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ciation as soon as the bill shall pass, and therefore it is necessary to consult of time, and place, and manner, and persons on each side. The negociation itself will speak the rest. I have been informed that some gentlemen in this country (not in administration) have lately entered into a correspondence with Mr. Adams relating to his commission of treating for peace, and that their previous inquiries having been spoken of in public, the ministry have been induced to make some inquiry: themselves from Mr. Adams on that subject. In whatever way a fair treaty may be opened, by whomsoever or with whomsoever, I shall heartily wish good success to it for the common good and peace of mankind. I know these to be your sentiments, and I am confident that they will ever remain so, and hope that you will believe the same of me. I am ever, your most affectionate
Copy from the printed Votes of the Commons, 27th of
Resolved, That it is the opinion of this house, that the farther prosecution of offensive war on the continent of North America, for the purpose of reducing the revolted colonies to obedience by force, will be the means of weakening the efforts of this country against her European enemies, tends, under the present circumstances, dangerously to increase the mutual enmity so fatal to the interests both of Great Britain and America, and, by preventing a happy reconciliation with that country, to frustrate the earnest desire graciously expressed by his majesty to restore the blessings of public tranquillity.
Resolved, That an humble address be presented to his majesty, that the further prosecution of offensive war on the continent of North America tends, &c. &c.
March 4. Mr. Speaker reported to the house, that the house attended his majesty on Friday last with their address ; to which his majesty was pleased to give his most gracious answer :
Gentlemen of the House of Commons, There are no objects nearer my heart than the ease, happiness, and prosperity of my people.
You may be assured that, in pursuance of your advice, I shall take such measures as shall appear to me most conducive to the restoration of harmony between Great Britain and the revolted colonies, so essential to the prosperity of both; and that my efforts shall be directed in the most effectual manner against our European enemies, until such a peace can be obtained as shall consist with the interests and nent welfare of my kingdoms.
Resolved, nemine contradicente,
That an humble address be presented to his majesty, to return his majesty the thanks of this house for his most gracious answer to their address presented to his majesty on Fri. day last, and for the assurances his majesty has most graciously been pleased to give them of his intention, in pursuance of the advice of this house, to take such measures as shall appear most conducive to the restoration of harmony between Great Britain and the revolted colonies; and that his efforts shall be directed in the most effectual manner against our European enemies, until such a peace can be obtained as shall consist with the permanent welfare and prosperity of his kingdoms : this house being convinced that nothing can, in the present circumstances of this country, so essentially promote those great objects of his majesty's paternal care for his people, as the measures which his faithful commons have most humbly recommended to his majesty.
Ordered, that the said address be presented, &c.
Resolved, That, after the solemn declaration of the opinion of this house, in their humble address presented to his majesty on Friday last, and his majesty's assurance of his gracious intention in pursuance of their advice, to take such measures as shall appear to his majesty to be most conducive to the restoration of harmony between Great Britain and the revolted colonies, so essential to the prosperity of both, this house will consider as enemies to his majesty and this country, all those who shall endeavor to frustrate bis majesty's paternal care for the ease and happiness of his people, by advising, or by any means attempting, the farther prosecution of offensive war on the continent of North America, for the purpose of reducing the revolted colonies to obedience by force.
DAVID Hartley, Esg. to DR. FRANKLIN.
MY DEAR FRIEND, London, March 21, 1782.
You will have heard before this can reach you, that Lord North declared yesterday in the house of commons, that his majesty intended to change his ministers. The house is adjourned for a few days to give time for
the formation of a new ministry. Upon this occasion therefore I must apply to you to know whether you would wish me to transfer the late negociation to the successors of the late ministry ; in these terms ; (vide yours to me of January 15, 1782) viz. “ that you are empowered by a special commission to treat of peace whenever a negociation for that purpose shall be opened. That it must always be understood that it is to be in conjunction with your allies, conformable to the solemn treaties made with them. That the formal acknowledgment of the independence of America is not made necessary.” And may I add, that upon these terms you are disposed to enter into a negociation ? It is not known who will succeed the late ministry; but from the circumstances which preceded its dissolution, we are to hope that they will be disposed to enter into a negociation of peace upon fair and honorable terms. I have no doubt that there were some persons in the late ministry of that disposition.
I told you in my last letters to you of the 11th and 12th instani, wat I had received information whilst I was in the course of correspondence with the ministry myself on the subjeci of peace, that some part of the ministry were transmitting some communications or inquiries upon that subject with Mr. Adanıs, unknown to me.
1 had informed the ministry from you the names of the four persons empowered to treat. I saw the ininister
the occasion (I should now call him the late minister). I took the liberty of giving him my opinion upon the matter itself. So far as it related personally tv me, 1 expressed myself fully to him that there was no ocasion that such a step should have been taken unknown to me ; for that I was very free to confess that if they thought my partiality towards peace was so strong that they could drive a better bargain through another channel, I could not
have any right of exclusion upon them. I relate this to you because I would wish to have you make a corresponding application to your own case. If you should think that my strong desire for peace, although most laudable and virtuous in itself, should mislead me, and that my being so as you may suppose misled, may be of any prejudice to the cause committed to your trust, I desire by no means to embarrass your free conduct, by any considerations of private or personal regard to myself. Having said thus much, I will now add that I am not unambitious of the office of a peace-maker; that I flatter myself the very page which I now am writing will bear full testimony from both sides of the impartiality of my conduct.
And I will add once more what I have often said and repeated to each side, viz. that no fallacy or deception, knowing or suspecting it to be such, shall ever pass through my hands.
Believe me I sympathise most cordially and sincerely with you in every anxiety of yours for peace. I hope things are tending, although not without rubs, yet in the main to that end. Soon! as soon as the course of human life may be expected to operate on the great scale and course of national events, or rather in the creation and establishment of a new world. I am sometimes tempted to think myself in patient expectation the elder sage of the two. I say the elder, not the better.