« ZurückWeiter »
ARTICLE II. Considering that the payment of so large a capital at the one stipulated period, the 1st of January, 1788, may greatly injure the finances of the Congress of the United States, and it may perhaps be even impracticable on that footing, his majesty has been pleased for that reason to recede in that respect from the tenor of the receipts which the minister of Congress has given for the 18,000,000 livres tournois, mentioned in the foregoing article, and has consented that the payment of the capital in ready money, at the royal treasury, be in twelve equal payments of 1,500,000 livres each, and in twelve years only, to commence from the 3d year after a peace.
- ARTICLE II. Although the receipts of the minister of the Congress of the United States specify, that the 18,000,000 of livres above-mentioned, are to be paid at the royal treasury, with interest at five per cent. per annum, his majesty being willing to give the said United States a new proof of his affection and friendship, has been pleased to make a present of, and to forgive the whole arrears of interest to this day, and from thence to the day of the date of the treaty of peace; a favour which the minister of the Congress of the United States acknowledges to flow from the pure bounty of the king, and which he accepts in the name of the said United States with profound and lively acknowledgments. •
ARTICLE IV. The payment of the said 18,000,000 of livres tournois shall be in ready money at the royal treasury of his majesty at Paris, in twelve equal parts, and at the terms stipulated in the above 2d article. The interest of the said sum, at live per cent. per annum, shall commence with the date of the treaty of peace, and shall be paid at every period of the partial payments of the capital, and shall diminish in proportion with the payments. The Congress of the said United States being left however, at liberty to free thcmselves sooner from this obligation by anticipated payments, in case the state of their finances will admit.
ARTICLE V. Although the loan of 5,000,000 of florins of Holland, agreed to by the states general of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, on the terms of the obligation passed on the 5th of November, 1781, between his majesty and the said states general, has been made in his majesty's name, and guaranteed by him ; it is nevertheless acknowledged by these presents, that the
aid loan was made in reality on account and for the service of the United States of North-America, and that the capital, amounting at a moderate valuation, to the sum of 10,000,000 livres tournois, has been paid to the said United States, agreeably to a receipt for the payment of the said sum, given by the undersigned minister of Congress, the 7th day of June last.
ARTICLE VI. By the convention of the said 5th of November, 1781, the king has been pleased to promise and engage to furnish and pay at the general counter of the states general of the Netherlands the capital of the said loan, with the interest at four per cent. per annum, without any charge or deduction whatever to the lenders, so that the said capital shall be wholly re-paid after the space of five years, the payments to be made in ten equal periods, the first of which to commence the 6th year from the date of the loan, and afterwards from year to year to the final payment of the said sum; but it is in like manner acknowledged by this act, that this engagement was entered into by the king, at the request of the undersigned minister of the United States, and on the promise by him made in the name of Congress, and on behalf of the thirteen United States, to cause to be re-imbursed and paid at the royal treasury of his majesty at Paris, the capital, interest and cost of the said loan, according to the conditions and terms fixed by the said convention of the 5th of November, 1781.
ARTICLE VIT. It is accordingly agreed and settled, that the sum of 10,000,000 livres tournois, being by a moderate computation, the principal of the loan of 5,000,000 of Holland florins abovementioned, shall be reimbursed, and paid in ready money at the royal treasury of his majesty at Paris, with the interest at four per cent. per annum, in ten equal payments of 1,000,000 each, and in ten terms, the first of which shall be on the 5th of November, 1787 ; the second, the 5th of November, 1788, and so from year to year till the final payment of the said sum of 10,000,000, the interest lessening in proportion with the partial payments of the capital. But in consequence of the king's affcction for the United States, his majesty has been pleased to charge himself with the expense of commissions and bank for the said loan, of which expenses his majesty has made a present to the United States, and this their undersigned minister accepts with thanks in the name of Congress, as a new proof of his majesty's generosity and friendship for the said United States.
