of affairs, perhaps
Congress will do well to stop drawing on Mr Jay, until they receive
information that their bills will be paid punctually. There appears no
forwardness in this Court to enter into treaty; the navigation of the
Mississippi is the great obstacle; the situation of America will guide
the determinations of Congress, and I hope it will be such as to
enable them to preserve the rights of all the States. Negotiations
will, probably, be set on foot this winter, and it is likely this
Court will be the theatre of them. As Spain has as yet taken no
decided part in our revolution, England will rather choose to apply to
this Court, and keep up the old idea of restoring peace by her
mediation, than that of Versailles. Hints have been given, that it
would be more convenient for Spain to furnish the States with money in
America than here, but as they seem to think that America has not
proposed an equivalent for what they demand, I am afraid assistance
will be given very faintly.

                                                                 W. C.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                   St Ildefonso, September 25th, 1780.

  Gentlemen,

I did myself the honor of addressing you the 6th and 9th instant, and
in the latter expressed an apprehension, that Congress would not
receive the pecuniary aid they expected in this country. I am now
sorry to inform you, that on the 13th, Mr Jay was told by order of the
Minister, that their own exigencies would not permit the King to
provide funds for the payment of more of the bills than had been
already accepted. I make no reflections on this event, and hope the
Committee will suspend theirs, until Congress shall have received from
Mr Jay, a relation of all that has passed here since the month of June
last, with the papers necessary to elucidate it. In a day or two after
the above information, his Majesty was pleased to offer his
responsibility to facilitate a loan for one hundred and fifty thousand
dollars in favor of the United States, and to promise some clothing,
&c. &c.

On the 23d, Mr Jay had a long conference with the Count de Florida
Blanca, the particulars of which I immediately reduced to writing, as
I have done with respect to others which preceded this, copies of the
most material parts of which Mr Jay will, probably, forward to
Congress with his other despatches. In this conference, the Count
spoke with much pleasure of a resolution of Congress, permitting the
exportation of flour, for the use of the Spanish fleets and armies in
the West Indies, as also of measures taken by them to make a
diversion to the southward, to facilitate their operations against
Pensacola, &c. &c. He said to Mr Jay, that the King had directed him
to convey his thanks to Congress for those marks of their friendly
disposition, and gave the strongest assurances, that his Majesty would
never consent to a pacification, which did not include the interests
of America, declaring at the same time, that the negotiations for
peace were more remote than ever, although, as he observed, the King
had been offered all he could desire from England, in order to induce
him to a separate peace. He informed Mr Jay he had received
intelligence, that Great Britain once more proposed to send
Commissioners to treat with Congress, that this measure was under the
consideration of the Privy Council, and would, probably, be adopted.

I seize the earliest opportunity of conveying to the Committee thus
much of the conference, as most important for Congress to know, to
which I add, that the Minister promised to take immediate measures for
putting it in the power of Mr Jay, to evidence and avail himself of
the responsibility of the King, and forwarding from Cadiz clothing for
ten regiments, for the use of the American army. In the course of this
conference, the Count de Florida Blanca asserted with warmth, that the
King would never relinquish the navigation of the Mississippi, and the
Ministry regarded the exclusive right to it as the principal advantage
Spain would obtain by the war. This being the bar to the treaty, it
seems not improbable, that this Court will not be in a hurry to treat
with us, but rather trust to her interest in a general Congress for
peace to obtain her favorite objects, preserving, in the meantime,
such a line of conduct, as will enable her, in some measure, to be a
mediator in it, with which idea she has been, and is flattered by
England.

Mr Cumberland, whom I have frequently mentioned in former letters,
still remains at Madrid. The Abbé Hussey, his coadjutor, has just
received a passport to go to Lisbon, from whence he will, probably,
embark for London, and return with the ultimatum of that Court, and
intelligence for the Spanish Minister, for it is not improbable, he
may be a better spy than negotiator. All this, however, is conjecture.
In all probability, great efforts will be made next campaign in
America, if the war continues, as we are told it will. The great
objects of it are in that part of the world. France is engaged at all
hazards to support our independence, and will do it, and Spain is
desirous of possessing the entire navigation of the Gulf of Mexico. I
take the liberty of repeating these reflections to the Committee, as
they arise from conversations on this subject with persons in a
situation to be well informed.

The different powers at war will, however, find some difficulty to
procure money. England has not completed her last loans. France has
begun to tax, and must continue to do so, notwithstanding the great
economy of their Minister of Finances. The last operations of this
Court to procure money, of which I gave the Committee a sketch in my
last letter, and the state of the revenues, which I gave Mr Jay in my
answer to his instructions, will show them the wants of this country.
The interference of M. Necker in the operation beforementioned,
deprived this Court of near two millions of _pesos_, and greatly
irritated the Ministry. I hope, however, their resentments have
subsided. This failure, they give as one reason for not being able to
advance the money we expected, to enable Mr Jay to pay the bills
drawn on him by Congress. Mr Jay has, however, at all hazards,
accepted those which have been presented, and is taking every step in
his power to provide money to pay them, as also those that may be
disposed of in America, previous to the advice he has given Congress
on this head.

The English Ministry are likely to have a large majority in the new
Parliament, which is generally the case in time of war. The great
neutral maritime powers of Europe, seem to regard the present war as
an event favorable to the augmentation of their commerce, and will,
probably, do so, until one or the other of the contending parties
engaged in it appear to have a decided superiority. Portugal seems
better disposed to the allies than heretofore. This change is,
probably, the result of fear, more than of affection. The combined
fleet at Cadiz, consists of fortythree sail of the line, besides
frigates, &c. &c. The Count d'Estaing commands the French part of the
fleet, and the whole is in readiness to put to sea. During his
residence at this Court I was frequently with him, and he professes
the same ardent desire to serve us as ever.

I cannot forbear mentioning to the Committee, my sense of the friendly
and polite conduct of the Count de Montmorin to me ever since my
arrival here, nor can I conclude, without remarking the good effects
that our union, vigor, and perseverance have had in Europe. A
continuance of these will render us respectable to our enemies, and of
consequence to our friends.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                           Madrid, October 15th, 1780.

  Gentlemen,

My last to the Committee was of the 25th ultimo, since which time Mr
Jay has received a letter from Dr Franklin, to whom, as well as to the
Count de Vergennes, he wrote on the subject of his disappointment in
money matters here; this letter has given us much pleasure. The Court
of France continues to manifest the same generous conduct towards us
as ever, notwithstanding its own embarrassments for money. It has in
fact agreed to furnish another million of livres, to answer new
demands and old claims. Among the former, Dr Franklin comprised the
twentyfive thousand dollars drawn by the order of Congress on Mr Jay.
Only two bills of that sum have as yet been presented, and between
eighty and one hundred thousand of those first drawn, all of which
have been accepted.

Every post augments the sum, and we are still uncertain whether money
will be procured in time to pay them, particularly should the bills
for the whole soon come to hand. The Minister apparently has
endeavored, and is endeavoring, to procure money for this purpose. M.
Gardoqui, who will probably succeed M. Miralles, and a gentleman who
planned the loan I mentioned in my letter of the 9th ultimo, are
interesting themselves in this business. If either of these gentlemen
can procure money, or if the Crown can obtain it by other means, it is
probable that Mr Jay will be furnished with a part, if not the whole
of the money necessary for this use. But I am still afraid its ability
will not correspond with our wants and our wishes. The Court has given
orders to enable Mr Harrison at Cadiz, to obtain and ship the
clothing for ten regiments, mentioned in my last. This gentleman is a
native of Maryland, is well known in that State, and has on this, as
on all occasions, manifested a disinterested zeal in the service of
his country.

There is no alteration in the political state of Europe since my last,
and no event of consequence in the operations of the war. The
convention for the armed neutrality is not finally concluded, but I am
told the Empress of Russia is determined to maintain the system
proposed by her. The States of Holland have not yet acceded to it.
Their Plenipotentiaries were instructed to add some articles; one of
which is, to procure the restitution of their vessels unlawfully
captured by the English, another to make it a common cause, in case
the Republic should be molested in consequence of her accession, and
also that her possessions in all parts of the world, should be
guarantied by the contracting parties. Their mediation is also
proposed to bring about an accommodation between the powers at war.
These articles in the instructions, were inserted by the friends of
England, in order to retard, if not defeat the measure, so far as it
respected the States. It has leaked out from the Court of Petersburg,
perhaps expressly, that the English Minister at that Court, declared
to the Empress, that the King was disposed to respect the neutrality,
provided Holland was excluded. This has come to the knowledge of the
plenipotentiaries, and it is supposed on being known to the States,
will hasten the conclusion of the affair, which must put an end to the
piratical rapacity of Great Britain, or involve her in new and great
difficulties.

Two Russian vessels, captured and carried into England, have been
released, while Dutch vessels with similar cargoes are condemned. The
Court of Portugal has given orders to equip several vessels of war,
and seems inclined at present to preserve a strict neutrality,
prompted to this more by fear than inclination. The combined fleet is
still at Cadiz, it consists of between forty and fifty sail of the
line, and has provisions on board for six months. The Count d'Estaing
has provided clothing for the winter, for his seamen and marines, and
M. de Guichen is expected with much impatience. His destination is a
secret, but I think he has a strong desire of visiting our part of the
world once more. He will not be inactive, if he can avoid being so.

The Committee will probably take notice of an article in the foreign
papers, which mentions a revolt in Peru. This if true and serious as
represented, would be an event as important as disagreeable. I have as
yet no reason to believe it of the nature represented, if true. The
Ministry have taken no extraordinary measures, in consequence of this
intelligence, except the fitting out some packet boats for that part
of the world, which may be done to obtain more regular advice, than
they have had from thence for some time past. If it should appear,
that there is any foundation for this report, you may depend on my
endeavors to give the earliest and most accurate information I can
obtain with respect to the causes and consequences of such an event.

Mr Jay means to send soon large packets to Congress, to which I beg
leave to refer the Committee for more minute details on the subject of
this and my other letters, than I can furnish it, from not being in
possession of the various papers, and communications which respect
the mission.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                          Madrid, November 28th, 1780.

  Gentlemen,

I did myself the honor of addressing the Committee frequently in the
course of the last month; this letter, therefore, can furnish little
besides a confirmation of what I then believed to be the disposition
of the Court, of the state of Europe, and of this part of it more
particularly, derived from the best information in my power to obtain.

I have in a great measure confined my inquiries to two objects, the
situation of the finances of Spain and its disposition toward us and
our ally. Every day gives me reason to think the former are critically
circumstanced. I know from good authority the ways and means for the
next year are not devised yet, and I have great reason to believe that
the necessary funds cannot be procured by taxation, because the
augmentation of the present year's taxes has not produced what the
Ministry expected, and neither the commerce nor produce of Spain will
permit further efforts in this way. In short, the current expenses of
1780 have exceeded the revenue twentyfive millions of dollars, and
notwithstanding, the arrearages to the public creditors are
considerable.

The loan for nine millions of dollars, mentioned in my former letters,
is not yet completed, in part owing to the obstacles thrown in its way
by M. Necker. The resentment of the Spanish Ministry, which this
interference excited, has not yet subsided, and I am afraid the
prejudices thereby excited will not soon be eradicated, although
common interest may stifle them apparently at present. The mode of
raising money in the manner heretofore mentioned may become the only
plan practicable, should others now in contemplation not succeed, and
Spain may be obliged to have recourse to paper, from inability to
procure money by other methods.

The Court of Great Britain is well informed of their situation through
Mr Cumberland, their emissary here, who spends a great deal of money.
Influenced by which, and other advices, the King has, in his speech to
Parliament, openly avowed his determination to prosecute the war with
vigor, and he will be supported by a great majority in both houses.
From the best information I have been able to collect, I am sorry to
tell you, that the nation will be able to borrow the sum demanded for
the expenditures of 1781, which with the usual vote of credit at the
end of the session, will amount to sixteen millions sterling at least.
The scheme of the Ministry to effect this is not yet public, but I am
told, it will be on similar conditions to those of the present year.
Ninetytwo thousand men are voted for the marine, and I have reason to
think a considerable reinforcement will be sent early to the
southward, and that agreeably to a proposition of Sir J. Amherst, the
enemy means to occupy and fortify strongly a port near the month of
Chesapeake Bay, from which with a strong garrison and a naval force,
they hope to interrupt the navigation of the Bay, and by frequent
incursions prevent the States of Maryland and Virginia from sending
supplies of men, &c. &c. to the Carolinas. Among the troops mentioned
to be embarked there, are three regiments of light dragoons. Your
servants nearer Great Britain will give you more accurate information.

I am persuaded that our ally will take early measures for defeating
these designs. This latter information is derived indirectly from
conversations with men in a situation to be well informed. The
disposition of this Court depends much on its hopes of obtaining the
objects for which it commenced the war, and I should not merit the
confidence reposed in me if I did not tell you plainly, that I believe
that the exclusive possession of the Gulf of Mexico is the favorite
object, and that if they cannot obtain it by a connexion with the
United States, they will endeavor to procure it, by a general, if not
by a separate peace, to which the King's good faith is, perhaps, at
present the greatest obstacle. The Congress knows best the situation
of their affairs, and I hope it may be such as to enable them to
preserve the rights of all the States.

As I have frequent occasions of seeing the foreign Ministers here, and
their Secretaries, I am too often obliged to remark their partiality
for Great Britain, and jealousy of the house of Bourbon, particularly
those of Russia, Vienna, Sardinia, Portugal, and Holland. Some of
these, in my opinion, are the best spies England employs here.
Jealousy on the one hand, and on the other compassion and admiration,
begin to take the place of envy and interest. The transition from
these to friendship and support is not difficult, if their masters do
not differ in sentiments from their servants. Our perseverance, vigor,
and exertions occasion a hesitation with respect to the event of the
war, which augments or diminishes in proportion to their ideas of the
intentions of this Court, which leads me to think it probable, that
if Spain would enter into positive engagements with the United States,
the hopes of the enemy to divide the allies would be at an end; the
neutral powers would think our independence certain, and would
endeavor to terminate the war, while Great Britain is in such a
situation as to be able to preserve her other possessions.

Should the situation of affairs in America be in a worse situation
than I hope they are, and should the Congress judge it necessary for
their establishment to make further advances and sacrifices, permit me
to take the liberty of observing, that these offers should be
accompanied with a proviso of this Court's avowing the independence of
the States immediately, otherwise the offers should be considered as
null, and no pretensions formed thereon in a treaty for a general
peace. At the same time, it might suit the States to procure a sum in
specie from the Spanish settlements in America, and to obtain certain
advantages of preference in the admission of the produce of their
fisheries into the ports of Spain. I think it my duty to write you
fully and freely the sentiments which arise from the opportunity of
information you have given me, and should be happy to give you such as
would be more acceptable to you, and more conformable to my wishes.

Mr Jay has received and accepted your bills to the amount of fifteen
thousand dollars, and I hope will be enabled to pay them; but this
business has thwarted the other part of his mission here, in showing
our necessities so plainly. For this Court seems to expect equivalents
for services rendered, and the interest of money advanced to us is not
its object. This leads me to repeat what I mentioned in a former
letter, of the King's satisfaction for a resolution of Congress,
permitting the exportation of flour to the Havana, and that every
similar manifestation of amity will much contribute to counteract the
intrigues of the enemy here. The Minister of the Indies lately assured
me, that his Majesty had directed him to return thanks, through the
Chevalier de la Luzerne, for the respect shown at the interment of M.
Miralles.

Having mentioned this gentleman, I am induced to speak of his intended
successor, M. Gardoqui, who has now been named near five months, yet
is still here. This detention is one reason among many others, which
makes me fear the Court has not taken a decisive part for the next
year, although the last declarations of the Minister on this subject
were clear and positive. I have purposely omitted speaking of the
operations of the war in Europe, and other articles of intelligence,
in order to have it in my power to give you the latest I have
received. I hear from England, that Mr Laurens is closely confined,
and treated as a prisoner of State. The Committee may be persuaded,
that retaliation on some of the English prisoners of consequence, will
be regarded in Europe as a proof of the confidence of Congress in the
support of the people.

A copy of the proposed treaty with the States of Holland, was taken
among the papers of Mr Laurens, and sent by the British Ministry to
the Stadtholder, who endeavored to criminate the Pensionary of
Amsterdam and those concerned with him, in consequence of this
discovery. He is, however, supported by the Regency, and this step of
the Stadtholder, not having the effect intended, Sir Joseph Yorke has
presented a violent and menacing Memorial to the States, demanding the
punishment of the Pensionary and his accomplices.[8] I am advised that
this Memorial has irritated in place of intimidating, and that since
four of the seven States have agreed to accede to the armed
neutrality, the persons attacked by the British Court have no
apprehensions, and, possibly, the capture of these papers may
eventually be of great advantage to the United States, by
precipitating the conduct of England, and obliging the States to take
a part contrary to their dispositions, and, perhaps, to the interest
of one or other nation. The situation of M. Dumas is rendered more
critical by this circumstance, and it would be injustice to him not to
mention, that he is indefatigable to contribute to our information by
his correspondence, and by his frequent publications to represent our
situation in the most favorable point of view.

Mr Jay will transmit Congress a full state of our affairs here, with
all the papers necessary to elucidate it. I have seen but one letter
from Congress since my residence in Spain, from which I conjecture Mr
Jay has received but one. He informs me he has written Congress, that
it has not been my fault, that all copies of letters for their
inspection did not appear with my signature. In the month of May, I
answered in writing the instructions he gave me at Cadiz, as I did
_viva voce_ at Aranjues in April, before he entered Madrid. I should
not mention this circumstance to the Committee, if I did not know that
copies of these instructions had been forwarded to Congress, and only
abstracts of the most important part of my answer sent them; I will
take the liberty, therefore, of sending by the first safe opportunity
the whole of my answer, from no other motive than that of evincing my
desire to comply in every point with the duties of the trust reposed
in me.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

_P. S. December 8th._--The Count d'Estaing sailed the 7th ult. from
Cadiz, and, as yet, we have no news of his arrival in France. Mr
Cumberland is still here, and waits an answer to despatches sent by
the Abbé Hussey to England, which is daily expected. Mr Jay has
received a letter from the Count de Vergennes, that France cannot
provide for the payment of your bills here. But I always hope the
credit of America must not be ruined for want of £100,000 sterling,
although, personally, your servants have not money to pay their debts.

                                                                 W. C.


FOOTNOTES:

[8] See all the above papers in the Annual Register for 1780, pp.
356-380.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                          Madrid, December 19th, 1780.

  Gentlemen,

I wrote to the Committee the 20th ult. to which letter I beg leave to
refer them. Having now an opportunity of writing by a vessel, which
conveys a copy of my last, I seize it to inform them that the
situation of our affairs here is much the same as at that period. Mr
Jay has received near eighteen thousand dollars to pay the bills first
accepted, and this, with the twentyfive thousand expected from France,
will give us a respite until the month of March. In the interval, I
hope the Court will enable Mr Jay to answer the others as they become
due, though this will depend much on the facility it finds to procure
money. I have reason to think that the Ministry expect some treasure
from America, that they hope to negotiate in Holland a loan of forty
millions of reals, and another at home and abroad for eight millions
of dollars. I shall be glad to see these expectations realised.

The States of Holland have acceded to the armed neutrality;
notwithstanding this, the English contrive to take their ships every
day, and it is not improbable, that orders have been given to attack
their possessions in the East Indies. No satisfaction has, as yet,
been given by the States in answer to the Memorial of Sir Joseph
Yorke, mentioned in my last. The Dutch Minister and his Secretary have
each told me, that it would be considered as words, and answered as
such.

The Empress Queen is dead, which leaves the Emperor to act at full
liberty. He is said to be ambitious and revengeful, and well disposed
to Great Britain. I know that his Envoy at this Court is strongly
attached to the interests of that country; but his father, the Prince
de Kaunitz, was too long the favorite of the mother, to expect to hold
the same influence with the son. It is to be hoped, that the ensuing
campaign will pass, before the Emperor can be in a situation to
embroil the affairs of Europe.

The Count d'Estaing, who sailed from Cadiz the 7th ultimo, was not
arrived in France at the departure of the last courier. This is an
unlucky circumstance, as it will retard the operations of the ensuing
year. Mr Cumberland is still here, and entertains hopes of success, or
affects to do so. The Count de Montmorin seems to have no
apprehensions, and while that is the case, I flatter myself that we
need not be uneasy at a circumstance, which in itself is very
extraordinary. I do not think, however, that M. Gardoqui will leave
Spain, until all hopes of negotiation cease. We have no advices, or
indeed arrivals, since the departure of the frigate, which brought the
son of M. Rochambeau to France. Many of the letters taken with Mr
Laurens have been published in England. I take the liberty of
reminding the Committee, that I have never had the honor, as yet, to
receive their orders.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                            Madrid, January 4th, 1781.

  Gentlemen,

I wrote you the 24th ultimo,[9] since which I am advised, that the
Abbé Hussey is on his way from Lisbon to this capital, as is supposed
with further propositions on the part of England. I think they will be
as fruitless as the former. I have the pleasure of informing you, that
on the 19th ultimo, Great Britain declared war in form against
Holland. A courier brought the news this morning, which has given
great pleasure to the Court, if one may be allowed to judge from
appearances. Expresses were immediately despatched by the Ministry to
the sea-ports, to advise the Dutch consuls of this event, and to offer
the protection of convoys, &c. &c.

It is supposed, that the Empress of Russia will resent this
declaration of England, as it is posterior to the notification of the
accession of the Republic to the armed neutrality, which is the real
though not the alleged cause of the war, for I make no doubt events
will discover, that this measure was resolved the instant the English
Ministry knew, that the accession of the States to that treaty was
inevitable. I shall take care to give you minute and regular advice of
the consequences likely to result from this event; meantime permit me
to felicitate you on the acquisition of new friends.

The English fleet returned to Portsmouth in a bad condition, without
having made any attempt against that of Count d'Estaing, of which they
were thrice in view. The French fleet was not arrived when the courier
who brought the agreeable intelligence before mentioned left France.
This Court expects to obtain the sums necessary for the expenses of
the year. I hope to transmit the plan of the proposed loan in my next
letters.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

_P. S._ Lest my letter of the 24th ultimo should miscarry, I repeat,
that the Court has engaged to supply Mr Jay with three millions of
reals, in addition to eighteen thousand dollars already furnished,
which with the twentyfive thousand promised by France, will nearly pay
the bills already presented, and I hope ways and means will be found,
to provide for the payment of the residue, drawn and sold before
reception of Mr Jay's letters of advice.

                                                                 W. C.


FOOTNOTES:

[9] Missing.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                           Madrid, January 29th, 1781.

  Gentlemen,

My last advised the Committee of the declaration of Great Britain
against Holland; the capture of a great number of prizes, in
consequence of this unexpected attack encourages the former, and has
greatly irritated the latter. The States, Zealand excepted, seem
disposed to act with vigor against the common enemy. If they
persevere, they may finally disappoint their rapacious projects. They
depend on the interference of Russia, and I believe with reason,
although a day or two ago, the Count de Kaunitz, the Imperial
Ambassador here, offered his master's mediation, in conjunction with
the Empress of Russia to terminate the differences subsisting between
the belligerent powers. No answer to this offer has yet been given.
The Minister from Russia has not yet received the orders of his Court
thereon.

The offer is rather ill timed, and I have reason to think is not very
agreeable to the Courts of Versailles and Madrid, which will act with
entire union on this occasion, and as long as the present King of
Spain lives, it is probable, that this good understanding will
continue on the whole continent, although there are some here, I
believe, who would wish to see it interrupted. While it subsists Spain
will not abandon our interests, though it may not support them with
such good will, as they would have been induced to do by the
obligations of previous engagements with the United States. It is not
likely that these will soon take place, notwithstanding the appearance
of good will, and repeated assurances which Mr Jay has received of his
Majesty's favorable disposition. Nor will the late change of measures
adopted by Congress effect this, if I am not misinformed. I have not
seen these resolutions in full, nor do I know that Mr Jay has received
them, but I have reason to believe, that the Court has a knowledge of
them, either by intercepted letters, or by a direct communication from
America. In short I repeat to the Committee, what I have taken the
liberty of remarking before, that it was probably the policy of this
Court to leave the adjustment of their claims to be settled at the
general negotiation of a treaty of peace, and to reserve to
themselves the liberty of acting then according to circumstances,
unless they can previously secure in their own manner their favorite
objects. This accords with the conduct they have hitherto observed,
and with maxims of policy long adopted and persevered in by this
Court.

In the meantime, they show a decided disposition to continue the war.
They expect some treasure from America. They are likely to procure
eight millions of dollars on loan, and have propositions from other
quarters. The taxes have been augmented this year, the produce of the
last having, as I have been told, fallen short of the expectations of
the Ministry. They have thirtysix sail of the line under sailing
orders at Cadiz, which fleet will probably cruise to meet the treasure
ships expected, and to intercept the succors destined to Gibraltar.
They have ordered a press throughout the kingdom to fill up their
regiments. The ships with the treasure were to sail from Vera Cruz to
the Havana the 11th of October. The Court seems apprehensive of the
Emperor's intentions, and cultivates the friendship of the King of
Prussia, for which purpose it is about to send a Minister to Berlin,
where they have had none for many years past. This matter is not yet
public, and will undoubtedly chagrin the Court of Vienna.

Mr Jay has been promised a part of the three millions of reals,
mentioned in my former letters, to enable him to discharge the bills,
which become due the ensuing month, and, I suppose, will receive the
whole as the bills become payable, until the sum is exhausted, before
which time, funds must be provided for such as have since been
presented, or may hereafter come to hand. It is with pain I have
lately entered to the amount of between thirty or forty thousand
dollars, at three months' sight, as there is yet no certainty of their
being paid, yet I flatter myself that the Court, with the good
disposition it appears to have, will not suffer our credit to be
ruined, after what it has done and promised to do to preserve it.

M. Gardoqui, so often mentioned, will embark in six weeks or two
months. Mr Cumberland is still here, inspiring all the distrust and
jealousy in his power to prejudice our affairs. I hope, however, he
will soon be dismissed. Vigorous preparations are making in France,
and I flatter myself that the Count d'Estaing will once more visit our
coasts in force. I believe he desires it, and I am told he is on good
terms with the new Minister of Marine. The Count de Vergennes was in a
bad state of health by the last advices from Paris, but for
information from that quarter, I refer the Committee to letters I
suppose Congress will receive from Dr Franklin. It is with hesitation
I venture to give my sentiments, and if I should be deceived, it is
not for want of pains, but of opportunity of obtaining more accurate
information.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                           Madrid, February 22d, 1781.

  Gentlemen,

My last was of the 29th ult. since which, I have deferred writing, in
hopes of having it in my power to give the Committee more distinct
information of the actual situation of affairs in Europe at this
important crisis, when its attention is turned to the conduct of the
Empress of Russia and the armed neutrality, and to that of the
Emperor, who, notwithstanding the offer of mediation, I had the honor
to mention in my last, is, as I am informed, regarded with a jealous
and suspicious eye. But the vessels, which take on board part of the
clothing, of which I advised you at the time, and since it was
promised, being about to sail, I seize the present occasion of
writing, lest another from the ports of this kingdom should not soon
present itself.

Our affairs here are in much the same state as when I last wrote the
Committee. No further progress has been made in the negotiation. Mr
Jay has received various letters and papers from Congress, dated in
October. This day he has obtained an order for thirtytwo thousand
dollars, to pay for part of the clothing to be shipped at Cadiz, of
which he has not yet received the invoices, and to discharge the bills
due this month. The Minister promises to furnish the whole of the
three millions of reals mentioned in former letters, and to contribute
to our further relief, as far as the exigencies of the State will
permit him. These, I have reason to think, are urgent and great, and
that the funds arising from the revenues and loans are, for the most
part, appropriated before they are received.

I am not informed, that any positive answer has been given yet to the
Emperor's offer of mediation. It is ill-timed, and I believe, in
reality, is not well taken. I know that this Court is about to send a
Minister to Berlin, where they have had none for a long time. The
circumstances of such an appointment at this juncture, seem to imply
apprehensions of the Emperor's intentions. I enclose two extracts of
letters sent to me by M. Dumas, which contain intelligence that
indicates the intentions of the Empress of Russia. The first letter I
know to be genuine, for I saw the substance of it here in _good_
hands, before I received M. Dumas's letter. If the Empress does not
openly declare against England, she will, at all events, protect the
Dutch commerce, and this must terminate speedily in open hostilities.
I have observed, of late, a change of conduct in the Russian
Ambassador at this Court, whom I have an opportunity of meeting
frequently in company; from being cold and distant, he is complaisant
and affable. I also find him very attentive to the French Ambassador.

Portugal has been much pressed by Russia to accede to the treaty of
the armed neutrality, but the English party at this Court is too
strong to expect success from these applications. The attachment of
this King to his deceased sister, and at present to his niece, the
Queen of Portugal, will prevent any violent measures being taken by
our ally or Spain, to force that nation to adopt other measures. The
republican party in Holland are in good spirits. Zealand has dropped
the opposition it made to hostile measures, so that at present there
is an unanimity in the States on that interesting point.

The troops for America were embarked, or embarking, the last of the
past month. They consist of three or four thousand men (recruits
included), and of Fullarton's and another ragged regiment, to use the
words of Mr Edmund Jennings, who gives this information. The greater
part of these, it is supposed, are destined to the East Indies, and
Commodore Johnson is named by the public to command an expedition,
which is to attack the Cape of Good Hope on its passage. The Ministry
in England is the same. They have a great majority in Parliament. The
Protestant associations begin to stir a little. Lord G. Gordon is
acquitted. Stocks have fallen considerably since the Dutch war, not
less than two and a half or three per cent. The subscriptions for the
loans of the present year, it is generally believed, will be paid in
slowly. Our ally pushes the preparations for the present campaign
vigorously, but on the 14th instant the commander was not named for
the fleet, which is to sail next month for the American seas, and
which I am told, will consist of twentyfive sail of the line. I have
no exact account of the number of troops to be embarked, but the
lowest computation makes them consist of seven thousand men. The Count
de Maurepas was ill by the last advices from Paris.

The Spanish squadron of thirty sail of the line is at sea, that of
England it is supposed will sail about this period of time. Mr
Cumberland gives out, that he has demanded a passport of the Court,
but that he is told to have patience. I hope, however, he will not
stay here long. M. Gardoqui will, probably, embark in all next month
or the beginning of April. I beg the Committee to consider the
intelligence I give them from time to time, particularly that from
other countries, as the latest and most authentic I can procure, but
for the truth of which I cannot vouch.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                              Madrid, March 4th, 1781.

  Gentlemen,

I have received the enclosed letters from M. Dumas since my last of
the 22d ultimo, copies of which I sent to Cadiz, to be forwarded in
the vessels, that take from thence part of the clothing mentioned in
my former letters. The remainder will I hope soon be embarked on board
of other vessels, lately arrived in that port from America. As soon as
Mr Jay receives the invoices, I will transmit copies thereof to the
Committee. I also enclose the last accurate state of the British sea
force in Europe. The squadron supposed to be destined for the relief
of Gibraltar, sailed the 18th ultimo. The Spanish fleet, of nearly
thirty sail of the line, is now at sea to impede their operations, so
that important advices are daily expected from the coast. The exact
number of the English squadron is not known. Count de Grasse is
finally chosen to command the Brest squadron for the American seas,
and is by this time nearly ready to sail.

Our affairs are in much the same situation as heretofore. It is not
yet known here what part the Empress of Russia will take, although it
is generally believed, it cannot be but unfavorable to Great Britain.
Mr Cumberland is still here. M. Gardoqui will embark the last of this
or first of next month. I make no doubt before his departure, Mr Jay
will know the character by which he is to announce him to Congress. I
have no reason to believe, that he will not have formal credentials
from the Court, for otherwise, notwithstanding the information given
in consequence of Mr Jay's conference relative to him with the
Minister, I suppose Congress can only regard him as an individual.

A late publication in the _Courier de l'Europe_, extracted from
Rivington's Gazette, asserting a mutiny of a considerable number of
continental troops in the beginning of January, made considerable
impression here, which happily we have had it in our power to remove
by some arrivals from the northward. Considerable apprehensions and
jealousies are entertained of the views of the States, of forming
powerful establishments on the Ohio and Mississippi, in consequence of
some publications in our papers, and other advices received by the
Court, which has much better and more regular intelligence of our
affairs than Mr Jay. This must be the case as long as the letters of
Congress are confided to the common post in France and in this
country. The difference of expense could not be so considerable to the
public, as might be conceived, and the advantages are important. I am
persuaded the Ministers of the above named nations, receive more
information from the letters written to the public servants of
Congress in Europe, than from those they employ in America. All the
couriers of the Empress of Russia are officers of her army. We have at
present, I presume, many young men on half pay in consequence of the
late arrangements of our army, who would be happy to make these
voyages in the public packets, who might be limited or brought to
strict account for their expenses, and receive instructions from the
Committee to answer public purposes, and be promoted or disgraced
according to their execution of them. I beg the Committee will impute
these suggestions to the true motive, a regard to the public service.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                             Madrid, March 11th, 1781.

  Gentlemen,

Since my last of the 4th instant, I know of a certainty, that Mr
Cumberland, so often mentioned in former letters, will soon leave this
kingdom, and pursue his voyage to England by way of France. His
departure would indicate, that all negotiations for an accommodation
were at an end, if there was not reason to believe, that conferences
on that subject are likely to take place in consequence of the offer
of mediation made to the belligerent powers by the Emperor. As I have
not the last mentioned intelligence from our _friends_, I give it with
hesitation and not as certain. In a little time I hope to have it in
my power, to give fuller information to the Committee on this subject.

The Count de Grasse left Paris the end of February, to take the
command of the fleet for the American seas. I am afraid this fleet, or
even a part of it, will not appear on our coasts until the month of
July. I form my conjectures however from very minute circumstances,
and may perhaps be deceived. The English grand fleet has not yet made
its appearance. A very numerous convoy of provision vessels, &c. &c.
sail with it for the East and West Indies and for America. Mr Adams
has opened a loan in Holland for one million of florins, of which we
shall soon know the probable success. I send enclosed the plan of the
loan in the first copy of this letter, but finding it published in the
Dutch and foreign papers, I suppose the Committee will receive it
before this can reach them. The mutiny of the Pennsylvania line has
had a bad effect in Europe, and our enemies have been indefatigable
to represent it in the worst colors. I hope Congress has been able to
pacify the discontented, and that as they have hitherto done, they
will still overcome all obstacles to the freedom, tranquillity, and
importance, of the United States.

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

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                             Aranjues, May 25th, 1781.

  Gentlemen,

Since my last of the 16th instant, the French Ambassador has received
the agreeable intelligence, that M. de la Motte Piquet fell in with
the St Eustatia fleet, consisting of thirtyfour sail, of which he
captured twentyfour, their escort, two seventyfour gun ships and two
frigates, having escaped by their superior swiftness; four other
vessels of the same fleet I hear are taken. The captain of a packet
boat, arrived at Corunna from Newport, says, that he was chased in the
latitude of the Azores by the English fleet, which consisted of
eighteen sail of the line. The Spanish squadron has not been heard of
since it sailed.

Thirtysix transports, of two hundred and two hundred and fifty tons,
are taken up at Cadiz on government account, and provisions for eight
thousand men for four months are ordered. The destination of the
armament is a secret, but there is reason to think it is either
intended for the West Indies or for their own settlements in Peru. If
for the former, it will hardly commence its operations before the
month of November, when the Count de Grasse will be able to join it,
after his return from our coasts.

Many bills, drawn by Congress last year, have already been presented
and accepted by Mr Jay; the funds are not yet provided for their
payment, but I hope the advices lately received from Congress will
produce a change of conduct in this Court. I allude to a letter from
the Committee, which came in the Virginia to Cadiz. I am persuaded the
Minister was informed of its contents before it reached Mr Jay, for
the packets were stopped at Cadiz, and bore evident marks of having
been inspected.

The Committee must be sensible, that a negotiation will ever be
carried on to our disadvantage, when the parties with whom their
Minister treats, are thus early informed of the most secret intentions
of Congress. This apprehension renders my correspondence with the
Committee more irregular than it would otherwise be, for I am often
obliged to wait ten days or more, for safe opportunities of conveying
my letters by private hands to Cadiz, Bilboa, or the ports of France,
to prevent a previous examination of them here.

I hope soon to write by M. Gardoqui, but I have so often advised you
of this gentleman's intended departure, and then been so often
disappointed, that I cannot give full belief to the late information I
have received on this subject.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                             Aranjues, May 26th, 1781.

  Gentlemen,

The Court being at this place at present, Mr Jay has judged proper to
reside here until it returns to Madrid, from which city I addressed
the Committee the 23d ult. Mr Jay, since his arrival here, has seen
the Minister and been civilly received. He will inform Congress of
what passed on this occasion. M. de la Motte Piquet, whose squadron
could not be ready in time to join M. de Cordova, and enable the
Spanish fleet to oppose that of England, destined to relieve
Gibraltar, sailed on a cruise the 24th ult. to intercept the homeward
bound fleet from St Eustatia, or one from the leeward Islands. The
English squadron, after relieving Gibraltar, is gone to cruise off the
Azores or the Canaries, to intercept the fleet from the Havana with
treasure, the amount of which I mentioned in my last; this, at least,
is the opinion of several well informed people here. That of Spain has
cruised for it to escort it into port, I believe, on a presumption,
that the English would return to port, or detach a part of their
squadron to reinforce their others in various parts of the world.
Should the latter be the case, and these fleets should encounter, that
of Spain will have greatly the advantage in number, it consisting of
thirtytwo sail of the line.

I have the pleasure of informing Congress, that the Court of France
has engaged to guaranty a loan of ten millions of livres for the
States, and to make large advances in stores and cash immediately. I
wish it was in my power to furnish as agreeable accounts from this
Court. The negotiation is in the same situation as when I had last the
honor to write to the Committee, my sentiments of the motives for this
conduct are still the same. The mediation seems at a stand, and,
probably, will not be renewed before the end of the campaign. Troops
have been ordered to march towards Gibraltar from various parts of
the kingdom, but I have some reason to think, with a view to another
object, viz. either to be sent to the West Indies or to Peru, where,
it is said, there appears a spirit of disaffection, which creates some
apprehensions here.

The crop is likely to be more abundant throughout Spain, than it has
been for many years past. I have not as yet heard, that Russia has
taken a decided part in favor of the Dutch. Their squadron in the
Mediterranean and at Lisbon are ordered home. The Portuguese preserve
a strict neutrality at present. M. Gardoqui is still here, but I hope
will embark next month. I have not had the honor of hearing from the
Committee since I have been in Europe, and Mr Jay informs me, that he
has received but three letters from Congress since his residence here.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                              Aranjues, June 2d, 1781.

  Gentlemen,

The last post from France brought the news of M. Necker's removal from
the Ministry. This change would have been agreeable to this Court some
months ago, on account of the interference of that Minister in the
operation of the loan mentioned in former letters. At present, it
seems to be regarded in a disagreeable point of view, as M. Necker had
engaged to furnish monthly, considerable sums to persons employed to
procure money for this Court, on condition of being reimbursed in
specie in Spanish America, and on other terms that would have been
advantageous to the lenders. Part of the specie thus procured, was
intended for the payment of the French troops in North America, and,
as I have been told, for the immediate service of Congress, as part of
the sum the Court of France has lately engaged to furnish to the
United States.

I have been told, that M. Necker was not disposed to make large
advances to Congress, and, as a proof of this, it has been mentioned
to me, that he opposed the King's guarantee of a loan, which Dr
Franklin endeavored to negotiate last year at Genoa. He is said to
have been obstinately attached to his own opinions, and of a
haughtiness in supporting them, which the man who placed him could ill
brook. He felt an opposition that he could not bear, and which,
perhaps, he saw he must sink under, and, therefore, asked his
dismission, which was granted him. He is regretted as a public loss.
It would be presumption in me, to enter into a more minute detail on
this subject, as your correspondents on the spot will certainly give
the Committee much ampler information than it is in my power to do.

Since my letter of the ---- ult. I have had an opportunity of knowing,
through the same channel of intelligence mentioned in former letters,
that the Court of Vienna still persists in its good offices, to bring
about conferences for a general peace. Without being able to mention
particulars, I can assure the Committee, that in the middle of April,
the Baron de Breteuil, Ambassador of France, at the abovementioned
Court, insisted for the admission of an American Plenipotentiary at
the proposed Congress. The Prince de Kaunitz lamented this
proposition, as an obstacle that might impede a business, which the
Emperor had much at heart. I have not been able to trace the demands
of Spain, but I believe their pretensions in general, do not appear
reasonable to the Imperial Court.

We have had no news of the fleet since I had last the honor of writing
to you. There is reason to think, by news received from England, that
Darby had orders to return to that country. The expedition mentioned
in former letters, will be ready for action in the month of July. The
choice of officers to command it is not yet public. The negotiation is
in the same situation.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 JAMES LOVELL TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

                                        Philadelphia, June 15th, 1781.

  Sir,

Your several letters have been read in Congress; and your industrious
care, to give frequent, early, and general information of those things
in Europe, which may have influence upon our national affairs, has
been not only highly pleasing in itself, but has acquired value
lately, from the loss of all packets from Mr Adams, since his date of
October 24th.

I am, Sir, your friend and humble servant,

                                                         JAMES LOVELL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                      St Ildefonso, August 16th, 1781.

  Gentlemen,

Since my last, of the 15th ult. in which I enclosed the Committee a
list of the combined fleet assembled at Cadiz, and of the troops to be
embarked under the command of the Duc de Crillon, we have advices of
the sailing of this fleet, and that the troops of the expedition
passed the Straits of Gibraltar the 23d ult. They had, however, been
detained by contrary winds, and had not left the neighborhood of
Carthagena the 7th instant. The Court expects soon to hear of their
landing in the Island of Minorca. It is the general opinion, that the
force employed is not sufficient to take Port Mahon. The character of
the General, who I have the honor to know intimately, does not accord
with this idea. The combined fleet by the last advices was cruising
off Cape Spartel. That of England, commanded by Darby, is at sea, to
the number of twentythree or twentyfive sail. The Dutch fleet sailed
on the 23d ult. and consists of seventeen sail in the whole, it is
said to be destined to the northern seas, where England has a squadron
inferior in number of vessels, under the command of Sir Hyde Parker.

Our negotiation seems to be in a better train, and it is not
improbable, that Mr Jay will be able to terminate our affairs with
Spain previous to the general negotiation, which is much talked of at
present among the _corps diplomatique_ here. The number of couriers
who pass and repass between the Courts of Versailles, this, and those
of Vienna and Petersburg gives occasion to those conjectures. Mr Adams
has been lately sent for by the Count de Vergennes, and, as I am
informed, has had conferences with that Minister. If this should be
the case, the Committee will have from the first authority, more ample
details on this subject, than can be learnt from second and third
hands.

The United Provinces of Holland, &c. appear much divided, and seem
more employed in party quarrels and private interests, than in pursuit
of measures for the public advantage and honor. I fear the republican
party lost ground by their late attack against the Duke of Brunswick.
This Court continue to borrow money, and have just concluded a loan
for three millions of dollars, to be refunded in the Havana and Vera
Cruz, one million in the present year, and two in 1782. They have
other loans in contemplation, of the general nature of which, I hope
to be able to inform the Committee in time, although it may be
difficult to obtain the minute particulars and conditions of these
loans. The French Minister is concerned in the last mentioned, and
will receive part, at least, of the three millions in question, which
I hope will ultimately centre in North America.

Mr Jay continues to accept the bills drawn on him; between twenty and
thirty thousand dollars have been accepted, for which, as yet, no
funds are provided, but I hope we have not much to fear for their
payment. I have rendered Mr Jay accounts of all our money transactions
here, which, with his usual regularity, he will transmit to Congress,
as also minute details of his other transactions here. Among the bills
presented, it may not be improper to mention, that several have been
endorsed by people in America, payable to merchants in Great Britain
and Ireland. If this does not accord with the ideas of Congress, the
treasury will be instructed to convey to Mr Jay further directions on
this subject.

Although much is said of the forwardness of the negotiations ----
peace, it is not probable that the preliminaries to be fixed on
previous to the opening of the conferences can be adjusted, until the
fate of the campaign is known, particularly if this Court acts with
its usual deliberation, which some call dilatoriness. If the
expedition against Minorca succeeds, and if money can be procured for
the operations of the war, it is the opinion of some persons who are
well informed, that the general peace will meet with more obstacles
here than elsewhere. I have already written to the Committee, that the
Court of Vienna found the pretensions of this Court extravagant. Its
great objects of the war, are the possession of the entire navigation
of the Gulf of Mexico, and Gibraltar. These are said to be the King's
objects, who is in a good state of health, and follows with the same
ardor his daily occupation of the chase. There is no talk of a change
of Ministry. The fleet from Buenos Ayres, mentioned in former letters,
is arrived, and I am afraid M. Solano will be more attentive to the
safe arrival of that from the Havana, than to the prosecution of the
plan of operations formed with our ally. The affairs of Great Britain
in the east, are in a bad situation, and in consequence thereof India
stock has fallen eight per cent.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                   St Ildefonso, September 28th, 1781.

  Gentlemen,

Since my letter of the 14th instant,[10] the Minister has notified to
Mr Jay the King's intentions of naming a person to treat with him;
there is reason to think his nomination and instructions will have his
Majesty's approbation on Sunday next, though possibly it may not be
formally communicated until the Court is at the Escurial, to which
place the royal family goes the 10th of next month.

M. Del Campo, whom I mentioned in my last, is the person who probably
will be chosen. I repeat his name lest that letter should miscarry; he
is First Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and acting Secretary of
the Council of State; and has the reputation of possessing great
abilities and application to business, and I believe he merits what is
said of him. He has also the entire confidence of the Count de Florida
Blanca; his residence in England as Secretary of the embassy there,
and his attention to Mr Cumberland and family while here, occasioned
some to believe him secretly inclined to the interests of that
country, but I believe without foundation, for I know that Mr
Cumberland left this country much chagrined, and I believe he was the
dupe of this gentleman's policy. I have had the satisfaction of being
on very good terms with him for several months past, and have often
expressed to him my hopes and wishes, that he might prove another M.
Gerard in our affairs. His being employed in this negotiation is so
far favorable to us as its successful issue interests his own
reputation, and will be probably a step to further honors and
employments, to which, as mentioned in my last, the public opinion
destines him. I hope the Court is now serious in its intentions to
conclude the negotiations, but it is still not improbable this
business may be delayed until the fate of the campaign is known,
unless it should be accelerated by the confirmation of news received
from Cadiz last week, of the arrival of the Count de Grasse's squadron
on the coast of Virginia, the consequent critical situation of the
army of Lord Cornwallis, and the defeat of Lord Rawdon by General
Greene.

I shall seize every opportunity of informing the Committee of the
progress made in this important business, and am happy to find by a
letter I have just had the honor to receive from Mr Lovell, dated the
15th of June, that my correspondence has contributed in any degree to
the satisfaction of Congress, but am surprised, that so few of my
letters have reached the Committee, for on reading the list of those
received and comparing it with my letter book, I find several missing,
which were sent by vessels from Bilboa and elsewhere, which I know
arrived in safety to America, particularly my answer to Mr Jay's
instructions to me at Cadiz, of which he sent only the state of the
revenues and expenses of this country in the year 1778.

I am informed by letters from Holland, that Mr Adams has had a nervous
fever, but that he is now in a fair way to recover. The South Carolina
frigate sailed from thence with the ships under her convoy, the 19th
ultimo. I hope their safe arrival will convey to Congress ample
information of the situation of their affairs in that quarter; I am
afraid the loan does not fill fast, because I have letters from a
house at Hamburg which mention, that Congress bills to a large
amount, that they had presented for acceptance, had been protested.
The republican party gains ground, and the Duke of Brunswick, though
not removed, is obliged to act with more caution, and the Stadtholder
with more resolution and force. I am informed, that the Court of
France has consented to replace the cargo lost in the Marquis de
Lafayette, but Dr Franklin is not enabled to accept any more of Mr
Jay's bills, even for our salaries.

The rumors of a general negotiation subside, owing it is said to the
obstinacy of Great Britain, and the demands of this Court. The
Imperial Minister has just received a courier from his Court, charged
with its excuses for the detention of a Spanish courier, who after
delivering his despatches to the Spanish Ambassador at Vienna, on his
journey from thence to Petersburg, was stopped in Hungary, and not
permitted to proceed until released by order of the Imperial Court.
The Imperial Minister named to the Court of Berlin from hence, will
soon go thither; his nomination is still a secret. The Spanish
squadron has returned to Cadiz. Major Franks will leave this next
week. I must do this officer the justice to observe to the Committee,
that he has conducted himself with great discretion and economy here,
and I hope that Congress will be induced by the success and expedition
with which he delivered their despatches to Mr Jay, to send in future
such as are important in a similar way.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.


FOOTNOTES:

[10] Missing.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                            Madrid, October 5th, 1781.

  Gentlemen,

On my arrival here from St Ildefonso this day, I found the enclosed
letters for his Excellency, the President of Congress, from M. Dumas.
On the 14th and 28th ult. I wrote to the Committee, that the Court
appeared more serious in its intentions of bringing on the negotiation
than it had shown itself to be for a long time. In my last, I informed
the Committee that M. Del Campo would, probably, be appointed to
negotiate with Mr Jay, and that his instructions and nomination would
have his Majesty's approbation on the night of the 30th ult. The
Minister of State once proposed to intrust M. Gardoqui with this
business. Yesterday, when I left the _Sitio_, the Court had not
formally notified the appointment to Mr Jay, but from some hints I
received from well informed persons, I have hopes that the
communication will be made either before he comes from thence
tomorrow, or directly after the Court is fixed at the Escurial. I
shall, however, be very agreeably disappointed, if much progress is
made in this affair until the fate of the campaign is known.

The last post from France and Holland brought no news of an
interesting nature. The French and Spanish troops, destined to
reinforce the Duc de Crillon's army at Minorca, are not yet embarked,
and he cannot act with effect until he receives reinforcements. It is
said the desertion from the place is considerable. The South Carolina
frigate, armed for that State in Holland, has put into Corunna, and I
am concerned to find by letters from Messrs Searle and Trumbull,
passengers on board, that Commodore Gillon's conduct is much
censured. Knowing Mr Searle's zeal and solicitude for the public
interest, I must own that his letter has influenced my opinion in a
great degree, but it would be unjust to condemn the former, before
having seen an exposition of the reasons, which have determined his
conduct, and which he has promised to forward to Mr Jay by express.

The fact is, he sailed from the Texel without the ships he had engaged
to escort, that he has cruised six or seven weeks with little success,
and that he has been obliged to put into the port abovementioned, to
refit and get a supply of provisions, which he writes he shall do
immediately. It is probable Mr Jay may think proper to send me to
Corunna in this business, which commission, I must confess, I shall
accept with reluctance, because I not only foresee the delay and
expense that must inevitably have place, if this government is obliged
to interfere, but the disgrace, which must ensue from the notoriety of
these unhappy differences between the commander and the American
gentlemen aboard. I have another motive, which arises from the nature
of the employment with which Congress has honored me, and which, with
submission, I conceive does not admit of my absence at the most
important period of the negotiation, when most knowledge is to be
acquired of the real dispositions and intentions of this Court, and
when I may avail myself of the esteem and confidence with which the
proposed negotiator has appeared to honor me for several months past.
Although, for the reasons abovementioned, and for others which I could
add, I may leave the Court at this crisis with reluctance, I shall, if
directed, proceed to Corunna, and execute the trust reposed in me,
with a zeal, assiduity, and activity, which, I hope, will always
influence my conduct, when the public interest and reputation are in
question.

I enclose a letter for his Excellency, the Chevalier de la Luzerne
from the Count de Montmorin, whose talents and warm espousal of our
interests, not only here, but at his own Court, entitle him to the
approbation and esteem of Congress. I just hear that the Court has
received advices from Buenos Ayres, dated the 7th of July. These are
very agreeable. The rebellion mentioned in my former letters is
entirely quelled, by the defeat and capture of the Indian chief at the
head of it, and his principal officers, cannon, treasure, &c. &c. It
seems two English officers are in the number of the prisoners, and
that many letters and papers were found, which discover that the
Portuguese excited and fomented these disturbances.[11]

The Havana fleet is expected daily. On its arrival, perhaps, the Court
may do something for us. But I repeat again, that little is to be
depended on in the money way. Letters from France talk of a large
expedition preparing at Brest. Its object is a secret. I shall seize
every opportunity of informing the Committee of what passes in Europe
relative to our affairs, and, in future, will multiply the copies of
my letters to ensure their safe arrival.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.


FOOTNOTES:

[11] This alludes to the revolt of the celebrated Peruvian Chief,
Tupac Amaru, of which an eloquent account is given by Dean Funes, in
his _Ensayo de la Historia Civil del Paraguay, Buenos Ayres y
Tucuman_. See North American Review, Vol. XX. p. 283.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                          Madrid, November 17th, 1781.

  Gentlemen,

On the 2d instant the pretended Ex-Jesuit, who made so much noise in
the English papers last winter and spring, was arrested at the
Escurial, where he arrived the day before from Lisbon, under an
assumed name. Commodore Johnson sent him to Rio Janeiro, in order to
pass from thence to the Spanish settlements in Peru. He pretended to
the Portuguese Governor, that he had been taken by Johnson on his way
to the Caracas, but the former from some suspicion arising from the
man's appearance and story, refused him permission to pass into the
country, which obliged him to embark for Lisbon, at which place under
his borrowed name he addressed Don Ferdinand Nunes, the Spanish
Ambassador, offering to make some important discoveries to the Count
de Florida Blanca. The former advised the Minister of these offers,
and was directed by him to furnish the person in question with cash
for his journey. It is said, that he was recognized the very day of
his arrival at the Escurial, by one who knew him at Buenos Ayres. It
is more probable, that M. Nunes knew his real character previous to
his departure from Lisbon, for the magistrate whom the Minister of the
Indies employs on such occasions, went to the Escurial with his
officers, the day he arrived there, and arrested him the same evening.
He is now in close prison, and I am told has discovered all he knew
relative to the designs of the English, to foment the spirit of revolt
existing in that country. This affair furnished conversation to the
Court the few days I resided at the Escurial, whither I went, at the
instance of the French Ambassador, to Mr Jay to be present at the
_Besa Manos_, on St Carlos's day.

I found by conversation with M. Del Campo, First Under Secretary of
Foreign Affairs, that nothing had been done by the Court to advance
the conferences for a treaty since it left St Ildefonso. In my letter
of the 5th of October, I mentioned, that the gentleman abovenamed was
nominated by the King to treat with Mr Jay; this nomination has never
been formally communicated, but I had my information from such a
quarter, that I am convinced the appointment was made, and the
instructions given near about the time mentioned in my letter.
Multiplicity of business, and the confusion occasioned by the Court's
removal from one royal residence to another, are the present pretexts
for this delay. The aspect of our affairs at the close of the
campaign, the fate of which is yet unknown, and the apprehension of
being obliged to make large advances in consequence of cementing their
connexion with the States, are perhaps the real causes; to which may
be added others of a different nature, though not less important to
Ministers and courtiers.

The palace is filled with Irish attendants, of both sexes, whose
animosity to us and our cause is as decided and inveterate as is their
attachment to it in America. The Princess of Asturias has on several
occasions, and lately in particular, treated such English as come here
with much condescension and distinction. The last instance I allude to
happened to lady Winchelson, and the Lord her son, who came from
America, (where he commanded a regiment) to Lisbon for his health.
They were accompanied by a Mr Graham and his lady, and sister, both
sisters of Lady Stormont, and visited the Escurial in their way to
France.

If the Ministers perceive any aversion in their future King and Queen
to an alliance with us, they can easily find pretexts to retard it
until they see their own justification in the urgency of the
conjuncture, that may appear to have forced them into the measure.
This however is but conjecture founded on the knowledge of some little
incidents in the interior of the palace, and strengthened by the
conduct of the Ministry, not only in the great object of Mr Jay's
mission, but also in several minute particulars in which they might
act to our satisfaction, without showing any marked partiality in our
favor. So far from Mr Jay's having been yet able to obtain further
succors, the French Ambassador has not procured the payment of moneys
advanced in the month of May, by the Marquis de Yranda, to enable Mr
Jay to discharge the bills due that month, although the Minister
engaged his word to the Ambassador to repay this sum in equal monthly
payments. In fact the Court itself is distressed, and with difficulty
finds means to answer its own engagements.

I believe I may venture to write with some certainty on this subject,
for I have been on an intimate footing with the person who has
transacted for the Court the most part of its money negotiations for
more than twelve months past. I knew and cultivated him before he was
in favor, and my introduction of him to Mr Jay, procured him the
commission on the payment of our bills, and a considerable credit in
consequence of the sums supposed to pass through his hands monthly for
this purpose. As he has been the founder of the paper system in this
country, and as he is likely soon to establish a national bank, he
will probably make some figure in the annals of this reign. His name
is Francis Cabarrus, born in Bayonne, but sent early to Spain to
acquire a knowledge in its commerce, in which his father was
considerably interested. His marriage at the age of nineteen (he is
now twentynine) displeased his family, from whom after that period he
received no assistance. With a small capital, as he himself informed
me, he came and established a soap-work in the neighborhood of this
city. While there he introduced himself to the notice of the Count de
Campomanes, by becoming a member of the patriotic society, the friends
of their country; of which the last mentioned gentleman is in a great
measure the founder. He soon conciliated his esteem, as well as that
of the Governor of the Council of Castile, to whom he became known by
means of his friend and patron M. Campomanes. Through their interest
he procured a contract to supply wheat and flour, in a time of
scarcity, and commenced banker. The last year he proposed his plan for
procuring cash for government, on terms mentioned in former letters.
His genius is brilliant, active, and enterprising, with more
imagination than solidity, although he is by no means deficient in
acquired knowledge, arising from reading and reflection, the result of
experience. His eloquence, enforced by a very prepossessing
countenance and figure, seizes the heart before it convinces the
judgment, and this joined to his knowledge of commercial and money
transactions, has obtained for him the confidence of M. Musquiz, who
consults him at present in all affairs of finance.

I have thought proper to say thus much of this gentleman, not only on
account of the part he has had, and is like to have in money matters,
but because he has on all occasions manifested himself a friend to
our cause, of which he is an enthusiastic advocate, being totally
divested of local prejudices. He offered to procure five hundred
thousand dollars for the States, payable at Havana on condition of
being reimbursed by government in two years, the payments to commence
at the expiration of two months after his orders for the delivery of
the money to the agents of Congress were despatched. He will make the
advances for the payment of the bills due next month, which amount to
thirtytwo thousand dollars, and for the reimbursement of which Mr Jay
relies on Dr Franklin, for after the delays we have experienced here,
and the knowledge of their own distresses, there is no great reason to
think this Court will grant us any considerable pecuniary assistance,
unless a happy change in the situation of our affairs should
precipitate a treaty, and lead them to extraordinary exertions, as
proofs of their amity. The support of their fleet at Cadiz, of forty
sail of the line, the sieges of Gibraltar and Mahon; their expensive
armaments at the Havana, and the preparations making for an expedition
from Europe to that quarter, which will sail next month, exhaust their
European and American revenue, and all the resources by which they
have hitherto obtained money.

The insurrections in Peru augment this expense, and the same spirit of
revolt, which seems to have extended to Mexico, will add to it. These
discontents have been occasioned by duties imposed since the
administration of M. Galvez, the present Minister of the Indies. The
project was proposed by Carrasco, Marquis de la Corona, to the Marquis
of Squillace then Minister, who was much inclined to adopt it, and
named the projector to visit Spanish America, in order to form on the
spot the plan of its execution. He declined the mission on various
pretexts, and another was appointed for this purpose, who died on his
passage. M. Galvez, the present Minister of the Indies, succeeded him,
and on his return to Spain made a report so agreeable to his Majesty,
that it procured him the important post he now occupies.

The novelty of these measures, joined to the vexations and impositions
occasioned, as is said, by the collectors of them, has created much
dissatisfaction in these countries. I have my information from some of
the principal natives of Mexico and Peru here, and also from a
foreigner, who obtained permission to visit Mexico, and who made the
voyage from motives of curiosity. Four thousand troops are to be
embarked at Cadiz for the expedition abovementioned, and it is said
will be escorted by four vessels of the line, who at the same time
convoy the register ships bound to the Havana and Vera Cruz. As this
convoy will sail about the same time that the expedition from Brest
will be ready for sea, it is probable they may form a junction. Ten
thousand troops are to be employed in the one last mentioned, and I am
told will sail escorted by twenty sail of the line. Part of which will
probably join the grand fleet at Cadiz, and the rest proceed to the
West Indies, where I have reason to think they will act in concert
with the Spaniards. A friend of mine is to embark on board the French
fleet as interpreter. He speaks and writes the Spanish language
perfectly.

I have also some reason to believe that the French naval force, and a
larger body of troops than they have yet sent to America, will appear
on our coasts earlier the next, than they did the present year.
Jamaica is thought to be the first object of these expeditions, and
this conjecture arises from the appointment of M. Galvez to the
command of the Spanish force in the West Indies, whose project for
attacking that Island is well known. In France, it is said that a part
of the troops to be embarked at Brest, is intended for the East
Indies; and here, that theirs are sent to suppress the revolt at Santa
Fé, mentioned in my letter of the 17th ult.[12] I rather think that
two French ships of the line, now at Cadiz, and as many frigates, who
have taken and are taking in provisions for a long voyage, are
destined to the eastern part of the world, and that they will take
with them a considerable sum in dollars, for the payment of their land
and sea forces there. The French Ambassador has obtained, or is about
to obtain, permission to send out of the kingdom two and a half
million of dollars, part of which sum is probably destined to the
purpose above mentioned.

The sieges of Gibraltar and Mahon go on slowly. The operations against
these fortresses have not been so vigorous hitherto as to promise a
speedy reduction of either; when the efforts of these besiegers become
more interesting, I shall transmit regular accounts of their progress.
The Court of Great Britain proposes to send five hundred troops to
America, exclusive of recruits, to be drawn from Germany and Ireland.
These it is said, will sail with thirteen sail of the line in the
course of next month. The East India Company also send a reinforcement
of seven thousand men to the East Indies, with four sail of the line.
If this information can be credited, the East and West India, and
American reinforcements will sail at the same time, to insure by their
united force their safety on the coast of Europe.

In Holland the divisions are still great, and likely to be so. The
Provinces have not yet all agreed to the loan proposed by France for
the use of Congress. I am informed the Stadtholder's friends give it
all the opposition in their power. That Prince has, as I have already
advised the Committee, been obliged to consent to the augmentation of
the marine. The news of the birth of the Dauphin will probably reach
America before this letter. It is expected it will be received there
with demonstrations of satisfaction that will be highly flattering to
the French nation. The great age and infirmities of the Count de
Maurepas, render it probable that he will not survive the winter. The
Queen's influence, it is thought, will increase by the birth of the
Dauphin, and the death of this Minister. Permit me to conclude with
the flattering hopes of a brilliant close of the campaign, which the
well concerted plan of our General and allies communicated to me by
the Count de Montmorin, renders highly probable. The success of this
operation, and what is expected, may perhaps render Mr Jay's next
information more agreeable and interesting to Congress, to whom I beg
leave to present my humble respects.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.


FOOTNOTES:

[12] Missing.

       *       *       *       *       *

             ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

                                    Philadelphia, December 20th, 1781.

  Dear Sir,

Your letters of the 16th of August, and 5th of October, came to hand.
They were read in Congress, and handed over to this office, which will
in future, agreeably to its institution, receive and make all
communications to and from Congress, conformable to their ordinance,
of which I enclose a copy, having omitted it in my letters to Mr Jay.
The importance of early and regular intelligence from Europe is so
much felt here, that you have full credit for all the communications
you make. I wish you would extend them so far as to permit no vessel
to sail without letters and papers. Spanish gazettes may sometimes be
serviceable to us.

The expedition of the Duc de Crillon is important in many views;
should it succeed, it will be such a blow to the British as must
hasten a negotiation, though it may probably obstruct a peace; at any
rate, the possession of the Island must cut the sinews of their
Mediterranean trade. Your apprehensions about being sent to Corunna,
will, I hope, have been groundless, as Captain Gillon's ship is not
the property of, or under the direction of the United States. So far
as Mr Jay's good offices can be serviceable, they undoubtedly will be
extended. He will not think himself obliged to involve the United
States in the expense or disgrace of Captain Gillon's misconduct, if,
as is alleged, he has really behaved improperly. Should he determine
to interfere, Congress make no doubt but you will conform to his
intentions; and they rely upon your zeal and activity in the discharge
of such trusts, as he may think proper, since he alone can judge of
the best application of them, and will not deprive himself of the
advantages, which your assistance and information may afford, without
being determined by weighty and important considerations.

It gives great pleasure here, to hear of the step that Spain is
taking, for opening a treaty with us. The delays in that business
begin to be resented by the people of this country, the more
forcibly, as they felt a high degree of respect for the Court, and
much attachment to the people of Spain, in return for the good offices
that they had done them. The great cause of the delay being now (as we
hear) removed, I doubt not that the candor of the negotiators, and the
clear views that they both have of the interest, which Spain and
America may mutually derive from an intimate union, will remove all
other difficulties to the wished for connexion.

We have no other news on this side the water, than that the enemy have
evacuated Wilmington. You, who know the spirit of disaffection which
prevailed in some parts of North Carolina, and the commerce which it
is capable of carrying on, particularly at this time, in articles for
the supply of the West India markets, will see the important sacrifice
the enemy have been obliged to make in thus quitting this post, and
abandoning the only friends in America, upon whose fidelity and
attachment they could rely.

I need not repeat to you, that I shall at all times think myself happy
in hearing from you, independent of the advantage that the public may
derive from your letters. They will be particularly agreeable to me,
as they may be made the means of increasing the number of friends,
which your zeal and attention has already procured you.

I am, Sir, with great esteem, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                          Madrid, December 20th, 1781.

  Sir,

Since my letter of the 17th ult. to the Committee of Foreign Affairs,
I have had the pleasure to hear of your appointment to the office of
Secretary for that department, and although I have not any official
directions, respecting my future correspondence, in consequence of
this change, I take the liberty of addressing you as I have hitherto
done the Committee, on the subject of our affairs here, their
situation, and that of the powers with whom we have, or may hereafter
have, connexions. At the same time permit me to entreat you, Sir, to
inform me, whether it is judged necessary, that I should continue this
correspondence, having done it hitherto with a view to multiply the
channels of information to Congress, and not from an expectation of
conveying any material intelligence, which they will not ultimately
receive in a fuller manner from Mr Jay and their other Ministers; to
the former of whom I communicate instantly every information I can
procure here, or by my foreign correspondence. I have been induced to
continue this correspondence, from another motive, which is, that I
find that others employed as secretaries here, are directed by their
respective Courts, to write either to the Minister for Foreign
Affairs, or the particular Secretary of their Sovereigns. The only
letter, which I have had the honor to receive from Mr Lovell, since I
have been in this country, approved of my endeavors to communicate
early and regular information; but if it is expected I should do it
effectually, I hope a cypher will be sent me, by the first safe
conveyance, under cover to Mr Harrison at Cadiz, or to our Consul in
France, with directions to those gentlemen to forward the letter
enclosing it, by a sure hand, to escape the inspection of the
post-offices in France and Spain, the dread of which often retards my
letters, which I am now obliged to send to the sea-ports, by private
persons, or the couriers of the French Ambassador. Once possessed of a
cypher, I flatter myself that few vessels will sail from France or
this country without letters from me, which, although often not
interesting, may yet in some degree contribute to the satisfaction of
Congress.

Our affairs are in much the same situation they were when I had the
honor to forward the above mentioned letter to the Committee. M. Del
Campo's sickness, from which he is but just recovered, is the occasion
or pretext for this delay. His appointment, however, has been finally
announced to Mr Jay by the Minister, and was made at the time
mentioned in my former letters. It is probable that little will be
done in this business, until the Court goes to the Pardo the 7th of
next month. A principle of delicacy perhaps prevents it from seeming
at present to precipitate its conduct, in consequence of the favorable
aspect of our affairs, since the news of the capture of Lord
Cornwallis, and the victory obtained by General Greene in South
Carolina. But the delay attending the transaction of the smallest
affair in this country, is a sufficient reason to account for the
difficulties Mr Jay encounters at present, without surmising other
motives. On this subject, I speak from the experience of almost all
the _corps diplomatique_, as well as from the authority of
individuals, who have much business with the various branches of
administration.

The news above mentioned, was received apparently with great pleasure
by the King and Prince of Asturias, as I was informed the same day by
several of their officers in waiting. The public at large was highly
satisfied, and has spoken more favorably since of our allies, than it
has done from the commencement of the war. The foreign Ministers were
not all so well pleased with this event, particularly those of
Germany, Russia and Denmark. However, in general they regard it as a
blow which decides the Independence of the States. The new Minister of
Sweden is open in declaring his partiality for our cause, and
signified that he would have waited on Mr Jay on his arrival here, as
it is the custom of those last come to do, if no other Minister had
arrived here since Mr Jay's residence, who had not done it. His
conduct to myself shows that this was not a mere compliment, for he
has invited me several times to dine with him, and visited me. He is a
particular friend, I believe, of M. Marbois, for he speaks highly of
him, as indeed all do, whom I have conversed with, that have the
pleasure of his acquaintance.

The Imperial and Swedish Ministers declare that their respective
Sovereigns will reclaim all vessels under their colors, going to or
returning from America, which comply with the articles of the armed
neutrality, and it has been hinted to me, that it was not difficult to
obtain letters of naturalization for the crews of American vessels,
provided the nominal officers are subjects of either country. The
Court has at length consented to repay the money advanced in April
last by the Marquis de Yranda, but has not enabled Mr Jay to pay the
bills due this month, and as Dr Franklin has not authorised him to
draw, M. Cabarrus, as I expected in my last, has consented to advance
the sum sufficient for this purpose, amounting to thirtytwo thousand
dollars. Perhaps Dr Franklin may soon enable Mr Jay to repay him.

Thirty thousand pounds sterling would pay all our debts here, which
distress us more than the apprehension of not receiving our salaries,
of which, though liberal, we have constant need, owing to the dearness
of everything in this country, and the great expense incurred by the
frequent change of residence of the Court, which circumstance obliges
us to take lodgings at the royal residences; and which expense, the
frequent journeys that we were constrained to make on account of our
other business in Madrid, greatly augment. I should not touch on this
subject, if Dr Franklin had not desired me to mention to Congress our
personal difficulties and distresses, for I believe, with all the
desire he has to serve us, he procures with difficulty sufficient
funds for the payment of our salaries.

The expeditions mentioned in my former letters, are now both probably
at sea; that from France sailed the 10th instant, and I know of a
certainty, that orders have been sent to Cadiz to hasten the departure
of the ships and troops at that post. The French ships there,
mentioned in my last, take on board a million of dollars, and M. de
Bussy, who formerly signalized himself in the East Indies, has gone
thither incognito by land, accompanied by several officers, who have
but lately returned from the East. It is therefore highly probable,
that these vessels, joined by others, go thither, and will take under
their escort a part of the troops embarked at Brest.

No great progress is made in the sieges of Gibraltar and Mahon; on the
27th ult., the enemy made a sally from the former place, in which they
did more damage, than has been published here, having completely
ruined the advanced works of the besiegers, the repair of which will
require some time and much money. At Mahon, the rainy season has
retarded the operation of the assailants. I am just told the Duc de
Crillon demands a reinforcement of two thousand men, which will be
granted to him. The enemy receives small succors from time to time by
sea. The Court is about to negotiate another loan, in which if it does
not succeed, perhaps it must have recourse to another emission of
paper. The treasury is at a low ebb. The Minister of Marine demanded
lately ten millions of reals, and received but three. The credit of
the paper has lately risen, it is not negotiated at one and a half per
cent loss.

A plan for a national bank, is at present before the Council. The
projector, M. Cabarrus, proposes to form a capital of fifteen millions
of dollars, of which he offers to procure six millions; each action to
amount to two thousand reals, for which the proprietors receive a
certain interest of four per cent, with the profits expected from this
establishment; I have seen the plan, but had not permission to copy
it, so that I can give but a faint sketch of it. Eight directors are
to be chosen the first year, and six annually, by the assembly of the
proprietors; two of these directors are to be perpetual, because it is
proposed, that they should have the direction of the supplies for the
army and navy, with an interest of ten per cent, to the emolument of
the bank; these two directors are to be named by the Court, out of
four chosen by the proprietors; in other respects the Court to have no
influence. If this plan, which was originally a part of the scheme for
the circulation of paper here, should succeed, the paper which will be
discounted by it, will probably preserve its credit. The Gromios,
companies possessed of exclusive privileges, will be annihilated, and
much money, now dormant in the coffers of individuals, be called into
circulation. The Gromios pay two and a half per cent interest, and the
bank four, which difference, joined to the hopes of farther profits,
will tempt the money-holders to withdraw their funds from the hands of
the first, and place them in the latter. But these companies and their
friends, oppose it strongly, as do also the persons employed in
supplying the army and navy, with whom, it is said, people in various
departments of Government have interested connexions.

The Courts of France and Spain seem determined to continue the war
with vigor, and you will see by the King of Great Britain's speech,
that he is not disposed to accommodation. The Empress of Russia still
continues her endeavors to bring about a peace between England and
Holland, to which the British Ministry has lately appeared to listen,
although in a haughty manner. I am told the republican party is more
exasperated than ever, by their answer to Russia, which is published.
But your information will be much more accurate from Mr Adams, than
any that I can procure. My correspondents from France write me, that
the nation is much elated by the late triumph of the allied arms. This
success, and the flourishing state of their commerce, reconcile them
to the war, the continuance of which their Ambassador here regards as
inevitable.

The resolution of Congress, prohibiting all intercourse between the
citizens of America and the subjects of Great Britain, gives a secret
satisfaction both in France and this country, and augments the
jealousy of others, that the influence of France will exclude at the
peace all amicable connexions between the States and Great Britain,
at least this is the language of several of the foreign Ministers and
their families. The Imperial Ambassador has lately made
representations on account of an ordinance rigorously executed of late
in the ports, obliging all captains of vessels to make an oath,
declaratory of the contents of all packages, &c. &c. on board their
vessels. He has endeavored to make this a common cause. The commerce
murmurs against this, and other regulations lately enforced. It must
be confessed, that Spain seems desirous to discourage all commerce
carried on by foreigners, and bears as hard on their allies as on
neutral nations. Whenever a peace takes place, France will be
constrained to make a new convention on this subject. At present, this
Court feels its importance, and the cabinet of Versailles has points
of a nature so much more interesting to carry, that it takes little
notice of the breach of conventions actually subsisting. By a late
ordinance of the Minister of Finance, a duty of twentyfive per cent
was imposed upon all produce brought in American vessels from the
Havana. Mr Jay has made representations on this subject, which, I
hope, will be attended to. M. Galvez appeared well disposed to
withdraw them. It appears also to be the intention of the present
Minister, to diminish the consumption of salt fish, to pave the way,
as their friends give out, for its total exclusion at the peace,
unless cured and imported by the natives; for this purpose, they have
obtained bills of indulgence from the Pope, permitting the use of meat
during Lent, and on other days on which it was prohibited. The price
of these indulgences is proportioned to the rank of the purchaser. It
is calculated, that the sale of them in the Spanish dominions will
produce two millions of dollars annually; so that a double advantage
is derived from this operation, the extraction of money for fish is
prevented, and the revenue considerably augmented.

The present Ministry seem firmly established in their respective
posts. The Count de Florida Blanca's health does not permit him to
give constant application to business, but is not of so dangerous a
nature as to cause any apprehension. The Ministers of the Indies and
Marine keep their ground in the King's favor, although they have many
enemies. If the disturbances in America should increase, the credit of
the first may be weakened. The latter, although disliked by his
colleagues and disapproved by France, preserves the Sovereign's good
graces. He has one merit, which is his constant attention to the
safety of the Spanish fleet, a merit that may fix him in his place,
but which renders him odious to the nation and its allies, who wish to
see it more actively employed.

I am afraid these particulars may appear trivial to Congress, to whom
I should be happy to make more important communications; these are not
to be obtained but by the dint of money, or by a long residence and
intimacy with persons in the various departments of government. The
first we have not for the most pressing exigencies, and the latter,
our at present doubtful situation at this Court precludes us from in
some degree; although neither attentions nor endeavors have been
omitted to make useful acquaintances.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                          Madrid, December 24th, 1781.

