1782 DECEMBER 1 SUNDAY, AND 2.
Made many Visits &c.
DECEMBER 3. TUESDAY.
Visited Mr. Brantzen
Hotel de la Chine. Mr. Brantzen asked me, how
We went on. I told him We had come to a full Stop, by signing and sealing the
Preliminaries, on the 30. of November. I told him that We had been very
industrious, having been at it, forenoon, Afternoon and Evening, ever since my
Arrival, either with one another or with the English Gentlemen.
He asked if it was definitive and seperate? I
said by no Means. They were only Articles to be inserted in the definitive
Treaty. He asked if there was to be any Truce, or Armistice in the mean time? I
said again by no means.
He then said that he believed,
England had agreed too. That the C. de
Son was gone to
England with Mr. De Rayneval; but he believed
the Spaniards had not yet agreed. And the Dutch were yet a great Way off, and
had agreed upon Nothing. They had had several Conferences. At the first, he had
informed Mr. Fitsherbert, that their H. Mightinesses insisted
upon the Freedom of Navigation as a Preliminary and a Sine qua non. Mr.
Fitsherbert had communicated this to his Court, but the Answer
received was that his Court did not approve of conceeding this as a Sine qua
non, but choose to have all the Demands of their H.M. stated
together.Mr. Brantzen answered that his Instructions were, not
into any Conferences, upon other Points untill
this was agreed to. That it was the Intention of the
British Court to agree to this. That he could not consider any Changes in the
Ministry as making any Alteration, they were all Ministers of the same King and
Servants of the same Nation. That Mr. Fox when he was
Secretary of State, by his Letter to the Russian Minister, had declared the
Intention of the King to consent to the Freedom of Navigation &c.
Mr. Brantzen said, however, that he had in his private
Capacity and without compromising his Ministerial Character, entered into
Explanations with Mr. Fitsherbert, and had told him that he
should insist upon 3 Points, the Freedom of Navigation, the Restitution of
Territories in the
West Indies, and Compensation for Damages. The two first
Points could not be disputed, and the 3d. ought not,
for the War against them had been unjust, the Pretences for it were groundless,
their Accession to the armed Neutrality must now be admitted, even by Britains
Accession to it, to have been an illegitimate Cause of War, and the Project of
a Treaty with
America, could not be seriously pretended to be a just Cause of
War. And Many Members of Parliament, had in the time of it, declared the War
unjust, and some of those Members were now Ministers. Even the Prime Minister,
My Lord Shelburne himself had freely declared the War
unjust in the House of Peers, and if the War was unjust, the Damages and
Injustice ought to be repaired.
Mr. Fitsherbert said, that there was no Precedent of
Compensation for Damages in a Treaty of Peace.
Mr. Brantzen begged his Pardon and thought there had been
Instances. One Example in particular which the English themselves had set
against the Dutch which just then came into his Head.Cromwell
had demanded Compensation of them, and they had agreed, as now appears by the
Treaty, to pay an hundred thousand Pounds Sterling as a Compensation.
Mr. Brantzen was not furnished with a full Account of all
the Losses of Individuals and therefore could not precisely say, what the
Amount would be. That perhaps they might not insist upon prompt Payment, nor
upon a stated Sum, but might leave both the Sum and Time of Payment to be
ascertained by Commissioners at their Leisure after the Peace.
I observed to him that We intended to write to Mr. Dana and
send him a Copy of our Preliminaries that he might commence his Negotiations
with the neutral Powers, and if he succeeded We could then make common Cause
Holland, and insist on an Article to secure the Freedom of
Navigation. This Idea he received with great Pleasure, and said he would write
about it to the States. Upon this I asked him, with whom, he and the other
Dutch Ministers abroad, held their Correspondence? He answered that
the Secretary Fagel was properly speaking the Minister of
foreign Affairs. That their principal Correspondence was with him: but that
they had a Correspondence with the Grand Pensionary Bleiswick too. That the
Letters received by the Secretary, were laid before the Besogne Secrete, or
Committee of Secrecy.
