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. 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.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.