  Sir,

Yesterday Mr Jay had an audience of his Excellency, the Count de
Florida Blanca, in which that Minister in the most express terms
assured him, he might depend on receiving three millions of reals to
pay such bills as he had already accepted, this sum, with near
eighteen thousand dollars received already, and twentyfive thousand
promised by the Court of France, will fully answer this purpose, and I
still hope ways and means will be found to furnish funds for the
bills, which have not yet been presented, and which, for some weeks,
come to hand slowly. The Minister also promised his good offices with
the Court of Portugal, and informed Mr Jay, that previous to his
application, he had endeavored to induce the Ministry of that nation
to conduct itself with respect to the States, in a manner more
agreeable to the rights of humanity and the law of nations founded on
those rights, but that the party in favor of Great Britain
preponderated hitherto.

I have had opportunities of speaking several times on this subject to
the Secretary of the Embassy of Portugal here, and once to the
Ambassador. Each seemed sensible of the injustice of the first step of
the Court, and owned it more easy to do an injury than to repair it.
If the Congress should be in a situation to make strong
representations to that Court, with a recapitulation of the conduct of
the States during the whole war in respect to Portugal, they may be
possibly attended with success, particularly if they should accede to
the armed neutrality, to which they are strongly pressed by Russia at
present. The Minister also engaged to do justice to certain Americans
who carried a British privateer to the Canaries, and, in short, seemed
exceedingly well disposed to render the States every service in his
power. I cannot forbear, however, mentioning to the Committee, that he
spoke with much chagrin of the adherence of Congress to points, which,
in his opinion, rendered a treaty impracticable for the present, and
although pressed on that subject by Mr Jay, I doubt whether he will
give his sentiments thereon in writing. He also seemed exceedingly
apprehensive of the efficacy of the means employed by Sir H. Clinton,
to sow jealousy and discord among the States, and even in Congress,
and said that the letters lately received by the British Court from
the officer abovementioned, gave great hopes of success in this
particular. In fine, he assured Mr Jay, that considerable sums of
money would be employed for this purpose, and as I am convinced this
Court received its information from a person equally employed by that
of London, I fear it will be difficult to remove these suspicions
until time shows how ill founded they are.

In the meantime, unanimity and force in America are the best arms of
the States there, and their best arguments in Europe. To which, if
much complaisance to the Spanish King and nation is added, even in
objects not essential, the Congress will enable their servants to
defeat the designs of the British emissary and their party here, so
long as the present King lives. According to present appearances, the
war is likely to continue. Although I have already written you
particularly on the subject, I now repeat, that the Court is in the
way of negotiating its loans for the expenses of the ensuing year, and
that it expects some treasure from America. At Cadiz, they have
twentynine sail of the line ready for sea. The blockade of Gibraltar
is continued with tolerable success hitherto. The Count d'Estaing was
not arrived in France by the last advices. This delay will retard the
operations intended for our succor.

The death of the Empress Queen will probably kindle the flame of war
in Europe, though perhaps not in the ensuing year. I am told from good
authority the Emperor is favorably disposed to England. His Ambassador
and Mr Cumberland are very intimate, and see each other every day. The
residence here of the latter is extraordinary in the present situation
of the two nations, and can only be accounted for on the principles,
which I had the honor to mention in former letters. If I may be
allowed to conjecture, I think Holland will be sooner or later
involved in the war, and that orders have already been given by the
Court of England to attack their possessions in the East Indies. This
however is but a conjecture, although grounded on some share of
political evidence.

The British Parliament is prorogued to the 23d of January. Their grand
fleet is at sea. Mr Trumbull has been arrested in England, and several
Americans obliged to fly and abscond, among whom there is one of my
correspondents. I have received advice, that several were included in
the number to be arrested, whom it was not the intention of Government
to seize, in order to give them an opportunity of returning to America
with more eclat, to be in a situation of rendering greater services to
Great Britain. I hope this advice is without foundation, but having
received it, I think it my duty to communicate it, because
circumspection can do us no material injury. M. Gardoqui will
scarcely take his departure until all negotiations are at an end, and
the campaign shall have commenced.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

_P. S._ Sir Joseph Yorke has presented another Memorial to the States,
more insolent than the former. The armed neutrality propose to have
forty sail of the line next spring in the ports of Holland.

                                                                 W. C.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                          Madrid, February 18th, 1782.

  Sir,

I have just had the pleasure of receiving your letter of the 20th of
December, and seize the earliest opportunity of acknowledging the
satisfaction I feel in the hope of a more regular correspondence than
I have hitherto had with your department. The moment I was informed,
indirectly of your appointment, I did myself the honor of addressing
you. My first letter was dated the same day you wrote the one above
mentioned. On the 24th ultimo, I again solicited your attention, and
as I sent quadruplicates of these letters, I think I may venture to
refer you to their contents, for accounts of the state of affairs, and
the general intelligence at the time of writing them.

I find by your letter, that mine written in the month of September,
had not reached Congress. I sent three copies via Bilboa, by the
Captains Tracy, Cook, and another, whose name my correspondents
omitted to mention to me. I have had the mortification to hear
lately, that these vessels were all taken on the coasts of America.
The fourth copy was sent from France, so that I still hope it may have
escaped the misfortune of the others. Nothing gives me, or can give
me, more pleasure, than the idea of contributing to the satisfaction
of Congress, while I fill a duty, which a sense of their confidence,
and a desire of meriting a continuance of it imposes on me. I am only
sorry, that my abilities and opportunities do not correspond with my
wishes, to render my communications more useful. I have already
requested you in the letters above mentioned, to point out the line of
my duty.

I am infinitely obliged to you for what you mention with respect to my
apprehension of being sent to Corunna, and having your sanction to
direct my conduct in future. I shall implicitly follow Mr Jay's
directions, should he even choose to send me as a courier to be the
bearer of despatches to the sea-ports. The reason assigned in your
letter, joined to others which I had the honor to mention in mine to
the Committee, were such as I suggested when I expressed a reluctance
to be employed with discretionary powers in this business. I was
prepared however to execute Mr Jay's orders, but I believe ulterior
reflections, and the advice of the French Ambassador, induced him to
relinquish the idea of sending me.

I have no cypher from Mr Morris and have seen none from him. I must
therefore again request you to forward me one, under cover to Messrs
Barclay and Harrison, with directions to those gentlemen to forward
your letters by private hands, and not by the post, for I fear that
one you sent to Mr Jay has been intercepted. No delicacy is preserved
by this Court on this head. This practice is not confined to us, but
extends to the correspondence of all the _corps diplomatique_. It has
happened, that in the hurry of resealing letters thus examined, papers
belonging to the department, in which they were opened, have been
carelessly enclosed by the Secretary, and returned to the Minister by
the person to whom the letters were addressed. Without a cypher it
will be impossible for me to be so punctual as may be expected, for at
present I am obliged to send most of my letters by private hands, or
by the French Ambassador's couriers to the sea-ports, which
circumstance often retards their arrival in America.

Our situation with respect to money matters is still critical. The
drafts which Dr Franklin is obliged to pay are so frequent, that he
has not been able to obtain cash to enable Mr Jay to discharge the
bills accepted by him here, for which M. Cabarrus, as has been
mentioned in former letters, is nearly forty thousand dollars in
advance. Happily there are few bills due until the middle of next
month, which will give Dr Franklin time to endeavor to save our credit
here, and to this Ministry to reflect on the consequence of denying us
this small succor. The Count de Florida Blanca has been lately
solicited on this subject by the French Ambassador, and without giving
hopes of affording the sum demanded, he promised to do what the
urgency of their own wants permit him to do for us. In this
conversation he appeared dissatisfied, that Congress had taken no
notice of the desire he had expressed of obtaining one of the vessels
constructing in the Eastern ports, for the United States, and
complained, that no returns had been made by the States to the proofs
the King had manifested, of his favorable disposition towards them. In
fact their own necessities are evident.

In addition to what I have heretofore mentioned on this head, I have
lately been informed from good authority, that a person to whom the
Crown is indebted twelve millions of reals, in order to obtain
payment, has been constrained to propose to purchase the salt
belonging to his Majesty, to the amount of twentyfour millions of
reals, for the payment of which, after deducting the sum due to him,
he is obliged to advance immediately five millions of reals, although
he has little hopes of disembarrassing himself shortly, of such an
immense quantity of an article, for which there is little demand at
present. The Minister, to soften the harshness of his refusal to make
further advances, informed the Count de Montmorin, that M. Del Campo's
instructions would be ready in a few days, and that Mr Jay might then
commence his conferences on the subject of the proposed treaty. If I
may be allowed to hazard a conjecture again on this subject, I must
repeat what I have often mentioned already, that Spain seems desirous
to retard this business until a general treaty takes place. Perhaps it
may not be unworthy the attention of Congress, to prepare eventual
resolutions should this prove to be the intentions of the Court.

Since commencing this letter, we have the agreeable news of the
capitulation of Mahon, in twentyeight days after the trenches were
opened. The garrison are prisoners of war, and, including sailors,
&c., amount to two thousand six hundred men. Sickness, which reduced
their number of effective men to one thousand three hundred,
unwholesome provision, fatigue, and despair of succor, are the motives
assigned by the Governor, for the surrender of this important place,
which has cost Spain two hundred killed, and three hundred wounded.
The joy of the Court is excessive. The Count de Florida Blanca has the
merit of having planned this expedition. It is said, the
fortifications are to be entirely ruined, and the port rendered
incapable of receiving large vessels. The officer charged with the
despatches, announcing this event, accuses our allies of having shown
a backwardness and reluctance to assist in this siege, which has
excited much indignation here. The Princess of Asturias said publicly
at dinner, that the Spaniards had taken Fort St Philip's in sight of
four thousand spectators, (meaning the French troops.) I had this from
a foreign Minister who was present. I am persuaded the charge is
without foundation, but still it will have a bad effect, and augment a
national animosity, which prevails too much already.

It is probable that the siege of Gibraltar will now be pushed with
more vigor. It is the King's favorite object, and the Duc de Crillon,
I know, is of opinion that it may be taken. His late success will give
weight to his opinion. I have been told that the Irish who obtained
permission to return to the sea-ports, after being exiled from thence
for several months, will again be ordered to quit them. This
circumstance induces me to believe, that strong efforts will be made
to take Gibraltar. The Spanish fleet has returned to Cadiz, where it
will not remain long, the magazines being abundantly provided, and
although there is no great number of workmen, or docks, for the
repairs of vessels of the line, yet as few of the vessels have
suffered in their cruise, these inconveniences will not be felt. The
Count de Guichen was ready for sea the 28th ultimo, and only waited
for a wind. His fleet consists of ten sail of the line, which has
under its convoy fifty sail of transports; five of the first mentioned
are destined for Cadiz, to join the Spanish fleet, which will then be
superior to any the enemy can assemble in the seas of Europe. Admiral
Rodney was still in the Channel the 22d ultimo, and will probably push
for the West Indies, without any transports; the convoys for the West
and East Indies, and America, not being yet in readiness. It is said
that great reinforcements are to be sent to these quarters. Lord
George Germain, it is said, will resign, and be succeeded by Mr Ellis.

The Russian and Imperial Ministers, still interpose their good offices
to mediate a peace. The neutral Ministers say here, that Lord
Stormont, in a late conversation with the first mentioned, declared
with heat, that his Sovereign would treat with France on the subject
of our independence, when a French army was in possession of the Tower
of London, and not before, and that they would negotiate with Spain
for the cession of Gibraltar, in exchange for the city of Madrid. I
should not commit this extravagance to paper if I had not heard it
mentioned by the Count de Montmorin, and other Ministers.

Mr Adams has demanded a categorical answer from the States-General to
the proposition made them on behalf of the United States. The Dutch
Secretary here informs me, that his letter was well received. The
Dutch Minister at this Court has invited me to his house, since the
presentation of the above mentioned demand. I have lately had
conversation with the Swedish Minister, which I hope will enable me
two months hence to give you some information of the disposition of
his Court. This Minister is exceedingly well disposed to forward a
connexion between Sweden and America, as is the Baron de Ramel,
formerly Minister here, now Vice Chancellor of Sweden, to whose good
offices I believe I owe the countenance and civilities of its
representative here.

The _cedula_ for the bank will appear shortly. I shall take care to
forward that, and any other paper that I think worthy your attention.
I have sent the Madrid Gazette to Mr Harrison, and have desired him to
forward it in future. This gentleman is every way deserving your
esteem and notice. He acts at present as Consul for America at Cadiz,
and has been very useful there. His good sense and agreeable manners,
have acquired the good will of natives and foreigners.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                          Madrid, February 27th, 1782.

  Sir,

I did myself the honor of addressing you the 18th instant, which I
enclosed in the first copy of this. My letter of the 18th contained
all the intelligence of the state of our affairs in Holland, which had
come to my knowledge. My mind now is full of another object, for I
have the mortification to inform you, that unless Mr Jay is enabled by
Dr Franklin in a few days to pay the drafts he has accepted, he will
be obliged to stop payment. I am persuaded the latter has done
everything in his power to extricate us from this cruel situation, but
he has had so many other bills to answer, and France is itself so
pushed for money, that hitherto he has not been able to succeed, nor
indeed to pay us regularly our salaries.

This Court has at length consented to pay us the balance of the three
millions, promised last year, which amounts to near twentysix
thousand dollars, but this money is in some sort appropriated to the
repayment of the advances made for two months past, by M. Cabarrus,
who, after the conversation he has had with the Minister, is
discouraged from making equal advances. Less than twenty thousand
pounds sterling would now pay all our debts in this country. I shall
not despair until the bills are refused, although after what we have
experienced here, I have little ground to hope. The Count de Florida
Blanca has engaged to take such measures, as that Mr Jay shall not be
personally exposed, which, without the interference of the Court,
might be the case, as he is not acknowledged in a public character.

Mr Jay has not yet received any notice, that M. Del Campo's
instructions are ready. That gentleman has now been near four months
named for this business. It is now confidently asserted, that the
works at Mahon are to be destroyed. Two ships of the line, and two
frigates, have sailed from Cadiz, to escort the transports with troops
from Minorca, which, it is said, are to be employed in the siege of
Gibraltar. I know of a certainty, that the Court has given orders, to
amass considerable sums of money in Andalusia. The Count de Guichen
sailed on the 10th instant, and we expect every day to hear of his
arrival at Cadiz, with five ships of the line. The English East India
convoy sailed the 26th ult., and consists of six ships of the line, a
frigate, and nineteen transports and ships of the Company. The letters
and papers I have received the last posts from France and Holland,
assert that since the arrival of Lord Cornwallis and Arnold in
England, the king is resolved to continue an offensive war in America
at every hazard. As this intelligence corresponds with the character
of the king, and the officers above mentioned, some credit may be
given to it. It has been asserted in the English papers, that the king
of Great Britain was negotiating as Elector of Hanover with Saxony, to
take into pay ten thousand of its troops, to replace the like number
to be drawn from Hanover for the American war. The _Chargé d'Affaires_
of Saxony at this Court assures me that this is false.

It is expected by the friends of America, that preparations will be
early made, to repel every attack the enemy may be in force to make,
and if occasion presents, to act offensively. I have nothing to add to
this or my last, but that a copy of each will be delivered to you by
Colonel Livingston, whose zeal, abilities, application, and prudent
conduct, have acquired him general esteem, and have made his departure
regretted by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. Mr Vaughan,
who accompanies him, was strongly recommended to me by Dr Franklin,
and I have found him every way worthy of his recommendation. These
gentlemen will be able to give more ample details of general
intelligence, than I can do by letter, and of a later date than this.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                             Madrid, April 14th, 1782.

  Sir,

A violent defluxion of the eyes, which was epidemical here this
winter, incapacitated me for near three weeks after the date of my
last from writing, and the perplexed and uncertain situation of our
affairs here for some time past, induced me not to do myself the honor
of addressing you, until I could inform you in what manner our
difficulties were likely to have a period. Indeed, during this
interval, my time was so much engaged by the bills of exchange
accepted by Mr Jay, and the conversations I held with, and the visits
I was obliged to make to the various persons interested in this
affair, that I had very little leisure left for other occupations.

On the 27th of February, I expressed my apprehensions for the fate of
our accepted bills, although I could not but hope, that either this
Court or that of France, would interfere in time to relieve us from
this cruel mortification. Whether this Court withheld its aid, from
expectation that the French Ambassador was secretly instructed to
assist us, as on a former occasion, in case of extreme necessity;
whether their wants, which are pressing, occasioned their indecision;
or whether it was produced by the secret influence and artifices of
ill disposed persons, I will not pretend to say; but the fact is, that
notwithstanding the frequent representations of Mr Jay, and as
frequent good offices of the French Ambassador, the Minister did not,
until the day before Mr Jay found himself under the absolute necessity
of protesting the bills, authorise verbally the Count de Montmorin to
inform Mr Jay, that if M. Cabarrus persisted in his former intentions
of making the necessary advances, he would see him repaid in ten or
twelve months, to the amount of forty or fifty thousand current
dollars. It must be observed that this consent was given the day after
M. Del Campo had been informed by M. Cabarrus, at his own house, of
the terms on which he would make the advances in question. These terms
were different from those he had frequently repeated to Mr Jay and
myself, and which Mr Jay made known to the Minister; but I believe the
conversations with the latter, had excited apprehensions of his not
being reimbursed even in the time he had originally proposed.

These apprehensions were augmented by finding that the French
Ambassador was not authorised to extricate us from our distress,
although the Court of France was apprized of our situation. I early
remarked these fears, and endeavored to remove them by every means in
my power. I was clearly of opinion, however, that after the
conversation, above mentioned, with M. Del Campo, no reliance could be
placed on his assistance for our relief, and informed Mr Jay of my
conjectures on this subject, as I had done from the first moment I
discovered M. Cabarrus's fears and apprehensions. This disappointment,
constrained Mr Jay to protest a number of bills, some of which the
holders had the complaisance and indulgence to keep by them near three
weeks, in order to give time to Mr Jay to make arrangements for their
payment. Indeed, the whole commercial interest here, behaved in a
manner that scarce could be expected from persons who have so little
connexions with our country, and expressed their indignation and
astonishment, that the Court should expose to this mortification, for
a sum so trifling, a country united with them against a common enemy.
The foreign Ministers were not less surprised, and this incident, I
believe, furnished materials for their despatches at the time, and has
occasioned much conjecture since.

A letter from Dr Franklin, authorising Mr Jay to draw upon him for the
payment of the bills he had accepted, soon established our credit to
the general satisfaction of everybody who have no political
connexions to influence their opinion, and the news from England of
the address of the House of Commons to the King, to put an end to
offensive operations in America, and of the general fermentation in
Ireland, will probably give a more favorable aspect to our affairs
here, as has been the case elsewhere. Courier after courier arrived
from the Count d'Aranda, the Spanish Ambassador at Paris, and several
cabinet councils were held immediately after their respective
arrivals. Each of these couriers announced the various appearances of
a change in the British Cabinet, and probably gave some intelligence
of the overtures from Great Britain, made to Dr Franklin.

The flattering prospect of our affairs in Holland, may contribute also
to accelerate the conduct of others with respect to the United States.
The Minister promised Mr Jay, some time ago, that the conferences with
M. Del Campo, on the subject of a treaty should positively take place
at Aranjues, and the actual crisis of affairs renders it probable,
that more reliance may be placed on this than on former assurances;
but after the experience we have had of the dilatoriness of this
Court, I cannot flatter myself, that the treaty will be very speedily
concluded, for I have been led to resume my former opinion, that this
Court has wished, and still desires, to delay the acknowledgment of
our independence, until a general treaty of peace shall take place.
The Dutch Minister sent for me immediately after receiving advice,
that Friesland had resolved to admit Mr Adams in a public character,
and told me he had not the least doubt of the other provinces doing
the same. Indeed I heard extracts of letters read, from persons of
high repute in this republic, who speak of this affair, as a matter
determined, and which will meet with no other obstruction, than what
arises from the usual formalities and delays in the constitution of
that republic. The Swedish Minister daily expects news from his Court,
which he tells me he hopes will prove agreeable.

These changes in the political situation of the United States and
Great Britain, I believe are not seen by Russia and Denmark with
pleasure, if I may be allowed to form conjectures from the conduct and
sentiments of their respective Ministers here, who cannot conceal
their chagrin, on the reception of any news favorable to France,
Spain, or America. Indeed most of the neutral nations seem to have a
particular aversion to this Court, excited as they say, by its conduct
with respect to the capture and detention of their vessels. As I have
an opportunity of seeing themselves, or their Secretaries very often,
and am on an intimate footing with the latter, I am frequently a
witness of their complaints and murmurs; Congress need not therefore
conclude, that their inattention to Mr Jay's Memorial, is pointed or a
proof of its ill will, for I have seen near eighty Memorials from a
Minister more nearly connected with them than we are, few of which
have been attended to.

The capture of a Danish vessel laden with powder and artillery, with
two King's officers on board, and instructions from the Admiralty, has
excited the clamors of the Danish Minister here, who despatched a
courier to Copenhagen on the occasion. I am promised a statement of
the case presented by the Minister above mentioned to those of the
armed neutrality, and copies of two letters from the Count de Florida
Blanca, one to the Danish Minister, and the other to the neutral
Ministers here, which if obtained shall accompany this letter.

Great preparations are making for the siege of Gibraltar. The Duc de
Crillon is to command in chief, and it is said will have under his
orders, from twentyfive to thirtytwo thousand men, including the
French troops at Mahon; the place is to be attacked by sea and land,
and I hear twelve ships are bought by government to be fitted up and
serve as floating batteries. This operation will probably commence in
July, a month favorable for it on account of the calms which then
prevail. The loan proposed by this Court in Holland is not likely to
meet the expected success. The armaments they have equipped and are
equipping, and the expensive preparations for the siege of Gibraltar,
straiten them exceedingly for funds. The difficulties they encounter
in procuring money, and the alarming state of their colonies, may
probably dispose them to peace by the end of the present campaign, but
it is likely their claims will be great, and thought extravagant by
all the neutral nations.

I have frequently mentioned the reports of disturbances in their
colonies. It is difficult to obtain accurate information on this
subject. The King has certainly ratified a convention made with the
malcontents at Santa Fé and in its neighborhood, which was transmitted
by the ecclesiastical, civil, and military officers, with their advice
to accord all the demands therein contained, as the only means to
prevent the total revolt of these provinces. I have reason to believe
this ratification was made with great reluctance. I am also promised a
copy of this convention, which I shall forward with this letter if
obtained in time.

The papers are full of the Pope's voyage to Vienna. The Imperial
Secretary here assures me, that the Emperor will not recede from the
plans of reformation he has adopted. Some persons having suggested,
to him, that fanaticism might possibly endeavor to put a period to his
progress by assassination, he replied, that he had no apprehensions on
that score, for his brother's firmness and sentiments being known to
be the same, nothing could be hoped from a single assassination. He is
regarded here and in Portugal as a heretic, and if his sight should be
affected by the defluxion on his eyes at present, this misfortune will
be regarded as a punishment from heaven, inflicted on him for his
encroachments on the church. As I know you will receive ample details
of all that regards the mission here from Mr Jay, I confine myself to
a very summary detail on the subject, in order to supply in a small
degree the loss or delay of his more important despatches. With a
sincere wish that my intentions may be acceptable to Congress,

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

_P. S. April 29th, 1782._ The enclosed papers are copies of the
letters herein mentioned. Duplicates have been already sent with their
translations. The despatches of Mr Jay have taken up so much of my
time for three weeks past, that it has not been possible for me to
make out copies of the translations for Major Franks, the bearer of
the present, and the great earnestness with which Mr Jay desires to
send him away, prevents my sending the copy of the statement of the
case, and the convention made with the disaffected in Spanish America.
Mr Jay's information is so explicit, that it leaves but little for me
to add, which I shall do this week via Cadiz.

                                                                 W. C.

       *       *       *       *       *

             ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

                                          Philadelphia, May 1st, 1782.

  Dear Sir,

I was favored with your letters of the 20th of December; that of the
17th, which you mention to have written to the late Committee of
Foreign Affairs, never came to hand. If you have received my former
letter, you will find your question relative to the continuance of
your correspondence already answered. But lest you should not, let me
repeat it, by assuring you that it will always give me very great
pleasure to hear from you. The channels of communication with this
office are much too few to induce me to shut up one by which we
receive the most frequent and important intelligence. I shall endeavor
to send you a cypher by this, or the next safe opportunity, and shall
alter that look for a strict compliance with your promise. I make no
remark on the political parts of your letters, both because I have no
cypher yet settled with you, and because I shall always write fully on
these subjects to Mr Jay. It gives me pleasure to see the train you
are establishing to procure intelligence, and to cultivate the esteem
of persons who may be of use to us. This has been, and is still too
much neglected, but that neglect makes your address and attention the
more important.

The season of the year, and the inactivity of the British, deprive me
of the means of making a full return for the intelligence you
communicate. Our attention is at present turned to an object, which,
though apparently small, promises to have consequences of some moment.
You will find in the papers enclosed, an account of the execution of a
militia officer, Capt. Huddy, by a band of tories, on some false
pretences. The General has demanded the perpetrators of this crime,
or threatened to retaliate upon some British officer of equal rank. As
his letter does him honor, I enclose a copy, which you will be pleased
to show to Mr Jay. Clinton is reduced to great straits; he has already
been the means of one officer's dying on a gibbet. He would be
execrated by the army should he occasion the ignominious death of
another. On the other hand, he is already very unpopular with the
tories. Should he give up those of the refugee corps, who are
concerned in this business, which has probably been done by the
direction, or at least the connivance of their board of directors, he
will be embroiled with them. They form a kind of _imperium in
imperio_. The directors, being in a great measure independent of the
commander-in-chief, have the custody of their own prisoners, regulate
their own exchanges, divide the plunder they make according to their
own rules; and correspond regularly with the Ministry, which
circumstance alone is sufficient to excite a kind of rivalry between
them, and the commander-in-chief.

Several propositions have been made for the exchange and comfortable
support of prisoners, all of which have proved abortive, from the
resolution of the British not to pay arrears, they have incurred,
which amounts to near £300,000 sterling. Some measures, which will
surprise them not a little, will be taken. I shall write particularly
to Mr Jay on this subject, because it will need explanation in Europe.
You will consult Mr Jay on the propriety of publishing the affair of
Huddy in the European papers; and if he shall think it may be of any
use, take measures for the purpose.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                              Madrid, June 12th, 1782.

  Sir,

On the 5th instant, I had the honor to address you, enclosing a copy
of a letter, which I wrote to Mr Jay soon after his departure from
Madrid.[13] The Court is now here, but the Ministers are generally so
harassed by business and visits during their short stay in the
capital, that there are few opportunities of having access to them.
Before I left Aranjues, I frequently reminded M. Del Campo of the
promises made me, to pay attention to the different offices passed
from Mr Jay, interesting to various citizens of the United States. I
was well received, and had those promises reiterated. I judged it more
proper to solicit the notice of the Ministry to these objects in
person, than by writing, because I could have small hopes of success
from memorials, when I reflected how little attention had been paid to
those written by a man so much my superior in that mode of address.
Besides, frequent conferences, perhaps develop better the opinions and
dispositions of men, than deliberate answers to requests, or
remonstrances, however clearly, or however strongly they may be stated
in writing.

In my conversations with the Minister, and the gentleman above
mentioned, they seemed to think the work of peace to be in a fair way.
I have, however, some reason to suppose, that neither their
instructions to their Ambassador at Paris for this object, nor those
for him to treat with Mr Jay, are yet forwarded, and there are grounds
to conjecture that this Court would have retarded the negotiation as
much as possible, had not the defeat of the Count de Grasse blasted
their hopes of taking Jamaica. Even now they will be desirous of
knowing the fate of the siege of Gibraltar, before they agree to any
treaty, which does not put them in possession of that important
fortress.

The neutral Ministers here seem to wish to intermeddle in the proposed
pacification. There is a general jealousy among them of the house of
Bourbon, and a particular animosity against this branch of it. This I
have long remarked, and I have now more frequent occasions than
heretofore. I am afraid the rumors of peace will slacken the
preparations of the Dutch for war. The hopes of a speedy general
pacification, and a sense of complaisance and apprehension of the
Empress of Russia, may procrastinate the treaty between the United
States and them. I write these conjectures with diffidence, as indeed
I do all which depend on my own judgment.

I am busy at present in arranging the public accounts. The projected
bank employs so much of M. Cabarrus's time, and that of his clerks,
that it is possible I may be obliged to follow the Court to St
Ildefonso, to which place the king removes the 14th instant, before I
can obtain such a settlement of them, as may enable me to transmit the
general account to Mr Jay, for his approbation. In the meantime, I
draw, and shall still be obliged to draw, on Dr Franklin, to enable me
to discharge the public bills accepted by Mr Jay. Exchange is every
day more to our disadvantage. The depreciation of the royal billets is
now at 3-1/4 to 3-1/2 per cent, and I make no doubt will be at 6 per
cent in two months. The Court has been again obliged to apply to the
Gromios for assistance, whose privileges, it appears from the
establishment of the bank, it meant to deprive them of. This
circumstance marks their distress for money, and as some say, the want
of system in their conduct.

The Duc de Crillon has set out for the camp before Gibraltar; the
operations, however, will not seriously commence before the month of
August, if in all that month. The expectations of success are
sanguine. I heard the Duke himself speak with great confidence on the
subject. The combined fleet left Cadiz the 4th instant; it consists of
thirtytwo sail of the line, and some frigates, and proceeds
immediately to the British channel. I avail myself of a courier from
the French Ambassador to forward copies of this letter to the ports of
France. The Count de Montmorin continues to give the same proofs of
attachment to the interests of the States, and of personal kindness to
myself, that I have ever experienced since my arrival in Spain. I beg
leave to remind you to send me a cypher, and to entreat your
instructions and intelligence addressed directly to myself; otherwise
I have few opportunities of manifesting my zeal for the public
service, or of acquiring your personal esteem.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.


FOOTNOTES:

[13] The letter here referred to is missing. Mr Jay left Madrid for
Paris about the 20th of May.

       *       *       *       *       *

             ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

                                         Philadelphia, July 6th, 1782.

  Sir,

Since my letter of May last, I have been favored with yours of the
18th and 27th of February. As they contained many things of
importance, which we had received through no other channel, I
communicated their contents to Congress, to whom I have reason to
think they were very acceptable. The great changes that have taken
place in the administration of Britain, make us extremely desirous of
learning minutely the measures they are pursuing. Unfortunately it is
long since we have received any other information from Europe, than
that contained in the public prints. Our Ministers abroad do not keep
up such a communication with the sea-ports as to avail themselves of
the opportunities, that are almost weekly afforded, by which means the
intelligence they transmit, if not of a private nature, is almost
always forestalled.

We are at present in a state of absolute inactivity here. We are not
sufficiently strong to attack the enemy in their works, without some
naval aid; nor can they attack us with any prospect of success.
Congress employ the present leisure in forming and enforcing a system
of finance, which, notwithstanding all the difficulties it has to
struggle with, will, I hope, shortly place our affairs on a more
respectable footing; particularly, if any of those powers who are
interested in supporting us, shall afford the aid we have a right to
expect.

Among other changes that have taken place, there is one I believe you
will be pleased with; in the payment of your salaries, which in future
will be paid here upon my certificate. I, as your agent, will vest the
money in bills, and remit them to you or Dr Franklin, with orders for
him to remit the money to you, or pay it to your order. This will
render your payments more regular, and free you from the appearance of
dependence, which must be disagreeable to you. I remit by this
conveyance to him, the amount of one quarter's salary, commencing the
1st of January last, and ending the 1st of April, which I have vested
in bills at the present rate of exchange, which is six shillings
threepence this money, for five livres, by which you gain almost five
and a half per cent. You will be charged here two and a half per cent
premium, which is the usual commission, and I shall consider myself as
your agent in this business, unless you should choose to appoint some
other. Your accounts for the next quarter will be made up immediately;
the money vested in a bill upon Dr Franklin, which I will remit him by
the next opportunity. Send me a general state of your account, that I
may get it settled for you, and the arrears, if any, discharged. I
could wish much to have a cypher with you, but find it very difficult
to send one. Let me have one, if you have a safe conveyance, if a
favorable opportunity offers from here, I will transmit you one.

I am, with great esteem and regard, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                         St Ildefonso, July 8th, 1782.

  Sir,

On the 5th and the 12th ultimo I did myself the honor of addressing
you from Madrid. On the 2d instant I came to this place, having waited
in the capital some days longer than I intended, for the purpose of
arranging finally the public accounts with M. Cabarrus; but finding
that that gentleman's occupations prevented him from stating them in
the manner directed by Mr Jay, and having by my stay, in compliance
with his request, convinced him that the settlement and discharge of
the balance still due, depended on himself, I judged it proper to
follow the Court hither, in order to have frequent opportunities of
pressing the Minister to pay attention to the different memorials
presented by Mr Jay; of which copies have been transmitted by him to
Congress, and to procure such information as it might be proper to lay
before you. I did not strongly urge the settlement of the accounts
above mentioned, because Dr Franklin had requested Mr Jay to give him
as much time as possible for the payment of the sums due here,
although I am persuaded the delay will be prejudicial, as it is
probable the exchange will be more to our disadvantage every day.

On the 3d instant, I waited on the Count de Florida Blanca and M. Del
Campo. I found the former in conference with the French Ambassador,
and as that had been long, and I knew he would be much fatigued, and
also that he expected the Russian Minister and the Ambassador of the
Emperor, who have of late received frequent couriers, I shortened my
visit, which passed in amicable assurances on his part and hopes on
mine, that his Excellency would put it as much in my power, as it was
my inclination to contribute to a lasting harmony between the two
countries, by enabling me to inform Congress of the favorable
disposition of his Majesty, and at the same time of the measures taken
by his Ministers to redress the grievances, which Mr Jay had so often
laid before him. He desired me to mention these affairs in detail to
M. Del Campo, and after repeating assurances of good will, &c., he
proceeded to inform me, that he had received a copy of a letter, which
Mr Jay on his arrival at Paris had written to the Count d'Aranda,
adding, that he was sorry he could not continue the conversation at
present, for that he expected the Ministers above mentioned every
moment, but that on the Saturday following he would be glad to see me,
to talk over many matters necessary to discuss at this crisis. I took
my leave, and actually met the Imperial and Russian Ministers at the
door, with M. Del Campo, whom I next went to see.

I had a long conversation, the material points of which, after having
reminded him of the memorials, &c., presented by Mr Jay, turned on the
manner in which the propositions of the new British Administration
would be received in America. I had the good fortune to answer in the
most decided manner, that all proposals for a separate treaty would be
unanimously rejected, for on my return from this visit to my lodgings,
I found Mr Clonard, who delivered me the letter you did me the honor
to write me on the 1st of May, and who informed me of many of the
subsequent transactions. The same day at dinner, the Count de
Montmorin showed me a letter from the Chevalier de la Luzerne, in
which he informs him, that Congress had rejected the propositions made
by General Carleton, and that all the States would follow the example
of Maryland. This conduct has a great and good effect in Europe. The
same day the king spoke at table of the news, and praised greatly the
probity of the Americans, raising his voice in such a manner that all
the foreign ministers might hear him. I have conversed with several of
these since, and find them unanimous in their opinion that the wisest
measure Great Britain can take, is to conclude a treaty acknowledging
our independence.

The couriers received, and the audiences demanded by the Russian and
Imperial Representatives, excited my attention, and I have discovered
that they have been once more directed by their Courts to make an
offer of their mediation to his Catholic Majesty. They made this
communication on the 3d instant, and have received their answer; for
on the 6th the Count de Kaunitz despatched a courier. In my next I
hope to communicate the answer of this Court. I suspect England is at
the bottom of this business. The combined fleet is probably at this
time in the English channel, where it will be reinforced by a squadron
of French ships commanded by M. de la Motte Piquet. The preparations
for the siege of Gibraltar are pushed with vigor. I have not yet had
the honor to hear from Mr Jay. My last letter from Dr Franklin is
dated the 11th ultimo. Messrs Grenville and Oswald were then at Paris,
but had not yet received their full powers. Neither had Spain nor
Holland sent instructions to their Ministers, so that the conferences
could not properly be opened.

I have the honor to enclose in the first copy of this, a letter which
I received the 4th instant from M. Dumas. The letters brought by Mr
Clonard for Mr Jay were forwarded by the same gentleman. I remain
without other instructions than what are contained in yours of the 1st
of May. If Mr Jay should be detained at Paris, I shall be without any
information but what I may obtain by my private correspondence and my
own industry; I beg leave to submit this to your consideration.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                         St Ildefonso, July 22d, 1782.

  Sir,

In my last of the 8th instant, I had the honor to inform you of an
offer of mediation renewed to this Court by those of Petersburg and
Vienna. I have since been told, that the Count de Florida Blanca's
answer was to the following purport; "that his Catholic Majesty is
highly sensible of the offers made by their Imperial Majesties to
promote the establishment of the public tranquillity, but that before
accepting their propositions it is necessary to consult his ally, and
for this purpose instructions will be sent to his Ambassador at Paris,
who, in order to prevent delay, will at the same time be authorised to
communicate the answer to the Russian and Imperial Ministers at the
Court of Versailles." I had this information from a person connected
with the Ambassador of the Court of Vienna.

The Emperor is full of the project of removing his East India Company
from Trieste to Ostend, and of augmenting the commerce of his
subjects, particularly in the Low Countries. The continuation of the
war is favorable to his designs, at all events he will seek his own
advantage in the proposed mediation.

All the neutral powers seem desirous of procuring stipulations
favorable to their commerce and navigation, particularly in the
Mediterranean, and for this purpose all appear to wish a general
Congress. Perhaps upon the whole it would be more for the honor and
permanent advantage of the United States, to have their independence
acknowledged and guarantied in an assembly of this nature, than by a
particular treaty between the belligerent powers. As Mr Jay is to
negotiate with the Count d'Aranda at Paris the proposed treaty, my
business here is confined to the arrangement of the public accounts,
and the payment of the bills still due, the collecting intelligence,
and the solicitation of redress of the various complaints laid before
the Ministry in behalf of individuals. For this last purpose I wait
on the Count de Florida Blanca, and M. Del Campo, from time to time,
and in a respectful manner solicit their attention to these affairs.
Personally I have no reason to complain; in my political character I
should have more, if I did not know, that the first powers in Europe
are treated with the same inattention and delay. I mention this not to
excuse the conduct of this Court, but to convince you, that it is not
singular with respect to us. I have in some instances promises of
redress, and it is to be hoped, that circumstances, patience, and good
humor, will terminate these affairs to the satisfaction, in some
measure, of the parties interested.

While Mr Jay remains at Paris, as the public despatches are addressed
to him, I shall be deprived of intelligence from America, except what
I may acquire by private correspondence from thence. I have not had
the honor to hear from Mr Jay since he left this place, which may have
been occasioned by delay or ill health on the road and afterwards. I
have no correspondence with Messrs Adams and Dana, from whom I might
receive, and to whom I might contribute hints, that might be of
service to the public interest. Messrs Grenville and Oswald are still
at Paris, but on this subject you will have from others much more
accurate information than it is in my power to give you.

The Count d'Artois is expected here tomorrow, and will be received and
treated as an Infant of Spain. This visit is highly pleasing to the
royal family. He is expected with impatience. Nothing worth your
notice has yet passed at Gibraltar. The besiegers and the besieged,
equally prepare the one for the attack, the other for the defence of
the place. A courier extraordinary from France, brings advice of the
capture of eighteen transports and merchantmen bound to Quebec and
Newfoundland. Unhappily the New York fleet, which sailed with the
vessels captured, had two or three days before separated from them. A
fifty gun ship and a frigate, which escorted them, escaped. I have not
yet received M. Cabarrus's account. When these are once delivered and
settled, I shall take the earliest opportunity of transmitting to
Congress and to Mr Jay, copies of all the public accounts in this
country. I entreat your indulgence, and frequent remembrance of me.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                    St Ildefonso, September 8th, 1782.

  Sir,

My last were of the 17th and 26th ultimo, I am still without the least
information from America, since the 1st of May, the date of your last
letter. His Excellency, the Count de Florida Blanca, whom I had the
honor to see yesterday, seemed apprehensive, that Congress might be
induced to believe, from the capitulation accorded to the British at
Providence, that this Court had not after what happened at Pensacola
instructed its commanders to take care in future, that the garrisons
of such places as his Catholic Majesty's forces might reduce, should
be disposed of in such a manner as not to be prejudicial to any of the
belligerent powers. His Excellency assured me how much he should be
concerned if an oversight of the General employed on this occasion,
should create a misunderstanding injurious to the harmony which the
King wished to cultivate with America, and prayed me to take the
earliest opportunity of conveying these sentiments to Congress. He
proceeded to inform me, that immediately after the Court received the
articles of capitulation at Pensacola, instructions were sent to M.
Galvez, to oblige the enemy to consent in future to the transportation
of their prisoners to Europe; that these orders did not reach him
until he had left the Havana, previous to the necessary arrangements
for the expedition against the Bahama Islands.

I assured his Excellency, that I found myself happy in having an
occasion to represent every instance of his Majesty's good will, and
begged leave to remind him, that several complaints sustained by
citizens of America laid before his Excellency by Mr Jay, and since
his departure by myself, remained unredressed. That I presumed his
Excellency had given the necessary orders for their relief, but that
his Majesty's favorable intentions had been hitherto frustrated by the
delay, and in some cases by the injustice of persons employed in the
service of Government. I insinuated how agreeable it would be to me to
remove the unfavorable impressions, that his conduct had made or might
make in the breast of my countrymen, by having it in my power to
communicate the orders which had been given, or which his Majesty
might be pleased to renew, for this effect. I particularized the case
of the Lord Howe, an English vessel with a valuable cargo, brought
into Cadiz by part of her crew, Americans, detained by order of the
Admiralty, and the captors confined in some measure as prisoners of
war. I represented in the strongest terms, the little respect paid to
a positive resolution of Congress, granting to the captors of vessels
the property taken in this manner; a resolution occasioned by the
notorious injustice of the common enemy, who commenced this practice
of seducing American seamen, and encouraging their own to enter into
our service with the purpose of afterwards betraying the confidence
reposed in them.

His Excellency desired me to pass him an office in French on the
subject, and promised me an answer in writing, with the intention I
imagine of its being sent to Congress. You will please to observe that
the negligence of Mr Harrison's banker, to whom he addressed his
letters to me on this subject, retarded my knowledge of the detention
of this vessel. I had, however, spoken to M. Del Campo, immediately on
hearing of its arrival at Cadiz, and repeated to him the substance of
the resolution of Congress, from an apprehension that the officers of
that port would observe the same conduct, as those of the Canaries had
done in the case of the Dover cutter. I avoided mentioning
particularly the latter affair, until I should have obtained the
promised answer, as if that proves favorable, as I expect it will, I
shall renew with redoubled ardor my representations on this head. They
are, however, so much in want of money here, that I fear the captors
will be obliged to wait some time for theirs. This scarcity of cash
occasions the exaction of the duties at Cadiz and Bilboa, complained
of by Mr Harrison and others. I have employed all the means in my
power to convince not only the Count de Florida Blanca, but also the
Ministers of Finance and the Indies, of the impolicy as well as the
injustice of this measure.

I have engaged several persons, who have their confidence to second
me, and I hope that good humor, patience, and above all, frequent
personal solicitations, will obtain at least a diminution of these
duties, an object of great importance to our commerce. In the mean
time, I have advised Mr Harrison and others to make no payments on the
pretext that the affair is before the Ministry, for refunding is
contrary to the spirit of this country. Important news may soon be
expected from Gibraltar, at least my letters inform me that the attack
is to be made this day, for that everything would be ready for the
purpose. As I have very minute details of all that passes there from
persons at head quarters, I hope I shall be able to give you a
succinct relation of the operations. This correspondence is of a
delicate nature for the parties concerned, and therefore I shall not
hazard sending copies of my letters but by the safest conveyances. I
am promised a drawing of the so much talked of floating batteries,
which, as the nature and novelty of their construction may excite
curiosity, I will forward the instant I receive it. I hope soon to
have the honor to hear from you, and to have instructions for my
future government. With sincere wishes that my conduct may not be
displeasing to Congress, and with the highest respect,

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

             ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

                                   Philadelphia, September 12th, 1782.

  Sir,

All my letters of late have begun with complaints of neglect on the
part of our Ministers, in not transmitting early and full intelligence
of what is passing in Europe at this interesting period. That there
may, however, be one exception, I will not say a word on this subject
to you, only reminding you, that the last despatches we have been
favored with from you are those of the 18th and 27th of February.
These I replied to the 6th of July; a copy of that letter goes with
this; since which, Carleton and Digby have announced the commencement
of negotiations in Europe, and the resolution to acknowledge the
independence of America, without exacting any condition. Leslie has
informed the inhabitants of Charleston, that he means to evacuate it;
measures have been accordingly taken for that purpose. The evacuation
of New York seemed also in some measure determined on. But the arrival
of the packet, announcing the late changes in the Administration, has
revived the spirits of the tories, and they still retain hopes of
maintaining their ground in America. Our armies are now united, and
about moving to their old station at the White Plains. Pigot is at New
York with twentysix sail of the line; and the Marquis de Vaudreuil at
Boston, where he has unfortunately lost the Magnificence, sunk in the
harbor. Congress have endeavored to compensate this loss by presenting
His Most Christian Majesty with the America, built at Portsmouth. She
will, I believe, prove a very fine ship; and with diligence, she may
be fitted in time to be of use this campaign.

We have nothing new among us to inform you of. The armies on both
sides have been inactive, and our attention is turned on what passes
in Europe. Here we are lost in the wide field of expectation and
conjecture without a clue to lead us. I must again press you to think
of appointing some agent here to receive your salary, which will be
paid upon the spot; and may be vested in bills to great advantage.
Two quarters' salary have been transmitted by me, but as I am
unauthorised in this business, I shall inform Mr Morris that he must
devise some other way to make these remittances, which I beg leave to
decline meddling with in future.

I have the honor to be, with great esteem, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                   St Ildefonso, September 29th, 1782.

  Sir,

I had the honor to address you on the 8th instant, since which we have
advice of the disastrous issue of the enterprise with the floating
batteries against Gibraltar, but although we have had notice of this
misfortune some days past, I have delayed writing until I could
procure authentic information of the particular circumstances of this
event. The enclosed copies of letters and papers, written or sent me
by a person in the General's family, will, I hope, prove more
satisfactory than any which you will receive from other quarters. The
projector, M. d'Arçon, is generally blamed. Enclosed you have a plan
of the attack as it was made, and as it was intended to have been
made, accompanied by a Memorial, which M. d'Arçon sent hither to
exonerate himself from part of the blame. I saw a letter he wrote an
hour after the affair, in which he avows he had deservedly forfeited
the confidence reposed in him by two Sovereigns.

This news dejected exceedingly the King, the Court, and the nation.
Their chagrin from the disappointment is, in some measure,
proportionate to their confidence of success. It is said, however,
that the King is determined to continue the siege, and, I believe,
that this will be the case. At present, an expedition in force to the
West Indies is in agitation. I am informed from a very good quarter,
that the command is offered to the Count d'Estaing. The party which
opposed him at Versailles, at the head of which is the Duchess de
Polignac, the Queen's favorite, the present Minister of Marine and the
former one, have made advances to him, and seem convinced that he
alone can repair the disasters of the present campaign. I hear that he
is unwilling to accept the command at this critical conjuncture, but
as he is the only French Admiral, who unites the suffrage of this
Court and nation in his favor, it is to be hoped he will comply with
the general wish of France and Spain. This affair is yet a secret.

From all accounts I have of the Spanish marine, I fear that Gibraltar
will be relieved. The expense of this siege has been enormous. I have
been assured, that during the present campaign it has cost thirtytwo
millions of piastres of fifteen reals each. This information comes
from one of the first clerks of the treasury. The great demand for
specie occasioned thereby has depreciated the paper money; it
fluctuates between twelve and sixteen per cent. To prevent its further
depreciation, the Court is endeavoring to procure gold from Portugal,
and negotiates, as I mentioned in former letters, a loan of three
millions of florins in Holland, to be augmented in case the
subscriptions fill readily. I am assured from thence, they do not, and
I am told here by a man in the secret, that the three millions will be
delivered in Spain in the month of December. Messrs Hope, the
negotiators of it, subscribe seven hundred and fifty thousand
florins.

As I have not had the honor to hear from Messrs Franklin and Jay
anything respecting the negotiations at Paris for peace, I can speak
only from indirect advice and my own conjectures. I have heard that
difficulties have been started respecting the powers of the British
Plenipotentiary to treat with our Commissioners. If this is true, it
will require some time to remove them. On the whole, it may be
supposed, that the negotiations will be spun out until the meeting of
Parliament, until the event of the expedition to relieve Gibraltar is
known; in fine, until the account of Lord Pigot's motions shall have
reached Europe, which may appear to give a favorable turn to the
British affairs in the West Indies. No expedition can sail from hence
in time to prevent the enemy from pushing their operations in that
quarter, if they proceed thither in force and with despatch. The Dutch
are like to do nothing this year; their affairs draw to a crisis, and
it is to be hoped, that it will prove favorable to our friends. The
Emperor is occupied in ecclesiastical and civil changes, his health is
in a precarious state, and he runs the risk of losing entirely his
sight. The motions of Russia indicate a war with the Porte no longer
Sublime. The Empress negotiates loans in Holland and at Genoa. I have
taken measures to be informed of their success. The King of Great
Britain, as Elector of Hanover, is recruiting in all the imperial
cities, and it is said, he is endeavoring to obtain an additional body
of German troops for the next campaign. The preparations for war are
as vigorous as ever.

I have not yet received an answer on the affair of the Lord Howe,
mentioned in my last. I visit the Ministers, and pass offices on this
subject and that of the duties, and shall omit nothing that depends
on me to obtain satisfaction, and I hope the pains I take will not
prove wholly ineffectual. Besides the affairs above mentioned, I am
obliged to visit and write to the Judges of the Council of the Indies,
on account of law-suits in which some of our countrymen are
interested, and which are before them by appeal from the inferior
jurisdictions. Even justice here is obtained by favor and
solicitation. In other respects, my situation is more agreeable than I
could have expected. I live on the best footing with almost the whole
_corps diplomatique_. The Ministers of Saxony and Prussia seem much
disposed to induce their Courts to open a direct commerce with
America, particularly if the war continues. For this purpose, they
have demanded and obtained from me, all the information in my power to
give them, with every motive that I could employ, to persuade their
respective Courts to engage heartily in this measure. If it is
adopted, the Maritime Company at Berlin, under the King's immediate
protection, and the Elector or his Ministers in the name of companies
of commerce, will be concerned in the first speculations. I do not
enter into details on this subject until I see whether these Courts
are serious in their intentions.

The advances and offers made me by the Minister of Sweden, have
rendered me less sanguine. He assures me it was insinuated to his
Sovereign by the French Minister, that it would be impolitic in him to
incur the ill will of England, by precipitating an acknowledgment of
our independence previous to its being acknowledged by the rest of
Europe. I wait with impatience for your instructions and information.
In the month of December, all our public accounts here will be
arranged, when I shall do myself the honor to transmit copies. I
cannot conclude, without mentioning that a Mr Littlepage, from
Virginia, has acquired reputation by his gallant conduct in the
expedition against Mahon, where he served as Aid-de-camp to the Duc de
Crillon, and since at Gibraltar, where he acted in the same capacity.
The Prince de Nassau, with whom he served as a volunteer on board his
floating battery, rendered public justice to his character at Court.
You will permit me also to mention Mr Harrison to you as one, who, by
his conduct, which has acquired him universal esteem, merits the
attention of Congress whenever it shall be judged proper to appoint a
consul at Cadiz, of which place he now performs the functions, with
great trouble and considerable expense.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

            COUNT DE FLORIDA BLANCA TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

                             Translation.

                                       St Lorenzo, October 14th, 1782.

  Sir,

The king has resolved that the English frigate, the Lord Howe, carried
into Cadiz by some Americans and part of the crew, shall be publicly
sold, ship and cargo, and the value of both be deposited, at the order
of Congress and yourself. I communicate this to you, that being
thoroughly informed, you may take such measures as you think proper,
and determine immediately what is to be done with the American and
English seamen on board the said vessel. I wish for occasions to
serve you, and that God may preserve you many years.

                                              COUNT DE FLORIDA BLANCA.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                           Madrid, October 29th, 1782.

  Sir,

The state of uncertainly in which every one here has been for some
time, respecting the motions of the combined and British fleets, to
relieve, or prevent the relief of Gibraltar, joined to a general
embargo at Cadiz, and the want of other occasions, has prevented me
from doing myself the honor of addressing you since the 29th ultimo. I
hope you will be persuaded that my time has been devoted to no other
pursuits than those which my duty dictates. Enclosed I have the honor
to send a particular relation of the most interesting circumstances
which have passed in this interval. I have had occasion to compare
this intelligence with that of others, and particularly with letters
written by a marine officer in this service, but at the same time
employed to convey information to another Court, and I find upon the
whole my correspondent conforms with others in the most material
points, and enters into more minute details than those I have seen
from other quarters.

My letters of the 26th and 29th will have advised you of the steps I
have taken to obtain redress on affairs interesting to individuals,
and to our commerce in general. The enclosed copy of a letter from his
Excellency the Count de Florida Blanca, will show that my endeavors
have not been entirely ineffectual. The affair of the duties is still
under deliberation. As soon as Mr Harrison shall have disposed of the
Lord Howe, I shall address the Minister on the subject of the Dover
cutter; there can then be no pretence for detention or delay. I have
since my last received advice from Paris, but not from our
commissioners, that the difficulties with respect to the powers of the
British Plenipotentiary have been obviated, and that a separate agent
has been named to treat with us. But on this head you will have more
ample information than it is in my power to give you.

I am also informed, that M. Rayneval, brother to M. Gerard, has gone
to London. This circumstance renders the appearance of the negotiation
more serious. I am persuaded the greatest obstacles to a pacification
will come from this quarter. It is difficult to relinquish favorite
ideas, of which to attain the accomplishment, so much treasure has
hitherto been spent in vain. Perhaps it will be best for us that we
have not concluded a treaty here, which we have so long solicited.

The expedition mentioned in my last, is certainly resolved on. The
Count d'Estaing it is said will have the command, and will sail from
Cadiz with between forty and fifty sail of the line, and ten or twelve
thousand troops. The squadron at Brest is fitting for sea, and is to
consist of eight or ten sail of the line. It is conjectured it will
sail as soon as Lord Howe's return is known. If the junction is formed
in time, this formidable force, under the command of an officer
distinguished for his zeal and activity, may hasten the negotiations.

The answers to my letters to Holland, on the subject of the Russian
loan, and to those which I have procured others to write to Genoa on
the same point, inform me that it fills slowly. That of Spain for
three millions will be obtained. I have no doubt of the truth of my
information on this subject. In Portugal they pay dear for the gold
they obtain from thence. The depreciation is greater than ever, and to
prevent its further progress, is one of the most serious objects of
the attention of the Ministry. No changes since my last have taken
place in the general system of Europe, or in this Cabinet, except that
the Count de Florida Blanca has joined another department in the
Ministry to that which he before occupied, viz. that of Grace and
Justice, vacant by the death of M. Rode. Of course he will have more
to do than ever, and I shall be obliged to remind him more frequently
of our little affairs.

My situation with respect to American information is exceedingly
disagreeable. I hear of arrivals in France, and of letters being
received by our Ministers there, without any for me; I am persuaded
that the blame falls on European curiosity. I expect soon to have an
occasion of writing to you, when I shall do myself the honor to
transmit you any further particulars that may appear worthy of your
notice. I cannot help repeating that notwithstanding the appearance of
peace, the preparations for war are as vigorous as ever.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

             ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

                                    Philadelphia, November 28th, 1782.

  Sir,

I have been favored with your letter of the 8th of July; those you
mention to have written on the 5th and 12th of March and the 2d of
July, never reached me. I regret that you had no directions from Mr
Jay to open his letters, as those you forwarded contained much
information that might have been useful to you, on which account I was
less particular than I should otherwise have been in mine to you.

The great business of the negotiation being transferred to Paris, you
will have more leisure to attend to the general politics of the Court
you are at, and to procure every species of intelligence, which may
serve to regulate our conduct here. We have yet had no information
except what you mention, of any new proffer of their mediation by the
Imperial Courts; it is an important object, and I wish you to throw
all the light you possibly can upon it; as we are particularly anxious
to know the substance of the answer, which you suppose to have been
given to it by Spain. You need never be under the least apprehensions
in vouching boldly for this country, that it will make no peace which
is inconsistent with its engagement to its allies. Perhaps this string
skilfully touched may lead nations who have hitherto kept aloof, to
form connexions which may bind us to them.

The enclosed resolutions will show you the sense of Congress on that
subject; and the resolutions, which you will see in some of the papers
sent you, expressive of the same sentiments from almost every separate
legislature, will show that the fidelity of this country is
incorruptible.

The season of the year affords no military intelligence. Our troops
are in quarters at West Point. The French army are waiting at
Providence such orders as the operations in the West Indies may
suggest. Their fleet is still at Boston. The America, built at
Portsmouth, is added to them. She is pronounced by connaisseurs to be
a very fine ship; should she answer their expectations, we may hope
to build others for European powers. This would be a very important
commercial object, and as such deserves attention.

General Carleton has restrained the savages from continuing the war,
which they have so long carried on against our frontiers; and Haldiman
has suffered those they had led into captivity to return on parole, so
that we have reason to hope that a little more humanity will mark
their future operations in this country, if ever they should find
themselves sufficiently strong to venture from behind their ramparts.
This consideration, together with the intercession of the Court of
France, has induced Congress to forego their intended retaliation on
Captain Asgill, who is discharged from his confinement and suffered to
go to New York on parole.

You will find in the enclosed papers, all the intelligence we have
with respect to the proposed evacuation of Charleston. We have been in
daily expectation of hearing that it was abandoned for a long time
past, but have not as yet had our expectations answered.

The enclosed resolution will inform you that Mr Boudinot is President
in the room of Mr Hanson. Congress have again appointed Mr Jefferson
one of their Ministers for making peace. I have not yet been informed
whether he accepts the appointment, though I have some reason to
conclude he will.

Mr Stewart going to Paris affords me a safe opportunity of sending a
cypher there for you; and if Mr Jay can contrive to get it to you
without inspection, you will be enabled to correspond with more
latitude in future.

I am, Sir, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                          Madrid, December 10th, 1782.

  Sir,

On the 5th instant I did myself the honor to address you. To that
letter and those of the 29th of October, and of the 17th of November,
I beg leave to refer you for the occurrences during that period.

I have now the pleasure to inform you, that I have just been shown a
copy in French, of a treaty signed the 30th ult. between the United
States and Great Britain, by our Commissioners and Mr Oswald, in which
the essential objects desired by Congress have been obtained. Not
having it in my power to take a copy, I confine myself to inform you,
that it consists of nine articles, of which the principal are a
renunciation, in the strongest terms, of all sovereignty claimed by
the King of Great Britain for himself and his successors. A
description of the limits of the States agreeably to the ultimata of
Congress, as nearly as I can recollect from a cursory perusal; the
right of fishery on the Great Bank accorded; the same on the coasts of
Nova Scotia, in the Straits of Labrador, and the Gulf of St Lawrence,
with the permission to cure and dry our fish on all the uninhabited
parts of Nova Scotia and Labrador, the Islands of Magdaline and
Newfoundland excepted; with a proviso that this permission is to cease
whenever the said coasts and islands shall be inhabited, unless leave
shall be demanded and obtained previously of the inhabitants thereof;
a recommendation of Congress to the States in favor of the British who
have not borne arms, possessing property in America; of the
non-residents and loyal inhabitants in the same predicament, &c. &c.
&c. But this article depends entirely on the recommendations of
Congress, the States being the final arbiters.

Great Britain in this treaty associates the States in their right of
the free navigation of the river Mississippi, and also in that of the
river St Mary's. All places in possession of the enemy belonging to
the United States to be restored, with the cannon, &c. &c. which shall
appear to have been their property, together with the public and
private archives, which may have fallen into their hands; all
conquests made on the one part or the other after the signature, to be
restored. This treaty is conditional, that is, not to take place until
France has concluded a peace with Great Britain. Neither Spain nor
Holland are mentioned in it. If political vengeance is ever
justifiable, it is on the present occasion. You will pardon the hasty
manner in which I wrote this. A desire of augmenting your sources of
information will, I hope, plead my apology. I am much afraid that my
situation here will be more disagreeable than ever. I flatter myself,
that my political conduct has been such as not to draw upon me
personal resentments. I hope, at all events, I have conducted myself
in a manner not to have merited censure, if circumstances have not
permitted me to acquire approbation. For the rest, I have a full
reliance on the wisdom of Congress.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                          Madrid, December 30th, 1782.

  Sir,

On the 10th instant I had the honor to inform you, that I had seen a
French translation of a conditional treaty, concluded between the
Commissioners of the United States at Paris, and Mr Oswald on the part
of Great Britain, the 30th ult. I have since received a letter from Dr
Franklin enclosing a copy of it. I hope it will be satisfactory to
Congress, and the people at large. Various are the reflections to
which this event has given rise here. I am persuaded that this Court
was far from expecting that Great Britain would make the concessions
she has made to the States. The surprise, and even the chagrin of
several of the Ministers and their adherents were apparent, and from
the instant they received the intelligence, I am convinced their
attention has been turned to peace.

It has been suggested, that our Commissioners signed this treaty
without the privity of the Court of France. This suggestion was made
with a view to pacify this Court, and to calm the resentment, which at
Versailles, it was supposed, might be conceived here on this account.
The means employed prove that the French Ministry apprehended this
resentment, but were in no manner sufficient to answer the purpose
they were intended to serve. The Count de Florida Blanca, speaking of
France upon this occasion, said to a friend of mine with some emotion,
the French Ministry was too precipitate in beginning the war, and is
equally so in their endeavors to conclude it. M. Musquiz, the Minister
of Finance, and M. Del Campo have expressed the same sentiments, and
have insinuated to some, that France concerted this measure with our
Commissioners to force Spain to a peace. To others they expressed
their apprehensions that Lord Shelburne had duped the French cabinet.
They fear the duplicity of the latter Minister, and this fear joined
to their present situation has, probably, rendered them more
reasonable in their demands and concessions. They will now style this
conduct moderation. I conjecture this, because the Count de Florida
Blanca, speaking to the Russian Minister on the subject of the peace,
told him, that were the propositions on the part of Spain towards an
accommodation known, all Europe would be convinced of the moderation
of his Catholic Majesty, and that for his part, he should have no
objection to make them public.

On the 28th instant a courier was despatched to Paris, with
instructions to the Count d'Aranda. On the 18th, one was sent to the
same Minister, with propositions which were then regarded as their
ultimata. It is now rumored in the palace, that Spain had consented to
leave Gibraltar in the possession of England. Since the departure of
this courier the Count de Florida Blanca has spoken of the peace as
certain, if the British Ministry are candid. As soon as I received
advice of the treaty above mentioned, I consulted the French
Ambassador on the part I had to act here. I apprehended that it would
be improper for me to act longer in a public character, after the
acknowledgment by Great Britain, without being received in all
respects as such. He felt the delicacy of my situation, and advised me
to remain tranquil until the fate of a negotiation for a general
pacification was known. In consequence, I have confined myself to mere
personal civilities, and have neither addressed nor solicited the
Minister on any affair since.

The affair of the Dover cutter remains in the same situation. The
Ministry have consented to diminish a third part of the duties
demanded on the produce of the West Indies imported in American
vessels. Mr Harrison has not been obliged to pay as yet those duties
at Cadiz. I have just received a letter from the Marquis de Lafayette,
who arrived at that port the 23d instant, having preceded the French
fleet of nine sail and seven thousand troops, which sailed from Brest
the 7th. The letter was calculated for inspection, and intended to
excite in this Ministry, distrust of Lord Shelburne, and to induce
them to furnish Congress with funds for the prosecution of the war. I
received it by post, and answered it in the same style, by the same
conveyance. I also made use of the hints to throw out to persons, who
I know will convey them to the Ministry.

They cannot procure sufficient funds for their own expenses. They have
just opened a loan of one hundred and eighty millions of reals, of
which it is proposed to receive two thirds in cash, and the other in
obligations of debts contracted in the reign of Philip the Fifth. The
duties on tobacco are engaged for the payment of the interest, which
is three per cent in perpetuity, and seven per cent in annuities.
These are the outlines of the proposed plan, I have seen the brouillon
of the schedule, which is not yet published. No great success is
expected from this loan. On the 20th an assembly of the subscribers to
the bank of San Carlos was held to choose directors and other
officers, and to deliberate on further means for its establishment.
The Governor of the Council of Castile presided at this assembly, the
Minister of Finance was present, as likewise were the First Under
Secretaries of the different departments of government. I found means
to procure admittance to this meeting. Every proposition made by the
projector, (M. Cabarrus) was unanimously agreed to. There were no
speeches except to applaud the bounty of the King, who, to enable the
bank to commence its operations, has granted thirty millions of reals
in specie, and to the same amount in grain for the supply of the army,
navy, &c. The directors chosen are much my friends, and have promised
to give America the preference in all articles which it can furnish
for the use of the marine, &c. &c. These directors as I advised you in
former letters, are charged with the supplies for the army, navy, &c.
with a commission of ten per cent to the profit of the bank. It will
commence its proceedings in the month of April, with a capital of
between four and five million of dollars.

I have mentioned, that I was formally visited by many members of the
_corps diplomatique_, after the signature of the treaty with Great
Britain. It may not be improper to acquaint you with the names of the
respective countries of those who were the first to pay me their
compliments on this occasion. The Ambassadors of Vienna and Venice,
the Ministers of Russia, Prussia, Saxony, and Treves, and the _Chargé
d'Affaires_ of Denmark, paid me this respect. Most of them, but
particularly the latter, seemed desirous of being informed of the
method Congress proposed to take for the interchange of Ministers. Not
knowing the sentiments of Congress on this subject, I replied, that
whenever they chose to make official application to me, I would take
the earliest opportunity of laying them before that body. Should
Congress judge proper to employ persons at any of these Courts, permit
me to suggest that the title of Minister will greatly augment the
expense of these missions. That title obliges their servants to
support an equipage and appearance, in some degree suitable to their
rank; which often renders it improper for them to associate with those
from whom the most useful information is to be obtained. The King of
Prussia has adopted this system, and I am told the Emperor means to do
the same.

In my next letter I expect to send copies of all our public accounts
here, and am taking every proper step to prepare for my departure from
hence, in case the Court should not change its conduct. I shall
endeavor to behave on this occasion, in the manner least offensive
possible, as well in consideration for the interests of our allies, as
from a wish to prevent the Ministry from having any reasonable
pretexts for disgust. For this purpose I have consulted, and shall
continue to consult, the French Ambassador, as also the Marquis de
Lafayette, whom I will induce to come hither should the peace take
place, of which I have little doubt.

The divisions in Holland, are higher than ever. The King of Prussia
seems disposed to take a part in them in favor of the Stadtholder.
These divisions will probably be fatal to the interests of that
country at the peace, and afford a striking example of the necessity
of union in similar governments. I cannot refrain from adding, that
our friends are apprehensive of animosities and jealousies between the
States in our confederation, and that it seems to be the hope of our
enemies. With the most fervent wishes that the latter may be
disappointed,

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                           Madrid, January 18th, 1783.

  Sir,

I had the satisfaction to receive some days ago your letters of the
6th of July and the 12th of September, and am sorry that of the many
which I have had the honor to write you in the course of the spring
and summer, none had yet reached you. I hope that this circumstance,
which causes me the greatest affliction, will not induce you or others
to believe that I have missed any safe occasion of writing to you. Had
I been possessed of a cypher, I flatter myself there would have been
less occasion for this complaint. I have been, and am at present
obliged to avail myself of private conveyances to forward my letters
to the sea-ports of France and Spain; these occasions do not offer so
frequently as I could desire. Indeed, few American vessels have sailed
from Bilboa this summer, and the embargo at Cadiz during part of the
campaign, prevented me from sending letters regularly from that port.
Five vessels by which my letters were forwarded have been taken by the
enemy, and others, which I was constrained to send by post to L'Orient
and other ports of France, taking all the means in my power to prevent
their being inspected, although sent from hence in the months of July
and August, were not received by my correspondents until the 16th of
October. I have received several packets of newspapers from your
quarter without any letters. I must confess to you, that this kind of
intelligence is very expensive, every packet costing me from five to
ten dollars, and we have no allowance for extraordinary expenses.

Since my last of the 31st ult. I have repeatedly insinuated to those
who have the confidence of the Ministers, my apprehensions that the
conduct of Spain would oblige Congress to take steps very different
from what were their intentions when they sent Mr Jay and myself to
this Court; that I saw with pain, the use which Great Britain hoped to
make of our resentment; and to give weight to these insinuations, I
availed myself of the letters, which the Marquis de Lafayette has done
me the honor to address me from Cadiz. I know these hints have been
conveyed to the Ministry, and am assured underhand, that I shall have
soon reason to be satisfied. To these assurances I replied, that with
all the desire I had to contribute to a lasting harmony between the
two countries, it would be impossible for me, consistent with
propriety and the idea I had of the dignity of my constituents, to
remain here longer unless received formally in the character with
which I had been honored by Congress, adding, that I should not be
surprised to receive letters of recall. The methods taken to persuade
me to be tranquil a little longer, prove that the Court thinks
seriously of its situation with respect to the United States, but it
will always be with reluctance and an ill grace, that it will consent
to do what it ought to have done long ago generously.

Some small circumstances persuade me that M. Gardoqui will shortly be
despatched. He applies himself to the French language with much
assiduity, and throws out hints, that he shall soon pay a visit to his
wife, whom he has not seen for two years and a half. I am also told by
a lady much esteemed by M. Del Campo, that he means shortly to leave
Spain, for he has promised her that at his departure, he will give her
a set of horses to which he is much attached. It is possible he may
be sent to aid the Count d'Aranda to arrange the commercial articles
of the peace, of which the preliminary articles are supposed by this
time to be signed.

The two last mentioned gentlemen have frequently spoke to me of the
disadvantages of their commercial connexions with England, and I have
seized the opportunity of endeavoring to convince them, that by
according certain advantages to our fisheries, and by contracting with
us for tobacco, &c. instead of taking the latter article from
Portugal, they may at the same time prejudice their natural enemies,
and perpetuate a future good understanding with America. Similar
representations have been made by me with respect to such articles
furnished by the northern powers, and which the States can supply.
However, I trust more to the interest I have with the perpetual
directors of the bank to obtain these advantages, than to any
influence of either of these gentlemen.

I have just been shown a copy of the proclamation of pardon and
indemnity granted to those concerned in the insurrection at Santa Fé
and the adjacent provinces; it was published the 12th of August, 1782.
Although the Viceroy endeavors to preserve the dignity and honor of
the Crown in the expressions of this peace, yet, in fact, it accords
all the concessions demanded by the malcontents. These disturbances
and the expensive expeditions of the Galvez family, have not only
consumed the revenues of the Crown in Spanish America received during
the war, but mortgaged them for some years to come. I am also
informed, that the Court means soon to publish a new tariff on the
imports to this country. I know that such a measure has been more than
two years in agitation, and I believe, it will bear hard on the
commerce of other nations.

I refer you to former letters for particulars respecting the
negotiations for peace, I will only add, that the Ministry now desire
the conclusion of the war, and even are apprehensive of the duplicity
of the British cabinet, which apprehensions it is the interest of
others to excite and increase. I converse often with those who have
their confidence; I know their wants and their fears of not having
resources for the continuance of the war, and I am confident they
desire peace, and fear the reverse. The expedition from Cadiz would
not be ready until towards the end of the month, if it were found
necessary to despatch it. Fortyeight sail of the line, and from
eighteen to twenty thousand men, and not from ten to twelve thousand,
as mentioned in my last, are to be employed in this expedition. The
siege of Gibraltar is obstinately and unprofitably continued, and the
King is made to believe that in the course of the year it will be
taken by sap.

I have received letters from Paris, which advise me that bills for my
salary had been mentioned by you to have been sent, but that they had
not come to hand. Your letters, and one I received from Mr Morris,
give me the same information. I could wish that my salary should be
transmitted directly to me from your department, but as it does not
appear convenient, I have directed Mr John Ross to receive it, and I
hope you will have the goodness to facilitate him the means of doing
it. A mistake, which is not yet corrected by Messrs Drouilliet, our
bankers here, in the account they delivered me some time ago, prevents
me from transmitting the public accounts with this letter, but in the
course of a few days, I hope they will be complete, when I will do
myself the honor of forwarding them, together with my account against
the public. I am in much distress for the arrears. I conclude with
fervent wishes, that every future year may present the affairs of the
United States in the same favorable point of view, in which they
appear it the commencement of the present; and with sincere thanks for
your indulgence hitherto,

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                          Madrid, February 21st, 1783.

  Sir,

I had the honor to address you on the 31st of December, and the 18th
and 30th of January, to which letters I beg leave to refer you for the
particular occurrences during that period.

I have now the pleasure to inform you, that the Court of Spain has at
length thought proper to receive me formally as the _Chargé
d'Affaires_ of the United States. The letters above mentioned will
have advised you of the political motives, which induced me to wish
the presence of the Marquis de Lafayette. They will also have informed
you of the means I employed, and which his correspondence enabled me
to employ more efficaciously, to impress this Court with an idea of
the necessity of immediately acknowledging the independence of the
United States.[14] Since they were written, the Count de Montmorin had
a long conversation on the subject of our affairs with the King, and
afterwards with the Count de Florida Blanca. The King's answer to the
Ambassador's representations was, _we shall see_. The Minister
appeared still desirous of procrastinating.

On the ---- instant, the Marquis de Lafayette arrived, and with that
zeal and ardor, which ever influenced him when the interests of the
United States were in question, immediately consulted with me on the
steps to be taken with the Minister. I informed him of what I had
done.

We were of the same opinion, viz. that he should seize the first
opportunity of speaking to the Count de Florida Blanca, on the subject
of our affairs. He did so, communicating to me the particulars of the
conversation. As the Marquis proposes to address you by the same
vessel, by which you will receive this letter, I refer you to his
circumstantial relation of his conferences. My reception in a public
character has been the result; and last night the Marquis accompanied
me to an audience of the Minister. He was content with my reception,
and personally I had no reason to be dissatisfied. The Count de
Florida Blanca remarked to me, smiling, that he thought that I had
left Madrid. I did not choose, as things were in so good a train, to
enter into a discussion of the reasons which induced me to forbear my
visits to him, and therefore only replied, that I never found myself
so well at Madrid as at present. It is unnecessary to repeat such
parts of the conversation as were merely personal. His expressions of
friendship for the Marquis were unbounded, and the latter omitted no
opportunity of pressing, in the strongest manner, the Minister to take
speedy and effectual measures to convince the States of the desire of
his Catholic Majesty to cultivate their amity.

The Marquis informs me, that he sent you a copy of the letter he wrote
to the Minister, in order to obtain a written answer, conceding points
to which he had agreed in conversation. He pressed an answer to this
letter, and was assured by the Count de Florida Blanca, that he should
have it on the Saturday morning following, and that it would be
satisfactory. The Count invited me to dine with him on that day as
_Chargé d'Affaires_ of America, and as I had suggested to the Marquis,
that I should choose a written invitation in the customary form, the
Marquis took the Count aside and spoke to him of it, in the
Ambassador's name. The latter admitted the propriety of the proposal,
and promised to send it. There is but one circumstance which occasions
a difficulty with respect to my presentation, it has hitherto been the
etiquette to present no _Chargé d'Affaires_ to the King and royal
family, except those from France and Vienna. The Count mentioned this
to us, but at the same time said, I should be received in the most
honorable manner. Personally these distinctions will never influence
my conduct, but nationally, I should wish to obtain every mark of
honor possible for the representatives of the United States. For this
reason I gave it as my opinion to the Marquis, that I ought not to go
to Court until this point was settled. His sentiments were the same.

There are, however, difficulties to be apprehended in the attainment
of this object. The short stay of the Marquis here, the necessity of
my being constantly with him, the desire he has shown to treat me on
all occasions, and in the most public manner as the representative of
the country he serves, and to be introduced by me everywhere; all
these circumstances have engaged so much of my attention and time, as
to preclude me from entering into further details; details which will
be unnecessary after those you will assuredly receive from himself. It
is the happiest circumstance of my life, that the man whose services I
was instrumental in procuring to my country, should be the one to whom
in a great measure I owe my first public appearance at the Court of
Spain.

