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The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX
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On which we have judged it proper to make representation to their High Mightinesses, whether it would not be proper to charge Captain Riemersma, commandant at the Roadstead of the Texel, and to give him order to permit the debarkation of the sick and wounded from said ships, to enable them to receive the most prompt assistance; which we should have already granted ourselves upon the requests, which have been addressed to us on behalf of said sick and wounded, if we could have thought we had a right to do it without the authorisation of their High Mightinesses; submitting in this respect all final determinations to their high wisdom, and to their better opinion.

Deliberating on this, the Deputies of the Province of Holland and of West Friesland have taken a copy of the above letter to be more amply communicated; and nevertheless it has been found good and determined that a copy of said letter should be put into the hands of M. de Linden de Hemme and other deputies for marine affairs to see, examine and take into consideration the opinion of the Commissioners of the respective Colleges of Admiralty, and to make report thereon to the Assembly.

* * * * *

PERMISSION TO LAND THE SICK AND WOUNDED OF THE ENGLISH VESSELS TAKEN BY PAUL JONES.

Extract from the records of their High Mightinesses.

October 15th, 1779.

M. de Heekeren de Brantzenburg, President of the Assembly, has imparted to their High Mightinesses, that he was informed by Sir Joseph Yorke, of the deplorable condition of the sick and wounded who are on board the English vessels Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, taken by Paul Jones and brought into the Texel, and who, as humanity requires, not only has not refused them accommodation, but even has procured them all the assistance and all the supplies possible, and submitted to the consideration of their High Mightinesses if it would not please them without delay to authorise the College of Admiralty of Amsterdam to have put on shore the said sick and wounded, to be there tended and nursed.

On which, having deliberated, it has been thought good and decreed, that without prejudice to ulterior deliberations of their High Mightinesses on the Memorial, which has been sent to them on this subject by Sir Joseph Yorke, the 8th of this month, everything continuing in this respect in the same state, it be written to the College of Admiralty of Amsterdam to authorise it, and it is authorised by the present resolution to permit not only that the sick and wounded, who are in said vessels, be landed or put on board a hospital ship, as soon as one can be prepared for this purpose, but besides that they be furnished by the ships of war of the Republic now in the Roadstead, with the medicines and provisions necessary, and that the surgeons of said ships of war may bestow their care in the treatment of those sick and wounded who shall be debarked. It being well understood, that by this arrangement nothing shall be accounted to be changed relative to the condition of said sick and wounded; that their High Mightinesses will not be responsible for those, who may be able to take advantage of the opportunity for escape, and that under any pretext, either to guard the prisoners or to maintain discipline, there may not be allowed to go on shore armed men, more than three or four, and armed only with their swords; that finally, nothing may be done in said department and dependencies but with the knowledge and under the authority of the officer commanding the vessels of the Republic, which are in the Roadstead, and of those in whose jurisdiction shall be the place where the sick and wounded may be debarked.

* * * * *

INSTRUCTIONS OF HOLLAND AND WEST FRIESLAND TO THEIR DEPUTIES.

Their Noble and Grand Mightinesses, the Lords States of Holland and of West Friesland, in their Assembly of Thursday, the 21st of October, 1779, having resolved to qualify their Deputies in the Generality to conform in the Assembly of their High Mightinesses to the following advice;

They are of opinion, that they should answer the Memorial of Sir Joseph Yorke, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of his Britannic Majesty, presented the 8th of this month, that their High Mightinesses be informed that a short time since there entered into the Texel three frigates, viz. two French, and one styling itself American, commanded by Paul Jones, having with them two prizes, made by them at sea, named Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, designated in his Memorial.

That their High Mightinesses, having for more than a century constantly observed and manifested by successive placards, that they would not in any manner give any judgment for or against the legality or illegality of the acts of those who not sailing under these provinces make prizes at sea and bring them into the roadsteads of this country, not opening their ports to them on any other terms than for them to put in, in case of tempest, or other disasters, and obliging them to return with them to sea as they brought them in, they would not undertake to examine whether the prizes brought in by said three frigates belong to the French or to the Americans, whether they are legal or illegal, but must abandon all this to the decision of those who have jurisdiction, and that they would compel them altogether to return to sea, for that, subject here to be retaken as if they had never landed in this country, they will be judged by the proper tribunal; inasmuch as the Ambassador will acknowledge himself, that he would have no less a right to reclaim them, if they belonged to English subjects, than if they were vessels of the King, which they happened to be in this case; and by consequence, this would not authorise their High Mightinesses to bring it before the tribunals of this country, any more than the person of Paul Jones.

That with respect to acts of humanity, their High Mightinesses have already manifested to the Ambassador their eagerness to exercise them in regard to the wounded on board said vessels, and that they have given orders in consequence.

They would be of opinion, moreover, that they ought to answer the College of Admiralty of Amsterdam, that their High Mightinesses approve what is done; that in conformity to their placard of the 3d of November, 1756, which prohibits the overhauling and breaking up of the cargoes of prizes, for the purpose of securing them from recapture, and allowing to the captor the right of disposing of them, they persist in it also in the case of the prizes, Serapis and Countess of Scarborough; authorising said College to do what is in their power that the said five frigates depart, the sooner the better, and to take care that there be not delivered to them nor carried on board any munitions of war or naval stores, but such things only as they want in order to put to sea and reach the first foreign port, to prevent all suspicion of their equipment and arming in this country.

* * * * *

THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON TO JOHN PAUL JONES.

The Hague, October 29th, 1779.

Sir,

I ought to advise you, that M. de Sartine has informed me, that he has renounced the intentions that I had been charged to communicate to you, and that you will find at Dunkirk orders for your final destination. I learn with much pleasure, that the necessary repairs of the ships, which you command, will be completed immediately, and that you have received all the assistance you could, and ought to expect. I desire very earnestly that success shall again reward your valor. No person will be more rejoiced at it than myself. Believe me, with the sincerest sentiments, &c. &c.

THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

* * * * *

SIR JOSEPH YORKE TO THE STATES-GENERAL.

The Hague, October 29th, 1779.

High and Mighty Lords,

In thanking your High Mightinesses for the orders your humanity has dictated in relation to the wounded, who were on board two vessels of the King, the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, I only discharge the orders of his Majesty in renewing the most strong and urgent demand for the seizure and restitution of said vessels, as well as for the enlargement of their crews, who have been seized by the pirate Paul Jones, a Scotchman, a rebellious subject and state criminal.

The sentiments of equity and justice of your High Mightinesses leave no room to doubt, that in taking into a more mature deliberation all the circumstances of this affair, you will recognize readily the justice of a demand, founded as well on the most solemn treaties, which have subsisted more than a century between the Crown of Great Britain and the United Provinces, as on the principles of the law of nations, and the custom of friendly and allied States.

The stipulations of the treaty of Breda, of the 31st of July, 1667, confirmed and renewed expressly in that of 1716, and in all the subsequent ones, are too clear and incontestible in this respect not to be felt in all their force.

The King considered it derogatory to his dignity, as well as to that of your High Mightinesses, to expose the particulars of a case so notorious as that in question, or to cite to the ancient friends and allies of his Crown analogous examples of other Princes and States.

I shall confine myself to the remark, that the placard of your High Mightinesses, in prescribing to the captains of foreign ships of war to show their letters of marque or commissions, authorise you according to the general custom of Admiralties to treat as pirates those, whose letters are found to be illegal for not being issued by a sovereign power.

The character of Paul Jones, and all the circumstances of the affair, cannot by their notoriety be unknown to your High Mightinesses. Europe has her eyes fixed on your resolution. Your High Mightinesses know too well the value of good faith, not to give an example of it on this important occasion. The least deviation from a rule so sacred, in weakening friendship among neighbors, produces often unfortunate consequences.

The King has always made it his pride to cultivate the friendship of your High Mightinesses. His Majesty persists steadfastly in the same sentiments; but the English nation does not think itself bound, by any of its proceedings, to have its citizens detained prisoners in a port of the Republic by an outlaw, a subject of the same country, and who enjoys the liberty of which they are deprived.

It is for all these reasons, and many others equally solid, which cannot escape the great penetration and sagacity of your High Mightinesses, that the undersigned hopes to receive a ready and favorable answer to the above, conformable to the just expectation of the King, his master, and of the British nation.

JOSEPH YORKE.

* * * * *

JOHN PAUL JONES TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL WEIBERT, IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES.

Their High Mightinesses, the States-General of Holland, have granted permission to us to land on the Island of Texel, a number of wounded British prisoners of war now in our hands, to guard them by our American soldiers in the fort of that Island, with the draw bridges hauled up or let down at our discretion, and to remove them again from thence to our ships at our free will and pleasure, and dispose of them afterwards as though they had not been landed. Therefore you are hereby appointed Governor-General over the wounded, and the soldiers, that are destined this day to conduct them there, until further orders.

These wounded prisoners are to be supported and provided with good surgeons and medicine, and with necessary attendance at the expense of the United States. The Commissary of the Admiralty, who resides on the Texel, has undertaken, by our orders, to furnish you with the necessary provisions; and surgeons, medicine and bedding, &c. are sent from the squadron. In short, these prisoners, together with such other sick and wounded as we may hereafter see fit to send to your care in that fort on the Texel, are to be treated with all possible tenderness and humanity. And you are to take care that no person under your command may give any cause of complaint whatever to the subjects or government of this country; but, on the contrary, to behave towards them with the utmost complaisance and civility.

