You will be sensible, Sir, that these communications are without reserve. I supposed such to be your wish, and mean them but as materials, with such others as you may collect, for your better judgment to work on. I consider the whole matter as between ourselves alone, having determined to take no active part in this or any thing else, which may lead to altercation, or disturb that quiet and tranquillity of mind, to which I consign the remaining portion of my life. I have been thrown back by events, on a stage where I had never more thought to appear. It is but for a time, however, and as a day-laborer, free to withdraw, or be withdrawn at will. While I remain, I shall pursue in silence the path of right, but in every situation, public or private, I shall be gratified by all occasions of rendering you service, and of convincing you there is no one, to whom your reputation and happiness are dearer than to, Sir,
your most obedient
and most humble servant,
LETTER LIX.—TO COLONEL URIAH FORREST, October 20, 1784
TO COLONEL URIAH FORREST.
Paris, Cul-de-Sac Tetebout,
October 20, 1784.
I received yesterday your favor of the 8th instant, and this morning went to Auteuil and Passy, to consult with Mr. Adams and Dr. Franklin on the subject of it. We conferred together, and think it is a case in which we could not interpose (were there as yet cause for interposition) without express instructions from Congress. It is, however, our private opinion, which we give as individuals, only, that Mr. McLanahan, while in England, is subject to the laws of England; that, therefore, he must employ counsel, and be guided in his defence by their advice. The law of nations and the treaty of peace, as making a part of the law of the land, will undoubtedly be under the consideration of the judges who pronounce on Mr. McLanahan’s case; and we are willing to hope that, in their knowledge and integrity, he will find certain resources against injustice, and a reparation of all injury to which he may have been groundlessly exposed. A final and palpable failure on their part, which we have no reason to apprehend, might make the case proper for the consideration of Congress.