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confiscation of all his lordship's lands, as well as of his lord proprietorship.
The acts recited that the confiscation was made because the title to them
had descended to an alien enemy, his brother Robert, the seventh lord.
Afterward it was insisted that the title of the Fairfax heirs in the lands which
the sixth Lord Fairfax had appropriated to himself in severalty, either by
deeds made to himself as lord proprietor, or by surveys or other acts, indi-
cating his intention to appropriate them to himself individually, should be
allowed by the State, which was done by an act of legislature, procured to
be passed by John Marshall, afterward chief justice, and who had himself be-
come a purchaser of a considerable tract of these lands. After that act of
legislature was passed, Dr. Denny Martin Fairfax, of Leeds Castle, nephew
of the sixth lord, sold all of those lands which had not been previously sold.
In 1789 Robert, seventh Lord Fairfax, was still alive. There was no conclu-
sion arrived at in the negotiation in which Morris was interested.


situation of a gentleman in the country here as far from
agreeable, if he resides anywhere in the neighborhood of
a peer or a great commoner, ' because,' says he, ' such per-
son must either be the humble servant of the great man or
must be borne down by his opposition, in all parish and
county meetings and in everything which relates to the
roads.' To-night, when I come in, I find on my table an in-
vitation from Mrs. Church to breakfast to-morrow at twelve.
I write the following answer :

Dear Madame, believe me, 'tis not without sorrow

I do not partake of your breakfast to-morrow ;

So kind a request it is hard to refuse,

But an envious Demon my pleasures pursues,

Resolved, with the blasts of cold duty, to blight

The blossoms of joy and the buds of delight.

To-morrow, laborious, I write all the day.

To friends who are far o'er the water away,

Who dwell on that soil to your bosom so dear.

Which so oft from your eye draws the filial tear ;

That dear natal soil, Freedom's favorite child.

Where bliss flows spontaneous and virtue grows wild,

Where nature, disdaining the efforts of art,

Gives grace to the form and gives worth to the heart.

In plain prose, the packet sails to-morrow night and I
must write.' "

" Dine to-day [May 6th] with the French ambassador.
When dinner is half over two of his family come in from
the House of Commons, where the debate was animated,
although they were all of one mind. The address has been
carried unanimously, and a determination is avowed to ob-
tain from the Spanish Court an acknowledgment that
they are entitled to no part of America but such as they
occupy. After dinner, attend Mrs. Penn to the play.
Henry the Fifth is acted very badly, and with great ap-
plause. The monarch makes great exertion ' to split the


ears of the groundlings.' A translation of the ' Marriage
of Figaro ' is very well done by the intended wife of Lord
Derby, Miss Farren. She is said to be perfectly chaste,
and his lordship, I suppose, is satisfied on that subject, but
the caresses of the stage are not exactly what one would
wish to be exhibited on one's intended bride."

" This morning [May 13th] M. Bourgainville, one of La-
fayette's aides-de-camp, comes in. I read to him my let-
ter to his General and to Carmichael, and explain as fully
as conversation could permit my plan for carrying on a war
against this country. He is to write to M. de Lafayette
to-morrow for permission to pass over for a few days to
Paris. I give him also some ideas upon the constitution
which they are now forming, and read an essay written on
it last summer which contains many predictions since veri-
fied. He tells me that he is an advocate for a single cham-
ber, but that my objections against that form are strong."

Morris had been several times applied to, to take some
steps in regard to the American seamen impressed into
the British service, and he prepared a short memorial on
the subject, which was sent to the Lords of the Admi-
ralty. Being strongly convinced of the necessity of more
action in the matter, in consequence of the cases brought
to his notice, he determined, if possible, to see the Duke of
Leeds on the subject.

