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himself to be made an instrument to bend the resistance of the Americans. If they should make us any application, said Vergennes, we shall dismiss them politely, and we shall keep their secret. Beaumarchais who was then in England as an emissarythe subject was discussed in the council of the king, De Sartine put a new commission into the hands of Beaumarchais. Vergennes continued to present Chap. L} 1775. Sept. America to his mind in every possible aspect. He found it difficult to beliuld render it in any event impossible to restore affectionate relations between the parent state and the colonies. But Vergennes had not penetrated the character of the British government of his day, which, in the management of domestic affairs, wadominions. For a short time a report prevailed through western Europe, that the English request was to be granted; but Vergennes rejected it as incredible, and wrote to the French envoy at Moscow: I cannot reconcile Catharine's elevation of soul wi
t returned to his post, was received at court. The king of France, whose sympathies were all on the side of monarchical power, said to him: Happily the opposition party is now very weak. From the king, Stormont went to Chap. LI.} 1775. Oct. Vergennes, who expressed the desire to live in perfect harmony with England; far from wishing to increase your embarrassments, said he,we see them with some uneasiness. The consequences, observed Stormont, cannot escape a man of your penetration and extensive views. Indeed they are very obvious, responded Vergennes; they are as obvious as the consequences of the cession of Canada. I was at Constantinople when the last peace was made; when I heard its conditions, I told several of my friends there, that England would ere long have reason to repent of having removed the only check that could keep her colonies in awe. My prediction has been but too well verified. I equally see the consequences that must follow the independence of North Americ
olland, the liberal editor of Vattel's work on international law, had written to Franklin, his personal friend, that all Europe wished the Americans the best success in the maintenance of their liberty: on the twelfth of December the congressional committee of secret correspondence authorised Arthur Lee, who was then in London, to ascertain the disposition of foreign powers; and Dumas, at the Hague, was charged with a similar commission. Just then De Bonvouloir, the discreet emissary of Vergennes, arrived in Philadelphia, and through Francis Daymon, a Frenchman, the trusty librarian of the Library Company in that city, was introduced to Franklin and the other members of the secret committee, with whom he held several conferences by night. Will France aid us? and at what price? were the questions put to him. France, answered he, is well disposed to you; if she should give you aid, as she may, it will be on just and equitable conditions. Make your proposals, and I will present th
Chapter 61: Turgot and Vergennes. March—April, 1776. for a whole year the problem of granting aid sion. His ministers were irreconcilably divided. Vergennes promoted the emancipation of America with resolutabuses in the French army, sustained the system of Vergennes. On the other side, Maurepas, the head of the cab with the rest of the people. The king directed Vergennes to communicate his memorial on the colonies to Turgot, whose written opinion upon it was required. Vergennes obeyed, recommending to his colleague secrecy and cartine had always supported the American policy of Vergennes, and had repeatedly laid before the king his viewsnor heeded Turgot's advice, which was put aside by Vergennes as speculative and irrelevant. The correspondence war, neither Turgot nor Malesherbes was present. Vergennes was left to pursue his own policy without obstruct censured and rejected. I sat long in the pit, so Vergennes defended himself, before I took a part on the stag
ors in London and Paris were copied for me under his direction. They assist to define exactly the pressure under which Vergennes entered upon measures for mediation and for peace. Mr. Frederic Kapp rendered me the best service in negotiating on On the French side, I have papers drawn up for the guidance of the negotiation; the reports of Rayneval from England to Vergennes, repeated in the accounts addressed by Vergennes himself to Montmorin, the French ambassador at Madrid, and to Luzerne,Vergennes himself to Montmorin, the French ambassador at Madrid, and to Luzerne, the French minister at Philadelphia. On the British side, I have the official letters of Shelburne and Secretary Townshend, and of every member of the British commission; beside a profusion of the private letters and papers of Shelburne and of Os possible to place some questions of European as well as of American history in a clearer light. The embarrassments of Vergennes, arising alike from his entanglements respecting Gibraltar, and the urgency of his king for peace, explain and justify
