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The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX
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The insurrections in Peru augment this expense, and the same spirit of revolt, which seems to have extended to Mexico, will add to it. These discontents have been occasioned by duties imposed since the administration of M. Galvez, the present Minister of the Indies. The project was proposed by Carrasco, Marquis de la Corona, to the Marquis of Squillace then Minister, who was much inclined to adopt it, and named the projector to visit Spanish America, in order to form on the spot the plan of its execution. He declined the mission on various pretexts, and another was appointed for this purpose, who died on his passage. M. Galvez, the present Minister of the Indies, succeeded him, and on his return to Spain made a report so agreeable to his Majesty, that it procured him the important post he now occupies.

The novelty of these measures, joined to the vexations and impositions occasioned, as is said, by the collectors of them, has created much dissatisfaction in these countries. I have my information from some of the principal natives of Mexico and Peru here, and also from a foreigner, who obtained permission to visit Mexico, and who made the voyage from motives of curiosity. Four thousand troops are to be embarked at Cadiz for the expedition abovementioned, and it is said will be escorted by four vessels of the line, who at the same time convoy the register ships bound to the Havana and Vera Cruz. As this convoy will sail about the same time that the expedition from Brest will be ready for sea, it is probable they may form a junction. Ten thousand troops are to be employed in the one last mentioned, and I am told will sail escorted by twenty sail of the line. Part of which will probably join the grand fleet at Cadiz, and the rest proceed to the West Indies, where I have reason to think they will act in concert with the Spaniards. A friend of mine is to embark on board the French fleet as interpreter. He speaks and writes the Spanish language perfectly.

I have also some reason to believe that the French naval force, and a larger body of troops than they have yet sent to America, will appear on our coasts earlier the next, than they did the present year. Jamaica is thought to be the first object of these expeditions, and this conjecture arises from the appointment of M. Galvez to the command of the Spanish force in the West Indies, whose project for attacking that Island is well known. In France, it is said that a part of the troops to be embarked at Brest, is intended for the East Indies; and here, that theirs are sent to suppress the revolt at Santa Fe, mentioned in my letter of the 17th ult.[12] I rather think that two French ships of the line, now at Cadiz, and as many frigates, who have taken and are taking in provisions for a long voyage, are destined to the eastern part of the world, and that they will take with them a considerable sum in dollars, for the payment of their land and sea forces there. The French Ambassador has obtained, or is about to obtain, permission to send out of the kingdom two and a half million of dollars, part of which sum is probably destined to the purpose above mentioned.

The sieges of Gibraltar and Mahon go on slowly. The operations against these fortresses have not been so vigorous hitherto as to promise a speedy reduction of either; when the efforts of these besiegers become more interesting, I shall transmit regular accounts of their progress. The Court of Great Britain proposes to send five hundred troops to America, exclusive of recruits, to be drawn from Germany and Ireland. These it is said, will sail with thirteen sail of the line in the course of next month. The East India Company also send a reinforcement of seven thousand men to the East Indies, with four sail of the line. If this information can be credited, the East and West India, and American reinforcements will sail at the same time, to insure by their united force their safety on the coast of Europe.

In Holland the divisions are still great, and likely to be so. The Provinces have not yet all agreed to the loan proposed by France for the use of Congress. I am informed the Stadtholder's friends give it all the opposition in their power. That Prince has, as I have already advised the Committee, been obliged to consent to the augmentation of the marine. The news of the birth of the Dauphin will probably reach America before this letter. It is expected it will be received there with demonstrations of satisfaction that will be highly flattering to the French nation. The great age and infirmities of the Count de Maurepas, render it probable that he will not survive the winter. The Queen's influence, it is thought, will increase by the birth of the Dauphin, and the death of this Minister. Permit me to conclude with the flattering hopes of a brilliant close of the campaign, which the well concerted plan of our General and allies communicated to me by the Count de Montmorin, renders highly probable. The success of this operation, and what is expected, may perhaps render Mr Jay's next information more agreeable and interesting to Congress, to whom I beg leave to present my humble respects.

I have the honor to be, &c.

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

FOOTNOTES:

[12] Missing.

* * * * *

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

Philadelphia, December 20th, 1781.

Dear Sir,

Your letters of the 16th of August, and 5th of October, came to hand. They were read in Congress, and handed over to this office, which will in future, agreeably to its institution, receive and make all communications to and from Congress, conformable to their ordinance, of which I enclose a copy, having omitted it in my letters to Mr Jay. The importance of early and regular intelligence from Europe is so much felt here, that you have full credit for all the communications you make. I wish you would extend them so far as to permit no vessel to sail without letters and papers. Spanish gazettes may sometimes be serviceable to us.

The expedition of the Duc de Crillon is important in many views; should it succeed, it will be such a blow to the British as must hasten a negotiation, though it may probably obstruct a peace; at any rate, the possession of the Island must cut the sinews of their Mediterranean trade. Your apprehensions about being sent to Corunna, will, I hope, have been groundless, as Captain Gillon's ship is not the property of, or under the direction of the United States. So far as Mr Jay's good offices can be serviceable, they undoubtedly will be extended. He will not think himself obliged to involve the United States in the expense or disgrace of Captain Gillon's misconduct, if, as is alleged, he has really behaved improperly. Should he determine to interfere, Congress make no doubt but you will conform to his intentions; and they rely upon your zeal and activity in the discharge of such trusts, as he may think proper, since he alone can judge of the best application of them, and will not deprive himself of the advantages, which your assistance and information may afford, without being determined by weighty and important considerations.

It gives great pleasure here, to hear of the step that Spain is taking, for opening a treaty with us. The delays in that business begin to be resented by the people of this country, the more forcibly, as they felt a high degree of respect for the Court, and much attachment to the people of Spain, in return for the good offices that they had done them. The great cause of the delay being now (as we hear) removed, I doubt not that the candor of the negotiators, and the clear views that they both have of the interest, which Spain and America may mutually derive from an intimate union, will remove all other difficulties to the wished for connexion.

We have no other news on this side the water, than that the enemy have evacuated Wilmington. You, who know the spirit of disaffection which prevailed in some parts of North Carolina, and the commerce which it is capable of carrying on, particularly at this time, in articles for the supply of the West India markets, will see the important sacrifice the enemy have been obliged to make in thus quitting this post, and abandoning the only friends in America, upon whose fidelity and attachment they could rely.

I need not repeat to you, that I shall at all times think myself happy in hearing from you, independent of the advantage that the public may derive from your letters. They will be particularly agreeable to me, as they may be made the means of increasing the number of friends, which your zeal and attention has already procured you.

I am, Sir, with great esteem, &c.

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

Madrid, December 20th, 1781.

Sir,

Since my letter of the 17th ult. to the Committee of Foreign Affairs, I have had the pleasure to hear of your appointment to the office of Secretary for that department, and although I have not any official directions, respecting my future correspondence, in consequence of this change, I take the liberty of addressing you as I have hitherto done the Committee, on the subject of our affairs here, their situation, and that of the powers with whom we have, or may hereafter have, connexions. At the same time permit me to entreat you, Sir, to inform me, whether it is judged necessary, that I should continue this correspondence, having done it hitherto with a view to multiply the channels of information to Congress, and not from an expectation of conveying any material intelligence, which they will not ultimately receive in a fuller manner from Mr Jay and their other Ministers; to the former of whom I communicate instantly every information I can procure here, or by my foreign correspondence. I have been induced to continue this correspondence, from another motive, which is, that I find that others employed as secretaries here, are directed by their respective Courts, to write either to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, or the particular Secretary of their Sovereigns. The only letter, which I have had the honor to receive from Mr Lovell, since I have been in this country, approved of my endeavors to communicate early and regular information; but if it is expected I should do it effectually, I hope a cypher will be sent me, by the first safe conveyance, under cover to Mr Harrison at Cadiz, or to our Consul in France, with directions to those gentlemen to forward the letter enclosing it, by a sure hand, to escape the inspection of the post-offices in France and Spain, the dread of which often retards my letters, which I am now obliged to send to the sea-ports, by private persons, or the couriers of the French Ambassador. Once possessed of a cypher, I flatter myself that few vessels will sail from France or this country without letters from me, which, although often not interesting, may yet in some degree contribute to the satisfaction of Congress.