For which this shall be your order.

Given on board the American ship of war, the Serapis, at anchor in the Road of Texel, November 1st, 1779.

JOHN PAUL JONES.

* * * * *

JOHN PAUL JONES TO THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

Texel, November 4th, 1779.

Sir,

This morning the commandant of the Road sent me word to come and speak to him on board his ship. He had before him on the table a letter, which he said was from the Prince of Orange. He questioned me very closely, whether I had a French commission, and if I had, he almost insisted upon seeing it. In conformity to your advice, I told him that my French commission not having been found among my papers since the loss of the Bon Homme Richard, I feared that it had gone to the bottom in that ship; but that, if it was really lost, it would be an easy matter to procure a duplicate of it from France. The commandant appeared to be very uneasy and anxious for my departure. I have told him, that as there are eight of the enemy's ships laying wait for me at the south entrance, and four more at the north entrance of the Port, I was unable to fight more than three times my force; but that he might rest assured of my intention to depart with the utmost expedition, whenever I found a possibility to go clear.

I should be very happy, Sir, if I could tell you of my being ready. I should have departed long ago, if I had met with common assistance; but for a fortnight past I have every day expected the necessary supply of water from Amsterdam, in cisterns, and I have been last night only informed, that it cannot be had unless I send up water casks. The provisions too, that were ordered the day I returned to Amsterdam from the Hague, are not yet sent down, and the spars that have been sent from Amsterdam are spoiled in the making. None of the iron work that was ordered for the Serapis is yet completed, so that I am, even to this hour, in want of hinges to hang the lower gun ports. My officers and men lost their clothes and beds in the Bon Homme Richard, and they have as yet got no supply. The bread that has been twice a week sent down from Amsterdam to feed my people has been, literally speaking, rotten; and the consequence is, that they are falling sick. It is natural, also, that they should be discontented, while I am not able to tell them that they will be paid the value of their property in the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, if either or both of them should be lost or taken after sailing from hence.

Thus you see, Sir, that my prospects are far from pleasing. I have but few men, and they are discontented. If you can authorise me to promise them, at all hazards, that their property in the prizes shall be made good, and that they shall receive the necessary clothing and bedding, or money to buy them with, I believe I shall soon be able to bring them again into a good humor. In the meantime, I will send a vessel or two out to reconnoiter the offing and to bring me word. Whatever may be the consequence of my having put into this harbor, I must observe that it was done contrary to my opinion, and I consented to it only because the majority of my colleagues were earnest for it.

I am under a very singular obligation to you, Sir, for your kind letter, which you did me the honor to write to me on the 29th of last month. It shall be my ambition to get clear of my present embarrassment, and to merit, what I so much esteem, the good opinion of your Excellency and of the Court, by my future service in support of the common cause.

I have the honor to be, &c.

JOHN PAUL JONES.

* * * * *

M. DUMAS TO THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

Helder, November 9th, 1779.

Sir,

To fulfil my promise, it is my duty by the first post to give information to your Excellency, that in spite of the bad roads and dark nights I arrived here this morning. I saw immediately M. Cottineau, from whom here is a letter enclosed to your Excellency. There was a violent storm, which prevented me from going on board the Serapis. Nevertheless, having found means to make known my arrival to the Commodore, he came on shore this evening for half an hour only in order that he might reach his ship again before night. He will send his boat tomorrow for me to breakfast with him, to converse longer on our affairs, and it may be to make a visit together to the Vice-Admiral.

In the meantime I have already learnt, that not only the Commodore has not written anything at all on what has given us uneasiness, but even that he has not said anything, of which they can make an authentic use; that he showed to M. Riemersma, on his arrival, as well as to the other Captains his commission, which is American, not having any other; that he will give me a copy, with a declaration signed at the bottom by himself, that he had shown it; and that as to the cartel made between himself and Captain Pearson, they have had no other surety for its basis, than the permission of this government to put on shore the wounded prisoners, without changing in any manner their condition, having taken upon them, besides, each one on his part, to engage their respective sovereigns. All, therefore, that I shall be able to do further in this respect will be to get signed by Mr Jones the copy he sent me of this cartel. The crowded inns leave me no place for a lodging but the house of a peasant, where I write this letter as I can. I fear that notwithstanding the good will of the Commodore, he will not be in condition to depart in fifteen days; and on examining things closely, and comparing the complaints of one with those of another, as to the delays, I find that the great and true cause is this bad Roadstead, distant from Amsterdam twentyfive leagues by water.

The copy of the resolution of the 21st of October, which I have sent to the Commodore, is a paper very necessary to him.

They will not be able longer to impose on him or spread snares for him. His way will be clear. He regrets only that it had not been sooner.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

On board the Serapis, November 11th, 1779.

Sir,

According to my letter of the day before yesterday, I was yesterday morning on board the Serapis. The weather was so thick in the evening, that there was no chance of sending anything on shore that night. The Commodore and myself, with great difficulty, went to make a visit to the Dutch Vice-Admiral, in which all that has been said was so well cleared up, that nothing can (at least on our part) cause a change in the state of things as they were after the 21st of October. The result of the visit is, in substance, that they do not much approve the expedient of providing two different flags in order to make use of one in default of the other; that they rather preferred that the whole squadron should have been entered under the flag and commission of France, as not being liable to any difficulties; but since what had been done could not be otherwise, they desire and expect that the squadron shall depart with the first fair wind; as also that there shall not be in this Roadstead any transportation of prisoners on board the King's cutters that are here; which the Commodore promised.

Today we have been with M. Ricot on board one of the cutters, where we found the two captains, Messrs de la Laune and de la Bourdonnoie, who received us with all the cordiality and manifested all the good will imaginable. They do for us what they can, and M. de la Laune will inform your Excellency of it.

I hope to be able to depart for Amsterdam the morning after tomorrow, if I can without danger be put on shore tomorrow, with the satisfaction of having by my journey hither cleared up, and much accelerated affairs; in a word, of having been useful. I see no possibility of being able to write to Dr Franklin. He cannot, therefore, know anything, nor, consequently, the Minister, except what your Excellency shall judge worthy to be communicated in your despatches, of the contents of my letters, &c.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

The Hague, November 11th, 1779.

Sir,

I have received the letter that you addressed to me the 9th of this month, and that of M. Cottineau, which was annexed. I learn with pleasure what you tell me relative to the object, which induced me to urge your departure. I hope you will not delay to give me, in this respect, details yet more satisfactory, and perfectly conformable to the intentions I have unfolded to you.

M. Cottineau represents to me the extreme inconvenience, which results from the impossibility of putting on shore the sick and wounded among the prisoners.

I think it would be proper that you might see with prudence and discretion, if it would not be possible to obtain permission of the Admiralty; but it would be necessary, in order to ask it, to be very sure beforehand that you will not be refused.

You know the truth of my inviolable sentiments.

THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

* * * * *

THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

The Hague, November 12th, 1779.

Sir,

I have just received orders from the Minister of the Marine, which I must communicate to you, and it is necessary that you return here immediately. You will please to say to Mr Jones, that he ought not to set sail before I have imparted to him the instructions, which have been sent, as it will be necessary to suspend his departure till a new order; but not to lose an instant in hastening the repairs.

I have the honor to be, &c.

THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

* * * * *

TO THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

November 13th, 1779.

Sir,

Yesterday I was at the Texel with the Commodore, to adjust affairs with a Commissioner of the Admiralty, as to the light-house dues, so as to satisfy everybody; but this morning the Dutch Vice-Admiral sought me in his boat, to repeat to me what he had already said to the Commodore, that he ought to depart with the first good wind; in consequence, I have been with Captain Ricot and the commandant of the Scarborough on board of the French cutter to adjust things, of which I will give a verbal account to your Excellency.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Amsterdam, November 17th, 1779.

Sir,

They write me from the Hague, that the States of Holland adopted yesterday, by a majority, a resolution to compel Mr Jones to depart. I inform you of it, that you may lose no time in returning to the Texel and executing the necessary arrangements.

I have the honor to be, &c.

THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

* * * * *

TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

The Hague, December 9th, 1779.

Gentlemen,

On the 16th and 17th of November, the French Ambassador having given us a meeting at Amsterdam, apprized us of the intention of the King, to wit, that the cruise should terminate at the Texel, and that the prizes should be conducted into France by two French Captains of the squadron. Captain Jones on his part had an order from Dr Franklin to go on board the Alliance. On the 18th and 19th we returned to the Texel. The following days we effected these changes. The Dutch Vice-Admiral (a decided tory, who had succeeded the brave Captain Riemersma, a good republican and friend to the Americans) perceived it and disturbed us very much, particularly after having received the resolution of the 19th of November, and the instructions of his Court on this subject.

Every day he pressed and threatened us, though the wind was always contrary. On the 24th of November, among others, the officer second in command came to read to us a paper, which he afterwards put in his pocket. I had anticipated the contents, and made, on my part, a writing, which I likewise read to him as follows.

