1783.PARIS JANUARY 1
Versailles, made my Visit and Compliments of the Season
to M. Le C. de Vergennes and delivered him a Copy of our
Treaty and Convention with the States General. He received me with Politeness,
made me the Compliments of the Season, tres sincerement, and was sensibly
obliged to me for the Copies and invited me to dine.
I went to see the Ceremony of the Knights of the St. Esprit, in the Chappell,
where the Queen shone in great Splendour, dined with
an immense Company at the Comtes and returned to
One of these first days of January I had a Conversation with Mr.
Benjamin Vaughan, upon the Liberty of Navigation as claimed by the
confederated neutral Powers and the Dutch. Shewed him
England was in, of acceeding to it, and the Importance of doing
it soon that they might have it to say, that they had arranged their Affairs
with the Dutch, as well as with the
He said he saw the Importance, of pulling at the hairs one by one, when you
could not pull out the whole Tail at once. That he had written and would write
again to my Lord Shelburne upon the Subject: but says he
you can not blame us for endeavouring, to cary this
point to Market, and get Something by it. We can not prevent the French from
getting some Territory in the
East Indies more than they had and perhaps We may buy this of
the Dutch for this Point.
The same day I called upon Mr. Jay, and asked him
to speak with Mr. Oswald upon the same
Subject, called next upon Mr. Laurens and mentioned the same
Idea to him, called at Mr. Oswalds to
talk with him upon it, but he was gone out.
Dined with M. Vaughan, in Company with the Abby de
Mably, Chalut, Arnoux and Ter
Saint [Tersan]. -- Had more Conversation
with de Mably than at any Time before. He meditates a Work upon
our American Constitutions. He says the Character he gives of Herodian in his
last Work, Sur la maniere d'ecrire L'histoire, has procured to his Bookseller,
Purchases, for all the Copies of that Historian which he had in his
Shop.Arnoux said that Rousseau, by his
Character of Robinson Crusoe, helped his Bookseller to the Sale of an whole
Edition of that Romance in a few days.
Mr. W. T. Franklin came in to talk with me, about a Subject
which he said he did not often talk about, and that was himself. He produced a
Commission, drawn up, for Messrs.
Franklin and Jay
to sign, when they only
here, before I arrived, and in fact signed by them. I took the Commission and
read it. He asked me to sign it. I told him, that I considered myself as
directly affronted in this Affair. That considering that I came out to Europe
without any Solicitation of mine, single in the
Peace, and considering that Congress had done me the Honour
to place me at the head of the new Commission, I had
a right to be consulted in the Appointment of a Secretary to the Commission.
But that without saying or writing a Word to me, Dr.
had wrote to Mr. Jay
Madrid and obtained a Promise from him. That considering the
Relation to me in which Mr. Thaxter came out, and his Services
and Sufferings in the Cause and the small Allowance he had received, I thought
he had a better right to it. That I thought my
ill treated in this as in many other Things. That it was not from
any disrespect to him, Mr. W.T.F.
that I declined it. That I should not, if my Opinion had been asked, have
named Mr. Thaxter but another Gentleman.
He told me, how his Grandfather was weary, that he had renewed his
Solicitation to Congress, to be relieved. That he wanted to be with his Family
Philadelphia &c. &c. &c.
I told him I was weary too, and had written an unconditional Resignation of
all my Employments in
Europe. That an Attack had been made upon me by the C. de Vergennes, and Congress had been induced to disgrace
me. That I would not bear this disgrace if I could help it. That I would wear
no Livery with a Spot upon it. The Stain should be taken out or I would not
wear the Coat. That Congress had placed me now in a Situation, that I could do
nothing without being suspected of a sinister Motive, that of aiming at being
restored to the Mission to
Great Britain. The Conduct of the American Cause in
Europe had been a constant Scramble for Offices and was now
likely to be a new and more passionate Scaene of
Factions for Places. That I would have nothing to do with it, had not been used
He said that Congress would have now a Number of Places and would provide
for Mr. Thaxter. That they would undoubtedly give me full
I told him that the first Wish of my Heart was to return to my Wife and
Children &c. that
He shewed me, Extract of a Letter of Dr. F. to
Congress concerning him, containing a studied and long Eulogium Sagacity beyond
his Years, Diligence, Activity, Fidelity, genteel Address, Facility in
speaking French. Recommends him to be Secretary of some Mission, thinks
he would make an excellent Minister, but does not propose him for it as
This Letter and other Circumstances convince me, that the Plan is laid
between the C. de Vergennes and the Dr., to
get Billy made Minister to this Court and not improbably the
London. Time will shew.