Our affairs are in much the same situation they were when I had the honor to forward the above mentioned letter to the Committee. M. Del Campo's sickness, from which he is but just recovered, is the occasion or pretext for this delay. His appointment, however, has been finally announced to Mr Jay by the Minister, and was made at the time mentioned in my former letters. It is probable that little will be done in this business, until the Court goes to the Pardo the 7th of next month. A principle of delicacy perhaps prevents it from seeming at present to precipitate its conduct, in consequence of the favorable aspect of our affairs, since the news of the capture of Lord Cornwallis, and the victory obtained by General Greene in South Carolina. But the delay attending the transaction of the smallest affair in this country, is a sufficient reason to account for the difficulties Mr Jay encounters at present, without surmising other motives. On this subject, I speak from the experience of almost all the corps diplomatique, as well as from the authority of individuals, who have much business with the various branches of administration.

The news above mentioned, was received apparently with great pleasure by the King and Prince of Asturias, as I was informed the same day by several of their officers in waiting. The public at large was highly satisfied, and has spoken more favorably since of our allies, than it has done from the commencement of the war. The foreign Ministers were not all so well pleased with this event, particularly those of Germany, Russia and Denmark. However, in general they regard it as a blow which decides the Independence of the States. The new Minister of Sweden is open in declaring his partiality for our cause, and signified that he would have waited on Mr Jay on his arrival here, as it is the custom of those last come to do, if no other Minister had arrived here since Mr Jay's residence, who had not done it. His conduct to myself shows that this was not a mere compliment, for he has invited me several times to dine with him, and visited me. He is a particular friend, I believe, of M. Marbois, for he speaks highly of him, as indeed all do, whom I have conversed with, that have the pleasure of his acquaintance.

The Imperial and Swedish Ministers declare that their respective Sovereigns will reclaim all vessels under their colors, going to or returning from America, which comply with the articles of the armed neutrality, and it has been hinted to me, that it was not difficult to obtain letters of naturalization for the crews of American vessels, provided the nominal officers are subjects of either country. The Court has at length consented to repay the money advanced in April last by the Marquis de Yranda, but has not enabled Mr Jay to pay the bills due this month, and as Dr Franklin has not authorised him to draw, M. Cabarrus, as I expected in my last, has consented to advance the sum sufficient for this purpose, amounting to thirtytwo thousand dollars. Perhaps Dr Franklin may soon enable Mr Jay to repay him.

Thirty thousand pounds sterling would pay all our debts here, which distress us more than the apprehension of not receiving our salaries, of which, though liberal, we have constant need, owing to the dearness of everything in this country, and the great expense incurred by the frequent change of residence of the Court, which circumstance obliges us to take lodgings at the royal residences; and which expense, the frequent journeys that we were constrained to make on account of our other business in Madrid, greatly augment. I should not touch on this subject, if Dr Franklin had not desired me to mention to Congress our personal difficulties and distresses, for I believe, with all the desire he has to serve us, he procures with difficulty sufficient funds for the payment of our salaries.

The expeditions mentioned in my former letters, are now both probably at sea; that from France sailed the 10th instant, and I know of a certainty, that orders have been sent to Cadiz to hasten the departure of the ships and troops at that post. The French ships there, mentioned in my last, take on board a million of dollars, and M. de Bussy, who formerly signalized himself in the East Indies, has gone thither incognito by land, accompanied by several officers, who have but lately returned from the East. It is therefore highly probable, that these vessels, joined by others, go thither, and will take under their escort a part of the troops embarked at Brest.

No great progress is made in the sieges of Gibraltar and Mahon; on the 27th ult., the enemy made a sally from the former place, in which they did more damage, than has been published here, having completely ruined the advanced works of the besiegers, the repair of which will require some time and much money. At Mahon, the rainy season has retarded the operation of the assailants. I am just told the Duc de Crillon demands a reinforcement of two thousand men, which will be granted to him. The enemy receives small succors from time to time by sea. The Court is about to negotiate another loan, in which if it does not succeed, perhaps it must have recourse to another emission of paper. The treasury is at a low ebb. The Minister of Marine demanded lately ten millions of reals, and received but three. The credit of the paper has lately risen, it is not negotiated at one and a half per cent loss.

A plan for a national bank, is at present before the Council. The projector, M. Cabarrus, proposes to form a capital of fifteen millions of dollars, of which he offers to procure six millions; each action to amount to two thousand reals, for which the proprietors receive a certain interest of four per cent, with the profits expected from this establishment; I have seen the plan, but had not permission to copy it, so that I can give but a faint sketch of it. Eight directors are to be chosen the first year, and six annually, by the assembly of the proprietors; two of these directors are to be perpetual, because it is proposed, that they should have the direction of the supplies for the army and navy, with an interest of ten per cent, to the emolument of the bank; these two directors are to be named by the Court, out of four chosen by the proprietors; in other respects the Court to have no influence. If this plan, which was originally a part of the scheme for the circulation of paper here, should succeed, the paper which will be discounted by it, will probably preserve its credit. The Gromios, companies possessed of exclusive privileges, will be annihilated, and much money, now dormant in the coffers of individuals, be called into circulation. The Gromios pay two and a half per cent interest, and the bank four, which difference, joined to the hopes of farther profits, will tempt the money-holders to withdraw their funds from the hands of the first, and place them in the latter. But these companies and their friends, oppose it strongly, as do also the persons employed in supplying the army and navy, with whom, it is said, people in various departments of Government have interested connexions.

The Courts of France and Spain seem determined to continue the war with vigor, and you will see by the King of Great Britain's speech, that he is not disposed to accommodation. The Empress of Russia still continues her endeavors to bring about a peace between England and Holland, to which the British Ministry has lately appeared to listen, although in a haughty manner. I am told the republican party is more exasperated than ever, by their answer to Russia, which is published. But your information will be much more accurate from Mr Adams, than any that I can procure. My correspondents from France write me, that the nation is much elated by the late triumph of the allied arms. This success, and the flourishing state of their commerce, reconcile them to the war, the continuance of which their Ambassador here regards as inevitable.

The resolution of Congress, prohibiting all intercourse between the citizens of America and the subjects of Great Britain, gives a secret satisfaction both in France and this country, and augments the jealousy of others, that the influence of France will exclude at the peace all amicable connexions between the States and Great Britain, at least this is the language of several of the foreign Ministers and their families. The Imperial Ambassador has lately made representations on account of an ordinance rigorously executed of late in the ports, obliging all captains of vessels to make an oath, declaratory of the contents of all packages, &c. &c. on board their vessels. He has endeavored to make this a common cause. The commerce murmurs against this, and other regulations lately enforced. It must be confessed, that Spain seems desirous to discourage all commerce carried on by foreigners, and bears as hard on their allies as on neutral nations. Whenever a peace takes place, France will be constrained to make a new convention on this subject. At present, this Court feels its importance, and the cabinet of Versailles has points of a nature so much more interesting to carry, that it takes little notice of the breach of conventions actually subsisting. By a late ordinance of the Minister of Finance, a duty of twentyfive per cent was imposed upon all produce brought in American vessels from the Havana. Mr Jay has made representations on this subject, which, I hope, will be attended to. M. Galvez appeared well disposed to withdraw them. It appears also to be the intention of the present Minister, to diminish the consumption of salt fish, to pave the way, as their friends give out, for its total exclusion at the peace, unless cured and imported by the natives; for this purpose, they have obtained bills of indulgence from the Pope, permitting the use of meat during Lent, and on other days on which it was prohibited. The price of these indulgences is proportioned to the rank of the purchaser. It is calculated, that the sale of them in the Spanish dominions will produce two millions of dollars annually; so that a double advantage is derived from this operation, the extraction of money for fish is prevented, and the revenue considerably augmented.

The present Ministry seem firmly established in their respective posts. The Count de Florida Blanca's health does not permit him to give constant application to business, but is not of so dangerous a nature as to cause any apprehension. The Ministers of the Indies and Marine keep their ground in the King's favor, although they have many enemies. If the disturbances in America should increase, the credit of the first may be weakened. The latter, although disliked by his colleagues and disapproved by France, preserves the Sovereign's good graces. He has one merit, which is his constant attention to the safety of the Spanish fleet, a merit that may fix him in his place, but which renders him odious to the nation and its allies, who wish to see it more actively employed.

I am afraid these particulars may appear trivial to Congress, to whom I should be happy to make more important communications; these are not to be obtained but by the dint of money, or by a long residence and intimacy with persons in the various departments of government. The first we have not for the most pressing exigencies, and the latter, our at present doubtful situation at this Court precludes us from in some degree; although neither attentions nor endeavors have been omitted to make useful acquaintances.

I have the honor to be, &c.

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

Madrid, December 24th, 1781.