ARTICLE VIII. With regard to the interest of the said loan during the five years preceding the first term of payment of the capital, as the king has engaged to pay it at the general counter of the states general of the Netherlands, at the rate of four per cent. yearly, and every year, counting from the 5th of November, 1781, according to the convention of that day, the minister of Congress acknowledges that the re-payment of that is due to his majesty by the United States, and he engages in the name of the said United States, to cause payment thereof to be made, at the sume time and at the same rate at the royal treasury of his majesty ; the first year's interest to be paid the 5th of November next, and so yearly, during the five years preceding the first term for the payment of the capital, fixed as above on the 5th of November, 1787.
The high contracting parties reciprocally bind themselves to the faithful observance of this contract, the ratifications of which shall be exchanged in the space of nine months from this day, or sooner if possible.
In testimony whereof, we the said plenipotentiaries of his most Christian majesty, and of the thirteen United States of North-America, in virtue of our respective powers, have signed these presents, and thereunto fixed the seal of our arms. Dose at Versailles, the 16th day of July, 1782.
GRAVIER DE VERGENNES, (L. S.)
(L. S.) PAPER No. VI. The contract entered into by the hon, J. Adams, in behalf of the United States, with sundries, for a
loan of 5,000,000 of florins :
Translation from the Dutch. Munted on a seal of 48 stivers. (Signed)
VAN HOLE, Notary. On the lith day of June, in the year 1782, appeared before me, Pieter Galenus Van Hole, notary of Amsterdam, admitted by the hon. court of Holland.
The hon. John Adams, esq. minister plenipotentiary on the part of the United States of America by their high mightinesses the lords, states general of the United Netherlands, &c. &c. in quality, as especially qualified and authorized by the abovementioned states of America in Congress assembled, for and in behalf of the said states of America, to raise a loan with any person or persons, states or companies, with subjoined assurance in good faith to ratify and fulfil all that shall be done in this respect by him, honorable appearer, according to authentic copy and translation of the original commission or power exhibited to me, notary, and deposted in my custody, in behalf of the joint money lenders.
The bon appearer residing in the Hague, but being now in this city.
And the hon. appearer acknowledged himself, in his aforesaid quality, and thus in the name and in behalf of the above-mentioned states of America, to be duly and lawfully indebted to and in behalf of sundry persons or money lenders, in all a sum of 1,000,000 of guilders, Dutch CUTent money, arising from and on account of so much ready money received by him hon. appearer, in his aforesaid quality, to his perfect satisfaction, from the said money lenders, in consequence of the receipt hereafter mentioned, to be signed by the hon. appearer, under the authentic copies hereof, expressly and formally disavowing the excuse of untold monies.
And the bon appearer promised, in his aforesaid quality, to re-pay in this city the said sum of 1,000,000 of guilders, free from all costs, charges and damages, to the above-mentioned money leaders, or their assigns, at the expiration of 15 years after the 1st day of June, 1782; and that in the following manner, to wit:
That the above-mentioned capital shall remain fixed during the space of 10 years, and that with the 11th year, and thus on the 1st day of June, 1793, a fifth part, or 200,000 guilders of the said aapital of 1,000,000, shall be redeemed, and in the same manner from year to year until the 1st day of June, 1797, inclusive, so that the whole capital shall be redeemed and discharged within the above-mentioned space of 15 years.
And that for said capital, at first for the whole, and afterwards for the residue, at the expiraSon of every year, interest shall be paid at the rate of five per cent. in the year commencing the first day of June, 1782, and to continue until the final accomplishment, and that on coupons, to be signed by or for account of said hon, appearer in his aforesaid quality.
That the above-mentioned redeeming shall be performed by drawing in presence of a notry and witnesses in this city, after the expiration of the first mentioned 10 years, in such a mariner that the Nos. of the obligations drawn shall be by times made known in the public
That the payment of the interests, as also the redeeming of the respective periods, shall be made at the compting houses of the hereafter-mentioned gentlemen directors, or at such other places within this city, as shall likewise be advertised in the public papers.
That the directors of this negotiation shall be Messrs. Wilhelm et Jan Willink, Nicolaas et Jacob Van Staphorst and de la Lande et Fynje, merchants of this city, who are by these presents thereto named and appointed by the hon. appearer in his aforesaid quality.
