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Title: The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution
Author: Various
Language: English
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THE

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE

OF THE

AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

VOL. X.



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. X.


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

TENTH VOLUME.


GENERAL LAFAYETTE'S CORRESPONDENCE.

                                                                 Page.

     Resolve of Congress respecting General Lafayette.
     In Congress, November 23d, 1781,                                5

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

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

       Ministerial changes in England.

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

       Composition, character, and policy of the Shelburne
       Ministry.--Defeat of Count de Grasse.--Siege of Gibraltar.

     Robert R. Livingston to M. de Lafayette. Philadelphia,
     September 18th, 1782,                                          15

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

     Robert R. Livingston to M. de Lafayette. Philadelphia,
     November 2d, 1782,                                             16

       Political and military state of America.

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

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

     Robert R. Livingston to M. de Lafayette. Philadelphia,
     January 10th, 1783,                                            20

       Discontents in the army on account of the want of
       money.--Regrets the departure of the French troops.

     To William Carmichael, at Madrid. Cadiz, January
     20th, 1783,                                                    22

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

     To Robert R. Livingston. Cadiz, February 5th,
     1783,                                                          24

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

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

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

     To the Count de Florida Blanca. Madrid, February
     19th, 1783,                                                    30

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

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

       Acknowledges the correctness of the statements contained
       in the preceding letter.--The King is disposed to settle
       the affair of the boundaries amicably.

     To the Count de Florida Blanca. Madrid, February
     22d, 1783,                                                     33

       The Spanish Minister explains his sentiments concerning
       the boundary.

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

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

     Robert R. Livingston to M. de Lafayette. Philadelphia,
     May 1st, 1783,                                                 38

       Acknowledges the importance of his correspondence, and his
       services in Europe in the cause of America.--Proceedings
       in America in consequence of the ratification of the
       Provisional Articles.

     To the President of Congress. Chavaniac, in the
     Province of Auvergne, July 20th, 1783,                         40

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

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

       Applies to the French Ministry and the American
       Commissioners on the subject of American debts.--Commerce
       between France and America.--Warlike preparations in the
       East.--Necessity of conciliating the army and cementing
       the union.--Will return to America as soon as his presence
       in Europe ceases to be useful.

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

       Changes in the British Ministry.--Affairs in the East.

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

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

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

       Affairs of Europe.

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

       Urges the surrender of New Orleans to America, or the
       declaration of it as a free port.--European
       affairs.--Opposition of the mercantile interest to a
       liberal commercial policy.

     To John Jay. Paris, May 11th, 1785,                            51

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

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

       Calls the attention of Congress to the Memorial of M.
       d'Argaynarat.

     To John Jay. Paris, February 11th, 1786,                       53

       Sentiments of the German Courts concerning America.--The
       stability of democratical forms of government, and of the
       union of the States distrusted in Europe.--European
       affairs.

     To John Jay. Paris, October 28th, 1786,                        57

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

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

       European affairs.--The disturbances in New England excite
       distrust in Europe.

     To John Jay. Paris, May 3d, 1787,                              60

       Proceedings of the notables in France.--The interest of
       the American debt unpaid.--Hopes from the convention at
       Philadelphia.--Character of Brienne.

     To John Jay. Paris, October 15th, 1787,                        63

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


THE CORRESPONDENCE OF THE COMMISSIONERS

FOR NEGOTIATING A PEACE

WITH GREAT BRITAIN.

     Commission to treat of Peace,                                  71

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

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

     The King's warrant for Richard Oswald's first Commission
     for negotiating Peace,                                         76

     Richard Oswald's second Commission for negotiating
     Peace,                                                         80

     Commission to William T. Franklin,                             83

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

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

       Declaring their intention to adhere to their alliance with
       France, and to prosecute the war till the conclusion of a
       general peace, and their entire confidence in the support
       of France.

     Articles agreed on between the American and British
     Commissioners. October 8th, 1782,                              88

     Richard Oswald to the Commissioners. Paris, November
     4th, 1782,                                                     92

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

     Articles taken to England by Mr Strachey. November
     5th, 1782,                                                     94

     H. Strachey to the Commissioners. Paris, November
     5th, 1782,                                                     98

       Urging the indemnification of the refugees as
       indispensable to peace.

     To Richard Oswald. Paris, November 5th, 1782,                  99

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

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

       Enclosing the preceding letter.

     Third set of Articles. November 25th, 1782,                   101

     Article proposed and read to the Commissioners,
     before signing the Preliminary Articles,                      106

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

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

       Approve of his return to America.

     Provisional Articles of Peace,                                109

     To Francis Dana at Petersburg. Paris, December
     12th, 1782,                                                   116

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

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

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

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

       Instructing the Commissioners to stipulate for a direct
       commerce between the British dominions and the United
       States.

     English Commissioners' Declaration of the Cessation
     of Hostilities. Paris, January 20th, 1783,                    121

     Signature of the above Declaration by the American
     Commissioners,                                                123

     British King's Proclamation, Declaring a Cessation
     of Arms,                                                      124

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

       Enclosing passports for American vessels and the preceding
       proclamation.

     American Commissioners' Declaration of the Cessation
     of Hostilities,                                               127

     Robert R. Livingston to the Commissioners.
     Philadelphia, March 25th, 1783,                               129

       General satisfaction with the Preliminary
       Articles.--Remarks on the 5th Article.--Regrets the
       signing of the treaty without communication with the
       French Court, and the concealing of the Separate Article.

     Proclamation of Congress, Declaring a Cessation of Arms,      133

     Robert R. Livingston to the Commissioners. Philadelphia,
     April 21st, 1783,                                             136

       Proceedings in Congress relative to the ratification of
       the Provisional Articles.--Points out some ambiguities in
       the Articles.

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

       Enclosing a statement of sums for which he is responsible
       on behalf of the United States.--Difficulty of meeting the
       payment.

     M. de Lafayette to the Commissioners. Paris,
     May 12th, 1783,                                               141

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

     David Hartley's Commission,                                   142

     An Order of the British Council. At the Court of
     St James, May 14th, 1783,                                     144

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

     Count de Vergennes' Proposed New Articles,                    146

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

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

       Regret that they cannot relieve his difficulties.

     Robert R. Livingston to the Commissioners. Philadelphia,
     May 28th, 1783,                                               148

       Violation of the Articles of the Provisional Treaty, by
       the British General sending off slaves.--Complains of want
       of information from the Commissioners.

     Robert R. Livingston to the Commissioners. Philadelphia,
     May 31st, 1783,                                               149

       Propositions from Holland.--Congress will be averse to
       engagements that may involve them in European
       quarrels.--Dissatisfaction with the 5th and 6th
       Preliminary Articles.

     John Adams's Proposed Agreement. June, 1783,                  151

     John Jay's Proposed Agreement. June, 1783,                    153

     David Hartley's Proposed Agreement. June, 1783,               154

     Report of a Committee of Congress,                            155

       On the proposition of Holland, that America should accede
       to the treaty of the armed neutrality and conclude a
       similar treaty with the other belligerents.--Congress came
       to the resolution, to instruct the Commissioners not to
       enter into any engagement, which should bind the
       contracting parties to support it by arms.

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

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

     David Hartley's Memorial to the Commissioners,                165

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

     The President of Congress to the Commissioners.
     Philadelphia, June 16th, 1783,                                172

       Transmitting papers in consequence of Mr Livingston's
       resignation.

     Henry Laurens to the Commissioners. London,
     June 17th, 1783,                                              173

       Interview with Mr Fox.--Symptoms of coldness.

     The President of Congress to B. Franklin. Philadelphia,
     June 18th, 1783,                                              174

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

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

       Coolness of the Ministry.

     To the Count de Vergennes. Passy, June 28th,
     1783,                                                         177

       Desiring assistance to meet the bills drawn by Mr Morris.

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

     David Hartley's Six Propositions for a Definitive
     Treaty. June, 1783,                                           182

     The Commissioners' Answers to Mr Hartley's Six
     Propositions,                                                 183

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

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

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

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

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

       State of the negotiations.

     Project for a Definitive Treaty of Peace,                     195

     Ratification of the Provisional Articles by Great Britain,    206

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

     David Hartley to the Commissioners. Paris, August
     29th, 1783,                                                   209

       Desiring them to fix the day for signing the Definitive
       Treaty.--His instructions confine him to Paris.

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

       Appointing a time for signing the treaty.

     David Hartley to the Commissioners. Paris, September
     4th, 1783,                                                    210

       Congratulates them on the signing of the
       treaty.--Assures them of the sincere wish of the British
       Court for an entire reconciliation.

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

       Expressing his satisfaction with Mr Hartley.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Ratification of the Definitive Treaty by Congress,            226

     Proclamation of Congress respecting the Definitive
     Treaty,                                                       226

       Accompanied by Resolutions recommending the adoption of
       measures by the States for the restitution of confiscated
       property of British subjects.

     Ratification of the Definitive Treaty by Great
     Britain,                                                      229


CONRAD ALEXANDER GERARD'S CORRESPONDENCE.

     Letter from the King of France to Congress,                   235

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

     Appointment of Consul-General of France in the
     United States,                                                236

     The King of France to Congress,                               238

       Letter of credence for Count d'Estaing.

     Count d'Estaing to the President of Congress. At
     Sea, July 8th, 1778,                                          239

       Communicating his credentials and his readiness to
       co-operate with General Washington.--M. Gerard.

     Resolves of Congress respecting the Count d'Estaing's
     Letter, and the reception of M. Gerard.
     In Congress, July 11th, 1778,                                 241

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

       Offering the protection of Count d'Estaing's squadron to
       the armed vessels of the United States.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July
     14th, 1778,                                                   244

       Requesting Congress to make provision for the English
       prisoners on board the French squadron.

     Ceremonial of admitting the French Minister to
     Congress. In Congress, July 20th, 1778,                       245

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, November
     9th, 1778,                                                    251

       Requesting Congress to take measures for the sailing of
       vessels with supplies for the French forces.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, November
     20th, 1778,                                                   253

       Informing Congress, that it is not usual to publish
       treaties until the ratifications have been exchanged.

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

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, December
     6th, 1778,                                                    254

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, December
     7th, 1778,                                                    255

       Requesting to be informed if the United States have
       reserved the liberty of treating separately with England.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, December
     14th, 1778,                                                   257

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, January
     4th, 1779,                                                    258

       The articles furnished by Beaumarchais were sold to him by
       the government, who is, therefore, a creditor of the
       United States.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, January
     5th, 1779,                                                    260

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, January
     10th, 1779,                                                   262

       Urging an answer of Congress to the representations of the
       preceding letter.--Answer of Congress disproving the
       passages referred to.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, January
     14th, 1779,                                                   263

       Acknowledging the answer of Congress abovementioned.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, January
     15th, 1779,                                                   264

       Relative to the sentiments of Congress concerning certain
       French officers.

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

       Consenting to remain in the service of the United States.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, February
     3d, 1779,                                                     267

       Supply of provisions for the French fleet in the Gulf of
       Mexico.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, February
     8th, 1779,                                                    267

       Requesting to be admitted to an audience by Congress.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, February
     9th, 1779,                                                    268

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, February
     9th, 1779,                                                    269

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, March
     14th, 1779,                                                   272

       Relative to means of regulating the rate of exchange.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, March
     16th, 1779,                                                   272

       Requesting facilities for transporting French prisoners.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, March
     17th, 1779,                                                   273

       Urging the measures for conducting the negotiations for
       peace.--The delay of this measure creates suspicions of
       divisions in Congress.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, March
     31st, 1779,                                                   275

       Intention of returning to France.--Urges the sending out
       of Ministers with full powers to treat.

     To the President of Congress. Mount Pleasant,
     April 6th, 1779,                                              276

       Communicating extracts of letters from Martinique.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, April
     24th, 1779,                                                   279

       Respecting the capture of two Spanish vessels by American
       privateers, and their condemnation.--Memorial of Don Juan
       de Miralles to M. Gerard on this subject.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May
     3d, 1779,                                                     283

       Urging Congress to adopt measures for taking part in the
       negotiations for peace.

     To the President of Congress. May 4th, 1779,                  284

       Communicating a note of the King of France.

     From the King of France to Congress,                          284

       Informing them of the birth of a Princess.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May
     6th, 1779,                                                    285

       Urging measures for entering into the negotiations.--The
       British government intend to push the war with
       vigor.--Further grant of supplies.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May
     9th, 1779,                                                    287

       Count d'Estaing will appear on the American coasts in
       compliance with the wishes of Congress.--Desires that
       supplies may be in readiness on the arrival of the fleet.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May
     9th, 1779,                                                    289

       On the proposed co-operation of Count d'Estaing.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May
     19th, 1779,                                                   290

       Communicating the succeeding Memorial on the Spanish
       vessels brought into port by American privateers.--Reply
       of Congress, promising reparation in case of injustice.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May
     22d, 1779,                                                    294

       Objects of the alliance between France and the United
       States.--Consequent measures of the French
       government.--Extent of the engagements of
       France.--Necessity of speedy measures on the part of
       Congress for participating in the negotiations for peace.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May
     24th, 1779,                                                   299

       Expressing his satisfaction with the arrangements of
       Congress for levying supplies by a tax.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May
     25th, 1779,                                                   301

       Acknowledges the reception of resolutions of Congress,
       expressing their determination to retaliate for cruelties
       committed by the English on French subjects in America, in
       the same manner as if committed on citizens of the States.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May
     27th, 1779,                                                   302

       Importance of a speedy decision of Congress in regard to
       the negotiations for peace, for securing the favor of
       Spain, and for facilitating the co-operation of the French
       forces in America.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, June
     21st, 1779,                                                   305

       Proposing the adoption of measures for maintaining the
       immunity of the French flag in the United States.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July
     5th, 1779,                                                    306

       Relative to the loading and destination of a French supply
       ship.--Frauds committed in exporting provisions for the
       French fleet.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July
     5th, 1779,                                                    309

       Requesting that protection may be given to the provisions
       purchased for the French forces.--Desires to know if a
       sufficient supply can be obtained in the States.

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

       Containing seven articles read by the Minister, with his
       verbal explanations on each article, relating to the
       claims of Beaumarchais, the disavowal by Congress of any
       disposition to conclude a separate peace, the appointment
       of a Minister Plenipotentiary to France, the want of
       preparation for the approaching campaign on the part of
       the States, the desire of the English Court to be
       reconciled with France without an express acknowledgment
       of American independence, &c.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July
     26th, 1779,                                                   323

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

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

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

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

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

     M. Gerard to the President of the State of Pennsylvania.
     Philadelphia, July 26th, 1779,                                327

     M. Holker to Joseph Reed, President of Pennsylvania.
     Philadelphia, July 24th, 1779,                                331

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

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

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

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

     William Henry to Joseph Reed. Friday Afternoon,
     5 o'clock, Committee Room,                                    338

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

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

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

       Transmitting papers relative to M. Holker.

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

       Resolves, assuring the protection of the United States to
       the officers of his Most Christian Majesty, approving the
       conduct of M. Holker, &c.

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

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, August
     5th, 1779,                                                    344

       Acknowledging the reception of certain resolutions of
       Congress.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, August
     5th, 1779,                                                    345

       Expressing his satisfaction with the resolutions of
       Congress on the affair of M. Holker, and requesting that
       no prosecutions may be commenced against the offenders.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, August
     11th, 1779,                                                   346

       Failure of the attempt to procure military stores at
       Martinique.

     The Marquis de Bouillé to M. Gerard. Martinique,
     July 11th, 1779,                                              347

       Unable to furnish any supplies for the United States.

     Resolution of Congress. In Congress, August
     23d, 1779,                                                    348

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

     M. Gerard to the Committee of Congress. Philadelphia,
     August 23d, 1779,                                             348

       Acknowledging the reception of the foregoing resolution.

     The Count de Vergennes to M. Gerard,                          349

       Spain joins the alliance.--The English Court will attempt
       to separate America from the alliance by advantageous
       offers.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, September
     15th, 1779,                                                   350

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, September
     15th, 1779,                                                   350

       Requesting an audience of leave.

     M. Gerard's Speech on taking leave of Congress,               351

     Reply of the President of Congress to M. Gerard's
     Speech on his taking leave,                                   352

     Congress to the King of France,                               354

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

     Proceedings of Congress. In Congress, September
     25th, 1779,                                                   355

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


CAESAR ANNE DE LA LUZERNE'S CORRESPONDENCE.

     Substance of a Conference between M. de la Luzerne
     and General Washington at Head Quarters,
     West Point. September 16th, 1779,                             361

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

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

       Containing his letter of credence, his speech to Congress,
       and their answer.

     Don Juan Miralles to M. de la Luzerne. Philadelphia,
     November 25th, 1779,                                          373

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, November
     26th, 1779,                                                   376

       Communicating the foregoing letter.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, December
     6th, 1779,                                                    377

       Requesting instructions as to the disposition of certain
       property captured by American seamen.

     The President of Congress to M. de la Luzerne.
     In Congress, December 16th, 1779,                             378

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

     M. Holker to M. de la Luzerne. Philadelphia,
     January 10th, 1780,                                           380

       Representing the injurious effects of a law of Maryland on
       his measures for supplying the French forces.

     William Smith to M. Holker. Baltimore, January
     7th, 1780,                                                    382

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

     The President of the Council of Maryland to William
     Smith. In Council, Annapolis, January 6th,
     1780,                                                         383

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, January
     10th, 1780,                                                   384

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

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

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

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

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

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, January
     24th, 1780,                                                   393

       Announcing the appointment of a French Consul for North
       Carolina.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, January
     25th, 1780,                                                   394

       Preparations for another campaign by the European
       belligerents.--Necessity of similar preparations on the
       part of America.--Desires to concert a plan of common
       operations.

     Report of a Committee on the Communications of
     the French Minister. In Congress, January
     28th, 1780,                                                   395

       The French Minister informs Congress, that great exertions
       are making in Europe by England, to persuade the other
       powers that America may be detached from France; that her
       negotiations may result in an armed mediation, to which it
       would be necessary to submit; that in this case, it would
       be probably necessary to leave Great Britain whatever
       territories in America were actually in her hand; he,
       therefore, urges the necessity of pushing the approaching
       campaign with vigor.

     Answer of Congress to the Communications of the
     French Minister. In Congress, January 31st,
     1780,                                                         399

       Forces and plans of Congress for the approaching
       campaign.--The general disposition in the United States is
       to adhere to the alliance.

     Communications of the French Minister to a Committee
     of Congress at a second Conference. In
     Congress, February 2d, 1780,                                  402

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

     George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Head
     Quarters, Morristown, February 4th, 1780,                     404

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

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

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

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

       M. Gerard obtains facilities for fitting out the
       Confederation in Martinique, but has no materials for
       masts.

     The King of France to Congress,                               409

       Communicating an additional grant of aid.

     George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Morristown,
     May 5th, 1780,                                                410

       Expressing his esteem for M. de la Luzerne, and his
       satisfaction with his approbation of the state of the
       army.

     George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Morristown,
     May 11th, 1780,                                               411

       Expresses his pleasure at the arrival of M. de Lafayette.

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

       French fleet in the West Indies.

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

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

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

       Operations of the approaching campaign.

     Report of a Committee of Congress on a Conference
     with the French Minister. In Congress,
     May 24th, 1780,                                               416

       Plan for raising supplies.--Propose the establishment of
       posts from Boston to Charleston to facilitate
       communication.--Recommend the preparation of a
       reinforcement to the French fleet, and the adoption of
       measures to prevent desertions from the same.

     George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Morristown,
     June 5th, 1780,                                               419

       The French troops will be cordially received.--Desires to
       maintain a correspondence with him.

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

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

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

       Raising of supplies for the French forces.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, June
     18th, 1780,                                                   425

       Urging the completion of the American army.--Forces
       necessary for an effective co-operation.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, June
     28th, 1780,                                                   427

       Desiring permission for the supplying of the Spanish
       forces with provisions.

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

       Supplies for the Spanish forces.

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

       Arrival of part of the French forces destined to act in
       America.--The other part separated for security.

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

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

     Joseph Reed to M. de la Luzerne. In Council,
     Philadelphia, July 25th, 1780,                                431

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

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

       Desiring arrangements to be made for the subsistence of
       the Hessian recruits.

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

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

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

       Relative to certain proposed naval operations.

     George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Peekskill,
     August 4th, 1780,                                             434

       Project of junction of the two divisions of the French
       forces.

     George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Peekskill,
     August 6th, 1780,                                             436

       Relative to the employment of American frigates to aid in
       the junction of the French forces.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, August
     15th, 1780,                                                   437

       Readiness of the French government to co-operate with the
       American forces against the common enemy.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, August
     15th, 1780,                                                   438

       Case of a citizen of Bermuda.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, September
     1st, 1780,                                                    439

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

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

       Projected naval operations.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, September
     15th, 1780,                                                   441

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, September
     16th, 1780,                                                   442

       Announcing the appointment of M. de Marbois as _Chargé
       d'Affaires_ during his absence.

     M. de Marbois to the President of Congress. Philadelphia,
     October 8th, 1780,                                            443

       Acknowledging the reception of certain resolutions of
       Congress.

     M. de Marbois to the President of Congress. Philadelphia,
     October 27th, 1780,                                           443

       Requesting a convoy for store ships.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, November
     1st, 1780,                                                    444

       Suggesting changes in the mode of authenticating ships'
       papers.

     From Congress to the King of France,                          445

       Unprosperous state of things.--Retrospect of
       events.--Praying for assistance in raising a loan.

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

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

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

       Forwards his despatches for Rhode Island.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, January
     15th, 1781,                                                   452

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, February
     25th, 1781,                                                   452

       Arrival of a French squadron in the Chesapeake.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, February
     28th, 1781,                                                   453

       Authorises Mr Morris to draw bills of exchange.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, March
     2d, 1781,                                                     454

       The French squadron sails from the Chesapeake.

     M. Destouches to M. de la Luzerne. On Board
     the Duc de Bourgogne, March 19th, 1781,                       455

       Engagement between a French and English squadron.

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, March
     24th, 1781,                                                   457

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

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

       Failure of the expedition of M. Destouches.

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

       Return of M. Destouches to Newport.--Good conduct of the
       expedition.

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

       Forwarding proposals of an expedition to M. Destouches.

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

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

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

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May
     22d, 1781,                                                    466

       Transmitting the King's letter.

     The King of France to Congress,                               466

       Granting further assistance.

     George Washington to M. de la Luzerne. Weathersfield,
     May 23d, 1781,                                                467

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May
     25th, 1781,                                                   469

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, May
     26th, 1781,                                                   472

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

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

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

     Congress to the King of France,                               483

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

     To George Washington. Philadelphia, June 1st,
     1781,                                                         484

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

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

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

     Report of a Conference with the French Minister.
     In Congress, June 18th, 1781,                                 487

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, July
     1st, 1781,                                                    493

       Leaves M. de Marbois _Chargé d'Affaires_ during his visit
       to the American army.

     M. de Marbois to the President of Congress. Philadelphia,
     July 9th, 1781,                                               494

       The French naval commander desires permission to recruit
       his forces by the impressment of French seamen.

     M. de Marbois to the Secretary of Congress. Philadelphia,
     July 11th, 1781,                                              495

       On the appointment of Mr McKean to the Presidency.

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

       Desires to communicate despatches from his Court to
       Congress.

     Report of Communications from the French Minister.
     In Congress, July 23d, 1781,                                  496

       Causes of the delay of the intended reinforcement of the
       French arms in America.--The relations of Holland and
       England render a connexion between that country and
       America probable.

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

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, August
     23d, 1781,                                                    499

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

     To the President of Congress. Philadelphia, September
     6th, 1781,                                                    500

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



THE

CORRESPONDENCE

OF

GEN. LAFAYETTE;

ON THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE UNITED STATES.


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



THE CORRESPONDENCE OF GENERAL LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

          RESOLVE OF CONGRESS RESPECTING GENERAL LAFAYETTE.

                                      In Congress, November 23d, 1781.

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

_Resolved_, That Major-General the Marquis de Lafayette, have
permission to go to France; and that he return at such time as shall
be most convenient to him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

That the Superintendent of Finance furnish the Marquis de Lafayette
with a proper conveyance to France.

That the Secretary of Foreign Affairs report a letter to his Most
Christian Majesty, to be sent by the Marquis de Lafayette.[1]

FOOTNOTE:

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

                  *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                 Antony, near Paris, March 30th, 1782.

  Dear Sir,

I have been honored with your letter by the Hermione, and have made
the best use I could of the intelligence you were pleased to
communicate. The sailing of the Alliance was unexpected, and I could
not improve that opportunity. This letter will be carried by a vessel
that is immediately despatched. I shall soon have an opportunity to
write by a frigate. Dr Franklin, whom I have acquainted with the
departure of this vessel, has no doubt communicated very important
intelligence. Mahon has been taken rather sooner than was expected;
the siege of Gibraltar is going on, and some do not consider it
impossible that it should fall into the hands of the Spaniards. The
taking of St Kitts was felt in England; the more so, as Sir Samuel
Hood had given great expectations of preserving the Island.
"Major-General the Marquis de Lafayette, has in this campaign so
greatly added to the reputation he had before acquired, that we are
desirous to obtain for him, on our behalf even, notice, in addition to
that favorable reception, which his merits cannot fail to meet with
from a generous and enlightened Sovereign; and, in that view, we have
directed our Minister Plenipotentiary to present the Marquis to your
Majesty."

There is a great deal of confusion in England, which their late
resolutions clearly prove; many think the loss of the majority is a
_finesse_ of Lord North; but from later advices it appears there will
be a change of Ministers. The opposition members do not agree
together, and none of them are true friends to America; none of them
are wishing for independence; they want to make the best bargain they
can, either with France, at the expense of America, or by satisfying
America at the cheapest rate. By Mr Adams's letters I find Holland is
about acknowledging American independence, as far as it will neither
cost them blood nor money; but at this period I think it important to
obtain such a political advantage.

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

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

_P. S._ Since writing the above, we have just got certain intelligence
that Lord North has left his place. It is generally believed he will
be replaced by Lord Rockingham.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                          St Germain, June 25th, 1782.

  Dear Sir,

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

Before the change of Ministry, the old Administration had sent people
to feel the pulse of the French Court and of the American Ministers.
They had reasons to be convinced that neither of the two could be
deceived into separate arrangements, that would break the union and
make both their enemies weaker. In the meanwhile, a cabal was going on
against the old Ministry. New appointments took place, and it is not
known how far Lord North would have gone towards a general
negotiation.

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

The Marquis of Rockingham has nothing of a Minister, but the parade of
levees, and a busy appearance. He is led by Mr Burke. He is also upon
the best terms with Charles Fox. The principles of the latter
everybody knows. That party it appears is on one side of the
Administration.

The Duke of Grafton and Lord Camden think it their interest to support
Lord Shelburne, whom, however, they inwardly dislike. The Earl of
Shelburne seems to have by far the greater share in the King's
confidence. He is intriguing, and, upon a pretence to follow Lord
Chatham's opinions, he makes himself agreeable to the King by
opposing American independence. He is, they say, a faithless man,
wishing for a continuation of the war, by which he hopes to raise his
own importance; and, should the Rockingham party fall, should Lord
Shelburne be found to divide power with another party, he is not far,
it is said, from uniting with Lord North and many others in the old
Administration.

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

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

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

From the very beginning Mr Adams has been persuaded, that the British
Ministry were not sincere--that the greater part of them were equally
against America as any in the old Administration, and that all those
negotiations were not much to be depended upon. His judgment of this
affair has been confirmed by the events; though at present the
negotiation has put on a better outward appearance.

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

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

It is probable that within these two days, Dr Franklin had some
communication with Mr Grenville, which may throw some light upon the
late points I have just now mentioned.

Mr Jay is arrived from Madrid. Mr Laurens, it seems, intends to return
home. Mr Adams's presence in Holland is for the moment necessary. A
few days will make us better acquainted with the views of Great
Britain; and since the Ministers from Congress have thought that I
ought for the service of America to remain here some time longer, I
shall, under their direction devote myself to promote the interests of
the United States. The footing I am upon at this Court enables me
sometimes to go greater lengths than could be done by a foreigner. But
unless an immediate earnest negotiation, which I am far from hoping,
renders my services very useful, I will beg leave to return to my
labors, and be employed in a shorter way to ensure the end of this
business, than can be found in political dissertation.

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

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

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

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

America will no doubt exert herself, and send back every emissary to
her Plenipotentiaries here; for the Ministry in England are now
deceiving the people with the hope that ---- is going to operate a
reconciliation, and with many his ---- of the same nature.

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

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

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

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

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

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

With the greatest regard, &c.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

               ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO M. DE LAFAYETTE.

                                   Philadelphia, September 18th, 1782.

You should not, my Dear Sir, have been thus long without hearing from
me, had I not persuaded myself, that I should see you before a letter
could reach you. I still entertain this hope from a passage in Dr
Franklin's letter, but have been in this often disappointed; I will
not indulge it longer, so far as to let it arrest my pen.

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

I cannot help remarking the just estimate you made of the British
Ministry. Late events have fully justified it. They are made up of
heterogeneous particles, and, as might naturally be expected, they
begin to fly off from each other. You have nothing to apprehend from
your adopted country. We are immovably fixed in our determination to
adhere to our allies, in spite of every endeavor to change our
sentiments. I am sorry that I have not leisure to enlarge. My horses
wait to carry me to the banks of the Hudson, while I write; let me
however inform you of the misfortune that has happened to Chevalier de
Latouche; his frigate being pursued by the enemy was run on shore in
the Delaware, and is lost. The gentlemen, his passengers, are however
happily saved, together with the money and papers. Everything else is
lost, and what is most to be lamented, he himself must have fallen
into the hands of the enemy. The flag that went to inquire his fate is
not yet returned.

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

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

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

I am, my Dear Sir, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

               ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO M. DE LAFAYETTE.

                                      Philadelphia, November 2d, 1782.

  Dear Sir,

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

Your letter contained so much important matter, that it was laid
before Congress, for knowing it would be advantageous to you and place
your assiduity and attention to their interests in its strongest
point of light. I choose to consider most of yours as public letters;
this last was particularly acceptable, as neither Dr Franklin nor Mr
Jay had been so explicit, as we had reason to expect. Our system of
politics has been so much the same for a long time, tending only to
one point, a determination to support the war till we can make peace
in conjunction with our allies, that the whole history of our Cabinet
amounts to nothing more than a reiteration of the same sentiments in
different language; and so plain is our political path, so steadily do
we walk in it, that I can add nothing to what I have already written
you on that subject.

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

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

The Magnifique is lost, I believe without hope of recovery. She will,
however, be well replaced by the America, which all accounts concur in
calling a fine ship. But unless your fleet is very considerably
strengthened in those seas, another campaign may slip away as
uselessly as the last; for I see no reason to suppose, while Lord
Shelburne is at the head of Administration, that the negotiations for
peace will wear a serious aspect. I believe with you, that his royal
master is set upon risking everything, rather than acknowledge our
independence, and as he possesses the art of seduction in a very
eminent degree, it will require more firmness to resist his
solicitations, than is generally found among courtiers. I am very much
pleased to hear that the siege of Gibraltar is at last undertaken,
with some prospects of success. This I sincerely wish. England has
found in that single fortress a more powerful ally than any other she
could make in Europe. It has for the most part employed the navy of
Spain, and cost them five ships of the line.

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

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

I am, my Dear Sir, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                  TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE CONGRESS.

                                             Brest, December 3d, 1782.

  Dear Sir,

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

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

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

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

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

Now, Sir, that I am going to embark, I have done it by their advice.
Upon the voyage, the mode and the time of it, I have taken their
opinion, and it has been, that I was acting consistent with the
interests of America, and the instructions of General Washington. But
I could not submit to think, that any member of Congress, might, from
public report, imagine that I enlarge so far their permission, as to
follow pursuits, that would not particularly promote the views of
America; and as they do not choose being intruded upon with minute
details of military plans, let it suffice to say, that I beg leave to
refer them to the opinion of General Washington.

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

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

               ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO M. DE LAFAYETTE.

                                     Philadelphia, January 10th, 1783.

  Dear Sir,

I was honored by yours of the 14th of October last. It contains much
useful information, and upon the whole exhibits a pleasing picture of
our affairs in Europe. Here the scene is more chequered with good and
evil; the last I think predominates. The want of money has excited
very serious discontents in the army. They have formed committees. A
very respectable one, with General McDougal at their head, is now
here. Their demands, though strictly just, are such as Congress have
not the means of satisfying. The states upon whom they call, complain
of inability. Peace is wished for with more anxiety than it should be;
wearied out with the length of the war, the people will reluctantly
submit to the burdens they bore at the beginning of it; in short,
peace becomes necessary. If the war continues we shall lean heavier
upon France than we have done. If peace is made she must add one
obligation more to those she has already imposed. She must enable us
to pay off our army; or we may find the reward of her exertions and
ours suspended longer than we could wish.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                   TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL, AT MADRID.

                                            Cadiz, January 20th, 1783.

  Dear Sir,

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

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

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

To France you owe a great deal; to others you owe nothing. As a
Frenchman, whose heart is glowing with patriotism, I enjoy the part
France has acted, and the connexion she has made. As an American, I
acknowledge the obligation, and in that I think true dignity consists;
but dignity forbade our sending abroad political forlorn hopes, and I
ever objected to the condescension; the more so, as a French treaty
had secured their allies to you; and because America is more likely to
receive advances, than to need throwing herself at other people's
feet.

The particulars of the negotiation with Spain I do not dwell upon. In
my opinion they were wrong, but I may be mistaken. Certain it is, that
an exchange of Ministers ought to have been, and now an exchange of
powers must be, upon equal footing. What England has done is nothing,
either as to the right or the mode. The right consisted in the
people's will, the mode depends upon a consciousness of American
dignity. But if Spain has hitherto declined to acknowledge what the
elder branch of the Bourbons thought honorable to declare, yet will it
be too strange, that England ranks before her in the date and the
benefits of the acknowledgment.

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

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

With a high regard and sincere affection, &c.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                            Cadiz, February 5th, 1783.

  Dear Sir,

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

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

On the moment of my arrival at Cadiz, I began a close correspondence
with Mr Carmichael. It at first respected money matters, but soon took
a still more important turn. Having been officially asked my advice
upon his future conduct, I gave it in a letter, of which the enclosed
is a copy. Whatever light my opinion may appear in at Madrid, or
elsewhere, I think it is consistent with the dignity of the United
States. Now, Sir, while enjoying the hope of being in a few weeks on
the American shore, I have a letter from Mr Carmichael, wherein he
requests my assistance at Madrid. How far it may serve him I do not
know; but since I am thought useful, I shall yield to my zeal for the
service of America, I readily give up personal gratifications. On my
arrival at Madrid, I shall have the honor to give you my opinion of
our situation there. Among the Spaniards we have but few well wishers,
and as they, at the bottom, hate cordially the French, our alliance,
though a political, is not a sentimental consideration with them. But
I wish a settlement of boundaries may remove the more immediate
prospects of dispute. It is, I believe, very important to America; the
more so, as she became a national ally to France, a national enemy to
Britain. But the Spaniards will be forever extravagant in their
territorial notions, and very jealous of the increase of American
wealth and power. But it is good policy for us to be upon friendly
terms with them, and I wish on my return to Paris, that I may carry
for Mr Jay some hopes of better success in his Spanish negotiation.

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

On the perusal of my letter to Mr Carmichael, I beg you will remember
it is calculated to undergo the inspection of both cabinets at
Versailles and Madrid; and to be a proof against the unfriendly
connexions of a Spanish Ministry. Be pleased to tell Mr Morris, that I
remember his want of money extends further than occasions of war. At
the time of my leaving France, I had been made to hope, but do not
know for the present what has taken place. On my arrival at Madrid, I
will be very attentive to that point, but shall take care to preserve
the dignity of the United States, of which I have a proper and exalted
sense.

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

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

While I am writing a French courier is arrived. Enclosed you will find
an extract of the preliminaries, such as they are, sent to me. May I
beg you will please to communicate my letter to General Washington,
though it is a public one, I may ask the favor from you, as I would
otherwise have sent him a copy of it.

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

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

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

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                            Cadiz, February 5th, 1783.

  Sir,

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

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

Now the noble contest is ended, and I heartily rejoice at the
blessings of peace. Fortynine ships of the line and twenty thousand
men are now here, with whom Count d'Estaing was to join the combined
forces in the West Indies; and during the summer they were to
co-operate with our American army. Nay, it had lately been granted,
that, whilst Count d'Estaing acted elsewhere, I should enter the St
Lawrence river at the head of a French corps. So far as respects me, I
have no regret, but, independent of personal gratifications, it is
known that I ever was bent upon the addition of Canada to the United
States.

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

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

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

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

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

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                   TO THE COUNT DE FLORIDA BLANCA.

                             Translation.

                                          Madrid, February 19th, 1783.

  Sir,

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

His Catholic Majesty desires, that a lasting confidence and harmony
may subsist between him and the United States, and he is determined on
his part to do everything that will be necessary to keep it up. The
American _Chargé d'Affaires_ is at this moment received as such, and
your Excellency is going to treat of the interests of the two
nations. As you wish to show Mr Jay every kind of regard, you wait
only till the Count d'Aranda shall have notified your dispositions to
him, before you present Mr Carmichael to his Majesty.

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

I would with very great pleasure touch upon every detail, which may enter
into a connexion between Spain and the United States, but I am not to
be concerned in this happy work. The Ministers of the United States,
and the one whom you may send thither are to make it their business,
and I content myself with reminding you of the general ideas you have
given me. A word from you will satisfy me that I have not omitted
anything. The dispositions of his Catholic Majesty, and the candor of
your Excellency, will leave no pretexts for misrepresentations. The
alliance of the House of Bourbon with the United States is founded on
reciprocal interest; it will still acquire greater strength from the
confidence which your Excellency wishes to establish.

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

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              COUNT DE FLORIDA BLANCA TO M. DE LAFAYETTE.

                             Translation.

                                            Pardo, February 22d, 1783.

  Sir,

I cannot comply better with your desire, than by asking your leave to
give you here my answer. You have perfectly well understood whatever I
have had the honor to communicate to you, with respect to our
dispositions towards the United States. I shall only add, that
although it is his Majesty's intentions to abide, for the present, by
the limits established by the treaty of the 30th of November, 1782,
between the English and the Americans, yet the King intends to inform
himself particularly whether it can be in any ways inconvenient or
prejudicial to settle that affair amicably with the United States.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                              COUNT DE FLORIDA BLANCA.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                   TO THE COUNT DE FLORIDA BLANCA.

                             Translation.

                                           Madrid, February 22d, 1783.

On receiving the answer of the Count de Florida Blanca, I desired an
explanation respecting the addition that relates to the limits. I was
answered, that it was a fixed principle to abide by the limits
established by the treaty between the English and Americans, that his
remarks related only to mere unimportant details, which he wished to
receive from the Spanish commandants, which would be amicably
regulated, and would by no means oppose the general principle. I asked
him, before the Ambassador of France, whether he could give me his
word of honor for it. He answered me, he would, and that I might
engage it to the United States.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                             Bordeaux, March 2d, 1783.

  Dear Sir,

Upon the news of a general peace, I had the honor to write to you, and
took the liberty to address Congress in a letter, of which the
enclosed is a duplicate. Those despatches have been sent by the
Triomphe, a French vessel, and by her you will also have received a
note of the general preliminaries.

The reasons of my going from Cadiz to Madrid being known to you, I
shall only inform you, that upon my arrival there, I waited upon the
King, and paid a visit to the Count de Florida Blanca. Independent of
my letter to Mr Carmichael, of which you have a copy, I had very
openly said, that I expected to return with him to Paris. So that
after the first compliments, it was easy for me to turn the
conversation upon American affairs. I did it with the more advantage,
as I had beforehand fully conversed with Mr Carmichael, who gave me
his opinion upon every point, and I was happy to find it coincided
with mine.

In the course of our conversation, I could see, that American
independence gives some umbrage to the Spanish Ministry. They fear the
loss of their Colonies, and the success of our revolution appears to
be an encouragement to this fear. Upon this subject their King has odd
notions, as he has indeed upon everything. The reception of Mr
Carmichael they wanted to procrastinate, and yet they knew it must be
done. In offering my opinion to Count de Florida Blanca, I did it in a
very free manner. I rejected every idea of delay. I gave a description
of America, and of each of the States, of which Count de Florida
Blanca appeared to know very little. While I abated their fears from
our quarter, I endeavored to awaken them upon other accounts. It is
useless to mention the particulars of this conversation, which lasted
very long, and which he promised to lay before the King. In two days
he said he should pay me a visit at Madrid.[2]

Agreeably to the appointment, I waited for Count de Florida Blanca,
and there, in presence of the French Ambassador, he told me that the
King had determined immediately to receive the Envoy from the United
States. Our conversation was also very long, and I owe Count de
Montmorin the credit to say, that not only at that time, but in every
instance where he could operate on the Count de Florida Blanca in our
favor, he threw in all the weight of the influence of France.

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

As to more important matters, I conversed upon the affair of limits,
and upon the navigation of the Mississippi, to the last of which
points I found him very repugnant. I spoke upon the codfish duties. I
wanted to have a preference engaged for in writing, upon all bargains
respecting tobacco and naval stores; in a word, I did my best, and
would have been more particular in point of money, had not the
Minister's answer put it out of my power to do it in any other way,
than such as was inconsistent with the dignity of the United States.

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

The reading of my letter, a copy of which I enclose, will better
inform you of the points that have been either wholly or partially
granted. I endeavored to make the best of our conversations, and to
engage him as far as I could. On the other hand, I kept our side clear
of any engagement, which it was easy for me to do in my private
capacity. I did not even go so far as general professions. But since I
had been called there, I desired only to induce him into concessions
that might serve the purposes of Mr Jay. My letter was delivered on
Thursday. The next day I accompanied Mr Carmichael, who is much and
universally beloved and respected in that country. On Saturday, before
dinner, I received the answer, which for fear of ambiguities, I had
requested to be given at the end of the letter. A sentence of the
answer I made him explain before the French Ambassador. Herein are
joined those copies, and I keep the original for Mr Jay, whose
political aid de camp I have thus been. I have of course referred to
him everything, and this negotiation, wherein he has exercised the
virtue of patience, will now require his care and his abilities. The
Ministers of some powers, Prussia among them, having asked me if
Congress would be willing to make an advance towards them, I have
answered, that the United States ought in my opinion not to make, but
to receive advances.

At the same time I was employed in conversation with Count de Florida
Blanca, I did not neglect speaking upon the same subject with the
other Ministers. M. de Galvez, in whose department the Indies are,
appears much averse to the English limit. He has for the present sent
orders to the Spanish governors, to abide by those limits, and an
official copy of those orders has been promised to me. But M. de
Galvez was of opinion, that those limits would not do. I have
therefore thought it proper, officially by writing, and before
witnesses, so effectually to bind them, that the affair of limits
cannot now but be settled on their side. Independent of their hand
writing, France, through her Ambassador, is a witness to the
engagement; and yet, being in a private capacity, I took care not to
engage America to anything.

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

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

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

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

I have the honor to be, with the most affectionate regard, &c.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

FOOTNOTE:

[2] The Court was then at Pardo.

                  *       *       *       *       *

               ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO M. DE LAFAYETTE.

                                          Philadelphia, May 1st, 1783.

  Dear Sir,

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

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

By this conveyance I send our Ministers the ratification of the
provisional articles. Carleton and Digby have sent out their
prisoners, and we are making arrangements to send in ours. Congress
having determined on their part to do, not only all that good faith
may require, but by this mark of confidence to convince them, that
they have no doubt of the sincerity of their professions. Our
Ministers will show you the letters that have passed between Carleton
and me. Some among us, from finding nothing yet done that leads to the
evacuation of New York, have been apprehensive that the British will
effect delays on that subject, till the tories are satisfied, which I
can venture to tell you in confidence they never will be unless the
English shall on their part repair all the cruel losses they have
unnecessarily occasioned. I this moment received a letter from the
General, informing me, that he had proposed a personal interview with
Carleton, in hopes of learning something of his intentions with
respect to the evacuation, but I fear he will be deceived in this
hope, if I may judge from the debates of the 3d of March, which prove
that no orders had then been transmitted.

I cannot leave writing, without expressing how sincerely I agree with
you, in your wishes that unanimity may prevail, and the band of union
among us be strengthened; there is no thinking man here, who does not
at the same time feel the necessity and lament the difficulty of
effecting a measure, on which our happiness so greatly depends.
Congress have made some general arrangements in their finances, which
if adopted by the several States, will render our national debt a
national tie, which time and experience may strengthen. Our Ministers
will show you those resolutions; I will not therefore unnecessarily
burden Colonel Ogden with them. For general information I refer you to
him,

And have the honor to be, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

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

  Sir,

Having been for some days in the country, where I am waiting for the
arrival of the Triomphe I am honored with your Excellency's favor of
the 12th of April, which I hasten to acknowledge. It is for me a great
happiness to think, that Congress have been pleased to approve my
conduct, and that an early intelligence has proved useful to our
American trade. To my great satisfaction I also hear, that my
endeavors in Spain have been agreeable to Congress. Upon my arrival in
Paris I made Mr Jay acquainted with my proceedings. The concessions I
had obtained from the Spanish Court (without any on our part) were
also put into his hands. Since which I could have no more to do in the
negotiations, wherein I had taken the part of a temporary volunteer.

However repeated may have been the marks of confidence, which Congress
have conferred upon me, they ever fill my heart with a new
satisfaction. What you have mentioned respecting payment of debts,
will of course become my first and most interesting object. I have
warmly applied to the French Ministry, and will on that point solicit
the confidence of the gentlemen in the American Commission. But upon
hearing of an opportunity, I could not an instant defer to acknowledge
your Excellency's letter. Agreeably to the last despatches, I am
waiting for the orders which I hope to receive by the Triomphe. Any
commands which Congress may have for me, shall be cheerfully executed,
by one of their earliest soldiers, whose happiness it is to think,
that at a less smiling moment he had the honor to be adopted by
America, and whose blood, exertions, and affections, will in her good
times, as they have been in her worst, be entirely at her service.

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

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

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

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

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                          Nantes, September 7th, 1783.

  Sir,

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

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

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

Warlike preparations are still going on in the eastward. Immediately
after she had signed a commercial treaty with the Turks, it pleased
the Empress of Russia to seize upon the Crimea under a frivolous
pretence. Her armies are ready to take the field, stores and troops
have been collected upon the borders of the Black Sea, and the Turks
are making immense, but I think not very formidable, preparations. By
our last accounts the Austrians were gathering upon those borders,
which lead towards an invasion of Turkish Provinces; and it is thought
by many, that for fear of the plague, the two Imperial powers will
prefer winter operations. How far matters may be carried, or
compromised, cannot yet be well determined. What part France, Prussia,
and England will take, is not yet known. The Levant trade cannot but
be interested in the affair.

In every American concern, Sir, my motives are so pure, my sentiments
so candid, my attachments so warm and so long experienced, that from
me nothing, I hope, will appear intruding or improper. Upon many
points lately debated, my opinions, if worth a remark, are well and
generally known. But I must frankly add, that the effect which some
late transactions have upon European minds cannot but make me uneasy.
In the difficulties, which a patriotic and deserving army have met
with, Europeans have been misled to conceive a want of public
gratitude. In the opinions that have from every quarter been stated,
Europeans have also mistaken partial notions for a want of disposition
to the Federal Union; and, without that Union, Sir, the United States
cannot preserve that dignity, that vigor, that power, which insures
the glory and the happiness of a great, liberal, and independent
nation. Nay, it would be ill fate to us, who have worked, fought, and
bled in this cause, to see the United States a prey to the snares of
European politics. But I am only mentioning the opinions of men on
this side of the water, and in my heart, I hope everything will be
adjusted to the satisfaction of that part of the citizens, who have
served in the army, and that other part in the civil line, who, during
the war, have sympathised with their troops. I, above every other
earthly wish, most fervently pray, that the enemies of liberty, or
such as are jealous of America, may not have the pleasure to see us
deviate from the principles of the Federal Union. And upon a
recollection of my introductory apology, I hope the observations I
humbly offer will be as kindly received, as they are respectfully and
affectionately presented.

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

With every sentiment of an affectionate regard, I have the honor to
be, &c.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                           Paris, December 26th, 1783.

  Sir,

Having received no commands from Congress by the last packet, I must,
however, trespass upon their time to give them a few hints respecting
American commerce. I have of course directed them to Mr Morris; and
although Dr Franklin (the other Ministers being in England) will give
you political intelligence, I cannot help adding, that by a refined
piece of cunning, the King of England has got Mr Fox out of the
Ministry. After having entangled him by a success in the House of
Commons, he found means to stop him short in the House of Lords; in
consequence of which Mr Fox has been dismissed. Mr Pitt, and the last
of the Temples called in, and the new administration, (Lord North
being also out) necessitates the calling of a new Parliament.

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

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

With the utmost regard, and affectionate attachment, I have the honor
to be, &c.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              TO JOHN JAY, SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

                                    Mount Vernon, November 25th, 1784.

  Dear Sir,

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

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

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                             TO JOHN JAY.

                                       Versailles, February 8th, 1785.

  Dear Sir,

After thirty days passage, I was safely landed at Brest, and am so
lately arrived in Paris, that I had better refer you to your
Ministerial intelligence. In consequence of Austrian demands upon the
Dutch, and the gun these have fired at ---- forty thousand men were
sent to the Low Countries by the Emperor, and a second division was in
motion the same way, when France gave orders for two armies to be got
in readiness, the one, probably, in Flanders, and the other in Alsace.
Holland is gathering some troops, the greater number purchased in
Germany, and will have at the utmost, thirty thousand men in the
field. Count de Maillebois, an old and able French General, has been
demanded by them. Russia seems friendly to the Emperor; and although
the Stadtholder is a friend to the King of Prussia, while the patriots
are wholly attached to France, yet Prussia will, no doubt, side in
politics with France, and the Stadtholder will command his own
country's troops.

A grand plan is spoken of, whereby the Emperor would endeavor to
obtain Bavaria, and in return, give the Low Countries to the Palatine
House; a bargain, which betters and increases the Imperial forces.
Under these circumstances, negotiations cannot but be very
interesting. Although the freedom of Holland, and the protection of
the German Princes, are very proper objects for France to support, yet
a war with the Emperor must be peculiarly disagreeable to the Court.
It will certainly be avoided, if consistent with the liberties of
Holland, with faith, and dignity; and, upon the whole, I am strongly
of opinion, that no war will take place, at least for this year. The
appearance of things, however, is still warlike enough to have made it
proper for me to be arrived at the time I did; an idea, I confess, the
more necessary for the situation of my mind, as I most heartily
lamented the shortness of this visit to America, and the obligation I
had been under to give up favorite plans, and break off more agreeable
arrangements. The officers of the regiments under marching orders,
Colonels excepted, have joined their corps. But I hope matters will be
compromised; and such at least is my private opinion; but even they,
who know more than I do on the subject, would, perhaps, find it
difficult to form a precise one.

The Ministers of Congress will, no doubt, inform you of the situation
of their negotiations in Europe. You will have seen M. de Castine's
compliance with engagements. He had taken a letter to me, which Mr
Morris laid before Congress. Nothing new was granted, and although the
suspended decisions about flour and sugars were favorable to them, the
French merchants have complained of what has been obtained. In every
country, mercantile prejudices wear off by little and little.

I beg, my Dear Sir, you will forgive the hurry in which I write. Be
pleased to remember me to all our friends.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                             TO JOHN JAY.

                                              Paris, March 19th, 1785.

  Dear Sir,

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

Negotiations in Europe are still going on, and there is every reason
to hope this will be terminated without bloodshed. Enclosed you will
find a declaration, which has been published officially in some
measure, in the Leyden Gazette. Count de Maillebois is now in Holland,
where they are raising troops, and where parties run very high. In the
meanwhile, the Emperor had another plan in view, of which I wrote to
you in my last letters; it was to exchange his dominions in the Low
Countries for the Electorate of Bavaria. But, fortunately for all the
members of the empire, the Duke of Deux Ponts, nephew and heir to the
Elector, has firmly opposed it. A report had been spread, that the
Emperor had intended to surprise Maestricht. But although matters are
not yet finally settled, I am pretty certain there will not be this
year any Dutch war, nor Bavarian war, both of which could not fail to
involve France. It is, however, difficult to be decided in an opinion
upon a matter, which the ideas of one man may derange.

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

Your Ministers will, probably, write to you respecting the Algerine
business. What information I can collect will be presented to them.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                             TO JOHN JAY.

                                                Paris, May 11th, 1785.

  Dear Sir,

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

The appearances of a war are more and more remote. Politicians do,
however, look towards the Ottoman Empire. The Emperor is restless.
The Empress of Russia is ambitious; the King of Prussia is old; a King
of the Romans is to be elected; an arrangement for Bavaria, a reason
or a pretence, an interest or a whim might set fire to combustible
matters; but it is not expected for the present.

As it seems to me that favors granted to American importations are one
of the best services that can be rendered to American trade, I wish it
had been possible to obtain a total abolition of duties upon whale
oil. But in this moment government are taken up with a scheme to
revive that fishery in France. It was therefore necessary to follow a
round about course, and Mr Adams is charged with some private
proposals, which may be advantageous.

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

With the most sincere regard and affection, I have the honor to be,
&c.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                             TO JOHN JAY.

                                          Vienna, September 6th, 1785.

  Dear Sir,

The enclosed is a Memorial in behalf of M. d'Argaynarats, which has
been recommended to me by persons of the most respectable character.
It seems M. d'Argaynarat's situation is very particular, and the
distress of himself and family very urgent. As in the number of
petitions that may be received, it is not possible for Congress to be
acquainted with the family affairs of individuals, I hope it is not
improper for me to lay before them this particular case; and while it
is officially presented by others, not to withhold my certificate of
the accounts which respectable characters have given me about M.
d'Argaynarat's present distresses.

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

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                             TO JOHN JAY.

                                           Paris, February 11th, 1786.

  Dear Sir,

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

In the course of a journey to Prussia, Silesia, the Austrian
dominions, and back again to Berlin, I could not but have many
opportunities to improve myself by the inspection of famous fields of
battle, the conversation of the greatest Generals, and the sight of
excellent troops; those of Prussia particularly exceeding my
expectations. I had occasions not less numerous to lament the folly of
nations, who can bear a despotic government, and to pay a new tribute
of respect and attachment to the constitutional principles we had the
happiness to establish. Wherever I went, America was of course a topic
in the conversation. Her efforts during the contest are universally
admired; and in the transactions, which have so gloriously taken
place, there is a large field of enthusiasm for the soldier, of wonder
and applause for the politician; and to the philosopher, and the
philanthropist, they are a matter of unspeakable delight, and I could
say of admiration. Those sentiments I had the pleasure to find
generally diffused. But to my great sorrow, (and I will the more
candidly tell it in this letter, as it can hurt none more than it
hurts myself,) I did not find that every remark equally turned to the
advantage of my pride, and of that satisfaction I feel in the
admiration of the world for the United States.

In countries so far distant, under constitutions so foreign to
republican notions, the affairs of America cannot be thoroughly
understood, and such inconveniences as we lament ourselves are greatly
exaggerated by her enemies. It would require almost a volume to relate
how many mistaken ideas I had the opportunity to set to rights. And it
has been painful for me to hear, it is now disagreeable to mention,
the bad effect which the want of federal union, and of effective
arrangements for the finances and commerce of a general establishment
of militia have had on the minds of European nations. It is foolishly
thought by some, that democratical constitutions will not, cannot,
last, that the States will quarrel with each other, that a King, or at
least a nobility, are indispensable for the prosperity of a nation.
But I would not attend to those absurdities, as they are answered by
the smallest particle of unprejudiced common sense, and will, I trust,
be forever destroyed by the example of America. But it was impossible
for me to feel so much unconcerned, when those points were insisted
upon, for which I could not but acknowledge within myself there was
some ground; although it was so unfairly broached upon by the enemies
of the United States. It is an object with the European governments to
check and discourage the spirit of emigration, which, I hope, will
increase among the Germans, with a more perfect knowledge of the
situation of America. And while I was enjoying the admiration and
respect of those parts of the world for the character of the United
States; while I was obliged to hear some remarks, which, although they
were exaggerated, did not seem to me quite destitute of a foundation,
I heartily addressed my prayers to heaven, that by her known wisdom,
patriotism, and liberality of principles, as well as firmness of
conduct, America may preserve the consequence she has so well
acquired, and continue to command the admiration of the world.

What I now have the honor to write, is the result of conversations
with the principal characters in the countries I have visited; and
particularly the Austrian and Prussian Ministers, the Emperor, Duke of
Brunswick, Prince Henry, a man equally great and virtuous, the Prince
Royal, and the King of Prussia. With the last I have often dined in
the company of the Duke of York, second son to his Britannic Majesty,
when American affairs past and present were brought on the carpet, and
sometimes in a manner not a little embarrassing for an English Prince.
My stay at Vienna was short, but I had a very long conference with the
Emperor, in which we spoke much of the American trade, and I found he
had imbibed British prejudices. The next day Prince de Kaunitz
introduced the same subject to me, and expressed some astonishment,
that the United States did not make advances towards the Emperor. I
answered, advances had been made formerly, and more than were
necessary on the part of America, whom there was as much occasion to
court, as for her to seek for alliances. But that my attachment to his
Imperial Majesty made me wish he would address, on that business, the
Ministers of Congress, now at Paris and London, through the medium of
his Ambassadors. I added, that the best measure to be taken
immediately, was to open the Italian ports to American fish. But I do
not think the United States will ever find a very extensive commercial
benefit in her treaties with that Court.

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

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

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                             TO JOHN JAY.

                                            Paris, October 28th, 1786.

  Dear Sir,

Owing to several circumstances, and particularly to a journey I have
made through some garrison towns, your favor of June the 16th has
reached me very late. That there should remain the least doubt with M.
Gardoqui respecting the adoption of the English limits, is a matter of
amazement to me. The original letter having been sent I herewith
enclose a copy, with a few observations. I think its presentation to
M. Gardoqui will the better convince him, as he knows Count de Florida
Blanca's respect for his own word of honor. And may I be allowed to
add, that the more this letter is known, the better it will impress
the public with ideas favorable to the Spaniards, and the Spaniards,
with a sense of engagements, which men of honor cannot trifle with.[3]

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

It has been said in some newspapers, that the Floridas should be given
up to France. But nothing has come to our knowledge, which gives the
least ground for an idea of that kind. As Mr Jefferson sends you a
letter relative to commerce, which improves the condition of the
treaty with England, whereby she has no claims on the favors enjoyed
by the United States, although she is to be treated like the other
most favored nations, and as M. Dumas is writing on Dutch affairs, I
will only beg leave to inform you, that the appointment of the
convention has had already a good effect in Europe, and that great
benefit will be derived on this side of the water also, from the
commercial and federal measures, which it is my happiness to hear are
now under consideration.

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

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

_P. S._ In case Congress have no particular orders for me, (in which
case I should be most happy to wait on them, either as a soldier in
their armies, or in any other manner) I may perhaps accept the
invitation of the Empress of Russia, to be presented to her next
spring in her new dominions of Crimea, which excite my curiosity.
Should anything turn out that may employ me as a servant of the United
States, I hope they know my zeal.

FOOTNOTE:

[3] See these letters to and from Count de Florida Blanca, above, pp.
30, 32.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                             TO JOHN JAY.

                                            Paris, February 7th, 1787.

  Dear Sir,

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

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

I have had the honor to send copies of my old correspondence with the
Count de Florida Blanca. The enclosed one will supply any accident
that may have befallen the others. We are told, that the unhappy
disturbances in New England have subsided. To us they do not appear
so dangerous as to Europeans; but sufficiently so to give us a great
deal of concern. May all Americans know the blessings of their own
constitutions, and from comparison judge, that if they are to correct,
it would be madness in them to destroy.

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

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

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                             TO JOHN JAY.

                                                  Paris, May 3d, 1787.

  My Dear Sir,

Had I been sooner acquainted with Mr Forrest's departure, I would have
given you more particular accounts of the latter part of our session,
but have only time to enclose the speeches that were made by the heads
of the several departments. Not that such etiquette speeches are in
any way interesting on the other side of the Atlantic, but because you
will in the same book find that of the Archbishop of Toulouse,
wherein he gives the King's answer to the several demands of the
Bureau. You will see, that if the madness and corruption of the late
administration have laid us under a necessity to acknowledge that,
after all other means would be exhausted, taxes must be employed to
fill up the vacancy, yet we have gained not a little by the
convocation of the Assembly. A more equal repartition of taxes,
including the clergy, who hitherto had escaped them, and the powerful
ones among the noblesse, who were not very exact; Provincial
Assemblies on an elective principle, which, by the bye, are big with
happy, very happy consequences, that will come to light as we go on;
economies to the amount of forty millions at least; the destruction of
interior custom houses; a modification of the Gabelle; an annual
publication of the account of the finances; the printing of all
pensions, gifts, &c.; more proper arrangements within some
departments; and a more general instruction, habit of thinking on
public affairs, &c. &c. are the good effects of this Assembly, which,
although it was not national, since we were not representatives,
behaved with great propriety and patriotism.

On the last day of our session, I had the happiness to carry two
motions in my Bureau which were, I may almost say, unanimously agreed
to; the one in favor of the Protestant citizens of France, the other
for an examination of the laws, particularly the criminal ones.
Enclosed is the resolve framed by the Bureau, which Count D'Artois,
our President, presented to the King, and was graciously received. I
was the more pleased with it, as some step of the kind, with respect
to the protestants, that had been tried in the Parliament of Paris,
had not the proper success. So far are we from religious freedom, that
even in asking for tolerance, we must measure our expressions. I was
more liberally supported, by a learned and virtuous prelate, the
bishop of Langres, who spoke admirably on the religious motion I had
introduced. You will see that the Bureau clogged it with many
compliments to the Roman creed, to appease the priests and devotees.

I cannot express to you, my Dear Sir, what my feelings have been,
whenever the unpaid interest of the American debt has been spoken of
in the examination of the accounts. May the convention be the happy
epocha of federal, energetic, patriotic measures! May the friends of
America rejoice! May her enemies be humbled, and her censors silenced
at the news of her noble exertions in continuance of those principles,
which have placed her so high in the annals of history, and among the
nations of the earth.

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

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

Please send the enclosed printed speeches, and copied resolves of the
Bureau, to Mr Otho, who must be very desirous of getting them.

Most respectfully and affectionately yours,

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                             TO JOHN JAY.

                                            Paris, October 15th, 1787.

  Sir,

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

It is natural for a citizen and servant of the United States to
consider what effect a maritime war would have upon them; and I am
happy to find in their indulgence and long experienced confidence,
every encouragement to offer my opinion.

A co-operation against a proud and rancorous enemy would equally
please my politics as a Frenchman, my feelings as an American, my
views as an individual. I was nine years ago honored with the choice
of Congress, to command an army into Canada, and never have I ceased
to enjoy the prospect of its enfranchisement. A successful war, too,
might divide the fisheries between France and America. But are not the
United States so circumstanced for the present, as to render a war too
expensive for them and too dangerous to their commerce?

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

It is to be confessed, that France might lay some claims on more
decisive measures, but sensible as she is of the unavoidable situation
of affairs in America, I have reasons to believe she would not hurry
her into a war, and will be satisfied with such a friendly, helping
neutrality.

But I consider the present time as a proper one to obtain the
restoration of the forts, and, perhaps, the navigation of the
Mississippi, two points, which I confess I could never submit to the
idea of giving up. The one is ours[4] by the laws of nations, the
other by the laws of nature; and may I be permitted to add, that
either concession would be inconsistent with the character of the
United States.

Mr Jefferson gives an account of the measure taken respecting the
commerce between this kingdom and America. I wish that affair had been
terminated in time for the departure of Count de Mourtier, a gentleman
whose personal character will, I trust, deserve the confidence and
approbation of Congress.

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

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

The liberty I have taken in expressing my opinion on an event not
certain, but not improbable, cannot be referred, I am sure, to any
principles of vanity or self-sufficiency; but to the gratitude so
well grounded, and the zeal, which shall ever rank me among the most
devoted servants of the United States.

With every sentiment of personal attachment and regard, I have the
honor to be, &c.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

FOOTNOTE:

[4] It must be remembered, that in these letters General Lafayette
always speaks of himself as an American.



THE

CORRESPONDENCE

OF THE

COMMISSIONERS

FOR NEGOTIATING A PEACE WITH GREAT BRITAIN.


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

Meantime Congress, on the 14th of June, 1781, annulled Mr Adams's
first commission for negotiating a treaty, and associated with him
four other persons for this purpose, namely, Benjamin Franklin, John
Jay, Henry Laurens, and Thomas Jefferson. To these five commissioners,
or to a majority of them, or any one of them alone, in case accident
prevented the presence of the others, was assigned the power of making
a treaty of peace with such commissioners, as should be appointed for
the same object on the part of the English Court. Richard Oswald was
the British Commissioner. He went to Paris in the Spring of 1782, and
commenced the negotiation with Dr Franklin, who was then the only one
of the American Commissioners present. Mr Jay arrived in Paris from
Spain on the 23d of June, and united with Dr Franklin in the labors of
the mission. As Mr Adams was then employed in completing a treaty with
Holland, he did not join his colleagues till near the end of October.
The Provisional articles were signed on the 30th of November. Mr
Laurens was present at the signature of the treaty, having arrived
only two days previous to that event. Mr Jefferson did not engage in
the mission.

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

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



THE

CORRESPONDENCE

OF THE

COMMISSIONERS

FOR NEGOTIATING A PEACE WITH GREAT BRITAIN.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                    COMMISSION TO TREAT OF PEACE.

