Abbildungen der Seite

land. The latter having lost their power of self-government are merely the instruments of administration. The present war is u war between the people of America and the administration of this country. Were the inhabitants of this country restored to their elective rights, and other constitutional franchises, a state of peace would iimediately ensue. ..

Upon this idea alone can America have a proper security for the due observance of that solemn compact, which I should rejoice to see established between' my native country, and her free and independent states.

The supporters of the septennial bill, at the time that ruinous and unconstitutional measure took place, strongly insisted upon the advantage that would ensue from that increased confidence, which foreign nations would thenceforth repose in us, on account of the consequent stability of our public counsels.

Experience has shown this measure to have been founded in policy the most unwise. ' ... .. .

Reason surely dictates, that the confidence, which nations repose in each other's public counsels, must be the greatest, when the agents speak the real sentiments of their constituent bodies."

"It is also to be considered, that the changes of sentiment, in the constituent body of the nation, must unavoidably be gradual, as general interest, always slowly unveiling uself, shall direct. Whereas the agent, who has a permanent estate in his office, will vary his conduct in conformity to the quick revolutions of those numerous temptations, to which views of private interest; and prospects of power bourly expose him. :

For England therefore to be free, and to regain the con- . fidence of nations, her parliaments must be free and inde pendent: and the same measure which gives independency to the English parliament, will, under God's providence, restore to us peace with America and with all the world. • · I write vot thus, induced thereto solely from an attachment to my native soil—the world is my country-and the region which is the seat of freedom has in my eyes charms more attractive than my native soil. I write not thus from an attachment to a favorite measure, but from a full convićtion that such a preliminary as I have mentioned, being inserted in every proposition for peace on the part of America, would lay a lasting foundation for that peace---and would be a perpetual security that the independence, which America so justly claims, and in the establishment of which every nation under Heaven is interested, would never be brought into question to the end of time...' . .

The sum and substance of what I urge is this-That as a more equal representation of the English people, in annual parliaments, is a point essential to the restoration of our freedom ; it is equally essential, as a foundation for a federal union with the American states. "After all the changes in the affairs of men, whether they be revolutions in the fortunes of nations, or of individuals, are in the hands of Providence; and are directed by its resistless power to the general good. That good will finally prevail, whatever the hearts and heads of politicians may devise. The only differences will be, a difference in the time and manner in which the ends of providence are brought to pass; and a difference in the final fate of those who are employed as the means of their accomplishment.

The fell destroyers of their species shall see their meae sures, though planned with Machiavelian policy, and for a

time successful, finally abortive-failing in the attainment of the evil wished for, and productive of the good they hate.

On the contrary, if virtue, honor, zeal for the interests of our country and of human kind form the outline of the character, the agent of heaven will be renowned in his day; and long futurity, through every successive age, shall impart increase of glory. The joys of self-complacency shall gild the evening of his days. They will also be the earnest of an happiness which will know no bounds.

John JEBB... : otes To SAMUEL Huntington, Esg., Capture of Mr. Laurens.-Confined in the Tower of i London, &c.



Passy, Dec. 3, 1780. we “ The news of Mr. Laurens being taken, must have reached you long since. He is confined in the Tower, but of late has some more liberty for taking air and exercise than first was allowed him. Certain papers found with him relating to the drafts of a treaty proposed in Hollaud, have been sent over to the stadtholder, who laid them before their high mightinesses, who communicated them to the government of the city of Amsterdam; which justified the transaction. This has drawn from England, a memorial delivered by Sir Joseph Yorke, demanding that the pensionary and magistrates of that city should be punished ; and declaring that the king will resent a refusal, of the states to comply with this demand. What answer will be given to this insolent memorial we do not yet know, But I hear it has produced much displeasure in Holland, and it is thought to have occasioned a more prompt accession to the armed neutrality which had before met with obstructions from the English party there."




Passy, Feb. 13, 1781. ' I have just received from Congress their letter for the king, which I have the honor of putting herewith into the hands of your excellency.

I am charged at the same time to represent in the strongest terms the unalterable resolution of the United States, to maintain their liberties and independence, and inviolably to adhere to the alliance at every hazard, and in every event; and that the mistortunes of the last campaign, instead of repressing, have redoubled their ardor; that congress are resolved to employ every resource in their power to expel the enemy frons every part of the United States, by the most vigorous and decisive co-operation with the marine and other forces of their illustrious ally: that they have accordingly called on the several states, for a powerful army and ample supplies of provisions; and that the states are disposed effectually to comply with their requisitions.

That if in aid of their own exertions, the court of France can be prevailed on to assume a naval superiority in the American seas, to furnish the arms, ammunition, and clothing specified in the estimate heretofore transmitted, and to assist with the loan mentioned in the letter, they flatter themselves that under the divine blessing, the war must speedily be terminated with glory and advantage to both nations. By several letters to me from intelligent persons it appears, that the great and expensive exertions of the last year, by which a force was assembled capable of facing the enemy, and which accordingly drew towards New York and lay long near that city, were rendered inef.

fectual by the superiority of the enemy at sea, and that their success in Carolina, had been chiefly owing to that superiority, and to the want of the necessary means for furnishing, marching, and paying the expense of troops, sufficient to defend that province. .

The marquis de la Fayette, writes to me that it is impossible to conceive, without seeing it, the distress the troops have suffered for want of clothing, and the following is a paragraph of a letter from General Washington, which I ought not to keep back from your excellency, viz.

“ I doubt not you are so fully informed by congress of our political and military state, that it would be superfluous to trouble you with any thing relative to either. If I were to speak on topics of the kind, it would be to show, that our present situation makes one of two things essential to us--a peace-or the most vigorous aid of our allies, particularly in the article of money; of their disposition to serve us we cannot doubt : their generosity will do every thing their means will permit."

They had in America great expectations, I know not on what foundation, that a considerable supply of money would be obtained from Spain, but that expectation has failed : and the force of that nation in those seas has been employed to reduce small forts in Florida, without rendering any direct assistance to the United States; and indeed the long delay of that court in acceding to the treaty of commerce, begins to have the appearance of its not inclining to have any connection with us; so that for effectual friendship, and for the aid so necessary in the present conjuncture, we can rely on France alone, and in the continuance of the king's goodness towards us. . I am grown, old, I feel myself much enfeebled by my Vol. I.

9 G

« ZurückWeiter »