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ATTEMPTS TO INVOLVE OTHERS IN CABAL.
purpose of the Cabal to place Wash- Realizing that Washington knew ington in such a position that he of their designs, the members of the would become disgusted and resign, Cabal denied any such intentions, was now clearly evident. Washing- Gates and Mifflin being particularly ton, however, was not to be thrust strong in their denials. Their letters aside thus easily.* Writing to Wil- are quoted by Gordon.* Conway also liam Gordon, he said:
made an attempt to exonerate him“I can assure you that no person ever heard
self, but it seems a well-established me drop an expression that had a tendency to fact that Gates and Mifflin were cogresignation. The same principles that led me to embark in the opposition to the arbitrary claims
nizant of the Cabal's machinations of Great Britain, operate with additional force
and were prepared to profit by it. At at this day; nor is it my desire to withdraw my services, while they are considered of importance
a conference between Gates and Genin the present contest; but to report a design eral Morgan after Burgoyne's surof this kind, is among the arts which those who are endeavoring to effect a change, are practicing
render, Gates asserted confidentially to bring it to pass. I have said, and I still do that the army was becoming dissatissay, that there is not an officer in the United States, that would return to the sweets of do
fied with Washington's conduct, that mestic life with more heart-felt joy than I should. Washington's reputation was rapidly But I would have this declaration accompanied declining, and that a number of the by these sentiments, that while the public are satisfied with my endeavors, I mean not to shrink chief army officers were threatening from the cause; but the moment her voice, not
to resign unless a change were made that of faction, calls upon me to resign, I shall do it with as much pleasure as ever the weary
in that department. Morgan intraveller retired to rest.” †
stantly understood the intention of Lafayette also could not be flat
Gates, and as he thought highly of tered or cajoled into joining the
follows: Cabal. He absolutely refused to have
“ Sir, I have one favor to ask. Never anything to do with it. Writing to
again mention to me this hateful subWashington, he said: "I am now
ject; under no other man but General fixed to your fate, and I shall follow Washington, as commander-in-chief, it, and sustain it, as well by my
will I ever serve." From that time sword, as by all the means in my a coolness existed between Morgan power." The army as a whole was and Gates, and in the final account of highly indignant at the designs of the the victory at Saratoga Gates failed Cabal against Washington.
to mention Morgan's name, though
Kapp, Life of Kalb, p. 149 et seq.; Sparks, Life of Washington, p. 250 et seq.; Lodge, George Washington, vol. i., p. 216 et seq.
* See the letter to James Lovell, quoted in Irving, Life of Washington, vol. iii., pp. 336–337.
† Bancroft, vol. v., p. 216.
Gordon, however, was on terms of intimate friendship with Gates, and this may, in some way, account for his unwillingness to believe his friend guilty of such dishonorable conduct and his desire to quote letters favorable to Gates. See also the footnote in Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. ii., p. 134.
undoubtedly that officer had con- and esteem of these States, whose liberties you
have asserted by your virtues." * tributed largely to the result of the battle.*
Thus Conway's Cabal came to an General Conway was soon brought end which was not only timely, but to a realization that the army would also fortunate to the patriotic cause. not countenance his actions. He had
Washington's conduct throughout never been popular with the majority the whole affair was marked with of the soldiers, and when it became moderation, self-command, and noknown that he had endeavored to dis- bility.t place Washington, he was challenged
See Thacher, Military Journal, p. 129, note; to a duel by General Cadwalader. De
Hildreth, vol. iii., pp. 232–237; Bancroft, vol. v., spite Washington's remonstrances,
pp. 210–217; Fiske, American Revolution, vol. ii., this duel was fought July 4, 1778, and
pp. 32–46; Johnson, Life of Greene, vol. i., pp.
154, 166; Greene, Life of Greene, vol. ii., pp. 1-40; Conway was wounded. Supposing Gordon, American Revolution, vol. iii., pp. 44, 54 that his wound was mortal, Conway
(ed. 1788); Fisher, Struggle for American Inde
pendence, vol. ii., pp. 127-132; Trevelyan, Ameriwas struck with sudden remorse, and can Revolution, pp. 307-319. wrote the following letter to Wash
† Mr. Irving gives the following anecdote, fur.