The precipitate departure of the Marquis prevents me from copying, in
time for this conveyance, the public accounts. In ten days they will
all be complete, and I hope I shall be enabled, by our Minister in
France, to pay the balances, which are not considerable, and by that
means commence our political career here with the credit and
reputation, which we have hitherto preserved.

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

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.


FOOTNOTES:

[14] See the letters here referred to in _M. de Lafayette's
Correspondence_, in the present work.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                             Madrid, March 13th, 1783.

  Sir,

I had the honor to address you on the 18th and 30th of January, and
the 21st ult. In the last I advised you, that this Court had consented
to receive me in a public character, and as such I had been formally
invited to dine with the _corps diplomatique_, at the Count de Florida
Blanca's table. On the 22d ultimo, accompanied by the Marquis de
Lafayette, I went to the Pardo, the present residence of the royal
family, where we dined together, a circumstance which not a little
surprised several of the foreign Ministers, who knew that I had for
some time neglected to pay my court there. Those of Russia and Vienna
were particularly curious. From their conduct then and since, I am
persuaded they are mortified in having led their respective Courts to
believe, that a connexion between the United States and Spain was more
distant than it appears to be at present.

The not having as yet been presented, occasioned many conjectures, and
subjects me to many questions. I have been asked by several of the
foreign Ministers, if I meant to pay the usual visits, and to make the
customary notifications of this event to the _corps diplomatique_
here. I have in general replied, that I had not determined as yet what
would be my conduct on the occasion, but that certainly, if presented
in the absence of Mr Jay, I should visit none, however great my
personal respect might be for them, without being previously informed,
that they would return my visit. It is my opinion, I ought to wait on
none but those of France, Holland, and Prussia; the latter, because on
his presentation to the royal family, he paid the same compliment to
me as to others. I presume that my presentation will not take place,
until the Count de Florida Blanca receives an answer from the Count
d'Aranda, whom he directed to communicate to Mr Jay the present
disposition of this Court.

On the 15th ult. the Court of Portugal thought proper to repeal an
ordinance, published the 5th of July, 1776, prohibiting the entry of
all American vessels into the ports of Portugal, &c. &c., and
directing in future, that they shall be treated on the same footing as
those of other nations in friendship with that Crown.

On the 30th of January I had the honor to inform you, that it was more
than probable that the Emperor and Russia meditated great designs. It
has been my constant endeavor since to procure information on that
head. I will not pretend to give as authentic, the result of my
inquiries, although I have collected my information from various
persons in a situation of knowing what passes at these Courts. From
these I have collected, that in the month of April, 1780, the Courts
of Vienna and Petersburg adopted the project of attacking the Turkish
empire in Europe, and at that period concluded an eventual partition
treaty. In order to have time to make the necessary preparations for
this war, and to conceal their real intentions, these Courts offered
their mediation to the belligerent powers, and proposed a general
Congress, in which they hoped to embroil matters still further, and to
retard the peace. The Courts of France and Spain were aware of their
intention, and although they accepted the proffered offer of
mediation, they evaded, under different pretexts, fixing either the
place or the time for assembling the Congress. I remarked, that soon
after the signature of our provisional treaty with Great Britain, the
Ambassador of the Emperor and the Russian Minister were very uneasy,
and exceedingly inquisitive to know whether there would be a general
Congress or not, sounding me on that subject on a supposition, that I
should be advised of it by Dr Franklin. Lately, they have circulated a
report, that the Congress would be held at Vienna. The Count de
Montmorin, who was compromitted in this rumor, took an opportunity to
mention publicly, that neither _viva voce_, nor by letter had he given
the least surmise that would authorise it. Since, from the same
quarter, it has been insinuated, that the Courts of Vienna and
Petersburg had taken their measures, and would not be deterred from
the prosecution of them.

Great pains have been taken to persuade others, that the King of
Prussia had acceded to this confederation on consideration of
Courland, and that part of Silesia, still in possession of the
Austrian family, being ceded to him. This gained credit even at Court,
and my intimacy with the Prussian Minister induced me to speak of it
to him in a friendly way, as a circumstance that would be prejudicial
to his negotiation here. He then assured me he had no information on
the subject, and on my naming to him the source from whence I had my
information, he cautiously avoided appearing united with the Imperial
and Russian representatives, and a day or two ago positively assured
me, that he had received letters from the King, which authorised him
to say, that there was no foundation for this rumor. He made, I
believe, the same communication to the Count de Montmorin, and further
observed to me, that the Court of Vienna had made use of the same
artifice to induce the Elector of Bavaria to consent to a
dismemberment of his country.

The last letters from the north speak much of the great preparations
for war, making in the Austrian and Russian dominions. The firm
conduct of the Court of France may dissipate this storm, if the
accession of the Court of Prussia to this confederation should not
prove true. I have been assured from a very good quarter, that Lord
Shelburne saw with uneasiness the intentions of the Emperor and
Russia. But the late triumphs of his opponents in Parliament will
probably oblige him to resign. The preliminary articles of peace,
particularly those with the United States, were very ill received. The
address of thanks in the lower House was negatived by a majority of
sixteen, and carried in the upper by eight only. Lord Grantham told
the _Chargé d'Affaires_ of Spain, that the treaty with America had
been the ruin of Lord Shelburne's administration; that he expected to
be obliged to give in his resignation also, for which reason he could
not proceed in his negotiation, until he saw whether the
administration, of which he was a member, kept its ground or not.

Thus for the present all is anarchy and confusion in England. The same
spirit of division seems to have seized the army and navy. There have
been great riots at Portsmouth. The scarcity of grain may occasion
similar disturbances in different parts of the kingdom. The Danish
Envoy at this Court has just communicated to me letters, which he has
received from his Court, in answer to those which he wrote in
consequence of his conversation with me on the subject of the treaty
between the United States and Denmark. The Minister advises him, in
order to accelerate this affair, that the King had thought proper to
send to Paris a person, with powers to treat with Dr Franklin. That
this gentleman was to leave Copenhagen the middle of February, and had
instructions to communicate to him the result of his conferences with
Dr Franklin, and that he himself had orders to impart to me this
correspondence. He added, that the King was sincerely disposed to
cultivate an amity with the States, that Denmark would make
Christianstand a free port to the commerce of America, and give it
every other advantage in Europe and the West Indies, which could be
reasonably desired. He finished, by entreating me to make known these
sentiments to Congress.

The Saxon Minister daily expects permission to give me extracts from
such despatches of his Court to him as relate to our affairs, in
order to convince Congress of the early desire of the Elector to form
connexions between the citizens of the States and his subjects. The
Minister of Sweden is much mortified, that the negotiation which he
commenced with me should have been taken out of his hands, and given
to the Ambassador from that Court at Paris. He informs me that a
treaty of amity and commerce is on the point of being concluded, if
not already signed, by Dr Franklin and the Swedish representative at
Paris.

Thus, Sir, we have the pleasure to see arrive, the period when our
friendship is solicited by most of the European nations. As we shall
have, undoubtedly, a considerable commerce in the Mediterranean, it is
to be wished that early measures may be taken to cultivate the
friendship of the States of Barbary. It has been reported here, that
Spain will make another attempt on Algiers as soon as the definitive
treaty is signed.

The bank, so often mentioned in former letters, will very soon
commence its operations. The subscription fills fast, and the
directors assure me they shall be able to fulfil what they have
promised to the public. The directors for the supply of the army and
navy, have engaged to give America the preference for such supplies as
they may from time to time stand in need of from thence, and for this
purpose have taken from me the address of mercantile houses in the
different States. I mention this, in order that the different members
in Congress may be enabled to inform their constituents, who, perhaps,
might choose to furnish supplies of the produce of the States to which
they belong to this country, and who may be able to do it on better
terms than the parties I have recommended. The articles most in
demand will be masts, spars, tar, pitch, turpentine, flour, grain,
fish, &c. The tariff, mentioned in my last, excites universal
complaint; there is scarce a Minister from a maritime Court, who is
not preparing to make remonstrances. I shall see what success they
have, and regulate my conduct thereby. If we obtain any partial
advantages, they must be derived from treaty, and the desire of Spain
to cultivate our friendship.

The Court has not yet named a Minister to the United States. Indeed,
it is difficult to find a proper person for this employment. I
proposed to a M. Josè Llanos, a gentleman highly respected here for
his abilities and his agreeable manners, this commission. He is nephew
of the Duke d'Osada, a favorite of the King. The proposal was received
with great marks of satisfaction, and will contribute to secure his
good will and friendship, as well as that of his uncle, if it answers
no other purpose. The same Under Secretary in the foreign department,
who is charged with the affairs of Great Britain, has also the
direction of those of the United States. On being informed of this
circumstance, I paid him my compliments, and shall neglect nothing
which shall enable me to secure his good will, on which, in a great
measure, depends the despatch of business which passes through his
hands.

Since my residence in this country, I have written several long
letters to the Philadelphia Philosophical Society, in which, among
other things, I recommended to its attention, the nomination of
persons in this country as honorary members. I know not whether these
letters ever came to hand, for which reason permit me to suggest to
you, whether the nomination of the most distinguished literary
characters in the different countries of Europe might not be useful.
The suffrage of the republic of letters has contributed to give us a
celebrity during the war, and this union formed with its chiefs in
various countries, will secure useful connexions to our Ministers, as
well as to the American youth who may travel for instruction. Should
this idea meet your approbation, I would take the liberty of
recommending the Count de Campomanes, Fiscal of the Council of
Castile, the above mentioned Don Gaspar Josè Llanos, and the Abbé
Gavarra, Secretary of the Academy of History.

In consequence of your request to nominate a person to receive my
salary, I have written to Mr John Ross to act for me. I have now more
than three quarters due, and am absolutely obliged to live on credit.
I am under great obligations to Dr Franklin for his kindness in
assuming the bills, which I have been constrained to draw on him
hitherto; but dare not draw for the amount of salary due me, lest he
should not have funds. It is impossible for me to retrench my
expenses, without, at the same time, depriving myself of the occasions
of seeing frequently those here from whom alone useful information can
be drawn.

I am happy to have had the Marquis de Lafayette, a witness of my
conduct, and I flatter myself that his testimony will convince you,
that I have neglected nothing to conciliate the esteem of the best
informed natives, and the most distinguished foreigners at this Court,
from whom I could expect either countenance or intelligence. If
possible, I will endeavor to send with this letter copies of all
public accounts. Having no one to assist me in the comparing with the
books and examining the number of bills which have been paid, their
dates, &c. &c. in making out copies, and being but an indifferent
accountant, I proceed more slowly than I desire in their arrangement.
I hope Congress will finally have no reason to complain, as it has
been and ever will be, my highest ambition to merit the confidence
reposed in me.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

             ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

                                          Philadelphia, May 7th, 1783.

  Sir,

I congratulate you upon the turn our affairs are likely to take with
you, and the prospect your letters open of a speedy connexion between
us and the Court of Madrid. Her cold and distant conduct (which I much
lament) has somewhat damped the ardor of this country to render that
connexion as intimate as possible. No people in the world are more
governed by their feelings than the Americans, of which the late war
was a striking proof, and those feelings have been long sported with
in Spain. Yet men of reflection see the propriety of overlooking the
past, and forming in future a durable connexion.

We are necessary to each other, and our mutual friendship must conduce
to the happiness of both. Should Spain have the magnanimity to reject
partial considerations, and offer such a treaty of commerce as her own
true interest and ours require, we shall now lay the foundation of a
friendship that will endure for ages. But should she contend with us
for the free navigation of the Mississippi, which is now ours by the
titles, should she deny us the privilege of cutting wood in the bays
of Campeachy and Honduras while she grants it to the English, she
will, without serving herself, injure us, and open the wounds which
her kindness should close.

I have no particular directions to give you with respect to your
mission; your conduct is perfectly agreeable to Congress, and I doubt
not that you will continue to pursue such a line as will render you
most acceptable to the Court of Madrid. We have now no particular
favors to ask, and the ground on which we stand, will, I hope,
preserve us from future neglects, and enable you to obtain the
practice you have been so long soliciting in those matters of a
private nature which you mention.

I am surprised to hear that you have not received your salary, since
it has been regularly remitted every quarter to Dr Franklin ever since
the first of January, 1782. By letters from Mr Lewis Morris, you will
learn that the money paid here was laid out in bills of exchange at
six shillings and threepence, this money, for five livres, and the
bills sent out. This exchange was in your favor, but by the enclosed
retrospective resolution, (passed in consequence of a representation
from Dr Franklin, that the salaries should not depend upon the
fluctuations of exchange,) Congress have deducted that advantage from
the quarter's salary, which was due on the 1st of April. The balance
will be paid in bills to Mr Ross, agreeably to your order, as soon as
I can prevail on Mr Robert Morris to draw, which he says will be in a
few days. No commission has been, or will be charged by me upon these
money transactions, so that your salary will be five livres, five sous
per dollar, considered at four shillings and sixpence sterling, not
without deduction from the 1st of January, 1782.

I need not tell you, that the terms of the provisional treaty were
very acceptable here; all but those articles that relate to the
loyalists, upon which subject I fear the recommendations of Congress
when made, will not effect what is expected of them. Of this the
unhappy people who are the objects of them appear to be very sensible,
and are going in much greater numbers than I could wish, to Nova
Scotia. Congress have ratified the treaty; we are now mutually
discharging prisoners. We shall send in about six thousand men in good
health and spirits, in return for a few hundred poor debilitated
wretches who have lost their health in the prison-ships. You will be
struck with the contrast between our conduct to the captives and
theirs, when I assure you that out of one thousand men confined in
close jail in Philadelphia for a twelvemonth, but sixteen died. Though
the knowledge of this can answer no political purpose at present, it
is not amiss that facts, which mark the humanity of a young nation
should be known. The measures, which Congress have lately adopted for
securing half pay to the troops, have given them satisfaction, and
they look with patriotic pleasure to the hour of their dissolution. We
have yet no knowledge of the time the British have fixed for the
evacuation of New York, on which subject I imagine they have yet
received no orders; though the communication between us and them is
perfectly open at present. You will continue to employ your leisure in
writing to us, and when no public business demands your attention, let
us learn from you the political and commercial history of the Court
and country you are in. In doing this I beg leave to remind you, that
general histories are in everybody's hands. That minute details are
requisite to an accurate knowledge of a country.

I thank you for the information you have given relative to the siege
of Gibraltar; it is curious and interesting.

I am, Sir, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                              Madrid, July 19th, 1783.

  Sir,

A few days ago I had the satisfaction to receive a letter, which you
did me the honor to write me the 7th of May. It is the only one which
has reached me from the department of Foreign Affairs since the 12th
of September, 1782. I am happy to find my conduct has the approbation
of Congress. The delicate situation in which I have found myself here,
and a total privation of intelligence from America, embarrassed me
greatly; I was apprehensive, on the one hand, that a marked resentment
of the coldness and delays of this Court might compromise our ally,
and embroil still further our affairs here; and on the other, I felt
that it was not decent longer to solicit the amity of a nation, which
has long trifled with the proposals of the States. I was not
authorised to negotiate, and if I had been, I had no instructions but
those which were given to Mr Jay in 1779.

Our affairs have taken such a different aspect since that period, that
these could be of little use to me. Thus circumstanced, I contented
myself with taking every opportunity of pointing out to the Count de
Florida Blanca and others, the conduct which I presumed would be most
advantageous to my country, while, at the same time, it would cement a
lasting harmony between the two nations. I received constantly
general assurances of the favorable disposition of the King; the
letter transmitted by the Marquis de Lafayette, and those which I have
had the honor to write to you before and since that period, will have
informed you of the nature of them. I was induced to believe these
assurances were sincere, more from the opinion that it was the true
interest of this Court to follow that line of conduct, than from any
confidence in the real good will or good faith of government here. Its
apparent jealousy of our rising importance, and of our vicinity to
their American possessions, joined to its past conduct, I think will
justify these sentiments.

A few days ago, the Minister of the Indies, speaking of America in
general, wished the whole continent at the bottom of the ocean. I
believe he has his particular reasons for this wish. The advice which
I have had the honor to transmit you from time to time, of the
discontents and disturbances in Mexico and Peru, will in some measure
explain the cause of his dissatisfaction. The last intelligence
received from Buenos Ayres is by no means agreeable. The Court keeps
the most guarded silence on this subject, and the Minister has taken
care to stop all letters of a late date brought by packets from that
part of the world. I have, however, been informed by natives of
consequence from these countries who reside here, and who pay their
court every day to M. Galvez, that the spirit of revolt increases, and
that the conduct of the officers civil and military sent from hence,
is so odious and intolerable to all classes of people, that the worst
consequences are to be apprehended. These Americans treat me with the
cordiality of countrymen. The other night being at the Tertullia,
(Assembly) of Madame Galvez, the Count d'Oreilly entered. I saw
indignation immediately painted on their countenances, and one of them
accosting me, said, "there, my countryman, is a specimen of the
Governors they send us," alluding to the perfidy and cruelties of that
General in Louisiana. I was cautious in my reply, as indeed, I have
been in all conversations which I have had with these or others on
this subject. The apprehensions, which the situation of their Colonies
might be supposed to excite, do not appear to influence the conduct of
the Count de Florida Blanca.

In my letter of the 25th of June, I had the honor to submit to you my
conjectures on the part Spain seemed disposed to take in the war
commenced by Russia against the Turks. These conjectures have been
confirmed by circumstances, which have since come to my knowledge. The
Count de Florida Blanca takes an active part in negotiating and
exciting the distrust of other nations against the supposed designs of
the Imperial Courts. There have been frequent conferences of late
between that Minister, the French and Portuguese Ambassadors, and the
Count de Fernan Nunez, now here on _congé_ from Portugal. It is
surmised, that the object of them is to exclude from the ports of the
Court of Lisbon the fleet which Russia has talked of sending into the
Mediterranean, and to avoid giving a pointed offence to the Empress by
this exclusion, it is proposed to extend it to all nations at war.
Many circumstances induce me to credit this surmise. The Russian
Minister here is informed from Lisbon of this negotiation, and accuses
the Portuguese Ambassador, (who is a weak and vain man) of being
entirely gained by the court paid him here.

Efforts have been made to engage the Genoese and Venetians to enter
into the same views. I know the sentiments of the Ambassador from the
latter Republic on this subject. He is piqued by the little confidence
placed in him by this Court, on account of letters from him to his
constituents, placing the affairs of this country in an unfavorable
aspect. Copies of these letters have some how or other been procured
by the Spanish Ambassador there, and transmitted hither. He advises
the republic to remain neutral, notwithstanding the jealousies which
others endeavor to inspire of the Emperor's intentions. That Prince
continues to make the most formidable preparations, while at the same
time he endeavors to persuade others, particularly the Court of
France, that he does not enter into the designs of Russia. Your
information from Paris will be much more accurate than any that I can
give you on this subject. If the Court of Versailles was not well
satisfied with the dispositions of this Court, the Count de Montmorin
would not be permitted to return to France at this crisis. He talks of
leaving Spain in the month of September, or sooner, should the
definitive treaty be concluded. A courier is daily expected with the
news of the signature.

This intelligence will be the more agreeable, as doubts have been
entertained of the intentions of the English cabinet. The frequent
conferences of Mr Fox and the Russian Minister at London, and the
permission given to Russian Commissaries to prepare for the reception
of the fleets of that nation, may have excited these doubts. Mr Fox,
in the course of the negotiations of the definitive treaty, has
cavilled on every point, and raised difficulties and delays on every
occasion. It would, perhaps, have facilitated the conclusion of our
treaty with this country, if we could have adjusted the articles of it
before theirs with Great Britain is signed. I am afraid it will be
difficult to obtain permission to cut wood in the bays of Campeachy
and Honduras. This point, as I informed you in my last, was a subject
of long discussion at London. The limits occasioned the obstacles on
the part of Spain. I have insinuated from time to time to the Count de
Florida Blanca, the good effects the grant of this permission to the
citizens of the United States would have in America. But M. Galvez, as
Minister of the Indies, will be consulted on this point, as well as on
that of the free navigation of the Mississippi, and I believe will
obstruct as much as possible the cessions we desire. He is obstinate
to the last degree, and rarely swerves from the system he has once
adopted. Perseverance and steadiness on our part must from the nature
of things probably prevail.

There is no appearance of material changes in the Ministry here. It is
said, the King is not satisfied with the new Minister of Marine. The
friends of the Count d'Oreilly flattered themselves that he would be
named Minister of war. But his return to his government of Andalusia,
after a shorter stay than he intended, dissipated the expectations
formed on this head. I paid him my court during the time he was here,
in order to secure his influence in favor of our commerce at Cadiz.
The appointment of a consul is very necessary at that port, and
certainly no person will ever perform the functions of that office
with more credit to himself and country than Mr Richard Harrison, who
for three years past has gratuitously done all our business here.

The time of the Count de Florida Blanca is so much occupied by
projects of reform in the administration of the revenues, &c. and by
the negotiations before mentioned, that it is difficult if not
impracticable to see him, particularly while the Court is in the
capital. He promised at Aranjues to give me a positive answer here
with regard to my presentation to the King and royal family, but I
have been so accustomed to promises and delays, that I have little
expectations he will keep his word. I attend the answer of Congress to
my letter of the 23d of May, in which I recapitulated the difficulties
started on this subject.

The expedition against Algiers sailed on the 2d instant. Enclosed I
have the honor to send you a list of its force. The religious
ceremonies observed previous to the departure of this armament, recall
to mind those practised in the time of the crusades. A pompous
procession, composed of the clergy of all orders, and of the civil and
military officers at Carthagena, attended a miraculous image of the
virgin of Mount Carmel, from the church to the port. There, with great
ceremony, it was placed in the barge of Barcello, the chief of the
expedition, who himself took the helm, and conducted it on board the
Admiral's ship, parading through the fleet, which displayed its
colors, and saluted with firing and music during the time the ceremony
lasted. The image was reconducted to the altar from which it had been
taken with the same pomp, and no doubt that many of the spectators and
assistants are convinced, that this honor paid to the virgin will
insure the success of the expedition. I take the liberty of giving you
this detail, as it marks the character of a part of the nation.
Sensible people smile when the circumstance happens to be mentioned.

In the month of July, 1780, I gave to Mr Jay in writing, a general
account of the disposition of the Court; the state of the finances of
this country, &c. &c. I know not whether it has ever been transmitted
to Congress. I have from time to time since been employed in
correcting and enlarging it. I have hopes of obtaining an accurate
account of the revenues and debts of this nation. The person, through
whose means I hope to procure it for the time necessary to copy it, is
now absent. Should I be successful, I must entreat the greatest
secrecy, on account of the person who I expect will favor me on this
point. In 1781, I transmitted to the Philosophical Society of
Philadelphia, a relation of the measures taken in this country for the
encouragement of arts and agriculture, particularly by societies
established with the title of _Amigos del Pais_, (friends of the
country) these societies owe their existence to the celebrated Count
de Campomanes; from him I drew my information on this subject, and I
must add in justice to his liberality of thinking, that I have found
him on all occasions disposed to contribute to my instruction; for
this and other reasons heretofore mentioned, I pressed his nomination
as honorary member of our philosophical society. You will pardon me
for reminding you of this circumstance.

Urged by necessity, I have been constrained to draw on Dr Franklin; I
never have been advised by him of the reception of bills of exchange
for my salary. Mr Temple Franklin wrote me many months ago, that
advice had been received that bills had been drawn for that purpose,
but that they had not come to hand. In the course of this summer, he
informed me, that six months of my salary had been remitted by your
department, and that I had been credited with that sum in my account
with Dr Franklin. I have heard nothing on the subject since. You will
please, therefore, direct its being transmitted in future through the
hands of Mr John Ross.

I have just been informed, that an envoy is arrived at Cadiz from
Morocco, charged with powers to treat in behalf of the Emperor with
our Commissioners at Paris. I beg leave to recall to your attention,
that I had the honor to commence our first negotiations with Sweden,
Denmark, and Saxony, and that others have been authorised to conclude
them, to the great mortification of the Ministers of those Courts
employed here. I shall be perfectly satisfied if the Congress remains
persuaded of the zeal which has animated me, and will ever animate me,
to contribute my feeble efforts to promote the interest and glory of
the States, and to merit the confidence reposed in me.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                               Madrid, July 22d, 1783.

  Sir,

Since closing my letter of the 19th instant, a courier arrived from
Alicant, brings advice that the armament against Algiers, which sailed
the 2d, has been dispersed by bad weather, and obliged to take shelter
in that port and others on the coast. If I can procure the details of
this disaster, I will forward them by this opportunity. This
dispersion will afford more time for the Algerines to prepare for
their defence. The fleet from the Havana is daily expected; some
vessels have already arrived.

Great hopes are conceived of the influence which this treasure, and
the produce embarked in the convoy, will have in enlivening the
commerce of this country, and appreciating the paper money in
circulation. In this capital that paper loses five per cent, in the
sea-ports, three and a half per cent. The operations of the bank have
not been attended hitherto with the success expected from them.

Solano, who commanded the maritime forces of Spain in the West Indies,
subject to the order of General Galvez, has excited the indignation of
the King and Ministry, by refusing to receive on board the vessels
under his command, the general officers and troops destined to return
to Spain. It is said here, that his refusal proceeded from a desire to
turn to his private advantage and that of his officers, this occasion
of lading the ships of war with the produce of Spanish America. This
has been too much the custom in this country. He will find a powerful
enemy in the Minister of the Indies, whose nephew is obliged by this
manoeuvre to embark in a merchant-man.

We have yet no news of the signature of the definitive treaty. Mr
Adams did me the honor to write me in a letter, which I have just
received by a private hand, "that they were moving on with the same
sluggish pace in the conferences for the definitive treaty, and could
by no means foresee the end." This letter is dated the 18th of June.
The Court and the French Ambassador give out that they expect the news
of its signature in eight days. If it was not imprudent to hazard
conjecture against such authority, I should be induced by other
motives, to think that this event will not take place, until
despatches carried from hence last week arrive in London. I have
additional reason to suppose that the convention mentioned in my last,
to exclude from the ports of Portugal the Russian ships of war, has
been, or is on the point of being concluded. The Prince de Masseran,
who charges himself with the delivery of this to my correspondent at
Bordeaux, being about to set out, I am obliged to conclude.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

       FROM THE SAXON MINISTER IN SPAIN TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

                             Translation.

                                              Madrid, July 28th, 1783.

  Sir,

I have just received instructions, which contain the result of what
has been for a long time the subject of our conversations. The trading
interest of Saxony has seized with avidity the overtures and details,
which, after our interviews, I placed under the eyes of the Ministry.
Persuaded that the goodness and cheapness of our commodities will give
them an advantage in such an enterprise, they have adopted the plan,
which you have indicated, of sending to America a person, who shall
look after their interests, and obtain the knowledge indispensable for
their direction. Their choice has fallen upon a merchant of Bordeaux,
a native of Leipzic, whose name is Philip Thieriot, known as a man of
probity, intelligence, and good conduct, who is now in Saxony, but
will soon establish himself in Philadelphia, to transact business in
the character of a merchant, both on his own account and that of
others.

The Elector has assented to this choice, and permits that for the
present M. Thieriot shall hold in America, the functions of
Commissary-General of the commerce of Saxony, with the view of
founding mercantile relations between the two countries, and that he
may receive the commissions of Saxon merchants, direct their
enterprises, and guard and support their interests, both in relation
to Congress and other respects, till circumstances shall make it
proper for him to be supplied with more particular directions. For
this purpose the oath has been administered to him, and he has been
furnished with suitable instructions, and the power of making
appointments. He sets off immediately for France, where he has certain
affairs to arrange, and he will then be ready to embark from Bordeaux
in the month of August.

As the time is too short for him to pass by the way of Madrid, and
receive the benefits of the personal counsels, with which I flatter
myself you would be disposed to favor him, I shall be under great
obligations to you, if you will fulfil the promises, which you have
had the goodness to make, and give to this gentleman letters of
recommendation both for the Congress of the United States and other
persons of consideration, which may procure for him the protection of
the one, and the confidence and assistance of the others.

As on the one hand I flatter myself, from the account I have had of
the talents and good character of M. Thieriot, that he will do honor
to your recommendation, so I am satisfied on the other, that it will
contribute more than anything else to render his residence useful and
agreeable, to facilitate the success of his mission, and strengthen
the bonds of utility between the two nations, of which the merit
belongs to you of having greatly contributed to lay the foundation.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                            GORSDORFF.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                              Madrid, July 29th, 1783.

  Sir,

In former letters I have had the honor to mention to you the
conversation, which had passed between the Saxon Minister at this
Court and myself, on the subject of forming commercial and amicable
connexions between the United States and the Elector. As I had no
authority or instructions from Congress, I could only avail myself of
general expressions of the desire of my constituents to cultivate the
friendship of the different powers of Europe, and of extending their
commerce to all. I declined when pressed, to give my sentiments in
writing, unless the Saxon Minister would give me, by permission of his
Court, such extracts of his official letters as might enable me
immediately to notify to Congress in a proper manner, the amicable
disposition of his master; assuring him, however, that I should not
fail of communicating to that body the substance of our general
conversations, which I was persuaded would receive with great
satisfaction an account of the Elector's friendly intentions. This
gentleman being rather indiscreet in his conduct, I was perhaps more
upon my guard with him than I should have been with a person of a
different character. On his pressing me, however, to give him my
sentiments on the best means to forward an intercourse between the two
countries, I replied verbally, that in my opinion, the speediest and
most effectual method would be, to send from Saxony to America a
person well acquainted with the commerce of his own country, and
properly authorised, who being able to judge on the spot what
advantages were to be derived from such intercourse, might
immediately treat with Congress if the Elector thought proper.

After some hesitation, he agreed to my propositions, and advised his
Court thereof. Yesterday he addressed me a letter, of which I have now
the honor to enclose you a copy, together with an extract of his
official despatches. A visit which he paid me a few hours after he
sent me the above papers, rendered a written answer unnecessary. I
confessed to him, the high sense which Congress would have of this
proof of the Elector's good will, and added, that I would take the
earliest opportunity of communicating it. I promised him also the
letters he required for M. Thieriot. I hope my conduct will have the
approbation of Congress.

Nothing material has transpired since my last of the 25th instant,
except that I am persuaded, that the convention between France, Spain,
and Portugal was signed here between the 15th and 17th of this month.
I am told, that it has for its basis a treaty concluded between the
two latter nations in 1778, with supplementary secret articles. The
northern powers, particularly Russia, appear jealous of the objects of
this treaty. Great Britain seems to have had no knowledge of it.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                              Madrid, August 2d, 1783.

  Sir,

On the 29th ultimo, I had the honor to enclose you copies of sundry
papers, relative to the establishment of a commercial intercourse
between the citizens of the United States and the subjects of the
Elector of Saxony. By that communication you will have learned with
great satisfaction, that the commerce of Saxony, with the approbation
of the Sovereign, had chosen M. Philip Thieriot, a person of
acknowledged merit, to reside in America in the character of
Commissary-General of commerce. By the papers above mentioned you will
have seen the nature and extent of that gentleman's commission. I have
now the honor to present him to your notice, persuaded that you will
with pleasure procure him occasions of putting effectually into
execution the views of the court and commerce of his country. Their
nomination of him to this important trust, until circumstances may
demand that he be immediately authorised by his Sovereign, will, I
make no doubt, be a sufficient motive with you to secure him all the
civilities and services which it may be in your power to afford him.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                      St Ildefonso, August 30th, 1783.

  Sir,

On the 19th, 22d, and 29th ultimo, and the 2d of this month, I had the
honor to address you from Madrid. On the 5th instant I followed the
Court to this place, where it had been since the 24th of last month.

I took the earliest opportunity of waiting on his Excellency, the
Count de Florida Blanca, to remind him of his promise to present me to
the King and royal family, and of other affairs interesting to
individuals mentioned in former letters, for which I had been obliged
to apply to him. He gave me the strongest assurances of his desire to
terminate, to the satisfaction of the parties interested, the affairs
in question, imputing to other departments the delays I had
experienced in their adjustment. On the subject of my presentation, he
seemed much embarrassed, stating the difficulties he should be exposed
to in procuring that honor for me, which his Majesty refused to others
vested with the same character, mentioning the case of the _Chargé
d'Affaires_ of Denmark, a copy of whose letter to this Minister on the
subject of his presentation, I had the honor to enclose you on the
25th of June. He observed, that the Russian and Swedish Ministers were
about to leave the Court, and would, if I was presented, insist on the
presentation of their Secretaries also.

I begged leave in reply to assure his Excellency of the concern it
gave me to expose him to the least inconvenience upon that account,
but that he would be pleased to recollect the promise he had made to
the Marquis de Lafayette and myself in writing on this subject. That
copies of the letter which the Marquis de Lafayette had written him
and of his Excellency's answer had been transmitted to Congress; that
that body, from the confidence which they had in his Catholic
Majesty's amicable disposition, of which his Excellency had been so
often the interpreter, undoubtedly expected that I had long ago been
presented; that in consequence of his Excellency's assurances to me at
various times since the transmission of the copies of the letters
before mentioned, I had confirmed my constituents in this belief; that
this being the case, it would be improper for me to go to Court, until
I should receive their instructions on the subject. I added, that I
hoped his Excellency knew me too well to suppose that I was influenced
by any personal considerations in this affair. He interrupted me with
an assurance to the contrary, and that he would do everything in his
power to give me satisfaction, telling me to call upon him in a few
days, when he would acquaint me with the result of his endeavors. Thus
ended our first conference.

Not to appear too urgent, I avoided speaking to him on the subject
until ten days ago, although I had occasion to see him several times.
But hearing the British Minister was on his way to Madrid, I thought
it proper to bring the matter to a decision before his arrival and
presentation; for which purpose I again waited on the Minister. I soon
discovered that he was in ill humor; however, as he immediately
commenced the conversation, by telling me that he had not yet found an
opportunity of speaking to the King, I prayed his Excellency to
recollect the time which had elapsed since he had been pleased to tell
me that I should be presented, and recapitulated the reasons before
mentioned. He interrupted me several times, telling me how much he had
been persecuted by Mr Elfried and the Russian Minister, who espoused
the interests of that _Chargé d'Affaires_, adding, with warmth, that
gentleman will never be presented, unless to take leave and receive
his present. I replied, that his Excellency would do me the justice to
own, that I had been by no means importunate. That it was not my
intention to be so, and that nothing but my duty, joined to my
particular desire to cultivate a good understanding between our two
countries, made me now press him for an explicit answer. He told me
that he was convinced that I did not wish to embarrass him, but
observed, with some peevishness, ---- as Mr Elfried is by the
Russian. He cites precedent and you have none.

I answered, that I flattered myself his Excellency had too good an
opinion of me to suppose that I needed a prompter, when either the
honor or interests of my country were in question. That as for
precedent, part of my business with his Excellency, was to establish
one for such of my countrymen as the United States might hereafter
send to Spain in the same character in which I had the honor to be
employed; adding, that I had more confidence in his Excellency's word,
than in all the precedents the book of etiquette of the Court could
furnish me; and that to give him a farther proof of my unwillingness
to embarrass him, I did not insist on my presentation, but on an
explicit answer from his Excellency, of which I might immediately send
copies to Congress, not only for my own justification, but also to
enable that body to decide the manner in which _Chargé d'Affaires_,
from the Court of Spain should be treated by the United States. He
seemed pleased with the reliance placed on his word, for he instantly
told me, that he would speedily give me an explicit answer, and that I
should see that he was a man of his word. That he wished, from respect
to the States, and personal regard for myself, to procure me an
advantage which was denied to others, but that he was afraid his
Majesty was (to make use of his own expression) _trop entêté_ on this
point. He then asked me for a copy of the translation of the letter
from Congress to the King. I had it with me. This is the third copy,
which I have given to his Excellency. We left his apartments as he was
then going to the King. In the ante-chamber he again repeated aloud
in Spanish, before thirty or forty persons, who were waiting to pay
him their court, that I should find him a man of his word, and that I
should have an explicit answer. I took my leave, assuring him it was
all I desired.

I presume that he took his Majesty's orders thereon the same day, for
the next he sent me a polite message, desiring me to come to his
house. Having waited on him, agreeably to his request, on my entry he
took me by the hand and told me, that he hoped I would now be
satisfied, for that on conferring with the King, his Majesty had been
pleased to fix a day for my presentation; that no one felt more
sensibly than himself the happy conclusion of this affair, as well on
account of his desire to show every possible respect to the United
States, as from his esteem for me. That the King, contrary to his
expectations, had consented to change the etiquette with respect to me
on this subject, as "an extraordinary act of royal good will," and
that he hoped, that his conduct on this occasion would convince
Congress of his Majesty's intentions to cultivate in a particular
manner their amity. I expressed in reply, the sense which I knew my
constituents would have of this proof of the King's amicable
disposition, and of my gratitude to his Excellency for the obliging
interest which he took in what regarded me personally, assuring him
that I would take the earliest opportunity of transmitting to Congress
this additional proof of his Majesty's desire to cultivate their
friendship, and of his Excellency's manner of fulfilling his
Sovereign's intentions. I then asked him on what day the King chose to
receive me, he answered, the day after tomorrow, (the 23d instant.) I
expressed some concern that the Ambassador of France, then at Madrid
would not return before the time appointed for my reception. He
replied, that the King having named the day, no alteration could take
place. To this I was obliged to acquiesce. His Excellency then made me
many professions of personal regard, which it is unnecessary to
repeat, and which, perhaps, I should not even hint at, if the French
Ambassador, the Marquis de Lafayette and others, had not been
witnesses on former occasions to similar assurances. I proceeded to
mention to his Excellency the different objects on which I had
heretofore addressed him, and prayed him to give me an opportunity, at
the same time that I informed Congress of my presentation, to advise
them also of the happy termination of these. He begged me to pass him
offices again on these points, and assured me that I should receive
such answers as would be agreeable and satisfactory to the States. He
continued to speak to me in an open and friendly manner of the
obstacles which a well intentioned Minister had to encounter in the
execution of his measures in this country.

I paid him indirect compliments on what I knew to be his favorite
projects, viz. the improvement of the roads, the protection and
encouragement of manufactures, &c. and the changes which he meditates
in the system of finance and commerce, and after continuing with him
some time, was about to take my leave. He asked me whom I had left in
the ante-chamber; on mentioning the names of the persons, he requested
me to remain with him, observing, that he should be plagued by these
gentlemen. During my stay, the conversation turned on different
subjects, in which I received every proof of candor and politeness.
The same evening I informed the Ambassador of France by letter, that
the King had consented to my being presented, a circumstance on which
he had always entertained doubts, although he has ever done everything
in his power, that could be expected from his public and private
character, to contribute to the success of our negotiation. Perhaps
some expressions on the part of Congress, testifying their sense of
the zeal which this nobleman has manifested to further their
interests, may be ultimately productive of good effects at the Court
of Versailles, if not here.

On the day appointed for my presentation, I waited on his Excellency,
the Count de Florida Blanca, and from his house, accompanied by his
servant whom he had the politeness to send with my own, I paid my
visits to the principal officers and ladies of the palace. This
ceremony finished, I went to the King's apartments, where the Minister
appointed me to meet him. When his Majesty arose from table, his
Excellency presented me as _Chargé d'Affaires_ of the United States.
As I had been informed, that the King did not like long harangues, I
contented myself with expressing to his Majesty my happiness in being
the first of my countrymen who had the good fortune to assure him of
their desire to cultivate his amity. He answered me in a gracious
manner, and with a smiling countenance, saying, that he hoped I should
have frequent occasions of making him the same assurances. He then
passed into the audience chamber, to the Ambassadors and Ministers,
where, as several of them have informed me, he was pleased to speak
favorably of me.

The royal family dining at the same hour and separately, the same
etiquette being observed, viz. the presentation after dinner, it
required some days to finish this business; the Count de Florida
Blanca accompanying me more than three quarters of an hour each day,
with a politeness and good nature rarely found in men who have so
many important occupations in their hands. The Prince of Asturias
spoke of me during the dinner as of a person he had long known, and
when I was presented he told me so. The Princess, who was present,
spoke to me six or seven minutes in French and Spanish, and among
other things said to me, that I ought to like Spain, because she had
been told, that I was much liked by the Spaniards. I replied, that the
only title I had to their esteem was my well known regard for the
nation. The other branches of the royal family received me equally
well.

It perhaps may be thought, that I have dwelt too long on these minute
details, but I hope I shall be excused when it is considered this is
the first presentation of a servant of the States at this Court, and
that it has already made some noise among the _corps diplomatique_,
who think themselves entitled to the same privilege which I have
obtained. As soon as the _Chargé d'Affaires_ of Denmark was advised of
my presentation, he came hither. The enclosed note to the Minister, of
which I found means to obtain a copy, will show you in what light his
Court regards this preference.

The ceremonial of my presentation being finished, I waited on his
Excellency, the Count de Florida Blanca, to thank him for his obliging
attentions in the course of it, and took that opportunity of
insinuating to him the propriety of his Catholic Majesty's immediately
naming a Minister to the United States. I had touched on this subject
formerly. He told me that he would speak to his Majesty, and inform me
of his intentions.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.



THE

CORRESPONDENCE

OF

JOHN LAURENS;

SPECIAL MINISTER TO THE COURT OF FRANCE.



John Laurens was the son of Henry Laurens, whose Correspondence is
printed in the second volume of this work. He was born in Charleston,
South Carolina, in the year 1755. At the age of sixteen he accompanied
his father to Europe, where he was left to pursue his education first
at Geneva, and afterwards at London. He was diligent in his studies,
and made rapid attainments in the different branches of knowledge, as
well as in the other accomplishments of a scholar and a gentleman. In
1774 he became a student of law in the Temple, but the stirring
events, that were causing so much excitement on this side of the
Atlantic, drew his attention strongly to the interests and claims of
his native country, and determined him to return and connect his
destiny with hers. After a voyage of considerable peril, he arrived in
Charleston in 1777, and immediately resolved to join the army.

As the army then abounded with officers, and there was no opening
suited to him in their ranks, General Washington took him into his
family as a supernumerary Aid-de-camp. In this capacity he was at the
battles of Germantown and Monmouth. He soon afterwards attached
himself to the army on Rhode Island, where he had the command of a
small body of light troops, and displayed so much bravery and good
conduct, that Congress, on the 5th of November, 1778, resolved, "that
John Laurens, Aid-de-camp to General Washington, be presented with a
continental commission of lieutenant-colonel, in testimony of the
sense, which Congress entertain of his patriotic and spirited services
as a volunteer in the American army; and of his brave conduct in
several actions, particularly in that of Rhode Island on the 29th of
August last; and that General Washington be directed, whenever an
opportunity shall offer, to give Lieutenant-Colonel Laurens a command
agreeable to his rank." The next year he repaired to the southern
army, was present at the unsuccessful attack on Savannah, and was
among the prisoners at the capitulation of Charleston. He was soon
after exchanged and reinstated in the army. On the 28th of September,
1779, he was chosen by Congress Secretary to the Minister
Plenipotentiary from the United States to the Court of Versailles, but
he did not accept the appointment.

In the year following, Congress became so much pressed for the want of
means in money and military supplies, that they resolved to send a
special Minister to France for the purpose of representing, in a
strong and just light, the extreme necessities of the United States,
and soliciting new aid from the French Court. It was supposed, that a
person going directly from the scene of action and suffering, and with
a full knowledge of all the particulars from personal observation,
would be more likely to succeed in such an application than the
resident Minister Plenipotentiary, who could only speak from his
general instructions. As the assistance was chiefly wanted for the
relief of the army, it was moreover considered that this messenger
should be selected from that body. The choice fell on Colonel Laurens,
who, on the 23d of December, 1780, was appointed a special Minister to
the Court of Versailles for the above purpose. He was then only
twentyfive years old. He sailed from Boston in February, and arrived
in Paris on the 19th of March, and immediately applied himself with
great assiduity to the objects of his mission. His success, though not
to the extent of his wishes, or the hopes of Congress, was yet more
complete than could reasonably have been expected, considering the
liberal grants, which the French government had recently made to the
solicitations of Dr Franklin. All that could be effected by zeal,
activity, perseverance, and intelligence, was accomplished by Colonel
Laurens; but so great was his eagerness to do his duty on the
occasion, and to render the most essential service to his country,
that his forwardness and impatience were somewhat displeasing to the
French Ministry, as not altogether consistent with their ideas of the
dignity and deference belonging to transactions with Courts. They made
allowance, however, for the ardor and inexperience of youth, and seem
not to have been influenced by these objectionable points of manners,
in their estimation of his noble and generous traits of character, or
in their disposition to listen to his requests.

Having compassed the aims of his mission with uncommon despatch,
Colonel Laurens left Paris, and reached Philadelphia towards the end
of August, having been absent from the country but little more than
six months. As soon as he had made a report of his doings to Congress,
he repaired again to the army in time to be present at the memorable
siege of York Town. Here he displayed great courage and gallantly in
storming and taking a British battery, as second in command to
Hamilton. After the capitulation he joined the southern army under
General Greene, having previously acted as a representative in the
legislature of his native State, which convened at Jacksonborough in
January, 1782. While with the army, during the following summer, he
was ill with a fever, from which he had hardly recovered when
intelligence came, that a party of the British were out on a marauding
excursion to Combakee. He went in pursuit of the enemy, and while
leading an advanced party, he received a mortal wound, which
terminated his life on the 27th of August, 1782, in the twentyseventh
year of his age. His death was deeply lamented by the army and the
nation.



THE

CORRESPONDENCE

OF

JOHN LAURENS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    INSTRUCTIONS TO JOHN LAURENS.

                                      In Congress, December 23d, 1780.

  Sir,

You will herewith receive a commission appointing you our Minister at
the Court of Versailles; in pursuing the objects of which, you will
conform to the following instructions.

Upon your arrival you will communicate fully to our Minister
Plenipotentiary at that Court the business on which you are sent, and
avail yourself of his information and influence for obtaining the aids
mentioned in the estimate delivered to you. Instructions to him for
that purpose are herewith transmitted, which you will deliver
immediately on your arrival. You will convey to his Most Christian
Majesty the grateful sense Congress have of the noble and generous
part he has taken, with regard to the United States, and use every
possible means to impress him with the urgent and critical state of
our affairs at present, which induced the appointment of a special
Minister to solicit his effectual aid.

You will, in particular, give him full information of the present
state of our military affairs, and the measures taken for providing a
respectable force for the ensuing campaign. It will be proper, at the
same time, to point out the causes which rendered the last campaign
unsuccessful.

You are to use every effort in your power to enforce the necessity of
maintaining a naval superiority in the American seas. You will assure
his Most Christian Majesty on our part, that if he will please to
communicate to us his intentions respecting the next campaign in
America, we will use every effort in our power for an effectual
co-operation. You are to give his Majesty the most positive and
pointed assurances of our determination to prosecute the war for the
great purposes of the alliance agreeable to our engagements.

Should his Majesty grant the aids requested, and send to our
assistance a naval force, you will take advantage of that conveyance
for forwarding the articles furnished. If no naval armament should be
ordered to America, you will endeavor to obtain some vessels of force
to transport the said articles, or take advantage of some convoy to
America, which may render the transportation less hazardous. You will
call upon William Palfrey, our Consul in that kingdom, for such
assistance as you may stand in need of for forwarding any supplies
which you may obtain. You are authorised to draw upon our Minister
Plenipotentiary for such sums as you may from time to time stand in
need of, giving him early notice thereof, that he may aid you from
funds procured on our account, without doing injury to our other
concerns. You may also draw upon any other funds, which you may know
to have been procured for us to Europe.

You will, on your arrival at the Court of Versailles, present the
letter to his Most Christian Majesty, which you will herewith receive.
Previous to your departure from the United States, you are to confer
with the Commander in Chief of the American army, the Minister
Plenipotentiary of France, the commanders in chief of his Most
Christian Majesty's fleet and army at Rhode Island, the Marquis de
Lafayette, if it should not retard your voyage, upon the subject of
your commission, and avail yourself of every information you may
obtain from them respectively. You will embrace every opportunity of
informing us of the success of your negotiations, and receive and obey
such instructions, as you may from time to time receive from Congress.

When the purpose of your mission shall be as fully effected as you may
deem practicable, you are to return, and report your success to
Congress without delay, unless you shall previously receive other
orders.[15]

We pray God to further you with his goodness in the several objects
hereby recommended and that he will have you in his holy keeping.

                                       SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, _President_.


FOOTNOTES:

[15] For Additional Instructions to Dr Franklin respecting Colonel
Laurens's mission, see _Franklin's Correspondence_, Vol. III. p. 185.

       *       *       *       *       *

               ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS TO JOHN LAURENS.

                                     In Congress, December 27th, 1780.

  Sir,

With respect to the loan, we foresee that the sum which we ask will be
greatly inadequate to our wants. We wish, however, to depend as much
as possible on our internal exertions. In this negotiation, the state
of our finances require that you should endeavor to procure as long a
respite after the war, for payment of the principal, as may be in your
power. You may agree for an interest not exceeding the terms allowed
or given on national security in Europe, endeavoring to suspend the
discharge of the interest for two or three years, if possible.

You are hereby empowered to pledge the faith of the United States, by
executing such securities or obligations for the payment of the money,
as you may think proper, and also that the interest shall not be
reduced, nor the principal paid during the term for which the same
shall have been borrowed, without the consent of the lenders or their
representatives.

You are to stipulate for the payment of both principal and interest in
specie.

The loan must prove ineffective unless the specie is actually
remitted. Experience has shown, that the negotiation of bills is
attended with unsupportable loss and disadvantage. His Most Christian
Majesty, we are persuaded, will see in the strongest light the
necessity of despatching an effective naval armament to the American
seas. This is a measure of such vast moment, that your utmost address
will be employed to give it success. By such a conveyance, the specie
may be remitted in different ships of war with a prospect of safety.

                                       SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, _President_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                       Philadelphia, January 3d, 1781.

  Sir,

Although my instructions relative to the objects of my mission do not
explicitly direct what conduct I am to observe, in case the aids
solicited from the Court of France cannot be obtained in their full
extent, yet I presume it is not the intention of Congress to confine
me without alternative to the precise demands which they have made.
There is the more reason that this matter should be clearly
understood, as my prospects, especially in the important article of
pecuniary succors, are far from being flattering. I apprehend then,
that I shall have satisfied my duty by aspiring, with every effort, to
complete success, and upon failure of that, by approaching it as
nearly as shall be found practicable.

With regard to the estimate of the Board of War, as it descends into
the minutest detail, and includes a great variety of articles, it
appears to me that it will be necessary to attach myself in preference
to the objects of first necessity for the ensuing campaign, that the
most indispensable supplies may not be retarded by those of a
secondary nature, and that the former being secured as far as
possible, and the latter left in a train of execution, I may the
sooner be at liberty to return and make my report. As I apprehend that
these ideas need only to be submitted to Congress to obtain their
sanction, I shall consider myself authorised to act in consequence,
unless I receive new orders to the contrary.

I have the honor to be, with the profoundest respect, &c.

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                           Boston, February 4th, 1781.

  Sir,

I do myself the honor of informing Congress, that I arrived at this
place on the 25th ultimo.

After passing two days at Morristown in fruitless expectation of
meeting the Commander in Chief, I proceeded to head quarters, where my
conference with the General, on the objects of my mission, detained me
three days. The impediment of floating ice in the North River, which
induced the necessity of crossing it much higher than at the usual
place, and other difficulties of the season, will account for the rest
of my delay on the journey.

Upon delivering my despatches to the Navy Board, I found, that the two
indispensables, men and money, were wanting to fit the Alliance for
sea. I urged the necessity of the most prompt and decisive exertions
on their part. They returned me such assurances as left me no reason
to doubt, that the General Court would authorise an impressment to
complete the deficiency of our crew, and that a sufficient supply of
money would be procured. This determined me to devote the interval of
preparation to making my visit to New York. On my return this day, I
learned with great surprise and mortification, that the motion for an
impressment had been rejected, private motives having superseded those
of general good. In these circumstances I was obliged to apply to
General Lincoln for authority to engage such recruits of this State,
and such soldiers of the invalid corps, as might be qualified for the
marine service. This resource however has afforded us but a few men. I
have just obtained permission from Governor Hancock to enlist
volunteers from the guard of the Castle. The Navy Board has
commissioned a merchant of popularity and influence among the
seafaring men, to offer a tempting bounty, with such precautions as
will prevent uneasiness among those who entered for a smaller
consideration. I am now addressing the principal merchants to spare a
few men from their ships, to be replaced from the Navy Board. In the
mean time the rendezvous of the frigate continues open.

But these are all precarious expedients, and my expectations are by no
means sanguine. Nothing however shall be left unattempted; if my
prospects do not brighten, I shall try the effect of a second memorial
to the General Court, and finally insist upon Captain Barry's putting
to sea with the crew he can obtain by the middle of the week. There is
an additional difficulty in procuring the remainder of the ship's
compliment, which is the necessity of hiring not only seamen, but
natives, as a counterbalance to the bad composition of the men already
on board, too many British prisoners having been admitted; their
numbers, the value of the ship, and the business on which she is
employed, are temptations to an enterprise, in favor of their ancient
connexions.

Several gentlemen go as passengers, on condition of serving on the
quarter deck in case of an encounter, and they will reinforce the
party of the officers in case of a mutiny. I have endeavored to
procure every useful information in the several conferences directed
by Congress. The General and Admiral at Newport received me with that
politeness, which characterises their nation, and professed an earnest
desire to promote, as far as depends on them, the objects of my
mission. I must however apprize Congress, that the French army and
navy are demanding in the most pressing terms, pecuniary supplies for
themselves. Their bills of exchange sell at a discount of from
twentyfive to twentyeight per cent. This demand and the tenacity of
the Spaniards in pursuing their favorite object, Gibraltar, are
unfavorable to my negotiation. Upon the whole I am more than ever
convinced, that the most powerful and unremitting efforts at home will
be required to accomplish the great objects of the war.

I have the honor to be, with the profoundest respect, &c.

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                           Boston, February 7th, 1781.

  Sir,

Since my letter to your Excellency on the 4th instant, the measures
taken by Governor Hancock relative to the Castle guard proving
insufficient, I addressed a Memorial to the General Court. Their
permission to engage volunteers from that corps, and a sum of specie
granted for the purpose, the volunteer draft from the continental
troops, and the unremitting exertions of General Lincoln, have put us
at length barely in condition to go to sea. I shall embark today, and
expect Captain Barry will sail with the first fair wind. I have to
acknowledge the receipt of your Excellency's letter of the 12th
ultimo, and the letter and packets enclosed. Particular attention
shall be paid to your instructions relative to the latter.

I have the honor to be, with the profoundest respect, &c.

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                           L'Orient, March 11th, 1781.

  Sir,

I have the honor of informing Congress, that I arrived at this place
on the afternoon of the 9th instant; and should have proceeded,
without an instant's repose, to Passy, had not the commandant of the
town assured me, that the Marquis de Castries would arrive here that
evening on his way to Brest, where he was going to accelerate by his
presence the execution of his naval disposition. The prospect of an
immediate conference with the Minister on the objects of my mission,
which relate to his department, the danger of missing him by our
travelling different routes, and the repeated assurances of his
expected arrival, have detained me till this morning; but as the delay
has been much greater than I apprehended, and the Minister's approach
is not announced, I have determined to pursue my journey.

The accounts, which the commandant has communicated to me of the naval
preparations at Brest, are, that twentyfive sail of the line are ready
for sea, with ninety transports, on board of which are six thousand
troops; that the ships of war are destined part for the West Indies,
and part with the troops for North America.

The rupture between England and the United Provinces has hitherto
proved very prejudicial to the latter, as they were exceedingly
vulnerable by having so great a number of merchant ships at sea. On
our voyage we captured a British privateer in company with a Venetian
ship, of which she had made a prize, contrary to the laws of nations.
This appeared to me a happy opportunity for manifesting the
determination of Congress to maintain the rights of neutral powers, as
far as depends on them. After a short consultation, Captain Barry and
his officers very readily acceded to the liberation of the Venetian,
and the complete restoration of the cargo and property, which were
very valuable. The captain was accordingly left to pursue his voyage,
and the privateer was brought into port. Mr Palfrey, our consul, is
not yet arrived at this port; it is generally feared that this ship
foundered in a storm, which separated her and the Franklin in the
commencement of their voyage, as she has not been heard of since.

I have the honor to be with the profoundest respect, &c.

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                              Passy, March 20th, 1781.

  Sir,

I had the honor to write to your Excellency from L'Orient the 11th
instant. On my journey hither, I met the Marquis de Castries, and
obtained a hasty conference with him, in which I insisted principally
on the necessity of a constant naval superiority on the American
coast. He observed on his pert, that the dispositions of the fleet
were already made; that it was not in his power to alter them; that it
was necessary at the present juncture to make naval exertions in more
places than one; that the French West India possessions, a nearer
interest, must naturally be first secured; at the same time he
repeatedly assured me, that the United States had a very considerable
share in the present armament, the movements of which he was going to
accelerate; that he hoped a maritime superiority would exist on the
part of the allies, but that it must depend upon the events of war. He
excused himself from descending into particulars, and urged me to
proceed with all possible despatch to Versailles. Upon my arrival
here, I found that the letter of Congress to his Most Christian
Majesty, of the 22d of November, 1780,[16] had been delivered by our
Minister Plenipotentiary; that he had proceeded to negotiate the
succors solicited by Congress, and had received the following
communication from the Count de Vergennes.

"It is impossible for his Majesty to favor a loan in this kingdom,
because it would prejudice those which he has occasion to make himself
for the support of the war; but his Majesty, in order to give a signal
proof of his friendship for the United States, grants them under the
title of a donation, a sum of six millions livres tournois. As the
American army is in want of arms, clothing, &c. Dr Franklin will be so
good as to deliver a note of them. The articles will be procured of
the best quality, and on the most reasonable terms. General Washington
will be authorised to draw for the remaining sum, but the drafts are
at long sight, in order to facilitate the payment at the royal
treasury. The Courts of Petersburg and Vienna have offered their
mediation. The King has answered, that it will be personally agreeable
to him, but that he could not accept it as yet, because he has allies
whose concurrence is necessary. Dr Franklin is requested to acquaint
Congress of this overture and the answer, and to engage them to send
their instructions to their Plenipotentiaries. It is supposed that
Congress will eagerly accept the mediation."

In my first interview with the Count de Vergennes, I represented to
him, in the strongest terms, the insufficiency of the above mentioned
succor, and the danger to which France was exposed of losing all her
past efforts in favor of America, unless the requests of Congress were
complied with. I afterwards addressed to him the enclosed letter, in
which I transcribed the result of my conference with General
Washington on the objects of my mission, contained in a letter from
the General to me of the 15th of January. In consequence of the Count
de Vergennes' desire, that I would select from the estimate of the
Board of War the articles of most urgent necessity, I extracted a list
in which I confined myself to the artillery, arms, military stores,
clothing, tents, cloth, drugs, and surgical instruments, and
accompanied it with a letter.

My personal solicitations have not been wanting to hasten an answer to
these letters, and render them favorable. The constant language of the
Count de Vergennes is, that our demands are excessive, that we throw
the burthen of the war upon our ally, that the support of it in
different parts of the world has cost France exertions and expenses,
which fully employ her means, that the public credit, however well
established, has its limits, to exceed which would be fatal to it. He
adds, at the same time, the strongest assurances of the good will of
our ally. This Minister and M. de Maurepas inform me, that nothing can
be determined until the return of the Marquis de Castries, which will
be the day after tomorrow; that the matter must be deliberated, and
that they will consider what can be done. My expectations are very
moderate.

We have received no intelligence of the sailing of the Brest fleet. It
consists of twentyfive sail, five of which are destined for the East
Indies with troops, but it is said they will be detained for want of
transports. The remaining twenty are to proceed to the West Indies,
where ulterior dispositions will be made, of which the Chevalier de la
Luzerne is instructed. The British fleet, of twentyeight sail of the
line, with the convoy for Gibraltar, sailed the 13th instant, and
Commodore Johnston's squadron put to sea the same day. The Spanish
fleet is likewise at sea.

I am firmly of opinion, that the British in the present moment of
success will not accede to those preliminaries, which France and the
United States can never depart from, and, consequently, that the news
of the mediation of Petersburg and Vienna should have no other effect,
than to redouble our ardor and exertions for the campaign.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.


FOOTNOTES:

[16] See this letter in the Secret Journals of Congress, Vol. II. p.
343.

       *       *       *       *       *

                _Memorial to the Count de Vergennes._

As in presenting a Memorial to your Excellency on the objects of my
mission, I should necessarily repeat in part a conference, which I had
by order of Congress with General Washington, previous to my
departure, I prefer presenting your Excellency with such extracts from
it as relate to my purpose. They are as follows.

"1. That considering the diffused population of these States, the
composition and temper of a part of its inhabitants, the want of a
sufficient stock of national wealth as a foundation for credit, and
the almost extinction of commerce, the attempts we have been
compelled to make for carrying on the war, have exceeded the national
abilities of this country, and by degrees brought it to a crisis,
which render immediate assistance and efficacious succor from abroad
indispensable to its safety.

"2. That notwithstanding from the confusion always attendant on a
revolution, from our having had governments to frame, and every
species of civil and military institution to create, from that
inexperience in affairs necessarily incident to a nation in its
commencement, some errors may have been committed in the
administration of our finances, to which a part of our embarrassments
are to be attributed; yet they are principally to be attributed to our
essential want of means; to the want of a sufficient stock of wealth
as mentioned in the first article, which, continuing to operate, will
make it impossible, by any merely interior exertions, to extricate
ourselves from these embarrassments, restore public credit, and
furnish the funds requisite for the support of the war.

"3. That experience has demonstrated the impracticability of
maintaining a paper credit, without funds for its redemption; the
depreciation of our currency was in the main a necessary effect of the
want of those funds, and its restoration is impossible for the same
reasons, to which the general diffidence, that had taken place among
the people, is an additional, and in the present state of things, an
insuperable obstacle.

"4. That the mode, which for want of money has been substituted for
supplying the army, by assessing a proportion of the productions of
the earth, has hitherto been found ineffectual, has frequently exposed
the army to the most calamitous distress, and from its novelty and
incompatibility with ancient habits, is regarded by the people as
burthensome and oppressive, has excited serious discontents, and, in
some places, alarming symptoms of opposition. This mode has besides
many particular inconveniences, which contribute to make it inadequate
to our wants, and ineligible but as an auxiliary.

"5. That from the best estimates of the annual revenues, which these
States are capable of affording, there is a balance to be supplied by
credit. The resource of domestic loans is inconsiderable, because
there are, properly speaking, few monied men, and the few there are
can employ their money more profitably otherwise; added to which, the
instability of the currency and the deficiency of funds have impaired
the public credit.

"6. That the patience of the army, from an almost uninterrupted series
of complicated distress, is now nearly exhausted, their wants carried
to an extremity, which has recently had very disagreeable
consequences, and demonstrate, the absolute necessity of speedy
relief, a relief not within the compass of our means. You are too well
acquainted with all their sufferings, for want of clothing, for want
of provisions, for want of pay.

"7. That the people being dissatisfied with the mode of supporting the
war, there is danger to apprehend, that evils actually felt in
prosecuting it may weaken the cause which began it, evils founded not
on immediate sufferings, but on a speculative apprehension of future
sufferings from the loss of their liberties; there is danger that a
commercial and free people, little accustomed to heavy burthens,
pressed by impositions of a new and odious kind, may not make a proper
allowance for the necessity of the conjuncture, and may imagine they
have only exchanged one tyranny for another.

"8. That from all the foregoing considerations result, 1st, the
absolute necessity of an immediate, ample, and efficacious succor of
money, large enough to be a foundation for substantial arrangements of
finance to revive public credit, and give vigor to future operations.
2dly, the vast importance of a decided effort of the allied arms on
this continent the ensuing campaign, to effectuate once for all the
great object of the alliance, the liberty and independence of these
United States. Without the former, we may make a feeble and expiring
effort the next campaign, in all probability the period to our
opposition; with it we should be in a condition to continue the war as
long as the obstinacy of the enemy might require. The first is
essential; both combined, would bring the contest to a glorious issue,
crown the obligations which America already feels to the magnanimity
and generosity of her ally, and render the union perpetual by all the
ties of gratitude and affection, as well as mutual interest, which
alone render it solid and indissoluble.

"9. That next to a loan of money, a constant naval superiority is the
most interesting; this would instantly reduce the enemy to a
difficult, defensive war, and by removing all prospects of extending
their acquisitions, would take away the motives for prosecuting it.
Indeed, it is not to be conceived, how they could subsist a large
force in this country if we had the command of the seas to interrupt
the regular transmission of supplies from Europe. This superiority,
with an aid of money, would enable us to convert the contest into a
vigorous offensive war. I say nothing of the advantages to the trade
of both nations, nor how much it would facilitate our supplies. With
respect to us, it seems to be one of two deciding points, and it
appears to be the interest of our allies, abstracted from the
immediate benefits to this country, to transfer the naval war to
America. The number of ports friendly to them and hostile to the
British, the materials for repairing their disabled ships, the
extensive supplies towards the subsistence of their fleet, are
circumstances which would give them a palpable advantage in the
contest of the sea. No nation will have it more in its power to repay
what it borrows than this. Our debts are hitherto small. The vast and
valuable tracts of unlocated lands, the variety and fertility of
climates and soils, the advantages of every kind, which we possess for
commerce, insure to this country a rapid advancement in population and
prosperity, and a certainty (its independence being established) of
redeeming in a short term of years the comparatively inconsiderable
debts, it may have occasion to contract. Notwithstanding the
difficulties under which we labor, and the inquietudes among the
people, there is still a fund of inclination and resource in the
country equal to great and continued exertions, provided we have it in
our power to stop the progress of disgust, by changing the present
system, and adopting another more consonant with the spirit of the
nation, and more capable of activity and energy in measures of which a
powerful succor of money must be the basis.

"The people are discontented, but it is with the feeble, oppressive
mode of conducting the war, not with the war itself; they are not
unwilling to contribute to its support, but they are unwilling to do
it in a way that renders private property precarious, a necessary
consequence of the fluctuation of the national currency, and of the
inability of government to perform its engagements oftentimes
coercively made. A large majority are still firmly attached to the
independence of these States, abhor a re-union with Great Britain, and
are affectionate to the alliance with France. But this disposition can
ill supply the means customary and essential in war, nor can we rely
on its duration amidst the perplexities, oppressions, and misfortunes,
that attend the want of them."

From those extracts it will appear to your Excellency, that the fate
of America depends upon the immediate and decisive succor of her
august ally, in the two points of a specific loan and a naval
superiority. The most accurate calculation of the expense requisite
for a vigorous campaign, and the interior means which Congress have of
defraying that expense, prove that there is a deficiency of the full
sum solicited by Congress. The grant of six millions, which his
Majesty is pleased to make under the title of a donation to the United
States, will be acknowledged with the liveliest emotions of gratitude
by affectionate allies, at the same time it would be frustrating the
gracious intentions of his Majesty towards his allies, and betraying
the common cause of France and America, to encourage a belief, that
the above mentioned aid will enable the United States to surmount the
present perilous juncture of our affairs. The reasoning in the
foregoing extracts will evince how inadequate the sum is to the
present exigency.

I must likewise remark to your Excellency, that the credit in bills of
exchange is subject to difficulties and disadvantages, which render
such a resource very unfit for the conduct of the war. Bills are
obnoxious to the vicissitudes and speculations of commerce, and it is
easy to foresee, that his Majesty's allies would be great sufferers by
their drafts, and at the same time be incapable of giving that vigor
and energy to their operations, which would be derived from specie.
The same enlightened policy and generous regard for the rights of
mankind, which prompted France to espouse the cause of America, still
dictate the conduct which she is to pursue; they demand every effort
on her part to prevent America from being reduced to the British
domination, her commerce, and those sources of wealth being restored
to the tyrant of the European seas, the ancient rival of France; but
on the contrary, the abasement of this rival, and the establishment of
a faithful ally, united by all the ties of gratitude, affection, and
the most permanent mutual interests. To those invaluable purposes give
me leave to repeat to your Excellency, that the decisive measures in
the foregoing extracts are necessary.

I submit to your Excellency, whether the objection to his Majesty's
favoring a loan in the name of Congress, may not be obviated by an
additional loan in the name of his Majesty, on account of the United
States, for which Congress will be accountable. The excellent state of
the finances of this kingdom, the exalted state of public credit, must
unquestionably give the greatest facility for this purpose, and it may
be clearly proved, that giving decisive succor in this article at the
present juncture will be infinitely more advantageous, than suffering
the war to languish, by affording partial and inadequate assistance.
Supposing that fortunate casualties, at this time very improbable,
should enable us to continue the war upon its present footing, I beg
leave to repeat to your Excellency, that the greatest promptness in
this business is essential. The British, by being in possession of two
States, fertile in grain, timber, and naval stores, have acquired new
animation, and fresh resources for the war, and every day, according
to present appearances, brings America nearer to the period of her
efforts.

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.

       *       *       *       *       *

  _Questions proposed to Colonel Laurens; with his Answers to them._

                                              Paris, March 29th, 1781.

"1st. To what number can the United States increase their continental
troops?

"2dly. What will be the expense of the number fixed?

"3dly. This expense is to be distinguished into pay and appointments,
clothing, arms, ammunition, and provision.

"4thly. What does the artillery of the United States consist of, and
what is the number of carriages?

"5thly. What is the number of provision wagons?

"6thly. What are the plans of General Washington, in case his army
should amount to fifteen, twelve, or ten thousand men, independently
of the French troops?"

After answering the foregoing questions generally, both with respect
to the northern and southern army, I added the following remarks.

The plans of General Washington are absolutely subordinate to the
succors, which his Most Christian Majesty will be pleased to grant to
his allies. If Congress obtain the succor in money and military
effects, and the naval superiority which they solicit, they will be
enabled to revive public credit, to make solid arrangements of
finance, to give activity to the resources of the country, to augment
their troops, to appease their discontents, and to reinforce General
Washington with a select corps of ten thousand militia.

With the addition of this force and the French troops, the General
will be in condition to undertake the siege of New York. It is
unnecessary to say how glorious and decisive the success of this
operation would be for the common cause; it is equally unnecessary to
add, how much the promptness of succor from France would contribute to
it.

The expense of artillery required for this operation will be found in
the estimate delivered; that of clothing, &c. for the army in its
present state, will be found in deducting a quantity proportioned to
the number of men; but it is impossible to represent too strongly,
that this excess far from being superfluous, is absolutely necessary
to recruit the army in general; a precaution which is indispensable,
unless we should choose to hazard all upon the event of a single
operation. That the Congress besides, owes great arrearages of
clothing to the soldiers, and that as the estimate of Indian presents
has not been included in the present demand, we may be obliged perhaps
to sacrifice a part of the clothing now solicited, to maintain the
friendship of some of the tribes attached to France and America, and
that it is of the greatest importance to prevent them from joining the
hostile tribes, who in conjunction with the English tories ravage the
country, destroy our harvests, put to flight and massacre all the
inhabitants on the western frontier, from New York to Virginia. We may
more especially expect, that this diversion will be employed during
the siege of New York. It is to be added, that a number of men will be
found who have already served, who would eagerly rejoin their ancient
standards, provided they had the assurance of proper treatment,
instead of the misery and sufferings which they have hitherto
experienced. That the army would be augmented, notwithstanding the
daily loss in the trenches, by levies perfectly accustomed to fire.

The extreme weakness of the southern army is attributable to the
following causes.

1st. That two of the States that furnish quotas to this army are
invaded by the British.

2dly. That they have all a great many prisoners in the hands of the
enemy, and that their troops in general have been wasted, as well by
the excessive marches, which they have undergone in carrying succors
to the southward, as by the different misfortunes which have happened
there.

The naval superiority of the British, and the rapidity of their
movements by sea, secured to them the capture of Charleston, and all
their southern successes; enjoying the advantages they have had in
their power, to transport a body of troops, with all requisites in
ammunition and provision, from one end of the continent to the other
in fourteen days, to attack a feeble point; while the American
succors, wasted by a march of two months, commenced in the rigors of
winter, and without intermission from the fatigues of a campaign,
could only arrive to increase the public calamity, by being beat in
detail.

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                          Versailles, April 9th, 1781.

  Sir,

Since I had the honor of writing to your Excellency, on the 23d
ultimo, I have employed the most unremitting efforts to obtain a
prompt and favorable decision relative to the objects of my mission.
After many difficulties and delays, with the details of which it is
needless to trouble Congress, the Count de Vergennes communicated to
me yesterday his Most Christian Majesty's determination to guaranty a
loan of ten millions, to be opened in Holland, in addition to the six
millions granted as a gratuitous gift, and the four millions
appropriated for the payment of bills of exchange drawn by Congress on
their Minister Plenipotentiary. The purchase money of the clothing,
which must be an affair of private contract, and the value of the
military effects which may be furnished from the royal arsenals, are
to be deducted from the six millions.

I shall use my utmost endeavors to procure an immediate advance of the
ten millions from the treasury of France, to be replaced by the
proposed loan, and shall renew my solicitations for the supplies of
ordinance and military stores on credit, that the present of six
millions may not be absorbed by those objects, and the purchase of
necessary clothing. The providing this article I fear will be attended
with great difficulties and delays, as all the woollen manufactories
of France are remote from the sea, and there are no public magazines
of cloth suitable to our purposes. The cargo of the Marquis de
Lafayette will I hope arrive safe under the convoy of the Alliance;
and by satisfying our immediate necessities prevent the delays above
mentioned from having any disagreeable consequences.

The Marquis de Castries has engaged to make immediate arrangements for
the safe transportation of the pecuniary and other succors destined
for the United States, and has repeatedly assured me, that the naval
superiority will be established on the American coast the ensuing
campaign. The French fleet, he informs me, was on the 27th ultimo
sixty leagues west of Cape Finisterre, proceeding to its destination,
in good order and with a favorable wind.

I do myself the honor to transmit to your Excellency extracts of the
most conspicuous letters of an intercepted mail, taken in a packet
bound from Falmouth to New York. Your Excellency will have been
informed, that the Court of London have referred the offered mediation
of Russia, between England and the United Provinces, to a general
pacification. I have been some days stationary at Versailles for the
facility of seeing the different Ministers, and accelerating their
deliberations. Being just apprized of an opportunity from Nantes to
America, I take the liberty of sending this short provisional letter,
lest upon my return to Passy I should not have time to write more
fully.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.

       *       *       *       *       *

     _Memorial from Colonel John Laurens to Count de Vergennes._

The underwritten, special Minister of the United States of America,
has the honor to represent to his Most Christian Majesty in behalf of
Congress and by their orders, that the crisis is extreme, and that it
demands prompt and decisive succors.

The United States claim with confidence the power and good will of
their august ally. They had requested,

1st. A loan of twentyfive millions.

2dly. A naval superiority on the American coast.

3dly. Arms and ammunition, materials for clothing, equipments and
tents, estimates of which have been laid before the Ministry.

The underwritten, being informed by the Count de Vergennes of the
King's intentions with regard to pecuniary succors, earnestly offers
in the name of the Congress the homage of the most lively gratitude,
but at the same time it is his duty to represent, that although this
succor tends to the object which his Majesty has in view, it is
nevertheless demonstrated in the present state of affairs, that it is
insufficient, considering the urgent necessities of the army and the
administration, its engagements and debts, the exhausted condition of
America, the absolute deficiency of resources and specie, and the
enormous expense essential to the vigorous support of the war. It is
on this account, that the underwritten earnestly entreats his Majesty
to grant, on credit to the United States of America, the artillery,
arms, ammunition, &c. which shall be drawn from his Majesty's arsenals
and magazines, as a very considerable sum must be absorbed for the
payment of clothing and other articles to be collected in France.

The underwritten further entreats his Majesty to consider, that the
operation of a loan in Holland cannot be terminated in less than three
months, that the delay of this result may commit the safety of
America, and the common cause, lose the fruit of all the expense and
sacrifices hitherto made; a single instant is precious, the least
delay becomes of the most dangerous consequence, while the successes
of the British multiply their resources and give them new energy.

The loan which will be opened in Holland under the auspices of his
Majesty, favored by the guarantee which he is pleased to grant, cannot
fail of success.

