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Letter from Richard Oswald to John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay
Oswald, Richard, 1705-1784
November 04, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 452-453

RICHARD OSWALD, BRITISH COMMISSIONER, TO J. ADAMS, B. FRANKLIN AND JOHN JAY, ESQUIRES, COMM’RS OF THE THIRTEEN STATES OF AMERICA FOR TREATING OF PEACE BETWEEN THE SAID STATES AND THE KING OF GREAT BRITAIN.
[From Executive Letter Book.]

[Copy.]


Paris, 4th November, 1782.

Gentlemen:

You may remember that from the first beginning of our negotiation for settling a Peace between Great Britain and America I insisted that you should positively stipulate for the restoration of the property of all those persons under the denomination of the Loyalists or refugees who have taken part with Great Britain in the present War, or if the property had been resold and passed into such variety of hands as to render the restoration impracticable, (which you asserted to be the case in many instances) you should stipulate for a compensation or indemnification to those persons adequate to their losses. To these propositions you said you could not accede. Mr. Strachey, since his arrival at Paris, has most strenuously joined me in insisting upon the said restitution, compensation or indemnification, and in laying before you every argument in favour of those demands founded upon National honor and the true principles of Justice.

These demands you must have understood, to extend not only to all Persons of the above mentioned description who have fled to Europe, but likewise to all those who may be in any part of North America dwelling under the protection of His Majesty’s Arms or otherwise. We have also insisted upon a stipulation for a general amnesty on both sides, comprehending thereby an enlargement of all persons, also an account of offences committed, or supposed to be committed since the commencement of hostilities, who may be now in confinement and for an immediate repossession of the properties & peaceable enjoyment thereof under the Government of the United States. To this you have not hitherto given a particular or direct answer. ’Tis, however, assigned me, as Commissioner of Great Britain, to repeat those several demands, and without going over

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the arguments upon paper, which we have so often urged in con sideration to press your immediate attention to these subjects and to urge you to enter into proper stipulations for the restriction, compensation and amnesty above mentioned, before we proceed further in the negotiation.

I have the Honor to be, &c.,
RICHD. OSWALD.