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ourselves in the exchange) in Virginia by making payments.
Colonel Le Maire, whom you know, is the bearer of this; he comes to Virginia to obtain the two thousand acres of land given him for his services in procuring us arms, and what else he may be entitled to as having been an officer in our service ; above all things, he wishes to obtain the Cincinnatus eagle, because it will procure him here the order of St. Louis, and of course a pension for life of one thousand livres; he is so extremely poor that another friend and myself furnish him money for his whole expenses from here to Virginia. There I am in hopes the hospitality of the country will be a resource for him till he can convert a part of his lands advantageously into money; but as he will want some small matter of money, if it should be convenient for you to furnish him with as much as ten guineas from time to time on my account, I will invest that sum in books or anything else you may want here by way of payment.
He is honest and grateful, and you may be assured that no aid that you can give him in the forwarding his claims will be misplaced.
TO JAMES MONROE.
Paris Nov. II, 1784. Dear Sir, —Your journey to the Westward having prevented my writing to you till now that a letter may probably find you at Congress I shall resume the correspondence discontinued since I left Boston.
My passage was remarkably short, being only 19 days from land to land, & I suffered little by sickness. Having very thick weather when we approached the coast of Europe, we fell in with no vessel which could take me & put me on the French coast as I had intended. I therefore went ashore at Portsmouth where I was detained three or four days by a fever which had seized my daughter two days before we landed. As soon as she was clear of it I hired a vessel to carry me over to Havre, from whence I came on to this place, thro' a country than which nothing can be more fertile, better cultivated & more elegantly improved. It was at the time when harvest was beginning, & it is principally a farming country.
I informed you from Boston that before I had received your letters of May 25 & June 1, I had packed up our cypher and therefore could not there make out the passages which were put into cypher. I have tried it here & find that by some unfortunate mistake, probably in the young gentleman who wrote the cypher, it will not explain a single syllable. He has arranged all the numbers in their regular order, and then placed against each the words, syllables &c in alphabetical order. You can judge whether this was the plan of it. The want of the cypher would have restrained me from mentioning some things were I not assured of the fidelity of the bearer hereof Colo. Le Maire.
I am to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of Aug. 9. from New York, but not of the previous one therein mentioned to be sent by Mr. Short, he being not yet come, nor any tidings of him.
The die is thrown here & has turned up war. Doubts whether an accommodation may not yet take place are still entertained by some, but I hold it impossible. Probably the Emperor will encourage negociations during the winter, while no warlike operations may go on, in order to amuse his adversary & lessen their preparations. It is believed the campaign will open on the Scheld. How the other nations of Europe will conduct themselves seems very doubtful. The probability is that France, Prussia, & the Porte will take an active part with the Dutch & Russia with the Germans. It is presumed that England will endeavor to keep out of the scrape. 1. Because she cannot borrow money to take part in it. 2. Because Ireland is likely to give her disturbance. 3. Because her disputes with us are not settled by a full execution of the articles of the treaty, and the hatred of her people towards us has arisen to such a height as to prepare their minds for a recommencement of hostilities should their government find this desirable. Supposing we are not involved in a new contest with Great Britain, this war may possibly renew that disposition in the powers of Europe to treat with us on liberal principles, a disposition which blazed out with enthusiasm on the conclusion of peace, but which had subsided as far below the just level in consequence of the anarchy, & depravation of principle which the British papers have constantly held forth as having taken place among us.
I think when it shall become certain that war is to take place, that those nations at least who are engaged in it will be glad to ensure
our neutrality & friendly dispositions by a just treaty. Such a one, or none is our business. With England nothing will produce a treaty but an enforcement of the resolutions of Congress proposing that there should be no trade where there is no treaty. The infatuation of that nation seems really preternatural. If anything will open their eyes it will be an application to the avarice of the merchants who are the very people who have opposed the treaty first meditated, and who have excited the spirit of hostility at present prevailing against us. Deaf to every principle of common sense, insensible to the feelings of man, they firmly believe they shall be permitted by us to keep all the carrying trade and that we shall attempt no act of retaliation because they are pleased to think it our interest not to do
A gentleman immediately from England dined the other day at the same house with an American. They happened to sit next each other at table and spoke on the subject of our commerce. He had the air of a man of credibility. He said that just before his departure from England he had a conversation with Mr. Pitt, in which Mr. Pitt assured him the proclamation of which we complain would be passed into an act at the next session of parliament.— In the despatches we send to Congress you will see a great interval between the Spanish Ambassador's answer to us & our reply to him. The reason of our keeping back was the hope that in the meantime he would get an answer from his Court which would save us the difficulty of answering him. I have
had a hint that they may agree to make New Orleans a free port for our vessels coming down the Missisipi but without permission to us to export our produce thence. All the inadequacies of this to our purpose strike me strongly. Yet I would wish you to sound your acquaintances on this subject & to let me know what they think of it; and whether if nothing more can be obtained this or no treaty, that is to say, this or war would be preferred.-Can nothing be done for young Franklin. He is sensible, discreet, polite, & goodhumored, & fully qualified as a Secretaire d'Ambassade.
His grandfather has none annexed to his legation at this Court. He is most sensibly wounded at his grandson's being superseded. Should this war take place it would certainly be acceptable to Congress to receive regular, early, & authentic intelligence of it's operations. In this view would it not be worth while to continue the agency of Dumas. His intelligence has all these qualities. He is undoubtedly in the confidence of some one who has a part in the Dutch government, & who seems to allow him to communicate to us.—Before my arrival here Mr. Barclay in consequence of the powers given him by his commission had made an appointment or two of Consuls for some of the ports of this country : particularly of Franks for Marseilles. He is very anxious to be continued in it & is now there in the exercise of his office. If I have been rightly informed his services & sacrifices during the war have had their merit and I should suppose Congress would not supersede him but on good grounds. I promised