The honorable appearer promising and engaging, in the names of his constituents, that the annoint of the interests and of the redeemings to be made, from time to time, of the said capital, shall be in due time remitted to the aforesaid gentlemen directors, their heirs or successors in good bilis of exchange, American products, or in ready money, without any abatement er deduction whatsoever.
That this obligation shall never be subject to any impost or taxes already laid or in time to come to be laid in the said United States of America, even in case (which God forbid) any war, hostilities or divisions should arise between the aforesaid United States or any of them, on the one side, and the states of these lands on the other, that the payment of the capital or interests of this obligation can in no wise nor under any pretext whatsoever be hindered or delayed.
The honorable appearer in his aforesaid quality, promising and engaging, moreover, for and in the names of the said United States, that there shall never be made by them or on their parts, or any of them in particular, any convention or treaty, public or private, at the making of peace or otherwise, by which the validity and accomplishment of these presents might be prejudiced, or whereby any thing contrary thereto might be stipulated, but that without any exception the contents hereof shall be maintained in full force."
The honorable appearer in his aforesaid quality likewise promises, engages and binds himself by these presents, that this engagement shall be ratified and approved as soon as possible by said United States in Congress assembled, and that authentic copy translation of said ratification, with the original, shall be deposited in custody of me, notary, to be there kept with said authentic copy translation of the commission or power of him honorable appearer, and the engrossed hereof, for the security of the money lenders, until the above-mentioned capital and interests as aforesaid shall be redeemed and paid off.
And there shall be made of this act (as the honorable appearer in his aforesaid quality consents) above and besides the above-mentioned engrossed, 1000 authentic copies which shall be of the same force and value and have the same effect as the engrossed one, under eyery one of which copies shall be placed a receipt of 1000 guilders Dutch current money, either on name or in blank, at the choice of the money lenders, to be signed by him honorable appearer, and which receipts shall be respectively numbered from No. 1 to 1000 inclusive, and countersigned by above-mentioned gentlemen directors, and duly attested by me, notary, as a testimony that no more than 1000 obligations are numbered in virtue of this act. All which authentic copies, with the receipts thereunder placed, shall at the redeeming of the capital, be restored by the bearers.
On failure of prompt payment, as well as of the capital, as of the interests at the appointed periods, the capital or residue thereof may be demanded by the gentlemen directors in bebalf of the money lenders, who shall be then interested therein, and the aforesaid principals and committents of him, honorable appearer, shall in that case be held and bound to redeem and discharge immediately in one sum the remaining capital with the interests and charges.
For the accomplishment and performance of all the above written, the honorable appearer binds in his aforesaid quality, and thus in the names and on the part of the above-mentioned United States of America, the said United States of America jointly and each of them in particular, together with all their lands, chattels, revenues and products, together with imposts and taxes already laid and raised in the same, or in time to come to be laid and raised, and thus of all the United States of America jointly and of each of the same in particular for the whole.
He the honorable appearer renouncing, in the names as above, for that purpose expressly beneficirer divisionis, as likewise de duobus vel pluribus reis debendi, signifying a retribution of debts, and that when two or more are indebted, each of them can satisfy with the payment of their portion; the hon. appearer promising in his aforesaid quality, never to have recourse to the said or to any other evasions whatsoever.
This being passed (after translation into English was made hereof, and which likewise is signed by the honorable appearer, and deposited in the custody of me the said notary) within Amsterdam aforesaid, in the presence of
GIDION VICTOR et
CORNELIS MARCHANT. Witnesses. (Signed)
P. G. VAN HOLE, Noary. Coll: Faithfully translated from the Dutch, Amsterdam, this 17th day of June, 1782.
JOANNES VERGEEL, L. Som. No. 1.
Sworn Translator. There are four others of the same tenor and date, numbered 2, 3, 4, 5, making in the whole 5,000,000 guilders; and each of the said contracts is ratified by Congress.
