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if they are both employed, especially if there is any misunderstanding between their principals. I must, however, write to lord S. proposing something in consequence of his offer of vesting Mr. Oswald with any commission that gentleman and I should think proper.
Tuesday the 18th, I found myself much indisposed with a sudden and violent cold, attended with a feverishness and head-ache, I imagined it to be an effect of the influenza, a disorder now raging in various parts of Europe. This prevented my going to Versailles. .
Thursday 20th, weather excessively hot, and my disorder continues but is lessened, the head-ache having left me. I am however yet able to go to Versailles.
Friday 21st. I received the following note from the marquis de la Fayette.
" Versailles, Thursday morning, June 20, 1782. “ MY DEAR SIR, “ AGREEABLE to your desire, I have waited on count de Vergennes, and said to him what I had in command from your excellency. He intends taking the king's orders this morning, and expects he will be able to propose Mr. Grenville a meeting for to-morrow; when he will have time to explain himself respecting France and her allies, that he may make an official communication both to the king and the allied ministers; what count de Vergennes can make out of this conversation will be communicated by him to your excellency, in case you are able to come. In the other case I shall wait upon you to-morrow evening with every information I can collect.
I have the honor to be,
LA FAYETTE.” In the evening the marquis called on me, and acquainted me, that Mr. Grenville had been with count de Vergennes, but could not inform me what had passed.
Saturday, 22d. Messieurs Oswald and Whiteford came and breakfasted with me. Mr. O. had received two letters
r. Grenville haust had passed. Whiteford came
or instructions: I told him I would write to lord Shelburne respecting him, and call on him on Monday morning to breakfast, and show him what I proposed to write, that it might receive such alterations as he might judge proper.
Sunday 23d. In the afternoon Mr. Jay arrived, to my great satisfaction. I proposed going with him the next morning to Versailles, and presenting him to Vergennes. He informed me that the Spanish minister had been much struck with the news from England, respecting the resolutions of parliament to discontinue the war in America, &c. and that they had since been extremely civil to him, and he understood intended to send instructions to their ambassador at this court to make the long-talked-of treaty with him here.
Monday, 24th. Wrote a note of excuse to Mr. Oswald, promising to wait on him on Wednesday, and went with Mr. Jay to Versailles. M. de Vergennes acquainted us, that he had given to Mr. Grenville the answer to his propositions, who had immediately dispatched it to his court. He read it to us, and I shall endeavor to obtain a copy of it. M. de Vergennes informed us that a frigate was about to be dispatched for America, by which we might write ; and that the courier, who was to carry down the dispatches, would set off on Wednesday morning. We concluded to omit coming to court on Tuesday, in order to prepare our letters. M. de Vergennes appeared to have some doubts about the sincerity of the British court, and the bon foi of Mr. Grenville ; but said the return of Mr. J's. courier might give light. I wrote the following lettersx to Mr. Secretary Livingston and Mr. Morris..
Wednesday 26th. I sent away my letters, and went to, see Mr. Oswald. I shewed him the draft of a letter I had addressed to him, instead of Lord S. respecting the commission or public character he might hereafter be vested with. This draft was founded on Lord Shelburne's memorandum, which Mr. Oswald had shewn to me ; and
x These papers do not appear,
his letter was intended to be communicated by him to Lord Shelburne. Mr. Oswald liked the mode, but rather chose that no mention should be made of his having shewed me Lord S's memorandum, though he thought they were given him for that purpose. I struck that part out, and new-modelled the letter which I sent him next day as follows
« To R. Oswald, Esq.
