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Benjamin Franklin.

The private correspondence of Benjamin Franklin ... comprising a series of letters on miscellaneous, literary, and political subjects: written between the years 1753 and 1790; illustrating the memoirs of his public and private life, and developing the secret history of his political transactions and online

. (page 25 of 33)
Online LibraryBenjamin FranklinThe private correspondence of Benjamin Franklin ... comprising a series of letters on miscellaneous, literary, and political subjects: written between the years 1753 and 1790; illustrating the memoirs of his public and private life, and developing the secret history of his political transactions and → online text (page 25 of 33)
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tres Chretienne et sa Majeste Britannique, leurs Ro)-
auaies, Etats et sujets par mer et par terre, dans toutes
les Parties du Monde ; II sera envoye des ordres aux
Armees et Escadres, ainsi qu aux Sujets des deux Puis
sances de cesser toute hostilite, et de vivre dans la plus
parfaite union en oubliant le passe, dont leur Souverains
leur donnent 1 ordre et 1 Exemple; et pour 1 Execution de
cet Article, il sera donne" de part et d autre des Passeports
de mer aux Vaisseaux qui seront expedies pour en porter
la Nouvelle dans les Possessions des dites Puissances.

ARTICLE XXIL

Pour prevenir tons les Sujets de plainte et
de Contestation qui pourroient naitre a 1 Occasion des
Prises qui pourroient etre faites en Mer depuis la Sig
nature de ces Articles preliminaires, On est convenu re-
ciproquement que les Vaisseaux et Effets qui pourroient
tre pris dans la Manche et dans les Mers du Nord aprs
TEspace de douze Jours a cornpter depuis la Rati
fication des presents Articles preliminaires, seront de part
et d autre restitues. Que le terme sera d un mois depuis
la Manche et les Mers du Nord, jusqu aux Isles Canaries
inclusivement soit dans 1 Ocean, soit dans la Mediter-
ranee; de deux Mois depuis les dites Isles Canaries
jusqu & la Ligne equinoxiale ou 1 Equateur ; et enfin de



PART III. OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. 41

cinq mois dans tons les autres Endroits du Monde sans
aucune exception ni autre Distinction plus particuliere de
terns et de lieux.

AMERICAN PASSPORT FOR BRITISH SHIPS.

We John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and
John Jay, three of the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the
United States of America for making peace with Great
Britain ; To all Captains or Commanders of ships of
war, privateers, or armed vessels belonging to the said
States or to either of them, or to any of the citizens of
the same, And to all others whom these presents may
concern, Send Greeting.

Whereas peace and amity is agreed on between the said
United States and his Britannic Majesty, and a suspen
sion of hostilities to take place at different periods in
different places hath also been agreed upon by their re
spective Plenipotentiaries. And whereas it hath been fur
ther agreed by the said Plenipotentiaries, to exchange one
hundred passports for merchant vessels, to the end that
such as shall be provided with them, shall be exempted
from capture although found in latitudes at a time prior to
the taking place of the said suspension of hostilities there
in. Now therefore know ye that free passport, licence

and permission is hereby given to the /

commander now lying at the port of V ;

and bound from thence to . . * ,1. rj\ .1 .,.? v . ! t ^
And we do earnestly enjoin upon and recommend to you,
to let and suffer the said vessel to pass unmolested to her
Destined port, and if need be, to afford her all such
succour and aid as circumstances and humanity may re
quire.



342 PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE PART III.

Given under our hands and seals at Paris on the

day of in the year of

our Lord 1783.



Proclamation for the Cessation of Hostilities.
BY THE KING,

A Proclamation, declaring the cessation of
arms, as well by sea as land, agreed upon between his
Majesty the most Christian King, the King of Spain, the
States General of the United Provinces and the United
States of America, and enjoining the observance thereof.

GEORGE R.