He therefore requested an interview, which was granted
for the 20th of May, and which the diary describes as fol-
lows : " I stay but a short time with his grace the Duke
of Leeds. He apologizes for not having answered my let-
ters. I tell him that I suppose he has been so much en-
gaged in other affairs that he has not had time. He says
I misunderstood one part of his letter to me, for that he
certainly meant to express a willingness to enter into a
treaty of commerce. To this I reply that my present ob-


ject is to mention anottier affair, and as to my letter, lie
will, I suppose, answer it at his leisure. I then mention
the impress of American seamen, and observe that their
press-gangs have entered American vessels with as little
ceremony as those belonging to Britain. ' I believe, my
Lord, this is the only instance in which we are not treated
as aliens.' He acknowledges this to be wrong, and prom-
ises to speak to Lord Chatham on the subject. I tell him
that I have already prevented some applications from be-
ing made on this business in a disagreeable manner, but
that in a general impress over all the British dominions, if
the greatest care be not used, such things will happen
that masters of vessels, on returning home, will excite
much heat in America, 'and that, my Lord, added to other
circumstances, will perhaps occasion very disagreeable
events. And you know, my Lord, that when a wound is
recently healed it is very easy to rub off the skin.' He
repeats his assurances. I tell him that I feel the incon-
veniences to which they may be subjected from the diffi-
culty of distinguishing between seamen of the two coun-
tries, and add my wish that some plan may be adopted,
founded on good faith, which may prevent the con-
cealment of British seamen while it secures those of
America from insult, and suggest the idea of certificates
of citizenship from the admiralty courts of America to
our seamen. He seems much pleased with this, but I de-
sire him to consult those of the King's servants whose par-
ticular departrnent it is, reminding him at the. same time
that I speak without authority from America, on which
score I made an apology in the outset. I then take my
leave, but he requests me to call again about one o'clock

"At one o'clock on Friday I again wait upon the Duke.
After waiting some time in the antechamber, I am intro-


duced to where Mr. Pitt and he are sitting together. He
presents me to the latter, and we enter into conversation.
The first point is that of the impress, and upon that sub-
ject Mr. Pitt approves the idea of a certificate from the
Admiralty of America. I mention that it might be proper
for the King's servants to order that certificates of a cer-
tain kind should be evidence of an American seaman,
without excluding, however, other evidence, and that in
consequence the executive authority in America could di-
rect the officers of the Admiralty Courts to issue such cer-
tificates to those applying for them. We then proceed to
the treaty of peace. They both mention that I had mis-
apprehended the letter of the Duke of Leeds respecting a
treaty of commerce. I observe that it may easily be set
right as to that mistake, but that it is idle to tliink of mak-
ing a new treaty until the parties are satisfied about that
already existing. Mr. Pitt then took up tlie conversation,
and said that the delay of compliance on our part had ren-
dered that compliance now less effectual, and that cases
must certainly exist where injury had been sustained by
the delay. I observe generally that delay is always a kind
of breach, being, as long as it lasts, the non-performance
of stipulations. But, descending a little more into particu-
lars, I endeavor to show that the injury is complained of
by the Americans for the non-payment of money due
by this government to the owners of slaves taken away.
On the whole, I observe that inquiries of this sort may be
very useful if the parties mutually seek to. keep asunder,
but that, if they mean to come together, it would be best to
keep them entirely out of sight, and now to perform on
both sides as well as the actual situation of things will
permit. After many professions to cultivate a good un-
derstanding, Mr. Pitt mentions that it might be well to
consider in general the subject, and on general grounds to



see whether some compensation could not be made mutu-
ally. I immediately replied : ' If I understand you, Mr. Pitt,
you wish to make a new treaty instead of complying with
the old one.' He admitted this to be in some sort his idea.
I said' that even on that ground I did not see what better
could be done than to perform the old one. 'As to the
compensation for negroes taken away, it is too trifling an
object for you to dispute, so that nothing remains but the
posts.* I suppose, therefore, that you wish to retain the
posts.' 'Why, perhaps we may.' ' They are not worth the
keeping, for it must cost you a great deal of money, and
produce no benefit. The only reason you can desire them
is to secure the fur-trade, and that will centre in this coun-
try, let who will carry it on in America.' I gave him the
reasons for this opinion. ' If you consider these posts as
a trivial object, there is the less reason for acquiring them.'
'Pardon me, sir, I only state the retaining them as useless
to you ; but this matter is to be considered in a different
point of light. Those who made the peace acted wisely
in separating the possessions of the two countries by so
wide a water. It is essential to preserve the boundary if
you wish to live in amity with us. Near neighbors are
seldom good ones, for the quarrels among borderers fre-
quently bring on wars. It is therefore essential for both
parties that you should give them up, and to us it is of
particular importance, because our national honor is inter-