Mr. B. Vaughan came in. I told him, I had some Facts to
communicate to him in Confidence. They affected my personal Interest,
Character, and Feelings so intimately, that it was impossible for me to speak
of them without being suspected of personal Resentments and sinister Motives.
But that these Facts were at the same time so connected, with public Affairs,
with the Interests of the
House of Bourbon, and with the essential Interests of
Great Britain and America and the true System of
Policy, which the house two last ought in future to pursue towards
each other, that it was my indispensable Duty to communicate them to some
English Gentleman who might put their Government upon their Guard.
The two Facts I should now mention were two
Instances of the
Policy of the C. de Vergennes
to defeat the
good Intentions of Congress, towards
G. Britain. I then shewed
him my two
original Commissions -- one as Minister Plenipotentiary for making Peace, the
other as Minister Plenipotentiary to make a Treaty of Commerce with the
Ambassador or Plenipotentiary of his Britannic Majesty, vested with equal
Powers, and whatever shall be so agreed and concluded for Us and in our Name to
sign and thereupon make a Treaty of Commerce, and to transact every Thing
that may be necessary for compleating
, securing and strengthening the same, in as
ample Form and with the same Effect, as if We were personally present and acted
therein, 29. Sept. 1779.
Mr. Vaughan said he was astonished at my Secrecy and
Patience, in never communicating this before. That they never had any Idea of
London. I told him the C. de
Vergennes had required me in the name of the King not to
I then shew him the Resolution of Congress of 12
July 1781, by which the Commission and Instructions for negotiating a Treaty of
Commerce between the
U. States and
G. Britain given me on the 29. day of Sept. 1779, were
I then read to him the following Part of my Instructions of the 16. Oct.
1779, vizt. That the common Right of Fishing shall in no Case be given up. That
it is essential to the Welfare of all these
United States, that the Inhabitants there of, at the Expiration
of the War should continue to enjoy the free and undisturbed Exercise of their
common Right to fish on the
banks of Newfoundland and the other fishing
That our Faith be pledged to the
Several States, that without their unanimous Consent no Treaty of Commerce
shall be entered into nor any Trade or Commerce whatever carried on with
G. Britain without the Explicit Stipulation herein after
mentioned. You are therefore not to consent to any Treaty of Commerce with
G. Britain, without an explicit Stipulation on her Part not to
molest or disturb the Inhabitants of the
United States of America in taking fish on the
Banks of Newfoundland and other Fisheries in the American Seas
&c. -- Here I stopped.
You see here says I Mr. Vaughan, a proof of a great
Confidence in me. And what was the Cause of it? No other than this, My
Sentiments were known in Congress, to be unalterable for Independence, our
Alliance, Fisheries and Boundaries. But it was known also to be a fixed
Principle with me, to hurt
G. Britain no farther than should be necessary to secure our
Independence, Alliance and other Rights.
The C. de Vergennes knew my Character, both
from his Intelligences in America and from my Conversation and
Correspondence with him. He knew me to be a Man who would not yield to some of
the designs he had in View. He accordingly sets his Confidential
Friend Mr. Marbois, to negotiating very artfully with Congress.
They could not get me removed or recalled, and the next Scheme was to get the
Power of the Commission for Peace into the hands of Dr.
To this End the Choice was made to fall upon him, and four other Gentlemen
who could not attend. They have been however mistaken, and no Wrestler was ever
so compleatly thrown upon his Back as
the C. de Vergennes.
But their Policy did not stop here. I had still a Parchment, to make a
Treaty of Commerce with
G. Britain, and an Instruction annexed to it, which would be
a powerfull Motive with
G.B. to acknowledge our Right to the Fisheries. This Commission
and these Instructions were to be and were revoked.
