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CHAPTER XXIV.

Letter from Mr. Dana........ Resumes his Seat in Congress........

Letters of J. Adams........Peace........Committee to consider its Terms........ Interviews between Congress and General Washington....... The Minister of France........ The Marquis de la Fayette........State of Public Affairs.... Salaries.

It was not with the consent of his friends that Mr. Gerry withdrew from the calls of the community. Mr. Dana wrote as follows from St. Petersburg, 20th November 1782: “Your letter of 13th June reached me on the 20th of last month, and did my heart much good. The reasons which have held you in private life of late, I can conjecture without an interview with you ; but so far from serving for your justification, they operate in my mind strongly against you. You have pointed out enough to me to show that till we have made

peace we have but half done our work; and will you, who have taken so distinguished a part in our great revolution, and whom opposition and dangers ever made more zealous and active, retire from public life during the contest, because certain vices too often attendant upon all administrations, seem to be prevalent ? No, my friend, you ought to step forth again and labour to rectify what you deem amiss. Perseverance will always gain something. I have seen striking instances of this in your conduct. Take courage then, and abandon nothing which ought to be maintained. Occasions will present themselves when you may do much good. You can have no right to be in private life in these times. You are an independent citizen of a free republic, and well know the duties which result from such a station in the community.”

Yielding to the wishes of personal and political friends, and satisfied at length with the measures adopted on the subject of his remonstrance, Mr. Gerry resumed his seat in the congress of 1783. ,

MR. ADAMS TO MR. GERRY.

Paris, Aug. 15, 1783. MY DEAR FRIEND, I have heard no news with more pleasure, than that of your design to go again to congress, and nothing I hope has happened to divert you

from your purpose. I have lost all my correspondents in congress, and know little what passes there. The journals are not sent us, as I think they ought to be, regularly.

By a letter from Mr. Arthur Lee to my wife, I am informed that the committee had reported in favour of my resignation, and Mr. Lee thought I might depend upon the report being accepted.

But it does not arrive here. We have now a prospect of signing the definitive treaty, in nothing variant from the provisional one, very soon, as the ratifications of the latter are already exchanged, and France, Spain, England and America are agreed. The Dutch, I presume, will sign at the same time, but not with a good will. We have consented that the imperial courts should sign, by their ministers, as mediators, but the English have not yet consented, and probably will not. We are ready to sign, with or without a mediation, as the English please.

I believe the English have been endeavouring to persuade the French and Spaniards to sign without us and the Dutch. Never was there a more foolish project. The comte de Vergennes absolutely refused. Here he showed he had more sense than they. This absurdity of the English is the more astonishing, as the comte de Vergennes had said to Dr. Franklin and Mr. Hartley together, within three days after his arrival here, Il faut que nous finissions tous ensemble.But they are become a blundering race. The doctrine they now set up is that the provisional treaty was to be, and will be of itself a definitive treaty, the instant the definitive treaty is signed with France, as it became a preliminary treaty, when the preliminaries were signed with France. This doctrine may be true and just, but it is not the less expedient to have the solemnities and forms of a

definitive treaty in our affair, than in that of the other nations.

We have long foreseen that we should not obtain any additional advantages or further explanations in the definitive treaty, from the present ministry. They have committed themselves in parliament, by disapproving the articles, and they stand upon so precarious ground, that making the least concession further to us, without twice its value from us in exchange, would excite a clamour against them, and cost them their places. Thus we have no choice left. We must finish as we began, or not finish at all. Wait another session of parliament, and run all the risks, which accompany delay, at a time when the political horizon is very cloudy.

We have long since made to Mr. Hartley, and he has transmitted a variety of propositions, but his principals have consented to none of them, and we have the best reasons to believe, that this ministry never will, because such consent would lose them their places. Unhappily, when you reason with European ministers of state, you need be less anxious to enquire whether measures are for the good of their country or not, than whether they are likely to preserve or forfeit their places.

If you send a commission to make a treaty with Denmark or Portugal, or any other power, without sending a minister to the court, I wish you

would insert in it all your ministers in Europe, and give the power to all or any number, or any one, who may be upon the spot pointed out for the negotiation, exactly as you have provided in the commission for peace; this is of great importance, and is but exact equity.

I think your method should be to resolve upon granting the commission, and then proceed to choose the ministers to be named in it, as you do in all other cases, and let them stand in the commission in the order as they are chosen. I expect myself the acceptance of my resignation, and therefore shall not in that case be one to be inserted, but Mr. Jay, Mr. Laurens and Mr. Dana ought to be inserted, if they stay in Europe, if it is only to show respect to their characters and give reputation to their names. If Mr. Laurens and Mr. Dana go home as well as I, Mr. Jay ought to be inserted, who is very able and very willing to serve you, and who in the present circumstances wants, as well as all your faithful ministers, all the support which congress can give them. You will never have another honest minister trumpeted by the court where he is. Dr. Franklin alone is, and will be trumpeted, by the commis at Versailles, and their tools.

Let me beg of you my good friend to write me, and order your letters to be delivered to Mr. Jay, and opened, or burnt by him, as you please, in

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