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again, as the minister here considered the letter to me from Lord Shelburne as a kind of authority given that messenger, and expects his return with some explicit propositions. I shall keep you advised of what passes:

The late act of parliament for exchanging American prisoners as prisoners of war, according to the law of nations, any thing in their commitments notwithstanding, seemed a renunciation of their pretensions to try our people as subjects guilty of high treason, and to be a kind of tacit acknowledge ment of our independence. Having taken this step, it will be less difficult for them to acknowledge it expressly. They are now preparing transports to send the prisoners home. I yesterday sent the passports desired of me.

Sir George Grand showed me a letter from Mr. Fizeaux, in which he said, that if advantage is taken of the present enthusiasm in favour of America, a loan might be obtained in Holland of five or six millions of florins for America; and if their house is impowered to open it, he has no doubt of guccess; but that no time is to be lost. I earnestly recom mend this matter to you, as extremely necessary to the operațions of our financier Mr. Morris, who not knowing that the greatest part of the last five millions had been consumed by purchase of goods, &c. in Europe, writes me advice of large drafts that he shall be obliged to make upon me this summer. This court has granted us six millions of livres for the current year, but it will fall vastly short of our occasions, there being large orders to fulfil, and near two millions and a half to pay M. Beaumarchais, besides the interest of bills, &c. The house of Fizeaux and Grand is now appointed banker for France, by a special commission from the kings and will on that as well as other accounts, be in my opinion the fittest for this operation. Your Excellency being on the spot, can better judge of the terms, &c. and manage with that house the whole business, in which I should be glad to have no

VOL. II.

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other concern, than that of receiving assistance from it when pressed by the dreaded drafts ...!

tul I With great respect, I am, your Excellency's, &c. ,, iron

B. FRANKLIN.

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In reply to this. Mr. Adams wrote to ine as follows.

Sir,

Amsterdam, May 2, 1792: I am bonored with your favor of the 20thy April, and Mr. Lauréns's son proposes to carry the letter to his father forthwith. The instructions by the courier from Versailles came safe, as also other dispatches by that channel: no doubt will do. The correspondence with Mr. Hartley, k çeceived by Captain Smedley, and will take the first good opportunity by a private hand to return it, as well as that with the Earl of Shelburne. 7. Mr. Laurens/and Mr. Jay will I hope be able to meet at Paris, but when it will be in my power to go I know not. Your present negociation about peace falls in yery:well to. aid a proposition which I am instructed to make, as soon as the court of Versailles' shall: judge proper, of a triple. or. quadruple alliance! This matter, the treaty of commerce which is now under deliberation, and the loan, will render it improper for me to quit this station unless in case of necessity.. If there is a real dispasition to permit Canada to. accede to the American association, I should think there, could be norgreat difficulty in adjusting all things between England and America, provided our allies are contented too. In a former letter I hinted that I thought an express acknowledgment of our independence might now be insisted on: but I did not mean that we should insist upon such an article in the treaty. If they make a treaty of peace with the United States of America, this is acknowledgment enough for me. The affair of a loan givés, me much anxiety and

fatigue. It is true I may open a loan for five inillions, but I confess I have no hopes of obtaining so much. The money is not to be had. - Cash is not infinite in this country.

Their profits by trade liave been ruined for two or three years; and there are loans open for France, Spain, England, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, and several other powers, as well as their own national, provincial and collegiate loans. The undertakers are already loaded with burthens greater than they can bear, and all the brokers in the republic' are so engaged, that there is scarcely a ducat to be lent but what is promised.

This is the true cause why we shall not succeed; yet they will seek an hundred other pretences. It is considered such an honor and such an introduction to American trade to be the House, that the eagerness to obtain the title of American banker is. prodigious. Various houses have pretensions which they set up very high, and let me chuse which I will, I am sure of a cry and a clamour. I have taken some measures to endeavour to calm the heat and give general satisfaction, but havelas yet small hopes of success. I would strike with any house that would insure the money, but none will undertake it now it is offered, although several were very ready to affirm that they could when it began to be talked of. Upon enquiry they do not find the money easy to obtain, which I could have told them before. It is to me personally perfectly indifferent, which is the house, and the only question is, which will be able to do best for the interest of the United States. This question, however simple, is not easy to answer. But I think it clear, after' very painful and laborious enquiries for a year and a half, that no house whatever will be able to do much. Enthusiasm at some times and in some countries may do a great deal, but there has as yet been no enthusiasm in this country for America, strong enough to QUE 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 1. Wag much pleased with him. I have the honor to be, with n great esteem and respect, Sir, &c. &c.

1 B. FRANKLIN.

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

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SIR,

Amsterdam, April 16, 1782.

Yesterday: noon, , Mr. William Vaughan of 6, 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

least to see if we agreed in sentiment, and having been depsired 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 commis

sion for peace : that all I should say to him would be as one i private citizen conversing with another,:, but that, upop,

all

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such occasions I should reserve a váght to communicate whatevet should pass to our colleagues and allies.

He said, that Lord Shelburne and others of the new ministers were anxious to know whether there was any 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, abbat the same time that he came away to see me.

I desired him, between hiinland me, to consider, without saying any thing of it to the ministry, 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 bé só.

"I found the old gentléthan perfectly sound in his system of politics." He has a very poor apinion both of the integrity and abilities of the new ministry, as well as the told.13 -He ***thinks they know not what 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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