Thomas Jefferson Papers

I. Comments on Soulés’ Histoire, 3 August 1786

I. Comments on Soulés’ Histoire

Aug. 3. 1786.

Pa. 31. ‘Si dans son institution chaque individu avoit droit au gouvernement de l’etat, ou seulement ceux qui possédoient une certaine etendue de terre.’ This is a luminous idea, and worthy of being a little more developed. It places the question between Gr. Britain and America in the simplest form possible. No Englishman will pretend that a right to participate in government can be derived from any other source than a personal right, or a right of property. The conclusion is inevitable that he who had neither his person nor property in America could rightfully assume a participation in its government.

Pa. 17.2 The seeds of the war are here traced to their true source. The tory education of the King was the first preparation for that change in the British government which that party never ceases to wish. This naturally ensured tory administrations during his life. At the moment he came to the throne, and cleared his hands of his enemies by the peace of Paris, the assumptions of unwarrantable right over America commenced; they were so signal, and followed one another so close as to prove they were part of a system, either to reduce it under absolute subjection and thereby make it an instrument for attempts on Britain itself, or to sever it from Britain so that it might not be a weight in the whig scale. This latter alternative however was not considered as the one which would take place. They knew so little of America that they thought it unable to encounter the little finger of Great Britain. M. de Soules has well developed this subject. He is best judge whether any thing more need be said on the subject.

Pa. 43.3 ‘Si le ministere Anglais avoit eu la patience d’attendre que ces marchandises fussent consommées &c.’; Having seen and intimately known the positions of the Americans at that moment, I am certain that the conjecture would not have been verified. The determined resolution with which they met every effort of the Minister, whether made in the form of force, fraud or persuasion, gives us a moral certainty they would have been equally immoveable if tried in the way of privation here proposed.

Pa. 51.4 ‘pour accorder quelque chose &c.’ The substitution of Gage for Hutchinson was not intended as a favor, but by putting even the civil government in military hands was meant to shew they would enforce their measures by arms. See pa. 109 where Congress make it one of their grievances.

Pa. 78.5 A grand jury cannot be fewer than 12. nor more than 24. Some authors say it cannot be fewer than 13. nor more than 23.

Pa. 102.6 ‘Plusieurs criminels &c.’ Notwithstanding the laws the English made, I think they never inclined to carry a single person to be tried in England. They knew that reprisals would be made and probably on the person of the governor who ventured on the measure.7

Pa. 140.8 The fact that the English commenced hostilities at Lexington being proved beyond question by us and even acknowleged by the English, justice requires it should be plainly asserted, and left clear of doubt. Few of the facts, which history asserts and relies on, have been so well established.

Pa. 150.9 ‘L’humanité des Britons.’ I doubt whether this is the character of the nation in general. But this history, and every one which is impartial must in it’s relation of this war shew in such repeated instances, that they conducted it, both in theory and practice, on the most barbarous principles, that the expression here cited will stand in contradiction to the rest of the work. As examples of their Theory recollect the act of parliament for constraining our prisoners taken on the sea to bear arms against their fathers, brothers &c. For their practice, recollect their exciting the savages against us, insurrections of our slaves, sending our prisoners to the East Indies, killing them in prison ships, keeping them on halfrations and of the most unwholsome qualities, cruel murders of unarmed individuals of every sex, massacres of those in arms after they had asked quarter &c. &c.

Pa. 151.10 ‘A ce que l’on dit à 20,000 hommes.’ It was of 22,000 men. I was in a situation to know the fact from Genl. Washington’s own information.

158. 1. 8.11 Strike out ‘et probablement’ and insert ‘mais veritablement.’ I remember the fact well and the leading persons of Connecticut, and particularly their delegates in Congress made no secret that their object was to over-awe N. York into it’s duty.

159.12il fut resolu de la reduire [i.e. la Nouvelle York] en cendre.’ This was proposed, and considered in Congress; but they refused to come to this resolution. Nor do I recollect that any other body resolved it.

163.13 Doctor Franklin has been called by that title as early as 1760, within my own knowledge. I do not know how much longer.

His quality in France was that of Minister plenipotentiary, and not as Ambassador. We have never appointed an Ambassador. France offered to receive one.

Pa. 166.14 The English set fire to Charlestown. Qu. as to the number of their killed.15

Pa. 180–181.16 Gates was and still is an inhabitant of Virginia. He never lived in any other state.

