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pending in Parliament, for enabling the King to conclude a peace with the American colonies, had passed, Oswald eventually received, under Lord Shelburne's Administration, a formal commission to negotiate with the American commissioners. * Mr. Fitzherbert (afterwards Lord St. Helen's) was appointed to succeed Mr. Grenville, with full powers to treat with France, Spain, and Holland. It appears from the correspondence in the State Paper Office that Oswald corresponded with Mr. Townshend, the Home Secretary, and Mr. Fitzherbert with Lord Grantham, the Foreign Secretary: so that the division of the negotiation between the two secretaries and their envoys continued to the signature of the preliminaries, and, so far as we know, did not produce the inconvenient results which Mr. Grenville anticipated, and about which he so much alarmed Mr. Fox. It may be added that M. de Rayneval, a confidential subordinate of M. de Vergennes, and also M. de Heredia, a person connected with the Spanish embassy, came over to London, and negotiated with Lord Shelburne ; and that Mr. Strachey, the Under Secretary in the Home Department, was sent to Paris to assist Mr. Oswald ; so that even other negotiators were added before the preliminaries of the treaty could be settled. † When the change
daughter of his mistress, Madame de Platen. Lord Carteret accordingly instructed Sir Luke Schaub, the English ambassador at Paris, to make interest for this purpose. “This affair (says Lord Mahon)
belonged to Carteret, as secretary for the Southern department, in ' which France was comprised, and the other secretary had no claim 'to interlope in his province. Nevertheless, Lord Townshend, unwilling to see an affair of so much interest in the hand of a rival, determined, if possible, to draw it from his management. With this 'view, and at the instigation of Walpole, he despatched his brother
Horace to Paris, under the pretence of settling the accession of Por“tugal to the Quadruple Alliance, but in reality to watch the move'ments and counteract the influence of Schaub. (Vol. ii. p. 57.) This intrigue led to an open breach between the two secretaries, and to the dismissal of Lord Carteret.
* The intention to appoint Oswald as commissioner to negotiate with the Americans, had, however, been communicated to him by Lord Shelburne, in a letter dated June 30., the very day before Lord Rockingham's death. In this letter he states, that as soon as the Act had passed he lost no time in taking the King's commands for directing a commission to be made out conformable to the powers given to his Majesty. (MS. State Paper Office. A portion of the letter is printed in Franklin's Works, ib. p. 345.) He does not, however, say that he took the King's pleasure upon the appointment of Oswald.
† Concerning M. de Rayneval's secret mission, see Flassan, ib. p. 344. ; Franklin, ib. p. 420. He is mentioned in the Mem. of Fox, vol. ii. p. 9., under the name of M. de Rennervalle.' A correspondof Government took place, the Duke of Manchester was sent by Mr. Fox in the place of Mr. Fitzherbert, and Mr. David Hartley in the place of Oswald; and their names appear respectively at the foot of the definitive treaties with France, Spain, and the United States, signed in September 1783. Both, however, as appears from the letters in the State Paper Office, corresponded with Mr. Fox. Lord North seems to have waived his right of instructing Mr. Hartley. No result, however, was obtained by Mr. Hartley's negotiation. The definitive treaty with the United States was identical with the preliminaries : so that Mr. Fox ended by adopting the precise results of Oswald's negotiation.
There was undoubtedly a great want of cordiality between Lord Shelburne and Fox, amounting to distrust and dislike; and a mutual jealousy of power, very undesirable in two Secretaries of State. Lord Shelburne may have acted, in his instructions to Oswald, without sufficient reference to the Foreign Secretary; but there is no evidence of any intrigue on Lord Shelburne's part, or of any attempt to negotiate through Oswald upon terms more acceptable to the King, or less favourable to America, than those prescribed by Fox to Mr. Grenville.* The King, as we have seen, only a month or two before, had been meditating a retirement to Hanover rather than consent to the independence of America. Yet this prin
ence between M. de Rayneval and Lord Shelburne is preserved among Lord Shelburne's papers. M. de Rayneval first came to England in September 1782, under the assumed name of Castel ; he returned shortly afterwards, and made a second visit in December. A short notice of him will be found in the ‘Biogr. Universelle, Art. Gérard de Rayneval. Mr. Strachey was sent over by Mr. Townshend to assist Oswald, on Oct. 23. 1782. (Letter in State Paper Office ; Franklin, ib. p. 422.)