This Committee consisted of so many Members,
one at least for each Province, that it was very difficult to keep any Thing
secret. Foreign Ministers were very
inquisitive, and the Duke de la Vauguion would be likely
to get at it. So that if they had any Thing
write which they wished Secreeted
, they wrote it to
the G. Pensionary who is not obliged to lay before the States Letters entire.
He selects such Parts as he judges proper and prints them to be taken ad
Referendum, and laid before the Regencies of the Cities. That they had
sometimes a little Diffidence of this Court, (quelque Mefiance) for this Court
was very fine, (diablement find and when this happened, they wrote to the G.
Pensionary, that it might not be communicated to the french Minister and
consequently to his Court. These People are vastly profound. They will not favour
the Spaniards in obtaining the
Floridas. They will play
Spain and Spain against
England against you and you against
England, and all of you against Us and Us against all of you,
acccording to their own Schemes and Interests. They are closely buttoned up
Gibraltar, and as to
Jamaica, they wont favour
Spain in that View. I expect they will get their own affair
arranged, and then advise
England to agree to the Freedom of Navigation and a Restitution
of Territory and then advise Us to be easy about Compensation. Thus Mr.
I next visited Mr. Jay to talk about writing to Mr.
Dana and communicating to the neutral Powers the Preliminary
Articles.Mr. Jay says that Mr. Oswald is very anxious, that his Court should
do that -- and he has been writing to the Ministry to perswade them to it.
Had a long Conversation with Mr. Jay about the
manner of settling the Western Lands. This I cannot now detail.
Went next to Mr. Lawrens, upon the
Subject of writing to Mr. Dana, and found him full in my
Sentiments. And at my return fours answers from Dr.
Franklin and Mr. Laurens to the Letters I wrote them,
both agreeing, that this is the critical Moment for Dana to
commence his Negotiations. Dr. Franklin promises to
have an authentic Copy made to send to Mr. Dana.
In the Evening many Gentlemen came in, among the rest Mi
Bourse, the Agent of the Dutch East India Company, who expressed a
good deal of Anxiety about their Negotiation and feared they should not have
the East Indies.
DECEMBER 4 WEDNESDAY.
It is proper that I should note here, that in the Beginning of the Year
1780, soon after my Arrival at
Paris Mr. Galloways Pamphlets fell into my
Hands. I wrote a long Series of Letters to a Friend in Answer to them. That
Friend sent them to
England: But the Printers dared not to publish them. They
remained there untill
the last Summer, when they were
begun to be printed, and are continued to this day,
not being yet
quite finished, in Parkers General Advertiser, but with false dates, being
dated in the Months of January and February last, under the Title of Letters
from a distinguished American. They appear to have been well received and to
have contributed somewhat, to unite the Nation in accellerating the
Acknowledgment of American Independance
, and to
convince the nation of the Necessity, of respecting our Alliances and of making
I hope it will be permitted to me or to some other who can do it better some
Ten or fifteen Years hence, to collect together in one View, my little
Europe. Fifty Years hence it may be published, perhaps 20. I
will venture to say, however feebly I may have acted my
Partorhowever whatever Mistakes I may have committed, yet
the Situations I have been in between angry Nations and more angry actions,
have been some of the most singular and interesting that ever happened to any
Man. The Fury of Ennemies as well as of
Elements, the Subtilty and Arrogance of
Allies, and what has been worse than all, the jealousy, Envy, and little Pranks
of Friends and CoPatriots, would form one of the most instructive Lessons in
Morals and Politicks, that ever was committed to
DECEMBER 5. 1782.
The Duke de la Vauguion came in. He says that
England are agreed, and that there is but one Point between
Holland are not yet so near. I shewed him our preliminary Treaty, and had some difficulty
to prevent his seeing the seperate Article, but I
did prevent him, from seeing any Thing of it, but
the Words "Seperate Article."
Dined at Mr. Jays with Mr.
