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Title:  A letter to George Washington: on the subject of the late treaty concluded between Great-Britain and the United States of America, including other matters. By Thomas Paine, ...
Author: Paine, Thomas, 1737-1809.
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case to its ally. I know more of this matter (before it came into Congress, or was known to general Washington), of its progress, and its issue, than I choose to state in this letter. Colonel John Laurens was sent to France, as an envoy ex∣traordinary on this occasion, and by a private agreement between him and me, I accompanied him. We sailed from Boston in the Alliance frigate, February eleventh, 1781. France had already done much in accepting and paying bills drawn by Congress; she was now called upon to do more. The event of colonel Laurens's mission, with the aid of the venerable minister Franklin, was, that France gave in money, as a present, six millions of livres, and ten millions more as a loan, and agreed to send a fleet of not less than thirty sail of the line, at her own expense, as an aid to America. Co∣lonel Laurens and myself returned from Brest the first of June following, taking with us two millions and a half of livres (upwards of one hundred thousand pounds sterling) of the money given, and convoying two ships with stores.We arrived at Boston the twenty-fifth of August follow∣ing. De Grasse arrived with the French fleet in the Chesa∣peak at the same time, and was afterwards joined by that of Barras, making thirty-one sail of the line. The money was transported in waggons from Boston to the bank of Phila∣delphia, of which Mr. Thomas Willing, who has since put himself at the head of the list of petitioners in favour of the British treaty, was then president. And it was by the aid of this money, of this fleet, and of Rochambeau's army, that Cornwailis was taken; the laurels of which has been unjustly given to Mr. Washington. His merit in that affair was no more than that of any other American officer.I have had, and still have, as much pride in the American revolution as any man, or as Mr. Washington has a right to have; but that pride has never made me forgetful whence the great aid came that completed the business. Foreign aid (that of France) was calculated upon at the commencement of the revolution. It is one of the subjects treated of in the pamph∣let Common Sense, but as a matter that could not be hoped for, unless independence was declared. The aid however was greater than could have been expected.It is as well the ingratitude as the pusillanimity of Mr. Washington, and the Washington faction, that has brought upon America the loss of character she now suffers in the world, and the numerous evils her commerce has undergone, and to which it is still exposed. The British ministry soon found out what sort of men they had to deal with, and they dealt with them accordingly; and if further explanation was