Pa. 190.17 M. Arnold avoit formé une entreprise &c. I never understood that he formed this enterprise, nor do I believe he did. I heard and saw all General Washington’s letters on this subject. I do not think he mentioned Arnold as author of the proposition; yet he was always just in ascribing to every officer the merit of his own works; and he was disposed particularly in favour of Arnold. This officer is entitled to great merit in the execution, but to ascribe to him that of the having formed the enterprize is probably to ascribe to him what belongs to Genl. Washington or some other person.

209.18et qu’il ne leur fut plus permis de lever la milice &c.’ They had formerly had a law on the subject of invasions and insurrections which was of a perpetual tenor. They altered this law by one which was to be in force for a certain term of years only. That term of years affluxed at this time, the altering law expired, and therefore the old one resumed it’s vigour. It was very imperfect; yet they chose to act under the colour of that rather than without any colour of law.

216.19 ‘dont elles se plaignoient.’ This seems to be the proper place to rectify a small error in the arrangement of facts, and to state the answer to the conciliatory proposition, which was in truth the first work of the assembly. I have not here the journals of the assembly, but there are certain circumstances which render it impossible for my memory to lead me astray. I was under appointment to attend the General Congress: but knowing the importance of the answer to be given to the conciliatory proposition, and that our leading whig characters were then with Congress, I determined to attend on the assembly, and tho’ a young member, to take on myself the carrying thro’ an answer to the proposition. The assembly met the 1st. of June. I drew, and proposed the answer and carried it through the house with very little alteration, against the opposition of our timid members who wished to speak a different language. This was finished before the 11th. of June, because on that day, I set out from Williamsburgh for Philadelphia and was the bearer of an authenticated copy of this instrument to Congress. The effect it had in fortifying their minds, and in deciding their measures renders it’s true date important because only Pennsylvania had as yet answered the proposition. Virginia was the second. It was known how Massachusets would answer it; and that the example of these three principal colonies would determine the measures of all the others, and of course the fate of the proposition. Congress received it therefore with much satisfaction. The assembly of Virginia did not deliver the answer to Ld. Dunmore till late in the session. They supposed it would bring on a dissolution of their body whenever they should deliver it to him, and they wished previously to get some important acts passed. For this reason they kept it up. I think that Ld. Dunmore did not quit the metropolis till he knew that the answer framed by the house was a rejection of the proposition, tho’ that answer was not yet communicated to him regularly.

Pa. 231.20Quelques centaines de blancs.’ These were composed principally of Scotch merchants and factors, and some few English who had settled in the country. I doubt whether there was a single native among them. If M. Soulés could therefore characterise more particularly who they were who joined Ld. Dunmore, it would be an agreeable act of justice to the natives.

Pa. 233.21Les Americains qui avoit joint Milord Dunmore.’ The same observation applies to this.

Pa. 245.22Pendant l’eté le Congrés general avoit eté occupé a dresser un plan pour former une confederation.’ It is necessary to set to rights here a fact which has been mistaken by every person who has written on this subject. I will do it from a perfect recollection of facts, but my memory does not enable me to state the date exactly. I was absent from Congress from the beginning of January 1776. to the middle of May. Either just before I left Congress, or immediately on my return to it (I rather think it was the former) Doctor Franklin put into my hands the draught of a plan of confederation, desiring me to read it and tell him what I thought of it. I approved it highly. He shewed it to others. Some thought as I did; others were revolted at it. We found it could not be passed, and that the proposing it to Congress as the subject for any vote whatever would startle many members so much that they would suspect we had lost sight of a reconciliation with Great Britain, and that we should lose much more ground than we should gain by the proposition. Yet that the idea of a more firm bond of union than the undefined one under which we then acted might be suggested and permitted to grow, Dr. Franklin informed Congress that he had sketched the outlines of an instrument which might become necessary at a future day, if the ministry continued pertinacious, and would ask leave for it to lay on the table of Congress, that the members might in the mean time be turning the subject in their minds, and have something more perfect prepared by the time it should become necessary. This was agreed to by the timid members, only on condition that no entry whatever should be made in the journals of Congress relative to this instrument. This was to continue in force only till a reconciliation with Great Britain. This was all that ever was done or proposed in Congress on the subject of a Confederation before June 1776, when the proposition was regularly made to Congress, a committee appointed to draw an instrument of Confederation, who accordingly drew one, very considerably differing from the sketch of Dr. Franklin.

Pa. 294.23il est à croire qu’il y avoit quelque convention.’ It is well known there was such a convention. It was never made a secret of on our part. I do not exactly recollect it’s terms, but I believe they were what M. Soulés states.