Whereas provisional articles were signed at
Paris, on the thirtieth day of November last, between
our Commissioner for treating of peace with the Commis
sioners of the United States of America, and the Com
missioners of the said States, to be inserted in and to con
stitute the treaty of peace proposed to be concluded be
tween us and the said United States, when terms of peace
should be agreed upon between us and his most Christian
Majesty : and whereas preliminaries for restoring peace
between us and his most Christian Majesty were signed at
Versailles on the twentieth day of January last, by the
ministers of us and the most Christian King; and whereas
preliminaries for .restoring peace between us and the
King of Spain, were also signed at Versailles on the twen
tieth day of January last, between the ministers of us and
the King of Spain : and whereas for putting an end to
the calamity of war as soon and as far as may be possible,
it hath been agreed between us, his Most Christian Ma-



1ART IU. OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. 34->

jesty, the King of Spain, the States General of the United
Provinces, and the United States of America, as follows,
that is to say.

That such vessels and effects as should be taken in the
channel and in the North Seas, after the space of twelve
days, to be computed from the ratification of the said pre
liminary articles, should be restored on all sides. That the
term should be one month from the channel, and the
North Seas, as far as the Canary Islands inclusively, whe
ther in the ocean or in the Mediterranean ; two months
from the said Canary Islands as far as the Equinoctial
line or Equator; and lastly, five months in all other parts
of the world, without any exception, or any other more
particular description of time or place.

And whereas the ratifications of the said preliminary
articles between us, and the Most Christian King, in due
form were exchanged by the ministers of us and the
Most Christian King, on the third day of this instant Fe
bruary, and the ratifications of the said preliminary arti
cles between us and the King of Spain, were exchanged
between the ministers of us and of the King of Spain, on
the ninth day of this instant February, from which days
respectively the several terms above mentioned, of twelve
days, of one month, of two months, and of five months,
are to be computed ; and whereas it is our royal will and
pleasure that the cessation of hostilities between us and
the States General of the United Provinces, and the
United States of America, should be agreeable to the
epochs fixed between us and the Most Christian King.

We have thought fit, by and with the advice of our
Privy Council, to notify the same to all our loving sub
jects ; and we do declare, that our royal will and pleasure



344 PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE PART IJI.

is, and we do hereby strictly charge and command all our
officers, both at sea and land, and all other our subjects
whatsoever, to forbear all acts of hostility, either by sea or
land, against his most Christian Majesty, the King of Spain,
the States General of the United Provinces, and the United
States of America, their vassals or subjects, from and
after the respective times above mentioned, and under the
penalty of incurring our highest displeasure.

Given at our court at St. James s, the fourteenth day of
February, in the twenty third year of our reign, and in the
year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty
three.

God save the King.

To THE MINISTERS PLENIPOTENTIARY OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

GENTLEMEN, Paris, Feb. 18, 1763.

I have the honor to transmit to you here*
with a packet containing one hundred passports for Ame
rican vessels, which I have this moment received by a
courier from England.

I take this opportunity of acquainting you that a pro
clamation was issued out in the King s name on the 1 4th
instant, making known the cessation of hostilities which
has been agreed upon between the several belligerent
powers, and declaring further that the several epochas at
which the said armistice is to commence between his Ma
jesty and the United States of North America, are to be
computed from the third day of this instant February,
being the day on which the ratifications of the prelimina
ries were exchanged between his Majesty and the most



PART III. OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. 345

Christian King. I must add that his Majesty was in
duced to take this step under the firm and just expecta
tion that you, gentlemen, will correspond to it on your
parts, by adopting the same measure reciprocally in the
name of the States your masters.

I have the honor to be with great regard and esteem,
Gentlemen, yours, &c.

(signed) ALLEYNE FITZHERBERT.

DECLARATION OF THE CESSATION OF ARMS ON
THE PART OF AMERICA.

By the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United
States of America, for making Peace with
Great Britain.

A DECLARATION

Of the Cessation of Arms, as well by Sea, as Land,
agreed upon between his MAJESTY the KING of
GREAT BRITAIN, and the UNITED STATES of
AMERICA.