Fitsherbert, Oswald,Franklin, Laurens, and their
Secretaries,Ellis, Whitefoord,Franklin and Laurens. Mr.
Jennings was there too, he came home and spent the Evening with
DECEMBER 6 1782.
Spent the Evening with Mr. Laurens, at his own Lodgings
hotel de York and on a Visit to Mr. Curson,
hotel de York.
Mr. Laurens said, that We should very soon raise Figs and
Olives and make Oil in
America. That he had raised great Quantities of Figs in his own
Carolina and that the Figs in
Georgia were the most delicious, he had ever tasted. That he had
raised in one Year in his own Garden in Carolina, between fifty
and an hundred Bushells of Olives. That there were
large Quantities and a great Variety of wild Grapes
in Carolina and
Georgia, of some of which very good Wine had been made.
As Mr. Curson talked of going to
Marsailles, Mr. Laurens advised him to send to
America some Barbary Sheep. He says he had one in
Carolina, but never could make the American Rams go to that
Sheep. He gives a beautifull description of
Marsailles. Says it will rival Bourdeaux, in the
Wine Trade with
America. The Levant Trade furnishes it with Carpets, Cottons,
Silks, Raw Silk, and Drugs, and it has a large Manufactory of Castile Soap.
Mr. Laurens's Appartments at
hotel de York are better than mine, at the hotel du Roi,
au Carrousel. Yet he gives but twelve Louis and I am obliged to give
Eighteen. He has two large Rooms, besides a large commodious Bed Chamber, and a
large Antichamber for Servants.
He says there will be an outrageous Clamour in England, on Account of the
Fisheries and the Loyalists. -- But what is done, is irrevocable.
DECEMBER 7. SATURDAY.
Dined with my Family, at the
Place Vendome the Abby Chaluts. An Abby
there crys voila la Semence dune autre Guerre.
DECEMBER 8. SUNDAY.
At home all Day. Mr. Jennings, Mr. Grand Pere et
Fils, Mr. Mason and Mr. Hoops called
1782 DECEMBER 9 MONDAY.
Visited C. Sarsfield who lent me his Notes upon
America. Visited Mr. Jay,Mr. Oswald came in. We slided, from one Thing to
another into a very lively Conversation upon Politicks. -- He asked me what the Conduct of his Court
and Nation ought to be, in Relation to
America. I answered the Alpha and Omega of British Policy,
America, was summed up in this one Maxim -- See that American
Independence is independent,independant of all
the World, independent of yourselves as well as of
France, and independent of both as well as of the rest of
Europe. Depend upon it, you have no Chance for Salvation but by
setting up America very high. Take care to remove from the
American Mind all Cause of Fear of you. No other Motive but Fear of you, will
ever produce in the Americans any unreasonable Attachment to the house of
Bourbon. -- Is it possible; says he that the People of
America should be afraid of Us, or hate Us? -- One would
think Mr. Oswald says I, that you had been
out of the World for these 20 Years past. Yes there are 3 millions of People
in America who hate and dread you more than any Thing in the
World -- What says he now We are come to our Senses? -- Your Change of System,
is not yet known in
America, says I. -- Well says he what shall We do to remove
these Fears, and Jealousies?
In one Word says I, favour
and promote the
Interest, Reputation and Dignity of the
United States in every Thing
is consistent with your own.
If you pursue the Plan of cramping,
clipping and weakening
America, on the Supposition that She will be a Rival to you, you
will make her really so, you will make her the natural and perpetual Ally of
your natural and perpetual Ennemies
. -- But in what
Instant says he have We discovered such a disposition? -- In the 3 Leagues from
your Shores and the 15 Leagues from
Cape Breton, says I to which your Ministry insisted so earnestly
to exclude our Fishermen. Here was a Point that would have done Us great harm
and you no good, on the contrary harm. So that you would have hurt yourselves
to hurt Us. This disposition must be guarded against. -- I am fully of your
Mind about that, says he. But what else can We do? -- Send a Minister to
Congress, says I, at the Peace, a clever Fellow, who Understands himself, and
will neither set Us bad Examples, nor intermeddle in our Parties. This
that you are consistent with yourselves, that
you are sincere in your Acknowledgment of American Independence, and that you
dont entertain hopes and designs of overturning it. Such a Minister will
dissipate many fears, and will be of more Service to the least obnoxious
Refugees than any other Measure could be. Let the King send a Minister to
Congress and receive one from that Body. This will be acting consistently and
with Dignity, in the Face of the Universe.
