Imágenes de páginas

shall be willing,) shall enter into a convention to carry on their operations against those States in concert, beginning with the Algerines.

2. This convention shall remain open to any other power who shall, at any future time, wish to accede to it: the parties reserving a right to prescribe the conditions of such accession according to the circumstances existing at the time it shall be proposed.

3. The object of the convention shall be to compel the piratical States to perpetual peace, without price, and to guarantee that peace to each other.

4. The operations for obtaining that peace shall be constant cruises on their coast, with a naval force to be agreed on. It is not proposed that this force shall be so considerable as to be inconvenient to any party. It is believed that half a dozen frigates, with as many tenders, or xebecks, one half of which shall be on cruise while the other half is at rest, will suffice.

5. The force agreed to be necessary, shall be furnished by the parties in certain quotas now to be fixed: it being expected that each will be willing to contribute in such proportion as circumstances may render reasonable.

6. As miscarriages often proceed from the want of harmony among officers of different nations, the parties shall now consider and decide, whether it shall not be better to contribute their quotas in money, to be employed in fitting out and keeping on duty, a single fleet of the force agreed on.

7. The difficulties and delays too, which will attend the management of these operations, if conducted by the parties themselves separately, distant as their courts may be from one another, and incapable of meeting in consultation, suggest a question whether it will not be better for them to give full powers for that purpose to their ambassador or other minister resident at some one court of Europe, who shall form a committee or coun

the plan was communicated to Congress, together with information that we would be expected to maintain a frigate towards its execution. Unfortunately, the supplies of the Treasury were so uncertain, that Congress were not willing to enter into an engagement which they might not be able to fulfil, and thus the plan failed.-ED.]

cil for carrying this convention into effect; wherein the vote of each member shall be computed in proportion to the quota of his sovereign, and the majority, so computed, shall prevail in all questions within the view of this convention. The court of Versailles is proposed, on account of its neighborhood to the Mediterranean, and because all those powers are represented there who are likely to become parties to this convention.

8. To save to that council the embarrassment of personal solicitations for office, and to assure the parties that their contributions will be applied solely to the object for which they are destined, there shall be no establishment of officers for the said council, such as Commissaries, Secretaries, or of any other kind, with either salaries or perquisites, nor any other lucrative appointments, but such as whose functions are to be exercised on board of the said vessels.

9. Should war arise between any two of the parties to this convention, it shall not extend to this enterprise, nor interrupt it; but as to this they shall be reputed at peace.

10. When Algiers shall be reduced to peace, the other piratical States, if they refuse to discontinue their piracies, shall become the objects of this convention either successively or together, as shall seem best.

11. Where this convention would interfere with treaties actually existing between any of the parties and of the said States of Barbary, the treaty shall prevail, and such party shall be allowed to withdraw from the operations against that State.


To the Editor of the Journal de Paris.

PARIS, August 29, 1787.

SIR-I am a citizen of the United States of America, and have passed in those States almost the whole of my life. When young, I was passionately fond of reading books of history and


Since the commencement of the late revolution which

separated us from Great Britain, our country too, has been thought worthy to employ the pens of historians and travellers. I cannot paint to you, Sir, the agonies which these have cost me, in obliging me to renounce these favorite branches of reading, and in discovering to me at length, that my whole life has been employed in nourishing my mind with fables and falsehoods. For thus I reason. If the histories of d' Auberteuil and of Longchamps, and the travels of the Abbé Robin can be published in the face of the world, and can be read and believed by those who are cotemporary with the events they pretend to relate, how may we expect that future ages shall be better informed? Will those rise from their graves to bear witness to the truth, who would not, while living, lift their voices against falsehood? If cotemporary histories are thus false, what will future compilations be? And what are all those of preceding times? In your journal of this day, you announce and criticise a book under the title of "les ligues Acheenne, Suisse, & Hollandoise, et revolution des etats unis d'e l'Amerique par M. de Mayer." I was no part of the Achaean, Swiss or Dutch confederacies, and have therefore nothing to say against the facts related of them. And you cite only one fact from his account of the American revolution. It is in these words: "Monsieur Mayer assure qu'une seule voix, un seul homme, prononça l'independance des Etats unis. "Ce fut, dit il, John Dickinson, un des Deputés de la Pensilvanie au Congrés. la veille, il avoit vôté pour la soumission. l'egalité des suffrages avoit suspendu la resolution; s'il eut persisté, le Congrés ne deliberoit point, il fut foible: il ceda aux instances de ceux qui avoient plus d'energie, plus d' eloquence, et plus de lumieres; il donna sa voix : l'Amerique lui doit une reconnaissance eternelle; c'est Dickinson qui l'a affranchie." The modesty and candor of Mr. Dickinson himself, Sir, would disavow every word of this paragraph, except these—“ il avoit voté pour la soumission." These are true, every other tittle false. I was on the spot, and can relate to you this transaction with precision. On the 7th of June, 1776, the delegates from Virginia moved, in obedience to instructions from their constituents, that Congress should declare the thirteen united colonies to be inde