The underwritten flatters himself, therefore, that his Majesty will
find no inconvenience in ordering the immediate advance of ten
millions to be delivered at the disposal of the United States, which
will be returned to his royal treasury by means of the loan in
question.

Events of the greatest importance depend upon this disposition equally
good and indispensable. The underwritten would think himself deficient
in his duty, if he did not persevere in entreating his Majesty to
adopt and order it.

The arrival of this sum is necessary to give a vigorous impulse to the
organisation of administration in the present state of things, renew
the tone of parts which have lost their energy, and revive public
credit by making the resources of the country concur in the expenses
of the war, which resources cannot be turned to account without coin
to determine them.

If it is impossible to make it a part of the general arrangement to
grant safe means of conveyance for the whole of this sum, the
underwritten entreats his Majesty to cause as considerable a portion
as possible to be remitted immediately, and to fix a very early date
for the departure of the remainder.

The underwritten further earnestly solicits, that a naval superiority
be permanently maintained on the American coast. The practicability
and success of all military operations and the event of the war,
depend directly and even exclusively on the state of the maritime
force in America.

The British, by preserving this advantage, will be able to accomplish
all their plans by the rapidity of their movements. The facility of
transporting themselves everywhere secures them a series of successes,
which are rendered still more decisive by the certainty of finding no
opposition in defenceless points.

It is by these means that they have been able lately to possess
themselves of a very important maritime point in North Carolina, and,
by effecting a sudden junction between two divisions of their army,
have been able to penetrate to the granary of that State. This
position is the more favorable to the enemy, as he encloses between
his army and the port of Wilmington, of which he is master, a
considerable number of Scotch colonists attached to the interests of
England, and who will be determined, perhaps, by his successes to
declare themselves openly. Such consequences are to be expected from
great successes in all civil wars. If his Majesty thinks proper to
oppose a naval superiority to the British, they will be obliged to
recall their troops from the interior country to reunite for the
defence of the most important maritime points, the communication
between which will be cut off, and the choice of attacks left to the
allies.

The abasement of Great Britain, the dismemberment of its empire, the
inestimable commercial advantages arising to France, present great
interests, and merit powerful efforts. If this opportunity be
neglected, if too much be left to chance, if time be lost, and the
means employed be insufficient, the British pride will know neither
bounds nor restraint; our object will be missed perhaps forever; it is
easy to foresee how fatal the consequences would be to the French
islands.

The underwritten renews the assurances of the most inviolable
attachment on the part of the United States. Whatever may be the
decision of his Majesty on these representations, his goodness towards
his allies will never be effaced from their hearts; they will support
the common cause with the same devotion to the last extremity, but
their success must necessarily depend upon their means.

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.

_Paris, April 18th, 1781._

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                              Paris, April 24th, 1781.

  Sir,

I had the honor of addressing to your Excellency a letter on the 9th
instant, conformably to which I presented the Memorial now sent, after
preparing the way for it by as many conferences as an intervening
vacation would permit. In the course of these I discovered that it was
impossible to obtain any further detachment of ships of force from
hence; consequently, that the sum of specie to be sent immediately to
America would be limited by the means of conveyance, and that
successive epochs must divide a risk, which would be too considerable
if simultaneous.

In pursuance of these ideas Count de Vergennes declared to me, that it
had been solemnly determined to send no more than two millions in a
frigate with me, and to have the remainder transmitted afterwards at
different periods; this sum appeared to me so inconsiderable, compared
with our necessities, that I thought it my duty to make the warmest
remonstrances on the subject, and the succeeding day I delivered the
Memorial above mentioned. In the mean time I have been employed in
engaging a conveyance from Holland, which is so unexceptionable as to
enable me to demand with confidence an additional sum for the first
remittance of specie. The conveyance alluded to is the Indian, a
vessel having the dimensions of a seventyfour gun ship, mounting
twentyeight French thirtysix pounders on her main deck, and twelve
twelves on her quarter deck and forecastle, sold by the Chevalier de
Luxembourg to the State of South Carolina for the term of three years,
loaded in part with articles of clothing, &c. on said State's account,
nearly ready for sea, but reduced to the impossibility of sailing for
want of ten thousand pounds sterling to discharge an accumulation of
debts contracted in port. In these circumstances Captain Gillon, her
present commander, has applied to me in the most pressing terms for
assistance, and has offered to cede me the cargo which he has on
board, on condition of furnishing the means of extricating himself
from his present difficulties. As there appeared to me a happy
coincidence in this matter, of the interests of the State and the
Continent, I determined to accept his offer, annexing certain
conditions, as will be seen in the enclosure.[17]

The advantages in favor of the continent are in the first place a very
important and considerable gain of time in forwarding supplies of
clothing, as no considerable quantity could have been obtained at the
proper seaport of France at an earlier date than the 10th of June.
Secondly, the excellence of the conveyance removes a powerful
objection on the part on the Ministry against augmenting the first
remittance of specie.

The advantages on the part of the State are, that she will be able to
avail herself of the services of her ship, of which without the
present interposition there would not be the least prospect, and
besides, she will derive her share in common with the other members of
the Union from the general advantages.

I have not as yet received a definitive answer from the Count de
Vergennes to my last Memorial and subsequent applications, but I learn
from M. Necker, that the following will be the distribution of what
relates to his department, viz. that two millions will be sent in the
frigate with me, one million on board the Indian, and that it is
besides in agitation to make an arrangement with Spain for assigning a
sum of specie at Vera Cruz, to be transported from thence by a frigate
to be ordered on that service from one of the West India Islands.

I have reason to apprehend an unfavorable answer to my request, that
the military effects from the public arsenals should be granted on
credit. The expense of these articles will make a considerable
deduction from our pecuniary resources. Your Excellency will observe
that the same difficulties exist with respect to these objects, as
with regard to the manufactures of cloth, the great deposits of them
all being situated in the interior country, remote from the sea. The
cargo of the Marquis de Lafayette, that of the Indian, (including the
additional purchases, which I have directed to be made in order to
complete her tonnage) and the supplies collected at Brest, or on their
way thither, will nearly include the most essential articles of the
Board of War's estimate. The purchases in France are made under the
direction of an Intendant in the War Department. Those in Holland are
made by M. de Neufville & Son, whom I employed because they appeared
to possess the confidence of our Minister Plenipotentiary in that
country.

I found great difficulties and delays likely to attend the plan of
casting howitzers of English calibre in France. The scarcity of
materials, the great danger of a want of precision in the proportions,
and the facility with which we cast shells in America, induced me to
substitute six inch howitzers of French calibre, to those demanded by
the Board of War. This size, in the opinion of the most experienced
artillerists, is preferable to the larger, their effects being the
same, and their inferior size rendering them much more manageable, as
well as less expensive of ammunition. A certain number of shells will
accompany the howitzers, but it will be necessary that the Board of
War should give immediate orders for making a larger provision of
them. Their dimensions may be taken from those with the French
artillery under General Rochambeau.

The same reasons as those above mentioned, determined me to substitute
the French twelve-inch mortar to the thirteen inch of English calibre,
as there was no other way of procuring them but by having them cast,
and the same observation is to be made with respect to their shells as
with respect to those of the howitzers. A store-ship, freighted by
government, is to proceed under convoy of the frigate on board which I
shall sail, and will be charged with such supplies as can be collected
in time at Brest.

As soon as I shall have accomplished all that requires my presence
here, which I flatter myself will be in a few days, I shall proceed to
Brest, to do everything that can depend on me for hastening the
departure of the frigate. I shall in the mean time despatch Captain
Jackson, an officer of great intelligence and activity, who
accompanied me from America, with instructions to exert his utmost
efforts to get the Indian to sea without loss of time.[18]

I have the honor to be, with the greatest veneration, &c.

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.


FOOTNOTES:

[17] Missing.

[18] For a correspondence on this subject between Dr Franklin and
Captain Jackson, see _Franklin's Correspondence_, Vol. III. pp. 121,
232.

       *       *       *       *       *

   _Memorial from John Laurens to the Director-General of Finance._

The underwritten, special Minister of the United States of North
America, renews his representations to the Director-General of
Finance, upon the necessity of augmenting the present remittance of
pecuniary succors destined for America. He cannot repeat too often,
that upon the quantity and seasonableness of these succors, the fate
of his Majesty's allies must necessarily depend.

He entreats him to recollect, that in the first discussion with regard
to the sum, the difficulties which opposed an immediate remittance,
more proportionate to the urgent necessities of the United States,
were unconnected with reasons of finance. With respect to the
apprehension of exposing ourselves to simultaneous risks that would be
too considerable, which was the principal reason alleged, he thinks
himself warranted in saying, that comparing the sum with the risk, the
strictest laws of prudence would not be violated in shipping the
amount of six millions on board of two frigates, well armed and good
sailors, despatched from ports distant from each other.

The plan of procuring money from Vera Cruz or the Havana, the success
and speedy execution of which were regarded as certain, would have
dispensed government from making any very considerable remittance
from hence at the present moment, but as according to the
Director-General's own account, there is reason to apprehend a delay,
which would render this plan delusive, the underwritten sees no other
remedy, than in augmenting the sums remitted from hence, as far as the
present means of conveyance will authorise, and seconding this first
remittance by a definitive arrangement for having it closely followed
by the remainder.

With regard to the distribution between the two ships, the
underwritten would prefer committing the most considerable portion of
the specie to the frigate in Holland, on account of her very superior
force.

He has the honor to apprize the Director-General, that he has
authorised Mr W. Jackson, Captain of infantry in the service of the
United States, to give receipts for the sum destined to be shipped in
Holland, and that he will himself sign receipts for the sum to be
shipped at Brest.

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.

_Paris, April 29th, 1781._

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                                Paris, May 15th, 1781.

  Sir,

Since I had the honor of writing to your Excellency on the 24th ult.
my prospects of pecuniary succor have suffered a very unfavorable
change, first in the suspension and I apprehend the total failure of
the plan of procuring a sum of specie at Vera Cruz, to be transmitted
immediately from thence for the service of the United States. This
arrangement which the Spanish agent at this Court was at first very
desirous of making with M. Necker, and which would have been a
convenience to the finance of this country, was prevented from being
carried into execution by the arrival of intelligence, that the
treasure had been safely transported from Vera Cruz to the Havana; in
consequence of which the agent declined engaging to furnish the money
on any other terms than by a schedule of bill of exchange, payable at
six months' sight. M. Necker has since made him an offer of a profit
on the money to be supplied at the Havana, and the agent has written
to his Court on the subject, but it does not appear to me, that the
offer is likely to be accepted. As soon as I was apprized of this, I
delivered the preceding Memorial to the Director-General of Finance.

In addition to this disappointment we have received notice from
Holland of the total refusal of the Dutch to countenance the proposed
loan of ten millions on account of the United States. M. Necker was of
opinion, that the Dutch would lend more readily on this footing than
to France alone, as there would be a double security; but the event
has proved, that its being a concern of the United States was
sufficient for political reasons to occasion the overthrow of the
business. I have uniformly insisted from the beginning upon the
necessity of securing this aid to the United States from the finances
of France, and while I pleaded the fertility of her resources, and
facility of borrowing in her own name, I have enlarged upon the fatal
consequences to which we should be exposed by referring the matter to
an uncertain and dilatory operation. I apprehend some new efforts are
making on the subject of the loan. His Majesty in the mean time
engages to supply the failure of the loan from the finances of his
kingdom. The future transmissions of specie are to be concerted
between the Minister of Marine and the Director-General of Finance,
and Count de Vergennes has promised me to urge them upon the subject.
I have not been able to obtain any greater augmentation of the sums
destined to be embarked at Brest and in Holland, than half a million
at the first, and nearly the same sum at the latter.

With respect to the maritime succors so repeatedly solicited, I am
authorised only in general terms to assure Congress, that such
dispositions are made for detaching from the West Indies, as give
every reason to hope a naval superiority will exist on the part of the
allies in America; that the fleet will probably remain on that station
three months, and that it will be time on my arrival to commence the
most vigorous preparations for co-operating with it.

Immediately on closing this packet, I shall set out for Brest, and use
my utmost efforts to accelerate our sailing. My frigate is ready in
the roads. If any delay arises it will be owing to the store ship,
which she will have under convoy.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect,

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.

_P. S._ Those despatches will be delivered to your Excellency by
Captain Jackson of the first South Carolina regiment, whose zeal for
the service made him cheerfully undertake the journey to Holland, for
the purpose of accelerating the departure of the Indian, and to whom I
am much indebted for his assistance in this country.

                                                                 J. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 COUNT DE VERGENNES TO JOHN LAURENS.

                             Translation.

                                           Versailles, May 16th, 1781.

Congress has directed Mr Laurens to solicit from the King an aid of
money, and to request his guarantee for a loan. In consequence his
Majesty has been pleased to grant six millions tournois,[19] in form
of a gift, and he has likewise agreed to be security for a loan of ten
millions, to be opened in Holland, for account of Congress; and if
that loan should meet with difficulties, he has even resolved to
supply it out of his own finances, as soon as possible. The six
millions, which his Majesty has granted, have been employed in the
following manner; two million five hundred thousand livres are sent to
Brest, there to be shipped; one million five hundred thousand are sent
to Amsterdam, to be likewise shipped there; about two millions are to
be employed in payment for the goods, which Mr Laurens was directed to
purchase. Besides the sum above mentioned, his Majesty has been
pleased to grant Dr Franklin four millions to discharge the bills of
exchange drawn on him by Congress. In case the loan, which is to be
opened in Holland on account of the Americans, should fail of success,
his Majesty will be under the necessity of supplying it. It is
understood, that the United States shall repay his Majesty the sum of
ten millions, in order to fulfil the engagements, that shall be
entered into in Holland.

The operations of the campaign, of which his Majesty has given a plan
to the commander of his fleet in America, form the second object, in
which the United States are interested; and without being able to fix
the attention of Congress or General Washington upon the moment when
his fleet shall appear on the coast of North America, he assures them,
that the success of their armies makes a principal part of his views
for the ensuing campaign. It is therefore proper, that, upon the
arrival of Colonel Laurens, the United States should put themselves in
condition to take advantage of the operations of his fleet in America.

                                                         DE VERGENNES.


FOOTNOTES:

[19] These six millions were not obtained "in consequence" of Colonel
Laurens's solicitation, but were granted to Dr Franklin, before
Colonel Laurens's arrival. See _Franklin's Correspondence_, Vol. III.
p. 230, and also Colonel Laurens's letter above, dated March
20th;--also the following letter of September 2d.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                     Philadelphia, September 2d, 1781.

  Sir,

Happy in this opportunity of renewing the assurances of my inviolable
duty and attachment to the United States, in Congress assembled, I
have the honor of submitting to them a supplementary report of the
negotiation, with which they were pleased to intrust me, by their
commission of the 23d of December, 1780.

Previous to my arrival in France, the letter from Congress of the 22d
of December to his Most Christian Majesty had been delivered, and the
application for succors supported by our Minister Plenipotentiary, the
result of which was a gratuitous donation from the King of France of
six millions of livres, to be drawn for by General Washington at
distant periods, and an offer to provide clothing and other supplies
for the army, the expense to be deducted from the donation above
mentioned. The disproportion between this and the necessities of the
United States upon which their demand was founded, as well as the
exceptionable manner of touching the money, determined me without
delay to renew the negotiation, in which I had the concurrence of our
Minister Plenipotentiary, and the advantage of his counsels.

After my first interview with the Count de Vergennes, I presented, in
form of a memorial, a copy of which has been transmitted to Congress,
an extract of a letter from General Washington, written in consequence
of my conference with him by order of Congress, making such small
additions as were suggested by the state of the business. The
advantage of the General's credit in Europe made me prefer his letter
to any common form of memorial, especially as he had treated the
principal objects of my mission in a manner no less full and explicit
than conformable to the ideas of Congress.

I accompanied it with the estimate of the Board of War, after making a
deduction of many articles, the demand of which I apprehended would
throw an unfavorable cast on the whole business. A translated
duplicate of the complete estimate had been long since delivered by Dr
Franklin. The Count de Vergennes exclaimed vehemently against the
exorbitance of the demand, to which the strength of our army was so
disproportioned, adding, that duplicate cargoes of such value could
not be afforded, and that the articles demanded would exhaust all our
money; for he refused to understand as I did, the intention of
Congress to solicit the supplies in addition to the loan.

Argument and expostulation on this subject were fruitless. In
pursuance of his definitive request, I formed a reduced list
accompanied by a letter, a copy of which has been transmitted. An
allowance was made for the Lafayette's cargo, as well as a very
imperfect sketch of it could enable me. This list was immediately
referred to the War Department. In all my interviews with the
Ministers, I endeavored to represent in their strongest light the
following important articles. That notwithstanding the unalterable
determination of the United States to support their independence,
notwithstanding the virtue and firmness of the citizens in general,
the immense pecuniary resources of Great Britain, and her constant
naval superiority were advantages too decisive to be counterbalanced
by any interior exertions on the part of the United States. That these
must infallibly impose a term to the efforts of a nation, whose
extended maritime and inland frontier rendered her obnoxious to sudden
descents and incursions on all sides; whose army was consequently
exposed to excessive marches, attended with insupportable expense of
money and waste of soldiers, that the exhausted state of their
finances reduced Congress to the impossibility of calling the natural
resources of the country into activity; that the aggravated calamities
of a war, which in its principles had been precautionary, began now to
produce dangerous uneasinesses and discontents; that we had concealed
enemies to contend against; that the British left no measures
unattempted either of open force or secret intrigue; and finally,
unless instant succor were afforded as solicited by Congress, that
France was in danger of losing all the fruits of the part she had
hitherto taken in the contest; that if instead of being actuated by a
generous and enlightened policy, the Court of France had
systematically protracted the war, in order that Britain and America
might mutually exhaust themselves, while she had reserved her power to
decide only in the last extremity, this period with respect to America
had arrived; that the importance of the objects of the war on one
hand, and the mischiefs of suffering Great Britain to re-annex to
herself the resources of America, demanded the greatest exertions;
that the honor of the King, as well as the national interest, was
engaged, and that, considering the flourishing state of the French
marine and finances, the succor solicited was as easy as, considering
our situation, it was indispensable.

I endeavored, above all, to hasten their determinations. The general
language held by the Ministry was, that the demands of Congress were
excessive; that to induce succor from their ally, there should be
greater exertions on the part of the United States; that the King had
the greatest good will towards them, but that the expenditures of the
war were immense; the necessity of supporting a maritime war in
different quarters, and the indispensable defence of his own colonies,
limited his power of giving assistance; that the public credit of
France, however good, had its limits, which it were dangerous to
exceed; that the administration of the American finances was not
calculated to inspire confidence; that a dangerous wound had been
given to our public credit by the resolution of the 18th of March,
1780, a measure, which, however judicious it might have been in time
of peace, was exceedingly pernicious in time of war; that the
application of Congress was tardy, and by its suddenness excluded
expedients which might otherwise have been employed for our relief;
that with regard to the national interest and honor, France had been a
great kingdom, and the King a powerful monarch, when America was
composed of feeble colonies.

To this kind of discourse I answered, by enlarging on the natural and
political disadvantages of America in the present contest, the fertile
resources of the British, their power and activity; the impossibility
of our supporting a paper credit without a foundation of specie,
adding, that the continental currency must have died a natural death
if it had not been checked at a late stage of depreciation, by the act
of Congress in question; that persons, who had clamored most on this
subject, had been instrumental in hastening the discredit of our
paper, by various commercial speculations, but that the downfall of
the currency must be attributed principally to a want of funds for its
support; for this object Congress were renewing their application in
the most pressing terms; that the King of France's glory could not but
suffer if the British triumphed in the present dispute, as his
consideration in Europe would be lessened by it; that his interests
besides, and those of his kingdom, would certainly be deeply wounded
by a re-accession of America to Great Britain, and that the same fleet
and army, which should prove decisive there, would be at hand to
possess themselves of the French islands.

The Marquis de Castries, Minister for the Marine Department, being
absent, and a vacation produced some delay, I waited on this Minister
immediately on his return to Court, and observed to him that the most
important decisions relative to the common cause of France and America
had been suspended on account of his absence; urged him particularly
on the great point of a naval superiority, reminding him, that the
British Marine was the principal instrument of their power; that the
efforts of the allies to reduce this force could nowhere be made with
such a prospect of success as on the American coast; that it would be
very easy after a decisive campaign in America, in which his personal
glory was so much interested, to transport a sufficient force from the
continent to reduce any British island; that in the mean time the
French islands would be in the most perfect security. He repeated
nearly what he had said at our first interview, with stronger
assurances of his prospect of a naval superiority the ensuing
campaign.

In a word I used every argument of national interest, and added such
personal motives as I thought applicable to the different Ministers.

On the 8th of April Count de Vergennes communicated to me his Most
Christian Majesty's determination to become security for a loan of ten
millions of livres, to be opened on account of the United States in
Holland; that he had immediately despatched a courier extraordinary to
M. de la Vauguyon with a letter relative to this business; that I had
reason to be satisfied with this in addition to the donation of six
millions, and four millions that had been appropriated to the payment
of bills drawn on Mr Franklin. I pressed him by many arguments to
leave an opening for the remaining five millions; exposed the false
policy of incomplete succors; observed that Congress had solicited no
more than was necessary; that there should be no other limits to the
present succor than the invincible bounds of possibility; that it was
not the condition on which the money was obtained, but the sum and
opportuneness of remitting it, that were above all important; that in
this point of view I would prefer converting the donation into a loan,
if it would make the advance more convenient to the French finances,
and facilitate the augmentation of the total sum, destined for the
United States. I repeated the same thing to the Director-General of
Finance, but their answer was, the King had passed his word and could
not retract.

I entreated both M. de Vergennes and M. Necker not to abandon the
United States to the operation of a loan, but to secure us from the
finances of France the sum in question, and above all, to make
immediate arrangements for the remittance of it.

In the mean time I pressed the Minister of Marine on the subject of
ships, but I found that it was far from the intention of the Court to
furnish the means for remitting any considerable sum immediately.
Count de Vergennes urged the imprudence of exposing such precious
succors to a simultaneous risk, and the necessity of dividing the
danger by successive remittances, adding besides, that as permission
had been given to draw, an allowance was to be made on this account,
and a provisional sum for payment retained; that pursuant to those
ideas it had been solemnly determined to send no more than two
millions in a frigate with me. I observed, that the first difficulty
would be obviated by proportioning the escort to the value of the
specie; with regard to the other objection, I gave it as my opinion,
that no bills would be drawn in consequence of the mode for touching
the donation of six millions. The Count said, that I was not
sufficiently impressed with what had been already done on our account,
and appealed to our Minister Plenipotentiary. In addition to the
warmest verbal remonstrances on the subject, I presented the Memorial,
a copy of which was forwarded to Congress.

In these circumstances I was induced to make an arrangement with
Captain Gillon, of the frigate South Carolina, in order to secure an
unexceptionable conveyance for a further remittance of specie, as well
as for other reasons to be mentioned hereafter. This conveyance being
approved by the Ministry, it was proposed by M. Necker, that one
million should be remitted by this opportunity, two in the frigate
from France as above mentioned, and that an arrangement should be made
with the Spaniards for a further remittance from Vera Cruz, agreeably
to an offer from their agent in Paris. Unfortunately, while this
latter plan was in agitation, the agent received intelligence that the
whole of the Spanish treasure destined for Europe had arrived safe at
the Havana, in consequence of which he changed the terms of his first
proposal, from an order payable at sight, to bills at six months'
date; this, joined to the disagreeable intelligence from Holland of
the failure of the loan proposed on account of the United States,
occasioned my giving a Memorial to the Director-General, and
insisting, in several interviews with him, on the necessity of
something decisive in his department, adding, that the administration
could not pursue a better plan for securing the triumph of Great
Britain than the present system of giving inadequate and dilatory
succor to America.

All that I could obtain was an addition of half a million to the
specie to be embarked at Brest, and about the same sum to that in
Gillon's ship. The Director-General informed me, that he had passed
the sum of the proposed loan to the debit of the King's finances, and
repeated his assurances, that our further remittances should be made
successively.

I have already informed Congress, that the reduced list of supplies
had been referred to the War Department, where it had to undergo a
recopying and more methodical distribution under several heads. I used
my endeavors to hasten the decisions on this subject, and to procure
orders at least with respect to some particular articles, the
providing of which obviously required a more early notice than others;
but he said no partial arrangement could be made, and that a decision
must be definitively given in council upon the whole business,
previous to his engaging in the execution of his part.

On the 1st of April I received a letter from M. de Corney, Provincial
Commissary, informing me, that the Marquis de Segur had appointed M.
de Viemerange in conjunction with him to confer with me on the objects
of the estimate, and the time and means of procuring them. I
immediately repaired to Versailles for this purpose.

As the ancient administration for clothing the French troops was
abolished, and each regiment in France makes its own contracts for
habiliments and equipments, there exists no public magazine of
supplies in this way, either in the War or Marine Department, and
there was no other resource for this article than the remainder of
some supplies at Brest, which had been provided for General
Rochambeau's army; it was proposed then to cede these to the United
States, and continue the provision upon the same terms as had been
settled for the King's service. The quantity was extremely
inconsiderable, compared even with the reduced list, which I had
presented; the time proposed for augmenting it was long, and my
prospects upon the whole were very discouraging, but the
impracticability of doing better in present circumstances obliged me
to yield. The difficulties and delays, however, which occurred in this
transaction, and a persuasion that it would not be so economical as I
had at first been taught to expect, were powerful additional motives
with me for accepting Captain Gillon's offer relative to the South
Carolina frigate, in order to avail myself of the supplies in his
possession, and to complete his vacant tonnage by purchases in
Holland, where the vicinity of the seaport and manufacturing towns
insured despatch. Copies of all the papers, relative to the supplies,
are in the hands of the Minister Plenipotentiary. I apprized him of
the necessity of watching the punctual execution of the terms of
Sabatier & Co's agreement, notwithstanding the superintendence of the
War Department. The artillery, arms, ammunition, and encamping
supplies, were to be collected at Brest from different arsenals in
Brittany and elsewhere, at the same rates at which they were provided
for the national service.

When the subject of casting howitzers, conformably to the British
calibre, came to be more minutely and definitively discussed,
difficulties with respect to the scarcity of materials, the danger of
errors in the proportion, the want of a proper person to inspect the
business, in a word, objections of different kinds were started;
these, added to the facility of casting shells in America, determined
me finally to substitute six inch howitzers of French calibre.
Experience has proved, on a comparison of their effects with those of
the larger sized howitzers, that the difference is trifling, and that
the former will answer all the purposes of the latter, while their
proportions render them more manageable, and economise ammunition. The
French artillerists, enlightened by this discovery, have determined
the reform of all their larger howitzers.

Upon my arrival at Brest I found the whole of the articles agreed to
be furnished for the first convoy were not yet arrived. In these
circumstances I substituted some articles which I found in the
magazine there, that there might not be any further loss of time, and
that there should be the least possible interval between our sailing
and the embarcation of the specie, which once commenced could not be
kept secret in passing through a number of hands, and might be a
temptation to enterprises on the part of the enemy. The same motive
determined me not to shift the whole of the money into cases, which
would have been more portable. This precaution became indispensable
however with respect to two of the casks, that had suffered too much
from the violent shaking on the road to be embarked in that
condition, and although all the casks are double, I apprehend the most
scrupulous care will be necessary in their debarcation and removal. I
send herewith the Chevalier de l'Angle's receipt for the specie on
board the frigate Resolve, the copy of the Treasurer's note at Brest,
and invoices of the cargoes on board the Cibelle and the Olimpe.
Besides these, the whole of the surgical instruments, drugs, and tin
and wire for camp kettles, agreeably to the Board of War's estimate,
are supplied upon the same footing as the other articles. The drugs
and tin I expect in the brigantine Active. In addition to the list, I
left a statement of the ulterior demands. These, in addition to the
cargo expected by Gillon, and the invoices already cited, include the
total of the supplies.

The deduction of money for their payment was incompatible with so
ample a provision, as prudence might otherwise have dictated.
Necessitated to confine myself to a reduced list of the most
indispensable articles, in order to leave the sum for remittances as
unimpaired as possible, I avoided every purchase and additional
expense of workmanship, that could be readily supplied by our artisans
and manufacturers at home, as the money expended here, besides
accomplishing the primary object, after descending in various channels
to the encouragement of arts, and animation of industry among
ourselves, would return its contribution to the great reservoir of
public resources.

I am sorry not to be able to give Congress a more satisfactory and
definitive account of Captain Gillon's proceedings. The papers sent
herewith will show the measures I had taken, and all the intelligence
I had received relative to this business previous to my departure.
Relying on the zeal and activity of Captain Jackson, aided by the
counsels of the Minister Plenipotentiary in Holland, I cannot
apprehend any improper delay.

Captain Jackson alone was intrusted with the secret of the specie to
be embarked, I enjoined him not to communicate it to any one, until
the moment when it should become necessary to embark it; and, that the
bankers might not be apprized of its destination, I sent the order for
it enclosed to him.

I used every argument, at taking leave of the several Ministers, that
I thought could influence them, and previous to my departure from
Brest, renewed my solicitations in writing. I imagine some further
effort will have been made relative to the loan in Holland, but at all
events the ten millions are to be supplied from the King of France's
finances. The Marquis de Castries, and M. Necker, were to concert the
future remittances; they gave me fair promises on the subject, and
Count de Vergennes assured me he would press them; he likewise gave me
some hopes of credit for the supplies of military stores. The naval
superiority, it is expected, will be established on the American coast
for a sufficient time to enable us to enterprise something important.

Enclosed herewith is an answer from the Most Christian King to my
letter of credence. Count de Vergennes informed me, that an answer to
the other letter of Congress had been already despatched.

At taking my leave of his Most Christian Majesty, he desired me to
renew his assurances of affection to the United States. The succeeding
day his Majesty honored me with the accustomed present of his
portrait. Republican strictness, and the utility of the precedent,
lead me to refer it to the supreme representative of the majesty of
the American people, the organ of that sovereign will to which I am
devoted.

The Resolve sailed from Brest, with the Cibelle and Olimpe under her
convoy, the 1st of June. The judicious precautions, and unwearied
attention of the Chevalier de l'Angle, commander of the frigate,
relative to his convoy, during a passage in which we experienced every
contrariety, deserve the highest applause.

I entreat the further orders of Congress, being exceedingly solicitous
to lose no time in rejoining the army.

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

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.

_P. S._ My first intention was to have steered for Philadelphia, but
learning from a vessel, which we pursued for the purpose of
intelligence, that Count de Grasse was not arrived, I judged it most
prudent to make a safe eastern port, and arrived at Boston the
afternoon of the 25th ult.

                                                                 J. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                    Philadelphia, September 6th, 1781.

  Sir,

In consequence of the desire of the committee of conference on the
subject of my mission to France, I do myself the honor to communicate
to Congress all the information I am possessed of relative to the
present situation of Henry Laurens, and the prospect of his
enlargement or exchange. It appears from the letter of a gentleman in
London, who had access to him under certain restrictions, that though
the rigor of his confinement was in some degree abated, he still
labored under several interdictions and restraints, as unprecedented
as illiberal, and that the British Court still affected to consider
him as amenable to their municipal laws, and maintained the idea of a
future trial.

After I had finished the general business with which Congress had
charged me, I consulted the several Ministers at the Court of France
upon the proper measures to be taken, when such a flagrant violation
of the laws of nations had been offered in the person of a public
Minister, and solicited their intervention and assistance. They all
declared, that however anxious they were to restore to his country a
citizen, so valuable by his services, they had not the least hope,
that any benefit would be derived from their interference, the British
Court being as little disposed to gratify the Court of France, as they
were to gratify the United States; and the unanimous opinion of these
gentlemen further was, that nothing would determine the British to
pursue a reasonable conduct in the present case, but the most exact
retaliation on the part of Congress. For this purpose they advised,
that one or more British prisoners of sufficient note and importance
to cause a sensation by their own complaints, or those of their
friends, to their Court, should be held as security for the safety of
Mr Laurens, and that their mode of confinement and treatment should
invariably follow the rule of the conduct of the British government
towards him.

In addition to the report, which I had the honor to make the 2d
instant, I take the present opportunity of enclosing to Congress the
duplicate account of the frigate Alliance's disbursements, by Messrs
Gourlade and Moylan of L'Orient. The misfortune of Mr Palfrey left us
without other resource, than an application to a mercantile house.
The persons above mentioned offered their services, and were
recommended. The sum total appeared both to the Minister
Plenipotentiary and myself very considerable for the short stay of the
vessel in port, and the charge of advanced officers' pay
unprecedented; but Captain Barry had signed the original account, and
M. Moylan's house had advanced the money, and offered every authentic
voucher. I thought myself obliged to write from Brest, requesting Dr
Franklin to order payment after necessary security.

I found myself under the necessity of drawing, under the authority of
Congress, for three hundred and fifty louis, on their Minister
Plenipotentiary at the Court of France. Fifty of these were given to
Mr Jackson on his departure for Holland. On my arrival at Boston, I
borrowed on my private credit forty guineas, twentyfive of which have
been paid for the purchase of saddles, and the expense of the journey,
including that of an express with the despatches from France for the
French Minister and army, and that of an escort of dragoons, which it
became prudent, on account of my papers, to take from Danbury to a
place a few miles on this side of the North River.

I had recourse to the State of Rhode Island for horses, &c. a
particular account of which will be given to the Board of War.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest veneration, &c.

                                                         JOHN LAURENS.



THE

CORRESPONDENCE

OF

CHARLES W. F. DUMAS;

AGENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN HOLLAND.



Charles William Frederick Dumas was a native of Switzerland, but he
passed a large portion of his life in Holland, chiefly employed as a
man of letters. He was a person of deep learning, versed in the
ancient classics, and skilled in several modern languages, a warm
friend of liberty, and an early defender of the American cause. About
the year 1770, or a little later, he published an edition of Vattel,
with a long preface and notes, which were marked with his liberal
sentiments.

When Dr Franklin was in Holland on his way to France, a short time
before his return to his own country, at the beginning of the
Revolution, he became acquainted with M. Dumas. Having thus witnessed
his ability, his love of freedom, and his zeal in favor of America, he
considered him a suitable person to act as agent in promoting our
affairs abroad. When the Committee of Secret Correspondence in
Congress was formed, towards the close of the year 1775, of which Dr
Franklin was chairman, it was resolved to employ M. Dumas for
executing the purposes of the Committee in Holland. A letter of
general instructions was accordingly written to him by Dr Franklin in
the name of the Committee, and from that time M. Dumas commenced a
correspondence with Congress, which continued without interruption
during the Revolution, and occasionally to a much later period. He
acted at first as a secret agent, and after John Adams went to Holland
as Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States, M. Dumas
performed the office of Secretary and translator to the Minister. On
the departure of Mr Adams for Paris, to engage in the negotiations for
peace, M. Dumas remained in the character of _Chargé d'Affaires_ from
the United States. In this capacity he exchanged with the Dutch
government the ratification of the treaty, which had been previously
negotiated by Mr Adams.

It will be seen by M. Dumas's correspondence, that his services were
unremitted, assiduous, and important, and performed with a singular
devotedness to the interests of the United States, and with a warm and
undeviating attachment to the rights and liberties for which they were
contending. Congress seem not to have well understood the extent or
merits of his labors. He was obliged often to complain of the meagre
compensation he received, and of the extreme difficulty with which he
and his small family contrived to subsist on it. Both Mr Adams and Dr
Franklin recommended him to Congress as worthy of better returns, but
with little effect. This indifference to his worth and his services
while living renders it the more just, that his memory should be
honored with the respect and gratitude of posterity.

M. Dumas was still living in 1791, when Mr John Quincy Adams went to
Holland as Minister from this country, but he died soon afterwards at
an advanced age.



THE

CORRESPONDENCE

OF

CHARLES W. F. DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       B. FRANKLIN TO M. DUMAS.

                                    Philadelphia, December 19th, 1775.

  Dear Sir,

I received your several favors of May 18th, June 30th, and July 8th,
by Messrs Vaillant & Pochard, whom if I could serve upon your
recommendation, it would give me great pleasure. Their total want of
English is at present an obstruction to their getting any employment
among us; but I hope they will soon obtain some knowledge of it. This
is a good country for artificers or farmers, but gentlemen of mere
science in _Les Belles Lettres_ cannot so easily subsist here, there
being little demand for their assistance among an industrious people,
who, as yet, have not much leisure for studies of that kind.

I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition
of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a
rising State make it necessary frequently to consult the law of
nations. Accordingly, that copy which I kept, (after depositing one in
our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of
Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands
of the members of our Congress now sitting, who are much pleased with
your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem
for their author. Your manuscript "_Idée sur le Gouvernement et la
Royauté_," is also well relished, and may, in time, have its effect. I
thank you, likewise, for the other smaller pieces, which accompanied
Vattel. "_Le court Exposé de ce qui est passé entre la Cour Britanique
et les Colonies, &c._" being a very concise and clear statement of
facts, will be reprinted here for the use of our new friends in
Canada. The translations of the proceedings of our Congress are very
acceptable. I send you herewith what of them has been farther
published here, together with a few newspapers, containing accounts of
some of the successes Providence has favored us with.

We are threatened from England with a very powerful force to come next
year against us. We are making all the provision in our power here to
prevent that force, and we hope we shall be able to defend ourselves.
But as the events of war are always uncertain, possibly, after another
campaign, we may find it necessary to ask aid of some foreign power.
It gives us great pleasure to learn from you, that "all Europe wishes
us the best success in the maintenance of our liberty." But we wish to
know whether any one of them, from principles of humanity, is disposed
magnanimously to step in for the relief of an oppressed people, or
whether if, as it seems likely to happen, we should be obliged to
break off all connexion with Britain, and declare ourselves an
independent people, there is any State or Power in Europe, who would
be willing to enter into an alliance with us for the benefit of our
commerce, which amounted, before the war, to near seven millions
sterling per annum, and must continually increase, as our people
increase most rapidly. Confiding, my dear friend, in your good will to
us and our cause, and in your sagacity and abilities for business, the
Committee of Congress, appointed for the purpose of establishing and
conducting a correspondence with our friends in Europe, of which
Committee I have the honor to be a member, have directed me to request
of you, that as you are situated at the Hague, where Ambassadors from
all the Courts reside, you would make use of the opportunity, which
that situation affords you, of discovering, if possible, the
disposition of the several Courts with respect to such assistance or
alliance, if we should apply for the one or propose for the other. As
it may possibly be necessary, in particular instances, that you
should, for this purpose, confer directly with some great Ministers,
and show them this letter as your credential, we only recommend it to
your discretion, that you proceed therein with such caution, as to
keep the same from the knowledge of the English Ambassador, and
prevent any public appearance, at present, of your being employed in
any such business, as thereby, we imagine, many inconveniences may be
avoided, and your means of rendering us service increased.

That you may be better able to answer some questions, which will
probably be put to you concerning our present situation, we inform
you, that the whole continent is very firmly united, the party for the
measures of the British Ministry being very small, and much dispersed;
that we have had on foot the last campaign an army of near twentyfive
thousand men, wherewith we have been able, not only to block up the
King's army in Boston, but to spare considerable detachments for the
invasion of Canada, where we have met with great success, as the
printed papers sent herewith will inform you, and have now reason to
expect that whole Province may be soon in our possession; that we
purpose greatly to increase our force for the ensuing year, and
thereby, we hope, with the assistance of well disciplined militia, to
be able to defend our coast, notwithstanding its great extent; that we
have already a small squadron of armed vessels to protect our coasting
trade, which have had some success in taking several of the enemy's
cruisers and some of their transport vessels and store-ships. This
little naval force we are about to augment, and expect it may be more
considerable in the next summer.

We have hitherto applied to no foreign power. We are using the utmost
industry in endeavoring to make saltpetre, and with daily increasing
success. Our artificers are also everywhere busy in fabricating small
arms, casting cannon, &c. Yet both arms and ammunition are much
wanted. Any merchants, who would venture to send ships laden with
those articles, might make great profit; such is the demand in every
Colony, and such generous prices are, and will be given, of which, and
of the manner of conducting such a voyage, the bearer, Mr Story, can
more fully inform you. And whoever brings in those articles is allowed
to carry off the value in provisions to our West Indies, where they
will fetch a very high price, the general exportation from North
America being stopped. This you will see more particularly in a
printed resolution of the Congress.

We are in great want of good engineers, and wish you could engage and
send us two able ones in time for the next campaign, one acquainted
with field service, sieges, &c. and the other with fortifying
sea-ports. They will, if well recommended, be made very welcome, and
have honorable appointments, besides the expenses of their voyage
hither, in which Mr Story can also advise them. As what we now request
of you, besides taking up your time, may put you to some expense, we
send you, for the present, enclosed, a bill for one hundred pounds
sterling, to defray such expenses, and desire you to be assured that
your services will be considered and honorably rewarded by the
Congress.

We desire, also, that you would take the trouble of receiving from
Arthur Lee, agent for the Congress in England, such letters as may be
sent by him to your care, and of forwarding them to us with your
despatches. When you have occasion to write to him to inform him of
anything, which it may be of importance that our friends there should
be acquainted with, please to send your letters to him under cover,
directed to Mr Alderman Lee, merchant, on Tower Hill, London, and do
not send it by post, but by some trusty shipper, or other prudent
person, who will deliver it with his own hand. And when you send to
us, if you have not a direct safe opportunity, we recommend sending by
way of St Eustatia, to the care of Messrs Robert & Cornelius Stevens,
merchants there, who will forward your despatches to me.

With sincere and great esteem and respect, I am, &c.

                                                          B. FRANKLIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    B. FRANKLIN TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                        Philadelphia, March 22d, 1776.

  Dear Sir,

I wrote to you lately by Mr Story, and since by another conveyance.
This line will be delivered to you by Mr Deane, who goes over on
business of the Congress, and with whom you may freely converse on the
affairs committed to you in behalf of that body. I recommend him
warmly to your civilities. Messrs Vaillant & Pochard continue close at
their new business, and are already able to subsist by it; as they
grow more expert, they will be able to make more money.

Mr Deane will inform you of everything here, and I need not add more,
than that I am, with esteem and respect, &c.

                                                          B. FRANKLIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

 TO B. FRANKLIN, CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE OF SECRET CORRESPONDENCE.

                                            Utrecht, April 30th, 1776.

  Sir,

I received on the 6th instant at the Hague, from Mr Thomas Story, the
despatches of the 19th December, 1775, of which he was the bearer.

I am deeply penetrated by the honor done me, and the confidence
reposed in me by the committee appointed by the General Congress to
maintain the correspondence between the American United Provinces and
Europe, and of which you, Sir, are one of the worthy members. I shall
die content if the remainder of my life can be devoted to the service
of so glorious and just a cause. I accept, therefore, joyfully the
commission you have bestowed, and whatever you may think fit to give
me in future, and I promise a hearty good will and an untiring zeal. I
hope my ability will justify the favorable opinion you entertain of
me. This promise on my part is in fact an oath of allegiance, which I
spontaneously take to Congress; receive it as such.

When I remarked in my last letter to you, "that all Europe wishes you
the most happy issue in your defence of your liberty," I meant the
unprejudiced, equitable, humane, European public; in a word, the
citizens of universal society, men in general. You must except from
this number the holders of English funds, and those Courts of Europe
who have an understanding with England; these, far from assisting you,
will sacrifice you to their interests or their fears. The allies,
which under such circumstances are suitable for you, are France and
Spain; for it is their interest that you should be free and
independent of England, whose enormous maritime power fills them with
apprehensions. I have, therefore, opened myself to the French
Minister, and a copy and translation of your requests and letters of
credence to me have been for a fortnight in his hands. In the
conversation I had with this Minister I observed, that the wishes of
his nation are for you. He said, that there was one difficulty in
affording aid to the Colonies; if they should be reconciled with
England, they would assist her against the power which had aided them,
and would imitate the dog in the fable. I had no reply to make to
this, except that in this case reasonable beings were concerned, that
if they saw the object was not to deprive them of the liberty for
which they were contending, but to assure it to them, they would not
be so ungrateful as to join against their benefactors, those who
wished to destroy that liberty. Finally, he desired to know from me
positively, what I would ask for the Colonies of his Court. I
answered, that you wished to be informed, 1. If the King of France
would, from motives of humanity and magnanimity, interpose his
mediation on behalf of an oppressed people and effect a
reconciliation, which should preserve to them all the liberties they
formerly enjoyed. 2. In case such a reconciliation could not be
effected, would the nations, subjects of the house of Bourbon, be
willing to accede to an alliance with the Colonies, with the
advantages of an immense commerce? He was pleased with the former
proposition to offer to his young king the glory of conferring peace
on the subjects of others as well as on his own. The other proposition
is not disagreeable to him, were it not for the dreadful war which
would ensue in Europe. I then delivered to him, together with your
letter, a memorial, showing how important it was for France not to
allow the subjugation of the Colonies. The whole was sent to his Court
about a fortnight since, and if the answer should be delayed it will
be of no disadvantage. Meanwhile, we have gained this advantage, that
an opening is made, which must dispose France in your favor, and
engage her to tolerate and secretly to encourage even any assistance
your vessels can derive from France, Spain, and the Indies. I have,
therefore, in the extract, copied exactly what you pointed out to me
as the most necessary, as engineers, arms, munitions, &c.

I have done all this with the most profound secrecy. The person of
whom I have spoken to you required it from me, and promised it in
return, so that no one in this country, excepting him and me, knows
anything of it. It is more advantageous to you and safer for me, that
I should not be known as your agent.

Mr Story, not daring to take two letters with him to England, one for
Arthur Lee, the other for Mrs Hannah Philippa Lee, left them in safe
keeping with me, and he did well. I learn by two letters, which I have
received from Mr A. Lee, of the 20th and 23d of April, that on Mr
Story's landing in England, they took from him a letter, which I had
sent by him for Mr Lee; fortunately it was not signed with any true
name, and could give no information to your adversaries. They have,
therefore, committed this additional violence to no purpose. I have
sent those letters to a friend at Rotterdam, according to the request
of Mr Lee, and that friend informs me under date of May 3d, that he
has forwarded the packet by a captain of a sloop, one of his old
friends, who promised him to deliver them himself to the address which
I put upon them by Mr Lee's directions. The sudden departure of the
vessels will prevent me from informing you whether they have been
safely delivered. I shall do it by some future opportunity. I joined
to the packet a cypher for Mr Lee, like that I sent to you, but
grounded on different words, so that we shall be able to communicate
with each other in perfect safety. I informed him also, that I had the
honor of writing you frequently, so that he can send his letters
through me, if he has no better way.

I know an engineer over thirty years of age, able, experienced, and
very well qualified not only in his branch, but in the whole art of
war; in a word, a fine officer, but very inadequately rewarded. I
shall not be able to speak with him for several weeks, when I will
propose to him the service of the Colonies. But as he is a widower,
without means, and has several children, it will probably be necessary
if he accepts, to make him some advances to enable him to go over. I
will give you an account in due time of the conversation I shall have
with him.

I have endorsed today your bill of exchange of £100 sterling to the
order of M. Rey, bookseller at Amsterdam. Good reasons prevented me
from doing it sooner and at any other place than Amsterdam. May the
conscientious use which I shall make of this fund entirely satisfy
your wishes, and the confidence with which you have honored me. I am
persuaded of the generosity of Congress, and I pray heaven that I may
deserve by my services to be the object of it, when God shall have
blessed their labors for the welfare and prosperity of the Colonies,
either by a firm and sincere reconciliation, or by the success of your
righteous and just arms. In reality, I hope much more than I fear on
this point. The wisdom of Congress, so constantly manifested, the
perfect union and harmony which prevail there, encourage me more and
more. By this rare, happy, and admirable union, much more surely than
by all the alliances in the world, you are, and you will finally be
superior to your enemies, however formidable they may appear.
_Concordiâ res parvæ crescunt, discordiâ maximæ dilabuntur_; may this
great truth and the sublime words of Themistocles to Eurybiades, who
raised a weapon against him in the Council, "_Strike but hear_," be
constantly present to your minds and hearts as well as to those of
your constituents. What power will then be able to withstand yours?
Ascribe the freedom of this address to the enthusiasm with which I am
animated for your union, the noblest edifice that liberty has ever
reared. In it centres all that the political world contains attractive
for me.

I thank you, Sir, for your fatherly kindness to the two French
gentlemen. They are young, and ought not therefore to entertain even
the idea of being an instant a burden to any one, and a useless load
to society.

I am very glad that the _Statement of the Points in Dispute between
Great Britain and the Colonies_ has been approved, so far as to cause
it to be printed for the instruction of your friends, the Canadians.
This is the only effect of that paper, for the printer not having sold
enough of his journals to be at any other expense than the impression,
has ceased to pay the author of those pieces. I have obtained his
address for the purpose of engaging him to assist me in refuting the
Jew, Pinto, whose venal pen has been employed in the most insolent
manner against the Americans. A certain person, whom you know, regrets
having allowed himself to be dazzled by his financial system, so far
as to approve it without reserve in a letter, or advertisement, at the
head of the treatise on "Circulation;" for although there are some
good things in it here and there, yet that person has long since bean
enlightened, in regard to many false brilliants, which the Jew passed
on for genuine.

As for the _Idea on Government and Royalty_, I learn with pleasure,
that it has been agreeable, and that the time will perhaps come when
it will receive more attention. This idea renders me more happy and
proud, than if I had written the Iliad; for I think with Phædrus,
_nisi utile est quod fucimus, stulta est gloria_. It is a seed, which
I thought myself bound to sow in your country, the only place in the
known world where it could spring up. I consider that idea more and
more practicable and true, and of all political systems the most
completely proof against all objections. It requires only to be
developed. God grant that we may soon be able to do it in peace and
at leisure. I shall then beg you, Sir, with the estimable and learned
author of the _Pennsylvania Farmer_, to correspond with me on this
subject, and to prove it, if not to our contemporaries, at least to
posterity.

I thank you, Sir, for the Journal of Congress from the 10th of May to
the 1st of August, 1775, which you have had the kindness to send me;
be good enough to complete it by sending what precedes and follows;
for we have here nothing authentic relating to your affairs. All that
we know of you, we get from the gazettes, imperfectly, by scraps, in a
vague and uncertain manner, a mixture of truth and falsehood.

_May 9th._ I have just received the following letter without
signature. "You will perhaps be tempted to come to the fair at the
Hague. I shall have the honor to renew the expressions of my sincere
esteem. I shall be at your orders every day at noon or sooner, if you
will write me from your lodgings to let me know what hour will be most
convenient for you. We shall be able to moralise some moments upon
subjects, which we have already discussed. I have but little to say to
you, which I shall do with a sincerity and candor, which I trust you
will approve." I shall make this visit Saturday night, so as to return
here Sunday night or Monday, not being able to do it otherwise. I
shall send this letter today to Amsterdam, as they tell me the vessels
will else sail without it. I shall therefore give you an account of
the conversation in another letter, either by the same vessel or by
some other. I am sorry to be obliged to leave you in suspense on a
subject so interesting.

Receive, Sir, for all the members of Congress in general, and for
yourself, Mr Dickinson and Mr Jay in particular, the sincere
assurances of my profound respect.

                                                            DUMAS.[20]


FOOTNOTES:

[20] M. Dumas commonly wrote his despatches in French, but sometimes
in English. It has not been thought necessary to designate between
those translated, and those written originally in English. Although he
wrote the language with a good deal of accuracy, yet foreign idioms
and other defects will occasionally be perceived. In some instances
the editor has taken the liberty to make free corrections of the
author's style, and to omit a good deal of irrelevant matter.

       *       *       *       *       *

              TO THE COMMITTEE OF SECRET CORRESPONDENCE.

                                              Utrecht, May 14th, 1776.

  Gentlemen,

I wrote the 9th to the person who wrote me the letter of the 6th, of
which I have given you a copy, that if what he had to say to me was
pressing, I would go and return in two succeeding nights, to be with
him Sunday the 12th, which is between the two; but if the interview
could admit a week's delay, I should be able to make the journey more
conveniently. He answered the next day, 10th of May, as follows.

"I have received, Sir, the letter you did me the honor to write. I
obey instantly the order you have given to answer you as to the day
when I shall be able to have the pleasure of seeing you. As what I
shall have the honor of saying to you is not pressing, you may put
off, till Saturday next, eight days hence, that is to say the 18th of
this month, the visit with which you flatter me. Nay, I take the
liberty to anticipate you in the offer of expenses in all cases where
your good offices will be useful to me. Flattered, honored as I am
with the acquaintance I have made with you, I should be very sorry to
be a burden to you, and to abuse your kindness.

"I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Sir, at your command."

Do not think, Gentlemen, that a childish vanity leads me to recite to
you this letter, and to take to myself sincerely the compliments which
are addressed to me.

_May 21st._ I am at length returned from my journey, with which I have
been much satisfied, because I think you will have reason to be so.
After we had conversed some time on the great and very late news of
the evacuation of Boston by your enemies, as a new mark of the wisdom
of your operations, our friend, (whose name I have promised not to
reveal,) said, the King of England does not forget himself,
nevertheless, as you see; and he showed me in a gazette a prohibitory
edict very severe, of the Empress Queen of Hungary, against all
exportation of arms and munitions from her States for America. I had
already seen it, and I told him so. But what you do not know, said he,
is that the King has demanded this of the Empress by a letter written
with his own hand. I gave him to understand, that I hoped his Court
would not be so partial. You shall know, he replied, for you will
comprehend it. As to your first demand, the mediation of the King
cannot take place whilst the Colonies are subjects of the King of
England, who, besides, would not accept it. As to your second demand,
the King is a true knight, his word is sacred. He has given it to the
English to live in peace with them. He will hold to it. While France
is not at war with the English, he will not ally himself against them
with the Colonies, and will not furnish aids to the latter. But on the
other hand, for the same reason, the Americans have the same
protection and liberty as all other English to resort to France, to
export thence merchandise, arms, and munitions of war, without however
forming magazines of them in France, which is not permitted by any
nation. Besides, added he, the Colonies have no need that either
France or Spain should enter into this war. Commerce alone will
furnish to the Americans all that they want to defend themselves.

I am of his opinion. I think even that it will be more advantageous to
you and to France also, that she should not be hasty to declare openly
for you. Once more, gentlemen, your union, your constant love of
liberty, your fortitude in turning from all that looks like luxury and
in despising it, your hatred of tyranny and despotism, which are the
sad fruits of luxury; in fine, all your republican virtues will render
you superior to your enemies, and invincible even without allies.
These, however, will not be wanting, be assured, for it cannot be
thought, that with what is passing in your part of the world, ours can
long remain at peace. The time will come when your friends will show
themselves, and when your alliance will not only be accepted but
sought. Meanwhile you have struck a great and wise blow in driving
your enemies from Boston. They publish, that they have evacuated the
place, with profound political motives; the public laughs at this
pretence.

I forgot to mention to you, that the person in question offered to
reimburse to me the expenses of my journey; and that I answered they
were already paid. On which he requested me to tell him at least in
what he could do me a favor. I answered, that he was doing me such in
rendering great services to the Americans. Finally, he desired me to
correspond from time to time with him. I engaged to do it, and shall
not fail. Thus it depends only on you, Gentlemen, to render this
correspondence more and more interesting. On my part I will be
vigilant to profit by all events that can make any change in Europe.
Those which happen in America will require, without doubt, that you
give me frequently new instructions and orders provided always with
letters of credence, or at least with one that will serve for the
time, as you judge proper. I know to whom to address myself to ask for
intelligence at the Court of France, and to have an answer in a few
days.

_June 6th._ Here you have a copy of a letter from London, dated May
21st. You know well from whom it is.[21] I have sent to him under the
envelope the two letters which Mr Story had left with me, and I added
a cypher, which he has already used with success.

"Everything is safe. I shall write you fully next week by our friend
Story. One Hortalez will apply to you on business that concerns our
friends. He has your address. Be so good as to assist him."[22]

I expect these gentlemen with impatience, and shall do all that
depends on me for your service and theirs.

I trust you will always answer me speedily, and inform me if my
letters reach you. I will send you once more a general copy of my
preceding letters, to supply the loss of one or both, in case the
vessels that carry them are lost or are taken.

When I promised the Minister, with whom I had an interview on your
affairs, not to name him to you, it is only until you expressly
require that I make him known to you; for in that case you may know
him when you will.

In about eight days I shall leave Utrecht for a country house within
seven leagues of the Hague, where I expect to pass the summer.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.


FOOTNOTES:

[21] The person here referred to is Arthur Lee. See _Arthur Lee's
Correspondence_, Vol. II. p. 16.

[22] This note refers to Beaumarchais, who proposed to go to Holland,
when he saw Mr Lee in London. But he afterwards altered his mind and
returned directly to Paris.

       *       *       *       *       *

              TO THE COMMITTEE OF SECRET CORRESPONDENCE.

                                                    August 10th, 1776.

  Gentlemen,

Mr Arthur Lee in his letter of the 11th of June observes, that "Mr
Story goes from hence directly to America. A French gentleman named
Hortalez having something to negotiate for the Congress, I have given
him your address." On the eve of my departure from Utrecht, on the
21st of June, I wrote as follows to the person whom you know.[23]


"Sir,

"In the hope that you have consented to make me understand that I
shall be one day useful to you, I think it my duty to advise you, that
I shall depart tomorrow from this city to pass the summer at a country
house half way from here to ----. I shall receive there in all safety
your orders, if you send your letters to, &c.

"I propose also, to pass to ---- as soon as I can, merely to profit
by the permission you have given me to render you my services from
time to time. Without having any new plan to propose, the work already
marked out has need of your good directions, and I shall be very sorry
to fail of the honor of an interview with you at least once more
before your departure, if it is near."


To this I received the following answer, dated June 23d.


"Sir,

"I have received the letter you did me the honor to write me the 21st
of this month. You flatter me with the hope of seeing you at ---- to
which you are brought near by the residence you intend to make during
the summer at a country house. This proximity will afford you
opportunity to make journeys, by which I shall profit with much
pleasure. I am sensible of the esteem which is your due, and of the
advantage of meriting the friendship of an experienced man like
yourself, uniting literature to the duties of society. I shall listen
to you always with an eager desire of profiting by your counsels, and
this on all subjects that have engaged your thoughts. I do not yet
know the time that I shall remain at ----. Perhaps it will be
sufficiently long to enjoy often the honor of receiving you. This
depends on the orders of my Court. We are in the least active, or most
dissipated season. Business will not flourish much till the fall of
the leaves, or even not get warm till the return of snow. I speak of
the old world; for I wish not to extend the picture too much.

"Have you any news of the Doctor and his friends? I shall be obliged
to you to follow my instructions in this respect. I will bear
willingly the charge of an express, whom you may send to me when you
shall judge proper; otherwise write uniformly by the post. Should I
be on a journey, I shall have the honor to inform you of my residence
and address. I do not know how to express to you sufficiently, Sir,
the desire I have to serve you and to deserve a place in your
thoughts."


About fifteen days after, I replied to this letter as follows.


"Sir,

"The letter with which you honored me, dated 23d of June, has given me
the assurance, which was needed to console me for the disappointments
that have detained me here. Perhaps I shall be at the Hague on Sunday
morning. Be assured, Sir, that if anything comes to my knowledge
worthy of your attention, you shall be informed of it immediately. I
have no reason to expect soon to receive news directly. I have written
two letters by two different vessels, that have sailed from Amsterdam
for St Eustatia; and I expect when another vessel departs to despatch
a third. Before I have an answer much time will pass, and in this time
many events. There is, however, a man charged with some commission on
their part, to whom they have given my address at Leyden; and I have
received two letters from that city, the one of the 21st of May, the
other of the 11th of June, in which they pray me to render him
service. This is all that I know of him, for the man has not yet
appeared.

"The more I am favored with your letters, Sir, the more I wish to
deserve your good opinion. In the meantime, I ought to be on my guard
against too much presumption, and to think how natural it is to give a
gracious reception to the servant for the love of the master. I own
to you, Sir, that in giving an account to the Doctor and his friends
of our correspondence, I have thought proper to forewarn them thereon.
They will be informed of the obliging interest with which you ask news
of them. I hope that the time will come, when you will be able to
permit me to reveal your name.

"After having thought long and much, it seems to me, that in order to
answer completely their intention, I ought to present myself also to
the _Hotel d'Espagne_, to be known there simply as charged with such a
commission, to open to myself thereby ways of serving my constituents
on diverse occasions, which may present themselves at one moment or
another, and not incur the blame, which may be reflected even on these
gentlemen, of having neglected a power so worthy of their efforts. For
the rest, I shall not do or say anything in this respect till I have
had the honor of seeing you, Sir, and I pray you to believe that I
shall observe scrupulously, the conduct and the discretion that you
have had the goodness to prescribe to me."


In consequence, I have again conferred with this gentleman. He went to
dine at that same house, said that I had been with him, and that I
told him I would go also to the other house the next day at eleven
o'clock. I went in fact, and was received _tête à tête_ with great
ceremony in the hall of audience. I opened briefly my business and
drew out a memoir to read to him. He told me that he could not hear me
without the order of his master. I read, notwithstanding, and he did
not stop his ears. I prayed him to receive and keep the memoir. He
refused, alleging continually that he could do nothing without orders.
I drew out then my originals and showed him my three signatures,
which he looked at eagerly. In separating, I asked him to keep my name
concealed at ----. He said to me that he would keep it secret
everywhere. He asked me, however, if that was my true name. I assured
him it was; he paid me some personal compliments, and we parted. I
learnt on the next day by another channel, that he had,
notwithstanding, given an account to his master of this visit; which
suffices me, for I have need, as you know, of only one of these good
houses. I am always very politely received, and as a friend. This is
all that I ask. I do not multiply too much my visits, but to render
them always desirable, I never appear there without having something
interesting to say; and to this end, the letters of my worthy
correspondent at London are very useful to me. This last has addressed
to me lately a person, whose conversation, joined to the contents of
the letter of which he was bearer, has served me in the composition of
a memoir which they approve, and I have reason to think they have
sent.

This person has induced me to write a letter to you, dated the 4th of
August, by way of Bordeaux to St Domingo, under an envelope of Mr
Caton, merchant at Port St Nicholas in that island, of which here is
an extract.


"A gentleman belonging to Jamaica, a particular friend of Dr Franklin,
and very well known to him, has charged me to write to him, to assure
him on good authority, of the singular esteem that he has for him and
his friends; that they ought to think, _and that he prays him to let
them know it_, that the present voice of Parliament is the voice of
the English people; that there exists, and gathers strength, _a great
body_, which, in truth, is not the strongest, but which regards the
cause of the Americans as its own, their safety and liberty as its
own, which will prefer to see them independent rather than subjugated,
and which will make, at the future meeting of Parliament, the greatest
efforts in their favor; that the basis of this party is already forty
Peers, and one hundred and sixty members of the Commons."


The letter which this gentleman brought me began thus; "This will be
delivered to you by Mr Ellis, a friend of Dr Franklin, of liberty, and
of America. He is a philosopher, very well instructed on the subject
of America, and, I trust, will be both an agreeable and useful
acquaintance while he remains near you." This assuring me, I
discovered to him that I was the man whom he was seeking, provided
with credentials and orders from Congress sufficient to do all the
good offices that his friends could wish to render. Thereupon I showed
him my credentials; he was satisfied with them, and we exchanged
addresses. He promised to write me; and we separated satisfied with
each other.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.


FOOTNOTES:

[23] Meaning the person with whom he had the interview, mentioned in
the preceding letter, doubtless the French Ambassador.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    ARTHUR LEE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                               London, July 6th, 1776.

  Dear Sir,

This will be delivered you by Mr Ellis, a friend of Dr Franklin, of
liberty, and of America. He is a philosopher, very well instructed on
the subject of America, and, I trust, will be both an agreeable and
useful acquaintance while he remains near you.

I thank you for your favor of the 21st of last month. By the last
advices from America, General Howe was prepared to sail for Halifax,
and, it is imagined, to land at New York, where he will certainly be
strongly opposed. He numbers ten thousand regulars, and it will be
fortunate for us, if he makes his attempt before he is joined by the
Germans, who sailed the 6th of May.

The Americans have taken post upon the river Richelieu and the lakes,
so that Montreal, not being tenable, is evacuated. General Lee is in
Virginia, with ten thousand men, expecting Lord Cornwallis and General
Clinton. General Washington commands at New York, and General Ward in
Boston.

The strange timidity _de la Cour Française_ requires great patience
and management; but I think it will at last be brought to act an
avowed and decided part. When that happens, _Angleterre_ must submit
to whatever terms they please to impose, for she is totally incapable
of sustaining a war with France.

Adieu,

                                                           ARTHUR LEE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    SILAS DEANE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                               Paris, July 26th, 1776.

  Sir,

The enclosed letter from Dr Franklin will hint at my business in this
city, where I arrived the 7th instant, and I should have sent forward
this earlier, had I not had hopes of having the honor of presenting it
to you in person. This I now find I cannot expect, without delaying it
beyond all bounds. I therefore forward it by the common conveyance,
and inform you that my address in this city is to Messrs Germany,
Guardot & Co. bankers; that I shall tarry here till the last of
August, when I propose going to Dunkirk, thence to Amsterdam and
Hamburg, in which journey I hope for the pleasure of seeing you. In
the meantime, I shall be happy in a correspondence with you on the
subject of the dispute between the United Colonies and Great Britain,
or any other that shall be agreeable to you; and I wish to be informed
if I shall be in danger of any disagreeable treatment in my journey
through Holland, in a private capacity, though it should be known that
I was in the service of the United Colonies. It has been suggested to
me, that I might meet with some interruption or difficulties from the
friends of the British Ministry, which occasions my making this
inquiry.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                          SILAS DEANE.

_P. S._ I read and understand the French language tolerably well,
though I am unable to write it.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    ARTHUR LEE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                            London, August 13th, 1776.

  Dear Sir,

I answered your last letter immediately. I now enclose you several
pamphlets, which contain such an authentic state of facts, and such
arguments on the American question, as will enable its advocates with
you to maintain their ground against the pensioner of this Court. I
beg particularly, that you will send some of them to the gentleman who
has answered Pinto, the pensioner of this Court.

The pamphlet entitled the _Rights of Great Britain_, &c. is full of
the grossest falsehoods. A very material one is exposed by the
enclosed extracts from the acts of Parliament, granting bounties upon
American produce, which proves by their own words, that those bounties
were given for their own interests only. Yet that pamphlet has given a
long list of the amount of those bounties, and charged it to the
Colonies. The fact is, as Dr Smith, a Scotchman, and an enemy to
American rights, has stated it, in his late labored and long expected
book on the Wealth of Nations. "Whatever expense," says he "Great
Britain has hitherto laid out in maintaining this dependency, has
really been laid out in order to support their monopoly." Speaking of
the debt incurred last war, he says,--"This whole expense is, in
reality, a bounty, which has been given in order to support a
monopoly. The pretended purpose of it was to encourage the
manufactures, and to increase the commerce of Great Britain." The
operation of this monopoly against the Colony he states thus,--"The
monopoly of the Colony trade, therefore, like all the other mean and
malignant expedients of the mercantile system, depresses the industry
of all other countries, but _chiefly that of the Colonies_."

When you write to the Congress it would be well, I think, to mention
that as all the evils have been produced by Scotch counsel, and those
people prosecute the business with more rancor and enmity, a
distinction ought to be made between the treatment of them and other
people, when made prisoners.

We expect every day some decisive news from New York. The last gazette
gives us no reason to fear anything but the chance of war, against
which no prudence can provide. We have certain intelligence from
Canada, that it will be the last of August before the boats will be
ready upon Lake Champlain for the Ministerial army; so that there is
no possibility of their joining Howe. They are putting eleven ships
of the line in commission, here, which is kept very secret, or it
would shake the stocks exceedingly.

Adieu,

                                                           ARTHUR LEE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    SILAS DEANE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                             Paris, August 18th, 1776.

  Sir,

Your favor of the 8th, and one earlier, but without a date, are before
me, and I return you my thanks for the attention paid to mine, and
more especially for the good opinion you entertain of my countrymen,
and your tenders of service. The business before me is of such a
nature, that I must be detained some time in this city. If I take a
journey to Holland, it will be my choice to make it as a private
gentleman; as such I am in Paris, and that character I shall keep,
unless obliged to alter it. Parade and pomp have no charms in the eyes
of a patriot, or even a man of common good sense; but at the same
time, I can never submit to the changing of my name, unless I am
convinced that so humiliating a step will promote the service of my
country. I can pass unnoticed under that name, as well as any other,
whilst I conduct in every other step as a private gentleman. I have
now but little hopes of being in Holland till October, before which,
such intelligence may arrive from America, as may alter my present
designs.

The declaration of independency, made by the United Colonies, is
announced in the English papers, but I have received no despatches on
the event, though I am in daily expectation of them. You ask me two
questions in your first letter; to the former, I answer at once
affirmatively, that I have a certain prospect of succeeding in my
business; but as to the latter, or second query, I cannot so readily
reply, for I know not how far the knowledge of me and my concerns may
have extended. I am here as a private merchant, and appear as such,
whatever suspicion may circulate. As such, I can travel, I trust, in
your country, which I most ardently wish to see, and the more so on
account of the kind, simple, and engaging invitation you have given
me. It really affected me, and brought instantaneously to view those
happy and peaceful scenes of domestic felicity, to which I am at
present a stranger. You have all I can give you, a grateful
acknowledgment of your kindness, and depend that I will in person
acknowledge it on my first arrival in Holland.

It is the policy of the United Provinces of Holland to be neuter to
every attention. The United Colonies only wish them to keep steady to
their only true system of policy in the present case; and give me
leave to say, that a reflection on their former struggles must show
them in what point of light the Americans are to be considered. The
United Colonies ask no aid or alliances. Let Britain court every, even
the most petty and mercenary power in Europe, the United Colonies only
ask for what nature surely entitles all men to, a free and
uninterrupted commerce and exchange of the superfluities of one
country for those of another; and the first power in Europe, which
takes advantage of the present favorable occasion, must exceed every
other in commerce.

But I am rambling. I pray to know in your next letter, what sums are
due to Holland from the government of England. Whether the King of
Prussia is wholly inattentive to the present proceedings, and on
which side his wishes are. _Omnia tentanda._ I really hope to be at
the Hague in October, and promise myself great pleasure in seeing you
and your lady, to whom, though otherwise unknown, since you have
introduced me, you cannot refuse presenting my best respects.

I am, with great esteem, &c.

                                                          SILAS DEANE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    WILLIAM LEE TO C. F. W. DUMAS.

                                         London, September 10th, 1776.

  Sir,

The 27th ult. and the 7th instant, in the absence of my brother,
Arthur Lee, your two letters for him came safe to my hands. My brother
is now on the continent, and perhaps may write to you from where he
is. The declaration of independence on the part of America, has
totally changed the nature of the contest between that country and
Great Britain. It is now on the part of Great Britain a scheme of
conquest, which few imagine can succeed. Independence is universally
adopted by every individual in the Thirteen United States, and it has
altered the face of things here. The tories, and particularly the
Scotch, hang their heads and keep a profound silence on the subject;
the whigs do not say much, but rather seem to think the step a wise
one, on the part of America, and what was an inevitable consequence of
the measures taken by the British Ministry. In short every one wants
to form his judgment by the event of the present campaign, as
something decisive is expected to happen from the arrangements under
General and Lord Howe, and General Carleton, before the meeting of
Parliament, which will be the 24th of October.

In the meantime every effort is made to prevent France from taking any
open or even private part with America, for which purpose Mr Stanley,
Mr Jenkinson, one of the Lords of the Treasury, and confidential
friend of Lord Bute, and of the Solicitor-General, Mr Wedderburne,
have been at Paris some time to aid the negotiations of the British
Minister, Lord Stormont. As far as money will answer their purpose, it
will not be spared. The French are generally acute enough in observing
what is for their interest, but most people here are at a loss to
conceive what plan they have in view, as they have not hitherto, as we
know of, taken any part with America.

The public papers will tell you all the material news we have from
America, but in general it is supposed the Americans will stand
greatly in want of arms, ammunition, and artillery, to oppose such a
force as is sent against them, and it is evident they have not
experienced officers sufficient to manage such extensive operations as
they have in hand. Should you have occasion to write to me, you may
address, under cover, as you do to my brother.

I am, with esteem, Sir, &c.

                                                          WILLIAM LEE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    SILAS DEANE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                          Paris, September 11th, 1776.

  Sir,

I have to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 29th ultimo, of the
2d, 5th and 7th of this month, and at the same time to make my excuses
for not answering them earlier; which was owing to my hurry of
business, in part, and part to my hopes of being able to send you
something agreeable from America, when I should next write you.
Forgive therefore this seeming inattention, and accept my warmest
thanks for the kind sentiments, which you and your good lady entertain
for me and my country. The cause of the Americans is the cause of
mankind in general, and naturally interests the generous and the good
in every part of the world.

The measures you took before my arrival, respecting this Court, were
perfectly right, and you may rely on my secrecy as to your concerns.
Our commerce is now on as good a footing in this kingdom and in Spain,
as the commerce of any other nation; and I trust will very soon have
an important preference. When I said in a former letter we wanted only
a friendly intercourse by way of commerce, I had not the vanity to
suppose the actual assistance of European powers was not an object
deserving attention; but I must say seriously, that if the American
commerce can be established with the trading powers of Europe, and if
those powers of Europe would protect that commerce, it would be all
the assistance necessary; and the Colonies by land would be more than
equal to anything Great Britain could bring against them. You are
entirely right in saying, that the House of Bourbon are the allies we
should first and principally court. France is at the head of this
House, and therefore what is done here is sure to be done by the
whole. This, therefore, requires my whole attention, and I can only
say to you, my prospects are nowise discouraging.

As to the King of Prussia, I will in my next explain more fully my
meaning, and at the same time send to you a state of the United
Colonies, of their commerce, of their present contest, with some
thoughts or observations on the manner in which Europe must be
affected, and what part they ought to take in the present important
crisis. My name and business have long since been known to the British
Ambassador here, and to the Court of London; and they have
remonstrated, but finding remonstrances to no purpose, they have
wisely determined to take no notice of me, as I do not appear as yet
in a public character.

Let me ask of you, if a workman skilful in the founding of brass and
iron cannon can be engaged in Holland to go to America? Also, if I can
engage two or three persons of approved skill in lead mines, to go to
America on good engagement. Your answer will oblige me, and by the
next post I will write you more particularly. The British arms will
not, probably, effect anything in America this season, as they had not
begun to act the 8th of August, and that brings winter to the very
door, as I may say, and an indecisive campaign must prove to Great
Britain a fatal one.

I am, &c.

                                                          SILAS DEANE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    ARTHUR LEE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                          London, September 23d, 1776.

  Dear Sir,

My absence from town till now prevented my answering your two last
favors of September 3d.

By our latest and best accounts from America the die is now cast, and
we may every day expect to hear of a decisive action at New York;
decisive I mean as to the fate of General Howe and New York, but not
of America, which depends very little upon the event of New York being
taken or saved.

There is a public torpor here, which, without being superstitious, one
may regard as a visitation from heaven. The people in general think
the declaration of independence as a thing of course, and do not seem
to feel themselves at all interested in the vast consequences, which
that event must inevitably draw after it. The Ministry have by certain
manoeuvres contrived to keep up the demand for, and price of
manufactures; and while trade and manufactures apparently prosper, the
people are so deaf, that wisdom may cry out in the streets and not be
heard. But the course of the seasons is not more fixed, than it is
certain that these ministerial arts must be temporary in their
operation and fatal in their issue; because the more men are
flattered, the more desperate they are when the calamity comes upon
them. Already the West India Islands begin to cry out, as you will
have seen in the address from the Island of Barbadoes. The great
number of captures lately made of West India ships by the Americans,
have already had very visible effects upon the Royal Exchange. Holland
taking the alarm, which the least movement on the part of France would
produce, must shake our stocks to the foundation, and give an equal
shock to a deluded prince and a deluded people.

