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should engage, in the commercial way of supplies. In consequence of this, an arrangement was made, by Mr Deane, with this secret agent of the French government, and military supplies and clothing were furnished, to the amount of about two hundred thousand louisdors, and were transmitted to America, in the name of a fictitious mercantile house, by the name of Hortales and Co. a name, which often appears, in the journals of the old Congress.

Most of the cannon and arms were, in fact, taken from the king's arsenals. This secret and mysterious mode of supply, as the author justly observes, gave rise to the claim of Beaumarchais, and rendered it very intricate.

Immediately after the declaration of independence, Congress prepared a plan of a commercial treaty, to be proposed to France and Spain; and in September, 1776, Dr Franklin, Mr Deane, and Mr Jefferson were appointed commissioners to France. Mr Jefferson having declined, Arthur Lee was chosen in his room. The manner in which the French court and nation received the American envoys, is thus described.

'Mr Lee and Mr Deane were in Europe at the time of their appointment. In December '76, Dr Franklin, the third commissioner, arrived in France. He was received with uncommon attention; known already as a philosopher, the cause he represented was undoubtedly popular in that country. Indeed, the subject of liberty itself was, already, popular. It might have been only a fashion, as so many other things have been in France; it might have arisen from the metaphysical, or rather philosophical discussions, in which the French were then so much engaged, without at all apprehending the practical effects of them. Or, perhaps, we may, with most truth, call the cause of the colonies popular, because it was one that was likely to do vast mischief to England. The novelty of the undertaking itself, produced an enthusiasm in France; a war was commenced on a new continent; the scene of action and of interest was transferred from the old world. This had, already, happened in the former French wars, when Quebec and their other possessions fell. But, then, the European had only left his customary battle grounds to meet on a new continent with the same armies, the same animosity, and the same ambition. Europe was a party to those wars. To this she was a spectator. America was viewed with that deep interest and sympathy with which the weak are regarded in all contests; and those, who were not inspired with the holy spirit of emanciVOL. XXIV.-No. 54.


pation, doubtless wished well to a cause, that was fought at such fearful odds.

'But the government manifested an evident reluctance to form an open alliance at this time. It naturally and prudently sought for delay. The commissioners were not publicly received; for the fate and condition of the Americans were in an unconfirmed state; and it might well be doubted, whether they could long resist the mother country, of whose power France, herself, had very recently had melancholy experience. But assistance continued to be secretly furnished; privateers were allowed to equip and bring their prizes into French ports, commissions were issued by the American envoys; and the cause of the Revolution still continued exceedingly popular with the people.' pp. 22, 23.

The negotiations of the United States with France and Spain, during the revolutionary struggle, and with Great Britain, in connexion with those powers, on the terms of peace and independence, have very properly claimed the greatest share of the author's attention; and this part of the work will be read with peculiar interest. In maintaining the cause of independence, American statesmen, during this period, had to encounter difficulties abroad, as well as at home; and no one can contemplate the firmness, with which these difficulties were met and overcome by them, or their perseverance, in every adverse fortune, without entertaining a greater veneration for their character.

Soon after the arrival of the American envoys at Paris, a paper, signed by the king, was read to them by the secretary of Vergennes. In this paper, his Most Christian Majesty declared, among other things, that, being determined to take no advantage of the situation, in which the United States were then placed; he thought that it was not then a proper time to form a lasting union, which, however, he very much wished; that they should be at liberty to make their purchases, in private, securing to him an observance of treaties, which he was determined not to be the first to break; and that to prove his good wishes, he had ordered two millions of livres to be paid them quarterly, which should be augmented, as the state of his finances would permit. The most profound secrecy, with respect to this matter, was enjoined on the commissioners.

France evidently waited for events which should decide, beyond all doubt, not only the disposition, but the ability of the Americans to support their independence; and to be perfectly satisfied, that her aid, when openly afforded, would prevent the

possibility of their reconciliation with Great Britain. This policy was pursued by the French court, notwithstanding the advantageous offers made by the American Congress, until the capture of General Burgoyne and his army, in October, 1777. The disasters of the campaign of 1776 induced Congress to turn their attention more seriously to the subject of obtaining foreignt aid. In December of this year, they determined to send commissioners to the courts of Vienna, Spain, and Prussia, and to the Duke of Tuscany. These commissioners were particularly instructed to assure the courts, to which they were sent, that, notwithstanding the insidious suggestions of the British court, the people of the United States were not disposed to submit to the sovereignty of the British crown; and of their determination, at all events, to maintain their independence. To induce France in particular to take an open part in the war, Congress proposed, that all the trade between the United States and the West Indies should be confined to French and American vessels, and to divide the cod fishery with France, in case Great Britain, by their joint efforts, should be excluded from any share in it. If these offers should be insufficient to produce a declaration of war, on the part of France, the commissioners were directed to yield to the king of France all the British West India islands, that might be reduced by his arms; and to stipulate, that the United States would furnish two millions of dollars in provisions, and six frigates, in the expeditions for their reduction. To Spain they offered their assistance, in obtaining possession of the town and harbor of Pensacola, on condition that the citizens of the United States should have the free navigation of the Mississippi, and the use of the harbor of Pensacola.

