« ПредишнаНапред »
Mr. Adams may obtain in Holland, by the loan new negociating, be borrowed in Europe, on the faith of the United States. Soon after this they resolved, “that Dr. Franklin should be informed, that notwithstanding the contents of his letter of the 25th of June, it is the direction of Congress, that he use his influence to effect the aforesaid loans.” Congress next proceeded to resolve, October, 4th, “ that they would inviolably adhere to their treaty of alliance with his most christian majesty, and conclude neither a separate peace with Great-Britain ; nor enter into the discussion of any overtures for pacification; but in confidence, and in concert with his most christian majesty.” On the 13th of May, the Chevalier De la Luzerne, at a public audience, announced to Congress the birth of a Dauphin of France, by communicating a letter from his most christian majesty. Congress expressed their thanks to the minister for the joyful tidings, and ordered them to be communicated to Gen. Washington, and Gen. Greene, with directions that the same be published to both armies, with suitable demonstrations of joy. They next ordered the secretary for foreign affairs to announce the joyful event to the governors, and presidents of all the states, that the joy might become universal throughout the United States, Congress gave a public dinner to the French mnister and his suit, upon the occasion, occompanied with the discharge of cannon, and a feu-de-joy of musquetry; this scene of hilarity closed with a most brilliant display of fire-works in the evening; and the same scenes of hilarity and joy became general throughout the nation. On the 11th of July, the town of Savannah was evacuated by the British, agreeable to a resolution of the ministry, to show to America, and the world, their sincere dis. position for peace, by abandouing all their conquests in the United States. The town was left in good order by the enemy, and a general harmony prevailed upon the occasion. Congress pursued the plan of loans from France, Spain and Holland, and through their ministers liberal supplies were obtained. All further operations in Soutb-Carolina ceased, and Charleston was evacuated on the 14th of December, 1782, with the most perfect order, and in two days the regular police of the city, and the government of the state were restored. The French troops, rendered so illustrious at the seige of York-Town, now took up their march for Boston, where they embarked for France. The conquest of Minorca, and the siege of Gibraltar by the forces of Spain are worthy of notice for their brilliant display of military tactics; but they must be omitted, as not coming within the limits or design of this work. The subject of peace now became general in Europe and America. Negociations were opened at Paris under Dr. Franklin and Mr. Jay, as ministers of America; the Count De Aranda, minister for Spain; the Count De Vergennes, on the part of France; with Mr. Fitzherbert and Mr. Oswald on the part of Great-Britain. Mr. Adams was at this time negociating a commercial treaty withHolland. Many points laboured. The negociation spun out ; the English ministers could not be prevailed upon to take the starting point and acknowledge the independence of the United States, until they had sent to their court and received positive instructions. The fisheries next laboured with England, and France. did not favour the views of America upon that subject. During this struggle in this council, Mr. Adams left Holland, at the request of Mr. Jay, and repaired to Paris, and upon a consultation agreed to negociate separately with the British minister, if the Count De Vergennes did not yield the claims of the United States on the fisheries, &c. This movement succeeded, and brought the negociations to a favourable issue. At this critical juncture (March) a new scene opened to the commander in chief of the American armies. The troops before New-York became infected with a general mutiny, founded upon a demand for arrearages of pay and adequate indemnification for their services and sufferings, with sufficient guarantee, before they were disbanded. The general, alarmed at this dangerous conspiracy, requested the general and field officers, with one officer from each company, and a proper representation from the staff of the army, to assemble on Saturday the 15th. At the same time he used all his influence to soften the violence of their passions. The officers met according to appointment, and elected Gen. Gates for their president. His excellency Gen. Washington addressed the council in a short, but dignified speech, which touch'd their honors, touch'd their feelings, touch'd their interests, and touch'd their hearts. The council voted an address of thanks to his excellency, and retired; relying with full confidence on the assurances of his excellency, and the wisdom, and liberality of Congress. The mutiny was quelled. Gen. Washington laid the whole affair before Congress in his letter of the 18th, in which he urged his desires, in the strongest terms, that the army might be gratified. Congress met the wishes of the general, and his brave companions in arms promptly, and voted on the 22d, “that the officers should be entitled to receive to the amount of five year's full pay in money, or securities on interest at six per cent per annum, instead of half-pay for life.” This was satisfactory. - On the 24th it was announced in Congress, by a letter from the Marquis La Fayette, bearing date February 5th,
“that the preliminaries of a general peace had been signed at Paris on the 20th of January.” - On the 4th of April, a confirmation of the signing of the treaty on the 20th of January, under the hands of the American commissioners, arrived at Salem, in the ship Astrea, Capt. John Derby,” in 22 days from Nantz. Also, that his most christian majesty, and the king of GreatBritain had ratified, and their ministers exchanged the same, on the 3d of February, from which day all hostilities by land and sea are to cease. On the 10th, the treaty, was published in the United States. On the 19th, his excellency Gen. Washington proclaimed the treaty in general orders to the American army. This day completed the eighth year of the revolutionary war. On or about the middle of June, the notes of the financier were received, agreeable to resolve of Congress, and a general settlement so far effected with the army, that they were honorably discharged, and returned quietly to their several homes. On the 18th, his excellency Gen. Washington addressed a circular letter to the governors, and presidents of the several states, in which he impressively urged the necessity of the following important points. “1. An indissoluble union of all the states under one federal head. 2. A sacred regard to public justice. 3. The adoption of a proper peace establishment. 4. The prevalence of that pacific and friendly disposition among the people of the United States, which will induce them to forget their local prejudices, and politics; to make those mutual concession which are requisite to the general prosperity; and in some instances, to sacrifice their * The same captain who carried out to Europe the news of the Lexington battle in 1775. Vol. HH. 43
individual advantages to the interest of the community. These are the pillars on which the glorious fabric of our independence, and national character must be supported. It remains then to be my final, and only request, that your excellency will communicate these sentiments to your legislature, at their next meeting; and that they may be considered as the legacy of one who has ardently wished, upon all occasions, to be useful to his country, and who, even in the shades of retirement, will not fail to implore the divine benediction upon it.”
The Hon. Peter John Van Berekel, minister plenipotentiary from their High Mightinesses the States General of the the United Netherlands, was admitted to an audience by Congress, October 31st.
The Chevalier De la Luzerne, General Washington, the superintendant of finance, with many other eminent characters, together with the ladies of the first distinction, were convened in the chapel of Princeton College, to witness the ceremonies of this joyful occasion. Mr. Van Berckel opened his introduction with an elegant address, pronounced in a most dignified and graceful manner, and at the close, presented his letter of credentials from their High Mightinesses; to which the President of Congress returned an affectionate reply, in which he expressed the grateful emotions of 'Congress, for the repeated proofs of regard and friendship the United States had experienced from his illustrious house. The scenes of the day closed with the most cordial friendship, and conviviality.
His excellency General Washington, on the 2d of November, issued his farewell orders to the armies of the United States, in the following stile.
“It only remains for the commander in chief to address himself once more, and that for the last time, to the armies of the United States, (however widely dispersed the