Abbildungen der Seite

decide whether his vessel was or was not a prize ; but I left him and his officers the command, and having given him the necessary assistance, advised him to steer for an American port, to which he freely consented. The man I put on board was not, as he pretends a prizemaster ; nor had he any orders from me for that purpose; what would have been the consequence had she arrived in one of our ports, I cannot say. Possibly she might have been acquitted! and in that case the owners would have had reason to thank me ; as the cargo would have been at the best market. I can justify my conduct; I did my duty both to the republic and the United States ; I hope the vessel has been restored ; but I am guiltless, and congress know it. I am, dear Sir, &c.


Dr. Franklin to M. Dumas.

Passy, December 19, 1781. DEAR SIR, I DULY received yours of the 11th per young Mr. de Neufville, enclosing the pamphlets, of which I gave one the next day to Mr. Boudoin. It was so long since we have heard from you, that we feared you were sick.

I enclose sundry American newspapers, out of which perhaps some thing may be drawn for your printers. There are the orders of general Greene after the battle of Eutaw Springs, by which it appears that the militia behaved to general satisfaction. There are also the proceedings relating to colonel Isaac Haynes, which it may be well to publish, as probably we may soon hear that general Greene, according to his promise in his proclamation, has hanged some of the British officers in retaliation ; and the knowlege of these proceedings may operate in his justification. In the German paper there are two dialogues, of which you can best judge whether the printing of them in Germany may not have some little effect in opposition to Fawcett's recruiting. I suppose this letter may find you at Amsterdam, and therefore I send it under cover to Mr. Adams, with the usual compliments of the approaching season. I am ever, dear Sir, &c.


To the same.

. Passy, May 3, 1782. DEAR SIR, I RECEIVED yours of the 15th past, and perused the contents with great pleasure. I had before received your packet by Mr. Boers, and forwarded it immediately.

Inclosed I send you a few copies of a paper that places in a striking light the English barbarities in America, particularly these committed by the savages at their instigation.

The FORM may perhaps not be genuine, but the substance · is truth ; the number of our people of all kinds and ages

murdered and scalped by the English being known to exceed
that of the invoice. Make any use of them you may think
proper, to shame your Anglomanæ, but do not let it be known
through what hands they come.
I am ever yours affectionately,

My respects and congratulations to Mr. A.


Remarks on Article 5. Quils ne les Vendront pas en Details dans les Boutiques en ailleurs.

I wish to know the reason of this restriction. To me at present it seems inconvenient, as it may occasion disputes and discussions about what is to be deemed detail.

B. FRANKLIN. ' Paris, August 1779.

No. II.

PRELIMINARY of a Peace said to be formed by the Rockingham

party : but if really formed by any minister, Shelburne must - be the man. 1. THAT the British troops shall be withdrawn from

the thirteen provinces of North America, and a truce made between Great Britain and the said provinces

for, suppose ten or twenty years. 2. That a negociation for peace shall, bona fide be opened

between Great Britain and the allies of America. 3. If the proposed negociation between Great Britain

and the allies of America should not succeed, so as to produce a peace, but that war should continue between the said parties, that then America should act and be

treated as a neutral nation. 4. That whenever peace shall take place between Great

Britain and the allies of America, the truce between Great Britain and America shall be converted into a perpetual peace ; the independence of America shall be admitted and guaranteed by Great Britain, and a

commercial treaty settled between them. 5. That these propositions shall be made to the court of

France, for communication to the American commissioners, and for an answer to the court of G. Britain.

No. III. 1. The nation has spent in this war, since 1775 an hun

dred millions of sterling money. 2. The nation has lost by this war fourteen colonies on

the continent of America, several Islands in the West

Indies, and Minorca. 3. The nation is at war with three powerful states in

Europe. 4. The nation has no ally. 5. All these evils have happened from want of fore

sight and abilities in the ministry. These propositions were moved and seconded, and after a long debate, two hundred and sixteen members voted for them, two hundred and twenty-six against.

As many members of the opposition were absent, even

sir George Saville, Mr. Wilkes, and others, they are determined to bring them on again.

No. IV. IMMEDIATELY after the death of lord Rockingham, the king said to lord Shelburne, “I will be plain with you, " the point next my heart, and which I am determined, be the consequence what it may, never to relinquish, but with my crown and life, is to prevent a total unequivocal recognition of the independence of America. Promise to support me on this ground, and I will leave you unmolested on every other ground, and with full power as the prime minister of this kingdom.” The bargain was struck. The Hague,


To M. Dumas.

Passy, September 12, 1782. DEAR SIR, MY grandfather has been for these three weeks past, much indisposed with the gravel, and an attendant severe pain in his thigh. This has prevented, and prevents his answering several of your late letters. He directs me to acknowlege the receipt of your last, dated the 4th instant, and to inform you that the dispatch it enclosed shall be duly forwarded, as were the preceding ones you sent him. For your satisfaction, sir, and as a proof of the high sense my grandfather has of your merit, I enclose to you an extract from one of his late letters to our secretary for foreign affairs, which relates to you: That you may soon experience the effect of it, is the sincere wish of your affectionate,

And very humble Servant,

W. T. FRANKLIN. We have no news of any importance, or I should communicate it. Please to make my respectful compliments to Mr. Adams.

To M. Dumas.

Passy, February 17, 1783. DEAR SIR, It is a long time since I have had the pleasure of hearing from you. I hope however that you and yours continue well.

The bearers, Mr. President Wheelock and his brother, go to Holland on a public spirited design, which you will find recommended by many eminent persons in America. ,

I beg leave to request for these gentlemen, your civilities and best counsels, as they will be entire strangers in your country. With great esteem, &c.


Copy of the Commission of the United States of America, to John

Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Henry Laurens, and Tho- mas Jefferson, Esquires, dated June 15, 1781. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED..

To all to whom these presents shall come, SEND GREETING: WHEREAS these United States, from a sincere desire of putting an end to the hostilities between his most Christian majesty and these United States, on the one part, and his Britannic majesty on the other, and of terminating the same by a peace founded on such solid and equitable principles, as reasonably to promise a permanency of the blessings of tranquillity, did heretofore appoint the honorable John Adams, late a commissioner of the United States of America at the court of Versailles, late a delegate in congress from the state of Massachusetts, and chief justice of the said state, their minister plenipotentiary, with full powers, general and special, to act in that quality, to confer, treat, agree, and conclude, with the ambassadors or plenipotentiaries of his most Christian majesty, and of his Britannic majesty, and those of any other princes or states whom it might concern, relating to the re-establishment of peace and friendship: And whereas the flames of war have since that time been extended, and other nations and states


« ZurückWeiter »