The characters you desire me to touch upon are such as seldom occur in
the same period. Lord Sandwich has been noted through a long life for
everything in word and deed, directly opposite to honesty and virtue.
With moderate abilities, and little real application, he maintains an
appearance of both by impositions and professions, which at a time so
averse to inquiry as the present pass for facts. Lord George Germain,
though cradled in England, has all the principles of a Scotchman;
subtle, proud, tyrannical, and false. In consequence of his
patronising the Scots, they have always been his panegyrists and his
advocates, and as they are a people indefatigable in all interested
pursuits, they have procured him a character for ability, which he
very little deserves. Dissimulation and craft in worldly occurrences
too often pass for real wisdom; and, in that sense, Lord George is a
wise man. Such a man could not long pass unnoticed and unpatronised by
a Court, which searches with Lyncean eyes for the basest hearts, and
is actuated by Scotch principles and Scotch counsels. Lord Suffolk is
a peer of sullen pride and arbitrary principles. He listed in the
public cause with Mr Wedderburne, under the banner of George
Grenville; and while his life gave the hope of success in getting
preferment, they were the loudest in opposition; but immediately upon
his death, they made their terms, and have been ever since the most
devoted tools of the Court. Lord Suffolk recommends himself very much
to the King, by an indefatigable attention to the little detail
business of his department, and an obsequiousness that knows no
bounds. Lord Rochford is by birth a tory, and is linked with Lord
Mansfield; but his fears have made him withdraw himself upon an ample
pension, for he is persuaded, that France will soon strike a blow,
which will endanger the heads of those who conduct these measures.

I have been apprized by Hortalez, that the business for which I
recommended him to you is to be transacted through France, which is
the reason of your not seeing him.

I do not conceive you need be under any alarm about intercepted
letters, as the Ministry have too much upon their thoughts, and too
many more immediately dangerous and known opponents at home, to suffer
them to look abroad for victims. Their success must be certain and
decisive before they will venture to attack the friends of America in
Europe, and provoke retaliation. I flatter myself with being as much
within the eye of their enmity as any man can be. But I think that the
enmity of bad men is the most desirable testimony of virtuous merit.

Adieu,

                                                           ARTHUR LEE.

       *       *       *       *       *

              TO THE COMMITTEE OF SECRET CORRESPONDENCE.

                                                 September 30th, 1776.

  Gentlemen,

After having sent to your correspondent at St Eustatia, whose address
you gave me in your letter of the 12th of December, 1775, my third
letter of which you have here annexed a large extract, I commence my
fourth despatch.

M. Hortalez, of whom Mr Arthur Lee spoke in two of his letters, has
not yet appeared; nor have I received the letter that you say you have
written to me between that of the 12th of December, 1775, and that of
the 2d of March, 1776. The non-appearance of this gentleman, and of
the letter here referred to, disquiets me somewhat, not only because
all that comes to me from you, Gentlemen, and from your friends, is
dear and precious to me, but also, and above all, because I fear that
the service of the general Congress may suffer by it.

The bearer of your letter of the 2d of March, (Silas Deane) arrived at
Paris the 7th of July, whence he sent it to me with one of his own,
dated the 26th. I have another from him of the 18th of August, in
which he remarks to me, "that he has a certain prospect of succeeding
in his business." He proposes also to visit Holland.

I have before told you, that the letters I received had contributed
much to render my visits, my letters, and memoirs agreeable in a
certain quarter. This will be seen from the following note, which I
received a short time since, dated August 26th. After having spoken to
me of a service, which he had consented to render me in his country,
where I had some affairs to settle, and which we had agreed upon as a
pretext to mark our interviews, the writer thus proceeds; "Madame ----
has taken the trouble to send me your letters, and I beg you to send
me by her all interesting particulars, including the narration of the
person whom you expect, (Silas Deane.) I pray you to send me all that
you have received since your last letter. I receive packets from all
quarters; it pertains to my office. So I shall receive with gratitude
whatever you may have the goodness to send me."

I have sent to him open, with a flying seal, the letter that I wrote
you by St Domingo. We agreed on this verbally, and he promised me to
send it to Bordeaux well recommended. I have cause to think that this
letter has been forwarded and pleased certain persons, on whose
account I had expressed, at the close of the letter, that when by
legislation and a wise constitution you shall have crowned the work of
your liberty, I shall die content with having seen a great King and a
great Republic sincerely wish the good of the people.

I received some days ago another letter from Mr Deane, dated at Paris,
14th of September. All the letters that I have received from him, as
well from you, are precious to me, and this one doubly so, since
besides the kind expressions with which it is filled, my zeal for
your cause is recompensed by the testimony that I have well served it.

If I continue not to sign my name,[24] it is not from fear, but
because I think your service requires that I remain yet some time
unknown, at least until Mr Deane arrives here, for then I shall be
known everywhere for the most zealous American in all the Republic,
and it will be my pride. All that can come of it will be the loss of
my present post; but in this case I am sure that Congress will
indemnify me by a subsistence suitable for me and mine, seeing that I
shall be able to continue useful to them as much and even more than in
time past, because I shall not be encumbered with other duties, and
all my faculties will be employed in the service of America. I have
been much mortified in not being at liberty, as I have expressed to Mr
Deane. I should have flown to Paris to assist him, at least by the
knowledge I have of many European languages.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.


FOOTNOTES:

[24] M. Dumas usually signed his despatches with a fictitious name.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    B. FRANKLIN TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                      Philadelphia, October 1st, 1776.

  Sir,

I have just time to acknowledge the receipt of your two packets, with
the pamphlets enclosed, the contents of which are very satisfactory.
You will hear from me more fully in a little time.

With great esteem, I am, Sir, &c.

                                                          B. FRANKLIN.

_P. S._ We have a great force brought against us here, but continue
firm.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    SILAS DEANE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                              Paris, October 3d, 1776.

  Dear Sir,

Since my last, in which I mentioned the King of Prussia, I have
obtained a method of sounding that monarch's sentiments more directly
through another channel, which voluntarily offering, I have accepted,
and therefore waive writing on the subject for the present anything,
save that you may undoubtedly serve the United States of America most
essentially in this affair in a few weeks from this. The attention to
my business here, which is not merely political, but partly
commercial, the critical situation of affairs at this Court, and the
anxious suspense for the events at New York and Canada have actually
fixed me here, and the having received no intelligence for some time
past has well nigh distracted me. I have, however, favorable
prospects, and the most confirmed hopes of effecting my views in
Europe. I am too much engaged to say more in this, and will be more
particular in my next.

I am, &c.

                                                          SILAS DEANE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    SILAS DEANE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                             Paris, October 6th, 1776.

  Sir,

Yours of the 1st instant I received, and observe by the contents, that
Mr Lee is returned to London. I have not seen Mr Ellis. In answer to
your queries; first, a reconciliation between Great Britain and the
United States of America is improbable ever to take place; it is
absolutely impossible, until after the sitting of Parliament.
Secondly, Admiral Howe joined his brother early in August, and sent on
shore to General Washington a letter, which was returned unopened, as
no title was given to General Washington; a second was sent, and met
the same fate. The Congress justified the General in his conduct, and
ordered him to receive no letters, except they were directed to him
with his proper title. Lord Howe sent to the Governors of several
Colonies his proclamation, which, by the army and people of New York,
was treated with contempt and ridicule.

Thus matters continued until the 20th of August, when General Howe had
collected his whole force, and was preparing to attack New York. On
the other side, all the eminences and advantageous posts near the city
were secured and fortified, and the Americans strongly entrenched on
them; the city of New York fortified with batteries next to the water,
and all the principal streets with barriers across them, and, at the
same time, the houses filled with combustibles ready to be set on
fire, should the city be found tenable. The two men-of-war, which had
passed up the river above the city, were returned terribly damaged by
attacking a battery. This, in a word, was the state of affairs in New
York on the 20th of August, from which important news may be expected
every hour.

Thirdly, I know what Dr Franklin's sentiments were when I left
America, and that nothing but a miracle could convert him to wish for
an accommodation on other terms, than the independence of the
Colonies. Depend upon it, my good friend, the Ministry of Great
Britain labor incessantly to propagate stories of an accommodation,
for it is well known, that they despair of reducing the Colonies by
arms this campaign; at the close of which, the national debt will
amount to nearly £150,000,000 sterling, part of which will remain
unfunded; and where are their resources for supporting the next
campaign? He that can discover the philosopher's stone can answer.

To your fourth query, you will excuse my answering more, than that
your conjecture is not far out of the way. My letter will inform you
why I must still delay sending what I promised you the 14th ultimo. In
the meantime, Sir, you may add to indigo and rice, tobacco, logwood,
redwood, sugar, coffee, cotton, and other West India produce, which
pass through the hands of the North Americans, in payment for their
supplies to the West India Islands, which cannot exist without their
produce. Also, in course of trade, spermaceti oil and salt-fish may be
supplied to Prussia and Germany as cheap, or cheaper from the
Colonies, than from Holland and Germany. The United Colonies exported
to Europe chiefly, indeed, to Great Britain, fish-oil, whalebone,
spermaceti, furs, and peltry of every kind, masts, spars, and timber,
pot and pearl ashes, flax-seed, beef, pork, butter and cheese, horses
and oxen; to the West Indies chiefly, wheat-flour, bread, rye, Indian
corn, lumber, tobacco, iron, naval stores, beeswax, rice, and indigo,
&c. &c. to the amount of more than £4,000,000 sterling annually, and
for some years past, and received the pay in European manufactures;
and when I remind you that the inhabitants of that country double
their number every twenty years, and inform you that this exportation
has increased for the last century in the same ratio, you will be able
to form some idea of this commerce, and of how much importance it is
to Europe. I hope, by the coming post, to send you some favorable
news from America, and I may not add to this without missing the post.

I am, with the most sincere esteem, dear Sir, your most obedient
servant,

                                                          SILAS DEANE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    SILAS DEANE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                             Paris, October 9th, 1776.

  Sir,

I wrote you by last post. This comes by Mr Carmichael, a gentleman of
Maryland, in America, who has for some time lived with, and assisted
me in my business. You can have the fullest confidence in him, and as
he knows I place the most absolute in you, it would be trifling to
swell a letter with news or observations, of both which he can _viva
voce_ satisfy you. He will communicate to you his business in Holland,
and I am sure you will assist him to the utmost of your power. He can
tell you what an anxious and laborious life I lead here; and, what
adds to my misfortune, how impossible it is, in the present critical
situation of affairs, for me to quit this post for a single day; much
more it is as yet impossible for me to leave long enough to visit you
in Holland, which having long promised to myself, and anticipated with
pleasure, the disappointment greatly chagrins me. To have so kind and
hospitable, and, at the same time, so judicious and safe a friend,
inviting me to what must at once yield me the purest pleasure and the
most solid advantage, viz. an interview, and not to be able to profit
by it at once, is a misfortune I feel most sensibly.

Mr Carmichael can give you the best intelligence of our present
affairs in America, and his observations and inferences will be from
the best grounds, and made with precision and judgment. My most
grateful and respectful acknowledgments to your lady, whom I yet may
have the honor of waiting on in the course of a month.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                          SILAS DEANE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    SILAS DEANE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                            Paris, October 13th, 1776.

  Sir,

Before the receipt of this, you will have seen Mr Carmichael, to whom
I refer you on many subjects. Yours of the 8th I received since his
departure, and have only to ask of you to procure the proper
testimonials of this very extraordinary and cruel proceeding at H----,
respecting Mr Shoemaker, a family of which name I knew in
Philadelphia. These testimonials will be a proper ground to go upon in
demanding satisfaction, which I do not think, however, had best be
asked, until the independence of the Colonies has been formally
announced; and proper powers for this step have been delayed
strangely, or, perhaps, interrupted. Your zeal in this cause reflects
honor on your private, as well as public sentiments of justice and
rectitude, and I will transmit to the honorable Congress of the United
States in my first letters a copy of your memoir. I am still without
intelligence of any kind from America, save that on the 20th of August
a battle was hourly expected at New York. No prospect of
reconciliation. The British forces in Canada are not likely to effect
anything this season; and, consequently, all hopes in England rest on
the event of a single action at New York, which the public are made
to believe will prove decisive; and so it may, if the fate of the day
should be for us, and the enemy have no retreat or resources in
America; but by no means decisive if it incline the other way. I
trouble you with the enclosed for Mr Carmichael.

I am, with great respect, &c.

                                                          SILAS DEANE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                WILLIAM CARMICHAEL TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                         Amsterdam, October 22d, 1776.

  Sir,

I enclose a letter, which I expected to deliver ere this in person. I
arrived here last Friday, and had so many inquiries to make to gratify
Mr Deane's curiosity, that it has not been in my power to attend to
you so soon as I could wish. For fear that I should not be able to
leave this tomorrow, to do myself the honor of waiting upon you, I
have sent this letter. When I come to the Hague, I shall put up at the
_Hotel de Turenne_, where you will do me much pleasure to leave your
address particularly. The knowledge I have had of you for many months
by Mr Deane and others, makes me regret every moment that delays me
here, and denies me the pleasure of assuring you in person, how much I
am, what every true American is,

Your very humble servant,

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

        COMMITTEE OF SECRET CORRESPONDENCE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                     Philadelphia, October 24th, 1776.

  Sir,

Our worthy friend, Dr Franklin, being indefatigable in the labor of
his country, and few men so qualified to be useful to the community of
which he is a member, you will not be surprised that the unanimous
voice of the congress of delegates from the United States of America
has called upon him to visit the Court of France, in the character of
one of their Commissioners for negotiating a treaty of alliance, &c.
with that nation. He is the bearer of this letter, and on his arrival
will forward it. To him we refer you for information as to the
political state of this country; our design in addressing you at this
time being only to continue that correspondence, which he has opened
and conducted hitherto on our behalf.

We request to hear from you frequently; and if you make use of the
cypher, the Doctor has communicated the knowledge of it to one of our
members. Your letters, via St Eustatia, directed to the Committee of
Secret Correspondence, then put under a cover to Mr Robert Morris,
merchant, Philadelphia, and that letter covered to Mr Cornelius
Stevenson, or Mr Henricus Godet, merchants at St Eustatia, or under
cover to Mr Isaac Gouveneur, merchant at Curraçoa, will certainly come
safe, and if you can send with them regular supplies of the English
and other newspapers, you will add to the obligation. The expense of
procuring them shall be reimbursed, together with any other charges,
and a reasonable allowance for your time and trouble in this agency.
The members of this committee, styled the Committee of Secret
Correspondence, are John Jay, Thomas G. Johnson, Robert Morris,
Richard Henry Lee, William Hooper, and John Witherspoon; and as
vacancies happen by death or absence, the Congress fill them up with
new members, which we mention for your information, and with great
respect and esteem remain, Sir, your most obedient, humble servants,

                                                    ROBERT MORRIS,
                                                    RICHARD HENRY LEE,
                                                    JOHN WITHERSPOON,
                                                    WILLIAM HOOPER.

       *       *       *       *       *

                WILLIAM CARMICHAEL TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                        Amsterdam, October 27th, 1776.

  Dear Sir,

You owe to my forgetfulness what ought only to proceed from my
respect, yet I will not quarrel with anything that gives me an
opportunity of writing to you.

I left the Memoir on Commerce in your hands, and it is necessary I
should have it as soon as possible. I send you _Common Sense_, but you
must look on my presents as _Indian_ ones, for I, like they, expect
much larger in return; as much as you please, and I am sure you can
spare a great deal of what I send you. My present is only the rough
material of America, your returns will be elegant and superb
manufactures of Europe.

The English mail is not arrived. I have a very angry letter from Mr
William Lee on the subject I mentioned to you, respecting Dr B. I am
happy to know that I acted for the public good, and that, without
partiality to any person, will, I hope, always be the rule of my
conduct.

I am, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    ARTHUR LEE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                          London, November 15th, 1776.

  Dear Sir,

The indispensable business of my profession has hitherto prevented me
from complying, as I wished, with the desire of your very obliging
favors.

You will have seen, by the proceedings of Parliament, how decided the
King is in prosecuting the American war. For, in truth, he alone is
Minister, and his will governs with absolute sway. At the same time
the powers which he has given to Lord Howe appear, from his
declaration in America, to be most ample. That, however, I rather
attribute to what is deemed the art of government, than to any pacific
or redressing intention. We can never forget the perfidy of making
Lord Botetourt declare to the assembly, that the revenue acts should
be repealed, when in fact no such thing was intended or done; and the
Secretary of State being ordered to tell the agents of Congress, that
his Majesty had received their petition very graciously, and from the
importance of it would lay it before his two Houses of Parliament,
when, at the same time, the same Secretary wrote, by his Majesty's
commands, to all the governors of America, denominating that very
Congress an illegal meeting, their grievances pretended, and ordering
them to prevent their meeting again. These facts are too decisive to
leave a doubt of the credit that is due to the promises of this Court,
and, at this very time, they are abusing the Howes for negotiating;
the language of Court being, "we sent them to use their hands, and
they are employing their heads."

The Rockingham part of the opposition are determined upon seceding
from Parliament, in which Lord Shelburne, Lord Camden, and the Duke of
Grafton refuse to accompany them for two reasons; 1st, because the
feelings of the public are not high enough for so decisive a measure;
and, 2dly, because the others will not agree to make the great
fundamental abuse of the constitution, as well as the temporary
misconduct of government, the groundwork of that secession. In a word,
because they will not declare, that the object of the measure is to
obtain the abolition of corruption, and not merely the change of those
who minister it. This schism will, however, reduce opposition so as to
leave the Court at perfect ease from that quarter.

I thank you for the magnanimity of your sentiments towards our
friends, on the supposition that the late occurrences are events of
consequence. I am by no means of that opinion. After the affair of
Long Island, the loss of New York was inevitable; but is not the
successful army still faced and kept at bay, by that over which it is
supposed to have obtained, these decisive advantages? Could any one
expect more from a new raised army, than that it should face the
disciplined invaders, almost equal in numbers, and much superior in
equipments, to win its way by inches. Where, then, is the ground for
despair, when our friends are looking the enemy in the face, and he
does not dare to attack them? Of two things, Sir, you may be
satisfied, that the advantage on Long Island was obtained neither by
the superiority of the troops nor of the General, but by his having
bribed the officer who commanded the first pass,[25] who giving up his
post, without suffering a gun to be fired, enabled Clinton to march in
the night and take the left wing of the Americans, so as to put them
between two fires, from much superior numbers, with an immense train
of artillery. The other fact is, that the officer who brought the last
despatches declares, that the American lines upon New York island
cannot be forced, but with a certainty of so much loss as cannot be
hazarded. General Howe will therefore try his former art of treachery
and corruption, from which alone I am satisfied we have anything to
fear.

The talk of the Congress having sent Deputies to Staten Island, to
negotiate with Lord Howe is not, that I know of, authenticated.

Adieu,

                                                           ARTHUR LEE.


FOOTNOTES:

[25] This wants proof before it can be adopted as a historical fact.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    SILAS DEANE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                                         Without date.

  Dear Sir,

I am still indebted to you for your favors of the 29th ultimo, and the
15th instant, to which I should earlier have replied, but for a slight
indisposition, and much chagrin at some unfavorable news. However, I
am recovering in health, with which my spirits return, and I keep ever
in my mind the motto _de republicâ nil desperandum_. I counted the
cost when I entered the lists, and balanced private fortune, ease,
leisure, the sweets of domestic society, and life itself in vain,
against the liberties of my country; the latter instantly
predominated, and I have nothing to complain of, though much to grieve
at, occasioned by the miscarriage or delay of my full powers for open
and public application. I sent you a memoir on American commerce, and
wish to know your sentiments on that subject. The vessel detained at
Bilboa has been dismissed, and the commissary reprimanded for her
detention, and ordered to lend the Captain every assistance he needed.
This is a great point gained. I must suspend saying anything on the
proposals of officers for entering the service of the American States,
as also anything further on the other artists I wrote about, until I
receive intelligence, which I hourly have long expected, and which I
think cannot possibly be far off, as I despatched a vessel early in
September, express, with an account of my situation, and that of
affairs here; besides, a war is evidently at hand here in Europe.

Mr Carmichael warmly described the kind reception you gave him, and
your zeal for the interest of the United States, and friendship for
me, which he might have spared, as every one of your letters
demonstrates the sincerity and disinterestedness of your friendship,
as well for my country as for myself; and as you value your being the
first Plenipotentiary of the American States, I equally value myself
on your friendship and correspondence in the part I have the honor of
acting with you in this important scene, and am happy to think, that
to the present or coming actors in, or spectators of, the foundation
and rise of this State in a new world, our correspondence will show
that our sentiments ever coincided. Be not discouraged, my dear
friend, America must come off in the end triumphant, and under new and
unprecedented laws, liberty, and commerce, be the happy asylum for the
sons of men in future ages. Whatsoever disappointments I may meet
with, I never will despair of my country, for which I shall count it
my glory to suffer all things, if it receive any advantage therefrom,
and if not, I shall at least enjoy the pleasure, the unalienable
pleasure, resulting from a consciousness of having done all in my
power for its happiness, and connectedly for the happiness of mankind
in general.

The temper of the times is in favor of America, and it is now as fresh
and striking an object to Europe as when first discovered and called
the new world. It is among my principal mortifications, that I cannot
have a few days at least personal conversation with you; but the
situation of affairs here will not allow of a moment's absence, which
Mr Carmichael, I doubt not, explained to you. With persons in public
or private, who are friendly, yet equally apprehensive of
consequences, willing to aid, yet timid, and at the same time not well
acquainted and informed, the task you are sensible is as laborious as
delicate, and at a time when events bear down arguments, one cannot be
released a moment from the closest attention to everything rising real
or imaginary. Your lady's kind preparations for me, Mr Carmichael most
affectionately mentioned, and I will, life permitting, the moment I
can quit Paris, in person acknowledge, as far as words are capable of
expressing, how sensible I am of this more than hospitable kindness,
since to provide for and receive the stranger on arrival is the duty
of hospitality, but here is a work of supererogation, and though no
Roman Catholic myself, yet so catholic as not the less to love and
esteem generous actions on all occasions. My most respectful and
affectionate regards, with my ardent wishes for your mutual felicity,
attend you.

I am, &c.

                                                          SILAS DEANE.

_P. S._ Pray for what sum per annum can a young man be educated at
Leyden, adhering to the strictest economy?

       *       *       *       *       *

                    SILAS DEANE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                           Paris, December 13th, 1776.

  Dear Sir,

I am indebted for two letters, and the same cause of my neglect, viz.
a hurry of business still subsisting, I cannot make amends by a long
letter in this, but the substance will be agreeable, which is, that Dr
Franklin is arrived at Nantes, and I expect him at Paris tomorrow. He
left Philadelphia the last of October, and everything was favorable in
America. On his passage the ship he was in made two prizes on this
coast. I received a letter from my venerable friend on his landing,
who was in high spirits and good health. Here is the hero, and
philosopher, and patriot, all united in this celebrated American, who,
at the age of seventyfour, risks all dangers for his country. I know
your heart rejoices with me on this occasion.

I am, with respect, &c.

                                                          SILAS DEANE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                WILLIAM CARMICHAEL TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                            Havre, January 21st, 1777.

  Dear Sir,

Were I to acknowledge the receipt of all the letters you mention
having written, it would be necessary to apologise for my silence;
this I fear would require a detail long enough to need still another
apology, which would be making it a labor _ad infinitum_. I shall,
therefore, only say, that from the heart of Germany, I am now on the
borders of the Atlantic, and that I have been on the gallop ever since
I parted with you at Leyden. No Saint in the calendar ever ran
through countries with more zeal to gain inhabitants for heaven, than
I have to do miracles on earth. But unfortunately it is not an age for
miracles. I am at present here to botch up a piece of work, which was
originally well imagined but badly executed.

You will no doubt have our Paris news from the prophet, who draws down
fire from heaven. I shall, therefore, only give you my comment on the
text, which is, that France has done too much and much too little. Too
much, since she alarmed England, and made that country put itself in a
better posture of defence than before; or at least, strengthened the
hands of her Ministers for that purpose; much too little, because,
depending even on that little, we looked not out elsewhere in time.

I am, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    ARTHUR LEE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                            Paris, January 26th, 1777.

  Dear Sir,

My having quitted London some time since to join my colleagues here,
is the reason you did not hear from me, as you complain in your last
letter to Mr Deane. As I am soon to leave this place for one very
remote,[26] I am afraid this will be the last letter I shall have the
honor of writing to you.

There are so many and more immediate calls for the attention of the
Congress, that we are not surprised at not receiving any intelligence
from them. We learn too, from Havre, that despatches for us have been
intercepted at sea, so that we remain totally uninformed by authority
relative to the state of things in America. We hope the best, and if
the powers of Europe are not so totally blind to their own interest as
to refuse maintaining that freedom and enjoyment of our commerce,
which our declaration of Independence offers them, their support will
save us much distress and blood. The liberties, however, and
redemption which we work out through labor and endurance will be more
precious.

By accounts from London, the press for seamen produces little, though
their merchant ships are stopped in their ports, and insurance from
Jamaica, with convoy, is risen to twentyfive per cent. During the last
war it never amounted to more than seven.

Our cruisers, therefore, appear to do their duty. Had we anything of a
fleet to assist them, England would soon repent of a war, they have so
unjustly engaged in, and from which they have not wisdom to retreat.

No nation seems more interested in opening our commerce, by abolishing
the British monopoly, than the Dutch. The carrying trade by which they
flourish must be greatly increased by the change. It would also very
infallibly reduce that natural power and superiority at sea, which the
English exercise with so much insolence, and the sinews of which are
derived from America by their usurpation and tyranny; and yet, such is
the pusillanimity of the times, the States are crouching to the
English, and in effect aiding them in confirming that tyranny and
those advantages. It is astonishing, that the smallest power in Europe
should fear Great Britain, at a time when she is set at defiance by
America alone, yet in its infancy, and laboring under so many
disadvantages.

I wish you every happiness, &c.

                                                           ARTHUR LEE.


FOOTNOTES:

[26] A journey to Spain.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    B. FRANKLIN TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                            Paris, January 29th, 1777.

My dear friend may be assured, that the omission of writing to him for
so long a time either by Mr Deane, or myself, was not in the least
owing to any want of respect, or change of sentiment towards him, but
merely from the extreme hurry we have been engaged in ever since my
arrival, which has prevented our writing to many other of our
correspondents. I now enclose several letters, one of which was
written by me when in Philadelphia, and sent via Martinique; Mr Deane
has but this day received it; another that I wrote soon after my
arrival, which has been mislaid.

I hope you and yours are in good health, and good spirits, as we are,
not doubting of the success of our affairs, with God's blessing. We
have nothing to complain of here.

I have taken a lodging at Passy, where I shall be in a few days, and
hope there to find a little leisure, free from the perpetual
interruption I suffer here, by the crowds continually coming in, some
offering goods, others soliciting offices in our army, &c. I shall
then be able to write you fully. Be of good cheer, and do not believe
half what you read in the English gazettes.

With great esteem, I am ever,

                                                          B. FRANKLIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    WILLIAM LEE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                             London, March 21st, 1777.

  Sir,

Government here has received within these ten days past, several
expresses from General Howe, at New York, in North America, as late as
the 19th of last February, which are, in every respect, very
disagreeable indeed. He writes in severe terms against General
Heister, whom he calls _an old woman_ in the field, and a stupid and
incorrigible blockhead in the cabinet; he also says, that the Hessians
and other Germans are the worst troops under his command, and are not
fit to be trusted in any business; he has, therefore, desired several
particular English officers to be sent to command them; some of them
that he has pointed out have refused to go on such a forlorn hope; but
General Burgoyne, much against his will, is, it seems, obliged to go,
and one Colonel Charles Gray, who was only a Lieutenant-Colonel upon
half pay, has agreed to go, being appointed to a regiment, with the
rank of a Major-General in America.

General Howe has with some difficulty and considerable loss got his
troops back to New York, that had attempted to make good their
situation at Brunswick, in the Jersies. He has recalled the greater
part of those troops that had been sent to Rhode Island. At New York
they were in the greatest distress for all kinds of fresh provisions
and vegetables; at the same time, a fever, similar to the plague,
prevailed there, that in all probability before the Spring will carry
off to the Elysian shades, at least one half of the troops that remain
there, and prepare an immediate grave for the Germans, and all the
other troops that are about to be sent to that infected place. At the
same time we learn that the American army under General Washington
increases in numbers every day, and being accustomed to the climate,
have kept the field in all the severe weather. Notwithstanding this
melancholy prospect of affairs, our papers talk of a foreign war, but
in my opinion we are in no condition to engage in one, for you may be
assured, that we have not in the kingdom sailors enough to man fifteen
ships of the line, though you may see thirty or forty ships put in
commission, as the public prints will tell you. And as to soldiers,
the draft for America has been so great, that we have not ten thousand
in the whole island, yet our Ministers have lately attempted to bully
the States of Holland by a high flying memorial relative to the
conduct of some of their governors in the West Indies. It might,
however, be attended with very serious consequences if the Hollanders
were to take their money out of the English funds.

                                                          WILLIAM LEE.

_P. S._ If you please, insert the foregoing in the Dutch, Brussels,
Francfort and Hamburg papers.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    SILAS DEANE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                                Paris, April 2d, 1777.

  Sir,

Mr Carmichael, who has regularly corresponded with you, has given you
the salutation from time to time for myself. I have really had no
leisure for several months to write a single letter, but what the
instant necessity of the time required, and am much obliged to you for
the regular information we have through him from you. Enclosed I send
you a bill for one thousand florins, which you will receive, and
credit the Congress for the same. As you have said nothing, at any
time, on the subject of your disbursements for the Congress, the
Commissioners are ignorant of your situation in that respect, and have
desired me to send you the enclosed bill, and to ask of you to favor
them with the general state of your disbursements, and to assure you
that they are too sensible of the services you are rendering their
country, to wish you to remain without an adequate reward. We have no
intelligence of any kind from America since the 1st of March last, and
you have been informed of the situation of our affairs at that time.

I am, &c.

                                                          SILAS DEANE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                          The Hague, April 12th, 1777.

  Gentlemen,

The letter of the date of October 24th, 1776, with which you have
honored me, did not arrive till the 4th of February of this year.
Sensible, as I ought to be, Gentlemen, of the great honor you do me in
charging me to continue with you the correspondence, which Dr Franklin
commenced and maintained with me on the affairs of the United States,
I am only able to repeat, what I have written to him and to the
honorable Committee of Foreign Affairs, of which he was then a member,
that I will ever impose on myself a sacred law to answer your
confidence and expectation. You will have here annexed a copy of
letters, which have been written to me by the French Ministers at the
Hague, the Abbé Desnoyers and the Duc de la Vauguyon. You will easily
conjecture the contents of those, which I wrote to them, and which are
too long to recite here; moreover, a copy of the whole was not
preserved.

As to what you add, Gentlemen, that my expenses and labors shall be
reimbursed and compensated, I have the honor to say to you, that I
should esteem myself the most happy of men, in being able to make
without return all the advances and services of which you have need,
to sustain this memorable war. The Supreme Being, who sees the depth
of my heart, is witness to the truth of this sentiment in all its
extent. But to my great regret, although without shame, I avow myself
as poor in means as rich in good will. The draft remitted to me by Dr
Franklin, of one hundred pounds sterling, on London, has been paid. On
the other hand, since I received Dr Franklin's letter and the orders
of the Committee, I have not hesitated to sacrifice to a commission so
important, so honorable, and so agreeable to my principles and taste,
not only a small running pension of sixty pounds, which a bookseller
paid me for a part of my time, that was devoted to a work, an account
of which I communicated to Dr Franklin some years since, but also
about seventy pounds, which I have already received for part of the
work delivered, without which, considering my other actual duties, it
would have been impossible for me to have time to attend to the
execution of these orders. If I add to this at least fifty pounds,
that I have spent in postages, travelling charges, and other expenses,
I find myself at this time seventy pounds at least in advance. But I
should be very sorry, Gentlemen, that what I say here, should turn you
an instant from the important duties requiring your constant
attention. For the same reason, I have been unwilling to interrupt
with these details the occupations of our gentlemen at Paris. If
(which God forbid) America have not the success which my heart
desires, her misfortunes will afflict me infinitely more than my loss.
But if, on the contrary, I shall have the satisfaction to see liberty
established and her prosperity secured, I doubt not she will render me
an ample indemnity and reward.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                WILLIAM CARMICHAEL TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                              Paris, April 28th, 1777.

  Sir,

Although nothing new has happened to us here worthy of notice, I take
up my pen merely to assure you, that our want of punctuality is not
owing to want of friendship or respect. To entertain you with
continued complaints of the inactivity of the European powers, is a
subject which I wish to banish as much from my thoughts, as I do our
enemies from our country. We are now acting a play which pleases all
the spectators, but none seem inclined to pay the performers. All that
we seem likely to obtain from them is applause. When I say all, I mean
anything that will materially help our cause. This campaign will
decide the fate of the war, though it may not finish it. The want of
resolution in the House of Bourbon to assist us in the hour of
distress will be an argument with our people, if successful, to form
no binding connexions with them. If conquered, they will follow the
conduct of the unsupported Scots, in the war of 1745.

In the meantime, they, to secure the little assistance which other
Princes may be induced to give them, must offer a share of that
commerce to others, which France might have wholly to itself. England
is now offering to relinquish a share of a lucrative commerce to
France, on condition that the latter shuts its ports against us. But a
few weeks ago an English agent assured me, that the English
Administration saw through the designs of the House of Bourbon, saw
that they meant to weaken us both, and by that means command us, and
he offered every security America could wish, to preserve its
liberties as they stood in the year 1763, and a repeal of such acts as
bound their trade previous to that, only that they must so far comply
with the King's humor, as not to give up his sovereignty, which would
be of no use to him, were the privileges of the Americans extended to
the latitude mentioned.

To be the instrument of inducing my countrymen to accept these terms,
the possession of an affluent income was offered to be secured to me
in any part of the world I chose, whether successful or not in the
attempt. You may judge how our conference ended. One reason why I am
induced to stay in Europe is, that I should be obliged to give, in
America, a faithful account of the situation of their affairs in
Europe; as I am sure that the picture would be worth more to England,
than their subsidies to your hero, the Margrave of Hesse. We shall
never be the subjects of the British Crown, I believe, but unless
openly assisted by a power in Europe, we shall be an impoverished
people, unable to distress our enemies abroad, or to assist our
friends. I am so confident myself of the interior weakness of England,
that I would sacrifice my life on the issue, that if France, Spain,
and the Emperor, would only agree to acknowledge the independence of
the United States, there would not be occasion to strike a blow; from
that moment the credit of England would be no more inspirited by such
a resolution taken in our favor in Europe; we would drive her armies
from America, and soon her fleets from our coasts; but these generous
resolutions subsist not in European politics. I hoped to have soon
seen you, but your last letter, and one from Sir George Grand, have
altered my resolution on that head. I have been laboring here to put
you in such a situation as to enable you to follow the dictates of
your own generous hearts in serving us more effectually, but the
torpedo has struck us too.

Adieu,

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

         THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                          Philadelphia, May 8th, 1777.

  Sir,

We have received your several favors to the first of May,[27] and
shall always have a grateful memory of your sentiments and exertions
in our cause. But as we have new Commissioners settled in France, we
think it needless that you should be at the trouble of forwarding to
us from time to time, that collection of papers, which we formerly
mentioned to you. We shall inform our friends at Paris of our opinion
on this head, and leave it to them to point out the way in which your
zeal may be most useful to them and us, with the least degree of
trouble to yourself and injury to your domestic interests.

The humility of the Count de Welderen's Memorial seems to have been
followed by some positive orders to our disadvantage in the West
Indies. We doubt not you will continue to give our Commissioners at
Paris the fullest information on all such points, from whom we shall
consequently obtain it.

We have the honor to be, &c.

                                                       BENJ. HARRISON,
                                                       ROBERT MORRIS,
                                                       JAMES LOVELL.


FOOTNOTES:

[27] Thus in the original, but probably an error in the month, as this
letter is dated on the eight of May.

       *       *       *       *       *

                WILLIAM CARMICHAEL TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                                 Paris, May 9th, 1777.

  Sir,

At length we have an opportunity of discovering, what we have long
imagined, the arts which the English government has made use of to
circulate their various falsehoods through Europe, respecting their
affairs in America. Their packet from Hardwick to Helvoetsluys is
fallen into our hands, with every letter from the Ministry and others,
though I make no doubt, that they will give out, that their most
important letters are saved. Such a report will answer more ends than
one. It will set at peace the alarmed consciences, or rather
apprehensions of their correspondents. We have it under Lord Suffolk's
Secretary's hands, Mr Fraser, and Mr Eden, that government had no
advices from New York on the last of April, but that at this
particular period, when the eyes of all the world would be upon them,
viz. when opening the budget, it was necessary to toss out a tub to
the whale, for which reason it was thought necessary to ---- General
Washington, and to put Mr Dickenson at the head of five thousand men,
in the lower counties of Delaware. A very curious reason is given for
promulgating the latter lie, that the less probability there appears
to be in it, the more readily the world will believe it; for will they
imagine that Ministers dare circulate what no one will imagine true?
And they appeal to former untruths of similar absurdity, which had
their effect, and when found false were overlooked by the indulgent
public.

The line of Sir Joseph Yorke's conduct is marked and curious, as well
as that of their Minister at _another Court_; our plan did not wholly
take effect, or we should have had his despatches likewise.

The miserable Prince of Hesse affords his friends in England some
merriment, but he can make use of the old adage,--_let them laugh who
win_. He has the absurdity to be angry with your Gazetteer of Utrecht,
and the English news writers; and his Minister there is ordered to
complain on the subject. The reflections of the English Minister, Lord
Suffolk, on this complaint, are as curious as they are just, and merit
well reaching the Prince. If he bribes me with a part of his
slave-money, he shall have the letter at length, signed "Suffolk." I
always said, and have now proof positive before me, that in the height
of English arrogance and success, their Chatham-aping Minister, Lord
George Germain, meant to hold the same language to France, that they
unfortunately did to Holland, and were prepared, should this Court
show the least refractoriness, to begin the same game they played in
1756. An open war they have never feared from France, for they were
well assured that would not be the case, but the French preparation
gave them a good excuse for arming completely, and for drawing money
from the people, and the American Minister, Lord George Germain, was
too shrewd to let slip an opportunity. We paid so much respect to your
States, that we would not seize Sir Joseph Yorke's messenger in the
packet from Helvoetsluys, for we could have boarded her with as much
ease as the others.

I have not time to communicate the thousand little particulars, which
have lately been inspected by me, but hope to have a future
opportunity of doing it. Our captain, being in search of bank bills,
and bills of exchange, did not pay much attention to _personages_, for
which I am heartily vexed; however, good nature must make allowances.
This matter will occasion a little bustle, perhaps a great deal. I had
rather be sent home to fight manfully, or to make peace politically,
than to be in this miserable shilly-shally way here. I have the
pleasure to acquaint you that Hopkins's squadron, all but two, have
got to sea, so that Sir Peter Parker may write information to the
Ministry, and this will be giving a good account of them as he
promised. Our levies went on swimmingly, and had the Howes, sent out
from here, arrived there when it was intended they should, we should
have pushed Howe again to Halifax.

I am, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    B. FRANKLIN TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                    Passy, near Paris, May 12th, 1777.

  Sir,

Last night we received a packet from North America with some advices,
of which I send you the substance. I see your letters now and then to
Mr Deane and Mr Carmichael, and thank you for the kind mention made of
me in them. I am so bad a correspondent, that I do not desire a letter
from you directly.

But I am nevertheless, with great esteem, dear Sir, your affectionate
friend,

                                                          B. FRANKLIN.

_P. S._ I suppose Mr Deane has sent you the bill.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                            Amsterdam, May 16th, 1777.

  Gentlemen,

I send you, with some gazettes, an extract of my last despatch, and a
piece entitled "_Advice to the Hessians_," which, having passed about
in manuscript through this country, was afterwards printed in a
handbill, and at length inserted in the periodicals. The day before
yesterday, the 14th, the bookseller Rey received from the Hague the
following note, which he immediately sent to me at a country house,
where I am residing, thinking I might know the person interested,
which I do not. "Mr Rey is desired to inform the author of '_Advice to
the Hessians_' to quit Holland immediately. Orders are despatched to
arrest him." I am not at present at the Hague, but as soon as I shall
be able to return thither I will inform myself of this affair. In the
meantime I think it is false that they have given such orders, and
that this letter was only written to intimidate, as was that written
from Cassel to one of our journalists.

I am sorry not to be able to devote all my time to your service. I
might contract many connexions and acquaintances, and make some
useful journeys, profiting by favorable circumstances and moments both
at the Hague and Amsterdam, which I am now obliged to let escape, not
being able to go and remain as long as is necessary in these cities.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    SILAS DEANE TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                                Paris, June 7th, 1777.

  Sir,

I understand that the British Minister's emissaries are very busy in
Holland propagating reports of an accommodation between the Congress
and Great Britain. They are playing the same game here. I have long
since been convinced that there is no action too atrocious for them to
attempt, nor any report too ridiculous and improbable for them to
propagate to serve their purposes. The last authentic intelligence
from Congress, or from New York, was about the 10th of April, when
there was not the least prospect of any accommodation. The sole
overture that had been made was a hint, I may say, from General Lee,
that Lord and General Howe wished to renew a conference with the
Congress, and to open a treaty, to which the Congress replied they
would neither confer nor treat till their independence should be
acknowledged. You will therefore see at once how very little ground
there is for such kind of assertions.

I have seen such strange and unexpected events, as well as been
witness to such extraordinary conduct, that I am almost beyond being
surprised at anything; yet should an accommodation take place between
those contending nations, whilst the Congress have the least prospect
of foreign succor and support, I confess I shall be greatly surprised.
But if the British Ministry, as they roundly assert, are assured that
no power in Europe will countenance the United States in their
independence, and if they can bring the Congress to believe the same,
who will be surprised if they make terms, and accommodate, rather than
hazard longer a contest with the most formidable power in Europe, and
its allies, without prospect on their part of aid or support? I say,
who will be surprised, or rather who will not be surprised, should
they still persist in continuing the war unsupported? However, I, who
know my countrymen perfectly, and the principles by which they are
actuated, do not believe they will ever accommodate on terms lower
than independence; yet in the same situation, and with the same offers
made them, I am certain any other people in the world would
accommodate.

You are not to impute what I say to vanity. I am not raising my
countrymen above every other nation in the world; far from it; but
they are a new people, and have certain notions, that are either new
in the world, or have been so long unpractised upon, and unheard of,
except in the speculations of philosophers, that it is difficult,
perhaps impossible, to compare them with any other nation.
Unprejudiced reason, and plain common sense, will enable the few to
judge; but the many, the ninetynine of one hundred at least, will
determine as usual by the event. I am not fond of bold assertions or
predictions, but I dare hazard my credit upon it, that either no
accommodation on any terms will take place, or, if it does, a war in
Europe will be the immediate consequence; and I submit it to the
consideration of those Ministers and politicians, who are afraid to
offend Great Britain now, whilst America alone employs more than her
whole natural force, how they will be able to contend with her when at
peace and on good terms, perhaps in alliance with America.

Universal monarchy has at many periods been feared from the House of
Bourbon, and England has been exhausted to prevent it; she has engaged
allies pretendedly to keep the balance of power in Europe, as it is
ridiculously and unintelligibly termed by European politicians; but
you will permit an American to give his sentiments; they may at least
divert and make you smile. From the period when the feudal system
prevailed over all Europe, when every lord was sovereign, to this
hour, the number of kingdoms or distinct powers in Europe has been
decreasing, and if we look three centuries back, and reckon up the
distinct powers then existing and compare them with those of the
present, and extend our view forward, the whole must at some not very
distant period be brought into one; for not an age passes, and scarce
a single war without annihilating or swallowing up several of them.
But from what quarter is this universal empire in Europe to originate?
I answer negatively; not from the House of Bourbon, though formidable
for its connexions and alliances in the South; but I will venture to
predict, that if Great Britain, by forming an accommodation of
friendship and alliance with the United States, renders herself, as by
that measure she easily can, mistress of that world, by taking the
affairs of the East Indies into her own hands, she will be in
possession of exhaustless treasure, and in 1780 the charter of the
East India Company expires, when both the territory and commerce will
be at her disposal. Add to all this her strict and close alliance
with Russia. I say, that laying these circumstances together, it is
easy to foresee, that Great Britain, America, and Russia united, will
command not barely Europe, but the whole world united.

Russia like America is a new State, and rises with the most
astonishing rapidity. Its demand for British manufactures, and its
supplies of raw materials, increase nearly as fast as the American;
and when both come to centre in Great Britain, the riches as well as
power of that kingdom will be unparalleled in the annals of Europe, or
perhaps of the world; like a Colossus with one foot on Russia and the
East, and the other on America, it will bestride, as Shakspeare says,
your poor European world, and the powers which now strut and look big,
_will creep about between its legs to find dishonorable graves_.

I dare say you smile at my prophecy, but you will observe it is a
conditional one, and I am persuaded, like most other prophecies, will
neither be believed nor understood, until verified by the event,
which, at the same time, I am laboring like my good predecessors of
old, (who prophecied grievous things,) to prevent taking place if
possible; for it is my ultimate and early wish that America may
forever be as unconnected with the politics or interests of Europe, as
it is by nature situated distant from it, and that the friendly ties
arising from a free, friendly, and independent commerce may be the
only ties between us.

Adieu,

                                                          SILAS DEANE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                WILLIAM CARMICHAEL TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                               Paris, June 13th, 1777.

  Sir,

We are still without any news from America, except what we get by the
way of England. The campaign was not opened the end of April, Howe
being scarce of provisions, and without forage. I have seen a letter
from an English officer in the service, dated the 25th of that month,
and have been much pleased with the sight of it; a horrid pleasure,
which derives its source from the prospect of human misery. The flux
raged much in the army of the Philistines, as the saints of New
England style it, owing to their food, salted meat, and no vegetables.
I believe a certain brig, from a place called Rotterdam, has fallen
into the hands of the chosen people, for one of my countrymen crossed
the Atlantic in a small vessel of about twenty tons, on purpose to
take her; at least he informs me that he had carried into Cherbourg a
brig laden with about two hundred hogsheads of Geneva, some pitch,
oil, &c. from Rotterdam; which said articles will, before this reaches
you, be metamorphised into louis d'ors of France.

I have crossed the Chesapeake in this very ferry boat, in which my
bold countryman crossed the Atlantic. I had been told by a man high in
office in England, that resistance was a chimera in us, since their
armed vessels would swarm so much in our rivers, as even to intercept
the ferry-boats. His assertions are verified _vice versa_; our
ferry-boats ruin their commerce. You smile, and think me amusing you.
Be assured that is not the case. This very little boat took on her
passage another brig of two hundred tons from Alicant, and sent her
into America; she also took four or five vessels in the Channel,
chiefly smugglers, and plundered them of their cash, and the Captain
being a good natured fellow let them go, as he did a transport, which
he took in sight of a man-of-war, and was obliged to give her up,
bringing off, however, with him his people. He has promised for the
future to burn those he cannot send in, and I believe will be as good
as his word. This is the way the English serve not only ours, but the
French vessels, which they take on our coast. The Captain tells me, he
was told this last circumstance by several French Captains, whom he
saw prisoners, (himself a prisoner) at New York. The eyes of this
Court will be opened, it is to be hoped, before it is too late, a war
being inevitable, in my opinion, to force an accommodation. They will
unite with us on our own terms, and discerning from the past how
little effective assistance we have to hope from France for the
future, will make a war with this nation one article of the Federal
Union. Whichever strikes first will probably succeed. Our valuable
commerce is more hurt on the French coast than on our own. We have
lost above £60,000 sterling, from South Carolina only, all which was
coming to be laid out for French manufactures. It is a fact at
present, that the manufacturers of this country cannot execute so fast
as they receive orders.

The English papers published by the authority of General Howe, at New
York, tell with triumph, that one of their cruisers has sunk a twenty
gun French ship at some distance from the Delaware, and every soul
perished. We have some fears that this is the Amphitrite. Another ship
was taken, French property, a few leagues from the harbor of St
Pierre, which she had just quitted. If they dare do this in their
present critical situation, what will they not dare if successful, or
at peace and united with us?

I wrote you before what I repeat again, that had General Howe got
possession of Philadelphia last winter, as insolent a Memorial as that
presented by Sir Joseph York, would have been presented by Lord
Stormont here, and had not their demands been instantly complied with,
the immediate destruction of the French commerce would have been the
consequence. All the navy, all the army contracts are made, for five
years, in England. Letters of marque were given to contractors, and
friends of government, for what? To cruise against our trade? No; but
to be ready at a signal given, to enrich themselves by the first
captures on the French nation; for the gleanings of our commerce are
no object to a private adventurer, assured as the English Ministry are
of the pacific intentions of this Court. From the quarter I mentioned
to you in my last, they will try his patience, and they do right, for
the only hope they now have of conquering us is to deprive us of the
means of resistance, and the hopes of foreign aid, which keeps up the
spirits of the people. If the Amphitrite is really lost, General
Washington will open the campaign without any of their military
stores, so long promised, and so vainly expected, except about twelve
thousand muskets.

We expect with impatience direct news from America; the moment it
arrives I will communicate it to you. The gentlemen are well, and beg
me to present compliments.

I am, Dear Sir, yours, &c.

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

_P. S._ You will not mention publicly, for particular reasons, the
history of the little privateer. When the Captain of our small
privateer boarded the transport, and told him he was his prisoner, he
very insolently asked where his ship was, not conceiving that any
person would have crossed the ocean in so small a boat.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                                      June 14th, 1777.

  Gentlemen,

I have escaped, as much as I am able, from my chains, to make journeys
to the Hague, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam, in order to maintain and
increase useful acquaintances; and when I obtain any light I
communicate it to friends. The great majority, almost the whole of our
merchants, are for you. The regencies of our cities, and among others
Amsterdam, seem to take part with the Court, which is allied with and
friendly to England. But all this is precarious, and will change with
your fortune. Let us hear of a successful campaign, and your friends
will show themselves, your partizans will multiply; they will lose by
degrees this panic terror for a power, that is not loved by the
multitude. These persons are chiefly large annuitants, whose hearts
are in the sources of their income.

Another important truth, which I have learned at Amsterdam, is that no
banking house is willing to take part, to the amount of a shilling, in
the loan of five millions sterling, which England has raised, because
they were not content with the offered premium and with her solidity,
nor sure of selling the stock in detail. Distrust increases here, in
proportion as England sinks. The premium ought to be two and a half
per cent, but we know that in England even the bankers are content
with their sales in detail at five eights per cent.

I have made acquaintance and connexion with a House, to whom I shall
address in future all my despatches for you, and under cover to whom
you may in safety address to me your letters, viz. Messrs Lalande &
Fynge, merchants, Amsterdam. If you will send me regularly, by your
vessels going to St Eustatia and Curaçoa, one at least of your best
public papers to the address above pointed out, or in the packets of
friends in France, I will make good use of it for your service in our
periodical papers. They complain everywhere of knowing nothing of your
affairs, but what the English wish Europe should know; and on this
subject we have often to wait some months before the truth is unfolded
from a heap of impostures, which do not fail sometimes to answer the
malice of your enemies in leaving false impressions on minds, which I
wish to be able to destroy in their birth.

I have the Honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                                     August 22d, 1777.

  Gentlemen,

In spite of my extreme circumspection, your enemies are not altogether
without knowledge of me, and, not able to persecute me openly, are
endeavoring secretly to deprive me of my post in this country. I sent
an account yesterday to Paris, and today to a certain person at the
Hague, of what has happened to me. I am sustained in all my losses by
the firm resolution to live and die the faithful servant of United
America, and by consequence, also, with the most profound respect for
the honorable General Congress and yourselves. God bless your just
arms.

_September 5th._--It would be useless for me to give you copies of the
last letters that I wrote to Paris. They chiefly concern myself; and I
await their answers. I will say only in general here, that from the
moment when I was first honored with your orders and your confidence,
I have devoted to you in every event, my person, services, and
fidelity; and this for the love I bear to your cause, and on the most
perfect conviction of its justice. I have conducted myself in the
execution of your orders with all imaginable prudence, circumspection,
and patience. At last, however, I am the victim of the suspicions and
implacable hatred of your enemies. They have found it an easy task to
injure me indirectly in the sordid, ungrateful, and treacherous heart
of a person on whom my fortune depended, and who is devoted to them. I
should be ruined, with my family, if I had not firm confidence of
receiving in your service the annual stipend allotted for their
subsistence, of which I have been deprived. To this injustice they
have added the insult of tempting me by deceitful offers, which I
rejected with disdain, because I could not accept them without
exposing your secrets, or at least degrading the character with which
you have honored me, in the eyes of those who have knowledge of it. My
refusal has exasperated them against me; they will secretly ruin me as
far as they are able. But I have said enough of myself.

Your enemies have begun to take the Dutch vessels in Europe as well
as in America; among others, one for St Eustatia. They are impatient
at Amsterdam to know how the Regency will take this; and they write me
that this circumstance will, probably, be the cause of the detention
of vessels, bound for the Islands, two months in this port.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                        The Hague, October 14th, 1777.

  Gentlemen,

If I do not speak to you in all my letters, of the person with whom
you know I am connected at the Hague, it is not because this connexion
does not continue daily, but because it is sufficient to give an
account of our conferences to your honorable commission in Europe, and
also, considering the time that my packets are on the way, my reports
would be as superfluous and useless to you, as they would be long and
difficult to decypher, or dangerous to transmit without cypher. The
enemy alone would be able to profit by them. Moreover, I doubt not but
your Commissioners transmit to you the result of all that passes.

Our States-General are assembled; and they have begun with labors,
which by no means please your enemies. The first was to make a claim
directly, in the name of their High Mightinesses, upon the English
Minister for the Dutch vessel destined for St Eustatia, and taken in
the Channel by an English vessel of war, under the pretext that the
vessel was American built. (The Dutch had purchased her at Halifax.)
Our States have sent instructions on this subject to their Envoy at
London, with orders to have discontinued whatever process has been
instituted by the captor before the English Judges against this
vessel; and an order also to the owners of the vessel and cargo not to
plead before the Judges, because they have proved here, that they had
conformed in all things to the laws of this country, and to its
conventions with Great Britain. We are impatient here to learn the
answer of England.

Their second debate was on a petition in very strong terms, signed by
a hundred of the principal commercial houses of Amsterdam, (except the
house of Hope, devoted to England) for the purpose of asking a convoy
for their vessels going to the West Indies.

I have all this from the best authority; as also that the party of
your enemies in this country, though yet considerable, are visibly
losing their influence, and cannot fail to seccumb, especially if the
English continue to seize our vessels, and if they wish to engage this
Republic to involve itself in a war on their account; for we desire
here to be at peace with all the world.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                                 December, 16th, 1777.

  Gentlemen,

I congratulate you, and the honorable Congress, and all United America
with all my heart. This news (Burgoyne's capture) has made the
greatest possible sensation in this country; a deep consternation
among those who have all their interest in England; a marked joy
among those who hate your enemies. My correspondent at Amsterdam
writes thus. "Many thanks for the prompt advice of the affair so
glorious for our friends. Letters from England received here this
morning confirm it entirely. All was in motion today in our _cafés_
and on the exchange. The royalists here are entirely depressed, and
even fear the like catastrophe for General Howe, if he hazard himself
further into the country." This news has made an astonishing
impression everywhere; all is considered lost to the English.

_December 19th._--I have received advice from my correspondents, to
whom I had forwarded packets according to your orders, by which they
inform me, under date of 26th of September and 18th of October, of
having received and forwarded my packets for you. My correspondent at
Amsterdam, who transmitted them to me, has pointed me to the following
passage. "The Anti-Americans are not yet recovered from their fright;
they see the Americans at present with a different eye, and desire
strongly that the Ministry may be changed, that by mild means we may
obtain peace as favorable as possible." Another writes from Rotterdam;
"I received on the 11th, the account of the victory of General Gates.
It was pulled out of my hands. I pray you as soon as you receive
advice, that Howe has done as well as Burgoyne, to let me have the
great pleasure of knowing it first, that I may regale many persons
with the news. You cannot think what a bustle there is yet in all
companies and _cafés_ about this affair, and how they fall on the
English Ministers."

We have confirmation from Germany of the increasing obstructions,
which the levying of recruits against America meets with.

I this moment learn that the States-General have despatched messengers
of State extraordinary to all the Provinces; and it cannot be doubted
that the contents of their despatches, which are kept secret, relate
only to the catastrophe which the English have suffered in America,
and to the consequences which it is presumed it will have, as well on
this side of the ocean as on the other.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                          The Hague, April 14th, 1778.

  Gentlemen,

I have the satisfaction of being able to apprize you, that since the
declaration of France, made here the 18th of March, affairs have taken
in this country a most favorable turn. My last journey to Amsterdam
has not been useless. But I cannot trust to paper, and to the
vicissitudes of so long a voyage, the detail of my operations. I
constantly give information to your honorable Commissioners, to whom I
write almost every post. I will say only in general, that the cabal of
your enemies fails in all the attempts it has made to engage this
Republic to put herself in the breach for them. The Republic is firmly
determined to the most perfect neutrality, if there be war; and I wait
only the letters of the honorable Commissioners at Paris, whom I have
requested to propose a friendship and commerce direct and avowed
between your States and theirs.[28]

We are preparing a third piece upon credit. I will add copies of it to
my packet when it is printed.

At the moment I am about to seal my packet, I learn for certain, "that
Lord Chatham on the 7th of April in the House of Lords pleaded with so
much warmth for not giving up the dependence of America, nor giving
away the Americans, because he considered them a hereditament of the
Prince of Wales, the Bishop of Osnaburgh, and the whole royal line of
Brunswick, that he fainted away, but was soon recovered by the aid of
two physicians. He confessed however that he did not know what the
means were of preserving both."

I have the honor, &c.

                                                            DUMAS.[29]


FOOTNOTES:

[28] On this subject see a letter to M. Dumas in the Commissioners'
Correspondence, Vol. I. p. 463.

[29] For a letter from the Committee of Foreign Affairs to M. Dumas,
dated May 14th, 1778, see the Correspondence of the Commissioners in
France, Vol. I. p. 386.

       *       *       *       *       *

             TO M. VAN BERCKEL, PENSIONARY OF AMSTERDAM.

                                                      July 27th, 1778.

  Sir,

Directed by the Plenipotentiaries of the United States of America in
Paris, to send you the annexed copy of a treaty of amity and commerce
concluded between France and the said United States, with the
testimony of the high esteem and consideration they have for you in
particular, and for all the honorable members of the Regency of
Amsterdam in general, I acquit myself of these orders with all the
satisfaction and eagerness, which my respectful devotion to the
interest of this Republic dictates. The Plenipotentiaries pray you,
Sir, to communicate this treaty in such a manner that copies of it may
not be multiplied, until they have written me that it may be published
and in the hands of all the world. I have carried this morning to Mr
---- a like copy with the same request.

I add to this a proclamation of Congress that I have received, and the
communication of which I think will give you pleasure. It will appear
in the Gazettes in French and Dutch, and ought to satisfy all the
maritime powers, no less than it does honor to the sagacity and equity
of Congress.

I am, with the truest respect, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                  M. VAN BERCKEL TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                           Amsterdam, July 31st, 1778.

  Sir,

I am much obliged to you for the kindness you have done, in sending me
the copy of the treaty of amity and commerce, concluded between France
and the United States of America. And as it was at the request of the
Plenipotentiaries of the said United States, may I venture to ask you
to testify to those gentlemen the gratitude of the Regency of
Amsterdam in general, and my own in particular, for this mark of
distinction. May we hope that circumstances will permit us soon to
give evidence of the high esteem we have for the new republic, clearly
raised up by the help of Providence, while the spirit of despotism is
subdued; and let us desire to make leagues of amity and commerce
between the respective subjects, which shall last even to the end of
time. What troubles me is, that it is not in our power to make the
other members of the government do as we could wish; in which case the
Republic would be at once disposed to another course. But I am
persuaded that the Americans are too wise not to penetrate the true
causes, or to attribute the inaction of ---- until the present time
to any want of esteem and affection for the United States.

This Republic is full of people who think rightly, but there will be
found here, as elsewhere, partizans of a certain system, who, by their
ignorance or stupidity, or by the wickedness of their hearts and
abominable vices, hinder the people from doing as much as they could
wish. I expect to hear important news in the actual circumstances of
Europe, and am impatient to receive some, which may have a good effect
on the affair in question. I shall take care that the abovementioned
treaty does not go into bad hands, and that no copy be made before the
time.[30]

                                                          VAN BERCKEL.


FOOTNOTES:

[30] For other particulars on this subject, see the Correspondence of
the Commissioners in France, Vol. I. pp. 376, 456, 463.

       *       *       *       *       *

                          TO M. VAN BERCKEL.

                                         The Hague, August 17th, 1778.

  Sir,

I have had the honor of informing you, that I intended answering your
favor of the 31st of July last, wherein you did me the honor of
charging me to send to the Plenipotentiaries of the United States of
America, in Paris, the testimony of the satisfaction that had been
given to the honorable Regency of your city and to you in particular,
by the transmission of a copy of their treaty of amity and commerce
with France. Not only has your request been complied with, by
transmitting to those gentlemen a copy of your letter, but I did
more; for having occasion at the same time to write to America
directly, I have added another copy for Congress. That body,
therefore, will, without delay, be informed of the benevolent sympathy
which the Republic in her turn feels for her worthy sister, as also of
the happy effects which this sympathy cannot fail to produce, when the
obstacle unfortunately attached to the ship shall have lost the power
of obstructing her progress. Meantime, continue, Sir, by your
patriotic efforts, to clear away difficulties, to provide means, and
to hasten the moment of a connexion so desirable on both sides, and
present and future generations will bless your name and your memory.

You will have seen by the gazettes, and especially by that of Leyden,
with what unanimity and dignity the United States disdained the
propositions, injurious to their good, great, and august ally, as well
as to their own majesty, made to them by the British Commissioners. I
have in hand and will show you the authentic proofs of this, as well
as of the horror, which the Americans have, of ever returning under
the iron sceptre they have broken. This confounds the falsehoods, that
have been uttered and kept up with so much complacency in this
country. Will they never cease to give credit to such impudent
assertions? I cannot forbear to transcribe what a friend[31] has
written to me. This friend does not know in detail what I have been
doing here. He had asked me how I advanced. I had told him _festino
lente_.

"In general," says he, "I am not disposed to precipitation, especially
in important affairs. But I cannot help saying, that there may be
some danger of the good people in Holland losing some advantages in
commerce with America by their too great caution. I have reason to
believe, that the British Ministry have already sent orders to their
commissioners to give up the point of independence, provided they can
obtain some exclusive benefit in America."

I wish, however, that we could concert some new movement. There is yet
time to think of it before the meeting of the assembly. In all that
concerns myself, I can only promise my best efforts.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.


FOOTNOTES:

[31] William Lee, who was at this time in Francfort.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                         The Hague, December 3d, 1778.

  Gentlemen,

The act of despotism, which I announced to you in my letter of the
16th,[32] was consummated on the 18th of November. The resolution
adopted by the majority had a specious design, to wit, to refuse the
commissaries which the English Ambassador demanded, to agree that the
article of naval stores, legalized by the treaty of 1674, should be
for the future contraband; but in the end, all was spoiled by the
refusal of convoy to ships carrying these articles to France.

But Amsterdam has inserted in the acts a formal protest, by which this
resolution is declared null, by its having been adopted in a manner
contrary to the constitution, which requires unanimity in this case.
The protest indicates, at the same time, the consequences which this
affair may have. They may be very serious if they push the city to
extremities. The first will be the closing of the public chest, as far
as concerns her contribution towards the expenses of the
confederation. This city alone pays about one quarter of all the
expenses of the republic, and if they should push things to extremity
she may ask succors of France, who certainly would not suffer her to
be oppressed. The Ministerial gazettes in England announce this to
their nation as a great success. _Qui vult decipi decipiatur._ On the
other side, France threatens to seize in her turn English property on
board of Dutch ships, and to deprive these of the favors they enjoy in
her ports, if the Republic does not cause her flag to be respected by
the English, according to treaties. On the fifteenth, the States of
the Province will be reassembled.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.


FOOTNOTES:

[32] Missing.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              MEMORIAL,

 _Presented by His Excellency, the Duc de la Vauguyon, Ambassador of
       France, to the States-General of the United Provinces._

                                        The Hague, December 7th, 1778.

  High and Mighty Lords,

The conviction which the king, my master, has had, that their High
Mightinesses, animated with a desire to perpetuate the perfect harmony
which subsists between France and the States-General, would conform
themselves scrupulously, in existing circumstances, to the principles
of the most absolute neutrality, has induced his Majesty to include
the United Provinces in the order that he made in the month of July
last, concerning the commerce and navigation of neutrals. His Majesty
has less room to doubt of the perseverance of their High Mightinesses
in these principles, because they have given him repeated assurances,
and because they are the basis and most solid guarantee of the repose
and prosperity of the Republic. His Majesty, however, thinks he ought
to procure, in this respect, an entire certainty; and it is with this
view that he has directed me to demand of your High Mightinesses an
explanation, clear and precise, of your final determination, and to
declare to you that he will decide according to your answer to
maintain or annul, so far as concerns the subjects of your High
Mightinesses, the orders which he has already given.

To make better known to your High Mightinesses the views and
intentions of the king, my master, I have the honor to observe to you,
that his Majesty flatters himself that you will procure to the flag of
the United Provinces all the freedom which belongs to it as a
consequence of their independence, and to their commerce all the
integrity which the law of nations and treaties secure to it. The
least derogation from these principles would manifest a partiality,
the effect of which would impose on him the necessity of suspending
not only the advantages that his Majesty has insured to your flag, by
his order in favor of neutrals, but also the material and gratuitous
favors, which the commerce of the United Provinces enjoys in the
ports of his kingdom, without any other consideration than the good
will and affection of his Majesty for your High Mightinesses.

                                                   DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE COMMISSIONERS AT PARIS.

                                       The Hague, December 18th, 1778.

  Gentlemen,

I have seen our friend. There are two committees at work, one for the
new remonstrances occasioned by the English, the other on the answer
to be made to the Memorial of the French Ambassador.

_December 19th, forenoon._ The Admiralty it was said would not be in
favor of an answer, till next week; but measures were taken to make
them pass one this morning, in which were _verba pretereaque nihil_;
there was nothing changed in the restriction of convoy as to naval
provisions. The Ambassador having been notified of it, sent today,
early in the morning, to the Grand Pensionary a note so energetic that
it will be difficult to avoid giving a precise answer, yes or no,
which will save or lose to the Seven Provinces the commerce of France.

_December 19th, evening._ In spite of the note of the Ambassador, the
English party has prevailed in the provincial Assembly, and all except
Amsterdam have adopted by a majority the opinion of the Admiralty.
Thereupon, Amsterdam delivered her protest, in which she confirmed her
former protest against the resolution of the 18th of November. She
declared further, that she held herself irresponsible and discharged
of all injurious consequences to the Republic, which the
unsatisfactory answer they had given France might have. Our friend has
caused me to read this protest, which is moderate but energetic.

_December 22d._ I have a copy of the resolution and protest. I know on
good authority that the Court of London has declared, that it is no
better satisfied with the resolution adopted on the 18th of November.
Thus those who have wished to be wholly subservient to that Court are
very badly paid for their complaisance. The above resolution, adopted
by the majority of the States of Holland, on the 19th of this month,
has not yet been presented to the States-General. The Assembly of
Holland, which was to have separated this week, adjourned to Tuesday
next. The Deputies of the cities will depart on Thursday, to seek, it
is said, new instructions for another answer, such as the Ambassador
can receive. Those of Amsterdam remain here, because they have no need
of an _ad referendum_.

_December 24th._ The British Court has communicated to the Republic
its order, which declares liable to seizure neutral ships carrying to
France munitions of war, military and naval. This order is directly
contrary to the resolution of the 18th of November, by which the
States refuse to permit this article to be put in question, which
treaties secure to them.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                       The Hague, December 25th, 1778.

  Gentlemen,

Your friends here do all that they can to bring about future
connexions between the two Republics. The phrase, that I have
underlined in the Declaration,[33] expresses nothing else than the
authentic information, which the city of Amsterdam has of the
disposition by which a majority is influenced in the Republic. See in
it then only the wish of the city, that your virtuous perseverance in
a union, on which alone depends your sovereignty, may frustrate this
influence. It can do nothing against you without unanimity; but,
without this same unanimity, all the good will of the city can at the
present time do nothing more for you, as to the conclusion of a treaty
of amity and commerce, than project it, in order to have it ready when
it shall be able to propose it with some appearance of success. A copy
of the Memorial, presented on the 7th of December, by the French
Minister to their High Mightinesses, was sent to me by himself, on the
8th, to be communicated to you.

They have sent me from Amsterdam, with the same intent, a copy of the
protest of the city against the resolution adopted by the majority for
refusing convoy to naval articles. This important paper is very long,
(20 pages in folio.) Expecting that I may be able to send it to you,
translated and copied, I will transcribe for you, Gentlemen, what a
good Dutch citizen, to whom I lent it, thought of it. "It is scarce
possible for me," said he, "to paint the vexation with which I have
read the resolve adopted by the majority. A document at once puerile,
jesuitical, and made unintelligible, as I think, from design, to
conceal the palpaple contradictions and absurdities of which it is
full. I can compare it to nothing better than to a serpent, which
hides its ugly head under the tortuous folds of its horrible body. The
protest, on the contrary, is the finest document of its kind, that I
remember to have seen. As precise as it is luminous, it presents at
once, and gathers, so to speak, into a single focus, all the reasons
for the opposite sentiment, in a manner to strike all eyes which are
not voluntarily closed to its light. But we live in the midst of a
people, who do not hesitate to call white black, and black white,
provided it favors the party of the Boreases of England and of our
country." The States of Holland assembled yesterday. They have named
two committees to deliberate, the one on the answer to be made to the
Court of France, the other on the new complaints to which the English
have just given cause. We shall not know the result till next week.

In the circumstances, Gentlemen, in which you see things, it will be
necessary that I should be provided with a letter of credence from
your honorable Congress, like, _mutatis mutandis_, that which I
received from it under date from the 9th to the 12th of December,
1775, and of which I made use at the Court of France, in April, 1776;
with this difference, that the other being unlimited and accommodated
to existing circumstances, that which I now ask for should be limited
to this Republic, and conformable to the present situation and
dignity of the American confederation, to the end that I may be able
to produce it to whomever it shall be proper, and to labor with all
requisite credit and weight, in concert with your friends in this
country, on the proposal of amity and commerce between the two
Republics. Such a paper becomes every day more necessary; and I dare
say, that it will be necessary to the United States that I should be
provided with it as soon as possible, so as not to give it publicity,
which everywhere, except in France and Spain, seems to have no good
effect; but to continue, as I have done hitherto, to increase and
strengthen your friends here, and to hinder your enemies from
realising, at the expense of this Republic, the fable of the monkey
who drew his chestnuts from the fire with the cat's paw. _Malo esse
quam videri_ ought to be the constant maxim of all those, who are
called to serve so fine a cause as that of the American Union. It is
certainly mine. It is this that dictates the precise answer, which I
have yet to give to what you had the goodness to write concerning me,
in the letter with which you honored me, under date of the 14th of May
of this year, to wit; "We shall write particularly to the gentlemen at
Paris, respecting the injuries you have received from our enemies, and
shall instruct them to pay the strictest attention to our engagements
made to you at the commencement of our correspondence."

These gentlemen, in sending me the letter, wrote me nothing on this
business, and I have not drawn on them for more than I had agreed with
Mr Deane, towards the end of the past year, to be necessary for me to
live here in a style of mediocrity, and with much economy, namely,
two hundred louis d'ors this year. I shall continue on this footing,
drawing always a hundred louis d'ors every six months, till it please
your honorable Congress to fix my stipend. In expectation that the
situation of affairs will permit the United States to observe in
respect to me, or in case of my death, in respect to my daughter, the
wise magnanimity that befits sovereigns, I will serve them, with the
same zeal as if they gave me double, and with more inward satisfaction
than if any other Power should give me ten fold. I can assure you,
Gentlemen, that from the beginning, I have done for the whole American
people, as I would do for a friend in danger. For the rest, I am well
satisfied and grateful for the obliging things you have written me on
this subject, and I do not ask new assurances. It is sufficient for
me, that you know my true sentiments, and that you will have the
goodness to make them known to the honorable Congress.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                            DUMAS.[34]


FOOTNOTES:

[33] This Declaration is missing.

[34] Several letters from M. Dumas, on the affairs of Holland, in the
year 1778, may be found in the Commissioners' Correspondence, in the
first volume of the present work.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                         The Hague, January 1st, 1779.

  Gentlemen,

On the 19th of December, the Grand Pensionary of Holland, before going
to the Assembly of the States of Holland, received from the Duc de la
Vauguyon, Ambassador of France, a note, explanatory of the Memorial
presented to their High Mightinesses the 7th, as follows.

"The king, determined to have perfect certainty of the final
resolution of the States, flatters himself that their High
Mightinesses will explain themselves in a clear and precise manner,
upon the point of perfect neutrality, which his Majesty is persuaded
that they do not wish to swerve from. He expects that they will
preserve to the flag of the United Provinces all the liberty that
belongs to them, in consequence of their independence, and to their
commerce all the integrity that the law of nations secures to it, and
that treaties confirm to it. But this liberty will become illusory,
and this integrity violated, if their High Mightinesses do not
maintain it by a suitable protection, and if they consent to deprive
their subjects of convoy, without which they cannot enjoy, in their
full extent, the rights which they have acquired and claim. A
resolution of whatever nature it be whose effect should be to deprive
them of a protection so legitimate, whether for all branches of their
commerce in general, or in particular for articles of naval stores of
any kind, would be regarded under present circumstances as an act of
partiality derogatory to the principles of an absolute neutrality, and
would inevitably produce the consequences mentioned in the Memoir,
which has been sent to their High Mightinesses. It is especially to
this essential object, and with the further intention to observe a
neutrality thus described, that the king asks of their High
Mightinesses an answer clear and precise."

The same morning the States of Holland adopted by a majority the
following answer, previously advised on the 16th by the Admiralty.

"That their High Mightinesses have always set, and will set, much
value on a good understanding with his Majesty, and that they would
cultivate willingly his friendship and affection for this State, by
all means which insure the independent repose of the Republic, and
contribute to their perfect neutrality in the existing differences
between his Majesty and the king of Great Britain. That their High
Mightinesses do not fear to declare with openness and candor to his
Majesty, that their design is to adhere scrupulously to the said
neutrality, in firm confidence that the two powers will be satisfied,
and that they will permit to their High Mightinesses the peaceable
enjoyment of it. That the commerce and navigation of the Republic,
being one of its principal means of subsistence, its free exercise
their High Mightinesses have strongly at heart. Their High
Mightinesses flatter themselves also that the two powers are inclined,
and will be persuaded to leave to them the course which the law of
nations and treaties guaranty, and that if any discussion takes place
on this subject, it will be attributed solely to the moderation and
caution of their High Mightinesses, in compliance with the suggestions
of prudence, if to measures adapted to the protection of their
commerce and their free navigation, without distinction as to the
property of the cargoes, and to the support of their neutrality, they
add others, intended to avoid all occasions of misunderstanding; that
their High Mightinesses are too firmly convinced of his Majesty's
justice, to doubt that he will be satisfied with this candid
exposition of the sentiments of their High Mightinesses, or that he
will continue to observe, in his treatment of neutrals, and
consequently of the subjects of their High Mightinesses, the rules,
which his Majesty has himself considered to be conformable to the law
of nations; and that he will continue in the disposition, on which the
commerce, at present existing between the subjects of both powers, to
the mutual advantage of both parties, is founded."

The resolution adopting this answer was invalidated at the same time
by the following protest.

"The Deputies of the city of Amsterdam, adhering to their protest and
note inserted on the 18th of November last, against the resolution
adopted the same day, on the final remonstrance of the merchants of
this country, on the subject of the seizure of their vessels by the
English, and the carrying them into English ports, as is therein more
fully detailed, have declared, that they cannot agree to the
resolution of their Noble and Grand Mightinesses, adopted this day on
the Memorial presented to their High Mightinesses by the Duc de la
Vauguyon, wherein he demands the observance of an exact neutrality
during the existence of the troubles with England in general, and the
maintenance of the freedom of the flag of the Republic, as well as of
the commerce and navigation of this country to the French ports in
particular; unless in the meantime should be given by the said
resolution the clear and precise answer demanded by the said Memorial,
and on which depends in great part the commerce of this country to the
ports of France, declaring also that they would not be in any manner
responsible for the evils that come upon the commerce and navigation
of the Republic, as well from the present resolution as from that of
the 18th of November last."

