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skill and address that they were masters of. Mr. Laurens's presence with his brother commissioners the two last days, was of great service. He proposed the insertion of a paragraph against carrying away any negroes or other property belonging to the American inhabitants. He appeared deeply impressed with the loss of his son; but the venerable hero thanked God that he had such a son, one who was willing to lose his life in the cause of his country.
The American commissioners expedited the negociation with the utmost assiduity; and on the 30th of November, provisional articles were agreed upon and signed, to take effect whenever terms of peace should be finally settled with the court of France. The business was finished so privately and unexpectedly, that ministers and ambassadors, as well as others, in and about the court of Versailles, were surprised upon hearing the news. Th« signing of the provisional articles will probably suspend the hostile operations of France and Spain till it is known whether a general peace can be agreed upon. They have collected their fleets at Cadiz, to the amount of near 40 ships of the line, which are destined for the West-Indies, and are to be commanded by count d'Estaing, who is to convoy thither several thousand French troops, under the marquis de la Fayette. Had not the American commissioners improved the precious moment that offered, without entangling themselves by consulting count de Yergennes, the British ministry might have been changed, and those events have succeeded which would have kept the United States much longer from the possession of their independence.
We must now quit the negociations of peace for tire operations which relate to war. By the French gazette, it appears, that capt. de la Perouse, commanding a division of his mast Christian majesty's fleet, has destroyed the settlements atHudson's-bay. He computesthe loss sustained by thelludson's-bay company, at about „£.500,000 sterling." -.i»
The gentlemen of the county of Suffolk proposed building a ship of the line for the use of government, and began a subscription for the purpose. The plan was to be carried into immediate execution, when twelve other counties had agreed to follow the example. There was subscribed in the whole, .£.21,067 18s. 6d. The proposal answered a good purpose as may be seen by the following extract of a letter from Wm. Middleton, esq. to the corporation of Ipswich.—" Sept. 7. It is with singular satisfaction I can inform you, that the spirited resolve of this county has already had its desired effect on the court of France. Mr, Fitzherbert, now at Paris, writes word that nothing b.ut a. decisive victory at sea, could have had so striking an effect on
that court, as the resolves of this and the other counties, to build ships of war by voluntary contributions, ftyr the use of the pub'Jic." But Sir James Lowther distinguished himself by a noble singularity which few had power to follow. On the 6th of September he waited on LordJ£cpple, and after expressing his concern that county subscriptions tor building men of war went on ■languidly, requetsed his lordship to present his duty to the king, ■and at the same beseech his majesty to accept of a man of war of the line from him, completely manned, victualled, and fitted "for action. Lord Kcpple, astonished at such an unexampled instance of generosity in a private gentleman, assured Sir James that his request should be instantly complied with, which it ac■cordingly was; and the king received the offer with that mark of TCspect which became his majesty.
Ten men of war (including Coynt de Oracle's ship6 taken by Admiral Rodney) with a large fleet of merchantmen from Jamaica, -suffered exceedingly by a tremendous gale of wind off .Newfoundland on the 17th of September, and sinc,e by captures. The Ville de Paris and the Glorieux foundered, and only one man out of the complement of both ships escaped to tell their ^melancholy fate. The Hector also sunk.; but being descried in •time by a snow that made toward them, the crew were saved. The captain's name was John Hill'; though his vessel was smali for the purpose, yet he took on board upward of 20® men belonging to the Hector. He threw part of his cargo overboard, to make room for them; and generously^hared his provisions with them to the hazard of wanting himself. The greatness of the risk he ran appears from -hence, that the last cask of water ■was broached on the day that land was discovered. TheRamil.lies went down, but her people were saved by the merchantmen in company. The Centaur was likewise lost, and all her company <exce.pt twelve, with the captain, who got into the onlyremain<ing boat. They traversed a »pace of near swQ miles in the Atlantic ocean, without conipas.sor quadrant, and with ablanket Tor a sail. They had only two biscuits divided among them every twenty-four hours , and as much water during that space to every man, as the neck of a wine buttle broken off would hold. At the expiration of sixteen days, whea the last division of hiscuit and water had been made, to their inexpressible joy they discovered the Portuguese island of Fayal, where they safely .arrived at night. The American cruisers carried into L'Orient 2.1 of the Jamaica fleet. The whole number of prizes brought into that port by them from the beginning of the year to the end x>f Octoher, amounts to 32; exclusive cf what have arrived i» other pouts of France.
Vol. ILL U u LET,
Paris, December 30-, \182i Fkie-nd G.
THE Governor of the Universe, to whose justice and determination all the late belligerent powers appealed, having so ordered events that peace is at length fully restored-, the present letter shall close my correspondence upon affairs- of a public nature. ,
Mr. Francis Dana, your late American resident at Petersburgh, but who sailed from thence for America on the 1th of August, labored to obtain a reception in his- public character y but received from the Russian minister; in answer to his application, the following declaration—""I have to renew to you, Sir,. the expression of satisfaction with which her Imperial majesty is impressed by the mark of attention which your constituents have paid her, in sending to her a person expressly clothed wilh i public character; and to assure you; that she will acknowledge you with pleasure in that quality, the instant that the definitive treaties which are on the eve of being concluded, shaH havebeen executed—her delicacy being a law to her, not to take, before that time, a step which might not be considered as corresponding with those which have characterized her strict neutrality during the course of the late war. Notwithstanding which the empress repeats, that you may enjoy not only for your own honor, but also for your countrymen, who-may come into her empire on commercial business* or otherwise, the most favorable-reception* and the protection of the laws of nations. The conduct which the empress has held during the course of the war, sufficiently witnesses in favor of the impartiality of her sentiments, and put3 an end to every discussion on that point, and ought to make you entirely easy."