* The continued occupation of the posts along the frontier by the British
troops had occasioned much dissatisfaction in America, and, as early as 1785,
Adams, when sent on his mission to Great Britain, had told Lord Carmarthen
that perhaps the most pressing of all the six points for discussion was the re-
tention of the posts, which had deprived the " merchants of a most profitable
trade in furs, which they justly considered as their right." In 1785 this
subject was also mentioned to Pitt by Mr. Adams, but was always met with
the same answer, that it was a matter connected with the debts. It was not
until 1796, under Mr. Jay's treaty, that the much-disputed frontier-posts were
surrendered by Great Britain to the United States.


ested. You hold them with the avowed intention of forc-
ing us to comply with such conditions as you may impose.'
'Why, sir, as to the considerations of national honor, we
can retort the observation and say our honor is concerned
in your delay of performance of the treaty.' 'No, sir, your
natural and proper course was to comply fully on your
part, and if then we had refused a compliance, you might
rightfully have issued letters of marque and reprisal to
such of your subjects as were injured by our refusal. But
the conduct you have pursued naturally excites resent-
ment in every American bosom. We do not think it worth
wliile to go to war with you for these posts, but we know
our rights, and will avail ourselves of them when time and cir-
cumstances may suit.'

"Mr. Pitt asked me if I had power to treat. I told him
I had not, and that we would not appoint any person as
minister, they had so much neglected the former appoint-
ment. He asked me whether we would appoint a minis-
ter if they did. I told him that I could almost promise
that we should, but was not authorized to give any posi-
tive assurance. We then converse loosely upon the man-
ner of communicating on that subject. In the course of
it I tell him that we cannot take notice of their consuls,
or anything which they may say, because they are not
characters known or acknowledged by us. His pride was
a little touched at this."

" ' I suppose, Mr. Morris, that attention might as well be
paid to what they say as that the Duke of Leeds and I
should hold the present conversation with you.'

'"By no means, sir. I should never have thought of
asking a conference with his grace if I had not possessed
a letter from the President of the United States, which
you know, my Lord, I left with you, and which, I dare
say, you have communicated to Mr. Pitt.'


" He had. Mr. Pitt said they would in like manner
write a letter to one of their consuls.

" ' Yes, sir, and the letter would be attended to and not
the consul, who is in no respect different from any other
British subject, and this is the subject which I wished you
to attend to.'

" He said, in reply to this, that etiquette ought not to be
pushed so far as to injure business, and keep the countries
asunder. I assured him that the rulers of America had
too much understanding to care for etiquette, but prayed
him at the same time to recollect that they (the British)
had hitherto kept us at a distance instead of making ad-
vances ; that we had gone quite as far as they had any
reason to expect in writing the letter just mentioned, but
that from what had passed in consequence of it, and which
(as he might naturally suppose) I had transmitted, we
could not but consider them as wishing to avoid an inter-
course. He took up this point, and expressed a hope that I
would remove such an idea. He assures me that they are
disposed to cultivate a connection, etc. To this I reply
that any written communication that may be made by his
grace of Leeds shall be duly transmitted ; that I do not
like to transmit mere conversation, because it may be mis-
conceived, and that disagreeable questions may arise ; that
as to the disposition for having a good understanding be-
tween the two countries, it is evidenced on our part not
only by the step which the President has taken, but also
by the decision of the legislature, in which a considerable
majority were opposed to the laying extraordinary re-
strictions upon British vessels in our ports. Mr. Pitt ob-
serves that, on the contrary, we ought to give them particu-
lar privileges in consequence of those which we enjoy
here. I tell him that I really know of no particular privi-
lege we enjoy, except that of being impressed, which of


all others we are least desirous to partake of. The Duke
of Leeds observed, in the same style of jocularity, that we
were at least treated in that respect as the most favored
nation, seeing that we were treated like themselves. They
promised to consult together, and give me the result of
their deliberations."

