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contending for your revolution, we lent you money." I men. tioned the very great difference there was between the situation of the two countries at that period and the present ; and the very different circumstances under which the loan was made us, and the loan demanded from us. She replied". We do not make a demand; we ihink it more delicate that the offer thould come from you. But M. Talleyrand has mentioned to me (who am furely not in his confidence) the necessity of your making us a loan; and I know that he has mentioned it to two or three others, and that you have been informed of it. And I will assure you, that if you remain here six months longer, you would not advance a single step further in your negotiation with out a loan.”_" If that is the case,” I replied, “ we may as well go away now."-" Why that possibly,” said she, “ might lead to a rupture, which you had better avoid; for we know we have a very considerable party in America, who are strongly in our interest.” There is no occasion to enter into a further detail of the conversation. I have only noted this part of it as ex. pressive of what I believe (as far as relates to the loan and party in America in their favour) to be the sentiments of the French government with regard to us.
CHARLES COTESWORTH PINCKNEY. Dec. 21, 1797.
-1 teperfed his son chais", by M. de Beaun he had left will lately
Exhibit B. [Enclosed in the Envoys' Letter, No. IV.] EXTRACT from General Marshall's Journal, Dec. 17, 1797. -I stepped into Mr. Gerry's apartment, where I faw M. Y. He expressed his figret at having been disabled to dine with us at M. de Beaumarchais', by an inveterate tooth-ach. He then asked me whether I had seen M. de Beaumarchais lately: I told him, not since he dined with us; and that he had left us much indisposed. He then observed, that he had not known till lately that I was the advocate for that gentleman in his cause against the state of Virginia ; and that M. de Beaumarchais, in consequence of that circumstance, had expressed sentiments of high regard for me. I replied, that M. de Beaumarchais' cause was of great magnitude, very uncertain issue, and, consequently, that a portion of the interest he felt in it would very naturally be transferred to his advocate. He immediately said (low and apart) that M. de Beaumarchais had consented, provided his claim could be establihed, to sacrifice fifty thousand pounds sterling or it, as the private gratification which had been required of us, so that the gratifica:ion Inight be made without any actual loss to th: American government. I answered, that a gratification on a'.
terms, or in any form, was a subject which we approached with much fear and difficulty, as we were not authorized by our go. vernment to make one ; nor had it been expected that one would be necessary ; that I could not undertake to say whether my col. leagues would consent to it in any state of things; but I could undertake to say, no one of us would consent to it unless it was preceded or accompanied by a full and entire recognition of the claims of our citizens, and a satisfactory arrangement on the objects of our mission. He said it was in the expectation of that event only that he mentioned it. We parted; and I stated the conversation to General Pinckney, who was disinclined to any ftipulation of the fort, and considered it as a renewal of the old reprobated system of indirect, unauthorized negotiation. :: Having been originally the counsel of M. de Beaumarchais, I had determined, and so I informed General Pinckney, that I would not, by my voice, establish any agreement in his favour; but that I would positively oppose any admission of the claim of any French citizen, if not accompanied with the admission of the claims of the American citizens of property captured and condemned for want of a role d'equipage. My reason for conceiving that this ought to be stipulated expressly, was a convice tion that, if it was referred to commissioners, it would be committing absolutely to chance as complete a right as any individuals ever possessed. General Pinckney was against admitting the claim at any rate.
After my return, Mr. Gerry came into my room, and told me that M. Y. had called on him, to accompany hiin on a visit to M. Talleyrand ; that he proposed seeing M. Talleyrand, and returning the civility of the dinner ; and endeavouring to bring about some intercourse between him and us.
Déc. 18. General Pinckney and Mr. Gerry met in my room ; and Mr. Gerry detailed to us the conversation mentioned in our pubSic letter. The propofition relative to the claim of M. de Beaumarchais is entirely different from my understanding of it in the very brief statement made to me by M. Y. We resolved that we would rigidly adhere to the rule we had adopted, to enter into no negotiation with persons not formally authorized to treat with us. We came also to the determination to prepare a letter to the minister of foreign relations, itating the object of our mission, and discussing the subjects of difference between the two nations, in like manner as if we had been actually received; and to close the letter with requesting the government to open the negotiation with us, or to grant us our pallports.
to be the adhere to our former
M. X. having been civa: and
Exhibit C. [Enclosed in the Envoys' Letter, No. IV.) ...
Dec. 13. MR. Gerry, accidentally calling on General Pinckney, found M. X. and was soon infurined that his object was to obtain another interview between the ministers and M. Y. on the affairs of their million. General Marshall happening also to be there, we retired into another room, and immediately agreed to adhere to our former deterinination, not to have any more informal communication. M. X. having been called in, General Pinckney briefly communicated our determination: and Mr. Gerry observed, that he was much hurt by this propofition; that the ministers had already proceeded farther in this mode of communication than perhaps they could justify; that they had refused, six weeks ago, to renew it; and that some regard ought to be paid to their feelings, which had been sufficiently mortified ; that the proposition was disrespectful to the envoys, as it betrayed a belief that they had lost a sense of their dignity, and were indeed incompetent to their office ; that, had there been but one envoy extraordinary, he ought to have had an audience in a few days; and that for three to remain between two and three months in this situation, was too humiliating, too debasing, for any nation to submit to it; that, for his own part, had he been sent to any other nation in Europe, with two other envoys, he would not have consented to have remained in such a state ten days; that, knowing the great desire of the governmant and nation of the United States to be at peace with France, he had, with his colleagues, submitted to this indignity, at the risk of the severe censure of the former. Having also inquired of M. X. at what time M. Talleyrand could be seen, the former said, he would inquire of M. Y. who on the 16th, in the evening, sent, in Mr. Gerry's absence from his lodgings, a billet, as follows:
“ M. Y. has the honour to present his respects to Mr. Gerry, to inform him that he will have the honout to wait on him to-morrow morning, at ten o'clock, to go toge ther to the minister of foreign relations. .
