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his conduct, and granting certain allowances to his surviving family.
On the 27th of April permission was given to the Commander in Chief to draw upon the Treasurer for the sum of two thousand guineas, to be used at his discretion for the purposes of secret service. It was the good fortune of Washington to meet with the most faithful agents for this service. His confidential correspondents were known only to himself, and so vigilant and faithful were they in the discharge of the trust reposed in them, that not the slightest suspicion of their real character was ever raised in the minds of
the enemy, with many of the most respectable of whom they formed the closest intimacy. One of his spies in New York had well nigh suffered very serious personal injury, from the firmness with which he supported his assumed character of a tory; but nothing could induce him to reveal his secret connexion with the American commander.
The low state of the publick treasury made it necessary for Congress to depend almost entirely upon the resources of their ally and the personal credit of their minister at the court of France. On the 10th of June, bills to the amount of 360,000 livres tournois, were drawn upon Dr. Franklin by the President of Congress, and a resolution was at the same time passed, "that the faith of the United States be pledged to make good any contract or engagement, which shall be entered into by their Minister Plenipotentiary at the court of France, for procuring money or credit to enable him to honour the said bills, and provide for their punctual discharge." In addition to this, they determined upon borrowing twenty mil
lions of continental dollars at an interest of six per
The instances of malpractice in the medical department of the army had been so frequent and glaring, that when at last a Physician General was found to perform his duty, Congress thought it necessary to publish a resolution, expressing their satisfaction at his conduct. This was done on the 14th of June, in favour of Doctor John Morgan. On the same day they wrote a congratulatory letter to his most Christian Majesty, on the birth of a Princess, and solicited from him portraits of himself and his royal consort, to be placed in the Representatives' chamber as a continual memorial of the first royal friends and patrons of their cause."
In a conference which the French Minister held with Congress on the 12th of July, he presented a paper to which according to the usages of the courts of Europe he said he had appropriated the term of ad statum legendi. It was a simple message from his court, delivered in writing, the substance of which was as follows: 1. The king had approved the measures pursued by his minister respecting the claims of Beaumarchais, and would furnish a guide to Congress, by which they might distinguish between supplies furnished by that gentleman in the way of trade, and those which had been furnished out of the royal magazines; for the latter of which the king was content to wait the convenience of Congress for pay2. The king consented to the desire expressed by Congress to recruit for their ships among the English prisoners in France, requiring only that it should be managed with proper prudence and precaution. 3. The French court expressed great satis
faction at the substitution by Congress of one Minis ter Plenipotentiary for the several commissioners previously entrusted with their concerns; and added, that the character of Dr. Franklin would invite a fuller confidence than had been heretofore given. 4. The court of France were much pleased by the prompt disavowal by Congress of the doctrine relating to the mutual obligation of the allies to conclude no truce nor peace without the knowledge and consent of each other. It was added by the minister, that Congress had by this step, raised the highest confidence of his master in their candour and faithfulness, and had given him the fullest hope that no interpretation or construction would be put upon the treaty which could endanger their mutual confidence. 5. The court were somewhat surprised at the intelligence that Congress had published the treaties with it, without the knowledge or consent of the interested party; but the king at the same time disclaimed all idea of reproach, regarding it as an evidence of a noble and generous system of politicks, which though contrary to the general practice of courts and nations, had happily been attended with beneficial results to the common cause; inasmuch as it had convinced the American people and the world that France had not been actuated by any selfish or interested motive in the alliance, but had been solely governed by a desire to secure independence to the United States. 6. His Majesty was greatly concerned that the situation of affairs in the United States had been inadequate to the great exertions necessary to cope with their enemy; stated his impression that England would never willingly evacuate New-York, or be brought to think of granting independence to the United
States, without exertions on their past correspondent with those which his majesty was making in their behalf. 7th and lastly, the Minister was authorised to tell Congress in confidence, that from the turn which the negociation had taken with Spain there was but little hope that the Court of London, willing as they were to a reconciliation with France, would ever consent to make a formal and explicit acknowledgment of the independence of the United States; and that peace was not to be looked for until Congress would be satisfied with a tacit acknowledgment of sovereignty, which the minister laboured to prove to them, was a difference only in the formale, involving none of the rights of sovereignty or independence. Monsieur Gerard thus concluded his message and remarks.
"In thus executing the orders I have received, I cannot omit observing that these orders were given with the full presumption, that the business which I laid before Congress in Frebruary last, would have been settled long before these despatches should come to my hands. However sensibly my court will be disappointed in her expectations, I shall add nothing to the information and observations, which with the warmest zeal for the interest and honour of both countries, and by the duties of my office and instructions, I found myself bound to deliver from time to time to Congress, in the course of this business. The apprehensions of giving new matter to those who endeavour to cast blame upon Congress, is a new motive for me to remain silent. I beg only to remind this honourable body of the aforesaid information and reflections, and particularly to those which I had the honour to deliver to an assembly similar to the present. I shall · only insist on a single point, which I established
then, and since in one of my memorials, namely, the manifest and striking necessity of enabling Spain, by the determination of just and moderate terms, to press upon England with her good offices, and to bring her mediation to an issue, in order that we may know whether we are to expect peace or war. This step is looked upon in Europe as immediately necessary. It was the proper object of the message I delivered in February last. I established then (in a private audience) the strong reasons which require, that at the same time and without delay, proper terms should be offered to his Catholic Majesty, in order to reconcile him perfectly to the American contest. I did not conceal that it was to be feared, that any condition inconsistent with the establishment of the alliance, which is the binding and only law of the allies, and contrary to the line of conduct which Spain pursued, in the course of her mediation, would lead her to drop the mediation, and prevent his Catholic Majesty, by motives of honour and faithfulness, from joining in our common cause, and for completing the intended triumvirate.— No loss, no unhappy event, could be so heavy upon the allies as this. Indeed, although the British forces are already kept in check by the combined efforts of France and America, it is nevertheless evident, that the accession of Spain only can give to the alliance a decided superiority, adequate to our purposes, and free us from the fatal chance, that a single unlucky event may overturn the balance."
Congress had listened with such perfect reliance to the hopes of peace held out in the mediation of Spain, in the early part of the year, that they had been guilty of blameable relaxation in providing the means of carrying on the war. The army, the navy, and the