nished to him by Judge Jay: Shortly before ington:
the death of John Adams, I was sitting alone with “ I find myself just able to hold the pen during
my father, conversing about the American Revo
lution. Suddenly he remarked, 'Ah, William! the a few minutes, and take this opportunity of ex
history of that Revolution will never be known. pressing my sincere grief for having done, written,
Nobody now alive knows it but John Adams and or said any thing disagreeable to your Excellency.
myself.' Surprised at such a declaration, I asked My career will soon be over; therefore, justice
him to what he referred: He briefly replied: and truth prompt me to declare my last senti
* The proceedings of the old Congress.' Again I ments. You are, in my eyes, the great and good
inquired, 'What proceedings ?' He answered, man. May you long enjoy the love, veneration,
'Those against Washington; from first to last
there was a most bitter party against him.'” As * See Graham, Life of General Morgan, pp. the old Congress held its sessions with closed 172-173.
doors, nothing was made public but what that † Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. ii., body saw fit to disclose. Irving, Life of Wash
ington, vol. iii., p. 397.
COMMITTEE OF SECRET CORRESPONDENCE APPOINTED,
FOREIGN AFFAIRS: FRENCH ALLIANCE: CONCILIATION ATTEMPTED.
Committee of Secret Correspondence appointed — Franklin's letter to Dumas — Views in Congress regarding
foreign intercourse — The Department of Foreign Affairs organized — Deane sent to France Attitude of France toward the United Colonies — Vergennes declines to commit himself — Aid given by Beaumarchais
Great Britain protests at conduct of France - Formal treaty with France drafted — Commissioners to France appointed -- Their letter of credence and instructions - Commissioners sent to other foreign countries — Inducements held out to France - The Situation in England -King's speech to Parliament Effect of victory at Saratoga upon sentiment in Europe Ministerial measures carried in Parliament Conciliation bills introduced — Treaty of commerce and alliance with France signed — Joy caused by treaty
- Address of Congress to the inhabitants of the United States - British peace commissioners arrive in America — The failure of their mission.
By the terms of the Articles object in view was to sound the prinof Confederation, the Continental cipal nations of Europe, particularly Congress was empowered to make France and Spain, in regard to Amerpeace, to
to declare war, to send ican affairs. Shortly after his apand receive ambassadors, and to make pointment, Franklin wrote a letter to treaties and alliances, but it could Charles W. F. Dumas* in Holland as only enter upon the latter with the as
to the prospect of obtaining aid in sent of nine of the thirteen States.
that country for the American cause. Originally the Confederation had no
He said: executive officers, and its business was
" That you may be better enabled to answer conducted through committees. For some questions which will probably be put to the purpose of conducting foreign in- you, concerning our present situation, we inform
you, that the whole continent is firmly united — tercourse, on November 29, 1775, a
the party for the measures of the British minis“ Committee of Secret Correspond- try being very small, and much dispersed ; that we
had on foot the last campaign, an army of nearly ence” was appointed, consisting of
twenty thousand men, wherewith we have been Benjamin Harrison, John Jay, John- able, not only to block the king's army in Boston, son, Dickinson, and Franklin; this
but to spare considerable detachments for the
invasion of Canada, where we have met with great committee being appointed for the
success, as the printed papers sent herewith will purpose of holding secret correspond- inform you, and have now reason to expect the
whole province may be soon in our possession; ence with the friends of America,“ in
that we purpose greatly to increase our force for Great Britain, Ireland and other the ensuing year; and thereby we hope, with the parts of the world."* The chief assistance of a well disciplined militia, to be able
macy, Its Spirit and Achievements, pp. ix., 5; * Bancroft, vol. iv., p. 362; John Adams, Works, Hart, Foundations of American Foreign Policy, vol. i., pp. 202–203, vol. iii., p. 3; Weld, Life of p. 15; Pellew, John Jay, p. 49. Franklin, p. 475; Parton, Life of Franklin, vol. * For the services of this man see Moore, Ameriii., p. 111; John Bassett Moore, American Diplo- can Diplomacy, pp. 23–25.