"At eleven o'clock to-night [May 22d] I take Mrs. Phyn
to Ranelagh. We do not arrive till after twelve. The room
is iilled, and it is an immense one. The amusement here
is to walk round until one is tired, and then sit down to tea
and rolls. The report of the day has been that the Na-
tional Assembly liave denied to the King the power of
making war and peace. I met an abbe at the French
ambassador's at dinner to-day, who is a very great astrono-
mer, and who makes several observations on the philo-
sophic credulity of Franklin and Jefferson. Both of them,
he thinks, have entertained a higher sense of the force of
steam-engines applied to navigation than they merit, and
I think so too. I have told Parker long ago that I believe
Rumsey's contrivances will answer only to work up stream
in rivers where fuel is cheap. The ambassador seems to
me to be in a violent agitation of mind, and I remark it
after dinner to his niece, who tells me that he has been so
for some days, but she cannot conjecture the reason. In
conversing about the news of yesterday. Church, who is
here, says that it is reported from M. de Calonne, said to
have learned it by express, that the National Assembly
have vested in the Crown the right of peace and war. I
express my surprise that in the present conjuncture the
Comte de Florida Blanca should be removed, and from the
state of affairs draw into question the truth of that report.
La Luzerne upon this subject declares that in Spain they
have no idea of any such situation as seems to be imag-
ined here ; that there is nothing extraordinary in their


armaments, etc. This is going too far for his own object,
because a certain extent of armament in that country is in-
disputable, and also that it exceeds the usual measure of
peace establishment very considerably."

" Dine [May 27th] with the Marquis of Lansdowne. It is
six when I arrive. He receives me politely, and apologizes
for not having invited me sooner. At dinner he sports sen-
timents respecting the constitution of France to the French
who are here, which I believe to be foreign to his heart.
Dr. Price * is one of the guests, who is one of the Liberty-
mad people. After dinner, being together in the drawing-
room a few minutes, the noble marquis advances senti-
ments to me far less friendly to France, but full of love
and kindness for America. I am, however, at liberty to be-
lieve just as much as I please. The resolutions of the As-
sembly are arrived, which say just nothing, as far as I can
find. They reserve the right of declaring war to the Na-
tional Assembly, but permit the King to arm, etc. This, at
least, is the account given to me by Lord Lansdowne.

" Dine [May 28th] at the French ambassador's. He says
that the decree respecting war and peace was passed in
consequence of the tumultuous meeting of the populace
in the neighborhood of the place where the Assembly sit.
Bouinville says that Lafayette wants him to concert with
me, and then return for a few days to Paris. He thinks
that the decree will by no means prevent the administra-
tion from engaging in a war, and I think so too."

" The news from Paris [May 30th] is that everything is

* Richard Price, a dissenting minister and speculative philosopher, born in
1723, was the intimate friend of Dr. Franlclin and Dr. Priestley. He strongly
advocated the cause of American liberty, and in 1778 he was invited by Con-
gress to become a citizen of the United States. This offer he declined. He
was an ardent supporter of the French Revolution and drew down upon
himself thus the denunciations of Burke in the famous "Reflections." He
died at London in 1791.


again in confusion. The populace have dispersed the
Court of the ChStelet, and hanged several persons confined
for crimes. The reason of this riot was to prevent an in-
vestigation of the excesses before committed at Versailles.
Farther, the object of the demagogues, according to rumor,
is to remove Lafayette and place La Meth * in his stead.
This would be a curious appointment. But France seems
now to be governed by Barnave,f Chapelier,J the Baron de
Menou,§ and Due d'Aquillon,|| with others of the same
stamp. Unhappy kingdom ! "

The trial of Warren Hastings was going on most of the
time that Morris had been in London, and although tickets
of admission had been offered to him at various times, only
once had h"e gone to Westminster Hall ; on June 7th, how-
ever, when the trial was nearly over, he again went. " We
get," the diary says, " to Westminster Hall at eleven, and
find great difficulty in procuring a seat. About two the
court opens, and from twelve we have been pressed hard
by those who could not get seats, and are much incom-
moded by the foul air till near six, when the company is a
little thinned. Mr. Fox sums up the evidence with great
ability. But he does not get through it at eight o'clock,
when the Lords adjourn. It is said that this man is to be

* Count Alexandre La Meth, a deputy of the noblesse in 1789, who united
with the Third Estate to form the national party.

t Antoine Charles Pierre Barnave, a revolutionist and an orator, and a
member of the States-General in 17S9.