Whereas preliminary articles were signed
at Paris on the thirtieth day of November last, between
the plenipotentiaries of his said Majesty the King of
Great Britain, and of the said States, to be inserted in
and to constitute the treaty of peace, to be concluded
between his said Majesty and the said United States,
when terms of peace should be agreed upon between
his said Majesty and his most Christian Majesty :
and whereas preliminaries for restoring peace between
his said Majesty the King of Great Britain, and
his most Christian Majesty, were signed at Versailles
on the twentieth day of January last, by the respective



346 PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE PART 11I>

ministers of tbeir said Majesties : and whereas prelimina
ries for restoring peace between his said Majesty the King
of Great Britain and his Majesty the King of Spain, were
also signed at Versailles on the twentieth day of January
last, by their respective ministers : and whereas, for putt
ing an end to the calamity of war, as soon and as far as
possible, it hath been agreed between the King of Great
Britain, his most Christian Majesty, the King of Spain,
the States General of the United Provinces, and the United
States of America, as follows, that is to say ;

That such vessels and effects as should be taken in the
Channel and the North Seas, after the space of twelve
days, to be computed from the ratification of the said
preliminary articles, should be restored on all sides ; that
the term should be one month from the Channel and
North Seas as far as the Canary Islands inclusively, whe
ther in the Ocean or the Mediterranean ; two months
from the said Canary Islands, as far as the equinoctial line
or equator ; and lastly, five months in all other parts of
the world, without any exception, or any other more parti
cular description of time or place.

And whereas the ratifications of the said preliminary
articles between his said Majesty the King of Great Bri
tain and his most Christian Majesty, in due form were
exchanged by their ministers on the third day of this in
stant February, from which day the several terms above-
mentioned, of twelve days, of one month, of two months,
and of five months, are to be computed, relative to all
British and American vessels and effects.

Now therefore, we the ministers plenipotentiary from
the United States of America for making peace with
Great Britain, do notify to the people and citizens of the



PART III. OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, 347

said United States of America, that hostilities on their
part against his Britannic Majesty, both by sea and land,
are to cease at the expiration of the terms herein before
specified therefor, and which terms are to be computed
from the third day of February instant. And we do, in
the name and by the authority of the said United States,
accordingly warn and enjoin all their officers and citizens,
to forbear all acts of hostility whatever, either by land or
by sea, against his said Majesty the King of Great Britain
or his subjects, under the penalty of incurring the highest
displeasure of the said United States.

Given at Paris the twentieth day of February, in the
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-
three, under our hands and seals.

(Signed,) JOHN ADAMS. (L. S.)

B. FRANKLIN. (L. S.)
JOHN JAY. (L. S.)

DAVID HARTLEY, ESQ. M. P. TO DR. FRANKLIN.
With propositions.

MY DEAR FRIEND, London, March 12, 1783.

It is a long while since I have heard from
you, or indeed since I writ to you. I heartily congratu
late you on those pacific events which have already hap
pened, and I wish to see all other final steps of concilia
tion succeed speedily. I send you copies of two papers
which I have already communicated to Mr. Laurens ; the
one called Conciliatory Propositions in March, 1 783 ;
the other, A Sketch of a provisional Treaty of Commerce
for Opening the Ports between Great Britain and the
United States of America without delay ; to each of



348 PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE VART III.

which is prefixed a short state of the argument on each
head.

As for the news of this country, you have doubtless
heard, that Lord Shelburne s administration has for some
time been considered as at an end, although no other has
been as yet substituted in the place of it. It was under
stood yesterday, and I believe with good foundation, that
what is now called the Portland party have been applied
to, and they are now considered as the party most likely
to succeed. As far as my wishes go, such an event would
be most satisfactory to me. I have known the Duke oi"
Portland for many years, and by experience I know him
to be a nobleman of the strictest honour and of the
soundest whig principles, sincere and explicit in every
thought and transaction, manly in his judgment, and firm
in his conduct. The kingdom of Ireland, of which he
was lately Lord Lieutenant, bears unanimous testimony
to this character of him. The Cavendish family (a good
whig name) Mr. Fox, Lord Fitzwilliam, &c. &c. form
the core of his system and connections. I most earnestly
wish to see a firm administration upon a whig foundation,
which I should consider as a solid basis on the part of
this country for a perpetual correspondence of amity and
conciliation with America. I am very anxious to hear of
your health. God bless you. Ever your most affec
tionate, D. HARTLEY.



CONCILIATORY PROPOSITIONS,

March, 1783.

Terms of peace having been agreed upon
between Great Britain and France on 20th January,



PART .111-4 OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. 349

1783, there heed not be any farther delay in proceeding
to conclude the proposed treaty between Great Britain
and the United States of America, upon the basis of the
provisional articles of the 30th of Nov. 1782.

