« ZurückWeiter »
fault of mine, since I never gave you any expectation of paying your balance, and have done all in my power, that the order required of me. Indeed, I cannot find among the papers any order relating to your affairs. I wish to see a copy of that you mention. If I remember right, it was only an order, that you should settle your accounts with the Commissioners here, which is done; not an order that they should pay the balance. I thank you for your kind offer of carrying letters for me, and shall trouble you with a few; one to our friend Mr. Morris; and I heartily wish you a prosperous voyage. I am exceedingly grieved at the discontents you mention among the people of the Alliance. Unforeseen accidents have occasioned delays in procuring for them their prize money; but the exactest justice will be done them as soon as possible. I know not what the manoeuvres are that you mention, which every American will ever consider as an insult offered to the United States. I am sorry to see, in some of our countrymen, a disposition on all occasions to censure and exclaim against the conduct of this court against us, without being well acquainted with facts, or considering the many and substantial benefits we have received, and are continually receiving, from its friendship and good will to us. With much esteem, &c. B. FRANKLIN.
TO CHARLES W. F. DUMAS. Passy, 23 April, 1780. DEAR SIR, I am much pleased with the account you give me, of the disposition with which the proposals from the Empress of Russia have been received, and desire to be informed, from time to time, of the progress of that interesting business. I shall be glad to hear of your reconciliation with the ambassador, because a continuance of your difference will be extremely inconvenient. Permit me to tell you frankly, what I formerly hinted to you, that I apprehend you suffer yourself too easily to be led into personal prejudices by interested people, who would engross all our confidence to themselves. From this source have arisen, I imagine, the charges and suspicions you have insinuated to me against several, who have always declared a friendship for us, in Holland. It is right that you should have an opportunity of giving the carte du pays to Mr. Laurens, when he arrives in Holland. But is, in order to serve your particular friends, you fill his head with these prejudices, you will hurt him and them, and perhaps yourself. There does not appear to me the least probability, in your supposition, that the ambassador is an enemy to America. Here has been with me a gentleman from Holland, who was charged, as he said, with a verbal commission from divers cities, to inquire whether it was true that Amsterdam had, as they heard, made a treaty of commerce with the United States, and to express, in that case, their willingness to enter into a similar treaty. Do you know any thing of this? What is become, or likely to become, of the plan of a treaty, formerly under consideration? By a letter from Middlebourg, to which the enclosed is an answer, a cargo seized and sent to America, as English property, is reclaimed, partly on the supposition that free ships make free goods. They ought to do so between England and Holland, because there is a treaty which stipulates it; but, there being yet no treaty between Holland and America to that purpose, I apprehend that the goods being declared by the captain to be English, a neutral ship will not protect them, the law of nations governing in this case, as it did before the treaty above mentioned. Tell me, if you please, your opinion. I am, &c. B. FRANKLIN.
TO THE JUDGES OF THE ADMIRALTY AT CHERBOURG.
Requesting the Release of a JVeutral Ship.
I have received the procès verbaua, and other papers you did me the honor to send me, agreeable to the eleventh article of the regulation of the 27th of September, 1778. These pieces relate to the taking of the ship Flora, whereof was captain Henry Roodenberg, bound from Rotterdam to Dublin, and arrived at Cherbourg, in France, being taken the 7th day of April, by Captain Dowlin, commander of the American priwateer the Black Prince.
It appears to me, from the abovementioned papers, that the said ship Flora is not a good prize, the same belonging to the subjects of a neutral nation; but that the cargo is really the property of the subjects of the King of England, though attempted to be masked as neutral. I do therefore request, that, after the cargo shall be landed, you would cause the said ship Flora to be immediately restored to her captain, and that you would oblige the captors to pay him his full freight according to his bills of lading, and also to make good all the damages he may have sustained by plunder or otherwise; and I further request, that, as the cargo is perishable, you would cause it to be sold immediately, and retain the produce deposited in your hands, to the end, that if any of the freighters, being subjects of their High Mightinesses the States-Generals, will declare upon oath, that certain parts of the said cargo were bond fide shipped on their own account and risk, and not on the account and risk of any British or Irish subjects, the value of such parts may be restored; or that, if the freighters, or any of them, should think fit to appeal from this judgment to the Congress, the produce so deposited may be disposed of according to their final determination. I have the honor to be, &c. B. FRANKLIN.
FROM LAROCHEFoucAULD D’ENVILLE To B. FRANKLIN.
La Rocheguyon, 22 May, 1780. SIR,
The residence of your grandson at Geneva makes me hope, that the citizens of that town may have some claim to your kind attention. It is with this hope, that I ask it for two young men, whom the love of glory and of liberty draws to America. One of them is named Gallatin; he is nineteen years old, well informed for his age, of an excellent character thus far, with much natural talent. The name of the other is Ser. They have concealed their project from their parents, and therefore we cannot tell where they will land. It is supposed, however, that they are going to Philadelphia, or to the Continental army. One of my friends gives me this information, with the request that I will urge you to favor them with a recommendation. I shall share in his gratitude, and I beg you, Sir, to be assured of the sentiments with which I have the honor to be, &c.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Recommending Baron d’Arendt.
The Baron d’Arendt, colonel in the armies of the United States, having expressed to me a desire of returning to the service in America, though not entirely cured of his wound, which occasioned his voyage to Europe, I endeavoured to dissuade him from the undertaking. But, he having procured a letter to me from M. de Vergennes, of which I send your Excellency a copy herewith, I have been induced to advance him twenty-five louis d’ors towards enabling him to proceed. To justify his long absence, he intends laying before Congress some letters from William Lee, which he thinks will be sufficient for that purpose. With
great respect, &c. B. FRANKLIN.
, FROM SAMUEL COOPER TO B. FRANKLIN.
Service of a French Frigate. — Alliance with France. —Count d'Estaing. Boston, 23 May, 1780. MY DEAR SIR, I received some months past your letter from Passy, dated October 27th, 1779, and lately a copy of it by the Marquis de la Fayette, who arrived here in the Her