Sir,

Yesterday Mr Jay had an audience of his Excellency, the Count de Florida Blanca, in which that Minister in the most express terms assured him, he might depend on receiving three millions of reals to pay such bills as he had already accepted, this sum, with near eighteen thousand dollars received already, and twentyfive thousand promised by the Court of France, will fully answer this purpose, and I still hope ways and means will be found to furnish funds for the bills, which have not yet been presented, and which, for some weeks, come to hand slowly. The Minister also promised his good offices with the Court of Portugal, and informed Mr Jay, that previous to his application, he had endeavored to induce the Ministry of that nation to conduct itself with respect to the States, in a manner more agreeable to the rights of humanity and the law of nations founded on those rights, but that the party in favor of Great Britain preponderated hitherto.

I have had opportunities of speaking several times on this subject to the Secretary of the Embassy of Portugal here, and once to the Ambassador. Each seemed sensible of the injustice of the first step of the Court, and owned it more easy to do an injury than to repair it. If the Congress should be in a situation to make strong representations to that Court, with a recapitulation of the conduct of the States during the whole war in respect to Portugal, they may be possibly attended with success, particularly if they should accede to the armed neutrality, to which they are strongly pressed by Russia at present. The Minister also engaged to do justice to certain Americans who carried a British privateer to the Canaries, and, in short, seemed exceedingly well disposed to render the States every service in his power. I cannot forbear, however, mentioning to the Committee, that he spoke with much chagrin of the adherence of Congress to points, which, in his opinion, rendered a treaty impracticable for the present, and although pressed on that subject by Mr Jay, I doubt whether he will give his sentiments thereon in writing. He also seemed exceedingly apprehensive of the efficacy of the means employed by Sir H. Clinton, to sow jealousy and discord among the States, and even in Congress, and said that the letters lately received by the British Court from the officer abovementioned, gave great hopes of success in this particular. In fine, he assured Mr Jay, that considerable sums of money would be employed for this purpose, and as I am convinced this Court received its information from a person equally employed by that of London, I fear it will be difficult to remove these suspicions until time shows how ill founded they are.

In the meantime, unanimity and force in America are the best arms of the States there, and their best arguments in Europe. To which, if much complaisance to the Spanish King and nation is added, even in objects not essential, the Congress will enable their servants to defeat the designs of the British emissary and their party here, so long as the present King lives. According to present appearances, the war is likely to continue. Although I have already written you particularly on the subject, I now repeat, that the Court is in the way of negotiating its loans for the expenses of the ensuing year, and that it expects some treasure from America. At Cadiz, they have twentynine sail of the line ready for sea. The blockade of Gibraltar is continued with tolerable success hitherto. The Count d'Estaing was not arrived in France by the last advices. This delay will retard the operations intended for our succor.

The death of the Empress Queen will probably kindle the flame of war in Europe, though perhaps not in the ensuing year. I am told from good authority the Emperor is favorably disposed to England. His Ambassador and Mr Cumberland are very intimate, and see each other every day. The residence here of the latter is extraordinary in the present situation of the two nations, and can only be accounted for on the principles, which I had the honor to mention in former letters. If I may be allowed to conjecture, I think Holland will be sooner or later involved in the war, and that orders have already been given by the Court of England to attack their possessions in the East Indies. This however is but a conjecture, although grounded on some share of political evidence.

The British Parliament is prorogued to the 23d of January. Their grand fleet is at sea. Mr Trumbull has been arrested in England, and several Americans obliged to fly and abscond, among whom there is one of my correspondents. I have received advice, that several were included in the number to be arrested, whom it was not the intention of Government to seize, in order to give them an opportunity of returning to America with more eclat, to be in a situation of rendering greater services to Great Britain. I hope this advice is without foundation, but having received it, I think it my duty to communicate it, because circumspection can do us no material injury. M. Gardoqui will scarcely take his departure until all negotiations are at an end, and the campaign shall have commenced.

I have the honor to be, &c.

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

P. S. Sir Joseph Yorke has presented another Memorial to the States, more insolent than the former. The armed neutrality propose to have forty sail of the line next spring in the ports of Holland.

W. C.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

Madrid, February 18th, 1782.

Sir,

I have just had the pleasure of receiving your letter of the 20th of December, and seize the earliest opportunity of acknowledging the satisfaction I feel in the hope of a more regular correspondence than I have hitherto had with your department. The moment I was informed, indirectly of your appointment, I did myself the honor of addressing you. My first letter was dated the same day you wrote the one above mentioned. On the 24th ultimo, I again solicited your attention, and as I sent quadruplicates of these letters, I think I may venture to refer you to their contents, for accounts of the state of affairs, and the general intelligence at the time of writing them.

I find by your letter, that mine written in the month of September, had not reached Congress. I sent three copies via Bilboa, by the Captains Tracy, Cook, and another, whose name my correspondents omitted to mention to me. I have had the mortification to hear lately, that these vessels were all taken on the coasts of America. The fourth copy was sent from France, so that I still hope it may have escaped the misfortune of the others. Nothing gives me, or can give me, more pleasure, than the idea of contributing to the satisfaction of Congress, while I fill a duty, which a sense of their confidence, and a desire of meriting a continuance of it imposes on me. I am only sorry, that my abilities and opportunities do not correspond with my wishes, to render my communications more useful. I have already requested you in the letters above mentioned, to point out the line of my duty.

I am infinitely obliged to you for what you mention with respect to my apprehension of being sent to Corunna, and having your sanction to direct my conduct in future. I shall implicitly follow Mr Jay's directions, should he even choose to send me as a courier to be the bearer of despatches to the sea-ports. The reason assigned in your letter, joined to others which I had the honor to mention in mine to the Committee, were such as I suggested when I expressed a reluctance to be employed with discretionary powers in this business. I was prepared however to execute Mr Jay's orders, but I believe ulterior reflections, and the advice of the French Ambassador, induced him to relinquish the idea of sending me.

I have no cypher from Mr Morris and have seen none from him. I must therefore again request you to forward me one, under cover to Messrs Barclay and Harrison, with directions to those gentlemen to forward your letters by private hands, and not by the post, for I fear that one you sent to Mr Jay has been intercepted. No delicacy is preserved by this Court on this head. This practice is not confined to us, but extends to the correspondence of all the corps diplomatique. It has happened, that in the hurry of resealing letters thus examined, papers belonging to the department, in which they were opened, have been carelessly enclosed by the Secretary, and returned to the Minister by the person to whom the letters were addressed. Without a cypher it will be impossible for me to be so punctual as may be expected, for at present I am obliged to send most of my letters by private hands, or by the French Ambassador's couriers to the sea-ports, which circumstance often retards their arrival in America.

Our situation with respect to money matters is still critical. The drafts which Dr Franklin is obliged to pay are so frequent, that he has not been able to obtain cash to enable Mr Jay to discharge the bills accepted by him here, for which M. Cabarrus, as has been mentioned in former letters, is nearly forty thousand dollars in advance. Happily there are few bills due until the middle of next month, which will give Dr Franklin time to endeavor to save our credit here, and to this Ministry to reflect on the consequence of denying us this small succor. The Count de Florida Blanca has been lately solicited on this subject by the French Ambassador, and without giving hopes of affording the sum demanded, he promised to do what the urgency of their own wants permit him to do for us. In this conversation he appeared dissatisfied, that Congress had taken no notice of the desire he had expressed of obtaining one of the vessels constructing in the Eastern ports, for the United States, and complained, that no returns had been made by the States to the proofs the King had manifested, of his favorable disposition towards them. In fact their own necessities are evident.

In addition to what I have heretofore mentioned on this head, I have lately been informed from good authority, that a person to whom the Crown is indebted twelve millions of reals, in order to obtain payment, has been constrained to propose to purchase the salt belonging to his Majesty, to the amount of twentyfour millions of reals, for the payment of which, after deducting the sum due to him, he is obliged to advance immediately five millions of reals, although he has little hopes of disembarrassing himself shortly, of such an immense quantity of an article, for which there is little demand at present. The Minister, to soften the harshness of his refusal to make further advances, informed the Count de Montmorin, that M. Del Campo's instructions would be ready in a few days, and that Mr Jay might then commence his conferences on the subject of the proposed treaty. If I may be allowed to hazard a conjecture again on this subject, I must repeat what I have often mentioned already, that Spain seems desirous to retard this business until a general treaty takes place. Perhaps it may not be unworthy the attention of Congress, to prepare eventual resolutions should this prove to be the intentions of the Court.

