Diary of John Adams, volume 4

July 25. 1778.

fifth of November 1779

Sir Stanier Porten to Lord Weymouth
My Lord

In Obedience to your Lordships commands, I have perused the Correspondence to and from Mr. Stanley and The Duke of Bedford, during their Stay at Paris, previous to the last Treaty of Peace, from which it appears, that in their different Projects and Counter Projects, the Articles concerning the Newfoundland Fishery, chiefly referred to what was stipulated in the Treaty of Utrecht. The French Ministers pressed at first, to have Cape Breton ceded to them, and when that was refused, they insisted that they must have some place, as an “Abri” to secure themselves. After many discussions, the Isle of Miquelon was 188offered to them, and then St. Pierre was added to it, and the fifth and sixth Articles were agreed upon as they stand in the Definitive Treaty signed the tenth of February 1763…. On the first of March following, the Duke De Nivernois held a very extraordinary and unexpected Language with the late Lord Egremont, which cannot be so well expressed, as by sending your Lordship the inclosed Extract from Lord Egremonts Letter to the Duke of Bedford, by which it appears, that the Duke De Nivernois insisted “that the French had an exclusive Right to the Fishery from Cape Bonnavista, to Point Riche, and that they had, on ceding the Island of Newfoundland to Great Britain by the thirteenth Article of the Treaty of Utrecht, expressly reserved to themselves such an exclusive Right, which they had constantly been in Possession of, till they were entirely driven from North America in the last War.” Many successive Letters passed on the same Subject, but the inclosed extract sufficiently explains what your Lordship wished to know, whether the French claimed the exclusive right, or solicited to be indulged in it. If your Lordship should want any further Ecclaircissement I will endeavour to obey your Commands. I am, with the greatest Respect, My Lord, your Lordships most humble and most obedient Servant.

Signed S. Porteen
Right Honourable Viscount Weymouth.