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former I owe to the people of France, who happened to respect me too much and him too little; which I could bear, and he could not. They are unhappy, that they cannot make everybody hate me as much as they do; and I should be so, if my friends did not love me much more than those gentlemen can possibly love one another.
To the Presi-
I duly received the two letters your Excellency did me the honor of writing to me, both dated the 19th of June, together with the letter addressed to the King and the three Commissioners, with the instructions relative to the negotiations for peace. I immediately went to Versailles and presented the letter, which was graciously received. I communicated also to Count de Vergennes a copy of your instructions after having deciphered them. He read them while I was with him, and expressed his satisfaction with the unreserved confidence placed in his court by the Congress, assuring me, that they never would have cause to regret it, for that the King had the honor of the United States at heart, as well as their welfare and independence. Indeed, this has already been manifested in the negotiations relative to the plenipotentiaries; and I have had so much experience of his Majesty's goodness to us, in the aids afforded us from time to time, and of the sincerity of this upright and able minister, who never promised me any thing which he did. not punctually perform, that I cannot but think the confidence well and judiciously placed, and that it will have happy effects.
I am extremely sensible of the honor done me by the Congress in this new appointment. I beg they would accept my thankful acknowledgments; and, since they judge
I may be serviceable, though I had requested leave to retire, I submit dutifully to their determination, and shall do my utmost to merit in some degree the favorable opinion they appear to have of me. I am the more encouraged in this resolution, as within the last three months I find my health and strength considerably reëstablished.
I wish, however, that a consul-general may soon be appointed for this kingdom; it would ease me of abundance of troublesome business, to which I am not equal, and which interferes with my own important functions.
John I have never known a peace made, even the Adams, dated most advantageous, that was not censured as Passy, 12 October, 1781. inadequate, and the makers condemned as injudicious or corrupt. "BLESSED are the peace-makers" is, I suppose, to be understood in the other world; for in this they are frequently cursed. Being as yet rather too much attached to this world, I had therefore no ambition to be concerned in fabricating this peace, and know not how I came to be put into the commission. I esteem it, however, as an honor to be joined with you in so important a business; and, if the execution of it shall happen in my time, which I hardly expect, I shall endeavour to assist in discharging the duty according to the best of my judgment.
I have heard nothing of Mr. Jefferson. I imagine the story of his being taken prisoner is not true. From his original unwillingness to leave America, when I was sent hither, I think his coming doubtful, unless he had been made acquainted with and consented to the appoint
I hope your health is fully established. I doubt not but
you have the advice of skilful physicians, otherwise I should presume to offer mine, which would be, though you find yourself well, to take a few doses of bark, by way of fortifying your constitution, and preventing a return of your fever.
I received but a few days since your very Passy, 15 Oc- friendly letter of August last, on the subject of General Burgoyne.
Since the foolish part of mankind will make wars from time to time with each other, not having sense enough otherwise to settle their differences, it certainly becomes the wiser part, who cannot prevent those wars, to alleviate as much as possible the calamities attending them. Mr. Burke always stood high in my esteem; but his affectionate concern for his friend renders him still more amiable, and makes the honor he does me of admitting me of the number still more precious.
I do not think the Congress have any wish to persecute General Burgoyne. I never heard, till I received your letter, that they had recalled him; if they have made such a resolution, it must be, I suppose, a conditional one, to take place in case their offer of exchanging him for Mr. Laurens should not be accepted; a resolution intended merely to enforce that offer.
I have just received an authentic copy of the resolve containing that offer; and authorizing me to make it. As I have no communication with your ministers, I send it enclosed to you. If you can find any means of negotiating this business, I am sure the restoring of another worthy man to his family and friends will be an addition to your pleasure.
ted Passy, 5 Nov., 1781.
Having no direct communication with the British ministers, and Mr. Burke appearing, Congress, da- by a letter to me, warmly interested in favor of his friend, General Burgoyne,* to prevent his being recalled, I have requested and empowered him to negotiate that exchange, and I soon expect his answer. The late practice of sending to England. prisoners taken in America has greatly augmented the number of those unfortunate men, and proportionally increased the expense of relieving them. The subscriptions for that purpose in England have ceased. The allowance I have made to them of sixpence each per week during the summer, though small, amounts to a considerable sum; and, during the winter, I shall be obliged to double, if not treble it. The Admiralty there will not accept any English in exchange, but such as have been taken by Americans, and absolutely refuse to allow any of the paroles given to our privateers by English prisoners discharged at sea, except in one instance, that of fifty-three men taken in the Snake sloop, by the Pilgrim and Rambler, which was a case attended, as they say, with some particular circumstances. I know not what the circumstances were, but shall be glad to see the fifty-three of our people, whom they promised to send me by the first cartel. I have above five hundred other paroles
General Burgoyne, who was taken prisoner with his whole army at Saratoga, and was now in England on parole, was an illegitimate son of Lord Bingley. He ran away with a daughter of the eleventh Earl of Derby, and thereby ultimately secured an influence at court which led to his rapid promotion. He distinguished himself in the war between Spain and Portugal in 1762. He sat in Parliament for many years; was a brave but unfortunate general, an effective speaker, and had some success as a writer for the stage. His remains received the honors of Westminster Abbey.-ED.
solemnly given in writing, by which the Englishmen promised, either to send our people in exchange, or to surrender themselves to me in France, not one of which has been regarded, so little faith and honor remain in that corrupted nation. Our privateers, when in the European seas, will rarely bring in their prisoners when they can get rid of them at sea. Some of our poor brave countrymen have been in that cruel captivity now near four years. I hope the Congress will take this matter into immediate consideration, and find some means for their deliverance, and to prevent the sending more from America. By my last accounts, the number now in the several prisons amounts to upwards of eight hundred.
I request also some direction from Congress (having never received any) respecting the allowance to be made to them while they remain there. They complain, that the food given them is insufficient. Their petition to the English government, to have an equal allowance with the French and Spanish prisoners, has been rejected, which makes the small pecuniary assistance I can send them more necessary. If a certain number of English prisoners could be set apart in America, treated exactly in the same manner, and their exchange refused till it should be agreed to set these at liberty in Europe, one might hope to succeed in procuring the discharge of our people. Those, who escape and pass through France to get home, put me also to a great expense for their land journeys, which could be prevented if they could be exchanged, as they would be. landed here in ports.
The very friendly disposition of this court towards us still continues, and will, I hope, continue for ever. From my own inclination, as well as in obedience to the orders,