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

Whereas, these United States, from a sincere desire of putting an end
to the hostilities between his Most Christian Majesty and these United
States, on the one part, and his Britannic Majesty on the other, and
of terminating the same by a peace founded on such solid and equitable
principles as reasonably to promise a permanency of the blessings of
tranquillity, did heretofore appoint the honorable John Adams, late a
Commissioner of the United States of America at the Court of
Versailles, late Delegate in Congress from the State of Massachusetts,
and Chief Justice of the said State, their Minister Plenipotentiary,
with full powers, general and special, to act in that quality, to
confer, treat, agree, and conclude with the Ambassadors, or
Plenipotentiaries, of his Most Christian Majesty, and of his Britannic
Majesty, and those of any other Princes or States, whom it might
concern, relating to the re-establishment of peace and friendship; and
whereas, the flames of war have since that time been extended, and
other nations and States are involved therein,

Now know ye, that we, still continuing earnestly desirous, as far as
it depends upon us, to put a stop to the effusion of blood, and to
convince the powers of Europe, that we wish for nothing more ardently,
than to terminate the war by a safe and honorable peace, have thought
proper to renew the powers formerly given to the said John Adams, and
to join four other persons in commission with him, and having full
confidence in the integrity, prudence, and ability of the honorable
Benjamin Franklin, our Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of
Versailles, and the honorable John Jay, late President of Congress,
and Chief Justice of the State of New York, and our Minister
Plenipotentiary at the Court of Madrid, and the honorable Henry
Laurens, formerly President of Congress, and commissioned and sent as
our Agent to the United Provinces of the Low Countries, and the
honorable Thomas Jefferson, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia,
have nominated, constituted, and appointed, and by these presents do
nominate, constitute, and appoint, the said Benjamin Franklin, John
Jay, Henry Laurens, and Thomas Jefferson, in addition to the said John
Adams, giving and granting to them, the said John Adams, Benjamin
Franklin, John Jay, Henry Laurens, and Thomas Jefferson, or the
majority of them, or of such of them as may assemble, or, in the case
of the death, absence, indisposition, or other impediment of the
others, to any one of them, full power and authority, general and
special, conjunctly and separately, and general and special command to
repair to such place as may be fixed upon for opening negotiations for
peace, and there for us, and in our name, to confer, treat, agree, and
conclude with the Ambassadors, Commissioners, and Plenipotentiaries
of the Princes and States, whom it may concern, vested with equal
powers relating to the establishment of peace, and whatsoever shall be
agreed and concluded for us, and in our name to sign and thereupon
make a treaty or treaties, and to transact everything, that may be
necessary for completing, securing, and strengthening the great work
of pacification, in as ample form, and with the same effect, as if we
were personally present and acted therein, hereby promising in good
faith, that we will accept, ratify, fulfil and execute whatever shall be
agreed, concluded, and signed by our said Ministers Plenipotentiary,
or a majority of them, or of such of them as may assemble, or, in case
of the death, absence, indisposition, or other impediment of the
others, by any one of them; and that we will never act, nor suffer any
person to act, contrary to the same, in whole or in any part.

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

Done at Philadelphia, the fifteenth day of June, in the year of our
Lord one thousand seven hundred and eightyone, and in the fifth year
of our independence, by the United States in Congress assembled.

                                       SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, _President_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

          COMMISSION TO ACCEPT THE MEDIATION OF THE EMPRESS
                OF RUSSIA AND THE EMPEROR OF GERMANY.

The United States of America to all to whom these presents shall come,
send Greeting.

Whereas his Most Christian Majesty, our great and beloved friend and
ally, has informed us by his Minister Plenipotentiary, whom he has
appointed to reside near us, that their Imperial Majesties the Empress
of Russia and the Emperor of Germany, actuated by sentiments of
humanity, and a desire to put a stop to the calamities of war, have
offered their mediation to the belligerent powers, in order to promote
peace; now know ye, that we, desirous as far as depends upon us, to
put a stop to the effusion of blood, and convince all the powers of
Europe that we wish for nothing more ardently than to terminate this
war by a safe and honorable peace; relying on the justice of our
cause, and persuaded of the wisdom and equity of their Imperial
Majesties, who have so generously interposed their good offices for
promoting so salutary a measure; have appointed and constituted, and
by these presents do constitute and appoint, our trusty and well
beloved John Adams, late delegate in Congress, from the State of
Massachusetts, and Benjamin Franklin, our Minister at the Court of
France, John Jay, late President of Congress, and now our Minister at
the Court of Madrid, Henry Laurens, formerly President of Congress,
and commissioned and sent as our agent to the United Provinces of the
Netherlands, and Thomas Jefferson, Governor of the Commonwealth of
Virginia, our Ministers Plenipotentiary, giving and granting to them,
or such of them as shall assemble, or in case of death, absence,
indisposition, or other impediment, of the others, to any one of them,
full power and authority in our name, and on our behalf, in
concurrence with his Most Christian Majesty, to accept in due form,
the mediation of their Imperial Majesties the Empress of Russia and
the Emperor of Germany.

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

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

By the United States in Congress assembled.

                                       SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, _President_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

             INSTRUCTIONS TO THE COMMISSIONERS FOR PEACE.

                                         In Congress, June 15th, 1781.

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

  Gentlemen,

You are hereby authorised and instructed to concur, in behalf of these
United States, with his Most Christian Majesty, in accepting the
mediation proposed by the Empress of Russia and the Emperor of
Germany.

You are to accede to no treaty of peace, which shall not be such as
may 1st, effectually secure the independence and sovereignty of the
Thirteen United States, according to the form and effect of the
treaties subsisting between the said United States and his Most
Christian Majesty; and 2dly, in which the said treaties shall not be
left in their full force and validity.

As to disputed boundaries, and other particulars, we refer you to the
instructions given to Mr John Adams, dated 14th of August, 1779, and
18th of October, 1780,[5] from which you will easily perceive the
desires and expectations of Congress. But we think it unsafe, at this
distance, to tie you up by absolute and peremptory directions upon
any other subject, than the two essential articles above mentioned.
You are therefore at liberty to secure the interest of the United
States, in such manner as circumstances may direct, and as the state
of the belligerent, and the disposition of the mediating powers may
require. For this purpose, you are to make the most candid and
confidential communications upon all subjects to the Ministers of our
generous ally, the King of France; to undertake nothing in the
negotiations for peace or truce, without their knowledge and
concurrence; and ultimately to govern yourselves by their advice and
opinion, endeavoring in your whole conduct to make them sensible how
much we rely upon his Majesty's influence for effectual aid in
everything that may be necessary to the peace, security, and future
prosperity of the United States of America.

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

                                       SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, _President_.

FOOTNOTE:

[5] See these instructions in _John Adams's Correspondence_, Vol. IV
p. 339; and _Secret Journal_, Vol. II. p. 339.

                  *       *       *       *       *

     THE KING'S WARRANT FOR RICHARD OSWALD'S FIRST COMMISSION FOR
                         NEGOTIATING PEACE.[6]

  George R.

Our will and pleasure is, and we hereby authorise and command you
forthwith to prepare a bill for our signature, to pass our great seal
of Great Britain, in the words or to the effect following, viz;

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

Now know ye that we, reposing special trust in your wisdom, loyalty,
diligence, and circumspection in the management of the affairs to be
hereby committed to your charge, have nominated and appointed,
constituted and assigned, and by these presents do nominate and
appoint, constitute and assign you, the said Richard Oswald, to be our
Commissioner in that behalf, to use and exercise all and every the
powers and authorities, hereby intrusted and committed to you, the
said Richard Oswald, and to do, perform, and execute all other matters
and things, hereby enjoined and committed to your care, during our
will and pleasure, and no longer, according to the tenor of these our
letters patent. And it is our royal will and pleasure, and we hereby
authorise, empower, and require you, the said Richard Oswald, to
treat, consult, and conclude with any Commissioner or _Commissioners,
named or to be named, by the said Colonies or Plantations, and any
body or bodies, corporate or politic, assembly or assemblies, or
descriptions of men, or person or persons, whatsoever, a peace or
truce with the said Colonies or Plantations, or any of them, or any
part or parts thereof_; any law, act or acts of Parliament, matter or
thing, to the contrary notwithstanding.

And it is our further will and pleasure, that every regulation,
provision, matter or thing, which shall have been agreed upon between
you, the said Richard Oswald, and such _Commissioner or Commissioners,
body or bodies, corporate or politic, assembly or assemblies,
descriptions of men, person or persons as aforesaid_, with whom you
shall have judged meet and sufficient to enter into such agreement,
shall be fully and distinctly set forth in writing, and authenticated
by your hand and seal, on one side, and _by such seal or other
signatures on the other as the occasion may require, and as may be
suitable to the character and authority of the Commissioner or
Commissioners, &c. as aforesaid so agreeing_, and such instruments so
authenticated shall be by you transmitted to us through one of our
principal Secretaries of State.

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

Given at our Court of St James, the twentyfifth day of July, one
thousand seven hundred and eightytwo.[7] In the twentysecond year of
our reign. By his Majesty's command.

                                                     THOMAS TOWNSHEND.

                                 To our Attorney or Solicitor-General.

FOOTNOTEs:

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

[7] This commission was signed by the King on the 7th of August.

                  *       *       *       *       *

     RICHARD OSWALD'S SECOND COMMISSION FOR NEGOTIATING PEACE.[8]

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

Now know ye, that we, reposing special trust in your wisdom, loyalty,
diligence and circumspection, in the management of the affairs to be
hereby committed to your charge, have nominated and appointed,
constituted and assigned, and by these presents do nominate and
appoint, constitute and assign you, the said Richard Oswald to be our
Commissioner in that behalf, to use and exercise all and every the
powers and authorities hereby intrusted and committed to you, the said
Richard Oswald, and to do, perform, and execute all other matters and
things hereby enjoined and committed to your care, during our will and
pleasure, and no longer, according to the tenor of these our letters
patent. And it is our royal will and pleasure, and we do hereby
authorise, empower, and require you, the said Richard Oswald, to treat
of, consult, and conclude with any _Commissioners or persons vested
with equal powers, by and on the part of the Thirteen United States of
America, viz. New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island,
Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three lower counties on
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and
Georgia, in North America, a peace or a truce with the said Thirteen
United States_; any law, act, or acts of Parliament, matter or thing
to the contrary, in anywise, notwithstanding.

And it is our further will and pleasure, that every regulation,
provision, matter or thing, which shall have been agreed upon between
you, the said Richard Oswald, and such _Commissioners or persons as
aforesaid_, with whom you shall have judged meet and sufficient to
enter into such agreement, shall be fully and distinctly set forth in
writing, and authenticated by your hand and seal on one side, _and by
the hands and seals of such Commissioners or persons on the other_,
and such instrument so authenticated shall be by you transmitted to
us, through one of our principal Secretaries of State.

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

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

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

                                                                YORKE.

_Paris, October 1st, 1782._ I certify that the adjoining is a true
copy of the commission of which it purports to be a copy, and which
has been shown to Mr Franklin and Mr Jay.

                                                       RICHARD OSWALD,
                                     _The Commissioner therein named_.

FOOTNOTE:

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

                  *       *       *       *       *

                  COMMISSION TO WILLIAM T. FRANKLIN.

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

Whereas the United States of America, in Congress assembled, did on
the 15th of June, in the year of our Lord 1781, appoint and constitute
the said Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, John Adams, Henry Laurens, and
Thomas Jefferson, and the majority of them, and of such of them as
should assemble for the purpose, their Commissioners and
Plenipotentiaries, to treat of, and conclude peace in their behalf;
and whereas the said United States, in Congress assembled, did on the
26th of June, in the year of our Lord 1781, appoint Francis Dana,
until he could proceed to the Court of Petersburg, either in a public
or private capacity, to be Secretary to the said Plenipotentiaries for
negotiating a peace with Great Britain, and in case Mr Dana should
have proceeded, or thereafter proceed to Petersburg, or to any part of
the dominions of the Empress of Russia, the Ministers appointed by the
said act of Congress of the 15th of June, 1781, or a majority of such
of them as should assemble, should be, and thereby were, authorised to
appoint a Secretary to their commission, and that he be entitled to
receive, in proportion to his time of service, the salary of one
thousand pounds sterling per annum allowed to Mr Dana. And whereas his
Britannic Majesty has issued a commission, dated the 21st of
September, 1782, to Richard Oswald, to treat of, and conclude peace
with any Commissioners, or persons vested with equal powers, by, and
on the part of the Thirteen United States of America; and whereas the
said Richard Oswald is at Paris, ready to execute his said commission,
and has exchanged with the said Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, copies
of their respective commissions, and entered on the business of the
same, whereby the appointment of a Secretary to the American
commission has become necessary, and the said Mr Dana now being at
Petersburg, the right of appointing such Secretary has, in pursuance
of the afore-recited act of Congress, devolved on the said
Commissioners, and on the majority of them, and of such of them as
have assembled for the purpose of executing their said commission; and
whereas Mr Jefferson, one of the said Commissioners, has not come to
Europe, and Mr Laurens, another of them, has declined to accept the
said office, and Mr Adams, another of them, is at the Hague, so that
the said Benjamin Franklin and John Jay are the only Commissioners now
assembled to execute the said commission;

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

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

                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

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

                                                        HENRY LAURENS.

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

                                                           JOHN ADAMS.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                       RESOLUTIONS OF CONGRESS.

                                        In Congress, October 3d, 1782.

On report of a Committee, to whom were referred notes of a conference
with the Minister of France, held by a Committee of Congress on the
24th of September last;[9]

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

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

That his Most Christian Majesty's declaration to the British Minister
at Paris, that he will neither treat, nor terminate any negotiation,
unless the interests of his allies and friends shall be considered and
determined, is entirely correspondent to the part, which these United
States are resolved to take in any negotiations for peace;

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

That they will hearken to no propositions for peace, which shall not
be discussed in confidence and in concert with his Most Christian
Majesty, agreeably to the declaration made to the Minister
Plenipotentiary on the 31st day of May last;[10]

That upon this principle, Congress did not hesitate a moment to reject
the proposition made by the British General and Admiral, as
Commissioners of peace, for admitting Mr Morgan, their Secretary, to
an interview at Philadelphia;

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

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

That Congress trust that the circumstances of the allies, at the
negotiation for peace, will be so prosperous as to render these
expectations consistent with the spirit of moderation recommended by
his Majesty.

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

Ordered, That the Secretary for Foreign Affairs transmit, by the first
opportunity, a copy of the same to the Ministers of these States at
foreign Courts.

FOOTNOTES:

[9] See these Notes of a Conference in the _Secret Journals of
Congress_, Vol. III. p. 218.

[10] _Secret Journal_, Vol. III. p. 138.

                  *       *       *       *       *

             ARTICLES AGREED ON BETWEEN THE AMERICAN AND
                      BRITISH COMMISSIONERS.[11]

                                                    October 8th, 1782.

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

To be inserted in, and to constitute the treaty of peace, proposed to
be concluded between the Crown of Great Britain and the said United
States; but which treaty is not to be concluded, until his Britannic
Majesty shall have agreed to the terms of peace between France and
Britain, proposed or accepted by his Most Christian Majesty; and shall
be ready to conclude with him such treaty accordingly. It being the
duty and intention of the United States not to desert their ally, but
faithfully, and in all things to abide by, and fulfil their
engagements with his Most Christian Majesty.

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

The said States are bounded north, by a line to be drawn from the
northwest angle of Nova Scotia, along the high lands, which divide
those rivers which empty themselves into the river St Lawrence, from
those which fall into the Atlantic ocean, to the northernmost head of
Connecticut river; thence down along the middle of that river to the
fortyfifth degree of north latitude, and thence due west in the
latitude fortyfive degrees north from the equator, to the
northwesternmost side of the river St Lawrence, or Cadaraqui; thence
straight to the south end of the lake Nipissing, and thence straight
to the source of the river Mississippi, west by a line to be drawn
along the middle of the river Mississippi, from its source to where
the said line shall intersect the thirtyfirst degree of north
latitude; south by a line to be drawn due east from the termination of
the line last mentioned, in the latitude of thirtyone degrees north of
the equator to the middle of the river Apalachicola or Catahouchi;
thence along the middle thereof to its junction with the Flint river;
thence straight to the head of St Mary's river; thence down along the
middle of St Mary's river to the Atlantic ocean; and east by a line to
be drawn along the middle of St John's river, from its source to its
mouth in the Bay of Fundy; comprehending all islands within twenty
leagues of any part of the shores of the United States, and lying
between lines to be drawn due east from the points where the aforesaid
boundaries, between Nova Scotia, on the one part, and East Florida on
the other, shall respectively touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic
ocean.

2dly. From and immediately after the conclusion of the proposed
treaty, there shall be a firm and perpetual peace between his
Britannic Majesty and the United States, and between the subjects of
the one and the citizens of the other; wherefore all hostilities, both
by sea and land, shall then immediately cease; all prisoners on both
sides shall be set at liberty; and his Britannic Majesty shall
forthwith, and without causing any distinction, withdraw all his
armies, garrisons, and fleets, from the said United States, and from
every post, place, and harbor, within the same, leaving in all
fortifications the American artillery that may be therein; and shall
also order and cause all archives, records, deeds, and papers,
belonging to either of the said States, or their citizens, which in
the course of the war, may have fallen into the hands of his officers,
to be forthwith restored, and delivered to the proper States and
persons to whom they belong.

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

4thly. That the navigation of the river Mississippi, from its source
to the ocean, shall forever remain free and open, and that both there,
and in all rivers, harbors, lakes, ports, and places, belonging to his
Britannic Majesty or to the United States, or in any part of the
world, the merchants and merchant ships, of the one and the other,
shall be received, treated, and protected, like the merchants and
merchant ships of the sovereign of the country. That is to say, the
British merchants and merchant ships, on the one hand, shall enjoy in
the United States, and in all places belonging to them, the same
protection and commercial privileges, and be liable only to the same
charges and duties as their own merchants and merchant ships; and on
the other hand, the merchants and merchant ships of the United
States, shall enjoy in all places belonging to his Britannic Majesty,
the same protection and commercial privileges and be liable only to
the same charges and duties of British merchants and merchant ships,
saving always to the chartered trading companies of Great Britain,
such exclusive use and trade, and their respective posts and
establishments, as neither the subjects of Great Britain, nor any of
the more favored nations participate in.

_Paris, October 8th, 1782._ A true copy of which has been agreed on
between the American Commissioners and me, to be submitted to his
Majesty's consideration.

                                                       RICHARD OSWALD.

Alteration to be made in the treaty, respecting the boundaries of Nova
Scotia, viz. East, the true line between which and the United States
shall be settled by Commissioners, as soon as conveniently may be
after the war.

FOOTNOTE:

[11] These Articles were sent to England for the King's consideration.
See _Franklin's Correspondence_, Vol. IV. p. 49.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 RICHARD OSWALD TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                            Paris, November 4th, 1782.

  Gentlemen,

You may remember, that from the very beginning of our negotiations for
settling a peace between Great Britain and America, I insisted that
you should positively stipulate for a restoration of the property of
all those persons, under the denomination of loyalists or refugees,
who have taken part with Great Britain in the present war; or if the
property had been resold and passed into such variety of hands, as to
render the restoration impracticable, (which you asserted to be the
case in many instances) you should stipulate for a compensation or
indemnification to those persons, adequate to their losses. To these
propositions you said you could not accede. Mr Strachey, since his
arrival at Paris, has most strenuously joined me in insisting upon the
said restitution, compensation, or indemnification, and in laying
before you every argument in favor of those demands, founded upon
national honor, and upon the true principles of justice. These demands
you must have understood to extend, not only to all persons of the
above mentioned description, who have fled to Europe, but likewise to
all those who may be now in any parts of North America, dwelling under
the protection of his Majesty's arms or otherwise.

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

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

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                       RICHARD OSWALD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

            ARTICLES TAKEN TO ENGLAND BY MR STRACHEY.[12]

                                                     November 5, 1782.

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

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

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

From the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, being that angle which is
formed by a line drawn due north from the source of St Croix river to
the highlands which divide the rivers which empty themselves into the
river St Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic ocean, and
along the said highlands to the northwesternmost head of Connecticut
river, thence down along the middle of that river to the 45th degree
of north latitude, following the said latitude until it strikes the
river Mississippi; thence by a line, to be drawn along the middle of
the said river Mississippi, until it shall intersect the northernmost
part of the 31st degree of latitude north of the equator; south, by a
line to be drawn due east from the termination of the line last
mentioned in the latitude of the 31st degree to the middle of the
river Apalachicola or Catahouchi, thence along the middle thereof to
its junction with the Flint river, thence straight to the head of St
Mary's river, and thence down along the middle of St Mary's river to
the Atlantic ocean; east, by a line from the mouth of said St Mary's
river to the mouth of the river St Croix in the Bay of Fundy, and by a
line drawn through the middle of said river to its source, and from
its source directly north to the aforesaid highlands, which divide the
rivers which fall into the Atlantic ocean from those which empty
themselves into the river St Lawrence, comprehending all islands
within twenty leagues of any part of the shores of the United States,
and lying between lines to be drawn due east from the points where the
aforesaid boundaries of St Croix river and St Mary's river shall
respectively touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic ocean.

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

That the subjects of his Britannic Majesty and the people of the said
United States, shall continue to enjoy unmolested, the right to take
fish of every kind on all the Banks of Newfoundland, also in the Gulf
of St Lawrence, and all other places where the inhabitants of both
countries used at any time heretofore to fish; and also to dry and
cure their fish on the shores of the Isle of Sables, Cape Sables, and
the shores of any of the unsettled bays, harbors or creeks of Nova
Scotia, and of the Magdalen Islands. And his Britannic Majesty and the
said United States will extend equal privileges and hospitality to
each other's fishermen as to their own.

Whereas certain of the United States, excited thereto by the
unnecessary destruction of private property, have confiscated all
debts due from their citizens to British subjects; and also in certain
instances, lands belonging to the latter; and whereas, it is just that
private contracts made between individuals of the two countries before
the war, should be faithfully executed; and as the confiscation of the
said lands may have a latitude not justifiable by the law of nations,
it is agreed, that British creditors shall, notwithstanding, meet with
no lawful impediment to recovering the full value or sterling amount
of such _bona fide_ debts as were contracted before the year 1775. And
also, that Congress will recommend to the said States, so to correct
(if necessary) their said acts respecting the confiscation of the
lands in America, belonging to real British subjects, as to render the
said acts consistent with perfect justice and equity. As to the
cession made of certain lands in Georgia, by a number of Indians
there, on the 1st of June, 1773, for the purpose of paying the debts
due from them to a number of traders, the American Commissioners say,
that the State of Georgia is alone competent to consider and decide on
the same; for that it being a matter of internal police, with which
neither Congress nor their Commissioners are authorised to interfere,
it must of necessity be referred to the discretion and justice of that
State, who, without doubt, will be disposed to do what may be just
and reasonable on the subject.

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

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

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

SEPARATE ARTICLE. It is hereby understood and agreed, that in case
Great Britain at the conclusion of the present war shall be, or be put
in possession of West Florida, the line of north boundary between the
said Province and the United States, shall be a line drawn from the
mouth of the river Yazoo, where it unites with the Mississippi, due
east to the river Apalachicola, and thence along the middle of that
river to its junction with the Flint river, &c.

FOOTNOTE:

[12] These Articles were agreed to after the return of the first set,
which had been sent to England October 8th. See above p. 80.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                  H. STRACHEY TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                            Paris, November 5th, 1782.

  Gentlemen,

Knowing the expectation of the King's Ministers, that a full indemnity
shall be provided for the whole body of refugees, either by a
restitution of their property or by some stipulated compensation for
their losses, and being confident, as I have repeatedly assured you,
that your refusal upon this point will be the great obstacle to a
conclusion and ratification of that peace, which is meant as a solid
perfect, permanent reconciliation and reunion between Great Britain
and America, I am unwilling to leave Paris without once more
submitting the matter to your consideration. It affects equally, in my
opinion, the honor and the humanity of your country and of ours. How
far you will be justified in risking every favorite object of America,
by contending against those principles, is for you to determine.
Independence, and more than a reasonable possession of territory, seem
to be within your reach. Will you suffer them to be outweighed by the
gratification of resentment against individuals? I venture to assert,
that such a conduct has no parallel in the history of civilized
nations.

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

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                          H. STRACHEY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                          TO RICHARD OSWALD.

                                            Paris, November 5th, 1782.

  Sir,

In answer to the letter you did us the honor to write on the 4th
instant, we beg leave to repeat what we often said in conversation,
viz; that the restoration of such of the estates of refugees as have
been confiscated is impracticable, because they were confiscated by
laws of particular States, and in many instances have passed by legal
titles through several hands. Besides, Sir, as this is a matter
evidently appertaining to the internal polity of the separate States,
the Congress, by the nature of our constitution, have no authority to
interfere with it.

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

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

Whatever may be the issue of this negotiation, be assured, Sir, that
we shall always acknowledge the liberal, manly, and candid manner in
which you have conducted it, and that we shall remain, with the
warmest sentiments of esteem and regard, Sir, your most obedient and
very humble servants,

                                                          JOHN ADAMS,
                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                           TO H. STRACHEY.

                                            Paris, November 6th, 1782.

  Sir,

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

We have the honor to be, &c.

                                                          JOHN ADAMS,
                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                       _Third Set of Articles._

_Monday, November 25th, 1782._ The three Commissioners, Adams,
Franklin, and Jay, met at Mr Oswald's lodgings at the _Hôtel de
Muscovie_, and after some conferences Mr Oswald delivered them the
following Articles, as fresh proposals of the British Ministry, sent
by Mr Strachey, viz;

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

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

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

ARTICLE II. From the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, viz; that angle
which is formed by a line drawn due north from the source of St Croix
river to the highlands, along the said highlands, which divide those
rivers that empty themselves into the river St Lawrence from those
which fall into the Atlantic ocean, to the northwesternmost head of
Connecticut river, thence down along the middle of that river to the
45th degree of north latitude; from thence by a line due west on said
latitude until it strikes the river Iroquois or Cataroquy; thence
along the middle of said river into Lake Ontario, through the middle
of said Lake until it strikes the communication by water between that
Lake and Lake Erie; thence along the middle of said communication,
into Lake Erie, through the middle of said Lake, until it arrives at
the water communication between that Lake and Lake Huron; thence along
the middle of said water communication into Lake Huron; thence through
the middle of the said Lake, to the water communication between that
Lake and Lake Superior; thence through Lake Superior, northward of the
Isles Royal and Philippeaux to the Long Lake; thence through the
middle of said Long Lake, and the water communication between it and
the Lake of the Woods, to the said Lake of the Woods; thence through
the said Lake to the most northwestern point thereof; and from thence
on a due western course to the river Mississippi, thence by a line to
be drawn along the middle of the said river Mississippi until it shall
intersect the northernmost part of the 31st degree of north latitude.
South by a line to be drawn due east from the determination of the
line last mentioned, in the latitude of 31 degrees north of the
equator to the middle of the river Apalachicola, or Catahouchi; thence
along the middle thereof to its junction with the Flint river, thence
straight to the head of St Mary's river; and thence down along the
middle of St Mary's river to the Atlantic ocean. East by a line to be
drawn along the middle of the river St Croix, from its mouth in the
Bay of Fundy to its source; and from its source directly north, to the
aforesaid highlands, which divide the rivers that fall into the
Atlantic ocean from those which fall into the river St Lawrence;
comprehending all Islands within twenty leagues of any part of the
shores of the United States, and lying between lines to be drawn due
east from the point where the aforesaid boundaries between Nova Scotia
on the one part, and East Florida on the other shall respectively
touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic ocean; excepting such Islands
as now are, or heretofore have been, within the limits of the said
Province of Nova Scotia.

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

ARTICLE IV. It is agreed, that the British creditors shall meet with
no lawful impediment to the recovery of the full value, in sterling
money, of such _bona fide_ debts as were contracted by any persons
who are citizens of the United States, before the year 1775.

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

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

ARTICLE VII. There shall be a firm and perpetual peace between his
Britannic Majesty and the said States, and between the subjects of the
one, and the citizens of the other; wherefore all hostilities both by
sea and land shall then immediately cease; all prisoners on both sides
shall be set at liberty; and his Britannic Majesty shall with all
convenient speed and without causing any destruction, withdraw all his
armies, garrisons and fleets from the said United States, and from
every port, place and harbor within the same, leaving in all
fortifications the American artillery that may be therein. And shall
also order and cause all archives, records and papers, belonging to
any of the said States or their citizens, which in the course of the
war may have fallen into the hands of his officers, to be forthwith
restored and delivered to the proper States and persons to whom they
belong.

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

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

                  *       *       *       *       *

        ARTICLE PROPOSED AND READ TO THE COMMISSIONERS, BEFORE
                SIGNING THE PRELIMINARY ARTICLES.[13]

It is agreed, that his Britannic Majesty will earnestly recommend it
to his Parliament to provide for and make a compensation to the
merchants and shopkeepers of Boston, whose goods and merchandise were
seized and taken out of their stores, warehouses and shops, by order
of General Gage and others of his commanders and officers there; and
also to the inhabitants of Philadelphia, for the goods taken away by
his army there; and to make compensation, also, for the tobacco, rice,
indigo, and negroes, &c. seized and carried off by his armies under
Generals Arnold, Cornwallis, and others, from the States of Virginia,
North and South Carolina, and Georgia, and also for all vessels and
cargoes, belonging to the inhabitants of the said United States, which
were stopped, seized, or taken, either in the ports, or on the seas,
by his Governors, or by his ships of war, before the declaration of
war against the said States.

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

                                FACTS.

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

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

Britain now demands that the debts shall, nevertheless, be paid.

Will she, can she, justly, refuse making compensation for such
seizures?

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

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

FOOTNOTE:

[13] This _Article_, and the _Facts_ which follow, were drawn up by Dr
Franklin, and intended to be insisted on, in case the British
Commissioners persevered in their demands respecting the fisheries.
See _Franklin's Correspondence_, Vol. IV. p. 50.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                         TO M. DE LAFAYETTE,

                                           Paris, November 28th, 1782.

  Sir,

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

Our country has had early and repeated proofs both of your readiness
and abilities to do her service. The prospect of an inactive campaign
in America induced us to adopt the opinion, that you might be more
useful here than there; especially, in case the negotiation for peace,
on the part of France in England, should be committed to your
management; for your knowledge of our affairs and attachment to our
interest, might have been very advantageous to us on such an occasion.
But as an opportunity now offers of your being instrumental in
producing a co-operation, which would, probably, put a glorious and
speedy termination to the war in America, we, for our part, perfectly
approve of your going with Count d'Estaing, in the manner proposed.

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

                                                          JOHN ADAMS,
                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                    PROVISIONAL ARTICLES OF PEACE.

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

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

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

ARTICLE II. From the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, viz. that angle,
which is formed by a line drawn due north, from the source of St Croix
river to the highlands, along the highlands which divide those rivers
that empty themselves into the river St Lawrence from those which fall
into the Atlantic ocean, to the northwesternmost head of Connecticut
river; thence down along the middle of that river to the 45th degree
of north latitude; from thence by a line due west on said latitude,
until it strikes the river Iroquois or Cataroquy; thence along the
middle of said river into Lake Ontario; through the middle of said
Lake until it strikes the communication by water, between that Lake
and Lake Erie; thence along the middle of said communication into Lake
Erie; through the middle of said Lake until it arrives at the water
communication between that Lake and Lake Huron, thence along the
middle of said water communication into the Lake Huron; thence through
the middle of said Lake, to the water communication between that Lake
and Lake Superior; thence through Lake Superior, northward of the
Isles Royal and Philippeaux to the Long Lake; thence through the
middle of said Long Lake and the water communication between it and
the Lake of the Woods, to the said Lake of the Woods; thence through
the said Lake, to the most northwestern point thereof; and from thence
on a due west course to the river Mississippi; thence by a line to be
drawn along the middle of the said river Mississippi until it shall
intersect the northernmost part of the 31st degree of north latitude;
south by a line to be drawn due east from the determination of the
line last mentioned in the latitude of 31st degree north of the
equator, to the middle of the river Apalachicola or Catahouchi, thence
along the middle thereof, to its junction with the Flint river, thence
straight to the head of St Mary's river, to the Atlantic ocean. East
by a line to be drawn along the middle of the river St Croix, from its
mouth in the Bay of Fundy to its source; and from its source directly
north to the aforesaid highlands, which divide the rivers that fall
into the Atlantic ocean from those which fall into the river St
Lawrence; comprehending all islands within twenty leagues of any part
of the shores of the United States; and lying between lines to be
drawn due east, from the points where the aforesaid boundaries,
between Nova Scotia on the one part, and East Florida on the other,
shall respectively touch the Bay of Fundy, and the Atlantic ocean;
excepting such islands as now are or heretofore have been within the
limits of the said Province of Nova Scotia.

ARTICLE III. It is agreed, that the people of the United States shall
continue to enjoy unmolested the right to take fish of every kind, on
the Grand Bank, and on all the other banks of Newfoundland; also in
the Gulf of St Lawrence, and at all other places in the sea, where the
inhabitants of both countries used at any time heretofore to fish. And
also that the inhabitants of the United States shall have liberty to
take fish of every kind on such part of the coast of Newfoundland, as
British fishermen shall use, (but not to dry or cure the same on that
island) and also on the coasts, bays and creeks of all other of his
Britannic Majesty's dominion in America. And that the American
fishermen shall have liberty to dry and cure fish, in any of the
unsettled bays, harbors and creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalen islands,
and Labrador, so long as the same shall remain unsettled; but so soon
as the same or either of them shall be settled, it shall not be lawful
for the said fishermen to dry or cure fish at such settlement, without
a previous agreement for that purpose, with the inhabitants,
proprietors, or possessors of the ground.

ARTICLE IV. It is agreed, that creditors on either side shall meet
with no lawful impediment to the recovery of the full value, in
sterling money, of all _bona fide_ debts, heretofore contracted.

ARTICLE V. It is agreed, that the Congress shall earnestly recommend
it to the Legislatures of the respective States, to provide for the
restitution of all estates, rights, and properties, which have been
confiscated, belonging to real British subjects, and also of the
estates, rights, and properties of persons resident in districts in
the possession of his Majesty's arms, and who have not borne arms
against the said United States; and that persons of any other
description shall have free liberty to go to any part or parts of any
of the Thirteen United States, and therein to remain twelve months
unmolested in their endeavors to obtain the restitution of such of
their estates, rights, and properties, as may have been confiscated.
And that Congress shall also earnestly recommend to the several
States, a reconsideration and revision of all acts or laws regarding
the premises, so as to render the said laws or acts perfectly
consistent, not only with justice and equity, but with that spirit of
conciliation, which on the return of the blessings of peace should
universally prevail. And that Congress shall also earnestly recommend
to the several States, that the estates, rights, and properties, of
such last mentioned persons shall be restored to them, they refunding
to any persons who may be now in possession, the _bona fide_ price
(where any has been given) which such persons may have paid on
purchasing any of the said lands, rights, and properties, since the
confiscation. And it is agreed, that all persons who have any interest
in confiscated lands, either by debts, marriage settlements, or
otherwise, shall meet with no lawful impediment in the prosecution of
their just rights.

ARTICLE VI. That there shall be no future confiscations made, nor any
prosecutions commenced against any person or persons, for or by reason
of the part which he or they may have taken in the present war, and
that no person shall on that account suffer any future loss or
damage, either in his person, liberty, or property, and that those
who may be in confinement on such charges at the time of the
ratification of the treaty in America, shall be immediately set at
liberty, and the prosecutions so commenced be discontinued.

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

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

ARTICLE IX. In case it should so happen, that any place or territory,
belonging to Great Britain or the United States, should be conquered
by the arms of either from the other, before the arrival of these
Articles in America, it is agreed, that the same shall be restored
without difficulty, and without requiring any compensation.

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

                                                       RICHARD OSWALD,
                                                       JOHN ADAMS,
                                                       B. FRANKLIN,
                                                       JOHN JAY,
                                                       HENRY LAURENS.

     Witness, CALEB WHITEFOORD,
       _Secretary to the British Commission_.

     W. T. FRANKLIN,
       _Secretary to the American Commission_.

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

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

                                                       RICHARD OSWALD,
                                                       JOHN ADAMS,
                                                       B. FRANKLIN,
                                                       JOHN JAY,
                                                       HENRY LAURENS.

     Attest, CALEB WHITEFOORD,
       _Secretary to the British Commission_.

     W. T. FRANKLIN,
       _Secretary to the American Commission_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                    TO FRANCIS DANA AT PETERSBURG.

                                           Paris, December 12th, 1782.

  Sir,

We have the honor to congratulate you on the signature of the
preliminary treaty of peace, between his Britannic Majesty and the
United States of America, to be inserted in the definitive treaty when
France and Britain shall have agreed upon their terms. The articles,
of which we do ourselves the honor to enclose you a copy, were
completed on the 30th of last month.

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

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

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

                                                          JOHN ADAMS,
                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                           Paris, December 14th, 1782.

  Sir,

We have the honor to congratulate Congress on the signature of the
preliminaries of a peace between the Crown of Great Britain and the
United States of America, to be inserted in a definitive treaty so
soon as the terms between the Crowns of France and Great Britain shall
be agreed on. A copy of the Articles is here enclosed, and we cannot
but flatter ourselves, that they will appear to Congress, as they do
to all of us, to be consistent with the honor and interest of the
United States, and we are persuaded Congress would be more fully of
that opinion if they were apprized of all the circumstances and
reasons which have influenced the negotiation. Although it is
impossible for us to go into that detail, we think it necessary
nevertheless to make a few remarks on such of the Articles, as appear
most to require elucidation.


           _Remarks on Article 2d, relative to Boundaries._

The Court of Great Britain insisted on retaining all the territories
comprehended within the Province of Quebec, by the Act of Parliament
respecting it. They contended that Nova Scotia should extend to the
river Kennebec; and they claimed not only all the lands in the western
country and on the Mississippi, which were not expressly included in
our charters and governments, but also all such lands within them as
remained ungranted by the King of Great Britain. It would be endless
to enumerate all the discussions and arguments on the subject.

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


           _Remarks on Article 4th, respecting Creditors._

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

In our opinion no acts of government could dissolve the obligations of
good faith, resulting from lawful contracts between individuals of the
two countries prior to the war. We knew that some of the British
creditors were making common cause with the refugees, and other
adversaries of our independence; besides, sacrificing private justice
to reasons of State and political convenience, is always an odious
measure; and the purity of our reputation in this respect, in all
foreign commercial countries, is of infinitely more importance to us
than all the sums in question. It may also be remarked, that American
and British creditors are placed on an equal footing.


       _Remarks on Articles 5th and 6th, respecting Refugees._

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

As to the Separate Article, we beg leave to observe, that it was our
policy to render the navigation of the river Mississippi so important
to Britain, as that their views might correspond with ours on that
subject. Their possessing the country on the river, north of the line
from the Lake of the Woods, affords a foundation for their claiming
such navigation. And as the importance of West Florida to Britain was
for the same reason rather to be strengthened than otherwise, we
thought it advisable to allow them the extent contained in the
Separate Article, especially as before the war it had been annexed by
Britain to West Florida, and would operate as an additional
inducement to their joining with us in agreeing, that the navigation
of the river should forever remain open to both. The map used in the
course of our negotiations was Mitchell's.

As we had reason to imagine that the Articles respecting the
boundaries, the refugees, and fisheries, did not correspond with the
policy of this Court, we did not communicate the preliminaries to the
Minister until after they were signed; and not even then the _Separate
Article_. We hope that these considerations will excuse our having so
far deviated from the spirit of our instructions. The Count de
Vergennes, on perusing the Articles, appeared surprised, but not
displeased, at their being so favorable to us.

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

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

                                                        JOHN ADAMS,
                                                        B. FRANKLIN,
                                                        JOHN JAY,
                                                        HENRY LAURENS.

                  *       *       *       *       *

      RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS RESPECTING COMMERCIAL STIPULATIONS.

                                     In Congress, December 31st, 1782.

On the report of the committee to whom was referred a letter of the
14th of October last, from the Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court
of Versailles,

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

                  *       *       *       *       *

  ENGLISH COMMISSIONERS DECLARATION OF THE CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES.

                                            Paris, January 20th, 1783.

                             DECLARATION.

Whereas the Preliminary Articles agreed to, and signed this day,
between his Majesty, the King of Great Britain, and his Most
Christian Majesty, on the one part, and also between his said
Britannic Majesty and his Catholic Majesty, on the other part,
stipulate a cessation of hostilities between those three powers, which
is to commence upon the exchange of the ratifications of the said
Preliminary Articles; and whereas by the provisional treaty signed on
the thirtieth of November last, between his Britannic Majesty and the
United States of North America, it was stipulated, that the said
treaty should have its effect as soon as peace between the said Crowns
should be established; the underwritten Minister Plenipotentiary of
his Britannic Majesty declares, in the name and by the express order
of the King, his master, that the said United States of North America,
their subjects and their possessions, shall be comprised in the
suspension of arms above mentioned, and that they shall, consequently,
enjoy the benefit of the cessation of hostilities, at the same periods
and in the same manner as the three Crowns aforesaid, and their
subjects and possessions, respectively; on condition, however, that on
the part, and in the name, of the said United States of North America,
there shall be delivered a similar declaration, expressing their
assent to the present suspension of arms, and containing an assurance
of the most perfect reciprocity on their part.

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

                                                  ALLEYNE FITZHERBERT.

                  *       *       *       *       *

         _Signature of the above Declaration by the American
                           Commissioners._

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

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

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

                                                          JOHN ADAMS,
                                                          B. FRANKLIN.

                  *       *       *       *       *

      BRITISH KING'S PROCLAMATION DECLARING A CESSATION OF ARMS.

  By the King.

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

  George R.

Whereas Provisional Articles were signed at Paris, on the thirtieth
day of November last, between our Commissioner for treating of peace
with the Commissioners of the United States of America, and the
Commissioners of the said States, to be inserted in, and to constitute
the treaty of peace proposed to be concluded between us and the said
United States, when terms of peace should be agreed upon between us
and his Most Christian Majesty; and whereas preliminaries for
restoring peace between us and his Most Christian Majesty were signed
at Versailles on the twentieth day of January last, by the Ministers
of us and the Most Christian King; and whereas preliminaries for
restoring peace between us and the King of Spain were also signed at
Versailles on the twentieth day of January last, between the Ministers
of us and the King of Spain; and whereas for putting an end to the
calamity of war, as soon and as far as it may be possible, it has been
agreed between us, his Most Christian Majesty, the King of Spain, the
States-General of the United Provinces, and the United States of
America, as follows, that is to say;

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

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

We have thought fit, by and with the advice of our Privy Council, to
notify the same to all our loving subjects; and we do declare that our
royal will and pleasure is, and we do hereby strictly charge and
command all our officers, both at sea and land, and all our other
subjects whatsoever, to forbear all acts of hostility, either by sea
or land, against his Most Christian Majesty, the King of Spain, the
States-General of the United Provinces, and the United States of
America, their vessels, or subjects, from and after the respective
times above mentioned, and under the penalty of incurring our highest
displeasure.

Given at our Court at St James, the fourteenth day of February, in the
twentythird year of our reign, and in the year of our Lord one
thousand seven hundred and eightythree.

God save the King.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              ALLEYNE FITZHERBERT TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                           Paris, February 18th, 1783.

  Gentlemen,

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

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

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                  ALLEYNE FITZHERBERT.

                  *       *       *       *       *

       AMERICAN COMMISSIONERS' DECLARATION OF THE CESSATION OF
                            HOSTILITIES.

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

                            A DECLARATION

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

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

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

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

Now, therefore, we, the Ministers Plenipotentiary from the United
States of America, for making peace with Great Britain, do notify to
the people and citizens of the said United States of America, that
hostilities on their part against his Britannic Majesty, both by sea
and land, are to cease at the expiration of the terms herein before
specified therefor, and which terms are to be computed from the third
day of February instant. And we do, in the name and by the authority
of the said United States, accordingly warn and enjoin all their
officers and citizens, to forbear all acts of hostility whatever,
either by land or by sea, against his said Majesty the King of Great
Britain, or his subjects, under the penalty of incurring the highest
displeasure of the said United States.

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

                                                          JOHN ADAMS,
                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                       Philadelphia, March 25th, 1783.

  Gentlemen,

I am now to acknowledge the favor of your joint letter by the
Washington, together with a copy of the Preliminary Articles; both
were laid before Congress. The Articles have met with their warmest
approbation, and have been generally seen by the people in the most
favorable point of view.

The steadiness manifested in not treating without an express
acknowledgment of your independence previous to a treaty is approved,
and it is not doubted but it accelerated that declaration. The
boundaries are as extensive as we have a right to expect; and we have
nothing to complain of with respect to the fisheries. My sentiments as
to English debts you have in a former letter. No honest man could wish
to withhold them. A little forbearance in British creditors, till
people have recovered in part from the losses sustained by the war,
will be necessary to render this Article palatable, and indeed to
secure more effectually the debt. The Article relative to the
loyalists is not quite so accurately expressed as I could wish it to
have been. What for instance is intended by _real British subjects_?
It is clear to me that it will operate nothing in their favor in any
State in the union, but as you made no secret of this to the British
Commissioners, they will have nothing to charge you with; and indeed
the whole clause seems rather to have been inserted to appease the
clamor of these poor wretches, than to satisfy their wants. Britain
would have discovered more candor and magnanimity in paying to them
three months' expense of the war establishment, which would have been
an ample compensation for all their losses, and left no germ of
dissatisfaction to bud and bloom and ripen into discontents here.
Another mad Administration may think the noncompliance of the
Legislatures with the recommendations of Congress on this subject, a
sufficient cause for giving themselves and us new troubles. You
however were perfectly right in agreeing to the Article, the folly was
theirs, who did not either insist upon more, or give up this.

But, Gentlemen, though the issue of your treaty has been successful,
though I am satisfied that we are much indebted to your firmness and
perseverance, to your accurate knowledge of our situation, and of our
wants for this success, yet I feel no little pain at the distrust
manifested in the management of it; particularly in signing the treaty
without communicating it to the Court of Versailles till after the
signature, and in concealing the Separate Article from it even when
signed. I have examined with the most minute attention all the reasons
assigned in your several letters to justify these suspicions. I
confess they do not appear to strike me so forcibly as they have done
you; and it gives me pain, that the character for candor and fidelity
to its engagements, which should always characterise a great people,
should have been impeached thereby. The concealment was in my opinion
absolutely unnecessary; for had the Court of France disapproved the
terms you had made, after they had been agreed upon, they could not
have acted so absurdly as to counteract you at that late day; and
thereby put themselves in the power of an enemy, who would certainly
betray them, and perhaps justify you in making terms for yourselves.

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

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

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

I am sorry that the extreme negligence of the different States, has
prevented, and will probably long prevent, my being able to send you a
state of the injury done to real property, and the number of slaves
destroyed and carried off by the British troops and their allies,
though no pains have been, or shall be wanting, on my part to urge
them to it.

I have the honor to be, Gentlemen,

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

       PROCLAMATION OF CONGRESS DECLARING A CESSATION OF ARMS.

        By the United States of America in Congress assembled.

                           A PROCLAMATION,

Declaring the cessation of arms, as well by sea as by land, agreed
upon between the United States of America and his Britannic Majesty,
and enjoining the observance thereof.

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

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

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

And whereas the Ministers Plenipotentiary of these United States, did,
on the 20th day of January, in the name and by the authority of the
said United States, accept the said declaration, and declare that the
said States should cause all hostilities to cease against his
Britannic Majesty, his subjects and his possessions, at the terms and
epochs agreed upon between his said Majesty the King of Great Britain,
his Majesty the King of France, and his Majesty the King of Spain, so
and in the same manner as had been agreed upon between those three
Crowns, and to produce the same effects;

And whereas the ratifications of the said Preliminary Articles,
between their Most Christian and Britannic Majesties, were exchanged
by their Ministers on the 3d day of February last; and between his
Britannic Majesty and the King of Spain, on the 9th day of February
last;

And whereas it is our will and pleasure, that the cessation of
hostilities between the United States of America and his Britannic
Majesty, should be conformable to the epochs fixed between their Most
Christian and Britannic Majesties;

We have thought fit to make known the same to the citizens of these
States; and we hereby strictly charge and command all our officers,
both by sea and land, and other subjects of these United States, to
forbear all acts of hostility, either by sea or by land, against his
Britannic Majesty or his subjects, from and after the respective times
agreed upon between their Most Christian and Britannic Majesties, as
aforesaid.

And we do further require all governors and others, the executive
powers of these United States respectively, to cause this our
proclamation to be made public, to the end that the same may be duly
observed within their several jurisdictions.

Given under the seal of the United States. Witness, his Excellency
ELIAS BOUDINOT, President, this twelfth day of April, in the year of
our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eightythree, and of the
sovereignty and independence of the United States the seventh.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                       Philadelphia, April 21st, 1783.

  Gentlemen,

Upon the receipt of the Provisional Articles, and a subsequent account
brought by a vessel, despatched by Count d'Estaing, I wrote letters to
Sir Guy Carleton and Admiral Digby, to which I received answers. You
will find them cold and distant. Those they wrote to the Minister of
France, in answer to similar communications made by him, were still
more so, and contain the same illiberal doubts which are mentioned in
mine, expressed in much stronger terms. When they received an
authentic account of the treaty, they sent a copy of it, (_no part_
being omitted) to Congress, through the General. When the Proclamation
for the cessation of hostilities was received at New York, it was sent
to me by an officer with a letter, to which I returned an answer.

After this two great questions were agitated in Congress. 1st. Whether
they should proceed to the immediate ratification of the Provisional
Articles; and 2dly. Whether they should release their prisoners. Some
maintained with respect to the first of these points, that they knew
not in what light to consider the Provisional Articles, whether as
preliminaries or a definitive treaty. That the preamble said they were
to constitute the treaty, while at the same time, they were only to be
inserted in it. These terms they considered as contradictory; and they
wished to have explanations from you on this head, to know what the
operation of a ratification would be, and they inferred from your
silence, that none was necessary. They observed, that no time was set
for the evacuation of New York; that the ratification would in some
measure compel them to release their prisoners, and thus strengthen
their hands, when it was possible a definitive treaty might not take
effect between Great Britain and France; and that the ratification and
the restoration of prisoners, if it left us nothing more to do, was in
some sort to desert our allies. To this it was answered, that the
Provisional Articles were only to be received as preliminary, that
from the very nature of them, they could not he definitive; that the
ratification would not alter the nature of them, but confirm them as
they stood; that they were confessedly very advantageous to us; that
the neglecting any such acceptation of them as was necessary on our
part would give the enemy a pretence for violating the stipulations
they contained; that the principal points between France and Great
Britain being settled, we had no reason to apprehend a failure of a
definitive treaty; that it was important to show, that we were
determined to adhere in every particular to the engagements you had
made. These arguments prevailed, and a resolution passed directing
the ratification which I enclose. It is probable that the definitive
treaty will be signed before this can reach you, otherwise it would be
extremely desirable that some ambiguities in the Provisional Articles
should be cleared up, and other objects, which have been at different
times touched upon in my public letters, attended to.

The sixth Article is not so precisely expressed as to point out to
what time the word _future_ refers, whether to the signature of the
Provisional Articles, whether to the act, which gave it the force of a
treaty, or to the definitive treaty. Though I should suppose the
second to be the intention from the opposition between the words
_now_, and the time of the ratification in America.

The seventh Article leaves the time for the evacuation of New York
upon so loose a footing, that I fear our troublesome guests will long
continue to be such, unless a day is fixed on for their departure, in
the definitive treaty. You can easily conceive the impatience that the
distressed inhabitants of New Fork feel at every moment's delay; and
the fears and jealousies that prevail among them lest it should be
meant to retain these posts as pledges for the performance of the
stipulations in favor of the tories. By the debates in Parliament on
the 3d of March, it is evident that they had then no orders to
evacuate.

You will observe that the ratification does not extend to the Separate
Article. The treaty between Spain and Great Britain renders it
unnecessary; and Congress not caring to express any sentiment upon
that subject, I refer you to my letters to Dr Franklin and Mr Jay upon
the subject of a free trade with the West Indies, and the logwood
trade, which are important objects here; and, I hope, will be
attended to in your definitive treaty. It were to be wished that the
ambiguity with respect to the time of the cessation of hostilities
upon this coast was cleared up, and the construction we put upon it
adopted, to wit, that by _as far as the Canaries_, was intended the
latitude of the Canaries, which construction can be supported by a
variety of arguments, and is extremely important to us, as a number of
our vessels have been taken since the 3d of March.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                    MR GRAND TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                                Paris, May 10th, 1783.

  Gentlemen,

It is some months ago since I had the honor to write you, and am well
persuaded, although I received no answer thereto, that it will have
engaged your attention. I earnestly wish it may have been productive
of an improvement to the finances of Congress, which I then foresaw
would be short of our wants, and which is, unfortunately, too much the
case at present.

Last month, I remitted to the honorable Robert Morris, the state of
his account; the balance of which was 413,892 livres _13c. 9s._ due to
me. This, added to the subsequent payments I had to make, would have
thrown me into a state of perplexity, had it not been for the
assistance given me by the _Garde du Trésor Royal_.

You will see, Gentlemen, by the statement I have the honor to enclose
for your consideration, that the sums I am to pay, exceed by one
million those that are to be paid me. And making even abstraction of
all that is not Mr Morris' bill, there still remains a defect of
500,000 livres, independent of the allowance to be made for his usual
wants, from January 24th (date of his last bills) up to the 12th of
March.

I am happy to have it in my power to say, that I have exerted to this
instant, all that my zeal and my faculties could suggest to me. Did
the last keep pace with the former, I should never have applied but to
them. However, the state of affairs is such now, that a resolution
must be taken relative thereto; and, even, without delay; the bearers
of Mr Morris's bills growing so urgent upon me, that rather than to
have occasioned any difficulty before I could be informed of your
resolution, I preferred accepting a further sum of 54,000 livres this
day.

I crave your Excellencies will honor me with a quick answer;
meantime, I remain &c.

                                                                GRAND.

                          *       *       *

       _State of the Finances of Congress at Paris, on the 10th
                            of May_, 1783.

  Balance due to me on the last account,       Livres    413,892 13  9

  Sums paid by his Excellency Benjamin
    Franklin's orders,                                   172,001  5  1

  The honorable Robert Morris's drafts to
    be paid,                                           1,872,871  1 10

  His fresh drafts from January 24th, at
    60 days sight, of which I have already
    accepted 54,000 livres,                              804,371  8
                                                       ---------------
                                                       3,263,136  8  8


  Interest on the Dutch Loan,   400,000}
  Sabatier & Desprez' claim            }
    for articles to the Marquis        }
    de Lafayette,               134,000}
                                -------
                                                         534,000
                                                       ---------------

                                               Livres  3,797,136  8  8

                  *       *       *       *       *

                M. DE LAFAYETTE TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                                Paris, May 12th, 1783.

  Gentlemen,

Having yesterday conferred with Count de Vergennes upon some public
concerns, he requested I would tell you what, instead of troubling you
with the demand of a meeting, I think better to mention in this note.

The several powers, said he, are going to make up their treaties, and
when ready to sign, they will, of course, meet to do it all together.
The mediation of the Emperor and that of Russia have been required,
and under that mediation the French treaty will be signed; it now
rests with America to know, if she will conclude her treaty under the
mediation, or chooses to let it alone. There is no necessity for it.
But, in case you prefer to have it, Count de Vergennes thinks it is
time to join with England in making a combined application to the
Court of Vienna and that of Petersburg.

So far, Gentlemen, I have been requested to speak to you. I will add,
that from my last conferences on the subject, I hope we may get the
harbor of L'Orient, as we have wished, for the American trade.

Be pleased to accept the assurances of my great and affectionate
respect.

                                                            LAFAYETTE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     DAVID HARTLEY'S COMMISSION.

  George R.

George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France
and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg,
Arch Treasurer and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, and so
forth, to all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting.

Whereas, for the perfecting and establishing the peace, friendship,
and good understanding so happily commenced by the Provisional
Articles signed at Paris, the thirtieth day of November last, by the
Commissioners of us, and our good friends, the United States of
America, viz; New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island,
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three lower
Counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South
Carolina, and Georgia, in North America, and for opening, promoting,
and rendering perpetual, the mutual intercourse of trade and commerce,
between our kingdoms and the dominions of the said United States, we
have thought proper to invest some fit person with full powers on our
part to meet and confer with the Ministers of the said United States,
now residing at Paris, duly authorised for the accomplishing of such
laudable and salutary purposes.

Now know ye, that we, reposing special trust and confidence in the
wisdom, loyalty, diligence, and circumspection of our trusty and well
beloved David Hartley, (on whom we have heretofore conferred the rank
of our Minister Plenipotentiary,) have nominated, constituted and
appointed, and by these presents do nominate, constitute and appoint
him, our true, certain, and undoubted Commissioner, Procurator, and
Plenipotentiary; giving and granting to him all, and all manner of
faculty, power, and authority, together with general, as well as
special order (so as the general do not derogate from the special, nor
on the contrary,) for us, and in our name, to meet, confer, treat, and
conclude with the Minister or Ministers, furnished with sufficient
powers, on the part of our said good friends, the United States of
America, of and concerning all such matters and things as may be
requisite and necessary for accomplishing and completing the several
ends and purposes herein before mentioned, and also for us, and in our
name to sign such treaty or treaties, convention or conventions, or
other instruments whatsoever, as may be agreed upon in the premises;
and mutually to deliver and receive the same in exchange, and to do
and perform all such other acts, matters, and things, as may be
anyways proper and conducive to the purposes abovementioned, in as
full and ample form and manner, and with the like validity and effect,
as we ourself, if we were present, could do and perform the same;
engaging and promising, on our royal word, that we will accept,
ratify, and confirm in the most effectual manner all such acts,
matters, and things, as shall be so transacted and concluded by our
aforesaid Commissioner, Procurator, and Plenipotentiary, and that we
will never suffer any person to violate the same, in the whole, or in
part, or to act contrary thereto.

In testimony and confirmation of all which, we have caused our great
seal of Great Britain to be affixed to these presents, signed with our
royal hand.

Given at our palace at St James, the fourteenth day of May, in the
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eightythree, and the
twentythird year of our reign.

I, David Hartley, the Minister abovementioned, certify the foregoing
to be a true copy from my original commission, delivered to the
American Ministers this 19th day of May, 1783.

                                                           D. HARTLEY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                   AN ORDER OF THE BRITISH COUNCIL.

Copy of the Order in Council, the 14th of May, 1783, read to, and left
with the American Ministers, this 21st day of May, 1783, by Mr
Hartley.

                             At the Court of St James, May 14th, 1783.

Present. The King's Most Excellent Majesty in Council.

Whereas, by an act of Parliament passed this session, entitled, "An
Act for preventing certain instruments from being required from ships
belonging to the United States of America, and to give to his Majesty,
for a limited time, certain powers for the better carrying on trade
and commerce between the subjects of his Majesty's dominions and the
inhabitants of the said United States," it is, among other things,
enacted, that, during the continuance of the said act, it shall, and
may be lawful for his Majesty in Council, by order or orders to be
issued and published from time to time, to give such directions, and
to make such regulations with respect to duties, drawbacks, or
otherwise, for carrying on the trade and commerce between the people
and territories belonging to the Crown of Great Britain, and the
people and territories of the said United States, as to his Majesty in
Council shall appear most expedient and salutary, any law, usage, or
custom to the contrary notwithstanding. His Majesty, does, therefore,
by, and with the advice of his Privy Council, hereby order and direct,
that any oil, or unmanufactured goods or merchandises, being the
growth or production of any of the territories of the said United
States of America, may, (until further order) be imported directly
from thence into any of the ports of this kingdom, either in British
or American ships, by British subjects, or by any of the people
inhabiting in, and belonging to the said United States, or any of
them, and such goods and merchandises shall and may be entered and
landed in any port in this kingdom, upon payment of the same duties,
as the like sort of goods are, or may be subject and liable to, if
imported by British subjects in British ships from any British island
or plantation in America, and no other, notwithstanding such goods or
merchandises, or the ships in which the same may be brought, may not
be accompanied with the certificates, or other documents heretofore
required by law; and it is hereby further ordered and directed, that
there shall be the same drawbacks, exemptions, and bounties on
merchandises and goods exported from Great Britain into the
territories of the said United States of America, or any of them, as
are allowed upon the exportation of the like goods or merchandise, to
any of the islands, plantations, or colonies belonging to the Crown of
Great Britain in America; and it is hereby further ordered and
directed, that all American ships and vessels, which shall have
voluntarily come into any port of Great Britain, since the 20th of
January, 1783, shall be admitted, together with the goods and
merchandises on board the same ships and vessels, to the full benefit
of this order; and the Right Honorable the Lords, Commissioners of
his Majesty's Treasury, and the Lords, Commissioners of the Admiralty,
are to give the necessary directions herein, as to them may
respectively appertain.[14]

                                                      WILLIAM FAWKNER.

FOOTNOTE:

[14] See the following Papers in _Henry Laurens's Correspondence_,
Vol. II. pp. 499-502, viz.

1. Articles proposed to the American Commissioners by Mr Hartley.

2. Mr Hartley's proposed Article of Agreement, delivered by him to the
American Commissioners for their consideration, May 21st, 1783.

3. Observations and propositions of Mr Hartley, left with the American
Ministers, May 21st, 1783.

Also in _Franklin's Correspondence_, Vol. IV. pp. 78, 80, 92, and the
following, viz.

1. Conciliatory Propositions.

2. Sketch of a Provisional Treaty of Commerce.

3. Supplemental Treaty.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              COUNT DE VERGENNES' PROPOSED NEW ARTICLES.

         [Delivered to Dr Franklin on the 20th of May, 1783.]

                             Translation.

The intention of his Most Christian Majesty and the United States of
North America, in concluding between them a treaty of amity and
commerce, having been, that their respective subjects should enjoy all
the advantages, privileges, and exemptions, which the most favored
nations enjoy or may enjoy, and his said Majesty and the United
States, wishing to prevent any misunderstandings that may arise by a
false application of the 2d and 3d Articles of the treaty of commerce
of February 6th, 1778, have thought it proper to determine in a
precise manner the principles which ought to be followed on one part
and the other, concerning the matter in question. In consequence, it
is proposed, that his Majesty and the Congress of the United States
agree to the following Articles.

ARTICLE I. To interpret, as far as is necessary, the 2d Article of the
treaty of amity and commerce, concluded February 6th, 1778, the United
States declare, that all the advantages, privileges, and exemptions,
which are accorded, or may be accorded hereafter, in regard to
navigation and commerce, to any nation, power, or state, whatever,
shall be common to the French nation, and that these shall be enjoyed
conformably to Article 3d of the treaty, in such manner that in no
case, or under any pretext, shall the said United States exact any
compensation from his Most Christian Majesty.

ARTICLE II. His Most Christian Majesty promises and engages on his
part, to cause the subjects of the United States to enjoy, in
conformity with the 3d Article abovementioned, all the advantages,
privileges, and exemptions, which the most favored nations now enjoy,
or may enjoy hereafter, and that without exacting any compensation
from the said States.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                             TO MR GRAND.

                                                 Paris, May 22d, 1783.

  Sir,

We have received the letter you did us the honor to write us on the
10th day of this month, containing a brief state of the affairs of the
United States, in your hands.

We see the difficulties you are in, and are sorry to say that it is
not in our power to afford you any relief.

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

                                                          JOHN ADAMS,
                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                         Philadelphia, May 28th, 1783.

  Gentlemen,

By the direction of Congress contained in the enclosed resolutions, I
have the honor to transmit you the correspondence between General
Washington and Sir Guy Carleton, together with minutes of their
conference, when in pursuance of the invitation of the first, they met
in Orange county. Nothing can be a more direct violation of the
seventh Article of the provisional treaty, than sending off the
slaves, under pretence, that their Proclamations had set them free, as
if a British General had, either by their laws or those of nations, a
right by Proclamation, to deprive any man whatever of his property.
They may with much more propriety pretend to re-establish every one of
their adherents in all the rights they had before the war, since they
engaged so to do, and the people with whom they made these engagements
were capable of entering into them, which slaves were not. Or even if
they were, the promise made to them must be under the same limitations
with those made to their other adherents in this country, and amounts
to nothing more than this; "make yourselves free, and we will protect
you in that freedom as long as we can." The Articles imply, that they
were no longer able to protect them. You will be pleased to
remonstrate on this subject, and inform Congress of the effects of
your representations.

We have been much embarrassed by your silence, not having had a line
from you since the Provisional Articles took effect, nor being at all
acquainted with the progress of the definitive treaty; though the
earliest information on this subject becomes very important. Congress,
after some hesitation have ventured to hope, that it will meet with no
obstructions, and have accordingly discharged by the enclosed
resolution a considerable part of their army upon those principles of
economy which extreme necessity dictated. As scarce a week passes
without several arrivals from France, Congress complain with some
reason of your silence. For my own part I could wish, that you would
severally impose upon yourselves the task of writing weekly, and
sending your letters to Mr Barclay. As you are possessed of cyphers,
there can be no hazard in this, where the subject of your
correspondence requires secrecy.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                         Philadelphia, May 31st, 1783.

  Gentlemen,

Congress yesterday passed the enclosed resolutions on the subject of
the payment of British debts. The language they speak requires no
comment.

I complained in my last of your long silence, or rather laid before
you the complaints of Congress. These, I think receive additional
force from the intelligence that I have since had, that the
negotiations are still going on; and that important propositions have
been made you from Holland. As Congress have adjourned for two days,
and the packet sails tomorrow, I cannot procure their instructions on
this subject; though I think I may venture to say that they will not
without reluctance go one step further than their honor requires of
them in making new engagements which may involve them in the disputes
of Europe, from which they wish to be totally disengaged. I make no
observations on these propositions, or your power to accede to them,
being well persuaded that you will take no step in this business
without a full persuasion that important advantages will result
therefrom to these States. The second proposition, in case France and
Spain should decline acceding to the first, is more peculiarly
delicate from the inability of the contracting powers to enforce them;
if, which is hardly to be supposed, they should unite in wishing it.

I cannot help lamenting since so much time has elapsed before any
conclusion is formed, that you had not thought it advisable to write
me on this subject, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the
measure, and enabling me to take the sense of Congress thereon; for
though they have the highest confidence in your judgment and knowledge
of the true interests of this country, yet I am persuaded that they
think it a duty to see with their own eyes; and to form their own
conclusions on great national objects, where there is a possibility of
so doing. The experience of the last war has shown that the
propositions of the Empress of Russia were little more than a dead
letter. Those whom England dared to offend derived no advantage from
them. Our engagement therefore on this head will, in my opinion, add
little weight to them, unless the great maritime powers of Europe
agree to support them, and they may involve us in disagreeable
discussions. These however are only my sentiments; those of Congress I
am ignorant of.

The fifth and sixth Articles of the provisional treaty excite much
ferment here. For though the most dissatisfied spirits acknowledge the
whole treaty taken together to answer their highest expectations, yet
they wish to take only what they like, and leave out what they
disapprove; and such is the relaxation of government, and so great the
disorder and uneasiness introduced by the war, that it will be found
very difficult to bridle the just resentments of some, and the
unfounded apprehensions that others entertain of reimbursement that
may effect their particular interests.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                 ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                  JOHN ADAMS'S PROPOSED AGREEMENT.

                                                           June, 1783.

                               ARTICLES

Agreed upon by and between David Hartley, Minister Plenipotentiary of
his Britannic Majesty for and in behalf of his said Majesty, on the
one part, and John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and Henry
Laurens, Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States of America,
for treating of peace with the Minister Plenipotentiary of his said
Majesty, on their behalf, on the other part,

_In addition_ to those Articles agreed upon, on the 30th day of
November, 1782, by and between Richard Oswald, the Commissioner of his
Britannic Majesty for treating of peace with the Commissioners of the
United States of America, in behalf of his said Majesty, on the one
part, and the said John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Henry Laurens,
Commissioners of the said States, for treating of peace, with the
Commissioner of his said Majesty, on their behalf, on the other part;

Whereas it is expedient, that intercourse and commerce should be
opened, between the people and territories subject to the Crown of
Great Britain and those of the United States of America, and that this
intercourse and commerce should be established on the most enlarged
principles of reciprocal benefit to both countries;

1st. It is agreed, that Ministers shall be forthwith nominated and
vested with full powers, to treat, agree, and conclude, upon a
permanent treaty of commerce between the two powers and their
respective citizens, subjects and countries.

