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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12


This foot note contained in document ADMS-06-12-02-0266
2. The British emissary, Nathaniel Parker Forth, reportedly offered negotiations on the basis of a worldwide uti possidetis and concessions that included the restoration of full French sovereignty over Dunkerque (Morris, Peacemakers , p. 254). Such proposals might well have been acceptable to France in mid-1781, but by spring 1782 the war’s progress and the unsettled British political situation made negotiations as proposed by Forth and Hartley and implied by Digges as unacceptable to France as they were to the United States. Franklin reported to Hartley that France’s reply to Forth declared
“that the King of France is as desirous of peace as the King of England, and that he would accede to it as soon as he could with dignity and safety: but it is a matter of the last importance for his most Christian majesty to know whether the court of London is disposed to treat on equal terms with the allies of France” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 5:304).