"The Commodore loses not a moment in providing for his departure with the first good wind, in his vessel, the Alliance, and he will give the signal for departure to the others, which will follow him if they can. He thinks he cannot give a stronger proof of his respect for the resolution of their High Mightinesses. Thus the threats of the Vice-Admiral are superfluous and against the very terms of this resolution of their High Mightinesses. He cannot go on board any other vessel than the Alliance, without counteracting the designs of his superiors.

"As to the prizes, the placard of 1756, and of course the designs of their High Mightinesses, are scrupulously observed, in that they have not disposed of or changed anything, and that when they depart they may be recaptured. I require for the future every order or threat in writing, in order to send copies to the General Congress and to Dr Franklin."

November 28th. Having sent again to hasten us, I made him confess with a loud voice, in presence of our crew, and of his own rowers, that he required an impossibility; a declaration which I made the pilot sign afterwards. Then he let us alone during ten days.

December 8th. The wind appearing favorable, his officer found us ready to depart; but the wind changing, it was necessary to cast anchor again, after it had been already weighed.

By the extract of the resolution of the 26th November you will see, Gentlemen, that the Stadtholder had taken on himself to apply to the Alliance only, what had been resolved in regard to the whole squadron, and especially to the prizes; that the States-General have approved it, and that thus they have thought they might dispense with consulting the Province of Holland on this new case. They are not content with this arbitrary procedure, and will make new protests, copies of which they have promised to furnish me. The others on their side appear to think that they have gone too far, as may be seen by the letter of the Vice-Admiral, which certainly is not written without order. As to the arrangement made on the 16th and 17th, I suspend my opinion till I see where the whole will end. But I highly applauded Mr Jones for having answered the Dutch Admiral as he did.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

December 10th, 1779.

Gentlemen,

The following intelligence will show in what manner the States-General have proceeded respecting Sir Joseph Yorke's demand for the seizure of Paul Jones's prizes.

Leyden, November 25th. "The publicity of the claims, which Sir J. Yorke, Ambassador of Great Britain, has made by order of his Court on the occasion of the entry of Paul Jones with his prizes into the Road of the Texel, having excited the attention of Europe to this affair, on which subject the spirit of party on both sides has spread sundry unfounded reports, we think ourselves under obligation to communicate to our readers the definitive resolution, which the States-General took in relation to it last Friday; a resolution which reconciles the most scrupulous obligations of neutrality with the friendship which subsists between Great Britain, and this Republic. Here is the translation of it.

'Wednesday, Nov. 19th, 1779. Having deliberated by resolution on the Memorial presented by Sir Joseph Yorke, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of his Majesty, the King of Great Britain, to their High Mightinesses, on the 29th of last month, to renew in pursuance of the precise orders of his said Majesty, the most urgent instances for the seizure and restitution of two of the King's ships, Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, as well as for the release of their crews, which a certain Paul Jones had seized, as is more fully related in the registers under date of the 29th of last month, it has been resolved and determined to answer the aforesaid Memorial of Sir Joseph Yorke; that upon the reiterated instances which the Ambassador has made, by order of his Court, for the seizure and restitution of the ships Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, as well as for the release of the crews of said vessels, which a certain Paul Jones has taken, and with which he has entered into the Road of the Texel, their High Mightinesses have repeatedly taken into mature consideration all the circumstances of this affair, and they find themselves under the necessity of requesting his Majesty to consent, that their High Mightinesses should persist in their ancient maxim, which is, that without interfering in any decision upon the legality or illegality of prizes brought into their ports, they should compel them to put to sea, their High Mightinesses judging, that this maxim itself is founded on treaties.

'But for evident proof that they do not desire, that any supplies may be furnished from this country to the inhabitants of his Majesty's American Colonies, they gave orders immediately on the arrival of Paul Jones, that he should not be furnished with any munitions of war or other articles, except those of which he would have need in order to put to sea, and reach the nearest port in which he might be admitted. That their High Mightinesses will also give orders, that he set sail as soon as his vessels can put to sea, and when wind and weather will permit, and even will compel him in case it should be required. That their High Mightinesses are assured, that it will be evident thereby, that they persist invariably in the declaration made to his Majesty, "that they desire to do nothing from which it might lawfully be inferred, that they recognize the independence of the Colonies of his Majesty in America," and that they grant to Paul Jones neither supplies nor harbor, but that following solely the treatment which they have at all times been accustomed to give to those, who come into their Roads to obtain for a time shelter against the disasters of the sea, they do not concern themselves with what passes on the sea, and without taking cognizance of it, they leave and cause to be restored everything to the state in which it was a short time before the vessels came into the country. That their High Mightinesses flatter themselves, that his Majesty and the English nation, for whom their High Mightinesses have all possible respect, will be satisfied with these dispositions, without insisting further on the claim they have made; that an extract from the resolution of their High Mightinesses will be sent to Sir Joseph Yorke, by the agent, Vander Burch de Spierinxhoek.

'That, moreover, directions shall be given to the College of Admiralty at Amsterdam, to cause it to be signified and made known to Paul Jones, that their High Mightinesses are assured, that having only put in to place his injured vessels in shelter from the dangers of the sea, there has been sufficient time to put them in condition for sea, and that consequently they desire that he should make sail as soon as possible, when the wind and weather shall be favorable, and withdraw from this country; forasmuch as their High Mightinesses cannot permit him to continue here, and as the season of winter which is approaching may create greater inconveniences in this respect; so that to avoid them it is necessary that he allow no favorable opportunity to escape of putting to sea. That this is the serious intention of their High Mightinesses, and that they cannot delay; but if he should not comply, it would oblige them to take measures that would not be agreeable to him.

'That, however, to allow no mistake on this point, and to prevent delays, his Serene Highness will be required, and he is hereby required, to give orders to Vice-Admiral Reynst, or to the officer commanding in the Roadstead of the Texel to effect with all possible discretion that the aforesaid Paul Jones depart with his prizes as soon as wind and weather will permit; not to admit any delay in this respect, that the nature of the case does not require, and to provide, if need be, by all suitable means, not excepting force, that the orders of their High Mightinesses be executed in the Roadstead.'"

I have the honor to be, &c.

JOHN PAUL JONES.

* * * * *

TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

The Hague, December 11th, 1779.

Gentlemen,

I send you the following intelligence relating to further proceedings in regard to Captain Paul Jones.

"Circumstances having changed in regard to the squadron of Paul Jones in the Texel, the States-General have thought proper to suspend the effect of their resolution of the 19th of November, by another, which their High Mightinesses adopted on the 26th of the same month. It appears that on the 4th inst. they received a letter from the Prince Stadtholder, in which his Serene Highness informs them 'that, conformably to their said resolution of the 19th of November, he had sent the necessary orders to Vice-Admiral Reynst, commanding in the Road of the Texel, that he would conduct with all possible discretion, and that he would effect by all suitable means, not excepting even force, that Paul Jones should put to sea with the vessels under his command and with his prizes. But that after Paul Jones had declared he was ready to obey the orders of their High Mightinesses, and that as soon as he should be in condition he would profit by the first occasion to take the sea, it happened on the 25th of November, that Vice-Admiral Reynst having sent Captain Van Overmeer on board the Serapis, to notify again, in the most formal manner the commanding officer, that he must be provided with a pilot, and depart with the first favorable wind; he was answered, that this vessel was no longer commanded by Paul Jones, but by the French Captain, Cottineau de Cosgelin, who had taken possession in the name of the King of France.' The Prince Stadtholder referred, besides, to the letter itself of Vice-Admiral Reynst, as well as to the pieces thereto annexed; and his Serene Highness added, 'that in awaiting the final orders of their High Mightinesses he had provisionally written to Vice-Admiral Reynst not to use force till further orders, in regard to those vessels whose commanders should prove, that they were provided with a commission from the King of France; the preceding orders remaining nevertheless in their full force in regard to the Alliance, actually commanded by Paul Jones;' and that he at the same time charged the above named Vice-Admiral 'to take care that conformably to the Placard of their High Mightinesses of the 3d of November, 1756, none of the prisoners, who were not brought into the Road on board said ship Alliance, should be carried away in this ship;' his Serene Highness flattering himself that their High Mightinesses would approve his proceedings in this business. Upon which their High Mightinesses having deliberated, immediately thanked the Prince Stadtholder for the communication that his Serene Highness had made, and approved in all respects his procedure in the affair of which he had written them, reserving to themselves a further deliberation on the part to be taken on this occasion."

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

JOHN PAUL JONES TO THE DUC DE LA VAUGUYON.

Alliance, Texel, December 13th, 1779.

Sir,

Perhaps there are many men in the world, who would esteem as an honor the commission, that I have this day refused. My rank from the beginning knew no superior in the marine of America; how then must I be humbled, were I to accept a letter of marque! I should, Sir, esteem myself inexcusable were I to accept, even a commission of equal or superior denomination with that I bear, unless I were previously authorised either by Congress or some other competent authority in Europe, and I must tell you that on my arrival at Brest from my expedition, in the Irish Channel, Count d'Orvilliers offered to procure for me from Court a commission of Captain des Vaisseaux, which I did not then accept for the same reason, although the war between France and England was not then begun, and of course the commission of France would have protected me from an enemy of superior force.

