Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

enclosed' it seems that our objections to that for treating with us, will now be removed also; so that we expect to

[ocr errors]

· The Commission here following. COMMISSION under the Great Seal of Great Britain, empower

ing RICHARD Oswald, Esq. to treat with the COMMISSIONERS of the THIRTEEN UNITED States of AMERICA.

GEORGE the Third, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and so forth, To our trusty and well-beloved Richard Oswald, of our city of London, Esq. greeting: Whereas, by virtue of an Act passed in the last session of parliament, intituled, an Act to enable his Majesty to conclude a peace or truce with certain colonies in North America therein mentioned, it is recited, that it is essential to the interest, welfare, and prosperity of Great Britain and the colonies or plantations of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three lower counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, in North America, that peace, intercourse, trade, and commerce should be restored between them; therefore, and for a full manifestation of our earnest wish and desire, and of that of our parliament, to put an end to the calamities of war, it is enacted, that it should and might be lawful for us to treat, consult of, agree, and conclude with any commissioner or commissioners, named or to be named by the said colonies or plantations, or any of them respectively, or with any body or bodies corporate or politic, or any assembly or assemblies, or description of men, or any person or persons whatsoever, a peace or a truce with the said colonies or plantations, or any of them, or any part or parts thereof, any law, act or acts of parliament, matter or thing to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding; Now know ye, that we, reposing especial trust in your. wisdom, loyalty, diligence, and circumspection, in the management of the affairs to be hereby comınitted to your charge, have nominated and appointed, constituted and assigned, and by these presents do nominate and appoint, constitute and assign you, the said Richard Oswald, to be our commissioner in that behalf, to use and exercise all and every the powers and authorities hereby entrusted and com

begin in a few days our negociations. But there are so many interests to be considered and settled in a peace

mitted to you, the said Richard Oswald, and to do, perform, and execute all other matters and things hereby enjoined and committed to your care, during our will and no longer, according to the tenor of these our letters patent; And it is our royal will and pleasure, and we do hereby authorise, empower, and require you, the said Richard Oswald, to treat, consult of, and conclude, with any commissioners or persons vested with equal powers, by and on the part of the thirteen United States of Ainerica, viz. New Hampshire, Massachusett's Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three lower counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia in North America, a peace or a truce with the said thirteen United States, any law, act or acts of parliament, matter or thing to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding. And it is our further will and pleasure, .hat every regulation, provision, matter, or thing, which shall have been agreed upon between you, the said Richard Oswald, and such commissioners or persons as aforesaid, with whom you shall have judged meet and sufficient to enter into such agreement, shall be fully and distinctly set forth in writing, and authenticated by your hand and seal on one side, and by the hands and seals of such commissioners or persons on the other, and such instrument so authenticated, shall be by you transmitted to us through one of our principal secretaries of state. And it is our further will and pleasure, that you, the saiu Richard Oswald, shall promise anıl engage for us, and in our royal name and word, that every regulation, provision, matter, or thing, which may be agreed to and concluded by you our said commissioner, shall be ratified and confirmed by us, in the fullest manner and extent; and that we will not suffer them to be violated or counteracted, either in whole or in part, by any person whatsoever. And we do hereby require and command all our officers, civil and military, and all others our loving subjects what. soever, to be aiding and assisting unto you, the said Richard Oswald, in the execution of this our commission, and of the powers and authorities herein contained. Provided always, and we do hereby declare and ordain, that the several offices, powers, and authorities between five different nations, that it will be well not to flatter ourselves with a very speedy conclusion.”

hereby granted, 'shall cease, determine, and become utterly null and -void, on the first day of July, which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, although we shall not otherwise, in the mean time, bave revoked and determined the same. And whereas in and by your commission and letters patent, under our great seal of Great Britain, bearing date the seventh day of August last, we nominated and appointed, constituled and assigned you, the said Richard Oswald, to be our commissioner, to treat, consult of, agree, and conclude with any commissioner or commissioners named or to be named by certain colonies or plantations therein specified, a peace or truce with the said colonies or plantations. Now know ye, that we have revoked and determined, and by these presents do revoke and determine, our said commission and letters patent, and all and every power, article, and thing therein contained. In witness whereof, we have caused these our letters to be made patent.

Witness our self at Westminster, the twenty-first day of September, and the twenty-second year of our reign.

By the King himself.


Paris, Oct. 1, 1782.
I certify, that the adjoining is a true copy of the commission, of
which it purports to be a copy, and which has been shown to Dr.
Franklin and Mr. Jay.

The commissioner therein named,




Passy, Oct. 14, 1782. I have but just received information of this opportunity, and have only time allowed to write a few lines.

In my last of the 26th past, I mentioned that the negociations for peace had been obstructed by the want of due form in the English commissions appointing their plenipotentiaries. In that for treating with us, the mentioning our states by their public name had been avoided, which we objecting to, another is come, of which I send a copy inclosed. We have now made several preliminary propositions, which the English minister, Mr. Oswald, has approved, and sent to his court. He thinks they will be approved there, but I have some doubts. In a few days, however, the answer expected will determine. By the first of these articles the king of Great Britaip renounces, for himself and successors, all claim and pretension to dominion or territory within the thirteen United States; and the boundaries are described as in our instructions, except that the line between Nova Scotia and New England is to be settled by commissioners after the peace. By another article the fishery in the American seas is to be freely exercised by the Americans, wherever they might formerly exercise it while united with Great Britain. By another, the citizens and sub, jects of each nation are to enjoy the same protection and privileges in each other's ports and countries, respecting commerce, duties, &c., that are enjoyed by native subjects. The articles are drawn up very fully by Mr. Jay, who I suppose sends you a copy; if not, it will go by the next

; opportunity. If these articles are agreed to, I apprehend little difficulty in the rest. Something has been mentioned

about the refugees and English debts, but not insisted on, as we declared at once, that whatever confiscations liad been made in America, being in virtue of the laws of particular states, the congress had no authority to repeal those laws, and therefore could give us done to stipulate for such repeal.

The ministry bere have been induced to send over M. de Rayneval, secretary of the council, to converse with Lord Shelburne, and endeavor to form, by that means, a more perfect judgment of what was to be expected from the negociation. He was five or six days in England, saw all the ministers, and returned quite satisfied that they are sincerely desirous of peace; so that the negociations now go on with some prospect of success. But the court and people of England are very changeable. A little turn of fortune in their favor sometimes turns their heads; and I shall not think a speedy peace to be depended on till I see the treaties sigoed. With great esteem, I have the honor to be, sir, &c.





Passy, Oct. 15, 1782. A long and painful illness has prevented my corresponding with your excellency regularly.

Mr. Jay. has, I believe, acquainted you with the obstructions our peace negociations have met with, and that they are at length removed. By the next courier expected from London, we may be able perhaps to form some judgment of the probability of success, so far as relates to our part of the peace. How likely the other powers are to settle their pretensions, I cannot yet learn. In the mean time America is gradually growing more easy, by the enemy's evacuation

« AnteriorContinuar »