Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

by Mr. Morris begin to be of service to us here, and
will by degrees obviate the inconvenience, that an
opinion of our disorders and mismanagements had oc-
casioned. I inform him by this conveyance of the
money aids we shall have this year. The sum is not
so great as we could wish; and we must so much the
more exert ourselves. A small increase of industry in
every American, male and female, with a small diminu-
tion of luxury, would produce a sum far superior to
all we can hope to beg or borrow from all our friends
in Europe.
There are now near a thousand of our brave fellows
prisoners in England, many of whom have patiently
endured the hardships of that confinement several years,
resisting every temptation to serve our enemies. Will
not your late great advantages put it in your power to
do something for their relief? The slender supply I
have been able to afford, of a shilling a week to each,
for their greater comfort during the winter, amounts
weekly to fifty pounds sterling. An exchange would
make so many of our countrymen happy, add to our
strength, and diminish our expense. But our priva-
teers, who cruise in Europe, will not be at the trouble
of bringing in their prisoners, and I have none to ex-
change for them.
Generals Cornwallis and Arnold are both arrived in
England. It is reported, that the former, in all his con-
versations, discourages the prosecution of the war in
America; if so, he will of course be out of favor. We
hear much of audiences given to the latter, and of
his being present at councils. -
You desire to know, whether any intercepted letters
of Mr. Deane have been published in Europe? I have
seen but one in the English papers, that to Mr. Wads-
worth, and none in any of the French and Dutch pa-

[ocr errors]

pers, but some imay have been printed that have not fallen in my way. There is no doubt of their being all genuine. His conversation, since his return from America, has, as I have been informed, gone gradually more and more into that style, and at length come to an open vindication of Arnold's conduct; and, within these few days, he has sent me a letter of twenty full pages, recapitulating those letters, and threatening to write and publish an account of the treatment he has received from Congress, &c. He resides at Ghent, is distressed both in mind and circumstances, raves and writes abundance, and I imagine it will end in his going over to join his friend Arnold in England. I had an exceeding good opinion of him when he acted with me, and I believe he was then sincere and hearty in our cause. But he is changed, and his character ruined in his own country and in this, so that I see no other but England to which he can now retire. He says, that we owe him about twelve thousand pounds sterling; and his great complaint is, that we do not settle his accounts and pay him. Mr. Johnston having declined the service, I proposed engaging Mr. Searle to undertake it; but Mr. Deane objected to him, as being his enemy. In my opinion he was, for that reason, even fitter for the service of Mr. Deane; since accounts are of a mathematical nature, and cannot be changed by an enemy, while that enemy's testimony, that he had found them well supported by authentic vouchers, would have weighed more than the same testimony from a friend.” With regard to negotiations for a peace, I see but little probability of their being entered upon seriously this year, unless the English minister has failed in raising his funds, which it is said he has secured; so that we must provide for another campaign, in which I hope God will continue to favor us, and humble our cruel and haughty enemies; a circumstance which, whatever Mr. Deane may say to the contrary, will give pleasure to all Europe.

* See Diplomatic Correspondence, Vol. I. p. 217. VOL. IX. 12

This year opens well, by the reduction of Port Mahon, and the garrison prisoners of war, and we are not without hopes, that Gibraltar may soon follow. A few more signal successes in America will do much towards reducing our enemies to reason. Your expressions of good opinion with regard to me, and wishes of my continuance in this employment, are very obliging. As long as the Congress think I can be useful to our affairs, it is my duty to obey their orders; but I should be happy to see them better executed by another, and myself at liberty, enjoying, before I quit the stage of life, some small degree of leisure and tranquillity. With great esteem, &c.

B. FRANKLIN.

To ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

Address of the House of Commons to the King against continuing the War in America. Passy, 9 March, 1782. SIR, I have just received the honor of yours dated January the 7th. Your communications of the sentiments of Congress, with regard to many points that may come under consideration in a treaty of peace, give me great pleasure, and the more, as they agree so perfectly with my own opinions, and furnish me with additional arguments in their support. I shall be more particular on this subject in my next; for, having notice from Captain Barry last night, that he will not go to Brest, as I expected, to take in some of our goods, but will sail immediately on the return of the post, which sets out to-day, I am obliged to be short. You will see in the enclosed newspapers the full debate in the House of Commons, on the subject of declining the war with North America. By private advices I learn, that the whole opposition, now become the majority, went up in a body with the address to the King, who answered, that he would pay a due regard to the advice of his faithful Commons, and employ his forces with more vigor against the ancient enemies of the nation, or to that purpose; and that orders were immediately given for taking up a great number of large transports, among which are many old India ships, whence it is conjectured, that they intend some great effort in the West Indies, and perhaps mean to carry off their troops and stores from New York and Charleston. I hope, however, that we shall not, in expectation of this, relax in our preparations for the approaching campaign. I will procure the books you write for, and send them as soon as possible. Present my duty to the Congress, and believe me to be, with sincere esteem, &c. B. FRANKLIN.

FROM DAVID HARTLEY TO B. FRANKLIN.

London, 11 March, 1782. MY DEAR FRIEND,

Mr. Digges, who will deliver this to you, informs me, that, having been applied to for the purpose of communicating with Mr. Adams, on the subject of his commission for treating of peace, he is now setting out for Amsterdam, and that he intends afterwards to go to Paris to wait upon you. I understand the occasion to have arisen, by some mention having been made in Parliament, by General Conway, of persons not far off having authority to treat of peace, which was supposed to allude to Mr. Adams, and some friends of his in London. ... The ministry were therefore induced to make some inquiries themselves. This is what I am informed of the matter. When the proposal was made to Mr. Digges, he consulted me, I believe from motives of caution, that he might know what ground he had to stand upon; but not in the least apprized, that I had been, in any degree, in course of corresponding with you on the subject of negotiation. As I had informed the ministry from you, that, other persons besides yourself were invested with powers of treating, I have nothing to say against their consulting the several respective parties. That is their own concern. . . I shall at all times content myself with observing the duties of my own conduct, attending to all circumstances with circumspection, and then leaving the conduct of others to their own reasons... I presume the ministry have only done what others would have done in their situation, to procure the most ample information, that the case will admit... I rest contented to act in my own sphere; and, if my exertions can be applied to any public good, I shall always be ready to take my part with sincerity and zeal. I am, my dear friend, your ever affectionate D. HARTLEy.

« ZurückWeiter »