It is matter of the highest astonishment to me, that after so many compliments and fair professions, the Court should offer the present insult to my understanding, and suppose me capable of disgracing my present commission! I confess that I have not merited all the praise, that has been bestowed on my past conduct; but I also feel that I have far less merited such a reward! Where profession and practice are so opposite, I am no longer weak enough to form a wrong conclusion. They may think as they please of me; for when I cannot continue my esteem, praise or censure from any man is to me a matter of indifference.

I am much obliged to them, however, for having at least fairly opened my eyes and enabled me to discover truth from falsehood.

The prisoners shall be delivered, agreeably to the orders which you have done me the honor to send me from his Excellency the American Ambassador in France.

I will also, with great pleasure, not only permit a part of my seamen to go on board the ships under your Excellency's orders, but I will also do my utmost to prevail with them to embark freely; and if I can now or hereafter, by any other honorable means facilitate the success or the honor of his Majesty's arms, I pledge myself to you as his Ambassador, that none of his own subjects would bleed in his cause with greater freedom than myself, an American.

It gives me the more pain, Sir, to write this letter, as the Court has enjoined you to propose what would destroy my peace of mind, and my future veracity in the opinion of the world.

When with the consent of Court, and by order of the American Ambassador, I gave American commissions to French officers, I did not fill up those commissions to command privateers! nor even for a rank equal to that of their commissions in the marine of France. They were promoted to a rank far superior; and why! not from personal friendship, nor from my knowledge of their personal abilities, the men and their characters being entire strangers to me, but from the respect which I believed America would wish to show for the service of France. While I remained eight months at Brest, seemingly forgotten by the Court, many commissions, such as that in question, were offered to me; and I believe, (when I am in pursuit of plunder,) I can still obtain such a one without application to Court.

I hope, Sir, that my behavior through life will ever entitle me to the continuance of your good wishes and opinion, and that you will take occasion to make mention of the warm and personal affection, with which my heart is impressed towards his Majesty.

I have the honor to be, &c.

JOHN PAUL JONES.

* * * * *

JOHN PAUL JONES TO B. FRANKLIN.

Alliance, Texel, December 13th, 1779.

Sir,

I have this day had the honor to receive your Excellency's orders of the 6th current, respecting the prisoners taken in merchant ships, and, at present, on board the Alliance. And I hope that the within copy of my letter to the Duc de la Vauguyon will meet your approbation; for I am persuaded, that it could never be your intention or wish, that I should be made the fool of any great R—— whatsoever, or that the commission of America should be overlaid by the dirty piece of parchment, which I have this day rejected! They have played upon my good nature too long already; but the spell is at last dissolved. They would play me off with assurances of the personal and particular esteem of the King, to induce me to do what would render me contemptible, even in the eyes of my own servants! Accustomed to speak untruths themselves, they would also have me give, under my hand, that I am a liar and a scoundrel! They are mistaken, and I could tell them what you did your wayward servant, "We have too contemptible an opinion of one another's understanding to live together." I could tell them too, that if M. de C—— had not taken such sage precaution to keep me honest by means of his famous concordat, and to support me by means of so many able colleagues, these great men would not now have been reduced to such mean shifts, for the prisoners would have been landed at Dunkirk the day that I entered the Texel, and I should have brought in double the number.

We hear that the enemy still keeps a squadron cruising off here; but this shall not prevent my attempts to depart whenever the wind will permit. I hope we have recovered the trim of this ship, which was entirely lost during the last cruise; and I do not much fear the enemy in the long and dark nights of this season. The ship is well manned, and shall not be given away.

I have sent to Congress three copies of my late transactions in Europe, down to the 7th of this month, and M. Dumas has undertaken to forward them.

I need not tell you I will do my utmost to take prisoners and prizes in my way from hence.

I am ever, with sentiments of the most lively affection and esteem, your Excellency's most obliged, and most humble servant,

JOHN PAUL JONES.

* * * * *

JOHN PAUL JONES TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Alliance, December 13th, 1779.

Sir,

I have received your esteemed favor from Amsterdam. I leave the enclosed letter for his Excellency, Dr Franklin, open for your perusal; I also send a copy of my letter to the Duc de la Vauguyon. I shall be glad of your remarks on both. The occasion that produced them was the most extraordinary that ever happened to me; and language cannot express my astonishment at so unworthy a proposition.

Adieu, my dear friend. I am, in cool blood, yours,

JOHN PAUL JONES.

* * * * *

VICE-ADMIRAL REYNST TO JOHN PAUL JONES.

Amsterdam, December 17th, 1779.

Sir,

I made a request to you yesterday, that you would take the trouble to come on board my vessel, from which you excused yourself; and again this morning. I also make request by this present, that you will have the goodness to inform me how I ought to consider the Alliance, on board of which you are; as a vessel of the King of France or of America? In the first case, I expect you will show me the commission of his Majesty, and that you will hoist the French flag and pendant, confirming it with a salute from your guns; and, in the second case, I expect that you will not neglect any opportunity to depart according to the orders of their High Mightinesses.

I am, Sir, &c.

P. H. REYNST.

* * * * *

JOHN PAUL JONES TO VICE-ADMIRAL P. H. REYNST.

Alliance, Texel, December 17th, 1779.

Sir,

In answer to the letter, which you have done me the honor to write me this day, I must observe, that I have no orders to hoist the flag of France on board the Alliance; nor can I take upon me to hoist, in this port, any other than American colors, unless I receive orders for that purpose from his Excellency, Benjamin Franklin.

In the meantime, it is my wish to find a favorable opportunity to sail from hence; and whenever the pilot will take upon him to conduct this ship to sea, I will give him my best assistance. Should I receive any new orders, I shall not fail to communicate my situation to you.

I am, &c.

JOHN PAUL JONES.

* * * * *

JOHN PAUL JONES TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Alliance, Texel, December 17th, 1779.

I am, my Dear Sir, to acknowledge your sundry kind favors from Amsterdam. I thank you for your advice, which, by my last, as well as the enclosed, you will see I had followed before the appearance of your letters. Let not that circumstance disquiet you; for I have made myself some compliments on my thinking in many points so like you. Know me always your affectionate friend,

JOHN PAUL JONES.

* * * * *

M. DE LIVONCOURT, FRENCH NAVY AGENT AT AMSTERDAM, TO JOHN PAUL JONES.

Helder, December 17th, 1779.

Sir,

I thank you for your politeness in communicating to me what Vice-Admiral Reynst had written you. I perceive by this letter, that you would give great pleasure, if you would display the royal flag. Meanwhile, I can make no more entreaty, if you persist in not using the commission, which I was charged to send you. Reflect that all the French here, in the service of the King, have strongly at heart to maintain the Republic in sentiments favorable to the allies of his Majesty. It is in conformity with these views, and for the good of the common cause, and only for this transient object, that the commission, for the origin of which you imagine a thousand ill-natured motives, and which, finally, you refuse to accept, has been addressed to you.

You know all that I have had the honor to say to you on this subject has been as well for your personal quiet, as for the honor and satisfaction of the common allies.

I am still at your service, if you desire it, and I will continue to act with the same earnestness as heretofore for the advantage of this cause, and for your own interests. The Ambassador has expressed to you the same sentiments. My dispositions and my orders are entirely conformed thereto.

I am, Sir, &c.

DE LIVONCOURT.

* * * * *

JOHN PAUL JONES TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Alliance, at Sea, December 27th, 1779.

Sir,

I am here, with a good wind at east, under my best American colors. So far you have your wish. What may be the event of this critical moment, I know not. I am not, however, without good hopes. Through the ignorance or drunkenness of the old pilot, the Alliance was last night got foul of a Dutch merchant ship, and I believe the Dutchman cut our cable.

We lost the best bower anchor, and the ship was brought up with the sheet anchor so near the shore, that this morning I have been obliged to cut the cable, in order to get clear of the shore, and that I might not lose this opportunity of escaping from Purgatory.

I wish Mr Hoogland would have the sheet and best bower anchors taken up, that they may either be sent to France, or sold, as M. de Neufville may find most expedient.

The pilot knows where the anchors lie, and unless he assists willingly in taking them up, he ought not, in my opinion, to be paid for his service on board here.

Adieu, my dear friend. Present my best respects to your family, and to the good patriot; and believe me to be always affectionately yours,

JOHN PAUL JONES.

* * * * *

TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

The Hague, December 30th, 1779.

Gentlemen,

This day I have received a letter from Captain Jones, of which a copy is here joined. I hope in a short time to hear of his safe arrival. The prizes, Serapis and Scarborough, and the two French ships, Pallas and Vengeance, are still riding under French colors and captains.

The good Alliance, while here, has caused me much anxiety and trouble. Now she leaves me exposed to the ill-nature of my old foes in this country, whom, however, I dread not so much as certain false friends, highly incensed now against me, for not having found me as blind and complaisant to their particular views as they had expected I would be. The formal confirmation by Congress of my character as agent of the United States, which I have already spoken of in my former despatches, and which I must entreat you to procure for me, will silence them. Indeed I cannot be quiet nor safe without such a testimonial.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

B. FRANKLIN TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Passy, January 27th, 1780.

Dear Sir,

I received yours of the tenth instant. I shall be glad to learn how the taking of the Dutch ships has been accommodated. We have yet no news of the Alliance, but suppose she is cruising. We are more in pain for the Confederacy, which sailed on the 28th of October, from the Capes of Delaware. There is some hope that she went to Charleston, to take in Mr Laurens, as some passengers arrived in France, who left Philadelphia several weeks after her sailing, say it was a general opinion she would call there before she departed for Europe.[35]

I send you enclosed a translation of a letter, which I think I sent you the original of before. Perhaps it may serve our Leyden friend.