Well what else shall We do says he? -- I have more than once already says I,
advised you to put your Ministers upon negotiating the Acknowledgment of our
Independence by the Neutral Powers. -- True says he and I have written about
it, and in my
Answers, says he, laughing, I find myself charged
with Speculation. But I dont care, I will write them my Sentiments. I wont take
any of their Money. I have spent already twelve or thirteen hundred Pounds, and
all the Reward I will have for it shall be the Pleasure of writing as I think.
My opinion is that our Court should sign the armed Neutrality, and announce to
them what they have done with you, and negotiate to have you admitted to sign
too. But I want to write more fully upon the Subject, and I want you to give me
your Thoughts upon it, for I dont understand it so fully as I wish. What
Motives can be thrown out to the Empress of Russia? or
what Motives may she be supposed to have to acknowledge your Independence? and
what Motives can our Court have to interfere, or interceed with the Newtral
Powers to receive you into their
I will answer all these Questions says I, to the best of my Knowledge and
with the Utmost Candour. In the first Place, there
has been with very little Interruption a jealousy, between the Courts
of Petersbourg and
Versailles for many Years.
France is the old Friend and Ally of the Sublime Port the
natural Ennemy of
France not long since negotiated a Peace between
Russia and the Turk, but upon the Empresses late Offers of
Mediation, and especially her Endeavours to
negotiate Holland out of the War,
France appears to have been piqued, and as the last Revolution
Crimea happened soon after, there is Reason to suspect that
French Emmissaries excited the Revolt against the new independent Government
which the Empress had taken so much Pains to establish.
Poland has been long a Scaene of
Competition between Russian and French Politicks,
both Parties having spent great Sums in Pensions to Partisans untill they have laid all Virtue and public Spirit prostrate
in that Country.
Sweeden is another Region of
Russia, where both Parties spent such Sums in Pensions, as to
destroy the principles of Liberty and prepare the Way for that Revolution
which France favoured from a Principle
of Economy rather tham any other. These hints were sufficient to
shew the opposition of Views and Interests between
Russia, and We see the Consequence of it, that
England has more Influence at
France. The Empress therefore would have two Motives, one to
England, if they should interceed for an Acknowledgment of
American Independence, and another to render
America less dependent upon
France. The Empress moreover loves Reputation, and it would be
no small Addition to her Glory, to undertake a Negotiation with all the neutral
Courts to induce them to admit
America into their Confederacy. The Empress might be further
tempted. She was bent upon extending her Commerce and the Commerce of
America, if it were only in Hemp and Duck, would be no small
Object to her.
As to the Motives to your Court. Princes often think themselves warranted if
not bound to fight for their Glory. Surely they may lawfully negotiate for
Reputation. If the Neutral Powers should receive acknowledge our
France will have the Reputation, very unjustly, of having
But if your Court now takes a decided Part in favour of it, your Court will have the Glory of it, in
America, and this will have a good Effect upon American
Gratitude. But says he, this would be negotiating for the Honour and Interest of
France, for no doubt
France wishes all the World to acknowledge your
Give me leave to tell you, Sir, says I, you are mistaken. If I have not been
mistaken in the Policy of
France from my first Observation of it to this hour, they have
been as averse to other Powers acknowledging our Independence as you have been.
-- Mr. Jay joined me in the same Declaration. -- God!
says he I understand it now. There is a Gentleman going to
London this day. I will go home and write upon the Subject by
DECEMBER 10. TUESDAY.
