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fortune; that, consequently, it was desirable that they should be moderate in their demands in order not to furnish England with a pretext for standing out, and that Spain might be enabled to prosecute her mediation to a successful conclusion. “As to the acknowledgment of American independence,” continued the French minister, “it is to be expected that Great Britain, out of that pride which sovereigns have, and which it becomes them to have, will manifest an extreme repugnance to making it in form. This case has been provided for in the treaty of alliance, where it is stipulated that its object is to obtain for the United States independence, whether express or implied. France knows by her own experience, what it costs monarchs to proclaim in formal terms the independence of those they have once governed as subjects. Spain, in preceding ages, did but tacitly acknowledge the independence of Holland, after a war of thirty years, and not formally till after a resistance of seventy. Up to this very time, the republic of Geneva and the thirteen Swiss Cantons, have not as yet been able to obtain from the states of which they made part, an express acknowledgment of their independence and sovereignty. As for the rest, since you enjoy the object of your wishes, you ought to attach very little importance to mere words.” It is to be remarked, that the French minister affected to be much in earnest in his efforts to bring over the Americans to this way of thinking, because he was convinced that they would not adopt it; and that therefore to induce France and Spain to exact on their behalf an express acknowledgment of independence, they would acquiesce in whatever demands those powers might choose to make. In order to confirm them the more in the refusal of what he demanded, he took care to remind them that the United States appeared to him, from their situation and the vigor of their resistance, to have higher claims than ever Holland, Geneva, and Switzerland could have made any pretensions to. Fearing, however, the insufficiency of these means to decide the Americans to yield the desired concessions, he proceeded to suggest, that not only was it necessary to enable the mediator by the moderation of their demands to inspire England with pacific dispositions, but that it was moreover expedient to offer the mediator such advantages as might determine him to make common cause with France and America, in case Great Britain should refuse peace. He extolled the power of the triple alliance that was meditated, and represented it as the guaranty of certain triumph. He set forth that though the arms of France and America were indeed capable of resisting those of the enemy, the junction of the forces of Spain could alone render them preponderant, and prevent the catastrophe which might result from a single sinister event; that hitherto the balance had been equal between the two parties, but that a new weight was necessary to make it turn in favor of the Americans. The French minister closed this declaration with a disclosure of the pretensions of his court with respect to the fishery of Newsoundland, and those of Spain relative to the two Floridas, the Mississippi and the western territory which now forms the state of Kentucky. The Congress deliberated upon these communications. They considered, on the one hand, that the intervention of Spain was very desirable for America; but on the other, that she held it at too high a rate. They consequently felt the utmost repugnance to subscribe to all the concessions which the courts of Versailles and Madrid appeared disposed to wrest from them. Very warm debates ensued upon these different points. All the members consented to guaranty to Spain the possession of the two Floridas, but all also resused to grant her the exclusive navigation of the Mississippi; the relinquishment of the western territory was objected to by many, and that of the Newfoundland fishery almost universally, especially on the part of the New England deputies. Beside this extreme diversity of opinions, a powerful motive prevented the Americans from taking any definitive resolution; they had penetrated, that such was the eagerness of the Spaniards to come to blows with the English, that in any event, it could not be long before a rupture must take place between the two nations. In effect, the Congress consumed so much time in answering, in appointing plenipotentiaries and in preparing their instructions, that hostilities were already commenced between these powers, not only in Europe, but also in America. By the beginning of August, don Bernard Galvez, governor of Louisiana, for the king of Spain, had undertaken with success an expedition against the British possessions upon the Mississippi. This news, and still much more, the certain intelligence that the same don Galvez had solemnly proclaimed the independence of the United States at New Orleans, caused the Americans to drop at once all further thought of concession. Notwithstanding the hostilities now commenced between Spain and England, the French minister persisted in maintaining that England manifested pacific dispositions, and that the cabinets of Versailles and Madrid were more than ever ani-. mated by the same sentiments. But enlightened by what passed before their eyes, the Americans instructed their plenipotentiary at the court of France, as also the one destined to treat with that of London, to keep steadily in view that the first object of the desensive war waged by the allies, was to establish the independence of the United States; that consequently the preliminary basis of all negotiation with Great Britain must be the acknowledgment of the freedom, independence and sovereignty of the said states, which acknowledgment must be secured and guaranteed according to the form and stipulations of the treaty of alliance with his most christian majesty. As to the right of fishery upon the banks of Newfoundland, the

Americans insisted that it should be preserved to them, with the clause that if they were disquieted by England in its exercise, France should consider it as case of alliance. They further enjoined their plenipotentiaries to use all possible exertions to obtain from England the cession of Canada and Nova Scotia, in favor of the United States, observing, however, that the rejection of this proposition should not be an obstacle to the reestablishment of peace. The idea of this last demand had been suggested by the deputies of Massachusetts and other provinces of New England. The plenipotentiaries were authorised to agree to a suspension of arms during the continuance of the negotiations, with the reservation, however, that the ally of the United States should likewise consent to it, and that the troops of the enemy should entirely evacuate their territory. Such was the substance of the instructions given to the American plenipotentiaries; as to the rest, they were to be guided by their own wisdom, the laws of the confederation, and the counsels of the court of France. The war being already actually commenced between Spain and England, the chevalier de la Luzerne, who succeeded M. Gerard at Philadelphia, could no longer urge with the Congress, the advantages and necessity of the cooperation of the Spanish force, as a motive for their yielding the above mentioned concessions, But he did not omit to place in the strongest light all the benefits which would result to the United States from connecting themselves with the court of Madrid by treaties of commerce and alliance, which should regulate their common and