2dly. For the purpose of a temporary regulation of such intercourse
and commerce, it is agreed,

That the citizens of the United States shall import into, and export
from, any part of the dominions, subject to the Crown of Great
Britain, in American ships, any goods, wares, and merchandises, which
have been so imported, or exported, by the inhabitants of the British
American Colonies before the commencement of the late war, paying only
the same duties and charges, as the like sort of goods or
merchandises are now, or may be, subject to, if imported by British
subjects, in British ships, from any British island, or plantation in
America; and that the subjects of his Britannic Majesty shall import
to, and export from, any part of the territories of the United States
of America, in British ships, any goods, wares, and merchandise, which
might have been so imported, or exported, by the subjects of his
Britannic Majesty, before the commencement of the war, paying the same
duties and charges, as the like sort of goods, wares, and merchandises
are now, or may be, subject to, if imported in American ships, by any
of the citizens of the said United States.

This agreement to continue in force for all vessels, which shall sail
from any port of either party, on or before the ---- day of ---- and
no longer; provided always, that nothing in this agreement shall at
any time hereafter be argued on either side, in support of any
proposition, which may be made in the future negotiation of a
permanent treaty of commerce.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                    JOHN JAY'S PROPOSED AGREEMENT.

                                                           June, 1783.

Whereas a variety of circumstances and considerations oppose the
forming at present a permanent treaty of commerce, between the
Imperial Crown of Great Britain and the United States of America; and
whereas it is expedient that a commercial intercourse should be
without delay opened and regulated between the kingdom and territories
of Great Britain and the said States, by a temporary convention,
therefore,

It is agreed that for the term of ---- from the date hereof, &c. &c.

Provided that the subjects of his Britannic Majesty shall not have any
right or claim under the convention, to carry or import, into the said
States any slaves from any part of the world; it being the intention
of the said States entirely to prohibit the importation thereof.

And whereas questions may arise respecting the operation of this
convention on Ireland, it is agreed that it shall not restrain that
kingdom from accepting from, and granting to, the said States further
and more extensive commercial privileges than that Island and the
British American Colonies enjoyed with respect to each other before
the late war.

And whereas this convention is dictated by temporary convenience, and
the discussion of questions respecting reciprocity has, in forming it,
been avoided; therefore, it is agreed, that no arguments shall be
drawn from it, for or against any propositions or claims, which either
party may make in treating of, and framing the proposed future treaty
of commerce.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 DAVID HARTLEY'S PROPOSED AGREEMENT.

                                                           June, 1783.

It is agreed, that the citizens of the United States of America shall
be permitted to import into, and export from, any port or place of the
territories belonging to the Crown of Great Britain, in American
ships, any goods, wares and merchandise, which might have been so
imported by the inhabitants of the British American Colonies before
the commencement of the late war, upon payment of the same duties and
charges, as the like sort of goods or merchandise are now, or may be,
subject and liable to, if imported or exported by British subjects, in
British ships, into and from any port or place of the territories
belonging to the Crown of Great Britain; provided, however, that the
citizens of the United States shall not have any right or claim, under
this convention, to carry on any direct intercourse of commerce
between the British West India Islands and the ports of Great Britain.

It is agreed, likewise, that the subjects of Great Britain shall be
permitted to import into, and to export from, any part of the
territories of the United States of America, in British ships, any
goods, wares, and merchandise, which might have been so imported, or
exported, by the subjects of Great Britain before the commencement of
the late war, upon payment of the same duties and charges, as the like
sort of goods, wares, and merchandise are now, or may be, liable to,
if imported, or exported, in American ships by the citizens of the
United States of America.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 REPORT OF A COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS.

By the United States in Congress assembled, June 12th, 1783.

The Committee, to whom was referred a report of the Secretary for
Foreign Affairs, on a letter of the 20th of March last from M. Dumas,
and sundry papers enclosed, report;

That it appears from the said letter and the papers enclosed, that
propositions have been made, on the part of the States-General, to the
Ministers of the United States of America at Paris, in order to
render an express stipulation in favor of the freedom of navigation
less necessary in the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the
United Provinces of the Netherlands, either to accede to the treaty of
the armed neutrality already concluded between some powers of Europe,
or to enter into similar engagements with France, Spain, and the
United Provinces of the Netherlands, or, in case France and Spain
should refuse to enter into a Convention founded on the principles of
the armed neutrality, or wish to delay it till after the general
peace, to form a separate convention for similar purposes, between the
United Provinces of the Netherlands and the United States of America.
That the answers to these propositions do not appear from the papers
transmitted, though there is room to infer from M. Dumas's letter of
the fourth and eighteenth of February, that the two first of these
propositions were encouraged by our Ministers, and that the
States-General proposed to act in consequence thereof, and had made
the last proposition, in order to be prepared in case either, or both,
of the two first should fail.

It appears from the report of the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, that
no powers are at present vested in any person in Europe, to agree to
any treaty, similar to that entered into by Russia, Sweden, Denmark,
and the United Provinces of the Netherlands, after the peace shall be
concluded. The resolution of the 5th of October, 1780, empowers the
Ministers of these States, if invited thereto, to accede to such
regulations conformable to the spirit of the declaration of Russia, as
may be agreed upon by the Congress expected to assemble, in pursuance
of the invitation of her Imperial Majesty. Our Ministers received no
invitation, and special powers were afterwards given to Mr Dana,
which, in their nature, superseded that resolution. Mr Dana was by his
commission and instructions empowered to sign the treaty or
convention, for the protection of commerce in behalf of the United
States, either with her Imperial Majesty, in conjunction with the
other neutral powers, or if that shall be inadmissible, separately
with her Imperial Majesty, or any of those, that is, those neutral
powers. The treaty being only made to continue during the war, his
powers terminated with the war, or, at most, extended only to sign it
with the neutral powers, and not to form a new separate treaty.

Whereupon Congress came to the following resolution.

Whereas the primary object of the resolution of October 5th, 1780, and
of the commission and instructions to Mr Dana, relative to the
accession of the United States to the neutral confederacy, no longer
can operate, and as the true interest of the States requires, that
they should be as little as possible entangled in the politics and
controversies of European nations, it is inexpedient to renew the said
powers either to Mr Dana, or to the other Ministers of these United
States in Europe. But, inasmuch as the liberal principles, on which
the said confederacy was established, are conceived to be, in general,
favorable to the interests of nations, and, particularly, to those of
the United States, and ought, in that view, to be promoted by the
latter, as far as will consist with their fundamental policy;

Resolved, that the Ministers Plenipotentiary of these United States
for negotiating a peace be, and they are hereby instructed, in case
they should comprise in the definitive treaty any stipulation,
amounting to a recognition of the rights of neutral nations, to avoid
accompanying them by any engagements which shall oblige the
contracting parties to support those stipulations by arms.

                                          ELIAS BOUDINOT, _President_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 DAVID HARTLEY TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                               Paris, June 14th, 1783.

  Gentlemen,

Permit me to address the enclosed Memorial to your Excellencies, and
to explain to you my reasons for so doing.

It is because many consequences, now at a great distance, and
unforeseen by us, may arise between our two countries, perhaps from
very minute and incidental transactions, which in their beginnings may
be imperceptible and unsuspected as to their future effects. Our
respective territories are in vicinity, and therefore we must be
inseparable. Great Britain, with the British power in America, is the
only nation with whom, by absolute necessity, you must have the most
intimate concerns, either of friendship or hostility. All other
nations are three thousand miles distant from you. You _may_ have
political connexions with any of these distant nations, but with
regard to Great Britain it _must_ be so. Political intercourse and
interests will obtrude themselves between our two countries, because
they are the two great powers dividing the continent of North America.
These matters are not to come into discussion between us now. They are
of too much importance, either to be involved, or even glanced at, in
any present transaction.

Let every eventual principle be kept untouched, until the two nations
shall have recovered from the animosities of the war. Let them have a
pacific interval, to consider deliberately of their mutual and
combined interests, and of their engagements with other nations. Let
us not, at the outset of a temporary convention, adopt the severe
principle of reducing every transaction between the two countries to
the footing of exact reciprocity alone. Such a principle would cast a
gloom upon conciliatory prospects. America is not restrained from any
conciliation with Great Britain by any treaty with any other power.
The principles of conciliation would be most desirable between Great
Britain and America; and forbearance is the road to conciliation.
After a war of animosities, time should be allowed for recollection.
There are all reasonable appearances of conciliatory dispositions on
all sides, which may be perfected in time. Let us not, therefore, at
such a moment as this, and without the most urgent necessity,
establish a morose principle between us; if it were a decided point
against amity and conciliation, it would be time enough to talk of
partition and strict reciprocity. To presume in favor of conciliation
may help it forward; to presume against it, may destroy that
conciliation, which might otherwise have taken place.

But, in the present case, there is more than reason to presume
conciliation. I think myself happy, that I have it in my power to
assure you, from authority, that it is the fundamental principle of
the British Councils, to establish amity and confidence between Great
Britain and the American States, as a succedaneum for the relation, in
which they formerly stood one to the other. The proof of this
consists, not in words, but in substantial facts. His Britannic
Majesty has been graciously pleased to send orders to his commanders
in North America, for the speedy and complete evacuation of all the
territories of the United States. His Majesty has given orders in
council, on the 14th of the last month, for the admission of American
ships and cargoes into Great Britain; and on the 6th instant, he has
given farther orders, permitting the importation from America of
several articles, which have been usually considered as manufactures.
He has, likewise, provided for the convenience of American merchants,
who may wish to land tobacco in Great Britain for re-exportation. Upon
the same principle, Mr Fox, the Secretary of State, corresponding with
America, has moved for, and received the liberty of the House of
Commons, (_nem. con._) to bring in a bill, that any American
merchants, importing rice into Great Britain, may, upon
re-exportation, draw back the whole duty paid on its first
importation. All these circumstances put together, undoubtedly form
the most indisputable evidence of the disposition, which prevails in
the British Councils to give every facility to the re-establishment of
that intercourse, which must be so beneficial to both nations.

I am ordered to inform you, that his Majesty entirely approves of the
plan of making a temporary convention, for the purpose of restoring
immediate intercourse and commerce, and more particularly for the
purpose of putting off, for a time, the decision of that important
question, how far the British acts of navigation ought to be
sacrificed to commercial considerations, drawn from the peculiar
circumstances of the present crisis; a question, which will require
much deliberation, and very much inquiry, before it can be determined.
I am sure, Gentlemen, you will see and admit the reasonableness of our
proceeding, in such a case, with deliberation and discretion; more
especially, when these acts of prudence do not proceed from any
motives of coolness or reserve towards you. In the meantime, the
temporary convention may proceed upon principles of real and
accommodating reciprocity. For instance, we agree to put you upon a
more favorable footing than any other nation. We do not ask a rigid
reciprocity for this, because we know, by your present subsisting
treaties, it is not in your power to give it to us. We desire only to
be put upon the footing of other nations with you, and, yet, we
consent that you shall be upon a better footing with us than any other
nation.

Thus far, we must be allowed to be giving something more than
reciprocity, and this we do, as I said before, because we are
unwilling to ask what you are unable to give. Surely, it is not
unreasonable, nor more than, from principles of reciprocity, we have a
right to expect that you should imitate our conduct in this
particular, and that you should abstain from asking things, under the
title of exact and literal reciprocity, which, upon the consideration
of our case, you must know that we cannot give. Virtual and
substantial reciprocity we are willing to give; literal reciprocity is
impossible, as much from your engagements, as from our system of
navigation.

If we can agree upon an article of intercourse and commerce, in the
nature of a temporary convention, on the basis of the Memorial, which
I had the honor of giving lately to you, bearing date 19th of May,
1783, no time need be lost in finishing this business; but with this
explanation, that although it is proposed, that the commerce between
the United States and the British West Indies should be free with
regard to their respective productions, yet, that we are not bound to
admit the importation of West India commodities into Great Britain in
American vessels. Believe me, Gentlemen, that this restriction does
not proceed from any invidious disposition towards the American
States. It is imposed by indispensable prudence and necessity upon the
British Ministers, who, in the present state of things, could not be
justified to their own country, to go hastily to a larger extent of
concession. This point is not to be looked upon merely as commercial,
but as affecting fundamentally the great political system of British
navigation; and you are to consider, that the principle, upon which
the whole of our proposed temporary convention is to stand, is, that
the _commerce_ between the two countries is to be revived nearly upon
the old footing; but that each nation is to keep in its own hands, the
power of making such regulations respecting _navigation_, as shall
seem fit. I assure you, that this point has been discussed by the
Ministers of the British cabinet with infinite candor, and with every
possible disposition of amity and favor towards your country; but the
more they have inquired upon this subject, the more they are overborne
by conviction, that the prejudices upon this matter (if that be the
name these opinions deserve) are so strong, that such a measure as a
relaxation of the act of navigation, in this instance, never can be
taken, but upon such a full and solemn Parliamentary inquiry, as it is
impossible to go into at this time of the year, and in this stage of
the session. I cannot, therefore, Gentlemen, help flattering myself,
that you, who are so well acquainted with difficulties, which must
embarrass an English administration in a business of this sort, will
rather endeavor to remove them, than to increase them; and I am sure,
that such a plan, on your part, would ultimately be most conducive to
your own objects. When an amicable intercourse is once opened, and
when conciliatory confidence comes to take place of those jealousies,
which have lately subsisted, you may easily conceive in how different
a manner the whole of this matter will be considered. I am confident
that this will be the case, but if it is not, the provisions being
only temporary, it will be in the power of the United States, to take
up any hostile mode of proceeding, by restraints and prohibitions, &c.
whenever they may think fit.

I have made use above of the word _prejudices_ in speaking of the
principles of the British act of navigation. I hope you will accept
that term from me, as proceeding so far in compliance towards the
future consideration of the points now between us, as to keep the
question open and free for discussion. If Great Britain should, in any
case, throw down the barriers of her act of navigation towards
America, she should be very secure against the possible case of future
enmity, or alliance against her. Such considerations as these, lead to
objects far beyond our present scope or powers. But I must still add
one word more upon this article of _prejudices_. Such prejudices (if
they are so) are not confined to Great Britain. By your commercial
treaty with France, Article 4th, you are only entitled to an European
trade with that kingdom, and not, even by that treaty, to any direct
commerce between their West India Islands and the ports of the
American States; much less to the immediate communication between the
French Islands and the dominions of the Crown of France in Europe.
Every public proceeding in England, since the commencement of our
present negotiation for opening the intercourse and commerce between
our two countries, will, I am sure, support me in saying, that we have
very liberally taken the lead; that we have not waited for any
assurance of reciprocity, but have given orders for almost a universal
admission of American articles, before we even know that any vessel
from Great Britain will find admission into any American ports. What
do we ask in return? No more than this; that while we gratuitously,
and without stipulation, give advantages and favors to the American
States, which we deny to all other nations, they would so far justify
our liberal way of proceeding, as to receive us in the same manner as
other nations, which are foreign, and to permit us to carry to North
America, what it is evidently for their interest that we should carry
thither.

I need hardly add, that it is of infinite importance, that some
temporary convention should be finished without loss of time. I hope
and trust that we shall not find much more difficulty in this
business. You must see the advantage of an immediate renewal of
intercourse, and from the candor of your dispositions, I am sure you
must likewise be convinced, that to give us some facility in the
outset, is the sure road to such an equitable arrangement for the
future, as you must have at heart. The reasons, which I have given in
the Memorial appear to me to be cogent and convincing, upon the
natural alliance between our two countries. And when the intercourse
has once begun, everything will go in its natural road. It is,
therefore, of infinite consequence to begin that intercourse. Great
Britain, by all public proceedings of repeals, proclamations, &c. &c.
has made the first advances, with warmth and confidence, and,
therefore, I conclude, with the fullest assurance, that you will meet
those advances with cordial reciprocity.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                           D. HARTLEY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

            DAVID HARTLEY'S MEMORIAL TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

The proposition, which has been made for a universal and unlimited
reciprocity of intercourse and commerce, between Great Britain and the
American United States, requires a very serious consideration on the
part of Great Britain, for the reasons already stated in a Memorial,
dated May 19th, 1783, and for many other reasons, which in the future
discussion of the proposition will appear. To the American States,
likewise, it is a matter of the deepest importance, not only as a
proposition of commercial intercourse, which is the least part, but
most principally, as a political basis and guarantee for their newly
established constitutions. The introduction of British interests into
a communion of intercourse, will bring forward a universal guarantee
on the part of Great Britain, in the future progress of political
events, which may affect the United States of America in their
national capacity. The proposition is fertile in future prospects to
Great Britain; and America also may wisely see in it a solid
foundation for herself.

All circumstances are most fortunately disposed between Great Britain
and the American States, to render them useful friends and allies to
each other, with a higher degree of suitableness between themselves
than any other nations can pretend to. France cannot interchange
reciprocities with the American States, by reason of numberless
impediments in her system of government, in her monopolies, and her
system of commerce. France has the great disability of difference in
language to contend with; and the institution of the present French
manufactures has never, at any time heretofore, been trained or
adapted to American commerce. The only particular and pacific facility
which France ever possessed for American intercourse, has for many
years been transferred into the British scale by the cession of Canada
to Great Britain. The future commerce, between France and America,
will chiefly be regulated by such conveniences as France can draw to
herself from America, without much aptitude on the part of France, to
accommodate her manufactures and commerce to American demands. In
short, an interchange of reciprocities between France and America,
would run against the stream on both sides; and all established
habits, manners, language, together with the principles of government
and commerce, would militate against such a system.

Conformably to this reasoning, it appears, that France has not at any
time entertained any systematical design of forming any union or
consolidation of interests with America. She took up the American
cause, as instrumental to her political views in Europe. America
likewise accepted the alliance with France, for her separate views,
viz. for the establishment of her independence. The alliance,
therefore, is completed and terminated, without leaving behind it any
political principle of future permanent connexion between them.
Occasional circumstances produced a temporary alliance. Similar
circumstances may, on any future occasion, produce a similar event of
a temporary compact. Dissimilar circumstances, arising from any future
political views of the Court of France in Europe, may without any
inconsistency of principle, throw the power of that kingdom into a
scale adverse to the future interests of the American States. In such
case, therefore, where there cannot exist any permanent political
connexion between France and America, and where the commercial
attachments can be but feeble, it would be vain to expect in the
French nation any such ally, as newly established States ought to look
out for, to give maturity and firmness to their constitutions.

As to Spain, every argument which has been stated respecting diversity
of language, manners, government, monopolies, and system of commerce,
from those which prevail in the United States of America, obtains in a
superior degree. And much more to add besides, for Spain is not only
incompetent to interchange reciprocities with the American States, but
likewise her own situation in America will at all times render her
extremely jealous of her neighbors. The only activity which Spain has
exerted in the war, has been to procure a barrier against the American
States, by annexing West Florida to her former acquisition of New
Orleans; thereby embracing the mouth of the Mississippi, and by means
of that river, jointly with her landed possessions, establishing a
strong and jealous boundary against any future progress of the
American States in those parts. Spain, therefore, cannot be looked
upon by the American States as a suitable object of their election, to
become a permanent ally and friend to them. Portugal, likewise, labors
under all the disabilities of language, manners, monopolies,
government and system of commerce. Her national power and importance
would be likewise insufficient to constitute a strong and permanent
ally to the American States. All these nations will undoubtedly be
found to have many commodious qualities for participation in commerce;
but the permanent facilities necessary to constitute a firm and
permanent ally to the American States, will be found deficient in
them.

As to the Italian States, or any other powers in the Mediterranean,
they are certainly not adequate to any competition of political
alliance with the rising States of America. They will also form very
commodious links and connexions in the general circuit of commerce;
but beyond these considerations, they have no share in the present
question. The several States in the Germanic body are in the same
predicament.

As to the Northern powers, viz. those in the Baltic, they are not
favored either by vicinity, or climate, for a frequent or facile
intercourse of commerce with America. And even respecting several
material articles of commerce, jealousies and competitions might
arise. As to political alliances, there are no such in prospect from
them to the American States. Even if there were any superfluity of
force in any of them beyond the necessities of their respective
domestic situations, the extreme distance would be conclusive against
any possible application of such power, as a political alliance
favorable to the establishment and conformation of the American
States.

The only maritime state on the continent of Europe remaining to be
discussed, as a competent candidate for commerce, or connexion with
America, is the Republic of the United Netherlands, commonly called
Holland. In respect to American commerce, the Dutch have among
themselves every facility combined, which the separate States of
Europe, possess distinctly in their own concerns, or nearly. Their
industry, frugality, and habits of commerce, may even carry them so
far, as to make them rivals to the Americans themselves, in the
transportation of European merchandise to America. These faculties of
commerce would have been of infinite importance to the American
States, if the war had continued between Great Britain and them. But
upon the event of peace, it becomes a matter of the most perfect
indifference to America, whether each European State navigates its own
commerce into the ports of America, which will open to all, or whether
the commercial faculties of Holland enable her to exceed in rivalship
her European neighbors, and thereby to navigate European goods to
America beyond the proportion of her national share. The faculties of
a nation of carriers may be fortunate for the marine of that nation;
but considered in themselves, and with respect to other nations, they
are but secondaries in commerce. They give no ground of reciprocities,
or participation. That one nation should say to another, you shall
navigate all our rivers, harbors, lakes, ports, and places, if we may
do the same in yours, is a proposition of reciprocity; but that
Holland should say to America, we will bring European goods to you, or
you may be your own carriers, is neither concession nor reciprocity.
Holland is not a nation of rivers, harbors, lakes, ports, and places,
for the distribution of goods and manufactures for internal
consumption, and, therefore, her reciprocities must be very scanty.
Holland is the market-place of Europe, and the Dutch seamen are the
carriers appertaining to that market-place. The admission of American
ships to that market-place, freely to import and to export, is,
undoubtedly, an act of reciprocity on the part of Holland as far as it
goes, but in no degree adequate to the unlimited participation of
American commerce throughout the rivers, harbors, lakes, ports, and
places of that vast continent. The commercial reciprocities of
Holland, therefore, being inferior, on her part, towards America, the
next point of view in which Holland is to be considered, as relevant
to this question, is, as a nation of power, capable of becoming an
effectual and permanent ally and guarantee to the American States, for
that is the great object, which America, as a wise nation, recently
arisen into independence, ought to keep in view. Holland has certainly
been a nation of great and celebrated naval force. She remains so
still; but having for many years suspended her exertions of force, and
having directed the faculties of her people into the commercial line,
she seems not to have any superfluity of force beyond the necessity of
providing for her own security; and, certainly, no such redundance of
power, as to extend to the protection of distant nations, as allies or
guarantees. It appears, therefore, upon the whole of this argument,
that Holland, although a commercial nation, cannot even interchange
commercial reciprocities with America upon an equal footing, and that
her faculties of force are inadequate to those, which America ought to
expect in the permanent allies and guarantees of her country.

The independence of the American States being established, their first
consideration ought to be, to determine with what friendships and
alliances they will enter into the new world of nations. They will
look round them, and cast about for some natural, permanent, and
powerful ally, with whom they may interchange all cementing
reciprocities, both commercial and political. If such an ally be to be
found anywhere for them, it is still in Great Britain; at least, it
is certain, that, in looking round Europe, no other is to be found.
There is no inherent impossibility to prevent such a connexion from
taking place; it must depend on the free will and common interest of
the parties. There are all possible faculties on both sides, to give
and to receive all adequate and beneficial reciprocities, which are
practicable and more likely to be permanent between independent
parties, than between two parties, of which one is dependent on the
other. Great Britain is, undoubtedly, the first of European nations,
in riches, credit, faculties, industry, commerce, manufactures,
internal consumption, and foreign export, together with civil liberty,
which is the source of all, and naval power, which is the support of
all. The dominions appertaining to the Crown of Great Britain are
large and fertile; its Colonies still extensive, and in close vicinity
to the American States, Great Britain being an American, as well as an
European power, and all her empire connected by her naval force.

The territories of the American States, from the Atlantic ocean to the
Mississippi, contain an inexhaustible source of riches, industry, and
future power. These will be the foundations of great events in the new
page of life. Infinite good, or infinite evil, may arise according to
the principles upon which the intercourse between Great Britain and
America shall be arranged in its foundation. Great Britain and America
must be still inseparable, either as friends or foes. This is an awful
and important truth. These are considerations not to be thought of
slightly; not to be prejudged in passion, nor the arrangements of them
to be hastily foreclosed. Time given for consideration may have
excellent effects on both sides. The pause of peace, with friendly
intercourse, returning affection, and dispassionate inquiry, can
alone decide these important events, or do justice to the anxious
expectations of Great Britain and America.

                  *       *       *       *       *

           THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                        Philadelphia, June 16th, 1783.

  Gentlemen,

I am sorry to inform you, that by the resignation of Mr Livingston as
Minister for Foreign Affairs, it has become necessary that you should
receive the resolutions of Congress, relative to your mission through
my hands. The disadvantage arising from this necessity, until a
successor to that worthy gentleman is appointed, will be yours, as it
is impossible for me to do more than barely to transmit the acts of
Congress necessary for your information.

Enclosed you have one of the 1st of May last, and another of the 12th
instant, which I hope will get safe to hand time enough for your
government. The commission and instructions referred to in the first,
not being ready, it was thought best to forward the resolution without
delay, that you might know what was intended in the present important
period of your negotiation. We have been much surprised, that we have
not received any communications from you since the cessation of
hostilities, except a letter of the 5th of April, from Mr Laurens.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                          ELIAS BOUDINOT, _President_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 HENRY LAURENS TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                              London, June 17th, 1783.

  Gentlemen,

I had the honor of addressing you on the 10th, immediately after my
landing at Dover. As early as possible after my arrival here, I
obtained an interview with Mr Secretary Fox, who was pleased to read
to me part of his latest despatches to Mr Hartley, which he supposed
would reach Paris on the 14th. It is probable, therefore, that before
this time, as much of the contents as is proper for your knowledge has
been communicated.

"Reciprocity," since the 10th of April, has undergone a certain degree
of refinement. The definition of that term appears now to be
possession of advantages on one side, and restrictions on the other.
"The navigation act is the vital of Great Britain, too delicate to
bear a touch." The sudden and unexpected, perhaps illicit, arrival of
ships and cargoes from America, may have caused this change of tone.
But you have heard in detail, and are more competent to judge.

From a desire of forming an opinion, I asked Mr Fox, whether he
thought I might venture for a few days, to take the benefit of Bath,
and yet be in time enough at Paris for the intended commercial
agreement? He replied, "I rather think you may." One need not be a
conjurer to draw an inference; you will either have finished the
business before I could travel to Paris, or without being missed there
I may go to Bath and repair my nerves.

In this state of uncertainty, when it is easy to perceive affections
are not as we could wish them, nor quite so warm as we had been taught
to believe, it would not be wise to commit the United States;
wherefore I shall rest the business till I hear from you, or until a
more favorable prospect; flattering myself with hopes of your
surmounting the late seeming difficulties. An inconvenience on your
side is preferable to the hazard of a disgrace.

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

                                                        HENRY LAURENS.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS TO B. FRANKLIN.

                                        Philadelphia, June 18th, 1783.

  Sir,

I have the honor of enclosing you an official letter, directed to our
Ministers Plenipotentiary at Paris.

The resignation of the late Secretary for Foreign Affairs, (occasioned
by his preference of the Chancellorship of the State of New York,
which he could not hold longer and retain his Secretaryship,) has cast
the business of his office on me, till a successor is elected, which I
hope will speedily take place.

As part of the resolution of Congress of the 12th instant, enclosed in
that letter, is of a secret nature, I have written it in cyphers, but
not having that of Mr Livingston's, I thought it best to use Mr
Morris's to you, which he has obligingly supplied me with; so that the
Ministers will be indebted for your decyphering it.

Your letter to Mr Livingston of the 15th of April, enclosing the two
medals, came to hand this morning. I am sorry to find, that you have
cause for similar complaints to those we have been making for two
months past, on the subject of want of intelligence. We have not heard
from any of our Commissioners at Paris, since February, excepting a
letter from Mr Laurens, though our anxiety and expectations have been
wound up to the highest pitch.

I feel myself much indebted for your polite compliment of the medal;
it is thought very elegant, and the device and workmanship much
admired. You will be pleased, Sir, to accept my acknowledgments on
this occasion. As I doubt not but the copper one was designed for Mr
Livingston personally, I shall send it to him by the first convenient
opportunity. He is a worthy deserving character, and the United States
will suffer greatly by his resignation, though I think him justified
in attending to the calls of his private affairs.

You will receive herewith a number of our late newspapers, in which
are inserted many resolves, associations, &c. from all parts of the
country, which I earnestly wish could be kept out of sight. But the
truth is, that the cruelties, ravages, and barbarisms of the refugees
and loyalists, have left the people so sore, that it is not yet time
for them to exercise their good sense and cooler judgment. And that
cannot take place, while the citizens of New York are kept out of
their city, and despoiled daily of their property, by the sending off
their negroes by hundreds, in the face of the treaty. It has been
exceedingly ill judged in the British to retain New York so long, and
to persist in sending away the negroes, as it has irritated the
citizens of America to an alarming degree.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                       ELIAS BOUDINOT.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 HENRY LAURENS TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                              London, June 20th, 1783.

  Gentlemen,

Permit me to refer to what I had the honor of writing to you the 17th.
You will recollect my suggestions, as soon as we perceived the falling
off from those warm assurances, which had been pressed in March and
April. They were not ill founded. I delayed a week in hopes of
intelligence, and left you with reluctance; the temper of the times
forbids even an essay.

What a happy country is this, where everything pertaining to the
public is rendered to them in public newspapers. See the enclosed,
containing nearly as accurate an account of certain recent
occurrences, as if it had been penned by one of the parties. It might
indeed have been made a little stronger. Modest men are sometimes
restrained from attempting a public good, from a dread of the effects
of envy, of being held up in an invidious light. It would be cruel to
disturb them.

I have heard nothing from America, save what you may have read in the
prints. Tomorrow I shall proceed to Bath, and be waiting for
intelligence, as well from yourselves as from Congress. Some
consolation arises from reflecting, that while I am endeavoring to
mend my health, you suffer no inconvenience from my absence.

With sincere regard and respect,

                                                        HENRY LAURENS.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                      TO THE COUNT DE VERGENNES.

                                               Passy, June 28th, 1783.

  Sir,

Mr Grand, banker to the Congress, having laid before us the annexed
state of their affairs in his hands, we conceive ourselves
indispensably obliged to communicate the same to your Excellency, as
some important interests of both countries are concerned.[15]

Before the peace was known in America, and while Mr Morris had hopes
of obtaining the five per cent duty and a larger loan from his
Majesty, the immediate urgent necessities of the army obliged him to
draw bills, and sell them to the merchants, to raise money for the
purchase of provisions, to prevent their starving or disbanding.

The merchants have thereupon formed their plans of business, and
remitted those bills to their correspondents here, to pay debts, and
purchase goods in this kingdom, to be carried home in the ships, that
are come, or coming to France, thus to open a larger commerce with
this nation.

If those bills cannot be paid, the creditors of America will be
disappointed and greatly hurt, and the commerce will be deranged and
discouraged in its first operations, of which the numerous ill
consequences are more easily imagined than described.

Our loan in Holland is going on, and with such prospect of success,
that the bankers, who have the care of it, have lately sent by express
to Mr Adams all the blank obligations, necessary to complete it, for
him to sign, that they might have them ready to deliver, as demanded,
his return thither being delayed.

This loan will, therefore, probably answer the bills Mr Morris has
drawn on those bankers.

But the protesting any of his bills here would occasion such an alarm
there, as must probably entirely stop any further progress of that
loan, and thereby increase the mischief.

The government of the Congress would also be enfeebled by it.

We apprehend, too, that, in the present unsettled situation of our
affairs with England, such a failure might have very ill effects, with
respect to our negotiations.

We therefore request your counsel, hoping your wisdom, which has so
often befriended our nation, may point out some way, by which we may
be extricated from this distress.

And as the King has hitherto so generously assisted us, we hope that,
if it is any way practicable, his Majesty will crown the glorious
work, by affording us this help, at the different periods when it will
be wanted, and which is absolutely the last that will be asked.

We are, with sincere and great respect, &c.

                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

FOOTNOTE:

[15] See Mr Grand's letter above, p. 139.

                  *       *       *       *       *

       PROPOSITIONS MADE BY THE COMMISSIONERS TO DAVID HARTLEY
                      FOR THE DEFINITIVE TREATY.

ARTICLE I. To omit in the definitive treaty the exception, at the end
of the second Article of the provisional treaty, viz. these words,
"excepting such islands as now are, or heretofore have been within the
limits of the said Province of Nova Scotia."

ARTICLE II. The prisoners made respectively, by the arms of his
Britannic Majesty, and the United States, by sea and by land, not
already set at liberty, shall be restored reciprocally and _bona
fide_, immediately after the ratification of the definitive treaty,
without ransom, and on paying the debts they may have contracted
during their captivity; and each party shall respectively reimburse
the sums, which shall have been advanced, for the subsistence and
maintenance of the prisoners, by the sovereign of the country where
they shall have been detained, according to the receipts and attested
accounts, and other authentic titles, which shall be produced on each
side.

ARTICLE III. His Britannic Majesty shall employ his good offices and
interposition with the King or Emperor of Morocco or Fez, the
Regencies of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, or with any of them, and also
with every other Prince, State or power of the coast of Barbary, in
Africa, and the subjects of the said King, Emperor, States and powers
and each of them, in order to provide as fully and efficaciously as
possible for the benefit, conveniency and safety of the said United
States and each of them, their subjects, people and inhabitants, and
their vessels and effects, against all violence, insult, attacks or
depredations on the part of the said Princes and States of Barbary, or
their subjects.

ARTICLE IV. If war should hereafter arise between Great Britain and
the United States, which God forbid, the merchants of either country
then residing in the other, shall be allowed to remain nine months to
collect their debts and settle their affairs, and may depart freely,
carrying off all their effects without molestation or hinderance. And
all fishermen, all cultivators of the earth, and all artisans and
manufacturers unarmed and inhabiting unfortified towns, villages or
places, who labor for the common subsistence and benefit of mankind,
and peaceably follow their respective employments, shall be allowed to
continue the same, and shall not be molested by the armed force of the
enemy in whose power, by the events of war, they may happen to fall;
but if anything is necessary to be taken from them, for the use of
such armed force, the same shall be paid for at a reasonable price.
And all merchants or traders with their unarmed vessels employed in
commerce, exchanging the products of different places and thereby
rendering the necessaries, conveniences and comforts of human life
more easy to obtain, and more general, shall be allowed to pass freely
unmolested. And neither of the powers, parties to this treaty, shall
grant or issue any commission, to any private armed vessels,
empowering them to take or destroy such trading ships, or interrupt
such commerce.

ARTICLE V. And in case either of the contracting parties, shall happen
to be engaged in war with any other nation, it is further agreed, in
order to prevent all the difficulties and misunderstandings that
usually arise respecting the merchandise heretofore called contraband,
such as arms, ammunition, and military stores of all kinds, that no
such articles carrying by the ships or subjects of one of the parties
to the enemies of the other, shall on any account be deemed
contraband, so as to induce confiscation and a loss of property to
individuals. Nevertheless, it shall be lawful to stop such ships and
detain them for such length of time as the captors may think necessary
to prevent the inconveniences or damage that might ensue from their
proceeding on their voyage, paying, however, a reasonable compensation
for the loss such arrest shall occasion to the proprietors. And it
shall further be allowed to use in the service of the captors, the
whole or any part of the military stores so detained, paying to the
owners the full value of the same.

ARTICLE VI. The citizens and inhabitants of the said United States, or
any of them, may take and hold real estates in Great Britain, Ireland,
or any other of his Majesty's dominions, and dispose by testaments,
donations or otherwise of their property, real or personal, in favor
of such person as to them shall seem fit; and their heirs, citizens of
the said United States, or any of them residing in the British
dominions or elsewhere, may succeed them _ab intestato_, without being
obliged to obtain letters of naturalization. The subjects of his
Britannic Majesty shall enjoy on their parts, in all the dominions of
the said United States, an entire and perfect reciprocity, relative to
the stipulations contained in the present Article.

ARTICLE VII. The ratifications of the definitive treaty shall be
expedited in good and due form, and exchanged in the space of five
months, or sooner if it can be done, to be computed from the day of
the signature.

ARTICLE VIII. Query. Whether the King of Great Britain will admit the
citizens of the United States to cut logwood on the district allotted
to his Majesty by Spain, and on what terms?

                  *       *       *       *       *

      DAVID HARTLEY'S SIX PROPOSITIONS FOR A DEFINITIVE TREATY.

                                                           June, 1783.

1st. That lands belonging to persons of any description, which have
not actually been sold, shall be restored to the old possessors
without price.

2dly. That an equal and free participation of the different carrying
places, and the navigation of all the lakes and rivers of that
country, through which the water line of division passes between
Canada and the United States, shall be enjoyed fully and
uninterruptedly by both parties.

3dly. That in any such places, within the boundaries assigned
generally to the American States, as are adjoining to the water line
of division, and which are not specifically under the dominion of any
one State, all persons at present resident, or having possessions or
occupations as merchants, or otherwise, may remain in peaceable
enjoyment of all civil rights, and in pursuit of their respective
occupations.

4thly. That in any such places adjoining to the water line of
division, as may be under the specific dominion of any particular
State, all persons at present resident, or having possessions or
occupations as merchants, or otherwise, may remain in the peaceable
enjoyment of all civil rights, and in pursuit of their occupations,
until they shall receive notice of removal from the State to which
any such place may appertain; and, upon any such notice of removal, a
term of three years shall be allowed for selling, or withdrawing their
valuable effects, and for settling their affairs.

5thly. That his Britannic Majesty's forces, not exceeding ---- in
number, may continue in the posts now occupied by them contiguous to
the water line, for the term of three years, for the purpose of
securing the lives, property, and peace of any persons settled in that
country, against the invasion or ravages of the neighboring Indian
nations, who may be suspected of retaining resentments, in consequence
of the late war.

6thly. That no tax or impost whatsoever, shall be laid on any articles
of commerce passing or repassing through the country, but that the
trade may be left entirely open, for the benefit of all parties
interested therein.

                  *       *       *       *       *

     THE COMMISSIONERS' ANSWERS TO MR HARTLEY'S SIX PROPOSITIONS.

To the 1st. This matter has been already regulated in the 5th and 6th
Articles of the Provisional Treaty, to the utmost extent of our
powers. The rest must be left to the several States.

2dly. All the lakes, rivers, and waters, divided by the boundary line,
or lines, between the United States and his Britannic Majesty's
territories, shall be freely used and navigated by both parties,
during the whole extent of such divisions. Regulations concerning
roads, carrying places, and any land communications between said
waters, whether within the line of the United States or that of his
Majesty, together with the navigation of all waters and rivers in
America, belonging to either party, may be made in a negotiation of a
treaty of commerce.

3dly. That in all places belonging to the United States, in the
country adjoining to the water line of division, and which, during the
war, were in his Majesty's possession, all persons at present
resident, or having possessions or occupations as merchants, or
otherwise, may remain in the peaceable enjoyment of all civil rights,
and in pursuit of their occupations, until they shall receive notice
of removal from Congress, or the State to which any such place may
appertain; and that upon any such notice of removal, a term of two
years shall be allowed for selling, or withdrawing their effects, and
for settling their affairs.

4thly. That his Britannic Majesty's forces, not exceeding ---- in
number, may continue in the posts now occupied by them contiguous to
the water line, until Congress shall give them notice to evacuate the
said posts, and garrisons of their own shall arrive at said posts, for
the purpose of securing the lives, property, and peace of any persons
settled in that country, against the invasion or ravages of the
neighboring Indian nations, who may be suspected of retaining
resentments, in consequence of the late war.

5thly. The consideration of this proposition may be left to the treaty
of commerce.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                          TO DAVID HARTLEY.

                                               Passy, July 17th, 1783.

  Sir,

We have the honor to inform you, that we have just received from
Congress, their ratification in due form, of the Provisional Articles
of the 30th of November, 1782, and we are ready to exchange
ratifications with his Britannic Majesty's Ministers as soon as may
be.

By the same Articles it is stipulated, that his Britannic Majesty
shall, with all convenient speed, and without causing any destruction,
or carrying away any negroes, or other property of the American
inhabitants, withdraw all his armies, garrisons, and fleets from the
United States, and from every port, place, and harbor within the same.
But, by intelligence lately received from America, and by the enclosed
copies of letters and conferences between General Washington and Sir
Guy Carleton, it appears that a considerable number of negroes,
belonging to the citizens of the United States, have been carried off
from New York, contrary to the express stipulation contained in the
said Article. We have received from Congress their instructions to
represent this matter to you, and to request that speedy and effectual
measures be taken to render that justice to the parties interested,
which the true intent and meaning of the Article in question plainly
dictates.

We are also instructed to represent to you, that many of the British
debtors in America have, in the course of the war, sustained such
considerable and heavy losses by the operations of the British arms in
that country, that a great number of them have been rendered
incapable of immediately satisfying those debts; we refer it to the
justice and equity of Great Britain, so far to amend the Article on
that subject, as that no execution shall be issued on a judgment to be
obtained in any such case, but after the expiration of three years
from the date of the definitive treaty of peace. Congress also think
it reasonable, that such part of the interest, which may have accrued
on such debts during the war, shall not be payable, because all
intercourse between the two countries had, during that period, become
impracticable, as well as improper. It does not appear just, that
individuals in America should pay for delays in payment, which were
occasioned by the civil and military measures of Great Britain. In our
opinion, the interest of the creditors as well as the debtors,
requires that some tenderness be shown to the latter, and that they
should be allowed a little time to acquire the means of discharging
debts, which, in many instances, exceed the whole amount of their
property.

As it is necessary to ascertain an epocha for the restitutions and
evacuations to be made, we propose, that it be agreed, that his
Britannic Majesty shall cause to be evacuated the posts of New York,
Penobscot, and their dependencies with all other posts and places in
possession of his Majesty's arms within the United States, in the
space of three months after the signature of the definitive treaty, or
sooner, if possible, excepting those posts contiguous to the water
line, mentioned in the 4th proposition, and those shall be evacuated
when Congress shall give the notice therein mentioned.

We do ourselves the honor of making these communications to you, Sir,
that you may transmit them, and the papers accompanying them, to your
Court, and inform us of their answer.

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

                                                          JOHN ADAMS,
                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                               Passy, July 18th, 1783.

  Sir,

We have had the honor of receiving by Captain Barney your two letters
of the 25th of March and 21st of April, with the papers referred to in
them.

We are happy to find, that the Provisional Articles have been approved
and ratified by Congress, and we regret, that the manner in which that
business was conducted, does not coincide with your ideas of
propriety. We are persuaded, however, that this is principally owing
to your being necessarily unacquainted with a number of circumstances,
known to us, who were on the spot, and which will be particularly
explained to you hereafter, and, we trust, to your satisfaction, and
that of the Congress.

Your doubts respecting the Separate Article, we think, are capable of
being removed; but as a full state of the reasons and circumstances,
which prompted that measure, would be very prolix, we shall content
ourselves with giving you the general outlines.

Mr Oswald was desirous to cover as much of the eastern shores of the
Mississippi with British claims as possible; and, for this purpose,
we were told a great deal about the ancient bounds of Canada,
Louisiana, &c. &c. The British Court, who had, probably, not yet
adopted the idea of relinquishing the Floridas, seemed desirous of
annexing as much territory to them as possible, even up to the mouth
of the Ohio. Mr Oswald adhered strongly to that object, as well to
render the British countries there of sufficient extent to be (as he
expressed it) worth keeping and protecting, as to afford a convenient
retreat to the tories, for whom it would be difficult otherwise to
provide; and, among other arguments, he finally urged his being
willing to yield to our demands to the east, north, and west, as a
further reason for our gratifying him on the point in question. He
also produced the commission of Governor Johnson, extending the bounds
of his government of West Florida, up to the river Yazoo; and
contended for that extent as a matter of right, upon various
principles, which, however, we did not admit, the King not being
authorised, in our opinion to extend or contract the bounds of the
colonies at pleasure.

We were of opinion, that the country in contest was of great value,
both on account of its natural fertility and of its position, it
being, in our opinion, the interest of America to extend as far down
towards the mouth of the Mississippi as we possibly could. We also
thought it advisable to impress Britain with a strong sense of the
importance of the navigation of that river to their future commerce on
the interior waters, from the mouth of the St Lawrence to that of the
Mississippi, and thereby render that Court averse to any stipulations
with Spain to relinquish it. These two objects militated against each
other, because to enhance the value of the navigation, was also to
enhance the value of the countries contiguous to it, and thereby
disincline Britain to the dereliction of them. We thought, therefore,
that the surest way to reconcile and obtain both objects would be by a
composition beneficial to both parties. We therefore proposed, that
Britain should withdraw her pretensions to all the country above the
Yazoo, and that we would cede all below it to her, in case she should
have the Floridas at the end of the war; and, at all events, that she
should have a right to navigate the river throughout its whole extent.
This proposition was accepted, and we agreed to insert the contingent
fact of it in a separate Article, for the express purpose of keeping
it secret for the present. That Article ought not, therefore, to be
considered as a mere matter of favor to Britain, but as the result of
a bargain, in which that Article was a _quid pro quo_.

It was in our opinion, both necessary and justifiable, to keep this
Article secret. The negotiations between Spain, France, and Britain
were then in full vigor, and embarrassed by a variety of clashing
demands. The publication of this Article would have irritated Spain,
and retarded, if not have prevented her coming to an agreement with
Britain.

Had we mentioned it to the French Minister, he must have not only
informed Spain of it, but also been obliged to act a part respecting
it, that would probably have been disagreeable to America; and he
certainly has reason to rejoice that our silence saved him that
delicate and disagreeable task.

This was an Article, in which France had not the smallest interest,
nor is there anything in her treaty with us, that restrains us from
making what bargain we please with Britain about those or any other
lands, without rendering account of such transaction to her or any
other power whatever. The same observation applies with still greater
force to Spain; and neither justice nor honor forbid us to dispose as
we pleased of our own lands without her knowledge or consent. Spain at
that very time extended her pretensions and claims of dominion, not
only over the tract in question but over the vast region lying between
the Floridas and Lake Superior; and this Court was also, at that very
time, soothing and nursing those pretensions by a proposed
conciliatory line for splitting the difference. Suppose, therefore, we
had offered this tract to Spain, in case she retained the Floridas,
should we even have had thanks for it? or would it have abated the
chagrin she experienced from being disappointed in her extravagant and
improper designs on that whole country? We think not.

We perfectly concur with you in sentiment, Sir, that "_honesty is the
best policy_." But, until it be shown that we have trespassed on the
rights of any man, or body of men, you must excuse our thinking that
this remark as applied to our proceedings was unnecessary.

Should any explanations, either with France or Spain become necessary
on this subject, we hope and expect to meet with no embarrassment. We
shall neither amuse them nor perplex ourselves with flimsy excuses,
but tell them plainly, that it was not our duty to give them the
information; we considered ourselves at liberty to withhold it. And
we shall remind the French Minister that he has more reason to be
pleased than displeased with our silence. Since we have assumed a
place in the political system of the world, let us move like a primary
and not like a secondary planet.

We are persuaded, Sir, that your remarks on these subjects resulted
from real opinion and were made with candor and sincerity. The best
men will view objects of this kind in different lights even when
standing on the same ground; and it is not to be wondered at, that we,
who are on the spot and have the whole transaction under our eyes,
should see many parts of it in a stronger point of light, than persons
at a distance, who can only view it through the dull medium of
representation.

It would give us great pain if anything we have written or now write
respecting this Court should be construed to impeach the friendship of
the King and nation for us. We also believe that the Minister is so
far our friend, and is disposed so far to do us good offices, as may
correspond with, and be dictated by his system of policy for promoting
the power, riches, and glory of France. God forbid that we should ever
sacrifice our faith, our gratitude, or our honor, to any
considerations of convenience; and may He also forbid that we should
ever be unmindful of the dignity and independent spirit, which should
always characterize a free and generous people.

We shall immediately propose an Article to be inserted in the
definitive treaty for postponing the payment of British debts for the
time mentioned by Congress.

There are, no doubt, certain ambiguities in our Articles, but it is
not to be wondered at, when it is considered how exceedingly averse
Britain was to any expressions, which explicitly wounded the tories;
and how disinclined we were to use any, that should amount to absolute
stipulations in their favor.

The words for returning the property of _real British subjects_ were
well understood and explained between us, _not_ to mean or comprehend
_American refugees_. Mr Oswald and Mr Fitzherbert know this to have
been the case, and will readily confess and admit it. This mode of
expression was preferred by them, as a more delicate mode of excluding
those refugees, and of making a proper distinction between them and
the subjects of Britain, whose only particular interest in America
consisted in holding lands or property there.

The 6th Article, viz. where it declares, that no _future
confiscations_ shall be made, &c. ought to have fixed the time with
greater accuracy. We think the most fair and true construction is,
that it relates to the date of the cessation of hostilities. That is
the time when peace in fact took place, in consequence of prior
informal, though binding, contracts to terminate the war. We consider
the definitive treaties, as only giving the dress of form to those
contracts, and not as constituting the obligation of them. Had the
cessation of hostilities been the effect of truce, and consequently
nothing more than a temporary suspension of war, another construction
would have been the true one.

We are officially assured by Mr Hartley, that positive orders for the
evacuation of New York have been despatched, and that no avoidable
delay will retard that event. Had we proposed to fix a time for it,
the British Commissioner would have contended, that it should be a
time posterior to the date of the definitive treaty, and that would
have been probably more disadvantageous to us, than as that Article
now stands.

We are surprised to hear, that any doubts have arisen in America,
respecting the time when the cessation of hostilities took place
there. It most certainly took place at the expiration of one month
after the date of that declaration, in all parts of the world, whether
by land or sea, that lay north of the latitude of the Canaries.

The ships afterwards taken from us, in the more northerly latitudes,
ought to be reclaimed and given up. We shall apply to Mr Hartley on
this subject, and also on that of the transportation of negroes from
New York, contrary to the words and intention of the provisional
articles.

We have the honor to be, &c.

                                                          JOHN ADAMS,
                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

                  *       *       *       *       *


                       TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

                                               Paris, July 27th, 1783.

  Sir,

The definitive treaties between the late belligerent powers are none
of them yet completed. Ours has gone on slowly, owing partly to the
necessity Mr Hartley, successor of Mr Oswald, thinks himself under of
sending every proposition, either his own or ours, to his Court for
their approbation, and their delay in answering, through negligence
perhaps, since they have heard our ports are open, or through
indecision, occasioned by ignorance of the subject, or through want of
union among the Ministers. We send you herewith copies of several
papers, that have passed between us. He has for some time assured us,
that he is in hourly expectation of answers, but they do not arrive.
The British Proclamation, respecting the commerce, appears to vex him
a good deal. We enclose a copy. And we are of opinion, that finally we
shall find it best to drop all commercial articles in our definitive
treaty, and leave everything of that kind to a future special treaty,
to be made either in America or in Europe, as Congress shall think fit
to order. Perhaps it may be best to give powers for that purpose to
the Minister, that probably will be sent to London. The opinion here
is, that it will be becoming in us to take the first step towards the
mutual exchange of Ministers, and we have been assured by the English
Minister, who treats with us here, that ours will be well received.

The Dutch preliminaries are not yet agreed on, and it seems to be
settled, that we are to sign all together, in the presence of the
Ministers of the two Imperial Courts, who are to be complimented with
the opportunity of signing as mediators, though they have not yet, and
perhaps will not be consulted in the negotiations. Mr Adams has gone
to Holland for three weeks, but will return sooner if wanted. The
propositions you mention, as made to us from that State, we suppose he
has given you an account of. Nothing was, or is likely to be, done
upon them here, and therefore it was less necessary to say anything
concerning them. A Minister from thence has been gone some time to
Congress, and if he has those propositions in charge, they will best
be considered there.

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

                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              PROJECT FOR A DEFINITIVE TREATY OF PEACE.

   _Project for the Definitive Treaty of Peace and Friendship,
   between his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America,
   concluded at ---- the ---- day of ---- 1783._

Be it known to all those, to whom it shall or may in any manner
belong.

It has pleased the Most High to diffuse the spirit of union and
concord among the nations, whose divisions had spread troubles in the
four parts of the world, and to inspire them with the inclination to
cause the comforts of peace, to succeed to the misfortunes of a long
and bloody war, which having arisen between Great Britain and the
United States of America, in its progress communicated itself to
France, Spain, and the United Netherlands.

Consequently the United States of America, did, on the fifteenth of
June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and
eightyone, name and appoint their Ministers Plenipotentiary, and
resolve, ordain, and grant their Commission in the following words,
viz. [See page 71.]

And his Majesty, the King of Great Britain, did on the twentyfirst day
of September, in the twentysecond year of his reign, issue his
Commission, under the great seal of Great Britain, to Richard Oswald,
in the words following, viz. [See page 80.]

And his said Britannic Majesty, on the one part, and the said United
States of America on the other, did lay the foundations of peace in
the preliminaries, signed at Paris, on the thirtieth of November last,
by the said Richard Oswald, on the part of his said Majesty, and by
the said John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and Henry Laurens,
on the part of the said United States, in virtue of their respective
full powers aforesaid, and after having mutually shown to each other
their said full powers in good form, and mutually exchanged
authenticated copies of the same.

And his said Britannic Majesty did, on the twentyfourth day of July,
in the year of our Lord one thousand, seven hundred and eightytwo, and
in the twentysecond year of his reign, issue his Commission, signed
with his royal hand, and under the great seal of Great Britain, to
Alleyne Fitzherbert, in the following words, viz. [Here follows the
Commission.]

And the said Alleyne Fitzherbert, on the part of his said Britannic
Majesty, and John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, in the necessary
absence of the said John Jay and Henry Laurens, on the part of the
said United States, did, at Versailles, on the twentieth day of
January last, communicate to each other their full powers aforesaid,
in good form, and agreed upon an armistice in the words following;
[See pp. 121, 123.]

And his Britannic Majesty did on the ---- day of ---- in the year of
our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eightythree, and in the
twentythird year of his reign, issue his Commission, signed with his
royal hand, and under the great seal of Great Britain, to David
Hartley, in the following words, viz.; [Here follows the Commission.]

And now the said David Hartley, Minister Plenipotentiary of his said
Britannic Majesty, in behalf of his said Majesty on the one part, and
John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay, Ministers Plenipotentiary
of the said United States of America, in behalf of the said States on
the other, having communicated to each other their aforesaid full
powers in good form, and mutually exchanged authenticated copies of
the same, have, by virtue thereof agreed, and do hereby agree and
conclude upon the Articles, the tenor of which is as follows, viz.

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

                              ARTICLE I.

The same as Article 1st of the preliminary treaty, but finishing at
"every part thereof."

                             ARTICLE II.

The same as Article 2d of the preliminary treaty, but commencing with
the remaining part of Article 1st, "and that all disputes," &c. and
ending with the words, "and the Atlantic ocean."

                             ARTICLE III.

The same as Article 3d of the preliminary treaty.

                             ARTICLE IV.

It is agreed, that creditors on either side, shall meet with no lawful
impediment to the recovery of the full value in sterling money of all
_bona fide_ debts heretofore contracted, excepting that the
respective governments on both sides may, if they think proper, pass
acts directing, that, in consideration of the distresses and
disabilities brought on by the war, and by the interruption of
commerce, no execution shall be issued on a judgment to be obtained in
any such case, until after the expiration of three years from the date
of this definitive treaty; nor shall such judgments include any
allowance for interest for the time that passed during the war, and
until the signing hereof.

                             ARTICLE V.

And whereas doubts have arisen concerning the true construction of the
5th Article of the provisional treaty, and great difficulties are
likely to arise in its execution, it is hereby agreed, that the same
shall be declared void, and omitted in this definitive treaty.

And, instead thereof, it is agreed, that as exact an account as may
be, shall be taken by Commissioners to be appointed for that purpose
on each part, of all seizures, confiscations, or destruction of
property belonging to the adherents of the Crown of Great Britain in
America, (exclusive of prizes made at sea, and debts mentioned in the
preceding Article,) and an account of all seizures, confiscations, or
destruction of property belonging to the adherents of the United
States residing either therein, or in Canada; and the said property
being duly appraized and valued, the accounts thereof shall be
compared, and the balance shall be paid in money by the party, which
has suffered least, within one year after such adjustment of the said
accounts. And it is further agreed, that all persons, who have any
interest in confiscated lands, either by debts, or marriage
settlements, or otherwise, shall meet with no lawful impediment in the
prosecution of their just rights.

                             ARTICLE VI.

The same as Article 6th of the preliminary treaty.

                             ARTICLE VII.

There shall be a firm and perpetual peace between his Britannic
Majesty and the said States, and between the subjects of the one, and
the citizens of the other. And his Britannic Majesty shall; with all
convenient speed, and without causing any destruction, or carrying
away any negroes, or other property of the American inhabitants,
withdraw all his armies, garrisons, and fleets from the said United
States, and from every port, place, and harbor within the same,
leaving in all fortifications the American artillery that may be
therein. And shall also order and cause all archives, records, deeds,
and papers belonging to any of the said States, or their citizens,
which, in the course of the war, may have fallen into the hands of his
officers, to be forthwith restored and delivered to the proper States
and persons to whom they belong. And all destruction of property, or
carrying away of negroes, or other property belonging to the American
inhabitants, contrary to the above stipulation, shall be duly
estimated and compensated to the owners.

                            ARTICLE VIII.

The navigation of the rivers Mississippi and St Lawrence from their
sources to the ocean, shall forever remain free and open to the
subjects of Great Britain and the citizens of the United States.

                             ARTICLE IX.

The prisoners made respectively by the arms of his Britannic Majesty
and the United States, by land and by sea, not already set at
liberty, shall be restored reciprocally and _bona fide_, immediately
after the ratification of the definitive treaty, without ransom, and
on paying the debts they may have contracted during their captivity;
and each party shall respectively reimburse the sums which shall have
been advanced for the subsistence and maintenance of their prisoners
by the sovereign of the country where they shall have been detained,
according to the receipts and attested accounts and other authentic
titles, which shall be produced on each side to commissioners, who
shall be mutually appointed for the purpose of settling the same.

                             ARTICLE X.

His Britannic Majesty shall employ his good offices and interposition
with the King or Emperor of Morocco or Fez, the Regencies of Algiers,
Tunis, and Tripoli, or with any of them, and also with every other
Prince, State, or Power of the coast of Barbary in Africa, and the
subjects of the said King, Emperor, States, and Powers, and each of
them, in order to provide, as fully and efficaciously as possible, for
the benefit, conveniency and safety of the said United States, and
each of them, their subjects, people, and inhabitants, and their
vessels and effects, against all violence, insult, attacks, or
depredations, on the part of the said Provinces and States of Barbary,
or their subjects.

                             ARTICLE XI.

If war should hereafter arise between Great Britain and the United
States, which God forbid, the merchants of either country, then
residing in the other, shall be allowed to remain nine months to
collect their debts and settle their affairs, and may depart freely,
carrying off all their effects, without molestation or hinderance. And
all fishermen, all cultivators of the earth, and all artisans or
manufacturers, unarmed and inhabiting unfortified towns, villages, or
places, who labor for the common subsistence and benefit of mankind,
and peaceably follow their respective employments, shall be allowed to
continue the same, and shall not be molested by the armed force of the
enemy, in whose power, by the events of war, they may happen to fall;
but if anything is necessary to be taken from them for the use of such
armed force, the same shall be paid for at a reasonable price. All
merchants or traders, with their unarmed vessels employed in commerce,
exchanging the products of different places, and thereby rendering the
necessaries, conveniences and comforts of human life more easy to
obtain, and more general, shall be allowed to pass freely unmolested.
And neither of the powers, parties to this treaty, shall grant or
issue any commission to any private armed vessel, empowering them to
take or destroy such trading ships or interrupt such commerce.

                             ARTICLE XII.

And in case either of the contracting parties shall happen to be
engaged in war with any other nation, it is further agreed, in order
to prevent all the difficulties and misunderstandings that usually
arise respecting the merchandise heretofore called contraband, such as
arms, ammunition, and military stores of all kinds, that no such
articles carrying by the ships or subjects of one of the parties to
the enemies of the other, shall, on any account, be deemed contraband,
so as to induce confiscation and a loss of property to individuals;
nevertheless, it shall be lawful to stop such ships and detain them
for such length of time as the captors may think necessary to prevent
the inconvenience or damage that might ensue from their proceeding on
their voyage, paying, however, a reasonable compensation for the loss
such arrest shall occasion to the proprietors. And it shall further be
allowed to use in the service of the captors, the whole, or any part
of the military stores so detained, paying to the owners the full
value of the same, to be ascertained by the current price at the place
of its destination.

                            ARTICLE XIII.

The citizens and inhabitants of the said United States, or any of
them, may take and hold real estates in Great Britain, Ireland, or any
other of his Majesty's dominions, and dispose by testament, donation,
or otherwise, of their property, real or personal, in favor of such
persons as to them shall seem fit; and their heirs, citizens of the
United States, or any of them, residing in the British dominions, or
elsewhere, may succeed them, _ab intestato_, without being obliged to
obtain letters of naturalization.

The subjects of his Britannic Majesty shall enjoy on their part, in
all the dominions of the said United States, an entire and perfect
reciprocity, relative to the stipulations contained in the present
Article.

                             ARTICLE XIV.

His Majesty consents, that the citizens of the United States may cut
logwood as heretofore in the district allotted to his subjects by the
treaty with Spain, on condition that they bring or send the said
logwood to Great Britain, or Ireland, and to no other part of Europe.

                             ARTICLE XV.

All the lakes, rivers, and waters, divided by the boundary line, or
lines, between his Britannic Majesty's territories and those of the
United States, as well as the rivers mentioned in Article ---- shall
be freely used and navigated by the subjects and citizens of his said
Majesty and of the said States, in common over the whole extent or
breadth of the said lakes, rivers and waters. And all the carrying
places, on which side soever situated of the said dividing waters, or
between the said rivers and the waters or territories of either of the
parties, may and shall be freely used by the traders of both, without
any restraint, demand of duties, or tax, or any imposition whatsoever,
except such as inhabitants of the country may be subject to.

                             ARTICLE XVI.

That in all places belonging to the United States, or either of them,
in the country adjoining to the water line of division, and which,
during the war, were in his Majesty's possession, all persons at
present resident or having possessions or occupations as merchants or
otherwise, may remain in the peaceable enjoyment of all civil rights,
and in pursuit of their occupations, unless they shall within seven
years from the date hereof, receive notice from Congress or the State
to which any such place may appertain, to remove, and that upon any
such notice of removal a term of two years shall be allowed for
selling or withdrawing their effects and for settling their affairs.


                            ARTICLE XVII.

It is further agreed, that his Britannic Majesty's forces, not
exceeding ---- in number, may continue in the posts now occupied by
them, contiguous to the water line, until Congress shall give them
notice to evacuate the said posts, and American garrisons shall arrive
at said posts for the purpose of securing the lives, property, and
peace of any persons settled in that country, against the invasion or
ravages of the neighboring Indian nations, who may be suspected of
retaining resentments in consequence of the late war.

                            ARTICLE XVIII.

It is further agreed, that his Britannic Majesty shall cause to be
evacuated the ports of New York, Penobscot and their dependencies,
with all other posts and places in possession of his Majesty's arms
within the United States, in three months after the signing of this
treaty, or sooner if possible, excepting those posts contiguous to the
water line abovementioned, which are to be evacuated on notice as
specified in Article XVII.

                             ARTICLE XIX.

It is agreed that all vessels, which shall have been taken by either
party from the other, after the term of twelve days within the Channel
or the North Seas, or after the term of one month anywhere to the
northward of the latitude of the Canaries inclusively, or after the
term of two months between the latitude of the Canaries and the
Equinoctial line, or after the term of five months in any other part
of the world (all which said terms are to be computed from the third
day of February last,) shall be restored.

His said Britannic Majesty and the said United States promise to
observe sincerely and _bona fide_, all the Articles contained and
settled in the present treaty; and they will not suffer the same to be
infringed, directly or indirectly, by their respective subjects and
citizens.

The solemn ratifications of the present treaty, expedited in good and
due form, shall be exchanged in the city of London, or Philadelphia,
between the contracting parties in the space of ---- months, or sooner
if possible, to be computed from the day of the signature of the
present treaty.

In witness whereof, we, the underwritten, their Ministers
Plenipotentiary, have signed with our hands, in their name, and in
virtue of our full powers, the present definitive treaty, and have
caused the seal of our arms to be put thereto.

  Done at ---- the ---- day of
  ---- 1783.

      RATIFICATION OF THE PROVISIONAL ARTICLES BY GREAT BRITAIN.

  George R.

George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France
and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg,
Arch Treasurer, and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, &c.

Whereas Provisional Articles between us and our good friends, the
United States of America, viz. New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South
Carolina, and Georgia, were concluded and signed at Paris, on the
thirtieth day of November, one thousand seven hundred and eightytwo,
by the Commissioners of us and our said good friends, duly and
respectively authorised for that purpose; which Provisional Articles
are in the form and words following; [Here follows the treaty. See
pages 109 to 115.]

We having seen and considered the Provisional Articles aforesaid, have
approved, ratified, accepted, and confirmed the same in all and every
one of their clauses, and provisos, as we do by these presents,
approve, ratify, accept, and confirm them, for ourself, our heirs, and
successors; engaging and promising upon our royal word, that we will
sincerely and faithfully perform and observe, all and singular the
things which are contained in the aforesaid Provisional Articles, and
that we will never suffer them to be violated by any one, or
transgressed in any manner, as far as it lies in our power. For the
greater testimony and validity of all which, we have caused our great
seal of Great Britain to be affixed to these presents, which we have
signed with our royal hand.

Given at our Court at St James, the sixth day of August, one thousand
seven hundred and eightythree, in the twentythird year of our reign.

                                                             GEORGE R.

                          *       *       *

      _An Act of the British Parliament, repealing certain Acts
           prohibiting Intercourse with the United States._

An Act to repeal so much of two Acts, made in the sixteenth and
seventeenth years of the reign of his present Majesty, as prohibits
trade and intercourse with the United States of America.

