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TREATY OF '83 WITH SWEDEN.
Sweden, only power that voluntarily offered its friendship to Congress
of confederation-No applications specially made to Northern Powers in early part of war-M. de Creutz offered in '82 to make a treaty-Treaty of Paris of '83—Provisions similar to that of Netherlands-No minister till 1813–M. de Kantzow-Jonathan Russell of Massachusetts-Demand for property confiscated at Stralsund-Relations friendly with Sweden.
Sweden is the only power in Europe that voluntarily offered its friendship to the United States. Without being solicited, proposals were made for a treaty before the independence of the colonies was even recognized by Great Britain. A general authority was given to the commissioners abroad, Franklin, Adams, Jay, and Laurens to conclude treaties of amity and commerce, but in the early part of the revolution war Congress did not direct applications specially to be made to any of the northern powers. And most of the other courts, to whom agents were sent, either refused to receive them, or contrived, under some pretext or other, to avoid all appearance of giving aid or countenance to the American confederacy. This caution or indifference cannot be matter of censure or surprise. Few European courts probably thought, at the commencement of the revolution, that the colonies could prevail ; few choose to take the risk of involving themselves in a maritime war with England. Weakness and subjection were then naturally associated with the name of colonies.
The conduct of Sweden was marked with great frankness, and with a very friendly character. The United States could not expect much aid from that country, or suppose that her example could have a great deal of influence on other nations. But it was highly gratifying that a state renowned as Sweden always has been, for the bravery and love of independence of her people, should manifest so great a sympathy in the arduous struggles for liberty of a distant country. The proposal for a treaty was entirely unsought for on the part of America. The only account we possess of the transaction, is in one of the letters of Dr. Franklin. The Swedish minister at Paris, the Count de Creutz, called on him towards the end of June 1782, by the direction of his sovereign, Gustavus III., enquire, if he was furnished with the necessary powers to conclude a treaty with Sweden. In the course of the conversation he remarked, “ that it was a pleasure to him to think, and he hoped it would be remembered, that Sweden was the first power in Europe, which had voluntarily offered its friendship to the United States without being solicited.” Dr. Franklin communicated the application of the Swedish envoy to Congress, and instructions were shortly after sent him to agree on a treaty. The treaty was concluded at Paris on the 3d April 1783, by Dr. Franklin with the Count Gustavus Philip de Creutz. Its provisions resemble those of the others made with the powers of Europe at that time.*
This is the only treaty made with that country till 1818, but the most friendly relations have, however, been always maintained. The direct commerce to Sweden has been quite
* The original treaty, consisting of 27 articles, to which five separate articles were added the same day, was limited to fifteen years, For its provisions and details we refer particularly to the treaty made with the Netherlands, treated of in the last chapter. We spare the reader a repetition of the articles.
inconsiderable, though during the commercial restrictions in Europe, a large amount of property was cleared for Swedish ports. The trade with the Swedish West India Islands has been greater than in ordinary times, but this has been nominally increased by employing Swedish neutral ports for the purpose of intercourse with the British West Indies. This country had no minister at the Court of Stockholm till 1814, although Sweden was represented in the United States during a short time in 1813 by M. de Kantzow, a minister plenipotentiary, who was soon withdrawn; and the intercourse has been kept up by Chargés d'Affaires. In the beginning of 1814, Jonathan Russell, of Massachusetts, was appointed minister to the Court of Sweden; and in the autumn of 1816 he became engaged in a correspondence with the Swedish minister, Count d'Engerstron,* concerning a sequestration of some American property. The French being in possession of Stralsund, in Pomerania in 1910, placed this property at the disposition of Sweden, for whose benefit it was ultimately sold for about, we believe, 151,000 rix dollars currency of that country. Mr. Russell claimed an indemnity, to which this country was obviously entitled, but his demands were evaded or resisted in the same way that so many others have been by the European governments since the changes of 1814 and 1915.
During the commercial restrictions in our country, and in Europe, a great amount of property was shipped for Swedish ports, and many of our vessels sought protection there. When the passages leading into the Baltic were vexed to such a degree by French and Danish privateers, this property and the rights of these neutrals were respected. Though the Swedish territory runs along the Sound, we are not aware that any instance exists of illegal or oppressive conduct towards American vessels. From her comparatively remote situation, Sweden was less under the control of France during
* We give the spelling of this name of the despatch. It is given in Schoell differently, d'Engstroem.
the restrictions on commerce than, perhaps, any other power on the continent. She was at war with that country from 1805 to 1810, when she was compelled to accede to the continental system, though on account of the nature of her western coast, it was, never, in reality enforced. But in the beginning of 1812, French troops occupied Swedish Pomerania, and shortly after, Sweden joined the coalition of England and Russia against Napoleon ; so that, in fact, the commerce of the United States with Sweden was scarcely at all interrupted except by the acts of our own government, during the eight years that preceded the downfall of the French Emperor.
TREATY OF 1783 WITH GREAT BRITAIN.
Lord North attempts a Peace- America early conquered every thing
she sought-Members of Parliament see Franklin privately-Ministry, as well as opposition against acknowledgment of Independence -Lord Chatham speaks against it-Mediation of European courts -Unsuccessful— Austria and Russia not in favour of Independence -General Conway's resolution-Decides the question of War-New Ministry-Oswald and Grenville sent to Paris-Not officially Failed-Shelburne's Administration--Oswald instructed to acknowledge the Independence-Adams, Franklin, Jay, Laurens, and Jefferson authorized to treat--Meet at Paris-Difficulty as to loyalists -Make a compromise through violation of instructions-Conclude a Treaty-Boundaries-Fisheries-Agreed to Treaty without consulting France-Violation of Instructions— Explained-France and Spain desirous of Fisheries and Western Country— Treaty honourable and favourable to America—Unpopular in England
- Ministry in minority on first division--Necessary sacrifice.
He war, that led to the independence of the American colonies, began in 1775. The fatal celebrity, of having commenced hostilities, belongs to the administration, of which Lord North was first lord of the treasury, though the origin of the dispute may be traced to an earlier period in English history. For nearly four years, this administration had successfully withstood the accumulated disasters of the war abroad ;