Mr. Vaughan said this was very important Information and
entirely new. That he [illegible] was much enlightened and had
Sentiments upon the Occasion. That he would write it to the E. of
Shelburne, and his Lordship would make great Use of it, without
naming me, &c.
Mr. Oswald came to take Leave and shewed me a Letter from the Secretary of State for him to
come home. He goes off, on Wednesday.
I told him if he was going home, I would communicate to him, what I had not
I told him what I told Yesterday to Vaughan and gave him
some short Account of my Correspondence with the C. de
Vergennes, upon the Question whether I should communicate
to Lord G. Germain, my Commissions, and his Requisition
from the King, not to do it, &c.
JANUARY 19 SUNDAY.
Received a Note from Mr. Franklin, that
the C. de Vergennes had written to him to desire
me, to meet him at his office, tomorrow at ten. Went out
to Passy, told Mr. Franklin that I had
been informed last night, that the Comte was
uneasy at Mr. Oswalds going away, because
he expected to sign the Preliminaries in a day or two.
Mr. Franklin and I met the Comte de Vergennes at his office at Ten. He told us, he
was going to sign Preliminaries and an Armistice. At Eleven the C.
D'Aranda came in, and Mr.
Fitsherbert. After examining the
Papers,D'Aranda and Fitsherbert signed the Preliminary Treaty,
between the Crowns of
G. Britain and Spain. De
Vergennes and Fitsherbert that between
France. Then Fitsherbert on one Part and Adams and Franklin on the other,
signed, sealed and exchanged Declarations of an Armistice between the Crown of
Great Britain and the
United States of America.
Previous to the Signature all the original Commissions were shewn. The C. D'Aranda shewed his. The C. de
Vergennes his. Mr.
Fitsherbert his -- and Adams and Franklin theirs.Fitsherbert agreed to exchange Copies with
Us. -- Thus was this mighty System terminated with as little Ceremony, and in
as short a Time as a Marriage Settlement.
Before the British and Spanish Ministers came in I asked the C. de Vergennes what was to become of
Holland. He smiled and said, that We had nothing to do with
that. I answered, with a Smile too, it was very true We had nothing to do with
it, but that I interested myself very much, in the Welfare and Safety of that
People. He then assumed an affected Air of Seriousness and said he interested
himself in it too a good deal, and then told me, that the English had first
wished to retain Demerary and Essquibo, but the King would not hear to that.
Then they wanted Trincamale in the East Indies. But the King would not agree to
that. Then they wanted Negapatnam. This the King left them to settle with the
Dutch, but insisted on a Declaration from the King of G.
Britain that he would restore all the other Possessions.
Fitsherbert told me afterwards it
was the Severity of the Spaniards, that obliged his Court to be so hard with
the Dutch. The Spaniards would do nothing without
Paris and dined with the
Duchess D'Anville and the Duke de la
Versailles to pay my Respects to the King and Royal Family, upon
the Event of Yesterday. Dined with the foreign Ambassadors at the C.
The King appeared in high Health and in gay Spirits: so did the
Queen.M. [Madame] Elizabeth is grown
very fat. The C. D'Artois seems very well.Mr. Fitsherbert had his first Audience of
the King and Royal Family and dined for the first time with the Corps
JANUARY 23. THURSDAY.
Mr. Whitefoord made me a Visit. He said it was the fatal
Policy of the Earl of Chatham, in supporting
the K. of Prussia against the
House of Austria, that had given an Austrian Queen to
France. That the French had contrived too to marry the Kings two
Brothers to Princesses of
Savoy, by which they had damped the Zeal of another of the
England the King of Sardinia.
I told him the Story of my Correspondence with the C. de
Vergennes in 1780, about communicating my Mission to Lord
G. Germain. He said if I had followed my own Opinion, and written
to his Lordship and published the Letter, it would have turned out the old
Ministry. I told him I was restrained by a Requisition from the King. Besides
the Defeat of D'Estaing and Langara, had
turned the Heads of the People of
England at that time.