Whereas it is highly expedient, that the intercourse between Great
Britain and the United States of America should be immediately opened;
be it therefore enacted and declared by the King's Most Excellent
Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and
Temporal and Commons, in the present Parliament assembled, and by the
authority of the same, that an Act passed in the sixteenth year of his
Majesty's reign, entitled, "An Act to prohibit all trade and
intercourse with the Colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay,
Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the
three lower counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
South Carolina and Georgia, during the continuance of the present
rebellion within the said Colonies respectively, for repealing an Act
made in the fourteenth year of the reign of his present Majesty, to
discontinue the lading and discharging, lading or shipping, of goods,
wares, and merchandise, at the town and within the harbor of Boston in
the province of Massachusetts Bay; and also two Acts, made in the last
session of Parliament, for restraining the trade and commerce of the
Colonies in the said Acts respectively mentioned; and to enable any
person or persons, appointed and authorised by his Majesty to grant
pardons, to issue proclamations, in the cases and for the purposes
therein mentioned;" and also an Act, passed in the seventeenth year of
his Majesty's reign, entitled, "An Act for enabling the Commissioners
for executing the office of Lord High Admiral of Great Britain, to
grant commissions to the commanders of private ships, and vessels
employed in trade, or retained in his Majesty's service, to take and
make prize of all such ships and vessels, and their cargoes, as are
therein mentioned, for a limited time;" so far as the said Acts, or
either of them, may extend, or be construed to extend, to prohibit
trade and intercourse with the territories now composing the said
United States of America, or to authorise any hostilities against the
persons or properties of the subjects and citizens of the said United
States, after the respective periods set forth in his Majesty's
proclamation for the cessation of hostilities between Great Britain
and the United States of America, bearing date the fourteenth day of
February, one thousand seven hundred and eightythree, shall be, and
the same are henceforth repealed.

Anno vicesimo tertio Georgii III, Regis; cap. 26.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 DAVID HARTLEY TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                            Paris, August, 29th, 1783.

  Gentlemen,

As the day is now fixed for the signatures of the definitive treaties,
between Great Britain, France, and Spain, I beg leave to inform your
Excellencies, that I am ready to sign the definitive treaty, between
Great Britain and the United States of America, whenever it shall be
convenient to you. I beg the favor, therefore, of you to fix the day.
My instructions confine me to Paris, as the place appointed to me for
the exercise of my functions, and, therefore, whatever day you may fix
upon for the signature, I shall hope to receive the honor of your
company at the _Hôtel de York_.

I am, Gentlemen, with the greatest respect, yours, &c.

                                                        DAVID HARTLEY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                          TO DAVID HARTLEY.

                                             Passy, August 30th, 1783.

The American Ministers Plenipotentiary for making peace with Great
Britain, present their compliments to Mr Hartley. They regret that Mr
Hartley's instructions will not permit him to sign the definitive
treaty of peace with America at the place appointed for the signature
of the others. They will, nevertheless, have the honor of waiting upon
Mr Hartley at his lodgings at Paris, for the purpose of signing the
treaty in question, on Wednesday morning at eight o'clock.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 DAVID HARTLEY TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                           Paris, September 4th, 1783.

  Gentlemen,

It is with the sincerest pleasure that I congratulate you on the happy
event which took place yesterday, viz.; the signature of the
definitive treaty between our two countries. I considered it as the
auspicious presage of returning confidence, and of the future
intercourse of all good offices between us. I doubt not that our two
countries will entertain the same sentiments, and that they will
behold with satisfaction the period which terminates the memory of
their late unhappy dissensions, and which leads to the renewal of all
the ancient ties of amity and peace. I can assure you, that his
Britannic Majesty and his confidential servants entertain the
strongest desire of a cordial good understanding with the United
States of America. And that nothing may be wanting on our parts to
perfect the great work of pacification, I shall propose to you in a
very short time, to renew the discussion of those points of amity and
intercourse which have been lately suspended, to make way for the
signature of the treaties between all the late belligerent powers,
which took place yesterday.

We have now the fairest prospects before us, and an unembarrassed
field for the exercise of every beneficent disposition, and for the
accomplishment of every object of reciprocal advantage between us. Let
us, then, join our hearts and hands together in one common cause for
the reunion of all our ancient affections and common interests.[16]

I am, Gentlemen, &c.

                                                        DAVID HARTLEY.

FOOTNOTE:

[16] As the definitive treaty was an exact copy of the Provisional
Articles (see above, p. 109) it is here omitted.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     B. FRANKLIN TO CHARLES FOX.

                                           Passy, September 5th, 1783.

  Sir,

I received in its time the letter you did me the honor of writing to
me by Mr Hartley; and I cannot let him depart without expressing my
satisfaction in his conduct towards us, and applauding the prudence of
that choice, which sent us a man possessed of such a spirit of
conciliation, and of all that frankness, sincerity, and candor, which
naturally produce confidence, and thereby facilitate the most
difficult negotiations. Our countries are now happily at peace, on
which I congratulate you most cordially; and I beg you to be assured,
that as long as I have any concern in public affairs, I shall readily
and heartily concur with you in promoting every measure that may tend
to promote the common felicity.

With great and sincere esteem and respect, I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                          B. FRANKLIN.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                          TO DAVID HARTLEY.

                                           Passy, September 5th, 1783.

  Sir,

We have received the letter you did us the honor to write yesterday.

Your friendly congratulations on the signature of the definitive
treaty meet with cordial returns on our part; and we sincerely rejoice
with you on that event, by which the Ruler of nations has been
graciously pleased to give peace to our two countries.

We are no less ready to join our endeavors than our wishes with yours,
to concert such measures for regulating the future intercourse between
Great Britain and the United States, as, by being consistent with the
honor and interests of both, may tend to increase and perpetuate
mutual confidence and good will.

We ought, nevertheless, to apprize you, that as no construction of our
commission could at any period extend it, unless by implication, to
several of the proposed stipulations; and as our instructions
respecting commercial provisions, however explicit, suppose their
being incorporated in the definitive treaty, a recurrence to Congress
previous to the signature of them will be necessary, unless obviated
by the despatches we may sooner receive from them.

We shall immediately write to them on the subject, and we are
persuaded that the same disposition to confidence and friendship,
which has induced them already to give unrestrained course to British
commerce and unconditionally to liberate all prisoners at a time when
more caution would not have appeared singular, will also urge their
attention to the objects in question, and lead them to every proper
measure for promoting a liberal and satisfactory intercourse between
the two countries.

We have communicated to Congress the repeated friendly assurances with
which you have officially honored us on these subjects, and we are
persuaded that the period of their being realized will have an
auspicious and conciliating influence on all the parties in the late
unhappy dissensions.

We have the honor to be, &c.

                                                          JOHN ADAMS,
                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                          TO DAVID HARTLEY.

                                           Passy, September 7th, 1783.

  Sir,

We have the honor of transmitting, herewith enclosed an extract of a
resolution of Congress of the 1st of May last, which we have just
received.

You will perceive from it, that we may daily expect a commission in
due form, for the purposes mentioned in it; and we assure you of our
readiness to enter upon the business whenever you may think
proper.[17]

We have the honor to be, &c.

                                                          JOHN ADAMS,
                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

FOOTNOTE:

[17] _In Congress, May 1st, 1783._ On the report of a committee to
whom was referred a letter of February 5th, from the honorable John
Adams,

"Ordered, That a commission be prepared to Messrs John Adams, Benjamin
Franklin and John Jay, authorising them, or either of them in the
absence of the others, to enter into a treaty of commerce between the
United States of America and Great Britain, subject to the revisal of
the contracting parties, previous to its final conclusion, and in the
meantime to enter into a commercial convention, to continue in force
one year.

"That the Secretary of Foreign Affairs lay before Congress, without
delay, a plan of a treaty of commerce, and instructions relative to
the same, to be transmitted to the said commissioners."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                          Passy, September 10th, 1783.

  Sir,

On the 3d instant definitive treaties of peace were concluded between
all the late belligerent powers, except the Dutch, who the day before
settled and signed preliminary articles of peace with Britain.

We most sincerely and cordially congratulate Congress and our country
in general on this happy event; and we hope, that the same kind
providence, which has led us through a rigorous war to an honorable
peace, will enable us to make a wise and moderate use of that
inestimable blessing.

We have communicated a duplicate original of the treaty to the care of
Mr Thaxter, who will go immediately to L'Orient, whence he will sail
in the French packet to New York. That gentleman left America with Mr
Adams as his private Secretary, and his conduct having been perfectly
satisfactory to that Minister, we join in recommending him to the
attention of Congress. We have ordered Mr Grand to pay him one hundred
and thirty louis d'ors, on account of the reasonable expenses to be
incurred by his mission to Congress, and his journey from thence to
his family at Hingham, in the Massachusetts Bay. For the disposition
of the money he is to account. The definitive treaty being in the
terms of the Provisional Articles, and not comprehending any of the
objects of our subsequent negotiations, it is proper that we give a
summary account of them.

When Mr Hartley arrived here, he brought with him only a set of
instructions, signed by the King. We objected to proceeding with him
until he should have a commission in form. This occasioned some delay.
A proper commission was, however, transmitted to him, a copy of which
was shortly after sent to Mr Livingston.

We having been instructed to obtain, if possible, an Article for a
direct trade to the West Indies, made to Mr Hartley the proposition
No. 1.[18]

He approved of it greatly, and recommended it to his Court, but they
declined assenting to it.

Mr Hartley then made us the proposition No. 2;[19] but being asked,
whether he was authorised to sign it, in case we agreed to it, he
answered in the negative. We, therefore, thought it improper to
proceed to the consideration of it, until after he should have
obtained the consent of his Court to it. We also desired to be
informed, whether his Court would, or would not, comprehend Ireland in
their stipulations with us.

The British Cabinet would not adopt Mr Hartley's propositions, but
their letters to him were calculated to inspire us with expectations,
that as nothing but particular local circumstances, which would
probably not be of long duration, restrained them from preferring the
most liberal system of commerce with us, the Ministry would take the
earliest opportunity of gratifying their own wishes, as well as ours,
on that subject.

Mr Hartley then made us the propositions No. 3.[20] At this time, we
were informed, that letters for us had arrived in France from
Philadelphia; we expected to receive instructions in them, and told Mr
Hartley, that this expectation induced us to postpone giving him an
answer for a few days.

The vessel by which we expected these letters, it seems had not
brought any for us. But at that time information arrived from America,
that our ports were all opened to British vessels. Mr Hartley
thereupon did not think himself at liberty to proceed, until after he
should communicate that intelligence to his Court and receive their
further instructions.

Those further instructions never came; and thus our endeavors as to
commercial regulations proved fruitless. We had many conferences, and
received long Memorials from Mr Hartley on the subject; but his zeal
for systems friendly to us, constantly exceeded his authority to
concert and agree to them.

During the long interval of his expecting instructions, for his
expectations were permitted to exist almost to the last, we proceeded
to make and receive propositions for perfecting the definitive treaty.
Details of all the amendments, alterations, objections, expectations,
&c. which occurred in the course of these discussions, would be
voluminous. We finally agreed that he should send to his Court the
project or draft of a treaty, No. 4.[21] He did so, but after much
time, and when pressed by France, who insisted that we should all
conclude together, he was instructed to sign a definitive treaty in
the terms of the Provisional Articles.

Whether the British Court meant to avoid a definitive treaty with us,
through a vain hope, from the exaggerated accounts of divisions among
our people, and want of authority in Congress, that some revolution
might soon happen in their favor; or whether their dilatory conduct
was caused by the strife of the two opposite and nearly equal parties
in the Cabinet, is hard to decide.

Your Excellency will observe, that the treaty was signed at Paris, and
not at Versailles. Mr Hartley's letter of August 29th, and our answer,
will explain this. His objections, and indeed our proceedings in
general, were communicated to the French Minister, who was content
that we should acquiesce, but desired that we would appoint the
signing early in the morning, and give him an account of it at
Versailles by express, for that he would not proceed to sign on the
part of France, till he was sure that our business was done.

The day after the signature of the treaty, Mr Hartley wrote us a
congratulatory letter, to which we replied.

He has gone to England, and expects soon to return, which for our
parts we think uncertain. We have taken care to speak to him in strong
terms, on the subject of the evacuation of New York, and the other
important subjects proper to be mentioned to him. We think we may rely
on his doing everything in his power to influence his Court to do what
they ought to do; but it does not appear, that they have as yet
formed any settled system for their conduct relative to the United
States. We cannot but think, that the late and present aspect of
affairs in America, has had and continues to have, an unfavorable
influence, not only in Britain but throughout Europe.

In whatever light the Article respecting the tories may be viewed in
America, it is considered in Europe as very humiliating to Britain,
and therefore as being one, which we ought in honor to perform and
fulfil with the most scrupulous regard to good faith, and in a manner
least offensive to the feelings of the King and Court of Great
Britain, who upon that point are extremely tender.

The unseasonable and unnecessary resolves of various towns on this
subject, the actual expulsion of tories from some places, and the
avowed implacability of almost all who have published their sentiments
about the matter, are circumstances, which are construed, not only to
the prejudice of our national magnanimity and good faith, but also to
the prejudice of our governments.

Popular committees are considered here, as with us, in the light of
substitutes to constitutional government, and as being only necessary
in the interval between the removal of the former and the
establishment of the present.

The constitutions of the different States have been translated and
published, and pains have been taken to lead Europe to believe, that
the American States, not only made their own laws, but obeyed them.
But the continuance of popular assemblies, convened expressly to
deliberate on matters proper only for the cognizance of the different
legislatures and officers of government, and their proceeding not only
to ordain, but to enforce their resolutions, has exceedingly lessened
the dignity of the States in the eyes of these nations.

To this we may also add, that the situation of the army, the
reluctance of the people to pay taxes, and the circumstances under
which Congress removed from Philadelphia, have diminished the
admiration, in which the people of America were held among the nations
of Europe, and somewhat abated their ardor for forming connexions with
us, before our affairs acquire a greater degree of order and
consistence.

Permit us to observe, that in our opinion, the recommendation of
Congress, promised in the fifth Article, should immediately be made in
the terms of it, and published, and that the States should be
requested to take it into consideration, as soon as the evacuation by
the enemy shall be completed. It is also much to be wished, that the
legislatures may not involve all the tories in banishment and ruin,
but that such discrimination may be made, as to entitle the decisions
to the approbation of disinterested men and dispassionate posterity.

On the 7th instant we received your Excellency's letter of the 16th of
June last, covering a resolution of Congress of the 1st of May,
directing a commission to us for making a treaty of commerce, &c. with
Great Britain. This intelligence arrived very opportunely to prevent
the anti-American party in England from ascribing any delays, on our
part, to motives of resentment to that country. Great Britain will
send a Minister to Congress, as soon as Congress shall send a Minister
to Britain, and we think much good might result from that measure.

The information of M. Dumas, that we encouraged the idea of entering
into engagements with the Dutch, to defend the freedom of trade, was
not well founded. Our sentiments on that subject exactly correspond
with those of Congress; nor did we even think or pretend, that we had
authority to adopt any such measures.

We have reason to think that the Emperor, and Russia, and other
commercial nations, are ready to make treaties of commerce with the
United States. Perhaps it might not be improper for Congress to
direct, that their disposition on the subject be communicated to those
Courts, and thereby prepare the way for such treaties.

The Emperor of Morocco has manifested a very friendly disposition
towards us. He expects, and is ready to receive a Minister from us;
and as he may either change his mind, or may be succeeded by a prince
differently disposed, a treaty with him may be of importance. Our
trade to the Mediterranean will not be inconsiderable, and the
friendship of Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli may become very
interesting, in case the Russians should succeed in their endeavors to
navigate freely into it by Constantinople.

Much, we think, will depend on the success of our negotiations with
England. If she should be prevailed upon to agree to a liberal system
of commerce, France, and perhaps some other nations, will follow her
example; but if she should prefer an exclusive, monopolizing plan, it
is probable that her neighbors will continue to adhere to their
favorite restrictions.

Were it certain that the United States could be brought to act as a
nation, and would jointly and fairly conduct their commerce on
principles of exact reciprocity with all nations, we think it probable
that Britain would make extensive concessions. But, on the contrary,
while the prospect of disunion in our councils, or want of power and
energy in our executive departments exist, they will not be
apprehensive of retaliation, and consequently lose their principal
motive to liberty. Unless, with respect to all foreign nations and
transactions, we uniformly act as an entire united nation, faithfully
executing and obeying the constitutional acts of Congress on those
subjects, we shall soon find ourselves in the situation in which all
Europe wishes to see us, viz. as unimportant consumers of her
manufactures and productions, and as useful laborers to furnish her
with raw materials.

We beg leave to assure Congress that we shall apply our best endeavors
to execute this new commission to their satisfaction, and shall
punctually obey such instructions as they may be pleased to give us
relative to it. Unless Congress have nominated a Secretary to that
commission, we shall consider ourselves at liberty to appoint one; and
as we are satisfied with the conduct of Mr Franklin, the Secretary to
our late commission, we propose to appoint him, leaving it to Congress
to make such compensation for his services as they may judge proper.

Count de Vergennes communicated to us a proposition, viz. herewith
enclosed,[22] for explaining the 2d and 3d Articles of our treaty with
France in a manner different from the sense in which we understand
them. This being a matter in which we have no right to interfere, we
have not expressed any opinion about it to the Court.

With great respect, we have the honor to be, Sir, your Excellency's
most obedient and most humble servants,

                                                          JOHN ADAMS,
                                                          B. FRANKLIN,
                                                          JOHN JAY.

FOOTNOTES:

[18] See Mr Adams's proposed agreement, above, p. 151.

[19] See Mr Hartley's proposed agreement, p. 154.

[20] Above, p. 182.

[21] See above, p. 195.

[22] See above, p. 146.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 FROM CONGRESS TO THE COMMISSIONERS.

                                                   October 29th, 1783.

By the United States in Congress assembled.

  To the Commissioners of the United States of America at the Court
  of Versailles, empowered to negotiate a peace, or to any one or
  more of them;

1st. You are instructed and authorised to announce to his Imperial
Majesty the Emperor of Germany, or to his Ministers, the high sense
which the United States in Congress assembled entertain of his exalted
character and eminent virtues, and their earnest desire to cultivate
his friendship, and to enter into a treaty of amity and commerce for
the mutual advantage of the subjects of his Imperial Majesty, and the
citizens of these United States.

2dly. You are instructed to meet the advances and encourage the
disposition of the other commercial powers in Europe for entering into
treaties of amity and commerce with these United States. In
negotiations on this subject, you will lay it down as a principle in
no case to be deviated from, that they shall respectively have for
their basis the mutual advantage of the contracting parties on terms
of the most perfect equality and reciprocity, and not to be repugnant
to any of the treaties already entered into by the United States with
France and other foreign powers. That such treaties shall, in the
first instance, be proposed for a term not exceeding fifteen years,
and shall not be finally conclusive until they shall respectively have
been transmitted to the United States in Congress assembled, for their
examination and final direction; and that, with the drafts or
propositions for such treaties, shall be transmitted all the
information which shall come within the knowledge of the said
Ministers respecting the same; and their observations after the most
mature inquiry on the probable advantages or disadvantages and effects
of such treaties respectively.

3dly. You are instructed to continue to press upon the Ministers of
his Danish Majesty the justice of causing satisfaction to be made for
the value of the ships and goods captured by the Alliance frigate and
sent into Bergen, and how essentially it concerns the honor of the
United States that their gallant citizens should not be deprived of
any part of those prizes, which they had so justly acquired by their
valor. That as far as Congress have been informed, the estimate of
those prizes at fifty thousand pounds sterling is not immoderate; that
no more however is desired than their true value, after every
deduction which shall be thought equitable. That Congress have a
sincere disposition to cultivate the friendship of his Danish Majesty,
and to promote a commercial intercourse between his subjects and the
citizens of the United States, on terms which shall promise mutual
advantage to both nations. That it is therefore the wish of Congress,
that this claim should still be referred to the equitable disposition
of his Danish Majesty, in full confidence that the reasonable
expectations of the parties interested will be fully answered;
accordingly you are fully authorised and directed, after exerting your
best endeavors to enforce the said claim to the extent it shall appear
to you to be well founded, to make abatements if necessary, and
ultimately to accept such compensation as his Danish Majesty can be
prevailed upon to grant.

4thly. You are further instructed, to inquire and report to Congress
the reasons why the expedition of the Alliance and Bon Homme Richard,
and the squadron which accompanied them, was carried on at the expense
and on account of the Court of France; whether any part of the profit
arising therefrom accrued to the United States; or any of the expense
thereof has been placed to their account; whether the proceeds of any
of the prizes taken in that expedition, and which is due to the
American officers and seamen employed therein, is deposited in Europe;
and what amount, where, and in whose hands.

5thly. The acquisition of support to the independence of the United
States having been the primary object of the instructions to our
Ministers respecting the convention of the neutral maritime powers for
maintaining the freedom of commerce, you will observe, that the
necessity of such support is superseded by the treaties lately entered
into for restoring peace. And although Congress approve of the
principles of that convention, as it was founded on the liberal basis
of the maintenance of the rights of neutral nations, and of the
privileges of commerce, yet they are unwilling at this juncture, to
become a party to a confederacy which may hereafter too far complicate
the interests of the United States with the politics of Europe; and,
therefore, if such a progress is not already made in this business as
may render it dishonorable to recede, it is the desire of Congress and
their instruction to each of the Ministers of the United States at the
respective Courts in Europe, that no further measures be taken at
present towards the admission of the United States into that
confederacy.

6thly. The Ministers of these States for negotiating a peace with
Great Britain are hereby instructed, authorised and directed, to urge
forward the definitive treaty to a speedy conclusion; and unless there
shall be an immediate prospect of obtaining articles or explanations
beneficial to the United States, in addition to the Provisional
Articles, that they shall agree to adopt the Provisional Articles as
the substance of a definitive treaty of peace.

7thly. The Minister or Ministers of these United States for
negotiating a peace are hereby instructed to negotiate an explanation
of the following paragraph of the declaration acceded to by them on
the 20th of January, 1783, relative to captures, viz. "that the term
should be one month from the Channel and North Sea as far as the
Canary Islands, inclusively, whether in the ocean or the
Mediterranean."

8thly. Mr Jay is hereby authorised to direct Mr Carmichael to repair
to Paris, should Mr Jay be of opinion that the interest of the United
States at the Court of Madrid may not be injured by Mr Carmichael's
absence; and that Mr Carmichael carry with him the books and vouchers
necessary to make a final and complete settlement of the accounts of
public moneys which have passed through the hands of Mr Jay and
himself; and that Mr Barclay attend Mr Jay and Mr Carmichael to adjust
those accounts.

9thly. Mr Jay has leave to go to Bath, should he find it necessary for
the benefit of his health.

                  *       *       *       *       *

          RATIFICATION OF THE DEFINITIVE TREATY BY CONGRESS.

Know ye, that we, the United States in Congress assembled, having seen
and considered the Definitive Articles aforesaid, (meaning the treaty
signed by the Commissioners in Paris, on the 30th of November, 1782,)
have approved, ratified, and confirmed, and by these presents do
approve, ratify, and confirm the said Articles, and every part and
clause thereof, engaging and promising, that we will sincerely and
faithfully perform and observe the same, and never suffer them to be
violated by any one, or transgressed in any manner, as far as lies in
our power.

In testimony whereof, we have caused the seal of the United States to
be hereunto affixed. Witness, his Excellency THOMAS MIFFLIN,
President, this fourteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord,
one thousand seven hundred and eighty four, and in the eighth year of
the sovereignty and independence of the United States of America.

                  *       *       *       *       *

      PROCLAMATION OF CONGRESS RESPECTING THE DEFINITIVE TREATY.

By the United States in Congress assembled,

                           A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas Definitive Articles of peace and friendship between the United
States of America and his Britannic Majesty, were concluded and signed
at Paris, on the third day of September, one thousand seven hundred
and eightythree, by the Plenipotentiaries of the said United States
and of his said Britannic Majesty, duly and respectively authorised
for that purpose; which Definitive Articles are in the words
following; [Here follows the treaty.]

And we, the United States in Congress assembled, having seen and duly
considered the Definitive Articles aforesaid, did, by a certain act
under the seal of the United States, bearing date this 14th day of
January, 1784, approve, ratify, and confirm the same, and every part
and clause thereof, engaging and promising, that we would sincerely
and faithfully perform and observe the same, and never suffer them to
be violated by any one, or transgressed in any manner, as far as
should be in our power; and being sincerely disposed to carry the said
Articles into execution, truly, honestly, and with good faith,
according to the intent and meaning thereof, we have thought proper by
these presents, to notify the premises to all the good citizens of the
United States, hereby requiring and enjoining all bodies of
magistracy, legislative, executive, and judiciary, all persons bearing
office, civil or military, of whatever rank, degree, and powers, and
all others the good citizens of these States, of every vocation and
condition, that reverencing those stipulations entered into on their
behalf, under the authority of that federal bond, by which their
existence as an independent people is bound up together, and is known
and acknowledged by the nations of the world, and with that good
faith, which is every man's surest guide, within their several
offices, jurisdictions, and vocations, they carry into effect the said
Definitive Articles, and every clause and sentence thereof, sincerely,
strictly, and completely.

Given under the seal of the United States. Witness, his Excellency
Thomas Mifflin, our President, at Annapolis, this fourteenth day of
January, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and
eightyfour, and of the sovereignty and independence of the United
States of America, the eighth.

                          *       *       *

Resolved, unanimously, nine States being present, that it be, and it
is hereby earnestly recommended to the legislatures of the respective
States, to provide for the restitution of all estates, rights, and
properties, which have been confiscated, belonging to real British
subjects; and also of the estates, rights, and properties of persons
resident in districts, which were in the possession of his Britannic
Majesty's arms, at any time between the thirtieth day of November,
1782, and the 14th day of January, 1784, and who have not borne arms
against the said United States; and that persons of any other
description shall have free liberty to go to any part or parts of any
of the Thirteen United States, and therein to remain twelve months
unmolested in their endeavors to obtain the restitution of such of
their estates, rights, and properties, as may have been confiscated;
and it is also hereby earnestly recommended to the several States, to
reconsider and revise all their acts or laws regarding the premises,
so as to render the said laws or acts perfectly consistent, not only
with justice and equity, but with that spirit of conciliation, which,
on the return of the blessings of peace, should universally prevail;
and it is hereby also earnestly recommended to the several States,
that the estates, rights, and properties of such last mentioned
persons should be restored to them, they refunding to any persons who
may be now in possession, the _bona fide_ price, (where any has been
given) which such persons may have paid on purchasing any of the said
lands, rights, or properties since the confiscation.

Ordered, That a copy of the Proclamation of this date, together with
the recommendation, be transmitted to the several States by the
Secretary.

                  *       *       *       *       *


       RATIFICATION OF THE DEFINITIVE TREATY BY GREAT BRITAIN.

George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France,
and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg,
Arch Treasurer, and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, &c. To
all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting.

Whereas a definitive treaty of peace and friendship, between us and
our good friends, the United Stales of America, viz. New Hampshire,
Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland,
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, was concluded
and signed at Paris, the 3d day of September last, by the
Plenipotentiaries of us, and our said good friends, duly and
respectively authorised for that purpose, which definitive treaty is
in the form and words following; [Here follows the treaty.]

We, having seen and considered the definitive treaty aforesaid, have
approved, ratified, accepted, and confirmed it, in all and every one
of its Articles and clauses, as we do by these presents, for ourself,
our heirs and successors, approve, ratify, accept, and confirm the
same, engaging and promising, upon our royal word, that we will
sincerely and faithfully perform and observe all and singular the
things which are contained in the aforesaid treaty, and that we will
never suffer it to be violated by any one, or transgressed in any
manner, as far as it lies in our power. For the greater testimony and
validity of all which, we have caused our great seal of Great Britain
to be affixed to these presents, which we have signed with our royal
hand.

Given at the Court of St James, the ninth day of April, one thousand
seven hundred and eightyfour, in the twentyfourth year of our reign.

                                                             GEORGE R.



THE

CORRESPONDENCE

OF

CONRAD ALEXANDER GERARD;

MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY FROM THE COURT OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED
STATES.


Conrad Alexander Gerard was the first Minister from any foreign Court
to the United States. When the American Commissioners went to Paris,
in the year 1776, he was principal Secretary to the Council of State,
and on terms of the strictest intimacy and confidence with Count de
Vergennes, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Under the auspices of that
Minister, and in concert with him, M. Gerard early took a strong
interest in the concerns of the United States, and abetted the cause
of their independence. He negotiated, on the part of the French
government, the first treaties of alliance and commerce with the
United States, signed on the 6th of February, 1778, by him for one of
the contracting parties, and by Franklin, Deane, and Lee for the
other.

His knowledge of American affairs, and his general ability, pointed
him out as the most suitable person to represent the French Court as
Minister to Congress. He came over to this country in the fleet with
Count d'Estaing and arrived in Philadelphia about the middle of July,
1778. After discharging the duties of a Minister Plenipotentiary for
more than a year, in a manner highly acceptable to Congress and the
whole country, as well as to his own government, he asked his recall,
and took his final leave of Congress on the 17th of September, 1779.
He returned to Europe in the same vessel, which took out Mr Jay as
Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Spain.



THE

CORRESPONDENCE

OF

CONRAD ALEXANDER GERARD;

MINISTER FROM FRANCE.


                  *       *       *       *       *

             LETTER FROM THE KING OF FRANCE TO CONGRESS.

  Very dear and great Friends and Allies,

The treaties which we have signed with you in consequence of the
propositions made to us on your part, by your deputies, are a certain
guarantee to you of our affection for the United States in general,
and for each one of them individually, as well as of the interest
which we take, and shall always continue to take, in their happiness
and prosperity. In order to convince you of this in a more particular
manner, we have appointed M. Gerard, Secretary of our Council of
State, to reside near you in quality of our Minister Plenipotentiary.
He is the better acquainted with the sentiments which we entertain
towards you, and is the more able to answer for them to you, as he has
been intrusted on our part with negotiating with your deputies, and as
he has signed with them the treaties which cement our union, we
request you to give full credit to all that he shall say to you on our
part, particularly when he shall assure you of our affection and of
our constant friendship for you. Moreover, we pray God, that he will
have you, very dear and great Friends and Allies, under his holy and
worthy protection.

Written at Versailles, the 28th of March, 1778.

Your good Friend and Ally,

                                                                LOUIS.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    APPOINTMENT OF CONSUL-GENERAL OF FRANCE IN THE UNITED STATES.

Louis, by the Grace of God, King of France and Navarre, to all those
to whom these presents shall come, Greeting.

Thinking it necessary to create the office of our Consul-General at
Boston, and other ports belonging to the United States of North
America, and being desirous to confer a favor on M. Gerard, we have
thought that we could not make choice of a better person than he, to
fulfil the duties of this office, by our knowledge of his zeal and
affection for our service and for the interests of our subjects, and
of his judgment and ability in naval affairs; for these reasons, and
others moving us thereto, we have nominated and appointed the said M.
Gerard, and by these presents signed with our hand, do nominate and
appoint him our Consul-General at Boston, and other ports belonging to
the United States of North America, with power to appoint consuls and
vice-consuls in the places where he shall judge them necessary; to
have and to hold the said office, to exercise, enjoy, and use it, so
long as it shall please us, with the honors, authorities, advantages,
prerogatives, privileges, exemptions, rights, benefits, profits,
revenues, and emoluments which belong to it, such, and the same as
those which our other Consuls-General enjoy. We prohibit all French
merchants, and all persons sailing under the French flag, from
disturbing him in the possession, duties and exercise of this
consulate. We enjoin on all captains, masters and commanders of ships,
barks and other vessels, armed and sailing under the said flag, as
well as on all our other subjects, to acknowledge the said M. Gerard,
and to obey him in this capacity. We pray and request our very dear
and great Friends and Allies, the Congress of the United States of
North America, their governors and other officers whom it shall
concern, to allow the said M. Gerard, and the consuls and vice-consuls
whom he shall appoint to the said office, to possess it fully and
peaceably, without causing, or allowing to be caused to them, any
disturbance or hinderance; but on the contrary to give them all favor
and assistance; offering to do the same for all those who shall be
thus recommended to us on their part. In witness whereof we have
caused our privy seal to be affixed to these presents.

Given at Versailles, the twentyeighth day of March, in the year of our
Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventyeight, and of our reign the
fifth.

                                                                LOUIS.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                   THE KING OF FRANCE TO CONGRESS.

  Very dear and great Friends and Allies,

You will learn, undoubtedly, with gratitude, the measure, which the
conduct of the King of Great Britain has induced us to take, of
sending a fleet to endeavor to destroy the English forces upon the
shores of North America. This expedition will convince you of the
eagerness and the vigor, which we are resolved to bring to the
execution of the engagements, which we have contracted with you. We
are firmly persuaded, that your fidelity to the obligations, which
your Plenipotentiaries have contracted in your name, will animate more
and more the efforts, which you are making with so much courage and
perseverance.

The Count d'Estaing, Vice-Admiral of France, is charged to concert
with you the operations, the conduct of which we have intrusted to
him, in order that the combination of measures on each side may render
them as advantageous to the common cause as circumstances will permit.
We entreat you to give full credit to everything, which he shall
communicate to you on our part, and to place confidence in his zeal
and in his talents.

Moreover, we pray God, that he will have you, very dear and great
Friends and Allies, under his holy protection.

Written at Versailles, the twentyeighth day of March, in the year of
our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and seventyeight.

                                                                LOUIS.

                  *       *       *       *       *

            COUNT D'ESTAING TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                                               At Sea, July 8th, 1778.

  Sir,

I have the honor of informing your Excellency, and by you of giving
notice to Congress, of the arrival of the squadron of the King upon
the shores of the United States of America.

Honored with full powers from the King to treat with Congress, I have
the honor, Sir, of sending to your Excellency the copy of my
credentials relating to this subject, the honor of presenting them
myself; my desire to wait upon the respectable representatives of a
free nation, my eagerness to reverence in them the noble qualities of
wisdom and firmness, which distinguish them, virtues which all Europe
admires and which France loves, are a happiness, which can be delayed
only by my desire to render myself worthy of the favors of the United
States, while I begin by performing the duties, which circumstances
and my military functions impose upon me; I hope that they will serve
as my excuse, and that your Excellency will have the kindness to offer
them as such to Congress.

I have the honor of writing to his Excellency, General Washington, and
shall have that of sending to his head quarters two officers in
succession, in order to offer to him to combine my movements with his
own. The merited reputation, which so great a soldier has so justly
acquired, does not allow me to doubt that he is convinced better than
any one else of the value of the first movements. I hope that the
authority vested in him by Congress, has allowed him the liberty of
taking advantage of them, and that we shall be able immediately, and
without any delay, to act in concert for the benefit of the common
cause; which seemed to me to require, that the orders of Congress
should remove as speedily as possible, the legal difficulties, of
which, perhaps, there are none.

Monsieur de Chouin, Major of infantry, and relation of M. de Sartine,
is charged with delivering this letter to your Excellency; he is one
of the officers whom I send to General Washington.

The readiness with which his Excellency, M. Gerard, Minister
Plenipotentiary of the King, is hastening to take up his residence
near Congress, and there to display the character with which his
Majesty has invested him, will prevent all the delays, which my
distance might occasion with regard to the military agreements. I have
the honor of assuring your Excellency, that I shall make it my duty
and pleasure to execute everything that M. Gerard shall promise. The
promises, which he will make to you, will need no other ratifications
on my part than those, which my physical force demands, and which the
nature of the profession makes necessarily to depend upon the military
or naval force, which is in operation.

A Minister so happy as to have had the glory of signing the treaty,
which unites two powers whose interests are so intimately connected,
will preserve the most important influence upon my further designs.
The escort, which conducts him, that by which the King sends back to
the United States his Excellency, Silas Deane, is, undoubtedly, the
most brilliant which has ever accompanied Ambassadors. I dare hope
that it will prove useful to the mutual interest of the two nations.

That will be the happiest moment of my life, in which I shall be able
to contribute to it in anything. I shall, at the same time fulfil my
duty, as an officer charged with the orders of his Majesty, and I
shall satisfy my principles and my inclination as an individual.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                             ESTAING.

_P. S._ Permit me to recommend to the favor of Congress, Messrs John
Nicholson, Elias Johnson, and Henry Johnson. Mr Nicholson preserved
the ship Tonnant, which is the second in the squadron, and Mr Elias
Johnson conducted himself with the greatest zeal and the greatest
bravery on board the frigate Engageante, in the engagement in which
she took the privateer Rose, in the Chesapeake Bay.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    RESOLVES OF CONGRESS RESPECTING THE COUNT D'ESTAING'S LETTER,
                   AND THE RECEPTION OF M. GERARD.

                                         In Congress, July 11th, 1778.

Resolved, that General Washington be informed by the President, that
it is the desire of Congress, that he co-operate with the Count
d'Estaing, commander of a French squadron now on the coast of North
America, and proceeding to New York, in the execution of such
offensive operations against the enemy as they shall mutually approve.

His Most Christian Majesty, the King of France, having thought proper
to send on the coasts a powerful fleet, in order to co-operate with
the forces of these States in the reduction of the British army and
navy, Resolved, that General Washington be impowered to call on the
States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, Rhode Island,
New York, New Jersey, or such of them as he shall judge proper, for
such aids of their militia as he shall think requisite for carrying on
his operations, in concert with Count d'Estaing, commander of the
French fleet; and that it be earnestly recommended to the
abovementioned, to exert themselves in forwarding the force, which may
be required of them with the utmost despatch.

Resolved, that the Marine Committee be directed to order the
Commissioners of the navy to the eastward, to fit out as many
continental frigates and armed vessels as possible, with the utmost
despatch, to join the French squadron in their operations against the
enemy.

Ordered, that the Board of War take measures for providing a suitable
house for the accommodation of M. Gerard; and that they give the
necessary orders for receiving M. Gerard with proper honor on his
arrival.

Resolved, that a committee of five be appointed to wait on M. Gerard
on his arrival, and conduct him to his lodgings.

The members chosen, Mr Hancock, Mr Lee, Mr Drayton, Mr Roberdeau, and
Mr Duer.

Next morning the committee went to Chester to meet M. Gerard, who
received them on board the frigate. In going on board they were
saluted with fifteen guns. They then went on shore and waited on him
to Philadelphia, and conducted him to General Arnold's head quarters,
where a dinner was provided for him and his suit, and a number of the
members of Congress. Before dinner he waited on the President.

On Tuesday he delivered to the President sundry papers to be laid
before Congress,[23] desiring to know in what capacity Congress were
willing to receive him; whether as Minister Plenipotentiary or
resident, intimating, that in whatever quality he was received, it
would be expected, that the Commissioners from the States at the Court
of France should be vested with the same.

FOOTNOTE:

[23] Letters from the King, and notes of M. Gerard.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 14th, 1778.

  Sir,

His Excellency, the Count d'Estaing, Vice-Admiral of France, commander
of the squadron of the King, being desirous to procure for the armed
vessels, whether public or private, of the United States, the means of
availing themselves of the operations of this squadron, in order to
take prizes from the common enemy, the undersigned has the honor to
inform Congress, that all their armed vessels will enjoy the most
extended protection of the squadron of his Most Christian Majesty, and
that the prizes which they may be able to take will belong entirely to
them. He leaves it to the wisdom of Congress to fix upon the means of
deriving from this arrangement, the advantage of which it is
susceptible. The American vessels, which shall apply to his Excellency
the Vice-Admiral, will receive the signals which will be necessary;
and the undersigned will successively communicate them to Congress,
that information of them may be given to those who shall sail from the
ports. He relies on the prudence of Congress in relation to the
measures necessary to ensure success in this matter.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 14th, 1778.

  Sir,

The squadron which the King, my master, has sent, in order to act in
concert with the United States, against the common enemy, having taken
some prisoners during its passage, the keeping of whom on board of the
vessels would be embarrassing and even dangerous, the undersigned
requests the Congress of the said United States to have the goodness
to cause these prisoners, as well as those whom the King's squadron
shall be able to take in the course of its operations, to be received,
to cause provision to be made for their safe keeping and subsistence,
in the same manner as that which it makes use of for its own
prisoners, and to hold them at the disposal of the King, and subject
to the orders of his Excellency, the Count d'Estaing, Vice-Admiral of
France, and commander of his Majesty's squadron.

The undersigned will take care to cause all the expenses incurred on
this occasion to be reimbursed at certain periods, in such manner as
the Congress shall be pleased to point out.[24]

                                                               GERARD.

FOOTNOTE:

[24] Congress took into consideration the Memorial respecting
prisoners, and thereupon

"Resolved, that all prisoners taken, or which may be taken, by the
squadron of his Most Christian Majesty, under the command of the Count
d'Estaing, Vice-Admiral of France, be received by the Commissary-General
of prisoners, and that he provide for their safe custody and
subsistence in like manner as has been usual for the prisoners of
these States. That he make monthly returns of all prisoners, which
shall be by him so received, to the Board of War. That he make
monthly returns to the treasury, of the accounts of all moneys
expended for the purposes aforesaid, and that the prisoners be held at
the disposal of his Most Christian Majesty, and subject to the orders
of his Excellency Count d'Estaing.

"Ordered, that the paper relative to the encouragement given by the
Count d'Estaing to American armed vessels, whether public or private,
be published."

                  *       *       *       *       *

       CEREMONIAL OF ADMITTING THE FRENCH MINISTER TO CONGRESS.

                                         In Congress, July 20th, 1781.

Resolved, That the ceremonial for a Minister Plenipotentiary, or
Envoy, shall be as follows;

When a Minister Plenipotentiary, or Envoy, shall arrive within any of
the United States, he shall receive at all places where there are
guards, sentries, or the like, such military honors as are paid to a
general officer of the second rank in the armies of the United States.

When he shall arrive at a place in which Congress shall be, he shall
wait upon the President and deliver his credentials, or a copy
thereof. Two members of Congress shall then be deputed to wait upon
him, and inform him where and when he shall receive audience of
Congress.

At the time he is to receive his audience, the two members shall again
wait upon him in a coach belonging to the States, and the person first
named of two, shall return with the Minister Plenipotentiary, or
Envoy, in the coach, giving the Minister the right hand, and placing
himself on the left, with the other member on the front seat.

When the Minister Plenipotentiary, or Envoy, is arrived at the door of
the Congress Hall, he shall be introduced to his chair by the two
members, who shall stand at his left hand. Then the member first named
shall present and announce him to the President and the House,
whereupon he shall bow to the President and Congress, and they to him.
He and the President shall then again bow to each other and be seated,
after which the House shall sit down.

Having spoken and being answered, the Minister and the President shall
bow to each other, at which time the House shall bow, and then he
shall be conducted home in the manner in which he was brought to the
House.

Those who shall wait upon the Minister shall inform him, that if in
any audience he shall choose to speak on matters of business, it will
be necessary previously to deliver in writing to the President what he
intends to say at the audience, and if he shall not incline thereto,
it will, from the constitution of Congress, be impracticable for him
to receive an immediate answer.

The style of address to Congress shall be, "Gentlemen of the
Congress."

All speeches or communications in writing may, if the public Minister
choose it, be in the language of their respective countries, and all
replies or answers shall be in the language of the United States.

After the audience, the members of Congress shall be first visited by
the Minister Plenipotentiary, or Envoy.

_July 30th._ Resolved, That Thursday next be assigned for giving
audience to the honorable M. Gerard, Minister Plenipotentiary from his
Most Christian Majesty.

_August 5th._ Resolved, That when the Minister is introduced to his
chair by the two members, he shall sit down.

His Secretary shall then deliver to the President the letters of his
Sovereign, which shall be read and translated by the Secretary of
Congress. Then the Minister shall be announced. At which time the
President, the House, and the Minister shall rise together. The
Minister shall then bow to the President and the House, and they to
him. The Minister and the President shall then bow to each other and
be seated; after which the House shall sit down. The Minister shall
deliver his speech standing, the President and the House shall set
while the Minister is delivering his speech.

The House shall rise, and the President shall deliver the answer
standing. The Minister shall stand while the President delivers the
answer.

Having spoken, and being answered, the Minister and the President
shall bow to each other, at which time the House shall bow, and then
the Minister shall be conducted home in the manner in which he was
brought to the House.

Resolved, That the door of the Congress chamber be open during the
audience to be given to the Minister Plenipotentiary of his Most
Christian Majesty.

That the delegates of Pennsylvania be requested to inform the Vice
President, the Supreme Executive Council, and the Speaker and Assembly
of the said State, that the Minister Plenipotentiary of his Most
Christian Majesty, the King of France, will receive his audience of
Congress at twelve o'clock tomorrow, when the doors of the chamber
will be opened.

That each member of Congress may give two tickets for the admittance
of other persons to the audience, and that no other persons except
those specified in the foregoing resolution, be admitted without such
a ticket signed by the members appointed to introduce the Minister to
the Congress.

_Thursday, August 6th._ According to order the honorable M. Gerard was
introduced to an audience by two members of Congress, and being
seated, his Secretary delivered to the President a letter from his
Most Christian Majesty, directed "To our very dear and great Friends
and Allies, the President and Members of the General Congress of the
United States," in the words following;

[See this letter above, p. 235, dated March 28th, 1778.]

The Minister was then announced to the House, whereupon he arose and
addressed Congress in a speech which, when he had finished, his
Secretary delivered in writing to the President, and is as follows;

                             Translation.

  "Gentlemen,

"The connexions which the King, my master, has formed with the United
States of America, are so agreeable to him, that he has been unwilling
to delay sending me to reside near you to unite them more closely. His
Majesty will be gratified to learn, that the sentiments which are
manifested on this occasion justify the confidence, with which the
zeal and the character of the deputies of the United States in France,
the wisdom and the firmness which have directed your resolutions,
together with the courage and the constancy which the people have
displayed, have inspired him. You know, Gentlemen, that this
confidence has laid the foundation of the truly friendly and
disinterested plan, upon which his Majesty has treated with the United
States.

"It has not rested with him, that his engagements could not secure
your independence and your tranquillity without the further effusion
of blood, and without aggravating the miseries of mankind, of which it
is his whole ambition to secure the happiness; but the hostile
dispositions and resolutions of the common enemy having given a
present force, positive, permanent, and indissoluble, to engagements
wholly eventual, the King, my master, has thought that the two allies
should occupy themselves only with the means of fulfilling them in the
manner the most useful to the common cause, and of the most effect in
obtaining peace, which is the object of the alliance. It is in
conformity with this principle, that his Majesty has hastened to send
you a powerful assistance. You owe it, Gentlemen, to his friendship,
to the sincere interest which he takes in the welfare of the United
States, and to the desire which he has of concurring effectually in
securing your peace and your prosperity on honorable and firm
foundations. He hopes, moreover, that the principles adopted by the
governments will contribute to extend the connexions, which the mutual
interest of the respective nations had already begun to form between
them. The principal point of my instructions is to make the interests
of France and those of the United States keep pace together. I flatter
myself, that my past conduct in affairs which interest them, has
already convinced you that I have no more earnest desire, than that of
executing my instructions in such a manner as to deserve the
confidence of Congress, the friendship of its members, and the esteem
of all the citizens."

To this speech the President returned the following answer;

  "Sir,

"The treaties between his Most Christian Majesty and the United States
of America so fully demonstrate his wisdom and magnanimity as to
command the reverence of all nations. The virtuous citizens of America
in particular can never forget his beneficent attention to their
violated rights, nor cease to acknowledge the hand of a gracious
Providence in raising for them so powerful and illustrious a friend.
It is the hope and the opinion of Congress, that the confidence his
Majesty reposes in the firmness of these States will receive
additional strength from every day's experience.

"This assembly are convinced, Sir, that had it rested solely with the
Most Christian King, not only the independence of these States would
have been universally acknowledged, but their tranquillity fully
established; we lament that lust of domination, which gave birth to
the present war and has prolonged and extended the miseries of
mankind. We ardently wish to sheathe the sword, and spare the further
effusion of blood; but we are determined, by every means in our power,
to fulfil those eventual engagements, which have acquired positive and
permanent force from the hostile designs and measures of the common
enemy.

"Congress have reason to believe, that the assistance so wisely and
generously sent will bring Great Britain to a sense of justice and
moderation, promote the interests of France and America, and secure
peace and tranquillity on the most firm and honorable foundation.
Neither can it be doubted, that those who administer the powers of
government, within the several States of this Union, will cement that
connexion with the subjects of France, the beneficent effects of which
have already been so sensibly felt.

"Sir, from the experience we have had of your exertions to promote the
true interests of our country as well as your own, it is with the
highest satisfaction Congress receive as the first Minister from his
Most Christian Majesty, a gentleman, whose past conduct affords a
happy presage that he will merit the confidence of this body, the
friendship of its members, and the esteem of the citizens of America."

                          *       *       *

The Secretary of Congress delivered to the Minister a copy of the
foregoing speech, dated "In Congress, August 6th, 1778," and signed
"Henry Laurens, President." Whereupon the Minister withdrew, and was
conducted home in the manner in which he was brought to the House.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, November 9th, 1778.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor to inform the
Congress of the United States of North America, that he has obtained,
on account of his Majesty, the cargo of two schooners; the one called
the Gentil, George André, Captain, and the other the Adventurer,
commanded by Captain Joseph Taffier, these two vessels being now in
the port of Petersburg, Virginia, and their cargoes delivered,
consisting of from twelve to thirteen hundred barrels of flour, and
about fifty barrels of biscuit. The destination of these provisions,
requiring that they should depart immediately, the undersigned
Minister Plenipotentiary requests Congress to be pleased to take the
measures which it shall judge necessary, in order, that the departure
of these two vessels with their cargoes may meet with no obstacle. An
express will wait for the orders, which it may be necessary to send
into Virginia, in relation to this object.

                                                               GERARD.

Whereupon Congress ordered, that the President write to the Governor
of Virginia, explain to him the nature of this transaction, and the
necessity of the vessels' immediate departure, and desire him to give
orders accordingly.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_November 18th, 1778._ Two letters from the Honorable the Minister
Plenipotentiary of France were read, requesting a passage on board of
one of the continental frigates, for the Chevalier de Raymondis,
Captain of the Cæsar, and that a vessel on board of which are a number
of invalids, may be taken under convoy of the frigate until she be
safe at sea. These were referred to the Marine Committee, with
directions to comply with the request therein contained.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                    Philadelphia, November 20th, 1778.

  Sir,

The Minister of France thinks it his duty to have the honor of
communicating to the President of Congress the reflection that,
according to ordinary rules, treaties are not published until the
respective ratifications have been exchanged, and that so far as he is
informed, that of the King has not arrived. If Congress, however, has
motives to proceed immediately to this publication, the Minister
requests it not to be stopped by his reflection; the wisdom of their
views deserving all preference over what can only be regarded as a
mere formality.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                      Philadelphia, December 2d, 1778.

The President communicated to Congress the following unsigned note
from the Minister of France.

"It is thought proper to inform persons, who have business in France,
that all judicial and extra-judicial acts, powers of attorney, &c.
which are destined to be sent thither, ought to be invested with the
authorisation of the Minister Plenipotentiary, or the Consuls of this
Crown established in the different States of America. By means of this
formality, all the acts valid in America will have the same validity
in France in all cases."

_December 4th._ The President communicated to Congress another
unsigned note from the Minister of France, relative to a plan he had
proposed for discharging the debt due to Roderique Hortalez & Co.
namely, by furnishing the French fleet in America with provisions, for
the amount of which the Court would procure the United States a credit
with Hortalez & Co. The note was delivered in English, in the words
following.

"Leave is begged from the Honorable the President of Congress to
submit to him some reflections upon a late conversation. The
insinuation made was founded upon the consideration, that the method
proposed would be more simple, more easy, and more convenient, than
any other, and that besides, the troubles, the expenses, the dangers
of the sea, and of the enemy, the spoiling of the cargoes, &c. would
be avoided.

"The manner of executing this plan, if adopted, would be very simple,
and attended with no inconveniency; the Court shall take upon itself
to satisfy the furnisher of the articles in question, and Congress
shall receive the discharge for ready money, in their accounts with
the Court."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, December 6th, 1778.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, considering that it is of
great importance for the interests of France and the United States of
America to prevent, or to delay as much as possible, the repairs, and
consequently the activity of the enemy's ships, and that one of the
most efficacious means would be, to intercept the masts which they are
obliged to bring from Halifax, is firmly persuaded, that this subject
has not escaped the consideration of Congress, but believing that it
is for the interest of the King, his master, that his Majesty should
contribute to the measures which may effect this object, his intention
is to offer a reward to the owners of privateers, who shall take or
destroy vessels loaded with masts proper for ships of the line or for
frigates. This encouragement seemed necessary, in order to turn the
efforts of privateers in this direction, considering the low price of
this commodity in proportion to other cargoes, but the said Minister
did not wish to execute this plan without communicating it to
Congress, and before knowing its opinion on this subject.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, December 7th, 1778.

  Sir,

I have had the honor to make known to you the reasons of my
perplexity, with regard to transmitting to my Court some ideas
respecting certain persons strongly suspected of being emissaries of
the Court of London, as well as concerning the doctrine of the
liberty, which it is pretended the United States have preserved of
treating with this power separately from their ally, so long as Great
Britain has not declared war upon the King my master. I have expressed
to you how far it is from my character to pay regard to public rumors
and to the reports of any individuals, in a matter as important as it
is delicate, and the desire which I feel that Congress would be
pleased to furnish me with the means of placing my Court, and by its
means, all the present and future friends of the United States in
Europe, on their guard against the impressions which these ideas might
produce. They appeared to me particularly dangerous in relation to
England, where they would nourish the hope of sowing domestic
divisions in the bosom of the United States, and of separating them
from their ally, by annulling, also, the treaties concluded with him.
It seems, in fact, that as long as this double hope shall continue,
England will not think seriously of acknowledging your independence on
the footing expressed in the treaty of Paris. Your zeal, Sir, for your
country, and for the maintenance of the harmony so happily
established, is too well known for me not to hope that you will be
pleased to lay before Congress this subject, which my solicitude for
whatever concerns the maintenance of the reputation of the alliance
has caused me to regard as very important.

I am persuaded, Sir, that you will at the same time have the goodness
to inform Congress of the proof of firmness, and of attachment to the
interests of the United States, to the common cause and to the
alliance, which the King my master has given, in rejecting the
overtures which the Court of London has made through Spain.

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

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

To the memorial respecting masts, an answer was returned on the 16th.
And in answer to the above letter Congress passed a resolution on the
14th of January, 1779, as follows;

"Whereas it has been represented to this House by M. Gerard, Minister
Plenipotentiary of France, that it is pretended that the United States
have preserved the liberty of treating with Great Britain separately
from their ally, as long as Great Britain shall not have declared war
against the King, his master, therefore,

"Resolved unanimously, That as neither France nor these United States
may of right, so these United States will not conclude either truce or
peace with the common enemy without the formal consent of their ally
first obtained, and that any matters or things which may be insinuated
or asserted to the contrary thereof tend to the injury and dishonor of
the said States."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                    Philadelphia, December 14th, 1778.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor to remind
Congress, that they were pleased to order in Virginia the purchase of
eighteen thousand barrels of flour to complete the quantity of
provisions destined for the fleet of his Most Christian Majesty, but
the undersigned being informed of the scarcity of this article has
confined himself to ten or twelve thousand. Information since received
from Virginia causing him to fear that the flour of the current year
has a disagreeable taste, and that, consequently, the aforesaid
quantity cannot be furnished of a quality suitable for bearing the
climate of the islands, the undersigned presumes that a part of it may
be replaced by rice taken from South Carolina, where he is informed
this article abounds.

It is from these considerations that the undersigned Minister takes
the liberty to request Congress to take the measures necessary in
order that six thousand barrels of rice may be bought and exported
from South Carolina, the said Minister being resolved to employ
American citizens in these kinds of purchases, as he has promised,
proposes to intrust this commission to Mr Gervais.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                      Philadelphia, January 4th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France learns by M. Francy, that, from
the offer which he made in relation to the payment by compensation of
a part of the sums due from the United States to M. de Beaumarchais,
consequences have been drawn, which are contrary to the intentions of
the undersigned.

He finds himself obliged to prevent all mistakes by declaring in
writing, as he always has done verbally, that all the supplies
furnished by M. de Beaumarchais to the States, whether merchandise or
cannons and military goods, were furnished in the way of commerce, and
that the articles which came from the King's magazines and arsenals
were sold to M. de Beaumarchais by the department of artillery, and
that he has furnished his obligations for the price of these articles.
He is, consequently, a debtor to the war department, whilst he is a
creditor of the United States by the sale of these same articles,
which had become his property. On the other side the King is a debtor
to the United States.

It is this situation, namely, the difficulty which Congress finds in
paying M. de Beaumarchais by return of merchandise, and the
considerable saving which would result to Congress, that has
determined the undersigned to offer a mutual compensation, and to pay
the King's debts to the United States to the amount of the receipts of
M. de Beaumarchais, which Congress will receive in ready money. This
is the simple and natural operation, which the undersigned has
offered, and which ought not at all to change the situation of M. de
Beaumarchais with regard to Congress, since he is and continues to be
a creditor in his own name, of the United States, and since the
undersigned simply offers to pay to the discharge of Congress a
certain sum, which the undersigned will determine in concert with M.
de Francy, when Congress shall have passed a resolution on this offer.

The undersigned thinks that he owes these explanations to his respect
for Congress, and he hopes that if there may remain any false ideas on
this subject, Congress will be pleased to place him in a situation to
supply all the information which may yet be desired.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                      Philadelphia, January 5th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France cannot forbear to submit to the
Congress of the United States, the passages underscored in the two
gazettes annexed, under date of the 3d and 5th of this month. He has
no doubt of the indignation of Congress at the indiscreet assertions
contained in these passages, which equally bring into question the
dignity and reputation of the King my master, and that of the United
States. These assertions will become, in the hands of the enemies of
the common cause, a weapon the more powerful and dangerous, as the
author is an officer of Congress, and as he takes advantage of his
situation to give credit to his opinions and to his affirmations.

The aforesaid Minister relies entirely on the wisdom of Congress to
take measures suitable to the circumstance. It has not been owing to
him, that the author has not himself repaired the injury which he has
done, the Minister Plenipotentiary having hastened to convince him of
the wrongs of which he was guilty, when the first of these gazettes
appeared in public.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The passages referred to in the above were contained in a piece
published in the Pennsylvania Packet, under the title, "Common Sense
to the Public on Mr Deane's Affair," written by Thomas Paine, then
Secretary to the Committee of Foreign Affairs; and are as follows;

"If Mr Deane, or any other gentleman, will procure an order from
Congress to inspect an account in my office, or any of Mr Deane's
friends in Congress will take the trouble of coming themselves, I will
give him or them my attendance, and show them in a hand-writing, which
Mr Deane is well acquainted with, that the supplies he so pompously
plumes himself upon (namely, those which were sent from France in the
Amphitrite, Seine, and Mercury) were promised and engaged, and that
_as a present_, before he even arrived in France, and that the part
which fell to Mr Deane was only to see it done, and how he has
performed that service, the public are now acquainted with." The last
paragraph in the account, is "upon Mr Deane's arrival in France, the
business went into his hands, and the aids were at length embarked in
the Amphitrite, Mercury, and Seine." "I have been the more explicit on
this subject, not so much on Mr Deane's account, as from a principle
of public justice. It shows, in the first instance, that the greatness
of the American cause drew at its first beginning the attention of
Europe, and that the justness of it was such as appeared to merit
support; and in the second instance, _that those who are now her
allies prefaced that alliance by an early and generous friendship_;
yet, that we might not attribute too much to human or auxiliary aid,
so unfortunate were those supplies, that only one ship out of the
three arrived; the Mercury and the Seine fell into the enemy's
hands."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, January 10th, 1779.

  Sir,

I cannot forbear to present to Congress the striking observations
occasioned by the delay, which the answer to my representation of the
beginning of the past month meets with. Already the enemies of the
common cause represent it as a proof of the diversity of the opinions
which prevail in Congress, as if there could exist a contrariety of
sentiments upon a subject so simple, and a matter so clear, that to
call it in question would be at the same time to call in question the
solidity, and even the existence of the alliance. Certainly, Sir, no
one is farther than myself from adopting suspicions, which would be so
fatal to the common cause; but I have had the honor to explain the
motives, which should induce Congress to give to this subject a ready,
formal, and explicit declaration. They know that erroneous opinions
become more difficult to destroy when they have had time to take root
in men's minds; it is then wished to remedy the evil, but it is found
irremediable. The greater part of these reflections is applicable in
an equal degree to the declaration, which I had the honor to make to
Congress on the 5th of this month, and I wait impatiently for answers,
which may quiet my Court against the efforts made by the enemies to
draw from the facts in question, inferences injurious to the allies
and the alliance, efforts of which Congress alone can avoid the
dangers. My zeal and my respect do not allow me to conceal from them
apprehensions, which seem to me but too well founded and worthy of all
their attention.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

On the 12th of January, Congress taking into consideration the
publication in the Pennsylvania Packet of the 2d and 5th instant,
under the title of "Common Sense to the Public on Mr Deane's Affair,"
of which Mr Thomas Paine, Secretary of the Committee of Foreign
Affairs, has acknowledged himself to be the author, and also the
memorials of the Minister Plenipotentiary of France, of the 5th and
10th instant, respecting the said publication; "Resolved, unanimously,
that in answer to the memorials of the Plenipotentiary of his Most
Christian Majesty, of the 5th and 10th instant, the President be
directed to assure the said Minister, that Congress do fully, in the
clearest and most explicit manner, disavow the publications referred
to in his said memorials, and, as they are convinced by indisputable
evidence, that the supplies shipped in the Amphitrite, Seine, and
Mercury, were not a present, and that his Most Christian Majesty, the
great and generous ally of these United States, did not preface his
alliance with any supplies whatever sent to America, so they have not
authorised the writer of the said publication to make any such
assertions as are contained therein, but, on the contrary, do highly
disapprove of the same."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, January 14th, 1779.

  Sir,

I have received the letter, with which you honored me on the 13th of
this month, on sending me the resolution of Congress in answer to the
representations, which I had the honor to make to it on the 5th and
10th.

I request you to receive, and to offer to Congress, all the
sensibility with which I have seen the frank, noble, and explicit
manner in which they have destroyed false and dangerous insinuations,
which might deceive the misinformed people, and give arms to the
enemies of the common cause.

The King, my master, Sir, does not need these proofs, in order to
place his confidence in the disposition of firmness and constancy,
which is exhibited by Congress in the principles of the alliance; but
his Majesty will always see with pleasure the measures that Congress
shall take to maintain its reputation inviolate, and it is from this
same consideration, that I flatter myself he will have found my
representation of the 7th of December last, equally worthy of his
attention.


I am, with respect and esteem, &c.
                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, January 15th, 1779.

  Sir,

With all my eagerness for whatever can be agreeable to Congress, I
have made use of their resolution relative to M. Duportail, and the
officers who accompany him. They feel much honored by the praises,
which their services and conduct have merited, as well as by the
confidence which Congress shows in them, by desiring them to pass
another campaign in the service of the United States. Their letter, a
copy of which is annexed, expresses their resolution to accept this
invitation, and moreover contains proofs of an unlimited confidence in
the justice and goodness of Congress.

I do not doubt, Sir, that these sentiments will increase the degree of
esteem and good will, which they already deserve on account of their
distinguished services. This affair being thus settled, I shall lose
no time in asking of the King the consent, which the officers of
engineers need. My knowledge of the dispositions of the King and his
Ministry, in relation to whatever may be useful to the United States,
does not allow me to doubt, that my conduct, and the attachment of
these officers to the American service, will be approved.

I am, with respectful esteem, &c.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

        MESSRS DUPORTAIL, LA RADIERE, AND LAUMOY TO M. GERARD.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, January 15th, 1779.

  Sir,

We have been penetrated with gratitude on seeing in the resolution of
Congress, annexed to your Excellency's letter, proofs of esteem with
which we are honored by our illustrious General, and which gives
occasion to the proposition which is made to us, of continuing in the
service of the United States through the next campaign. We willingly
consent to it, since your Excellency thinks, that we shall thereby
fulfil the intentions of the Court, and since you are so kind as to
take upon yourself the trouble of asking from it the necessary
permission. Relying also on the justice of Congress for the favors
which we may merit from longer services, we affix no conditions to the
continuance of our residence in America. But we deem it our duty to
state, that being determined to remain here by our desire of serving,
and of being useful to the United States, if the means of usefulness
should disappear on any account whatsoever, we shall be desirous of
preserving the liberty of returning into our country. Sensible of the
interest which your Excellency is so kind as to take in this affair,
we beg you to accept our most humble thanks.

We are, respectfully, your Excellency's most obedient humble servants,

                                                           DUPORTAIL,
                                                           LA RADIERE,
                                                           LAUMOY.

_P. S._ M. de Goudion has said, that he would agree to whatever we
should do.

                  *       *       *       *       *

_January 21st._ A Memorial from M. Gerard, Minister Plenipotentiary of
France, and Consul-General, was read, enclosing a commission of Consul
in the port of Boston, and other ports in Massachusetts Bay, to the
Sieur Valnais. The commission was referred to the Marine Committee,
and they were instructed to register it and to return the original to
M. Valnais, and to take measures for making him known to all whom it
may concern, as Consul of France in the State of Massachusetts.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                      Philadelphia, February 3d, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor to represent to
the Congress of the United States, that it is of infinite importance
to the safety of the King's squadron, stationed in the Gulf of Mexico,
to determine the supply of provisions on which it may rely. And
several vessels being ready to sail for Martinique, the wisdom of
Congress will show to that body the necessity of informing the
commander of this squadron of it without delay.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, February 8th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, being ordered to communicate
to Congress subjects of the highest importance, has the honor to
inform the President of it, and requests him to inform him, whether he
wishes him to execute his orders through him, or if he prefers that he
should communicate them to Congress in an audience.

                                                               GERARD.

   "Ordered, that the President acquaint M. Gerard, Minister
   Plenipotentiary of France, that Congress will admit him to a
   private audience, when he shall present himself, to make the
   communication he is instructed to make to Congress."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, February 9th, 1779.

  Sir,

By instructions addressed to the undersigned on the 29th of October
last, he is ordered to transmit to Congress the answer of the King to
certain communications made to his Majesty by the Commissioners of the
United States.

1st. These Commissioners having desired his Majesty to continue the
subsidy which he had granted them, he gave them to understand, that
his affairs did not permit him to make this engagement, since the war
which he is carrying on against England, and the general situation of
Europe, require expenses which absorb all his resources, yet in
consequence of the representations made by the deputies, of the
difficulty which they found in honoring the bills of exchange which
Congress had drawn upon them, for the interest due upon money which
had been borrowed, his Majesty has been pleased to grant a sum of
seven hundred and fifty thousand livres, as a new proof of his
friendship for the United States.

2dly. The same Commissioners made known to the King, that Congress had
reason to presume, that a part of the articles furnished to the United
States, was a present on the part of his Majesty. The undersigned is
authorised to declare, that this intention never existed, that it was
an affair entirely commercial, in which the Ministry had no other
part, than that of permitting M. de Beaumarchais to take from the
magazines and arsenals of the King, on condition of replacing them,
the articles with which commerce could not supply him, that
consequently the Ministry had no other power in this affair, than
that of preventing Congress from being pressed too soon for payment
for the articles taken from the magazines and arsenals of the King. As
to the contract made with Roderique Hortalez & Co, the Ministry has
declared to the American deputies, who asked their advice, upon the
ratification or rejection of this contract, that they did not know the
house of Roderique Hortalez & Co. and that they could not answer for
it, nor express an opinion as to its stability and fidelity in the
performance of its engagements.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, February 9th, 1779.