It is to be observed that none of the articles of the pro
visional treaty are to take effect until the conclusion of
the definitive treaty with America, at which time likewise
all places in the American States in possession of the
British arms are to be evacuated, and the British army
withdrawn from the United States (by article 7.) If
therefore jt should be wished on the part of Great Britain
to bring forward the 5th article respecting th$ loyalists,
before the conclusion of the definitive treaty with /America,
the bayonet should be withdrawn from the American
breast by the voluntary removal of the British Droops with
all convenient dispatch. This condition of the re*noval
of the troops is likewise necessary before any provisional
terms of commerce with America can take place. t./3*j

By the 6th article of the provisional treaty all future
confiscations in America are precluded, although the pro^
secutions at present subsisting are not to be stopped be
fore the definitive treaty. But if the substantial pledge
of returning amity on the part of Great Britain, viz. the
removal of the troops, should be voluntarily anticipated,
it would be but reasonable that all prosecutions should be
immediately abated on the part of America, and to facili
tate the removal of the troops, the loyalists may be per
mitted to remain in safety and unmolested (if they chuse
to remain) from the period of removing the troops until
twelve months after the definitive treaty.

There is another article of the provisional treaty, the
delay of which is much to be lamented, viz. the mutual



350 PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE PART III.

release of prisoners of war on both sides. As this is an
article of reciprocity, both sides from principles of huma
nity are equally interested to bring it forward into effect
speedily ; that those unhappy captives may not alone
suffer the miseries of war in the time of peace.

Upon these considerations the following supplemental
terms of treaty between Great Britain and the United
States are proposed.

1. That the British troops shall be withdrawn with all
convenient speed.

2. That the commissioners on both sides do proceed
to the conclusion of the definitive treaty.

3. TL . V the commissioners do speedily negociate a pro
visional * unvention of commerce (hereunto annexed) to
take psJftCfc immediately. The terms of this temporary
convention not to be pleaded on either side in the nego-
ciation of a final and perpetual treaty of commerce be-
tvpeen Great Britain and the United States.

4. That the commissioners do negociate a perpetual
treaty of commerce.

5. That all prosecutions of the loyalists in America be
immediately abated, and that they be permitted to remain
until twelve months after the definitive treaty unmolested
in their endeavours to obtain restitution of their estates.

6. That all prisoners on both sides be immediately re
leased.

7. That intercourse of amity and commerce do imme
diately take place between Great Britain and the United
States of America.



PART III. OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. 351

Sketch of a provisional Treaty of Commerce.

As soon as preliminaries of peace are signed
with any independent states, such as Spain, France and
Holland, the course of mutual commerce emerges upon
the same terms and conditions as were existing antecedent
to the war, the new duties imposed during the war ex-
cepted. The case between Great Britain and America is
different, because America, from a dependent nation be
fore the war, emerges an independent nation after the war.
The basis therefore of provisional treaty between Great
Britain and the United States would be simply to arrange
such points as would emerge after the war, impracticable
and discordant to the newly established independence of
the American States, and to leave all others as much as
possible untouched : for instance, that all instrumental
regulations, such as papers, bonds, certificates, oaths, and
all other documents should be between Great Britain and
the United States, upon the same footing and no other
than as between Great Britain and any other independent
nation, but that all duties, drawbacks, bounties, rights,
privileges, and all pecuniary considerations should emerge
into action and effect as before. I say emerge as before,
not stipulated for any fixed term^ because I am speaking
of a provisional treaty, not of a provisional bill of com
merce for a specified period. By this means all difficul
ties which otherwise would be accumulated and obstruct
a temporary and provisional act are avoided in limine.
The ports will be immediately opened upon specified and
known conditions. If the legislature of either country
think proper to introduce on its own part any new condi
tions or regulations, even previous to tli intended treaty



352 PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE PART 111.

of commerce, that will not shut the ports again generally
but only operate pro tanto according to the case ; on
which side soever any novel condition should arise the
other will likewise be at liberty to make any correspond
ing regulations as between independent nations. The
great object is to open the ports between Great Britain
and the United States immediately on the signature of
preliminaries of peace, as between France and Great Bri
tain. By the proposition above stated, Great Britain and
France, and Great Britain and the United States respec
tively on the subject of intercourse of commerce, would
emerge again after the war, into situations relatively simi
lar to their situation before the war.