Pa. 301.24La petite verole.’ I have been informed by officers who were on the spot, and whom I believe myself, that this disorder was sent into our army designedly by the commanding officer in Quebec. It answered his purposes effectually.

PrC (DLC: TJ Papers, 23: 3934–40); in TJ’s hand. In this and the following document, page and volume references in the text are to the two-volume London, 1785, edition of Soulés Histoire; those in the notes are to the four-volume Paris, 1787, edition.

1Altered in a later hand by overwriting so as to read: “Vo. 3.” This error on the part of the person who attempted to make the text more legible misled Ford who assumed it meant “Vo[lume] 3.” and so printed it (Ford, description begins Paul Leicester Ford, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, “Letterpress Edition,” N.Y., 1892-1899. description ends IV, 306). The sentence quoted by TJ occurs in Histoire, i, 3; evidently Soulés adopted TJ’s suggestion in part, for immediately following this sentence there is this development of the “luminous idea”: “Il lui suffit de savoir que cela devoit être, qu’on n’a pu avec justice former son établissement sans l’une ou l’autre de ces méthodes, et que, si l’on a erré en quelque point, il n’est jamais trop tard de corriger ses erreurs.—Ce n’est point ici une assertion vague ou calculée pour servir de base à un systême faux, mais une vérité évidente: un peuple ne sauroit être libre à moins qu’il n’ait part au Gouvernement, et il ne sauroit y avoir part que par un droit personnel ou par un droit de propriété.” Soulés elaborated this and then concluded: “Je me suis un peu étendu là-dessus, parce que c’est précisément l’origine des querelles qui subsistèrent entre la Grande-Bretagne et ses Colonies. Les Anglais prétendent qu’en quittant leur patrie, les habitans du nouveau monde ont renoncé à ses privilèges; et ces derniers au contraire soutiennent que leurs ancêtres, en prenant le nom de Colons, n’ont point abdiqué les droits d’Anglais. Je sais que la Constitution d’Angleterre n’est plus conforme à cette primitive institution dont je viens de parler; je doute même qu’elle le fût jamais: mais je suis certain qu’elle le devoit être, et cela me suffit” (Histoire, i, 3–5). In Dft TJ stated his intent more positively: “Introduction. The right to self-government in the British Constitution founded either 1. in right of person, or 2. right in lands. (the author might have added …) In either case the colonists had that right.”

2Histoire, i, 10, contains the statement that the education of the Prince of Wales (later George III) “étoit confiée à un Tory des plus zélés; et c’est à lui qu’on attribue le présent systême de Gouvernement.” In Dft TJ wrote: “The education of the present king was Tory. He gave decisive victory to the Tories. To these were added sundry rich persons sprung up in the E.I. America would have been too formidable a weight in the scale of the Whigs. It was necessary therefore to reduce them by force to concur with the Tories.”

3This passage (Histoire, i, 41–2) reads: “Les Négociants avoient pourvu à l’avenir, en demandant à leurs correspondans des marchandises pour deux ou trois ans avant que cette résolution fût adoptée. Si le Ministère Anglais avoit eu la patience d’attendre que ces marchandises fussent consommées, il est probable que la nécessité auroit naturellement forcé les Colons à se départir de leur dessein, et que fort peu d’entre eux auroient eu la constance de renoncer aux aisances de la vie, pour la procurer à une postérité incertaine. L’interêt de la patrie auroit insensiblement cédé à l’intérêt particulier, le Moi n’auroit pas manqué de prévaloir, et cette association seroit tombée d’elle-même. L’enthousiasme n’a jamais pu être détruit que par lui-même. Les persécutions n’ont fait que lui donner de nouvelle forces, et un martyr a toujours produit vingt prosélytes.” However, owing to TJ’s opinion (and evidently also to that of another person, who may have been Crèvecœur), Soulés added the following: “Il y a néamoins des gens fort instruits de la façon de penser des Américains, et entr’autres, deux hommes du premier mérite, et pour l’opinion desquels nous avons les plus grands égards, qui sont persuadés que les Colons auroient eu assez de constance pour persévérer dans leurs résolutions, et que les privations de toute espèce, la misere et la mort même, n’auroient pas été capables de les ébranler. Cette opinion est. sans doute, fondée sur les preuves qu’ils donnèrent ensuite de leur attachement à la cause de la liberté, et sur la patience avec laquelle ils souffrirent toutes sortes de maux pour parvenir à leurs fins; mais les circonstances et les passions ont beaucoup d’influence sur les actions des hommes, et tel est timide, chancelant et incertain avant d’entreprendre une affaire sérieuse, ou de commencer une guerre ouverte avec son Gouvernement, qui devient ferme, intrépide et opiniâtre, lorsqu’il a une fois fait les premiers pas. Quoi qu’il en soit, les Anglais auroient dû essayer cette méthode, et ne point s’opposer directement aux résolutions des Colonies. Tout au contraire, aussitôt que le Ministère en fut informé, il prit des mesures qui paroissent réellement ridicules, et fit passer en Amérique des charges considérables de thé, comme s’il êut été possible de faire acheter aux Colons une marchandise dont ils avoient résolu de ne point se servir” (Histoire, i, 42–3). In Dft, TJ remarked, after referring to p. 43 and quoting the pertinent passage as above: “Experience proved this reasoning false. The goods were consumed, yet nobody relaxed in their opposition.”

