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Copy: Virginia Historical Society As you have now furnish’d me with the copy of the Treaty, I do not know of any reason for remaining here any longer, therefore propose setting out for Vienna in two or 3 daies to execute my appointment at that Court, provided you will supply me with the necessary funds to bear the expence of my Commission. The money will not be immediately requisite, as a...
Autograph copy: Virginia Historical Society; two transcripts: National Archives In conformity to the general instructions of the secret committee that you should be consulted and advised within all important cases relative to their commercial affairs, and Mr. Thos. Morris joint commercial Agent with me being now dead and as I am just on the point of setting out for Germany, I think it...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; autograph copy: Virginia Historical Society I shall be obliged to you for furnishing me with a Copy of the Treaties you have enter’d into with the Court of France, that I may not propose any thing inconsistent therewith to the Courts of Vienna and Berlin for which places I intend to set out on Saturday next. Any information or advice that you may be...
Frankfort on the Main, 8 May 1778. printed: William Lee, Letters The Letters of Richard Henry Lee , ed. James C. Ballagh, New York, 1911–1914; 2 vols. , 2:429–430. Lee reported that, because of Frederick’s refusal to recognize American independence and conclude a commercial treaty, he was about to depart for Vienna, where prospects seemed better, particularly if France exerted pressure on...
Reprinted from Worthington C. Ford, ed., Letters of William Lee . . . 1766–1783 (3 vols., Brooklyn, N.Y., 1891), II , 429–30. I have been detained here longer than was intended by a personal application from one of the King of Prussia’s ministers. I have now received an answer from Berlin, which informs me that his Majesty chooses for the present to decline acknowledging the Independency of...
I wish to have a conference with you on a Subject that very materially concerns our Country which at present is a profound Secret to our Enemies or their Agents and must remain so ’till compleated, or the success will be interrupted; any hour therefore tomorrow (at 12 oClock or afterwards) when you are alone, that you may please to appoint, I will do myself the honour of waiting on you, and in...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Paris, September 17, 1778: I wish to confer with you on an important and profoundly secret subject; I will wait on you at any hour tomorrow at noon or afterwards when you are alone.> Published in Taylor, Adams Papers , VII . Lee had been in Paris several days and planned to remain there no longer than three weeks: Ford, Letters of William Lee , II , 472,...
Conformable to the resolution of Congress, of which a Copy is inclosed, I have drawn on you the 4th instant for Twenty four Thousand Livres at One Months date payable to Mr. Grand, which you will please to pay due honor to, by acceptance and payment when at maturity, and place the same to the Account of Congress. ’Tis generally beleived that a Congress will be held in the course of the Winter,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Frankfurt-on-Main, December 9, 1778: Conformable to the enclosed Congressional resolution, I have drawn on you for 24,000 l.t. payable to Mr. Grand. Please accept it when it comes due and place it to the account of Congress. It is generally believed a congress will be held this winter by the French and Russian ministers to attempt a reconciliation between...
I had the Honour of writing to you the 9th instant and then mention’d the Congress that it is generally beleived will take place this Winter between Ministers from the Courts of Versailles and Petersburg to accommodate the difference between the Emperor and King of Prussia; and that I was inform’d G. Britain had prevail’d on the Court of Petersburg to endeavour at the same time to mediate a...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Frankfurt-on-Main, December 15, 1778: It occurs to me it would be serviceable to have an agent at the congress of French and Russian ministers which I mentioned in my letter of the 9th. This agent might counteract the schemes of Britain and if not bring Russia entirely over to our interests at least render her attachment to our enemies less forceful. I...
In consequence of directions to me from the State of Virginia, to endeavour to obtain from the French Ministry a quantity of Canon, arms and ammunition, for the use of that State, I applyed accordingly to Count de Vergennes, when his Excellency replyed, that was a business in the department of the Secretary at War, and that he tho’t it best to get you to apply to Prince Mont Barry for them:...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Frankfort-on-Main, January 23, 1779: In following my instructions from the state of Virginia to procure cannon, arms, and ammunition from the French ministry, I applied to Vergennes, who thought it best that you should apply to the prince de Montbarey, the business falling within the department of the Secretary of War. Consequently, I request your help and...
I understand the our Enemies have now in contemplation, the offering of some terms to America, which go no farther than a Truce; probably, somewhat similar to the propositions made last year by Spain to Great Britain. Tho’ I am not inform’d of the terms of Peace with which you are charged, nor whether your powers are discretionary, I trust you will not think it an intrusion in me to offer my...
I have had the Honor of Receiving yours of the 21st. instant. The Name of the person you wish to know is, the Duke of Brunswick, Brother to Prince Ferdinand, Field Marischall and Commander in cheif of the Dutch Land Forces. He is not liked by his Family as they conceive, he is too much attach’d to the House of Austria. The Quintuple Alliance that you mention, I conceive is only the conjecture...