Since commencing this letter, we have the agreeable news of the capitulation of Mahon, in twentyeight days after the trenches were opened. The garrison are prisoners of war, and, including sailors, &c., amount to two thousand six hundred men. Sickness, which reduced their number of effective men to one thousand three hundred, unwholesome provision, fatigue, and despair of succor, are the motives assigned by the Governor, for the surrender of this important place, which has cost Spain two hundred killed, and three hundred wounded. The joy of the Court is excessive. The Count de Florida Blanca has the merit of having planned this expedition. It is said, the fortifications are to be entirely ruined, and the port rendered incapable of receiving large vessels. The officer charged with the despatches, announcing this event, accuses our allies of having shown a backwardness and reluctance to assist in this siege, which has excited much indignation here. The Princess of Asturias said publicly at dinner, that the Spaniards had taken Fort St Philip's in sight of four thousand spectators, (meaning the French troops.) I had this from a foreign Minister who was present. I am persuaded the charge is without foundation, but still it will have a bad effect, and augment a national animosity, which prevails too much already.

It is probable that the siege of Gibraltar will now be pushed with more vigor. It is the King's favorite object, and the Duc de Crillon, I know, is of opinion that it may be taken. His late success will give weight to his opinion. I have been told that the Irish who obtained permission to return to the sea-ports, after being exiled from thence for several months, will again be ordered to quit them. This circumstance induces me to believe, that strong efforts will be made to take Gibraltar. The Spanish fleet has returned to Cadiz, where it will not remain long, the magazines being abundantly provided, and although there is no great number of workmen, or docks, for the repairs of vessels of the line, yet as few of the vessels have suffered in their cruise, these inconveniences will not be felt. The Count de Guichen was ready for sea the 28th ultimo, and only waited for a wind. His fleet consists of ten sail of the line, which has under its convoy fifty sail of transports; five of the first mentioned are destined for Cadiz, to join the Spanish fleet, which will then be superior to any the enemy can assemble in the seas of Europe. Admiral Rodney was still in the Channel the 22d ultimo, and will probably push for the West Indies, without any transports; the convoys for the West and East Indies, and America, not being yet in readiness. It is said that great reinforcements are to be sent to these quarters. Lord George Germain, it is said, will resign, and be succeeded by Mr Ellis.

The Russian and Imperial Ministers, still interpose their good offices to mediate a peace. The neutral Ministers say here, that Lord Stormont, in a late conversation with the first mentioned, declared with heat, that his Sovereign would treat with France on the subject of our independence, when a French army was in possession of the Tower of London, and not before, and that they would negotiate with Spain for the cession of Gibraltar, in exchange for the city of Madrid. I should not commit this extravagance to paper if I had not heard it mentioned by the Count de Montmorin, and other Ministers.

Mr Adams has demanded a categorical answer from the States-General to the proposition made them on behalf of the United States. The Dutch Secretary here informs me, that his letter was well received. The Dutch Minister at this Court has invited me to his house, since the presentation of the above mentioned demand. I have lately had conversation with the Swedish Minister, which I hope will enable me two months hence to give you some information of the disposition of his Court. This Minister is exceedingly well disposed to forward a connexion between Sweden and America, as is the Baron de Ramel, formerly Minister here, now Vice Chancellor of Sweden, to whose good offices I believe I owe the countenance and civilities of its representative here.

The cedula for the bank will appear shortly. I shall take care to forward that, and any other paper that I think worthy your attention. I have sent the Madrid Gazette to Mr Harrison, and have desired him to forward it in future. This gentleman is every way deserving your esteem and notice. He acts at present as Consul for America at Cadiz, and has been very useful there. His good sense and agreeable manners, have acquired the good will of natives and foreigners.

I have the honor to be, &c.

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

Madrid, February 27th, 1782.

Sir,

I did myself the honor of addressing you the 18th instant, which I enclosed in the first copy of this. My letter of the 18th contained all the intelligence of the state of our affairs in Holland, which had come to my knowledge. My mind now is full of another object, for I have the mortification to inform you, that unless Mr Jay is enabled by Dr Franklin in a few days to pay the drafts he has accepted, he will be obliged to stop payment. I am persuaded the latter has done everything in his power to extricate us from this cruel situation, but he has had so many other bills to answer, and France is itself so pushed for money, that hitherto he has not been able to succeed, nor indeed to pay us regularly our salaries.

This Court has at length consented to pay us the balance of the three millions, promised last year, which amounts to near twentysix thousand dollars, but this money is in some sort appropriated to the repayment of the advances made for two months past, by M. Cabarrus, who, after the conversation he has had with the Minister, is discouraged from making equal advances. Less than twenty thousand pounds sterling would now pay all our debts in this country. I shall not despair until the bills are refused, although after what we have experienced here, I have little ground to hope. The Count de Florida Blanca has engaged to take such measures, as that Mr Jay shall not be personally exposed, which, without the interference of the Court, might be the case, as he is not acknowledged in a public character.

Mr Jay has not yet received any notice, that M. Del Campo's instructions are ready. That gentleman has now been near four months named for this business. It is now confidently asserted, that the works at Mahon are to be destroyed. Two ships of the line, and two frigates, have sailed from Cadiz, to escort the transports with troops from Minorca, which, it is said, are to be employed in the siege of Gibraltar. I know of a certainty, that the Court has given orders, to amass considerable sums of money in Andalusia. The Count de Guichen sailed on the 10th instant, and we expect every day to hear of his arrival at Cadiz, with five ships of the line. The English East India convoy sailed the 26th ult., and consists of six ships of the line, a frigate, and nineteen transports and ships of the Company. The letters and papers I have received the last posts from France and Holland, assert that since the arrival of Lord Cornwallis and Arnold in England, the king is resolved to continue an offensive war in America at every hazard. As this intelligence corresponds with the character of the king, and the officers above mentioned, some credit may be given to it. It has been asserted in the English papers, that the king of Great Britain was negotiating as Elector of Hanover with Saxony, to take into pay ten thousand of its troops, to replace the like number to be drawn from Hanover for the American war. The Charge d'Affaires of Saxony at this Court assures me that this is false.

It is expected by the friends of America, that preparations will be early made, to repel every attack the enemy may be in force to make, and if occasion presents, to act offensively. I have nothing to add to this or my last, but that a copy of each will be delivered to you by Colonel Livingston, whose zeal, abilities, application, and prudent conduct, have acquired him general esteem, and have made his departure regretted by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. Mr Vaughan, who accompanies him, was strongly recommended to me by Dr Franklin, and I have found him every way worthy of his recommendation. These gentlemen will be able to give more ample details of general intelligence, than I can do by letter, and of a later date than this.

I have the honor to be, &c.

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

Madrid, April 14th, 1782.

Sir,

A violent defluxion of the eyes, which was epidemical here this winter, incapacitated me for near three weeks after the date of my last from writing, and the perplexed and uncertain situation of our affairs here for some time past, induced me not to do myself the honor of addressing you, until I could inform you in what manner our difficulties were likely to have a period. Indeed, during this interval, my time was so much engaged by the bills of exchange accepted by Mr Jay, and the conversations I held with, and the visits I was obliged to make to the various persons interested in this affair, that I had very little leisure left for other occupations.

On the 27th of February, I expressed my apprehensions for the fate of our accepted bills, although I could not but hope, that either this Court or that of France, would interfere in time to relieve us from this cruel mortification. Whether this Court withheld its aid, from expectation that the French Ambassador was secretly instructed to assist us, as on a former occasion, in case of extreme necessity; whether their wants, which are pressing, occasioned their indecision; or whether it was produced by the secret influence and artifices of ill disposed persons, I will not pretend to say; but the fact is, that notwithstanding the frequent representations of Mr Jay, and as frequent good offices of the French Ambassador, the Minister did not, until the day before Mr Jay found himself under the absolute necessity of protesting the bills, authorise verbally the Count de Montmorin to inform Mr Jay, that if M. Cabarrus persisted in his former intentions of making the necessary advances, he would see him repaid in ten or twelve months, to the amount of forty or fifty thousand current dollars. It must be observed that this consent was given the day after M. Del Campo had been informed by M. Cabarrus, at his own house, of the terms on which he would make the advances in question. These terms were different from those he had frequently repeated to Mr Jay and myself, and which Mr Jay made known to the Minister; but I believe the conversations with the latter, had excited apprehensions of his not being reimbursed even in the time he had originally proposed.

These apprehensions were augmented by finding that the French Ambassador was not authorised to extricate us from our distress, although the Court of France was apprized of our situation. I early remarked these fears, and endeavored to remove them by every means in my power. I was clearly of opinion, however, that after the conversation, above mentioned, with M. Del Campo, no reliance could be placed on his assistance for our relief, and informed Mr Jay of my conjectures on this subject, as I had done from the first moment I discovered M. Cabarrus's fears and apprehensions. This disappointment, constrained Mr Jay to protest a number of bills, some of which the holders had the complaisance and indulgence to keep by them near three weeks, in order to give time to Mr Jay to make arrangements for their payment. Indeed, the whole commercial interest here, behaved in a manner that scarce could be expected from persons who have so little connexions with our country, and expressed their indignation and astonishment, that the Court should expose to this mortification, for a sum so trifling, a country united with them against a common enemy. The foreign Ministers were not less surprised, and this incident, I believe, furnished materials for their despatches at the time, and has occasioned much conjecture since.

