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will transmit your name to the remotest posterity; and in which I am particularly interested, at the time when the situation of affairs imposes on me the necessity of divesting myself in writing to you of every public character, and only to aspire at appearing to you what I truly am, the passionate friend of peace, truth, and merit. This mode of thinking not only decides my personal sentiments with respect to you, but also those I have respecting the unfortunate affair which you have thought fit to mention to me, and which, from its commencement, has given me the utmost pain. You will readily agree with me, sir, in granting that there are perplexing situations, in which it is impossible to avoid displeasing one party. You are too equitable not to enter into ours. There would be no con. solation in such cases, nor would the persons who have led them into them ever be forgiven, were it not that opportunities sometimes presented themselves of being heard, and preventing in future such essential embarrassments.
The baron de Blome will speak to you in confidence, and with the utmost freedom on this subject; and if my wishes can be accomplished, I shall be recompensed for all my pains, and there will only remain, the agreeable recollection of having had the satisfaction of assuring you from under my hand, of that superior and perfect esteem with which I have the honor of being, sir, &c.
R. BERNSTORF, Copenhagen, March 8, 1780.
To Sumuel Huntigton, Esq. President of Congress.
Passy, June 1, 1780. SIR, Commodore Jones who by his bravery and conduct, has, done great honor to the American flag, desires to have that also, of presenting a line to the hands of your excellency. I cheerfully comply with his request in recommending him to the notice of congress, and to your excellency's protection, though his actions are a more effectual recommenda,
tion, and render any from me unnecessary. It gives me however, an opportunity of showing my readiness to do justice to merit, and of professing the esteem and respect with which I am, &c.
To the same.
Passy, August 9, 1780. Sir, WITH this your excellency will receive a copy of my last, dated May 31st, the original of which with copies of preceding letters went by the Alliance, captain Landais, who sailed the beginning of last month, and who I wish may arrive safe in America: being apprehensive that by her long delay in port, from the mutiny of the people, who after she was ready to sail, refused to weigh anchor’till paid wages, &c. she may fall in the way of the English fleet now out, or that her crew who have ever been infected with disorder and mutiny, may carry her into England. She had on her first coming out a conspiracy for that purpose, besides which, her officers and captain quarrelled with each other; the captain with commodore Jones; and there have been so many broils among them, that it was impossible to get the business forward while she staid ; and she is at length gone without taking the quantity of stores which she was capable of taking, and was ordered to take. I suppose the conduct of that captain will be inquired into by a court martial. Captain Jones goes home in the Ariel, a ship we have borrowed of government here, and carries one hundred and forty-six chests of arms, and four hun dred barrels of powder. To take the rest of the stores and cloathing, I have been obliged to freight a ship, which being well armed and well manned, will I hope get safe. The clothes for ten thousand men, are I think all made up; there are also arms for fifteen thousand, new and good, with two thousand barrels of powder, besides this, there is a great quantity of cloth I have bought, of which you will have the invoices sent by Mr. Williams; and ano.
ther large quantity purchased by Mr. Ross, all going in
The little authority we have here to govern our armed
Having already sent you by different conveyances, copies of my proceedings with the court of Denmark, relative to the three prizes delivered up to the English, and requested the instructions of congress; I hope soon to receive them. I mentioned a letter from the congress to that court, as what I thought might have a good effect. I have since had more reasons to be of that opinion. The unexpected delay of Mr. Deane's arrival, has retarded the settlement of the joint accounts of the commission, he having had the chief management of the commercial part, and being therefore best able to explain difficulties. I have just now the pleasure to hear that the Fier Rodrique with her convoy from Virginia, is arrived at Bordeaux, all safe, except one tobacco ship that foundered at sea, the men saved. And I have a letter from Mr. Deane, that he is at Rochelle, proposes to stop a few days at Nantes, and then proceed to Paris, when I shall endeavor to see that business completed with all possible expedition.
Mr. Adams has given offence to the court here, by some sentiments and expressions contained in several of his letters written to the count de Vergennes. I mention this with reluctance, though perhaps it would have been my duty to acquaint you with such a circumstance, even were it not required of me by the minister himself. He has sent
me copies of the correspondence, desiring I would communicate them to congress, and I send them herewith. Mr. Adams did not shew me his letters before he sent them. I have in a former letter to Mr. Lovell, mentioned some of the inconveniences that attend the having more than, one minister at the same court, one of which inconveniences is, that they do not hold the same language, and that the impressions made by the one, and intended for the sense of his constituents, may be effaced by the discourse of the other. It is true that Mr. Adams' proper business is elsewhere, but the time not being come for that business, and having nothing else here wherewith to employ himself, he seems to have endeavored supplying what he may suppose my negociations defective in. He thinks, as he tells me himself, that America has been too free in expressions of gratitude to France, for that she is more obliged to us than we areto her, and that we should shew spirit in our applications I apprehend that he mistakes his ground, and that this court is to be treated with decency and delicacy. The king, a young and virtuous prince, has I am persuaded, in reflecting on the generous benevolence of the action in assisting an oppressed people, and proposes it as a part of the glory of his reign. I think it right to increase this pleasure by our thankful acknowlegements, and that such an expression of gratitude, is not only our duty but our interest. A different conduct seems to me what is not only improper and unbe coming, but what may be hurtful to us. Mr. Adams on the other hand, who at the same time means our welfare and interest as much as I or any man can do, seems to think a little apparent stoutness and greater air of independence and boldness in our demands, will procure us more ample assistance. It is for the congress to judge and regulate their affairs accordingly. M. de Vergennes who apo pears much offended, told me yesterday that he would enter into no further discussions with Mr. Adams, nor answer
? These letters do not appear.
any more of his letters. He is gone to Holland to try, as he told me, whether something might not be done to render us a little less dependant on France. He says the idea of, this court and those of the people in America, are so totally different, as that it is impossible for any minister to please both. He ought to know America better than I do, having been there lately, and he may chuse to do what he thinks will best please the people of America: but when I consider the expressions of congress in many of their public acts, and particularly in their letter to the chevalier de la Luzerne, of the 24th May last, I cannot but imagine that he mistakes the sentiments of a few for a general opinion. It is my intention while I stay here, to procure what advantages I can for our country, by endeavoring to please this court, and I wish I could prevent any thing being said by any of our countrymen here that may have a contrary effect, and increase an opinion lately shewing itself in Paris, that we seek a difference, and with a view of reconciling ourselves to England, some of them have of late been very indiscreet in their conversations.
I have received eight months after their date, the instructions of congress relating to a new article for guaranteeing the fisheries. The expected negotiations for a peace appearing of late more remote, and being too much occupied with other affairs, I have not hitherto proposed that article; but I purpose doing it next week. It appears so reasonable and equitable, that I do not foresee any difficulty. In my next I shall give you an accouut of what passes on the occasion.
The silver medal ordered for the chevalier de Fleury, has been delivered to his order here, he being gone to America. The others for brigadier general Wayne and colonel Stuart, I shall send by the next good opportunity.
The two thousand pounds I furnished to Méssfs. Adams and Jay, agreeable to an order of congress for themselves and secretaries, being nearly expended, and no supplies to them arriving, I have thought it my duty to furnish them with further sums, hoping the supplies promised will soon