PAPER No. VII. To the United States in Congress assembled. The address and petition of the officers of the army of the United States, Humbly sheweth, that we, the officers of the army of the United States, in behalf of ourselves and our brethren the soldiers, beg leave, with all proper deference and respect, freely to state to Congress, the supreme power of the United States, the great distress under which we labor.
At this period of the war it is with peculiar pain we find ourselves constrained to address your august body, on matters of a pecuniary nature. We have struggled with our difficulties, year after year, under the hopes that each would be the last ; but we have been disappointed. We find our embarrassments thicken so fast, and have become so complex, that many of us are unable to go further. In this exigence we apply to Congress for relief as our head and sovereign.
To prove that our hardships are exceedingly disproportionate to those of any other citizens of America, let a recurrence be had to the pay-master's accounts, for four years past. If to this it should be objected, that the respective states have made settlements and given securities for the pay due, for part of that time, let the present value of those nominal obligations be ascertained by the monied men, and they will be found to be worth little indeed; and yet, trifling as they are, many have been under the sad necessity of parting with them, to prevent their families from actually starving.
We complain that shadows have been offered to us while the substance has been gleaned by others.
Our situation compels us to search for the cause of our extreme poverty. The citizens murmur at the greatness of their taxes, and are astonished that no part reaches the army. The numerous demands, which are between the first collectors and the soldiers, swallow up the whole.
Our distresses are now brought to a point. We have borne all that men can bear-our property is expended-our private resources are at an end, and our friends are wearied out and disgusted with our incessant applications. We, therefore, most seriously and earnestly beg, that a supply of money may be forwarded to the army ar soon as possible. The uneasiness of the soldiers, for want of pay, is great and dangerous; any further experiments on their patience may have fatal effects.
The promised subsistence or ration of provisions, consisted of certain articles specified in kind and quantity. This ration, without regard, that we can conceive, to the health of the troops, has been frequently altered, as necessity or conveniency suggested, generally losing by the change some part of its substance. On an average, not more than seven or 8-10 this have been issued; the retained parts were, for a short time, paid for; but the business becarne troublesome to those who were to execute it. For this, or some other reasons, all regard to the dues as they respected the soldiers, has been discontinued (now and then a trifling gratuity excepted.) As these dues respected the officers, they were compensated during one year and part of another, by an extra ration; as to the retained rations, the account for several years remains unsettled; there is a large balance due upon it, and a considerable sum for that of forage.
The clothing was another part of the soldiers hire. The arrearages on that score, for the year 1777, were paid off in continental money, when the dollar was worth about four-pence; the arrearages for the following years are unliquidated, and we apprehend scarcely thought of but by the army. Whenever there has been a real want of means, any defect in system, or neglect in execution, in the departments of the army, we have invariably been the sufferers, by hunger and nakedness, and by languishing in an hospital.
We beg leave to urge an immediate adjustment of all dues; that as great a part as possible be paid, and the remainder put on such a footing as will restore cheerfulness to the army, revive confidence in the justice and generosity of its constituents, and contribute to the very desirable effect of re-establishing public credit.
We are grieved to find that our brethren, who retired from service on half-pay, under the resolution of Congress in 1780, are not only destitute of any effectual provision, but are become the objects of obloquy. Their condition has a very discouraging aspect on us who must sooner or later retire, and from every consideration of justice, gratitude and policy, demands attention and redress.
We regard the act of Congress respecting half-pay, as an honorable and just recompense for several years hard service, in which the health and fortunes of the officers have been worn down and exhausted. We see with chagrin the odious point of view in which the citizens of too many of the states endeavor to place the men entitled to it. We hope, for the honor of buman nature, that there are none so hardened in the sin of ingratitude, as to deny the justice of the reward. We have reason to believe that the objection generally is against the mode only. To prevent therefore, any altercations and distinctions which may tend to injure that harmony which we ardently desire may reign throughout the community, we are willing to commute the half-pay pledged, for full pay for a certain number of years, or for a sum in gross, as shall be agreed to by the committee sent with this address. And in this we pray, that the disabled officers and soldiers, with the widows and orphans of those who have expended or may expend their lives in the service of their country, may be fully comprehended. We also beg, that some mode may be pointed out for the eventual payment of those soldiers who are the subjects of the resolution of Congress of the 15th of May, 1778.