TUESDAY. FEB. 18.
Received a Letter from my Son John, dated at
Gottenburgh the 1 of Feb. This Letter gave me great joy, it is the first I
have received from him since he left
Petersbourg, and the first News I
have had of him since the Beginning of December, when he was at
Stockholm. I have suffered extream
Anxiety on his Account.
I have omitted my journal, and several Things of some Consequence, but I am
weary, disgusted, affronted and disappointed. This State of Mind I must alter
-- and work while the day lasts.
I have been injured, and my Country has joined in the Injury. It has basely
prostituted its own honour by sacrificing mine. But
the Sacrifice of me for my Virtues, was not so servile, and intollerable as putting Us all under Guardianship.
Congress surrendered their own Sovereignty into the Hands of a French Minister.
Blush blush! Ye guilty Records! blush and perish! It is Glory, to have broken
such infamous orders. Infamous I say, for so they will be to all Posterity. How
can such a Stain be washed out? Can We cast a veil over it, and forget it?
FEB. 24 MONDAY.
Dined in Company with Mr. Malesherbes, the famous first
President of the Court of Aids, Uncle of the Chevalier de la
Luzerne, and Son of the Chancellor de la
Moignon. He is about half Way in Appearance, between Mr.
Otis and Mr. A. Oliver.
F. [Franklin] this Morning
mentioned to me the Voyage de la Fonte, who mentions a Captain
Chapley, and a Seymour Gibbons. F. thinks it is
translated from the Spanish, and that the Translator or Printer has
put Seymour for Seignor. He had once a Correspondence about
this Voyage, and Mr. Prince found there had been
a Captain Chapelet at
Charlestown and a Gibbons but not
Mr. Samuel Vaughan says that Cooks Voyage
will be 3 Volumes 60 Plates, and will not be out these 12 Months. The Plates
are of Islands discovered &c.
He mentions a new Sort of Bark, much redder and much stronger, than any
Dined at the Farmer Generals, in Company with the Comte de
Polastron, Father of the Duchesse de
Polignac. No Friend of D'Estaing.
Spent the Evening in Company with the Abby de Mably, some
other Abbys and Accademicians
De Mably says There are in
France Three Orders of Citizens. The first Order is of the
Clergy. 2. The Second of the Nobility. 3. And the third is called Le Tiers
Etat. -- There are several Classes in the Order of the Clergy, 7 or 8 Classes
in the Order of Nobles, and Thirty Classes in the Tiers Etat. The Nobles all
believe that their Nobility is from God. And therefore, the Nobles are all
equal, and that the King cannot confer Nobility.
In the Morning Chronicle of Saturday February 22, Mr. Secretary
Townsend in the Debate upon the five Propositions of Lord
John Cavendish, is represented to have said He was willing to give
his full Assent to the first Proposition, because such a Declaration from
Parliament was, after the Address voted on Monday last, indispensably
necessary. To the second, and to the third Resolutions, likewise he had no
Objections. The fourth he certainly should resist, because it conveyed a direct
Censure upon Ministers, reprobated and condemned the Peace, would give Alarm
and Umbrage to the foreign Powers, with whom the Peace had been made, and be
attended with a Variety of bad Consequences.
"With Regard to the fifth, that respecting the Loyalists, it would produce
much Evil. It would
It would totally defeat the Recommendations
which Congress were pledged to make in favour
Loyalists, and put them in a worse Predicament than that they already stood in,
by the Treaty. In order to support this Assertion Mr. Townsend
reasoned a good deal on the great danger arising at all times from creating
Jealousies and Suspicions in Parties negotiating; but if there was any Party
more prone to jealousy, any State more liable to catch Suspicion sooner than
another, it must be the
United States of America, on Account of their having been little
accustomed to the Business of negotiating, and being obliged to trust
their first and dearest Interests in the hands of Persons of whose Fidelity
they had scarcely any pledge o f Security.
Townsend concluded with saying, that for these Reasons he should
resist the fifth Resolution as well as the fourth."
9 [i.e. 8] SATURDAY.
