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The Story of John and Abigail Adams in Europe

France even before independence had been de- clared, apologized in his first interview with the French Foreign Minister, Count Vergennes, for any violation of form which, inadvertently, he might have committed. "If my commission or the mode of introducing the subject were out of the usual course, I must rely on his goodness to make allowances for a new-formed people, in circumstances al- together unprecedented, and for their agent wholly un- acquainted with CourtS."87 But Deane was not so humble as he pretended to be to Vergennes. The same day, he wrote a letter

example concern- ing the issuance of an ordinance, the establishment of a Chamber, etc., there were also very real differences between the two cities. For example, in Rotter- dam, moral hazard seems to have been less of an issue, which may have been 5 The observation was made by the Abbé Desnoyers, French chargé d’affaires, in a letter to Count Vergennes, as quoted Spooner, Risks at sea, 25. 277Conclusion related to the limited nature of business. Ship-owners were still obliged to bear part of the risk themselves, but merchants were allowed to insure up to the full

war ended, and he was on the point of taking his fi nal departure, he presented himself to Congress, and contemplating, in his affectionate farewel, the Y6503.indb 180 9/15/14 12:14:55 PM Rights of Man 181 revolution he had seen, expressed himself in these words: “May this great monument, raised to Liberty, serve as a lesson to the oppressor, and an ex- ample to the oppressed!” – When this address came to the hands of Doctor Franklin, who was then in France, he applied to Count Vergennes to have it inserted in the French Gazette, but never could obtain his

Bourbon king of the Old Regime, was not unintelligent, and at times he applied himself seriously to his tasks. But he was generally awkward in society and profoundly lacking in self- confi dence. Early in his reign, he placed himself in the hands of two seasoned ministers, Count Maurepas and Count Vergennes. It was the latter who, as foreign minister, had engineered the victory over the British during the American Revolution. But both Maurepas and Vergennes had the bad grace to die during the 1780s. Th ereafter, the king lurched from one group of ministers and

northern the other in the southern section of the country. On both excursions he visited Philadelphia and in his Voyages, writ- ten after his return to France, gives interesting observations made during his visit to the city. He met Ewing and Rittenhouse, visited the University, and was, as just remarked, given its high- est degree. He was also elected a member of the Philosophical Society. He was charmed with his treatment here and elsewhere in America and on his return to France he urged Count Vergennes to recommend to the King to send a gift of books for the library


as well by your memorial, presented to Count Vergennes as by whatever occurred to me relative thereto-and that the Marquis de la fayette has taken the same active part in the measure to which you know him accustomed in similar cases. The only hope now left is that the assembly will modify the report of the committee as to the exclusive company. Some merchants who are here intend to make observations and remonstrances on the subject. They will probably be aided by their partners and correspondents in the ports. The result will be known very shortly, as I


. They were sent up to Paris, to Count Vergennes, and when Col. Lawrens and myself returned to America, we took the originals to Congress. By these dispatches I saw into the stupidity of the English cabinet, far more than I otherwise could have done, and I renewed my former design. But Col. Lawrens was so unwilling to return alone; more especially, as among other matters, we had a charge of upwards of two hundred thousand pounds sterling in money, that I gave into his wishes, and fi nally gave up my plan. But I am now certain, that if I could have executed it


conversations with him on the subject as well as other members of the committee. They have had communication also of your letter to Count Vergennes on the subject.-The reasons with them for continuing the farm of tobacco is that the topographi- cal situation of France renders it absolutely impossible to raise the present revenue on it by an impost. Importations would take place by land where it would be impossible to avoid smuggling-besides Lorraine and Alsace where considerable quantities are made, being now to be taken within the barriers of France would increase the