“ Passy, June 1782. “ SIR, “ THE opinion I have of your candor, probity, good understanding, and good-will to both countries, made me hope that you would have been vested with the character of plea nipotentiary, to treat with those from America. When Mr. Grenville produced his first commission, which was only to treat with France, I did imagine that the other, to treat with us, was reserved for you, and kept back only till the enacting clause should be passed. Mr. Grenville has demanded a second commission, which, as he informs me, has additional words, empowering him to treat with the ministers of any other prince or state whom it may concern --and he seems to understand that those general words comprehended the United States of America. There may be no doubt that they comprehend Spain and Holland ; but as there exist various public acts, by which the government of Britain denies us to be states, and none in which they acknowlege us to be such ; it seems hardly clear, that we should be intended at the time that commission was given, the enabling act not being then passed. So that though I can have no objection to Mr. Grenville, nor a right to make it if I had any; yet, as your long residence in America has given you a knowledge of that country, its people, circumstances, &c. which, added to your experience in business, may be useful to both sides in facilitating and expediting the negociations, I cannot but hope that it is still intended to vest you with the character above-mentioned, respecting the treaty with America, either separately, or in conjunction with Mr. Grenville, as to the wisdom of your
ministers may seem best. Be it as it may, I beg you to accept this line as a testimony of the sincere esteem and respect with which, &c.
Friday, 28th June, M. de Rayneval called on me, and acquainted me that the ministers had received intelligence from England, that besides the orders given to General Carleton, to propose terms of re-union to America, artful emissariesy were sent over to go through the country and stir up the people to call on the Congress to accept those terms, they being similar to those settling with Ireland. That it would therefore be well for Mr. Jay and me to unite and caution Congress against these practices. He said M. de Vergennes wished to know what I had writ. ten respecting the negociation, as it would be well for us to hold pretty near the same language. I told him I did not apprehend the least danger that such emissaries would meet with success, or that the Congress would make any treaty with General Carleton ; that I would, however, write as he desired, and Mr. Jay coming in promised the same. He said the courier would go to-morrow. I accordingly wrote the following letter 2 to Mr. Secretary Livingston.
M. de Rayneval (who is secretary to the council of state) calling again in the evening, I gave him copies of the three preceding letters to peruse and shew to M. de Vergennes, to convince him we had no underhand dealings there. I own I had at the same time another view in it, which was that they should see I had been ordered to demand further aids, and had forborne to make the demands, with my reasons, hoping that if they possibly could help us to some money, they might be induced to do it. I had
y It appears from the journal of Mr. Jay, that the afterwards much celebrated Sir William Jones, was considered as engaged by the British government to proceed to America, for the purposes here expressed; and had proceeded on his way to Paris, where he tarried a short time; but was recalled and the project abandoned.
PHIL. EDITOR. 2 This paper does not appear.
never made any visit to the count d'Aranda, the Spanish ambassador, for reasons before mentioned. M. de Ray. neval told Mr. Jay and me this morning, that it would be well for us to wait on him; and he had authority to assure us we should be well received. We accordingly concluded to wait on his excellency the next morning.
Saturday, June 29th. We went together to the Spanish ambassadors, who received us with great civility and politeness. He spoke with Mr. Jay on the subject of the treaty they were to make together, and mentioned, in ge. neral, as a principle, that the two powers should consider each other's conveniency, and accommodate and compensate each other as well as they could. That an exact compensation might perhaps not be possible ; but should be approached as nearly as the nature of things would admit. Thus, says he, “if there is a certain thing which would be convenient to each of us, but more convenient to one than to the other, it should be given to the one to whom it would be the most convenient, and compensation be made by giving another thing to the other for the same reason.' I suppose he had in view something relating to boundaries or territories, because he added, we will sit down together with maps in our hands, and by that means shall see our way more clearly.' I learnt from him, that the expedition against Providence had failed, but no advice was yet received of its success. At our going out he took pains himself to open the folding doors for us, which is a high compliment here, and told us he would return our visit (rendre son devoir) and then fịx a day with us for dining with him. I dined with Mr. Jay and a company of Americans at his lodgings.
Sunday, July 1. Mr. Grenville called on me.
[End of Dr. Franklin's journal.]