  Sir,

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, has received a
formal order from the King, his master, to make known to Congress,
that the King of Spain, in order to put an end to the tergiversations
of England, has determined upon a decisive and peremptory proceeding.
His Catholic Majesty has, consequently, made to the King of England a
final offer of his mediation; but with the declaration that it was the
last, and that if it was as fruitless as those which preceded, it
would only remain to him to perform the duties, which his alliance
with the King imposes upon him.

The King of Spain, by taking this proceeding upon himself in a
friendly manner, has shown a disposition most favorable to the
alliance. The King, my master, on his side, persists in the invariable
resolution not to separate his interests from those of America, and
to support the cause of the United States, as if it were his own
personal cause.

His Majesty thinks, while fulfilling the duties of the alliance by
this confidential communication, that he ought to invite and urge
Congress to furnish immediately with the necessary powers and
instructions the person or persons whom they shall think proper to
authorise to assist in the deliberations, and in the conclusion and
signing of the treaty. His Majesty trusts that Congress will perceive
the inestimable value of time in a juncture so critical and so
important; and that the injuries caused by any delay would be
irreparable both to the alliance and the allies. In complying with the
invitations of the King, the United States would regard equally their
dignity and their interests. The place of the negotiation is fixed at
Madrid.

His Majesty, while engaging in everything that can hasten the happy
moment in which America can enjoy, peaceably, internal and external
prosperity, which is the object of the revolution and the limit of his
Majesty's wishes, has instructed the undersigned to suggest to
Congress, that at a time in which they are employed in fixing their
political existence, it seems to belong to their foresight to consider
the sentiments of the States as to the peace in relation to Spain, and
they will perhaps think, that the means of preventing all future
discontents merits their attention, and ought to be one of the
subjects of the positive and definite instructions, which the States
will give for the conclusion of the peace.

                                                               GERARD.


_February 13th._ The President was directed to inform the Minister,
that Congress will take the subject of his memorials of the 9th into
immediate consideration, and that if he wishes to communicate anything
farther to them, Congress will receive the same from him in a private
audience. And it was at the same time resolved, that all private
audiences given to foreign Ministers be held in a committee of the
whole.

_February 15th._ The President acquainted the House, that pursuant to
their order, he had informed the Minister of France, that Congress
will take his memorials of the 9th into immediate consideration, and
that if he wishes to communicate anything farther to them, Congress
will receive the same in a private audience; that the Minister wished
to make further communications to Congress, and would attend the House
at twelve o'clock this day.

The Minister, agreeably to his appointment, was introduced, and had a
free conference with Congress, in which he represented the present
state of affairs in Europe, the dispositions of the Spanish Court, and
the measures it was about to take in order to restore peace; from
thence he took occasion to press upon Congress the necessity of having
a Minister in Europe properly empowered and instructed. He further
signified, that it was the desire of his Most Christian Majesty, that
the United States would speedily put themselves in a condition to take
that part in the negotiation for peace apparently about to take place,
which their dignity and interest required; and that they should lay a
solid foundation for obtaining a speedy peace agreeably to the terms
of the treaty, by giving their Plenipotentiary the most ample
instructions and full powers. This he enforced by sundry arguments,
and pressed the utmost despatch.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                       Philadelphia, March 14th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, undersigned, does not doubt
that the committee, charged on the part of Congress to persuade the
undersigned to keep the rate of exchange at nine hundred per cent, in
order to stop the farther depreciation which circumstances threatened,
has reported the answer which the said Minister gave on this subject;
but as the undersigned is still ignorant of the manner in which
Congress has received this answer, he is the more desirous of being
informed of it, as he must give an account to his Court of the success
of the course which he has adopted, and as the agent of the royal navy
has, till this time, confined himself to the rule proposed on the part
of Congress, without any return to the interests of his Majesty.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                       Philadelphia, March 16th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, being about to send M. de
Maulcon to New York to effect the exchange of the French prisoners,
who are detained there, takes the liberty to request the Congress of
the United States of America to have the goodness to allow them the
same facilities as heretofore, by charging their Commissioners to
receive them on their landing at Elizabethtown and New London, and
from thence as far as Philadelphia or Boston, and to give them, at the
expense of his Most Christian Majesty, the same treatment which
American prisoners receive.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                       Philadelphia, March 17th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor to remind the
Congress of the United States of North America, that in executing for
five months the instructions with which he has been charged by the
King, his master, in relation to the present state of affairs, the
undersigned has expressed his Majesty's desire, that the United States
should quickly put themselves in a situation to take, in the
negotiation for peace which seems on the point of taking place, the
part which their dignity and their interests require, and that they
should lay firm foundations for obtaining a speedy pacification
conformable to the terms of the alliance, by giving to their
Plenipotentiary instructions the most ample, and powers the most
extensive. It is, in fact, impossible to be too economical of time,
when a correspondence is carried on at so great a distance, upon a
business so important and so liable to be changed by many incidents
impossible to be foreseen. These observations have still greater
force, when the opening of the campaign is approaching, and when the
greatest celerity alone can anticipate the moment of it. Every day's
delay increases the obstacles to the success of the advantageous
plans, which the King has communicated to the United States. To
prolong the deliberation upon peace may be to reject it. His Majesty,
who thinks that he has deserved the confidence of the United States,
believes, moreover, that he has a right, after the assurances which
Congress have so often repeated with regard to the uniformity of
sentiments on the subject of his alliance with the United States, to
hope that this subject will be treated with the promptness which the
juncture requires.

The indulgence with which Congress has received the reflections of the
undersigned authorises him to submit these to their wisdom and
prudence. He adds, that there may be reason to fear that longer delays
may give rise to suspicions, and authorise the assertions which have
been made in Europe, respecting a division of opinions and sentiments
prevailing in Congress, and strengthen the hope which the enemy
continues to entertain of fomenting this domestic discord, and at the
same time of exciting distrust between the allies by pretending to
treat with each of the States singly, in order to take them separately
in the snare of their credulity, and to deprive them of the mutual
support which they derive from their union. It is, moreover, well
known, that the preliminary condition of the Court of London to the
United States would be to renounce the alliance formed with France, to
form an offensive coalition, and to restrain the commerce of America.
The undersigned is very far from believing, that the wisdom and
rectitude of Congress do not protect them from the effects of this
insidious policy; but their glory and interests seem to require, that
they should prevent the farther establishment of an opinion, which,
more than anything else, will contribute to support the false
expectation and the obstinacy of the common enemy.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                       Philadelphia, March 31st, 1779.

  Sir,

I have the honor to inform you, that the season proper for my
departure for France is coming on, and I take the liberty to request
you to persuade Congress to hasten the time of it as much as possible.
Even if my health did not require this voyage, circumstances would
have induced me to undertake it, because I perceive how important it
is for the common cause, that in the present situation of affairs,
those men alone, who are informed of the actual state of things and
opinions in America, and who enjoy an unlimited confidence, should be
employed in this negotiation.

Besides, Sir, as I must presume from the wisdom of Congress, that they
have made the same reflections, that they have fixed, or will fix the
choice of their Minister or Ministers Plenipotentiary, in consequence
of what they must also have felt, that the only way of proceeding is
to choose persons, who should enjoy the fullest confidence of the
allied or friendly Courts, and to furnish them with the fullest and
most extensive powers. In this case it will, in my opinion, be proper
that I should depart with one or more of your Ministers, and it is an
additional motive for urging this whole arrangement, with which your
own interest inspires me, by increasing my eagerness to go where I
shall think myself happy to announce, that union and unanimity prevail
in America.

Moreover, Sir, I request you to inform me in what manner Congress will
judge proper that I should take my leave, with regard to the secrecy,
which I endeavor to keep as to my speedy departure. I also flatter
myself, that if they shall think proper to give me any commission,
they will rely upon my carrying into France the same zeal for the
interests of the United States and of the common cause, of which I
have sought to give proofs during my residence in America.

I have the honor to be, with respect and esteem, Sir, your most
obedient humble servant,

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                      Mount Pleasant, April 6th, 1779.

  Sir,

I have the honor of sending you the abstract of news, which I have
just received from Martinique. It is not very interesting, but it will
at least make known the present state of things. I send at the same
time a paper relative to a financial operation, which has been
performed in France. I request you to send it back to me again, and
to accept the sentiments of respect with which I have the honor to be,
Sir, &c.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

   _Abstract of several Letters, dated Martinique, February 25th._

"The King's vessels, Robuste of seventyfour guns, commanded by the
Count de Grasse, commander of the squadron; Magnifique of seventyfour,
by M. de Branche; Dauphin Royal of seventy, by M. de Mitton; and
Vengeur of sixtyfour, by M. de Retz, having sailed from Brest the 14th
of January, arrived at Fort Royal the 20th of this month. They had on
board the second field regiment, eight hundred and fifty recruits, and
a company of miners."

_March 6th._ "We learn that Admiral Byron has on his part also
received a reinforcement, but we do not know the force of it. He has
not yet undertaken any operation. He has only twice sailed out with
some ships, but he returned the day after. It is true, that he has not
troops enough to make conquests and to preserve them. Sickness
continues to make great ravages among those that are at St Lucia."

_March 9th._ "The convoy from France, so much wished for, has just
arrived, attended by many vessels.

"The islands of St Martin and St Bartholomew, which the English had
taken from us, have just been retaken without much exertion by three
of our frigates, and an end put to the triumph, which our enemies had
reaped from this easy conquest.

"M. de Kersin, the lieutenant of the ship, took two prizes last week;
one a merchant store-ship called Eliza, armed with twentyeight twelve
pounders. Her crew consisted of one hundred and forty men, and her
cargo of provisions and sails, to the value of twentyfive thousand
livres. The store-ship was sheathed with copper. The other is a
privateer of eighteen guns, and with a crew of seventysix men. Some
American privateers have sent here two prizes coming from Halifax,
loaded with fish and boards. The Minerva has also carried to Cape
François another English frigate of twentyfour guns. The ability of
the captain saved her from the danger of being taken by a ship of war
and three frigates, by which she had been surprised in a calm."

_Baltimore, April 2d._ "The captain of a sloop, which has arrived in
twentytwo days from Martinique, reports that sickness had made
dreadful ravages in the English army and fleet at St Lucia, that the
two squadrons are supposed to be nearly equal in force, that the
French frigates, are constantly at sea, often engaging with the
English, that one of the former has taken the frigate Liverpool of
twentysix guns, that in other respects, the situation of the French is
entirely satisfactory to them, and that they appear to be unconcerned
with regard to the success of the operations, which Admiral Byron
intends to undertake."

_Martinique, March 14th._ "We learn from France, that news has been
received by Portuguese vessels returned from India, that the English
commenced hostilities against the French in the month of April. A ship
of war and a frigate attacked at that time the Brilliant, of
seventyfour guns, commanded by M. de Tronjoly, who repelled the
attack. We learn also, that they are making great exertions for the
repair and arming of a force of fortyfive privateers, which the royal
navy has taken from the English, and that the greater part of these
vessels will in a short time be ready to sail."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                       Philadelphia, April 24th, 1779.

  Sir,

Although the undersigned is not invested with any power on the part of
his Catholic Majesty, he hopes that the Congress of the United States
of North America, knowing the closeness of the union subsisting
between his Catholic and his Most Christian Majesty, will not be
surprised if the Minister of France has the honor to submit to them
the representations, which two captains of Spanish vessels have made
to Don Juan de Mirales. The facts on which these representations rest
are contained in the annexed memorial, being taken from the letters of
the captains. In a short time, the proceedings, and the act of appeal
relating to one of the Spanish ships, whose cargo has been
confiscated, will be laid before Congress, as well as the papers
relating to the second ship, if this suffers the same fate; in order
to implore the justice of Congress. Meanwhile it has been thought
proper to communicate the facts to Congress, in order that they may be
pleased previously to examine this affair, on which we are persuaded
that they will be pleased to bestow the greater attention, as it
involves the observance of a law generally adopted by commercial
nations, for the maintenance of the public security upon the sea, as
well as of the right of neutrality, which affects the interests of the
United States, as much and more than those of any other nation, and
in order not to give just cause of discontent to a power like Spain,
by violating the immunity and dignity of her flag, and by depriving
her subjects of their property without cause or pretext.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              _Memorial respecting two Spanish Vessels._

                             Translation.

Memorial or relation of the injury sustained by two Captains of
Spanish merchantmen, which had sailed, the one from the river of
London, loaded with merchandise for Cadiz, on the account and at the
risk of Spanish merchants; and the other from the port of Cadiz,
loaded with wines, fruits, cochineal, and other articles, of the
growth of the Spanish territory, belonging also to Spaniards, bound
for London. These two vessels were stopped by two different
privateers, carrying the flag of the United States of America, and
brought the one to Newbury and the other to Beverly, and then on the
demand of the owners of the privateer, the cargo of one of them was
declared a lawful prize at Boston, the 28th of last March. They were
on the point of passing sentence on the other at the same place, and
not doubting that it will suffer the same fate as the first, according
to the letters written by the said Captains from the said port of
Boston to Don Juan de Mirales, one of which is without date, and the
other bearing date of the 3d of this month, he has the honor to impart
their contents to his Excellency M. Gerard, Minister Plenipotentiary
of the Court of France to the United States of America, requesting him
to have the goodness to lay the information before the honorable
Congress of the said States, in order to obtain all the satisfaction
due to the honor of the flag of his Catholic Majesty, his master, in
conformity to the tenor of Articles 14th, 15th, 25th, and 26th, of the
treaty of alliance and commerce, between his Most Christian Majesty
and the said States of America, signed the 6th of February, 1778. He
asks also for the punishment of the infringers of the treaty, or
captors, and requests that the Judges may be punished, who have
unjustly condemned and sentenced as a lawful prize the said cargo; and
provided that the other vessel has met with the same fate, to sentence
them to the payment of all the indemnities, expenses, damages, and
losses, resulting from the injury sustained by the said vessels, and
the interruption of their voyages, besides the injury which this
occasions to the proprietors of the same; and this, seeing that at the
time in which they were stopped, his Majesty the King of Spain was at
peace with all the powers of Europe, and consequently had no enemy to
fear; whereas it is possible that since that time, the state of peace
between the Court of Spain and other powers may have changed, or will
change, before the said Spanish vessels can perform the voyages for
which they were designed; and also the decay of the vessels and of the
merchandise with which they were loaded, and the great risk offered by
a voyage from this continent to any European port, &c. &c. _to wit_;

Captain Joseph Llanos, by his letter without date, (although there can
be no doubt that it comes from Boston) says, that he sailed from
London with his vessel, (without mentioning its name) belonging to Don
Philip Aguixxe de San Fadder, loaded with merchandise for Cadiz,
amounting to nearly two hundred thousand current piastres, and that
in the course of his voyage he was stopped by a privateer schooner of
Newbury, called the Success, Felix Trask Captain, belonging to
Nathaniel Tracy of said Newbury, and forcibly brought to this place,
notwithstanding, that he assured the said Captain Tracy, that the
cargo belonged entirely to Spaniards, and that he was convinced of it
by the bills of laden found on board, notwithstanding which, that the
said cargo has been sentenced as a lawful prize, although the papers
exhibit no fraud; as will be seen by the process, which is copied in
order to be presented to the honorable Congress, to which appeal is
made.

The Captains claim the protection of the honorable Congress, that of
his Excellency M. Gerard, and that of Don Juan de Miralles; the
navigation of the Spanish being very much injured by the privateers of
this continent, there being three vessels belonging to this nation in
the same situation as the above, brought in by different privateers.
These three vessels also propose to appeal to the honorable Congress,
and are resolved to defend the rights of the Spanish.

Captain Joachin Garcia de Luca, commander of a Spanish ship with three
masts, her crew Spanish, says, in his letter dated at Boston, the 3d
of the present month, that he sailed from Cadiz for London, loaded
with wines, oils, cochineal, and fruits, on the account and at the
risk of Spaniards, and that he was stopped, on the 21st of December,
1778, when pursuing his voyage, by a privateer frigate, with the flag
of the United States of America, which brought him to Beverly; that
having learned that the owners of the said privateer were desirous,
that the cargo of the Spanish vessel should be confiscated, he went
to Boston, where the court of justice sits, before which he appeared
on the 2d of the current month, not knowing at that time, but he
should meet with the same fate, which his friend Don Joseph de Llanos
has suffered with regard to his cargo, which was condemned on the 28th
of last March.

I, Don Juan de Miralles, truly certify, that the above was extracted
from the letters which the Spanish Captains, Don Joseph de Llanos and
Joachin Garcia de Luca, wrote to me, and which I received on the 19th
current, at eight o'clock in the evening.

                                                 DON JUAN DE MIRALLES.

  _Philadelphia, April 21, 1778._

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                           Philadelphia, May 3d, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has learnt, by despatches from
his Court under date of the 25th of December, that the negotiation,
which has been the subject of the overtures which the said Minister
has had the honor to make to the Congress of the United States of
North America for nearly three months, continues, and that his said
Court earnestly desires, that Congress would be pleased to take prompt
measures to take part in the said negotiation, as soon as
circumstances shall have brought it to its proper state of
advancement, which may happen at any moment.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                                        May 4th, 1779.

"The Minister of France delivered to the President a letter from the
King of France, with the following note."

The custom in Holland, for sending to the States-General the letters
by which the King notifies them of marriages or births, is to give
them to the President of the week, who then goes to the house of the
Ambassador, or Minister of the King, to compliment him in the name of
the States-General, upon the event which forms the subject of the
letters of notification.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 FROM THE KING OF FRANCE TO CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

  Very dear, and great Friends and Allies,

We do not delay informing you of the birth of the Princess, to whom
the Queen, our very dear consort, has just happily given birth. Our
confidence in your friendship does not permit us to doubt your
interest in this event, nor your participation in the satisfaction
which we derive from this first fruit of the divine blessing on our
marriage.

The interest that we take in the prosperity of your Republic is our
warrant for the pleasure, which we have in repeating to you the
assurances of our esteem, and of our constant affection. Moreover, we
pray God, that he may keep you, very dear and great friends and
allies, under his holy and worthy protection.

                                                                LOUIS.

  Written at Versailles, December 19th, 1778.

"This letter being read, the President, with a committee consisting of
one member from each State, was immediately to wait upon the Minister,
and in the name of the United States to congratulate him upon the
birth of the Princess. A committee was also appointed to prepare the
draft of an answer to his Majesty's letter."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                          Philadelphia, May 6th, 1779.

  Sir,

The anxiety of the undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France,
for the maintenance of the most perfect harmony, and the care which he
has been in the habit of taking from the commencement of the alliance
to establish such a confidence, as can alone maintain it and conduce
to its prosperity, do not allow him to conceal from the Congress of
the United States the perplexity under which he labors, with regard to
informing his Court of the delays which the negotiation, commenced in
the month of February last, meets with. It must be allowed, that no
affair so important and so pressing ever experienced so much delay,
and the undersigned declares, that he can see no reason for warning
France and Spain against the sinister interpretations, with which
attempts are made to inspire them in regard to this conduct. The zeal
and the good will of the petitioner do not suggest to him any other
expedient, than that of requesting Congress to approve of his having
the honor of imparting to them, as he now does, his perplexity and
embarrassment.

He adds, that the Court of France has received intelligences, that
England was resolved to send a considerable reinforcement of troops to
the continent of North America, and to carry on the war there with all
possible vigor, in order to proceed to the conquest of America at the
same time by force and by intrigue. The King, in consequence of his
attention to whatever may concern the security and the happiness of
his allies, has ordered his Minister Plenipotentiary to communicate
this intelligence to the Congress of the United States. The
undersigned has the honor to perform this commission by the present
note. He believes that he should add, that his Majesty, adhering
scrupulously to the spirit and principles of the alliance, which has
the independence of the United States as an essential object, is
always resolved to assist America by all the means, that the resources
of his kingdom, and the general state of affairs, will permit him
successively to devote to this grand object, without being turned from
it by the idea of any conquest for himself.

It is in consequence of these same dispositions and of this same
disinterestedness, that his Majesty, although he has made no
engagement to furnish supplies of money to the United States, and
although the active and direct war which he is carrying on against the
common enemy absorbs his resources, and ought to exempt him from all
accessory and entirely voluntary expenses, is desirous to contribute
to the re-establishment of the American finances, so far as his own
necessities allow him to do so. He has thought that he should partly
fulfil this object, by securing the payment of the interest on the
loans, which have been stipulated to be paid in France, presuming that
the credit of one of the public funds of the States would effectually
contribute to the support of the others, and to the success of the
measures, which the wisdom of Congress may adopt on this subject. A
society of bankers, established under the authority of the King, has
consequently taken upon itself to make the necessary advances, in the
form of a loan made to America. The undersigned has not yet received
the exact details of this arrangement, but he will have the honor of
communicating them, so soon as he shall receive them.

The confidence which the King places in the reciprocal attachment of
the United States of America to the alliance, can alone induce him to
determine upon proceedings, which are useful only to America,
burdensome to France, and destitute of all advantage for her. His
Majesty hopes to receive reciprocal proofs of these sentiments and
feelings, but he neither demands nor expects anything for himself on
the part of Congress. He only desires, that the States should employ
all the resources at their disposal, in order to provide for their own
security and tranquillity.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                          Philadelphia, May 9th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, having thought it his duty to
take upon himself to inform the Count d'Estaing of the desire, which
Congress had expressed to him, that the King's squadron should come to
the assistance of Georgia, this Vice-Admiral has just replied, that
the superiority of the enemy in the Islands had not till this time,
permitted him to leave those latitudes; but that in consequence of the
intentions of his Majesty, which are, to grant to the United States,
his allies, all the assistance compatible with the security of his own
possessions, and with the general position of affairs, he proposes to
sail immediately to the Southern coasts of the States, and to exert
himself for the deliverance of Georgia, and the preservation of the
Carolinas. From thence the King's squadron will sail to the mouth of
the Delaware, and its further operations will depend upon the
agreement that shall be made between Congress and the commander of his
Majesty's forces, and will be calculated for the greatest advantage of
the United States.

The undersigned has no doubt, that this new proof of his Majesty's
generous and disinterested friendship strengthens the confidence, with
which these engagements and his conduct must have inspired the
governments and people of America. Facts so evident will serve, on the
other hand, to confound those ill-disposed men, who, by silent and
clandestine insinuations, destitute of all proof, and of all
probability, directed solely by private views, and evidently opposed
to the honor and interest of the confederated Republic, seek to sow
distrusts and jealousies, of which the common enemy alone can reap the
advantage.

The undersigned must add to the details above given, that it is
impossible for the Count d'Estaing to carry provisions from Martinique
sufficient for the campaign, which he proposes to make in the seas of
North America. He hopes that Congress will be pleased to give the most
precise and effectual orders for their being got in readiness and
placed on the coast, so that the squadron may easily take them on
board. The undersigned Minister, hopes that Congress will be pleased
to inform him successively of what shall be done on this subject,
since the said Minister must be personally responsible for these
measures, the failure of which would expose to the greatest
misfortunes the forces, which the King has destined to bring direct
and immediate assistance to the United States, although his
engagements, which he will always scrupulously fulfil, do not impose
this duty on him.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                          Philadelphia, May 9th, 1779.

  Sir,

When the Congress of the United States did me the honor to ask my
concurrence in inducing the Count d'Estaing to assist Georgia, I
asserted, that this Vice-Admiral, in conformity with the intentions of
the King, would do all that circumstances should permit. I proposed at
the same time the means of proceeding to the execution of this plan;
but Congress observed an entire silence, and did not deign to inform
me of their resolution. It was only through a public channel, that I
learned that the plan was abandoned; but my zeal having led me to
write previously to the Count d'Estaing, and having received the
answer of this Vice-Admiral, I do not think, Sir, that the interest of
the alliance and of the United States allows me to act according to
the presumed negative resolution of Congress, and I request you
consequently to submit to that body the annexed Memorial.[25]

I have the honor to be, with the highest esteem, Sir, your humble and
most obedient servant.

                                                               GERARD.

FOOTNOTE:

[25] This Memorial is missing.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, May 19th, 1789.

  Sir,

I take the liberty of addressing to you a note of Don Juan de
Miralles, concerning the Spanish ships carried into New England, and
beg you to lay it before Congress, and to represent to them, that
there is reason to fear, if the appeal which the council of Boston has
reserved to itself should be decided before any measures be taken by
Congress, the ships and merchandise will be sold, to the irreparable
loss of the Spaniards.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the greatest respect, Sir,
your most obedient humble servant.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                              MEMORIAL.

                             Translation.

Don Juan de Miralles, who, under date of the 21st of April last, had
the honor to present a Memorial to his Excellency M. Gerard, Minister
Plenipotentiary of the Court of France to the United States of
America, to inform him of the proceedings of different privateers,
with the flag of the said United States, against three vessels
lawfully provided with the Spanish flag, which had sailed, one of them
from London for Cadiz, and the two others from Cadiz for England,
loaded with merchandise belonging, as well as the said vessels, to
subjects of his Catholic Majesty, his master, which have been carried
into different ports of New England, under the jurisdiction of the
Province of Massachusetts, and that the respective indictments have
been drawn against them before the Court of Admiralty of the city of
Boston, where the cargo of one of the said vessels which sailed from
London has been condemned, to the profit of the owners and crew of the
privateer which captured her; another of the said vessels, which
sailed from Cadiz, has also been condemned, and there is no doubt that
the third has suffered or will suffer the same fate.

Don Joseph de Llanos, Captain of the vessel which sailed from London,
and Don Joachin Garcia de Luca, of the other which sailed from Cadiz,
which, as has been said, have been condemned, have sent me an express,
with copies of the said proceedings, which I have had the honor, in
concurrence with the said M. Gerard, and in his presence, to deliver
to his Excellency the President of the Honorable Congress, who was so
kind as to receive them, and to offer to lay them before the Honorable
Congress, in order that it may take into consideration an affair of so
great consequence, and be pleased to order what is just, as well as it
regards the interest of the proprietors of the vessels and cargoes, as
the honor due to every neutral flag, and particularly to that of his
Catholic Majesty.

Having learnt, that considering that the said court of Boston has not
agreed to grant to the said condemned Captains the appeal, which they
have made from their sentences to the said Honorable Congress, and
which has only been referred to the Supreme Court of the said Province
of Massachusetts, they are to judge the said indictment definitively,
in the last resort, and that there is no doubt that the first
sentences pronounced by the Court of Admiralty of Boston will be
confirmed; the said Don Juan de Miralles earnestly requests his
Excellency, the said M. Gerard, that he would be pleased to interpose
his influence and his mediation with the said Honorable Congress, in
order that it may have the goodness to pass a resolution ordering the
said Supreme Court of Massachusetts, and every other tribunal, to
suspend every proceeding and determination with regard to the
aforesaid three Spanish vessels and their cargoes, until the said
Honorable Congress shall have decided definitively on this affair, and
that this may be done soon, so that the order, which it may be pleased
to give, may arrive at Boston before the said 5th of June next, which
is the time at which the said causes are to be judged definitively and
in the last resort.

                                                     JUAN DE MIRALLES.

  _Philadelphia, May 18, 1779._

                          *       *       *

The foregoing letter from the Minister of France, together with that
of Don Juan de Miralles, was referred to Mr Burke, Mr Duane, and Mr
Lovell, who on the 22d delivered in a report, and thereupon Congress
passed the following resolution.

Resolved, That the resolutions of Congress passed the 6th day of March
last, relative to the control of Congress, by appeal in the last
resort, over all jurisdictions for deciding the legality of captures
on the high seas, be immediately transmitted to the several States,
and that they be respectively requested to take effectual measures for
conforming therewith.

Resolved, That the following letter be written to the Minister
Plenipotentiary of France, and signed by the President.

  "Sir,

"Congress having taken into consideration your letter of the 19th of
this month, I am directed to assure you, that as soon as the matter
shall in due course come before them, they will attend very
particularly to the cases of the vessels, stated in the note from Don
Juan de Miralles, to have been sailing under the flag of his Catholic
Majesty, and captured by armed vessels under the flag of the United
States, and that they will cause the law of nations to be most
strictly observed; that if it shall be found after due trial, that the
owners of the captured vessels have suffered damage from the
misapprehension or violation of _the rights of war_ and _neutrality_,
Congress will cause reparation to be made, in such a manner as to do
ample justice, and vindicate the honor of the Spanish flag. That
Congress have every possible disposition to cultivate the most perfect
harmony with his Catholic Majesty, and to encourage the most liberal
and friendly intercourse between his subjects and the citizens of
these United States.

"But they cannot consistently with the powers intrusted to them, and
the rights of the States and of individuals, in any case suspend or
interrupt the ordinary course of justice."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS,

                             Translation.

                                          Philadelphia, May 22d, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, not having been hitherto
informed by Congress of the result of their deliberations upon the
important overtures, which have formed for more than three months the
constant subject of his representations, has reason to presume, that
the resolutions relative to them have not yet been passed. Delays, so
long and so unnatural, in a matter so clear, and in a juncture which
requires so much celerity, and which so essentially concerns the
United States, have rendered the undersigned apprehensive lest some
doubt had arisen, either as to the main point of the matter, or as to
the manner of proceeding, or as to the dispositions and views of the
King; and as the said Minister is instructed to conceal from Congress
nothing that can be useful to the interests of the United States, he
asks permission to submit to them the summary of the most essential
things, which seemed to him to deserve attention in the further course
of its deliberations.

It is well known, that the direct and essential object of the
alliance, which subsists between his Most Christian Majesty and the
United States, is to _maintain effectually the liberty, the
sovereignty, and the independence, absolute and unlimited, of the said
States, as well with respect to government as to commerce_, and
consequently, the territorial rights belonging to sovereignty. To this
object all the efforts and proceedings of the King are constantly
tending. It is in order to attain it, and to procure for the people
of America the power of this valuable independence, and the cessation
of the evils and dangers under which an active and obstinate war makes
them groan, that his Majesty has undertaken a difficult and expensive
war against England, without any view of personal interest, and even
with the refusal of the advantages which the United States appeared
ready to grant him. He has already given brilliant proofs, that his
friendship does not confine itself to the mere fulfilment of his
engagements. He is in fact disposed to give to the United States all
the assistance compatible with the situation of his own affairs, and
with the general state of things, and he regards the interests of the
United States as his own, in everything that relates to the object of
the alliance, and that is conformable to the invariable principles on
which his reciprocal connexions with the United States are founded. It
is in consequence of his attention to execute literally the treaty of
alliance, that he has not lost a moment in informing Congress of the
overtures relative to the projected pacification, in entreating them
to take without delay that part in this negotiation, which the dignity
and interests of the United States require. He has moreover repeated
to Congress the promise, that he would not treat with the common
enemy, without making it a primary and essential condition, that the
independence of the United States should be acknowledged, conformably
to the stipulations of the treaty of alliance. His Majesty has at the
same time ordered his Minister Plenipotentiary to lay before Congress
some considerations relative to the state of affairs, and particularly
to observe to them, that the alliance, unless victorious, cannot
dictate terms to the common enemy. The undersigned has executed these
orders either verbally or in writing.

It is evident then, that his Majesty desires only the tranquillity and
prosperity of America, upon the foundation of an honorable and firm
peace, conformable to the stipulations of the treaty of alliance. He
rejects every idea of conquest and acquisition of territory for
himself. In order promptly to attain this advantageous object, and to
fulfil his engagements, he is disposed to carry on the war with vigor,
if the common enemy refuses the pacific system, which his Majesty has
announced to the whole world, and which the United States adopted on
signing the alliance. But in case that the perseverance of the Court
of London in the desire to subdue, or to conquer America, should
prolong the calamities of the war, his Majesty will consider himself
at liberty to concert with the United States all the further measures
adapted to this new order of things, and conformably to the mutual
interests of the allies and of the common cause. It is thus that the
King fulfils, and proposes to fulfil, the duties resulting from
Articles 1st and 8th of the treaty of alliance, by urging on one side
the United States to participate in the negotiation, which can conduct
to the conclusion of a truce and of a peace, by making common cause
with the said States, and on the other side, by enabling the two
allies mutually to assist each other by their good offices, their
councils, and their forces, as circumstances may require; in fine, by
showing his perseverance, conformably to Article 8th, in the
resolution not to lay down arms till independence shall have been
formally or tacitly acknowledged. But as this last stipulation limits
his Majesty's engagements on this subject to the very time of this
acknowledgment, if England immediately agrees to this essential
condition, his Most Christian Majesty will have fulfilled all his
positive and direct engagements in relation to the conclusion of
peace.

It follows from these observations,

1st. That the King has engaged to procure for the United States, by
means of arms, the acknowledgment of their independence, and that his
Majesty is faithful to fulfil this obligation, and even disposed to
lend them assistance, to which he is not obliged by the treaty.

2dly. That he has made no other engagements than those expressed in
the stipulations of the treaty.

3dly. That the United States have neither title nor right to require
anything more, and that if they wish to persuade him to further
engagements, it can only be voluntary on his part, and by uniting
_reciprocal counsels_, conformably to the expression of Article 1st of
the treaty, and as is proper for _good and faithful allies_. Even in
this case, it is impossible to foresee the state of things and minds
in Europe, or to judge what measures the important care of maintaining
his reputation, and the system of equity and moderation, which he has
made the fundamental principle of his reign, may require on his
Majesty's part. These considerations seem particularly due to an ally,
when he has contracted gratuitous obligations without any reciprocal
advantages.

4thly. By uniting the expressions of Articles 11th and 12th, it will
be seen, that the success of the war being alone able to fix the fate
of empires, it has been found impossible on concluding the treaty of
alliance to determine the possessions that the United States may
obtain on making peace; that consequently, the engagement of France
can only be conditional and eventual on this subject; that she is not
now held to any particular engagement, in relation to these
possessions, whether real or pretended; and that this obligation will
not commence till the time in which the possessions of the United
States shall be fixed by the cessation of the war.

5thly. In fine, it is indispensable to add to these considerations,
that when any doubt arises as to the expressions, the extent and the
application of the stipulations of a treaty, the laws of reason, and
of universal justice, as well as the rules of a good and faithful
alliance, decide, that an ally has no right to interpret it
arbitrarily and partially; that the attempt would at the same time
offend the dignity, and destroy the confidence of his ally; that
neither of them can in fact arrogate to himself the superiority in
connexions, which ought to be equal and reciprocal; that it is only by
a friendly explanation, by a formal agreement, that these doubts can
be removed, and the exact meaning of treaties determined; that in
short, this method would become still more indispensable, if it should
happen, that the pretensions of one of the parties were founded only
upon farfetched inductions, subject to discussion and contradiction,
and would tend to alter the essential and fundamental system of an
alliance.

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France is fully confident, that the
Congress of the United States, knowing the laws of proceedings, and
the respect which Sovereigns mutually owe to each other, will observe
them in their conduct towards his Most Christian Majesty; but the
important, critical, and pressing juncture, in which the affairs of
the alliance stand at the present moment, imposes on the undersigned
Minister the sacred duty of contributing, as much as lies in his
power, to hasten the resolutions of Congress, to prevent all mistakes
and every subject of misunderstanding, to preserve the most perfect
harmony and uniformity of views and sentiments, concerning the
accomplishment of the advantageous stipulations of the alliance, and
thus to deceive the expectation of the common enemy, who henceforth
founds his principal hopes on the divisions, which he is intent upon
fomenting. In fine, one of the objects of this Memorial is, to prove,
solemnly, the faithful and friendly conduct of the King in this
juncture, his Majesty hoping, that the knowledge of this conduct will
confirm the governments and people of America in the sentiments of
confidence, which the proceedings of his said Majesty have already
inspired. It is only by thus placing before the eyes of Congress the
indubitable principles expressed above, that the Minister
Plenipotentiary of France thought that he could fulfil his duties to
the King, his master, and to the alliance, and protect from all
reproach his zeal for the common cause between France and America.

If he has deceived himself in his conjectures, as to the immediate and
apparent utility of his mode of proceeding, he begs Congress to accept
his excuses for having consumed time of so much value, and he flatters
himself, that knowing his attachment to the alliance, and to the
United States, it will attribute his conduct to these sentiments
alone.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, May 24th, 1779.

  Sir,

I avail myself of the first respite, which my sickness allows me, to
congratulate you as well as Congress upon the resolution, which I am
assured they have taken, in relation to their finances. The execution
of the system, which appeared connected with this first operation of a
tax, will show to your friends and your enemies the extent of your
resources, your firmness, and your ability to make a suitable and
efficacious use of them. The eagerness with which the people seemed to
expect an arrangement of this kind, gives beforehand the proof of
their favorable dispositions and of their good will. This state of
things, Sir, cannot but strengthen the very friendly intentions of the
King, my master, by the confidence with which your own efforts, and
the displaying of the resources of America, will inspire him in your
dispositions. It will only remain for you to show vigor in your
military operations, in order to destroy the hope entertained by the
common enemy, of conquering America; then everything will inspire us
with the hope of soon seeing the happy day dawn, in which America will
enjoy independence, together with the advantages and delights of
peace. Congress has received all the possible assurances of the
King's, my master's, desire to hasten that moment, and he is
convinced, that Congress will place no obstacle in the way.

I have the honor to be, with respectful esteem, Sir, your humble and
most obedient servant.

                                                               GERARD.

                          *       *       *

_May 24th._ Information being given to Congress of some outrages and
wanton barbarities, committed on subjects of France by the enemy, on
their landing in Virginia, the following resolutions were passed.

Whereas it has been represented to Congress, that the enemy at the
time of, and since their landing in Virginia, have perpetrated the
most unnecessary, wanton, and outrageous barbarities, on divers of
the citizens of that State, as well as on several of the subjects of
his Most Christian Majesty residing therein, deliberately putting many
of them to death in cool blood, after they had surrendered, abusing
women, and desolating the country with fire,

Resolved, That the Governor of Virginia, be requested to cause
diligent inquiry to be made into the truth of the above
representations, and to transmit to Congress the evidence he may
collect on the subject.

Resolved, That Congress will retaliate for cruelties and violations of
the laws of nations committed in these States, against the subjects of
his Most Christian Majesty, in like manner and measure as if committed
against citizens of the said States, and that the protection of
Congress shall be on all occasions equally extended to both.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, May 25th, 1779.

  Sir,

I have received with the most lively satisfaction the letter with
which you honored me on the 24th of this month, as well as the
resolutions of Congress of the same date, which accompanied it, and
which relate to the atrocious actions committed by the enemy's troops
in Virginia, which violate equally the laws of war established between
civilized nations, and the first principles of humanity, and attack
the foundations of all human society.

The whole world cannot but be convinced of the justice of the
necessary measures to which the conduct of the common enemy compels
Congress to have recourse, in order if possible to put an end to such
horrible excesses.

I must confine myself here, Sir, to requesting you to place before
Congress this assurance of the sensibility with which the King, my
master, and the whole French nation will receive the strong proof of
friendship, union, and identity of feelings and interests, which the
United States give in declaring, that they will make no distinction,
in this respect, between their own subjects and those of their ally.
This will give the common enemy a new evidence of the inviolability of
the alliance which unites the two nations, and will afford the French,
who have already given so many proofs of their individual attachment
to the sentiments of the alliance, and of their zeal for the United
States, a new motive of encouragement. By thus increasing more and
more the connexions and the mutual confidence, the means of braving
the effects of the ambition and the revenge of the common enemy will
be increased.

I have the honor to be, with respect and esteem, Sir, your most humble
and obedient servant.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, May 27th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, in consequence of the
sentiment and the views, which have prompted his previous
representations, has the honor to observe to the representatives of
the United States of America in Congress assembled, that independently
of the principal and direct interest of the confederated republic in
the overtures of pacification, which the undersigned has been ordered
to make to Congress, the general good of the alliance urges with all
possible earnestness the hastening of the resolution of the said
States. It is in fact only by enabling the Court of Spain to bring its
mediation to its critical and decisive point, that it can be hoped
that this power, convinced of the injustice of the views and of the
ambition of England, will join the alliance, acknowledge the
independence of the United States, and take an active part in the war.
On the contrary, by delaying without communicating to the parties
interested the motives which induce them to it, the States will be in
danger of fatiguing this power, which keeps on foot the forces of the
whole monarchy, principally with a view to give respectability to a
mediation which appears to be neglected; they incur the risk of
cooling the good will of his Catholic Majesty, and perhaps of
alienating him as much by delays, as if resolutions, contrary to the
system which he has appeared disposed to favor by his mediation,
should give him lawful reasons for changing his conduct.

The alliance will thus be deprived of a decisive support, which the
goodness of its cause, the wisdom of its conduct, and the close union
subsisting between France and Spain seemed to promise it. Moreover,
the suspension of the said resolutions operates equally in another
point of view, in a manner the most disadvantageous for the alliance
in general, and for France in particular. On the one side, in fact,
the expectation of the resolutions of Congress necessarily infuses
into plans and measures an uncertainty injurious to the common good,
and if the Count d'Estaing does not carry into execution the plan of
coming upon the American coast, it can only be attributed to this
cause. On the other hand, the season is already so far advanced, that
this same uncertainty, by destroying the hope of seeing Spain declare
herself during the course of the present campaign, leaves France alone
exposed to the efforts of the principal body of the enemy's forces.

The wisdom of Congress, and the faithful attachment which they show on
every occasion, in a manner as conspicuous as it is satisfactory to
the alliance, and the respect which they have always expressed for
Spain, do not permit a doubt as to the attention which they will be
pleased to give to considerations of such importance. The present
Memorial is the last tribute that the zeal of the Minister
Plenipotentiary of France will allow him to consecrate to the duty of
facilitating and accelerating, as much as lies in his power, the
deliberations of Congress, by suggesting considerations which might
have such an influence.

                                                               GERARD.

                          *       *       *

_June 22d._ A Memorial from the Minister Plenipotentiary of France was
read, accompanied with a commission given by him to the Sieur de St
Hilaire, appointing him Vice-Consul for the port of Alexandria in
Virginia. Ordered, that the same be referred to the Marine Committee
to take order thereon.

Another Memorial from the Minister was received and read, accompanied
with two Memorials relative to violences, of which divers subjects of
his Majesty complain. These were also referred to the Marine
Committee.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, June 21st, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor to represent to
the Congress of the United States of America, that the daily
experience of several ports of the continent proves how prejudicial
the want of the proper regulations for maintaining the immunity of the
flag, which is the foundation of a free commerce, is to navigators, to
French merchants, and even to the interests and to the honor of the
French nation. The treaty of commerce has foreseen this state of
things, and has expressed the wish of the two parties to remedy it.
The undersigned would have proposed to Congress, some time ago, to
enter upon this negotiation, had he not perceived that their time was
occupied by subjects of greater importance; but as the evil increases
daily, it becomes indispensable and urgent to provide a remedy for it,
at least with regard to the most pressing subjects, and by provisional
regulations, which will have no force till the contract, stipulated by
the treaty of commerce, is made.

The Minister Plenipotentiary consequently thinks it his duty to lay
before Congress the annexed plan, and to propose a method, which
seemed to him calculated to effect this object.

Several States, perceiving the inconveniences of the present
uncertainty, seemed disposed to provide a remedy for it by domestic
laws; but the undersigned has not been willing to urge them, without
being previously informed of the sentiments of Congress on this
subject. He consequently requests that body to be pleased to inform
him of them, and if they think proper that the daily complaints should
be redressed by provisional regulations, while waiting till the
subject shall be acted upon by a convention, to recommend this matter
itself to the Legislatures of the several States. The regulations
which they may make will show by experience, whether they are
calculated to effect this object. They will throw light upon the rules
observed among all commercial nations, and will give to the United
States in general an opportunity of becoming acquainted with the
manner in which the commerce between the two nations can be regulated,
according to the principles of justice and equality, which should form
the foundation of all the connexions that shall subsist between them,
and according to the principles and forms which vary in different
States.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, July 5th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, has already had the honor to
recommend to Congress the request made by the King's navy agent in
relation to the expedition of the ship Defence, loaded with provisions
for Cape François. He renews his entreaties by the present Memorial.
The quantity of provisions on board this vessel is so inconsiderable,
particularly considering the abundance of old grain which we see now,
that the undersigned hopes that Congress will think that the
exportation of them may be allowed, without injury to the service of
the army or of the public. The undersigned, however, offers to have
these same provisions received, so as to be deducted from the quantity
promised for his Majesty's squadron, and particularly the flour, on
account of the thousand barrels, to which the eighteen thousand,
promised for the same service, have been reduced. The want of
provisions is so great at Cape François, particularly in the vessels
of Count d'Estaing's squadron, which are stationed there to protect
the reciprocal commerce, that the said Minister is ready to subscribe
to whatever conditions Congress shall think proper to impose with
regard to this expedition. But he requests with the greatest
earnestness, that they would be pleased not to defer giving a positive
answer, in order not to increase, if its decision is in the negative,
the costs and expenses which the King will be obliged to pay to the
proprietors and fitters out of the said vessel.

With regard to its destination, the undersigned had thought that he
could flatter himself, that his character and conduct would prevent
the doubts which a member of Congress has communicated in writing to
the King's navy agent. Nevertheless, as so weighty a suspicion,
declared in so serious a manner, and impeaching the probity and
fidelity of the officers of the King, acting immediately under the
direction of the said Minister, cannot have been suggested to Congress
without important reasons, the undersigned entreats and requests them
to be pleased to cause an account to be rendered of the reasons of his
suspicions, and of the facts upon which they may have been grounded.
The undersigned requests further, that the result of this verification
may be communicated to him, in order that he may be in a situation to
take the further part, that the dignity of the King, his respect for
Congress, his regard for the public interest of America, and the
delicacy which ought to characterise the conduct of every public man,
may require.

The undersigned makes the same request, and for the same reasons, with
regard to the accusation made to Congress, that the vessels, which
have been fitted out in the name of the King, have been loaded with
quantities of flour on individual account. He declares that his first
rule has always been to cause the whole of the vessels to be freighted
on his Majesty's account; but if any frauds have been committed in
this matter, it is of equal importance to the public good, and to the
dignity of the King, that its authors should be known, in order to
prevent further frauds. The delegates to Congress, by a verbal
declaration made to the King's navy agent, have confined this
imputation to one vessel alone, but it is not less important that the
fact should be verified.

Besides, although the Minister Plenipotentiary of France insists on
this point, in order to make these odious imputations fall on those
who may deserve them, he could have contented himself with declaring,
that not having the right of police and inspection over the
proprietors, owners, and Captains of the American vessels, which have
been employed in these transportations, and who ought to be better
acquainted than strangers with the laws of the country, it is only the
officers of the State, appointed to receive the declarations of the
ships which sail from the ports, who can, in examining the cargoes,
determine the frauds which may have been committed; and that without
directly and positively blaming the officers of the King, they cannot
be made responsible for frauds, which it is not in their power to
prevent. Very far from desiring any connivance on the part of the
officers or of the governments of the different States of America, the
undersigned earnestly desires, that they would be pleased to execute
with vigor the powers which belong to them, and the laws which may
have reference to these subjects.

The undersigned hopes that Congress will be pleased not to defer its
resolution, whatever it may be, respecting the ship Defence, till the
verification of these facts. The two affairs have nothing in common,
and the Minister Plenipotentiary, in repeating his offers expressed
above, flatters himself that Congress, if they think proper to permit
this expedition, will find that these arrangements can be made even
after the departure of this vessel.

                                                               GERARD.

                          *       *       *

This Memorial being read, it was immediately

Resolved, that it be recommended to his Excellency the Governor of
Maryland to permit the ship Defence, which is loaded with provisions
for the fleet of his Most Christian Majesty, to depart and carry her
cargo to the place of her destination, and that care be taken that she
carry no other provisions than the above, and what may be necessary
for the crew.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, July 5th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor to represent to
Congress, that faithful to the promises which that body has asked
for, on his part, in relation to the purchase of provisions destined
for the squadron, which the King sent last year to the assistance of
the United States, he has never authorised any purchase except through
the very overseers appointed by Congress, or without giving notice of
the operation to the members of the committees intrusted with this
business. He has declared to them several times, that the provisions
bought on the account, and with the money of the King, would always
remain at the disposal of Congress, either for the public service, or
for that of the American army. The undersigned hopes, that their
members will be witnesses of it to Congress. Delicacy has been carried
so far, that it has been preferred to expose the King's squadron to
the want of provisions, which it has procured only in consequence of
some happy accidents, rather than to break through an arrangement
which Congress had judged necessary. The same principle has guided the
conduct which has been pursued in the last place, when the
undersigned, by his knowledge of the chief motives of Congress, having
been obliged to demand the assurance of a certain quantity of
provisions, the difficulty of circumstances induced him to combine
purchases by way of commerce with the direct measures which Congress
has judged proper to take. As Congress must have been informed of all
that has taken place on this subject, the undersigned will not
introduce it again here, and he will abstain from all reflection.

He confines himself to representing to Congress, that the produce of
these private purchases is reduced to a very small quantity, by the
obstacles which the continental officers have thrown in their way, and
by the seizure, by authority, of the articles bought, as well as by
other similar events; and the agents employed on the King's account,
being thus deprived of the security and of the power which every
American citizen, and every foreign merchant enjoys, and the property
of the King being so uncertain and exposed, the undersigned begs
Congress to be pleased to cause all the provisions bought on the
account and with the money of his Majesty, to be placed in the hands
of the officers whom they shall judge proper to appoint for this
purpose, in order that Congress may dispose of them in such manner as
their own prudence and the public interest shall dictate; the
undersigned declaring, that from the moment in which he was informed
of these proceedings and of these obstacles, he has given order to put
an end to every kind of purchase and supply of provisions. He annexes
here the note of the provisions now in the hands of the King's agents;
and if the commissions given heretofore have produced a greater
quantity of them, he will have the honor to give notice of it to
Congress, according as he shall be informed of it himself.

But he must at the same time call the attention of Congress to the
proposition, which he had the honor to make to them by the Memorial
which contains the request for this new supply, that is to say, that
they would be pleased to declare, whether the Minister Plenipotentiary
of France may reckon upon the quantity of provisions, which are
necessary for the important object which he has had the honor to
communicate to Congress. In order to facilitate the success of his
measures on this subject, the undersigned confines himself at the
present time to requesting, that the quantity of five thousand barrels
of flour may be immediately held in readiness. The remainder can be
furnished in the course of September next, from grain the product of
this year's harvest.

The reasons alleged in the said Memorial compel the undersigned to
repeat to Congress the formal demand of a prompt and explicit answer,
with which he has not hitherto been honored. Congress has too much
wisdom for any one to allow himself to set forth to it all the
inconveniences which might result to America, and to the alliance from
the least delay. The reports hitherto communicated are so uncertain,
that it is impossible to make them the foundation of a confidence,
which the experience of the past does not encourage, unless Congress
authorises them by its sanction. A formal and explicit assurance on
the part of Congress can alone effect an object so important, upon
which the Minister Plenipotentiary of France has insisted since the
month of May, and which the advancement of the season renders still
more critical and pressing.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

          REPORT OF A COMMITTEE RESPECTING A CONFERENCE WITH
                       THE MINISTER OF FRANCE.

                                         In Congress, July 10th, 1779.

The President informed Congress, that the Minister of France had
communicated to him certain intelligence, about which it would, in his
opinion, be expedient for Congress to confer with the Minister.

Resolved, That the honorable M. Gerard be informed by the President,
that Congress are desirous of conferring with him in a committee of
the whole, on the subject of the intelligence communicated by him to
the President, and that if agreeable to him, a private audience be had
on Monday next, at 12 o'clock.

_Monday, July 12th._ The President informed the house, that he had
communicated to the Minister of France the resolution of Saturday, and
that the Minister had agreed to meet Congress, in a committee of the
whole, at 12 o'clock. Whereupon Congress was resolved into a committee
of the whole, and had a conference with the Minister, and on the 14th
of July, Mr Laurens, chairman of the committee, reported,

That in obedience to the order of Congress, the committee of the whole
have conferred with the Minister Plenipotentiary of France, who
introduced the conference by saying, that he had received some
despatches from his Court, which he was ordered to communicate to
Congress, but that he expected no answer. That though it was not the
usual practice to offer communications of this nature in writing, yet
as it had been intimated to him by the President, that this mode would
be most agreeable to Congress, he had committed the heads of them to
paper, not as a Memorial, but merely for the assistance of the memory,
in a form to which the term of "_ad statum legendi_" is appropriated
by the usage of the Courts of Europe; that in reading the said paper
he would take the liberty of making some explanations and reflections.

That he then proceeded to read the paper herewith delivered, marked
No. 1, divided into seven Articles, and at the close of each separate
Article he added explanations and reflections, the substance of which
the committee have endeavored to recollect, and have committed to
writing in the paper marked No 2.

                                NO. I.

                          _Ad statum legendi._

1st. The King has approved all the overtures, which were made by his
Minister Plenipotentiary to the Honorable Congress, respecting the
affairs of M. de Beaumarchais. Therefore a line ought to be drawn
between the stores, which this gentleman has been permitted to take
out of the royal magazine, for which he has made himself debtor to the
department of war, and between those articles which the same gentleman
has bought in the common way of trade for the use of the United
States.

2dly. A hint having been given to the Minister Plenipotentiary, that
Congress desire to recruit their ships in France, from the English
prisoners there, the Court in consequence of his representations is
willing to facilitate this mode of recruiting seamen.

3dly. The King and Ministry were extremely pleased with the
resolution, which Congress has taken, to maintain only one Minister
Plenipotentiary at this Court, as well as with the exclusive
appointment of so steady and honest a man, and so firm and solid a
patriot, as Dr Franklin.

4thly. The Congress has given very great satisfaction to the Court of
France, by the timely and spirited step, which was taken to disavow a
certain ill-grounded and pernicious doctrine, relating to the mutual
obligations of the allies, to conclude no truce or peace without the
knowledge or consent of each other. The Court of France is of opinion,
that this doctrine could only be maintained by those men, whose aim it
was by any means to weaken the ties of the alliance, and to create
disgust and diffidence between the allies.

5thly. The Court has received with some surprise the intelligence,
that Congress has published the treaties concluded with it, without
the previous knowledge and consent of the party interested. It is not
to be denied, that such a proceeding is but little consistent with
reason, and with the general practice of Courts and nations.
Nevertheless, this observation involves not any kind of reproach, but
the King thinks, that so noble and generous a system of politics could
but produce desirable effects by its publication.

6thly. The intelligence, that in the first month of last winter there
were no adequate preparations made in America towards a vigorous and
successful campaign, was received at Versailles with all the concern,
which the danger of the United States and the prolongation of the
present contest can create in the most friendly mind. The Court of
France is fully in the opinion, that the exertions of the United
States are necessary to bring the common enemy to a proper sense of
all the disappointments which he shall meet with.

7thly. The Court, being desirous to acquaint Congress exactly with the
state of affairs relating to the common cause, would not delay to
inform this honorable body, that the Court of London, showing on one
side dispositions to a reconciliation with France, rejects on the
other side the very idea of a formal and explicit acknowledgment of
the independence of the United States, which his Most Christian
Majesty perseveres to hold up as a preliminary and essential
condition. The behavior of the common enemy in this respect rendered a
great deal more probable the conjecture, which was communicated to
Congress some time ago, that the point of honor and pride of the King
of England will be the greatest obstacle to the conclusion of peace
upon those explicit terms; and perhaps the manner of overcoming this
difficulty will of course become the most decisive object of the
deliberations of Congress, when this honorable body shall determine to
make peace, whatever middle way may be hit upon, that England shall
treat with the United States as with a free people, and evacuate
immediately all the territories belonging to them.


                               NO. II.

  _The Substance of what the Minister said at the Conference in
  explanation of the several Articles in the foregoing Paper,
  entitled "ad statum legendi," as reported by the Committee._

ARTICLE 1. From the bills and accounts with which Congress have been
furnished by M. de Beaumarchais, Congress will be enabled to
distinguish those articles which were drawn from the royal magazines,
and those which he supplied in the way of trade. For these last,
Congress will without doubt make remittances to M. de Beaumarchais in
their own way, to enable him to perform the contracts he has entered
into as a merchant. That for the former articles, the King, his
master, taking upon himself to be creditor to the United States, would
wait until Congress shall find it convenient to make compensation.

ARTICLE 2. Though his Court had not resolved to retaliate upon the
prisoners taken by the common enemy, yet for the reasons assigned, the
King, his master, had assented to the proposal. But in carrying this
matter into execution it would be proper to take such precautions,
and to give such orders to the Captains, or other persons employed in
this business, that it may be managed with prudence.

ARTICLE 3. There is every reason to believe, that Congress will very
soon receive proofs of the confidence, which his Court was always
willing to show to the servants of these States. The personal
character of Dr Franklin will enable the Court to act with a frankness
becoming the alliance, and they will have no occasion to withhold any
more the secrets which may interest the United States and the
alliance.

ARTICLE 4. The King, his master, after this explicit step, relies with
the highest confidence upon the candor and faithfulness of Congress,
in understanding as well as in executing the treaty, and in rejecting
every arbitrary and unnatural interposition or construction, which
false, subtle, or designing men can contrive. Congress by their own
feelings must be sensible, that such interpretations and constructions
are always hurtful, against common decency and dignity, and may
oftentimes endanger mutual confidence, and of course the very
existence of a treaty. But the sense Congress has manifested in this
particular affair gives his Court the greatest hopes, that there will
be no further motive for the painful reflections, which that affair
gave rise to.

ARTICLE 5. He begged leave to add, that this publication interfered
with the situation of affairs in Europe, and was in a certain degree
disadvantageous to the common cause, because it gave the common enemy
a full knowledge of our system, and our mutual engagements, without
procuring us any reason to guess at their views and resolutions.
Happily these inconveniences have not been felt, and ample
compensation has been obtained by convincing the people of America,
not only that the treaty was just and equal, but that the heavy task
which France had taken upon her was magnanimous, gratuitous and
without reward. The whole world was at the same time convinced, that
war, conquest, and ambition, were not the objects of the alliance, nor
of any of the allies, but only the peaceable enjoyment of the
sovereignty, liberty, security, and independence of these United
States. And this conviction gave much honor, credit, and consideration
to the alliance.

ARTICLE 6. On this he observed, that he had endeavored since last
fall, by order of his Court, to impress upon every mind, that England
will never evacuate New York willingly, and could only be brought by
proper exertions on the part of America to think seriously of granting
independence. He believed that Congress had adopted a system so
conformable to their engagements and to the situation of affairs, his
Court was better informed than he was. But without reflecting on past
events, the King hopes, that his amicable apprehensions will be
overcome by the success of the campaign; that henceforth the United
States will follow the example set them by his Majesty, and that they
will exert themselves in their own cause, as his Majesty exerts
himself for their sakes and in their cause, which he has adopted.

ARTICLE 7. He said he was authorised to tell Congress in confidence,
that this reflection is the result of the observations which the Court
of Spain made upon the conduct of England throughout her negotiation
of mediation; that the British Ministry seem to be solicitous to be
reconciled with France, and to keep up this negotiation; that from
thence probable hopes may be entertained of their internal disposition
to peace, but at the same time they reject with haughtiness the formal
acknowledgment of the independence insisted on by France and Spain.
New orders have been given to the Spanish Ambassador at London, to
ascertain as nearly as possible those dispositions. In these
circumstances, the King, his master, ordered him to communicate this
intelligence to the United States, that they may, if they think
proper, take under consideration, if it would not be expedient to give
their Plenipotentiary instructions and full powers, founded upon the
necessity of the conjuncture and upon the treaty of alliance, the
express and formal terms of which are, that peace shall not be made
without an express or tacit acknowledgment of the sovereignty, and,
consequently, and _à fortiori_, of the rights inherent in sovereignty,
as well as of the independency of the United States in matters of
government and of commerce.

This substantial alternative in an engagement, which is a mere
gratuitous gift, without any compensation or stipulation, ought,
indeed, never to be forgotten in a negotiation for peace. France
foresaw the extreme difficulties, which a formal and explicit
acknowledgment might meet with. She knew by her own experience in
similar contests, in which she has been deeply concerned, respecting
the Republics of Holland, Genoa, and the Swiss cantons, how tenacious
monarchs are, and how repugnant to pronounce the humiliating
_formula_. It was only obtained for Holland _tacitly_, after a war of
thirty years, and _explicitly_ after a resistance of seventy. To this
day, Genoa and the Swiss cantons have obtained no renunciation or
acknowledgment, either tacit or formal, from their former sovereigns.
But they enjoy their sovereignty and independence only under the
guarantee of France. His Court thought it important to provide, that
difficulties of this nature, which consist merely in words, should not
delay or prevent America from enjoying the thing itself.

From these considerations arose the very important and explicit
stipulation in the treaty, which he just now mentioned, and which has
received the sanction of the United States. The circumstances seem
such as call for the application of the alternative of tacit or
explicit acknowledgement. All these considerations are adduced, that
Congress may, if they think proper, consider whether the literal
execution of the treaty in this point is not become necessary, and
whether the safety and happiness of the American people, as well as
the essential principles of the alliance, are not intimately connected
with the resolutions that may be taken on this subject. And it remains
with the prudence of Congress to examine, whether instructions upon
some particular conditions may not frustrate the salutary purpose of
the treaty of alliance, relative to a tacit acknowledgment which the
situation of affairs may require.

In thus executing, continued he, the orders I have received, I cannot
omit observing, that these orders were given with the full
presumption, that the business, which I laid before Congress in
February last, would have been settled long before these despatches
should come to my hands. However sensibly my Court will be
disappointed in its expectations, I shall add nothing to the
information and observations, which, with the warmest zeal for the
interests and honor of both countries, and by the duties of my office,
and my instructions, I found myself bound to deliver from time to time
to Congress, in the course of this business. The apprehension of
giving new matter to those who endeavor to blame Congress is a new
motive for me to be silent. I beg only to remind this honorable body
of the aforesaid information and reflections, and particularly of
those which I had the honor to deliver in an assembly similar to the
present. I shall only insist on a single point, which I established
then and since, in one of my Memorials, namely, the manifest and
striking necessity of enabling Spain, by the determination of just and
moderate terms, to press upon England with her good offices and bring
her mediation to an issue, in order that we may know whether we are to
expect peace or war. This step is looked upon in Europe as immediately
necessary. It was the proper object of the message I delivered in
February last. I then established the strong reasons, which require
that at the same time, and without delay, proper terms should be
offered to his Catholic Majesty, in order to reconcile him perfectly
to the American interest. I did not conceal, that it was to be feared,
that any condition inconsistent with the established system of the
alliance, which is the binding and only law of the allies, and
contrary to the line of conduct, which Spain pursued in the course of
her mediation, would lead her to drop the mediation, and prevent his
Catholic Majesty, by motives of honor and of faithfulness, from
joining in our common cause, and from completing the intended
triumvirate. No loss, no unhappy event, could be so heavy upon the
alliance as this. Indeed, although the British forces are already kept
in check by the combined efforts of France and America, it is
nevertheless evident, that the accession of Spain can only give to the
alliance a decided superiority, adequate to our purposes, and free us
from the fatal chance, that a single unlucky event may overthrow the
balance.

                          *       *       *

The committee then taking notice of what the Minister had said
concerning a tacit assurance of the independence of these States, and
the reluctance of the King of Great Britain to make an express
acknowledgment thereof, requested to know his sense concerning the
manner in which such tacit assurance could be given. To which, he
premising that what he should now say ought to be considered only as
his private sentiments, replied, that the British Court would probably
endeavor to avoid an express acknowledgment, by imitating precedents,
that had occurred in Europe on similar occasions, instancing the cases
of the Swiss cantons, and the United Provinces of the Netherlands;
that the mode adopted in the latter case had been for the Archduke, to
whom the King of Spain had transferred his right of sovereignty, to
treat with them "as with free and independent States." And that with
respect to the cantons, France had not been able to obtain for them in
the treaty of Munster any other than a declaration, that they should
be in possession of as full liberty and exemption from the empire, and
be in no manner subject to the jurisdiction thereof. But that in his
opinion the circumstances of these States, and the manner in which
they had conducted their opposition, would justify their expecting a
more full declaration.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 26th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has received with gratitude the
permission, which the Congress of the United States has been pleased
to grant him, for the expedition of the ship Defence. His Court will
be very sensible of the regard, which Congress have been pleased to
pay to the situation of the vessels of war stationed at Cape François.

The said Minister takes the liberty of reminding Congress of the
request, which he made in one of his Memorials, dated the 5th of this
month, relative to the accusations, which have been made before the
whole House, of frauds which were thought to have been practised with
regard to the cargo of the ship Defence, and of other vessels loaded
with provisions for the French squadron. The undersigned has, by
writing, on the 17th of this month, urged the committee intrusted with
this verification, to be pleased to hasten its report, and he takes
the liberty of addressing the same request to the Congress of the
United States itself. Congress is also referred to the reflections
contained in his said Memorial of the 5th instant.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, July 26th, 1779

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has received the resolution of
Congress, dated the 15th of this month, in relation to the supplies of
provisions destined for the squadron of the King. He requests Congress
to accept his thanks for the measures, which have been taken to effect
this important object. He is only under the necessity of representing,
that no one of the officers of the King can, and that no American
citizen will, take it upon himself to receive and take care of the
provisions destined for this purpose. The unjust and arbitrary
proceedings, to which they have been exposed, terrify them, and the
undersigned is obliged to request Congress to leave the said
provisions in their own magazines, and in the hands of their own
officers, till the time of making use of them arrives. This request
has more particular reference to the flour taken from Wilmington, and
which has become the direct property of Congress by the transfer of
it, which the undersigned made to Congress in one of his latest
Memorials.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 26th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor to lay before the
Congress of the United States of America the sequel of the
proceedings inserted in the public papers against M. Holker, Consul of
the King, and his Majesty's general Navy Agent. The first part of
these same proceedings is already in the hands of this august
Assembly. The Minister of France intended merely to lay the facts
before them, and to leave to their wisdom to determine the measures,
that they should judge proper for putting an end to this offence; but
the late unjust, injurious, and incompetent proceedings, which have
been carried on against a public officer of the King in relation to
the exercise of his functions, the further dangers with which he is
threatened, the indirect consequences, which already result from them
to the representative of his Majesty, and those which may result more
directly from the sentiments and principles which are manifested, do
not permit the Minister any longer to observe the same moderation.

Congress have received the credentials of the undersigned Minister in
the name of all the United States. They have accepted, and invested
with their authority the other officers of his Majesty. It
consequently belongs to Congress to protect them against the attacks,
which may be made in their persons on the dignity of his Most
Christian Majesty, and the laws common to all nations governed by the
laws of police, relative to the free exercise of their functions.
Congress is too enlightened to need a comment upon the insulting
writings, which the Minister lays before them. He merely requests them
to take into consideration the contents of the letter, which the said
Minister has written to the President of the Executive Council of
Pennsylvania, as well as that which the Consul of the King has
addressed to him. Copies of them are annexed. He is persuaded that
Congress will have the less hesitation to take this cause in hand, as
facts are involved in it relative to the secret of the alliance, which
have happened in the sight and with the consent of a committee; and as
this reason alone would justify them in taking an exclusive cognizance
of it; besides, the Consul of the King will most fully prove, if
Congress think it necessary, that the orders he has given have been
exactly conformable to the agreement made with the committee, and to
the territorial laws of the State in which they were executed.

