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chambeau got their troops half through New Jersey before his suspicions were aroused as to their real object. General Heath remained at West Point with 4000 men.
Washington took south with him 2000 Continentals and 4000 Frenchmen. By the 5th of September they reached the head of Chesapeake Bay and from that point
Surrender of they were
Cornwallis conveyed at Yorktown,
in ships 1781
I V E R
A Steuben Quarters
Baron de Viomenil, OPERATIONS AT YORKTOWN.
stormed and carried two of the British redoubts. On the 17th Cornwallis asked for terms of surrender and the formal surrender took place October 19, 1781. General Lincoln, who was in command of the American army at the fall of Charleston, was designated by Washington to receive the surrender.
The surrender of Cornwallis was regarded on both sides of the Atlantic as marking the end of the war. Con
Peace comgress had already appointed a peace commission, missioners consisting of Adams, Franklin, Jay, Laurens, and appointed
by Congress Jefferson, so as to be ready to open negotiations at the earliest favorable moment. Their instructions were
that the independence of the colonies should be recognized, and that the existing treaties with France should be observed. The commissioners were, furthermore, explicitly directed “to make the most candid and confidential communications upon all subjects to the ministers of our generous ally, the King of France; to undertake nothing in the negotiations for peace or truce without their knowledge or concurrence; and ultimately to govern yourselves by their advice and opinion.” Jefferson declined the mission, Laurens was still a prisoner in London, Jay was occupied for the next year with negotiations in Spain, and Adams was engaged in negotiating a treaty with Holland which was not concluded for more than a year, so that Franklin had the responsibility of conducting the early negotiations alone.
The diplomatic situation was peculiar: the United States were in alliance with France and their commissioners under
instructions not to make peace without the conComplexi
sent of that power; Spain was at war with Great diplomatic Britain, but at heart hostile to the Americans;
France and Spain had common interests not in harmony with the interests of the United States; Holland was at war with England and loaning money to the Americans, but suspicious of France. In England the North ministry had been overthrown, but their successors were divided as to the policy to be pursued. The House of Commons had declared in favor of peace, but the king was still utterly opposed to the recognition of independence. Rarely, if ever, have American diplomats had to face such complex conditions.
In April, 1782, Richard Oswald, a retired Scotch merchant, was sent to Paris by Lord Shelburne, the head of the new Preliminary
ministry, on a confidential mission to Franklin. negotiations He carried back to London a memorandum of Franklin's views respecting the terms of peace and soon returned to Paris with a commission authorizing him to treat
ties of the
with the “Colonies." Franklin and Vergennes thought the commission sufficient to justify negotiations, but Jay, who had lately joined Franklin, objected, insisting that Oswald's commission should mention the “United States."
About the same time Jay heard through a confidential source that Vergennes favored giving Spain the territory between the Alleghanies and the Mississippi as far North as the Ohio River, and without consulting Franklin he sent a secret agent to London to confer with Lord Shelburne. As a result a new commission, entirely satisfactory to Jay, was sent to Oswald, and the latter was also instructed to hasten independent negotiations with the American commissioners. Shelburne preferred having the United States in the Ohio Valley rather than Spain and he was pleased at the prospect of breaking the French alliance. Accordingly he directed Oswald to act so as “to regain the affections of America." While Jay and Franklin were divided on the question as to whether they should break their instructions and negotiate independently of France, Adams arrived from Holland and at once sided with Jay. Thus, in order to circumvent the alleged schemes of their allies, the American commissioners joined forces with their enemy.
In the negotiations the Americans insisted on three points: first, that the western boundary of the United States should extend to the Mississippi ; second, The points that they should have the right of free navigation at issue to the mouth of that river; and third, that Americans should retain the right to fish on the coasts of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Labrador. On the British side two points were pressed: first, that American independence should be complete and free from France; and second, that British debts should be secured and the loyalists restored to their rights. Most of these points were settled without great difficulty.
At first Great Britain claimed the whole of Maine, but the