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On the contrary, she disavowed, in the most positive terms, all intention of seeking such conquest or accepting such cession; and it may be added, that her conduct during the war and at the peace was in perfect accordance with this declaration. The two treaties were signed at Paris on the 6th of February, 1778. They were sent to America by a special messenger, and were immediately ratified by Congress. The event diffused joy throughout the country. Washington set apart a day for the rejoicings of the army on the occasion at Valley Forge. All saw, or believed they saw, that, whatever might be the hazards of the war, independence in the end was certain. France was too powerful a nation to be conquered, and she had promised her support to the last. Her interest and safety were deeply involved in the contest, and her honor was pledged. In the enthusiasm of the moment, every heart was filled with gratitude to the French King, and every tongue spoke his praise. His generosity in agreeing to treaties, so favorable in their conditions and so equitable in their principles, was lauded to the skies; and we behold the spectacle of two millions of republicans, becoming all at once the cordial friends and warm admirers of a monarch, who sat on a throne erected by acts, sustained by a policy, and surrounded by institutions, which all true republicans regarded as so many encroachments upon the natural and inalienable rights of mankind. In this instance, however, they had no just occasion afterwards to regret, that their confidence had been misplaced, or their gratitude improperly bestowed. Every promise was fulfilled, and every pledge was redeemed. On the 20th of March, the American commissioners were introduced to the King at Versailles, and they took their place at court as the representatives of an independent power. A French historian, describing this ceremony, says of Franklin; “He was accompanied and followed by a great number of Americans and individuals from various countries, whom curiosity had drawn together. His age, his venerable aspect, the simplicity of his dress, every thing fortunate and remarkable in the life of this American, contributed to excite public attention. The clapping of hands and other expressions of joy indicated that warmth of enthusiasm, which the French are more susceptible of than any other people, and the charm of which is enhanced to the object of it by their politeness and agreeable manners. After this audience, he crossed the court on his way to the office of the minister of foreign affairs. The multitude waited for him in the passage, and greeted him with their acclamations. He met with a similar reception wherever he appeared in Paris.” + From that time both Franklin and the other American commissioners attended the court at Versailles, on the same footing as the ambassadors of the European powers. Madame Campan says, that, on these occasions, Franklin appeared in the dress of an American farmer. “His straight, unpowdered hair, his round hat, his brown cloth coat, formed a singular contrast with the laced and embroidered coats, and powdered and perfumed heads, of the courtiers of Versailles.”f The rules of diplomatic etiquette did not permit the ambassadors of those sovereigns, who had not recognised the independence of the United States, to extend any official civilities to the ministers of the new republic. In private, however, they sought the acquaintance and society of Franklin, and among them were some of his most esteemed and intimate friends. An amusing incident, illustrative of the reserve of the ambassadors in their official character, occurred to Dr. Franklin some time after he became minister plenipotentiary. The son of the Empress of Russia, under the title of Count du Nord, arrived in Paris. He sent round his cards to the several foreign ambassadors, with his name and that of the Prince Bariatinski, the Russian ambassador, written upon them. By some accident the messenger left one of these cards at Dr. Franklin’s house. As this was the first instance of the kind, he knew not precisely in what manner the civility was to be returned. He inquired of an old minister at court, well versed in the rules of etiquette, who told him that all he had to do, was to stop his carriage at the ambassador's door, and order his name to be written in the porter's book. This ceremony he performed accordingly. “I thought no more of the matter,” said he, “till the servant, who brought the card, came in great affliction, saying he was like to be ruined, and wishing to obtain from me a paper, of I know not what kind, for I did not see him. In the afternoon came my friend, Mr. Le Roy, who is also a friend of the Prince's, telling me how much he, the Prince, was concerned at the accident, that both himself and the Count had great personal regard for me and my character, but that, our independence not yet being acknowledged by the court of Russia, it was impossible for him to permit himself to make me a visit as minister. I told M. Le Roy it was not my custom to seek such honors, though I was very sensible of them when conferred upon me; that I should not have voluntarily intruded a visit, and that, in this case, I had only done what I was informed the etiquette required of me; but, if it would be attended with any inconvenience to Prince Bariatinski, whom I much esteemed and respected, I thought the remedy was easy; he had only to erase my name out of his book of visits received, and I would burn their card.”
* Essais Historiques et Politiques sur la Révolution de l’Amérique. Par Hilliard d'Auberteuil. Tom. I. p. 350. f Mémoires de MADAME CAMPAN, Tom. I. p. 232.
Preparations for War between France and England.— M. Gérard. — Mr. John Adams. – Secret Advances made to Dr. Franklin for effecting a Reconciliation between England and the United States. – Mr. Hutton. — Mr. Pulteney. — Mr. Hartley.—An Emissary in Disguise. — Franklin's personal Friends in Paris. – Interview with Woltaire. — Franklin appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of France.— Machinations of his Enemies to procure his Recall. — Mr. Arthur Lee.— Mr. Ralph Izard. — Visit of Sir William Jones to Paris. —Franklin instructs the American Cruisers not to seize Captain Cook's Wessel. —Grants Passports to Wessels carrying Supplies to the Moravian Missionaries on the Coast of Labrador. — Paul Jones. – The Marquis de Lafayette. — Paper on the Aurora Borealis. – Sir Humphrey Davy.— Mr. Vaughan's Edition of Franklin's Political and Miscellaneous Writings.
THE French ambassador in London, as instructed by his court, informed the British ministry, that a treaty of amity and commerce had been concluded between France and the United States. This was considered tantamount to a declaration of war, and Lord Stormont was directed to withdraw from Paris. Anticipating this event, the court of Versailles had already begun to prepare for hostilities. A squadron was fitted out at Toulon, under the command of Count d'Estaing, which sailed from that port for America about the middle of April. M. Gérard and Mr. Deane were passengers on board the admiral's ship. The former went out as minister to the United States; the latter had been recalled, in consequence of the agreements he had entered into with French officers for their serving in the American army, by which Congress had been much embarrassed. His successor was Mr. John Adams, who arrived in Paris just at the time of Mr. Deane's departure.
The British ministers were now convinced, that the