Agreeably to these considerations, the Minister Plenipotentiary of
France has the honor to beg and formally to request the Congress of
the United States of America;

1st. To be pleased to take under their special protection the Consul
of the King, and, if circumstances require it, his Majesty's other
officers.

2dly. To cause the public notice already given to be repeated, that M.
Holker has been accepted by this august body, and recognised as the
Consul of his Most Christian Majesty.

3dly. To grant to this public officer, or to procure for him, justice
and satisfaction for the attacks publicly made on his honor and
reputation.

4thly. To declare that the Consul of the King has acted conformably to
the views and wishes of Congress, in seeking to procure provisions for
the King's squadron by the way of trade; that the condition of these
private purchases has always been, that the articles procured should
remain at the free disposal of Congress, either for the army, or for
the benefit of the public, and that not a single barrel of flour
should be exported without their consent and formal authorisation;
that, in consequence of this agreement, the undersigned Minister has
transferred to them the hundred and eightytwo barrels bought at
Wilmington, and that this quantity of provisions has, from this time,
become the property of the United States.

Finally, the undersigned Minister requests Congress to take the
effectual measures that their wisdom shall dictate, for protecting all
the officers of the King, his master, from every unjust, injurious,
and arbitrary proceeding, and for securing to them the liberty
necessary for the exercise of their functions, without seeing the
dignity of his Majesty and the honor of his officers exposed to
farther insults.

The justice of Congress, and their regard for the honor of a monarch,
who is a friend and ally of the United States, will, doubtless,
prevent the serious discussions and the misunderstanding which such
proceedings, if they are not promptly and authentically made amends
for, would undoubtedly occasion. It is with the most entire
confidence, that the undersigned Minister places this whole affair in
the hands of Congress.

                                                               GERARD.

                          *       *       *

         _The Papers referred to in the foregoing Memorial._

                                No. 1.

       M. GERARD TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 26th, 1779.

  Sir,

M. Holker, Navy Agent and Consul of the King, my master, has presented
to me his defence in relation to the suspicions, which some have been
pleased to excite as to his conduct concerning the subsistence of the
French fleet. I approve and confirm all the contents of his letter,
and I declare, that he has acted on this occasion in his capacity of a
public man and an officer of his Most Christian Majesty, and that all
the orders that he has given for the said subsistence have been given
under my direction, and with the consent and agreeably to the desire
of the committee of the general Congress of the United States.

I hope that the defence of the Consul of the King will satisfy your
Excellency and the Executive Council of this Province, as well as
every honest and unprejudiced man. At any rate, M. Holker and all the
other consuls and officers of his Most Christian Majesty scattered
throughout America, will always be ready, when they shall be properly
requested, to answer as to anything that shall relate to the law of
the country. It is the serious will of his Majesty; his
representatives are ordered to see to it; and it is for this reason,
that the offers of M. Holker have anticipated your wishes in this
respect. But, Sir, in paying this just tribute to the sovereignty and
to the territorial law, I must have the honor of observing to you,
that there is no civilized nation where the agents and public servants
of a foreign sovereign do not enjoy immunities and exemptions, which
by the unanimous consent of these nations have been regarded as
indispensably necessary for the free exercise of their functions; even
when they act contrary to the law of the country, care is taken, and
caution used, in order not to wound the dignity of their constituents,
and not lightly to injure the public character of their officers. If
they have acted only in their official capacity, people have neither
the right nor the power to set themselves up for judges; but if there
are evident proofs, they are transmitted to the superior officer, if
there is one in the country, and it may be to the sovereign himself,
and it is for him to cause satisfaction to be made, or the proper
punishments to be inflicted.

These officers, moreover, cannot be subjected to any inspection or
inquisition with regard to the execution of their public functions,
except to that of their own sovereign and his representatives; it does
not belong to any one whatsoever to assume in this respect a power and
an authority, which would become an attack on the rights of the
sovereign of another country, and an injury to its representatives.
This would be a violation of the laws common to nations governed by
the laws of police, and a manifest infraction of the principles upon
which the mutual and necessary communication between friendly nations
is founded, and without which the appointment and the residence of the
respective public officers would become dangerous and impossible, if
in any country whatever these principles were not acknowledged, or if
any person pretended, without the consent of a sovereign, to set up
for a guardian of his officers, and to censure and condemn their
conduct in his name, or under the pretext of his interest. If this
usurped power extended even to actions, the scene of which was without
the territory of the State; if it were allowable to take the property
of a sovereign by force from the place of deposit, notwithstanding the
protest of the civil magistrate, and in a foreign State, to which
alone it would belong to protest against the violence of its laws; in
fine, if after assuming the pretext of taking care of his interests,
any one should dare to sentence explicitly or by implication a foreign
King to pay a penalty or fines, and if the public officers were
represented as enemies of the country, even while they were employed
in affairs of the utmost secrecy and of the greatest importance for
this very country's own interest, they would then be deprived of the
liberty, which every citizen and every other stranger enjoys; while,
on the other hand, the terrified citizens would refuse to take part in
any affair relating to this power, in order to preserve their
reputation and tranquillity. These officers would then be prevented
from fulfilling their duties to their master, particularly if the
crime of falsehood were publicly imputed to them while their title and
quality were called in question, although publicly and authentically
acknowledged by all the powers of the country. Such conduct would be a
marked insult, and this situation very near to a state of hostilities
would tend to destroy all confidence, all commerce, and all
correspondence between the two friendly and allied nations; and there
would remain only one course to be pursued by the representatives of
that which should be injured, and which could not obtain immediate
satisfaction; namely, that of seeking an asylum in a country where the
respect which a nation owes to an independent, friendly, and allied
power, as well as to its representatives, is known, and where, by
conforming to the territorial laws, one can rely upon the effectual
protection of the sovereign, against every injurious, violent, and
arbitrary proceeding.

My duty, Sir, places me under the necessity of offering these remarks
to your Excellency and the Executive Council. Having no direct
credentials for the Republic of Pennsylvania, I cannot demand
reparations from it as a Minister, and I can only address myself to
the Congress of the United States, forasmuch as the facts in question
have all happened under its sanction and by its authorisation; but my
desire to preserve the decency, harmony, and good understanding,
which ought to prevail between two allied States, will justify me in
earnestly requesting your Excellency and the Executive Council to take
immediately into consideration the preceding observations, and without
delay to communicate to me your opinion on this subject. An explicit
and positive answer is indispensable in this delicate and critical
juncture, in order that I may take the measures suitable to the
dignity of the King, my master, as well as to the tranquillity and to
the honor of his officers of all ranks and denominations, and at all
events to enable his Majesty to provide himself for the maintenance of
his dignity. Meanwhile I give orders to suspend every proceeding
susceptible of new inconveniences, and every operation in the State of
Pennsylvania on account of his Most Christian Majesty on the part of
his officers, until the rules to which they are to conform shall be
known and fixed, and till the public is convinced that the citizens do
not expose their honor and their tranquillity, when they treat with
the officers of the King, and when they conform to the laws of their
States.

                                                               GERARD.

                          *       *       *

                                No. 2.

         M. HOLKER TO JOSEPH REED, PRESIDENT OF PENNSYLVANIA.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 24th, 1779.

  Sir,

I have the honor of forwarding to your Excellency Mr Dunlap's
publication of this day, in which I find, with some degree of
surprise, a paragraph levelled at me and my official transactions. I
observe that notwithstanding the most explicit and repeated offers I
made to you yesterday morning, and through you to the honorable the
Supreme Executive Council of this State, of proving that I had not in
any shape violated or infringed the laws of Pennsylvania, that I had
acted in perfect conformity therewith; notwithstanding I solemnly
declared that the flour seized was bought and destined for the sole
use of his Majesty's fleet; notwithstanding the many and forcible
reasons urged to your Excellency to convince you that more proper and
more decent measures might have been pursued, and that the steps I had
taken to supply his Majesty's fleet were not only proper, but were
dictated by mere necessity; notwithstanding all these circumstances, I
am still held up to the public in a suspicious light, and as if I were
answerable or accountable for the private and personal transactions of
Mr Rumford of Wilmington, transactions totally foreign to me and to
the instructions or orders given him by me.

My application to you, Sir, in this respect, seems to have been so far
ineffectual, as also your just and pointed representation on this
subject, which you were pleased to communicate to me by your letter of
this day. I am sorry to remark, that though I have acted in concert
with his Excellency, our Minister Plenipotentiary, that Congress has
always been apprised of the purchases made by my orders; though all
the provisions purchased and delivered into the hands of my agents
have been at all times at the disposal of Congress in consequence of
express stipulations; though I have given with pleasure the widest
room for inquiry into the grounds of all suspicions, in order that a
thorough investigation might establish public tranquillity and public
confidence, which I had the greatest reason to expect, because it is
evident, even by the publications, that not a single suspicion was
founded on solid ground, but merely on surmise; still his Majesty's
representative in this Commonwealth, his Agent General in all the
ports of the United States, acknowledged as such by Congress, by
yourself, and the board at which you preside, specially charged, in
conjunction with the Minister Plenipotentiary, with procuring the
necessary supplies for his Majesty's squadron, expressly fitted out
for the defence of these States against the common enemy, and for the
protection of his dominions in America, acting in the strict line of
his office and duty, is most wantonly traduced to the public, branded
with the most injurious and unfair imputations in the newspapers
published in this very city, where these facts and my public character
are most notorious, under your eyes, with your knowledge, and in
contradiction to your personal advice and disapprobation.

I need not expatiate on the evil consequences, that may arise from
such illiberal aggression. I need not claim your interposition. But
the reasons I gave you yesterday, becoming every instant more forcible
and more pressing, it is necessary that I demand the most immediate
exertions of government on this occasion.

It is with the utmost reluctance I sit down to appeal in this solemn
manner to the Executive power of Pennsylvania for justice, lest my
request may be construed an opposition to the respectable motives of
the informers on my conduct; but I am accountable to my royal master
for my actions, and obliged to exact that respect due to his
representative in this State, and to support the dignity of the
character with which he has been pleased to invest me. Therefore, it
is in compliance with my duty, that I submit these facts and the
repeated insults I meet with, to the reflections of your Excellency
and Council, relying fully on your sense of propriety, and on your
exertions on this occasion, as in all others, where I have applied for
redress.[26]

I remain with respect, your Excellency's most obedient and humble
servant.

                                                               HOLKER.

FOOTNOTE:

[26] The publications relative to these complaints are found in the
Pennsylvania Packet of Saturday, July 24th, 1779.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 28th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France thinking it necessary to lay
before Congress all the information relative to the affair of the
flour from Wilmington, has the honor to annex the copy of a letter,
which the President of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania has
written to M. Holker, as well as of the three pieces, which were
annexed to this letter, and of which this Consul has informed the said
President that he retained a copy.

The undersigned Minister must at the same time have the honor to
represent to Congress, that he is informed that there will be a new
meeting of the city on Monday morning, and that the critical state of
affairs seems to require, that it should be seen fit, before this
time, to take some effectual measures conformable to the petition and
to the request, which he has had the honor to address to Congress.
Otherwise the undersigned, and the other officers of the King, would
have no protection and no security against the effects of the unjust,
injurious and violent principles and proceedings, of which the said
Minister has complained; and he would be compelled to leave
Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, in order to seek an asylum in another
State, where liberty and protection could be secured to him, till he
could receive the orders of the King, his master.

                                                               GERARD.

                          *       *       *

         _Copies of the Papers enclosed in the above Letter._

                                No 1.

                      JOSEPH REED TO M. HOLKER.

                                        Philadelphia, July 24th, 1779.

  Sir,

After the visit you favored me with yesterday, and in consideration of
the point on which we conversed, I wrote the letter enclosed, and
about six o'clock the answer, also enclosed, was delivered me. I
informed the gentlemen, two of the committee, that I had seen you that
morning, that you conceived yourself able to remove the imputations
conveyed in their representations, and had requested the Council to
point out the parts of your conduct, on which doubts might arise. The
gentlemen promised me they would inform the other gentlemen of what I
had represented; and also that I still thought there would be an
impropriety in making the publication in the present circumstances. I
observe this morning, that the gentlemen have been of a different
opinion, doubtless deeming themselves under a public obligation to
communicate the transaction to the world without delay.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                          JOSEPH REED.

_P. S._ Not having any copies of the enclosed, I must beg you to
return them after perusal.

                                No. 2.

                             In Council, Philadelphia, July 23d, 1779.

  A paper, dated in committee, and signed William Henry, chairman, in
  answer to the reference made by this Board on the 14th instant,
  having been read,

Ordered, that the Secretary do write to the said Mr Henry to inform
him, that the papers alluded to in said answer did not accompany it,
and to desire that they may be forwarded as soon as convenient.

The President having informed this Board, that M. Holker had conferred
with him on the above representation, and showed a copy thereof
received by him (M. Holker) from the committee, and requested that
this Board would point out such parts thereof as may appear to convey
any imputations upon him, or distrust of his faithful performance of
his duty as a public officer,

Ordered, that the said paper be further considered tomorrow, that a
proper answer may be given to the said request.

Extract from the minutes,

                                        JAMES TRIMBLE,
                                        _for_ T. MATLACK, _Secretary_.

                                No. 3.

       JOSEPH REED TO WILLIAM HENRY, CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE.

                                        Walnut Street, July 23d, 1779.

  Sir,

I received this morning the report of the committee on the affairs of
M. Holker, which by a particular accident I was prevented from laying
before the Council this morning. I observe it is proposed to publish
it, but I presume this does not mean an immediate publication, as
there will be an indelicacy and violation of usual forms to do this,
until a return has been officially made thereupon by us to Congress,
through whom the matter came to us. In all cases of petitions or other
papers, to be presented to any public body, I take it to be a standing
rule, that the matter shall be first communicated to them, before it
is published to the world. As I observe you have sent a copy to M.
Holker, I presume it is intended thereby to give him an opportunity to
explain, deny, or admit, such a part of it as he may think proper to
do. A publication will in some measure debar him from this, whereas at
a future day, if the publication is still thought necessary, the whole
may be given together; at all events, it will be the duty of the
Council to make some report to Congress, in which this narration will
appear. As to the flour itself, perhaps there may be no inconvenience
in letting it remain a few days in its present condition. My earnest
wish is, that this business may be conducted without fear, favor, or
partiality, to the real interests of the community, all first
suspicions converted into solid proof, and those of a contrary kind
effectually banished.

The good sense of the gentlemen to whom I address myself will, I am
persuaded, make the necessary and present distinction between persons
acting in a public capacity and character, especially of another
nation, and our own citizens, who are to stand or fall by their own
laws, and the estimation of their countrymen.

I am, Gentlemen, &c.

                                                          JOSEPH REED.

                                No. 4.

                    WILLIAM HENRY TO JOSEPH REED.

                          Friday Afternoon, 5 o'clock, Committee Room.

  Sir,

We had the honor of your favor of this morning, and beg leave to
observe in answer thereto, that Mr Morris having already published an
account of the flour, both in behalf of himself and M. Holker, as may
be judged by his publishing M. Holker's letters, and that publication
being prior to any report from the Council to Congress, we conceive
there can be no impropriety in our now taking the matter publicly up.
Besides which, we apprehend ourselves laid under an immediate
necessity to give satisfaction to our fellow citizens on the subject,
and to publish our proceedings for the previous consideration of the
meeting on Monday.

M. Holker, we conceive, ought in justice to himself to have appealed
to the Council agreeably to the resolution of Congress, which he has
not done. We have deferred the matter to the last moment, and cannot
now, without exposing the reputation of the committee, defer it
longer.

Your Excellency is sensible that nothing but the most pressing
necessity could induce us to depart from the advice you are pleased to
give, and we request you to accept the reasons we have assigned as an
apology for so doing.

By order of the committee.

I have the honor to be your Excellency's most obedient, humble
servant,

                                            WILLIAM HENRY, _Chairman_.

                          *       *       *

All the above memorials, letters, and papers received from the
Minister this day, were referred to a committee of five, namely, Mr
Huntington, Mr Laurens, Mr Smith, Mr Morris, and Mr Kean, who were
instructed to confer with the President and the Supreme Executive
Council of the State of Pennsylvania and with the Minister and Consul
of France, and to prepare and report a state of facts, together with
their opinion of the measures proper for Congress to adopt thereupon.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                       M. HOLKER TO M. GERARD.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 29th, 1779.

  Sir,

I have the honor to send you the several annexed certificates, which
have been sent to me by Mr Rumford of Wilmington. As these papers have
a direct relation to the conduct of Mr Rumford, and to the seizure
made of the flour bought by him for the King's squadron, and as they
may give room for fuller information, as well with regard to my
transactions as to that of this commissary, or of every one else, in
relation to the said flour seized, I think it my duty to request you
to transmit them as soon as possible to Congress, informing that body
that I have sent duplicates of them to the Council of the State of
Pennsylvania. I hope that there will be found in them proofs of the
desire, which has always animated me to conform in everything to the
resolutions or recommendations of Congress, as well as to dispel all
the doubts or suspicions which insinuations, assertions, or
publications could have shed upon me. I dare even flatter myself, that
I shall at last receive the satisfactory testimonial, to which my
conduct, my transactions, public or private, in everything that can
concern the United States of America, seem to entitle me on the part
of Congress.

I am, Sir, respectfully, your obedient humble servant,

                                                               HOLKER.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 30th, 1779.

  Sir,

Mr Rumford has sent to the Consul of the King some new documents,
which throw great light on the affair of the flour from Wilmington. I
have the honor to forward them to you, in the hope that you will be
pleased to lay them before Congress, as well as the letter of M.
Holker, which accompanies them.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, Sir, your most
humble and obedient servant,

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                         In Congress, July 30th, 1779.

The above papers were referred to the committee of five, before
mentioned, who on the 2d of August delivered in a report, whereupon
Congress came to the following resolutions;

Resolved, That the Minister of France be assured, that Congress will
at all times afford every countenance and protection to the Consuls
and other servants of his Most Christian Majesty, with the powers and
authorities to them delegated by their constituents.

That the several appointments of Consuls made, and which may hereafter
be made and approved by Congress, be duly registered in the
Secretary's office, and properly notified by the President to the
Executive authorities of the respective States in whose ports such
Consuls may reside.

That the measures taken by M. Holker to procure flour for the fleet of
his Most Christian Majesty in the way of commerce, have from time to
time been made known unto, and been fully approved by Congress; that
the several proceedings and publications complained of by the Minister
on that subject are very injurious to the servants of his said
Majesty, and that Congress do highly disapprove of the same.

That the President and Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania be
informed, that any prosecutions which it may be expedient to direct
for such matters and things in the said publications or transactions,
as may be against the laws of nations, shall be carried on at the
expense of the United States.

That the Minister of France be informed that the President and
Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania have taken proper measures
to restore the flour taken from the agents of M. Holker.

                  *       *       *       *       *

             THE PRESIDENT OF PENNSYLVANIA TO M. GERARD.

                            In Council, Philadelphia, July 31st, 1779.

  Sir,

I have now the honor of addressing you in answer to the representation
you were pleased to make to this Board on the 24th instant. When, to
every principle of public affection, policy, and justice, there is
added our experience of your personal friendship to America, and your
attachment and engaging deportment to the citizens of Pennsylvania of
every rank, all professions on our part to make your residence in the
State happy, easy, and honorable, must be unnecessary. It is not easy,
therefore, for us to find language to express our concern at any
transaction which may disturb your repose, and interrupt the exercise
of those functions discharged with so much honor to yourself and
satisfaction to those, who are called to take any part in public
affairs.

In some communications which the Honorable Congress have been pleased
to make to us, we also see, with great concern, that apprehensions are
expressed, the reality of which we should deplore as an evil of the
first magnitude. Be assured, Sir, that the citizens of Philadelphia,
and of Pennsylvania, cannot entertain sentiments so unworthy; but if
there are any so lost to every sense of propriety, decency, and order,
the authority of the State has power equal to its inclination to check
and suppress so licentious and wicked a procedure.

We entreat you, therefore, to dismiss every idea so painful and so
dishonorable to us as that of personal insult, and repose confidence
in us when we confirm to you our assurances of the affection, respect,
and esteem of our constituents. And if there are any persons, who
presume to insinuate dangers of outrages, as suggested in your
representations, we most earnestly request you to consider them either
as ignorant of the real sentiments of those of whom they speak, or as
acting from less honorable motives.

I have now the honor of acquainting you, that upon the requisition of
this Board, the flour in question, and which has given rise to this
unhappy discussion, is delivered up to this Board, and that it is
ready to be put into the disposal of M. Holker, or any person he may
direct, for the purposes of its original destination, without any
condition or restriction, a measure, which we hope both as to you and
himself, will be considered as a relinquishment of those terms, which
form a ground of your complaint. Our desire to make the most early and
explicit avowal of our sentiments and intentions has induced us to
make this communication, at the same time all other business being
laid aside, we are considering the papers which touch the character of
M. Holker, upon which we shall, without delay, address ourselves to
the Honorable Congress of the United States, through whom those
communications have been made to us, and we trust it will fully
appear, that a veneration for the Prince, whose servant he is, respect
to your interposition, justice to him, and a due regard to the rights
and interests of this State, have influenced our determination.

We observe all the papers respecting this transaction have been
transmitted to you, except a resolution of this Board passed on the
14th instant, which, probably, by some accident has been omitted. I
have now the honor of enclosing it, that every proceeding may be fully
before you.

Signed in and by order of Council.

                                             JOSEPH REED, _President_.

                          *       *       *

_In Congress._ On the 4th of August the committee to whom was referred
the Memorial of the Minister, relative to the ship Mary and
Elizabeth's cargo, delivered in a report, whereupon,

Resolved, That Congress do not entertain any suspicion, that M.
Holker, agent of the marine of his Most Christian Majesty, had any
participation in, or knowledge of, the shipping of provisions on
private account on board vessels despatched in the name of his Most
Christian Majesty.

Resolved, That frauds by masters and shippers are offences against the
municipal laws, and are to be investigated by the magistrates of the
States respectively.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                       Philadelphia, August 5th, 1779.

  Sir,

I have received with gratitude the resolution of Congress, which you
were so kind as to send me yesterday. I express my sentiments on this
subject in the annexed Memorial, which I request you to be pleased to
lay before Congress.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, Sir, your most
obedient and humble servant,

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                       Philadelphia, August 5th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France is eager to thank Congress for
the readiness with which they have been pleased to yield to his
representations of the 26th of last month.

The resolutions, which have been communicated to the undersigned in
the name of Congress, appear to him to leave nothing to be desired; he
only hopes that the public will be informed of the opinions of
Congress, in whatever form they shall think the most suitable; and the
Minister Plenipotentiary is persuaded, that his Court will regard the
said resolutions as a suitable and sufficient satisfaction for the
proceedings which they condemn, and the offence which has resulted
from them.

It is under this impression, that the undersigned Minister takes the
liberty to request Congress not to carry into execution that one of
their resolutions which orders, that those who on this occasion may
have violated the laws of nations shall be prosecuted. The King's
greatness of mind forbids his Minister to insist upon such a measure.
Between nations closely connected by the most powerful motives of
friendship and interest, even the most lawful reparations ought always
to stop short of revenge. It is sufficient to undeceive the public,
and to restrain the evil-disposed men, who sometimes conceal
themselves under the pretence of the common good. The said Minister,
consequently, earnestly requests Congress to stop the said
prosecutions, and he dares hope this from the moderation of Congress,
provided that motives foreign to France and independent of the present
affair do not cause this august body, or the Executive Council of
Pennsylvania, to see in this indulgence inconveniences, which are out
of the sphere of the undersigned Minister.

                                                               GERARD.

                          *       *       *

                                        In Congress, August 9th, 1779.

Resolved, that the Minister of France be informed, that the
resolutions alluded to in his Memorial of the 5th instant will be
published in the journals of Congress, and that in the meantime he
consider himself at liberty to make such use of the copies transmitted
to him, as he may think expedient.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                      Philadelphia, August 11th, 1779.

  Sir,

It is with the greatest regret that I learn, that the attempt made at
Martinique to obtain military stores has been fruitless. You will see
the reasons of it in the letter of the Marquis de Bouillé, which I
have the honor to send you. Nothing but the impossibility of the thing
could prevent the servants of the King from rendering all possible
services to the American cause, and compel them to delay complying
with the requests of Congress.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, Sir, your most
humble and most obedient servant.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 THE MARQUIS DE BOUILLÉ TO M. GERARD.

                             Translation.

                                            Martinique, July 11, 1779.

  Sir,

I have received the letter, which you did me the honor to write on the
8th of June, in which you inform me of Congress' want of powder. I am
very sorry that the supplies for this colony, which are much less than
they ought to be, will not permit me to furnish any to the United
States of America. The immense and unforeseen consumption occasioned
by Count d'Estaing's fleet, and his unhappy expedition against St
Lucia, have laid me under the necessity of purchasing up all the
powder in the hands of merchants to the amount of fifty thousand
pounds, and you must be sensible, that nothing but the most urgent
necessity could have induced me to go to such expense on account of
the King, at a time when I am in so much want of money. Mr Bingham who
is here, an agent of Congress, will be able to purchase lead of the
merchants. As to arms, they are become scarce.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              BOUILLÉ.

_P. S._ I beg of you, Sir, to use all your efforts, that we may
receive as much provisions as possible before the month of November
next at farthest, and cause them to be addressed to me either at Fort
Royal, at St Pierre, or at Trinité in this Island, and that you would
not let the price of freight prevent you. You will thereby do us the
most essential service.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                        In Congress, August 23d, 1779.

Resolved unanimously, that a committee consisting of one member from
each State be appointed to congratulate the Minister of France on the
anniversary of the birth of his Most Christian Majesty, and to assure
him that the pleasure, which we feel on this occasion, can be
estimated by those only who have a just sense of the extensive
blessings, which many nations have already derived from his wisdom,
justice, and magnanimity, and of the prospect of general happiness to
mankind through the influence of his Majesty's virtuous exertions and
glorious example.

                  *       *       *       *       *

               M. GERARD TO THE COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                       Philadelphia, August 23d, 1779.

  Gentlemen,

The manner in which Congress are pleased to express their sentiments
on the occasion of the anniversary of the birth of the King, my
master, is a mark of their friendship and respect for his Majesty.
Your expressions are truly worthy of a faithful ally, and I dare
assure you, that the account, which I shall render to his Majesty of
them, will be in the highest degree agreeable to him.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 THE COUNT DE VERGENNES TO M. GERARD.

  _In Congress, September 7th._ The President laid before Congress a
  paper of intelligence, which he received from the Minister
  Plenipotentiary of France, and which is as follows, being an
  extract of a letter from Count de Vergennes to M. Gerard, dated
  Versailles, June 29th, 1779.

                             Translation.

  "Sir,

"The decision of Spain is public. Her Ambassador quitted London on the
18th of this month; he is now at Paris. Her forces are on their march
to join with ours. The junction made, they will endeavor to inflict on
England a blow sufficiently heavy to force her to acknowledge the
independence of America. To free herself if possible from this hard
necessity, and to procure herself the power of opposing at some future
time a nation, which she will not without great reluctance consent to
free from the servitude, which she wished to impose upon them, it
seems that she has sent two emissaries to Congress with the offer of a
truce, and even with power to withdraw all the English forces, if
America will determine to give up our alliance, and to separate
herself from us.

"I do not imagine that this treachery can even enter into the mind of
Congress, but if they should be enticed by the love of peace, a single
reflection ought to stop it. As soon as England shall have proved the
defection, she can settle her affairs with us, and we shall have no
reason to refuse to do it; she will then fall upon America with the
whole mass of her power, very certain that no nation in Europe will
afterwards take any interest in a nation, which shall have signalized
its birth by the most unworthy cowardice of which a government can be
guilty. I am persuaded, Sir, that this reflection seasonably
presented, will be of great effect. There are many other reflections,
which certainly will not escape your wisdom."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                   Philadelphia, September 15th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor to inform the
Congress of the United States of America, that he has appointed Mr
James Wilson Attorney-General of the French nation, in order that he
may be intrusted with all causes and matters relative to navigation
and commerce. The said Minister thought it proper to communicate this
proceeding to Congress.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                   Philadelphia, September 15th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France, who is preparing to depart
immediately, has the honor to request the Congress of the United
States to be pleased, in the course of the week, if it be not
inconvenient, to grant him an audience for the purpose of taking leave
of Congress.

                                                               GERARD.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                    In Congress, September 15th, 1779.

Resolved, That Friday next be assigned for granting a private audience
to M. Gerard, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, in order to his
taking leave.

Resolved, That this private audience be in full Congress.

_Friday, September 17th._ Resolved, That two members be appointed to
introduce the Minister to the private audience.

The Minister being introduced, took his leave in the following speech.


            M. GERARD'S SPEECH ON TAKING LEAVE OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

  "Gentlemen,

"The King, my master, having been pleased to accept the
representations, which my bad state of health compelled me to make to
him, has permitted me to return. At the same time he has been in haste
to send another Minister Plenipotentiary to America, in order that
there may be no interruption in the care of cultivating the mutual
friendship. I must leave it to the talents of the Chevalier de la
Luzerne to explain to you his Majesty's sentiments, and will confine
myself here, Gentlemen, to expressing to you the satisfaction I shall
experience in giving an account to him of the events, of which I have
been a witness during more than a year's residence with you. He will
perceive in them the sentiments, which animate and direct your
counsels, your wisdom, your firmness, your attachment to the alliance,
and your zeal for the prosperity of the common cause and of the two
respective nations. He will see, with pleasure, the valuable union,
which constitutes the principal force and power of confederated
America, that not only the citizens are in no want of zeal or vigor to
repel the incursions, which henceforth can have no other object than a
barbarous devastation, but also that there is no American, who does
not perceive the necessity of uniting to humble the common enemy more
and more, and to weaken him by efforts proportionate to the importance
of putting a happy end to a glorious revolution, and also of securing
to confederated America, by a firm and honorable peace, as quickly as
possible, the inestimable advantages of liberty and independence,
which form the essential and fundamental object of the alliance, and
of the war provoked and made necessary by England.

"It remains to me, Gentlemen, to offer you in general and
individually, the tribute of my gratitude for the marks of confidence
and esteem, and for the attentions which I have received from you. I
have always endeavored to deserve them by the most sincere and lively
attachment to the interests and to the dignity of the United States,
as well as to the principles and sentiments resulting from the
alliance. I have not lacked zeal for everything that might relate to
them, and cement more and more the connexions, whether political or
personal, between the two nations. The most flattering recompense of
my labors would be the expression of your satisfaction.

                                                              GERARD."


       REPLY OF THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS TO M. GERARD'S SPEECH
                         ON HIS TAKING LEAVE.

  "Sir,

"We receive with much concern the intimation you have given us, that
the bad state of your health obliges you to leave America; though, at
the same time, we are sensible of the continued friendly care of his
Most Christian Majesty in sending a new Minister Plenipotentiary to
these States.

"Great as our regret is in thus parting with you, yet it affords us
pleasure to think how well disposed you are to improve the favorable
opportunities you will have on your return to France, of evincing to
his Majesty the reality of those sentiments on our part, which may
justly be termed the animating principles of the United States.

"By such representations, the King will be assured that the citizens
of these States observe with the most lively satisfaction the repeated
instances of his amity for them; that they regard the alliance as an
inestimable connexion, endeared to them by the purity of the motives
on which it was founded, the advantages derived from it, and the
blessings it promises to both nations; that their resolution of
securing its essential objects, liberty and independence, is
unalterable; that they are determined, by all the exertions in their
power, to advance the common cause, and to demonstrate, that while
they are attentive to their own interests, they as ardently desire to
approve themselves not only faithful, but affectionate allies.

"By a residence of more than a year near Congress, you are enabled to
form a competent judgment of the difficulties we have had to
encounter, as well as of our efforts to remove them.

"Sir, we should be deficient in the respect due to distinguished
merit, if we should fail to embrace this opportunity of testifying the
high esteem, which you have obtained throughout this country by your
public and private conduct. You have happily combined a vigilant
devotion to the dignity and interest of our most excellent and
illustrious ally, with a zealous attachment to the honor and welfare
of these States.

"Your prudence, integrity, ability, and diligence in discharging the
eminent trust reposed in you, have secured our entire confidence, and
now solicit from us the strongest declarations of our satisfaction
with your behavior.

"That you may be blessed with a favorable voyage, the approbation of
your sovereign, the perfect recovery of your health, and all
happiness, is among the warmest wishes of every member of this body.

"By order of Congress,

                                               JOHN JAY, _President_."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                   CONGRESS TO THE KING OF FRANCE.

  Great, Faithful, and Beloved Friend and Ally,

The conduct of your Majesty's Minister, M. Gerard, during his
residence in America, has been in every respect so commendable, that
we cannot forbear testifying to your Majesty our sense of his merit,
without feeling that uneasiness which arises from a neglect of the
obligations of justice.

His behavior appears to us to have been uniformly regulated by a
devotion to your Majesty's dignity and interest, and an adherence to
the terms and principles of the alliance, while, at the same time, he
demonstrated his attachment to the honor and prosperity of these
States.

Thus serving his sovereign, he acquired our entire confidence and
esteem, and has evinced your royal wisdom in selecting a person so
properly qualified to be the first Minister sent to the United States
of America.

That the Supreme Ruler of the universe may bestow all happiness on
your Majesty, is the prayer of your faithful and affectionate friends
and allies.

Done at Philadelphia, the seventeenth day of September, in the year of
our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventynine, by the Congress
of the United States of America.

                                                JOHN JAY, _President_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                    In Congress, September 25th, 1779.

  The committee to whom was referred the paper of intelligence
  communicated by M. Gerard, on the 7th instant,[27] reported the
  draft of a letter in answer to the said communication, which was
  read as follows;

  "Sir,

"The sentiments contained in the paper laid before Congress on the 7th
instant have given us great uneasiness, as they admitted the
possibility of an event, which we cannot contemplate without pain and
regret. Nevertheless, as they demonstrate the anxieties of a faithful
friend, Congress are willing again to testify their unalterable
attachment to the terms and principles of the alliance, more
especially as we wish you on leaving America to take with you a solemn
assurance of our fixed dispositions.

"Reposing ourselves upon that Almighty power, whose interposition in
our behalf we have often seen and adored, confident of the unanimity
and zeal of our fellow-citizens throughout these States, assured of
the assistance and support of our great ally, relying that the good
and brave everywhere regard our cause with interested attention, we
firmly repeat what we have already declared, that no offer of
advantage, however great and alluring, no extremes of danger, however
alarming, shall induce us to violate the faith we have given and the
resolutions we have adopted, for the observance of which we have
solemnly pledged our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

After debate, Ordered, that the President return the following answer;

  "Sir,

"Congress feel themselves obliged by your communication of the 7th
instant, and are happy that M. Gerard will be able to contradict from
the fullest evidence every insinuation, which may be made prejudicial
to the faith and honor of the United States."

FOOTNOTE:

[27] See this paper above, p. 349.



THE

CORRESPONDENCE

OF

C. A. DE LA LUZERNE;

MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY FROM FRANCE TO THE UNITED STATES.


Caesar Anne de la Luzerne succeeded M. Gerard as Minister
Plenipotentiary from France to the United States. He had previously
been employed in a diplomatic capacity, and with much success, in
Bavaria, which he left in July, 1778. He was soon after appointed to
supply the place of M. Gerard, and arrived in Philadelphia on the 21st
of September, 1779. As his predecessor was still discharging the
functions of his office, the Chevalier de la Luzerne did not receive
his first audience of Congress till the 17th of November.

From that time to the end of the war he applied himself sedulously to
the duties of his station, and by the suavity of his manners, as well
as by the uniform discretion of his official conduct, he won the
esteem and confidence of the American people. His efforts were all
directed to the support of the alliance, on the principles of equity,
and the broad basis of reciprocal interests established in the
treaties.

After remaining in the United States more than five years, he obtained
permission to visit France, although he did not then resign his
commission as Minister. A few months afterwards, however, he wrote to
Mr Jay, then Secretary of Foreign Affairs, that, being designed by the
King for another appointment, his character as Plenipotentiary to the
United States had ceased. M. Barbé Marbois, who had been the Secretary
of Legation during the whole of M. de la Luzerne's residence in
America, succeeded him as _Chargé d'Affaires_.

The Chevalier de la Luzerne accepted the appointment of Ambassador
from France to the Court of London, in January, 1788. He remained
there till his death, which happened on the 14th of September, 1791,
at the age of fifty years.



THE

CORRESPONDENCE

OF

C. A. DE LA LUZERNE.


                  *       *       *       *       *

    SUBSTANCE OF A CONFERENCE BETWEEN M. DE LA LUZERNE AND GENERAL
             WASHINGTON AT HEAD QUARTERS, WEST POINT.[28]

                                                 September 16th, 1779.

The Minister opened the conference by observing, that the Council of
Massachusetts had represented to him the disadvantages, which their
commerce was likely to suffer from the late misfortune in Penobscot,
and the advantages which would result if his Excellency, Count
d'Estaing, could detach a few ships of the line and frigates to be
stationed upon their coast for protecting their commerce, and
countenancing the operations of their cruisers against that of the
enemy. But before he should propose such a measure to Count d'Estaing,
he wished to know from the General, what purposes the detachment would
answer to his military operations, and whether it would enable him to
prosecute any offensive enterprise against the enemy. That if he could
accompany the request of the Council with assurance of this kind, a
motive of such importance would have the greatest influence in
determining the concurrence of Count d'Estaing, and might the better
justify him in deranging or contracting his plans in the West Indies,
by making a detachment of his force.

The General answered, that if Count d'Estaing could spare a detachment
superior to the enemy's naval force upon this continent, retaining
such a force in the West Indies, as would put it out of the enemy's
power to detach an equal force to this continent without leaving
themselves inferior in the Islands, the measure would have a high
probability of many important and perhaps decisive advantages; but
these would depend upon several contingencies; as the time in which
the detachment can arrive, and the position and force of the enemy
when it arrives. That the season proper for military operations was
now pretty far advanced, and to make a winter campaign would require a
disposition of our magazines peculiar to it, which could not be made
without a large increase of expense, a circumstance not to be desired
in the present posture of our affairs, unless the arrival of a naval
succor was an event of some certainty. That with respect to the
position and force of the enemy, they had now about fourteen thousand
men at New York and its dependencies, and between three and four
thousand at Rhode Island; that to reduce the former, if it should be
concentered on the Island, would require extensive preparations
beforehand, both as to magazines and aids of men, which could not with
propriety be undertaken on a precarious expectation of assistance.
But that if the garrison of Rhode Island should continue there, we
should have every reason to expect its reduction by a combined
operation; it might, however, be withdrawn; he added, that the enemy
appear to be making large detachments from New York, which the present
situation of their affairs seems to exact; that there is a high
probability of their being left so weak as to give us an opportunity,
during the winter, of acting effectually against New York, in case of
the arrival of a fleet to co-operate with us, even with the force we
now have and could suddenly assemble on an emergency; that, at all
events, the French squadron would be able to strike an important
stroke, in the capture and destruction of the enemy's vessels of war,
with a large number of transports and perhaps seamen.

He concluded with observing, that though in the great uncertainty of
the arrival of a squadron, he could not undertake to make expensive
preparations for co-operating, nor pledge himself for doing it
effectually, yet there was the greatest prospect of utility from the
arrival of such a squadron, and he would engage to do everything in
his power for improving its aid, if it should appear upon our coast;
that if the present or future circumstances should permit Count
d'Estaing to concert a combined operation with the troops of these
States against the enemy's fleets and armies within these States, he
would be ready to promote the measure to the utmost of our resources,
and should have the highest hopes of its success; it would, however,
be necessary, to prevent delay and give efficacy to the project, that
he should have some previous notice.

The Minister replied, that the General's delicacy upon the occasion
was very proper, but as he seemed unwilling to give assurances of
effectual co-operation, in conveying the application to the Admiral he
would only make use of the name of the Council, which would, no doubt,
have all the weight due to the application of so respectable a body.

The General assented, observing, that occasional mention might be made
of the military advantages to be expected from the measure.

The Minister next informed the General, that there had been some
negotiations between Congress and M. Gerard, on the subject of the
Floridas and the limits of the Spanish dominions in that quarter,
concerning which, certain resolutions had been taken by Congress,
which he supposed were known to the General. He added, that the
Spaniards had in contemplation an expedition against the Floridas,
which was either already begun or very soon would be begun, and he
wished to know the General's opinion of a co-operation on our part;
that it was probable this expedition would immediately divert the
enemy's force from South Carolina and Georgia, and the question then
would be, whether General Lincoln's army would be necessary elsewhere,
or might be employed in a co-operation with the Spanish forces. That
the motive with the French Court for wishing such a co-operation was,
that it would be a meritorious act on the side of the United States
towards Spain, who, though she had all along been well disposed to the
revolution, had entered reluctantly into the war and had not yet
acknowledged our independence; that a step of this kind would serve to
confirm her good dispositions, and to induce her not only to enter
into a treaty with us, but, perhaps, to assist with a loan of money.
That the forces of Spain in the Islands were so considerable, as would
in all appearance make our aid unnecessary; on which account the
utility of it, only contingent and possible, was but a secondary
consideration with the Court of France; the desire to engage Spain
more firmly in our interests, by a mark of our good will to her, was
the leading and principal one.

The General assured the Minister, that he had the deepest sense of the
friendship of France, but replied to the matter in question, that he
was altogether a stranger to the measures adopted by Congress relative
to the Floridas, and could give no opinion of the propriety of the
co-operation proposed in a civil or political light; but considering
it merely as a military question, he saw no objection to the measure,
on the supposition that the enemy's force in Georgia and South
Carolina be withdrawn, without which it would, of course, be
impossible.

The Minister then asked, in case the operation by the Spaniards
against the Floridas should not induce the English to abandon the
Southern States, whether it would be agreeable that the forces, either
French or Spanish, employed there, should co-operate with our troops
against those of the enemy in Georgia and South Carolina.

The General replied, that he imagined such a co-operation would be
desirable.

The Minister inquired in the next place, whether in case the Court of
France should find it convenient to send directly from France a
squadron and a few regiments attached to it, to act in conjunction
with us in this quarter, it would be agreeable to the United States.

The General thought it would contribute much to advance the common
cause.

The Minister informed us, that Dr Franklin had purchased a fifty gun
ship, which the King of France intended to equip for the benefit of
the United States, to be sent with two or three frigates to
Newfoundland to act against the enemy's vessels employed in the
fishery, and afterwards to proceed to Boston to cruise from that port.

He concluded the conference with stating, that in Boston several
gentlemen of influence, some of them members of Congress, had
conversed with him on the subject of an expedition against Canada and
Nova Scotia; that his Christian Majesty had a sincere and
disinterested desire to see those two Provinces annexed to the
American Confederacy, and would be disposed to promote a plan for this
purpose; but that he would undertake nothing of the kind unless the
plan was previously approved and digested by the General. He added,
that a letter from the General to Congress some time since, on the
subject of an expedition to Canada, had appeared in France, and had
been submitted to the best military judges, who approved the
reasoning, and thought the objections to the plan, which had been
proposed, very plausible and powerful. That whenever the General
should think the circumstances of this country favorable to such an
undertaking, he should be very glad to recommend the plan he should
propose, and he was assured that the French Court would give it all
the aid in their power.

The General again expressed his sense of the good dispositions of his
Christian Majesty, but observed, that while the enemy remain in force
in these States, the difficulties stated in his letter alluded to by
the Minister would still subsist; but that whenever that force should
be removed, he doubted not it would be a leading object with the
government to wrest the two aforementioned Provinces from the power of
Britain; that in this case, he should esteem himself honored in being
consulted on the plan; and was of opinion, that though we should have
land force enough for the undertaking, without in this respect
intruding upon the generosity of our allies, a naval co-operation
would certainly be very useful and necessary.

The rest of the conference consisted in mutual assurances of
friendship of the two countries, &c. interspersed on the General's
side with occasional remarks on the importance of removing the war
from these States, as it would enable us to afford ample supplies to
the operations in the West Indies, and to act with efficacy in
annoying the commerce of the enemy, and dispossessing them of their
dominions on this continent.

                                  Head Quarters, September 18th, 1779.

The foregoing is, to the best of my recollection, the substance of a
conference at which I was present at the time mentioned, and
interpreted between the Minister and the General.

                                                          A. HAMILTON.

FOOTNOTE:

[28] The Chevalier de la Luzerne arrived at Boston on the 2d of
August, and on his way to Philadelphia visited General Washington at
West Point. Hence this conference took place before his public
introduction to Congress as Minister Plenipotentiary.

                  *       *       *       *       *

          RECEPTION OF THE FRENCH MINISTER BY CONGRESS.[29]

                                     In Congress, November 17th, 1779.

According to order the Chevalier de la Luzerne was introduced by Mr
Mathews and Mr Morris, the two members appointed for that purpose; and
being seated in his chair, the Secretary of the Embassy delivered to
the President a sealed letter from his Most Christian Majesty, in the
terms following;

                   THE KING OF FRANCE TO CONGRESS.

"To our dear great Friends and Allies, the President and Members of
the General Congress of the United States of North America.

  Very Dear Great Friends and Allies,

"The bad state of health of M. Gerard, our Minister Plenipotentiary to
you, having laid him under the necessity of applying for a recall, we
have made choice of the Chevalier de la Luzerne, a Colonel in our
service, to supply his place. We have no doubt, that he will be
agreeable to you, and that you will repose entire confidence in him.
We pray you to give full credit to all he shall say to you on our
behalf, especially when he shall assure you of the sincerity of our
wishes for your prosperity, as well as the constancy of our affection
and our friendship for the United States in general, and for each one
of them in particular. We pray God to keep you, our very dear great
friends and allies, in his holy protection.

"Done at Versailles, the 31st of May, 1779.

"Your good friend and ally,

                                                               LOUIS."

The Minister being announced, he addressed Congress in the following
speech.

                                Translation.

  "Gentlemen,

"The wisdom and courage, which have founded your Republic, the
prudence which presides over your deliberations, your firmness in
execution, the skill and valor displayed by your Generals and
soldiers during the course of the war, have attracted the admiration
and regard of the whole world.

"The King, my master, was the first to acknowledge a liberty acquired
amidst so many perils and with so much glory. Since treaties dictated
by moderation have fixed upon a permanent basis the union of France
with the American Republic, his Majesty's whole conduct must have
demonstrated how dearly he cherishes your prosperity, and his firm
resolution to maintain your independence by every means in his power.
The events, which have successively unfolded themselves, show the
wisdom of those measures. A powerful ally has acknowledged the justice
of those motives, which had compelled the King to take arms, and we
may reasonably hope for the most solid success from the operations of
the united fleets. The naval force of the enemy has been diverted from
your continent, compelled to flee to the defence of their own
possessions. All their efforts have been too feeble to prevent our
troops from conquering a considerable part. Other British Islands
feared the same lot, when the French General stopped the current of
his success to seek new dangers here. In conforming to his Majesty's
intentions, he has acceded to his own inclinations, to the desires of
the French, and to the request of the Americans, who invited him to
join his arms to those of your Republic. Events have not completely
answered his courage and his efforts, but his blood and that of my
countrymen, shed in a cause so dear to us, has cemented the basis on
which the alliance is founded, and impressed on it a character as
indelible as are all those by which it is already consecrated.

"That alliance, Gentlemen, becomes daily more indissoluble, and the
benefits, which the two nations derive from it, have given it the most
perfect consistency.

"The relations of commerce between the subjects of the King, my
master, and the inhabitants of the Thirteen United States, continually
multiply, and we may already perceive, in spite of those obstacles,
which embarrass the reciprocal communication, how natural it is, how
advantageous it will be to the two nations, and all who participate in
it, and how much the monopolising spirit, the jealous attention and
prohibitory edicts of the enemy to your freedom, have been prejudicial
to your happiness. It is under these circumstances, Gentlemen, that
the King has been pleased to appoint me his Minister Plenipotentiary
to your Republic. You have seen in the letter, which I had just now
the honor to deliver from him, fresh assurances of his friendship. I
consider as the happiest circumstance of my life a mission, in the
course of which I am certain of fulfilling my duty, when I labor for
your prosperity, and I felicitate myself upon being sent to a nation,
whose interests are so intimately blended with our own, that I can be
useful neither to France nor the American Republic, without rendering
myself agreeable both to the one and the other.

"It was certainly desirable that the affairs with which I am charged
had remained in the hands of that enlightened Minister, whom I
succeed, and whose health compels him to return to France. I have not
his abilities; but like him, I have an unbounded zeal for the welfare
and success of the common cause. Like him, I am directed to concur in
everything, which can be useful or agreeable to your Republic. I have
the same attachment to the people whom you, Gentlemen, represent, and
the same admiration of their conduct. I have the most fervent wish to
give you the proof of it; and I hope by these different titles to
merit your confidence and your esteem.

                                                             LUZERNE."

The translation of the foregoing speech being read to the House by the
Secretary of Congress, the President returned the following answer.


  "Sir,

"The early attention of our good friend and ally to these United
States is gratefully felt by all their virtuous citizens, and we
should be unfaithful representatives if we did not warmly acknowledge
every instance of his regard, and take every opportunity of expressing
the attachment of our constituents to treaties formed upon the purest
principles.

"His Most Christian Majesty, in rendering himself a protector of the
rights of mankind, became entitled to assistance from the friends of
man. This title could not but be recognised by a monarch, whose diadem
is adorned with equity and truth. That monarch, by joining his arms to
those of our great ally, has given a fatal blow to the common enemy,
and from the justice of the motives which unite the combined fleets,
we expect the most solid benefits will crown their operations. Nor can
we doubt that other powers will rejoice to see that haughty nation
humbled, in proportion as they have been insulted by her presumptuous
arrogance. We well know, and all the world must acknowledge, the
moderation and friendship of the Most Christian King, in neglecting
conquests which courted his acceptance, for the benevolent pleasure of
succoring his allies. In this, as in every other instance, we
perceive his strict adherence to the principles of our defensive
alliance. We are sensible of the zeal of the French General in
executing his Majesty's orders. We esteem his courage, we lament his
wounds, and we respect that generous valor, which has led your
countrymen to contend with ours in the same common cause in the same
field of glory; a noble emulation, which has poured out the blood of
the two nations and mingled it together as a sacred pledge of
perpetual union.

"The consequences, which have followed from the appearance of the
French fleet upon our coasts, particularly by disconcerting the
enemy's plans of operations, and destroying a considerable part of
their naval force, demonstrate the wisdom of the measure. That they
have not been still more beneficial is to be attributed to those
incidents, which in the hand of Providence determine all human events.
But our disappointment is compensated by reflecting on the perfect
harmony, that subsisted between the Generals and the troops of the two
nations.

"The prosperous course of this campaign gives a pleasing hope that the
moment of peace may soon arrive, when the reciprocation of mutual good
offices shall amply recompence our mutual labors and cares, and we
doubt not but in that moment the commerce between the allied nations,
now struggling under great inconveniences, will shoot forth with vigor
and advantage, and happily demonstrate the injuries we once suffered
from the restraints of our enemies.

"While we lament, Sir, the loss of your worthy predecessor, we are led
from your personal character to the pleasing expectation, that you
will possess that confidence and esteem which he enjoyed. They are due
to the servant of our benefactor; we are happy in his choice, and
being thoroughly convinced of the intimate connexion between the
interests and views of the allied nations, we cannot but persuade
ourselves, that the more attentively you shall perform your duty to
your Sovereign, and the more sedulously you shall guard and promote
the welfare of your country, the more agreeable and respectable you
will render yourself to the citizens of America.[30]

                                      SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, _President_."

FOOTNOTES:

[29] The ceremonial of the introduction of M. de la Luzerne to
Congress was the same, as had been adopted in the case of M. Gerard.
See the _Correspondence of M. Gerard_, above, p. 245.

[30] Mr John Adams came over from France in the same ship with M. de
la Luzerne, and the Secretary of Legation, M. de Marbois. See his
account of these gentlemen in _John Adams's Correspondence_, Vol. IV
p. 310.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                DON JUAN MIRALLES TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                             Translation.

                                    Philadelphia, November 25th, 1779.

  Sir,

I had the honor of communicating to you on the 22d instant two
letters, which I received from the Governor-General of the Island of
Cuba, dated the 13th and the 22d of July last. He informs me by order
of the King, my master, that the declaration of war against the King
of Great Britain, made by his Majesty, was solemnly published at
Havana, on the 22d of the said month of July, and he requests me to
ask for the co-operation of the United States of America in the
measures, the substance of which I am now to have the honor of
recalling to your recollection.

The Honorable Congress having formerly proposed to lay siege to the
town of St Augustine in East Florida, in order to restore it, in case
of success, to the troops of his Catholic Majesty, I am ordered to
urge the said Congress to direct the arms of the United States against
that place, in the hope that this diversion will give powerful
assistance to those, which the forces of the King have made by their
attack on Pensacola; and that consequently, the English troops may be
more readily driven from the territory of the American Republics. I am
to inform the Governor-General of Havana, at what time the Honorable
Congress will be able to undertake this conquest, as well as what land
and naval forces that body will be able to employ in effecting it; in
order that the Spanish Generals may arrange their operations agreeably
to the information, which I shall transmit to them.

I am also ordered to invite the Honorable Congress to undertake the
conquest of the territory and the possessions held by the English to
the northeast of Louisiana; and as the Governor of that province may
by his experience contribute greatly to the success of such an
enterprise, he is desirous of knowing the plan of operations, which
Congress will adopt in this affair, in order that on his part he may
second it by every effort in his power.

The Governor-General of Havana is desirous of knowing the quantity and
kind of provisions, productions, and supplies, with which the United
States of America will be able to assist Havana, and the Island of
Cuba, as well as the other possessions of his Majesty in America, in
order that he may decide according to such information, upon the
measures to be adopted for procuring his supplies of provisions.

I had yesterday the honor of communicating these various requests to
the Honorable Congress, which body was pleased to appoint three of
its members to confer with me upon them. They declared, Sir, that they
should be much gratified to see my proposals supported by you; and I
entreat you to be pleased by your intervention to give all requisite
weight to the importance of these great objects.

The sending as soon as possible, of such forces and stores as Congress
shall think proper, is of the greatest consequence. Of equal
importance are the means of securing their arrival at their place of
destination, with all the security which circumstances will allow. It
is then desirable, Sir, that you would have the kindness to persuade
the Count de Grasse to be pleased to take them on board of his
squadron, and to conduct them under his convoy to South Carolina or
Georgia; and the deputies of Congress have desired me to make this
request of you. I have answered them, in consequence of the
communications, which you have been pleased to make to me, that you
had already made some overtures to that commander, in relation to the
operations in which he might engage, and that you were now expecting
his answer.

The interests of our Sovereigns, Sir, are so closely connected, the
independence and welfare of United America are objects so dear and so
important to you, that I have no doubt you will use all efforts to
secure a compliance with the requests, which I have the honor to make
of you in the name of the King, my master, and on the success of which
depends, in a great degree, the success of the general operations of
the allied powers.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                 DON JUAN DE MIRALLES.
                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                    Philadelphia, November 26th, 1779.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor of communicating
to the Congress of the United States, a letter of Don Juan de
Miralles, containing sundry propositions, which appear to him to
deserve the most serious attention. Although the Chevalier de la
Luzerne has no instructions from his Catholic Majesty, he is too
sensible of the good understanding and intimate connexion subsisting
between the Courts of Versailles and Madrid, not to recommend these
overtures in the most pressing manner to the consideration of
Congress.

The great design is to act against the common enemy, and the more
pains that are taken to unite the strokes aimed against them, the more
certain will be their effects. As to what regards the concurrence of
the royal fleet in the operations proposed, the underwritten has the
honor to observe, that he is entirely uninformed touching the part it
will be able to take. He has, however, written a letter to the Count
de Grasse, which that commander will receive on his arrival at
Hampton. As soon as the underwritten shall have received an answer,
and the necessary information, he will take the earliest opportunity
of communicating them to such of the delegates as Congress shall be
pleased to appoint.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, December 6th, 1779.

  Sir,

The undersigned Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor of
informing Congress, that he has received from St Domingo intelligence
of the capture of the Greyhound, by eight American sailors. He annexes
a summary of some facts relative to this capture.

In the terms of the intelligence, given on the 4th of August, of the
present year, by the officers of the Admiralty of Port Paix, "the
eight American sailors, having taken the said schooner, without being
provided with any commission, have been sent back before Congress, in
order that this affair may be decided in conformity with the laws of
their country."

The undersigned Minister is then desirous, that Congress would be
pleased to inform him, what use they shall judge proper to make of the
thirteen thousand nine hundred and eighty nine livres, ten sols, which
remain in the registry of the Admiralty of Port Paix; whether it be
thought proper that this sum should be remitted to the agent of
Congress at St Domingo, in order that he may transmit it to the eight
men interested, in such manner as he shall think fit, or whether
Congress shall adopt an entirely different mode of proceeding. The
Chevalier de la Luzerne will hasten to communicate to the commandants
of the Island of St Domingo, whatever resolution may have been
adopted, in order that they may without delay make arrangements
accordingly. The undersigned would have wished to spare Congress the
detail of this affair, by addressing himself directly to the States
of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, in order to ascertain their
intentions, but the intelligence upon which the order of the General
and Intendant of St Domingo has intervened, obliges the parties to
come before Congress; besides, this form is the best adapted to
prevent all delays, and to cause this money to arrive promptly at the
destination, which shall be determined upon.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                                     In Congress, December 16th, 1779.

  Sir,

I am directed to inform you, that Congress in order to testify their
attention to the interest of his Catholic Majesty, appointed a
commissioner to confer with General Washington on the subject of your
letter, accompanying the representation of Don Juan de Miralles;[31]
and though from the result of their conference, they have reason to
believe that our grand army cannot be weakened while the enemy retain
their present force at New York, without considerable danger, yet they
have upon mature deliberation determined rather to incur that danger,
than not to comply, as far as is consistent with our circumstances,
with the views of his Catholic Majesty, to whom they feel themselves
bound by that union of interest, which a common enemy creates, by the
favorable disposition manifested by his Catholic Majesty to these
United States, and by those ties, which connect the House of Bourbon
with the happiness of mankind.

Under these impressions they have ordered a considerable detachment
from the grand army to join the troops in Carolina, which, together
with the forces already there or on the way, will amount to about four
thousand men, exclusive of the militia of the Southern States, whom
Congress have called for upon this occasion. Congress have also
ordered three of their frigates to Charleston, to be put under the
direction of the commanding officer in that department.

This force they conceive will make so powerful a diversion in favor of
his Catholic Majesty's army, as to afford probable hopes of their
being crowned with success. You will perceive, Sir, that any other
co-operation with the troops of Spain is impossible, while Savannah
opposes a barrier to a junction of our force. This, from its present
strength, it will not be easy for us to remove, till a more decided
superiority in this quarter enables us to transfer a greater
proportion of our army thither. Unless, in the meantime, the Governor
of Havana shall think proper to furnish such aid, as when joined with
the forces of the United States in that quarter, will be sufficient to
effect the purposes before mentioned. But as Congress were desirous of
extending their views still further, and conceiving the conquest of
East Florida to be an object of great importance, as well to his
Catholic Majesty, as to these States, they have therefore directed me
to inform you, and through you Don Juan de Miralles, by whom the
intentions of his Catholic Majesty are communicated, that they have
given full power to their General commanding in the Southern
department to correspond and concert with the Governor of Havana, or
any other person or persons, authorised by his Catholic Majesty for
that purpose, such plan as can be agreed upon between them for
carrying our views into execution.

I am, Sir, directed further to inform you, that though Congress cannot
promise any considerable quantity of provisions until the army of the
United States are supplied, yet as soon as that can be done, every
means will be used to furnish provisions for his Catholic Majesty's
Islands and fleet. But in the meantime they conceive, that a large
supply of rice may be afforded by the State of South Carolina, while
Congress will readily aid the agents of Spain in procuring the same.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                       SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, _President_.

FOOTNOTE:

[31] See above pp. 373, 375.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                    M. HOLKER TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, January 10th, 1780.

  Sir,

I have the honor of transmitting to you the annexed letter, and copy
of a late law of the State of Maryland, which I have this moment
received from Mr William Smith, a merchant at Baltimore. As it is of a
nature to alarm us in relation to all the operations, which have been
concerted in the Islands, or contemplated with respect to other places
during the course of the ensuing summer; as, moreover, the vessels and
store-ships, which I expect from Martinique, to supply the place of
those which were destined by the Count d'Estaing for the Chesapeake
Bay, and which the officers of the King have thought it their duty to
sacrifice and sell to the State of Carolina, with a view to
contribute, as far as lay in their power, to the security and defence
of that place; as, I say, these store-ships might arrive immediately,
and I might be obliged to send them back in ballast, if the corn and
wheat, which I have purchased in Maryland, should be seized, and as,
thereby, all my transactions and engagements would not only become
uncertain, but might terminate in a manner disgraceful to me, and in
the failure of the naval operations of the King in America, I cannot
forbear to claim, in the most urgent manner, the influence of your
character with the Congress of the United States upon this occasion,
while I observe to you, that if the law of Maryland is put in
execution in relation to the provisions, which I have collected at a
great expense and with every possible precaution, I shall, for the
future, be unable to take a single step in the service of the King,
and shall be obliged to pay large sums to indemnify those with whom I
have made engagements.

Your Excellency is aware of the innumerable difficulties, which I have
experienced since I have been engaged in this country, in the naval
service of the King. They seem to multiply every moment, and have
become so great that I am compelled to declare to you, that I cannot
guaranty or be answerable for the success of the least operation,
unless you shall be able most speedily to persuade Congress to take
with each and every State in the Union, decisive and effectual
measures to cause respect to be shown to my transactions, carried on
in the name and on the account of his Majesty; while I repeat my
offers to oblige my agents and correspondents to conform to such
suitable formalities, as your Excellency shall think proper to
prescribe for the general tranquillity and satisfaction.

I am, Sir, &c.

                                                               HOLKER.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     WILLIAM SMITH TO M. HOLKER.

                                         Baltimore, January 7th, 1780.

  Sir,

By express I send enclosed a copy of a letter I received yesterday
from the Governor and Council of this State, in answer to my
application for permission to load the brig Hawk with flour for Cape
François, on account of his Most Christian Majesty. You will perceive
by this letter, that I am not permitted to proceed in loading this
vessel as you direct, nor will any permission for that purpose be
granted until the army is supplied.

That the army ought to be supplied, I doubt not you will think right;
but that the wheat and flour collected in this port should be taken
for that purpose, when I presume a sufficient quantity may be had much
more convenient to the army and less prejudicial to your interest, you
will, probably, conclude is not so convenient, and might, if duly
considered, have been avoided. I am well informed that the public
purchasers in Harford county have now on hand upwards of three
thousand barrels, which, for a wagon at this season of the year, are
at least three days nearer camp than this place. Besides, very
considerable magazines must be provided on the eastern shore of this
State; and it seems to me, that the distresses of our army have arisen
more from the want of carriages to convey a sufficient quantity of
flour to camp, than from any other cause.

Be that as it may, I find that the Commissioners for this county are
determined to lay their hands on all your wheat and flour, and have
already seized some of your wheat, and I doubt not but the whole on
the eastern and western shores will be taken as soon as they
conveniently can do it. Therefore, I thought it my duty to despatch
this information to you by express, that you may take such measures in
the premises as you judge best. You will see by the enclosed letter,
that no relief is to be expected from our Governor and Council.
Perhaps an application to Congress may procure a resolve directing
your magazines to be spared, by lending some for the present
emergency. But that ought to be taken when most convenient for the
army, and least prejudicial to you.

You will please to favor me with a line by return of the bearer,
directing whatever steps you may think will be most conducive to the
interest of his Most Christian Majesty.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                        WILLIAM SMITH.

                  *       *       *       *       *

      THE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF MARYLAND TO WILLIAM SMITH.

                             In Council, Annapolis, January 6th, 1780.

  Sir,

We received your favor of the 3d instant by express. As the grand
object of the "Acts for the immediate supply of the army, &c." is to
procure an immediate and full supply of provisions for _our_ army, it
was necessary that the Commissioners should be vested with
extraordinary powers, that those powers should be accurately defined,
and that the mode to be pursued by them should be plainly delineated;
which is done. We do not think that flour or wheat purchased for the
Marine of France, privileged or exempted from seizure, and we are
certain it was not the intention of the Legislature that those
articles should be, because such exemption would, in a great degree,
if not wholly, frustrate the design of the law.

We deem it our duty to afford the Commissioners every aid in our power
to facilitate the execution of the law, and, therefore, cannot at this
time grant permission to export flour or wheat purchased by the agents
of France; because we should thereby restrain that extensive operation
of the act, by which alone we can obtain an immediate supply adequate
to our pressing wants. We are sensible, that it is of importance that
the Marine of France should be furnished with flour, and it is with
the utmost regret that we have refused permission, and nothing could
have induced us to do it, but the alarming and distressful situation
of our army; and when we have assurances that their wants are
relieved, we shall with pleasure grant license as heretofore.

The numerous evils, that would result from procrastinating the
supplies when contrasted with the inconveniencies alluded to by you,
will, we trust, evince the propriety of our conduct and justify our
refusal.

We are, with respect, Sir, &c.

                              J. T. CHASE, _President of the Council_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, January 10th, 1780.

  Sir,

The undersigned Minister Plenipotentiary of France, has just received
from M. Holker a letter, of which a copy is annexed, in relation to a
law, passed by the State of Maryland, to authorise the Commissioners
therein named to seize the grain, corn, and rice, which may be found
stored in the hands of individuals in that State, and to carry them
away. It is to be presumed, that if the General Assembly of Maryland
had been informed of the measures taken, at a great expense, to
procure supplies for the fleets of his Majesty and for his garrisons
in the French Islands, and of the pressing wants which they suffer,
they would have excepted from this law the provisions found in the
hands of Mr Smith.

The undersigned is about to take suitable measures for inducing the
government to refrain from seizing the said provisions, and to replace
them in case that they are already seized. He earnestly entreats
Congress to be pleased, on its part, to recommend to the Councils and
Assemblies of the Thirteen States to refrain, in circumstances of this
nature, and in all other cases, from all measures which may cause any
uncertainty in the operations of the King's Navy Agents, endanger the
success of the plans of the campaign, and expose to want and to the
greatest inconveniences the garrisons of the French Islands, the
governors of which are previously informed of the measures taken to
procure supplies for them in the United States, and in concert with
Congress and the respective governments of the States.