These new offers, however, produced no change in the policy of the two courts. The news of the surrender of Burgoyne and his army, which reached Europe about the first of December, produced a new state of things, both in Great Britain and France. The British Parliament was then in session; but the minister was not prepared to meet so unexpected and important an event, and immediately proposed an adjournment to the twentieth of January; which took place on the eleventh of December. In the debates on this motion, in which the ministry were attacked with great severity, Lord North declared, that one object of the adjournment was, to prepare a plan of reconciliation with the Colonies; and he gave notice, that after the recess, he should submit to the consideration of the House cer


tain concessions, which might serve as the basis of a treaty, and he trusted, that their endeavors would prove effectual in bringing about a permanent peace, and a lasting union between the two countries. The proceedings of parliament were soon known in France, and on the sixteenth the French king declared to the American envoys his determination to accede to their propositions. Before the completion of a treaty, Spain was to be consulted by the French court. On this subject, the king himself addressed a letter to his Catholic majesty, bearing date the eighth of January, 1778. This letter the author has very properly inserted. It distinctly discloses the policy of the two courts, as well as the real motives, which ultimately induced the king of France openly to join the Americans. pp. 297, 298. England, our common and inveterate enemy, has been engaged for three years in a war with her colonies. We have agreed not to take a part in it, and, considering both parties as English, we have made the commerce of our state free to whoever should find his advantage in it. In this way America has provided herself with those arms and munitions, of which she was in want. I do not speak of the aid we have given that country in money and other articles, the whole having been done in the ordinary course of commerce. England has shown some vexation at this circumstance, and we are not ignorant that she will sooner or later revenge herself. This was the situation of the business the last November. The destruction of Burgoyne and the embarrassments of Howe have changed the face of things. America is triumphant; England is cast down. But her vast marine is still entire, and having abandoned the idea of conquering the colonies, she has resolved to form an alliance with them. All parties in England are agreed in this particular. Lord North has himself announced a plan of pacification. It does not much signify to us, whether he or any other minister is in place; actuated by different motives, they will still unite against us. It is very important to prevent the reunion of the colonies with the mother country.""

The author has only given what he considers the substance of the conclusion of this letter. The original is more explicit as to the motives of the king, in accepting the proposals of the Americans, and is as follows.

This being understood, and our causes of complaint against England notorious, I have thought, after taking the advice of my council, and particularly of M. d'Ossuna, and having consulted upon the propositions, which the insurgents make, that it was just

and necessary to treat with them, to prevent their reunion with the mother country; (pour empêcher leur réunion à la métropole).'

Spain, however, refused to join France in treating with the Americans. Although desirous of reducing the power of Great Britain, by the separation of her North American colonies, she was unwilling to become a party in a war for this object, without some security for the future safety of her own possessions, adjoining the newly formed American States. France, therefore, concluded a treaty of commerce, and an eventual treaty of alliance, with the United States, without the concurrence of Spain. By a secret article, however, his Catholic Majesty had a right to accede to both treaties whenever he thought proper. The connexion formed between France and America being officially announced to the British government, war was the immediate


Although Spain refused to accede to the treaties, she offered her mediation between France and Great Britain. This was readily accepted by his Most Christian Majesty, and was listened to, on the part of his Britannic Majesty, and a correspondence on the subject between the British and Spanish courts took place for several months; and was finally ended in June 1779, when Spain joined France in the contest. This was done in consequence of a convention between the two courts in April preceding, which was a secret compact, and, it is believed, has never yet been made public. It was, probably, a renewal of the old family compact, and no doubt contained a stipulation, on the part of France, to assist Spain in securing to her the exclusive navigation of the Mississippi, as well as her former possessions, east of that river. Should negotiations for peace be the consequence of the offered mediation, both France and Spain determined that the United States should be a party. To meet this event, the appointment of an American minister was deemed necessary. The instructions to the minister created much division in Congress. The members were divided on the subjects of the fisheries, the navigation of the Mississippi, and the Northwestern boundaries. They were, at first, not more unanimous in the selection of a minister. In two successive ballots the votes were equally divided between Mr Adams and Mr Jay. The subject being postponed, Mr Jay was afterward appointed minister to Spain, and Mr Adams to treat of peace.

Pending this mediation, Great Britain secretly attempted to effect a separate peace, with the United States, as well as with

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