4As finally published, the pertinent paragraph reads: “Le Ministère Anglais avoit changé le Gouverneur de la Province de Massachuset, M. Hutchinson, qui leur étoit si odieux, et avoit nommé à sa place M. Gage, qui, à la qualité de Gouverneur, joignoit celle de Généralissime de toutes les forces de Sa Majesté Britannique en Amérique.” The sentence that TJ questioned was eliminated. Dft reads: “The substituting Gage for Hutchinson was not intended as a favor but as an addition of rigour.” The reference to page 109 (Histoire, i, 102) is to the fact that the Articles of Association of 20 Oct. 1774 had included as a grievance the keeping of a standing army in the colonies in time of peace and particularly the fact that “le Général en chef de l’armée est, en tems de paix, nommé Gouverneur d’une Colonie.”

5Dft reads: “A grand jury cannot exceed 24.” As finally published the passage reads: “Les grands Juries, suivant certains Auteurs, peuvent être composés de vingt-quatre personnes; mais ce nombre n’est pas absolument nécessaire, il suffit qu’il y en ait douze: d’autres soutiennent qu’il ne faut pas plus de vingt-trois, ni moins de treize personnes, pour former un grand Jury” (Histoire, i, 73).

6The statement to which TJ objected was evidently the following: “Ce qui donna lieu à cette déclaration [that the colonists were entitled to the right of being tried by a jury of their peers], c’est que, lorsque les Juries refusèrent d’agir, on avoit menacé les Américains de les priver de ce privilège, et de les faire transporter en Angleterre, pour y être jugés par des Juries Anglais” (Histoire, i, 96); Soulés evidently altered this passage from its original reading by adding the phrase “on avoit menacé.” Dft reads: “I think the English never carried a single criminal to England to be tried. They passed laws for it indeed.”

7In Dft there is the following which TJ did not include in his final comments: “105. de ne plus se servir des denrées des isles occidentales.” The pertinent passage in Soulés’ work reads as follows: “Le premier article de cette Convention contient une résolution de ne plus recevoir de marchandises des Isles Britanniques après le 1 Décembre, d’interdire toute entrée au thé des Indes Orientales de quelque partie du monde qu’on puisse le transporter, de ne plus se servir des denrées des Isles Occidentales appartenant à l’Angleterre, de ne plus tirer de vin de Madeire, ni d’indigo de l’étranger” (Histoire, i, 98). The first Article of the Association of 1774 (see Vol. 1: 150) was in-adequately summarized by Soulés, but TJ may have decided that it was a point not worth comment.

8Histoire, i, 136. Soulés inserted the following passage in accordance with TJ’s comment: “Il est néanmoins reconnu depuis, de manière à n’en pouvoir plus douter, que ce furent les Anglais qui attaquèrent les Américains, et que le Major Pitcairn donna le signal en tirant le premier coup de pistolet.” Dft reads: “It ought to be said that the British fired first. See the journ. Congr. Pitcairn fired his pistol, and then followed a general discharge from his party.”

9Histoire, i, 140. The passage in question reads: “La vérité exige même que nous déclarions que les Anglais, dans le cours de ces querelles, furent coupables de bien des cruautés, et se départirent de cet esprit de tolérance et d’humanité, qui les avoit toujours distingués dans les guerres antérieures. Il ne faut cependant pas accuser la Nation entière de ces excès. Il y avoit en Angleterre une infinité de gens qui gémissoient des coups portés à leurs concitoyens de l’Amérique, et qui blâmoient ouvertement la conduite des partisans du Ministère.” Soulés, in a context which declared that each party accused the other of great cruelties and that civil wars were more characterized by inhumanity than others, evidently altered the passage in accordance with TJ’s suggestion, but not, perhaps, to his satisfaction. Dft reads: “l’humanité des Britons. Where are the proofs that this is their national character? Must not this history contradict it in a multitude of instances? History is no place for compliments.”

