University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
[Clear Hits]

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
collapse sectionC. 
1491. CONFISCATION, Loyalist Refugees and.—
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
[Clear Hits]

1491. CONFISCATION, Loyalist Refugees and.—

The British court had it extremely
at heart to procure a restitution of the estates
of the refugees who had gone over to
their side [in the Revolution]; they proposed
it in the first conferences [on the treaty of
peace], and insisted on it to the last. Our
Commissioners, on the other hand, refused
it from first to last, urging, 1st, that it was
unreasonable to restore the confiscated property
of the refugees unless they would reim


Page 172
burse the destruction of the property of our
citizens, committed on their part; and 2dly,
that it was beyond the powers of the commissioners
to stipulate, or of Congress to enforce.
On this point, the treaty hung long. It was
the subject of a special mission of a confidential
agent of the British negotiator from Paris
to London. It was still insisted on, on his
return, and still protested against, by our
commissioners; and when they were urged
to agree only, that Congress should recommend
to the State Legislatures to restore the
estates, &c., of the refugees, they were expressly
told that the Legislatures would not
regard the recommendation. In proof of this,
I subjoin extracts from the letters and journals
of Mr. Adams and Dr. Franklin, two of
our commissioners, the originals of which are
among the records of the Department of
State. * * * These prove, beyond all question,
that the difference between an express agreement
to do a thing and to recommend it to
be done, was well understood by both parties,
and that the British negotiators were put on
their guard by those on our part, not only
that the Legislatures will be free to refuse, but
that they probably would refuse. And it
is evident from all circumstances, that Mr.
Oswald accepted the recommendation merely
to have something to oppose to the clamors of
the refugees—to keep alive a hope in them
that they might yet get their property from
the State Legislatures; and that if they should
fail in this, they would have ground to demand
indemnification from their own government;
and he might think it a circumstance
of present relief at least, that the question of
indemnification by them should be kept out of
sight, till time and events should open it
upon the nation insensibly. The same was
perfectly understood by the British ministry,
and by the members of both Houses in Parliament,
as well those who advocated, as those
who opposed the treaty; the latter of whom,
being out of the secrets of the negotiation,
must have formed their judgment on the mere
import of the terms. [94]
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 372. Ford ed., vi. 18.
(Pa., May. 1792)


The extract is from Jefferson's reply to Mr. Hammond,
the British minister, on the infraction of the
treaty of peace. A summary of the confiscation laws
of the different colonies is given in this masterly
State paper.—Editor.