* • There was (says Lord Holland) great mistrust and jealousy on • both sides, much mystery and concealment on that of Lord Shelburne, 'which Mr. Fox and Mr. Grenville attributed, perhaps too hastily, to ' a secret understanding with the King. It is possible, and not im
probable, that Grenville suspected more concealment, intrigue, and 'counteraction than really subsisted.' (Ibid. vol. i. p. 475. 477.) Franklin makes the following remarks in his journal : Lord Shel
burne seems to wish to have the management of the treaty ; Mr. • Fox seems to think it in his department. I hear that the under
standing between these Ministers is not quite perfect. . . . . I imagine we might go on very well with either of them, though I should rather prefer Oswald ; but I apprehend difficulties if they are
both employed, especially if there is any misunderstanding between 'their principals.' (Works, ib. p. 336.)
ciple was conceded from the moment of Mr. Grenville's mission ; and Franklin was so well-pleased with Oswald, and so satisfied of his desire to settle the peace on terms favourable to America, that he expressed a strong wish that Oswald should be appointed to negotiate with him. Franklin's anxiety to secure Oswald's appointment is a decisive proof that “Shelburne's man’ was not desirous of promoting the views which the King had so fondly cherished; but, on the contrary, that he was desirous of promoting the views which the King had quite recently held in the utmost abhorrence. * So far was Lord Shelburne from yielding, like Lord North, to the King's prejudices on this subject, that his friends took credit to him for having persuaded the King to acquiesce in American independence.†
That Lord Shelburne did not use Oswald as the instrument of any royal intrigue, or for the purpose of inculcating any peculiar views of his own, is evident from Franklin's complaints of the scantiness of Oswald's communications. In writing to Mr. Laurens, on the 20th of April 1782, he says that Oswald had brought him a letter from Lord Shelburne assuring him that Oswald - was fully apprised of his (Lord Shelburne's) mind.' • Mr. Oswald, however (adds Franklin), could give me no other
particulars of his Lordship's mind, but that he was sincerely • disposed to peace.'t On his second visit to Paris Franklin says: “On the whole, I was able to draw so little from Mr.
Oswald of the sentiments of Lord Shelburne, who had men'tioned him as entrusted with the communication of them, that
I could not but wonder at his being sent again to me, espe*cially as Mr. Grenville was so soon to follow.'s In writing to Mr. Adams, on the 8th of May, Franklin says that Lord Shelburne informs him that Mr. Oswald is instructed to communicate to him his Lordship's thoughts. He is, however (Franklin
adds), very sparing of such communication.' || On the tenth of May, Franklin .found him in the same friendly dispositions, and very desirous of good, and seeing an end put to this ruinous
* A portrait of himself, which Franklin presented to Oswald, when the treaty was concluded, was given by his nephew, the late member for Glasgow, to Mr. Joseph Parkes, in whose possession it now remains in London.
+ Gen. Conway made this statement in the House of Commons, in the ministerial explanations after Lord Rockingham's death, July 9. 1782. See also the expressions in Vaughan's letter, above. Works, ib. p. 254.
§ Ib. p. 269. | Ib. p. 270. VOL. XCIX. NO. CCI.
