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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...]
dence. It has but one course to take, wrote Vergennes before his treaty with Spain, and that is tof nations? The fishery on the high seas, so Vergennes expounded the law of nations, is as free as no pretension whatever to share in them. Vergennes to Luzerne, 25 Sept., 1779. But they hade, a perpetual joint property. Against this Vergennes argued that the conquest had been made for tbreaking out of the revolution, Gerard to Vergennes, 28 Jan., 1779, and compare Ibid., 19 Sept.,th America. The demand was for no more than Vergennes confessed to belong to them by the law of na secede from the confederation; Gerard to Vergennes, 14 July, 1779. and they read the sketch of congress and two other members Gerard to Vergennes, 14 July, 1779. equally well disposed to hiswithout a convention with them. Gerard to Vergennes, 14 July, 1779. The interview lasted frod envoy to Spain. The civil letter in which Vergennes bade farewell to John Adams on his retiring [1 more...]
n France, Frederic sent word to Maurepas and Vergennes: All the pains which the king of England mayin name an ally, in fact a rival. Compare Vergennes to Montmorin, 21 Sept., 1779. maison d'autr descent on England without regard to risk. Vergennes, on the other hand, held the landing of a F them to the west. Montmorin had written to Vergennes: I hope the Spanish marine will fight well; ndent government like that of America, wrote Vergennes, I would not count upon the Catholics, altho that of the United Provinces of America. Vergennes to Montmorin, 29 April, 1779. It is not easy have success as in America. Montmorin to Vergennes, 11 June, 1779. The emissary selected in Sparoude's The English in Ireland, II. 176. Vergennes learned from his agent as well as from othevasion. The movements of the Irish, wrote Vergennes towards the close of the year, are those of do than tranquilly to watch the movement. Vergennes to Montmorin, 13 Nov. and 17 Dec., 1779. [2 more...]
and used to say, my neighbor and I. Garier to Vergennes, 26 July, 1776. In the American war the Dutch he proposal was put aside by the grand pensionary, Vergennes asked no more than that the Netherlands in the comf its colonies in America. Besides, the Dutch, as Vergennes observed, will find in their own history an apolog they severally demanded of England explanations. Vergennes seized the opportunity to fix the attention of Count Panin. Vergennes to Corberon, 22 Nov., 1778, and 6 Dec., 1778. The empress, so he wrote towards the end oia, every displeasure was removed from the mind of Vergennes, and his answer to the Russian note drew from Couno engagement with England whatever. Corberon to Vergennes, 28 May, 1779. The oppressed maritime powers cressing. Frederic to Goltz, 14 March, 1780. Vergennes read the letter of Frederic, and by a courier desphe system of neutrality which she has embraced. Vergennes to Montmorin, 27 March, 1780. The letter of Freder
they are unique. The despatches of the French envoys at Philadelphia to their government contain the most complete reports which exist of the discussions in congress from 1778 to the adoption of the constitution in 1789. Congress sat, it is true, with closed doors; but the French ministers knew how to obtain information on every proceeding that interested their country. In August, 1778, soon after the reception at Philadelphia of Chap. XVII.} 1778. an envoy from France, he reported to Vergennes The states of the south and of the north under existing subjects of division and estrangement, are two distinct parties, which at present count but few deserters. The division is attributed to moral and philosophical causes. He further reported that the cabal against Washington found supporters exclusively in the north. The French minister desired to repress the ambition of congress for the acquisition of territory, because it might prove an obstacle to connection with Spain; and he f
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