I am sorry you have any difference with the Ambassador, and wish you to accommodate it as soon as possible. Depend upon it that no one ever knew from me, that you had spoken or written against any person. There is one, concerning whom I think you sometimes receive erroneous information. In one particular, I know you were misinformed, that of his selling us arms at an enormous profit; the truth is, we never bought of him.

I am ever, with great esteem, &c.

B. FRANKLIN.

FOOTNOTES:

[35] See the history of the voyage of the Confederacy in John Jay's Correspondence, Vol. VII. p. 174.

* * * * *

TO THE COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

The Hague, March 15th, 1780.

Gentlemen,

Since my last letter of the 30th of December, the ice has so obstructed our waters, and my ill health has been such, as not to permit me to write till now. I send you herewith the plan of a treaty to be concluded between the United States and the Seven United Provinces of the Low Countries, as soon as the circumstances will permit it. A great deal of its materials has been furnished me by the Pensionary of Amsterdam, who, as well as Dr Franklin, has examined and corrected it. If Congress shall be pleased to do the same, and send me the plan back again, with powers to carry on a negotiation on such terms, then nothing will remain but to watch opportunities, which may perhaps very soon present themselves.

I am told that Mr Laurens will soon come over here as Plenipotentiary. I shall be very glad of it, and promise to be his fidus Achates in every sense, for the public as well as his own service.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, March 21st, 1780.

Sir,

Honored since many years with the correspondence and friendship of Dr Franklin, I received in April, 1776, by an express, (Mr Thomas Story,) instructions and credentials from the Committee of Foreign Affairs, signed B. Franklin, J. Dickenson, and J. Jay, at Philadelphia, dated December 9th and 12th, for founding the dispositions of the several European Courts towards the American confederates, and making proposals of intercourse and alliance to those I should find inclined to accept them; "recommending to my discretion, to proceed in this affair with such caution, as to keep the same from the knowledge of the English Ambassador, and prevent any public appearance, at present, of my being employed in any such business, as thereby they imagine many inconveniences may be avoided, and my means of rendering service to America increased. They sent me, for the present, enclosed a bill for one hundred pounds sterling to defray expenses, and desired me to be assured, that my services will be considered and honorably rewarded by Congress." By another letter of the 2d of March, 1776, Dr Franklin "recommended to my correspondence, the bearer, Mr Silas Deane."

In the meantime I had addressed myself to the Court of France, with a deep interest in your concerns, and to the account I gave the Committee of Foreign Affairs of my negotiation, Dr Franklin answered in the following terms on the 1st of October;—"I have just time to acknowledge the receipt of your two packets, with the pamphlets enclosed, the contents of which are very satisfactory. You will hear from me more fully in a little time." He soon after came over, and brought me a letter from the same committee, signed Robert Morris, Richard H. Lee, J. Witherspoon, W. Hooper, wherein they expressly "desire me to continue that correspondence, which he had opened and conducted, and they write me on behalf of Congress, requesting to hear from me frequently, promising me the reimbursement of expenses, and a reasonable allowance for my time and trouble in this agency." The committee wrote me two other letters, August 8th, 1777; and May 14th, 1778, in the latter of which they "acknowledge that I had so early and warmly espoused their cause, and aided it with such judgment and resolution, that they shall write particularly to the gentlemen at Paris, respecting the injuries I had received from their enemies, and shall instruct them to pay the strictest attention to the engagements made to me in behalf of Congress, at the commencement of our correspondence."

By some dark manoeuvres of those enemies, who by intercepters and spies had got at last some general knowledge of my operations, I had been defrauded not only of the sum of six hundred pounds sterling due to me, but also of a livelihood, which had rendered me hitherto, yearly, three hundred pounds sterling. However, I did not apply to the Commissioners for the above sum; and after having received for the course of the whole year, 1777, only one hundred pounds sterling, I obtained two hundred pieces a year for 1778, and twenty five pieces more for the ordinary charges and expenses of the following years. With this small sum of two hundred and twenty five pieces to live on in a country like this, I have been obliged, not only to dismiss my servant, but to make other reductions in my house, which makes my little family, as well as myself, unhappy, because they apprehend I have undone them. I keep them up, however, with the confidence I have in the justice and magnanimity of Congress, who, when affairs become more prosperous, will not forget me, nor my daughter, a good child of thirteen years old, who, from the beginning of this war, has been taught to pray fervently for the United States.

This State, by its constitution, can make no war, nor any treaty with a sovereign power, without a unanimity of all its provinces and cities. And as there is a very strong party in favor of England, there is not the least probability that they will conclude a treaty with the United States, before England permits them to do so by setting them the example. The only, but very necessary thing, therefore, which remained to be done here, was to hinder the English from drawing this Republic into their quarrel, which, by her immense wealth and public credit would have had very bad consequences against America. And to this your humble servant has greatly and daily co-operated these three years past. We found a very weak opposition, which is now strong enough to resist the torrent.

Besides the Commissioners at Paris, to whom I constantly communicate all that passes, Mr William Lee, who, from September, 1776, to May, 1779, was my correspondent, knew my exertions. He wrote to me so early as December 26, 1777, in these terms. "Though I have not for some time past, had the pleasure of your correspondence, yet I have not been a stranger to your continued exertions in the cause of humanity and liberty, for which thousands yet unborn will bless your memory." Even with respect to a treaty, I left the matter not untried. For immediately after the conclusion of the treaty between the United States and France, I concerted with the city of Amsterdam and the Commissioners at Paris to communicate the said treaty, by means of the Great Pensionary of Holland, to their High Mightinesses, together with a letter of Dr Franklin to the Great Pensionary, inviting them to treat on the same footing, mutatis mutandis, whenever they should think fit; on which an answer was politely declined for the present. Of this curious transaction, I sent at that time, an account to Paris, as well as to the Committee of Foreign Affairs. One of the letters of the First Pensionary of Amsterdam, our great and worthy friend, dated July 31, 1778, has been translated, and printed in the Baltimore Journal, with these words at the head of it, "Letter of a steady friend of America, at the Hague." I have besides in my power the proofs of all this in several letters of the honorable gentlemen at Paris and at Amsterdam. Mr William Lee knew this too, when he concerted with M. de Neufville, a merchant of Amsterdam, at Francfort first, and then at Aix la Chapelle, unknown to me, to get a Declaration from M. Van Berckel, the Pensionary, of the friendly dispositions of the city of Amsterdam, which this good gentleman delivered, thinking Mr William Lee was one of the Commissioners at Paris. A like Declaration M. Van Berckel delivered to me on the 23d of September, 1778,[36] with an explanatory letter of the expression, des que l'independence des Etats-Unis en Amerique sera reconnue par les Anglais, because I told him, such a condition would hurt the honorable Congress, and make them pay no attention at all to a Declaration, which would appear to them insignificant. Both the Declaration and letter[37] will be found in the records of the Committee aforesaid, to whom I sent copies of them towards the end of 1778. As to the sketching and proposing a treaty, his opinion and mine also were, that it was premature at that time; and therefore we postponed it till the last summer, when he delivered me some papers, out of which, and of the French treaty, I have made the sketch, reviewed afterwards and corrected by him and by Dr Franklin, of which I have despatched on the 19th of this month three different copies to the Committee aforesaid, and which I expect back again, with the corrections of Congress, and with instructions and credentials for proposing it on the first opportunity, which in the meantime I am carefully watching.

It is with a very painful concern I mention to your Excellency this attempt of Mr Lee to undermine me in this manner; when I thought he had enough ado to fulfil his commissions through Germany, and therefore was very open and unaware in my letters to him. It is with the same concern, I learn just now by a letter of a very worthy servant of the United States, that his brother Arthur Lee, has complained against me in a Memorial to Congress, as if I had extolled Dr Franklin at his expense in the Leyden Gazette. Whoever told him so, has told him an absolute falsehood. This assertion may perhaps receive, even in his own mind, additional strength, by my ingenuously telling him, however, that his being at enmity with Dr Franklin, will not hinder me to retain still in my bosom a most tender respect and love for the latter. I am sure he will do the same when dispassionate.

I recommend myself to the protection of Congress, and am with the deepest respect, &c.

DUMAS.

FOOTNOTES:

[36] See this letter and the Declaration in the Correspondence of the Commissioners in France, Vol. I. pp. 456, 457, 483.

[37] The Explanatory Letter is missing, but a letter from the Commissioners in relation to the subject of it may be seen as above, p. 476.

* * * * *

B. FRANKLIN TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Passy, March 29th, 1780.

Dear Sir,

It is some time since I have written to you, having nothing material to communicate; but I received duly your letters of February 1st, 18th, 25th, March 2d, 11th, 13th, 17th, and 23d; and thank you for the intelligence they contain. The last this minute came to hand, and I shall answer it separately.

