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TO CYRUS GRIFFIN.
Passy, 16 March, 1780. SIR, I have just received the letter you have done me the honor to write to me, and shall immediately deliver the packet it recommends to my care. I will take the first opportunity of mentioning to M. Gérard what you hint, relative to our not entertaining strangers so frequently and liberally, as is the custom in France. But he has travelled in Europe, and knows that modes of nations differ. The French are convivial, live much at one another's tables, and are glad to feast travellers. In Italy and Spain, a stranger, however recommended, rarely dines at the house of any gentleman, but lives at his inn. The Americans hold a medium. I have the honor to be, &c.
TO JOHN PAUL JONES.
Passy, 18 March, 1780. DEAR SIR, I received your letter relating to the bullets of the engineer in Denmark, and shall write thither accordingly. I have also just received yours of the 13th. Mr. Ross writes to me, that he finds a difficulty in passing the goods to you from L'Isle Noirmoutier. I do, therefore, now desire you, if practicable, to call at or off that island, in order to take them on board, their speedy and safe arrival in America being of the greatest consequence to the army. I have sent my despatches by Mr. Wharton, who set off yesterday morning. When they arrive, and you have got the cloth
on board, I know of nothing to retard your proceeding directly to such port in North America, as you shall judge most likely to be reached with safety. If in other respects equal, Philadelphia is to be preferred.
I wish the prize money due to your people could be paid, before they go. I have spoken often about it. As to the prizes sent in to Norway, you know they were delivered back to the English by the court of Denmark. I have reclaimed them by a strong memorial, but have yet received no answer; and it is doubted whether we shall recover any thing, unless by letters of marque and reprisal from the Congress, against the subjects of that kingdom, which, perhaps, in the present circumstances, it may not be thought proper soon to grant. The ships of war, that you took, are, I hear, to be valued, the King intending to purchase them; and the muster-roll of the Bon Homme Richard is wanting, in order to regulate the proportions to each ship. These things may take time. I have considered, that the people of the Bon Homme may want some little supplies for the voyage, and, therefore, if these proportions should not be regulated and paid before you sail, and you find it necessary, you may draw on me as far as twenty-four thousand livres to advance to them, for which they are to be accountable ; but do not exceed that sum. I do this to prevent, as much as in me lies, the bad effects of any uneasiness among them; for I suppose that regularly all payments to seamen should be made at home.
A grand convoy, I understand, is to sail from Brest about the end of this month, or beginning of the next. It is of great importance to the United States, that not only the Alliance, but the merchantmen that may sail under her convoy, should safely arrive there. If it will be convenient and practicable for you to join that
convoy, and sail with it till off the coast, I wish it may be done. But I leave it to your discretion and judgment. I have no farther instructions to give, but, committing you to the protection of Providence, I wish you a prosperous voyage, and a happy sight of your friends in America; being with great esteem, &c.
TO JOSEPH REED, PRESIDENT OF PENNSYLVANIA.
Introducing the Chevalier de Chastellux.
Passy, 19 March, 1780. SIR, I beg leave to introduce to your Excellency's acquaintance and civilities the Chevalier de Chastellux ; major-general in the French troops, now about to embark for America, whom I have long known and esteemed highly in his several characters of a soldier, a gentleman, and a man of letters. His excellent book on Public Happiness shows him the friend to mankind, and as such entitles him, wherever he goes, to their respect and good offices. He is particularly a friend to our cause, and I am sure your Excellency will have great pleasure in his conversation.* With great esteem and respect,
der. burned yogast and it
• The Chevalier de Chastellux came to the United States with Count de Rochambeau's army. He travelled much in various parts of the country, and, after he returned to France, published an account of his travels, in a work entitled Voyages dans l'Amérique Septentrionale. It was well received both in Europe and America, and was translated into English and German. After his return to France the title of Marquis was conferred on him.
TO JOSEPH REED. Mr. Pulteney. — Errors corrected. — Arthur Lee.
Passy, 19 March, 1780. SIR, I have just received the pamphlet you did me the honor to send me by M. Gérard, and have read it with pleasure. Not only as the clear state of facts it does you honor, but as it proves the falsehood of a man, who also showed no regard to truth in what he said of me, “that I approved of the propositions he carried over." * The truth is this. His brother, Mr. Pulteney, came here with those propositions; and after stipulating, that, if I did not approve of them, I should not speak of them to any person, he communicated them to me. I told him frankly, on his desiring to know my sentiments, that I did not approve of them, and that I was sure they WOULD NOT be accepted in America. "But," I said, "there are two other Commissioners here; I will, if you please, show your propositions to them, and you will hear their opinions. I will also show them to the ministry here, without whose knowledge and concurrence we can take no step in such affairs." "No," said he, “as you do not approve of them, it can answer no purpose to show them to anybody else; the reasons that weigh with you will also weigh with them; therefore I now pray, that no mention may be made of my having been here, or my business." To this I agreed, and therefore nothing could be more astonishing to me, than to see, in an
• Aluding to a statement made by Governor Johnstone, one of the Bntosh Coromissioners for treating with Congress. Soe REXEMBLANCER, VOL VIL pp. 8 - 18; also above, p. 230.
American newspaper, that direct lie, in a letter from Mr. Johnstone, joined with two other falsehoods relating to the time of the treaty, and to the opinion of Spain !
In proof of the above, I enclose a certificate of a friend of Mr. Pulteney's, the only person present at our interview; and I do it the rather at this time, because I am informed, that another calumniator (the same who formerly in his private letters to particular members accused you, with Messrs. Jay, Duane, Langdon, and Harrison, of betraying the secrets of Congress in a correspondence with the ministry) has made this transaction with Mr. Pulteney an article of accusation against me, as having approved the same propositions. He proposes, I understand, to settle in your government. I caution you to beware of him ; for, in sowing suspicions and jealousies, in creating misunderstandings and quarrels among friends, in malice, subtilty, and indefatigable industry, he has I think no equal*
* The person here alluded to was Arthur Lee. This severe censure was not without just grounds. We have heretofore seen (above, pp. 59, 257) evidences of Mr. Lee's hostility to Dr. Franklin. There are others, which, considering their nature and tendency, justice requires should not be withheld in this work. Some of them are contained in the following extract from the “ North American Review."
“It seems to us, that there is another and much deeper cause of the settled enmity of Mr. Lee to Dr. Franklin, which he never pretended to conceal in conversation, or in writing to his friends, after he had been a few months in Paris. It is well known, that all his interest, and that of his friends in Congress, were used to procure Dr. Franklin's recall from France, with the view of securing Mr. Lee's appointment in his stead. His letters were filled with censures of Franklin's conduct, boldly affirming his unfitness for such a station, and at all events recommending, that, if it was impossible to effect his recall, he should be sent to an interior government, where he could do neither harm nor good. A few paragraphs from Mr. Lee's letters will set this subject in a clearer light. To Samuel Adams he writes, on the 4th of October, 1777; 'I have within this year been at the several courts of Spain, Vienna, and Berlin, and I find this of France is the great wheel, that