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Washington urges reasons against the plan--has a personal interview with a committee of Congress, and induces that body to abandon the enterprise.

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BOUT the time that Commodore Parker

sailed for the southern states, in the year 1778, the commissioners appointed to give effect to the late conciliatory acts of parliament, which had been proposed by Lord North, embarked for Europe. They had exerted unsuccessfully their utmost powers to effect the objects of their mission. The terms now offered were such as, at one time, America would most joyfully have accepted; but they required a union of the force of the two nations under one common sovereign. These were terms to which America was no longer disposed, or even at liberty to accede. All those affections which parts of the same empire should feel for each other had been eradicated by a distressing war; the great body of the nation was determined, at every sacrifice, to maintain its independence; and the treaty with France had pledged them, by every principle of honour and national faith, never to consent to a re-union with the British empire.

The British commissioners arrived in Philadel. phia, while that place was yet in possession of their army, and are understood to have brought positive and secret orders for its immediate evacuation.

The reception which had been already given to the conciliatory bills, on which their mission was

founded;

founded ; a reception manifesting the fixed determination of Congress, previously to any knowledge of the treaty with France, must have left them but little hope, that the propositions they had brought with them could be accepted.* They were however, especially Governor Johnstone, persons who had always openly condemned the violent measures of administration, and had wished a settlement of differences on the ground first taken by America; and, of consequence, they were now sincerely de. sirous of bringing about a reconciliation between the two countries.

. Subsequent to the copies of the bills which were sent over before their passing into laws, letters had been received from Lord Howe and Sir Henry Clinton, inclosing the acts themselves, to which Congress returned the following answer :

MY LORD, “ I have had the honour to lay your Lordship's letter of May 27, with the acts of the British parliament inclosed, be. fore Congress, and I am instructed to acquaint your Lordship, that they have already expressed their sentiments upon bills not essentially different from those acts, in a publication of the 22d of April last.

“ Your Lordship may be assured, that when the King of Great Britain shall be seriously disposed to put an end to the unprovoked and cruel war waged against these United States, Congress will readily attend to such terms of peace as may consist with the honour of independent nations, the interest of their constituents, and the sacred regard they mean to pay to treaties.

“ I have the honour to be, &c." To Admiral Lord Howe.A similar letter was addressed to Sir Henry Clinton. B 2

Their

Washington urges reasons against the plan-has a personal interview with a committee of Congress, and induces that body to abandon the enterprise.

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BOUT the time that Commodore Parker

sailed for the southern states, in the year 1778, the commissioners appointed to give effect to the late conciliatory acts of parliament, which had been proposed by Lord North, embarked for Europe. They had exerted unsuccessfully their utmost powers to effect the objects of their mission. The terms now offered were such as, at one time, America would most joyfully have accepted; but they required a union of the force of the two na. tions under one common sovereign. These were terms to which America was no longer disposed, or even at liberty to accede. All those affections which parts of the same empire should feel for each other had been eradicated by a distressing war; the great body of the nation was determined, at every sacrifice, to maintain its independence; and the treaty with France had pledged them, by every principle of honour and national faith, never to consent to a re-union with the British empire.

The British commissioners arrived in Philadel. phia, while that place was yet in possession of their army, and are understood to have brought positive and secret orders for its immediate evacuation.

The reception which had been already given to the conciliatory bills, on which their mission was

founded;

founded; a reception manifesting the fixed determination of Congress, previously to any knowledge of the treaty with France, must have left them but little hope, that the propositions they had brought with them could be accepted.* They were however, especially Governor Johnstone, persons who had always openly condemned the violent measures of administration, and had wished a settlement of differences on the ground first taken by America; and, of consequence, they were now sincerely desirous of bringing about a reconciliation between the two countries.

* Subsequent to the copies of the bills which were sent over before their passing into laws, letters had been received from Lord Howe and Sir Henry Clinton, inclosing the acts themselves, to which Congress returned the following answer :

MY LORD, “ I have had the honour to lay your Lordship's letter of May 27, with the acts of the British parliament inclosed, bea fore Congress, and I am instructed to acquaint your Lordship, that they have already expressed their sentiments upon bills not essentially different from those acts, in a publication of the 22d of April last.

“ Your Lordship may be assured, that when the King of Great Britain shall be seriously disposed to put an end to the unprovoked and cruel war waged against these United States, Congress will readily attend to such terms of peace as may consist with the honour of independent nations, the interest of their constituents, and the sacred regard they mean to pay to treaties.

“ I have the honour to be, &c."
To Admiral Lord Howe.
A similar letter was addressed to Sir Henry Clinton.

Their
B 2

Their arrival, therefore, was immediately announced to General Washington, by Sir Henry Clinton, who was joined with them in the com. mission, and a passport was requested for their secretary, Doctor Ferguson, as the bearer of their first dispatches to Congress. This passport the commander in chief declined granting, until he should receive the instructions of his government; on which a letter addressed “ to the President and other the members of Congress” was forwarded in the usual manner. With this letter, were transmitted copies of their commission, and of the acts of parliament on which it was founded. It contained also propositions for the following, among other purposes :

“ To consent to a cessation of hostilities both by sea and land.

" To restore free intercourse, to revive mutual affection, and renew the common benefits of natu. ralization, through the several parts of the empire.

“ To extend every freedom to trade that the respective interest of Britain and America could require.

“ To agree that no military force should be kept up

in North America, without the consent of the General Congress, or particular assemblies.

“ To concur in measures calculated to discharge the debts of America, and to raise the credit and value of the paper circulation.

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