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if any man or body of men presume to make any separate or partial convention or agreement with the British commissioners, they ought to be considered and treated as open and avowed egemies of the United States. They declared, “ That these United States cannot with propriety hold any conference or treaty with : any commissioners on the part of Great-Britain unless they shall, as a preliminary thereto either withdraw their fleets and armies, or else in positive and express terms acknowledge the independence of the said states.” They. then, from an apprehension that it is the design of the enemy to lull then into a fatal security, call upon the states to use the most strenuous exertions to have their respective quotas of continental troops in the field as soon as possible, and to hold all their militia in readiness to aęt as occasion may require. The congress at this period had no knowledge of a treaty's having been entered into by France wish
their commissioners; but they conjectured that there would be a · rupture in Europe between the French and British nations; and to avail themselves of the occasion, and detach the tories from the enemy, they the next day recommended to the states the offering of pardon, under the restrictions that might be thought : expedient, to such of their inhabitants or subjects who had len
ed war against them, or had adhered to the enemy, as should surrender themselves to any civil or military officer of any of the states, or return to the state they belonged to before the 10th
of next June. · The arrival of the conciliatory bills at New-York • and Philadelphia, excited equal astonishment and indignation in
the royal forces. These thought their personal honor wounded in the recantation now made of all that high language and treatment, which they had been accustomed to hold or to offer to the Americans. The disappointment was the greater, as the bills were the substitute to a reinforcement of twenty thousand men, which they had expected. But the feelings of the numerous body of American refugees is not to be described. · A committee of congress was appointed on the 1st of May, - to inquire into the laws and customs of nations respecting neutrality and to report whether the conduct of the king of Portu
gal in forbidding the vessels of the United States to enter lis * ports and ordering those already there to depart at a short day,
is not a breach of the laws of neutrality, and will not justify acts of hostility against the subjects of the said kingdom.” On the third, during the Sunday's adjournment, Mr. Simeon Deane, brother to Silas Deane, esq. arrived express from France, with sundry important dispatches, whereupon congress was convened, and the dispatches opened and read, among which, to their inconceivable joy, were a treaty of commerce and a treaty of alliance,
concluded between his most Christian niajesty the king of France and the United States of America. The treaties were duly weighed and considered separately the next day, and upon each it was unanimosly resolved, “ That the same be and is hereby ratified.” There was an act separate and secret in the following terms--“The most Christian king declares, in consequence of the intimate union which subsists between him and the king of Spain, that in concluding with the United States of America this treaty of amity and commerce, and that of eventual and de- fensive alliance, his majesty hath intended and intends to reserve : expressly, and he reserves by this present separate and secret act to his said Catholic majesty, the power of acceding to the said treaties, and to participate in their stipulations at such time as he
shall judge proper.-It being well understood nevertheless, that - if any of the stipulations of the said treaties are not agreeable to - the king of Spain, his Catholic majesty inay propose other conditions analagous, to the principle aim of the alliance, and conformable to the l'ules of equality, reciprocity and friendship.”
This act being dúly weighed, it was resolved unanimously, " That * the same be and is hereby ratified.” The next resolution was, *. That this congress entertain the highest sense of the magua
nimity and wisdom of his most Christian majesty, so strongly exsemplified in the treaty of amnity and commerce, and the treaty of 'alliance; and the commisioners representing these states, at the
çourt of France, are directed to present the grateful acknowledge. · Ments of this congress to his most Christian majesty, for his truly magnanimous conduct respecting these states, in the said genemous and disinterested treaties, and to assure his majesty, on the * part of this congress, it is sincerely wished that the friendship so happily commenced between France and these United States may be perpetual.” On the 5th they resolved, “That the commissioners be instructed to inform the court of France, that although congress have readily ratified the treaties and the act see parate and secret; yet from a sincere desire of rendering the friendship and alliance so happily begun, permament and perpeta ual, and being apprehensive that differences may arise from the
ith and 12th articles in the treaty of amity and commerce,congress are desirous that the said articles may be utterly expunged."* Mr. Lee was against admitting these articles, and assigned his reasons to Messrs. Franklin and Deane on the 30th of January ; who on the first of February wrote to Mr. Gerard, that they cona curred in desiring that the same might be omitted, notwithstanda ing which they were retained. You will not expect me to delim neate the inexpressible satisfaction that the report of these treaties spread through the United States, The people were in raptures, VOL. II.