Passy, the Spanish Ambassador, the Comte de
Rochambeau, the Chevalier de Chatelux
[Chastellux], Mr. Jay
Chatelux said to the Abby Morlaix
that I was the Author of the
Massachusetts Constitution, and that it was the best of em all,
and that the People were very contented with it.
France 1. Feb. 1783, p. 26
Academie Royale de Musique.
Lorsqu'un homme entre dans la carriere des Arts, n'ayant pour guide et pour
Appui que son Genie; lorsque L'Intrigue et la Charlatanerie, ces deux grandes
Ressources des petits talens, lui sont etrangres, il doit s'attendre
tre long tems persecut, mconnu,
arrt chaque pas. Mais qu'il ne perde point courage;
tous les Obstacles s'applanissent peu -- a -- peu devant lui; ses Ennemis se
lassent ou deviennent odieux et suspects; et le public, clair
par ces memes productions qu'il n'avoit pas d'abord appreciees, rend enfin
justice leur Auteur.
Il est vrai qu'un Artiste qui se presente apres vingt -- cinq ans de gloire
et de Succs ne devroit pas eprouver les mmes degouts; son nom
fameux dans l'Empire des Arts, paroitroit fait pour en imposer ses
dtracteurs; mais si dans le nouveau pays ou il arrive, son Art est
encore ignor; s'il y rgne un faux Savoir, pire que L'Ignorance;
si l'on y a la manie des Preferences,
, et que l'on ait dej choisi l'Objet de ces
Preferences, son nom lui devient inutile ou meme dangereux; et la Reputation
qui le prced, en veillant l'Envie, n'est pour lui qu'un
Obstacle de plus.
On se rappelle aujourd hui, avec une espece de honte, les excs
o l'on se porta d'abord contre l'Auteur de Roland. Les quolibets, les
plattes Epigrammes, les comparaisons injurieuses, rien ne fut
Mr. Picini [Piccinni] is the Author of
In this Country, the Demon of Monarchy haunts all the Scaenes of Life. It appears in every Conversation, at every
Table and upon every Theatre. This People can attend to no more than one Person
at a Time. They can esteem but one, and to that one their Homage is Adulation
I once heard the Baron Van der Capellen de Poll say
that the Daemon of Aristocracy appeared
every where in that Republick. That he had collected together a Number of
Merchants to sign a Requte. They agreed upon the Measure but insisted
upon appointing a Committee to sign it. Many of them declared they would not
sign it, with a Crowd, avec une foule.
Thus it is that the human Mind contracts
habits of thinking
from the Example of the Gouvernment
to look up to a few as all in an Aristocracy, they imitate the same practice in
private Life, and in common Things. Accustomed in monarchies to look up to one
Man in great Affairs, they contract a similar disposition in little ones.
In the same manner in Democracies We contract an habit of deciding every
Thing by a Majority of Votes. We put it to vote whether the Company will sing a
Song or tell a Story. In an Aristocracy they ask 2 or 3 of the better Sort. In
a Monarchy they ask the Lady or the Gentleman, in whose honour the feast was made.
I dined with the Comte de Pilo, under the Incognito
name of Mr. D'Olavide, heretofore Intendant of Seville who
Colony of Sierra Morena in Spain, Mr.
Boystel Consul General of
Spain, the Comte de Jaucourt Marechal de
Camp, the C. de Lusignem M. de Camp and the
C. de Langeron M. de Camp, Commandant a Brest, at
Ephemerides du Cytoyen par L'Abbe Baudau.
Memoire sur les Administrations provincials par Mr.
Dialogue sur les Bleds par L'Abbe Galliany.
PARIS APRIL 27. 1783.
Mr. Hartley met Mr. Franklin,
Laurens, Jay and me, at my Lodgings,
and shewed Us an Instruction under the Kings Privy
Seal, and signed George Rex, in which his Majesty recites that
he had appointed Mr. Hartley his Minister Plenipotentiary to
treat with Us &c.
The American Ministers unanimously required a Commission under
the great Seal, and promising to ratify what he should do. -- Mr.
Hartley was chagrin'd.
