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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.;

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8580. TREATY (British peace), Violations of.—
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8580. TREATY (British peace), Violations of.—

In the 7th article [of the treaty of
peace], it was stipulated, that his Britannic
majesty should withdraw his armies, garrisons,
and fleets, without carrying away any negroes,
or other property of the American inhabitants.
This stipulation was known to the British commanding
officers, before the 19th of March,
1783, as provisionally agreed; and on the 5th
of April they received official notice from their
court of the conclusion and ratification of the
preliminary articles between France, Spain, and
Great Britain, which gave activity to ours, as
appears by the letter of Sir Guy Carleton to
General Washington, dated April 6, 1783. From
this time, then, surely no negroes could be
carried away without a violation of the treaty.
Yet we find that so early as May 6, a large number
of them had already been embarked for
Nova Scotia, of which, as contrary to an express
stipulation in the treaty, General Washington
declared to him his sense and his surprise. In
the letter of Sir Guy Carleton of May 12, he admits
the fact; palliates it by saying he had no
right “to deprive the negroes of that liberty he
found them possessed of; that it was unfriendly
to suppose that the King's minister could stipulate
to be guilty of a notorious breach of the
public faith towards the negroes; and that, if it
was his intention, it must be adjusted by compensation,
restoration being utterly impracticable,
where inseparable from a breach of public
faith”. But surely, Sir, an officer of the King
is not to question the validity of the King's
engagements, nor violate his solemn treaties,
on his own scruples about the public faith.
Under this pretext, however, General Carleton
went on in daily infractions, embarking, from
time to time, between his notice of the treaty
and the 5th of April, and the evacuation of
New York, November 25, 3,000 negroes, of
whom our commissioners had inspection, and a
very large number more, in public and private
vessels, of whom they were not permitted to
have inspection. Here, then, was a direct, unequivocal,
and avowed violation of this part of
the 7th article, in the first moments of its being
known; an article which had been of extreme
solicitude on our part; on the fulfilment
of which depended the means of paying debts,
in proportion to the number of laborers withdrawn;
and when in the very act of violation
we warn, and put the commanding officer on his
guard, he says directly he will go through with
the act, and leave it to his court to adjust it by
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 387. Ford ed., vi, 30.
(Pa., May. 1792)