Necker from the many enemies who, from hatred of his reforms, joined the clamor against him as a foreigner and a Calvinist. The strength of the cabinet lay in Vergennes, whose superior statesmanship was yet not in itself sufficient to raise him above the care of maintaining himself in favor. He secured the unfailing good-will ohe people; but she had contempt for its king and for his ministry, of which she noticed the many blunders and foretold the fall. On the other hand, she esteemed Vergennes as a wise and able minister, but did not love the French nation. Compare Arneth's Maria Theresia und Joseph II., ihre Correspondenz, III. 268. In Gustavuseric of Prussia, France might expect a friend. The revolution of 1771, in favor of the royal prerogative, had been aided by French subsidies and the counsels of Vergennes, who was selected for the occasion to be the French minister at Stockholm. The oldest colonizers of the Delaware were Swedes, and a natural affection bound thei
of Westphalia. Frederic to Goltz, 14 Nov., 1776. His desire for a good understanding with that power Ibid., 9 Dec., 1776. was cordially reciprocated by Vergennes. Goltz to Frederic, 22 Dec., 1776. On the advent of the rupture between France and England, he announced that England should receive no aid from Prussia; and Vergennes on his side gave the hint that France, if it should become involved in the conflict, would confine itself to a maritime war. Goltz to Frederic, 26 Dec., 1776. The year 1777 opened with nearer approaches be- 1777. tween the courts of Potsdam and Versailles. Frederic to Goltz, 2 Jan., 1777, and Goltz to Frederic,rench council, nevertheless, put off the day of decision. Even so late as the twenty-third of November, every one of them, except the minister of the marine and Vergennes, Maurepas above all, desired to avoid a conflict. Goltz to Frederic, 23 Nov., 1777. Frederic, on his part, all the more continued his admonitions, through his
s. Regret prevailed that these also had not been forgiven. Before the co-operation of the arms of France the Americans had substantially achieved their existence as a nation. The treaties of alliance with them had not yet been signed, when Vergennes wrote that it was almost physically impossible for the English to wrest independence from them; that all efforts, however great, would be powerless to recall a people so thoroughly determined to refuse submission. On the side of the sea, from ic lands north-west of the Ohio should first be recognised as the common property of all the states, and held as a common resource to discharge the debts contracted by congress for the Chap. V.} 1778. July 8. expenses of the war. Gerard to Vergennes, Philadelphia, 12 August, 1778. On the eighth of July the French fleet, consisting of twelve ships of the line and three frigates, after a rough voyage of nearly ninety days from Toulon, anchored in the bay of Delaware; ten days too late to
would not recognise that body, Luzerne to Vergennes, 17 Dec., 1779. he looked upon the rising ren all sides to its development. Gerard to Vergennes, 16 and 29 July, 1778. He came as a spy and utter a reply. Count de Montmorin to Count de Vergennes, 28 Jan., 1778. Sus- Chap. VI.} 1778. pem is worthy of Don Quixote. Montmorin to Vergennes, 10 April, 1778. He persisted in the reproac at hazard till it should declare itself. Vergennes to Montmorin, 3 April, 1778. Ms. Moreover, king the world ring with his name, turned to Vergennes; yet, like his king, fearing lest at the pea of Spain, Private letter of Montmorin to Vergennes, 1 Sept., 1778. he was determined, before cotake a descent into England. Montmorin to Vergennes, 7 Sept., 1778. Vergennes, while now morVergennes, while now more sure than ever of the co-operation of Spain, replied: The idea of making a war on England, like tte artillery, provisions, and ammunition. Vergennes to Montmorin, 21 Sept., 1778. To the Bri[1 more...]
ons which may remain to her at the peace. Vergennes to Montmorin, 17 Oct., 1778. Spain desired t navigation of the Mississippi, Gerard to Vergennes, 20 Oct., 1778. and while he desired the acq with the passion for conquest. Gerard to Vergennes, 22 Dec., 1778. Not suspecting the persistenrvalued American patriotism and firmness. Vergennes to Montmorin, 2 Nov., 1778. To quiet the Spae of little Chap. VIII.} 1778. activity. Vergennes to Montmorin, 27 Nov., 1778. But the feaut demanding the like confidence from Spain, Vergennes in October enumerated as the only conditions which France would require: Vergennes to Montmorin, 17 Oct., 1778. the treaty of Utrecht whollye insinuation of a desire to recover Canada, Vergennes always repelled as a calumny. As the horithem utterance; and in November he requested Vergennes Nov. 20. to suggest to him the advantages wssuredly make no opposition. Montmorin to Vergennes, 18 March, 1779. Discussing in detail wi[26 more...]
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