Much Conversation passed, which might as well have been spared. Mr.
Hartley was as copious as usual. I called on Mr.
Jay in the Evening and We agreed to meet at my House next Morning at
At 10 Mr. Jay came in, and I shewed him a Variety of Projects, which I had drawn up last
night, concerning the Removal of the Troops, opening the Ports, tranquilizing
the Tories now within the Lines, Articles for Commerce, in Explanation of the
provisional Treaty &c.
We drew together a Proposition, for withdrawing the Troops, opening the
Ports and quieting the Tories, and went with it in my Carriage to Mr.
Laurens, who thought it might do. I said to my Brothers, I shall be
very ductile about Commerce. I would agree at once to a mutual Naturalization,
or to the Article as first agreed on by Dr. F.
, or I would agree to Mr. Hartleys Propositions,
to let the Trade go on as before the War or as with Nova Scotia.
I could agree to any of these Things because that Time and the natural Course
of Things will produce a good Treaty of Commerce.
G.B. will soon see and feel the
alluring American Commerce to her Ports, by Facilities and Encouragements of
every kind. We called at Mr. Hartleys
Hotel de York. He was out. At Mr.
, Mr. Hartley came in. We told him, We thought of
making him a Proposition, tomorrow, and would meet him at Mr.
Laurens's at one. Wrote to Dr. Franklin
W. T. Franklin, desiring their Attendance at Mr.
Hotel de L'Empereur at 11. tomorrow. Received an Answer that
they would attend. Mr. Hartley desired of me Letters of
Introduction for Il Comte di Ferm a Cousin of
the Neapolitan Ambassader in London, who is going to
America, which I promised him and wrote in the Evening.
At 11, We all met at Mr. Laurens's near the new French
Comedy, and agreed upon a Proposition to open the Ports as soon as the
U. States should be evacuated. At one Mr.
Hartley came and We shewed it to him, and
after some Conversation with him, We agreed upon 3 Propositions. 1. To open the
Ports as soon as the States should be evacuated. 2. To set all confined Tories
at Liberty at the same time and 3. To set all Prisoners of War at Liberty, upon
the same terms respecting the Accounts of their Expences as those between
APRIL 30. WEDNESDAY.
Mr. Hartley did me the Honour
Visit to assure me, as he said of the Satisfaction he had in reflecting, upon
what passed Yesterday, and upon what We had agreed upon. He thought
was exactly as it should be. I was glad to hear of his
Satisfaction and expressed my own. I told him that I was so convinced, that
Great Britain and
America would soon feel the Necessity and Convenience of a right
Plan of Commerce that I was not anxious about it. That it was simply from a
pure regard to
Great Britain, and to give them an opportunity of alluring to
themselves as much of our Commerce, as in the present State of Things would be
possible, that I should give myself any Trouble about it. That I had never had
but one Principle and one System, concerning this Subject, before, during or
since the War, and that had generally been the System of Congress viz. That it
was not our Interest to hurt
Great Britain any further than was necessary to support our
Independence and our Alliances. That the French Court had sometimes endeavoured
to warp us from this System, in some
degrees and particulars, that
they had sometimes succeeded with some American Ministers and Agents,
Mr. Deane particularly, and I must add that Dr. Franklin
had not adhered to it at all times with so much
Firmness as I could have wished, and indeed Congress itself from the
Fluctuation of its Members, or some other Cause had sometimes appeared to loose
Sight of it. That I had constantly endeavoured to adhere to it, but this
Inflexibility had been called Stubbornness, Obstinacy, Vanity &c. and had
me to many Attacks, and
Circumstances. That it had been to
damp the Ardour
of returning Friendship as I supposed,
which had induced the French Minister, to use his Influence to get the
Commission to make a Treaty of Commerce with
Great Britain, revoked without appointing another. That I did
not care a Farthing for a Commission to
Great Britain, and wished that the one to me had never existed,
but that I was very sorry it was revoked without appointing another. That the
Policy of this Court he might well think would be, to lay every stumbling Block
G. Britain and
America. They Wished to deprive Us of the Fisheries and Western
Lands for this Reason. They espoused the Cause of the Tories for this
I told him the Comte de Vergennes
and I were
pursuing different Objects. He was endeavouring to make my
Countrymen meek and humble and I was labouring
make them proud. I avowed it was my Object, to make them hold up their Heads,
and look down upon any Nation that refused to do them justice. That in my
Opinion Americans had nothing to fear, but from the Meekness of their own
Hearts. As Christians I wished them Meek, as Statesmen I wished them proud, and
I thought the Pride and the Meekness very consistent. Providence had put into
our hands such Advantages, that We had a just Right and it was our Duty to
insist upon justice from all Courts, Ministers and Nations.