• war. But (he says) I got no further sight as to the sentiments of Lord Shelburne respecting the terms.'*
Mr. Grenville is reported by Franklin to have expressed at Paris the opinion that Mr. Fox's resignation would be fatal to • the negotiation.' Lord Shelburne, however, instructed him • to repeat every assurance of the King's desire of peace, and not to leave any impression on the minds of those with whom he is in treaty of the least relaxation from the intention and spirit of the negotiation as hitherto carried on.'t Mr. Oswald seems to have lost no time in treating with Franklin ; on the 10th of July he reports the first distinct proposal of terms made on the part of America; and the negotiation proceeded in an uninterrupted manner. It may be added, that the negotiation with America, and that with France and Spain, seem to have proceeded independently of each other, and the preliminaries were signed with America without the knowledge of the French Government.
With regard to the Canadian paper, the other point brought forward by Mr. Grenville, we confess that we cannot regard it otherwise than as a very trilling affair; and we are unable to understand how Lord Holland and Mr. Allen could have viewed it in so serious a light. When Oswald received the paper from Franklin, he was not invested with the formal character of a negotiator. He had no commission from the King; and Franklin gave it to him, not as a proposition during a negotiation, but as a suggestion, or matter for consideration. The paper was treated as confidential; and Franklin evidently did not intend that it should go further than Lord Shelburne himself. It required no answer, nor was any answer sent to it by Lord Shelburne; but the original paper was returned. There was, in our judgment, nothing, either in the contents of the paper or in the manner in which it came into his hands, which rendered it incumbent on Lord Shelburne to communicate it to his colleagues. It may be observed, too, that Oswald did communicate its purport to Mr. Grenville, with whom the conduct of the main negotiation rested; so that no possible inconvenience could have arisen from Lord Shelburne's silence on the subject.
Lord Holland speaks of Franklin having been encouraged by the prospect of some new concessions, and especially of • Canada, to hold aloof from the overtures made to him through • Mr. Grenville ;'I and Mr. Allen says that it is impossible
Swer sehelbumy dica pape
* Works, p. 276. Oswald disclaimed to Franklin all personal views, and all wish to remain at Paris. Ib. p. 316.
† Franklin, ib. pp. 366, 367.
to justify Lord Shelburne for his favourable reception of so • important a paper as the one he had received from Franklin • about Canada.'* There is nothing in Franklin's account to justify the inference that Lord Shelburne had expressed any opinion upon the paper brought by Oswald; he certainly sent no message to Franklin respecting it. We are, however, able, by the favour of the Marquis of Lansdowne, to lay before the reader a documentary proof that the favourable reception of the paper in question must have proceeded from Oswald's imagination. In a volume of miscellaneous papers relating to the peace of 1783, collected by Lord Shelburne — now in Lord Lansdowne's possession—is a set of notes by Lord Shelburne for a conversation with Oswald, dated the 28th of April, 1782, and therefore written shortly before Oswald's second visit to Paris. Among these notes are some remarks on the Canada paper with reference to the passage in which Franklin says, 'I do not know that the Americans will insist on reparation; perhaps they may.'t We annex a copy of the notes in question, premising only that the Cabinet minute, mentioned at the beginning, appears from Franklin's Journal to have been communicated to him by Oswald, but without any copy being given. “He showed me (says Franklin) the Minutes of Council, . but did not leave the paper with me.'t As to the remark on the West Indies, it should be observed that Rodney's action took place on the 12th of April ; so that it had already occurred when this memorandum was written, though the news had not reached England.
it s paper with moin) the Miniany cop
MEMORANDUMS TO MR. OSWALD IN CONVERSATION, 28TH APRIL 1782.
Memorandums of General Instruction. * A copy of the Cabinet Minutes to be shown to Doctor Franklin, but he must have no copy of it.
"A fleet of upwards of forty ships in the West Indies-highly probable we shall intercept the reinforcement of the three ships for De Grasse.
· The French islands in great distress.
Insist, in the strongest manner, that if America is independent she must be so of the whole world. No secret, tacit, or ostensible connection with France.
"If the negotiation breaks off, all our rights in America to stand as before.