A letter from Dr Franklin, authorising Mr Jay to draw upon him for the payment of the bills he had accepted, soon established our credit to the general satisfaction of everybody who have no political connexions to influence their opinion, and the news from England of the address of the House of Commons to the King, to put an end to offensive operations in America, and of the general fermentation in Ireland, will probably give a more favorable aspect to our affairs here, as has been the case elsewhere. Courier after courier arrived from the Count d'Aranda, the Spanish Ambassador at Paris, and several cabinet councils were held immediately after their respective arrivals. Each of these couriers announced the various appearances of a change in the British Cabinet, and probably gave some intelligence of the overtures from Great Britain, made to Dr Franklin.

The flattering prospect of our affairs in Holland, may contribute also to accelerate the conduct of others with respect to the United States. The Minister promised Mr Jay, some time ago, that the conferences with M. Del Campo, on the subject of a treaty should positively take place at Aranjues, and the actual crisis of affairs renders it probable, that more reliance may be placed on this than on former assurances; but after the experience we have had of the dilatoriness of this Court, I cannot flatter myself, that the treaty will be very speedily concluded, for I have been led to resume my former opinion, that this Court has wished, and still desires, to delay the acknowledgment of our independence, until a general treaty of peace shall take place. The Dutch Minister sent for me immediately after receiving advice, that Friesland had resolved to admit Mr Adams in a public character, and told me he had not the least doubt of the other provinces doing the same. Indeed I heard extracts of letters read, from persons of high repute in this republic, who speak of this affair, as a matter determined, and which will meet with no other obstruction, than what arises from the usual formalities and delays in the constitution of that republic. The Swedish Minister daily expects news from his Court, which he tells me he hopes will prove agreeable.

These changes in the political situation of the United States and Great Britain, I believe are not seen by Russia and Denmark with pleasure, if I may be allowed to form conjectures from the conduct and sentiments of their respective Ministers here, who cannot conceal their chagrin, on the reception of any news favorable to France, Spain, or America. Indeed most of the neutral nations seem to have a particular aversion to this Court, excited as they say, by its conduct with respect to the capture and detention of their vessels. As I have an opportunity of seeing themselves, or their Secretaries very often, and am on an intimate footing with the latter, I am frequently a witness of their complaints and murmurs; Congress need not therefore conclude, that their inattention to Mr Jay's Memorial, is pointed or a proof of its ill will, for I have seen near eighty Memorials from a Minister more nearly connected with them than we are, few of which have been attended to.

The capture of a Danish vessel laden with powder and artillery, with two King's officers on board, and instructions from the Admiralty, has excited the clamors of the Danish Minister here, who despatched a courier to Copenhagen on the occasion. I am promised a statement of the case presented by the Minister above mentioned to those of the armed neutrality, and copies of two letters from the Count de Florida Blanca, one to the Danish Minister, and the other to the neutral Ministers here, which if obtained shall accompany this letter.

Great preparations are making for the siege of Gibraltar. The Duc de Crillon is to command in chief, and it is said will have under his orders, from twentyfive to thirtytwo thousand men, including the French troops at Mahon; the place is to be attacked by sea and land, and I hear twelve ships are bought by government to be fitted up and serve as floating batteries. This operation will probably commence in July, a month favorable for it on account of the calms which then prevail. The loan proposed by this Court in Holland is not likely to meet the expected success. The armaments they have equipped and are equipping, and the expensive preparations for the siege of Gibraltar, straiten them exceedingly for funds. The difficulties they encounter in procuring money, and the alarming state of their colonies, may probably dispose them to peace by the end of the present campaign, but it is likely their claims will be great, and thought extravagant by all the neutral nations.

I have frequently mentioned the reports of disturbances in their colonies. It is difficult to obtain accurate information on this subject. The King has certainly ratified a convention made with the malcontents at Santa Fe and in its neighborhood, which was transmitted by the ecclesiastical, civil, and military officers, with their advice to accord all the demands therein contained, as the only means to prevent the total revolt of these provinces. I have reason to believe this ratification was made with great reluctance. I am also promised a copy of this convention, which I shall forward with this letter if obtained in time.

The papers are full of the Pope's voyage to Vienna. The Imperial Secretary here assures me, that the Emperor will not recede from the plans of reformation he has adopted. Some persons having suggested, to him, that fanaticism might possibly endeavor to put a period to his progress by assassination, he replied, that he had no apprehensions on that score, for his brother's firmness and sentiments being known to be the same, nothing could be hoped from a single assassination. He is regarded here and in Portugal as a heretic, and if his sight should be affected by the defluxion on his eyes at present, this misfortune will be regarded as a punishment from heaven, inflicted on him for his encroachments on the church. As I know you will receive ample details of all that regards the mission here from Mr Jay, I confine myself to a very summary detail on the subject, in order to supply in a small degree the loss or delay of his more important despatches. With a sincere wish that my intentions may be acceptable to Congress,

I have the honor to be, &c.

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

P. S. April 29th, 1782. The enclosed papers are copies of the letters herein mentioned. Duplicates have been already sent with their translations. The despatches of Mr Jay have taken up so much of my time for three weeks past, that it has not been possible for me to make out copies of the translations for Major Franks, the bearer of the present, and the great earnestness with which Mr Jay desires to send him away, prevents my sending the copy of the statement of the case, and the convention made with the disaffected in Spanish America. Mr Jay's information is so explicit, that it leaves but little for me to add, which I shall do this week via Cadiz.

W. C.

* * * * *

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

Philadelphia, May 1st, 1782.

Dear Sir,

I was favored with your letters of the 20th of December; that of the 17th, which you mention to have written to the late Committee of Foreign Affairs, never came to hand. If you have received my former letter, you will find your question relative to the continuance of your correspondence already answered. But lest you should not, let me repeat it, by assuring you that it will always give me very great pleasure to hear from you. The channels of communication with this office are much too few to induce me to shut up one by which we receive the most frequent and important intelligence. I shall endeavor to send you a cypher by this, or the next safe opportunity, and shall alter that look for a strict compliance with your promise. I make no remark on the political parts of your letters, both because I have no cypher yet settled with you, and because I shall always write fully on these subjects to Mr Jay. It gives me pleasure to see the train you are establishing to procure intelligence, and to cultivate the esteem of persons who may be of use to us. This has been, and is still too much neglected, but that neglect makes your address and attention the more important.

The season of the year, and the inactivity of the British, deprive me of the means of making a full return for the intelligence you communicate. Our attention is at present turned to an object, which, though apparently small, promises to have consequences of some moment. You will find in the papers enclosed, an account of the execution of a militia officer, Capt. Huddy, by a band of tories, on some false pretences. The General has demanded the perpetrators of this crime, or threatened to retaliate upon some British officer of equal rank. As his letter does him honor, I enclose a copy, which you will be pleased to show to Mr Jay. Clinton is reduced to great straits; he has already been the means of one officer's dying on a gibbet. He would be execrated by the army should he occasion the ignominious death of another. On the other hand, he is already very unpopular with the tories. Should he give up those of the refugee corps, who are concerned in this business, which has probably been done by the direction, or at least the connivance of their board of directors, he will be embroiled with them. They form a kind of imperium in imperio. The directors, being in a great measure independent of the commander-in-chief, have the custody of their own prisoners, regulate their own exchanges, divide the plunder they make according to their own rules; and correspond regularly with the Ministry, which circumstance alone is sufficient to excite a kind of rivalry between them, and the commander-in-chief.

Several propositions have been made for the exchange and comfortable support of prisoners, all of which have proved abortive, from the resolution of the British not to pay arrears, they have incurred, which amounts to near L300,000 sterling. Some measures, which will surprise them not a little, will be taken. I shall write particularly to Mr Jay on this subject, because it will need explanation in Europe. You will consult Mr Jay on the propriety of publishing the affair of Huddy in the European papers; and if he shall think it may be of any use, take measures for the purpose.

I have the honor to be, &c.

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

Madrid, June 12th, 1782.

Sir,

On the 5th instant, I had the honor to address you, enclosing a copy of a letter, which I wrote to Mr Jay soon after his departure from Madrid.[13] The Court is now here, but the Ministers are generally so harassed by business and visits during their short stay in the capital, that there are few opportunities of having access to them. Before I left Aranjues, I frequently reminded M. Del Campo of the promises made me, to pay attention to the different offices passed from Mr Jay, interesting to various citizens of the United States. I was well received, and had those promises reiterated. I judged it more proper to solicit the notice of the Ministry to these objects in person, than by writing, because I could have small hopes of success from memorials, when I reflected how little attention had been paid to those written by a man so much my superior in that mode of address. Besides, frequent conferences, perhaps develop better the opinions and dispositions of men, than deliberate answers to requests, or remonstrances, however clearly, or however strongly they may be stated in writing.