I pray you to assure M. —— of my respect, and that it was only on one packet for him that I put my name, when I thought to have sent it by a friend. The baseness of the post-office opening it surprises me. No other letter for him has since passed through my hands. If any others come to me for him, I shall send them under cover to you.

I forwarded your letter to Captain Jones. I do not know which of his English pilots it was, mentioned in yours to ——. I know he has been generous to an excess with them. Explain to me, if you please, the fact that is the subject of that letter, and who Mr Gordon is.

I am curious to know what the States will do about the confiscation of the goods taken in Byland's convoy.

I received your large packets; that for Captain Jones shall be carefully sent to him. I thank you for the philosophical pieces, which I will read attentively as soon as I have time. The original acts of confederation are very curious, and will be acceptable to Congress.

I am ever, my Dear Sir, yours affectionately,

B. FRANKLIN.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, April 13th, 1780.

Sir,

Since the Memorial presented to their High Mightinesses by the Plenipotentiary of Russia, (of which, as well as of the Declaration[38] of his Court to those of Versailles, Madrid, and London, I join here copies in the Leyden Gazette,) the Provincial States of Holland are deliberating on the invitation of the Empress, and I am sure (knowing it from a very good hand) the resolution of this Province will be taken within the next week, agreeably to the views of the Empress, and to the general wishes of all good men. Now as the resolutions of this Province are commonly adopted by the others, there is very good hope that this Republic will take a step, which must accelerate a general pacification.

This intelligence is thought, not only by myself, but by many others, very important for the United States. The most devoted partisans of the English Court here, seeing that they cannot, without rendering themselves too odious, prevent such a resolution from being taken, do what they can to enervate it by obscure and ambiguous expressions, which they propose to be inserted; but our good men take care to sweep the dust which the others throw in their way.

As to the two other objects, which at present take up this Republic, viz. the unlimited convoys, and the assistance which the English Court demands from this Republic, the Province of Holland has already, several weeks ago, unanimously resolved the former, and declined granting the succors, as being not within the casus foederis by this war. To this resolution the Provinces of Friesland, Overyssel, and Groningen, have successively acceded; and it is expected the three others will do the same.

I advised the Committee of Foreign Affairs by my letter of June 21st, 1779, to think of sending here, aliquem e medio vestrum pietate gravem ac meritis virum; it is now time for such a man to be here, at first incognito, till it should be proper to display the character of Plenipotentiary. Some American friends here have told me, that Mr Laurens, formerly President of Congress, was designed to come over for this purpose. I should be very glad to have him already arrived. Whenever he comes, he may dispose of my faithful services.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

FOOTNOTES:

[38] See this Declaration and the Memorial in John Adams's Correspondence, Vol. IV. pp. 488, 490.

* * * * *

B. FRANKLIN TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Passy, April 23d, 1780.

Dear Sir,

I am much pleased with the account you give me of the disposition with which the proposals from the Empress of Russia have been received, and desire to be informed from time to time, of the progress of that interesting business.

I shall be glad to hear of your reconciliation with —— because a continuance of your difference will be extremely inconvenient. Permit me to tell you frankly, what I formerly hinted to you, that I apprehend you suffer yourself too easily to be led into personal prejudices, by interested people, who would engross all our confidence to themselves. From this source have arisen, I imagine, the charges and suspicions you have insinuated to me, against several who have always declared a friendship for us in Holland. It is right that you should have an opportunity of giving the carte du pays to Mr Laurens, when he arrives in Holland. But if in order to serve your particular friends, you fill his head with these prejudices, you will hurt him and them, and perhaps yourself. There does not appear to me the least probability in your supposition, that the —— is an enemy to America.

Here has been with me a gentleman from Holland, who was charged, as he said, with a verbal commission from divers cities, to inquire whether it was true, that Amsterdam had, as they heard, made a treaty of commerce with the United States, and to express in that case their willingness to enter into a similar treaty. Do you know anything of this? What is become, or likely to become of the plan of treaty, formerly under consideration?

By a letter from Middlebourg, to which the enclosed is an answer, a cargo seized and sent to America, as English property, is reclaimed partly on the supposition, that free ships make free goods. They ought to do so between England and Holland, because there is a treaty which stipulates it; but there being yet no treaty between Holland and America to that purpose, I apprehend that the goods being declared by the Captain to be English, a neutral ship will not protect them, the law of nations governing in this case as it did before the treaty abovementioned. Tell me if you please your opinion.

With sincere esteem and affection, I am ever,

B. FRANKLIN.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, May 21st, 1780.

Sir,

The express sent to Petersburg, with the answer of the States-General, has not yet returned. In the meantime it is known here by a despatch of the Resident of the Republic at Petersburg, that the news of the Provincial Resolution of Holland, which always gives the tone to the others, has caused there a very agreeable sensation, not only to the Court of Russia, flattered to see the Republic enter into its views, but also to the foreign Ministers resident there; and that the Prussian Minister, above all, expressed himself very strongly on the insolence of the English, and on the indignity of their procedure to the Republic; in fine, that the system of the armed neutrality to humiliate the English, gains force more and more at the Court, and among the powers; which is very visible in the conversations among the ministers.

I wrote some days ago to Amsterdam, to advise them to offer to the State every fifth sailor of their merchant ships, in order to take away the pretext for the scarcity of sailors in the fleet of the Republic; and I recommended to them to prevent evil minded persons presenting a counter address. They answered me, that the address demands of the States the prompt protection of commerce, and offers them whatever they may wish to draw from that commerce, whether it be the every fifth or third seaman; and that though all have not signed it, no one will dare to oppose it. This address will be presented next week; and if I can have a copy of it soon enough, I will add hereto a copy or translation.

We flatter ourselves soon to see Mr Laurens arrive here, as we have been assured. It is time for the politics as well as for the credit of America that some person, as distinguished as himself, should come here. He cannot yet display a public character; but his presence will do none the less good among the friends of America in this country. I wish he was already with us.

I was going, Sir, to close this packet, when I received the visit of M. Van de Perre, partner of M. Meyners, who form together the most eminent commercial house at Middlebourg, in Zealand. He begs me to support the claim that he has made through Messrs I. de Neufville & Son, and by another way also to Congress on the ship Berkenbos, bound from Liverpool to Leghorn, and loaded with herrings and lead for Dutch and Italian account, taken by John Paul Jones, Captain of the Continental frigate Alliance. M. Van de Perre is of the most distinguished family in Zealand, Director of the East India Company, nephew of M. Van Berckel, First Counsellor, Pensionary of Amsterdam, the brave republican of whom all my letters make mention, and who is the great friend of Americans. I have no need to say anything more to recommend the affair of this vessel to Congress.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

JOHN ADAMS TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Paris, June 6th, 1780.

Sir,

I thank you for your letter, in answer to mine of the 21st of May, and for your kind congratulations on my arrival here.

Mr Brown, with whom you took your walks in the neighborhood of Paris, has been gone from home some weeks, on his way hence. I should have had much pleasure if I had been one of the party. I have rambled in most of the scenes round this city, and find them very pleasant, but much more indebted to art than to nature. Philadelphia, in the purlieus of which, as well as those of Baltimore and Yorktown, I have often sought health and pleasure in the same way, in company with our venerable Secretary, Charles Thompson, will in future time, when the arts shall have established their empire in the new world, become much more striking. But Boston above all, around which I have much oftener wandered, in company with another venerable character, little known in Europe, but to whose virtues and public merits in the cause of mankind, history will do justice, will one day present scenes of grandeur and beauty, superior to any other place I have ever yet seen.

The letter of General Clinton, when I transmitted it to you, was not suspected to be an imposition. There are some circumstances, which are sufficient to raise a question, but I think none of them are conclusive, and upon the whole I have little doubt of its authenticity. I shall be much mortified if it proves a fiction, not on account of the importance of the letter, but the stain that a practice so disingenuous will bring upon America. When I first left America, such a fiction, with all its ingenuity, would have ruined the reputation of the author of it, if discovered, and I think that both he and the printer would have been punished. With all the freedom of our presses, I really think, that not only the government but the populace would have resented it. I have had opportunities of an extensive acquaintance with the Americans, and I must say, in justice to my countrymen, that I know not a man that I think capable of a forgery at once so able and so base. Truth is indeed respected in America, and so gross an affront to her I hope will not, and I think cannot go unpunished.

Whether it is genuine or not, I have no doubt of the truth of the facts, in general, and I have reasons to believe, that if the secret correspondence of Bernard, Hutchinson, Gage, Howe, and Clinton could all be brought to light, the world would be equally surprised at the whole thread of it. The British administration and their servants have carried towards us from the beginning a system of duplicity, in the conduct of American affairs, that will appear infamous to the public whenever it shall be known.

You have seen Rodney's account of the battle of the 17th of April. The sceptre of the ocean is not to be maintained by such actions as this, and Byron's, and Keppel's. They must make themselves more terrible upon the ocean, to preserve its dominion. Their empire is founded only in fear—no nation loves it. We have no news.

I have the honor to be, &c.

JOHN ADAMS.

* * * * *

PROTEST OF THE CITY OF AMSTERDAM.

