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TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE
No. 27 [EDMUND RANDOLPH]
. . . March $th. The province of Friesland is now represented in the States General regenerated. That Assembly have appointed two Ministers Plenipotentiary to the French Republic, one of them is the same person who some time since addressed the Convention as a Batavian Deputy. The object of their present commission is for mally to demand again an alliance between the two Republics as free and independent nations.
Three of the Professors at the University of Leyden have been dismissed. One of them, Mr. Pestel, has been distinguished by several works relating to the Constitution of this Republic. Even the temple of the Muses is no sanctuary now, and the Patriots upon this occasion imitate an example of similar exclusion heretofore given by their adversaries.
The States General have published an address to the troops proposing to them a new engagement. By way of attaching them to the new system they promise that in future the soldiers shall not be subject to the discipline of blows, that they shall be free to marry without being obliged to obtain the permission of their captain, and that promotion in future shall be conferred only upon merit or experience, and not by favor.
Some of the adherents to the former government to counteract the operation of these regulations say, that they are not sufficiently liberal and think that the choice of the officers should also be conferred upon the troops.
The prospect of a general pacification, which has appeared opening during the course of the winter, becomes daily more distant and obscure. At present a campaign no less violent and bloody than the last appears probable. The Emperor, assisted by a loan of money made in England, and another loan at Vienna, together with a free gift from the States of Hungary, seems determined upon a last and violent exertion to obtain honorable terms of peace from the French Republic. The King of Prussia negotiates for a general negotiation, and makes some scruple to sign a separate peace. He will perhaps continue the war through the ensuing season as he did through the last, and it is questionable whether the French will carry the war much further into his dominions.
One would not suppose that the present is a moment for indulging the ambition of conquest in this country. Yet from the vicinity of Westphalia and the Duchy of Olden burg the dominant party contains individuals who are of opinion, that the French Republicans will very soon under take and perform this conquest, and then annex these territories to the Batavian Republic. Some of them suppose that the expedition said to be directed against Hanover is really destined against East Friesland.
On the second of this month the States General took the resolution that the act of guaranty of the Stadtholdership passed in the year 1787 should be immediately burnt. They ordered their agent van Hees to commit the instrument to the flames in their presence. He preferred asking his dismission from the office he sustained, and his request was immediately granted. They appointed in his stead a person who had been dismissed from the same station in consequence of the Revolution in 1787. . . .
- John Quincy Adams