Imatges de pÓgina

of the States, and probably will soon value those parts of our dominions, be confirmed by the rest. Upon the to encourage conciliatory and amicable whole, it appears that this plan is as correspondence between them and their prudently conceived and as judiciously neighbors. arranged, as to the end proposed, as “ I have thus, my Lord, endeavored to any experienced cabinet of European comply with your Lordship’s commands ministers could have devised or planned to the best of my power, in stating such any similar project. The second point information to his Majesty's governwhich appears to me to be deserving ment as I have been enabled to collect of attention, respecting the immense of such nature as may tend to the cession of territory to the United States mutual and reciprocal interest of Great at the late peace, is a point which will Britain and the United States of Amerperhaps in a few years become an un- ica. I do not recollect at present anyparalleled phenomenon in the political thing further to trouble your Lordship world. As soon as the national debt with. If any of the foregoing points of the United States shall be discharged should require any further elucidation, by the sale of one portion of those I shall always be ready to obey your lands, we shall then see the Confed- Lordship’s summons, or to give in any erate Republic in a new character, as other way the best explanations in my a proprietor of lands, either for sale power.” or to let upon rents, while other nations may be struggling under debts too

COUNT D'ARANDA. — 1783. enormous to be discharged either by economy or taxation, and while they

The Count d'Aranda was one of the may be laboring to raise ordinary and

first of Spanish statesmen and diplonecessary supplies by burdensome im

matists, and one of the richest subpositions upon their own persons and properties. Here will be a nation pos, gossa, 1718, and died 1799. He, too,

jects of Spain in his day ; born at Sarasessed of a new and unheard of financial is one of our prophets. Originally a organ of stupendous magnitude, and in

soldier, he became ambassador, goverprocess of time of unmeasured value,

nor of a province, and prime minister. thrown into their lap as a fortuitous

In the latter post he displayed characsuperfluily, and almost without being

ter as well as ability, and was the bensought for.

efactor of his country. He drove the “When such an organ of revenue

Jesuits from Spain and dared to opbegins to arise into produce and ex.ertion, what public uses it may be ap, fosopher, and, like Pope Benedict XIV.,

pose the Inquisition. He was a phiplicable to, or to what abuses and perversions it might be rendered sub- liberal spirit was out of place in Spain.

corresponded with Voltaire. Such a servient, is far beyond the reach of

Compelled to resign in 1773, he found probable discussion now. Such discussions would only be visionary specu

a retreat at Paris as ambassador, where

he came into communication with lations. However, thus far it is obvious

Franklin, Adams, and Jay, and finally and highly deserving of our attention, that it cannot fail becoming to the

signed the Treaty of Paris, by which American States a most important in

Spain acknowledged our independence. strument of national power, the pro

Shortly afterwards he returned to Spain

and took the place of Florida Blanca as gress and operation of which must

prime minister. hereafter be a most interesting object

Franklin, on meeting him, records, of attention to the British American

in his letter to the secret committee of dominions which are in close vicinity

Congress, that he seemed "well disto the territories of the United States,

posed to us."* Shortly afterwards he and I should hope that these considerations would lead us, inasmuch as we • Franklin, Works, Vol. VIII. p. 194.

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had another interview with him, which Roi d'Espagne, ou Instruction réservée he thus chronicles in his journal: - à la Junte d'État par ce Monarque. Pub

Saturday, June 29th (1782). — We liée par D. André Muriel. The editor went together to the Spanish Ambassa- had already translated into French the dor's, who received us with great civili- Memoirs of Coxe, and was probably ty and politeness. He spoke with Mr. led by this labor to make the suppleJay on the subject of the treaty they mentary collection. An abstract of the were to make together. .... On our memoir of D'Aranda appears in one of going out, he took pains himself to the historical dissertations of the Mexopen the folding-doors for us, which is ican authority, Alaman, who said of it a high compliment here, and told us he that it has a just celebrity, because would return our visit (rendre son de results have made it pass for a prophvoir), and then fix a day with us for ecy."* I translate it now from the dining with him.” *

