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Dr. Franklin, as he did to Lord North, that an auspicious beginning of a negotiation is dimidium facti. " Mr. Hartley's ideas of the probable course of the negotiation would be to the following effect; 1. Five commissioners (or any three of them) to be appointed on the part of his Britannic Majesty to treat, consult, and agree upon the final settlement and pacification of the present troubles, upon safe, honorable, and permanent terms, subject to ratification by Parliament. 2. That any one of the aforesaid commissioners may be empowered to agree, as a preliminary, to a suspension of hostilities by sea and land, for a certain term of five or seven years. 3. That any one of the aforesaid commissioners be empowered to agree, as a second preliminary, to suspend the operation and effect of any and all acts of Parliament respecting America, for a certain term of five or seven years. 4. That it is expected, as a third preliminary, that America should be released, free and unengaged, from any treaties with foreign powers, which may tend to embarrass or defeat the present proposed negotiation. 5. That a general treaty for negotiation shall be set on foot as soon as may be, after the agreement of the foregoing preliminaries.
JW. B. A doubt seeming to arise from Lord North, relative to the probability of any explanatory communication on the part of Dr. Franklin, Mr. Hartley expressed, he thought it possible, that, as a known friend to peace, he might be considered by Dr. Franklin as a depot of any communications, which may serve from time to time to facilitate the terms of peace; which therefore prevents this communication from being con
sidered as any direct overture from Lord North to Dr. Franklin, or from Dr. Franklin to Lord North; but as it is merely a mediatorial proposition of Mr. Hartley, as a private person, for the purpose of bringing the parties to a parley.
TO JOHN PAUL JONES.
Plan of an Expedition in which the JMarquis de Lafayette was to join. Passy, 27 April, 1779. DEAR SIR, I have, at the request of M. de Sartine, postponed the sending of the Alliance to America, and have ordered her to proceed immediately from Nantes to L'Orient, where she is to be furnished with her complement of men, to join your little squadron, and act under your command. The Marquis de Lafayette will be with you soon. It has been observed, that joint expeditions of land and sea forces often miscarry, through jealousies and misunderstandings between the officers of the different corps. This must happen, where there are little minds, actuated more by personal views of profit or honor to themselves, than by the warm and sincere desire of good to their country. Knowing you both, as I do, and your just manner of thinking on these occasions, I am confident nothing of the kind can happen between you, and that it is unnecessary for me to recommend to either of you that condescension, mutual good will, and harmony, which contribute so much to success in such undertakings. I look upon this expedition as an introduction only to greater trusts, and more extensive commands, and WOL. VIII. 22
as a kind of trial of both your abilities, and of your fitness in temper and disposition for acting in concert with others. I flatter myself, therefore, that nothing will happen that may give impressions to the disadvantage of either of you, when greater affairs shall come under consideration. As this is understood to be an American expedition, under the Congress’ commission and colors, the Marquis, who is a majorgeneral in that service, has of course the step in point of rank, and he must have command of the land forces, which are committed by the King to his care; but the command of the ships will be entirely in you; in which I am persuaded, that, whatever authority his rank might in strictness give him, he will not have the least desire to interfere with you. There is honor enough to be got for both of you, if the expedition is conducted with a prudent unanimity. The circumstance is indeed a little unusual; for there is not only a junction of land and sea forces, but there is also a junction of Frenchmen and Americans, which increases the difficulty of maintaining a good understanding. A cool, prudent conduct in the chiefs is, therefore, the more necessary; and I trust neither of you will in that respect be deficient.” With my best wishes for your success, health, and honor, I remain, &c. B. FRANKLIN.
* The expedition here referred to, which was intended to act on the coast of England, was at length changed by the French government. The following letter on the occasion was written by the Mar quis de Lafayette to Paul Jones.
“Paris, 22 May, 1779. “DEAR SIR,
“I dare say you will be very sorry to hear, that the King's dispositions concerning our plan have been quite altered, and that, instead of meeting you, I am now going to take the command of the King's regiment at Saintes. What will be further determined about your squadron is yet uncertain, and the ministers are to consult about it with
To John Paul Jones, Commander of the American Squadron in the Service of the United States, now in the Port of L'Orient.
1st. His Majesty, having been pleased to grant some troops for a particular expedition proposed to annoy our common enemy, in which the sea-force under your command might have an opportunity of distinguishing itself, you are to receive on board the ships of war, and the other vessels destined for that purpose, the troops that shall present themselves to you, afford them such accommodation as may be most proper for preserving their health, and convey them to such port or place as their commander shall desire to land them at.
2dly. When the troops are landed you are to aid, by all means in your power, their operations, as they will be instructed in like manner to aid and support those you may make with your ships, that so by this concurrence and union of your different forces, all that such a compounded strength is capable of may be effected.
3dly. You are during the expedition never to depart from the troops, so as not to be able to protect them in case of a repulse; and at all events you are to endeavour to effect their complete reëmbarkation on board the ships and transports under your command, when the expedition shall be ended.
Dr. Franklin. Political and military reasons have occasioned the alteration of things, and I am only to tell you, my good friend, how sorry I feel, not to be a witness of your success, abilities, and glory. “I hope every thing will be arranged for the best, and the more calculated for the common advantage. Be convinced, Sir, that nothing could gratify me more, than the pleasure of having again something of the kind to undertake with such an officer as Captain Jones. That occasion I shall ever wish for, and shall, I hope, find, before the end of the war. With the sincerest affection and esteem, I am, &c. “LAFAYETTE.”
4thly. You are to bring to France all the English seamen you may happen to take prisoners, in order to complete the good work you have already made such progress in, of delivering by an exchange the rest of our countrymen now languishing in the gaols of Great Britain. 5thly. As many of your officers and people have lately escaped from English prisons, either in Europe or America, you are to be particularly attentive to their conduct towards the prisoners, which the fortune of war may throw into your hands; lest resentment of the more than barbarous usage by the English in many places towards the Americans should occasion a retaliation, and an imitation of what ought rather to be detested and avoided, for the sake of humanity and for the honor of our country. 6thly. In the same view, although the English have burnt, wantonly, many defenceless towns in America, you are not to follow this example, unless where a reasonable ransom is refused; in which case your own generous feelings, as well as this instruction, will induce you to give timely notice of your intention, that sick and ancient persons, women, and children, may be first removed. Done at Passy, this 28th day of April, 1779. B. FRANKLIN, JMinister Plenipotentiary from the United States to the Court of France.
TO ARTHUR LEE. Passy, 3 May, 1779. SIR, I did write to the gentleman at Nantes concerned in fitting out the vessels for America, offering them