I thank you for your favor of the 2d. instant. The Commission you have is certainly very highly important and Honorable, and I doubt not of your executing it properly; taking care that the shafts of envy and malice, which have already began to show themselves, shall not divert your attention from the great object you have in view, which I have no reason to think at present will be speedily...
Walsingham with 6 Ships of the line, the troops and the W. India fleet pass’d Plimo. the 8th. and Graves with 7 Ships of the line left St. Helens the 10th. to follow him, and as the winds have been since, Graves having only his 7 Ships and Walsingham a large fleet there is no doubt of their having join’d, but I do not learn with certainty the real destination, of Walsingham and his troops. By...
I thank you for the intelligence contain’d in your favor of the 13th. and when there are any other arrivals from America you will greatly oblige me by communicating any intelligence they may bring. I confess I am uneasy to hear from Chas. Town, for there is no doubt of Clinton having design’d his principle Force against that Town; as I cannot give any credit to the surmises of some people,...
I have had the pleasure of receiving your favor of the 29th. Ultimo, since which the Enemy have furnish’d us with such intelligence relative to affairs at Chas. Town and New York as they choose to publish, but I understand in General, that they are very greatly alarm’d for the very defenceless State in which N. York has been left and the extreme doubtfulness of Clintons success in his attempt...
I am indebted to you for your favor of the 6th. The American vessels lately arriv’d in Holland, do not, that I hear of, bring any material Public news except the last which came from Boston the begining of May and informs us of the Marquis de la Fayettes arrival there and that they expected there also Monsieur de Rochambrauds army, which may be a means of giving the Enemy at N. York sufficient...
I have been prevented by indisposition, otherwise shou’d have had the honor of writing to you sooner on a subject which appears to affect the honor of America, of Congress, and of its Agents in Europe. The copy of Genl. Clintons letter that was intercepted which you sent here to Mr. Jenings having afterwards appear’d in most of the public papers, there was a formal contradiction of its...
Mr. Jenings having gone out of Town, has left in my care a packet for you that came to him last Monday by the Post; by the marks on it, I fancy it has come from Antwerp. You will please to direct, whether it shall be forwarded to you in Holland or kept here ’till your return. We have not any certain advices of Monsr. Ternay, but it appears that orders are already sent out to prosecute the War...
I have just now received yours of 20. Please to Send the Packet along here to me, chez Mr. Henry Schorn Amsterdam by the first Post. There are opportunities enough here by which I shall put Ama. on her guard against the plan, you mention. The Plan of dividing, which they have been constantly pursuing these 15 years, has Succeeded most admirably. It has succeeded So far as to divide all mankind...
As you desire in yours of the 23. I now send you the Packet and least the English mail should be detain’d by the wind from you as it has been here I send you the contents of a letter from Mr. Stephens Secratary of the Admiralty to LLoyds Coffee House for the information of the Merchants—which is dated the 22 instant. Mr. Stephens says he has received a letter dated Augt. 9. from the Capt. of...
I have received your favor of the 2d. and thank you for the American Intelligence; indeed in all quarters the prospect seems favorable to our cause. The dissolution of Parliament being decided on immediately after the intelligence of the capture of their E. and W. India Fleet, (which you find are all safe in Cadiz harbor), of Kniphausens defeat in the Jersies, of Ternay’s safe arrival at Rhode...
I was very happy to find by your favor of the 21st. Ultimo that Mr. S. Adams still continues in the Public service and I am the more pleased at this choosing to serve in Congress rather than in any service in his particular State, for I think there is not any man that can doubt of America having very greatly suffer’d, if the continuance of the War is a sufferance by some of the States having...
A severe attack of a dangerous dysentery, a sick Family ever since Mr. Searle left us, and above all, having nothing material to communicate, have prevented me from writing to you for some time past and indeed my principal object now, is to enquire after the health of yourself and your Sons, as it will give me sensible pleasure to hear that you have escaped the contagion of the late very...
I am honor’d with your favor of the 19th. and am happy to hear that you and your Sons have escaped the general contagion of the Season. I flatter myself with the Idea that Arnolds Apostacy will not be attended with any inconvenience to America, but I cannot help regretting that a Man who has render’d essential service to his Country and laid a solid foundation for permanent and substantial...
I have the honor of your favor of the 6th. instant and perfectly agree with you that Congress must assume a more decided authority to prevent a repetition of such infamy as Arnold s . In our situation, I look upon a Congress without full authority and respect to its determinations, as a body without a Soul—it is the knot which tyes the union between the States; which if once dissolv’d, may be...
Your favor of the 20th came to hand last Post. I have been confidently assured that the British Ministers, at least the greater part of them, are greatly anxious for a Peace, as they find the difficulties of carrying on the War, almost insurmountable, but the obstinacy of the King prevails and will do so, until some heavy blow frightens him and enables the Ministers to bring forward...