“ He is, with respect,” &c. On the morning of the 17th, M. Y. came in while Mr. Gerry was at breakfast, not having received an answer to his note; and Mr. Marshall coming in, M. Y. took him aside, and conferred with him a considerable time ; after which, the former and the rest of the family left the room, and M. Y. and Mr. Gerry being together, Mr. G. told him, that his objeet in seeing M. Talleyrand was to return a civility, by requesting him to fix a day for dining with Mr. G. who intended to invite his colleagues ; by this interview to promote, if posfible, a better understanding between the minister and ihe American envoys: and Mr. G. also proposed to confer with the minister on the disagreeable situation the envoys were in, and to ftate to him some reports which appeared to be founded, respecting a proposition before the Directory for sending off all Americans in a short period; but Mr. Gerry added, that he could not hear a word on the subject of the unislion, or the preliminaries to a negotiation ; as the envoys had determined unanimously against any informal communications on the subject. M. Y. in answer, said, that Mr. Marshall had just heard him on a subject of this kind; and that we might consider it as he did, merely as a conversation between ourselves. He then stated, that two ineasures which M. Talleyrand proposed being adopted, a restoration of friendship between the republics would follow immediately; the one was a gratuity of fifty thousand pounds Sterling, the other a purchase of thirty-two millions of Dutch refcriptions; that as to the first, M. de Beaumarchais had re. ceived, in a cause depending in Virginia, between that state and himself, 145,000l, sterling; that there was an appeal from the judgment; that he would fign an act to relinquish forty-five thousand pounds, if the whole should be finally recovered, leaving only one hundred thousand pounds for himself; that the forty-five thousand pounds might accrue to the United States, who would, in that case, lose but a small part of the fifty thoufand pounds; that the purchase of fixteen millions of rescrip. tions would amount to but one million three hundred and thirty-three thousand pounds six shillings and eightpence fterJing; which, with an interest of five per cent. would be certainly paid by the government of Holland to the United States, and leave them without any loss; that more than half the sum may now be hired in Holland, on the credit of the rescrip. tions, and an easy arrangement be made for payment by short instalments, which might be obtained also by a loan; that it was worthy the attention of the envoys to consider whether, by so finall a sacrifice, they would establish a peace with France, or whether they would risk the consequences; that if nothing could be done by the envoys, arrangements would be made forthwith to ravage the coasts of the United States by frigaies from St. Domingo; that fmall fiaies which had offended France were suffering by it; that Hamburgh, and other cities in that quarter, would, within a month or two, have their governments changed; that Switzerland would undergo the same operation, and that Portugal would probably be in a wosse predicament: that the expedition against England would be ces
ling; whit by the mout any, lod,' on th
now be hired out any coff; Holland is lice
arrangenient biained also by cider whether,
tainly pursued; and that the present period was the most fake vourable, if we wished to adopt any measure for a pacific cation.
Mr. Gerry, in answer, said, that if the French were disposed to pursue with vengeance the United States, they might perhaps ravage their coasts, and injure them in this way, but they never could subdue them : the measure he thought utterly impracticable, even if attempted by France and her allies. To which M. Y. afsented. Mr. Gerry observed farther, that the ravages alluded to would undoubtedly closely connect the United States and Great Britain, and prevent the former from returning to the friendship which they have ever had for France; that as to the propositions, he thould express no opinion on them ; that his fituation, and that of his colleagues, was extremely difficult ; that the Directory was exclusively prejudiced against the government of the United States, and considered thein as the friends of Great Britain ; that if the enyoys could have an opportunity of being heard, they could remove such impresfions, and show that the government were the friends of France as much as of Great Britain ; but that the envoys were now in the most painful situation ; that they were treated, in the eyes of all Europe, and of the American government and nation, with the utmost contempt, and were submitting to indignities which they could not reconcile to their feelings, or justify, to their constituents.
M. Y. said, that the observations were just; but that the Ame. rican envoys had not experienced worse treatment than other ministers, nor, indeed, as bad ; that the envoy of Portugal was again ordered to depart; and that but little ceremony was ob- . served to the envoys in general. M, Y. and Mr. Gerry then took a ride to M. Talleyrand's bureau, who received them politely: and, after being - seated, Mr. Gerry observed to M. Talleyrand, in English, flowly, that M. Y. had stated to him that morning some propositions as coming from M. Talleyrand, respecting which Mr. G. could give no opinion : that his object at this interview was, to request of him information whether he would fix a time for taking a dinner with Mr. Gerry, at which he proposed to invite his colleagues ; that he wished for more frequent interviews of some kind or other between himself and the envoys, conceiving that many imaginary difficulties which obstructed the negotiation would vanith by this means; and that those which were real would be furmounted: that conceiving the delicate part which the rrini!?er of France had to act at this time, he did not wish M. Talle;rand to accept the invitation, if it would subject him to inconveniencies; that he wished to speak on another VL. VII.
stand, repening fome properly