Visited Mr. Oswald, to enquire what News from England. He had the
Courier de L'Europe in which is Mr. Secretary Townsends Letter
to the Lord Mayor of
London dated the 3d. of this Month in
which he announces the Signature of Preliminaries on the thirtieth of November,
between the Commissioner of his Majesty and the Commissioners of the
U. States of America.
He had also received the Kings Speech, announcing the same Thing.
Mr. Oswald said that
France would not seperate her Affairs
Spain. That he had hoped that
America would have assisted them, somewhat, in compromising
France &c. Dr. Franklin, who was
present, said he did not know any Thing of the
other Negotiations. He said that neither Mr. Fitsherbert, nor
the C. de Vergennes, nor the C.
D'Aranda communicated any Thing to him.
That he understood, the Dutch were the farthest from an Agreement.
Upon this I said, Mr.
,Mr. Fitsherbert cant, I think, have any
agree with Mr. Brantzen. There are
3 Points. 1. The Liberty of Navigation. 2. Restitution of Possessions. 3.
Compensation for Damages. The Liberty of Navigation I suppose, is the Point
that sticks. But why should it stick? When all Nations are agreed in the
Principle, why should England stand out?
England must agree to it! She has already in Effect agreed to
it, as it affects all Nations but
America, and if She were disposed, She could not prevent them
from having the Benefit.
Upon this Dr. Franklin said the Dutch would be
able in any future War, to carry on their Commerce even of naval Stores, in the
Bottoms of other neutral Powers.
Yes says Mr. Oswald, and I am of
England ought to subscribe the armed Neutrality.
Very well, says I, then let Mr. Fitsherbert agree this
Point with Mr. Brantzen, and let Mr. Harris at
Petersbourg, take Mr.
Dana in his hand, and go to the Prince
Potempkin or the C. D'osterman, and say the
K. [King] my Master has authorized me to subscribe the
Principles of the armed Neutrality, and instructed me to introduce to
you Mr. Dana, Minister from the
United States of America, to do the same; let him subscribe his
Name under mine. -- At this they all laughed very heartily.Mr. Oswald however recollecting himself, and the
Conversation between him and me Yesterday on the same Subject, very gravely
turned it off, by saying he did not see a necessity to be in a hurry about
America was well enough.
I said, as to Restitution of the
Dutch Territories, I suppose your Court wont make much
difficulty about that if this Court does not, as it is not probable she Will.
And as to Compensation for damages, the Dutch will probably be as easy as they
can about that.
Dr. Franklin said he was for beginning early to
think about the Articles of the difinitive Treaty. We had been so happy as to
be the first in the Preliminaries, and he wished to be so in the definitive
Articles. -- Thus We parted.
It may be proper for me to minute here some Points to propose in the
1. The Liberty of Navigation. 2. That no Forts shall be built or Garrisons
maintained upon any of the Frontiers in
America, nor upon any of the Land Boundaries. 3. That the
Island of Bermudas be ceeded to Us --
or independent, or not fortified, or that no Privateers be fitted or sent out
from thence or permitted to enter there, or prizes carried in. 4. That the
Isle of Sables remain the Property of its present owner, and
under the jurisdiction of the United States or
Massachusetts. 5. That the Account of Prisoners be ballanced, and the Sums due for their subsistence &c.
be paid, and the Ballance of Prisoners paid for
according to the Usages of Nations.
Dined with Mr. Laurens.
Met at Mr. Laurens's, and signed the Letter, I had drawn up
to Mr. Dana, which I sent off inclosed with a Copy of the Preliminaries and consulted
about Articles to be inserted in the definitive Treaty. Agreed that Mr. Jay and I should prepare a joint Letter to Congress. At
7. I met Mr. Jay at his House and We drew a
1782 DECEMBER 13 FRYDAY.
I went first to Mr. Jay, and made some Additions
to the joint Letter
which I carried first to Mr. Laurens, who made some
Corrections and Additions, and then to
Passy to Dr. Franklin who proposed a
few other Corrections, and shewed me an Article he
has drawn up for the definitive Treaty to exempt Fishermen, Husbandmen and
Merchants as much as possible from the Evils of future Wars. This is a good
Lesson to Mankind at least. All agreed to meet at my House at 11 tomorrow to
finish the joint Letter.
