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fible, and to hold all their militia in readiness to act as 1778. occasion may require. The congress at this period had no knowledge of a treaty's having been entered into by France with their commissioners; but they conjectured that there would be a rupture in Europe between the French and British nations; and to avail themselves of the occasion, and detach the tories from the enemy, they the next day recommended to the states the offering of pardon, under the restrictions that might be thought expedient, to such of their inhabitants or subjects who had levied war against them, or had adhered to the enemy, as should surrender themselves to any civil or military officer of any of the states, or return to the ftate, they belonged to before the 10th of next June. The arrival of the conciliatory bills at New York and Philadelphia, excited equal astonishment and indigna+ tion in the royal forces. These thought their personal honor wounded in the recantation now made of all that high language and treatment, which they had been accustomed to hold or to offer to the Americans. The disappointment was the greater, as the bills were the substitute to a reinforcement of twenty thousand men, which they had expected. But the feelings of the numerous body of American refugees is not to be de scribed.

A committee of congress was appointed on the ist of May May, “to inquire into the laws and customs of nations respecting neutrality, and to report whether the conduct of the king of Portugal, in forbidding the vessels of the United States to enter his ports, and ordering those al.

ready there to depart at a short day, is not a breach of · the laws of neutrality, and will not justify acts of hostility

againit

May

d

1778. against the subjects of the said kingdom.” On the third, 3." during the Sunday's adjournment, Mr. Simeon Deane,

brother to Silas Deane esq; arrived express from France, with sundry important dispatches, whereupon congress was convened, and the dispatches opened and read, among which, to their inconceivable joy, were a treaty of commerce, and a treaty of alliance, concluded between his most Christian majesty the king of France, and the United States of America. The treaties were duly weighed and considered separately the next day, and upon each it was unanimously resolved, “ That the same be and is hereby ratified.” There was an act feparate and secret in the following terms" The most Chriftian king declares, in consequence of the intimate union which subsists between him and the king of Spain, that in concluding with the United States of America this treaty of amity and commerce, and that of eventual and defensive alliance, his majesty hath intended and intends to reserve expressly, and he reserves by this present separate and secret act to his faid Catholic majesty, the power of acceding to the faid treaties, and to participate in their stipulations at such time as he shall judge proper.-It being well understood nevertheless, that if any of the stipulations of the said treaties are not agreeable to the king of Spain, his Catholic majesty may propose other conditions analagous to the principal aim of the alliance, and conformable to the rules of equality, reciprocity and friendship.” This act being duly weighed, it was resolved unanimously, “ That the same be and is hereby ratified.” The next resolution was, “ That this congress entertain the highest sense of the magnanimity and wisdom of his moft Christian majesty, so

strongly

54

strongly exemplified in the treaty of amity and com- 1778. merce, and the treaty of alliance; and the commissioners representing these states, at the court of France, are directed to present the grateful acknowledgments of this congress to his most Christian majesty, for his truly magnanimous' conduct respecting these states, in the said generous and disinterested treaties, and to assure his majesty, on the part of this congress, it is sincerely wished that the friendship so lappily commenced between France and these United States may be perpetual.” On the 5th. they resolved, " That the commissioners be instructed to inform the court of France, that although congress have readily ratified the treaties and the act separate and secret ; yet from a sincere desire of rendering the friendship and alliance so happily begun, permanent and perpetual, and being apprehensive that differences may arise from the uth and 12th articles in the treaty of amity and commerce, congress are desirous that the said articles may be utterly expunged.” Mr. Lee was against admitting these articles, and alligned his reasons to Messrs. Franklin and Deane on the 30th of January; who on the rst of February wrote to Mr. Gerard, that they concurred in desiring that the same might be omitted, notwithstanding which they were retained. You will not expect me to delineate the inexpressible satisfaca tion that the report of these treaties spread through the United States. The people were in raptures. The sea veral brigades of the army, by gen. Washington's orders, assembled in the morning of the 6th, when their chaplains communicated the intelligence, offered up a thankfgiving, and delivered a discourse suitable to the occafion. They were then formed into two lines, when thirVOL. III. . G

teen

1778. against the subjects of the faid kingdom.” On the third, 3." during the Sunday's adjournment, Mr. Simeon Deane,

brother to Silas Deane efq; arrived express from France, with sundry important dispatches, whereupon congress was convened, and the dispatches opened and read, among which, to their inconceivable joy, were a treaty of commerce, and a treaty of alliance, concluded between his most Christian majesty the king of France, and the United States of America. The treaties were duly weighed and considered separately the next day, and upon each it was unanimously resolved, “ That the same be and is hereby ratified." There was an act feparate and secret in the following terms" The most Christian king declares, in consequence of the intimate union which fubfists between him and the king of Spain, that in concluding with the United States of America this treaty of amity and commerce, and that of eventual and defensive alliance, his majesty hath intended and intends to reserve expressly, and he reserves by this present separate and secret act to his said Catholic majesty, the power of acceding to the said treaties, and to participate in their stipulations at such time as he shall judge proper...It being well understood nevertheless, that if any of the stipulations of the said treaties are not agreeable to the king of Spain, his Catholic majesty may propose other conditions analagous to the principal aim of the alliance, and conformable to the rules of equality, reciprocity and friendship.” This act being duly weighed, it was resolved unanimously, “ That the same be and is hereby ratified.” The next refolution was, “ That this congress entertain the highest sense of the magnanimity and wisdom of his most Christian majesty, fo

strongly

ther

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strongly exemplified in the treaty of amity and com-1778. merce, and the treaty of alliance; and the commissioners representing these states, at the court of France, are di rected to present the grateful acknowledgments of this congress to his most Christian majesty, for his truly magnanimous conduct respecting these states, in the said generous and disinterested treaties, and to assure his majesty, on the part of this congress, it is sincerely wished that the friendship so happily commenced between France and these United States may be perpetual.” On the 5th they resolved, “ That the commissioners be instructed to inform the court of France, that although congress have readily ratified the treaties and the act separate and secret ; yet from a sincere desire of rendering the friendThip and alliance so happily begun, permanent and perpetual, and being apprehensive that differences may arise from the 11th and 12th articles in the treaty of amity and commerce, congrefs are desirous that the said articles may be utterly expunged.” Mr. Lee was against admitting these articles, and assigned his reasons to Messrs. Franklin and Deane on the zoth of January ; who on the ist of February wrote to Mr. Gerard, that they concurred in desiring that the same might be omitted, notwithstanding which they were retained. You will not expect me to delineate the inexpressible satisfaction that the report of these treaties spread through the United States. The people were in raptures. The fee veral brigades of the army, by gen. Washington's orders, affembled in the morning of the 6th, when their chaplains communicated the intelligence, offered up a thankfgiving, and delivered a discourse suitable to the occafion. They were then formed into two lines, when thir: . VOL. III.

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