To the representation now made, the army have not a doubt that Congress will pay all that attention which the serious nature of it requires. It would be criminal in the officers to conceal the general dissatisfaction which prevails, and is gaining ground in the army, from the pressure of evils and injuries, which, in the course of seven long years, have made their condition in many instances wretched. They therefore entreat, that Congress, to convince the artny and the world that the independence of America shall not be placed on the ruin of any particular class of her citizens, will point out a mods for immediate redress.
H. Knox, major-general,
on part of the Massachusetts line.
on part of the Connecticut line.
on part of the New-York line. John N. Cummings, lieutenant-colonel, on part of the New Jersey line. William Scott, major,
on part of the New Hampshire line. W. Eustis, hospital-surgeon, .
on part of the general hospital. Moses Hazen, brigadier-general. Cantonments, Hudson's River, December, 1782.
PAPER No. VIN. A letter, of the 12th, and one of the 18th March last, from the commander in chief, with the papers accompanying them, relative to the proceedings of the army in consequence of certain anonymous papers.
“$18,-It is with inexpressible concern I make the following report to your excellency: Two days ago anonymous papers were circulated in the army, requesting a general meeting of the officers on the next day. A copy of one of these papers is enclosed, No. 1.
“ About the same time another anonymous paper, purporting to be an address to the officers of the army, was handed about in a clandestine manner- A copy of this is marked No. 2.
“To prevent any precipitate and dangerous resolutions from being taken at this perilous moment, while the passions were all inflamed; as soon as these things came to my knowledge, the next morning, I issued the enclosed order, No. 3. And in this situation the matter now rests.
“Since writing the foregoing, another anonymous paper has been put in circulation, a copy of which is enclosed, No. 4.
(No. 1.) A meeting of the general and field officers is requested at the public building, on Tuesday next, at 11 o'clock. A commissioned officer from each company is expected, and a delegate from the medical staff. The object of this convention, is to consider the late letter from our representatives in Philadelphia, and what measures (if any) should be adopted, to obtain that redress of grievances which they seem to have solicited in vain.
To the Officers of the Army: GENTLEMEN,- A fellow soldier, whose interest and affections bind him strongly to you, whose past sufferings have been as great, and whose future fortune may be as desperate as yours--would beg leave to address you.
Age has its claims, and rank is not without its pretensions to advise : but, though unsupported by both, he flatters himself, that the plain language of sincerity and experience will neither be wheard nor unregarded.
Like many of you, he loved private life, and left it with regret. He left it, determined to retire from the field, with the necessity that called him to it, and not till then-Not till the enemies of his country, the slaves of power, and the hirelings of injustice, were compelled to abandon their schemes, and acknowledge America as terrible in arms as she had been humble in remonstrance. With this object in view, he has longed shared in your toils and mingled in your dangers. He has felt the cold hand of poverty without a murmur, and has seen the insolence of wealth without a sigh. But, too much under the direction of his wishes, and sometimes weak enough to mistake desire for opinion, he has till lately-very lately believed in the justice of his country. He hoped, that as the clouds of adversity scattered, and as the sunshine of peace and better fortune broke in upon us, the coldness and severity of government would relax, and that, more than justice, that gratitude would blaze forth upon those hands. which had upheld her, in the darkest stages of her passage, from impending servitude to ac knowledged independence. But faith has its limits as well as temper, and there are points be. yond which, neither can be stretched, without sinking into cowardice or plunging into credulity. This, my friends, I conceive to be your situation.--Hurried to the very verge of both. another step would ruin you forever. To be tame and unprovoked when injuries press bard upon you, is more than weakness; but to look up for kinder usage, without one manly effort of your own, would fix your character, and shew the world how richly you deserve those chains you broke. To guard against this evil, let us take a review of the ground upon which we now stand, and'from thence carry our thoughts forward for a moment, into the unexplored field of expedient.