pendent of Great Britain, that a confederation should be formed. to bind them together, and measures be taken for procuring the assistance of foreign powers. The House ordered a punctual attendance of all their members the next day at ten o'clock, and then resolved themselves into a committee of the whole and entered on the discussion. It appeared in the course of the debates that seven States: viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia, were decided for a separation; but that six others still hesitated, to wit: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and South Carolina. Congress, desirous of unanimity, and seeing that the public mind was advancing rapidly to it, referred the further discussion to the first of July, appointing, in the mean time, a committee to prepare a declaration of independence, a second to form articles for the confederation of the States, and a third to propose measures for obtaining foreign aid. On the 28th of June, the Declaration of Independence was reported to the House, and was laid on the table for the consideration of the members. On the first day of July, they resolved themselves into a committee of the whole, and resumed the consideration of the motion of June 7th. It was debated through the day, and at length was decided in the affirmative by the vote of nine States: viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia. Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted against it. Delaware, having but two members present, was divided. The delegates from New York declared they were for it, and their constituents also; but that the instructions against it which had been given them a twelvemonth before, were still unrepealed; that their convention was to meet in a few days, and they asked leave to suspend their vote till they could obtain a repeal of their instructions. Observe that all this was in a committee of the whole Congress, and that according to the mode of their proceedings, the resolution of that committee to declare themselves independent, was to be put to the same persons re-assuming their form as a Congress. It was now evening, the members exhausted by a debate of nine hours, during which all the powers of the

soul had been distended with the magnitude of the object-without refreshment, without a pause-and the delegates of South Carolina desired that the final decision might be put off to the next morning, that they might still weigh in their own minds their ultimate vote. It was put off, and in the morning of the second of July they joined the other nine States in voting for it. The members of the Pennsylvania delegation too, who had been absent the day before, came in and turned the vote of their State in favor of independence; and a third member of the State of Delaware, who, hearing of the division in the sentiments of his two colleagues, had travelled post to arrive in time, now came in and decided the vote of that State also for the resolution. Thus twelve States voted for it at the time of its passage, and the delegates of New York, the thirteenth State, received instructions within a few days to add theirs to the general vote: so that, instead of the "egalité des suffrages" spoken of by M. Mayer, there was not a dissenting voice. Congress proceeded immediately to consider the Declaration of Independence which had been reported by their committee on the 28th of June. The several paragraphs of that were debated for three days: viz., the second, third, and fourth of July. In the evening of the fourth they were finally closed, and the instrument approved by an unanimous vote and signed by every member, except Mr. Dickinson. Look into the Journal of Congress of that day, Sir, and you will see the instrument and the names of the signers, and that Mr. Dickinson's name is not among them. Then read again those words of your paper: "il (M. Mayer) assure qu'une seule voix, un seul homme, prononça l'independance des etats unis, ce fut John Dickinson.-l'Amerique lui doit une reconnoissance eternel; c'est Dickinson qui l'a affranchie." With my regrets, and my adieus to history, to travels, to Mayer, and to you, Sir, permit me to mingle assurances of the great respect with which I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant.

« AnteriorContinuar »