In my conversations with the Minister, and the gentleman above mentioned, they seemed to think the work of peace to be in a fair way. I have, however, some reason to suppose, that neither their instructions to their Ambassador at Paris for this object, nor those for him to treat with Mr Jay, are yet forwarded, and there are grounds to conjecture that this Court would have retarded the negotiation as much as possible, had not the defeat of the Count de Grasse blasted their hopes of taking Jamaica. Even now they will be desirous of knowing the fate of the siege of Gibraltar, before they agree to any treaty, which does not put them in possession of that important fortress.

The neutral Ministers here seem to wish to intermeddle in the proposed pacification. There is a general jealousy among them of the house of Bourbon, and a particular animosity against this branch of it. This I have long remarked, and I have now more frequent occasions than heretofore. I am afraid the rumors of peace will slacken the preparations of the Dutch for war. The hopes of a speedy general pacification, and a sense of complaisance and apprehension of the Empress of Russia, may procrastinate the treaty between the United States and them. I write these conjectures with diffidence, as indeed I do all which depend on my own judgment.

I am busy at present in arranging the public accounts. The projected bank employs so much of M. Cabarrus's time, and that of his clerks, that it is possible I may be obliged to follow the Court to St Ildefonso, to which place the king removes the 14th instant, before I can obtain such a settlement of them, as may enable me to transmit the general account to Mr Jay, for his approbation. In the meantime, I draw, and shall still be obliged to draw, on Dr Franklin, to enable me to discharge the public bills accepted by Mr Jay. Exchange is every day more to our disadvantage. The depreciation of the royal billets is now at 3-1/4 to 3-1/2 per cent, and I make no doubt will be at 6 per cent in two months. The Court has been again obliged to apply to the Gromios for assistance, whose privileges, it appears from the establishment of the bank, it meant to deprive them of. This circumstance marks their distress for money, and as some say, the want of system in their conduct.

The Duc de Crillon has set out for the camp before Gibraltar; the operations, however, will not seriously commence before the month of August, if in all that month. The expectations of success are sanguine. I heard the Duke himself speak with great confidence on the subject. The combined fleet left Cadiz the 4th instant; it consists of thirtytwo sail of the line, and some frigates, and proceeds immediately to the British channel. I avail myself of a courier from the French Ambassador to forward copies of this letter to the ports of France. The Count de Montmorin continues to give the same proofs of attachment to the interests of the States, and of personal kindness to myself, that I have ever experienced since my arrival in Spain. I beg leave to remind you to send me a cypher, and to entreat your instructions and intelligence addressed directly to myself; otherwise I have few opportunities of manifesting my zeal for the public service, or of acquiring your personal esteem.

I have the honor to be, &c.

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

FOOTNOTES:

[13] The letter here referred to is missing. Mr Jay left Madrid for Paris about the 20th of May.

* * * * *

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

Philadelphia, July 6th, 1782.

Sir,

Since my letter of May last, I have been favored with yours of the 18th and 27th of February. As they contained many things of importance, which we had received through no other channel, I communicated their contents to Congress, to whom I have reason to think they were very acceptable. The great changes that have taken place in the administration of Britain, make us extremely desirous of learning minutely the measures they are pursuing. Unfortunately it is long since we have received any other information from Europe, than that contained in the public prints. Our Ministers abroad do not keep up such a communication with the sea-ports as to avail themselves of the opportunities, that are almost weekly afforded, by which means the intelligence they transmit, if not of a private nature, is almost always forestalled.

We are at present in a state of absolute inactivity here. We are not sufficiently strong to attack the enemy in their works, without some naval aid; nor can they attack us with any prospect of success. Congress employ the present leisure in forming and enforcing a system of finance, which, notwithstanding all the difficulties it has to struggle with, will, I hope, shortly place our affairs on a more respectable footing; particularly, if any of those powers who are interested in supporting us, shall afford the aid we have a right to expect.

Among other changes that have taken place, there is one I believe you will be pleased with; in the payment of your salaries, which in future will be paid here upon my certificate. I, as your agent, will vest the money in bills, and remit them to you or Dr Franklin, with orders for him to remit the money to you, or pay it to your order. This will render your payments more regular, and free you from the appearance of dependence, which must be disagreeable to you. I remit by this conveyance to him, the amount of one quarter's salary, commencing the 1st of January last, and ending the 1st of April, which I have vested in bills at the present rate of exchange, which is six shillings threepence this money, for five livres, by which you gain almost five and a half per cent. You will be charged here two and a half per cent premium, which is the usual commission, and I shall consider myself as your agent in this business, unless you should choose to appoint some other. Your accounts for the next quarter will be made up immediately; the money vested in a bill upon Dr Franklin, which I will remit him by the next opportunity. Send me a general state of your account, that I may get it settled for you, and the arrears, if any, discharged. I could wish much to have a cypher with you, but find it very difficult to send one. Let me have one, if you have a safe conveyance, if a favorable opportunity offers from here, I will transmit you one.

I am, with great esteem and regard, &c.

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

St Ildefonso, July 8th, 1782.

Sir,

On the 5th and the 12th ultimo I did myself the honor of addressing you from Madrid. On the 2d instant I came to this place, having waited in the capital some days longer than I intended, for the purpose of arranging finally the public accounts with M. Cabarrus; but finding that that gentleman's occupations prevented him from stating them in the manner directed by Mr Jay, and having by my stay, in compliance with his request, convinced him that the settlement and discharge of the balance still due, depended on himself, I judged it proper to follow the Court hither, in order to have frequent opportunities of pressing the Minister to pay attention to the different memorials presented by Mr Jay; of which copies have been transmitted by him to Congress, and to procure such information as it might be proper to lay before you. I did not strongly urge the settlement of the accounts above mentioned, because Dr Franklin had requested Mr Jay to give him as much time as possible for the payment of the sums due here, although I am persuaded the delay will be prejudicial, as it is probable the exchange will be more to our disadvantage every day.

On the 3d instant, I waited on the Count de Florida Blanca and M. Del Campo. I found the former in conference with the French Ambassador, and as that had been long, and I knew he would be much fatigued, and also that he expected the Russian Minister and the Ambassador of the Emperor, who have of late received frequent couriers, I shortened my visit, which passed in amicable assurances on his part and hopes on mine, that his Excellency would put it as much in my power, as it was my inclination to contribute to a lasting harmony between the two countries, by enabling me to inform Congress of the favorable disposition of his Majesty, and at the same time of the measures taken by his Ministers to redress the grievances, which Mr Jay had so often laid before him. He desired me to mention these affairs in detail to M. Del Campo, and after repeating assurances of good will, &c., he proceeded to inform me, that he had received a copy of a letter, which Mr Jay on his arrival at Paris had written to the Count d'Aranda, adding, that he was sorry he could not continue the conversation at present, for that he expected the Ministers above mentioned every moment, but that on the Saturday following he would be glad to see me, to talk over many matters necessary to discuss at this crisis. I took my leave, and actually met the Imperial and Russian Ministers at the door, with M. Del Campo, whom I next went to see.

I had a long conversation, the material points of which, after having reminded him of the memorials, &c., presented by Mr Jay, turned on the manner in which the propositions of the new British Administration would be received in America. I had the good fortune to answer in the most decided manner, that all proposals for a separate treaty would be unanimously rejected, for on my return from this visit to my lodgings, I found Mr Clonard, who delivered me the letter you did me the honor to write me on the 1st of May, and who informed me of many of the subsequent transactions. The same day at dinner, the Count de Montmorin showed me a letter from the Chevalier de la Luzerne, in which he informs him, that Congress had rejected the propositions made by General Carleton, and that all the States would follow the example of Maryland. This conduct has a great and good effect in Europe. The same day the king spoke at table of the news, and praised greatly the probity of the Americans, raising his voice in such a manner that all the foreign ministers might hear him. I have conversed with several of these since, and find them unanimous in their opinion that the wisest measure Great Britain can take, is to conclude a treaty acknowledging our independence.