The present juncture being of a very pressing nature, the undersigned
entreats Congress to be pleased to come to a decision on this subject
as quickly as possible. He, moreover, proposes to the Council of
Maryland to subject the agents and Commissioners, charged with making
purchases on account of his Majesty, to all the legal forms best
adapted to prevent every kind of abuse on their part; and he is
desirous that the States, in which purchases of this nature may be
made, should be pleased to take similar measures.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                        TO GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                             Translation.

                                      Philadelphia, January 23d, 1780.

  Sir,

Advices recently received from Europe make mention of the efforts,
which the English have made in Germany to procure recruits and new
levies, and of the difficulty they have experienced even on the part
of those Courts with whom they had before treated. The greatest part
of the German Princes, who have sold soldiers to the Court of London,
now blush at these sales, which have excited their subjects against
them, and which besides have drained their States. They are reluctant
to give troops to a power, that is making war against France, with
whom they have always preserved amicable ties, and I am assured, that
it is even doubtful whether the English will be able to procure a few
recruits to complete the corps they have in America.

I am informed, that these circumstances have determined the British
government to make every effort to obtain men in America, whom they
cannot procure in Europe, and that Mr Clinton has received orders to
spare no pains to effect the exchange or deliverance of the troops of
the Convention of Saratoga, and of other prisoners, who are in the
hands of the Americans. It is added, that the want of the Court of
London for soldiers is so pressing, that General Clinton has been
authorised to surmount all the difficulties, which may arise in the
negotiation of this exchange, and that he is even permitted in case of
absolute necessity to treat with Congress, or their Ministers, on
terms of perfect equality, and as with an independent power. He has
also equally full liberty to agree upon the number of private
soldiers, who may be given in exchange for an officer of any rank
whatsoever; and they order him simply to remember in treating of this
matter, that an English soldier transported to America is of an
infinite price to England, and they exhort him to employ all his
efforts to bring about an exchange whatever may be the conditions.

I hasten to communicate these interesting ideas to Congress, and I
have learned, that they were confirmed by the event, and that Major
General Phillips had in effect drawn on a negotiation, the progress of
which had been entirely confided to your Excellency. They prayed me at
the same time to send you a communication of these objects, which the
Congress think ought greatly to influence the measures, which it will
be in your power to take, when you know that the English Commissioners
have orders to pass over all difficulties, and to grant all the
demands, which may be made, rather than to lose the occasion of
reinforcing the army they have upon this continent.

I join to this some extracts, the contents of which have appeared to
me of a nature to interest your Excellency. You will see besides, Sir,
by the despatch of the British Minister, with what affectation he
seeks to make the Thirteen States to be considered as subjected to the
English domination, and you will judge of what importance it is to you
to treat with the Court of London upon the footing of perfect
equality, and how useful an act of this nature may be to the
negotiations of Congress in Europe, when they can add to all the
facts, of which the Court of Madrid makes mention in its memoir, a
cartel regulated on the footing of perfect parity, and which would
prejudge beforehand the question of your independence. I congratulate
myself, that this negotiation is in your hands, and I am well
persuaded, that nothing will pass derogatory to the part, which my
Court has taken in acknowledging the independence and the perfect
sovereignty of the United States.

I shall intrust to your Excellency, that the King is disposed to send
over succors to this continent, of arms and ammunition, but as the
events of the sea are uncertain, I believe that it will be proper to
make no change in the measures, which may have been taken otherwise to
procure them. This news not having reached me till yesterday, I have
not yet been able to make a communication of it to Congress.

As you may be retained in your quarters by important considerations, I
propose to go to render you my duties in the course of the next month,
and confer with your Excellency on objects of great importance, and
relative to the measures necessary to push the next campaign with
vigor, and to put the American army in a condition truly proper to
hold the enemy in check upon the continent, whilst his Majesty and the
King of Spain shall display in the other parts of the world all their
forces to secure advantageous terms of peace to the allies.

I am, with respect, Sir,

                                                              LUZERNE.

_P. S._ This letter will be delivered to your Excellency by M. de
Galvan, who has been raised to the rank of Major by your goodness; he
desires to merit it anew, and prays me to solicit you to put his zeal
in activity. I shall be very grateful for what you may be pleased to
do for him. He was particularly recommended to me by the Minister of
France. He appeared to me to merit a great deal from his zeal, and
from his personal attachment to your Excellency.

                          *       *       *

                PAPERS MENTIONED IN THE ABOVE LETTER.

                                No. 1.

                             Translation.

  _Extract of a Memorial communicated by the Ambassador of England to
  the Court of Madrid, on the 28th of March, 1779._

Let the Colonies expose also their grievances, and the conditions for
their security, or for their precaution, in order that the continuance
and authority of lawful government may be re-established; and then we
shall see if a direct and immediate accommodation can take place. If
this same method is preferred in this last case only, let a truce be
made in North America, that is to say, a real truce and suspension of
arms, during which may be established and secured the liberty and
estates of persons of every condition, and let all sort of violence
against the respective subjects, or against the estates or effects
which they possess, be made to cease. During this truce, the French
may treat upon their particular concerns, avoiding thereby the
suspicions, to which they would necessarily expose themselves, if they
wish to involve in the negotiation their private advantage relatively
to the pretended interests of those, whom France with affectation
calls her allies; and his Majesty will be able to establish the
government of his own dominions, without suffering the humiliation of
not receiving, but from the hand of a declared enemy, the conditions
which regard this government.

                          *       *       *

                                No. 2.

                             Translation.

  _Ultimatum proposed by the Court of Madrid to the Courts of France
  and England, dated 3d of April, 1779._

If these overtures or propositions had arrived here immediately after
the King had made his to adjust the plan of reconciliation, several
difficulties might have been some time since removed, by the
modifications, which might have been negotiated, counting upon good
faith and reciprocal confidence, as well as the desire of obtaining a
peace; but after having lost more than two months, without reckoning
the time that uselessly passed before, and after having observed that
during this interval they did not cease to make great preparations of
war, it must necessarily be suspected, that the object of England is
to let glide away the months, which the campaign might still last, to
continue the war with vigor. In this case all the efforts of the King
to bring back the belligerent powers to peace would be ineffectual.
Nevertheless, his Majesty, wishing to give one more proof of his love
of humanity, and to make it appear that he has neglected nothing to
stop and prevent the calamities of war, has ordered to propose to the
two Courts the following plan, which will be on his part an ultimatum
in this affair.

"That there shall be an unlimited suspension of arms with France on
the condition, that neither of the belligerent powers can break it
without advertising the other a year beforehand.

"That with a view of re-establishing reciprocal security and good
faith between the two Crowns, by means of this suspension of
hostilities, there shall be a general disarming in the space of one
month on the side of Europe, in four months on that of America, and in
eight months or a year for those of Africa and of Asia the most
remote.

"That they shall determine in a month the place where the
Plenipotentiaries of the two Courts shall assemble, to treat of a
definitive accommodation of peace, and to regulate the restitutions or
compensations relative to the reprisals, which have been made without
adjudication of war, and to other grievances or pretensions of one or
the other Crown. For this purpose the King will continue his
mediation, offering in the first place the city of Madrid to hold a
Congress.

"That the King of Great Britain shall grant a like cessation of
hostilities to the American Colonies, by the intercession and
mediation of his Catholic Majesty, a year beforehand, to the end, that
he may apprize the said American Provinces, that they are equally
ordered to make a reciprocal disarming at the epochas, and for the
spaces of time, which have been specified with regard to France.

"That the bounds be fixed beyond which neither of the two parties
shall pass from the positions and territories, in which it shall be at
the time of the ratification of this arrangement.

"That they may send to Madrid one or more Commissioners on the part of
the Colonies, and that his Britannic Majesty may also send others on
his part under the mediation of the King, if necessary, in order to
adjust all those points and others, which respect this suspension of
arms, and the effects which it ought to produce, so long as it shall
subsist, and that during this interval the Colonies shall be treated
as independent in fact. That in case all the belligerent powers, or
any others among them, or even the Colonies themselves, demand that
the treaties or accommodations, which are concluded, be guarantied by
those powers and by Spain, they shall in effect be so guarantied. And
the Catholic King now offers his guarantee for the preliminaries."

                          *       *       *

                                No. 3.

                             Translation.

  _Extract from the Exposition of the Motives of the Court of Spain
  relative to England._

Among the propositions of the ultimatum of the King of Spain, there is
one for which the British Cabinet has affected to have the greatest
repugnance, and that is the proposition which imparts, that the
Colonies shall be treated as independent _in fact_, during the
interval of the truce. It is extraordinary, since it is even
ridiculous, that the Court of London after having treated the Colonies
during the war as independent, not only _in fact_, but also _of
right_, should have any repugnance to treat them as independent only
_in fact_, during the truce, or suspension of arms. The Convention of
Saratoga, General Burgoyne considered as a lawful prisoner, the
exchange and liberation of other Colonial prisoners, the nomination of
Commissioners to meet the Americans at their own homes, the act of
having asked peace of them, and to treat with them, or with Congress,
and a hundred other facts of this nature, authorised by the Court of
London, have been genuine signs of an acknowledgment of the
independence of the Colonies.

It is the English nation itself, who can best judge and decide,
whether all these acts are as compatible with the honor of the British
Crown, as would be that of granting to the Colonies, by the
interposition of his Catholic Majesty, a suspension of arms to discuss
their differences, and to treat them during this interval as
independent _in fact_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, January 24th, 1780.

  Sir,

I have the honor of sending you the credentials, by which M. d'Anmours
is provisionally appointed his Majesty's Consul in the State of North
Carolina. I entreat you to be pleased to cause them to be invested
with the sanction of Congress, by having them entered upon the
registers, and by taking the trouble to affix your approval, or
causing that of Mr Thompson to be affixed, according to the mode
heretofore pursued in similar cases.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, January 25th, 1780.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has received express orders
from the King, his master, to inform Congress, that the present
situation of the affairs of the alliance in Europe announces the
necessity of another campaign, which is indispensable to bring England
to an acknowledgment of the independence of the Thirteen United
States, which is the essential purpose of the present war. That power
is making preparations the most proper for continuing the war with
vigor, and appears willing to employ, in the course of this year, all
the means possible to procure reparation, by some important
enterprise, for the losses it has already sustained. Congress cannot
doubt, that in this situation of affairs his Most Christian Majesty
and the King of Spain have concerted plans to maintain that
superiority by sea, which has begun to appear in their favor; and the
underwritten has reason to believe, that the United States have
nothing to desire of their ally, touching the use he is making of the
resources of his realm, and the efficacy of the measures adopted by
the Cabinets of Versailles and Madrid.

But while this powerful diversion retains in Europe, and the West
Indies, the greater part of the land and sea forces of the common
enemy, it is absolutely necessary, that the United States, on their
part, should make efforts proportionable to the greatness of the
object for which they are contending. The only means of putting an end
to the calamities of the war is to push it with new vigor; to take
effectual measures immediately for completing the army and putting it
in condition to begin an early campaign.

It is also necessary to concert, as far as the distance of places will
permit, a plan of common operations; and this is one of the principal
points on which the underwritten Minister is ordered to consult with
Congress. He is also ordered to assure this Assembly, that the King
being informed of the wants of the American army, with respect to arms
and ammunition, has commanded his Ministers to make suitable
arrangements for supplying them. It is necessary that the underwritten
Minister should confer with Congress on the subjects just mentioned.
Besides, he has some particular circumstances to communicate relative
to the present or probable state of the negotiations; and he desires
that this assembly will be pleased to inform him in what manner they
will receive the communication, the subject of which, as well as the
plan of operations for the ensuing campaign, requires the most
profound secrecy. In the meanwhile, he now only assures Congress, that
in the whole course of the negotiations carried on last year, the King
would not listen to either peace or truce, without an assurance, of
some sort, of the independence of the United States.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

             REPORT OF A COMMITTEE ON THE COMMUNICATIONS
                       OF THE FRENCH MINISTER.

                                      In Congress, January 28th, 1780.

The committee appointed to receive the communications of the Minister
of France, reported the following summary, accompanied with extracts
of papers, which he had recently received.[32]

The Minister of France informed the Committee, that he had it in
command from his King to impress upon the minds of Congress, that the
British Cabinet have an almost insuperable reluctance to admit the
idea of the independence of these United States, and will use every
possible endeavor to prevent it. That they have filled several of the
Courts of Europe with negotiations, in order to excite them to a war
against France, or to obtain succors; and are employing the most
strenuous endeavors to persuade the several powers, that the United
States are disposed to enter into treaties of accommodation. That many
persons in Europe are actually employed in bringing such treaties to
perfection; and that they have no doubt of their success. That the
objects which the British Cabinet hope for from those measures are, to
destroy the superiority, which France has now at sea, by diverting her
powers and resources from naval to land operations, and by engaging
her in a land war, where she must risk very important interests, while
England would risk nothing but money; or to break, or weaken the
alliance, by destroying the confidence, which the allies ought to have
in each other.

That his Most Christian Majesty gives no credit to the suggestions of
Britain, relative to the disposition of the United States; and it is
necessary, that measures be taken for the preventing of other powers
from being deceived into a belief of them. That the negotiations of
Britain, as far as could yet be learned, had not succeeded. That the
dispositions of all the European powers are, as far as can be known,
very friendly to France; but some of them may be engaged in secret
treaties with Britain, which may oblige them, in some event, to assist
her with troops even against their inclinations. That such event may
arise, and if it should, it is probable it will produce an armed
mediation, the consequences of which would be, that the allies must
accept of the terms proposed by the mediator, or continue the war
under the disadvantage of having the forces of the mediator united
with those of their enemies. That in such event, it is possible the
terms proposed will be such as Spain offered, and Britain rejected, in
the last proposed mediation.

That, though the powers who may be under such engagements by treaty to
Great Britain, from their friendly disposition towards his Most
Christian Majesty, may be very unwilling to give assistance to his
enemies, yet they may find it indispensably necessary in compliance
with their engagements; but it is not improbable that their
reluctance, or the distance of their dominions, may delay such
assistance, if granted at all, so as to be too late for the next
campaign. That should the enemy be in possession of any part of the
United States at the close of the next campaign, it will be extremely
difficult to bring Great Britain to acknowledge their independence;
and if a mediator should be offered, while the enemy is in possession
of any part, an impartial mediator could not easily refute the
arguments, which might be used for its retaining such possessions.
And, probably, a mediator well disposed towards Great Britain might
insist on her holding them; and if not agreed to, the hostility of
such a mediator would be the necessary consequence. That should Great
Britain form such alliances, or procure such aids, as are the objects
of her present negotiations, there will be every reason to fear a long
and an obstinate war, whereof the final event may be doubtful.

That this view of affairs plainly points out the necessity for the
greatest possible vigor in the operations of the next campaign, in
order to dispossess the enemy of every part of the United States, and
to put them in condition to treat of peace, and accept of a mediation
with the greatest advantage; and the preparations for it ought to be
as speedy and as effectual as possible. That France and Spain are
prepared to make a very powerful diversion, and will exert themselves
most strenuously for preserving and improving their naval superiority,
and for employing the powers of the enemy in Europe and the West
Indies. The Minister declared, as from himself, that he doubted not
his Most Christian Majesty will spare some ships to the United States,
if it can be done without endangering his superiority at sea; and that
an application made to the Minister informally is more eligible than
to the King, because it would give his Majesty great pain to refuse
the request, though he might be in no condition to grant it. That at
all events, supplies should be prepared on a supposition that the
ships will be granted; and such supplies should be put into the hands
of the Agent for the Marine of France, and considered as the King's
property.

He desires to be informed, as far as Congress may deem proper, what
force the United States can bring into the field next campaign? On
what resources they rely for their maintenance and necessary
appointments? And what shall be the general plan of the campaign, on
supposition either of having, or not having the aid of ships of war?
He gives it as his opinion, that an application for clothing may be
made to his Most Christian Majesty with prospect of success; and
although measures have been taken for sending arms and warlike stores
to America, yet it would be prudent in Congress not to neglect any
other means for procuring those supplies, or supplies of clothing.

FOOTNOTE:

[32] These extracts were the same as had been sent to General
Washington, and are printed above, in connexion with M. de la
Luzerne's letter to him, dated January 23d, 1780.

                  *       *       *       *       *

   ANSWER OF CONGRESS TO THE COMMUNICATIONS OF THE FRENCH MINISTER.

                                      In Congress, January 31st, 1780.

Congress taking into consideration the communications of the French
Minister, as reported by the committee on the 28th instant,

Resolved, That the following answer be given to the communications of
the honorable the Minister Plenipotentiary of France;

That Congress entertain the most grateful sense of the unremitting
attention given to the interests of the United States by their
illustrious ally; and consider the communications made to them by his
Minister under his Majesty's special command as equally wise and
interesting. That the confidence which they repose in his Majesty, in
consequence of his so generously interesting himself in the affairs of
these United States, and the wisdom and magnanimity of his councils,
determine them to give the most perfect information in their power of
their resources, their views, and their expectations.

That to this end, they state as follows; that the United States have
expectations, on which they can rely with confidence, of bringing into
the field an army of twentyfive thousand effective men, exclusive of
commissioned officers. That this army can be reinforced by militia so
as to be in force sufficient for any enterprises against the posts
occupied by the enemy within the United States. That supplies of
provisions for the army in its greatest number can certainly be
obtained within the United States; and the Congress, with the
co-operation of the several States, can take effectual measures for
procuring them in such manner as that no operation will be impeded.
That provisions, also, for such of the forces of his Most Christian
Majesty, as may be employed in conjunction or co-operation with those
of the United States, can be procured under the direction of Congress;
and such provisions shall be laid up in magazines, agreeably to such
instructions as his Majesty's Minister Plenipotentiary shall give; and
the magazines shall be put under the direction of the Agent of the
Marine of France.

That Congress rely on the contributions of the States by taxes, and on
moneys to be raised by internal loans, for the pay of the army. That
supplies of clothing, of tents, of arms and warlike stores, must be
principally obtained from foreign nations; and the United States must
rely chiefly on the assistance of their ally for them; but every other
means for procuring them are already taken, and will be prosecuted
with the greatest diligence.

That the United States, with the assistance of a competent naval
force, would willingly, during the next campaign, carry on the most
vigorous offensive operations against the enemy in all the posts
occupied by them within the United States. That without such naval
force, little more can be attempted by them than straitening the
quarters of the enemy, and covering the interior parts of the country.
That their forces must be disposed in such manner as to oppose the
enemy with the greatest effect, wheresoever their most considerable
operations may be directed.

That at present, the Southern States seem to be their principal
object, and their design to establish themselves in one or more of
them; but their superiority at sea over the United States enables them
to change their objects and operations with great facility, while
those of the United States are rendered difficult by the great extent
of country they have to defend.

That Congress are happy to find that his Most Christian Majesty gives
no credit to the suggestions of the British cabinet relative to the
dispositions of the United States, or any of them, to enter into
treaties of accommodation with Great Britain; and wish his Majesty and
all the powers of Europe to be assured, that such suggestions are
insidious and without foundation.

That it will appear by the constitutions and other public acts of the
several States, that the citizens of the United States possessed of
arms, possessed of freedom, possessed of political power to create and
direct their magistrates as they think proper, are united in their
determinations to secure to themselves and their posterity the
blessings of liberty, by supporting the independence of their
governments, and observing their treaties and public engagements with
immovable firmness and fidelity. And the Congress assure his Majesty,
that should any individual in America be found base enough to show the
least disposition for persuading the people to the contrary, such
individual would instantly lose all power of effecting his purpose, by
forfeiting the esteem and confidence of the people.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              COMMUNICATIONS OF THE FRENCH MINISTER TO A
             COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS AT A SECOND CONFERENCE.

                                       In Congress, February 2d, 1780.

The Committee report, that in a second conference with the honorable
the Minister Plenipotentiary of France he communicated to them;

That his Most Christian Majesty, being uninformed of the appointment
of a Minister Plenipotentiary to treat of an alliance between the
United States and his Catholic Majesty, has signified to his Minister
Plenipotentiary to the United States, that he wishes most earnestly
for such an alliance; and in order to make the way thereto more easy,
has commanded him to communicate to the Congress certain articles,
which his Catholic Majesty deems of great importance to the interests
of his Crown, and on which it is highly necessary that the United
States explain themselves with precision, and with such moderation as
may consist with their essential rights.

That the articles are,

1st. A precise and invariable western boundary to the United States.

2dly. The exclusive navigation of the river Mississippi.

3dly. The possession of the Floridas; and

4thly. The lands on the left or eastern side of the river Mississippi.

That on the first article, it is the idea of the cabinet of Madrid,
that the United States extend to the westward no farther than
settlements were permitted by the royal proclamation bearing date the
---- day of ---- 1763.

On the second, that the United States do not consider themselves as
having any right to navigate the river Mississippi, no territory
belonging to them being situated thereon.

On the third, that it is probable that the King of Spain will conquer
the Floridas during the course of the present war; and in such event,
every cause of dispute relative thereto between Spain and these United
States ought to be removed.

On the fourth, that the lands lying on the east side of the
Mississippi, whereon the settlements were prohibited by the aforesaid
proclamation, are possessions of the Crown of Great Britain, and
proper objects against which the arms of Spain may be employed, for
the purpose of making a permanent conquest for the Spanish Crown. That
such conquest may, probably, be made during the present war. That,
therefore, it would be advisable to restrain the Southern States from
making any settlements or conquests in those territories. That the
Council of Madrid consider the United States as having no claims to
those territories, either as not having had possession of them before
the present war, or not having any foundation for a claim in the right
of the sovereignty of Great Britain, whose dominion they have abjured.

That his Most Christian Majesty, united to the Catholic King by blood
and by the strictest alliances, and united with these States in
treaties of alliance, and feeling towards them dispositions of the
most perfect friendship, is exceedingly desirous of conciliating
between his Catholic Majesty and these United States, the most happy
and lasting friendship.

That the United States may repose the utmost confidence in his good
will to their interests, and in the justice and liberality of his
Catholic Majesty; and that he cannot deem the revolution, which has
set up the independence of these United States, as past all danger of
unfavorable events, until his Catholic Majesty and the United States
shall be established on those terms of confidence and amity, which are
the objects of his Most Christian Majesty's very earnest wishes.

                  *       *       *       *       *

               GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                        Head Quarters, Morristown, February 4th, 1780.

  Sir,

Major Galvan delivered me the letter, which your Excellency did me the
honor to write to me on the 23d of January, to which I have paid all
the attention the importance of its contents demands. I am much
flattered by this commencement of a correspondence, from which I have
everything to gain, and equally indebted for the interesting
communications it affords.

It is a happy circumstance, that the efforts made by the British Court
for obtaining troops in Germany are attended with so little success.
This will naturally increase their exertions for procuring men in this
country, and will, no doubt, make them more solicitous for effecting
the exchange or release in some way or other, of their prisoners in
our hands. It will be well, if in the negotiations on this subject, we
can extract concessions favorable to those, which may take place in
Europe, and you may depend the experiment shall be fully tried. But
from the aspect of the late propositions on the part of the enemy, I
should not entertain any sanguine hopes of the success of this
experiment. The reinforcement they would derive from a full compliance
with their proposals is not calculated at more than ten or eleven
hundred private men; and this seems hardly to be an object of
sufficient magnitude to induce them to concede to points of the
nature, which your Excellency's information supposes; especially, as
you emphatically express it, "after having sought with so much
affectation to make the Thirteen States be considered as subjected to
the English domination." The offers made through Major General
Phillips are far more moderate, than any that have hitherto come from
them, and appear, in a great measure, to have been influenced by his
personal solicitations, dictated by an extreme anxiety to be released
from captivity. But notwithstanding the matter in its present form
wears to me the appearance I have mentioned, I shall not neglect any
measure, which it may be in my power to take, to improve the
intimation your Excellency has given, and entreat you to be assured,
that I shall endeavor to make the event confirm the opinion you do me
the honor to entertain, that nothing will be done derogatory to the
magnanimous part your Court has acted, or the honor or interest of the
United States.

The inconsistency of the Court of London, so well delineated by that
of Madrid in the extract you had the goodness to annex, would appear
extraordinary, if their whole conduct in the course of the war did not
exhibit many similar examples. But it is evident, that their refusing
to consider these States as independent in fact, during a negotiation,
was a mere pretext to cover their unwillingness to concur in the
pacific views of His Catholic Majesty; and the Memorial from the
British Ambassador shows, that they were artfully aiming to effect a
separation of interests between France and these States, the better to
prosecute their hostile designs against either or both.

I thank your Excellency for the agreeable intelligence you give me of
his Christian Majesty's intentions to send over succors of arms and
ammunition. It is a new and valuable proof of his friendship, and will
be of essential utility. I agree with you, that there ought to be no
relaxation in the measures otherwise intended to be taken to procure
the necessary supplies of those articles.

I am sensibly mortified, that the present situation of affairs will by
no means suffer me to yield to the desire I have of paying you my
respects in Philadelphia; and I shall impatiently look for the
opportunity of doing it here, which your Excellency promises me in the
course of this month. Besides the important objects of public utility,
which I am authorised to hope from it, I shall take pleasure on every
occasion of testifying to you those sentiments of respect and esteem,
with which I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

_P. S._ The interest your Excellency is pleased to take in Major
Galvan, will be an additional motive with me to avail myself of his
talents and zeal, as far as circumstances will possibly permit.

                  *       *       *       *       *

               GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                       Head Quarters, Morristown, February 15th, 1780.

  Sir,

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Excellency's
letter of the 4th,[33] which only reached me on the 13th.

Sincerely desirous of doing everything in my power, by which the
interest of his Christian Majesty, inseparable from that of these
States, can in any manner be promoted, and still more in a point so
essential as that which makes the subject of your letter, I should not
hesitate to furnish the detachment required by Mr Duer, whatever might
be my opinion of its necessity, did not the present state of the army
absolutely forbid it. I with confidence assure your Excellency, that
our force is so reduced by the expiration of the terms for which a
considerable part of it was engaged, and will be so much more
diminished in the course of a month or two from the same cause, as
scarcely to suffice for the exigence of the service, and to afford
just cause for uneasiness should the enemy be actuated by a spirit of
enterprise, before we receive the reinforcements intended for the next
campaign. So circumstanced, my duty to the common cause will not
justify me in adding to the insecurity of our situation, by making a
detachment, which, though apparently inconsiderable, would be
materially felt in our present weakness; and I am persuaded, after the
information now given, that your Excellency will wish me not to hazard
the measure.

With respect to the necessity of a covering party, I shall not venture
to decide; but I should imagine in the present state of things, that
the business may be carried on with tolerable security without one.
The consequences of the late expedition promise tranquillity for some
time to our frontier, and make it at any rate improbable that the
savages will be able to penetrate so far at so early a period, and the
proposition does not require that the covering party should remain
longer than until the last of April. The intelligence I have received
corresponds with these ideas. It might be added, that the garrison at
Wyoming gives some degree of protection to the part of the country in
question. But as it is very important, that no interruption should be
given to the workmen, if a covering party should upon the whole be
thought requisite, the best mode of furnishing it will be from the
neighboring militia. For this purpose on your Excellency's application
to Congress, I cannot doubt they will immediately make the necessary
arrangements.

I have the honor to be, with the most respect and attachment, &c.

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

FOOTNOTE:

[33] Missing.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, March 8th, 1780.

  Sir,

I have just received from Martinique, a letter from M. Gerard, who
informs me, that at his request the commander of Martinique has
procured for the frigate Confederation, belonging to Congress, the
same sources and facilities as are enjoyed by his Majesty's own
vessels. But there are no materials for masts, and as this vessel has
been dismasted, M. Gerard knows no other means of hastening her
repairs, than that of sending masts to him from Boston, or any other
part of the continent where Congress can procure them.[34]

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

FOOTNOTE:

[34] See further particulars on this subject in the _Correspondence of
John Jay_, Vol. VII. pp. 171, et seqq.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                   THE KING OF FRANCE TO CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

To our Very Dear Great Friends and Allies the President and Members of
the Congress of the United States of North America.

  Very Dear Great Friends and Allies,

We have received your letter of the 22d of November last, which you
directed Dr Franklin to deliver. We have seen therein with pain the
picture of the distressed state of your finances, and have been so
affected, that we have determined to assist you as far as our own
wants and the extraordinary and enormous expenses of the present war,
in which we are engaged for your defence, will permit. The Chevalier
de la Luzerne is enjoined to inform you more particularly of our
intentions. And we are persuaded, that the details which he will make
will induce you to exert your utmost efforts to second ours, and will
more and more convince you how sincerely we interest ourselves in the
cause of the United States; and that we employ all the means in our
power to make it triumphant. You may rely on our perseverance in the
principles, which have hitherto directed our conduct. It has been
fully proved, as well as the sincere affection we entertain for the
United States in general, and for each in particular. We pray God to
have you, very dear great Friends and Allies, in his holy protection.

                       Written at Versailles, the 10th of March, 1781.

Your good Friend and Ally,

                                                                LOUIS.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                                            Morristown, May 5th, 1780.

  Sir,

Two days since I had the honor of receiving your Excellency's letter
of the 29th of April.

The polite terms in which you mention the attention, which my
respectful attachment for you dictated during your stay in camp, add
to the obligation I felt for the honor of your visit. I was happy in
that opportunity of giving you a new proof of my sentiments, and I
entreat you to afford me others as frequently as possible. As the
Minister of a Prince, to whom America owes so much, you have every
title to my respect; and permit me to add, your personal qualities
give you a claim, which my heart cheerfully acknowledges, to all my
esteem and all my regard.

I beg you to accept my thanks for your intention to represent the army
in so favorable a light, as will recommend it to the approbation of
his Most Christian Majesty; an honor as flattering as it will be
precious.

It would be a want of gratitude not to be convinced of the intimate
concern he takes in our affairs, after the repeated and decided proofs
he has given.

I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, &c.

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                                                    9 o'clock, A. M.

_P. S._ I have this instant received a letter from my much esteemed
and amiable friend, the Marquis de Lafayette, dated in Boston harbor,
the 29th of last month. In the course of a day or two I shall expect
to see him.

                  *       *       *       *       *

               GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                                           Morristown, May 11th, 1780.

  Sir,

The attentions and honors paid to M. de Miralles[35] after his death
were a tribute due to his character and merit, and dictated by the
sincere esteem, which I always felt for him.

I am much obliged to your Excellency for your intention of sending me
a detail of the land and sea forces arrived at Martinique, which I beg
leave to inform you was forgotten to be enclosed in your letter.

You will participate in the joy I feel at the arrival of the Marquis
de Lafayette. No event could have given me greater pleasure, on a
personal account, and motives of public utility conspire to make it
agreeable. He will shortly have the honor to wait upon your
Excellency, and impart matters of the greatest moment to these States.
He announces a fresh and striking instance of the friendship of your
Court, and which cannot fail to contribute greatly to perpetuate the
gratitude of this country.

I am always happy to repeat to you the sentiments of respect and
inviolable attachment, with which I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

FOOTNOTE:

[35] M. de Miralles, Agent for the Spanish Government in this country,
died in General Washington's camp, and was buried with military
honors.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                            Head Quarters, Morristown, May 14th, 1780.

  Sir,

Since my last I have had the honor to receive the detail of his Most
Christian Majesty's fleet in the West Indies, which your Excellency
has had the goodness to send me. I congratulate you very sincerely,
Sir, on this very respectable armament, which I found to surpass my
expectation, and I would willingly hope that an occasion will be
afforded the Count de Guichen to strike some important blow with it,
which shall advance the honor and interest of his Majesty, and of
course the interest of these United States.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, May 16th, 1780.

  Sir,

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, has the honor of
informing Congress, that the King, in consequence of his affection,
and friendship for the United States, and of his desire to put an end
by effectual measures to the calamities of the present war, has
resolved to send to this continent a reinforcement of troops, intended
to act against the common enemy, and of vessels, which will be
employed in assisting the operations of the land troops. As soon as
Congress has decided on the plan of the campaign, the Marquis de
Lafayette will receive all communications on this subject; and will on
his part make the overtures, which shall be necessary to the success
of the operations. But as despatch and secrecy ought to be the very
soul of these operations, and as, moreover, Congress will undoubtedly
find it indispensable to arrange them in concert with the Commander in
Chief, the Chevalier de la Luzerne requests this Assembly to consider,
whether the course most proper to be adopted under these circumstances
be not to appoint, without the least delay, a small committee, who
shall repair to the army, furnished with instructions, and there fix
upon measures, which shall be carried into execution immediately on
the arrival of the land forces, under the command of the Count de
Rochambeau, Lieutenant General of the armies of the King, and the
Chevalier de Ternay, commander of the squadron, at whatever part of
the continent they may have had orders to land.

As the measures to be taken, in relation to the supply of necessaries
and provisions to the auxiliary troops, will require the concurrence
of the Legislatures and Governors of the several States, and
particularly of those of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New
Jersey, the undersigned Minister requests Congress to authorise the
same committee to render their assistance to the measures, which the
French General, or the Chevalier de la Luzerne, or the Commissioners
authorised by them, shall be able to take with the different
Legislatures; and with this view, to give to the delegates, who shall
compose it, powers as extensive as Congress shall deem expedient.

An object, which next to that just mentioned, requires all the
attention of Congress, is the information, which it is important to
obtain as to the forces, the situation, and the resources of the
enemy, in all the posts in their possession on this continent. The
Chevalier de la Luzerne is consequently desirous, that Congress would
be pleased to appoint a committee to collect immediately all the
intelligence, details, and information, which may exist in their
deposits and archives, relative to the ports of North America, now
held by the English, from Halifax to St Augustine, including Canada,
to the depth of the bays, creeks, and anchorages; to the forces which
are stationed there, and the forts and fortresses, which have been
erected there, the dispositions and number of the inhabitants, the
resources with regard to provisions, and in general, all that
information, which may promote the success of the operations. It is
equally desirable, that this committee should have authority to carry
on a correspondence, as long as may be necessary, in the different
parts of the continent, whence this information can be obtained, in
order that the intelligence being always fresh, the commanders of the
expeditions may be able to establish their plans upon sure bases. The
Minister of France requests, that the committee may be authorised to
communicate to him this various information, so far as such
communication shall not be inconvenient to Congress. Whatever
promptness these measures require, the Chevalier de la Luzerne prays
Congress not to take them into consideration, till after the subject
mentioned at the beginning of this Memorial has been definitively
settled.

Dr Franklin has undoubtedly rendered an account to Congress of the
measures, which he has taken for sending to this continent arms,
stores, and clothing, as well as of the means of facilitating the loan
of three millions of livres, which that Minister has procured, as
well to meet this expense, as to give effect to the treaties of
Congress in relation to it; and the Chevalier de la Luzerne will not
go into any detail on this subject.

He will not close this Memorial, without congratulating the American
Senate on the zeal and ardor, which are shown on every side to render
the ensuing campaign decisive, and to inflict upon the common enemy
blows, which shall be most sensibly felt, to expel him from this
country without the possibility of return, and to secure forever the
liberty of the Thirteen States.

Circumstances have never been more favorable; the enemy, hard-pressed
on every side, is not in a state to oppose an effectual resistance;
the American forces are about to become more respectable than they
have ever been, those of the King bring with them to this country the
most sincere desire to second the brave efforts of their allies, and
the two nations closely united for the purpose of bringing their
combined enterprises to a successful issue, will seek only to
distinguish themselves by their zeal, and their attachment to the
common cause.[36]

                                                              LUZERNE.

FOOTNOTE:

[36] For the proceedings of Congress on the subject of this letter,
see the _Public Journals_, under the date of May 19th, 1780.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                        TO GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, May 21st, 1780.

  Sir,

You will be informed by the Marquis de Lafayette, of the measures
adopted by the Congress relative to the operations of the next
campaign. I will not enter into a detail with respect to them. I
confine myself to assure your Excellency of the eagerness of my
countrymen to share in your success, of the zeal which animates them
for the cause which you so gloriously defend, and of the desire I have
to receive your advice and orders in everything in which you shall
believe, that I may contribute to the success of the combined
operations.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

        REPORT OF A COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS ON A CONFERENCE WITH
                         THE FRENCH MINISTER.

                                          In Congress, May 24th, 1780.

The committee appointed to confer with the Minister of France on the
subject of supplies and other matters mentioned in this appointment,
report as follows.

That in their first conference with the Minister, he mentioned his
solicitude to procure the necessary provisions for the fleet and army
of his Most Christian Majesty; that he wished to render every step he
should take on this subject conformable to the designs of Congress,
and conducive to the support of the combined forces; that he would
therefore lay before the committee the measures, that he had already
entered into, and was desirous to agree upon any plan for our mutual
benefit, which we should think it proper to adopt.

That previous to our appointment, the moments being precious, he had
despatched an agent to consult the Commander in Chief and General
Greene on the subject of supplies, and would inform us of their
sentiments at his return; that lest his purchases might interfere
with those, which the States should make on account of the continent,
he had thought it most advisable to let the whole business pass
through their hands, and had accordingly written to Governor Trumbull
for a limited supply of beef, pork, and mutton, leaving it to his
option, either to be paid in bills upon France, specie, or continental
bills of credit.

The committee have stated this information, that Congress may, if they
should find it necessary, give them their directions before they
digest any plan with the Minister of France on the return of his
agent.

The committee conceive the establishment of posts and expresses, who
shall bring the earliest intelligence of the arrival of the fleet of
our ally, and the motions of the enemy, as so necessary to the right
application of our force, that they submit the following resolution.

Resolved, that the Committee of Intelligence be directed to establish
regular posts to and from the different parts of the sea coasts of
this continent, from Charleston to Boston, in such manner as will most
effectually procure information of the approach of the fleet of our
ally, and the movements of the enemy in consequence thereof.

The committee are further of opinion, from the representations of the
Minister of France, that every means should be used to add to the
strength of the fleet of our ally on their arrival, particularly by
completing the ship America, since it is highly probable, that the
naval force, which the enemy may send to this coast, in order to
frustrate the friendly endeavors of our ally in our behalf, will be
adapted to that of France, without taking into the calculation any
addition which it may receive here. They therefore submit the
following resolutions.

Resolved, that the Board of Admiralty be directed to fit for sea, with
the utmost expedition, the several ships of war and frigates now in
port.

Resolved, that it be earnestly recommended to the respective States
within whose ports any of the said ships or frigates may be, to afford
every assistance to the Board of Admiralty on this application for
artificers, laborers, and materials, for preparing the same for sea,
and for completing this compliment of men.

Resolved, that Congress will defray every necessary expense, which any
State shall incur in consequence of the above resolution.

Resolved, that the Board of Admiralty be empowered, if they shall
think it advisable to dispose of the Saratoga, to apply the proceeds
thereof to complete the America, or any of the frigates, which may by
that means be shortly fitted for sea.

And whereas it is proper to make provision for repairing any damage,
which the fleets of our ally may sustain by storms or otherwise,

Resolved, that the Board of Admiralty be directed to cause as many
masts, yards, and spars, as they shall deem necessary for the above
purposes to be procured.

Resolved, that they may be also directed to settle signals with the
commanding officers of any ship or ships of our ally, which may now or
shall hereafter be upon the coasts of the United States.

And for the promoting of harmony and forwarding the common views of
France and America, it was further agreed between the Minister of
France and your committee, that they should suggest to Congress the
propriety of adopting measures to prevent desertion from the fleet
and army of our allies, in which view they submit the following
resolution.

Resolved, that it be recommended to the legislation of these United
States, to pass laws for the punishment of such persons as shall
encourage desertions from the fleets or armies of any foreign power,
who shall prosecute the war in America in conjunction with these
United States, and for the recovering such deserters as shall endeavor
to conceal themselves among the inhabitants thereof.

                                     ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON, _Chairman_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                                           Morristown, June 5th, 1780.

  Sir,

My time has been so entirely engrossed in the preliminary arrangements
of immediate necessity towards the intended co-operation, that I have
not been able till now to do myself the honor to thank your Excellency
for your letter of the 21st of May. We have too many proofs of the
general zeal of your countrymen in the cause of America, not to be
entirely convinced of it, and to feel all that the most grateful
sensibility can inspire.

I am happy in believing, that the troops and citizens of these States
will eagerly embrace every opportunity to manifest their affection to
the troops and citizens of your nation, as well as their gratitude and
veneration to a Prince, from whom they have received the most
important benefits. Penetrated with a sense of these, I shall think it
my duty to cultivate correspondent sentiments, as far as my influence
extends.

The Marquis de Lafayette has given me an account of all your
Excellency has done for the advancement of the combined operations. It
will no doubt contribute essentially to their success, and gives you a
claim to the acknowledgments of the two countries.

I am too sensible of the value of the permission you gave me to
solicit your aid in everything, in which you can continue to afford us
your good offices, not to make use of it as frequently as possible. I
begin by _entreating_ you to favor me with your advice with the
greatest freedom, on whatever occurs to you interesting to our affairs
at this period.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

             REPORT OF A COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS RESPECTING
               COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FRENCH MINISTER.

                                          In Congress, June 5th, 1780.

The committee appointed to receive the communications of his
Excellency, the Minister of France, relating to supplies for the
forces of his Most Christian Majesty, and on other matters, beg leave
to report, that in a conference had on the 3d of the present month,
the Minister was pleased to make the following communications, viz.

That M. de Corney, Commissary of the troops of his Most Christian
Majesty, had orders to purchase a number of horses, and to purchase or
hire a number of teams in the States where they could be most
conveniently procured, for the use of the forces of his Most Christian
Majesty, that should arrive to co-operate with the forces of these
United States.

That M. de Corney had also orders to endeavor to procure in the
several States, where it should be found most convenient, provisions
for the forces above mentioned, in such manner as should least
interfere with the purchaser of the States or agents of Congress, and
as should be best adapted to support and establish the credit of the
paper currency. That M. de Corney would apply to the supreme executive
powers of the several States, in which the purchases were to be made,
for their advice and aid in the matter.

To obtain which, the Minister wished for the approbation of Congress,
and that if they should think fit, letters might be written by the
President to the supreme executive powers of the several States,
requesting their advice and aid to M. de Corney in procuring those
supplies.

That M. de Corney had received £7000 of the bills lately emitted by
the State of Pennsylvania, to use for the purposes above mentioned,
and would in his negotiations avail himself of all opportunities for
contributing to the utmost of his power for establishing the currency
of the public bills of credit.

That it would be necessary to give the said forces of his Most
Christian Majesty the option of receiving their pay in specie, from
their unacquaintedness with paper money in general, and ignorance of
the language in which the bills of these United States are struck.

Which circumstance the Minister thought proper to suggest, that
Congress might take any measures they should judge necessary to
prevent uneasiness arising therefrom to the troops of these United
States, who might receive their pay in a different manner.

That to prevent loss happening to any of the citizens of these United
States, from receiving from the troops of his Most Christian Majesty
any small coins they may be possessed of that shall be below the
standard alloy, the same will be exchanged for other coins by persons
that shall receive orders therefor.

The Minister desired to be informed of the mode of intelligence
Congress would rely on to give them immediate notice of the arrival of
the forces from France, and for keeping up a constant communication
after their arrival, and again repeated his wishes that nothing might
be left unprovided for, that could promise despatch to their
operations and render them most extensively useful to these United
States.

The Minister also wished to recommend to the consideration of Congress
M. Louis Ethis de Corney, Provincial Commissary of the troops in the
service of his Most Christian Majesty, for the honor of a brevet
commission of Lieutenant Colonel, which title his office had given him
in the French service. M. de Corney desired not command or pay, but
was ambitious to deserve a mark of honor from these United States,
from which benefits might result to him hereafter.

                          *       *       *

Upon the foregoing information your committee beg leave to submit to
the consideration of Congress the following resolutions,

That a brevet commission of Lieutenant Colonel be granted to M. Louis
Ethis de Corney.

That M. de Corney be furnished with letters from the President to the
supreme executive powers of the several States, or to such of them as
M. de Corney shall apply for, requesting their advice and aid to him
in procuring provisions and other necessaries for the forces of his
Most Christian Majesty expected to arrive in these United States, in
such manner as will best avoid a competition of purchases for the use
above mentioned, and those for the use of the troops of these United
States.

That the Minister of France be informed, that it is the opinion of
Congress, that the public service will be best promoted by having the
same currency made use of, so far as may be, to procure supplies for
the forces of his Most Christian Majesty as for those of these United
States.

That the Governors of the States of Virginia and Maryland be requested
immediately to engage trusty persons in those States respectively, at
proper distances from each other, on the main road from Cape Henry in
Virginia to Philadelphia, to hold themselves in readiness, should the
French fleet be discovered off that Cape or the adjacent coast, to
forward intelligence thereof, and any despatches that may be received
from them to Congress, in the most expeditious manner.

                  *       *       *       *       *

            REPORT OF A COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS RESPECTING
               A CONFERENCE WITH THE FRENCH MINISTER.

                                          In Congress, June 7th, 1780.

The committee appointed to confer with the Minister of France on the
mode of obtaining supplies for the forces of his Most Christian
Majesty, and on other matters, report:

That the Minister of France has communicated to your committee, that
as M. de Corney, Commissary of the troops of his Most Christian
Majesty, will go into the State of Connecticut to procure some
supplies, it would be convenient for him to receive there an advance
of money from these United States, either in Continental bills or the
bills of that State, to be replaced in specie on the arrival of the
fleet from France, and the Minister engages that the moneys, which
shall be so advanced by these United States to M. de Corney, shall be
replaced in specie as above mentioned.

Upon which communication your committee beg leave to submit to the
consideration of Congress the following resolution, viz.

That the Governor of the State of Connecticut be, and he hereby is,
authorised to receive on account of these United States, out of the
moneys raised by that State more than sufficient to discharge the
drafts heretofore made by Congress, and to comply with the requisition
of Congress of the 20th of last month, or out of the bills that shall
be completed and lodged in the Continental Loan Office in that State
for the use of the United States, pursuant to a resolution of Congress
of the 18th of March last, one million two hundred thousand dollars of
the bills now in circulation, or thirty thousand dollars of the bills
last mentioned, or a proportion of each, on the application of M. de
Corney, Commissary of the troops in the service of his Most Christian
Majesty, and advance the same to him, taking his receipt therefor, to
replace the same in specie in the Treasury of these United States when
required by Congress; said receipts to be transmitted to the Treasury
Board as soon as may be.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, June 18th, 1780.

  Sir,

The undersigned Minister of France has witnessed the efforts of
Congress to enable the Commander in Chief to make a glorious
commencement of the campaign; he is convinced of the zeal with which
all its members are animated, and if the army has not hitherto
received any of the reinforcements announced in January last, he is
persuaded that Congress deeply lament those delays, and are sincerely
desirous to prevent the fatal consequences, which might result from
them. The undersigned has, since the beginning of this year, continued
to make the most pressing representations on this subject, and all the
answers that he has received tend to assure him that the arrangements,
which were announced, would be carried into full execution at the
beginning of this month. Now that the time fixed for putting the army
on a respectable footing has passed by, and it is but too certain,
that the reinforcements demanded four or five months ago have not yet
arrived, he earnestly entreats Congress to be pleased to pay immediate
attention to the supply of these troops, and to the fulfilment of
their promises.

The King, after the positive assurances, which he has received, has
not the least doubt, _that the American army is now twentyfive
thousand strong, not including commissioned officers, and that it is,
at this moment, in a condition to undertake the most vigorous
offensive operations against the enemy in the posts, which he occupies
within the_ _territory of the United States_. Congress, while giving
these assurances, expressed in an urgent manner the wish, that a
French squadron should facilitate the operations of the land troops.
The King has been eager to comply with the requests of the Thirteen
States. Their assurances are the basis of the measures which his
Majesty has taken. A squadron is on the point of arrival, and the
French Generals expect to find forces, respectable in numbers, ready
to enter upon action. If, at the moment of their arrival, they are
deprived of the co-operation, upon which they have reason to rely, the
most precious time for action will be lost; the enemy will have time
to take the necessary measures for defence, and, perhaps, to receive
reinforcements; the soldiers' ardor will be quenched in inaction, and
this delay will cause the loss of all the advantages of a campaign,
which, if conducted with suitable promptness and activity, might have
been made most useful to the common cause, and perhaps decisive.

It being manifestly necessary to complete the army, the undersigned
has no doubt that Congress, as well from regard to the public
interest, as to its own glory and the performance of its promises,
will immediately take, for the accomplishment of this object, measures
more effectual than those which have hitherto been taken. He hopes
also, that the proper arrangements will be made for constantly
maintaining, during the whole campaign, the number which has been
announced, and he takes the liberty of recommending this important
object in an equal degree to the consideration of Congress.

The Minister of France, convinced of the zeal for the public good,
which inspires this Assembly, as well as of its wisdom and prudence,
hopes that it will see in his representations only a new proof of his
attachment to the common cause; that it will not be offended at the
freedom, with which he expresses himself upon so important a subject,
and that it will be pleased to put him in a situation to transmit to
his Court satisfactory details respecting the fulfilment of the
assurances made to him by Congress in January last.[37]

                                                              LUZERNE.

FOOTNOTE:

[37] See the proceedings of Congress on the subject of this letter in
the _Public Journal of Congress_, under the date of June 21st, 1780.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, June 28th, 1780.

  Sir,

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor of informing
Congress, that the Court of Madrid has sent to Havana land and naval
forces sufficient to make a powerful diversion there. The Governor of
Havana, having been informed of the assurances given by this Assembly
on the 16th of December last, respecting the provisions of which the
islands and the fleet of his Catholic Majesty might stand in need, is
desirous that such quantities of corn as shall not be necessary for
the subsistence of the armies destined to act upon this continent, may
be successively sent to him. It is desirable, that the quantity now
about to be sent should amount to three thousand barrels, and, with
the approbation of Congress, the undersigned will give immediate
orders to some merchants of this city to make purchases in the States
in such manner as Congress shall think proper.

The Governor of Havana is also desirous of being supplied with beef,
and pork, suet, lard, and vegetables, and with large and even small
live cattle. The Minister of France entreats Congress to be pleased to
enable him to send to Havana a favorable answer to these different
demands, and he will take pleasure in transmitting to the Court of
Madrid the intelligence of the facilities for supplies of provision,
which the Spanish Colonies shall have enjoyed throughout the Thirteen
States.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 CONGRESS TO THE MINISTER OF FRANCE.

                                          In Congress, July 7th, 1780.

The Minister of France having, in a note dated the 28th of June,
informed Congress that the Court of Madrid has sent to the Havana a
considerable body of forces to make a diversion in that quarter; and
that the Governor of Havana desires, that as much flour and fresh
provisions, such as cattle, hogs, suet, lard, and pulse, as can be
spared, should be sent thither; and the Minister having intimated,
that three thousand barrels of flour are immediately wanted, and that
he will undertake to have that quantity purchased and sent, if
Congress approve the measure, the following answer was returned;

That the Minister of France be informed, that through the loss of
Charleston, the numerous army the States are under the necessity of
maintaining in the Southern department, the ravages of the enemy, and
the lightness of the crops in the Middle States, as well as the
present extraordinary demand for the purposes of an effectual
co-operation with the expected armament of his Most Christian
Majesty, have not left these States in a situation to admit of any
considerable export of provisions; yet Congress, desirous to testify
their attention to the necessities of his Catholic Majesty's Colonies
and armaments, and as far as lies in their power to compensate for the
failure of supplies of rice, which an alteration in the circumstances
of the Southern States has unhappily rendered it impracticable to
afford, have resolved, that it be recommended to the State of Maryland
to grant permission to such agent, as the Minister of France shall
appoint, to purchase within that State any quantity of flour, not
exceeding three thousand barrels, and to ship the same to such
Colonies of his Catholic Majesty in the West Indies, as the Minister
of France may direct. That many of the articles mentioned in this
Memorial of the Minister being such as the Colonies of his Catholic
Majesty furnish upon better terms than they can be procured from these
States in their present situation, it is to be presumed they will feel
no inconvenience from Congress' not entering at this time into any
determination thereon.

Resolved, That Congress will from time to time afford such supplies to
the Colonies of his Catholic Majesty, as their circumstances may
require, and the situation of these States enable them to grant.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, July 22d, 1780.

  Sir,

I take the earliest opportunity to inform you, that his Majesty's
Minister, in giving me notice of the expedition of the squadron,
which arrived at Rhode Island on the 12th instant, informs me, that
particular considerations relative to the movements of the English,
have induced his Majesty to send, in two divisions, the forces which
are designated to act in this country. The first division, having
happily arrived, will be immediately ready for active service. With
regard to the second, it was to quit the French coast as soon as
circumstances should permit. Will you have the kindness, Sir, in
imparting this news to Congress, to inform that body, that it ought to
be kept secret till the moment of execution. I hope that Congress will
approve of this reserve, both on account of the uncertainty of events
at sea, and because the enemy should be kept in ignorance of our
measures.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 25th, 1780.

  Sir,

As the present state of things may render the frigates, and other
vessels at the disposal of Congress, useful to the combined naval
operations, I pray you to have the goodness to propose putting these
vessels under the orders of M. de Ternay, commander of the French
squadron, while instructions, such as shall be thought proper, are
given to the American captains. If Congress approves of this
proposition, it will be necessary to send orders to the frigates,
which are now in the eastern ports, so that they may join the French
squadron as soon as possible; if, however, they have been destined to
any other service, and Congress is reluctant to change their
destination, do not, I pray you, Sir, insist on my demand. If these
vessels shall receive orders to join the French squadron, I wish to
have it in my power to inform M. de Ternay at what time he may look
for them, what signals they will make on their approach, and what
signals he shall use in reply to theirs.

I had hoped, Sir, after the assurances, which Congress was pleased to
give me, that the Confederacy would be ready about the 15th of this
month, at farthest. Will you have the kindness to let me know, with as
much accuracy as circumstances will permit, about what time you think
that she will be ready to set sail.[38]

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

FOOTNOTE:

[38] _In Congress, July 27th._--"Resolved, That the frigates Trumbull,
Confederacy, and Deane, and the sloop of war Saratoga, be put under
the direction of General Washington, to be employed in co-operating
with the fleet of his Most Christian Majesty, commanded by the
Chevalier de Ternay, in any naval enterprise on the coasts of North
America."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                   JOSEPH REED TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                            In Council, Philadelphia, July 25th, 1780.

  Sir,

In answer to your Excellency's favor of this day, I have the honor to
acquaint you, that the enlisting any deserter in the Continental army
being expressly contrary to the direction of the Commander in Chief,
the Hessian deserters are quite at liberty to enter into the service
of his Most Christian Majesty, if his officers approve it, and they
will in that case receive every encouragement from us to do.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                             JOSEPH REED, _President of Pennsylvania_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 26th, 1780.

  Sir,

Some Hessian deserters having come to me to obtain service in the body
of French troops sent by the King to this continent, I have thought
proper, before accepting their offers, to know the opinion of the
State of Pennsylvania on this subject; and President Reed, whom I
consulted, returned for answer the letter of which I annex a copy.
Particular arrangements, relative to the subsistence of these new
recruits, will make it necessary for me to have recourse to the Board
of War; and I request, Sir, that Congress would be pleased to
authorise the members composing it to agree with me on such measures
as circumstances shall render necessary.[39]

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

FOOTNOTE:

[39] _In Congress, July 31st, 1780._--"On a report from the Board of
War, to whom the Minister's letter of the 26th was referred,

"_Resolved_, That, agreeably to the request of the Honorable the
Minister of France, the Board of War be authorised to take such
measures relating to the subsistence of the recruits, who shall be
enlisted into the service of his Most Christian Majesty out of the
German deserters from the enemy, as the said Board shall deem
proper."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                                       Head Quarters, July 27th, 1780.

  Sir,

I have the honor to enclose to your Excellency a letter, which has
just come to hand, from the Count de Rochambeau, of the 22d instant.
It is certainly of great importance, that the precaution he mentions
should be taken without loss of time. I should think the Delaware the
best place for the reception of the second division, though there
ought to be cruisers off both bays. It is necessary that a plan should
be previously fixed for the junction of the fleets after the
debarkation. I shall immediately write to the Count for this purpose.

We have repeated accounts from New York, that General Clinton is
making a large detachment for a combined attack upon the French fleet
and army. This will be a hazardous attempt, and, therefore, though I
do not regard it as impossible, I do not give it entire faith. The
Count de Rochambeau has been some time since apprized of these
demonstrations, and seems to have been preparing for what might
happen.

I have the honor to be, with every sentiment of respect and
attachment, &c.

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                        TO GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 30th, 1780.

  Sir,

I enclose to your Excellency a letter for M. de Ternay, in which you
will see what measures I have taken to fulfil the intentions, which
you imparted to me on the 27th instant. I beg you will seal this
packet and send it to his address by the first opportunity.

Congress have put under your orders the frigates, in directing them to
come into the Delaware. You will be able to judge, after your
arrangements with the Chevalier de Ternay, whether these vessels, or
one of them, may not accomplish the commission desired. Their cruise
may then be useful to the commerce of the United States. I know not
whether M. de Ternay will communicate to them any signals, by means of
which they may approach the coast without danger. Your Excellency may
be able, should you think it necessary, to suggest it to him.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                                          Peekskill, August 4th, 1780.

  Sir,

Colonel Jamet arrived here last night, by whom I had the honor to
receive your Excellency's request, that I would send instructions for
the second division coming from France, with respect to the measures,
which it should pursue for forming a junction with the first. I beg
leave to inform your Excellency, that I wrote to the Count de
Rochambeau, agreeably to my letter to you of the 27th ultimo, and
requested that he, in concert with the Chevalier de Ternay, would
communicate to me, that it might be transmitted to your Excellency,
the line of conduct which they should judge proper to be pursued by
this division.

As the Marine are concerned, and the junction in present circumstances
is a matter of peculiar delicacy, I did not think myself qualified to
decide on the point. I have not received their answer yet, and
therefore I cannot pretend to determine what should be done; I will,
however, take the liberty to observe, that if the ships of war with
this division are superior, or even fully equal to those of the enemy,
off Rhode Island, I should suppose it would be eligible for them to
proceed there at once, should they be met by the cruisers your
Excellency has sent out on the Southern coast. If this is not the
case, they ought to make the Delaware as soon as possible. In this
event the troops might be forwarded to Trenton in the first instance,
and the ships might remain until ulterior measures, with respect to
them, should be determined. These, however, I would not offer but as
mere suggestions, and much it would seem must depend on circumstances
and the discretion of the officer commanding the division.

Perhaps if the ships of war should proceed directly to Rhode Island,
it will be best for them to disembarrass themselves of their
transports, and send them into the Delaware as in the other case. I
take it for granted, that signals of recognisance have been
preconcerted between the two divisions.

On the 31st ultimo, the enemy's fleet in the Sound returned from
Huntington Bay to New York. From every information the Count de
Rochambeau and his army were certainly their object, and they had
embarked in considerable force, with a view of attacking him. I cannot
determine with precision the reasons, which induced the enemy to
relinquish their plan; but it is not improbable that the movements of
our army, and the ulterior measures I was about to prosecute, operated
in some measure to produce it.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

               GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                                          Peekskill, August 6th, 1780.

  Sir,

I had this morning the honor to receive your Excellency's letter of
the 30th of July, with the one addressed to the Chevalier de Ternay,
which I have sealed and forwarded by an express.

With respect to the Continental frigates, I beg leave to inform your
Excellency, that I did not apprehend, from the resolution of Congress
concerning them, that they were to be under my orders, or to receive
any instructions from me, until they had joined the Chevalier de
Ternay, after assembling in the Delaware. This being the case, I
cannot give any directions about them at present, and would take the
liberty to recommend to your Excellency to apply to Congress or the
Board of Admiralty; to the latter of whom I have written to give their
orders to the captains of the frigates, on the conduct they are to
pursue. The employment for them, or at least for one which your
Excellency has suggested, appears to me to be proper, and that it will
answer the double purposes you mention.

I have, by my letter of today to the Chevalier de Ternay, requested
him to advise me in what manner he thinks the frigates can be most
usefully employed to assist his fleet, and that there might be no
further delay, when matters with respect to them are ultimately fixed,
I requested him also to communicate to the Captains of the frigates at
Boston, as well as to myself, the signals of recognisance.

When I receive his answer I will embrace the earliest occasion to
transmit the signals.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                      Philadelphia, August 15th, 1780.

  Sir,

I have received the letter, with which you honored me on the 12th
instant, with the resolutions of the 5th and 12th instants, which
accompany it. Be pleased to assure Congress, that I will neglect no
means in my power for securing the success of the prudent and
patriotic measures, which are about to be taken, and I can assure you
of the eagerness, with which the King will second those measures and
of his resolution to assist the Thirteen States, to the utmost of his
power. I shall transmit to his Majesty the resolution, which you have
been pleased to communicate to me, and I have reason to believe, that
he will entirely approve of everything, that may contribute to the
immediate deliverance of the States invaded by the enemy.

With regard to the concurrence of the forces of his Catholic Majesty,
I am entirely uninformed, and although the good dispositions of the
Court of Madrid towards the Thirteen States are undoubted, I do not
know in what points the Spanish troops can assist the American armies.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                      Philadelphia, August 15th, 1780.

  Sir,

I have received the letter, which you did me the honor of writing to
me on the 12th instant, with an act of Congress relative to the
petition of George Basden. I shall transmit the whole to the Governors
of St Domingo, in order to know their opinion on a subject of this
nature, but I can inform you beforehand, that it seems to me doubtful,
whether their opinion will be favorable to the petitioner, as the
Bermudians, living under the English government, are not excepted from
the number of our enemies, by any public act, which has come to my
knowledge.

Allow me, Sir, to have the honor to remind you on this occasion, that
several notes, which I had the honor of sending to the Committee of
Commerce, in relation to merchandise deposited in the hands of the
Sieur Caraburse, at St Domingo, have remained unanswered.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                    Philadelphia, September 1st, 1780.

  Sir,

I have received the letter, with which you yesterday honored me, and
the account of the bills of exchange drawn on Dr Franklin. I deeply
feel the confidence, which Congress repose in me, in confiding to me
the details of this affair, and I have no doubt, that Congress are
persuaded of the zeal and interest with which I shall lay before his
Majesty's Minister, the actual state of the finances of the Thirteen
United States. Their representatives are not ignorant how desirous the
King is to render them effectual assistance, and the measures lately
taken are new proofs of his friendship and kindness for them.

As to the bills of exchange in question, I have said with freedom to
the committee, with which I had the honor of conferring, that I was in
no way authorised to give any hopes, that they would be accepted. I
confided to that committee, with equal sincerity, my reasons for
fearing, that great difficulties would be experienced in the payment
of them, unless Congress themselves succeed in placing funds in the
hands of their Plenipotentiary. I am persuaded, Sir, that the
explanations, which I have had the honor of transmitting to Congress,
by the committee appointed to confer with me, are conformable to the
system of sincerity and frankness, which ought to exist between
allies whose interests are so closely connected.[40]

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

FOOTNOTE:

[40] See the resolutions of Congress, respecting the bills of exchange
here mentioned, in the _Public Journal of Congress_, for August 9th
and 15th, 1780.

                  *       *       *       *       *

               GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                                       Head Quarters, Bergen County, }
                                       September 12th, 1780.         }

  Sir,

I have the honor to enclose you a letter, which upon the whole I have
thought it advisable to write to the Count de Guichen. As its contents
are of a nature to make its falling into the enemy's hands in its
present form dangerous, and as I have no cypher of communication with
the Count, I take the liberty to request your Excellency's assistance,
in making use of yours, and forwarding it by triplicates with your
despatches by the first opportunities.

I make no mention of a land force, because though it would be useful,
it may be dispensed with. But if a body of troops could conveniently
accompany the fleets, it would give greater energy and certainty of
success to our operations. I am the more induced to desire it, as the
composition of a considerable part of our army is temporary, and I am
not informed what measures may be taken to replace the men whose times
of service will expire.

I need use no arguments to convince your Excellency of the extremity,
to which our affairs are tending, and the necessity of support. You
are an eye witness to all our perplexities and all our wants. You know
the dangerous consequences of leaving the enemy in quiet possession
of their southern conquests; either for negotiation this winter, or a
continuance of the war. You know our inability alone to expel them, or
perhaps even to stop their career.

I have the honor to be, with the sincerest sentiments of respect and
attachment,

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                   Philadelphia, September 15th, 1780.

  Sir,

I have received the annexed Declaration,[41] with orders to
communicate it to Congress. Some American merchants, not knowing that
Articles 11th and 12th, therein mentioned, had been annulled, have
made use of them in the French Islands, to demand an exemption from
the duties paid on the exportation of molasses.

An authentic publication of the treaty will remove all remaining
doubts as to the payment of this duty, to which the subjects of his
Majesty are themselves subjected.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

FOOTNOTE:

[41] See this _Declaration_, annulling the 11th and 12th Articles of
the Treaty, in the _Correspondence of the Commissioners in France_,
Vol. I. p. 432.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                   Philadelphia, September 16th, 1780.

  Sir,

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, being about to
leave Philadelphia for some weeks, and being desirous that in the
present state of things, there should be no interruption to the
communications between Congress and the French Embassy, has the honor
of informing this body, that M. de Marbois will remain here as _Chargé
d'Affaires_ of his Majesty. As the President and Delegates are aware
of the attention, which he has paid to the affairs relative to them,
the undersigned hopes that they will be pleased to grant him their
confidence.[42]

                                                              LUZERNE.

FOOTNOTE:

[42] _In Congress, September 19th._ "A letter of the 16th, from the
Honorable the Minister Plenipotentiary of France, was read, informing
Congress that he is about to leave Philadelphia, and to be absent for
some weeks; but that M. de Marbois will remain here in quality of his
Majesty's _Chargé d'Affaires_; and hoping, that from his known
attention to matters relative to the embassy, Congress will grant him
their confidence; whereupon,

"_Resolved_, That the President inform the Minister of France, that in
his absence they will readily continue their intercourse with the
embassy of his Most Christian Majesty, through M. de Marbois, as his
Majesty's _Chargé d'Affaires_, in whose abilities and attention to the
interests of the Court of France and those of the United States they
have just confidence."

                  *       *       *       *       *

             M. DE MARBOIS TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                      Philadelphia, October 8th, 1780.

  Sir,

I have received the letter, with which your Excellency honored me on
the 7th instant, and the accompanying resolution of Congress. I shall,
in compliance with the wishes of Congress, send it in three despatches
to his Majesty's Minister, and shall make use of three different
vessels, which will sail for France in the course of this week. I have
no doubt that my Court is sensible of the attention, which Congress
shows in communicating to it these measures, and that they will appear
equally just, moderate, and prudent.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              MARBOIS.

                  *       *       *       *       *

             M. DE MARBOIS TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, October 27th, 1780.

  Sir,

In obedience to an order, which the Captain of the store-ships in this
port has just received, he will sail for Boston or Rhode Island on
Monday or Tuesday next. Will your Excellency have the kindness to
inform me, if he can be convoyed to the mouth of the Delaware, or to
any other distance, by one of the Continental frigates.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              MARBOIS.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, November 1st, 1780.

