Since our last private Letters, we have received the enclosed of the 17th Instant from Sir Guy Carlton. The other six numbers are these referred to in Sir Guy’s Letter. These enclosures with these we
We are well satisfied that your Excellency must be in a very disagreeable suspence respecting the whole of this important affair, and we lament it is not in our power to remove it, having received no letters from our Ministers at Paris since February. Mr Lawrens informs us that the British Ministry from late accounts are in a tottering state, and should the late premier receive the reins which were plucked out of his hand, he apprehended every thing in his power will be attempted to embarrass our proceedings. Eight years experience is sufficient to teach us, that we have every thing to fear, & nothing to expect from the British Empire, but what springs from our own, & the generous exertions of our magnanimous Ally. Certainly the explanation given by Sir Guy Carlton of the article respecting the negroes, is not warranted if we understand the language it is expressed in; and we should have supposed it to spring from the
The fears of the British Ministry respecting the trade of America begin to subside. Their boast of perfect reciprocity while they were reduced, and compelled as it were, for their political safety to enter into the provisional treaty with us, appears now to mean enjoyment on one part and restrictions on the other. Mr. Lawrens supposes this change to have been wrought by the sudden and expected arrival of divers Ships and Cargoes from different parts of the United States into England. We long foresaw and feared this evil, but it was impossible with effect to offer a check to it: the mercantile interest about Congress being so powerful & opposed to the least suspension of an immediate & free trade with all the World. Every circumstance proves our precipitancy to be extreme folly: and unless Congress should be able wisely and immediately to interpose, no treaty can be made, that will bind all the States, as no treaty could be made, that would in every thing suit the different interests of all the different States.
The Contractors for supplying the Spanish navy & army, have given a preference to the Americans to supply them with such articles as are wanted, Vizt. Masts, spars, tar, pitch, grain and rice. We submit to your Excellency whether as our State will (unrivalled by the United States) be able to furnish the greatest part of these articles, it would not be prudent for the Legislature to attend to the Inspection Laws. If we should be guilty of any frauds, the Spaniards will certainly reject our commerce and depend for supplies from the Baltic.