DEC. 16 MONDAY.
Mr. Fitsherbert and Mr. Oswald,Mr.
Laurens &c. dined with me
DECR. 16 [i.e.
The 4 Commissioners dined with Mr.
Fitsherbert.Ld. Mountnorris and celebrated
Speaker in the Irish house of Lords dined there, and several English
The Rock Salt is taken out of the Salt Pits in
England, Ld. Mountnorris said. He gave me
a Description of the Caverns, and the kind of Architecture with which they
support them, like the Pillars of a Temple.
We met at Mr. Laurens's at Dr. Franklins
Summons or Invitation at 11 O Clock. He produced a Letter to him from
the Comte de Vergennes, and a Project of an
Answer which he had drawn up which We advised him unanimously to send.
1782 DECEMBER 19.
Visited M. Louis Secretary of the Royal Colledge of Surgery, in order to form a Correspondance, between it and the medical Society
Boston. Was very politely received, and promised every Thing
that the Colledge could do. Mr.
Louis talked a great deal, and very ingeniously and
Spent the Evening, at the Abby Chalut's with
the Abby de Mably, two other Abbys and two Accademicians. The Abby de Mably has
just published a new Work, Sur la maniere d'ecrire L'histoire. He is very agreable in Conversation, polite, good
humoured and sensible. Spoke with great Indignation
against the practice of lying, chicaning and finessing, in Negotiations.
Frankness, Candour, and Probity, were the only means
of gaining Confidence. He is 74 or 75 Years old.
Mr. L. told me this Morning that the Salt Pits in
England are directly under the
River Dee and that Ships sail over the Heads of the Workmen. Bay
Salt is such as is made in
Spain, round the
Bay of Biscay. Rock Salt from Saltertudas.
1782 DECR. 20.FRYDAY.
Dined with Mr. Laurens.
DECR. 21. SATURDAY.
Visited Mr. Jay and then went out to
Passy to shew Dr.
Franklin, Mr. Dana's Letter. The Dr. and I agreed to
remit Mr. Dana the Money, to pay the Fees to the Russian
Ministers according to the Usage, upon the Signature of a Treaty. Six Thousand
Roubles to each Minister who signs the Treaty.
The C. de Lynden told me the other Day that the
King of Sweeden was the first
Inventer and Suggester of the Plan of the armed Neutrality. That his Minister
first proposed it to the C. Panin, where it slept some
time. Lynden says that the King of
Sweeden has Penetration and Ambition, and
that his Ambition to be the first Power, to propose an Alliance with Us, is
perfectly in Character. This Step, however I conjecture, was suggested to his
Minister here, in order to support Dr. Franklin, by
the C. de Vergennes.
The C. de Lynden shewed me
his gold Snuff Box set with Diamonds, with the Miniature of the King
of Sweeden, presented to him, on taking
leave of that Court. The King is like Mr.
Dr. Franklin went to
Versailles Yesterday, and was assured of the Six millions, and
all is fair Weather -- all friendly and good humoured. So may it remain. I suspect however, and have
Reason, but will say nothing. Our Country is safe.
Mr. Jay is uneasy, about the French Troops in
America -- afraid that more are going, and that they will
overawe our Councils. That
France is agreed with England upon her Points, and
that the War will be continued for Spanish Objects only. In that Case We are
not obliged to continue it.
Made several Visits &c.
Received from Monsieur Geoffroy, Docteur Regent de la
Faculte de Medicine de Paris, a Letter of Thanks from the Societe
Royale de Medecine, for my Letter to him proposing a Correspondence between
that Society and the Medical Society at Boston. Made several
Visits. &c. Went to the Italian Comedy, saw Les Troqueurs, the two
DECEMBER 24. TUESDAY.
