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My letter of August the 30th acknowledged the receipt of yours of July the 13th. Since that, I have received your letter of August the 13th, enclosing a correspondence between the Marquis De La Fayette and Monsieur de Calonne, and another of the same date, enclosing the papers in Fortin's case. I immediately wrote to M. Limozin, at Havre, desiring he would send me a state of the case, and inform me what were the difficulties which suspended its decision. He has promised me, by letter, to do this as soon as possible, and I shall not fail in attention to it.
The Emperor and Dutch have signed preliminaries, which are now made public. You will see them in the papers which accompany this. They still leave a good deal to discussion. However, it is probable they will end in peace. The party in Holland, possessed actually of the sovereignty, wish for peace, that they may push their designs on the Stadtholderate. This country wishes for peace, because her finances need arrangement. The Bavarian exchange has produced to public view that jealousy and. rancor between the courts of Vienna and Berlin, which existed before, though it was smothered. This will appear by the declarations of the two courts. The demarcation between the Emperor and Turk does not advance. Still, however, I suppose neither of those two germs of war likely to open soon. I consider the conduct of France as the best evidence of this. If she had apprehended a war from either of those quarters, she would not have been so anxious to leave the Emperor one enemy the less, by placing him at peace with the Dutch. While she is exerting all her powers to preserve peace by land, and making no preparation which indicates a fear of its being disturbed in that quarter, she is pushing her naval preparations, with a spirit unexampled in time of peace. By the opening of the next spring, she will have eighty ships, of seventy-four guns and upwards, ready for sea at a moment's warning; and the further constructions proposed, will probably, within two years, raise the number to an hundred. New regulations have been made, too, for perfecting the classification of her seamen; an institution, which, dividing all the seamen of the nation into classes, subjects them to tours of duty by rotation and enables government, at all times, to man their ships. Their works for rendering Cherbourg a harbor for their vessels of war, and Dunkirk, for frigates and privateers, leave now little doubt of success. It is impossible that these preparations can have in view any other nation than the English. Of course, they show a greater diffidence of their peace with them, than with any other power.
I mentioned to you, in my letter of August the 14th, that I had desired Captain John Paul Jones to inquire into the circumstances of Peyrouse's expedition. I have now the honor of enclosing you copies of my letter to him, and of his answer. He refuses to accept of any indemnification for his expenses, which is an additional proof of his disinterested spirit, and of his devotion to the service of America. The circumstances are obvious, which indicate an intention to settle factories, and not colonies, at least, for the present. However, nothing shows for what place they are destined. The conjectures are divided between New Holland, and the northwest coast of America.
According to what I mentioned in my letter of August the 30th, I have appointed Mr. Short my secretary here. I enclose to you copies of my letters to him and Mr. Grand, which will show to Congress that he stands altogether at their pleasure. I mention this circumstance, that if what I have done meets with their disapprobation, they may have the goodness to signify it immediately, as I should otherwise conclude that they do not disapprove it. I shall be ready to conform myself to what would be most agreeable to them.
This will be accompanied by the gazettes of France and Ley-den, to the present date.
I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the highest esteem and respect, Sir,
your most obedient
and most humble servant,
- The Project Gutenberg EBook of Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson, by Thomas Jefferson