French of Muriel. Adams, in his journal, describes a Sunday dinner at his house, then a "Memoir communicated secretly to the "new building in the finest situation King by his Excellency the Count of Paris,” t being a part of the incom

d Aranda, on the Independence of parable palace, with its columnar front,

the English Colonies, after having which is still admired as it looks on the signed the Treaty of Paris of 1783. Place de la Concorde. Jay also de- “The independence of the English scribes a dinner with the Count, who colonies has been acknowledged. This was “ living in great splendor, with an is for me an occasion of grief and dread. assortment of wines the finest in Eu- France has few possessions in Amerirope," and was “the ablest Spaniard he ica; but she should have considered had ever known”; showing by his con- that Spain, her intimate ally, has many, versation that his court is in earnest,” and that she is left to-day exposed to and appearing "frank and candid, as terrible shocks. From the beginning, well as sagacious." I These hospi- France has acted contrary to her true talities have a peculiar interest, when interests in encouraging and seconding it is known, as it now is, that Count this independence; I have so declared d'Aranda regarded the acknowledgment often to the ministers of this nation. of our independence with "grief and What could happen better for France dread.” But these sentiments were dis- than to see the English and the cologuised from our ministers.

nists destroy each other in a party warAfter signing the Treaty of Paris, by fare which could only augment her which Spain acknowledged our inde- power and favor her interests? The pendence, D'Aranda addressed a me- antipathy which reigns between France moir secretly to King Charles III., in and England blinded the French Cabiwhich his opinions on this event are set net; it forgot that its interest consistforth. This prophetic document slum- ed in remaining a tranquil spectator bered for a long time in the confiden- of this conflict; and, once launched tial archives of the Spanish crown. in the arena, it dragged us unhappily, Coxe, in his “ Memoirs of the House and by virtue of the family compact, of Bourbon in Spain,” which are found- into a war entirely contrary to our ed on a rare collection of original docu- proper interest. ments, makes no allusion to it. The “ I will not stop here to examine the memoir appears for the first time in a opinions of some statesmen, our own volume published at Paris in 1837, and countrymen as well as foreigners, which entitled Gouvernement de Charles III., I share, on the difficulty of preserving

our power in America. Never have so Franklin, Works, Vol. IX. p. 350.

extensive possessions, placed at a great t John Adams, Works, Vol. III. p. 379. : Jav, Lile of John Jay, Vol. I. p. 140; Vol. II. Alaman, Disertaciones sobre la Historia de la

Republica Megicana, Tomo III. PP. 351, 352.

P. 101.

distance from the metropolis, been long when it has arrived at its aggrandizepreserved. To this cause, applicable ment, will be to obtain possession of to all colonies, must be added others the Floridas, in order to dominate the peculiar to the Spanish possessions ; Gulf of Mexico. After having rennamely, the difficulty of succoring them dered commerce with New Spain diffiin case of need ; the vexations to which cult for us, it will aspire to the conthe unhappy inhabitants have been ex- quest of this vast empire, which it will posed from some of the governors; the not be possible for us to defend against distance of the supreme authority to a formidable power established on the which they must have recourse for the same continent, and in its neighborredress of grievances, which causes hood. These fears are well founded, years to pass before justice is done to Sire; they will be changed into reality their complaints; the vengeance of the in a few years, if, indeed, there are not local authorities to which they con- other disorders in our Americas still tinue exposed while waiting ; the diffi- more fatal. This observation is justiculty of knowing the truth at so great fied by what has happened in all ages, a distance; finally, the means which the and with all nations which have begun viceroys and governors, from being to rise. Man is the same everywhere ; Spaniards, cannot fail to have for ob- the difference of climate does not taining favorable judgments in Spain; change the nature of our sentiments; all these different circumstances will he who finds the opportunity of acquirrender the inhabitants of America.dis- ing power and of aggrandizing himself, contented, and make them attempt ef- profits by it always. How then can forts to obtain independence as soon we expect the Americans to respect as they shall have a propitious occa- the kingdom of New Spain, when they sion.

