From David Hartley
July 17 1780 London
Enclosed I send you a copy of a conciliatory bill which I moved in Parliament on the 27th of the last month.1 You will perceive by the tenor of it that it is drawn up in very general terms, containing a general power to treat, with something like a sketch of a line of negotiation. As the bill was not accepted by the Ministers in this Country, I have nothing further to say relating to it. As to my own private Sentiments and endeavours, they allways have been and ever will be devoted to the restoration of peace, upon honorable terms.2I shall be always ready, and most desirous to conspire in any measures which may lead to that end.
I am Dear Sir Your most obedt humble Servant
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers).
1. For the enclosed “Bill for Conciliation,” which was endorsed “Mr Hartleys Bill,” see the Descriptive List of Illustrations (above).
2. Although Hartley, who later served as one of the British peace negotiators, may have wanted a peace based on “honorable terms,” the bill that he offered on 27 June called for a settlement of the conflict short of independence. For JA’s opinion of efforts at Anglo-American reconciliation in general and Hartley’s initiatives in particular, see his second letter of 18 April to the president of Congress, No. 48, and note 1 (above).