The couriers received, and the audiences demanded by the Russian and Imperial Representatives, excited my attention, and I have discovered that they have been once more directed by their Courts to make an offer of their mediation to his Catholic Majesty. They made this communication on the 3d instant, and have received their answer; for on the 6th the Count de Kaunitz despatched a courier. In my next I hope to communicate the answer of this Court. I suspect England is at the bottom of this business. The combined fleet is probably at this time in the English channel, where it will be reinforced by a squadron of French ships commanded by M. de la Motte Piquet. The preparations for the siege of Gibraltar are pushed with vigor. I have not yet had the honor to hear from Mr Jay. My last letter from Dr Franklin is dated the 11th ultimo. Messrs Grenville and Oswald were then at Paris, but had not yet received their full powers. Neither had Spain nor Holland sent instructions to their Ministers, so that the conferences could not properly be opened.

I have the honor to enclose in the first copy of this, a letter which I received the 4th instant from M. Dumas. The letters brought by Mr Clonard for Mr Jay were forwarded by the same gentleman. I remain without other instructions than what are contained in yours of the 1st of May. If Mr Jay should be detained at Paris, I shall be without any information but what I may obtain by my private correspondence and my own industry; I beg leave to submit this to your consideration.

I have the honor to be, &c.

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

St Ildefonso, July 22d, 1782.

Sir,

In my last of the 8th instant, I had the honor to inform you of an offer of mediation renewed to this Court by those of Petersburg and Vienna. I have since been told, that the Count de Florida Blanca's answer was to the following purport; "that his Catholic Majesty is highly sensible of the offers made by their Imperial Majesties to promote the establishment of the public tranquillity, but that before accepting their propositions it is necessary to consult his ally, and for this purpose instructions will be sent to his Ambassador at Paris, who, in order to prevent delay, will at the same time be authorised to communicate the answer to the Russian and Imperial Ministers at the Court of Versailles." I had this information from a person connected with the Ambassador of the Court of Vienna.

The Emperor is full of the project of removing his East India Company from Trieste to Ostend, and of augmenting the commerce of his subjects, particularly in the Low Countries. The continuation of the war is favorable to his designs, at all events he will seek his own advantage in the proposed mediation.

All the neutral powers seem desirous of procuring stipulations favorable to their commerce and navigation, particularly in the Mediterranean, and for this purpose all appear to wish a general Congress. Perhaps upon the whole it would be more for the honor and permanent advantage of the United States, to have their independence acknowledged and guarantied in an assembly of this nature, than by a particular treaty between the belligerent powers. As Mr Jay is to negotiate with the Count d'Aranda at Paris the proposed treaty, my business here is confined to the arrangement of the public accounts, and the payment of the bills still due, the collecting intelligence, and the solicitation of redress of the various complaints laid before the Ministry in behalf of individuals. For this last purpose I wait on the Count de Florida Blanca, and M. Del Campo, from time to time, and in a respectful manner solicit their attention to these affairs. Personally I have no reason to complain; in my political character I should have more, if I did not know, that the first powers in Europe are treated with the same inattention and delay. I mention this not to excuse the conduct of this Court, but to convince you, that it is not singular with respect to us. I have in some instances promises of redress, and it is to be hoped, that circumstances, patience, and good humor, will terminate these affairs to the satisfaction, in some measure, of the parties interested.

While Mr Jay remains at Paris, as the public despatches are addressed to him, I shall be deprived of intelligence from America, except what I may acquire by private correspondence from thence. I have not had the honor to hear from Mr Jay since he left this place, which may have been occasioned by delay or ill health on the road and afterwards. I have no correspondence with Messrs Adams and Dana, from whom I might receive, and to whom I might contribute hints, that might be of service to the public interest. Messrs Grenville and Oswald are still at Paris, but on this subject you will have from others much more accurate information than it is in my power to give you.

The Count d'Artois is expected here tomorrow, and will be received and treated as an Infant of Spain. This visit is highly pleasing to the royal family. He is expected with impatience. Nothing worth your notice has yet passed at Gibraltar. The besiegers and the besieged, equally prepare the one for the attack, the other for the defence of the place. A courier extraordinary from France, brings advice of the capture of eighteen transports and merchantmen bound to Quebec and Newfoundland. Unhappily the New York fleet, which sailed with the vessels captured, had two or three days before separated from them. A fifty gun ship and a frigate, which escorted them, escaped. I have not yet received M. Cabarrus's account. When these are once delivered and settled, I shall take the earliest opportunity of transmitting to Congress and to Mr Jay, copies of all the public accounts in this country. I entreat your indulgence, and frequent remembrance of me.

I have the honor to be, &c.

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

St Ildefonso, September 8th, 1782.

Sir,

My last were of the 17th and 26th ultimo, I am still without the least information from America, since the 1st of May, the date of your last letter. His Excellency, the Count de Florida Blanca, whom I had the honor to see yesterday, seemed apprehensive, that Congress might be induced to believe, from the capitulation accorded to the British at Providence, that this Court had not after what happened at Pensacola instructed its commanders to take care in future, that the garrisons of such places as his Catholic Majesty's forces might reduce, should be disposed of in such a manner as not to be prejudicial to any of the belligerent powers. His Excellency assured me how much he should be concerned if an oversight of the General employed on this occasion, should create a misunderstanding injurious to the harmony which the King wished to cultivate with America, and prayed me to take the earliest opportunity of conveying these sentiments to Congress. He proceeded to inform me, that immediately after the Court received the articles of capitulation at Pensacola, instructions were sent to M. Galvez, to oblige the enemy to consent in future to the transportation of their prisoners to Europe; that these orders did not reach him until he had left the Havana, previous to the necessary arrangements for the expedition against the Bahama Islands.

I assured his Excellency, that I found myself happy in having an occasion to represent every instance of his Majesty's good will, and begged leave to remind him, that several complaints sustained by citizens of America laid before his Excellency by Mr Jay, and since his departure by myself, remained unredressed. That I presumed his Excellency had given the necessary orders for their relief, but that his Majesty's favorable intentions had been hitherto frustrated by the delay, and in some cases by the injustice of persons employed in the service of Government. I insinuated how agreeable it would be to me to remove the unfavorable impressions, that his conduct had made or might make in the breast of my countrymen, by having it in my power to communicate the orders which had been given, or which his Majesty might be pleased to renew, for this effect. I particularized the case of the Lord Howe, an English vessel with a valuable cargo, brought into Cadiz by part of her crew, Americans, detained by order of the Admiralty, and the captors confined in some measure as prisoners of war. I represented in the strongest terms, the little respect paid to a positive resolution of Congress, granting to the captors of vessels the property taken in this manner; a resolution occasioned by the notorious injustice of the common enemy, who commenced this practice of seducing American seamen, and encouraging their own to enter into our service with the purpose of afterwards betraying the confidence reposed in them.

His Excellency desired me to pass him an office in French on the subject, and promised me an answer in writing, with the intention I imagine of its being sent to Congress. You will please to observe that the negligence of Mr Harrison's banker, to whom he addressed his letters to me on this subject, retarded my knowledge of the detention of this vessel. I had, however, spoken to M. Del Campo, immediately on hearing of its arrival at Cadiz, and repeated to him the substance of the resolution of Congress, from an apprehension that the officers of that port would observe the same conduct, as those of the Canaries had done in the case of the Dover cutter. I avoided mentioning particularly the latter affair, until I should have obtained the promised answer, as if that proves favorable, as I expect it will, I shall renew with redoubled ardor my representations on this head. They are, however, so much in want of money here, that I fear the captors will be obliged to wait some time for theirs. This scarcity of cash occasions the exaction of the duties at Cadiz and Bilboa, complained of by Mr Harrison and others. I have employed all the means in my power to convince not only the Count de Florida Blanca, but also the Ministers of Finance and the Indies, of the impolicy as well as the injustice of this measure.

I have engaged several persons, who have their confidence to second me, and I hope that good humor, patience, and above all, frequent personal solicitations, will obtain at least a diminution of these duties, an object of great importance to our commerce. In the mean time, I have advised Mr Harrison and others to make no payments on the pretext that the affair is before the Ministry, for refunding is contrary to the spirit of this country. Important news may soon be expected from Gibraltar, at least my letters inform me that the attack is to be made this day, for that everything would be ready for the purpose. As I have very minute details of all that passes there from persons at head quarters, I hope I shall be able to give you a succinct relation of the operations. This correspondence is of a delicate nature for the parties concerned, and therefore I shall not hazard sending copies of my letters but by the safest conveyances. I am promised a drawing of the so much talked of floating batteries, which, as the nature and novelty of their construction may excite curiosity, I will forward the instant I receive it. I hope soon to have the honor to hear from you, and to have instructions for my future government. With sincere wishes that my conduct may not be displeasing to Congress, and with the highest respect,

I have the honor to be, &c.

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

* * * * *

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

Philadelphia, September 12th, 1782.