shall have the facility of possessing “Without entering into any of these themselves of this rich and beautiful considerations, I shall confine myself country? A wise policy counsels us now to that which occupies us from the to take precautions against evils which dread of seeing ourselves exposed to may happen. This thought has occudangers from the new power which we pied my whole mind, since, 'as Minister have just recognized in a country where Plenipotentiary of your Majesty, and there is no other in condition to arrest conformably to your royal will and inits progress. This Federal Republic is structions, I signed the Peace of Paris. born a pygmy, so to speak. It required I have considered this important affair the support and the forces of two pow. with all the attention of which I am ers as great as Spain and France in capable, and after much reflection drawn order to attain independence. A day from the knowledge, military as well as will come when it will be a giant, even political, which I have been able to aca colossus formidable in these countries. quire in my long career, I think that, It will then forget the benefits which it in order to escape the great losses with has received from the two powers, and which we are threatened, there remains will dream of nothing but to organize nothing but the means which I am itself. Liberty of conscience, the facility about to have the honor of exhibiting for establishing a new population on to your Majesty immense lands, as well as the advan- " Your Majesty must relieve yourself tages of the new government, will draw of all your possessions on the continent thither agriculturists and artisans from of the two Americas, preserving only all the nations ; for men always run the islands of Cuba and Porto Rico in after fortune. And in a few years we the northern part, and some other conshall see with true grief the tyrannical venient one in the southern part, to existence of this same colossus of which serve as a seaport or trading-place for I speak.

Spanish commerce. “ The first movement of this power, “ In order to accomplish this great thought in a manner becoming to der date of 14th December, 1779, on Spain, three infantas must be placed in his landing at Ferrol in Spain, that, acAmerica, one as king of Mexico, an- cording to the report of various perother as king of Peru, and the third as sons, “the Spanish nation in general king of the Terra Firma. Your Ma- have been of opinion that the Revolujesty will take the title of Emperor.” tion in America was of bad example to

the Spanish colonies, and dangerous to I have sometimes heard this remark- the interests of Spain, as the United able memoir called apocryphal, but States, should they become ambitious, without reason, except because its fore- and be seized with the spirit of consight is so remarkable. The Mexican quest, might aim at Mexico and Peru."* historian Alaman treats it as genuine, All this is entirely in harmony with the and, after praising it, informs us that the memoir of the Count d'Aranda. proposition of Count d'Aranda to the king was not taken into consideration,

BURNS. — 1788. which, according to him, was “ disastrous to all, and especially to the peo- FROM Count d'Aranda to Robert ple of America, who in this way would Burns, - from the rich and titled minhave obtained independence without ister, faring sumptuously in the best struggle or anarchy." * Meanwhile all house of Paris, to the poor ploughboy the American possessions of the Span- poet, struggling in a cottage, - what a ish crown, except Cuba and Porto contrast! Of the poet I shall say nothRico, have become independent, as ing, except that he was born 25th Janupredicted, and the new power, known ary, 1759, and died 21st July, 1796, in as the United States, which at that the thirty-seventh year of his age. time was a “pygmy,” has become a There is only a slender thread of * colossus.”

Burns to be woven into this web, and D'Aranda was not alone in surprise yet, coming from him, it must not be at the course of Spain. The English neglected. In a letter dated 8th Notraveller Burnaby, in his edition of vember, 1788, after saying a friendly 1796, mentions this as one of the rea- word for the unfortunate house of sons for the success of the colonists, Stuart, he thus prophetically alludes and declares that he had not supposed to our independence :originally, “ that Spain would join in a “ I will not, I cannot, enter into the plan inevitably leading by slow and merits of the cause, but I dare say the imperceptible steps to the final loss of American Congress, in 1776, will be all her rich possessions in America." + allowed to be as able and as enlightThis was not an uncommon idea. One ened as the English Convention was of John Adams's Dutch correspondents, in 1688; and that their posterity will under date of 14th September, 1780, celebrate the centenary of their deliverwrites he has heard it said twenty times, ance from us, as duly and sincerely as that, “ if America becomes free, it will we do ours from the oppressive meassome day give the law to Europe ; itures of the house of Stuart.† will seize our islands and our colonies The year 1788, when these words of Guiana ; it will seize all the West were written, was a year of commemoraIndies ; it will swallow Mexico, even tion, being the hundredth from the faPeru, Chili, and Brazil ; it will take from mous revolution by which the Stuarts us our freighting commerce ; it will pay were excluded from the throne of Eng. its benefactors with ingratitude.” | Mr. land. The "centenary” of our indeAdams also records in his diary, un. pendence is not yet completed; but

