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2. You shall, by the earliest opportunity, and on every necessary occasion, assure the King and his Ministers, that neither the Congress, nor any of the States they represent, have at all swerved from their determination to be independent in July, 1776. But as the declaration was made in the face of the most powerful feet and army, which could have been expected to operate against them, and without any the slightest assurance of foreign aid, so, although in a defenceless situation, and harassed by the secret machinations and designs of intestine foes, they have, under the exertions of that force, during those bloody campaigns, persevered in their determination to be free. And that they have been inflexible in this determination, notwithstarding the interruption of their commerce, the great sufferings they have experienced from the want of those things, which it procured, and the unexampled barbarity of their enemies.
3. You are to give the most pointed and positive assur-. ances, that although the Congress are earnestly desirous of peace, as well to arrange their finances and recruit the exhausted state of their country, as to spare the further effusion of blood, yet they will faithfully perform their engagements, and afford every assistance in their power to prosecute the war for the great purposes of the alliance. ::
4. You shall endeavor to obtain the King's consent to expunge from the treaty of commerce the eleventh and twelfth articles, as inconsistent with that equality and reciprocity, which form the best security to perpetuate the whole.
5. You are to exert yourself to procure the consent of the Court of France, that all American seamen, who may
be taken on board of British vessels, may, if they choose, be permitted to enter on board of American vessels. In return for which, you are authorised to stipulate, that all Frenchmen who may be taken on board of British vessels, by vessels belonging to the United States, shall be delivered up to persons appointed for that purpose by His Most Christian Majesty.
6. You are to suggest to the Ministers of His Most Christian Majesty the advantage, that would result from entering on board the ships of these States British seamen, who may be made prisoners, thereby impairing the force of the enemy, and strengthening the hands of his ally.
7. You are also to suggest the fatal consequences, which would follow to the commerce of the common enemy, if, by confining the war to the European and Asiatic seas, the coasts of America could be so far freed from the British fleets, as to furnish a safe asylum to the frigates and privateers of the allied nations and their prizes.
8. You shall constantly inculcate the certainty of ruining the British fisheries on the Banks of Newfoundland, and consequently the British Marine, by reducing Halifax and Quebec; since, by that means they would be exposed to alarm and plunder, and deprived of the necessary supplies formerly drawn from America. The plan proposed to Congress for compassing these objects is herewith transmitted for your more particular instruction.*
9. You are to lay before the Court the deranged state of our finances, together with the causes thereof; and show the necessity of placing them on a more respectable
* For a copy of this Plan, see the Secret Journals, Vol. II. p. 111.
footing, in order to prosecute the war with vigor on the part of America. Observations on that subject are herewith transmitted, * and more particular instructions shall be sent, whenever the necessary steps previous thereto shall have been taken.
10. You are, by every means in your power, to promote a perfect harmony, concord, and good understanding, not only between the allied powers, but also between and among their subjects, that the connexion so favorably begun may be perpetuated.
11. You shall in all things take care not to make any engagements, or stipulations, ou the part of America, without the consent of America previously obtained.
We pray God to further you with bis goodness in the several objects hereby recommended ; and that he will have you in his holy keeping. Done at Philadelphia, the 26th day of October, 1778, By the Congress.
H. LAURENS, President,
COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO B. FRANKLIN.
Philadelphia, October 28th, 1778. Sir, As the Marquis de Lafayette will deliver this, we refer you to his conversation, in addition to the gazettes, for an account of the movements of the enemy. He will doubtless gain some further knowledge of them, than we are yet possessed of before he leaves Boston. We shall speedily have opportunities of forwarding duplicates and triplicates of what he now carries; and upon any material
* See the Secret Journals, Vol. II. p. 118."
event we shall despatch a vessel occasionally. Enclosed with other papers is a resolve of Congress of the 22d, which we have ufficially sent to all the Commissioners.
We must earnestly request, that, as we shall have opportunities of frequently conveying to you gazettes and other species of intelligence, you would strive to communicate, in the speediest and best way, to the gentelmen at the other Courts, what they are alike interested to know, that they may prosecute in the best manner the service of these States abroad. An exact copy of your credentials is among the papers herewith sent.
We wish you success in your new commission, and are, with much regard, &c.
R. H. LEE,
JAMES LOVELL TO B. FRANKLIN.
Philadelphia, December 8th, 1778. Sir, By Mr Cummins, on the 28th of last month, I forwarded several papers of importance, triplicates of which Mr Bromfield, the bearer of this, will deliver. But an accident then took place obliging me to hold back a letter, which I had written to you. Time was wanting in which to write another, the vessel having fallen down to Reedy Island, and the express being mounted. My letter was chiefly on the circumstances of an intended plan of operations, which was enclosed, but detained for alterations to be made in Congress.
Our only important struggle now is with our currency. We shall be able at least to keep it from growing worses
but we want the aid of skilful financiers, and of monied
DR PRICE TO B. FRANKLIN.
London, January 18th, 1779. Doctor Price returns his best thanks to the Honorable Benjamin Franklin, Arthur Lee, and John Adams, for conveying to him the resolution of Congress of the 6th of October last,* by which he is invited to become a member of the United States, and to give his assistance in regulating their finances. It is not possible for him to express the sense he has of the honor, which this resolution does him, and the satisfaction with which he reflects on the favorable opinion of him which has occasioned it. But he knows himself not to be sufficiently qualified for giving such assistance; and he is so connected in this country, and also advancing so fast in the evening of life, that he cannot think of a removal. He requests the favor of the Honorable Commissioners to transmit this reply to Congress, with assuran
* In Congress, October 6th, 1778.—“Resolved, That the Honorable Benjamin Franklin, Arthur Lee, and John Adams, or any of them, be directed forthwith to apply to Dr Price, and inform him that it is the desire of Congress to consider him a citizen of the United States; and to receive his assistance in regulating their finances. That if he shall think it expedient to remove with his family to America, and afford such assistance, a generous provision shall be made for regaiting his services."