That I wished him to get his Commission as soon as possible and that We
might discuss every Point and be perfectly ready to sign the definitive
He said his Commission would come as soon as the Courier could go and
return, and that he would prepare his Propositions for the definitive Treaty,
immediately. He said he had not imagined that We had been so
stout as he found Us. -- But he was very silent and attentive.
He has had hints I suppose, from Laurens and Jay, and Franklin too. He never
before discovered a Capacity to hearken. He ever
before took all the Talk to himself. I am not fond of talking, but I wanted to
convey into his Mind a few Things, for him to think upon. None of the English
Gentlemen have come here apprized of the Place
where their danger lay.
Dined with the Marquis de la Fayette, with
the other American Ministers and others.
Visited the Duke and Dutchesse de la
Vauguion at the petite
Luxembourg. The Duke is to stay here some time.
I told him he and I were in the same Case, and explained to him my Situation
and gave him my frank Sentiments of a certain Minister. He said he was
Mr. Hartley came in to introduce to me his Secretary
Mr. Hammond, whom he introduced also to mine,
Mr. Thaxter and Storer.
He told me that the C. de Vergennes had been
treating with Mr. Fitsherbert about the Post of Panmure at the
Natches, which is within the Limits
which England has acknowledged to be the Bounds of the
United States. The Spaniards want to keep it, and the
C. de Vergennes wants to make a Merit of
procuring it for them with a few Leagues round it. -- I told Mr.
Hartley that this Subject was within the exclusive jurisdiction of
Mr. Jay. That the Minister for Peace had nothing to
say in it.
I told Mr. Hartley the Story of my Negotiations with the
C. de Vergennes about communicating my Mission
to Ld. G. Germaine 3 Years ago and the subsequent
Intrigues and Disputes &c. It is necessary to let the English Ministers
know where their danger lies, and the Arts used to damp the Ardour of returning friendship.
Mr. Jay came, with several Pieces of Intelligence.
1. The Story of Panmure. 2. The Marquis de la
Fayette told him that no Instructions were ever sent by the
C. de Vergennes to the C.
Montmorrin to favour Mr.
Jays Negotiations at
Madrid and that Montmorrin told
la Fayette so.
Mr. Jay added that the Marquis told him, that the C. de
Vergennes desired him to ask Mr. Jay why
he did not come and see him? Mr. Jay says he answered
how can he expect it? when he knows he has endeavoured to play Us out of the
Fisheries and vacant Lands? Mr.Jay added that he
thought it would be best to let out by degrees, and to communicate to some
French Gentlemen, the Truth and shew them
Marbois's Letter. Particularly he mentioned
Mr. Jay added, every Day produces some fresh Proof
and Example of their vile Schemes. He had applied to
Montmorin, to assist him, countenance him, support him,
in his Negotiation at
Madrid, and shewed him a Resolution of
Congress by which the King of France was requested to
Aid him.Montmorin said he could not do it, without
Instructions from his Court, that he would write for Instructions, but
Mr. Jay says he never heard any farther about it. But
Yesterday La Fayette told him that
Montmorin told him, no such Instruction had ever been
In Truth Congress and their Ministers have been plaid upon like Children, trifled with, imposed upon,
deceived. Franklin's Servility and insidious
faithless Selfishness is the true and only Cause why this Game has succeeded.
He has aided Vergennes with all his Weight, and
his great Reputation, in both Worlds, has supported this ignominious System and
blasted every Man and every Effort to shake it off. I only have had a little
Success against him.