long ago the commemoration began. Alanan, Disertaciones, Tomo III. P. 333† Burnaby, Travels in North America, Preface, • John Adams, Works, Vol. III. p. 234 P. 10.

† Currie, Life and Works of Burns, p. 266: Gra: John Adams, Works, Vol. VII. p. 354

hame, History of United States, Vol. IV. p. 462.

On the coming of that hundredth anni- trayed the consequences. Time, which versary, the prophecy of Burns will be has enlarged and multiplied the relamore than fulfilled.

tions between the two countries, makes

his words more applicable now than Fox.- 1794.

when he first uttered them. In quoting from Charles James Fox,

GEORGE CANNING. — 1826. the statesman, minister, and orator, I need add nothing, except that he was GEORGE CANNING was a successor born 24th January, 1749, and died 13th of Fox, in the House of Commons, as September, 1806, and that he was an

statesman, minister, and orator ; he early friend of our country.

was born 11th April, 1770, and died Many words of his, especially during 8th August, 1827, in the beautiful villa our Revolution, might be introduced of the Duke of Devonshire, at Chishere ; but I content myself with a sin- wick, where Fox had died before. Ungle passage of a later date, which, like Fox in sentiment for our country, besides its expression of good-will, is a he is nevertheless associated with a prophecy of our power. It will be found leading event of our history, and is the in a speech on his motion for put author of prophetic words. ting an end to war with France in the The Monroe Doctrine, as it is now House of Commons, 30th May, 1794. familiarly called, proceeded from Can

“ It was impossible to dissemble that ning. He was its inventor, promoter, we had a serious dispute with America, and champion, at least. so far as it and although we might be confident bears against European intervention in that the wisest and best man of his American affairs. Earnestly engaged age, who presided in the government in counteracting the designs of the of that country, would do everything Holy Alliance for the restoration of that became him to avert a war, it the Spanish colonies to Spain, he was impossible to foresee the issue. sought to enlist the United States in America had no fleet, no army ; but in the same policy, and when Mr. Rush, case of war she would find various

who was at the time our Minister at means to harass and annoy us. Against London, replied that any interference her we could not strike a blow that with European politics was contrary to would not be as severely felt in Lon- the traditions of our government, he don as in America, so identified were argued that, however just such a policy the two countries by commercial inter- might have been formerly, it was no course. To a contest with such an

longer applicable, - that the question adversary he looked as the greatest pos- was new and complicated, – that it was sible misfortune. If we commenced " full as much American as European, to another crusade against her, we might say no more,” – that it concerned the destroy her trade, and check the pro- United States under aspects and intergress of her agriculture, but we must ests as immediate and commanding as also equally injure ourselves. Des- those of any of the states of Europe, — perate, therefore, indeed, must be that that “they were the first power on that war in which each wound inflicted on continent, and confessedly the leading our enemy would at the same time power"; and he then asked, “Was it inflict one upon ourselves. He hoped possible that they could see with into God that such an event as a war difference their fate decided upon by with America would not happen." * Europe ? Had not a new epoch ar

All good men on both sides of the rived in the relative position of the ocean must join with Fox, who thus United States toward Europe, which early deprecated a war between the Europe must acknowledge ? Were the United States and England, and por- great political and commercial interests

* Parliamentary History, Vol. XXXI. p. 627. which hung upon the destinies of the

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