Extracted from the Resolutions of the Council of that City of the 29th of June, 1780, and inserted in the Acts of the Provincial Assembly of Holland, at the Hague, July 1st, 1780.

The Deputies of the city of Amsterdam, in the name and on the part of their constituents, in order to justify themselves to posterity, have declared in the Assembly of their Noble and Grand Mightinesses that their Committee is of opinion that it is necessary, without loss of time, to write on the part of their High Mightinesses to M. de Swart, their Resident at the Court of Russia, and charge him to enter into a conference, the sooner the better, with the Commissioners of her Imperial Majesty of Russia, and of other neutral powers in the place of his residence and elsewhere, where it shall be judged suitable, in order to conclude together a convention for the mutual protection of the commerce and navigation of neutral powers, on the basis of the declaration made by her Majesty to the belligerent powers, and of the resolution adopted on this subject by their High Mightinesses, on the 24th of April last, adding to it only, that said M. de Swart shall take for the rule of his conduct the simplicity which her Imperial Majesty of Russia herself has proposed in the explanations which she made on five points at the request of his Swedish Majesty, and which M. de Swart has communicated to their High Mightinesses, to the end, that with such a provisional convention, they would be well pleased to decree together the reciprocal protection of the merchant ships of each other, which, fortified with the requisite papers shall be nevertheless insulted on the sea; so that these merchant vessels being in reach of one or more vessels of war of one of the allied powers, wherever it may be, they may receive, in virtue of such an alliance, any assistance; and that at the same time the contracting powers engage to put to sea, provisionally, all the vessels of war they can, and to give to the officers who shall command them necessary orders and instructions that they may be able to fulfil these general, salutary and simple views.

And that, further, as to arrangements to be made for the future, which may require more particular detail, and which cannot be adjusted with the expedition which the present perilous state of the navigation of the neutral powers in general, and of this Province in particular demands, M. de Swart will reserve all this for a separate article, of which her Imperial Majesty of Russia made mention in the above named explanations, and that he will declare in regard to this that their High Mightinesses have given thereon their final and precise orders, in which they will constitute one or more Plenipotentiaries who will be able to treat of the necessary arrangements on this subject with the neutral powers.

That said constituents, to give greater weight to their present advice, add further to the above, that if this advice was rejected, and if the affair was negotiated on the basis of the previous opinion, exhibited on the 23d of June last, in the Assembly of Holland, the consequence of it will be that the Russian squadron, which, according to orders of her Imperial Majesty of Russia, must have already put to sea, will appear in the seas bordering on this country, without giving any protection to the commerce of this country; while, on the other side, though commerce has been a long time charged with double duties, their High Mightinesses, meantime, grant it no protection, because the Colleges of Admiralty of this country profess themselves unable to do it, or at least to put to sea sufficient convoys to avoid affronts like those which the squadron under the orders of Rear-Admiral de Byland had lately endured.

That from this total failure of protection to the navigation of this country, on the one side, and from the continual insults of which their High Mightinesses every day receive grievous complaints on the other, there must naturally ensue an entire suspension of the commerce of this country; and thence, it is easy to foresee, that this commerce will be diverted and take its course by other European channels, and that the burdensome impositions with which it is charged, in order to obtain means for its protection being continued, will precipitate its ruin.

That in this confusion of affairs, and in the extreme necessity in which they find themselves, to take advantage of an offer of assistance and succor so generously and magnanimously made and proposed by her Imperial Majesty of Russia to this State, on a footing so easy and so little burdensome; the Lords Constituents will leave posterity to judge of the weight of the reasons alleged by some members of the Assembly of their Noble and Grand Mightinesses in the deliberation on this subject, as if the acceptance of said means for the necessary protection of the commerce of this country, and in particular of foreign succor, could be considered a means of drawing on a war on the part of those, against whom it is found necessary to defend ourselves, in making use of said means to all lawful purposes; and as if we ought, for this reason, to decline the said offer of assistance, unless her Imperial Majesty of Russia, beside her said magnanimous plan of re-establishing the liberty of the seas, will also engage with the other neutral powers to guaranty to this nation all its possessions fixed and immovable, both in and out of Europe.

That the Lords Constituents will only remark, that in order that such an attack on the fixed and immovable possessions of the Republic may appear likely, it would be necessary at least, to allege some plausible reasons or pretexts to defend it, in the eyes of all Europe, from the most manifest injustice and violence; whereas it is clear that such hostilities could not have any foundation on a protection of commerce to which their High Mightinesses find themselves absolutely forced by the open violation of the treaty of commerce concluded with England in 1674; that thus the probability of an attack of this sort, seeing the manifest injustice of such an enterprize, must vanish; and this especially, if we consider the great number of enemies that England has drawn upon her, and that it would be madness to increase the number; that such being the case, the said suppositions are of too small weight and too far removed from all probability to refuse the means which are offered of protecting the commerce of the subjects of the State, and that to refuse an aid so powerful while it is not in a condition to protect its commerce by its own unaided forces, will be evidently to renounce all protection possible, while the burdensome imposts under which commerce, in expectation of some protection, has a long time groaned, and still groans, would, against all reason, remain in their rigor.

That in addition to this the Lords Constituents will remark further, that it appears by the successive despatches of M. de Swart to their High Mightinesses on this affair, that he insists strongly on hastening the business, and on sending, the sooner the better, necessary instructions for this purpose, after the example of Sweden, who has already instructed her Minister to conclude the said convention. That this is the more necessary because we know that all sorts of indirect means are set to work to deprive the Republic of the advantage of an alliance so beneficial, and to involve it in a war with France.

From this it is clear that such pernicious views will be accomplished, if not only they put off the completion of the convention, but also, as is but too apparent, if they evade it altogether by making her Imperial Majesty of Russia propositions of guaranty, which not only are entirely foreign to the plan which this Princess has laid before the eyes of Europe, but which her Majesty, in the explanations she has given, has roundly declared she would never listen to.

In fine that the Lords Constituents are of opinion, that it is necessary to satisfy the wishes of her Imperial Majesty of Russia, by making the declaration in question on the part of their High Mightinesses to the belligerent powers, and by assuring her Majesty that as soon as said convention shall be signed, their High Mightinesses will make the said declaration to the Courts of the belligerent powers.

Meantime the committee referred thereon to the better advice of the honorable Council. On which, having deliberated and the voices having been taken, the Burgomasters and Counsellors thanked the committee for the trouble they had taken and agreed to the above advice.

A. VAN HINGELANDT.

* * * * *

JAMES LOVELL TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Philadelphia, July 10th, 1780.

Sir,

I know not how I can profess all the regard which I feel for you, without appearing, on the one hand, to do it upon slight grounds, or, on the other, to have delayed it too long.

I have been steadily in Congress without once visiting my family in Boston, since January, 1777, and from May, that year, have been a member of the Committee of Foreign Affairs; consequently, I am well informed of your truly republican spirit, your particular affection for these States, and your industry in their service, most of your numerous letters, down to December 30th, 1779, having come to hand.

The honorable gentleman who will deliver this, being also a member of Congress, has a just esteem for you, and promises himself much advantage from an opportunity of conversing with you. Mr Searle is well able to make a due return of the benefits from the fund of his intimacy with American state affairs, his extensive commercial knowledge, and his science of mankind gained by former travels.

I shall shortly write to you again by another respectable gentleman of our assembly, and I will use every means to make him the bearer of what you have so rightfully solicited, as a faithful first correspondent of our Committee, from whom you will, probably, have regular official letters under a new arrangement of a secretaryship, which has been vacant from the days of a confusion excited by an indiscreet and illiberal publication here, on the 5th of December, 1778, and which you have read with grief.

In the meantime, I hope you will receive kindly this individual testimony of cordial friendship, from, Sir, your very humble servant,

JAMES LOVELL.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, July 15th, 1780.

Sir,

Since my last of the 21st of May, nothing has passed of much interest in the Assemblies of this Province, to deserve repetition. I send an account of all that passes to Dr Franklin at Paris, almost every post. The fitting out of ships of the Republic for convoy goes on slowly, and the resolutions in this respect, and for the negotiations with Russia, drag equally slow. The English party, led by the English Ambassador, and by another person who leads the majority here, continue to perplex, delay, and cross everything; and he who is at the head of all, follows their impulses. In a word, the English intrigue more here than in all Europe besides. The difficulties they excite in Germany and foment on the subject of the coadjutor of Munster and Cologne, are intended to embarrass this Republic, and hinder it from being successfully occupied in the re-establishment of its navy. It was in agitation to make choice of a Prince of Austria for coadjutor, and, of consequence, for future Elector of Cologne. The King of Prussia is opposed to it; and France also. England, in the name of Hanover, favored the views of the House of Austria. This may kindle a war in Germany.

The protest here annexed of the minority in the Chapter of Munster, is a paper as important as it is well done. I received it in German and translated it, and while I am writing this, a copy of it is making.

I have nothing more to add, except that a body of ten thousand Prussians, quartered in Westphalia, have orders to hold themselves ready to march to Munster on the first signal.

The misfortune of Charleston has animated the courage of the Anglomanes here, and filled our friends with consternation. I do my best to encourage them, and I succeed. In spite of the intrigues of the English, they will gain nothing important here, because there must be unanimity in the resolutions for war or peace.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, July 22d, 1780.

