at present to make our Court. Every Cabinet will,
I suppose, this winter be deeply engagd in making
Arrangements and preparing for the opening a Campaign
in Case of a general War which it is more than probable
will happen. Our Friend A L is in Spain.
Our other Friend J A will be employd somewhere.
France must be our Pole Star & our Connection must
be formd with hers. Holland whose Policy is always
to be at Peace may be open to Negociation & the sooner
we tempt her the better. Spain must joyn with
France. But she is dilatory. I wish she
would recollect how much she was injured by it the
last War, when she sufferd the common Enemy to beat
France & her self in Detail. The Spirit of Chatham
is indeed extinguishd in Britain. His decisive
Mind might have dictated the Seizure of their Float
at Sea. Perhaps it is well the Great Man is no
more. The Millions are safely arrivd & the Tone
of Neutrality at Madrid is become languid. A formidable
Fleet lies equip’d in Cadiz which operating
with that of France at this Juncture might give a
fatal Blow to the boasted Sovereignty of Britain on
the Ocean. The Count D’ Estaings Squadron
I suppose will go to the West Indies. If so,
must not the British follow with a great Part of their
Troops, if they mean to keep Possession of their own
Islands. They may leave Garrisons at N York &
Newport, with a View of obliging us still to maintain
a great Army, in hopes we shall be undone by Expences
while they despair of subduing us by the Power of
their Army. We must have a respectable Army in
the Spring to put a good face on our Negociations
or to fight. I hope we shall secure to the United
States, Canada Nova Scotia & the Fishery by our Arms
or by Treaty. Florida too is a tempting object
in the South. Perhaps if you should show this
Letter to some Folks, it may be thought to confirm
an opinion from whence an objection was drawn against
me on a late occasion “that I was averse to
Reconciliation.” We shall never be on a
solid Footing till G B cedes to us what Nature designs
we sh[ould] have or we wrest it from her.
The Marine Committee have obtaind a Warrant for 150,000
Dollars for your Department which will be forwarded
speedily. Congress has increasd your Salaries
to 3000 Dollars p Annum. I had this in View when
I intreated you in my last, not to resign your Seat.
Nothing would reconcile me to this but your having
one here. I am determind to make Room for you
by a Resignation next Spring. I flatter my self
I can yet be in some Degree useful to my Country in
a narrow Sphere. I wish for Retirement & covet
Leisure as a Miser does money.
RESOLUTION OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS.
November 3, 1778.
[Ms., Papers of The Continental Congress.]
It having pleased Almighty God through the Course
of the present year, to bestow great & manifold Mercies
on the People of these United States; And it being
the indispensible Duty of all Men gratefully to acknowledge
their obligations to Him for Benefits receivd.