This has not hindered the States-General from adopting also the
answer. On the 30th of December it was carried, by the agent of their
High Mightinesses, to the Ambassador, who did not accept it, as not
being such as the King demanded. On which they have determined to send
it to M. de Berkenrode, at Paris, to endeavor to cause it to be
accepted by his Majesty.

On my return here on Tuesday evening, I went to see our friend.
Nothing has yet been done; but in spite of all that can be done
tomorrow, said he, things will finally go well. He told me also, that
the credit of Sir Joseph Yorke with a certain great personage was
manifest more and more, and that there was no longer room to doubt
that the latter had secret engagements with the Court of London.

I was the next day at the house of the French Ambassador. Their High
Mightinesses had sent him their answer to the Memorial, and he had
sent it back, as not admissible. He has in his pocket the Declaration
of the King, by which the subjects of the State are excluded from his
order in favor of neutrals, and deprived of the privileges which they
enjoy in the ports of the kingdom. It will be soon published. This
affair will do as much good to the Anti-English in these provinces, as
the taking of Bergen-op-zoom did them harm thirty years ago. The time
will come when they will be obliged to have recourse to the city of
Amsterdam, to remove the proscription, which too much complaisance to
the Court of London is drawing upon these Provinces.

Late on Wednesday I went to see our friend. He could only give me one
moment. The answer of the States-General to the Memorial of the
French Ambassador is the same as that adopted by a majority in the
States of Holland, excepting some additions which are not material.
The Deputies have not even consulted their respective Provinces
thereon; another blow given to the constitution. One of the Deputies,
with whom I had some conversation, gave me as the only excuse;--"_It
is not the first time we have done it._" I have seen a letter from an
able hand, in one of the Provinces, wherein much censure and heavy
reproaches are cast on this method of proceeding. Friesland can least
of all dispense with the commerce of France.

_January 2d._ There is today a grand concert at the _Hotel de France_.
The Court is there. The Ambassador does the reverse of what is
practised at the theatre; he began with the farce, and will finish
with the tragedy. They flatter themselves here, that he will not press
matters, because they have given him to understand that they have
convoked the Admiralty to deliberate more fully on the convoys. But
they do not say what all the world knows, that they have sent the
rejected answer to the Ambassador of the Republic at Paris to endeavor
to have it accepted by the King. Labor lost.

Our friend is fortunate in all this. He has the finest part to
perform, and he will perform it to his glory. He advances rapidly in
the paths of former great men of the Republic. On the other side, the
firmness of Amsterdam is seconded very seasonably by the Memorial.

I doubt not, Gentlemen, but the result has made you see the importance
of what has passed here, and how far my proceedings have been useful
in the business, to bring it to the point where it now is.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE COMMISSIONERS AT PARIS.

                                        The Hague, January 12th, 1779.

  Gentlemen,

The States of Holland assemble tomorrow. Our friend comes this evening
and I shall see him. They are here every day more embarrassed. Far
from the answer to the Memoir sent by their High Mightinesses to their
Ambassador at Paris being accepted, the Ambassador of France has
received an express from his Court, the purport of which we shall know
at the same time with the result of the deliberations of the States of
Holland.

_January 13th._ The Assembly today has been occupied only with simple
formalities. I know on very good authority, that Amsterdam will have
permission to trade to the French Isles in America, as well directly
as by way of St Eustatia and Curaçoa; and I have been authorised to
inform certain armed houses [_maisons armés_] of it, in order that
they may be able to speculate in advance upon it.

_January 14th._ They wished to resolve today by a majority for a delay
of four months longer for the convoys of ship timber. All at once
Haerlem is ranged on the side of Amsterdam, and Alcmaer has taken the
matter _ad referendum_; which has much displeased a grand personage
present. The Grand Pensionary cried out also much upon it, and wished
to engage the Deputies of this city to accede to the opinion of the
majority; but they alleged the orders of their city in excuse. This is
the cause that the resolution cannot be passed till next week. It will
be such, moreover, that the Court of France will regard it as
derogatory to perfect neutrality; for the majority will always
prevail, but then Amsterdam, Haerlem and perhaps Alcmaer will
protest. You see, Gentlemen, that the opposition not only sustains
itself, but gains ground. This opposition was almost nothing six
months ago; it was a feeble plant that could only stand by bending
when the wind blew; now it is a solid and robust body, well supported,
which resists all the efforts of the English party, which has broken
them, and which will succeed at length in prevailing over this party,
and will restore to the Republic its ancient dignity.

_January 16th, morning._ Yesterday, the 15th, in the evening, the
Ambassador sought me out to go and confirm, on his part, to our
friend, that this morning he should present a Memorial to the
President of their High Mightinesses, with the new order of the King,
which excludes the commerce and navigation of ---- from the favors
which France permits neutrals to enjoy on the sea and in her ports,
and preserves them only to the flag of the city of Amsterdam, and that
after that he should, (though against usage) make the circuit of the
hotels of all the cities of Holland, and testify to their respective
Pensionaries the regret and repugnance with which the King will see
himself forced by themselves to publish the said order. I waited at
the _Hotel de France_ till two o'clock in the morning, to give to the
Ambassador, who supped abroad, the answer of our friend. He sent it
off the same night by express to his Court, and I hold myself ready
this morning to report on his part to our friend the manner in which
all shall pass.

_16th, evening._ This morning the Ambassador, after having presented
his Memorial to the President of their High Mightinesses, made the
rounds to give information of it to the Grand Pensionary of Holland,
to the Secretary of their High Mightinesses, to the Prince
Stadtholder, to the Pensionaries of the cities of Amsterdam, Dort,
Brille, and Rotterdam. He was nearly two hours with the Deputies of
this last city. He testified to all of them the regret of the King in
having to withdraw from them his favors, and to permit one patriotic
city alone to enjoy them. All manifested more discontent at this
distinction, than at the privation, and there is danger of I know not
what fatal consequences. They pretend that it is a thing without
example and against their constitution to treat with one city only.
The Ambassador replied to them, that this was a wrong view, that there
was neither treaty nor convention between France and Amsterdam, but
that he merely let this place continue to enjoy what she enjoyed
before, and that the Republic ought to be on the contrary well
satisfied that by means of this city she would not lose all. The next
week he will see the Pensionaries of the other cities. For the rest I
am of opinion that all this will be arranged yet satisfactorily, and
that the Republic, seeing that the thing is serious, will take the
part of giving satisfaction to France.

_January 17th._ I gave the Ambassador today an account of the
discourse that I held yesterday with our friend. I must return
tomorrow with the Ambassador. I only tell you, Gentlemen, the
essentials, and spare you the detail of messages, which they charge me
with, whose result only is interesting. My interposition saves the
noise there would be from too frequent interviews between persons who
are watched.

_January 20th._ The two Pensionaries of Amsterdam went this morning on
the part of their city to the house of the Ambassador, to give thanks,
and to say that they hoped his Majesty would not deprive the other
confederates of favors, which he is willing to preserve to them.
Thence they went to the Grand Pensionary, to give him information of
this proceeding. In place of sour looks and altercations, which they
expected as well at the States of the Province today as elsewhere,
they were agreeably surprised to find themselves treated everywhere
with much respect. Those of Rotterdam, among others, sought their
intercession for their city. The merchants of Rotterdam came to
implore the protection of the gentlemen of Amsterdam, who properly
sent them away to their own magistrates. The Ambassador, on his part,
notified this morning the Grand Pensionary by word of mouth, and
afterwards, at his request, by a note in form of a letter, that the
King has fixed the 26th of January to publish the new order, if he
should not receive such an answer as he demands.

_January 21st._ Nothing is done yet. The advice of the Admiralty
proposed today to the States of Holland is in contradiction with
itself. They annul in truth their famous resolution of the 18th of
November, as to the restriction of convoy, (from which they wished
then to exclude ship timber) but would suspend the adoption of the
resolution as to the extension of these convoys, until the time when
they would assign their crews. This is only pushing time by the
shoulders; it is the Lernean hydra, whose heads started up in place of
those that were destroyed. For they agree on all the rest. There were
yesterday only altercations and reproaches, to which those of
Amsterdam answered with as much moderation and decency as firmness.
All has been deferred till tomorrow, and if they will decide the
affair by the majority, Amsterdam will protest anew.

_January 22d._ Nothing yet is done in the Assembly of Holland. The
Grand Pensionary had proposed a draft of a resolution, which
Amsterdam would not agree to, because there were terms, which appeared
deceptive, and which were susceptible of a different explanation at
the Court of London from what it might receive at that of France. The
principal is this; they would delay the final resolution for the
extension of convoy to the 26th, the day when the Admiralty must
assign the crews and armaments. Now this extension will only signify
in relation to one of the powers, the force of the convoys; in
relation to the other, the suspension of convoy for ship timber. Those
of Haerlem have, therefore, proposed some amendments. If all
acquiesce, they may tomorrow adopt a unanimous resolution that may,
perhaps, satisfy France.

_January 23d._ Yet undecided. All the cities, meanwhile, are of one
mind with Amsterdam, on the plan proposed by Haerlem. But a great
personage, with the majority of the nobility, still dispute about the
terms. Pending this, a courier has been despatched today to Paris, to
obtain, if possible, a further delay of a week in favor of the city of
Amsterdam, which strongly interceded in behalf of the others. It
remains to be known if this courier can arrive in time on the 26th.
Amsterdam has declared today that she will remain firm and immovable,
and will neither suffer herself to be forced or deceived. A very
strong expression.

_January 29th._ Contrary to all appearances they have not resolved
anything today. The answer proposed by the Admiralty was so obscure
and ambiguous, that Amsterdam has given notice, that she will protest
again that it was only necessary to communicate to France the
resolution of the 26th instant, by which the republic repealed that
of the 18th of November, which displeased France, and embraced the
most perfect neutrality. They were not willing to follow this advice,
and they have again prolonged the Assembly till Tuesday or Wednesday
next. They wish to deceive us, said our friend, but they will not
succeed.

_February 4th._ The Assembly of Holland resolved today, by a majority,
on the answer to be given to France, referred from yesterday, against
which Amsterdam with Haerlem has renewed formally her protestation of
the 19th of December. After which the Assembly separated. It will meet
again the 25th of February.

_February 16th._ The States-General have not yet made answer to the
Ambassador. The Deputies of the Provinces have declared, that they
were not authorised thereto by their constituents.

I am returned from Amsterdam, where I have been to see if the four new
Burgomasters, who have entered upon office, are in the same
disposition as those of the past year; and I have found that all goes
on well; as also if the merchants intend to profit forthwith by the
privileges conceded to them. A letter will not admit of the details,
which I have communicated hereon to the Ambassador of France. The
paper here annexed, which I have drawn up and circulated, will give
you a summary view of all that has passed of interest.

Our friend has sent me the materials for a plan of a treaty between
the two Republics. I am occupied with it. As soon as it is drafted, I
will make copies for America and Paris.

The long silence that America keeps, and the rumors which are
industriously spread, and which nobody has authentically
contradicted, of divisions that prevail there, of the submission even
of two or three of the most Southern States, and even of Virginia,
make me see and experience more reserve and timidity, on the part even
of those of Amsterdam, than in the past year. I pray God to guard
America from traitors as well as from open enemies.

_February 24th._ There is a letter from the Prince Stadtholder to the
States of the Province of Friesland, which will have serious
consequences, because it is very partial to England and against
France. I had the good fortune, Friday the 19th, to be able to procure
an authentic copy of it for the Ambassador. I learned the same day,
that it was printed at Amsterdam. It sells, circulates rapidly, and
makes much noise.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                           The Hague, March 1st, 1779.

  Gentlemen,

I have nothing to add to the extracts here annexed, except to press
anew the necessity there is that the most honorable Congress send me a
commission in all its forms of _Chargé d'Affaires_, and agent of the
United States of America in the United Provinces of the Low Countries,
with power to manage and watch over their political interests, and
those of the navigation and commerce of the American Union, as well
near their High Mightinesses the States-General of the United
Provinces of the Low Countries, now and at all times when opportunity
shall be presented, as near each Province, city, and individual of
this Republic.

The opposition formed, sustained, and consolidated against the
enormous influence which your enemies had over this republic, is the
work of three persons, of whom I have the honor in my sphere to be
one.

With orders and powers more precise on the part of Congress, I should
have been able to contract long since, with merchants of this country,
for useful expeditions, and to defeat divers adventurers and
intriguers, who, falsely boasting of full powers and of credentials
which they have not, have abused and much deceived the people and
compromised the dignity and credit of the United States. The little I
have been able to do in this respect, has been done with a pure zeal,
and a disinterestedness and discretion, which I dare propose as an
example to others, who may be called to a similar service. I can
boldly defy all the world to accuse me of having in any case preferred
my own interest to that of the American people.

My request, at the commencement of this letter, has for its object the
service of the United States of America, as much at least as the
proper care of my fortune, of my family, my honor and credit, my
character and safety. The earliest of your agents and correspondents,
Gentlemen, in Europe, out of Great Britain, has risked all these
things from the time he received and accepted this honor, with a
confidence equal to that with which it was offered.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                          The Hague, April 29th, 1779.

  Gentlemen,

In all this month nothing has passed remarkable here, unless it be the
Memorial presented by the English Ambassador. But in this interval I
have taken part in a secret operation, which has confided the credit
and secrets of America to a House at Amsterdam, truly patriotic, and
not suspected of collusion with the enemy. Dr Franklin is fully
apprized of it all.

Here is an extract from a letter to him.

"The States of the Province of Holland have assembled here this
morning. It is only an ordinary session; and our friend said to me
pleasantly, '_We have only come to hold the fair._' He foresees also
that the resolution of the States-General, as to convoy, will not be
such as to engage France to revoke or mitigate her last edict of
navigation. One of the first Houses of Amsterdam, and whose
predilection for England is known, has sold £60,000 of English funds.
This has revived the idea of a declaration from Spain, and has
depressed the English funds at Amsterdam from three to four per cent.
There is a shower of pamphlets here, both in French and Dutch, against
the last Memoir of Sir Joseph Yorke."

For a long time, Gentlemen, we have heard nothing here of American
affairs, but through the wicked channel of your enemies, who do not
cease to paint the Americans as a people disunited and discordant.
These eternal repetitions, and their pretended success in Georgia, do
not fail to disquiet your friends and to embarrass all my endeavors.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                            The Hague, May 15th, 1779.

  Gentlemen,

I have already had the honor of informing you many times, that some of
my frequent letters to Passy are of a nature not to be communicated to
you, even in abridgement, through the risk that my packets run of
being intercepted; such are, particularly, divers letters written to
Dr Franklin, from the 25th of January to the 29th of April. There is a
cabal of Genevan and Swiss bankers, as well in France as at Amsterdam,
friendly to your enemies, which does as much injury as it can under
the mask of friendship. It was my duty to unmask some of them to Dr
Franklin, and to make known to him a safe Anti-English patriotic
House, having the confidence of the magistracy of Amsterdam. The
Ministry in France know it.

Upon the last petitions of the merchants of Dort, Amsterdam,
Rotterdam, and Friesland, the States-General, after having previously
deliberated and advised, and then reconsidered the affair, adopted on
Monday, the 26th of April, the resolution to equip for the service of
the current year, 1779, thirtytwo vessels of war, as follows;

     4 vessels of 60 guns, 350 men =  240 guns, 1400 men.
     1   "        60  "    340  "  =   60  "     340  "
     1   "        60  "    290  "  =   60  "     290  "
     8   "        50  "    300  "  =  400  "    2400  "
     2 frigates   40  "    250  "  =   80  "     500  "
     8   "        36  "    230  "  =  288  "    1840  "
     7   "        20  "    150  "  =  140  "    1050  "
     1 snow       12  "    100  "  =   12  "     100  "
    --                               ----       ----
    32 vessels and frigates,         1280 guns, 7920 men.

Of these thirtytwo vessels and frigates, the College of Admiralty of
Meuse will furnish

     1 vessel of  60 guns  350 men =   60 guns   350 men.
     1    "       50  "    300  "  =   50  "     300  "
     3 frigates   36  "    230  "  =  108  "     690  "
     1    "       20  "    150  "  =   20  "     150  "
     1  snow      12  "    100  "  =   12  "     100  "
    --                               ----       ----
    7 vessels and frigates,           250 guns  1590 men.

The College of Amsterdam,

     2 vessels of 60 guns  350 men =  120 guns   700 men.
     4    "       50  "    300  "  =  200  "    1200  "
     2 frigates   40  "    250  "  =   80  "     500  "
     2    "       36  "    230  "  =   72  "     460  "
     2    "       20  "    150  "  =   40  "     300  "
    --                               ----       ----
    12 vessels and frigates,          512 guns  3160 men.

The College of Zealand,

     1 vessel of  60 guns  350 men.
     1    "       60  "    290  "
     1    "       50  "    300  "
     1 frigate    36  "    230  "
     1    "       20  "    150  "
    --           ---      ----
     5 ves. &c.  226 guns 1320 men.

The College of West Friesland and the Quarter of the North,

     1 frigate of 36 guns  230 men =   36 guns   230 men.
     2    "       20  "    150  "  =   40  "     300  "
    --                               ----       ----
     3 frigates                        76 guns   530 men.

The College of Friesland,

     1 vessel of  60 guns  340 men =   60 guns   340 men.
     2    "       50  "    300  "  =  100  "     600  "
     1 frigate    36  "    230  "  =   36  "     230  "
     1    "       20  "    150  "  =   20  "     150  "
    --                               ----       ----
     5 vessels and frigates,          216 guns  1320 men.

The expense of this enrollment of seven thousand nine hundred and
twenty men amounts, at thirtysix florins a head, by the month, to two
hundred and eightyfive thousand seven hundred and twenty florins each
month, and for fourteen months, to three millions nine hundred and
ninetyone thousand six hundred and eighty florins, of which the moiety
(or one million nine hundred and ninetyfive thousand eight hundred and
forty florins) is taken from the appropriation _de la petition de
guerre_ of the 3d of November of the past year, and the other moiety
from the appropriation _des droits augmentés d'entrée et de gabelle_.

The payments will be made to the respective Colleges of Admiralty on
the usual footing, to wit, the quarter of the whole charge of each
vessel, when the vessel shall be equipped, the half when the vessel
shall have served twelve months after the enlistment of the crew, and
fourteen months if it is a vessel continued in the service after
having been equipped for former service. The resolution enjoins on the
Admiralty to hasten the equipments, to the end that every month there
may be a convoy for the ports of France and England; for Lisbon and
the Mediterranean as often as wanted; and for the West Indies twice a
year.

I got a knowledge of this resolution the 1st of May, in the evening.
The next day I apprized the French Ambassador, who would not believe
it at first. I gave him a copy, and sent a translation to Passy. The
secrecy with which they adopted it, and kept it unknown many days,
shows that they wished to prevent its publicity, and as it is yet a
little deceptive as to ship timber, which is neither named nor
excepted, it will not be, probably, communicated to the French
Ambassador. It is important, as serving to support the Province of
Holland against the other Provinces, all devoted to the Court.

On the 11th of May, the body of merchants of Amsterdam presented an
address to the Admiralty to hasten the convoy in consequence of the
above resolve of the 26th of April, on the faith of which they had
already made their speculations and taken their measures, especially
as to ship timber.

On the 14th I learned that the Admiralty not having answered
satisfactorily the above address of the merchants of Amsterdam, the
latter had prepared an address to their High Mightinesses, to
remonstrate more strongly than ever. On the other side, the excitement
and murmurs increasing at Rotterdam, whence the merchants threaten to
withdraw and establish themselves at Amsterdam, the Deputies of
Rotterdam have made a proposition to the Provincial Assembly, that
they shall finally adopt, in concert with the other Provinces, or, in
case of their default, with Holland alone, a decided resolution, and
measures to put an end to all these differences, and to prevent the
total ruin of the city of Rotterdam. The proposition has been
committed.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    M. CHAUMONT TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                            Passy, September 2d, 1779.

  Sir,

I desire you may repair immediately to Amsterdam to render all the
services that may depend on you to a squadron under command of Mr
Jones, bearing the American flag, which is bound to the Texel.

The vessels which compose this squadron are,

    Bon Homme Richard,   Capt. Jones,      42 guns.
    Alliance,            Capt. Landais,    36 guns.
    Pallas,              Capt. Cottineau,  30 guns.
    Cerf,                Capt. Varages,    18 guns.
    Vengeance,           Capt. Ricot,      12 guns.

Vessels which may have joined.

    Monsieur,            Capt. ----,       40 guns.
    Grandville,          Capt. ----,       12 guns.
    Mifflin,             Capt. ----,       22 guns.

It is necessary that you require of the commandants of these vessels
the greatest circumspection not to offend the Dutch and not to afford
subject for any complaint.

If this squadron has need of any refreshments or aid, you will address
yourself to M. De Neufville to procure them.

As soon as said squadron arrives, I wish you to advise me of it, that
I may take the necessary measures to send to the Americans the
supplies of which they may have need.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                   LE RAY DE CHAUMONT.

Approved, B. FRANKLIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

                           TO B. FRANKLIN.

                                      The Hague, September 14th, 1779.

  Sir,

Political affairs continue here on the same footing as I left them.
Convoys are not granted, not even for vessels and cargoes of which
there is no dispute, because they are unwilling that vessels loaded
with timber should take advantage of the opportunity, and join
themselves to the fleet under convoy. On the other side, Leyden has at
length joined the party of Amsterdam, which consists, at present, of
eight or nine cities in favor of the deliberations for the Province to
provide separately for the protection of its commerce; otherwise all
the trafficers in wool, who do a great business in this article, among
others for Flanders, both French and Austrian, will retire from Leyden
to Amsterdam.

The Ambassador of France wishes that the great city had shown itself
less inflexible against the army augmentation, and that it had set off
this augmentation against unlimited and effectual convoys. I am not of
this opinion. I think they would thereby put a dangerous weapon into
the hands of the Anglomanes, and that the convoys would be no less
evaded, and the republican party led by the nose. Our friend reasons
better, in wishing that his country should be a commercial, and not a
mediating power in Europe. In fact, since from the acknowledgment of
the Anglomanes themselves there is little to fear for the Republic,
(for on the part of the English it is clear that it is not military
but naval forces that she wants); and since both are so much at the
disposal of the Anglomanes, it is as well for us and for the Republic
itself that they should remain on the old footing; and this probably
will happen; for commerce, seeing they do not protect it, will not the
next year pay the double of the right of entry and the excise; and
this will reduce the fleet of the Republic from thirty two to
twentytwo vessels, great and small.

_September 20th._ The Court of France has made a declaration here,
that it has prohibited throughout the kingdom, the importation of
cheese from North Holland. This interdict will not be removed until
the cities of North Holland have acceded to the affair of convoy.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                      The Hague, September 20th, 1779.

  Gentlemen,

Returned from Passy, where I have been detained some weeks longer than
I had expected, and during which, affairs have not suffered here from
my absence, because I constantly kept up correspondence with our great
and worthy friend in this country; returned also from Amsterdam, where
I was ordered to go for some secret business; I have the honor to send
you herewith the public papers, which will apprize you of what has
happened throughout Europe these last few months; you will see also by
my letter to Dr Franklin, the present state of affairs in this
Republic.

Dr Franklin has not yet had leisure to send me back the plan of a
future treaty with this Republic, to which he is to join his remarks.

I am to set out immediately for Texel, with letters and secret
instructions to Commodore Jones's squadron, whose arrival there I
expect every hour; therefore I must finish here abruptly, and defer
writing to his Excellency, the President of Congress, concerning his
letter of the 3d of January last to Dr Franklin, also a resolution of
Congress about Colonel Diricks, of December 23d, 1778. I only add
here, that I have no doubt the Colonel is fitter for fighting battles
than for negotiating a treaty or a loan.

Neufville, too, seems to me, as well as to the gentlemen at Passy, to
have promised more than he can now effectuate respecting a loan;
however, I still recommend his house to other good American merchants,
as a house very proper to deal with in the mercantile line. But _ne
sutor ultra crepidam_.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

       _Agreement between John Paul Jones and Captain Pearson._

It is hereby agreed between John Paul Jones, Captain in the American
navy, Commander of the continental squadron now in the road of Texel;
and Richard Pearson, Captain in the British navy, late Commodore of
the British Baltic fleet, and now a prisoner of war to the United
States of North America; as follows.

1st. Captain Jones freely consents, _in behalf of the United States_,
to land on the Island of Texel the dangerously wounded prisoners now
in his hands, to be there supported and provided with good surgeons
and medicine, at the expense of the United States of America, and
agreeable to the permission, which he has received from the
States-General of Holland, to guard them with sentinel in the fort on
the Texel, with liberty to remove them again from thence at his free
will and pleasure.

2dly. Captain Pearson engages, _in behalf of the British Government_,
that all the British prisoners that may be landed as mentioned in the
last article shall be considered afterwards as prisoners of war to the
United States of America, until they are exchanged, except only such
as may in the meantime die of their wounds.

3dly. Captain Pearson further engages, _in behalf of the British
Government_, that should any of the British subjects, now prisoners of
war in the hands of Captain Jones, desert or abscond, either from the
fort on the Texel or otherwise, in consequence of the first article,
an equal number of American prisoners shall be released, and sent from
England to France by the next cartel.

4thly. And Captain Jones engages, _on the part of the United States_,
that if any of the prisoners who shall be landed should die while on
shore in his custody in the fort, no exchange of them shall be
claimed.

Done on board the American frigate the Pallas, at anchor in the Texel,
this 3d day of October, 1779.

                                                      R. PEARSON,
                                                      JOHN PAUL JONES.

       *       *       *       *       *

     THE COLLEGE OF ADMIRALTY OF AMSTERDAM TO THE STATES-GENERAL.

                                         Amsterdam, October 8th, 1779.

  High and Mighty Lords,

Captain Riemersma, commanding in the absence of Vice-Admiral Reynst,
in the Road of the Texel, has informed us by message, of the entry
into the said road of five vessels, viz. two French frigates, one
American frigate, and two prizes made by them, under command of Paul
Jones, who has addressed himself in person to said Captain Riemersma,
and has asked him if he might put on shore the English Captains, and
hire also a house for the recovery of the wounded; the said Captain
demanding thereon our orders, and asking besides if he should return
this visit.

On which we have answered to Captain Riemersma, that we could not
grant the request made by the commander of these vessels, to put on
shore the English Captains, nor permission to hire a house on shore to
put his sick and wounded in; that for the rest, we suppose that the
instructions received from his Most Serene Highness would enable the
said Captain to comport himself suitably.

Besides, that he the Captain ought to look out, that for unloading, or
in advancing further into the Roadstead than is necessary for
protection from storms and other accidents, he should not contravene
by his vessels the Placard of their High Mightinesses, of November 3d,
1756.

We have the honor to submit all this to the view of your High
Mightinesses, hoping that our conduct will be so fortunate as to meet
your approbation, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

         _Placard of 1756, referred to in the above Letter._

"The States-General of the United Provinces, to all to whom these
presents shall come, Greeting. Be it known, that having been advised
that some vessels of war or foreign privateers, abusing the liberty
that was granted them of resorting to and anchoring in our harbors, in
case of want or accident, and of bringing with them the vessels or
effects taken by them from their enemies, have undertaken to sell or
dispose of their said prizes, which is directly against our intention,
and may give rise to a misunderstanding between us and our neighbors,
which we desire to prevent as much as is in our power, by all possible
means, having considered what may best conduce to this end, we have
thought good to declare, ordain and resolve as follows.

"Hereafter all vessels of war and foreign privateers, whatever they
may be, which shall enter into the roadsteads, rivers and waters, of
this State, shall hoist on their arrival the flag of the nation to
which they belong, and not advance further into said rivers and
waters, than to secure themselves from tempests and other perils,
without permission of the College of Admiralty, in the district in
which they may be. They shall abstain from every act which may offend
or aggrieve any one, whether stranger or subject of the State, but
conduct on the contrary, in said waters in a manner not to harm or
give cause of complaint to any one, under penalty not only of not
receiving any assistance, but also of being expelled by force. In case
that any vessel of war or privateer having letters of reprisal refuse
to hoist on arrival its flag, or may be in the said waters and rivers
without permission of the College of Admiralty in the district where
they are, the crew will be regarded and treated as pirates. All
officers of vessels of war or foreign privateers, which shall enter
into the mouths of rivers of this State with their vessels and prizes,
or with their prizes only, shall be bound to abstain from announcing
or publishing in any manner said prizes, from discharging them in
whole or in part, from selling or disposing of them; but they shall
keep or retain them entire, and put to sea with them, returning in the
same state as when they arrived; under pain of being deprived of said
prizes, which shall be seized by the officers of this State and kept
by the College of Admiralty of the district, till the counsellors of
said College, having taken cognizance of the fact, shall judge proper
to dispose of them agreeably to the exigency of the case.

"And to the end that these orders may be better executed, all officers
and masters of privateers, which shall anchor in the harbors of this
State, shall be holden to give notice at the first place where they
shall come, of the cause of their arrival to the officers charged by
the State with the inspection of the entry of vessels, to present to
said officers their commissions, and especially to declare what prizes
they have made, on what nation they have made them, and in general in
what their cargoes consist. Moreover the said vessels of war or
privateers shall permit the said officers to put persons on board said
prizes to guard them, and prevent anything from being sold or
discharged contrary to the present decree, and in this manner they
shall put to sea with their prizes, and depart from the harbors of
this State.

"And to give more effect to our intentions, and the better to prevent
all difference on this subject, we advise by these presents all the
inhabitants of this State, and others who reside here, that they will
have to conform to their provisions, and will be careful of taking
upon themselves to purchase, accept, or take for their own account,
part or the whole of any prize brought into the harbors of this State
under any pretext whatever, and also of aiding or facilitating, with
their persons, vessels, or boats the sale, discharge, or removal of
said prizes; under penalty, not only that all the effects they shall
have acquired against the present decree, (without receiving any
compensation for what they have disbursed, or their arrears of wages,)
shall be seized by the College of Admiralty of the District, and
confiscated to the profit of whom it may concern; but also that the
party shall be condemned to the payment of one thousand florins, one
third of which shall be to the use of the State, one third to the
informer, whose name shall remain secret, and the remaining third for
the officer who shall have received the complaint.

"And in order that no person may pretend ignorance, we desire and
request the Lords the Committee of Roads and the Deputies of the
States of the respective Provinces immediately to announce, publish
and post up the present Placard wherever need shall be, and as it is
customary to practise. We enjoin moreover and command the Counsellors
of the Admiralty, the Advocate of the Treasury, the Admirals,
Vice-Admirals, Captains, Officers and Commandants, as also the
Commissaries, and Commissioners of Search in the harbors and other
places to execute and cause to be executed the present order; to
proceed and cause proceedings to be had against offenders, without any
connivance, favor, dissimulation or agreement; for we have thus judged
necessary for the service of the State.

"Done and concluded at the Assembly of their High Highnesses the
States-General at the Hague, the third of November, one thousand seven
hundred and fiftysix."

       *       *       *       *       *

  FROM THE COLLEGE OF ADMIRALTY OF AMSTERDAM TO THE STATES-GENERAL.

                                        Amsterdam, October 12th, 1779.

  High and Mighty Lords,

To satisfy the orders of their High Mightinesses and their resolution
of the 8th of this month, wherein it has pleased them to demand our
opinion and our consideration of the annexed Memorial of Sir Joseph
Yorke, Ambassador Extraordinary from his Majesty the King of Great
Britain near the Republic, we take the liberty to answer respectfully
their High Mightinesses, that we had the honor to inform them by our
letter of the 8th of this month of the entry of five ships; and at the
same time of the answer we had given to Captain Riemersma, commanding
at that time in the Roads of the Texel, on the request that had been
made to him by Captain Paul Jones, the said answer containing in
substance that in the belief that these ships would depart on the
first opportunity, we should not grant the debarkation and the stay on
shore which was asked for, of two English Captains, nor permit the
hiring of a house to transport the sick and wounded; and that moreover
we charged the said Captain to keep watch there; that to provide that
these ships should be in security and safe from storms and other
accidents, would not contravene the placard of your High Mightinesses
of November 3d, 1756, which we regard as the rule according to which
all foreign ships of war whatever they be, and from whatever port
they come, which enter into the harbors or roadsteads of the Republic
ought to be treated, and as having been given with the view that the
said foreign ships should put to sea with their prizes, without
discharging them in whole or in part and without selling them or
disposing of them in any manner; that for these reasons, it has
appeared to us that the seizure of the said ships and officers and
sailors would be a contravention of the said placard; that besides,
humanity requires that the said ships may stay to effect any repairs
of which they have need, and to procure to the sick and wounded all
the alleviations necessary, for the administering of which it is
expedient that they be brought on shore.

On which we have judged it proper to make representation to their High
Mightinesses, whether it would not be proper to charge Captain
Riemersma, commandant at the Roadstead of the Texel, and to give him
order to permit the debarkation of the sick and wounded from said
ships, to enable them to receive the most prompt assistance; which we
should have already granted ourselves upon the requests, which have
been addressed to us on behalf of said sick and wounded, if we could
have thought we had a right to do it without the authorisation of
their High Mightinesses; submitting in this respect all final
determinations to their high wisdom, and to their better opinion.

Deliberating on this, the Deputies of the Province of Holland and of
West Friesland have taken a copy of the above letter to be more amply
communicated; and nevertheless it has been found good and determined
that a copy of said letter should be put into the hands of M. de
Linden de Hemme and other deputies for marine affairs to see, examine
and take into consideration the opinion of the Commissioners of the
respective Colleges of Admiralty, and to make report thereon to the
Assembly.

       *       *       *       *       *

 PERMISSION TO LAND THE SICK AND WOUNDED OF THE ENGLISH VESSELS TAKEN
                            BY PAUL JONES.

         Extract from the records of their High Mightinesses.

                                                   October 15th, 1779.

M. de Heekeren de Brantzenburg, President of the Assembly, has
imparted to their High Mightinesses, that he was informed by Sir
Joseph Yorke, of the deplorable condition of the sick and wounded who
are on board the English vessels Serapis and Countess of Scarborough,
taken by Paul Jones and brought into the Texel, and who, as humanity
requires, not only has not refused them accommodation, but even has
procured them all the assistance and all the supplies possible, and
submitted to the consideration of their High Mightinesses if it would
not please them without delay to authorise the College of Admiralty of
Amsterdam to have put on shore the said sick and wounded, to be there
tended and nursed.

On which, having deliberated, it has been thought good and decreed,
that without prejudice to ulterior deliberations of their High
Mightinesses on the Memorial, which has been sent to them on this
subject by Sir Joseph Yorke, the 8th of this month, _everything
continuing in this respect in the same state_, it be written to the
College of Admiralty of Amsterdam to authorise it, and it is
authorised by the present resolution to permit not only that the sick
and wounded, who are in said vessels, be landed or put on board a
hospital ship, as soon as one can be prepared for this purpose, but
besides that they be furnished by the ships of war of the Republic now
in the Roadstead, with the medicines and provisions necessary, and
that the surgeons of said ships of war may bestow their care in the
treatment of those sick and wounded who shall be debarked. It being
well understood, that by this arrangement nothing shall be accounted
to be changed relative to the condition of said sick and wounded; that
their High Mightinesses will not be responsible for those, who may be
able to take advantage of the opportunity for escape, and that under
any pretext, either to guard the prisoners or to maintain discipline,
there may not be allowed to go on shore armed men, more than three or
four, and armed only with their swords; that finally, nothing may be
done in said department and dependencies but with the knowledge and
under the authority of the officer commanding the vessels of the
Republic, which are in the Roadstead, and of those in whose
jurisdiction shall be the place where the sick and wounded may be
debarked.

       *       *       *       *       *

    INSTRUCTIONS OF HOLLAND AND WEST FRIESLAND TO THEIR DEPUTIES.

Their Noble and Grand Mightinesses, the Lords States of Holland and of
West Friesland, in their Assembly of Thursday, the 21st of October,
1779, having resolved to qualify their Deputies in the Generality to
conform in the Assembly of their High Mightinesses to the following
advice;

They are of opinion, that they should answer the Memorial of Sir
Joseph Yorke, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of his
Britannic Majesty, presented the 8th of this month, that their High
Mightinesses be informed that a short time since there entered into
the Texel three frigates, viz. two French, and one styling itself
American, commanded by Paul Jones, having with them two prizes, made
by them at sea, named Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, designated
in his Memorial.

That their High Mightinesses, having for more than a century
constantly observed and manifested by successive placards, that they
would not in any manner give any judgment for or against the legality
or illegality of the acts of those who not sailing under these
provinces make prizes at sea and bring them into the roadsteads of
this country, not opening their ports to them on any other terms than
for them to put in, in case of tempest, or other disasters, and
obliging them to return with them to sea as they brought them in, they
would not undertake to examine whether the prizes brought in by said
three frigates belong to the French or to the Americans, whether they
are legal or illegal, but must abandon all this to the decision of
those who have jurisdiction, and that they would compel them
altogether to return to sea, for that, subject here to be retaken as
if they had never landed in this country, they will be judged by the
proper tribunal; inasmuch as the Ambassador will acknowledge himself,
that he would have no less a right to reclaim them, if they belonged
to English subjects, than if they were vessels of the King, which they
happened to be in this case; and by consequence, this would not
authorise their High Mightinesses to bring it before the tribunals of
this country, any more than the person of Paul Jones.

That with respect to acts of humanity, their High Mightinesses have
already manifested to the Ambassador their eagerness to exercise them
in regard to the wounded on board said vessels, and that they have
given orders in consequence.

They would be of opinion, moreover, that they ought to answer the
College of Admiralty of Amsterdam, that their High Mightinesses
approve what is done; that in conformity to their placard of the 3d
of November, 1756, which prohibits the overhauling and breaking up of
the cargoes of prizes, for the purpose of securing them from
recapture, and allowing to the captor the right of disposing of them,
they persist in it also in the case of the prizes, Serapis and
Countess of Scarborough; authorising said College to do what is in
their power that the said five frigates depart, the sooner the better,
and to take care that there be not delivered to them nor carried on
board any munitions of war or naval stores, but such things only as
they want in order to put to sea and reach the first foreign port, to
prevent all suspicion of their equipment and arming in this country.

       *       *       *       *       *

              THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON TO JOHN PAUL JONES.

                                        The Hague, October 29th, 1779.

  Sir,

I ought to advise you, that M. de Sartine has informed me, that he has
renounced the intentions that I had been charged to communicate to
you, and that you will find at Dunkirk orders for your final
destination. I learn with much pleasure, that the necessary repairs of
the ships, which you command, will be completed immediately, and that
you have received all the assistance you could, and ought to expect. I
desire very earnestly that success shall again reward your valor. No
person will be more rejoiced at it than myself. Believe me, with the
sincerest sentiments, &c. &c.

                                               THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

       *       *       *       *       *

               SIR JOSEPH YORKE TO THE STATES-GENERAL.

                                        The Hague, October 29th, 1779.

  High and Mighty Lords,

In thanking your High Mightinesses for the orders your humanity has
dictated in relation to the wounded, who were on board two vessels of
the King, the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, I only discharge
the orders of his Majesty in renewing the most strong and urgent
demand for the seizure and restitution of said vessels, as well as for
the enlargement of their crews, who have been seized by the pirate
Paul Jones, a Scotchman, a rebellious subject and state criminal.

The sentiments of equity and justice of your High Mightinesses leave
no room to doubt, that in taking into a more mature deliberation all
the circumstances of this affair, you will recognize readily the
justice of a demand, founded as well on the most solemn treaties,
which have subsisted more than a century between the Crown of Great
Britain and the United Provinces, as on the principles of the law of
nations, and the custom of friendly and allied States.

The stipulations of the treaty of Breda, of the 31st of July, 1667,
confirmed and renewed expressly in that of 1716, and in all the
subsequent ones, are too clear and incontestible in this respect not
to be felt in all their force.

The King considered it derogatory to his dignity, as well as to that
of your High Mightinesses, to expose the particulars of a case so
notorious as that in question, or to cite to the ancient friends and
allies of his Crown analogous examples of other Princes and States.

I shall confine myself to the remark, that the placard of your High
Mightinesses, in prescribing to the captains of foreign ships of war
to show their letters of marque or commissions, authorise you
according to the general custom of Admiralties to treat as pirates
those, whose letters are found to be illegal for not being issued by a
sovereign power.

The character of Paul Jones, and all the circumstances of the affair,
cannot by their notoriety be unknown to your High Mightinesses. Europe
has her eyes fixed on your resolution. Your High Mightinesses know too
well the value of good faith, not to give an example of it on this
important occasion. The least deviation from a rule so sacred, in
weakening friendship among neighbors, produces often unfortunate
consequences.

The King has always made it his pride to cultivate the friendship of
your High Mightinesses. His Majesty persists steadfastly in the same
sentiments; but the English nation does not think itself bound, by any
of its proceedings, to have its citizens detained prisoners in a port
of the Republic by an outlaw, a subject of the same country, and who
enjoys the liberty of which they are deprived.

It is for all these reasons, and many others equally solid, which
cannot escape the great penetration and sagacity of your High
Mightinesses, that the undersigned hopes to receive a ready and
favorable answer to the above, conformable to the just expectation of
the King, his master, and of the British nation.

                                                         JOSEPH YORKE.

       *       *       *       *       *

 JOHN PAUL JONES TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL WEIBERT, IN THE SERVICE OF THE
                            UNITED STATES.

Their High Mightinesses, the States-General of Holland, have granted
permission to us to land on the Island of Texel, a number of wounded
British prisoners of war now in our hands, to guard them by our
American soldiers in the fort of that Island, with the draw bridges
hauled up or let down at our discretion, and to remove them again from
thence to our ships at our free will and pleasure, and dispose of them
afterwards as though they had not been landed. Therefore you are
hereby appointed Governor-General over the wounded, and the soldiers,
that are destined this day to conduct them there, until further
orders.

These wounded prisoners are to be supported and provided with good
surgeons and medicine, and with necessary attendance at the expense of
the United States. The Commissary of the Admiralty, who resides on the
Texel, has undertaken, by our orders, to furnish you with the
necessary provisions; and surgeons, medicine and bedding, &c. are sent
from the squadron. In short, these prisoners, together with such other
sick and wounded as we may hereafter see fit to send to your care in
that fort on the Texel, are to be treated with all possible tenderness
and humanity. And you are to take care that no person under your
command may give any cause of complaint whatever to the subjects or
government of this country; but, on the contrary, to behave towards
them with the utmost complaisance and civility.

For which this shall be your order.

Given on board the American ship of war, the Serapis, at anchor in the
Road of Texel, November 1st, 1779.

                                                      JOHN PAUL JONES.

       *       *       *       *       *

              JOHN PAUL JONES TO THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

                                            Texel, November 4th, 1779.

  Sir,

This morning the commandant of the Road sent me word to come and speak
to him on board his ship. He had before him on the table a letter,
which he said was from the Prince of Orange. He questioned me very
closely, whether I had a French commission, and if I had, he almost
insisted upon seeing it. In conformity to your advice, I told him that
my French commission not having been found among my papers since the
loss of the Bon Homme Richard, I feared that it had gone to the bottom
in that ship; but that, if it was really lost, it would be an easy
matter to procure a duplicate of it from France. The commandant
appeared to be very uneasy and anxious for my departure. I have told
him, that as there are eight of the enemy's ships laying wait for me
at the south entrance, and four more at the north entrance of the
Port, I was unable to fight more than three times my force; but that
he might rest assured of my intention to depart with the utmost
expedition, whenever I found a possibility to go clear.

I should be very happy, Sir, if I could tell you of my being ready. I
should have departed long ago, if I had met with common assistance;
but for a fortnight past I have every day expected the necessary
supply of water from Amsterdam, in cisterns, and I have been last
night only informed, that it cannot be had unless I send up water
casks. The provisions too, that were ordered the day I returned to
Amsterdam from the Hague, are not yet sent down, and the spars that
have been sent from Amsterdam are spoiled in the making. None of the
iron work that was ordered for the Serapis is yet completed, so that I
am, even to this hour, in want of hinges to hang the lower gun ports.
My officers and men lost their clothes and beds in the Bon Homme
Richard, and they have as yet got no supply. The bread that has been
twice a week sent down from Amsterdam to feed my people has been,
literally speaking, rotten; and the consequence is, that they are
falling sick. It is natural, also, that they should be discontented,
while I am not able to tell them that they will be paid the value of
their property in the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, if either
or both of them should be lost or taken after sailing from hence.

Thus you see, Sir, that my prospects are far from pleasing. I have but
few men, and they are discontented. If you can authorise me to promise
them, at all hazards, that their property in the prizes shall be made
good, and that they shall receive the necessary clothing and bedding,
or money to buy them with, I believe I shall soon be able to bring
them again into a good humor. In the meantime, I will send a vessel or
two out to reconnoiter the offing and to bring me word. Whatever may
be the consequence of my having put into this harbor, I must observe
that it was done contrary to my opinion, and I consented to it only
because the majority of my colleagues were earnest for it.

I am under a very singular obligation to you, Sir, for your kind
letter, which you did me the honor to write to me on the 29th of last
month. It shall be my ambition to get clear of my present
embarrassment, and to merit, what I so much esteem, the good opinion
of your Excellency and of the Court, by my future service in support
of the common cause.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                      JOHN PAUL JONES.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 M. DUMAS TO THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

                                           Helder, November 9th, 1779.

  Sir,

To fulfil my promise, it is my duty by the first post to give
information to your Excellency, that in spite of the bad roads and
dark nights I arrived here this morning. I saw immediately M.
Cottineau, from whom here is a letter enclosed to your Excellency.
There was a violent storm, which prevented me from going on board the
Serapis. Nevertheless, having found means to make known my arrival to
the Commodore, he came on shore this evening for half an hour only in
order that he might reach his ship again before night. He will send
his boat tomorrow for me to breakfast with him, to converse longer on
our affairs, and it may be to make a visit together to the
Vice-Admiral.

In the meantime I have already learnt, that not only the Commodore has
not written anything at all on what has given us uneasiness, but even
that he has not said anything, of which they can make an authentic
use; that he showed to M. Riemersma, on his arrival, as well as to the
other Captains his commission, which is American, not having any
other; that he will give me a copy, with a declaration signed at the
bottom by himself, that he had shown it; and that as to the cartel
made between himself and Captain Pearson, they have had no other
surety for its basis, than the permission of this government to put on
shore the wounded prisoners, without changing in any manner their
condition, having taken upon them, besides, each one on his part, to
engage their respective sovereigns. All, therefore, that I shall be
able to do further in this respect will be to get signed by Mr Jones
the copy he sent me of this cartel. The crowded inns leave me no place
for a lodging but the house of a peasant, where I write this letter as
I can. I fear that notwithstanding the good will of the Commodore, he
will not be in condition to depart in fifteen days; and on examining
things closely, and comparing the complaints of one with those of
another, as to the delays, I find that the great and true cause is
this bad Roadstead, distant from Amsterdam twentyfive leagues by
water.

The copy of the resolution of the 21st of October, which I have sent
to the Commodore, is a paper very necessary to him.

They will not be able longer to impose on him or spread snares for
him. His way will be clear. He regrets only that it had not been
sooner.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                      TO THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

                            On board the Serapis, November 11th, 1779.

  Sir,

According to my letter of the day before yesterday, I was yesterday
morning on board the Serapis. The weather was so thick in the evening,
that there was no chance of sending anything on shore that night. The
Commodore and myself, with great difficulty, went to make a visit to
the Dutch Vice-Admiral, in which all that has been said was so well
cleared up, that nothing can (at least on our part) cause a change in
the state of things as they were after the 21st of October. The result
of the visit is, in substance, that they do not much approve the
expedient of providing two different flags in order to make use of one
in default of the other; that they rather preferred that the whole
squadron should have been entered under the flag and commission of
France, as not being liable to any difficulties; but since what had
been done could not be otherwise, they desire and expect that the
squadron shall depart with the first fair wind; as also that there
shall not be in this Roadstead any transportation of prisoners on
board the King's cutters that are here; which the Commodore promised.

Today we have been with M. Ricot on board one of the cutters, where we
found the two captains, Messrs de la Laune and de la Bourdonnoie, who
received us with all the cordiality and manifested all the good will
imaginable. They do for us what they can, and M. de la Laune will
inform your Excellency of it.

I hope to be able to depart for Amsterdam the morning after tomorrow,
if I can without danger be put on shore tomorrow, with the
satisfaction of having by my journey hither cleared up, and much
accelerated affairs; in a word, of having been useful. I see no
possibility of being able to write to Dr Franklin. He cannot,
therefore, know anything, nor, consequently, the Minister, except what
your Excellency shall judge worthy to be communicated in your
despatches, of the contents of my letters, &c.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

              THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                       The Hague, November 11th, 1779.

  Sir,

I have received the letter that you addressed to me the 9th of this
month, and that of M. Cottineau, which was annexed. I learn with
pleasure what you tell me relative to the object, which induced me to
urge your departure. I hope you will not delay to give me, in this
respect, details yet more satisfactory, and perfectly conformable to
the intentions I have unfolded to you.

M. Cottineau represents to me the extreme inconvenience, which results
from the impossibility of putting on shore the sick and wounded among
the prisoners.

I think it would be proper that you might see with prudence and
discretion, if it would not be possible to obtain permission of the
Admiralty; but it would be necessary, in order to ask it, to be very
sure beforehand that you will not be refused.

You know the truth of my inviolable sentiments.

                                               THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

       *       *       *       *       *

              THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                       The Hague, November 12th, 1779.

  Sir,

I have just received orders from the Minister of the Marine, which I
must communicate to you, and it is necessary that you return here
immediately. You will please to say to Mr Jones, that he ought not to
set sail before I have imparted to him the instructions, which have
been sent, as it will be necessary to suspend his departure till a new
order; but not to lose an instant in hastening the repairs.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                               THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

       *       *       *       *       *

                      TO THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

                                                  November 13th, 1779.

  Sir,

Yesterday I was at the Texel with the Commodore, to adjust affairs
with a Commissioner of the Admiralty, as to the light-house dues, so
as to satisfy everybody; but this morning the Dutch Vice-Admiral
sought me in his boat, to repeat to me what he had already said to the
Commodore, that he ought to depart with the first good wind; in
consequence, I have been with Captain Ricot and the commandant of the
Scarborough on board of the French cutter to adjust things, of which I
will give a verbal account to your Excellency.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

              THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                       Amsterdam, November 17th, 1779.

  Sir,

They write me from the Hague, that the States of Holland adopted
yesterday, by a majority, a resolution to compel Mr Jones to depart. I
inform you of it, that you may lose no time in returning to the Texel
and executing the necessary arrangements.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                               THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                        The Hague, December 9th, 1779.

  Gentlemen,

On the 16th and 17th of November, the French Ambassador having given
us a meeting at Amsterdam, apprized us of the intention of the King,
to wit, that the cruise should terminate at the Texel, and that the
prizes should be conducted into France by two French Captains of the
squadron. Captain Jones on his part had an order from Dr Franklin to
go on board the Alliance. On the 18th and 19th we returned to the
Texel. The following days we effected these changes. The Dutch
Vice-Admiral (a decided tory, who had succeeded the brave Captain
Riemersma, a good republican and friend to the Americans) perceived it
and disturbed us very much, particularly after having received the
resolution of the 19th of November, and the instructions of his Court
on this subject.

Every day he pressed and threatened us, though the wind was always
contrary. On the 24th of November, among others, the officer second
in command came to read to us a paper, which he afterwards put in his
pocket. I had anticipated the contents, and made, on my part, a
writing, which I likewise read to him as follows.

"The Commodore loses not a moment in providing for his departure with
the first good wind, in his vessel, the Alliance, and he will give the
signal for departure to the others, which will follow him if they can.
He thinks he cannot give a stronger proof of his respect for the
resolution of their High Mightinesses. Thus the threats of the
Vice-Admiral are superfluous and against the very terms of this
resolution of their High Mightinesses. He cannot go on board any other
vessel than the Alliance, without counteracting the designs of his
superiors.

"As to the prizes, the placard of 1756, and of course the designs of
their High Mightinesses, are scrupulously observed, in that they have
not disposed of or changed anything, and that when they depart they
may be recaptured. I require for the future every order or threat in
writing, in order to send copies to the General Congress and to Dr
Franklin."

_November 28th._ Having sent again to hasten us, I made him confess
with a loud voice, in presence of our crew, and of his own rowers,
that he required an impossibility; a declaration which I made the
pilot sign afterwards. Then he let us alone during ten days.

_December 8th._ The wind appearing favorable, his officer found us
ready to depart; but the wind changing, it was necessary to cast
anchor again, after it had been already weighed.

By the extract of the resolution of the 26th November you will see,
Gentlemen, that the Stadtholder had taken on himself to apply to the
Alliance only, what had been resolved in regard to the whole squadron,
and especially to the prizes; that the States-General have approved
it, and that thus they have thought they might dispense with
consulting the Province of Holland on this new case. They are not
content with this arbitrary procedure, and will make new protests,
copies of which they have promised to furnish me. The others on their
side appear to think that they have gone too far, as may be seen by
the letter of the Vice-Admiral, which certainly is not written without
order. As to the arrangement made on the 16th and 17th, I suspend my
opinion till I see where the whole will end. But I highly applauded Mr
Jones for having answered the Dutch Admiral as he did.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                                  December 10th, 1779.

  Gentlemen,

The following intelligence will show in what manner the States-General
have proceeded respecting Sir Joseph Yorke's demand for the seizure of
Paul Jones's prizes.

_Leyden, November 25th._ "The publicity of the claims, which Sir J.
Yorke, Ambassador of Great Britain, has made by order of his Court on
the occasion of the entry of Paul Jones with his prizes into the Road
of the Texel, having excited the attention of Europe to this affair,
on which subject the spirit of party on both sides has spread sundry
unfounded reports, we think ourselves under obligation to communicate
to our readers the definitive resolution, which the States-General
took in relation to it last Friday; a resolution which reconciles the
most scrupulous obligations of neutrality with the friendship which
subsists between Great Britain, and this Republic. Here is the
translation of it.

'_Wednesday, Nov. 19th, 1779._ Having deliberated by resolution on the
Memorial presented by Sir Joseph Yorke, Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary of his Majesty, the King of Great Britain, to their
High Mightinesses, on the 29th of last month, to renew in pursuance of
the precise orders of his said Majesty, the most urgent instances for
the seizure and restitution of two of the King's ships, Serapis and
Countess of Scarborough, as well as for the release of their crews,
which a certain Paul Jones had seized, as is more fully related in the
registers under date of the 29th of last month, it has been resolved
and determined to answer the aforesaid Memorial of Sir Joseph Yorke;
that upon the reiterated instances which the Ambassador has made, by
order of his Court, for the seizure and restitution of the ships
Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, as well as for the release of the
crews of said vessels, which a certain Paul Jones has taken, and with
which he has entered into the Road of the Texel, their High
Mightinesses have repeatedly taken into mature consideration all the
circumstances of this affair, and they find themselves under the
necessity of requesting his Majesty to consent, that their High
Mightinesses should persist in their ancient maxim, which is, that
without interfering in any decision upon the legality or illegality of
prizes brought into their ports, they should compel them to put to
sea, their High Mightinesses judging, that this maxim itself is
founded on treaties.

'But for evident proof that they do not desire, that any supplies may
be furnished from this country to the inhabitants of his Majesty's
American Colonies, they gave orders immediately on the arrival of Paul
Jones, that he should not be furnished with any munitions of war or
other articles, except those of which he would have need in order to
put to sea, and reach the nearest port in which he might be admitted.
That their High Mightinesses will also give orders, that he set sail
as soon as his vessels can put to sea, and when wind and weather will
permit, and even will compel him in case it should be required. That
their High Mightinesses are assured, that it will be evident thereby,
that they persist invariably in the declaration made to his Majesty,
"that they desire to do nothing from which it might lawfully be
inferred, that they recognize the independence of the Colonies of his
Majesty in America," and that they grant to Paul Jones neither
supplies nor harbor, but that following solely the treatment which
they have at all times been accustomed to give to those, who come into
their Roads to obtain for a time shelter against the disasters of the
sea, they do not concern themselves with what passes on the sea, and
without taking cognizance of it, they leave and cause to be restored
everything to the state in which it was a short time before the
vessels came into the country. That their High Mightinesses flatter
themselves, that his Majesty and the English nation, for whom their
High Mightinesses have all possible respect, will be satisfied with
these dispositions, without insisting further on the claim they have
made; that an extract from the resolution of their High Mightinesses
will be sent to Sir Joseph Yorke, by the agent, Vander Burch de
Spierinxhoek.

'That, moreover, directions shall be given to the College of Admiralty
at Amsterdam, to cause it to be signified and made known to Paul
Jones, that their High Mightinesses are assured, that having only put
in to place his injured vessels in shelter from the dangers of the
sea, there has been sufficient time to put them in condition for sea,
and that consequently they desire that he should make sail as soon as
possible, when the wind and weather shall be favorable, and withdraw
from this country; forasmuch as their High Mightinesses cannot permit
him to continue here, and as the season of winter which is approaching
may create greater inconveniences in this respect; so that to avoid
them it is necessary that he allow no favorable opportunity to escape
of putting to sea. That this is the serious intention of their High
Mightinesses, and that they cannot delay; but if he should not comply,
it would oblige them to take measures that would not be agreeable to
him.

'That, however, to allow no mistake on this point, and to prevent
delays, his Serene Highness will be required, and he is hereby
required, to give orders to Vice-Admiral Reynst, or to the officer
commanding in the Roadstead of the Texel to effect with all possible
discretion that the aforesaid Paul Jones depart with his prizes as
soon as wind and weather will permit; not to admit any delay in this
respect, that the nature of the case does not require, and to provide,
if need be, by all suitable means, not excepting force, that the
orders of their High Mightinesses be executed in the Roadstead.'"

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                      JOHN PAUL JONES.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                       The Hague, December 11th, 1779.

  Gentlemen,

I send you the following intelligence relating to further proceedings
in regard to Captain Paul Jones.

"Circumstances having changed in regard to the squadron of Paul Jones
in the Texel, the States-General have thought proper to suspend the
effect of their resolution of the 19th of November, by another, which
their High Mightinesses adopted on the 26th of the same month. It
appears that on the 4th inst. they received a letter from the Prince
Stadtholder, in which his Serene Highness informs them 'that,
conformably to their said resolution of the 19th of November, he had
sent the necessary orders to Vice-Admiral Reynst, commanding in the
Road of the Texel, that he would conduct with all possible discretion,
and that he would effect by all suitable means, not excepting even
force, that Paul Jones should put to sea with the vessels under his
command and with his prizes. But that after Paul Jones had declared he
was ready to obey the orders of their High Mightinesses, and that as
soon as he should be in condition he would profit by the first
occasion to take the sea, it happened on the 25th of November, that
Vice-Admiral Reynst having sent Captain Van Overmeer on board the
Serapis, to notify again, in the most formal manner the commanding
officer, that he must be provided with a pilot, and depart with the
first favorable wind; he was answered, that this vessel was no longer
commanded by Paul Jones, but by the French Captain, Cottineau de
Cosgelin, who had taken possession in the name of the King of France.'
The Prince Stadtholder referred, besides, to the letter itself of
Vice-Admiral Reynst, as well as to the pieces thereto annexed; and his
Serene Highness added, 'that in awaiting the final orders of their
High Mightinesses he had provisionally written to Vice-Admiral Reynst
not to use force till further orders, in regard to those vessels whose
commanders should prove, that they were provided with a commission
from the King of France; the preceding orders remaining nevertheless
in their full force in regard to the Alliance, actually commanded by
Paul Jones;' and that he at the same time charged the above named
Vice-Admiral 'to take care that conformably to the Placard of their
High Mightinesses of the 3d of November, 1756, none of the prisoners,
who were not brought into the Road on board said ship Alliance, should
be carried away in this ship;' his Serene Highness flattering himself
that their High Mightinesses would approve his proceedings in this
business. Upon which their High Mightinesses having deliberated,
immediately thanked the Prince Stadtholder for the communication that
his Serene Highness had made, and approved in all respects his
procedure in the affair of which he had written them, reserving to
themselves a further deliberation on the part to be taken on this
occasion."

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

              JOHN PAUL JONES TO THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

                                 Alliance, Texel, December 13th, 1779.

  Sir,

Perhaps there are many men in the world, who would esteem as an honor
the commission, that I have this day refused. My rank from the
beginning knew no superior in the marine of America; how then must I
be humbled, were I to accept a letter of marque! I should, Sir, esteem
myself inexcusable were I to accept, even a commission of equal or
superior denomination with that I bear, unless I were previously
authorised either by Congress or some other competent authority in
Europe, and I must tell you that on my arrival at Brest from my
expedition, in the Irish Channel, Count d'Orvilliers offered to
procure for me from Court a commission of Captain des Vaisseaux, which
I did not then accept for the same reason, although the war between
France and England was not then begun, and of course the commission of
France would have protected me from an enemy of superior force.

It is matter of the highest astonishment to me, that after so many
compliments and fair professions, the Court should offer the present
insult to my understanding, and suppose me capable of disgracing my
present commission! I confess that I have not merited all the praise,
that has been bestowed on my past conduct; but I also feel that I have
far less merited such a reward! Where profession and practice are so
opposite, I am no longer weak enough to form a wrong conclusion. They
may think as they please of me; for when I cannot continue my esteem,
praise or censure from any man is to me a matter of indifference.

I am much obliged to them, however, for having at least fairly opened
my eyes and enabled me to discover truth from falsehood.

The prisoners shall be delivered, agreeably to the orders which you
have done me the honor to send me from his Excellency the American
Ambassador in France.

I will also, with great pleasure, not only permit a part of my seamen
to go on board the ships under your Excellency's orders, but I will
also do my utmost to prevail with them to embark freely; and if I can
now or hereafter, by any other honorable means facilitate the success
or the honor of his Majesty's arms, I pledge myself to you as his
Ambassador, that none of his own subjects would bleed in his cause
with greater freedom than myself, an American.

It gives me the more pain, Sir, to write this letter, as the Court has
enjoined you to propose what would destroy my peace of mind, and my
future veracity in the opinion of the world.

When _with the consent of Court_, and by order of the American
Ambassador, I gave American commissions to French officers, I did not
fill up those commissions to command privateers! nor even for a rank
_equal_ to that of their commissions in the marine of France. They
were promoted to a rank _far superior_; and why! not from personal
friendship, nor from my knowledge of their personal abilities, the men
and their characters being entire strangers to me, but from the
respect which I believed America would wish to show for the service of
France. While I remained eight months at Brest, seemingly forgotten by
the Court, many commissions, such as that in question, were offered to
me; and I believe, (when I am in pursuit of plunder,) I can still
obtain such a one without application to Court.

I hope, Sir, that my behavior through life will ever entitle me to the
continuance of your good wishes and opinion, and that you will take
occasion to make mention of the warm and personal affection, with
which my heart is impressed towards his Majesty.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                      JOHN PAUL JONES.

       *       *       *       *       *

                   JOHN PAUL JONES TO B. FRANKLIN.

                                 Alliance, Texel, December 13th, 1779.

  Sir,

I have this day had the honor to receive your Excellency's orders of
the 6th current, respecting the prisoners taken in merchant ships,
and, at present, on board the Alliance. And I hope that the within
copy of my letter to the Duc de la Vauguyon will meet your
approbation; for I am persuaded, that it could never be your intention
or wish, that I should be made the fool of any great R---- whatsoever,
or that the commission of America should be overlaid by the dirty
piece of parchment, which I have this day rejected! They have played
upon my good nature too long already; but the spell is at last
dissolved. They would play me off with assurances of the personal and
particular esteem of the King, to induce me to do what would render me
contemptible, even in the eyes of my own servants! Accustomed to speak
untruths themselves, they would also have me give, under my hand, that
I am a liar and a scoundrel! They are mistaken, and I could tell them
what you did your wayward servant, "We have too contemptible an
opinion of one another's understanding to live together." I could tell
them too, that if M. de C---- had not taken such sage precaution to
keep me honest by means of his famous _concordat_, and to support me
by means of so many able colleagues, these great men would not now
have been reduced to such mean shifts, for the prisoners would have
been landed at Dunkirk the day that I entered the Texel, and I should
have brought in double the number.

We hear that the enemy still keeps a squadron cruising off here; but
this shall not prevent my attempts to depart whenever the wind will
permit. I hope we have recovered the trim of this ship, which was
entirely lost during the last cruise; and I do not much fear the enemy
in the long and dark nights of this season. The ship is well manned,
and shall not be given away.

I have sent to Congress three copies of my late transactions in
Europe, down to the 7th of this month, and M. Dumas has undertaken to
forward them.

I need not tell you I will do my utmost to take prisoners and prizes
in my way from hence.

I am ever, with sentiments of the most lively affection and esteem,
your Excellency's most obliged, and most humble servant,

                                                      JOHN PAUL JONES.

       *       *       *       *       *

                  JOHN PAUL JONES TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                        Alliance, December 13th, 1779.

  Sir,

I have received your esteemed favor from Amsterdam. I leave the
enclosed letter for his Excellency, Dr Franklin, open for your
perusal; I also send a copy of my letter to the Duc de la Vauguyon. I
shall be glad of your remarks on both. The occasion that produced them
was the most extraordinary that ever happened to me; and language
cannot express my astonishment at so unworthy a proposition.

Adieu, my dear friend. I am, in cool blood, yours,

                                                      JOHN PAUL JONES.

       *       *       *       *       *

               VICE-ADMIRAL REYNST TO JOHN PAUL JONES.

                                       Amsterdam, December 17th, 1779.

  Sir,

I made a request to you yesterday, that you would take the trouble to
come on board my vessel, from which you excused yourself; and again
this morning. I also make request by this present, that you will have
the goodness to inform me how I ought to consider the Alliance, on
board of which you are; as a vessel of the King of France or of
America? In the first case, I expect you will show me the commission
of his Majesty, and that you will hoist the French flag and pendant,
confirming it with a salute from your guns; and, in the second case, I
expect that you will not neglect any opportunity to depart according
to the orders of their High Mightinesses.

I am, Sir, &c.

                                                         P. H. REYNST.

       *       *       *       *       *

            JOHN PAUL JONES TO VICE-ADMIRAL P. H. REYNST.

                                 Alliance, Texel, December 17th, 1779.

  Sir,

In answer to the letter, which you have done me the honor to write me
this day, I must observe, that I have no orders to hoist the flag of
France on board the Alliance; nor can I take upon me to hoist, in this
port, any other than American colors, unless I receive orders for that
purpose from his Excellency, Benjamin Franklin.

In the meantime, it is my wish to find a favorable opportunity to sail
from hence; and whenever the pilot will take upon him to conduct this
ship to sea, I will give him my best assistance. Should I receive any
new orders, I shall not fail to communicate my situation to you.

I am, &c.

                                                      JOHN PAUL JONES.

       *       *       *       *       *

                  JOHN PAUL JONES TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                 Alliance, Texel, December 17th, 1779.

I am, my Dear Sir, to acknowledge your sundry kind favors from
Amsterdam. I thank you for your advice, which, by my last, as well as
the enclosed, you will see I had followed before the appearance of
your letters. Let not that circumstance disquiet you; for I have made
myself some compliments on my thinking in many points so like you.
Know me always your affectionate friend,

                                                      JOHN PAUL JONES.

       *       *       *       *       *

M. DE LIVONCOURT, FRENCH NAVY AGENT AT AMSTERDAM, TO JOHN PAUL JONES.

                                          Helder, December 17th, 1779.

  Sir,

I thank you for your politeness in communicating to me what
Vice-Admiral Reynst had written you. I perceive by this letter, that
you would give great pleasure, if you would display the royal flag.
Meanwhile, I can make no more entreaty, if you persist in not using
the commission, which I was charged to send you. Reflect that all the
French here, in the service of the King, have strongly at heart to
maintain the Republic in sentiments favorable to the allies of his
Majesty. It is in conformity with these views, and for the good of
the common cause, and only for this transient object, that the
commission, for the origin of which you imagine a thousand ill-natured
motives, and which, finally, you refuse to accept, has been addressed
to you.

You know all that I have had the honor to say to you on this subject
has been as well for your personal quiet, as for the honor and
satisfaction of the common allies.

I am still at your service, if you desire it, and I will continue to
act with the same earnestness as heretofore for the advantage of this
cause, and for your own interests. The Ambassador has expressed to you
the same sentiments. My dispositions and my orders are entirely
conformed thereto.

I am, Sir, &c.

                                                        DE LIVONCOURT.

       *       *       *       *       *

                  JOHN PAUL JONES TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                Alliance, at Sea, December 27th, 1779.

  Sir,

I am here, with a good wind at east, under my best American colors. So
far you have your wish. What may be the event of this critical moment,
I know not. I am not, however, without good hopes. Through the
ignorance or drunkenness of the old pilot, the Alliance was last night
got foul of a Dutch merchant ship, and I believe the Dutchman cut our
cable.

We lost the best bower anchor, and the ship was brought up with the
sheet anchor so near the shore, that this morning I have been obliged
to cut the cable, in order to get clear of the shore, and that I might
not lose this opportunity of escaping from Purgatory.

I wish Mr Hoogland would have the sheet and best bower anchors taken
up, that they may either be sent to France, or sold, as M. de
Neufville may find most expedient.

The pilot knows where the anchors lie, and unless he assists willingly
in taking them up, he ought not, in my opinion, to be paid for his
service on board here.

Adieu, my dear friend. Present my best respects to your family, and to
the good patriot; and believe me to be always affectionately yours,

                                                      JOHN PAUL JONES.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                       The Hague, December 30th, 1779.

  Gentlemen,

This day I have received a letter from Captain Jones, of which a copy
is here joined. I hope in a short time to hear of his safe arrival.
The prizes, Serapis and Scarborough, and the two French ships, Pallas
and Vengeance, are still riding under French colors and captains.

The good Alliance, while here, has caused me much anxiety and trouble.
Now she leaves me exposed to the ill-nature of my old foes in this
country, whom, however, I dread not so much as certain false friends,
highly incensed now against me, for not having found me as blind and
complaisant to their particular views as they had expected I would be.
The formal confirmation by Congress of my character as agent of the
United States, which I have already spoken of in my former despatches,
and which I must entreat you to procure for me, will silence them.
Indeed I cannot be quiet nor safe without such a testimonial.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    B. FRANKLIN TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                            Passy, January 27th, 1780.

  Dear Sir,

I received yours of the tenth instant. I shall be glad to learn how
the taking of the Dutch ships has been accommodated. We have yet no
news of the Alliance, but suppose she is cruising. We are more in pain
for the Confederacy, which sailed on the 28th of October, from the
Capes of Delaware. There is some hope that she went to Charleston, to
take in Mr Laurens, as some passengers arrived in France, who left
Philadelphia several weeks after her sailing, say it was a general
opinion she would call there before she departed for Europe.[35]

I send you enclosed a translation of a letter, which I think I sent
you the original of before. Perhaps it may serve our Leyden friend.

I am sorry you have any difference with the Ambassador, and wish you
to accommodate it as soon as possible. Depend upon it that no one ever
knew from me, that you had spoken or written against any person. There
is one, concerning whom I think you sometimes receive erroneous
information. In one particular, I know you were misinformed, that of
his selling us arms at an enormous profit; the truth is, we never
bought of him.

I am ever, with great esteem, &c.

                                                          B. FRANKLIN.


FOOTNOTES:

[35] See the history of the voyage of the Confederacy in _John Jay's
Correspondence_, Vol. VII. p. 174.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                          The Hague, March 15th, 1780.

  Gentlemen,

Since my last letter of the 30th of December, the ice has so
obstructed our waters, and my ill health has been such, as not to
permit me to write till now. I send you herewith the plan of a treaty
to be concluded between the United States and the Seven United
Provinces of the Low Countries, as soon as the circumstances will
permit it. A great deal of its materials has been furnished me by the
Pensionary of Amsterdam, who, as well as Dr Franklin, has examined and
corrected it. If Congress shall be pleased to do the same, and send me
the plan back again, with powers to carry on a negotiation on such
terms, then nothing will remain but to watch opportunities, which may
perhaps very soon present themselves.

I am told that Mr Laurens will soon come over here as Plenipotentiary.
I shall be very glad of it, and promise to be his _fidus Achates_ in
every sense, for the public as well as his own service.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                          The Hague, March 21st, 1780.

  Sir,

Honored since many years with the correspondence and friendship of Dr
Franklin, I received in April, 1776, by an express, (Mr Thomas Story,)
instructions and credentials from the Committee of Foreign Affairs,
signed B. Franklin, J. Dickenson, and J. Jay, at Philadelphia, dated
December 9th and 12th, for founding the dispositions of the several
European Courts towards the American confederates, and making
proposals of intercourse and alliance to those I should find inclined
to accept them; "recommending to my discretion, to proceed in this
affair with such caution, as to keep the same from the knowledge of
the English Ambassador, and prevent any public appearance, _at
present_, of my being employed in any such business, as thereby they
imagine many inconveniences may be avoided, and my means of rendering
service to America increased. They sent me, _for the present_,
enclosed a bill for one hundred pounds sterling to defray expenses,
and _desired me to be assured, that my services will be considered and
honorably rewarded by Congress_." By another letter of the 2d of
March, 1776, Dr Franklin "recommended to my correspondence, the
bearer, Mr Silas Deane."

In the meantime I had addressed myself to the Court of France, with a
deep interest in your concerns, and to the account I gave the
Committee of Foreign Affairs of my negotiation, Dr Franklin answered
in the following terms on the 1st of October;--"I have just time to
acknowledge the receipt of your two packets, with the pamphlets
enclosed, the contents of which are very satisfactory. You will hear
from me more fully in a little time." He soon after came over, and
brought me a letter from the same committee, signed Robert Morris,
Richard H. Lee, J. Witherspoon, W. Hooper, wherein they expressly
"_desire me to continue that correspondence_, which he had opened and
conducted, and they write me _on behalf of Congress, requesting to
hear from me frequently_, promising me the reimbursement of expenses,
and a reasonable _allowance_ for my time and trouble in _this
agency_." The committee wrote me two other letters, August 8th, 1777;
and May 14th, 1778, in the latter of which they "acknowledge that I
had so early and warmly espoused their cause, and aided it with such
judgment and resolution, that they shall write particularly to the
gentlemen at Paris, respecting the injuries I had received from their
enemies, and shall instruct them to pay the strictest attention to the
engagements made to me in behalf of Congress, at the commencement of
our correspondence."

By some dark manoeuvres of those enemies, who by intercepters and
spies had got at last some general knowledge of my operations, I had
been defrauded not only of the sum of six hundred pounds sterling due
to me, but also of a livelihood, which had rendered me hitherto,
yearly, three hundred pounds sterling. However, I did not apply to the
Commissioners for the above sum; and after having received for the
course of the whole year, 1777, only one hundred pounds sterling, I
obtained two hundred pieces a year for 1778, and twenty five pieces
more for the ordinary charges and expenses of the following years.
With this small sum of two hundred and twenty five pieces to live on
in a country like this, I have been obliged, not only to dismiss my
servant, but to make other reductions in my house, which makes my
little family, as well as myself, unhappy, because they apprehend I
have undone them. I keep them up, however, with the confidence I have
in the justice and magnanimity of Congress, who, when affairs become
more prosperous, will not forget me, nor my daughter, a good child of
thirteen years old, who, from the beginning of this war, has been
taught to pray fervently for the United States.

This State, by its constitution, can make no war, nor any treaty with
a sovereign power, without a unanimity of all its provinces and
cities. And as there is a very strong party in favor of England, there
is not the least probability that they will conclude a treaty with the
United States, before England permits them to do so by setting them
the example. The only, but very necessary thing, therefore, which
remained to be done here, was to hinder the English from drawing this
Republic into their quarrel, which, by her immense wealth and public
credit would have had very bad consequences against America. And to
this your humble servant has greatly and daily co-operated these three
years past. We found a very weak opposition, which is now strong
enough to resist the torrent.