Sir,

As everything is here in the inactivity of summer, nothing new has occurred. The States of the Province of Holland do not assemble till the 26th of this month. It is to be wished that we may soon receive news from America, which will raise again the courage of the friends of the United States, to whom the misfortune of Charleston has caused much pain, in proportion as it has reanimated those who favor your enemies. The latter, in the meantime, forge and utter every day rumors injurious to the United States, such as, that they are about to submit. "The Congress," say they, "is disunited and ready to dissolve; the southern Provinces successively yield, and they flatter themselves in England, that those in the north will follow their example." The King himself flatters his Parliament with this idea. I can, for the present, only oppose patience to all this, and keep myself mostly out of sight; for they look on me as a lost man, and one who will be soon abandoned by America herself. Besides, my feeble health, which has not been able to resist this shock and a concurrence of many others, forces me to this inaction for a time.

Two Plenipotentiaries depart hence to regulate at Petersburg with the Empress of Russia, the armed neutrality. The Court of Denmark has followed the example of Russia, in making the same declarations to the other powers. It appears that the affair of Munster will not trouble the peace of Germany. This election must be made the 16th of next month, and, probably, the Archduke will be coadjutor.

July 24th. The sudden declaration of Denmark, unforeseen by all the world, much embarrasses those here who hope to see the armed neutrality fail. Amsterdam has protested against sending Plenipotentiaries to Petersburg, to whom embarrassing instructions have been given. She wishes, with reason, that they would be content simply to send full powers to M. de Swart, Resident of the Republic at Petersburg, with orders to conform to the resolution of their High Mightinesses, which is positive and clear on the accession to said armed neutrality. It is expected that Sweden will make, on the first opportunity, a like declaration. Then the opposition will not be able to force the Republic to recede, without making themselves odious.

We hope by the next post, among other things, to receive good news from the combined fleet of the Count de Guichen and Don Solano; as also from M. de Ternay, and from the continent.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Madrid, July 24th, 1780.

Dear Sir,

I confess myself very remiss in not answering your favor of the 21st ultimo sooner. The removal of the Court from Aranjues to this city, and a bilious disorder which has oppressed me more than a month, and which still afflicts me, have in part, been the reason. I have no news to communicate to you, which can console you for our late misfortunes; I can assure you, however, that they do not deject me. Per aspera ad astra. Heaven does not intend to exempt us from the adversities, which have befallen other nations, who struggled for their liberty, by giving as almost full and instantaneous enjoyment of it. I have full confidence in the perseverance of our countrymen. They will, I hope, act with more vigor in consequence of their misfortunes. I have received letters from America, dated in the end of April, and the 1st of May, which speak of the loss of Charleston as certain, and which predict other successes of the enemy in the Northern States, but which show no despondency.

I shall pay implicit obedience to the request you make me, with respect to your family, and you may rely upon me, when I tell you that as long as I have any influence, or any friends in the councils of America, they shall not want strenuous advocates, and this letter will always be a memento that would put me to the blush, should I be deficient in a promise, which I think myself even in justice to my country obliged to endeavor to fulfil in the best manner possible. The Spanish, or rather allied fleet, has returned to Cadiz, except a few vessels which cruise near that port. The Count de Estaing is expected at St Ildefonso in about a week, the Count being now at that place. I go there this week.

I see that the Courier de l'Europe mentions that Mr Jay has received his conge, &c. &c. Not a word of truth. The English papers sent our commissioners from France frequently, yet a treaty was made by these same conged commissioners. I have received your cypher safe. Begin when you please your observations on men and things. I shall be much obliged to you, to separate and seal up all the letters you have ever received from me, unless it be this, under a cover for me, which, in case of death, which heaven forbid, you will direct to me, delivered to my orders.

My best compliments to your family, and Messrs de Neufville, and believe me ever, your friend and servant,

WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

* * * * *

TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

The Hague, July 25th, 1780.

Sir,

The 21st of March last I had the honor to write your Excellency a long letter on my own concerns, of which I annex here an extract. I add here, that when I received the first commission of the committee on the part of Congress, dated in December, 1775, in which they honored me with their orders and credentials, I did not solicit to be employed; I did not even think of it. But chosen and named, by this respectable body, in a manner as unexpected as it was definite and authentic, to serve essentially the United States, my ardent thoughts and life were consecrated with zeal to the cause of the United States. Persuaded that it was the cause of humanity, of liberty, and of virtue, I have sacrificed everything to this noble service, during nearly five years, with all possible zeal and fidelity. The Congress also testified to me soon after, that they were well satisfied with my services. I have corresponded assiduously since that time with the Committee of Foreign Affairs, with the Plenipotentiaries of the United States at Paris, and with a number of other servants of America. I have raised up, cemented and nourished in Holland a considerable party in their favor, whereby I have drawn upon myself the hatred of a party more powerful, which wishes to see me perish, and which has already done me all the wrong and all the mischief of which it was capable. I have participated in the adverse fortune of America, in the just confidence that the United States and their Congress will have my interest at heart, as I have constantly and successfully had theirs, and as their magnanimity, their dignity, and their honor require in the eyes of the European public.

I have yet fully this confidence; and it is this which caused me to solicit, more than a year since, in several of my letters to the Committee of Foreign Affairs, a formal confirmation of my agency on the part of Congress, for my safety and quiet. I beg, Sir, that you will second my request and obtain for me a resolution as favorable as my demand is just.

I know that some Americans, whom I honor in other respects, have entertained and propagated the idea, that a commission of the honorable Committee of Foreign Affairs was not so valid as one of Congress. One of them said so to me. I will not, Sir, give myself up to an idea so injurious, as to think, that Congress would refuse to ratify what their Committee has done; and the engagements it has made, but this body is not always composed of the same persons; it has many other affairs; it may forget me, and I may be cruelly supplanted, abandoned, and consequently at the age of sixty years, ruined with my family, without resource and without means. I put, then, my cause into the hands of your Excellency, to endeavor to obtain for me, as promptly as possible, the satisfaction I desire, and to send me the commission I solicit. The service of the United States requires it, and this will not interfere with the powers of Minister Plenipotentiary, who may be sent here; on the contrary, I shall be useful to him, if God spares my life.

One consideration, also, to which I pray Congress to give their attention, is that far from being recompensed for my past labors, the two hundred and twenty five louis d'ors or guineas which I draw yearly for my subsistence and to defray the expenses of journeys, postages, &c. charges, which, from prudence, and considering circumstances, I have never carried to the account, are not sufficient; and I have been obliged constantly to expend my own in addition. Besides my age, the privation not only of a copyist, which the service demanded, but even of a valet, which I have been obliged also to deny myself in order to be able to subsist, for about three years, makes my life extremely sad and painful.

In perfect trust that Congress will consent to give attention to my petition, and to my state, I commend myself with my wife and daughter to their protection.

I have the honor to be, &c.

DUMAS.

* * * * *

JOHN PAUL JONES TO C. W. F. DUMAS.

Ariel, Road of Croix, September 8th, 1780.

I dare say, my dear friend, my silence for so long a time must have an extraordinary appearance to you, and have excited in your mind various conjectures not much to my advantage. I will now endeavor to make some atonement by confessing the truth. I have been ashamed to write to you on account of the strange variety of events that have taken place, and detained me in port, from the 10th of February until this date.

I wish to pass over these events for the present in silence, choosing rather to suffer a little ill-natured misconstruction, than to attempt explanations before the matters are brought to a proper and final decision. I hope it will then appear, that I have been not very fairly treated, and that my conduct has been blameless. M. D. C. pursued his resentment to such a length as obliged me in April to pay a visit to the Minister, greatly against my will at that moment, for I then thought myself neglected, and not very well used by him; but I was most agreeably undeceived by the very friendly reception I met with. My every demand was granted respecting the prizes; it became me therefore to be very modest. I found that I had C. alone to thank for the altercations at the Texel. I had the happiness to be feasted and caressed by all the world at Paris and Versailles, except himself. He, however, looked guilty; we did not speak together, not because I had any determined objection, for I love his family, but he could not look me in the face, and fled whenever chance brought us near each other.

Without studying it, I enjoyed over him a triumph, as great as I could wish to experience over Jemmy Twitcher. His Majesty ordered a superb sword to be made for me, which I have since received, and it is called much more elegant than that presented to the Marquis de Lafayette. His Majesty has also written, by his Minister, the strongest letter that is possible in approbation of my conduct, to the President of Congress, offering to invest me with the Cross, an institution of military merit, which I carry with me for that purpose, to the Chevalier de la Luzerne. The Minister of Marine has besides addressed a very kind letter to myself, and I have also had the like honor shown me by the other Ministers. I continue to receive constant marks of esteem, and honorable attention from the Court, and the ship I now command was lent to the United States in consequence of my application. Nothing has detained me from sailing for this past month, but that my officers and men are still without wages or prize money. There is a strange mystery, which when explained, must surprise you. C., who pretends to exercise authority over these moneys, will I fear persist in withholding them, till he obliges me to lay a second complaint before the Minister against him, and if I am reduced to the necessity of this step, he will not come off so well as he has hitherto done, on the score of betraying secrets.

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