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in treaties ; if we appear negligent in paying our debts, and negrateful to those who have served and befriended us ; our reputation, and all the strength it is capable of procuring, will be lost, and fresh attacks upon us will be encouraged and promoted by better prospects of success. Let us there fore beware of being lulled into a dangerous security, aod of being both enervated and imporerished by luxury: of being weakened by internal contentions and divisions ; of being shamefully extravagant in contracting private debts, while we are backward in discharging honorably those of the public; of neglect in military exercises and discipline, and in providing stores of arms and munition of war, to be ready on occasion : for all these are circumstances that give confidence to enemies, and diffidence to friends; and the ex. penses required to prevent a war, are much lighter than those that will, if not prevented, be absolutely necessary to maintain it.
I am long kept in suspense without being able to learn the purpose of congress respecting my request of recall, and that of some employment for my secretary W. Temple Franklin. If I am kept here another winter, and as much weakened by it as by the last, I may as well resolve to spend the remainder of my days here; for I shall hardly be able to bear the fatigues of the voyage in returning. During my long absence from America, my friends are continually diminishing by death, and my inducements to return lessened in proportion. But I can make no preparations either for going conveniently, or staying comfortably here, nor take any steps towards making some other provision for my grandson, till I know what I am to expect. Be so good, my dear friend, to send me a little private information. With great esteem, I am ever yours, &c.
David HARTLEY, Esg. to Dr. FRANKLIN.
Paris, June 1, 1784.
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Copy of a Letter from Lord CARMARTHEN to D. HARTLEY, Esq.
St. James's, May 28, 1784. I received this morning by Lauzun, your dispatch No. 5, and the private letter of the 24th instant, together with the ratification of the treaty between Great Britain and the United States of America; and I own it was with the greatest surprise that I perceived so essential a want of form as appears in the very first paragraph of that instrument, wherein the United States are mentioned before his Majesty, contrary to the established custom observed in every treaty in which a crowned head and a republic are contracting parties.
The conclusion likewise appears extremely deficient, as it is neither signed by the president, nor is it dated, and consequently is wanting in some of the most essential points of form necessary towards authenticating the validity of the instrument.
I should think the American ministers could make no objection to correcting these defects in the ratification, which might very easily be done, either by signing a declaration in the name of congress for preventing the particular mode of expression, so far as relates to precedency, in the first paragraph, being considered as a precedent to be adopted on any future occasion, or else by having a new copy made out in America, in which these mistakes should be corrected ; and which might be done without any prejudice arising to either of the parties from the delay. I am, with great truth and regard, sir, your most obedient humble servant,
CARMARTHEN. P.S. I send you enclosed a copy of the ratification-part of the treaty, which it is also to be observed was previously described as “ definitive articles."
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graph of that instrument, wherein the United States are mentioned before his Majesty, contrary to the established custom in every treaty in which a crowned head and a republic are parties. It is likewise to be observed, that the term “ definitive articles" is used instead of definitive treaty; and the conclusion appears likewise deficient, as it is neither signed by the president, nor is it dated, and consequently is wanting in some of the most essential points of form necessary towards authenticating the validity of the instrument.
I am ordered to propose to you, Sir, that these defects in the ratification should be corrected, which might very easily be done either by signing a declaration in the name of congress for preventing the particular mode of expression so far as relates to precedency in the first paragraph being considered as a precedent to be adopted on any future occasion; or else by having a new copy made out in America in which these mistakes should be corrected, and which might be done without any prejudice arising to either of the parties from the delay. I am, sir, with great respect and consideration, your most obedient humble servant, D. HARTLEY.
To his Excellency B. Franklin, Esq.
To His ExcellENCY David HARTLEY, Esq.
Passy, June 2, 1784. I have considered the observations you did me the honor of communicating to me concerning certain inaccuracies of expression and supposed defects of formality in the instrument of ratification; some of wbich are said to be of such a nature as to affect the validity of the instrument." The first is," that the United States are named before his Majesty, contrary to the established custom observed in every
treaty in which a crowned head and a republic are the contracting parties." With respect to this it seems to me that we should distinguish between the act in which both join, to wit, the treaty, and that which is the act of each separately, the ratification. It is necessary that all the modes of expression in the joint act, should be agreed to by both parties; though on their separate acts, each party is master of, and alone accountable for, its own mode. If the ministers of the United States had insisted, or even proposed naming in the treaty the States before the king, it might have been deemed injurious to his dignity, as requiring him to acknowledge by that joint act their superiority. But this was not the case ; on inspecting the treaty it will be found that his majesty is always regularly named before the United States. How it happened that the same order was not observed in the ratification I am not informed. Our secretaries are new in this kind of business, which methinks should be favorably considered if they chance to make mistakes. They may have been led by some precedent ; or being republicans, and of course preferring that kind of government, as in their opinions more excellent than monarchy, they may naturally have thought it right, when the two kinds were to be named in their own instrument, to give their own kind the precedence; an effect of that sort of complaisance which almost every natiou seems to have for itself, and of which the English too afford an instance, when in the title of the king they always name Great Britain before France. The congress however adopted the form presented to them, and it is thus become an act of theirs ; but the king having no part in it, if it is improper, it reflects only upon those who committed the impropriety, and can no way affect bis majesty. Whatever may have occasioned this transposition, I am confident no disrespect to the king was intended in it by the vok, 11.
congress. They as little thought of affronting his majesty by naming the states before him, as your ministers did of affronting the Supreme Being, when in the corresponding first paragraph of their ratification they named the king before the Deity. There cannot be a clearer proof of this than what is to be found in the ratification itself. In the treaty the king, as I said before, is always first named. Thus the established custom in treaties between “crowned heads and republics,” contended for on your part, was strictly observed; and the ratification following the treaty contains these words: “Now know ye, that We the United States in Congress assembled, having seen and considered the definitive articles, have approved, ratified, and confirmed, and by these presents do approve, ratify, and confirm the said articles, AND EVERY PART AND CLAUSE THEREOF, &c.” Thus all those articles, parts, and clauses, wherein the king is named before the United States, are approved, ratified, and confirmed ; and this solemnly under the signature of the President of Congress, with the public seal affixed by their order, and countersigned by their secretary. No declaration on the subject, more determinate or more authentic, can possibly be made or given, which when considered, may probably induce his majesty's minister to waive the proposition of our signing a similar declaration, or of sending back the ratification to be corrected in this point, neither appearing to be really necessary. I will however, if still desired, transmit to congress the observation and the difficulty occasioned by it, and request their orders upon it. I can have no doubt of their willingness to give every reasonable satisfaction.
If the words definitive treaty had been used, instead of definitive articles, it might have been more correct, though the difference seems not great, nor of much importance, as in the treaty itself it is called the present definitive treaty.