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1782]

ALLEYNE FITZHERBERT.

143

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done for the loyalists. Their property had been confiscated by state law, over which congress had no control, and he withdrew the suggestion submitted by him, that by the cession of Canada a stipulation might be made in their favour.

On the resignation of Fox, Grenville also resigned and Alleyne Fitzherbert, afterwards lord St. Helen's, the minister at Brussels, was appointed his successor.

Franklin had construed some remarks of Grenville into the assertion, that Shelburne was not prepared to grant full independence, consequently he demanded some express acknowledgment, that this recognition should be made perfectly distinct from the treaty. A commission accordingly given to Oswald, empowering him to treat for a peace or truce with the colonies or plantations. The language is guarded, and the influence of the king can be traced in the phraseology, as if to shew that he yet hoped to avoid direct recognition of the independence asked. * Oswald, however, received authority to concede full independence, if the United States commissioners would treat in no other terms.

In spite of Franklin's positive declaration that the demand could not be entertained, he was likewise instructed to obtain ample satisfaction with regard to the debts due in America to the creditors in England, incurred before 1775; and likewise to demand restitution of the confiscated property of the loyalists, or that full indemnification be allowed for it.

It was at this date that Jay arrived in Paris. He was then thirty-six, and not entertaining the same views as Franklin, forty years his senior, felt no little embarrassment as to the course he should take. Oswald describes his first interview with Jay. He had shortly before been told by Franklin, that he hoped they would agree, and not be long about it. Jay took the view that recognition of independence ought not to be part of the treaty ; that it should be expressly granted by act of parliament, and an order be sent for the immediate withdrawal of the troops; and that, as nothing had been done by parliament, the king should issue his proclamation to that effect. Jay's chief topic of conversation was the grievous treatment the provinces had received at the hands of Great Britain, while he dwelt upon the attachment towards the mother country which had previously been felt, "a detail of particulars as unnecessary as it was unpleasant" for Oswald to repeat.

*“ to treat, consult and conclude with any commission or commissioners named, or to be named by the said colonies or plantations, and any body or bodies, corporate or politic, or any assembly or assemblies, or description of men, or any person or persons whatsoever, a peace or truce with the said colonies or plantations, or any of them, or any part or parts thereof."

Had Oswald been a man of spirit and ability, he would not have taken the contemptible apologetic tone he used. He would have told Jay that the fomenters of the rebellion had sought systematically the quarrel, that they had deceived the British people by the assertion that they desired no separation ; that they had ruthlessly persecuted the loyalists who had taken the opposite side ; that without provocation they had invaded Canada, and had held the province as a conquered possession ; that Montgomery had promised to give over Quebec to his soldiers to plunder, if they would storm it. Instead of this high ground, in accordance with the facts as they may be known, Oswald could only blame the refugees, who had represented, that Government had so many friends in the American provinces that they required only moderate support to regain the country. Jay was perfectly ready to join Oswald in his blame of the unhappy refugees, with the declaration that they were men guided only by their own interests. This was Mr. Oswald's view of the loyalists, who had sacrificed their all to maintain the connection with the mother country.

The misfortune is, that assertions such as Jay made on this occasion pass for history in modern times, not simply in the United States, but with too many English writers who will not give themselves the trouble to investigate the facts.

Jay objected to the wording of Oswald's commission, and declined to enter into any direct negotiation until the United States were recognized as a nationality. He described the 1782]

JAY'S DISTRUST OF FRANCE.

145

peace he desired to obtain as being of so lasting a character that it would not be the interest of either party to violate it. Franklin, on the other hand, considered Oswald's powers to be sufficient; but de Vergennes, who was not desirous that the negotiations should proceed, notified Fitzherbert that he would decline to take any further steps on the part of France, until the independence of the States was fully admitted.

Oswald's communication of this fact did not lead to any change of the wording of his commission. The British cabinet, however, expressed its readiness to commence negotiations on the basis of the “necessary articles” of Franklin, but at the same time declared that the limit of Canada must be considered in accordance with the proclamation of 1763; that the right of drying fish on the shores of Newfoundland could not be conceded. Oswald, however, was urged to prevail upon the United States commissioners to proceed with the treaty, admitting the articles of independence as a part of it.

