The controversy between Great Britain
and her Colonies attracted the attention of all Europe, till at length it became universally the subject of leading interest.
To give completeness to this branch of my inquiries, in so far as Great Britain
was concerned either as a party or an observer, the necessary documents, after the most thorough and extensive search, were selected from the Correspondence with Ministers, Agents
, and others in France
, and several of the smaller German Courts, especially Hesse Cassel
The volumes examined for this purpose were very numerous, and the copies for my use reach to all questions directly or indirectly affecting America; to alliances, treaties of subsidy, mediations, and war and peace.
The relations of France to America were of paramount importance.
I requested of Mr. Guizot
, then the Minister
, authority to study them in the French Archives
‘You shall see every thing that we have,’ was his instant answer, enhancing his consent by the manner in which it was given.
The promise was most liberally interpreted and most fully redeemed by Mr. Mignet
, whose good advice and friendly regard lightened my toils, and left me nothing to desire.
, the Assistant Keeper
of the Archives, under whose immediate superintendence my investigations were conducted, aided them by his constant good will.
The confidence reposed in me by Mr. Guizot
was continued by Mr. Lamartine
, Mr. Drouin de Lhuys
, and by Mr. de Tocqueville
As the Court of France was the centre of European diplomacy, the harvest from its Archives was exceedingly great.
There were found the reports of the several French Agents
sent secretly to the American
colonies; there were the papers tracing the origin and