Sir,

All my letters of late have begun with complaints of neglect on the part of our Ministers, in not transmitting early and full intelligence of what is passing in Europe at this interesting period. That there may, however, be one exception, I will not say a word on this subject to you, only reminding you, that the last despatches we have been favored with from you are those of the 18th and 27th of February. These I replied to the 6th of July; a copy of that letter goes with this; since which, Carleton and Digby have announced the commencement of negotiations in Europe, and the resolution to acknowledge the independence of America, without exacting any condition. Leslie has informed the inhabitants of Charleston, that he means to evacuate it; measures have been accordingly taken for that purpose. The evacuation of New York seemed also in some measure determined on. But the arrival of the packet, announcing the late changes in the Administration, has revived the spirits of the tories, and they still retain hopes of maintaining their ground in America. Our armies are now united, and about moving to their old station at the White Plains. Pigot is at New York with twentysix sail of the line; and the Marquis de Vaudreuil at Boston, where he has unfortunately lost the Magnificence, sunk in the harbor. Congress have endeavored to compensate this loss by presenting His Most Christian Majesty with the America, built at Portsmouth. She will, I believe, prove a very fine ship; and with diligence, she may be fitted in time to be of use this campaign.

We have nothing new among us to inform you of. The armies on both sides have been inactive, and our attention is turned on what passes in Europe. Here we are lost in the wide field of expectation and conjecture without a clue to lead us. I must again press you to think of appointing some agent here to receive your salary, which will be paid upon the spot; and may be vested in bills to great advantage. Two quarters' salary have been transmitted by me, but as I am unauthorised in this business, I shall inform Mr Morris that he must devise some other way to make these remittances, which I beg leave to decline meddling with in future.

I have the honor to be, with great esteem, &c.

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

St Ildefonso, September 29th, 1782.

Sir,

I had the honor to address you on the 8th instant, since which we have advice of the disastrous issue of the enterprise with the floating batteries against Gibraltar, but although we have had notice of this misfortune some days past, I have delayed writing until I could procure authentic information of the particular circumstances of this event. The enclosed copies of letters and papers, written or sent me by a person in the General's family, will, I hope, prove more satisfactory than any which you will receive from other quarters. The projector, M. d'Arcon, is generally blamed. Enclosed you have a plan of the attack as it was made, and as it was intended to have been made, accompanied by a Memorial, which M. d'Arcon sent hither to exonerate himself from part of the blame. I saw a letter he wrote an hour after the affair, in which he avows he had deservedly forfeited the confidence reposed in him by two Sovereigns.

This news dejected exceedingly the King, the Court, and the nation. Their chagrin from the disappointment is, in some measure, proportionate to their confidence of success. It is said, however, that the King is determined to continue the siege, and, I believe, that this will be the case. At present, an expedition in force to the West Indies is in agitation. I am informed from a very good quarter, that the command is offered to the Count d'Estaing. The party which opposed him at Versailles, at the head of which is the Duchess de Polignac, the Queen's favorite, the present Minister of Marine and the former one, have made advances to him, and seem convinced that he alone can repair the disasters of the present campaign. I hear that he is unwilling to accept the command at this critical conjuncture, but as he is the only French Admiral, who unites the suffrage of this Court and nation in his favor, it is to be hoped he will comply with the general wish of France and Spain. This affair is yet a secret.

From all accounts I have of the Spanish marine, I fear that Gibraltar will be relieved. The expense of this siege has been enormous. I have been assured, that during the present campaign it has cost thirtytwo millions of piastres of fifteen reals each. This information comes from one of the first clerks of the treasury. The great demand for specie occasioned thereby has depreciated the paper money; it fluctuates between twelve and sixteen per cent. To prevent its further depreciation, the Court is endeavoring to procure gold from Portugal, and negotiates, as I mentioned in former letters, a loan of three millions of florins in Holland, to be augmented in case the subscriptions fill readily. I am assured from thence, they do not, and I am told here by a man in the secret, that the three millions will be delivered in Spain in the month of December. Messrs Hope, the negotiators of it, subscribe seven hundred and fifty thousand florins.

As I have not had the honor to hear from Messrs Franklin and Jay anything respecting the negotiations at Paris for peace, I can speak only from indirect advice and my own conjectures. I have heard that difficulties have been started respecting the powers of the British Plenipotentiary to treat with our Commissioners. If this is true, it will require some time to remove them. On the whole, it may be supposed, that the negotiations will be spun out until the meeting of Parliament, until the event of the expedition to relieve Gibraltar is known; in fine, until the account of Lord Pigot's motions shall have reached Europe, which may appear to give a favorable turn to the British affairs in the West Indies. No expedition can sail from hence in time to prevent the enemy from pushing their operations in that quarter, if they proceed thither in force and with despatch. The Dutch are like to do nothing this year; their affairs draw to a crisis, and it is to be hoped, that it will prove favorable to our friends. The Emperor is occupied in ecclesiastical and civil changes, his health is in a precarious state, and he runs the risk of losing entirely his sight. The motions of Russia indicate a war with the Porte no longer Sublime. The Empress negotiates loans in Holland and at Genoa. I have taken measures to be informed of their success. The King of Great Britain, as Elector of Hanover, is recruiting in all the imperial cities, and it is said, he is endeavoring to obtain an additional body of German troops for the next campaign. The preparations for war are as vigorous as ever.

I have not yet received an answer on the affair of the Lord Howe, mentioned in my last. I visit the Ministers, and pass offices on this subject and that of the duties, and shall omit nothing that depends on me to obtain satisfaction, and I hope the pains I take will not prove wholly ineffectual. Besides the affairs above mentioned, I am obliged to visit and write to the Judges of the Council of the Indies, on account of law-suits in which some of our countrymen are interested, and which are before them by appeal from the inferior jurisdictions. Even justice here is obtained by favor and solicitation. In other respects, my situation is more agreeable than I could have expected. I live on the best footing with almost the whole corps diplomatique. The Ministers of Saxony and Prussia seem much disposed to induce their Courts to open a direct commerce with America, particularly if the war continues. For this purpose, they have demanded and obtained from me, all the information in my power to give them, with every motive that I could employ, to persuade their respective Courts to engage heartily in this measure. If it is adopted, the Maritime Company at Berlin, under the King's immediate protection, and the Elector or his Ministers in the name of companies of commerce, will be concerned in the first speculations. I do not enter into details on this subject until I see whether these Courts are serious in their intentions.

The advances and offers made me by the Minister of Sweden, have rendered me less sanguine. He assures me it was insinuated to his Sovereign by the French Minister, that it would be impolitic in him to incur the ill will of England, by precipitating an acknowledgment of our independence previous to its being acknowledged by the rest of Europe. I wait with impatience for your instructions and information. In the month of December, all our public accounts here will be arranged, when I shall do myself the honor to transmit copies. I cannot conclude, without mentioning that a Mr Littlepage, from Virginia, has acquired reputation by his gallant conduct in the expedition against Mahon, where he served as Aid-de-camp to the Duc de Crillon, and since at Gibraltar, where he acted in the same capacity. The Prince de Nassau, with whom he served as a volunteer on board his floating battery, rendered public justice to his character at Court. You will permit me also to mention Mr Harrison to you as one, who, by his conduct, which has acquired him universal esteem, merits the attention of Congress whenever it shall be judged proper to appoint a consul at Cadiz, of which place he now performs the functions, with great trouble and considerable expense.

I have the honor to be, &c.

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

* * * * *

COUNT DE FLORIDA BLANCA TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

Translation.

St Lorenzo, October 14th, 1782.

Sir,

The king has resolved that the English frigate, the Lord Howe, carried into Cadiz by some Americans and part of the crew, shall be publicly sold, ship and cargo, and the value of both be deposited, at the order of Congress and yourself. I communicate this to you, that being thoroughly informed, you may take such measures as you think proper, and determine immediately what is to be done with the American and English seamen on board the said vessel. I wish for occasions to serve you, and that God may preserve you many years.

COUNT DE FLORIDA BLANCA.

* * * * *

TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

Madrid, October 29th, 1782.

Sir,

The state of uncertainly in which every one here has been for some time, respecting the motions of the combined and British fleets, to relieve, or prevent the relief of Gibraltar, joined to a general embargo at Cadiz, and the want of other occasions, has prevented me from doing myself the honor of addressing you since the 29th ultimo. I hope you will be persuaded that my time has been devoted to no other pursuits than those which my duty dictates. Enclosed I have the honor to send a particular relation of the most interesting circumstances which have passed in this interval. I have had occasion to compare this intelligence with that of others, and particularly with letters written by a marine officer in this service, but at the same time employed to convey information to another Court, and I find upon the whole my correspondent conforms with others in the most material points, and enters into more minute details than those I have seen from other quarters.

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