10Histoire, i, 141. Soulés adopted TJ’s figures: “Le corps de milice qui étoit devant cette ville [Boston], montoit, à ce que l’on dit, à vingt-deux mille hommes, sous le commandement des Colonels Ward, Pribble, Heath, Prescot et Thomas, qui agissoient alors comme Généraux.”

11Histoire, i, 147. Soulés adopted TJ’s suggestion: “Sur ces entrefaites quelques régimens du Connecticut arrivèrent dans le voisinage de la Capitale [New York], en apparence pour la protéger, et véritablement pour soutenir le parti du Congrès; car cette force n’étoit pas suffisante pour défendre la ville en cas qu’elle eût été attaquée par mer.”

12Histoire, i, 148. The pertinent passage reads: “Il fut même proposé de la réduire en cendres en cas que cela se trouvât nécessaire; mais heureusement pour New-York, les troupes que l’on y attendoit débarquèrent à Boston, où l’on en avoit alors plus de besoin.” In Dft TJ merely wrote “Qu?” after the corresponding phrase from Soulés.

13Histoire, i, 152. The passage, which may or may not have been altered, reads: “M. Franklin, connu sous le nom de Docteur Franklin.” Dft reads: “Dr. Franklin had that appellation many years before the war. I remember it since the year 1760. His title in France was not Ambassador but Minister Plenipotentiary.”

14Histoire, i, 155. Soulés evidently altered the passage in accordance with TJ’s suggestion and also on the basis of a comment supplied by someone else, perhaps Blackden: “le General Pigot … fit mettre le feu à la ville [Charlestown, Mass.], et elle fut réduite en cendres. Cet action, suivant le rapport que m’a fait un Officier qui s’y est trouvé, représentoit une des scènes des plus terribles de la guerre.” Dft reads: “The English set fire to Chas. T. unquestionably.”

15Dft reads: “169. 226 hommes de tués.” Soulés evidently changed the passage in accordance with TJ’s query; as printed it reads: “La perte de ces derniers [the Americans], suivant la relation qui fut ensuite publiée par le Congrès de la Province, étoit peu considérable, en comparaison de celle de leurs ennemis, ne montant qu’à quatre cens cinquante hommes, tant tués que blessés, et faits prisonniers. Leurs adversaires soutinrent que cette relation étoit fausse, et que, pour cacher le nombre de leurs morts, ils les enterroient durant l’action, chose qui paroît étrange, et qui n’est pas même probable” (Histoire, i, 158).

16According to Dft, Soulés had first written: “Gates vivoit dans la N. York.” This was altered in accordance with TJ’s correction to read: “Lee et Gates étoient Anglais‥‥ Le dernier étoit un vieillard vénérable qui avoit depuis long-tems renoncé à la vie militaire, et qui vivoit tranquillement sur ses terres dans la province de Virginie avec son épouse, qui étoit Américaine” (Histoire, i, 168).

17Dft reads: “Arnold planned the expedition up the Kennebec?” Soulés did not alter the passage, which reads: “M. Arnold avoit formé une entreprise, que sa nouveauté, le courage, et la constance avec laquelle elle fut conduite, rendront à jamais digne de mémoire” (Histoire, i, 179). In August 1775 when Washington first unfolded his plan to Schuyler, he wrote that the Kennebec route to Canada had engaged his “Thought for several days”; such a plan had been specifically suggested in the spring of 1775 by Col. Jonathan Brewer and others may have advanced the idea (Washington to Schuyler, 20 Aug. 1775; Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, Iii, 437; Freeman, Washington, iii, 532).