% Isaac Rene Gui Chapelier, an eminent lawyer, among the ablest members
of the States-General. He drafted the degree abolishing the nobility, and
favored the Feuillants, or the side of the constitution. In 1794 he was execut-
ed on the charge of having conspired in favor of royalty.

§ Jacques Frangois Baron de Menou served in the republican army in 1793,
in the Vendean campaign, and commanded the national guard which sup-
pressed the insurrection in the Faubourg St. Antoine.

II Armand de Vignero Duplisses Richelieu, Due d'Aquillon, warmly sup-
ported the popular cause in the States-General in 1789, was the second of
the noblesse to renounce his privileges in the session of August 4th, took
command of the armies, was proscribed in 1792, but escaped by flight.


acquitted, and from the various decisions as to evidence we
would be inclined to think so, but in my opinion this
charge of bribery is fully supported. It will, however,
depend, I suppose, on the situation of the ministry at the
time of the decision, whether he is acquitted or con-

By the middle of June the bourgeoisie r^volutionnaire in
the National Assembly, hoping to insure" to themselves a
passive king, with all the splendor of a court around him
which he should owe to them, voted Louis XVI. an
allowance of 26,ooo,ooof. "Out of this sum, however,"
Morris says, in commenting on the act, "he is to provide
for his household troops, and for the different branches of
the royal family. He has asked, though not pointedly,
4,ooo,ooof. for the Queen's dower, and they have granted
it, but not specifically. The forms will, I suppose, be gone
through speedily. There is also a plan of confederation
to take place between the military and militia, by way of
counter-security to the Revolution."

Ten days after the Assembly had enthusiastically voted
the allowance for the king ; just as enthusiastically, and
"with an inconsequence truly prodigious," they voted the
abolition of the nobility.

" To-day [June 24th] at dinner at the French ambas-
sador's," continues the diary, " there are a number of the
Corps Diplomatique, and, what suits me better, a fi ne turtle.
Advices from France announce the total abolition of the
French nobility, down to the very arms and livery ; this
upon motion of some of the Whig nobles. There is also
a strange address to the Assembly from a junto of all na-
tions. It seems as if the Revolutionists were studying
how best to excite a strong opposition to their measures.
Heaven knows how this will all end, but I fear badly, un-
less they are saved by a foreign war. Go from hence to


General Morris's, and sit some time witii them. He says
there will be no war, and from his manner of speaking I
think he has been told so by some person who is in the

Morris's keen sense of humor prevailed even at this
juncture, which was full of sadness to many of his Parisian
friends, and he could not resist the inclination to see the
grimly amusing side of the change of names that must
ensue from such a decree. " Make a thousand compli-
ments for me," he wrote to Mr. Short, "to her Royal High-
ness and to Madame de Chastellux. I suppose that when
I return to Paris (which will be soon) I shall have to learn
new names for one-half of my acquaintance. Pray, are the
friends of the Revolution afraid that its enemies will not
be sufficiently exasperated ? "

"The Marquis de la Luzerne tells me to-day [July 2d],
at dinner, that the Duke of Orleans has taken leave of the
King with intention to return. I tell him that I doubt yet
his returning, because I think that the slightest circum-
stance would prevent it, and mention, as an instance, that
the receipt even of an anonymous letter announcing dan-
ger would terrify him. He says there are many ways, but
that they will neither use them nor permit others to do it.
He seems rather vexed at this. The decree respecting the
nobility, he observes, is not yet sanctioned. I notice the
situation of the Duke of Orleans as being whimsical. He
cannot go into any country well, nor remain here, when
the war breaks out. He asks me why I suppose always

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