The several brigades of the army, by gen. Washington's orders, assembled in the morning of the 6th, when their chaplains com. municated the intelligence, offered up a thanksgiving, and delivered a discourse suit ble to the occasion. They were then formed into two lines, when thirteen cannon were discharged; at the firing of the last, a running fire of infantry began on the right and continued through the whole front line ; 'it was then taken up on the left of the second line, and continued to the right. A signal was given and the whole ariny húzzaed, * Long live the king of France." The artillery fired as before, which was succeeded by a second general discharge of all the musketry in a running fire, and by a “ Long live the friendly European powers." The military ceremony was reitered, and closed with a huzza “ for the American states." The remainder of the day passed away in universal joy and gladness. Every American will soon have, froin the publication of the treaties, an opportunity of learning their contents ; mean while congress have recominended to all, “to consider the subjects of his most Christian majesty as their brethren and allies, and to behave toward them with the friendship and attention due to the subjects of a great prince, who with the highest magnanimity and wisdom hath treated with these United States on terms of perfect equality and mutual advantage, thereby rendering himself the protector of the rights of mankind." ** The congress, after receiving the treaties, had a stronger feeling of their own importance than before, and resolved, " That the commissioners appointed' for the courts of Spain, Tuscany, Vienna and Berlin, should live in such stile and manner at their respective courts as they may find suitable and necessary to support the dignity of their public character.” They elected Ralph Izard, esq. cominissioner for the court of Tuscany; and Wil. liam Lee, esq. for the courts of Berlin and Vienna. On the 8th of May they agreed to a draught of “ An address to the inhabitants of the United States of America.” In it they-recapitulate
in a masterly and affecting manner, the occurrences and state of · the three preceding years. Their language is calculated to seize
and lead the passion's captive át pieasure. When they come to the French treaties they say You have still to expect ore se. vere conflict. Your foreign alliances, though they secure your independence, cannot secure your country from desolation, your habitations from plunder, your wives from insult or violation, nor your children from butchery. Foiled in the principle design, you must expect to feel the rage of disappointed anibition. Arise then ! to your tents ! and gird you for battle. It is time to tura the headlong current of vengeance upon the head of the destroy
et. They have filled up the measure of their abominations, and like fruit, must soon drop from the tree. Although much is done, yet much remains to do. Expect not peace while any corner of America is in possession of your foes. You must drive thein away from this land of promise, a land flowing indeed with milk and honey. Your brethren, at the extremities of the continent, already implore your friendship, and protection. It is your duty to grant their request. · They hunger and thirst after liberty. Be it yours to dispense to them the heavenly gift. And what is there now to prevent it?". They afterward hold up to their view, the sweets of a free commerce with every part of the earth, soon to reimburse them for all the losses they have sustained; the full tide of wealth to flow in upon their shores, free from the arbitrary impositions of those whose interest and whose declared policy it is to check their growth, and the nourishing and fostering of their interests by government, whose power, will be derived from their grant; and that will therefore be obliged; by the influence of cogent necessity, to exert it in their favor: They close with It is to obtain these things that we call for your strenuous, unremitted exertions. Yet do not believe that you have been, or can be saved merely by your own strength. Nellt is by the assistance of Heaven;' and this you must assi. duously cultivate by acts which Heaven approves. Thus shall the power and happiness of these sovereign, free and independ. ent states, founded on the virtue of their citizens, increase, extend and endure, until the Almighty shall blot out all the empires of the earth.” That this animated, but in some instances, extra1 vagant address, might have its full operation, and to the utmost
extent, they reconimended to ministers of the gospel of all det nominations, the reading, or causing of it to be read immediately after divine service, to the inhabitants of the United States, in their respective churches and chapels, and other places of relis gious worship. A week after, they resumed the subject of mak. ing an allowance to officers after the war, and then resolved una. nimously, “That all military officers comunişsioned by congress; who now are ar hereafter may be in the service of the United
States, and shall continue therein during the war, and not hold - any office of profit under these states, or any of them, shall, After the conclusion of the war, be entitled to receive annually, for the term of seven years, if they live so long, one half of the present pay of such officers; provided that no general ofhcer of the cavalry, artillery or infantry, shall be entitled to re. sceive more than the one half part of the pay of a colonel of sucli 1 corps; and provided that this resolution shall not extend to any y.... .at tendent : vt .. . vwofficer, .' officer, unless he shall have taken an oath of allegiance to, and shall actually reside within some one of the United States." ;
All later proceedings of congress must be deferred till another opportunity.
On Apríl the twenty-fifth, the Massachusetts assembly sent å letter to congress, giving the reasons why they refrained from passing the regulating act, viz. their apprehensions that it could noo be carried into execution, and that it would be attended with the most fatal consequences. They have passed an act for prescribing and establishing an oath of fidelity and allegiance, i Persons refusing it, are to be sent off by order of council, within forty days after such refusal, to some port in the dominions of the kingdom of Great-Britain.
The declaration of independence made it necessary for the South Carolinians to new model their temporal form of govern ment. The inhabitants, instead of choosing delegates to meet in convention, for that business, entrusted their representativess" with it; and the elections in every part of the state, were con ducted on the idea that the members chosen, over and abovethe ordinary powers of legislators, should have that of framing a new constitution. Thus authorised, in January, 1777, they en-?: tered upon the business. They did not proceed to give a final's sanction to their deliberations; but the model they had agreed to: was printed in the form of a bill, and submitted to the examinawy tion of the people at large for the space of a year. Such was the s prevailing approbation, that when it came before the legislature, the general assembly and legislative council proceeded in March? 1778, to give it a final sanction in the form of a law, and presented it to president Rutledge for his assent. He refused pass . ing it, and gave his reasons in a speech addressed to both housesi..
He urged the oath he had taken to preside according to the cons. . stitution agreed to by the representatives in 1776; that the bill ? offered to him annihilated one branch of the legislature, and transferred the right of electing another branch from the general, assembly of the people, and that nothing appeared clearer to him ? than that they had not lawful power to do so. He observed that the good of the people being the end of government, that is the : best form under which they are happiest; and that they are the fittest judges of what will be most productive of their happiness. He surmised that “ The people preferred a compound or mix ed government to a simple democracy, or one verging toward.it perhaps because, however unexceptionable democratic power may appear at the first view, its effects have been found arbitrary, severe and destructive." “ Certain it is,” said he, “that systems which, in theory have been much admired, on trial have not