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war against the possessions of Spain in America, and against the United States. I have the most undoubted intelligence that they are more and more determined on pursuing that plan. The good intentions of Count d'Estaign to drive them from Georgia having unfortunately failed, and the departure of the French fleet having left them again a decided superiority on our coast, must give them fresh encouragement to prosecute their enterprise, and will render the assistance of his Catholic Majesty's squadron at the Havannah absolutely necessary, to prevent its succeeding. Suffer me therefore to entreat most earnestly your excellency's attention to this, if other more near and important objects of the war should have hitherto diverted it."

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"Sir, I received in due time the two letters of the 7th and 25th of June, with which your honour favoured me, in both which you explain the situation of England, and the plan which you think the powers at war with that crown ought to pursue, joined with various observations relative to the situation of these united American provinces. I can assure you sir, that I have read with great pleasure and consideration, the wise and prudent reflections contained in those letters. I assure you I shall make a proper use of them. I embrace this opportunity of offering you my best services, and of assuring you of my prayer for the preservation of your life many years.


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Instractions to Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee, Commissioners

-appointed by the Congress of the United States of America to the Court of France.

; “There is herewith delivered to you a plan of a treaty with his most Christian majesty of France, approved of in congress on the part of the United States of America.

It is the wish of congress that the treaty should be concluded, and you are hereby instructed to use every means in your power for concluding it conformably to the plan you have received. If you shall find that to be impracticably, you are hereby authorized to relax the demands of the United States, and to enlarge their offers, agreeably to the following directions. If his most Christian majesty shall not consent that the subjects, people, and inhabitants of the United States shall have the privileges proposed in the second article, then the United States ought not to give the subjects of his most Christian majesty the privileges proposed in the first article ; but that the United States shall give to the subjects of his most Christian majesty the same privileges, liberties, and immunities, at least, and the like favour in all things, which any foreign nation the most favoured shall have, provided his most Christian majesty shall give to the subjects, people, and inhabitants of the United States the same benefits, privileges, and immunities, which any the most favoured foreign nation now has, uses, or enjoys. And in case neither of these propositions of equal advantages are agreed to, then the whole of the said articles are to be rejected, rather than obstruct the farther progress of the treaty. The third article must be insisted

The sixth article ought to be obtained if possible, but should be waived rather than the treaty should be in


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terrupted by insisting upon it; his most Christian majesty agreeing nevertheless to use his interest and influence to procure passes from the states mentioned in this article, for the vessels of the subjects and inhabitants of the United States upon the Mediterranean. The seventh article will probably be attended with some difficulty. If you find his most Christian majesty determined not to agree to it, you are empowered to add to it as follows. That the United States will never be subject, or acknowledge allegiance or obedience to the king, or crown, or parliament of Great Britain, nor grant to that nation any exclusive trade, or any advantages or privileges in trade, more than his most Christian majesty; neither shall any treaty for terminating the present war between the king of Great Britain and the United States, or any war which may be declared by the king of Great Britain against his most Christian majesty, in consequence of this treaty, take effect until the expiration of six calendar months after the negotiation for that purpose shall have been duly notified, in the former instance by the United States to his most Christian majesty, and in the other instance by his most Christian majesty to the United States, to the end that both these parties may be included in the peace, if they think proper. The eleventh and twelfth articles are to be waived, if you find that the treaty will be interrupted by insisting on them. You will press the thirteenth article, but let not the fate of the treaty depend upon obtaining it. If his most Christian majesty should be unwilling to agree to the fifteenth and twenty-fifth articles,

you are directed to consent that the goods and effects of enemies on board the ships and vessels of either party shall be liable to seizure and confiscation. The twenty-fourth article is not to be insisted on.

You will solicit the court of France for an immediate supply of twenty or thirty thousand muskets and bayonets, and a large supply of ammunition and brass field pieces, to be sent under convoy by France. The United States engage for the payment of the arms, artillery, and ammunition, and to indemnify France for the expense of the convoy. Engage a few good engineers in the service of



the United States. It is highly probable that France means not to let the United States sink in the present contest ; but as the difficulty of obtaining true accounts of our condition may cause an opinion to be entertained that we are able to support the war on our own strength and resources longer than in fact we can do, it will be proper for you to press for the immediate and explicit declaration of France in our favour, upon a suggestion that a re-union with Great Britain may be the consequence of a delay

Should Spain be disinclined to our cause from an apprehension of danger to her dominions in South America, you are empowered to give the strongest assurances that that crown will receive no molestation from the United States in the possession of those territories. You will transmit to us the most speedy and full intelligence of your progress in this business, and of any other European transaction that it may import us to know.

You are desired to get the best and earliest information that you possibly can of any negotiations that the court of London may be carrying on, for obtaining foreign mercenaries to be sent against these states the next campaign; and if any such design is in agitation, you will endeavour to prevail with the court of France to exert its influence in the most effectual manner, to prevent the execution of such designs. You are desired to obtain as early as possible a public acknowledgment of the independency of these states on the crown and parliament of Great Britain, by the court of France. In conducting this important business the congress have the greatest confidence in your address, abilities, vigilance, and attachment to the interests of the United States, and wish you every success. By order of congress,

John Hancock, President."

“In Congress, October 16th, 1776. Additional instructions to Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane,

and Arthur Lee, Commissioners from the United States of America to the king of France.

Whilst you are negotiating the affair you are charged with at the court of France, you will have opportunities of conversing frequently with the ministers and agents of other European princes and states residing there.

You shall endeavour, when you find occasion fit and convenient, to obtain from them a recognition of our independency and sovereignty, and to conclude treaties of peace, amity, and commerce, between their princes or states and us; provided that the same be not inconsistent with the treaty you shall make with his most Christian majesty, that they do not oblige us to become a party in any war which may happen in consequence thereof, and that the immunities, exemptions, privileges, protection, defence, and advantages, or the contrary, thereby stipulated, be equal and reciprocal. If that cannot be effected, you shall to the utmost of your power prevent their taking part with Great Britain in the war which his Britannic majesty prosecutes against us, or entering into offensive alliances with that king, and protest and present remonstrances against the same, desiring the interposition, mediation, and good offices, on our behalf, of his most Christian majesty the king of France, and of any other princes or states whose dispositions are not hostile towards us. In case overtures be made to you by the ministers or agents of any European princes or states, for commercial treaties between them and us, you may conclude such treaties accordingly. By order of congress,

John HANCOCK, President.

" In Congress, October 22d, 1776, Resolved, that the commissioners going to the court of France, be directed to procure from that court, at the expense of these United States, either by purchase or loan, eight line of battle ships, of 74 and 64 guns, well manned and fitted in


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