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I doubt not the force of these reasons will strike you equally with myself, I would recommend to · you to use your utmost influence to palliate and soften matters, and to induce those whose business it is to provide succours of every kind for the feet, to employ their utmost zeal and activity in doing it.

It is our duty to make the best of our misfortunes, and not suffer passion to interfere with our interest and the public good.”

In a letter to Gen. Sullivan, he observed, “the disagreement between the army under your command and the feet, has given me very singular uneasiness. The continent at large is concerned in our cordiality, and it should be kept up by all possible means consistent with our honour and policy. First impressions are generally longest retained, and will serve to fix in a great degree our national character with the French. In our conduct toward them, we should remember, that they are a people old in war, very strict in military etiquette, and apt to take fire when others seem scarcely warmed. Permit me to recommend in the most particular manner, the cultivation of harmony and good agreement, and your endeavours to destroy that ill humour which may have found its way among the officers. It is of the utinost importance too that the soldiers and the people should know nothing of this misunderstanding; or if it has reached them, that means may be used to stop its progress, and prevent its effects.”

In à letter to Gen. Greene, he observed, “ I have not now time to take notice of the several arguments, which were made use of, for and against the Count's quitting the harbour of Newport, and

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sailing for Boston. Right or wrong, it will prob. ably disappoint our sanguine expectations of success, and, which I deem a still worse consequence, I fear it will sow the seeds of dissension and distrust between us and our new allies, unless the most prudent measures be taken to suppress the feuds and jealousies that have already risen. I depend much on your temper and influence to conciliate that animosity which subsists between the American and French officers in our service. I beg you will take every measure to keep the protest entered into by the general officers from being made public. Congress, sensible of the ill consequences that will flow from our differences being known to the world, have passed a resolve to that purpose. Upon the whole, my dear sir, you can conceive my meaning better than I can express it ; and I therefore fully depend on your exerting yourself to heal all private animosities between our principal officers and the French, and to prevent all illiberal expressions and reflections that may fall from the army at large.”

Washington also improved the first opportunity of recommencing his correspondence with count D'Estaing, in a letter to him, which, without no. ticing the disagreements that had taken place, was well calculated to sooth every angry sensation which might have rankled in his mind. In the course of a short correspondence, the irritation which threatened serious mischiefs entirely gave way to returning good humour and cordiality.

In another case about the same time the correct judgment of Washington proved serviceable to his country. In the last months of the year 1778,

when the most active part of the campaign was over, Congress decided on a magnificent-plan for the conquest of Canada. This was to be attempt. ed in 1779 by land and water, on the side of the United States, and by a fleet and army from France. The plan was proposed, considered, and agreed to, before Washington was informed of it. He was then desired to write to Dr. Franklin, the Ameri. can minister at Paris, to interest him in securing the proposed co-operation of France. In reply to the communications of Congress, he observed, “ the earnest desire I have strictly to comply in every instance with the views and instructions of Congress, cannot but make me feel the greatest uneasiness when I find myself in circumstances of hesitation or doubt, with respect to their directions; but the perfect confidence I have in the justice and candour of that honourable body, embold. ens me to communicate without reserve the difficulties which occur in the execution of their

present order ; and the indulgence I have experienced on every former occasion induces me to imagine that the liberty I now take will not meet with disapprobation.

“ I have attentively taken up the report of the committee respecting the proposed expedition into Canada. I have considered it in several lights, and sincerely regret that I should feel myself un. der any embarrassment in carrying it into execution. Still I remain of opinion, from a general review of things, and the state of our resources, that no extensive system of co-operation with the French for the complete emancipation of Canada, can be positively decided on for the ensuing year,

To propose a plan of perfect co-operation with a foreign power, without a moral certainty in our supplies ; and to have that plan actually ratified with the court of Versailles, might be attended, in case of failure in the conditions on our part, with very fatal effects.

“ If I should seem unwilling to transmit the plan as prepared by Congress, with my observations, it is because I find myself under a necessi. ty, in order to give our minister sufficient ground to found an application on, to propose something more than a vague and indécisive plan, which, even in the event of a total evacuation of the states by the enemy, may be rendered impracticable in the execution by a variety of insurmountable obstacles ; or if I retain my present sentiments, and act consistently, I must point out the difficulties, as they appear to me, which must embarrass his negotiations, and may disappoint the views of Congress.

“But proceeding on the idea of the enemy's leaving these states before the active part of the ensuing campaign, I should fear to hazard a mistake as to the precise aim and extent of the views of Congress. The conduct*I am to observe in writing to our minister at the court of France, does not appear sufficiently delineated. Were I. to undertake it, I should be much afraid of erring through misconception. In this dilemma, I would ésteem it a particular favour to be excused from writing at all on the subject, especially as it is the part of candour in me to acknowledge that I do not see my way clear enough to point out such a plan for co-operation, as I conceive to be consist

ent with the ideas of Congress, and as will be sufficiently explanatory with respect to time and circumstances to give efficacy to the measure.

“ But if Congress still think it necessary for me to proceed in the business, I must request their more definitive and explicit instructions, and that they will permit me previous to transmitting the intended despatches, to submit them to their determination.

“ I could wish to lay before Congress more minutely the state of the army, the condition of our supplies, and the requisites' necessary for carrying into execution an undertaking that may in. volve the most serious events. If Congress think this can be done more satisfactorily in a personal conference, I hope to have the army in such a situation before I can receive their answer as to afford me an opportunity of giving my attend


The personal interview requested in this letter was agreed to by Congress, and a committee appointed by them to confer with him. The result was that the proposed expedition against Canada was given up by those who, after repeated deliberation, had resolved



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