While the negociations- for peace were carrying on between Great-Britain, France, Spain and Holland, news was received from the East-Indies, but such as had not a favorable aspect on the British interest in that quarter. Adm. SufFrein, with twelve ships of the line, and adm. Hughes with eleven, engaged afresh on the 1.2th of April, H82. This action appears to have been the most bloody that had been fought during the war, down to that period, in proportion to the number of ships. The British had 144 kilU fid, and 430 wounded. The French after that proceeded to land
a body of troops, which, being joined by some thousand Seapoys sent by Hyder Ally, invested and reduced Cuddalore on the coast -of Cororaandel. When the preliminary articles between Britain, France and Spain were exchanged, on the 3d of last February, further advices were received from the East-Indies, giving an account, that notwithstanding a victory which Sir Eyre Coote gained over Hyder Ally on the 2d of June, 1T82, the latter kept the field; and six days after, by the help of his numerous cavalry, surrounded and cut oifan advanced body of the British army, and continued to harrass it much in its march. Shortly after Sir JEyre's bad health obliged him to relinquish his command. The French fleet being fully repaired left Cuddalore, and on the 5th. of July came in sight of the British at Negapatam. Sir Edward Hughes immediately put to sea. The next day Quly 6.] he commenced a close action with Mons. dc Suffrein. Both fleets suffered much, and at night anchored at no great distance from each Other. In the morning the French ships sailed to Cuddalore.; while the British were so damaged in their rigging that they could not pursue- Suffrein refitted his squadron with the utmost expedition, put to sea the beginning of August, formed a junction with a number of French transports and some men of war, and sailed directly for Trincomale, which surrendered to him on the last day of the month. Hughes upon gaining intelligence at Madras of what was going forward, sailed instantly for the relief of the place; but did not arrive before it till the 2d of September. The next morning [Sept. .3.] Suffrein came out of the bay with 3.5 ships of the line, including 3.fifties. Hughes, with only 12, -including one fifty, was ready to receive him. The engagement -began about noon with great fury on. each side ; and continued with equal obstinacy till about seven, when the French admiral jdre vv off, after having lost both his mizen and main- mast, and had .several ships greatly damaged. He returned to Trincomale at .night, but lost a T4 gun ship in re-entering the harbour. This was ■*he fourth battle that had been fought between Sir Edward Hughes and Mons. de SufFrein within seven months. Never before had there been so obstinate a competition for the mastery of the Indian Ocean. Though the bravery and skill of the British .admiral and sailors prevented Suffrcin's availing himself of his superiority for the capturing of his enemy's ships yet he displayed uncommon courage, and exerted himself in such a manner, ap oshowed him to be an able commander and a determined foe — 'About the 20th of September, Sir Richard Bickerton, with a squadron of five ships of the line, and near 5000 men, arrived at iVJUidras.
In December last Hyder Ally died. Upon which general! Mathews was ordered by the presidency of Bombay, to proceed whith his whole force Into the country of Canaree, in order to possess Bednore, the capital, where Hyder's immense treasure? were supposed to be, together with all his magazines for war. A* the place was incapable of resistance, it was delivered up to the British general upon his appearing before it,, together wHh the province, by capitulation. The general imprisoned the Indian governor in direct violation of the articles, and committed various irregularities. After that the general besieged Mangalore, the principle sea port and marina arsenal of Hyder Alley, which surrendered on the 9th of March. Tippoo Saib, who had sueeeed*d to his father Hyder Ally's designs as Well as his power, ■«£■ solved to relinquish the Carnatic; and marched with above one hundred thousand men to rescue Bednore. Gen. Mathews, tho' lie had only between 2 and 3000 troops, of whom about 10O ■were Europeans, determined to march out of the capital, and give hattle to Tippoo Saib in an open plain. The contest was short;, his handful of men was totally routed with great slaughter ; and lie was obliged with the broken remains of his force to take shelter in the fortress,, which stood upon an eminence nigh the town. After a siege of near three weeks, the garrison obtained terms from Tippoo Saib, securing their private property upon their delivering up what was public, and promising them safe conduct tO' Bombay. These conditions deprived them of the immense booty ihey had acquired, they determined upon eluding the same by dividing the treasures among themselves. Tippoo Saib, when the contrivance,wa5 discovered', considered the articles as annulled-by the breach of faith ; put both officers and men under confinement, and stripped them of ah they possessed. When they had* suffered many indignities they were sent to a fort up the country loaded with irons. The general and several officers are thought to have been put to death with circumstances of great cruelty.— The successthat followed the recovery of his capital, encouraged Tippoo Saib to besiege Mangalore ; and the garrison were reduced to great extremity. But they were relieved by the news of the general peace, which arrived in July. ■ .• •
Sir Eyre Coote went by sea to Bengal for the recovery of his health. When upon his return to Madras, he was chased fortyeight hours by two French men of war. The solicitude and fa~ tigue he underwent in continuing nearly the whole time upor> deck, occasioned a relapse. ' He got safe into port on the ^6tb of April, and died the day after his arrival,, at a juncture ivheiF his abilities were greatly wanted. Though the retreat of Tippoo