respective interests, whether present or future. “It is evident,” he said, ‘that Spain will display more vigorous efforts against England, when she knows the advantage that is to accrue to herself from a war undertaken chiefly for the utility and interests of the United States. On the other hand, it is no less manifest, how extremely it interests the honor and consolidation of the republic to have its independence formally acknowledged by so great and powerful a monarch as his catholic majesty, and to be united to him by treaties of amity and alliance. An alliance,” he added, ‘than which nothing could more gratify his most christian majesty, who, united to the king of Spain by the most sacred ties, and to America by the bonds of the tenderest friendship, could not but desire with ardor to see the most complete and durable harmony established between them.” The French minister expatiated largely upon this subject, adding still other arguments drawn from public law. All his efforts were vain. The Congress saw too clearly that if Spain took part in the war, it was neither out of regard for the interests, nor for the independence of America, which in the present state of things was no longer a matter of doubt, but for her own sake, and particularly to reduce the maritime power of England. Accordingly, they showed themselves little disposed to make new sacrifices. Wishing, bowever, to testify their desire to form alliance with the king of Spain, they appointed John Jay their minister plenipotentiary to the court of Madrid. His instructions were to endeavor to dispose that court to be satisfied with a mere treaty of amity and commerce with the United States. He was, moreover, directed to declare, that if his catholic majesty entered into the league against Great Britain, the United States would consent that he should secure for himself the possession of the Floridas; and even, is England gave her consent to it in the treaty of peace, the United States would guaranty him this new acquisition with the condition that they should continue to enjoy the navigation of the Mississippi to the sea. As to the territory situated on the eastern bank of the river, they declared that it could not be renounced. The minister of Congress was likewise to solicit the king of France, as the chief of the alliance, to employ his mediation in order to accelerate the conclusion of the treaties with Spain. He was charged with some other demands at the court of Madrid. But piqued at the refusal of Congress to consent to the stipulations which she had most at heart, Spain not only demonstrated on her part a disposition equally unyielding, but after having declared war against Great Britain, she would neither acknowledge the independence of the United States, nor receive nor send ambassadors. At the same time in which Jay was appointed plenipotentiary to the court of Madrid, John Adams was elected minister plenipotentiary to negotiate a treaty of peace and commerce with England. Such was, then, the situation of affairs in America. In Europe they took the direction which had been foreseen by all prudent men, and which was desired even by those who pretended a wish to attain an opposite object. Spain had completed her maritime armaments; she was arrived at the point where she had purposed to throw off the mask. She wanted to take an open part in the war; and, joining her forces with those of France, to aim such rapid blows at the excessive naval power of England, as should transfer to the Bourbons the sceptre of the sea. She would sain have a plausible pretext to justify her conduct. She accordingly resolved to renew her offers of mediation at the court of London, and to urge the British government in such a manner, that it should at length be constrained to declare itself the first. The marquis d' Almodovar, the Spanish minister at London, made, in the month of June, the most pressing instances to the British ministry, in order to extort a definitive answer. The moment seemed the better chosen, as it was already known that the count d’ Orvilliers had sailed from Brest with the whole French armament, and was standing to the south in order to join, near the isle of Cizarga, with the Spanish fleet, which lay, in excellent condition, expecting him in those waters. The two allied courts felt yet more confirmed in their resolution, when they saw the English marine in no situation to balance their united forces. Whether from absolute necessity, or from negligence on the part of ministers, it is certain that the armaments of England at this period were very sar inferior to her dangers. She answered, nevertheless, that she could not admit the condition of independence, even with the modifications proposed by Spain. The Spanish minister then departed from London, after having delivered a declaration to lord Weymouth, secretary of state. This rescript recapitulated, beside the rejection of the mediation, several other motives of war, such as insults offered at sea to the Spanish flag, hostile incursions upon the lands of the king, instigations to the savages to infest the Spanish subjects of Louisiana, the violation of the rights of his catholic majesty in the bay of Honduras, and other like grievances. The court of London answered by a counter declaration, in which it endeavored, as usual, to destroy all the assertions of that of Madrid. The king of England recalled lord Grantham, his ambassador in Spain. He afterwards issued a proclamation of reprisals on that power, and another regulating the distribution of prizes. At the same time, France, as the preponderant and leading part of the alliance, published a manifesto in which she laid before the eyes of Europe, the motives which had constrained the two allied courts to take up arms. These motives, detailed at great length, may be reduced to the following points; the necessity of avenging injuries received, and the desire, certainly sincere, to put down the tyrannical empire which England had usurped, and pretended to maintain upon the ocean. The king of Spain likewise published different official papers. Two royal cedulas demonstrated to the nation the necessity and justice of the war. They were followed by a very prolix manifesto, which advanced an hundred causes of rupture with Great Britain; the greater part had been already announced in the declaration of the marquis d’Alinodovar. It was added in this, and represented as a direct outrage, that at the very time when the British ministers rejected the propositions openly made by Spain, as mediatress, they had employed secret agents to make the most alluring offers to the court of France if she would abandon the colonies and conclude a separate peace with England. “At the same epoch,” said the manifesto, “the British cabinet had clandestinely despatched another agent to doctor Franklin at Paris. Divers propositions were made to that minister, in order to detach the Americans from France and bring them to an arrangement with Great Britain. The British government offers them conditions not only similar to those it has disdained and rejected when they proceeded from the part of his catholic majesty, but much more savorable still.” The first wrongs specified, that is, the insults on the Spanish flag, the hostile incursions upon the king's territory, and the unjust decrees of courts of admiralty, might have obtained a sufficient reparation, if the two parties had been at that time less animated with enmity towards each other. As to the reproach of duplicity imputed to the British ministers with respect to their con

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