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kept it up. I think that Lord Dunmore did not quit the Metropolis till he knew that the answer framed by the house was a rejection of the proposition, though that answer was not yet communicated to him regularly.

Page 231. "Quelques certaines 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 Lord Dunmore, it would be an agreeable act of justice to the natives.

Page 283. "Les Americains qui avoit joint Milord Dunmore." The same observation applies to this.

Page 245. "Pendant l'eté, le congres general avoit eté occupé à 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 showed it to others. Some thought as I did; others were revolted at it. We found it could not be passed, and 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 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, Doctor Franklin informed Congress that he had sketched the outlines of an instrument which might become necessary at a future day, if the minority continued pertinacious, and would ask leave for it to lay on the table of Congress, that the members might in the meantime 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 Doctor Franklin.

Page 294. "Il est à croire qu'il y avoit quelque convention.” It is well known that there was such a convention. It was never made a secret of, on our part. I do not exactly recollect its terms, but I believe they were what M. Soulés states.

Page 301. "La 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 purpose effectually.


Observations on the letter of Monsieur de Calonnes, to Monsieur Jefferson, dated Fontainebleau, October 22d, 1786.

A committee was appointed, in the course of the last year, to take a view of the subjects of commerce which might be brought from the United States of America, in exchange for those of France, and to consider what advantages and facilities might be offered to encourage that commerce. The letter of Monsieur de Calonnes was founded on their report. It was conclusive as to the articles on which satisfactory information had been then obtained, and reserved for future consideration certain others needing further enquiry. It is proposed, now, to review those unfinished articles, that they also may be comprehended

in the Arrêt, and the regulations on this branch of commerce be rendered complete.

1st. The letter promises to diminish the Droits du roi et d'amirauté, payable by an American vessel entering into a port of France, and to reduce what should remain into a single duty, which shall be regulated by the draught of the vessel, or her number of masts. It is doubted whether it will be expedient to regulate the duty in either of these ways. If by the draught of water, it will fall unequally on us as a Nation; because we build our vessels sharp-bottomed, for swift sailing, so that they draw more water than those of other nations, of the same burthen; if by the number of masts, it will fall unequally on individuals, because we often see ships of one hundred and eighty tons, and brigs of three hundred and sixty. This, then, would produce an inequality among individuals of six to one. The present principle is the most just, to regulate by the burthen.

It is certainly desirable that these duties should be reduced to a single one. Their names and numbers perplex and harass the merchant more than their amount, subject him to imposition, and to the suspicion of it where there is none. An intention of general reformation in this article has been accordingly announced with augmentation as to foreigners. We are in hopes that this augmentation is not to respect us; because it is proposed as a measure of reciprocity; whereas, in some of our States no such duties exist, and in others they are extremely light; because we have been made to hope a diminution instead of augmentation; and because this distinction cannot draw on France any just claims from other nations, the Jura gentis amicissimæ conferred by her late treaties having reference expressly to the nations of Europe only; and those conferred by the more ancient ones not being susceptible of any other interpretation, nor admitting a pretension of reference to a nation which did not then exist, and which has come into existence under circumstances distinguishing its commerce from that of all other nations. Merchandise received from them take employment from the poor of France; ours give it; theirs is brought in the last * Memoires presentées à l'assemblée des Notables, page 53.

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stage of manufacture, ours in the first; we bring our tobaccoes to be manufactured into snuff, our flax and hemps into linen and cordage, our furs into hats, skins into saddlery, shoes, and clothing; we take nothing till it has received the last hand.

2d. Fish-oils. The Hanseatic treaty was the basis on which the diminution of duty on this article was asked and granted. It is expressly referred to as such in the letter of Monsieur de Calonnes. Instead, however, of the expression "huile et graisse de baleine and d'autres poissons" used in that treaty, the lette uses the terms "huiles de baleine, spermaceti, et tout ce qui est compris sous ces denominations." And the farmers have availed themselves of this variation to refuse the diminution of duty on the oils of the vache marine, chien de mer, esturgeon, and other fish. It is proposed, therefore, to re-establish in the Arrêt the expressions of the Hanseatic treaty, and to add from the same treaty the articles "baleine coupee et fanon de baleine."

The letter states these regulations as finally made by the King. The merchants on this supposition entered into speculations. But they found themselves called on for the old duties, not only on other fish oils, but on the whale oil. Monsieur de Calonnes always promised that the Arrêt should be retrospective to the date of the letter, so as to refund to them the duties they had thus been obliged to pay. To this attention is prayed in forming the Arrêt. His majesty having been pleased, as an encouragement to the importation of our fish oils, to abolish the Droits de fabrication, it is presumed that the purpose announced of continuing those dutieson foreign oils will not be extended to us.


3d. Rice. The duty on this is only seven and a half deniers the quintal, or about one-quarter per cent. on its first cost. While this serves to inform the government of the quantities imported, it cannot discourage that importation. Nothing further, therefore, is necessary on this article.

4th. Potash. This article is of principal utility to France in her bleacheries of linen, glass-works, and soap-works; and the potash of America, being made of green wood, is known to be

* Memoires presentées ex. page 51, 52.

the best in the world. All duty on it was therefore abolished by the King. But the city of Rouen levies on it a duty of twenty sols the quintal, which is very sensible in its price, brings it dearer to the bleacheries near Paris, to those of Beauvais, Laval Company, and to the glass-works, and encourages them to give a preference to the potash or soda of other nations. This is a counteraction of the views of the King expressed in the letter, which it is hoped will be prevented.

5th. Turpentine, tar, and pitch, were not decided on the former occasion. Turpentine (Terebenthine) pays ten sols the quintal, and ten sols the livre, making fifteen sols the quintal; which is ten per cent. on its prime cost. Tar, (goudron, braigras) pays eight livres the leth of twelve barrels, and ten sols the livre, amounting to twenty sols the barrel, which is twelve and a half per cent. on its prime cost. Pitch (brai sec) pays ten sols the quintal, and ten sols the livre, making fifteen sols the quintal, which is twenty per cent. on its prime cost. Duties of from ten to twenty per cent. on articles of heavy carriage, prevent their importation. They eat up all the profits of the merchant, and often subject him to loss. This has been much the case with respect to turpentine, tar, and pitch, which are a principal article of remittance for the State of North Carolina. It is hoped that it will coincide with the views of government in making the present regulations, to suppress the duties on these articles, which of all others can bear them least.


* Proposals for concerted operation among the powers at war with the piratical States of Barbary, November 1786.

1. It is proposed that the several powers at war with the piratical States of Barbary, (or any two or more of them who

[This plan was approved by Portugal, Naples, the two Sicilies, Venice, Denmark, and Sweden. France seemed favorably disposed. Spain alone, having just concluded a treaty with Algiers, was indisposed. In this state of things,

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