Besides the Commissioners at Paris, to whom I constantly communicate
all that passes, Mr William Lee, who, from September, 1776, to May,
1779, was my correspondent, knew my exertions. He wrote to me so early
as December 26, 1777, in these terms. "Though I have not for some time
past, had the pleasure of your correspondence, yet I have not been a
stranger to your continued exertions in the cause of humanity and
liberty, for which thousands yet unborn will bless your memory." Even
with respect to a treaty, I left the matter not untried. For
immediately after the conclusion of the treaty between the United
States and France, I concerted with the city of Amsterdam and the
Commissioners at Paris to communicate the said treaty, by means of the
Great Pensionary of Holland, to their High Mightinesses, together with
a letter of Dr Franklin to the Great Pensionary, inviting them to
treat on the same footing, _mutatis mutandis_, whenever they should
think fit; on which an answer was politely declined for the present.
Of this curious transaction, I sent at that time, an account to Paris,
as well as to the Committee of Foreign Affairs. One of the letters of
the First Pensionary of Amsterdam, our great and worthy friend, dated
July 31, 1778, has been translated, and printed in the Baltimore
Journal, with these words at the head of it, "_Letter of a steady
friend of America, at the Hague._" I have besides in my power the
proofs of all this in several letters of the honorable gentlemen at
Paris and at Amsterdam. Mr William Lee knew this too, when he
concerted with M. de Neufville, a merchant of Amsterdam, at Francfort
first, and then at Aix la Chapelle, unknown to me, to get a
Declaration from M. Van Berckel, the Pensionary, of the friendly
dispositions of the city of Amsterdam, which this good gentleman
delivered, thinking Mr William Lee was one of the Commissioners at
Paris. A like Declaration M. Van Berckel delivered to me on the 23d of
September, 1778,[36] with an explanatory letter of the expression,
_dès que l'indépendence des Etats-Unis en Amérique sera reconnue par
les Anglais_, because I told him, such a condition would hurt the
honorable Congress, and make them pay no attention at all to a
Declaration, which would appear to them insignificant. Both the
Declaration and letter[37] will be found in the records of the
Committee aforesaid, to whom I sent copies of them towards the end of
1778. As to the sketching and proposing a treaty, his opinion and mine
also were, that it was premature at that time; and therefore we
postponed it till the last summer, when he delivered me some papers,
out of which, and of the French treaty, I have made the sketch,
reviewed afterwards and corrected by him and by Dr Franklin, of which
I have despatched on the 19th of this month three different copies to
the Committee aforesaid, and which I expect back again, with the
corrections of Congress, and with instructions and credentials for
proposing it on the first opportunity, which in the meantime I am
carefully watching.

It is with a very painful concern I mention to your Excellency this
attempt of Mr Lee to undermine me in this manner; when I thought he
had enough ado to fulfil his commissions through Germany, and
therefore was very open and unaware in my letters to him. It is with
the same concern, I learn just now by a letter of a very worthy
servant of the United States, that his brother Arthur Lee, has
complained against me in a Memorial to Congress, as if I had extolled
Dr Franklin at his expense in the Leyden Gazette. Whoever told him so,
has told him an absolute falsehood. This assertion may perhaps
receive, even in his own mind, additional strength, by my ingenuously
telling him, however, that his being at enmity with Dr Franklin, will
not hinder me to retain still in my bosom a most tender respect and
love for the latter. I am sure he will do the same when dispassionate.

I recommend myself to the protection of Congress, and am with the
deepest respect, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.


FOOTNOTES:

[36] See this letter and the Declaration in the _Correspondence of the
Commissioners in France_, Vol. I. pp. 456, 457, 483.

[37] The Explanatory Letter is missing, but a letter from the
Commissioners in relation to the subject of it may be seen as above,
p. 476.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    B. FRANKLIN TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                              Passy, March 29th, 1780.

  Dear Sir,

It is some time since I have written to you, having nothing material
to communicate; but I received duly your letters of February 1st,
18th, 25th, March 2d, 11th, 13th, 17th, and 23d; and thank you for the
intelligence they contain. The last this minute came to hand, and I
shall answer it separately.

I pray you to assure M. ---- of my respect, and that it was only on
one packet for him that I put my name, when I thought to have sent it
by a friend. The baseness of the post-office opening it surprises me.
No other letter for him has since passed through my hands. If any
others come to me for him, I shall send them under cover to you.

I forwarded your letter to Captain Jones. I do not know which of his
English pilots it was, mentioned in yours to ----. I know he has been
generous to an excess with them. Explain to me, if you please, the
fact that is the subject of that letter, and who Mr Gordon is.

I am curious to know what the States will do about the confiscation of
the goods taken in Byland's convoy.

I received your large packets; that for Captain Jones shall be
carefully sent to him. I thank you for the philosophical pieces,
which I will read attentively as soon as I have time. The original
acts of confederation are very curious, and will be acceptable to
Congress.

I am ever, my Dear Sir, yours affectionately,

                                                          B. FRANKLIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                          The Hague, April 13th, 1780.

  Sir,

Since the Memorial presented to their High Mightinesses by the
Plenipotentiary of Russia, (of which, as well as of the
Declaration[38] of his Court to those of Versailles, Madrid, and
London, I join here copies in the Leyden Gazette,) the Provincial
States of Holland are deliberating on the invitation of the Empress,
and I am sure (knowing it from a very good hand) the resolution of
this Province will be taken within the next week, agreeably to the
views of the Empress, and to the general wishes of all good men. Now
as the resolutions of this Province are commonly adopted by the
others, there is very good hope that this Republic will take a step,
which must accelerate a general pacification.

This intelligence is thought, not only by myself, but by many others,
very important for the United States. The most devoted partisans of
the English Court here, seeing that they cannot, without rendering
themselves too odious, prevent such a resolution from being taken, do
what they can to enervate it by obscure and ambiguous expressions,
which they propose to be inserted; but our good men take care to sweep
the dust which the others throw in their way.

As to the two other objects, which at present take up this Republic,
viz. the unlimited convoys, and the assistance which the English Court
demands from this Republic, the Province of Holland has already,
several weeks ago, unanimously resolved the former, and declined
granting the succors, as being not within the _casus foederis_ by this
war. To this resolution the Provinces of Friesland, Overyssel, and
Groningen, have successively acceded; and it is expected the three
others will do the same.

I advised the Committee of Foreign Affairs by my letter of June 21st,
1779, to think of sending here, _aliquem e medio vestrum pietate
gravem ac meritis virum_; it is now time for such a man to be here, at
first incognito, till it should be proper to display the character of
Plenipotentiary. Some American friends here have told me, that Mr
Laurens, formerly President of Congress, was designed to come over for
this purpose. I should be very glad to have him already arrived.
Whenever he comes, he may dispose of my faithful services.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.


FOOTNOTES:

[38] See this Declaration and the Memorial in _John Adams's
Correspondence_, Vol. IV. pp. 488, 490.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    B. FRANKLIN TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                               Passy, April 23d, 1780.

  Dear Sir,

I am much pleased with the account you give me of the disposition with
which the proposals from the Empress of Russia have been received, and
desire to be informed from time to time, of the progress of that
interesting business.

I shall be glad to hear of your reconciliation with ---- because a
continuance of your difference will be extremely inconvenient. Permit
me to tell you frankly, what I formerly hinted to you, that I
apprehend you suffer yourself too easily to be led into personal
prejudices, by interested people, who would engross all our confidence
to themselves. From this source have arisen, I imagine, the charges
and suspicions you have insinuated to me, against several who have
always declared a friendship for us in Holland. It is right that you
should have an opportunity of giving the _carte du pays_ to Mr
Laurens, when he arrives in Holland. But if in order to serve your
particular friends, you fill his head with these prejudices, you will
hurt him and them, and perhaps yourself. There does not appear to me
the least probability in your supposition, that the ---- is an enemy
to America.

Here has been with me a gentleman from Holland, who was charged, as he
said, with a verbal commission from divers cities, to inquire whether
it was true, that Amsterdam had, as they heard, made a treaty of
commerce with the United States, and to express in that case their
willingness to enter into a similar treaty. Do you know anything of
this? What is become, or likely to become of the plan of treaty,
formerly under consideration?

By a letter from Middlebourg, to which the enclosed is an answer, a
cargo seized and sent to America, as English property, is reclaimed
partly on the supposition, that free ships make free goods. They ought
to do so between England and Holland, because there is a treaty which
stipulates it; but there being yet no treaty between Holland and
America to that purpose, I apprehend that the goods being declared by
the Captain to be English, a neutral ship will not protect them, the
law of nations governing in this case as it did before the treaty
abovementioned. Tell me if you please your opinion.

With sincere esteem and affection, I am ever,

                                                          B. FRANKLIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                            The Hague, May 21st, 1780.

  Sir,

The express sent to Petersburg, with the answer of the States-General,
has not yet returned. In the meantime it is known here by a despatch
of the Resident of the Republic at Petersburg, that the news of the
Provincial Resolution of Holland, which always gives the tone to the
others, has caused there a very agreeable sensation, not only to the
Court of Russia, flattered to see the Republic enter into its views,
but also to the foreign Ministers resident there; and that the
Prussian Minister, above all, expressed himself very strongly on the
insolence of the English, and on the indignity of their procedure to
the Republic; in fine, that the system of the armed neutrality to
humiliate the English, gains force more and more at the Court, and
among the powers; which is very visible in the conversations among the
ministers.

I wrote some days ago to Amsterdam, to advise them to offer to the
State every fifth sailor of their merchant ships, in order to take
away the pretext for the scarcity of sailors in the fleet of the
Republic; and I recommended to them to prevent evil minded persons
presenting a counter address. They answered me, that the address
demands of the States the prompt protection of commerce, and offers
them whatever they may wish to draw from that commerce, whether it be
the every fifth or third seaman; and that though all have not signed
it, no one will dare to oppose it. This address will be presented next
week; and if I can have a copy of it soon enough, I will add hereto a
copy or translation.

We flatter ourselves soon to see Mr Laurens arrive here, as we have
been assured. It is time for the politics as well as for the credit of
America that some person, as distinguished as himself, should come
here. He cannot yet display a public character; but his presence will
do none the less good among the friends of America in this country. I
wish he was already with us.

I was going, Sir, to close this packet, when I received the visit of
M. Van de Perre, partner of M. Meyners, who form together the most
eminent commercial house at Middlebourg, in Zealand. He begs me to
support the claim that he has made through Messrs I. de Neufville &
Son, and by another way also to Congress on the ship Berkenbos, bound
from Liverpool to Leghorn, and loaded with herrings and lead for Dutch
and Italian account, taken by John Paul Jones, Captain of the
Continental frigate Alliance. M. Van de Perre is of the most
distinguished family in Zealand, Director of the East India Company,
nephew of M. Van Berckel, First Counsellor, Pensionary of Amsterdam,
the brave republican of whom all my letters make mention, and who is
the great friend of Americans. I have no need to say anything more to
recommend the affair of this vessel to Congress.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    JOHN ADAMS TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                                Paris, June 6th, 1780.

  Sir,

I thank you for your letter, in answer to mine of the 21st of May, and
for your kind congratulations on my arrival here.

Mr Brown, with whom you took your walks in the neighborhood of Paris,
has been gone from home some weeks, on his way hence. I should have
had much pleasure if I had been one of the party. I have rambled in
most of the scenes round this city, and find them very pleasant, but
much more indebted to art than to nature. Philadelphia, in the
purlieus of which, as well as those of Baltimore and Yorktown, I have
often sought health and pleasure in the same way, in company with our
venerable Secretary, Charles Thompson, will in future time, when the
arts shall have established their empire in the new world, become much
more striking. But Boston above all, around which I have much oftener
wandered, in company with another venerable character, little known in
Europe, but to whose virtues and public merits in the cause of
mankind, history will do justice, will one day present scenes of
grandeur and beauty, superior to any other place I have ever yet seen.

The letter of General Clinton, when I transmitted it to you, was not
suspected to be an imposition. There are some circumstances, which are
sufficient to raise a question, but I think none of them are
conclusive, and upon the whole I have little doubt of its
authenticity. I shall be much mortified if it proves a fiction, not on
account of the importance of the letter, but the stain that a practice
so disingenuous will bring upon America. When I first left America,
such a fiction, with all its ingenuity, would have ruined the
reputation of the author of it, if discovered, and I think that both
he and the printer would have been punished. With all the freedom of
our presses, I really think, that not only the government but the
populace would have resented it. I have had opportunities of an
extensive acquaintance with the Americans, and I must say, in justice
to my countrymen, that I know not a man that I think capable of a
forgery at once so able and so base. Truth is indeed respected in
America, and so gross an affront to her I hope will not, and I think
cannot go unpunished.

Whether it is genuine or not, I have no doubt of the truth of the
facts, in general, and I have reasons to believe, that if the secret
correspondence of Bernard, Hutchinson, Gage, Howe, and Clinton could
all be brought to light, the world would be equally surprised at the
whole thread of it. The British administration and their servants have
carried towards us from the beginning a system of duplicity, in the
conduct of American affairs, that will appear infamous to the public
whenever it shall be known.

You have seen Rodney's account of the battle of the 17th of April. The
sceptre of the ocean is not to be maintained by such actions as this,
and Byron's, and Keppel's. They must make themselves more terrible
upon the ocean, to preserve its dominion. Their empire is founded only
in fear--no nation loves it. We have no news.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                           JOHN ADAMS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                  PROTEST OF THE CITY OF AMSTERDAM.

_Extracted from the Resolutions of the Council of that City of the
29th of June, 1780, and inserted in the Acts of the Provincial
Assembly of Holland, at the Hague, July 1st, 1780._

The Deputies of the city of Amsterdam, in the name and on the part of
their constituents, in order to justify themselves to posterity, have
declared in the Assembly of their Noble and Grand Mightinesses that
their Committee is of opinion that it is necessary, without loss of
time, to write on the part of their High Mightinesses to M. de Swart,
their Resident at the Court of Russia, and charge him to enter into a
conference, the sooner the better, with the Commissioners of her
Imperial Majesty of Russia, and of other neutral powers in the place
of his residence and elsewhere, where it shall be judged suitable, in
order to conclude together a convention for the mutual protection of
the commerce and navigation of neutral powers, on the basis of the
declaration made by her Majesty to the belligerent powers, and of the
resolution adopted on this subject by their High Mightinesses, on the
24th of April last, adding to it only, that said M. de Swart shall
take for the rule of his conduct the simplicity which her Imperial
Majesty of Russia herself has proposed in the explanations which she
made on five points at the request of his Swedish Majesty, and which
M. de Swart has communicated to their High Mightinesses, to the end,
that with such a provisional convention, they would be well pleased to
decree together the reciprocal protection of the merchant ships of
each other, which, fortified with the requisite papers shall be
nevertheless insulted on the sea; so that these merchant vessels being
in reach of one or more vessels of war of one of the allied powers,
wherever it may be, they may receive, in virtue of such an alliance,
any assistance; and that at the same time the contracting powers
engage to put to sea, provisionally, all the vessels of war they can,
and to give to the officers who shall command them necessary orders
and instructions that they may be able to fulfil these general,
salutary and simple views.

And that, further, as to arrangements to be made for the future, which
may require more particular detail, and which cannot be adjusted with
the expedition which the present perilous state of the navigation of
the neutral powers in general, and of this Province in particular
demands, M. de Swart will reserve all this for a separate article, of
which her Imperial Majesty of Russia made mention in the above named
explanations, and that he will declare in regard to this that their
High Mightinesses have given thereon their final and precise orders,
in which they will constitute one or more Plenipotentiaries who will
be able to treat of the necessary arrangements on this subject with
the neutral powers.

That said constituents, to give greater weight to their present
advice, add further to the above, that if this advice was rejected,
and if the affair was negotiated on the basis of the previous opinion,
exhibited on the 23d of June last, in the Assembly of Holland, the
consequence of it will be that the Russian squadron, which, according
to orders of her Imperial Majesty of Russia, must have already put to
sea, will appear in the seas bordering on this country, without giving
any protection to the commerce of this country; while, on the other
side, though commerce has been a long time charged with double duties,
their High Mightinesses, meantime, grant it no protection, because the
Colleges of Admiralty of this country profess themselves unable to do
it, or at least to put to sea sufficient convoys to avoid affronts
like those which the squadron under the orders of Rear-Admiral de
Byland had lately endured.

That from this total failure of protection to the navigation of this
country, on the one side, and from the continual insults of which
their High Mightinesses every day receive grievous complaints on the
other, there must naturally ensue an entire suspension of the commerce
of this country; and thence, it is easy to foresee, that this commerce
will be diverted and take its course by other European channels, and
that the burdensome impositions with which it is charged, in order to
obtain means for its protection being continued, will precipitate its
ruin.

That in this confusion of affairs, and in the extreme necessity in
which they find themselves, to take advantage of an offer of
assistance and succor so generously and magnanimously made and
proposed by her Imperial Majesty of Russia to this State, on a footing
so easy and so little burdensome; the Lords Constituents will leave
posterity to judge of the weight of the reasons alleged by some
members of the Assembly of their Noble and Grand Mightinesses in the
deliberation on this subject, as if the acceptance of said means for
the necessary protection of the commerce of this country, and in
particular of foreign succor, could be considered a means of drawing
on a war on the part of those, against whom it is found necessary to
defend ourselves, in making use of said means to all lawful purposes;
and as if we ought, for this reason, to decline the said offer of
assistance, unless her Imperial Majesty of Russia, beside her said
magnanimous plan of re-establishing the liberty of the seas, will also
engage with the other neutral powers to guaranty to this nation all
its possessions fixed and immovable, both in and out of Europe.

That the Lords Constituents will only remark, that in order that such
an attack on the fixed and immovable possessions of the Republic may
appear likely, it would be necessary at least, to allege some
plausible reasons or pretexts to defend it, in the eyes of all Europe,
from the most manifest injustice and violence; whereas it is clear
that such hostilities could not have any foundation on a protection of
commerce to which their High Mightinesses find themselves absolutely
forced by the open violation of the treaty of commerce concluded with
England in 1674; that thus the probability of an attack of this sort,
seeing the manifest injustice of such an enterprize, must vanish; and
this especially, if we consider the great number of enemies that
England has drawn upon her, and that it would be madness to increase
the number; that such being the case, the said suppositions are of too
small weight and too far removed from all probability to refuse the
means which are offered of protecting the commerce of the subjects of
the State, and that to refuse an aid so powerful while it is not in a
condition to protect its commerce by its own unaided forces, will be
evidently to renounce all protection possible, while the burdensome
imposts under which commerce, in expectation of some protection, has a
long time groaned, and still groans, would, against all reason, remain
in their rigor.

That in addition to this the Lords Constituents will remark further,
that it appears by the successive despatches of M. de Swart to their
High Mightinesses on this affair, that he insists strongly on
hastening the business, and on sending, the sooner the better,
necessary instructions for this purpose, after the example of Sweden,
who has already instructed her Minister to conclude the said
convention. That this is the more necessary because we know that all
sorts of indirect means are set to work to deprive the Republic of the
advantage of an alliance so beneficial, and to involve it in a war
with France.

From this it is clear that such pernicious views will be accomplished,
if not only they put off the completion of the convention, but also,
as is but too apparent, if they evade it altogether by making her
Imperial Majesty of Russia propositions of guaranty, which not only
are entirely foreign to the plan which this Princess has laid before
the eyes of Europe, but which her Majesty, in the explanations she has
given, has roundly declared she would never listen to.

In fine that the Lords Constituents are of opinion, that it is
necessary to satisfy the wishes of her Imperial Majesty of Russia, by
making the declaration in question on the part of their High
Mightinesses to the belligerent powers, and by assuring her Majesty
that as soon as said convention shall be signed, their High
Mightinesses will make the said declaration to the Courts of the
belligerent powers.

Meantime the committee referred thereon to the better advice of the
honorable Council. On which, having deliberated and the voices having
been taken, the Burgomasters and Counsellors thanked the committee for
the trouble they had taken and agreed to the above advice.

                                                    A. VAN HINGELANDT.

       *       *       *       *       *

                   JAMES LOVELL TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                        Philadelphia, July 10th, 1780.

  Sir,

I know not how I can profess all the regard which I feel for you,
without appearing, on the one hand, to do it upon slight grounds, or,
on the other, to have delayed it too long.

I have been steadily in Congress without once visiting my family in
Boston, since January, 1777, and from May, that year, have been a
member of the Committee of Foreign Affairs; consequently, I am well
informed of your truly republican spirit, your particular affection
for these States, and your industry in their service, most of your
numerous letters, down to December 30th, 1779, having come to hand.

The honorable gentleman who will deliver this, being also a member of
Congress, has a just esteem for you, and promises himself much
advantage from an opportunity of conversing with you. Mr Searle is
well able to make a due return of the benefits from the fund of his
intimacy with American state affairs, his extensive commercial
knowledge, and his science of mankind gained by former travels.

I shall shortly write to you again by another respectable gentleman of
our assembly, and I will use every means to make him the bearer of
what you have so rightfully solicited, as a faithful _first_
correspondent of our Committee, from whom you will, probably, have
regular official letters under a new arrangement of a secretaryship,
which has been vacant from the days of a confusion excited by an
indiscreet and illiberal publication here, on the 5th of December,
1778, and which you have read with grief.

In the meantime, I hope you will receive kindly this individual
testimony of cordial friendship, from, Sir, your very humble servant,

                                                         JAMES LOVELL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                           The Hague, July 15th, 1780.

  Sir,

Since my last of the 21st of May, nothing has passed of much interest
in the Assemblies of this Province, to deserve repetition. I send an
account of all that passes to Dr Franklin at Paris, almost every post.
The fitting out of ships of the Republic for convoy goes on slowly,
and the resolutions in this respect, and for the negotiations with
Russia, drag equally slow. The English party, led by the English
Ambassador, and by another person who leads the majority here,
continue to perplex, delay, and cross everything; and he who is at the
head of all, follows their impulses. In a word, the English intrigue
more here than in all Europe besides. The difficulties they excite in
Germany and foment on the subject of the coadjutor of Munster and
Cologne, are intended to embarrass this Republic, and hinder it from
being successfully occupied in the re-establishment of its navy. It
was in agitation to make choice of a Prince of Austria for coadjutor,
and, of consequence, for future Elector of Cologne. The King of
Prussia is opposed to it; and France also. England, in the name of
Hanover, favored the views of the House of Austria. This may kindle a
war in Germany.

The protest here annexed of the minority in the Chapter of Munster,
is a paper as important as it is well done. I received it in German
and translated it, and while I am writing this, a copy of it is
making.

I have nothing more to add, except that a body of ten thousand
Prussians, quartered in Westphalia, have orders to hold themselves
ready to march to Munster on the first signal.

The misfortune of Charleston has animated the courage of the
Anglomanes here, and filled our friends with consternation. I do my
best to encourage them, and I succeed. In spite of the intrigues of
the English, they will gain nothing important here, because there must
be unanimity in the resolutions for war or peace.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                            The Hague, July 22d, 1780.

  Sir,

As everything is here in the inactivity of summer, nothing new has
occurred. The States of the Province of Holland do not assemble till
the 26th of this month. It is to be wished that we may soon receive
news from America, which will raise again the courage of the friends
of the United States, to whom the misfortune of Charleston has caused
much pain, in proportion as it has reanimated those who favor your
enemies. The latter, in the meantime, forge and utter every day rumors
injurious to the United States, such as, that they are about to
submit. "The Congress," say they, "is disunited and ready to dissolve;
the southern Provinces successively yield, and they flatter themselves
in England, that those in the north will follow their example." The
King himself flatters his Parliament with this idea. I can, for the
present, only oppose patience to all this, and keep myself mostly out
of sight; for they look on me as a lost man, and one who will be soon
abandoned by America herself. Besides, my feeble health, which has not
been able to resist this shock and a concurrence of many others,
forces me to this inaction for a time.

Two Plenipotentiaries depart hence to regulate at Petersburg with the
Empress of Russia, the armed neutrality. The Court of Denmark has
followed the example of Russia, in making the same declarations to the
other powers. It appears that the affair of Munster will not trouble
the peace of Germany. This election must be made the 16th of next
month, and, probably, the Archduke will be coadjutor.

_July 24th._ The sudden declaration of Denmark, unforeseen by all the
world, much embarrasses those here who hope to see the armed
neutrality fail. Amsterdam has protested against sending
Plenipotentiaries to Petersburg, to whom embarrassing instructions
have been given. She wishes, with reason, that they would be content
simply to send full powers to M. de Swart, Resident of the Republic at
Petersburg, with orders to conform to the resolution of their High
Mightinesses, which is positive and clear on the accession to said
armed neutrality. It is expected that Sweden will make, on the first
opportunity, a like declaration. Then the opposition will not be able
to force the Republic to recede, without making themselves odious.

We hope by the next post, among other things, to receive good news
from the combined fleet of the Count de Guichen and Don Solano; as
also from M. de Ternay, and from the continent.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                WILLIAM CARMICHAEL TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                              Madrid, July 24th, 1780.

  Dear Sir,

I confess myself very remiss in not answering your favor of the 21st
ultimo sooner. The removal of the Court from Aranjues to this city,
and a bilious disorder which has oppressed me more than a month, and
which still afflicts me, have in part, been the reason. I have no news
to communicate to you, which can console you for our late misfortunes;
I can assure you, however, that they do not deject me. _Per aspera ad
astra._ Heaven does not intend to exempt us from the adversities,
which have befallen other nations, who struggled for their liberty, by
giving as almost full and instantaneous enjoyment of it. I have full
confidence in the perseverance of our countrymen. They will, I hope,
act with more vigor in consequence of their misfortunes. I have
received letters from America, dated in the end of April, and the 1st
of May, which speak of the loss of Charleston as certain, and which
predict other successes of the enemy in the Northern States, but which
show no despondency.

I shall pay implicit obedience to the request you make me, with
respect to your family, and you may rely upon me, when I tell you that
as long as I have any influence, or any friends in the councils of
America, they shall not want strenuous advocates, and this letter
will always be a memento that would put me to the blush, should I be
deficient in a promise, which I think myself even in justice to my
country obliged to endeavor to fulfil in the best manner possible. The
Spanish, or rather allied fleet, has returned to Cadiz, except a few
vessels which cruise near that port. The Count de Estaing is expected
at St Ildefonso in about a week, the Count being now at that place. I
go there this week.

I see that the _Courier de l'Europe_ mentions that Mr Jay has received
his _congé_, &c. &c. Not a word of truth. The English papers sent our
commissioners from France frequently, yet a treaty was made by these
same _congéd_ commissioners. I have received your cypher safe. Begin
when you please your observations on men and things. I shall be much
obliged to you, to separate and seal up all the letters you have ever
received from me, unless it be this, under a cover for me, which, in
case of death, which heaven forbid, you will direct to me, delivered
to my orders.

My best compliments to your family, and Messrs de Neufville, and
believe me ever, your friend and servant,

                                                   WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                           The Hague, July 25th, 1780.

  Sir,

The 21st of March last I had the honor to write your Excellency a long
letter on my own concerns, of which I annex here an extract. I add
here, that when I received the first commission of the committee on
the part of Congress, dated in December, 1775, in which they honored
me with their orders and credentials, I did not solicit to be
employed; I did not even think of it. But chosen and named, by this
respectable body, in a manner as unexpected as it was definite and
authentic, to serve essentially the United States, my ardent thoughts
and life were consecrated with zeal to the cause of the United States.
Persuaded that it was the cause of humanity, of liberty, and of
virtue, I have sacrificed everything to this noble service, during
nearly five years, with all possible zeal and fidelity. The Congress
also testified to me soon after, that they were well satisfied with my
services. I have corresponded assiduously since that time with the
Committee of Foreign Affairs, with the Plenipotentiaries of the United
States at Paris, and with a number of other servants of America. I
have raised up, cemented and nourished in Holland a considerable party
in their favor, whereby I have drawn upon myself the hatred of a party
more powerful, which wishes to see me perish, and which has already
done me all the wrong and all the mischief of which it was capable. I
have participated in the adverse fortune of America, in the just
confidence that the United States and their Congress will have my
interest at heart, as I have constantly and successfully had theirs,
and as their magnanimity, their dignity, and their honor require in
the eyes of the European public.

I have yet fully this confidence; and it is this which caused me to
solicit, more than a year since, in several of my letters to the
Committee of Foreign Affairs, a formal confirmation of my agency on
the part of Congress, for my safety and quiet. I beg, Sir, that you
will second my request and obtain for me a resolution as favorable as
my demand is just.

I know that some Americans, whom I honor in other respects, have
entertained and propagated the idea, that a commission of the
honorable Committee of Foreign Affairs was not so valid as one of
Congress. One of them said so to me. I will not, Sir, give myself up
to an idea so injurious, as to think, that Congress would refuse to
ratify what their Committee has done; and the engagements it has made,
but this body is not always composed of the same persons; it has many
other affairs; it may forget me, and I may be cruelly supplanted,
abandoned, and consequently at the age of sixty years, ruined with my
family, without resource and without means. I put, then, my cause into
the hands of your Excellency, to endeavor to obtain for me, as
promptly as possible, the satisfaction I desire, and to send me the
commission I solicit. The service of the United States requires it,
and this will not interfere with the powers of Minister
Plenipotentiary, who may be sent here; on the contrary, I shall be
useful to him, if God spares my life.

One consideration, also, to which I pray Congress to give their
attention, is that far from being recompensed for my past labors, the
two hundred and twenty five louis d'ors or guineas which I draw yearly
for my subsistence and to defray the expenses of journeys, postages,
&c. charges, which, from prudence, and considering circumstances, I
have never carried to the account, are not sufficient; and I have been
obliged constantly to expend my own in addition. Besides my age, the
privation not only of a copyist, which the service demanded, but even
of a valet, which I have been obliged also to deny myself in order to
be able to subsist, for about three years, makes my life extremely sad
and painful.

In perfect trust that Congress will consent to give attention to my
petition, and to my state, I commend myself with my wife and daughter
to their protection.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                  JOHN PAUL JONES TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                            Ariel, Road of Croix, September 8th, 1780.

I dare say, my dear friend, my silence for so long a time must have an
extraordinary appearance to you, and have excited in your mind various
conjectures not much to my advantage. I will now endeavor to make some
atonement by confessing the truth. I have been ashamed to write to you
on account of the strange variety of events that have taken place, and
detained me in port, from the 10th of February until this date.

I wish to pass over these events for the present in silence, choosing
rather to suffer a little ill-natured misconstruction, than to attempt
explanations before the matters are brought to a proper and final
decision. I hope it will then appear, that I have been not very fairly
treated, and that my conduct has been blameless. M. D. C. pursued his
resentment to such a length as obliged me in April to pay a visit to
the Minister, greatly against my will at that moment, for I then
thought myself neglected, and not very well used by him; but I was
most agreeably undeceived by the very friendly reception I met with.
My every demand was granted respecting the prizes; it became me
therefore to be very modest. I found that I had C. alone to thank for
the altercations at the Texel. I had the happiness to be feasted and
caressed by all the world at Paris and Versailles, except himself. He,
however, looked guilty; we did not speak together, not because I had
any determined objection, for I love his family, but he could not look
me in the face, and fled whenever chance brought us near each other.

Without studying it, I enjoyed over him a triumph, as great as I could
wish to experience over Jemmy Twitcher. His Majesty ordered a superb
sword to be made for me, which I have since received, and it is called
much more elegant than that presented to the Marquis de Lafayette. His
Majesty has also written, by his Minister, the strongest letter that
is possible in approbation of my conduct, to the President of
Congress, offering to invest me with the Cross, an institution of
military merit, which I carry with me for that purpose, to the
Chevalier de la Luzerne. The Minister of Marine has besides addressed
a very kind letter to myself, and I have also had the like honor shown
me by the other Ministers. I continue to receive constant marks of
esteem, and honorable attention from the Court, and the ship I now
command was lent to the United States in consequence of my
application. Nothing has detained me from sailing for this past month,
but that my officers and men are still without wages or prize money.
There is a strange mystery, which when explained, must surprise you.
C., who pretends to exercise authority over these moneys, will I fear
persist in withholding them, till he obliges me to lay a second
complaint before the Minister against him, and if I am reduced to the
necessity of this step, he will not come off so well as he has
hitherto done, on the score of betraying secrets.

I will take care of your packets, and as I expect to remain but two or
three days longer, I hope to hear from you through the hands of our
friend R. M. of Philadelphia. Let me know how Mr Round Face, that went
lately from Paris to the Hague, is proceeding? I understand he has
gone to Amsterdam. I wish he may be doing good. If he should
inadvertently do evil, as a stranger, I shall, as his fellow-citizen,
be very sorry for it, but you being a native will hear of it. I
confess I am anxious about his situation. The man has a family, and in
these troublesome times, I wish he were at home to mind his trade and
his fireside, for I think he has travelled more than his fortune can
well bear. Present my respects to Madam and the virgin muse. I got
many little pieces addressed to me while near the Court, but I made
very little return.

I am, my dear philosopher, with unalterable regard, yours.

                                                      JOHN PAUL JONES.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                      The Hague, September 12th, 1780.

  Sir,

There has been a great dearth of news for some time, which is happily
interrupted by the capture of the English East and West India fleets,
by the combined fleets of France and Spain, as your Excellency will
see by the accompanying journals. Important as this event is in
itself, we consider it here as the presage of what we are to hope in
America; the capture of the twelve English vessels bound to Quebec,
made by the Americans off Newfoundland, and the failure of General
Kniphausen at Springfield, is an agreeable foretaste of what we may
expect from the combined operations of the French and Continental
forces. There is nothing going on here, the States of Holland having
done nothing in their present session, except to deliberate on a
petition of the merchants of Amsterdam, for the free passage into
France of naval stores and copper, by the canals of Flanders and
Brabant, until the navigation of the Republic is better protected. The
inaction of the States-General still greater; they are awaiting the
letters from their Plenipotentiaries, who must have arrived at
Petersburg.

We learn from London, that the King has dissolved the present
Parliament, and will convoke a new one. In Ireland, although the
majority of the Parliament are subservient to the Court, the
associations of the disaffected increase. The Russian, Danish, and
Swedish squadrons in concert, protect the commerce of their respective
nations; and this Republic protects nothing. The combined fleet of
Spain and France is at sea, and is expected to show itself in the
Channel. The Archduke Maximilian has been chosen coadjutor, and
consequently future Elector of Cologne, and Bishop of Munster. The
Prince and Princess of Orange expect daily a visit from the King of
Sweden, on his return from Spa. The Prince of Prussia is at
Petersburg; the Emperor is returned to Vienna. The King of Prussia is
engaged with the review in Silesia.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                           TO B. FRANKLIN.

                                          The Hague, October 3d, 1780.

  Sir,

I have just seen our friend. Their High Mightinesses have received a
courier from Petersburg, with a convention drawn up by the Empress.
Our friend is well satisfied with the conduct of the Plenipotentiary
of the Republic and their despatches, which are,

1st. The convention founded on that made between the northern Courts,
to which are added two articles. One of them has for its object the
restitution of the vessels taken from the Republic; the other is, that
in case the Republic should, on account of this convention be
attacked, molested, or injured, the other powers shall take part and
make common cause with her and will defend her. To this is added a
separate article, importing that the design of the armed neutrality
is, to endeavor as soon as it is perfected, to make peace between the
belligerent powers.

2dly. The despatches inform us, that the Ministers Plenipotentiary
learned from the Minister of Prussia, that the English Envoy at
Petersburg had declared to her Imperial Majesty, that his Court would
pay due respect to the armed neutrality of the northern powers,
provided Holland was excluded from it.

Our friend informed me with great pleasure, that this Republic will
not be able to retreat; that it must sign in spite of the opposition
of the temporizers, who have now no pretence for delay, without
rendering themselves absolutely odious, and becoming responsible for
consequences. The French Ambassador has also received despatches from
the French Minister at Petersburg.

Our friend has no doubt but the King of Prussia will accede to the
convention. And, very probably, the Emperor will do the same. For the
Empress was so well pleased with his visit, that she made him a
present of a man of war. And we have no longer any doubts of the
accession of Portugal.

I have it from the best authority, that the Empress will not
relinquish her simple and noble plan to establish for the nations a
maritime code equally honorable and beneficial to all. Besides, there
are two circumstances, which confirm me in this.

1st. The apparent concert between the northern Ministers and those of
France, Spain, and Prussia, with the cabinet at Petersburg.

2dly. The orders given in Russia and Sweden, to fit out immediately
for sea new fleets equal to those they have already fitted out.

The King of Sweden, in his passage here, as well as his whole journey,
discovered very little regard for the English. A good deal of pains
was taken to induce him to accept an invitation to sup with Sir Joseph
Yorke. He supped twice with the French Ambassador, who entertained him
twice with a play, which was acted at a theatre fitted up for the
purpose. His Excellency, the Ambassador, was so obliging as to present
me himself, with six tickets to attend the two plays with my wife and
daughter.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

          EXTRACT OF LETTERS FROM LONDON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                            London, October 6th, 1780.

Mr Henry Laurens was brought to town last night, rather in better
health. He was lodged that night in the messenger's house in Scotland
Yard, and denied all sort of communications with his friends, or those
who wished to speak to him. He was examined at noon at Lord George
Germain's, and committed by a warrant of Justice Addington, a close
prisoner to the Tower, with orders that no person whatever should
speak to him. These people are so foolishly changeable, that most
likely in a few days the severity of his confinement may be relaxed.
At present, two men are always in the same room with him, and two
soldiers without.

_October 10th._ Since my last, of the 6th, there has been no material
incident relative to Mr Henry Laurens's commitment; nor is the rigor
of his confinement abated. No person whatever can speak to him, but in
hearing and sight of the two attendant messengers. It is said, that
the Secretary of State's order will produce admittance to his room,
but nothing else. Some of his tory relations, and a Mr Manning, a
merchant of the city, and a correspondent of Mr Laurens, have made
attempts to speak to him, but did not succeed. He is wise enough to be
cautious whom he speaks to. It is generally thought that this rigor
will be taken off in a few days, and that his friends, who are now
backward for fear of any stir that may be disadvantageous to him, will
have admittance. Almost every person is crying out, shame upon this
sort of treatment of Mr Laurens.

_October 17th._ It was not until the 14th instant, that any person
whatever was permitted to see Mr Laurens in the Tower. On that day,
after repeated applications for admission, Mr Manning and Mr Laurens
junior, a youth of sixteen or eighteen years, who has been some years
at Warrington school, were permitted to see him. An order went signed
from the three Secretaries of State, Hillsborough, Stormont, and
Germain, to the Governor of the Tower, permitting the two gentlemen
above named to visit Mr Laurens for half an hour; the warrant
expressly intimating that their visit was to be limited to that time,
and that they could not, a second time, see him without a new order.
The Governor sent a note to Mr Manning, that he had received such an
order from the Secretaries of State, and he, with young Laurens, went
accordingly last Saturday morning. They found him very ill, much
emaciated, but not low spirited, and bitter against the people of
England for their harsh treatment of him. He spoke very handsomely of
Captain Keppel, who took him and the Lieutenant to London; but from
the period of putting his foot on shore, he was treated with a
brutality, which he could never expect from Englishmen.

His weakness from sickness, and his agitation on seeing his son, took
up the first ten of the thirty minutes allowed him to converse with
his friends. The rest was filled with bitter invectives against the
authors of his harsh treatment. His outer room is but a very mean one,
not more than twelve feet square, a dark, close bed-room adjoining,
both indifferently furnished, and a few books on his table; no pen and
ink or newspaper has been yet allowed him, but he has a pencil and a
memorandum book, in which he occasionally notes things. The warden of
the Tower, and a yeoman of the guard are constantly at his elbow,
though they never attempt to stop his conversation. Mr Manning and
his child being the first visitors he has had, perhaps Mr Laurens was
led to say everything he could of the severity of his treatment, in
order that it might be known abroad, and contradict the general report
of his being exceedingly well treated. He has hitherto declined any
physical advice, or the visits of any of those creatures near him, who
may be put in with a view to pump. Mr Penn is making application and
will probably see him. It is doubtful if the son will again get leave.
His harsh treatment being now pretty generally known, every one is
crying out shame against it, and they accuse a great personage, known
by the name of White Eyes, as the immediate author of it.[39]


FOOTNOTES:

[39] For other particulars on this subject, see _Franklin's
Correspondence_, Vol. III. pp. 174, 176, 305. Also, _Henry Laurens's
Correspondence_, Vol. II. p. 463.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                       Amsterdam, December 19th, 1780.

Sir,

Since my last, they have advised in the States of Holland, not to
answer at all to the Memorial of Sir Joseph Yorke. This I think is the
best they can do in these circumstances. But Sir Joseph Yorke has
presented a new Memorial, as offensive at least as the preceding one,
and the several provinces are now deliberating on its contents.[40]
But their resolution, I am assured, will not please the British
Court.

I had the honor some days ago of presenting Mr Searle to the French
Ambassador, and of serving them both as an interpreter in an
interesting conversation, as to the best method of expelling the enemy
out of the United States, and of putting a speedy end to the war in
America. The intention of a majority of fifteen out of the eighteen
cities of Holland, by disavowing the conduct of Amsterdam concerning
the projected treaty, is visibly to leave no pretext at all to Great
Britain for attacking this Republic on other grounds than that of
resentment for her accession to the armed neutrality.

_December 26th._ The States of this Province have taken unanimously
the provisional resolve, of putting the _project of a treaty_ between
the United States and this Republic, together with the letter of the
city of Amsterdam, concerning the same, into the hands of the
Provincial Court of Justice, to be examined by them, and to decide _if
there is any constitutional law of the Union, which can be said to
have been violated by the Regency of Amsterdam in this affair_.
Supposing for a moment, this should be the case, the high sheriff of
the city would then be requested to pursue the violators of such a
law. But as this cannot be the case, the said States, who are to
assemble on the 5th of January, will take the final resolution; 1st,
of asking satisfaction of the Court of Great Britain, for her indecent
Memorials; and 2dly, of laying the whole proceedings before the
Northern Courts, and showing them the false pretence under which the
said Court endeavors to conceal her resentment against this Republic
for her accession to the armed neutrality.

_December 27th._ The States having acquainted Sir Joseph Yorke with
the aforesaid provisional resolve, he refused to receive the
communication; and on the 25th inst. he set out early in the morning,
according to the orders of his King, for Antwerp. The very day of his
leaving the Hague, the Committee of Holland residing constantly at the
Hague, sent circular letters to the several cities of this Province,
acquainting them with this event, and summoning them for coming
immediately _with proper instructions from their cities_, to form a
_speedy, cordial, and vigorous resolve_. One of these letters has been
shown to me in the original.

_December 28th._ Consequently, the Second Pensionary and other
Deputies of the city of Amsterdam, have set out this morning for the
Hague, where all will meet tomorrow. The First Pensionary, M. Van
Berckel, will follow them, as soon as he shall see himself justified
by the decision of the Court of Holland.

_The Hague, January 12th, 1781._ Last Monday, a courier, who left
Petersburg on the 19th of December, arrived with despatches to the
Grand Pensionary of Holland, containing, "that the Empress, satisfied
with that of their High Mightinesses, of November 27th, had seen, with
indignation rather than astonishment, the two last Memorials of Sir
Joseph Yorke; that she was greatly disposed in favor of the Republic;
that the convention would soon be signed, and the acts of it sent by
another courier." Yesterday was resolved, and today begins the
distribution of letters of marque, both for men of war and privateers.
The decision of the Court of Justice of Holland, cannot come out
before the 15th of February, because of the absence of several of its
members; but everybody knows already, that it cannot but be a good
one. Till then M. Van Berckel will not appear here.

_January 23d._ On the 21st the Grand Pensionary of Holland received a
letter from M. de Swart, the Dutch Resident at Petersburg, of which
the following extract is taken by myself from an authentic copy
communicated to me. "_January 5th._ On the 31st of December last, the
Dutch Plenipotentiaries and M. de Swart had a final conference with
the Russian Plenipotentiary, when, having settled the matter of
command in case of their men of war or squadrons meeting or acting
jointly, in the same manner as this Republic is used to do with all
other Crowns, and the whole transaction having been laid before the
Empress, and approved by her, the accession of this Republic to the
treaties of Russia, Sweden, and Denmark, for the mutual protection of
the trade and navigation of their subjects, has been concluded and
signed on January 4th, by the Plenipotentiaries of the parties, and
the acts of it despatched (they also arrived here on the 21st) to be
ratified by their High Mightinesses. During the whole transaction of
this treaty, the English had left no artifice untried, in order to get
the Republic excluded from this alliance; and even to the last moment,
they strived most desperately against her admission. But the Empress
and her Ministry, unshaken, rejected their Memorials with firmness,
and even with indignation."

With all my heart I congratulate the United States upon this happy
event; an event which must accelerate the humiliation of their proud
enemy, and assert with the acknowledged liberty of America, that of
the seas through the world; the latter of which cannot be obtained
without the former.

Couriers have been sent from hence, eleven days ago, for the purpose
of asking from the three Northern Powers the stipulated succor, as
being attacked in resentment, for having acceded to their alliance.
The money which this Republic has now occasion to take up from her
subjects, will greatly increase the difficulty of the English in
obtaining money, and sink their stocks still more.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.


FOOTNOTES:

[40] These two Memorials are contained in _John Adams's
Correspondence_, Vol. V. pp. 372, 386.

       *       *       *       *       *

                   ROBERT MORRIS TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                    Philadelphia, December 24th, 1780.

  Sir,

Your letter of the 7th of January last was long on its passage, and, I
am sorry to say, has remained too long in my possession without an
answer, which you must attribute entirely to the multiplicity of
employments, in various ways, that occupy very fully my whole time.
Had I complied with the dictates of that respect and esteem, which Dr
Franklin first, and your steady adherence to this country since
inspired, you would have heard from me immediately; but men who are
involved in much business, as I am, cannot follow their inclinations,
but must submit to such things as call most pressingly for their
attention.

The letter you enclosed to me, for Messrs Sears & Smith, I sent
forward immediately, and you may depend on me for much more important
services, when in my power to render them to you or any of your
friends.

After serving my country in various public stations for upwards of
four years, my routine in Congress was finished; and no sooner was I
out, than envious and malicious men began to attack my character, but
my services were so universally known, and my integrity so clearly
proved, I have, thank God, been able to look down with contempt on
those that have endeavored to injure me; and what is more, I can face
the world with that consciousness, which rectitude of conduct gives to
those who pursue it invariably.

You will excuse me for saying so much of myself. I should not have
mentioned the subject had I not been attacked; and as I think no man
ought to be insensible to applause and approbation, I cannot help
wishing to retain that opinion you have been pleased to entertain of
me.

As I maintain my acquaintance amongst the present members of Congress,
you will be assured I will most cheerfully promote your interest
whenever I can, for I feel the force of your observations on that
subject.

Mr Carmichael is returned to Europe, and Mr Deane is about embarking
for France, and I dare say you will hear from them both.

I most sincerely wish an honorable, happy, and speedy end to the war
we are engaged in; and with sentiments of great esteem and respect, I
remain,

                                                        ROBERT MORRIS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                        The Hague, February 5th, 1781.

  Sir,

A courier, despatched by the Russian Ambassador here on the 29th of
December last, with the news of Sir Joseph Yorke having left the Hague
by order of his Court without taking leave, has come back again with
letters from the Dutch Plenipotentiaries at Petersburg to the Great
Pensionary, the contents of which are still very satisfactory; so that
there is no doubt nor uneasiness concerning a favorable answer, which
they expect here, but not before the end of this month, to the
demands made, by a courier despatched from hence on the 12th of
January last.

By letters from Ostend we are told, that the Russian Minister at
London had left that Court without taking leave. If this proves true,
or whenever else the expected rupture between Russia and Great Britain
will be fully ascertained, then it will be time to set on foot a
negotiation with the four new allied powers, for the acknowledgment of
the independency of America, and making treaties with her of amity and
commerce. The first, and perhaps only application for this purpose,
must then be made to Russia; and I am now carefully watching the
moment when such an application will be proper, and attended with the
prospect of success, in order to inform Mr Adams and take with and
under him, such measures as may be necessary. Till then we must keep
them close, and make no application to this Republic, which, since her
accession, cannot and will not make any private step without the
quadruple alliance, of which Russia is the leading power; and, as I
have good reasons to think, well disposed towards the United States.

I have been repeatedly assured, that the exportation of the two
thousand lasts of grain to England from Ostend, has been refused at
Brussels to Sir Joseph Yorke, and that he is going, if not already
gone, from Antwerp to Ostend, to embark for England. This gives no
great opinion of the pretended negotiation set on foot between the
Emperor and Great Britain.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                        The Hague, February 22d, 1781.

  Sir,

The expected courier from the Dutch Plenipotentiaries at Petersburg
has not yet arrived. They think his departure thence has been delayed
till the coming back of another whom they had sent to London. The
decision of the Court of Holland concerning the conduct of the Regency
of Amsterdam is not yet given, and will not come out for some weeks.
The pretended reason of this new delay is that M. Van Citters, one of
the Counsellors of that Court, must go to Zealand, because of the
sickness of his mother. The true reason may be, to get rid here of
certain gentlemen as long as possible, and to gratify their ---- by
deferring their justification. A little more resolution, when it was
perhaps more proper to dare than to waver, would have spared them such
a trick. But now their honor and dignity not suffering them to appear
here till they are justified, those that cannot but justify them, will
delay the doing it as long us they can.

_March 2d, 1781._ In consequence of orders brought by a courier
despatched to the Russian Ambassador here, he has presented a
Memorial[41] to their High Mightinesses, importing that the Empress
was willing to interpose her mediation between this Republic and
England, to bring on an accommodation. The Court of Justice of this
Province will meet on Monday next, to draw up their decision
concerning the conduct of Amsterdam.

I am, with the greatest respect, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.


FOOTNOTES:

[41] See this Memorial in _John Adams's Correspondence_, Vol. V. p.
468.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                           The Hague, March 5th, 1781.

  Sir,

Since the Memorial presented on the 1st instant to their High
Mightinesses by the Russian Ambassador, offering the mediation of the
Empress between them and Great Britain, a letter of February 9th has
been received here, written by the Dutch Plenipotentiary at
Petersburg, of which being decyphered, the Grand Pensionary of
Holland, instead of delivering copies as usual, has only permitted the
inspection and perusal to the several members of the States. It gives
the following account of the assurances made to them by the chief
Minister of the Empress, Count Panin, viz. 1st. That the Empress is
still in the same favorable dispositions towards the Republic, and
that he himself will support, with all his power, the just claim of
the Dutch, to have all the vessels returned to them, which the English
have taken from them since their accession to the armed neutrality.
2dly. That the mediation offered by the Court of Vienna, to procure,
by the good offices of that Court, in conjunction with that of Russia,
a peace between the belligerent powers, will not be accepted without
the preliminary condition _sine qua non_, of Great Britain's
acknowledging the independency of the United States, and the rights of
the neutral powers in matters of commerce and navigation. 3dly. That
the Empress had seen, with great satisfaction, the propositions made
by the Dutch Plenipotentiaries to the several northern Crowns, for
being supplied by them, on conditions to be agreed on, with a
sufficient number of men of war; and that the number they wanted was
ready for the service of their High Mightinesses.

There was a report current here, and through the whole country, of
three encampments to take place this summer in this Province. A great
personage has assured a gentleman in distinguished station, that this
had never been his intention. I have it from the gentleman himself.
The same assures me, "the Court of Justice was now busy with making up
the decision concerning the conduct of the Regency of Amsterdam. They
had taken the advice of an eminent lawyer; he had seen this advice; it
was a very good one."

Mr Adams favored me yesterday both with his presence, and with the
sight of the despatches of December last, which he has received from
your Excellency. I shall do my best to second his operations; heartily
wishing that things may ripen, and our endeavors be crowned with
success. To this hope let me join that of the so often solicited
attention of Congress to my long and faithful services, and to the
circumstances in which they have involved me.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                            The Hague, March 22, 1781.

  Sir,

The States of this Province separated last week, to meet again the
next week. The Provinces have given their agreement to the mediation
offered by Russia. This affair, I fear, will prove a lingering
business, as well as that of the decision of the Court of Justice of
Holland, which, I am told, is drawn up in a manner that will not at
all satisfy the Regency of Amsterdam, and consequently will not be
suffered to be delivered; and so things will remain in _statu quo_,
God knows how long. All this is owing to the devices of the friends of
Great Britain in this country, and not in the least to any
disaffection from Russia, &c. How can people be helped, that will not
be helped? In the meantime, the enemies carry on with success their
perfidious scheme. Congress by this time must have heard of their
taking St Eustatia, filled with riches, a great part of which they say
is American property. And now they pretend by this stroke to have cut
off the great resource of America for continuing the war, and to force
her into submission.

I have from good authority, that the English have refused the
mediation of Russia. This surprises me not at all, because I am sure
their arrogancy and stubbornness will never let them acknowledge
either the independence of the United States, or the rights of
neutrality, till their heads are broken; a blessed work, fit for
heaven only and America to achieve, while European politicians take
time to consider.

_April 2d._ They expect here very interesting news from Petersburg
towards the end of this month, as there are two couriers gone thither,
the one from hence on the 23d of March, the other from England much
about the same time. The merchants of Amsterdam, who have a great
share in the effects seized on at St Eustatia, having resolved to send
Deputies to the English Ministry, in order to have them restored to
them, and having invited the merchants of Rotterdam to join with them
in this Deputation, the latter have answered, that with men capable of
acting so ruffianlike, they would rather let them keep all that they
had robbed, than debase themselves by courting the robbers. This noble
answer would be still more so, if Rotterdam had lost as much at St
Eustatia as Amsterdam; there being, as for that, a very great
difference.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

               GENERAL J. H. BEDAULX TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                           Nimeguen, April 28th, 1781.

  Sir,

As a friend to humanity, it is hoped you will be so good as to
relieve, by your correspondence with Congress, a good family from
their uneasiness on account of the fate of a son, of whom,
notwithstanding all our inquiries, during these two last years, by the
way of France, Spain and Holland, we have not been able to get any
positive intelligence. This son, Frederick Charles Bedaulx, cannot be
unknown to Congress, to their War Office, and to the commanders of
their army; having been engaged in their service since the year 1776,
when he embarked for St Eustatia; but the vessel being taken, he
escaped from Falmouth, and went over with the Marquis de Lafayette;
and in consequence of a capitulation made before his first going,
served and distinguished himself there as Lieutenant-Colonel, in which
quality he commanded the infantry of the Pulaski Legion. For more
than two years we have had no letter from him, and of many letters,
which were delivered for him to Mr Deane, when he was Minister from
the United States at Paris, we do not know if one has been received by
M. Bedaulx. According to some loose reports, being sick, he had been
removed to Philadelphia, where he died. But this has been contradicted
since by other people, who say he is still living, and sent away or
confined by the intrigues of some enemy.

Sure of the principles of probity and honor with which he has been
brought up, we cannot think he has been wanting in his duty; and on
the other hand, after so many repeated applications made to Congress,
and to the body in which he has served, we cannot but be surprised and
troubled to find them absolutely silent. You will oblige me, his
uncle, Sir, his worthy father, and a whole family, by helping us out
of this cruel uncertainty.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                 J. H. BEDAULX,
                                 _Major-General in the Dutch Service_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                             The Hague, May 1st, 1781.

  Sir,

Since my last letter there has been no opportunity to write to
America. This time has been employed in getting useful intelligence,
and preparing all things with Mr Adams for the step he will take on
Friday next, of presenting his Memorial to their High Mightinesses.
This evening I carried a card from him to the Grand Pensionary, who
will receive a preparatory visit from him tomorrow morning. It is
still uncertain whether he will be admitted at present, or if they
will advise for a medium. The expected courier is not yet arrived from
Petersburg.

A good French translation of the Memorial was absolutely necessary to
be presented with the original. I am happy to have made it to the
satisfaction of Mr Adams, and this translation will be read to their
High Mightinesses, whenever the Memorial shall be laid before
them.[42]

_May 2d._ I have attended Mr Adams to the Grand Pensionary. When he
told him, that his intention was to present himself on Friday next, to
the President of their High Mightinesses, in quality of Minister
Plenipotentiary from the United States, and that he had likewise
credentials from the same to his Serene Highness, the Prince of
Orange, the Pensionary answered, that he apprehended a difficulty
would arise against his admission in such a character, from their High
Mightinesses having not yet acknowledged the independence of America.
Mr Adams having replied, that this objection, since the war had broken
out between Great Britain and this Republic seemed to have lost all
its weight, the Pensionary agreed, that it was true at least both
nations had now the same enemy; however, he would make his report to
his masters and to the Prince of the notice given him.

_May 4th._ This morning his Excellency went to the Grand Pensionary
with a copy of his Memorial, which he declined to receive, saying it
was not the usage, when Memorials were presented to the President of
their High Mightinesses, to deliver copies of them to the Grand
Pensionary of Holland; and that it would be more proper to deliver
one to the Graphiary of the States-General. This we judged proper to
delay till after the audience at the President's, who received his
Excellency with great politeness, but declined charging himself with
the Memorial, alleging his acceptance of it would imply an
acknowledgment he could not take upon himself, but must reserve it to
their High Mightinesses, to whom he would immediately report the case.
His Excellency told him, that to avoid misconstructions, he should
find himself obliged to lay his Memorial before the whole world, by
publishing it immediately. At this the President smiled; and they
parted. It was now become improper to carry a copy to the Graphiary,
and therefore we dispensed with it. The President went into the
Assembly of the States-General, and made the report, which having been
recorded, the Deputies of all the Provinces (except those of Zealand,
who remained silent) asked a copy of the report, to transmit it to
their respective Provinces, when it will be matter of deliberation in
their Provincial Assemblies.

From the President, we went to the Baron de Larrey, Privy Counsellor,
&c. to the Prince of Orange, to whom his Excellency delivered another
Memorial, in a sealed letter for the said Prince, which the Baron
promised to deliver immediately to the Prince. He did so; and the
Prince having summoned M. Fagel the Graphiary, and the Grand
Pensionary, consulted with them what was to be done with the letter;
two hours after, when we were ready to dine, the Baron came at the
inn, with the letter unopened, and a polite excuse from the Prince,
that he could not receive it, till after their High Mightinesses
should have resolved if and when he was to be admitted in the
character, which he had set forth with them.

_May 11th._ Mr Adams setting out last Saturday for Amsterdam, left me
his order to publish the Memorial with the original French
translation, made by your servant, acknowledged and signed by his
Excellency, and to procure also a Dutch translation; which I have
performed today, by distributing through the cities a sufficient
number of each.

_May 16th._ All the public journals of this country have inserted the
Memorial, which is now generally known, pleases and puzzles at once
everybody.

M. Van Berckel, the First Pensionary of Amsterdam, presented on the
4th instant a very spirited address to the States of Holland,
petitioning them, either to be impeached, that he might defend
himself, or formally declared not guilty.

_May 19th._ This day the cities of Dort and Haerlem, by an annotation
in the registers of Holland, have formally declared their accession to
the proposition of Amsterdam, and with thanks acknowledged the true
patriotism of this last city. The other cities have taken the
proposition _ad referendum_; and the final resolution on it will be
taken by the next Assembly.

_June 6th._ I presented yesterday a letter from Mr Adams to the
President of their High Mightinesses, and another to the Privy
Counsellor of the Prince of Orange, with a copy to each, of the
accession of Maryland to, and the final ratification of, your
Confederation. I had sealed up the papers, and put on the covers the
proper superscriptions. They received them, and desired me to come
today for an answer. Accordingly I have waited on them this morning.
They both had opened, and consequently read the contents, but said
they could not keep them, and that I must take them back.

The President seemed to me much embarrassed, and a little cavilling on
my having delivered to him the letter from Mr Adams, without adding
the quality of Minister Plenipotentiary, assumed in the subscription;
by which omission he pretended I had deceived him; otherwise he would
not have received the letter. I denied any intention to conceal from
him a quality, which he knew as well as I and the whole nation, Mr
Adams had openly assumed. He put them in my hat, and I told him I
would, out of respect for the head of this Republic, keep _in
deposito_ the papers, which in time might be thought of greater
importance to them than now. The other gentleman received me with the
greatest cordiality; and apologising very frankly for restoring me the
papers (likewise opened,) desired me repeatedly to understand, and to
give to understand, that this was a mere formality; and that while the
admission of Mr Adams was under deliberation of the several Provinces,
the Prince could not be beforehand with their High Mightinesses, nor
their High Mightinesses with their constituents, in such a matter of
the first importance.

_June 16th._ I have been happy with the presence of Mr Adams, and with
his approbation of my conduct. The States of Holland have separated.
Their next meeting, after the 27th instant, may be very stormy, not
only on account of the proposition of Amsterdam, but also on that of a
verbal remonstrance made by the same city to a great personage,
desiring him to exclude from all political business the Duke of
Brunswick, formerly his tutor, when a minor; a message which has
exceedingly hurt them both.

_June 22d._ The great city persists in her late demand to the Prince
of Orange, concerning the desired exclusion of the aforesaid great
man, having, since the verbal proposition, sent the same by writing to
the great personage, and to the Grand Pensionary. Thus the
fermentation rises, and draws to a very interesting crisis, which
probably will decide itself within a fortnight, either into some
catastrophe, or into a _ridiculus mus_. I learn just now, that the
Duke of Brunswick presented yesterday to their High Mightinesses a
long letter to justify himself. Many, even unconcerned people, think
it an improper step, because he is, in fact, not vested with any
public department, and therefore not answerable, nor to be brought to
account. His position seems to me near akin to that of Lord Bute.[43]

_July 4th._ There has been made mention, in the Provincial Assembly,
by the Grand Pensionary, but a very slight one, of the Duke of
Brunswick's letter to their High Mightinesses as taken _ad referendum_
by the several Provinces. The nobility has acquainted the Provincial
Assembly with the desire of the Stadtholder of presenting to their
High Mightinesses, a proposition of his own, for having inquired into
the causes of the defenceless state and inactivity of the Republic,
and the means to be taken, &c. But the cities have declined
countenancing it, and even the taking it _ad referendum_, because
there was already such a proposition made by the city of Amsterdam, a
_membrum integrans_ of the Republic, on which they had received their
instructions. The Stadtholder was present, and visibly disappointed.

Yesterday I was shown in confidence a despatch just now received from
Petersburg, purporting an insinuation[44] made to the Dutch
Plenipotentiary, by that Court; "That the said Court had agreed with
the Emperor of Germany, to treat at Vienna for procuring a general
pacification between the belligerent powers; and if therefore their
High Mightinesses should be inclined to intrust both their Imperial
Majesties with a mediation in behalf of this Republic, they might make
overtures in consequence to Prince Galitzin, the Russian Minister at
the Hague." The republicans here are of opinion, that, instead of
this, vigorous measures should be taken immediately with the
belligerent powers; to which the opposite party will by no means
listen.

_July 10th._ The offered mediation will be accepted, even by the
advice of the patriots; because they apprehend, if they do not, the
opposite party would continue to insist upon begging for peace
directly in England, either by the good offices, as they call them, of
the Sardinian Envoy at London, who is entirely at their and the
British Court's devotion, or by sending deputies from hence. The final
resolution of this Province, concerning the important proposition of
Amsterdam, is delayed till the next ordinary Assembly, by cavilling on
the expression of _next Assembly_, used in the proposition, as if this
Assembly, an extraordinary one, was but a prolongation of the last.

_July 13th._ The report which was current on the 10th, of the Emperor
being inclined to support the Duke of Brunswick has proved false. I
know from the best authority, that quite the reverse is true. When the
monarch arrived, the Duke sent to him for permission to wait on him.
Instead of which the Emperor went immediately himself to the Duke.
What passed between them is not known. But the Duke having soon after
returned the visit, he was observed coming back with visible marks of
discomposure. The following day, the Emperor dining at the Prince of
Orange's seat, called the House in the Wood, showed himself very
gentle in his address to the Princess of Orange, and to everybody
else, but to the Duke, to whom he said not a single word, being
remarkably cold to him, which apparently was the cause of the Duke's
withdrawing sooner than any other. Besides this, the Emperor has
explained himself with other great men here this very day, by saying
the Regents of Amsterdam did their duty as brave patriots. He spent
the evening at the French Hotel, where he discoursed much with the
French and Russian Ambassadors. The Grand Pensionary, although invited
repeatedly by the Prince himself, excused himself from dining at the
House in the Wood, because he was ill.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.


FOOTNOTES:

[42] See this Memorial in _Mr Adams's Correspondence_, Vol. V. p. 481.

[43] See the above remonstrance against the Duke of Brunswick, and his
reply, in _John Adams's Correspondence_, Vol. VI. pp. 70, 76.

[44] See _John Adams's Correspondence_, Vol. VI. p. 146.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                          The Hague, August 23d, 1781.

  Sir,

Since my last, the Provincial States of Holland have been separated
till last week.

I was not unacquainted with the negotiation set on foot by the French
Ambassador here for a loan of five millions of florins, or five
hundred thousand pounds, at four per cent, nor with his notes lately
presented for this purpose to the Graphiary, M. Fagel; and although
the Ambassador does not yet know that I am acquainted with it, I
thought myself obliged to abstain discreetly from writing or speaking
about it for obvious reasons. I am now happy with the assurance given
me, that the proposition of this loan is committed, and will soon be
agreed by their High Mightinesses, either by their taking up the money
themselves, and lending it to France, or by their countenancing and
warranting the taking it up directly by France; the only secret, or at
least not publicly acknowledged particular of this agreement, will be
the destination of this money in behalf of the United States. This
true account is given me by a friend, who has it officially from the
mouth of the Grand Pensionary.

The Baron Lynden had written and delivered into the hands of the
President of the States-General, a letter to their High Mightinesses,
containing the reason which engaged him to resign his Embassy to
Vienna, and to decline any other, viz; the unconstitutionality of a
foreigner's (the Duke of Brunswick,) being the only counsel to the
Stadtholder, for internal as well as external politics and
administration of this Republic. This letter the Baron had been
prevailed upon to desist from having read to their High Mightinesses;
and he took it out of the hands of the President, in presence of the
Grand Pensionary of Holland, and of the Graphiary of their High
Mightinesses, reserving to himself, however, the liberty of presenting
it again, whenever he should think it convenient. Some persons (your
servant for one) have been favored with the perusal of this letter.
This compliance having somewhat discredited the Baron among the
patriots, he brought his letter back on Tuesday last to the President;
telling him it must be laid open to their High Mightinesses without
any further delay, otherwise, he should publish it by printing.

_August 24th._ I have been favored by the Baron de Lynden with the
sight, 1st of a letter written by him last Monday to the Stadtholder,
in which he tells him, that seeing him still influenced and
prepossessed in favor of, and directed by the Duke of Brunswick, he
found his own honor and conscience did not suffer him to withhold any
longer from their High Mightinesses and from his country, the
abovementioned letter; 2dly. The answer of the Stadtholder, telling
him, that it was for the sake of the Baron personally, that he had
endeavored to persuade him to suppress that letter; but seeing him now
determined to pull off the mask, and join with his adversaries, he
gave him up to his own reflections; 3dly. The reply of the Baron,
viz.; that whereas his Highness was sorry for the letter's being
presented for his (the Baron's) sake only, he was determined to
present it for the same sake, which he did accordingly; and the letter
has been read to their High Mightinesses, the Baron himself being
present at the second reading, or _resumption_, as they call it, the
day following.

The original of a very noble and unanimous resolution of the city of
Dort, respecting the Duke of Brunswick, where he is considered merely
as a military servant of the Republic, and where the conduct of the
Regency of Amsterdam is vindicated, has been read confidentially to
me. Several other authentic and interesting pieces are in my hands,
viz., 1st. A resolution of the city of Dort, of June 25th last, in
which their Deputies are ordered to insist upon the important
propositions of Amsterdam of May 18th being taken into serious
consideration; and principally upon a good plan of operations during
this war being concluded with France and her allies. 2dly. The reports
of the several Admiralties of this Republic, showing their having
accomplished the building, equipping, and putting into service ships,
according to the orders of their High Mightinesses; to which the
Admiralty of Amsterdam has added a remark, which has much displeased
this Court, viz. that, after having done their duty in this matter, an
account of the most proper application and disposition of the forces
set in readiness, for the protection of this country, must not be
asked from them, but from the higher power, which had the direction of
their exertions; 3dly. A resolution of the Province of Holland, for
another squadron to be speedily ordered to convoy to the Baltic, not
only the merchant fleet of Amsterdam, lying in the Texel roads, which,
after the glorious action of the 5th, against Parker, has been obliged
to come back, but also those of Rotterdam, whose merchants, in a
spirited address, have complained of being neglected. I would fain
join herewith translated copies of these voluminous and interesting
pieces, but without the aiding hand of a clerk, such a task is
impossible for me to perform.

_August 30th._ To shorten the business of the abovementioned loan,
probably, their High Mightinesses will open it themselves on their own
credit, by warranting the capital and interest at four per cent, for
surety of which they will receive, in that case, a general bond from
France. Regularly they may pay no more than three per cent for
themselves, and notwithstanding such small interest, the course of
their paper is at twelve, fourteen, and even sixteen per cent purchase
above the capital sum. By this method, if pursued, the subscription at
four per cent will be rapidly completed.

_September 2d._ A very interesting resolution of August 28th, of one
of the principal cities of this Province, was received the day before
yesterday by her Deputies here, of which the substance is as follows.

"Having been informed by their Deputies of the contents of two notes,
which they were told by the Grand Pensionary had been presented
successively to the Graphiary of their High Mightinesses by the French
Ambassador; and being desirous of facilitating the use which the Court
of France intends to make of the proposed loan, because such a
compliance with her desire will not only fasten a most necessary
confidence between that Court and this Republic, but also annoy
directly the common enemy, by strengthening the Congress of North
America, in whose behalf his Majesty the King of France intends,
according to certain secret informations, to dispose of the whole
loan, so that the said Congress may the better carry on the war
against Great Britain;--Resolved; that the Deputies of this city at
the Assembly of this Province, shall be, and are hereby qualified,
when the business shall be reported to the Assembly, to favor with all
their power the conclusion of it, and moreover to advise and further a
resolution, that may promote the intents and purposes aforesaid.
Besides this, when done, our said Deputies at the Provincial Assembly
are charged herewith, pursuant to our resolution of June 25th last, to
insist by way of proposition, upon their Noble and Grand Mightinesses
taking into serious deliberation the proposition laid before them by
the Regency of Amsterdam on the 18th of last May, and bring forth a
final resolution about the same; and particularly upon the Deputies of
this Province, in the Assembly of the States-General, being ordered to
direct things there to such effect, that the French Court may be
requested by their High Mightinesses to deliberate with them on the
manner of acting jointly, by communicating the plans of operation; a
measure which must visibly clog the enemy, and directly fortify the
affair of this Republic."

_September 12th._ Last Thursday they were busy at the Assembly of this
Province in deliberating on the Duke's letter to their High
Mightinesses. The votes of eight cities, viz. Dort, Haerlem, Delft,
Leyden, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Gorcum, and Schiedam, were directly
against it. The speeches of Haerlem and Leyden, which being written
were read, have been admired. The points wherein the eight agree, are
1st. The impropriety of the Duke's addressing himself by letter (when
as a military servant he should have done it by request) to their High
Mightinesses, which are by no means competent judges, when he should
have applied to the true and only Sovereign here, viz. to the Province
of Holland. 2dly. That of any foreigner whatever being in fact the
only counsel of the eminent chief of this Republic. 3dly. That,
without crediting or countenancing current charges of corruption, this
foreigner's being hated and suspected by the bulk of this nation, as
not patriotic, produces the same effect, and forbids his having any
management, or influence, direct or indirect, in public affairs.
4thly. That the nobility's constantly opposing the advices of the
cities is a circumstance, which will at last ruin this Republic.
5thly. That the cities have the constitutional right of remonstrating
against whomsoever they think proper, according to the resolutions of
1586, 1622, and 1663, which last is the strongest _act of indemnity_
for the purpose. With all that they could not come to a resolution;
the nobility, with the ten other cities, pretending their not having
yet enough considered the matter. I think the Duke will dispute the
ground with some success, as long as he can preserve his old influence
over his pupil; but, on the other hand, he will by no means obtain the
satisfaction he craves.

I have been favored, by a very good patriot, with the sight of the two
short notes of the French Ambassador. The contents are, that the King
being satisfied with the notice given him of their being now disposed
to exert all their powers for annoying the enemy, his Majesty proposes
to them an occasion for distressing them greatly, by their consenting
to a loan of five millions of florins, at four per cent a year,
payable every six months, which interest as well as the capital the
King should procure to be paid exactly at their expiration. The
destination of the money in behalf of the United States has been added
verbally.

There are two very strong propositions against the Duke made by the
Quarter of Westergo in Friesland, to which that of Ostergo, and part
of Sevenwolde, have acceded. The first is inserted already in the
Leyden Gazette; the second the Gazetteer hesitates as yet to insert,
because it is very violent against their High Mightinesses. If he does
not, I shall translate and transmit it.

_September 13th._ I am just now informed, that this Province has
consented in the loan for France, by their resolutions of the 7th and
10th inst.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                        The Hague, October 11th, 1781.

  Sir,

On the 12th of September the Baron Lynden wrote a letter to the Prince
of Orange, telling him, that after he had so much complied with the
wishes of his Highness, as to withhold for a considerable time his
letter from their High Mightinesses, he had expected from the honor of
his Highness, that the Embassy for Vienna would not be disposed of in
behalf of another, till there was a greater necessity for it than
there is at present, and till his own motives for refusing a post,
which in every other respect would have been very delightful to
himself, had been attended to; but seeing himself not fairly treated,
by another's (the Count of Waffenaar Twickels, who, however, has not
yet dared to accept it) being appointed to it, he should be obliged if
his Highness should go on, without paying regard to the present
letter, to publish it with the foregoing ones that had passed between
his Highness and him, together with what he knew from the late Counts
of Rhoon and Bentinck, concerning a secret _Act_, by which his
Highness, when of age, had promised the Duke, that he should ever be
his _only counsel_.

A very unfaithful account having since been circulated of this letter,
the Baron makes no difficulty of showing it to those whom he wishes to
be undeceived, and probably he will at last publish it with the
others. In the meantime, I have seen the original draft. Several very
violent Dutch pamphlets have been published within a few days, not
only against the Duke, but even against the Stadtholder and against
the Stadtholdership in general, and the whole Orange dynasty, the last
of which is a masterly performance, but too large for me to translate.
There is more moderation in the _considerations_ herewith enclosed;
and therefore I have consented without difficulty to get them printed,
at the request of some very good people, as your Excellency will see,
by the annexed copy of my letter to their society at Rotterdam.

The States of Holland have met again this morning. I have not heard if
any of the Provinces, besides Holland and Friesland, have consented to
the loan proposed by France, in the manner I told your Excellency in
my last. They are too much taken up at present with their domestic
quarrels.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

               ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                    Philadelphia, November 28th, 1781.

  Sir,

It is necessary to inform you, that the correspondence with you will
in future be through the office of Foreign Affairs, at the head of
which Congress have done me the honor to place me, as will appear by
the enclosed resolutions.

I have before me your interesting letters from December to July. The
minute detail into which you go, of the facts in which either your
government or ours is concerned, is highly acceptable to Congress. You
will not, therefore, fail to continue it; and from time to time
transmit, in addition thereto, such papers and pamphlets as serve to
throw light on the politics of the United Provinces, or of the
Northern Powers. Dr Franklin will defray the expense to which this may
put you. Be pleased to subscribe for the Leyden and Amsterdam
Gazettes, and transmit them to me as opportunity offers. We have as
yet received no account from Mr Adams of the presentation of his
Memorial, or the reception it met with, nor any other particulars on
this interesting subject, than what you have related. We consider this
as a proof of his reliance upon your exactness in the relation.

You have before this heard the variety of agreeable events, which have
with the divine blessing taken place in America. The particulars of
the capture of Cornwallis and General Green's victory are sent to Mr
Adams, though you will probably have them earlier by way of France.
Our affairs here are in such a situation, that even our enemies have
given up the idea of conquest, or the most distant expectation of our
re-union with Great Britain, whose unheard of cruelties have excited
the most inveterate hatred. This is perhaps the moment in which other
nations might, by a generous and decided conduct, take their place in
our affections; and before our tastes were so formed as to give the
preference to the fashions or manufactures of any one country, to
establish their commerce with us on the ruin of that of Britain. I
wish both for your sake and ours, that the United Provinces knew how
to avail themselves of this invaluable opportunity by entering boldly
into commercial connexions with us, and by ingratiating themselves
into our affections by some such act of friendship as would strike the
senses of the people. But alas! this is too daring for your Councils,
and is rather to be wished than expected.

