Alexander Hamilton and William Floyd
to George Clinton
[Philadelphia, March 24, 1783]
We have the happiness to inform your Excellency that yesterday arrived the Triumph a Cutter from Cadiz, with letters from the Marquis La Fayette announc⟨ing⟩ the certainty of the preliminaries of a general peace signed between all the belligerent powers the 20th. of January.1 There are letters from the Count D’Estaing to the French Minister to the same effect, and an instruction from him to the Captain of the Cutter to advertise all British and French vessels of the event, with an order to the latter to cease hostilities.2
The preliminaries for America we have already had the honor of transmitting. We mean the provisional articles.
The French are reinstated in the East Indies as in 63—mutual cessions of all conquests during the war are made, except of Tobago & Senegal which remain to France—France has in substance the same share in the Fisheries as before the war.
Spain has acquired Minorca and the two Floridas.
The Dutch lose Negapatam to the English.3 It only remains to provide for internal tranquillity—and by drawing the links ⟨of⟩ the Union closer to prevent those states from becoming ⟨the⟩ foot ball of European politics.
We have the honor to be With perfect respect Your Excellency’s Most Obedient servants
March 24th. 1783
LS, in the writing of H, from the original in the New York State Library, Albany.
1. On March 24, 1783, the Journals of the Continental Congress announced receipt of “a letter, of February 5, from the Marquis de la Fayette, announcing [the signing of preliminary articles for] a general peace, and a copy of orders given by the Count D’Estaing, vice admiral of France, to the Chevalier Du Quesne, commander of the corvette Triumph, despatched from Cadiz the 6 of February last, for the purpose of putting a stop to all hostilities by sea” (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXIV, 210–11).
2. In 1778 the Count d’Estaing was appointed a vice-admiral of the French fleet and sent to America to assist the United States against Great Britain. In 1783, when peace was signed, he was in command of the combined fleet before Cadiz.
3. At this point one sentence is missing.