There are Men who carry the Countenance and Air of Boys through Life. This
Evening Mr. Jay told me an extraordinary Story of
Lord Mount Steuart, the British Minister at
Turin, which he had from Mr.
DECR. 25. WEDNESDAY.
Lady Lucans Verses on
Hear this, Ye Great, as from the Feast Ye rise
Which every Plundered Element supplies!
Hear, when fatigued, not nourish'd Ye have din'd
The Food of Thousands is to roots confin'd.
Eternal Eternal Fasts that know no Taste of Bread:
Nor where who sows the Corn by Corn is fed.
Throughout the Year, no feast e'er crowns his
Four Pence a day, ah! what can that afford? &c.
Open our Ports at once with generous Minds,
Let Commerce be as free as Waves and Winds.
Seize quick the Time, for now, consider well
Whole Quarters of the World, at once rebel.
DEC. 26. THURSDAY.
Mr. Brantzen call'd upon me, at
one. He says that Mr. Fitzherbert and he are yet a great Way
asunder. The first Point of the Freedom of Navigation sticks. The other Points
they have agreed on, or may agree on, not being far off. Mr. F. has no Answer
London to the Dutch Propositions.
I told him he might make himself very easy about the Freedom of navigation,
for that the English must come into it. I suspected My Lord
Shelburne was maneuvring
, to save a
little Pride. That he thought, it would be less humiliating to the English and
less flattering to the Dutch, to conceed that Point, to the armed Neutrality,
first. I knew it had been recommended to his Lordship by
and other English Gentlemen
here, and I had seen in the English Papers, that Couriers had been sent off,
from the Secretary of States Office, to all the foreign Courts.
Combining these Circumstances together I suspected, that they had given orders
to their Minister at
to sign the Treaty of
armed Neutrality as
France and Spain have done, and after this
negotiation shall be accomplished they will have no difficulty to agree with
the Dutch, for they demand no more than the Principle of the armed
Mr. Brantzen said this never had occurred to him, but
[that he] thought it possible and natural.
I gave him Mr. Higginsons Letter and Papers and a Copy of
our Treaty, in Confidence, all but the Sep. [Separate]
Art. [Article]. He says Mr. Bourse will not
do for Minister to
America. He is of the wrong Side and will not be goute du
The Duke de la Rochefoucault made me a Visit
to day, and desired me to explain to him some Passages
Connecticut Constitution, which were obscure to him, which I
Sir James Jay too came in from the
Hague, full of Projects of burning Towns and making fifty Gun
Ships equal to 110 Guns Ships. I told him that this Country abounded so much
with Projects and Projectors, that there would be a Presumption and Prejudice
against him, at first blush: but he is going to the Marquis de
Mr. Vaughan and Mr. Brantzen both told me
today that the C. [Comte]
sent off a Courier to
London the night before Christmas. Mr. Brantzen
told me, that he had twice seen Dr. Franklin
, once at
Versailles and once at Mr. Grands. That he
appeared to him heavy and inactive and that if he had been alone,
not have obtained such good Terms. I
said he was right, for if he had been alone, We should not at this Moment have
had any Terms at all. That our Negotiation would have trained on as heavily and
confusedly as all the rest. That if his Advice and that of the
C. de V.
had been followed We should now have
been treating under Mr. Oswalds
Commission. It was the Refusal of Mr. Jay
and me to
treat under that Commission, against the Opinion and Advice of V. and F. that
produced Mr. Oswalds
acknowledging our Independence.
That was a noble Tryumph for You, says
Mr. Vaughan shew'd me,
to day, a parcel of new French Books. Le Systeme
naturelle, Le Systeme moral, Le Systeme Social, Le Systeme Politique. There is
one Shop tolerated in selling forbidden Books. -- Vaughan has
a Brother in
Philadelphia, who has written him a long Letter about the
Constitutionists and the Republicans. They have chosen Mr.
Dickinson Governor, and Mr. Mifflin into
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