VIEWS REGARDING FOREIGN INTERCOURSE.
to defend our coast, notwithstanding its great ex. anywhere. But to send ministers to tent; that we already have a small squadron of armed vessels, to protect our coasting trade, who
any great court in Europe, especially have had some success in taking several of the the maritime courts, to propose an acenemy's cruizers, and some of their transport ves
knowledgment of the independence of sels and stores." *
America and treaties of amity and It was certain that the Declaration
commerce, is no more than becomes us, of Independence would involve an ap- and in my opinion is our duty to peal to the nations of Europe for countenance and aid. It was not only The conduct of foreign relations a challenge to Great Britain, but an through a committee, however, did not assertion by the colonies of their right prove satisfactory, chiefly because the to an independent place among the members did not attend to their busiworld's powers, and an appeal to the
One of the members said: powers to recognize the justice of " There is really no such thing as a their claim. A new field was there- Committee of Foreign Affairs existfore opened for the energies of Con- ing -no secretary or clerk further gress beside the contest of arms in than I persevere to be one and the which the colonies had engaged with other. The books and the papers of the mother country, and a new rela- that extinguished body lay yet on the tion was to be sustained toward the table of Congress, or rather are governments of Europe. Among the locked up in the secretary's private members of Congress there were two bos.” Congress thereupon appointed views regarding foreign intercourse. a committee to prepare a plan for the One was that no minister should be organization of the department, and in sent to foreign courts until assurances
this plan the committee states: were given by the latter that our min- ". That the extent and rising power isters would be well received; and the of the United States entitle them to a other, that for attaining independence place among the great potentates of we should seek to establish good rela- Europe, while our political and comtions, if not alliances, with the nations mercial interests point out the prounfriendly to England. Franklin had priety of cultivating with them a said “ A virgin state should preserve friendly correspondence and conneca virgin character, and not go abroad tion. That, to render such an intersuitoring for alliances; but wait with course advantageous, the necessity of decent dignity for the application of competent knowledge of the interests, others." On the other hand, John views, relations and systems of those Adams said, “I think we have not potentates, is obvious. meanly solicited for friendships
* Trescot, Diplomacy of the Revolution, pp. 16– * See also Parton, Life of Franklin, vol. ii., p. See also John Adams, Works, vol. i., pp. 112.
DEANE AND VERGENNES.
That to answer those essential pur- eign affairs, Charles Gravier, Count poses the committee are of opinion de Vergennes. Deane secretly dethat a fixed and permanent office for parted from the United States, travelthe Department of Foreign Affairs ing under the assumed name of “ Timought forthwith to be established as a othy Jones," and many state that he remedy against the fluctuations, the carried with him a supply of invisdelays, and indecision to which the ible ink with which to write his represent mode of managing our for- ports.f Deane arrived in Paris early eign affairs must be exposed." * The in July and immediately set about the committee recommended that a Secre- fulfillment of the task assigned him. I tary of Foreign Affairs be appointed, He soon succeeded in obtaining an inand proceeded to set forth his duties. terview with Count de Vergennes in Thereafter the management of for- which he stated the purpose of his miseign affairs ran more smoothly. sion, and was informed that the im
The first representative sent abroad portance of American commerce was was Silas Deane. Franklin had re- well known in France, and that no ceived information through friends country could so well supply the that France seemed favorably dis- American colonies and in return reposed toward America, and, while she ceive their produce, as France. For could not publicly display her friend- this reason, therefore, it was to the ship, she was inclined to render interest of both to maintain uninteraid to the American cause in a surrep- rupted intercourse, and with this obtitious manner. Deane, therefore, was ject in view, the court had ordered sent to ascertain the exact position of French ports to be kept open, not only the French government and to obtain to America but also to England. But, much needed supplies and material for he said, considering the friendly relathe army. His letter of instruc- tions existing between the latter countions, dated March 3, 1776, orders him try and France, the French court to assume the character of a merchant could not openly encourage the shipengaged in the West India trade, and ping of warlike stores to America. instructs him to state to the French As a manifestation of their friendliministry that clothing and arms for about 25,000 men, as well as ammuni- * See Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence of tion, and field pieces, were needed by
the Revolution, vol. i., p. 334, vol. ii., p. 78; Par.
ton, Life of Franklin, vol. ii., p. 113 et seq.; Moore, the Americans. He was to secure an American Diplomacy, pp. 5-6. On the relation of audience at the earliest possible mo
the French government with the colonies, see
Tower, The Marquis de La Fayette in the Ameriment with the French minister of for
can Revolution, vol. i., chap. iii.
† Foster, A Century of American Diplomacy, p. * Secret Journals of Congress, vol. ii., p. 580.
† As to his fitness for this mission, see John For details see Tower, vol. i., p. 142 et seq; Adams, Works, vol. i., p. 248 et seq.
Wharton, vol. ii., p. 78 et seq.