It gives me pain to inform you, that Lieutenant-Colonel Bedaulx is
dead. It will, however, be some consolation to his friends, (in whose
sorrows I sympathise) to hear, after what has been injuriously
repeated to them, that his reputation was untarnished, and that he
died, with the character of a man of honor and a soldier, fighting in
the cause of freedom at Savannah.[45]

Congress are very sensible of your attention to their interest, and
wish the situation of their finances would admit of their rewarding it
more liberally, but having retrenched expenses of every kind, and
reduced the salaries as low as the strictest frugality requires, they
do not think it expedient at this time to make any additions to that
allowed you by Dr Franklin, which they will direct him to pay
regularly. You will be pleased in future to direct your letters, not
to the President, but to me, as Secretary of the States for Foreign
Affairs; and when you favor us with anything written in French or
Dutch, to give it in the original language. This may save you some
trouble, and enable us in quoting it to make use of the original
expression, which you know is often very necessary. As you appear to
labor under a mistake, with respect to Mr Searle, I take the liberty
to inform you that he is not a member of Congress, his delegation
having expired before he left America. I cannot close my letter
without congratulating you on the spirit and gallantry of Admiral
Zoutman, and his officers and men. Had Britain known that your Van
Tromps and De Ruyters were still alive, she would have thought the
treasures of your islands too dearly purchased by provoking their
resentment.

It will give you pleasure to hear that the British have been foiled in
every quarter of this country. A considerable body of them with a
number of Indians, who crossed the lakes from Canada upon a ravaging
expedition, with no nobler view than that of burning farm houses, and
scalping women and children, were met twice and defeated, with
considerable loss in killed and prisoners, by _an inferior number of
militia_.

Congress are engaged in preparations for the most vigorous exertions
as soon as the spring shall open, from which, by the blessings of
Divine Providence, we have the highest reason to promise ourselves
success.

I am, Sir, with great esteem and respect, &c.

                                                     R. R. LIVINGSTON.


FOOTNOTES:

[45] See General Bedaulx's letter to M. Dumas on this subject, above,
p. 452.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                         Amsterdam, January 7th, 1782.

  Sir,

It would require a volume and several hands, to relate the events of
which I have been a daily witness, and not seldom an active one, since
my last despatch of October 11th. Indifferent health, as well as
prudence, has forbidden me to write down and send a journal of them,
as I formerly did. The rage of the English, and of their faction here,
is increased with their late disappointments; and while things draw
nearer to some conclusion, my own experience and that of others has
taught me not to trust too much to any public conveyance.

I heartily congratulate Congress upon the glorious event of the 19th
of October last, which has given joy to our friends and confusion to
our enemies here.

The loan of five millions of guilders to France in behalf of the
United States having been unanimously agreed to by their High
Mightinesses has been subscribed in one day; and this stock is no more
to be had under two per cent above the capital.

Tomorrow the States of Holland will meet again at the Hague, to
deliberate about the offered mediation of Russia, already accepted by
Great Britain, for a peace between the latter and this Republic. In
spite of the English faction, I have good reason to foretell that two
conditions, _sine quibus non_, will be insisted on as preliminaries by
the Republic. 1st. All the rights of a free and unlimited navigation
offered to this Republic, in virtue of former treaties as well as of
her being part of the armed neutrality. 2dly. That this negotiation
for a particular peace shall not hinder the Republic in the meantime,
and till concluded, from concerting measures with France for carrying
on the war. Without these clauses expressed in the resolution that is
to be taken this or next week, I am assured that none will be taken,
because it is a matter which requires unanimity.

After having managed an interview between Mr Adams and some gentlemen
at the Hague, I have accompanied him hither during the vacation time.
Tomorrow we intend to go back to the Hague, where we have agreed with
the said gentlemen, and with the French Ambassador, upon Mr Adams's
addressing their High Mightinesses for a categorical answer on the
errand of his mission.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                        The Hague, January 15th, 1782.

  Sir,

According to my last of the 7th instant, I went with Mr Adams on the
9th to the President of their High Mightinesses, to whom his
Excellency having made his requisition, I repeated it, that the
President might understand it exactly, in the same terms as are to be
seen in the Leyden Gazette here sent, where I have got them inserted;
and he promised to make his report accordingly. After this, having
received word from the Grand Pensionary of Holland, where we intended
to go, that being himself very sick, he could receive nobody but by
the means of his Secretary, I alone made the communication to the
latter the same morning. The day following, being Thursday, we were
received by M. Fagel, the Graphiary of their High Mightinesses, who,
after I had read to him the requisition, told us, "that the President
had made report of it to the States-General, and that the Deputies of
_all_ the Provinces had taken it _ad referendum_, to be transmitted to
their several Provinces; that the same had been done respecting the
first report in May last, without any instruction being hitherto
received about it; and, therefore, some patience more was necessary
for a categorical answer."

The reception met with from the President and the said Ministers was
duly polite. From them we went round to the deputations of the
eighteen cities of this Province, now assembling here, who received
us, without exception, with a very good humored cordiality, thanking
us for our kind communication, of which they promised to make report
to their cities, and assuring us, that they wished earnestly for a
speedy establishment of amity and good harmony between both Republics;
to which several of them added, affectionately, that they loved the
Americans.

_January 17th._ This morning those of Dort have loudly complained in
the Assembly of Holland, of the disregard shown by the other
Provinces, and even by part of this Province, to the common welfare,
roundly declaring that they will not consent to the proposed mediation
for a peace with Great Britain, unless it should be agreed and
resolved before, to concert measures with France for carrying on the
war without any truce, till peace should be fairly concluded. The same
city, with that of Leyden, I am assured, will soon insist also in the
Assembly, upon due attention being paid to our requisition.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                        The Hague, January 30th, 1782.

  Sir,

Last Friday, the co-operating with France against the common enemy
would have been resolved upon, if the little city of Briel had not
voted with the nobility, for resolving, at the same time, the
acceptance of the mediation proposed by Russia for a particular peace
with Great Britain, which the other refused to do. Neither of these
points being agreed on, they have adjourned till Tuesday, the 5th of
February.

Before their parting, Dort and six other principal cities inserted
their protest against the unconstitutional manner of carrying on the
correspondence by their High Mightinesses with the Emperor,
concerning the abolition of the barrier treaty and the dismantling of
the barrier cities without consulting the Provinces about it;
threatening to recall their Deputies at the States-General. This
unexpected step has much frightened and humiliated the latter.
Probably the next week will decide, first of all, the business of
concerting measures with France, and then that of the mediation, of
which they are determined to limit the acceptance by such clauses as
may disappoint the friends of Great Britain.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                          The Hague, March 29th, 1782.

  Sir,

It is with great satisfaction that I find myself authorised to begin
an official correspondence with you, by congratulating the United
States on the acquisition of two illustrious sisters, whose example
will be speedily followed by five others. On the 26th of February
last, Friesland, and yesterday Holland adopted the Provincial
resolutions to instruct their Deputies in the States-General, to
direct affairs in that body in such a manner as to procure Mr Adams's
admission for the purpose of presenting his credentials from the
United States to their High Mightinesses. This is an acknowledgment of
your independence, and opens the road to negotiation. I have received
triplicates of your favor, and shall have the honor of answering more
fully on the first opportunity.

I hope the two pamphlets accompanying this, ---- and ----, which are
very celebrated, rare, and valuable here, will reach you in safety.

I am, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

_P. S._ The names of Messrs Gyzelaer, Zeeberg, Van Berckel, and
Vischer, Pensionaries of the cities of Dort, Haerlem and Amsterdam,
are worthy of being remembered with the highest esteem by every true
American.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                           Amsterdam, April 4th, 1782.

  Sir,

The 29th ult. I had the honor to address you a packet under cover to
Dr Franklin at Paris, with a short letter, in which I had the
satisfaction to commence the honor of my official correspondence with
you, in congratulating the United States on the acquisition of two
illustrious sisters, whose example will be followed by five others, as
you will see by the papers annexed.

I congratulate you, Sir, and myself also on your elevation to the high
post that you fill, and I recommend my interests and my character to
your attention before Congress. I shall communicate to Dr Franklin the
account of my expenses for the pamphlets and other charges, which I
have already begun, and which I shall continue to forward to you
according to your orders, and I shall draw on him for the amount. I
purchased, in February last, for Mr Adams and by his order, at a cheap
rate, a hotel at the Hague, where we shall live happily together, if
God please, the first of next month. This purchase, besides the
economy of it, has produced politically very good effects. Only
France, Spain and now the United States, possess hotels as their own
at the Hague. All the other foreign Ministers occupy, at a dear rate,
hired hotels.

There is no longer cause to blame the slowness of this nation on our
affairs. Its inclination for us, like a spring pressed by a strong
hand, is escaping and declares for us nobly, by an accumulation of
addresses of corporations, which appear from all parts. I think that
before the end of this month, Mr Adams will be admitted to present his
letters of credence. I came to him here for a secret transaction
concerted with our friends at the Hague, which must make our triumph
over Anglomany complete. On his part, he went this morning to confer
with the French Ambassador at the Hague. He will return here on
Saturday, where I shall keep him company till the end of next week.
Our sure and permanent address will be for the future, _à l'Hôtel
d'Amérique à la Haie en Hollande_.

I am, Sir, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                    JOHN ADAMS TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                              Amsterdam, May 2d, 1782.

  Sir,

Your favor of the 30th I had the honor to receive yesterday, with Mr
Nolet's letter and your answer. What shall I say to this affectionate,
as well as polite invitation to dine at Schiedam? I am now, and shall
be a long time exceedingly fatigued with the affair of the loan, which
takes up the greater part of my attention and time. The treaty of
commerce is also, you know, under consideration, and the merchants of
the American Coffee House have proposed a public dinner here; but I
have begged to be excused. You see the difficulties, for which reasons
I earnestly wish, that our kind friends of Schiedam would be so good
as to excuse us; but I will leave the whole to you, and if I cannot be
excused, I will conform to the day you agree upon. But there is
another affair, which not only perplexes me in this business of the
dinner, but in many other matters of importance. There is a serious
negotiation going on for peace, between the Courts of London and
Versailles, and Dr Franklin, who has sent me the whole, has invited Mr
Laurens, Mr Jay, and me to Paris, to consult and treat. This may make
it necessary to go at a short warning.

I hope you are in possession of the house at the Hague, and advise you
to live in it. Your answer to Mr Nolet is very just.

It is my opinion, with submission to Congress, that it is the interest
and duty of the United States, to send you a commission to be
Secretary of this Legation, and _Chargé d'Affaires_, with a salary of
five hundred pounds sterling a year during the time that there is a
Minister here; and at the rate of a thousand a year, when there is
not; and you have my consent to transmit this opinion to Congress, by
sending an extract of this letter, or otherwise by as many ways as you
please. I shall write the same myself. I wrote as much more than a
year ago, but know not whether the letter has been received, as a vast
number of my letters have been thrown overboard, and many taken.

If the dinner at Schiedam should be agreed on, there will be no
difficulties in finding a way for us three to go all together. All
that is before said about the negotiation for peace, you know must be
kept secret. But if I go to Paris, I shall break up my house here
entirely, and dismiss all my servants.

I have the honor to be, with compliments to the ladies, &c.

                                                           JOHN ADAMS.

       *       *       *       *       *

      VERBAL MESSAGE OF C. W. F. DUMAS TO THE CITY OF SCHIEDAM.

The following verbal message, on the part of Mr Adams to the Secretary
of the city of Schiedam, was given by M. Dumas, on the 8th of May,
1782.

  Sir,

The diversity of sentiments which exists in this Republic, in relation
to the circumstances in which it stands to the United States of
America, having appeared to Mr Adams capable of causing some
embarrassment to the merchants of Schiedam, if he accepted their
polite invitation, he has thought that he could not better prove the
regard and affection which he has for those gentlemen, than by
declining their polite request. He has therefore charged me, Sir, to
assure you of his extreme sensibility, for the honor and friendship
they have manifested in his person to his Sovereign; and of his
intention, not only to make mention of it in his first despatches to
Congress, but also to show on all occasions how much he is disposed to
reciprocate this cordial civility, by every means in his power.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                            The Hague, May 10th, 1782.

  Sir,

Since my last of the 4th of April, I have not had a moment of leisure,
by a succession of agreeable occupations, which have brought us
rapidly to the result which I predicted to you.

The voice of the people has made itself heard from all parts. The
Provinces having successively sent their resolutions here annexed to
the Generality, the 19th of April was the great day when the unanimous
resolution of their High Mightinesses was adopted to admit Mr Adams;
and on the 20th in the morning he went to present his letters of
credence to the President of the week. On Monday, at nine o'clock in
the morning, I went _par etiquette_ to the house of his Excellency,
the French Ambassador, to ask of him the hour when Mr Adams should
come and impart to him officially his admission, and in the meantime
we were to leave our cards at the houses of all the members of the
States-General. The visit to the Ambassador was made in form, and
publicly returned in the same way. That of the Envoy of Spain, not
requiring the same ceremonial as the rank of the Ambassador, we had
given him notice on Sunday evening in a familiar visit, under a
condition previously agreed, that he would return it in like manner
the next day; and he kept his word. Monday, the 22d, I went to ask
audience for Mr Adams, of his Serene Highness, the Stadtholder, who
granted it immediately. We dined on Tuesday, the 23d, with the French
Ambassador, who had invited all the _Corps Diplomatique_, and they all
attended. Wednesday morning we made the tour of the cities of Holland
at their hotels with cards. We left also cards of notification at the
hotels of the Ministers of foreign neutral Courts, who probably have
written to their Courts to know if they should return the visit. There
has been no return of it but from the Minister of Liege. The same
morning I went to ask audience for Mr Adams of her Royal Highness the
Princess of Orange, which immediately took place.

_Monday, 6th of May._ Mr Adams was present at a breakfast with M.
Boreel, Deputy of the States-General, where he had been invited with
all the Court and the _Corps Diplomatique_.

An address having been presented on Monday, the 22d, to Mr Adams, by
six Deputies of the body of merchants of Schiedam, having at their
head the Secretary of the city, who invited him at the same time to a
grand festival, which they wished to give him, I had the happiness
yesterday to excuse him from this festival without dissatisfying these
gentlemen, as you will see by the copy of my verbal message to the
Secretary.

Add to all this, Sir, the confusion of our removal into the Hotel of
the United States of America, which is not yet over, and will not be
for several weeks, and you may well have some indulgence for the
imperfection of my present correspondence.

Sunday last, after dinner, at the request of the French Ambassador and
of our friends here, and with the consent of Mr Adams, I made a
journey by post to Amsterdam, charged with a secret commission
relating to a concert of operations in this country, which the
Anglomanes appeared willing to trouble by some intrigue, and I
returned the next day. All is now settled to the satisfaction of
France; and the Anglomanes are frustrated.

Day before yesterday we were again at a familiar and friendly dinner
at the house of the French Ambassador, with whom Mr Adams was very
much satisfied.

I give you, Sir, only a sort of index, very imperfect, of the
principal events, which have passed here lately. I leave to Mr Adams,
who presented on Monday, the 22d of April, the sketch of a treaty of
amity and commerce to their High Mightinesses, to enlarge. I write
from memory, not having been able to keep a journal, still less one of
my going and coming, my secret interviews, conferences, and
negotiations, which were necessary to prepare and bring about what has
been done, and which ought not yet to be trusted to paper. No one has
better characterised the truly national revolution, which has taken
place here, than the French Ambassador, in saying, that the Dutch
nation had avenged itself, with the greatest success, of all the
political and other evils, which the English have done them since
Cromwell; and the Envoy of Spain, who said to Mr Adams, that he had
struck the greatest blow, which had been given in Europe for a long
time.

I conclude by recommending, Sir, to your attention and to that of
Congress, the copy of a letter which Mr Adams wrote me from Amsterdam
the 2d of this month. I have not had a moment of leisure to write the
present despatch sooner; nor by consequence to make a prompt use of
this letter according to the intention of Mr Adams, and which,
nevertheless, interests the United States as much as myself. It
surprised and affected me very agreeably, and it was no doubt, his
intention so to surprise. You know, Sir, or you may know by the papers
of your department, since the end of 1775, the intimate part I have
had in political affairs without interruption, in executing faithfully
the orders of Congress, unsolicited, but accepted on my part with an
ardor, which I am bold to say, has never changed, and which has drawn
upon me personally all the enemies, open and concealed, of America,
and has cost me and my family great persecutions, mortifications,
losses and sacrifices. I should fear, therefore, to weaken the
letter, so energetic and so honorable to me, of Mr Adams, (who told me
by word of mouth, a few days since, that he was surprised Congress had
not before made such a disposition on the subject of my affairs,) if I
should add anything more, except that I have never had any other
principle in my actions, especially in these six or seven years of
faithful and painful labor, than the service of humanity, of the
United States, and of their honorable Congress; and if in my last
sigh, I could add to this testimony of my conscience the idea of
having retained, the esteem and friendship of all your respectable
Ministers, both in Europe and America, and especially yours, Sir,
which will be very dear to me, and which I pray you to bestow on me, I
shall contentedly close my days with the words of Horace in my mouth;
_non ultima laus est principibus placuisse viris_.

I am, with the most sincere respect,

                                                                DUMAS.

_P. S. May 12th._ There arrived here yesterday a second proposition of
Fox for peace with this Republic. It will be presented tomorrow to the
States-General; a new snare, which is happily foreseen and escaped. I
shall speak of it in my next.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                            The Hague, June 1st, 1782.

  Sir,

My last was of the 10th of May. Since that time I have been constantly
occupied with the French Ambassador and the good patriots of this
country in counteracting the pretended mediators for a separate peace
between Great Britain and this Republic; and we have so far succeeded
that Holland has adopted a good resolution in relation to it, which is
all ready and which will nearly destroy this manoeuvre of the
Anglomanes. On the 21st and 22d of May, I made at the request of the
Ambassador a journey to Dort, where was ready a sketch of a resolution
(since matured and perfected) of which I at the same time made a
translation for the Ambassador. We shall see the effect this will
have.

I know that one of the principal Ministers of the Republic, on the
good will of whom we begin to rely a little more than formerly, has
declared that he has in his pocket the full proofs of the intention of
the British Ministry to amuse and deceive the Republic, which I hope
to see soon irrevocably pledged not to make a peace except in
conjunction with the three other belligerent powers. I cannot explain
myself more at present. If it were not for the disaster of De Grasse
in the West Indies, which delays our progress a little, we should be
already more advanced.

_June 18th._ The abovementioned resolution, although printed on the
5th, was not finally decreed by the States of Holland till the 12th
instant, with some changes, after which they separated, not to come
together again for about three weeks. In this interval, the cities
will have examined the report of the Admiralty, on the treaty of amity
and commerce between the United States and this Republic; and I am
assured that this treaty will be brought to a conclusion at the first
sitting. There will be a question also at that time on the nomination
of a Minister of this Republic to reside near Congress; the Prince
having declared his willingness to propose it to the same assembly.

I accompanied Mr Adams yesterday morning to an audience with the
Prince at the Château du Bois; and he supped there the same day with
the Prince, the Princess, and many foreign Ministers. The stay of
Grenville at Paris, and his pretended instructions to negotiate peace,
have all the air of being only a trick of the Court of London; and I
think it will require one more campaign to bring them to talk
seriously of a general peace, or rather to ripen the revolution or
civil war, which has appeared to me for a long time springing up in
their bosom, and which will bring about finally the catastrophe of
this great tragedy. May the catastrophe be only fatal to the authors
of the evil, and turn to the happiness of the human race in general,
and especially to that of the United States.

_June 20th._ The Ambassador has informed us, that the combined fleet
departed from Cadiz the 4th instant, and in great confidence that Mr
Grenville, who is at Paris, has received from his Court full powers
more ample, to treat with all the belligerents. This is well, if his
powers are explicit and sincere. But to trust to them it seems
necessary that the British Court should declare, that it recognises
the United States for a belligerent power, otherwise it will be a
Proteus; it will escape from us when we think to hold it, and will
pretend to do us a great favor by condescending to a truce, which
would be more pernicious to America than the war. It would draw on the
United States a host of evils. It would leave, in the opinion of all
the world, not excepting your allies and yourselves, an idea of the
uncertainty of your independence, which would never be effectual, and
derogate, by consequence, explicitly from the 2d, 3d, 8th and 9th
articles of your treaty of alliance with France, so justly admired;
would degrade your power, your credit, your dignity; would open the
door to distrust, to dissensions, to corruption and treachery among
yourselves, to combinations against you in Europe; would put you under
the necessity of keeping a standing army, &c. &c. &c. God preserve the
United States from this Pandora's box! If ever Congress could have had
a thought, in the most difficult times, to have recourse to this
dangerous palliative of the evils of war, the present moment should
inspire it with one very different, which will infallibly bring to
terms an enemy fatigued, exhausted and ruined, and will assure to the
United States, with peace, the respect, the regard and friendship of
all powers. An unbounded solicitude for the safety, the prosperity and
glory of the United States will serve, I hope, as an apology for the
boldness with which I dare to expose here my sentiments to Congress,
of whose firmness and magnanimity, as well as of those of its
ministers, I have an idea as great, in proportion, as my opinion of
the intentions of the enemy and of its favorers, is small.

The Academy of Franequer in Friesland has caused to be exhibited on
occasion of a celebration in honor of the connexion between the United
States and this Republic, beautiful fire works, with an illumination.
On a triumphal arch you may read this distich;

    Plus valet una dies, quæ libera ducitur, acta,
    Quam mali sub domini sæcula mille jugo.

There has been struck at Leuwarde in Friesland, to perpetuate the same
event, and all that was resolved in their Provincial Diets of February
and April last, a medal representing a Frieslander stretching out his
right hand to an American, in token of fraternity, and rejecting with
his left the advances made to him by an Englishman. We are invited to
dinner on Sunday by the French Ambassador, who augurs better than we
do of Grenville's mission. God grant that he may be right.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                         The Hague, August 16th, 1782.

  Sir,

At length the treaty of commerce has passed, and was approved day
before yesterday in the States of Holland; and the States-General
proposed immediately a conference with Mr Adams, to put a final hand
to it.

_August 19th._ The States of Holland separated on the 17th, after
having resolved and decreed instructions for the Plenipotentiaries,
which the Republic sends to treat with Mr Fitzherbert, in conjunction
with France and her allies. They talk, among other things, of acting
in all respects in a communicative manner, and in concert with the
Ministers of the King of France, and the other belligerent powers, in
the preparatory and preliminary negotiations, which they may begin
with the Ambassador of Great Britain, to do nothing without them, and
to be assured above all of the sincere and unequivocal intentions of
the British king, to leave for the future the Republic in the full
enjoyment of the rights of neutrality, established in the Russian
declaration of the 28th of February, 1780.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

               ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                    Philadelphia, September 5th, 1782.

  Sir,

It was not till within these few weeks, that I received your favor of
the 4th of April last, together with the interesting paper it
enclosed, since which time we are informed that your prediction
relative to the reception of Mr Adams has been verified. It would have
given me great pleasure to have learned so important an event, with
the steps that immediately led to it from your pen. Your usual
punctuality induces me to believe that your letters have been
unfortunate, since I cannot ascribe this omission to neglect. When you
do me the honor to write again, be pleased to enter minutely into the
subject; since everything that relates to it is not only important in
itself, but will be so much the object of curiosity hereafter, that it
should have a place among our archives.

It would be a great advantage to you and to us, if you maintained such
a correspondence with your sea-ports as would enable you to avail
yourselves of every opportunity of writing to us, as it would give
your letters the charms of novelty, and preserve to you the character
of attention, and to us, as it would enable us to confirm or
contradict the accounts, that we continually receive by private
letters, or through the enemy's papers, some time before we have your
relation of them.

The enemy have at length evacuated Savannah, and in all probability
Charleston, by this time; since, on the 7th of August they gave notice
in general orders for the tories to prepare themselves for such an
event. Their fleet, consisting of fifteen sail of the line, arrived
yesterday at Sandy Hook. The French fleet, under the Marquis de
Vaudreuil had arrived some time before at Boston, where he
unfortunately lost one of his ships, which struck upon a rock and sunk
in the harbor. Congress, willing to testify their sympathy in this
misfortune, have presented the America, a ship of seventyfour guns, to
his Most Christian Majesty. She is in such a state that she can in a
short time be fitted to join his fleet.

We wait with the utmost impatience some account from Europe of the
state of the negotiations for a general peace.

The caution of the enemy in keeping within their posts, will probably
render this an inactive campaign, though we never had a finer or
better appointed army than at present.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

       *       *       *       *       *

               ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                   Philadelphia, September 12th, 1782.

  Sir,

Just after I had closed the letter you will receive with this, I was
honored by your despatches from the 10th of May to the 9th of July
inclusive. You will easily believe, Sir, that I received great
pleasure from the important intelligence they communicate; and the
more so as we had been long in the dark with respect to your
transactions.

I am sorry that the packet which is to carry this, leaves me no time
to enlarge, but this will be the less necessary, as I shall write very
fully to Mr Adams.

With respect to your own affairs, I can only say that you have my
sincerest wishes for your prosperity and promotion. I have already
reported upon the subject, but what the issue will be, I cannot yet
venture to predict. I know Congress to be very sensible of your
assiduity and attachment; and if anything prevents their rewarding
them as they would wish, it will be the present state of their
finances, which requires the most rigid economy.

The change in the British Administration will induce, it is imagined,
a similar change in measures here. We are in hourly expectation of
hearing of the evacuation of Charleston, which had been formally
announced to the inhabitants, who came out in crowds to demand pardon
with the concurrence of General Leslie. It is probably too late to
countermand that order, although they will in all likelihood still
retain New York, contrary to what had appeared to have been their
determination, before the arrival of the packet. Happily the
continuance of the war will be much less burdensome to us now, than at
any former period; not only because habit has reconciled us to it, and
introduced system in our mode of conducting it, which makes it less
inconvenient to the individual, but because I think I may say without
boasting, that there is not at this time a better disciplined or a
better disposed army in the world; scarce a man among them who has not
been repeatedly in action. They are now, too, completely clothed and
armed, an advantage they never before enjoyed. We are at present just
in the situation in which free people should always wish to be. Peace
will not come unwelcomed, nor war unprepared for.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                      The Hague, September 27th, 1782.

  Sir,

My last came down to the 4th of September. There has been an important
resolution of this day taken by the States of Holland, constituting a
commission of five Deputies, accompanied by the Grand Pensionary, to
seek of the Prince the cause of the bad state of the maritime forces
of the Republic, and of their inactivity.

_October 3d._ The abovenamed committee have been received by the
Prince with all the honors due to Sovereigns, and have opened
conferences with him. The same day, their High Mightinesses in secret
session having deliberated on the Memorial of the French Ambassador,
by which he had made them a proposition "to send ten ships of war to
Brest, to be there joined by the vessels of the King, and to act with
them against the common enemy, either in Asia or Europe," have
resolved, that the Prince be requested to designate immediately the
demanded squadron, viz. five vessels of sixty guns, three of fifty,
two frigates, and a cutter for this purpose, to depart if the winds
will permit before the 8th of October, to avoid the risk which would
attend them after that time of being intercepted by an enemy of
superior force.

_October 11th._ The officer designated to command the said squadron
arrived here the 4th, while the wind coming round, became all at once
favorable on the 5th to depart; and he reported to the Prince, who did
not communicate the report until the 7th, in secret session, that the
squadron was not in a state to go to Brest, for want of provisions,
cordage, sails, anchors, clothes for the seamen, and other necessary
articles;[46] on which the committee abovenamed presented themselves
today to the Prince, to express their surprise and ask an explanation.
The Prince professed that he had no account to render but for the
past, and none for the present or the future; at least till a new
resolution of their Noble and Grand Mightinesses. On their side, the
committee conceiving with reason "that the resolution which was
committed to them, contained particular instructions to look into the
points which it specified, and particularly a general order to report
on all subjects relating to the marine, and especially the direction
of the present war, as much as should appear to them necessary to
dissipate all obscurity," have in consequence made their report to the
Assembly.

_October 16th._ Their Noble and Grand Mightinesses having deliberated
on the report, all the cities were ready to conform to it except
Schiedam, la Brille, and Medemblick, which have taken it _ad
referendum_, the final resolution being deferred; but it will be
adopted as reported next week, at least by the majority, which is
sufficient in this case.

His Excellency Mr Adams departed this morning, the 16th of October,
for Paris. In taking leave of the President and Secretary of their
High Mightinesses the States-General, he did me the honor to present
me as _Chargé d'Affaires_ of the United States; which is an
indispensable custom. He had before advised the Grand Pensionary of
it, to whom I shall make tomorrow a visit of politeness in
consequence.

_October 18th._ A young officer, (De Witte,) convicted of high
treason, for having attempted to assist the enemy in an invasion of
the coast of Zealand, was about to be tried by the High Council of
War, which is wholly dependent on the Prince, when the States of
Holland solemnly signified to the Prince that he ought to cause
prosecution to be stayed before this tribunal, as incompetent, and
carry it up before the Court of Justice of Holland and Zealand. This
High Council of War, is, besides, odious to the nation, and regarded
as tyrannical and unconstitutional.

I have not spoken in this letter of our treaty of amity and commerce
with this Republic, signed finally by both parties the 8th of this
month, because Mr Adams will give you this detail better than I can. I
shall content myself with saying, that I have every reason to be
persuaded that he is satisfied with the zeal, with which I have
fulfilled the tasks which he has required of me, in the operations
which have preceded this signature, and pray God that the United
States may gather from it the most abundant fruits.

_October 22d._ I am anxious to see an answer to the extract I sent to
your Excellency, agreeably to the wish and permission of Mr Adams, of
a certain letter which he wrote me. For so long as I am not openly
recognised and suitably sustained by Congress, my precarious condition
here is cruel, in the midst of the Anglomanes, who wish to see me
perish ignobly, and in the bosom of a family whose complaints and
reproaches I fear more than death. Mr Laurens, in his hasty passage
through this country, was perfectly sensible of it. He knows that I
serve the United States constantly, without respect of persons. "_You
have been slighted_," are his own words; and when I testified to him
my regrets for his departure from Europe, he had the goodness to add,
that these regrets were contrary to my interest. Permit me, Sir, to
commend them to you, and if Mr Laurens has returned to you safely, as
I hope, on the arrival of this, will you express to him the sentiments
of the most affectionate respect which I retain for him, as well as
for all the great men in America, who have served under the sublime
principles, which have animated me as well as them; and in which I, as
well, as they, will live and die.

I am, with great respect, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.


FOOTNOTES:

[46] The 12th of September, the Prince on his return from the Texel,
reported positively to their High Mightinesses, that all was there
ready, that the vessels were in a condition for sea and for action,
and waited only for his orders.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                       The Hague, November 15th, 1782.

  Sir,

Yesterday morning, after a conference with his Excellency the Duc de
la Vauguyon, I went in a post chaise to Rotterdam and Dort, in order
to advise our friends in these two cities of some changes about to be
made in the instructions of their Ministers Plenipotentiary at Paris,
to deprive the English Minister of all pretext for conferring with
those of the other belligerent powers without them. I succeeded to the
satisfaction of his Excellency, and our friends were duly informed and
disposed, when they received this morning, while I was returning,
letters on this subject from the Grand Pensionary. My journey has
gained the time which would have been lost, if they had, on
re-assembling here taken the thing _ad referendum_.

_November 17th._ I had the pleasure to receive this morning, on behalf
of the Ambassador, absent at Amsterdam, the news of the re-admission
of M. Van Berckel, First Pensionary of Amsterdam, to the Assembly of
their Noble and Grand Mightinesses, where he will re-appear on the
20th, radiant as the sun, _disjectis nubibus_.

There has arrived a circular letter from Friesland, to take away from
the Prince the direction of affairs. I shall have it, and will add it
to the gazettes.

_November 18th._ On my return, Friday evening, I found, Sir, your
favors of the 5th and 12th of September, to which I can only answer
succinctly, that the present may not be delayed.

I have thought a long time how much it might be advantageous both for
Congress and for me, as you observe, Sir, if I could enter into a
minute and frequent detail of all that passes here within the sphere
of my action. But let Congress remember at last that _qui vult finem,
vult media_, being both essential and subsidiary. I labor all day.
Often I have scarcely time left to note briefly for myself what is
done or said. I am alone. It is necessary to copy the same despatches
four times, if one would hope for their arrival. I could have many
things to say on all this. But to what good, if Congress does not say
it also? I have not put my light under a bushel. I have made it shine
constantly before both worlds, for the service of the United States,
since they have called me here.

If the truths I transmit come more slowly than the falsehoods of the
enemy, which they may serve to contradict, it is because they may
forge stories as they please, but not the truth which arrives when it
can, and which besides, cannot always be hazarded prematurely, still
less be foretold, especially when the enemy might profit by it.

As to peace, we know not here what has been done about it at Paris. My
opinion is, that two or three more campaigns will be infinitely more
salutary to the American Confederation than a patched-up peace, which
shall leave the enemy possessor of Canada, Nova Scotia and
Newfoundland; whence he would not cease nor be slow to vex you by all
manner of means, perhaps to divide you, which will be worse.

But let us wait what Parliament says at the end of this month. Then we
may be able to say of the Congress of Peace, what the poet Rousseau,
in his Ode to Fortune, said of a hero becoming man again;

    Le masque tombe, George reste,
    Et le Romain s'évanouit.

And so much the better, I think, for America and for this Republic. I
am, with very great respect, Sir,

                                                                DUMAS.

_P. S._ I thank you, Sir, for the excellent letter of Mr Payne to the
Abbé Raynal. If it is possible I shall publish it in French.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                       The Hague, December 12th, 1782.

  Sir,

Some days ago I was about to prepare a new despatch, touching affairs
on the carpet here, when an unforeseen event prevented me. It is
nothing less than a conspiracy, which might be termed Catilinarian, if
there had been an able Catiline in it; but they only had the intention
of the Roman, without his sagacity.

We were congratulating ourselves here on the despatches from Paris,
which informed the Grand Pensionary, much to the regret of the
conspiracy, of the news of the signing of preliminaries between the
Ministers of the United States and Great Britain. We were only
surprised at the oath of secrecy exacted of the members of the
Assembly, before communicating to them the contents of despatches so
well suited to reassure and relieve the nation of the fear, which, to
excite discontent, it had been industriously endeavored to inspire,
that it would be deceived and abandoned by the other powers, when on
the 5th and 6th, the festival of St Nicholas, famous in this country,
which they seemed disposed to make another St Bartholomew's, the
conspiracy broke out and failed. Persons were sent about during these
two days, with the Orange cockade in their hats and an address of
thanks in their hands, applauding the good management of the marine,
and at night about thirty men, paid and intoxicated, made a noisy
procession through the streets and squares, to endeavor to raise the
populace, who, however, would not sign, nor join the seditions, to
make an attack, as they foolishly expected, on every person obnoxious
to them. Saturday, 7th, they endeavored, in order to renew the scene
the following Monday, to gain the peat carriers, who answered, that
the troubles of 1748 had taught them to be more wise for the future.
The evening of the same Saturday they hinted secretly to the
Pensionaries of Dort and Amsterdam (remaining in the city) that they
must not depart on their peril. But they, disregarding the danger,
immediately went to require the Grand Pensionary to convoke an
extraordinary Assembly on Monday. He obeyed in spite of himself, and
despatched couriers during that night.

On Monday morning, the 9th, the Assembly adopted by the large
majority of sixteen, against two cities (la Brille and Enkhuisen) and
to the confusion of the nobles and the Stadtholder, who were present,
a resolution (a true _quousque tandem_) in which the Court and the
officers of justice, municipal and provincial, are strongly censured
for having looked on without interfering, and in which the Provincial
Court of Justice is ordered to prosecute the affair criminally; and
the Counsellor Deputies, to provide that for the future like disorders
shall not be committed. The same day the Provincial Court of Justice
assembled in consequence, and named two Commissioners of its own body,
and another fiscal not suspected, to attend to the examination of the
conspiracy. The Counsellor Deputies have likewise named a commission,
to effect what is enjoined on them. From these two commissions are
excluded the old Provincial Fiscal of Justice, who has besides a
_quasi_ gout, and the Grand Bailiff of the Hague, who, on the part of
the nobles, is of the Council of Deputies, and who prudently declined
before rejection, for both are under censure by the resolution.

The Court, alarmed at the consequences which they feared from all
this, engaged M. Thulemeyer, Envoy of Prussia, to act for them, who,
in continuation of a certain measure, which he took about two months
ago by order of his Court, has been this morning to the Deputies of
Dort, Haerlem, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, to tell them "that his Majesty
has learned with displeasure the dissensions which have place in the
Republic, that, _without wishing to meddle, in the domestic affairs of
the Republic_,[47] the interest that his Majesty takes equally in the
welfare of their High Mightinesses and of the Prince, his kinsman,
does not permit him to look with indifference on any diminution of the
rights of the Stadtholder; and that he would guaranty that this Prince
should not abuse his prerogatives; and he hoped by this step that
harmony would be re-established." Amsterdam has answered, "That they
were surprised to find the King so misinformed, that for themselves,
they did not know that they had ever diminished the rights of the
Stadtholder, and that the Stadtholder himself had never complained of
it to the States; that this would no doubt have been done, if the fact
had been true; that, as for the rest, they would write to their city
what the Envoy had said to them, that it might if it should judge
proper write directly to the King, to inform him better, and put his
Majesty also in a way to know those who had thus imposed on him."

This answer evidently confounded the Envoy. The other cities have
answered the same in substance.

_December 13th._ The committee charged with arrangements for sending a
Minister of the Republic to the United States, made its report
yesterday to the Assembly of the States of Holland, the members of
which took it _ad referendum_. This Minister is to have twenty
thousand florins per annum, and ten thousand for his outfit.

This morning the committee of five has returned again to the Prince.

The resolution of Zealand, that the prisoner Witte should be
delivered to the Provincial Court, is received, and the Prince will
yield.

The deliberation on the circular letter of Friesland, interrupted by
the disturbance, which in history may be denominated the _Cockade
Conspiracy_, to distinguish it from that of the _Gunpowder Plot_, will
be resumed next week.

I am, Sir, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.


FOOTNOTES:

[47] The expression in italics was added by the Envoy, in his address
to the gentlemen of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, because those of Dort
asked him, if the King pretended to meddle in the domestic concerns of
the Republic? Haerlem was not able to receive him.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                       The Hague, December 17th, 1782.

  Sir,

This morning the Minister of Prussia, M. Thulemeyer, has again visited
the Deputies of the eighteen cities of Holland, to inform them of a
Memorial, which he has presented to their High Mightinesses against a
certain libel, in which, among other calumnies, is an insinuation,
that the Princess attempted to imitate the conduct of a certain
Empress in relation to her husband.

It has been replied to him, "that their Noble and Grand Mightinesses,
as well as their High Mightinesses, had long since done everything in
their power against libels by severe placards; that the further
measures, which seemed to be expected of them, and which, perhaps,
were suitable enough in arbitrary governments, could not be adopted in
this Republic, of which the liberty of the press is the Palladium;
that it is like every other good thing, the use of which is free to
all, and the abuse subject to the animadversion of the bailiffs and
fiscals; that the Minister knows how lately their Noble and Grand
Mightinesses have had reason to complain of the negligence of those
officers of justice; that the Princess, the Prince, and the whole
House of Orange, more nearly connected with them than with the King,
his master, did not need any foreign commendation to make themselves
beloved and respected by the nation, and protected by the Sovereign,
&c."

_December 21st._ The three ostensible exciters of the _Cockade
Conspiracy_, protected by an invisible hand, have escaped from justice
and fled to Cranenberg, a village in the Duchy of Cleves. The Court
having sent its officers to arrest them at the peril of the
complainants, the Regency of Cleves, contrary to the law of nations,
has refused to allow the arrest. This morning the States held an
extraordinary session to deliberate on the subject, and,
notwithstanding the opposition of the nobles, adopted a resolution,
requiring the court of justice to make a solemn demand of the
fugitives at Cleves, in the name of the Sovereign; on Friday next, a
letter will be addressed on this subject directly to the King of
Prussia, and Duke of Cleves.

The Grand Bailiff of Utrecht (Count d'Athlone) has lost, with costs of
suit, his case against the editor of a weekly newspaper, (_de Post van
den Neder-Rhein_) which for about two years has produced a wonderful
impression on the nation. This is a brilliant victory of the patriots
over their enemies. Some of the expressions, which have given offence
were, _la brouette va de travers, qu'il-y-a une main invisible qui
gâte tout, &c._

In Friesland, the majority of the eleven cities, which form the fourth
Quarter of the Sovereignty, have annulled the influence of the Court
on the appointment of their circuits. Thus the resolution of the
Province, so disagreeable to the Court, will be unanimous.

_December 24th._ I have just been confidentially informed, on
condition of my writing an account of the fact to my friends at Dort
and Amsterdam, that this morning the Prince went to declare to their
High Mightinesses, that, on the resolution of Zealand, taken on the
report of the court of justice, although there was much to be said
relative to that report, he was ready, under leave of their High
Mightinesses, to transfer the prisoner Witte from the hands of the
High Council of War to those of the court of justice. On which the
Grand Pensionary first protested with a loud voice, that it was
necessary to wait till Friday for the resolution of the Sovereign
thereon; and then, in a low voice, he intimated to the President, that
it might be done by a majority. The prisoner will, therefore, be
transferred to night.

On Wednesday last, a courier despatched from hence to anticipate the
demand of the court of justice, arrived at Cleves the same night,
caused the gates to be opened, the three conspirators, who were abed,
to be called, conducted them hastily out by the other gate, and after
going some distance on foot, stowed them away in a carriage, which,
according to appearances, carried them to Hanover.

_December 26th._ The accompanying note I sent to M. Van der Hoop,
Fiscal of the Admiralty of Amsterdam, in consequence of the request
presented at Amsterdam by the agents of an American letter of marque.
My demand of a passport for these people, to protect them from being
made prisoners when ashore, has been granted. I congratulate myself,
that my first public measure has been, like all my other measures,
_secundum libertatem_. It has been suggested to me to make another
against a certain libel, "_The Magic Lantern_," in which America and
her worthy Plenipotentiary here have been roughly handled. I replied,
that I would do nothing, which could afford any pretext for violating
the liberty of the press; of which the present instance of abuse
deserved only contempt.

I am, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                        The Hague, January 11th, 1783.

  Sir,

This morning their Noble and Grand Mightinesses adopted a resolution
conformable to the report hereto annexed, relative to the mission of a
Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, with instructions to
their Deputies of the Province in the States-General, to press the
conclusion of this matter by the States. This evening, between ten and
twelve o'clock, one of the gentlemen, coming to take leave of me until
Tuesday week, concerted with me the measures it would be proper to
take during his absence, to make the choice fall, if the plan
succeeds, on a person who will be as agreeable to the United States,
as he is esteemed by the patriots of this country. I shall give
information of it by letter next Tuesday to Mr Adams.

Yesterday arrived some despatches from the Plenipotentiaries of the
Republic at Paris, with the reply of his Britannic Majesty to the
preliminaries which had been proposed; this reply is not satisfactory.

I am, Sir, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                        The Hague, January 20th, 1783.

  Sir,

This morning M. Thulemeyer, Envoy of Prussia, presented the Memorial
hereto annexed to their High Mightinesses. I shall say nothing about
it, because I should have too much to say, and because it is better to
see what they will say whom it concerns.

Tomorrow the Chamberlain, Baron de Heide, will set out for Paris, sent
by the Prince, to give his Most Christian Majesty a good opinion of
his patriotism, his measures, and his disposition.

The cities of Guelderland and Overyssel continue, after the example of
those of Friesland, to raise their heads one after another.

_February 22nd._ I have yet to give you an account of a secret and
important negotiation and correspondence, between the gentlemen here
and our Ministers at Paris, which has been carried on by my
intervention for more than a month. But besides that it will take much
time to copy all these letters, the subject will not allow me to risk
the copies at sea, until the vessels can navigate with more safety.
The article relating to the liberty of the seas is the subject of
discussion; this matter they wish to see definitively arranged
previously to the general peace, and with good reason.

I congratulate the United States on the signature of the preliminaries
between the United States, France, and Spain on one side, and England
on the other. God grant that the peace may follow soon, and a
permanent peace; which cannot be without solidly establishing the
principles of the armed neutrality between these powers and the
Republic.

I am, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

_P. S._ Next Friday this Province will propose the Baron de Dedem,
Lord of Peckendam, &c. as Minister Plenipotentiary of the Republic
near the United States. The other party is canvassing warmly, but
secretly against him. All appearances, however, are in favor of this
good patriot, and I recommend him beforehand as such to your
Excellency. He is a cousin-german of M. de Capelle du Pol, formerly a
correspondent of your uncle, the Governor of the Jersies.

       *       *       *       *       *

                 MEMORIAL OF THE PRUSSIAN AMBASSADOR.

                                                   January 20th, 1783.

  High and Mighty Lords,

The King had flattered himself, that the amicable representations and
intimations, which the undersigned has made, by the express order of
his Majesty, to several distinguished members of the States-General of
the United Provinces, on the subject of the present unhappy
excitement, which manifests itself at present in Holland, would
produce the desired effect, conformably to the positive assurances he
had received on this point. But his Majesty has learned with as much
displeasure as surprise, that these domestic troubles, instead of
being quieted are constantly increasing, and that it is even meditated
to deprive the Prince Stadtholder of the command of the army and navy,
and thus to strip him of his chief prerogatives of hereditary
Captain-General and High Admiral. The King cannot believe that this
is the general sentiment and desire of the nation, and of the rulers
of the State. His Majesty on the contrary is persuaded, that it is
only the private wish of a few individuals, who are inimical to the
Most Serene House of Nassau, from personal hatred or private views,
without regard to the true welfare and common interest of the State.

Every good Dutchman will remember with gratitude, that the foundations
of his present liberty and prosperity were laid by the Princes of the
illustrious House of Orange-Nassau, and acquired in part at the price
of their blood; that this House has formed, and established on a firm
basis, the present constitution of the Republic, and after
extraordinary vicissitudes and revolutions, in some respects
resembling the present crisis, has rescued the Republic from the
perils which threatened it, and re-established it in its former
lustre. It is not to be doubted, that the welfare and safety of the
Republic depend on the preservation of that form of government, which
has so happily subsisted for two centuries, and of the Stadtholderate,
which is inseparable from it. Every good Dutch patriot must feel
persuaded of the truth of this. All the neighboring powers appear
equally convinced of it, and are able to see that dissensions, not
less dangerous than inexcusable, the consequences of which may prove
not less ruinous to this Republic, than they have been to other States
under similar circumstances, subsist and constantly increase in
violence in the bosom of the United Provinces. These powers are all
equally interested in the maintenance of the Dutch Republic. The King
is more particularly so, both from his consanguinity to the Most
Serene House of Orange, and from his being the nearest neighbor, and
the constant and sincere friend of the Republic. His Majesty is
persuaded he knows it from the most positive assurances, that the
Prince Stadtholder has the purest and most salutary views of the good
of the Republic, and the support of the present constitution; that if
evil disposed persons attribute to him any other intentions, it is an
insinuation as destitute of all probability, as it is injurious to his
character and his enlightened policy; that the Prince will follow and
execute undeviatingly the principles adopted and established by the
sovereign power of the United Provinces, and will for the future
remove even a suspicion of the contrary.

The undersigned, Envoy Extraordinary, has the honor to submit all
these important considerations to their High Mightinesses, the
States-General of the United Provinces. He is directed by the most
precise orders of the King, to recommend them to their most serious
reflections, and to urge their High Mightinesses to reject and repel
all propositions and opinions calculated to diminish the lawful
prerogatives of the Stadtholderate, and change the form of their
government, so long established and so happily preserved; but on the
other hand, to take effectual measures to quiet the internal troubles,
to check the attempts of the factious, to put a stop to their
calumnies, and to restore not only the harmony of the State, but also
the authority and respectability of the Prince Stadtholder, and of all
engaged in the government of the Republic.

His Majesty flatters himself, that their High Mightinesses will
receive his representations as the counsel and exhortations of a
neighbor, who is their true and sincere friend, who is not indifferent
to the fate of the Republic, but who will always feel the liveliest
and warmest interest in the preservation of its constitution.

                                                           THULEMEYER.

       *       *       *       *       *

                            TO JOHN ADAMS.

                                        The Hague, January 24th, 1783.

  Sir,

The sudden and unexpected manner in which we have received the news of
the signing of the preliminaries, by all the belligerent powers,
except that in which we are most interested here, filled our friends
at first with apprehensions; but after having recovered from their
first surprise, M. Van Berckel, at the suggestion and on the request
of the Grand Pensionary, in a secret conference, proposed the most
dignified and sure method of attaining the object desired and
desirable to all. The Grand Pensionary adopted it with eagerness, and
it was, that M. Van Berckel should request me to consult you, as early
as possible, on this method. It is as follows.

"To accelerate the negotiation of a general peace, and to prevent
ulterior discussions between their High Mightinesses and Great
Britain, on the question of free and unlimited navigation. Mr Adams is
requested to declare, whether he is authorised by Congress to accede
to the armed neutrality, already concluded between certain powers of
Europe, or to enter into a similar negotiation with France, Spain, and
the United Provinces.

"In either case their High Mightinesses would make the same
proposition to France and Spain, in order to prevent discussions on
the subject of the liberty of the seas, which may retard the general
peace, and assist the Republic in concluding a peace on her part with
Great Britain, which may otherwise be delayed by difficulties, arising
from particular stipulations or arrangements to be made with England
on this subject.

"The definitive treaty between England and the Republic might then be
concluded, with a reserve of the natural right of all nations, who are
in the enjoyment of this right, unless they should modify it by
particular treaties on the subject of contrabands, recognised as such
by the contracting parties.

"Mr Adams is requested to communicate his ideas on this subject as
speedily as possible, and to add his views on the means of furthering
such a negotiation, and hastening the conclusion of the general peace;
since it appears, that the Republic could meanwhile accede to the
armistice, which must result from the signing of the preliminaries of
peace by the other belligerent powers, and treat with England on all
the points in dispute."

It is for you to decide, if you will confer ministerially with M.
Brantzen on this matter.

It only remains for me to present to you the compliments of M. Van
Berckel, with the warmest expression of his esteem; he has just left
me, to give me an opportunity of writing the above.

I am, &c.

                                                            DUMAS.[48]


FOOTNOTES:

[48] See Mr Adams's reply to this letter, Vol. VII. p. 13.

       *       *       *       *       *

                            TO JOHN ADAMS.

                                        The Hague, January 28th, 1783.

  Sir,

You have probably received today my letter of the 24th, sent by a
courier of the French Ambassador. It is of the utmost importance to
those on behalf of whom I wrote it, and they wait with anxiety for
your answer, because the effect they expect it to produce, is in
their opinion alone able to repair the immense and unpardonable fault,
(I use their words) which has been committed in abandoning,
sacrificing, and deluding them. This is their own language even to the
Ambassador, who wishes them to enter upon this negotiation directly
with the French Minister, and in that case promises them complete
success; this they flatly refuse. He said to me and to them too, that
he thought you would make no difficulty in taking it upon yourself,
but that your colleagues would probably oppose it. They replied, that,
not seeing any reason why any opposition should be made to the joint
adoption of the measure by the three belligerents, rather than leave
it to the caprice of the Minister of a single power, they should
consider any such opposition as owing to the influence of such
Minister; that then it would be useless to apply any longer to them
for any negotiations whatever, and in that case his Excellency must in
future be contented to apply to their High Mightinesses, without
requiring them and their cities to expose themselves farther to
contempt and danger.

I have thought it my duty, in so important an affair, to inform you
fully of all the circumstances. I will add, that the nation is
indignant at the last act of the French Minister, and that he will
lose their confidence entirely, if he intrigues against that measure,
which they propose with an entire reliance on your candor and your
good intentions.

Yesterday I read to the Grand Pensionary _in extenso_ the copy of the
preliminaries between America and Great Britain, with which you have
favored me. I then read it to other friends, but no one shall have a
copy until you grant permission.

M. de Gyzelaer, whom I have seen this morning, and Messrs Van Berckel
and Visscher, with whom I supped last evening, have directed me to
give their most respectful compliments to your Excellency.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                            TO JOHN ADAMS.

                                        The Hague, January 30th, 1783.

  Sir,

The letters I had the honor to write you on the 24th and 28th inst.,
are the most faithful picture of the sentiments of our republicans. I
have added nothing of my own; on the contrary I have softened the
matter as much as possible. If the affair cannot be arranged as I have
proposed, the credit of France here is gone forever. I send you copies
of letters relative to this subject, as I promised. France and our
republicans have been from that time, the object of the bitterest
sarcasms and raillery of the evil-disposed; and our republicans,
without losing their courage in opposition to their domestic
adversaries, are indignant, and have no longer any confidence in what
is said to them by the French Ministry to color what is past, or to
engage them to adopt further measures. They pity the Duc de la
Vauguyon personally, and say that he is sacrificed, and that he is
deprived of all the fruits of his wise measures, indefatigable
industry, and splendid success here, by a stroke of a pen. They
declare besides, that they will not be ruled, influenced, or kept in
leading-strings by France nor by England, and that whatever may be
proposed by France, they will not carry it to their cities, without
sufficient guaranties in their pockets. If you carry the measure I
have proposed, it will be, in my opinion, an important political
stroke, of the greatest advantage to the United States, because it
will establish their credit, dignity, and glory here forever. Your
judgment and profound penetration, render it unnecessary for me to
enter into long reasonings on this subject. It is enough that this
measure will be equally advantageous to all, since all will
participate in it, and will guaranty it to each other.

The Count de Llano requested me this morning to communicate to him the
Preliminaries, of which the Duc de la Vauguyon told him I had a copy.
He was satisfied with my reasons for declining to give him a copy, and
with the verbal account I gave him of their substance. I have done the
same favor to M. Asp.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                            TO JOHN ADAMS.

                                        The Hague, February 4th, 1783.

  Sir,

Your favor of the 29th has fully satisfied the gentlemen; and the
Pensionary, M. Van Berckel, in the name of all, has directed me to
thank you, and to assure you that it is precisely what they wanted,
and what they hoped would be done by you and your colleagues; and that
you may rely entirely on them, as they rely perfectly on you, in
subsequent proceedings. I have also communicated it to the Grand
Pensionary, who appeared to think with them, and I have been assured
from good authority, that he has no less reason than France, to desire
that the English party should no longer prevail here. I have the
respects of all to present to you; I am delighted to find them so easy
to be satisfied; for it appears to me that they ask nothing more than
the mutual guarantee, which is provided for in the treaties of America
with this Republic and with France. They are determined not to sign,
until the article relating to navigation shall be in the terms
proposed, and not to cede Negapatnam; and they fear that if France
does not find some remedy for this difficulty, she will again lose the
confidence and favor of this nation, which are of more importance to
her than Tobago.

The Count de Vergennes, to excuse the precipitancy in signing the
treaty, has said to the Ministers of the Republic at Paris, that, on
one side, America, who declared herself exhausted, feared an
insurrection if the taxes were increased, demanded through Dr Franklin
twenty millions for the ensuing campaign, if there were one, and
wished to enjoy peace and her treaty, rather than to risk the
continuance of the war, which might prevent the execution of it; and
on the other, Spain, who, equally exhausted, demanded this conclusion
absolutely--had compelled France to sign so precipitately; but that
this does not affect the intention of his Majesty not to conclude,
unless their High Mightinesses are included in the general peace and
are satisfied. God grant it may be so. It appears that the Ambassador
and the Grand Pensionary have received, each by his own courier the
same assurances. The latter, however, has not yet imparted his
despatches to our other friends. I have taken care to treat the nation
with the Boston proclamation in the papers of the day.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                            TO JOHN ADAMS.

                                       The Hague, February 18th, 1783.

  Sir,

Our friends are well satisfied with the repeated declarations I have
made them from you and your colleagues. They will act in consequence,
in regard to the Court of France, including that of Spain, and above
all to your Excellencies. They appear convinced that the measure can
and ought to succeed. At all events they direct me to propose the
following question, to obtain an answer thereto, favorable, if
possible, which will assure and tranquilise them.

"If their High Mightinesses should propose to France to sign a
convention, founded on the principles of the armed neutrality, for the
preservation of the freedom of navigation, conjointly with Spain, the
United States, and the United Provinces of the Low Countries; in case
France and Spain should appear disposed to postpone such a convention,
or should decline entering into it before the signing or concluding of
the definitive treaty; would Mr Dana, and, during his absence, Mr
Adams, either alone, and as Minister of the United States near this
Republic, or with his colleagues, be ready to sign such a provisional
convention, when proposed to them in the name of their High
Mightinesses, between the United States and the United Provinces?"

It is believed here, that without such a treaty, either between
France, Spain, the United States and the United Provinces, or in
defect of the two first, at least between the two last powers, nothing
can save from the shame of the definitive treaty this Republic, which
joined in the war only for the liberty of the seas, and which has
made it a condition _sine qua non_ in its preliminaries.

It is much to be wished that one of these arrangements were
practicable, as this would at once pave the way for the definitive
treaty. At least there would be no other difficulty than that relating
to Negapatnam, and to the commerce to the Moluccas, on which I have
just read the report of the seventeen directors of the Company, which
opposes the strongest objections to the yielding of either.

My opinion is, always with submission to your better judgment, that
your acquiescence in the demand of these gentlemen may be founded on
three considerations. 1st. On the resolution of the United States of
October 5th, 1780, communicated by you to their High Mightinesses by a
letter of March 8th, 1781, and on which you have observed to me, that
your powers for that purpose were not recalled. 2dly. On the
circumstance that their High Mightinesses are a party to the armed
neutrality, to which Mr Dana is waiting the pleasure of another party
to admit the United States. 3dly. On the fact, that the only point in
question is in regard to the mutual guarantee, which you have already
acceded to in the treaty of amity and commerce concluded with their
High Mightinesses.

Praying you to pay my respects to Messrs Franklin, Jay, Laurens, and
Brantzen, I am, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                           The Hague, March 4th, 1783.

  Sir,

This note is intended merely to correct a statement I had the honor to
make you a few days since, via Amsterdam. By an unexpected change, M.
Van Berckel, Burgomaster of Rotterdam, and brother of the celebrated
Pensionary of Amsterdam, instead of M. de Dedem, has been nominated by
the Province of Holland, and accepted by their High Mightinesses, for
Minister Plenipotentiary near the United States. What I have said,
however, of the patriotism of one, is entirely applicable to the
other, and it is with the greatest satisfaction and cordiality that I
recommend him to your confidence and friendship.

This morning their High Mightinesses have adopted a resolution,
conformable to that of Holland, relative to the instructions to their
Plenipotentiary at Paris, to exert himself to effect a general
pacification. Thus there will soon be an opportunity to congratulate
the United States on the completion of this momentous affair.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                            TO JOHN ADAMS.

                                           The Hague, March 4th, 1783.

  Sir,

This morning their High Mightinesses adopted a conclusion conformable
to the opinion of the Province of Holland, on the instructions to be
given to their Plenipotentiaries to obtain a general peace. This
conclusion is unconstitutional, as it was not adopted unanimously. The
Deputies of three Provinces, Friesland, Zealand, and Groningen, have
declared they are not yet authorised to give their consent. But this
will come.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                           The Hague, March 5th, 1783.

  Sir,

It is with as much confidence in your goodness, as zeal to serve the
worthy Minister, who will represent this Republic to yours, that I
hasten to transmit you the copy hereto annexed, of a letter he has
just written to me.

I will add, that M. Van Berckel intends to embark at Rotterdam for
Philadelphia within three months at the latest. He will take his two
sons with him, and when his house at Philadelphia is ready, he will
send for his wife and three daughters, and reside permanently during
the rest of his life near the Congress, who will find him as amiable
as he is estimable. I am very sorry to lose him, but much rejoiced
that the United States will make the acquisition. You will consider
it, I hope, not unreasonable, if desiring to serve to the extent of my
power my most respectable friend, whom you will soon receive as yours,
no less on account of his personal virtues, than of his political
character, which will connect him more closely with you than with any
other person, I take it for granted not only that you will pardon, but
be gratified with the liberty I take of addressing this commission to
you, with a request, that you will confide the execution of it to some
gentleman, in whom you can place entire confidence, and who will
discharge it according to the wishes of, and on the most advantageous
terms for M. Van Berckel; so that on his arrival he may find the house
hired and at his command, the coach made, and the horses ready for
use.

The expenses will be paid by M. Van Berckel on his arrival, or even
sooner, if necessary and possible in so short a time.

If I could have an answer to this before he sets sail, which will be
in May or June at the latest, it would confer a great obligation on
him. He will make the passage in a good frigate.

I am, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

_P. S._ M. Van Berckel speaks English very well. If this circumstance
is fortunate for him, it will be no less so for those with whom he is
to be connected in America.

       *       *       *       *       *

                            TO JOHN ADAMS.

                                           The Hague, March 6th, 1783.

  Sir,

You must have already received, as well as the Ministers of France and
Spain, the overture of the Ministers of this Republic at Paris, to
begin the negotiation by a treaty of a mutual guarantee of the liberty
of the seas. These gentlemen rely principally on the repeated promises
I have made them on your part, confident that the American
Plenipotentiaries will not allow themselves to be influenced by
Shelburne and company, who, they say, understand each other like
robbers at a fair. You will have no difficulty in understanding the
allusion. If this convention could be made before the signing of the
definitive treaty, the republicans here would triumph. A certain
person having objected to me, that England might take umbrage if this
treaty were made before the other, "Indeed!" I replied, "how long is
it since France began anew to fear giving umbrage to England?"

Your declaration concerning the armistice has been inserted in the
gazettes according to your wish; as has also the English proclamation.

I am, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                          The Hague, March 27th, 1783.

  Sir,

While the powers are taking a _siesta_ to digest the provisional
peace, previous to putting the finishing hand to it, I can only speak
to you of the domestic affairs of this Republic.

1st. Five Provinces have conformed to the opinion of Holland, for the
criminal process on account of the disobedience of the squadron, which
should have sailed from Brest in the beginning of October last. The
opinion of Guelderland, the States of which will assemble next month,
is the only one wanting.

2dly. There is a provisional report of seven of the principal cities
of Holland, which the others have taken _ad referendum_, to require
explanations from the Prince on the last Memorial of M. Thulemeyer,
Envoy of Prussia, by declaring whether he really has to complain of
the loss of any prerogatives constitutionally belonging to him; or if
the remonstrances of the King on that point are not founded on a
mistake? Those who are suspected of being the only focus from which
this, _brutum fulmen_, (shall I call it) or this _will o' the whisp_,
has proceeded, are doing all they can to prevent a majority, which
would convert this report into a resolution. If they cannot succeed in
this, the nobles, that is, the Prince, whom they allow to dispose of
their vote, will delay the resolution by pretending not to be ready
to vote. But then the others can appoint a day on which they must be
ready, and, meanwhile, they will print the report; which will increase
the difficulty of the Court, and, perhaps, of the kind M. Thulemeyer,
in saving themselves from the dilemma, I will not say with honor,
which is impossible, but without mortification.

3dly. The city of Alcmaer, by a formal deputation, has declared to the
Prince, that in future it will dispose not only of nominations, but
also of the consequent elections without his participation; asserting
that this right belongs to it in virtue of certain ancient privileges.
It persists in its design, and the Prince, who it was said at first,
had intended to complain to the States of the Province by letter, has
renounced his intention, for want of any solid objections to the
measure.

4thly. The arrangement of the military jurisdiction is another
formidable operation for him, which will begin next week to occupy the
serious attention of the States of Holland.

5thly. Finally the court of justice continues to make rigid and minute
examinations on the affair of St Nicholas, or of the 6th of December
last, and is preparing a full report, which will be published, and
which, as I am assured from good authority, will demonstrate that it
was an actual conspiracy, the leaders of which were certain nobles and
placemen, almost all of whom are already discovered.

Congress will see by these specimens, that the republican party here
is far from being discouraged by the approaches of peace, as some
flattered themselves, and others feared or foretold they would be.

The Prince has lost the enthusiastic love, which the large part of the
nation bore him; this loss is irreparable, and the conduct he is
induced to adopt renders it more and more incurable. In the Provinces,
as for instance, Overyssel, Utrecht and Guelderland, where he was the
most absolute, they are still more alienated, irritated, and disgusted
with abuses, than in this. I do not say that this will or ought to end
in a revolution, but a considerable diminution of his usurped and
unconstitutional power, will, according to all appearances, be the
result. The course of these people and that of the cabinets,
negotiating a peace, may be compared to the hare and the tortoise in
the fable; the former began with long leaps, and rapid strides, and
after these preliminaries fell asleep at a little distance from the
goal, thinking it easy for him to reach it at any moment; our
tortoise, in spite of his tardy movements, may yet attain some of his
objects, before the hare awakes.

I see constantly and confidentially the French Ambassador and the
_Chargé d'Affaires_ of Sweden, sometimes likewise the Minister of
Spain. I cannot serve the first in the present circumstances with so
much success as formerly; my friends wish to see the wrongs of which
they complain redressed, before they can rely with their former
confidence on future promises; it is not his fault and I pity him,
but, after all, I cannot say that my friends are wrong.

The other diplomatic agents appear to be here merely to vegetate and
kill time, sometimes at what they call the Court, sometimes with each
other.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                          The Hague, April 18th, 1783.

  Sir,

Our friends are returned here to meet, provided with good
instructions, not only in regard to the military jurisdiction but also
to other subjects, which it will be agreeable here to see on the
carpet of their Noble and Grand Mightinesses the States of Holland.
Those of Dort are in substance as follows;

I. To grant the annual requisition of the Council of State for the
department of war, except the forty or fortyfive thousand florins,
which the High Council of War expend for the Province annually, and
which the city wishes to be struck off. The six other Provinces
together pay about thirty thousand florins besides, for the support of
the Council.

II. To exert themselves in inquiring into and reforming abuses which
have been introduced into the army, and particularly, 1st. to prevent
in future titular promotions, by which a prodigious number of officers
are created with higher titles than their rank and pay entitle them
to, which does not fail to cost the country 600,000 florins annually
to no purpose; 2dly. To abolish the venality of the companies and
other posts, which has existed for some time.

In Friesland they are equally firm. A Westphalian, having defrauded
the revenue, was condemned to ten years' hard labor in prison. The
Regency of Munster having solicited his pardon the Counsellor Deputies
of Friesland, principally devoted to the Court, reported therein to
the States of Friesland that the case was pardonable, but that the
right of pardon being devolved on the Prince by the abdication of the
right by the States, it was necessary to refer the affair to him. To
disavow this pretended abdication, and because the case is one of
those called royal cases, the States in opposition to this report
granted the pardon without consulting the Prince.

In a fortnight, a man imprisoned for disturbances on the 8th of March,
the birthday of the Prince, will be whipped, at Rotterdam. Two other
of these fellows are in prison at Delft, for having committed similar
disorders at Overschie, a village near Rotterdam, in the jurisdiction
of Delft. As they broke into houses they are in danger of being hung.
A body of three hundred volunteers, of young men of the best families
of Rotterdam, has been formed to maintain public order in case of any
similar disturbances. They exercise daily, and have petitioned to be
authorised by their Regency. They will succeed, through the influence
of the Burgomaster Van Berckel, who prevails in the legislative body
of the city, notwithstanding the opposition of the Burgomaster Van der
Heim, who is devoted to the Court, and who has the majority in the
executive.

The French Ambassador will set out next Monday, on a visit of several
months to France. Meanwhile M. de Berenger, Secretary of Legation,
will attend to the business of the embassy.

I have been requested to sound Mr Dana, to know, "whether, in case
their High Mightinesses should think proper to send full powers to
their Minister at Petersburg, to conclude a treaty with the Minister
of the United States, on the principles of the armed neutrality, Mr
Dana could enter on such a negotiation." I have written him in
consequence.

_April 23d._ On the 20th, the French Ambassador gave a farewell
dinner, at which I had the honor to be present.

I wrote to Mr Adams a letter on the 11th, of which I yesterday
received an answer dated the 16th, and this morning waited upon M.
Fagel, the Secretary, to say to him, that I had the satisfaction to be
able to free their High Mightinesses from all anxiety on the point of
titles, by assuring them, that the United States had adopted no other,
than that of the _United States of America in Congress assembled_, and
that the qualification of _Friends and Allies_, which their High
Mightinesses will add, did not require to be enriched by any epithets.
You see, Sir, added I, that in America they practise the maxim of
Boerhaave, _sigillum veri simplex_. He approved this remark, and
politely thanked me for the information. On leaving him I went to
communicate the same thing to the Pensionaries of Dort and Amsterdam,
who said to me, smiling, there is still one little thing, that puzzled
the Secretary; it is not customary in Holland to say _you_ in
addressing any one, and he has been able to find no expression but _El
Edelere_ (_Your Noblenesses_) in addressing the Congress. I answered
in the same tone, that the Americans recognise no other nobility than
that of soul, and that as the simple address would not, in my opinion,
be disagreeable to them, if the Secretary used it without any
appendages.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

               ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                                         Without date.

  Sir,

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letters to March
4th inclusive. I am sorry to find by them, that the ferment occasioned
by the causes you explain, continues to work. How far it may be
necessary to purge off the impurities, which your government has
contracted by long inaction, I will not pretend to say. It is certain,
however, that the want of harmony in its different branches has had
the most melancholy effects upon your operations the last war; and
deprived you of important advantages in the conclusion of it. Though I
sincerely wish that the struggles of your patriots may be attended
with the same happy consequences with ours, yet I take the liberty to
remind you, that your public character puts you in a delicate
situation with respect to them, that as a foreign nation, whatever we
may wish, we have no right to express those wishes, or in any way to
interfere in the internal disputes of our allies, that our conduct
should show, that we were the enemy of no party, except so far as
their measures were inimical to us. You will not, Sir, consider this
as a reproof, for I have not the smallest reason to believe, that you
have not made these reflections yourself, and acted conformably
thereto. On the contrary, I rather conclude, that you have, from the
long habit in which you have been of conducting public affairs which
require prudence and delicacy. I only mention it, therefore, as a
caution which will not probably, but may possibly be necessary to one
who is animated by the spirit of freedom, and may as a patriot be
hurried beyond the limits we should prescribe to our Ministers.

You will be pleased to discontinue in future all the Dutch papers, and
send us only the Leyden Gazette, the _Courrier du Bas Rhin_, and the
_Courrier de l'Europe_, together with such publications on political
subjects, written in French, as may be worth our attention. I commit
the enclosed letters to Mr Dana to your care.

Nothing has yet been done in your affairs, though they lay before
Congress; a variety of important matters have pressed of late for
their consideration, and you are too well acquainted with popular
assemblies to be surprised at the slowness of their proceedings.

We have returned the prisoners on both sides, and Congress have made a
considerable reduction in the army, by permitting those who are
enlisted for the war to return home on furlough. We cannot yet learn
with certainty from General Carleton, when he means to evacuate New
York. I sincerely rejoice at M. Van Berckel's appointment, and wish
you had informed me when we might expect him here, where the patriotic
character of his family cannot but ensure him an agreeable reception.

I am, Sir, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                             The Hague, May 8th, 1783.

  Sir,

The great blow of the suppression of the High Council of War, and the
restriction of the military jurisdiction, was finally and decisively
struck in the States of Holland last week, as your Excellency will see
by the resolutions and publications in the gazettes sent with this;
there is no doubt that the other Provinces will conform to that of
Holland. Thus have the republicans gained a signal victory over the
other party, and which would never have happened but for the war,
which has so humbled the English and the Anglomanes.

I have seen the last despatches of the Plenipotentiaries of this
Republic at Paris, to the Grand Pensionary of the 25th and 28th of
April, and of M. Tor, Secretary of M. Brantzen at London, of the 18th
of April, received here the 3d of May, from M. Brantzen. It appears
from these letters, that they could not agree, either at Paris or
London, upon the articles of peace between this Republic and Great
Britain. The Secretary, Mr Fox, with whom M. Tor had two conferences,
made evasive answers, and this _man of the people_ does not seem to
have the same esteem for the republicans as formerly. He put two
singular questions to M. Tor; 1st. why they were so dissatisfied with
the Prince of Orange in the United Provinces? 2dly. what impression
the measures of the King of Prussia in favor of the Prince had made?
M. Tor in turn evaded these questions, which lead us to conclude, that
this _man of the people_ is no better than the others. Meanwhile the
Deputies of Dort and Schoonhoven, have proposed the reform of several
great abuses in the army; 1st. The creation of supernumerary officers,
by raising them above their actual rank, and excusing them from
service. 2dly. The venality of posts. 3dly. The introduction of
foreign officers in the national regiments. These propositions have
been committed. In due time I shall give an account of the report of
the committee, and of its result.

I am, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                            The Hague, May 25th, 1783.

  Sir,

The States of Holland will assemble next Wednesday, and meanwhile I
have nothing interesting to add to what the annexed papers contain,
except that the last letters from Paris of the 16th and 19th, inform
me that nothing has yet been done to forward the conclusion of the
general definitive treaty.

I learn from good authority, that Mr Harris, British Minister at the
Court of St Petersburg, is intended for that post here, after
everything is settled. I shall communicate this intelligence to our
friends at Dort and Amsterdam this evening. They will be pleased with
it, for they feared the return of Sir Joseph Yorke and his old arts,
which under present circumstances would be injurious here, without
being of any real benefit to England.

I take the liberty to recommend to the attention and kindness of the
United States and their citizens, Captain Riemersma, commander of the
Overyssel, ship of the line, who will sail from the Texel after the
19th June, carrying M. Van Berckel to Philadelphia. He is a brave
officer, an excellent patriot, a constant friend of liberty and of
America, and he received the squadron of Commodore Paul Jones in the
Texel in 1779, in a very friendly manner, for which he was punished by
the Anglomanes, whose intrigues effected his removal from the command
of the Road, and who have ever since prevented him from being employed
and advanced; in this they have injured only their country; for he is
wealthy, and it is not interest, but honor and taste for the
profession, which induce him to serve.

I am, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                     NOTE TO THE STATES-GENERAL.

                                            The Hague, June 5th, 1783.

The undersigned, _Chargé d'Affaires_ of the United States of America,
has the honor to inform their High Mightinesses, that in the absence
of the Minister Plenipotentiary, for reasons known to their High
Mightinesses, he has intrusted to him the honor of laying before them
the treaty and convention concluded between the two Republics on the
7th of October last, and since ratified by the United States in
Congress assembled; and also of receiving in exchange the
ratifications of their High Mightinesses.

The undersigned congratulates himself on being permitted to discharge
a duty so congenial to his zeal for the United States, to his respect
for their High Mightinesses, and to his attachment to a nation, in the
bosom of which he has had the pleasure of living for many years.

                                                                DUMAS.

By order of Mr Adams I sent this note to the Secretary, M. Fagel, and
a copy to the Grand Pensionary, Van Bleiswick. M. Fagel has requested
several days to allow time for the clerks to prepare the ratification
of their High Mightinesses, "which," he said to me, "I should
communicate with great pleasure to Mr Adams if he were here, and I
shall communicate it to you, Sir, with the same pleasure."

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                     M. FAGEL TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

                                           The Hague, June 19th, 1783.

  Sir,

Our ratification cannot be ready until next Monday. If you will call
on me at Court on Monday morning, at one o'clock, I shall be able to
exchange the ratifications with you.

I am, &c.

                                                             H. FAGEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                           The Hague, June 20th, 1783.

  Sir,

Yesterday I received a note from the Secretary of their High
Mightinesses, of which I annex a copy. I shall therefore receive the
act there mentioned next Monday, and shall keep it until I can
transmit it to Mr Adams, according to his orders.

The city of Gorcum has followed, by a large majority, the example of
Dort, Schoonhoven, Rotterdam, Schiedam, and Alcmaer, by a resolution
abolishing the influence of the Prince, on the nominations to vacant
places; there is nothing left him but the right, which the
constitution secures to him, of choosing among several persons
nominated. This week their Noble and Grand Mightinesses will
deliberate on the abolition of the venality of military offices.

This contradicts the notion, which it was attempted to inculcate, that
the ardor for reform would relax, at the end of the war.

I am, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                            The Hague, June 23d, 1783.

  Sir,

At one o'clock this afternoon, an exchange of the ratification of the
treaty and convention concluded the 7th of October last, between the
United States and the United Provinces of the Low Countries, took
place in the business hall between the Secretary of their High
Mightinesses and your servant. I keep these two acts, according to the
orders of Mr Adams, to place them in his hands on his return. They are
authenticated according to the usage of this country, with the seal of
the Republic, enclosed in two large silver boxes attached to each, on
which are engraven the arms of the Union.

M. Van Berckel sets out today from Amsterdam for the Texel, and I am
in haste to send this by him.

I have only to assure you of, &c.

                                                                DUMAS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                       END OF THE NINTH VOLUME.



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