« ZurückWeiter »
that he shall no longer be obliged to draw on me, for his salary. I suppose it will be proper to direct his paying that which shall be allowed to M. Dumas. Be pleased to present my duty to the congress, and be. lieve me to be with great esteem and regard, &c.
Count de Vergennes to Dr. Franklin.
Versailles, April 23, 1782. SIR, THE Baron de Blome has just sent me the annexed memorial, and the only use I can make of it is to communicate it to you, persuaded that you will forward it to congress.
I have the honor to be, &c.
Comfilaint from Denmark against an American firivateer, called the Henry.
THE court of Denmark has been informed that the ship Providence of Christiana in Norway, destined from London for St. Thomas's, a Danish island, with a cargo of divers merchandize, has been stopped in the latitude of Antigua by an American privateer called the Henry, captain Thomas Benson, and has been conducted into a port of New England, under the pretence that the cargo might be English property.
As this act is prejudicial to the credit, security, and liberty of the Danish flag; the underwritten has been charged by order of his court to communicate the same to his excellency the count de Vergennes, requesting that he will be pleased to effect, by his intervention, a prompt and entire restitution of the said vessel and cargo, with damages proportioned to the unjust detention; and that he will be kind enough at the same time, to endeavor to obtain that precise orders be given to the American privateers not to trouble, in any wise the navigation and commerce of Den: mark, but to respect its flag. The court has the greater right to expect this compliance on the part of the Americans, as they continue to enjoy every liberty, and to find every assistance in its American islands, and they will always experience the same kind treatment on the part of Denmark, provided they correspond by proceedings equally amicable.
From the Count de Vergennes, transmitting a memoir from John James Wallier, a Swiss subject.
THE count de Vergennes has the honor to send to Mr. Franklin a memorial, u which has been addressed to him by the king's embassador in Switzerland. He requests that he will inform him of whatever answer he may receive to it.
To Robert R. Livingston, Esq. Secretary for Foreign affairs. - Passy, june 29, 1782. SIR, IN mine of the 25th inst. I omitted mentioning, that, at the repeated earnest instances of Mr. Laurens, who had given such expectations to the ministry of England, when his parole or securities were discharged, as that he could not think himself at liberty to act in public affairs till the parole of lord Cornwallis was absolved by me in exchange. I sent to that general the paper of which the enclosed is a copy; and I see by the English papers that his lordship immediately on the receipt of it has appeared at court, and has taken his seat in the house of peers, which he did not before think warrantable. My authority for doing this appeared questionable to myself, but Mr. Laurens judged it deducible from that respecting general Burgoyne, and, by
u This memorial from John James Vallier, a Swiss subject of the Canton
of Soleure, bailiwic of Fleumenthal, that related to John Vallier, a younger bro
ther, who died at Edenton, North Carolina, in the house of Mr. Francis la
Fond, a Frenchman, from Bourdeaux. Its design appears meerly to ascertain the truth of his death. U
his letters to me, seemed so unhappy till it was done that I ventured it, with a clause, however (as you will see) reserving to congress the approbation or disallowance of it. The enabling act is now said to be passed, but no copy of . it is yet received here, so that as the bill first printed, has suffered alterations in passing through parliament, and we know not what they are, the treaty with us is not yet commenced. Mr. Grenville expects his courier in a few days, with the answer of his court to a paper given him on the part of this. That answer will probably afford us a clearer understanding of the intentions of the British ministry, which for some weeks past have appeared somewhat equivocal and uncertain. It looks as if since their late success in the West Indies, they a little repented of the advances they had made in their declarations respecting the acknowlegement of our independence; and we have pretty good information, that some of the ministry still flatter the king with the hope of recovering his sovereignty over us, on the same terms as are now making with Ireland. However willing we might have been, at the commencement of this contest, to have accepted such conditions, be assured that we can have no safety in them at present. The king hates us most cordially, and his character for falsehood and dissimulation is so thoroughly known, that none even of those who call themselves his friends, have any dependance on him. If he is once admitted to any degree of power or government among us, however limited, it will soon be extended by corruption, artifice, and force, till we are reduced to absolute subjection; and that the more easily, as by receiving him again for our king, we shall draw upon ourselves the contempt of all Europe, who now admire and respect us, and shall never again find a friend to assist us. There are, it is said, great divisions in the ministry on other points as well as this: and those who aim at engrossing the power, flatter the king with this project of re-union; and it is said have much reliance on the operation of private agents sent into America, to dispose minds there in favor of it, and to bring about a separate treaty there with general
Carleton. I have not the least apprehension that congress will give into this scheme, it being inconsistent with our treaties, as well as with our interests; but I think it will be well to watch these emissaries, and secure or banish immediately such as shall be found tampering, and stirring up the people to call for it. The firm united resolution of France, Spain, and Holland, joined with ours, not to treat of a particular but a general peace, notwithstanding the separate tempting offers to each, will in the end give us the eommand of that peace. Every one of the other powers see clearly their interests in this, and persist in that resolution; the congress I am persuaded, are as clear sighted as any of them, and will not depart from the system, which has been attended with so much success, and promises to make America soon both great and happy. I have just received a letter from Mr. Laurens, dated at Lyons, on his journey into the south of France for his health. Mr. Jay will write also by this opportunity.
With great esteem,
form of the discharge of Earl Cornwallis, from his fiarole, * by Dr. Franklin.
THE congress having by a resolution of the 14th of June last, empowered me to offer an exchange of general Burgoyne for the honorable Mr. Laurens, then a prisoner in the Tower of London, and whose liberty they much desire to obtain; which exchange, though proposed by me according to the said resolution, had not been accepted or executed, when advice was received, that general Burgoyne was exchanged in virtue of another agreement. And Mr. Laurens having thereupon proposed another lieutenant general, to wit, lord Cornwallis, as an exchange for himself, promising that if set at liberty, he would do his utmost to obtain a confirmation of that proposal; and Mr. Laurens being soon after discharged, and having since urged me
154 SECRET CORRESPONDENCE Aug.
earnestly in several letters to join with him in absolving the parole of that general, which appears to be a thing just * and equitable in itself; and for the honor therefore of our country, I do hereby, as far as in my power lies, in virtue of the abovementioned resolution, or otherwise, absolve and discharge the parole of lord Cornwallis, given by him in Virginia; setting him at entire liberty, to act in his civil or military capacity, until the pleasure of congress shall be known, to whom is reserved the confirmation or disapprobation of this discharge, in case they have made or shall intend to make a different disposition. Given at Passy, this 9th day of June, 1782. B. FRANKLIN.
Minister plenipotentiary from the United States of
To the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the United States. Passy, August 12, 1782. SIR, I HAVE lately been honored with your several letters, No. 10, March 9th; No. 11, May, 22d; and No. 12, May 3Oth. The paper containing a state of the commerce in North America, and explaining the necessity and utility of convoys for its protection, I have laid before the minister, accompained by a letter pressing that it be taken into immediate consideration; and I hope it may be attended with successe The order of congress for liquidating the accounts between this court and the United States, was executed before it arrived. All the accounts against us for money lent, and stores, arms, ammunition, clothing, &c. furnished by government, were brought in and examined, and a balance received which made the debt amount to the even sum of eighteen millions, exclusive of the Holland loan, for which the king is guarantee. I send a copy of the instrument to Mr. Morris. In reading it you will discover several fresh marks of the king's goodness towards us, amounting to