The crown of Great Britain is enabled by the con
ciliatory act of 1782 to repeal, annul, make void, or sus
pend for any time or times the operation and effect of any
act of parliament, or any clause, provision, matter or thing
therein contained relating to the colonies or plantations
now become the United States of America ; and there
fore the crown is not only competent to conclude, but
likewise to carry into effect any provisional treaty of com
merce with America. The first foundation must be laid
in the total repeal of the prohibitory act of December,
1775, not only as prohibiting commerce between Great
Britain and the United States, but as the corner stone of
the war ; by giving up universally all American property
at sea to military plunder without any redress to be ob
tained by law in any British court of Admiralty. After
this all obstructions from the Act of Navigation and other
acts regulating the commerce of the States of America
(formerly dependent upon Great Britain), may be removed.
Instructions may be sent to the commissioners of the



PART III. OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. 353

customs to dispense with bonds, certificates, &c. which
by the old laws are required to be discharged or attested
by supposed governors, naval or custom-house officers in
America. The questions of drawbacks, bounties, 8cc.
after opening the ports, may remain free points of discus
sion and regulation, as between states having no commer
cial treaty subsisting between them. As the crown is
competent to open an intercourse of commerce with
America by treaty, this mode is preferable to any act of
parliament, which may be only a jealous and suspicious
convention ex parte. This mode by treaty avoids the
accumulated difficulties which might otherwise obstruct
the first opening of the ports by act of parliament, and
above all it secures an alternate binding part of the bar
gain, which no act of parliament can do.

BREVIATE OF THE TREATY, viz. provisional for inter
course and commerce between Great Britain and the Unit
ed States of America.

1 . That all ports shall be mutually open for intercourse
and commerce.

2. And therefore the King of Great Britain agrees for
the repeal of the prohibitory acts, viz. 16 Geo. III. chap.
5, &c. The King of Great Britain likewise agrees by
instructions according to the laws of Great Britain to his
commissioners of customs and other officers to remove all
obstructions to American ships, either entering inwards or
clearing outwards, which may arise from any acts of par
liament heretofore regulating the commerce of the Ame
rican States, under the description of British colonies or
plantations, so as to accommodate every circumstance to
the reception of their ships, as the ships of independent
states.

VOL. II. Z



354 PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE FARt ill,

S. All duties, drawbacks, bounties, rights, privileges,
and all other money considerations shall remain respecting
the United States of America upon the same footing as
they now remain respecting the province of Nova Scotia
in America, or as if the aforesaid states had remained
dependent upon Great Britain. All this subject to regu
lations or alterations by any future acts of the parliament
of Great Britain.

4. On the part of the States of America, it is agreed
that all laws prohibiting the commerce with Great Britain
shall be repealed.

5. Agreed upon the same part, that all ships and mer
chandize of the British dominions shall be admitted upon
the same terms as before the war, except any imposts laid
during the war. All this subject to future regulations or
alterations by the legislatures of American States respec
tively.

6. The principles and spirit of this treaty to be sup
ported on either side by any necessary supplemental
arrangements. No tacit compliance on the part of Ame
rica in any subordinate points to be argued at any time
hereafter to the prejudice of their independence.



To DAVID HARTLEY, ESQ* M. P.

DEAR SIR, Passy, March 23. 1783.

j>

I received the letter you did me the honoitr
of writing to me requesting a recommendation to America
of Mr. Joshua Grigby. I have accordingly written one;
and having an opportunity the other day, I sent it under
cover to Mr. Benjamin Vaughan.

The general proclamations you wished for, suspending



PART III. OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. S.5/5

or rather putting an end to hostilities, are now published ;
so that your " heart is at rest," and mine with it. You
may depend on my joining my hearty endeavours with
yours, in "cultivating conciliatory principles between our
two countries/ and I may venture to assure you, that
if your bill for a provisional establishment of the com
merce had passed as at first proposed, a stipulation on
our part in the definitive treaty to dllow reciprocal and
equal advantages and privileges to your subjects, would



Online LibraryBenjamin FranklinThe private correspondence of Benjamin Franklin ... comprising a series of letters on miscellaneous, literary, and political subjects: written between the years 1753 and 1790; illustrating the memoirs of his public and private life, and developing the secret history of his political transactions and → online text (page 25 of 33)
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