18Histoire, i, 196. The passage in question reads: “Les Virginiens … avoient été des premiers à envoyer des Députés au Congrès Général, et à approuver ses mesures. Néamoins la plus grande tranquillité régnoit dans la province; et, quoique leur Assemblée eût été cassée, et qu’il ne leur fût plus permis de lever la milice, chose qui les mettoit dans le plus grand danger, puisque le nombre d’esclaves est dans ce pays-là fort considérable, ils avoient toujours eu toutes sortes d’égards pour le Comte de Dunmore leur Gouverneur.” Soulés allowed this to stand, but he utilized TJ’s comment in a footnote in the following manner: “Il y avoit une ancienne loi qui permettoit à la Virginie de lever la milice en cas d’invasion et de soulèvement parmi les Nègres. Comme cette loi étoit sujette à beaucoup d’inconvéniens, on en avoit donné une autre, qui permettoit de lever la milice pendant un certain nombre d’années, à l’expiration desquelles on pouvoit la renouveller, si on jugeoit à propos. Ce tems étant alors expiré, et Mylord Dunmore ne voulant pas permettre qu’on la renouvellât, les Virginiens agirent suivant l’ancienne loi” (Histoire, i, 196–7, note). On this, see Vol. 1: 160–2.

19Histoire, i, 202–3. In this passage Soulés gave an account of Dunmore’s calling the Virginia General Assembly in order to lay before them Lord North’s conciliatory propositions (see Vol. 1: 170–4; 225–30). Soulés utilized TJ’s comment as follows: “L’Assemblée examina sur le champ le Bill du Ministère, et M. Jefferson, à présent Ministre Plénipotentiaire des Etats-Unis à la Cour de France, proposa la réponse qu’on devoit faire au Gouverneur. Il y eut de grands débats à ce sujet; mais il eut assez de crédit pour la faire approuver, malgré l’opposition de quelques Membres timides et chancelans, qui auroient souhaité qu’on tînt un langage différent.” Dft reads: “After ‘se plaignoient’ insert ’My lord D. hoped the rather to prevail on assembly &c inasmuch as leading men were absent.’”

20Dft reads: “quelques centaines de blancs. They were Scotch &c. and again 233. les Americains &c.” The passage in question (Histoire, i, 216–7) concerned Dunmore’s proclamation of martial law and promise of freedom to such slaves as should join him: “Cet édit, et la présence de Mylord Dunmore, produisirent leur effet dans la ville de Norfolk, et dans les pays d’alentour, où plusieurs des habitans étoient attachés au Gouvernement. Quelques centaines de blancs et de noirs joignirent le Gouverneur, et d’autres qui refusèrent de prendre les armes, abjurèrent publiquement le Congrès, et tous ses actes.”

21Histoire, i, 219. Soulés altered the phrase to read: “les gens du pays qui avoient joint Mylord Dunmore,” which scarcely covered the objection made by TJ.

22Histoire, i, 230–1. Soulés made use of TJ’s comment in the following manner: “Le Docteur proposa son plan au Congrès; mais il fut obligé d’agir avec beaucoup de circonspection, et de représenter cette mesure comme éloignée, quoiqu’il assurât qu’elle seroit absolument nécessaire si les Ministres de la Grande-Bretagne persistoient dans leur opiniâtreté à vouloir réduire les Colonies dans l’esclavage. Tous les Membres du Congrès n’étoient pas également clairvoyans. Il y en avoit beaucoup qui espéroient encore pouvoir se réconcilier avec Angleterre, et d’autres qui n’agissoient qu’avec timidité. On délibéra pour savoir si on recevroit le plan dans l’Assemblée, et il fut à la fin résolu qu’on le laisseroit sur la table pour l’examen de la Chambre, à condition cependant que cette résolution ne seroit point mise dans les Journaux.”

23Histoire, i, 277. The passage concerned the communication sent to Washington from the Selectmen of Boston, 8 Mch. 1776, informing him that Sir William Howe had given them assurance he had no intention of destroying Boston unless his troops were molested by Washington’s army upon their embarkation, but that if they were, the Bostonians could expect to be exposed to entire destruction (Freeman, Washington, iv, 42–3). Soulés altered the pertinent passage to read: “Il est à croire qu’il y avoit un accord secret entre les deux Généraux, et que M. Washington s’offrit de ne pas inquiéter les Anglais, à condition que ces derniers ne détruiroient point la ville.” Dft reads: “It is a fact well known that there was such a convention. No secret was made of it on our part. I do not recollect precisely its terms, but I believe they were just what are stated here.”

24Dft reads: “This was sent among them by the English general.” Soulés did not adopt TJ’s suggestion. The passage reads: “Dans cet état de découragement, la petite vérole, ce fléau du Nouveau-Monde, et qui fait tant de dégât parmi ses habitans, parut dans le camp. Cette maladie, que les Américains regardent comme la peste, produisit les plus mauvais effets, et il fut presqu’impossible de maintenir discipline” (Histoire, i, 284).

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