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we have no doubt but that, as soon as their affairs are a little settled, which, by so severe a war carried on in the bowels of their country by one of the most powerful nations of Europe, have necessarily been much deranged, they will readily manifest equally good dispositions, and take all the proper steps to cultivate and secure the friendship of a monarch, whose character I know they have long esteemed and respected. I am, Sir, &c.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
American Commissioners. — Signing of the Definitive
Treaties. - British Court. — American Constitutions published in the French Language. — Treaties with European Powers. — Paul Jones.
Passy, 25 December, 1783. SIR, Not having heard of the appointment of a new secretary for foreign affairs, I take the liberty of addressing this despatch directly to your Excellency. I received by Captain Barney a letter from the late President, directed to the Commissioners, dated November the 1st, with a set of instructions, dated the 29th of October, a resolution of the same date respecting Hamburg, and another of the 1st of November, relating to Captain Paul Jones, all which will be duly regarded.
Captain Jones, in passing through England, communicated these papers to Mr. Adams, then at London. Mr. Adams, disappointed in not finding among them the commission we had been made to expect, empow. ering us to make a treaty of commerce with England, wrote to me, that he imagined it might be contained in a packet that was directed to me, and requested to
be immediately informed; adding, that, in case no such commission was come, he should depart directly for Holland; so I suppose he is now there. Mr. Laurens is gone to England, with an intention of embarking soon for America. Mr. Jay is at Bath, but expected here daily. The English ministers, the Duke of Manchester and Mr. Hartley, are both at present in Parliament. As soon as either of them returns, we shall endeavour to obtain an additional article to the treaty, explaining that mentioned in the instructions.
The affairs of Ireland are still unsettled. The Parliament and volunteers are at variance; the latter are uneasy, that, in the late negotiations for a treaty of commerce between England and America, the British ministers had made no mention of Ireland, and they seem to desire a separate treaty of commerce between America and that kingdom.
It was certainly disagreeable to the English ministers, that all their treaties for peace were carried on under the eye of the French court. This began to appear towards the conclusion, when Mr. Hartley refused going to Versailles, to sign there with the other powers our definitive treaty, and insisted on its being done at Paris, which we in good humor complied with, but at an earlier hour, that we might have time to acquaint Count de Vergennes before he was to sign with the Duke of Manchester.
The Dutch definitive treaty was not then ready, and the British court now insists on finishing it either at London or the Hague. If, therefore, the commission to us, which has been so long delayed, is still intended, perhaps it will be well to instruct us to treat either here or at London, as we may find most convenient.
The treaty may be conducted, even there, in concert and in the confidence of communication with the
There has been with me lately M. Pierre du Calvet, a merchant of Montreal, who, when our army was in Canada, furnished our generals and officers with many things they wanted, taking their receipts and promissory notes for payment; and, when the English repossessed the country, he was imprisoned, and his estate seized, on account of the services he had rendered us. He has shown me the originals of his papers, which I think are genuine. He produced also a quan tity of Congress paper, which he says he received in payment for some of the supplies, and which appeared to me of our first emissions, and yet all fresh and clean, as having passed through no other hands. When he was discharged from prison, he could not obtain permission to go into the United States to claim the debt, but was allowed to go to England ; and from thence he came hither to solicit payment from me. Having no authority to meddle with such debts, and the sum being considerable, I refused, and advised him to take passage for America, and make his application to Congress. He said he was grown old, much broken and weakened by near three years' imprisonment, and that the voyage from Canada to London had like to have been too much for him, he being sick all the way; so that he could not think of another, though distressed for want of his money. He appears an honest man, and his case a hard one. I have therefore undertaken to forward his papers, and I beg leave to recommend them to the speedy consideration of Congress, to whom I request you would be pleased to present my dutiful respects, and assure them of my most faithful services. With great esteem and regard, &c.
FROM GIACOMO F. CROCCO TO B. FRANKLIN.
Cadiz, 25 November, 1783. SIR, On the 15th of July last, I had the honor to acquaint your Excellency of my arrival in Europe, and that I was appointed by his Majesty, the Emperor of MorocCo, bearer of the answer to the Congress, Sovereign of the Thirteen United States of North America, and that, according to my instructions, I was to meet at Paris the ambassador, that would be appointed by the Congress, to sign at the Court of Morocco the treaty of peace and commerce, agreeably to the proposals made to his Imperial Majesty, by Robert Montgomery, in his letter dated at Alicant, the 4th of January, 1783. Since I have been at the court of Madrid, where I had some commissions from the Emperor, and to see the execution of them, I came to this place, from whence I intend to embark in three or four months for Barbary, unless in the mean time I should receive an answer from your Excellency, with orders, that Mr. Richard Harrison should give me for my travelling charges fifteen hundred hard dollars, although the courts of Europe are accustomed to allow the ministers of my master at the rate of ten pounds sterling per day, while they are in Europe, to defray their expenses, besides presents for their good offices in those important affairs.
His Imperial Majesty was graciously pleased at my solicitation to agree, at the request of Congress, to grant them a treaty of peace (which other powers in Europe could not obtain but after many years), and my return, without the full execution of his commands, I apprehend may for ever indispose him against the United Provinces. I remain most truly, Sir, &c.
GIACOMO F. CROCCO.
FROM SIR JOSEPH BANKS TO B. FRANKLIN.
Ascent of a Balloon.
Soho Square, 28 November, 1783. DEAR SIR, I am in truth much indebted to you for the favor you have done me in transmitting the copy of the proces verbal on Montgolfier's experiment, which I have this moment received. The experiment becomes now interesting in no small degree. I laughed when balloons, of scarce more importance than soap bubbles, occupied the attention of France; but when men can with safety pass and do pass more than five miles in the first experiment, I begin to fancy that I espy the hand of the master in the education of the infant of knowledge, which so speedily attains such a degree of maturity, and do not scruple to guess that my old friend, who used to assist me when I was younger, has had some share in the success of this enterprise.
On Tuesday last a miserable taffeta balloon was let loose here under the direction of a Mr. Zambeccari, an Italian nobleman, as I hear. It was ten feet in diameter, and filled with inflammable air made from the filings of iron and vitriolic acid. The silk was oiled, the seams covered with tar, and the outside gilt. It had been shown for several days floating about in a public room, at a shilling for the sight, and half a crown for the admission when it should be let loose.
The day was fine; the wind a gentle breeze from the north. At a few minutes after one o'clock it set out, and before night fell at a small village near Petworth in Sussex, having run over about forty-eight miles of country. The countryman, who first saw it, observed it in its descent. It appeared at first small, and,