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Description of the sword given by congress to the Marquis
de la Fayette. On one side of the pommel are the marquis's arms, and on the other the device of a new moon, reflecting rays
a country partly covered with wood, and partly cultivated. Symbol of the republic of the United States, with this motto, Crescam ut Prossim. By this it was intended modestly to express,1. Her present mediocrity of strength, as the light of the moon,
though considerable, is weaker than that of the sun. i'. 2. Her expectation of becoming more powerful as she increases; and
thereby rendering herself more useful to mankind. 3. The gratitude with which she remembers that the light she
spreads, is principally owing to the kind aids of a greater lumi
nary' in another hemisphere. On the bow is the legend, from the American congress to the Marquis
de la Fayette, 1779. The handle is ornamented with two medallions. In one, America represented by a woman presenting a branch of laurel to a Frenchman; in the other, a Frenchman is treading on a lion. : On the guard are separately represented, in fine relievo- e'
The affair at Gloucester.
And the retreat at Barren Hill.
Cost two hundred Louis d'ors.
THE MARQuis's RÉPLY Sir,
Havre, August 29, 1779. Whatever expectations might have been raised from the sense of past favors, the goodness of the United States for me has ever been such, that on every occasion it
" The king of France, whose symbol is the sun.'
far surpasses any idea I could have conceived. A new proof of that flattering truth, I find in the noble present which congress have been pleased to honor me with, and which is offered in such a manner by your excellency as will exceed any thing but the feelings of my unbounded gratitude. Some of the devices I cannot help finding too honorable a reward for those slight services, which in concert with my fellowsoldiers, and under the godlike American hero's orders, I had the good luck to render. The sight of these actions, where I was a witness of American bravery and patriotic spirit, I shall ever enjoy with that pleasure which becomes a heart glowing with love for the nation, and the most ardent zeal for their glory and happiness.
Assurances of gratitude, which I beg leave to present to your excellency, are much inadequate to my feelings, and nothing but those sentiments may properly acknowledge your kindness towards me. The polite manner in which Mr. Temple Franklin was pleased to deliver that inestimable sword, lays me under great obligations to him, and demands my particular thanks. . With the most perfect respect, I have the honor to be, &c.
To John JAY, Esq. PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Various matter. [EXTRACT.]
Passy, Oct. 4, 1779. “We had reason to expect some great events from the action of the fleets this summer in the channel, but they are all now in port without having effected any thing. The junction was late, and the length of time the Brest squadron was at sea, (equal to an East India voyage,) partly on the hot Spanish coast, occasioned a sickness among the people that made their return necessary: they had chased
the English fleet, which refused the combat. The sick men are recovering fast since they were landed; and the proposed descent on England does not yet seem to be quite given up, as the troops are not withdrawn from the ports. Holland has not yet granted the succors required by the English, por even given an answer to the requisition presented by Sir Joseph Yorke. The aids will be refused ; and as the refusal must be disagreeable, it is postponed from time to time. The expectations of assistance from Russia and Prussia seem also to have failed the English, and they are as much at a loss to find effective friends in Europe as they have been in America. Portugal seems to have a better dispo sition towards us than heretofore.'About thirty of our people taken, and set ashore on one of her islands by the English, were maintained comfortably by the governor during their stay there, furnished with every necessary, and sent to Lisbon; where, on inquiry to whom payment was to be made for the expense they had, occasioned, they were told that no reimbursement was expected; that it was the queen's bounty, who had a pleasure in shewing hospitality to strangers in distress. I have been presented thanks by the Portuguese ambassador here in behalf of the congress : and I am given to understand that probably, in a little time, the ports of that nation will be as open to us as those of Spain. What relates to Spain I suppose Mr. Lee informs you of.
The sword ordered by. congress for the Marquis de la Fayette, being at length finished, I sent it down to him at Havre, where he was with the troops intended for the invasion. I wrote a letter with it, and received an answer, copies of both which I enclose, together with a description of the sword, and drawings of the work upon it, which was executed by the best artists in Paris, and cost altogether Iwo hundred guineas. The present bas given him great
pleasure, and some of the circumstances have been agreeable to the nation.
Our cartel goes on : a second cargo of American prisoners, one hundred and nineteen in number, being arrived and exchanged. Our privateers have dismissed a great number at sea, taking their written paroles, to be given up in 'exchange for so many of our people in their gaols.' This is not yet quite agreed to on the other side, but some expectations are given me that it may take place. Certainly humanity would find its account in the practice of exchanging upon parole, as all the horrors of imprisonment, with the loss of time and health, might be prevented by it.
We continue to insult the coasts of these lords of the ocean with our little cruisers. A sinall cutter, which was fitted out as a privateer at Dunkirk, called the Black Prince, has taken, ransomed, burnt, and destroyed above thirty sail of their vessels within these three months. The owners are about to give her a consort, called the Black Princess, for whom they ask a commission. The prisoners brought in serve to exchange our countrymen, which makes me more willing to encourage such armaments, though they occasion a good deal of trouble.
Captain, now commodore, Jones, put to sea this summer with a little squadron consisting of a ship of forty guns, the Alliance, another frigate of twenty, with some armed cutters, all under American colors, with congress commissions. He has sent in several prizes ; has greatly alarmed the coast of Ireland, and Scotland ; and we just now hear, that going north about, he fell in with a number of ships from the Baltic, convoyed by a fifty gun ship and a twenty-four gun frigate, both of wbich he took after an obstinate engagement, and forced several of the others ashore. . This news is believed, but we wait the confirmation and the particulars.
. Since writing the above, I have received the following farther particulars of the action between commodore Jones and the English men of war. The forty-four gun 'ship is new, having been but six months off the stocks; she is called the Serapis ; the other, of twenty guns, is the Countess of Scarborough. He had before taken a number of valuable prizes, particularly a rich ship bound to Quebec, which we suppose he may have sent to America. The English, from mistaken intelligence, imagining he had a body of troops with him to make descents, have had all their northern coasts alarmed, and have been put to very expensive movements of troops, &c.
To Dr. COOPER.
Passy, Oct. 27, 1779. It is a long time since I have had the pleasure. of hearing from you. : The intelligence you were used to favor me with, was often useful to our affairs. I hope I, have not lost your friendship together with your correspondence. Our excellent Mr. Winthorp, I see, is gone. He was one of those old friends for the sake of whose society I wished to return and spend the small remnant of my days in New England. A few more such deaths will make me a stranger in my own country. The loss of friends is the tax a man pays for living long himself. I find it a heavy
You will see by the newspapers that we have given some disturbance to the British coasts this year, One little privateer out of Dunkirk, the Black Prince, with a congress commission, and a few Americans mixed with Irish and English smugglers, went round their islands, and took thirty