  Sir,

The Governors of the West India Islands express a wish, that Congress
would be pleased to take into consideration the various inconveniences
resulting from the abuse by the English of the papers, which they find
on board of the American prizes, which fall into their hands. They
make use of these papers to enable themselves to commit the most
daring actions, and it is the more difficult to prevent them, as they
sometimes have subjects of the United States on board, and as the
English language is spoken by them in common with our allies.

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of his Most Christian
Majesty, has the honor to propose to Congress, _that henceforth every
Captain bound to the French Colonies shall sign his own papers in
presence of the Commissioners of the American Admiralty, in order
that, on his arrival in the French Islands, it may be ascertained
whether this signature be the same as that which shall be made by him
as Captain of the American vessel. It would be of equal use to endorse
the signature of the Captain on the papers._ If Congress think of any
other form equally adapted to fulfil the object desired, the
undersigned will endeavor to have it adopted by the Governors of the
French Islands.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                 FROM CONGRESS TO THE KING OF FRANCE.

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

  Great, Faithful and Beloved Friend and Ally,

Persuaded of your Majesty's friendship, and of your earnest desire to
prosecute the war with glory and advantage to the alliance, we ought
not to conceal from your Majesty the embarrassments, which have
attended our national affairs, and rendered the last campaign
unsuccessful.

A naval superiority in the American seas having enabled the enemy, in
the midst of the last winter, to divide their army, and extend the war
in the Southern States, Charleston was subdued before a sufficient
force could be assembled for its relief.

With unabated ardor, and at a vast expense, we prepared for the
succeeding campaign; a campaign from which, in a dependence on the
co-operation of the squadron and troops generously destined by your
Majesty for our assistance, we had formed the highest expectations.
Again the enemy frustrated our measures. Your Majesty's succors were
confined within the harbor of Newport, while the main body of the
British army took refuge in their fortresses, and under protection of
their marine, declining to hazard a battle in the open field; and
regardless of their rank among civilized nations, they descended to
wage a predatory war. Britons and savages united in sudden irruptions
on our northern and western frontiers, and marked their progress with
blood and desolation.

The acquisition of Charleston, with the advantages gained in Georgia,
and the defeat of a small army composed chiefly of militia, which had
been hastily collected to check their operations, encouraged the
British commander in that quarter to penetrate through South Carolina
into the interior parts of North Carolina. And the ordinary calamities
of war were embittered by implacable vengeance. They did not, however,
long enjoy their triumph. Instead of being depressed, impending danger
served only to rouse our citizens to correspondent exertions; and by a
series of gallant and successful enterprises they compelled the enemy
to retreat with precipitation and disgrace.

They seem, however, resolved by all possible efforts, not only to
retain their posts in Georgia and South Carolina, but to renew their
attempts on North Carolina. To divert the reinforcements destined for
those States, they are now executing an enterprise against the
seacoast of Virginia; and from their preparations at New York and
intelligence from Europe, it is manifest that the four southern States
will now become a principal object of their hostilities.

It is the voice of the people and the resolution of Congress to
prosecute the war with redoubled vigor, and to draw into the field a
permanent and well appointed army of thirtyfive thousand regular
troops. By this decisive effort we trust that we shall be able, under
the divine blessing, so effectually to co-operate with your Majesty's
marine and land forces, as to expel the common enemy from our country,
and render the great object of the alliance perpetual. But to
accomplish an enterprise of such magnitude, and so interesting to both
nations, whatever may be our spirit and our exertions, we know that
our internal resources must prove incompetent. The sincerity of this
declaration will be manifest from a short review of our circumstances.

Unpractised in military arts, and unprepared with the means of
defence, we were suddenly invaded by a formidable and vindictive
nation. We supported the unequal conflict for years with very little
foreign aid, but what was derived from your Majesty's generous
friendship. Exertions uncommon, even among the most wealthy and best
established governments, necessarily exhausted our finances, plunged
us into debt, and anticipated our taxes; while the depredations of an
active enemy by sea and land made deep impressions on our commerce and
our productions. Thus encompassed with difficulties, in our
representation to your Majesty of June 15, 1779, we disclosed our
wants, and requested your Majesty to furnish us with clothing, arms,
and ammunition for the last campaign, on the credit of the United
States. We entertain a lively sense of your Majesty's friendly
disposition, in enabling our Minister to procure a part of those
supplies, of which, through unfortunate events, a very small
proportion has arrived. The sufferings of our army from this
disappointment have been so severe, that we must rely on your
Majesty's attention to our welfare for effectual assistance. The
articles of the estimate transmitted to our Minister are essential to
our army, and we flatter ourselves, that through your Majesty's
interposition they will be supplied.

At a time when we feel ourselves strongly impressed by the weight of
past obligations, it is with the utmost reluctance that we yield to
the emergency of our affairs in requesting additional favors. An
unreserved confidence in your Majesty, and a well grounded assurance,
that we ask no more than is necessary to enable us effectually to
co-operate with your Majesty, in terminating the war with glory and
success, must be our justification.

It is well known, that when the King of Great Britain found himself
unable to subdue the populous States of North America by force, or to
seduce them by art to relinquish the alliance with your Majesty, he
resolved to protract the war, in expectation that the loss of our
commerce, and the derangement of our finances, must eventually compel
us to submit to his domination. Apprized of the necessity of foreign
aids of money to support us in a contest with a nation so rich and
powerful, we have long since authorised our Minister to borrow a
sufficient sum in your Majesty's dominions, and in Spain, and in
Holland, on the credit of these United States.

We now view the prospect of a disappointment with the deeper concern,
as the late misfortunes in the southern States, and the ravages of the
northern and western frontiers, have, in a very considerable degree,
impaired our internal resources. From a full investigation of our
circumstances it is manifest, that in aid of our utmost exertions a
foreign loan of specie, at least to the amount of twentyfive millions
of livres, will be indispensably necessary for a vigorous prosecution
of the war. On an occasion, in which the independence of these United
States and your Majesty's glory are so intimately connected, we are
constrained to request your Majesty effectually to support the
applications of our Ministers for that loan. So essential is it to
the common cause, that we shall without it be pressed with wants and
distresses, which may render all our efforts languid, precarious, and
indecisive. Whether it shall please your Majesty to stipulate for this
necessary aid as our security, or to advance it from your royal
coffers, we do hereby solemnly pledge the faith of these United States
to indemnify, or reimburse your Majesty, according to the nature of
the case, both for principal and interest, in such manner as shall be
agreed upon with our Minister at your Majesty's Court.

We beseech the Supreme Disposer of events to keep your Majesty in his
holy protection, and long to continue to France the blessings arising
from the administration of a Prince, who nobly asserts the rights of
mankind.

Done at Philadelphia, the 22d day of November, in the year of our
Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty, by the Congress of the
United States of North America, and in the fifth year of our
independence.

Your Faithful Friends and Allies.

                                       SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, _President_.

     Attest, CHARLES THOMSON, _Secretary_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                        TO GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, December 5th, 1780.

  Sir,

I flattered myself, that the clothing destined for the army under the
command of your Excellency had at length arrived in the river, in the
vessel of Paul Jones, or in one of those coming under his convoy; but
I regret that you have not yet had that satisfaction. A passenger,
who arrived in one of this convoy, told me, that when this little
squadron, which left France on the 8th of October, should arrive, they
would bring but little clothing, being in great part laden with arms
and ammunition; but he added, that the Serapis is destined to bring
the remainder of the clothing, and that we may hope to see the vessel
arrive soon in our ports. I am anxious to have an opportunity of
giving your Excellency notice of the arrival of these articles.

I have received certain intelligence, that an expedition composed of
four thousand troops, convoyed by eight vessels of war, departed on
the 16th of October from the Havana to attempt an expedition against
Pensacola. But it is thought that the terrible tempests, which they
may have received on the passage, may have retarded the fleet.

Another expedition was to depart in the month of December to attack St
Augustine. It was to be composed of ten thousand men, regulars and
militia, and twelve vessels of war. I wish sincerely that the
operation may meet with success, and thus make an advantageous
diversion in favor of the United States in that quarter.

The Chevalier de Chastellux, and the officers who had the honor of
visiting you at head quarters, desire me to present their respects to
you. They hope to have the honor of seeing you again on their return.

I am, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                                     New Windsor, December 14th, 1780.

  Sir,

Yesterday brought me the honor of your Excellency's favor without
date; but which I suppose to have been written on the 5th instant, as
it accompanied a letter from the Marquis de Lafayette of that date.

Receive, my good Sir, the expressions of gratitude, which are due to
your Excellency for the important intelligence you have communicated,
relative to the designs of the Spanish Court upon the Floridas. I have
transmitted the account of these interesting events to Count de
Rochambeau, and the Chevalier de Ternay, with propositions, which, if
acceded to, I shall do myself the honor of communicating to your
Excellency.

It would have been fortunate for the army, if your Excellency's
feelings for its want of clothing could have been relieved by the
agreeable tidings of the arrival of that article; but, alas! we are so
accustomed to want, that we dare not flatter ourselves with relief.

Your Excellency's despatches for Rhode Island, accompanying your
letter to me, came to hand at the instant the post was setting out,
and were committed to his care. It is the only means of conveyance now
left me, since the chain of expresses formed by the dragoon horses,
which were worn down and sent to their cantonment, have been
discontinued. The Quarter Master General has it not in his power, for
want of money, to furnish an express upon the most urgent occasion.

I anticipate with much pleasure the visit I shall receive from the
Chevalier de Chastellux and the other gentlemen of the French army,
on their return to Rhode Island, and beg the favor of your Excellency
to present my compliments to them and to M. de Marbois.

With great respect and personal attachment, I have the honor to be,
&c.

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                     Philadelphia, January 15th, 1781.

  Sir,

I have just received an authentic copy of a letter from the King to
the Duc de Penthièvre, Admiral of France, in relation to prizes taken
by American privateers, in the ports of the kingdom. I have thought it
proper, Sir, to communicate it to you, in order that the Americans,
who take that course may be duly informed of the regulations, which it
contains, and may know, that it is the intention of his Majesty, that
they shall be treated in the same manner as his own subjects, in the
judgment of the prizes, which they shall bring into the ports of the
kingdom.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                    Philadelphia, February 25th, 1781.

  Sir,

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, has the honor of
informing Congress, that M. de Tilly, commander of the King's sixty
gun ship, l'Evillé, arrived in the Chesapeake Bay on the 11th instant,
with two frigates. The undersigned has received no news of them later
than the 16th, at which time it seems, that the commander of this
little squadron proposed to prolong his stay as long as circumstances
would permit, in order to co-operate with the land troops commanded by
Generals Steuben and Nelson.

The Chevalier de la Luzerne does not know how long these vessels will
remain in their present station; but as it is important, that the
communications between M. de Tilly and Philadelphia should take place
with the greatest possible despatch, he requests Congress to inform
him, whether the line of expresses has been kept up, and if so, to
whom he is to apply in order to make use of it.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                    Philadelphia, February 28th, 1781.

  Sir,

I think it necessary for the information of the department of finance
to inform you, that Mr Robert Morris having strongly represented to
me, that it was of importance to his operations, and to those of
General Washington, to have a stock of bills of exchange, which might
enable him to wait for the arrival of the funds brought by Colonel
Laurens, I have taken upon myself to authorise him to draw bills of
exchange, to the amount of 219,018 livres, 4s. 8d. Funds to that exact
amount will be raised, and I hope that my Court will approve of the
course, which I have taken, in consideration of the importance of the
operations now going on.

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

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, March 2d, 1781.

  Sir,

The undersigned, Minister of France, has the honor of informing
Congress, that M. de Tilly has left the Chesapeake Bay with his
squadron. He took there ten prizes, among which are two strong
privateers, and during his passage from the Chesapeake to Newport in
Rhode Island, he met the Romulus, of fortyfour guns, pierced for fifty
guns. He took her and carried her into Newport, which he entered on
the 24th ultimo, with five hundred English prisoners. The Chevalier de
la Luzerne is informed, that the America, an English vessel, whose
fate since the hurricane of the 21st of February had been unknown, has
sailed into Gardner's Bay.

The Minister Plenipotentiary of France is desirous, that Congress
would be pleased to appoint a committee, to whom he will have the
honor of communicating some further information relative to these
operations.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                  M. DESTOUCHES TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                             Translation.

                                       On Board the Duc de Bourgogne,}
                                                    March 19th, 1781.}

  Sir,

The enemy, informed without doubt, in some manner, arrived at the same
time with myself at the Capes of Chesapeake Bay, and it would have
been impracticable to attempt to disembark the troops, even from the
vessels of war, in spite of the English squadron and under its fire.
Obliged to renounce, for a time at least, the hope of rendering
assistance to the State of Virginia, I have been employed only with
the care of preserving the honor of his Majesty's arms, and I flatter
myself that it has not suffered in my battle with the enemy.

On the 16th instant, in consequence of a violent south wind, which had
carried the squadron to the northeast, we discovered, at break of day,
a frigate two gun-shots to windward. A short time after, we perceived
several large vessels in rear of the squadron. I had then no doubt
that this was the English squadron, which, being informed of my
project, had arrived, almost at the same time, upon the coast of
Virginia. I immediately made a signal to the squadron to form in line
of battle, the English squadron being about two leagues to the south,
and running on the same tack with me. At nine o'clock, I tacked, and
the enemy did the same. Before one o'clock, afternoon, their vanguard
was not more than half a league distant from the rear of my line. Till
that time, I had manoeuvered without avoiding or seeking an
engagement, because I perceived, that even the greatest success, with
which I could flatter myself, would still render it impossible for me
to fulfil my object; but the determined design, which was shown by the
enemy of attacking my rearguard, and the honor of the royal arms,
which I had to sustain, made me resolve to go and meet him. At one
o'clock the firing commenced on both sides; the head of the English
line had borne down, and the van of my squadron had done the same, so
that the two squadrons fought for some time while running before the
wind. A little before two o'clock, I determined to make the squadron
haul nearer the wind, a movement, which made the whole squadron file
before the head of the enemy's line.

This manoeuvre completely succeeded; their leading ship had hardly
felt the fire of the fifth vessel, when she retired from the
engagement, under the escort of a frigate, which came to her
assistance. The rear of the English squadron had still continued the
combat with my rearguard, but that part of my squadron has sustained
little injury. At a quarter before three o'clock, the firing ceased on
both sides. The English squadron being in the rear, and to windward of
mine, I made a signal to form again in order of battle, which was done
in a short time. I then designed to turn again upon the enemy, who
appeared to have sustained more injury than my own squadron; but the
signals, which were made by the ships _le Conquerant_ and _l'Ardent_,
informed me that these vessels, and particularly the former, had been
considerably injured in the engagement. I then continued to run on the
same tack, under easy sail, ready to receive the enemy, if he should
think proper to risk a second encounter, but he prudently kept in the
rear and to windward during the remainder of the day, without availing
himself of the superior advantages of his situation for renewing the
engagement.

When night came on, the English squadron bore up, and I continued to
run to the southeast. On the next morning, I assembled the captains to
know the state of their vessels. I found that the rudder and all the
masts of the ship, _le Conquerant_, were in the most dangerous state,
and that the mainmast of _l'Ardent_ was very much injured; and also
that several other vessels had received cannon-shots in their lower
masts; it was, consequently, determined that the squadron should
return directly to Newport to repair.

I cannot too highly praise the courageous boldness, which was shown by
the captains, officers, and crews of my squadron, as well as by the
troops, embarked as passengers. Their valor made my force equal to
that of the English squadron, which had one vessel more than mine, and
if it had been only necessary to the success of our expedition to give
the enemy another check, I should have regarded it as certain,
notwithstanding the superiority of their forces.

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

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                       Philadelphia, March 24th, 1781.

  Sir,

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor to
inform Congress, that the King, being made acquainted with the
situation of the affairs of the confederacy, had resolved to continue
during the next campaign the land and sea forces, which are now in
this Continent. That unforeseen obstacles had prevented the junction
of the second division of sea forces with the first as soon as was
expected, but that it was to sail as soon as possible, and that
Congress should use their utmost exertions to have their army ready
for action without the least delay.

But while the King, actuated by his love for the United States, of his
mere motion was giving them succors, which he was under no obligation
to do, and out of regard to them lessened the efforts, which he could
have made for his own advantage, he had reason to expect a
proportionable activity from Congress, and he hopes that the United
States, which have so much to gain or lose by the issue of the
contest, will employ all their resources in the present conjuncture;
and that the Congress, who are intrusted with their dearest interest,
will hasten to adopt effectual measures for conducting matters to a
happy issue.

The Chevalier de la Luzerne, when he communicated to the King the news
of the final ratification of the confederation, thought himself
warranted to assure his Majesty, that this event would have a happy
influence on the councils of this Republic; that they would thereby
acquire all the energy necessary for conducting the important business
intrusted to them; that the Union would receive new force, and he did
not doubt but the ensuing campaign would give decisive proofs of this.
And the Minister relies that his hopes, which are the same as are
entertained by the whole continent, will not be disappointed. It is at
the same time essential, while Congress are making the necessary
arrangements for the ensuing campaign, that they should know for
certain that they are to count only on their own resources for
defraying the expenses that it will require.

The frankness of the King, and the friendship he bears to the United
States, will not permit him to encourage an error, which they appear
to be in, with respect to the pecuniary aids, which they seem to
expect. The desire of securing their independence had induced his
Majesty to exceed the measure of the engagements he had contracted
with them, and he will continue to support their interests, either by
powerful diversions or by immediate succors, and they may rely not
only on his most scrupulous punctuality in the execution of his
engagements, but upon all the extraordinary assistance, which it will
be in his power to give them. But as to pecuniary aids, the enormous
expenses of the present war, and the necessity of preserving credit,
which is the only means of providing for those expenses, do not permit
his Majesty's Ministers to give Congress the least hope in that
respect.

The Chevalier de la Luzerne will not dissemble, that his Court was
exceedingly surprised on being informed of the step, which Congress
had taken in disposing of bills drawn on their Minister, although they
could not be ignorant that they had no funds for discharging them.
This is a conduct totally inconsistent with that order, which his
Majesty is forced to observe in his finances, and he has no doubt but
in future Congress will most studiously avoid a repetition of it. He
has, nevertheless, resolved to discharge the bills, which became due
last year, to the amount of one million of livres; and it is probable
his Majesty will be able to provide funds to the amount of three
millions for the discharge of those, which will become due in the
course of the present year.

The King's Ministers have also procured for Dr Franklin, whose zeal,
wisdom and patriotism, deserve their utmost confidence, the sums
necessary for the purchase he is ordered to make. These expenses,
joined to those occasioned by sending a fleet and army to this
continent, far exceed what Congress had a right to expect from the
friendship of their ally, and the Chevalier de la Luzerne is
persuaded, that from this moment Congress will abstain from that
ruinous measure of drawing bills of exchange without the previous
knowledge and consent of his Majesty's Ministers. And as their
attention is employed in what may be most for the convenience of the
United States, they propose that Congress should furnish the fleet and
army of his Majesty, which are in this country, with the necessary
provisions, and receive in payment bills on the treasury of France,
which will be punctually discharged.

As to the manner in which this arrangement may be made, the Minister
will have the honor of entering into a minute discussion with a
committee, which he begs Congress would be pleased to appoint to
confer with him on the subject.[43]

                                                              LUZERNE.

FOOTNOTE:

[43] The above was referred to a committee of six, namely, Mr Jones,
Mr S. Adams, Mr Burke, Mr M'Kean, Mr Madison, and Mr Hanson.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                        TO GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                             Translation.

                                       Philadelphia, March 27th, 1781.

  Sir,

I have the honor to send to your Excellency an open packet for the
Count de Rochambeau. You will there find the copy of a letter to me
from M. Destouches. I lament the ill success of an expedition, which,
if it had succeeded, would have been doubly agreeable to us by its
utility to our allies, and by the honor it would have reflected upon
the arms of the King. As to the rest, it appears that our commanders
have fulfilled this latter point, and all the world is satisfied,
that, having a superior force to contend against, the manner of the
contest has been highly honorable to them.

I wait for happier events, Sir, from the campaign, which is now about
to open, and I doubt not the Count de Rochambeau has given you in
detail the news, which he has received from France.

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

                  *       *       *       *       *

               GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                         Head Quarters, New Windsor, March 31st, 1781.

  Sir,

I was last evening honored with your Excellency's favor of the 27th,
covering an open letter for the Count de Rochambeau, by which you have
been so good as to make me the earliest communication of the action on
the 16th, between the French and British fleets off the Capes of the
Chesapeake. By the enclosed you will be informed of the return of the
former into the harbor of Newport.

I must confess to your Excellency, that I was never sanguine as to the
success of that expedition, after the sailing of the two fleets so
nearly together, knowing it would turn in great measure upon the
arrival of M. Destouches in the Chesapeake before Mr Arbuthnot; a
circumstance of the utmost uncertainty, not depending upon the skill
or valor of the commanding officer, but upon winds and weather. And I
assure you I more sensibly feel the anxiety expressed by the Baron
Viomenil and the Chevalier Destouches, lest anything should be
attributed to the want of execution on their parts, than I do the
disappointment in the plan, which we had in contemplation. But certain
I am, that instead of sentiments of so ungenerous a nature, there will
be a universal admiration of the good conduct and bravery exhibited by
the officers and men of his Most Christian Majesty's squadron, when
opposed to one of superior force.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect and warmest personal
attachment, &c.

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                        TO GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                             Translation.

                                           Philadelphia, May 7th, 1781

  Sir,

I have the honor to send you the copy of a letter, which I write to
the Chevalier Destouches. I pray you to be persuaded, that I do not
take upon me to propose an expedition to that commander, except at the
pressing entreaties of the invaded States. But if it should be found
at variance with the plans of the campaign, which you have formed, I
beg you to withdraw my letter to M. Destouches, and the packet
addressed to the Count de Rochambeau, from the express, who will
deliver this to you, and to send them back to me by the first safe
opportunity.

I am, with respectful attachment, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                          TO M. DESTOUCHES.

                             Translation.

                                          Philadelphia, May 7th, 1781.

  Sir,

The accounts from Virginia and the other southern States leave no
doubt but the English are resolved to attack them in very superior
forces. They are already in a condition to command them by the
advantage, which they have of transporting themselves by the sea and
by all the rivers, as it suits them. Virginia, one of the most
powerful States in the Union, finds herself by these means reduced to
a state of inaction, and as the Bay of Chesapeake is entirely in the
possession of the enemy, it is to be feared that Maryland will find
herself shortly in the same condition and in the same danger. It is
manifest, that the plan of the English is to harass and desolate them
without intermission, to inspire part of the inhabitants with a desire
of seeing an end of the quarrel, and when they think their weariness
and their calamities are at the height, to make them propositions
advantageous enough to withdraw them from the Confederation.

Although these States are firmly attached to their independence, it
has in the meantime become very important to make them participate as
much as it is possible in the assistance, which his Majesty has
granted to his allies, and I can assure you, Sir, that you cannot in
present circumstances render them a greater service, than by entering
the Bay of Chesapeake, and endeavoring to establish yourself there.

Many other political considerations, into the details of which I
shall not enter, press that measure, and if it be possible for you to
carry it into execution, I have reason to believe that you will
entirely disconcert the enemy's plans against Virginia and Maryland,
and when you shall have given to those two States the liberty of
exerting themselves, you will contribute very much at the same time to
the relief of the more southern, by the assistance which they will be
capable of affording. Your position in the Bay of Chesapeake will
restrain also their communication between New York and Charleston, and
perhaps prevent other events, which may be yet more grievous to the
invaded States.

In giving, Sir, my opinion upon the utility of the movement, I avow to
you that I am totally incapable of forming one as to the possibility
of carrying it into execution. I have had the honor of transmitting to
you from time to time the details and plans, which can enable you to
form a judgment. M. de Tilly having been better situated during his
stay in Hampton Roads to make the necessary observations, you can
decide by them. I pray you also to regard my entreaties, although
pressing as the circumstances render them, as entirely subordinate to
the instructions, which you may have received from the Court.

I do not propose to you to change your position, only upon a
supposition that you have no orders to the contrary, and that you have
received no other destination.

As to the measures you are in this case to expect from the States,
which you will go to assist, I beg you to assure yourself, Sir, that
they will spare nothing to satisfy you, and if an assemblage of land
forces is judged necessary, as I presume it will be, they will send
their instructions in consequence of it to the officers who command
them.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                          Philadelphia, May 9th, 1781.

  Sir,

Congress has been pleased, by a resolution, dated the 10th of November
last, to take the measures suggested by the undersigned Minister of
France, concerning the abuse by the English, of the papers, letters of
marque, and commissions, which they find on board of the American
vessels, of which they succeed in gaining possession. The Governors of
our Islands observe, that the precautions pointed out in the
resolution of Congress are insufficient, unless, independently of the
vessels and ships of war, they extend to merchant vessels, and, in
general, to all ships sailing from this continent. The similarity of
language enables the English to gain admission into our Islands with
great facility, by means of intercepted papers, and to send their
spies and emissaries into the very middle of our ports, where their
presence may be most dangerous.

The said Governors remark, that the greater part of the vessels, which
arrive at the Islands, do not conform to the resolutions of Congress;
and, although they carry letters of marque, yet they do not take the
precautions required by them. The undersigned requests, that this
Assembly would be pleased to consider these observations, and to
adopt, on this subject, such measures as shall seem best adapted to
prevent the abuses in question.

The commanding officer of St Domingo is also desirous, that Congress
should be informed that the commanders of the American frigates have,
while stationed at the Cape, given strong proofs of zeal for the
common cause, whether in cruising against the enemy, or in convoying,
at their departure, merchant vessels sailing from that Colony.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                          Philadelphia, May 22d, 1781.

  Sir,

I have the honor of sending you a copy of a letter from the King, in
answer to that written to him from Congress, on the 22d of November
last. I shall have the honor of sending you the original this evening.

My despatches contain several important subjects, which I shall hasten
to communicate to Congress, as soon as they shall be wholly
decyphered.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                   THE KING OF FRANCE TO CONGRESS.

To our Very Dear Great Friends and Allies, the President and Members
of the General Congress of the United States of North America.

  Very Dear Great Friends and Allies,

We have received your letter of the 22d of November last, which Dr
Franklin was ordered to place in our hands. We have seen with pain,
the picture of the embarrassment of your finances, and we have been so
much touched by it, that we have resolved to assist you as much as our
own necessities, and the extraordinary and very great expenses
required on our part by the war, which we are carrying on for your
defence, will permit. We have ordered the Chevalier de la Luzerne to
acquaint you more particularly with our intentions. We are already
convinced, that the details into which he shall enter, will induce you
to make the greatest efforts to second our own, and that you will be
more and more convinced by them, that we take the most sincere
interest in the cause of the United States, and that we are employing
every means in our power to ensure their final triumph. You may rely
upon our perseverance in the principles, which have hitherto directed
our conduct; it is exerted upon all occasions; as well as upon the
sincere affection, which we entertain for the United States in
general, and for each one of them in particular.

We pray God, very dear great Friends and Allies, to keep you in his
holy protection.

Written at Versailles, this 10th of March, 1781.

Your good friend and ally,

                                                                LOUIS.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                                         Weathersfield, May 23d, 1781.

  Sir,

The letter, which I have the honor to enclose from the Count de
Rochambeau, will, I imagine, inform your Excellency of the intended
march of the French army towards the North River, and of the
destination of the King's squadron now in the harbor of Newport, if
circumstances will admit of the respective movements. I should be
wanting in respect and confidence, were I not to add, that our object
is New York.

The season, the difficulty and expense of land transportation, and the
continual waste of men in every attempt to reinforce the Southern
States, are almost insuperable objections to marching another
detachment from the army on the North River; nor do I see how it is
possible to give effectual support to those States, and avert the
evils which threaten them, while we are inferior in naval force in
these seas. It is not for me to know in what manner the fleet of his
Most Christian Majesty is to be employed in the West Indies this
summer, or to inquire at what epoch it may be expected on this coast;
but the appearance and aid of it in this quarter are of such essential
importance in any offensive operation, and so necessary to stop the
progress of the enemy's arms, that I shall be excused, I am persuaded,
for endeavoring to engage your Excellency's good offices in
facilitating an event on which so much depends. For this I have a
stronger plea, when I assure you that General Rochambeau's opinion and
wishes concur with mine, and that it is at his instance principally
that I make you this address.

If we are happy enough to find your Excellency in sentiment with us,
it will be in your power to inform the Count de Grasse of the strength
and situation of the enemy's naval and land force in this country; the
destination of the French squadron under Admiral Barras and the
intention of the allied arms, if a junction can be formed. At present,
the British fleet lies within Block Island, and about five leagues
from Point Judith.

The Count de Rochambeau and the Chevalier Chastellux agree perfectly
in sentiment with me, that, while affairs remain as they now are, the
West India fleet should run immediately to Sandy Hook, if there are no
concerted operations, where they may be met, with all the information
requisite, and where, most likely, it will shut in, or cut off Admiral
Arbuthnot, and may be joined by the Count de Barras. An early and
frequent communication from the Count de Grasse would lead to
preparatory measures on our part, and be a means of facilitating the
operation in hand, or any other which may be thought more advisable.

I know your Excellency's goodness, and your zeal for the common cause
too well, to offer anything more as an apology for this liberty; and I
persuade myself it is unnecessary for me to declare the respect and
attachment, with which I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, May 25th, 1781.

  Sir,

The undersigned Minister Plenipotentiary of France has the honor of
informing Congress, that it has been found impossible to send the
second division of the troops under the command of Count de
Rochambeau, and of the French squadron designed for the defence of the
coasts of the Thirteen States, and that it can no longer be expected
during the course of this campaign. The necessary measures have,
however, been taken for increasing the body of troops now at Rhode
Island, and, by sending some vessels of force, for putting the
squadron into a condition to enter again upon active service.

The undersigned requests Congress to be pleased to appoint a
committee, to whom he will communicate the causes which have
occasioned this change; and Congress will find in them new proofs of
the wisdom of the motives, which direct the conduct of his Majesty.
But if considerations of the greatest importance deprive him of the
satisfaction of assisting the Thirteen United States in their own
country, by sending a number of vessels and of auxiliaries, as
considerable as he had proposed, he will make no less vigorous efforts
against the enemy; and he hopes that these powerful diversions will
prevent the enemy from forming any enterprise, to which the resources
and the courage of the Thirteen States shall be unequal.

The King has, at the same time, resolved to give a new proof of his
affection and of his earnest desire to afford a remedy for the
difficulties, which they experience in procuring the funds necessary
for acting with vigor and effect during the present campaign. With
this view, the King, notwithstanding the immense expense at which he
is obliged to support the war in which he is engaged, has resolved to
dispose of a considerable fund, which shall be appropriated to the
purchase of clothing, arms, and stores, for which Dr Franklin has been
instructed to ask. The Count de Vergennes will concert measures on
this subject with the Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States,
Dr. Franklin; and M. Necker proposes to take the proper precautions,
in order that the merchandise may be of a good and sound quality, and
at a price answering to its exact value.

The subsidy which the King has resolved to grant to the Thirteen
United States amounts to six millions of livres tournois, independent
of the four millions, which the Ministry have enabled Dr Franklin to
borrow for the service of the current year. It is presumed, that this
sum of six millions will not be wholly applied to the purchase of the
articles asked for; and in that case, it is his Majesty's intention
that the surplus should be reserved, that it may be at the disposal of
Congress, or of the Superintendent of the finances of the Thirteen
States, if they think proper to confide the management of it to him.
It has not been possible for the Court, by reason of the speedy
departure of the vessel which brought this intelligence to the
undersigned Minister, to determine what will be the amount of the sums
of money remaining after the purchase of the above mentioned articles,
but lest there should seem to be any delay in supplying the wants of
the Thirteen States, the Chevalier de la Luzerne takes it upon
himself, without waiting for any further orders, to fix the amount of
these sums at fifteen hundred thousand livres tournois, and if
Congress, in fact, think that they shall need this whole sum, he will
without delay inform his Court of it, in order that the necessary
measures may be taken for discharging the bills of exchange, which
shall consequently be drawn. As it is the intention of the King, that
the greatest regularity shall take place in the payments, it will be
well for the undersigned to agree with Congress, or with the
Superintendent of Finance, and fix upon the times at which these bills
shall be negotiated, and upon those at which they shall be payable. It
is necessary that these times of payment should be at sufficient
distances from each other, so that the department of finance may not
be obliged to pay considerable sums in too short intervals of time.

The intention of the King, in granting to the Thirteen States this
purely gratuitous subsidy, is to put them in a condition to act
vigorously during this campaign; and his Majesty is desirous that
Congress would be pleased to give the necessary orders, that it may be
entirely applied to this important object, which admits of no delay.
The communications, which the undersigned is instructed to make to
Congress, will convince that body of the necessity of losing no time.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, May 26th, 1781.

  Sir,

The underwritten, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, has received
orders to communicate to Congress some important details touching the
present situation of sundry affairs, in which the United States are
immediately interested. The most essential are in regard to some
overtures, which announce on the part of Great Britain a desire of
peace. The Empress of Russia having invited the King and the Court of
London to accept her mediation, the latter Court considered this as a
formal offer and accepted it. This Court appeared at the same time to
desire the Emperor of Austria to take part therein; and this Monarch
has in fact proposed his co-mediation to the belligerent powers in
Europe.

The King could not but congratulate himself on seeing so important a
negotiation in the hands of two mediators, whose understanding and
justice are equal. Nevertheless, his Majesty, actuated by his
affections for the United States, returned for answer, that it was not
in his power to accept the offers made to him, and that the consent of
his allies was necessary. The King wishes to have this consent before
he formally accepts the proposed mediation. But it is possible that
circumstances joined to the confidence he has in the mediators, and
the justice of his cause, and that of the United States, his allies,
may determine him to enter upon a negotiation before the answer of
Congress can reach him.

But in either case, it is of great importance, that this Assembly
should give their Plenipotentiary instructions proper to announce
their disposition to peace, and their moderation, and to convince the
powers of Europe, that the independence of the Thirteen United States,
and the engagements they have contracted with the King, are the sole
motives, which determine them to continue the war; and that whenever
they shall have full and satisfactory assurances on these two capital
points, they will be ready to conclude a peace. The manner of
conducting the negotiation, the extent of the powers of the American
Plenipotentiary, the use to be made of them, and the confidence that
ought to be reposed in the French Plenipotentiaries and the King's
Ministers, are points, which should be fully discussed with a
committee.

And the underwritten Minister entreats, that Congress would be pleased
to name a committee with whom he will have the honor to treat. He
thinks that this Assembly will be sensible, that the King could not
give a greater mark of his affection for the Thirteen United States,
or of his attachment to the principles of the alliance, than by
determining not to enter upon a negotiation before they were ready to
take part therein, although in other respects, his confidence in the
mediators, and the relation he stands in to one of them, were
sufficient motives to induce him to accept their offers. Congress are
too sensible of the uncertainty of negotiations of this sort not to
know, that the moment of opening them is that precisely when the
efforts against the enemy ought to be redoubled; and that nothing can
facilitate the operation of the negotiators so much as the success of
the arms of the allies; that a check would be productive of
disagreeable consequences to both, and that the enemy would rise in
their pretensions, their haughtiness, and obstinacy, in proportion to
the languor and slackness of the confederates.

The undersigned will have the honor to communicate to the committee
some circumstances relative to the sending Mr Cumberland to Madrid; to
the use, which Mr Adams thought he was authorised to make of his
Plenipotentiary powers; to the mission of Mr Dana; to the association
of the neutral powers; and to the present state of affairs in the
south. Congress will find new motives for relying on the good will of
the King, and on the interest he takes in favor of the United States
in general, and of each one of them in particular.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

           REPORT OF A CONFERENCE WITH THE FRENCH MINISTER.

                                          In Congress, May 28th, 1781.

The committee appointed to confer with the Minister of France, report,

That the Minister communicated some parts of a despatch, which he had
received from the Count de Vergennes, dated the 9th of March, 1781.
That the resolves of Congress, which had been adopted on the
association of the neutral powers, were found very wise by the Council
of the King, and that it was thought they might be of service in the
course of the negotiation. The French Ministry did not doubt but they
would be very agreeable to the Empress of Russia. But they were not of
the same opinion with respect to the appointment of Mr Dana, as a
Minister to the Court of Petersburg. The reason is, that Catharine the
Second has made it a point until now to profess the greatest
impartiality between the belligerent powers. The conduct she pursues
on this occasion is a consequence of the expectation she has, that
peace maybe re-established by her mediation; therefore, she could by
no means take any step, which might show on her side the least
propension in favor of the Americans, and expose her to the suspicion
of partiality towards America, and of course exclude her from the
mediation. The appointment of Mr Dana, therefore, appears to be at
least premature, and the opinion of the Council is, that this deputy
ought not to make any use of his powers at this moment. In case he
applies to the Count de Vergennes for advice, he shall be desired to
delay making any use of his powers. The Count observes, it would be
disagreeable to Congress that their Plenipotentiary should meet with a
refusal, that their dignity would be offended, and that such a
satisfaction ought not to be given to the Court of London, especially
when negotiations of a greater moment are about to commence. However,
the French Minister had orders to assure the committee, that his Court
would use all their endeavors in proper time, to facilitate the
admissions of the Plenipotentiary of Congress.

The Minister communicated to the committee several observations
respecting the conduct of Mr Adams; and in doing justice to his
patriotic character, he gave notice to the committee, of several
circumstances, which proved it necessary that Congress should draw a
line of conduct to that Minister, of which he might not be allowed to
lose sight. The Minister dwelt especially on a circumstance already
known to Congress, namely, the use which Mr Adams thought he had a
right to make of his powers to treat with Great Britain. The Minister
concluded on this subject, that if Congress put any confidence in the
King's friendship and benevolence; if they were persuaded of his
inviolable attachment to the principle of the alliance, and of his
firm resolution constantly to support the cause of the United States,
they would be impressed with the necessity of prescribing to their
Plenipotentiary a perfect and open confidence in the French Ministers,
and a thorough reliance on the King, and would direct him to take no
step without the approbation of his Majesty; and after giving him, in
his instructions, the principal and most important outlines for his
conduct, they would order him, with respect to the manner of carrying
them into execution, to receive his directions from the Count de
Vergennes, or from the person who might be charged with the
negotiation in the name of the King.

The Minister observed, that this matter is the more important,
because, being allied with the United States, it is the business of
the King to support their cause with those powers with whom Congress
have no connexion, and can have none, until their independence is in a
fair train to be acknowledged. That the King would make it a point of
prudence and justice to support the Minister of Congress; but in case
this Minister, by aiming at impossible things, forming exorbitant
demands, which disinterested mediators might think ill-founded, or
perhaps by misconstruing his instructions, should put the French
negotiators under the necessity of proceeding in the course of the
negotiation without a constant connexion with him, this would give
rise to an unbecoming contradiction between France and the Thirteen
United States, which could not but be of very bad effect in the course
of the negotiation.

In making these observations, the Minister remarked, that it was
always to be taken for granted, that the most perfect independency is
to be the foundation of the instructions to be given to Mr Adams, and
that without this there would be no treaty at all. The Count de
Vergennes observes, that it is of great importance that the
instructions aforesaid be given as soon as possible to Mr Adams. And
the Minister desired the committee to press Congress to have this done
with all possible despatch.

He communicated to the committee the following particulars, as a proof
that this matter admits of no delay, and that it is probable the
negotiation will very soon be opened. He told the committee that the
English Ministry, in the false supposition that they might prevail on
the Court of Madrid to sign a separate peace, had begun a secret
negotiation with that Court, by the means of Mr Cumberland, but
without any success. That the Court of Spain had constantly founded
her answer on her engagements with his Most Christian Majesty. That on
the other side, the King of France had declared to the King, his
cousin, that the independence of the United States, either in fact, or
acknowledged by a solemn treaty, should be the only foundation of the
negotiations of the Court of France with that of London. That the
British Court not seeming to be disposed to grant the independency, it
appeared the negotiation of Mr Cumberland was superfluous. However,
this English emissary continued, and still continues, his residence at
Madrid, although he cannot have any expectation of obtaining the
object of his commission. That this direct negotiation was known to
all Europe, and that it seemed to render every mediation useless.
That, however, the Empress of Russia, excited by motives of friendship
to the belligerent powers, and in consequence of the share, which the
association of the neutral powers had given her in the general
emergency, has invited the king of France and the Court of London to
require her mediation. That the Court of London has accepted the
invitation with a kind of eagerness, and at the same time desired the
Emperor of Germany to take a part in it. That the answer of the King
of France to the overtures of the Court of Petersburg was, that he
should be glad to restore peace by the mediation of Catharine, but
that it was not in his power immediately to accept her offers, as he
had allies whose consent was necessary for that purpose.

To the same application made by the Court of Petersburg to that of
Madrid, this Court answered, that having entered into a direct
negotiation with the Court of London, by the means of Mr Cumberland,
it thought proper to wait the issue of it before it had recourse to a
mediation. The Emperor, as has already been observed, having been
desired by the Court of London to take part in the mediation,
immediately informed the King of France, as well as his Catholic
Majesty, of this circumstance, offering his co-mediation to both the
allied Monarchs. To this, the King of France gave the same answer,
which he had given to the Empress of Russia. As to the King of Spain,
he again expressed his surprise at the English Ministry's requesting a
mediation, after having entered into a direct negotiation; and he
declared, that unless this negotiation should be broken off by the
English themselves, it would be impossible for him to listen to a
mediation, which, in any other circumstance, would be infinitely
agreeable to him.

These answers, though of a dilatory nature, may be looked upon as an
eventual acceptation of the mediation. The Minister observed, that it
will be, in effect, difficult to avoid it. That a refusal will not be
consistent with the dignity of the two powers, that had offered their
interposition. That the King is obliged, from friendship and good
policy, to treat them with attention. He further observed, that the
demands of the King of France will be so just and so moderate, that
they might be proposed to any tribunal whatever. That the only reason
the King could have to suspend a formal acceptation is, that, at the
time the offer was made, he was not acquainted with the intentions of
his allies, namely, Spain and the United States.

The Minister observed to the committee, that in his opinion this
conduct must afford Congress a new proof of the perseverance of the
King in the principles of the alliance, and of his scrupulous
attention to observe his obligations; he added, that, however, it is
not without inconveniency, that this dilatory plan has been adopted.
The distance between the allied powers of France and the United
States, has obliged the Court of Versailles to adopt that plan, though
liable to inconveniences, in order to conform to the engagements made
by the treaties, to determine nothing into a negotiation without the
participation of Congress. Besides, several States being invaded by
the enemy, the French Council thought it inconvenient to begin a
negotiation under these unfavorable circumstances. And being in hopes
that the diversions made by the King's arms, will prevent the British
from making very great exertions against the Thirteen United States,
the French Ministry expected, that during the course of the present
campaign they might be enabled to present the situation of their
allies in a more favorable light to the Congress, that might assemble
for peace. These delays, however, cannot with propriety take place for
any long time, and it was the opinion of the French Ministry, that it
would be contrary to decency, prudence, and the laws of sound policy,
again to refuse listening to the propositions of peace made by
friendly powers; for which reason, the Chevalier de la Luzerne was
directed to lay all these facts confidentially before Congress.

The Minister informed the committee, that it was necessary, that the
King should know the intentions of the United States with regard to
the proposed mediation, and that his Majesty should be authorised by
Congress to give notice of their dispositions to all the powers, who
would take part in the negotiation for a pacification. The Minister
delivered his own opinion, that he saw no inconveniency arising from
the Congress imitating the example of the King, by showing themselves
disposed to accept peace from the hands of the Emperor of Germany and
the Empress of Russia. He added, that Congress should rely on the
justice and wisdom of those two Sovereigns; and at the same time, he
renewed the assurances, that his Majesty will defend the cause of the
United States as zealously as the interests of his own Crown.

He informed the committee, that according to all accounts, the British
Ministry were removing as far as possible, in this negotiation, every
idea of acknowledging the independence of what they call their
Thirteen Colonies; and he said, that Congress would judge by
themselves, that the Court of London would debate with the greatest
energy and obstinacy the articles relating to America. He availed
himself of this reflection to impress the committee with the necessity
Congress are under, of securing in their favor the benevolence and
good will of the mediating powers, by presenting their demands with
the greatest moderation and reserve, save independence, which will not
admit of any modification. He further observed, that it was possible
the difficulty of making a definitive peace might engage the mediators
to propose a truce; and that it was necessary, therefore, to
authorise eventually the Plenipotentiary of the United States to
declare their intention thereon.

He further observed, that whatever might be the resolution of
Congress, they would do well to recommend to their Plenipotentiary to
adopt a line of conduct, that would deprive the British of every hope
of causing divisions between the allies, and to assume a conciliating
character, as much as can be consistent with the dignity of his
constituents, and to show such a confidence in the Plenipotentiary of
his Most Christian Majesty, as is due to a power so much interested to
support the dignity and honor of a nation, whose independence they
have acknowledged.

The Minister told the committee, that whatever might be the resolution
of Congress, respecting a peace or a truce, it was necessary to carry
on the war with the utmost vigor. He urged reasons too well known to
Congress to be related.

He desired the committee to inform Congress, that in case the offer of
mediation from the two Imperial Courts should become so serious and so
pressing, as to oblige the King to give a decisive answer, his Majesty
would accept of it conditionally for himself and for the United
States. The taking this resolution would have no inconvenience, as the
Court of France knew no reasons, which could prevent them from
following the example of the King, by trusting their interests in the
hands of just and wise mediators, and the refusal being liable to very
dangerous consequences. The Minister concluded the conference by
observing, that a great object was to secure the United States from
the proposition of _uti possidetis_; that the surest way to obtain
that end was to reduce the English to confess, that they are not able
to conquer them. That present circumstances require great exertions
from the consideration, and that it was plain that every success
gained by the army of Congress would infinitely facilitate the
negotiations of their Plenipotentiaries.[44]

FOOTNOTE:

[44] _June 6th._ "Resolved, That the Minister Plenipotentiary, be
authorised and instructed to concur, in behalf of these United States,
with his Most Christian Majesty, in accepting the mediation proposed
by the Empress of Russia and the Emperor of Germany; but to accede to
no treaty of peace, which shall not be such, as may effectually secure
the independence and sovereignty of the Thirteen States, according to
the form and effect of the treaties subsisting between the said States
and his Most Christian Majesty, and in which the said treaties shall
not be left in their full force and validity."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                   CONGRESS TO THE KING OF FRANCE.

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

  Great, Faithful, and Beloved Friend and Ally,

We have received your Majesty's letter of the 10th of March. The
measures adopted by your Majesty in consequence of the representation
made of the situation of our finances, the repeated testimonies of
your Majesty's unalterable determination to render the cause of the
United States triumphant, and also the affection, which your Majesty
has been pleased to express for the United States in general, and for
each State in particular, demand from us the strongest sentiments of
gratitude.

The important communications made by your Majesty's Plenipotentiary
have been considered by us with the greatest attention. The result of
our deliberations will be made known to your Majesty by our Minister
Plenipotentiary at your Court, and will evince the entire confidence
we have in your Majesty's friendship and perseverance in the
principles, which have directed your conduct in maintaining the
interest of the United States to this time.

We pray God, that he will keep your Majesty, our great, faithful, and
beloved friend and ally, in his holy protection.

Done at Philadelphia, the 13th day of June, in the year of our Lord,
1781, and in the fifth year of our independence.

By the United States in Congress assembled.

Your Faithful Friends and Allies.

                                       SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, _President_.
                                       CHARLES THOMSON, _Secretary_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                        TO GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                             Translation.

                                          Philadelphia, June 1st, 1781

  Sir,

I have received the letter, which your Excellency did me the honor to
write on the 23d of the past month, and that of the Count de
Rochambeau, with which it was accompanied.

I wait with extreme impatience the news of the arrival of the French
division before New York, and no one can desire more earnestly than I
do to see it under your immediate command. I hoped that you would
have been this spring in the command of a more considerable body of
auxiliaries. The causes, which have hindered the execution of that
plan, have been so urgent and so decisive, that I am sure you will
approve them, after I shall have had the honor of making you
acquainted with them. I have nevertheless been much pained, that I
could not explain to you this change of measures, and my attachment to
the cause, which you defend, has made me feel as sensibly as any
citizen of America all the delays, that could happen to the
assistance, which we wish to give to the Thirteen States.

I am impressed with the necessity of maintaining a perfect confidence
with your Excellency upon these different points, and I shall seize
the first occasion which presents itself to visit your army.

In the meantime I shall transmit to the Count de Grasse what your
Excellency did me the honor to communicate. Be persuaded that I shall
use the most pressing motives to determine him, and I shall do it with
so much the more zeal, as I feel the necessity of it. I shall transmit
to that General an extract of your letter, and I know nothing more
likely to give weight to the demand, which I shall make of him.

The King has charged me, Sir, to inform Congress, that he grants them
a gratuitous subsidy to enable them to make the greatest efforts in
the course of this campaign. This subsidy, amounting to _six millions
of livres tournois_, is to be employed in the purchase of arms,
ammunition, and clothing, and it is the intention of the King, that
the surplus shall be at the disposal of Congress. I have not been
instructed as to what will be the exact amount of this surplus, but
it is determined, that one million and a half shall be employed by the
Superintendent of Finance, according to the directions, which you
shall give him, after the arrangements you shall make with him in the
visit, which he intends paying you.

I have informed Congress, and I intrust it to your Excellency, that
the Emperor of Austria, and the Empress of Russia, have offered their
mediation to the Court of London, who has accepted it. The same has
also been offered to the Court of Versailles, and that of Madrid. But
they have given for answer, that time must be left for Congress to
determine, if it suits them to put the interests of the Thirteen
United States into the hands of the mediators. In any event, it is of
the greatest importance, that the allies make all their efforts to
drive the enemy from this continent, and nothing will be more likely,
than the success of the confederate arms, to make a successful
negotiation.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

               GEORGE WASHINGTON TO M. DE LA LUZERNE.

                                          Head Quarters, New Windsor,}
                                                     June 13th, 1781.}

  Sir,

His Excellency the Count de Rochambeau having requested me to forward
the despatches herewith transmitted, by the safest possible
conveyance, I now do myself the honor to send them by a gentleman of
the Quarter Master General's department.

Having been made acquainted by the Count de Rochambeau with the
designs of the Count de Grasse, to come to this coast with his fleet,
I cannot forbear expressing to your Excellency my ardent wishes, that
a body of land forces might also attend this naval armament; as I am
apprehensive such a decided superiority of men may not be drawn
together by us, by the time the Count de Grasse will be here, as to
insure our success against the enemy's most important posts; as his
continuance in these seas may be limited to a short period, and as the
addition of a respectable corps of troops from the West Indies would,
in all human probability, terminate the matter very soon in our favor.
If these should likewise be your sentiments, and if this plan should
not interfere with the intentions and interests of his Most Christian
Majesty elsewhere, I entreat your Excellency, by the first good
conveyance, to represent the propriety and necessity of the measure to
the commanders in the West Indies; that by one great decisive stroke
the enemy may be expelled from the continent, and the independence of
America established at the approaching negotiation.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                    GEORGE WASHINGTON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

           REPORT OF A CONFERENCE WITH THE FRENCH MINISTER.

                                         In Congress, June 18th, 1781.

The committee appointed to confer with the Minister Plenipotentiary of
France, report,

That on the second conference with the Minister of France, he
communicated some parts of a despatch, dated the 7th of August, 1780,
the first part relating to losses suffered by French merchants, either
trading with private houses in America, or engaged in transactions of
commerce for Congress, or the several States. He informed the
committee that several papers, which should have accompanied this
despatch, were not come to hand, so that he could not state what kind
of compensation the merchants might expect. The Minister, however,
mentioned in the conference, that without waiting the arrival of those
papers, which may have been lost, or may be delayed for a long time,
some recommendation might be thought proper to be sent from Congress
to the several States, in order to prevent forever the effect of the
tender laws operating against foreign merchants; that this would be an
encouragement to commerce, and remove the fears of foreign traders in
their transactions with the citizens of the United States. The
Minister communicated that part of the Count de Vergennes' letter
relating to the discussion between him and Mr John Adams, with respect
to the depreciation of the paper money, and the effect this had
produced on the French trade; however, he did not enter fully into the
matter, not being furnished with the proper papers.

The other objects of the communications of the Minister of France were
the measures taken by the Court of Russia, and the northern powers, on
account of the rights of neutrality, and the conduct to be observed by
the belligerent powers towards subjects of neutral powers; and he
informed the committee, that those northern Courts had made formal
declarations to the powers at war respecting the principles of
neutrality; and that they had concluded a convention for the security
of their navigation and of their fair trade. That this convention was
particularly obnoxious to the Court of London, as it was now obliged
to respect neutral flags, which it had till then treated with the
greatest severity, exercising against them every kind of depredation,
according to its former practice. That France fully approved of that
convention, the consequence of which was, that all the powers
concerned, while they did justice to the principles of the King's
Council, considered the British more and more as the tyrants of the
sea.

The King's Council, therefore, thought it proper to transmit this
intelligence to Congress, leaving it to their wisdom to adopt the
principles of the neutral powers laid down so long ago as the 26th of
July, 1778, in an ordinance of the King, which the Minister of France
delivered several months ago, with other printed papers on the same
subject, to the Board of Admiralty. The Minister thought it the more
important for the United States to conform their maritime laws to that
system, as they would thereby conciliate to themselves the benevolence
of the neutral powers. He observed, that American privateers had
presumed to stop neutral vessels loaded with English merchandise,
which had given rise to unfavorable observations and complaints
against the United States. He observed, that Holland had taken a part
in the association of the northern Courts; and that therefore she
ought to be comprehended in the orders of Congress, if it should be
thought proper in those orders to mention the names of particular
powers. But if Congress adopted a conduct similar to that of France,
they would extend their orders in favor of all neutral powers
generally.

The Minister then gave a short historical account of the negotiation
of Mr Cumberland, observing that the matter being now obsolete, it was
sufficient to mention that this agent, having made proposals of peace
to the King of Spain, the first question he was asked was, what were
the intentions of the Court of London respecting the United States?
That he, having no instructions on this subject, or pretending to have
none, had sent an express to London. That the express had not returned
when this letter was written.

The Minister informed the committee, that the Court of Versailles had
neglected nothing to procure arms, ammunition, and clothing, for
Congress. That the good intentions of the Court had not been well
seconded by the American agents; that it was their fault if these
articles had not been forwarded in time; that the Ministers did not
intend to accuse any one in particular; but were of opinion, that
Congress should inquire into the cause of the delay, in order to
inflict such punishment as would prevent the like conduct in future.

The Minister then communicated the substance of a despatch of the 9th
of March, 1781; and entering fully into the subject, he told us, that
so early as the beginning of the year 1780, he had informed Congress,
that a mediation might be opened in Europe. That the mediators might
propose the _uti possidetis_ as the basis of the negotiation. That it
was of the utmost importance to prevent the effect of a proposition,
so inconsistent with the independence of the United States. That the
Court of France wished to give them every assistance in their power;
but he had observed at the same time, that the political system of the
kingdom, being closely connected with that of other European powers,
France might be involved in difficulties, which would require the
greatest attention, and a considerable part of her resources. That he
had informed Congress confidentially, that the death of the Sovereigns
of some of the European States, with whom the Court of France had the
most intimate connexion, might oblige her to employ the greatest part
of her resources to secure her against the dangers, which might be
occasioned by such an event. That since that communication was made to
Congress, both those cases had happened. That the Empress Queen was
dead. That the Court of Versailles flattered itself, that this will
not at this time give rise to any material change in the politics of
the Courts of Vienna and Berlin. That circumstances, however, are
such, that prudence dictates not to leave the frontier of France
bordering on Germany unprovided for defence. That the character the
King bears of guarantee or protector of the liberties of the German
empire, obliges him to be ready to assist effectually the members of
that body, whose safety may be endangered, and of consequence
occasions extraordinary expenses. That France is at the same time
obliged to spare the land forces of the kingdom, and at the present
crisis not to keep them at too great a distance. That this, however,
is only a point of caution and prudence. That the Court of France
still hopes the issue will be peaceable and agreeable to her wishes;
but has thought it proper to inform Congress of it.

That matters are different with respect to the Dutch. That they are
now in a state of war with the English; but there is among them a
party in favor of England; and notwithstanding the accession of the
two opposing provinces to the resolution of the States for making
reprisals, a mediation has been entered into between London and the
Hague; and the Empress of Russia acts as mediatrix. That it is evident
the Court of London, by opening this negotiation, designs to draw the
Seven Provinces to her side; and even goes so far as to expect, that
she may employ the resources of the Dutch against France, either
directly or indirectly. That the disposition of that Republic is still
such as friends would wish. But the strongest argument, which the
British party make use of to separate the Seven Provinces from France
is, that they are destitute of a naval force; that their seamen are
captured by the British; that all their riches will likewise fall a
sacrifice; and that their settlements in the East and West Indies are
in the greatest danger. That under these circumstances it was become
necessary for France to afford immediate protection to the Dutch in
Europe; and to make without delay a diversion, which may possibly save
their East India possessions. That these measures had rendered it
actually impossible to send to the United States the reinforcement,
which was announced.

The Minister of France thinks, that this confidential and friendly
explanation of the situation of France will convince Congress, that
the King could not pursue a different line of conduct; and that the
consequences of the measures he has taken must at last turn to their
advantage. That, however, Count de Rochambeau and M. Barras will
receive some reinforcements, and will inform the Chevalier de la
Luzerne how considerable they are.

The Minister told the committee, that the friendship and benevolence
of the King for the Thirteen United States had engaged him to trust
Congress with these details, observing at the same time, that it would
be proper to keep them secret.

In giving an account of the subsidy granted by the King of France, the
Minister concluded by observing, that the Count de Vergennes writes,
that what remains of the six millions, after purchasing the supplies
of arms and ammunition, would be at the disposal of Congress; or if
they should so direct, at the disposal of the commander in chief, or
of their financier, if there should be one; and that the resolution
Congress took on this subject should be made known to the Ministry,
that funds may be provided accordingly. In the course of the
conference the Chevalier mentioned the sums, that had been procured
for these States since the beginning of the year 1780. That in that
year the Count de Vergennes had, on his own credit, procured for Dr
Franklin three millions of livres. That in December Dr Franklin wanted
one million more to honor the bills drawn by Congress; and that he
received the fourth million. That in the course of the present year,
the Count has procured for him on loan four millions of livres, which
make eight millions borrowed on the guarentee of France, since the
aforementioned period. And now the King makes a gratuitous donation of
the subsidy of six millions, which in the whole make up the sum of
fourteen millions, since the commencement of the year 1780.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, July 1st, 1781.

  Sir,

I am ready to go to the army of General Washington, and I shall have
the honor of receiving your commissions this evening. My absence will,
probably, be of short duration; I think it proper, however, to inform
you, that M. de Marbois will perform, during this interval, the duties
of _Chargé d'Affaires_ of his Majesty, and I entreat you, Sir, to be
pleased to honor him with your confidence, in case you have any
communications to make to, or receive from, the King's embassy.

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

                  *       *       *       *       *

             M. DE MARBOIS TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                         Philadelphia, July 9th, 1781.

  Sir,

The undersigned, _Chargé d'Affaires_ of France, has the honor of
informing Congress, that the Count de Barras, commander of his
Majesty's squadron stationed on the coasts of the Thirteen States,
labors at this moment under an urgent necessity of completing his
crews. The diseases, which have prevailed on board of this squadron,
the battle in which it has been engaged, a long absence from the ports
of the kingdom, and the manoeuvres employed by many individuals to
excite the French sailors to desertion, are causes, which have
diminished in a considerable degree the number of those, who were
employed on board of this squadron. The undersigned is instructed to
communicate these circumstances to Congress. The French commander
thinks, that if he may be authorised by the Legislatures of the New
England States to impress French sailors, and to remove them from the
different vessels, in which they may be found, he will very soon be
enabled to remedy the diminution of numbers, which he has experienced.

                                                              MARBOIS.

                  *       *       *       *       *

             M. DE MARBOIS TO THE SECRETARY OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 11th, 1781.

  Sir,

I have received, in the absence of the Chevalier de la Luzerne, the
letter which you took the trouble to write, to inform that Minister of
the King, that the Honorable Thomas McKean had been chosen President
of Congress, in the place of the Honorable Samuel Huntington. I shall
communicate this change to his Majesty's Minister, on his return to
Philadelphia, and also to the Minister having the direction of Foreign
Affairs in France. We are very sorry to see that Mr Huntington is
obliged, by ill health, to resign an office, in the exercise of which
he has given frequent proofs of his wisdom, and of his attachment to
the Thirteen States, and to the alliance. But the choice by Congress
of the Honorable Mr McKean, leaves nothing to be wished for, and I can
assure you, Sir, that his Majesty's Minister will be eager to show to
him the same confidence, which he has shown to his predecessor, and
that we shall use all exertions to merit his in return.

I have the honor to be, &c.

                                                              MARBOIS.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 20th, 1781.

  Sir,

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, has the honor of
informing Congress, that he has received despatches from his Court,
the contents of which may be interesting to this Assembly, and that he
is desirous of communicating them to it through a committee, if
Congress shall be pleased to appoint one to confer with him. These
communications relate to the state of public affairs in Europe, in the
months of January and February last, to the rupture between England
and the United Provinces, and to the measures to be taken to
facilitate an alliance between the Thirteen United States and that
Republic.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

          REPORT OF COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE FRENCH MINISTER.

                                          In Congress, July 23d, 1781.

The committee appointed to receive the communications of the Minister
of France, delivered in the following report.

The Minister, from his despatches of the 9th of January, 1781,
communicated to your committee the causes which delayed the measures,
which the Court of France proposed to take for the naval operations of
this campaign, the length of the passage of Count d'Estaing to Brest,
and, other circumstances not necessary now to be recapitulated; and
then told us that he was desired, in the meanwhile, to continue to
assure Congress, that the interest which his Majesty takes in the
American cause will essentially influence his measures for the present
campaign.

The Minister continued by observing, that the present situation of
affairs between Great Britain and Holland presented a favorable
opportunity for a union of the two Republics.

Your committee will not repeat the details of what has happened
between the two powers of England and Holland; it is sufficient to
observe, that Sweden and Denmark have adopted the plan of the armed
neutrality, framed by the Empress of Russia; that the Dutch, upon
invitation, had done the same, and the Court of London, irritated by
this step, took hold of the pretence afforded by the papers found on
Mr Laurens, and published a manifesto on the 21st day of December, as
well as a proclamation for expediting letters of marque. That this
state of affairs, and the other consequences of this step, deserve the
attention of Congress. That, if their High Mightinesses should join in
this war, it would bring the two Republics to terms of more intimate
union. That the opinion of the Council of the King was, that Congress
ought not to neglect to send to Holland a prudent and able man, with
full powers. It would likewise be advantageous to give proper
instructions to that Minister; and as it may happen in the course of
the negotiations that unforeseen incidents may present themselves, and
as it is impossible at this distance to have quick information, it
would be proper to have further instructions given by Dr Franklin, in
order to avoid all inconsistency or contradiction, and that the
political operations of Congress, aiming towards the same end, may of
course be more successful.

The Minister communicated to your committee the contents of another
despatch, of the 19th of February last. After stating some facts
relating to Mr Laurens's capture, and its consequences, which Congress
are already acquainted with, the Minister informed your committee,
that the Empress of Russia had, on the 5th of January, received the
accession of the United Provinces to the association of neutral
powers, and that there was great probability, that her Imperial
Majesty would support the Dutch against the tyranny of England, and
that on every supposition, Congress would do well to take such
measures, as to prepare, without delay, the means of uniting the
interest of the two Republics, by making proper advances to the
States-General. The Minister added, that he was authorised by the King
to offer Congress his interposition for this purpose.

The Minister informed, that according to appearances the Empress of
Russia seemed to be well disposed to the independence of the United
States; and that these dispositions give reason to think, that the
Empress will see with pleasure, that Congress have adopted her
principles as to the neutrality, and that the Count de Vergennes has
sent that resolution to the Marquis Verac, the Minister of France to
the Court of Russia.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                        Philadelphia, July 26th, 1781.

  Sir,

The twentyninth article of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, between
his Most Christian Majesty and the United States, reserves to the two
contracting powers, "the liberty of having, each in the ports of the
other, Consuls, Vice-Consuls, Agents, and Commissaries, whose
functions shall be regulated by a particular agreement." In
consequence of this stipulation, the Court of Versailles has caused a
draft to be made of a convention, relative to the establishment of
Consuls, which the undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France,
has the honor to communicate to Congress. It is the desire of his
Majesty, that this draft should be examined by Congress, and those
points marked which admit of no difficulty; and that the others should
be submitted to the examination of delegates appointed by both
parties, who may make such observations as they shall judge proper,
and propose such alterations as they may think convenient. These
objects will require discussion in repeated conferences, and the
undersigned entreats, that Congress would determine in what manner
these conferences shall be held. The proposed convention requires the
most mature consideration of both parties; while at the same time, it
is equally the interest of both with all speed to introduce
consistency and uniformity into their respective commercial
establishments, and the undersigned is of opinion, that Congress will
think it necessary to prosecute this business with all possible
despatch.[45]

                                                              LUZERNE.

FOOTNOTE:

[45] See the draft of this Convention in the _Secret Journal_, Vol.
III. p. 6.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                     TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                       Philadelphia, August 23d, 1781.

  Sir,

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, has the honor of
informing Congress, that the situation of affairs requires, that M. de
l'Etombe, Consul General of France, in the four States of New England,
should proceed immediately to his destination. This officer being
provided with the commission of his Majesty, in the form made use of
for the other French Consulates, in the different quarters of the
world, it is desirable that his character should be recognized in the
manner and form, which for the future are to take place uniformly
throughout the Thirteen United States. The undersigned, Minister
Plenipotentiary, consequently entreats Congress to determine
provisionally, what this form shall henceforward be, without waiting
till the plan to be agreed upon shall be definitively settled. He is
also desirous, that Congress will be pleased to pass a resolution on
the subject of the recognition of the character of Vice-Consuls.

                                                              LUZERNE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                    TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

                             Translation.

                                    Philadelphia, September 6th, 1781.

  Sir,

The undersigned, Minister Plenipotentiary of France, has the honor of
communicating to Congress the commission of M. de l'Etombe, as Consul
General of France in the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode
Island, and Connecticut. He requests Congress to be pleased to pass an
act, or four different acts, in order to procure for the said Consul
the _exequatur_ in each of the States, to which his functions are to
extend.

                                                              LUZERNE.


                       END OF THE TENTH VOLUME.



+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
| TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE.                                                |
|                                                                    |
| Omitted words, shown as blank spaces in the original, have been    |
| transcribed as four hyphens ('----').                              |
|                                                                    |
| Every effort was made to match the original text. Spelling         |
| variations between letters have been preserved.  The following     |
| apparent typographical errors were corrected:                      |
|  "Triomphe"  for "Trimophe"                           page 40      |
|  "November 5, 1782" for "November 5, 1882"            page 94      |
|  "and who ought" for "and ho ought"                   page 308     |
|  "each other" for "eachother"                         page 314     |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+





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