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(Enclosed in the foregoing.)
Extract of a Letter to RICHARD OSWALD, ESQ. from the Right Honorable THOMAS TOWNSHEND, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, dated Whitehall, Sept. 1, 1782.
"I have received and laid before the Kiug your letters of the 17th, 18th, and 21st ult.; and I am commanded to signify to you his Majesty's approbation of your conduct, in communicating to the American Commissioners the fourth article of your instructions; which could not but convince them, that the negociation for peace, and the cession of independence to the Thirteen United Colonies, were intended to be carried on and concluded with the Commissioners in Europe.
"Those gentlemen having expressed their satisfaction concerning that article, it is hoped they will not entertain a doubt of his Majesty's determination to exercise, in the fullest extent, the powers with which the act of parliament hath invested him, by granting to America, full, complete, and unconditional independence, in the most explicit manmer, as an article of treaty."
Paris, Sept. 5, 1782.
FROM DAVID HARTLEY, ESQ. M. P. TO DR. FRANKLIN. MY DEAR FRIEND, Hôtel d'-Yorck, Sept. 7, 1782. I beg of you not to forget your letter to Mr. Fox. The purpose of my journey to England will be, to do the best in my power for things and persons, and particularly for my friends. If you have any other private letters, send them to me; I will deliver them. I hope likewise to be personally charged with the answers. I am better this morning, and shall certainly set out very early to-morrow morning.
Pray give my best compliments to Mr. and Mrs. Jay, and Mr. Temple Franklin. I wish you all health till I have the pleasure of seeing you again. Your ever most affectionate friend, D. HARTLEY.
To RICHARD OSWALD, Esq.
Passy, Sept. 8, 1782.
I have received the honor of yours, dated the 5th instant, enclosing an extract of a letter to your Excellency from the Right Hon. Thomas Townshend, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, wherein your conduct in communicating to us the fourth article of your instructions appears to have been approved by his Majesty. I suppose therefore that there is no impropriety in my requesting a copy of that instruction; and if you see none, I wish to receive it from you, hoping it may be of use in removing some of the difficulties that obstruct our proceeding. With great and sincere esteem, I am, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant,
Copy of the fourth article of his Majesty's instructions to Richard Oswald, for his government in treating with the Commissioners of the Thirteen United Colonies of America for a truce or peace, the said instructions being dated the 31st day of July, 1782; viz.
"4th Article. In case you find the American Commissioners are not at liberty to treat on any terms short of independence, you are to declare to them, that you have authority to make that concession. Our ardent wish for peace disposing us to purchase it at the price of acceding to the complete independence of the Thirteen Colonies, namely, New Hampshire, Massachusett's Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three
lower counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North
TO THE RIGHT HON. THE EARL OF GRANTHAM.
Passy, Sept. 11, 1782.
A long and severe indisposition has delayed my acknowledging the receipt of the letter your Lordship did me the honor of writing to me by Mr. Fitzherbert.
You do me justice in believing that I agree with you in earnestly wishing the establishment of an honorable and lasting peace; and I am happy to be assured by your Lordship that it is the system of the ministers with whom you are co-operating. I know it to be the sincere desire of the United States, and with such dispositions on both sides, there is reason to hope that the good work in its progress will meet with little difficulty. A small one has occurred in the commencement, with which Mr. Oswald will acquaint you. I flatter myself that means will be found on your part for removing it; and my best endeavours in removing subsequent ones (if any should arise) may be relied on.
I had the honor of being known to your Lordship's father. On several occasions he manifested a regard for me, and a confidence in me. I shall be happy if my conduct in the present important business may procure me the same rank in the esteem of his worthy successor. I am, with sincere respect, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient and most humble servant,
TO DAVID HARTLEY, ESQ.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
Passy, Sept. 17, 1782.
Since those acknowledged in my last, I have
received your several favors of August 16, 20, and 26. I
have been a long time afflicted with the gravel and gout, which have much indisposed me for writing. I am even now in pain, but will not longer delay some answer.
I did not perfectly comprehend the nature of your appointment respecting the refugees, and I supposed you would in a subsequent letter explain it. But as I now find you have declined the service, such explanation is become unnecessary.
I did receive the paper you inquire about, intitled Preliminaries, and dated May, 1782;' but it was from you, and I know nothing of their having been communicated to this court. The third proposition, "that in case the negociation between Great Britain and the allies of America should not succeed, but war continue between them, America should act and be treated as a neutral nation," appeared at first sight inadmissible, being contrary to our treaty. The truce too seems not to have been desired by any of the parties. With unalterable esteem and affection, I am, my dear friend, ever yours, &c. B. FRANKLIN.
RICHARD OSWALD, Esq. TO BENJAMIN FRANK
Paris, Sept. 24, 1782.
Having received by a courier just now arrived, a letter from Mr. Secretary Townshend, in answer to mine which went by the messenger dispatched from hence on the 12th, I take this opportunity of Mr. Whiteford to send you a copy of it. I hope he will bring good accounts of your health, which I sincerely wish, and am your excellency's most obedient humble servant,
See page 179 of this volume.
THE RIGHT HON. THOS. TOWNSHEND, TO RICHARD OSWALD, Esq. (Private.)
Whitehall, Sept. 20, 1782.
I received, on Saturday last, your packets of the 10th and 11th of this month.
A meeting of the king's confidential servants was held as soon as possible to consider the contents of them, and it was at once agreed to make the alteration in the commission proposed by Dr. Franklin and Mr. Jay. I trust that the readiness with which this proposal has been accepted, will be considered as an ample testimony of the openness and sincerity with which the government of this country is disposed to treat with the Americans.
The commission is passing with as much dispatch as the forms of office will allow, but I thought it material that no delay should happen in giving you notice of the determination of his majesty's council upon this subject. You will receive the commission very soon after this reaches you. with great regard, sir, your most obedient humble servant, T. TOWNSHEND.
EXTRACT OF A LETTER TO THE HON. ROBERT R.
Passy, Sept. 26, 1782.
"The negociations for peace have hitherto amounted to little more than mutual professions of sincere desires, &c.; being obstructed by the want of due form in the English commissions appointing their plenipotentiaries. The objections made to those for treating with France, Spain, and Hollaud, were first removed; and by the