Jay, who had formed some doubt of the good faith of the British ministry, was led entirely to change his views, owing to a memorandum presented by Rayneval,* who held a high confidential position under de Vergennes, arguing against the right of the French to the valley of the Mississippi. At the same time the copy of an intercepted despatch was placed in his hands from Marbois, the French chargé d'affaires at Philadelphia, to de Vergennes, which reprobated the pretensions of New England to the Newfoundland fisheries. A change consequently took place in the feelings of Jay and created a strong distrust of France, a sentiment that he always retained.

Hearing that de Rayneval was proceeding to England under an assumed name, Jay placed himself in direct commu

* [Gérard de Rayneval was the younger brother of Gérard, the French minister to the United States. He had been at the head of the foreign department from 1774 ; he was much liked by de Vergennes, and was his confidential secretary.]

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nication with Shelburne. Early in July, Shelburne had despatched to Paris a forgotten writer on political economy, one Benjaman Vaughan, with whom he was personally intimate, and who was likewise known to be friendly with Franklin, to assure Franklin that the change of administration would lead to no change of policy. Jay, impressed with the bad consequences which might result to the negotiation by de Rayneval's presence in London, influenced Vaughan to return to England to put Shelburne on his guard against de Rayneval. He pointed out that it was the interest of Great Britain to break the alliance between France and the United States, and that on his part he would waive the demand for the preliminary acknowledgment of independence, if Oswald were instructed to describe the old provinces, not as colonies, naming them one by one, but as the “Thirteen United States of America."

Shelburne, accompanied by lord Grantham, the secretary for foreign affairs, received de Rayneval. He informed the French emissary that he was prepared to make great concessions with regard to the French fishermen at Newfoundland : privileges which appear only to have been limited by the refusal to admit French sovereignty over any part of the island, a proposition that was also earnestly opposed by Grantham. On his side, de Rayneval claimed that France should be placed in the position of 1754. The demand was resisted ; but, perceiving that there was a disposition on the part of Shelburne to meet the French requirements, he moderated the conditions he had submitted, and the interview proceeded satisfactorily.

When the Spanish claims were discussed, de Rayneval, after some hesitation, told Shelburne that Gibraltar was as dear to the king of Spain as life itself, and that if cession was refused, peace was not possible. Shelburne answered that Gibraltar would prove in the negotiation, what it was in the sca, “a rock," and that he did not believe the English nation would permit its surrender. Such had been the opinion of Fox. To this demand his answer must be non possumus, and 1782]

QUESTION OF BOUNDARIES.

147

Grantham expressed himself forcibly in accordance with this declaration.

On the claims of the United States being considered, de Rayneval expressed himself against their participation in the Newfoundland fisheries, and against the claim they had preferred to extend their territory to the Mississippi and to the north of the Ohio. He left England impressed with the sincerity of Great Britain in her effort to obtain peace, and was particularly struck with Shelburne. On his return to Paris he bore testimony to Shelburne's ability, and his pleasing manners. Both, indeed, have always been admitted, but Shelburne's laboured and somewhat stilted courtesies have no little aided the historical charge of insincerity attached to his memory. It is one of the best remembered facts concerning him, that George III., in a fit of displeasure, called him the "Jesuit of Berkeley Square.”

Oswald's commission, changed as Jay had desired, was taken back to Paris by Vaughan. The consequence was that shortly after the defeat of the French and Spanish fleets before Gibraltar on the 5th of October, Jay placed in Oswald's hands the draft of a treaty. It included the recognition of independence, the determination of the boundaries as they had been discussed by Franklin, and the concession of drying fish on the shores of Newfoundland. Recognition of the duty of those dwelling in the United States, to pay their debts contracted in England prior to 1775, was refused. The claim of indemnification of the loyalists was alike rejected.

The question of boundaries between New York and Canada had been much simplified by the map of Sauthier, published in 1779. It had been prepared by order of governor Tryon, and shewed the 49th parallel as the northern boundary, extending from Saint Regis on the Saint Lawrence to the sources of the Connecticut. The determination of the 45th parallel as the boundary to the Saint Lawrence, the division line afterwards to follow the river and lakes, abandoned the whole territory of the Ohio south of lake Erie, and the peninsula of Michigan, to the United States.

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