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aggressor of reparation for injuries done by him in his pas, sion. And I hinted if England should make us a voluntary, offer of Canada expressly for that purpose, it might have a good effect. Mr. Oswald, liked much the idea, said they, were too much straitened for money to make us pecuniary reparation, but he should endeavour to persuade their doing, it in this way. He is furnished with a passport to go and return by Calais, and I expect him back in ten or twelve days. I wish you and Mr. Laurens could be here when he arrives : for I shall much want your advice, and cannot act without your concurrence. If the present crisis of your affaire prevents your coming, I hope at least Mr. Laurens will be here, and we must communicate with you by expresses, for your letters to me per post are generally opened. I shall write per next post requesting Mr. Jay to be here also as soon as possible.

I received your letter advising of a draft on me for a quarter's salary, which will be duly honored. With great esteem, I have the honor to be your Excellency's, &c. &c.


Supposing Mr. Laurens to be in Holland with Mr. Adams, I at the same time wrote the following letter :


& soch

Passy, April 20, 1782. I received by Mr. Oswald the letter you did the honor of writing to me the 7th instant; he brought me also a letter from Lord Shelburne, which gave him the same good character that you do, adding, “ he is fully apprized of my mind, and you may give full credit to every thing, he assures you of.” Mr. Oswald, however, could give me, po other particulars of his Lordship's mind, but that he wąs sincerely disposed to peace. As the message seemed


therefore rather intended to procure or receive propositions than to make any, I told Mr. Oswald that I could make none but in concurrence with my colleagues in the commission, and that if we'were together we should not treat but in conjunction with France, and I proposed introducing him to M. de Vergennes, which he accepted. He made to that minister the same declaration of the disposition of England to peace, who replied that France had already the same good dispositions ; that a treaty might be immediately begun, but it must be for a general, not particular peace. That as to the place, he thought Paris might be most convenient, as Spain had here already aw ambassador, and the American commissioners could easily be assembled here: this upon a supposition of the parties treating directly with each other · without the intervention of mediators. But if the mediation was to be used, it might be at Vienna. The King his master however was so truly disposed to peace, that he woald agree to any place the King of England should chuse; and would at the treaty give proof of the confidence that might be placed in any engagements he should enter into, by the fidelity and exactitude with which he should observe those he already had with his present allies. Mr. Oswald is returned with these general answers, by the way of Calais, and expects to be here again in a few days. I wish it might bé convenient for you and Mr. Adams to be here at the same time: but if the present critical situation of affairs there, 'make his being in Holland necessary just now, I hope you may nevertheless be here, bringing with you his opinion and advice. I have proposed to Lord Shelburne to discharge you from the obligations you entered into at the time of your enlargement, that you may act more freely in the treaty he desires. I had done myself the honor of writing to you a few days before the arrival of Mr. Oswald. My letter went by Mr. Young, your secretary, and enclosed a copy of

our commission, with an offer of money if you had occasion

for any. Hoping that you will not return to England before - you have been at Paris, 1 forbear, enlarging, on the state of Lour affairs here and in Spain. M. de, Vergennes told me be o should be very glad to see you here. I found Mr. Oswald 1 to answer perfectly the character you gave me of him, and »Was much pleased with him. I have, the honor to be, with n great esteem and respect, Sir, &c. &c.


Just after I had dispatched these letters, I received the following from Mr. Adams.


Amsterdam, April 16, 1782.

Yesterday : poon, Mr. William Vaughan of London, came to my house with Mr. Laurens, a son of the President, and brought me a line from the latter, and told me that the President was at Haerlem, and desired to see me. I went out to Haerlem, and found my old friend at the Golden Lion.

He told me he was come, partly for his health, and the pleasure of seeing me, and partly to converse with me, and see if he had at present just ideas and views of things, at Jeast to see if we agreed in sentiment, and having been desired by several of the new mivistry to do so.

I asked him if he was at liberty? He said, No, that he was still under parole, but at liberty to say what be pleased

to me.

I told him that I could not communicate to him, being a prisoner, even his own instructions, nor enter into any consultations with him as one of our colleagues in the commission for peace; that all I should say to him would be as one private citizen conversing with another:, but that, upon,


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such occasions I should reserve a right to communicate. whatever should pass to our colleagues and

allies. He said, that Lord Shelburne and others of the new mimisters were anxious to know whether there was muy authority to treat of a separate peace, and whether there could be an accommodation upon any terms'short of independence ; that he had ever answered them, that nothing short of an express or tacit acknowledgment of our independence in his opinion would ever be accepted, and that no treaty 'ever would or could be made separate from France.! He asked me if his answers had been right? I told him, I was fully of that opinion.

He said, that the new ministers had received Digges's report, but his character was such that they did not chuse to depend upon it: that a person by the name of Oswald, I think, set off for Paris' to see you, about the same túne 'that he came away to seë ime.

I desired him, between himn'and me, to consider, without saying any thing of it to the núnistry, whether we could ever have a real peace with Canada and Nova Scotia in the hands of the English?' And whether we ought not to insist at least upon a stipulation, that they should keep no standing army or regular troops, nor erect any fortifications on the frontiers of either That at present I saw no motive that we had to be anxious for a peace, and if the nation was not ripe for it upon proper terms, we might wait patiently till they should

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I found the old gentléthan perfectly sound in his system of politics." He has a very poor opinion both of the integrity and abilities of the new ministry, as well as the fold. He thinks they know not whát "they are about;" that they are spoiled by the same insincerity, duplicity, falsehood, and corruption, with the former. Lord Shelburne "still flatters the king with ideas of conciliation and separate peace, &c.

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Yet the nation and the best men in it are for an universal peace, and an express acknowledgment of American independence, and many of the best are for giving up Canada and Nova Scotia.

His desigu, seemed to be solely to know how far Digges's report was true. After an hour or two of conversation, I returned to Amsterdam, and left him to return to London.

These are all but artifices to raise the stocks, and if you think of any method to put a stop to them, I will cheerfully concur with you. They now know sụfficiently, that our commission is to treat of a general peace, and with persons vested with equal powers: and if you agree to it, I will neyer see another messenger that is not a plenipotentiary.

It is expected that the seventh province, Guelderland, will this day acknowledge American independence. I think we are in such a situation now that we ought not upon any consideration to think of a truce, or any thing short of an express acknowledgment of the sovereignty of the United States. I should be glad, however, to know your sentiments upon this point.

I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,


To the above, I immediately wrote the following answer.


Passy, April 20, 1782. I have just received the honor of yours dated the 16th instant, acquainting me with the interview between your Excellency and Mr. Laurens. I am glad to learn that his political sentiments coincide with ours, and that there is a disposition in England to give us up Canada and Nova Scotia.

I like your idea of seeing no more messengers that are not plenipotentiaries ; but I cannot refuse seeing Mr. Oswald

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