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Richard Hare, made Lord Ennismore, with patronage. "I have adopted all such precautions as it was in my power to adopt for the purpose of alleviating the sufferings which may be caused by this calamity; and I shall confidently rely on your co-operation in devising such other means for effecting the same benevolent purpose as may require the sanction of the Legislature."

Upon the formation of the Shelburne Cabinet, and the news of Rodney's victory over De Grasse, the negotiations were still continued, Mr. Grenville only being recalled, and Mr. Alleyne Fitzherbert, afterwards Lord St. Helens, being put in his place. France, Spain, Holland, were all groaning under the cost and disasters of the war, yet keeping up an air of indifference, in order to enhance their demands. The Americans were more decided, for they were stimulated by the accounts of the wretched condition of affairs at home. It was represented to Franklin by Congress, that, however France or Spain might delay proposals for peace, it was necessary for the United States. The position of Franklin, nevertheless, was extremely difficult. There was the treaty of alliance between France and the States of 1778, strictly stipulating that neither party should conclude either peace or truce without the other. What added to the difficulty was, that France had, within the last two years, shown an unusual interest and activity of assistance. Franklin, in order to strengthen his hands for the important crisis, requested that other commissioners might be sent to Paris; and John Jay quickly arrived from Spain, John Adams from Holland, and Henry Laurens from London. The American Commissioners soon became strongly impressed with the sentiment that France and Spain were keeping back a peace solely for their own objects; and this was confirmed by a letter of M. de Marbois, the secretary of the French legation at Philadelphia, which had been seized by an English cruiser, and had been laid by Mr. Fitzherbert before them. This letter appeared to be part of a diplomatic correspondence between the French Minister, Vergennes, and the French Minister in America, which threw contempt on the claim which America set up to a share of the Newfoundland fisheries. It created a strong belief that France was endeavouring to keep America in some degree dependent on her; and Jay and Adams were extremely incensed at Vergennes, and not only accused Franklin of being blindly subservient to the French Court, but it made them resolve that no time should be lost in effecting a separate treaty. Vergennes contended for the rights of the Indian nations between the Alleghanies and the Mississippi, and of Spain on the lower Mississippi, and this the American Commissioners perceived to be an attempt to divide[297] and weaken their territory. A private and earnest negotiation for peace with England was therefore entered upon as soon as a severe illness of Franklin permitted.

"The Earl of Chatham, with his sword drawn,

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